Meet The Team

The details DO matter! They come together to create a feeling that will not soon be forgotten. When your guests share about the fun they had at your wedding, they may not remember the exact song, the color of lighting, the entree you served, etc… but they will remember the awe when they first walked into the reception, the warmth they felt when you shared your first dance, the surge of energy they got when the band hit the stage, and the feeling of hope and romance as they watch you and your new spouse begin your new life together. They remember how they “felt” that night!

How do you want your guests to “feel” when leaving your wedding? Let us help you create and design the perfect details that your guests will remember for years to come!

  • Brandee Gaar


     I am a party planner and I LOVE planning parties! I designed my first soiree at the age of 6 when I convinced my babysitter to help me plan and execute a surprise anniversary party for my parents complete with invitations (their closest neighborhood friends of course!), decor (balloons, streamers and a home-made banner), wine (Asti Spumante…will never forget!) and hors d’ oeuvres (pigs in the blanket if my memory serves). It was a great night! Since then, my love of event planning has grown and my taste for the details has matured (thankfully!).

    I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Business Administration /Hospitality Management and was blessed to be on the opening team of the prestigious Gaylord Palms Resort here in Orlando, FL. After 6 years of planning large scale corporate events I decided to follow my passion for planning weddings…and so became Blush!

    Weddings excite a special emotion that gives me a high like no other event! I love everything about the process of planning a wedding. Hearing the engagement story (and how nervous he was), how he (or often she) picked the perfect ring, what their vision for the perfect day is and of course meeting the excited family members anxious to help in any way they can! My 2 favorite moments on the big day…the moment he sees his bride for the first time (sometimes during the first look, sometimes the moment she steps into the aisle) and the moment I get to preview the reception space with my newly married couple! I love seeing their eyes as they take in all of the details we have meticulously planned for so long and hearing my favorite expression “It’s so much better than I imagined!”.

    I am a mother to 3 stunningly beautiful little girls…Emma, Hannah and Lilly and wife to the love of my life, Ira. They are my biggest fans and I am blessed to get to live each day with them by my side!

  • Alison Watkins


    My dream of event planning came early on after I planned my high school prom.  I went on to attend the University of Central Florida where I earned my degree in Hospitality Management.  After graduation I became a Meeting Planner for the Emergency Medicine Learning & Resource Center where I planned and executed educational conferences from 50 – 400 attendees as well as designing special events for the non-profit organization.

    I have also worked for the American Automobile Association (AAA) where I collaborated with other planners to create fresh, exciting conferences and special events for the organization’s Board of Directors and other top club executives.  My extensive professional background in corporate and social event planning was the perfect fit for Blush!  I pride myself on excellent service and will accept nothing but the best for each of my clients.

    I am a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), I serve on the Advisory Board for the University of Central Florida’s Event Management Degree, and I am a member of Meeting Professionals International.

  • Maria Balestriere


    I am a born and raised Florida girl! I grew up in Ocala and moved to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida, where I received my bachelors degree. I started in the hospitality industry working at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center as a Conference Coordinator. It was an amazing experience and made the love I had for meeting & event planning even stronger. I went on to work for various companies such as the Laser Institute of America planning and executing conferences. I joined the Blush team in 2012 and love every second of it.

    I love EVERYTHING weddings! I love meeting my bride and groom, hearing about how they met and the proposal. Every couple has their own “story” and that is what makes every couple and every wedding unique.  I love the planning process and can’t wait to see the vision and hard work unfold on the wedding day.  No two weddings are the same. I love seeing and feeling the love in the room not only between the couple but from all of the family and friends who have been lucky enough to experience the journey of the couple thus far. The wedding isn’t the end but only the beginning of a beautiful marriage.

    As for myself, I have been extremely blessed to marry my college sweetheart, best friend, and love of my life.  We have been blessed with two amazing, beautiful children and I look forward to what our journey and our story holds for us in the future.

    “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible” ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

  • Lisa Hernandez


    As a wedding coordinator, I am dedicated to exceeding my clients’ expectations. I look to develop a personal relationship with my bride and groom, focusing on their needs to make each event unique and unforgettable. When I think of weddings, what comes to mind is one of the most memorable days in someone’s life and my passion is to assist couples in making that day a reality.

    I absolutely love attending weddings and working for Blush has given me the opportunity to plan them as well. Each wedding is very different but one thing always remains the same, that one look that the bride and groom give each other knowing it’s the beginning of their happily ever after…and that’s why I love what I do!

  • Lexie Knittel


    It’s my greatest joy to work in an industry built on the most beautiful foundation, love! Wedding days are electric. There is nothing more exciting to me than seeing each and every special detail come together. From the moment guests arrive to the first dance, the warm energy in the air is just contagious!

    Growing up, I was a Girl Scout which was the first time I realized there was a planner in me. I was always the first one to raise my hand to help coordinate our badge and volunteer activities. That ambitious attitude and eagerness to plan truly resonated with me. It was at Florida State University where I earned my degree in Hospitality Management. Not only did I serve on the Executive Board for Dance Marathon as the Event Management Chair (talk about a set up and break down!), but I also decided to take a Wedding Planning Certification course through The Bridal Society, which introduced me to the wonderful world of weddings. This was my “ah ha” moment! With 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry, I thrive off of creating memorable experiences and making my couples feel comfortable.

    When I’m not drooling over bridal gowns, tearing up during first dances or gushing over personal touches on wedding days, you’re most likely to find me exploring the Orlando food scene, twirling in front of Cinderella’s castle or, last but certainly not least, catching up on my latest Netflix binge.

    I can’t wait to be there with you on your special day!

  • Kristen Pughe


    Do what you love and love what you do.” This is how I feel about event planning. Ever since I could remember, I enjoyed coordinating and designing celebrations for any occasion. Born and raised in the Orlando area, I’ve always called Central Florida my home. However, I also grew up with a love for the Florida Gators, so it’s no surprise that I went off to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida.

    At UF, I graduated with honors and received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Prior to graduation, I saw my true potential for event planning as I planned and designed many unique events throughout the campus. I knew I had to pursue this passion following college because I couldn’t get over how much fulfillment event planning provided!

    In January 2015, I pursued a position with Blush after an avid Google search for the top event planners in Central Florida, and as the old saying goes the rest is history! I love helping couples with everything that goes into making their special day special. My goal is to always make the day enjoyable not just for the couple but also for their family, friends, and loved ones.

    To every couple I work with, I offer my passion for event planning as well as honesty, trust, commitment, hard work ethic, organization, and an optimistic spirit. You’ll never find me without a smile on my face. I can’t wait to work with you to create the day of your dreams and have some fun along the way!