Monday, November 2, 2015

Our Chief Event Strategist & Designer Featured! Jewels of the Virgin Isles: Amaraé Blyden-Richards

Jewels of the Virgin Isles is a feature series profiling Virgin Islanders in the diaspora who are excelling in their respective fields and/or positively representing the USVI abroad.

Amaraé Blyden-Richards will be the first to say that she is living the life of her dreams though the story is still unfolding. As the chief event strategist and designer of Plan Perfectly, Blyden-Richards is living her entrepreneurial dream and making dreams come true for brides around the world.
Born on St. Croix to Karen Blyden and former Sen. Usie Richards, Blyden-Richards was raised on St. Thomas, and said she was exposed to the world of event planning and marketing while still in high school.
During her junior and senior years, she worked for a local catering company managing high-end events on St. Thomas and Water Island. This experience opened her eyes to a grander level of living and working, thus opening the door to what would become a passion for luxury events and wedding planning.
Never satisfied with mediocrity, Blyden-Richards excelled during her years at Joseph Sibilly Elementary School, All Saints Cathedral School and Charlotte Amalie High School. Upon graduation in 2003, she attended the University of the Virgin Islands, capitalizing on numerous opportunities to study abroad in Florida, Spain and Denmark, all as an ambassador for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Since she loved being adventurous, Blyden-Richards eagerly accepted the challenge to participate in educational programs such as the National Student Exchange in Miami and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation internship in Washington, D.C., in order to expand her awareness of other cultures. The foundation established during her childhood through her involvement in the Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, Future Business Leaders of America and the Moravian Youth for Christ (through the New Herrnhut Moravian Church.
As a result, Blyden-Richards developed a yearning during her childhood to do and experience more in her life. Beyond these extra-curricular activities, she also traveled extensively for cultural enrichment to various places including France, Italy, the Caribbean, the continental U.S. and Hawaii.
Blyden-Richards said she also benefitted from dance, swimming and sailing lessons, all of which taught her that life is for the taking and that there are no limitations to what one can achieve.

As a multicultural wedding specialist, Blyden-Richards helps couples achieve wedding day success by telling their story in a unique way. “Throughout life, I have always been intrigued by culture, romance and individuality,” she says. “Weddings are not merely a celebration of love, but they are a joining of two families, cultures, and traditions.”
Driven by the mantra that doing what you love translates to not working a day in your life, Blyden-Richards said she developed an interest in running her own business early on, but she admittedly took a safer route than most who jump headfirst into entrepreneurship.
“There are only a few other entrepreneurs in my family, but I am inspired by the example set by my grandparents, Rosita Barry Blyden and Titus Blyden,” she said. They acquired properties and worked hard while raising 10 children so that they could be landlords and not renters.
This legacy taught her that success was not based on the amount of money one has or the education attained, but rather how one uses the skills and resources they have been given to make a better life for the next generation.
Always ready with a brilliant smile and upbeat personality, Blyden-Richards said she also attributes her accomplishments to the adage, “nothing beats a trial but a failure.”
“I live by the principle that my first idea might not work but if I accept that things happen for a reason, then my failure is simply redirecting me to my triumph! I also trust God and His timing in all that I do,” she reveals.
Not just passionate about her event work, Blyden-Richards loves the Virgin Islands and is saddened by the observation that her home community seems to place a higher value on “imported” rather than locally cultivated talent. “It is truly disheartening and I want to show young entrepreneurs that they are valuable and have a great deal to offer,” she reflects.
“It is my hope that individuals in power will recognize this and support local businesses before seeking contractors from off-island.” In light of this Blyden-Richards said she desires to mentor business owners who are struggling to run their establishments and help them to see things from a different perspective.
She is clearly making her mark both as a business owner and an academic professional and, with a wisdom beyond her years, is sure to exceed all of her goals in the decades to come.
A Nugget for V.I. Youth: “You have what it takes! We are from a little island, but we are exposed to a great deal, which places us at a unique advantage. There is nothing holding you back from achieving your goals. Get a mentor, learn your craft, hone your skills and take the plunge.”
Little Known Fact(s): “I would eat stewed cherries for dessert every day if I could!”

