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Events by Divine Creations

Cooler Florida Weather = Outdoor Dinner Parties!

by Valerie DiVecchio 22. September 2010 21:06
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So I blog a good deal about weddings, but why should they have all the fun?  We live in paradise and Mother Nature has blessed us with a beautiful, natural backdrop for great parties.  Whether it's a dinner party with friends, holiday party for your neighbors or even a brunch with the extended family, your backyard offers a fabulous setting.

Often times people think that outdoor events equals eating off of paper plates and inhaling the scent of citronella.  Don't be afraid of using real linens and your good dishes, glasses and silverware.  String up some paper lanterns to create a soft, beautiful ambience, and add to the elegance with some candlelight.  Reception style food helps to create a mix-and-mingle atmosphere.  Use smaller plates and bite sized hors d'oeuvres so your guests are free to roam.

Concerned about the mosquitos?  Hire a pest control company to treat your yard.  Some companies have the ability to create a barrier that help to keep those blood suckers out.

The Fall 2010 edition of Get Married Magazine has an article called "Host Your Own Fresh Garden Party" that offers some great tidbits on how to add some finesse to your outdoor party:

  • Personalized napkins add a special touch by including your theme and color;
  • Hang tiny favor boxes from tree-shaped stands;
  • Home baked goodies are a great parting gift for guests.  Wrap them in cellophane bags to keep them safe from bugs;
  • Personalize your vase with a monogrammed initial;
  • Personalize beautiful glass champagne flutes with a ribbon and tag to prevent drink mix-ups;
  • One favor box color totally dressed up with different ribbons and tags add dimension to any table; and
  • Add a homegrown touch with mini buckets filled with fruit from your citrus trees or a local farmer's market.

It's your own yard - there is nothing more personal than that.  It's a great place to let your creativity shine and make it your own!

Welcome to the Army!

by Valerie DiVecchio 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!

         

Pretty in Pink

by Valerie DiVecchio 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 Sandoval Ceremonyto 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!

     

 

New Twists to the Traditional

by Valerie DiVecchio 28. July 2010 11:53
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There are several new trends showing up in wedding day attire for brides that are sure to turn heads.  As the center of attention for your special day, check out some new twists on the traditional wedding day dress according to Brides.comimage:

Metallics - Metallic fabrics give the gown a luxurious feel while radiating tones of platinum, silver and gold. The style of the dress may be simple, but the shining  effect of the fabric is enough to light up the room. These dresses look amazing when embellished with diamond jewelry, too!

Black image Accents - Black-on-white accents for wedding gowns create a gorgeous contrast between light and dark shades. There are so  many options for black accents, including waistline, dress straps, and chic embellishments. This new trend is definitely edgier than many of the others, as recently more brides have been introducing dark colors into traditionally white gowns.

Tea-length dresses - The short dress is one of the hottest non-traditional fashion statements, perfect for the quirky bride, beach weddings, or as a second wedding dress that a bride can change into for the reception. The tea-length dress has a cute 1950’s twist and finally gives brides the opportunity to show off some stylish bridal shoes and perfect pedicures!

 

How Wedding Planners are Like Ducks

by Valerie DiVecchio 24. July 2010 11:47
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Every so often I wake up in the middle of the night and instead of checking the clock and drifting right back off the sleep... the brain starts to whirl.  Well, you know when that happens the last thing you can do is go back to sleep.  So instead of tossing and turning and waking up my husband, I quietly slipped out to the couch and turned on the television.  Now, I'm usually pretty vocal about not watching reality shows revolving around weddings.  I'm sure many of them are great, but the one time I did watch, they made the wedding planners out to be either clueless or big meanies.  But at 2:00 in the morning, there's not much on so I settled on the show, "Bethanny Getting Married?".

It was like a marathon of the same show so I got to watch the planning all the way through the honeymoon in about 4 hours (love, love, love TIVO and getting to fast forward through the commercials!).  For those of you who have not seen the show, she plans her wedding in about 5 weeks because she's 7 months pregnant.  So we finally get to the big day and she's got the place of her dreams - the Four Seasons Restaurant.  Her wedding planner, Shawn, seemed like an okay guy - hard to get a deep understanding of someone in their profession in a few episodes.  Then comes the moment that I have lived a thousand times over.

Shawn walks into a side room to call the bride on her wedding day just to check in.  She, of course, asks how the set-up was going and he says all the right things - it looks beautiful, it's amazing, you're going to love it.  Meanwhile in the other room, set-up is behind schedule, chairs are stacked from floor to ceiling, all of the flowers hung by the windows are completely dead, glasses are breaking... seemed like the place would never come together.  But as Shawn knew, and I knew, and other professional planners knew, it all does come together in the end.  Sometimes it might be last minute and we have a bald spot from pulling out our hair, but it all comes together in a way that the bride had always dreamed it would be and more.

My mom had a drawing that hung in our living room when I was growing up and when I heard Shawn say almost the same words, I couldn't help but laugh.  "We're like ducks, calm and smooth on the surface and paddling like hell underneath"!  So when you watch the reality shows that make wedding planners look either like complete idiots or when they are screaming at people waving their hands like a lunatic, know that that is not a true representation of a PROFESSIONAL planner.  So keep looking until you find the duck - I mean wedding planner - that's right for you!

