Marriage Proposal Planners: The Heart Bandits

Categories Resources + Wedding Planning

There are usually two questions we ask after we find out a friend has gotten engaged. One is, “so, when’s the big day?” and the other is, “so how did he propose?” We simply want to know the date, and we love to hear the proposal story! It’s romantic!

That said, how special should the marriage proposal be?

I’m happy to introduce Marvin and Michele Velazquez–owners of The Heart Bandits–a planning company that specializes in marriage proposals. The Heart Bandits have been featured on Fox and NBC news, New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Orange County Register, and Brides Magazine. Marvin and Michele know a thing or two about what makes for a memorable wedding proposal, and that’s why we’ve invited them to tell us about their unique niche in the wonderful world of weddings. Here’s their tagline …  “We steal their hearts, you get all the credit.” Planning a proposal or momentous event? Read on…

Here is our interview with The Heart Bandits.

What is a marriage proposal & romantic event planner?

We are a full-service planning company, so we interview the client and come up with a customized marriage proposal, wedding anniversary, or romantic date ideas. Once the client picks their favorite idea, we coordinate the entire event from venue selection, negotiations, contract execution, etc. 

 

Why is the marriage proposal so important?

The wedding is all about the girl, and the man will hardly have any say in planning it. The proposal is the one part of the wedding process that the man has total control of. It is his chance to express his love in a unique and memorable way.  Most women dream of the day they will be proposed to their whole lives so it is very important to do it in a special way.

Heart Bandits marriage proposals

Marriage proposals executed by The Heart Bandits. Photo courtesies: (from left to right) Pap the Question, Sean Kim Photograph, Mindy Bean Photography, and Andrea Patricia Photography.

 

What makes for a great wedding proposal?

1). Personalization (the proposal should be relevant to the couple’s relationship) 2). Thoughtfulness ( a woman can tell if you just threw a proposal together without putting thought in to it, and she won’t be happy) and 3.) Documentation (always photo or video the proposal so she can show all her friends and family).

Women love romance—have you found that most men already know that?

I think most men know that women love romance, but the majority of them do not know how to be romantic in the way that women need them to be. That is what we help them do.

What should every man consider before he plans to propose?

The first thing he should consider if she is on the same page regarding marriage. We have all seen the horrific videos circulating the internet when a woman says no. Avoid that by making sure you both are on the same track.

When you don’t know the couple, how do you create a personalized proposal?

We interview the proposer with our 5 page questionnaire as our guide. We ask him so many questions that by the end of the interview, we feel like his girlfriend is our best friend!  It is all about using that questionnaire as a talking point to get the guy to think back and remember the special details. It works like a charm. Every proposal we create is tailored to the couple we are working with. They all include private memories the couples have shared, inside jokes, and they all are part of their unique love story.

 

The Heart Bandits wedding proposals

Beach proposals executed by The Heart Bandits. Photo Courtesies: (from left to right) Fusion Photography, The Heart Bandits, Andrea Patricia Photography and The Heart Bandits.

 

How long is the proposal planning process?

It really depends on how much time the proposer gives us. We like to have at least a month to come up with the concept and then execute the event; however, we have worked under extremely tight deadlines, even having to plan a proposal over night!

Do men usually share that they’ve hired you with their newly-pronounced fiancee?

Honestly, it is about 50/50. Some men don’t mind their women knowing that they got help to set up the romantic moment. Others just want to take the credit for themselves–which is fine by us.

How do women typically respond after their personalized proposal?

It is all over the map. Some cry, some jump up and down, some are in shock. I love being in the background watching. I always cry.

Are you always there to make sure the proposal goes off without a hitch?

Someone will always be there. If it is in a city or country far away then we sometimes have one of our trusted vendors out there for us. But for the Southern California proposals it is always Marvin or myself.

Has anything ever gone off with a hitch?

The only problem we have ever encountered is the proposer being late. We take care of everything else so that we can count on, but we can’t control the person arriving on time.

Michele, what inspires you to be creative and romantic for others?

I am a hopeless romantic and a huge fan of marriage. When you find the right person, it is the most magical thing in the world and helping people become married and stay romantic is something that brings job satisfaction like nothing else.

What has been the most heartwarming wedding proposal you have executed?

