Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

Something Exciting to Share Here at Just Marry!

First, let me start off this blog entry by apologizing for my absence from the wild world of blogging.  I have been focused on wrapping up a wedding for one of my favorite families, the Katta’s.  I first worked with them in 2007 when their daughter Sarah was married and this one was their son, Joe’s wedding.  I am a perfectionist and that led me to only being able to think, eat, dream and work on Katta.  The wedding was this past weekend and was amazingly beautiful.  I can’t wait to post my future blog, “The Tale of Two Weddings”, which will showcase both Sarah and Joe’s weddings.  So, keep an eye out for that.

Ok, on to the task at hand.  I’m so excited about this blog post because it includes two of my best friends, Susan and Kristy.  Here they are at a recent speaking engagement.

Here’s the recent press release including both Just Marry! and our lovely Kristy at Couture Consulting by Chenell.  Expect great things in the future from both companies.  I’m so glad to be a part of the bright future.

JUST MARRY! PARTNERS WITH COUTURE CONSULTING

Orlando, FL (October 3, 2008) – Just Marry! is pleased to announce it’s collaboration with wedding business consulting firm, Couture Consulting by Chenell, LLC.  The partnership will grow the Just Marry! brand globally as well as develop innovative concepts and products for brides and grooms.

As new values emerge for couples tying the knot, a strong focus will be placed on each couple’s individual aspirations, preferences, and desires while staying sensitive to the ever changing market.   The two companies will join forces to create helpful resources (both services and products) made to inspire brides and grooms of their vision and to help them bring that vision to life within their spending parameters.

Couture Consulting will work with Just Marry! to cultivate its brand essence, rich with experience, fervor, and vision.   As a team, these companies anticipate expanding Just Marry!’s services, offices, and visibility internationally.

Founded by Susan Southerland in 1992, Just Marry! is the Southeast’s premier, full service wedding planning company.  Southerland and associate, Michele Butler, lead a passionate and experienced team that has coordinated thousands of weddings around the country and the world.  Focusing on destination, luxury, and cultural clientele, Just Marry! has offices in Orlando, Jacksonville, Savannah and St. Augustine.  Southerland shares her first hand experience with couples and industry peers alike in “Susan Southerland’s Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets” DVD.  In addition, Southerland and Butler recently released the anticipated “Susan Southerland’s Just Marry! 77 Secrets for Greening the Wedding Industry” DVD.  Just Marry! has been featured on the Style Network’s “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?” and TLC’s “A Wedding Story.” For additional information and to purchase resources, visit www.justmarry.com.

Couture Consulting by Chenell, LLC is a consulting firm for wedding businesses created by Kristy Chenell, formerly of The Ritz-Carlton and Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.  Based on the principles and standards of luxury services and products, Couture Consulting by Chenell, LLC provides inspirational ideas, innovative concepts, and customized solutions for wedding businesses that desire to strengthen their brand and increase sales.   For additional information, please contact Kristy Chenell at (720) 425-3610.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | 77 Secrets for Greening the Wedding Industry, blog, brides, Disney's Fairytale Weddings, DVD, event business, event industry, green, green products, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Kristy Chenell, Michele Butler, Morales & Katta Wedding, Orlando wedding planner, professional planners, Ritz-Carlton, Susan Southerland, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding industry, wedding planner, wedding planning, Wedding planning DVD | Leave a comment

Just Marry! Vendor Spotlight on Tommy Murphy with Greenery Productions

For this Vendor Spotlight, I present to you Tommy Murphy with Greenery Productions.  Here he is with some of his close personal friends.

Here's Tommy!

Here's Tommy!

I have been working with Tommy for many years now because we are lucky enough to have close relationships with many of the same properties.  And of course because he’s uber talented.  My brides always love meeting with Tommy.  He’s so great at finding his way to all of their ideas and vision and then really turning it into a cohesive look.  Tommy is also one of my favorite people to be around in the industry.  He’s always fun at parties and he and his partner Raul are two of the nicest guys you will meet.  I invite you to get to know the infamous Tommy Murphy from Greenery Productions a bit better.

