Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Things for Christmas Themes

Well as the shortest Christmas season in years creeps upon us, its time for another holiday office party. Now I work full time at a school and we do it big as a school budget can be....and of course the planner has to show her stuff at this time of the year!! The past two years we have had a theme...the first was a Blue Ribbon Christmas for our National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Status and the colors were Blue and Silver. Last year we had Red Hot Christmas and guessed it....the main color was RED!!! This year has flown upon me and I am now crunching to put together fabulous decor for this party that is coming up in 2 weeks. I dont have to plan for Santa coming or stand in long lines for gifts that go on mega clearance at 2am in the morning...but I do have parties to decorate where a room full of women will be critiquing every detail! I know you know the feeling of trying to please everyone and keep your as the wheels are churning...I leave you with a couple of pictures of our last two years party decor in hopes it gives you some holiday inspiration as I gather my inspiration for another fabulous holiday festivity!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Callie Loves Caricatures!!

Well just to give you a brief blog post for the is all smiles!! If you know me then you also know I love to take pictures and I absolutely love Caricatures. It is an annual thing at the Georgia National Fair in Perry Georgia every year to step up to be completely horrified by whatever facial feature the artist over exaggerates on my picture. Nevertheless,  they are absolutely my favorite. The new trend is Digital Caricatures and at our last Networking Meeting with ABC in August, we had Caricatures by Tony come and digitally draw the beauties of the Georgia Chapter and printed out our very own copy. We love to have some form of fun and entertainment with our meetings.

So instead of maybe a photobooth at your reception...consider adding or using a Caricaturist instead. Tony could do more black and white in an hour but the average was 18 to 20 in an hour of full color. You also get a link to download your digital copy within the next days following the event. Your guests are sure to never forget your reception and having it posted on a big screen as it is being drawn is part of the fun. I love when I go to an event and there is a memory like this that I can take away and share with everyone. Please enjoy my lovely photo and remember that the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating special mementos for your guests.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Featured Spotlight: The Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta

Oh Great....another Bridal Show.....I DON'T THINK SO!! The Bridal Extravaganza is THE bridal show to put on your calendar every year and the event hosts twice a year in August & January. The Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta is put on by Engage A Bride owned by Donna Jakulski & Linda Surles.

 That's right...this phenomenal WOW Factor Experience is ran, designed, produced by WOMEN baby!! I cannot speak enough about these two social butterflies. I had the absolute pleasure of volunteering with them last February when they hosted their last show, I had know idea what I would be doing but wanted the experience and sent Donna an email. I was overwhelmed by how "down-to-earth" she was and how exciting she sounded about the show. It was not until I arrived the Friday before the event that I met Linda. Now Linda is absolutely a hippie, vintage, bohemian style diva who is laid back with a dry sense of humor. They are by far two of my favorite women in Atlanta and huge role models to me as a New Wedding Planner.

I opened my schedule for the show and found my post at.....Wait for it.....David Tutera's Sticky Note Girl!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! I had no idea what a sticky note girl was...but it was somewhere near David Tutera and I was so pumped. It turned out, I wrote down who the brides wanted him to sign the book to and wrote it on a sticky note on the inside flap of the book so he could quickly move thru the line of eager brides waiting for their moment of fame with him. I was so excited to be standing 3 feet away from him and was able to snag my own autographs and photos with him before the day was over with.

The show was an absolute DREAM...a extravagant explosion of color and sound that filled each booth. Unlike any show I have ever been too. The other volunteers were local wedding and event planners and friends who were so warm and friendly. I cannot say enough about these great Chic's!! Working the show gave me an opportunity to network with local vendors and become familiar with great local businesses as well. Take a gander at the pictures I took from the last show....and scroll down for updates on THIS SUNDAY's Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta at America's Mart...

The Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart 
230 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA 30303
Sunday, August 18, 2013 from 1pm- 5pm & Sunday, January 26, 2014 from 12pm-5pm

Here’s what you’ll experience:
  • One hundred plus of Atlanta’s Best Wedding Professionals.
  • Spectacular wedding galleries showing the latest trends and ideas for your wedding & reception.
  • Photography, floral and wedding cake galleries.
  • Couture fashion shows.
  • Taste scrumptious appetizers and wedding cake.
  • Discover the perfect wedding reception location, honeymoon, flowers, wedding planners, photographers and more.
  • Find creative ideas and designs for your reception.
  • Visit with our honeymoon & destination wedding specialists.
  • Chance to win romantic honeymoons and thousands in door prizes!
Event Schedule (subject to change)
  • 1pm Doors Open
  • 1pm – 5pm Viewing of Exhibits
  • 2:30pm Fashion Show
  • 4:30pm Fashion Show
  • 4:30pm Grand Prize Giveaway
  • 5:00pm Show closes
Entrance to the show: All brides and their guests will enter The Bridal Extravaganza thru the AmericasMart Building 2 Parking Garage. Take the parking garage elevator to the 2nd floor and follow the signs to the West Wing. No entrance to the show will be available on Williams Street. Directional signs will be posted.
Building 2 Parking Garage: 230 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Enter on the left side of Spring St., between Andrew Young International Blvd. and John Portman Blvd. $6.00 parking at the AmericasMart Bldg 2 Parking Deck.
Location, Location, Location The Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart is located in the heart of downtown and attached to the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Within walking distance to MARTA, the Georgia Aquarium, CNN, Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, there is no venue with better accessibility than the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart.
You do not want to miss these giveaways!! Plus you will leave with a bag full of goodies...the great things to come are this Sunday at 1pm.....I will be there...the one with the HUGE smile on my face....excited to be a part of yet another Fabulous Show put on by Donna and Linda!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Its HOOOTTTTTTTTT!!!....Plan your Destination Beach Wedding Right Here in the States!!!

So everyone has thought, for at least a minute or two, what it would be like to have a luxury planned destination wedding at an exotic beach with magic in the air as you walk down the aisle on a palette of sand, the waves crashing in the background, writing your names in the sand and those memorable sunset pictures on the seashore. But then you think about how would your family be able to be there, would anyone be able to afford it, would you be able to afford it? Then you move on to the next reasonable option and have it somewhere local that is convenient for everyone...right? Don't let the little things stand in the way of the day of your dreams because you cannot wrap your mind around how it would all work. First, hire a wedding planner (no brainer!) and then start thinking about your vision as if it is really going to happen. That is what my couple in Macon has started to do for their beach wedding....

They love the beach and that is where they first spent a vacation together. The location was Mexico Beach, Florida about 45 minutes from the famous Panama City Beach. But if you have ever been to Mexico Beach, you will see that there are not many options to grand ballrooms or venue sites to choose from. You have to know your area and research the possibilities. The bride, although wanted it in Mexico Beach because of the sentimental value, had decided on traveling about 1 1/2 hours instead to Destin Florida for a more convenient venue site. After many meetings discussing the possibilities, I finally discovered that the reason for the city change was because she had only seen the El Governor Motel in Mexico Beach and was not going to have her reception there. You see where I am going....don't forfeit an experience that means something to you because you may not be able to see the bigger picture. Although the El Governor Motel may be the largest hotel in Mexico Beach, it is NOT the only option. I found a more cost effective option for the couple and wanted to share with you in case you are ever in this sort of situation....

