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!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wedding Professional Wednesday: Rev. Kevin Knox

As wedding consultant in central Florida, I am always asked about officiants. Your wedding officiant is a key element in your ceremony going well. Today our Wedding Professional Wednesday feature will spotlight a great officiant to consider for your wedding. Rev. Keven Knox has officiated over several ceremonies I've had over the last four years. I can truly say he is professional, helpful and really takes the steps to ensure your wedding day personally reflects you. We recently took the time to discuss his thoughts on weddings and ceremonies.

Name: Rev. Kevin Knox

Name of your Company: A Beautiful Ceremony, Inc.

Location: Central Florida

Number of Years in Business: 9 years


Facebook fan page:

Tell us a little about your business and the services you offer:
Custom wedding officiating services and online premarital education.

How did you get started in the Wedding Industry?
A fellow hospital employee asked me to perform her daughter’s ceremony. She encouraged me to promote my services because she had a very difficult time finding a minister. I attended my fist Wedding Professionals of Central Florida (WPCF) meeting shortly thereafter in 2000. It was there that Rev. Jimmy Johnson told me that Orlando is second only to Las Vegas in the wedding industry. The rest is history!!

What professional organizations or networking groups are you a member of?
The Advisory Board for Certified Wedding Ministers
The Perfect Wedding Guide luncheons
Orlando Wedding Professionals events

Any industry awards or recognition?
Awarded ‘Member of the Year’ by Wedding Professionals of Central Florida
Chosen by Disney for their 2009 TV wedding promotion
Helped Charter the Association of wedding officiants
Presenter for Association of Bridal Consultants
Author of "The Best of the Best Wedding Words", "Secrets of Your Dream Wedding" and "Wedding Etiquette Revealed"
Channel 9 - Wedding of the Year Officiant

Furthest place and/or interesting place you’ve travelled to while working on a wedding assignment?
The most interesting wedding was a televised wedding at Sea World. The bride and groom were Sea World divers that got special permission to get married in the Shark Tank. The bride used sea shells to weigh the dress and veil down and both held up signs to say their ‘I do’s’. The couple was fitted with special scuba mask that allowed them to hear my ceremony. Unfortunately Sea World did not allow me to be in the shark cage with the couple. They said something about a liability; instead I had 6 inches of protective glass between me and the sharks.

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting an officiant for their wedding?
1. What do the professional photographers, videographers and wedding coordinators say about the officiant? They are the ones who see all the different officiants and know what officiants do the best work.
2. Is the officiant a good fit for you-Do you feel comfortable with them?
3. How flexible are they regarding your ceremony content and do they offer the resources to make the ceremony planning easy for you?
4. What kind of customer service do they offer-are they easily accessible for your questions.

What are some unique ideas have you seen incorporated into ceremonies recently?
The ‘Wine & Love Letter Box’ is one of the newest options that couples enjoy, but the ‘Blessing of the Hands’ is still the most requested from the ALL options from the ceremony planning kit. Brides prefer it even more than the unity candle.

Are you a blog reader? If so, what are your three favorite blogs besides the Joie de Vie blog?
Sorry, I’m still catching up on this blog technology. I can’t claim any favorites. In 6 months I’ll be able to answer the question differently.

If you weren't working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why?
I still work full time as a hospital chaplain. It’s a very rewarding ministry. (Most of my wedding team also serves as hospital chaplains.) I find that the hospital chaplaincy has a way of keeping me very grounded in life while the weddings provide a joyful counter balance to the work as a chaplain. Life is a balancing act.

What would we be surprised to learn about you?
1.That I’m the father of 3 outstanding young adults-how did that happen?
2.I’m a bit of an adventure seeker. I’d rather jump out of an airplane at 14,000 feet than deal with a bridezilla, but who wouldn’t?

When not working on a wedding, what are your favorite pastimes?
1.SLEEP. I have a lot to catch up on.
2.Reading-can’t wait to wake up from a good nights sleep and be able to read a good book.
3.Travel. Teresa’s a cruise agent - can’t beat that!
4.Watching sitcoms on TV. (Rules of Engagement, Still Standing, Two and Half Men, Psych, Monk, etc.)
5.Gator Football!!!

