Tonya Edinger with Events & Weddings of Pittsburgh/ Luxury Event Concierge

Transcript:

Jill:   There we go. Welcome everybody. This is Jill with The Event Technique and Eventsburgh and we are starting a series in the event technique Roundtable Facebook group as well as with the podcast. And I am so excited that I have Tonya Edinger as our guest this morning, actually this afternoon and she is with, I’m going to get your name right, Events & Weddings of Pittsburgh, and you are a Luxury Events Concierge, is that right?

Tonya Edinger:   Yes.

Jill:   Awesome. This is one of the coolest concept companies and I’m going to have her tell you a little bit about the company first. So why don’t you just tell us a few things about how you got into this business because your backstory is pretty cool.

Tonya Edinger:   Great. Thank you for having me, Jill. I appreciate that. My name is Tonya Edinger as Jill stated and I am the Luxury Event Concierge. I am the CEO of Weddings of Pittsburgh and Events of Pittsburgh. And I got started, one day I was sitting in our kitchen of our little farm house and my husband and I were just starting out. We had only been married a short period of time. And he came home from a golf outing with a buddy of his that was a DJ and he said, “Babe, we’re going to dip into our 401k and we are going to be DJs.” And outside I was like, “Yay, that’s awesome. I’m so happy you have an idea for us to do.” And inside I was like, “Oh my God, we’re going to eat cat food.” But it ended up being super successful obviously and I’m married to DJ Sean of Ultimate Entertaining.

Tonya Edinger:   And we’ve been married 28 years now. We have been in the entertainment business for 21 years. And so when we were first starting out, we started doing bars and things like that. And I’m pretty jealous. I love Sean, with my whole heart. He just makes me so happy.

Jill:   That’s good.

Tonya Edinger:   Yeah, I could not stand it for him to be in a bar. And so after a little while I said, “Yeah, we’re going to not do bars anymore and we’re going to do family events like weddings and reunions and parties and stuff like that.” And he was like, “Okay, that sounds fine. You’re the Booker, you book whatever you want us to do.” And I was like, “Okay, great.” So we had gotten a year contract with this bar in Kittanning and I went to the owner and I said, “Listen, I know our one year is coming up here shortly but we’re not going to renew with you guys to play here every weekend. We’re going to do more family stuff. And I appreciate you giving us a start and everything.” And he was like, “Well, get your stuff and get out.” And I was like, “Oh, okay.”

Tonya Edinger:   So we got, got our equipment out of there and everything. And not even two weeks later, a couple of the girls came to work and the doors were chained and they went out of business.

Jill:   Oh my God.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. God had his hand on me, on us, on our business.

Jill:   [crosstalk 00:03:25] awesome. [crosstalk 00:03:26], but that’s good.

Tonya Edinger:  Yes. So then I just started really… as we were doing the weddings and events and stuff, I became a reception planner because I didn’t really have any experience and I just wanted to make sure that everybody was getting top level service. So I started turning on lights, lighting candles, setting out appetizers, assisting in any way, making sure that they got the most of their night because a lot of times things are delayed so people wait around for them. And I would offer the-

Jill:   Really?

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. So I would offer the bride and say, “Hey, we could do this instead while we wait instead of just waiting, let’s do something and have some fun.” And so we would just switch it up.

Tonya Edinger:   So instead of traditionally having, after the cocktail hour, once they were introduced and instead of [inaudible 00:04:27] was like, “Let’s have cake or let’s do first dance.” And really it was a pioneer in switching it up instead of just, “Let’s do traditional.”

Jill:   I got you. Okay.

Tonya Edinger:   Yeah, just letting our couples know that whatever they wanted, we were going to do it and I didn’t want downtime. I wanted them to enjoy their evening and not reflect on it saying, “Oh well, remember how long it took for dinner.” None of my couples ever say stuff like that because I’m like, “Let’s improvise. Do something else.”

Jill:   Yeah, yeah. We need a time filler here right now, you know?

