Shanelle & Tony|Real Weddings in Florida

IMG_9505 (1)

Congratulations to Tony and Shanelle who got married on April 12, 2014. It was a perfect Saturday evening. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The ceremony was held outside of The FountainView Room at 5:30 in the evening. Guest were greeted with a drink station. The programs (a d.i.y project from the bride) were a two sided fan. One side with the program and the other side held their custom made monogram created by Ten23 Designs. The wedding party ascended from the staircase to the grassy area facing the pond and fountain. The bride was escorted by her two sons down the stairs where she met her father holding her bouquet.

Enjoy these non professional cell phone pictures. LOLPersonal monogram window decal overlooking fountain at the FountainView Room in Jacksonville, FL

ceremony area

Cocktail hour was held on the terrace. Guest enjoyed a fruit montage and were able to get their escort cards/movie tickets.8e817cfebbfullweb
tall centerpieces


small centerpieces

The bride and her bridal party made the small square vases for the short centerpieces.

Their reception was an eclectic movie premiere in which Shanelle and Tony were the stars. As the wedding party was introduced, they got a chance to strike a pose on the red carpet. Guest later enjoyed having their picture taken on the red carpet.

20140412_174136cd7da4dbe9fullweb (1)IMG_20140415_130352[1]

Check out that gorgeous crystal curtain created by the bride.

Check out that gorgeous crystal curtain created by the bride.


The dessert table had tons of goodies including varies cupcakes and macaroons, Yum! The light wall from Handmade Rentals was the perfect backdrop for the dessert table…making the cake seemingly glow. IMG_20140415_192917[1]movie poster designed for a movie theme wedding

Behind The Scenes (Vendors)

Made of Honor Weddings– Wedding Planner and Coordinator

The FountainView Room– Venue

Cloud 9 Studios– Photographer

Davoli Catering– Caterer

Divine Indulgences Designer Cakes– Cake and Dessert Table

Handmade Rentals– Light Wall (Behind dessert table)

Ten23 Designs– Monogram, menu cards and window decals

Dan Harris Photo Art, LLC– Red Carpet and Velvet Rope

Parker Events– Florist

Crystal curtain, invitations, ceremony programs, small square vases,Linens-  D.I.Y Projects (Bride)

A Key to Glam– Hair

Artisty by Erin– Make up

AA Twins Luxury Limo– Transportation

 DJ Jacob Towe– DJ & Lighting

Visual Powers Cinema– Videographer

Bridals & More– Gown

Black Tux Formal- Tuxedo

 Happy Planning!


Vendor Spotlight: Pinto Carriage Works, LLC

Vendor Spotlight:
Pinto Carriage Works, LLC

Your name?

Nicole Pinto.

Company Name

Pinto Carriage Works, LLC



Years in Business

Since 2009

How did you get started?

I have always loved horses and for some reasons, carriages fascinated me. I felt like that was the ultimate test of trust, love and partnership between a horse and his driver. You have to have a very good relationship with your horse to have a safe and fun time for the both of you. The horse must learn to listen to his rider’s voice and rein guides alone to know how to navigate with the carriage. The horse must trust his driver and see him as a leader, so that if things go wrong, the horse looks to his driver for leadership rather than just reacting to the situation. Most horsemen that ride their horses have the reins, voice, seat and legs to guide their horse with. So, I felt like it was a challenge, one that we mastered beautifully.

Now, I was working full-time and found that I had little to no time for my horses. That wasn’t fair to them. I thought why not try to offer my driving skills as a service to others that way I can be with my horses and help someone else out. I picked special occasions like weddings and parties. It’s what we focus on exclusively. The nice thing about that is that we are always involved in a happy occasion, which just makes the whole thing that much more fulfilling. Each one of them is beautiful and we along with the horses fully enjoy them.

Best advice you can give to a bride

Think about what you want to remember about this day when you look back five years down the road. Relax and have fun. This is all about you and your love. You’re proclaiming to the world that you love someone. That is all that matters.

What has been your strangest request?

Strangest request for the carriage out of all of them was that we were requested to give rides at a Hawaiian luau. The horse had a lea on and we had grass skirts. It was fun but different.