The groom's family takes a family beach trip every father's day weekend to Mexico Beach so that is when they decided to set the Wedding Date so that the majority of the guests would already be there to attend. Instead of booking the fabulous Annex Rooms at the El Governor Motel, as they have done every year, the family decided to rent two very large beach houses right beside each other that sleep up to 16 people each. Dividing the costs up, the family is able to stay for 7 days instead of just 2 or 3 (as they normally do at the El Governor) for less. The family is all together in two houses, doesn't have to pay as much, more amenities available for them at this location, the bride and groom do not even have to pay for their room at the beach house and this also became their wedding and reception venue. The beach house has its own private little part of the beach, perfect for a sunset ceremony, free of people walking by and staring, cars honking, drunk people whooping and hollering, the perfect setting. The beach house is fully equipped with a in the ground pool where table and chairs are able to be rented and placed perfectly. This couple is on a low budget, so we pinched where we could. Tables, chairs, linens are able to be rented from Port St Joe, the cake and catering can be done by family and displayed using rented glassware and tableware. The wedding guests totaled 50 people, therefore more time and money is able to be spent on the intricate details of the wedding like the bride and groom wanted. The groom is making the altar for the ceremony, centerpieces are designed by seashells and beach themed items picked and saved from the past several years by the couple (and trust me they are not tacky-I do not do tacky). The favors/table assignments are open shadow boxes made by the bride and groom with a copy of the invitation and program, a picture, starfish and seashells from their adventure, with plenty of room for guests to add their own piece of the excitement! Sounds cute and awesome....right??? It is have to have a dream and a vision...don't keep it a secret...share with your wedding planner so he/she can start to put that vision in place!!

Always remember the legality of this as well when booking a beach house. Some of the houses I searched did not accommodate beach weddings even though they have the space to hold the amount of people. You run into insurance issues and damages may occur. Always be up front with your rental company about what will be going on, you do not have to hide anything, there are numerous rentals that accommodate small weddings....or even big weddings!!

Would you believe that the estimated costs for this wedding/reception for the couple is under $3000.00?Now that is obviously with the help of the family covering the rental fees for the beach house (which they are currently going to stay in as well). Now you may say...that's nice...but can we have a little privacy? I completely agree!! Since they are able to save money on their ceremony and reception...more money can be spent for a brief honeymoon nearby.

The hidden Black's Island is a secluded island right next to Port St Joe and Mexico Beach, where you must take a beach taxi to get to the island. The huts are equipped with your basic necessities...a low key all inclusive island. All of your non-alcoholic drinks and food are covered in your $499/night rental. Your rental includes access to the entire island, a meeting/clubhouse where the latest ball game is on, pool tables/card games and social drinking is carried out. You have access to paddle boats and water sports equipment, or access to the private pool to relax and soak up the sun. The island is absolutely quiet and secluded to spend that special time with your new husband/wife where you are not swept away by all the busyness of life. And did I mention that the island is a 21 year old and up ONLY island, so you do not have to worry about children playing, enjoy your adult alone time and then head back to real life when you are ready. But don't take my word for it...check it out yourself...!! I have been visiting Mexico Beach since I was a little child and have never heard of this place, never knew it even something new together and make new memories and traditions to come with your new family!!

For more information on how I can make that beach wedding happen for you...please call me!! I am a native of Fort Walton Beach Florida, therefore my roots lie in the sand and water...I can make it happen!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why Not Join Us?

Now I already know what you are saying....this is just another way to get money out of me when I don't have any for them to get!! Well hold up...let me tell you a little about the investment before you click off this blog. I am probably the poorest person I know....LITERALLY! But I wanted to advance my future career and do it by focusing on things I LOVE to do. I work 2 jobs, one full-time in the school system as a Health Technician and my part-time/as needed position at my former job with the Medical Examiner of Houston County. I was doing everything to make ends meet but said...I want to be known for my work and that means putting that work out there. I love planning Weddings and Events, there is never two in the same and each time you create something beautiful that Wows even myself sometimes. I searched online, because I knew as a woman, I had to have my paper in order to back up my certifications and degrees. That is important for people when they are looking for a planner, they want to know that you have worked hard to get to where you are.

