June Coordinator Luncheon: Five Crowns

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

Five Crowns, the host of the June ABC-OC coordinator luncheon, is a charming replica of one of England’s oldest country inns and a Corona del Mar landmark. The venue offers warm hospitality and cozy fireplaces set among authentic antiques and period paintings. We all enjoyed the sunlit Greenhouse and colorful English garden where the event took place. We experienced the award-winning food and wine, exceptional service and distinctive style that have made Five Crowns by Lawry’s a dining destination since 1965.

The theme of the event coordinated by Kerri Hatter Weddings & Events was inspired by the ferns in the greenhouse and the new herb garden where ceremonies take place. It was a gorgeous feast for the eyes where each element was hand-picked to complement each other. “Everything matches perfectly,” said Barbi Walters of Bluebirds PCH. From the blue and tan burlap linens by Designer Specialty Linens, to the florals by French Buckets – it all coordinated beautifully.

An unexpected detail were the thoughtful and creative gifts provided by Tasha with AmpersandInk Designs, the paper goods sponsor. Tasha packaged up a delightfully printed recipe/thank you card on seed paper with the avocado mash recipe that was served at Five Crowns. Behind the card was a wooden spreader with a perfectly ripe avocado in a crisp white bag!

There was so much helpful information provided at the event by the speakers. Here are just a few highlights –

John Goolsby | Godfather Films | ABC State Coordinator – The Association of Bridal Consultants ‘Business of Brides” national conference Nov. 11-13 in Denver, Colorado

Kevin Covey | Kevin’s Parties– Highlights from Engage!12 Summit like how to speak to ‘Millenials’ – “necessity vs. luxury.” Everything is necessary!

Laurel Mungo | Mon Amie Bridal Salon – How to be prepared for brides when emergencies happen. Like how to fix a torn gown in a pinch to getting lipstick and wine stains out of the dress. Laurel encourages all planners to get a tour of their 20,000 square foot salon to see all the designers available at the salon and to meet their expert team of consultants.

Friar Tux – Bowties are coming back! 10 years ago they were worn 2% of the time. Now they are at 30% and rising! Plus, Friar Tux has a referral program just for planners.


Couples, their families and friends can enjoy a full-service experience at Five Crowns with the entire space giving everyone the feel that they are in a private English home. In the same space is SideDoor, an English style, neighborhood gastropub. And upstairs has private rooms where the bride and groom can get ready with their bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Thank you sponsors for your amazing services!

Venue | Five Crowns and Side Door | www.lawrysonline.com/five-crowns
Speaker & Bridal Gowns | Mon Amie Bridal Salon & Amy Michelson | www.monamie.com
Speaker | Friar Tux | www.friartux.com
Photography | Diandra Ann Photography | www.diandraann.com
Florist |  French Buckets | www.frenchbuckets.com
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens | www.designerspecialtylinens.com
Musicians | Del Lago Trio | www.dellagotrio.com
Paper Goods |  AmpersandInk Designs | www.ampersandinkdesigns.com

Don’t miss the July ABC-OC all member meeting on July 10th at Mastros Steakhouse South Coast Plaza. Register today.

April Social Meeting: St. Regis Monarch Beach

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

Raise your hand if you attended last week’s ABC-OC social event at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. Now keep your hand up if you expected a beautiful event based on the venue. Because your hand is still up – keep it up if your expectations were exceeded. We are willing to bet your hand is still in the air like these members –

  • “I had a fabulous time at the ABC event tonight!! This was my favorite flower and decor display!!! I loved it!! Thanks ABC for putting together the best event I have gone to in 6 years!!!”
  • “It was great to see all of the familiar faces and to meet all of the new ones at the St. Regis tonight!”
  • “As usual …first class all the way…great night.”

We were beyond thrilled with record-breaking attendance that had an exceptional experience thanks to the St. Regis staff and the ABC-OC board who brought in a variety of first-class companies to sponsor the event. From work-of-art floral and decor displays in the four corners of the ballrroom by, Enchanted Florist, tic-tock Couture Florals, White Lilac Inc., and Bloom Box to the deliciously prepared and stunning presentation of the food by St. Regis Monarch BeachItty Bitty Sweets,  Jay’s Catering, Hollywood Candy Girls, Simply Sweet Apples  and A Wish and a Whisk were delightful. Plus, the fashion show of bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride gowns by Carolina Herrera, The White Dress and Andrea’s Couture.

Did you win one of the fabulous prizes? A parting gift are these gorgeous photos by Lauren Hillary of Jim Kennedy Photographers. And don’t miss connecting with the fabulous sponsors listed below – enjoy!

