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, October 25, 2010

Wish Upon A Wedding: A Ball, An Auction...Your Support!

At the end of 2009, I was truly honored to be approached to take part in Wish Upon a Wedding Central Florida. I realized that this organization would be the first of its kind to grant wedding wishes from the wedding industry! Last week we were very happy to learn from the national chapter that Wish Upon A Wedding was officially a 501(c)(3)! I wanted to share a bit of some of their upcoming events nationwide and locally. The Central Florida Gala will be on Sunday, November 14th and we are excited that Sasha Souza will join us for our gala. We would truly appreciate your support!

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world's first nonprofit wish granting organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. Less than one year old, the organization has 16 active chapters, and will have granted 12 wishes by the end of 2010.

During the month of November, they are hosting several fund raising galas and auctions throughout the country, and would like to invite you to participate.

Whether you are a bride or groom to be, a wedding industry professional, or you simply love the concept behind their mission... YOU can help make Wedding Wishes come true, while raising crucial funding needed to sustain this wonderful, new nonprofit organization.

Here's How:

A Gala Celebration to Benefit Wish Upon a Wedding

The Blissful Wishes Ball is a festive way to support Wish Upon a Wedding. Enjoy a nice night out on the town with an elegant dinner, entertainment, music, dancing, and incredible auction items.

Bid Your Wish for Wedded Bliss

Online and Live auctions for a Worthwhile Cause

For the first time in history, couples getting married can plan their entire wedding from virtually any city in the United States, knowing that every penny they spend will go directly towards helping a couple in need. It's so EASY to bid. Find everything from invitations to flowers, catering to DJs, photography to wedding planners, honeymoons and more.

Simply visit their online auction site here to choose from hundreds of items from the industry's best vendors.

Even if you are not getting married, check it out for other exciting items, such as dinners in top-rated restaurants, entertainment, sporting events and popular autographed memorabilia. Every cent earned goes towards Wish Upon a Wedding and their mission to provide these heartfelt Wedding Wishes.

About Wish Upon a Wedding

Founded in January of 2010 by CA wedding planner, Liz Guthrie of San Jose Wedding Consultants, Wish Upon a Wedding was created to help couples who did not have the time, money, resources or strength to plan a wedding on their own, because of terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. The organization now celebrates the courage, determination and spirit of these couples by granting their dream wedding wishes. It is their goal that chosen recipients can
inspire other couples facing similar situations to find hope and strength, while raising awareness for terminal illness.

Growing up with a sister who was deaf since birth, and raised by parents who ran a board and care home for people facing numerous disabilities and life hardships, Liz learned early on to value the many blessings in life, and the importance of helping others. Volunteering throughout her life for a variety of nonprofit organizations, Liz was looking for a way to combine weddings and community service.

To date, eight couples have benefited from the generous work of Wish Upon a Wedding. Over 4,000 volunteers have signed up to become Wish Granters. Their facebook page has attracted over 10,000 fans.

None of this would be possible without public support.

In Loving Memory of Wish Recipients who have Passed On

Dani and Tony married in St Louis on September 1. She passed away September 30th. Dani had suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since age 3, and had recently received a double lung transplant.

Florence and Micheal married near Sacramento on March 13. She passed away on September 28. Florence battled stage IV breast cancer, and was diagnosed with six months to live at the time of her wedding.

Shelly and Jay married in Seattle on May 2. Shelly passed away three weeks later. She had been battling a rare type of cancerous lymphoma, and Jay suffered from Multiple Sclerosis.

Please help Wish Upon a Wedding continue to do great things.

Attend a Gala. Donate to or bid in the auctions.

And help spread the word, by sharing this article with your friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances.
You CAN make a difference in someone's life today!

Until next time,

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Cost When a Wedding Guest Pulls a "No-Show"!

As a wedding guest, you have a responsibility to your host when you answer an RSVP with 'Yes! I'm attending'. In the last three weeks we have had two weddings and a corporate event for our Joie de Vie Clients. One of our weddings had a guest list of over 200 attendees. Once our guests were seated for dinner, my staff and I do what we normally do, collect the remaining escort cards and go to the tables to ensure that the guests are in fact not at the table. Sadly, the couple had more than 10% not show up for the wedding.

