Friday, January 30, 2009

Featured vendor: Island Essentials

Island Essentials has over 10 years experience in the rental equipment industry. There is one thing we have down to a science, service. Brides and party planners alike have raved about our top quality items, competitive pricing and unsurpassed service. Let them tell you…

“...Everyone at this place was very helpful. They are priced nicely as well.”- Landon Wedding

“...We couldn’t have done it without them!!!” - Wolfe Event

“Very friendly and easy to work with!” - Licko Wedding

This Week's Vendor: Images by Rodger Photography

Rodger Whitney, Images by Rodger Photography

Located in New Bern, serving all of Eastern NC. With many years of experience, I work to get the shots others miss. In addition to the posed and customary images, I try to capture the moments that make true memories, not just pictures. Weddings, Family Reunions, events and commercial photography are all available. Web Site: .

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Featured Vendor: Emma Lupton

This weeks featured vendor is Emma Lupton, and here is a Q & A with her:

What's the most important piece of advice you can offer a bride?
Select vendors you have received recommendations from other brides and whom you are comfortable. Don't go into debt for a wedding celebration. Remember the photos are designed to tell your wedding story and will be passed down to your children and their children. Select a photographer who has talent and a good personality.
What is the biggest trend you're seeing in weddings?

I think brides are focusing more the bridal couple and guests having fun. Good food and great entertainment.
Tell us an anecdote about one of your favorite couples, bride or wedding.

The brides I get the best photographs from are the ones who are relaxed and let things happen. The bridal couple who are into the photography always have awesome albums and photo books to share with their families. The is nothing more romantic than a bride and groom holding hands and laughing together over a shared secret moment. To view samples of her work, visit: Emma Lupton Photography at

Featured Vendor: Amy Andreola, Sheraton Atlantic Beach

Meet Amy Andreola, she is the Catering Manager at the Sheraton in Atlantic Beach. She has been at the Sheraton for 12 years ans has been in the catering office 10 of those 12 years. A huge part of Amy's job is planning everything from set up to menus for weddings, military functions and group business ranging from associations to corporate.
Amy is enrolled in a Wedding and Event Consultant course through the US Career Institute to become a certified wedding and event planner. Amy shares that the most rewarding part of her job is meeting new people and helping them plan a memorable event whether it be a once in a lifetime event like a wedding, a USMC Birthday Ball or an annual event for their organization. Accordind to Amy there is never a dull moment in this business.

Q & A with Amy:

What's the most important piece of advice you can offer a bride?
Don’t Sweat the small stuff it will all come together in the end and most importantly take time to appreciate the experience of the wedding ceremony.
What is the biggest trend you're seeing in weddings?
Destination weddings – Beach Weddings
Tell us an anecdote about one of your favorite couples, bride or wedding
I guess one of my favorites weddings was one that the brides mother was so nervous the whole time about the reception. We drew diagrams and she emailed me almost every day. She just wanted it to be perfect for her daughter’s once in a lifetime event. Wedding day came – beautiful weather we worked hard all day on the room reception, time came and as I waited for the brides mother the more nervous I got. Then just the look on her face told it all she was ecstatic the room was beautiful she was wowed. Everything went off without a hitch and she had a smile on her face the entire evening. That’s what it is all about.

To learn more about the Sheraton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront Hotel email: or visit

Monday, January 26, 2009

This Week's Vendor: J & S Creations

Greeting to everyone from J&S Custom Creations.

Creations. We are a small family owned cottage business located at Surf City. J&S or Jeff & Sue Conerly are the founders & owners. With backgrounds in Engineering and Pharmacy, we retired and moved from Raleigh, our home for 20 years to Surf City, the best move we have ever made. Retirement gave us the opportunity to meet lots of new friends and spend our time and energy doing the things that we love including activities at our church- Chapel by the Bay, our photography, virtual tours, and others. Our photographic activities quickly evolved to a full time –year around activity. We have had articles and photographs published in local newspapers and magazines. In general we provide a variety of services but our love is to focus on smaller beach weddings and beach oriented family portraits. Our goal is to capture the event as well as the traditional images. This gives us the opportunity to meet new friends and capture the memories they can enjoy for a lifetime. Check our website for some examples of our work: .

We are pleased to participate in the Lejeune Bridal Gala and are looking forward to meeting and visiting with everyone.

Q. What's the most important piece of advice you can offer a bride?

A. Based on our experience with quite a few brides there seems to be one common factor that can easily distract from what should be a very happy and enjoyable time. Don’t get stressed out over every little detail. Make vendor selections based on budget and quality expectations then meet with selected vendors then let them do their job. Regardless of the size of your wedding, a small informal beach wedding or a large formal event, keep it simple. It’s your wedding, enjoy it. We give this bit of advice to each bride & groom that we meet with. Their feedback has shown it to be sound advice.