Getting married? Well here is a great professional you may want to consider. Rev. Knox has an excellent team that truly take the steps to making your even an unforgettable one!

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The First Look: Two approaches to a special moment.

OK, you've planned the wedding for months! No detail is overlooked and then the day comes. All of the planning comes down to the six hours that comprise your wedding day! Often times the brides and/or groom are a barrel of nerves from the anticipation of the lifetime vow (I am a true optimist: its a lifetime vow) they are about to take. Many of our couples are traditionalists, they don't want to see each other before the walk down the aisle. And then there are the BRAVE few that say to 'heck with the tradition' or superstition!

From Joie de Vie Weddings & Events Blog: Orlando, FL. Event Design, Planning & Coordination

Eusther and Inol opted for the first look. It was a 'hush-hush' secret because their families were dead set against it. It was the vendors and couples little secret for the day as they planned the one moment where they were able to see each other before the wedding. This photo was after they saw one another for the first time. It gave them a very private moment to just breathe and reflect on what lied ahead. Our photographers and videographers were positioned so that it was truly their own private moment (that is what great lens are for...they zoom in).

Lori Barbely was able to capture this first look and you can see the bride and groom's reaction as they were to take a moment and just talk to one another.

If this is something you would like to do, plan it out with your coordinator, videographer and photographer. Your event team of professionals can make it a memorable moment by properly staging the 'first look'. There are many advantages to seeing one another before walking down the aisle:
1. It eases your nerves, making it a bit less stressful.

2. It gives the two of you a private moment ALONE without anyone distractions, people or tasks. Not to mention it provides for some great shots together prior to the ceremony.

3. Photographers/Videographers and Bridal Consultants love this reason: YOU CAN GET ALL OF YOUR BRIDAL PARTY FORMALS done prior to the wedding ceremony. The ladies have fresh hair and make-up, more time to get the photos done without rushing. You could even include immediate family at that time.

4. This is a perfect scenario if you would like to get sunset shots after the ceremony (remember its fall and pretty soon the sun will be setting prior to 7:00 PM). It is perfect because all of the formals were done before the ceremony and that gives your photographer and videographer the opportunity to focus on the two of you. Carrie Wildes Photography did this for the couple in the first picture. Corrine and Rico were able to go out for beautiful sunset shots on the beach.

5. If you are the couple that would want to go to your cocktail hour, 'first look' photos allow for pre-ceremony shots. That time spent before provides you with fun time at the cocktail hour after!

I will say this...every couple that has done this, in my experience, did not regret the decision to have the first look.

If you don't want to see each other before going down the aisle, here is a unique take on a first look. I call it a Faux-First Look. One of my daily reads is the Ashleigh Jayne blog in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She recently shot a wedding and where the bride put a modern twist to a tried and true piece of tradition. The bride and groom did not see one another, instead they did this:

Ashleigh's bride and groom were separated by a door and she was able to capture this fabulous shot of them holding hands. I absolutely love this. It's different and very chic.

Think outside of the box and capture beautiful moments like this for your wedding memories.

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. All photos used with permission.

Monday, September 28, 2009

An opportunity to meet Sylvia Weinstock: The Queen of Cakes

When you think of the best of the best, certain names will always come to mind. In the wedding industry the same thought is very true. If you say wedding decor, I say Preston Bailey, Colin Cowie and David 'tator-tots' Tutera. If you say cakes, I'll immediately say Sylvia Weinstock!

Last week was a little zany here at Joie de Vie. Aside from client meetings, vendor meetings and the monthly luncheon meeting for the Association of Bridal Consultants, I attended industry events in Tampa and Orlando. Last Monday was a special treat for me. I drove over to Tampa and joined colleague's Elisa and Victoria for the Florida West Coast NACE annual fundraiser. Their special guest was Sylvia Weinstock, the "Queen of Cakes"! The event featured a luncheon, presentation by Sylvia and a V.I.P. reception that yours truly was able to take part in.

