Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Looking Forward - 27 May 2009

Ahhh summer…we’ve all been looking forward to it, and any good girl knows the best part…the fall fashion preview!! Look - I was born and raised in the northeast! I may have gotten to Florida via California - the land of perpetual casual dress (Juicy anyone?), but my roots run deep. Fall is the fashion-forward season; the time to strut your stuff and embrace the trends…and the trends are gorgeous! Every designer knows no bounds for fall, and I would be remiss if I did not highlight these trends and remind all you brides-to-be to think big, be bold, and learn from the real pros…the fashion designers.

The May issue of Harper’s Bazaar was more than revealing - it was relieving (good bye harem pants!). The issue outlined a few key trends to keep our eyes peeled. Fortunately for us, a few vendors in the Tampa Bay area have been paying attention, and we can incorporate some amazing fall style into our fall weddings.

Hello prints! Okay now don’t freak out, but animal prints and abstracts are huge for fall. Dolce & Gabbana showed divine black and white leopard, while Oscar de la Renta gave us a good dose of the classic beast. As for abstracts, I loved Dior and Lois Vuitton’s red-based paisleys the best. Apprehensive? Well, remember ladies, the rules of fashion also apply to weddings… no need to sport it head to toe. Think for a minute, why couldn’t your chic dessert lounge sport high top tables dressed in BBJ’s new Kenyan Safari sheer? With some sleek black lounges and some classic red roses, you’ve gone where no bride has gone before! And don’t get me started on their Carlisle Lamour, a truly to-die-for pattern – use it strategically and you can’t lose.

A safer trend for fall (both in terms of clothing and wedding fashion,) is the resurgence of metallics. Zac Posen rocked some 80’s glam gold, while Carolina Herrera kept it classy with a pewter weave. Show me a woman who doesn’t glow in silver or gold! The same can be said of a table! Panache launched some serious heavy metals this year with the introduction of their new Silver Burst and Gold Nugget chargers, an affordable way to add some serious glam to any table. No room for chargers? Then switch standard catering wine glasses to Panache’s Magnificence collection, the gold rim looks like a halo in candle light.

Finally, black is the new black. Whether it is lady-like or punk, you’ve got to have it for fall. Lanvin’s fur and fetish line caught my eye, along with Jean Paul Gaultier’s polished LBD. How ever you wear it, whoever accessorizes it, black will always be that go to staple. Freshen up black by using it unexpectedly…try black chivari chairs (from Panache Party Rentals) instead of the more traditional gold or silver (black ads an industrial/glam edge.) Use delicate black centered anemones in your centerpieces or try a jet black chandelier to accent a glamorous lounge space. Remember that sometimes a hard edge adds emphasis to a soft surface. A little sweet needs a little sassy.

Pay attention to these fabulous fall trends. I’m not trying to rush you through summer, believe me; I’ll beat you to the pool. I just wanted to remind all you visionaries out there to scour the fall preview as you flip through your Vogues, Bazaars and Ws, poolside this summer. The best ideas for your wedding are hidden in your new fall wardrobe. *

*Just one more tip, leave Marc Jacob’s Neon trend to your underwear! (See below for clarification!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Wedding of Debbie and Jim - 3 May 2009

There is so much to be said about the wedding of Debbie and Jim. One of the things about this wedding that stands out in my mind is that it was a labor of love. Throughout the planning, Debbie consistently took into consideration the enjoyment of her guests by adding details. Each seat at the ceremony had a espresso colored paper fan to fan away the heat, the seating chart was meticulously poured over, the menu was deliberated for weeks until it was perfect, the music selections were made with friends and family in mind, and the open bar menu was discussed in great length. All this work for the comfort of friends and family; and in the end Debbie and Jim were rewarded with a magical night that had all the comfort and warmth they had hoped for.

