Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, G is for Getting Away for Your Wedding

G is for Getting Away For Your Wedding.  Destination weddings continue to be the craze.  They allow you one on one time with those closest to you.  And you can even do some fun activities as a group at your chosen location.  How about sailing in Santorini, Greece or climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica?

Here’s some pictures of one of our couples who were married in Italy.  The photos are courtesy of our good friends at nu visions in photography.  Curt & Stephanie.

And here are some photos of another bride and groom, Jessica and Chad who were married in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Garden of the God’s.  These photos kindly provided by our talented photographer friend John Unrue.

www.unruephoto.com

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November 9, 2008 Posted by | blog, brides, Colorado Springs, Curt Littlecot, destination wedding, Garden of the Gods, Greece, Italy, John Unrue, Michele Butler, nu visions in photography, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, Santorini, Stephanie Rounds, Unrue Photo, vacation, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning | 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

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