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Palm Beach Brides 2020: From Yes To The Dress! And Everything In Between

Palm Beach Brides 2020: From Yes To The Dress! And Everything In Between

Wellington The Magazine’s annual Palm Beach Brides issue brings romance back to the forefront. There have been some twists and turns, but many couples have proclaimed, “Love is not canceled!”

This year, we take a look at some of the high fashion gowns that brides can choose from, as well as get some tips on wedding planning from expert Rosina DiBello.

We also take a look at what local venues have to offer when considering your big day, and take a trip down memory lane with Al and Lenyce Boyd as they celebrate 25 years of love in Always A Bride!

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Palm Beach Brides 2020: Q&A Let’s Ask A Photographer & Bridal Expert About Wedding Planning Today

Palm Beach Brides 2020: Q&A Let’s Ask A Photographer & Bridal Expert About Wedding Planning Today

Our world has been re-imagined since COVID-19, and the wedding industry is not exempt. But do not fear, love has not been canceled! As Palm Beach County moves through phases of re-opening, we sit down with longtime photographer and wedding expert Rosina DiBello to hear more about her approach when meeting with couples to discuss the long-term and short-term plans for their big day.

Q:How have you and your team reinvented yourselves as this new era of wedding planning emerged?
A: Things are definitely changing within the wedding industry. Over the years, I have learned to resolve problems as they arise. Planning a wedding is a very personal thing, and I knew my couples were about to shift gears. My collaboration started with my most trusted vendors — Robin Feinglas, a floral designer who owns Why Not Wildflowers? and Vanessa Fuller of Vanessa Fuller Events. We started a conversation on how creating “micro weddings” would be the best and obvious choice for couples and their families. We knew that there would be no large events in the foreseeable future. We assembled vendors we trust and started our micro wedding mission. We felt that a styled shoot could mimic a true feel and flow of a micro wedding. I was contacted by Bacio Bacio, a local bridal store, which volunteered to donate designer wedding gowns for the shoot. We were able to collaborate and photograph, creating visuals so that couples could envision what a micro wedding is and how they could incorporate it into their dream wedding. These photos illustrate how intimate details can make their micro wedding special.

Q: What exactly is a “micro wedding?”

A: It is a wedding that discards many typical wedding day traditions, keeps the focus on the bride and groom’s vows, shrinks down the hours of the wedding, and only your closest family and friends are invited. Throw in a little sense of adventure, and you have a micro wedding. I designed a sample itinerary. First guests arrive and are seated (with social distancing), a musician starts the procession, a 10-minute wedding features vows exchanges with an officiant, and then the bride and groom are announced. Champagne is then served to guests (again, with social distancing) and speeches commence. The couple has their first dance, followed by cake. Yum, cake! The guests now leave because it is time for the couple and the family photos. My favorite part is that I get a full hour or more undisturbed with my couple to enjoy a rockin’ portrait session and create some amazing images. My idea of a micro wedding is focusing on the wedding day experience and the safety of all involved. Ultimately, I get amazing shots of my couple because the typical wedding day pressures are not there, and it turns into a very relaxed photo session.

Q: Who should consider a micro wedding, and
how does a couple know if it is right for them?
A: My experience is there are two different trends. First there are the couples who are outright canceling their wedding in exchange for a no-stress, intimate and elegant micro wedding experience. Second, some couples still want to get married on their planned day, but plan an additional larger event later, so they keep their date and create a micro wedding, scale down the guest list but keep the quality vendors. I have also seen that some couples have tried the second plan, yet after moving their date twice, they simply made the micro wedding decision and decided to invest in purchasing a home.

Q: How many guests can a couple invite?
A: This is a really important question. This depends on a few key things. What county do you live in? Each county has its own set of regulations that are changing weekly, so keep this in mind when planning a micro wedding date. It depends also on how your venue is zoned. For example, 50 percent capacity is allowed at restaurants. However, in other venues, you can only have up to 20 until the next stage commences. Venues are sitting with couples and making decisions based on the needs of each couple. My recommendation for a micro wedding is under 20 guests, offering a live stream for the additional guests, which can allow up to 1,000 or more. Couples should keep in mind that guests from out of the country may not be able to enter the country. Guests in the U.S. may not be able to travel because of the inconvenience.

