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Cindy Westphalen not only manages and runs the award winning Cindy’s Classic Gourmet caterers, but has also launched the Wedding Girl app to Australia and the world. View the latest Wedding Girl eMagazine ‘Savvy’ for the latest news from the Wedding Girl team including details of new app features for brides and suppliers, and exclusive packaged app and magazine/website advertising deals.
The seating plan can be a loathsome job for any function, let alone a work Christmas party with the politics, the departments and the mix of partners. So instead of going through sheet after sheet of paper endlessly writing little names around little tables, use the intuitive Wedding Girl app Seating Plan function.
When Anna taps on the Seating Plan function she is asked to add a table, and she can keep adding tables up to the number which will be arranged in her venue – in this case eight. Back at Table 1, Anna taps on an empty seat and chooses guests from her guest list to allocate to the table. Back in seating Table 1 is now occupied by the initials of each guest seated at that table. In the list of guests at that table Anna can also drag and drop guests to different positions around the table. Scrolling across Anna can now do the same thing with the remaining tables.
Again, Anna can take the Wedding Girl app to show to her boss to get his approval for the seating plan. Anna and her boss can scroll through the list of guests on each table and check for any issues. If there is a change required, Anna simply taps on the guest’s name and they are removed from the table and she can seat a different guest in their place.
When the seating plan and guest list are both confirmed Anna can go to the Settings in the app and export the data to provide all the information to her function coordinator.
Now all that’s left to do is go through the checklist a final time to make sure nothing has been forgotten. Checking off the things she has completed – seating plan, final payments to suppliers and picking up her dress, she notices the speeches checklist point which reminds her to email her boss about writing his speech.
Anna has finally been able to enjoy the process of planning her office Christmas party thanks to her party planning iPhone app, and is looking forward to a great night. Stay tuned to see the photos of how her event turned out.
With the date of her Christmas party fast approaching, Anna wants to make sure she hasn’t forgotten anything, and goes into the checklist tool of the Wedding Girl app. She begins checking off the items she has completed – set a date, set a budget, drafted the guest list, chosen the venue…
She also checks off that she has organised all of the necessary suppliers, but realises while she confirmed with the venue, the limo hire company and the cake maker when she knew the final guest numbers, she hasn’t confirmed that the other suppliers are still good to go. Therefore, Anna sends a quick email to the decorator, florist, band and photographer to make sure her bookings are still registered.
Then she comes to the seating plan checklist point and sets to work.
There are few things as fun and convenient as shopping from your iPhone or iPad, and Anna is now ready to start shopping for all of the extras she needs to throw the perfect office Christmas party. In the Shop section of the Wedding Girl app which Anna has been using as a party planner, she start by having a quick look at the Bridesmaids & Mother of the Bride category to get some ideas for shopping for her own outfit. Anna bookmarks several of the stores to look at later.
While she’s thinking about what to wear, Anna also looks at the Grooms & Menswear category because she knows her boss is going to need a new suit. She shortlists three of the suppliers in the category and uses the Share option on each supplier’s listing page to email their details to her boss.
Venue 2 has also told Anna she can organise her own decorations and table centrepieces for the rooms to save a bit of money. Therefore, Anna looks at the Decorations category and decides to contact suppliers to provide a quote for chair covers and sashes, and some lighting to enhance the venue. Looking at centrepiece options Anna decides she wants a fresh look and so contacts three florists for their ideas and quotes.
Anna also decides to organise a live band from the Music & Entertainment category, and have a professional photographer to capture the entire evening so that the images can be used on the company website and in future newsletters.
She also couldn’t help but look at the delicious photos of wedding cakes on her iPhone, and from one of her favourite wedding cake suppliers she uses the Share link again, this time to post to Facebook, asking her friends’ advice about whether a work Christmas party should have a cake. Following Anna’s Facebook link to the Wedding Girl app, her friends leave their comments and suggestions on Facebook; several suggested using cupcakes as a party favour for guests to take home, and so Anna organises some quotes for these too.