Sylvia Weinstock is a powerhouse in our industry. She a cute, tiny little thing and her quips had us in stitches. Her presentation was fabulous and she talked about how she started her company, how she takes the time to deal with each of her brides and clients to ensure they have the details that they want on their cake. Sylvia's cakes have travelled the world and rarely do they have any crazy accident that is not fixable.

Hats off to Florida West Coast NACE for a superb event. They had a few of Central Florida's best vendors as a part of the event. Below are some of the photos I thought I would share:

The florals around the room were sponsored by Botanica International Design Studio (incidentally, they recently opened a sales office in Orlando). The floral pieces included roses, hydrangeas and one of my favorites, dahlias.

Room Service Rentals provided the furniture decor for the luncheon and the VIP reception. As usual Lindsay and Sarah brought their A game to keep the stage from looking plain. Loved the furniture groupings around the room.

Secretly, I was hoping she had a sheet cake in the back of the ballroom for us to try, but alas no cake! Sylvia did bring samples of a new favor she is offering, chocolate covered hazelnuts. A few lucky attendees were given a bag to sample.

There were desserts from Chic Sweets & Catering By The Family that were really good. I loved the way Chic Sweets set up their candy/popcorn bar. They had little with the the Queen of Cakes caricature. I've seen many candy bars, but their candy bar truly had a nice modern twist to it.

Sylvia talked with each guest in the VIP reception as she signed her new book Sylvia Weinstock's Sensational Cakes.

Of course, Sylvia signed my book, but before she could get to that, I had to confirm her flight options for the ABC Annual conference in Indianapolis. She's one of our speakers.

Thank you to Victoria of Elegant Imagery for some of the pictures above! You can see my complete album of my 'experience' on the Joie de Vie Facebook Page!

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedding Professional Wednesday: Lee Forrest

We are back with our new 'season' of our Wedding Professional Wednesday series on the Joie de Vie Weddings & Events Blog. This season (I'm thinking seasons because like the TV shows WPW takes a hiatus over the summer, LOL) we have a great group of professionals in the central Florida area that will give you great insight into our industry. Our first professional featured this fall is none other than Lee Forrest. Lee owns Lee Forrest Design and he is a zany, fun and extremely creative floral designer. In addition to being a great professional in central Florida he is hilariously funny, sweet and overall a great individual. All who interact with him can truly say he is one of the nicest vendors you will interact with. Well enough of me describing Lee, I will let you read his response from our Q&A.

Name: Lee Forrest

Name of your Company: Lee Forrest Design LLC

Location: (Downtown )
51 North Bumby Avenue
Orlando, FL 32803

Number of Years in Business: 10 (five under my current corporate name and working in a retail space, and five years as a sole proprietor working from home)

Tell us a little about your business and the services you offer:
I design beautiful and exquisite flowers for weddings. We stay incredibly busy--usually four to six weddings per weekend on average. We have 27 weddings confirmed for October. We are extremely blessed to be this busy.
How did you get started in the Wedding Industry?
I worked for another now-defunct shop in town as their exclusive wedding consultant, even though I feel like I really didn't know that much about weddings at the time. Then later, Lee James hired me as his assistant and also as the primary wedding consultant for his clients at a local bed and breakfast venue--and the rest is history. I also worked with Jonathan and Jesus at Raining Roses on a free-lance basis. Between what I learned at these two companies and these amazingly talented gentlemen, I knew that I had the talent and the confidence to be able to build this into my own career.

What professional organizations or networking groups are you a member of?
Orlando Wedding Guild, Perfect Wedding Guide, Orlando Wedding Professionals, Orlando Wedding Group, Lake County Wedding Professionals, The Diamond Package--I think that's it?

Any industry awards or recognition?
I was on the PWG Prom Court! LOL!! Does that count? Actually I'm not out to win any awards--I just want to excel in what I do, with or without the credibility of an award. Although our work is prominently featured in a magazine or a newspaper almost every month. I get quoted a lot--by Orlando Lifestyles Magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Knot Magazine, Orlando Home and Leisure, Orlando Style, to name a few. I dunno--it's fun seeing your name in print. I guess winning an award would be fun--but I don't really have the time to pursue applying for any awards. Oh, wait--I was in the WESH A-list top five the last two years. The first year I campaigned to be on the list, but last year I didn't even try. But I made the list anyways--so I guess that was an honor.