Q: What are some of the options you include in your micro wedding packages?
A: The base photography package is two to three hours of photography coverage with a complete set of high-resolution digital images completely edited. The add-on options are albums, canvas prints, etc. I am a paperless company, so my clients all receive an online contract that can be digitally signed and a private online gallery. A Zoom consultation will ensure that all parties can consult safely. Videography is also an option for a beautiful wedding day love story film, and live streaming can be set up for guests who cannot personally attend. Florals are a very important part of a wedding. What is a wedding without flowers? Flower designer Robin will listen to you and create a custom design. This will include a bouquet and boutonniere. There are upgrades, such as an arch or a meadow. Her focus is on sustainable floral designs. What is a wedding day without a wedding gown? Just because your wedding day has a smaller guest count, does not mean that it is ruined or any less important. Plan on your dream gown! Bacio Bacio has implemented safety standards and sanitary measures for brides who go to the shop and pick out their perfect dress with the guidance of owner Lenyce Boyd and her qualified staff. Musician options are vocalists, a violinist, a DJ, an acoustic guitarist or a steel drummer. This just brings the occasion to the next level and makes it more personalized to your taste. Fun options include a champagne buggy called Bee-Ella-Fizz. She is a genuine vintage Piaggio Ape 50 moped truck on wheels imported from Italy. She can easily fit in most backyards. Another beautiful option is a white dove release by Kim Hinterschied. The doves are pets of the owner and trained to circle above the wedding before they fly home. We also work with officiants willing to customize a simple and elegant ceremony. And lastly, a wedding coordinator can be available to ensure that each couple’s style is showcased and captured. With all the moving parts of a wedding day, a qualified coordinator will make it all run smoothly.

Q: Do you get a sense that brides feel like they are settling or being deprived of their big day, or perhaps a sense of relief that there is an alternative to canceling their wedding day altogether?
A: Honestly, brides are opening up to me and expressing that scaling the guest count down is better solution then the alternative feeling of being guilted into inviting so many guests that they are obligated to invite. In this case, they are relieved to get married on their original date and avoid the stress of the unknown. On the other hand, if a couple is moving forward with a micro wedding and then a big party next year, they are excited to celebrate twice!

Q:What venues are you currently working with
to provide couples with options?
A: 1. The Little Farm House in Miami. Built in the 1920s and located on a river, it boasts eight cabins with Caribbean décor and wildlife that roams freely.
2. Airbnb. This gives my clients free rein to bring in a caterer and not have a time limit — and, as a bonus, they can stay the night!
3. Galuppi’s at the Pompano Beach Golf Course. This offers indoor and outdoor options. It is directly on a golf course with its famous bridge and lakes.
4. The Palm Beach Zoo. This property is for that couple seeking a unique and natural environment that is so much fun. Animal encounters and an outdoor/indoor dining experience with a
fabulous chef can be arranged.
5. The Sample-McDougald House in the Pompano Beach Historic District. This is a 1916 historic museum with a garden and outdoor dance floor.
6. Pan’s Garden in Palm Beach, near Worth Avenue. This botanical garden surrounds you with beauty and unique architectural features.
7. The Old Riverhouse Vegan Village in Fort Lauderdale.
8. Davie Ranch. This has a huge barn that is active with horses, goats and chickens. A garden area set up for an intimate ceremony is followed by a unique photography experience in a real barn.
9. The Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami. This features outstanding gardens that are beautifully manicured with flowering trees up against a 12th century Gothic building.
10. Any beach in Palm Beach. Most we are already permitted for.

Q: Are you working with couples who previously had a traditional wedding planned that had to be scaled back or are you seeing more newly engaged couples who want to get married before larger group events are permitted?
A: Approximately 75 percent of my clients currently are ones who have moved their weddings. I have a busy photography studio that averages 60 weddings per year. The additional 25 percent are newly engaged couples who want an extended engagement session and the micro wedding experience. I’m seeing that couples are putting a great deal of importance on their portrait sessions with me.

Q: How are you able to give the bride and groom an experience of a lifetime even though their special day needs to be scaled down?
A: My team’s main objective is to create a stress-free wedding day experience for my couples. This pandemic has started a new trend with weddings that have a “sense of adventure.” By using my most trusted vendors, we can confidently do this. I feel it is really important to stress that a micro wedding can be very elegant and tastefully done by using qualified professionals that care about your wedding day as much as you do. We have all been in the industry for many years and are qualified to guide you through the bumps in the road.