Tonya Edinger:   Yeah.

Jill:   So some of that you just get in that situation where if you really stop and think about it, it’s like, “Oh geez, you’re in trouble.” So it’s more like, “We got to do it right now. So we’ll come up with the first thing and that’s how we’re going to make it go.” Yeah. So now you do everything though. You don’t just do weddings.

Tonya Edinger:   I do all kinds of events and so I separated Weddings of Pittsburgh and Events of Pittsburgh. I exclusively take 10 luxury weddings a year, although in light of what’s happening with the COVID-19, I hired another planner. So there are several of us that can do all kinds of different luxury, boho party, whatever wedding you’re looking for, there’s a planner at Weddings of Pittsburgh for you. And then I also do events of Pittsburgh where I do the mitzvahs, the birthday parties, corporate events, meetings, galas, anything, fundraisers, whatever you want to produce as an event.

Jill:   Good. Okay. Do you work with nonprofits? And you don’t need to give me names, but was curious if that extended into your realm or not really?

Tonya Edinger:   Yes, I do. And I even have references. A lot of places will just say drop names, but I actually had them… A lot of the places that I’ve worked, I’ve asked them if they would please, not only would they post a Google, but would they please post on their letterhead and send me a reference that I could send to other people so that-

Jill:   Very smart.

Tonya Edinger:   … someone is like, “Oh, we’d like to …” Yeah. “Oh, we’d like to hire you.” “Well, I have references and here’s who hired me before and here’s social proof and their testimony of how well [crosstalk 00:06:51].”

Jill:   Wow. That’s awesome. Okay. Yeah, that’s one of those things. I think in this business it’s as much word of mouth as it is getting out there and advertising and everything else. So if somebody at the event really likes what you did, I think they’re probably more inclined to call you or you maybe just be bold enough to ask you that night, which is cool. Has that happened with you?

Tonya Edinger:   Oh yes, a lot. A lot of times I’ve had that. And also, once I’ve worked with the nonprofits or other companies, they most of the time become an ambassador and are tooting our praises on the internet or suggesting to other people like, “You should use her. She’s amazing and you won’t have to think about anything and you won’t have any anxiety.”

Jill:   [crosstalk 00:07:33] awesome.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes.

Jill:   Cool. I like that because that’s one of the worst things. And I cannot think of a more wound up event than somebody’s wedding. And I have not done weddings ever, so I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of stress that has to be involved with dealing with all the families and everything that happens and the different personalities.

Tonya Edinger:   They are emotionally charged for sure. I have a lot of people ask me, “Do you have bridezillas? Oh my gosh, you must have bridezillas.” Not really because I have a system where I come in and I’m working with them the whole time. We’re connecting a lot. We’re talking once a month on a Zoom call like this. So I can see face to face. I get to see them. I get to stay in touch with them. And then we also have five meetings. So if they want to bring parents along, I always say, bring your tribe with you, bring your parents, bring anybody that you want to come. And I mediate all of that. Especially when you’re doing dress shopping, dress shopping is one of the most highly charged, volatile times because the more people you bring, the more opinions you bring.

Jill:   Oh my God. I can’t imagine, can’t even imagine.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. So while she goes in to try stuff or try the dress on and she’s getting ready, I’m quietly having a powwow, letting everybody know like, “Listen, if she comes out here beaming she loves the dress and we’re yaying her.” Unless it’s like, “Oh my gosh, you might have a wardrobe malfunction with that. We’re keeping our opinions to ourselves.” There’s always those backgrounds. Yes.

Jill:   Oh, go ahead. I didn’t mean to interrupt.

Tonya Edinger:   Oh no, no, you’re fine. You’re fine. Just there’s always background work that I’m doing that a lot of times my couples don’t know about.

Jill:   Yeah, yeah. I would imagine a whole lot of trying to navigate and keeping all those personalities in line and such. I mean, that translates into other events as well, but I don’t think other events are quite as emotionally charged as a wedding is, you know?

