Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye.......Hello!

As 2008 winds down to a close, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for visiting me at my place here in the blogosphere. This has become a great outlet for me to share a little more of what I think, envision and query about in regards to weddings, parties and life in general. For those of you who've taken a second out to respond to a post - thank you. To those of you who took a moment to even glance at what I wrote - I say thank you again. And for those of you who've added Confessions Of The WeddingDIVA to your respective blogrolls - MANY THANKS!!

I'm always amazed at the job I have - and the unique opportunity it affords me to witness love all of the time. Thanks to all of the brides and grooms who put the care of their weddings into my hands - I sincerely appreciate your trust. For my couples who've said "I DO" in 2008 - I so enjoyed being a small part of your day..and for those lovely ladies and handsome gents who are about to "leap into da' land of matrimony" in 2009 - enjoy the ride!!

I look forward to seeing all of you in 2009 - same place, same channel. I wish all of you a very Happy New Year, filled with blessings, prosperity, peace - and LOVE.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

My last post was all about the 72 hours following the big "question"..but I'd be remiss if I didn't ask - "What does your ring look like?"

I admit to absolutely LOVING diamonds - in every way. When I got engaged all of those years ago, I had a simple solitaire - round cut, set with traditional 6 prongs. However - should I ever remarry (hey - you never know, it could happen!), I know what I want. I want a beautiful Asscher-cut ring, set in platinum. I'm not finicky about the carat weight, but I am a stickler for clarity and quality.

Not many folks are familiar with this style of diamond, but it is simply gorgeous! The way the stone is polished gives it a "hall of mirrors" effect, so no matter which way you view it - stunning is probably the only word you'll come up with....

All Shiny & New!!!

Happy Holidays to everyone!! As we wind down from the glitter and excitement of Christmas and Hanukah, there are many of you who really got something that sparkles as your holiday gift this year!

The holiday season is one of the most popular for engagements - although it has not been scientifically proven, my theory is that it might have something to do with the fact that everyone is in a giving mood, and it's the perfect time to get down on bended knee in front of EVERYONE to pop the question :)

Now what? You've got that gorgeous ring on your finger - has your mind starting racing? If so, let me put the brakes on for you..for a moment. The best piece of advice I can give you is to take 72 hours (3 days) and just soak in the wonder of saying "Yes, I'll marry you". This is a time that's so wonderful and emotional...so you need to enjoy every minute. That means for 3 days, no talk of wedding plans, no speculation of budgets, no looking at wedding websites and magazines...nada, nothing. For the next 72 hours..just look at each other and realize what a special time this is in your lives.

On day 4 - you can get started. I might be a bit biased on my next statement - but what the heck! Start compiling a short list of professional wedding planners to contact. You can go online, through local wedding websites and magazines or you can ask friends who've recently married..but don't wait on this part of the equation. Pulling together an awesome wedding celebration, no matter what your budget, is truly more than a notion. As planners, we can help you look at the situation from a realistic standpoint - not through rose colored glasses. And no - we are not a luxury. We are the ones who can truly make your event sing a majestic song, and keep you sane during the process.

So, if you got engaged on Christmas Eve - you've got one more day to stare at that ring. Did he pop the question on Christmas Day? The 29th is your date to get things started. This can be a great process for everyone involved...just be realistic and clear from the jump on what's important to you in the long run.

And if you are getting hitched in the Baltimore-D.C. area, give me a ring (no pun intended) - my team and I would be honored to make your wedding the most magical day ever......

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another "DISH-worthy" Item



I found out about KLEAN Bath & Body from my media-savvy friend, Peter Shankman, over at Help A Reporter Out.com (affectionately known as HARO) and since I am a nut about fragrance, I had to check it out! I'm so glad I did - it is such a beautiful line of body indulgent pamperings - from sweet sugar scrubs, soothing shea butters and scintillating scents, all eco-friendly, all delicious!!

For all of you brides-to-be, this is another cool idea for your attendants, ditto for additions to amenity or restroom baskets, out-of-town gift bags...the list is pretty much endless. And for those of you who haven't done a lick of holiday shopping (their "Scrub Of The Month Club" sounds perfect!) - I'm thinking it will work for you too.

