Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just In For The Holidays - Creative Thank Yous

Sometimes you want to say thank you in a way that stands out. Consider these ideas for expressing your gratitude through creative, and in some cases handmade, ways.

* Cards. Personalize a thank you note with a handmade card. This can be done either through a computer program, or with card-making supplies purchased at a craft store. However you make the card, the message will be extra special since it comes on a card made especially for the recipient.

* Collages. Creating a collage of photos and memorabilia from a time or event can be a meaningful and creative way to say thank you. Consider this idea if someone helped you plan an event or was with you on a special day or trip. Put together a collage of memories from that time to thank the person for all they did to help. They will have the joy of receiving a special gift, and you will get to relive memories as you work on the project.

* Scrapbooks. A scrapbook, while similar to a collage or a photo album, can have many more added features. In addition to having much more space for photos, notes, and memorabilia, a scrapbook can have a theme carried throughout the book. If you want to give a special person in your life a reminder of how much they mean to you, consider thanking them with a personalized scrapbook that represents their unique place in your life.

* Memory jars. For this item, first gather approximately 30 strips of paper and begin writing on them special thoughts or stories relating to the person you want to thank. They can be funny or serious. Once you have gathered the strips, decorate a medium-size jar and fill it with the strips. Then present it to the person you would like to thank with a note instructing them to read one strip each morning for the next month. Be as creative as possible when decorating the jar, and try to choose a theme that fits the personality of the individual.


Clock/calendar. Present either the color or calendar with a note that reads, "Thanks for finding to time to help." Since this is a lighthearted gift, try to find a funny clock or calendar that will bring a laugh to the person you are presenting it to.

Basket of shiny apples. Give the basket of apples to someone special with the note, "You are a polished leader and the apple of our eye." Make sure the basket is decorated with a nice and polished!

Candle. Choose a candle with a nice scent or holder and leave it as a thank you with the note, "Your advice has lighted my path." This is a wonderful way to give a small token to someone who has been supportive in helping you make decisions.

Calculator. Sometimes you need to give a small gift to a special person, but you don't quite know what to get. Try giving a calculator engraved with the message, "All you do really adds up." This can be an especially good idea for volunteers or others who are instrumental in helping an organization or event get going.

Edible Thank Yous

Dinner - Try Something Unique-

If you are looking for an original dinner idea that can also serve as a conversation piece, then fondue may be a great option for your thank you dinner. It is best in small group setting where people are comfortable with one another. There are many ways to prepare and serve fondue. For tips ands ideas check out the following website, which will provide you with all the information you need to hold a special thank you fondue dinner!

Theme. To hold a dinner with a twist, decide on a theme and carry it through every part of the meal. For example, if the person you are thanking has a favorite vacation spot, such as a tropical island, then create the atmosphere with decorations and music, and serve a meal traditional in that area. The person you are thanking will enjoy the festivities and will know you have put a lot of thought into the occasion.

Cultural. Perhaps you are having a difficult time coming up with a theme, but you want a unique cultural experience. Try something new, a food or place that you would not normally choose and create an evening where people get to experience something different. Just make sure that the person you are thanking is adventurous.

Group event. There are times when you may want to thank a group of people for helping or supporting you. Hold a special dinner party in their honor and toast each one of them separately. Your toast does not need to be lengthy; after all you don't want dinner to get cold, but offer up a unique toast to each person and acknowledge to the group how each individual has been there for you.

Baking Delights.

Cookies, cakes, pies. Almost everyone can enjoy a small basket of cookies or perhaps a cake or pie to share with a group. This is a simple way to say thank you that shows how appreciative you are.

Casseroles. While not necessarily a good choice for every occasion, there are people in your life who are very busy and yet still take time out of their schedule to be there for you. Thank them by preparing a read-to-heat meal such as a casserole; this will give them a night off from cooking dinner and allow more time for other things. Parents will especially enjoy this thank you, which gives them ore time with the family and less time in the kitchen.

