March All-Member Meeting: “Appy Hour” at Hotel Menage

March 11, 2014 at Hotel Menage
by ABC-OC Communications Chair, Bethany Thomas of Commemory Fine Art

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, check check check check.

Red Stamp, Google Drive, Animoto Video, Flipboard, what?…wow wow wow wow.

A specialty slushy yummy drink with a kick and hand made ice cream – both made with liquid nitrogen that are as entertaining to watch as they are as delicious to eat? Wow.

Dinner appetizers in all 4 corners of the room that were as fun as the apps we learned about during “Appy Hour” – Yum!

The apps were hand picked to help everyone sreamline our workflow, simplify our life and have fun doing it!

About Our Speaker, Jessica Bodas – Jessica, Jessica Bodas Photography, has been a wedding photographer for over seven years.  She loves photography and has recently challenged herself by switching predominantly to film photography.  What you might not know about her is that she is also a digital technology coach for Tustin Unified School District.  Since Jessica is in the wedding industry, her understanding firsthand of our challenges gave us fantastic insight into her knowledge of technology to help us all!

All the apps and information Jessica talked about have been skillfully put on this website by her for us – thanks Jessica!

Here is the highlight video from Lighthouse Studios, Password: abc

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Our Sponsors

Thank you to our talented and generous sponsors! Please like and follow them –

Venue | Hotel Menage
Coordination | A Good Affair
Speaker | Jessica Bodas | Jessica Bodas Photography
Entertainment | Just Imagine Entertainment
Photography | Bowtie and Bloom | Instagram: @bowtieandbloom
Videography | Lighthouse Studios
Florist | French Buckets | Instagram: @frenchbuckets
Stationery | Darla Marie Designs | Instagram @darlamariedesigns
Specialty Ice Cream and Frozen Cocktails |  Nitrodreams
Rentals | Classic Party Rentals | Instagram @classicpartyrentalsoc
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens | Instagram @dslinens

Don’t miss the next event on April 8th – it’s the “Master’s Panel” and sure to sell out. You can register here.

To join ABC-OC and to get on our email list to know about all our events, click here.

February Coordinator’s Luncheon on Stress Management

February 11, 2013 – ABC-OC Luncheon at Center Club in Costa Mesa

by ABC-OC Communications Chair, Bethany Thomas of Commemory Fine Art

With wedding season right around the corner, Kerri and Holly were so excited to have Jill Baker from CrossFit Fly speak to everyone at the beautiful and Trendsetter award winning Center Club in Costa Mesa about stress management, nutrition and fitness!

A little bit about our speaker, Jill Baker – Jill began her journey into health and fitness over 20 years ago as a marathon runner and coach.  In this time, she became well versed in performance and nutrician.  In addition to exercise and fitness, Jill coaches clients through the intricicies of proper recovery, stress management and supplements as they pertain to overall health. She owns the only all womens Crossfit – Crossfit Fly.

As we head into the busy season, we thought it would be helpful for Jill to talk about Stress Management but we learned so much more!  She explained that the 3 biggest factors in stress management are Sleep, Nutrition and Exercise. She also gave us some tips on how to manage all of those things in order to live healthier, less stressful lives. As we go into the season, we must try really hard not to deprive ourselves of sleep.  The less sleep we get, the higher our blood sugar rises and makes everything out of balance in our bodies.  This is when we start losing energy, have bad cravings and maybe even insomnia. She obviously told us to stay away from processed foods, alcohol and bad fats, but she did give us permission to cheat once in a while to enjoy a great lunch with good wine! She even gave us some advice and things to do when we are sleepy in the afternoons – you know that time of the day when you just want to take a nap!? Lastly, she told us that we have to be moving regularly (that shouldn’t be too hard for coordinators in the summer months). But if you can’t find the time to work out, default to the Tabata method – you can apply everything to this method and accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.

She answered so many questions from the coordinators and was so helpful in realizing everyone is different and so are their lifestyles. She also encouraged everyone to make small changes and we will feel better.  Everyone felt encouraged to go to bed earlier, eat right and exercise!

“I really enjoyed listening to Jill and was lucky enough to sit next to her at lunch so I could ask many more questions!  One of my favorite pieces of advice from her was when she said, “When in doubt about what you should be eating, just shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store.”  I never
even thought of that – they’re the healthiest!” – Kerri Hatter, LVL Events

“The Center Club was delightful and their hospitality and graciousness were exceptional.  The food was very good and particularly creative – especially the hors d’oeuvres.  The sponsors did a great job.  Overall the experience was very good.” – Paula Laskelle, Champagne Taste

“I really enjoyed listening to Jill speak about health and fitness!  Nutrition is something I have become very passionate about and it was really nice to hear an expert give tips that just further affirm the things that I already do…it made me even more confident that I’m heading down the right path.  It was also fun to learn some new things I hadn’t heard about either!” – Holly Schoenke-Stein, Simply Sweet Weddings & Events

