Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Puff 'n Stuff Event

I was honored to be invited to a lovely client-oriented event hosted by Puff ‘n Stuff Catering which was held last night at The Ballroom at Church Street. I have known the folks at Puff ‘n Stuff for a very long time—they catered my oldest daughter’s wedding in 1988! The premise of the event was of course to showcase their fabulous cuisine but also to portray to their brides how an event could look at the venue. In the atrium area at check-in I was happy to see Chris Chan playing the piano. I have known Chris a long time—he is certainly one of the finest performers around! I had the opportunity to chat with Heidi Brice and Mary Brumley and Sandy George and Ralph Rendsland, all familiar staffers with Puff ‘n Stuff. But I also met Shira Smith and Bonnie Ell. Art Faulkner of Works of Art Photography was documenting the event. Art is also another long-time industry friend and many thanks to him for the photos included here! The space was divided into three segments with cuisine and décor to complement each. The Asian foods were complemented by the edgy florals displayed by Lana Pelham-Faulkner of Fairbanks Florist. The reds and blacks of the linens and the flowers Lana used were quite spectacular! It was a nostalgic evening for sure. Lana was one of the very first vendors I met back in 1989, the year that Wonderful Weddings was established. And I met Art not long after that. Art and Lana were recently married at Casa Feliz on July 19th of this year! I also chatted with the ladies from Kroma Makeup Studio. They told me about their recent re-location to Maitland. Out front was parked a beautiful 1965 Rolls Royce owned by Barbara and Simon White of VIP Transportation Group. They happened to leave about the same time I did so I got to follow behind them—what a beautiful car! Puff ‘n Stuff, thanks for including me as a guest at this beautiful event!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Meet Our Newest Apprentice Galyna!

We recently enrolled our second candidate in our Suddenly I See Apprentice Program! Galyna Saltkovska learned about our program in the Fall/Winter issue of Central Florida Bride Magazine. Galyna was born in Russia and came to the United States about six years ago. She has a Bachelors Degree in Organizational Management and a Masters in Production Management from the Institute of Economy and Management College in Simferopol, Ukraine. Galyna has worked in the hospitality industry in Central Florida for Vinelli Catering and Hard Rock Café. She also works part time as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Blue Lake Academy in Eustis. And if all of this doesn’t keep her busy enough, she also owns and operates TWR Private Limousines, Inc. which she established with her husband Paul Chaples in June 2007. Their fleet serves Central Florida, including Orlando, Tampa and Daytona. Galyna and Paul have a six-year old daughter who is quite talented as a gymnast!

“My Dad was an event organizer; therefore, I was surrounded by a family that loved throwing the best parties. Ever since I was a child I have always wanted to be able to help plan parties that would be unique. With this career choice of wedding planning, my mind can be opened wide with no restrictions.”

Galyna has chosen a late spring 2009 wedding and an early fall 2009 wedding as the two events for her apprentice program. Galyna, welcome to Wonderful Weddings!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wings of Sound - Alive After Five Event

Last night I attended Sanford’s “Downtown Motown” street party. This is the monthly “Alive After Five” event sponsored by the City of Sanford and the Historic Welcome Center. Kim House, who owns and operates (along with her husband Pete) Riverhouse Pottery Art Gallery and Gift Shop and who also is vice president of the Board of Directors for the Historic Welcome Center, contacted me back in August to inquire about the availability of Wings of Sound to perform for the event. Not everyone knows that in addition to my position as owner and operator of Wonderful Weddings, I have also been the manager of this fabulous band since 2001. I met them in 1992 when one of my clients had already booked them for her wedding; once I heard them they immediately became a favorite! And when they asked me to assume their manager position, I did so without hesitation. The mobile stage on which the band performed was provided by Bill Heard Chevrolet and it was rocking for nearly three hours! The weather remained a question for the event but at around 3:30 the rain stopped and a beautiful blue sky was visible. A light breeze, the food, the art and of course the lively music literally had everyone “Dancin’ in the Street!” I handed out lots of cards last night. One woman was ready to book them to perform at her 60th birthday party … which is not for five years! And Kim House told me that she would love to have the band back same time next year! Thanks, band members John Brown, Dian Kelly (aka Aretha Franklin at Mel’s Diner at Universal Studios!), Don Pittman, Walt Hubbard, Jeff Green, Gary Stephens, Gary Listort, Eddie Marshall and Steve Sinkiewicz for adding the perfect element to “Downtown Motown!”

The Knot Market Thank You Party

On Wednesday evening, Lynn Porter, our apprentice and I attended the 2008 The Knot Market thank-you party. It was held at Ceviche Restaurant on Church Street—the location many of you will remember as Apple Annie’s and the North Parlour of the former Church Street Station. It was a great opportunity for me to introduce Lynn to lots of vendors in the industry. The party was very well attended and the food and entertainment provided by Power Entertainment were great. In addition to the tapas food served by the restaurant, Lynn and I especially enjoyed the cupcakes provided by Sweet By Good Golly Miss Holly. One of the guests who Lynn and I had just met, Helene Picard from Hair Connoisseurs, admitted she had eaten four! Lynn and I spent the evening mingling with lots of my friends in the industry and I made every effort to make sure she could meet as many as possible! We chatted with Barbara and Simon White from VIP Transportation Group, Darrin Shifrel from Fun Factory DJ (and Darrin has now also started a rental company, Orlando Wedding and Party Rentals), Ellen Prague (sporting a new hair cut!) and Barbara DiFlumari from The Paper Shop, Michele Butler from Just Marry!, Lisa Konecny from E Events (great dress and new hair cut for you too, Lisa!), Jeffrey Stoner from Jeffrey Stoner Video Productions, Nerissa Wachter from the Villas of Grand Cypress, David Basher from A Magic Moment, Heidi Brice from Puff ‘n Stuff Catering (Lynn has actually already had the opportunity to work with Heidi at one of our recent weddings at Orlando Museum of Art), Amy Pryor from The Orange County History Center, Molly Abel and Jaime Ledet from The Citrus Club, Lisa New from BBJ Linen and Brian Joyce from Flourish Floral Productions, as well as Tommy Murphy from Greenery Productions. Michael Fabiani of Above and Beyond Entertainment took us under his wing and made sure that Lynn and I always had a fresh drink. Thanks, Michael! I told Lynn that when wedding professionals have the opportunity to get together, they really know how to party! A quick look at my calendar tells me that there are three more parties on tap for September so watch for upcoming posts! Enjoy some photos of everyone having fun Wednesday night—thanks, Brian Adams, for sharing these!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Next in our Fall Series of "Lunch and Learn" Events

Today I hosted a luncheon with Schuyler Osborne of Perfect Sky Productions, a wedding videography company. The menu included two new recipes which Sky was brave enough to serve as my "guinea pig" for..... Pecan-Parmesan Pork with Port Sauce, and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. I first worked with Sky on a wedding in October of 2006 and since that time we have worked together on several occasions. He established his business in 1999. Prior to that, he wanted to use his degree in Film Production from UCF to pursue independent film production. Sky's philosophy about videography and its relationship to the bride and her wedding is that video should be "cinematic and compelling, creating drama, mood, and style." According to Sky, "No other medium will document this incredible day better than video." Sky is married, has a daughter and son, and lives in Winter Park.