A deployed solider contacted us and told us he could not wait to return home to propose to his girlfriend. His girlfriend was sent out shopping with her sisters but they made a detour to a posh hotel in Houston. At the hotel  she was greeted by the manager who asked “Are you Cindy?”  When she affirmed that she was Cindy, a violinist began serenading her with romantic music. She was lead into a private room where there were candles and rose petals everywhere, and a presentation from her deployed boyfriend, Bill. The last slide showed Bill on bended knee proposing. It was so emotional.

How about the most extreme proposal?

Abe wanted to propose in a big way so we had a limo pick up his girlfriend and him and take them to a helipad. They were whisked away in a private helicopter and flown into a luxurious golf course.  As they began to land, Lindsey saw a huge sign that said “Lindsey, Will You Marry Me?”  The helicopter actually landed on the golf course where there was a table for two set-up with champagne. The couple celebrated and then got back in the helicopter for a private tour of the Las Vegas Strip.

If a man is on the fence of wanting to hire you, how would you help him make a decision?

Our work speaks for itself. We have a gallery which showcases our proposals and a testimonials page where he can read first hand from men and women about how they feel about our services.

Marvin—if you could offer advice to all the men out there considering making a proposal—what would it be?

Get some help and feedback from people you trust or experts. Proposals can be stressful and men are always going to be worried about what idea they should pursue and how it’s all going to come together. If you get help, you can focus on enjoying the moment.

How many “proposals” have you planned, and been invited to the actual wedding?

The answer is 3, one in the Bahamas.  Not bad for a year and a half in business.

What professional wedding organizations do you belong to?

We are a member of the Event Planners Association.

How do clients find out about your proposal services?

Our clients find out about us through word of mouth, on the Internet, from media sources, or from jewelry stores.

Are your services guaranteed?

We stand behind the quality of our work and if a client was unsatisfied with our planning, we would certainly make it right. That has never happened though. However, if the girl says no, we are not responsible for that. We haven’t had that happen yet either.

What are your wedding proposal packages?

We have many different packages. If you just want us to help you come up with the proposal idea, that starts off at $99. If you want to hire us to coordinate your proposal, the investment starts off at $499 and the final cost depends on the idea.

What types of romantic events do you plan and execute?

We have planned wedding anniversaries, honeymoon dates, welcome home, and regular dates.

What is your favorite kind of date?

My favorite date would be going out of town to go wine tasting and just spending quality time with Marvin.

Who is more creative and who is more detail-oriented?

We are both creative and detail-oriented. That is a tough one. But Marvin is creative in a different way. He brings more manly ideas to the table and ideas that are focused around technology and gadgets. Then I bring the feminine, romantic side. We are both detailed but I am quick and he is slow and methodical.

What is the best thing about being proposal and romantic event planners?  

Knowing that we’ve helped someone create one of the most important days of their lives. It is priceless. We love bringing people together.

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Michele and Marvin, thanks for sharing your business of guiding proposers in asking one of the most important questions they will ever ask. From simple to elaborate, we love how you’re making proposal dreams come true and helping to create events that are memorable, unique, and personal. It must be very rewarding.

Do you have a question for Michele & Marvin? Leave yours in the comments …

Be sure to check out The Heart Bandits website where you’ll find all kinds of great info … you can check out their FAQ and packages, look through the proposal gallery and get creative ideas from their blog for your proposal or momentous event.

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What About a Wedding Bolero?

Categories Fashion + Resources + Wedding Attire

Strapless continue to reign as the preferred wedding dress but what are the options for brides who want to have a little more reserve at the ceremony or even keep the chill at bay as we head into the cooler months? Of course there are cute cardigans and stylish wraps …

And then there are wedding boleros. From delicate shrugs to a long-sleeved jacket-style, they certainly add an element of style to a dress. I asked cutting-edge dress designer, Amy-Jo Tatum of Bride Chic, to tell us a little bit about boleros and why a bride might want to consider wearing one.

What types of dresses are best to wear with a wedding bolero?
In my good opinion sheath silhouettes work best but then think about how grand and great A-lines and Ballgowns pair up with boleros. Also, the more minimalist the dress, generally the more ornate the bolero can be. Example: An allover lace bolero with a simple satin sheath. Likewise, the simpler the bolero, the more intricate the dress can be . . .

wedding boleros

{above: Carolina Herrera with long sleeves and another with ostrich feathers source {right} Oscar de la Renta}

What types of dresses will never work?
Obviously ones with humongous or puffed sleeves. Wearing any sleeves with a bolero kinda defeats the whole idea.

