Friday, February 27, 2009

Thank Goodness this Friday is OVER!

It was a lovely day here in Savannah. Just the kind of day where you really get into the Spring spirit while you're doing work to prepare for Spring weddings.... But my day was critically wounded by a 4-hour stalemate with the Geek Squad in an attempt to hook up my wonderful new printer (which I, surprisingly, did not throw out the window). Due to these technical difficulties, our normally scheduled blog will be delayed until next week, when you can expect some really great stuff that we have in the works!

Until then....a better Fridays to come! Cheers!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Q&A Thursday: Transportation

Q: The distance between my ceremony and reception venues is only a short drive, but I guess it's not really a distance that you could walk. Do I have to provide transportation between the two venues for my guests?

A: I think that providing some sort of transportation option for your guests goes a long way toward making them relaxed and welcome at your wedding - especially if they are from out of town, in which case they may not have a car or be comfortable navigating a new city. The extent of transportation that you provide depends on the situation. Because I am planning the wedding in question here, I know that we are talking about a downtown situation - more specifically downtown Savannah (pretty small). The reception is also at the hotel in which rooms were blocked for guests. So the only transportation concern is the trip to and from the ceremony venue and making it easy for guests to arrive on time and with little hassle.

In another situation, it might be more of a safety concern that would compel you to provide transportation for guests. Let's say, for instance, your reception venue is not a walkable distance from the hotel in which the majority of your guests are staying that night. It is, of course, the responsibility of your adult guests to make smart decisions about drinking and driving. But why put your guests in a position where they have to make these decisions (and yes, sacrifices), or yourself in a situation where you are concerned that a guest is taking risks that you are not comfortable with? By providing some sort of shuttle, throughout the evening, to a hotel of your choice, you are taking the safety burden (as much as you possibly can) off of your guests, and yourself - as host.

Every wedding involves different transportation concerns. In the end, you are the host. If you want the overall wedding guest experience to be welcoming and hassle-free for your family and friends, getting to and from the event is the first and last impression they will have of the event. Providing reasonable accommodations for their transportation to and from venues guarantees that they will be good ones.

READERS: What has your experience been with transportation to and from weddings you have attended or planned? Do you think that we are right or wrong in our advice? Have you run into problems or seen any solutions to transportation issues that you thought were really stand-out?

Have a question yourself? E-mail us at

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bon Mardi Gras!

Happy Fat Tuesday! I had grandiose plans to make an inspiration board for a mardi gras theme wedding, but my day has flown by. So I will just leave you with my jumping-off point for the board and a rain check.

I love the idea of having feather masks, like these from, at each guest's seat! They would brighten up the tables and, no doubt, inspire fun and playful pictures all night.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Talking about money...

Talking. About. Money. It's something that you are told never to do in social situations...among mixed cetera. But planning a wedding is not a "social situation." You may get confused because we wedding professionals are so incredibly nice and friendly and should be making you feel at ease. Nevertheless, we are in the wedding business and understand that, as with any "project" or "initiative" there is a budget for your wedding, and that budgets differ greatly from one wedding to the next. There is a lot of advice (great advice even) out there on how to tactfully negotiate with vendors, work on a small budget, divide and conquer costs with parents/future in-laws...and so on and so forth as far as financial subjects can go. But when I came upon this post by Monica Rae Gill of The White Box of Wedding Design, I thought, "this is important and well said." And that, in my opinion, is the highest praise there is for a blog post! Her message - be forthright with your budget. No one can read your mind, and no one is judging you. Words like "expensive" and "affordable" are subjective and mean nothing without the raw numbers of your personal wedding budget attached to them. So go ahead and talk about money with your wedding vendors, talk honestly about it. I think you'll find it liberating and it will open more doors than it will close!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Are you a Shoe Gal?

One of my guilty pleasures in life is shoes, and what better a reason for a fabulous new pair of shoes than your wedding day? Today’s wedding shoes are not just white or ivory – brides are using their shoes as an opportunity to continue their color theme, play off of the Something Blue or they just want a great shoe that they can wear again. A good quality shoe can be an investment and your wedding day is just the day to spoil yourself with such an investment. There is nothing like slipping on a brand new pair of heels, and now-a- days your bridal shoes are a great way to show off your personality.

