Saturday, January 30, 2010

Elegant Baby's Breath

Who knew baby's breath could be so elegant and modern? Gorgeous!!

Image courtesy of,,,, &

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Naturally Soft Garden Wedding

Amanda & Anthony wanted a wedding that captured the look of an casual afternoon in a garden. We created a soft, natural design, incorporating soft shades of ivory, green, blue, and beige. They selected the PERFECT venue for this soft, natural wedding, Hollis Garden in Lakeland. The reception will take place right next door, at the Magnolia Building.
Naturally Soft Garden WeddingWe are so excited to work with this very sweet couple, to create this gorgeous wedding!

Image Credit: Naturally Soft Garden Wedding by uniqueeventdesign on

UNIQUE Wedding: Sabrina & Rustie

We were so excited to work with Sabrina and Rustie! Their style of vintage elegance with a feminine flair was so much fun! Between the red ruffle heels and the feather accents, this wedding was truly a memorable one! There were so many aspects of this wedding that illustrated the vintage elegance. Sabrina's gown, with it's elaborate details and lace touches, fit in perfectly with the ornate, historic Don Vicente Inn, located in Ybor City. To retain her unique look, Sabrina accented her gorgeous gown with modern accessories. Sabrina was not about to let her bridesmaids walk down the aisle without their own touch of flair. Each bridesmaid strutted down the aisle in leopard heels! (a first for UED!)

The Ceremony took place in the hotel lobby, with simple decor consisting of two pearl arrangements and an custom aisle runner. As the Cocktail Hour began, the wedding party hit the streets of Ybor City to capture their photos with a historical, urban backdrop. Jason Angelini Photography did such an amazing job with the photos and we were so excited to work with him! While enjoying cocktails, the guests found their names on the damask escort cards hanging from gold trees. As everyone entered the dining room, they stepped back in time. Connie Duglin provided the black pintuck linens, beneath alternating centerpieces of candles and white flowers, courtesy of Forever Flowers. A truly romantic setting was created! Even the menu cards had a touch of elegance, each card was accented with a pearl and sat atop a gold charger. Other decor touches included wine bottles with roses, and candles as far as the eye can see. Instead of a typical wedding cake, this couple chose to instead, have tower of delicious cupcakes from Let Them Eat Cake! Sabrina and Rustie and all of their guests partied all night long, to the sounds of DJ Ben of Grant Hemond & Associates, and everyone even hit the city for an unofficial Afterparty!

Sabrina and Rustie, thank you so much for allowing us to join in on your celebration and happiness! We wish you the best, for a very long and happy life together!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Check back to see Sabrina & Rustie's vintage, modern wedding!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Aly & Eric...So Cute!

From the second that we first met with Aly & Eric, we knew it was going to be so much fun getting to know this super sweet couple! Eric works in an Architecture Firm and Aly is an CPA. Together they are such a great balance of left brain and right brain! Their gorgeous engagement pictures taken by their photographer, Kimberly Romano of Kimberly Photography, capture their fun and playful personalities!

Seriously, is this couple not a 10 on the 'Cuteness Meter?!?!' :)

We are so excited for their March wedding!

A Winter Wonderland Window

Last month, Unique Event Design was invited to design the Winter window for the Paper Presence shop in St. Petersburg. We decided on something Wintery and elegant. We hung crystals and white feathers and accented the window with white boas to add a soft touch. We utilized a fluffy linen that replicates the look of snow as the base and used a bare silver tree accented with white feathers and small white doves. We also added piles of crystals to add some glam beneath the tree. To display the impressive custom stationery that Paper Presence creates, we put the different pieces in the branches and all around the tree.

Sadly for us, this will be our last window design for the Paper Presence storefront located on Central Ave. Andrea has relocated to a new location.

Contact them today, for elegant and personalized stationery for your upcoming event!

Paper Presence

WeddingWire 2010 Bride's Choice Award!!

We are so excited and humbled to announce that only after one year in business, Unique Event Design has been awarded the 2010 Bride's Choice Award from WeddingWire! This award recognizes the top 5% of local wedding professionals that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, and professionalism! We are so honored with being named one of the best Wedding Consultant companies!

WeddingWire is the nation's leading wedding technology company. The Bride's Choice Award is determined exclusively by recent newlyweds through surveys and reviews.

Unique Event Design would like to extend our gratitude to each of our past clients for reviewing our services and helping us win this wonderful award! We could not have done it without you! Thank you!

(Image Credit:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Advice for Those Wanting to Enter the Wedding Industry

I came across this article and it summed up exactly what I'm thinking everytime I meet someone or get an e-mail from someone wanting to be a wedding planner. I was exactly in those shoes, only a short time ago, but in my time in the industry I have learned loads! One of the most important things, is that it's all about respect! You are a newbie and you have to earn your place. When I decided that this was my own destiny, I devoted so much time and energy to my goal. I did nothing 'halfway.' I went all in, and never looked back! I still work everyday to validate my position in this industry. I continue to reach out to others for assistance, shadow other vendors, and continue educating myself. It never ends!

