St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Wedding Advice
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Why I Love Your Wedding Photographer

Wedding photographer at work taking picture of a bride

Photo :: Pamela Marie

As a wedding planner, one of the most important questions I ask clients that come to us to discuss their wedding is “Who is your wedding photographer?”  As I’ve mentioned several times before in my blog musings, the photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to your wedding, right after choosing the venue.  I feel this way for several reasons:  flowers, while beautiful and provide a backdrop– eventually, they will die.  The dress, in its mounds of chiffon, lace or satin will look absolutely stunning on you– however, unless you are extremely innovative you will not wear the dress again and neither will your daughter.  Food and music, while very important parts of the party– they will be forgotten within a week if not days after your wedding.

Your photographs will be everlasting.

They will capture. They will connect.  They will captivate.  They will evoke emotion within seconds.  This is why it is so very important that you pick the right photographer for your wedding.  It’s not enough to be based solely on price or whom every one else is using.  You need to have a visceral connection with your photographer so that you can feel at ease and your best on your wedding day.  So be sure you aren’t just falling in love with great pictures, but the artistic, creative mind behind the camera as well.  (The same can be said with the flipside of that argument…don’t just fall in love with the photographer’s personality, but also with their work!  Being great email/phone pals will not make up for horrible photos of the most important day of your life!).

Since I like to break things down, I want you to know why I love your wedding photographer:

  • S/he is going to work their behinds off.  It happens every time– I will meet the photography team prior to the wedding and we all look great and refreshed.  Within hours– we are drenched in sweat, tired, etc.  I love a photographer who is all over the place (respectfully) to get the best shots for our client.  They aren’t worried about climbing on a few chairs, kneeling, being patient with a two year old flower girl and so many more instances that require true professionalism and a rock hard work ethic.
  • S/he doesn’t take me lightly.  True story– at one wedding, I had my two assistants come to me in complete shock because they were “ordered” by a DJ to go fix plates for the bride and groom, even though I gave them specific duties and that was and never will be one of them. The nerve, right?  I am not a hired bridesmaid, family friend, fluff or a filler. I am an event professional who is there to make sure that my clients and their families enjoy their day to the fullest potential and that their vendors are able to provide their best products in their capacities.  I love a photographer who understands the importance of a wedding planner/coordinator/producer and what we bring to the table (and make that table look fabulous!).   I know most photographers appreciate us because we do everything that most brides will push on a photographer which takes away from their own jobs (lining people up, pinning on flowers, cuing walk-ins).
  • I don’t take them lightly.  Planning a wedding is a long, thorough process full of details, hard work, and concepts.  It means a lot to work with a photographer who captured the moment exactly how we visioned it as well as all of the wonderful moments and designs that an entire event team works so hard on.  Photography is so much more than some one showing up to a wedding and snapping a few pictures.  It takes talent, skill and continuing education by a wonderful artist to hone their craft.  Your photographer will work very hard on your wedding day, but will put in several hours in after to tastefully edit and produce your images in a way that will take your breath away and help you relive your day.
  • S/he appreciates all aspects of their work.  I love a photographer that I meet at networking or industry events. I love a photographer that blogs.  I love a photographer that invests in everything from lenses to camera bags to designer straps 🙂  Wedding photographers understand that there is so much more besides having talent– you must be smart, business savvy, and an everlasting student.  In the same token, great photographers understand that technical skill will only get you so far– if there is no passion, no love, no emotional depth to your pictures, it will not get you far.
  • S/he brings backup.  I love a photographer who knows they can’t be everywhere all of the time.  Second and third shooters are essential.  When you have events that take place on sprawling properties or with large guest lists/bridal parties, they are absolutely essential.  There are moments and details that you don’t want to be overlooked when you have only a small window of time to capture them.  With a photographer who has a second shooter or even a details shooter, you are securing your investment in everything else besides your photography.  It is like the age old paradigm in wedding planning:  if a bride has gorgeous florals and designs at her wedding, but the photographer didn’t capture them, were they really there?

 

What are some reasons that you love your wedding photographer?

Details: Gold Bottles

Gold Bottles as candleholders

Photo :: Forma Living

I am completely enamored by these gilded painted bottles that served as delicious, gilded eye candy for a neutral based table. This fun concept is easy to do/make and would splendid at your next outdoor dinner party, rehearsal dinner or bridesmaid’s luncheon!

You can find the directions and more ideas/concepts above from Forma Living!

 

 

Trade in Your Bridesmaid’s Dress with NewlyMaid!

trade in old bridesmaids dresses with Dessy and Nearlymaid

I simply LOVE this concept for bridesmaids!  Newlymaid is a unique way for bridesmaids to exchange their bridesmaid’s dress for a new sleek number that they can wear for any occasion– day or night!  As more brides are a allowing their bridesmaids to choose their own designs for more freedom and character, this is still a great option if the style is ultra formal or ultra casual and they would still love something that fits their personal style.

