Who was St. Valentine?

There are several theories about where and how St. Valentine’s Day got started. The real reason why, each year we celebrate love on the fourteenth day of February, may always be shrouded in mystery, but there is no shortage of the legends about why this is true.

One theory is that Valentine was a priest who defied Emperor Claudius II in Rome during the third century. Claudius, it is said, decided that single men made better soldiers than married men, so he issued a decree making it illegal for young men to marry. The priest, Valentine, continued to perform wedding ceremonies in spite of the decree. He just performed the ceremonies in secret. When Claudius found out about Valentine’s disobedience, he ordered him executed.

Valentine’s Day contains vestiges of ancient Roman tradition as well as Christian tradition. The Catholic Church has at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom are martyred, that is, who died for their faith.

There are stories that suggest that St. Valentine was killed by the Romans for helping Christians escape from Roman prisons. There is also a legend that says that Valentine actually sent the first Valentine greeting himself to a young woman (rumored to have been the daughter of one of his jailers) while he was imprisoned. The legend claims that Valentine wrote a love letter to her before his death and signed it, “From your Valentine”. (This is the legend that I like the most.)

You can choose the legend that you like the best. Just don’t forget to send Valentine’s Day greetings to all of those you care about on February 14th…and especially to that special someone in your life! Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate love in all of its many forms. And fortunately, thanks to e-cards, you can manage it even at the last minute, so long as you do!


Hearts and Flowers Valentine’s Day Jewelry

Valentine’s Day is the one day each year that is designated as the day to say, “I love you” with both words and gifts. There are many who think of Valentine’s Day as just another commercial opportunity…..a day for which florists, candy makers and jewelry stores are most grateful….but I prefer to think of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity….an opportunity to tell the love of my life that she is and will be loved for all of my life.

Traditionally Valentine’s Day jewelry is heart shaped. (A heart is the universal symbol of love.) The jewelry might be a heart shaped pendant, heart shaped earrings, a bracelet featuring hearts of a ring featuring hearts. There might or might not be precious of semi-precious stones included in the jewelry. The value of Valentine’s Day jewelry isn’t so much monetary as sentimental. (Buy the best that you can afford for your love without breaking the bank or sending yourself deeply into debt….it really IS the thought that counts here!)

Rubies are the traditional stone for Valentine’s Day if there is one simply because they are red in color. Diamonds are always a wonderful choice of a precious stone for the one you love. “They” say that diamonds are forever.

The most important thing that you need to know (next to how much you can afford to spend) is your love’s taste in jewelry. The best way to know what she likes is to take notice of what she buys for herself and what she wears. If you are thinking about buying her a bracelet for Valentine’s Day, you need to notice whether she wears bracelets or not and if she does how large the bracelets are. The same is true of pendants, earrings and rings. Knowing what she likes is part of telling her that you love her. Being able to choose a piece of jewelry that will please her tells her that you care enough to have noticed.

Take the opportunity offered on Valentine’s Day to tell the one that you love how much you care by buying the perfect romantic gift.


All Roses are Red on Valentine’s Day

Some roses are pink. Pink roses symbolize grace and elegance. Some roses are yellow. Yellow roses symbolize warmth and happiness. White roses symbolize purity and innocence and orange roses symbolize energy, desire and enthusiasm. All roses are beautiful but on Valentine’s Day, only red roses will do. Red roses are the traditional symbol for love and romance and they have been for centuries.

The meaning of red roses can be traced back to some of the earliest cultures. The color red itself has always been symbolic of the very essence of life. In ancient Greek and Roman Mythology the red rose was very closely associated with the goddesses of love. In early societies, red roses were often used as a part of traditional wedding ceremonies. Brides and grooms exchanged red roses as a symbol of lasting love so the red rose just naturally evolved into the ultimate symbol of true love and devotion.

Red roses, as we know them today, were brought to Europe from China in the 1800’s. Poets of old waxed eloquent about the red, red rose. The red rose is featured in many classical paintings. In our modern multi-media world, the red rose is still used as a symbol of true and undying love.

