St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Terrica Talk
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Take Me Away Tuesday: Snique Away

imageIf you’re a jetsetter like me, you enjoy clearing customs more often than you clear your throat.  Frequent travel can be a little burdensome on the Prada purse, which is why I absolutely love Snique Away.  Not so much for the deeply discounted, secret pricing, but also because each day is a new limited offer: some where new, unexplored, unchartered, and ready for you to enjoy. 

For example, at the time that I’m writing this post, this was one of the offers I was swooning over (as I want my before-the-end-of-2011 getaway to be in DR):

sivory punta cana vacation destination wedding dominican republic

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SniqueAway is your accomplice for stunning escapes.

A brand-new private sale travel experience, that offers their members top brands and A-List accommodations at surprisingly affordable prices. There is no cost to join SniqueAway, but an invitation is required. By limiting membership, they’re able to bring you exclusive rates on the world’s top hotels. Our limited-time-only sales showcase the sleek, chic, and always unique. Oh, and check out our pedigree: We’re part of Smarter Travel Media—a TripAdvisor Media Group company. TripAdvisor offers the world’s most trusted travel advice™. We take full advantage of their knowledge by bringing you the recommendations and guidance of millions of travelers.

 

So it’s simple:  Look, book, save, rave.  Discover somewhere new each day or keep your eye on your favorite locale on the upcoming secret sale radar.  Don’t worry—SniqueAway offers US and International Destinations!  It’s also perfect for checking out the location of your destination wedding at a deeply discounted rate, which of course means more money for shopping.

And yes, I’ll share my invite with you 🙂

How To Work Well With Your Wedding Coordinator: Vendor Edition

I’ve offered advice for how brides can get the most of their relationship with their wedding coordinator, and I realized that I needed to share a “vendor” edition as well.  Every wedding planner goes through this at some point, whether s/he has been planning the wedding from the beginning or is coming in to execute and produce the day. How this relationship works differently from that of the client/planner is that this could be a mutually beneficial relationship after an event.  Having a great working relationship makes for great event flow and future event production. Brides (and grooms!):  here are some things that we as planners love that you might be able to facilitate:

Answer (or at least CHECK) your email. You cannot send a timeline through a phone call and I strongly doubt anyone is going to snail mail you one.  A few times I’ve heard of vendors coming to a wedding without a clue of what was to happen at the wedding because they did not receive the timeline or event packet.  Inexcusable.  Even though we put out a few of these every weekend, and know the general pieces of a wedding day,  we cannot do a wedding over. A  prepared wedding professional is a better wedding professional. If you have not received a timeline or communication by 2 weeks prior to the wedding, contact your client’s wedding planner or client.

Insufficient Funds.  It is really best that you handle all financial transactions prior to the wedding; I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but it makes it so much easier on the planner and client when this is handled prior to the event.  The Mother of the Bride is not scrambling to find a checkbook and as a planner, I’m not forced to chase my bride down during her wedding to handle your income.  That sounds harsh, and I’m sorry—but I’m a wedding planner, not a hostage negotiator.  Let me explain.  This happens more often that not: a couple finds a few things wrong with your service and decide to withhold payment and decide how they should be remedied.  The vendor and client appeals to the wedding planner, who is then stuck in the middle.  Note to brides: Make a point to have all of your final payments to your vendors two weeks prior to your wedding day.

There Is Only One Diva Allowed…And It’s Not You.  Once again, harsh, but you didn’t come here for puppies and rainbows.  We (as planners) totally get that your job is important.  Other vendors think their job is equally important as well.  Each has its argument as to why they rank higher on the totem pole: photographers produce the images that will last far beyond the wedding day once everything else has faded away; the floral designer produces the floral designs that create the ambience and experience during the event; the caterer provides the food for guests to enjoy at the heart of the event, and the DJ provides the entertainment to get everyone moving and excited.  I get it. I hear it often.  I, however, am not moved. If it makes you feel better, it’s my job to “be in charge” of all of you in your infinite importance, your contribution and the event.  I’m like a mother with her children: you’re all important, and I don’t deal well with temper tantrums.  We’re here as a team.  Let’s make it fabulous.  There is only one diva, and that’s the one in the white dress.

Chow Time.  If you require a hot meal, please put it in your contract.  I’ve seen vendors throw fits (please see above to ascertain how you think that was received) over being presented with a box lunch from the venue.  If this is a topic that is of major importance for you, please revisit it when you conduct any final meetings/consultations with the client.  Please never assume that the client has made arrangements for you or knows what you want, and please don’t assume that a meal will be a hot one.  Note to brides:  Please check the type of meal you are ordering with your caterer or venue.  Some venues will “offer” a vendor meal to you at a “discounted” rate, but it is not what the rest of your guests are eating, it’s a $20 sandwich, apple and a bag of chips.  If one of your vendors requires a hot meal, it is good etiquette to provide hot meals for all of your vendors.