If this sounds like something you would want to mention to your bridesmaids– share it with them in your newsletters and wedding pre-party websites!

Fashion Monday: Viva La Glam

Just as we predicted last year, as well as with the Royal Wedding Obsession, the emergence of glamour will take the wedding industry by storm!  These dresses are gorgeous– adding  a touch of glamour with sleek lines and luxurious fabrics.

Anne Barge:

Anne Barge wedding gowns feature modern interpretations of vintage couture.  This blending of contemporary and classic styles, with the use of the finest materials and intricate beading and embroidery, creates timeless silhouettes. Anne Barge has created three distinct brands- Black Label, Couture, and La Fleur- to fit her customers’ taste, regardless of budget.


 

anne barge flowing white ruffle wedding dress gown

Jennifer Salzman:

Jennifer Salzman’s use of Swarovski crystals, french lace, ruffled skirts and bubbled tiers makes her collection unlike any other. Salzman’s mastery of fit and proportion make her line elegant and feminine. From dramatic tulle princess gowns to the perfect beaded mermaid dress the common thread found throughout this diverse line is the attention to proportion and texture.

glamorous wedding gowns dresses ruffles halter

 

Dolly Couture (love this vintage, pin up-esque glamour of these tea length wedding dresses!)

Dolly Couture’s modern twist to the vintage, tea-length style dress has become a glamorous alternative to the classic bridal gown. Modest, yet still making a statement thanks to its voluminous silhouette; the full skirt is a perfect example of how to go big without going over the top. The brand is known for putting a fresh twist to the vintage tea-length style dress. Dolly Couture is Fashionable, affordable and unforgettable.

 

vintage inspired short wedding dress ivory whiteshort white wedding dress

 

Ines Di Santo:

Using her signature hand-ruching and tailoring techniques, the Ines Di Santo Collection is known for marrying a sculpted, polished bodice with sumptuously layered skirts and romantic detailing.  The effect has garnered the brand an eager client base of discerning, and celebrity brides. Her well-recognized designs are carried at luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.


mermaid feather and ruffle wedding gown goddess wedding dress

Share Your Info Easily with Couple Cards

Color Accent - Barn Red - Photo Couple Card

Couple Cards are brilliant little organizers that are business cards for today’s busy couples.  From giving to wedding vendors or handing to family and friends, these couple cards make it easy to share personal information during—and after—the planning process—and can be included in thank you notes to encourage everyone to keep in touch.

LOVE - Butter - Couple Card

 

Colorful Swirls - Brick - Couple Card

 

Damask Crest - Aqua - Couple Card

 

Sleek Photo Couple Card

 

Retro Pattern - Aqua - Couple Card

Romantic Vines - Black - Couple CardOffered in 15 designs, four sizes, and an array of colors, couple cards include an image and printed information such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses and more.  In addition, some of the calling cards are inspired by Get Married’s best selling invitations.  Plus, couples can customize with a barcode on the back during online checkout, which allows guests to snap it with their smart phones to access a personal wedding website.

Check out this great video  of Couple Cards to learn more or purchase yours in the Get Married Shop.

 

Beach Chic :: Luxury Poolside Tents

blue poolside tent for weddings and events with shell chandelier
Raj Tents have come up with some of the most divine designs to turn your poolside party into a gorgeous, upscale affair.  With exclusive tenting and décor to bring out the essence of themes such as – Moroccan, Indian, Beach Chic and Classic White Wedding, Raj Tents has become a nationally recognized brand in luxury tenting for the special events industry.
Their tents are delicately detailed and made of sumptuous fabrics that give other tents a run for their money.  Due to popular demand, Raj Tents have developed their new beach chic line of smaller, self supported tents.
These popular pergola and pavilion tents are adorned with sea-spray or turquoise exteriors with a myriad of blue shades for the valance.  Their size makes it possible to enjoy the view of the tent, but still offer some beautiful color and decor to your event, while protecting food, seating and/or bars.
poolside tent over jacuzzi weddings event
I love the look of this tent over the jacuzzi.  It makes such a beautiful focal point. I would love to float lotus blossoms in it or a waterproof platform for a couple to stand on for a beautiful illusion that they are standing water.

For more information on securing a Raj Tent, visit their website, www.rajtents.com!

Celebrity Fete: Braxton Family Values Premiere

Everyone is in love with the new reality show, Braxton Family Values, featuring Grammy Award Winner songstress (and fellow Maryland native!) Toni Braxton. The show is about her, her four sisters and their mother.  With a little family drama, talent, hair and fashion galore, you have one hell of a reality show.

