Please note that we are still accepting contributions and sponsorships for the 2011 Grand Wedding! This is an open opportunity for everyone who is interested. If you have any questions at all about how to participate, please email or call us at 239-673-9620.

The Engagement Session with Maria Glassford

I flipped when I got these images from Maria. She captured exactly what I always see from Christy & Keith- that super fun kind of love. Awesome, just awesome!


 Maria Glassford was introduced to me through her participation with The Grand Wedding, and I couldn't be more thrilled that she's a part of the team.  Maria took a few moments to answer some questions for me so that I could get to know her and her business a bit better.  Here is what she had to say:
"I grew up in Fort Myers, I'm married to my wonderful husband, Kirt and we have 5 kids- 4 boys and one girl. As far as photography, I started mainly with family and baby shoots. However, 2 years ago, I was a bridesmaid in my best friends wedding and from that very day, I knew I had to combine my passion of photography with my love of weddings. I booked my first wedding a month later and I haven't slowed down since. I absolutely love what I do and feel like I haven't worked a day in my life.  I have so many favorites about working with couples but I love most of all that we typically start as strangers and end as friends. The relationship with my clients is vital over the course of their engagement and I love getting to know them and their love story. Close second is seeing them together on the happiest day of their lives."

Then she told me all about the engagement session with Christy & Keith.  Downtown Ft Myers is such a great backdrop for an engagement session (and a wedding!).  As I expected, it sounded like they all had a great time!
"Keith and Christy, the whole time we were together we were doing one of two things. Either smiling or laughing. Seriously, this couple was so spontaneous and just so much fun to be around.  Not too long into the shoot, Keith started calling the shots to Christy...kiss, serious face, smile, kiss, look away from the camera. laugh...and man was he good. He says all of the credit goes to America's Next Top Model for teaching him how to work the camera. I was dying and just trying my best to prevent camera shake! Towards the end of our session, Christy randomly grabbed a bike from the side of a building because she thought it was pretty much a necessity for our shoot. Of course, this was after walking into the neighboring restaurant to ask all of guests in the room if the bike happened to be theirs. Keith is so cool, relaxed and laid back and Christy is truly so sweet and so excited to marry the man of her dreams. We had so much fun walking around the streets of downtown Fort Myers and I was honored to capture a little piece of their love story before they say "I do" next month.  I have no doubt their lifetime together will be filled with great happiness, plenty of laughter and a whole lot of fun!"
A huge thank you to Maria for contributing this engagement session to The Grand Wedding!  We do still have availability for your business to participate in The Grand Wedding 2011; reach out!: (239) 673-9620.

The Floral Design meeting with Signature Florals

We are rolling through this wedding planning!  Yesterday Christy and I met with Sue at Signature Florals to work on the floral designs for The Grand Wedding.  The consultation went great as we we figured out how to use the flowers in with the retro design concept and our color palette of Raspberry, Black and White.  Sue's ideas were phenomenal as always.  Her knowledge of the era was so extensive!  Now I think we're all just busting at the seams to actually put this all in place.  January 30th can't get here fast enough.

The Dress! The Dress!

This past Saturday, Christy went to Tie The Knot Bridal down in Naples for her 1st dress fitting and wedding day styling.  All I can say is stunning!  The dress is the perfect fit for her retro inspired wedding (just over a month away!).  Christy and her mom arrived to the boutique for their private styling appointment with Tie the Knot co-owner Hilary and Pop Jewels owner Maria.
Here is a sneek peek of Christys styling session:

Here's the difference between Tie the Knot bridal and most of the "big stores".  When you arrive at Tie the Knot, you are there for a personal and private appointment.  Their ultimate goal is to help you find you ultimate wedding style and make sure that your entire look works.  That means picking everything from the dress, to the shoes, to the accessories AND the dresses you'll wear to all your other parties.  Engagement, shower, welcome reception, rehearsal dinner.  You only get married once, and you'll want to look your best always.  This is how you do that!

Announcing the Pros!

