WELLINGTON OCTOBER 2023
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The Latest In Wedding Traditions And Trends Teeing Up For Children With Special Needs A Look At Wellington’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Unique Masterpieces From Johnson’s Custom Cakes
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contents October 2023
volume 20, number 10 OCTOBER 2023
executive editor Joshua I. Manning
senior graphic designer Stephanie Rodriguez
graphic designers Nancy Pobiak Yolanda Cernicky
account managers Betty Buglio Evie Edwards Joetta Palumbo
Jill Kaskel Carol Lieberman
photography Abner Pedraza
Jim Barnes Meredith Burow Erin Davisson Denise Fleischman Frank Koester Melanie Kopacz Mike May Callie Sharkey Julie Unger
WELLINGTON Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004
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Wellington The Magazine, LLC
Barry S. Manning Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2023, all rights reserved by Wellington The Magazine, LLC. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisement errors beyond the cost of the portion of the advertisement occupied by the error within the advertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.
BEACH 15 PALM BRIDES 2023
In our Palm Beach Brides 2023 feature section, we meet three local couples in “Tell Us Your Wedding Story.” Learn all about the unique love stories that led to the recent nuptials of Melissa and Matthew Silverman, Jordan and Charles DiNunzio, and India and Anthony Salerno. Next, we take a look at the unique traditions and trends that can be found in today’s modern weddings, where couples are infusing their ceremonies with personalized touches, creating bespoke experiences that resonate deeply. Finally, we chat with wedding photographer Frank Koester of Through These Eyes Photography about how he goes about capturing the unique wedding story of each client he works with.
UP FOR CHILDREN 31 TEEING WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Clinics Can Help (CCH) will celebrate a milestone of compassion and community collaboration at the nonprofit’s 10th annual Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, Oct. 27, at the Wanderers Club in Wellington. For Wellington resident and presenting sponsor Gil Martinez of the Gil Martinez AgencyState Farm, it’s more than an event. The tournament’s 10th anniversary is a symbol of generosity and unwavering commitment to a nonprofit that has helped his family and thousands of others in need of free medical equipment to lead more independent lives.
WELLINGTON SOCIAL SCENE
8 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony At Patriot Memorial 10 New Horizons Celebrates Refreshed Media Center 12 Born2Dress Hosts A Pop-Up Fashion Show Event
35 WELLINGTON TODAY
The Village of Wellington recently approved a budget for the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. The foundation of the budget begins with a focus on Wellington’s five strategic fundamentals of neighborhood renaissance, economic development, protecting our investment, responsive government and respecting the environment. The total budget is $137.7 million and maintains the ad valorem millage rate at 2.47 mills. BY JIM BARNES
38 WELLINGTON TABLE
Among the many elements that contribute to the grandeur of a wedding celebration, the wedding cake stands as a sweet centerpiece that captures the essence of the occasion. Johnson’s Custom Cakes has mastered the art of creating these edible masterpieces that stand as the focal point of any wedding reception. BY SHANNON ANASTASIO
Our annual Palm Beach Brides 2023 feature section returns this month with a look at the love stories, traditions and ever-changing trends that make weddings such a unique cultural icon. In “Tell Us Your Wedding Story,” we meet three amazing couples who have agreed to share their stories with our readers — everything from how they first met, amazing proposal stories and the wonderful wedding celebrations that followed. We thank Melissa and Matthew Silverman, Jordan and Charles DiNunzio, and India and Anthony Salerno for sharing their stories with us, as well as participating photographers Zaitography, Bells & Whistles Photography, and Kristina Karina Photo. Also in Palm Beach Brides 2023, we take a look at the time-honored traditions and unique trends that can be found in today’s wedding celebrations. We also chat with wedding photographer Frank Koester on what it takes to capture each unique wedding story for all time. Next, we take a look at the upcoming Clinics Can Help 10th annual Charity Golf Tournament, which will be held Friday, Oct. 27 in Wellington. Finally, Wellington Today focuses in on the village’s 2024 budget, and Wellington Table visits Johnson’s Custom Cakes, which has mastered the art of the wedding cake. It will not be long until the 2024 winter equestrian season is upon us. We will be back in November with our annual Equestrian Season Preview edition, offering a peek at all that is coming our way in the sports of show jumping, dressage and polo.
Dawn Rivera, Publisher
on the cover Jordan and Charles DiNunzio, one of the couples featured in “Tell Us Your Wedding Story.” PHOTO BY BELLS & WHISTLES PHOTOGRAPHY
wellington the magazine | october 2023 7
wellington | social scene PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN
WELLINGTON 9/11 REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY AT PATRIOT MEMORIAL
The Village of Wellington held a remembrance ceremony on Monday, Sept. 11, to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The ceremony was held at the Wellington Patriot Memorial. During the ceremony, village leaders shared their thoughts and laid a memorial wreath. Representatives from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue and the New York Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3100 were in attendance. The guest speaker was retired NYPD official Reymundo Mundo.
