Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, K is for Kids

Yes, I said kids.  I love kids at weddings.  Well behaved ones, of course.  Those are usually attached to caring and in control parents.  One of my favorite parts of a wedding ceremony is when the kids walk down the aisle.  They are just so adorable and you really never know what they will do.  But, there will most certainly be laughs, Ooh’s and Aah’s.  They will break the tension and they are great at helping the bride relax and get into a festive mood.  And I really love when the bride and groom really think about the kids experience at the wedding.  Great things come of that.  Well, mostly, happy kids.  Here are some neat ways to make kids feel special at the wedding.

1.  Include them in the ceremony, whether it be as a flower girl, ring bearer or JR bridesmaid or groomsman.  They can also be helpful in attending to the guest book or handing out programs.  If you have young kids involved in the ceremony, be sure to have somebody for them to sit with during the ceremony.

2.  Arrange for a kids party complete with activities and their own kid friendly food.  You can have a clown, video games, their own DJ for music and games.  How about a caricature artist to draw pictures of the kids?

3.  Keep them as part of the main reception party, but give them plenty to do.  After all, their kids and they have such short attention spans.  The best option is a kids table complete with butcher block paper and coloring crayons, pencils and markers.  A kid friendly centerpiece completes the look.  Create a mini kids buffet with some of their favorites.  What about a make your own sundae bar or a decorate your own cupcake?  If the kids will be seated with their parents, then be sure to give them a goody bag filled with some fun things to do when they get bored dancing!

Thanks so much to some of my wonderful photographer friends who gave me the following images.  I had such a hard time choosing, so I’m afraid this post may be a bit image heavy.  Kids take the greatest photos!

Images from Scott Watt Photography.

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Images from Abby Liga Photography.

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Image from Derek Smith from Sunshine Photographics.

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Images from Michael Wise Photography.

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Images provided by Limelight Photography.

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December 11, 2008 Posted by | Abby Liga Photography, blog, brides, caricature artist, centerpieces, clown, cupcakes, Decor, DJ, entertainment, flower girl attire, Food and Beverage, guestbook, happy kids, Ice cream, Junior Bridesmaid, Junior Groomsman, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, kid friendly centerpiece, kid friendly food, kids, kids goody bags, kids table, kids wedding party, Limelight Photography, make your own sundae bar, Menu, Michael Wise Photography, Michele Butler, mini kids buffet, Orlando wedding planner, out of the box idea, professional planners, programs, Scott Watt Photography, special touches, Sunshine Photographics, Uncategorized, video games, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception | Leave a comment

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, J is for Jesus Rodriguez and Raining Roses

J is Jesus Rodriguez and Raining Roses. The genius himself along with his design associate Chris Giglio really can do anything. They design weddings with floral chandeliers and bar mitzvahs with halloween and soccer themes. I just don’t know where the ideas come from, but they never seem to run out! Thank goodness. They can also cover dance floors and place gorgeous custom designs and logos on them. Here’s also to never forgetting Jesus’s partner and Chris’s good friend, Jonathon Panczuk who brought Raining Roses to Orlando along with Jesus. We miss him and I assure you that we think about him often and remember the fun banter and the beautiful decor that he brought to our lives.

Here’s some of the amazing events that Raining Roses has done throughout the years:

November 25, 2008 Posted by | bar mitzvah, beautiful decor, blog, Chris Giglio, Curt Littlecot, custom designs and logos, Damon Tucci, dance floor cover, dance floor decor, David Willems, Decor, event venue, Fawsett & Reams wedding, floral chandeliers, floral designer, florist, Grande Lakes, halloween theme, Hayes & Looney wedding, Hotel Property, J.R. Sterling, Jesus Rodriguez, Jonathon Panczuk, Just Marry!, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Lighting, Michele Butler, nu visions in photography, Orlando, Orlando wedding planner, photographer, professional planners, Raining Roses, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Ritz-Carlton wedding show, soccer theme, special touches, Stephanie Rounds, Table Settings, Uncategorized, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding initials, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding show, Winter Park Racquet Club | Leave a comment

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, H is for Hanna, Sarah Hanna

H is for Hanna, Sarah Hanna. My utmost favorite calligrapher. Her calligraphy is truly art! Yes, each and every 200 invitations that she calligraphed for my Morales/Katta wedding last month were sheer art. And she also assisted with the table names and place cards. And a good friend of hers, Eliza Pineau handled the graphic design on the guest seating charts. You really have to love a vendor that can roll with the punches. My clients always seem to take it right up to the deadline and yet both Sarah and Eliza manage to pull it off. I really value working with both of them, so much!

Here’s a sample of a table card that Sarah did for the wedding.  I love it!  Thanks to nu visions in photography for the great photos.

And here’s a sample of the elegant place card that she did for each and every guest at the wedding.

November 10, 2008 Posted by | blog, calligraphy, Eliza Pineau, invitations, Michele Butler, Morales & Katta Wedding, nu visions in photography, place card, Sarah Hanna, table names, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

www.unruephoto.com

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

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, F is for Flourish Productions

F is for Flourish. Brian and Richard. Now, these guys are fun to be around and crazy creative. Brian is the high flying creative type and Richard is the more grounded, but supportive partner in the biz. I love working with them, because I’m never disappointed in a consultation or on the wedding day.

The one and only Brian & Richard

The one and only Brian & Richard

Here’s a few samples of their work.

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And here are some pictures of an event that we’ve done together.  Courtesy of Sunshine Photographics.

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November 5, 2008 Posted by | blog, Decor, floral designer, florist, Flourish, Just Marry!, Michele Butler, Sunshine Photographics, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception | Leave a comment

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

2008 Favorite Wedding Ideas & Vendors from A to Z, D is for Dance Floor

D is for dance floors. Who would have imagined when I started in the business that people would find so many ways to be creative with their dance floors. I’ve seen covered, colored and even varying shapes. Dance floors in all parts of the room and over pools and it’s just so much fun.

Following are some pictures from some events that we’ve done where we had some cool dance floors.  These particular dance floors were designed by Raining Roses.

Hayes & Looney wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes - photo by Damon Tucci

Katta & Smalberger wedding at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes - photo by nu visions in photography

Einhorn Bar-Mitzvah at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World

Einhorn Bar-Mitzvah at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World - photo by J.R. Sterling

And I love this dance floor because it is set over a pool with a clear span tent over it and great lighting!

Fawsett & Reams wedding at the Winter Park Racquet Club - photo by David Willems

Fawsett & Reams wedding at the Winter Park Racquet Club - photo by David Willems

The following images and descriptions are from my good friends Brian and Richard at Flourish.

A dance floor in fuchsia, for a new Orleans client, that wanted a Bali themed wedding. Monkey appliqués on the corners.

This is a blue dance floor. The couple met in Hawaii and they wanted to have a lot of water feeling around them, the head table in the fore of the picture was a reef scene sitting on a lighted sweetheart table.

September 25, 2008 Posted by | bar mitzvah, blog, ceremony site, clear span tent, covered pool, Curt Littlecot, Damon Tucci, dance floor, dance floor cover, dance floor decor, David Willems, Decor, Einhorn Bar-Mitzvah, event venue, events, Fawsett & Reams wedding, floral designer, florist, Flourish, Hayes & Looney wedding, J.R. Sterling, Just Marry!, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Katta & Smalberger wedding, Lighting, Michele Butler, Orlando wedding planner, outdoor venue, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, Raining Roses, Renaissance Orlando at Sea World, Ritz-Carlton Orlando, vendor, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception, Winter Park Racquet Club | 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

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

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