Q: Are you finding other industry professionals willing to work with you by offering extra discounts or added value during this time?
A: Absolutely, yes! All of us are understanding the importance of customizing our fees to accommodate today’s bride

Q: What are some of the benefits of the micro wedding concept?
A: Safety! This is our priority to ensure that everyone involved equally feels safe. Social distancing the chairs by clustering them in twos or fours and then six feet apart, or creating a circle of chairs around the bride and groom, will keep everyone a safe distance from each other. Guests who cannot travel can enjoy via live streaming. Financially, it can save you a lot of money that can be used to invest in your future. The average South Florida wedding costs $30,000. A micro wedding averages between $3,500 to $5,500, depending on the number of vendors you are working with. But most importantly, it eliminates a lot of wedding stress and keeps the focus on the couple and their vow exchange.

Q: What would you recommend couples consider when choosing a micro wedding over waiting for the all clear and opting for a larger traditional wedding plan sometime in the future?
A: They should be very excited that they have great options of professionals in the industry who are ready and willing to help navigate through the planning. They can fully embrace their wedding day to make it unique to them and discard your typical wedding day with all its formalities.

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Palm Beach Brides 2020: Finding Your Dream Dress!

Palm Beach Brides 2020: Finding Your Dream Dress!

As you start the search for the wedding dress of your dreams, you can begin by preparing the ever-popular “look book.” This can be one of the most exciting parts of your wedding planning!

Stylists at the bridal boutiques can offer their best advice, but you will know when you know. That must-have-this-dress feeling will consume you.

Be sure to create a realistic budget before you start your search for that perfect gown, so when you begin your travels, you will have a price range you can fall into, allowing for just the perfect dress to be discovered.

Find a bridal salon and a stylist you feel comfortable with, as trust can be paramount to the dress-buying experience.

Remember, be open to different possibilities. It costs you nothing to try on as many dresses as you wish. Try unique styles, and have fun with patterns and fabrics — including lace and silhouette styles.

Remember, it is your day. Do it your way, and revel in the most magical experience of your life!

Enjoy our high fashion bridal gown pictorial over the next several pages to give you some ideas on your quest for that perfect dress.

Photography Studio | Rosina DiBello
Floral Designer | Robin Feinglas from Why Not Wild Flowers?
Property Manager | Doug Ratchford
Property | Palm Beach Zoo
Designer Gowns | Bacio Bacio
Hair Pieces | Hair Comes The Bride
Married in Palm Beach
UpLighting | David Guzman DJ Trakz
Event Organizer | Fourtuna Events
Film | Metric Films
Hair/Makeup | Kiss This Makeup LLC

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Palm Beach Brides 2020: Love Is Not Canceled International Polo Club Palm Beach

Palm Beach Brides 2020: Love Is Not Canceled International Polo Club Palm Beach

As the director of catering at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, Patricia Miele and her team aim to make any event extraordinary, for any occasion, size or theme, including full bridal packages. The expert staff ensures a successful and stress-free event.

The IPC team is highly skilled at putting together so many different events, including weddings, and creating new ways to make them exciting, fun and memorable. “Although we have modified our venue layouts, staffing and catering offerings to make sure that all guests have a safe and enjoyable experience due to the pandemic. We go out of our way to ensure what has become the ‘new normal’ doesn’t make the event feel too different from past wedding experiences,” Miele said.

IPC offers extensive menu options that include exceptional desserts, a customized bar service, as well as stunning florals to create an enchanting ambiance. The talented teams of artists design original events within a budget and timeline that works for clients.

The venue offers a unique setting, between polo matches being played in the background, to the beautiful lush landscaped grounds, to brides being brought to the venue in horse and carriage. IPC is a truly picturesque wedding venue.

When it comes to the menu, IPC offers custom creations for all palates. Some trends are casual meals, farm to table, nostalgia foods and dessert tables. A fancy plated meal is typical for a wedding reception. “We believe it is one of the best days of your life and should be all about having the time of your life,” Miele said.

Although, the current pandemic has changed the landscape for weddings, the International Polo Club works to make sure that the love shines through during a bride and groom’s memorable day. “Clients trust us for our meticulous planning, management and execution of successful special events. Events, regardless of the size, require experienced hands for both the creative and practical details. Creating a seamless and memorable event that aligns with your goals and reflects your personality is what we do,” Miele said. “The International Polo Club is closely monitoring federal, state and local regulations, as well as WHO recommendations and CDC guidelines, to ensure that we are continuously providing a safe environment for our clients and their guests.”

The pandemic has created some temporary changes to the wedding industry.

