Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

A Truly Meaningful Wedding – My Friends Art & Lana

Art & Lana

What can I say about them? They are perfectly matched for each other. This proving that it’s never too late to find true love. They did! And now they’re hitched, as of July 19th 2008. Congratulations my dear friends. Art being one of the people I’ve known the longest in the biz and Lana is part of our girls night group. The best friends a girl can have.

I was so lucky to be included as a guest at this intimate celebration. And of course I had to offer a bit of help. I know that my good friend Susie Weiss with Wonderful Weddings truly would have loved to help and to be there to see this couple get married. After all, Susie helped them get together. Unfortunately, Susie and Jeffrey already had a wedding that day at the lovely Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. So, I did what I could to help make sure things were organized and was even smart enough to bring along some extra help in my talented associate, Sally Jarvis with Just Marry! With her there, I was able to relax and have fun at Art & Lana’s wedding.

They really made it their wedding. You could say that they put the Art & Lana stamp on it. Here are just a few of the special touches they chose to incorporate into their special day:

Keeping their event casual and intimate. Sun dresses for the ladies and guys in pants and casual tropical shirts. Not a suit to be found. And they only included their family and close friends. Which made it a truly love filled evening. Everybody celebrating Art & Lana and their marriage to each other.

Seeing each other before the ceremony to do some romantic pictures. This always helps to take some of the tension of the wedding day away.

Having the cocktail hour before the ceremony and having a specialty cocktail. A Mojito none the less. The perfect Florida cocktail for a hot day. Refreshing.

Including their dogs, Smitty and Nick in their ceremony and giving them lovely floral decor for their collars.

Including their grand-daughter and niece in the ceremony. The processional was beautiful with the girls and then Art & Lana being walked by the pups.

Writing their own vows. Now, I was already crying from seeing them off down the aisle, but all of us girls really turned on the water works when they read their personally written vows. It was so obvious to all of us how much they love and adore each other. This is one couple that will certainly stand the test of time. Precious.

The homemade limoncello that Art had been cultivating since December. It was included as a shot with the melon and prosciutto.

The surprise from Susie. She had hired the beautiful antique Rolls Royce owned by Larry Gerry for the departure. And they left to sparklers of course. Always the best pictures with those.

Here are some of the gorgeous photos shot by Art’s talented photography team,

Here’s some of our girls night group. Those of us who were able to attend. We missed you Bonnie, Faye & Jennifer. Pictured below from left to right are Susan Southerland from Just Marry!, myself, Janine Boylan from the Grand Bohemian Orlando Hotel, Lisa New with BBJ Linen, Stephanie Rounds of nu visions in photography, Lana and Lisa Konecny from E Events.

The happy couple!

Here’s some of Lana’s beautiful decor. You can visit her at Fairbanks Florist.

Such a silly couple

The vendors that assisted Art & Lana with their beautiful wedding were,

Ceremony & Reception site, Casa Feliz located in Winter Park

Family vacation rentals, Villas by Christi

Hair & Makeup, Kari Larsen with About Face

Bride’s Jewelry, Sandi Loychik

Officiant, Judge Rom Powell

Decor, Fairbanks Florist

Photography, Art Faulkner Photography courtesy of Neal Sands

Catering, Arthur’s Catering

Ceremony Music, J.R. Krisanda

Reception Music, Danny with Power Entertainment

Transportation, Larry Gerry with Classic Rolls Royce

Honeymoon Location, Grand Bohemian Orlando by Janine Boylan

August 10, 2008 Posted by | About Face, animals, Art Faulkner, blog, Bonnie Garfield, Casa Feliz, Classic Rolls Royce, Deb Kettler, Decor, E Events, event venue, Fairbanks Florist, Faye Novick, Food and Beverage, girls night group, Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Grande Lakes, groom, J.R. Krisanda, Janine Boylan, Jeffrey Stoner, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Judge Rom Powell, July, Just Marry!, Kari Larsen, Lana Pelham, Larry Gerry, Lisa Konecny, Lisa New, Live Entertainment, Michele Butler, Neal Sands, nu visions in photography, Off premise catering location, Orlando wedding planner, Pelham & Faulkner, pet, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, refreshing beverage, rehearsal dinner location, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Sally Jarvis, Scott Mifsud, sparklers, special touches, Special Touches by Deb, Stephanie Rounds, Susan Southerland, Susie Weiss, vendor, vows, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding industry, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception, Wonderful Weddings | 2 Comments

