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PORTFOLIO FUSION VOLUME 1 | AUGUST 2010

MAGAZINE FOR: MODELS | ACTORS/DIRECTORS | PHOTOGRAPHERS | DESIGNERS | MAKE-UP ARTISTS | MUSICIANS | ARTISTS | CHEFS/ HOSPITALITY | EVENT PLANNERS/ENTREPRENEURS

SIMPLY PERFECT BY MELISSA CHICAGO EVENT COODINATOR+ENTREPRENEUR+EDUCATOR

MELISSA PHILLIPS INSIDE: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS & BIOGRAPHIES

MY ALMOST WEDDING STORY

25 MUST CAPTURE WEDDING DAY DETAILS

TOWN & COUNTRY GARDENS |JAMIE LEA BATES

HAZELTON PHOTOGRAPHY

|

CAITLIN HAZELTON

A WEDDING STORY |

COREY & RUTH


ADVERTISEMENT

HAZELTON PHOTOGRAPHY


AUGUST 2010

CONTENTS PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE VOLUME 1 PUBLISHER IDEAL PERSPECTIVE INTERNATIONAL, INC.

FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF RUTH OMANYA EDITOR AT LARGE COREY O’DONNELL CONTACTS ADVERTISERS advertise@portfoliofusionmagazine.com READERS feedback@portfoliofusionmagazine.com WRITERS write@portfoliofusionmagazine.com SUBSCRIPTION subscribe@portfoliofusionmagazine.com

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CONTRIBUTE submit@portfoliofusionmagazine.com GENERAL INQUIRIES info@portfoliofusionmagazine.com

15 26 ON THE FRONT COVER Simply Perfect by Melissa: Event Planning Inspirations by Chicago event planner Melissa Phillips. Photo Credit: Duron Studios

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Event Planning Inspirations

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Flowers, tips and Ideas

15 |

Wedding Photography-Interview

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K9 “almost” wedding story

CONTRIBUTORS

Melissa Phillips

ON THE BACK COVER A Wedding Story by Corey & Ruth. Photo Credit: Hazelton Photography.

Copyright: ©2010 Portfolio Fusion Magazine and its respective copyright holders. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, distribution, reposts and modification prohibited unless express written permission is granted by Portfolio Fusion Magazine and its respective copyright holders.

Jamie Lea Bates

Caitlin Hazelton

Corey & Ruth

IMAGES: Hazelton Photography | Duron Studios | Jennifer Kaye Photography | Artisan Events | |Belvedere Banquets | Pret a Poser Photography |Yeager Fotografix | EB Creative Photography |Jennifer Mordini | Michael Roberts Photography| |Image Studios | Steve Garrett | Yaromir Mlynski

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EDITOR’S LETTER

IMAGE BY YAROMIR MLYNSKI

RUTH OMANYA

Dear Readers, Beautiful weather is here, and the wedding season is still on! Just in time for our event planner edition Volume One, August 2010 launch. It is also the month that marks history: Chelsea Clinton gets married! Our event planner edition features professionals who make it happen at wedding events. This edition is packed with insights on event planning, inspirations, tips, stories, and exclusive interviews with professional event planner Melissa Phillips, wedding photographer Caitlin Hazelton, and florist Jamie Lea Bates. Portfolio Fusion Magazine is all about exposing aspiring and professional talents while opening up opportunities for them to network and advance in the industry of their fields. Our features include talents in Acting & Film Directing, Modeling, Photography, Fashion Stylist, Designing, Make-up Artistry, Music & Art, Culinary, Event Planning, and Entrepreneurship. Get Exposed!

Ruth Omanya

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PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER


BIOGRAPHY MELISSA PHILLIPS

Event Coordinator and Owner, Simply Perfect by Melissa

M

elissa Phillips is the founder and creative force (genius) behind Simply Perfect by Melissa. Melissa is a unique combination of right brain and left-brain skill sets – she has a creative mind that manifests itself in tasteful, stylish, welldesigned events that delight and wow clients, guests and vendors. Her analytical and organizational skills are exactly what you need to deliver an event that is on budget, run with efficiency and without stress. Melissa is known for her passion, great listening skills, industry knowledge and for being a trusted and reliable partner in the process of creating and delivering your event. Her satisfied clients often rave about her - describing her as “the gem that we didn’t know about, but are so glad that we discovered her,

because she gave us incredible service, anticipated all our needs and was always so patient and easy to work with.” Melissa draws inspiration and energy from the people she has met in her life and from her diverse hobbies (adventure travel & eco-tourism, bungee & base jumping, mountain climbing, sports, cooking/ baking and reading). She holds multiple degrees in Education from Loyola University, Dominican University and National Louis University. Melissa credits her early career as an educator as the reason she loves to share knowledge and for giving her unwavering patience. Melissa has been creating simply perfect events for over 10 years. Melissa and her events have been featured in numerous publications including Chicago Style Weddings, CS Brides, Chicago SunTimes, and The Daily Herald. Melissa is an active member of the Association of Bridal Consultants. IMAGE COURTESY OF MELISSA PHILIPS/NKE_9818

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH

MELISSA PHILLIPS

IMAGE BY JENNIFER MORDINI BOTH PAGES

SIMPLY PERFECT PORTFOLIO SPREAD

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PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER


SIMPLY PERFECT BY EXCLUSIVE As for my inspiration, I’d have to say my family. My parents are

entrepreneurs, so I’ve had wonderful role models growing up, which ultimately inspired me to venture out on my own and become an entrepreneur myself! I have always been encouraged to set my goals high and

INTERVIEW WITH MELISSA PHILLIPS

to work hard to achieve them. The event planning industry is not your typical job, so having my family there to support me and work with my crazy schedule has allowed me to do what I love and most importantly, be successful at it!

RUTH: How long have you been a planner and what inspired you to become a planner? MELISSA: I’ve been a planner for over 10 years, yet started Simply Perfect by Melissa in 2006. Since my childhood, I have always been a planner of sorts, yet I began true event planning 12 years ago at Loyola University. After college, I taught high school for seven years – I enjoyed teaching and my content area of science, but just wasn’t sure I was cut out for the public education system. I dabbled in school-wide event planning with students and had a lot of fun with it. While thinking about what I would do if I was no longer a teacher, it was obvious to those around me before it even became obvious to me – event planning! I love the excitement that goes into fine tuning details and the challenge of making it all come together on the day of the event. Through all of the preparations, last minute adjustments, and obstacles that develop as we put it all together on the day of the event, a surge of adrenaline rushes through me at each and every event I coordinate. I think I often get just as excited as my clients. The vision that has been clear in my head throughout the planning process comes to life on this one special day – I just love to see their reactions!

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MELISSA: Both share many qualitiescommunicating, teaching, detailing, and organizing. I love event planning because I get to plan a celebration with my clients. Weddings and life’s celebrations are joyous times, and being part of such happy, momentous memories is a privilege and such a thrill. With each event there is a rush of excitement as we brainstorm, plan, and ultimately pull everything together to culminate with an event that is more than a client could expect. It is their reaction when they first see themselves in a mirror with her wedding gown on, or a first glimpse when they walk into their

Simply Perfect by Melissa

event space and see what was created for them<all of those moments make the job

Event Coordination Solutions

amazing! RUTH: What challenges do you face in your business or event planning in general? MELISSA: Lack of education in an event planner’s role. I think there are many that assume it is a job of party hoping and, essentially, being a professional guest at events. I think many do not realize the time and energy that goes in behind the IMAGES BY STEVE GARRETT

scenes to work with clients, manage their

RUTH: What is the story behind simply perfect, what inspired you to name it “simply perfect”?

events, and execute them when the day comes. As a result, others in the industry as well as those who have participated in many weddings as attendants want to assume the role. Not that any of those individuals are incapable, but I am constantly learning, reading, attending conferences and workshops. This is my career and I have to stay up to date with the

MELISSA: When I began brainstorming business names, I did not want any-

latest in the industry. It is very challeng-

thing overly bridal to give me more flexibility in the events I could plan and

ing to do this job to its fullest potential

execute. I asked myself how I wanted to remember my wedding day or special

success fully when there are other roles to

celebration, and with that, I felt I would want to look back and think of it as

focus on such as the kitchen crew, enter-

simply perfect- no changes or regrets<”simply perfect” as it was.

taining music, or being a participant in

RUTH: As a former teacher, and now a successful event planner, which of the

the event. As a professional, I strive to be

two professions would you say you enjoy the most and why? 8

PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER

the best at what it is I do.


