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!

Advertisements

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

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

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

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