Friday, December 29, 2006

I LOVE Florida!


It's 81 degrees right now and the sun is shining and the Gulf breeze is blowing. It is absolutely AMAZING weather here today. I met with Susan & Jim at the florist this morning for the consultation. They're getting married on Sanibel in May. They had just driven down from Cincinatti. Can you imagine going from Ohio to this (see picture)? Needless to say, it is a picture perfect day on the island. There were dozens and dozens of people lining Periwinkle on their bikes. There were people taking in the rays at the pool, people having lunch on the terraces and sidewalk cafes...just gorgeous.
Later this afternoon I'm driving down to Naples for a rehearsal. Erika & Gareth are tying the knot on the beach Sunday evening and then having a huge bash at her mom's house, traditional wedding reception followed by a New Years party. We did have to put a tent up (better safe than sorry), but it looks amazing. Lots of cool lighting and decor. The coolest thing, Gareth, who is a carpenter, built a dancefloor/platform over the entire pool. It is outrageous. I'll be sure to post before and after pictures.
Ok, I want out of the office- enjoy the day gang!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Surprises!


This has been such a great holiday season. I have to tell you about my Christmas because it ROCKED! Christmas morning we woke up to one of my wedding day 2-way radios, "Mom we're awake. Can we come out?" Explanation: last year our kids got up and saw all the stuff Santa brought and we didn't get to see the looks on their faces. So this year, before they went to bed, we gave them a radio. We told them to radio us when they woke up and we'd come get them- not to leave the room! Needless to say, it was hilarious. Even at 7am.
So at Christmas dinner at my sister-n-laws house, she announced she was finally having a baby! It was just the greatest thing to hear. I cried of course. All of my clients who are newlyweds know that I am forever crying- totally water works factory. I honestly didn't think it could get better. I was wrong.
After dinner, we went to our best friends house for a Christmas party. I'm telling everyone the great news about my sister, and one of our closest friends says, "Guess what! I'm pregnant too!" I screamed, and started crying again. They're due just 2 weeks apart. Great night huh? Believe it or not, that wasn't the end of it.
An hour later, my best friend makes a toast to the pregnant friend, and at the end of the toast says, "And I have one more surprise. Follow me out to the dock." We get outside, and our other set of friends (who I set up exactly 2 years ago this week), is on the boat with Reverend Chris. It was a surprise wedding. I immediately broke into tears- again. Actually, by this point I'm completely sobbing.
Ok, so maybe I was a little sad about not getting to plan even a little bit of the wedding. But getting to watch as a guest was priceless.
Happy holidays everyone, and I hope yours are as special as mine.

New Wedding Blogs

Hi all...I know, long time. I owe some pictures! I've decided to post weddings individually on their own blogs. Here's some new ones:
Krista & Chris
Jennifer & Alyn

Monday, December 11, 2006

How'd it get to be December already?

It's been a month and there have been 2 really great weddings! I can't wait to share the pictures from both. Just this weekend was Julie & Phils. What a great couple. I had so much fun planning with them. For their rehearsal we had a tropical elegant dinner, beach front under a tent. The kids had their very own space- and totally took advantage of it. Finally Saturday, after a beautiful church ceremony they had a perfect Christmas themed wedding reception. Priority number 1 for Julie and Phil was the DJ. And boy did we have the perfect DJ! The dancefloor was at max capacity the whole night! It took a huge portion of planning time and a big chunk of the budget to get that DJ- but it was worth it because it was what was most important to the bride and groom. To see the photoshow, click the link on the right.

And last month was Krista & Chris's Vintage Hollywood wedding. It was amazing- by far the most personal ceremony I've witnessed. The Pro pics will be out soon, so I'm going to wait for those before I post too much more about it...something to look forward to for sure.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I forgot my camera

I know! I can't believe it either. My camera is always in my bag. Last night, I attended a wonderful event that theknot.com hosted and I didn't get a single photo. I did walk away with a new friend; a fellow wedding planner who rocks (Hi Shannon!), a great coffee mug (which I am using this very moment), and some inspiration (very cool draping at this event).

Alright, I need to go finish up the timeline for Krista's wedding next week, and confirm with the caterer, and give a heads up to the venue coordinator, and order the flowers, and send out a contract, and schedule 3 appointments, and ...it's going to be a busy day!

Ciao for now!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Hot Trends...



This was one serious cake fight! By the time they were done, half the wedding party was covered. Just hilarious.

So as you can imagine, I get to see what so many brides are planning for their weddings. I do keep in touch with many wedding and event planners across the country so that I can keep current on what neat things are going on around the rest of the U.S. These are things you'll see in the late winter and spring weddings.


