6. February 2013 13:44
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Last week I blogged about 2012 being a busy but amazing year for Events by Divine Creations - in fact it was the best one yet! I could spend tons of time telling you all about it, but hey, they say a picture's worth a thousand words, right?! So without further ado, here are pictures from some of the great events we produced in 2012. I wanted to put a lot more, but uploading them took so long I figured if I pushed my luck another year would go by without another post!
Picture #1: Marlin's Bat Mitzvah at the Tampa International Jet Center; Picture #2: Allison and Eric's Wedding at the Renaissance International Plaza; Picture #3: Stacey and Brendon's Wedding at Tampa Yacht and Country Club; Pictures #4-6: RNC Reception for WellCare Health Plans at a private residence on Bayshore Boulevard; Pictures #7 and 8: Focus on Females HealthCare Symposium at the Tampa Convention Center; Picture #9: Joyoti and Eugene's Wedding at the Dali Museum; Picture #10: Tamar and Paul's Wedding at the Marriott Waterside.
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!
1. September 2010 19:23
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A very special couple was wed in a very special ceremony on February 20th at the Don Vicente Historic Inn in Ybor City. Eric is an officer in the United States Army currently stationed at MacDill. I call it a very special ceremony, not just because two great people found love and happiness, but also because at the conclusion of the ceremony there was a sword ceremony. I've only witnessed one other before a long time ago and it always left an impression on me. Seeing one up close and personal was really cool.
As Eric and Susan were pronounced husband and wife, they headed down the aisle together and came to uniformed officers lined up on both sides. Swords were raised, but then lowered as the passage through came with a price... a kiss. They were almost to the end when the last officer in line lowered his sword as Susan walked by and swatted her on the bum saying "Welcome to the Army, Mrs. Larsen". The entire room - including the bride and groom - burst out in laughter.
It was definitely a lasting impression and one that puts a smile on my face every time I think of their special day. One of the best welcomes I've witnessed in a long time!
Special thanks to Phillip Lloyd for capturing these great shots!
5. August 2010 10:06
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On March 13th Michelle and Jimmy tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at A La Carte Event Pavilion. They added a very special element to their wedding ceremony that was unique and very personal. Michelle and Jimmy had written private letters to each other expressing the love and joy they felt on this day, their wedding day. The letters were placed in sealed envelopes and placed in a locked box that also contained a bottle of wine. The officiant explained that if at a point in their lives they ever felt hurt, upset or frustrated, they are to open the box and the bottle of wine and read the letters they wrote to each other. And if that day never came, they could open it on a special anniversary and reflect upon this very special moment. I thought that was one of the coolest concepts I've seen.
After the ceremony, came the party... and boy, was it a party! Since Michelle is Puerto Rican she wanted to bring some of her cultural heritage into their wedding. Michelle hired a dancer who came in and taught their guests all kinds of Latin dance moves - salsa, merengue, rumba... all the favorites! As her guests learned the dance moves, Michelle slipped away and changed into a sexy, dancing dress and came out to surprise her guests - and her new husband - with a salsa number that she had been learning in class. The crowd loved it and she was great!
The terrace room was decked out with an elegant silk ceiling treatment and vignettes hung strategically around the room all uplit in pink. The centerpieces were gorgeous and full with roses, peonies and hydrangea with large strands of crystals hanging from the tall vases. The chandeliers were full of candles and crystals giving the room that soft, romantic feel throughout the evening. Luxurious copper pintuck linens completed the look of all of the tables. We brought in lounge furniture for the outdoor terrace so all the guys were nice and relaxed as the ladies took to the dance floor. Michelle even had a percussionist playing live with the DJ so that the music was that much more intense and the dance floor that much more jumpin'! She also hired a photo booth that was a huge hit and as the drinks flowed, the photo booth pictures got more and more funny!
At the end of the evening, Michelle and Jimmy were happy and full of smiles. They looked like they had the time of their lives and I wish them a lifetime of love, laughter and special memories like the ones that I share with them of their beautiful wedding day!
7. July 2010 11:25
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It might have been a nice, sunny day outside the Intercontinental Hotel on January 23rd, but inside was a different story! It was Ben's bar mitzvah complete with his very own winter wonderland. The theme was BRR which had a double meaning - first the obvious, cold, winter... you get the picture; second meaning was a personal one - those are his initials!
Little touches of winter were everywhere: large lit up ice cubes on the dance floor, acrylic bars made to look like ice; a 200 pound ice carving with his initials and the ice luge for BRR-tinis... for the adults of course! The colors were blue and silver (new rule at Divine Creations after this event - clients need to pay to have chair covers installed professionally... my back can't take that anymore!) and the table names all incorporated the theme from the traditional like "Old Man Winter" to the not-so-traditional like "Yellow Snow" (funny, but ewww...).
Ben also had the ultimate "cool" entrance for his introduction... the doorway filled with fog and through the fog came Ben in a trench coat with a beautiful girl wearing a glittery, snowy mask on each arm. As he made his way onto the dance floor, off came the trench coat to reveal the white tuxedo underneath!