A single perfect red rose is a perfect gift for a young man to give to a young woman that he is falling in love with. A dozen red roses are even better. On Valentine’s Day all roses are red because red roses are the universal symbol of undying love.


Valentine’s Day Spotlight

It is not too late to plan a great Valentine’s Day!

Check out these articles:

Roses are Red on Valentine’s Day

Hearts and Flowers Jewelry

Who was St. Valentine?

And don’t forget to head over to Eternal Spiral Books to get some great ideas on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day.



How to Become a Wedding Planner, Part 3

Once you have learned the ins and outs of wedding planning, it is time to start networking like crazy. If you have never attended many weddings, now is the time to make the most of any invitations and study each event with a critical eye. What went well? What could have been done better?

You will also want to vet various vendors, so do not be afraid to network at these events and get the details. Whenever you are out and about, collect business cards and think about the ways that you could use a reliable person for X task. We discovered the most fantastic hotel and caterer during a fun brunch cruise recently that we never would have known existed had we not enjoyed the food so much and asked questions of the cruise manager.

Your spreadsheet of contacts will soon start to swell, as well ideas for menus, flowers, cars, formal wear rentals, and more. Do read reviews and pay attention to word of mouth. Price does count too, but any red flags should be paid attention to as well.

Your business as a wedding and event planner will only grow as your reputation for organizing successful events starts to grow, so be very careful who you do business with. Sadly, we have tried to support our friends in their business endeavors in the past, and been let down. Their excuse always seems to be that since we were friends, they did not really think we would mind if they cut corners.

We did mind. Very much. If anything, you should go out of your way to impress friends and family even more than complete strangers, so that people will take you seriously in your new business and rave about it to others.

Once your studying and fact finding is well under way, you will also want to take care of the more formal aspects of opening a business. These tasks will include:

*registering your business
*writing a business plan
*creating a website
*creating a budget
*creating your payment policies and procedures
*outlining your marketing strategy
*setting up an efficient home office
*gathering ideals into files and books
*creating a scrapbook of your successful event
*getting testimonials
*creating a website for your business
*creating checklists, fact sheets, your database of contacts, and more.

You may feel as if there is no space to store anything in your home, but make the most of the space you have for your home office for meetings. The rest of the room should be designed with practicality and storage in mind.

Once you are ready to start taking on clients, it will be time to market your business. Online marketing will draw attention to your business. Free information such as articles, reports on how to have your dream wedding, and tips for brides-to-be, will help position you as an expert and attract clients.

Social media marketing will also be key-after all, there will be a lot of people at a wedding, and all of them can pass along the word about what a great time (or not) they had at a wedding you helped organize.

Offline marketing will be invaluable too. For example, you can contact local caterers and partner to promote each other. You promote their catering services to your clients and they can promote your wedding planning services to theirs. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool that should not.

Being organized and having a great attention to detail will be two of the most important personal qualities that you can possess. You might also want to specialize in a particular type of wedding. You might wish to specialize in outdoor venues, become a Vegas wedding planner, and so on. Make the most of your local contacts, or alternately, become a destination wedding specialist for a couple of popular destinations, or a cruise wedding specialist.

You will find that you might not have as many clients as a wedding planner who will take just any client, but you can also rest assured that you are doing a great job with a wonderful wedding package which has been tried and tested on various brides and guests.

Being a wedding planner requires a great ability to plan and execute. You must be organized, efficient and of course a good salesperson. It also pays to be very patient because some brides can be difficult. Being able to work with them and forge a mutually beneficial relationship takes a little extra skill but the rewards are that they will be happy to recommend you to others and word will spread about your skills.

A steady stream of happy customers is the best way to stay in business successfully, but a wedding planner is one of the jobs which is most dependent upon customer satisfaction, so be sure to do your research and be proactive about problem solving, to help brides have a great day no matter what their budget or the weather.