Now all that’s left is the wrap up of the party and knowing that most people will drink a bit too much on the night, Anna contacts Transportation suppliers to find out what sort of package deal they can offer for chauffeured cars.
As the quotes start coming in from the Christmas party suppliers, Anna can start entering them into her budget tracker tool. In the Plan section of the Wedding Girl app Anna taps on the plus sign at the top of the screen to add an item. She adds each item she has looked at, and the prices she was quoted for each.
The budget tool then tracks that amount and includes a total at the top of the screen. Anna then takes this concisely compiled information to her boss for his approval. Each cost for the event is itemised so he can easily see what he is agreeing to. Anna can now contact each of her chosen suppliers and award them the job. When the quote is confirmed and the item has been paid for, Anna can go back to the budget tracker and enter the actual amount spent.
Updating the Guest List
To confirm a number of the quotes Anna will need to finalise her guest list and so she goes back to the guest tracker to enter in the RSVPs received. Guest have also included their dietary requirements with their RSVPs so Anna includes that information too. The numbers at the top of the Guest List screen automatically update and Anna is able to see she now has 198 guests for the pre-dinner drinks event and 78 for the dinner.
While this isn’t her first time planning the office Christmas party, Anna recognises the feelings creeping up on her, of being overwhelmed and alone in the sea of decorations, caterers and venues. That is why the Wedding Girl planning app has a specific planning tool for tracking your key contacts – all of those people who are there to help you with planning the big Christmas party. It is also time for Anna to put together the guest list for her Christmas party so that she can narrow down her options for the other party suppliers such as venues, catering, chair covers and party favours.
Create a Christmas Party Guest List on your iPhone
In the planning section of the Wedding Girl app, Anna can build a complete and detailed guest list for her Christmas party. The first thing she does is tap on the plus symbol at the top of the guest list function and she sees the option to select a guest from her contacts list, or add a new guest. Anna starts by adding the people who are in her iPhone address book to her Christmas party guest list as she can scroll through and search her entire phone address book without ever leaving the app.
Tapping on an address book contact automatically imports them into Anna’s guest list. From this screen she can tap whether the guest has been sent an invitation and which part of the celebration they’re coming to, and we’ll need those features later. For now, Anna taps on the arrow on the right of the guest’s name to view their individual profile. This can be added to in more detail throughout the planning stage too, but for now, Anna can update the details of her boss, who is the first guest she has entered.
In the Role field Anna types in ‘CEO’. She also goes to the Dietary field and writes ‘allergic to pepper’. This information will all be exported and provided to the venue coordinator and the caterer before the party. As Anna’s company is a large one, the Christmas party will involve a cocktail event for staff and clients, before just the staff move on to the seated dinner, and so Anna uses the ceremony box to track the pre-dinner drinks event, and the reception field to track the dinner, and ticks that her boss is attending both. Anna can also make notes and enters ‘Must be seated with easy access to the lectern for a speech’.
Closing the guest profile of her boss, Anna can go back to her guest list and add the rest of her colleagues and clients who are in her address book. If there is anyone on the guest list who is not in Anna’s address book, she simply chooses the ‘Add a new guest’ option to enter the guest’s name and role. They are now on the list ready to be tracked. Viewing the graphics at the top of her guest list, Anna can see she needs a venue which can hold 212 people for a pre-dinner cocktail event, and 85 people for the sit down dinner.
Choosing a Venue
Anna now taps on the Shop icon at the bottom of her iPhone screen to start searching South Australian suppliers to find a venue for her Christmas party. The options to search suppliers allow Anna to search by name, by category or by map, and Anna chooses categories and the scrolls through to tap on the icon ‘Venues & Wineries’. Scrolling through the list of hotels, estates, wineries and venues Anna decides to narrow her search to the Adelaide CBD using the location bar at the top of the screen, to find a venue near the office, and easily accessible for most of her clients.