Specialty pizzas. Many times the easy way to say thank you to group, particularly in a volunteer setting is to order pizzas. Try to put a twist on this routine by either cooking or ordering specialty pizzas. There are all sorts of options of tasty and nutritious pizzas. There are all sorts of options for tasty and nutritious pizzas that have everything from chicken and mushrooms to goat cheese and red peppers.

Monday, November 23, 2009


1. IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES – Every holiday event you attend is an opportunity to meet new people. People are more inviting during the holidays and willing to share information. The more events you attend the greater your potential for developing new contacts.

2. QUALITY vs. QUANTITY - Know what you are looking for. The key is to identify quality prospects, not see how many business cards you can collect. Your best contact may not become a client but could provide you valuable alliances that will significantly grow your business.

3. MINGLE – Do not congregate with old friends or hang out at the buffet. Your goal is to meet NEW contacts.

4. LISTEN – You will learn more about people by listening than talking. Listening will provide you the keys to identify contacts and gain valuable information that will determine how you choose to develop a potential business relationship.

5. ASK QUESTIONS – This is always a key factor in networking. Asking the right questions will generate the information you need. Areas that generate networking potential are questions about their business, what services they provide, the biggest challenges they are facing and the best question of all is what would be a good referral for them. People are always interested in others who can benefit them.

6. REVISE YOUR PERSONAL INTRODUCTION – When asked what you do you have about six seconds to capture their attention and interest. Don’t use titles but instead state what you do and how it benefits people. For instance, stating you help people understand personal finance in this difficult economy would be an introduction for a financial advisor. Develop your own introduction with this in mind.

7. CARRY YOUR BUSINESS CARDS – This does not mean you pass out your business cards to everyone you meet. In fact, that would be a mistake. Be discriminate, only give your business card to someone that asks for it or someone that has stated they have a specific need that either you or someone you know can help them with. Use the back of your business card to write a brief note that serves as a reminder to them when they look at the card later.

8. GET CONTACT NUMBERS – It is critical to get contact information. Tell the individual you would like to follow-up with them and ask them for a business card. If they don’t have a card with them, ask them for their phone number or email address and write it on the back of one of your business cards.

9. DEVELOP A CONTACT LIST – Don’t wait to record the list of contacts you made at an event. Record all contact information and notes concerning the contact as soon as possible. Entering the information into your personal data base within 24 hrs is best.

10. FOLLOW-UP – Your networking efforts won’t reap maximum rewards unless you follow through on your initial meeting.

Information provided by: The International Referral Network

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New holiday color: green

The holidays are just around the corner, and so are the holiday parties.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate 25 percent more trash than usual in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It amounts to 1 million tons.

Much of that is due to holiday parties. But there are several steps revelers can take to make their holiday parties more eco-friendly.

: Use e-vites or recycled paper invitations. These days, sending invitations and collecting RSVPs through any one of several electronic-invitation Web sites is popular. It's budget-friendly and saves resources.

If you're intent on marking your holiday party occasion with an invitation guests can hold in their hands and keep, choose those made from post-consumer recycled paper, or tree-free alternatives, such as invitations made from hemp, says Marti Matsch, communications director for Eco-Cycle.

"Make sure your invitation is recyclable," Matsch adds. "Avoid bright-colored, dark-colored, fluorescent or metallic papers, all of which cannot be recycled."

Use re-usable. Single-use items -- especially when it comes to serving and enjoying food and drinks -- are common during the holidays. But it makes more eco-friendly sense to avoid cluttering landfills with single-use items, particularly plastic plates and utensils, and choose washable dishes and silverware.

"Reuse stuff -- don't use a lot of plastic," says Mary Spicer, of Spicer Events, an events-planning company with offices in Boulder and Connecticut. "Anything that can be reused, that's green."

That means, pull out the china and silver if you have it.

"Grandma gave it to you, you should use it," Spicer says.

If the back of your cabinets aren't a holding ground for hand-me-down ware, and you're hosting a large number of guests, consider renting plates, silverware and glassware for the occasion.

