It’s Spotlight Day! Where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding venues and vendors, and the stories behind their companies who help Wedding Venue Map couples have their best wedding day.
What does a typical day look like?
Coffee, cats, ceremonies.
What gets you most excited about the wedding day?
Checking in with the couple when I arrive is always a blast! And seeing which vendors I get to work with that day is always a really nice surprise.
What is your favorite wedding tradition?
I love when the couple writes vows / personal words for one another. I once had a groom learn enough Spanish to surprise his bride during the ceremony by saying his vows to her in Spanish – it was magical.
What kind of continued learning do you do in your field?
I am always signing up for webinars to learn more about the industry, as it is always changing. I often attend networking events to meet other vendors and these networkers often have a speaker or continuing education of some sort.
How do you spend your time away from work?
I love spending time with my kitties, and you can usually find me hanging out with The Grinch or riding Hagrid’s at Islands of Adventure. I enjoy traveling to the mountains in Colorado and the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Last year I was honored to officiate a vow renewal ceremony on the canals of Jordaan in Amsterdam.
Can you tell us more about your team?
Just me and my kitties.
Who is your ideal couple?
My ideal couple does not want a traditional ceremony and is open to new ideas and making their ceremony unique and special. They are usually a bit nerdy and sometimes awkward.
Have you won awards for what you do?
I have won the Wedding Wire and The Knot awards for many years now. Also, I have been named a top Wedding Officiant by Orlando Magazine for two years in a row. Recently I was awarded The Wedding Pro Society’s “Society Stellas Award” for best Officiant in the Southeast Region.
What do you love about having a wedding business in Central Florida?
I love living in the DeLand area because I am centrally located to all of our amazing venues, lakes, parks, and beaches. We get to have weddings year round due to our beautiful weather.
The best piece of advice to reduce stress in the planning process.
Try to plan the wedding you want, not the wedding others in your life may want. Take other’s thoughts and opinions into consideration and make sure you are happy with the end result.
What current trends have you seen at weddings that personally you like the most?
I love a first look! The photographer will have the opportunity to get many family and wedding party photos done before the ceremony and the couple can use the extra time they would have usually used to take photos during cocktail hour to actually hang out with the guests during cocktail hour or they can get extra couples photos during that time.
Having a first look ensures the couple and the wedding party are ready on time and the ceremony begins as scheduled.
The couple can use cute photo booth props during the first looks – TONS of great ideas on how to have a unique and memorable first look.
Some are worried their significant other may not be emotional at the altar if the couple sees each other before the ceremony but let me tell you, they still get emotional.
What do you think your couples can do to combat nerves on the wedding day?
The groomsmen and I always do pre-ceremony stretches. It seems to help.
Tell us 3 venues you enjoy working at and why.
Crystal Ballroom Sunset Harbor – the view is amazing, many choices for ceremony and cocktail hour locations, multiple suites for the wedding party to get ready pre-ceremony, Cara and the staff are so wonderful to work with!
Lake Mary Events Center – have you seen the view?!, with their atrium that has floor to ceiling windows you can have an indoor ceremony that feels like you are outdoors which is SO important in Florida, roomy conference rooms areas for the wedding party to relax and get ready in, they work with a select number of caterers to ensure every event goes well.
Paradise Cove – it’s like getting married at the beach without all the obnoxious sand and wind, uniquely tropical, some evenings you get a firework show put on by one of the local theme parks, cute bungalows for the wedding party to get married in, their staff is always so easy to work with.
Here is what some previous couples had to say…
“Catherine is a gem! She was the first and only officiant we contacted because we liked her from the get-go! Her funny easy-going personality sets her apart from the others. She isn’t some stiff shirt just repeating words. She took the time to get to know us, to make our experience more personal.
She was so easy to get in contact with, always responding promptly to emails, calls, and texts, and beyond the understanding of circumstances (we had many MAJOR last-minute changes). Since our wedding was affected by COVID-19, we decided to elope. We changed our date, our location, and the plan altogether and Catherine went above and beyond (even trekking a mile into the woods) to make it all work out for us. I can’t thank her enough for all she did throughout this whole experience. And I look forward to having her officiate our actual wedding again later on! I would highly recommend her to anyone!” – Maya and Alex, Bridle Oaks
“Catherine was a DREAM to work with. I cannot recommend her enough. She is a genuine, sweet person who truly made our ceremony personalized and special. She wrote our ceremony script beautifully and included many personal moments, quotes, etc. Even during the scriptwriting process, she was great- allowing is to make several changes (albeit small because the original was so perfect!).
She made our wedding so special. I’m so happy we chose her to officiant our big day. You won’t go wrong picking Catherine for yours. She is the best!” – Tiffany and Bryan, Grand Bohemian
“From the first moment I spoke with Catherine I knew she was going to be a perfect fit for our wedding! I wanted a fun, quirky officiant who would understand our unique ceremony. Catherine is so amazing at her job! She is always quick to respond to any questions you might have. We met in person to just get to know each other and she really helped us feel at ease about our big day. She sent me multiple drafts of her ceremony script so that way I could let her know if I liked or didn’t like any parts. She really customized our wedding to our story. Our ceremony was filled with love and laughter all thanks to Catherine!” – Brittny and Shane, The Highland Manor