“I do believe COVID-19 has changed the way that many couples feel about large weddings during the current situation,” Miele said. “The impact is that we are seeing smaller, more intimate weddings for 2020. In speaking with future brides, they say they do want to go back to the larger weddings where guests can feel comfortable in gathering and dancing with all of their loved ones around them.”

Already, Miele is seeing many creative adaptations. “Weddings are adding the virtual element to allow the guests that are unable to attend to watch the ceremony and reception from afar,” she said. “These virtual weddings have become more popular and have added a personal touch when guests cannot attend.”

The goal is to allow the happy couple to enjoy the celebration while IPC takes care of the details. “Our hope is for all our clients and couples to feel comfortable enough to gather with family and friends,” Miele said. “We want our clients to put their trust in our venue. We have put protocols in place and strive to have a safe environment for them — and, as an end result, we want them to have had the best experience ever. As many weddings have been postponed until 2021, couples and their guests will be more eager than ever to celebrate love — and one of life’s biggest moments — together, especially after long periods of isolation. The International Polo Club is looking forward to being a part of their big day as they say ‘I do’ to their new life together as a married couple.”

In this way, the end result stays the same.

“Couples are still getting married but are now searching for new ways to make their big day special,” Miele said. “In the end, it’s all about marrying the person you love.”

The International Polo Club is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 204-5687 or visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.

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Palm Beach Brides 2020: Love Is Not Canceled Wellington National Golf Club

Palm Beach Brides 2020: Love Is Not Canceled Wellington National Golf Club

At Wellington National Golf Club, the professional staff enjoys helping clients achieve their vision for the event, and that includes creating unique menus, proposals and assisting with making arrangements on the client’s behalf, such as hiring entertainment and arranging for rentals. They make sure that all last-minute details, including the coordination of timelines, floor plans and staffing, are complete in order to execute the event exactly the same way that the client has envisioned it.

Wellington National has many great characteristics for all types of events, including weddings, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and more, and they are a large venue that in normal times can accommodate up to 400 guests. The ballroom has beautiful ceiling draping, as well as plank-style flooring, in addition to picturesque natural light, as it opens up onto a beautiful piazza, which is tropically landscaped and perfect for an outdoor ceremony.

While the pandemic has made some couples take a detour in tying the knot, love is most certainly not canceled. “Our team has complied with the national, state and local mandates, including reducing room capacities to allow for social distancing,” General Manager Ted Strelec said, adding that some people have chosen to postpone their wedding. “We had to cancel a bunch when we first went into the closure, but people seem to have taken it in stride. If they were dead set on having 150 people, they’re just waiting with the hope that everything is clear by 2021 and back to normal. The people calling us right now, they have already reduced their number of guests — there are no groups larger than 50. People have concerns. The new normal is to have tables of 10 or less. Here, we’ve also adopted a new thing. We ask the bride and groom to group families together at tables, so we have tightknit groups who know each other rather than seating strangers together.”

The team at Wellington National aims to be flexible with the couples who choose to plan an event with them to create a special day, unique to the bride and groom. They are happy to customize menus and cocktails and encourage them to outline their vision of that perfect day — then the Wellington National team makes that vision come to fruition.

Some changes due to the pandemic include no longer offering walk-up, self-serve buffet service. “That’s something new that we never had to worry about before,” Strelec said. “In lieu of buffets, we are creating manned action stations where our food and beverage team members serve the guests in a common area to eliminate contamination. This could become the new norm.”

Wellington National’s clubhouse and surrounding areas suit this pandemic era perfectly. “We have vast courtyard areas for open-air requests, and our grand ballroom is large enough to responsibly social-distance the tables while hosting an indoor wedding with space for a dance floor,” Strelec said. “It’s large enough to where we can put a party of 50 in there, set up the ceremony and have room for the DJ and the dance floor — all under one roof. We have a wall that divides the room, so we can close that wall for an intimate feeling during the ceremony and then, while the guests turn out to do cocktails, we open the wall and convert to an open space.”

Not only is Wellington National a beautiful venue that is unique and centrally located, but they are there to make things as easy and stress-free as possible, priding themselves on being flexible with almost every detail to ensure that each couple gets the day for which they have been waiting their whole lives.

This includes current adaptations such as Zoom or FaceTime broadcasts that allow family members who are not able to be present to see the event live.

“This is a good adaptation. It could be the new norm for smaller events,” Strelec said. “It’s great for elderly family members or people in different countries to attend via technology. I think it’s going to become commonplace from now on.”