(Left to right) Councilman Michael Drahos, Mayor Anne Gerwig, PBCFR Battalion Chief Tom Parker, Vice Mayor Michael Napoleone, Councilman John McGovern, Councilwoman Tanya Siskind, PBSO Capt. Nichole Addazio and PBCFR District Chief Amanda Vomero; PBSO volunteers Gary Dernlan, Capt. Ken Finkleman, Sgt. Victor Kruger and Major Paul Wegner; Julia Falcao, who sang the national anthem, with Mayor Anne Gerwig; and retired NYPD officer Ernie Zimmerman at the ceremony.
(Left to right) PBCFR District Chief Amanda Vomero and PBSO Deputy Jennifer Baker; Councilman John McGovern, guest speaker Reymundo Mundo and Mayor Anne Gerwig; PBCFR District Chief Amanda Vomero and Battalion Chief Tom Parker; Wellington Village Council members lay a wreath at the Patriot Memorial; and (front row) Philip Cerbini, Paul Pontrelli, Bill Petraglia, Paul Read and guest speaker Reymundo Mundo; and (back row) Arnie Dansky, Stanley Kriegsman, Joe Mottle, Harvey Feit and Guy Van Noy.
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561-358-3085 | Wellington, Florida | www.danniellejudd.com 8 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
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wellington | social scene PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER
NEW HORIZONS ELEMENTARY CELEBRATES REFRESHED MEDIA CENTER New Horizons Elementary School celebrated the grand re-opening of its newly renovated media center on Tuesday, Aug. 29. The morning included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and live dance performances by students. The project was made possible through a collaborative effort with the school district. The removal of original bookcases, meticulous flooring and baseboard repairs and a fresh coat of paint were all part of this joint endeavor.
(Left to right) Principal Dana Pallaria, Assistant Principal Monica Anthony, Media Specialist Paula Bodner and PTA Treasurer Leslie Salas Leffler outside the media center; several areas of the media center were remodeled with a new look; Principal Dana Pallaria and Media Specialist Paula Bodner cut the ribbon on the newly remodeled media center; and New Horizons club de baile students perform during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Your Special Day
(Left to right) ) New Horizons Elementary School PTA leaders gather around Media Specialist Paula Bodner; Ana Jaramillo checks out the new reading area; New Horizons club de baile student dancers with (back, L-R) Wellington Councilman John McGovern, Councilman Michael Drahos, Mayor Anne Gerwig, School Board Member Marcia Andrews and club de baile leader Lynca Diaz; and Media Specialist Paula Bodner in the new media center.
Your Special Day
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wellington | social scene PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN
BORN2DRESS HOSTS POP-UP FASHION SHOW WITH LOCAL WOMEN
Born2Dress hosted a pop-up fashion show event for local women on Friday, Sept. 15. Born2Dress specializes in trendy and comfortable clothing for all women. Local business owners Dannielle Judd, Doreen Scheinpflug, Allison Valley and Ashley Layson modeled the fashions. Born2Dress is located in Wellington Green Square. For more info., visit www.born2dress.com.
(Left to right) Models Allison Valley, Ashley Layson, Dannielle Judd and Doreen Scheinpflug in their first outfits; DJ Lexey plays the electric violin; Maria Marker, Nichole Gillis, Meg Palumbo, Allison Valley, Mayor Anne Gerwig, Amanda Crocker and Jennifer Valentine; and Mayor Anne Gerwig tried on this dress.
(Left to right) Sales associate Alejandra Cerone, model Abby Bryan, owner Sophia Bornschein, assistant manager Giulianna Tiravanti, and sales associates Victoria Holtz and Leah Amores; event consultant Meghan Buser with Born2Dress owner Sophia Bornschein; Allison Valley and Briana D’Andrea; models Allison Valley, Dannielle Judd, Doreen Scheinpflug and Ashley Layson in their second outfits; and Alex Ludkin and Diana De Franco from Fred Astaire Dance Studios dance the salsa.
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www.daisycustomevents.com 12 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
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10101 Forest Hill Boulevard, Wellington, FL 33414 561-798-8500 *Cash price Physicians are on the medical staff of Wellington Regional Medical Center, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Wellington Regional Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the nondiscrimination notice, visit our website. 231322353-1360493 8/23
Tell Us Your Wedding Story!
Love is a journey, and every wedding has a unique tale. In this heartwarming issue, couples share their unforgettable moments, from charming beginnings to magical ceremonies. Join us as we celebrate the diversity of love and the beautiful stories that bind us together. Let’s dive into the world of everlasting unions!