IMAGE BY JENNIFER MORDINI

RUTH: Indulge me more on the creative force behind

RUTH: As an educator and a planner, what advice or tips

simply perfect.

can you share with readers about event planning?

MELISSA: I love coming up with new ideas and ways to

MELISSA: Give yourself plenty of time- There is no need

present the more traditional components of an event. I

to rush with your plans. When you budget the appropriate

spend a great deal of time reading blogs, looking through

amount of time, you tend to make better choices, there are

all sort of magazines from bridal, interior design, enter-

more options available to you, and you simply enjoy the

tainment, and/or furniture catalogues. Several times a

process much more. Educate yourself- Do some research

week I type in various key words related to events and

and learn what questions to ask, key qualities event pro-

search through Google images and flickr just to see what

fessionals should possess, ask questions and look through

is happening. I keep inspiration books which I often refer

portfolios, and check references. Be an educated planner

back to as I design events with my clients. That is defi-

just as you would if you were making a home or car pur-

nitely my most favorite part of my job!

chase.

RUTH: Does your event planning extend to other forms

RUTH: From experience, what are some of the lessons,

of events or is it solely wedding planning?

facts or observations you have made along the way in the

MELISSA: We do all sorts of special events- Bar/Bat Mitz-

industry that you can share with readers?

vahs, non for profit events, showers, birthday parties, anniversary parties<they are all different and I love being able to try new and different things with each that may not fit with a wedding.

Simply Perfect by Melissa

Event Coordination Solutions EVENT PLANNER | AUGUST 2010 | PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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IMAGE BY MODERN IMAGE STUDIOS

MELISSA: This industry is constantly changing. Being suc-

MELISSA: I was always encouraged to set goals and reach

cessful in the industry requires time and a commitment to

for them. That means having a strong work ethic, a value in

stay well informed and connected. Balance<this profession

education, and being an honest, ethical worker to achieve

requires a great deal of balance. Not just in balancing a

my end result. I think it is very important as a parent to

work load, but in balancing a career, family, and personal

practice what you encourage, and I am a very fortunate to

time. Achieving balance is not easy and something I always

have parents who have done just that and have been suc-

work towards. It is very easy to sacrifice personal and/or

cessful from it. I am extremely close with my family. Their

family time, but the challenging comes in maintaining a

support and encouragement is what gives me strength dur-

good amount of all three. On a personal note, since I am

ing stressful times and when I get a new challenge that

constantly coordinating events, attend them as a guest is a

seems overwhelming. I have seen what they have achieved

challenge. I think I am the worst wedding or event guest

and that provides me constant encouragement.

because I cannot just relax and enjoy the party<I am looking at the details. I also am the worst at RSVPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ing on time for the events. It makes my friends and families laugh. RUTH: You come from a family of entrepreneur parents who also happen to be your role models and support sys-

EVENT

tem; please share more about the support and influences you have had from your family.

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COORDINATION SOLUTIONS

PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER


IMAGE BY MICHAEL ROBERTS IMAGE BY JENNIFER MORDINI

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RUTH: What is next for Melissa and simply perfect, where do you see your growth in the next 3 to 5 years? MELISSA: Simply Perfect by Melissa is expanding to the Milwaukee area, so we will be spending the next 2

EVENT

years growing our business there. We will continue working hard here in Chicago creating new and innovative events. We will be bringing a couple of new

COODINATION

SOLUTIONS

staff members to assist with events and our overall growth and expansion. I would love to see us get in-

www.simplyperfectbymelissa.com

volved in more local non for profit work, as well as

TEL: 312.576.7910 | FAX: 847.5431585

expand our special events division. The past 4 years has brought me more than I ever thought<I cannot

IMAGE BY DURON STUDIOS

wait to see what another 3 to 5 years will deliver us!

