Photo Credits: Artz Photo, Jeff Kolodny Photography, Munoz Photography, Bill Peck Photography

Check out the Joie de Vie Weddings & Events Blog for helpful articles and ideas for your event. See and learn more about our featured venues and our past and upcoming events. We invite you to bookmark this page and visit it often, so you can get the tips, guidance, decor examples, and all the other elements that will make your event an unforgettable one!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Your Wedding Entertainment, IPOD...NOT! Part II (A repost from another blog)

A few weeks ago, I caught an early morning wedding show as I had my coffee before starting my day. Imagine my dismay when I heard the host tell his national audience that one way to save money on their wedding is to have an IPOD as their reception entertainment. UHHHHH NO! Now considering that Joie de Vie Weddings & Events duty to its clients is to tell them about vendor options that are the best options for their event, you can imagine what I was feeling. Now budgets are tight, the economy has made them tighter, but now more than ever...bring on a professional for your entertainment.

Being that I am connected to my industry professionals and colleagues on Facebook, I was not surprised when a few of them responded to my post regarding that wedding show. Elisa Delgardio and Susan Southerland, two of our area Professional Bridal Consultants, had a posts on their blogs on the very subject.

Elisa's post was from an actual wedding experience in which there were a few snafoo's from having an officiant become the unofficial DJ/MC for the reception. I remember a similar experience nearly two years ago when the bride an groom used an IPOD karaoke machine as their sound system (oooh boy!). Elisa's insight on the entire situation can be read here on her blog.

Susan Southerland's post on the Perfect Wedding Guide Blog gives her insight into reasons why you don't want to pick the IPOD over the professional. Here are some points from her blog:

Well, I cannot argue that an iPod is a wonderful piece of technology and it can certainly play any music you may want to hear, but before you scrap the professional, let me share with you a few thoughts on why my preference still lies with hiring a pro.

  1. While the iPod itself may cost less than a professional wedding DJ, the equipment you need to amplify the music in the room may cost as much, if not more, to rent than the DJ’s fee.
  2. If you want to have a blessing and/or toasts, you will also need to rent a microphone. That will add yet another cost.
  3. A professional wedding DJ is more than someone who just plays music, he is an emcee, he reads the crowd and adjusts music to get or keep people dancing and he coordinates with other vendors to make sure the events of the evening, like the first dance, cake cutting and bouquet toss get photographed and recorded.
  4. The professional wedding DJ will help you organize your reception so you know when is the best time to dance, toast, eat, cut the cake, etc. He will also help you plan introductions and special announcements.
  5. An iPod offers no interaction. If you don’t have a crowd that will jump up and dance on their own, you may have a boring reception.
  6. Finally, who wants to be responsible for setting up equipment and making sure it runs smoothly throughout the evening? More importantly, what happens if the equipment fails. Do you want to have a backup system on hand?
Read the entire entry here on the Perfect Wedding Guide Blog. I figured this would be a great post to link on the Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. Blog. Many area professionals gave their opinion on Facebook and the Blog. The wedding day is one day, you want the memories to be great ones.

Until next time,

Friday, March 20, 2009

No wedding day should be like this...Part I (a repost from another blog)

Over the next few days, we will repost from a few blogs across the country written by fellow professionals in the industry. I am linking to their posts here because in this economy, many brides have opted to take the 'economical route' and eliminate key PROFESSIONALS from their event.

The firstpost will be regarding not hiring a wedding coordinator. This is what the Wedding Jeannie posted on her blog a few weeks ago:

Jeannie Ward of The Wedding Jeannie in Southern California.

My blog is a place where brides and grooms can come for good advice with a smile. Normally, I wouldn’t post anything with a negative tone, but I’m compelled to warn you about what can happen when you don’t hire an experienced wedding planner.

Recently a bride called me inquiring about hiring me. I was already booked for her day, but referred her to another planner that I know and trust. Her wedding was 45 days away and she still didn’t have a DJ. Even though I wasn’t her planner I referred a great DJ to her, and she hired him.

Monday after the wedding, I heard from my valued DJ. The bride decided not to hire a planner because she didn’t want to pay the fee, and she was confident that her family members would take care of the details. Unfortunately they didn’t, and her wedding was not all she was wishing for. Here is a list of what went wrong, and how it could have been avoided.

  • The bride was 30 minutes late for her own wedding. We make a detailed timeline of the entire day, from the time the make-up artist arrives, to the time the limo picks up the bridal party, etc. We even contact your hair and make-up artists to tell them what time they should start and finish, to keep the bride on time.

  • The florist was late and didn’t have an assistant to help him. He was putting down the aisle runner and petals while the guests were seated and watched. A professional coordinator’s timeline is detailed. Each vendor (including the florist), is called two weeks before the event to discuss the duties and what time they need to start work and finish work. The florist is called again a few days before the wedding to confirm. I always have an assistant, and often times an intern. If a vendor is late and needs help to finish, we all jump in to get it done.

