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Orlando Wedding magazine – Q & A with Wedding Planners

Q & A with Wedding Planners as seen in Orlando Wedding Magazine

Orlando Wedding 2010

Orlando Wedding 2010

The debut issue of Orlando Wedding magazine is absolutely enchanting! I would even go so far as to declare it a ‘must read’ for engaged couples in Central Florida!

Among many terrific articles and features was “Q & A with Wedding Planners” by Megan VanWaus.  Not only was I delighted to be quoted in Megan’s piece, I was elated to be featured alongside fellow Association of Bridal Consultants members Kerline Docteur (Joie de Vie Weddings and Events) and Heather Snively (Weddings Unique). I’m proud to share a common bond with these ladies:  Heather and I are both Senior ABC members, and Kerline and I regularly work together on  ABC meetings and projects geared toward educating local association members and wedding professionals.

Good things come in threes they say, and in this case I certainly agree!

06

07 2010

Extreme Chic on a Shoestring – Are you saving or sacrificing?

“We’re on a tight budget.”

Yes, I know (but I don’t say it out loud). Times are tough, money is tight, and everyone is trying to save a buck. But lately, I’ve been hearing this way too much.
BigLots-Cart
And you wouldn’t believe the trends I’m starting to see! Flower-less centerpieces, DIY linen installations, sub-par vendors, and more! It sounds funny, but in the end, it’s really not.

Maybe you’d like to poll the guests from a recent wedding that I coordinated (notice I said coordinated, NOT planned). The bride contacted me to help her with the reception design and we put together a great look for her. However, she insisted that she wanted the reception to be ‘cocktail style’ – meaning that she wanted the guests to mingle – therefore she only ordered 100 chairs for 200 people…. Hmmmm…. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

“What’s your budget?” I ask. Rarely do I receive a truthful answer, that is, until I quote a price. It’s not a problem because I know my services are not inexpensive. I charge what I’m worth: I’m an educated, experienced, nationally recognized industry professional. I work with clients and couples who realize that what I bring to the event planning process is more than the ability to create a memorable day – I help them create amazing and memorable moments. I am a specialist; it’s like comparing stitches to brain surgery. Shopping Cart

Anyway, I do appreciate that many people are on a budget. Whenever possible I do the best I can to meet them where they’d like to be. After all, I love what I do, so for me there’s a lot more to it than the paycheck.

In a previous post, I wrote about how Brides and Grooms can protect themselves while shopping for vendors. Check it out – there is a lot of good advice there. This post centers on something different; it’s about being realistic. There seems to be a trend towards style over substance. Let’s go back to my story about the bride with the 200 guests. Do you think those guests cared how good the room looked when they realized they might have to stand for the rest of the evening? Nope – they bailed at their first opportunity. Do you think they felt valued and appreciated? Nope.

It’s my responsibility to tell my clients if something won’t work, or doesn’t work well. I educate them. What I’m seeing lately is so many people (future brides and grooms, potential clients) who are out of touch with what things cost being serviced by vendors who want to say yes (because they need the business) – this is not exactly a recipe for success.

My free advice for today is this: If you truly can’t afford the wedding of your dreams – put it off and save more money. If you want to save an extreme amount of money without cutting corners, scale back your guest list, move up your wedding date and consider a week-day event. Also, if you’re planning a wedding or special event be a good host! – that’s just good manners.

ABC Luncheons and Events – Orlando 2009

Each month, I have the privilege and the pleasure of working with Kerline Docteur PBC to coordinate networking luncheons for Central Florida members of the Association of Bridal Consultants. The purpose of the luncheons is tri-fold:

ABC logo

First, monthly meetings bring ABC members and potential members (guests) together to build relationships.  Vendor relationships are essential to delivering the best products and services to our clients and facilitiating “team dynamics”.   

Second, the meetings provide a forum to educate our members.  We bring in speakers and create special programs to keep our members on the cutting edge of wedding and event design, as well as business and marketing trends.  

