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Events by Divine Creations

Bridal Show This Sunday

by Valerie DiVecchio 1. February 2013 15:10
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For all you recently engaged couples out there, one of the biggest bridal shows - The Great Bridal Expo - is happening this Sunday, February 3rd at the Tampa Convention Center.  While Divine Creations will not have a booth there, you can check out one of our floral centerpiece creations at The Chart House's table.  There is a fee to attend and you can get more info at www.greatbridalexpo.com.

Words of wisdom regarding bridal shows... there is no requirement for number of years you have been in business or number of weddings you have actually worked to get a booth at a bridal show.  All it takes is a little bit of money to pay the exhibition fee.  While there are very good vendors - like The Chart House and others - who display at bridal shows, there are also vendors who are new to the industry and have little to no experience.  Be prepared to ask questions, ask for references, ask to see pictures of their work and remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Rookies to the industry will often cut prices in order to build a portfolio... do you really want them to be practicing their trade at your wedding?  And the biggest tip... do not sign any contracts!  Book a consultation so that you have time to do your homework before meeting with them.  And if they say the discounted price is only good if you book that day - walk away.  You'll be glad you did!

Here is a sneak peek of the centerpiece we will have on display!

Where Did the Time Go?

by Valerie DiVecchio 30. January 2013 14:14
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I simply cannot believe that I haven't blogged since before the RNC!  The second half of the year was a complete whirlwind... large event for the City of Tampa, then the RNC came to town on top of more weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and corporate retreats and holiday parties.  2012 was the best year yet for Events by Divine Creations - well, in very way except for keeping up with social media... oops!  I'm currently going through all of my pictures in order to post "A Review of 2012" so be looking for me to post that up any day now - well, let's be honest... by early next week!

25 Day Countdown!

by Valerie DiVecchio 1. August 2012 16:03
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I know I've been a little slack on blogging lately, but I, like all of the other businesses in the hospitality industry, will blame it on the RNC!  Don't get me wrong - I'm so not complaining.  I'm extremely grateful that I get to play a part in planning one of the events happening that week, but the pressure is on!  25 days until it starts - eek!  If you haven't seen the logo that the Tampa Bay Business Journal created, it looks really cool.  Nothing against the official logo, but the elephant waving a pirate flag is #1 in my book!

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Think Beyond White for Your Wedding

by Valerie DiVecchio 19. July 2012 15:51
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We use flowers to share joy, sorrow, love, excitement and many other emotions. They also say that flower is the language of love and consequently at a wedding one would expect to see beautiful flowers - lots of them to confirm that magic love.

Brides have different tastes that are reflected in their choices of dresses and style of ceremonies; flowers are great opportunities to display your personal preferences and provide a sense of uniqueness to your wedding day and overall ceremony.  Just as you spend time choosing your wedding dress because you want it to be perfect, do not neglect the floral considerations necessary to match your style and overall wedding’s theme. There are no rules about the colors and the types of wedding flowers you should use. Therefore, think beyond white and make an effort to integrate your preferences into your overall wedding theme. Many gorgeous weddings contained brightly, vivid bouquets and table arrangements.  Based on your wedding’s theme there are many flowers that can capture and complement the style chosen and lend that unforgettable luster to your day and memory you want your guests to take away and keep with you. Flowers bring colors and life to a wedding ceremony and theme. 

Be sure to have your favorite flowers displayed in a creative and gorgeous arrangement and no one does this in a more professional way than Divine Creations. 

       

Green Partying

by Valerie DiVecchio 5. July 2012 10:35
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No, I'm not talking about St. Patrick's Day green beer or the color of your face if you drink too much of it... I'm talking about throwing an eco-friendly party!  Being eco-friendly and going green are very in vogue these days.  We all care about the earth and its future so why not include some elements to reduce the environmental impact while you celebrate?!

Every December my husband and I have a party for the holidays where the same group of friends come together because with busy lives sometimes it's the only time we have to catch up once a year.  Years ago I started putting out the recycling bins next to the trash cans and posting signs saying "Santa Says Recycle".  It's an easy thing to do that makes a big difference... although when we put out the recycling bins on trash day, we're sure we get some comments as the neighbors drive by!