Loán Sewer is a marketing and tourism consultant and proud Virgin Islander who resides in Washington, D.C. She is also a founding member of the USVI Alliance Inc., an organization focused on reconnecting the Virgin Islands diaspora with the local community and host of the USVI Economic Development Summit on the U.S. mainland. Follow her on Twitter @LoTalksTourism 

Monday, June 29, 2015

We very excited to share this news! The results for the Wedding Industry Experts 2015 Awards have been announced!!! Here are our results: Amarae Blyden-Richards MBA, Chief Event Strategist & Designer of Plan Perfectly

Most Popular Wedding Planner

1st in West Palm Beach, 1st in Florida, 3rd in United States, 8th World Wide

Most Popular New Event Designer1st in West Palm Beach, 1st in Florida, 1st in United States, 2nd World Wide

We are blessed to have such amazing supporters and exceptional past clients! We pledge to continue to serve our community with diligence, by providing all of our clients with exceptional strategic planning and unparalleled event design.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Our Published Styled Shoot: Tropical Twist on African Elegance

Great News!!! I've been sitting on this anxiously awaiting it's release and I finally get to share it with all of you!!!! Thank you to all the amazing, hardworking vendors that made it all possible! Remember that we specialize in multicultural weddings, give us a call and we'll create an event that truly exudes your essence!
"With each hailing from opposite ends of the globe, we blended a celebration of the bride's Caribbean culture and groom's African heritage. The vibrant shades of red, green, yellow and blue popped perfectly against The Bamboo Gallery's tropical oasis. Petals from Heaven Miami made the theme blossom with exquisite arrangements. By using lush tropical flowers, raw textures and earthy influences, which paid homage to the bride's Caribbean roots. To honor the groom's African ancestry, Amarae of Plan Perfectly decided to incorporate a libation ceremony. During this custom, holy water is poured, prayers are recited to the ancestral spirits and names of influential family who have departed are recited. The ritual provides an opportunity for the couple to seek guidance and wisdom from their elders. Throughout our shoot, we featured gorgeous wooden pieces, some of which were custom built exclusively for this shoot by the exceptionally creative team at Confetti Family Event Rentals. The stylishly afrocentric wedding stationery provided by Bibi Invitations flowed flawlessly into the design. Mayu's Cakes created a cultural confection that was colorfully modern and sweet! Dessa B's makeup artistry and Ann Marie styles hairstyling were on hand to ensure that our bridal party looked absolutely stunning. Our ever so dapper groom wore a Vera Wang tuxedo from Men's Warehouse. Our gorgeous bride and bridesmaid were adorned elegantly with attire from Wonderland Bridal. This oh so cultural and colorful shoot, exudes love with international flair. The amazingly talented, Aisha of Love Daley Photography, flawlessly captured our styled shoot in all its radiant glory!"
Want to see more, click here! Design and Coordination: Plan Perfectly Venue: The Bamboo Gallery Photo: Love Daley Photography Floral: Petals from Heaven Furniture & Prop Rentals: Confetti Family Event Productions Printed Goods: Bibi Invitations Cake: Mayu's Cakes Bride & Bridesmaid Attire: Wonderland Bridal Couture Make Up: Dessa B Makeup Artistry Groom Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Eventfully yours, Amarae`Blyden-Richards, MBA Chief Event Strategist & Designer Plan Perfectly 1-800-920-6143

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Our Happy Couple: Humberto + Laura I Sunny Isles, FL

It was truly a joy seeing all of our hard work come to fruition in this beautiful celebration of love. Warning, you may need some tissues for this one! We wish Humberto and Laura endless bliss as they continue to create more memories together.

Humberto + Laura I Sunny Isles, FL from Flow Weddings on Vimeo.