In Gratitude

As 2010 comes to a close and I prepare for a night of celebration, I am reflecting on the last twelve months and the journeys I have taken. Some were fabulous. Some were challenging. Some made me laugh and rejoice. Others made me cry and question. But these experiences all have one thing in common… the brought me right here. For that I am eternally grateful.

I have been inspired by those around me. I have seen friends and family challenged with health issues handle them with grace and determination. I have seen those I love fight the good fight, holding fast to their convictions, with passion and integrity. I have seen my nieces and nephews, ages 2, 5, 10, and 13, grow and change, giving me renewed faith in the future. Little Molly reminds me to be fearless, Keller keeps me present with his curiosity and love of creating, Jeremy makes me proud with his sweet spirit and appreciation of family, and Sami, only 13, is the girl I dream of being in my next life… smart, kind, and a star softball player whose athletic ability and love of the game amaze me. I have strengthened friendships with dear, longtime friends, and made new ones whose character, humor, and support make me better everyday. From the extraordinary people I met in West Palm Beach to those I visited in New York. From my mastermind friends to my team at Wedding and Event Specialists. From the brilliant songwriters I work with to the clients who trust us to redefine some of the most important moments of their lives. From the childhood friends to my business school boys, who keep me laughing and help me take myself a little less seriously. From my sister, in-laws, and parents, to my husband, who truly wakes up each day thinking, “How can I make her happy?” and makes it happen. And to all of you who take the time to read these blog posts.. thank you.

I am grateful for my life, my health, my friends, family, and clients, every blessing, the miracles surrounding us, and the possibilities of tomorrow. My resolutions… be present, fearless, creative, loving, open. And while I’ll strive to be more, I’ll remember I’m enough, right here, right now.

Wishing you a fabulous 2011, filled with health, happiness, and success… on your own terms. Happy New Year! xo

Love,

Felice

Dinner with Mindy Weiss

I just returned from an amazing trip to Palm Beach, where I had dinner with the talented Mindy Weiss, watched a wedding cake being decorated by the legendary Sylvia Weinstock, and met the most brilliant people in the wedding industry. It was an honor and a privilege.

In fact, the excitement of being there reminded me of my first songwriting conference and that feeling I felt. Excited. Filled with possibility. Living a dream come true.

I have decided to fill my life with more of these adventures. Experiences that are life-changing and extraordinary. I am blessed to work with clients who know that inspiring their own song will be their dream come true.

So… what’s your dream?

My Dream Team

One thing I’ve learned repeatedly through my life is the importance of surrounding myself with the best and the brightest. People who believe in me. Inspire me. Radiate integrity. Help me see things in a different way. Celebrate with me and provide support when I need it. I like to call this group my “Dream Team,” and I am so lucky to have friends, family, and colleagues who are kind, wise, and push me to “go big!”

For the next several days, I will truly be surrounding myself by another “Dream Team” — the best in the wedding industry, including celebrity planner Mindy Weiss and Sylvia Weinstock (the queen of cake). We are coming together at a fabulous resort in Palm Beach to share ideas and best practices, while getting to know each other and our businesses better.  I can’t wait!

Thought for today: Let’s celebrate our own “Dream Teams.” Thanks to all of you for being a part of mine. xo

Crash The Wedding


We’re just hours away from “Crash The Wedding,” and I’m getting so excited!

Kat Bailess, the talented actress and a wonderful girl, will be the bride, and let me tell you… she looks stunning in her gowns. Yes “gowns” plural! You’ll have to see it to believe it!

I can’t wait until she walks down the aisle to one of our custom songs. I know it will be breathtaking!

I’ll definitely report back on all of the festivities! Hope to see you there!

xo

Enjoy the Silence: Life is Like a Song

When asked about his talent, renowned pianist Artur Schnabel told the Chicago Daily News in 1958, “The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides.”

The pauses… I love that! Because the truth is that anyone can sit down at the piano and have access to the same seven basic notes. Beautiful music is a result of the order of the tones, the tempo, and, yes, the silence between the noise.