“Center Club hosted a wonderful luncheon with delicious fare and innovative food design.  Their shrimp tacos served atop mini margaritas were a big hit!  Their generosity was shown through their top-class service, Busy Box gifts, and even the thank you note and mints waiting in each guest’s car upon departure. Designer Specialty Linens showcased their beautiful new line of linens, Baker Party Rentals donated some beautiful china, and Jan Wilder from Flower Fusion once again wowed with her creative floral design that even included a gold ostrich! The speaker shared some great insight on how nutrition and sleep affect our health, with some recommendations on food, diet, and lifestyle. As ABC wedding planners we felt welcomed and pampered with the wonderful cuisine, gifts, and great advice!” – Katherine Hoggard, Events by Katherine

Enjoy the fun and fabulous photos by Ashley of A Picture Life Photography and here’s the highlight video from Steve at Vantage Point Productions!

Thank you to our incredible sponsors! Please be sure to like/follow them –

Venue | Center Club, Costa Mesa
Speaker | Jill Baker, CrossFit Fly
Photography | A Picture Life Photography
Flowers | Flower Fusion
Stationery | East Six
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens
Rentals | Baker Party Rentals and Fusion Decor
Entertainment | Diana Chu
Favors | Busy Box Company
Videography | Vantage Point Productions

April Open Meeting: Chuck Jones by 24 Carrots

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – Chuck Jones by 24 Carrots

by Bethany Thomas, ABC-OC Communications Chair
Commemory Fine Art

You know the saying ‘if the walls could talk’? Then you probably heard what this cast of characters said about last week’s ABC-OC event at Chuck Jones by 24 Carrots 

“Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Mud. Brilliance. That’s all I can say. Sheer, unadulterated brilliance!” Wile E. Coyote

“The way I run this thing you’d think I knew something about it (24) Carrots are devine… You get a dozen for a dime, It’s maaaa-gic!” Bugs Bunny

“You know, it is possible to be too attractive. Do not come wiz me to ze Casbah – we shall make beautiful musicks togezzer right here!” Pepe Le Pew

Afterward, our own characters had this to say about the evening on our group Facebook page –

“I learned about two new categories and other changes about the Trendsetter Awards from Stacey Hofflich Gitten of Hitching Post Public Relations. I also learned all about fabrics from Rrivre Davies ….I am now doing bridal gown design. No more event film making for me,” Steve Moses

“I’m an animated person. To be surrounded by animated characters was wonderful. Even the shyest of people were animated just being there.” Alan Katz

“The flourless chocolate cake by 24 carrots was INCREDIBLE!” Katherine Hoggard

“The salad bar was fun and delicious!” Niloufar Sanai Gibson

“The Trendsetter categories and rules are now posted on our website at Entries will be accepted starting mid-May!” Stacey Gitten

 Thank you to our talented sponsors!

Venue | Chuck Jones by 24 Carrots |
Catering: 24 Carrots Catering |
Speaker | Rrivre Davies |
Florals | Flowers Etc. |
Paper Designs | AmpersandInk |
Rentals: FormDécor |
Rentals | Signature Party Rentals |
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens |
Photography: Jacquelyn Rachel Photography |
Photo Booth & Videography | Godfather Films |
Music | Dart DJ |
Lighting and A/V | The Event Company |


Look for registration information via email and on our Facebook page. See you there!

Not a member yet? Join today and attend our events at our member rates.


March Open Meeting: Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 – Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art
ABC-OC Communications Chair

As the sun went down on the beautiful tree-lined patio of the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, the energy began to rise as friends and colleagues sipped their ‘wedding cake’ martinis and dined on delicious tray-passed h’orderves. Everyone recognized each other with the beautifully hand-crafted calligraphy name tags by Calligraphy Katrina.

As everyone gathered in their assigned-seats – that’s right, assigned so that guests sat with new people to get to know and share ideas they learned recently to help their businesses grow. Here are some highlights each table shared –

    • Get to know your client. Don’t assume you know them before you “sell” them
    • Upgrade your website and consider a blog format
    • Consider opportunities you didn’t necessarily plan. More doors will open from them.
    • Set a timer for everything that you do
    • Pick up the phone before emailing
    • If your business isn’t going well it’s because you are not doing something right. It doesn’t have to do with your competitors.
    • Productivity tools like Asana ( for tasks and assigning tasks is very helpful to keep everyone on schedule.
    • Don’t put anything you will regret on Facebook
    • Pinterest is paying off – A bride just brought in my photo for me to duplicate.
    • Lighting makes a big difference.
    • We have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason – listen more than you speak.
    • Don’t shoot for blogs. Shoot for the clients.
    • Be more personable.
    • Reply quickly – brides are shopping and you want them to stop with you.

Do you have a tip you’d like to share not listed above? Feel free to post on our Facebook group page!


Thank you talented and generous sponsors!

