Friday, September 4, 2015

The New Knot Brand Ambassador

I'm so thrilled to announce that I am the 2015/2016 Brand Ambassador for The Knot Wedding Pro Network!!!  Having been nominated for this position earlier this year, I'm so blessed to be a part of the inaugural team of 26 Brand Ambassadors nationwide.

From  The Knot - "Introducing, The Knot Ambassador Program – a select group of 26 wedding pros who will help us help you, grow your wedding business! These ambassadors will spend the next year working closely with The Knot Pro Network to share best practices with our community, offer insights into the challenges and opportunities in the industry and more.

What exactly will the Ambassadors be doing?
The Ambassadors will use their unique experiences to inform the direction of The Knot products, programs and services. They’ll also contribute to The Knot Profeed, speak at events like Education Workshops, host and co-host webinars, and more."

I am truly honored about this new journey to educate men and women in the wedding and event planning industry through the biggest wedding network nationwide and global!

Until next time...WEDologize!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Another Postage Increase!!!

As of May 31st, postage rates have increased again!  Out of the blue, too!!!  So if you have purchased your wedding are going to need to visit the Post Office again.

The first class (1 ounce, metered mail) stamp will remain the same price of $.49.  This is the stamp used on most respond card envelopes.
For that additional ounce, the rate goes from $.21 to $.22.  This means, the $.70 stamp you purchase to mail most wedding invitations is no longer $.70 but now $.71.  And guess what, most Post Office do not have the $.71 stamp in stock yet :(  Also the $.34 post card stamp has now increased to $.35.

SO what does that mean for you?  Head back to your local Post Office and grab some $.1 stamps so that you can mail your wedding invitations.

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy 15 Year Anniversary Dejanae Events!

Today, I celebrate my 15th year in business and I feel beyond blessed and excited!  In the past I have written about how the business started, about my challenges and successes, but today I want to share some fun facts about the person who created Dejanae Events on April 24, 2000...ME :)

My must have on wedding day? Cell phone.  Sad part is that about 1-hour into wedding day, I sit my cell down somewhere with my binder and forget where I left it!  LOL!  That's when complete panic sets in (see the question below).  But one of my trusty coordinator's (Priscilla, Nikki, Vanessa, Holly, Kelly, Angie P., Angie J., Didi or Peggy) always finds it for me.  Thank you DE Team!!!

What is my sign? Gemini.  I'm a true Gemini, too.  On wedding (or event) day, I start off all excited and ready to implement the plans I've worked on for months, but soon as something goes wrong or off schedule, I change into my Lieutenant hat and get right down to business.  That's the 2nd personality in me and she's the real Desireé!

What is my obsession? Gourmet cupcakes.  Anyone who knows me knows I love a good cupcake!!!  Actually, to be truthful...I'm also obsessed with delicious wedding cake as well.  And buttercream frosting is my favorite!  Yummy!!!

What is my must have beverage/addiction? Coke.  Sad, but so true...I have been drinking Coke since I was a young kid.  My grandma got me hooked and now, I'm a total caffeine-holic and must have Coke at least once a day.  I know...don't judge me :)

What is my favorite scary movie? Halloween 1 and 2.  Baby, Michael Myers was the truth back in the day!  I live for October when AMC and other channels run the Halloween marathons!  I watch them all like I've never seen them before.

What is my favorite place to vacation? Disney World!  Yep, I'm a true kid at heart and probably love Disney World more than kids!  Well I haven't been on a real vacation in what seems like years, but I have promised myself and family that we are outta here in December! 

What is on my playlist? Faith Evans.  Who remembers her and her debut album with 15 tracks!?!  I can listen to her soulful voice over and over again.  Doesn't matter to me that the album come out in the 90's.

What is my most prized possession? My Boops.  My most prized possession is my daughter...Deja.  Many of you may not know, but she is my only child...a full-fledge teenager now...and the business name.  I hope one day she'll appreciate what I have built for her and take it even further than I could ever imagine!

