Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, J is for Jesus Rodriguez and Raining Roses

J is Jesus Rodriguez and Raining Roses. The genius himself along with his design associate Chris Giglio really can do anything. They design weddings with floral chandeliers and bar mitzvahs with halloween and soccer themes. I just don’t know where the ideas come from, but they never seem to run out! Thank goodness. They can also cover dance floors and place gorgeous custom designs and logos on them. Here’s also to never forgetting Jesus’s partner and Chris’s good friend, Jonathon Panczuk who brought Raining Roses to Orlando along with Jesus. We miss him and I assure you that we think about him often and remember the fun banter and the beautiful decor that he brought to our lives.

Here’s some of the amazing events that Raining Roses has done throughout the years:

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November 25, 2008 Posted by | bar mitzvah, beautiful decor, blog, Chris Giglio, Curt Littlecot, custom designs and logos, Damon Tucci, dance floor cover, dance floor decor, David Willems, Decor, event venue, Fawsett & Reams wedding, floral chandeliers, floral designer, florist, Grande Lakes, halloween theme, Hayes & Looney wedding, Hotel Property, J.R. Sterling, Jesus Rodriguez, Jonathon Panczuk, Just Marry!, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Lighting, Michele Butler, nu visions in photography, Orlando, Orlando wedding planner, photographer, professional planners, Raining Roses, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Ritz-Carlton wedding show, soccer theme, special touches, Stephanie Rounds, Table Settings, Uncategorized, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding initials, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding show, Winter Park Racquet Club | 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

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z, D is for Dance Floor

D is for dance floors. Who would have imagined when I started in the business that people would find so many ways to be creative with their dance floors. I’ve seen covered, colored and even varying shapes. Dance floors in all parts of the room and over pools and it’s just so much fun.

Following are some pictures from some events that we’ve done where we had some cool dance floors.  These particular dance floors were designed by Raining Roses.

Hayes & Looney wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes - photo by Damon Tucci

Katta & Smalberger wedding at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes - photo by nu visions in photography

Einhorn Bar-Mitzvah at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World

Einhorn Bar-Mitzvah at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World - photo by J.R. Sterling

And I love this dance floor because it is set over a pool with a clear span tent over it and great lighting!

Fawsett & Reams wedding at the Winter Park Racquet Club - photo by David Willems

Fawsett & Reams wedding at the Winter Park Racquet Club - photo by David Willems

The following images and descriptions are from my good friends Brian and Richard at Flourish.

A dance floor in fuchsia, for a new Orleans client, that wanted a Bali themed wedding. Monkey appliqués on the corners.

This is a blue dance floor. The couple met in Hawaii and they wanted to have a lot of water feeling around them, the head table in the fore of the picture was a reef scene sitting on a lighted sweetheart table.

September 25, 2008 Posted by | bar mitzvah, blog, ceremony site, clear span tent, covered pool, Curt Littlecot, Damon Tucci, dance floor, dance floor cover, dance floor decor, David Willems, Decor, Einhorn Bar-Mitzvah, event venue, events, Fawsett & Reams wedding, floral designer, florist, Flourish, Hayes & Looney wedding, J.R. Sterling, Just Marry!, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Lighting, Michele Butler, Orlando wedding planner, outdoor venue, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, Raining Roses, Renaissance Orlando at Sea World, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, vendor, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception, Winter Park Racquet Club | 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

The Greening of the Wedding Industry

Yes, yet another trip. Jeffrey and I ventured to St. Petersburg a few weekends ago. It was all business of course. Easy to say when all of our friends are in the event business.

Our initial reason for going was for Jeffrey to video Susan and Kristy speaking at ISES Event World’s conference. However, we managed to see some of our great friends from our Denver excursion.  We went to dinner with Kristy & Scott Chenell (Kristy and I managed to have the very same dress on for this evening, by accident), Lisa Konecny, Ryan & Elena Joseph and Susan Southerland and her fella Scott. Zoe from Botanica made a great recommendation for dinner and even took care of making the reservation for us. We went to this wonderful restaurant in Tampa called Mise en Place. The food was amazing and we had such a great time catching up with friends who don’t live in Orlando.

