St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Blog
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Trash that dress, girl!

I know you are looking at me and saying, “Terrica, you are completely NUTS”.  Really, I’m not…and I’m not talking about what you think I am either!

 “Trashing” your dress just means that you have a bridal photo session post-wedding.  It consists of you coming back home from your wedding/honeymoon, completely EXHILARATED that all that planning is over and TOTALLY in love….then, getting dolled up and gorgeous in your dress and letting a photogrpaher make you uber-fabulous….

 It’s not your grandmother’s bridal portrait session that happens days before the wedding (risking tearing, sullying or some other horrid act to your gown).  Instead, this happens after– letting you fully explore great poses and shots in your gown since you probably won’t be wearing it again. However, if you’re like me and my vow renewal gown that I have my eye on, you’ll be wearing it to all of your kids’ recitals, husband’s awards ceremonies, etc.

 Kevin Jairaj

Isn’t that gorgeous?  It’s by Kevin Jairaj

 Tim Co

Drooooolll!  By Tim Co

 One of our preferred vendors, Scarlett of Captivating Studios, takes GORGEOUS gown trash shots.  LOL that sounds like an oxymoron, but truly it’s wonderful– straight from the pages of Vogue or Bazaar.  Others are wonderful too– just check out

 While it does make me miss my days in front of the camera, you don’t have to worry about seeing this super-sized pregnant wedding planner trashing anything any time soon, except the jeans I can no longer fit in. 

What NOT To Do For Your Wedding: The Guest List

Now that the budget has been sized up (or down, for that matter), you have a realistic view of what you can do for your wedding.  Depending on how you allocated your funding in the budget segment, a majority of what you can do will revolve around the your guest list.  Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look…

Gorgeous Reception?  Guest list intensive.

Stunning Invites?  Guest list intensive.

Memorable Favors?  Guest list intensive.

You get my point.  Keeping your dream wedding and your budget in mind, let’s look at what not to do…

What NOT To Do:

  • Invite your uncle’s daughter’s mother-in-law’s cousin’s neighbor’s dogwalker.  We understand it’s a festive occasion, but really…limit your list to family and friends
  • Consider “I.O.U’s”.  If your friend from college invited you to  her wedding, that was awfully kind of her.  You, however, are not obligated to do the same– especially if you are not close.  (This is also true for the bridal party…but we’ll drive off that bridge when we come to it)
  • Make your single friends come stag. Sure, they love you. But at some point in time in all of our lives we have been to some seminar, workshop, camp, training, etc. where we had to get up and introduce ourselves and play silly games.  No one wants to do that at a wedding. Make your single friends feel comfortable by letting them invite someone they know! If you do opt to nix the “and guest” for your single friends, try to pair them with someone they know in the seating arrangements.
  • Argue about the guest list. This is criticial. The guest list development should happen at the very beginning of your planning.  You don’t want to embark upon the rest of your planning period in a huff with your fiance, future in laws or parents

What To Do:

  • Develop rules that everyone has to play by for the guest list.  And no cheating!  So if this means each set of parents get 25 guests, then each set of parents get 25 guests.  Don’t sneak an extra 7 on your parents’ side…Crystal and Alexis from Dynasty will have nothing on your Mom and FMIL at the wedding.  If no co-workers are to be invited, your honey will just have to do with not having the guys from payroll there.  Likewise, these rules could certainly attach to other situations: no children, only first cousins, no guests, etc.
  • Create an A and B list.  I hear some people say that this is tacky.  IMO, it’s only tacky if you TELL the guest they were on the B list (i.e., “Hi Aunt Martha, my friend Janet couldn’t come. I wasn’t going to invite you initially, but you can have her spot”).  Develop your guest of must-have people for your wedding.  These will be your A list.  Next, make a list of your “Would like to come, but won’t shrivel up and die if they don’t” people.  Needless to say, this is your B list.  In some instances, brides make C lists, as well.  So let’s say someone from your must-have list can’t make it.  Be sure to zip an invite to your B list person.  Typically, the initial guest list is made up of a combination of the two:  no guest list is ever full of just “A list” people. 
  • Remember you can do more for 50 than you can for 250.  If your budget is moderate, but your hopes are high and guest list is long, really consider what is most important to you.  Do you want a fabulous, memorable wedding or a party that is a blur?  If you want a unique experience, pare down the guest list.   Just by doing this, you may be able to add a few more courses to your meal, opt for a better reception site, etc.  Otherwise, you could find yourself serving tea sandwiches at 8:00 p.m. at the local VFW. 
  • Remember the rule of thumb: 10-25% of your guest list will not show.  Either overcompensate in your guest list to get the number of people you want there (be sure to prepare yourself budget-wise if you get more than expected!)  or you can supplement your list to get your desired amount once your RSVPs come in (ex., go to your B List).  You could also take what you can get, and if it falls under your desired amount, splurge on everything else!

