Fashion Monday: Isabelle Armstrong

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Combining both classy and sexy, Isabelle Armstrong creates the perfect bridal gown that flatters every bride-to-be. Classically elegant and naturally beauty, Isabelle Armstrong kept timeless design in mind while using beautifully draped silks, hand beaded fabrics, delicate laces and textured fabrics this season. Isabelle Armstrong’s famed design team created dresses to go with the hottest trends of the season including feathers, florals, illusion sleeves, short frocks, and 3D effects.
luxury wedding dress elegant isabelle armstrong

These dramatic gowns are stunning show stoppers are the perfect way to make an impact with your dress in your wedding photos. If you’re not familiar with the luxury gown that Isabelle Armstrong, check out some of her beautiful wedding dress designs.

This collection is inspired by the uncompromising magnificence of a diamond.  At its core, a diamond is strong, brilliant and extraordinary.   The Spring 2016 Isabelle Armstrong Bridal Collection, complete with geometric embroidery and soft, romantic fabrics and laces, captures the essence of a diamond’s multi-faceted beauty.  Each gown is hand crafted, complex and yet simply elegant.  This collection is our interpretation of one of nature’s outstanding creations, a testament we believe exemplifies our continued efforts to design pieces evoking Splendor, Passion and Grace. See the entire collection.

 

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Our Top 7 Tequila Ideas for Your Signature Drink

tequila cocktail signature drink recipes

Frequent travel to Mexico has made us tequila lovers.  Well, some of us anyway. But there’s a story behind that and we promise to tell it to you some snowy night in front of  the fire.

A lot of our couples are afraid to incorporate tequila into their signature bar because of its distinct taste (or college memories), but we promise– these recipes will make a believer and lover out of the most discriminating tastes. Understanding that there are people that fall on both sides of the spectrum– those that love the taste of tequila and those… well, not so much, will help you find a happy medium between the two.

 

Dirty Work

dirty work tequila cocktail signature drink ideas
Dirty Work comes to us via one of our favorite mixologists in the game, Russell Davis.  Yes, that Russell Davis.  It’s a complex cocktail with a lot of layers and body– which is great for the connoisseur.  It includes Reposado Tequila, Lime, Pineapple Gomme syrup (fancy simple syrup), Cardamom tincture, and champagne. This mix is perfect for those warm summer weddings.

 

Salpicon de Mango (Mango Splash)

mango splash signature drink tequila
1.5 oz Patrón Citrónge Mango Liqueur (brand new from Patrón and it is loooovveely)
1 oz Patrón Silver Tequila
3/4 oz Lime Juice (or the juice of a medium-sized lime)
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
3/4 oz Orange Juice
Long Splash Chilled Club Soda\

Just looking at the ingredients has your mouth watering, amirite??? This beauty was created by the genius that is Esteban Ordonez and is pretty simple to achieve. Fill a large rocks glass or double old fashioned glass with ice. Combine all ingredients over the ice, adding the club soda in the end gently. Stir to mix all ingredients and garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig if desired. Again, perfect for those summer weddings– especially with those featuring seafood. Ceviche, anyone?

 

Carpe Dia

tequila signature drink ideas

Milagro Añejo  2 parts
Lime Juice 1 Part
Blackberry Syrup 0.75 Part
Sage Leaf 1 EA
Hibiscus Tea 1 Part
Ginger Beer 1 part
Garnish: Blackberries & Sage
Glass: Punch bowl

What’s great about this drink is that it can be made in batches, which makes for quick service at your bar. Since it is also pretty to look at, it will be quite the conversation piece. Build all ingredients except ginger beer in a punch bowl over a block of ice. Top with ginger beer right before stirring interminately.