From Top Left and clockwise: Kelly McWilliams' Weddings by Socialites, I Heart Films, Signature Florals, Impressions Photography, Audrey Snow Photography, Hotel Indigo, Lauren E Wiley, Frey Valet

We are absolutely thrilled with the wedding professionals who have joined the 2011 Grand Wedding Team!
  • Ashley Brockinton Photography: Bridal Portrait ::Click::
  • Audrey Snow Photography: Wedding Day Photography ::Click::
  • Casa Ybel Resort: Rehearsal Dinner ::Click::
  • Customized Wedding Creations: Aisle Runner ::Click::
  • Daily Chocolates: Favors ::Click::
  • Frank Jean LMT: Massage Therapy 
  • Frey Valet: Valet services ::Click::
  • New Moon Cruises: Private Charter ::Click::
  • Get Groovy: Invitation Design ::Click::
  • Derek Trenholm Band: Wedding Band ::Click::
  • Hotel Indigo: Honeymoon Suite ::Click::
  • I Heart Films: Videography ::Click::
  • Impressions Photography: Detail Photos (Wedding Day) ::Click::
  • Jennifer King: Hair & Makeup Styling
  • Kakes by Karen: Wedding & Grooms Cakes ::Click::
  • Lauren E Wiley: Ceremony Vocalist ::Click::
  • Luminaire Foto: Fotovideo ::Click::
  • Maria Glassford Photography: Engagement Session ::Click::
  • Nick Adams Photography: Rock the Frock Session ::Click::
  • Pop Jewels: Wedding Day Accessories ::Click::
  • Pro DJs: Wedding DJ ::Click::
  • Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center ::Click::
  • Signature Florals: Wedding Florals ::Click::
  • Tie The Knot Bridal Salon: Wedding Dress and Bridesmaids dresses ::Click::
 Interested in particiapting?  We have sponsorships and participation openings:
Tuxedos, Catering, Flowers, Jewelry, Entertainment... Just call 239.673.9620.

And the winners of The Grand Wedding 2011 are...

We are so incredibly thrilled to announce The 2011 Grand Wedding Couple
Christy Vinciguerra & Keith Goodwin
Keith is a baseball coach and Christy a cheerleading coach, both live right here in SW Florida.  Christy & Keith will be married on January 30th on the steps of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.
More to come, please follow along as we plan this amazing wedding.
In the meantime, please do pick up a copy of Weddings Illustrated- you'll see TGW 2010 on page 132! 

All images are the fantastic work (as always) of Crystal Connelly; the official photographer of the 2010 Grand Wedding Engagement Party

Pictures from the Proposal Party

Cake by Kakes by Karen

I know, you're dying to see the pictures from the Engagement Party.  Trust me, they are coming and they are fabulous.  But I for sure wanted to show these amazing images from Audrey Snow Photography from the Proposal Party first!  They really do show how much fun we have as a wedding community when we get together to plan an awesome wedding like The Grand Wedding.  Everyone is so excited...and we can not wait to dive in!
Gift bags for everyone!

Tarra and Ashley

Crystal Connelly

Flowers by Signature Florals

Hope Henderson and Kelly McWilliams

Alicia and Teresa from South Seas

Kim Becker and Little Miss Frey

Danny & Amy Morgan, Thank You for the Dance

Sue Bain & Gail from Signature Florals

Mike Owen & Audrey Snow (Owen?)

Jim Griffith, CEO, SBDAC

Kim talking about the success of TGW 2010

Kelly McWilliams giving her motivational speech

Tiffany, Kristin, and Nick

The Grand Atrium

Sue Bain

Karl Rowhorst

The Nowhere Band

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center

The Nowhere Band was a huge hit!

 Thank you Audrey & Mike for capturing these moments for us!

More huge prizes than I can count on 2 hands

VIP Swag Bag to Advance Ticket Brides & Registrants!
I can not believe how generous these amazing wedding professionals are!  Prizes will be awarded to The Grand Wedding winners, the finalists, and attendees from all of the below and more.  And we're not talking about $25 gift certificates.  We're talking MAJOR prizes.  Tickets available here: TICKETS

Casa Ybel Resort
Astrid & Rene Photography
Ashley Brockinton Photography
Signature Florals
Weddings by Socialites
Audrey Snow Photography (who took the picture above!)
Impressions Photography
Tie the Knot Couture
I Heart Films
Pro DJs
Jennifer King Makeup Hair & Makeup Styling
Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center
Hope Henderson Artistry
Luminaire Foto
Joann Frazier Beauty Consultant
Nick Adams Photography
Hotel Indigo
Customized Wedding Creations
Kakes by Karen
Frey Valet
Frank Jean, LMT

From the planners point of view

Photo by Impressions Photography
Planning a wedding for someone who doesn't know it yet it a bit of a daunting task. Nevertheless, I've done it once, and I signed on to do it again!  We had such a fantastic time planning Sara & Nicks wedding at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and it turned out to be a perfectly beautiful and grand affair. What was great was that Sarah & Nick were just thrilled to be getting married and they trusted all the amazing wedding professionals that were selected to do their jobs.  That was the key factor, and because they allowed each professional to "do what they do best", everyone went above and beyond what was expected of them.