Or try compostable. If you must include single-use tableware and cutlery at your party, choose the compostable kind. Eco-Cycle offers a Zero Waste Event Kit that includes tableware and cutlery made from plant starches instead of plastic.

The kit includes compost collection containers, which once filled can be dropped off at Eco-Cycle's Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials in Boulder.

One note, plant-based tableware wont biodegrade in some compost systems because they don't reach the required temperature for long enough periods of time in order for the items to begin to break down. But Eco-Cycle takes its compost to a company in Denver that uses a system that effectively composts biodegradable tableware, Matsch says.

Find decorations. Holiday decorations can be pricey, and they can fill a trash can in a hurry. There are greener options than buying the latest centerpieces from a store, says Heather Dwight, owner of Calluna Events, a Boulder company that specializes in weddings, private parties and non-profit events.

Create your own.

"With decorations, there's really simple, budget-friendly things you can do," Dwight says. "Pine cones or branches with berries on them, or ivy, so that you're not using a ton of flowers, things that you might even have at home you can use as centerpieces."

If you use flowers, find a florist who offers Colorado-grown or organically grown flowers. And if your floral arrangements aren't pesticide free -- and most aren't -- be conscious of where they go.

Offset your carbon. Let's face it, part of what make celebrations special is the fact they happen once. Sometimes, despite best green intentions, holiday parties lead to more waste than you may be comfortable with.

Dwight says she's noticed a trend of eco-conscious revelers buying carbon offsets to counterbalance the travel by guests or the waste the parties generate.

Eco-cycle recommends visiting or to learn more about carbon offsets.

Use sustainable wines.

Want to get a conversation going with the wine connoisseurs on your guest list?

"Something that's been a trend this year has been using sustainable or biodynamic wines," Dwight says.

Compost what you can. After the guests have gone, make sure the food leftovers go into compost containers and recyclable materials are put into their proper bin.

Avoid toxic cleaning solutions. "Consider making your own non-toxic cleaners at home," Matsch says. "Many basic cleaners can be made from non-toxic ingredients, such as baking soda, Borax, white vinegar, lemon juice and washing soda."

Article provided by Mark Collins

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Kind of People Seek Wedding Sponsorship

There is a wide misconception on exactly what a wedding sponsorship is. The type of people who seek out sponsors for their wedding are, for the most part people who understand budgeting. The concept of wedding sponsorship has been around for quite a while but still in some circles controversial. People have read articles and heard stories about couples who have gone this route and saved thousands of dollars in the process but the interesting thing about some of these couples, is that they could easily afford the wedding in the first place. So why go through the process of locating sponsors? Could it be that it just made “good sense”. Now I would have said “business sense” but that’s where it gets controversial. I have listened to heated arguments about this exact topic, almost as if the discussion was about politics. Some argue that this is a special day and it should not be tainted by the domination of corporate involvement. Just to be fair, most of these arguments take place due to lack of information on this subject. I think that most people when they here the words “Corporate Sponsor” they think of banners, flyers, display booths, print media and even publicity gimmicks. At the very least have a preconceived image of the words “Sponsored By…” etched in their minds.

Sponsored weddings are not corporate events and should not be treated as such. The form of sponsorship, which appeals to most wedding couples and corporate sponsors alike, are cross promotion and barter opportunities. As an example, if you were already prepared to pay $7000.00 for the wedding venue and the vendor said to you “ look, if you give me the names of three more potential wedding couples that I might call to promote to my venue, I will give you a 70% discount ($4900.00). Now if you knew three couples that were getting married in the next year, you might be inclined to pass the name on to the venue owner, and take advantage of this discount. There is no different between this scenario and what a wedding sponsor can be. Two things to remember; everything is negotiable on some level and everything has some value to someone. If you would like more information on wedding sponsorship go to

Brian Leslie is CEO of "The Wedding Sponsors", a company which provides sponsorship services to wedding couples looking to save money on their "big day" The author of this article, Leslie, has spent many years in Film Industry as an Executive Producer specializing in cross promotion and financing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taste of the Season gets a little sweeter with cake decorating competition

The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce's 20th annual Taste of the Season on Friday brings together 30 local chefs to prepare samples of their best dishes. But this year brings a new twist.