 

Lil Mizz Sunshine

Lil-Mizz

6 oz Roca Patrón Reposado
2 oz Patrón Citrónge Mango
3 oz Orange/Chamomile Tea-Infused Sweet Vermouth (recipe below)
3 oz Lime Juice
10 White Sugar Cubes
6 oz Club Soda

Muddle sugar cubes with lime juice, Stir all ingredients (except for club soda) with ice. Strain over 1 large block of ice. Add club soda, and garnish with orange wheels and edible flowers.

 

Orange Chamomile infused sweet vermouth:

-5 tsp Orange Chamomile Tea Leaves
-750ml Dolin Sweet Vermouth

Infuse tea in vermouth for 2 hours. After 2 hours, strain out tea and refrigerate.

 

My bar crush, Rosie Ruiz of Cole’s in LA, really put her foot in this drink, as we say. It’s light, feminine and bubbly.  It’s also definitely one of those drinks that will take a bit of pre-event execution, so give yourself time, but it’s worth it.  Lil Mizz Sunshine would be happily at home at a bridal shower, bachelorette party or cocktail hour.

 

Lavender Paloma

lavendarpaloma

2 parts Milagro Silver
1 part Fresh grapefruit juice
.5 part Lavendar & Vanilla simple syrup
.5 part Fresh lime juice
3 parts Dry Lavender soda

Garnish: grapfruit peel & lavender & kosher salt

Put all ingredients in a tall glass and top with Lavender soda. **Or infuse lavender into the syrup and top with soda water for a delicious, full bodied cocktail.

This where Milagro shows up and shows off– the slow roasted,  100% blue agave tequila really adds to the flavors of this cocktail.  I know most wouldn’t consider tequila to be a “relaxed” spirit, however this cocktail blend is soft and ethereal. Paloma is perfect for those whose conceptions about tequila you would like to change.

 

Blonde Juan

blond-juan

1.5 parts Milagro Silver
.75 parts White Peach Syrup
.75 parts Fresh Lemon Juice
2 parts Blonde Beer
1 Lemon Wheel

Combine tequila, peach syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a tall Collins glass. Top with a Blonde Ale. Garnish with a lemon wheel. I love this because this is a wonderful blend of a little Georgia for you wedding with the white peach syrup.

 

Cool as a Cucumber Margarita

cool-cucumber-margarita

2 parts Milagro Silver
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
3 Cucumber Slices
1 Lime wheel
1 Cucumber Stick

Garnish: course ground sea salt and black peppercorn mix

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender without ice. Blend and pour over fresh ice into a rocks glass prepared with a half salted rim. Garnish with a cucumber spear and lime wheel (optional).

 

Which of these are your favorites? Do you have a favorite tequila based drink?  Let us know in the comments!

Saint Simons Island Wedding at Villa De Suenos

The great thing about knowing he’s the one… is KNOWING he’s the one. Our sweet bride contacted us before she was even engaged.  She had a “feeling” a proposal was coming and loved Saint Simons Island, so naturally, she wanted her wedding to be in the Golden Isles. We exchanged emails back and forth, falling in love with each other’s quick wit, fashionable ideas and love of martinis. Needless to say, I was all too thrilled to get a chance to meet with my kindred spirit on a trip she and her fiancé were making to Jekyll Island.

Then she cancelled.

She was so apologetic for “wasting my time” (No waste at all– I adored talking to her each time!).  She just didn’t think the proposal was going to happen during their trip, but thanked me for all the information, ideas and laughs.  I won’t lie– I fell in love with her personality and style, so I was bummed.

Until she emailed two days later, exclaiming, “I’M ENGAGED!!!!”  The rest was history.

We planned this beautiful, ocean inspired wedding at the gorgeous private residence, Villa De Suenos on East Beach on Saint Simons Island.  They exchanged vows overlooking the ocean– while their closest friends sang a personally written song just for them.  Guests from all around the country dined on traditional Southern food,  a popcorn bar, Blonde Bombshell signature drinks and partied. . . All. Night. Long.  No, seriously… Rob Base’s “It Takes Two” came on, and it was all over.

