Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z – C is for The Collection!

Yes, C is for The Collection, located in Winter Park.  Right on Park Avenue.  So convenient for doing a bit of wedding dress shopping and then hitting the wine bar or one of the many wonderful restaurants on Park Ave.

I am moving up on 11 years in this crazy wedding biz and Millie and her beautiful store have been around the entire time.  The Collection has some of the most elegant gowns you will find in the Orlando area.  And you can expect to be treated like family in this store.  What better way to shop for that gown you will wear for that all important event, the wedding ceremony.  And this shop is not just about wedding gowns, but bridesmaids dresses, mother’s gowns and flower girl attire.  They carry gowns from some of the most talented designers in the world.

Vera Wang

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Lazaro

Lazaro

And many of our brides are happy customers.  Here are some of our beautiful brides in their gowns from The Collection.

Sarah Katta at the JW Marriott

Sarah Katta at the JW Marriott, courtesy of nu visions in photography

Emily Hayes at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of Damon Tucci

Emily Hayes at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of Damon Tucci

Terri Oster at Jekkyl Island

Terri Oster at Jekkyl Island, courtesy of Karla Fountain

Nicole Gravenmeir at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of nu visions in photography

Nicole Gravenmeir at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, courtesy of nu visions in photography

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September 10, 2008 Posted by | blog, brides, bridesmaids, bridesmaids dresses, ceremony site, Curt Littlecot, Damon Tucci, destination wedding, event business, event industry, event venue, flower girl attire, Grande Lakes, Hayes & Looney wedding, Jekkyl Island Club, Just Marry!, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Karla Fountain, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Lazaro, lunchtime reception venue, Michele Butler, Millie, Monique Lhuillier, mother's gowns, Nicole Gravenmeir, nu visions in photography, Orlando wedding planner, photographer, professional planners, Reem Acra, rehearsal dinner location, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Stephanie Rounds, Terri Oster, The Collection, vendor, Vera Wang, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding dresses, wedding gowns, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wonderful world of weddings | Leave a comment

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

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

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