Just Marry! Vendor Spotlight on Bonnie Garfield with the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

My newest spotlight is focused on one of my dearest friends in the industry, Bonnie Garfield. Bonnie is with the beautiful Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. Truly one of my favorite locations in the city for a wedding and so very beautiful! I invite you to learn a bit about Bonnie Garfield and see some of the amazing weddings that Just Marry! has done at the property through the years.

Here’s a picture of Bonnie,

How did you get started?

After 4 years of working for a doctor out of college, I realized this field was not for me. I answered an ad for an Executive Secretary for the Director of Catering at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge Ma. She really did not want to hire me as I was “over-qualified” to be a secretary but I begged her..the rest is history.

Where do you get your inspiration?

From the many friends in this industry that have guided me, mentored, and stood by me in the good times and bad..and still do. You all know I adore you.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

I think seeing the bride in her gown. Since I have usually cultivated a relationship with each one, seeing them at their worst and at their best throughout the planning process, when they emerge in their ever so hand selected gown, they all feel so special and “princess-like”. I can feel their energy around me.

What is your favorite movie?

Paulie (It’s about a parrot who loses his owner and finds her at the end..i cry every time) go figure its about a bird.

What’s your best wedding story?

I did have a bride who misplaced her veil about 1 hour prior to the wedding. She insisted it was in her changing room which showed no signs of a veil. Upon investigating, we found that housekeeping thought the veil box was empty (they are quite light you know) and threw it out. I personally went into the dumpster and found the veil already crushed in the compactor. Now, as you all know me, fishing through garbage is not one of my favorite things to do. It had all kinds of food and condiments on it..with the help of my wonderful housekeeping department, they got it cleaned, pressed and placed on the brides head without her knowing. It was not until 5 years later and 2 other sisters weddings that I revealed the whereabouts of the veil. To this day, every time I see the mother of the bride she just laughs at how “cool” I was and never let on. Little did she know, I was sick to my stomach!!

What in your opinion is the coolest trend right now with weddings?

I am loving the small plates menus. It showcases the chef’s food and allows all the guests to get a sampling of more than one entree.

If you could give brides one piece of advice, what would it be?

Please, please enjoy your wedding. It goes by so fast and you will never be able to capture those precious moments again (Unless you have Jeffrey Stoner as your videographer..then you are golden).

What is one thing that you want everybody to know about you?

I am a creature of habit and hate change..So, as Billy Joel says “Don’t go changing to try and please me”.

Do you have any pets?

I think everyone knows about my feathered baby birds..Cashew (little green Parrolette 11 years old), Nouba (Big boy..Black headed Caique 5 years old) and my little Windsor (parakeet 2 years old). LOVE THEM!!

What is the best color combo for weddings?

I am favoring the celadon green and chocolate brown.

What are your favorite blogs/websites?

What the hell is a blog..I just discovered them recently, so Just Marry! and E Events tend to be my go to’s. So girls..keep them current..they are fun to read.

What does the future hold for you?

Well, I guess I will be involved in this crazy business for a good while longer. I cannot see myself doing anything else but someday I want to retire in Long Boat Key and interior design my condo on the Gulf.

What do you do in your spare time?

Work out at the gym, drink pinot grigio or Pomegranatemartinis, travel with Howard and take my dear sweet mom out when I can ( the pinot grigio goes hand in hand with taking mom out!!).

Thanks Bonnie for sharing! We appreciate all you have done for us through the years and Susan and I both value your friendship so much.

Here are some photos of weddings that we have done at the beautiful Portofino Bay Hotel,

Photos from Kevin Keelan.