Note to self: finish Christmas shopping :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

The DIVA's DISH





Today's DISH is all about pure, indulgent comfort.

I have a small "vice" - I absolutely adore watching television. For me, it's a way to escape the hectic rigors of a very busy existence and just take time to do nothing at all. From political gabfests, to cooking shows, home improvement ideas and old black & white movies on AMC, I love the escapism that the telly provides.

To make the picture complete, I also need my pajamas. Comfortable, pretty pj's that are cute enough to be worn in mixed company, at a slumber party with my best girls or just darn cute enough for me to enjoy them :). In between my daily dose of political "speak", an intriguing commercial caught my eye and gave me inspiration for the latest DISH..

PajamaGram.com. Have you heard of it yet? If not, let me be the first to give you an introduction! This company is the fine purveyor of a wide variety of comfortable, pretty, cozy sleepwear that comes beautifully packaged for the receiver. You can choose from an assortment of loungwear/nightware that runs the gamut from sweetly innocent to delightfully sexy and a few places in between. The pj's are packaged up in a lovely hatbox (great for storage later or as a cool gift box) along with a "Do Not Disturb" sign and a scented lavender sachet. As I watched the commercial, I immediately thought, "what a great idea for bridesmaids gifts!". You can personalize it so that it really does reflect the nature of the recipient - add in a cooling aqua gel eye mask, a deliciously scented candle or maybe a deck of cards, reflecting on "52 Ways To Pamper Yourself" (my favorite).

Since they also have offerings for the gentlemen...this would make a really nice gift for a couple's shower..or any other occasion (Valentine's Day, birthdays, just-because-I-think-your-special). The giving of gifts to the wedding party can sometimes be a daunting task, but ideas like PajamaGram.com make the task a bit easier!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Can You Spend One Million Dollars?

On the latest episode on "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", my colleague, James Tramondo of NYC-based DAVI Weddings, is tasked with the planning of a million-dollar shindig for the bride and groom. And I've seen a lot of feedback, with most folks asking "what do you spend 1 millon dollars on?" My answer - anything you want.

Let's be honest - everyone's checkbook and credit card lines are decidedly different. So what may seem extravagant to one person may indeed be commonplace for another. As a planner, I can tell you - it's not hard to spend that kind of money. Certain line items in a budget (or spending parameters as some of my clients like to call it) are going to be larger, namely food, location and decor. The wedding that James was working on was held in one of the more expensive cities in the United States - good ole' New York City. Weddings in NYC and Los Angeles tend to be pricier that the average of $30,000. When you add in sophisticated technology (i.e. the plasma screens), a gorgeous locale (Bryant Park and the New York Public Library), linens, florals, entertainment - oh yes, the numbers on the calculator keep growing.

Over the past 16 years, I've planned weddings where the budgets were extremely modest (less than $10,000) and where spending parameters were much larger (over $100,000). The ones that stand out to me the most are the events where the bride and groom took the time to think about the comfort of their guests, the overall "vibe" they wanted to have, attention to detail and most importantly - how they wished to celebrate their love and committment with those who meant the most to them.

On the the flip side - it's also about personal taste and desires. I admit to having a thing for dropping some serious cash on shoes...it's one of my "quirks". But I know folks who won't pay a dime over $29.99 for anything that goes on their feet, however - I'm not one of them :). That goes back to the "what you like, is what you like" theory - if you've got the dollars and it's the lifestyle to which you are accustomed, who am I to say you can't spend it?

I think this is a scenario where most people will sit on one side of the fence - those who don't mind writing the checks and those who see it as frivolous. At the end of the day, it isn't about what we think....nope, this is definitely about the two people saying "I Do" and how they wish to celebrate. For the rest of us - let's just sit back and allow them to enjoy it.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Talking About Food

Since we are about to hit one of the most fabulous "eating" days of the year, I'd like to share an interview I gave to renowned chef and author, Maria Liberati for her "What's In Your Fridge" series on her website.

As a wedding planner, I've always been intrinsically "entrenched" in the creation of my client's menus because food and beverage are a huge part of the reception planning process. My theory has always been that good food and drink help to make a party very merry!!!

And while I can plan the most discerning, palate-pleasing event menu for my clients, I'm really a girl with Southern roots. Read the interview and see what I'm talking about!!!

