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, January 27, 2010

The Wedding Library Bridal Show at the Breakers.

On Sunday the 17th, we took a day trip down to the Breakers in Palm Beach for a very special bridal show hosted by the Wedding Library. I joined fellow colleagues Karry Castillo, Melissa Patrick and Elizabeth Mahon for what was truly a great day of listening to our industry experts (Martha Stewarts Weddings Darcy Miller, Photographer Donna Newman, Badgley Mischka designers Mark Badgley & James Mischka, Cake Diva Sylvia Weinstock and Kleinefelds' Randy Fenoli) inform the brides on the latest trends and the key things to remember as they plan their special day. Also in attendance was Style Me Pretty Blog's Abby Larsen! The highilight of the day was definitely Kleinfeld Bridal giving away a $5000 wedding gown shopping spree to one of the lucky brides.

Here are a few photos from the day:

Kleinfeld's set mannequins up throughout the breakers to show us the latest in Bridal Fashion.

Top Dresses: Edggardo Bonilla available at Kleinfeld & Kleinfeld Manhattan Men (left) Farah Angsana exclusively for Kleinfeld (right)Bottom Dresses: Alita Graham for Kleinfeld Kollection (left) Peter Langer available at Kleinfeld (right)

The Design Studio at the breakers had us all snapping away with our camera's in the mini lounge that had different tabletop displays with many inspiring ideas.

There was also a VIP Bridal Luncheon where the Breakers Sommelier, Virginia Philip presented to the guests. Check out the tables in the photo below. Definitely a new take on chic and modern. The damask pattern is a part of the glass on the table.

Kleinfeld's Mara Urshel chatting with a Mother of the Bride regarding the latest in wedding day fashion.

We had great seats at the fashion show. The fashions were breathtaking. I could literally blog for a week on the various fashions that were showcased by Kleinfeld's. (hmmm not a bad thought, I just may do that on my favorites from the show).

The highlight for me was definitely having an opportunity to chit chat with Randy Fenoli from Kleinfeld Bridal. Randy has designed a suit that will debut with the Kleinfelds Mens Formal Wear line. What I especially loved with the suits is the tailoring is very European with a great bonus on the inside of the Jacket...a zipped pocket! No lost rings on wedding day!

There is a fabulous video recap from Open Eye Media click on the photo below to view it!

The day was filled with great inspiration and we can't wait to introduce them to our clients!

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. All Collage Photos and Fashion Show Photos used with permission from Mel Barlow, Carlos Varela & Allan Zepeda

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Holiday: A National Day Of Service

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. - Dr. Martin Luther King.

As we celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. encourages you make this a day of service. We will be out of the office today, however, we will use this day to volunteer our services and will be at the candle light vigil later at Rollins College.

Here are a few of the activities that you can enjoy or lend a hand at today:

YMCA & Southwest Orlando Jaycees
19th Annual Arthur "Pappy" Kennedy Prayer Breakfast (Cost)
Guest Speaker: Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Former Surgeon General of the United States
Location: First Baptist Church of Orlando – 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32805
Time: 7:45 a.m.
Contact: Tongelia Milton – 407-895-4286

Green-Up Orlando, Keep Orlando Beautiful, OPD Neighborhood Watch Unit and the City of Orlando Office of Community Affairs/Human Relations Office
Plant Seedlings for Civil Rights
Location: Meet at the Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex
649 W. Livingston Street
Orlando, FL 32805
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Volunteers needed

FAMU Law School Students and Community
Parramore Clean-Up Service Project
Location: Meet at FAMU Law School - 201 Beggs Avenue, Orlando, FL
Time: 9 am to 12 noon
Volunteers needed

Wells'Built Museum of African American History
Step Into History
Parramore Historic Walking Tour
511 W. South St. - Orlando, FL
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

City of Ocoee
4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
“Reclaiming the Dream”
Location: Parade Route – Clark Road, Ocoee
Time: 10 a.m.
Contact: Joy Wright at 407-905-3100 x9-1530

City of Oviedo
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade
Time: 10 a.m.