Read this article, and decide if you are ready to go all in!!

"Becoming a Wedding Planner: by Saundra of Planning Forever

For some reason, I have been receiving a plethora of questions from aspiring wedding planners. This industry is hot, hot, hot right now with approximately 6-7 cable shows regarding weddings and all their glory. I can see how enticing this business looks.

Here’s an example of what I might get asked (in one week, no less).How much are your packages? Can you send me your contract? How did you get started? Are you hiring? I want to start my own business, how did you? Which online course is best to take? How do you market yourself? Where do you find clients? Can I job shadow for free? How do you get found in search engines?

I love that more people want to do this business. We need more professional planners out there to help raise the bar and standards.

Notice I said, professional planner? A prof is someone who has experience in event planning. If you have planned your own wedding and your BFF’s, this does not make you an experienced professional event planner. Just like naming and designing a business card does not make it a business.

There is so much information on how to become a wedding planner that I am going to do a three part series from my perspective. Keeping it real and giving you some personal insight, and not selling you anything. So here goes.

1. GET EXPERIENCE. Your own wedding does not count. Or any friend’s wedding. If you cannot find a planner to work for, then search out the hospitality industry or another vendor in the industry. Hard work and real-life experience will beat out reading books or taking a course. I have noticed that many aspiring planners are unwilling to accept an unpaid internship or pay for job-shadowing experience. That is a route you may have to look into.

2. PLAN IT OUT. You need seed money to get started. BEFORE you search for clients. BEFORE you network with vendors; have a business strategy. You will need an attorney for contracts, your business plan developed, liability insurance, a business license, know your tax liabilities, and more! Be willing to shell out some bucks.

*Part Two*

Why is it so important to have real-event planning experience before you tackle other people’s weddings?

For one thing, working with other wedding vendors. The real truth is many vendors don’t welcome wedding planners into the picture with open arms. I find it is because of past experiences with the newbie-planners-with-business-cards that have zero to little experience; suddenly making important decisions on the wedding day and reception.

Caterers, DJ’s, and photographers that have been in the business for many years tend to have little patience with these newcomers as they tend to be more of nuisance, than a help. Can you blame them?

Not because the newbie-planner is not earnest. Not because they are mean. But because of their lack of experience and gusto to direct the entire day and other vendors. Isn’t that what a wedding planner does, after all? Hmph. Invariably mistakes are made and it causes others to do double work.

Trust me, if you don’t have all your wedding vendors behind you during an event,you are looking at a very frustrating, loooong and exhausting day. Vendors can figure out how long you have been in the business by talking to you for five minutes. They are sizing you up.Always remember wedding planners do not create weddings. It is a combined effort of a team of wedding professionals that create weddings.

I have made some great alliances with well-respected vendors in this area; but make no bones about it; it took dozens of events and proving myself (and my company). Now they know if they see planning…forever events on the BEO; the vendors know things will be taken care of properly.

*Part Three*

I hope you understand why you need to have experience first before you plan a client’s wedding. We clearly outlined some of the pitfalls here when you are “learning” on someone else’s special day. So HOW do you get this experience?

It can be a vicious circle. It’s like trying to get credit extended to you but you don’t qualify because you have no credit history. Huh?

Obviously the best experience would be to work for a professional event planner. However, it’s not the only way; hospitality and catering would probably give you a more well rounded picture. But let’s focus back on working for us planners. There are some Do’s and Don’ts when approaching planners for potential jobs.

As always, I will get straight-to-the-point.

1. Do Not email us through our web inquiry form on our website. That area is strictly for potential clients. Imagine the disappointment to find people looking for work.

2. Do send an email requesting information if we are hiring.

3. Do Not tell us this has always been your dream job. As some planner’s will mimic; “It’s my dreeeeaaaaaaam to be a planner”. This raises a red flag. Can you imagine interviewing at a corporate job and telling the HR person it’s always been your dreeeeeam to be an accountant? I don’t think so. And get back to me if your dream is to be on your knees picking up a broken glass and mopping up spilled liquor on a dance floor at 1AM.

4. Do send us a resume with real job experience that is applicable to our industry. We get really excited to read that.

5. Do Not call us right away. A follow up phone call in a few weeks if we received your resume and email is fine. But email is almost always better. Please remember, you are one person out of dozens that contact us each month.

6. Do be open with starting at the bottom and working your way up. This may include internships or smaller part-time duties, easing you into the business. Businesses in general are looking more into internships; so don’t be surprised when that is an offer.

7. Do Not offer to partner with our company if you have no experience or established business in general. Yes this happens.

