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

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

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

An Orlando Wedding Guild Luncheon and a Wedding Remembered

Yesterday was wedding networking day in Orlando. Despite the rain. Quite a few of us came out for the Orlando Wedding Guild Luncheon which is sponsored by Central Florida Bride & Perfect Wedding Guide. It was hosted at Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar located in Winter Park. It was the perfect opportunity to check out this great steakhouse. A wonderful location for hosting a rehearsal or welcome dinner. And if you’re planning a lunchtime reception, you can take over the entire restaurant as they are closed for lunch. Eileen Antonescu handles all of the group dining events and comes to the restaurant from the Ballroom at Church Street. So, she knows her stuff.

Faye Novick and I attended the luncheon for the Just Marry! contingency and saw many of our wedding biz friends. Janine Boylan and Kim Moffat from the Grand Bohemian Orlando. Our good friend Deb Kettler from Special Touches by Deb. We just don’t get to see Deb enough. I guess planning weddings and doing flower decor can be very time consuming. We had a great time and Deb and I even had a glass of wine with lunch. Isn’t it 5pm somewhere? Thanks Deb. Also, got to catch up with one of my newest wedding friends, Tracy Marini from Eventfully Yours. I just loving counting the best wedding planners in the biz as some of my dearest friends. Where are you if you don’t have friends that know exactly what you’re talking about on a day to day basis in this crazy world of weddings? And always a pleasure to see my dear friend, the elegant Susie Weiss from Wonderful Weddings. Love her! And you never know who you might run into at one of the gigs. I haven’t seen Greg Dillon for quite some time. The last time that we worked together was at the Grand Bohemian Orlando for Mary & Dean’s wedding a few years ago. Back then I didn’t have a blog. Greg was so wonderful to work with and took such great photos that I wanted to share a few.

The vendors for this wedding were:

Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Ceremony & Reception Site

Special Event Floral, Decor

Greg Dillon, Photography

A Magic Moment, Videography

Reverend Luther Kistler, Officiant

Mount Dora Trolley Company, Trolley Transportation

Classic Rolls Royce (Larry Gerry), Exit Transportation

DJ Frankie C, Reception Entertainment

Charlie’s Bakery, Wedding Cake

BBJ Linen, Rental Linens

Beautiful Music (Shannon Caine), Ceremony music

July 17, 2008 Posted by | A Magic Moment, Ballroom at Church Street, BBJ Linen, Beautiful Music, blog, Broumand & Gockel Wedding, Central Florida Bride, Charlies Bakery, Classic Rolls Royce, Deb Kettler, DJ Frankie C, Eileen Antonescu, Eventfully Yours, Faye Novick, Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Grand Bohemian, Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Greg Dillon Photography, Janine Boylan, Just Marry!, Kim Moffat, Larry Gerry, Linens, lunchtime reception venue, Michele Butler, Mount Dora Trolley Company, networking function, Orlando wedding planner, Perfect Wedding Guide, photographer, photography, professional planners, rehearsal dinner location, Reverend Luther Kistler, Rooftop venue, sparklers, Special Event Floral, Special Touches by Deb, Susie Weiss, Tracy Marini, Uncategorized, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception, Wonderful Weddings | Leave a 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

Top 10 Fab Finds for July 2008

1. Love that silver wedding dresses are cool right now. I’ve always loved color in a dress. This is definitely a new spin on things. Check this one out from Maggie Sottero. This is the style Kadence.

2. Having doughnuts made fresh at your wedding reception.

3. Charms and/or love note from the groom on your bouquet. What a special keepsake to have after the flowers have gone to flower heaven. You can find the charms at www.etsy.com.

4. Incorporating animals into your ceremony. If you have a special animal in your life, shouldn’t they be involved in some way?

5. Beach weddings. Just being by the ocean relaxes me. That seems like the perfect venue. I think it’s also great to give your guests flip flops to wear down to the beach. Thereby saving their lovely footwear for the dancing at the reception. However, you know they’ll come back to those flip flops after dancing all night.

