John Gandy Events A Full Service Planning and Design Firm Located in Tallahassee, Florida

John Gandy Headshot 2

Since 1990, John Gandy of John Gandy Events in Tallahassee, Florida has been setting trends in event planning, with his specialty being weddings.  His tagline reads, “We don’t follow trends, we set them.”  Based on his reputation and results, he could not have chosen a more accurate statement!

John Gandy Headshot

I.     John Gandy and His Philosophy + Inspiration

John Gandy is a brilliant designer, planner, and coordinator regardless of the event, but especially weddings.  He has a gift of being able to relate to people quite easily.  He knows how to make his clients feel comfortable and earn their trust.

John has a unique vision that is all his own. He is able to meet with clients and immediately set them as ease, ensuring their dream will be achieved through a collaboration of their ideas and his design knowledge.


John’s philosophy to his clients is quite simple:  Be Authentic – Be Realistic – Be In the Moment.   Each of these pieces of advice will keep the bride grounded and allow for a more pleasant wedding planning experience.

Here is John’s three-point plan:

Be Authentic:  Be yourself by staying true to yourself.  Don’t get lost in other people’s dreams for you.

Be Realistic:  Make sure you know your budget and what it can withstand.  Don’t set yourself up for disappointment.

Be In the Moment:  It all goes by so fast.  Enjoy every moment of it!


Much of John’s inspiration comes from his extensive travel which has taken him to places as far away as China.  He visited the Forbidden City in Beijing where the Ming Dynasty once ruled from their opulent imperial palace.  It is experiences like these that build on John’s repertoire of inspiration which translates into ideas for his clients.  It is not only the pieces of art that he collects during his travel that are significant, but the experiences that he can draw upon to design a truly unique event.


II.     The Team at John Gandy Events

John has assembled a team of experts to ensure that each wedding goes perfectly and attention is given to every single detail.  Because John Gandy Events is a full-service planning and design firm, every bride can choose to have a planner, coordinator, and designer every step of the way including on their wedding day. The brides may also choose to only have one or two of the professionals on their journey.  Whatever is most helpful and comfortable to the bride is available to them at John Gandy Events!

John Gandy Events Team

Here’s an introduction to the team:

Troy Rentz serves as an Event Coordinator and Event Team Leader, as well as Coordinator of Rentals. Troy is a hard-working, natural leader with an impressive eye for design. He is well informed in a variety of unique trends and styles and he has an excellent work ethic making sure the design plan is executed flawlessly.

Juli Downs serves as the Bridal Coordinator, has been coordinating weddings for years, beginning in Atlanta when she was an Atlanta Falcon Cheerleader. She has been a member of the John Gandy Events team for many years. Juli’s kind and calm demeanor coupled with her impeccable taste and extensive knowledge of fashion and design, makes her perfect for our team. She has an uncanny ability to make every bride feel special on their wedding day.

Janice Powell: Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes to make an exquisite wedding reception design all come together? Just ask Janice Powell, our Production Designer and Rental Coordinator. Janice brings the design vision to life whether it’s transforming an indoor reception to rustic elegance or adding the glamour and sparkle to a seemingly casual venue, she knows what it takes and has the drive to get it done.

Emily Pozzouli, a recent graduate of FSU, is one of our newest Event Managers. Her passions for design and planning are what make her a perfect fit to the team. Her favorite part of the job is working with clients to help bring their creative visions to life.

Steven Phodes is the “GandyLand” Warehouse Manager and an invaluable asset to our team. Steven keeps all 13,000 square feet of GandyLand organized and all the rental inventory in tip top shape and ready to go. His carpentry skill and building knowledge allows him to customize items for clients to make each detail even more unique

Scott Kelley works behind the scenes in the warehouse alongside Steven. His ability to read a situation and decide what is needed to provide for the best possible outcome allows our team to be more flexible with our inventory and provide the best options to our clients.

Amanda Karmanos Barksdale is John Gandy Events’ go-to stationery designer.  Amanda is the go-to custom stationery designer. She joined the team 6 years ago so she could see her designs come alive at each event. Her creative side, coupled with her fun personality and willingness to take on a challenge makes her a special asset as an Event Manager for our events.

Karen Bell is the Executive Assistant to John Gandy. Karen’s vast experience in the hotel industry allows her to use that knowledge and her excellent organizational skills to assist our clients with hotel bookings nationwide.

III.          The GandyLand Warehouse

The 13,000 square foot GandyLand warehouse contains the most exquisite pieces of wedding inventory.  Filled with priceless pieces collected from around the world, a bride can have her choice of almost anything she desires.  My photographer took some photos on our visit to GandyLand, but there was no way to show the beauty or size of this majestic fantastical place.

John Gandy Warehouse

From vases to chandeliers to sofas and chaise lounges, there is nothing that John Gandy cannot provide.  Due to his extensive travel, most of the pieces are rich in history.  I was fortunate enough to see several of the pieces up close and all of them were stunning.  It would be a fun adventure to plan a wedding with all the pieces available in GandyLand!  Brides can be certain that they will be surrounded with exquisite pieces that come from beautiful places from around the world on their wedding day.

Check out these photos below for more of the beautiful pieces contained in GandyLand!

John Gandy Warehouse
John Gandy Warehouse

John Gandy Warehouse

John Gandy Warehouse


John Gandy Events Wedding Planners

10 Signature Drinks to Consider Serving at Your Wedding Add Your Own Special Touch to the Drink Selection

Black and White Martini

With all the hard work that goes into planning a wedding, don’t overlook the importance of your drink selections.  Of course you have put lots of time into making the important decisions like the location, the dress, and your vows, but don’t let the bar become an afterthought.  You can make an impact on your guests that will last long after your wedding is over if you decide to have a signature drink that captures the mood of your wedding.  I’ve listed ten signature drinks below that I think are “picture perfect” for weddings.  If none of these suit you, there are plenty of choices out there with a little research!