Tonya Edinger:   That’s true. That’s true. I do love corporate events though, because they give you a lot of free reign and they tell you, here’s the idea of what I’m looking for and here’s my budget and can you make this happen? And of course I say, “Yes. I’ll make it happen no matter what.” I go in and I love the reveal when they come in and I actually have a video of one client that I did. I absolutely love it. I’ll have to post the link in this video. But she literally had tears.

Jill:   Oh, that’s awesome [crosstalk 00:10:32]. That’s awesome.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. Her husband had booked Stage AE and it’s a darker venue so it’s-

Jill:   [crosstalk 00:10:42].

Tonya Edinger:   …just dark. Yes. And they were celebrating 25 years in business as the wireless company of Pittsburgh and they wanted to celebrate in a more happy white, they were thinking fairy lights. And so the wife and I sat down and went over how we could transform this since the venue had already been booked. And they gave me their budget and I’m like, “I can drape all of Stage AE and twinkle light it and make it into the fairy level that you’re thinking. It was beautiful and we got some awesome video from that. Yes, that was a lot of fun.

Jill:   That had to be really cool because that venue, you’re right, the floors are painted black. The walls are black, the ceiling is black. And when you walk in there, it’s the abyss. And it’s really difficult to even get great photographs because you need so much light in order to get that, get the photographs and it’s just crazy. So whenever we would send photographers in there, it was always like, “I have to bring all this external light because the walls would just suck everything up.” It was crazy. It was crazy. So how many people was that for?

Tonya Edinger:   That is very true. That was for a little over 300 people. And we started at 5:00 AM, they work on a time basis. So we had from five to 8:00 PM, we had to be set up and started by noon. So we started at 5:00 AM with a team of about 12 people and we went in and started piping, draping everything and twinkle lighting it and setting up the garden and it was just amazing. And a little secret about myself is I love crime shows. So Law and Order is one of my favorites. So the videographer I’ve hired had us all walking in and to the theme of Law and Order.

Jill:   Oh my God. Sounds fun.

Tonya Edinger:   Oh yeah, you can see it on my YouTube videos. It’s on my YouTube channel. It’s pretty awesome. I love that video. So we had so much fun doing that. We laughed and joked bowl time while we were working and-

Jill:   [crosstalk 00:12:57].

Tonya Edinger:   … working with me… Oh yeah, definitely. Working with me is a party all the time, it’s I am party and then the second it’s over we crash. But that day we were super busy because we had this corporate event and then we had a bridal shower and a bachelorette party that evening.

Jill:   I got you.

Tonya Edinger:   So everything had to be very precise, and I was crashing about eight o’clock when we finished up and just closed up the last little bit of it and headed to the bachelor party. I was ready for a drink.

Jill:   What are the cool things about that though is when you get it all done and that first, maybe five minutes before the client actually arrives and you’ve got your vision and they know what their vision is and hopefully it’s worked together and now you’ve created it, which is awesome. So when the client walks in and they see it, not only are you in this business to get paid, of course, because everybody is, but that’s probably those really wonderful things that happen when they look at it and they look at you and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, you did exactly what I was thinking about, which is awesome.” So that’s a cool pavement element in there too, which is really, really fun. So what was the best event that you’ve ever done? The most [crosstalk 00:14:19]?

Tonya Edinger:   I would say that’s it. That one is it because I had all hands on deck. Everybody worked as a team effortlessly. I had to leave the event to go to the bridal shower but I knew that I could trust my team while they were there and the event was from one to four or five or something like that. So I came back mid event and they just could not… they were gushing and I was effervescing inside because you’re right, that moment is a type of currency that I just love. I mean, I can’t really put it in words, but it literally makes me tear up because I love the effect that I’m having on people with that.

