2014 Planner of the Year – National Association for Catering and Events

NACE Experience! 2015 ConferenceI’ve just returned from the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) conference – known as Experience! 2015 – in Scottsdale, AZ. I love going to conferences, and I think continuing education is crucial in our industry. Even though I have been doing weddings for 16 years, and I have owned my own company for 13 years, I learn something new at every single session I go to.

While I anticipated coming home with lots of great new knowledge, I didn’t anticipate coming home with this amazing award: 2014 Planner of the Year. Wow. I’m still in shock. Especially since I didn’t even know I was nominated!

Our NACE Northeast Florida Chapter President, Belinda Cottrell from the Marriott Sawgrass, secretly entered me into this category. I have no idea how much time she put into this process, but I’m sure it was many, many, many hours of digging. 2014 Planner of the Year National Association for Catering and EventsHaving submitted awards entries for our chapter, I know how detailed and arduous the process is! So my eternal gratitude goes to Belinda and everyone else that helped her gather the information she needed.

So what is Planner of the Year? According to the pretty glass plaque (which I can’t get a decent close-up photo of), this award is given “for outstanding achievement in the overall planning and production of events, as well as contributions which have made significant impact on the catering and events industry.” Wow, again.  That’s pretty heavy. And a lot to live up to! It amazes me that my industry colleagues think that description fits me. I am beyond humbled! It still hasn’t sunk in that the beautiful glass plaque with those words etched on it also contains my name.

When I earned my Master Bridal Consultant designation in 2011, I was so honored that a panel of my peers thought that I deserved to be in this amazing group of professionals. And now, to be selected for one of the top honors in our industry, I can’t believe that I get to do what I love every day and that people think I’m THIS good at it. Mind. Blown.

I have lots and lots of cool information to share that I learned at the conference, so stay tuned for more blog posts in the coming weeks. Cheers!

Spotlight: Art Prints from Minted

We love Minted for their beautiful wedding stationery. (Psst… our clients get 20% off, ask us for the discount code!) But did you know that Minted also has an amazing line of Art Prints? I decided to show off some of my favorites – and yes, I have very diverse taste!
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I LOVE that you can buy a frame right along with the print, and try out different frames virtually. I have the hardest time choosing frames for artwork!

So while you are browsing Minted’s wedding stationery collection, take a look at these great options for your new home! If you aren’t familiar with Minted, here’s a little bit about them:

Minted’s community of independent artists and designers are located in 48 states and 43 countries. They are illustrators and textile designers, painters and packaging designers, marketers and stay-at-home moms. Some have design degrees, and others are participating in Minted competitions to learn design for the first time. They share a deep love for creative expression, personal development, risk-taking, and most importantly, paying it forward by helping each other.

Be sure to check out Minted’s line of stationery as well as art and home decor! Do you have any favorites? Post the link below in the comments.

Hurricane Season and Your Florida Wedding

Hurricane Season and Your Florida WeddingIt’s here again: HURRICANE SEASON. That’s right, June 1st (which is Monday, by the way!) kicks off Floridians’ favorite time of year. Time to stock up on the hurricane party supplies. Oops, I mean emergency preparedness items.

But what happens when your wedding takes place during hurricane season (6/1-11/30)? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Have a good Plan B. And Plan C. And Plan D. Even if a hurricane isn’t in the forecast for your immediate area, they can bring drastic weather changes with them. If you are planning on an outdoor ceremony, have a great indoor option booked. Think through your outdoor decor, and see if it will work with the indoor space. If not, talk to your designer or florist about changes that could be made if necessary, and what the deadline for those changes would be.
  • Purchase wedding insurance well in advance. Much like homeowners’ insurance policies, there are time limits for purchasing hurricane coverage for your wedding. Be sure to know those deadlines, and finalize your policy in time. (For more info on wedding insurance, check out our friends at http://www.protectmywedding.com.)
  • Remember that your honeymoon location might be affected. Keep an eye on the forecast for your honeymoon destination. Consider purchasing travel insurance if you are going to an area that might be in the path of a storm. Again, there are deadlines for purchasing insurance, so talk to your travel agent about options!

Burying Bourbon For Good Weather On Your Wedding Day

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Every couple that is planning an outdoor wedding stresses out about one thing: the weather! Hopefully you have great backup plans in place if you are planning an outdoor event. (If you don’t, you should!) But here’s an old tradition you might want to add to your wedding planning schedule.

Southern folklore has it that 30 days before the wedding, at the time of the ceremony, the couple should go to the ceremony location and bury a bottle of bourbon upside down. During the cocktail hour, the bottle is dug up and subsequently passed around for all to enjoy. The folklore must be true, because we’ve seen it done at 3 weddings now and all have had fabulous weather despite rainy or cold days before and after!

Do you have any superstitions or traditions you’d like to share?

(photo from Ann and Mark’s November 2014 wedding, by Susan Michal Photography)

Kate Spade Bridesmaids’ Gifts

I always get a lot of questions about what gifts to give the ladies in the wedding party. This week, Kate Spade has had a great sale going on, so I thought I’d highlight a few ideas from their collection:

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Cosmetic Case

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Jewelry Case

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Love Notes Pave Bangle