St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Blog
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Pick Your Signature Drink Like a Pro

Pink Grapefruit MartiniPink Grapefruit Cocktail via the Cake blog

One of our favorite parts of wedding planning (as you can probably can tell from our company name: Cocktails & Details) is choosing the menu and signature drink.

Much like the menu, the signature drink is very reflective of the couple’s personality, theme or menu. Composition and color are very important.  You want to choose something that is fun, but is also going to appeal to your guest list. We had the opportunity to chat with Brian Van Flandern, master mixologist and author of the books, Craft Cocktails and Vintage Cocktails about choosing the perfect signature drink for your wedding. I think Brian and his work is utterly amazing, he’s the Daddy of the signature drink– being a Michelin three star mixologist being known all around the world.  So yes– I worship in the house of Brian Van Flandern!

Craft Cockatils Book by Brian Van Flandern

C&D:  Which is your favorite from Craft Cocktails?

Brian: I am often asked what is my favorite cocktail to drink, to which I usually reply “ the one in my hand”.  There are so many delicious and fun recipes in CRAFT COCKTAILS, I encourage readers to work their way through the book and find the ones that really appeal to them.  There is something for everyone in this book.  For me, I am partial to my house made Tonic with Gin.  It is the cocktail that I created for PER SE in 2004 and it kick started the global artisanal tonic water fad.  Today dozens of bars all around the world are making their own tonic water from scratch.

C&D:  Which would you suggest for a wedding?

Brian:  The Tiffany & Co. cocktails is ideal for a wedding.  Served in a champagne flute with a little effervescence, it is sophisticated, elegant, taste sublime and is the perfect shade of Tiffany blue (not to mention the white ribbon tied around the base of the flute).

C&D:  What are the keys to picking a great signature cocktail for an event that everyone will love?

Brian:  There are several factors to consider.  You definitely want to have a cocktail that will appeal to the majority of your guests, but playing it safe with a vodka cocktail will very likely make your special drink unmemorable.  In the hands of a professional mixologist, a great gin based, or even tequila based cocktail with fresh juices and herbs will be a smash hit that people will be talking about for years.  Fresh ingredients, balanced flavors with an unusual twist often wins the day.  For the home bartender, just remember to follow the recipe, TASTE the cocktail (before serving) and balance the acidity, sugar or alcohol.  You can’t go wrong.

C&D: How can garnishes, sugars, salts, etc. enhance a cocktail?

Brian:  Garnishes serve three purposes, first they should be functional, second they should be relevant to the other ingredients in the cocktail and third they should look consistently beautiful on each cocktail served.  Sadly, many bartenders only take into consideration the visual.  The right garnish can greatly enhance the flavors or aromas of a well made cocktail and contribute to all the senses, not just taste.

Mango Jalapeno CocktailMango Jalapeno Cocktail via How Sweet It Is

We also caught up with award winning libationist, Joyce Garrison who is the head of the W Austin’s popular cocktail program.  Joyce is a strong believer of incorporating unique and local flavors for a memorable signature cocktail.  She even uses honey cultivated from her rooftop apiary above the hotel!  Here are Joyce’s tips for creating a unique and delicious cocktail sure to wow wedding guests.

1. Make it personal – Cocktails can be very personal. Think about selecting flavors and special touches that highlight both the bride and groom’s personalities. For example, a drink that incorporates both sweet and spicy flavors (like W Austin’s Jalapeño & Cucumber Lemonade’s recipe below) is a great way to symbolize a bride with southern charm and a groom who loves spicy food.

2. Think outside the glass – Dating back to the pre-bar days, punch bowls were an important part of the community and a great way for everyone to socialize. Create a special punch to serve during cocktail hour as a way for guests to mingle or try a masculine punch to place near the Groom’s cake. For another personal touch, freeze water in a letter jello mold and have your own floating initial ice cube.

3. Keep it local & seasonal – Using seasonal, local ingredients can help integrate the wedding location and any regional features, while also keeping costs down. Check out local farmers markets to see what is in season and available near your venue. There’s no need to pair the cocktails with the food, as your signature cocktail can be an experience on its own.

4. Parting is such sweet sorrow – Receptions are usually a little crazy towards the end. Create personalized bottles of a cool-down drink for the road, such as a coconut water spritzer with a sprig of mint. This amazing parting gift is refreshing and will help guests recover from the evening’s festivities.

Berry Merry Christmas CocktailBerry Merry Christmas Cocktail via Single Minded Women

For more  inspiration ideas, follow our signature drink board on Pinterest and check out our favorite red, green and purple signature drinks!

Jet Set in Style: Destination Weddings!