Venue | Hyatt Regency Newport Beach |
Florals | Floral Riot |
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens |
Stationery & Calligraphy | Calligraphy Katrina |
Photography | Radiant Photography by the Chansons |
DJ/Music | Invisible Touch |
Coffee | Millies Coffee |
Dessert | Once Upon a Cupcake |

Not a member yet? Join today and attend our events at our member rates.

For information about our next event on the first Tuesday of each month, look for registration information via email and on our Facebook page. See you there!

September Educational Meeting: Bride and Groom Panel – 9.11.12

September 11, 2012 “Bride & Groom Panel” Educational Event

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art
ABC-OC Communications Chair

If you were lucky enough to be able to attend last week’s ABC-OC educational meeting at the Wyndham Orange County, you know what a treat it was to be able to not only feast your eyes and tastebuds at the venue’s new Silver Trumpet restaurant and bar, but you were all ears as you heard the experiences and desires of four recently married couples about their wedding planning and wedding day. Don’t miss key takeaways the couples said and the night’s sponsors, below!


Skillfully moderated by Clint Hufft, here are some key takeaways:

  • Vendor selection – Finding and coordinating vendors is much easier with a wedding coordinator because they have the skills, knowledge and the couple’s best interest at heart.
  • The venue and photographer were top on the list to get first. Some had their hearts set on a venue but because of a disconnect with the people there, they went elsewhere. They chose based on the venue wanting to ‘wow’ them and help them visualize what their day will be like and where everything will take place.
  • Have extraordinary customer service like having a florist that wanted to go 1.5 hours each way (to the venue in Fallbrook) to see the couple’s vision.
  • Be interested in what the groom says/feels – great to feel included.
  • Be organized.
  • Communication – Vendors, please touch base here and there if your booked well in advance. Don’t wait until a week before the wedding to check in (don’t let the bride/couple call you first).
  • Be responsive to emails – within that day.
  • Key reasons for selecting their wedding coordinators are that they felt a personal connection with them like friends. Making their wedding dreams come true and ensuring them that they won’t have to worry were very important to them.  Some coordinators come off too formal or too stricct of a process.
  • Venues include day-of coordination but they didn’t realize what it didn’t include that they needed like ensuring the photographer took all the shots on their printed lisStuck Out?
  • Having a personal touch and going out of their way to make them feel special.
  • None of the vendors asked if they had a wedding coordinator.
  • Sources – Found vendors on the venue’s preferred vendor list, Yelp, WeddingWire, The Knot, Ceremony magazine, Etsy (shoes, jewelry, cake/bakery). Some vendors were found via Google (read up to page 3). None looked at blogs.
  • Bridal Shows – Went to 2. One at their venue. Everything in one place. Hired their photographer.
  • Magazines (Ceremony) – Liked having physical mag to show vendor.
  • Meeting Space – Meeting at a coffee shop or third-party location is fine especially if professional photos and information is provided.
  • Videographer – Yes! So important to relive the experience through video.  Time lapse of build up. Have watched the video at least  15 times in the first year. It doesn’t seem as important to have until after the wedding.
  • DJ – The timing was everything, and it was perfect thanks to our DJ. It was my one responsibility at the wedding (the groom) and I felt like the wedding was perfect because of him.
  • Ceremony – Suggesting unique ceremony ideas like having a prayer circle was so special and just for them.
  • Lighting – They did have lighting provided by either the DJ or venue. Not coordinated well between the two though (would have if there was a coordinator!)
  • Referrals – Getting referrals for vendors are appreciated – ask if they need help finding anyone.
  • Having family be a part of the decision making process and feeling included.
  • Having photos online (vendor’s websites) of vendor’s work from their selected venue was very meaningful for them to know the vendor knows the location, especially photographers.
  • Not sure online reviews can be trusted. It depends on the source.
  • Budget – Having a prioritized list of what was important to them. Then got quotes ‘from the best.’ Price shopped a bid, then made their decisions.
  • Special touches – The florist and coordinators did a great job of making their wedding special. But nothing different outise the list was recommended.
  • In looking back, they wish that the vendors all met or coordinated about their wedding prior to the day.

Phew! That’s a lot to take in but how valuable to hear.


Don’t forget to submit your work to be recognized by your peers to win a Trendsetter award. It’s easy and complimentary – just complete the entry form for each submission by November 11th.

Thank you sponsors for creating such a wonderful night for everyone –

Venue | Wyndham Orange County |
Photographer | Frenzel Photographers |
Entertainment | Tim Espinosa Entertainment
Moderator | Clint Hufft |
Florist | Empora Flora |
Stationery | Jen Simpson |
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens |
Linens | Fusion Linens |
Coffee & Donuts | Brew Ha Ha |
Entertainment & Lighting | As You Wish |
Video | Plug Wedding Videos |
Ceremony Arch | Happy Chuppah |
Chiavari Chairs | Fusion Linens |
Chiavari Barstools | Classic Party Rentals |