Furthest place and/or interesting place you’ve travelled to while working on a wedding assignment?
I used to free-lance in my earlier days and a coordinator friend up north hired me to travel to Rockland, Maine to help design the flowers for a "true million dollar wedding" at a small country club overlooking the rocky cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean--two very wealthy Boston families--it took 14 people seven days to design the wedding and two days to dismantle it--and their flower budget was $325,000. Truly a dream wedding and an experience of a life-time.

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting a florist/floral designer for their wedding?
Make sure you are totally comfortable and that you click with your designer before signing a contract. Gut instinct is SO important. Also, are they a "designer" who can think outside the box and create something truly extraordinary--or merely a "florist" who can merely copy something tried and true out of a recipe book (boring!)? I love working with clients who stretch my imagination and do things that most people wouldn't have the nerve to do. Those end up being the most memorable weddings for both me and the guests. And the most fun.

What are a few trends and innovations you have seen in the industry?
Lighting seems to be a lot more important than it used to be--good lighting can make or break the look of a wedding. A good lighting company is worth every penny.

Are you a blog reader? If so, what are your three favorite blogs besides the Joie de Vie blog?
Probably Michele Butler's blog is one that I read on a regular basis. Besides being a great coordinator and a dear friend, she is fun and so on top of the current trends. I really learn a lot from her! Other blogs would be Amy Morelli at the 2U Collection--she designs the most exquisite custom invitations and paper products--and also my friend Heather Ahrens at "HA! Photography". Also Rootography by Nathan and Jensey Root--and also Leigh Taylor's blog--photographers really have it sweet when it comes to featuring their work in blogs.

If you weren't working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why?
I can't imagine not working in the wedding industry. Being such an important part of the most special day in someones life is such a great honor for me. Seeing a bride's face light up when she sees her flowers--it's a cliche to say this--but it really makes it all worth it. Actually, the best compliment a bride can give me is to just burst into tears when she sees her bouquet. Then, I know I have moved her beyond words. I know her appreciation is totally genuine--it's hard to fake the tears! Just make sure she's crying because she is overwhelmed with joy! LOL!
We also asked Lee if he blogs. He doesn't. He swears he is not up on anything that deals with technology.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I grew up on a farm in Kentucky? Most people seem surprised that I don't have the typical Kentucky farm boy accent--and it's just funny watching people trying to process the visual of me growing up on a farm. But it's where I was introduced to flowers--running through the fields picking the wildflowers on the farm and planting flower seeds in a row at the edge of our big country garden. Being a florist is actually the first thing I can ever remember wanting to be--at age 5. Yes, even then, we knew! I had the creative gene in my blood. LOL!!

When not working on a wedding, what are your favorite pastimes?
I am pretty much always working on a wedding, working on a proposal or designing something for an event--it's something that doesn't stop for me. Everybody teases me that my facebook updates always say that I'm working--and working--and working--and it really is true! It's a passion and a hobby for me--and therefore, a favorite pasttime. I get bored when I am not working. Although, I do love to hang out with my friends at my favorite local bar Savoy, though, when I am not working. Which is rare. The not working part, that is. : )

Well there you have it! Lee Forrest is one of the vendors you can definitely consult as you are planning the floral design for your next event.

Until next time,
© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pantone Wedding: A great resource for you as you begin planning your wedding.

Many of our brides often ask us how to create inspiration boards. As you begin to plan your wedding the inspiration board provides you with a canvas that you can take to all of your vendors that conveys your thoughts and your ideas. That inspiration board typically contains the colors, the design elements, themes and other little tidbits that you think of when you picture your wedding.

Thursday's blog post introduced you to the Pantone Spring Fashion Color Report for 2010. Well in addition to the report, another great resource is the Dessy Group's new venture with Pantone. For those of you that may not be familiar with the Dessy Group name, they are the premier bridesmaids dress manufacturer. They carry many lines that are affordable yet very chic. Their lines include: Dessy, After Six, Alfred Sung, Lela Rose and Sandals. The Dessy Group partnered with Pantone to bring you a wonderful resource for creating your inspiration board. This new tool will help you share your thoughts and colors with your vendors and your bridal party. I introduce to you: Pantone Wedding.

