Illuminate: Giving Thanks

I know this may come as a huge shock to you, but I used to rock out the three legged-race competition in grammar school. I may not have been able to jump the highest, furthest or even sassiest, but when it came time for my event, I owned it. Except it wasn’t just me- like just about anything in life, I owed half of my accolades to my partner in crime (and childhood best friend Kory). If she had ever had to call in sick on Field Day, I dare say I would have either faked the flu or run away in some dramatic fashion to avoid having to participate without her.

My point (besides making you terribly jealous of my athletic prowess)? Most of what we do every single day is due in part of the support of others and Illuminate: the Workshop is no different. It would be near impossible to put together such a fantastic and cost-effective wedding marketing seminar with all the bells and whistles if I didn’t have the support of my peers and attendees, as well as my sponsors. So today, expect a bit of gushing as I have the honor of sharing this year’s sponsors:

Richmond Country Club is much more than a Venue sponsor to me. In addition to employing me as their Marketing/Membership Director many years ago, it quickly served as a second home to me- which isn’t just a nod to the fact that I put in quite a few hours a week there. 🙂 Later on, when I became engaged, there was no doubt in my mind that RCC would host the wedding reception and when the opportunity came for us to partner for Illuminate, I did a little happy dance and then signed all the papers. It’s a gorgeous venue with all the amenities a bride wants- lovely location, impeccably trained staff, complimentary parking and a swoon worthy fireplace. If you’ve got a bride who needs to find a home for your wedding, I sincerely hope you’ll consider Richmond Country Club.

Up next, our media sponsor, which truly doesn’t need an introduction.

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of getting to know The Knot’s local Account Executive Kelly, as she’s my number one carpool buddy as we drive throughout the state for wedding networking events. The Knot connects wedding professionals with brides with a variety of online and print opportunities while also keeping brides informed of the latest trends and must haves for their Big Day. I’ve also been a big fan of their vendor outreach and education opportunities and if you’re around tomorrow evening, their next webinar on Managing your Images Online promises to be a good one.

Our Sweet Sponsor has been a staple in the Richmond are for nearly twenty years and I’m thrilled to sing his praises today to you.

I initially met Graham with Cakes by Graham when I first moved to Richmond nearly nine years ago. He was a bit of a wedding celebrity in my book and we do laugh now about how darn star struck I was the first several times I met him (playing it cool has never been my strong suit!). Cakes by Graham has personally been a part of many of my own personal big moments (he created our amazing wedding cake) as well as that of my friends (in my spare time, I do enjoy throwing as many baby showers as possible). And apparently I don’t just heart these guys as Graham has won more awards than I can count- including Best Pastry Chef, Best Wedding Cakes and Best Groom’s Cakes by Richmond Magazine, as well as Best Wedding Cakes in Virginia by Virginia Bride Magazine.

Our Speaker Sponsor is not a bona fide Wedding Pro but I dare say I’d be lost without him-

Math is simply not my strong suit so when I started OFD three years ago, I knew that as soon as I could afford it, I need to hand off my receipts to someone far smarter than myself. EW Moore is a family run business that handles my taxes and accounting needs PLUS answers all of my ridiculous math related questions. 🙂  I’m officially making Eric and his EW Moore Accounting folks honorary wedding peeps since they’ve also assisted many of my friends, colleagues and clients. EW Moore has been the speaker sponsor for every Illuminate since day one and although knee deep in tax returns, Eric has promised me he’ll make an appearance this year- a first!

Finally, last but not least, I’m excited to give my thanks to this year’s VIP Lunch Sponsor:

Angela of Angela’s Elegant Events and I first crossed paths through mutual colleagues and I later got to know her as well as her company better by guest lecturing at her Wedding Planning Institute class each semester.
As of this semester, she’s now officially stuck seeing me every Tuesday and Thursday as we both serve as adjunct professors in Mass Communications at the local university. For those who know her, they’ll see that she’s gone through a recent rebrand- the perfect time to sponsor our VIP lunch with Blaithin and spread the word.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank my lovely speakers Mita and Blaithin, my fabulous OFD team (Heather and Ariana!) and the lives-too-far–away Sarah Stanitz, who I consider an honorary OFD team member as she assists with the design of the Illuminate marketing materials.  Additionally for those interested, we have three spots left so click HERE to register so I can officially make name tags. 🙂

Thanks again to my amazing sponsors- I couldn’t do it without you.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.


Meghan Ely

Regarded as one of the leading wedding publicists in the US, Meghan Ely combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of wedding PR. She has earned coverage for her clients with the New York Times, People, Brides, Bridal Guide, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, CNN Money, and more. She is a WeddingPro Expert and long-time contributor to and