Q. What is the biggest trend you're seeing in weddings?
A. Over the last few years we have observed two basic factors that are affecting local wedding plans. For military weddings plans and dates tend to be more frequently driven by deployment or returning from deployment dates. In the case of nonmilitary weddings, planning considerations and decisions are more frequently driven by the declining economic considerations. In either case the bride is looking for the best way to have the wedding she wants that fits in her shrinking budget.

Q. What was our most memorial wedding?
A. No doubt, our most memorable wedding was a beach wedding of approximately 20+ people. After the ceremony, the photos and the congratulations the party lined up on the beach holding hands and charged into the surf -bride in her wedding gown, bride’s maids in their dresses, and all. Of course, the photographer had to be out front to get the best photos. When all was done the entire party was splashing around like a bunch of kids playing in the surf while the photographer was waist deep capturing the fun and dodging the waves while keeping the camera dry. We have only had one wedding that went to this extent but this is a great example of everyone having a great time and our commitment to capturing the memories.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Featured Vendor: R.D. Decker Photography

Meet R. D. Decker, he is a professional wedding & portrait photographer providing photography services to Eastern North Carolina couples. Photographer R. D. Decker combines a mixture of photojournalist, fashion-editorial and traditional styles to capture photographic memories of your wedding day.

Below is a Q & A with the Bob:

What's the most important piece of advice you can offer a bride?
Please, please, please don't go ultra-low budget on your photography. You'll regret
It’s for years to come. The photos of your special day are one of the few things you'll have for years to come.

What is the biggest trend you're seeing in weddings?
Private meetings between the Bride & Groom before the ceremony.

This is a great opportunity for the couple to enjoy themselves in their wedding attire and often makes for some wonderful wedding day images as well. The expression on a grooms face when he first sees his bride in her wedding gown is almost

always emotional.

These big strong guys often tear-up.

Tell us an anecdote about one of your favorite couples, bride or wedding.
Every bride... every couple... every wedding is my favorite in one way or another. It
is the unique nature and personalities of the couples that make them special. It is these attributes that I seek to capture in my images. To check out more of Bob’s great photos visit:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Featured Vendor: CK Entertainment

Chuck Kolb founded CK Entertainment in 1997 with the single goal of providing a quality DJ/MC service to local customers. Since the first year of 14 total events, CK Entertainment has grown into a multi-unit DJ service that caters to Weddings, Corporate Events, School Dances and Proms. Our services have expanded to include specialty lighting, music videos, and AV rental equipment. CK Entertainment on average performs at over 100 wedding receptions per year.

The guys behind the music:
Chuck Kolb - Chuck began his DJ career in Charleston, SC. Since Charleston is one of the top destination wedding locations, he quickly learned to offer a variety of services, be flexible, and able to change itineraries on a moments notice. Chuck moved to New Bern, NC in 1997 and launched CK Entertainment. He continues to cater to corporate clients, Bride and Grooms, and school functions. Some of Chuck’s fondest memories are of bride's parents giving hugs and kisses at the end of a reception and thanking him for helping to make their daughter’s wedding memorable. From New Bern, Chuck has DJ’d at locations all across North and South Carolina including The Lowes Motor Speedway, The Biltmore Estate, Pinehurst, and numerous locations in Raleigh, Myrtle Beach, and Eastern North Carolina.

Bryan Hales - Bryan was born in Eastern North Carolina and began his DJ career performing for birthday parties and school dances. Through the years, Bryan won several local DJ contests and had quite a beach music following when he performed at several Atlantic Beach locations. Since joining CK Entertainment in 2000, Bryan has honed his skills as a Wedding and Corporate DJ/MC. He is now one of the most requested DJ’s in Eastern North Carolina and routinely travels to Raleigh and Wilmington for special clients.

Ed Peugh - Ed has been with CK Entertainment since 2006. He moved to New Bern to serve our country as a Marine stationed at Cherry Point Marine Corp Air Station.Ed came to CK Entertainment with several years of DJ experience while living in California and Iowa. Ed loves the opportunity to work with customers and ensure all their needs are met and exceeded.

Frankie Hill - Frankie started with CK Entertainment in 2006. She has brought a wealth of DJ and Karaoke experience to CK Entertainment. Frankie loves to be in front of a crowd and encourages lots of group dances and participations from all the guests. Clients love her outgoing personality, warmth, and truly caring attitude. To check them out, visit:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Featured Vendor: Promised Hearts Wedding Planning

Meet Pam Duval from Promised Hearts.