If You Make Changes or Have Needs, Please Let Us Know…Please. It is not enough to tell the client. They will forget. I promise you—they have other things to deal with and that is the reason why they hire their wedding planner. If you find out that they have a wedding planner, it is common, professional courtesy that you update us with changes or needs in addition to (or at best, in lieu of) the client.  If you have things you need returned, moved, etc. during or after the event, please let us know ahead of time.  We want to maximize and enhance your service, but please recognize you are one of many vendors that will assist with the wedding day.  We are all but a thread in the fabric of the event, and one snag can cause the entire garment to fray.  Please let us know of any changes so that we can see how that will affect other vendors and the event as a whole.

These are just some ways that you can work best with your client’s wedding coordinator? Have great experiences to share?  I’d love to hear them…leave a comment!

We Likey: Cooking Together , Having Fun with Two or More Cooks in the Kitchen

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I recently received a copy of Cooking Together Having Fun with Two or More Cooks in the Kitchen and thought it was great!  I always felt that cooking is such a sweet, intimate act that you can perform for someone.  Whether it is your significant other, your parents, your children or family and friends, cooking can be fun, romantic, or elaborate, but always satisfying. 

Cooking Together is broken up into three sections:  For Two People (your significant other, best friend or colleague), Two Adults and Two Children (perfect for parents and grandparents) and When Guests Come (for multiple cooks!).  Each recipe comes with easy to read instructions, colorful images and tips, stories and riddles accompanying each.  Flavorful recipes such as Minute Steaks with Herb Crust and Baked Potatoes, Pork Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce, and Turkey Steaks with Prosecco Foam Sauce.  The recipes are very simple and not too overwhelming for first time cooks.

You Are Not Being Nickeled and Dimed. You Are Having A Wedding

 

 

Weddings are highly emotional events.  Even planning one can bring out the very best and worst of some people.  While this is an important and sensitive event that you plan, you come up against elements of event planning and business that you may have not encountered before in everyday life.  It can be hard making the distinction between your event and “business”. 

Understand, that your vendors know this is an important day for you.  It is an important day for us, too—as we truly want to bring out the best of your event.  And we do so by using the best of our talents and resources.  This is what you pay for.  All too often, sometimes the lines are blurred between the bridal couple and their wedding professionals.  When lines are blurred, couples assume that since they are such great friends with members of their event team, that they (the professionals) are more than happy to do small mundane tasks.  No, honey.  Those cost.  And it’s not a matter of you being nickeled and dimed, it’s a matter of paying for and respecting your wedding professionals’ time.

I understand that since this is a monumental, and at most occasions, a one time event, couples do not know protocol.  Here are some helpful hints:

  • Be sure your vendor’s service information is detailed.  If you have something specific you want or need done in your vendor’s capacity, ask if it is included. Typically, if it is not listed, it’s not included and you should be prepared to pay. This includes additional setup, consultation hours, etc.
  • Not only are you paying for quality, you are also paying for convenience.  No, you don’t want to be stuck the day (or day before) your wedding fluffing 80 tissue paper pom poms or picking up your liquor from a wholesaler.  True, you could do it yourself, but you would add stress and a time suck to your schedule.  The little things you don’t want to or have time to do?  Pay someone to do it, or don’t be upset when you are charged.  So when you pay your wedding planner or caterer to do these things, you are paying to make sure it is done correctly as well as your own convenience.
  • Don’t overstay your welcome.  That sounds harsh, but that is not the case.  On your contract, your wedding professional outlines the times of their service for you.  You aren’t renting a person, you’re paying for a service.  If you go over, be prepared to pay for any overtime outside of your contract.  We had a wedding that was scheduled to end at 8 PM.  I kid you not, no one danced the entire evening, until 7:55PM.  They were ready to get the party going, but the DJ’s contract was up at 8PM.  They ended up paying overtime, and surprisingly, didn’t dance again for the the rest of the night.  Situations like this are rare, but you should prepare for them nonetheless.
  • Don’t confuse line items with being nickeled and dimed.  This is a way for your vendor to ensure you understand what you are getting, you are being charged correctly and they haven’t left anything out.  It’s for your mutual benefit.  Some vendors can get overly detailed, but take it with a grain of salt and credit it to their business savvy.

 

These are just some tips to help you as you start your planning!  What have been your experiences been when working with vendors and their pricing?

