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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Images from Abby Liga Photography.

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Image from Derek Smith from Sunshine Photographics.

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Images from Michael Wise Photography.

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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

A favorite from my childhood to share

Do you know who Shel Silverstein is? He’s an amazing author who has quite a knack for writing the quirky and the funny. I have loved his writing since I was a little girl. It helped that my mom owned a bookstore and I had a wealth of books at my fingertips. I loved it! Shel Silverstein has written many books and they are all amazing. My two favorites being “The Giving Tree” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.

“The Giving Tree” is such a meaningful story about a relationship between a boy and his childhood tree. It makes me cry every time. This would be a great gift for a wedding or a graduation gift. If you were having an intimate wedding, you could even give this as a favor or perhaps as a wedding party gift.

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is full of these silly little poems that just make me laugh.

Here are a few of my favorites from the master himself. They are weird and wonderful!

Sick

‘I cannot go to school today, ‘
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
‘I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more-that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is…Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Oh! I just love these poems. And they really are timeless. Meaning that I loved them when I was a silly little kid and I love them now. Here’s a picture of me as a silly little kid. I’m on the right with my goofy glasses and my elementary school best friend, Angie is on the left. I’m so excited because we recently got back in touch with each other. Thanks to Facebook.

I think it would be great to have a Shel Silverstein anything. How about a mitzvah, birthday party or even use his poetry as the theme for the kids party at a wedding? Such a great idea! A truly out of the box idea.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, birthday party, book, bookstore, favors, graduation gifts, Just Marry!, kids, kids wedding party, Michele Butler, Mom, out of the box, out of the box idea, poems, poetry, professional planners, Shel Silverstein, Sick, The Giving Tree, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding gift, wedding party gift, wedding planner, wedding planning, Where the Sidewalk Ends | Leave a 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

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