You can see images from the Grand Wedding 2010 in the current issue of Brides Florida and the fall issue of Weddings Illustrated (due out next month).  Also, you can watch the highlight video by Cinema Chic by clicking here.  In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at a couple photos from my blog.

I hope to see you on Sunday October 3rd!  We're still looking for applicants (link above) and have a few tables left for wedding professionals. Today until 10am Early Bird Tickets are on sale---so get 'em quick!

A Special Thank You From Mr. & Mrs. Nick Mau

Hey guys,
Photo by Deborah Cull
This is Nick and Sara Mau. We wanted to express our gratitude to everyone that was involved with The Grand Wedding 2010. The entire experience, from winning the contest to our special day was absolutely amazing! It was an absolute treat to work with all of the great vendors that were involved. Everyone went above and beyond to make sure that we were happy! There was not a single detail left out. Although the process was a whirlwind 6 weeks, we couldn’t have asked for more out of the experience.
All of the planning and preparing culminated beautifully on February 21, 2010 when we were married in a gorgeous service on the steps of The Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Ft Myers. The service, the reception, the food, everything was marvelous. We were able to celebrate with our close family and friends, all thanks to everyone involved in the process.

Nick and Sara Mau

The 2010 Grand Wedding Professionals:

Audrey Snow Photography Kakes by Karen: Floral Artistry: Red Salon & Spa: Impressions Photography: Vanderbilt Strings: Ashley Brockinton Photography: Clint Wiley None Other Band: Rivers Edge Photography: Sarah Heart Invitations & aisle runners Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon: The Edison: Signature Crystal Connelly Photography: DJ Slinky: Caloosa Tent & Rental: Eventz Inc: Frey Valet: Hotel Indigo: Extraordinary Eventz: Sidney Berne Davis Art Center: Irresistible Calligraphy by Jennifer: Cher Hanna Photography: Casa Ybel Resort: South Seas Island Resort: Deborah Cull Photography: Tonya Malay Photography: Spatini: IntegraLife Spa: Vino de Notte at Hotel Indigo Kelly McWilliams' Weddings by Socialites:

You are invited to The Engagement Party 2010!

The Grand Wedding 2011
Meet the best of South West Florida's Wedding Professionals at the
Engagement Party
A Luxury Bridal Showcase

Engaged couple meeting with Impressions photography at the Engagement PartyLast years event was spectacular and this year will certainly be no less!  Attend the party to meet face to face with wedding professionals of the highest caliber and reputations and of course to...
win The Grand Wedding 2011!

Big News ::  Bring as many friends and family with you as possible because one lucky couple will become a prize winning finalist at the event.  Everyone who attends gets a vote, so invite as many "voters" as you can.  Plus, you’ll want all your family there to see you win like Sara & Nick (The winners of TGW 2010)!
Sara and Nick win The Grand Wedding 2010 with their family and friends around them
Finalists & Grand Wedding winners are announced at The Engagement Party
Sunday October 3rd, 1-4pm
Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center
historic downtown Ft Myers (Lee & First St)
Tickets are available HERE for $10 (early bird thru 9/25), $12 in advance, $15 at the door (cash only, based on available space). 

The mission of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is to nurture excellence and innovation in the visual and performing arts through education, presentation, and community outreach.  The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, located in the magnificent 1933 Neoclassic-style building which, once completed, will present more than 23,000 square feet of exhibition & classroom space.  Here, artists and audiences will be brought together to celebrate and promote the development of the Southwest Florida cultural experience. Florida Arts, Inc., a 501(c) (3) organization established in 1997, relies on gifts from generous organizations, corporations, and individuals.  Gifts are tax deductible to the extent of the federal law. Contact your accountant to ascertain compliance with existing tax laws. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Division of Historic Preservation, the City of Fort Myers, Visit Florida® and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Do you want to win the Grand Wedding this year?

I think you will after you see last years wedding...

Thanks again to Kat from Cinema Chic productions who produced this awesome video! If there's one thing I've learned from all my years of wedding planning its that having a wedding video is the number one "thank goodness I got video" that my clients repeat over and over.

Applications for The Grand Wedding 2011 will be available to engaged brides and grooms beginning Saturday at 11:59pm.

Thank you in advance!

Tomorrow is the big night, but I wanted to say thank you in advance to everyone who is making this years Proposal Party such a Grand Event!

If you haven't rsvp'd yet, we're just a tiny bit under capacity- so you can still register by clicking here.

BIG NEWS! Those who attend tomorrow will have the opportunity to reserve their space for the Engagement Party Bridal showcase at a discounted rate.  Keep in mind however that we have a strict 35 space limit inside the Grand Atrium & Conservatory for the Engagement Party (Oct 3rd, 1-4pm).