The 3-part wedding reception: 1.Cocktail Hour 2.Dinner & Dancing 3.The afterparty

Two wedding dresses: One for the ceremony & one for the reception

Coffee bars, complete with an array of flavored coffee syrups, chocolate dipped spoons, and flavored sugar cubes

Strapless dresses are still on top

A band and a DJ

Luxury or custom Linens

Big wedding cakes; The bigger, the better

Low long centerpieces on long tables

Candy buffets are still huge

The new drink- Kir Royal

Late evening ceremonies followed by cocktail and dessert receptions

Out of the ordinary rentals such as popcorn carts, photo booths, and cotton candy machines

Friday, November 03, 2006

Silly wedding planner drives bride WILD


Just kidding! This is me and Julie on Halloween. I had stopped by to drop off her spare invitations and she was dressed to hand out candy. She insisted that I have a costume too, at least for the photo. She also had made cute little bags of candy for my kids, which was so sweet! Thank you Julie :)

Last night I had what I think will be my last consultation for the spring 2007 wedding season! The fact that we actually got through the consultation is amazing. We spoke a couple weeks back about her wedding at the new Ritz Beach house, and totally hit it off. Well, between that initial call and last night, just about every attempt to connect backfired. It was awful! Our 1st phone scheduled consultation never happened because of email tag, a follow up email got stuck in the draft file (big oops, and I'll never use it again if I can help it). For the second scheduled consult, I read the time wrong and called 6 hours late. Totally thinking by the way that I was on time. And when we finally did connect...my phone died mid-conversation. Anyway, we laughed something fierce about it all, and in the end- there's a new Weddings bride. Welcome Donna!

Side note, I said earlier that I think Donna took the last spring wedding date. Please call to inquire, because dates do change!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Voicemail greeting of the year

Today is a wedding day and I was about to call my bride to give her a warm welcome to her wedding day when I remembered this. I forgot to blog about it several months ago, and its just too good to pass up. On the morning of one of my weddings, I called the bride just to check in on her before I went to the ceremony venue to prepare. I did not make this up! Her voicemail greeting said:
Quote:
"Today is my wedding day. I am the bride. I want to enjoy today and I do not want to take any more stupid phone calls with stupid questions that are going to stress me out. So don't leave me a message and don't expect a return phone call. Call my wedding planner. Kelly knows eveything. She can answer all questions because she knows all the answers. Again- don't call me. Call Kelly the wedding planner. Her number is 555-5555. Or you can call ####### (groom), because he went out drinking all night and deserves it."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dresses!

The wedding dress. It is what makes a bride a bride. And I'll be darned if I don't cry at the sight of nearly every single one of my clients in hers. It just makes me so happy, because I know what they're feeling. It's one of the best feelings in the world. Everything you've been planning for is finally here. You look stunning, feel beautiful, and you're about to get married to the most amazing guy on earth.
With that said...here is what my next few brides are wearing! Actually, 2 of them are Watters dresses and I couldn't get a photo that worked in the photoshow, so to see them go to the Watters website a,Styles 1088b and 7086b.


Saturday is the 1st wedding of the season! I'm so excited. Sad too of course, because I really enjoyed planning this wedding. The bride & groom actually live here locally, which is not typical. It was fun to be able to actually meet with her a few times over the last 5 months. And yes- we put this wedding together in just 5 months. It worked out well though, we stuck to the same task list, and just made quick decisions and a few compromises.
It felt like it was the longest summer. I think maybe because there were no hurricanes this year. Thank goodness we're just about over that hump.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wedding Planner in the making



I came across these pictures earlier and laughed so hard. Maddy , who was 6 at the time (8 next week), decided we needed placecards for a casual family dinner one night. It was so cute.
She also required us to have a ticket to actually sit.

Rockin Organists, Mylin's Cd, & the whole tour.

Well, somehow, no thanks to a certain airline way at the top of the alphabet, I made it home. L.A. was fun, but no way could I go back to living there. I love the laid back style of Florida. Poofy hair weather and all. I swear it was 500% humid today.

I got a call from a client today. Her 1st words when I answered were, "That organist ROCKS!" I swear I nearly fell off my chair laughing.
Another client sent me an email that she and groom met with the cake baker, and picked out a mad hatter cake! I'm really excited to see it. The baker is so talented and I'm sure it will be an awesome display. I'll be sure to post a photo after the wedding. Less than a month away! Hatter? Is that right? Or is it hadder? Who cares. You know what I mean.

Before I forget, I met with an old friend of mine while visiting California. Actually she was my 1st roomate. Oh my gosh we had so much fun. We lived in Greenich Village in the littlest dorm-like room ever. We made Ramen Noodles in the sink. We went clubbing at Limelight 3 to 4 nights a week. And we frequently snuck into the tv room to catch Adam Sandler on SNL. Those were the days....Anyhoo, she just released a new cd, check it out if you are looking for something new. Plus she's my friend and I want her cd to go quadruple platinum. I think that would be pretty cool for her. You can get to her site http://www.mylinmusic.com by clicking the title above.

