Wedding expert Laurie Arons has been a long-time friend and beloved fan of The Breakers. Living in San Francesco, Laurie and her company, Laurie Arons Special Events, has helped West Coast clients plan sensational destination weddings here at the Palm Beach resort.

Laurie Arons

The special event guru says wedding planning was a new industry when she started her company in 1994. “I feel fortunate I had the chance to blaze my own trail and form a company based on principles that were important to me – outstanding service, attention to detail and a passion for perfection.”

Q: What is it like planning an event at The Breakers?
A: The Breakers is a Mecca for an event planner. There are so many incredible venue options. The resort also offers so many amazing resources at your fingertips. The full time master sommelier,    talented in-house floral designers, and world-class chefs … the possibilities are endless.

Q: Do you have a favorite ceremony spot or reception ballroom?
A: For a breezy outdoor affair, the Ocean Lawn holds the best views of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. For spectacular glamour and over the top elegance, my favorite is the Circle ballroom.

Q: Describe your inspiration.
A: I’m first and foremost inspired by the couple – getting to know the bride and groom, figuring out their style and giving them their dream wedding. I’m also inspired by beautiful things all around me, whether it be wedding style, fashion, food and wine, interior design, or travel.

Q: What is the most important reason your clients cite for choosing The Breakers?
A: My clients who choose The Breakers want a spectacular five-star event and outstanding service, in a setting you don’t find often (if at all) in this country. They immediately know The Breakers will deliver an unforgettable experience for them and their guests.

Laurie Arons

Images from two of Laurie’s events at The Breakers…

Laurie Arons

Q: Give us three of your favorite weddings must-dos.
A: 1. Stay true to who you are as a couple. I always tell my clients that they can’t please everyone, so the most important thing is creating a day that is special for them and reflects their vision.
2. After you kiss and are married, stop with your new husband or wife at the end of the aisle before you recess and take it all in. It’s a moment you’ll only have once, so don’t rush through it. The portrait session can wait a minute.
3. Assign seating – don’t leave it up to chance. I know some couples dread this, but it’s a lot of stress on the guests to figure out where to sit on the fly. Just take a little time the week of the wedding to place groups of people together in a way that ensures a good time for all.

Q: What hot new trend do you see emerging for winter weddings? How about 2012?
A: Dare I say more formal and traditional weddings, possibly influenced by the Royal Wedding of William and Kate? That’s a trend I would love to see, because it’s actually anti-trend – a return to classic, special occasions. Another trend I’m really having fun with is the after-party, complete with nightclub-style DJ’s taking guests late into the night.

Laurie Arons

Q: How does The Breakers history and architecture inspire the design of your events?
A: I love the grand architecture, the high ceilings, the uniqueness of each room – it’s inspiring to build a design to enhance the existing beauty. Event lighting is important, a great way to highlight all those elements.

Laurie Arons

Q: How does a wedding at The Breakers differ from those at other venues?
A: The Breakers holds the most spectacular set of ballrooms I have ever seen, and on top of that, it’s set in a gorgeous location. In sunny Palm Beach overlooking the water and just five minutes from Worth Avenue, one of the best shopping streets in the country – how can you beat that?

Laurie Arons Special Events, llc
1850 Union Street, no. 2, San Francisco, CA 94123
415.332.0600
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More: Meet all The Breakers’ Dream Makers in our Spotlight With A Guru

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Normally on the amazing wedding weekend vendor checklist: a fabulous photographer, a vibrant videographer and excellent entertainment. But what about adding a live artist?

Meet Agnes Russo, an event painter from Los Angeles, who recently used her canvas to memorialize two breathtaking destination weddings at The Breakers.

Agnes Russo Agnes prepping her painting at Michelle & Justin’s wedding this past February in the Mediterranean Ballroom.

We got a chance to sit down with Agnes and get an inside look at how she transforms your wedding – complete with décor, design and your favorite people – into a work of art.

Q: How does it work?
A: I come early to set up my easel, and I sketch the background elements for the painting. By the time the guests arrive, there is a vibrant sketch on the canvas and I can start focusing on painting in the people. I take photos of the special guests that the bride and groom choose and place them into the foreground of the painting, carefully creating a balanced composition. I pay special attention to their body language and try to capture their characters with natural poses.