Jill:   It is, it’s really super cool because you’ve made such an impact and not just in the wedding end of it, but overall such an impact. And they’ll remember that event for a long, long time. And years back when I had my other company, we would still have people that would say, “I remember when you came and you did this and you did that and you photographed all these people and …” Just amazing things that people will come back and tell you years later that you’re like, “Oh, that was 4,000 events ago, but you still remember it and it’s all just really cool.” Have you had any events where the wheels just poof, everything fell apart because it’s easy to talk about the stuff that’s really great. It’s not so easy to talk about just the catastrophic things that go wrong. So [crosstalk 00:15:53].

Tonya Edinger:   Oh yeah. Well I’m very good. Being a mother of three children and they’re all grown. Thank God we made it through.

Jill:   All boys or all girls or mixed up?

Tonya Edinger:   I have a 27 year old daughter, a 25 year old son and Travis, he’s a chef. Our 17 year old son, Trevor. He works with me, designs florals-

Jill:   Oh cool.

Tonya Edinger:   … does deejaying and does some planning work for me too. And Danielle’s my oldest daughter I said at the beginning. She’s [crosstalk 00:16:28].

Jill:   Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I have three boys, so I absolutely understand, lots of things in the air with that. But anyway, go ahead.

Tonya Edinger:   Well Danielle has been helping me to plan for eight years and so she’s one of my long time planners. And so her and I are pretty intuitive about when something’s going to happen. I’ve either been through it with my kids or it’s happened at an event or whatever, so nothing really shocked me anymore. I’ve literally had mothers and fathers that were divorced have fights. I really should write a book about this crazy.

Jill:   Oh, I’m telling you.

Tonya Edinger:   Back in the 90s when you could drink glass bottles. I had a mother break one and get into a fight with her ex and …

Jill:   Oh wow.

Tonya Edinger:   Oh, that, that was wild. Me chasing her around in my stilettos because every event, I am a stiletto girl. I wear stilettos everywhere.

Jill:   Oh yeah. Love you.

Tonya Edinger:   Yeah. So that was a little bit crazy. But the worst of the worst, Oh boy, this one was so hard. This girl was such a queen. Okay. I have this thrown behind me because I like to remember that as women we’re all queens and-

Jill:   Everyday baby.

Tonya Edinger:   That’s right. And I also wear queen Nefertiti to remind me that I’m a beautiful queen. So I really needed her help with this event. So this one wedding, this girl was so kind and so just awesome. She just had a rash of bad luck and she had been trying to marry her fiance for five years or longer. I don’t know, it was a long time.

Jill:   Oh my.

Tonya Edinger:  Yes, everything just kept happening bad. So right before the wedding, her fiance lost his job, so [inaudible 00:18:29]. Then we go to the wedding and I was literally like, “Please, dear God, do not let it rain.” It was overcast. It was terrible. It was outside in a park and this lovely, beautiful gazebo. And so they’re all standing there and it’s beautiful. And I am praying the whole time, “Please God, please, please don’t let it rain, please, please.” And just all hands are on deck, my whole team is just standing around the back of the wedding just waiting. We were wiping chairs down because it was misting a little bit with paper towels, just trying to keep everything. We all had a roll paper towel under our armpits.

Tonya Edinger:   And the van was there to load the rentals up the second this was over because we had to leave and get to the reception. My team was over at the reception hall getting that all set up too. So the second it was over, I got this bride in her antique truck closed the door and [inaudible 00:19:34] it started pelting us and I looked like a drowned rat. My dress was stuck to me. I’m walking on my tippy toes so my heels don’t sink down in to place. We’re packing up the chairs, my hair is slapped to my face. I looked a hot mess. It was terrible. And we packed everything up. They went for pictures. We get to the reception and there is this kid as if that already wasn’t enough bad luck. This kid is there and he is sucking down a big bottle of something, vodka or something. I don’t know.

Jill:   Oh my.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. And the mother had made cookies for four days straight, no sleep. And I’m like, “Oh my God, she has six tables of cookies that she made all by herself. She’s so proud of …” I was just like, “Oh my goodness.” Yeah. And then she even crafted this wheel barrel with her own hands. I had to give her so much kudos because she was helping the team and just doing anything need be. And this guy, she was dating was drinking this vodka and before the bride even had a chance to get there, I said to my team, “Please all eyes on him for the rest of the night. We just have to watch him.”

