tiffany's epiphanies | part two

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post! These past months have flown by so quickly that I haven’t really had a chance to catch my breath. This summer has been unbelievably exhilarating and memorable, in large part due to Sage.

This internship has given me a chance to grow and learn outside of books, and has given me an inside look into the world of event planning. After a summer filled with weddings and #sagebackstage exclusives, I’ve realized some things…

 

Why interning for Sage has been awesome:

1.    Checking out some of the coolest places in LA. One of the best things about living in LA is that everything is so diverse. I’ve been to wedding venues that have been trendy and hip to classy and elegant. Having lived in Southern California for nearly all of my life, I never knew these places existed, and I probably would have never known if not for this internship.

2.    Leftover everything. One of my favorite things to do is to have one keepsake from each wedding I’ve done. From photobooth pictures to wedding programs, each keepsake is a memento of a couple’s special day. This has definitely exacerbated my packrat habit, but hey, call me sentimental.

3.    Creativity isn’t just innate, but can be learned. I’ve always considered myself to be very “inside the box”, but since starting this internship, I’ve embraced my imaginative side. Observing how our team and other vendors display creativity, I no longer feel afraid to simply experiment and try new things.

4.    Working with the Sage Team. You’ll never find another group of ladies who works together as well as we do. One of the best parts of #sagebackstage is when all of us can kick back our shoes, relax, and celebrate another joyous occasion as we toast the beautiful couple.

 

Yet with all the perks of this internship, I have also realized that there have been some challenging surprises:

1.    Ever-changing wedding pipe dreams. Indoor or outdoor venue? Cake or dessert buffet? DJ or band? I’ve never thought about these things before, but interning for Sage has made these questions a weekly battle. My eclectic Pinterest board solidifies the fact that there are too many options! Thank goodness I’m not getting married anytime soon…

2.    Wedding hangover (n)*. How you feel the day after a wedding; a bittersweet feeling. Typically consists of reliving the wedding and wishing it didn’t end, followed by exhaustion.

*Technically a verb since the feeling seems to never end.

3.    There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter wedding. That being said, being flexible is one of the most important skills needed as an event coordinator. My day-of responsibilities have varied wedding-to-wedding, and there are always unexpected duties that arise. I’ve learned to become adaptable to every situation.

 

4.    I’ll never be a “normal” wedding guest again. Whether it’s a wedding for a friend or a family member, I guarantee that I will be the most observant guest in attendance. After working for Sage, I know what it’s like to be behind the scenes, and how the vendors are coming together to make everything happen.

 

Amidst these pros and cons, one thing stands certain: I wish my time with Sage didn't have to come to an end. 

My next {and final} post will be the most personal, and the most important, so make sure to stay tuned!

 All Friends gifs provided by Buzzfeed. No copyright infringement intended.

tiffany's epiphanies | part one

a.k.a. how did I get home?

A special thank you to everyone who read my last post! The feedback I’ve received was far greater than I would have ever imagined, and as always, your never-ending support means so much to me! You’ve left me with an exhilarating feeling, and it makes me that much more excited about this next entry. 

After being on the #sagebackstage team for over a month, I quickly learned that no two weddings are the same – every wedding is unique. And that’s the best part. I discover something new each time, as if I’m adding a little extra magic to carry around in my pocket.

Now, many of you have asked me what it’s like to be a part of Sage, and what I do during weddings. The first part is easy for me to answer – being a part of Sage is like being a part of an endearing storybook that you don’t want to end. The second part is a bit more complex. Since each wedding is different, there is no “one” way to describe what I do. I figured that it would be best to explain what I do, as I actually do them.

…which is why I welcome you to Grace + Charles’ wedding. Their wedding was absolutely captivating, and constantly kept me on my toes wondering what I’d be witnessing next. This behind-the-scenes look at their wedding is just a tiny part of their charming story:

1:15 – If there’s a King Taco 0.8 miles away from the venue, it would be blasphemous not to eat there. First time using Spanish since I was 16…

1:30 – Arrive at the venue and as usual, the Sage “magic” begins. Magicians must never reveal their secrets, but in this case, I’ll let you in on some of ours {shhh!}:

-       Become a master of disguise. Especially when the bride + groom tell you that there is a crack in the ceremony program mirror {hours before the wedding}, and you must conceal it. Now you see it, now you don’t!

-       Don’t let size deceive you. Eunice and Esther are two of the smallest girls on our team, but they can seemingly carry more heavy décor than anyone else.

