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Michelle Loretta to speak at The Boss Retreat

I’m excited to share that I will be speaking at The Boss Retreat this November! I’ll be sharing some business smarts with boss ladies in the industry. bossretreatlogo1

The Boss Retreat is an intimate retreat with a focus on not only inspiring and educating, but building stronger relationships with women in the wedding industry. Attendees will learn practical, hands-on information. From building your brand, to pricing strategies to social media, our industry-leader speakers will encourage and inspire you to refocus your goals and be your best BOSS. Every BOSS lady needs a little time off to herself to refresh and rejuvenate, that’s why we picked a lakeside boutique hotel and spa, nestled in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake wine country.

The Details

The BOSS retreat is a two and a half day workshop taking place at the Oban Inn and Spa on November 16-18. The hotel is located in center of downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake, within walking distance to adorable one-of-a-kind shops & boutiques. 


Registration opens March 1st 2015 at midnight. You can purchase your tickets to the Boss Retreat here.

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Announcing Be Sage Conference Speaker: Beth Helmstetter, Beth Helmstetter Events

I am so happy to share that Beth Helmstetter will be joining us as a speaker for Be Sage Conference this November 1-3 in Dallas!

Our strategy with Be Sage Conference is pretty straight-forward. We create a list of questions that experienced wedding pros come to us with. And, then we build the curriculum and tools around those questions. As businesses in the industry grow, owners often consider the expansion of their service offerings.

  • How can I diversify my services?
  • How can I create consistency in these added services?
  • As I expand my business and take on new employees, how do I ensure the same level of commitment and quality to my clients?
  • What’s it like to service weddings overseas? And, what’s it like to do it VERY WELL time after time after time?

We’ve asked Beth to speak on what it really looks like to design destination weddings. (She has some impressive systems to ensure that Beth Helmstetter Events can be replicated ANYWHERE in the world!) This will be a great learning experience for anyone looking to change/expand the services they offer.

Here’s a little more about Beth:

Beth Helmstetter is the owner and principle event designer at Beth Helmstetter Events. Beth Helmstetter Events is a boutique event design studio based in Los Angeles specializing in intimate weddings throughout the world. She has created multi day celebrations everywhere from Bali to Paris to Central America and throughout the United States. While Beth obsesses over every guest touch point and detail throughout the event experience, every moment is executed in an effortless way, ultimately creating an intimate and approachable environment that is reflective of her clients.

Armed with an MBA, Beth depends on her business savvy as much as her design aesthetic to create flawlessly executed events across the globe. Travel & Leisure magazine named Beth one of the top 5 wedding planners in the world. She’s on Martha Stewart’s list for top planners in the nation and Destination Weddings & Honeymoon’s A-List for top destination wedding planners in the world. And Flower Magazine named her one of the top 5 event designers in the nation. In addition to these honors, her work is regularly featured in Martha Stewart Magazine, Bride’s, Bridal Guide and all of the top wedding blogs including Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Once Wed, Snippet and Ink and many others. She has also been featured in People magazine as well as US Weekly for her work with a variety of high profile clients.

We’ll see you this November in Dallas!


Registration is open for Be Sage Conference.



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Are You Looking for Work-Life Balance?

Yesterday I wrote about the myth of doing it all. People who appear to be doing it all are actually doing quite the opposite. (I’m one of those people.)

‘Balance’ is more about having peace with your life. And each person must have his own definition of peace.

creative commons license: freestockphotos.biz

What are the things that make you feel at peace? My list is short:

  • exercise
  • sleep
  • reading
  • coffee in the morning

And, the introvert in me, doesn’t want too many social commitments. (But – the outgoing part of me enjoys a good party from time to time.)

That’s it. Pretty simple.

Here’s one of the most meaningful things I’ve learned in life: I’m not missing out on anything. Everything that contributes to my peace is in my hands, within my control, and attainable.

It’s NOT about wanting what the neighbors have.
It’s NOT about seeing a competitor and wishing my website was as sparkly as theirs.
It’s NOT about wishing I hadn’t missed that party last night.
It’s NOT about wishing I was 20 lbs skinnier.
It’s NOT about wishing I had a better house/car/vacation.
It’s NOT about wanting… wanting is a waste of time… it’s a waste of my inner peace.

FOMO is real. But, I don’t play that.

Anyways… these last 2 days of posts from me haven’t been very business-y… but I want you to think about this:

what contributes to your peace? 

