Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

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

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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

Star Tower Event

What a fun venue and what a view! Beautiful views of the downtown skyline. It was great to be included and get to see this wonderful venue. My friend, Tracy Marini of Eventfully Yours put this great event together. It was held on the rooftop of the new Star Tower. The food was catered by Graze, The Beacon and Fifi’s. And was quite delicious. There was a fun group of people there and some of my good friends. J. Michael with A Spectacular Event, Susie Weiss with Wonderful Weddings, Lee Forrest, Tommy Murphy with Greenery Productions, Janine Boylan with the Grand Bohemian Orlando, Jessica Lodispoto with the Winter Park Racquet Club, Bonnie Garfield with the Portofino Bay Hotel, Stephanie Rounds with nu visions in photography and of course Lisa Konecny with E Events. Never without my posse it would seem. We enjoyed the event and even took the time to tour one of the corner condos. It had floor to ceiling windows. That was quite something. Brian Adams took the photographs for the evening.

Arrival at Star Tower Event

Tommy showing Tracy some love

What a view!

Good fun

After the event ended, we just weren’t finished. We rarely are. So a few of us went to The Beacon to have some more food and drinks.

Fun at the Beacon

Fun group of girls at the Beacon

March 6, 2008 Posted by | Brian Adams, condos, Decor, E Events, event venue, Eventfully Yours, FiFi's, Food and Beverage, Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Graze, Greenery Productions, Just Marry!, Lee Forrest Design, Michele Butler, networking function, nu visions in photography, Off premise catering location, Portofino Bay Hotel, Rooftop venue, Star Tower, The Beacon, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding planner | 1 Comment

A Casual Get Together at the Stoner/Butler Household

I really love what I do and the people I get to work with. So much so, that most of my dear friends are in the wedding or event industry. It’s great that way, as we can all relate to the in’s and out’s. Jeff and I had some of our nearest and dearest friends over for a potluck dinner party this past Friday. We made the entrée and had plenty of cocktails. Our friends helped round out the dinner. We had so much food! Bad planning on the planners part. But, you can’t argue with having leftovers and they were so yummy. Our dinner party invite list consisted of Susan Southerland and her fella Scott Mifsud. Susan is the owner of Just Marry! and also one of my best friends. Bonnie Garfield who is the director of catering at the Portofino Bay Hotel and her other half, Howard King. Lisa Konecny who owns her own wonderful wedding planning company, E Events and her handsome half, Marc Konecny. And finally, Jennifer Sharpe who is the sales manager at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes and her fun husband Joe. We even celebrated his birthday with a wedding sparkler on top of a birthday cake. I hope the guys managed to have a great time. Scott and my fella, Jeffrey Stoner are both in the events industry, but I can only imagine what it must be like for the rest of the guys. They are not. We in the wedding biz have been known to get together and yap about weddings endlessly. In fact, this get together was not without lots of that. Susan even debuted her new DVD. A quick tour of it actually. It looks wonderful and will be sold on Amazon. And there are more to come. I’m so excited to be involved in future DVD projects.

February 2, 2008 Posted by | Amazon, dinner party, DVD, E Events, event industry, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Joe Sharpe, Just Marry!, Marc Konecny, Portofino Bay Hotel, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Scott Mifsud, sparklers, Susan Southerland, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding industry, wedding planner | Leave a comment

Halloween Party!

Jeffrey and I had our annual Halloween party again. It’s the 3rd year that we have hosted it. It is just simply good fun. Most of our friends are in the wedding/event biz. Are you shocked at all? With 10+ years in the industry, we don’t have much of an opportunity to socialize outside of our world. 65 of our closest friends were here to help us celebrate the spooky holiday. We always go with a cheesy Halloween theme. Nothing fancy about our party, except for some of our friends who come to play. This year, one of my favorite get up’s was Susan Pelteson, who took the (wear your favorite t’shirt) to a whole new level by adding red gloves and a tiara. And one our dearest friends, Kristy Chenell flew back in just to play at our party. She recently moved to Denver, Colorado to a new Ritz Carlton that will be opening sometime before the first of the year.

I really do love our industry and love that fact that we can all be such close friends. Even if we are in the same competing industries. Who else to best share the excitement and the woes with, than those who understand.

October 26, 2007 Posted by | Aimee Sers, Andrea Hall, Annual Halloween Party, Bonnie Garfield, catering managers, E Events, event industry, Halloween, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Joe Sharpe, John Unrue, Just Marry!, Kristy Chenell, Lisa Konecny, Michele Butler, networking function, nu visions in photography, Portofino Bay Hotel, Ritz-Carlton Denver, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Scott Mifsud, Stephanie Rounds, Susan Pelteson, Susan Southerland, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding industry, wedding planner | Leave a comment