To introduce the show to A-Listers, network executives and other VIPs, WeTV took the opportunity to introduce the network’s new look and brand at the London West Hollywood, at a lush party for 350 with trendsetting decor.  the party featured playful, sensuous pinks and aqua blues with modern fixtures and designs.  I love the “residential” look of incorporating oversized lampsand decorative tables which are so beautiful that they could stand on their own!

Event branding, pool decor for wedings and events palm trees

floating pomanders flowers in pool wedding decor

pool party decor for weddings and events

How to translate this decor/design into your wedding/event:

  • Having a beautiful outdoor space offers many sensory benefits during the day, but don’t be afraid to explore options of reinventing that space when the sun sets.  Investing in simple uplighting can transform your event with color and depth– and what’s better, it’s not as much as you think!
  • If your venue has a pool, use it!  Decorating in or around the pool makes all the difference in the world and changes your event from sparse backyard barbecue to gorgeous A-List event.  Use the lighting that is already in the pool, but float flowers like single lotus blooms or large half pomanders as seen above.
  • Brand, brand, brand!  Put your monogram on pillows, your bar, and/or dance floor. If you want to get really daring– put your logo at the bottom of the pool (yes, it can be done!) .  You could also have your wedding monogram or logo thrown on walls or the pool  in dramatic lighting (called a gobo), which adds further personalization to the event.
  • Get personal:  share on a large screen home movies from your childhood, engagements, etc. to stream and loop through out the reception.
  • Go unconventional!  You can translate the oversized lamp decor into your event by using lampshade centerpieces.  Also, look for non-traditional tables and ottomans to serve as tables– if they are ornate enough, you could ditch linens altogether!

 

Which ideas are your favorites?

 

Photos:  Dale Wilcox Photography via BizBash
Florals:  CJ Matsumoto
Producer:  Jason Wanderer of Precision Event Group

Apr 01 2011

Why Wedding Coordination Costs “So Much”

NewImage

 

I have noticed that many couples don’t understand the importance of wedding coordinators and some wedding planning professionals have cut wedding coordination out of their list of services altogether.  As such, it seems that many brides and grooms fail to appreciate the role of a wedding coordinator and their costs– as I have heard things said like:

  • “I only need someone for the day. Can’t you just come on the day of?”
  • “I’m a type-A personality and highly detailed so I enjoy the planning, so I don’t really need a lot of help”
  • “We’ve done all of our planning and have about $400 left for a coordinator”

 

Now, this isn’t the norm– but with the economy’s downturn, people had become very creative with their inquiries and excuses.  So when they hear that wedding day of coordination could cost thousands, they are shocked.  Let’s clear up some misconceptions:

 

First, no one is just “showing up” on the day of your wedding to coordinate it.  That’s not day of coordination. That’s damage control.  This is much like you going into a doctor’s office and saying, “I don’t need you to do any tests on me, I’m pretty smart and really detailed.  So, what I’m going to need you to do is just show up at the operating room and do the surgery for me”.  You basically want the doctor to do a procedure “cold”, without knowing anything about your medical history, predispositions, or the medical team of nurses, anesthesiologists, etc. you’ve secured.   The same is said for clients who expect wedding planners and coordinators to do the same thing.  It is expected that the clients want someone to appear a few hours before the ceremony, set up a few place cards, fluff the peonies, tell your grandmother when to walk and cue you when to cut the cake.  That is truly the watered down version of what a wedding coordinator does.  That is only what you see.

 

It takes more than one day to coordinate a wedding.  Truth be told, it takes anywhere to 4 to 6 weeks to coordinate ONE day.  Those weeks consists of pulling together logistics, reviewing the event team’s contracts to confirm responsibiities and obligations, contacting your bridal party to make sure they know their duties and needed locations, finalizing payments, scheduling load-ins and strikes, creating timelines, event layouts, seating charts and more.  By the time your wedding day rolls around, your coordinator will have put in at least 8 hours on your wedding. I’ve heard many brides laugh and say, “Oh, I don’t need all of that”.  I laugh right back and say “Of course you don’t. But your caterer and photographer does…” It’s your job to be the bride, so there are many details that you may not have thought of.

 

Think of it as major motion picture company finding the right movie director for their new hot blockbuster.  While a movie producer finds the talent, supervises and controls the funding, and other important duties.  The parallel would be your full service wedding planner.  The movie director is the person who directs the making of the film.  They control the artistic and dramatic aspects, and work to visualize the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision. That, my friend, is your wedding coordinator.  You supply the vision, they make sure that everyone else is on the same page so that the vision can come to fruition.  With something as important as a blockbuster movie, as an investment, the motion picture company would never bring in a director on the day of a final shoot.  Directors are hired early enough to get a feel for the film so that they know it like the backs of their hand.  This allows them to know which cameras need to be where, The location of boom mics, pans and zooms and so much more.  Again, the same is said of your wedding coordinator.  S/he is able to see your event before it happens, making it possible to avoid pitfalls, timing clashes between vendors and other important factors.

