Member SpotlightS!

Our members do some amazing things for the industry and their clients.  We at Wedding Network couldn't be more proud of our members and hope you can connect with them today and create something great.  

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  • March 30, 2017 11:42 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)
    Michelle has been heavily involved in the Austin, TX and surrounding Hill Country wedding and special events industry for 20+ years. Before becoming a full-time event planner within her own company in 2010, she worked for local venues, a catering company, a charter ship, and two planning companies.

    She has also consulted with numerous venue owners before, during and after the construction process.  She believes her biggest talents lie in the overall planning and execution of an event because she does have such a well-rounded experience in the industry.


    In 2009 Michelle earned the special designation Certified Professional Wedding and Event Planner (CPWEP) through Lovegevity Wedding Planning Institute and became an instructor for that course at Austin Community College from 2010 through 2013.  

    In 2014 she became a certified Professional Wedding Consultant (PWC) through the Nuptial Essentials Curriculum and Instruction (NECI) vocational school and now instructs that course to those interested in entering the Texas wedding industry. 

    In 2015 she became a member of the Austin Chapter of Wedding Network USA which is a local and national networking group of fellow event professionals.  She accepted the position of Co-Membership Chair for that association in 2016 and is honored to serve as Chapter Director for the next two years.  

    In January 2017, she launched yet another planning business with a team oriented "one-stop-shop" concept called Austin Event Company.​

    Her numerous involvements in the wedding industry in and around Austin give her access to a huge and constantly growing network of local vendors which is a tremendous benefit to her clients. 

    Michelle has also won numerous awards within the Austin wedding market over the years including WeddingWire's Couple's Choice Award in 2014 and 2016 and Best Wedding Planner for Travis County from Bliss Bridal Magazine in 2015.


  • March 29, 2017 4:20 PM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    "Music that touches the Heartstrings"

    Linda has three passions in life:  her love for Jesus Christ, her love for her family and her love of music.  Immersed in music performance all her life - at home, at church, at school - it is not surprising that she ended up in her career with Notes of Celebration. 

    From providing elegant and classy live piano music for weddings and events to entertaining seniors in Retirement Homes to accompanying passionate singers, Linda keeps busy with a random yet fairly consistent schedule. 

    After closing the doors on her private piano studio in 2001, Linda began her music career with Notes of Celebration.  Her passion for playing for weddings came from the joy she experienced in planning and enjoying some of her favorite music at her own wedding.  She wanted to give that same experience to bridal couples by guiding them to choose the music meaningful to them for their ceremony - music that touches their heartstrings! 

    Her favorite part of the ceremony are the wedding vows, when the emotion of love is most evident in the faces and words of the Bridal Couple. 

    Linda often partners with a violinist and/or cello, adding another layer of elegance to the ensemble.

    Her favorite color is blue; her favorite snack foods are chocolate and red licorice; her favorite vacation spot is the ocean - the vastness and beauty refresh her spirit and renew her connection to her Creator. 

    When she is not playing the piano she is probably spending time with her grandson or vacationing with her husband.



  • March 11, 2017 12:04 PM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Charlotte is an entertainer at heart, which translates well to her day job as a Senior Catering Sales Manager at The Nines Hotel. The Nines Hotel opened 9 years ago, this October and she has been with The Nines for 5 years. Her hospitality career includes 11 years in the hospitality industry. It is safe to say she loves what she does.

    Her industry experience, and her degree in Business Marketing from Portland State University has allowed her to showcase her knowledge at The Nines. Not only is she selling events for the hotel, but she is very involved in the planning of corporate events, gorgeous galas and of course - weddings!

    When Charlotte is not at work, she loves spending time with her husband Brett who is also in the wedding industry, two young boys and two Sheltie dogs. Of course all busy wedding professionals need vacations and Charlotte says her favorite vacation spot it Bali.

    Her favorite color is raspberry, and her favorite snack is chocolate covered pretzels.

    Why do you love to do weddings?  There is so much emotion and family dynamic involved in a wedding, it is different every time. I love the process procuring an idea and producing a moment that realizes all the elements together.  

