Archive for the ‘Charity and Community’Category

What I Learned Last Year

2010 was a remarkable year. “In a good way or a bad way?” you ask… “Yes.” I reply.

As I make this first blog entry of 2011, there are literally innumerable topics and events I could write about. So why am I writing about this…? Honestly, I’m not sure; except that it’s foremost in my mind at the moment.

For starters, I’d love acknowledge a few recent accomplishments. It’s funny how you can plug along all year and not see much progress. In retrospect, 2010 was a very strong year for me professionally, and it’s rewarding to see how many professional goals I was able to reach!
: I enjoyed speaking at a record number of industry meetings and conferences
: For the 2nd year in a row, I received a nomination for an Orlando WOW Award
: I gave back… more
: Advanced to Accredited Bridal Consultant

I could continue the list but it’s not my intention to compile a CV. My intention is to illustrate this point: While many goals were met (quite triumphantly!), I also encountered many obstacles (stepping stones), challenges (opportunities), and disappointments (reality checks). It was not the easiest year for business owners, such as myself; it was a physical, emotional and financial roller coaster ride – to say the least! Of course this comment flies in the face of certain conventions, but I place a high value on honesty.

And this is where things get interesting: I learned some incredible lessons. I gained some amazing insights. I met some inspirational people.

Arlene Blake, Elisa, Kerline Docteur, Heather Snively

Arlene Blake, Elisa, Kerline Docteur, Heather Snively

One such experience centered around the ABC’s annual conference. During that conference I was slated to present my portfolio of work and experience to advance to Master Bridal Consultant. For whatever reason, things did not work out for me in that respect. Instead of being advanced to Master-level, I was advanced to Accredited-level. I was disappointed, feeling that I had proven my skills and credentials . However, the significance of the situation quickly became evident and my focus shifted from what I did not receive to what I did receive: the support of my peers. I was buoyed in particular by three Master Bridal Consultants – Lisa Burnett, Heather Snively and Brigid Horne-Nestor – who reached out to me and shared words of encouragement. Longstanding friends and associates also cheered me up with kind words. In the end, I took away a much more valuable experience. Without question, I will become a Master Bridal Consultant, but in the interim, I am content to appreciate the many wonderful friendships I’ve forged.

life's little inspirations, encouragement, i love you note


I also mentioned previously that one of my events was nominated for a WOW Award! This was quite a thrill, but {insert sigh…} unfortunately a colleague took home the trophy. I am determined to keep trying though; I will stay the course! (ha-ha)

It is because of last year that I’m excited about this year! I’m working with wonderful clients, I’ve set new goals and I’m looking forward to every new opportunity – even if it comes disguised as an impossible situation.

The road leading to a goal does not
separate you from the destination;
it is essentially a part of it. ~Charles DeLint


02 2011

Exciting New Updates from Wish Upon a Wedding

As President of the Orlando Chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding, I am thrilled to share this exciting news!

Wish Upon A Wedding - Orlando Chapter

Six-month old nonprofit organization Wish Upon a Wedding announced on July 22, 2010 that it will broaden its scope of services, in order to assist more couples in need. Although its primary focus continues to provide weddings for terminally ill individuals regardless of sexual orientation, the organization will soon help those faced with other personal burdens, such as serious emotional, physical or other debilitating issues.

Due to a significant number of requests, Wish Upon a Wedding will now provide a limited number of weddings to inspirational couples that have experienced these catastrophic life-altering circumstances.

Additionally, Wish Upon a Wedding was featured in this wonderful Today Show article


Wish Upon a Wedding is now accepting applications from:

* Couples where at least one individual has terminal diagnosis of less than FIVE years to live

* Couples faced with situations that have caused serious emotional, physical or financial stress (approved on case by case basis)

* Married couples seeking vow renewals, who have faced serious life-altering circumstances including but not limited to terminal illness (approved on a case by case basis)

All applicants must be over the age of 18 and legal U.S. Citizens

Mission Statement:
Wish Upon a Wedding is the world’s first nonprofit wish granting organization, providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and life altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation.

To fill out an application, click this link: Apply for a Wedding Wish

To get involved locally see my post on Upcoming Events! To find the chapter nearest to you, please click here: Chapters

Donations: We are able to take wish granters, airline miles, cash donations, auction donations on our website – under the tab “how to help” you’ll find listed many ways you can get involved.

Please help us get the news out by forwarding this post via Facebook or Twitter: We are ready to grant wishes today throughout Florida and beyond!

Upcoming Wish Upon a Wedding Events

Latest Announcements from Wish Upon a Wedding

Save the Date for the Blissful Wishes Ball!

Make a difference by donating a product or service for our auctions!

Couples planning to be married can bid for wedding-related auction items online starting in October or at a Blissful Wishes Balls Nationwide in November, with all proceeds benefiting  Wish Upon a Wedding .  This new organization is the world’s first nonprofit that provides weddings for individuals facing life-threatening illness.

Wish Upon a Wedding is currently seeking donated products or services in 46 cities, ranging from wedding gowns to tuxedos, invitations to cakes, and limousine services to honeymoons. It only takes a moment to register and make a difference in someone’s life at  Bidding for Good! Be sure to add your item to the correct category (city), and don’t forget to include your company logo and URL.  What a great advertising opportunity~ and you’ll be making a positive difference in someone’s life who truly deserves it!

Save the Date - November 2010


07 2010

Launch Event for Wish Upon A Wedding Orlando

Stylish decor, signature cocktails and delectable desserts were all key to this VIP Launch Event


Orlando Board of Directors (shown L to R): Gwendolyn Smith, Kerline Docteur, Kelly McWilliams, Elisa Delgardio, Jennifer Sandler. Not shown: Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez, Tamuel Cowart, Rev. Glynn Ferguson

Over 160 people attended the celebratory launch of the Orlando Chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding. Over a dozen sponsors generously donated their services to create an unforgettable event designed to bring awareness to this new charitable organization dedicated to granting weddings and/or civil union ceremonies at destinations across the United States to couples who are facing terminal illness. The cocktail reception decor was branded to reflect Wish Upon a Wedding’s signature colors while the venue (Tavern on the Lake) provided the ideal environment for networking.

Read the BizBash! Article: Orlando Launch



Photos courtesy of Elegant Imagery and Ashley Brockinton