Tapping on Venue 1, Anna views the photos and reads about the venue, finding that they can cater to the amount of people on her guest list. Anna taps the favourites star in the top right corner of their listing to remember them for later. Anna makes a shortlist of Venue 2 and Venue 3 and then goes back to the planning section of the app. Tapping on the Favourites icon, her three shortlisted venues are now easily accessible.
Tapping on Venue 1’s listing she scrolls down to the venue’s phone number, and taps on it to call them. Anna checks whether her chosen date is available, and asks for a quote to be sent to her for the party. She then does the same for the two other venues and waits for a reply.
Connecting to Key Contacts
The Wedding Girl suppliers return their quotes to Anna and she chooses Venue 2 for her office’s Christmas party. She now goes back into her iPhone app to the planning section to enter the direct phone number, email and mobile number for the function coordinator at Venue 2 by tapping the plus sign at the top of the screen. Again, if she has already called the function coordinator from her iPhone and added their contact details, Anna can use her address book, or she can choose to ‘Add a new contact’.
Each key contact can include all of the details you have with your iPhone contacts such as their name, company, phone numbers, email addresses and website, plus you can add a new or custom field. Venue 2 uses an in-house caterer and so Anna adds the caterer as a key contact too.
With the guest list and the venue organised, Anna can start sending out the invitations. So she goes back into the Shop function of the Wedding Girl app and chooses the Invitations & Bonbonniere category, short lists invitation designers and chooses Designer 3.
By going to the Settings icon at the bottom of the Wedding Girl screen, Anna can export all of the guest data to her email. She can then email that information directly to Designer 3 via the Key Contacts section of the app, or from her desk at work.
Anna’s now ready to start putting the finishing touches on the event and start shopping the Wedding Girl app in earnest.
If the job of planning this year’s office Christmas party has fallen to you, or if you just want to get all of your friends and family together for a Christmas celebration which doesn’t involve you hiding the valuables and breakables at your house, professionally plan your Christmas party on your iPhone.
Cindy Westphalen of Cindy’s Classic Gourmet has leveraged her more than 20 years of experience in the functions and catering industry to create the Wedding Girl app. As a result, Wedding Girl is much more than just a wedding app, and can be used to plan any party or event, so why not truly have a stress free Christmas this year by putting your iPhone to work.
In the lead up to Christmas we’re going to take you through all of the intuitive, interactive and integrated features of the Wedding Girl app, to show you exactly how your iPhone can help you organise a fabulous Christmas party. We’ll start with the set up of the app.
Setup your Christmas Planning iPhone App
When you open the Wedding Girl app for the first time you will see a circle on the home page which asks you to start planning. By tapping the circle you will be taken to the set up screen where you can enter the date of your Christmas party, and your state so you can search local suppliers.
Now when you view the home screen of the app, you will see a countdown to your Christmas party, so you know exactly how many days until your event. Let’s use the example of Anna who is planning her office Christmas party in South Australia, and she’s had Wednesday 7 December approved by her boss as the date for the party.
Using the Party Checklist on your iPhone
With the date for the party set, Anna can now start using the planning tools within the Wedding Girl app to organise her office Christmas party. In the planning section of the app, Anna will start by using the pre-populated checklist function. This checklist contains all of the items which need to be attended to in the course of planning any event, and you can also edit the text of each checklist point, change the order of checklist points, and add your own checklist items.
The first checklist item is ‘Set a date’ which Anna has already done, so she can check off that item and look at the rest of the list. To customise the checklist to her Christmas party, Anna will look at each item and determine whether it applies to her, and when she needs to complete that item in relation to her event date. For example, Anna doesn’t need to book a minister or celebrant for her party, but she can edit that checklist point to become ‘Book a motivational speaker’ as this is always a special request from the boss.