Where are you located?

Behind Universal Studios.

Do you travel?

Absolutely, have any overseas weddings you need help with?

Where have you traveled for weddings?

St. Petersburg, Tampa, Daytona, New Smyrna.

How did you get started?

I was doing freelance accounting work as well as working for an accounting company.  The recruiter was a friend of a local event company that ultimately hired me permanently.  Although I had nothing to do with the creative side, I was soon thrust into purchasing floral and all the décor for that matter.  It was so fascinating to understand the whole floral industry.  I am a true master at it now.  I have always been creative, I was the pastry and Garde’ Manger (yes that spelling is correct) at Isleworth Golf & CC back in the 90’s.  I personally created masterpieces for Janet Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallion and Shaq and his family.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I think inspiration is all around us which is the benchmark for everything we do.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

I think handing the bride the bouquet.  It indicates the time is drawing closer.  And you can tell a lot about how that day is ultimately going to be by her expression and response when receiving the bouquet.

What’s your favorite movie?

That’s a tough one, I think Steel Magnolias.  I can watch it again and again and still cry. I also love The Birdcage.

What’s your best wedding story?

I don’t know that I have one.  A couple of brides coming up in December are really stellar.  My one bride is giving me the entire creative freedom with her floral.  Now that doesn’t happen.  The floral is going to be awesome.

What in your opinion is the coolest trend right now with weddings?

I don’t know that it is a trend, but creating different and unique designs for every aspect of the wedding.  Brides want the guest to experience something they have never experienced at other weddings.

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

Trust your first instinct.  If you love it, go with it and stop looking through magazines and watching those shows.

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

I love what I do and work very hard to make sure everything that has been promised exceeds their expectations.

Do you have any pets?

Tucker, my Hemingway Manx has seen it all.  He is about 13 now and was the third of five cats.  Hemingway Manx have extra toes and no tail.  Well, tucker has a nub and the right amount of toes.  He is such a cool cat.  Then there is the love of my life Sassy & of course Romeo.  They are Jack Russell’s.  Sassy looks like me and acts like my partner Raul and Romeo looks like Raul and acts like me.  Just ask me what I mean by that, it is so true what they say about pets.

What is the best color combo for weddings?

White and ivory are always safe, but I love color.  Orange, green and pink.

What are your favorite blogs/websites? www.greeneryproductions.com and www.greeneryproductions.blogspot.com.

What does the future hold for you?

Lots of weddings, retiring at 55, thinking about interior decorating classes and as much travel as possible.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love taking care of my yard, spending time with my partner and our dogs, hanging with friends and traveling.

Some photos of the amazing design work that Tommy and his designers at Greenery Productions do,

Here's a bride of mine, Nicole Cassarino

Here's a Bride of Mine, Nicole

Enchanted Wedding

Enchanted Wedding

Funky Cool at the Hard Rock Live

Funky Cool at the Hard Rock Live

Another Cool Look at Hard Rock Live

Another Cool Look at Hard Rock Live

You Can't Go Wrong With White

Portofino Bay Hotel

Portofino Bay Hotel Villa Piazza

Love the Red

Love the Red

You're So Square

You're So Square

Escort Card Table Lookin Fine

Escort Card Table Lookin Fine

September 17, 2008 Posted by | bat mitzvah, blog, bridal bouquet, brides, Cassarino/Abell wedding, country clubs, Decor, event business, event industry, events, floral designer, florist, Greenery Productions, Isleworth Country Club, Just Marry!, Michele Butler, Steel Magnolias, Universal Studios Orlando, vendor, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding industry, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception | Leave a comment

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!

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

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z – A is for Arthur’s Catering!

I would like to share some of my favorite wedding ideas and vendors from A to Z. Check back often for the rest of the alphabet.