Agnes Russo

Q: What is it like painting at The Breakers?
A: Last February I was invited to paint a luxurious wedding in Venetian Ballroom. With the breathtaking view of the ocean and the ceiling was covered with orchids, there was plenty of beauty to paint. As I was wondering around on my break, I walked into the Mediterranean Ballroom, to my total amazement. I was speechlessly starring at the walls and the ceiling with the magnificent frescos, and I remember thinking: ” I wish I could paint his room one day!” and a year later here I am, doing just that for Michelle and Justin’s gorgeous wedding (photos above). It is a great experience to be part of these beautiful occasions, and share the joy with everyone. (See the final product below)

Agnes Russo

Q: How did you begin live event painting?
A: I am from Hungary, where I grew up in small cities where I painted a lot. I was trained in traditional fine art in Budapest, and when I moved to Los Angeles in 1995, I started to work in the movie industry as an illustrator, creating concept sketches, posters and set design. One day I was drawing a presentation sketch for a big event, and the client loved the illustration so much that she asked me to paint on-location during the event. That was my very first “Live Event Painting.” This has become a wonderful passion of mine, and a new profession that I love.

Agnes’s finished painting from Michelle & Justin’s wedding in the Mediterranean Ballroom…

Agnes Russo

And the before and after from Vanessa and Taylor’s destination wedding in the Venetian Ballroom…

Venetian Ballroom before

Venetian Ballroom after

Book Agnes to paint live at your wedding by calling her at (310) 404-1309 or, visit her website here.

9 comments
  1. Jenny Apr 19, 2011 / 12:02 pm

    These paintings are spectacular. Agnes clearly has a gift for capturing the ambiance of an occasion. And, technically, her work is beautiful.

  2. Mike Apr 19, 2011 / 01:11 pm

    What a great idea: with all the expense of a wedding, and much of it ultimately becoming just a faded memory, couples can enjoy a painting like this on their 50th anniversary.

  3. Catherine Apr 19, 2011 / 02:07 pm

    Agnes is a wonderful artist whose work portrays the joy and celebration of the weddings she paints. My own daughter’s wedding may be on her schedule soon.

  4. Jeff Kolodny Apr 19, 2011 / 02:48 pm

    Very Cool!

  5. Samantha Apr 19, 2011 / 11:50 pm

    Amazing talent and so realistic! A great combination of entertainment as well as having something so genuine to remember such a special day by.

  6. Andrea Apr 25, 2011 / 11:33 am

    What a great idea! A photograph never could capture the true essence of such a beautiful ballroom together with the celebrating guests. Agnes is a very talented artist!

  7. […] One really unique thing that Justin and Michelle had at their wedding reception was to have a live event artist, Agnes Russo. The Breakers Blog shows the incredible progression of her work AND the finished painting from their wedding!! […]

  8. […] One really unique thing that Justin and Michelle had at their wedding reception was to have a live event artist, Agnes Russo. The Breakers Blog shows the incredible progression of her work AND the finished painting from their wedding!! […]

  9. Pauline May 14, 2011 / 07:48 pm

    How unique and such a treat to have a live painter at your wedding! Moreover, Agnes’ work is simply exquisite. I cannot imagine how one would not treasure this beautiful piece of art for a lifetime and beyond.

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Renowned wedding cake extraordinaire Sylvia Weinstock has been baking and decorating cakes for the last 30 years. She’s been lauded as the all-time “Queen of Cakes.” Why is she so special? Sylvia’s cakes are not only gorgeous, but always fresh and delicious.

'Queen of Cakes' Sylvia Weinstock

Her delectable cakes have been enjoyed by celebrities like Mariah Carey, Eddie Murphy and Kim Basinger. Sylvia has made cakes in the shape of flower bouquets, dogs, doll houses and even a guitar — but she is without a doubt best know for her fabulous wedding cakes with handmade sugar flowers.

And the best part: The Breakers is the only South Florida resort that includes Sylvia’s famous cakes as a part of our elaborate wedding packages.

Sylvia took a moment to speak with us about her cakes and her special relationship with The Breakers.

What should brides expect when they go to a tasting?
A cake tasting consists of two china palettes on which one has 15 small filling flavors and the other six small samples of the cake itself. The client then tastes the varieties and decides what combination of fillings to go with the cake. I help with suggestions of what flavors are most popular.

What is your favorite flavor?
My personal favorite is yellow butter cake with lemon curd and fresh raspberries.

Tell us a little bit about your relationship with The Breakers
We supply The Breakers with a special designed style cake that is included in the top-tier wedding package. Any design that is enhanced or customized is a surcharge that the client pays to us.

The BIG question: How does the cake get from New York to Florida?
The cakes are flown down with Continental Airlines, with whom we have a special relationship. After landing, they are delivered by van to The Breakers where the executive pastry chef and his team add the final touches.

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