Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 in Review

2007. What a great year it has been!

On the personal front, believe it or not, in one year.... I saw my 2 daughters, Kristin and Amanda, walk down the aisle! Being a Wedding Planner is hard enough by itself but being the Mother of The Bride is an equally daunting task, while still being very involved with the design and completion of these most special days in our lives. I truly feel that this experience, which could only be gained when you are put in the seat of the 'Mother of the Bride', has brought me an even more profound understanding of how incredibly crucial, having a Wedding Planner is! Kristin's wedding was held in Cayman, and Keisha Parcells (the Manager of our Special Events Division) was the appointed Wedding Planner, who I have to tell the world, did a phenomenal job! Think about it, being the wedding planner to the daughter of the most fastidious and attention to detail Mother of the Bride you could think off! My hats off to Keisha and the entire team for everything they did, words can never portray the gratitude and thankfulness, both myself and our entire family had for all they did. We had a most wonderful wedding and I truly was able to be the Mother of the Bride! Amanda's wedding was held in Keswick, in the Lake District in England, and this was another incredible challenge, and certainly taught me about planning a destination wedding thousands of miles away. Again with the help of my great team of experts and diligent staff, I was able to make my eldest daughters' wedding dreams come true in another land!

Celebrations was also featured in several international TV shows. Some of which were: the NFL Quarterback Challenge in June; BET Jazz Fest in November ; and in December, the brand new Special Edition on Style Network's " My Destination Wedding with the Knot" . aired. What an honor to be part of this special one hour show with Carley Rooney from The Knot. Not to mention that the 6 hour mini-series of "Weddings Away - Cayman Islands" that focused on myself and Celebrations for the entire series keeps repeating on the Travel Channel.

It is with great insight and zeal that I look forward to next year, with the prospects of always refining and producing weddings and events, that speak to the very soul of the clients involved. I started what we are doing now, many years ago, and my passion and desire to make people happy, has not changed whatsoever, and anyone who works with Celebrations, becomes part of this incredible passion of making the Celebrations in people's lives everything they can be.
The Celebrations Team has grown over the year. I've welcomed bright and promising new members and I am very excited with the prospect of continuing with this growth in the future.

This year has also introduced me to the wonderful world of blogging. It has been such a great experience to be a part of this very dynamic medium. I'm looking forward to share more of Celebrations' stories as it unfolds.

Here's to a great 2008! Let's keep the celebrations going all year! My team and I can't wait to start this brand new year with bigger and better ideas.

Here's a quick glimpse of some of the events and weddings that Celebrations created in 2007.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mary Ann Mehigan

Mary Ann began her career in Special Events after graduating from Ricardo Palma Private University with a Bachelors Degree in business. She then moved on to become Head of Events and Promotions at the leading national radio station of Peru. During her three years there, she organized and produced live concerts for huge international acts such as Marc Anthony.
Throughout Mary Ann’s career, she has worked with experts and idols from all over the world and is constantly redefining her signature style...putting a creative spin on traditional elements.

Since joining Celebrations, she has become a premier wedding planner in The Cayman Islands. Mary Ann creates a unique experience for all of her clientele by providing exceptional service and attention to detail.
She loves to help people and says "being a Wedding Planner is an amazing profession, I love being a part of the bride and groom experiencing one of the most amazing moments of their lives". Mary Ann also says "weddings sometimes can make me cry, for example when I see the bride and groom exchanging romantic wedding vows. Yes, I am very romantic, I believe in love…and this love makes me LOVE what I am doing every day".

She looks forward to helping you create memories of a lifetime!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rave Review for the Best Planners in Cayman

The Celebrations Special Events Team (l-r):S/E Manager Keisha Parcells,
Planners: Jaime Alexanderson; Tiffany Amesbury; Pascale Gillon and Ahmed Elkaswani

Celebrations picked up two of the coveted prizes at the Best of Cayman awards held at the Wharf on Wednesday, November 7th. Not only did they win the ‘Best Wedding Planners’ award, but they also won the ‘Best Event Planners’ award.

Mrs. Joanne Brown, Managing Director at Celebrations, commented: “It was a very successful night for Celebrations and particularly for our innovative event planners. It is always nice to be recognized for our contribution and bringing happiness to people through our events is what makes it all worthwhile. Ensuring that Celebrations is constantly evolving and improving gives me my enthusiasm for the business."