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PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER


EVENT PLANNING

INSPIRATIONS From my childhood, I’ve always been a planner, yet back in college is when I truly began event planning at Loyola University. After I graduated, I taught high school for seven years – I enjoyed teaching and my content area of science, but was not sure I was cut out for the public education system. I always participated in school-wide event planning with students and really enjoyed it. So after thinking about what I would do if I no longer taught, it was obvious to those around me before it even became obvious to me, event planning! I love the excitement that goes into fine tuning details and the challenge of making it all come together. Through all of the preparations, last minute adjustments and obstacles that develop day of, a surge of adrenaline rushes through me at every event I coordinate – I think I often get just as excited as my clients!

The vision that has been clear in my head throughout the entire planning process comes to life on this one special day and I just love to see their reactions! I was inspired to venture on my own and become an entrepreneur from my family. My parents are entrepreneurs, so I have had wonderful role models and always been encouraged to set my goals high and to work hard to achieve them. The event planning industry is not your typical job, so having my family there to support me and work with my crazy schedule has allowed me to do what I love and be successful at it. – Melissa Phillips PHOTO COURTESY OF MELISSA PHILLIPS/NKE_

EVENT PLANNER | AUGUST 2010 | PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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STUDY U.S.A! Do you Enjoy:

Expressing yourself in a visual media,

creating images from ideas, helping

people see and

understand subject to which they might not otherwise have access?

Explore your interests and apply to the right college at:

WWW.IDEALCOLLEGEPLACEMENTS.NET/APPLY


CAITLIN HAZELTON A WIFE | A NEW MOM | PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW RUTH: How would you describe your photography? CAITLIN: It's really a mix of styles - photojournalism, traditional and non-traditional portraiture, commercial (fashion and product) oriented

IMAGE BY JENNIFER KAYE

HAZELTON PHOTOGRAPHY WWW.HAZELTONPHOTO.COM|630. 405.8105

314 E. STATE ST. SUITE A GENEVA, IL 60134

EVENT PLANNER | AUGUST 2010 | PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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RUTH: How long have you been a

I know that I need to leave as much

RUTH: Where do you see Hazelton

professional photographer?

time as possible to spend with my

photo 3-5 years from now as far as

family - that is my number one - I

growth is concerned?

CAITLIN: I have been shooting professionally for about 11 years, full time for about 4 RUTH: What inspired you to get into photography? CAITLIN: My family has always been into art, in high school I took all of the art classes we had available, but photography was not one of them - when I got into college I was able to take it as an elective and I just fell in love with it

think that is why I am so passionate about what I do, because I am creating visual memories for families.

CAITLIN: I would like to continue to grow the wedding portion of the business, and possibly have that separate

RUTH: What challenges do you face

from the portrait side. As a boutique

in the photography business and

studio, I have a limited client base but

how have you overcome them?

I would like to be able to provide even

CAITLIN: A lot of it has to do with what I charge people - sometimes people do not see the value in professional photography, because it's so easy to go out and buy a camera

better customer service to my existing clients and new clients so they know they don't just have great photos, but a new friend! That may mean taking on new employees to help assist me!

RUTH: Other than weddings, and en-

these days. They don't see the work

RUTH: As a photographer, what tips

gagements what other categories do

that is put in behind the scenes

can you give brides to be preparing

you photograph?

though -- the knowledge of how to

for their big day?

CAITLIN: I do headshots and family

capture a photograph and make it

portraits as well, and some commer-

look a certain way, the ability to take

cial (mostly tabletop product shots)

charge and explain what I want in

RUTH: How do you achieve the combination of creativity, artistic and timeless images? CAITLIN: I really draw on my background in art and my influences from what I learned in school. When I am setting up an image or want to capture

the photographs and be able to create it, the editing process, the time it takes to keep up with the business part of it too (invoicing, emailing, updating website, etc.)

and wants to "experiment" with it - it means someone who is passionate about what they do, has some knowledge of the flow of a wedding - and whose imagery you can see

on a style and learn how to use the

use the environment I shoot in to find

equipment you have to the best of

new angles. I also pay a lot of attention

your ability - either through school

to lighting, especially on location.

or through another photographer being passionate about what you do and having the knowledge of how photography and lighting work is way more important than having

CAITLIN: More difficult than I

the best equipment out there. Also,

thought it would be! I definitely had

know that your time is valuable—

my schedule down as a wife and busi-

your work is probably worth more

ness owner, but once my son was born

when you are just starting out than

I have realized I need to rethink the

you think it is.

way I do things again - I am slowly but surely getting there.

