Tag Archives: #iheartp3planning

Vendor Wednesday Spotlight #1


I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to create a preferred vendor list, BUT I DO want to provide you with some of the businesses that go above and beyond in my book!!! Every vendor I will feature moving forward I personally have worked with. Enjoy Vendnesday…

 

FOWLER’S FUNFLATABLES

This is an amazing family owned business based in Burgaw NC. They rent out Large Inflatables, Waterslides, Slip n Slides, Bounce Houses, Combo Units and much more! All of their staff does an amazing job by showing up on time and being prefessional. I recommend them to all my clients. Now a word from the owners….

 We have 5 kids of our own and enjoy seeing the excitement in a childs eyes when we deliver and inflate one of our Bounce Houses or Slides. The smile on a childs face from watching the inflatable come to life is “priceless.” Our goal is to provide you with the “BEST” products & customer service at a reasonable rate. We will provide  you  with safe, clean and entertaining inflatables & products to inspire fun and happiness for all your party needs. We are fully insured and bonded. All of our units are inspected annually by the N.C. Department of Labor to meet State safety requirements.

We offer Bounce Houses, Module Bounce House (9 Banners to choose from: Happy Birthday, Cars Theme, Spiderman, Monster Truck, Sports Theme, Princess Theme, It’s A Girl Thing, Dora the Explorer, Pirate Theme) Castle Bounce Houses with Slides and basketball hoops in all Bounce House Combos, Module Combo with enclosed slides also with basketball hoops, 18ft Pirates of the Carolinas Slide w/Pool, 20ft Green Giant wet/dry slide, 30ft Slip n slide.

  • We offer concession rentals of Popcorn machines, Snowcone Machines, Cotton Candy Machine to top off any party!!
  • We service all New Hanover, Pender, Onslow, Brunswick, Duplin Counties

Thank you for your business from: 

The Fowlers – Lee, Susan, Lauren, Dalton, Maddie G, Macie and Luke

Like them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/fowlerfunflatables/?fref=ts

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Featured Photo credit : Touched by Grace Photography Photography https://www.facebook.com/touchedbygrace1013/?fref=ts

Preferred Vendor List/ Friendor List… you decide.


What does this mean you might ask?? ….

It is late at night and I can’t sleep so what do I do? I watch tutorials on photography to get better, I read wedding blogs to learn what is up and coming, and I check in on fellow friendors. What is a friendor?? Well we fellow wedding/party vendors call each other friendors to suggest we are all friends, but in reality we are not. Some may call this blog controversial but I call it real!!!!!

I was in the process on wanting to create my own wedding preferred vendor list “friendors” and after looking at some other websites I decided not to. I am torn because especially as a planner I feel like I should offer up a list of people I have worked with, but there are other amazing people in town I haven’t worked with. Should these people be excluded even though they are fantastic at their job? Do I think my preferred list rocks, have I seen tons of their work, is their space beautiful, do they have great food, good service? Yes to all , but does that justify me giving them first preference over TONS of other amazing “friendors” in town? No!

No because…

1. You the client are not me

2. Your personalities may clash

3. Maybe they are amazing but out of your budget

4. Perhaps your “friendor” is someone I have never worked with

I will tell you from the vendors side I don’t want to feel “unworthy” to not be included on a vendors site but sometimes because we are all human it hurts our feelings. It’s like the kid who got picked last in gym class. Then my reality check is that I am not “included” not because I don’t deserve it but because there is a click or a monopoly. One which I am not included in. Fellow “friendors” excluding me from their list whether they know if my work is amazing or bad! Your lose! I have decided I won’t create a list as I don’t want myself or my clients to miss a good thing with any vendor in town. There are so many AMAZING VENDORS to choose from and enough work for us all. Good luck friendors 🙂

Please do not misunderstand me and think that I am saying all preferred lists are not worthy. Many of those vendors do an AMAZING job and deserve a call for a quote. Many vendors do a great job of not only fulfilling their contractual obligation but also making sure you walk away 100% satisfied. Some vendors work hard for each and every client because they are passionate about their company, reputation, and business. These are teh vendors you should hire! Follow your gut and go with who you trust no matter where the recommendation comes from. Hire the vendor that you feel will give you the best quality service not cheapest price.

I write this blog both out of personal frustration sometimes that comes from being on the short side of the stick with some vendors/venues and also to warn future clients. Whether you hire me or not isn’t the issue at hand but ask HOW your planner/venue/photographer/caterer/etc came up with this vendor list. Some will tell you it is whom has worked in the space which makes sense, but some just say because they are good. Ask yourself if a company has been in business for roughly over 2 years or more their “friendor” list would not fit on one page. The reality here is to do your own research, remember to ask questions, and lastly ask for personaly references from past clients for any vendor or venue.