I chose to use Penn Foster College because I could pay monthly (however much I could afford) and become certified thru their online courses. I did not even realize that included in their program I received a free 6 month membership to the Association of Bridal Consultants. I really did not know who they were or what they were about so I started to research. I suggest you do the same, brides and wedding planners/vendors, on their website

"We are the oldest and largest organization exclusively serving wedding professionals, and we have been training wedding coordinators since 1955.

Our programs provide all the information you will need to get started and become successful in this business. Our courses and seminars are also periodically updated to reflect changes in our industry.

At ABC, you will learn from experienced professionals. "

They also have a educational program that you can enroll in that is a online/home based study called the Professional Development Program. They are always about advancing your knowledge in the areas that matter, with conferences, seminars, webinars and more.

At my first meeting, 2 hours up 75 to Atlanta, I was overwhelmed by the how wonderfully amazing these women and men were. Welcomed like they had known me for years, pampered by the different venue locations we visited, showered with information and contacts to immediately start using in my business. I started to have hope that maybe this is worth it. As I continued to explore their website, I admired the Code of Ethics that they stood by....

Standards of Membership
(You must agree to these in order to obtain membership.)
Members will:
  • Supply background information about the member and his/her business, or other information essential to the Association's responsibility to provide factual reports on the profession. 
  • Cooperate with Association activities and efforts to promote and improve the professionalism of the bridal business. 
  • Respond rapidly and honestly to all complaints forwarded by the Association. 
  • Supply, on request, the evidence on which any advertising is based. 
  • Use the Associations name and logo only as authorized. 
  • Pay all association bills in a timely manner. 

Code of Ethics:
Members will...
  • Represent each client fairly and honestly, providing all agreed-to services in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
  • Establish reasonable, proper fees for services and provide written estimates to each client.
  • Use honest factual advertising.
  • Deal with employees fairly, in an unbiased manner.
  • Operate an establishment that is a credit to the Association and the community.
  • Disclose to clients any payment received from suppliers.
For all levels, membership must be maintained in good standing. Lapses in membership are not credited to the time requirements for advancement. 
 At first I did not think much of it, but as I have grown within the Association and my Georgia Chapter, I would never want a bad event/experience to reflect upon the Association that gives me way more than they could ever give me. But I still had no idea of what to do with where I was....

Gail Johnson pictured in the Center
The Georgia Chapter State Coordinator is Gail Johnson, of Gail Johnson Wedding & Events based out of Atlanta. She was my angel that covered me with support and tools needed to grow my business. Now this woman has done it all, she has partnered in a business and hosted so many events I cannot even begin to count. I attended her Novice Workshop where she taught me the basics and the first steps of how to introduce your business to your community. She gave me the push I needed to keep going, and continues to do that along with many other members of our Georgia Chapter. You see, we don't look at each other as competition...but as friends who will help you out and go the distance to advance you as you advance them.

You are probably wondering WHY? am I posting this on my blog. If you are a Vendor or a Wedding Planner and want to become part of a family that will help advance you forward in your have found your new home. If you are a bride who is looking for a planner or a vendor who is guaranteed to be reputable and make your event a success and backed by an Association that has been around since have found a new friend. If we cannot use each other to learn and grow then what possible purpose do we have....if you are looking out for yourself and to make money exclusively then this probably isn't for you. You have to have the passion to grow...the love of people....the want to do things impossible....the need of others for support!!

I am not booming to where I can quit my 2 jobs and do this exclusively....YET!! But I can tell you that the past 6-8 months of membership has brought me more contacts, more brides, more events, more knowledge about this business then I could ever achieve on my own. Don't be too proud to be a part of something proud that you ARE a part of something GREAT!!