The chamber has challenged some the island's best bakers to a Best Holiday Cake bake-off, so to say. Each will present a cake at the event, and attendees will vote on which is best.

With so much confectionery talent on display, we couldn't help but gather some of their knowledge on a wide range of subjects, from life as a cake maker to the necessary evils of fondant.

Behold, our informal roundtable of Hilton Head's best cake decorators: Sheri Davis, Sheri's Edible Designs; Signe Gardo, Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe; Ann Marie Romano, Sandstone Catering; Holly Slayton, Sweet Carolina Cupcakes; Andrea Studenc, Little Students Cooking Cafe & Sweet Treats; and Jen Zoole, The Sea Pines Resort.

If you go
Taste of the Season will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Sea Pines Country Club on Hilton Head Island.
Tickets are $35 and are available at Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce headquarters, the Hilton Head Island Welcome Center and Bluffton Chamber Office.
To purchase tickets online, go to
Details: 843-785-3673

Question. What's popular in the Lowcountry?

Gardo. It was a good year, but it wasn't as many had the huge cakes. Smaller weddings. A lot of people scaled back.

Romano. A lot of a seashell cakes are popular for the destination weddings. Also, a lot of flavors with each tier being a different flavor instead of the entire cake being vanilla. I've had one that's been red velvet, carrot cake, chocolate. A lot of variety.

Studenc. One of our biggest requests are our confetti cakes, the ones with polka dots. We do a lot of birthday cakes. After that it's princess cakes. Also, a lot of sports-themed cakes.

Zoole. People go for simple but contemporary for wedding cakes. Plain white buttercream with fresh flowers, for example. Also, maybe something different, like stripes of fondant.

Q. What are your wildest cakes?

Davis. Definitely things that are tilted. Things that are separated by shapes and patterns. I did a wedding cake this year where it looked like strawberries. The theme of the wedding was chocolate-covered strawberries. They didn't want the cake to look like a cake. They wanted people to look at it and say, "Is that a cake?"

Studenc. A lady came in and said, "I have a strange request for a cake." She said, "Can you do a snail?" It was this group of ladies that go up to North Carolina for this retreat called The Snail's Pace. That's where it came about. And, yes, you could eat the whole snail.

Q. Wedding cupcakes: Fad or forever?

Davis. I do get a lot of requests for wedding cupcakes. But I don't do them anymore. It was kind of big a few years ago, but I think things have trickled off a bit. I don't know if that's because word gets around that I don't do them anymore or because the popularity is in decline.

Gardo. We do cupcakes for wedding cakes often. It's popular. It eliminates a cutting fee; it speeds up the evening. It's much more fun than a piece of cake. But you can't do much with them, decoration-wise. A cupcake is still a cupcake.

Slayton. Cupcakes used to just be a kids' treat. People have taken it to another level. They've found an adult market. In a lot of these informal weddings, where people might be standing around talking as opposed to a sit-down dinner, it's easier to carry around with you.

Q. Is fondant worth it?

Davis. Traditionally fondant is disgusting and tastes like glue. I make mine from marshmallow and powdered sugar, so it doesn't taste so bad. If I can get away with buttercream, I'll do that anytime.

Studenc. I love working with fondant. You can do a lot with it. I don't really like covering an entire cake with it unless I have to because when you do eat it, it is chewy. I'll do it on my cupcakes, too, ribbons, flowers, stuff to make them fun.

Slayton. If I make it, I like it. I don't like the commercial; it doesn't have the same flavor. If you make it your own, you can control the flavor better.

Q. "Cake Boss," "Ace of Cakes" ... Do you watch these shows?

Davis. To be honest, I try not to watch. I do appreciate them for their entertainment value. But it gives an unrealistic portrayal of what goes into making a cake. I'll get customers who come to me wanting a 5-foot cake of a dolphin jumping out of the water and when they get the price quote, they'll say, "I saw it on 'Ace of Cakes' and it looked so easy." You have to tell them it's just the magic of television.