Pascale Gillon, a Celebrations Event Planner, who was present on the night to collect the award, said "This is a significant achievement when you consider the very high standard of work entered into the competition. We had a fantastic evening, after our success winning the award for ‘Best Wedding Planners’ and then the ‘Best Event Planners’ it feels like we have completed the grand slam!” Celebrations were one of few companies to win two awards on the night.

Lisa Kelley of Best of Cayman commended Celebrations on providing the beautiful setting and décor on the night, “Best of Cayman would like to thank Celebrations for making our 2007 Awards Ceremony beautiful. Our theme this year was “Old Hollywood Glitz and Glam” and Celebrations provided everything from a life size Marilyn Monroe to our stage décor of Movie reels. We would also like to congratulate Celebrations for winning a “Best of” Award two years in a row. Thanks again for all your support’. Lisa stopped by Celebrations Enchanted Store at the Mirco Centre on November 23rd to present the event planners with their award.

For Celebrations, winning the best wedding planner award is especially significant as the premiere of “My Destination Wedding with The Knot” is fast approaching. This is a special TV show by The Knot that will highlight Celebration’s design and décor work for a Hindu-style wedding in Little Cayman in October. It will be aired on the Style Network on December 15th at 9pm est.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holiday Wreaths Help Community

Cancer survivor, Ms. Barbara Edwards, receives her beautiful custom made wreath. From L to R Christine Sanders of the Cancer Society, Craig Arch of Arch Automotive, Ms. Barbara Edwards and Jo Anne Brown.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, BWI- 15 November, 2007. Celebrations’ Enchanted Christmas Store at the Mirco Centre was once again filled with joy and camaraderie on Friday November 9th as Cancer survivor, Barbara Edwards, accepted a beautiful custom made wreath from Craig Arch of Arch Automotive. The joy on Ms. Edwards’ face spoke volumes as she accepted her generous gift. Also in attendance were Christine Sanders of the Cancer Society and Jo-Anne Brown of Celebrations.

“Celebrations is one of the Society's Partners in Prevention and we are grateful to them for making the Society one of the charities for whom they made and auctioned a wreath. It was generous and fitting that Arch Automotive, the winners of the wreath, decided to donate it to a breast cancer survivor, Barbara Edwards,” stated Ms. Sanders.

Arch Automotive was one of the bidders in the Celebrations Red Door Silent Auction held at Celebrations’ annual Holiday Open House on October 17th.

Celebrations Marketing Executive Denize Solomon hands Richard Goubault the custom-made wreath representing CI Crisis Centre.

The unique ‘Red Door Silent Auction’ was a huge fundraising effort benefiting several local non-profit organizations including the Cancer Society, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, The Humane Society, Crisis Center and Hospice Care. Attendees at the Holiday Open House placed bids on fabulous one-of-a-kind holiday wreaths, themed to match each organization’s brand. Wreaths were created by the amazingly talented Celebrations Design team.

“These local groups play an essential role in our local community. It is vital that we support them in anyway we can,” stated Celebrations Managing Director, Jo Anne Brown. “We at Celebrations are committed to working with the community. Given the success of the Red Door Silent Auction, we hope to make it annual event. I would like to thank all those who donated so generously as well as my wonderful design team here at Celebrations who donated their time and skills to create these wonderful wreaths.”

Celebrations will continue to partner with non-profit groups and the local community to help make a difference to the quality of life in the Cayman Islands.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Top 12 Tips For A Great Thanksgiving

1. Consult our talented design team at Celebrations and create a unique centrepiece to accentuate your table and wow your guests!

2. Choose Fall colours for your tablecloth so that it compliments your centrepiece. See Celebrations variety of colourful linen rentals to give your table that rustic holiday feel.

3. Keep club soda nearby to clean spots or stains on the tablecloth or clothing.

4. Start defrosting the frozen turkey in the back of the refrigerator on Monday 19th. Mark it in your diary!

5. Here at Celebrations, we believe that little details make all the difference. Attention to the placement of your cutlery can make your table sparkle. When setting the table ensure all blades point toward the plate. A cream-soup spoon lies to the right and slightly above the regular spoon.

6. The day before, prepare any side dishes that can be served cold or quickly reheated. You can also make salad dressings and wash your greens.

7. Thanksgiving is a production, so keep the drinks simple, serve only nice bottles of white and red wine: Pour the white with the soup and the red with dinner

8. Create a relaxed ambiance with music. Our retail store has a wide variety of CDs to compliment every occasion.

9. Don’t choose a dessert that has to be prepared immediately before serving. Start by making the dessert, because it often requires the most effort and will usually be the most memorable part of a meal.