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a short note from all of us here at Premiere Event Management - we wish all of you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving! Our offices will be closed starting today (Tuesday, November 25th) at noon and we'll reopen on Monday, December 1st.

Enjoy this time with your family and friends - remember, we all have much to be thankful for!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Episodes Of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

The latest news from the network is that my epsisodes filmed this summer will air this month!
So..set your TIVO's and DVR's - or watch it real time on the following dates:

November 18th
Juanita & Jerome

November 25th
Kyarna & James

And to answer a question I get a lot - Nope...I don't get to "preview" the episode. I'll be seeing it for the first time just as you will!!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The DIVA's DISH

(photo by Jeffrey Weir Photography)

Today's DISH has everything to do with shoes. Those of you who know me well also know that I am a bonafide shoe FANATIC...the fact that I own over 200 pair is, well....beside the point :)

Most brides I know spend a fair amount of time finding the perfect shoe to wear with their dress (or dresses if you are a 2 gown or more gal). Ditto for the ladies in their wedding posse..as we all know, a great shoe really gives any outfit that certain dash of "pow"! However, there's nothing like strutting your stuff only to have the heel of that ultra-fab shoe get stuck in a utility grate, the crack in the sidewalk or a couple of inches into otherwise unforgiving grass or mud. Unless you are "flatting" it for the day in ballet slippers or flip flops, you and your heels will meet up with a force that's not so kind.

Enter the Sole Mates High Heeler. Created by Becca Brown & Monica Murphy, this ingenious "helper" allows women to wear their gorgeous stilletos, kitten and other high heels without the worry or aggrivation of getting stuck in a unforgiving sidewalk crack, or sinking to unpleasant depths in wet mud or grass. The premise and use are simple - place the heel in one of the Sole Mates, tap lightly to assure that it's on securely and you are done!

What a great gift for the bride to be or her wedding party! And at $11.95 per set - it's a small price to pay for the preservation of your fabulous shoes!! Retail locations are listed on the website or you can order online and free shipping is available in the United States if you purchase two or more sets.

Many thanks to my colleague, Loretta Smith of Final Touches Make The Difference, LLC in Indianapolis for introducing me to this amazing product and gracing me with my first 2 pair! So..that's two down with about 100 more to go :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Engaged!

(Me and the queen of cakes - Sylvia Weinstock!)

(some of the goodies inside our "swag bag")

(the gorgeous tote from Tulla Belles!)


(lovely centerpieces from Flowers Of Winter Park)


(Tim Neill, Jay Casiano, Aaron Vieri, Isha Foss & Amy Rubins)


(Me and Mr. "Brilliant" himself - Simon T. Bailey)


(the cute name cards)

oh - don't let the title fool you...that's not the kind of "engagement" I'm talking about:)

I had the pleasure of attending Engage 08! - the Encore this past Tuesday at the fabulous Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida. Created by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts - this one day, high powered, high intensity symposium was designed for those of us in the industry who wish to move our respective businesses and careers to even higher levels.

We were totally "engaged" the entire day - from relevant and concise industry information, to amazing speakers, to elegantly chic food and gift bags - Rebecca and Kathryn literally left no stone unturned in order to bring their attendees the very best. I actually got started late because my plane was delayed in leaving Baltimore, but once I hit the lobby of the hotel...I was off and running :)

Our morning keynote speaker was the charmingly brilliant Simon T. Bailey - if you don't know who he is, I guarantee you will soon! "Releasing Your Brilliance" was the topic of his presentation, and through some serious, thought-affecting words and great group exercises, he was able to show all of us, give us a peek into the glimmering gems we really are! I highly recommend his book of the same name as well as his website where I'm sure you'll be inspired!

Lunch was a glamorously elegant event, filled with delicious food, courtesy of the Ritz - incredible linens by LaTavola (who also provided all of the gorgeous tablecoverings for the entire event) and the cutest placecard settings by PlaceTile Designs.
After our sumptious networking lunch, the afternoon was spent in the company of industry giants - we had the unique opportunity of interfacing with the founders of The Knot, Carley Roney and David Liu, got great PR and press information from Jill Meister of the CBS Early Show, Wedding Bee founder Kim Bee and public relations guru Eda Kalkay. Sean T. Low, president of Preston Bailey Designs, spoke about having a direct, distinct focus for your company and brand, while the grande dame of wedding cakes, Sylvia Weinstock rounded out the afternoon with her amazing wit, humor and the story behind those trademark glasses!

