St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | wedding planning
1121
archive,paged,tag,tag-wedding-planning,tag-1121,paged-2,tag-paged-2,edgt-core-1.0.1,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,hudson-ver-2.1, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,blog_installed,hide_inital_sticky,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.7,vc_responsive

We Likey: The Bridal Bar

The Bridal Bar in Los Angeles, San Diego and Atlanta Event and Wedding Resources

 

If you are a bride that lives in Los Angeles, San Diego or Atlanta, you have one of the best resources available to you– The Bridal Bar! The Bridal Bar is a stylish boutique that offers resources for your wedding.  Here, you can get up-close-and-personal with your favorite upscale photographers, view video and DVD of past events, taste the sumptuous cakes of the most dazzling and artistic bakers or listen the tunes of a popular band.  From wedding planners to invitation designers, everything is at your fingertips.  The Bridal Bar provides everything for you in a gorgeous, laid back atmosphere, while researching getting to know your potential wedding vendors intimately.  Due to the extensive and detailed checks done by the Bridal Bar staff, you are sure to be in touch with the best vendors in your area who offer luxury and professional service.

Additionally, the Bridal Bar is the host of several industry wide events—such as cocktail parties, wedding gown trunk shows and tastings. Be sure to visit the Bridal Bar in your area for upcoming events or appointments!

 

atlanta bridal bar for wedding planning and vendors

Jaimi and Rebecca of the Atlanta Bridal Bar by David Murray

Rebecca and Harmony Walton, owner and creator of the Bridal Bar by David Murray

 

Check out Atlanta’s Opening Gala Soiree, too!  Do believe that with the Bridal Bar, you are in good hands.

Overheard at Your Wedding: “When is This Thing Gonna Start?”

It’s pretty well known that the party cannot start at the wedding without the bride and groom.  Your caterer will ask if they can serve your guests if you are not around or if they should extend the cocktail hour.  if you plan on taking photos during your cocktail hour, discuss with your planner and photographer the amount of time needed to complete these expeditiously so that your guests are not kept waiting.  This is especially true if you have a wedding during a very hot or cold season or with little entertainment during the hour.  If you take too long, you run the risk of running out of food, or running up your bar tab (when people are bored or nervous, they eat and drink). 

One of the biggest questions couples face today is whether or not to see each other prior to the ceremony.  I, as a die-hard romantic, felt like there was something magical about the groom’s face as he sees his bride ascend up the aisle for the first time.  That being said, I understood my brides’ concerns and desires to not see their grooms before walking up the aisle. 

Then there was Caryn—gorgeous, smart, and dare I say it, practical.  Caryn decided she would  see her groom prior to the ceremony.  As we built the timeline for them to secretly meet at Jekyll Island’s historic Villa Mariana, I crossed my fingers that the we could keep it private, intimate and magical.  Since Caryn and Jonathan’s wedding was at the Jekyll Island Club’s Crane Cottage, the Spanish Colonial, Villa Mariana was the perfect getaway that was close by.  Caryn described it as one of the most beautiful moments of her life.  She walked up behind Jonathan, put her hand on his shoulder and he emotionally turned around, visually took her in and swept her into a long embrace. 

It doesn’t get much better than that.

And the pictures prove it:

 

jekyll island wedding

 

jekyll island wedding

jekyll island wedding

jekyll island wedding

C and J hold hands

jekyll island wedding

Jekyll Club Wedding

       Jekyll Island Wedding

 

These moments, captured by the illustrious Scarlett Lillian just go to show that the same intimacy and magic you wish to capture at that moment going up the aisle, can still be present at a first meet.  Can’t you sense the anticipation and tingling in your toes when you see Jonathan’s back to Caryn?  You can almost feel his heart racing and see his unrelenting smile as the seconds tick away until that slight touch on his shoulder.  Imagine how he felt at that moment—not having to share Caryn’s beauty, that moment, that love—with anyone else.  It was theirs, and theirs alone.  Time had stopped.  (well, for them. The wedding planner was hard at work 🙂 )  Linens didn’t matter, the bar tab didn’t matter.  What mattered was that the most important person in their lives were together.  And in love.  Not only does it save you a lot of time during your cocktail hour, but it also gives you private moments that you may not have again until the end of the evening.

