As the month of June comes to a close, I thought it might be a great time to share an editorial shoot we did a while back at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes with the talented photographer Kathy Thomas.
Kathy partnered with Bernadette Smith of the Gay Wedding Institute to offer certification as a Same-Sex Wedding Specialist. This event was attended by wedding professionals across the region as well as a number who traveled to Orlando from across the country.
Beyond the awesome training on working with same-sex couples, we produced editorial shoots in two very different Ritz Carlton locations with same-sex couples.
The first was outside at the beautiful Whisper Creek Farm, an amazing fruit and vegetable garden alongside an 11,000 square foot outdoor ‘Farm to Fork” event space. Delicious vegetables and fresh citrus from the garden are used right there for events at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes.
The space was designed for a luxurious, slightly rustic wedding for two beautiful brides who have been together 17 years. The raw wood gated entrance made a beautiful backdrop for their photos and intimate wedding ceremony. The trellis was swagged with garlands of magnolia leaves and full pink and lavender roses. Wooden boxes flanked the entrance overflowing with wildflowers and roses tying in the design of the archway.
The dining area was set under a canopy of trees; one of my favorite details was the custom menu board that greeted guests. The combination of the industrial metal frame and the brown butcher paper were offset by the beautiful script calligraphy of the menu.
The wooden farmhouse table was draped with a custom monogrammed table runner that was another favorite detail from this shoot. In this unique farm to fork setting, the perfect centerpiece was the blending of flowers and vegetables.
Raw wooden boxes were filled with luxurious antique roses, lavender, and larkspur accented with fresh Brussels sprouts, which added texture and a grounding color.
The final touch to this lush outdoor editorial shoot was the hanging Champagne bar; the wooden shelf holding Champagne flutes was suspended by ropes from the overhanging tree.
On the complete opposite end of the resort was a ballroom wedding reception design for two handsome grooms. Not only was this deign at the other end of the resort but was also a completely different design concept. This design was pure drama, sultry and glamourous.
This lush design in silver with creamy white roses, candelabras, and many candles were set against a backdrop of black linen to create a stunning, dramatic look. Long tables were nestled into a large hollow square. In the center was a small square table draped with a black and silver geometric linen and a beautiful arrangement as a focal point.
A shimmering drape behind the stage and lighted LED dancefloor added another unique element and some sparkle.
I had the best time designing these two editorial shoots including two same-sex couples and some incredible, warm and loving Orlando wedding professionals.
Thanks so much to these great professionals for being part of this event.
. Editorial Design: Lisa Stoner Events
. Photography: Kathy Thomas Photography
. Video: Key Moment Films
. Stationery: 2u Collection
. Floral + Chairs: Raining Roses
. Wedding Gowns: Solutions Bridal
. Tuxedos: Armani
. Menu Board: Chalk Shop
. Hair and Makeup: Kristy’s Artistry
. Linen: Over the Top Linen
Andrew & Matt | Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
A family is the people you surround yourself with, partially by circumstance and partially by design. Andrew and Matthew worked with our team at Lisa Stoner Events to create a unique, elegant and fun intimate wedding for about forty of their family.
The Four Seasons Orlando offered a beautiful backdrop for their Central Florida wedding ceremony and reception.
As with many same sex couples, Andrew and Matt chose to get ready in the same suite, spending time together, and capturing some formal portraits on the Four Seasons amazing staircase prior to the wedding ceremony.
The grooms exchanged their wedding vows on the resorts Areca Lawn followed by their cocktail reception on the Queen Terrace and intimate dinner reception in the Queen Room.
Andrew and Matt got a sneak peek at the reception décor and then personally welcomed their guests to dinner.
The room was set with a forty-foot-long feasting table draped with creamy, off white, floor length linen, gold chiavari chairs and beautiful tall crystal vases topped with large, loose greenery arrangements with long, trailing bright yellow tulips and crystal candelabras. A towering greenery wall centered the space, breaking up the ballroom walls.
The tables were set with custom menu cards made of beautifully carved wood and clear etched charger plates, beautifully carved wooden place cards and clusters of greens and candles.
In addition to unique details like the personalized carved names, the wedding was infused with wonderful, interesting details such as a Welcome Toast by the grooms, live music, a local caricature artist, boxed Italian leather luggage tags as guest favors, and guests were entertained by the amazingly talented, hysterically funny, Miss Richfield 1981! She had all of the guests in stitches and posed for some fun photographs.
Andrew and Matt ended the evening by cutting their amethyst geode wedding cake topped with Lego men and dancing to “You’ll Be In My Heart”.
Thanks to all the vendors who came together to make this day truly unforgettable!