City of Oviedo
Family Fun Day Event

Time: 11:30 a.m.
Free food and games
Contact: Cathy Hunt at

Rollins College
Candlelight Vigil
We will all pause to honor the life and dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. and will take advantage of an opportunity to teach about King’s message on reflection, empowerment and challenge through a series of speakers, musical performances, and dance.
Location: Warren Building Parking Lot Outside. Rain site is Bush Auditorium.
Time: 6:01 p.m.
Contact: Rachel Luce at or 407-691-1240

Until next time,

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti's Earthquake! Please say an extra prayer.

I am not posting my Wedding Professional Wednesday post today. I've pulled it and will repost next week. If you know me, you know that I am a VERY PROUD HAITIAN-AMERICAN. Despite the fact that I was born in the states, I have a deep and profound love for the country that gave my parents life. I am in tears as I see the news of its capital and the heart of the country destroyed by a natural disaster that will take a very long time to recover from. I pray and I still have hope that the Haitian Diaspora and those back in Haiti will rise from the dust. We have family members, friends and loved ones that are still unaccounted for but I still hold out hope.

Below is a video that I've loved for years that truly is poignant at this time. It is called Pou Ayiti (For Haiti) and it just talks about how we've forgotten about Haiti and more importantly we've forgotten about her importance...We have not forgotten!

How can you help? Pray, have hope and if you can make a monetary donation, please make sure it is to a 501 c(3) like the Red Cross or Yele Haiti. Both of these organizations are allowing you to text your donations.
Red Cross: Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to relief efforts in Haiti.
Yele Haiti: Text "Yele" to 510 510 and donate $5 toward earthquake relief.

Yon ti chante, yon ti priere, yon ti lumiere...

Until next time,

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

The new planIT! Boutique features Joie de Vie Weddings & Events!

Did you know that there is a Wedding Resource Library in Orlando? Well, we are pleased to announce that Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. was invited to be a part of the Orlando’s first and ONLY wedding resource library, planIT! boutique. PlanIT! boutique is the one-stop resource for everything the Central Florida bride needs to plan her wedding. As Central Florida’s leading wedding resource, it is a library that provides a great deal of information for you as you start the planning process. The library features a variety of Central Florida vendors and you can peruse through our portfolios, information and see samples of our work.

One of the featured benefits of the library is that they will offer various workshops that will help brides and grooms during the planning process.

This weekend, Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. will join in on the Wedding Planning 101 will help you decide whether Full Service Planning or Day of Coordination is the best option for you. Registrations are limited and you will need to go to the registration page to reserve your spot. I hope to see you there!

Until next time,

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

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 Bridal Shows, here there and everywhere!

Are you planning a wedding? One of the great advantages of Central Florida is the fact that we have great Bridal Shows over the next few weeks that will allow you to see many of the Central Florida Wedding Professionals under one roof. If you would like to have an idea of what shows are coming up visit this website for a list of all the future shows: This site is a great resource in that it has all of the shows from East to West Central Florida in one place, saving you precious time. If you need a few tips on how to properly attend a bridal show, be sure to read a post we had last year on attending a Bridal Show (remember the show dates on that post are from 2009).

There is a show today at the Wyndham and one booth I would encourage you to visit is the Brides Against Breast Cancer Booth in the pre-function area. I along with a few of my associates from the Association of Bridal Consultants - Central Florida East will be at the booth giving out information for the 5th Annual Orlando Gown Sale. We will once again be selling raffle ticket ($1.00), crystal bracelets ($15) and candles ($1 -$5) to raise money for the wedding gown we give away annually.

We hope to see you today!

Until next time,

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wedding Professional Wednesday: Lori Barbely Photography

Your wedding photography is a very important component for your wedding day, not to mention your wedding memories. The photographer you select will be spending over half of the wedding day with you and your fiancé (new husband). Today's Wedding Professional Wednesday feature will introduce to you to a great Central Florida Wedding Photographer: Lori Barbely. Lori and I met a few months ago via Twitter, however, I've read her blog for nearly a year now. I finally got to meet Lori last fall. Lori has a great personality and she is a complete sweetheart. Joie de Vie selected her as one or our professionals to feature and I hope the information helps you to learn a bit more about her. I introduce to you Lori Barbely with Lori Barbely Photography:

Name: Lori Barbely

Name of your Company: Lori Barbely Photography

Location: Orlando area

Number of Years in Business: 3


Blog Address:

Twitter and/or facebook fan page:
Facebook Fan Page

Tell us a little about your business and the services you offer:
I’m primarily a wedding photographer, but I also do a lot of travel photography (destination wedding anyone?). My approach to wedding photograph is 1) make amazing images of the client looking beautiful 2) make sure everyone has fun doing it! Each wedding is unique so in addition to the collections I offer, I can also customize a collection designed to meet the couple’s needs. High resolution digital files, canvas prints, and albums are just some of the products that I offer.