10. To save time creating a cheese platter, why not check out Celebrations wonderful variety of gourmet baskets. Or if you are a guest attending a Thanksgiving dinner, this makes the ideal gift for your host!

11. Here at Celebrations, we are committed to keeping Cayman clean. Make it easy for guests who help you clean up to help you recycle. Place bins in the kitchen labeled "glass," "cans" and "trash."

12. Whenever anyone offers to help or bring a dish, say, "Yes, thank you!"

Here are some more great decor ideas to make your Thanksgiving one to remember!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Celebrations!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Anne Ogden - Allied Employee of the Year

Last October 26th, one of Celebrations' pioneer staff won the Allied Employee of the Year, an annual awards show organized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) in recognition of the great service rendered by employees working for the tourism industry.

Ann Marie Louise Ogden, or more well-known as Miss Ann, has been our Designer from Celebrations’ inception, 14 years ago. Miss Ann has been the creative force behind most if not all of Celebrations’ world class event and wedding design. As our senior designer, she conceptualizes & creates our entire top of the line décor, from the fold of the napkin, to the centrepiece, to the lay out of an event, to the most breathtaking backdrops. In short she gives the flair and special touch that Celebrations’ events and weddings are known for. Her constant need to create unique and awe-inspiring décor & floral arrangements has set the standards not only within Celebrations but through out the industry of floral design and event décor.

Her talent not only lies in event décor and floral artistry. She, too, is an impressive baker. In fact, some of her scrumptious creations have been featured in widely-circulated international magazines.

Her drive for excellence is beyond par. Her anything-is-possible attitude has taken us to great heights. Her friendly demeanour has not only endeared her to the people that she works with but to the entire Cayman community; not to mention the visitors (our clients) that come in contact with her. So many have commented and come back to Cayman, and made note that her warm outgoing and positive attitude were instrumental in them returning to Cayman. Always with a smile and an infectious laughter, it’s hard not to feel at ease with her.

In fact, we are even willing to go as far as to say that Miss Anne is a great ambassador for the Cayman Islands because she embodies what Cayman is all about, excellence, irresistible charm and warm hospitality.

A beautiful soul, a creative powerhouse, an inspiration to everyone, that’s our Miss Ann.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cayman's Christmas Enchanted Store

Here's a preview of all the wonderful things we have in store for you for this wonderful season of Christmas! We hope you can come and visit us.

Hazel & Finney Reindeer

Unique Christmas ornaments created by Celebrations' talented designers.

Gorgeous angels for tree toppers or a great addition to your Holiday collection.

Photos by: Chuck Bishop

Celebrations Annual Open House & Red Door Silent Auction

It is the best time of the year and we at Celebrations were eager to start off the Holiday cheer with our Annual Open House held on October 17. Valued customers were welcomed to our store which we transformed into “Cayman’s Enchanted Christmas Store”. Christmas trees bedecked with gorgeous ornaments had our guests in awe.

Photos by Chuck Bishop

Apart from the visual treat that our clients experienced, we also gave their taste buds a delightful experience from the hors-d’oeuvres and pastries provided by Fusion Bistro and Azzurro. The children’s choir of St. Ignatius Catholic School was also at hand to provide holiday music.

Photos by: Reb & Allman

What made this event stand out from our past Open Houses, was our commitment to give back to the community. This year we invited five charities to take part in the event. They were : Cancer Society, Humane Society, CI Crisis Centre, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman HospiceCare. All these charitable organizations were chosen to be the beneficiaries of our Red Door Silent Auction. Our guests were encouraged to make silent bids on Christmas wreaths that were made to symbolize each charitable organization.

The evening was enjoyable for all and set the tone for a wonderful holiday season.

Photos by Reb & Allman

Friday, October 5, 2007

Miss Cayman 2007 - Faces of Carnival

Event Planner: Jaime Alexanderson

For the 2007 Miss Cayman Pageant, the theme was focused on the vibrance and splendour of the Carnival. Luminescent fabrics in every color imaginable draped the entire pageant venue...from the red carpet entry to the magnificent stage decor. A variety of larger-than-life Carnival masks, each one with its own unique design, were generously displayed too. In the middle of the stage backdrop was a grandiose sun, symbolic of the beautiful weather that Cayman is famous for. The centrepieces were a combination of flowers and carnival masks and feathers.

