Friday, September 28, 2007

Marcy in the Morning!


I know what I will be tuned into in the morning! The most fabulous Marcy Blum will be appearing on the CBS Early Show at 8am to dish about the latest in tabletop floral for weddings. Always entertaining, Marcy is sure to start the last Saturday in September [how can that be???] with a laugh and great ideas. Be sure to watch!

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine

Last night Kathryn and I enjoyed a delightful evening with Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine editor-in-chief Susan Moynihan and Bonnier Publisher Sue Gilman at a wine bar in downtown Orlando. We are so lucky to have them based right here in Central Florida - but crazy schedules have kept us from getting together for far too long despite our many attempts! We had so much fun catching up and trading travel tales and wedding stories [and of course drinking some fabulous wine!] that we made each other promise to get together more often.

I am SUCH a fan of the publication and have watched it grow from its days as ISLANDS Weddings & Honeymoons to the wonderful magazine that it is today. I just love what Susan has done since taking over at the helm two years ago after being the Travel Editor for Modern Bride. She has infused it with a modern, fresh approach and continues to make significant changes in each and every issue all while staying very true to her readers providing them with the latest destination trends, locations, ideas and of course - spectacular REAL weddings.

If you are looking to increase your destination wedding or honeymoon business - this is just the place to do it and there is never a question when planning our clients media that DWH is on the schedule. It more than delivers to the right audience in a targeted and uncluttered environment. Susan and Sue shared some exciting news planned for 2008 and I promise to share more as soon as it is available!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Today's Sweet Celebration!

Congrats to Sylvia on having her gorgeous cake selected as the viewer's choice for TODAY throws a destination wedding!!! This has been a really enjoyable season of the popular series and I look forward to seeing the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" wedding thrown by Darcy Miller and the brilliant team from Martha Stewart Weddings next week!

Cheers!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Preston, Preston, Preston..."

Years ago [1992 or so], I was introduced to Mr. Preston Bailey by our dear, mutual friend the truly fabulous Marcy Blum at The St. Regis Hotel. We had just started Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings - no one had a clue what Disney was doing in the wedding market and honestly, we were met with some noses in the air and very cold shoulders back then by some industry 'legends' (in their own minds...) who I will not mention by name.

Not so with Preston. He gave me one of his famous hugs, instantly embraced the concept and became an advisor/cheerleader and source of inspiration on the spot. At the time, there was an 'entourage' from Disney with me in NY including a senior executive who, after meeting Preston, spent the rest of the trip sighing in her very southern accent, "Preston, Preston, Preston..." If you have ever met him in person you will identify immediately. He truly is "Mr. Fabulous" as the Oxygen network TV show about him was so aptly named!

We have worked together on and off for the past 15 years - most recently creating the innovative partnership with Sandals Resorts [in fact, check out the related Darcy Miller's blog post from today about the wedding of Jaime Stewart, daughter of Sandals Chairman and owner that Preston did in Jamaica!].


Yesterday I was in NY to meet with Preston and the design team to review a brand new collection that he has designed...breathtaking! We spent a few hours reviewing every detail of the new collection and also determined that he is going to design a second new collection for us as well! The concept of bringing amazing wedding design to any and every destination bride at price points that are affordable continues to be a big story in the industry...with prices from $1,700-$5,000 for a complete ceremony & reception it makes every brides dream of a celebrity designed wedding a reality. I think that everyone is going to LOVE the two new collections and cannot wait to share more details and images when they are ready!


Over lunch, Preston regaled us with stories of some of his most recent 'over the top' weddings from not one but TWO in the South of France at the magnificent Hotel du Cap to an estate in Bel Air that was not to be believed! He is finishing off another book filled with his jaw dropping designs from real weddings and this one manages to top all the others - which says alot!! I left that meeting totally re-energized and again pinching myself for the incredible experiences that this business continues to give me!! More details to follow soon!

