Interview With A Pro - For The Story Vacations

Interview With A Pro - For The Story Vacations

Once you meet Rachael Rogers-Bohan, owner for For The Story Vacations, you can't help but have a SUPER BIG girl crush on her! Not only is she spunky, sweet, and all around a ball of fun, but her knowledge and expertise in the vacation planning industry is re-shaping how couples, and people in general, are experiencing travel. We are PUMPED to be showcasing For The Story Vacations in this month's Interview With A Pro segment. Never has travel been more affordable, doable, and downright fun. So, without further ado, let me introduce you Rachael, an awesome world-traveler who is sharing only with our #amhfamily the tips and tricks on how to start your next travel story today....

Rachael Rogers Bohan | Owner, For The Story Vacations

What sets you apart from other travel planners?

My husband and I both have an incredibly unique situation in that we both work for ourselves and in the Travel industry. When we decided to start traveling full time in 2016, we didn't realize how addicted we would become to this lifestyle. For the last two years, we have moved to a new city within the world every single month. I had a list of cities I've always wanted to live in, but I also selected places off of where people were asking me to plan to. A lot of the time, both lists actually concurred. It's so much easier to create an authentic and unique trip for clients having spent a busy month there researching.

How did you know planning people’s vacations was for you?

It all actually started with my wedding days! That's right I said "days"!) My Irish husband and I had two pretty large weddings seven days apart: one in Missouri, where I’m from; the other in Galway, Ireland, where he is from. It took a LOT of planning and hustling. Not only did we have to get people booked into the perfect hotels and Airbnbs for their price range, we also wanted to ensure all our American guests who flew to Ireland got the full experience and vice versa.

The weird thing was, I actually enjoyed doing it. I loved the euphoria on peoples’ faces.  I launched For The Story Vacations 8 months after we returned from our wedding festivities. 

Why hire a travel planner with all the technology at our fingertips in 2018? Why is your service is crucial to those of who might not be great at it, don't have the time, or feel overwhelmed by the task?

I love travel planning and I'm naturally a very detail-oriented person. I worked as a wedding planner in Manhattan for a year, and treat my client's vacations with just as much meticulousness- if not more, since it's my own business. I would argue that my service is even crucial for those who ARE good at travel planning. My clients get to have their perfect holiday- whether they're foodies, history buffs, outdoorsy types, or a family who's a mix of everything- all planned, booked, and laid out for them. 

They don't need to spend a billion hours online researching after a long day's work, or take a stab in the dark on places they've never been, or worry that they're being fleeced. This is particularly the case with honeymooners. I know from experience, if you can avoid any stress whatsoever during the year you plan your wedding, you should grab it with both hands!

A vacation should be fun, exciting, and affordable. Once you hire me and we go through your loves, likes, pet peeves, bucket list, etc, and then I do all the work and put in the countless hours online until your tailor-made trip of a lifetime is complete. All that's left for you to do is show up and have a ball.

And obviously the fact that I've made a lot of connections in so many cities, it stands my clients' pockets in good stead. Unlike the traditional 'travel agent', I charge one affordable, transparent fee, upfront, and don't make commission from any of the things I book. My aim is to make your Euro go as far as possible, whether you're staying at a hostel or a 5-star. Much more often than not, the amount of money I save my clients more than covers my fee.

What is a doable budget for a honeymoon to Europe?

For The Story Vacations | Lavendar Fields

It's actually WAY cheaper than most people think! I have done a ton of Honeymoons this past year with a 5k budget for 2 weeks in Europe. Planning ahead with an expert is the key.  For clients who are more adventurous in accommodation options, I've worked within a 2.5k budget.

How far in advance do you recommend booking flights?

The search can begin 1 year prior to your travel date. I usually start working with clients 6 months-1 year out. The earlier we begin booking, the better the pricing and options I can offer my clients. My goal is to make your money go farther than you thought it could. Travel does not have to be expensive. Lack of planning is what puts a big hole in your wallet.

How far in advance do you recommend booking accommodation and excursions?

I always recommend having accommodation booked at least 6-8 months in advance. The earlier the better. This ensures the best options, in the coolest neighborhoods, at the most affordable rate. 

What is the best form of transport for Europe?

Planes, trains, automobiles, buses- you have every option available to you once you land in Europe. I aim for a balance of convenience and expense when getting clients from point A to point B. The cheapest option, while often the best, is not always the smartest. Travel doesn't need to be nearly as exhausting as many people make it. When necessary, I recommend to spend a little extra to save yourselves time and stress. If you get there three hours quicker, say, it's probably worth shelling out another 30 euro.

What has been your favorite destination over the last 2 years of full time travel in Europe?

