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Marie Cruz De Vera
A self confessed workaholic, perfectionist, blog junkie, magazine hoarder, dog lover, caffeine addict…
Marie felt there was a lack of truly creative private events and innovative stationery in Australia. With a background in design and fashion merchandising, Marie founded The Style Co., a creative studio that fills that void perfectly!
Marie believes it’s the details that create awe-inspiring events. Her hand-picked team of creatives share the same belief… the tiniest of details can turn an event into an experience. It’s about creating a lasting impression and beautiful memories.
Website – www.georgeous.com.au
Georgie Kay has lived and breathed the hospitality and events industries for the past 20 years, creating Georgeous in 2006 from a desire to provide a unique, refreshing approach for the complete styling, production and management of special occasions.
Georgie is known for her excitability and pure genuine passion, which, combined with her impeccable eye and breadth of knowledge, has seen her and her team creating occasions unrivaled in style, personality and experiential value. Her unique strength is coordinating and maintaining strong relationships with a stable of dedicated suppliers to achieve stunning results for her clients.
Georgie believes there are three essential elements that will distinguish an extraordinary event from an ordinary one; close attention to detail; those special little touches and strong relationships with valuable suppliers. Delivery of these three factors will ensure the success of an event, and Georgie understands that the ultimate measure of a successful occasion is in the memories it leaves behind.
Website – www.modernwedding.com.au
Recently awarded Optus MyBusiness “Australian Business Woman of the Year”, Victoria Black is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable and experienced wedding media professional in Australia. As a blogger, writer, Editor and Publisher of several of Australia’s leading magazine titles and digital platforms for the past 25 years, Victoria is the go-to-girl for anything to do with weddings.
Victoria is the founder of Australia’s number one publishing company in the wedding media segment…Wildfire Publishing International. Her flagship brand, Modern Wedding is unquestionably the number one wedding brand in Australia and now with well over 1.5 million Facebook followers and over 170,000 followers on Instagram, Modern Wedding has become well-known and loved all around the world.
Modern Wedding magazine is published quarterly and is distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as internationally. Brand extensions include Modern Wedding Cakes, Modern Wedding Flowers, Modern Wedding Styling Handbook, Modern Wedding DIY, Modern Wedding Planner and Modern Hair & Beauty.
In addition, Victoria has launched other very successful wedding titles including Sydney Wedding, Hunter Wedding and Luxury Weddings.
Her passion is two-fold – firstly, helping brides have the most amazing day of their dreams and secondly, her personal goal is to inspire and assist wedding businesses to achieve maximum results and stay at the cutting edge of meeting the needs and wants of today’s gen Y brides and grooms.
Specialties: Wedding expert, print media, social media marketing, small business management, professional speaker.
Kiwi-born, Denise Fouracre resides in Melbourne and has raised three children with her husband and business partner (Peter). Together they have become one of Melbourne’s most popular husband and wife industry teams and are highly regarded throughout the industry. Denise has a strong background in business management and supervisory rolls. She is an actove participant in many of Melbourne’s industry- educating classes covering all aspect of (outdoor events) in particular.
Denise is very proactive with all forms of Social Media and relatve ethics.
Denise believes that there are three key factors to thriving and surviving in our industry – Discipline, Time Management and Excellent Customer Service. Over the past few years she has hosted, trained and employed a number of Academy students offering a rare insight to the world of garden weddings and event design. ‘We believe that students should be exposed to all forms of work experience, the good, the bad and the not so glamorous’.
Denise had this to say about being on our Advisory Board – “We have been involved with the Academy in some form, from the time it came to fruition. The Academy set very high standards for their students and I believe that the courses cover every aspect of the wedding and event industry. More and more, there is a need for event organisers. People are busy, they look for help but they demand value for money. I am very passionate about educating the industry and I feel incredibly privileged to be an advisory board member and I hope that together, we can build a new generation of talented, resourceful and professional event planners.”
Kathy Apostolidis is the creator and director of leading Australian Wedding Planning and Styling agency –Nightingales Wedding Designers. Kathy established Nightingales in 1994 with a vision to be able to offer a boutique Wedding Planning and Styling service that embodied the highest standards of quality and service and cutting edge style.
Kathy is a well known identity in the Australian Wedding industry. Often referred to as ‘The Wedding Guru‘ and “The Wedding Planner” her hands on involvement in the industry, means that Nightingales’ clients enjoy the benefit of having access to state of the art products and services for their wedding.
