Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Favorite Finds - Raise the Cake

Kathy Jo Peterson's Raise the Cake has been a favorite find of ours since she began making these wonderful custom designs in 2009.

Design your own cake stand to match your event or choose one from their Couture Line. 

From Glitzy & Glam or Fun & Funky to Sleek & Mod, there is a cake stand for you.

Contest Details here......

Will a Free Custom Cake Stand 
$ 150 value

Log onto  pick your favorite stand from their galleries.
Click back to our blog and tell us about your favorite designs. 
Winner will be picked randomly next week.


Stands come in 3 lightweight, one-time use sizes and arrive to you with directions and helpful ideas on how to make your cake table look faboo!

Every Cake Needs a Stand. These stands take your cake from the ordinary to Unique, Unforgettable, Fun and Fabulous! Perfect for weddings, baby showers,
 bridal showers & birthdays.

Don't make the mistake of forgetting to raise your cake!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reprint from San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Interview with Kevin Smith

Pulling it togetherWedding, event planner deals with stress, details

Kevin Smith, Staff Writer

GLENDORA - Few events can generate as much stress as a wedding.

The thought of hiring a caterer, getting the invitations out on time, securing the entertainment and coordinating all of the other details can seem daunting to just about anyone.

But Mary Dann-McNamee does it all - without breaking a sweat.

As the owner of Mary Dann Wedding and Party Coordinators in Glendora, Dann-McNamee is used to coordinating everything from intimate gatherings to upscale weddings, parties and other events that demand great attention to detail.

"Wedding planning is all about teamwork," the Glendora entrepreneur explained. "All of these people have to perform for you - the photographer, the caterer, the baker, the invitation people, the florist, the entertainment and the lighting people. And the more elaborate the wedding gets, the more you have that has to fall into place."

Dann-McNamee knows of what she speaks.

She's been a contributing writer for "Inside Weddings" magazine, "Ceremony" magazine and an on-air talent for nationally syndicated TV shows, including the Style Network's "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" and "Married Away," among others.

As one of the most sought-after event coordinators in Southern California, Dann-McNamee and her team of wedding and party coordinators have done event planning and creative party consultation for corporations and families throughout the country since 1991.

The business even coordinates memorial services.

"That's one of my other specialties," she said. "I love to be able to capture the essence of someone's life. And memorial services happen so quickly. You have to have confidence in your skills to represent the family."
Dann-McNamee enjoys her work. And along the way, she's worked with some well known clients.

"Locally, we did Kobe Bryant's wedding," she said. "I had to do so much in such a short time, but I couldn't tell anyone. I had to pick people and sign off on everything. And you'll never see a wedding picture because we had to control all of that."

The guest list at another event included singer Frank Sinatra.   "He had to have a bottle of vodka at his table - chilled," she said.

Jennifer Jo can attest to Dann-McNamee's abilities. Dann-McNamee served as her wedding planner when Jo appeared on an episode of "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?"   "It was excellent," Jo said. "We were kind of leery about it at first - we thought a wedding planner would be like Attila the Hun. But she was completely the opposite. We didn't worry about anything because of her."

Dann-McNamee used to work as a catering sales manager and corporate group sales manager for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. She also holds a master's degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy.   "I feel like my life's work prepared me for what I'm doing now," she said. "I waitressed through college. That helped me a lot with the idea of making people happy and making sure that things happen in a timely way."

For more information, call 626-963-1212, or log onto

626-962-8811, Ext. 2701

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Favorite Finds - The Write Shot Photography and Video

This is the first of many "Friday Favorite Finds" I (with the help of my amazing PR company, Raye C Marketing ) will post each Friday, highlighting my favorite people, places, services and things that relate to the business of brides and special events!

The Write Shot Photography and Video company does something that no one else does...  they capture the week leading up to your wedding day and the honeymoon in 300 + page coffee table book and lets you tell your own love story!

You've got one shot. Make it the WriteShot.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcoming a New Year!

As we start the new year, I am thrilled to share my New Years Card! I have so much fun creating something meaningful and inspirational while I keep you updated on the growth of my business and family.

This year I had the pleasure to work with Jen O Sullivan Photography and her sister Cindi Garabedian  I know you will be seeing much more of these talented young ladies!

Much gratitude and Cheers to a new Season!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Special Offer: Save 50% on Mary Dann's Mentorship Program in Ohio

Since 1991, Mary Dann-McNamee ( has been planning weddings in Southern California, Oregon, New York, Canada, and now Ohio! She has been a member of Association of Bridal Consultants since 2003. She is extending a once in a lifetime opportunity for near by wedding professionals to follow her around while she plans and executes a 150 person wedding in Chagrin Falls Ohio, in 2 months.
A three-day Mentorship Program for those of you who are seriously invested in improving your professional event planner skills. Shadow Mary and learn first hand for a full day of pre-planning details (January 14th and 15th in Chagrin Falls, Ohio), at the rehearsal and welcome reception (February 25th) on an actual wedding day (February 26th ) . The experience encompasses, but is not limited to, the following:
Pre-planning Day (January 14th) at the Venue, Hillbrook Country Club

Learn how to put together contracts, budgets and detailed wedding checklists for clients

Begin to understand the process of event day timelines, which list all pertinent information required for a flawless event

See a sample Selected Vendor Referral List, learn about the dynamic between vendors and planners and how to maintain a successful relationship with them

Observe the way Mary handles her business with the venue, vendors and menu tasting

View samples of printing - Save the Dates and Invites, ceremony seating cards, etc.

See how Mary keeps client files in order by organizing vendor info, correspondence, notes, etc.

Rehearsal Day:
Meet and greet with the bridal party and their families at the wedding ceremony location, St Joan of Arc Church

Help collect all wedding day items ie. Guest book, toasting glasses, programs, placecards, etc.

Observe Mary as she organizes the bridal party, music, ceremony details

Observe Mary as she manages the Rehearsal Dinner and welcome reception at The Hillbrook Country Club

Wedding Day:
Observe Mary's direction of bridal party, family and guests as the day progresses

Assist in transportation of bridal party and guests ie. Shuttle services and schedules

Help oversee setup of ceremony site ie. Programs and guest book in place, name cards on chairs, special items for ceremony in place

Understand the process of the day's setup and timing ie. vendor arrivals, ceremony setup, reception completion

Get an overall view of the behind-the-scenes action and how Mary prioritizes where to be and when to be there

In the bridal suite, help Mary get the bride get into her dress and veil

Understand the importance of how to accommodate and ensure the comfort of each guest

Greet guests as they enter, making sure they feel welcome and taken care of

Help manage the photo guest book making sure pictures get taken, guests are signed in, etc.

Watch Mary as she organizes the bridal party and gets everyone down the aisle on time

Assist in setup of reception site ie. Placement of menus, placecards and favors, make sure tables, chairs etc. are arranged according to diagram, etc.

Guide guests to the reception site once ceremony has concluded

See Mary coordinate special dances and toasts, making sure that important people ie. Family members, photographer, videographer are present when they take place

Secure and pack up all extra items at the end of the night ie. Extra favors, menus, programs, placecards, etc. and put gifts in the proper location

Help decorate bridal suite with candles, petals, bubble bath, cake, champagne, etc.

Mentoree to provide own airfare and accommodations. In addition, contact Mary Dann-McNamee directly for more information at This offer is only open for the next week and will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. The mentorship fee is $1,500. (1/2 due once you have been approved and the remaining balance due 2nd week of February).

Much Gratitude,
Mary Dann-McNamee