Last week I had the opportunity to get a private tour of Pink Shell Resort on Ft Myers beach. I was shocked. Here's why. I had been to this resort several times. In fact, I had been on 2 site tours prior to this one. Huge difference this time because the catering director showed me everything, a complete tour of the property. Apparently I got the "short" version previously. After eating at one of their restaurants, spending an afternoon at their spa, seeing 4 of the different room types, all the ceremony and reception sites, and then experiencing a mock wedding and reception, I have a completely different take on the place. Here's what I've learned- and want to share with all brides looking for their wedding locations: Schedule your site visit appointments for a time when the catering/sales director has the most time to spend with you. Don't take a "I can fit you in between" appointment. Tell her/him you want a complete tour of everything. AND if at all possible, eat at the venue & peek (don't crash) in on a wedding. You might be pleasantly surprised, as I was.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My first wedding baby!


I got one of the happiest emails ever the other night. My first wedding baby arrived this week! Mandy & Andy are the proud parents of cutie pie, 6lb9oz Aiden. He just looks so beautiful and I'm thrilled that he's here! Andy is still in Iraq but got to listen in on Aidens arrival by phone. It seems like just yesterday Andy cut into his grooms cake to find out he was going to be having a little boy (see picture). We surprised Andy with the cake and told him the color of the middle icing would reveal the sex of the baby! Hands down, the most exciting cake cutting ever.

I kid you not, I was in the most amazing wedding dress store ever today. Being a wedding planner you know I see my fair share of dresses. These were unlike anything I have ever seen and beyond stunning. Check it out www.LesHabitudes.com

My dear husband and Beckys husband had flowers sent to our hotel room for our arrival. How sweet are they?

Los Angeles, land of the cool.

Can't write much because I am so tired, but, Ellen was great. We got to see Matt Perry and Kenny Chesney. The show will air on Monday. I have a feeling all you brides may put a "no wedding planners on the dance floor" rule into effect after seeing the show. But no worries, I don't dance at weddings. Learned my lesson after I was forced into a chicken dance once...on video. I'll never live it down.
I also stopped by the Monique Lhuillier (sp?) off Rodeo today. Stunning dresses. I'll take 1 of each.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

CRAZY wedding story

Here is one of the craziest wedding stories I have ever heard- and somehow, I was slightly, yet indirectly involved. On the day of a recent wedding on which I was providing partial services (meaning I didn't recommend and book all the vendors or locations), I rcvd a call from the limo driver, asking if it was okay if he was a half hour late. I quickly said "no, that would not be okay, I confirmed all the times and locations twice in the last week, and nothing can be changed at this point. A delay would be breaking the contract as it affects the timing of the entire wedding." His response, "I have to pick up another wedding party in Lehigh (2 cities away), bring them to their hotel, nearly in Sanibel (way far south -I'd say a city and a half), and then I'll come get yours (again, a city and a half). I'm going to go get them now (it's 1pm). My clients were to be picked up at 2pm. What happened after that is nothing you want to hear about, and nothing any bride needs to experience. One of those conversations that wedding planners have all the time for our clients; and quite frankly, they aren't pretty. By the time I was done, there was another limo on the way to get my wedding party. No way was my bride going to wait.
Brings me to last night. I attended a mock wedding at a great resort on Ft Myers Beach. Tell ya all about it on another post. Anyhoo- I'm seated next to the florist, who says, "Did you hear about my wedding a few weeks ago?" So he begins to tell me that the limo driver pulls up to the house, doesn't get out of the car, doesn't open doors, instead honks the horn. "WHAT!?!" is my reaction. That right there was enough to make my blood boil. The limo is filthy and reeks of smoke. The brother of the bride is following the limo and notices that its all over the road. The driver is drunk! So the brother does everything he can to get the guy to pull over, and eventually he does. Of course, they are at the busiest intersection in Ft Myers. The limo driver gets out of the car and throws all the luggage into the street! Then he tries to strangle the brother. So the bride takes off down the block, in her wedding dress, to ABC liquor to call the police. She comes back to find that now the driver has a knife to her brother. The police are pulling up, and so the driver takes off in the limo. Yep, police chase. Eventually they got him, not sure how. But they had to cuff him to a light pole in the median.
So I ask what limo co. it was. Don't you know it was the limo driver (also the company owner) who called me and was supposed to be picking up my clients that very same day?
Never ever have I been so happy that a vendor called and made me whip out the "don't you even think about messing with me" It's so rare that I have to do it as strongly as I did in this instance, but boy- this proves that there are times that it is absolutely necessary.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What the brides are up to