Ahead of the field in the wedding industry for over 18 years now, Kathy’s secret to success is a collective passion to pursue new ideas that expand the boundaries of both style and service. Innovations such as co-designing FLOW, the first Australian software dedicated to Wedding and Event Coordinators and creating Wedding Workshops for Brides, is testimony to her commitment to constantly develop her service offering to prospective Brides and Groom.
Kathy’s reputation in wedding industry circles is impeccable, with requests for media appearances as well as requests to plan and style celebrity weddings including the weddings of David Campbell & Lisa Hewitt; Daniel Jones and Kathleen De Leon; Stefano and Trisha Canturi; Dominique Cerrone and Robert Parisi.
Her weddings have been featured in all of the major Australian magazines such as Bride to Be, Cosmopolitan Bride, Complete Wedding, Luxury Weddings, OK Magazine and international magazines and wedding websites such as Grace Ormode’s Wedding Style. Her many TV and Radio appearances have included “Yasmin’s Getting Married”; “Today Tonight”; “Kerri-Anne Show”; “The Weather Show” “Mornings” with David Campbell and Sonia Kruger and numerous Radio interviews such as Radio 2UE “The 2 Murrays”; 2GB and Triple M.
But whilst she enjoys the kudos that such recognition brings, Kathy’s priorities remain the same – for Nightingales to provide exclusive products and service that are inclusive to all.
I was born and raised in Berlin Germany and have created events throughout the world. Having lived in many different countries I have been fortunate enough to experience the vast differences in cultures, which is now a great asset in creating weddings for my clients from many different backgrounds.
Growing up in the flower industry through my parents business and been a creative family, my life’s path was already been laid out for me.
I opened the doors to CD Weddings in 2005 and the Wedding Workshop in 2006. The Wedding Workshop was helping many brides and grooms to get it right from the start when organizing their wedding day in a seminar environment.
I love creating Styled Shoots so I can push mine and all participants’ imaginary boundaries.
Being an active member of Toastmasters for 5 years and President for my club for 2 helped me improved my Leadership skills.
My family is the other half of my life. With my husband, 3 children and a dog it keeps my days and weekends busy.
My work has been featured in The Knot, Real Weddings Magazine, Modern Weddings, Cosmopolitan Bride and on many well known blogs such as Polka Dot Bride, Style me Pretty, Elizabeth Anne Design, Inspired by this.
Cathrin had this say about being on the Advisory Board – “I am hoping that together we can give more support to new planners and stylists. Give them a better insight in what it takes to be a planner and run a business. Together we can give this industry more structure and educate the public in what we do and how we play an important part in the wedding industry.”
Website – www.cecinewyork.com
A force in the design world, Ceci Johnson is an influential and highly regarded entrepreneur, artist, editor-in-chief and loving wife and mother. She is renowned for her creative talents, always pushing the envelope in business and design, as well as with her own fashion-forward style and sophisticated brand aesthetic. Dedicated to a lifetime pursuit of living glamorously through design, Ceci has built a powerhouse atelier and transformed the art of inviting and branding.
Born and raised in Southern California, the theatre and arts weren’t just hobbies for Ceci – they were a way of life. Growing up the daughter of a successful business owner, Ceci’s entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at an early age. Many of the valuable business lessons Ceci has put into practice in her own company were learned while growing up and listening to her father in his office from her bedroom next door. Ceci attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she received her degree in Art & Design. As a senior, she was featured on the cover of Communication Arts – a rare honour for a student. Following a short stint designing the national bridal registry kits for the Federated Department Stores, Ceci landed on the East Coast for a job in the web consulting world.
It was in New York, with an invitation she created for a coworker’s wedding, that the Ceci New York story began. One referral lead to another, and another, and Ceci soon realized that the world was lacking in original, innovative and personalized designs. Armed with a clear desire to create the best designs in the world, she established Ceci New York in 2004 and serves as Creative Director today. Ceci was soon pronounced as a leader in the industry winning the prestigious ModernBride “Trendsetter” award and being named an “Expert Stationer” by New York Magazine early in her career. Ceci New York soon expanded beyond the world of weddings into Social & Parties, Corporate, Baby & Kids, Stationery and Home & Gifts.
In the ensuing years, Ceci launched her first retail collection which was sold nationwide and established exclusive partnerships with The Breakers Hotel and German-based paper company Gmund, among others. In 2010, CeciStyle.com was launched. With a devoted and growing following, the online lifestyle magazine fast became a trusted resource for her style tips along with inspirations on invitations, travel, fashion, parties, decor and more. After being named Tory Burch’s “Woman to Watch” and “Invitation Innovator” by WeTV, Ceci’s client list has grown to include many distinguished and notable clients including The President of the United States International Royalty, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Katherine Heigl, The Empire State Building, Cole Haan, Hugo Boss and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Regarded as a pioneer in the industry, Ceci has been invited regularly to speak to women in business, designers, wedding industry professionals and other entrepreneurial groups bringing her expertise and experience to audiences around the world. This platform has given her the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs and see that her prowess can be used to help businesses escape their ruts and separate themselves from the pack. One of her passions lies in mentoring and consulting with other entrepreneurs as the first step in changing the path they’re on and transforming their strategy, branding and design for the better.