Studenc. My kids are obsessed with them, as I am. I wonder how much cake is in some of those cakes, and I really wonder how they taste.

Q. What's in store for the Best Holiday Cake?

Romano. It's a snowflake-like winter wonderland cake. Five tiered with different flavored mousses.

Zoole. I have some ideas. Just something kind of fun but elegant. It's probably going to involve penguins. It's kind of difficult. Usually you're given an idea to work with, but it's different when you're essentially given free range.

Article provided By JUSTIN PAPROCKI

Sunday, November 8, 2009

There's Wedding Insurance in YOUR wallet.

The holidays are fast approaching and so is the BIG day for many of you! That’s why this week’s “Words of Wisdom…” have to do with protecting your wedding investment.

What’s the average cost of a wedding today? The answer is a whopping $28,000. Wow! That’s a lot of dinero to spend on a four- or five-hour party. So it’s critical that you safeguard your investment and there’s an easy way to do it.

Every one of us carries an insurance policy in our wallet and guess what it’s called? It’s called a credit card and your credit card can be your greatest financial protection when planning your wedding. Let me give you examples. There was once a bride and groom who booked a florist and gave them a $1500 deposit… in cash. Two weeks before the wedding, the shop went out of business. The couple was totally distraught; they didn’t have money to reserve another florist--but had they used their credit card, their deposit would have been protected. Recently, a bridal salon in our town went out of business. All the brides who gave the shop cash or checks for the deposits paid on their gowns were out of luck. But the ones who used their credit cards had their deposits refunded.

And there are other advantages. Some credit-card companies refund a percentage of your total purchases—in cash or bonuses. Others offer free travel insurance and frequent flier miles. And of course, if you pay the balance due within 30 days, there are no interest charges.

The lesson to be learned is this: No matter how much money you have in the bank, use credit cards to pay for your wedding. Weddings are planned months in advance, and no one knows what’s going to happen down that long, rocky road to the altar. Credit cards offer financial protection, benefits, insurance, and may even save you $$$$.

Happy Weddings!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Thank- Yous Cont'd

A Formal thank you is written. Here are some basic guidelines for how to make a formal thank you meaningful, personal, and a little bit different. In most cases, the advice for one kind of event will be applicable to all formal thank yous.

Weddings And Anniversary Parties

Favors. While a favor does not replace a formal thank you note, it is considered a special way of thanking guests for attending. A favor at the place setting can be as unique and individualized as you would like. Some popular ones include candy, candles, soaps/lotions, or specialty items that go with the event theme.

Share a memory. Writing hundreds of thank you notes can become very tiring. Try to make the process more interesting and personal by including a memory or thought specific to that person. It can be from the event or from a different time in your life, but let them know they are not receiving a form letter. Make it specific to them. For example, "On this emotional day, it was such a comfort to look over and see the two of you holding hands. Your 40 years of marriage inspired me on my wedding day and will continue to inspire me for many years to come."

Be open. After attending a special moment in some one's life, the attendees are usually very excited to hear how the time was viewed through the person's eyes. Include in your thank you note just a few lines about what made the day special for you and how you will look back on the memories. For example, "We feel so blessed by the people who supported us on our wedding day; it was an honor to walk down the aisle surrounded by the love and support of our family and friends. I will always treasure the moment I walked into the church and saw the congregation stand to honor the beginning of our life together.

Art Of The Oral Thank You

Stop other activities. When offering an oral thank you in a formal setting, always be sure to stop all else and give your full attention to the person you are thanking. This shows them that they are valued and that you are thinking through, and therefore meaning, your words. Even in the middle of a crowded event, you can have a meaningful moment if you stop what you are doing to focus on the person to who you are grateful.

Explain why you are grateful. Do not settle for a simple thank you statement; take a moment to explain to the person why you are thanking them and what difference their actions have made. Giving people your full attention and truly taking the time to let them know what they have done and why you are so grateful gives others a sense of how much they have meant to you.