Breakfast at Sylvia's




Yet another 'dream day' in NYC! Yesterday I had the pleasure of being the guest of wedding cake diva Sylvia Weinstock and her delightful husband Ben for breakfast at their Soho apartment. I have worked with Sylvia for years and most recently on the ground-breaking partnership with Sandals. I have been to her studio before, but this was the first time I have had the pleasure of being a guest in her home. What a warm and gracious couple she and Ben are. We enjoyed a delicious meal cooked by Sylvia herself and had an opportunity to spend some time dishing on all things weddings [and to get some 'inside scoop' on some of the upcoming wedding cakes she is designing for the rich & famous all over the globe!]. She shared her magical rooftop garden with views of the entire city - fabulous! On the way out I stopped back in the studio to see [and smell] some of the masterpiece cakes in the making! The behind-the-scenes of what goes into these legendary cakes is fascinating...perfect for a reality show!!

Sylvia also showed me the tear sheets from the new book she is creating for release in 2008 - a MUST read for anyone passionate about great wedding cake design. I have included a few photos of my visit.

I am so lucky to consider so many of the wedding industry giants as friends - they continue to inspire [and support!] me on my journey and I never cease to be amazed at the work that they create! Next up - my latest visit with Preston Bailey...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cool Day!




What a cool day I had today! I flew to NYC this morning for a round of meetings. They were all great but two highlights were visiting the AMAZING Kleinfeld to see my dear friend Randy Fenoli, their new Fashion Director in action! Wow - the new store is simply magnificent - a bridal dream come true!

Randy gave us the royal tour of every inch of the 35,000 square foot bridal dress heaven and then we were treated to a lovely and enlightening lunch with the gracious owner, Mara Urshel. There were gorgeous brides trying on magnificent gowns and experiencing that truly thrilling moment of finding "the one!" I could have stayed there all day (and night...) - sigh.

Then this evening, we joined one of my very favorite people in the entire bridal industry, Millie Bratten, Editor in Chief of BRIDE'S Magazine and her equally incredible husband John for dinner on the upper East side. We go waaaaaaaay back and it is wonderful to spend time catching up on all things. I especially loved hearing Millie's excitement over the upcoming Think Pink event October 4-6th in Manahattan. What a wonderful cause and innovative approach they are taking to support this program - more to come on that front!
I have the best job!!! Tomorrow brings breakfast with Sylvia and lunch with Preston at their studios...stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Conde Nast Bridal Dream House


Looking forward to a 'sneak peek' at the new Conde Nast Dream House when I am in New York later this week for a whirlwind two days of wedding-industry meetings!

Instead of the "Wedding March" events produced for the past 4 years, the Conde Nast Media has designed an innovative and interactive month-long 'engagement event' in the form of the "first-ever, tour-able show house for pre-engaged, engaged and newlywed couples designed to provide inspiration for their entry into this new lifestage. The house will display the best-in-bridal, beauty, fashion, fitness, registry and home, plus host events with the editors of Brides, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Brides.com, and Brides local magazines."

Read the entire release and then visit the website! Can't wait...I live for new ways in which to 'engage' the bridal audience and will share more details with you after my visit!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Competition is Global NOT Local

Nice job by Barbados in creating a dedicated weddings/honeymoon web presence by the recent launch of IDoBarbados. The focus on this lucrative, recession & disaster proof market segment continues to be seen in all levels of the tourism industry - from resorts, hotels, Tourism Departments, independent service providers and more.

Competition is healthy and raises the bar for everyone in the market - the key is to be aware of what your competitors are doing, recognize that competition is Global not Local [all too often we see hyper-focus in this industry on local competition with little regard or attention paid to the greater challenges from the overall marketplace] and spend critical time evaluating what sets YOUR wedding business apart from the rest. A shift in this attitude will serve you better over the long run and in turn allow you to embrace your colleagues and work together for the greater good!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Red + White and Fab All Over!

Check out this fabulous and oh-so-fun wedding shot on 07-07-07 by one of my very favorite photographers: Stacey Kane! Click here to see the entire slideshow...WOW.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Battle of the Bridal Books: In Style vs. New York Weddings


Interesting article from Media Post with a side by side comparison and POV of In Style Weddings and New York Weddings. Not sure that those are the two best magazines to review against each other...they are two very different audiences being that In Style is national and NY Mag is for the metro area. Worth a view anyway for the media experts perspective. I do enjoy both websites for inspiration!

I've Been Blogged!!!

I am down in Grand Cayman where I just finished presenting to a packed crowd of wedding professionals, local media and Department of Tourism with an update on the many wedding/honeymoon market successes achieved over the past 3 1/2 years and checked my blackberry to see that the fabulous Miss Bee posted my list of Favorite Wedding Resources to WeddingBee!