I thought this idea sounded like lots of fun and would surely be easy. However, it was quite a challenge as we work with so many wonderful vendors and ideas here at Just Marry! So, here are just a fraction of them in the 2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z.

A is for Arthur’s Catering.

Truly one of the most talented caterers in Orlando. It is always a pleasure to work with them. Not only are they on the cutting edge of what’s trendy in food, but they have amazing service. Something that is so important. It’s not just about the food, but the whole experience working with Arthur’s Catering. Here’s some pictures of their amazing food.

The following photos are from Derek Smith from Sunshine Photographics.

The following photos were provided by Arthur’s Catering.

Be sure to contact Arthur’s for your off premise catering event. And if you’re stuck with finding a location, then they can help point you in the right direction.

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Arthur's Catering, blog, catering managers, Food and Beverage, Just Marry!, Lori Player, Orlando wedding planner, photographer, professional planners, Sunshine Photographics, Uncategorized, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding industry, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception | Leave a comment

A Truly Meaningful Wedding – My Friends Art & Lana

Art & Lana

What can I say about them? They are perfectly matched for each other. This proving that it’s never too late to find true love. They did! And now they’re hitched, as of July 19th 2008. Congratulations my dear friends. Art being one of the people I’ve known the longest in the biz and Lana is part of our girls night group. The best friends a girl can have.

I was so lucky to be included as a guest at this intimate celebration. And of course I had to offer a bit of help. I know that my good friend Susie Weiss with Wonderful Weddings truly would have loved to help and to be there to see this couple get married. After all, Susie helped them get together. Unfortunately, Susie and Jeffrey already had a wedding that day at the lovely Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. So, I did what I could to help make sure things were organized and was even smart enough to bring along some extra help in my talented associate, Sally Jarvis with Just Marry! With her there, I was able to relax and have fun at Art & Lana’s wedding.

They really made it their wedding. You could say that they put the Art & Lana stamp on it. Here are just a few of the special touches they chose to incorporate into their special day:

Keeping their event casual and intimate. Sun dresses for the ladies and guys in pants and casual tropical shirts. Not a suit to be found. And they only included their family and close friends. Which made it a truly love filled evening. Everybody celebrating Art & Lana and their marriage to each other.

Seeing each other before the ceremony to do some romantic pictures. This always helps to take some of the tension of the wedding day away.

Having the cocktail hour before the ceremony and having a specialty cocktail. A Mojito none the less. The perfect Florida cocktail for a hot day. Refreshing.

Including their dogs, Smitty and Nick in their ceremony and giving them lovely floral decor for their collars.

Including their grand-daughter and niece in the ceremony. The processional was beautiful with the girls and then Art & Lana being walked by the pups.

Writing their own vows. Now, I was already crying from seeing them off down the aisle, but all of us girls really turned on the water works when they read their personally written vows. It was so obvious to all of us how much they love and adore each other. This is one couple that will certainly stand the test of time. Precious.

The homemade limoncello that Art had been cultivating since December. It was included as a shot with the melon and prosciutto.

The surprise from Susie. She had hired the beautiful antique Rolls Royce owned by Larry Gerry for the departure. And they left to sparklers of course. Always the best pictures with those.

Here are some of the gorgeous photos shot by Art’s talented photography team,

Here’s some of our girls night group. Those of us who were able to attend. We missed you Bonnie, Faye & Jennifer. Pictured below from left to right are Susan Southerland from Just Marry!, myself, Janine Boylan from the Grand Bohemian Orlando Hotel, Lisa New with BBJ Linen, Stephanie Rounds of nu visions in photography, Lana and Lisa Konecny from E Events.

The happy couple!

Here’s some of Lana’s beautiful decor. You can visit her at Fairbanks Florist.