Tonya Edinger:   So he’s standing by the door waiting for the couple to come in and he loses it. He starts to throw up all over every single cookie. The mother’s face is horrified, just horrified. The most horrified look you could ever see. I [inaudible 00:21:20] dying inside. I’m like, “How can I stop this?” I can’t even stop this. I shove a garbage can over by him, but he has already got every single cookie.

Jill:   Oh no.

Tonya Edinger:   Oh, it’s terrible. So the groomsmen want to help me and it was my linens that they were using. And so they just grabbed the corners up like a huckleberry fan and now I have this big bag of grossness and I am trying to clean up the floor. I’m on my hands and knees cleaning this up because there’s no venue coordinator, she went home. So when people tell me-

Jill:   Oh, she went home?

Tonya Edinger:   “Oh yeah, I am a wedding planner.” Yes, after dinner they went home. They were like, “We’ll be back at 11 when it’s over.” And I’m like, “Oh, okay.” And this happens a lot. I mean a lot. And people they’ll tell me, “Oh, I already have a planner. She works with the venue.” “Yeah, that’s a venue coordinator and they definitely don’t work for you at all.”

Jill:   Yeah. That’s true. That’s true.

Tonya Edinger:   So I finally got everything cleaned up, my team and I. And I don’t even know where my linens are at this point. I’m like, “If I lost them, it’d be okay because I didn’t really want to see them again ever”

Jill:   Yeah. Actually, I can believe that. I can absolutely believe in that.

Tonya Edinger:   Yeah. I was like, “Eeww, I don’t even know.” And so I didn’t know where they were until later. I’ll get back to that. So we’re back into wedding mode. My husband was deejaying and so I’m looking at him like, “Let’s move things along because now we’re behind.” So we’re definitely doing other things. They were cutting the cake while I was cleaning up the throw up. So then we’re finally partying. We’re finally like, “Woohoo.” We’re having a good time. Rocking it out. Everything is great. We’re almost crusting 9:30 and I’m thinking like, “Oh my gosh, this is so perfect.” But no, no, it doesn’t end there. The uncle has a heart attack. Thank God I had just taken CPR courses the day before.

Jill:   Oh my gosh.

Tonya Edinger:   So I back everybody up. The bride looks at me and she’s like, “Listen, I’m done. I cannot do this anymore. I’m going to my truck.” I was like, “Okay.” So I’m like, “Cut the music. Call the ambulance.” And they’re just a couple blocks up the road. I’m on the phone with nine 911, we’re trying to get this guy, I’m pumping on his chest. It’s just happening so fast. Everything is happening so fast. I’m like, “Oh my gosh. Could you be a new planner and handle all this? I sure wouldn’t want to trust my day to a newbie.”

Jill:   Yeah. I can’t even imagine, can’t even imagine.

Tonya Edinger:   So finally the paramedics come, they take him away. He lives. Yay. We packed up all her stuff. The police come, we pack up all the presents, clean up the halls, scrub everything down, call the venue coordinator to come back. And the bride was like, “Listen, I just want to let you know that you were amazing and I don’t know how I could’ve had this day without you.”

Jill:   Oh, that’s fun.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. So there’s that effervescing, bubbling feeling that you don’t even know, you’re just like, “Wow, I did this.” And so then, we cleaned everything up. The police even helped us load up our vans.

Jill:   Oh my God.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes, I’m packing everything up, in my van are the bags that I guess have the linens in them and I’m like, “Oh.” I dropped them off at the dry cleaners and they’re like, “Listen, there’s cookies in these, there’s throw up.” I’m like, “If you want to throw them away, I totally am okay with that.”

Jill:   I think everyone looked at him and said, “Well it was quite a party, let me tell you.”

