Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Tantalizing Tasting Event

Fried Green Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs and Buttermilk Ranch
Crab Cakes with Bailey's Cocktail Sauce
Mac and Cheese Bites with Grilled Lobster
Italian Ham and Brie Crostini
Mini Angus Beef Burgers with Pickled Relish
Pan Seared Scallop and Minted Fava Bean Crostini
Savannah Shrimp and Grits
Beef Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes
Valhrona Chocolate Bites
Cheesecake Bites with Raspberry Sauce

Ok... if your mouth isn't watering yet, we might need to check your pulse. This amazing menu was compliments of Bailey's Restaurant and Catering and Beth and I had the privilege of being invited to a very special tasting event last night for local wedding planners and brides. Basically it was one of the most delicious meals I have ever had. Bailey's is located in Old Hyde Park in an charming old yellow bungalow with a great patio. We lucked out with an evening in the 70's and got to enjoy our meal outdoors. Bailey's can cater your event at your location or you can plan an event at their's.. it's the perfect venue for an intimate gathering whether it be a rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, bridal shower, you name it! Much thanks to chef Kim Bailey and all the staff for throwing such a wonderful tasting event! Here are some pics from last night from both Beth and I (we were not the only planners in attendance, but we were the only weirdos taking pictures of the food.. oh and if you are interested in this caterer, we have many more pics so feel free to email us).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Our own photo shoot!

So usually we are behind the camara lens.. either taking pictures of the weddings we are coordinating or helping our brides and grooms as they are having their pictures taken. Well on Thursday we got to have our OWN Flawless Occasions photo shoot with one of our favorite photographers, Jason Angelini. His wonderful wife and fellow blogger Lucia just sent over the CD which we are so excited to see, but in the meantime they posted a few pics on their blog. We had so much fun parading around Old Hyde Park and posing in front of the camara.. here's a sneak peek of our pics and you will see them on our website soon as well.

Tomorrow I'm going to update on the AMAZING tasting we went to tonight at Bailey's restaurant.. honestly I'm just too tired to upload the pictures after all the food we ate and the wine we drank. Check back tomorrow, I will have a fun post that will make your mouth water. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We actually did not have any weddings this weekend so we had a little break - however we were still packed with appointments which can be just as fun! :) We met with some of our wonderful couples -- seriously we get to plan weddings for the nicest people, we are so lucky! Friday, Saturday and Sunday were filled with vendor appointments and meetings.

Earlier this week, Beth met one of our brides at Jackson's on Harbour Island which is where I had my rehearsal dinner - it's one of my favorite places! The waterfront room is the perfect place for an intimate gathering overlooking the water and lights of downtown. The bride came down to Florida all the way from NYC! It was great to see her and work on some wedding details with her in person since it's mostly being done long distance.

Island Way Grill is the venue for one of our couples who are planning from out of town, and it was really exciting to take them there on Saturday because they booked it from NC and this was the first time they got to see it in person. IWG is a gorgeous venue though so there really was nothing to worry about, and their restaurant event manager is great to work with. I feel like it's kind of a hidden gem in Clearwater since so many people immediately think of the beach, but IWG still has that beachy feel and is waterfront too!

Sunday we met with another great couple who we are doing full planning for and we got cracking right away checking out some area churches and getting ideas on reception venues. I had to share this photo I snapped at Christ the King Church in South Tampa.. I don't know why but I'm obsessed with this walkway. I love the vines creeping up the columns.. what a great photo spot!

Anyway we are getting tons of business handled on this little break we have had because February and March are going to be full of weddings! We do a good job of balancing the amount of weddings we take on in order to still give our clients as much attention as they need. Next week we have some more meetings and we were invited to a special tasting at a catering restaurant for wedding coordinators - free food, YESSS. Hope everyone had a great weekend :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Creating a Kid-Friendly Wedding

When planning your wedding, the question might arise - to have kids at the wedding, or to not have kids? This can be a tough situation for some couples... deciding between having an adults-only affair or a kid-friendly festivity can cause some stress. Sometimes guests can be offended if you request no children attend, you just never know. In the end though, it is YOUR wedding and you really should make the decision based on how you envision your event.
If you do decide that kids are welcome at the wedding, it is important to remember that a wedding is typically geared towards adults so it can be helpful to find something to occupy the children.
One of our recent couples, Joanna and John, did a great job at creating a kid-friendly environment where the children could have fun and stay busy and their parents could enjoy themselves as well.

Joanna and John's kids' table was filled with toys, coloring books, crayons, you name it. When the children saw it, you would have thought it was Christmas Day. To top it off, a balloon artist was hired to entertain the kids and make balloon animals! It was an adorable idea, and put off in the corner it didn't disrupt the party at all.

If you are looking for an alternative to having the children in the reception, consider hiring a babysitter and having games and activities in a nearby room or a hotel room if your venue is in a hotel. Board games, movies, and pizza is all you need to make a special "kids party" for your younger guests and probably give your parents a much-appreciated break. Just make sure to OK this with parents beforehand of course.

Thanks to Limelight Photography for sharing with us photos from Joanna and John's wonderful wedding.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free Planning Tools!

Beth and I are already big fans of www.weddingwire.com because it gives our brides a place to review us and our clients to read those reviews knowing that it is on a non-biased third party website. It just seems more honest than us putting accolades or "raves" up on our website (where we can alter them or pick and choose the good reviews-- not that we would!).

Well, there is another reason why our brides can love weddingwire.com - it has great planning tools to help you organize your wedding for FREE.
You can make seating charts, you can keep track of your RSVP's, you can make a wedding website, you can make timelines, and you can make checklists.
I love the seating chart maker; I am a person who needs to see something in front of me, even if it is a drawing or mockup. I am very visual, and if you are too, you can really utilize this function on their website. Here is the direct link to get to the weddingwire free planning tools page.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Remembering those celebrating in spirit...

