Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Entertaining Tips: Suprise Party

New Rule

When throwing a suprise party, ask your friends to help. Have them make the food and bring it with them.... Or have it catered.

If you ask some of your closest friends to make a simple dish, you'll have plenty of food, and you won't give away the suprise.

You can always buy the raw ingredients and drop them off to your friends, this way if things are tight... you've got them covered.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wedding Concessions!

Part of the Cassablanca Photoshoot, was a super fun concession stand. We vintage'ized a movie theater concession stand for the shoot.

But it got me thinking. How much fun would it be to serve movie theater concessions at your wedding!

Thanks again to Verve Studio for the amazing photographs!

{a full list of vendors to follow}

Monday, June 28, 2010

Casablanca Wedding

MasterPiece Weddings was recently involved in a super fun collaborative and unique photoshoot! The idea was Casablanca meets Moroccan amazingness. We wanted Boggy to have a happy ending.

There were a lot of vendors involved in this, and I want to make sure that you see everyone's work and how beautiful the idea came together.

First up, Verve Studios - their photography was so romantic, and completely captured the funness and romanticalness perfectly!

Hair by: Glenda Suarez (Creations)
Location: Hippodrome State Theater

Friday, June 25, 2010

Butterfly Escort Cards

I know I posted this last week, but I am just in love with it!!

For a place card station, use these Butterflies, hand Calligraphy'ed (what's the proper term for that?) by Sarah Hanna.

Soooo pretty!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Things to ask Your Wedding Planner

There are so many things to consider when hiring your vendors, but let's talk about what to look for in your wedding planner. There gazillions of questionnaires online for you to review, download and bring with you to your initial consultations when you interview your potential wedding planner.

But how about some things that may not be on the questionnaires?

What are you going to wear on my wedding day?
  •      We wear formal attire, not black tie (unless you request it) but formal, cocktail attire. We don't wear name tags. We want to blend in at your wedding, not stand out like a sore thumb.
How many weddings will you have on my wedding day?
  • I will personally only have one. And I'll have a team with me, so we can be in 3 places at the same time.
Will you drink at my wedding?
  • Um, no! No professional. You won't see us eat at your wedding (although we will, in shifts), we are there for you and to make sure you are getting what you paid for from all of your vendors and means we are on the clock the whole night.  (not to say, when you get back from your honeymoon we shouldn't all go to Dragonfly and grab a cocktail)
And when you are meeting with your vendors be upfront with them, ask the hard questions, expect answers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Entertaining Tips: Attire

New Rule

Don't forget to mention what type of attire to wear to your guests. I went to a party last night and some guests were in heals and cocktail dresses and others were in shorts and flops.

They both had to feel awkward. I know I did.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What to Look for in Your Wedding Planner

I honestly mean this, I don't care who you hire, but hire a wedding wedding planner.

If it's me - that's awesometastic!!! If it's not me, and it's that competition that I adore, that's great too!

I do sincerely mean that.

But remember you can't go back and re-do your wedding day. So if you are considering hiring someone to help you make your wedding day dreams come true, make sure they are professional.

Look around, interview a couple of planners, my personality is different than the next guy (although I do have to say, that my personality is pretty darned perfect...ahem!)

Don't be scared to look around. It's okay.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hire Professionals

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about business and how some people are just cruddy business-people. Amazingly talented in their own right, but honestly have no business, being in business. And, as this isn't a business blog, I am not going to get on a soap box about how to run a business, but rather what to look for in a wedding planner and some mistakes that I made along the way and how I learned from them. So that you can learn from them too.

I am not perfect. I never claimed to be. (that's my disclaimer)

When I started my business I thought "ye with thy lowest prices wins" and honestly.... that may be the case in some instances. And I know everyone has to start somewhere. And I fully appreciate that. I did. I started my business 15 years ago with some pretty low prices...but you can't do that for long. And being in business to purposefully undercut, isn't right.

Just because your collection, package or per hour fee is the lowest, says nothing about who you are. You are in business, just like the other guy, you have over head and bills to pay just like your client.

Just like my client.

People get that.

If you offer a service or a product, like wedding planning, photography there are costs involved, your time, actual and real costs. If your product and/or service is worth it, you will be respected for it.

So, brides, don't hire the cheapest wedding vendor just cuz they are the cheapest.... cheapest won't always save you money. This is a once in a life time event, your wedding. Don't skimp.

