Email this page Print this page Bookmark this page

A Spin on Weddings

TSE Presents:
A Spin on Weddings: The 2015 Forecast

December 2, 2014/ Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL (Gold Coast Ballroom/ French)

Event Emcee:  Frank J. Andonoplas, Frank Event Designs

SPIN Sponsors:



9:00 - 9:30am - Registration/Coffee

9:30am - 10:30am - Business Session: Browsers to Bookings

Get the latest marketing tips, sales techniques and brand building tools that will set you apart from the competition.  Find out how to capture and captivate the happy couple.

Bill Cronin, Vice President of Marketing, WeddingWire

10:30am - 11:15am - Choosing Your Partners

Your clients have chosen their partner for life and so must you!  Choosing the right venue and vendor partners is critical to the success of your business.  The Empress of Schmooze, Audrey Gordon, will share her expert advice on choosing your partners wisely and cultivating vendor relationships that can lead to happily ever after!

Audrey Gordon, Empress of Schmooze, Event Planner
Anthony Navarro, Liven It Up Events

15 minute break

11:30am - 1:00pm -Wedding Menus that Surprise and Delight

Take a delicious tasting tour of the latest trends in palate pleasing wedding menus, expertly guided by Chef Herve Cuyeu at the legendary Drake Hotel.

Chef Herve Cuyeu, Drake Hotel

1:00pm - 2:00pm - Designs that Dazzle

Feast your eyes on wedding designs that will take your weddings to the next level of WOW.  This session will be presented in a “show and tell” format by leading event designer Anthony Gowder.

Anthony Gowder, Gowder Designs

15 minute break

2:15pm - 3:15pm - Color Matters - The Influence of Color on Wedding Design

As famed artist Pablo Picasso once said “Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions.”   This session will explore the pivotal role that color plays in planning a wedding.  Presented by award winning event planner, David Caruso, this session will guide you through how color can impact the emotions and reactions from bride and guests and the current trends in color used in wedding design and décor. 

David Caruso, Dynamic Events

3:30pm - 4:15pm - What’s New and What’s Next in Wedding Design

Find out what is trending now and get a glimpse of future trends as these top experts in event design share their bold predictions on what they believe to be the next new “Wow” you can create for your clients.

Frank J. Andonoplas, Frank Event Designs

Panelists include:
Lighting/Décor:  Dennis Remer, MDR Creative
Invitations:   Andrea Liss, Hannah Handmade
Rentals:  Kathy Ruff, Tablescapes
Linen: Lanie Hartmann, BBJ Linens
Photography:  Rick Aguilar, Aguilar Studios

4:15 pm - New Trends in Mixology

Raise the bar on your beverage menus! Watch and taste as mixologist Michael Fawthrop shakes things up with his mad cocktail concoctions that are sure to excite and delight!

Networking Reception Immediately Follows


Speakers and Panelists


Rick Aguilar
Rick Aguilar has been a photographer for more than 20 years in Chicago. His fun, artistic approach to weddings makes him a favorite for top wedding clients in the city of Chicago. Rick has a timeless and journalistic feel to his photographs. His years of experience in the wedding industry make him a valued asset in the event community. His work has been featured in a variety of wedding magazines, books and wedding websites. Rick has taken part in national reality TV shows on networks such as Bravo, The CW and VH1.

Rick Aguilar
Rick Aguilar Studios

Frank J. Andonoplas
Named 2012 Event Planner of the Year, Frank J. Andonoplas has been designing and coordinating Wedding for the last 21 plus years, and is one of only 71 Master Bridal Consultants worldwide, and the only in Chicago. Renowned for his attention to detail Frank has been a Gala Award Winner, and Multi NACE/ISES Chicago Excellence Award Winner for his work.  His expertise has been featured on 20/20, The Early Show as well as numerous local Chicago Television and Radio appearances.   His talent has also been featured in all national and local Bridal Magazines and Websites.