Santorini was incredibly magical and a lot more affordable than what people make it out to be. You can experience luxury without dropping a ton of cash. From our sunset catamaran cruise to our wine and food tour around the Island- the entire trip was a dream.

For The Story Vacations | Europe

I also adored our time in Provence and the Cote D'Azur. You have the very best of everything at your fingertips: affordable wine, loads of sunshine, incredible views, the ocean, and beautiful villages along the way.  Whats not to love?

Biggest piece of advice for Brides planning their big day?

Ask for help when you need it. There is only one of you, so don't spread yourself too thin. Your time being engaged should be special and not filled with a TON of stress. I also recommend sharing in a bottle of nice wine while planning anything with your Fiancé- it takes away a bit of stress and adds some fun! 

 

 

Congrats to all the new Brides! I wish you unlimited years of happiness, joy, and amazing adventures!

xx
Rachael

Get In Touch With For The Story Today!
Website: forthestory.vacations
Facebook: www.facebook.com/forthestoryvacations
Instagram: @forthestoryvacations

Interview with a Pro | East & West Designs

We're thrilled to bring you the third installation of the Interview with a Pro series this week. As we've mentioned before, All My Heart Bridal has always had the goal to educate brides, not just help them find their wedding dress. It is with this same goal that we bring you lady bosses, Samantha and Lauren. These two are doing exceptional work in the Stationary world here in Kansas City, having worked with them on a multiple occasions, we know that any bride would be lucky to have them in their corner! See what they have to say about tips and tricks on making the most out of your invites, save the dates and other stationary for your wedding. 

INTERVIEW WITH A PRO | EAST & WEST DESIGNS

East & West Designs Samantha and Lauren Kansas City Wedding Stationary

Hi! We’re Samantha & Lauren from East & West Designs. We create wedding invitations and custom stationery items. We love working with brides and grooms to make their paper items for their wedding day super special and personal! We met at Kansas State University getting our Bachelors of Fine Arts degrees in Graphic Design. While at K-State, we both discovered that we wanted the same future: owning our own business. After realizing how much we loved designing wedding invitations for our friends and family, E+W was born! Sharing a business with your best friend is the best thing we could have ever done. We bounce ideas off of each other, we trust each others’ strengths, and we just have a good time (and we think that translate to our work). Everything we create is made with love for love and that is so rewarding! 

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WEDDING STATIONARY:

Start with some good old Pinterest research. You’ll so sooo many ideas out there so don’t feel like you have to find exactly what you want. That’s the beauty of customized invitations; they’re made just for you.

Trust your stationery designer, with our background in design, we have talked with and worked for many clients over time and have gotten used to translating ideas into real world products. What we love to do at East & West is get to know you and what you want your wedding day to look like and that allows us to design something that’s just your style :)

Figure out what’s really important to you! If you really love the idea of calligraphy on your envelopes, we can adjust the budget to make that happen! 

Trends We're Currently Loving!

  • Texture: we love a good felt, linen, or alternative paper!
  • A Pop of Color: adding a bright enveloped or painted belly band makes a huge statement!
  • Wax Seals: wal seals on everything. Enough said. 
Custom Wedding Invitations Kansas City

Interview with a Pro | Magical Moments KC

We're thrilled to continue bringing our series Interview with a Pro and next up is the wonderful Buffee Ann Boggs_Gillihan of Magical Moments Weddings and Events LLC. Our goal of this series is to educate our brides not only in gowns, designers and fashion, but also in wedding vendors that can make a great impact in your choice of services. Buffee has been a great resource to us at All My Heart and we hope you enjoy getting to know her! 

Magical Moments KC | Wedding & Event Planning | Buffee Ann

Planning a wedding is truly a journey. Often it’s the first time a Bride & Groom are planning a major (costly) event together and it’s an opportunity to refine communication skills and priorities for each person. Not only that, but the process can have many other players, including family members especially if they are contributing towards wedding expenses. We strive to provide a solid first step into an enjoyable adventure of planning such a celebration. By hiring a qualified, experienced planner couples are able to enjoy their journey with the level of guidance that makes them comfortable and matches their budget. Before booking we ALWAYS recommend a consultation, offered complimentary, because you need to know if we’re a right fit for you and vice versa. When looking for a planner, find someone who matches your style, personality and is someone you could see being by your side on your wedding day (and many months before)! While wedding planning is fun (otherwise why would we do it?), it can also be hundreds of labor hours. Many times, couples don’t realize how much time it takes to deliver a flawless event. The goal is to complete the majority of the work beforehand, then ensure everything runs smoothly on the day of your wedding. Here are a few Q & A we like to provide for clients unsure if they need a planner.