You are hiring professionals for a reason.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fun Day!

I was looking back at posts and I can't believe I never posted this!!

This was from Gabriel's 3-month photoshoot, thank you so much to Footstone Photography for capturing Gabriel so well!! He really did have fun and was totally pooped afterwards!!

And, they got some pretty fantastic images.... we think he's pretty cute, so that helps!

Thanks again, Footstone Photography!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Paper and Sweets

We had the honor of hosting a party for Leslie Vega Designs in the courtyard of our studios, it was an amazing night! I can't wait to do it again!

So many people to thank for helping to put this event together, MasterPiece Weddings and Leslie Vega Studio had so much fun working together, and plus Leslie's work is so pretty it's hard to not make an event romantic and delicious!

 But first, would some one please do this for their place cards!!!! Isn't it just gorgeous! The calligraphy is done by the super uber talented Sara Hannah. Love her!

Jarrad from G-nys Entertainment did such a great job with the tunes for the evening!

Dragonfly Catered the event just beautifully!

Isn't Leslie's work, just beautimous!

The two most beautiful women, inside and out, in the entire universe! Leslie and Sara!

Flowers and Decor: Dan Hathcock of Unforgettable Events

Event Planning: Melissa Margarita-DiStefano of MasterPiece Weddings
Photography: Matt & Krystal Radlinski of Verve Studio
Cake + Sweets: Ms. Debbie's Sugar Art
Calligraphy: Sarah Hanna Calligraphy
Entertainment: Jarad Bowens of G-NYS Entertainment
Catering: Dragonfly Sushi

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Entertaining Tips: Theme

New Rule

Come up with the something fun, it doesn't have to go huge, like a Murder Mystery Dinner party, but a simple theme to keep your guests loving your party.

Wines from the same region, or pork in every course (gotta love some pig!) or even something as simple and fun as color themed. Plates and dishes all following the same theme are always a hit!

And a Greek, Italian or Mexican inspired party are always and affordable fun party!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Super Fun Cake!

If you are looking for something super fun for your grooms cake, check out this sandwich cake! Love it!!!

Nutella, Jelly, Peanut Butter, Buttercream, Fresh Fruit and Marscapone... wow, the options. My mouth is watering!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Real Wedding: Jill and Josh

Jill and Josh an incredible wedding in Gainesville Florida at the Thomas Center. Their wedding was filled with both tradition and tons of personality!

We had so much fun working with her family who lives in South Florida and having their wedding at the historic and beautiful Thomas Center.

The boys wanted to do their reinactment of The Last Supper.

Thanks Jimmy Ho for some super fun photographs!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Your photographer is there to capture moments, moments that are frozen in time forever.

These moments capture emotion, sadness, happiness, love, a tender kiss, embarressment.


Even embarressing moments.

This photograph to me, even though, I've never met these people, I couldn't tell you their names, where this wedding was, what state, what country, what city, nothing. This photograph tell me that someone was making a speech, and the story they were telling was incredible, it captured the entire room. Had everyone's undying attention, and then there was a slight pause and story was told that was in that gray-area-of-stories-that-shouldn't-be-told-at-weddings.

And hysteria broke out, and the person giving the speech had to pause for a moment for laughter.

That is what this picture tells me.

Photography by: Alan Maudie

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wedding Salon

Looking for something amazing to do in South Florida? Join some of the most exclusive vendors in Miami Beach on Monday night for a boutique style bridal show.

Taste cakes from Ana Paz, enjoy cocktails and hors D'Oeuvers from Ganevoort. And enjoy them complementary, courtesy of us!

Use the code on the attached invitation!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Entertaining Tips: Favors

New Rule
So, when you have guests over, its always nice to have them leave with a favor. And frankly, I am all in favor of something fun, they can use, and is cheap. I mean affordable.
How about a jar of home-made sauce... or a bunch of rosemary from your garden? Tie it of with a recipe... Easy, insanely afforable, and super thoughtful.
(speaking of a jar of home-made sauce.. check out my hubby's speciality!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Its All in the Details

A wedding is all about the details, our clients strive to make sure the details are all amazing. So why overlooks something like this?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to Meeee!

Okay, so it's almost a month late, and I don't know why I didn't post this sooner, probably because, well, although ya'll probably dont' think so, I don't like to brag.

But here goes.

I was on the front-freakin' page of the paper on my first Mother's Day!!!!

Okay, so now that I got that off my chest... well, mostly.

Yup, on Mother's Day I was on the front page of our local news paper, right under the story on the oil spill! Yup, I'm big fat news!

Here's the picture....

Yup, that's me and Gabriel, front and center!

Here's the article:

It took Melissa DiStefano 29 hours to give birth to her son. It was painful. It was frustrating. And thanks to Twitter, her friends and family lived through it all.

"I tweeted through my entire delivery," said DiStefano, who had to have a C-section after her contractions stopped. "I wrote things like 'These contractions suck.' 'Looks like I have to push.' 'We're going to be here awhile.' It was extremely painful, but doing that really became my focus. I only put the phone down during the actual surgery."

DiStefano, 35, has always been plugged into technology, and now she and other moms in the digital age are using it as a major tool in motherhood.

She even set up a Facebook page for the 4-month-old, where she and her husband regularly update his status. Gabriel has 119 friends, eight videos and tons of photos.

From gadgets to new media, mothers today embrace technology as a way to be informed and stay connected. Children's precious moments aren't just captured, but uploaded, posted and texted.

Instead of sneaking a peek in a diary, just check a Facebook wall or recent history on the computer to see what kids are up to. Forget about music boxes and CDs, just turn on Pandora.

DiStefano's smartphone and Flip video camera are just as much a part of her mommy life as bottles and diapers.

She uploads cute and funny videos of her son Gabriel to YouTube and shares photos with friends and family through Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. She uses her phone to send picture messages of Gabriel to her sister  and her mother in South Florida. With her webcam, DiStefano also uses Skype so the family can talk to each other and see the baby.

"When there's so much distance, it's hard to feel connected, so with all the technology it's so much easier for family and friends to feel like they're a part of his everyday life," said DiStefano, owner of wedding planning business MasterPiece Weddings.

Being a working mom of a young child, Newberry resident Maria Rizzo loves that she can check on her baby with a few clicks of a mouse.

The entire time her son Anthony, 2, has been at Kidsworks preschool, she's been able to log onto a password-protected website and watch him via live Internet webcams set up throughout the facility. The preschool started using the system in 2000.

"It wouldn't have been a deal breaker if they didn't have it, but it's definitely a good selling point, especially for new mothers," said Rizzo, 37. "I had a hard time going back to work and it was really helpful to be able to see him. It makes a big difference."

Larkin Kieffer said being a parent today means you have to really stay engaged and connected. Her cell phone is a big part of being a Mom to her 11-year-old son Noah.

If she's running late or sending someone else to pick him up, she taps out a quick text message. She said he has to send her a text every time he leaves or arrives somewhere. It may seem like a chore to him, she said, but for her, "it's total peace of mind."

"I never want it to be that he can't tell me something important," said Kieffer, who got her son a cell phone last year. "I'd rather know he can get in touch with me and, technologically, I'm only a second away ... It actually makes me worry less."

Marcheta Cole Keefer, communications/tourism marketing manager for VisitGainesville, isn't a super tech mom. Her children, Christian, 10, and Katie, 9, don't have cell phones and she encourages them to use dictionaries and encyclopedias rather than Google or Wikipedia.

But when it comes to school, she has enjoyed the benefits of technology. She receives a weekly newsletter from her son's teacher about the upcoming week's classwork and homework assignments.

"I just think that's great. I travel a lot, so wherever I am, I can find out that information and know what's going on with him at school," said Keefer, 48. "It's been very reassuring and helpful."

Although most mothers praise the joys of technology, Rizzo said it does have some drawbacks. During her pregnancy and after she gave birth, she found herself obsessively researching online about newborns and child rearing.

"It was really hard to have so much information at my fingertips. There was so much information and everybody has a different opinion about everything. There's blogs, forums ... and sometimes it can feel overwhelming.... I just finally decided not to consult the Internet and rely on myself and trust my instincts."

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dash for the Dress!

If you are getting married soon, and want a good deal on a gown, jewelry, accessories, bridesmaid's dresses, veils, headpieces... anything wedding!
Come to the Dash for the Dress! On June 26th at Solutions Bridal, you'll get a great deal on a dress, starting at $99! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cake! Cake! Cake!

And amazing opportunity to chat with Kathy of KB Kakes, taste her amazing cake!!

Come and taste cake, and party on The Party Bus! There are still some spaces available, so RSVP - ASAP!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Entertaining Tip: Planning

New Rule

Birthday Parties are fun! When you're planning a birthday party, whether it's for kids or adults, plan an easy meal, pizza, bbq, regardless of what it is, make sure it's easy, because there is more to a party than just food.

If you can swing it, order it out, have it caterered, just don't fuss with it.

And remember regardless of the age of the brithday girl or boy whether they are 3 or 53, have some games. A treasure hunt, a get to know the people at the party game, have a casino table (Grown up party...) and have fun!

The more fun you are having, the more fun your guests will have!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hire Professionals!

Not too long ago I did a series on hiring a wedding planner, and posted a letter from a bride who didn't hire us, and how she wished she did. It's here if you want to read it.

Recently, I found a post on the subject with with a tragic series of event that occured because she didn't hire professionals. I found this on one of my favorite people's blog, Mark from Queen of Hearts in Philadelphia.

A Cautionary Wedding Tale

You know that sinking feeling when your gut tells you something is really not a good idea?

That’s the feeling I ignored when my fiancé talked me out of hiring Mark Kingsdorf as my day-of wedding coordinator.

At the time, we were living in an historic home with beautiful grounds next to a stables, and chose to have our wedding at home as an obvious choice. The owners of the stables had taken some bit of persuading to allow us to have a wedding next door: so much so that they insisted that we hire valet parkers to avoid any possible disturbance to the horses as they were brought to and from their stalls and pasture. But somehow, I got it all together, including with a hefty insurance policy and a list of conditions.

My husband-to-be had gone to spend the night with his parents, and as the day of the wedding dawned with blue skies, I felt reasonably confident that I was well prepared for the event to come. I got a lot of teasing about the fact that I had typed up and handed out timelines and task lists, and in addition, I tacked up large posters with even more lists of who was doing what, by when, and how.

Seemed straightforward enough. Until I glanced out the window during a bathroom break between hair and make-up and saw that the tables and chairs were still stacked in a corner of the yard. This part of the set-up had been allocated to my fiancé’s friends, and apparently, not a single one of them had shown up.

I looked up at my carefully choreographed list and saw that I had made one fatal mistake – in my timeline, there was no room built in for error. To get even twenty minutes behind at this stage meant there would be no way everything would be set up on time for the ceremony.

I didn’t know where my fiancé’s friends were and I didn’t have a number to get in touch with them. Frantically, I called my future husband’s cell to no avail. Next, I called my in-laws’ house onlyto be informed that my fiancé was in the middle of a massage and couldn’t be disturbed! My friends and family suddenly found their work load doubled, and I ruthlessly sized up both the very young and the elderly for their suitability to be roped into the task.

Fuming silently – okay, maybe not so silently – I returned to the make-up chair with my updo slightly askew, cursing, panting and lightly sweating. Luckily, I had hired professionals for this job, as I was hardly looking like ideal bride material by this time. A couple of medicinal glasses of champagne later, I finally regained my composure.

With about ten minutes to go before the start of the ceremony, I couldn’t resist looking out the window to check on the progress outside, and that is where I saw, to my utterhorror, a van parked right in front of the pasture gate with the musicians unloading, totally blocking the way for a highly strung horse and his even more highly strung owner.

Aaagh! Disaster!

Frantically, I began yelling to try to get their attention to move the van. Without thinking, I began pounding on the window, and all of a sudden, I had everyone’s attention as my fist went straight through the historic seventeenth century glass and I started to bleed – profusely, in fact!

Oh *****! was my first thought.

Don’t bleed on the dress! was the second.

I’ve just destroyed a piece of our nation’s historic heritage, what am I going to do? That was the last semi-rational thought I had before I unraveled completely.

As far as my second thought was concerned, I had the great fortune that my future brother in law is an emergency room doctor, and even better, he happens to travel with everything you need to stitch up a bleeding bride. It’s a great thing that bandages come in bridal colors…

I was even luckier in the serious matter of replacing a seventeenth century window pane. I came back from my honeymoon to find, by way of fantastic coincidence,someone had decided to do some architectural restoration on another part of the house, and there, up a ladder, I discovered my very own historic window replacement specialist.

Moral of the Story: I dont' care who you hire, but hire a professional wedding planner!
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