6. Leaving a different amenity on your out of town guests pillow each night. I suggest a hangover remedy kit for the night of the wedding. You can include gatorade, water, vitamin B, Advil, Zantac and an eye mask.

7. Giving plants as your wedding favors. This is one favor that won’t be wasted and you really will be giving something back to the environment.

8. Check out these neat wax candle containers from RS Wax. Just beautiful! Adds a warm glow to any wedding reception.

9. Having each of your guests photos taken as they arrive at your wedding reception and giving them as favors at the end of the night in beautiful frames.

10. Inky Pink for out of the box favors, gifts, accessories. The list is endless. The picture below is a perfect wedding cake topper for cell phone addicted brides and grooms.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | animals, beach, beach wedding, bridal bouquet, bridal bouquet charms, charms, Decor, Do it yourself, dog, doughnuts, enviroment, Etsy, eye mask, favors, flip flops, Food and Beverage, frames, Gatorade, groom, guest photos, hangover remedy kit, Inky Pink, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, Lighting, Maggie Sottero, Michele Butler, out of the box, pet, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, plant wedding favors, RS Wax, silver wedding dress, silver wedding gown, Uncategorized, vitamin b, water, wedding, wedding cake topper, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding dresses, wedding gowns, wedding night amenity, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception, Zantac | Leave a comment

A Just Marry! Real Wedding to share, The Wedding of Kimberly Pugh & Jay Pounds

Kimberly Pugh & Jay Pounds

An amazing wedding sprinkled with lots of love.

Wedding date, Saturday, June 7th 2008 at 6:00pm

Location, Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Photographer, Scott Watt Photography

Videographer, Jeffrey Stoner Video

Floral designer, Lee Forrest Design

Catering, Puff n Stuff (specifically Heidi Brice)

Pastry Chef, Bake me a Cake

Linens, BBJ Linen

Lighting & Draping, TEC Support (Tim Eggers)

Ceremony, Cocktail & Reception entertainment, Jeff Scott

Photo booth, Plumb Fun (Zach)

Just Marry! Coordinators, Michele Butler, Kristen Wilkins & Cathrina Dionisio

I love to talk about this wedding. It was two great families with wonderful friends. There was so much love and happiness at this wedding. And well, that’s what it’s really all about. This wedding was different. Not your run of the mill, looked like last weekends wedding. The bride is an actress and had very specific ideas about what she wanted for her wedding. I love that in a bride. After all, it’s her wedding. I love being able to help point her in the right direction based on her vision. All of the stars aligned for this wedding. From beginning to end on the wedding day, this wedding was virtually flawless and as a wedding planner, that is a true rarity. Something always goes wrong. But, the vendors were on time and brought the correct products, the venue was cooperative, the wedding party and family were ready to go on time for the wedding and the weather even stayed sunny. Definitely hot, but still a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony and cocktail hour. Perfection on a wedding day is not easily achieved. We, wedding planners have all of the ingredients to oversee. I expect such perfection that it really does consume me, but the reward is always in viewing the photos and video. Enough of my ramblings.

I asked Kim to answer some questions about her wedding, so that I could share her wedding day with you, in her words. We invite you to enjoy a Just Marry! real wedding in both pictures and words.

Where did you all first meet?

We met in college, and both had significant others at the time. When we remet 6 years later at a karaoke bar (!), we were instantly drawn to each other. He does a mean “Fly me to the moon” 🙂

Tell me about the engagement.