One of my clients emailed me the other day and said that she would love to hear more about what my other clients are planning. Turns out, she wasn't the only one. I got a couple more emails stating the same. Complete opposite of what I thought would be the case. So with that said, I'm going to share more! No worries everyone, I'll never mention who's who. What's really great is that I have nothing but awesome brides with amazing weddings in the works- and each one is completely different. But for the 1st time ever- I don't have a single "beach themed" wedding anytime in the near future. Although, several of them will take place at the beach.
Ok, so my next post will be about one of the weddings we're in the midst of. Right now though, I need to go find some cool cake plates for Karyns dessert buffet.
Thanks everyone for sending the comments and emails- I read them all, and it makes me so happy to know you like this blog!
Pictures....ummmmm....I'll come back with one later. Nothing fun at the moment.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Ok, I can't figure out why, but the other image didn't come thru...so today is a 2 post day.
Obviously I had to smudge out some names.

31 and still smiling


That's right! Today is my 31st birthday. So far, really good. One bride sang happy birthday to me (awwww)...just before she asked me to find a way to make her photography budget higher, again. "JULES!"
My wonderful wonderful friends have been so great to me. I got e-cards, and red envelope boxes, and plane tickets...I am so blessed. On top of all that, I am so excited to say- I am almost done with my to do list and its not even 4pm! Woohoo!

Wedding planning advice:
Today I also had a client move their event date so they could get the amazing band that they wanted. Thankfully I still had the date open. Changing your wedding date is not the worst thing in the world. The reason I say this is because without a doubt, there's going to be something about your wedding that is a number one priority. Chances are- it isn't the date. So why base all of your plans on that?
Let's say that you pick a date, have a great location chosen, and then you get to the band. The band means everything to you. And the one you just have to have isn't available on the date you chose. However, they are available the night before or 6 weeks later. Here's a great way to avoid this big snag: Before you do anything, make a priority list. Make sure you cover everything- band, location(s), food, guest list, photographer...everything (Don't think this is a complete list by the way, it's not even half a priority list). After you've prioritized, set your budget, detail your budget, and start planning. 1st priority first.

Pictures:
That's me today with my red envelope box. I'll tell you what's in it tomorrow. I'm going to save it for opening later. The other photo is the cover of the wedding program for a wedding we're doing in a couple months. We've going retro, and I think it just turned out so cute. It's inspired by a lobby card from the 1965 movie Forever Darling starring Lucy & Desi. This is just the 1st draft...still trying to decide whether to stick with the cartoon faces or photoshop in real photos. What do you think?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Down dog, plank, something or other


I just got back from my first yoga class. Here's what I have learned. I am weak, anything but flexible, and really great at the part where you just relax. Oh, and I can stand along time in that one position where you look like superman trying to take off. I'll go back again next week. The instructor seems to think that it will all start to make sense to me and the other "new people" eventually. We'll see about that.
Earlier today I met one of my clients at a florist for a 1st consultation. She's getting married around Christmas, so rather than fight the season- we're going to roll with it. We were practically jumping up and down at the church yesterday when we found out that the 2 50' Christmas trees would be up in time for her wedding. Totally made the day. Now we just have to decide whether to go wedding white at the reception or stay with the red. The florist did a wonderful thing and offered to meet us at the reception venue to plan the rest of the florals.
In the meantime I gave her several "picture" books to see what peaks her interest. I've managed to pull together quite the wedding library over the years; always wanting to learn more. Some of my recent favorites are by Preston Bailey, Martha Stewart, and Karen Bussen. Very cool stuff. Oooh- I do like the InStyle Weddings book too.
I highly recommend to all brides to take the time and go through the wedding books for ideas. Also, hit up your wedding planners for old magazines to browse through. Mine go back at least 4 years, and although some things are completely overdone- there's the chance that you might come across something that strikes you as perfect for your wedding.
Ok, I have like 10,000 emails to reply to. Well, that's a slight exaggeration. But there are many many.
Oh! Pictures! me and the superman pose. I forget the real name. Note that I believe my leg is supposed to be in line with my back. Oh, and I got a pedicure yesterday between meetings.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I took a day off!



So rarely does it happen. But today, I did not work at all on weddings. That doesn't mean I didn't think about them though. That is completely impossible. However, I locked myself out of the office. I did not check emails. I did not answer the phone. After doing chores about the house (yuck), I did flip through a few wedding magazines. I find that fun though, so its not work.
We also went to Denise & Kennys for a cookout. A great time as usual. We have a rather social circle of friends. It was so nice to come home to a clean house.
Oh! Let me warn you that I am a big dork in the eyes of many and just love Justin Timberlake. So I was thrilled to watch him on Ellen this morning as we (Kelly had the day off too and helped) put away 14 loads of laundry. Yep I was dancing the whole time. "I'm bringing sexy back, them other boys don't know how to act" I'm still singin it.

