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:

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

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

Impress, Indulge, Inspire at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

It was an honor for Just Marry! to participate in the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes most recent wedding show. This show had the top planners and decor designers in the area featured. The planners involved were Susie Weiss with Wonderful Weddings and Lisa Konecny with E Events. And truly the creme de la creme of the floral designers in Orlando, Lee Forrest Design, Greenery Productions, Lee James of Grande Lakes Floral, Raining Roses, Flourish and Botanica.

The evening began with couples networking with some of the Ritz’s preferred vendors, Damon Tucci, John Unrue, Jeffrey Stoner and nu visions. Beautiful Music played some lovely background music during this meet and greet time. We planners and floral designers were in the ballroom putting the finishing touches to the tables. Each planner was able to do at least 3 guest tables. Just Marry! chose to do 4. We have to thank Lee Forrest for providing the beautiful decor and design ideas. It was great fun working with him. He is extremely talented. BBJ Linen provided us with the beautiful linens (table linens, napkins, chair pads) and PKS Rental provided us with the mahogany, black and white chiavari chairs that helped to finish off our tables. Our fourth table was added a bit later in the game and Stephanie Rounds with nu visions in photography suggested that we use some glass sculptures from Keila Glassworks located in the City Arts Factory in downtown Orlando. This made for a clean, modern look for our final table. Once all of the table designs were complete, the doors to the ballroom were opened and the guests entered and visited the various table designs before finding their designated spot at the beautiful tables. We had an amazing meal. Following was the official menu of the evening,

Appetizer

Duo of Dumpling Squash

Ravioli with Nutmeg Froth and Bisque with Vanilla Cream

&

Gulf Coast Crab Gnocchi

Fiddlehead Ferns and Corn

Basil Foam

Salad

Layers of Baby Greens

Pumpkin and Chevre Cheese Cake

Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette

Gingerbread Tuile

&

Layers of Baby Greens

Gorgonzola Wellington, Spicy Walnuts

Strawberry Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Entrée

Grilled Filet Mignon

Potato and Celery Root Puree

Spaghetti Squash, Jumbo Asparagus

Red Wine Jus

&

Cashew Crusted Halibut “Summer Roll”

Purple Thai Rice, Enoki Mushrooms

Preserved Ginger and Green Tea Broth

Dessert

Chef to Prepare

Chocolate Tart with Burnt Marshmallow

Flambéed Bananas, Espresso Ice Cream

&

Chef to Prepare

Lemon Curd Crepes

Grand Marnier Strawberries

Coconut Sorbet

All I can say is yummy! I’m such a foodie and this was so delicious. I especially loved the fiddlehead ferns. The dinner courses were also paired with some wonderful wines. Starting with one of Susan’s and my favorite wines, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. It really was a treat for anybody invited to the show as Arthur Murray Dance Studio performed to the wonderful stylings of the Ricky Sylvia with the Buzzcatz. This band is truly one of the best around! The evening ended with the couples being able to chat with the various A-1 vendors in attendance and enjoy some delectable desserts and after dinner drinks. It is always a pleasure to do a wedding at the Ritz-Carlton. Truly one of my favorite venues in the city! Following please see our table top displays, provided by our amazing sponsors. Thank you again to Lee Forrest! A true artistic talent. The following images were provided by Damon Tucci where noted and nu visions in photography. Thanks guys for the beautiful images.

Rhapsody Table by Damon Tucci

Fragile Masterpiece table by nu visions

April 2, 2008 Posted by | BBJ Linen, Beautiful Music, bridal show, Buzzcatz, City Arts Factory, Damon Tucci, Decor, E Events, Flourish, Food and Beverage, Grande Lakes, Grande Lakes Floral, Greenery Productions, Hotel Property, Jeffrey Stoner Video, John Unrue, Just Marry!, Keila Glassworks, Lee Forrest Design, Lee James Designs, Lighting, Linens, Menu, nu visions in photography, PKS Rental, Raining Roses, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Susan Southerland, Table Settings, wedding, wedding planning, wedding show, Wonderful Weddings | 1 Comment

Mountains here we come!

Now, this would be a great place for a wedding or a honeymoon.  Really, anytime of year.

Brrrr. Sure was cold. Just returned from ski trip for the year. I love everything about the idea of skiing. Wish I were a bit more adventurous on the slopes. Greens all the way for me and I’m afraid that I just slow everybody down because I’m so cautious. Even my good friends Scott and Kristy, who moved out to Denver to work at the Ritz-Carlton there, were skiing down blues and blacks. What’s wrong with me? Well, last year was my first year skiing and I fell and fractured my rib. I think that may have slowed me down a bit. Darn! Anybody who knows me, knows that I love a good adventure and really aren’t scared of anything. Except for bridezillas of course. My ski trip this year consisted of two of my best friends, Stephanie Rounds with nu visions in photography and Kristen Wilkins with Isleworth Country Club. Kristen also took her nephew, Isaiah and I took my son Griffon. Who, by the way learned to snowboard on the trip and can already do blues. Arrgghh!! Nothing makes me angrier than seeing the little people without poles mind you, flying by me down the mountain. We had a wonderful time and one really great meal while we were there. We took a snowcat up the mountain to Beano’s Cabin. What an experience. It is a prix fix menu, so certainly not inexpensive, but with the ride up and down on the snowcat and the ambience, quite possibly worth the money. Check it out if ever you are out that way. We stayed at the Charter at Beaver Creek which was very nice, if not a bit of a trek from the slopes. Both Kristen and Kristy stayed right at a ski in/ski out resort. Kristen was at The Inn at Beaver Creek which definitely needs a bit of spiffing up, which it appears to be slated for. But it was right at the bottom of Strawberry Lift and you really can’t beat that. And our friend Kristy who works for the Ritz-Carlton stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, also very convenient to a lift. We really did have a wonderful time skiing and spending some time together. And we got to see our dear friend, Kevin who lives out in Denver as well and is also a part time ski instructor. He kept trying to instruct me and I’m afraid I wasn’t in the mood to be instructed. Sorry Kevin! Beaver Creek is a beautiful ski resort. I’ve heard it said that it may be one of the best in the world. It has a great little village with shops and restaurants and an ice skating rink right in the middle. They have activities every night in the village. Everything from disco ice skating to tubing for the kids. And around 4pm every day, they hand out fresh, warm, yummy chocolate chip cookies. For free. Btw, it’s one of the few things that is for free, but I say it’s certainly worth it. I love it and can’t wait to go back.

PorcupineBoys in the snow catUs girls in the Beaver CreekGriffon, Steph and I in Beaver CreekOur favorite after skiing bar

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Beanos Cabin, Beaver Creek Resort, bridezillas, Charter at Beavercreek, condos, Denver, event venue, Food and Beverage, Hotel Property, Isleworth Country Club, Just Marry!, kids, Michele Butler, nu visions in photography, porcupine, Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Ritz-Carlton Denver, Skiing, The Inn at Beavercreek, vacation, wedding location | Leave a comment