1. Design inspiration boards that show off your favorite colors, styles,
accessories and inspirational photos (yes, you can upload photos as well).
2. Share your inspiration boards with your wedding party and vendors via email or post them on your wedding website or blog.
3. Coordinate your colors with Pantone Color Swatches that you can leave with your bridesmaids, florist, wedding planner & more.
We love this great resource and had to share it with you. Dive in, set up your own account and start playing with the colors. You may surprise yourself with the color combinations you put together!

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spring 2010 Pantone Colors! Splashes of Color!

The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is coming to a close today and we have had a week to see some beautiful and breathtaking fashions come down the runway. With fashion week comes the coveted report from Pantone. The report is a must have guide for all in the wedding industry. This guide represents the colors you will see released in new collections from your favorite designers. The guide is a helpful tool for you as you decide on your spring color palette!

Here are the Spring 2010 colors:
According to the Pantone experts: Designers bring splashes of sunshine to the runway for spring 2010. Vibrant brights add a sense of excitement to the color palette, while practical neutrals provide a safety net for cautious consumers.

As you are pulling together the details for your spring wedding, think of this report and how beneficial it can be for you. Pull up the full report so that you can read what top designers and industry experts had to say about the new colors for Spring 2010. If you chose to incorporate any of these colors, print out the palette and take it along to your planning appointments with your florist, lighting designer or your venue!

I can see many of the colors bringing on some great inspiration board ideas. We have printed excerpts of the report for our brides. If you would love a copy, leave a comment here on the blog and we will happily get a copy out to you. Happy planning!

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Real Wedding: Janelle & Leon - September 5, 2009

As an Orlando event planner, we are truly blessed to work with brides and grooms that want unique, memorable yet personal weddings. Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. prides itself in celebrating each clients individuality as we plan their events. Janelle and Leon came to us in January wanting to plan a special wedding where each of their guests would experience a wedding unlike any they had been to before. Janelle & Leon were a fun-loving couple and their spirit was infectious. I knew this was going to be a great experience, especially because both are graduates of my alma mater, Florida A&M University (FAMU).

Janelle allowed our event team to be creative and she wanted us to tastefully push the envelope. From the linens(which were a part of BBJ Linen's latest collection) , the florals and design elements that Tommy Murphy of Greenery Productions suggested, to creating custom stationery; no detail was overlooked. The groom was involved in designing the cake and certain aspects of their stationery. Janelle and Leon took the bull by the horns and we literally had all of her vendors booked/confirmed within the first two weeks of the planning process. With the bride and groom having demanding schedules, time was a precious commodity to them. They trusted our recommendations for some of the premiere vendors in the central Florida area.

The couple fell in love with the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate and loved the fact that it had all of the amenities to accommodate all of their traveling guests. The majority Janelle's guests were coming from the Virginia/D.C. area and the Carolinas. Janelle knew that all of them would make a vacation out of the trip and Labor Day weekend would prove to be the best time for the wedding to take place.

Carrie (Carrie Wildes Photography) and Arami (Elegante Films) were able to capture many of the beautiful moments from the day. Here are a few Sneak Peek Images from Carrie's blog and the Wedding DVD Trailer created by Arami:

The video below is the trailer the bride and groom were able to send their loved ones to preview the event.

Omni Resort Champions Gate Wedding Trailer Video Florida from Elegante Films, Inc. on Vimeo.

The Event Team that pulled the day together:
Event Coordination
: Joie de Vie Weddings and Events - c'est moi! Seriously, I am nothing without my team. The ladies that assisted with this wedding were phenomenal.

Venue: Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate Jennifer Smith is the go to girl for weddings at the Omni. Professional, on task and willing to make the day unique to the client. Her staff is amazing!

Florals, Decor and Chairs: Greenery Productions. Tommy and his team truly brought the couples vision to life. His attention to detail is truly incomparable.

