St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Blog
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Aug 04 2015

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.

Real Historic Jekyll Island Wedding

Duncan-Petrie Wedding

This awesome couple traveled from Manhattan to have a romantic, garden inspired wedding on the idyllic Jekyll Island. As the groom was a history buff, the beautiful Villa Ospo was the perfect location for the party, while the historic Faith Chapel was ideal for the wedding ceremony.

The experience we created was sentimental and chic, while still incorporating the beautiful grounds of the villa and with a touch of fancy. The bride’s beautiful colors made this very easy– a soft palette of ivory, coral, peach and gold, showcased many of her details exquisitely.

The main focus was to keep everything very intimate and endearing– so we used a mix of exposed farm tables, flanked by draped rounds.  As an alternative to plated or buffet meals, we did family style service– where delicious platters were placed on the tables and allowed guests to pass them and interact with each other.

 

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Hair and Makeup: Paulina Perez
Wedding Design, Florals and Coordination: Cocktails & Details
Wedding Venue: Villa Marianna, Jekyll Island
Caterer: Tasteful Temptations
Photographer: The Illustrious Chris Moncus, the other half of my wedding day rap duo 🙂
Cinematography: JKS Films
Ceremony and Cocktail Musicians: Richard Stratton
Band: Backbeat Boulevard
DJ: Island Sound
Tent: Kirby Tents
Event Rentals: Luxe Event Rentals
Lounge Furniture: Beachview Rentals
Carriage: Three Oaks Carriage

We Likey: Low Country Luxe, Southern Inspired Fragrances

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The best thing about having a destination wedding in Saint Simons Island or Jekyll Island is sharing a bit of this beautiful area with your guests.  Many of our clients’ wedding guests come from large metropolises from all corners of the country, so taking a piece of the South home is a welcomed gift.

We’ve fallen in love with Low Country Luxe– a boutique operation that produces Southern inspired fragrances. Hand-poured, conceptualized and created in their Southern Fragrance House, Low Country Luxe’s Signature Collection features Gullah, High Cotton, Live Oak, Moonshine, Sea Grass and Spanish Moss. The two new fragrances are Moonshine and Live Oak. The Belle of the Ball Collection was added to the 2014 product line– with the inspiration for the collection being the candle developed exclusively for the 2013 White House First Lady’s Luncheon.

With candles in several sizes and reed diffusers, these are the perfect gifts for bridesmaids, mothers or any one who loves the South!  Learn more about Low Country Luxe at their website and see their inspiration on Instagram.

Jekyll Island Wedding Package
Apr 27 2015

Real Cherokee Cottage Wedding :: Tara and Tom on Jekyll Island

Tara and Tom wed in Jekyll Island with on of our all inclusive wedding packages and partied with an intimate group of family and friends at a wedding reception at the Jekyll Island Club’s Cherokee Cottage. Their wedding was so much fun– full of life, laughter and memories.  After exchanging vows under the oaks and Spanish moss, guests walked along the Historic District of Jekyll Island to enjoy cocktails and infused waters with delectable hors d’oeuvres.

Tara selected beautiful details that reflected the natural beauty of the area– a palette of ivory and celadon, with various wood textures mixed in.  The open air reception on Cherokee Cottage’s lawn allowed guests to dine intimately at farm tables and dance under chandelier laden oak trees. One of our favorite details and moments of the day was a very special bottle wine– Tara’s late father had presented bottles of wine to her brothers on their wedding days and saved a special one for his little girl.

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Photography:  Jennifer Tacbas Photography

Fab Finds Friday: Felt Noir

feltnoirjewelry

 

Rounding out your looks for your wedding weekend will take a lot of thought. It is one of the times you’ll be photographed the most, so looking polished is a must.  Felt Noir offers unique jewelry pieces that are perfect for your rehearsal and your wedding day, or even gifts for your bridal party.  Long time friends Eric and Eddie developed a company to offer the best  Felt Noir sells quality gemstone and diamond jewelry directly to the consumer at low factory-direct prices. No middleman required!