What does that mean to you as a guest? Well you've actually caused that bride and groom to spend money that could have been used for a guest that they had to cut out of their list. They also have now paid for a variety of services and items they can’t now be refunded for. To have 20 people not attend means they could have saved the following:

$3092 in Food & Beverage (assuming $89 for the meal $30 for the bar + service charge +taxes)
$ 250 for linens (chair covers, napkins, overlays)
$ 80 for stationery (printed programs, menus, place cards and table numbers)
$ 200 for centerpieces
$ 60 for favors
$ 80 for the cake
$ 100 for welcome bags (if they were expecting you to stay at the hotel with the room block)

That all totals out to at least $3862 or $193 per person attending the wedding. That is $3862 that the couple could have kept in their savings, upgraded their floral or applied to other services or items to ensure they had a wedding they wanted.

Be considerate of an RSVP. If you have an emergency beyond your control, it is simply that an emergency. IF, however, you realize you can't attend, try to give the bride and groom enough of notice so that they are not in a position where they've missed the deadline to adjust their numbers with their venue. What you may not realize is that many venues and caters have a time frame in which numbers can only be increased after the guarantee is made. Just the same a specialty linen company, stationer and florist have cut off times to meet production requirements. Take a moment to be considerate. Would you not want the same consideration?

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. Photo used with permission from Gourmet Invitations.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spring 2011 Pantone Colors are here!

Every Fall & Spring the world gears up for New York Fashion Week. As event planners, we keep an eye out for this report as it truly sets the tone of colors for the upcoming season. Your major bridal houses will use this palette for bridal fashions for your bridal party and accessories. The new report for Spring 2011 Report gave a kickstart to Fashion week last week and the colors are absolutely stunning!

For the last seventeen years Pantone has surveyed New York designers and experts to bring us the color trends for the upcoming season. The Spring 2011 report is appropriately called: Spring 2011 – An Exotic Journey.

Here is an excerpt from the newly released report: Citing exotic destinations like Africa, India, Peru and Turkey as inspiration for spring 2011, designers continue to satisfy consumers’ need to escape everyday challenges with intriguing color combinations that transport them to foreign lands.

"The colors designers have chosen for the spring season present an interesting marriage of unexpected warm and cool tones," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "By cleverly combining complementary colors, those that are opposites on the color wheel, they have created a striking intensity to the palette. These unique color combinations make it possible for consumers to pair existing pieces in colors traditionally associated with fall, with new favorites to punch up springtime wardrobes."

And the new colors are:

Get the full Spring 2011 Report by clicking here. We also have copies of the report at our planning studio. If you would like to see past Fashion Reports, we have the 2010 reports here.

Are you incorporating any of these colors into your wedding color palette? What combinations do you think would be great together? Look out for posts over the next few weeks detailing how you can incorporate the colors into your spring affair!

Until next time,

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

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th: A Day of Remembrance

Nine years ago, the world stood in silence stunned by what had happened in the early hours of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

I was still working as a Benefits Consultant and was working in Naples, FL. I for one believe everything in life happens for a reason. Our client was a chain of hotels in Boca Raton and Naples. The clients' Health Insurance Company representative was in Naples instead of the World Trade Center that day because our benefits enrollment was delayed two weeks. His colleague took over his New York schedule that day - an assignment in the World Trade Center. Minutes before the plane struck he realized he had no cash and stepped out of the building to get cash from a nearby bank. That need for cash caused him to not be inside the building when the first plane struck at 8:45 a.m. Just the same, a fellow School of Business Industry graduate walked in for her first day of work in one of the Towers - she was fortunate enough to make it out unharmed. The stories of those who woke up late, got stuck in traffic, decided to call in sick could go on and on...yet sadly many did not have that story to tell.

Many lost their lives that day. Many became heroes that day. They are gone but definitely not forgotten. I've learned that no one is promised tomorrow: We must live, love and enjoy each day with purpose and with no regrets. We must also learn to cherish our family, our friends and our loved ones. Life is too short and quite unpredicatable! Let's remember how important we are to each other!

Until next time,

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

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Get Married SWAG Contest Winner!

Last month we had a giveaway for a SWAG Bag full of goodies from Get Married. Our readers were encouraged to go to the share what inspiration or idea they've found from reading the magazine, watching the show or looking at their resources online. To be fair we used to select a winner from our readers that left a comment on the blog.

Our random integer was 9 and our ninth comment was from Rachel Reagan!