Still not convinced?  Check out what event engineer Saundra Hadley has to say, as well as photographer Jennifer Stone’s thoughts.  Either way, it is your moment…whether you spend it at a “first moment” or going up the aisle.  I know you’ll make it fabulous.

 

PS—The ceremony for Caryn and Jonathan was just as emotional.  I bawled the whole time. I know….Crybaby Wedding Planner. But I’m still awesome.

Join Me & Friends Next Week for OneWed’s Wedding Pre-Party!

Pink and Green floral One Wed Launc Party Invite

I am so excited to be on the panel of experts for OneWed’s WeddingPreParty.com Launch Party on August 5th!  Anyone that knows me knows that I love all things party and tech, so this is the perfect concoction of my favorites! It’s your wedding planning meets social networking—so yes, it even uses Facebook Connect! Now you can connect with your bridal party on so many levels- allow them to meet each other before the wedding, issue tasks and duties and so much more!

NBC Chicago showcased  the WeddingPreParty and even Mashable did a great writeup. To quote Ben:

…That’s why OneWed’s approach intrigues us. The wedding planning website has launched Wedding Pre-Party, a new website that essentially creates your own private (and organized) version of Facebook (Facebook) where friends and guests can share tips, add photos, and keep informed about all the fun (and terror) leading up to the big day.

Check out some screenshots:

image

image

You’ll be able to win some fab prizes as well as gain advice and learn all about Wedding PreParty.

How to Win:
Choose any and all of the options below. And let us know in the comments what ya did!
1. RSVP here using Mr Linky
2. Crash our wedding, register with OneWed and leave us a Toast
3. Tweet about OneWed’s Wedding Pre-Party & Twitter party
4. Blog about OneWed’s Wedding Pre-Party & Twitter party
5. Become a Fan on Facebook
6. Follow us on Twitter
6. Answer or ask questions during the Twitter party
7. Visit the blogs of our expert panel & come back and comment
8. Let every engaged couple, single friend looking for love, wedding vendor, wedding party member know about Wedding Pre-Party!

image

I will be joining Dana of Broke Ass Bride, wedding blogger Jaime of It’s A Jaime Thing, Chris of The Man Registry, as we unveil the awesome new WeddingPreParty.com.  Join us on Twitter and use the hashtag #preparty and join the fun!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter—  can’t wait to clink glasses with you 😉  See you on August 5th at 9PM!

20 Things to Never Do When Planning Your Wedding

 

Planning your wedding can be fun, exhausting, exhilarating, stressful, exciting and frustrating. Here are 20 tips that you should never do whilst planning the party of the year.

 

1.)  Never book any venue without seeing it.  My only exception to this is if you have a wedding planner working your behalf and doing the scouting for you. 

2.)  Never  work with any  vendor without a contract.   Ever.  This includes Aunt Jan and Uncle Marty.  Contracts put everyone’s expectations and obligations on paper. 

3.)  Never start planning or interviewing vendors without a budget.  You will waste your time and the time  of the vendors you meet. Whenever a potential client says “There is no budget” or something similar, they are not impressed. The red flags go up.

4.) Never start your wedding planning in the “middle”.  In other words, start at the beginning and work your way down with tasks and duties.  Find a planning timeline to help you figure out where you should be in your planning process.  Don’t start designing your floor plan when you haven’t chosen a venue. 

5.)  Never be afraid to speak up with your vendors. If you have questions or concerns, ask while changes can still be made as opposed to being stuck with something you will regret on your wedding day.

6.) Never take your family and friends for granted. Using the “But it’s my wedding” carte blanche will get very old, very fast.  Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will spend a small fortune to participate in your day.  Please treat them nicely. 

7.)  Never believe anything you see on the wedding shows.  Ever.

8.)  Never choose a dress under the condition you will lose weight to fit in it later. Stress eating is a huge monster during wedding planning. It is easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out.