We all received an AMAZING bag of goodies - I'm still going through it and discovering treasure after treasure! From scrumptious sugar cookies, embellished with the Engage 08! logo, super-stylish tote bag and journals from Tulla Belles, samples and recipes from Hypnotiq, all natural soy candles from The Grapeseed Company, a cute passport case from ISZI studios...I mean, the list literally goes on and on!

Take a look at my amateur photos (note to self or hint to others - I want a new digital camera for my birthday in December!) and you can get a small glimpse of all the "happenings". I really do want to thank Rebeccaa and Kathryn for the amazing job they did in bringing such a wonderful event to fruition. If you are in the wedding industry and are truly serious about taking your business to a more successful level - don't miss out on the next Engage!

Indianapolis

is where I'll be on Sunday, October 26th! So, if you are in the greater Indy area - I'm inviting you to come and join me at the best bridal show....Indy's Best Bridal Show 2008!

Sponsored by Loretta Smith of Final Touches Make The Difference, LLC., this will be a wonderful afternoon featuring the finest vendors and service providers in the Indianapolis area. No matter where you are on the wedding planning scale, there will be something there to help you create an amazingly personal, decidedly unique nuptial affair!!

I am honored to have been asked to participate - so if you've got any questions that need a honest, DIVAfied answer..make sure you are in the house. I'll be hosting a Q&A session that promises to be lively and informative!!!!!

Here are the details:
Indy's BEST Bridal Show 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
12:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Indianapolis Hilton North
8181 North Shadeland Ave
Indianapolis, IN.

Purchase tickets/register online and receive $2 off admission!

I'm looking forward to meeting all of my fans from Indiana - we're going to have a great time!!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Knot Networking Party

Back in the spring, I was offered the opportunity to plan the Knot's Networking Party for the Baltimore metropolitan area. I took on the project with a plan in mind, and using the overall theme of "Go Green With The Knot", came up with a pretty cool way to mesh eco-friendly with a great party! On October 1st, almost 200 industry professionals met, mingled, ate, drank and partied at the funky-chic Baltimore Museum Of Industry. Set on an expanse of the Inner Harbor, it was a neat place to meld our environmentally conscious event with the eclectic vibe of the venue.

My concept was simple - I hit upon the idea of highlighting 4 elements of the universe to create functional, workable sections for the party. Earth, Air, Water & Fire became my backdrops for all of the food, drink and designs that wove their way throughout the Museum's Decker Gallery - each "element" contained an overall color scheme, menu and specialty libation that our guests could sample and enjoy.

With tasty drink mixers provided by Stirrings, guests were able to indulge in Pear Of Hearts & Spiced Apple Martinis along with classic Mojitos. The absolutely fantastic menu was provided by Bobby Mitchell and Karen Foulkrod of Putting On The Ritz - their entire team was such a pleasure to work with, from conception to completion of this event! Attendees made their way through a bevy of food stations, highlighting such delectable fare as Mandarin duck salad in choux pastry, seared scallops on sauteed spinach, chipotle roasted chicken on skewers and Asian lettuce wraps filled with sauteed and julienned vegetables. A do-it-yourself ice cream sandwich bar rounded out the offerings - and there was a line of grownups, eagerly awaiting their turn to indulge in that sweet treat!

Floral designs were provided by Richardson's Florals - my thanks go out to Sandy Riley, Sheila Smith and Chris Matthews for all of their hard work and patience, the end result was simply stunning. All of our printed materials and signage were created by the talented Karron Davis-Minor of Diamond Minor Designs, and our cool, sleek, uber-hip lounge furniture came courtesy of Dave Fritz and the fine folks at CORT Event Furnishings. The gorgeous linens, tables and Chivari chairs hail from the inventory at Select Event Rentals, and I have to seriously thank Susan Childs for putting up with the many, many changes I made..that woman has the patience of a saint!