After years of focusing on her own business and brand, Ceci has been able to use her unique abilities and the creative power of Ceci New York to give back to causes close to her heart. At the centre of Ceci New York’s philanthropic efforts is their partnership with The Birthday Party Project, a non-profit dedicated to bringing joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays. Through their artistry, Ceci and her team are honoured to support their mission and bring joy in an impactful, beautiful way by donating designed party décor, birthday cards (which many have never even been given before), personalized place mats, and birthday party banners each month. With over 10,000 kids celebrated and even more cupcakes consumed, each party follows a fun theme Ceci New York is proud to enhance. It is truly the heartbeat of Ceci New York as every order placed helps these amazing children in need on their birthday.
More than eleven years later, Ceci’s love of paper, design, fashion and innovation still drives her to create original pieces, bringing the ultimate in luxury branding to clients around the globe while beautifying and simplifying your world every day.
Ceci and her husband, Alan Johnson, a fashion executive, split their time between New York City and Connecticut with their son, Mason, and daughter, Elle.
Sara is the owner and editor of Burnett’s Boards. This blog started in March of 2012 and has grown into a nationally regarded and widely recognized bridal inspiration site since then. She currently lives out of a suitcase island hopping around the Caribbean.
Burnett’s Boards is updated daily with wedding inspiration boards, styled shoots, bridal fashion, and event design & styling articles. She finds great joy in bringing the very best in creative design to both brides and industry professionals around the world and likes to think of her blog as a book – each chapter contributing to the greater whole: a resource of wedding inspiration. She aims to give the editorial a personal touch without making the blog about herself & foster the blog’s community through social media and an industry-supportive mindset.
In its first two years Burnett’s Boards was listed among the top wedding blogs to follow, named one of the most influential social media users in the state of Hawaii, quoted in Elle Australia, and gained enough of a following to place it among the top 10 wedding blogs in the world.
Marley Majcher is the CEO of The Party Goddess!, a nationally acclaimed full-service event planning and catering company, and author of But Are You Making Any Money?, a witty and lauded business guide for entrepreneurs. From understated elegance to rock star fabulous, Majcher is known for creating the most talked about parties of the year for a client list ranging from top-tier businesses to A-list celebrities such as Pierce Brosnan and Sofia Vergara, but she is quickly establishing herself as one of the best resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Heralded as a must-read for any entrepreneur, Majcher’s book, But Are You Making Any Money?, simplifies — in a step-by-step process, the complicated aspects of running a lucrative business. Her pricing strategy, profit technique and conversational style is what Forbes says, “makes you want to keep reading more.” Majcher is the party planning and entrepreneurial expert people turn to for all things entertaining. Her popular savvy and business sense have earned her appearances on various outlets and shows including “Fox and Friends,” Fox Business, MSNBC, “Extra,” “Good Day LA,” Bravo, E!, MTV, HGTV, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC and The Wedding Channel. Majcher has championed her unique approach to events and inspired many to create lasting memories through her featured articles and interviews in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Us Weekly, People, OK!, Marie Claire, Women’s Day, In Style Weddings, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine and The Robb Report, as well as multiple radio interviews including Martha Stewart’s Sirius Radio show.
Her keen eye for chic trends and clever business techniques has made her a coveted speaker across the United States and around the globe, on subjects such as small business, entrepreneurship, all aspects of entertaining and her celebrated coaching programs.
Majcher’s beloved presentations challenge entrepreneurs to not only think outside the box but to forget a box even exists. Majcher has also contributed to several books, including “It’s Your Business: 183 Essential Tips that Will Transform Your Small Business”, by JJ Ramberg, host of the MSNBC show “Your Business.” She also writes for various publications including Entrepreneur.com. She has received many honors and awards, including the Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award three years in a row, was named an Outstanding Young Woman of America and has been honored by the State of California as a Small Businesswoman of the Year. Majcher earned a degree in marketing with a focus on entrepreneurship from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where she returns to guest lecture annually. She regularly participates in the university’s webinars and events in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. Majcher currently spends any free time she might have, usually between 10:45 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. on Tuesdays, with her three very naughty children.
