QC Career School

Lora Bonaker

event planner , wedding planner

Lora Bonaker

Glenville, NY

Birch Distinctive Events…Be a guest at your own event!
We are the full-service Event Planner for everyone from the biggest corporation to

Birch Distinctive Events is a full-service event planning and consulting firm offering an array of customized services. We make an event out of any occasion by providing the highest level of service and exceeding all expectations!
We also understand that budget requirements are important in your planning.
We believe in getting to know our clients; by doing so we are better able to understand their vision, style and expectations for their event. Our focus is to design an event that will reflect each client's unique and distinctive personality and create everlasting memories! Birch Distinctive Events differentiates itself by offering as mu

Birch Distinctive Events was founded by Lora Bonaker, who is no stranger to the Event Planning and Hospitality Industries. Her career began as a Banquet Manager in 1994. By 1998 she transitioned over to Corporate Event Planning where she really found her niche and developed many relationships and partnerships in the industry. With almost two decades of her experience in the corporate world, coupled with her work as a freelance event planner for events in her community, and for friends and family, Lora decided to take her talents to the next level and take on the challenge of Birch Distinctive Events. Her love and passion for event planning is built upon a wealth of knowledge and hands-on practical experience in the event industry. With an eye for detail Lora has the ability to plan, create, and execute a flawless event by bringing people and ideas together.
By nature, she is never short of big ideas or enthusiasm. Lora prides herself on providing exceptional and personal service to her clients while creating an event that is a true reflection of the person(s) of honor. Each event, grand or intimate, big budget or small budget, is completely customized and will feature many personal and unique touches that will make it memorable to all of your guests. Most importantly, her organizational skills and attention to detail will ensure that you enjoy your event, stress free!


Needs and visions can change throughout the planning process. Birch Distinctive Events differentiates itself from other planners by offering as much or as little consulting, planning, designing and coordinating help as necessary. We will supplement your efforts, fill in the blanks, or take care of every detail from your initial dream to its full and complete realization. You decide. We are the planners of choice for everyone from the biggest corporation to the everyday person. At Birch Distinctive Events we pride ourselves on getting to know our clients and providing a truly personalized experience. We will tailor each event to match your own unique needs. Birch Distinctive Events is solely focused on providing you, our client, with a distinctively an unforgettable experience by matching our experience and expertise with your dreams. We look forward to working with you!
Our professional staff can assist you with total event management, professional consultation and the individual services listed below:

• Event Design and Layout
• Site Research, Selection and Negotiation
• Food and Beverage Coordination
• Entertainment Coordination
• Audio/Visual and Production Coordination
• Decorations, Props and Floral Arrangements
• Invitation and Marketing Collateral Design and Mailing
• On-Site Management and Logistics
• Ground Transportation
• Hospitality and VIP Services
• Amenities, Gifts and Favors
• Destination Management
• Post Event Wrap-up

The process starts with a Consultation:
BDE provides a one hour complimentary consultation to help you determine exactly how much assistance you may need with your event. The consultation allows us to learn more about you, your vision and how we can best assist to help make it a reality. Helpful hints on saving money, where to get started and industry insight provide clients with a solid starting point to get planning!
Additional consulting is available on a fee per hour basis.

Event Coordination:
For the client who wants to plan their own event but wishes to turn over all the last minute details so you can enjoy a “stress free” day.
We will have an initial consultation to discuss your plans, suggest any vendors still needed and identify areas that still need attention. One month before your event, we will meet to review your plans, vendor contracts, and all other services or products that you have purchased. With our Coordination Service you are able to “let go” a month prior to your event and let us handle all the details, allowing you to relax and focus on the rest of your life during the time leading up to your event.

• Initial Consultation
• Review all contracts and provide feedback/discussion
• Phone and email support
• Vendor referrals
• Attendance at vendor meetings (if desired)
• Transportation coordination
• Confirmation calls to all vendors
• Customized Event Day Itinerary
• Final list and distribution of payments and gratuity due to vendors
• Final meeting with your event team on site
• Welcome Bag Assembly & Distribution
• Rehearsal Coordination
• Rehearsal Dinner Coordination (weddings)
• Ceremony and Reception Coordination (weddings)
• Brunch Coordination (weddings)
• Coordinator on site for rehearsal and event

Full Service Planning & Coordination
For the client who wants to ensure a fun planning process, eliminate the stress of selecting the right vendors and who does not want to stress over the event. We act as your project manager, overseeing the entire planning process and working together to make decisions based on your vision and budget. Services listed below are included but we can also customize to meet client's needs.

• Initial Consultation
• Provide professional vendor referrals
• Assist with negotiations and selection process of professional vendors
• Attendance at meetings, to go over event details, (i.e. design & décor, vendor duties, time-line of activities, vendor negotiations, etc.)
• Assist with finding & contracting the perfect location
• Assist with creating and the printing of the stationery, marketing collateral (i.e. "Save the Date" notes, invitations, "Welcome Letters", programs, menus, etc.)
• Negotiate group room blocks for you and your guests
• Coordinate and contract transportation for you and your guests
• Create a custom, detailed event time line for vendors and your staff or wedding party
• Assist with menu selection and catering negotiations
• A customized planning schedule to help guide you through the process
• Provide a detailed budget
• Unlimited recommendations and or suggestions via phone or email as needed
• Confirm contracts and timing of events with all vendors
• Welcome Bag Assembly & Delivery
• Rehearsal Coordination
• Rehearsal Dinner Coordination (weddings)
• Ceremony and Reception Coordination (weddings)
• Brunch Coordination (weddings)
• Coordinator on site for rehearsal and event

A la Carte Options
Pricing customized to each client's needs.