Perkins Productions help cast an elegant glow around the room, as each of the "elements" was lit and spotlighted in a different shade and hue. Our guest speaker of the evening, Knot Vice-President, Denise Favorule, got some great A/V help from the awesome technicians of Absolute Entertainment and DJ Jerry Stamper of JLS Productions kept the party hopping until the very end!

ZBest Limousine was kind enough to showcase their latest acquistion to the fleet - a 18 passenger, stretch hybrid limo! This clean, pure white Tahoe is the first of it's kind in the United States, and I have to thank them for bringing it out to show it off - it's a great example of how hybrid technology is being used in the special events industry.

As guests departed the event, they were given cute, natural cotton tote bags, emblazoned with the Knot logo and filled with goodies including wonderfully soft, freeze dried rose petals from Flyboy Naturals, drink mixers from Stirrings and adorable sugar cookies from Sweet Talk Boutique (yum!)

Check out this slideshow from our official event photographer Roman Grinev - he captured every single detail of this event with amazing clarity! Roman - my hat is off to you for making this look wonderful!!!!

Again, many thanks to all of the fine vendors who provided their services for this event - I appreciate each and every one of you! And thanks to all of my peers and fellow industry professionals who took time out of their busy schedules to attend - it was good to see all of you!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? New Season!

I just received the "word" from Style Network that the new season of "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" will premiere on October 7th. This season, you'll get to see two episodes featuring me and my team in action - Kyarna & James' nuptials will air on October 14th, and Juanita & Jerome's "I Do's" follow on November 18th.

Make sure to set your DVR's and Tivo's!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

James & Azuredee - The Real Pics!


I just received this wonderful slideshow from Phillip Lloyd Photography out of Tampa Bay, Florida. Phil was great to work with this past weekend and I think he truly captured the essence of James & Azuredee's special day.

Take a look and tell me what you think!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Am A Wedding Planner..I Am An Entrepreneur.


















I am beyond thrilled and honored to have my alma mater, the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, feature my lifestyle and musings on the Alex. Brown Center For Entrepreneurship's website. The Center is but one of the shining elements at this world-class place of higher learning, and as an entrepreneur - I am more than happy to share what I've learned and accumulated over the years with those beginning the path I took so many years ago.

Vivian Armor, the center's Director, approached me a couple of years ago to be a guest lecturer for one of the "Backpack to Briefcase" lunch series and we've been strong partners ever since. It's all fine, well and good to be successful - but to really make a mark in life, you have to be willing to share knowledge with others. That's always been my mantra and mission - so I'm not expecting to change it any time soon :)

I have been so very blessed and fortunate in being able to live my dream, pursue my passion and love what I do every single day....it's only right and fitting that I "pay it forward" and give to others what has been so richly heaped upon me.


P.S. Time really does fly when you are having fun! I can't believe it's been **gulp** 24 years since I walked across the stage at the Field House to receive my degree!

P.S.S. The photo above was shot in the Fireside Lounge in the new University Commons building. It's a gorgeous place - and a big change from what was on campus when I was a student way "back in the day"!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

James and Azuredee

(The new Mr. & Mrs. James McDonald)

(The menu cards by Diamond Minor Designs)


(Bright colors and a little "bling" for the bride and groom's place setting)


(The wedding party table)


(James and his crew...)

(Dee and her girls - takin' a stroll)

(Special seating cards for the parents)

(What an amazing view for a wedding ceremony!)


(The weather was absolutely gorgeous!)


(Miss Q demonstrating the proper use of a parasol)

(Lisa W. & Izabella working on the guest tables)
(Sonya making the cake table just right!)

(James and Azurdee - picking out linen back in the spring!)

I am "recovering" from James and Azurdee's fabulous wedding last night - over 12 months of planning, coupled with almost 12 hours of onsite management translated into an event that will be remembered for a lifetime!

The happy couple (a.k.a. Rodney & Dee) were just so wonderful to work with - their constant comment to me was "This is your wedding, Linnyette - we're just here to make it interesting for you", always kept me smiling and appreciative of the vast amount of trust they had in me. I truly thank them for allowing me to take their ideas and translate onto my canvas. Their ability to let me "do my thing", gave tons of inspiration and creative energy to a project that was sheer joy to produce.

