Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

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!

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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

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