Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, K is for Kids

Yes, I said kids.  I love kids at weddings.  Well behaved ones, of course.  Those are usually attached to caring and in control parents.  One of my favorite parts of a wedding ceremony is when the kids walk down the aisle.  They are just so adorable and you really never know what they will do.  But, there will most certainly be laughs, Ooh’s and Aah’s.  They will break the tension and they are great at helping the bride relax and get into a festive mood.  And I really love when the bride and groom really think about the kids experience at the wedding.  Great things come of that.  Well, mostly, happy kids.  Here are some neat ways to make kids feel special at the wedding.

1.  Include them in the ceremony, whether it be as a flower girl, ring bearer or JR bridesmaid or groomsman.  They can also be helpful in attending to the guest book or handing out programs.  If you have young kids involved in the ceremony, be sure to have somebody for them to sit with during the ceremony.

2.  Arrange for a kids party complete with activities and their own kid friendly food.  You can have a clown, video games, their own DJ for music and games.  How about a caricature artist to draw pictures of the kids?

3.  Keep them as part of the main reception party, but give them plenty to do.  After all, their kids and they have such short attention spans.  The best option is a kids table complete with butcher block paper and coloring crayons, pencils and markers.  A kid friendly centerpiece completes the look.  Create a mini kids buffet with some of their favorites.  What about a make your own sundae bar or a decorate your own cupcake?  If the kids will be seated with their parents, then be sure to give them a goody bag filled with some fun things to do when they get bored dancing!

Thanks so much to some of my wonderful photographer friends who gave me the following images.  I had such a hard time choosing, so I’m afraid this post may be a bit image heavy.  Kids take the greatest photos!

Images from Scott Watt Photography.

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kid-5

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Images from Abby Liga Photography.

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kid-abby-3

Image from Derek Smith from Sunshine Photographics.

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Images from Michael Wise Photography.

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michael-kid-2

michael-kid-3

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Images provided by Limelight Photography.

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December 11, 2008 Posted by | Abby Liga Photography, blog, brides, caricature artist, centerpieces, clown, cupcakes, Decor, DJ, entertainment, flower girl attire, Food and Beverage, guestbook, happy kids, Ice cream, Junior Bridesmaid, Junior Groomsman, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, kid friendly centerpiece, kid friendly food, kids, kids goody bags, kids table, kids wedding party, Limelight Photography, make your own sundae bar, Menu, Michael Wise Photography, Michele Butler, mini kids buffet, Orlando wedding planner, out of the box idea, professional planners, programs, Scott Watt Photography, special touches, Sunshine Photographics, Uncategorized, video games, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception | Leave a comment

Top Five Fab Finds for November 2008

Ah the trends of the wedding world.  Always fun keeping on top of what’s cutting edge.  I love it!

Here are my Top Five Fab Finds for November 2008.  Hope you enjoy!

1.  Fall Flavors, such as squash, pumpkin and turkey.  How about a mini squash bisque at your cocktail hour?    A pumpkin cheesecake as one of your cake flavors.  A deep fried turkey carving station.

soup-shots

turkey

2.  Carnations are cool again.  They can really make for beautiful centerpieces and bouquets.  And they aren’t the most expensive flower.

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3.  Out of the box ring holders.  It doesn’t always have to be a ring pillow.  Boxes and shells and moss covered boxes, oh my.

4.  Clay flowers as decor.  So delicate and elegant.  And a great keepsake for your guests.

5.  Serve your guests flavored water infused with cucumber or varied types of fruit.

water-with-fruit-1

November 30, 2008 Posted by | amenities, beautiful decor, blog, bridal bouquet, brides, cake flavors, carnations, centerpieces, clay flowers, Decor, deep fried turkey, Estilo Weddings, Etsy, Fall flavors, Fay Cullen, Food and Beverage, hot trend, Just Marry!, Michele Butler, November, out of the box idea, professional planners, pumpkin, refreshing beverage, ring holders, soup shots, special touches, squash, Table Settings, Top Five Fab Finds, turkey, water, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding planner | Leave a comment

Just Marry! Vendor Spotlight on Ricky Sylvia with the Buzzcatz

My spotlight this time is on Ricky Sylvia and his talented band, The Buzzcatz.  This is an amazing band, period.  They can do anything.  And for those of you out there who have worked with bands in the past, this one is a breeze.  No large headed ego maniac for the band leader.  Just a really great all around guy.  These guys make my life so much easier at a wedding and I always come off looking like the most amazing wedding coordinator when I’ve referred my clients to the Buzzcatz.  Why, do you ask?  Because they are so great to hear and I often have to look at the stage to see if that really is Ricky up there singing or if Bobby Darin has come back just for this one set.  If you haven’t worked with the Buzzcatz, then you must find a reason to.  They are one of a kind!