Another easy thing to do is send an electronic e-mail invitation using sites such as www.evite.com.  They have cute graphics for pretty much any occasion and all you have to do is input your wording, import e-mail addresses and hit send!  Not only is it super easy, but it also saves you money and time but cutting out buying paper invitations, addressing all the envelopes and paying for postage.

This next tip takes a little extra time, but if we're taking being eco-friendly, it's a biggie.  Use regular plates and glasses instead of disposable ones.  If you have the storage, you could purchase "themed" dinner sets to be used year after year.  Or if your guest list outnumbers the plates in your cabinets, there are plenty of party rental companies that you can rent everything from plates to flatware to every kind of glass you can imagine. 

And my last tip that works for pretty much any party - use paper lanterns (light up or not) instead of balloons which are not often biodegradable.  They have a cool effect and come in a wide variety of colors.  They work for birthday parties, holiday parties - even weddings!  And they look fantastic strung over a patio or courtyard setting.

So now you have some tips as you look forward to Labor Day BBQs, Halloween parties and the upcoming holidays which are always full of festivities.  So party with an impact!

Corporate Events That Motivate Employees

by Valerie DiVecchio 7. June 2012 16:19
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Are you the one who hates to hear those 5 dreaded words come out of your boss's mouth... "Wanna plan the holiday party?"?  Well, here comes Divine Creations to the rescue!  From holiday parties to company retreats to customer appreciation days, we have some tips to help you shine and maybe even get that promotion you've been eyeing!

Money talks!  Before doing anything, find out what the budget is and an estimated headcount.  Are spouses or significant others going to be invited?  How about children?  The more people, the higher the costs because that's more food, more drinks, more tables which equal more linens, centerpieces... well, you get the picture.  You may plan the perfect party, but the boss won't be happy if you go over budget!

Location, location, location.  That's right... it's not just for real estate anymore.  Selecting the right location can make or break your party.  Before you pick a venue there are a couple of things to consider: what type of atmosphere are you wanting to create - elegant or festive?  Do you what to have a theme?  Is it more suited for a hotel ballroom or an outdoor attraction?  Does the senior management want to be able to address the guests or is it more of a mix and mingle?  All of these answers are going to help drive you to booking the right location.

Hire the right vendors.  Believe it or not, not everything you read on-line is true (except for this blog - it's all true!).  Anyone can pay to put up a good looking website, but are they qualified to cater your event or provide the type of entertainment you desire?  You definitely want to thoroughly research your vendor options.  How much experience do they have?  Do they have the proper licenses and insurance?  Ask for references - particularly corporate references.  It might not be as relevant if you speak to a bride.

Hire a professional to help you.  It's a common misperception that hiring an event planner is expensive.  In fact, 9 times out of 10 I save my clients' more money than what it costs to hire me.  By hiring a professional, you can convey your objectives and your vision and let the professional find all of the right pieces to put together to make that vision come to life.  I always chuckle when I think about a client (a large international Fortune 500 company with hundreds of employees and numerous offices) who hired me to plan their company holiday party because they had a profitable year and could "afford to spend a little more" by hiring me.  When all was said and done, I was actually able to save them $50,000 from what they spent the previous year and create a winter wonderland that kept their employees talking year round!

So when you hear those 5 dreaded words this year, you can smile instead of cringing because you have a secret weapon to help plan it all, within budget and make everyone happy, including the boss... that secret weapon is Events by Divine Creations!  Let us help you be a guest at your own event!

5 More Mistakes in Wedding Planning

by Valerie DiVecchio 24. May 2012 17:03
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So was last week's blog about the top 5 mistakes or are these mistakes the top 5?  Hard to tell because they all can lead to an awful wedding planning experience!  Read on to learn how to avoid these pitfalls so that you make it to down the aisle calm, cool and collected!