PHOTO BY ZAITOGRAPHY
wellington the magazine | october 2023 15
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Tell Us Your Wedding Story
On Feb. 3, 2023, at the picturesque Villa Woodbine in Coconut Grove, Florida, love painted the air, as Jordan and Charles DiNunzio exchanged vows, surrounded by family and friends. Their journey to this moment was a testament to the power of destiny. The couple first crossed paths during college through mutual acquaintances. A fateful girls’ weekend, orchestrated by a thoughtful friend, reignited their connection. With undeniable chemistry, a romantic saga was punctuated by flights crisscrossing between Florida and the bustling national capital, until December 2019, Jordan took a leap of faith and moved to D.C. The pivotal moment for Jordan came during a weekend getaway to Marco Island. Charles’ infectious smile and ability to make her laugh stirred something profound within her. In that moment, she knew she had found her forever. The proposal, an elaborate, orchestrated occasion, culminated in a heartwarming declaration of their love among the vines. Bells & Whistles Photography and Videography immortalized this chapter of their love story through their lens, ensuring that every precious moment was captured in vivid detail. The ceremony and reception at Villa Woodbine were a symphony of elegance and intimacy. The venue provided a romantic backdrop for their union, where promises were exchanged, and dreams merged. For their honeymoon, they embarked on a two-week romantic trip to explore the allure of Paris, the enchanting canals of Venice and the timeless artistry of Florence, among other captivating destinations. Jordan’s stunning wedding gown, a creation by Eddy K Italia, was a testament to timeless elegance, guided by Bacio Bacio in Wellington. Her bridal party, including maids of honor Lexie Thatcher and Allison Lewis, radiated support and love. The couple’s first dance, serenaded by Dashboard Confessional’s “Stolen,” a moment etched in their hearts forever. Unique touches, like the cherished handkerchief passed down through generations and a pearl pin from her mother-in-law that graced Jordan’s bouquet, will forever hold a special place in her heart. This outpouring of love and support filled the air with a palpable sense of happiness, creating memories that will forever be cherished. As they danced the night away, surrounded by the fragrance of florals by the Petal Creative, savored delectable creations by Earth and Sugar, and reveled in the tunes of Mike Sipe, the couple embarked on a new chapter, hand in hand, hearts intertwined. Their wedding was a testament to love’s enduring power, a day that will forever be etched in the tapestry of their lives, and a promise of forever for Jordan and Charles DiNunzio.
Said “I Do” February 3, 2023
wellington the magazine | october 2023 17
Barbara James VP of Development Baptist Health Foundation
Jared Smith CEO Bethesda Hospital
Join your neighbors and support Bethesda Hospital. When you donate to Baptist Health Foundation in support of Bethesda Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, your dollars are responsibly invested in recruiting outstanding doctors and nurses, developing leading facilities, providing cutting-edge technologies and more. “I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your support of Bethesda Hospital. Your generosity is making a meaningful impact, benefiting patients and employees. I look forward to working together to provide world-class, compassionate care in Palm Beach County.” — Jared Smith
Support Bethesda Hospital today. Generosity@BaptistHealth.net 561-737-7733 ext. 84445
Melissa Matthew Tell Us Your Wedding Story
Melissa and Matthew Silverman’s love story began in a tattoo shop, amid the buzz of ink and the scent of antiseptic. From that first conversation, their connection was electric. Despite the distance, their hearts remained intertwined, and it wasn’t long before they both knew they had found something truly special. In October 2020, on a sun-drenched South Florida beach, Matthew orchestrated a proposal that would forever be etched in Melissa’s memory. Nestled within a conch shell, a glimmering ring awaited its moment. As the waves gently lapped at the shore, he dropped to one knee, sealing their promise with a question and a ring. Their wedding day, on Oct. 26, 2022, was a testament to their shared journey. Zaitography and VMF Film Company captured every moment, freezing time in a cascade of images and film. The Baker’s Cay Resort, perched on the shores of Key Largo, bore witness to their union. With the azure sea as their backdrop, Melissa walked down the aisle in a vintage Boho vibe Willowby by Watters gown, Bacio Bacio Bridal, adorned with delicate floral embroidery. Beside her stood her Man of Honor, Jarett Rockwerk, and Matthew’s Best Man, Steven Silverman. Under a sky painted with hues of pink and gold, they exchanged vows, promising to weather life’s storms like the steadfast rocks they were. The reception, held in the Cay View South Ballroom, echoed with laughter and love. Yet the most poignant moment awaited them after the ceremony. A secluded spot on the resort’s grounds held an arch, a place to seal their love with a lock. Months prior, Matthew had hand-carved their names into a vintage heart-shaped lock. Together, they secured it in place, a symbol of their enduring bond and a promise of their future adventures. As the sun set over Key Largo, casting the world in shades of tangerine and amethyst, Melissa and Matthew danced their first dance as husband and wife. To the strains of “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, they swayed, their hearts beating in sync. Their honeymoon was spent within the embrace of the resort that bore witness to their love story. Every year, they would return, to trace the lines of their love lock and remember this magical day. For Melissa and Matthew, their wedding day was more than just a celebration; it was a testament to the strength of their love. Through inkstained days and sandy shores, they had found their forever in each other. And with their love lock glistening in the Florida sun, they knew that their journey was only just beginning.