Rachel is getting married in Alabama next April and is using a few of the ideas she has seen on Get Married such as the mason jars and cupcakes instead of the traditional cake. Rachel will receive a great back filled with wonderful items she can use during planning, the wedding and after the wedding. We wish Rachel the best of luck!

Until next time,

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

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Should I Have A Cash Bar At My Wedding?

Should you have a cash bar to minimize your costs? I've been asked this question a few times over the years. Well answer this, if you invited your friends and loved ones over for dinner, would you ask them to pay for every drink they had? Hopefully not, hence a cash bar at your wedding...should not be an option!
Instead, opt for a limited bar, beer and wine, specialty drink, a bar during cocktail hour and after dinner. Talk to your caterer or banquet manager at your venue to see what cost effective options you can consider to help with that cost. You may even consider cutting your guest list, reevaluating other parts of your budget...or no bar at all. Happy planning!

Until next time,

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

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Engagement Shoot: Tahnee & Norman

Our clients and couples at Joie de Vie are truly special to us. We take the time to get to know our couples as we help them plan one of the most important days in their lives. I met the groom last year and he was excited as he told a few of us about his engagement plans for the end of December. He searched for the perfect ring, and each time he spoke about his then girlfriend, his eyes lit up! Meet Tahnee & Norman one of our 2011 couples!

We started working with them at the end of January and it has been nothing but absolute fun. The bride always strives to tastefully, but daringly push the envelope. What I love about how she's allowed us to sit with her and truly design an event that is unique! Next year's event is sure to be one for the books as we've got some great floral concepts and designs that will please the eyes and the senses. The couple had seen each other on and round the campus of their alma mater UCF (University of Central Florida) but did not officially meet until 2007 and have been inseperable since.

When they selected their photographer, they picked the UBERfabulous Jennifer Werneth in Orlando, to capture their wedding day as well as their engagement images. Tahnee and Norman had one stipulation, their baby boy (all 160 pounds of him), had to be a part of their engagement photos. Dallas is the couples beautiful Great Dane and he is tall!

The couple met up with Jennifer in downtown Celebration, FL and the images speak for themselves. If you would like to see more of their photos, check out Jennifer's blog by clicking here.

Until next time,

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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Giveaway: Enter To Win Some Get Married SWAG!

The latest issue of Get Married hit the newsstands a few weeks ago and it is a must read for you as you start planning your wedding. The Fall Issue features great ideas, trends and real weddings that will inspire you. Get Married is a national, "tri-media "wedding planning resource that reaches passionate brides like yourselves through video, online, and in print.

Our friends at Get Married want the Joie de Vie Blog readers to have an opportunity to enter to win a one year subscription along with a great SWAG bag of Get Married items and products!

One lucky Joie de Vie blog reader has the opportunity to win a 1-year subscription and the SWAG Bag (pictured below) containing:

• “Just Married” flip flops
• “Just Married” tote bag
• 2 boxes of wedding Theme Napkins
• 1 bride tank top
• Get Married orange eco-friendly bag

The rules for our giveaway are simple. Leave a comment on this blog post with the following:
1) Your Name
2) City
3) Wedding Date
4) Email - write it out as jane (at) yahoo dot com [to discourage autobots from collecting your info.].
5) What has been a unique element that you have seen either on the Get Married magazine, website or television show that you would like to incorporate into your wedding day?

This contest will run until 11:59PM EST 8/31/2010. The winner will be drawn via random integer on We are looking forward to your comments!

Until next time,

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

*Comments on twitter and facebook do not count in the contest, you must enter the comment in the comments section of the actual blog post.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beau-coup Contest Winner!

Last month we had a giveaway for a $25 gift card for Beau-coup. Our readers were encouraged to go to the share their favorite favor on the Beau-coup site. The contest ended last Friday and we've selected a winner. To be fair we used to select a winner from our readers that left a comment on the blog.

We are happy to announce that our winner is lucky number 3! Elizabeth is getting married in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Elizabeth will receive a $25 giftcard from Beau-coup to use towards any purchase on the Beau-coup site. Congratulations Elizabeth!

Until next time,

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

Giveaway: Enter to win a $25 Gift Card from Beau-coup!

Selecting wedding favors can sometimes be a daunting task! You want to find the 'right' favor to match your theme, personality and you want it to be something that your guests will not just throw away! Your favors can be a part of your welcome bag as your out-of-town guests check in, they can be the little take-away at the end of the night.

