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St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | outdoor wedding
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Jekyll Island Convention Center Wedding
Dec 26 2016

How to Plan Your Outdoor Wedding

Jekyll Island Convention Center Wedding

Jekyll Island Convention Center Wedding Photo by: Tamara Gibson Photography

Outdoor wedding planning can be nerve wracking– while you have the allure of a beautiful wedding ceremony at sunset and reception under the stars, you also have the possibility of dealing with blistering winds, excessive heat or torrential rains.We have some amazing wedding venues on Saint Simons Island and Jekyll Island.  Many of these wedding venues capitalize on all the elements that make a perfect Southern destination wedding:  the live oaks, spanish moss and ocean views. Each year, many a bride crosses her fingers and prays Mother Nature takes mercy on her special day.

What’s the best way to plan your outdoor wedding?  Well have no fear, we’ve got some great perspective for you to consider as you start your wedding planning. Review these tips when considering your options for venues–

Consider Your Space.  Some venues have great options for both outdoor and indoor event spaces.  If you are having any element of your wedding outdoors, be it the wedding ceremony, cocktail hour or wedding reception, double check that your venue has adequate backup space for each of those events.  This may require a flip at some point, but you want to ensure that you can confidently and comfortably move your event if necessary.

Consider Your Guest List. There are several venues that offer both indoor space, with an outdoor overflow for seating. These type of venues are usually best for strolling cocktail parties versus buffets or sit down dinners. This usually causes a problem when whether concerns rear their heads as you end up paying for a venue and a tent. As a rule of thumb, if possible, it is always best to keep your guests together as much as possible, to avoid additional, avoidable fees.

Consider Your Budget.  If your wedding is completely outdoors, be sure to add in the costs of a tent as soon as you have selected your venue.  This is important.  You do not want to get caught the week of your wedding scrambling to put money together for a tent.  Moreover, keep in mind– if it is the weather is less than ideal for you, it is also wreaking havoc for other outdoor weddings in your area. This will cause tents to become in high demand on a first come, first served basis. To avoid this stress, consider putting a deposit down for a tent after you’ve booked a venue.  This allows you to have a tent reserved for your event ahead of time, avoiding the rush if the weather takes a turn for the worse.  If you turn out not to need it, you will lose your deposit, but you’ll still have priority of having a back up plan. Af

Consider Your Design. When we design for our clients’ outdoor weddings, we always design for two different events– one under a tent or indoors, and one with ideal conditions. This allows us to prepare our clients for the possibility of less than ideal weather. This always helps tamper down disappointment or the chance that our initial design does not translate well into a contingency plan.

Consider Your Time of Year. Tents aren’t just needed for rain.  It gets very hot here in the South– especially in June to August.  The sun can be unbearable during an outdoor ceremony where guests are waiting up to 30 minutes prior to its start.  If you cannot find an indoor back up for your entire wedding, consider a chapel or ballroom for the ceremony and tent for the reception.  Speaking of rain– it doesn’t just fall vertically. Rain can come in at an angle.  This means in addition to your tent, you’ll also need to secure tent walls.  Heaters and fans can keep your guests comfortable, depending upon the weather would also be a good investment.

Consider Protecting Your Investment. Hurricane Matthew turned our quaint coastal town into an near shambles, canceling many events in the process. Sadly, many couples did not have wedding insurance protecting their event from such acts of God or lost deposits from vendors. Wedding insurance provides coverage for all kinds of instances that could affect your wedding — from damage to weather, it is certainly an investment worth making.

Now Showing: Real Jekyll Island Wedding Starring Ashaki & Embry

Jekyll Island Wedding at Jekyll Island Club Hotel Crane Cottage by Agnes Lopez Photography

Over the summer, we were so very honored and excited to finally produce an event that only held us spellbound creatively, but also emotionally.  Ashaki and Embry became more than just great clients over the course of our planning, but great friends (I miss them so! Thank heavens for Facebook!). The two were married at the beautiful historic Crane Cottage at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel for an outdoor wedding and reception.  In addition to the great details that kept us sketching, bustling and literally enthralled, we had the opportunity to work with some of the best vendors like the phenomenal Agnes Lopez and Gay Whatley, as well as the outstanding band from Atlanta,  Excite and local favorite, Tommy Tucker of Dance Jammers who provided the tunes for the after party (which was a tribute to the great, late Michael Jackson and some how had a remix of Hava Nagila. I will never question the depth of Tommy’s music library, every again.  Ever.)  Our team was also fortunate to work with the ever so talented Christina Grimsley of In Motion Video Productions.

Christina provided us with the video that now is on the gallery of the FABULUXE website, but I wanted to take a moment and share it here so that you can see her work.  I cried during the wedding and I cried again when I viewed her awesome production of the video. It was like being there all over again—I know if I felt like that, Christina’s clients must feel the same way, and that is an awesome way to feel. I can’t say enough fabulous things about her so if you are in need of a great videographer, look her up!


Beautiful photo of the bride and groom, stealing a quiet moment before they are introduced into dinner captured by the incomparable Agnes Lopez.

I Want A Wedding Like…Rebecca Romijn


Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell celebrated their wedding with a surprise ceremony in July of 2007. The intimate ceremony was followed by a beautifully casual reception with friends and family.

What she did…


Rebecca was married at her own home, a ranch in LA, surrounded by gorgeous trees. When the sun went down the trees lit up the reception as lanterns hung from them.

What you can do…


Beautiful outdoor locations, such as this one at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, are the perfect place to have the intimate celebration you’ve always wanted. The romantic lighting and tree cover only enhance the beauty of your wedding.

What she did…

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The bride wore a beautiful Ralph Lauren gown the whole evening. This dress what perfect for her. Rebecca’s day was about celebrating and this dress was gorgeous and comfortable, which allowed her to dance and celebrate all night.

What you can do…


Find a dress that you love. This Alice Padrul gown is amazing! It is absolutely gorgeous and it is perfect for celebrating all night on the dance floor.


Choose a bouquet that pops. The deep red of the berries in this bouquet with the addition of the yellow and the soft greens are amazing! Instead of berries you could add jewels for opulence.

What she did…


Rebecca decided that instead of a wedding cake, she would serve two different kinds of cupcake. This spread looks delicious.

What you can do…


Two words: crème brûlée! These mini crème brûlée with the addition of fresh blueberries and a sprig of mint are to die for. This dessert will be a true hit. If you aren’t willing to give up the traditional cake this dish can be a delicious addition to your dessert table.

What she did…


Late in the evening, the sparklers started to light up the reception as guests had them at each table. I love how the trees have been used for lighting with the paper lanterns strung between them allowing the trees to create a natural shadow effect.

What you can do…


Floating lanterns started at celebrations as a way to make a wish and watch it float up into the sky. These lanterns create an amazing visual effect in the sky if they are all released at the same time. Lanterns are a fun thing for guests as well as a great alternative to fireworks. My favorite thing about these lanterns is that they are 100% biodegradable and safe.