· Orlando Wedding Planner: Lisa Stoner Events
· Orlando Wedding Venue: Four Seasons Orlando Resort
· Orlando Wedding Officiant: Don Carlson
· Wedding Photographer: A Harris Photography
. Wedding Videographer: Jeffrey Stoner Video
· Floral Design: Lee Forrest Design
· Lighting: Get Lit Productions
· Linen: Over The Top Linens
· Ceremony and Reception Music: Joe Farren
· Wedding Cake: Four Seasons Orlando Resort
· Tabletop- Chargers, Glassware, China: Four Seasons Orlando Resort
. Caricature Artist – Sarah Kantz
. MC / Host – Miss Richfield 1981
Edwin and Keith’s Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Wedding
Edwin and Keith tied the knot this fall with a truly signature, stylish Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes wedding. With the legalization of same sex weddings and the desire to start a family, Edwin and Keith came to me to plan their big day after spending eight years together. In the sweet words of Jensey and Nathan Root with Root Photography, this wedding had all the makings of a perfect day. It had stunning grooms, the dreamiest venue, and an amazing team of vendors. Most importantly though, it was overflowing with an immense sense of love in each and every little detail.
Their Desire For a Signature, Stylish Wedding
When Edwin and Keith first came to me to help plan their big day, they were very adamant on one thing. It could not resemble a typical wedding. In their words, it had to be signature, stylish, and fun. Needless to say, with a dream vendor team such as this one, that’s exactly what they got! (and more!)
In the beginning, we were actually planning on hosting Edwin and Keith’s wedding at their beautiful home. However, upwards of 200 guests wanted to share the love and experience with them. We soon realized that we needed an alternative venue choice. With the versatility of the space offerings and the additional amenities, I knew the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes was going to be the perfect venue for them.
Their Dramatic, Tear Jerking Ceremony
Naturally, their wedding ceremony was the most important thing to them. With their desire not to have a typical wedding, they wanted me to come up with something more unique than your usual unity candle or sand ceremony. So, we had a branding ceremony! I found an iron worker who made pokers out of their initials / wedding logo, and it was sensational. They branded a piece of leather during the ceremony, and that piece now hangs in their home. (Talk about dramatic!) They also had a poem written by a very close friend who is a writer and poet that they didn’t hear until the wedding day. However, nothing was more romantic than their written love letters to one another that the other read out loud during the ceremony. (It was definitely a tear jerker!)
Needless to say, Edwin and Keith’s ceremony was filled with as much radiating love as it was style. It was complete with dramatic fire, the most dapper midnight blue tuxedos, white chiavari chairs and walkway, and draped columns in front of the perfect sunset backdrop. If you can’t tell by their exit, I have a thing for launching confetti and streamers!
Letting Loose with a Breathtaking Reception
After the ceremony, dinner was served on the lawn where they also had their first dance and cake cutting. The waiting staff stood at attention at each table adorned with clear chiavari chairs and the most stylish pairing of black linens and royal blue napkins. When it came to this wedding, not even the smallest detail was spared. One of my favorite smaller details was their initials/logo making a feature on their details throughout the day. Their menu cards by Eleven Note sported a wax seal, and and their gorgeous black and white cake provided by the Ritz Carlton was even monogrammed.
Immediately after dinner, guests were speechless as they entered. We secured ballroom inside the Ritz that served as the lounge and after party space. Servers and an illuminated dance floor sported their logo along with a dramatic fire bar serving drinks. Their space was complete with smaller tables and lounge seating, enough up lighting to put the most prestigious clubs out of business, and a room full of loving family and friends who couldn’t have been happier for our sweet couple. Needless to say, this was anything but a typical wedding.
There’s just something about a parent’s love for their child. Needless to say, all of that emotion can make you tear up on a wedding day. I think the only people more excited for Edwin and Keith to get married than them was their mothers. Although I didn’t get to meet them until the wedding, I LOVED their moms! Between Keith’s mother’s pride and joy (being Keith) and Edwin’s happily emotional mother, I just wanted to take them both home with me. They were so sweet!
One of my favorite things about Edwin and Keith’s wedding was they spent the day in rest and relaxation. They ended up getting ready together and getting massages together earlier in the day. By spending the day leading up to their ceremony together, they were so ready and so relaxed when the time came to go down that aisle. (And did it sure show in their photos!) There’s not a photo in this gallery that doesn’t have Edwin and Keith radiating just pure love and bliss.
Edwin and Keith, I am so honored that you chose me to be a part of your truly magical wedding day. It was signature, stylish, fun, and everything unique. I had such a pleasure and joy getting the opportunity to work with you through this exciting time in both of your lives. I hope to have more couples who radiate as much pure love as you in the future. I wish you all the happiness and well wishes in the world as the ultimate power couple!
Thank you to all the vendors who came together to make this day truly unforgettable!