HAPPY PLANNING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Courtney Winter

(910)688-3433

Miracles Do happen


This is a true miracle that I am blessed to be a part of and happy to share this story. Their is an amazing organization called Capturing Hope Photography based out of Clemmons, NC. They are a non profit that recruits photographers to volunteer their time to photograph babies and familis in the NICU. I filled out an application and waiting almost two years after hearing about them from a previous bride. Finally the call come through!! There was a family in our area in need. I immediately said yes.

Now please know how nervous I was on so many different levels; 1. I had never photographed a baby inside 2. I had no experience with the NICU and my heart is big (also that meant I didn’t want to cry in front of this family) 3. I wasn’t sure what to expect from mother or child. I arrived to take photos and feel in love. His name was Aiden, and as I write this now my eyes tear up thinking about seeing him with tubes, unable to breath on his own, and a young mother who was unsure of where to go next. He was a precious gift from God who was born early.

I meet Aiden And Carene on December 18th 2014, after he had already been fighting for his life for 3 weeks. Even a year later I think of them both often. My original contract was to visit once but I went back two more times for photos and another time to visit and bring her dinner. I was a young mother and even though I have no idea what it is like to be in NICU with your angel praying that he lives another day I do understand how hard it is to be alone. I watched him grow, get stronger, and even remember seeing him without his tubes in. I was so scared to overstep my boundaries or not take pictures that would do him, and possibly his memory justice. Thank God he is better than ever now and his pictures were not a rememberance of his life, but of how strong he is and his fight to continue to live.

Through the capability of facebook I am able to still keep in touch with her and I love hearing how happy they are now and how far Aiden has come along. She has married and expecting another child. I couldn’t be happier for them both, They will both have a piece of my heart and always will. Carene shared this picture she made with me the other day and I had to write down my feelings and share. Thank you Carene for letting me into a small piece of your life and Aiden’s.

Aiden

Quote from Carene ” You weren’t a small part! You gave us some of our most treasured moments. Especially going home. ”

More photos of Aiden can be found here : https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.877995162244935.1073741874.245082725536185&type=3

Capturing Hopes Photography; https://www.facebook.com/CapturingHopesPhotography/?fref=ts

You’re only a stranger once Part 1


A look into my heart……. From stranger to client to friend

In August I will have been in business for 4 years! I can not believe that much time has passed. It has been 3 years of me running this business 100% after quitting my full time job. I am blessed and so grateful, but always continue to work even harder than the day before

My first “official” bride and groom was Keri & Jason, and I remember that day so well. “Official” because before I started the business I had helped plan TONS of weddings, showers, birthday parties…you name it, but this….this was to be my FIRST WEDDING or so I prayed. I was meeting them at the River Room downtown. So to make me more nervous it was my first time being in this space I had walked by for years and thought was breathtaking. I remember meticulously picking out my outfit, walking in with confidence, even though I was dying inside. The dress I picked out was a little low cut so I put on a blouse underneath so as not to offend anyone. When you are nervous you second guess everything. I worried were my shoes to high? Would it make me too tall? Did I fix my hair just right? Was it the perfect outfit? Would the things I say get me the job? Would they KNOW this was my first wedding and not want to book me as their planner?

I drove a P.O.S. Vw Jetta with the paint peeling off, no door handle, no AC, a string to open the door, and vice grips to roll my window down. So I arrived well in advance to park my car far away so that my potential client wouldn’t see me step out of it. For what client would take me seriously or sign a contract with a planner who doesn’t have a nice car? I walked around the space and once they arrived I was ready! They had driven from Winston Salem, NC so this was my one shot. I was still trying to find my way in this company plan as my partner had just left P3. “You got this” I repeated over in my head! Would this be my first FULL, real pay check?

As we talked I remember being able to feel the love that they share and remember their engagement story complete with a bucket of sand! I had my contract ready in prayers that they would sign it. After meeting for an hour the contract was mine!!! Wow…I had done it!! My first real job!!! I can not tell you the joy I felt that day but MORE importantly I cried tears of joy because that first couple gave me AFFIRMATION that I WAS GOOD ENOUGH!!!! Everytime I wear that dress I remember that day, my nervousness, and my joy.