Tonya Edinger:   Oh yeah, no, my dry cleaner is so amazing. They cleaned them and everything was great. I mean I was just so much. I was so happy, it was awesome.

Jill:   So awesome. I guess in thinking, I don’t think a worse story than that one. That’s pretty awesome. We probably need to put that out to the round table group and then say, “Talk your best story.” Because I think that’s the winner.

Tonya Edinger:   After that one. I mean pretty much everything has been gravy since then thank God. I did have a fire in a kitchen once, the chef was going to pull the sprinkler system and I was like, “Please, dear God, her dress was $5,000. Could you please put this fire out? What do you need from me?” And we got it all taken care of without having to do that. Praise God. But there’s a million horror stories out there. But ultimately, I would have to say in the past few years, everything has been going perfect because I’ve been in business 21 years now, so I am always looking ahead, “What could go wrong.” And [crosstalk 00:26:46] know that.

Jill:   I just want to stop for a second and ask you, how could people actually get ahold of you? What’s your website? Where do they find you?

Tonya Edinger:   Oh great. Yes. So you can find me at weddingsofpittsburgh.com all spelled out nice and long or if you are looking for an event of any type, social or corporate, you can go to eventsofpittsburgh.com and both of those… You can also call my cell phone. (724) 968-7135.

Jill:   Are you a text kind of girl, could people text you?

Tonya Edinger:   Oh yes, I’m a texter. Yes. You can text me.

Jill:   Yeah, that’s a big deal. That’s important.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. Yes. So if you just want to ask a few questions and especially with everything that’s going on right now with COVID-19, I’m actually doing a lot more business online or texting and staying in touch with people. Sometimes even non-clients have a quick question like, “Hey, have you heard anything about this venue? It’s my venue. I don’t know when they’re opening back up. Do you happen to know?” And a lot of times I’ll just shoot over a quick answer. I want to be helpful. You can really access me one on one with my undivided attention straight to you by booking a consultation and we’ll throw that link in there where you can find me.

Jill:   Oh, that’d be great. Yeah, I would really appreciate that. And I’m sure anybody else that watches this would appreciate it too. So in light of everything that’s going on, how have you changed course or did you have a large number of cancellations or were people pretty cool with, “Okay, well we need to move this down a month or whatever the schedule is.” How do people react when this first hit?

Tonya Edinger:   So when this first hit, I got a lot of text messages from clients and they’re like, “Oh my God, what are we doing? Are we canceling? Are we …” And I’m like, “First of all, take a deep breath, calm down.

Jill:   Yes. Absolutely.

Tonya Edinger:   “I have been through this before with SARS and H1N1 and Zika and so many other things. So we don’t need to freak. We just need to relax and know that I got this and I will keep in touch with you and we’ll just plan accordingly.” So a lot of my weddings and events are from May moving on. And so we’re just in a holding pattern and I’ve asked everyone to wait and not rush. And we’ve been in communication with their venue and their vendors through… I can text them all because I have all their cell phones. Where you as a client or you trying to reach them may not have access to them.

Tonya Edinger:   And some of my clients have called and said, “Hey, I can’t get through to my venue.” And I’m like, “Ivy handled it, you’re fine. If we need to reschedule, we’ll do that. You don’t need to worry about it. Just go about your business and reconnect with your fiance or have a couple drinks, play some games-“

Jill:   Take this time to regroup and settle down because there’s nothing we can do. We just have to wait it out.

Tonya Edinger:   Exactly.

Jill:   So have you discovered there’s a lot of events that are being pushed back or are they being really pushed [crosstalk 00:30:01].

Tonya Edinger:   I’m rescheduling. I’m rescheduling anything that absolutely has to be rescheduled. I also do travel for sandals and beaches and anything for honeymoon wise that was up until May 15th, they’re rescheduling and then we’re going to revisit that then. So I have my honeymoons from June throughout the rest of the year or just waiting and like, “What are we doing Tonya? Just keep in touch with us and let us know.” And I also just text, touch base with them and just say, “Hey, no news yet. Just hang in there, just want to give you an update.” And people love that. It gives them the confidence to know that everything’s being handled and they don’t have to worry about it.