Cutting Your Cake Costs

by Valerie DiVecchio 21. July 2010 10:13
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Brides.com recently offered some innovative ways to save money when shopping for your wedding cake without sacrificing the taste or beauty of your creation.  Here are a few tips from Betsy Goldberg, originally published in Modern Bride Magazine, to get an extravagant looking cake and satisfy your budget at the same time.

1) Use fresh flowers instead of sugar flowers.  Handcrafted sugarpaste flowers and iced accents drive up the cost of your cake because they are extremely labor intensive.  Decorating with fresh flowers, ribbon and faux pearls can give it an elegant look without the lavish costs.

2) Serve wisely.  Some couples opt to have a faux cake made with iced cardboard tiers except for the tier that you will slice during your cake cutting ceremony.  When the cake is taken back into the kitchen, the slices served to the guests can come from a much more inexpensive sheet cake and no one will know that they are not eating from the original cake!

3) Personalize your cake stand.  The stand can give your dessert huge presence and one that illustrates something about you can be the best aesthetic touch.  Betsy Goldberg recommends a bed of refined sugar or a vintage hatbox borrowed from an older family member, both of which are of little extra cost.

4) Order a chocolate cake.  Choc-o-holics rejoice!  Chocolate is rich and therefore more filling so you can get away with cutting smaller slices for guests.

Bon appetit!

 

A Guest Book with a Purpose

by Valerie DiVecchio 13. July 2010 15:02
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Ask your friends and family who have gotten married where their guest book is today.  Chances are, if they are like me, the reply might be something like this, "in the hall closet in a box marked "wedding stuff'".  These days people have gotten smarter and gone to alternative guest books like the photo signature mat or the Polaroid picture/ photo booth picture scrapbook... something that you are comfortable placing on a coffee table and not look out of place. 

I recently found another great alternative - engravable platters!  And before you cringe by imagining some old fashioned electric engraving pen that makes a horrible noise, the guests actually use a diamond-tip Signature Engraving Scribe to leave their special message that will last forever with no risk of being ripped or torn!  Check out: www.IDoEngravables.com where you can find the perfect engravable wedding platter for as low as $65.  That's about the same price as a matching guest book and pen!

Picture serving your first Thanksgiving turkey on this special platter or using it for breakfast in bed on your first anniversary.  Special memories and functional all in one - what a great idea!

Calling All Bargain Shoppers!

by Valerie DiVecchio 9. July 2010 07:14
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This Saturday (July 10th) from 8 am - 4 pm, there will be a huge liqidation sale at the former flower and gift store located 3 doors down from my studio.  The address is 3315 S. Westshore.  They are selling fixtures (some really cool collapsible bookshelves in addition to other stuff), computer equipment, holiday decor, loads of Gasparilla inspired items and LOTS of gifts ready for the giving.  I got a sneak peek yesterday and there are some really great bargains to be found.  I've eye-balled a couple of things for myself!

It is one day only, and it is cash only, so if you're in the mood to find a great deal,  I guess I'll see you there!!

BRR... A Chilly Reception

by Valerie DiVecchio 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!  Root Brr-tini

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.Root Bar.. 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!Root Centerpiece

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! 

 

The Bridesmaid, The Bouquet and The Spanx!

by Valerie DiVecchio 1. July 2010 15:03
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I went to lunch today with several people from a networking organization in which I am a member.  We recently played a type of game in the chapter and our team took first place.  Bunch of type-A personalities... like you would expect anything less?!  Prize for winning... $200 gift certificate for the group to go to lunch at a restaurant of their choice.  Anyway, during lunch "Jamie" (name changed to protect her identity just in case!) told us that she was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding this past weekend. 

The wedding went great and the reception was hopping, and then lucky Jamie caught the bouquet toward the end of the evening.  If you're not familiar with this tradition, the bride tosses her bouquet to all the single ladies and the one who catches it is supposed to be the next to get married.  Not sure how much I believe in that belief because I'm pretty sure I caught a bouquet when I was about 9... and I'm pretty sure that someone there got married - or divorced and re-married - within the 20 years it took me from then to tie the knot.  But I digress...  Anyway, the DJ announced that the gentleman who caught the garter needed to place that garter on Jamie's leg and for every inch above the knee is 10 years of good luck.  Well, apparently there are many different styles of Spanx (a popular body slimming garment) and Jamie just happened to be wearing ones that were longer.  The bride and bridesmaids all circled around Jamie on the dance floor and told her that she needed to pull her Spanx up so the garter could go up high.  Jamie was not so keen of this idea since she's smack in the middle of the dance floor at the moment, but being the trooper that she is and proving her worth as a bridesmaid, she reluctantly hiked up the dress and pulled up the Spanx!

Now, besides a good laugh, there are a couple of morals to the story... when wearing Spanx, go to the bathroom and take them off or at least adjust them before you head out to the dance floor and catch the bouquet.  And second, you know you have a true friend and made a perfect bridesmaid choice if she's willing to hike up her dress on the dance floor under "cover" by the bride and bridesmaids for a good cause like wishing you a good 80 or 90 years of a happy marriage!  Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

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Valerie DiVecchio Valerie DiVecchio

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