December: Holiday Gala & Trendsetter Awards – St. Regis Monarch Beach

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Holiday Gala & Trendsetter Awards

Highlight Video by Plug Wedding Films

What a beautiful evening of glitz and glamour at the ABC-OC Holiday Trendsetter Gala hosted by the St. Regis Monarch Beach!

View the Highlight Video by Plug Wedding Films

Did you feel like a celebrity on the red carpet with the MK Magnets paparazzi taking your photo? Get yours here!

Tray-passed h’orsdeurves signature cocktails and sushi swirled around us as the anticipation began to build about what gorgeous delights were behind the big white doors.

But first, did you take part in the slomo video by Elysium Productions? Take a look at the face slapping, glitter throwing, body twirling action!

The doors opened and  Square Root Designs blew us all away with the rich, lush layers of florals and sparkle as far, high and deep as the eyes could see .

Everyone stayed on the dance floor with Undercover Live – thank you Geoge and the band, wow!

Have you tried UBER for your safe ride home from your next holiday party? Up to $50.00 off for new users. Ride must be in Orange County – Offer expires January 31, 2014.

Special thank you to our co-chairs Kevin Covey and Lindsay Longacre for two years of incredible beauty, creativity and education. Stacey Gitten for leading the efforts of the Trendsetter Committee and giving detailed recognition to all the winners and sponsors to make this a successful event. And a big thank you to everyone involved in the evening and all who donated.  Please see all the incredible sponsors below.

Now, for the natural, real and fun images by Joel and his team at Studio EMP!

“We have some of the best wedding talent in the country, right here in Orange County. Tonight we celebrate that talent.”

2013 ABC-OC Trendsetter Award Winners

Photos of the winning concepts will be posted here after the OC Register has published the winner’s submission in February –

Award: Best New Idea or Concept

To: Commemory Fine Art’s Bethany Thomas:

For: Wedding Artwork Décor for Rental or Purchase |


Award: Best Overall Theme/Thematic Follow-Through

To: LVL Weddings & Events |

For: Bermuda Nautical Wedding


Award: Best Tablescape

To: Natalie Good of A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production

For: Romance & Blush at The St. Regis |


Award: Best Design Transformation of Space

To: Absolutely Fabulous Events|

For: Transformation of a rustic space to a contemporary wedding reception with a high-end nightclub vibe


Award: Best Supporting Event

To: Platinum Weddings by Kerrie Underhill  |

For: A one-of-a-kind California Lovin’ Welcome Party for the books!


Award: Best New Memento

To: Chic Productions by Wendy Dahl | 

For: Wine Bottle Time Capsules


Award: Best Captured Moment

To: Frank Salas Photography |

For: Will Always Be Daddy’s Little Girl


Award: Best New Venue

To: Center Club: REINVENTED |



Award: New Member of the Year

To: Kellie Migliaccio of FormDecor Modern Furniture Rental |


Award: Joanie Scott Award

To: Natalie Vishny of Swellegant Events |


Award: Coordinator of the Year

To: Paula Laskelle of Champagne Taste |


Award: Elevation of Industry

To: Caren Lazarus of Design Visage |


Award: Trendsetter of the Year

To: Larrissa Rehder of Inviting Occasion |


Trendsetter Committee


Esteemed Panel of Judges

  • Abby Capalbo, Managing Editor of Style Me Pretty |
  • Nicole Gregory, Editorial Lead for Celebrations in Orange County Register |
  • And Rebecca Grinnals & Kathryn Arce, Founders of Engaging Concepts and the Engage Conference |

Event Sponsors

St. Regis Monarch BeachOC Register Magazine | Copper Willow Paper StudioStudio EMPSquare Root DesignsPlug FilmsOne Hope WeddingsAkioni SushiMK MagnetsElysium ProductionsSignature Party RentalsUndercover Live Hire Elegance Furniture Rental |  La Tavola LinenElevated Pulse Production |  and Yummy Cupcakes

Gift Bags

The award winners’ gift bags were supported by B Toffee Bella BallroomBleu Cotton PhotographyEvents CliqueFrank Salas Photography|  HotShot Awards & Engraving |  Il FornaioJack Randall PhotographyJessica Elizabeth Photo & CinemaKendra Scott JewelryMastro’s Steakhouse, |  Skybox Productions | Recycled Moments/Holly Schoenke | The Bruery | Center Club | Tustin Ranch Golf Course | Yummy Cupcakes | and ZinGiBer Publishing/Barbara Wallace Weddings

ABC-OC Blogger/Communications Chair | Bethany Thomas | Commemory Fine Art

Start the new year off on the right foot – register to attend the first ABC-OC event of the year at Bella Collina in San Clemente. Mark your calendar for January 14th. Look for the email coming soon. See you there!