I am HONORED to say that almost 4 years later that couple is still in my life! I have hung out with them as friends, enjoyed beer tastings as clients, been her saving grace on the wedding day (even though I made a mistake), been a shoulder for hours of concerns or worries, worked with their families, face painted at fundraisers for them back in Winston, photographed their gorgeous baby boy, and even babysat. From stranger to client to friend……. I can’t think of a better way to be blessed! Thank you Keri & Jason, From my heart to yours

Keri & Jason collage

Hand sewn Ruby Red Slippers


Many of you may know that I got married and was fortunate enough to walk down the REAL YELLOW BRICK road to meet my soon to be husband. I made decoupaged shoes which I shared on a previous blog, but here are my Ruby Red Slippers!!!! I searched the internet and found some beautiful slippers but the CHEAPEST pair I found were $150 or more for actual beads… and I would never spend that much on a pair of slippers. Thus began the LONGEST project I could have ventured onto for my wedding crafts. I mean I was finishing sewing them the day before I got married in between getting my manicure and pedicure 🙂

Ruby Red Slippers #1
Ruby Red Slippers #1
Ruby Red Slippers #2
Ruby Red Slippers #2
Ruby Red Slippers #3
Ruby Red Slippers #3

I found these beautiful ballet slippers that had never been worn at a second hand store for only $5!!! I purchased all of the beads for $10! The key to get the sparkle is to alternate with a clear sparkling bead along with the red. I was so glad I had these after my decoupaged shoes got wet, but talk about a pop of color under my dress at our reception! 🙂

Ruby Red Slippers #4
Ruby Red Slippers #4

Best and Hardest thing I have ever done…….


I have been so fortunate and blessed lately! So please do not take this blog as a complaint!!! ( I am also sorry for not blogging since October but MAN have I BEEN BUSY) Thank you God!

A little over three years ago I decided to start my own business. Making this decision my main goal and objective was to be able to be here for my girls, volunteer at school, and be the best mom I could be (now that includes wife). One way this business has helped me is that I get to teach my girls that they can strive to be anyone and do anything they truly set their hearts desire on. I have been told by fellow business owners and vendors that I won’t amount to anything or my business won’t grow. I may not be the David Tutera of Wilmington, but I have no desire to be! I strive to be the best Courtney Winter I can be and I give every client whether I am taking their picture, planning their event, or face painting for their children 150% of everything I am. I am creative, fun, loyal, outspoken, trustworthy, organized, and hardworking. I get asked on a daily basis how I do everything I do. The answer to me is very simple. One; I LOVE MY JOB Two: I love my family Three; I am a great planner for everything has a place on a calendar 😉 .

It has been a little overwhelming the last few months as the business grows. I recreated my website and web designer I am NOT! However the penny pincher I am I knew I had no choice but to buckle down and Just do it! It took me 20 hours, some of you IT pros may laugh, but we do what we have to do. It is hard some days to balance everything and not everyday is easy let’s be real. Some days I want to just turn off the computer, cuddle with my girls and not worry about uploading to Pinterest, working on a family photo shoot, or emailing for leads that sometimes have no end. I especially love the clients who waste my time with emails, phone calls, and scheduling a session or event for them to call back two days before hand and say “Oh my best friends mom is a (Planner, Photographer) and she will do it for us for free, but we will keep you in mind for next time.” Did you stop to think that next time I may not be available, or did you ever hear the saying Burn my once?? Well, we know what happens next right?

I have experienced bumps in the road, times of joy, times of worry, being drunk off creation, and blessed beyond my imagination. I have some of the most amazing clients that compliment me the most by using my services over and over again. For your support, love, kindness, and trust I THANK YOU.

“We all have a vision, a goal, and a dream! Don’t smother mine because yours are coming true!! ”

Once upon a time
Once upon a time

How to make hanging flower balls for any occasion


I had a wedding that I was planning where the bride and groom were laid back and wanted simple decorations for an outside gazebo where they would hold the ceremony. (Trust me when I say the area was beautiful enough they needed minimal decor.) I came up with these….

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I purchased 2 different size balls and scrap pieces of burlap we used to wrap the mason jars for the centerpieces. The bride also had fake flowers for part of her bouquet so I incorporated those as well. I started off by heating up my glue gun and getting all supplies on hand and even prepulled flowers off of the stems and precut burlap. All supplies are ready to be glued.

Start by adding a line of glue and wrapping base ribbon around to which you will hang the ball. ( You can also choose to leave this step off if will use the balls on a table, or you could tie it in a bow)

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Make sure to wrap the base ribbon in a straight line all the way around the ball leaving at least a foot on either side for hanging.

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Next wrap the ball with the burlap for a base color. I used both teal and natural to add texture and color.

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The hot glue dries very fast and makes this craft simple and easy to complete in no time at all. Next step is to add flowers in an assortment. I choose to not cover the ball entirely to expose the burlap. Add as many or as little as you want 🙂

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Also remember you can use these for aisle runners to hang from chairs, centerpieces, decor over a buffet or dessert table and so much more! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Courtney