At the cookout I invented a new drink. Here's the recipe:
Some ice
Some Godiva Liquor
Some Malibu Rum
Some Milk
Don't ask me how much of each- 'cause I just don't know.
Marks back from Hawaii! Gotta go see how it went!
Pictures: Again- random. 1st is at Kennys surprise 45th birthday. Casino night...best fun I ever had at a party. 2nd- Sanibel Island. How lucky am I to work here!!!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I am so tired



Really really tired. Could be because its 10:30pm and I am running on a half cup of coffee, one fajita, and about 14 of the yummy mint dibs. Those dibs are addicting.
Today I had clients come in today from Canada. I wish the weather was better for them. It was capital U ugly today. Anyway, I was so happy to get to meet them and their wedding is going to be amazing. No matter what chairs we use... <> I hope she made it to her hair trial because we were seriously running late.
I had my 1st ever comment posted. Did anyone notice? Thanks Heather. Your blog is great too. Yesterday I did what I call "Tour de Blog". I went to every blog that I knew of, read at least 3 entries, and posted a comment. It was a fun lunch break and I found that there are some absolutely hilarious people in this world.
PICTURES: I'm pretty sure that is a Snook Kelly is holding. I mentioned that in a post yesterday, and not everyone knows that a Snook is a fish. I am in so much trouble if that's a Redfish. The other picture I just picked randomly. It's a scan of some of our chritsmas tree ornaments. Last year we decorated our tree with polaroid pictures. Anyone who came to our house took a polaroid and hung it on the tree. It was the best tree ever. Those pictures are Kelesy & me, Clint, Kelly, and Libby & Eric.
For those who don't know and who are incredibly confused: My husbands name is also Kelly. And no, we didn't name our kids Kelly. That joke was funny for like a week.

Friday, September 01, 2006

There are nice people

Today I am adding a second post because I want to say thank you to some really nice people for just being nice.
To the girls who have offered to help our friend in need...how thoughtful of you (you know who you are).
To the awesome gal at Cultural Intrigue who said the nice thing she said...thank you, that made my day.
To Kenny who got plans rolling for a Labor Day cookout, thank you.
To my husband (who reminded me that today was the opening day of Snook season...that's great honey) who moved the garbage cans from behind my minivan.

Traveling the globe


Or at least the US. So I'm in my office and I'm looking at the calendar and see all the cool places I'm going to in the next few weeks. I am so excited! I was supposed to go to Ft. Lauderdale Thursday, but that stupid storm Ernesto had the event cancelled. Later this month I am headed out to Ft Myers beach to attend a mock wedding at the Pink Shell Resort. Okay, so ft Myers beach is only a 25 minute drive- it's still an island, which makes it a getaway. It sounds like they're going all out for this "unveiling", so I can't wait. It might have something to do with the bridal spa package I get to test out. Hee Hee. Let's see if they can compare to the Wynn Las Vegas "get to know us" I attended last spring. That was the best ever.
Later this month I'm going to Los Angeles. How lucky am I to score tickets to the Ellen show? I'll let you know when it's on so you can see me dancing in the audience. I commented on Ellens blog this morning. Ellen, you are invited to momment on mine too.
After LA, I head up to Williamsburg to help Shayna (coolest wedding planner in Williamsburg by the way) with her Knot.com market party. Sure to be the event of the year since she planned it. I just talked to her 15 minutes ago. She's currently sitting under Stupid Storm Ernesto with no power. Go figure. I think Isis (coolest planner in Cherry Hill) is going to be there too.
Finally, I head up to Baltimore to meet up with all the who's who in wedding planners. Yep, we all know each other. The cool ones anyway. Just kidding. I know all you CCers are laughing right now.
THE PICTURE: That's a bunch of us wedding planners (Ccers) at the Wynn Las Vegas being silly.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A day in my life


Did you ever wonder what a wedding planner does all day? Probably not. Not all wedding planners work the same way, by my typical day is run by a to do list (photo above). I start with a list usually 10 items long and add on as things come to mind, calls come in, etc. Yesterday I started at 5am. I didn't intend to start that early, but I woke up with tasks weighing on my mind, so I decided to tackle them right away. It was an unbelievably busy day. Tropical Storm Ernesto was a big influence. I was trying to get a day ahead if possible...just in case. First thing you'll notice is that not everything was completed (and I worked until 7:30 last night). Somethings took much longer than expected. For instance, I called Julie to make sure she sent in her deposit for the church. It ended up being an hour long call and we completely re-worked her budget. I had to go to 3 stores to find the perfect paper that matched Karyns invitation (see yesterdays blog) for a map that we decided to add. And getting my linen samples for Kristas wedding ended up being a 10 minute phone call followed by 2 faxes. So I went back at my email sent file and I sent 23 emails yesterday. I checked my call log; I made 11 calls from my office and 12 from my cell phone- all work. I sent 4 faxes, but one was registration for a yoga class that I'm taking with my friend Becky. I am so excited for that to start. I've never taken Yoga and I am the least flexible person in the entire world. So we'll see how it goes. I did take an hour and a half to make dinner and spend some time with my crazy kids. They are just so funny sometimes.
Oh, and I did have 2 cups of coffee, a salad, some bbq ribs (leftovers), a Perrier, I listened to Breaking Laces, Michael Buble, and Black Eyed Peas. I also had the weather channel on in the background the entire day, except for an hour of the today show and Ellen.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Order enough invitations!


