I am a huge believer in being at the right place at the right time and Sarah and Kevin were at the right place at the right time when they met teaching at the same school here in Las Vegas.
It was incredibly hard to have a bad day if Danielle (Dani), AJ, and their families were around. My face hurt from laughing on several occasions after being around them.
Inspired by Liene Stevens of Splendid Communications and her blog post on "The Day Martha Stewart Emailed" as well as Leila Khalil of Be Inspired PR and her post on "Being Grateful Gives Back", I decided to put together a list of those special people who have inspired me and helped make Green Orchid Events what it is today. This is what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving (well, and all year round of course!). First and foremost - All my wonderful clients who have put their trust in me.
Andrea Eppolito, Director of Special Events & Catering for Sushi Roku & BOA Steakhouse at the Forum Shops. I contacted Andrea a few years ago inquiring about a position. While she did not have a position available (only an internship), she asked me to come in and we chatted and talked about my goals and so also revised my resume. She seems to always be rooting for me. She has been a great mentor to me. While she may not have realized it, she gave me the confidence to continue on in the event industry when I was losing hope and helped me land a job at Wynn Las Vegas. From there, she has continued to cheer me on as I started my own event planning business!
Tracey Kumer-Moore of Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge for your friendship and continuing support.
Christie McCoy of CLM Weddings. I've learned so much from you. Thank you for allowing me to be an intern for all of your great weddings you have planned! It's fun looking at your portfolio from a few year's ago and being able to say, "I was there!"
Angelica McDonnell for your loyalty and dedication to the company. Angelica has been my assistant at every wedding since last summer. She is a Wedding Day Coordinator and continues to learn with me everyday!
All of the fabulous interns who have assisted me on the weddings the last two years!
NACE (National Association of Catering Executives)
Photographers who have happily sent me photos from our weddings together. Without you, I would have no portfolio to show to potential future clients.
- Alt F
- Chelsea Nicole
- Denise Hoogland
- Digs Studio
- Elegant Images
- Imagine Photography
- Images by Ingrid
- Sheer Elegance Photography
- Studio 563 (from Texas)
Liene Stevens - The Smart Planner and Splendid Communications - I've learned so much from your blog and I'm so happy we were able to meet in Las Vegas at the Blogging Bootcamp!
Andy Ebon of the Wedding Marketing Blog
All the floral designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, entertainers, cake bakers, and venues that I've had the pleasure of working with on all the lovely weddings!
My husband for pushing me to start my own business. My sister, family, and friends for putting up with my insane schedule.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I'm not up for a Grammy or an Oscar...but I sincerely hope I haven't missed anyone...
So what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Amber and Bill are getting married tomorrow! Amber is a Las Vegas native who lives in New York! How fun and exciting!
Their wedding is inspired by the glitz and glamour of 1950s/1960s Las Vegas and will take place at Red Rock Casino following a church ceremony at Guardian Angel Cathedral.
P.S. I can't wait to see the showgirls. And no, I'm not being sarcastic.
Three years ago today, Derek and I were married. It was the hottest day of the year in 2006. Please thank my Feng Shui master for helping me pick that day. Actually, she gave me a bunch of dates but I didn't want to wait until September to get married! I truly believe that every wedding is beautiful. Every bride has a different style and different wants and needs for her special day.
I wasn't very much of a girly girl and wasn't too big into decor. I didn't care about fancy linens and didn't care much for an extravagant ceremony altar piece. The Four Seasons Hotel was kind enough to provide standard but pretty floor length linens (all I cared about was that they were floor lengh) and an overlay and chargers (usually upgrades). My focus was the food and service. I wanted to be taken care of and I wanted the staff to be attentive. I picked the Four Seasons Hotel because I wanted a venue that was naturally beautiful and that didn't need a lot of "work". I had more important things to do than pick out a swatch of fabric and worry about centerpieces. I hated chair covers but couldn't imagine spending $10+ per chair for an upgrade (over $40 for my guest list of 41). Thankfully their banquet chairs were pretty nice. So, no thanks on the chair rentals. That $400 can go towards an open bar. Dinner wasn't too fancy but a duet of filet mignon and sea bass doesn't come cheap there. We also had an open bar and wine service for dinner. And you wanna know what people remember about OUR wedding day? My husband doing the worm dance during our reception and the flowing drinks.
Please note: Everything mentioned in this post about style reflects my personal taste and has nothing to do with how I plan weddings as a professional wedding planner. As a wedding planner, I love looking through different swatches of fabric with a bride, deciding on which flowers will go in the bride's bouquet, and talking about event lighting to create an ambiance for the wedding reception. I do not encourage a couple to spend all of her money on food and beverage if that is not important to them. And, most importantly, I love attending big fancy parties when I'm not the center of attention.