Strelec hopes that two people who want to get married will find a way to have their special day regardless of what is going on in the world. “That is what we humans do best — adapt!” he said.

The Wellington National Golf Club is located at 400 Binks Forest Drive in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 333-5731 or visit www.wellingtonnationalgolfclub.com.

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Palm Beach Brides 2020: Love Is Not Canceled The Wanderers Club

Palm Beach Brides 2020: Love Is Not Canceled  The Wanderers Club

At the Wanderers Club, Director of Catering Whitney Garcia works very closely with couples from their very first tour of the venue to the last dance of the night. In her second decade helping a bride’s dream turn into a reality, Garcia said this is her true passion. The Wanderers Club is a unique venue with so much to offer.

“We are able to customize each couple’s experience while maintaining flexibility in each stage of the planning,” Garcia said. “The unique thing about the Wanderers Club is the vast property with countless areas available to our brides on their special day.”

The focal point is the recently renovated ballroom with its new design, which is light and fresh with just the perfect blend of modern and elegant. It truly takes your breath away.

Although the traditional plated dinner is always a popular choice for wedding receptions, the Wanderers Club offers many options. “We offer some of the most fun and creative food ideas, and together we can customize the food experience like no other,” Garcia said. “The Wanderers Club is ideal for any event. We offer large and small packages for bar/bat mitzvahs to sweet sixteens to corporate events.”

Although the pandemic has brought major changes to the wedding industry, Garcia is there to help brides and grooms navigate this new terrain while still offering them a wonderful wedding experience. One of the biggest changes has been opening up more outside space for weddings.

“We have a beautiful, covered terrace that allows couples to host their wedding outside with less regulations than inside the ballroom,” Garcia said. “We also have a large pool deck to host the cocktail reception, rehearsal dinner, ceremony or any type of event. Our outside space is so elegant and welcoming in the evening and makes guests a little more at ease during these unique times. During the wedding, we have increased staff to help reduce some of the guest interaction. For example, more cocktail servers mean less guests mingling at the bar. We also have servers preparing plates at stations and buffets so only one person is touching the serving utensils. Of course, we are also following all of the county guidelines with limited guest counts, the requirement of masks and the practice of social distancing.”

Some weddings have lowered their guest count, which allows them more room in the budget for fun elements, such as welcome cocktails, late night snacks, coffee bars and more.

“We also have some couples deciding to change their reception menu from stations to plated dinners, which encourages less interaction and more social distancing,” Garcia explained. “We are also seeing new personalized elements being added, such as monogrammed masks and customized bottles of hand sanitizer.”

But the biggest change is the limit on capacity. “It has been very hard for couples to reduce their invite list to fit within the limited capacity regulations,” Garcia said. “We also have a lot of couples getting married on their original date but postponing the big celebration. No matter what the couple decides, we are doing our best to work with each one in creating the wedding of their dreams in a safe environment.”

Yet one thing that truly has stayed the same is the love. “The love and excitement that a wedding brings will always be the same,” Garcia said. “Couples are still happy to be joining their lives together with their closest family and friends. It may not look like they originally envisioned, with less people and more masks, but they are still in love and ready to begin their lives together. Not even a pandemic can change that!”

With creativity, weddings today can overcome any obstacles and continue to shine.

“My hope is that couples will continue to dream big when it comes to their special day,” Garcia said. “It is one of the most special days of their lives and, although it may look a little different, it will still be full of love. I hope lots of fun, new ideas will come out of this challenging time.”

The overall goal is always a beautiful, fun, memorable event that even the client can sit back and enjoy.

The Wanderers Club is located at 1900 Aero Club Drive in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 795-3501 or visit www.wc.coth.com.

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Palm Beach Brides 2020: Always A Bride A 25th Anniversary Celebration

Palm Beach Brides 2020: Always A Bride A 25th Anniversary Celebration 

The 25-year anniversary is represented by the color silver, the silver jubilee, and the wonderful iris. Silver is both traditional and modern. It is coveted for its radiance and brilliance, which is why silver makes the perfect material for commemorating this quarter century of shining love and dedication to one another.

The iris flower, as described by florists, embodies the spirit, love and aura of Paris, perhaps the most romantic of cities. It honors your time together as it stands tall and victorious in the sunlight, representing the strength and elegance of a relationship.

Wellington The Magazine caught up with the celebratory couple, Lenyce and Al Boyd, to reminisce on this special 25-year wedding anniversary photo shoot.

