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, April 26, 2010

Excited to see photos from past ABC Meeting on the BBJ Linen site.

As a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants, I am one of the local co-directors that gets to plan our monthly networking meetings. Every June we plan a "Showers Of Happiness" themed meeting that benefits the local Habitat for Humanity Office. Our members in the area attend the meeting and bring 'wedding shower gifts' which consists of appliances and gift cards that Habitat for Humanity can utilize for the homes being built in the area.

Last summer our meeting was held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel and with the help and design inspiration of Tommy Murphy of Greenery Productions and Rashida Erskine from BBJ linen we were able to design a shower themed event that was truly beautiful and unique. Rashida suggested a great reversible linen that had just been released by BBJ while Tommy utilized parasols to add a twist to the traditional centerpiece! Robin Simmons and her staff at the Rosen Plaza created a custom menu for the luncheon that was fantastic! We had color splashed onto the sheer draping by the hotels AV team, to create rain clouds to add on to the shower themed event. Imagine my surprise to see the photos featured on the BBJ Linen website a few days ago. Below are a few images from the day. Thank you again to the fabulous team of vendors that made this event a great one:

Venue: Rosen Plaza
Floral Design/Decor: Greenery Productions
Linens: BBJ Linen
Chiavari Chairs: Bells Chair Cover Rentals
Photography: A Touch of Romance

The "Showers of Happiness" Luncheon will take place again this June at the Beautiful Buena Vista Palace Hotel.

Until next time,

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wedding Professional Wednesday: Stephen Yanni (Yanman Photography)

As you are beginning your search for your wedding vendors, photography will more than likely be at the top of your list. Selecting your photographer is an important decision, as this individual and his/her team will capture the all important details that you've planned during your engagement period. Today on our Wedding Professional Wednesday Series, we are talking to local Photographer, Stephen Yanni of Yanman Photographers. Stephen took a moment to tell us a bit about him and his photography services.

Name: Stephen Yanni

Name of your Company: Yanman Photography

Location: Orlando, Fl

Number of Years in Business: 6 Years


Blog Address:

Twitter and/or facebook fan page: Twitter - @yanmandotcom , facebook -

Tell us a little about your business and the services you offer: The name Yanman started as a fun play on my last name, yet in just a short time Yanman Photography has grown to mean quality workmanship and photographic excellence. We offer a full array of Wedding and event photography, from a half day to week long coverage, we can handle it all. In addition to photography we offer albums, professional prints, canvases, save the dates, thank you cards, and much more.

How did you get started in the Wedding Industry? I starting taking pictures many years ago, more years ago then I will admit because that would give away my age, and I’ve always felt from the time I was born that I was a photographer. After many years of just taking pictures for fun and to please only myself, friends and family suggested that I try my hand at professional photography. For a few years that involved models, travel and sports, but it wasn’t until I shot my first wedding that I found my true calling. Weddings are every-changing, non-stop, adrenaline filled, once-in-life time events. Anyone that really knows me knows that I’m always on the go, and can barely sleep. So from the first wedding I shot, I knew that I would never stop, six years later I still love every one that I go to.

What professional/industry organizations are you a member of? We are members of WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) and the Local Pictage Users group.

Furthest place and/or interesting place you’ve traveled to while working on a wedding assignment? While working on a project for a west coast hotel for their high end wedding marketing, I went to Newport Beach California. We got to work with engaged couples, married couples and even a famous TV model. (Ladies please …)

The craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “THE SHOT”? My team and I go to great lengths to “Get the shot”. I’ve gotten into fountains with pants rolled up and climbed up a ladder to get shots of a bride and groom that wanted to do their formals on horseback. But my favorite story involves one of my associates; jokingly I said “this would be a much better shot from the top of that tree”, five minutes later and from 15 feet up, he had the best view of the couple and a great shot.

What is your signature shot? The shot we are currently using on our trade show marketing, the one where the groomsmen wrote “Help Me” on the groom's shoes it is the one everyone recognizes right now.

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting a photographer/photojournalist for their wedding? Ask to see an entire wedding day story, either in a completed album or on-line. While everyone likes to see best of shots, it is important to see a completed product before deciding if a photographer shares your style.

Your thoughts on ‘first look’ photos or bride and groom photos prior to the ceremony? I love when couples take time out for themselves on their big day, the pictures taken when a couple chooses to break tradition and see each other prior to the wedding are often the best of the day. This may be the only time they get alone on their wedding day, and the joy of the moment really shows in these type of pictures.