Website – www.kristinbanta.com
With an extensive background in event production, entertainment and fashion, as well as a background in catering and interior design, Kristin creates unforgettable celebrations while bringing a fresh and innovative perspective to the mix. Kristin is passionate about helping her clients find their own voice for their wedding day. Her events, from society weddings in exclusive locations to progressive film and music industry soirees, are as unique and diversified as her clientele, which range from Fortune 500’s to professional athletes to multi-platinum recording artists.
Kristin served as the weekly wedding expert for Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family, ” as well as host of Style Network’s “Keep the Party Moving. ” In 2012, she had her own Bravo special, “The Ringleader, ” which showcased her signature out-of-the-box style, revolutionizing the way couples look at their special day. Additionally, Kristin has appeared on Good Day LA, KTLA, TNT’s, “Wedding Day, ” Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker, ” Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars, ” Syfy’s “My Big Fat Geek Wedding, ” and Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen. ”
Featured as one of Los Angeles’ top event designers in both “The Art of Celebration” and “Southern California Weddings, ” she has also contributed to many of the leading wedding and event publications including Martha Stewart Weddings, Inside Weddings, InStyle Weddings, Modele Magazine, Brides, California Wedding Day, Frontiers Magazine, Los Angeles Weddings Magazine, The Knot, Modern Bride Southern California, Southern Living, Your Wedding Day Magazine, LGBTwed, LA Times, Carats and Cake, Snippet & Ink, Real Simple Weddings, Life & Style, Style Me Pretty, Junebug Weddings and Green Wedding Shoes.
Her continuous success makes her one of the most sought after wedding planners in California and throughout the nation.
For as long as he can remember, Wayne has possessed a deep kinship with flowers. (And yes, people, too!) Beginning in high school, he was employed by an upscale florist that created arrangements for some of the who’s who in Hollywood. While it was paid employment, Wayne perceived it as an avenue for creativity and expression—something that to this day is a signature of the weddings he “arranges.” And even while flowers may be temporary, he believes floral design to be a true art form, and one that brings immense joy to others.
Taking his cue from his connection to flowers and the sensorial beauty they bring, Wayne opened his own floral business, Floral Creations by Wayne, and over the years came to know on a personal level the people and places for whom he was designing, all the while building his company around what’s most important to his clients—trust.
A CREATIVE DESTINY—MOMENT BY MOMENT
Founder and Creative Director of Moments by Wayne, celebrated LA-based wedding and event planner Wayne Gurnick provides services across the United States and worldwide. As a full service event planner, the company assists clients with every aspect of their event or celebration—from concept to coordination and production.
Wayne has been recognized as an A-List planner by Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine and was recently voted Best Wedding Planner in Los Angeles, Best Wedding Planner in California, and Top 10 Wedding Planner Worldwide. Wayne is a frequent speaker at industry events, presenting on trends and emerging industry topics (Four Seasons of Style – Wedding MBA 2013; Romancing the American Bride and Groom – Tourism Fiji). Wayne is on the panel of Wedding Industry Experts and is a regular contributor to DIY Weddings Magazine, Huffington Post Weddings, The Knot and other publications. Wayne’s work has been featured in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine, Destinations I Do, Flora Magazine, Wedlock, among others. Wayne has been featured as an expert designer and planner by LA-based news outlets and is the host of Wedding Words of Wisdom ™, an online radio program, where he interviews experts in all aspects of weddings and events. Wayne is certified by the American Institute of Floral Designers, a classification attained by only 1,200 professionals worldwide.
Website – www.bybrucerussell.com
Bruce Russell is at the apogee of the international luxury bridal and party planning scene and one of the most highly sought after planners in London. His name is synonymous with passion, flair and style which combine to offer client s truly unforgettable occasions. Under his eponymous brand, By Bruce Russell, he offers independent specialist services for weddings and civil partnerships as well as private parties and the most special of occasions. His creativity, combined with his experience honed in high-end hospitality around the world (including The Plaza New York) means that his strategic counsel to clients delivers exceptional events and his contagious joie de vivre, the heartbeat to his professionalism, is an ongoing inspiration.
Little wonder, therefore, that he has an ever-expanding and loyal base of clients who turn to Bruce when looking to host stand-out events that are truly unique. Alongside his independent consultancy, Bruce is Director of Savoy Weddings By Bruce Russell, attracting an international clientele to the five-star London property and driving the hotel ’s global profile in the wedding industry. Here Bruce manages a dedicated team offering an end- to-end service for couples planning their special day.