They say life is like a song. So I started thinking… our days are filled with so many things. Work, errands, activities, drop-offs and pick-ups. These are, in fact, the “notes” in our lives. And they are important. But the beauty is overwhelmingly in the “pauses”. Our time spent relaxing, celebrating with friends, laughing with family, traveling and embarking on new adventures. Ultimately, though, it’s the perfect combination of the notes and the silence, of the work and the play, that create a life to be treasured, and a “song” to be celebrated.

So I ask myself,, “What does my song sound like?” What kind of life am I creating? Playing the same note too many times gets boring. Running around completing to-do’s won’t create a song, just scales, begging for some variety and a little silence. But life without responsibility, accomplishment and service to others? That just leaves a lot of empty space.

Today, I will remember I am the master composer of my life. That I choose the notes, the tempo, and, of course, the silence. And that I have the power to create a lovely song, a life extraordinary.

So any advice? How is your song coming along?

The Best Love Songs You’ve Never Heard

As you plan your wedding day, don’t forget the music! There are so many special moments throughout the ceremony and reception that can be transformed with the perfect song.

Take the opportunity to create your own wedding soundtrack featuring songs that have heartfelt significance to you and your beloved. What music was playing the night you met? The first time you danced? The evening you got engaged?

If you want something a little more unique, do some searching on iTunes and the internet. There are hundreds of indie artists showcasing their work, and many of them have talent that rivals the biggest recording artists. The best have the stunning ability to convey and elicit emotions through music, creating life-long memories.

If you are looking for a beautiful, distinctive love song to feature at your wedding, consider the following list I created: “The Best Love Songs You’ve Never Heard.”

These are some of my favorites…

Now That Rocks: Ready-Made Workout Playlists

I was talking to my friend Julie last night, who LOVES to exercise. Always has. Always will. In fact, she’s even started teaching spinning classes. Amazing! Me… not such a big workout fan. I wanna like it. Really I do! But if there’s anything I can do to make exercising more fun, I’m in. That’s why I am such a fan of this new find.

If you are looking for some workout inspiration but don’t have time to create a new playlist, consider this. There’s a cool website that does the work for you. Cadence Revolution has designed more than 150 playlists featuring hundreds of indie artists. You can download the hour-long mp3’s or pick and choose individual songs. In fact, a typical playlist includes three sections: “Warm It Up,” “Crank It Up,” and “Cool It Down.” Stay in shape and become the hippest music-lover around? Now that rocks!

Check out www.CadenceRevolution.com.

Get Wed like a Celeb: Choosing Music For Your Walk Down the Aisle

Custom runner for NBA star Rip Hamilton's wedding designed by "The Original Runner Company"

….

With more than two million weddings happening in the United States every year, finding a way to make yours stand out can be a challenge.  Brides-to-be are often inspired by their favorite celebrities, who tend to be trendsetters by finding unique ways to create a memorable experience.

According to event planner extraordinaire, Mindy Weiss, you can “Personalize your wedding like a celebrity would do. Celebs step out of the box and customize their weddings.  That is what you need to do so people remember your wedding and it doesn’t become another cookie cutter event.  Taking things in a different direction – maybe not with traditional classical music but The Beatles instead – that’s a very a big trend right now.”

So what are these celebrities choosing for their walk down the aisle?

  • Melanie Lynskey (“Two and a Half Men”) and Jimmi Simpson: “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” by the Smiths
  • Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell: Guests joined a choir in singing Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is”
  • Yasmine Bleeth (“Baywatch”) and Paul Cerrito: “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak
  • Courteney Cox and David Arquette: “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Wings
  • Kirk Douglas and Anne Douglas: “Love and Marriage” by Frank Sinatra
  • Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley: “December 23” by Josh Kelley. Katherine mentioned to Josh several months before the wedding that she really wanted him to write a beautiful song to walk down the aisle to. He wrote a song, a guitar and cello piece called “December 23,” which was specifically dedicated to Katherine.

So dreamy, right? I still dream of being serenaded. Is there anything more romantic?

Well, on the off chance that you are not marrying a talented recording artist, never fear! You can still feel like a star. Our team of hit songwriters creates custom wedding songs for our clients that can be performed live for your breathtaking walk down the aisle.