Continuing on with Nina Callaway's top 10 mistakes with Events by Divine Creations two cents thrown in:

Mistake #6 - This one has to do with knowing your budgetary limits and constrains.  I know that we already mentioned this one before, but at Events by Divine Creations, we understand why she put it in there twice.  I've experienced some awkward moments with couples sitting in front of me arguing about money.  Save your sanity (and mine) and know what you are willing to spend up front and stick to it... unless of course you win the lottery while planning your big day!

Mistake #7 - This mistake involves the consumption of alcohol.  Many couples tend to spend the night prior to their weddings out drinking and getting trashed.  They wake on their wedding day with puffy skin, headache or worse not being able to enjoy their big day.  At Events by Divine Creations we always recommend that the bachelor/ bachelorette parties be many weeks before the wedding.  As for the rehearsal dinner, I always make sure that couples and their attendants understand what can happen if they party too hard the night before (or for goodness sake, the afternoon of the wedding day - eek!).  I've seen groomsmen pass out during a wedding ceremony before (that's when I added smelling salts to my emergency kit...).  If you're going to drink, that's perfectly fine, but alternate it with water.  Watching yourself stumble and slur on your wedding video doesn't create great memories! 

Mistake #8 - Not taking others into consideration during the ceremony and celebrations afterwards.  It is worth remembering that although it is your big day you are also the hosts and you need to show your guests your appreciation in taking the time to come celebrate with you.  Okay, here I need to disagree a little bit with Ms. Callaway.  Yes, your guests might have travel great distance to come celebrate or taken time off work or bought you an expensive gift, but I have rarely seen 100+ people gather together and everyone be satisified.  Music's too loud, DJ talks too much, seated in the back of the room, seated at the same table with Aunt Susie who they can't stand... the list goes on and on.  Be gracious and be conscientious, but it will turn your hair gray to try and make all of your guests happy.  Most important thing is that the two of you are happy!

Mistake #9 - Not involving your future husband.  Make sure to set aside a meeting time and you’ll be surprised to find that you can brainstorm on many ideas together and support each other during this crucial period.  We see a lot of future husbands participate in meetings at Events by Divine Creations.  There are some real troopers who will smile through a two hour meeting about flowers, but most are concerned about 3 things - food, bar and entertainment.  Let them make a few decisions.  It will actually help take the load off the bride who 95% of the time is juggling the entire planning on her own...  unless of course she hired us!

And Mistake #10 - This one is losing perspective.  Many people get bogged down in the small details and neglect the important issues. Make sure to focus on the big issues.  At Events by Divine Creations, I say to my clients... "you can plan and plan, but sometimes life happens".  If you are so focused on whether the cocktail napkin is the right shade of pink or the band leader forgot to have your father-in-law speak at the right time during the reception, you are going to ruin your night.  All you will remember is the stress and anger that things didn't go your way.  Never lose perspective that you are marrying the person that you love and starting a new life together - that's the most important thing.

19% of all marriages end in divorce within their first  year or never make it to the alter at all.  At Events by Divine Creations we can help break the planning process into bite-size, manageable pieces thus giving couples time to prepare for a successful marriage and not just their wedding day.  The best way to avoid all of these mistakes?  Hire a professional event planner that you can work with to guide you through all of these issues.  You will spare yourself a lot of drama, frustrations, and stress and find the time to enjoy your big day to the fullest. 

Top 10 Mistakes of Wedding Planning

by Valerie DiVecchio 17. May 2012 16:07
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Planning a wedding can be a daunting and overwhelming task putting a lot of pressures on the couple-to-be just at the time they should be able to enjoy the celebration of their love and future life together.  It does not need to be that way.  To that end, Nina Callaway, has flagged ten frequent mistakes people make when planning their weddings as well as providing some suggestions on best ways of avoiding them. 

Mistake #1 - Couples often go into their planning process without a theme for their ceremony.  They usually end up with a ceremony that has a lack of personality. The best way to compensate for that is to settle on a theme reflecting what they want to share of their lives and aspirations.  To Divine Creations a theme for a wedding doesn't mean casino night or magical forest unless that speaks to you, but it can be as simple as the colors you incorporate or selecting food from places you have or want to travel.