Black and White Martini

1.     Black and White Martini

Having an elegant affair?  Go all black and white with your drinks by serving martinis straight up with black olive stirrers. (Courtesy of Merriment Events)

Blueberry Mojito

2.     Blueberry Mojito

Not wearing your “something blue”, make it about your drink instead.  This twist on a classic mojito is fruity from fresh blueberries and just as refreshing as the minty classic. (Courtesy of A Crimson Kiss)

Blushing Kiss Signature Drink

3.     Blushing Kiss

This grapefruit gin martini has all the hallmarks for a great time and, judging by its name, it should be drank immediately following your first kiss as husband and wife. (Courtesy of Bakers Royal)

Champagne and Fruit

4.     Champagne and Fruit

Sometimes a signature drink is more about the garnishes than the alcohol, like in the case of this champagne cocktail with slices of soaked pears in glass and skewered blueberries on top. (Courtesy of We Tie The Knots)

Elderflower White Cosmopolitan

5.     Elderflower White Cosmopolitan

This beautiful drink is tops in our book because of the gorgeous flowers floating in each glass.  Serve the perfect Cosmopolitan at your wedding! (Courtesy of Brides)

Lavender Infusion Signature Drink

6.     Lavender Infusion 

Having a Spring wedding?  Combine your champagne with floral lavender by adding a sprig of the flower to each flute. This drink is particularly a plus if it matches your wedding colors.  However, don’t be afraid to lavender to your wedding color as an accent such as with this Signature Drink. (Courtesy of Bridal Musings)

Pineable Run Tea Punch
7.     Pineapple Run Tea Punch

This one is for all the Southern Belles!  Who doesn’t love a tasty punch in a beautiful bowl served in perfect tea cups?  This tropical concoction is perfect for a Spring or Summer wedding or just about anytime a wedding takes place in the South. (Courtesy of The Daily South)

Pretty in Pink Signature Cocktail
8.     Pretty in Pink

Planning an outdoor summer wedding?  Then this may be the signature drink for you and your groom! Refreshing from the fresh lemon juice, bubbly from sparkling wine and alcohol-infused with gin, it’s a all-around winner! (Courtesy of Apartment 34)

The White Wedding Signature Drink
9.     The White Wedding

This signature drink is called the St. Germain cocktail and is made with lime, white cranberry juice and vodka.  However, for occasions involving matrimony,  it is referred to by its proper name: The White Wedding.  (Courtesy of Style Me Pretty)

Watermelon Refresher Signature Drink
10.     Watermelon Refreser

If you’re hosting a summer wedding, think about using seasonal fruit like watermelon in your cocktails. This recipe calls for a strawberry-watermelon combo, healthy splash of vodka and hints of basil, ginger and lime. (Courtesy of Style Me Pretty)

Wedding Signature Drinks


Wedding Attire Simplied What To Wear and What Not to Wear

Wedding Meme

Wedding Meme

With summer on its way and wedding season in full swing, I was inspired by this article on The Knot to (hopefully) help people choose the right outfits for summer weddings.  Let’s face it, some of the attire requirements can get a little confusing!  Hopefully, this article will clarify some of that confusion and help you look your best!


Raise a Glass to the Perfect Toast How to Put Smiles on Everyone's Faces


Champagene Toast

Whether you are the best man making the traditional toast or a member of the wedding party wanting to salute the happy couple, achieving the perfect toast can be elusive.  However, with a few simple steps, that elusive perfect toast can be within reach.  You words can resonate with the newlyweds and the rest of the wedding party making your contribution to the wedding not only appropriate, but unforgettable.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Be sincere and speak from the heart.
  2. Use anecdotes or stories about the couple that are appropriate.
  3. Be interesting and entertaining, but use humor sparingly.
  4. Do not hesitate to use note cards, if necessary.
  5. Keep it short. Be succinct.
  6. Do not embarrass the couple.
  7. Emphasize why the couple are a perfect match.
  8. Begin or end the speech with a romantic quote to help start or end the toast.
  9. Thank everyone for attending and supporting the couple.
  10. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Delivering the perfect toast is an accomplishment.  By following these ten simple steps, you can dazzle the wedding party and charm the newlyweds.  Taking the time to both write and practice your speech early will ensure that your speech goes smoothly.  After all, you want to be memorable, not forgettable; succinct, not verbose; charming, not overbearing.  Most of all, you want your toast to be exactly what the newlyweds want and put even bigger smiles on their blissful faces.


Honey Lake Plantation Where Wedded Bliss Meets Gulf Coast Tradition



Positioned on the Gulf Coast near Florida’s Big Bend, Honey Lake Plantation offers every amenity to even the most discerning couple.

Let a Model T usher you to your wedding ceremony and have a spectacular firework display culminate your entire wedding extravaganza.  These are but a few of the exciting amenities that Honey Lake Plantation offers its brides and grooms.


Jeri + Ken’s Wedding January 10, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida


“When you trip over love, it is easy to get up. But when you fall in love, it is impossible to stand again.”
– Albert Einstein

With approximately ninety guests looking on, Jeri and Ken became Mr. and Mrs. Ken Madden on January 10, 2015 in Tallahassee.  The Los Robles Women’s Club provided the beautiful setting for the ceremony on the crisp January day.

IMG_0411Mr. and Mrs. Ken Madden
(Photo © 2015 Woodland Fields Photography)