Here’s some great photos of Ricky and the band.  The first one is from one of my recent weddings, the Morales/Katta wedding. Thanks nu visions in photography for the image.

And here are a few more that the band shared with me.

buzzcatz-ricky

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Let’s get to know Ricky with the Buzzcatz a little better.

How did you get started?

I started as a kid in 1975. I was 11 years old. I auditioned for the U.C.P. telethon in Orlando and got the gig. My second gig was the Central FLA Fair that year.

Where do you get your inspiration?

ELVIS. I know I can be just as cool if I keep working at it and feel that I am just as good looking! 🙂

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

Watching the father of the bride sign the check!

What’s your favorite movie?

Hmmmm….lots of them…AMERICAN GRAFFITTI, SCARFACE, and KING CREOLE.

What’s your best wedding story?

How about my WORST?….we had a guy die on the dance floor while we were playing “Young At Heart”.

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

Band AND deejay combos…makes my night alot easier and we don’t have to learn all kinds of useless songs!

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

HIRE THE BUZZCATZ…they’re the best!

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

I know how much your wedding night means to my brides and their families… it is an honor that I do not take lightly.

Do you have any pets?

No…I am allergic!

What is the best color combo for weddings?

PURPLE AND GREEN.

What are your favorite blogs/websites?

www.thebuzzcatz.com, www.tributesradio.com, www.justmarry.com !

What does the future hold for you?

Dinner & a movie tonight with my incredibly beautiful wife, resurrecting my tribute to ELVIS and learning a few more BOBBY DARIN songs.

What do you do in your spare time?

Search Ebay for vintage clothing and look at Elvis related websites.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | band, band and deejay combo, blog, brides, Buzzcatz, Curt Littlecot, entertainment, nu visions in photography, Ricky Sylvia, Stephanie Rounds, Uncategorized, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding night, wedding planner, wedding reception | Leave a comment

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, G is for Getting Away for Your Wedding

G is for Getting Away For Your Wedding.  Destination weddings continue to be the craze.  They allow you one on one time with those closest to you.  And you can even do some fun activities as a group at your chosen location.  How about sailing in Santorini, Greece or climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica?

Here’s some pictures of one of our couples who were married in Italy.  The photos are courtesy of our good friends at nu visions in photography.  Curt & Stephanie.

And here are some photos of another bride and groom, Jessica and Chad who were married in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Garden of the God’s.  These photos kindly provided by our talented photographer friend John Unrue.

www.unruephoto.com

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November 9, 2008 Posted by | blog, brides, Colorado Springs, Curt Littlecot, destination wedding, Garden of the Gods, Greece, Italy, John Unrue, Michele Butler, nu visions in photography, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, Santorini, Stephanie Rounds, Unrue Photo, vacation, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z, E is for Eco Friendly Weddings

E is for Eco Friendly Weddings.  With everything going on here on mother earth, the need to be green is greater and greater every day.

This is definitely a hot trend and one that we won’t hopefully see fade anytime soon.  You can make your wedding eco friendly by using some of these suggestions:

  • Invitations – Do your research and send recycled paper invitations or forgo the invitations all together and send an email invite.  The following image courtesy of New and Blue.

  • Give plants as your favors.  You can even incorporate them into your centerpieces, so that nothing goes to waste.  The Wedding Greenhouse offers some adorable plants.

  • Use organic or local grown foods for your reception.  It may cost you more in the short term, but think of what you’ll be doing for the enviroment in the long run.

  • Give your flowers or leftover foods to charity or a donation service.  I discovered once such service when doing research for an article in the last few years.  They are Special E.

October 19, 2008 Posted by | blog, brides, centerpieces, charity, Decor, Do it yourself, donation service, Eco friendly weddings, email invitations, enviroment, event venue, favors, Food and Beverage, green, green products, hot trend, invitations, Just Marry!, local grown foods, Michele Butler, New and Blue, organic foods, Orlando, plant wedding favors, professional planners, recycled paper invitations, Special E, The Wedding Greenhouse, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding planner | 2 Comments

Something Exciting to Share Here at Just Marry!

First, let me start off this blog entry by apologizing for my absence from the wild world of blogging.  I have been focused on wrapping up a wedding for one of my favorite families, the Katta’s.  I first worked with them in 2007 when their daughter Sarah was married and this one was their son, Joe’s wedding.  I am a perfectionist and that led me to only being able to think, eat, dream and work on Katta.  The wedding was this past weekend and was amazingly beautiful.  I can’t wait to post my future blog, “The Tale of Two Weddings”, which will showcase both Sarah and Joe’s weddings.  So, keep an eye out for that.

Ok, on to the task at hand.  I’m so excited about this blog post because it includes two of my best friends, Susan and Kristy.  Here they are at a recent speaking engagement.

