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ABC Florida State Conference Recap #BeBoldABC

This week, I had the pleasure of working with my dear friends and fellow Master Wedding Planners Carmen Mesa of Carmen Mesa Events and Tammy Waterman of Special Moments Event Planning to produce a fabulous conference for wedding professionals. The Association of Bridal Consultants’ Florida State Conference is always a labor of love, but hearing each and every attendee walk away saying how much they had learned makes it all worth it! Here’s a little recap:

Saturday night, we treated our amazing speakers to a fun evening at Sweet Pete’s and The Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails.

jacksonville

Sunday morning kicked off with brunch, where I got to tell everyone some interesting facts about Jacksonville. (#ILoveJax)

brunch collage(thanks to Rose of Sharon European Florist for the centerpieces, Beachview Event Rentals for the chairs, and PRI Productions for the super cool Jacksonville backdrop)

general session

After brunch, we went into our general session room for lots of great educational content:

And then it was on to the poolside cocktail reception! The weather could not have been more amazing. As event planners, we always worry about the weather when planning outdoor events – especially in August in Florida! But there was not a drop of rain that day, and the breeze made the rooftop deck quite comfortable.

Omni hotel Jacksonville poolside reception

Day 2 of the conference started with a casual breakfast. How cool are these centerpieces from Rose of Sharon European Florist?

breakfast centerpieces

And the Omni Hotel Jacksonville staff created the letters “ABC” out of the parfaits!

parfaits

For Tuesday’s lunch, each speaker was assigned a table. Lauren from Ten23 Designs created these adorable signs with their names! She also made tons of other cute decor pieces that were used throughout the conference.

lunch table

Monday’s educational sessions were just as amazing as Sunday’s:

  • Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting – Attaining Expert Status: How to Become on Expert Industry Leader
  • Susan Southerland, Just Marry! – Selling to Couples at Every Planning Phase
  • Charlene Shirk, C. Shirk Productions – Pitch Perfect: How to Deliver A Great Media Interview
  • Bryan Glynn, BGPictures – Critical Website & Internet Tips for Your Business and Making $$ with YouTube
  • Donnie Brown & Steve Kemble – Social Media As Your PR Consultant (Round Table)

Sadly, it was time to say good bye to all of our friends, new and old. These little snack packs had water, chips, and sweets for the drive/flight home.

take home snack boxes

heather canada donnie brown steve kemble

It was an amazing (and exhausting!) three days, and I am so thankful for everyone that attended. Want to see more photos? Check out the ABC Florida Facebook page.

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!

Steampunk Themed Photo Shoot

Last summer, I had the honor of working with Ann at Premier Bride Magazine to create a steampunk-themed photo shoot for their Winter/Spring 2015 issue. The magazine is out now, so we are finally able to share the photos with you! Not only did we get to shoot at my alma mater, Flagler College, our photographer is a fellow alum too.

It was amazing working with such a talented team of wedding pros on this shoot: zach•thomas•photography, Jade Violet Wedding & Event Floral Boutique, Beautiful Faces by Erin, Jill Stonier, Professional Makeup Artist, Bridals & More, Take One ProductionsFlagler College, Brooch the Possibilities, LLC St Augustine FL, The Panama Hat Company of St Augustine, Men’s Wearhouse, Southern Charm Events, First Frost Designs and Simply Delicious Cakes.

Premier Bride Magazine - Zach Thomas Photography

Premier Bride Magazine - Zach Thomas Photography

Premier Bride Magazine - Zach Thomas Photography

Premier Bride Magazine - Zach Thomas Photography

Premier Bride Magazine - Zach Thomas Photography

Premier Bride Magazine - Zach Thomas Photography

And here is a great behind-the-scenes video to show how it all came together! It was so fun to think outside the box a bit for this shoot.

Introducing Our New Custom Stationery Line

Simply Personal Wedding Invitations

We are excited to present a new stationery line to our clients! We have decided to partner with Simply Personal because we love the level of customization they offer. We can also provide chair signs, seating charts, favor tags and more! Schedule an appointment to view the collection at our office.

Congratulations, Ashleigh and Charles!

ashleigh-charles1

This weekend, we’ll be celebrating the wedding of one of our own! It’s time for Ashleigh and Charles to tie the knot, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Ashleigh has written some blog posts during her wedding planning journey, and I’m sure that after some down time she’ll share with us what she learned along the way!

I have gotten to witness three of our team members say “I do” – Emma, Melanie, and Lauren – and I’m so excited to add Ashleigh to that list. Best wishes to the happy couple!