Want to be in the know about upcoming meetings? Be sure to add yourself to the email list. Click here and enter your email address in the “Join Our Mailing List” box.

Thank you to all the sponsors who made this social meeting an exceptional experience. Please visit their websites and ‘like’ their pages for more information and ongoing updates about their services:

Florals | Enchanted Florist | www.nisiesenchanted.com
Florals | tic-tock Couture Florals | www.ticktock.com
Florals | White Lilac Inc. | www.whitelilacinc.com
Florals | Bloom Box | www.bloomboxdesigns.com
Bridal Gowns | Carolina Herrera | www.carolinaherrera.com
Bridesmaid Dresses | The White Dress | www.thewhitedress.com
Mother of the Bride Gowns | Andrea’s Couture | www.andreascouture.com
Photography | Jim Kennedy Photography | www.jimkennedyphotographers.com
Videography | Plug Video | www.plugvideo.com
Linens | Fusion Linens | www.fusionlinens.com
Hire Elegance| www.hire-elegance.com
Hair & Make-up | Design Visage | www.designvisage.com
Hair & Make-up | St. Regis Monarch Beach | www.stregismb.com
Media | Ceremony Magazine | www.ceremonymagazine.com
Treats | Itty Bitty Sweets | www.ittybittysweets.com
Treats | Jay’s Catering | www.jayscatering.com
Venue & Food | St. Regis Monarch Beach | www.stregismb.com
Candy Buffet | Hollywood Candy Girls | www.hollywoodcandygirls.com
Candy Apples | Simply Sweet Apples | www.sinnfullysweetgourmettreats.com
Desserts | A Wish and a Whisk | www.awishandawhisk.com
Photo Booth  | The Photo Booth Specialists | www.thephotoboothspecialists.com
Furniture Rental | Signature Party Rental | www.signatureparty.com
Giveaway | Shinodas Design Center | www.shinodadesigncenter.net
Entertainment | Tim Espinoza | www.theelectricviolinist.com
DJ | Invisible Touch Music | www.invisibletouchevents.com
Love Note Pad | InStyle Event Company | www.instyeleventco.com

ABC-OC’s First Open Meeting 1.10.12

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

If someone was doing a keyword search on Google for the first ABC-OC open meeting of the year, the words they would enter are: welcoming, friendly, re-newed and rejuvenating. These words were repeated in many conversations I had personally or that I overheard. One in particular was a direct quote from Monique Matlock of The Knot, “I loved the event. It was one of the most rewarding ABC meetings I have EVER attended. And believe me I have been to MANY!”

Coordinated by ABC board member, Cori Sponagle and hosted by the Aliso Viejo Conference Center, the night began with the ‘old’ and new board members anxiously awaiting guests to arrive as this was the first impression for attendees to experience ABC-OC this year. Welcoming scents of candles burning was in the air as guests found their adorably designed name tags.

Guests were directed to walk around to back terrace to the sounds of Mister Piano Man, Hector Jimenez and the sights of beautiful round paper lanterns. So many new faces!

Following cocktails on the terrace, guests were invited into the ballroom.

Lisa Moon, the association’s outgoing Co-Director of Administration welcomed everyone and had each of the sponsors talk a little bit about themselves and what they donated that evening.

Lisa then passed the torch to her successor, Kevin Covey who gave a very important message about improvements to this year’s meetings and how important it is to join and attend.

The association is all about networking and learning from fellow wedding professionals. But it is also about setting standards and ethics for our industry. Guests may attend two meetings. At which point they must join ABC-OC if they would like to continue to participate. He then introduced the new Board/Steering Committee:


Ambassador Chair | Kelly Feeney of Disney Fairy Tale Weddings

Ambassador Subcommittee | Monique Matlock of The Knot, Jan Wilder of FlowerFusion and Heather Morgan of The Hotel Hanford


Trendsetter Awards Chair | Stacey Gitten of Hitching Post PR

Trendsetter Awards Subcommittee | Shashona Reynolds of Mastro’s Steakhouse and Alan Katz of SoCal Officiant


Co-Director of Programs | Lindsay Longacre of LVL Events

Programs Chair | Holly Schoenke of Simply Sweet Weddings

Programs Subcommittee | Gini Garner of Gini Garner Events, Cori Sponagle of Events by Cori, Courney Urquiza of InStyle Events Company, Kerri Hatter by Kerri Hatter Wedings & Events and Carolyn Leal of Ceremonies by Carolyn


Co-Director of Finance | John Goolsby of Godfather Films

Membership/Database | Erika Bowers of Erika’s Elegance

Communications Chair | Bethany Thomas of Commemory Fine Art


Dinner was delightful! The conference center made a pistachio crusted French chicken breast with herb beurre blanc, sauteed arugula and whipped potatoes. My neighbor to my right mentioned it was the best chicken he ever had at an event!