Their weekend wedding celebration was held at Belmont Conference Center in Elkridge - this 80 acre venue has some of the most incredible views in the metropolitan area! From the 30 minute (yes - you read that correctly!) rehearsal to the last dance on the gleaming onyx floor in the tent, Rodney and Dee's nuptials flowed like the smoothest champagne. We were fortunate in having some of the best vendors in the area come on board to make this plan happen - my thanks go out to:


Here are a few photos I managed to snap, however, I can't wait to share the pro pics from Phillip Lloyd Photography - who just happens to be the brother of the groom! He let me "sneak a peek" of some of the images during the event, and they are simply gorgeous!!!!

Dee and Rodney - I wish you the best! Thanks for letting me be a small part of your fabulous day!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SPA Week Is Back!


I am all for "me" time - with the kind of life I lead, it's so necessary for me to "take a minute" to rejuvenate and relax. This is the same kind of advice I give to all of my brides and grooms, so when I found out that one of my favorite times of year is just around the corner - I had to share it with all of you!

Spa Week is a chance for you to take advantage of wonderfully pampering services from a host of spas and wellness centers in your area - for $50 per service! Nope - not a typo. Fifty bucks for a facial, a massage, a body scrub, a Brazilian wax (okay - that's for you brave chicas out there!), a pedicure...the list is quite extensive. Normally, you'd pay at least double for some of these services, but during this promotion - which is generally held in the spring and fall, you can take advantage of these soothing indulgences at a fraction of the price.

Spas are a great idea for pre-wedding pampering parties - for both men and women. Don't get it twisted, men do love the notion of a little attention too :) Check out their website for a participating spa near you, make your appointment and get ready to say "Ahhhhhhhhhhh"...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Austin, Texas

(The capital of Texas!)

(At the VIP Reception with Barbara Hearne of Barbara's Brides)

(Enjoying a glass of sangria with John-John, the "Wedding Butler")

(members of AWEC)


(Guests came from Houston, Dallas and other parts of Texas!)

(Yummy Tea Sandwiches!)

(LOVE this centerpiece!)

(The fragrant yellow rose of Texas adorned my pillow each night....)

(What a delicious way to say "Welcome"!)

It was a week ago today that I was spending time in Austin, Texas as the guest of AWEC (Austin Wedding & Event Coordinators Association).

One of my colleagues at Coordinator's Corner as well as a charter member of AWEC, Barbara Hearne, asked me a few months ago if I would come and "chat" with them about the industry of professional wedding coordinating, my experiences over these past 16 years, what lessons I've learned and what I think the future holds for our profession. While that may seem like a lot to cover - the 2 hours flew by! I absolutely LOVE sharing the little bit of knowledge I have with other, like minded individuals - and this afternoon was no exception.

The historic Driskill Hotel was the amazing venue that hosted this event - and their staff is absolutely accommodating. From the chocolates in my room, to the yellow rose of Texas on my pillow every night - I can't say enough about the Driskill! And on the day of my event, their catering staff provided us with yummy tea sandwiches, decandent fruits and chocolates, savory breads and a tasty sangria that made us all say "Ole!".

To the ladies of AWEC - thank you once again for having me. I hope to visit with you again real soon! Here are some photos from the event - take a look at a bit of good ole' Texas hospitality!!

Antonia & Mikal


Many congratulations go out to the new Mr. & Mrs. Mikal Baaqee! Antonia and Mikal were married last Friday (9/5) at the beautiful Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Here's a great shot by F.A. Formica Photography of the happy twosome right after their lovely ceremony - check out those smiles!!

Many thanks to all of the fine vendors who helped bring this event to life:
Augie Bove and the wonderful staff at Restaurant Associates
DaVinci's Florist
Midway Limousine

Monique Gregory (makeup)
DJ Elite (Chad Neal)

I'll post more pics as they become available!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The DISH - Special E Rescue Service

Today's DISH is a sound, environmentally conscious program that was introduced to me as I've been planning the Knot.com's annual Networking Event here in Baltimore.