16

who just bought a new digital SLR

piring photographers?

my head and try to recreate it. I also

balance your schedule?

That doesn't mean your Uncle Bob

day and is excited about your day too

CAITLIN: I would definitely work

and a wife, do you find it difficult to

with to photograph your wedding!

RUTH: What tips can you give as-

something, I usually see an image in

RUTH: As a professional, a mother

CAITLIN: Pick someone you get along

PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER

yourself in, if that makes sense—that way you know you have a similar style. Also, de-stress! If that means hiring someone to plan your wedding, do your hair and makeup take care of all the timing and details so you can have an awesome, memorable, stressfree day; then do it! Use those bridesmaids. That’s what they are there for! I really emphasize stress-free photography at my company, I want to make sure your day goes exactly how you want, or if there are a few bumps in the road, they seem like no big deal! The most awesome day of your life is my #1 goal.


JAMIE LEA BATES

amazing mentor and teacher. Once I

INSPIRED

classes in business management and

BY MY HIGH SCHOOL

work load and I always looked for-

graduated high school, I began taking working full time as a wedding planner at the flower shop. It was quite a ward to the weekends, weekends

SWEETHEART...

meant delivering weddings! The shop was getting so busy that I was given the opportunity to meet with brides and turn their ideas into reality. Up until then I thought delivering a wedding was a rewarding experience, I was about to learn that working with brides one on one was even more rewarding. This was the start to my floral design and planning career. I have since switched floral companies and am blessed to now be a part of Town and Country Gardens. I was given such an amazing opportunity here to continue doing what I love doing, plan and coordinate flowers for IMAGE BY EB CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

weddings and events.

I

TOWN & COUNTRY

GARDENS

guess it starts with Mike, my

arrangements at a beautiful church

I have learned so much along the way,

high school sweetheart (still

and reception hall and then I cried

from the designers I have worked with

together today), encouraging me

with joy at how beautiful it looked!

to all of the brides and grooms I have

to come work with him at a lo-

That day I remember thinking this is

helped. I continue to learn new things

cal flower shop when we were in high

the most rewarding experience I

everyday from the owners, designers,

school. It began as just a high school

have had and I need to do it again. I

interns and staff at Town and Country

job until I was given the opportunity

began delivering weddings week-

Gardens. I have all of my clients to

to deliver a wedding. I brought the

end after weekend. I began to learn

thank for inspiring me with new ideas

bride her wedding bouquet and she

all of the design and coordination

and visions that I help turn into reality.

cried with joy at how beautiful it was.

that goes into wedding flowers with

I have an amazing job and it is truly

Then I got to decorate and set up sev-

the help of Lori, who was an

rewarding everyday!

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IMAGE BY BELVEDERE PHOTOGRAPHY

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IMAGE BY ARTISAN EVENTS

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH

JAMIE LEA BATES RUTH: What memorable and best ex-

enough to play a role along with the

perience have you had in this business

owner of Town and Country Gar-

and what r wards have you received

dens, in the design and creation of

from it?

our new website. It was a lot of work

JAMIE: In 2007, the floral shop I was planning events for was honored with the award "The Best Of" from the Knot.com. This was such an honor for both the shop and me personally, and was very recognizable to our clients.

and hours of effort but to see the end result was incredible. I am being

showers, corporate meetings and events. RUTH: How do you achieve your perfectionism and attention to detail in your work? JAMIE: By taking my time and treating every event as if it were my own. I connect with my clients and take the time to not only listen to their vision but to see it as well.

completely honest when I say that every one of my events holds a unique memory for me and are all of the reasons that I enjoy my career.

WWW.EVENTSBYTCB.COM 847.742.1135 936 E CHICAGO ST. ELGIN, IL 60120

Many brides respect the publication

RUTH: what other events do you

and we almost immediately saw an

service?

increase in our wedding sales. Anoth-

JAMIE: Bridal showers, rehearsal

er very memorable experience for me

dinners, anniversary and birthday

was the design of our website,

parties, baptisms, christenings, baby

eventsbytcg.com I was lucky EVENT PLANNER | AUGUST 2010 | PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

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IMAGE BY PRET A POSER

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IMAGE BY YEAGER FOTOGRAFIX

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RUTH: What tips can you give as-

in the flower business and how

piring florists and shoppers?

have you overcome them?