What NOT To Do For Your Wedding: Your Budget

Ok, so everyone knows now that you’re in love and you’re ready to party like its 1999.  So what should be your first step?  The budget.  A lot of brides think that it’s not that important, that they can wing it or worse, ignore it.  Wrong!  Your budget is your friend! Embrace your inner meiser!  Your budget is in place to let you know when you’ve gone from Charming to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What NOT to Do:

  • Assume.  Don’t assume that your fete is getting funded by a sole source.  Gather the VIPs together and find out who is willing to contribute and what.
  • Expect the world.  Remember, there are other things to consider besides your wedding– future house plans, vacations, school loans, etc.  Also consider the situations of those giving money as well.  If they are in a position to give tens of thousands, take it under consideration.  However, if they are not, don’t take it…no matter how much they say they can afford it.
  • Begin booking vendors before setting a budget.  BIG mistake!  A good budget will let you know how much you can do with the money you have, instead of you spending your money on big ticket items and find there is no more money when you need the necessities!

What to do:

  • Discover a good budgeting method.  This will help you allocate your money in the areas that are most important to you. If flowers are a big deal, but invitations are not, opt for lower cost invites or DIYs and move the rest to the flower budget.
  • Set up a wedding bank account.  It will be much easier for you to make purchases and watch your money. Look into getting a checking account with interest and a VISA or MasterCard  debit card for more protection.
  • Save accordingly.  Try putting 10-20% of your combined monthly income in your wedding account. Do your best not to touch it for non-wedding expenses and deposit consistently

What NOT To Do For Your Wedding: Your Engagement

Congrats! He’s popped the question– now what?

What NOT To Do:

  • Tell everyone but your parents and expect them to pay for your wedding
  • Buy a wedding gown the day after
  • Make promises that might be hard to keep later (“I’m getting married and you just know you are invited!” or “He asked me to marry him! You know you’re going to be my bridesmaid!” or “Yes! I will wear your mother’s wedding gown! [Especially if you haven’t seen it!])

My Suggestions

  • Tell those who are important in your life first. This means parents, children, grandparents, etc. You may also have to tell some exes if either of you have been married before. You don’t want any of these people finding out from someone else. Even if relationships are strained, take the high road, as this is to be a happy occasion!
  • Buy as many bridal and design magazines as your heart desires. One of my personal favorites is The Bride and Bloom. You can get some great ideas as to what you want and what you don’t want for your wedding.
  • Discuss, as generally as possible, what is important to you for your wedding– who’s invited, traditions to incorporate, size, etc.
  • Really do put forth an effort to enjoy being engaged! So many brides go into heavy planning mode immediately after the ring has been slipped on their finger. It’s really no wonder why six months in to planning they crash and burn or turn into major bridezillas. Make an agreement to start planning after a certain period (i.e., after engagement party, 6 weeks after, etc.). When you are in full planning mode, do remember that you guys had other things to talk about before the wedding. Your conversations shouldn’t revolve around the wedding all the time. That’s a surefire way to teach your fiance selective hearing or cause him to lose major interest in his wedding. If this is the case, a mini-moon should be in the near future!

New Series at the O Blog: What NOT To Do For Your Wedding

We are going to debut a new series of our blog, called “What NOT To Do For Your Wedding“. The series will start from the engagement process and go through out the wedding planning to the event itself.

We see a lot of “how-to”, “do-it-yourself” and the like, but no one ever really sits you down and says, “Look girlfriend, you are going to make a serious fool of yourself” or “Honey, you are two broomsticks away from becoming a real witch”.

So, here it is! Giving you wedding planning advice from the Pros: Straight, No chaser!

Stay tuned– I’m sure we can come up with all kind of hilarious anecdotes, stories, and valuable advice.

Take $100 off your order from Flowers

If flowers are or aren’t a big deal to you and you want to maximize your floral budget– look into Flowers For Rent. These are not your grandmother’s silk flowers! Instead, these faux fleurs are wonderful replications of real flowers– they look real, they feel real…the only thing missing is the scent! You can even request a sample yourself if you are still a little doubting bride.

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Place an order of $1,000 or more before March 15, 2007 and receive $100 off.

Call us toll-free at 1-877-522-1630 and learn how we can work together to exceed your client’s expectations.

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ceremony arch bouquets

Candelabra bouquets and a 50″ arch topper grace this arch.

Enter coupon code MARCHMADNESS to save on your order!

Want to be a wedding planner? Join the team!

Once Upon Your Wedding is looking for interns for the 2007 spring and summer wedding season. Applicants should be creative, eager to learn, and able to communicate effectively and concisely. We are very excited to make this opportunity available to high school seniors, college students and adults with an interest in the wedding field.

For more opportunity, please see our employment page.