According to their website, "The Special E is a unique "green" service that rescues leftovers from meetings, conferences, trade shows, banquets, parties, weddings, and special events, then recycles them in ways that help our planet and people in need. For example, we'll rescue leftover food and deliver it to food banks, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters to feed people that are hungry and homeless. We'll rescue buffet leftovers that are normally thrown out and convert them into organic-rich compost. This benefits the environment and helps reverse the effects of global warming by conserving landfill space and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Can you saw "WOW!"? As a wedding and event planner, I have seen TONS of food get thrown out after a function, and I always think about how that could have gone to a shelter or fed someone who didn't have a meal that day. There are so many, many people in our communities who are literally starving, families who cannot put enough food on their tables and children who are going to bed hungry at night. Knowing that someone in need is benefiting from the leftovers of a joyous occasion is actually a pretty good feeling.

The Special E can also rescue leftover floral arrangements, taking them to hospitals, hospices and senior centers to brighten someone's otherwise stark and dreary environment. They can also take the empty cans of beer and soda - recycle them properly and ensure that they don't end up as trash in our landfills and green spaces.

We only have one Earth - and we need to take care of her as best we can. I encourage everyone to do their part - and The Special E is a great start.

P.S. The Special E is available nationwide - contact them for services in your area.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

STOP IT!!!

For the most part, I am a fairly laid-back, chilled out kinda gal. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you the same thing. Not much ruffles my feathers, I don't take myself that seriously and I generally walk around with a smile on my face. Life is good - so why not??

However, today - my sunny disposition just got annihilated.

So here's my simple remedy to getting back to the Linnyette I know and love:
I'm going to need ALL of the non-professional, "wannabe", think-you-are wedding planners/coordinators/producers/directors (take your pick here!) to step aside and let the true blue pros handle all of this matrimonial/wedding planning/coordination stuff. If you don't know what you're doing - just step away from the bouquet!

This is a topic that has come up before, not only for me, but for my colleagues also. Honestly, I'm sick and tired (and I'm sure that I speak for my "professional" brethren also) of these shenanigans. What part of "there are no do-overs" don't you get? What part of "you need a business plan" don't you understand? What part of "you need to know what the heck you are doing before you open up shop and say " I am a wedding planner" do you need me to explain to you?

Folks - cheap is what it says it is. Cheap. Really. So don't just base this important decision on price alone. ASK for references, ASK to see previous work, ASK about payment plans/policies, ASK what their wedding planning philsophy is, ASK how much EXPERIENCE they have under the belt!!

Does this automatically disqualify a new-to-the-industry planner? No - it doesn't. There's some great, fresh, new talent that's coming on the horizon, but the valid difference between these people and the "wannabes" is that the newly minted professional planners are taking the time, energy and effort that is needed in order to start their business off on the RIGHT foot. They are getting educated, they are interning with seasoned planners, they are managing their new enteprises the way it should be done. In short - they are running a business and their actions speak to that.

I've been in the game a minute - so I know what goes on. I am also painfully aware that there are so many brides and grooms out there who've gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to hiring the "planner". They didn't do their homework - which is so important. You have to know what you are getting, and you want to make sure that all of your ducks are lined up in a row. Don't settle for anything less - you deserve a wonderful occasion and you deserve to work with someone who has your best interest at heart and who will produce a magnificent event that you'll remember always.......

To all of the "planners/coordinators/directors, etc. who fit the description I started this post with..you know who you are. And you should be really, really ashamed of yourselves. But, somehow - I know you're not. So before you decide to "blow" up this blog entry or my email with your negative responses...think. Think about what you are not doing - and more importantly, think about how you can improve what you should be doing. I don't want or need to bash anyone incessantly - but I love my industry and there are many others like me who view the planning of a wedding as an honorable profession - one that we are so proud to be a part of.

I am not afraid to get up on the veritable soapbox and speak my mind. Wedding planners are now literally a dime a dozen...but when you hook up with one who knows their stuff, it's like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Trust me on this one.

Now...back to our regularly scheduled programming :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Must Love Cats


Since I do....here are a couple of my favorite furbabies from I Can Has Cheezburger with their take on all things wedding. I can thank my darling little DIVA, Miss Kami Hall, for introducing me to the LOL Cat phenomenon. If you are not familiar with it - take a moment and visit the site listed above - simply hilarious!!!
Enjoy!!