One of the leaders in the favor industry is Beau-coup. Over the years Beau-coup has been featured in numerous prominent publications such as Fortune, InStyle Weddings, and Martha Stewart magazines. They are a Joie de Vie Blog sponsor and we accepted their offer for sponsorship because of the fact that we love their favors and they give back to the global community by donating to local and international philanthropic organizations including the American Red Cross and the March of Dimes.

Well to celebrate the new sponsorship the folks at Beau Coup have given Joie de Vie Weddings & Events Blog readers a chance to win a $25 gift card! To enter our contest all you will need to do is tell us what is your favorite favor in our comment section* of this blog post. You can tell us by leaving a comment with:
  1. Your Name - be sure to fill out the option where it records your email - otherwise I can't contact you if you win! :)
  2. Your City & State
  3. The favor along with the a link to the favor on the Beau-coup site.
  4. If you are getting married, tell us why you chose that particular favor (i.e. if it ties into your theme, etc.)

We will take comments from now until the end of July. It's that simple. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a $25 gift card from Beau-coup. You can see some of my favorites throughout this blog post, but feel free to visit the Beau-coup website to choose your own - just leave the name of the favor in your comment and you will be entered to win!

Until next time,

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

*Comments on twitter and facebook do not count in the contest, you must enter the comment in the comments section of the actual blog post.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Why Hiring A Professional Makes A Difference (Part 1)

As an event planner, rarely do I get the opportunity to sit as a guest at a wedding. This year I've been a guest at three different weddings (typically it's one wedding per year that I attend as a guest) and it truly gave me an opportunity to really sit back and observe. I was able to observe the guests, the vendors and the newlyweds. Now mind you, we do that when we're working, however, to sit back and truly observe without minding a timeline and the details really is reassuring to me when I tell my clients: HIRE PROFESSIONALS!

To help you understand why I am saying this, I will post a few blog posts over the next two weeks about hiring professionals. I want to provide you with examples of a few things that occurred. All three weddings were beautiful and the couples were truly endearing.

Disclaimer: For those that follow me on twitter, they were able to read a few of my random tweets. Those tweets kept me from getting up and putting on my planner hat as I was determined to remain a guest. Also, the vendors I will mention below have not and will never work with me!

Professionals know and understand their equipment and resources. I had to start with this point because of the photo below.

Do you see that blob of light in the upper left hand corner of the photo? That is a light that the videographer placed in the ceremony. Sadly my photo is a bit small, but if you look closer you will also see a tripod right in the middle of the altar. Yes, that tripod was left there the entire ceremony. The same videographer, also hopped into the middle of the aisle during the recessional. That is great, he's capturing their exit...with one exception. He was walking backward up the middle of the aisle...IN FRONT of the photographer!

Now while looking at this photo consider the following:
1. All of the photos will have this blaring light that the photographer has to either edit out or compensate for while shooting. How difficult will it be to edit out that tripod?

2. The photographer was not able to capture a great exit shot. Typically a videographer and photographer have a conversation before the ceremony to sort out logistics of where they are shooting and how NOT to get in each others shots, but it appears as though this photogrpaher and videographer did not have that important conversation. So should I think the videographer does not understand the vendor teamwork dynamic? All of the vendors have been paid to provide a service and each vendor should be mindful of the other vendor present and vice versa.

3. All of the guests have their hands on their forehead as though they are saluting the Colonel to see the ceremony because this blinding light blocked their vision.

4. The videographer was using the latest and greatest cameras which more than likely has a great zoom feature in the lens. Why did he not use the zoom? His presence was very distracting and took away from what was otherwise a very beautiful ceremony. This videographer did not understand his role in the vendor dynamic; he took away from the photographer as he's been paid to capture a moment on film just as the videographer is being paid. Both vendors are equally important.

As you sit and begin selecting your Photographer and Videographer, ask important questions to ensure they understand the importance of the vendor dynamic:

  • Questions about how they are communicating with the other vendors. If its a photographer or videographer, ask how the manage to work with the other vendor to ensure they are not messing up the other vendors frames. Do they contact the other video/photographer?
  • Have they worked with the videographer or photographer you are considering?
  • Look at their photos or video to see how they are shooting. Are you able to see a second stationery camera in their video?
  • What kind of equipment will they use? Can their equipment shoot well in low light?
  • How many cameras will be used? Are they manned or stationary?
  • Have they worked at your venue/venues before?