Such a silly couple

The vendors that assisted Art & Lana with their beautiful wedding were,

Ceremony & Reception site, Casa Feliz located in Winter Park

Family vacation rentals, Villas by Christi

Hair & Makeup, Kari Larsen with About Face

Bride’s Jewelry, Sandi Loychik

Officiant, Judge Rom Powell

Decor, Fairbanks Florist

Photography, Art Faulkner Photography courtesy of Neal Sands

Catering, Arthur’s Catering

Ceremony Music, J.R. Krisanda

Reception Music, Danny with Power Entertainment

Transportation, Larry Gerry with Classic Rolls Royce

Honeymoon Location, Grand Bohemian Orlando by Janine Boylan

August 10, 2008 Posted by | About Face, animals, Art Faulkner, blog, Bonnie Garfield, Casa Feliz, Classic Rolls Royce, Deb Kettler, Decor, E Events, event venue, Fairbanks Florist, Faye Novick, Food and Beverage, girls night group, Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Grande Lakes, groom, J.R. Krisanda, Janine Boylan, Jeffrey Stoner, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Judge Rom Powell, July, Just Marry!, Kari Larsen, Lana Pelham, Larry Gerry, Lisa Konecny, Lisa New, Live Entertainment, Michele Butler, Neal Sands, nu visions in photography, Off premise catering location, Orlando wedding planner, Pelham & Faulkner, pet, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, refreshing beverage, rehearsal dinner location, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Sally Jarvis, Scott Mifsud, sparklers, special touches, Special Touches by Deb, Stephanie Rounds, Susan Southerland, Susie Weiss, vendor, vows, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding industry, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception, Wonderful Weddings | 2 Comments

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

WD40

That was the name of the game at Warren Dietel’s birthday party, just last night. Still moving a little slow today. But, it was well worth it.

This was an important birthday for our cool friend Warren. The big 40! Warren Dietel is the owner of Puff n Stuff Catering here in Orlando. Truly one of the top caterers in the area. Warren certainly had lots of friends at his shin dig. There must have been over 200. Now, that’s a party.

It was an 80’s theme and most everybody dressed the part. I grew up in the 80’s and there is no doubt in my mind that we all looked ridiculous last night and in the 80’s. I just can’t believe that brightly colored, mis matched clothes, jelly shoes, lace with anything and parachute pants were ever really in style. Wow!

This party was definitely one of those parties that you wouldn’t want to miss and was held at the historic Ballroom at Church Street Station. Complete with amazing lighting, glowing furniture, dancers and video games that we all remember. I loved Galaga and had such a great time playing it last night. I was immediately transported back to when I was 9! The dancers and entertainment were amazing and even had my Jeffrey up on the stage at one point. Hillarious!

Oh and the food. Well, what would you expect from an amazing catering company? Great food!! They had a risotto station with choose your own toppings, a Caesar salad station, an antipasto station, RAW BAR (yummy oysters) and a carving station with great flavored meats.

As the party began to wear down, we were invited into another area for dessert, breakfast and some 80’s Guitar Hero. Fun! The ice cream was the coolest. It was frozen using liquid nitrogen. Quite an impressive process. To top it all off, the after hours area was called Ronnie’s after an old Orlando diner that has been closed for year, but obviously not forgotten.

We were so excited to be included on the guest list of this fab party for our friend Warren! Happy Birthday Warren. They say that 40 is the new 30!! Let me know.

Here’s our very 80’s photo from the night and you can view a slide show of the party at

www.stonervideo.blogspot.com

Us before we headed out to Warren\'s 80\'s Theme B\'day Party!

June 22, 2008 Posted by | event industry, event venue, Jeffrey Stoner Video, John Unrue, Just Marry!, Lighting, Live Entertainment, Menu, Michele Butler, networking function, Off premise catering location, professional planners, Puff n Stuff Catering, Scott Mifsud, Susan Southerland, Uncategorized, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding industry, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wonderful world of weddings | Leave a comment

News in the Orlando Sentinel about our wedding planning DVD

Exciting news to share. Our new wedding planning DVD was featured in today’s Orlando Sentinel with the following Q&A with Fashion Editor, Jean Patteson,

Question: My stepdaughter will be married in September and has asked me to work with her on planning the wedding. I feel honored, of course, but also terrified. I have no idea where to begin — and she doesn’t either. Can you help?