The DIVA's DISH


I'm starting a new feature on my blog called " The DISH" - it will highlight new products, offerings, locations, up-and-coming companies, anything that I think is new, cool and worth a minute of your time!

Today's DISH was sent to me by a local entrepreneur with a growing national presence. Jamila White, Chief JOY Officer at J.Blossom & Company, is the driving force behind this Baltimore-based company which specializes in sweet-smelling toiletries for our littlest DIVA's. J.Blossom's line of body washes, lotions, and lip balms are just the right sized and flavors for our youngest ladies-in-waiting, with positive, image-affirming messages right on the package!

After taking a look at my sample box, I immediately thought about all of the pretty little flower girls I see almost every weekend. What a great way to bestow a lovely gift upon the dainty ones participating in your wedding as well as support them with the message that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! With supportive phrases such as "Beautiful Skin Comes In All Shades" , " I Am Totally Loveable", and my personal fave, "Girls Can Do ANYTHING", you're sure to find something for the littlest lady in your wedding party!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back To The Classroom

Only a few seats left!!!!!

If you are passionate about this field we call wedding planing, if you want to learn more about how to craft and manage a successful business, if you want to "up your ante" and really bring the game home - join me and a bunch of other like minded folks on October 11 -12, here in Baltimore!!

The Power Course
Burkshire Marriott Conference Center Hotel
10 W. Burke Avenue
Towson, Maryland

Registration includes:
2 days of relevant topics
All materials
Continental breakfast, buffet lunch and breaks each day
Pre-Class assignments
Hands on decor experience
Certificate of Participation

Day 1: Focuses on the "business" intracacies of the wedding planning industry
Day 2: Focuses on basic wedding design & decor techniques

Before September 5th : $395
After September 5th: $495 (based on availability)
Payment plans are available
Registration forms and other details can be found at The Business Of Matrimony's website.

Hotel Accommodations
$129 per night (one bedroom suite)
$149 per night (2 bedroom suite)

The Burkshire Marriott is an all-suite hotel, combining luxurious rooms with the convenience and functionality of a personal living space. Each suite contains a spacious living room/dining area, full kitchen, washer & dryer and separate bedroom.

Room reservations can be made by calling the hotel at (410) 324-8100 and asking for the Power Course (DIVA Enterprises, LLC.) special rate.

Texas - Here I Come!!

And I'm so excited! I'll be in Austin, Texas as the keynote speaker for AWEC (Austin Wedding & Event Coordinators). Here are the details:

An Afternoon With The Wedding DIVA
Famed "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" wedding consultant, Linnyette Richardson-Hall comes to Austin to talk about her experiences, lessons learned and the future for wedding coordinators.
Cocktails and hors d'ouevres following the presentation

Sunday, September 7, 2008
The Driskoll Hotel Mezzanine
2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

$65 before September 1st
$75 after September 1st and at the door

R.S.V.P. : rsvp@aweg.org
Pay Online at: http://www.awec.org/

Many thanks to Barbara Hearne (a fellow wedding coordinating colleague at Coordinator's Corner) for suggesting to AWEC that I might make a good presenter :) I'm really looking forward to experiencing that wonderful Texas hospitality!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rob & Sarah

I am pleased to announce that one of my weddings from last season is featured in the Baltimore/D.C./Virginia's summer edition of "I Do - For Brides ". Rob & Sarah had an absolutely AMAZING wedding celebration and I was very glad to be an integral part of making it all happen!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Bridal Mini


(Bridal Mini photos courtesy of the company's website)

I get a lot of requests to review wedding related products - so I thought I'd share this particular one!

It's called the "Bridal Mini" and in essence - it's a miniature wedding dress top that can be used in so many ways. From my viewpoint as a planner - it's ideal for those makeup and hair trials where you REALLY need to get the full "effect" of how things are going to look - but you don't want to (and in many cases - can't) lug your actual wedding dress around!!

You can also wear it at your bachelorette party over a cute pair of jeans or a skirt - and everyone will know EXACTLY who the guest of honor is!! `With three different styles available (sweetheart, strapless and halter), owner Carol Cleary has definitely made the Bridal Mini an asset in every bride's pre-wedding closet. Additional details and ordering information can be found by visiting the company's website at Bridal Mini.com