Website – www.pamelladunn.com
International wedding planner Pamella Dunn founded the highly acclaimed UK based wedding planning and events company in 2010. Her original philosophy to transform venues with killer effects and exquisite details remains the same today.
Beautiful balanced designs are created in harmony with the client, the venue and location. All events are meticulously planned, and lovingly curated. Her signature style is pure glamour with elegant and luxurious details appealing to the fashion-forward bride and groom. An expert in her field she welcomes the opportunity to mentor planners and stylist in the wedding industry.
Jane Riddell is an Award Winning Luxury UK Wedding Planner and owner of Planned for Perfection – a successful wedding and event management company based in the beautiful Cotswolds, in the South West of England. Providing an experienced, friendly and personal approach to luxury weddings & exquisite events in the UK, Europe and Australia. Jane’s exceptional eye for detail and clear connection with her clients has earned her a reputation as one of the leading wedding & event planners in the UK.
Editor-In-Chief at Brides Up North & Unveiled Magazine
Website – www.bridesupnorth.co.uk
Since its launch in 2010, Brides Up North has skyrocketed in popularity and profile to become one of the ‘most influential’ blogs in the UK, and is the only ‘top 5’ UK bridal blog especially for Northern Brides.
Brides Up North has been named “Best Blog for Northern Brides” by Channel 4; crowned “Best Big Day Inspiration” blog in the Wedding Magazine Awards 2013 and highly commended in the “Best City Blog” category in the Wedding Magazine Awards 2014 and 2015. Brides Up North was also a finalist in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”) and in Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”).
A respected brand away from the pages of the blog, Brides Up North currently hosts in excess of 35 luxury bridal events per annum across three regions.
Brides Up North’s founder, Julia Braime, is a leading industry expert and has been profiled in or contributed to almost every National wedding magazine title, as well featuring extensively in regional bridal titles, national news and lifestyle press. Brides Up North was headline sponsor for and hosted the first North of England Wedding Awards and a judge in the UK Blog Awards 2014 and the Bridal Buyer Awards 2012, 2014 and 2015. Brides Up North is also a judge and official blogger for The Wedding Industry Awards.
Julia was headhunted as Editor-In-Chief and lead stylist of Unveiled Magazine – the luxury wedding magazine for the North – in January 2015. Julia’s inaugural issues as Editor-In-Chief have been received to great industry acclaim.
Website – www.bespoke-bride.com
Described as a ‘Kickass blog that helps brides avoid a cliché ridden, cookie cutter wedding”, Bespoke Bride and its accompanying wedding marketplace, BB Boutique was lovingly founded by two fiercely individual girls, Emily Pettiford & Jessica Turley.
Launched in 2011, as a personal way to journal quirky and creative wedding photography, decor & DIY’s, Emily & Jessica have focused on creating a blog that would inspire couples to design a wedding that was creative, crafty & full of character.
BB Boutique, a carefully curated marketplace for unique, innovative and stylish wedding suppliers was launched in 2015. Within just weeks of launching the site received thousands of visits from brides and grooms and now boasts over 50 creative designers from all over the UK.
Website – www.wantthatwedding.co.uk
Sonia is the Founder and Editor of inspirational wedding blog – Want That Wedding. Sonia set Want That Wedding up nearly 5 years ago – after her own wedding day.
During the planning process Sonia realised she had a real passion for all things weddings and continues to be a total wedding obsessive to this very day!
Happiest when swooning over newly weds real weddings or beautiful wedding dresses and shoes… Sonia’s also an incurable romantic who is rather fond of anything that glitters.
Want That Wedding is a pretty and stylish wedding blog that’s brimming with an eclectic array of real weddings, styled bridal shoots, beautiful wedding fashion features, wedding advice and so much more.
Website – www.annelimarinovich.com
I am an International Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer based in London. Over the last 4 years, I have shot many gorgeous weddings, developing a strong editorial style which has helped to get my work featured in various wedding magazines and on wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty & Rock My Wedding. My two passions are photography and travel, so I love shooting destination weddings, when I get the chance. I also enjoy lifestyle & editorial shoots and was commissioned by You & Your Wedding magazine in 2014 to shoot exclusive bridal editorial content for the magazine.
Website – www.ultimateweddingmagazine.co.uk
I am the Editor of Ultimate Wedding Magazine, the UK’s leading digital wedding magazine, completely interactive and free! Background in PR, branding, marketing, publishing and finance. I work with clients on their whole campaign from concept (based on real data) to execution (getting real results). A contributor to USA magazines and television, and a judge for the UK Blog Awards. The newest member of The Wedding Business Magazine, I am all things digital, pioneering and leading the way in digital marketing in wedding world. I also have a wedding & event planning business and a bridal hair/mua team. Keen photographer. Loving mother of 2 fabulous children, 3 crazy cats. Friends call me Yoda.