Live in that place. That is what will contribute to feeling balanced in your life.

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February 23, 2015 - 8:04 pm

Frances vagias - Ty so much ! Great articles!!

I Don’t Do It All

It’s a little strange when people ask me: “How do you do it all?” I’m not sure whether to take this as a compliment on my social media skills. (“Gee – I must be doing a really good job at posting the glamorous side of life in Miami.”) OR, if I should take this as a serious question from a person who REALLY is trying to figure out the greatest mystery in life. (“How do I attain balance in my life?”) In either case, I’m not quite sure how to answer this question.

My thought is: if you are asking this question, then chances are you are doing much more than me.

Here’s the little secret about people who appear to be doing it all: they are NOT doing it all.

Here’s the things I know I’m REALLY good at:

  • I’m good at saying no.
  • I’m good at not hyper-scheduling myself (or my kids).
  • I’m good at prioritizing.
  • NOT DOING IT ALL <– I’m REALLY good at NOT doing it all. (And that is PRECISELY why you think I am good at doing it all.)

You see… the reason why I come off as someone who does it all is because I have a peaceful life. It is that peace that makes people think that I do it all. But, I have that peace in my life BECAUSE I don’t do it all.

Are you seeing where I’m going with this?

This post isn’t about how lovely and pretty and peaceful my life is. I’m not really into that sort of thing. I want you to try to see that this ‘balance’ thing… it’s NOT about doing it all… it’s about having peace… whatever that means to you.

I want to get real here because I think there is a very big misunderstanding about people who ‘do it all’. I’m going to illuminate my points with photos here to help you understand what’s really going on:

Last week, when I was at the park reading in the garden with my daughter at 3:30pm in the afternoon…

IMG_9870 Gorgeous, right?

Well – behind me was my 2.75 year old son, running around like a wild banshee, trying to kill all the butterflies… and we had to skedaddle before he ran into the street to get run-over by a car.

And – yes I have the luxury of picking up my daughter from school at 3pm or 4pm on some days. It doesn’t mean I get to only work 20 hours (tho I wish!) It just means that I get to pick which 40-50 hours I work. (And some times that’s at 11pm at night. Tho, I try not to make a habit of that.)

So what was life like after this beautiful 2 minutes in the park?

A mad dash home to do homework, stop the kids from fighting, bathe them, feed them, put them in bed 10 times, and resume working. Same ol’ same ol’. A lot of you do this.

So – what didn’t get done?

  • I didn’t put on makeup that day. (I probably didn’t do my hair.)
  • I didn’t get any exercise done.
  • I didn’t get enough sleep.
  • I didn’t pick up my contacts from the eye doctors (and kept reusing the dailies for several days.)
  • I didn’t make dinner. (Thank you to my husband for that.)
  • I didn’t dust the furniture or clean the kitchen floor.
  • I didn’t read the book I’m trying to get through.
  • I didn’t watch TV.
  • I didn’t blog.
  • I didn’t go to any networking events.
  • I didn’t hand-make Valentines with my kids.

On that note… the Valentines…

YIMG_0003esterday, I was off to speak at an ABC meeting here in South Florida… ta-da! the selfie!

This looks fun, right?

I’m going to speak at wedding industry meeting!

It’s sunny and warm in Florida!

YAY! I have makeup on!

Gonna go get my networking on!

Gonna go spread some business-planning-magic on everyone!

Alas… being gone from the house from 5:30-8:30, a lot did NOT get done:

  • I did not feed the kids.
  • I did not do all that bedtime stuff.
  • I did not finish the copy I was writing for our Sage Wedding Pros website update.
  • I did not send my client that contract yesterday.
  • I did not volunteer for the field trip.
  • I didn’t review homework.
  • I did not contribute anything to the school’s auction.
  • I did not make cupcakes for Lucas’s Valentine celebration at school.
  • I did not hand-make Valentines with either of my kids. (My husband went to the CVS at 7pm and assembled them from a kit himself.) PEOPLE! I was a stationery designer! This is crazy.

A lot did NOT get done.

Here’s another thing… I have a REALLY good support system. Many of you will not have a husband who will assemble Valentine cards for your 2 year old. PLEASE – for the love of all that is good – PLEASE do not have this expectation of your spouse. SUPPORT comes in all shapes, sizes, and directions. (It’s not fair to expect these things of our spouses.) Find ways he can support you and love him/her for that.