Frank J. Andonoplas
Frank Event Designs

David Caruso
Regarded as Wisconsin’s premier event planner and designer, David Caruso is known for the creativity, elegance and attention to detail that is evident in every event he designs. Caruso is extremely well known for producing Wisconsin’s most elegant and elaborate events over the past 11 years since he’s been in business. He has transformed ballrooms into fantasy lands and backyards of private estates into magical expressions of his client’s style and personalities.
David is the President of the Southern Wisconsin Chapter of National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) and is often invited to speak as an industry expert at national and local conferences/meetings. His work has been featured in key print publications including the nation’s leading bridal magazine, BRIDES Magazine as well as Catering Magazine and others. In addition, David regularly appears on local television shows and national radio stations as an industry expert.
In July of 2013, David was awarded “Best Catered Wedding Event of the Year – Budget of $75,000.00 or more” from NACE. At the beginning of 2013, Special Events Magazine included David on their annual 30 Under 40 feature – a list of 30 young event professionals from around the globe gifted with both the talent and drive to take our industry to the next level.
At the start of 2012, David was named by The Business Journal as one of Milwaukee’s Forty Under 40 – featuring profiles of 40 Milwaukee-area individuals under the age of 40 who are making a difference in their professions and communities. In the same year, he was named by M Magazine as one of 11 Milwaukeeans who make a chic statement through their personal style.
In 2010, Dynamic Events by David Caruso was named “Best All-Around Wedding Vendor” by Wisconsin Bride Magazine and, in 2009; David was awarded the “Best Catered Wedding Event of the Year” by NACE. He recently published “Stylish Milwaukee Weddings” and was also included in the national release of “The Art of Celebration” which can be found in bookstores across the country.
Additionally, David is one of the producers of Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride Wedding Show which is Wisconsin’s premier wedding industry event of the year.

 David Caruso
Dynamic Events

Bill Cronin
Bill Cronin is Vice President of Marketing at WeddingWire. He leads the development and implementation of the business-to-business marketing strategy, including customer acquisition and community development. Bill was formerly the VP of Marketing for USA TODAY where he relaunched the brand across platforms including print, digital, mobile and social. Previously, he was at MasterCard Worldwide for 12 years, most recently as Vice President of Merchant Marketing. Bill was also the Vice President of Brand Marketing for MasterCard Europe from 2004 to 2007, serving as a member of the region's Senior Management Team based in London during MasterCard's transition to a publicly traded company. From 1999 to 2004 as Director of Global Advertising and Vice President of Global Brand Building, he led the global roll-out of the highly successful “Priceless” advertising campaign across Europe and Asia. He also managed the integrated marketing plans for MasterCard's global sponsorships, including the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Bill is a member of the Dartmouth Men's Soccer Advisory Board.

 Bill Cronin
Vice President of Marketing at WeddingWire

Chef Herve Cuyeu
Executive Chef Herve Cuyeu, a Bordeaux, France native began his culinary career at the age of 15, at the historical monument of St. Jacques de Compostelle. This experience established his culinary path inspired by the time-honored traditions of southern France.


After graduating from Lycee Hotelier of Guyenne, Bordeaux, he trained under a number of world-renowned chefs, including Chef Michel Guerard of La Bastide Gasconne, a two-Michelin-star fine dining restaurant in France.

Chef Cuyeu specializes in combining classic recipes and contemporary trends to please even the most particular palate. Though it is not just the cuisine that will receive an invigorating boost, the entire food and beverage division will be focused on enhancing the natural flavors and presentations of The Drake’s established menus including the redesign and revitalization of all four restaurant, catering, and banquet menus.

“People eat with their eyes first, presentation becomes part of the first impression, an elegant presentation enhances the overall feel. Food is a fashion; we adapt to current inclinations and embellish or contrast flavor and style accordingly.” As an expert in his field, Executive Chef Cuyeu is committed to delivering a well rounded dining experience that embraces past traditions without compromising the present.

 Chef Herve Cuyeu
The Drake Hotel, Chicago, Executive Chef

Michael Fawthrop
Michael Fawthrop

 Michael Fawthrop
Michael Fawthrop

Audrey Gordon
Audrey has made building strong relationships with clients and vendors a top priority for over 30 years; today it’s known as Relationship Marketing”. Associated with TSE for 26 years as a  Speaker and Good Will Ambassador; She just LOVES ” hooking people up”


Her vision, charisma, “love of “HOSTING”, intuitive creativity, attention to details, active listening & strong networking skills has catapulted Audrey into becoming a recognizable & respected name in the special events industry

She has served as Ambassador to TSE Chicago 2013 hosting 6000 guests globally, Founding Member of ISES ,
Director Emeritus of SEARCH FOUNDATION
Member of Choose Chicago, NAPW, NAWBO, Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Chicago to name a few…

When you think of Chicago.. You think of Audrey Gordon…

 Audrey Gordon aka “Empress of Schmooze”
Independent Event & Meeting Planner
Resource Concierge of People, Places & Things
Free-Lance Contractor/ Travel Director/ Project Manager

Anthony Gowder
The seeds for Anthony Gowder’s career were sown during the tropical plant boom of the 1970’s. Designing interior landscapes and working with commercial interior decorators, served as his foundation for the Wedding and Special Events Industry. During this time, he developed a healthy obsession for plants and flowers. “Flowers and plant materials are an extraordinary medium for artistic expression.” This phrase has become the mantra for the design team at Anthony Gowder Designs, Inc.