Nothing was spared in making this event truly exceptional for indeed, it was a celebration of Cayman beauty and heritage...simply exceptional.

Celebrations Team in action:

Eugenio hanging Carnival masks.

Jaime, the event coordinator, doing a final check on the set-up
Miss Anne in action...creativity on overdrive.
Miss Anne & Garfield conferring on design points.
The entry way
Some of our hardworking set-up crew
The Red carpet walkway.
One of the custom Carnival masks used as decor
The magnificent stage.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Celebrations on Primetime TV Again

Once again, Celebrations will be featured in a primetime slot on American cable television's Style network in a programme being done in conjunction with number one wedding website

"My Destination Wedding with the Knot" will see a featured couple have their destination wedding, with anywhere between 20 to 35 people. It will be held at the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman.

The one hour show will air on 9pm primetime in early 2008, with filming taking place on this coming 25 and 26 October. All episodes have their first run on Tuesday nights at 9pm and then continue to repeat throughout the year, with the opportunity to continue repeating for an additional five years. Style's core audience is women aged 18 to 49.

Celebrations will work with the editor of the Knot and Style on decor, flowers and help with planning and the logistics of getting everything to Little Cayman for the wedding.

The airing will give great exposure, not only to Southern Cross Club and Celebrations, but to Little Cayman and the Cayman Islands in general.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Amanda & Wilson's Wedding

After producing picture-perfect weddings in every possible locale in the Cayman Islands, we were ready for the challenge of a new location.

Last December 2006, Amanda Brown, our Operations Manager, got engaged to Martin Wilson, our former IT specialist. We were obviously overjoyed with this wonderful news but we were more excited over the fact that a challenge was given to us --planning and executing Amanda’s dream wedding in the beautiful Lake District of England.

After several months of planning, via emails, endless phone calls and several trips to the UK, Amanda’s dream of an opulent and lavish wedding was slowly becoming a reality.

August 25th, amidst 150+ family and friends who flew in from all over the world, Amanda & Martin said their I do’s in Keswick St. John’s Church. Elegant floral arrangements were abundantly set inside this historical church.

The reception was held at the panoramic grounds of Derwent Lodge Hotel. Guests were treated to a visual buffet of luxurious linens, ornate tablescape and a radiantly in love newlywed.
Looking at the glimmer in Amanda’s eyes, we knew by then that once again a dream has been realized.

Miss Anne, our Senior Designer, working on the final touches

The Bridal Party bouquets

Custom jewelry for the bridal party

The wedding party with the church steeple at the back.

Cocktail Reception Decor

Details like these gave the wedding an added flair
Wedding cake by our own Senior Events Designer, Anne Ogden

One of the tablescapes

The new Mr. & Mrs. Martin Wilson!

How sweet!

Congratulations from your Celebrations' Family!

Photos by: Rebecca Davidson of Picture This

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Staff Appreciation Party

Celebrations, being a Special Events/Wedding Coordinating & rental company & a full-time retail & floral shop, it takes a lot of planning to gather all of its 50+ employees for a party. It has always been our dream to have an employee appreciation night and this year it became a reality. It wasn't an easy feat but the party and the laughter and that we all shared was well worth the wait.

Much appreciation goes out to the following:
Vico of Ristorante Pappagallo for welcoming us with open arms to his restaurant;

Craig Urchyshyn of One World Productions for the music that had all of us dancing
till the wee hours of the morning;
Samuel Rose for providing ambient music during the cocktail reception;
and to the entire Celebrations Team, for all their hardwork and their incessant
pursuit of excellence.

Here are some high-lights of the party.

Keisha Parcells, Special Events Manager, the genius behind the Staff Appreciation Party

Our handsome guys with Ms. Jo

The Celebrations' Family

Employee of the year 2007, Camilo Rodriguez receiving his cheque.

Yes, we are known to be experts at party planning but did we mention that we know how to party too!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Sun-Kissed Wedding

Wedding Coordinator : Jaime Alexanderson

The sun enveloped its warm rays as a love-struck local couple exchanged their “I do’s”.

The ceremony took place under a bamboo gazebo covered with soft, billowing fabric. Tropical leaves and yellow cymbidium blooms provided a clean yet stylish embellishments on the gold chivari chairs.

A few steps from the ceremony, a visual buffet of customized arrangements, cheery linens and personalized accents was laid out for the reception . The splendor of yellows, whites and lime greens all put together created a sophisticated scene ….a perfect setting for love celebrated.