St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | the knot
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couple wearing masks as they meet with their wedding planner
Nov 13 2020

Let’s Talk About The ‘C-Word’

Our Cocktails & Details® team hasn’t been using the ‘C-Word,’ – COVID-19 – in our blogs, and social media. Instead, we’ve focused on sharing the fantastic images and stories of our couples.

Weddings Reimagined

Earlier this year, we talked with People TV and The Knot about reimaging weddings during COVID-19. We focused on reimagining intimate experiences that captured what our clients wanted in their original wedding plans.

Reimagining weddings focused on incorporating personal details and unique elements, but on a slightly smaller scale. 

The World As We Know It

As life moves forward, regulations in our little corner of the world, especially around COVID-19 and weddings, have become a little blurry.

What is required, interpreting guidelines, and what is enforced has become confusing for our couples and pros alike.

smiling bride and groom at a wedding planning meeting wearing masks

Rules that allow for fifty people in a space, but allow more than fifty people if you can maintain physical distancing, are hard to decode. For example, outdoor weddings are permitted and encouraged. Even wedding receptions in a tent are allowed – but just not a tent with walls.

Some venues are requiring masks inside. Unfortunately, other spaces are not enforcing masks. And, while we know guests are not required to wear masks while eating and drinking, many are getting a little too comfortable and not putting them back on after dinner.

Reality Of COVID-19 for Wedding Pros

We’re not here to bash people who are not enforcing the rules. We want to share the reality of our Cocktails & Details® team and many of the pros we know.

A majority of the wedding pros we are working with are wearing masks. Wedding pros who are fortunate enough to be working might be around multiple couples and their guests in a single week. Not only do we have families at home that we’re trying to protect, but we’re trying to protect you as well.

wedding vendor putting on a protective mask

Don’t be surprised if some of your wedding pros ask you to sign a waiver. We’re just trying to make sure we’re all safe and protected.

Sharing The Truth

And, it won’t surprise you that our Cocktails & Details® team will be completely honest with you. We’re liable to tell you, ‘yes, you can do this, but think about the complications!’

And honestly, we’ll get the job done, your day will be fantastic – but don’t expect any hugging or kissing from us. We love you, but we’ll get the job done from six paces away.

Suggestions for Safer Weddings

Here are some planning and design suggestions we have put into place or recommend for creating a safer environment.

Getting Ready

makeup artist applying lipstick to a bride
  • Whenever possible, request larger cottages or meeting spaces so that wedding parties can spread out while getting ready. This provides a more comfortable space for them. But also a safer work environment for the hair and makeup artists, photographers, and videographers working with them.
  • Take some time ahead of the wedding to gather your accessories, personal items, and things like invitations so they can be photographed away from the wedding party.
  • Consider the idea of choosing outdoor locations to do portraits, family, and wedding party photos wherever possible.
silhouette of a photographer giving direction to a bride and groom

Safer Ceremony Seating

We’re always mindful of physically distant seating when it comes to wedding ceremonies.

  • Outdoor wedding ceremonies offer more space to accomplish physical distancing and include beautiful design elements.
  • Indoors, primarily in houses of worship with pews, roping off every other pew can keep your guests safely separated. 
  • In some areas, houses of worship require assigned seating to maintain physical distancing. Our Cocktails & Details® design team can assist in creating seating charts and pew numbers, similar to those used for a wedding reception. 
  • Make masks available to wedding guests who have not brought their own. Providing hand sanitizer is always a nice touch as well.
masks and hand sanitizer for wedding guests

Cocktails & Details®

  • Whenever possible, take advantage of outdoor spaced for all or a portion of your cocktail hour.
  • Consider displaying multiple seating charts or dividing escort cards onto several tables to keep wedding guests from crowding together.
  • Our Cocktails & Details® team makes sure that high touch areas like your guest book or gift table are wiped down frequently. Including containers for new and used pens.
  • For your cocktail hour and late night snacks, stations and passed bites can be plated into individual portions. 
individually portioned French fries and condiments for late night wedding snacks

Doing Dinner Right

  • Ceremony structures and décor can often be repurposed for your reception. These can create decorative dividers that can work well for areas like the bar to keep guests from crowding. 
  • Display signage with Signature Cocktails, beer, and wine selections several feet out from the bar. Signage can assist in making choices before they reach the bar and keep the line moving. 
  • In addition to keeping dining tables six feet apart – consider a redesign for some smaller tables, keeping family groups seated together.
  • Plated dinner service can help minimize unnecessary movement. Consider a served salad rather than a preset salad. During dinner, Wine service is an elegant touch and keeps guests from moving around and gathering at the bar.
  • If you choose to offer a buffet dinner, sneeze guards are a MUST. But, also consider investing in additional staff to serve guests, rather than having them touch utensils.
a wooden box with a bottle of red wine for service at a wedding

Toasts, Entertainment, and Wedding Cake

  • DJs and MCs can usually provide additional microphones for the people making toasts – these can easily be wiped down before and after each toast or blessing.
  • Gathering on a dancefloor can be a significant concern. Creating multiple smaller dance floors around the ballroom or dancing outdoors can be creative and safe options.
  • If dancing is not an option, look at other entertainment forms to keep your wedding guests engaged. Specialty musicians, singers, or performances can add a unique and personal touch.
  • Photobooths can easily be adapted to include single-use props and provide hand sanitizer.
  • Consider a smaller version of your wedding cake for display purposes with the cake being cut and plated or boxed for your guests.
Intimate wedding cake to display while cutting remaining wedding cake in the kitchen

These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg! 