Said “I Do” October 26, 2022
wellington the magazine | october 2023 19
Cheers To The Happy Couple Great Selection, Great Prices
Tell Us Your Wedding Story
The air was filled with love and anticipation as India and Anthony Salerno completed their journey toward husband and wife on Aug. 13, 2023. Thanks to Stephanie Nicole Events the stage was set, the venue aglow and the hearts of everyone in attendance were warmed by the radiance of their love. This is the enchanting tale of a couple whose paths crossed unexpectedly at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. India and Anthony’s love story began more than a decade ago, with a chance encounter at the Hard Rock. Little did they know that this chance meeting would set the stage for a love story filled with cherished memories and a beautiful wedding day. The moment when India knew that Anthony was “the one” came during their romantic vacation to Jamaica, just over a year into their relationship. Anthony later surprised India by taking her back to the very spot where they first met. After a lovely dinner, he got down on one knee and, with heartfelt words, asked India to marry him. It was a moment filled with emotion and love. Their wedding day was captured by Kristina Karina Photo & Film. The romantic ceremony held at Benvenuto restaurant and event venue was as picturesque as their love story. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests moved to a reception area that exceeded all expectations. The room reveal was a breathtaking moment for India and Anthony as they witnessed their dreams come to life in a beautifully decorated space. Their first dance as husband and wife was to the soulful melody of “In the Still of the Night (I’ll Remember)” by Boyz II Men, creating a magical moment that echoed their deep love for each other. DJ Timothy surprised them with a violin solo to start the entertainment portion of the evening. One of the most poignant moments of the day was their private last dance, a cherished memory that will remain etched in their hearts forever. It was a testament to the intimacy and depth of their love. India wore a special bracelet on her wedding day, a precious heirloom from Anthony’s late grandmother, symbolizing the continuation of family traditions and the blending of their lives. Which complimented her gown from Bacio Bacio Bridal. As they embark on the next chapter of their love story, India and Anthony are eagerly looking forward to their honeymoon in Italy, a journey that promises to be as enchanting as their wedding day. In the end, their wedding was a testament to the power of love, fate and the beautiful journey that brought India and Anthony together and will be shared as cherished memories for a lifetime.
Said “I Do” August 13, 2023
wellington the magazine | october 2023 21
Traditions In the realm of weddings, the interplay between timeless traditions and contemporary trends shapes unforgettable celebrations. One steadfast tradition that endures is the exchange of vows — a heartfelt declaration of commitment. However, in 2024, couples are infusing their ceremonies with personalized touches, creating bespoke experiences that resonate deeply. One emerging trend is the fusion of cultures, as couples intertwine customs from diverse backgrounds, honoring their heritage in a harmonious union. These inclusive ceremonies celebrate the rich tapestry of love, reflecting the couple’s shared values and individual identities. In terms of design, a return to understated elegance is prevalent. Neutral color palettes, punctuated with subtle hints of pastels, exude a timeless sophistication. Handcrafted elements, like artisanal stationery and unique favors, infuse the celebration with a personal touch. Sustainability stands as a prevailing ethos in modern weddings. Couples are embracing eco-conscious choices, from locally sourced, organic cuisine to ethically produced décor. This conscientious approach not only aligns with contemporary values but also crafts a celebration that treads lightly on the planet. Ultimately, the blend of cherished traditions and innovative trends allows couples to craft weddings that are uniquely their own, resonating with meaning and reflecting the beauty of their shared journey. On these pages, Wellington The Magazine shares some of our favorite traditions and trends — perhaps some that you will incorporate into your wedding day!
22 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
Champagne towers have forever symbolized joyous occasions, and they are poised to make a dazzling return in 2023 and 2024. Elevate your reception by adorning it with a magnificent display of champagne glasses, creating effervescent cascades that encapsulate the epitome of opulence and sophistication.
Bid farewell to those conventional guestbooks! Audio guestbooks are emerging as a distinctive trend, enabling guests to convey heartfelt messages and well wishes through their recorded voices. This interactive and intimate gesture imbues your wedding memories with an additional layer of sentimentality.
BELLS & WHISTLES PHOTOGRAPHY
Entirely Vegan Menus
While including a vegan option on wedding menus has been a standard practice for years, we are now seeing more people committing to an entirely vegan menu. A growing number of couples are favoring plant-based choices as their main culinary focus due to the creativity and delectable offerings available.
The tradition of wearing something blue remains timeless. Brides are using this hue to enhance classic white bridal attire. What sets this trend apart from earlier interpretations of “something blue” is that these blue elements are a part of the primary ceremonial look, rather than being reserved as a reception accessory.