What all that said THANKS to everyone that has supported me throughout all these years!  I honestly cannot believe it's been 15 years, but I'm more than thankful to be doing what I love!  My heart is so full and 2015 will be EPIC!  Just wait and see!

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit - BM Photography)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Guide to Tipping Wedding Vendors

I get asked a lot about gratuity guidelines for wedding vendors, so below you'll find Ultimate Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide borrowed from


Hair/makeup pros: 15–20 percent of the total bill
Musicians: $25–$50 each
Officiant: $50 if you're married by a judge or clerk; clergy members, in general, don't accept tips, so instead, make a donation ($100 on average) to the appropriate house of worship.
Altar boys or girls: $5–$10; if they decline, add this amount to your donation to the church.


Wedding planners: 10-15 percent of contracted price
Photographers/videographers: $100–$200 if the pro is part of a larger outfit or agency (but not the owner). Second shooters should receive $50–$75.
Catering manager: $250–$500
Waitstaff: 15 percent of the total pretax food bill (given to the catering manager or "captain" to distribute)
Bartenders: 10–15 percent of the total pretax bar bill. Inform the bartenders of your intent to tip after the reception, and request that they refuse tips from guests. No rogue tip jars!
Reception band/DJ: $25–$50 per person, but take their performance into account: Did your bashful uncle boogie for the first time in 40 years? Then give a little more cash.
Chauffeur/driver: 15–20 percent of the total bill, typically presented at the end of the day
Valets: $1–$2 per car, given to the supervisor in advance, to be split among staff. Display a sign at the valet station stating that gratuities have been taken care of. The valets should also be instructed to refuse any tips offered by guests.
Restroom/coat-check attendants: $.50–$2 per guest; calculate this total in advance and give to your reception site manager to distribute.


Delivery people: $5–$20 per person for deliveries arriving from your florist, baker, rental company, and other vendors. These staffers may also be doing the heavy lifting, on-site setup, and hauling away that come with producing your wedding—so tip accordingly.

Bellhop: $1–$2 per piece of luggage brought to and from the room
Doorperson: $1–$2 per task for any kind of assistance, like hailing a cab
Housekeeper: $2–$4 per day
Concierge: $5–$20, depending on the request(s)

Of course these suggestions are standard guidelines. If you feel a vendor went above and beyond the call of duty, bless them accordingly. And if you are disappointed with the level of service of a vendor, you are not obligated to extend gratuity. But make sure to let them know how you feel so that they can improve for the next clients they service.

Until next time...WEDologize!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Real Wedding: Larissa and Eric

As I start having more design meetings with clients to discuss linens, flowers and decor, I'm noticing that many couples are loving the blend of ivory, shades gold and blush pink.  With that said, I thought it fitting to share one of our real weddings from 2014 that delighted in those beautiful colors at The Murphy Auditorium Chicago.

Take a look...

The newly married Mr. and Mrs.

King-style table with the bride, groom, and their wedding party
Stunning wedding cake created by BomBon Bakery.
Sparkly linens from BBJ Linens.

End this fabulous wedding night with a sparkler exit!
Congrats again Mr. and Mrs. Carlton!!! 
It was an honor to be apart of your wedding day!

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credits - my iPhone)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mail Handling Your Wedding Invitations

Let’s assume that you have already ordered your invitations and you now have your invitation mock or print proof.  

What you should do with that proof (after making sure that all the information is correct, of course) is mail it to yourself.  Take the proof to the post office, ask someone to run it over the scales and through the sorters to find out the postage costs. Buy that amount of postage, and mail it to yourself that day.  Track the number of days it takes to arrive and see what condition the envelope is in when it comes to your home.  Only after you are satisfied with the receipt and condition should you purchase postage for the total number of invitations you will be mailing.