After dinner that evening, we headed back to the Vinoy so that Kristy & Susan could finalize their presentation. I hung out with the fellas. Always one of my favorite things to do. Scott toured us around the property. He and Kristy were married there and it was fun to see where their ceremony and reception were. They were at beautiful outdoor venues. I wish I had known them then.

This hotel is quite historic and really reminds me of how the wealthy must have vacationed back in the 20’s and 30’s.  I love that lobby!

The next day, bright and early was Susan and Kristy’s presentation. It was all about the greening of the wedding industry. I really enjoyed listening to the many ideas that they suggested. Some of my favorites were,

Using evites for other events surrounding the wedding instead of more paper.

Giving cloth shopping bags as amenities or guest favors.

Having a no utensil event. This is something that Kristy is working on with her Chef from the Ritz-Carlton Denver for an upcoming event. I can only imagine the level of creativity that would go into brainstorming those ideas.

Giving a tree as a favor or amenity. The tree can then be planted in the city where the event is being held or can be taken back to the guests home and planted there.

Using Microsoft One Note or the backside of scratch paper to take notes.

Instead of providing your guests with disposable cameras, give them rented digital cameras. No waste!

Have your corporate group or wedding guests do something charitable in the area where they are. They could donate some time at a shelter or assist with building homes for those less fortunate.

This was a very informative presentation and Susan and Kristy are wonderful speakers. If you haven’t seen them speak, then don’t miss the opportunity.

We also premiered our 77 Secrets for Greening the Wedding Industry. This is a great DVD that gives those in the event industry many suggestions on how to green up their way of doing business and also give their clients green ideas for their event.  How great is that cover?  Thanks Amy Morelli for giving it a fresh and fun look.

Here’s some photos from the speaking engagement and such,

Don't they look famous?  Everybody wants their autographs.

Don't they look famous?

Ah, come here little sis.

Ah, come here little sis.

Definitely up to no good.

Definitely up to no good.

Our cute fellas

Our cute fellas

My dear friend Kristy

My dear friend Kristy

Not nervous at all

Not nervous at all

This says it all

This says it all

Richard with who??

Richard with who??

The speakers themselves

The speakers themselves

This excursion was such a green weekend of great information! I loved every minute. And something must have rubbed off on me. Jeffrey and I returned home to our previously flooded dining room (thank you Tropical Storm Fay), ripped up our carpet and headed to Home Depot to find replacement carpet. Guess what we chose? Green carpet made from corn fibers. And we didn’t find that the carpet was anymore expensive than comparable brands that weren’t made with green products. So, you don’t always have to pay extra to be green! I guess there goes the phrase, “It isn’t always easy being green”. Thanks Kermit!

September 4, 2008 Posted by | 2 U Collection, 77 Secrets for Greening the Wedding Industry, amenities, Amy Morelli, Botanica, ceremony site, cloth shopping bags, Decor, Denver, digital cameras, dinner party, disposable cameras, DVD, E Events, enviroment, event business, event industry, event venue, events, evite, favors, Flourish, Food and Beverage, green, green products, Hotel Property, Ian Prosser, ISES, ISES Event World's conference, Jeffrey Stoner, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, Kristy Chenell, Lisa Konecny, Menu, Michele Butler, Microsoft One Note, Mise en Place, Orlando wedding planner, out of the box idea, outdoor venue, photos, plant wedding favors, professional planners, Renaissance Vinoy, restaurant, Ritz-Carlton Denver, Ryan Joseph, Scott Chenell, Scott Mifsud, speaking engagement, special touches, Susan Southerland, Tampa, Vinoy, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding gift, wedding industry, wedding location, wedding night amenity, wedding party gift, wedding planner, wedding planning, Wedding planning DVD, wedding reception, wonderful world of weddings | Leave a comment

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

Mini Vaca with the Family to Anna Maria Island

Ah! You know how much I love to travel. I really do live for it and am always looking forward to my next vacation.

