Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

2009 Just Marry! Favorite Wedding Ideas and Vendors from A to Z, L is for Lee Forrest Design

Love Lee Forrest Design.  Wow, is all I can say about Lee.  Talented and just one of the coolest people in the industry.  I truly love hanging out with him as a friend.  I must do that more often.  Talent wise, he’s so creative and just one of a kind.  I am always so over the moon with his designs.  He makes me look so amazing when I refer him.  After all, I’m only as good as the team that I put together.

It was just last year that I was looking to Lee to assist me with really jazzing up a room when a local country club double booked the ballroom and we had to move into a much smaller room.  Lee and his staff came through with flying colors.

Here’s some samples of that wedding:

www.halwade.com

And a picture of Lee:

lee

And here’s some amazing decor that he did for us when we partnered together for the Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes show.

tuscany-table

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January 5, 2009 Posted by | Damon Tucci, floral designer, florist, Grande Lakes, Hal Wade, Lee Forrest Design, wedding reception, wedding show | Leave a comment

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.

kid-2

kid-5

kid-6

kid-8

Images from Abby Liga Photography.

kid-abby-2

kid-abby-3

Image from Derek Smith from Sunshine Photographics.

kid-sunshine

Images from Michael Wise Photography.

michael-kid-1

michael-kid-2

michael-kid-3

michael-kid-4

Images provided by Limelight Photography.

limelight-kid-2

limelight-kid-1

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, I is for Ice Cream

I is for ice cream at a wedding. We all love it! How can you not? Unless your lactose intolerant, I guess. Then, I do hope there’s a yummy soy ice cream out there, just for you!

Here are some cool ways to have ice cream at your wedding.

Ice cream created on site with nitrogen.  You choose your flavor and they put it all together with the cream and then use the nitrogen to freeze it quickly.  What a presentation.

A Coldstone approach with each guest being able to choose their fixins. Truly my favorite way to eat ice cream. I love the sweet cream with strawberries and pecans. That’s my indulgence.

Ice cream as a favor. Check this out on my blog. Certainly a bit more pricey, but if you can swing it. You know it’s one of those favors that won’t go to waste.

Mini ice cream cones butler passed around the edge of the dance floor. What a perfect way to cool off after dancing so hard to “Funky Cold Medina”.

The following photos provided by Rebecca at Limelight Photography.

coldstone

icecream

November 20, 2008 Posted by | amenities, blog, Coldstone, dance floor, E Creamery, favors, Food and Beverage, hot trend, Ice cream, Just Marry!, Limelight Photography, Michele Butler, Orlando wedding planner, out of the box idea, professional planners, special touches, wedding, wedding biz, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding night amenity, wedding planner, wedding reception | Leave a comment

Just Marry! Vendor Spotlight on Ricky Sylvia with the Buzzcatz

My spotlight this time is on Ricky Sylvia and his talented band, The Buzzcatz.  This is an amazing band, period.  They can do anything.  And for those of you out there who have worked with bands in the past, this one is a breeze.  No large headed ego maniac for the band leader.  Just a really great all around guy.  These guys make my life so much easier at a wedding and I always come off looking like the most amazing wedding coordinator when I’ve referred my clients to the Buzzcatz.  Why, do you ask?  Because they are so great to hear and I often have to look at the stage to see if that really is Ricky up there singing or if Bobby Darin has come back just for this one set.  If you haven’t worked with the Buzzcatz, then you must find a reason to.  They are one of a kind!

Here’s some great photos of Ricky and the band.  The first one is from one of my recent weddings, the Morales/Katta wedding. Thanks nu visions in photography for the image.

And here are a few more that the band shared with me.

buzzcatz-ricky

buzzcatz-band

Let’s get to know Ricky with the Buzzcatz a little better.

How did you get started?

I started as a kid in 1975. I was 11 years old. I auditioned for the U.C.P. telethon in Orlando and got the gig. My second gig was the Central FLA Fair that year.

Where do you get your inspiration?

ELVIS. I know I can be just as cool if I keep working at it and feel that I am just as good looking! 🙂

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

Watching the father of the bride sign the check!

What’s your favorite movie?

Hmmmm….lots of them…AMERICAN GRAFFITTI, SCARFACE, and KING CREOLE.

What’s your best wedding story?

How about my WORST?….we had a guy die on the dance floor while we were playing “Young At Heart”.

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

Band AND deejay combos…makes my night alot easier and we don’t have to learn all kinds of useless songs!

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

HIRE THE BUZZCATZ…they’re the best!

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

I know how much your wedding night means to my brides and their families… it is an honor that I do not take lightly.

Do you have any pets?

No…I am allergic!

What is the best color combo for weddings?

PURPLE AND GREEN.

What are your favorite blogs/websites?

www.thebuzzcatz.com, www.tributesradio.com, www.justmarry.com !

What does the future hold for you?

Dinner & a movie tonight with my incredibly beautiful wife, resurrecting my tribute to ELVIS and learning a few more BOBBY DARIN songs.

What do you do in your spare time?

Search Ebay for vintage clothing and look at Elvis related websites.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | band, band and deejay combo, blog, brides, Buzzcatz, Curt Littlecot, entertainment, nu visions in photography, Ricky Sylvia, Stephanie Rounds, Uncategorized, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding night, wedding planner, wedding reception | 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.

flourish-orange

flourish-pink

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

joseph-chuppah-close-up

joseph-sweetheart

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

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

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