Videography: Elegante Films Arami and Veronica have shown us over and over again that the wedding video should always be exciting to look at. The engagement video and sneek peek have set the tone for what is to come.
Photography: Carrie Wildes Photography Carrie and Silence (yes, that is her assistant shooters name!) were awesome. Carrie has worked with the couple since February and from their engagement session we knew that the photos would be stellar.

Entertainment: DJ Carl is in the building! If you attended FAMU, you know what's up when it comes to party music. A Rattler is a hard person to please when it comes to music. Naturally he was the best DJ for this couple. He brought his "A Game", as usual.

Furniture: Room Service Sarah and Lindsay took care of Janelle. The furniture brought the club atmosphere into the room and it was chic, elegant and snazzy (just like Janelle!).

Lighting: Tagas Events Bryan was given the challenge of finding that perfect shade of purple for Janelle. He found it and the lighting truly finished the room. Aside form the lighting Taga Events also provided us with our AV needs and our GOBO. They were able to take GOBO we designed and frame the sweetheart table in the room.
Linen: BBJ Linen Tommy worked closely with BBJ to help us select the best linen for the room. Black, White, Gold and Eggplant never looked better. The ladies from BBJ were fabulous especially when we had to make the "Rain Call" and put plan "B" in effect.

Cake: Party Flavors The photo of the cake speaks for itself. Richard and Priscilla worked with Leon and Janelle in designing a cake that would be a 'show stopper'. Was it not a showstopper? There was not a slice left.

Make up: Lena G Creative Designs Lena (aka the celebrity make-up artist) is a true GEM. From the make-up trial to execution, she made sure that Janelle was the glam Diva that she is known to be.

Hair: Shades by Rint "Rint" as the industry affectionately calls her, is the go-to-girl for all things hair. She gave each girl a unique look while sticking to a complimentary style for the entire wedding party.

I spoke with the parents, the bride and the groom we truly exceeded their expectations. The bar was set high and we surpassed the standard. I have to again thank the vendor team, each of the vendors above truly contributed to the events success and to me are some of the best if not the best you can have bringing your day together. I also have to give a special thank you to my assistants and the apprentices that worked with me on the day of the wedding. These ladies helped make the day absolutely the best.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spicing things up a bit: A Boudoir Session

As you begin to plan your wedding day photography here is an out of the box thought for you: Surprise you groom with a tasteful, yet provocatively sexy Boudoir Album. There are many central Florida photographers that host boudoir sessions regularly. The session is your chance to express yourself through a sensual photo session for your significant other. You can have your hair and makeup done to spice it up. For those that are shy, its a chance to express your inner diva. For those that are not shy its another opportunity to be alluring, a vixen or sweet and sexily innocent. Most if not all of the photographers will help you create a beautiful photo book or album to present your photos in.

I recently spoke with Kalysa with Ashira Photography regarding the options available with boudoir sessions. Kalysa has an upcoming session on October 18th where you can take part in a personalized session. Here is the information on the session:
boudoir session,ashira photography,joie de vie,orlando wedding coordinator
Until next time,

Monday, September 14, 2009

In Lieu of Favors: 'Come Together' to Battle Hunger

One of the questions we always get from our brides and grooms is what should we give as a favor that will not get thrown to the side or consumed. You want it to be a lasting memory. I always recommend making a donation to charity in honor of your guests. It brings attention to a cause and you help to make a difference with your contribution.

We are always looking for alternatives to suggest and as I watched the news this morning, I was happy to see this great idea: "COME TOGETHER" to Battle Hunger.

Macy's, Good Morning America and Feeding America have teamed up to provide an initiative to feed millions. Macy's is matching your donation and trying to reach 10 million meals. If you host a party (i.e. your wedding, your shower, you rehearsal dinner etc.)you donate monies your guest donate or you can just decide to make a donation in their honor, Macy's will match what you raised.

If you were to use this at a wedding, you would only need to mention the donation on your menus, in your programs or you could have little cards or labels printed. Your guests will definitely find the gesture more memorable than a favor.

