Posts Tagged ‘reception’

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.
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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.

Launch Event for Wish Upon A Wedding Orlando

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

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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


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Elisa_LaunchPresentation_2010DJRekka_WUWlaunchWUW_Water_bottle

Photos courtesy of Elegant Imagery and Ashley Brockinton

Chocolate! Fun to make, perfect to give, a joy to receive!

Elisa, the Countess of Confectionery

Elisa, the Countess of Confectionery?

Today I was a kid in a candy shop – literally!

In honor of Valentine’s Day we visited Farris and Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory in Orlando. Holy peanut-butter cups! – if you love chocolate this is the place to be!

While I could go on and on about our chocolate factory adventure, and how much fun we had, and how delicious everything was, I won’t (because you’ll be jealous!). {wink}

Instead, I’ll tell you about what a great event venue it is for parties. I mean, who wouldn’t want to come to a ‘make your own chocolate’ party? And the team at Farris and Foster’s is ready to accommodate groups of up to 36. Children’s parties, Girls Night Out, Date Night, Bridal Showers and Teambuilding events are so much sweeter when chocolate is involved!

On the other hand, if you’re just looking for Orlando’s finest handmade chocolates, Farris and Foster’s is known as ‘your neighborhood confectioner’. Almost all of their candies are made fresh daily right in their shop and some of the recipes go back generations! Stop in anytime you’re craving a sweet treat or in search of a memorable gift (except Sundays).

Something for everyone!

Something for everyone!

Fresh chocolate covered strawberries

Fresh chocolate strawberries

Farris and Fosters’ gift shop has something for everyone and every occasion – from holiday novelties, to boxes of assorted chocolates, to gift baskets!




They also make scrumptious truffles which are ideal as favors for parties and receptions. And please don’t forget to try the fresh dipped strawberries!

Foster, Farris and Fosters

Foster, Farris and Fosters

Owner Foster Lanenga holding today’s Orlando Sentinel, where his picture appeared on the front page.

© 2010 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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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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