    What is your favorite part of the wedding ceremony? the Kiss!

     




  • January 19, 2017 3:10 PM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    My name is Greg Lowder and I am the owner, DJ, MC and assistant bottle washer of Affairs To Remember Entertainment.  I started the company over 19 years ago with a business partner because we saw a need for a DJ company that kept the focus of the event on the clients.  

    My business partner moved on about ten years ago and I have continued that focus and fine-tuned the business so that Weddings are about 80% of our events.  Which is why I was a founding member of the Seattle Chapter of Wedding Network USA, to be able to meet and learn with other local Wedding vendors on a monthly basis has been invaluable and big part of the reason for the success of my business!

    I was honored to being able to participate in the Ceremony for 75% of my Wedding Clients last year and I still get nervous before every one of them.  I often have to stop myself from getting too caught up in the words and being emotional, after all I am work and I have a job to do!

    My wife Cathy and I celebrate out 17th Wedding Anniversary next month and our super amazing daughter Madi will be 11 in March.  I enjoy both small-batch whiskey and ice cold Diet Coke in a can, occasionally even together.  My guilty pleasure snack foods are Almond Roca and Trader Joe’s blister peanuts.  Yum!

    I really feel blessed to do what I do for a living.  To play a part in a day that will be remembered forever is truly something special. 

     Greg


  • January 19, 2017 2:53 PM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Hi!  I’m Jennifer Taylor, but you can call me Jen.  I am the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, we are a planning firm in the Seattle area and we specialize in weddings throughout the Pacific Northwest and Maui!  This year, I opened the training arm of my company called the Wedding Planner Educator, I focus on helping wedding planners start and grow their business!  

    I have just launched The Taylor’d Plan, which is a self-administered class for planners new to the industry!  I have been a content contributor to Catersource, The Special Event Magazine, Wedding Planner Magazine, and online at Wedding IQ, Honeybook and Wedding Wire EDU among other great wedding industry blogs.  I have spoken at The Special Event Show in 2015 and 2017 and the 2016 NACE Experience.

    So really, who am I and why am I telling you all of this?  Well I do have a big role within Wedding Network USA. My first role in Wedding Network USA is being a co-founder with Chérie. After attending a conference for a national wedding group we sat in the lounge and outlined on a cocktail napkin what we thought we make for a better organization. One inclusive of all wedding professionals, and was education and fun. I am extremely proud of what Chérie started and what Chérie has continued to do, while I was growing my own business. 

    I launched the Seattle chapter and have helped Chérie on the back-end of WNUSA for the past 7 years. This year I am thrilled to be in a new role of Director of Education, I have a lot of great ideas and looking forward to rolling them out throughout the year, but with all good industry groups, I love to hear your ideas on what education you would like to receive as well.

     On a personal level, I live in Woodinville, Washington with my wonderful husband Bill, no kids and no pets.  I love to cook, and wine tasting in my own hometown.  We travel to Maui and the Washington Coast on a regular basis, but we love to do road trips throughout the Northwest!  

    Looking forward to a fabulous 2017!


  • November 18, 2016 3:28 PM | Erin Osaki (Administrator)

    Hello Members!
    2017 is nearly here and I am ready for a phenomenal year of programs, connection, and industry fun!

    Why the Wedding Industry

    I have a passion for networking and hospitality and have been in the industry for over two decades. Working in hotels and off-premise catering has given me tools to grow as a mentor, leader, and creator.  Making my client’s vision come to life is always the payoff. I adore that the wedding industry is personal. Taking part in a person’s milestone is truly a gift.

    Wedding Network has given me a wide range of opportunities to serve. Starting as a founding member in 2009 I fell in love with the organization’s focus on molding better business leaders and industry professionals. In 2012 I took on the responsibility of Local Chapter Director and grew to appreciate the unique challenges our members face to balance work and life. This created the role of National Chapters Director in 2013 and has now lead to Vice President of Strategic Development for Wedding Network USA. I am elated to work side by side with our President and assist our National team to create a world class networking organization.