Touch and eye contact. When thanking someone in person, always make eye contact. Sometimes a formal, oral thank you can make you feel uncomfortable , especially if you are not used to it, but always maintain eye contact so as to let the other person know you are both serious and sincere. In addition, when appropriate, an oral thank you can come with a hug or pat on the back to show your appreciation.

Be honest. It does no one good to exaggerate some one's meaning or contribution to your event. Be honest, acknowledge some one's presence, and thank them appropriately. A sincere thank you that truthfully represents a person's meaning in your life will resonate much more deeply than an exaggerated thank you both parties know is false.

Graduation And Other Milestone Events

Acknowledge the giver's attendance and gift. A formal written thank you should include a specific acknowledgement of some one's presence at the event and a specific acknowledgement of their gift. For example, "It meant a great deal to me that you were in the audience at my graduation ceremony: your support has always been very important to me. I would also like to thank you for_________, which will be of great use to me as I enter this new stage of life."

Send it promptly. Formal thank you notes should be in the mail no more than two weeks after an event. One way to keep to this guideline is to determine that you will not use any gift until you have sent a formal thank you for it. This will motivate you to get those thank you notes out in the mail.

Mingle. While this may not seem like a formal thank you, it is an imperative part of a formal occasion. Speaking to a guest and orally thanking them does not replace a written thank you, but is shows each person that you are pleased they could join you and that you value their presence. Avoid sticking to those people you know best, and instead make sure you circulate an speak to each guest, making everyone feel welcome. It will also ensure that you have a moment to reference later in the written thank you note.

Cont'd Communion, Baptist And Other Religious Events

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How Do We Say - Thank - You

Sunday night my daughter and her boyfriend came over and she bought me these beautiful roses. She said mommy these are for you because I just wanted to say Thank You... of course I had to double check to make sure she wasn't trying to give me these flowers for my birthday (however, I still would have been thankful)..

Since we have enter into the month of November we always begin with thinking about Thanksgiving what we are going to prepare, family getting together. We start thinking about what we are thankful for.

How do we begin to say Thank You - whether you are in business, friendship, family, or just associates we always want to let people know that we appreciate anything and everything that they have done for us in the past as well as coming into the future:

Business Thank- Yous:

There are many different kinds of business relationships; therefore the appropriate expression of thanks will vary. The importance of expressing that thanks, though, never changes. Consider how you can improve your office morale by implementing some of these easy expressions of gratitude in your business or place of employment.


Notes- It's a good idea to keep a few thank you notes in your desk drawer. When a fellow staff members steps out of the office or away from their desk, leave a note to surprise them when they return. The thought and and appreciation will go a long way in building strong relationships in the workplace.

Email - While email may not seem like the most personal way to say thank-you, it can be a great way to make a statement. If you have noticed someone doing a wonderful job or someone who has really helped you on a project for which you received the credit, be sure to send them an email acknowledging their hard work and praising their efforts. Copy the email to their supervisor.

Lunch - Everyone enjoys a lunch away from the stress of the office. Thank a co-worker who has done something nice for you by taking them out to lunch somewhere. It doesn't need to be somewhere expensive; it can just be sandwiches at a shop down the street. They will just appreciate the gesture and the chance to unwind.


Time off - Nothing says thank you to an overworked staff like a surprise afternoon off. If your employees have been working hard and performing well, reward them with a free afternoon. They will come back grateful, refreshed, and ready to keep on working hard.

Single out special work - Don't be afraid to acknowledge specific individuals who have performed above and beyond their job duties. Thanking or rewarding employees who go the extra mile will encourage them to do so in the future, and will let them know that they are valued and appreciated. Sometimes individual attention or acknowledgement is in order. Don't shy away from it for fear of making others feel left out.

Romantic - Thank - Yous

Long-Term Relationships

Change the routine. Express your happiness and gratitude by trying something out of the ordinary; check out a new restaurant, show, or unusual event. Breaking out of the routine can bring a new excitement to the relationship and will genuinely surprise your significant other.