Some other ways that people support me in trying to ‘do it all’ with my kids… teachers! (god bless all the teachers everywhere!) My kids are in school from 8-3. My parents… but before they moved to Miami, it was babysitters. It’s after school activities that I don’t have to drive my kids to. It’s friends who will pick up my kid if I scheduled a meeting on the wrong day. It’s the teachers… did I mention that school is AWESOME!?!?!?!:)

That stuff about it taking a village… that’s no joke.

Support is SUPER-DUPER important… you HAVE to have a team of people who can help you. It can be a friend, a neighbor, an employee, a babysitter, a parent, a spouse. If you want to not do it all… you need to have support.

SO… my rules for the day…

  1. STOP doing it all.
  2. Get yourself some support!

I have a few more thoughts on peace, balance, and doing it all… tomorrow.


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February 12, 2015 - 6:56 pm

Vicky Choy - Well put Michelle and thank you for sharing. I think the notion of “doing it all” or “having it all” is not impossible – just not all at the same time, or all on the same day, as you mentioned. Look at it rather from a bigger perspective, say over the last year or even the last five years, instead of on a daily basis. In general, could you say you were, over the last year, able to be a good wife, a good Mom, a good business owner, etc? I think that’s a much healthier way of looking at it.

I totally agree with the need for a support system. Oftentimes, I think we are too proud to ask for help as we’ve been conditioned to be ‘super woman.’

My 2 cents, Vicky

February 13, 2015 - 7:18 am

Christy - Thanks for this! I love the I didn’t do’s.

Here’s to peace in our lives.

February 13, 2015 - 8:56 am

Michelle Loretta - I don’t do a lot. Every day. :) (Make sure to catch today’s post… more on finding that peace.)

February 13, 2015 - 8:58 am

Michelle Loretta - I love what you say… you can ‘do it all’… maybe in a year – or 10. ;) And – even then – I still find I didn’t do it all… because I DO choose to NOT do some things. (eg: making super elaborate parties for my kids, for example) I love to live in simplicity. That being said, if we really start to look at everything we do, we do so much! We need to cut ourselves some slack. I love how Elizabeth Gilbert recently wrote about this also: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/11/elizabeth-gilbert-on-failure_n_6608164.html

February 23, 2015 - 2:14 pm

Debbie | Planner's Lounge - This is such a fantastic post Michelle. I have had a very similar experience and my life works much the same way. It’s all about prioritizing and knowing when and how to say no.

February 24, 2015 - 7:16 am

Cindy - Hi Michelle,

You know our worlds run in very similar parallels. In one or two of our encounters, I have asked you, “how do you do it all”? What I meant to ask was, “how do you do it all and still live in peace?

Thank you for sharing!

February 24, 2015 - 7:28 am

Michelle Loretta - Oh my goodness, Cindy! I wonder the same about you! You always are in 1 million places and always so positive and happy… with such great energy. It amazes me! Cheers, friend!

Announcing Be Sage Conference Speaker: Vanessa Van Edwards, Science of People

Our strategy with Be Sage Conference is pretty straight-forward. We create a list of questions that experienced wedding pros come to us with. A few of these questions have the premise of selling better, communicating better… and getting into the minds of our clients:

How can we be more effective at selling?
How can we better interact with potential clients and industry colleagues?
How can we communicate in a more impactful way?
(How do we CHARM the pants off of anyone we meet?!)

Vanessa Van EdwardsAnd, so… we have invited Vanessa Van Edwards to speak on the Power of Body Language at Be Sage Conference this November 1-3 in Dallas. Vanessa is a behavioral investigator and published author. She figures out the science of what makes people tick at her human behavior research lab, the Science of People. As a geeky, modern-day Dale Carnegie, her innovative work has been featured on NPR, Business Week and CNN.

Science, metrics, data, research… I am in HOG HEAVEN with all of these nerdy topics! (Check out this training video where she shares 3 tips on how to better attract customers.)

These are 5 things that you will learn from Vanessa:

  • How to increase your presence
  • How to leverage the science of charisma
  • How to use the power of body language
  • How to decode hidden emotions
  • How to interact more effectively

We feel pretty strongly about partnering with companies and individuals that mirror and augment our own core values. Here are 3 of Vanessa’s core values:

  • Facing hard truth, rather than living in ignorant bliss.
  • Dream big, work hard and you will get there.
  • Empathy is the most important human value.

We’ll see you this November in Dallas!


Registration is open for Be Sage Conference.

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