-       Divide, conquer, and accomplish tasks to the right specifications – *Warning! Errors will result in a correction from Eunice*

Disclaimer: These secrets + tricks must only be performed by the #sagebackstage team. Otherwise, results will vary!

3:00 – Wedding party arrives, gorgeous as ever! As much as we would love to sit and admire how fantastic everyone looks, the show must go on.

-       Mount seating chart windowpanes on easels.

-       Pick and display photos of Grace + Charles for the welcome table. A seemingly impossible task since all their pictures are perfect.

  •    Gawk at Daisy, their adorable dog, then proceed to put her picture in a frame.

-       Arrange linens, place cards, and table numbers on fifteen tables.

-       Rearrange place cards and table numbers to counter our rival: The Wind.

-       Assist guests to the atrium before the ceremony begins.

-       Get scolded by Eunice when guests decide to wander on their own and enter restricted areas.

-       Discover that guests sometimes need to be told five times where to go, and if all else fails, must be gently escorted to the proper area.

-       Sneak a peek at the First Look that Eunice is helping to coordinate and reaffirm your belief in love.

5:00 – Ceremony time! 

-       Expertly hide behind a pillar to avoid being in pictures + videos, and use animated gestures to guide the ring bearers and flower girl down the right path. {As you can probably tell, I am no longer a pupil of disguise. I have become a master.}

-       Witness Eunice nearly cry during the ceremony – a first! You know the ceremony is extremely moving when Eunice, who is always put together, nearly loses it.

-       Ceremony ends, and we escort guests to cocktail hour – should be smooth sailing from here…

5:45 – Just kidding. We now have to perform one of our best tricks yet – the vanishing act. Proceed to the nearest store to purchase extra ginger ale while guests gulp the remaining bottles that were prepared – and return in less than five minutes.

-       Discover that we have successfully won against The Wind when our place cards and table numbers are still in place. {Huzzah!}

Sage: 1, Wind: 0

Sage: 1, Wind: 0

-       Coordinate with the DJ for the Grand Entrance {thumbs up = play music}

-       Remind guests to check the windowpanes for their table numbers, and prepare to guide them to the tables if they don’t remember.

-       Pet Daisy and give her a belly rub.

6:30 – “Uptown Funk” and lots of laughter. The Grand Entrance goes off without a hitch!

-       Decide that I will never have a successful career as a dancer since I’ll never be able to dance in front of 120+ guests like the wedding party just did.

-       Family introductions begin, and hear Charles be called a “dork” by Grace’s brother. 

6:50 – The most valued part of the day – sitting for the first time since we arrived.

-       Secret #142 of the wedding handbook: No matter how comfortable your shoes seem to be, by the end of the day, your feet will be exhausted. As evidenced by my Toms.

-       Consume vendor meals {chicken, vegetables, and mashed potatoes} before deciding that what we actually want to eat are fries. Lots of fries.

-       Split up the team, and make a quick McDonald’s run for fries + coffee {the source of all energy}.

7:50 – Highly caffeinated and full of potatoes – a dangerous combination for all the obstacles that wish to challenge us. 

-       Fix the DIY photobooth, and by fix, I mean replace the ink cartridge in the printer and reroute the camera. To the intoxicated guests, we solved the photobooth with magic. But to us, we’re simply engineers in the making.

-       Remind myself that a proper night’s rest is important before a wedding. Scold myself for only sleeping four hours, secretly knowing it will probably happen again. {Blame college for adapting me to a few hours of sleep.}

-       Attempt to take a picture of Grace + Charles cutting their wedding cake while stopping myself from drooling. Sugar is my kryptonite. Well, sugar and fries.

-       Shazam the First Dance song to possibly use for my own wedding. {“Once in a Lifetime” by Landon Austin}

8:45 – Clean up begins, and once again, our strength is put to the test. 

-       Begin a real-life game of Tetris which consists of lifting a spare tire and golf clubs, while laying down the windowpanes and mirror. Superman who? More like Superwoman x 4!

-       Shamelessly take crazy photo booth pictures with the team.

-       Watch Charles let the music move him – all the way to the top of the dance floor.

-       Witness Charles’ father videotaping Charles dancing – while he bounces to the music himself. {One of my favorite moments!}

-       Sit back and relax – most of our clean-up is complete! {Another victory} 

12:00 – Climb into Eunice’s car, blink, and then I’m home. Magic? Why, it’s actually Secret #8: a long day of work + aching feet + a magical wedding = falling asleep on the car ride home.

 

If you read this whole entry, I love you. If you skipped to the end, I still love you.