 

So this is why wedding coordination “costs” so much.  The experience, commitment and savvy your coordinator brings your wedding is an asset and benefit to your event as a whole.  I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my team before each and every wedding: there are no do overs.  While you may be extremely detailed, a planner by nature or profession, or have a really good friend or Maid of Honor who can help you, wedding coordinators do this every weekend.  You’ll only do it once.  They know the ins and outs, what works and what doesn’t.  What sounds good in theory, may not work at all for your wedding. Nothing replaces the ability of having your own personal event director/producer on your side to make sure that your vision happens while you’re enjoying your day.

 

Stepping off my rhinestone soapbox in the Ambertina Louboutins…

P.S.– Keeping in mind what I just described about what the weeks prior to your wedding could entail production-wise, beware of $200 “wedding coordinators” or “free” wedding venue coordinators.  You get what you pay for, luxeling.

What’s your thought?

Coming Soon: Unveiled Bridal Style Revealed, Los Angeles Event

unveiled bridal style event los angeles beverly hills show

 

I know our blog gets a lot of love from L.A. readers, so I definitely wanted to pass this on!

 

On Sunday, March 27, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., plan A will present Unveiled: Bridal Style Revealed, in Beverly Canon Gardens, a jewel-like park nestled exquisitely between the Montage Beverly Hills and Bouchon. Unveiled is the first grand scale public event to be produced in the Beverly Canon Gardens. In its second year, Unveiled is an outdoor bare-it-all bridal bazaar that showcases the city’s best inspiration for modern brides planning for their big day.  Featuring couture bridal collections and informal modeling, paired with the finest cakes, décor, trend experts, celebrity planners and beauty services, Unveiled presents the best Los Angeles has to offer.

 

This year’s “State of the Union” address will be given by Darcy Miller, Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, revealing the latest design trends, event planning tips and the current state of weddings according to Martha Stewart Weddings.  Also on-site, will be the top bridal bloggers who comprise Unveiled’s Social Media CollectiveThe Bridal Bar, 100 Layer Cake, The Bride’s Café, The Bride’s Guide, Green Wedding Shoes, and Junebug Weddings. Priscilla of Boston will share with guests their couture bridal collections by Melissa SweetReverie by Melissa SweetPlatinum,Vineyard and Jewel with informal modeling throughout the day.  The cake collection of 7-10 intricately designed wedding cakes will be on display until it’s time to indulge and taste them all, with a glass of Moet & Chandon Imperial.

 

I dare you to say that is not divine!

 

For tickets & information:

unveiledevent.com • 310-860-1300

 

 

The Importance of an Event Planner/Producer For Your Non-Wedding Event

image image

When it comes to non-wedding events (birthdays, anniversaries, parties, etc.) many hosts don’t know that they have great resources in event planners.  For smaller parties, I will admittedly concede that it can be overkill. However, if you begin the process of securing a location, bringing in caterers, etc. your party has grown in scale and could benefit from a planner.  Many hosts opt to rely on caterers or florists for recommendations.  While these vendors can be of great help, their resources can be limited outside of the scope for which they are handling your event.

Here are some ways that an event planner/producer can help with your event:

  • Create a concept or inspiration board to start your planning
  • Match you with vendors that are inline with your event
  • Help you maintain your budget
  • Come up with ideas for your menu, flowers, décor and location
  • Be onsite to help set up while you get ready
  • Coordinate the event and maintain the flow of events so that you can enjoy the event

Even if you are the Type A personality that loves to plan things and are highly detailed and organized (I hear that a lot!), you can still enjoy the benefits from a planner.  An analogy:  When I am not feeling well, I will journey over to CVS and pick up something to alleviate the symptoms.  When it is something a bit more serious or the symptoms are chronic, I will ask the pharmacist for some advice.  They can tell me about which medicines are new and improved, non-medicinal remedies and prescriptions I may want to talk to my doctor about.  So, it’s great to rely on and have the help of an expert.  True, I could ask the check out girl that I am interacting with, and while she may see a trend in what people are buying, she doesn’t know the trend in what is working because her job is to check people out.  I let her be good at her job and rely on the pros for sound advice.

The same can be said of event planners.  Most wedding planners also plan and produce non wedding events which can be a great resource to you.  It doesn’t hurt or cost anything to speak with them about how they can improve or enhance your event.

Happy Planning!

Photos :: Sarah Yates