Pinterest trends indicate a shift toward petite bridal bouquets, replacing the opulent, lavish arrangements of years past. These exquisite, hand-held bouquets feature delicate blooms such as lily, lilac, astilbe and lavender. Despite their elegant appearance, these cut flowers also offer a practical advantage.
wellington the magazine | october 2023 23
360 Photo Booth
While beach weddings have long held their popularity, 2024 will see coastal chic weddings stepping into the spotlight. These weddings artfully combine refined nautical elements, understated coastal embellishments and breezy color palettes. Soft blues, sandy neutrals and seainspired accents come together to cultivate a relaxed, yet refined atmosphere.
Smoke mines have become the hottest trend that many brides are eagerly embracing. This newfound sensation, catapulted to fame through viral TikTok videos, represents the pinnacle of wedding wow factor. Whether in search of a stunning ceremony finale or a daytime grand entrance or exit, smoke mines provide the full spectacle of fireworks in broad daylight!
The hottest trend in wedding photography is the 360-degree photo booth! Unlike traditional setups, this cutting-edge creation captures dynamic, panoramic shots from every angle, providing an immersive experience for couples and guests. It’s a fun, interactive way to add a modern twist to your wedding memories. Get ready to share your special day in a whole new dimension!
24 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
Bridesmaid Dress Colors
Next-Level Roof Styling
Gone are the days of settling for a single set of ceremony traditions. Today’s couples embrace inclusivity by weaving together facets of their respective cultures or religions to craft a distinctive ceremony that reflects both familial sides. It’s important that everyone involved in the execution, including the chosen venue, is informed about the traditions you intend to incorporate.
Whether your taste leans toward soft and neutral tones or bold and vibrant hues, 2024 offers a spectrum of options for every bride. From lively palettes to sustainable touches, and even the allure of destination weddings, the choices are boundlessly inspiring. Notably, various shades of green, classic black and vivid colors are emerging as popular selections for bridesmaid dresses.
Elevate your wedding experience with a beautifully styled roof canopy for your reception. Envision enchanting hanging floral arrangements, captivating lighting designs and cascading drapery in soft, luxurious fabrics. This exquisite addition will transform your celebration into a truly enchanting affair from the floor below to the unique canopy overhead!
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Photographers Erica and Frank Koester of Through These Eyes Photography.
26 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
Capturing Your Unique Wedding Story The right wedding photographer will provide the happy couple with memories to last a lifetime. Communication with your wedding photographer is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and that your special day is captured beautifully for all time. To learn more about hiring a professional wedding photographer, we spoke to Frank Koester of Through These Eyes Photography, who works alongside his wife, Erica. us a bit about your background. How did you get into wedding photography, and how long Q: Tell have you been doing it? began my journey in photography back in 1998. I was working for a company on Long Island doing children’s A: Isports portraits. We did outdoor and indoor locations. After a few months of working there, I convinced my wife
to come along on the photo shoots. She learned quickly and began taking team photos. I also began working for the New York Daily News, Newsday and a bunch of other newspapers. It was fun and exciting meeting so many people and being some place different every day. This is also the foundation of photographing weddings. One of the papers had a section called Down the Aisle. It featured two couples each week. No other photographers wanted to cover these assignments, but I enjoyed meeting the couples and hearing their stories. This was really where I first began in the wedding industry. Two years later, I began shooting weddings on my own and loved them. I was the only working journalist who also did wedding photography as well. It makes for a unique and interesting take on wedding photography, blended with journalism and storytelling. My wife and I are going into our 15th year of capturing couples’ love stories.
Q: How would you describe your photography style? a unique style, since my background is in journalism. I’ve been a photojournalist in the media A: It’sfor definitely more than 20 years, and that storytelling style of shooting easily carried over to telling a couple’s wedding story. Just as each couple is unique, so is their wedding story. I would have to say our style is a mix of editorial/ storytelling.
far in advance do you recommend that couples book photography services for their Q: How wedding?
recommended time to book your photographer in most cases is about 18 months out. We are a husband-andA: The wife team and only book one wedding per weekend. We want to be able to focus our full attention on you and your day. We also do not subcontract out weddings. Meaning, once you book us, that date is blocked for you, and it will be my wife and I who show up. We have had people book in less time when we have had openings. wellington the magazine | october 2023 27
Capturing Your Unique Wedding Story
are some of the different photography kind of equipment do you typically bring Q: What Q: What packages that you offer, and what do they include? with you?
like to keep things simple. We offer hourly rates for mini use all professional cameras and lenses. We also bring A: Weweddings. A: We We also have packages to cover 6 to 8 hours. We external lighting for any locations that may be dark. Aside are very flexible and can cater packages to the needs of the couple. All the packages include all the edited images and an online gallery, so you can share them easily with friends and family. We also have a photo booth, which can be added to any package or booked separately.
What are some of the more unique locations that you have done wedding photography? Are there any particular types of wedding venues that you prefer? We did a few weddings at the top of Whiteface Mountain in New York, an island wedding on the cliffs in St. Thomas, and another on a dairy farm complete with cows. We love and specialize in those intimate, unique wedding locations. Those are really our favorites, and you can instantly see how the setting reflects the couple’s personality.