The ceremony took place at Oyster Catchers beach on the property of the Grand Hyatt, and we pulled out all the stops - it was glamorous! Two frosted acrylic columns flanked the beginning of the wide aisle topped with arrangements pave roses ranging in light pink to deep red atop column vases of aqua water. The arrangements (a surprise design for Debbie) had more than 125 roses each. Mahogany tables (topped with Tahitian bowls filled with petals) lined the hot pink aisle. The couple got married in front of a white draped “wedding cabana” befitting the Oyster Catchers location. The perfect setting was made more perfect by the officiate, Jane, who led the couple through a collection of traditional vows and hand written love notes. After the ceremony, guests lingered while enjoying the water and the sounds of a string quartet before moving on to the reception.

Jim’s favorite restaurant is Armani’s, famous for innovative Italian cuisine and Tampa’s only 5-star dining choice. When paired with the lovely aforementioned ceremony location, Armani’s became the perfect choice for an upscale Sunday night wedding feast!

Guests began the evening with a cocktail hour including an open bar complete with fine wines (the groom’s favorite), panini-pressed grilled cheese and artfully prepared crab cake “martinis.” Live piano music tinkled in the background as guests watched the sunset from the 14th floor location.

Debbie’s red and aqua color scheme made a strong play at the escort card table. Aqua linens covered the large candle lit table and guests found their aqua escort cards lined up on acrylic boxes of pave red flower blossoms.

As dinner was announced, by DJ Doug Decker of Grant Hemond and Associates, guests entered a truly transformed space. Hot pink uplights accented columns, 4’ chocolate brown Manzanita trees sat on ledges around the dance floor, and candles were everywhere (large floating, small floating, and ruby red votives.) Specialty linens took the theme to a whole new level. Large guest tables held linens of red pin tuck with tablescapes of ruby red votives, hot pink silk wrapped vases of red freedom roses (each rose accented with a crystal stud) and hot pink ultra fragrant attaché roses. Each place setting had an aqua napkin stuffed with a custom designed menu/place card. Small guest tables had contrasting aqua linens with tablescapes of ruby red votives and custom designed arrangements of hot pink spray rose “poufs” atop crystal stem ware. Each place setting had a contrasting red satin napkin with the menu/place card.
Guests feasted on an incredible menu prepared by Executive Sous Chef Jose. Heirloom tomato salads were followed by combination plates of braised osso bucco, risotto, plantain crusted snapper and three colors of organic cauliflower.

And then the desserts began…Crème Brule, followed by a huge surprise for the guests – a Cold Stone Creamery cart complete with the little red and white umbrella set up at the bar for an all you can eat ice cream treat! Guests chose from several flavors of ice cream (hand selected by the bride) and tons of mix- ins. And with that the partying began! Guests ate ice cream, sat in the “confessions booth” provided by Simply Wed Video, hung wishes on the wishing tree wrote messages in the engagement picture book provided by their lovely photographer, Tina Sargeant, and danced the night away. The stunning cake (provided by Cakes by Nomeda) was cut and given to guests as a midnight snack. Wedding goers floated back to their rooms stuffed with sweets, only to find custom “Do Not Disturb” signs letting hotel staff know that they partied into the night at Jim and Debbie’s wedding!

There were just too many details to mention; too much to talk about! Here are some quick fun facts to sum it all up:

Over 1,000 roses were used for this wedding, including pink attaché roses that smelled like heaven!

Whoever says Sunday weddings end early was wrong! Jim and Debbie broke the mold by needing to extend theirs!

Tina Sargeant, Jim and Debbie’s photographer, has a gorgeous blog up, with amazing photos that show all the details we painstakingly worked on.

Michelle at Paper Players in Dunedin put the icing on the cake with the most gorgeous table numbers, menu/place cards, escort cards and the adorable “Do Not Disturb” signs, without which the tablescapes would not have been the same.

But my favorite detail of all…The pictures show the reception at Armani’s up lit in pink, creating a glow inside the restaurant that felt like a kiss. Little did we know, that all of Tampa driving by the Grand Hyatt that night saw the eastern corner of the 14th floor glowing pink too, as if all the love Jim and Debbie had for each other couldn’t be contained and flowed out into the world.