From newlyweds toasting with a pop of the champagne cork on their wedding day 25 years ago, to the busy parents, professionals and family they’ve become, the enduing commitment is always something to admire and celebrate. Here’s to an everlasting love story!

Where did you meet and how?
“We met back in 1991. I was out with my friend, and it was getting a little late,” Lenyce recalled. “Just before we were about to leave, I saw him from across the room — he was so handsome! He was talking to someone else, so I decided to take my friend’s advice and make eye contact — maybe a little much eye contact. Well, it worked. After talking for a few minutes, we quickly learned that we knew many of the same people and felt like we knew each other. He wanted to drive me home, but there was no way I was getting into a stranger’s car. Also, I was not ready to say goodbye. Being a true-crime junkie, I searched his entire car, gave his wallet to my friend, and she followed us all the way to my house, where he dropped me off at my door. We exchanged phone numbers, and the rest is history!”

Where did you get married?
“We had a tiny wedding in Key West, attended by approximately 12 family members and friends — the original micro wedding! We were married on the back porch of the beautiful Audubon House & Tropical Gardens in Key West,” Lenyce said. “We go back often and had hoped to celebrate our 25th back there, but with the virus, those plans have changed. We are OK with that and will just celebrate our next one a little extra.”

Describe your family today?
“We are officially brand-new empty nesters. It is a little strange, since we have had children living at home for so many years! We are blessed beyond words and got so lucky with three amazing kids, who have all grown into successful, happy adults,” Lenyce said. “We pray about that and thank God constantly for the continued blessings. We keep ourselves busy with our businesses, home and pets, which grew by two during the quarantine. We adopted a puppy from Big Dog Ranch Rescue and a mini pony from the South Florida ASPCA. Now, we have two horses, three dogs and four hens that give us eggs every single day.”

How do you continue to grow your love for one another?
“By taking a moment each day to look at each other and truly see who we have grown into,” Lenyce said. “We have to embrace those little moments and all of the beauty and blessings in our life. That’s the spark that keeps the fire burning.”

What is your favorite thing about each other?
“My favorite thing about Al is his kindness and open heart,” Lenyce said. “He wears his heart on his sleeve. The guy would give away his last dollar to someone in need and always thinks of others. He is an incredible father and role model to young adults. He is also pretty easy on the eyes.”

“The first thing that comes to mind is her eyes,” Al added. “I still remember so vividly the first time I saw Lenyce across the dance floor. Her soft eyes just drew me in as they do now every time. All of the love in my life, being a daddy to three beautiful children and being Papa Al to several others, all started with Lenyce. My life is beautiful and has purpose because of her. And yet she is a strong woman who has kept me strong in times when I needed it.”

Is this photo shoot a part of renewing your vows?
“No vow renewal, but we had a beautiful family celebration planned to take place in the Keys, but with the travel restrictions and mandates, we had to postpone that,” Lencye said.

If you had to give a young couple words of advice, what would that be?
“I heard this advice many years ago, and I never forgot it. It rang so true for me,” Lenyce said. “The advice I would pass along to a young couple would be for them to continue to grow as individuals, support your partner’s dreams and try to never fall out of love, all at the same time.”

“I would say that lifting up your partner to achieve their dreams shows that you believe in them, that you have faith in their abilities and that you support their independence because you are confident in your love,” Al added. “And secondly, ‘listen more, talk less,’ which I’m still learning. You’d be surprised what great ideas or unique perspectives your partner will contribute if you just stop talking and listen.”

 

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Palm Beach Brides 2020: Special Thanks To All Of Our Industry Professionals

Palm Beach Brides 2020: Special Thanks To All Of Our  Industry Professionals

VENUES
International Polo Club Palm Beach
www.internationalpoloclub.com
(561) 204-5687

Wellington National Golf Club
www.wellingtonnationalgolfclub.com
(561) 333-5731

The Wanderers Club
www.wc.coth.com
(561) 795-3501

WEDDING & EVENT PLANNING
Marjorie Beauvil Michaud
www.mbmeventsdesign.com
(561) 908-1258

Vanessa Fuller Events
www.vanessafullerevents.com

Fortuna Events
www.fortunaeventsmiami.com
(786) 479-3220

PHOTOGRAPHY
Rosina DiBello
Boutique Wedding Photography Studio
www.RosinaDiBello.com
(954) 254-8033

Sarah Larson
Blink & Co. Photography
www.blinkandcompanyphoto.com
(561) 703-6656

Kareem Virgo
Reem Photography
www.reemphotography.com
(561) 352-1584

Special Thanks To Bacio Bacio Bridal Boutique
Lenyce Boyd and all of the industry professionals who helped to make our annual Palm Beach Brides issue an amazing success!