It happened today. It wasn't my brides fault, she ordered plenty to begin with, but moms decided that there were more people who absolutley must get invited.
Always order more invitations than you think you need. At least 25. Why? Because chances are that you will forget someone, a few will get lost, a few will get ruined, and your moms will come up with at least 10 more people you have to invite. Adding 25 to 50 invitations on to your order should only slightly increase your costs. Doing another order entirely, after the fact- will cost you almost as much as your orginal order.
So that you can see the difference:
Original order (100): $185
Original order plus "just in case 50": $281
Original 100, and then new order of 50: $333
That's a $52 difference (or 8 pina colada's on your honeymoon).

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Chef Julio got married!

Yesterday was Chef Julios wedding! It was a great wedding despite the stormy weather. Fortunately, a few weeks before the wedding we moved the ceremony from an outdoor location to an indoor one with a view. For Jen & Julios wedding, they were both hands on through all the planning. Jen literally made hundreds of tissue flowers to decorate the ceremony & reception with (she got the instructions from the Martha Stewart weddings magazine); Julio designed the wedding cake, and they both came in to the office to pick out their invitations together and went to meet with DJ together.
The ceremony was beautiful. I cried as usual. The bride wrote the ceremony herself and it included a "new family is born" piece as Jen has a daughter from a previous relationship. Jen also chose to stand on the right side, so that she could see her mom during the ceremony. I thought this was very sweet and unexpected twist on tradition. The reception was a huge party. DJ Ron had everyone on the dancefloor nonstop. They absolutely had a crowd that loved to dance. Especially the officiant- he went crazy on the dancefloor. Yep, he did the centipede, the running man, and the cabbage patch.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A little too much music.

Quick note: Turn the volume off on the photoshows below if the music is driving you insane. I have to figure out how to run them without sound!
More blogging to come today!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

Whew; It is HOT!!! Really truly, it is insanely hot right now. No wonder nobodys getting married outdoors!
This weekend I hosted a birthday dinner party for my best friend Becky. Dinner for 12 is much more work than I had anticpated. But, leave it to the wedding planner to go all out. I couldn't just have the meal catered- it had to look good too. I got to use one of the hot new color combinations, tiffany blue & chocolate. I thought it came together well. I wanted all the guests to feel great too. So I made them all wear cocktail attire. The husbands weren't particualrly thrilled, but it was so much fun to have everyone dressed up. It was a real blast, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves, the endless bottles of great wine, and six course meal!
The chef, Julio, is actually a groom to be. His wedding is Saturday, and he's really excited about the event. As am I of course. Pictures below!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Running a little behind

I know, I know. It's been a very long time. No excuses other than I've been rather busy planning a dozen weddings and sending my kiddies off to school. Wahoo! I also managed to move and reorganize the WBS storage unit. I had no idea how much wedding decor I had accumulated over the years. It took me 2 entire days to move and reorganize. Now it is all nice and neat and the next time I need a 3x10 hurricane- I'll know that I have 12, but I need 9 pillar candles. Everything is organized in a detailed list (3 pages worth) and a photo of each item. Let's see if I can keep it that way through the fall season though! A girl can dream.

Hopefully you're all enjoying a nice end of summer. We survived another Hurricane Charlie anniversary (wonderful thing in these parts). Last weekend I held my 2nd Wedding Anthology. It's a small wedding showcase I started last year. I did an even smaller one this year; basically to prepare for a really big one in the late winter. I'm posting a link to some of the wedding ideas champagne reception photos. Can you believe I actually have all this stuff in my inventory? I had a difficult time deciding how to decorate the tables. Limiting it to these few was an awful task!
At the Anthology I focused on invitations. A big trend right now is the pocketfold invitations. They are really neat packages aren't they? A couple things to consider about the. They are pricey. Pricey to purchase, pricey to mail, pricey to print. You're best off going to a custom designer if you really like these invitations. Printing them yourself, you'll most likely end up spending just as much time and money on bad prints; smeared ink, off center margins- you name it. To mail these suckers is a whole new ballgame. The odd size and number of inserts you have, the heavier the paper, the higher the cost. I've yet to get one out for 63 cents.
  • Consider perhaps sending a beautiful traditional invitation and then, once you get the "yes " RSVP's send those folks the fancy expensive pocketfold with all the inserts. You could literally save half the costs!