Here's a glimpse into my own Las Vegas wedding:
My sister and I went to Robert Cromean's Salon at Mandalay Bay to get our hair done. We had so much fun with our stylists. I gave them two photos I liked but told them to do whatever they wanted. As long as I had volume and had my hair half up and half down, I was happy. They thought I was the coolest bride.
After we left Robert Cromean's, we checked into our beautiful 180 degree strip view suite. We all (me, Derek, and the bridal party) had lunch in the little dining room area. It was so much fun and relaxing. The few hours spent with Derek and my bridal party was one of the highlights of the entire day. I then got my makeup done in the bedroom while the guys watched Austin Powers in the living room. Yup, I don't really care about tradition except that Derek wanted to see me for the first time in my dress at the ceremony site.
Our wedding ceremony at the balcony off the Mesquite Room. I didn't want an arch, or a chuppah, or any flowers.
Personalized unity candle with the Irish Wedding Blessing. The breeze didn't allow us to light it and I'm not keen on the whole sand ceremony thing. I believe I got this off of ebay. It wasn't until after the wedding that my mom told me I'm not supposed to have a white candle at my wedding. It's bad luck in the Chinese culture. Oops.
On the grand staircase. My mom was not happy that I didn't wear a veil or a tiara. She said I was missing something as a bride and needed a veil. I don't agree.
With my sister and Maid of Honor Jennifer. Michelle Farber of Fleur de Lis did an amazing job on my flowers. I love the huge full roses and green cymbidium orchids (my favorite of course!). I added a 4 leaf clover brooch in honor of Derek's Irish heritage.
My mom made this bamboo arrangement for luck and bought these Chinese bobbleheads from Chinatown.
Family friend and talented pianist Jim played piano during the cocktail hour.
The beautiful Mesquite Room with windows!
Final group shot. Apparently, shots were included in my bar package. ;)
One of my favorite photos of us:
All photos by Advanced Photographics.
Donya called me in February of this year to book my wedding planning services for her June 6th wedding. She and Robert had a touching story. This was their 3rd planned wedding and the previous two were canceled due to family tragedies. Despite all of that, Donya was always upbeat, positive, and cheery and I know she's been surrounded by great support and love her entire life. So they decided to plan the third wedding rather quickly! Besides the venue and the floral designer, they didn't have anything else booked when they called me. So with less than four months until their big day, we got right to work! Donya and Robert are two very kind and sweet human beings. I loved working with Donya and met Robert briefly while they were out here for their engagement session. Donya kept me challenged with all of her requests and ideas and I thoroughly enjoy working with her!
The ceremony was a "production show" and a wedding ceremony combined and timing was crucial: the ladies arrived to the ceremony site on a yacht, the bridal party had to be sent down the aisle, the ribbon dancers and band and strings and gospel choir all had to be cued at different times throughout the ceremony and from all different directions, the gondola exit following the ceremony had to arrive on time to whisk the newlyweds away for twenty minutes...and Sam Day the wedding painter and Digs Studio were there to capture all of the special moments!
The ladies arrived to the ceremony in style on the Lady of the Lake yacht.
Their theme of "In the Water, On the Land, On the Mountain, In the Sky" was carried throughout their wedding ceremony and reception.
Mountain Top Gospel Choir
Our beautiful bride Donya
Donya and Robert
Sparkler Grand Exit:
Finally, check out this lovely lovely video by Digs Studio.
Wedding Planner: Green Orchid Events Venue: Reflection Bay, Lake Las Vegas Photography/Cinematography: Digs Studio Floral Designer: Naakiti Floral Design Yacht: Lady of the Lake, Lake Las Vegas Marina Gondola: Gondola Adventures Officiant: Bride's uncle - Jerry James Ceremony Music: Duo Mystique, Mountain Top Choir and Band provided by Carla Marrero of Marketing Revolution DJ: Good Vibrations DJs Ribbon Dancers: Karin Lawson of KAML Enterprises, LLC Wedding Painter: Sam Day Wedding Cake: Tiers of Joy Chocolate Fountain: Eternally Chocolate Ice Sculpture: Ice Occasions Makeup: Makeup in the 702 Transportation: National Transportation Service
Donya and Robert are heading out on a lovely honeymoon in August to Rio de Janeiro!
Donya and Robert were married on Saturday, June 6th at Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas. Here's a preview of their wedding day. More photos and a fantastic video to come in the next few days. Thank you to the team at Digs!