Here is a link to the ABC News Site that offers more information. 'Come Together' to Battle Hunger - ABC News

Until Next Time,


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Friday, September 11, 2009

We Will Never Forget 09/11/01

Eight years ago today began like any other day for most of us here in the U.S. We were getting ready for work, dropping the kids off for school or headed out for our morning run. Within 2 hours we all came to a standstill in the horror that something so dreadful could happen in our own back yard. We have not forgotten the many lives that were taken that day.

We Will Never Forget!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Real Wedding: Angel & Dwayne - June 6, 2009

What happens to your guest list when:
1. You still attend the church you were born and raised in?
2. You know half of the community you live in? and
3. You are active in many social and civic organizations?

Let's just say that guest list grows EXPONENTIALLY! That was the dilemma our June 6th couple faced as they prepared for their wedding. Angel and Dwayne had a guest list of well over 350 people and we had to come up with a happy medium because the bride still had over 350 invitees after she had trimmed the guest list.

We worked diligently for the seven months tying all of their details together and it was truly exciting to see it all come together. As I mentioned in a past post, this wedding was particularly important to me because it was my best friend's wedding. Well what was the solution? Two (2) receptions that took place simultaneously! There was a Church - Cake & Punch reception along with a Family luncheon. By implementing some traditional elements such as a receiving line, Dwayne and Angel were able to greet all of their guests and attend both, (yes both!) receptions and her guests did not feel slighted in any way.

Joie de Vie had three rules to adhere to for this wedding:

1. Pink wherever possible (Angel's favorite color for as long as I've known her) despite Dwayne's objection to 'pink' anything. We were able to tie pink in with her florals, designed by the fabulous floral designer Betina.

2. Great food. Dwayne's only concern in the planning was great food and drinks. He personally attended the tasting to help create the menu with Levan's Catering. Duane at Levan's created a signature steak that suited Dwayne's distinct palette.

3. Both receptions needed to be distinct, yet the church reception attendees were to feel as though they attended the actual reception. We had cake, which the bride and groom cut and all of the traditional things you found at a regular reception: food, cake, music and a bride an groom that were able to spend some time with all of the 125 guests at that reception.

We worked with a FABULOUS event team that helped to make every moment of the day special. Here are a few photos from their beautiful day captured by the ever fabulous Scott Craig (Scott Craig Photography): RECEPTION #1 The Hargarett Church Fellowship Hall at Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. Guests got more than just cake and punch. They were treated to hors d'oeuvres, salad and dessert.Instead of a traditional guest book, we opted to go with a "Wish Tree". Both receptions had this Tree where all of Angel and Dwayne's Guests were able to provide wishes and words of encouragement for their marriage.RECEPTION #2 The Family Luncheon at the American Legion Headquarters. This locale recently underwent a major renovation which tied in perfectly with Angel's colors. The cocktail area had large leather ottomans and sectionals which provided ample seating for her guests. Angel's color scheme was carried throughout the reception.
Dwayne played football at the University of Florida, so Angel paid homage to his love of football by incorporating his favorite cake (carrot cake) and his favorite pastime (tailgating) together in his groom's cake.
Angel, who is an active member of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was serenaded by a few of her sisters with a sweetheart song.I must say thank you all of the vendors that made this day one that was filled with memories for all involved. Our Vendor Team:
Coordination/Planning: Joie De Vie Weddings & Events 407-296-4008
Ceremony and Church Reception: Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church: 407-832-1387
Family Luncheon Reception: American Legion Headquarters 407-295-2631
Caterer: Levan's Catering (407)854-7949
Cake: Party Flavors 407-578-2082
Entertainment: DJ Kyle Larue 407-701-1503
Florist: Betina Paul 407-376-9455
Rentals: Bell Chair Covers Rentals 407-380-0389
Photographer: Scott Craig Photography 407-294-8105
Videographer: A Moment To Remember 407-489-3037
Transportation: Noris Limousines 407-240-4533

We will have a few more pictures of the details (paper goods, centerpieces etc.) from this wedding in another post.

A special thank you to my fabulous assistants Arlene, Naomi and Jacques. You all made this day extra special. Thank you so much!
Until next time,