Wednesday, November 17, 2010

20 Questions for Lindsey Huttenbauer, Marketing Director of Saks


 
"20 Questions" is a series I created to help brides and event planners narrow down the wealth of information available to them, and focus on what’s the simple truth about planning an event. I’ll be interviewing many people from all aspects of event planning (pros and people just like you!) and compiling the information into some lists that will grow as the year goes along. And because I’ve never been one to stop at “just business”, I ask some of my favorite personality questions at the end. You should know that these folks are extraordinary people, just like you!
So today I'm so happy to introduce Lindsey Huttenbauer! As you will read, she has some impressive credentials in the event planning world. I met Lindsey when she had just moved to Cincinnati and she stopped by my store. There is so much to admire about Lindsey (and my full disclaimer here is that I adore her)! She delights in her event planning work and all things paper and ribbon (she's not kidding about that). She is a professional in every way; she is forthright about her budget, she's thorough about her needs and loves to let the creativity move through the event. Frankly, since I'm a bit of an ADD/ easily distracted sort, I marvel at her ability to just sit down and get things DONE! No matter how crazy she says things are, she is always charming, calm and effective. A perfect hostess, in my humble opinion. So I'll stop my love-fest for the moment and let you read all her sage advice and I must say, I was surprised by her Beastie Boys affiliation. I know you'll find some gems in here for your event so read on!
WHAT IS YOUR STORY IN A NUTSHELL?
I am from Arkansas but was living and working in NYC when I met my husband - who is from Cincinnati. When we got married, we moved here to settle down and start a family. I have been in the event business for 15+ years. First at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, then at a fashion PR firm in New York (KCD) where I worked on many of the Bryant Park runway shows including Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen - as well as the Victoria Secret televised show. I then worked at ELLE Magazine as Promotion Director - and on the first season of Project Runway - and as the Events Director at Conde Nast Traveler. I had my own company when I moved to Cincinnati but, with so many clients out of state and a baby on the way, I decided to get something local and am now the Marketing Director for Saks Fifth Avenue.

DESCRIBE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR WEDDING
Highlights of my wedding include HEDGES for the bar and around the band; a crepe stand, mini croque monsieurs & frites served late night, & eiffel tower cookies as favors (because we were engaged in Paris), and a children's choir singing "Oh, Happy Day!" as we recessed from the church! Oh and my Carolina Herrera dress that I scored at the Bergdorf Goodman bridal sample sale! What a find :) And we took pictures in the cotton fields at home a few months after the wedding - this was SO much fun to be all dressed up again without the stress and worry of the "wedding!" GREAT FUN!
Lindsey and Sam in the cotton fields in Arkansas.
Lindsey and Sam's wedding

IF YOU COULD DO IT AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
I would ask NOT to see anything that isn't in my budget bc it just makes you want what you can't have. And, if money was no object, I would have flown in a caterer bc Memphis just didn't have what I was looking for!!

WHAT'S A GREAT WAY TO ADD PERSONALITY TO YOUR EVENT?
Incorporate as many things about YOU and YOUR HUSBAND as possible - even if it's just little things that you will remember. Whether it's the what you name the tables, favors you choose, desserts you serve, or the music you choose. Make it ALL about YOU - after all, it is YOUR day!

WHAT'S THE SIMPLEST DIY PROJECT YOU SUGGEST FOR AN EVENT?
Goody Bags for out of town guests. This is something you can spend as much or as little on as you wish and you can still make them fabulous and personal  and it's always nice to have a little something waiting for you in your room when you arrive. I also think it's nice to have a "program of events" to recap the weekend's activities all in one place and suggest places to eat, dine, and shop that are close by. It eliminates a lot of the guess work for your guests and allows to enjoy playing hostess instead of tour guide bc they will have all they need in hand!

WHAT'S ONE GREAT WAY TO MAKE GUESTS FEEL WELCOME?
Again, goody bags and helpful, local info. Also, if budgets allow, it's nice to include all out of town guests at the rehearsal dinner. Or, if the dinner is a smaller affair, at an after-party so everyone can kick off the weekend's festivities together.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST DIY TIP?
Take the time to choose the readings, music, and songs for the ceremony. Sometimes I feel like brides just pick the norm but, when you take the time to really think about these elements and choose something special to you, it makes the ceremony so much more powerful and special for all involved.

I knitted scarves for my bridesmaids - while it was a little more involved that I initially thought, it ended up being a very heartfelt gift - and it was something different! I packaged them in makeup bags with their names on them.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCT OUT RIGHT NOW?
Oh this is a hard one. I love all things PAPER and RIBBON. I really can't choose just one thing. I love Sharpies (is that weird?). I can't live without my Sharpies.

WHAT IS A GREAT WEDDING SONG?
We danced to Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love bc we were married in Memphis but I have always also loved Etta James' At Last.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR COMBINATION?
My wedding colors were lavender and navy and I still love them. I am also loving Tiffany blue and red (but not for weddings, just in general).

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT HOT COLORS WILL BE?
No idea on this one. Sorry.

WHAT FOOD DID YOU SERVE AT YOUR LAST EVENT?
My son's first birthday party! We had fried mac & cheese lollipops, pretzel bites w parmesan cheese & a mustard dipping sauce, french fries in paper cones, and (chic) pigs in blankets! Retro and FUN kid food :)

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BLOG AND WHY?
I must admit - working full time and being wife and mommy leaves me little time for reading blogs :( but I do love Margot's, of course!! Thanks for the shameless plug, Lindsey!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN TREND?
This isn't particularly current but I just love anything and everything FRENCH.

WHAT DOES YOUR IDEA BOOK/SKETCHBOOK LOOK LIKE?
It's a binder w multi-colored tabs (bc I LOVE color). It's broken down by invites, food, flowers, colors, favors, decor, and resources. I love tear-sheeting and filing ideas!

HOW DO YOU START A PROJECT?
Everything starts with the binder and the multi-colored tabs - and a label maker. It keeps me organized.

WHAT MAKES YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOW?
Quiet. Time to think.

YOUR ASTROLOGICAL SIGN?
Aries

ARE YOU AN INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?
Very extroverted.

WHAT IS SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOU?
I was a high jumper in high school (but managed to never run around the track) and my first concert was the Beastie Boys!
An event Lindsey planned at the Natural History Museum for Conde Nast Traveler, NYC
A Caribbean fiesta Lindsey planned in the Bahamas for Traveler
ELLE Decor's inaugural "Women in Design" which Lindsey planned in NYC

Yummy hors d'oeuvres!

2 comments:

  1. Finding the right catering company can make any event a breeze!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed the interview. Let me know if you would like to interview another MD from Saks/ event planner extraordinaire! www.FabGabBlog.com Or perhaps you'd like to simply add me to your blog list.

    ReplyDelete

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