Pam has had a passion for weddings and events for as long as she can remember. After years of planning events for friends and family, she decided to make her dream a reality and start her own business, Promised Hearts Wedding Planning.
Prior to becoming a wedding planner Pam was business office manager for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the New Bern, North Carolina area. She gained invaluable knowledge in dealing with people in stressful, complex situations. Her experience with finances as an office manager has helped her to plan and manage her business as well as plan events with any type of budget.
Working almost every wedding with her husband Joe, Pam expanded their business by opening a retail shop in downtown New Bern. By constantly searching for new and unique items, Promised Hearts Inc. carries everything a wedding planner needs for their next event; rental items, candelabras, specialty linens, candy stations, unique gifts, wedding accessories, anniversary items, and more.

Pam is a Professional Bridal Consultant, co-director of the New Bern area networking group, an active member in the New Bern Chamber of Commerce, and a certified Sandals expert. Pam’s main goal is to teach students that by providing an exceptional level of personal care, they can help their clients have a memorable and enjoyable experience from the time they start planning until the big day, regardless of the event size or budget.
As an Instructor for The Wedding Planning Institute’s How to Become a Certified Wedding Planner course, Pam strongly believes having a professional certification in the wedding planning industry gives her students “the training and credibility to become a trusted planner. Brides especially, must have confidence in their planner,” she says. “You will be spending a lot of time together and you must be able to have that level of trust.”
“Wedding Planning can be a great career that is fun and extremely fulfilling. It is exciting to see all the pieces come together the day of the event,” Pam adds. “To see the happiness on the bride’s face and to know that her big day has been a dream come true makes me happy. I just love what I do!”

Friday, January 9, 2009

Featured Vendor: MM Digital Photography

Greetings from the staff at MM Digital Photography! We are thrilled to participate in the Lejeune Bridal Gala. It’s great to see all the wonderful vendors that were invited to participate in this exclusive event. We see many familiar vendors, many who are already part of our fantastic network and who we often see at our weddings. We also see some new faces and look forward to meeting everyone.
To our brides, all we can say is that this is a fantastic opportunity to meet tons of great people and get to meet your future vendors. We were asked to answer a Q & A and here are our answers:
Q. What's the most important piece of advice you can offer a bride?
A. Get to meet your vendors, ask for samples of their work. There are many types of photographers and their styles vary as well, find out what it’s the style and personality that fits you the most. The biggest difference in style that you will come across are traditional, photojournalistic and editorial photography. Basically the first style captures the main events of your wedding and for the most part is heavily posed some photographers offer the very standard while other are more creative and give you a playful approach. Photojournalistic style is very popular, it is the least intrusive of all the styles. The true photojournalists, which I like to call the purist don’t believe in posing at all but rather capture the events as they unfold, most of the purist will also carry minimal equipment, some only provide images in black and white.

However there are variations and several degrees of photojournalistic photography, make sure to ask and understand what you should expect. My favorite style is editorial, this style is really a blend of traditional and photojournalistic, it combines the candid unobtrusive coverage, but it also incorporates the traditional posed shots. The idea behind editorial photography is to tell the story of your day while making your images look as they would appear on a fashion magazine. Much emphasis is placed on making you look beautiful.

Things to keep in mind when shopping for a photographer:
- Look at complete weddings, which will give you an idea of what you will get.
- The key to finding an experienced photographer is to compare 2 or 3 photographers with similar styles. Look at the way their photos are lighted, look at the colors. Look at their prices, yes if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Nine out of ten lower end vendors come with lower end products to keep costs down, but there are exceptions to the rules. Professional equipment is really expensive, a professional who has invested in professional grade equipment and has formal education can be expected to be at a higher price bracket that someone who does not possess this qualities.

With that said is very important to place close attention as to who you hire, sometimes it can be deceiving as you may encounter an ocean of aspiring photographers with less than appropriate equipment and high hopes for an easy career willing to use your wedding day to learn the trade and build a portfolio. Look at their web site, ask for complete galleries, look and feel the products they offer, ask for referrals and make sure to check them. Most important, trust your instincts.

Q. What is the biggest trend you're seeing in weddings?
A. We see a huge welcome to trash the dress sessions or what we call wet ’n wild newlyweds. This sessions are so much fun. It’s all about dressing up one more time and having fun. The TTD sessions can be done with the couple or just the bride. The great news for the grooms is that they don’t have to wear a tux or dress blues. Usually the groom wears a button down shirt and rolled up khakis, while our brides get to dress up and play in their dress. The emphasis of the TTD sessions is to make beautiful and creative images that will decorate your walls in a unique and elegant way. Large Canvas are the most popular choice for this sessions.
And that is all for now! To check out some of our work visit We look forward to seeing you at the Bridal Gala Feb. 15!