Do you work with an assistant?

Yes, my husband accompanies me to all of our events. It is safer to have two handlers for the horses. Also, it is nice to have someone to help you in and out of the carriage.

What would you say is your style?

I would say that we are flexible. I try very hard to coordinate our carriage to the specific event. So, I would say that we are customizable elegance with a dash of fun.

Who is the person you most admire?

My parents as they have earned everything in their lives building up from nothing and will share what they have with others in need happily.

Who is the person that inspired you?

I would have to say my husband Mike. He has been my personal sounding board for ideas, fan club and support through all my work in making this business what it is today. Thanks, baby. I love you with all my heart.

What is your proudest moment in your business?

I would have to say our very first carriage ride. Our neighbor asked if we would be a surprise for his Prom date. We agreed and set about bringing this all together. We didn’t even have a trailer to haul everything. We had to borrow a trailer for the carriage. Our neighbor hauled the carriage and we hauled the horse. Everything came together perfectly. We came around the corner and his date screamed with excitement. Everyone was all smiles and laughter. It was wonderful making them so happy. From that moment on, I was hooked. I wanted to make more people happy.

Vendor Spotlight: Kimtasha Armstrong

Kimtasha K. Armstrong
Your name: Kimtasha K. Armstrong

Company name: Kimtasha – pro make-up artist
Years in business: 14 years as a professional make-up artist, and 6 years of having my own make-up business.

How did I get started? I started my make-up career with M.A.C cosmetics in Maui, Hawaii in 1997. I didn’t have much make-up experience in the beginning but I always had a love for fashion and art, and make-up is the perfect blend of those two industries. I fell into the make-up artistry world, and I’ve been excited about it ever since.

Best advice you can give to a bride: My skincare advice is to take care of your skin and eat healthy. It’s important to wash your face daily to remove make-up and dirt from your pores, and moisturizing your skin is equally as important for preparing your skin for a smooth make-up application. Also, If you have a healthy eating lifestyle, it will show in your skin. My make-up advice for the wedding day is less make-up is more! Have a look created that looks like you with your features complimented.

What has been your strangest request? The bride wanted to have big false eye lashes placed as bottom eyelashes. I talked her out of them 🙂

Do you work with an assistant? Sometimes, I hire an assistant when I have big wedding parties, and the client has a short timeframe to get ready on the wedding day.

What would you say is your style? I really don’t have a particular style of make-up. Everyone is different and has unique features, and I focus on the art of make-up application to enhance each person’s beauty. On some people, I may play up the eyes and apply false lashes and on other clients, I may create a stronger lip and do less on the eyes.

Who is the person you most admire? The person I most admire professionally is Pat McGrath. She is a tremendously amazing and talented internationally known make-up artist! I would love to work with her one day!

Who is the person that inspired you? Earlier in my career, I was inspired by the late Kevyn Aucoin… a celebrity make-up artist whose work was truly incredible. When I first started my make-up career, I purchased all of his make-up books and they helped me understand the true transformation and beauty of make-up artistry. Sam Fine was another celebrity make-up artist who inspired me. I was fortunate enough to assist him once during a make-up class in Atlanta, GA. He taught me how to master the art of blending different colors and foundations.

What is your proudest moment in your business? My proudest moment in my business is when a client loves her make-up so much that her eyes fill with tears of joy! My passion is to create a look that makes someone feel and look as beautiful outside as they are inside.

Below are some of my acknowledgements:
2011 The Knot Best of Weddings
2011 WeddingWire Bride’s Choice
2010 WeddingWire Bride’s Choice
2009 Best of Jax Make-up Artist

My work has been featured in:

Jacksonville Magazine

Jacksonville Luxury Living Magazine

Greater Jacksonville Wedding & Reception Services Magazine

Kimtasha’s bio.