If you are working with an event planner, they will facilitate that communication so that everyone knows what is happening. There are no 'do-overs' on wedding day. Recapturing the moments as they happen is an important detail that can't be left to a video/photographer stepping into the other professionals frame.

Until next time,

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

Friday, July 2, 2010

Orlando Wedding Magazine: Premiere Issue hits the stands!

Are you planning a wedding in Orlando? I am certain you've collected many magazines during the planning process. Well, a new resource hit the shelves yesterday! Orlando Wedding is a great new magazine that will be a great source for planning a wedding or special event in Central Florida.

We were first contacted about this magazine in January and knew that once it hit the shelves it would be a great publication! We are featured in the premiere issue of the magazine in a great Question & Answer session with my colleagues and fellow Association of Bridal Consultants members Elisa Delgardio and Heather Snively! Below is the feature:

The magazine features articles and information that will help readers find the best venues,
wedding planners, cake designers, caterers, stationers, florists and bridal gown boutiques. Great articles in the magazine about boudoir photography, tips on keeping your sanity on wedding day and wedding etiquette are just a few of the helpful articles in the premiere issue!

The magazine is available for purchase at your favorite newsstand or bookstore, however,you can click this link for distribution locations. Of course we have a few copies here at Joie de Vie for our clients and prospective brides we meet with over the next few weeks!

Until next time,

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Real Wedding: Althea + Jason 4-2-2010

One afternoon we received a phone call here at the office from a groom; that is not typical, as our initial inquiries are mostly phone calls from the bride, or the mother of the bride. The groom asked great questions that would make any fiancee proud! I later learned that the couple had gone out to visit the Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa and wanted to select a coordinator that would be able to manage their wedding day. Despite their hectic schedules with their respective companies', they wanted to handle the many details for the wedding on their own. Fortunately, our day of package includes worksheets and a timeline that helps them stay focused and on task with the planning. Their wedding plans started out as an intimate affair for about 80 people but by wedding day they were closer to 100 guests over the Easter Holiday Weekend.

Although Althea and Jason live in Orlando, their families and friends live outside of the central Florida area. They wanted to ensure their guests would have a memorable experience. With the help of Angela Bachelor, they were able to select the rooftop space of 20Seven at the Buena Vista Palace. Althea's family is originally from Guyana, so naturally a few traditions such as black cake, were incorporated. Greg Dillon (Photography by Greg) captured the details from the wedding day and the couple and their invited guests had a phenomenal evening overlooking beautiful Downtown Disney.

Althea and Jason took on a major project for their wedding: designing and printing their stationery. Everything turned out beautifully. The bride also made a special entrance by coming down the elevator in the atrium. Her descent provided for a beautiful yet dramatic moment.

One of my favorite photos from the wedding is definitely this one of the bride's bouquet. A cherished bracelet that held special sentimental meaning was attached to the bouquet and it completed her look as a bride. It simply said "Believe". As she walked down the aisle she could feel the charm on the bracelet against her fingers. e

Below is a video montage of a few more photos taken during the wedding day by Greg Dillon:

Althea + Jason: 4-2-10 at the Buena Vista Palace & Spa from Kerline Docteur on Vimeo.

Of course no great event can be a great event without a fabulous team of vendors:
Day of Coordination: Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. 407-296-4008
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa 407-827-2727
Floral : Morning Glory Florals 407-767-2080
Ceremony Harpist: Victoria Schultz 407-579-6854
Entertainment : M.a.d.d. Vybez Entertainment 407-733-1839
Makeup : Your Wedding Makeup (407) 415-3202
Photo : Photography By Greg 407-619-2525
Cake : Publix
Brides Attire: Dress - Minerva's Bridal
Brides Shoes: Angela Nuran

We received a lovely thank you card from the bride and groom two weeks ago. It read:
Dear Kerline,
Thank you for all you did to make our vision a reality! We couldn't
ask for a better coordinator. Your thoughtfulness & kindness were
consistent. Thank you for everything!

Jason & Althea

Thank you Jason & Althea for having Joie de Vie as a part of your memorable day!

Until next time,

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Joie de Vie Wedding featured in the Central Florida Bride Magazine!