An unexpected highlight of the dinner was a video produced by Steve Moses and his team at Vantage Point Productions called ‘The Arrival’ based on how “The party starts when you arrive” at ABC-OC meetings. A fun and fresh look at the great time our meetings are with a great group of friends and colleagues. Watch it! You’ll be sure to see yourself or your friends if you attended last year’s event at Casa Romantica.

After dinner, the room next door awaited guests with the heart of night’s activities with ‘speed networking.’ It was invigorating to have the opportunity to meet every person and give each other a peek at what service we give to our clients and each other. Artists, DJ’s, florists, photographers, planners, sweets, venues, videographers and more – many of which met for the very first time. Monique with The Knot agrees, “The speed networking really forces you to spread out and talk with people you never chatted with before. I have to say at prior events, I am guilty of sitting with people I know and am most comfortable with and not always mingling like I should. I hope we do more of these types of events in the future…..I still feel there are some I didn’t connect with!”

It was exhilaratingly exhausting by the time it ended. Now when the next open meeting comes around on April 10th (joint with the San Diego chapter) we’ll all know each other!

Thank you to all the sponsors who made this exciting night possible by donating their products and services. Please visit their websites and ‘like’ their pages for more information and ongoing updates about their services:

Coffee Service | Brew HaHa | www.brewhaha.com

Entertainment | DJ Tasos | www.lsmentertainment.com

Florist | Pixies Petals | www.pixiespetals.com

Rentals | Signature Party Rentals | www.signatureparty.com   

Photography | Kate Noelle | www.katenoelle.com

Printing& Design | Kamka Designs | www.kamkadesigns.com

Sweets | Donna B’s Gourmet Cookies & Cakes | www.donnab.com

Venue | Aliso Viejo Conference Center | www.alisoviejoconferencecenter.com

2011 Annual Trendsetter Awards & Holiday Gala

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

In a word, the 2011 Third Annual ABC-OC Trendsetter Awards Gala on December 13th, 2011 at Disney’s Californian Hotel was sensational and spectacular. Okay, that’s two words but not nearly enough to describe the talent and fun had in one place celebrating literally the ‘trend setters’ in the wedding industry in Orange County.

Greeted by Jan Wilder of Flower Fusion on the step and repeat photographed by Studio EMP set the scene for the spectacular evening that was ahead for members and guests.

Members enjoyed cocktails and a wonderful selection of tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and live music as they greeted their friends and colleagues for the first time that evening at the welcome reception. And Mickey and Minnie were dressed in their holiday best to take photos with guests, taken by White Rabbit Photo Boutique!


Following the welcome reception, members were then invited into the ballroom where they were welcomed by a room filled with white twinkle lights, greens and golds with a splash of deep pink and red. The flowers were stunning yet creatively whimsical by Flowers by Cina. Beautifully rustic square tables by Classic Party Rentals provided intimate seating for guests.  Li’K Designs provided creative menus and programs for guests to follow the events of the evening.  Barker Décor Service provided a beckoning dance floor while the team at Our Wedding Dance showed everyone how they can look like Fred and Ginger with their graceful talent.

The premium accommodations, rich dining experience and service provided by Disney’s Californian Hotel provided was simply wonderful. Highlights included three cheese ravioli hearts, slow braised prime beef short rib and a romantic salad.

Lisa Moon, the association’s Co-Director of Administration recognized the ABC-OC 2011 Steering Committee for all of their hard work:

Stacey Gitten (Ambassador Chair), Kathy Jo Peterson (Trendsetter Chair), John Goolsby (Communications Chair), Michelle Tortuya (Co-Director Programs) and Kelly Feeney (Co-Director Communication) – many of whom’s faces were flawless thanks to make-up by Flawless Faces!

