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

.
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

Add to Technorati Favorites

Remarkable Reception Style

Silver_NapkinDo you remember the last event or wedding reception you attended? What do you recall: The food? The entertainment? The “look” of the room? Just close your eyes and reflect for a moment; try to think of the things that were most memorable and pleasing.

Aha! I bet the pleasing part makes it a bit harder. No doubt that more than a few of you thought about the wedding with the DJ who thought he was Elvis, or the event with the cash bar (surprise!) -and you forgot your wallet.

The more events I do, the more I remember only what is remarkable. Remarkable can be fun, outstanding, unexpected and impressive. Remarkable can also be uncomfortable, annoying, disappointing and catastrophic. As your wedding and event planner, my goal is to make your event memorable for all the right reasons.

In terms of decor, remarkable doesn’t necessarily translate into expensive. Details that are well thought out can be seamlessly incorporated into event decor and the table top design thereby creating a look that is remarkable in a visual and textural sense. (If you’re wondering what I mean about ‘well thought out details” try to imagine a table top with so many tchotchkes – bells, cameras, scrolls, bags of chocolate kisses, etc. – it looks like the favor catalog threw up; and, yes, for some bizarre reason people still do this.)
holiday_tablesetting

Decor and design are most remarkable when they draw you in, and you experience the vibe as it was intended to be: exciting, chic and sexy, warm and inviting, modern, etc. The best designs are not limited to what can be seen; incorporating smells, tastes, physical contact, sights and sounds into the design actually creates a more memorable experience. In other words, the five senses overlap and influence each other, and combined they create the overall impression, which in turn becomes your memory of the experience.

This is why we ask our clients to describe their vision of the event. Even if they insist that they have no idea about what they want, they truly do… We ask them to imagine what it looks like – including colors and lighting, what time of day it is, how many people are present, how the space feels (intimate, modern, elegant, indoors or outdoors, etc.) and then we begin to design an event based on their  preferences and our interpretation of their style.

I must admit, sometimes the finer details do not become crystal clear until the very end.  It really is an organic process.  And it’s a challenge we face with every event: How do you know how far to go? Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more.

In keeping with this topic, I thought you’d enjoy this short video featuring friend and colleague Rashida Erskine of BBJ Linen’s Orlando office. She offers some insightful recommendations and helpful tips for using linens to pull the look of your reception together with remarkable style.

{Our apologies; this video link has expired}

Please contact the BBJ Linen’s Orlando Office if you would like to meet with them. Ph. 407-857-6566   Or, feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance with fine-tuning your wedding or event design.  Call 877.55FLAIR or email Elisa: elisacsep {at} aflairforaffairs.com

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

Add to Technorati Favorites

Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Planner

Earlier today I came across this quote on the BrideTide Blog:

“You don’t hire a wedding planner for what they do, you hire them for what they know. Most brides only plan one wedding their entire lives while a wedding planner has the experience and understanding of coordinating numerous celebrations for each diverse individual client. Relying on a professional wedding planner to refine the details of the biggest day of your life is not only practical, it’s an intelligent way of minimizing the opportunities for ineffectively handling any unforeseen situations that may arise.”   Rudy, Founder of BrideTide

It’s difficult for wedding planners to make statements like this without sounding like we’re “tooting our own horn”.  But I felt that Rudy’s point was presented well, and I am very pleased to share it.  Additionally, I feel that it’s hugely beneficial for brides and grooms to hear someone else’s perspective.

photo by Kevin Keelan

photo by Kevin Keelan

The experience and expertise that we bring to the table can be priceless throughout the planning process as well as on the wedding day.  I know that we have ‘saved the day’ many times and in many different ways. Sometimes it seems that clients see the value of our services most clearly on the day of the event.   Our finely tuned organizational skills, natural ability to multitask and intuitive improvisation allows us to direct the event as if we are conducting an orchestra.  After the event, we always receive glowing compliments about how well everything turned out.  Recently at one of our weddings, we were quite surprised when the Minister led off the dinner prayer by saying “Let us all thank the Wedding Planner for putting together this beautiful event”.

But, I must add that what we ‘do’ is equally valuable. I think a simple clarification to Rudy’s message can be made to say that the bride & groom should have realistic expectations and/or a mutual understanding of what their chosen planner will do for them (as per their service agreement, which can vary widely). Truth be told, there’s a lot we can do and amazing magic we can work – only we don’t have a magic wand, so we need to charge accordingly.

For more insight into the benefits of hiring a wedding planner, be sure to read “Do you REALLY Need a Wedding Planner”

© 2009 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

Add to Technorati Favorites

“Twedding Tweetiquette”

Just for fun…

Because I am a Twitter fanatic, I had to share this gem of an article!

Tweet My Wedding? The Dos and Don’ts of “Twedding Tweetiquette” by Juliette Powell, Huffington Post:


Of the six weddings I was invited to this summer, four weren’t just weddings. They turned out to be what I have begun to think of as “the twedding.”

You know you’re at a “twedding” when:

1. Your wedding invitations were sent via the micro-blogging site Twitter.com.
2. All aspects of your big day have been vetted by your twitter followers who suggest everything from wedding guests to wedding vendors.
3. Members of the wedding party take “candid” photographs and videos of the ceremony and upload them directly to twitpic and twitvid for community commenting.
4. Your wedding becomes a trending topic on Twitter.
5. The groom tweets “I’m married” before kissing the bride. 

Read the full article “Tweet My Wedding? The Dos and Don’ts of Twedding Tweetiquette”  by Juliette Powell of the Huffington Post ….

24

08 2009
f