  • Kneeling benches were to be used for the ceremony. The bride’s sister was to pick them up from the rental company and bring them. She didn’t do it! Her own sister didn’t do it. Prior to every wedding, I’m mentally prepared for every possible problem. I know what rental company is nearby, and could have had my assistant pick them up within ten minutes.

  • Seating cards were to be placed outside of the ballroom. Assigned seating was the order of the day. The bride left this task to her beloved and responsible cousin. Guess what? She forgot them! It was a seating “free for all”. Important family members were relegated to the back of the room, because people who took the seats closest to the couple refused to move. We require that the seating cards are given to us the night of the rehearsal. We place them and assist guests in being seated.

  • The ceremony was one hour late and the priest threatened to leave because he had another wedding to perform. He instructed the DJ to start the music and send the bride down the aisle immediately or he would leave. The bridal party was running around visiting with friends and would not stay lined up. The brides father couldn’t be found when it was time to start. The Bride had to walk down the aisle alone! This is absolutely heartbreaking. There are always two of us at every wedding. I stay with the bride and her maids, and my assistant stays with the groom and his men. We keep everyone in line. The latest I’ve ever started a wedding was 10 minutes.

  • Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. You get one opportunity to capture “moments” on film. The photographer at this wedding was eating hors’ doeuvres and sitting down. The DJ caught him sitting down on several occasions, not taking pictures. He had to continually hound him all night to do his job. It is not the job of the DJ to help with all of these problems. This couple was very lucky that this DJ is very caring and wanted the best for them. A coordinator would have made sure the photographer was doing his job. If necessary, my assistant would shadow him and keep him on his toes. It’s our job to oversee that the important shots are being captured.

  • A video montage was to be played during the reception. The bride assured the DJ that there would be a projector and a screen provided. She forgot to inform the venue. No screen, no projector. Luckily the DJ had a backup projector in his vehicle. He convinced the venue manager to allow them to use their screen (additional fee for the couple). We do a final walk through with the venue to go over the timeline and flow for the day. The mistake would have been identified and corrected at that time.

In the long run, the couple were married. Isn’t that what really matters? Of course it is. But the bride was especially distressed about everything that went wrong. Most brides are sure that their family will “take care of them that day”. I can attest to the fact that when a family member has been assigned a duty, 8 times out of 10, they don’t deliver. It’s not that they don’t love you, but your wedding is not their priority. We see it happen every day. That’s why I carry in the trunk of my car, an extra sign in book, toasting glasses, garters in every color, place cards and pens.

We are trained floral designers. If the florist forgets grandpa’s boutonniere, I can make one in one minute. My emergency kit contains, florist’s wire, tape and pins. We can put together an amazing cake topper from flowers from your centerpieces in five minutes.

Pardon the sound of anger in this post. I am so heartbroken for this couple. For the cost of hiring an experienced planner, these problems could have been avoided. Let me break it down this way.

Wedding Coordinator- Month Of Package…$1500
Walking down the aisle with your dad….PRICELESS!!!


This is all to say,

Your wedding day is only once...No "DO OVERS". Think of a professional to ensure that all aspects, details and important pieces of your day are not forgotten. The incident above was sad, however, not the first time we have heard of details like that being missed. Our next feature will be regarding professional entertainers.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brides Against Breast Cancer Orlando 2009 - A few professional photos!

Last week I mentioned that I was volunteering with the Brides Against Breast Cancer Gown sale in Orlando. I had a few crazy photos, but at last I've had the chance to post some of the professional photos. Allan Saltman of Allan Jay Images had some great photos of the VIP night on his blog.

Sara, a Breast Cancer SURVIVOR has modeled for us the past three years. She always speaks to the attendees regarding the importance of taking care of your 'girls'. She is actually wearing the gown that our Gown Sale Raffle winner selected for herself.

This is me clowning around before the show. I was talked into modeling that day. Still trying to hunt down photos of myself in a dress!

Click here to see the other photos from the VIP night. You will see a few of my wedding colleagues modeling during the show.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wedding Professional Wednesday: Henk Prinsloo Photography

(due to problems with blogger, this post did not post on Wednesday)

A few weeks ago I met Henk Prinsloo and his lovely wife at a local bridal show. I must admit that I was taken aback by the quality of his work and his unique, creative and very distinct eye. Not to mention the quality in his albums was definitely one comparable to the best of the best we have here in the area. After previewing his work, I said, we must work together and definitely feature you on our Wedding Professional Wednesday Series. As an Orlando based wedding coordinator, I know that Central Florida is definitely a mixture of cultures and styles. Here at Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, we have been privileged to work with many of the professional photographers and at the end of the event, their eye captures your memories forever. Our many weddings have allowed us to experience that diversity for the last three years. Our brides are always wanting something different, yet unique. Henk's definitely one to watch Orlando. I present to you Henk Prinsloo Photography:

Name: Henk Prinsloo (pictured on the left with the world's best assistant!)