In all seriousness, you could say that this is the SparkNotes version of what it’s like to be on the #sagebackstage team, and what it’s like to create stories. As I mentioned earlier, no two weddings are the same, which means the next chapter of my time with Sage will be entirely different. Hooked? I hope so. 

 

tiffany's epiphanies | intro

A mound of snow is still visible from my window leftover from the blizzards and snow days – Boston weather at its finest. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cold, but I’ll always be a California girl under my layers and layers of clothing. I’m looking forward to the four months of sunshine, and new opportunities ahead of me.

With that, I hit “send”. March 23rd, 9:34PM. The wait begins.

Fast-forward two months, and an uneasy feeling washes over me. It’s far too late to turn back; I have already answered my call to adventure. I step forward, and the journey begins…

I glance at my phone – 12:20PM – there are still ten minutes to spare before my first interview with Sage. Thank goodness I live only five minutes away from It’s A Grind.

Literally, I live less than five minutes from this place.

Literally, I live less than five minutes from this place.

But as always, there is no such thing as being over prepared. Eunice {Founder of Sage} texts me while I finish parking to tell me that she’s already inside. Well, there goes my plan of arriving before her. Strike 1.

I hurry into the cafe to find her at the cashier when she asks me what I’d like to drink. “Hot chocolate with whipped cream, please!” Strike 2. I mean, who orders hot chocolate at a coffeehouse? Clearly, only I would. {I would soon find out that the Sage team has coffee in their veins.}

But the fact that I’m writing this now means I never reached Strike 3. Thankfully, what I thought were fatal flaws were simply quirks to Eunice. So here I am, on a bright Tuesday, writing about the thoughts and epiphanies I have had during my time with Sage.

At the Charles River in Boston.

At the Charles River in Boston.

As you may or may not have noticed, I am the new intern for Sage Event Planning. My name is Tiffany Chao, and it’s been an honor to be a part of the #sagebackstage team. When I first discovered Sage, it was one of those silent victories that you don’t really realize at first. I had been searching for a chance to experience event planning in its entirety, and what stood out to me most about Sage was their vision to “help people tell their stories”.

However, over these past few months with Sage, I’ve come to realize that Sage doesn’t just tell stories – we help create them. I witness enchanting stories unfold first-hand, and part of the magic comes from knowing that I had a part in making them happen. My main objective of this internship is to assist the team – whether it’s through setting up escort cards, coordinating with vendors, or accomplishing typical wedding day duties. One of my personal responsibilities is to introduce “Tiffany’s Epiphanies” – a series of blog entries that detail my experience with Sage Event Planning.

The Sage initiation: Set-up escort cards PERFECTLY.

The Sage initiation: Set-up escort cards PERFECTLY.

This journey I’ve set out on began with a simple email, but one thing led to another, and it has become nothing short of an adventure. I’m excited for what lies ahead, and I cannot wait to share my own stories with you. Stay tuned!

a fresh start!

 

Friends!

It's Eunice, here at Sage! I can't express my overflowing gratitude for all of your support and encouragement as we worked through some of the issues we had with our previous website. Some of you saw our Instagram or Facebook posts about the rollercoaster ride we went through with our former server, and I am personally so appreciative that you have all been understanding and patient as we got our new, upgraded site up and running.

So without further ado, here we are!

Take some to look around, and please let us know your feedback/thoughts! Can't wait to use this improved website to continue connecting with all of you {and to make start new relationships} -- thank you again for all your support!


jessica + albert

There was an instant *click* upon meeting Jessica + Albert -- and every time we spoke or met, I knew that their wedding day would be a special one.

J+A's wedding at the LA River Center and Gardens was the perfect balance of love and laughter; their ceremony had us {and them} in tears, while their reception had all of us laughing in celebration of their marriage. Along with these photos from Jessica Van of France Photographers, the highlights video by Paul Chung of Three Light Guide gives a glimpse of all the emotion and fun of their wedding day:

Jessica + Albert, we had so much fun helping you on your wedding day! Wishing you all the best in your marriage -- cheers!

Vendor Love:
Coordination: Sage Event Planning
Venue: LA River Center and Gardens
Photographer: Jessica Van of France Photographers
Videographer: Three Light Guide
Florist: Nina's Floral Design
Bride's Hair: Dorothy Nguyen
Hair + Make-up: Angie Hair + Makeup
Caterer: Truly Yours Catering
Photobooth: The Social Booth Co.
DJ/MC: Extreme DJ Service