Jill:   Yeah, yeah. That’s hugely important. If you can make them feel comfortable and relaxed about everything, then number one, they’re going to feel better. And secondly, they’re not going to make you crazy. They’re not going to keep calling you and asking you because they know that you’ve got it. That’s what they’re paying you for. And if they’re comfortable and happy and content aside from the fact that they have to reschedule it again, that’s a really good thing. It happens more than you think. And then it’s just really good for them to know that you’re there. And so that’s hugely important. We’ve touched when we were talking earlier about the weddings. Do you do destination weddings, things like that?

Tonya Edinger:   Yes, absolutely. I’ve done destination Aruba, Mexico, and Jamaica. So I’m always looking to add outside of the country or even inside. I’ve done Florida, I’ve done North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, pretty much you name it. I’ve gotten New York, I love New York.

Jill:   Beautiful. Especially if you’re in upstate, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. Yes. So just anywhere you want to go, I coordinate anywhere. If you’re a Texas person, I’m looking for Texas, is on my bucket list.

Jill:   People live there. I love it. It’s a fabulous state. Fabulous state.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. So I love to travel and I love to make sure that couples are having a fun time. I actually handled destination wedding from beginning to end. So I show you how you can make your guests have a… allow them to have a vacation and they can make payments on it. So it’s affordable for them as well. And then you can get more people and have a great-

Jill:   That’s cool. I think a lot of people would like to do destination weddings, but they worry about whether or not their guests could actually afford to get there and all those different components that figure into it, because you don’t want to leave anybody out, but then it’s like, “Wow.” So that’s really good.

Tonya Edinger:   This can get costly. Yeah. And then as a perk, I like to create an event page so that they can have full RSVP management, pictures, a photo gallery, how they met or what the event is about. If it’s for a nonprofit, what they stand for, just a page that tells them all about it. And then I have registries on there too. If it’s for a birthday party or something like that where they can click and so if they want to donate to a destination wedding, they can buy the couple dinner on the beach, candlelight, [crosstalk 00:33:21] or whatever. Yeah. So I have a lot of extra perks that I afford my couples discounts at wineries and things like that. So working with me you’re well connected.

Jill:   [crosstalk 00:33:34]. Go ahead.

Tonya Edinger:   Yeah, working with me, you’re well connected.

Jill:    Oh, that’s excellent. So they can find that on the website, which is Weddings of Pittsburgh or Event-

Tonya Edinger:  Or Events of Pittsburgh.

Jill:   Oh, that’s really cool because the registry is interesting in that, do you connect with any retailers or anything like that with the registries?

Tonya Edinger:   Yes. I actually have a couple of different places where you can buy brides gifts or grooms gift. I actually have two different places that give my clients a discount because of specifically working with me. And when you type in-

Jill:    Oh, fantastic.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes, when you type in my special code, you get that discount. So if we’re working together and you paid for my services, you get my code and you get the deals to… I’ve had guys buy whiskey rocks for each other or a decanter sets or whatever or brides get their bridesmaids, what are those, wine glasses without the STEM and their names on it and stuff like that. So there’s a lot of fun gifts or bourbon balls or a hottie too. So everyone loves a little snack.

Jill:   Yeah. What’s wrong with chocolate and alcohol, I mean oh my gosh. So [inaudible 00:34:50]. I guess the question I was going to ask is do they come with a target destination of where they want to go for their wedding or do you make suggestions and recommend places or just out of curiosity, how does that all work?

Tonya Edinger:   Yeah, both. Sometimes they’ll come to me and so I just had a recent client come to me saying, “We want to go to Royal Barbados. We have been searching. We definitely are going there.” So I connected them with that. And then I have other couples that’ll come to me and say, “Hey, we like to party. We don’t know where we want to go but somewhere in the Caribbean. And then I have a questionnaire that I send to them that helps me to hone it like, “Do you love food? Do you love to drink? What else do you love to do besides party?” And that helps me to match them to the perfect venue.