Here’s the recent press release including both Just Marry! and our lovely Kristy at Couture Consulting by Chenell.  Expect great things in the future from both companies.  I’m so glad to be a part of the bright future.

JUST MARRY! PARTNERS WITH COUTURE CONSULTING

Orlando, FL (October 3, 2008) – Just Marry! is pleased to announce it’s collaboration with wedding business consulting firm, Couture Consulting by Chenell, LLC.  The partnership will grow the Just Marry! brand globally as well as develop innovative concepts and products for brides and grooms.

As new values emerge for couples tying the knot, a strong focus will be placed on each couple’s individual aspirations, preferences, and desires while staying sensitive to the ever changing market.   The two companies will join forces to create helpful resources (both services and products) made to inspire brides and grooms of their vision and to help them bring that vision to life within their spending parameters.

Couture Consulting will work with Just Marry! to cultivate its brand essence, rich with experience, fervor, and vision.   As a team, these companies anticipate expanding Just Marry!’s services, offices, and visibility internationally.

Founded by Susan Southerland in 1992, Just Marry! is the Southeast’s premier, full service wedding planning company.  Southerland and associate, Michele Butler, lead a passionate and experienced team that has coordinated thousands of weddings around the country and the world.  Focusing on destination, luxury, and cultural clientele, Just Marry! has offices in Orlando, Jacksonville, Savannah and St. Augustine.  Southerland shares her first hand experience with couples and industry peers alike in “Susan Southerland’s Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets” DVD.  In addition, Southerland and Butler recently released the anticipated “Susan Southerland’s Just Marry! 77 Secrets for Greening the Wedding Industry” DVD.  Just Marry! has been featured on the Style Network’s “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?” and TLC’s “A Wedding Story.” For additional information and to purchase resources, visit www.justmarry.com.

Couture Consulting by Chenell, LLC is a consulting firm for wedding businesses created by Kristy Chenell, formerly of The Ritz-Carlton and Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.  Based on the principles and standards of luxury services and products, Couture Consulting by Chenell, LLC provides inspirational ideas, innovative concepts, and customized solutions for wedding businesses that desire to strengthen their brand and increase sales.   For additional information, please contact Kristy Chenell at (720) 425-3610.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | 77 Secrets for Greening the Wedding Industry, blog, brides, Disney's Fairytale Weddings, DVD, event business, event industry, green, green products, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Kristy Chenell, Michele Butler, Morales & Katta Wedding, Orlando wedding planner, professional planners, Ritz-Carlton, Susan Southerland, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding industry, wedding planner, wedding planning, Wedding planning DVD | Leave a comment

Just Marry! Vendor Spotlight on Tommy Murphy with Greenery Productions

For this Vendor Spotlight, I present to you Tommy Murphy with Greenery Productions.  Here he is with some of his close personal friends.

Here's Tommy!

Here's Tommy!

I have been working with Tommy for many years now because we are lucky enough to have close relationships with many of the same properties.  And of course because he’s uber talented.  My brides always love meeting with Tommy.  He’s so great at finding his way to all of their ideas and vision and then really turning it into a cohesive look.  Tommy is also one of my favorite people to be around in the industry.  He’s always fun at parties and he and his partner Raul are two of the nicest guys you will meet.  I invite you to get to know the infamous Tommy Murphy from Greenery Productions a bit better.

Where are you located?

Behind Universal Studios.

Do you travel?

Absolutely, have any overseas weddings you need help with?

Where have you traveled for weddings?

St. Petersburg, Tampa, Daytona, New Smyrna.

How did you get started?

I was doing freelance accounting work as well as working for an accounting company.  The recruiter was a friend of a local event company that ultimately hired me permanently.  Although I had nothing to do with the creative side, I was soon thrust into purchasing floral and all the décor for that matter.  It was so fascinating to understand the whole floral industry.  I am a true master at it now.  I have always been creative, I was the pastry and Garde’ Manger (yes that spelling is correct) at Isleworth Golf & CC back in the 90’s.  I personally created masterpieces for Janet Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallion and Shaq and his family.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I think inspiration is all around us which is the benchmark for everything we do.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

I think handing the bride the bouquet.  It indicates the time is drawing closer.  And you can tell a lot about how that day is ultimately going to be by her expression and response when receiving the bouquet.

What’s your favorite movie?

That’s a tough one, I think Steel Magnolias.  I can watch it again and again and still cry. I also love The Birdcage.

What’s your best wedding story?

I don’t know that I have one.  A couple of brides coming up in December are really stellar.  My one bride is giving me the entire creative freedom with her floral.  Now that doesn’t happen.  The floral is going to be awesome.

