Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vendor Spotlight - DJ R-J Vida

This is our second interview in our series of vendor spotlights that we are featuring on our blog. This time we talked to R-J Vida, a local wedding DJ who owns his own DJ company as well as event production company. R-J is one of the DJs we like to recommend and work with because of his professionalism, his responsiveness, and his talent for putting on a great party! Read on to find out more about R-J and to get some great tips as well, and visit his website here.

1. Business Name- Advance Entertainment Productions Inc.

2. Job Description- Owner / DJ

3. What is your hometown? North Arlington, NJ

4. How did you get started in the business? At 16 I DJed a teen club in New Jersey. After my relocation to Florida I was discovered by a local entertainment agency who thought I would be great at weddings. Over time their chance turned out to be a great investment.

5. What are the popular songs right now for a bride and groom first dance? Brides are really trying to think out of the box. Songs like I’m Yours by Jason Mraz and Better Together by Jack Johnson are making their way into many of my beach-style weddings. On the classic side, At Last by Etta James is still a favorite by many. If alternative rock is what you like, many times the songs that may not be appropriate for a first dance can be found in their acoustic version which works very well.

6. Have you witnessed anything really crazy happen on the dance floor? I have seen nearly everything over the years...some of which is not even appropriate for me to say. However I just recently did a wedding at the Marriott Waterside that even took me by surprise. The bride and groom also hired my sister company, The Production Crew, which specializes in LED up- lighting and custom GOBO’s, and we had over 30 LED fixtures and 2 custom GOBO’s to accent the two rooms. They went all out on every aspect- string quartet for the ceremony, acoustic guitarist for the cocktail hour, and myself for the reception. We also provided the sound for the ceremony. When I arrived, I was shocked to see two dance boxes on either side of my riser. Yes, even at this 5 star wedding we had dance boxes. When the dancing came around we had a packed floor for over 3 hours. At one point even the mother of the bride got on one of the dance boxes. Go figure, and I thought I had seen it all.

7. If you could only play one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman’s "Come What May" (I guess I am a bit of a Romantic)

8. Do you have any advice for brides and grooms when it comes to selecting music for their wedding? Remember that it is your wedding and it should reflect on the two of you. Any good DJ will be able to integrate music that you enjoy. At the same time don’t go overboard picking out every single song for your wedding because you are now hindering your DJ’s creative talent in which you hired him for. A good DJ should be able to read a crowd and constantly think on their feet by maintaining a consistent dance floor by playing to your guests tastes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Groom's Cake.. Then and Now

If you try to research the origins of the groom's cake at a wedding, you will find several stories that claim to be the true basis of its existence. Many say that the groom's cake was a gift to the groom from the bride, but, there seems to be a discrepancy on whether it was supposed to be a chocolate cake or a fruitcake. Some sources say the cake started off as a fruitcake but since many people preferred chocolate cake, the custom eventually changed into chocolate cake. Others say that in the past, the groom's mother typically made the cake. I did find several sources saying that the groom's cake began as a southern tradition in the U.S., and one of the most common explanations I found is stated here, in an article from

"The history of a groom's cake goes like this. The groom's cake was not to be served to the guests while at the wedding reception, but rather it was to be sliced up, placed into packages and given to them as favors when they departed. Single women at the wedding would take their pieces of cake home and sleep with it under their pillows in hopes of dreaming of their future husbands."

Regardless of the history of the groom's cake, it is currently a fun trend for the bride to surprise the groom with a cake that depicts his interests. The groom's cake is not just showing up at weddings either, it is also very often served at the rehearsal dinner instead. Many local cake shops can create almost anything you can think up, so bride's are getting extremely creative with their groom's cake ideas. Here are some pics of some great groom's cakes!

(photo credits: Traditional chocolate groom's cake from Publix, Crown Royal and Bucs Helmet cakes from A Piece of Cake's website; Xbox cake from Ashley and Nate's wedding taken by Beth Carrick; Univ. of Illinois cake from Meag and Ryan's rehearsal dinner taken by Beth Carrick; Mario Bros. cake from

Friday, February 20, 2009

Meag and Ryan's Professional Pics

Jason Angelini was Meag and Ryan's photographer last Saturday at their fabulous wedding, and he (and his blogging guru wife, Lucia) posted some amazing photos up on his blog. You can really feel and see the emotions of the day in his photos.

