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 http://abc-oc.net/trendsetters. Entries will be accepted starting mid-May!” Stacey Gitten

 Thank you to our talented sponsors!

Venue | Chuck Jones by 24 Carrots | http://chuckjonesby24.com/
Catering: 24 Carrots Catering | www.24carrots.com
Speaker | Rrivre Davies | www.rrivreworks.com
Florals | Flowers Etc. | www.flowersetcweddings.com
Paper Designs | AmpersandInk | www.ampersandinkdesigns.com
Rentals: FormDécor | www.formdecor.com
Rentals | Signature Party Rentals | www.signatureparty.com
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens | www.designerspecialtylinens.com
Photography: Jacquelyn Rachel Photography | www.jacquelynrachel.com
Photo Booth & Videography | Godfather Films | www.godfatherfilms.com
Music | Dart DJ | www.dart-dj.com
Lighting and A/V | The Event Company | www.eventcompanyoc.com


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.


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

October 2010 Vendor Fair at the Promenade & Gardens

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It was all about the vendors on October 12th, 2010 at the Promenade & Gardens by Turnip Rose.  ABC-OC held its second Vendor Fair of the year, keeping it small and roomy for vendors and other members.  Guests were greeted to a specialty pomegranate martini upon arrival to the venue, and then received a quick self-tour of the interior.  Outside, we had entertainment provided by Celebrations Mobile DJ, Photobooth Pro, Epod, and Flip books Party Favors.  These were all a big hit.

An ice sculpture prominently displayed ABC’s logo with a hint of blue at the entrance to the gardens.  Vendors were ready to meet & greet our guests.

After some mingling and catching up, Turnip Rose staff announced a most delicious array of food stations, from pasta to Asian cuisine.  Delicious!

It was wonderful to see the support of the ABC-OC vendors, as well as members that came out to say hello.  Thank you to everyone who joined us for a night of mingling, networking and learning about the many talented members we have through ABC-OC.

Our donating vendors:

Venue: Promenade & Gardens

Favor: EPOD

Flowers: Flowers by Cina

Heaters: Signature Party Rentals

Ice Sculpture: Carving Ice

Linens: Fusion Linens

Music/DJ: Celebrations Mobile DJ

Paper goods: Sugar Press

Photography: Maria Longhi

Tables: Classic Party Rentals

Our participating vendors:


Barbara Wallace

Buca Di Beppo – Anaheim


Carcano DJ

Carving Ice

Celebrations Mobile DJ

Classic Party Rentals

Designer Specialty Linens

Dove Canyon


Fantasy Florals

Flipbook Party Favors

Flower Fusion

Frank Salas

Friar Tux

Fusion Linens

Godfather Films

Good Shepherd Church

Green Effect

Hyatt Huntington Beach

Itty Bitty Sweets

Just a Bite Cake Pops

Live Beautifully Balanced

Margaret’s Cleaners

Nature’s Beauty

Photobooth Pro

Promenade & Gardens

Rohmer Video

Signature Party Rentals

So Cal Officiant

Studio EMP

Sugar Press

The Event Consultants

Vantage Point Productions

White Flight Dove Release