The intention for the evening might have been to incorporate the cold, but the evening was everything but. The love that was shared among family and friends helped to heat up the night and the party! Mazel Tov Ben!
21. May 2010 11:56
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On the night of January 16th, I saw more than a year's worth of planning come to life in the most amazing way. It was Zoe's bat mitzvah and it was spectacular. I reflected back on the day when Zoe's mom Mary Ann walked into my office and pulled a pair of pajamas out of her purse. That's how it all began.
You see Zoe loves polka dots and animals - especially dogs. The pajamas Mary Ann showed me were polka dotted in many of Zoe's favorite colors. So that's how we got her theme - polka dots and puppies. I was a little nervous at first thinking how I was going to pull those two elements together, but not for long. The fun, creative side took over! We paired up with some amazing vendors and that night turned A La Carte Event Pavilion into Zoe's Dog Park complete with floor to ceiling draped walls, amazing lighting effects and the most adorable centerpieces - all to be donated to the children's hospital afterwards. The night featured an incredible dinner for the approximately 100 kids and 250 adults, as well as a DJ and 16-piece band that kept everyone up and dancing.
Of course it wouldn't be a party without a few glitches. Thankfully the glitches were during the day and none of the guests knew anything about them. You see, the Shriners had their annual meeting at A La Carte the same day, and Zoe's party was to begin at 6:00... the Shriners' meeting ended at 3! Luckily they were gracious enough to allow us to drape the room in fabric the day before otherwise that would have never happened. So that morning our team of talent arrived to start setting up. We had the Great Hall and Terrace Room empty but only the smallest, back section of the ballroom. Imagine about 25 tables crammed in this little space as we try to cover them with spandex. It was a sight! It was also a little painful when one of the large round tables collapsed as I was stretching spandex over the top... and I caught it with my thighs! Thankfully the adrenaline was pumping and I didn't feel it - until the next day!
So once the Shriners' meeting broke, it was mayhem! The band had to load in, the special dance floor had to be placed and then covered in polka dots, the AV wall and plasmas had to be installed, all of the tables and chairs had to be dropped in place and then set... you get the picture. I don't think we stopped moving for a second. And then the magic happened. As the first guests began arriving, the room was finished. You could actually hear a collective sigh of relief from all of the vendors who worked so hard in helping to pull all of the pieces together. And you know what made it all worth every second... when Zoe threw her arms around me and gave me the biggest hug and said two little words - thank you! The smile on her and her family's face was all the thanks I needed!
Pictures Below: 1) View of corner of room with custom made bar and tables, 2) Close up of centerpiece, 3) One of the dog park settings in the Great Hall, 4) Entrance to building, 5) Gift table, 6) Place card table
23. February 2010 18:33
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Carol and Mike were married 30 years ago and unfortunately things didn't work out. They divorced and went their separate ways and on with their lives. Years go by, they each get remarried and what once was seemed like a blip in the radar screen. Then out of the blue, 30 years later they found each other again. The sparks of first love flew and last summer Carol and Mike were remarried by a friend at the courthouse who knew them "back then".
On January 9th, before moving away to start their new life in California, Carol and Mike threw a grand celebration to celebrate their reunion with about 50 of their closest family and friends. They had the most perfect invitations - "sometimes it ends where it all began" and I had my first expereince with arranging centerpieces! Thank goodness Carol went with simple loose stems! Held at the Davis Islands Garden Club, the party was to take place outside on the patio overlooking the water. We had plans for stringing white lanterns across the ceiling, uplighting the trees and having delicate drapes blowing in the breeze. Well, January 9th turned out to be one of the coldest nights of the year with the temperature dipping down into the 30s. So... Plan B! Everything was moved inside - lounge area and tables on one side, food on the other and dancing in between. It turned out to be a great evening, filled with dancing and laughter and love.
So it just goes to show you that sometimes love never does die... it just needs to be rekindled. Best wishes Carol and Mike for a lifetime of happiness!
13. November 2009 16:40
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Okay, I have seen some really cool things that brides and grooms do to personalized their weddings, but on October 10th I saw something that was really awesome! Shay and Anthony were married at Christ the King Catholic Church and their reception was at Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club. It was a fairly large wedding with about 250 guests. Shay's nationality is German and Anthony's is Italian and Spanish. They wanted to incorporate their heritage into their wedding and believe me, they did it with style!
There were several unique elements that they brought to their special day - cigar table, candy table, gelato machine instead of a wedding cake, but their entrance into the reception was one that I will remember for a long time. On all of the guest tables, there were flags of all kinds of nationalities; primarily USA, Germany, Spain, and Italy. Shay even organized it so that the flags on each table matched the guests' nationality. So during the main entrance when they walked into the room, all of the guests were waving their flags. It was an amazing site and it jumped the energy in the room up tenfold!
They had a beautiful reception all the way around, but those special elements around their culture were the things that had the guests talking and had me totally impressed!
30. October 2009 16:56
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No, not for me! For Chris and Michele's wedding! On October 3rd, two of the police's finest officers were married at the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel in downtown Tampa. It was a beautiful ceremony and the couple took advantage of a great sunset for pictures that evening. It was the same night as the Metallica concert, but that didn't stop Michele and Chris from jumping into the hotel shuttle with their photographer and several heavy metal fans to hop over to the University of Tampa for some great sunset shots. If only those guys knew who they were riding with in the van!