My favorite thing (and you know how much I love cake)?  The way they looked at each other all night. . . I hope you two look at each other like that for the rest of your lives.

-xo

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Venue: Villa De Suenos :: Saint Simons Island, GA
Hair: Denae Daniels Salon
Makeup: Paulina Perez
Wedding Dress:  Nicole Miller
Wedding Planner & Designer: Cocktails & Details®
Wedding Photographer: Once Like A Spark
Caterer & Florist: Straton Hall
DJ: Island Sound

We Likey: Paperpless Post for Weddings

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Of course, for your wedding  you should send out formal wedding invitations.  However, for certain events like rehearsal dinners, e-vites can be the perfect option for request the presence of some of your favorite people. With destination weddings, some experts contend you should invite everyone who is a guest (read: traveled for)  in your city.  The notion is that you have several people who have traveled long hours and longer distances, so the kind thing to do would be to entertain them (again) and make them feel warm and toasty.

Rubbish.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do this.  If you can afford it, you totally should.  However, not everyone can  or needs to.  Traditionally, rehearsal dinners were for immediate family (parents, grandparents, siblings) and those in the bridal party.  Seems quaint and small, right? Now, more couples are opting for more casual events that are high energy, laid back, inclusive with the approach of “all who are in town can attend”. In fact, they are calling these fetes “Welcome Parties”; totally nixing the name  “Rehearsal Dinner” altogether.

This is where Paperless Post shows up and shows off.  They have, seriously, the most amazing designs that would make the most formal of your guests swoon.  Additionally, they are very cost effective from sending traditional paper invites (especially if you are inviting your entire guest list) and are more welcoming than ambiguous information on your wedding website. Each digital invitation comes in a beautiful digital envelope in the script, color and liner of your choice.  Paperless Post uses a coin system to purchase invites, and 20 can be purchased for $6 (most designs range from free to 4 coins each).

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Aren’t they divine?  And they’re just a small sample of options available.  With designers like Vera Wang, Hello! LuckyJ. Crew and many more, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.  What could possibly make this better?  Well, for the true etiquette sticklers who you feel would move heaven and earth if they didn’t receive a paper invitation, you can purchase paper options to accompany your digital ones.

 

See? Now everyone’s happy!

 

 

How Much Will Your Wedding Cost?

how much will my wedding cost

Attempting to get an idea of your wedding costs can be extremely daunting. Having never planned a wedding before, running into proposals and pricing can give you a serious case of sticker shock. After spending countless hours on Pinterest, you’ll think that your favorite pins and boards performed a major miscarriage of trust.  Who knew those luxurious tall centerpieces were so much!? They want how much for that wedding cake?

We get it.  You don’t know what you don’t know. Falling in love with a vision and finding out it’s crushingly out of reach hurts.  So, we’re here to help.

But first, we need to do one thing.  And it’s kinda non-negotiable, okay?

Determine Your Budget. The most frustrating thing as a wedding professional is to speak with a couple and hear about their vision, and inquire as to how much they would like to spend and the response is “We don’t know how much this stuff costs”.  While that may be true— it also doesn’t answer the question.  This is the crux of your wedding planning.  Here’s an example, I would love a brand new Lexus LFA. . . but I don’t want to pay more than $30,000 for it.  I have no idea how much an Lexus LFA is, but I do know that if it is over $30,000 (which I’m 98.6% sure it is) I won’t be in it, and I know not to look at pictures or do a test drive. So, there’s my budget— $30,000.  The same applies to weddings. And trust me, everyone has a budget.

Got your figure?  Now, let’s talk about what everyone else wants to charge. Keep in mind this is for our service area for Saint Simons Island and Jekyll Island weddings.  These figures can fluctuate in different locations. Additionally, these are averages— there will be services that fall below and above the prices given.

venues :: $2000+

An average venue rental will start at $2000.  If the venue is attached to a hotel, you can expect to pay more or be required for mandatory room blocks.  The likelihood of a the venue having exclusive catering rights (meaning you have to use their caterer for food and beverage) grows higher with its affiliation to a hotel or convention center.  These types of venues may also have a food and beverage minimum to meet in addition to the venue rental.  These can start between $5,000 to $10,000.