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Cheese And Charcuterie Boards Are At The Center Of Julie And Aaron Menitoff’s Latest Venture Say Cheese

Cheese And Charcuterie Boards Are At The Center Of Julie And Aaron Menitoff’s Latest Venture Say Cheese

Their smiles are charming, but it’s the unforgettable events Julie and Aaron Menitoff put together that really win people over. These days, their productions are downright cheesy.

The Wellington couple recently launched CheeseBoarder.com, shipping artistically presented, small-batch, artisanal cheeses and cured meats straight to customers’ doorsteps.

While the gourmet noshing is new, the creativity, quality and presentation behind it are inherent to every project the Menitoffs undertake. As the owners of Wellington Hospitality Group, the couple has catered gatherings for the likes of Prince Harry, Bruce Springsteen and Serena Williams. They have developed hospitality programs for the most prestigious equestrian events in the world, built an eco-resort in Nicaragua and catered private parties for Palm Beach’s elite.

Then came 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, social events were wiped from every calendar. Travel was grounded. Catering was put on the back burner, leaving Julie, Aaron and their team looking for innovative ways to support their hospitality company.

After 16 years in the business, the Menitoffs knew cheese and charcuterie displays were the most requested catering items and often used as centerpieces at cocktail receptions. One of their last, large-scale events before the pandemic was an engagement party for equestrians Jennifer Gates and Nayel Nassar. They created a magnificent, 40-foot grazing table.

“They produced an incredible cheese and charcuterie display for our engagement party. It was artistic and delicious, and our guests loved it,” said Jennifer Gates, president of Evergate Stables.

The Menitoffs decided to carve out their slice of the online, edible gift market. They partnered with their logistics manager, Angel Jerez, a sommelier. The team began with local deliveries of cheese and charcuterie. Jerez’s expertise allowed them to offer wine pairings as an option.

Now, with their newly constructed, FDA-approved facility complete, CheeseBoarder.com can ship their gourmet, handcrafted displays anywhere nationwide within 48 hours. They are getting attention from some big players in the specialty food arena. In October, CheeseBoarder.com will be distributed on Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer’s foodie shipping site, Goldbelly.com.

“No one else offers ready-to-eat cheese and charcuterie boards. You can order boxes with blocks of meat and cheese, which you then have to cut and plate,” said Aaron Menitoff, managing partner of CheeseBoarder.com. “Each of our boards come fully assembled and ready to serve with no preparation needed, just open and enjoy. Your guests will think you hired a caterer!”

The boards come in three sizes, serving three to 12 guests, and are cold-packaged for shipping using a vacuum-sealed technique the team developed and patented. Each selection is accompanied by high-end specialty items ranging from dried passion fruit and Turkish figs to everything bagel-flavored cashews and Italian olives.

The social distancing rules of 2020 provided substantial growth for CheeseBoarder.com. As people connected through virtual events and meetings, CheeseBoarder.com presented a way for Zoom attendees to eat and drink together while staying separate. Nonprofits eager to maintain fundraising have offered the boards during their virtual events, adding sponsor information and materials to the shipments, and even coordinating wine deliveries.

Without in-person charitable events, the Menitoffs feel that it is vital for CheeseBoarder.com to contribute to the community. Customers can choose to include a card created by clients at The Arc of Palm Beach County. Proceeds from the cards benefit people with developmental disabilities. As CheeseBoarder.com grows, the couple hopes to employ clients from The Arc through the organization’s employment services program.

“Everything about this project aligns with our lifestyle and our values. The products promote the farm-to-table movement, the containers are eco-friendly, we are supporting a charity that we believe in, and the presentations are artistic,” said Julie Menitoff, CheeseBoarder.com’s general manager.

CheeseBoarder.com just entered the wholesale market. The smaller sizes can be ordered in bulk for businesses to resell to customers or to be sent as corporate gifts. Local companies are finding that these specialty boards are the cheesiest way to connect with clients.

Visit www.cheeseboarder.com for more information about this new, Wellington-based venture.

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Today’s Real Estate Market Is Booming, Particularly For Tech-Savvy Realtors & Clients Market Trends

Today’s Real Estate Market Is Booming,  Particularly For Tech-Savvy Realtors & Clients  Market Trends

Local real estate properties are selling like hotcakes amid the current pandemic, especially for tech-savvy Realtors and their clients who know the ins and outs of the sales tools available to help in socially distant home shopping.