How did you get started in the Wedding Industry?
I’ve been doing photography for more than half my life and I was looking for a new challenge. After a lot of soul searching and blog perusing, I decided I wanted to try my hand a wedding photography. So I found someone in need of a second photographer and fell in love with shooting weddings. I love being around happy people of one of the most special days of their lives!

What professional/industry organizations are you a member of?
The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA)
Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI)

Any industry awards or recognition?
• First place ceremony category in WPJA’s 2008 Brides Magazine Photo Competition
• 1st runner up in the 2009 Flare National Photography Competition
(The Flare National Photography Competition is a competition where photographers related light to their subjects. They were judged based on creativity, use of composition, technical skill, and overall atmosphere of the image (including the relationship between light and the subject. The proceeds from this competition benefited the Children's Miracle Network.)

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

The craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “THE SHOT”?
Laid down in a huge puddle of mud (wearing brand new pants I might add!) It was at the end of the evening, so I didn’t spend the entire day covered in mud!

What is your signature shot? In other words if someone saw a particular shot they would immediately relate it to your company.
Each couple is unique and I try to create images that express their personalities and capture their emotions and the love that they have each other. That being said I do love a good bit of lens flare!

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting a photographer/photojournalist for their wedding?
Determine where photography falls into your priorities for your wedding and set an appropriate budget. Look at photographers web sites and find a style that appeals to you. Meet with your top three choices and see who you click with in terms of personality. Remember, you’ll be spending 6, 8, or more hours with your photographer on your wedding day so you ought to mesh well with them! Once you hire your dream photographer - trust them to do what they know how to do best - make great photos!

Your thoughts on ‘first look’ photos or bride and groom photos prior to the ceremony?
I adore first looks! I love the intimacy of a couple seeing each other (mostly) alone for the first time on their wedding day! For a couple to actually be able to talk instead of sneaking furtive glances across the alter, it’s something really special. It’s one of many moments throughout the day that I feel so honored to document a couple’s relationship.

Your thoughts on the importance of a coordinator in the vendor team dynamic?
A good coordinator keeps the day flowing smoothly and deflects any stress from the bride and groom. Having that single point person for all of the vendors to liaise with is tremendously helpful!

Something you would like to see couples do more of with their wedding photography?
First looks! It can sometimes be difficult to convince a more traditional couple (or their parents!) to see each other before the ceremony but in addition to being a memorable moment for the couple, it also allows more time (and more relaxed time!) for photos.

What are a few trends and innovations you have seen in the industry?
Photo booths are a bit thing right now and it’s exciting to see where that will go. I love love LOVE! the photo booth that Sasha Souza created that was featured on the Kiss the Groom Blog!

Are you a blog reader? If so, what are your three favorite blogs besides the Joie de Vie blog?
You’d probably pass out if you saw the number of blogs in my Google Reader! So hard to pick just three.....
Design Sponge
Kiss the Groom
Taste Spotting

If you weren't a working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why?
Photography is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. In addition to weddings, I also do travel photography and photo editing for magazines. I’m too obsessed with images to do anything else!

What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I hate sea horses. They freak me out. They’re prehistoric and don’t look like they should exist in nature! Kind of bizarre, I know.

Any hobbies or pastimes?
I love to travel - anywhere in the world - and I’m a huge reader! I just finished a book about the history of Chinese food in America.

Describe yourself or your services in four (4 words or less):
I am:
a believer
...and I feel that my photography reflects those things.

As wedding planner in Orlando based wedding and event planner, we look forward to meeting great vendors to refer to Joie de Vie Weddings & Events clients. Lori's passion, creativity and attention to detail translates to her work. Your wedding day goes by very quickly, after it is said and done your photos and video are what help you to relive the memories of your special day. Interview professionals like Lori as you begin to select a phenomenal photographer for your wedding day!