    My Role at WNUSA

    My focus as Vice President will be:

    Culture Management and Development
    As we continue to expand in new markets it is vastly important to ensure we build on what has made us unique. Providing an inclusive place to learn and draw support sets Wedding Network apart and will be a cornerstone of new programs and initiatives.
    Organizational Process
    Having the right processes can make or break a business—and Wedding Network is not any different. Providing tools and resources to streamline internal process will lead to a more vibrant local chapter leadership and support system.
    Long-Term Planning
    If you fail to plan—you plan to fail. That has always been one of my favorite reminders. Providing a solid road map for our organization to identify where we will be going and how to get there is of chief priority in the upcoming year.

    The largest goal I have for this new role is to build an organization that learns from each other and inspires professionals to develop their business to the next level. This can only happen by hearing from our membership about what they need and want at a local and national level. I am eager to interact with our individual members and assist chapters with launching in new markets

    Fun Facts!

    • Favorite Food:  Pasta Carbonara—just everything I love in one dish.
    • Apple or Andriod:  Apple—I love apps.
    • Coffee:  Iced Americano with splash of cream—my daily fuel.
    • When I grow up:  I will travel the world and learn every language I can.
    • Favorite Word:  Serendipity—a fortunate accident. Is there anything better?
    • Favorite Team: #teamanniston


  • November 16, 2016 7:51 AM | Jason Freshly (Administrator)

    Greetings Wedding Network USA - I’m super excited to say hi and I’m looking forward to working with you as WNUSA continues to grow!

    Why the Wedding Industry

    I’ve been in the hospitality and events industry for well over 15 years and have tackled most of the positions that come to mind.  My 2 favorite parts:  helping the businesses I worked with grow and helping create realities from clients visions.  Now, I focus my time on the B2B side of things as a digital marketing consultant and as Director of Business Development for WNUSA.

    Here in Austin, I was previously Director of Operations for NEAWP from 2012-2015.  After my colleagues and I meet Chérie, we all put our heads together and as of January 2016, we became the Austin Chapter within WNUSA.  Being a member of the organization has allowed me to meet so many amazing people and learn so much more about the industry and myself through the monthly meetings.  Now that I get to meet more chapters and more members, I’m excited for those same things to continue to be my favorite part!

    My Role at WNUSA

    As Director of Business Development for WNUSA, I’m going to be focusing my time on a few things

    • New chapters:  Wedding Network USA is on the up and up.  I’m looking forward to adding new chapters, new members, and new opportunities for everyone involved.  If you’re reading this and there’s no chapter in your area, let’s chat!  With all chapters, I’ll be working closely with the Executive teams making sure they have all the tools needed to grow their chapters.

    • Marketing & Technology:  Not only growing the organization's marketing efforts, but helping you grow your marketing efforts.  I’ll host a monthly tech talk to help you with your questions and let you know about new and cool features.  I’ll also be maintaining and updating the website to make sure it’s providing you with what you need!  When you’re ready to blog, let us know (hint hint)!

    • Partnerships & Benefits:  Who doesn’t love a good benefit, perk, discount, and more.  As we make new friends, you never know what kind of deal they might want to offer members?  Let us know if you have one in mind.

    We have some big ideas and big goals on our plate as the national team and each of them has one ultimate goal in mind - YOU!  We are here to help you and empower you to grow your business.  As I get the opportunities to meet and interact with you all, I look forward to answering your questions and solving problems alongside you.

    Just for Fun!

    Now for a few fun things

    • Favorite Food:  Tacos, if you’ve been to Austin you’ll understand

    • Apple or Andriod:  Apple, I got sucked in by a boss long ago

    • Coffee:  Black, preferable single origin pour over (I’m a diva about my coffee)

    • When I grow up:  Sip wine on my vineyard while my kids tell me to grow up :)

    • Favorite Word:  Curiosity, it keeps my brain always asking questions.


  • November 07, 2016 9:02 AM | Austin Chapter WNUSA (Administrator)

    Happy Monday!

    Last week, we sat down with a new member of the Austin Chapter to learn a little more about him and why he joined!  It was great having him as a guest in September and then having him sign up after the lunch.

    Doc List w/ Doc List photography.  Specializing in Weddings, Events, Portraits, & Fitness Photography since 2012.