The reception was beautiful in the Riverwalk ballroom, but it was the little special touches that made the evening extraordinary... and at times hilarious. First off, the favors were small boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. Get it... police officers and donuts? The guests acted "insulted", like they couldn't believe that one of their own played into the stereotype, but let me tell you those donuts were gone fast by the end of the night! And I do have to say they had one of the coolest cake toppers I have ever seen. It was a replica of the two of them in their police uniforms - down to the last detail. The back side of it was even funnier (go Michele!). Too cute!
Chris and Michele were my favorite kind of clients - relaxed, good natured and smiling the whole night long!!
9. June 2009 15:47
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This past Saturday, I had the honor and privilege of assisting with Felicia and Mike's wedding. I have been working with them since last August and it's amazing to see a couple's vision come to reality and know that you helped play a part in it. The wedding ceremony and reception was at the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel in downtown Tampa. Their new ballroom sits right along the water and has a great view of the University of Tampa. Their colors were chocolate brown and pink, and they incorporated a lot of little touches that really made the wedding special.
One example of those special touches were the way they did the place cards. Felicia's mom, Pat, put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears working on those place cards, but it was well worth it for they were a huge hit. Each place card was actually a pink votive candle in a glass holder. On the glass had the guest's name and table number as well as a ribbon that indicated their entree selection (all color coordinated with the wedding colors, of course). As the guests picked up their place card and came into the room, the staff lit their candles as they were seated which created a very romantic and elegant atmosphere. As I was setting up the room on Saturday, there was a site tour being done for another bride who was considering using the venue and her parents were fascinated with the place cards. As I've said before, it's often the little touches that leave a lasting impression.
Felicia and Mike wanted it to be a party after dinner was finished and partied they did! They purchased fun props and gave them to the DJ to distribute. As the evening went on and so did the drinking, out came the fun sunglasses, glow sticks and Hawaiian leis. The guests had a ball and the dance floor was hopping! I even sported a pair of funky blue sunglasses that the photographer caught on camera... I know I'm going to have to bribe him to delete that one!
At the end of the evening was my favorite part... huge smiles and thank yous from Felicia and Mike, as well as their parents and guests. I love what I do, and to be able to help make someone's wedding day be memorable and stress-free is an amazing feeling!
30. March 2009 13:04
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I am pleased to report that the Symposium was a huge success! I'm so delighted with how the entire day went that my aching feet are well worth it!! Over 1500 people attended and everyone from the attendees to the volunteers to the exhibitors were highly complimentary. And most importantly, my client was happy and that's what matters most to me!
There were several highlights to the day, but I have to say that the keynote address was very impactful. I have been planning this event for four years now and the one thing that I love about it is that I always learn something new. This year during the general session, several people spoke about their own health care scares. Heather Van Nest, co-anchor of the 10 Connects News, spoke on "putting yourself at the top of your to-do list". I am one of those people with a lengthy to-do list and this week I skimmed down it and low and behold, I'm not listed anywhere! So as I soaked in a long, hot bubble bath after the conclusion of the event, I decided that I'm going to add at least one line on that list that makes me a priority. Of course now that I've added finding a dermotologist for a full body scan to the list, I'm not exactly crazy about it. So I'll just stay positive and hope that those days when I was a teenager and thought baby oil was sunscreen, don't come back and bite me!
15. November 2008 09:17
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I had the pleasure of coordinating Ali and Helena's wedding at the Don CeSar recently. Two talented and dedicated physicians who truly respect and love each other. The weather was beautiful, the setting divine and the bride was relaxed and glowing. The ceremony went off without a hitch. After the ceremony, guests were escorted to the cocktail hour and the bridal party remained in the courtyard for pictures. Ali and Helena couldn't wait to get to the beach for sunset pictures, but also wanted some formal shots on the staircase. Almost to the end of the formal pictures, Helena was doing a couple of solo bridal shots with her train and cathedral length veil cascading down the stairs. And then it happened... a bird pooped on her dress. Myself and the bridesmaids all rushed over to clean it off and with a few paper towels and white chalk from my emergency kit, the dress looked like new again. Being in this industry for many years now, I know that some brides would have stressed out and had a melt down over something like this. Not Helena, she laughed and said "they say it's good luck when this happens!".
So off to the beach we went for sunset pictures. And then it happened again. It had not rained at all that day and as the sun was setting, a perfect rainbow formed directly over the hotel. It was amazing. With all of the good luck charms Helena and Ali were having, I thought about running over and checking for a pot of gold! Helena was absolutely delighted by the rainbow, as were we all. Reflecting on what happened in the course of an hour, I realized that had Helena not reacted the way that she did with the bird "situation", she may never had seen her rainbow.
So the moral of the story is... on your wedding day, you can't control everything - especially nature - so find the positive in everything that makes your day yours. Those are the things that you will remember forever and make the best stories to tell your future kids!