And with that, let me predict: “They Lived Happily Ever After…”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Dressing Room - April 2009

Listen up brides-to-be! There is a new source for bridal couture in the Tampa Bay area – The Dressing Room on Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. I hear what you are saying; you’ve shopped there for your bridesmaids' dresses and mother-of-the-bride outfits. We all know that Judy, the proprietress of The Dressing Room, has the hottest designers of maid’s wear like Jenny Yoo and Coren Moore – designers your girls WILL wear again. But now, by request, the prettiest little dress shop this side of Paris is bringing you the most gorgeous wedding gowns, too! Frothy creations by Cymbeline of Paris, sophisticated silhouettes by Nicole Miller, and divine creations by Simone Carvalli. Ladies, discerning brides hire MMD Events to create a one of a kind wedding, now compliment your master piece with a wedding gown none of your guests have seen and all of them will want!

Things to know about The Dressing Room:

Make an appointment, you wouldn’t want it any other way, and there is no other way.

Come ready to buy. Judy, the owner, takes her personal time to outfit every bride. With her amazing new selection and her innate sense of style, you will find your perfect dress. Believe it.

Come ready to save money. I know you are confused, Jenny Yoo isn’t cheap, but believe me, I was there, I saw with my own eyes the gorgeous gowns with the tiny price tags…shop it, believe it! I love it because it will leave more for your décor budget!

Bring your Mom. The Dressing Room is the best place for her to find something gorgeous to wear (so many dresses available in so many colors and fabrics.) Not to mention Judy is the hostess with the mostess, I can attest to that! You will both have so much fun!

J.W. Mitchell Prom - 2 May 2009

The junior’s of JW Mitchell High threw the best prom of the year at Raymond James Stadium. Decked out like royalty, students entered the stadium to find a “future city” complete with shimmering crystals, stretch shapes and large scale LED lighting that changed throughout the evening. Congratulations class of 2010 for planning such a great prom!

Cristine and Brian's Wedding - 28 March 2009

The wedding of two artists, by nature, could never be ordinary. Accordingly, the wedding of Cristine to Brian took place at Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales in front of the sundial on the bell tower and was celebrated in the main gallery of the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, FL. On this windy day guests enjoyed unique treats such as dulcimer music, parmesan lollipops served in the sculpture garden, and a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” film made in honor of the bride and groom. The “family heritage” theme of the wedding carried through in many ways, two of which were worth special notice. The first was the incredible wire sculpted tree created in a joint effort by the bride and groom for a wishing tree (the couple’s new last name literally means “tree garden.”) The second was the lavish buffet by Events by Amore that started with food from the couples heritage, Polish and German and ended with western cuisine inspired by their move to Colorado. Each food display held pictures of the bride and groom’s family and all food was served on mini artist pallets. The divine flowers, by La Vie en Rose, were true works of art, adding to the beautiful surroundings. Truly the best part of the wedding was witnessing the love of Brian & Cristine, we wish them many blessings.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Wedding of Rachelle & AJ de Moya - 21 March 2009

