Archive for the ‘Ask the Planner’Category

It’s Only A Wedding, Sit Anywhere

There are 127 seats – just pick one.  Really.  We’re cool like that, so when you come to our wedding sit anywhere.  Except at the Reserved tables.

When you invite people to an event, do them a favor and tell them where to sit.  They want to know.   After all, you are the host (hostess) and they are expecting to take direction from you.  They don’t want to make decisions and run for tables like seats on a bus. (Hey Barb – save me a seat!)

I often hear “We went to a wedding (party) and they didn’t have assigned seats and I thought it was great”.  Ok.  And some people like eating with their fingers, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate in all settings or at all times.

“. Large receptions, over 30 people, can be chaotic if there is no assigned seating. Often couples elect not to assign seating because they don’t want to offend anyone who ends up seated in the back. But, honestly, guests feel more comfortable when they know where to sit. They won’t have to battle for a “good seat” or argue over who sits by whom. Etiquette and courtesy dictates that parents of the bride and groom and elderly family members or friends should be seated in the front. Do the best you can to seat families or groups together. You won’t be able to please everyone, but don’t sweat it. Most people won’t stay in their seats for long anyway.”   Source:

We have a saying in the business:  Asses in seats.  It’s the way things are done.  Leaving people to sit anywhere is like saying you don’t care where they sit.  And Reserved cards at tables don’t cut it.  If you really want to offend someone, tell them they can’t sit at the tables reserved for…. Umm…. who exactly are they reserved for?  (Personally, I’m never quite sure since it doesn’t say anything more than “Reserved”)

reserved sign

Creating a seating plan doesn’t need to become a major ordeal.  There are resources available to assist with this task, such as  Perfect Table Plan.   Also, sites like and  have helpful (free!) tools for seating charts and table layouts.  If you don’t want to mess with creating placecards, contact our friends at

Unique Weddings in Florida: Casa Feliz, Winter Park

Casa Feliz is one of the most incredibly lovely and unique venues in Central Florida. Located in historic Winter Park at the north end of Park Avenue, set as if it were a jewel in a crown.

Casa Feliz | photo: Art Faulkner Casa Feliz, or “Happy House” in Spanish, is the signature residential work of noted architect James Gamble Rogers II. Built in 1933 for inventor and manufacturer Robert Bruce Barbour, Casa Feliz was recognized for its importance as an outstanding example of Spanish Eclectic style architecture and as the preeminent residential design executed by Rogers. Casa Feliz was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 2008. (more details here)

I have been fortunate to work at Casa Feliz on many occasions:  Weddings, destination weddings, rehearsal dinners, meetings – you name it! – and it’s always a joy to be there!  Everyone who visits Casa Feliz is touched by the charm of the warm wood and cozy interior spaces boasting french doors that open to bright and colorful courtyards.  It’s perfect for events with a guestlist of about 100 or less. The space is extremely flexible but somewhat nontraditional since it is comprised of several connecting rooms.

Casa Feliz couple

Casa Feliz with lighting by Junction 88

Sparkler exit at Casa Feliz | studio blu

One of the standout benefits to having a wedding or special event at Casa Feliz is the variety of photo ops!  Indoors, outdoors, architectural details – such as a curved staircase, balconies, archways, french doors, courtyards, windows – and lots of interesting textures and finishes (brick, wood, tile, etc).   It’s a photographer’s dream!

At this writing, Arthur’s Catering is the exclusive caterer.  Arthur’s is amazing and I’ve worked with them on numerous occasions; twice events which I had planned and they catered were nominated for awards!  Over the years I have developed a very good relationship with their team and I especially enjoy any opportunity to work with Melissa at Casa Feliz because she is so wonderfully detail oriented.

As a destination, Winter Park has a lot to offer visitors and out-of-town guests: first class dining, boutique shopping, sidewalk cafes, museums, boat tours, and tree lined streets that are perfect for walking, jogging and biking.  Known as the City of Culture and Heritage, Winter Park is a mecca for those interested in world-class art and rich cultural experiences. (more details here) Casa Feliz 656 N. Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL

Casa Feliz_A Flair for Affairs

A Flair for Affairs highly recommends Casa Feliz.  If you are interested in planning a wedding at Casa Feliz, or anywhere in Winter Park, please call us!  We are one of their ‘preferred professionals’, and we’re eager to assist you with all the arrangements and make your planning experience both enjoyable and worry free.  We also provide coordination services for the wedding rehearsal and wedding day.

A Flair for Affairs :: 407-896-1476




02 2012

Vintage Weddings: Love Them or Leave Them?

Just finished reading another terrific wedding article in the Huffington Post titled The End of The Vintage Wedding Trend
Harmony Walton, founder of, and wedding industry notable (speaker, blogger, etc.) shared her thoughts and I’m inclined to to agree.