Your thoughts on the importance of a coordinator in the vendor team dynamic?
It is so important it is to have a day of wedding coordinator. A coordinator makes every other vendor's job easier on the big day. They help keep everything running smoothly, stress free and on-time. Less stress equals more smiles and better pictures.

Something you would like to see couples do more of with their wedding photography? Simply put “use them”. All too often I hear of couples that “only want the files on a CD”. There is nothing wrong with getting the digital files from your wedding, but what are your plans for them? All of our packages include professional prints, and we highly recommend getting an album. Other options we offer include, canvases, pre-loaded digital picture frames, pre-loaded iPods and iPhones, and much more. The reason you have professional pictures is to display them, not leave them in a drawer to gather dust. (Kerline's side commentary: I would have never thought of a photographer offering the preloaded iPhones and iPods - it makes sense to take that option).

What are a few trends and innovations you have seen in the industry? The biggest trend in wedding photography right now involve additional portrait sessions. Whether it is an engagement session, bridal portraits, bridal boudoir, or trash the dress these portrait sessions offer the opportunity to add a unique set of images to your images.

If you weren't a working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why? I love finding a different way to look at things, and capturing them on film. I think if I could magically have any job I wanted, I would want to be a major motion picture, Hollywood director. There is no telling what I could do with a two hundred million dollar budget.

What would we be surprised to learn about you? I was born legally blind in one eye. My family thinks that looking at the world with one eye is why I have an “eye” for photography, since I view life as if it was though a single lens everyday.

Any hobbies or pastimes? It might be a bit cliché, but am fortunate enough to have turned my hobby and my passion into a career. When I have a free moment, instead of taking pictures of happy couples, I am chasing our two-year-old to capture every moment of her life.

Describe yourself or your services in four (4 words or less): Intelligent artist loves weddings.

I love this photo! I'm certain this was a nice surprise when the families looked at the photo gallery from this wedding:

Visit Stephen's website and blog to see more of his work. As you are starting to plan your wedding take the time to meet and interview your local photographers. Happy Planning!

Until next time,

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

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vera Wang Will Soon Be Available at David's Bridal!

Announced only an hour ago! Vera Wang, whose name is synonymous with the epitome of high-end designer bridal fashions has officially partnered with the mainstream and affordable bridal brand, David's Bridal!

Vera will debut a line of affordable line of gowns priced between $600 and $1500. This partnership will truly be one to watch as Vera has dressed many a star from Jennifer Lopez to Ivanka Trump.

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. Photo credit: Getty Images

Monday, April 19, 2010

Joie de Vie on

The chic and stunning wedding of Joie de Vie clients, Janelle & Leon, has been selected as a Real Wedding feature on We are excited that the beautiful images captured by Carrie Wildes were selected as a source of inspiration for couples as they are planning their special day. Click on this link --> here or on the photo below, to see details from this wedding!

Until next time,

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding Professional Wednesdsay: Olivia Gale (The Zebra Room)

One of the more beautiful moments at a wedding reception is the first dance between the bride and groom. With all of the hustle and bustle of the day, it is one of the many firsts that a couple will share as husband and wife. Oftentimes, couples get nervous and excited as they begin to consider the many options available to them. As a couple selects the song for their first dance, they often think of many options regarding the music: Should their selection be traditional? Contemporary? Their favorite song as a couple? Or should their selection be something completely out the box?

One of the leading dance choreographers in the area is Olivia Gale with The Zebra Room. Olivia has helped many central Florida couples choreograph their special dances for their wedding day. We are happy to feature Olivia as today's Wedding Professional Wednesday vendor. I hope the Q&A will help you learn a bit more about wedding day choreography and how to make it unique yet memorable. Gale took an afternoon to tell us about herself and her services!

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples plan/choreograph their first dance? I suggest a couple find a song or songs that express who they are as a couple and expresses who they are individually. It is a very special way to connect and share that magic moment with their family and friends.this is a moment that will never be forgotten and believe me there are times in their first dance that will move their audience to tears and to joyful laughter.

The first thing I do when a couple comes to me is use their music to teach them the basics they'll be using within that framework. Before I even begin working on the foot pattern, which is usually based on a basic box given that most music they'll be using is 4/4 time, is to establish their foundation of solid frame. Without a solid frame the man can't lead and the lady can't follow. To repeat a phrase from "Dirty Dancing", "This is your dance space and this is my dance space", no spaghetti arms allowed. I continue to reinforce that foundation throughout e

ach lesson. I then teach them "the box", the box rotating and an underarm turn. If the couple is able to learn more in that hour I teach them more dance elements they'll be using when I begin to put together the choreography. I tell them it's all about the rhythm and not about being stuck in a box. There are many combination's of moment that only require walking. That opens up a whole new dimension of possibilities. During the first lessons I'm asking questions, getting to know the couple and finding out what they are trying to accomplish during their first dance.