Until next time,

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

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hooray! You're Engaged!! Now What? The first steps to take...

First of all: CONGRATULATIONS!!!

As the two of you embark on your engagement period, there are initial steps you can take that will help eliminate the likelihood of making costly mistakes, stress and frustration. These first steps are rather simple ones, but I had to share them with you:

1. Who are you inviting to the wedding? Truthfully, how many guests are on your guest list? Your fiancé's list? Who are the people your parents planned on inviting? You want to know the answer to this question before you pick up the phone and call any venue. Why you may ask? What if you fall in love with a location that can seat 100 people, yet when you complete your guest list you have 200 or more guests? If the venue is not able to expand the space this may become a costly mistake for and your fiancé. If you fall in love with the location, you now have the preliminary list and you can decide who you will remove from your invite list.

Also, once you've compiled the guest list take a second look and ask yourself this question: "Is there anyone that can be removed from the list?" Have your parents ask the same question regarding their lists.

2. Be realistic about your budget. This is a conversation that you, your fiancé and any family members helping to offset the costs of your special day. There is no such thing as "NO BUDGET". We all have a point where we are comfortable of not exceeding. Whether your budget is $10,000, $30,000, $100,000 that number needs to be clear. Once you've set your budget ask your self could you comfortably add 15% to that amount without being in a pinch. If not, reevaluate your budget or reduce your guest list. Realize that certain expenses are not going to change regardless of your guest list. The expenses that will remain the same are your: Photography, videography, your attire and rings. Every other expense may be effected by your guest list.

3. What date or dates are you considering for your wedding? Do they fall around a major holiday? Also look at whether they fall around a big event date in your area. Are they prime dates for the period in which you are planning your wedding? Having the wedding around a holiday is a great idea in that it may permit an extra day or two for traveling, however, remember that the travel costs (air, gas and hotel) may be higher and depending upon the holiday it may effect certain costs for your wedding (i.e. floral).

Below is a calendar of all of the holiday's for 2010.

Feel free to click on the photo to print out a copy of the calendar for yourself or email us (info{at} and we will gladly send you a .pdf file.

4. Consider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator. I've differentiated the two because based on your planning needs you may feel you need a planner vs. a day of coordinator. Realistically consider the time and effort it will take for you to plan this wedding. Be honest with yourselves and ask: Are you detail oriented? Task oriented? Are you great with managing your time? Look at your time and consider your career, educational or family responsibilities. How will planning a wedding add to that mix? Do you want to be consumed with wedding details day and night or do you want to have some free time in the planning period to focus on you, your fiance and the marriage?

After you've considered the time and effort. Think of the expertise, knowledge and resources an event professional brings to the table. A planner provides you with the knowledge and resources needed to execute your event the way you've envisioned it. A planner will also save you time because they will be able to analyze your expectations & needs and recommend the event professionals that are best suited to plan your event. Once the wedding day arrives, that planner will be able to manage the day while you, your fiancé and your families focus on enjoying the day and making great memories. A 'day of' coordinator will be able to tie up the loose ends and help finalize the details for your wedding. Just as the planner, the coordinator will manage your wedding day and give you the peace of mind that the details are being attended to. While interviewing planners or coordinators, you will begin to understand the difference in the services and the level of involvement they can provide.

5) HAVE FUN!! Your engagement period is such a special time in the planning process. You've built the foundation for your marriage and this is the time to add the additional blocks that will make your relationship stronger. Planning a wedding may become stressful and it is important to always go back to the basics: YOUR LOVE FOR THE OTHER. Many of you may jump head in and start planning, and there is nothing wrong with that, however also remember to take the time to enjoy the engagement period and have fun. Build in time for special dates, outings and quiet times where wedding matters or not discussed!

Take some time for the two of you...after all it is your engagement period, right?

Until next time,

A special thank you for the beautiful engagement shots from Elegant Imagery Photography!

