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Lovely Lane Chapel Wedding on St. Simons

St Simons Wedding Ceremony Lovely Lane Chapel Epworth

Photo by Jason Travis

One of the  most beautiful wedding ceremony venues on St. Simons Island has to be Lovely Lane Chapel on the Epworth by the Sea campus. Surrounded by lush greenery, it’s stark white vintage chapel is a beautiful backdrop for those looking forward to exchanging vows in a church for their destination wedding.  With capacity of 150 inside the chapel, it can easily accommodate the average sized destination wedding that comes to the area.

St Simons Wedding Ceremony Lovely Lane Chapel Epworth

Photo by Jason Travis

Many fall in love with the architecture outside of this historic chapel, and use its quaint doors to showcase their personalities or themes by hanging ornamented wreaths, moss initials and more.

St Simons Wedding Ceremony Lovely Lane Chapel Epworth

There are plenty of ways to begin your ascent into the chapel– this comes from the side, which is one of my favorites. It allows the bride and her parents a few private moments before walking down the aisle.  Photo by Jason Travis

St Simons Wedding PlannerPhoto by Beacon Photo 

The inside of the chapel is equally amazing.   With the vibrant stained glass windows behind the couple, it truly does make your wedding images striking.  While the chapel itself is rather dark in its color palette, it adds to its personality.  Make sure your photographer knows about this so that s/he can plan accordingly.

2012-12-18_001Photo by Jason Travis

The surrounding oaks and spanish moss which has become a staple to our area are in vast abundance on the grounds.  If you are looking for some places to take pictures outdoors among the natural environment, it truly doesn’t get any better.  If you are looking for an outdoor ceremony should your guest list go over the allotted capacity of the chapel, many brides and grooms have been happy to have their ceremonies outside of the chapel in front of its doors, using the stone pave way as an aisle.

Happy Planning!

10 Tips for a Great Wedding Venue Visit

 The  Imperial Ballroom at the Atlanta Biltmore

The Imperial Ballroom at the Atlanta Biltmore

 

 

I love going on venue visits with brides and grooms. Even if I have been to a particular wedding ceremony or reception site several times before, it is always great to visit with renewed purpose and see it through their eyes.  When you visit your venue, think of it as visiting a home you and Mr. Fabuluxe are considering purchasing.  You want something that reflects both of you and your lovestory, makes you feel comfortable and is conducive and complementary to your overall event vision.  Just like when buying your home, as soon as your foot crosses the threshold, you should feel like you are “home”.  You should see the two of you cutting the cake in the corner or stealing a kiss by the door.  You should see your dad doing that dance that you wish he wouldn’t on the dance floor.  You should see your best friends marveling at the centerpieces and beautiful decor.

I’m sure that if you have a wedding planner, s/he will attend these visits with you and give you some key things to look out for.  Here are some additional suggestions:

  1. Pay attention to how you are treated…on every level. Your family and friends will visit your venue and come across various members of the site’s staff.  If you are having a destination wedding, this will include hotel front desk staff, too.  In these instances, I would suggest staying at the resort/hotel prior to booking.  Granted, everyone has a bad day—but if you feel neglected, offended, or chastised, it may be time to look for another wedding location.  You will be less apt to forgive these attitudes and affronts your wedding day. 

  2. Pay attention to any odd smells and stains.  I know, strange but true.  If there is a “unique” odor in the venue, it could be for various reasons—the site is old, there is a mold problem, etc.  Be sure to inquire into if it will be fixed (nevermind asking what it is); you are paying to rent the facility and have a right to know.  Look for things that could detract from your wedding like hard water stains on walls or other stains on the carpet/flooring.  Ask if any renovations will occur prior to your wedding;  you may be able to benefit from those new upgrades.

  3. Does the decor make you soar or gives you a sore? In addition to the pictures you see online at the wedding venue’s website, be sure to check other sites like Flickr as well as blogs of photographers and wedding planners in your area.  You will be seeing the venue without any frills—but it will be good for you to get an idea as to what you are walking into as well as how much work you will have to put into your design to make it the way you want.  If the decor is antiquated, ask if you can make any non-permanent changes.  Also, if there are any decorations that you simply adore, ask if they will be in place for your wedding.  This would also be a good time to ask what the venue does anything special around the holidays if you are having a wedding at during a holiday season.

  4. Take your own pictures.  You know what you are going for with your design and it can sometimes be hard to describe in conversation or in emails.  Instead, take your own pictures of your potential venues to review at a later date.   Print your photos at home or send them to a place like Walgreens or Walmart.  One tip:  Print them as 8x10s and have them laminated at Staples or Kinko’s.  With a set of dry erase markers, make notes or preliminary placement designs for your own records.

  5. Know your limitations, restrictions and requirements up front.  It’s the pits finding out things after you’ve signed the dotted line.  The problem is that you may not have known to even ask those questions during your visit.  You will want to know if your vendors are required to have liability insurance in order to work there.  You do not want to run into a problem with booking a vendor only to find they do not have the required paperwork and refuse to get it.  Of course, you should ask about any design limitations and restrictions—which parts of the venue will you have access to? Are you allowed to affix anything by hanging, taping, pinning or stapling?  Can structures be built onsite?  Do they have any exclusive catering or photography rights?  Can you bring your own alcohol?  Are there any structural limitations that you could run into if you want to use a non-standard layout or lighting?  Are there any noise ordinances?  What about rose petals, confetti, rice or sparklers?  Can you have open flames or must you use enclosures?  How early can you set up?  These are all some great questions to get you started.