Jeff, Griffon and I returned late last week from our quick jaunt over to the beach. We went to Anna Maria Island. Our good friend Stephanie from nu visions loaned us her parents condo and it was just perfect for us. It is so beautiful over there and relaxing and laid back. I love that. We even ventured to the beach once in awhile. Definitely every evening for the sunset. I’m afraid it just wasn’t enough beach time for Griffon. But, Jeff and I tend to be a bit sun shy. So, we did the best that we could. We did lots of fun family things and really, really relaxed. We napped, did some reading and even played some games as a family. It would seem that I’m really good at Scattegories. Love that game! I even beat Jeff, which I consider quite the accomplishment because I really do think he’s brilliant.

A few of my favorites from the vacation:

A trip to the Alpine Steakhouse in Sarasota. The Food Network show, “Diners, Drive In’s and Dive’s” filmed there last year. Jeff and I love that show because we love diners! So, I had to go to the Alpine Steakhouse. They have the Turducken. Very weird, but you might be able to tell that it has turkey, duck and chicken in it. Still can’t believe I didn’t try it. I was a bit scared. Shame on me! The food was very good and the place is certainly unique. I definitely recommend checking it out, but for goodness sake, have the Turducken!

Another trip up Sarasota way to St. Armand’s Circle. It’s located on Lido Key. My parents used to have a condo over on Lido Key, until I insisted they move closer to me. Now, I really miss being over there. Jeff, Griffon and I walked the circle like old times. Had lunch at the Crab & Fin where I had a few of my favorite foods, the Martha’s Vineyard Salad, Fresh oysters and Gazpacho. And of course a Bloody Mary! Yum! After that lunch, we were pretty full, but walked along the circle and went into one of our favorite stores, Garden Argosy. We love this place! It has so many neat things. Jewelry, wall plates, bath items, towels, dishes, just anything cool that you possibly imagine. Before we could leave the area, I had to drive the way that I used to drive when I came into Lido Key. I would always call my Dad as we crossed the bridge. It really does feel as though you check your stress on the other side of the bridge. No stress allowed once you cross over. My parents lived in St. Armand’s Towers and my Dad would always be on the balcony waving at me as I drove into the parking lot. We would hurry upstairs and he would have wine, snacks and plenty of humor waiting for us when we arrived. Being over there, really made me miss my Dad. He was one of my favorite people and we had so much fun while they lived over in Sarasota.

Here’s a picture of the condo,

Here are a few pictures of me and my Dad from the last few years. I must say, for as close as I was to my Dad, we sure didn’t have many pictures. Makes me so sad!

Here we are at the Melting Pot a few years ago. From the left, Jeff, my Dad, Me & Griffon. My mom is in the wheelchair.

Here we are at the Walt Disney World Dolphin, just after an amazing meal at Shula’s. One of the best steakhouses in Orlando.

Sorry, I spun off on a remembering the good ole days and my awesome Daddy.  Back to the trip details.

Loved spending quality time with the family. Really such a rarity in the fast pace of life these days. I loved hanging out with Griffon and watching Forrest Gump and eating freshly made ice cream from this wonderful ice cream place on the island.

Finally, what would a blog entry be without me telling you a few of my favorite places for a wedding over in the Sarasota area.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Just beautiful, with a location just by Sarasota Bay and a beach side location as well.

Lido Beach Resort. This was formerly a lovely little Radisson and now it’s an impressive beach side resort. Wow!

Longboat Key Club. A gorgeous club located in one of the prettiest areas on the west coast of Florida.

The Beach House. This is located right on Anna Maria Island and they have the best food and love weddings as well. One of my recent visits to the restaurant yielded a wedding in progress. It was fun to see one happening that we weren’t responsible for. For once!

I hope you enjoyed my trip to Anna Maria Island and Sarasota as much as I did. You must, must go and visit very soon. So relaxing!

August 4, 2008 Posted by | Alpine Steakhouse, Anna Maria Island, beach, beach wedding, blog, condo, condos, country clubs, Crab & Fin, Dad, Diners, Drive in's and Dives, event venue, FL, Food and Beverage, Food Network, Garden Argosy, Griffon, Jeffrey Stoner, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Just Marry!, kids, Lido Beach Resort, Lido Key, Long Boat Key Club, lunchtime reception venue, Melting Pot, Michele Butler, Mom, nu visions in photography, professional planners, rehearsal dinner location, Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Sarasota, Shula's Steakhouse, St. Armand's Towers, St. Armands Circle, Stephanie Rounds, The Beach House Restaurant, Turducken, vacation, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment

Oh, how I love Colorado!