I tell my couples that a first dance should be approximately 3:00 minute

s in length. I joke, you want to have your audience wanting more not looking at their watch hoping the end is near. I pack a lot into that 3 minutes and want to elicit the full gamut of emotions from all concerned, from laughter to pulling on the heart strings eliciting poignant tears. It is my goal to help them realize they can do so much more than they can imagine, to show them off to their best advantage and show them how much fun it all can be.

Popular dance styles or options for the first dance? Anything goes these days. I can even edit two songs together with two different dance styles; one a bit more serious and then moving into something completely off the wall and fun. Most songs are 4/4 time and can begin with the basic box and move out of that into combination's of movement that as I say "break out of the box" and look impressive but can be fairly simple to accomplish. I've had couples choose everything from the Tango, Rumba and Cha Cha to something more jazzy and even hip hop type style to finish off. Being a choreographer and accomplished in many dance styles I have a lot to draw from to give the couple anything they need to reach their goal.

How far in advance should they contact your studio? What would you suggest the minimum number of classes be? I usually suggest 3 to four months in advance to give the couple plenty of time for practice and take into consideration time that is needed for all the other preparations associated with getting ready for that special day.

What are a few trends and innovations you've seen in first dances for the reception? Wedding first dances have become a very exciting trend for the couple and their families and friends to share; it's become a really special part of the wedding reception. I'm excited to see that couples find it's a very special part of their wedding preparations to learn to dance with each other and additionally exciting for me to see that it can become a very special way to connect as a couple. It is an activity they can enjoy beyond the wedding. It has the potential to become a very special part of what they share as a couple their entire life. It is a healing touch and loving touch! Dancing is something to share together with the added plus of being a way to have fun and stay fit.

If you weren't a working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why? I'm a dancer, choreographer, actor and entertainer. It’s all connected. I love working with wedding couples. It is a very special and creative way for me to share what I love with so many amazing people. We all laugh and sometimes cry together; it is such a joyful experience.

Here is a video of a couples first dance that Olivia choreographed:

What would we be surprised to learn about you? Many would be surprised to learn that that I'm both a poet/writer and artist. I like to draw people rather than landscapes or still lifes. I'm also published writer in national dance magazines like Dancer in Miami and Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit out of NY.

Many couples are now considering the services of a professional dance instructor to ensure that their first steps are as flawless and smooth as their wedding day has progressed. Many of our Joie de Vie couples have opted to have choreography for their first dance. We had a couple take salsa lessons to pay homage to the bride's parents favorite past time, while another couple took lessons so that the groom's uneasiness about dancing in front of his guests would be lessened. It will be fun, a special time for the two of you and an opportunity to truly entertain your invited guests.

Until next time,

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

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wedding Photo Of The Week: Father Escorting His Daughter Down The Aisle

As a wedding planner, we are typically the last one to see you before you walk down the aisle solo or with a parent. In that moment, we adjust your bouquet, make sure you are picture perfect and give you a final reminder to enjoy the day! The photo above is too fabulous for words. The photographer snapped a story in this one frame.

I can never stress the importance of having a great photographer as a part of your wedding professional team! Once the day is over, your photos and video are the pieces you will show for the rest of your lives. I have a new feature here on the Joie de Vie blog called "Wedding Photo of the Week". Simply put, it's a photo that I fell in love with while perusing through some of my favorite photographers blogs and/or websites. The photos featured will speak for themselves, however, I will tell you why I love them.

Our fist featured photo is from the fabulous Ross Oscar Knight. Ross is an international photographer based out of Atlanta. This photographer is amazingly talented and the photo above was taken this past January. The couple had an unforgettable destination wedding weekend in the city of Antigua, Guatemala with 65 of their closest friends and family. Their intimate celebration, was held in the ruins of an 18th century Cathedral. They wanted a ceremony that would perfectly blend both of their American and Guatemalan cultures. The photo is the bride entering the cathedral with her father. What a special moment that must have been! What is even better is that the photographer snapped just the right picture at the right moment. Definitely one of my favorite's!

If you would like to see the remaining photos from this wedding, visit Ross Oscar Knights blog by clicking here.

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. Photo used with permission from Ross Oscar Knight Photography.