Weddings Print Film

Combine a love of beauty, the art of transformation with professional training and over thirteen years experience and the result is Kimtasha, pro make-up artist. Armed with an extensive array of tools and products for all skin tones and types, Kimtasha can be relied upon to bring creativity and versatility of range working locally or traveling to meet client needs in tv commercials, print work, to hundreds of brides. Beginning her career with M.A.C Cosmetics, her expertise has afforded her the privilege of working with actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, to assisting celebrity make-up artist Sam Fine. Whether it’s make-up with an edge, pure glamour or simply enhancing the subtle glow of a bride, the mission is the same….to capture beauty with the stoke of a brush.

Vendor Spotlight: McGee Entertainment

Vendor Spotlight: McGee Entertainment

Your name? Carlton McGee

Company Name: McGee Entertainment & Events, Inc.


Blog n/a

Years in Business: Full-time since 2004

How did you get started? College house parties, Fraternity and Sorority Dances

Best advice you can give to a bride. Don’t hire the cheapest DJ and expect the best service!

What has been your strangest request? Nothing comes to mind.

Do you work with an assistant? Sometimes

What would you say is your style? Various. All receptions are customized to meet the clients vision.

Who is the person you most admire? My Wife

Who is the person that inspired you? My older Brother

What is your proudest moment in your business? Winning Brides Choice Award three (3) years straight!

Vendor Spotlight: Calligraphy by Cami

Vendor Spotlight: Calligraphy By Cami

Your name? Cami Franklin

Company Name: Calligraphy by Cami



Years in Business 5 1/2

How did you get started? My mother took a Calligraphy class when I was young and she taught me how to do it when I was 12. I used it as a hobby for years. I addressed my own wedding invitations, did it as gifts, etc. During a time that our family was struggling financially, a friend asked me to address her son’s wedding invitations and she insisted on paying me for them. She told me to get online and research what other Calligraphers were charging. I did and quickly realized that I too, could start a business like that! I got some business cards, built a website – began talking to people around town and within a month I was up and running! I have not stopped writing since! I am constantly amazed at how it has turned into a successful business.

Best advice you can give to a bride: Think about Calligraphy in the beginning of your planning process. Work it into your invitation budget. You spend a great deal of time picking out that perfect invitation that reflects you and your style. It is the first impression that your guest receive about your wedding and you want to make sure that it’s a good one. You don’t want less than impressive envelopes. Book your Calligrapher early to guarantee that you will have it done in a timely manner. I can’t tell you how many brides make it an after thought. They decide they want it done after their invitations are back from the printer. Then, time is short, and I typically have to turn them away because it is not humanly possible to fit them into my already full calendar.

Invitations need to be mailed to your guests 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding. This means, your list should be done and your invitations ordered and to the Calligrapher 10 – 12 weeks before the wedding. This allows enough time for them to be addressed, for you to check them, have any errors corrected, get them stuffed, stamped and in the mail. The more time you give yourself and the Calligrapher, the less stressful it will be on all parties.

What has been your strangest request? To write on a leather bound Bible. I have written inside of bibles, but never on the outside. I leave that to the professional book binders.

Do you work with an assistant? No – Unless you include my husband who acts as a courier for me on a regular basis!

Vendor Spotlight: D’vine Cuisine

Vendor Spotlight: D’Vine Cuisine
Photo by Christy Whitehead
Your name: Hope Dempsey @ 904-742-7353
Company Name d’Vine cuisine, inc.
Blog with website

Years in Business: 5
How did you get started? Attended culinary school and a chef suggested that I work with a few caterers to see if I liked it. I worked for RSVP and Biscottis during that time and enjoyed the work.
Best advice you can give to a bride. Relax and enjoy your day. Hire a planner that will work with you to see that the details are completed the way you want them. Communicate to all your vendors of your expectations. Be sure all vendors are provided a floor plan of the day along with a time line.
Photo by Kathryn Brown

What has been your strangest request? A guest asked for all the left overs, including the items that had been out all night…it was an outdoor wedding.

Do you work with an assistant? I have a chef for that works in the back that keeps the kitchen and food in order. I assign the front of the house staff to certain stations.

What would you say is your style? Elegant but yet affordable.

Photo by Kathryn Brown

Who is the person you most admire? Julia Childs – she brought a European Flair to American cooking.