Unexpected notes. Leave a loving note somewhere, such as one on the front seat of their car or in their wallet. A short note of appreciation can brighten their whole day.

Share the load. If you know your spouse or significant other hates a particular chore or duty, volunteer to take it over for a week. Thank them by giving the gift of freedom from the task they like the least.

New Relationships-

Small tokens. In the beginning stages of a new relationship, you want to say thanks without too much ado. A small token, then, such as a simple card or picking up the tab on a shared meal can be a nice, but not overdone, thank you.

Post-date call. After a special evening out, call the very same night to express your thanks and let them know how much you have enjoyed your time with them.

Say the words. Good communication is important to all relationships, and its is particularly vital to orally express your thanks in a new and developing relationship. However else you may decide to express thank you, make sure you also say it.


Discounts/bonuses - Express your thanks to loyal customers by giving them special discounts or bonuses not provided to the general public. Choose those extra-special people who have been loyal to your company and then determine the best kind of discount or bonus for their individual needs. This special thank you will keep them happy and coming back for a long time to come.

Bend a policy - Say thank you to customers who have developed a good business relationship with your company by being willing to bend the policy when necessary. Don't break the rules, but know the amount of leeway you have and use if for those customers who have earned the special treatment.

Special hours- Thank customers by providing them with special hours to meet their needs. If a customer is faithfully using your company for all their needs, be sure your company caters hours and schedules around the needs of the customer as well. Creating that sense of partnership with the customer will create a positive business relationship.


Include them - Vendors often develop positive relationships with the staff and would enjoy being included in staff functions and events. Be sure to thank them for their hard work and service by including them in special occasions and making them feel like a vital part of the team.

Bonus items - Vendors of all sorts can appreciate bonus items such as gift certificates or monetary bonuses. If a vendor has exceeded expectations and acted as a valuable asset to the company, consider thanking them in a monetary way. This will often have the biggest impact and let them know exactly how appreciated their services are.

Give a recommendation - In many cases, you are not the only business a vendor is working with; say thank you to extra-special vendors by either referring other businesses to them or providing them with a letter of recommendation that they can show other businesses when seeking additional work.

Next - Formal Thank Yous

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don't Be A Cookie-Cutter Groom!‏

This week we’d like to discuss formal wear, in other words, tuxedos. And you’ll have to admit that grooms and their bridal parties are addicted to them. After all, you rarely see the guys wearing anything but tuxedos at their weddings.

Our question? WHY? (Can you imagine brides going to formal-wear stores to rent the same style gown for their weddings? That would be the day! : -)

Let’s define tuxedos. They are “formal wear” and that means they should only be worn to formal or semi-formal, evening weddings (after 6 p.m.), hence THE term.

Why then do we see them at weddings held in morning and afternoon? In one of our old wedding books, the author states, “A tuxedo before six o’clock?” NEVER!” And we agree.

Weddings held in mornings and afternoons warrant strollers and/or morning coats, which are elegant suits most times grey, the latter worn with ascots and vests. They’re absolutely fabulous and unique.

Most weddings are semi-formal meaning that the groom does have options other than that old black tux. What about a dark navy or grey business suit with a white or ivory shirt and striped tie? There’s nothing wrong with it. Elegant suits are perfectly appropriate for that semi-formal wedding.

Or how about the white dinner jacket? It’s just the ticket for the semi-formal wedding, or the formal wedding that’s held in tropical climates or in summer. It’s worn with white shirt and black bowtie and cummerbund, or it’s worn with a cummerbund and bowtie in a subtle print. The white dinner jacket is a “light” look, and it’s just as elegant as a tux!

For those who are not tuxedo obsessed? How about the coolness of a white linen suit for those semi-formal weddings held in summer, for example, or in the Caribbean?

The bottom line is this: Your bride-to-be doesn’t want to look like every other bride who walks down the aisle—and you shouldn’t want to look like every other groom! Now you know your options, exercise them!

Happy Wedding Planning!

Provided by AAWP