Destination Wedding Fashion


Planning a destination wedding can be both exciting and stressful! Whether you are traveling for your wedding in Saint Simons or away to the Caribbean, traveling in style and with ease is a must.  Make things easier on yourselves by packing light and bringing along the essentials: floppy hat, no-frill dress, stylish flats, sunscreen, headphones, carry-on bag and warm pull-over to wear during your flight.


Where to Buy

1. Element Eden:

2.Element Eden:

3. Element Eden:

4. HoodieBuddie




8. Skullcandy


Remember– ship your dress ahead of time or sweetly ask the flight attendants if you can hang your wedding dress in their closets. They may even be able to help you find an empty overhead bin to store it.

Safe travels!

Jul 19 2013

Fab Finds Friday: Wedding Infographic Invitation

Super in love with this fun wedding infographic invitation! Created by Abby Ryan Design for her very own wedding, it includes the wedding invitation, the rehearsal dinner invitation, the program and the menu. The bottom 5 inches or so that is the rehearsal dinner invite was cut off for those only invited to the wedding. The save the date and wedding website are also pictured at the link above– all on a 18×24 poster! With infographics becoming more popular, we thought this was absolutely fab!

We caught up with Abby to ask her what she thinks other couples should include on their wedding infographic invitation:

Wedding Invitation Infographic

What was your inspiration for the infographic?

The concept started with my save the date. I wanted to design something that celebrates our relationship and I thought it would be really fun to focus on all of the memorable events we’ve experienced together, I quickly figured out the best way to visually show this was to create an infographic.

When it came time to start designing the invitation I knew I wanted the tone to match the save the date. I considered doing something more typographic but it didn’t feel like it fit us or our wedding. Our wedding is a bit more casual then the typical wedding, all open communal seating, for dinner we are having 3 food trucks in the courtyard behind the venue, so we needed the invitation to reflect this. Also, being a graphic design myself, I knew that my friends and family invited were expecting something big. The final product is a 18×24 screen printed poster that lays out all of the days events and all of the details, from the drink specials, to the food truck offerings.

The poster was quite pricey to mail so to save some money we printed the rehearsal dinner invitation at the bottom of the poster. For those guests only invited to the wedding we simply trimmed them off!


Wedding Invitation Infographic

How was it received by guests– did they enjoy it, find it useful, etc.?

All of the guests loved the invitations. First, it came in a huge tube, and who doesn’t like to receive packages in the mail. Most of our friends and family have already picked out which truck they are going to eat from first! It covers your entire fridge, but I have already seen it on a few!

Wedding Invitation Infographic

What tips do you have for other couples looking to have a wedding infographic for their wedding invitation?

The most important part is to have all of the details decided early enough to include them! We had to pick out our signature cocktails way before you’d normally have to so we could include them. But there were a few things we missed since we had to design it so early before hand, for example we decided we would book a shuttle from the hotel to the venue for the wedding night, had we planned that earlier I would have threw that in too!

To see more of Abby’s beautiful graphic design work, check out her site at Abby Ryan Design.


St. Simons Elopement Ideas

Saint Simons Island weddings are a staple to our beautiful area. Couples come from all around the country to plan their bare feet in the sand for a beach wedding or in the historic squares and gardens.  There are many gorgeous places that represent our beautiful coastal area very well– from sandy beaches to open parks.  Which Saint Simons wedding venue is right for you? It’s just a matter of which reflect your personality!

Our parks feature the beautiful Spanish Moss that everyone loves on the trees, and are often times very close to the piers to allow you beautiful post-elopement photo ops.  Many people fall in love with the beaches, and best of all they are free!  What’s most important is that you consider the tide levels for when you would like to have your wedding ceremony.  Consult the tide charts and take into account the weather, which can greatly affect the tides.  Also keep in mind that since the beaches are free, there is no way to reserve a space for your wedding. If you have elaborate décor, be sure that your wedding coordinator has a plan ahead of time to enact setup.




East Beach wedding on St. Simons Island :: Photo by Anna and Spencer via Yes Bride


Wedding Elopement at Mallery Park in St SImons Island

Mallery Park on Saint Simons Island


Elopements Gascoigne Bluff on St. Simons Island

Gascoigne Bluff  near Epworth by the Sea

Small Gazebo in Neptune Park St. Simons Island

Gazebo by Neptune Park/The Village

Avenue of the Oaks St Simons Sea Island

Avenue of the Oaks to Sea Island

Best-Western-Island-Inn St Simons

Gazebo and Pool at the Best Western Island Inn

Neptune Park Casino Lawn St Simons Island

Neptune Park

Keep in mind that these are not your only options! Looking for Jekyll Island elopement venues? We’ve got you covered, too!  You can also look into many areas at your hotel or restaurant if you are making a weekend of it.  Here is what you need to elope:

• A wedding officiant of your choice

• A beautiful location

• Your wedding license from Glynn County

You can also download our Saint Simons Elopement Checklist to help get you started!