JAMIE: To an aspiring florist never

JAMIE: I feel the biggest challenge

stop learning; I continue to learn

in our industry is meeting each cli-

from my coworkers every day. Our

entâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget and their expectations.

industry is always changing it is

Every client has a unique vision of

important to keep up! Have an

what their special day should con-

open mind and never lose sight of

sist of with no exception on the dec-

each clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision. Listen to each

orations. We want to give our cli-

client and give them your atten-

ents everything they dream of and

tion. Be enthusiastic and always

sometimes we are the bearer of bad

remember this is not only your

wedding/event and everyday busi-

news that their vision unfortunately

career but your passion, enjoy it!

ness. We continue to keep our quali-

doesn't fit their budget. We then

RUTH: Where do you see Town &

have to creatively find a way to bal-

Country Garden 3-5 years from

ance budget and dreams. I over-

now as far as growth is concerned?

come this by listening; understanding what is most important and to then turn a vision into reality with-

ty superior and our service exceptional. We will continue to grow the shop in the years to come by always putting our clients first. Focusing on

JAMIE: Town and Country Gar-

our client referrals and overall client

dens continues to improve on our

satisfaction will keep us growing for

procedures when it comes to our

many years to come.

IMAGE BY ARTISAN EVENTS

out compromising the budget.

IMAGE BY PRET A POSER

RUTH: What challenges do you face

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PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER


TIPS AND IDEAS

BY

JAMIE LEA BATES DIY It does not always make sense to try and do things yourself. Flowers are perishable and should be prepared right before your big day. Talk to your florist, be sure they know what your ideas are and let them help you. A good florist will create decorations that fit both your style and budget.

COLORS Choose colors that fit your personality. There are so many colors to choose from when selecting wedding flowers. The flowers should always compliment your dresses.

SELECTING A FLORIST There are many factors that should play a part in booking your florist. You should feel comfortable with your consultant right from the start. You will need to work with them for months leading up to the wedding. They should have both knowledge of flowers and experience servicing weddings and events. Some great questions to ask are: How many weddings do you take in a typical weekend? Do you have multiple designers on staff? Do you provide samples if needed? What delivery options are available and do you have enough staff and vehicles to handle delivering my wedding?

BUDGET

IMAGE BY YEAGER FOTOGRAFIX

Create a budget for your wedding flowers. Be realistic with your expectations, keep your florist in the loop and be honest right from the start about your budget. It is best to inform the florist of your budget and the things you need that are most important to you. Everyone has a different vision for their special day and letting your florist know yours will help them give you everything you are looking for at the price that is most comfortable for you. There are a lot of options when it comes to flowers and a good florist will give you ideas that not only fit

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BIOGRAPHY

IMAGE BY EB CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

JAMIE LEA BATES

J

amie’s been in the floral industry for 12 years. She was given a unique opportunity to grow and expand a suburban flower shop’s wedding business. In 7 years her attention to detail and customer service helped get her shop the prestigious award “Best of” from the Knot. However, Jamie does not take all the credit. She admits that she has had the opportunity to work with amazing floral designers and coordinators, which has contributed to her knowledge in both planning and coordinating all events, intimate or grand. Her perfectionism and attention to detail shines through in the hundreds of events she has been blessed to be a part of. In 2007 Jamie joined the Town and Country Gardens team and has continued to use her creativity coordinating events. “I believe listening and understanding the vision of each client is the first step to creating unforgettable floral décor.”

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PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM | AUGUST 2010 | EVENT PLANNER


K9 “ALMOST” WEDDING STORY

I was rescued from Texas where I was going to be put down! I had heart -worms yucky! But together, 4Paws 4 U4Ever, my vet at Wheaton Animal Hospital, and my new parents Corey and Ruth nursed me back to health just in time for the wedding! Oops I lied. I couldn’t make the wedding, but Mom and Dad made sure I made it to the engagement session photo shoot! How about that? I’m pretty happy at my new home! My hobbies are:

MOM +DAD= IMAGE BY HAZELTON PHOTOGRAPHY

Morning & Evening

ME!