Third, it’s important to build the presence of ABC within our community.  ABC is an international association with a history that spans over 26 years.  With over 4,000 members located in all 50 states and in 27 countries, ABC’s  goals have always been to raise professional standards in the wedding industry and to make brides happy.  By developing an active Local Networking Group (LNG) we bring attention to the benefits of  ABC membership and showcase the professionalism of our members.    

This year (2009) shines brilliantly as one of our finest and most rewarding to date!  We have planned and coordinated nine luncheon events at venues throughout Central Florida.  In June, we held our third annual “Showers of Happiness” event to benefit Habitat for Humanity

(c) Elegant Imagery

(c) Elegant Imagery

In July, we hosted a spectacular educational event entitled “Indian Weddings 101: Defining the Indian Wedding Experience“. For this particular event, we had engaged local Indian Wedding experts to explain the elements and cultural traditions of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim weddings. (Click on these images to see more fabulous pictures of this event, posted on the ABC Florida  website.)

(c) Elegant Imagery
(c) Elegant Imagery

 

 

 

 

Shown left:  Akshar Patel, Kerline Docteur, Elisa Delgardio and Remmal Karamsadkar

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Hilton Orlando Grand Opening was a Grand Affair!

Hilton Orlando

Hilton Orlando

Alizma at the Hilton Orlando Grand Opening

Alizma

Alizma at the Hilton Orlando Grand Opening

Alizma

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Quite an exciting weekend! I had the pleasure of attending the Grand Opening Showcase for the Hilton Orlando! 

The inauguration of this sensational new property was a first class affair! It was such an honor to attend this special event and tour the property which boasts state of the art design, luxurious details and unique features tailored to appeal to business and recreational travelers alike. The 1400 room Hilton is the first hotel to be connected to the Orange County Convention Center via a sky-pedestrian bridge, so it’s guaranteed to attract a fair share of Orlando’s convention market. It’s stylish and inviting design is also sure to appeal to those planning social events and I foresee this venue becoming a very desirable location for nuptials and social celebrations!

Seafood Bar

Seafood Bar

The Hilton Team deserves the highest compliments for an evening that was beautifully orchestrated and by all accounts flawlessly executed! Executive Chef Thierry Meissonnier and his culinary team deserve the highest praise for the delicious, world class cuisine served throughout the evening – the seafood display in particular was breathtaking!

There were so many wonderful elements to the evening that I could go on and on, but time will not allow for that so here is a brief description of some of the highlights:

The Orlando ballroom was set for over 700 guests and featured floral and decor by Greenery Productions and linens by BBJ. Additional decor was provided by Room Service Furniture Rentals and Occasions by Shangrila (and I’m sure there are others that I may not be aware of).

Seafood Bar at Hilton Orlando Grand Opening

Seafood Bar

Action Station

Action Station


Upon entering the ballroom, guests enjoyed appetizers (lamb, duck, etc.) served from action stations and two tremendous seafood bars. This was the first time I’ve experienced this type of presentation for an appetizer course – it was as enjoyable as it was impressive!

Entertainment included Alizma -that fabulously talented violin trio you may have recently seen on America’s Got Talent 2009, and the hot Orlando band Skylyne 407 .

VIP’s in attendance included Mayor Richard Crotty.

Following dinner and keynote speakers who acknowledged the efforts of so many who were instrumental in bringing the Hilton Orlando to life, guests were led to the Southwest Lawn to view a spectacular fireworks display.

Two “After Parties” – one within a tent one the Southwest Lawn and the other in the Orange Ballroom – were in full swing from 9pm to midnight! Guests danced and enjoyed coffee, cocktails and desserts to their hearts content!

It was truly a GRAND opening!

For additional information hosting an event at the Hilton Orlando, please contact the Sales and Catering Office via the main hotel line: +1-407-313-4300
Address: 6001 Destination Parkway, Orlando, Florida, USA 32819

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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