We’re back! Back from an amazing trip to one of my favorite states, Colorado. Jeffrey and I arrived in Denver on the 7th. We were greeted by text messages from one of our best friends, Lisa Konecny from E Events. Lisa had mapped out a great meal for me, “The Belly”. I do love my food! We ate at Rioja in Larimer Square. Such a great area! This was definitely one of the best meals that we had on our trip. Probably ranking right up there with one of my best meals of recent.

We were in Denver because Jeffrey was invited to participate in the 2nd annual Down the Aisle show presented by E Events and hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Denver. Lisa and Kristy are two of my best friends and I was anxious to help out wherever I could, while still trying to chill and enjoy my vacation. It was a great team that had been assembled for the show. Come along and meet some of them:

DJ Carl emceed the event and did a great job. He chose some fun music for the models to walk the runway to.

Rolly represented the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch who partnered on the event. Rolly, I thought you nailed that speech! We did get excited about the prospect of having Bachelor, the resident pet at the property walk the runway. However, Bachelor was so excited that he kept leaping off of the runway. It was decided that wouldn’t be a great option for a model in heels.

Kristy Chenell and her amazing team from the Ritz Carlton Denver. Katie and Angela really pulled it together for the property.

My adorable Jeffrey Stoner with Jeffrey Stoner Video represented the video arena. Showing his Down the Aisle video from last years show. Last years show was held at the Ritz-Carlton,Orlando Grande Lakes.

Garrett Nudd and his lovely wife Joy were two of the photographers included for the national contingency. Their work is always so beautiful and I look forward to working with them in the future. Garrett was even so kind as to do Just Marry!’s team photos last year. The photo that is attached to my blog is a sample of them and I have it listed everywhere. On linkedin.com, myspace.com and facebook.com.

Ryan Joseph. A truly talented photographer with the coolest sense of style. And so much fun to hang out with. It was great getting to know him better and I can’t wait to work with him very soon and hang out with he and his lovely wife, Elena.

The E Events team was led by the one and only Lisa Konecny. Assisted by Brittany Sobering, one of her recent additions. And a great one at that. And intern, Jessy Rivers helped round out the team. She would be a wonderful addition to the team when she’s officially done with school.

Ian Prosser from Botanica who helped to create all of the beautiful table displays.  What an amazing talent!  And to top it off, Ian is a great guy.  It was so much fun getting to know both he and his wife Fiona.  That’s what a little horseback riding up into the mountains can do you for you.  Oh, and sharing many cocktails.  I can’t wait to work on an event with Ian.  It would be a true honor.

Awny from Unique Option provided the funky furniture. And we learned very quickly that Awny has a photography hobby. Or is it a habit? Thanks Awny for documenting the days leading up to the event.

Lindsey Luxa from Dragon Fly helped design all of the promotional pieces for the show.

And of course Austin Scarlett who designs for Kenneth Pool. The runway show showcased his designs and amazingly enough a few of his designs were silver in color. See my blog on Top 10 Fab Finds for July 2008.

At the end of the show, we took a great photo of the entire Down the Aisle team. I was honored to be included. Thanks Lisa! I feel so loved.

Enjoy some of Garrett Nudd’s photos from the show.

We celebrated an amazing job well done by taking over Elways Lounge at the beautiful and stylish Ritz-Carlton Denver. Our good friend Kevin Terp even joined our crazy wedding friends. Kevin lives in Denver and works in the software industry and is also a part time ski instructor at Beaver Creek Resort. Can’t wait to join him on the slopes for the next ski season. Or at least see him for a beer after the ski day! I’m not typically on the same slopes as he is.

Oh! And I can’t forget to mention our three trips to one of the best breakfast places in Denver. Maybe anywhere. Snooze. The pancake trio is to die for and those pineapple upside down pancakes are just so delicious.