Click here to read them all - just SO many to choose from...this just scratches the surface!!

I do want to add the amazing photographer Rebecca Davidson to the list and also the uber-talented Jeffrey Stoner who I ran into the other night while shooting a fantastic wedding at The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando where Patrick and I joined friends for a little getaway close to home!!

Thanks Bee - loving this new feature and reading what all the other wedding-bloggers are choosing!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Super Fab Bridal Event

The girls over at BFF Bridal have done it again - they continue to 'raise the bar' on super luxury but really hip bridal events! Check out this one chock full of the hottest names in bridal. Congrats to Tara and Meredith for turning the stale tradition of [yawn!] bridal shows into something that appeals to a very targeted, sophisticated bride and uncovers up and coming industry players at the same time!

BRIDES Think Pink Campaign

Received this Save-The-Date a bit ago from my friends at BRIDES Magazine - sounds like a great event! I am planning to go but just learned today I am heading to Antigua for the gala re-opening media event for Sandals Grande Antigua Resort the following day! Not sure I can fit it all in - but will certainly try...seems like a great cause!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Speaking in Cayman

I am headed to Grand Cayman next week and will be speaking as part of the Annual Tourism Conference. Looking forward to sharing the many successes achieved over the past year and unveiling some exciting new initiatives including one really *big* announcement! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Vera Wang on...Vera Wang!


Fascinating article and Q&A in today's Wall Street Journal with the brilliant Vera Wang. As an icon in wedding-world she has pioneered branding and opens up about her new line launching at Kohl's on September 9th [you have surely not missed it - it is EVERYWHERE!] and her variety of ground-breaking partnerships including Serta mattresses, Neiman-Marcus, Macy's, five fragrancies, celebrity-weddings and more. Riveting read from one of our industry's true masters!

Click here for the full article and here for the Q+A!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hot Trends for 2007

Last week TheKnot 'unveiled' their *hot* trends for Fall 2007-Winter 2008 weddings.

Some highlights of WHAT'S HOT:

ECLECTIC RECEPTION DECOR – Whether it be sparkling vintage chandeliers or mixed match antique vases, today’s modern couple is incorporating eclectic pieces into their wedding decor. For fall, couples are using everything from eye-catching copper pots to gorgeous gold-leaf vases; or going earthy with containers made of wood or covered in lichen. WHAT’S NOT: COOKIE-CUTTER DECOR – Does the generic d├ęcor that you see at every other wedding in town really show off your personal style and taste?

NATURAL BRIDAL STYLE – From dreamy flowing fabrics to a dewy, fresh face beauty vibe, the overall look of the moment is ethereal elegance. Drawing inspiration from Greek goddesses, everything from the fabrics to the accessories and even the hair and makeup are light and airy. WHAT’S NOT: FAIRY-TALE PRINCESS – This look is not only high maintenance, it’s uncomfortable.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY WEDDINGS – Today more than ever, couples are looking for a way to give back when planning their wedding by incorporating eco-friendly elements. It’s never been easier to plan a green wedding without sacrificing style, with tools such as a Green Wedding Guide, as well as the Green Weddings Channel on TheKnot.com. WHAT’S NOT: THE BRIDEZILLA – Nightmare brides are definitely “out.”
THE SIXTH COURSE FOR DESSERT – The dessert course got a decadent new makeover just in time for fall, with a serving of luscious Ports alongside artisan cheese. Take the trend to a new level of indulgence by including rich chocolate delicacies such as dark chocolate bonbons. WHAT’S NOT: SKIPPING DESSERT – Impress your guests with more then just the standard wedding cake.

HONEYMOON HOPPING – Finally, those couples that are one half beach beauty and one half mountain climber adventurist can enjoy a honeymoon that they will both appreciate. Nothing is hotter than honeymoon hopping, and thanks to the new interactive Honeymoon Map Tool on TheKnot.com, planning your multi-destination trip has never been easier! WHAT’S NOT: ONE-SIDED HONEYMOON – A honeymoon shouldn’t cater to either the bride or the groom, both should love this trip of a lifetime.
Click Here for the entire release.