So if you could pick anyone to write and perform your processional song, whom would you choose?

Picking the Perfect Wedding Music: The Recessional

You have been pronounced husband and wife, had your first married kiss, and are ready to head back down the aisle. This is one of my favorite musical moments. No matter what your wedding has been like until then, whether extremely formal, beachy casual, or somewhere in between, this is your opportunity to choose the perfect song to reflect you.

In my case, as soon as my husband stepped on the glass (a Jewish tradition) and gave me my first married kiss, my mom had instructed an amazing gospel choir to sneak in the back of the room and loudly sing one word: “Hallelujah!” (Let’s just say she was pretty excited this wedding had taken place.) Stunned, our guests were delighted as the gospel choir filed up the aisle, looped back, and led the entire bridal party out to “Love Train.” It was joyful, fun, and happy, provoking our guests to clap along and cheer as we exited. For us, it was perfect. A gospel choir in a synagogue? Yep, perfect.

That’s our recessional song. What’s yours?

Even just checking out my iTunes song catalog, I found these fun choices:

  • “Born To Be My Baby” by Bon Jovi
  • “One Way or Another” by Blondie
  • “It’s a Miracle” by Barry Manilow
  • “Let’s Get It Started” Black Eyed Peas
  • “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
  • “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
  • “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé

And those were just artists in the B’s! Of course, if you can’t find the perfect song, our hit songwriters could create something just for you… for your string quartet, gospel choir, even bridal party to perform.

So tell me…what do you think is/was/would be the perfect song for your recessional?

www.felicekeller.com

Felice Keller Productions: Creating Magic Through Music

Seat Them At The “In Your Eyes” Table

It’s not just about the flowers, the food, the décor. The mark of an amazing party is the warmth you feel and the connection to the guest(s) of honor.

I love feeling like I know someone better after I leave his or her event. If it’s a wedding, I have a sense of the bride and groom…how they met, their likes, their love, their story. If it’s a Bar Mitzvah, it’s wonderful seeing their commitment to their family, their faith, and their unique interests.  Even birthday parties and other special occasions, those extra details give you a window to the special person you are celebrating.

Today’s Tip: Instead of labeling your tables numerically, consider naming them for your favorite songs. If it’s a wedding or anniversary, chose titles of songs that have special significance to your relationship. The song playing on the car radio at the end of your first date. The song that you rocked out to last New Year’s Eve. Your “Our Song” of “they’re playing our song.” For those occasions honoring you individually, the sky’s the limit. You can choose your favorite songs: silly, serious, and everything in between.

I’m nearing my second anniversary, so for our next big celebration, I’m definitely taking my own advice. Here is one song title that I’ll be using for a table name.

Let My Love Open The Door – This Pete Townshend song always makes me smile. Featured in a poignant moment of the great movie “Dan in Real Life,” “Let My Love Open the Door” reminds me how amazing my husband is. Once when I was frustrated sitting in the dreaded LA traffic, I called him to vent. I was near tears, when suddenly he started singing this song. By the time he started trying to harmonize with himself, I was hysterically laughing. Now in those nightmare traffic moments, I’ll just call and say, “Babe, I need you to sing that song.” And the best part is…he does.

Another must-have table name for us is “Here Today,” the song I co-wrote with the brilliant Andrea Stolpe (Faith Hill, Jimmy Wayne) especially for my wedding day.  Not only is it the perfect reflection of us, but it also signifies the inspiration for my custom songwriting company, and a new adventure for us both.

Not up for song titles? Use your favorite artists’ names instead. Check out this beautiful table “number” designed by Anne K. Rodriguez, “The Paper Stylist” (thepaperstylist.com).

www.felicekeller.com

Picture courtesy Jordana Taylor Hazel

An award-winning songwriter based in Los Angeles, Felice Keller is the CEO of Felice Keller Productions, a company that creates magic through music. FKP makes special occasions extraordinary by commissioning hit writers for artists like Faith Hill, Clay Aiken, and even Johnny Cash to create, record and perform custom songs written especially for their clients.

Links