Check us me if you want more information...or check out the Association Website. I am the Membership Drive Chairperson for our Georgia Chapter and would love to add your name to the list as a possible prospect to our large family here at ABC!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Featured Spotlight: Southern Vintage Georgia

It has been a while since I have posted, busy busy busy with new contracts and exciting events lined up for this year. As a new Wedding Planner in the business, this part is exciting and such a great learning experience. With each new contract comes a new vision that the bride wants for her special day. Finding the right vendors to help bring her vision to light is what makes you skilled in your field. Today I wanted to showcase a few of the pieces that Southern Vintage Georgia has available for rental for weddings, parties or any event you may be hosting. I am in love with Vintage ANYTHING!! So when one of my brides told me about this website, I fell in love with the pieces available. Any of these pieces could be added to a reception, lounge area, or cocktail hour. As I am building photos for my portfolio, these pieces directly speak to me for possible rental in the future. Have you ever watched an older movie or TV show that has this great antique chaise lounge and the thought crosses through your mind, "I would love to have that piece"? and then think, well there is nothing like that around here and if there is it would be hard to find. Well look no further, Southern Vintage Georgia has broken out with fantastic pieces to add flair to any event and make it over the top.

Southern Vintage Georgia is based out of Macon and rents unique antique style pieces for every event. They are offering a 10% discount to Macon Wedding and Events. Pricing varies but well within any budget. Below you will find a few pieces that I adore on their website ( As you go over each piece, let your mind wonder to that place where all of your ideas come to life, where you finally have a picture to put with your ideas and dreams. This is a vendor I plan on using in the future and wanted to share my excitement for their dreamy pieces.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wedding Theme + Pinterest = Wedding Jambalaya

What is one thing that can possibly disappoint a bride and frustrate a Wedding Planner?....A Notebook full of ideas, pictures and colors of multiple different elements in a wedding that they love and want to 
do...while beautiful by themselves...look like a HOT MESS when put together. Sometimes this can cause a bride to re-think every item she has chosen.... but can be easily fixed with a smooth over from her Wedding Planner. You may like the concept of different centerpieces, flower arrangements and favors but your overall vision should have one cohesive theme. Now saying that does not mean you completely throw out the other ideas you have, you may incorporate them in other areas. What are you looking for...a country-western theme, a modern, traditional, vintage or platinum? What are your colors? 

Here is a "for instance" newly engaged soon-to-be sister-in-law loves the idea of bright colored linens and sequins shining and in the same breath loves the burlap table runners and the cluttered looking seashell centerpieces. Well in my mind, I just stroked out a little bit. But it is easy to fix an issue like that and ease the brides frustrations. We chose a dazzling linen in her feature color for the long tables and incorporated the burlap she loved in the ceremony altar decor. To accent the cake table, we chose to use textured linens that were unique with a little bit of shiny sequin flair (but not to much). Instead of using the cluttered starfish centerpiece idea, we incorporated the idea of using the starfish at the escort table instead. I love Pinterest with a passion, and who doesn't have a "Wedding" Board that they fill with tons of beautiful ideas and creations that they would love to see one day? is the skill of a Wedding Planner to make those beautiful ideas and creations come together in a elegant way that leaves her bride with a vision...but more than that...the confidence that her ideas and dreams can happen and still be beautiful!! The goal here is not to discourage finding different ideas and pictures as a bride...but a challenge to the Wedding Planner to find a way to incorporate the ideas she wants to use. It is never a "job" for a true Wedding Planner, this is the part we love to dive into...this is where our creativity shows and where we can add our piece of flare!

And some people wonder why its necessary to have a Wedding Planner? We are the invisible people behind the scenes who magically pull the entire concept together leaving the jaw dropping reaction that the bride and groom give you....speechless. That is the all that matters in the end, its not the headache or frustrations of how are you going to pull it all together, its that smile, that tear, the hug and the feeling of knowing you fulfilled her dream wedding. That is the only thing that matters!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ABC Southeastern Regional Conference Highlights

This past weekend was 2 days packed full of new faces, new connections, great speakers, awesome food, lots of laughter and stories to tell for many meetings to come. This was my first regional conference and I was so excited to see everyone and meet new speakers as I soak up all of their knowledge. I am passionate about this business and I am ready to move forward. I believe with everything I have in me that I can do this because I WANT it and am WILLING to WORK HARD for it. Here is a recap from our conference.....