Five Things Your Wedding Planner Absolutely Loves

love you

Your Ceremony and Reception Are In the Same Location.  Logistically, it makes things a lot easier for all the vendors involved.  It also makes for better planning and transition/flow into events.  If you are looking to have your ceremony at a house of worship, look into options that may be on the same grounds or adjacent to the property where the ceremony will be performed.  Great examples are Faith Chapel and near by Crane and Cherokee Cottages at the nearby Jekyll Island Club Hotel, or the Lovely Lane Chapel at Epworth by the Sea on Saint Simons Island.

You Trust His/Her Judgment.   Yes, we secretly get giddy inside when you say “You can do what you want… I trust you”.  We understand it takes a lot to get to that point, but it means a lot when you can trust that we will make the right decision on your behalf.  It also means a lot when you take our advice into consideration when making decisions.  Being able to see the event from all perspectives, and not have tunnel vision is the perk of being an event producer.  We can work best, and in your best interest when we are allowed to do what we do best. 

Cake.  We love cake.  Please give us some.  MANY a day has your favorite Terrica sat on the couch the day after a wedding shoving buttercream in her face, while watching FitTV. It’s like a national pastime.

You Stand Up For What You Want…Even With Us.  When your planner has been planning your wedding with you from the beginning, we begin to know your likes and dislikes.  We know what is important to you, and why.  We do get disheartened when family and/or friends talk you out of something that is very important to you.  It takes the sheen off your day a bit. Even though it is a community celebration, your wedding should still be indicative of your personalities as a couple. 

You Value His/Her Time…Space.  Even though your wedding planner strives to make you feel like you’re the only client, in reality, you are not.  In fact, the business is not the be all and end all of the planner’s life.  We are especially grateful when you make all of your appointments on time, notify us if you cannot, or cancel ahead of time.  Try to call or schedule appointments during office hours.  This is a heavily logistical job consisting of many details for many people—sometimes your planner may just want to decompress in the bathtub or go to their child’s play.  Observe personal boundaries—do not call the planner at home or text him/her if you were not given explicit permission to do so.  A well rested (as much as possible) planner is a great planner.

What My Louboutin Manicure Has To Do With Your Wedding

louboutin manicure

I like shopping
I hate going to the grocery store
I hate washing clothes
I like painting my nails
It excites me
You have to work to get this good
— “Diva” by Club 69

Those lyrics are from my favorite song.  They’re very true, by the way.

So you are probably wondering what I am talking about.  Well, every two weeks, I am in the nail salon thinking of ways to make my fabulousness more tangible via my nail and toe polish.  Granted, I typically choose my nail color based on the name of the polish.  Doesn’t matter if it’s in season or not—it’s based on my mood, future outfits, etc.  For example, I really want to go away, so my current color is Caribbean Temptation (it’s a fabulous color, by the way).

Last month, I decided to opt for a “Louboutin Manicure”, which mimics the famous shoe—black on top, red underneath.  Clearly this threw my nail technician for a loop—he didn’t get it, it was out of his comfort zone and he probably thought I was nuts or tacky. I noticed afterwards, there were a few details that were poorly done or off, which might have been caused by his lack of motivation or comprehension to do it correctly.

Which got me to thinking…As a bride:

There may be vendors who do not get your vision.  It’s important to base your selection of vendors on experience and creativity—not just price.  Find someone that gets what you are going for.  If a vendor believes that your vision does not mesh well with their brand, they should be professional enough to decline your wedding and offer another alternative. However,

If the vendor agrees to grant/perform your request, even if they don’t like it, they should do it rightEven with all of the professional advice, suggestions and alternatives from your vendor, if you still choose to go along with your vision and your vendor agrees to assist you, no matter their feelings on it—it should be done correctly.

Enamorada: Jessica + Scott

savannah engagement shoot by brooke roberts

When I saw this adorable Savannah engagement shoot shot by Brooke Roberts, I felt so at ease and carefree. I know that Jessica + Scott must have, too.  I love being completely focused on them while in the midst of one of Savannah’s most beautiful landmarks, Forsyth Park.  They were so relaxed with each other, you feel like that they were the only ones in this beautiful city.

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Questions You Should Never Ask Your Future Wedding Planner

Wedding magazines and books always have these atrocious questions that they feel brides should ask their vendors. This has always perplexed me, as it’s coming from an unaffiliated third party.  I cannot tell you how we cringe at the questions we hear, and the looks on the faces of the poor couples that ask them—as they feel they are truly legitimate.

Wrong:  What were you doing before you became a wedding planner? (This may not be any of your business, and if your planner feels uncomfortable or offended, it’s not a good way to start your consultation).

Right:  What from your past experiences makes you a better planner?

Wrong:  Which was your favorite wedding? (That’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child)

Right:  What is your favorite part of the wedding day or what is your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

Wrong:  What was your most difficult wedding?  (You’re asking family secrets and are not yet part of the family.)

Right:  What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced during the wedding planning process or on the wedding day?