Dan Higgins Photography,

Sunshine Photographics

Jen Adams Photography

August 6, 2008 Posted by | blog, Bonnie Garfield, Cassarino/Abell wedding, catering managers, Dan Higgins, event venue, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Jen Adams & Associates, Just Marry!, Kevin Keelan, lunchtime reception venue, Menu, Michele Butler, photos, Portofino Bay Hotel, professional planners, rehearsal dinner location, Sunshine Photographics, vendor, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding dresses, wedding gowns, wedding industry, wedding location, wedding night amenity, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception | 1 Comment

Catering Manager/Coordinator Happy Hour

Graze Dining Area

I recently organized a really fun get together of wedding coordinators. We met a few times. First at Luma and then at Il Mulino at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort. It was great and we were all able to talk shop. It then occurred to me that it would be a great idea to include the catering managers from the various hotels, country clubs and off premise caterers. We had our first coordinator/catering manager meeting at Graze in downtown Orlando. It was great fun. Very casual get together with drinks and food. Catering managers and wedding coordinators often work very close together. Wedding coordinators are sometimes seen as an extension of the hotel properties. Making a great team. So, it only seemed appropriate to have the entire group together. Attending at the initial group get together were Bonnie Garfield (Portofino Bay Hotel), Janine Boylan (Grand Bohemian Orlando), Christal Knowles-Feldman (Sunsational Weddings), Susan Southerland (Just Marry!), Aimee Sers (Just Marry!), Andrea Hall (Just Marry!), Susan Pelteson (Distinctive Weddings), Jenny (Doubletree Castle Hotel), Linda Helm (Heathrow Country Club), Jessica Lodispoto (Winter Park Racquet Club), Lisa Konecny (E Events), Stephanie Rounds (Nu Visions in Photography). We had a great time. The food was great, if not expensive and the drinks were extra yummy. We in the wedding industry love a good cocktail or glass of wine. Allows us to keep that smile on our faces in even the most stressful moments. One thing I can say about the restaurant, is that they are certainly lacking in service. It was a bad time to be lacking in that area as we all have big mouths and can be a source of future referrals. Regardless, we all made the best of it and just let our tips reflect any downfall in service.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Aimee Sers, Andrea Hall, Bonnie Garfield, catering managers, Christal Knowles-Feldman, country clubs, Distinctive Weddings, Doubletree Castle Hotel, E Events, event industry, event venue, Food and Beverage, Graze, Heathrow Country Club, Jessica Lodispoto, Just Marry!, Lisa Konecny, ll Mulino at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort, Luma, Michele Butler, networking function, nu visions in photography, Stephanie Rounds, Sunsational Weddings, Susan Southerland, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding industry, wedding planner, Winter Park Racquet Club | Leave a comment

Halloween Party!

Jeffrey and I had our annual Halloween party again. It’s the 3rd year that we have hosted it. It is just simply good fun. Most of our friends are in the wedding/event biz. Are you shocked at all? With 10+ years in the industry, we don’t have much of an opportunity to socialize outside of our world. 65 of our closest friends were here to help us celebrate the spooky holiday. We always go with a cheesy Halloween theme. Nothing fancy about our party, except for some of our friends who come to play. This year, one of my favorite get up’s was Susan Pelteson, who took the (wear your favorite t’shirt) to a whole new level by adding red gloves and a tiara. And one our dearest friends, Kristy Chenell flew back in just to play at our party. She recently moved to Denver, Colorado to a new Ritz Carlton that will be opening sometime before the first of the year.

I really do love our industry and love that fact that we can all be such close friends. Even if we are in the same competing industries. Who else to best share the excitement and the woes with, than those who understand.

October 26, 2007 Posted by | Aimee Sers, Andrea Hall, Annual Halloween Party, Bonnie Garfield, catering managers, E Events, event industry, Halloween, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Joe Sharpe, John Unrue, Just Marry!, Kristy Chenell, Lisa Konecny, Michele Butler, networking function, nu visions in photography, Portofino Bay Hotel, Ritz-Carlton Denver, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Scott Mifsud, Stephanie Rounds, Susan Pelteson, Susan Southerland, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding industry, wedding planner | Leave a comment