Relieve Wedding Stress by Pampering Yourself

Wedding planning can be stressful.  Timelines, guest lists, budgets, and meetings can take their toll on you– both physically and mentally.  Your eating habits can get out of whack, your sleep clock breaks down and your exercise routine can fall through the cracks.  It’s important to take at least one day a week, if you can afford it or at the very least, twice a month, to decompress and let the wedding plans stay on pause for a moment.

Well, Stella, we’re here to help you get your groove back!



Hevia Skin Care

Make sure you have a great skincare program HEVIA MD SKIN SCIENCE™ has all of the essentials to keep you looking absolutely gorgeous before, during and after the wedding day. The exceptional skincare line, created by internationally-renowned cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Oscar Hevia, features the super-antioxidant Red Mangrove Extract, which features higher antioxidant potency than Vitamin C. The Skin Science kit includes a repair serum, day treatment and hand and body cream to help repair and prep your skin to be picture perfect.



 Nature's Love Bath and Body Products

Spa treatments like facials and massages are great getaways for you to relax during your wedding planning process. Even quick mani/pedis are opportunities for you to regroup and relax.  The products from Love Nature NYC  help you create the spa treatment at home with their  natural and organic products that include body balms, scrubs, soap bars, hand poured candles and more.  Created with ingredients like mango butter (a personal favorite for skin complexions!), buttermilk powder, rose hips, and essential oils are the perfect way to pamper yourself right from home.  Having a moment to refocus and care for only yourself can be a great stress-reliever.

Laurie Kendal-Ellis, Executive Director of the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association  recommends the five following techniques to alleviate wedding stress:

1.      Deep Breathing – improves energy levels and initiates a built-in relaxation response

2.      Muscle Relaxation – tenses and releases each muscle group individually and then collectively

3.      Body Stretches – consecutive stretches including that of the arms, lower back and chest

4.      Foam Rolling – a self-myofascial release technique using a foam roller to inhibit overactive muscles

5.      Racquetballing – a trigger point exercise using a racquetball to massage the tender muscles of the shoulder blades, where much stress tension lies



One of my favorite things to give a boost to the system is juicing. Juicing allows your body a chance to recharge and detox.   Chaud’s Juice Therapy is a great place to start if you are not an avid juicer. There are some other great recipes for snacks that help you to end emotional or bad eating.

Make sure you are staying hydrated!  Water is imperative to keeping your metabolism functioning properly, as well as curbing hunger pains. While most doctors advise a little more than the old adage of “eight eight-ounce glasses per day”, it is still a great starting point.  And water doesn’t have to be boring! Infused waters are a huge favorite in our house.  Here are some of our favorites:

Infused Water


Most importantly: delegate, delegate, delegate! If you have a wedding planner or best friend who can take on tasks for you, allow them to do so, even if it is just a few tasks. It gives you the opportunity to recenter and enjoy life again!

Jul 16 2013

Wedding Hair Ideas and Tips

Choosing your wedding hairstyle is just as important as finding your wedding dress. With so many choices out there, simple things like hair health and color can fall by the way side. The last thing a bride needs is a bad beauty decision that can sabotage her big day — one that will be documented for eternity.

Expert colorist, Mia, from the award-winning Color by Mia, provides expert tips for coloring and styling hair so that every bride can look picture perfect on her special day.


Wedding Day Color Prep

Patience is a Virtue: The longer you can wait between salon visits, the better your hair will look on your wedding day. The longer the root length, the easier it is for your colorist to conceal. Visiting the salon more often than 5-6 weeks can result in the color overlapping, which will result in a more obvious grow-out and possible damage.

*Coloring Tip: Never schedule a salon visit the day before the wedding. The bride should schedule an appointment at least 2 weeks prior from the wedding date. This will give time for any last minute adjustments to color after the bridal hairstyle run-through.

Gray Strays: Instead of tinting hair with your usual permanent color, consider using a semi-permanent color to disguise any gray. Rather than sporting an evident straight line of color, using a semi-permanent color will blur out the grow- out line.

Brighten Up: No matter what a bride’s current color is, I recommend she always go a shade or two lighter. This will instantly make a bride appear younger and give a fresh, brightened look.

Stay Pure: If you live in an older building and have a lighter hair color, you may want to invest in a Brita- style shower head to remove any impurities in the water. This will prevent dulling from build-ups.

Color Saver: Always wash and rinse hair with cool water to keep color fresher, longer.

Wedding Day Style:

50/50: Donned by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, try a gorgeous half up and half down hairstyle. With this look, brides can show off a sexy, long do’, while eliminating distracting hair away from the face.

Soft & Messy: Try a sexy up do’, with a side of soft and messy. This look will expose a bride’s natural beauty, while allowing her to look effortlessly put together.