  • Sunday, July 30, 2006




    Sorry its been so long everyone. I've moved! My previous blog host wasn't as user friendly as I had hoped. So let's try this again!
    The spring/summer wedding season is over down here in Florida. It's pretty darn hot in these parts and the rain can be ferocious at times.
    My last event this season was a vow renewal and anniversary weekend. I miss my clients terribly. I truly had such a wonderful time planning with them. And then when it came time for their events- I fell in love with their family and friends too. They truly have the best people in their lives. I felt so honored to be a part of their 40th anniversary. The weekend was full of events which was called "Family, Friends, and Forty Years". My clients and their guests played golf, shopped, fished, and toured all over Naples. And that was just the 1st half day! After a welcome reception that evening, my clients and their guests jumped aboard their chartered trolleys for a narrated tour (narrated by my clients!) of some of the must see sights of Naples and ended their day with a beautiful sunset cruise. The next day they had an open house, and then everyone paraded down the block to the beach for their vow renewal. It was such a sight. A few hours after the ceremony it was time for cocktails, dinner, and dancing. Boy did they dance! The band (The Landsharks, absolutely amazing- one of the best ever!), had everyone out of their seats nearly the entire evening. Yep, we had to extend an hour because the party was way too hot to shut down! The next morning there was a farewell brunch at their home.
    Photos: My favorite EVER vow renewal clients! The flowers up there- believe it or not we used them for 3 different events- and that's the last one! True sign of a fantastic florist! I used them at the welcome reception on Friday, the cocktail hour before the dinner Saturday, and finally at the farewell brunch on Sunday. And the last photo is the tail end of the parade to the beach (1 block walk from their new home).
    I had a really difficult time saying goodbye to these clients. I always do, but these clients were different. It was an experience not like one I've had before. I balled all the way home. I've cried a few times since then too. Thanks Gary & Janet... it was such a pleasure.

    Friday, June 16, 2006

    Goodness! I can't believe I haven't made an entry since Memorial Day! It really is amazing how time flies by; whether its because you're having fun, or working so much that you don't notice the sun coming up and going back down again.
    When it comes to your wedding, time is not always on your side. So being prepared is crucial. What's the best way to manage your time and everything else for your wedding day? (Besides having a wedding planner of course) Create a timeline. Start with 1 hour increments and fill in the blanks. Ceremony start time, reception end time, limo pick up time, when the photographer is arriving, your hair appointment, etc. As you start filling in the blanks you'll be able to break it into a more detailed timeline like the one above. On your timeline, make columns so you can put notes in, contact info, and be sure to leave space to add things that you "almost forgot". Once your timeline is complete, you'll have a really great document to keep you calm and cool when you think everything is going wrong. You'll know exactly who is where and when and what they're doing. Most importantly, make your schedule reasonable. You can't get your hair done at 3pm and expect to be walking down the aisle 20 minutes later. be forwarned, it takes time to build a good timeline. My wedding timelines are usually 3 to 4 pages long, have every wedding detail noted, all vendors contact information, and take me 4 to 6 hours to create.
    Todays tip: Buy bins with lids to fill as you're planning your wedding. One for the reception, one for the ceremony, one for the rehearsal dinner, etc. As you purchase items, put them in the box and keep an inventory sheet on top. That way when wedding day comes you won't have to sort through everything. You can deliver each box to the appropriate location and not worry that something is missing!
    Todays Link: http://www.floridacasinonights.com/ These people know how to turn a rehearsal dinner into a PARTY! I finally got to attend one of their events as a guest and I was totally shocked by how great a time I had. I'm not a poker playing kind of gal- but for some reason when there's no real cash to lose, it is just so much fun!

    Monday, May 29, 2006


    Thank you to all the men & women who have served our country. Where we we be without you? Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I had the great honor of planning Mandi & Andy's destination wedding, which took place earlier this month. It was without a doubt the most emotional wedding weekend I've ever been a part of. The groom is currently serving in the Army, and as I write this entry, he's back in Baghdad. We didn't know when Andy would actually arrive for the wedding until the day before he got here. His arrival was the most touching moment I've ever witnessed (look back a few posts). Many of the family members from both sides of the families also served in the armed forces.
    For the rehearsal dinner, we planned it as a welcome home soldier party. We decked the place out in Red, White, and Blue. The brides mom also added "support our troops" yellow ribbons, and each guest wore a yellow lapel ribbon. The room looked great and was the complete opposite of the pink and crystal themed wedding the next day.
    My tip of the day: Don't be afraid to go out and do something totally different for your rehearsal dinner. Host a casino party (these are SO much fun), have a luau, have a dessert only party, have a tailgate party, host a wine tasting... the possibilities are endless!
    Todays picture: A snapshot of the Welcome home party decor. Sometimes piling it on is great!
    Todays link: Here's a website I found if you would like to send the troops a message.
    http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/americasupportsyou/Message.aspx?SectionID=5