Mistake #2 - This one has to do with financial planning and available resources.  Many people, Callaway argues, go into the wedding planning exercise having no clue of “the meaning of the word budget,” much less knowing how much they have or need for a successful ceremony within their means.  The best way to avoid headaches on this is to know your budget and what is important and what is not.  At Divine Creations we help our clients save money by negotiating their contracts because we are able to leverage our relationships with vendors and obtain better pricing for our clients.

Mistake #3 - Forgetting what a wedding really means.  One should keep in mind that the main event is the wedding ceremony; the reception afterward is just the celebration. Here at Divine Creations, we strive to help you reduce stress and free up some precious time so that you can prepare for your marriage and not just the big day.

Mistake #4 - Not identifying the master of your ceremony.  It will be useful to make sure that your personality meshes well with your choice of officiant and DJ or band leader.   At Divine Creations we will set up meetings with these indviduals so our clients can get a sense of their style and personality.  Afterall they are the ones with the microphone and if the sound of their voice is like nails on a chalkboard to you, that could be a problem!

Mistake #5 - The weather.  Many people simply do not give any thoughts as to the possibility of rain on their wedding day.  It is important to always plan for things going wrong (like rains or storms or hurricanes!), especially for those planning outdoor ceremonies.  At Divine Creations we always ensure that there is a back-up indoor location so the show can go on!

Next week I will share with you five more mistakes to round out the top 10 list.  If reading the first five mistakes give you heart palpitations, give Divine Creations a call so we can help you save time, stress and money!

It's Been A While...

by Valerie DiVecchio 10. May 2012 05:23
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So, it's pretty safe to say that I've been a bit neglectful on my blog as of late.  What the heck, it's been more than a "bit"!  Life sometimes can get busy with lots of exciting changes happening and the next thing you know a whole year (or more!) passes by without telling people about it.  Well, that will no longer be the case here!

According to the Dominic - 4 monthsChinese zodiac, 2011 was the year of the rabbit.  For the DiVecchio household and Events by Divine Creations, it was the year of change, but in a really good way.  Both personally and professionally, expansion was the  name of the game.  On November 29th I had a beautiful baby boy, Dominic Joseph... and boy, oh boy, did that flip our world inside out and upside down!  It was quite the adjustment, but worth every sleepless night.  I used to be the type of person who had to have a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night, but it's amazing how fast you can adapt if needed!  You would have never found me blogging at 4:00 in the morning ever before! 

Events by Divine Creations also grew this past year.  We moved into a new Korman Centerpiecelocation three doors down from our previous spot into a larger storefront.  In addition to event planning, we also added flowers and decor for all special events to our list of services.  We have an amazing designer who is the most creative and talented floral designer that I have ever met.  Martha Stewart is a novice compared to Eva in my opinion!  We also launched a website that showcases our floral work - www.flowersbydivinecreations.com so do be sure to visit us there and "like" us on Facebook.

So what does 2012 hold?  For me personally, hopefully an occasional full night's sleep once again!  And for Events by Divine Creations, it's sure to bring continued quality work, creative and innovative ideas and a lot more blogging!

Tips on Tipping

by Valerie DiVecchio 29. October 2010 10:48
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I've had several clients tell me lately that they read articles about not tipping if the person providing the service is the owner of that business.  I'm actually quite surprised at that thought.  The person who cuts my hair is the owner of the salon yet I still tip her.  The massage therapist - on the rare occasion I get to go - owns his own business, but I still tip him.  Why is it different in the event industry?

What people don't realize is that the owners of the business are the ones who have the higher overhead - they pay the rent, insurance, salaries of other employees, utilities, etc.  It's always your discretion and usually only for service providers, not for those who give you something tangible (although that's not always the case).  My personal rule of thumb is that if you feel that the person has done an amazing job, gone above and beyond and played a part in making your event incredible, and you are in a position to do so, gratuity is a nice way to express your thanks - whether they own the company or not. 

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Valerie DiVecchio Valerie DiVecchio

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Divine Creations

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