Important Questions to Ask When Deciding on a Planner:

  1. Why should I hire a planner? For starters, we are fun! But for some reason, many people don’t realize the value of event/wedding managers (also known as planners). We possess a vast array of wedding knowledge. No other professional you hire will work as closely with you for the time leading up to and on the day of your wedding. We provide support, a sounding board, friendship and guidance when needed through a high pressure time frame in your lives. I mean, your venue or photographer are very valuable, but they won’t help you decide between linens, give feedback on your guest list or help you budget. And that’s just the beginning!

  2. When is the best time to hire a planner? The very beginning is a very good place to start, but we can really be hired at any point. It’s never too late! If we start early, we can help you decide your top priorities and allocate budget accordingly. Too often we meet with couples who are half-way through the process only to realize they have spent more than expected with expenses left to cover. Based on each couples’ preferences, we make recommendations to fit style and budget. Even for a very organized bride, hiring a planner sooner rather than later makes the process smoother and more thorough. Little things can fall through the cracks without the right team in place. You don’t want that. We don’t want that. We want to give you a flawless, fun day where all you do is enjoy each moment. Time goes so fast!

  3. Why should I hire a professional instead of using my Aunt Mary as a coordinator? You absolutely could. You could also hire a photography student for photos, use an iPod for music and have your family prepare the meal. Those are all your prerogative. However, we’re professionals. We know how to make your day beautiful and stress-free so you can relax and enjoy the time with your friends and family. In 9 years, all I’ve ever heard is how our clients are so happy they hired us! Peace of mind is worth the investment. YOU are worth the investment!

  4. What type of services do you provide? We specialize in complete event design and management. However, we know that some couples don’t need that much help, so we have two other levels of service.  We offer full planning and month of management (aka month of coordination). Regardless of which level you choose, we are part of your team from the moment the contract signed. We’re available for questions all along the way.

  5. The venue provides a coordinator. What’s the difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding manager? Venue coordinators complete events every weekend, it’s true. They are certainly knowledgeable and helpful. However, their interests are the venue first. When you hire us, our primary responsibility is YOU. We create and implement the plan put in place. Nobody else will be by your side from “getting ready” until after your exit and complete clean up.

Our goal at Magical Moments is to tell your unique love story. No other couple has your story. We love the moments when suddenly an idea pops up that perfectly fits you and your fiance. Those moments happen often when working with our clients. Every event is different. No two events are the same and we take pride to make sure there is something unique about your wedding. We take great pride in exceeding expectations. I could not count how often we hear “I wish I had hired you earlier”. There is a relationship there and I’m still in contact with clients from years ago.

Real Life:

Now, the question I get most often is is I’ve ever had a Bridezilla. The uninteresting answer is no. I haven’t. How is that possible? Well, I believe there’s two factors: 1. I believe that every client needs a planner, but there’s no guarantee I am the right fit for every couple and that they are not a fit for me. I truly want you to have the perfect wedding team even if that means you hire another person! 2. If you plan well, there’s less stress. Less stress = happy client.

One story. I had a Bride approach me just a few weeks after getting engaged. She wanted to get married in 3 months! Well, I knew it would be a ton of work, but it was possible so I took them on. We worked together to build a wonderful team and they were thrilled with every aspect of their day. We even managed to find a videographer the day before when she decided she wanted one. Now, I don’t recommend that, but there’s no way she should have had one without our help! Also, even though the baker had confirmed delivery time, when they were 30 minutes late, they were called. Turns out, somehow they had the time wrong even though it had been confirmed twice. The couple had no idea! The baker was able to arrive and setup before the ceremony started. If it weren’t for us, there would have been no cake. People make mistakes, but because we were  there, we were able to solve the problem with no impact to the couple. That’s our job. We take care of any issues without the client ever knowing there was one in the first place.

Now for the Fun Stuff:

We’re super excited to be a part of two upcoming open houses! We will be at The Historic Rumely Event Space on March 2nd & 3rd, then at the beautiful Beck Event Space on March 4th. Special offers available at these events. Come see us!

If you’re looking for help, we have a few dates open for late spring/early summer and only a few dates in the fall/winter. Contact us for availability. We would love to hear all about your day.

What Her Clients Have to Say:

Magical Moments was there the whole day to answer questions, keep time and do anything and everything they could to make it the best day ever! I may have hired a wedding planner, but I feel as though I also gained a wonderful friend. I would highly suggest Magical Moments to anyone in the KC area.
— Emily | Lawrence, KS
I had no idea how many details were involved in planning a wedding. Buffee was able to shape the entire, detailed event and made a perfect day for us. I would trust her with any event.
— Daryl | Sacramento, CA