CORPORATE EVENTS - Birch Distinctive Events will coordinate, design, manage, and produce events which reflect your company goals and vision by drawing upon our extensive knowledge of the Tech Valley Region and our outstanding array of resources, vendors, and partners. Our job is to create an event that your guests and marketplace will talk about for years to come. We do this by listening to you and by collecting as much information about your company, employees, guests, customers, competitors, and marketplace trends as possible. We work with your staff - or as your staff - to concentrate on every facet, leaving nothing to chance. No detail will be overlooked.

Your corporate event is an investment, not just an expense. Whether it’s a convention or trade show for thousands or an employee appreciation event such as a company picnic, golf outing, team building event, holiday party, award banquet, sales meeting or product launch, Birch Distinctive Events is the right choice for you! We work with you and your staff to plan the perfect event that will add value, convey the right message, and build your company brand. In today's economy, there is no other way to strategically think about event budgets.

It all begins by contacting us for a complimentary consultation. Once we have established an event dossier, secured a budget, and completed an event contract, the rest will be easy for you. You will be assigned a point of contact on our staff, and our team will customize your company event from start to finish. We're committed to providing exactly what need to make your company shine in the limelight of a well-planned, truly distinctive event.

SOCIAL EVENTS - Social gatherings are a time for all to socialize and enjoy themselves. In the midst of all of our busy daily routines, it is quite pleasant and relaxing to be able to gather for a joyous occasion. Birch Distinctive Events recognizes the importance of your time and is determined to make each social event remarkable. Let us capture the essence of celebration. We turn dreams into reality by creating events that last in memory for a lifetime. Whether it’s a birthday, shower, anniversary, retirement, baptism, christening, reunion, holiday, theme party, graduation, gala, fundraising charity event or just an intimate dinner or cocktail party we will create a distinctively unique and memorable event while saving you time, energy and your budget!

WEDDINGS - Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, don’t chance it, don’t stress over it. Allow the professionals at Birch Distinctive Events to take care of everything!

Not long ago, a wedding coordinator was thought of as a luxury, only used by the wealthy. Now a coordinator is essential to the well planned affair. It is no longer "trendy" to engage a coordinator. By being experienced in negotiating contracts with caterers, florists, photographers, and other suppliers, the coordinator saves you valuable time and money. Your wedding coordinator can help you avoid costly mistakes and take advantage of discounts not available to private parties, all while turning your dreams into reality.
The average wedding can take more than two hundred fifty hours just to plan. With today's hectic lifestyles, you may not have time to compare all the options, making sure you get the best deal, and making sure all the details are in place.
Your wedding coordinator is not here to make decisions for you, but to guide and assist you in making informed decisions. Their training, knowledge, and experience will turn your dreams and expectations into reality. They want you to host a beautiful and distinctive event which you can enjoy.
Birch Distinctive Events will save you time and enable you to get the most for your money! How do you know you're hiring the right coordinator? Trust is important in any relationship. You should feel completely comfortable with the coordinator and feel assured that he or she completely understands what your needs are. Your personalities should match.

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Coordinator
10. Saves time – Planning a wedding takes an enormous amount of time. In fact, the average couple spends well over 250 hours planning their special day. A good wedding coordinator will save you time and energy by researching vendors, taking care of the many, many details, and coming up with various creative ideas to make your wedding amazing!
9. Saves money – Weddings can be extremely expensive. However, by hiring a wedding coordinator, couples can save a great deal of money. Because wedding coordinators provide so much business to vendors, they are often able to negotiate discounts for their clients. Wedding coordinators are also well-versed at helping couples set budgets and sticking to them.
8. Saves relationships – Weddings are very stressful. This stress often results in many arguments for couples as well as with family members and friends. Wedding coordinators know how to avoid such problems before they begin as well can act as a buffer when there are conflicts. Wedding coordinators are also able to take on the responsibilities often assigned to loved ones so that everyone is able to enjoy the wedding. Remember, you still want a relationship with your mother well after your wedding!
7. Ensures dreams are made realities – Most have been dreaming of their wedding day their entire life. Wedding coordinators work for the couple and ensure that all desires are met and exceeded!
6. Offers advice – Wedding coordinators have planned countless weddings and know exactly what works and what doesn’t. They are also knowledgeable on wedding etiquette. Furthermore, wedding coordinators are able to recommend competent vendors, based on years of experience.
5. Acts as the “go to person” – The average wedding has at least 22 different vendors. Combine that with the entire wedding party and all of the guests and that is a lot of people with questions and concerns! By hiring a wedding coordinator, couples can simply tell others “talk to the wedding coordinator!”
4. Creates schedules – There are so many events leading up to the big day! Couple that with the many things that happen during the wedding and who can keep track? The wedding coordinator can! Wedding coordinators are well-versed at making detailed itineraries for all involved (including other vendors) and making sure that everything happens on time!
3. Handles crisis – Whether we like it or not, most big events involve crisis. Who really wants to deal with the bakery not delivering the cake on time or the flower girl throwing a tantrum? No one! Wedding coordinators know how to handle all unforeseen circumstances.
2. Orchestrates from rehearsal through the end of reception – Do you want to be responsible for organizing your rehearsal or making sure the bridal party is properly lined up? How about making sure that the guest who had a little too much to drink departs safely? Wedding coordinators can orchestrate every detail from rehearsal through the end of the reception, ensuring everything goes off without a hitch!
1. Minimizes stress and maximizes fun! – Hiring a wedding coordinator ensures that you will have a worry-free and stress-free day, thus, allowing you to enjoy your day like your guests!