First, you must know that both Kim and Jay love word games. They often challenge each other in Scrabble and love to do crosswords together. While on a trip to Orlando (they both live in Manhattan), Jay surprised Kim with a crossword puzzle he had made her. The theme was “Can I ask you a question”, with such answers as “is this seat taken” and “to be or not to be”. Jay insisted she work on the puzzle right then, so she proceeded to solve it (with his help, naturally). The next night, Jay had made reservations for dinner at Manuel’s on the 28th, a restaurant they had always meant to visit while living in Orlando. As the two finished dessert, the waiter returned with a special delivery for Kim. To her surprise, it was the completed crossword puzzle, but with an additional clue: “The most important question of all”. The answer was made up of four answers in the crossword puzzle: “will – ewe – Mary – mi”. As Kim finished putting things together, Jay got down on one knee, pulled out the Tiffany’s box he’d kept hidden, and made the question official. Kim of course said “Yes” through tears of joy, and the waiter reappeared with two glasses of champagne!

What is your favorite detail of the wedding?


Seriously, too many of our favorite things to choose one. The day is a blur of joy. . . I loved it all. I was so giddily thrilled to see the venue with all the details pulled together . . . the DIY projects my family and Jay helped create, the wedding “cake” by Bake Me a Cake complete with a bird topper pulled from a graphic on our invitations/programs — designed by my super talented friend Jessica Rodgers, the florals (and the blue mason jars that my parents lovingly tracked down), the paper lanterns, the lighting, the mashed potato bar!. . . it was the perfect backdrop for a celebration with our closest friends and family.

A perfect place setting

A bird atop the cake

My bouquet had 3 calla lilies for remembrance of deceased loved ones, and the stem wrap was material taken from my mothers wedding dress — it was very special to me.

Personal touches

What was your biggest challenge to overcome while planning your wedding?

General: the plethora of design resources online! It’s overwhelming!

Specific: the girls dresses! I kept meaning to order the final 2 bridesmaids dresses, but between school and production work the time slipped by. . . three months later I discovered the line had been discontinued!!! The good news was that they were discounted big time, the bad news was that we had to call at least 7 Davids Bridals to track the elusive sizes down. Advice to future brides? Helping with details like this is what Just Marry does best !!! No need to go crazy with issues like this yourself when you have trusty planners in your corner.

A toss to the bridesmaids

What is your most memorable moment of the wedding?

JAY: The moment I first layed eyes on you. (awwwwwwww!)

KIM: When we danced to “In Your Eyes” — and the speeches at our reception. So heartfelt and touching.

A first dance to end all other dances

Is there a funny moment?

🙂 Yep.

We stayed at the Grand Bohemian, and decided to go downtown for a drink or two (after changing clothes, but some of our wedding party stayed dressed). At some point Jay and I were seperated long enough for a guy to approach me and say “Hey… so, how’s it goin’? You look really nice. . .you guys with a wedding party?” “We sure are!” I said. “Who’s the bride?” he asked. I smiled and held up my newly be-ringed finger and said “I am.”

Ouch.

Looking through our “guestbook” the day-after was also hysterical — so many funny pictures and captions! I am so glad we chose to have a photobooth, I will long treasure that guestbook.

Checking out the antics in the photo booth

Was there an unexpected event on your wedding day?

Honestly, Just Marry! took care of everything on our wedding day — if there were any snafu’s, we had no idea.

Can you give some advice to a bride who is planning her wedding?

I kept an idea-book that helped me when meeting potential vendors (I know you were waiting for mention of this one, Michele ;). I cut-out all of my favorite images from magazines and online resources, and collaged them in a journal. I think it gave our vendors an immediate sense of what Jay and I wanted — and it helped me remember off-beat ideas I came across. There are an abundance of resources and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and this was an easy way to stay focused on our favorites!

This is by no means a new idea, but my advice is to make the wedding and reception as personal as possible. Choose details that mean something to you and your future husband — and don’t shy away from bringing back old traditions or kicking tired ones to the curb, whatever suits you! You’ll end up with a celebration that is a unique expression of your love for each other . . . and it doesn’t get much better than that.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding?