Walks Rolling on the grass Sniffing stuff Basking in the sun Sleeping all day Barking at other dogs

Oh

Breezy car rides Hanging out with Charlie

yeah, “Charlie”

is my boyfriend, I think! He is

always happy to see

me when I walk by his house. He is also the only dog I get along with; at least Mom and Dad think so.

Just Kidding…

M

y name is Cami! I’m 6 yrs old. Mommy and Daddy adopted me from a Rescue when I was 4 years old.

Yes, I know, I look like a puppy - I get that a lot! Thanks for noticing! Okay, let’s focus - there is more to me than my looks <

My most embarrassing moment was when I got nervous and peed at a pet store when shopping with Mom and Dad for the first time. Since then, I have never had any accidents. What I’m I afraid of? Thunderstorms! I shake and run to cuddle by Mommy for protection every time it storms.

–.

Cami O’Donnell

P.S.: I think I’m a princess; I just haven’t been crowned yet (maybe soon!) I’m very optimistic!

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OUR WEDDING DAY

IMAGES PAGE 26-48 BY HAZELTON PHOTOGRAPHY

COREY & RUTH

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OUR WEDDING

STORY

MUST

H

CAPTURE WEDDING DAY

aving lost many of my siblings & both my parents, and my three sisters

in different corners of the world, I

DETAILS

did not really want a wedding at all. I did not want to subject myself to an emotional situation of not having my own father give me away, or looking around at the attendees on my wed11. Gift table 12. Guests during cocktail hour 13. Bride and groom’s arrival at reception 14. Cake cutting 15. Best man toast 16. Maid of honor toast 17. Bride & Groom Speeches 18. Father and Bride dance 19. Mother and Groom dance 20. Bride and Groom dance 21. Guest on the dance floor 22. Flower girl and ring bearer 23. Bouquet toss 24. Fun moments 25. Details, details & more details

1.

The ceremony and reception venues 2. The groom’s arrival at ceremony 3. The bride’s arrival at ceremony 4. The bride and groom getting ready 5. The bridal party walking down the isle 6. The groom at the altar 7. The bride walking down the isle 8. The ceremony (“I DO” moment) 9. Bridal party, family and Friends 10. Guests receiving/Guestbook signing

ding day and realize that none of them were my close family members. So six years ago, my husband and I decided to get married in court to protect me from the heartache of not having my family at our wedding. If one would have told me that we would be having a wedding six years later, I would have not believed it.

OUR WEDDING Corey & Ruth We wanted Simple Elegance with a Historic touch!

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It has been over seven years since we

I remember when we went to meet

I also learned that having a great

married in court and over a year since

our florist; she said that she rarely

wedding photographer is vital. Creat-

our wedding. One thing was for sure.

met a bride and groom in most her

ing memories of your wedding that

Even though we were married, there

appointment, that many times it

you can cherish for years is a very

was always something missing - that

would just be a meeting with the

important aspect of your wedding

wedding day magic, the excitement

bride alone. We thought that was a

day. It is a huge blessing to have a

sending and receiving an invitation

sweet compliment! My husband’s

photographer who can capture your

card, the whole planning process! It

involvement in the whole process

day’s moments and details that brings

took me feeling the emptiness

made me realize that my old outlook

joy to your heart every time you look

“something is missing” feeling to

or negative attitude due to my past

at the images.

gather courage to warm up to the idea

must have been robbing us of what

of having a wedding. Most important-

we really needed to do for ourselves,

ly I think my husband’s side of the

our families, and friends: a wedding

family really expected a wedding

celebration!

from their Son/Brother. Honestly speaking, I dreaded the planning part. It seemed and felt like such a chore and very intimidating as such, especially since I never dreamed I would have a wedding, let alone plan one. The most amazing thing is the tremendous understanding and support I received from my husband and once we decided to go through with it, he was very much involved with helping plan for the wedding!

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A few things I learned from the entire wedding planning process is that one cannot successfully do it alone without some guidance from an event coordinator, family, friends, and even wedding vendors. Consulting and getting the necessary guidance simply

“Our day was really magical Everything fell in place and we were all very happy with how everything turned out. It was everything we ever dreamed of and more. Simple elegance with a

historic touch! Our Wedding Story!

makes the entire planning process a much more fun experience and less daunting!