Shelley Sandler and Mary Miller, two of Wellington’s leading Realtors associated with Illustrated Properties, agreed that the region is hot, real estate wise.

“There is a huge inventory shortage in the Wellington area, and the reason I believe this is happening is because of the quarantine,” Sandler said. “There are many people who now realize that they can work at home, and that home can be just about anywhere. They no longer have to wait to retire to find the home and the place where they want to live. They realize they can have the home and the lifestyle they always wanted right now, and they are shying away from the big cities because of the fear of COVID-19 and the mass of people. Palm Beach County may have everything you want but without the congestion of Miami or Chicago.”

Miller stressed that the virus pandemic has given people a new perspective.

“I think you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. People can move wherever they want because they’re working pretty much from home. The other people, who are essential workers, have had the time that they spent at home these past few months to give them a new perspective on their lifestyle,” she explained. “They may think, ‘Gee, this really isn’t my dream kitchen’ or ‘this isn’t the perfect home for us,’ and people nowadays have been staying in their homes longer, so they have a lot more equity to get the most out of their home, so it’s a win-win situation.”

Both Realtors believe that this strong market will continue.

“Some people think we are in a bubble,” Sandler said. “I don’t feel that way at all.”

“I don’t either,” Miller added. “The prices may drop a little bit, but I don’t see a crash, because in the last crash, properties were over-financed and there were a lot of bad loans. Now there are very strict rules to prevent any big crash because the loans are managed well. A correction will just be a dip, and the tight inventory with the pent-up demand will dissipate that drop. Any dip we experience in the future, and we come back to the biggest problem we’re all facing, and that is we need more inventory.”

The pandemic has changed how real estate is marketed, and Illustrated Properties is at the forefront of the new trends in advertising, showing and closing.

Some sellers need more time, some have an empty home and are motivated. “You structure your offer appropriately for each area and property,” Sandler said. “We learned to become much more flexible, and we base our business on individual needs. It is more important than ever to have a Realtor that offers specifically individualized service with the staff to support that level of service.”

Sandler and Miller are not a team, but individualized professionals whose service complements each other. “We have each other’s back,” they said almost in tandem.

The agents use 3D photos for cameras in the rooms, allowing viewers to look up and down and all around, and feel like they’re standing in the room and view a potential new home from their current home at their leisure. “We give them walkthroughs using Facetime,” Sandler said.

“We prequalify the prospective buyer so only the most interested and qualified come to an owner-occupied home,” said Miller, who explained that then they follow CDC protocols with social distancing, masks and gloves, and the visitors are alerted not to touch anything. “We don’t want to risk someone’s health to show the property.”

Yet Miller explained that even something as bad as COVID-19 can bring about good things.

“Virtually viewing a property means you can really see the home and get to know if it meets your needs and dreams,” Miller said. “It has opened us up to a lot more virtual showings and made us more versatile.”

It has also made some Realtors stretch their comfort zones to adapt to all the new technology.

“Some of the techno-dinosaurs in the industry have been forced into the use of e-signature and online viewing. Some software is cumbersome, but we use something called AppFiles at Illustrated Properties, and it’s amazing and user-friendly,” Sandler said.

Knowing your clients’ needs is also crucial, Miller added.

“I spend a crazy amount of time making sure that the potential buyer is qualified and certain it is the kind of house they want. There’s enough material online that you can see the property, but you have to be really serious before you walk through the home, especially in an owner-occupied dwelling,” Miller said.

These marketing and advertising innovations are here to stay in all communities and are heating up this bubbling market.

“The benefits of living in Wellington are so numerous,” said Sandler, who has lived in the community since 1986. “People from up north always remark that Wellington is a real town, a real hometown, and not just more urban sprawl.”

Sandler explained that Wellington has a main street and a town center, excellent schools and parks, and some very specialized neighborhoods with the equestrian facets and the Aero Club, gated enclaves with HOAs, and areas with no gates or HOAs.

“There is a nice combination of everything from huge luxury estate homes to townhouses,” Sandler said.

“Wellington has zoning and guidelines that keep it nice,” Miller added.

“I always thought that once my children were grown, I would move to another area, but every time I go outside of Wellington and look around, I come back here to the village,” Sandler said. “I don’t know of another area that feels like Wellington.”

Learn more about Shelley Sandler at www.shelleysandlerproperties.com and Mary Miller at www.marymiller.net.

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