Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Leisha + Chris = Love

Leisha and Chris are two high school math teachers who met at a county math teacher training, hence the equation titled post. :) I have to say this couple was one of the happiest I have worked for and planning with Leisha was such a pleasure, I miss it already. Leisha hired me a few months after their engagement because- although at first they thought they did not need a planner due to having a smaller size wedding- they quickly became overwhelmed and that's where I came in. Leisha completely put her trust in me and allowed me to choose all of her vendors, and of course it turned out to be a flawless wedding!
Both the ceremony and reception were held at the wonderful Island Way Grill in Clearwater. This is a fantastic venue with delicious food and great service and I was very happy to work with them again. They were filming a movie next door (the one about Winter the Dolphin with Morgan Freeman!!) but we had the entire restaurant to ourselves for their early Saturday wedding. Leisha's childhood pastor married them in a personal and intimate ceremony in front of about 40 guests with lots of laughter and a few tears. The ceremony music was performed by violinist Laurie Vodnoy-Wright and the guests really enjoyed her beautiful music. Her elegant bouquet and the florals were created by Lou at The Arrangement. The day ended up being a little chilly although beautiful, so after the ceremony finished we moved inside for the cocktail hour and then proceeded to their event room for the reception.
Doug Decker from Grant Hemond, one of our favorite dj's, provided the reception music and got a lot of people out on the dance floor for a day wedding! He did a great job as always. The beach themed wedding cake was made by the Publix on Island Estates and came out exactly as Leisha envisioned. She literally shrieked when I gave her a little glimpse of the room setup during cocktail hour which is an awesome feeling to know how happy my clients are. :)

Towards the end of the reception Leisha surprised her guests by changing into a sexy little white sequined dress that her mother bought for her as a gift a few days before the wedding. The guests also had another little surprise when dj Doug gave Chris the microphone so he could sing a little Garth Brooks karaoke style.

This was a fabulous wedding and I couldn't have enjoyed working with this couple more. I often get to know the family and friends when I do the smaller weddings and this was no different - the bride and groom's parents really treated me like part of the family and I appreciate all of their kindness. Thanks as well to their photographer, Abbey Saxton, for sharing the photos of the day and capturing some really special moments. Leisha's radiant smile is contagious in these photos and you can really see the happiness of the day.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Top 5 for 2010!!

As 2010 comes to a close, we can't help but look back and remind ourselves of how lucky we have been this year. Flawless Occasions, after a little over 3 years of business, had its best year yet in 2010. Here, in no particular order, are our top 5 reasons why 2010 rocked!!
1. Flawless Office!!! Of course, at the top of the list would have to be the opening of the Flawless office. Being located in such a wonderful area of South Tampa and next door to a great neighbor, Apple Blossoms Florist, has been such a positive experience for us. It's been amazing to have a place to call our own and showcase our work, collaborate with other wedding vendors, meet with clients, etc.
2. Christina!!! Another equally amazing blessing has been the addition of Christina, bringing our Flawless blondes to three. She has brought so much to our team already and after assisting Beth for some time, she had her first solo wedding in 2010 and it went off without a hitch!
3. Awesome Awards!! We were pleasantly surprised to win The Best of the Knot 2010 and another Bride's Choice Award. These awards are special to us because they are given to us based on our client feedback, which is our top priority. And speaking of our clients,
4. Our Clients!!! The weddings we have had this year have been wonderful, unique, and memorable. Many of our clients have become friends, some have kept us in their lives (Beth is coordinating a baby shower for one of our recent wedding couples!), and they have all just been a joy to work with.
5. The Vendors!! We had a great year of working with new vendors and venues, and of course our old friends as well. We expanded to destination weddings with Beth doing our first one in historic St. Augustine, and we branched out to several of the Sarasota venues as well including the
Ringling and Crosley. With the variety of vendors and venues we worked with this year, we gained more experience and more connections to support us and help our clients even more!
So overall, it's been a great year. Can 2011 top this? With so much already in the works, it looks like it just might... :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rave Reviews and a Sneak Peak!

Leisha and Chris were an amazing couple - definitely one of the happiest couples I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They were married on November 6th at the beautiful Island Way Grill in Clearwater. Leisha recently posted a very sweet review on weddingwire.com that I wanted to share along with a sneak peak as well from their photographer, Abbey Saxton. More photos and their blog post coming soon!!
Leisha's review...