We know that every couple, family, and situation are different. Our Cocktails & Details® planning and design teams are happy to work with you to create an incredible wedding day- memorable for all the right reasons.

Our Cocktails & Details® team looks forward to celebrating safely with you and your loved ones.  

Our Favorite iPhone Apps for Wedding Planning

 

Here are some free apps for the iPhone that we think will aid you in your wedding planning process.  Each app assists with many areas of your planning, and can provide much needed assistance and support for when you are on the go.

 

 

YouTube

youtube videos online

 

The native YouTube app is perfect to listen to single songs you are considering for your father-daughter dance or cake cutting song.  You can listen to different versions of music for your wedding ceremony’s prelude, processional and recessional.  Additionally, you can view promo videos from local wedding vendors or get advice and ideas from wedding shows.  Additionally, check out the Pandora radio app for more general music suggestions and ideas for your prelude and cocktail hour music.

 

Wedding Wire

 

wedding wire iphone app wedding planning

The app from Wedding Wire puts all of your wedding planning in your hands. Not only do you have access to the information of local wedding vendors, you can keep a personalized wedding planning checklist and budget.  Everything you need is right at your finger tips.

 

Evernote

evernote for the iphone

Full disclosure—I love Evernote.  Evernote collects items you want to save into a digital notebook.  Everything—including emails, web clips, audio memos, pictures, screenshots—everything!  With the the desktop version that syncs to both the iPhone app and the online account, you can have all of your wedding details—from inspiration pictures to vendor communications and more with you at all time. You can even tweet to your Evernote account!

 

the knot

 

wedding 911 iphone app wedding planning

This app features frequently asked questions by brides, all answered by The Knot’s Carley Roney. You can also interact with other brides to ask your own questions about wedding planning or answer a few from other excited brides.  This is the perfect app to have on the go when you have questions that need an immediate answer or the ability to at least steer you in the right direction.

 

Brides Dressing Room

 

brides dressing room wedding dress iphone app bridal salon

I absolutely love this app!  Sharing the hottest wedding dresses from the industry’s best designers, you can pick out your favorite dresses and find a retailer close to you who carries the line and also schedule an appointment. 

 

Colorstrology

 

colorstrology iphone app pantone colors

This is astrology meets gorgeous color!  Created by the talented Pantone, you can get inspiration of your favorite wedding colors with this app.  Each day is assigned a color and a “colorstrology”, but also shows the vibrant shades and hues of the Pantone’s hottest colors.  Perfect for when you are looking for complementing colors for your bridesmaids’ dresses, flowers or linens.  Be sure to check the colorstrology for your wedding day and see what it says!

 

Drinks Free

 

Drinks free cocktail recipes iphone app 

 

Drinks Free provides you with many drink and cocktail recipes based on your favorite ingredients or search through the eleven categories.  If you are feeling adventurous, press the random drink button for a pleasant surprise!  This is perfect for your signature drink “research???.

 

These are just a few to get you started—what are you using to plan your wedding?

What to Do When Your Wedding Vendor Has Bad Online Reviews

 

With sites like Wedding Wire, Project Wedding, Yelp and message boards on The Knot, it is easy for brides to do research on their potential wedding vendors before ever meeting them.  But what happens when you’ve fallen in love with a wedding vendor or a wedding vendor has been referred to you, only to find that they have a negative review about them. It can be potentially devastating to your plans—but be sure that you are considering everything in context.  Here are some tips on dealing with bad reviews. 

 

  • Remember that one’s perception is their reality. Sometimes reviews can leave out a lot of context. What may be important to the reviewer may be something that would not really bother you.
  • Ask current and potential wedding vendors.  As I’ve said before, the wedding professional community is a tight knit one. We all work together and have seen each other at various stages of planning and execution of a wedding day.  One thing to consider when choosing your wedding vendor is their ability to work and play well with others.  Check with vendors you have already hired and those you are considering about the vendor with the unfavorable reviews. Ask of their experience—they can share an opinion from a professional’s point of view.
  • Ask other brides about their experience with the vendor.  Contact the reviewer about the vendor—ask detailed questions about their review and any others that might pertain to your wedding planning or event.   Ask the vendor for references and ask questions about their experience, basing them around things that have concerned you from the disparaging review. This will give you a better clue if problems are specific to that client/event or if there is a problem with the vendor’s work process.
  • Ask the vendor. If you have specific concerns, definitely contact your vendor personally.  Some vendors will not get into an online tit-for-tat on review sites with former clients, which makes the argument very one-sided.  Ask your vendor about anything specifically bothering you.  They will be able to give you more clarity into the bad review, and with having both sides you can make a better decision.

 

Additionally, one thing to take into consideration is your experience with the vendor at question.  Hiring vendors can be a very time consuming and draining process.  If anything becomes too overwhelming, take a break and start at it again after you’ve given yourself some time to decompress. 

 

 

:: Photo ~ Craig Jewell ::