Our beautiful couple Janelle and Leon were selected by the Central Florida Bride as one of the couples to feature in the latest issue of their semi-annual magazine. Last week I received my copy of the magazine while at the Orlando Wedding Guild luncheon. Bryan Taylor and I happened to sit next to each other and it was great to see the work of a great vendor team and the vision of an open-minded bride in the latest issue of the magazine! We are truly humbled by the words from the bride in this interview.

The Event Team that pulled the day together:
Event Coordination
: Joie de Vie Weddings and Events
Venue: Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate
Florals, Decor and Chairs: Greenery Productions.
Videography: Elegante Films
Photography: Carrie Wildes Photography
Furniture: Room Service
Lighting: Tagas Events
Linen: BBJ Linen
Make up: Lena G Creative Designs
Hair: Shades by Rint

Check out the Weddings Unveiled feature on page 64 & 66! We have a few extra copies of this latest issue, contact us or go to the Central Florida Bride website to have a copy mailed to you.
Until next time,

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

Monday, June 7, 2010

Come Discover Love: A Destination Wedding Gem right here in Florida!

As one of the top three destination wedding locations in the United States, Florida truly has some hidden treasures an options for those planning a destination wedding. At the beginning of May, 40 event and wedding planners were invited to attend a special three day event. The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce planned an event that was designed to introduce us to the Treasure coast. This destination locale has miles of beaches, rivers, nature preserves and citrus groves. As a native Floridian I was surprised as to how diverse Indian River County was and with it being less than two hours away, it's a great hideaway for those wanting to plan a wedding in away from home, but in your own back yard.

Three beautiful properties Costa d'Este Beach Resort, Vero Beach Hotel and Spa and Disney's Vero Beach Resort hosted our stay. I stayed at Gloria Estefan's Costa d'Este and talk about a bit of South Beach meets central Florida charm! Unfortunately, my arrival was masked by a deluge of rain. As soon as I was greeted in the lobby I could smell the incense which totally changed my mood and I 'relaxed'. Once I opened the door to my room, there was a lovely plate of Cuban pastries and a shot of Bustelo about a great welcome!

My itinerary was full of activities for the next three days and I was excited to get on with the program. Over the 3 days we visited several destination wedding options which can fit many personalities, travel needs and aesthetics. Whether the bride is bohemian chic, traditional, trendy our outside the box...there is a locale for you in Indian River! The best way to describe Vero is it's our version of the Hamptons. In NYC you would drive North 2 hours for the Hamptons, in need only go one hour south!

I can go on for days and days about the options, however, images truly show you the beauty found in Indian River. Below are a few photos from beautiful sites and options available; I have to thank Nathalie Cadet-James & PS Photography for the beautiful images. During the first full day of our tour, we visited the had a fantastic lunch experience at Costa D'Este. All of the floral designs were created by Andres Aguilar and his team at Mystique Flowers in Miami. The floral designs were truly inspiring. I love when designers look to push the envelope in their designs.

Our final night closed with a true South Beach-styled fete! The pool area of Costa d'Este was converted into a fantastic party spaces with lounge furniture and clear tables and chiavari chairs. Regretfully, there was a high chance of thunderstorms. Fé Domenech's event team (The Event Firm), the staff at Costa and a few of the the planners attending the event quickly went into B-Plan which allowed us to see the same design in two different spaces.

The same concept worked beautifully by the pool as well as in the enclosed spaces and ballroom.

As a professional event planner, I can't say how great it is to be around your colleagues and talk about the industry and its trends. Aside from visiting the locales, we were treated to great speakers that help set the pace for our industry. We had lunch with Grace Ormonde (Editor in Chief of Wedding Style Magazine) and Susan Moynihan (Editor in Chief of Destination Weddings Magazine) on the second day and brunch with Rebbecal Grinnals (one of the foremost experts on the business of Destination Weddings and Honeymoons. She is the Founder and President of wedding and honeymoon industry consulting firm Engaging Concepts).

Lunch with Grace Ormonde was ended with a great surprise! We all received her newly released book as a gift from the Chamber of Commerce (and what a gift! The book itself weighs over 10 pounds). Grace took a moment to speak with each of us and sign our books. This was a must have for my library that I had planned on picking up that week. To meet Grace and have her personally inscribe the book was priceless!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we give you a peek inside each of the properties we visited.

Until Next Time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. All photos used with permission from Nathalie Cadet-James and PS Photography.