Gwinnett event company recognized wedding coordinating website

A Lawrenceville-based wedding company has been named one of the best in the business by a website that specializes in connecting couples with companies that work specifically with weddings

Porche Weddings and Special Events received WeddingWire.com’s Couples’ Choice Award for Wedding Planning and Wedding Photography. The company is co-owned by husband and wife team, Keeyawna and Damien Porche. Keeyawna is also the business’ lead wedding coordinator.

“(We are) super humble and excited at the same time,” Keeyawna Porche said in a statement. “Our 2016 is definitely off to a great start.”

Porche explained that the awards are designed to recognize wedding professionals on WeddingWire who are known for providing professional and responsive quality service. Businesses that win the awards are considered to be among the top 5 percent of companies on WeddingWire, and are chosen based on reviews customers leave on the website.

The business is located at 279 W. Crogan St., in Lawrenceville.

Suwanee-based real estate agent receives luxury home marketing specialist certification

Real Estate Expert Advisers owner Tracy Cousineau recently received her Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialists designation from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

“Tracy Cousineau is an example of a real (estate) professional who has worked to develop market knowledge and the special skills and competencies necessary to provide exception service in the fine homes and estates marketplace,” institute President Laurie Moore-Moore said in a statement.

“Affluent buyers and sellers can turn to sales professionals who have this designation and be confident that they have special expertise and experience in the luxury home marketplace.”

The designation is reserved for members of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing who are in the top 10 percent in their market, according to the institute’s website. They must also be able to show that they are an expert in the luxury home and estate market.

“I am committed to providing outstanding service to my clients,” Cousineau said in a statement. “The Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist designation is evidence of my ability to meet the needs of affluent buyers and sellers.

“My membership in the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing also provides me with marketing tools and networking capabilities that benefit my clients.”

Norcross-based company announces new water-based pet cremations

Pet owners who want to have their deceased pets cremated, but don’t want to harm the environment in the process have a new option in metro Atlanta.

Norcross-based Heavenly Paws Pet Aquamation announced that it is one of the first companies in metro Atlanta, if not the first, to offer a water-based cremation option that had previously been offered primarily in large institutions such as veterinary colleges.

The process uses water flow, low temperatures and alkalinity to accelerate the natural process of decomposition, according to company officials. Heavenly Paws officials said the aquamation process eliminates the threat of dangerous emissions and greenhouses gases.

The process’ carbon footprint is about one-tenth of the impact made by traditional cremations, they said.

“I wanted to bring this cleaner and gentler method of aftercare to our community to take care of our pets when they pass away,” Heavenly Paws owner Randy Stewart said in a statement. “We and our pets are mainly water so what’s more natural than to leave the world in water?”

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I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta. I eventually wandered away from home and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I first tried my hand at majoring in film for a couple of years. And then political sc