Answer: There are loads of wedding how-to books, but reading is a solitary business. A wedding-planning DVD, on the other hand, is something you and your step-daughter can watch together, pausing whenever you want to discuss a point or make notes. And if there are tips and ideas you’d like to share with the groom and/or father-of-the-bride, all you need do is hit “rewind” and “play.”

Believe me, it is easier to get most men to watch a DVD than read a bridal magazine.

One of the best DVDs I’ve viewed is JustMarry!: Wedding Planning Secrets by Orlando wedding planner Susan Southerland. She covers everything from selecting a gown, invitations and venue, to working with vendors — photographers, musicians, bakers, caterers and more. Packed with no-nonsense tips for saving time, money and stress, the DVD is aimed at both do-it-yourself brides and those working with professional planners.

Southerland, a 20-year veteran of the wedding-planning and travel industries, and a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants, is founder and president of Just Marry! She has helped plan more than 5,000 weddings and appeared on the Style Network’s Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? and The Learning Channel’s Wedding Story.

The 68-minute DVD costs $29.95, and can be ordered at justmarry.com.

Jean Patteson

Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets

April 24, 2008 Posted by | bridal magazine, Do it yourself, Fashion editor, father of the bride, groom, how to books, Jean Patteson, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, Orlando Sentinel, Orlando wedding planner, professional planners, Susan Southerland, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding industry, wedding planner, wedding planning, Wedding planning DVD, wonderful world of weddings | Leave a comment

A Casual Get Together at the Stoner/Butler Household

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

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

Catering Manager/Coordinator Happy Hour

Graze Dining Area

I recently organized a really fun get together of wedding coordinators. We met a few times. First at Luma and then at Il Mulino at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort. It was great and we were all able to talk shop. It then occurred to me that it would be a great idea to include the catering managers from the various hotels, country clubs and off premise caterers. We had our first coordinator/catering manager meeting at Graze in downtown Orlando. It was great fun. Very casual get together with drinks and food. Catering managers and wedding coordinators often work very close together. Wedding coordinators are sometimes seen as an extension of the hotel properties. Making a great team. So, it only seemed appropriate to have the entire group together. Attending at the initial group get together were Bonnie Garfield (Portofino Bay Hotel), Janine Boylan (Grand Bohemian Orlando), Christal Knowles-Feldman (Sunsational Weddings), Susan Southerland (Just Marry!), Aimee Sers (Just Marry!), Andrea Hall (Just Marry!), Susan Pelteson (Distinctive Weddings), Jenny (Doubletree Castle Hotel), Linda Helm (Heathrow Country Club), Jessica Lodispoto (Winter Park Racquet Club), Lisa Konecny (E Events), Stephanie Rounds (Nu Visions in Photography). We had a great time. The food was great, if not expensive and the drinks were extra yummy. We in the wedding industry love a good cocktail or glass of wine. Allows us to keep that smile on our faces in even the most stressful moments. One thing I can say about the restaurant, is that they are certainly lacking in service. It was a bad time to be lacking in that area as we all have big mouths and can be a source of future referrals. Regardless, we all made the best of it and just let our tips reflect any downfall in service.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Aimee Sers, Andrea Hall, Bonnie Garfield, catering managers, Christal Knowles-Feldman, country clubs, Distinctive Weddings, Doubletree Castle Hotel, E Events, event industry, event venue, Food and Beverage, Graze, Heathrow Country Club, Jessica Lodispoto, Just Marry!, Lisa Konecny, ll Mulino at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort, Luma, Michele Butler, networking function, nu visions in photography, Stephanie Rounds, Sunsational Weddings, Susan Southerland, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding industry, wedding planner, Winter Park Racquet Club | Leave a comment