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

I don’t know that it is a trend, but creating different and unique designs for every aspect of the wedding.  Brides want the guest to experience something they have never experienced at other weddings.

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

Trust your first instinct.  If you love it, go with it and stop looking through magazines and watching those shows.

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

I love what I do and work very hard to make sure everything that has been promised exceeds their expectations.

Do you have any pets?

Tucker, my Hemingway Manx has seen it all.  He is about 13 now and was the third of five cats.  Hemingway Manx have extra toes and no tail.  Well, tucker has a nub and the right amount of toes.  He is such a cool cat.  Then there is the love of my life Sassy & of course Romeo.  They are Jack Russell’s.  Sassy looks like me and acts like my partner Raul and Romeo looks like Raul and acts like me.  Just ask me what I mean by that, it is so true what they say about pets.

What is the best color combo for weddings?

White and ivory are always safe, but I love color.  Orange, green and pink.

What are your favorite blogs/websites? www.greeneryproductions.com and www.greeneryproductions.blogspot.com.

What does the future hold for you?

Lots of weddings, retiring at 55, thinking about interior decorating classes and as much travel as possible.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love taking care of my yard, spending time with my partner and our dogs, hanging with friends and traveling.

Some photos of the amazing design work that Tommy and his designers at Greenery Productions do,

Here's a bride of mine, Nicole Cassarino

Here's a Bride of Mine, Nicole

Enchanted Wedding

Enchanted Wedding

Funky Cool at the Hard Rock Live

Funky Cool at the Hard Rock Live

Another Cool Look at Hard Rock Live

Another Cool Look at Hard Rock Live

You Can't Go Wrong With White

Portofino Bay Hotel

Portofino Bay Hotel Villa Piazza

Love the Red

Love the Red

You're So Square

You're So Square

Escort Card Table Lookin Fine

Escort Card Table Lookin Fine

September 17, 2008 Posted by | bat mitzvah, blog, bridal bouquet, brides, Cassarino/Abell wedding, country clubs, Decor, event business, event industry, events, floral designer, florist, Greenery Productions, Isleworth Country Club, Just Marry!, Michele Butler, Steel Magnolias, Universal Studios Orlando, vendor, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding industry, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception | Leave a comment

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z – C is for The Collection!

Yes, C is for The Collection, located in Winter Park.  Right on Park Avenue.  So convenient for doing a bit of wedding dress shopping and then hitting the wine bar or one of the many wonderful restaurants on Park Ave.

I am moving up on 11 years in this crazy wedding biz and Millie and her beautiful store have been around the entire time.  The Collection has some of the most elegant gowns you will find in the Orlando area.  And you can expect to be treated like family in this store.  What better way to shop for that gown you will wear for that all important event, the wedding ceremony.  And this shop is not just about wedding gowns, but bridesmaids dresses, mother’s gowns and flower girl attire.  They carry gowns from some of the most talented designers in the world.

Vera Wang

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Lazaro

Lazaro

And many of our brides are happy customers.  Here are some of our beautiful brides in their gowns from The Collection.

Sarah Katta at the JW Marriott

Sarah Katta at the JW Marriott, courtesy of nu visions in photography

Emily Hayes at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of Damon Tucci

Emily Hayes at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of Damon Tucci

Terri Oster at Jekkyl Island

Terri Oster at Jekkyl Island, courtesy of Karla Fountain

Nicole Gravenmeir at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of nu visions in photography

Nicole Gravenmeir at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of nu visions in photography

September 10, 2008 Posted by | blog, brides, bridesmaids, bridesmaids dresses, ceremony site, Curt Littlecot, Damon Tucci, destination wedding, event business, event industry, event venue, flower girl attire, Grande Lakes, Hayes & Looney wedding, Jekkyl Island Club, Just Marry!, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Karla Fountain, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Lazaro, lunchtime reception venue, Michele Butler, Millie, Monique Lhuillier, mother's gowns, Nicole Gravenmeir, nu visions in photography, Orlando wedding planner, photographer, professional planners, Reem Acra, rehearsal dinner location, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Stephanie Rounds, Terri Oster, The Collection, vendor, Vera Wang, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding dresses, wedding gowns, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wonderful world of weddings | Leave a comment

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z – B is for Bake Me A Cake!

B is for Bake Me A Cake located in Altamonte Springs.

Could they be any more amazing? Just the sweetest to deal with and I love Mercedes. And her talent is quite something. I’ve never seen such beautiful cakes. I love taking my brides there, because she really takes the time to find out what their vision is and then runs with it. And of course, she sketches it right there in front of them. Amazing!

Here are some of the amazing cakes that they have done,

September 5, 2008 Posted by | Bake me a Cake, brides, cakes, Just Marry!, Michele Butler, vision, wedding, wedding cake, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding planner, wedding planning | 1 Comment