Name of your Company: Henk Prinsloo Photography

Location: Orlando - Melbourne FL

Number of Years in Business: 4 Years

Website: (For my photography) (For my art)

Blog Address:

Tell us a little about your business and the services you offer: I am a full time professional photographer that specializes in wedding photography. I also do family, fashion, prenatal, and children's photography. As an oil painter I approach my work in a creative and artistic way, emphasizing photo journalism with the goal to document your day by capturing the memory. A very attractive partof my packages is the coffee table books I offer my brides. I design the books myself.The books are trendy, very unusual, and truly stunning.

How did you get started?
I've been a landscape photographer for many years and started with weddings full time when my wife and I moved to live in South Africa for almost two years.

Furthest place and/or interesting place you’ve traveled to while working on a wedding assignment?

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting a professional in your service are for their special day?
Make sure that you connect with your photographer
Make sure you understand the details of each package and what you get

What are the trends and innovations in your service area?
Coffee table books
Model for a day

Aside from reading blogs, what are some places you like to visit on the World Wide Web? - (since I am an independent perfume maker as well) - (since I am also an artist and draw realistic pencil portaits)

If you weren't a working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why?
Fashion photography or perfumery: The high energy and creative freedom in fashion photography has always captivate me. I love creating things. A fashion shoot is a small movie set that tells a story.

The same with perfumery. The idea of creating something and have full control over the final product. I am working on creating a perfume line that will be nice to combine with the line of work I am doing. All brides love perfume. How many of them has their own unique perfume that captures the memory of the wedding day?

Favorite Reality Show?
Americas Next Top Model..... :)

Below you are able to preview some of Henk's work. Please be sure to visit his website to view his photo gallery where he showcases weddings form all over the world!

Until next time,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Brides Against Breast Cancer Sneak Peek!

Thursday night kicked off the 4th Annual Brides Against Breast Cancer Gown Sale in Orlando.

I am certain many beautiful professional photos will soon be featured on our blog, but I wanted to put up a quick, yet hilarious post.

We had an awesome time Thursday night. The Alumni Center at the University of Central Florida looked like a swanky lounge in very colorful chic hues of burgundy, coral and teal. Lavoria Buckley, Lindsay Cosimi of Room Service Furniture & Event Rentals and all of the Gown Sale Orlando Committee really pulled together a beautiful night. Of course we as planners love the opportunity we have to help out the Brides...but at the end of the night, it was pure comedy as we pulled out some of the older donated items, that will not make it to the sale. I will post some of the photos from the show next week (after our wedding this weekend). In the meantime, this is the crew acting up:

Elisa Delgardio and Tracy Marini are always a riot. Tracy actually helped our gown sale raffle winner select her wedding gown.

Lindsay Cosimi is showing off the detail in some of the veils...Oh My!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Your Wedding Bouquet: Are you holding it just right as you walk down the aisle?

As an Orlando based wedding planner, I have seen my fair share of brides go down the aisle. Before the bride steps through the opend doors at the church, steps onto the grass in the garden or outdoor space, or enters the ballroom for her special day it is Joie de Vie Weddings and Events responsibility to make sure the bride is picture perfect. We always take that last second to tell the bride and her escort (father, loved one or if she's flying solo) to take a deep breath, enjoy the moment and take her time going down the aisle. After all she is beautiful, dress is perfect and bouquet is perfect! Well, we also take that last second to ensure the bouquet is ...perfectly placed. You are definitely enjoying the moment and I want your photography and videography to truly capture that moment beautifully.

As trivial as it may seem; it is the difference between this:
(Photo as seen in Grace Ormonde's Wedding Style Magazine. Photographer: BLR Life Photography)

And this:
Bold(as seen on the Zen Todd Photography Blog)

Now both pictures above are absolutely beautiful, however, in the top photo, the bride is hiding the details in her gorgeous dress behind the beautiful bouquet. You've picked a beautiful wedding gown that reflects your style and what you've always dreamed of in a wonderful dress. You want the details of the gown to show in your pictures and your video. You don't want that swallowed up or hidden by your bouquet. After all the bouquet is there to further enhance the gown and your beauty. Your wedding bouquet like your jewelry is an accessory for your wedding attire.

So my quick tip on this is:
1) Hold your bouquet low as you walk down the aisle. Depending on the style of the bouquet, that may be low near your navel or on the side. Remember, the bouquet should not look like a microphone you are singing into.

2) If you are walking with both parents, holding the bouquet can be awkward. What I typically recommend is that you hold your fathers arm and have your mother hold your elbow so that you are comfortably holding your bouquet.