Golden Isles Trends for 2007

Text Box: Once Upon Your WeddingIn an area filled with high-end resorts along the beach or historic hotels that were once the playground for millionaires, The Golden Isles is no different when it comes to wedding trends.  Three beautiful islands tucked away into the coast of Georgia have trends of their own that are popular in the sweet low-country. Sometimes it takes a while for trends to get to us, or we just create our own.

Attending bridal shows gives the bride so much more perspective beyond the typical wooing of wedding vendors.  Wedding vendors are smart—they know that in order to stand out, they have to be the best, have the best or do the best, in order to attract the bride.  This means staying on top of what is hot in their area or observing what has been most popular in their area.  If a bride pays attention closely, she can witness the current trends all in one place.

What’s hot this bridal season in the Golden Isles for 2007:

It’s Hip to Be Square

Square cakes are a big hit here in the area and are becoming the must have.  In addition, having each tier flavored with varying flavors are popular, only with richer tastes. Gone are the simple fruit fillings—instead, white chocolate, caramel, lemon curd, Irish Cream, canoli or Bavarian cream will be a big hit.  Cake flavors, too, are getting an extreme makeover.  Spice, champagne, citrus butter and tiramisu are very rich flavors that complement and excite any menu.  Also new is “cake splashing”.  I haven’t seen much of it here, and am not sure if I will.  Splashing is the concept where a flavor is literally splashed over the cake.??  This works well with complementing flavors. The beach themed cakes we have loved and see constantly are still around.  They have truly become a staple here!

It is easy being green. 

I’m not too sure what Kermit’s beef was, but he would fit in perfectly here!  When chocolate was big last year, we saw a lot of brides pairing it with the turquoises, baby blues and pinks.  Sage green began to work itself in, slowly but surely.  Soon after, the chocolate began phasing out, and the shades of green became lighter.  Now, Golden Isles’ brides are exploring apples and mints in varying textures and fabrics.

Good things.  Small packages.

Caterers are doing their menus in miniature scale. Foods are becoming smaller, but are not losing their quality or taste.  We saw a lot of tiny foods done with huge presentation.  If brides decide to go that route, they should take care to find a culinary designer who can follow through with a “knock ‘em dead” presentation.  Otherwise, you risk having your food display look like it was made for munchkins.

Less Pose. More Action and Motion.

More of our brides are steering completely away from the archaic posed photography and opting only for photojournalism.  I think this is primarily because brides want to remember their special day as it happened—not as it was posed or manipulated.  Additionally, some photojournalists opt for only 15-30 minutes of standard photos: family, bridal party, etc., which frees up more time for the cocktail hour.  Likewise, brides are opting for more dynamic and stimulating videography.  Wanting to relive every moment, it is important that the video does not have the “Uncle Fred’s Camcorder” look. Instead, it should unobtrusively tell the story, while also add a little bit of movie-star flair (titles, transitions, editing, etc.).

Ivory Is the New Black

Several of the bridal boutiques showcased their fabulous dresses, a majority of which were in the ivory family.  Seeing all the models of different complexions and body types, I am convinced that ivory looks good on everyone.  Not only is ivory popular, but dresses with intricate designs and lush fabrics are big here too. These give the gowns a very couture look.  A majority of the dresses were not very “big”—instead, they were form fitting with embellishment. Some had form fitting bodices that extended to the hips that billowed out into mounds of luxurious satins in bustles.  Designer bustle clips are becoming popular as well. We see a lot of Reem Acra and Monique L’huillier here, too.

These are just a few of the hot things that have made an appearance in the Golden Isles.  How long they will be here to stay? Who knows.  All the more reason why it’s important to plan your wedding around you and what you love, than to keep up with trends!


Come and See Us at the Jekyll Island Bridal Show

Be sure to stop by our booth at the Jekyll Island Bridal Show on February 11, 2006 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.  The show will be inside the Atlantic Hall.

Stop by and see us!  Say hello, show us your ideas, ask your questions, set an appointment!

Making the Save the Dates

To get started, think all the way back to when you and your beloved first met, and all the memories you’ve had since. What memories and associations come to mind, and what images would be fun to incorporate into your invitation and save the date card? If a collage approach suits your style, use your scanner to incorporate all sorts of found objects and mementos into your creation: informal photos, ticket stubs, programs and menus, maps, wine labels, coins, or anything else that brings up great memories.Or you may want to follow a simpler, more spiritual approach that incorporates images, colors, and quotations that are especially meaningful to you both. Here are some tips:

  • Be thinking about creative formats and textures for your creations, as well. For example, create fun, personalized save the date magnets by printing your design onto 8 1/2 x 11 printable magnetic sheets.
  • If you’re creating a wedding Web site, a save the date card is a great way to let people know the URL — and you may want to add it to your invitation as well. Be sure to use some of the design elements we’re discussing here on your Web site, as well.
  • With the rise of scrapbooking, there are more papers and creative embellishments available than ever, so one great way to get inspired is to head to a scrapbooking store and check out all the amazing supplies that you can incorporate into your invitations.