St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Blog
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Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 5.19.18 PM
Aug 05 2015

We Likey: Paperpless Post for Weddings

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 5.19.18 PM

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 my wedding cost
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.

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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Fab Friday Finds: Not Just Any Old Day Charm

wedding bouquet keepsake

 

Finding ways to incorporate sentiments or honor lost loved ones into your important day can be hard to think.  Not Just Any Old Day has come up with a beautiful commemorative charm that can be on your wedding bouquet or cake server for your wedding.  It can be your wedding date, parents’ wedding date, a lost loved one’s birthday or some other very special date.

Worn by celebrities like Ariana Grande, Vivica Fox, Ariel Winter, Malese Jow, and Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, there are options that would make for beautiful gifts for your bridesmaids or groomsmen.

 
Wedding Date Necklace Calendar Key

cake server keepsake wedding date Wedding Bracelet Calendar Wedding Date Calendar Key Necklace Gift Wedding Date Calendar Keychain Gift Wedding Date Calendar Money Clip Gift

See more from Not Just Any Old Day on Facebook and Twitter!

We Likey: Madonna & Co.

Madonna and Co fashion clothing boutique

 

Looking for something unique for your upcoming holiday social events?  Madonna & Co. has unique items that will make you the star of the room.  Featuring luxury items that range from edgy to ultra feminine, their items appeal to everyone who wants to add unique styles to their wardrobes.

luxury lace leather clothes fashion design madonna

Featuring fur scarves, capelets and an intriguing mix of lace, leather and prints, Madonna & Co. utilizes fashion forward pieces through texture, color and a stunning appreciation for the feminine form.  I simply adore this lace dress– it would be perfect for a wedding rehearsal dinner, while the leather skirt is perfect for a Girls Night Out.

Lace dress leopard dress

 

Madonnaandco

The Madonna & Co. Vintage  NYC boutique is located the heart of SOHO at 284 Lafayette Street. Want to shop online?  Use code BLOG2 for some of your favorite pieces at a 15% off discount.  Keep up with them on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

 

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do you need to seat everyone for your wedding? Cocktail wedding reception event party
Feb 26 2013

How to Have an Awesome Cocktail Style Reception

 

 

I’ve been talking to a few colleagues about this growing trend of brides wanting to do a cocktail style reception, yet having very heavy “buffets” that could be classified as a full meal instead of great hors d’oeuvres known as small plates.  We all came to the agreement that some couples unknowingly do their guests a disservice and  “if they have feet, they need a seat

Cocktail Style Reception ideas Photo by Harwell Photography

Photo by Harwell Photography

While I know there are differing opinions on this, but let’s consider the following:

•  If your food requires heavy dinner plates, it’s not necessarily a cocktail style reception, and a table should be offered to accommodate your guests.

•  It is absolutely horrid for guests to arrive at a reception without a seating chart or enough seating.  From someone who sees this a lot– they are very confused and at times frustrated.  From guests who want to sit together may find a table that lacks enough chairs to accommodate their party to being stuck  in an undesirable area that is far away from all the action.  Confusion grows deeper as it is not clearly communicated as to exactly whom is entitled to have one of the coveted tables. People get up and lose their seats which can be even more frustrating.

•  A lot of brides say, “We don’t need seating for every one because… my friends are young” or “they’ll be too busy dancing!” or “I don’t want it to be too formal”.  No one stands the entire time while drinking and dancing at some of the hottest clubs in Hollywood.  Why would you expect them to at your wedding, where they are expected to be treated as guests.  Expecting guests to stand for four hours is unrealistic.

•  It is extremely hard for some guests to juggle a plate of food, drinks, purse and whatever else they are trying to carry and enjoy themselves.  If most of the seated tables and cocktail tables are full, you have guests standing in open spaces trying to find a respite.  With non-wedding cocktail parties, this can work to an advantage, because not everyone is eating at the same time. People may be mingling, dancing, or participating in some other activity. With a wedding, most of your guests will be doing the same thing at the same time.  Be prepared for some guests to leave early.

Wedding Planning Advice Tips Ideas

To be clear, I’m not against cocktail receptions– I think they’re gorgeous, fun and allow for more mingling.  Most cocktail receptions, while lacking formal seating, does offer rest/lounge areas for their guests.  Brides believe that if their venue is small and they overinvite, they can switch to this style seating, under the premise of “not everyone needs a seat”.  A formal seat, no– not necessarily.  Somewhere to sit, absolutely. Here’s how to make it fabulous, but still with the vibrant cocktail party type atmosphere you want:

• You should have tables for at least 75% of your guest list.  You are not just limited full five and six foot tables. Incorporate a mix of different table sizes like cocktail tables, bistro tables  and even a banquet table or two to mix it up.  Offer a few with chairs and stools to give those a break if they need it.

Cocktail Style Reception Ideas

Cocktail Style Reception Seating Ideas

• If you don’t offer seating for everyone, then offer a lounge area where people can still relax, regroup and enjoy a cocktail and food.  Rent lounge furniture or incorporate furniture from your venue.  Make it your own by bringing in your own cushions and centerpieces to complement their furniture.

Wedding Lounge for Cocktail Style Reception

Wedding Lounge for Cocktail Style Reception

Outdoor Wedding Lounge for Cocktail Style Reception Ideas

• Don’t let this become a money issue.  Your guests would probably enjoy being comfortable more than a welcome bag or favor.  When we ask most of our couples what is most important to them on their wedding day, they say, “good food, good music and for everyone to have a good time”.  It can be hard to enjoy the good food from the five star caterer you hired or enjoy the smooth crooning of your 10 piece band if your guests are uncomfortable and frustrated.