Day 1 began with Sandals Training with the lovely Cynthia & Troy. We had 4 packed hours of Sandals Resort Information and how we can become the best at what we do PLUS get a bonus in the process. I am happy to say that I am a Certified Sandals Specialist now and am proud to book your next honeymoon, anniversary, family trip or because I can trip!! Let me help you get connected to my partner at Sandals!! Not to mention we couldn't keep our hands off the FABULOUS linen...

Once checked into our rooms at the Holiday Inn at Dunwoody, we prepared for a delicious meal at Eclipse di Luna, famous for their Tapas. I was in love with the mini Coke bottles and decided that they must come home with me. I started with just one in the purse but the lil busboy proceeded to stack every empty bottle on our table in front of me to take home and a bag to put them in....."Now You Have a Set"!!

Once home to our room and into our Jammies...we head to Gail Johnson's Suite for a night of Fun Photo Prop Pictures, SWAG bags, sweet goodies and my new favorite Nye's Cream Sandwiches....can we say KEY LIME IS THE BESST!! I think Gail would agree!! But the night ended with a few calls and notifications that these Wedding Planners were too loud...despite the Dart Tournament going on downstairs and the Parking Lot Waste fill of Cigarette Butts and Beer Bottles. I saw the man the next morning cleaning the place up and he was not a happy camper. Needless to say we had a great time talking about "what we would do"...ALL SMILES!!

Day 2 Began at the 741 Edgewood Avenue Event Center, a Unique and Cozy Design Space for Events. We began with Breakfast from Avalon Catering and enjoyed Ivory Bridal Designs and Getting Set up for the Opening of the Conference. Kendrick Law brought some major Legal Jargon for us to marinate on as we enter into the business world on our own. She shed some light on many areas ..for example...if you are in business as an LLC and you have to go to court for any must have an attorney getting an LLC is a must to protect your assets and person.
Our next speaker...Mark Kingsdorf of Queen of Hearts...I do not have enough space on this blog post to let you know how I adore him and everything about who he is...he discussed ways to be successful in the business..."you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate" and donating time to a organization can put you in the media and the spotlight for recognition while doing a great service to your community. He was a true gem....Chuck is a lucky man!!
While enjoying our lunch we had the pleasure of listening to Dawn Cowart speak about how to make a broach bouquet and different elements you can add to your decor for very little money and make a great statement of creativity. She was a hoot...crazy and blunt and loved her personality!!

Next we were told the truth by the lovely Lisa Smith about how to Be proud of who you are and put together your "MeFolio" for people to see your accomplishments. To stand tall and deal with issues as they come and never quit furthering your education and experience in the field. She has been planning weddings and events since she was 16 years old and has information galore to share with us!! Plus she was looking too cute in her dress and matching accessories...

As we waited for our last speaker to arrive we ate some dessert to die for and participated in the DIY Station "Put A Ring On It"...too cute...Stella DOT came with jewelry to showcase and information about how this could enhance your business on the side. Beautiful stunning pieces that brides and the everyday woman would enjoy!! Not to mention our impromptu Twitter Infomercial provided by the lovely Teras Smith...and her stationary was absolutely stunning as well!! Love her to pieces!!

The final speaker was the lovely Heather Vreeland, owner of Occasions Magazine. She shared tips on how to do this when you are the only one...different apps...different programs and making decisions for you that will gain you further knowledge and success in this business!! Which happens to be one of my favorite magazines to read and I always look forward to it coming out!!

Well that was A LOT!!..but you know there is no way to explain how much I enjoyed the conference..all the SWAG and all the things we experienced together!! I love to learn about this business and Love ABC!! Gail is the best State Coordinator and confidant...She is a role model for anyone in this business!! Happy Weekend for this GIRL!!