These are just some of my personal favorites; there are so many other great ones on his blog. It was hard for me to not just re-post them all here! But instead I just chose a few so that you will have to go over to his blog to see more. :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meag and Ryan's Valentine's Day Soiree

This Saturday Meag and Ryan vowed to be one another's valentine for life. Ok, I know that was cheesy but I tried. This wedding came together after a long time of planning and it was so wonderful to see this couple's vision come to fruition. The ceremony and reception were both at the Mirror Lake Lyceum in downtown St. Petersburg (Beth's second weekend in a row coordinating a wedding there). Their ceremony was performed by Rev. David Cole and it was a great mix of lightheartedness and emotion that really highlighted their relationship together. Meagan and Ryan had a large bridal party - 12 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen - surrounding them as they said their vows, as well as 2 sets of parents on each side that were all extremely supportive. There was just a lot of love in the room and it was great to witness.

Meagan's details really added to the day, some highlights being: love quotations on each windowsill, a photo guestbook and card holder, beautiful programs, votive placecards, and the largest candy buffet we've ever set up - 17 containers! We worked with a great group of vendors including photographer Jason Angelini, DJ MJ from Junction 88 (based out of Orlando but available for Tampa), and the guys from Movie Magic Videography. The simplistic and elegant calla lily centerpieces and bouquets and the rest of the florals were all by DD's Blooms. In addition, the bride and several of her bridesmaids were primped and pampered by Darla Stafford and her assistant Julie, hair and makeup extraordinaires.

After a fun-filled night of dancing, the guests helped us congratulate the newlyweds with a sparkler sendoff as Meagan and Ryan departed in a pedicab (if you don't know what this is, it's like a carriage pulled by a guy on a bike.. it's cute and a very unique way to leave your wedding). Meag and Ryan, we had a blast working with you guys and can already see how beautiful your life is going to be together. Thanks for letting us share in your special day.

Here are some pics that Beth and I captured throughout the day... and check Jason's blog for pro photos because those will be up soon.

The new Mr. and Mrs!

We had our own placecard which made us feel special.

The giant candy buffet.. yum!

We caught ya Jason..

Meagan and Ryan's Rehearsal Dinner

One of the services Flawless Occasions offers our brides is a personal photographer at their rehearsal dinner. While I am not a professional photographer, photography has always been a hobby and passion of mine. For Christmas in 2007, my wonderful hubby bought me a Nikon D40x and I love having a reason to put it to good use! Most brides do not want to spend the money on a professional photographer at their rehearsal dinner, so this is a great way for brides to still get a lot of photos without having to worry about pulling out their camera every 10 minutes.

Last Friday, February 13th I had the pleasure of photographing Meagan and Ryan's rehearsal dinner at Pepin in St. Pete. First, let me say the food was amazing and the staff was very attentive! Second, I have never seen a couple more in love than Meag and Ryan. Watching them interact, it is immediately apparent that they are truly made for one another! Their happiness was so overwhelming - that the night was very emotional for not just the couple, but everyone who attended the dinner.

One more thing, Meag and Ryan are absolutely adorable - but I do have to say they had some stiff competition with so many super cute kids at their dinner! are some of my favorite pictures from the RD..

Thank You Meag and Ryan for hiring Flawless Occasions to photograph your rehearsal dinner and help handle all the details on your wedding day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kim and Keenan - February 7th

As Shawna posted last week, we both had weddings on February 7th! She is MUCH quicker at blogging than me so thanks for being patient!!

Some of you may remember Ashley & Nate's Rusty Pelican wedding that Shawna blogged about last month. Their Maid of Honor and Best Man were engaged and I had the honor of coordinating their wedding and reception on Saturday, February 7th. The weather turned out perfect! Kim and Keenan were both very calm and they had a wonderful group of vendors there to make sure everything went perfect.

The ceremony was at Saint Rafael's in St. Petersburg and the reception was at the stunning Mirror Lake Lyceum. Kim carried a beautiful bouquet of tulips and roses made by DD's Blooms. The delicious dinner was prepared by Amore' and The Daniel B. Marshall band had the crowd dancing ALL night long! Videography by Sully was recording everything while Lauren Pauline was there to capture every detail on her camera. (I hope to be able to share some of her photos in the near future.)

Speaking of pictures, I have a few to share with you...but I unfortunately was too busy to snap a good picture of the bride and groom. Hopefully I can get a few from Lauren!

Congratulations Kim and Keenan! Your love and admiration for each other is very inspiring!

Flawless Occasions has also hired a new assistant, Jacqueline, since Shawna is now coordinating weddings on her own. Jacqueline was one of our brides last November and she will be helping us at many upcoming weddings. It sure is nice to have a second set of hands to help! Welcome aboard Jacqueline!
Here is a picture of Jacqueline hard at work!!