•  Have a cocktail style reception because you want to. Not because you have to.  If your space dictates that only a certain amount of people can fit in your venue, be prepared to make the sacrifice.  With cocktail receptions, space and food are major issues.  You need enough room for people to flow in and out of the space comfortably, not spilling out and displaced.  You may have to sacrifice on the full dinner you wanted or cut your guest list down.  If you make the sacrifice, you still have many hearty options available to serve to your guests without them going away hungry.

Mini Burger Mini Grilled Cheese Mini Beer for Cocktail Hour Reception

Mini Fried Chicken and Coke Hors D'oeuvres Cocktail Hour Reception Corn and Crab Salad Hors D'oeuvres Cocktail Hour Reception

• Be sure there is something to do to keep people active and happy.  Naturally, you have your dance floor and your bar.  Some sort of table or seat will keep them busy and give them a place to keep their belongings, but get them to be interactive with games, a photo or video booth, a dessert or popcorn bar  or even a tour of your venue.  The more people have to do, the less they are standing in one spot.

Custom Cornhole for Weddings

Photo by Anna Pociask Photography

Chocolate Dessert Bar for Wedding

Photobooth for Weddings

Take Me Away Tuesday: Copamarina

The Copamarinais a beautiful property in Puerto Rico– it’s the perfect retreat for adventurous honeymooners that is off-the-beaten path, budget-friendly destination.  The 20-acre landscaped tropical resort fronting the Caribbean Sea, offers a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere where couples can enjoy a secluded and authentic taste of Puerto Rico.  An hour and half outside of San Juan, situated in the seaside town of Guánica, Copamarina offers affordable rates, and is the first and only property in Puerto Rico to offer an all-inclusive package.

copamarina-beach-resort-guanica-puerto-rico-spa-at-the-beach

The property features the renowned Bodyderm Spa specializing in massages and body treatments, two on-site restaurants (including Alexandra, the internationally-acclaimed seafood restaurant), several swimming pools, a variety of water sports and recreational activities and nearby attractions including the Dry Forest Reserve.

You’ll be close by to visit some of the local favorites such as the Ponce Museum, the lush Gilligan’s Island, the breathtaking Bioluminescent Bay as well as some scenic diving and other watersports. For those who consider themselves foodies, you’ll be enamored with culinary events that the resort holds featuring some of the world’s finest chefs and techniques.

Room rates start $190/night for a Deluxe Garden and $110 per person per night for the all-inclusive package.

Contact our travel concierge to learn more or to book the Copamarina!

Fashion Monday: Dressing for the Honeymoon

Honeymoon Attire Ideas

 

Your honeymoon is a wonderful part of your life to make memories, get closer to your honey and explore a far off place together.  Naturally, you’ll want to look amazing for all the pictures that you’ll take.  Here are some gorgeous pieces to inspire you, no matter where you’re going!

 

Fashion Monday: E!’s Live from the Red Carpet Shoe Line

If you love watching the Red Carpet Shows to get your dose of glamour, fashion and face beatings (translation: gorgeous makeup), you will be overjoyed to know that the E! Network has teamed with Anavel Caparros to create the E! Live From the Red Carpet Shoe Collection.  The stylish line of high heels is now available at Macy’s, Lord + Taylor, LordandTaylor.com, and will debut at Von Maur on May 8th.

After the stunning success of Adrianna Papell E! Live from the Red Carpet  evening gown collection, as well as the Stila E! Live from the Red Carpet cosmetics line, the shoe industry is now taking everyone by storm and no prisoners.  This new addition to the E! Live from the Red Carpet brand will provide fashionistas the perfect accessory to complete their own red carpet looks.

To view more from this delicious collection, visit the Red Carpet section of E!’s website.

Bring Coachella to Your Next Event

So you’re tired of the same old dinner party, the same routine wedding festivities, the humdrum of birthday parties, right?  There is no need to get down– take some inspiration from this year’s Coachella Festival.  If you haven’t heard about Coachella ( how could you escape it this year when they basically “resurrected” Tupac for a “live” hologram concert performance), we’ll give you the skinny:  it’s a three day long annual music and arts festival in the Coachella Valley.  It’s frequented by some of the biggest names in the entertainment and fashion industry with performances, exhibits and parties throughout the sprawling desert backdrop.

Each year, it seems Coachella gets better and better (cue another mention of the amazing Tupac performance).  All of the artists, performers and brands really bring it for this weekend.  There were some great ideas that could translate nicely for your next event.  Take a look:

Armani TMobile at Coachella

Several people enjoyed the Armani Exchange and TMobile Carnival Party.  We’ve posted before about getting your Coney Island on with your event— be it with food and drink or decor and details.  The most important thing with having a theme is to remain authentic  to the details and your personality.  Basically, “skip the cheese, go for the meat“.  Don’t go for the ultra cheesy details, but be authentic as possible.

Uplighting at Coachella

Lighting is ridiculously awesome.  It can transform any space into something dramatic and exciting.  The key to incorporating good lighting is your base– look at your area’s walls, floors, etc.   Make sure your lighting has something to reflect off of to create striking pillars or soft washes of colors.

Pool Parties at Coachella

If you’ve got a pool at your next party, don’t neglect it! Incorporate it in your party.  The open air atmosphere can add so much to your event.  Create custom cabanas by having personalized pillows with your pictures, monograms, colors or wedding logo. This gives your guests a great place to find respite or catch up on conversation.  Your pool can be a well designed focal point as we shared with The Braxton Premiere Party.

What would you inspires you from Coachella?