Q: Do you often travel to photograph weddings? we lived in New York, we traveled most weekends A: toWhen different locations, mainly in and around upstate. Now that we live in Florida, we mainly stick to Florida’s east coast. Yet we are always open to destination weddings in new and exciting locations.
Q: Do you offer video services? If so, what type? do offer video. My wife and I work closely with a A: We videographer who also comes from a storyteller/media background. Their creative philosophy is much like ours, believing every couple is unique, and each wedding is its very own story. Being a boutique service, they also book limited weddings.
are some of the current trends in wedding Q: What photography?
now a lot of people like “posed” candid pictures. A: IIt’samnotseeing uncommon for a couple to send me some images they found online and ask me to recreate them. I do tell them yes, we can, but are you looking for another couples’ photos to represent your wedding or do we want to capture you in your story, something that is unique and special? After they have had some time to reflect on what I am suggesting, they turn away from the photos they found or narrow it down to just a few, and then want images which will be their own.
28 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
from the equipment, we are also fully insured, which is something many venues require. A couple should always ask about this to any vendor they hire before giving them any money.
do clients receive their photography after the Q: How wedding? Do you work with them on traditional photography books? What are today’s couples looking for as keepsakes?
their wedding, we send the couples a download link, A: After and they can save the files to a hard drive. Sadly, we do not get many requests for albums anymore. Everyone wants the photos to post on social media, so we provide social ready images with all our packages. I hope the trend turns back to albums because they really are a family keepsake. The albums we make are custom designed, so no two albums look the same, as we don’t use premade templates. We also print our albums in house, so the couple can be part of the creative process.
can clients book you for their wedding Q: How celebration?
best way to book us is to give us a call at (516) 532A: The 8487 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can talk about the details and get to know each other. During that first conversation, we also let the couple know that they get a complimentary engagement photo session.
do you offer complimentary engagement Q: Why photo sessions? love engagement photo sessions because it gives A: We us a chance to get to know one another in a relaxed environment. Many people have never been photographed professionally and can be nervous in front of the camera with a stranger. Your wedding day should never be the first time you meet your photographer. Engagement sessions let us get to know one another, have fun and build a relationship. Come your wedding day, we already know each other, and the photos come naturally.
Learn more about wedding photographers Frank and Erica Koester at www.throughtheseeyes-koester.com.
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www.ShultsOrthodontics.com wellington the magazine | october 2023 29
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Matt Lincoln, Gil Martinez and Dennis Martinez.
TEEING UP FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Clinics Can Help Will Celebrate A Decade Of Giving At 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament
Clinics Can Help (CCH) will celebrate a milestone of compassion and community collaboration at the nonprofit’s 10th annual Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, Oct. 27, at the Wanderers Club in Wellington. For Wellington resident and presenting sponsor Gil Martinez of the Gil Martinez Agency-State Farm, it’s more than an event. The tournament’s 10th anniversary is a symbol of generosity and unwavering commitment to a nonprofit that has helped his family and thousands of others in need of free medical equip-
ment to lead more independent lives. Martinez’s nephew Sebastian suffered a devastating spinal stroke at the age of two, leaving him partially paralyzed. CCH was there through the years to provide specialized wheelchairs as Sebastian grew. More than mobility, the charity gave him back his childhood. “CCH has made a lifechanging impact on Sebastian and his ability to play and be with other children without limits,” Martinez said. “It gives him such a positive outlook. That’s something I want other kids like Sebastian to experi-
ence, and the reason why I’m serving as presenting sponsor. CCH does so much for children and families. We need to be there for them.” Tournament sponsors and golfers will support the KINDER (Kids in Need of Durable Equipment Right Now) Project at CCH, which provides reused, new and customized medical equipment to children with different abilities. Many of the children helped by the nonprofit are affected by serious medical conditions, including brain or spinal cord injuries or congenital defects. Their families strugwellington the magazine | october 2023 31
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gle to afford the equipment that enables them to lead more independent lives. Items like adaptive strollers can make all the difference in allowing a child with cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy the chance to ride the bus, see his classmates at eye level and participate in schoolyard activities. The cause is personal to PGA Tour champion and returning honorary chair Dana Quigley. A tragic accident involving his son brought him to CCH, inspiring him to help others who have a child with special needs. Quigley will be joined by CBS 12’s morning anchor Matt Lincoln, who returns to the tournament as its dedicated annual chair. “We are fortunate that each year, as this event grows and evolves, the individual and community commitments remain,” CCH CEO Owen O’Neill said. “We are grateful for the continued support and love as golfers enjoy the tournament and spend time with some of our youngest clients, seeing firsthand the impact we have on families.” The tournament is packed with memorable moments for everyone, on and off the green. It kicks off with a shotgun start at 8:45 a.m. and is played in a scramble format with mixed, men’s and women’s divisions. Adding to the fun and excitement are contests and incredible prizes for best dressed team, hole-inone, closest to the pin (men and women) and longest drive (men and women). A silent auction, awards program and luncheon will cap off the event in the spirit of camaraderie and philanthropy. Since O’Neill founded CCH in 2005 while he was working as a hospice nurse, he has experienced nothing but growth. He started with humble beginnings, accepting wheelchairs and home hospital beds left behind when a patient in his care passed away, placing them in a storage locker until he could deliver them to medical clinics serving patients with