Wrong:  Give me five adjectives that describe yourself.  (This is not the Miss USA pageant. It is a business interview)

Right:  Tell us about your approach to the wedding day management or wedding planning process?

Wrong: What kind of discounts will you get us?

Right:  There is no right way to ask this.  Magazines and books leave you under the impression that your wedding planner or coordinator is a walking, talking Entertainment book—full of good info and discounts.  While most planners are always happy to extend any professional courtesies from other vendors to their clients, these courtesies are never guaranteed and are given at the discretion of the vendor.

Wrong:  Who is the best {insert vendor category here} or Who are your preferred vendors? (No good will ever come of this…)

Right: Which {vendor category} do you think is best suited to our style and budget? (Be prepared to get a general answer—if your planner offers vendor selection as a service, s/he may not divulge specific names without getting to know more about your wedding style…or being paid.)

Wrong:  Why  should we hire you over {your competitor}? (Again, no good will come of this.)

Right: Not really a right way to ask this.  (It is up to you to make decision who is best for you. It is the planner’s job to stand out with her charisma and experience and stand up for her business and her professionalism—not compete or compare herself to someone else so that you can bargain shop.)

 

There are other questions that are, for lack of a better word “questionable”, too.  The answers you think you want to hear may not have much stock:

Questionable Question:  How many weddings do you have you done?

Why It’s Questionable:  Just hearing a solid number will not help you make your decision because those numbers could be misleading.  For example, let’s say Planner A’s answer is 200.  Planner B’s answer is 25.  Does that make Planner A better than Planner B?  In your mind, does it determine that Planner A is more experienced?  What if I told you that Planner A, did indeed work 200 weddings; however, half were elopements, the others were coordinations, and a few full service planning.  What if you found out that Planner B’s 25 weddings were million dollar full service planning weddings full of details.  A better question would be to ask the scale of the weddings the planner has in her repertoire:  amount of guests, budgets, details, locations, etc.

Questionable Question:  What associations do you belong to?

Why It’s QuestionableBelieve it or not, the wedding planning industry is not a regulated one.  Any Barbie, Skipper or Ken can open up a wedding planning company provided they meet the guidelines of their state with operating a business.  Associations and trade groups have different bylaws, rules and education requirements, which makes it a bit inconsistent.  Depending on your location, local chapters of said organizations may be non-existent.  A far better question is to ask your planner about their continuing education and networking.

It will be very important for you to draw from what has been said, but also what has not been said.  Pick up on your planner’s tone, warmth, humor and /professionalism.  Do they put you at ease?  Do you feel like you are handing your wedding off to a professional who not only cares about your event, but your well being, too.  Have a conversation with your planner about your event—allow them to ask questions, offer insight and answer your inquiries. 

Brides—How did you know your planner was for you?

Planners—What do you feel are some great/awful questions?

Enamorada: Landon + Jordan

When I saw Landon + Jordan’s engagement pictures in Orlando shot by La Dolce Vita, I could see SO much of their personalities.  The shoot was so classic,  but very modern, too.  The way the sun reflected from her hair was extraordinary.  And I just love how the car worked as a backdrop and melted with the way that they look t each other.  Check out the interesting story and inspiration behind their engagement shoot location of these high school sweethearts! 

orlando wedding photographers La dolce vita

engagement pictures orlando

classic car in engagement photos

orlando engagement photographer La Dolce Vita Studio

This week, I was able to talk to Landon and Jordan… I asked them to fill in the blanks of some random questions inspired by them; you will love them:

{Landon} Complete this sentence:  When Jordan kisses my FOREHEAD, I feel BUTTERFLIES
{Jordan} If you could take Landon away right now, where would you go? GREEK ISLANDS
{Jordan}     When BRAD PAISLEY’S "THEN" comes on the radio, I think always think of Landon.
{Landon} What’s your favorite clothing item on Jordan? I HAVE TO SAY HIS WHITE POLO BOXER BRIEFS 🙂

Wedding Ring Car Shot

Orlando Wedding Photographer

Orlando Engagement Pictures La Dolce Vita

Enamorada: Sherrisse + Sheldon

When I saw this beautiful couple shot by Joshua Dwain, I just knew I had to have them for Enamorada.  I absolutely adore the way Sheldon looks at Sherrisse—and the way she seems to melt when under his gaze.  There is something so magical and romantic about their authenticity, touch, and levity.  I really cant wait to see what Sherrisse pulls off for her wedding. 

soho engagement shoot new york city by joshua dwain

soho engagement photographer in new york city joshua dwain

soho engagement pictures by joshua dwain in new york city

soho engagement shoot by joshua dwain

This is definitely my favorite shot:

new york city engagement and wedding photographer joshua dwain

 

You can see more of these fantastic images on Joshua Dwain’s Blog.

Stay in love!