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 :)