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Usually the first item on a to-do list when planning a wedding is the budget. Having a budget from the get go will enable you to put money in categories that are a priority to you, ensures that you're calling on vendors and venues that are right for your wedding (high quality, reputable, and in your budgeted price range) , and that you're going to have enough money at the end (2 weeks prior to the wedding) to pay for them all. So what's the 1st thing brides & grooms usually cut? Videography. What's my 1st response to this, "I suggest we hold off on removing that category for now". Here's why:
    Out of all my weddings, the couples who do get videography, tell me it is the one thing that they are most glad they did. Why? They didn't get to see everyone "oohh and aaahh" at the 1st site of the reception. " The whole thing was a blur, it was over so quickly"
    Out of all my weddings, the couples who did NOT get videography, tell me it is the one thing that they wish they did. " I wish I could have seen my nephew walk down the aisle, he was so excited" "I heard my 90 year old Aunt Dottie was dancing to Eminem, I wish I could have seen that" "I wish I could hear my best mans speech one more time"
    A professional wedding video is not the same as cousin Joe's. That is unless cousin Joe has 2 cameras, a wireless lapel mcrophone, capability and 40+ hours to edit 12 hours of video down to 2, and add your favorite music, and won't mind working through your entire wedding ceremony and reception rather than enjoying it. Oh, and you'll be sure to forgive him for missing your 1st dance while he got a drink at the bar.
    Tip: provide your videographer with everything they need to provide you with an awesome document of your big day BEFORE the wedding. This includes your song choices, your invitation, the wedding day timeline & floorplans, photgraphers name, and details/notes sheets.
    Todays photo: This is the cover of Bonita Living. It's the annual wedding issue of a regional magazine here in SWFL. Many regional magazines and publications do wedding issues in May & June. They can be a great resource, so check your local newstands. Weddings by Socialites was featured in this issue (click to read: www.esocialites.com/Press.html )!
    Todays links: www.AMCvideo.com See what wedding videography is these days. Also growing in popularity, wedding cinematography www.lifestoriesny.com

    Saturday, May 20, 2006


    It's been a few days! I had a mid-week wedding and it made for a weird schedule. It was such a beautiful wedding though.
    I received a wedding invitation today. It was obviously a do it yourself invitation gone terribly wrong. The ink had smeared, there were typos, and well, it didn't make me very excited about the wedding. Please keep in mind that DIY invitations can be amazing. A couple tips:
    Invest the time and money into to them to be sure that you are giving the impression that you want to be received
    Make sure you cover all your bases (who, what, when, where)
    Have clean fingers when assembling
    Think outside of the box
    Customize and personalize
    The most amazing invitation I ever received was an actual flip flop with little cards (had all the wedding info) tied on with raffia. The response card was a postcard from the wedding location. The flip flop came to my mailbox in shrink wrap! It was the neatest invitation, and I can't wait to go to the wedding.
    So today I have spent some time cleaning my office. Not enough time, but enough to share the above picture with you. That's the pretty part of the office. Notice there isn't a desk in view and you can't see inside the closet. There is good reason for that.
    I also spent some time chatting with some other wedding planners across the country. It's amazing the differences in weddings between here and Philadelphia, Denver, and Williamsburg. If anyone plans on getting married in one of those cities, feel free to send me a message- I know a great wedding planner or 2...
    Okay, I don't have too much to say today. So ciao for now.
    Todays link: http://www.inviteyouto.cceasy.com/ Great invitations!

    Sunday, May 14, 2006


    To all the moms out there, I hope you've had a wonderful Mothers Day. I spent the day with my family and friends...another beautiful Florida spring day.
    Today the mother and father of the bride for the next wedding arrived into town. Not too much hoopla surrounding their arrival. However, this past Monday, when the bride saw her groom for the 1st time in 5 months, and he finally had the opportunity to formally propose, it was a moment like nothing I have ever experienced. The groom has been serving our country in Baghdad all year. The below link (cut and paste!) will remind you of why we have weddings, why we marry, why we celebrate love.
    Special thanks to Photographer Gigi Hamlett for providing the incredible photos (http://www.g2wed.com/)

    Link: www.esocialites.com/LenttzPiazza.html
    Todays Picture: That's me!
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    Sharing is encouraged.

    101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

    From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons