Monday, August 31, 2009

Fashion Inspiration

We are so happy that one of our FAVORITE shows is back on the air, "Project Runway!" I know it has nothing to do with event planning, but it is all about design, creativity, and innovation. These are things that we strive for with every event we plan! Project Runway truly inspires us! Just to show you, we've developed a wedding design based on this gorgeous gown by fashion designer, Rubin Singer.

This gown is sophisticated, modern, and it definitely has some drama, as does our design! We took a black and white color scheme and combined it with modern and traditional elements. Old world details such as a damask design and chandeliers flow so well with the fashion of Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana. To achieve drama, we pulled in crystal details and feathers. We strived to create the same "wow" that this gown exudes!

As you can see, inspiration can come from anywhere! And, over the next few weeks, we are going to prove it to you! Stay tuned!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Wonderful Endorsement from Voila Cinematic!

We received this wonderful endorsement from Voila Cinematic from Wedding Wire!

"Staci's infectious energy gets everyone excited about the event! With her design background and her on-point organizational skills, she brings much to the table. Staci has a passion for what she does and is extremely dedicated to both the quality of the vendors and the expectations of her clients. She is willing to go the extra mile to ensure a great event!"

We had the joy of working with Voila on Kristina and Jay's wedding in April. They are not only amazingly talented, but so much fun to work with! Their videos are more than just a digitally captured version of your wedding, they are pure art! Check out the video from Kristina and Jay's wedding and you'll see what we mean!
We can't wait to work with them again!! Thank you, Voila, for your kind words!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great Ways to Say "Thank You" to Your Guests

While the typical "thing" to do is to send hand written thank you notes to all of your guests, we've got some ideas to say "thank you" in a unique way:

Personalized Card
Instead of a plain "thank you" card, you can utilize a picture from your wedding on the card. Your photographer can have a bifold card printed with an editted photo from the wedding. They will digitally add what ever text that you want and voila...a personalized thank you card! This allows you to have to give your guests something personal, but it still allows you to express your gratitude in a handwritten note.

Native Gift
If you went to another country for your honeymoon, why not send out something reminiscent of it? For example, if you went to Japan, then how about sending a set of decorative chopsticks with a note stating "domo arigato" (thank you in Japanese). We found this set of cherry blossom chopsticks for as low as $0.95 on

Gratitude Gala
Another option to thank your guests as well as continue the celebration, is with a "thank you" party. This could be as simple as a brunch the morning after the wedding or a dinner party that you host at your home after the honeymoon. Be sure to make a toast to express your gratitude and take the time to speak with each person that attends, even if it's just for a short time.

In Person
If your guests are local, hand delivering your gratitude is another option. Pick some flowers from your garden and bring a single stem to each guest. A personal thank you will trump a note, any day!

Digital Age
Nowdays, you can do anything digitally, even say "thank you!" You can set up a regular camera and capture a 30 second clip of you and your new husband expressing your thanks and even utilizing the gift that they gave you. For example, if they gave you a set of pots and pans, videotape you two cooking with them! If you can, personalize each video for each guest. You have the choice of either sending your clip through e-mail or burning a CD and mailing it your guests. Either way, your guests would be so happy to see you enjoying their gift!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wedding Wire Rated!!

We are so honored to be "Wedding Wire Rated" for 2009! is a completely FREE website that offers you loads of information and tools to help you plan your wedding. You can find vendor info and reviews and find out about local events. There is also a online community of brides planning their wedding. There are message boards, photo galleries, and personal advice. One of the great amenities of Wedding Wire is the planning tools that allow you to compile and track your budget, guest list, seating chart, and wedding "to do" list. They also have a tool that allows you to create a personalized wedding website that can inform all of your guests about the details of your wedding. After you get married, you can go on Wedding Wire and review all of your vendors and get a free gift! This is truly a site you should check out!

With our reviews, we achieved a rating of 5.0!! Feel free to check out out storefront, which includes info, pictures, and endorsements from other vendors!

Thank you so much to our amazing clients for their wonderful reviews and allowing us to share in their wedding day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Repost: "20 Things To Never Do When Planning Your Wedding"

This is a great post that I came across on the Cocktails and Details Blog. I just had to share it!!

"Planning your wedding can be fun, exhausting, exhilarating, stressful, exciting and frustrating. Here are 20 tips that you should never do whilst planning the party of the year.

1.) Never book any venue without seeing it. My only exception to this is if you have a wedding planner working your behalf and doing the scouting for you.

2.) Never work with any vendor without a contract. Ever. This includes Aunt Jan and Uncle Marty. Contracts put everyone’s expectations and obligations on paper.

3.) Never start planning or interviewing vendors without a budget. You will waste your time and the time of the vendors you meet. Whenever a potential client says “There is no budget” or something similar, they are not impressed. The red flags go up.

4.) Never start your wedding planning in the “middle”. In other words, start at the beginning and work your way down with tasks and duties. Find a planning timeline to help you figure out where you should be in your planning process. Don’t start designing your floor plan when you haven’t chosen a venue.

5.) Never be afraid to speak up with your vendors. If you have questions or concerns, ask while changes can still be made as opposed to being stuck with something you will regret on your wedding day.

6.) Never take your family and friends for granted. Using the “But it’s my wedding” carte blanche will get very old, very fast. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will spend a small fortune to participate in your day. Please treat them nicely.

7.) Never believe anything you see on the wedding shows. Ever.

8.) Never choose a dress under the condition you will lose weight to fit in it later. Stress eating is a huge monster during wedding planning. It is easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out.

9.) Never forget what you are planning for—your wedding, which is the birth of your marriage. I encourage you to plaster pictures all over your planning binder of you and your honey. That is your motivation.

10.) Never pick a vendor that has poor communication skills or makes you feel silly, cheap, spoiled, or otherwise about your choices. Period.

11.) Never put your registry information on or with your invitation. Times may have changed and “some” etiquette rules can be bent. I don’t feel this is one of them. You do not want people to feel like there is a cover charge for your wedding. This information needs to be sent word of mouth, on your wedding website/newsletter or with your bridal/couple shower invite.

12.) Never choose a photographer with your budget solely in mind. This is the only thing that will preserve your memories for your special day. Please choose someone with style, talent and charisma so that you can remember your day fifty years from now as if it were yesterday.

13.) Never go to your catering tasting starving. Everything will taste good. You need to be discerning with mingling flavors and scents…and be able to appreciate them.

14.) Never go to your florist without a concept. There are several breeds of roses, lilies, and orchids. Your floral designer will be more than happy to provide you with inspiration, guidance and ideas, but you need to know where the destination is before you get in the car.

15.) Never assume a vendor’s “retainer” is the same as a deposit. A deposit is refundable. A retainer is not.

16.) Never think you will be able to make everyone happy with your decisions. Don’t try to make them all angry either. Ask for ideas, and find ways to incorporate everyone into the wedding. Nothing will make your FMIL beam brighter than to point at something and say "I picked that!”

17.) Never try to micromanage your day while wearing the gown. The day will be a blur anyway, it will go by so much faster (and harder) if you are playing the starring role and the director. Enjoy your day. Save your sanity. Please get a wedding coordinator. If you do, let her/him do her/his job.

18.) Never withhold the final payment from a vendor with the belief that this will pressure them to show up. If you have chosen to hire professionals for your wedding, this will never be an issue. The wedding industry thrives on reputation, and several vendors have reputations that precede them. Many have the philosophy if you do not pay them on the due date, they will not be there, and you will be without the vendor anyway.

19.) Never lose sight of the fact that you will have several hundred people at your wedding with different tastes and likes. While you cannot make them all happy, as a host, it is your job to make it enjoyable and comfortable. Remember this when it comes to design, location and food.

20.) Never forget to read this blog. (ok, I was really running low. Shameless plug over)."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Amber & Bryan - Color Scheme Options

When it came to selecting the color scheme for Amber and Bryan's Summer 2010 wedding, we had few things to go on:

- Bryan proposed to Amber in Jamaica
- Amber loves blue
- They are major NC State fans!

So, let the creativity begin!!

Scheme #1 - Turquoise & Orange (tropical, bright, & fun)
Amber & Bryan - Scheme #1
Amber & Bryan - Scheme #1 by uniqueeventdesign on

Scheme #2 - Teal, Red, & White (whimsical, crisp, & clean)

Amber & Bryan - Color Scheme 2A
Amber & Bryan - Color Scheme 2A by uniqueeventdesign on

Scheme #3 - Aqua, Chartreuse, & Chocolate (modern, fresh, & cool)
Amber & Bryan - Color Scheme #3
Amber & Bryan - Color Scheme #3 by uniqueeventdesign on

Which is your favorite?

Stay tuned to find out which one Amber and Bryan pick for the concept for their big day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"I'm Singing in the Rain, Just Singing in the Rain..."

When Andrea, of Paper Presence, and I started discussing their August window display, all we could talk about is how much it has been raining lately! It was even raining cats and dogs when we were chatting...

That's it! Let's do a shower theme! It's the perfect August window because of all the rainy weather in Florida!

We hung lots of blue raindrops of varying textures and colors of blue in the window. We stood a fun colored umbrella straight up, protecting an array of baby shower stationery, of course designed by the uber creative Paper Presence. To finish off this simple design, we lined the surrounding area of the table with blue rocks to act as the puddles running off the umbrella. This whimsical display is just the thing to lift your spirits on a rainy day!

Paper Presence is located at 2435 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We've Got a New Look!!

We are proud to announce the release of our new website! Check it out -!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Photographer's Perspective

On the day of an event, your wedding planner is like a Maestro, overseeing an orchestra of different vendors. We believe that if we understand the position and perspective of each type of vendor, it will allow us to do our job even better and make for bigger, more amazing events!

I had the great opportunity to shadow Carrie Wildes of Carrie Wildes Photography at a wedding at the Resort at Little Harbor. We’ve worked with numerous photographers, but this was a true treat for us! It was an up close and personal look at what they go through on wedding day. Between lugging the expensive and (surprisingly) heavy equipment, to getting that perfect shot, the pressure is on for your photographer to capture every detail of your day!

Carrie started by answering all of my questions about the equipment that she carries and the different lenses that she has. After arriving, the atmosphere seemed fairly relaxed. We scouted the property for some fun locations for the family portraits, wedding party, and the bride and groom pictures. Luckily the reception setup was ahead of schedule and nearly complete, which allowed Carrie to capture the detail and reception shots with ease. Once the bride arrived at the resort, we headed to her suite to start the “getting ready” shots. We gathered all of her accessories and the dresses to capture these details. It required some furniture rearranging, but it’s “just part of the job” for Carrie! We then snuck the bride’s gown away to capture some amazing shots of it hanging in the hallway, the lobby, and a quite intimate shot, over the bed.

After all the gals were dressed, we started the bridal party shots. These included posed and fun pictures, and these girls were relaxed and having a blast…a dream for a photographer. The guys then arrived so we got their shots, including “the first look” for the bride and groom. I couldn’t resist my natural “planner” mode, so I took care of pinning the boutonnieres on all of the guys. After a few more wedding party shots, we headed over to the ceremony area.

Normally, I’m running around finalizing details and I never get to enjoy the ceremony, so it was quite a treat to sit through the entire ceremony. The couple was married on the beach, and Carrie was definitely not sitting. She was busy capturing every detail of this short ceremony. After the ceremony concluded, we headed over to get all of the family portraits done. I assisted Carried with checking off each shot as it was completed. After all of the family portraits were done, we headed out to the gorgeous pier on the property, to capture a few more wedding party shots. Finally, the couple was all Carrie’s! She told me this is her favorite part, to not be rushed and to get creative and experiment with different pictures of the couple and boy, did she capture some amazing ones! It’s very important to allow a good amount of time for these “alone” shots with your photographer. In a relaxed environment, you’d be amazed at what your photographer can produce! She even risked falling into Tampa Bay to get that perfect shot. She told me to “save the camera!” :)

The reception was also fairly relaxed. She captured all of the important shots – introductions, dances, toasts, etc. After the pressure was off, it was time to get some great dancing shots. And before we knew it, the wedding was over and all that was left was the beautiful pictures that Carrie took that day!

Here are some of the amazing shots that she captured!

Thank you Carrie for allowing us to learn from you! We hope the knowledge that you offered us will help us to understand our photographer's position better. We can’t wait to work with you again!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tea for Two and Two for Tea...

Tea length wedding gowns are becoming very popular lately. They are perfect for those brides that aren't interested in a "traditional" long wedding gown, but a more fun, young, and whimsical look. For those weddings taking place outside, with a more casual feel, the tea length gown is a perfect option. These gowns are also making their debut at the reception, when the bride wants something that's easier to move, and especially dance in!

Carmela Sutera

Stephanie James Couture

Melissa Sweet

Anne Barge

Alfred Angelo

And, if my husband is reading this...I've already selected this gown from Michele Roth for our vow renewal! :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Palmetto Club at Fish Hawk Ranch

We were very honored to be invited to participate in a discussion group to discuss the Palmetto Club at Fish Hawk Ranch. This venue is an unknown gem in the Tampa Bay area. Located in Lithia, not many people are familiar with this beautiful location! The English Garden, large segmented ballroom, and the ability to bring in your own vendors, makes this location unlike any other. The building can accomodate anywhere between 50 - 360 guests for a single event. The English Garden is a great location for outdoor ceremonies.

Our friends, Aymee and Paul Brace, were married there.

In addition to weddings, the Palmetto Club is also the perfect location for a birthday party, shower, luncheon, etc.

The Palmetto Club also holds a special place in my heart, because that's where my husband and I were married, almost one year ago!

The Palmetto Club at Fish Hawk Ranch
17004 Dorman Rd.
Lithia, FL 33547

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The "Queen of Cakes" is coming to Tampa!

The West Coast Florida Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) is proud to announce that Sylvia Weinstock, the "Queen of Cakes," will grace us with her presence on Monday, September 21st at 1:30pm at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa).

This event is not only open to NACE members, but also to the general public. The presentation and lunch tickets are $65 and the VIP tickets, including the lunch and presentation, as well as a private cocktail reception and book signing with Syliva, are $125.

There are only a limited number of tickets, so purchase your's today!

To learn more about the event and to purchase your tickets, please visit