limited incomes and little to no insurance. Today, CCH occupies a 5,000-squarefoot office and warehouse in West Palm Beach and is the only organization of its kind in Florida and one of only four in the U.S. that provides a vast and diverse array of equipment. O’Neill and his team have grown beyond helping clinics to directly serving more than 3,000 children and adults in Palm Beach County and beyond each year. Rather than finding equipment on his own to recycle and repurpose, local hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical agencies are now coming to O’Neil, trusting in his reputation and ability to help families in need. Martinez knows that the more people who learn about O’Neill and his organization, the more they will see what he and Sebastian know to be true. “CCH is a game changer,” Martinez said. “They let children with special needs forget their mobility issues and just be kids.” The Clinics Can Help 10th anniversary golf classic is presented by the Gil Martinez Agency-State Farm. It will take place Friday, Oct. 27, with an 8:45 a.m. shotgun start at the Wanderers Club, located at 1900 Aero Club Drive in Wellington. Tickets for the tournament range from $325 to $1,300 for golf. Lunch-only tickets are available for $100. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit www.birdease.com/ cchgolf for more information. Sponsors (at time of printing) include the Gil Martinez Agency-State Farm, the Nicolas Group, Northwestern Mutual, the Geo Group, Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa, the Brian Marketing Group, Team Chester, GOLDLAW, the Paving Lady, Irish Links and Skort Obsession. Some sponsor opportunities and limited playing spots are still available. Visit www.clinicscanhelp.org/golf for more information about the tournament and sponsorships.
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WEST PALM - FOR RENT: Key West style, 3-bedroom 1-Bath Cottage only 5 minutes north of downtown and Clematis Street! Light and bright interior, white shaker style kitchen cabinets, stainless appliances and modern cooktop hood. New laminate flooring throughout. Large fenced backyard has tropical landscaping with plenty of room. Private driveway for parking plus additional street parking available for guests. New washer and dryer. Hurricane panel shutters. Rent includes lawn care. Option to add alarm system service for $30 extra a month. Apply on Rent Spree. Offered at $2400/month annual rental. (Call Mary)
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wellington the magazine | september 2023 33
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34 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
A LOOK AT OUR VILLAGE’S 2024 BUDGET
wellington | today
The $137.7 Million Spending Plan For The New Fiscal Year Is Focused On Carrying Out Wellington’s Goals
BY JIM BARNES, WELLINGTON VILLAGE MANAGER
Happy fiscal new year! The Village of Wellington’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 until Sept. 30 each year, and as such, we adopted our annual budget for the coming fiscal year on Wednesday, Sept. 20. As the economy rebalances, uncertainties persist. Higher highs and lower lows have characterized the economic swings that have occurred since the onset of the pandemic and the rebound that followed. Looking ahead, we anticipate a rebalancing of the economy, which will lead to a new set of expectations around stability. These factors permeate to the local level and combine with others that add complexity to the village’s ability to deliver services. Within our organization, we find that it’s never easy to balance the needs of the future with the needs of today. As demands on our resources continue to grow, we must thoughtfully and carefully grow to meet them.
Strategic Fundamentals We believe that we have accomplished our goals with this recently adopted budget. The foundation of our budget begins with our focus on our five strategic fundamentals of neighborhood renaissance, economic development, protecting our investment, responsive government and respecting the environment. We then develop the budget using insights and information from workshops with the Wellington Village Council focusing on infrastructure and facility maintenance, recreation, youth and family programs, as well as events, residential and community revitalization, and public safety. The fiscal year 2024 budget continues our commitment to stable budgeting for sustainability. The total budget
for the new fiscal year is $137.7 million and maintains the ad valorem millage rate at 2.47 mils. Expenditures increased by $9.14 million from last year as a result of inflationary price increases, expanded recreation programs and events, and infrastructure projects. The same great services are funded with the same millage rate, a $25 annual increase in the Acme Improvement District assessment and a 10 percent increase in water/sewer utility rates from the prior year.
Maintaining Service Levels The village conservatively budgets to maintain service levels delivered to residents and businesses while strategically increasing or expanding services as growth and demand warrant. We remain focused on managing labor costs, maintaining village reserves, funding capital
rehabilitation programs, and pursuing new revenue and grant opportunities. This budget has been developed to account for the expected rise in labor and material costs and other unavoidable expenses. It also includes augmentations to maintain service levels and address the council’s top priorities. The budget aims to further ensure the maintenance of necessary capital infrastructure for the long-term benefit of our community.