Who is the person that inspired you? Chef Bouman at FSCJ. He is French trained and speaks 4 languages, wine expert and wonderful instructor. He knows everything.

What is your proudest moment in your business? We recently catered for the Board of Directors for FSCJ. They loved it and I am with 4 other caters to be rotated in for events.

Meet Katrina!

Your name?  Katrina McCullum

Company Name: Made of Honor Weddings

Website: www,

Blog: Your reading it…lol

Years in Business: 7;  5 in Jacksonville

How did you get started? Well honestly, in exchange for babysitting.  I had two small kids and weird work hours. My neighbor made silk flowers for weddings, so in exchange for babysitting, I would help her with flowers and help her set up at weddings. I have always loved organizing parties and events. After assisting several  friends with their actual wedding plans and coordinating, it finally dawned on me that I could make a business out of it. I originally wanted to target “Theme” weddings. Medieval and Renaissance weddings to be precise. This is how I came up with my business name.

Best advice you can give to a bride- Hire professionals and enjoy your day. I am not saying break the bank, but find the best professional for your budget.  There aren’t  any do overs for your wedding day and you don’t want to look back and have regrets.

What has been your strangest request? I haven’t had one. I try to make all my brides visions come true…with in reason. I haven’t had anything outrageous…yet.

Do you work with an assistant? I always have one to two assistants for the ceremony and reception and I have 4 to 5 people for set up.

What would you say is your style? Modern, elegant, I am definitely not a traditional type of girl. I love to think outside of the box and go outside the norm. The one thing I don’t like about trends is everyone is doing them. After the first two or three you are ready for something else but you have to wait until the next year. I encourage my brides to do it their way but sometimes…its the trend. LOL.

Who is the person you most admire? I don’t admire just one. The women in my family are strong, driven and outstanding women. I learn from the good and the bad.

Who is the person that inspired you? I would have to say my sister. We inspire one another and push each other to reach our goals. She is my best friend.

What is your proudest moment in your business? I organized a major wedding contest. We gave away a $25,000 wedding. Although it didn’t get the all the press I was seeking. I still made it happen., when people doubted me.  To see your vision grow into something very real is an exhilarating feeling. Each vendor donated their amazing services to bless a couple and every time that couple thinks of their wedding, or looks a photograph or their video they think back to all the vendors that made it possible.

My favorite ice cream is vanilla, you can enjoy it plain or mix it with anything to create something new. I love my family. My favorite color is sage (green). I love the beach, especially at night. I grew up in Southern California, so I am a west coast girl at heart. My children are my life and when I think of them moving out on their own… I cry. My favorite type of food is Italian. My favorite type of dog is the Siberian Husky…such a beautiful creature. I used to think I was tall until my children grew taller…now I feel really short. I love to play the SIMS game.  I am a sucker for chocolate. I love cartoons…the old ones anyway.My absolute favorite is Scooby Doo.  I am not afraid to go to dinner or a movie by myself. I hate shopping for myself. I want to visit Egypt on day. I love ancient Egypt and some of my decor in my house reflects that. I am honest, too honest at times. I have a guitar but I have yet to learn to play it. I love to laugh. I love to read, fantasy and sci-fi are my favorites. I talk to the movies like they can hear me. I cry on happy endings and love stories. I try to find the best in people. This is me in a nutshell.

Vendor Spotlight: A Fantasy in Flowers

Vendor Spotlight: A FANTASY IN FLOWERS

{Photography by Christy Whitehead}

Your name: Susan A. Kass

Company Name: A Fantasy in Flowers



Years in Business: 8 years

How did you get started? I have my degree from Tufts University. I started my career in the hospitality industry working for several Hyatt Hotels in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. My hotel background has really helped when working with meeting planners and Brides. I also managed a showroom in the Miami Merchandise Mart for a Women’s clothing line. This gave me great experience on the wholesale and buying end of the business. Buying the flower shop in 2003 seemed like a natural transition, but I had no idea how much I still had to learn about owning my own business. We are still a work in progress.