Catering :: $35+ per person

This  is an average that should include your hors d’oeuvres at cocktail hour, dinner and non alcoholic beverages such as tea, water and lemonade.  This rate will vary according to the reception style you choose (e.g., buffet vs. plated) as well as the menu selections and quantities. Keep in mind this is menu pricing only, you will still have to factor in labor (which will vary according the number of guests and dinner service you will have), tax (6%) and a service charge (will vary between 18-22%). Some caterers include the costs of plates, flatware and glassware with the menu price, others do not.  Be sure to view quotes in their totality when comparing them.

Wedding Cake :: $4-8 Per Person

Like your catering, this price will be determined by your selections and guest number.  Customizations such as flavors, fillings, cake design and even shape can add to the price.  If your caterer offers cake, you can add this to your menu price. If you are hiring an outside baker, remember to leave cushion for delivery as well as cake service (cake cutting, plates, forks, etc.) from your caterer.

Alcohol :: $18-$60 Per Person

One of the great thing about having a wedding in Saint Simons Island or Jekyll Island is the abundance of venues that allow you to bring your own alcohol. If you are purchasing your own alcohol, expect to pay anywhere between $1500 to $4500 or more depending on the number guests, type of bar (beer and wine vs full bar), what type of liquor you wish to provide (well vs top shelf) and how long you intend to provide a bar (the typical reception is 4 hours).  If you are having your wedding at a hotel or convention center where they require that you purchase your alcohol from them you can opt to pay by the drink with a consumption bar which ranges from $5 to $10 per drink or about $45 per person for a drink package that lasts four hours.   Our planners have a great alcohol guide to help you budget and plan for your bar.  Remember if you plan for authentic martinis and champagne, you may need to rent the appropriate glassware.

Photography & cinematography :: $2500+

One of the major things that affect price for cinematography and photography are the length of hours shooting, as well as the style of the shooter.  The longer the coverage and the more modern and stylish the product, the higher the rate.  The above rate is a general average for about 4 hours of coverage.  Full day coverage, additional shooters and multiple locations may affect pricing.  Remember to consider the costs of post production such as additional disks, full length movies, albums and portraits which are always an additional cost.

entertainment :: $1000+

A typical wedding DJ will start at about 1000 for four hours of service. A band starts at about $2500. This will include the cocktail hour and three hours of the reception.  Additional locations and hours for the ceremony or extension of the reception will require additional hours.

Florals :: $2000+

Some of the most pinned images used for wedding inspiration are of lush bouquets and elaborate centerpieces.  These are typically comprised of a multitude of large, exuberant blooms in varying heights and accents. Usually, a bridal bouquet will range anywhere between $150-$300, with complementary bridesmaids’ bouquets being half that.   Centerpieces can have several different concepts with some designs being tall and others low.  Tall arrangements depending on their size and proportion can start at $175 and go as high as $400.  Low arrangements can start at $75 to $200. It’s always best to ensure you are picking in-season florals to keep your costs in a doable budget.  Here is a really great breakdown of floral costs of magazine worthy florals.

Final Thoughts. . .

These are just averages to give you an idea.  Your wedding costs will be specific to your needs, size of guest list and time of year ( this plays a major part in the seasonality of certain foods and flowers).  You should set aside at least 10% of your budget each for a wedding planner, photographer and florist.

If you need additional help, check out our mini guide to having a wedding in Saint Simons Island Jekyll Island.  If you’d like to know who are our go to vendors, venues as well as resources and sage advice about planning your Saint Simons Island and Jekyll Island wedding, treat yourself to The Little Blue Wedding Book. We’re even happy to offer you a congratulations gift to start your wedding planning: use the code FABWEDDING to take $15 off the price.