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


May Open Meeting: ‘Craft Cocktail Night’

Thursday, May 9, 2013 – The Villa San Juan Capistrano

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

There are so many gorgeous outdoor venues in Orange County for couples to choose from to host their wedding. The Villa San Juan Capistrano is without a doubt one of them.
From a recent bride’s perspective, “…the location is gorgeous, and our guests kept saying how the food was ‘the best they had ever had at a large event’ and how it was one of the best weddings ever. The staff’s personalities and attention to detail helped make the event go perfectly (and I’m not being nice — it actually went truly perfectly).  They are an absolute pleasure to work with. An added bonus: you’re across the street from the Mission San Juan Capistrano — so we headed over there for an hour pre-wedding for pictures. I encourage anyone to check out the venue — I walked in and it was love at first sight — it took about five minutes to know that it was perfect for us.  And everytime I went back, I noticed some other small detail that made me love it even more. The trains going by added charm — as did the mission bells, that ring at 4:28: a perfect start to a ceremony.  Huge thanks to everyone at the Villa for an unbelievable day we will never forget.”
From the photographer’s perspective, it’s a gem, “What an incredible and intimate venue! I can see how brides fall in love with this place! The perfect opportunity to take an amazing photo everywhere you look!” Christine Bentley of Christine Bentley Photography – the off-the-charts talented photographer of this event. Each photograph is a work of art, capturing the beautiful nooks and nuances of every detail.

Thank you sponsors for making the evening so memorable!

Venue | The Villa San Juan Capistrano |
Catering | Iva Lee’s |
Cocktails | Pharmacie LA |
Dessert| Sweet & Saucy |
Florist | Floral Occasions and Whitney Rose Florals |
Linens | GBS Linens |
Paper Goods | Copper Willow |
Photographer | Christine Bentley |
DJ & Lighting | Divel Entertainment |
Candy Station | Sensational Sweets |
Rentals | Signature Party Rentals |

Trendsetter Update from Stacey Gitten!

An esteemed panel of wedding industry experts will judge your entries!  We have secured An Editor of Style Me Pretty, the Editor in Chief of Modern Luxury’s Brides California and the fabulous duo who created the Engage! conference – Kathryn and Rebecca!

All of the rules, revised and new categories, and entry form are on our website: It’s really easy! Complete the online entry form  for each submission before November 12th. Include your image(s) or video clip, a description and a list of all participating vendors.

If you have any questions about the submission process or award categories, please contact Stacey at . And please save the date: The Fifth Annual ABC-OC Trendsetter Awards Gala will be on December 10, 2013 at the Casino in San Clemente.

 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.

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.


December Holiday Gala & Trendsetter Awards: Rancho Las Lomas

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 Holiday Gala & Trendsetter Awards

“What a beautiful night it was at the ABC-OC Holiday Trendsetter Gala. Larrissa Rehder with Inviting Occasions and Jeni Maus with Found Vintage Rentals knocked it out of the ballpark with the cozy winter-lodge decor. Jeannie Lawrence and Kara Felton and Brett Lawrence with Rancho Las Lomas graciously hosted us while 24 Carrots Catering truly created a 5 star dining experience. Thanks to Gini Garner of Gini Garner Events for creating a beautiful gift tree and those that adorned the tree with gift cards for DJ Tasos who is battling cancer it was much appreciated!  A big thank you to all involved and who donated!  A shout out to  all our Trendsetter Award Winners and our Trendsetter of the year Jeni Maus with Found, our honored coordinator award to Sharon Gall, Once Upon a Time Weddings and Susan MacDonald our Joanie Scott recipient. Thank you to Lindsay Longacre, LVL Weddings & Events and Stacey Gitten, Hitching Post Public Relations, for making this a truly successful event!”

                        – Kevin Covey, ABC-OC Co-Chair, Kevin Covey Wedding & Event Coordination

Enjoy the glorious photography by Joseph Martinez Photography. Be sure to see the entire gallery at the bottom of the post…

Stacey Gitten of Hitching Post Public Relations said it best, “We have some of the best wedding talent in the country, right here in Orange County. Tonight was all about celebrating that talent.”

2012 ABC-OC Trendsetter Award Winners

Best New Idea or Concept
Plug Wedding Films – Dan Douglas & Matt Givot

Best New Food Concept, Presentation, or Display
24 Carrots Catering

Best New Memento
Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings

Best Captured Moment
Frank Salas Photography

Best Tablescape
Kelsey Events

Best Overall Theme / Thematic Follow Through
Intertwined Events

Best Design Transformation of Space
by Kerri Hatter Weddings & Events

Members’ Choice
Chic Productions

New Member of the Year
Tim Espinosa Entertainment

Joanie Scott Award:
Coordinator of the Year

Sharon Gall, Once Upon a Time Weddings

Elevation of Industry
Wendy Dahl, Chic Productions

Trendsetter of the Year
Jeni Maus, Found Vintage Rentals

Trendsetter Committee


Trendsetter Awards’ Judges


Event Sponsors
Our event could not be possible without our generous sponsors:

24 Carrots Catering and Events |
Allison Kate Invitations and Stationery |
Classic Party Rentals |
Elevated Pulse |
Found Vintage Rentals |
Godfather Films |
Inviting Occasion |
Joe Martinez Photography |
Mi Media AV |
Napa Valley Linens |
OneHope Weddings |
Pharmacie LA |
Venue and Lighting | Rancho Las Lomas |
Shane Jordan Entertainment |
Special Parking Services
The Ticket Kitchen |
Gift Card Tree for the Tsirtis Family Donated by Gini Garner

Swag Bag Donors
A sincere thank you to our generous donors who have made the award winners’ gift bags so fabulous (and envious):

Great Officiants, Alan Katz |
Bottega Louie |
Rock Me Up Makeup Studio & Spa, Britney Moya |
Commemory Fine Art by Bethany Thomas |
Copper Willow Paper Studio |
Design Visage |
Erika’s Elegance, Erika Bowers |
FlowerFusion |
Hilton Costa Mesa
Godfather Films, John Goolsby |
Mastro’s Steakhouse Costa Mesa
Recycled Moments, Holly Schoenke
Superfine Bakery |
Ticket Chocolate |
Two’s a Party |
WineStraws |
ZinGiBer Publishing / Barbara Wallace Weddings |

Blogger/Communications Chair | Bethany Thomas | Commemory Fine Art


Start the new year off on the right foot – register to attend the first ABC-OC event, with  world renown speaker, Cindy Novotny! Mark your calendar for January 8th. See you there!

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

July All-Member Meeting: Mastro’s Steakhouse

July 10, 2012 Event

by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art

The evening began behind in Costa Mesa by the Orange County Performing Arts Center at Mastro’s Steakhouse  in the Noguchi Garden. Most of us didn’t know such beauty existed in Costa Mesa let alone host a modern and California enriched wedding ceremony in this outdoor sculpture. Commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1979 and completed in 1982, Noguchi Garden is recognized as one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens and the most vital publicly accessible outdoor sculpture oasis in Southern California. Situated on 1.6 acres, the garden in its design symbolizes various geographical characteristics in California, incorporating indigenous plants and materials. Six principal elements comprise California Scenario: “Forest Walk,” “Land Use,” “Desert Land,” “Water Source,” “Water Use” and “Energy Fountain” captured beautifully by Ron and Gabrielle of Ron Levy Photography.

Owned by the Irvine Company, Mastro’s Steakhouse takes reservations for events in the Noguchi Garden and the site fee for the property is $500. The garden is open to the public so if you’d like to grab your Nook or meet a client there, feel free.

We were immersed in what family and friends would experience with a wedding hosted there, with a ceremony set up beneath the “Forest Walk,” champagne, delicious tray-passed h’orderves (the crab stuffed mushroom caps were a favorite) and cocktail reception with the cool sounds of Brian and Mike. The decor was bright and summery and the uber cool lounge furniture by Lounge Appeal was the perfect ensemble for guests to relax and chat.

For the second half of the event, our group of approximately 100 people were led through Mastro’s romantically lit ambiance where the impressive display of fine wines sparkled in what appeared to be the walls of the restaurant as we walked upstairs to a beautiful ensemble of lighting and decor. Without a doubt, a big highlight of the evening was the food. From the decadent mac and cheese to meticulously made sushi and let’s not forget the seafood tower with the largest shrimp I think I’ve ever seen (that disappeared in the blink of an eye).

John Goolsby of Godfather Films and California state coordinator and membership director for ABC reminded everyone about registration for this year’s annual ABC conference ‘Business of Brides’ themed ‘Diamonds & Denim’ November 11-13 in Denver. The cutoff for regular registration is September 15th. Late registration is an additional $90.00 after that.

Stacy Gitten of Hitching Post P.R. and Trendsetter Chair of the ABC-OC gala this winter gave an update about this year’s awards and updates to the nomination process. Stay tuned for communications about how and when to nominate for these prestigious awards. Be recognized for all your innovative work for your clients! For more information, visit the website at,


Did you know ABC-OC has a Facebook page? Join the group today!

Not a member yet? Members enjoy preferred pricing for events, sponsorship opportunities and recognition in Orange County. Non-members can attend two events to decide.  Join Today!

Don’t miss the next event held on Tuesday September 11th at the Wyndham Orange County. We will have a panel of brides to get insights on their experiences and vendor selection process. Click here for the event calendar and bookmark it!


hank You Sponsors!

Venue | Mastro’s Steakhouse & Noguchi Garden |
Photographer | Ron Levy Photography |
Florist | Lei of Love |
Musicians | Brian & Mike
Rentals | Lounge Appeal, Inc. |
Rentals | Baker Party Rentals |
Cake | Cakes by Joe |
Linens | La Tavola Linen |
Paper Goods | Li’K Designs |
DJ | Invisible Touch |
Photo Booth | The Fotomatic Photo Booth |