I adore the displays at Anthropologie. . .I think we started there. I knew I wanted a celebration that wasn’t terribly formal, and felt like it had homespun elements. Along the way we came up with the phrase “rustic elegance” — making choices such as using blue mason jars to hold the florals, a chalkboard for our seating arrangements, and cupcakes instead of regular cake (with a cupcake stand built by my dad!). We also worked with Lee Forrest to incorporate branches into our table arrangements. . . and he designed an archway that added so much to the aesthetic of our wedding cerimony. I didn’t even notice it on our wedding day, I was too focused on Jay. . . but it stands out in the photos! Along with Just Marry!s help, our vendors really brought our ideas to life.

A perfect ceremony backdrop

On a sidenote 😉
We sketched a JK logo which was refined by a friend who is a graphic designer — we used that on our save the dates and invites, as well as on napkin rings we crafted and the take-home boxes for our candybar. That simple element really tied the entire wedding together, from start to finish!

The logo

And our favorite photo???

Eeeek! Also impossible to narrow this down, as Scott is just an incredible artist. I love the shot on your blog. . . me slipping the ring on Jays finger, with two of my dearest friends looking on. I also love love love the shot of my dad and I (with my mom blurry in the foreground) — just after the ceremony. His expression is priceless!! He looks so thrilled and excited. There is a surprise shot of my cousin and I dancing that is pretty amazing too (she has short, blonde hair and we are dancing back to back).

A perfect moment shared with dear friends & family

Happy Dad & Daughter

July 3, 2008 Posted by | actress, Anthropologie, Bake me a Cake, BBJ Linen, blog, bridesmaids, Cathrina Dionisio, crossword, cupcakes, Davids Bridal, Decor, Do it yourself, event venue, Food and Beverage, Grand Bohemian, guestbook, Jeff Scott, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Just Marry!, karaoke, Kristen Wilkins, Lighting, Linens, Live Entertainment, Manhattan, Manuel's on the 28th, Michele Butler, Off premise catering location, Orlando, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, photographer, Plumb Fun Photo Booth, professional planners, Puff n Stuff Catering, Pugh & Pounds Wedding, Scott Watt Photography, Scrabble, Table Settings, TEC Support, Tim Eggers, Uncategorized, video, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner | Leave a comment

Just Marry! Vendor Spotlight on Scott Watt Photography

Greetings blog readers. This begins a new feature on my blog. Spotlighting some of the wonderful vendors that I know and love.

I wanted to feature Scott Watt. I had been trying to refer him for weddings for quite sometime and finally succeeded with the Pugh wedding. He was great to work with and I was so impressed by his talent. So, come along with me as we get to know the man behind the camera a bit better.

Scott Watt Photography

Scott Watt

Where are you located?

I split my time between Canton, Oh and Orlando, FL spending the majority of the year in the sunshine state.

Do you travel?

Yes, I love to travel.

Where have you traveled for weddings?

Some of the locations where I have traveled to shoot weddings include California, Colorado, Michigan, Kentucky and Puerto Rico.

How did you get started?

My artistic path began at an early age with drawing and painting. I then went on to study photography at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get most of my inspiration from seeing newspaper photojournalist’s work in various national newspapers and magazine. The ability to capture a mere split second of time on film (or digital) which tells the story of that moment is amazing.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

My favorite part of the wedding day would have to be when the proud father walks his beautiful daughter down the aisle.

What’s your favorite movie?

I’m a huge fan of war movies, so two of my favorites are Braveheart and The Patriot. The bravery of those men especially during that time period, where the style of fighting is unimaginable in today’s time is simply heroic.

If you could give brides one piece of advice, what would it be?

Save all the money you will spend on tylenol and mistakes and hire a wedding planner. I’ve worked with and without planners and I can say that the ones that have invested in a planner, the wedding was 100 times better and ran a 100 times smoother.

What is one thing that you want everybody to know about you?

My faith in God is what defines me. Oh and I’m still single 🙂

Do you have any pets?

Cat named Smokey.

What is the best color combo for weddings?