9.)  Never forget what you are planning for—your wedding, which is the birth of your marriage. I encourage you to plaster pictures all over your planning binder of you and your honey. That is your motivation.

10.)  Never pick a vendor that has poor communication skills or makes you feel silly, “cheap”, "spoiled, or otherwise about your choices. Period.

11.)  Never put your registry information on or with your invitation.  Times may have changed and “some” etiquette rules can be bent. I don’t feel this is one of them. You do not want people to feel like there is a cover charge for your wedding.  This information needs to be sent word of mouth, on your wedding website/newsletter or with your bridal/couple shower invite.

12.) Never choose a photographer with your budget solely in mind.  This is the only thing that will preserve your memories for your special day.   Please choose someone with style, talent and charisma so that you can remember your day fifty years from now as if it were yesterday.

13.)  Never go to your  catering tasting starving.   Everything will taste good.  You need to be discerning with mingling flavors and scents…and be able to appreciate them.

14.) Never go to your florist without a concept. There are several breeds of roses, lilies, and orchids.  Your floral designer will be more than happy to provide you with inspiration, guidance and ideas, but you need to know where the destination is before you get in the car. 

15.) Never assume a vendor’s “retainer” is the same as a deposit.  A deposit is refundable.  A retainer is not.

16.)  Never think you will be able to make everyone happy with your decisions.  Don’t try to make them all angry either.  Ask for ideas, and find ways to incorporate everyone into the wedding. Nothing will make your FMIL beam brighter than to point at something and say "I picked that!”

17.)  Never try to micromanage your day while wearing the gown.  The day will be a blur anyway,  it will go by so much faster (and harder) if you are playing the starring role and the director.  Enjoy your day.  Save your sanity.  Please get a wedding coordinator.  If you do, let her/him do her/his job.

18.) Never withhold the final payment from a vendor with the belief that this will pressure them to show up.  If you have chosen to hire professionals for your wedding, this will never be an issue. The wedding industry thrives on reputation, and several vendors have reputations that precede them.  Many have the philosophy if you do not pay them on the due date, they will not be there, and you will be without the vendor anyway.

19.)  Never lose sight of the fact that you will have several hundred people at your wedding with different tastes and likes.  While you cannot make them all happy, as a host, it is your job to make it enjoyable and comfortable.  Remember this when it comes to design, location and food.

20.)  Never  forget to read this blog. (ok, I was really running low. Shameless plug over).

:: Photo Michal Zacharzewski

10 Tips for a Great Wedding Venue Visit, Part 2

The Mansion at Forsyth in Savannah, Georgia

Welcome back!

Last week, we talked about the first of the five tips for a great wedding venue visit.  This week, we’ll round up our last bit of tips that will help you choose a wedding reception or wedding ceremony location with ease and confidence. 

  1. Become a complete space cadet.  One of the most important features that makes your potential site a viable choice is its ability to accommodate all of your guests.  You will want to inquire into how many guests can comfortably fit at the venue, because size matters.  Can you have the ceremony and reception at the same place?  Are there options for inclement weather?  If there are tenting options  for outdoor weddings due to space or weather concerns, how much extra is this option in addition to the costs of the rental?  Some venues will require you to book an additional space as your backup—be prepared to factor this into your budget when comparing costs later.  If there are multiple rooms at the venue, ask how many other events are booked on your wedding day.
  2. Gain absolute clarity on the role of your “coordinator”.  Many venues erroneously give their on-site catering manager or coordinator the misnomer of “wedding coordinator”.  This gives most brides the impression that their “venue comes with a coordinator”.  In most cases, this is true and false, and causes much stress and frustration for those on-site coordinators who deal with questions that they cannot and should not deal with.  The coordinator is on hand to answer your questions in terms of your wedding ceremony and or reception, not the entirety of your wedding.  Some on-site coordinators do not stay at the wedding the entire time to execute or oversee, so these will be questions you will want answers to prior to booking your venue.  If their duties are limited, ask for recommendations for wedding coordinators that can work with you on a day-of-wedding level. 
  3. A matter of convenience. Since you and Mr. Fabuluxe know your guest list the best, consider your guests in your decision.  How large is the parking lot?  Is their a fee for valet parking?  How far is parking from the venue?  Take note of the number of restrooms  and their locations– compute if it will be convenient for your guests.  If there are only two stalls in the bathroom, your guests will spend more time in line than at the wedding reception.  If you have elderly or handicapped guests, make sure that the exits are easily accessible, with ramps, if necessary.  If your venue is a resort, ask if there is shuttle or cart service to get guests to the main hotel areas.   
  4. Is there room at the Inn?  Ask ahead if there is a changing or private room for you and your groomsmen if you will have your wedding ceremony there as well.  When planning your timeline, having an onsite room will be most convenient for you. If it doesn’t, it gives you notice to pad your travel time in the the wedding day timeline. This room could also be a perfect hideaway if you would like a private moment with your new husband in the midst of the festivities.
  5. Don’t Go Solo.  Have your fiance, maid/matron of honor, parents or wedding planner attend your venue visit with you. It is good to have a second opinion—especially if you are madly in love with a specific venue.  Another person’s point of view will help you see things you had not or considered.

 

More Lies: “Ssshhhh….Don’t Tell Them It’s A Wedding!”

Somebody’s going to be mad.

I’ve heard it all at this point.  There are a lot of “arrognorant” (the lethal mix of arrogance and ignorance plaguing the world) advice going around now that it is wedding season.  Once again, I feel it is prevalent because of the horrible economic tides we are trying to tame as well as the overall lack of public trust in any practically any business (Thanks, AIG, Freddie, Fannie, Madoff and countless others!  You’re a swell bunch).

What’s (the lie) going around now is that it’s smarter to tell your vendors that you are planning a “big party!”  rather than a wedding, because everyone knows that entertainment/event vendors are out to rip everyone off the minute they say “The W word”.  So to combat that, and to make sure you protect what’s left of your 401K, you decide to lie to everyone.

It’s like going to the doctor, tell the staff that you have a terrible stomach ache.  Once you’ve been whisked back into the doctor’s examining room, you reveal “Just kidding. I’m really pregnant and in labor right now. I know when you guys hear the word ‘maternity’,  the prices double”.

Great way to start a relationship. (That was sarcasm)

Trust is a two way street.   Your wedding vendors are trusting that you will pay them on time.  So that, in turn, they can pay their staff, mortgages and gas and electric bills on time. They are also trusting that you will keep your date and follow-through with an actual event.  More likely than not,they have turned down other events so that they could show you exemplary client service and attention.  When you lie to them from the beginning (because they will find out that it’s an actual wedding, and not some “big party”), they have no incentive to trust you, let alone like you.  It will make your vendor feel as if you questioned their integrity without communicating any concerns, and decided to deceive them for your own benefit (a little pot calling the kettle black, eh?).

In case this piece of info isn’t printed in anyone’s wedding magazine or allowed to run rampant on a wedding message board, I’ll say it here:  wedding vendors are a tight community. If you feel the need to try to get over on any of your wedding vendors with lies and deception, you had better believe that other wedding vendors will hear about it, too.  It could  make it a lot harder for you to find other vendors that will want to work with you once they have heard about your antics.   A wedding is not just a big party.  It’s your wedding. Don’t take anything away from that by calling it something that it isn’t. If it were really just “one big party”, then why not go to the courthouse and rock out at Chuck E. Cheese?  There very well may be some unscrupulous vendors out there who mark their prices up because it’s a wedding, and some may feel warranted in doing so due to the expectations and other details they will have to deal with.   For the rest of us that run our businesses honestly, we have set our prices for the amount of work we do.  As a wedding planner, it is my job to make sure that brides and grooms get what they are looking for and that any wedding day related charges are services are legitimate.  If you run into several mark ups with venues or vendors that you have dreamt of using, it may be time to find vendors you can actually afford to use. If you find someone who is less than honest about their fees—do not book them!

But remember, a stomach ache is not the same thing as being in labor 😉

I’m sure my other wedding planner and vendor friends will be able to offer so much more insight, so let’s keep the conversation going.

:: Photo ~ Bjorn de Leeuw ::

Overheard at Your Wedding: “I’m Hot/Cold”

 

 

Nothing is worse than being too hot, or too cold.  It’s uncomfortable, dreadful and can have such a horrid effect on your appearance. You can be only so  fabulous in extreme weather. 

 

If your wedding is in a hot season/climate:  Be sure to think ahead, for your guests’ sakes.  While you are tucked away inside, preparing for your grand entrance, your guests will be outside enjoying your prelude music.  Opt to have tea, lemonade and water available or served as guests arrive to the ceremony.  This quick refresher can rejuvenate the excitement for your pending nuptials. In addition to programs, have hostesses pass out fans to keep guests cool. 

If your reception, too, will be outdoors, be sure to opt for a tent to shield guests from the sun.  Tents now come with fans and air conditioning units to keep guests cool during dinner. 

 

If your wedding is in a cool season/climate:  If your venues have fireplaces, seek to use them for the aesthetic it provides, but also for practical reasons.  The warm heat will serve to warm your venue and also create a festive wintery ambiance that adds a personal touch to the event experience.  Serve warm signature drinks like hot toddies, gourmet hot chocolates, warm ciders, etc. during your cocktail hour to greet guests coming in from the cold. 

 

In extreme weather, guests will always head to where they are most comfortable—be it inside at a sweltering outdoor wedding or to the closest heat source for a wedding held in the cooler months.  This will always throw a monkey wrench into the great festivities you’ve had planned. 

 

 

Photos :: Source + Source

The Lie the Wedding Magazine Told You…

oxycleanguy

I’m not the Oxy Clean guy.

There is never a “But WAIT!  There’s MORE!” moment with me.

There is no “but if you call right now, we’ll double the offer” moment.

Ever.

Just to clarify, I’m not this guy either:

I sell provide a service that includes my creativity and expertise. It does not consist of discounts.

While that’s not the “lie” that they told you outright, I feel that we should clear up a tragic misconception.  This misconception has been flagrant in the economic climate where the funds that were once set aside for your wedding have been diminished and depleted.  Everyone is looking to save money. I don’t blame you.

So, the thing that really molds my lip gloss is when the glossies and some blogs perpetuate the role of a wedding planner as a walking talking coupon code or Entertainment Book (remember how you had to sell those in school?).  I believe they say things like “A good wedding planner will save you money with her vendor relationships, who in turn will provide you with discounts”.

Oh, really? No. Not quite.

Let me tell you what a good wedding planner will do:

  • A good wedding planner will never publicly or privately purport to you that she can get you exorbitant discounts.  This is something that is never guaranteed.  Unless, she is discounting her own service and pricing.
  • A good wedding planner will save you money by matching you with vendors that fit against his/her stringent wedding budget and event vision criteria.  S/he already knows who to go to—s/he knows which vendors to go to for what it is you need that will be in your price range and maximize your dollar for your event vision. By doing the footwork of research, preliminary and sample orders for you, s/he has saved you time.  Which is almost the same as saving you money.
  • A good wedding planner will always pass along any professional courtesies to his/her clients and refrain from taking kickbacks or markups on the client’s order.
  • A good wedding planner understands that to get “the best deal” or price is relative to each particular client. The best “deal” may be a completely non-traditional workup of the menu that the caterer does not typically do, or a service or product upgrade.
  • A good wedding planner has worked years for his/her vendor relationships, and continues to do so; s/he does not violate, abuse, or manipulate them in such a casual manner,as some of the antiquated wedding advice columns perceive.  S/he knows, not only as a creative professional, but a business owner, the enumerable costs of overhead, taxes, staff salaries, etc. that factors into a vendor’s pricing.  S/he appreciates when discounts are given to her clients, but knows that they are always at the vendor’s discretion, and never guaranteed.

  • A good wedding planner will tell you this.

A good client will not rely on potential discounts, but can plan their wedding on a budget they can actually afford. They understand the ??less is more” concept, understanding that if budget is truly an issue, the guest list may need to be cut, or the vision may need to be scaled back.

Check out other wedding planning myths you can’t afford to believe.