3) Be careful with your bouquet and gown. We always recommend that you check to ensure that moisture from your florals or the stems do not touch your dress. Its an extra, but necessary, second to pat down the stems with a towel.

If you forget those details, no worries! You will still enjoy your beautiful wedding. Of course we at Joie de Vie are striving for perfection, so we will make sure we remember to remind you of that final detail shortly before you walk down the aisle!

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wedding Professional Wednesday: Tagas Event Productions Services (Wedding Lighting, Videography and DJ Services)

When you are planning an event in the Orlando and Central Florida area, you are fortunate in that there are some great professionals that offer the latest and greatest options for making your event stand out. As an Orlando based Event Planning and Bridal Consulting firm, Joie de Vie Weddings & Events has truly developed a love for lighting and unique touches that will enhance the decor selected for your special event. The majority of our clients have opted to incorporate some sort of lighting into their decor and we are working with Bryan Taylor of Tagas Event and Production Services to add those unique elements that will definitely leave their guests in awe. Bryan Taylor is our featured professional for our Wedding Professional Wednesday Segment. It was great talking to Bryan and having him participate in our Q&A here on the the Joie de Vie Weddings & Events Blog!

Name: Bryan “DJ Tagas” Taylor

Name of your Company: Tagas Event and Production Services (formerly called Complete Media Group)

Location: Winter Park and Melbourne office locations

Number of Years in Business: 5


Tell us a little about your business and the services you offer: Tagas is unique, sophisticated, cutting edge, and fun. We are all about smooth flowing, exciting and professional, “wow” inspiring events. We offer room changing lighting products such as LED up-lighting, glowing furniture, stage lighting, DMX intelligent club lighting and much more. We are also a full service video production company specializing mostly in weddings, however we have worked on corporate, band, and other promotional video products in the past. We also offer fantastic, exciting, non-cheesy DJ entertainment services! Unlike some companies with 1 specialty and then secondary services, we are true experts in all three services we offer. We would never offer a service we are not an expert in.How did you get started? We started under a different company name and ownership approximately 5 years ago. I worked for the company as a part time DJ while in college. After graduating, I began running the Brevard County office full time, and after 9 months of doing so, bought the company. I opened the Orlando office just 6 months later, and in just the last 2 months have created the brand you see before you now, Tagas.

What professional organizations or networking are you a member of? NAME, ADJA, WEVA, PWG/OWG, TheKnot

Any industry awards or recognition?
Owner Bryan Taylor won a National DJ of the Year Award out of nearly 1000 mobile DJs across the country, 2006
Owner Bryan Taylor was published in the January 2009 issue of Space Coast Bride and Groom Magazine for a Lighting article

Furthest place and/or interesting place you’ve travelled to while working on a wedding assignment? Its not uncommon for us to be requested for weddings in the Florida Keys, Jacksonville, or the Panhandle. Bryan was once requested for a wedding in Kentucky, but it never panned out.

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting a professional in your service are for their special day?
With all services, be sure your hired vendors are true professionals and experts in their field.
DJ: It is imperative to have a DJ that is not only good with the tunes you want to get down to, but that he/she is proficient on the mic and in the organization and flow of your event
Lighting: LED is the only way to go. Never sacrifice LED lighting over a few hundred dollars. You will be sorry. I also must stress the importance of having a trained lighting designer, not just a DJ that has some LED lights! A lighting designer will be able to help you truly transform your venue, a DJ with lights will not.
Video: This is another area where a true professional is worth every penny! Be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Video pricing can vary greatly, be sure you are getting a great deal, not just a cheap price.

What are the trends and innovations in your service area?
DJ: we are seeing a lot more music video and broadcasting of the dance floor on a big screen
Video: a lot more custom video packages, often including love story documentaries, greater coverage extending to rehearsals/trips to the salon, etc.
Lighting: Glow furniture, “Ice” dance floors, LEDs everywhere

What are your three favorite blogs besides the Joie de Vie blog?
MikeBriggs’ (he always has great lighting pics from our weddings together)
Perfect Wedding Guide
If you weren't a working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why?
I would probably be in show biz, whether it be on screen or behind the scenes. I have always been intrigued by film studios/record labels/tv/movies, etc. I was a film minor in college and studied radio and television broadcasting for awhile before deciding to go the communications route.

Favorite Reality Show?
Not a big reality TV, or TV in general person. For the most part, if I watch TV, its sports or sitcoms.

What show do you TiVo/DVR? Ha, I don’t own a TiVo or DVR, I suppose in this day and age that makes me strange huh?

Below you can see some of the lighting that Tagas has set up in some of our premier venues in Orlando. If you want to learn more about Tagas, feel free to visit their website for more photos and information. Until next time,