 

Bridesmaids’ Gifts We love the idea of giving Felt Noir Charms as a bridesmaids gift– being able to give your ladies a personal memento that reflects a special memory between the two of you is the perfect way to thank them for being a part of your special day. Additionally, their necklaces are beautiful and complement any dress you’ve chosen for your bridesmaids.


Charm-Header

feltnoirnecklaces1

feltnoirnecklaces2 


Rehearsal Dinner   Their well designed collections are perfect for complementing and finalizing your outfit for your rehearsal dinner.  The Black & White Collection is streamlined, with pieces ranging from the regal to the modern.

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Wedding Day The Something Blue collection offers that age old tradition and would make lovely heirlooms to be passed down among family generations to come.   Additionally, the beautiful bracelets and earrings would make delicious finishes to your wedding gown.

feltnoirbracelets


feltnoirearrings2

feltnoirearrings

Love what you see?  Cocktails & Details readers and fans get 20% off until August 31st when you use the code BBSummer20.  Keep up with their new designs on Facebook, Pinterest  and Instagram

 

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Free Download: Planning a Jekyll Island or St. Simons Island Wedding

Saint simons jekyll island wedding guidePhoto by Once Like a Spark

  Many couples come here each season to exchange “I Do’s” with their feet in the sand, in a historic cottage, beachside villa or one of our other beautiful locations.  Destination weddings take a lot of work and planning. Google and Pinterest are your friends, but even the vast results of wedding reception venues, wedding photographers and more– it can be overwhelming.  If you aren’t from the area, planning can appear to be daunting and even intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Our Saint Simons Island wedding infographic is a great place to start at a glance, but chances are you are looking for a bit more information if you are considering a trip to the area for your wedding.  We’ve prepared a mini e-book that should help answer major questions about where to start, who to hire and finding out which island is best for you.  It’s a quick read and will get you prepared for some big decisions you’ll have to make.

Download your free copy

If you find that you will need more assistance, look into getting a copy of The Little Blue Wedding Book, which offers more comprehensive advice for weddings in the area, our favorite vendors and much more!

20 Reasons You Should Have an Unplugged Wedding

This is important.

So important that during every client’s logistics consult, we ask if clients would like to have an unplugged wedding.

Every. Single. Time.

Most of our clients haven’t heard of it and when they google the term, come back immediately and say, “YES! We want one!”.  The remaining will say something to the effect of, “No, we think it’s really fun to see all the images that our guests take of our wedding”.  And that sounds good in theory, until you get your images back and crucial or memorable moments have been ruined by an influx of guests with their arms held high in the air with their cell phones, cameras and iPads.  I can’t imagine how deflating it must be to get your images and see your absolute favorite shot, to have it ruined by clutter and intrusion.  The fact of the matter is, you’ve invested a great deal of money in the talent you’ve hired document your day.  Part of that talent is their interpretation of your day’s events, not photoshopping people out of them.  It is rare that there is a picture that your guests will take that will rival the professional quality of the one your photographer will take.  Your guests’ pictures aren’t as important as your photographer’s– period.  Your guests aren’t as invested in your images as you are. They are just moments that will sit on their phone and will ultimately be deleted. For you, this is the moment.