The next checklist items ask Anna to think about the style of her event and her budget, so to begin to form an idea of these things, Anna will move over to the Shop function of the Wedding Girl app, to browse decorations, caterers and venues. ‘Look for a location which suits your event style and size’ is actually the next checklist point, which we’ll show you in the next post, where Anna has also created a guest list within the app to confirm the size of her event.
Cindy’s Classic Gourmet is no stranger to the ABIA Awards, having been a winner and finalist at the awards since 2001. The Cindy’s Classic Gourmet team enjoyed another great night this October, celebrating with other leaders in the wedding industry and winning two ABIA titles for 2011.
The 2011 ABIA Awards were held at the stunning Stamford Grand Hotel, where Cindy’s Classic Gourmet was awarded:
- Independent Caterer Winner.
- Independent Wedding Consultant Winner.
- Function Coordinator Finalist.
- Special Services Finalist.
The winners of the ABIA Awards are independently determined by the brides and grooms themselves and we would like to thank all of our beautiful couples who voted us to the top for another year. The ABIA Awards have been running for 11 years in South Australia and Cindy’s Classic Gourmet have been proud supporters of the academy in that time.
Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, you all deserve to be celebrated for the dedication and inspiration you provide to the Australian wedding industry.
I hope that you’ve all downloaded the Wedding Girl app and have been loving all the beautiful and useful integrated features she offers you for planning your wedding or event.
Wedding Girl has been nominated for an Australian Mobile Award and public voting for the awards closes this Thursday 18 August. So if you haven’t already voted, find out more about how to vote below, and follow the links to the Wedding Girl app entry page where brides and suppliers can go into the running for fabulous prizes.
Thanks for your support, wish us luck!
As one intuitive iTunes reviewer pointed out, the Wedding Girl app ‘Can also be used as a party planner!’
He is absolutely right of course, because just as Cindy’s Classic Gourmet caters to more than just weddings, so too can Wedding Girl help you plan a range of celebrations. Think about the last big party you planned, whether it was an engagement, a christening, a golden anniversary, or a 50th, 60th or 70th birthday and all of the folders, notes and papers you lugged around with you. With the Wedding Girl app you can seamlessly plan any event on the go, in the palm of your hand.
Use the Wedding Girl tools for any party:
The first thing every party needs is a guest list so you can gauge the size of the venue you need, and how your event will fit in with your budget. Using Wedding Girl you can generate a guest list by importing contacts from your phone book, as well as entering them manually.
You’ll then need a venue and you can use Wedding Girl to search the Wineries category or the Reception Venues category, and if you have somewhere with a bit of extra room, consider looking at Marquee Hire for a unique and elegant venue solution.
You’re now ready to send out the invitations, which you can track using the guest list features of Wedding Girl to tell you who has been invited, who has responded, who is coming and who is not. You’ll also be able to start using the Guest Role feature and if you’re planning a christening for example, assign titles like ‘Grandma’ ‘God Mother’ or ‘Aunt’ to each guest.
You can then start planning the style of food by choosing caterers and wine and if you’re having a sit down even you can start to set out your seating plan using the Wedding Girl tool. Then look at decorations such as chairs, chair covers, lighting, candles and flowers and again, if you are planning a christening for example search the ceremony locations for a beautiful church.
You’ll also be able to make use of the other shopping features such as marking favourite suppliers and adding them to a short list, directly contacting suppliers by tapping their phone, email or website, and sharing suppliers or photos from the app on Facebook or Twitter with your friends. Plus, you can search suppliers by category or region, as well as by using the map feature to find suppliers near you when you’re out on the road. You can also make notes on suppliers and save their images to your phone for easy reference.
The Wedding Girl to-do list is also fully customisable so you can enter all of the tasks you know you need to get done for your event, and check them off as they’re completed.
Birthdays, celebrations and parties are wonderful opportunities for family and friends to spend time together, catch up and make memories. Therefore, don’t let the hassle of planning these events stop you from organising them all together because when you use the Wedding Girl iPhone app as a party planner you’ll be able to take the stress out of any event, and enjoy the party with everyone else.