Do you match material for material?
Sometimes. Other times a bolero is worn to add some texture or interest to the dress

Is the point to keep warm {even a little?} or are they a complete fashion statement?
Both. Boleros certainly can pull your whole look together. On the other hand, boleros are worn more and more this time of year and into the coming months to winterize a dress. They are also a great way for brides to go both sleeveless and with sleeves all in one day as, despite Kate Middleton’s defining dress, it is still hard to find a sleeved gown . . .  And then, some brides feel they need to be covered up in church but want to go bare armed and party hearty at the reception.

Amy Jo’s bolero designer pick …

“One of my favorite bolero designers on earth at this time is Yvonne Crotty who goes under the label of Bonzie.  She has perfected the bolero to go with just about any wedding dress or ensemble.  From her barely there little shrugs to bolero jackets, her Victoriana meets Steampunk look lends itself well to the high-waisted jacket as you’ll see.”

Victorian and Steampunk wedding boleros

 

Thanks Amy! Great info for anyone considering wearing a wedding bolero! Personally, I LOVE them! Be sure to check out Amy Jo’s couture dresses–totally gorgeous, totally unique!!

Thoughts on wedding boleros … Why would you wear a wedding bolero? Make a fashion statement? Keep warm? Keep it modest for the ceremony?

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Fun FAQ’s about MagnetStreet Weddings!

Categories Resources

Hello! Are you new here? Welcome.

We’ve just recently re-designed our website {catch up here if you’d like} and it seems the perfect time and opportunity to offer you a flavoring of just who MagnetStreet Weddings is … in a fun Q&A of sorts. While only a general overview, we invite you to read along and learn more about us.

Save the Date Magnets & Cards

In a nutshell, who is MagnetStreet Weddings? We’re a family-owned, full-service online company. We’re known for our Save the Dates, but we also offer a full line of wedding stationery in coordinating designs too. We work out of 2 locations {Chicago & Minneapolis, MN areas}. Here’s our contact info if you want to call, chat, or see our holiday schedule.

What are your hours? From 8:30-5:00 cst, you can speak to a real live person, but of course, our online store is open 24/7.

Do you text?  Yes! Live chat with us any time between 8:30-5:00p.m. But, if you do want to call–you’ll find a cheerful person on the other end! Promise.

How long have you been in business? We just spent the month of July celebrating our 20th year!

Do you print MagnetStreet.com on your wedding stationery products? NO! We’ve never printed our name on any of our wedding invitation designs and now we no longer print our name on our Save the Date products either!

Can you really use any color you want on your wedding stationery? Yes! Each design can be personalized using any color–you can even create a custom color, or use the CMYK color value from one of Pantone’s hottest … Plus, with our design editing tool “Design Studio” you can explore different fonts, upload your photos, and add your own wording! You’ll be able to see the changes right away.

Can I get a personalized Save the Date Sample? Yes! We want you to feel confident that your Save the Date is The One! Order a Personalized Sample of your exact design. {available: Classic, Photo Booth, and Mini Magnet sizes}

Can I get FREE samples of your Save the Dates & Invites? Absolutely. As an online company, we want you to feel secure about who you’re ordering from and the quality of what you can expect to receive. Order yours today.

Do you ever offer discounts? YES! The best way is to get the best deals on all of your stationery desires, is by subscribing to Bride Vibe, our E-newsletter {on the bottom of the page}, but feel free to check our coupon page too.

I want a cohesive wedding look. Can I coordinate all my stationery items? Yes! If you want, you can carry your Save the Date design to your Invites, Enclosure Cards, RSVPs, to the wedding day stationery like your Place Cards, Table Numbers & Favors … and all the way to your Thank Yous—and more! We make it easy to complement your entire stationery suite.

One cool perk about working at MagnetStreet? Treats on payday! In fact–there’s Halloween treats, donuts & muffins in the kitchen right now!

Are the owners approachable? Yes–they especially love talking about hockey & Da Bears!

What’s the office culture like? Relaxed professional.

Favorite office food? Chipotle.

What’s the last thing you did together as an office? We packaged food at Feed My Starving Children {part of our 20 year celebration month}. It was really fun!

As a company, what do you care about most? You. Providing exceptional service, the highest quality products and trend-forward designs, plus the right personalization tools–to give you creative control over your stationery–are what we strive for every day!