 

So without further ado, here are 20 reasons you should have an unplugged wedding:

Photo by Samantha Melanson

Photo by Samantha Melanson

Photo via Be A Bride

Photo via Be A Bride

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by Corey Ann Photography

Photo by DNM Wedding Films

Photo by DNM Wedding Films

Photo by Joesan Photo

Photo by Joesan Photo

Photo by Kelly Cameron

Photo by Kelly Cameron

Photo by Krista Photography

Photo by Krista Photography

Photo by Lapis Lazuli Photography

Photo by Lapis Lazuli Photography

Photo by Lemon Tree Film House

Photo by Lemon Tree Film House

Photo by Leon Bailey

Photo by Leon Bailey

Photo via Masterpiece Weddings

Photo via Masterpiece Weddings

Photo by Misha Media

Photo by Misha Media

Photo by Mitchell Dyer

Photo by Mitchell Dyer

Photo via My Little Bridal Blog

Photo via My Little Bridal Blog

Photo by Neilvn

Photo by Neilvn

Photo via Proud to Plan

Photo via Proud to Plan

Photo by Rebekah Hoyt

Photo by Rebekah Hoyt

 

And I’ll just be honest– there are many ceremonies where the decor is sparse, the background is lacking, etc. either by choice or necessity.  A great photographer has the artistic ability to hone in on angles and details to make it look beyond fabulous.  When your guests get in the way, your photographer is greatly limited and has to widen the shot, not only including intrusive guests, but also missing out on making your ceremony look like a million dollars.

 

If you don’t need any more convincing, here are some examples of signs that can be put up at the entrance of your ceremony.  I suggest that you also have your officiant or coordinator make an announcement during the prelude as a reminder.

unpluggedsign1 unpluggedsign2 unpluggedsign3 unpluggedsign4

 

 

Fab Finds Friday: Studio Gear Cosmetics Holiday Smokey Eye Palette

Studio Gear Smokey Eyeshadow Cosmetic Collection

I am SUCH a huge fan of the smokey eye look!  Any special occasion, it is my go to look.  Studio Gear has perfected the color palette and even supplies expert directions so that you can look your very best.

Be radiant on any occasion with this sultry, shimmery palette of dramatic shades – perfect for creating a classic smoky eye look, with a hint of unexpected golden glimmer. This collection of four complimentary eye shadows with matching blush deliver several day to night options that are both seductive and wearable. With pure color, pigment-rich formulations, you’ll be sure to smolder all night!
Includes white, silver, gold, and coal eye shadows and a perfect pink blush.

This palette is available on our website and at select ULTA BEAUTY locations (starting in December).

Part of creating the ultimate look is having the right tools. The right brushes change everything. Studio Gear has the perfect brushes to beef up your arsenal:  The All About Eyes Kit (consisting of a fine liner brush, invincible liner brush, blending brush and large shader brush) and the more general The Essentials Kit (consisting of a large powder brush, foundation brush, and shader brushes in two sizes).

Get your holiday looks on with Studio Gear.  Be sure to like them on Facebook, follow them Instagram and see their boards on Pinterest.

 

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Jazz Up Your Signature Drink with MOLECULE-R

molecular gastronomy signature cocktail ideas

Coming up with a signature drink can be hard.  What if you don’t want to venture out on a limb with a cocktail that will be a complete bust to guests?  That’s alcohol wasted and a few unhappy guests.  Or, if you are just in love with some of the classics– like mojitos, cosmopolitans or margaritas and want a way to make it unique and memorable, Molecule-R is here to help.

molecular gastronomy signature cocktail ideas

molecular gastronomy signature cocktail ideas

The  molecular gastronomy kit is perfect for your wedding or holiday party (hello– Christmas is right around the corner!).  This modern trend takes a classic cocktail and turns it into a contemporary experience that will be the talk of your party.   Wow your guests with floating flavor pearls,  fruit foams or encapsulate and serve  the cocktail in a bubble that pops in your mouth!

 

molecular gastronomy signature cocktail ideas

 

The kit is great for at home mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts as well! Each of the new Cocktail R-EVOLUTION kits come complete with the necessary molecular tools – 1 silicone mold, 1 slotted spoon and 2 pipettes – to create the ultimate cocktail. Also included in each kit are 10 sachets of additives of sodium alginate, calcium lactate and soy lecithin that each serve 6-10 people.

Buy online at $29.99  at the Molecule-R site.