    What brought you to Austin?  

    Work in 1997

    What made you decide to go into the photography field?  

    I love photography.  I love working with people and establishing relationships and then letting them see what I see through my photography.

    What do you love most about what you do?  

    Almost everything.  Mostly the people and the connections/relationships I establish.

    Can you describe your style?  

    My wedding style is definitely photojournalistic.  I'm focused on the in-the-monent story.  I do the artistic stuff, but mostly photojournalistic.

    Any funny stories from your time in the wedding industry?  

    I think the funniest one is happening mid-October when I photograph a circus themed wedding in which the bride and groom (and their friends) are doing an aerial performance and then getting married while on some aerial apparatus.

    How has Wedding Network USA helped your business?  

    Nothing yet beyond the relationships I'm forming.  It's only been a couple weeks and I'm one meeting in!

    Is there anything else you would like the Austin Chapter to provide?  

    Not yet, but I'll let you know.

    Welcome to the Wedding Network Community Doc!  We are looking forward to having you as a member!

  • July 26, 2016 12:02 PM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Kevin Paladino is the President / Owner, COMPLETE weddings + events. I am a relationship builder and leader. In business since 2013, COMPLETE allows me to use my gifts and skills each day as we serve on the most special of days. I love my job!

    We have an amazing studio that provides a great space for us to connect one-on-one with our customers and is a great base of operations for our growing business.

    The structure of our business allows us to be an excellent multi-service provider of Photo, Video, DJ, Photo Booth and Lighting entertainment services. We hire and train our entire team to deliver the most professional and customer focused experience throughout the planning process and thru the event!

    Keeping it real! Photo Booths only provide an illusion of privacy. I’ll let your imagination run with that!

    I am deeply thankful for the connections and relationships that I have built as a member of Wedding Network: Austin and NEAWP. I realized early on that it’s vitally important to be known and know others in our industry!

    Keep up the great work of planning educational and fun meetings as we strive to always be learning and improving our crafts!

  • July 26, 2016 11:06 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Greg Shapiro, is the chef and owner of Tastebuds Custom Catering. As a chef by trade, I have never attended culinary school, but I’ve worked and trained with some of the best in the business. Based in Naples and catering to Southwest Florida, we are a full-service, custom caterer that specializes in creative, one-of-a kind culinary experiences.

    I always wanted to be a chef. I come from a family of great cooks; we had a salad with dinner every night, and dinner sitting together at the table NEVER got skipped. My fondest childhood memories include going to my Italian great-grandma Emily’s house for eggplant Parmesan. She always made a separate pie plate for my dad and me, and she insisted on using only Locatelli Romano cheese, the best of the best.

    While my first love may be food, a near close second is Land Rovers! I am a Land Rover enthusiast and have owned seven to date, with my current one being a 1996 Land Rover Discovery named Eleanor, or Ellie for short. I enjoy working on them in my (scarce) free time and taking them off-road with friends.


    Tastebuds Custom Catering officially launched in 2008; however, I came up with the concept in home economics class at the age of 15. Realizing how much I loved food and the happiness it created when sharing food with others, I started a small breakfast and lunch restaurant in 2006. We were doing small catering jobs out of the back. The economic crash forced us to close the restaurant. We retained our list of clients, an employee who is still with me today and a drive to push through the obstacles of the economic climate. Tastebuds Custom Catering began, and the rest is history.

    What makes our company unique is that we rarely follow the rules! We look for ways to push boundaries, whether it be by a new recipe concept (liquid nitrogen ice cream) or unique food presentations (pork belly and Chinese five-spice cotton candy passed in a bed of wheat grass). We aim to create unique experiences—you won’t find any banquet-style chicken and bland vegetable mix at an event we cater. Also, we are not afraid to say no. We found early on in our business that we are not the caterer for everyone, and that's okay. It's better for both parties in the end.

    We truly enjoy working with couples to create their custom menu and execute their dream wedding celebration. The best part of the wedding day? Easy—getting to see the look on a couple’s face at the end of the night. Our couples make their food a top priority for their big day, and we strive to exceed every expectation.

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