 

 

We’ll break this post in half, with the other five tips coming next Monday.  In the meantime,  check out 5 Venue Assets that Will Fabuluxe Your Wedding

Hot Color Combos: Wintered Rose and Shitake

winteredrose-shitake For this week’s hot colors, we’re taking another cue from the Pantone Fall 2008 Color Report.  Wintered Rose and Shitake are a different play on the already tired pink and brown theme.  Instead of drawing attention with bold statement colors, these muted tones are more sultry and more complex.  Last week, we went for bold and contrast.  This week, we’re a bit more subdued.  These deep shades can resonate so much– but for me, it was the romance. I saw nothing but modern elegance and lushness when I saw this mauve and brown shade.  The ivory added a touch of innocence at the same time. 

 

 

shitake-and-wintered-rose

 

{Cake  and cocktails :: Modern Bride | Bridesmaids Dress :: Style JH 5827  | Wedding Dress :: JH8800 | Candle and hurricane glass :: Michelle Rago| Cocktail tables :: BBJ and RUDA Photography :: Tabletop :: Appika Photography }

5 Venue Assets that Will Fabuluxe Your Wedding

zaza I know what the mags tell you– they tell you to ask these incessant (and sometimes unnecessary) questions when looking for your venue space.  You may have an idea as to what you are looking at or looking for in a venue– but do you know how to capitalize on what is there to make your event the envy of your friends?

 

You want your venue to have:

 

1.)  Personality–  Boring events start with boring venues.  If a site jumps out at you, it will also jump out at your guests.  And of course, boring is all relative.  Nevertheless, you still want a venue that reflects your personality and adds panache to your event overall. It should jump out at you and say "I’M THE ONE!" as soon as you walk in the door.  Is it an old mansion?  A trendy art and history museum?  A chartered boat?  You want something that looks like it is well-kept and up-to-date.  When you go into look at the place, look at the fixtures, the floors, windows, etc.  What are some things that you could incorporate into your design scheme?  Art work on the walls?  Winding staircases?  What are some things you can live without?  You want something that complements your fete, not take it over.

2.)  Great Staff–The same personality that you love in your venue should roll over into its staff.  The staff should be engaging, dynamic and professional.  It has always been my position that regardless of how much you spend, be it one dollar or one hundred thousand, you are always the rockstar.  Period.  There are some venues who allow their status to go to their heads, which results in a poor showing to clients.  I can’t remember the last time someone paid me tens of thousands of dollars to mistreat them or give substandard service.  That’s because they haven’t.  You want a staff that provides stellar service– not over the top, but plenty attentive and always with a smile.

3.)  Great Lighting– I can remember many many many moons ago, there was a song by a group called Black Sheep entitled "Strobelight Honey".  A strobelight honey is a person who only looks good under the strobelight.  That being said, lighting does wonders.  It can complement textures and architecture as well as create shadows and depth in your venue.  Lighting adds dimension and character to an event– even on a natural level.  You don’t want your event to look warehoused or completely dark without some sort of complementary lighting.  Lighting can come from strategically placed windows, skylights, open doors and even fireplaces.  To enhance  lighting that is already there naturally, you can add special effect lighting in the form of spotlighting or pinlighting.  This is perfect for showcasing a cake table, sweetheart table or centerpieces.

4.)  Flexibility and Space–  Some of my favorite venues have space upon space that is at the clients’ disposal during their event. This could include a lawn outside of the venue, a covered veranda or a courtyard.  This works in your favor when you are creating that luxury event experience for your guests.  You can have separate, yet spacious, areas for your cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, etc.  This allows you to design your space according your event’s theme or vision.  That could include creating an elegant pre-reception area for meet and greets to a swanky lounge area for guests to relax in during the festivities.  When you aren’t boxed into one particular room, your possibilities are endless.  If you do find yourself with minimum space, you want to make sure that your design scheme will not be too cumbersome for the staff to turnover in as little time as possible to avoid those gaps between scheduled events.

5.) An Extensive PVL (Preferred Vendors List)Some venues don’t call it a PVL, but may give you a list of vendors that they work with frequently.   If you run into a situation where your venue is also your exclusive caterer and baker, that of course, leaves you with other vendors that you must hire.  There is no better place to start than a list of vendors that the venue has done business with before. In this case, you are sure to build an event team that is familiar with your venue and can help you troubleshoot and design through your current vision.  Of course, you want to fact check both ways:  Ask the venue about vendors you are interested in prior to booking them, and vice versa.  You want a team that can work together seamlessly without playing a game of "Quien es mas macho" (who is more macho).

A few other tips on choosing that perfect venue:

  • Never look at more than five venues for your event.  After a while, they all start to look the same.  Do preliminary searches via the internet, ask exploratory questions of vendors and the venue’s staff to narrow down which ones will work for you and what you have planned.
  • I would encourage you to go back a second time to look at a venue. Even if your site is away from home– try to visit it twice during your initial stay. You will find that you will see things that you did not see the first time around. 
  • Take great notes so you can compare after you visit your sites.  Before you visit any, write down key words you want to describe your event, and then revisit those notes to see which venues come close.

 

{Photo: Hotel ZaZa}