Other Events

ABC Business of Brides 2013

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the Association of Bridal Consultants‘ annual conference, Business of Brides. It’s one of the highlights of my year to see friends from around the world, and learn and grow with them.

Association of Bridal Consultants Business of Brides Conference

I got to spend time with wedding planners from Latin America, Canada, Japan, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and the list goes on and on. But even better was getting to spend four days with my direct competition. You read right, there were four wedding planners from Jacksonville attending the conference. And not only did I share a hotel room with one, I spent a total of eight hours in the car round trip with them.

I’m very proud that our town has such a great wedding community. While we are competitors, I see these wonderful ladies as allies. In fact, one of them, Tanya Hendricks of Southern Charm Events, and I did a presentation together. It was called “Playing Nice: Cultivating Alliances Not Animosity,” and focused on building relationships while focusing on your own business instead of worrying what everyone else is doing. It was a huge hit, and I met some terrific ladies that came up to share stories after the session.

I also got to spend time with Monica Bernhardt of To-Doers Event Planning, and my fellow Master Bridal Consultant Lisa Burnett of Elegant Weddings By Lisa. While we see each other at local networking events, we don’t often get to spend that much time together, and it’s always great getting to know these ladies a little bit better.

The conference theme, Palm Beach Chic, was inspired by Lilly Pulitzer, so lots of bright colors greeted us at each breakfast, lunch, and break. With the exception of one – The White Party, a welcome reception where everyone donned their white resort casual wear for a great cocktail party. The bar from Just Bars was an amazing focal point – I can wait to use one of these at an upcoming event!

just bars

And the speakers – wow! Matthew Robbins of Matthew Robbins Design was our design speaker. As a contributing editor for Martha Stewart Weddings, he had lots of great insight on finding inspiration for an event theme. Plus he shared photos from his own wedding!

We also heard from Susan Southerland, who we are happy to have as a top-notch Florida wedding planner – she owns Just Marry! in Orlando. She is a phenomenal speaker, and all-around great person.

And lastly, we were reminded of our brilliance (his word, not mine) by Simon T. Bailey. If you haven’t read his books, go buy them now. I’ll wait. I think that all of us in that room have made changes (some significant) that will affect our lives forever. If you ever have the chance to hear Simon speak, don’t hesitate.

But in addition to these fabulous keynote addresses, there were over 25 amazing breakout sessions. I attended “Modern Jewish Weddings,” and “Are You Ready for the Storm? Disaster Preparedness for Wedding Professionals,” both of which gave me great information to bring back to our team.

I can’t say enough about how great it is to be in a room of 300+ wedding professionals from around the world. Every year, I come back energized and renewed, and ready to tackle the year ahead. If you are a wedding planner and aren’t an ABC member, or you are a member that doesn’t attend conference – call me! I’d love to share more about the experience.

 

Bridal Show This Sunday!

Premier Wedding Expo Sunday September 9thLooking for a great way to meet lots of wedding professionals in one place? Stop by the Premier Wedding Expo this Sunday! We have been proud to help produce these great events for many years, and they keep getting better.

  • Over 100 exhibitors
  • Great discounts and prizes will be available for brides planning their weddings
  • Each bride gets a bridal bag when entering the show

The event runs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the UNF University Center (12000 Alumni Drive). Tickets are $10 at the door, but if  you purchase the online in advance they are only $7! Be sure to visit the show’s website, www.TicTocEvents.com, to learn more.

Bridal Shower Recipe Fun

Letterpress Recipe Card BoxMy mom and I were recently visiting my 97-year-old Great Aunt Cora, and the conversation turned to cookies. Even at 97, Aunt Cora can still remember who preferred peanut butter and who preferred chocolate chip.  Each Christmas, she would make batches and batches of cookies, seal them into decorative tins, and give them as gifts. I never understood why I had to share a tin with my mom – but now as an adult, when I think of how many hours of baking that was, I get it! After cookies, we talked about other favorite family meals, and there was a slightly-heated discussion about who is in possession of Aunt Cora’s invaluable recipe box.

That conversation got me thinking – my generation, and those younger than me I’m sure, don’t really treasure recipes. If we want to try something new for dinner, we turn to Google or AllRecipes.com, rather than a treasured family recipe box. So for your bridal shower, why not start your own?

How it works: Include a recipe card with the shower invitations. Be sure to include instructions for your guests to write down their favorite recipe and bring it with them to the party. You might want to write a meal type on the cards, so that you don’t end up with all cookie recipes! If it is a small shower of mostly family, you may even want to ask each guest to bring their dish with them, pot-luck style.

My tip: Choose a recipe card that is blank on the back. Then ask each guest to write a little note with the origin of the recipe, a special memory of you, or a wish for you and your husband. I love the stylish letterpress recipe set shown here from OneCanoeTwo Letterpress on Etsy.

During the party, be sure to save time to ooh and aah over all the recipes in your collection!

Blueprint for Wedding Success

Blueprint for Wedding Success

Announcing our newest seminar, Blueprint For Wedding Success!  Join us for an afternoon of valuable tips and information from Master Bridal Consultant, Heather Canada. Topics include:

Basics:
  • Selecting a date
  • Themes/color schemes
  • Budgeting
  • Choosing locations

Ceremony:

  • Interfaith weddings
  • Traditions

Reception:

  • DJ vs Band
  • Meal types
  • Bar

Extras:

  • Favors
  • Invitations
  • Personalization

Followed by individual Q&A with Master Bridal Consultant Heather Canada. Plus:

Tickets are only $15 per person, or two tickets for $25.  Plus, clients of First Coast Weddings, Avalon Hall, and The Perfect Pear get a special discount! (Ask us for details.) Seating is limited, so sign up today at http://weddingblueprint.eventbrite.com.

Fun Bridal Shower Game – Memories of Us

Shower games are a great way to bring together a group people who might not know each other well.  Even if you’re not a game person, this bridal shower activity is ideal for everyone.

To start the activity, instruct the guests to write down one of their favorite memories that they shared with the bride-to-be on an index card. When everyone has their memory written down, have them place it in a jar. Ask the bride to draw the memory cards and read them aloud, then she will guess the person the memory belongs to.

This game is unique because it reveals fun and sentimental stories about the bride and is enjoyable for the entire group to participate in. The bride especially loves hearing all the special memories she’s shared with her friends and family.