One of the bittersweet things about weddings is there are often people who we are missing very much on that day. You want to remember them but at the same time it is a day of celebration, not mourning. It's hard to find that special something to do in honor of them without bringing out too many sad emotions. Here are some ideas to help you remember those who are celebrating with you that day in spirit.
~A few words in your wedding programs - if you are having a wedding program, you can put a small section in to remember those who are no longer with us.
~A memorial table - some people do a floral arrangement or a candle with a small sign dedicated to those who have passed. Some even include a photo/photos of that person.
~Attaching something personal to your bouquet - this has become very popular with brides putting a small framed photo, a handkerchief, or a brooch, etc. on their bouquet to have that person "with them"
~Wear a piece of jewelry - wearing a nice piece of jewelry that belonged to that person can be a special way of honoring them on your wedding day.
~For the Groom - they sell photo cufflinks where you can insert photos; this is a nice thing for a groom to wear if he wants to honor someone personally (and also makes a nice gift to a groom from a bride).
~Dedicate a song - is there a special song that person loved? Play and have the DJ let everyone know that this song is dedicated to the memory of them.

Our bride Kelly had a beautiful photo of her father on her bouquet
(Photos by Lorelei)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Go Gators!

I had to post this of course because tonight is the big game!!! Gators are in the National Championship for the second time in the past few years, it is like a dream come true for gator fans. Too bad I graduated before this all happened (and I had to go through the Zook era too...) but it's still great to enjoy it as an alumnae! So in honor of the big game tonight.....
here is me doing the gator chomp next to the gator ice sculpture at our most recent wedding!

***Update*** WE WON THE GAME! NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AGAIN!! Maybe my blog post was good luck??? :)

And here is Ashley and her bridesmaids helping her put on her gator garter at her wedding last Saturday (her photos are up on Jason Angelini's blog - they are awesome and will be going in our gallery shortly)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Venues

With the holidays over with, Beth and I have a little down time so we'll be checking out some new area venues to keep us up-to-date and informed for our brides who have booked our full-planning packages. It's kind of cool when new venues come out because you know they are going to try their hardest to impress you and work hard for your wedding to build up a good reputation in the area. Anyway, here is a sneak peak at some of the venues we will be checking out in the near future, and you may want to check them out yourself!

There is a new Westin hotel on Rocky Point in Tampa that is in the process of opening. It has an extremely modern and chic feel to it, so if that is your style, this might be the place for you. It also has a rooftop garden deck and private beach. Their restaurant, Aquanox, is supposed to be excellent.

The Sheraton Riverwalk hotel in downtown Tampa is an already established wedding venue in the area, however they recently spent a few million dollars to build a brand new waterfront ballroom that overlooks the Hillsborough River. It's located right near University of Tampa and you can actually see the beautiful buildings from the cocktail deck.

Mainsail Suites Hotel and Conference Center
is an all suites hotel located in Tampa that also has a new reception space opening soon. The hotel boasts the fact that all of their rooms are in fact suites. Their new reception space can hold 50-500 guests and is opening soon.

Nova 535 is located in St. Petersburg in a renovated building from the 1920's. This art gallery can be rented out for private events and has a great urban loft feel to it. It is pricey, but it's definitely one of the more unique venues in this area.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another new website

Our friend Lori Schaneville of Schaneville Photography also has a new website out for the new year! Check it out, her work is beautiful and guess whose wedding photos are scattered throughout her website... mine! Her prices start at 3K for all day coverage and 2 photographers, and she is a very fun person to be around too, so if you are still in the market for a photographer, check her out. She also does engagement pictures (a few of ours are featured on her website as well), boudoir pictures if you are looking for a sexy gift for your significant other, and family photos.


One of my fave photos of us
featured on her site!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The New Website is UP !

We are very excited that tonight our new website was launched. Beth had decided several months ago that the company needed a new look, which started with choosing a color palette and logo and eventually evolved into a revamping of our entire website. Thanks again to toucanpress.com for designing our logo and the bridal graphic on the main page; thanks to our wonderful web designer Jason Fleischman; and thanks to the photographers that we have worked with who sent us images from our weddings to use throughout our website. We hope you enjoy our new site, it has some great new features. Enjoy!
www.flawlessoccasions.com ~ same address, different look!

Ashley and Nate, a Romantic Winter Wedding

Ashley and Nate's wedding yesterday was a winter inspired wedding but with a unique color scheme of jewel-toned greens and golds at the Rusty Pelican in Tampa. The ceremony was held at Sacred Heart in downtown Tampa. The reception centerpieces by Botanica were beautiful curly willow branches and gold flowers with hanging votives. This branches motif was carried through on their placecard table, programs, and even cake design. They also are true gator fans and represented my alma mater well with a gator ice sculpture and a gator fight song reception entrance. The favors were adorable - Ashley and her friends created hot cocoa mix in little jars and they looked delicious! We got to work with DJ Doug Decker of Grant Hemond and Associates again which was great, and Jason Angelini was the photographer and of course we always enjoy working with him! Ashley and her bridesmaids looked amazing in their gowns from CC's Boutique and their hair and makeup was done by the talented Darla Stafford. Ashley and Nate are a wonderful couple who were very laid back the entire day, it didn't even phase Ashley when she saw a homeless man escorted out of the church minutes before she was going to walk down the aisle! Here are some pics I took on my camera throughout the day. Ashley and Nate, we wish you the best in your future and marriage - and we truly hope your honeymoon hotel has satellite so you can see the gators in the National Championship game on Thursday. :)