Some glossary terms that will help you in the process are listed below.  Final tips and tricks will wrap up this Method Monday at the end of our post…
  • Postage - the total monetary value of the stamps placed on the outside envelope to guarantee delivery to the addressee or recipient. 
  • Weight - the amount of ounces the total invitation envelope measures on a calibrated postal scale.
  • First Class Postage – the current cost for mailing a ‘regular’ size 1-ounce or less envelope.  Currently that is $ .44 cents.  It is not scheduled to increase in 2011.  It is also the current value of any forever stamp.
  • Non Machineable - the categorization of an envelope that is not able to be run through the postal machines.  Anything that is too rigid, too thick or not the right shape will be considered non-machineable.  The extra fee for a non-machineable envelope is $ .21 cents
  • Square - an envelope that is the same size on both edges.  The extra fee that is paid for a square envelope is THE SAME FEE that you will pay if your invitation is too rigid to sort.
  • Oversize - any envelope whose larger edge is greater than 6 ¼” wide.  There is an extra fee for an oversize envelope.
  • Additional Postage - the amount in excess of $ .49 to mail an invitation.  Additional ounces and non-machineable fees are considered additional postage. 
  • Hand Cancelling - means having the person behind the counter use a rubber stamp to mark the postage as ‘spent.’  It WILL NOT prevent your invitation from being sent through the sorting machines.
  • Minimum mailing size - the size that a piece of mail must be in order to be legally mailable.  Currently that size is 3 ½” by 5”
  • Postcard - a single card printed with information on one side and an address on the other.  It must be a certain thickness and size to be mailable, and it costs less than first-class regular postage.  The maximum size for a postcard is 4” x 6”  Currently, the postcard costs $ .34 to mail
  • Hand Sorting - the process by which small packages are run through the postal system.  This is not the same as hand cancelling.  Hand sorting goes into a different bin at the post office.  If you want an envelope to be hand sorted – you will have to pay the non-machineable fees.
While there are several more intricacies of the US Postal Service and their categories, extra fees and additional services, this information will give you a beginning postal primer.  What to keep in mind when mailing (and sometimes when ordering) your invitations is that the general or average weight of an invitation ensemble is between 1.7 and 2.5 ounces. The first ounce is $.49 and each additional ounce will cost $.21 each.  Most pocket invitations are considered too rigid for the sorting machines, so there will be another $.21 fee.  But that also covers a square invitation, so size won’t be an obstacle when you order.

If you pay the $.21 non machineable fee, be sure to give your invitations to a person to have them HAND SORTED, not hand cancelled.  The process of hand sorting ensures that a person not a machine looks at them each step of the way.  When taking them to the counter, use the phrase “Put these with the spurs and small packages.”  It should  ensure that they are delivered to your guests in pristine condition.  Boxed invitations are considered small packages and postage costs are based upon weight and classification.

These tips and tricks should help your invitations get to their destination as pretty as they were the day they were picked up from the stationer.  Overall, if you choose to have a completely custom invitation created for you, then the additional postage costs to ensure they are gorgeous when put into your friends’ and families’ mailboxes will be small in comparison to the reduction in worry about how the post office will handle your invitations.

Thank you to Kasey Larson of DBY Invitations for allowing us to post this very informative article!!!

Until next time...WEDologize!

(photo credit -

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dejanae Events Named Best of The Knot 2015

I'm so excited to share for the 6th time, 5th time in a row, that Dejanae Events has been named 2015 Pick The Knot Best of Weddings!!!  With our 6th win the DE Team remains apart of The Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame!!! WOW!
From The Knot:  "CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING CHOSEN AS ONE OF THE BEST in the City (we knew it all along)!  WOW! Enjoy bragging rights and proof that you are considered tops in the Chicago wedding market by our brides!  ONLY 1 % of our vendors won this award for 2014. You are in the top 1%, the best of the best! It’s time to showcase your business and BRAND yourself as a Knot Best of Weddings winner! 

As you know, winning this year was much harder and more competitive than ever before. I have far less winners this year and YOU DID IT!  This is YOUR TIME TO SHINE!" 

Thank you to our 2014/2015 clients for your lovely reviews and allowing Dejanae Events to be apart of one of the most memorable days of your lives!  We share this honor with you!!! xoxo
Until next time...WEDologize!


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