"Shawna was the wedding planner for my November wedding. Shawna helped me develop the ideas that I already had, and suggested ideas that I would have never thought of. I decided to use all the vendors that she recommended, and I was more than pleased with all of them! Shawna helped us with all the setting appointments, reviewing contracts, organizing the arrival of all the vendors, and setting a wedding day timeline to help things run smoothly and help my husband and I know what to expect! The day of the wedding, Shawna had set up everything to exceed my expectations. My husband and I were able to relax and enjoy our big day, knowing that Shawna was handling all the details! Everything was perfect and we enjoyed every minute of a day we will never forget!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hot Deal - Custom Glasses

Did you love the custom champagne glasses from our former bride Candace and her bridesmaids? We did! Want to know where you can get these awesome glasses for your bridesmaids?? Check out The Cute Glass on etsy. They have these custom painted champagne glasses and many more including wine glasses and even pint glasses for the guys. She has great handpainted designs featuring bridesmaid dresses, bouquets, bride and groom designs, lingerie and high heels for a bachelorette party theme, and the list goes on.. you need to check it out yourself. And the hot deal is, FREE SHIPPING this week (until Dec. 17th) so act fast.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Great Guest List Debate

Typically one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to wedding planning is the creation of the guest list. Although your wedding planner can essentially plan your entire wedding, we cannot choose who to invite to your wedding. :) We have many clients who struggle when it comes to cutting down the guest list either for budget issues or venue restraints. Here are some of my personal tips on how to figure out who to invite, and who to let go.

-When it comes to friends, think about your current friendship. Do you talk to them fairly frequently, or at least every few months? Or has it been over a year since you have spoken to them? You do not need to invite the person who sat next to you in 11th grade biology. You should invite the person who you still have a steady friendship with and who you see continuing this friendship in the future.

-When it comes to family, this can get tricky. You will often be pressured to invite your parents' second cousin's children or your grandmother's brother's daughter. Try to limit the number of extended relatives being invited, especially ones whom you have never met or barely know. If your relatives ask to invite certain other relatives, just explain to them that you have a guest limit and are keeping it to immediate family.

-When it comes to spouses or significant others, who do you invite? You should always invite the spouse of the guest. You should also invite those who are in serious relationships. If you are trying to cut down your guest list, then limit the number of plus 1's for your single friends, especially those who are going to know other guests at your wedding. If they are going to have other friends at your wedding, they don't need to bring a random friend with them.

-When it comes to the kids, can you say no? If you want to have an adult-only reception, there are a few ways to handle this. You can include on your invitation a brief line at the bottom stating "Adult reception to follow at etc. etc.". You can also only address the invitation to the adults and verbally spread the word that it is an adult-only wedding. If you have multiple guests with children, you can offer babysitting services onsite for those who are interested, which will also let them know that children are not invited to the actual wedding but you are doing what you can to assist them.

-When it comes to an "A List" and "B List", is this acceptable? It is totally ok to do two guest lists, you just have to do it carefully. Sometimes you will have unexpected no's from your guest list, and there were a few other friends you had hoped to be able to invite. So do it! But a few tips - if you are planning to send out more invites when you have the space, make sure you do it in a timely manner. Send out your first batch a bit earlier so that when you get those no's, you can immediately send out the few extras. If guests are getting their invites a week before your wedding, they will know they didn't make the first cut and could be offended so do not wait too long. Also, make sure your first batch and second batch invitees are not in the same circle of friends or family. They will realize if they do not get their invites at the same time as others and it could hurt feelings.

Hopefully these tips will ease your guest list woes. It can be one of the toughest parts of planning but in the end it will be worth it when you have the most important people in your life celebrating with you on your big day. (photo courtesy of theknot.com)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Larissa and Derek's Professional Photos

Wow, I was so excited today when Jerry McGaghey sent us over these sneak peaks from Larissa and Derek's wedding. I can't say enough great things about Jerry - he's dependable, organized, creative, and the photos speak for themselves. I also appreciate his calm demeanor and ability to organize people and shots quickly so you get the most photos for your time. Here is just a sneak peak from this fabulous wedding, and you can also see some more on the slideshow here! Thanks Jerry, you rock!!!