In 1980, Anthony opened his first flower shop on Philadelphia’s Mainline. That shop soon grew into four, which he owned and operated for ten years. He returned to his hometown of Chicago. Anthony Gowder Designs, Inc. (a professional florist and special event décor company) was established in 1998.

Anthony Gowder is a Master Designer and enjoys a national reputation. His design talents have been requested from the White House to the Sultanate of Brunei.

 Anthony Gowder
Anthony Gowder Designs, Inc.

Lanie Hartman
I started with BBJ 20 years ago as a part time receptionist, and full time piano teacher. After a while, I was approached to be a full time salesperson, and have become totally addicted to our wonderful industry. I am now the Senior Executive Sales Manager. BBJ is based in Skokie, Illinois, and with the help of the BBJ team, we make the most exquisite table settings here in Chicago and all around the country. I have the most fun watching a plain room turn into the most amazing event.


 Lanie Hartman
BBJ Table Fashions, Senior Executive Sales Manager

Andrea Liss
Award-winning designer Andrea Liss, founder and creative director of Hannah Handmade, has been a leading innovator of couture stationery trends since 1991. Her thriving design firm specializes in luxury custom invitations created for a diverse mix of socialites, celebrities, corporations, and non-profit arts organizations including some of the world’s most prominent families and private individuals.
Andrea is regularly called upon by top event planners around the world in search of the very best. Her fusion of opulent and unexpected materials and master’s eye for detail give each of her invitations the unmistakable Hannah touch. Her commitment to excellence in both her products and service, combined with her passion and depth of experience have earned her many long-standing high-profile clients and industry awards.


 Andrea Liss
Founder, Hannah Handmade

Anthony Navarro
Anthony Navarro has been planning, coordinating, and executing events for well over a decade. Growing up in a family of Restaurateurs, knowing how to make people feel comfortable at any event is second nature. A native to Chicago, Anthony had graduated from DePaul University and began working in a hotel and mastered the art of planning corporate meetings, social events, and weddings. Having learned how to be overly organized and ready for the best and the worst, working as a restaurant and catering event planner, Anthony’s main goal has always been to plan a memorable and meaningful event for his clients. Starting Liven It Up Events was a dream come true and truly enjoys having the ability to work in a variety of distinctive spaces, crafting unique events. From assisting on the day of an event to creating an event from start to finish, Anthony’s experience makes it an enjoyable and simple process.
Anthony is also the co-founder of organization called, STAND UP, Business Professionals for Marriage Equality and co-creator and co-Host of the Talk Show, "The Wedding Planners". He is one of the co-authors of "Professional Wedding Planning Advice, Tips & Secrets from Top Wedding Professionals" and “The Business of Becoming A Wedding Planner, How to Build a Lucrative Wedding Planning Business by Designing the Most Incredible Weddings for Your Clients.”


 Anthony Navarro
Liven It Up Events

Dennis Remer
No matter how over the top it is, Dennis Remer’s attention to detail and ability to produce a client’s vision is what sets him apart from the rest. A Michigan native, Dennis moved to Chicago at 17 to embark on his dream of stage design and theatrical lighting. While attending Columbia College, he was able to see that his love of transforming spaces went beyond the stage and he began a career in event lighting and production. Dennis has designed and produced movie premiers, award shows, concerts, fashion shows, private events and galas in Chicago and many locations throughout the United States. In 2009 TPAN presented Dennis with the Charles E. Clifton Leadership Award. At the 2010 BizBash Chicago Event and Style Awards he won for best lighting design. In 2011, BizBash featured Dennis as 1 - of 68 most innovative event pros in the event world. In 2014 Dennis will start his next adventure as Owner of MDR Creative Inc. A production management, design, and resource company.


 Dennis Remer
Production Management and Design MDR Creative

Kathy Ruff
Tablescapes Event Rentals and the most extensive online product catalog available for party rentals in the Chicagoland area. Here you may peruse over 2000 party rental products and see firsthand how Tablescapes has changed the look of Chicago’s parties.
Tablescapes, Chicago’s premier event rental company, is located in downtown Chicago with delivery service throughout the Midwest and with shipping available nationwide. Since its founding over 20 years ago, Tablescapes remains committed to being a design leader and continuing to make new types of “event equipment that doesn’t look rented” available to its customers. From tables, chairs and lounge furniture to plates, glasses and wedding accessories, Tablescapes provides well-designed items across its entire product range.


 Kathy Ruff

Register Now

Register today for the best in wedding forecasting. The event will be held Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL. Cost to attend this one-day event is $299 and includes a full day of sessions, lunch, a closing reception and breaks. Space is limited so register today.

Go back to top