Best advice you can give to a bride? Trust your vendors. Once you have made the decision of who to use let them guide you. Our floral designers are artists and they need to have the space to be creative. Give us your vision, but try not to micromanage, You will be thrilled with the outcome.

What has been your strangest request? We have made all kinds of things out of flowers—a turkey, a giraffe, a cigarette, a tennis court, a snowman and even a spaceship. We’ve also been asked for an all black flower arrangement and one with no heads on flowers arrangement, just the stalks

Do you work with an assistant? I have 2 amazing floral artists; Amy Dwarika and Lealia Joyner. They are truly the talent behind my business. They are the ones that make “fantasy a reality.”

What would you say is your style? My personal style is really a bit edgy. I like modern mixed with a bit of romance. I definitely like things to be outside the box.

Who is the person you most admire? My Father. He was handsome, successful and loved his family dearly. He also had a very corny sense of humor which several of us have inherited!
Who is the person that inspired you? I am inspired by several amazing women throughout history; Jackie Kennedy-Onasis, Julia Childs, Coco Chanel and Evita Perron. All of these women had incredible style and were able to build business empires on their own at a time when women were supposed to be in the background.

What is your proudest moment in your business? My proudest moment is right now! In this terrible economy for small businesses we are still here! I employ 3 amazing people full time and have many weddings on the books for 2011. Things are moving in a great direction.

Vendor Spotlight: Christy Whitehead Photography

Vendor Spotlight: Christy Whitehead Photography

Headshot taken by intern Jezzica Gibson

Your name: Christy Whitehead

Company Name: Christy Whitehead Photography

Website: or for short, I kind of have a long name, lol.


Years in Business: Aprx. 10 years. (Next question answer’s this one)

How did you get started? I started out as a freelance newspaper reporter when I was 15. When I was about 20, an editor at the Florida Times Union told me I should take photography classes to make my articles even better since I had to take photos while I was on assignment.

I liked photography and figured why not. I LOVED working in the darkroom. The creative process was so much fun, I could lose myself in there.

I started expanding out and doing newspaper and magazine work for lots of publications across the country. And some of those publications started using my photos more and more and didn’t need a story from me for it—they were just hiring me as a photographer. And suddenly friends and family started asking me to shoot weddings and portraits and everything just kept going from there.

Best advice you can give to a bride: When it comes to the wedding in general, be yourself, don’t let what you think a wedding is supposed to look like dictate how you do your wedding. Do what YOU want, make it personal to you, down to the wedding rings. That’s one of the things I regretted. For example, I wish I would have had color in my wedding rings, but I felt like that wasn’t traditional enough, now I regret getting a ring that everyone else has and isn’t completely me.

When it comes to hiring a photographer, never judge your decision based solely on price, or any vendor based on those parameters, for that fact. Expensive doesn’t mean better and with cheap you typically get what you pay for. Important factors when choosing a photographer include ATTITUDE! You don’t want a photographer whose personality is completely different then yours. I have heard horror stories of mean photographers bossing a bride around to the point where she wanted to cry. That’s horrible! If we don’t get along how am I going to illicit a good smile or get you to pose for those photos you’ll cherish for a lifetime?

If you are dark skinned, you really need to choose a photographer that has experience photographing darker people. Lighter skins reflect light, where as darker skin tones don’t. Think about your HS yearbook photos and how all the dark skinned kids disappeared in the photos—it’s because the photographer didn’t alter the lighting, they got the same lighting as the white kids. Ask to see a wedding album from an African American wedding to get an idea of what your photographer can really do.

And you really should see WHOLE albums from the photographer. Websites only show the best of. You want to know that your photographer can truly handle the whole wedding.

Many people in the wedding industry don’t have a license, and may not be insured. I’ve heard horror stories of people leaving deposits with a vendor only to have them disappear. Make sure you are working with a reputable company. I am licensed with the city and I also carry insurance, which is a big deal. I have had cameras break or jam. So not only do I carry a MINIMUM of 2 cameras to every wedding, but if one were to break the day before a wedding, I have insurance, so I can afford to go get it replaced. A college student or an aunt or uncle may not have that option.