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Corey & Ruth


What I do know is that our wedding day turned out to be a beautiful day! It was truly magical! My parents or my siblings may have not been there with me, but I know they were all looking down on me! It was supposed to rain all day that day, but for some amazing reason it was sunny the entire day. It was simply a beautiful day! In fact, at the end of the night, the DJ played a Karaoke version of “Beautiful Day” by U2, and my husband Corey sang the entire song to me! This was after he had danced the entire John Travolta solo dance routine from “Saturday Night Fever”, along with enjoying the famous ” Raiders March” tune earlier that day from the ceremony.

FAMILY It was a great honor to have my aunt and our close family friend Dr. Kang’ethe give me away on behalf of my late parents. Ruth Omanya

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THE GROOM Corey O’Donnell

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THE GROOM &

RING BEARER Corey O’Donnell & Carson

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BRIDE &

GROOM Corey O’Donnell & Ruth Omanya

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GROOM & HIS GROOMSMAN Corey O’Donnell & Rich Staron

FRIENDSHIP There is nothing as great as a lifelong friendship; but what's even more wonderful is having that friend as one of your groomsmen! Corey O’Donnell

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BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS Betty Mburu, Ruth Omanya & Leslie Tiongco

M

y bridesmaids were more than my maids; they were new sisters I gained! I was truly blessed that they were by my side on our big day on behalf of my siblings who couldn’t make it to the wedding! – Ruth Omanya

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RECEPTION

VENUE

W

e chose Hotel Baker for our wedding reception because we knew we would get the simple elegance and historic touch we wanted for our wedding! â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Corey and Ruth

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GROOM & HIS GROOMSMEN Rich Staron, Drew Habas, and Corey O’Donnell

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t’s a complete “double the fun” having both of your best friends stand at your wedding as groomsmen! -Corey O’Donnell

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FLOWERS By Town & Country Gardens

W

e chose Town & Country Gardens because they listened, cared, and delivered our vision! We were amazed at how fresh the flowers remained many days after the wedding! We received countless compliments about the flowers from our wedding guests too! We definitely made a wise choice by work with them! - Corey and Ruth

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CENTERPIECE Favorite TV Shows Themeâ&#x20AC;Ś

This was probably one of the highlights of our day! Our centerpieces were photos of characters from our favorite TV shows. They included Family Guy, Friends, Will & Grace, 24, The Simpsons, The Office, and House. At first it sounded like a silly idea. But on the wedding day, the centerpieces not only looked great at the table, but they also turned out to be great conversation pieces amongst our guests. Looking around the room, we could tell that our guests felt comfortable and were probably talking about episodes from the TV shows! Our guests thought the centerpieces were a very original idea! -Corey & Ruth

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THE WATERFRONT

ROOM T

he waterfront room was amazing! It was elegant, light & bright with amazing architectural details throughout the room and, a beautiful view of a waterfall feature on the Fox River! This room definitely completed our vision for our wedding day! -Corey & Ruth

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AMAZING ACHITECTURAL DETAILS

WATERFRONT ROOM Ruth & Corey’s Guests

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THE GIFT TABLE

T

his is probably the only place you will see your wedding gifts neatly wrapped before you unwrap them. Your guests take the time; some may even spend money to have those gifts professionally wrapped. Why not keep a memory of that to cherish for years to come. Ruth

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THE VIRTUAL BOUQUET TOSS

O

ur photographer did an amazing job of capturing every virtual moment of the bouquet tossed! It was amazing to see the facial reactions on everyone involved on an image after the fact. These are the types of moments that happen in a split second that if you don’t capture, you will never know, let alone share the memory. – Corey & Ruth

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WHAT’S ON THE MENU??

This is funny! It was such a busy day. I don’t even recall eating, let alone what had to eat. Apparently I had Salmon according to this photo, ha-hah…! -Ruth

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DESSERT ANY ONE?

Oh, wait! I think this was my piece of cake. -Ruth

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SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

DANCE ROUTINE BY

THE GROOM

The groom danced the entire John Travolta solo dance Routine from “Saturday Night Fever”! Another major highlight of the day! I think I was surprised, I never saw this side of Corey! I know he has no shame, but I never imagined he would pull this off on our wedding day, wow…! -Ruth 46

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MORE DANCING!!

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Portfolio Fusion Magazine ( August 2010)