Following Lisa’s acknowledgements, Kathy Jo Peterson presented the 2011 Trendsetter Awards! Congratulations winners on your achievement –

Best New Food Concept, Presentation or Display | Catherine Joanne Cakes | www.catherinejoannecakes.com


Best New Concept | SoCal Officiant | www.socalofficiant.com


Best New Memento | Godfather Films | www.godfatherfilms.com


Best Introduction or Final | Once Upon a Time Weddings | www.onceuponatimeweddings.com

Best New Decor Under $50,000 | High Society Wedding & Event Planning | www.highsocietyeventplanning.com

Best New Decor Over $50,000 | LVL Weddings & Events | www.lvlevents.com


Best Captured Moment | Jim Kennedy Photography | www.jimkennedyphotographers.com


Members Choice | Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort/Waterfront Weddings | www.waterfrontresort.com


Trendsetter of the Year Honors Award | Barbara Wallace | www.bwallaceweddings.com




The celebration continued with decadent desserts featured at the creme brulee station and crepe station.  Brew Haha‘s coffee cart was on-demand with custom made cappucino and lattes to fire up guests energy level for Undercover Live Entertainment who provided a 7-person band offering guests hip, fresh, professional and exclusive live entertainment to dance the night away.





Thank you to all the sponsors who made the magical night possible by donating their products and services. Please visit their websites and ‘like’ their pages for more information:

Beverage | Adult Chocolate Milk | www.adultchocolatemilk.com

Coffee Service | Brew HaHa | www.brewhaha.com

Dance Floor | Barker Decor Service | www.barkerdecorservice.com

Entertainment | Undercover Live Entertainment | www.undercoverlive.com

DJ/Lighting | Invisible Touch | www.invisibletouchdj.com

Florals | Flowers by Cina | www.flowersbycina.com

Furniture | Classic Party Rentals | www.classicpartyrentals.com

Make-up | Flawless Faces | www.flawlessfacesinc.com

Programs | Li’K Designs | www.li-kcustominvitations.com

Photography | Studio EMP | www.studioemp.com

Photo Booth | White Rabbit Photo Boutique | www.whiterabbitphotoboutique.com

Venue | Disney’s Californian Hotel | www.disneyland.disney.go.com/grand-californian-hotel 


Trendsetter Award Swag Bag Sponsors:

Adult Chocolate Milk | www.adultchocolatemilk.com

Candee by Sandee | www.candeebysandee.com

Classic Party Rentals | www.classicpartyrentals.com

Commemory Fine Art | www.bethany-thomas.com

Disney Fairy Tale Weddings | www.disneyweddings.disney.go.com

El Adobe Capistrano | www.eladobedecapistrano.com

El Canito Cigar | www.thecigarrollers.net

Flower Fusion | www.flowerfusion.net

Itty Bitty Sweets | www.ittybittysweets.com

Kathy Joe Peterson Weddings & Events | www.weddingsbykathy.com

Mary Dann Weddings and Events | www.marydann.com

Our Wedding Dance | www.ourweddingdance.com

S&A Jewelry | www.safashions.com

Signature Events by Tania | www.signatureeventsbytania.com 

Trader Joes | www.traderjoes.com

Save-the-Date for ABC-OC 2009

The ABC-OC 2009 Event Calendar has been posted. Check it out and save the dates for our 2009 meetings. We’ll continue to have All Member Meetings, Educational Luncheons, and Coordinator Meetings. We look forward to a great year of networking, education, and fun!

Be sure to watch your inbox for invitations and join our mailing list if you don’t currently receive them. We’ll continue to use online registration and some meetings will sell out. Be sure to sign up early and definitely before registration closes (11:59 pm on the Thursday before each meeting). Unfortunately, we can’t accept walk-ins so save these dates and sign up as soon as you receive the invitation.

Looking forward to a great 2009!

October 2008 Educational Meeting

This month, ABC-OC was thrilled to have Carol Poon, editor-in-chief of The Bride & Bloom Magazine, share her wisdom with our members. At this daytime event, Carol gave our members insight into how to submit their work for publication, the dos and don’ts of getting noticed, and what to think about when choosing what to submit. She also emphasized the importance of developing relationships with media you’re hoping will notice you.

The meeting was held at The Golden Truffle in Costa Mesa. Members enjoyed a delicious lunch in their restaurant and were glad to hear that The Golden Truffle also offers catering services. Wildflower Linen provided lovely pale yellow linens and Enchanted Florist showcased beautiful centerpieces.

Thanks to all who participated. We’ll look forward to our next educational meeting in March 2009.

Photos courtesy of Lauren Hillary Photography

July 2008 ABC-OC Website Workshop

From Elizabeth Gianneschi:

Is your website optimized? Do you know where your traffic comes from? Do you have an internet marketing strategy?

If you cannot answer yes to these questions, then you need to come to our next ABC-OC meeting on July 8th…”The 10 Things You Wish You Knew About Search Engine Optimization and Social Media”

Michelle Howe, from Internet Word Magic will be speaking about website optimization and how we need to change our online marketing strategy to keep up with the demands of social media.