After the show, Jeffrey, Kristy, Scott and I headed to one of my favorite places in Coloardo. The mountains! We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch and lived in style on the club level. I can never go back to being a regular guest. I’m officially spoiled. Five meal presentations and cocktails! Perfect for me. This is such a beautiful property with ski in, ski out access. And the relaxing grotto in the spa. I want one at my house. We had such a great time in Beaver Creek/Vail.

Let me share just a few of my favorites from the trip.

Being all emotional and proud of two of my dearest friends, Lisa & Kristy for what I know was a lot of work and truly amazing to see come together.

The concert on top of Vail Mountain and my fun hike with Kristy.

Horseback riding at Beaver Creek Stables with Kristy, Scott, Ian, Fiona and Jeff. So much fun! What beautiful views of the Beaver Creek Resort. And it was so neat to ride on some of the same trails that I skied earlier this year.

Click here for a video that Jeffrey put together of all the photos from the trip. Enjoy!

http://stonervideo.blogspot.com/2008/07/all-work-and-no-play.html

Ah, but all good things must come to and end. It was time to return to O Town. So, back to work. Much to do to plan for the many upcoming events. The weekend after we returned, our dear friends, Art Faulkner and Lana Pelham’s wedding was at Casa Feliz. They are two of my favorite people in the wedding biz and I was so excited for them. This wedding was definitely a tear jerker.

July 24, 2008 Posted by | Art Faulkner, Austin Scarlett, Awny, Bachelor the dog, Beaver Creek Resort, Beaver Creek Stables, Botanica, bridal bouquet, bridal show, Brittany Sobering, Casa Feliz, Decor, Denver, DJ Carl, dog, Down the Aisle, Dragon Fly, E Events, Elways, event venue, facebook, Garrett Nudd, Ian Prosser, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Jessy Rivers, July, Just Marry!, Kenneth Pool, Kevin Terp, Kristy Chenell, Lana Pelham, Lighting, Lindsey Luxa, linkedin, Lisa Konecny, Michele Butler, myspace, photographer, photos, Project Runway, Rioja, Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Ritz-Carlton Denver, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Rolly, runway, Ryan Joseph, silver wedding dress, silver wedding gown, Skiing, Snooze, team photos, Top 10 Fab Finds, Uncategorized, Unique Option, vacation, Vail, video, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding dresses, wedding gowns, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding show | 1 Comment

A trip to Denver & Bachelor Gulch

I’m getting so excited and just wanted to share with all of you. Jeffrey and I leave today to head out to Denver for a week. I’m on vacation, relaxing and enjoying myself. My Jeffrey has to work some. He is shooting some video for the Ritz-Carlton in Denver and then also participating in another Down the Aisle Wedding Show with one of our best friends Lisa Konecny from E-Events. Lisa did this show at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes last year and now she’s taking it national. I’m so excited for her. Austin Scarlett from Season 1 of Project Runway will also return for this show.

After the show, Jeffrey and our good friends Scott and Kristy Chenell are heading off to the Ritz-Carlton in Bachelor Gulch. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this property, it is located near the Beaver Creek and Vail resorts. It’s very near to where I love to ski in Beaver Creek. It will be so weird to be up in the mountains with no snow, but we plan to enjoy the outdoors by horseback riding and hiking. We will return for the next ski season, so that Jeffrey can finally try his hand at skiing or snowboarding.

I’m so looking forward to to this trip and the fact that I’m not working! As some of you may know, Susan from Just Marry! is currently in Italy coordinating a wedding along with two of our other best friends from nu visions in photography, Curt and Stephanie. So, it will be nice to get away, because I’m dying that I’m not in Italy. Jeff and I love Italy and can’t wait to go back. Our favorite city is Venice!

Hope everybody had a fab & fun 4th of July! I’ll be back in touch when I return to the office on Tuesday, July 15th.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | Austin Scarlett, Beaver Creek Resort, bridal show, Curt Littlecot, Denver, Down the Aisle, E Events, event venue, Grande Lakes, Italy, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Just Marry!, Kristy Chenell, Lisa Konecny, Michele Butler, nu visions in photography, Orlando wedding planner, professional planners, Project Runway, Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Ritz-Carlton Denver, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Skiing, Stephanie Rounds, Susan Southerland, vacation, Vail, Venice, video, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding show | 1 Comment