Well, as a guy I’m not sure I’m the best one to answer this question. Although I can say as a photography standpoint, neutral or earth tones photograph better.

What are your favorite blogs/websites?

I find I spend a lot of time on photography sites including dpreview.com digitalweddingforum.com and apple.com.

What does the future hold for you?

I pray a family at some point.

What do you do in your spare time?

Spend time with friends and family. Head to the movies. Work out. Swim, sports, jet ski and seriously, I love going to the pet store almost every week.

Here are just a few of Scott’s photos to share. You can also find more information about him at his website www.scottwatt.com.

July 2, 2008 Posted by | blog, Canton, father of the bride, FL, Just Marry!, Michele Butler, OH, Orlando, Orlando wedding planner, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, Pugh & Pounds Wedding, Scott Watt Photography, vendor, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment

Looking forward to sharing…

a vendor spotlight and a Just Marry! real wedding!!

It’s Saturday and I don’t have a wedding. Such a rarity. I’ve spent loads of time reading blogs and searching around on websites. Looking forward to doing the first two features on my blog. One will be a vendor feature. The first victim will be Scott Watt Photography. We worked together for the first time recently and he was amazing. Here are a few sample photos from the wedding.

Happy bride and groom at their wedding ceremony

Happy Family

Also, I’ve decided to do a proper feature of my beautiful weddings. The first will be that very same wedding that Scott shot for me. Kimberly Pugh & Jay Pounds. Such a sweet wedding which was so full of love. So, check back. I’ll be putting those up in the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading. I think I’m really finding my footing with this blogging thing!

June 28, 2008 Posted by | blog, event venue, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Just Marry!, Lee Forrest Design, Lighting, Linens, Michele Butler, Off premise catering location, Orlando wedding planner, professional planners, Pugh & Pounds Wedding, Scott Watt Photography, Uncategorized, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment

Something cool to check out

Now, this is a cool idea for a wedding related item.  Who doesn’t love ice cream?  It would be a neat, but very expensive favor, but a great idea for a gift anytime of year.  You could give it to that bridesmaid of yours who just can’t live without her fave ice cream or you could add it to your out of town welcome baskets.  You can check E Creamery out at, www.ecreamery.com.

Here’s the scoop on the whole process,

Our Process

Whatever flavor you order, your custom creation starts from scratch. Fresh milk, cream and sugar along with other fine ingredients are hot mixed and pasteurized to allow uniform mixing of components and elimination of microorganisms. The base mix determines if your creation is a gelato, classic ice cream or a richer, creamier ice cream. An 8% milkfat is the base for a gelato, a 12% milkfat is a classic consistency and a 14% is the creamiest, premium base. The base mix is then precisely aged to prevent large crystal formation and ensure a soft, smooth final product.

As the base mix is prepared, our ice cream experts work to formulate a custom recipe based on your specifications. Water composition, sugar content and flavor strength are considered in order to create the perfect flavor.

After we gather and prepare the ingredients, we infuse them into the base mix. The mixture is then placed into our small volume, gourmet batch freezer. Here, the mix is simultaneously churned and frozen, allowing water to crystallize and air to become incorporated at an exact ratio. Our batch freezer is set to incorporate less air (40%-50% overrun) than conventional ice cream, producing a smooth, intense flavor.

Once it’s out of the batch freezer, we add the mix-ins with care and precision, making sure each scoop gets equal fun. Then it’s back to the -35 F deep freeze to lock in the flavors.

After all is said and done, we scoop your flavor into your package of choice and freeze it once more for 24 hours. Finally, it’s packed in dry ice and shipped right to your door, ready to be enjoyed spoonfuls at a time.

All I can say is yum!

June 28, 2008 Posted by | bridesmaids, E Creamery, favors, Ice cream, Michele Butler, Orlando wedding planner, professional planners, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding planner, wedding planning, welcome baskets | Leave a comment