This is an excellent education opportunity for you as a wedding professional to revisit your website and start thinking change!

Our featured vendors:
Venue: Park Prive
Florals: This Old Garden Gallery
Linen: Mikasa Linens
Photographer: Katya Williams

ABC-OC June 10th All-Member Event was HOT! HOT! HOT!

From Sharon Gall of Once Upon a Time:

Nearly 300 attendees were treated to an evening of Sizziling fun and enjoyed Chillin’ the night away with fellow industry comrades!

Thanks to Invisible Touch and J&M Entertainment for hosting such a fabulous event!  From the red carpet entrance to the tropical chic retreat, we knew we were in for a treat!

Greeted with a choice of strawberry or pomegranate champagne upon arrival, guests continued down the red carpet to a beautiful ball of hundreds of roses, red candles and red petals (provided by Corinne Armstrong of C.M. Armstrong Designs), and delicious delights provided by Colette’s Catering (creatively passed by two top models, I might add!)  Guests were then invited to experience the first of 4 themed areas…the Sizzle Lounge!  Decked out in vibrant red lounge furniture and red lighting, guests enjoyed sharing great conversation with friends and had an opportunity to view some of the amazing events of IT and J&M on the gorgeous flat screen.

As attendees continued through the event, they were led to the second themed area, where even though it was Ice Cold, it was HOT!  That is, guests enjoyed some of the HOTTEST new ideas in town!  With the carving talents of ice specialists, Ice Bulb, guests were impressed with their ice furniture, ice cocktail tables, ice luges, cool ice sculpture for the shrimp cocktail, ice vases for the yummy ice cream station, and finally, an amazing ice curtain!  To top it off in the Chill Night Club, Above All Catering provided an amazing display of their tasty, one-of-a-kind specialties while Corinne Armstrong provided all the florals and IT and J&M chilled the room with cool blue lighting and sultry sounds!

After Chillin’, guests made their way to the Casino where it was pipe and draped by Fusion Linen and guests were feeling Hot as they rolled the dice, spun the roulette wheel and dabbled in 21!  Everyone was a winner but Shishona was the Grand Prize Winner, winning a trip for two to the Las Vegas Wynn Hotel, courtesy of IT and J&M!

Finally, attendees were led into a tropical paradise provided by Green Effect‘s swaying palm trees, Best of the Best‘s grass huts and bamboo fencing, Corinne‘s tropical cocktail centerpieces and buffet floral designs, and the ultimate in catering provided by 24 Carrots and Taste Catering!  Of course, one of the hot spots was the unbelievable bar that was graciously provided by Pacific Coast Bar and Beverage!

Guests enjoyed the event well into the night while dancing to the awesome band (DW3), tripping out on the gel dance floor, striking a pose in the Photo Booth and lounging on orange and chocolate cool furniture!

And if you happen to miss anything or want to remember one of the many great details of the event, our very own Lauren Hillary, got it all in photos and they can be viewed online!

Many thanks, again, to all of our participating vendors and to all of our members for attending this HOT, HOT, HOT ABC-OC event!


Our friends at ISES LA have asked us to pass along some news about their upcoming Joint Allied Mixer.

This September 16th, having fun is good for business.

It’s a trade show! It’s a mixer! It’s the ISES LA JAM 2008, and it’s the place to be for Southern California’s special events professionals. Hundreds of your most fabulous friends and colleagues will be there, and they’ll be asking for you. So grab your best business cards and get ready to work it. We’ll showcase our talents and make stellar connections, eat fantastic food and drink in fresh ideas. This is one crowd that knows how to have fun.

Because mixing business with pleasure is what we do best.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 • 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Pasadena Convention Center, East Pavilion • 300 East Green Street • Pasadena

To raise your profile even higher, consider becoming a JAM Exhibitor, Sponsor or Advertiser. Explore your options at www.Ises-LA.com/JAM


The Aisle will feature Snapshots from our members’ most recent events every other week. If you’d like a picture of your work to be included, please send your images to blog@abc-oc.net.

Here are the rules:
1. Each member can submit one photo per week.
2. You must send the image to blog@abc-oc.net with Snapshots in the subject of the email.
3. You must include a caption (8 words or less).
4. You must give credit to all the vendors involved in the elements of the photograph (include websites).
5. The images should not be more than 500 pixels wide.

The images don’t have to be from an event occurring within the week of submission but we’d like to showcase your current work (please don’t send old images).

We will try to display all of the images sent to us but we may have to limit it depending on the number of submissions. In that case, we will select images based on a theme for the week or based on the order in which they were received.