Significant Investment The budget incorporates a significant investment of $21 million into capital projects. This includes $7.3 million in public works, $7.4 million in utilities, and $6 million in parks and recreation. This capital investment represents a 35 percent decrease compared to last year’s adopted budget and continues to adwellington the magazine | october 2023 35
wellington | today dress both growth and rehabilitation of existing capital investments.
Our village continues to assess changing circumstances and prepare for the effects they may have on our ability to deliver services. While much remains out of our control, we have a strong grip on what we do control. Sound, conservative financial planning is at the core of our budget development efforts. This approach puts us in a position of strength that allows us to weather storms and leverage the opportunities that emerge. Our residents and businesses have been valuable partners in this ongoing quest, as have the great team members
we have on staff who play an undeniable role in our success. We have a multifaceted opportunity to refocus on our organizational culture. Between retirements and a competitive labor market, with candidates with new expectations, we are reinvigorating the culture that draws high performers to our organization. As an employer of choice, we will remain open to new ways to support our employees’ success so we can continue to ensure the kind of quality of life our community values so deeply. While one of the constants in life is change. We know that uncertainty is change’s close companion. Our resiliency lies in our preparation for uncertain times. The Village of Wellington will effectively forge new paths to remain ready to deal with whatever else may lie ahead.
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36 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
A look at where the money in the Village of Wellington budget for fiscal year 2024 comes from and what it is used for.
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wellington the magazine | october 2023 37
38 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
wellington | table
THE PERFECT CAKE FOR YOUR WEDDING Johnson’s Custom Cakes Of Wellington Creates Unique Masterpieces That Will Be A Focal Point Of Any Celebration BY SHANNON ANASTASIO
A wedding is a celebration of love, unity and commitment. Every detail is meticulously planned to create a memorable experience. Among the many elements that contribute to the grandeur of a wedding celebration, the wedding cake stands as a sweet centerpiece that captures the essence of the occasion. It is a symbol of the couple’s journey and sets the tone for the festivities. Johnson’s Custom Cakes, located here in Wellington, has mastered the art of creating these edible masterpieces that stand as the focal point of any wedding reception. The wedding cake is steeped in tradition and symbolism. Its multi-tiered
structure signifies the layers of the couple’s journey, the shared experiences and the promise of a future together. Traditionally, the act of cutting the cake is a poignant moment, symbolizing the bride and groom’s first joint task as a married couple. The sweet exchange of cake represents their commitment to provide for one another, and the ensuing shared bite is a promise of mutual support. As the centerpiece of the reception, the wedding cake embodies the essence of the celebration and usually reflects the couple’s unique style and personality. A wedding cake is more than just a dessert; it is a work of art. Owner Yumi
de la Rosa and her team at Johnson’s Custom Cakes invest time, creativity and skill to craft visually stunning confections that leave a lasting impression. From intricate floral arrangements to meticulously hand-painted designs, these cakes are a testament to craftsmanship. Every detail is thoughtfully considered, ensuring that the cake complements the overall theme and décor of the wedding. With the right design, a wedding cake can transform an ordinary space into a fairytale setting. Among the many bakeries that specialize in creating wedding cakes, Johnson’s Custom Cakes stands out as a true gem. With many years of experience wellington the magazine | october 2023 39
wellington | table
40 october 2023 | wellington the magazine
and a passionate team of skilled bakers and designers, they have mastered the art of turning flour, sugar and eggs into edible works of art. This commitment to quality is evident in every cake created — each with careful attention to detail. One of the key strengths of Johnson’s Custom Cakes is the ability to personalize each creation. The team works closely with couples to understand their vision, ensuring that the cake not only tastes divine but also reflects the couple’s unique style and story. Whether it’s a classic, timeless design or a whimsical, modern creation, Johnson’s Custom Cakes brings dreams to life. The wedding cake is a sweet masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of the occasion. Its symbolic significance and artistic expression make it an integral part of the celebration, leaving an indelible mark on the memories of all who attend. Johnson’s Custom Cakes, brings a commitment to excellence and a personalized approach, standing as a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating these sweet centerpieces that not only satisfy taste buds but also touch hearts, making them an invaluable part of any wedding celebration. Johnson’s Custom Cakes is located at 9148 Forest Hill Blvd. in the Kobosko’s Crossing shopping plaza. For more information, visit www.johnsonscustomcakes. com or call (561) 422-0303 to set up a personalized wedding cake consultation.
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wellington the magazine | october 2023 41
Florida Eye Welcomes Jonathan Lam, M.D. Laser Cataract Surgery & Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Florida Eye is excited to announce Dr. Lam is now seeing patients at our newest office, located on the campus of Bethesda West Hospital in West Boynton Beach.* Please call our office for more information and to book appointments. 561.737.5500 *Our new location is at the corner of State Road 7 & Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 240.
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