Based in New Covent Garden Market at the heart of the industry, EMFD is an award-winning company with over twenty five years experience working with London’s top venues and event planners. Time and again we hear the immortal words: “Exactly as I had imagined, only better”
Accustomed to grand celebrations or bijou events, whether in London, the home counties or abroad, we apply detailed, focused attention to every aspect of the wedding until the customer’s vision is captured: “Thank you so much for the beautiful flower arrangements at the Dorchester. They were spectacular, and we so much appreciate your choices and the brilliance of your displays. ” MR AND MRS LYONS, THE DORCHESTER
Website – brideappeal.com
Kathy is the owner of Bride Appeal and she takes the overwhelm out of SEO, sales and website conversion for wedding professionals who want to turn curious visitors into high paying clients. After taking her own struggling bridal website to the top of Google…gaining valuable traffic, press mentions and celebrity customers along the way…Kathy’s peers began asking her to share her strategies with them too. Bride Appeal was born and Kathy has been helping wedding businesses across the globe master the art of attracting and converting higher paying clients online ever since.
Website – www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com
Heidi Thompson, the founder of Evolve Your Wedding Business is a marketing and business strategist for wedding professionals who are killing it creatively but need some help on the business side.
Her marketing and business expertise has been featured in several publications including The Huffington Post, Wedding MBA, Book More Brides, Sprouting Photographer, Social Media Examiner, Planners Lounge and Wedding Business Magazine.
Heidi knows that for most wedding professionals, their level of income does not come near to their level of expertise, talent and passion and that’s what she is working to change. Click here to get her free 5 step system to attracting ideal clients with your blog!
Meryl Snow has been a mainstay in the special events & catering industry for the last twenty-eight years as cofounder of Feastivities Events, along with its subsidiaries OffShoots Decor and Philadelphia’s Picnic Company.
Her philosophies have proved successful for not only her own business, but also many other companies, trade organizations, and universities have benefited from her training and advice. As a Senior Consultant for Catersource, the largest trade organization for caterers in the world, Meryl has worked throughout the US. Her particular areas of focus are sales and marketing, as well as in design and branding. She provides consulting, coaching, and training services for a wide range of clients.
Meryl has three how-to Style DVDs currently on the market. This collection focuses on hands on design, innovation and inspiration.
Her innovative leadership has earned prestigious accolades for Feastivities locally, nationally and internationally. She has undoubtedly helped many other companies get on their own path to success and recognition through her keen insight and an effervescent approach to teaching methods of success.
Combining knowledge from her decades of hospitality experience with humor, she creates informative and interactive presentations. These range from small internal company meetings to large-scale conferences. She speaks with groups from the heart with warmth and knowledge, and covers the funny side of life and business.
Website – www.grconcept.com
He has served on the Advisory Board for the Cape Town Routes Unlimited on Conventions and Incentives and the Events Advisory Board, the legislative body that is responsible for the tourism and marketing of the Western Cape. In 2003 he re-positioned the premiere wine auction in the country and the 3rd largest in the world, now in its 41st year, the Nederburg Wine Auction. Gavin was appointed the Launch Director for Tommy Hilfiger (US) roll out in Africa. This resulted in him working in close collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger (USA) and developing their footprint into Africa.
He sold a 60% stake in his event business in 2005 to a multi-national listed company (MIH Holdings). He left this company to pursue bespoke projects, which he is passionate about. With this move he sold his shares in both Cape Town Fashion Week and Cape Town Flower Show, which he founded. He also founded and used to co-own Durban Fashion Week. He has consulted to numerous cities in the formation of their fashion weeks (Dubai, Stockholm, Shanghai).
2006 heralded the start of his personal initiative; called “POSI+IVE” (www.positivecollection.co.za) to raise funds for HIV/AIDS infected children. Targeted, specifically, at children who have contracted HIV/AIDS due to sexual abuse. He launched this project in collaboration with British artist Craig Kilford with the intent to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS through the combined efforts of artists, fashion designers and the performing arts. Seal and celebrity international models headlined this event together with international designers. This event has been sponsored and adopted by Sun International. He has since enlisted the support of John Legend and Kelly Rowland amongst others.
Today Gavin’s work is largely based on creative direction, design in any industry, marketing strategy and product development with a strong focus on social development; and bringing a new sense of aesthetic to client’s creative needs. His focus has also shifted to include addressing the management of creative businesses and business that can be enhanced through creativity. His clients extend into Africa, Middle East, China and a large part of Europe.