8. Do ask questions of other planners (go out of your immediate area if you aren’t getting a response). But ask the right questions. What are the pitfalls? What’s the worse part of your job? How hard was it for you to break into the business? You already have the iconic viewpoint of event planning, so at least do some research on the negatives so you can have a clear picture.

9. Do Not ask a professional event planner for copies of their time lines, checklists, budgets, contracts, packages, etc. And please do not copy their style of their website. There are 50 states out there, with most likely an event planner in each state with some online presence. If you want to do research; do so from another planner across the country. Not 40 minutes from you.

10. Do understand that we can’t hire everyone. This is a unique kind of business. Because of the creativity involved, it is treated more like a hobby instead of a professional business by many newcomers. There is a smaller market for our services, but we are gaining. Slowly.

*The Finale*

I know if you are dead set on this career path, I cannot scare you by telling you how much hard work it is. Glamorous moments are slim and the reality is that you are on your feet for 12-14 hours AND working weekends (more importantly Saturday evenings without your S.O. or hubby). You need a very understanding family. And you need to be willing to miss out on a lot of fun personal events.

Nope, I won’t touch upon those things because they are not pleasant to talk about.

What I WILL say that this is one of the most challenging and rewarding careers I’ve ever done (and I have a background in various sales and marketing areas). It’s new everyday and I have the ability to make an impact in someone’s family; helping to create positive memories that will last a life time. It’s so special and I (and my other coordinators) take this to heart. And that is what drives us every single weekend (even when our feet hurt terribly).

If you have that love, drive, passion and the business sense for this industry – then don’t let anyone squash your dreams. Just please be savvy about it."

(Article Credit:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kiss & Tell: Erin & Kyle!

Kyle and I would like to thank you for all of the hard work you put into our wedding! We got tons of compliments on how beautiful everything looked and I could not have imagined the room looking any better. You were my peace of mind throughout the whole wedding process and we were SO glad to have you there on our day. Thanks for making our wedding day perfect. We owe so much of it to you!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Erin Johnsen :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Help the Red Cross Help Haiti!!

We have all been moved by the images of the destruction in Haiti. You CAN help! The American Red Cross is on the ground, assisting the survivors.

Text "HAITI" to 90999 and a $10 donation will be sent to the American Red Cross Haiti relief effort. This donation will be reflected on your monthly bill.

You are NOT powerless! Text today!

Image courtesy of

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fabulous Finds: "I Do" for your Shoes!

Every bride wants some "pep in her step" on her wedding day. How about some "bling?"

This adorable "I Do" Rhinestone Shoe Applique is the perfect touch to your wedding day heels! It's your something blue, and a super cute way to say "I do!" ...And the best's $3.75!

This applique, as well as lots of other adorable accessories for your wedding, can be found at the infamous Mindy Weiss' E-Store.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Eclectic Peacock Inspiration

For this wedding, we are combining many elements to create an eclectic style. First, we want to create a contrast between the looks of the ceremony and reception. The ceremony will be clean and modern, with a white and ivory color scheme and chrome accents. Instead of excessive flowers, we are opting for hundreds of candles to create an environment filled with candlelight. This will create the romance that they are seeking for their ceremony. When it comes to the cocktail hour and reception, that's where the color blast will take place! The color scheme will be pulled from the peacock feather, utilizing shades of blue, purple, green, bronze, and chocolate. Ornate and antique bronze touches will bring in the Mediterranean aspect. Light reflecting crystals will create the feminine elegance that the bride is seeking. Multi-colored and iridescent elements will flow throughout the space, reflecting the same characteristics of the peacock feather. And keep the atmosphere fun, a candy booth to engage the guests!

Peacock Wedding
What inspires you? We want to know!

Image courtesy of

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Colorful Dose of Inspiration!

Ari and Allan brought us one thing as the inspiration for their wedding...

...immediately following, they said, "we do not want a peacock wedding!" Rather, they wanted a wedding inspired by the colors of a peacock feather. They wanted to combine this bright, eye-catching color scheme with a modern Mediterranean feel. They also asked that their ceremony be completely romantic and have a church feel.

Stay tuned to see the inspiration board that we created for them!

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ivanka Trump = Grace & Elegance

Being the wedding-obsessed, crazed person that I am, immediately following the October 25th wedding of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, I was scouring the internet to look for photos of the marvelous wedding designed by the infamous wedding designer, Preston Bailey. I wasn't able to find too many photos of decor, but what I did find, was photos of a bride reminiscent of the vintage elegance of Grace Kelly! I was completely captivated by Ivanka's gown and grace that it exuded! The gown, designed by famed designer Vera Wang, was so classic, yet so modern! Ivanka looks absolutely stunning!

A special thank you to the uber-talented Preston Bailey for providing a few detail photos for those "wedding-obsessed" individuals!

Photos courtesy of Brian Marcus/Fred Marcus Photography via Getty Images