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

Friday, January 1, 2010

Real Wedding: Valerie & Casey 11/7/2009

The great thing about planning a wedding is it gives you an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and it gives you an opportunity to look at the traditions that make your family who they are. Such is the case with Valerie and Casey. Casey's Greek heritage was a focal point in the planning of their wedding day. Valerie and Casey's mother, Aris, incorporated so many wonderful details that it only ensured that the day was going to be spectacular.

On Saturday morning, we picked up the special Greek cookies that the mother of the groom baked with her friends in the days before the wedding and we were off to a memorable day! Our groom, who is a semi-pro golfer kicked his day off with a round of golf at his home club as our bride and her attendants began their day of preparations at their new home.

Below are a few of the photos from the day. Christopher Smith from SNAP Photography truly captured the essence of the day.

The church is just breathtaking. The ceiling of the sanctuary had the most breathtaking reliefs depicting various religious scenes.

The bride and groom share a moment with the family during the ceremony.

The bridal party after the ceremony.

One of my favorite shots and a great peek at the beautiful bride's bouquet.

The Orange Tree Golf Club. Tommy with Greenery suggested beautiful fall colors for the centerpieces. As favors, each guest had a box of jordan almonds placed on their dinner napkin, another Greek wedding tradition. The almonds were prepackaged in great boxes that coordinated with the colors of the wedding.

With it being the fall and very close to winter, the sun set as the ceremony ended, that did not deter our couple from getting that 18th Hole shot.

Of course this wedding would not have been what it was without the fabulous wedding vendors that were an integral part of the day. Our vendor team:

Coordinator: Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. 407-296-4008. A special thank you to my staff, Arlene & Naomi. Ladies, as usual you were fantastic and the family raved about both of you all night.

Ceremony: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Orlando 407-331-4687. Fr. Constantine and his staff at the church were ready and willing to help the day go smoothly. The church in itself is breathtaking and the artwork is incomparable.

Reception Venue: Orange Tree Golf Club 407-351-4041. Ken Rowland and staff were truly exceptional. This location is a hidden gem in central Florida. They were able to create a custom menu that could accomodate vegetarians, like our bride, along with traditional greek dishes that were crowd pleasers. The club was truly transformed to make the night an unforgettable one for our couple.

Floral/Décor: Greenery Productions 407-363-9151 X308. An Eye for detail is truly what takes and ordinary event to an extraordianry one. Tommy Murphy of Greenery has that EYE! The mother of the groom raved all night about how the wedding florals and decor were just perfect and truly distinctive.

Entertainment: D Street Entertainment (DJ Manoli) 727-443-0296. DJ Manoli had the crowd on the floor the entire evening. From the standards, to the traditional Greek dances and the crowd pleasers all in attendance had something played for them.

Photo: Snap Photography 407-496-4333. Christopher's photos say it all. A great photographer that braved the darkness of the golf course to get that 18th hole shot for our couple, need I say more? Seriously, this was our first time working with Christopher and we loved the fact that he was truly accommodating to the bride and groom's requests.

Video: A Moment To Remember 407-489-3037. One of our favorite videographers! Jim was great to work with and was a great source for providing us back up lighting on the 18th hole for what I truly believe is the signature shot for the wedding. We can't wait to see the final video.

Transportation: Mears Transportation (407) 839-1570. Mears sets the standard in Central Florida for transportation, so we knew that the service would be exceptional. Ironically our driver for the day, Steven K., is also one of Valerie's patients at the dental office she works at...small world indeed!

Cake: Party Flavors 407-578-2082. Only one way to describe the cake: De-Li-Cious! Priscilla's team created a simple yet beautiful cake that fit Valerie's style and it was a show stopper at the reception.

Make-Up: Lena G Creative Design 407-218-0505. When it comes to make-up, Lena and her team are the best that central Florida has to offer. From high fashion to bridal, Lena has worked with the best in the industry. Lena was able to accommodate the bride's make up needs because Valerie is highly allergic. Because Lena's a leading industry expert, she was able to recommend products that would not effect Valerie's allergies and would keep her looking flawless the entire day and evening.

Hair: Tega Rice 407-697-5386. Tega was awesome in incorporating a style that fit each of the ladies personality and facial structure. At the end of the night, their hairstyles were as beautiful as they ahd been in the beginning of the day.

Imagine how we felt when at the end of the night their parents remarked that the day was perfect! Happy Planning!

Until next time,

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