Gavin has also established a catering company with the Bukhara Group.
Most of all Gavin prides himself in delivering work, which exceeds client’s expectations, and is most comfortable working with clients that want to lead instead of imitate. He believes in long-term relationships and developing individual rapports with his clients.
Website – www.vickycrease.com
At Vicky Crease Catering + Events we have been conjuring up lavish, stylish, talked-about parties for the past decade and today we are South Africa’s catering company of choice, with a clutch of international awards to our name.
Whether we’re working with you to design a unique and trendsetting corporate launch, a dream wedding on the beach or an intimate dinner party at your home, at Vicky Crease we believe in feeding more than just your stomach. We believe in feeding your soul and your imagination too.
Gifted with a natural sense of grace, and a passion for creating and celebrating beauty all around her, Zainab has always considered herself a true citizen of the world. Multi-lingual and multi-cultural, she was born in Baghdad and raised in Europe and the Middle East, and today, she calls Dubai, the US and Italy home.
Zainab started her professional career as a banker and quickly realized this was not her calling. Her desire to see people happy and to play an instrumental role in making them so, drove her out of banking, and into and into the wonderful world of weddings. A gifted communicator with a keen business sense, Zainab was able to compliment her unbound creative passion with real world pragmatism and a strong business and organizational foundation, to create her luxury wedding boutique, Carousel.
Zainab loves being part of the amazing celebration of love and the outpouring of joy that weddings are. It is truly what motivates her when she designs and plans each and every one of her weddings. She has also become one of the most respected authorities in the Middle East on all things wedding, and has been covered, and quoted, in countless regional and international programs and publications, in various languages, in radio, television, print, and online. She has also been recognized on numerous occasions as one of Dubai’s leading female entrepreneurs.
Through her vision and passion, her love of people and her compassion, and her attention to detail and personal grace, Carousel has become one of the most admired and exclusive wedding agencies in the Middle East, and Zainab has become a true inspiration for Middle Eastern women of her generation, and the generations that follow.
Website – www.aghareed.com
As Managing Partner of Aghareed, the world’s first wedding concierge, Joumana draws on extensive senior level experience in event management and direct work in the wedding industry to lead a team of experts in ensuring client satisfaction for the biggest event in their lives – from planning through to perfect execution.
As wedding planners covering Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and throughout the UAE, Aghareed strive to bring every detail, decision and service to one venue for both packaged and bespoke wedding experiences. They share their knowledge with us here to help those looking to start off and develop a career in the industry.
Website – www.teegandeck.com
Teegan is heading up the wedding team as Senior Sales Manager for the new Viceroy Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
Teegan Deck has travelled the globe planning + styling events; from luxurious weddings to pared-back + elegant celebrations. Throughout her extensive career, Teegan has worked alongside some of the most luxurious brands, venues + resorts around the world. This has provided her with the knowledge + understanding to deliver a perfect end-to-end experience for events; whatever form it may take.
Her drive + dedication to ensure the absolute success of each celebration can be seen at every stage of an event; from precision planning, to exquisite styling, + assured follow-up. Teegan prides herself on her impeccable eye for style + her passion for creating the most beautiful + authentic celebrations possible. With big dreams + boundless vision, Teegan listens to the story, understands individuality + delivers a truly personalised wedding, event or celebration.
Website – www.brideclubme.com
Having worked in the media industry for over 13 years, she has directed and developed various magazines and on line portals, in addition to planning and organising events around the media she has managed. In her own words Rhiannon says she has a “self-professed obsession with anything wedding related, creating events and a passion for blogging, the creative arts, travel, wildlife and home decor”. One of Dubai’s original wedding bloggers, Rhiannon first came up with the idea behind www.brideclubme.com when she became engaged in April 2012, and had a barrage of questions, queries and a desire to find regular inspiration and ideas, at her own convenience. After researching the bridal media market in the UAE, Rhiannon saw a gap for a modern, stylish and interactive website.
She adds “There are elements of Bride Club Me that are very unique, and readers will come to see what those are, as they browse our site and become familiar with our on line personality.” Rhiannon is also a Professional Speaker, Founder of The Engage Academy and industry Consultant, you can read her personal blog here.
My Lovely Wedding is updated daily with inspiration, local vendor reviews & real wedding features. Written by Joelle, a British fashion graduate who loves decor, flowers & most of all weddings. Joelle launched the wedding blog after getting engaged in 2012. She keeps it real by meeting almost every vendor she features and focuses mainly on the wedding industry in the UAE. Her aim to help brides source vendors, inspire them with real weddings and be a source for inspiration and wedding loveliness.