“Thankfully, the vintage wedding trend that took the nation by storm (in no small part due to the relentless plugging by us bridal bloggers), is finally starting to see the shade of its own sunset. And not a moment too soon — I say let the trend end!”

Nostalgic. Whimsical. Sentimental. While I can appreciate these things, I think the key to achieving this look is “attachment”. If you are displaying family heirlooms, photos or others items to which you have an attachment or personal connection – great! The best way to incorporate vintage details is to showcase select pieces or collections because they will have more meaningful impact than a random collection of flea-market finds.

But like Harmony, I am ready to see the mason jars and doilies put away in favor of a more sophisticated look. Hmmm – I wonder what the next trend will be…?

photo display

My personal preference is to introduce one or two vintage elements. We have done this with traditional as well as modern weddings and receptions. For example: one of our couples used a cake-knife set that had been previously used (at least twice) at family weddings, while another couple used grandmother’s veil to accent their cake table. These details do not go unnoticed, and we love pointing them out to guests, as well as the photographers and videographers!
(c) Elisa Delgardio


12 2011

Wedding Photo Tips | A Few Faves

In my next life I think I will come back as a wedding photographer. It would be nice; people have suggested it to me and I might actually have what it takes… Especially when it comes to identifying – or even helping to create – the moments that will be treasured for a lifetime.

There’s no debating that we live in a DIY world: Technology has made many things possible. It seems that everything is readily available, more affordable, and of comparable quality. This is somewhat true. Nevertheless, I must point out that: 1) knowledge and experience remain indispensable, and 2) you get what you pay for.
wedding photo disk image

What to do with that wedding disc:

Many couples opt to receive a disk – typically a DVD – in lieu of a traditional wedding album. Now what? For those content to view the images on your computers or television screens, this tip is not for you. However, if you’re traditional and appreciate the nostalgic aspect of wedding portraiture you will be interested to in this pro tip – courtesy of Reed Photo:

Print on quality photographic paper.
“This means professional paper. Not the over contrasty, over saturated non- neutral stuff you get from drug stores, discount marts, warehouse/membership stores. This means use a good pro lab. Not Costco, not Wal Mart, not Walgreens, not Drug Emporium, etc etc etc.

The papers you get from consumer mini-labs are purposely manufactured to NOT have accurate color. Yep, they make it screwy on purpose. You see, Joe Consumer likes prints with colors that aren’t real. They want more saturation and contrast for that extra snap. In most cases, their photos benefit from that assistance to help the snap-shot look a bit more appealing to the eye.

Professional paper is manufactured to very exacting standards to achieve neutral balance, neutral saturation and excellent skin tones. Pro papers will handle extra saturation if you really need it for your “look”, so add it if you wish, but at least you have the option. And get this, just by using pro papers, you get an additional stop of shadow detail! The missing shadow range in the consumer papers is another reason they look so “snappy”. A properly exposed, correctly white balanced image with great composition that is printed on professional photographic paper won’t need the false extra punch to look good.” –by John Harris,

Timing is everything

Speaking from experience, you can never have too much time scheduled for wedding photos. Plan on extra time, and then add more. Why? Because you have no control over time. Anything can happen: Limo gets a flat, grandma and grandpa get lost, flower girl is crying, bridesmaid zipper fail, flowers arrive late, unexpected rain – are you starting to get the picture? The trick to this timing thing is adding (using) the extra time in a way where your guests won’t be affected.

I found a great blog post written by Traci Turchin describing a variety of wedding photography timelines – including modern and traditional scenarios.

The Reveal (aka First Look)

I love this one! Many of our couples have done this and all have been thrilled with the outcome! A number of them even commented that it’s a tension reliever. One of the benefits I like most is that it makes for amazingly unscripted candid shots. From the perspective of the couple it is especially romantic, and they can be more intimate and relaxed since they are not surrounded by dozens of guests. This is how we typically stage it: We lead the groom to a place that is semi private, and he is turned away from the direction of the bride’s entrance. The bride walks toward the groom, and taps him on the shoulder to signal him to turn around and face. (sigh!) It’s so cool to watch this special moment unfold! Sure, it’s a break from tradition but wedding photography has evolved so much in the 20 – 50 plus years since your parents and grandparents were married.

Ultimately, the choice is yours so discuss the pros and cons ahead of time. I sincerely believe that you should be open to any approach that reduces pressure or stress on the wedding day. In my experience, the private reveal / first look works particularly well if the wedding and reception are at the same location – such as a hotel, B&B or country club. It is most definitely (in my Martha Stewart voice) “a good thing”.

© 2011 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved


11 2011