We had three months to plan a “Love is in Bloom!” themed wedding for Rachelle and AJ and their 180 guests. Working with Rachelle and AJ was a great experience filled with laughter and collaboration, we were sad when it came to an end. They weren’t sad; they were off to a month long honeymoon in Africa!
The festivities began at their rehearsal dinner held at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City complete with a cigar roller, ceramic pitchers filled with sunflowers and the spectacular flamenco show. The party continued on their wedding day with a pre-ceremony dinner for 180 at the Tampa Club. With its stunning views from the 42nd floor and its amazing food, the Tampa Club was a show-stopping way to begin the wedding evening. The table scapes were works of art. Each table held a three foot chocolate brown Manzanita tree decorated with flower pomanders and butterflies, 3 iridescent amber glass pillar candle holders with hand poured ivory candles and three arrangements of roses and ranunculus wrapped in fuchsia dupioni silk. Each guest found their name card in a gold frame at their place setting graced with a gold beaded glass charger with a fuchsia menu under the glass accented with a silk monarch butterfly. Sounds of the Harp and Flute duoMusic by Melody filled the air. After dinner guests were taken by motor coach to the magnificent Sacred Heart Church for the wedding ceremony. The bride changed from her dinner gown into a wedding gown with a sweeping train, custom white gold and diamond cross (a wedding gift from the groom) and a huge bouquet of white freesia, ranunculus, hydrangea and roses adorned with a vintage gold rosary from Cuba (the groom’s grandmother’s.) She was chauffeured with her wedding party by a white stretch hummer while her groom to be and the two best men followed in a vintage Rolls Royce. Premier Limousine provided all the transportation and did a great job despite the bike race clogging up downtown Tampa!
After the full catholic mass, guests were shuttled to their final location at the newly built ballroom of the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel. A draped hallway, back lit a soft orange, set the stage as guest entered the reception. Dramatic lighting in soft pink, yellow and orange lit the long and narrow space accenting the end walls with dramatic lacey patterns. Two gorgeous handmade butterfly chandeliers flowed over the event space. Measuring nearly ten feet long, they were custom designed and built out of white feather butterflies and strands of oval mirrors. Spot lights danced off the mirrors of the chandeliers. At one end guests mingled around our 16 foot acrylic bar, the other end held a 24x24’ pure white dance floor complete with a soft pink dance floor monogram. The wedding rocked to top 40 and classic Cuban songs played by The Fifth Avenue Band. A spectacular five tiered wedding cake by Chocolate Pi stood on a silver stand in the center of the room. Linens and tables varied in height and style around the room. From high tops covered in Cerise Lamour to cabarets surrounding the dance floor in Buttercup Lamour the linens created a gorgeous canvas for the many silk wrapped arrangements of roses and ranunculus. Silver chivari chairs and bar stools with Buttercup Lamour chair pads provided seating for the many guests. Six, four foot chocolate brown Manzanita trees draped with crystals and butterflies topped the large reserved family tables. Guests feasted on a late night buffet while they danced and enjoyed the river view terrace complete with a steel drum musician. At the close of the evening guests took home monogrammed boxes of wedding cake, floral favor boxes filled with chocolate covered strawberries (a nod to the bride) and boxes of lily bulbs. The festivities ended with the bride and groom running through a corridor of giant sparklers to their waiting vintage Rolls Royce. Along the way Limelight Photography caught every smile and gesture of affection with Voila Cinematic next to them filming every minute. Rachelle and AJ’s wedding was truly spectacular, befitting a couple whose love is dazzling.
Befitting the “Love is in Bloom” theme of the wedding, the wedding of Rachelle and AJ de Moya introduced the floral division of MMD Events. We look forward to creating the total design of your wedding…

All photographs below are thanks to Limelight Photography.

Gasparilla Film Festival Closing Night Gala - 7 March 2009

There was an inferno down town at the Tampa Firefighters Museum as the hottest in Tampa Bay gathered to close the week long Gasparilla Film Festival. We turned up the heat with specialty lighting in orange and red with motion lights licking like flames at the ceiling. White panels of draping cooled things down and lounges spread throughout the room gave guests a place to sit and watch the action. The VIP lounge was lit red and draped entirely in white fabric. It featured our new round white button tucked ottoman. Food was abundantly provided by Events by Amore and the gala was coordinated by the divine Monica Varner, a film festival board member.

Westin Tampa Bay Airport Grand Opening - 5 March 2009

We were so privileged to be the event design company chosen to plan the grand opening for the new Westin Tampa Bay Airport! Working closely with the Westin staff, especially the fabulous Graziella Brongo, we concieved a design integrating Westin brand design themes and colors. The lighting in the lobby washed the ceiling in watery aqua while spotlights highlighted large manzanita trees “growing” phalenapsis orchids and brilliant blue butterflies – all Westin brand symbols. Guests moved through the lobby to a partially tented outdoor area where guests noshed on incredible food provided by Aqua Knox Restaurant, located within the Westin. Guests drank “Westin Baytinis” and enjoyed a full liquor bar served from our brand new back-lit acrylic bars. Each bar was topped with 20 gallon displays of coral and aqua colored coy fish – more Westin brand icons. As guests enjoyed the lounges placed on the ornately lit patio, an extravagant fire works display illuminated the night sky. Over 500 guests were in attendance; it was a successful party to mark the beginning of a succesful new hotel. Congratulations, Westin Tampa Bay Airport!