Jill:   Yeah. Oh, that sounds like fun.

Tonya Edinger:  Yes.

Jill:   Especially if you go in January. That’s pretty cool.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes, absolutely. And even if you just want to travel and get away and you just want to be alone, Sean and I love take off and just go alone for a three or four day getaway, I can put together a package for that or if you want to do a vow renewal, we’re definitely going to do that. We’ve been trying to do it since 25 years and we’ll be married 28 years. I bought a new dress. I’m ready to wear it. Any travel plans. Yeah.

Jill:   Oh that’s cool. I’m trying to think of just another way for people to be able to get in touch with you. Do you have a Facebook page that they can go and find?

Tonya Edinger:    Absolutely. Tonya Edinger on Facebook. That’s where you can find my personal page and I post a lot of events and things. I have wine dinners and whiskey tastings and scotch tasting, cigar bars, many different things like that, that you can come to my events. I post those on my events page at Weddings of Pittsburgh. So if you’re looking for a page, I post everything under Weddings of Pittsburgh, even though I do weddings and events there. Don’t let the wedding words scare you off.

Jill:   Actually, that’s true because a lot of people see wedding and then they’re going, “Oh, I don’t want to talk to them because they’re [crosstalk 00:37:19].

Tonya Edinger:   Yes, yes. So I started Weddings of Pittsburgh first and because it would scare guys off, I developed Events of Pittsburgh so I could talk to them and have a different business card that didn’t have anything to do with weddings so …

Jill:   Yeah, that I could see. That I could see. Well, believe it or not, we have just blown through a quick 45 minutes.

Tonya Edinger:   [crosstalk 00:37:44].

Jill:   This was so much fun. I want you to tell everybody though, one more time where they can get in touch with you. So your websites and your phone number and then we’ll make sure to include it in this video so that everybody knows where to find everything.

Tonya Edinger:   Perfect. Tonya Edinger, T-O-N-Y-A E-D-I-N-G-E-R. You can find me on Facebook. You can find me on Instagram at Pittsburgh wedding planner or at Pittsburgh event planner. I’m working on that page, so don’t judge too harshly. You can also find me on weddingsofpittsburgh.com, eventsofpittsburgh.com. You can find me on Facebook, on my page, Weddings of Pittsburgh in my group, Weddings of Pittsburgh group. And if you just want to shoot me a quick text because you’re confused of something or you just want to ask me a quick question. (724) 968-7135 or you can Google me. I mean, you can find me on Google. I am a lot of the top spots, all pretty much every one of them on Google.

Jill:   Excellent and good. Good, good, good. Actually that’s really awesome because that makes it easy for people. And part of the issue with a lot of event planners is you can’t find them. So you run into them and have a car and you’re not really sure how to find them, but it sounds like you’ve got it all working together, which is really awesome, which means people can find you. So that’s really super cool. We’ve actually got to the end, which I can’t believe, I think we probably should do this again because this was really fun.

Tonya Edinger:   Oh, I would absolutely love that.

Jill:   I just wanted to thank you for being here today. This is so cool. This is the first time that we’ve done this and we’re going to do a bunch more because they’re fun and people that work in events are really fun and yeah, thank you so much for coming on.

Tonya Edinger:   I really appreciate you having me, Jill and I look forward to getting together with you next time. And anybody that’s out there, book a consultation right now and we’ll put that link up there and let’s get talking about your event.

Jill:   Yeah, the doors are open. Business is happening. Well, thank you so much and we will catch up soon.

Tonya Edinger:   Sounds good.

Jill:   You have a great day. Thanks for coming on.

Tonya Edinger:   Yes, you’re welcome.

Jill:   Bye.

Tonya Edinger:   Bye.

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