What has been your strangest request? I’m a wedding photographer, but I also do other types of photography including families, pets and boudoir. I occasionally get phone calls from men asking me to photograph them nude. .I photographed one man nude, but that didn’t exactly end well. The guy ended up being a pervert and I had to call the police about him. The story around it is hysterical though.

Other than that, one of my largest clients is law enforcement publications—magazines specifically for police and fire fighters. With that I have been asked to where a men’s cup while shooting to protect myself, I was told, lol. That’s probably the funniest, most of the strange things with law enforcement work is either just crazy–like hiding behind a police car in Savannah while a guy with a shotgun was shooting at people—or sad, like photographing crime/death scenes.

Do you work with an assistant? Yes. With weddings of 3 hours or more I always have an assistant with me. This is for my sanity and the brides! The assistant carries equipment, sets up lights while I’m still shooting the bride (saving time) and helps out in general. Sometimes they’ll shoot as well, since they are often interns and training, which means more photos for the bride at no additional charge.

I once had a bride who was running about 3 hours late to her own wedding. She was writing her vows as she was getting her hair done. She had also lost her marriage license, but couldn’t exactly run out to look for it, everything was crazy. I asked her where she thought it was and we sent my assistant out on the hunt, and luckily my assistant was able to find it everything was good.

What would you say is your style? Def. photojournalistic. My Bachelor’s degree is in Communications/Print Journalism, and with the newspaper work, my photos have to tell a story. I like that. I do some posed shots, you kind of have to. But grooms are the first to get tired of smiling, so the photojournalistic style really plays well to them, since after the posed stuff I’m shooting them actually having fun, with real smiles.

Who is the person you most admire? I don’t know. I’m never good with these types of questions. There are people out there that I think should be looked up to. For example, I’ve always been amazed by Oprah, she is a positive person and really built up this media empire from nothing without belittling her values or putting other people down in the process. That is outstanding and inspiring to me. I don’t really just admire one person though, I typically admire traits about different people I meet on a daily basis—whether it’s their ability to laugh at themselves, their values or their business sense.

Who is the person that inspired you? I don’t really have one. I know that I am who I am because of my parents. They are the ones that really shape you. My mother taught me basic principles like “no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else always has it worse.” Both of my parents are very entrepreneurial, and that was def. instilled in me and I’ve never been scared to step out do a business venture because of that.

What is your proudest moment in your business? I keep saying I don’t know, but these questions are hard, lol. I don’t have ONE moment.I’ve won awards and accolades including recently being named the best wedding photographer in Jacksonville by Bride Magazine,  I’m often surprised and shocked by the people around me and how much they love my work or how much they trust me. It really is an honor to be put in charge of people’s wedding photos or to be asked to do something special for someone because they really believe in you. Those are the type of moments that aren’t easily expressed, but really do mean so much.

Hair Alina Castillo, Makeup: Paulina Perez

Vendor Spotlight: Casey Does Hair

Vendor Spotlight: Casey Powell

Your name? Casey Powell

Company Name: Casey Does Hair


Blog n/a

Years in Business: 5

How did you get started? I started out working in a full service salon that had lots of wedding parties come in. I started helping other stylists and found that I really enjoyed doing wedding hairstyles, probably more than any of the stylists I learned from! Since then, I’ve focused on and specialize in styling hair for weddings.

Best advice you can give to a bride: Have a trial run and have all of your vendors come to you!

What has been your strangest request? A bride asked if she could wear a painters mask while I did her hair because of the hairspray.

Do you work with an assistant? I have another stylist come with me if working on a large amount of people’s hair on the wedding day.

What would you say is your style? I try to keep on top of the trends in Fashion, Hair and Makeup for my clients. So, I feel like my style is constantly evolving from the exposure.

Who is the person you most admire? Kimtasha Armstrong – I met her about a year into starting my business. She’s a very successful Makeup Artist. I admire her professionalism, her amazing talent and beautiful personality. I try to model myself after her as a business woman.

Who is the person that inspired you? I’m going to say Kimtasha, again. Working with her has given me the inspiration to get my business where it is today.

What is your proudest moment in your business? Being featured in Jacksonville Magazine’s Bride.