Bun Be Gone: This wedding season, say goodbye to the classic low bun! Trending brides are growing long locks and wearing their hair long for their big day. Add some shine to your locks and wear a dainty bejeweled headband. This will draw eyes to your face, without being overly distracting.

Wave Hello: This wedding season, brides are saying goodbye to straight hairstyles and adding some bounce to their hair. Whether you do large, bouncy waves, or smaller, loose waves– stray away from straight. Adding some curls will give hair more body and will look much more natural from any angle in wedding photos.


Follow these bridal hair tips and look flawless as you walk down the aisle!

Fashion Monday: Pose

Pose Fashion App

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Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 6.26.41 PM

There will be many picture worthy events during your engagement– from your engagement party, engagement shoot, rehearsal, welcome party, post wedding brunch, and probably a zillion more in between! Pose helps you look abfab for all of them. Directly from your phone or tablet, you can check out the top trends as worn by other users as well as checking out our personal favorite What to Wear With…., where top trendsetters show how you how to rock the latest trends with items right from your own closet! You also receive the inspiration from products from the hottest designers, too. What’s even better is that you can see from fellow members where they’ve made awesome scores– either at specialty shops, brand name stores and more, so that you can get in on the good stuff too!

Wedding Planning Advice



  • • Nail Art has become a new obsession of mine.  I love getting inspired with new colors and designs
  • • Hashtag searches make it super easy to customize and personalize searches
  • • Search by trend/style: office wear, featured collections, and more!


Get on over to Pose, follow me and set up your account! Come back and let me know your Name/Link so that I can follow you, too!

Bliss & Bone Invitations
Jul 12 2013

Luxury Wedding Invitations from Bliss & Bone


These are not your mother’s wedding invitations, honey.  I’m talking down right swoonworthy.

Prana Collection Bliss & Bone Invitations

Bliss & Bone has come up with some absolutely amazing designs to knock to socks off of any edgy, modern, luxe bride.  They serve as a premiere resource for the bride and groom who are looking to be unique, imaginative, and nothing close to ordinary throughout their wedding process.

efforesce1 efforesce2


Bliss & Bone offers semi-custom luxury paper goods for your wedding, products ranging from invitations to cocktail napkins. The brand ties in unique materials and extensive trend research for each of their six seasonally exclusive, fashion forward printed collections. Additionally, they provide assistance as a (digital) coordinator, keeping the couple on track by sending you updates and reminders, and on track with your timeline.
Bliss & Bone Invitations

With consistent designs and themes that stay present throughout every part of the planning and partying phases. Bliss & Bone is everything that all other wedding invitation brands are not: avant-garde, cultured, tasteful, eccentric, and impeccably one-of-a-kind in creating and producing their collections.  Bliss & Bone creates a brand for the couple, a personal experience for the guests, and a dream for all wedding-obsessed, savvy and stylish girls.

lucent1 lucent2 lucent3 signature

Before I forget


Use code LOVEISLOVE for up to $500 off your initial order– this offer expires on July 26!

If you love Bliss & Bone as much as I do, follow them on Pinterest and Twitter, as well as like them on Facebook!

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island
Jul 11 2013

Jekyll Island Wedding: Anna & Jamie


Planning Anna and Jamie’s Jekyll Island wedding was amazing.  We worked closely with Anna and her mom to create some that was truly reflective of the couple: relaxed, casual and fun.  One of the most important things to Anna’s family was the inclusion  of her grandparents beautiful antiques and custom pieces.  With a backdrop of the gorgeous Villa Ospo as a wedding venue, everything tied very well together.

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island

For the wedding ceremony, Anna lovingly wore her grandmother’s wedding gown and looked absolutely stunning for her first look under the oaks with Jamie.  Just a few hours later, she surprised him by walking in to his favorite song after exiting from a vintage Rolls Royce.

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island


For the reception, Anna wanted something that didn’t look “too put together or too stuffy”.  As opposed to regular centerpieces, we incorporated vintage books, oil lamps and eclectic vases filled with a casual grouping of florals.  Each table had photos of the couple through out there lives, and these were in abundance: Anna’s mom and Jamie’s mom are best friends and were pregnant at the same time.

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island

The gorgeous Villa Ospo is one of my favorite wedding venues on Jekyll Island that most don’t know about.  from it’s beautiful courtyards and sprawling yards, it is definitely a favorite wedding location in Millionaire’s Village.

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island


This has to be two of my favorite moments from the evening…

Villa Ospo Wedding on Jekyll Island



Saint Simons Island Wedding Planner: Cocktails & Details
Wedding Photographer: Brooke Roberts Photography
Caterer: Tasteful Temptations 
Florist: Cottage Flowers
Band: Traveling Riverside Band (OMG, you have to hear these guys do “Purple Rain”!)
Hair & Makeup: Kimberly’s Back Porch
Transportation: Martin’s Vintage Rides