Read more about us and our promise to you to get a bigger, fuller picture of who MagnetStreet is and what our capabilities are.

MagnetStreet employees- the Blaine, MN crew

Anything else you would like to know about MagnetStreet? Leave us a question.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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Q&A with Gina … Customer Care

Categories Resources

Hello & Happy Friday! Welcome to Meet the Team.

Because we’re an online company, we don’t usually get face time with our customers. And we’re very friendly people so we’re thinking it would be fun to introduce you all to someone from the team every once in a while–whether they’re an owner, a designer, someone from IT, Marketing, Distribution Services, the Plant, Pre-press, or Customer Care. There are many cogs on our wheel and when I say team, I really do mean team.

That said, let me introduce you to Gina … one of our Customer Care Extraordinaires.  I asked the Care Team to describe Gina in one word and this is what I got- “playful” “fun” “energetic” “admirable” “thoughtful” “passionate”

Gina, meet the internets. Internets, meet Gina.

How long have you been in Customer Care at MagnetStreet? In April of 2012 it will be 10 years!

What’s a typical day in customer care like? Phones ringing. Instant chat ringing. Lots of chatter in the office … Answering lots of questions from brides, mothers of brides & grooms. Helping customers navigate our website & assisting them in the design process. Following up on: emails, phone messages, and placing sample requests. And, collaborating with our other departments {creative services/marketing/IT}. Never a dull moment around here.

Can you describe your personality in 3 adjectives: Fun! Energized! Generous!

Favorite music style? Contemporary Christian: Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Sara Groves, Bethany Dillon & Francesa Battistelli. I’m always up for some music from the 70’s & 80’s.  Love Karen Carpenter too.

Right now–what’s your favorite Save the Date design? I love Something Blue Save the Date: Favorite Wedding Invitation? I am partial to Antique Filigree Wedding Invite.  I chose this design in honor of my parents 50th wedding anniversary & had it designed by the gals here (thank you).  I secretly sent it out to over a 100 of mom & dad’s friends & family & asked that they in turn send me a letter telling me a funny or memorable story of my folks. I ended up receiving over 70 letters back & put together a beautiful memory book for my parents & was able to present it to them on their anniversary with all our family around.  They loved it!

Most gratifying statement from a bride: “I just love that I called in today…you helped me out soo much; planning a wedding is nerve-wracking & you made this a very easy process.”

Favorite wedding movie-of all time? Seriously, I thought Bride Wars was funny–our entire department went out to dinner & this movie.

Top three personal interests?  Randy (my husband), Grace (my daughter) and as much golf as I can get!

Customer Care can be very rewarding—what’s your favorite part? In all honesty, my favorite part is knowing I’ve helped someone.  I invest my energy every day in making sure the customers I speak to, “chat” with {via instant chat} or email are being fed the information they’re asking for.  I’m happy knowing I’ve helped. We strive to be the best & I am confident we’re accomplishing our goal!

How does the  customer care team unwind at MagnetStreet? We eat lots of chocolate & buffalo flavored pretzels!  We get out of our cubes….kinda move in the center towards each other & chat…most of the time it’s something very funny, there’s lots of laughter & then back on the phones we go!

How do you unwind? My wind down time is in the evenings from 9:30 – 11:00 (reading/watch tv . . . catch up on emails/fb)  & early Sat & Sun mornings.  I like to get my week’s schedule organized, work on bills, Gracies’ school projects, sporting events & just have “ME” time!  Grace & I will bake for daddy.

How about a few highlights from your own wedding: The photo shoot – it was a gorgeous sunny July day, being dressed up in our gowns & tuxes with my family & friends around … encased in it all.

What inspires you at work?  It’s easy to get up every day to come into a job that you enjoy.  I’m able to use my skills & personality to do my job & work with customers & coworkers.  I guess it’s fair to say that I’m inspired at work because I know how to do my job well & I enjoy it.

What do you like best about working at Magnetstreet?  I love the people I work with … being with them all day long makes it so much more enjoyable because THEY are enjoyable.

Thanks Gina. Thanks for keeping us laughing every day! You are so fabulous & fun and it’s a pleasure to work with you & see your smiling face every day!

Have you talked with Gina before? Leave a comment for her and let her know!

{And just in case you missed our first interview–a fun Q&A with Kathryn, our summer intern}

 

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