Joelle Clute launched Lovely Styling in 2013, which was soon followed with a brand new website and brand identity in 2014. In just over two years, and essentially two wedding seasons, Joelle had styled more than 22 weddings. Joelle has quickly developed a reputation in the Middle East wedding industry for her personalised attention to each event, her creativity, and her passion with which she works.
Joelle is also well known for her related venture, www.mylovelywedding.com, one of Dubai’s first wedding blogs. Lovely Styling and My Lovely Wedding both operate under The Lovely Group FZE.
Joelle’s own wedding vision was that of a crafted English country style, with added DIY details and recycled glass jars filled with flowers. She wanted a craft element to make the event feel like a little bit of home and to incorporate inspiration from our existing lives and the new life we were planning together. She also made a firm decision that she would spend the morning of my wedding decorating and managing vendors before she walked down the aisle. No, she’s not crazy…. but Joelle wouldn’t recommend any bride to do what she did. Although she had the perfect wedding, she feels that she missed out on being pampered and enjoying the build-up that most brides enjoy. After her wedding it occurred to her that other brides may need help… to coordinate the details and ensure their own visions are realized… and 6 months later ‘Lovely Styling’ was born. Joelle loves sourcing unique vases and lovely little props. Lovely Styling has a huge collection of tableware, linens, mason jars, crates and lots of other little wedding gems, and Joelle loves to share them with brides-to-be to create their perfect day. Lovely Styling also works with fantastic vendors who help Joelle style and create the prettiest events.
Mennat Al Hammami
Website – www.cloudnineme.com
Cloud 9 Weddings & Events is a bespoke events planning and styling agency. Mennat, the managing & creative director has worked on events across the UAE and the region. Based in Abu Dhabi, the dynamic team works closely with couples forming long lasting relationships; their motto is to make the event speak you.
The team can design an entire event from scratch, handle on the day coordination or simply style a small celebration. It is all done with elegance, which is Cloud 9′s key signature style. Their clients look for exclusivity and a team of young, fresh and energetic professionals to handle their big day.
Website – www.dreamweddingsrivieramaya.com
We are located in the heart of Riviera Maya in the Mexican Caribbean. Destination Weddings is our Specialty, for the brides who are looking for a nontraditional wedding. Spending a week away with close friends and family- While saying their “I Dos”
We offer a full wedding planning and Coordination. Also consulting and guidance for the brides planning a destination wedding. We are dedicated to supporting Brides, and help them on their vision for their Big Day!!
Our mission is to make sure Brides have tons of fun planning their stress free destination wedding, without breaking the bank!
Website – www.wedaways.com
Pamela Strauss grew up in the wedding industry, daughter of the founder and owner of the premier luxury bridal salon in Beverly Hills, California: Renée Strauss for the Bride. A landmark destination for local and international brides-to-be and their families, the bridal salon provided the perfect landscape to learn about wedding fashion, culture, and traditions, as they are celebrated around the world. As interest in the business grew, Pamela accompanied the buying team to New York, London, Milan, and other international fashion capitals.
Wanderlust set in. Pamela spent a year abroad at King’s College London as she completed her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, San Diego. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in the Middle East, remaining there for several years as a consultant specializing in the field of international sales.
Her love of business, weddings, and travel have brought her full circle. She is the co-founder of WEDAWAYS, connecting engaged couples to worldwide wedding & honeymoon destinations and the management of their events. Launching 3rd-4th quarter 2016.
Website – www.weddingbellesjamaica.com
Wedding Belles Jamaica is a full service destination wedding planning company serving the island of Jamaica.
Jo-Anne is passionate about creating a unique and memorable experience for couples on their wedding day. Whether they dream of a fairytale wedding at a Great House, an elaborate ceremony at a luxury villa or an intimate ceremony on the beach, Jamaica has an endless array of options to choose from.
Being born in Jamaica, Jo-Anne has the experience and knowledge of the island that is required to ensure your special day will run perfectly smooth and be flawless. Believing your wedding planning should be stress free, or “irie” like we say here in Jamaica.
Jo-Anne is also the founder of the Jamaica Bridal Expo. The Jamaica Bridal Expo is a recognized destination wedding event that brings the best Jamaican wedding professionals together all under one roof. This Expo offers wedding professionals and destination brides the opportunity to meet face to face with the top destinations, best hotels, and services in Jamaica for the Bridal market. In 2014 Jo-Anne added the Wedding conference, which is geared towards wedding professionals at all levels with both local and international speakers.