Here are some great examples of some Splurges:

And some more affordable options:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Q&A Thursday: Vegetarian Options

Q: Do I have to provide a vegetarian option for my guests? I may have a couple of guests attending my wedding that are vegetarians and I am not sure if I have to provide a menu for them that is separate from the rest of the guests.

A: It is always a good idea to provide a vegetarian option for your guests, and absolutely necessary in the case that you know of a few guests who are vegetarian. Today more and more people are staying away from red meats and trying the vegetarian lifestyle. Some people don’t eat meat, but still eat fish, and some people don’t eat pork, but eat other types of meat – so how do you keep up with all of this?

I always suggest having a non-meat/non-fish option available for guests should they have that dietary preference, and it won't require bending over backwards. Ask your caterer or venue how they prefer you offer the option - as a simple "vegetarian" check-box option on your reception reply card that leaves the choice to the chef, or do they have a number of vegetarian options that you can choose from to add as an additional food choice for all guests. A professional caterer or reception venue should be used to this request and have a standard vegetarian option that they offer without charging you more for an additional entree offering, and is most likely able to whip something up in the case of a last-minute dietary request. You can not account for every guest's tastes and preferences, but you will have done your part as a good host by providing at least one option for guests who may have alternative dietary requirements. After all, you have invited these guests to share in your day and you want everyone to have a great time!

Isn't this vegan Eggplant Napolean beautiful? I'd be proud to offer this at my wedding!

READERS: What has your experience been with vegetarian and dietary restriction options? Do you think that we are right or wrong in our advice? Have you run problems or seen any solutions to the guests' dietary issues and preferences that you thought were really stand-out?

Have a question yourself? E-mail us at

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wedding Websites

Today's wedding guest has quite a few logistical details to remember in order to attend a wedding, especially if he is traveling to the event. Naturally it's the responsibility of the bride and groom to organize these details and communicate them to their guests. There are a number of ways to do this - word of mouth, inserts with the save-the-date or formal invitation, a wedding website. Because of the varying ages of guests and the differences in your relationships with them, the best way to ensure that everyone is covered is to employ all three methods. But the use of a wedding website is the easiest way to communicate up-to-the-moment logistical details to your guests.

Obviously, right? But you would be surprised how many couples don't use one! They are easy to set up, often free and, when kept up-to-date, a great resource for your guests.

Here are just a couple of the providers that I suggest:

  • Templates designed by some of your favorite stationers - Minted, Papeterie and Wedding Paper Divas - to coordinate with some of their popular invitation designs
  • Unlimited space for picture uploads
  • 100% free (it's rare to hear that when planning a wedding...)

My favorite template is Dandelion by Papeterie.

  • Free web sites are available. Upgrades (from $4.95/month) allow you to create your own domain name, such as or add extra space for uploads.
  • Password Protection available.
  • A Downloads page allows you to upload documents for your guests to download and print, such as maps and directions.

I'm working with a couple using the Vintage template, which is super fun and playful.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

In celebration of this weekend's holiday-o-love, we just thought we'd share some beautiful pictures of some of the wonderful couples we've worked with! Have a great weekend!

Photo Credits (by row): Lyn Bonham Photography, Nichole Barrali Photography, Memories n More, Donna Von Bruening Photography

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Q&A Thursday: Baby Blues

Q: I have requested no children at my wedding by stating “Adult Reception” on my invitations and wedding website. I have arranged and let all my guests know that I have set up a babysitting service in a guest room of the hotel that will play with the kids and show them movies, and even arranged for pizza to be delivered to the room during the reception. I thought this was a nice way that my guests could go check on the children should they want, but I just don’t want kids running around at my reception.

The problem is that I have a groomsman that has a 13 month old child that his wife refuses to leave with a babysitter or even her family for that matter. I know that they are going to try to bring the child to the wedding ceremony and reception and I feel very strongly that I have gone above and beyond and made it very clear that I do not want any children at my wedding. I have asked my fiancé to speak to the groomsman about this and the groomsman just laughs it off that his wife is just attached to the baby!

What should I do if they show up at the wedding with their child?

Thank you for you advice,
Baby free wedding

A: Dear Baby free wedding

I agree, you have gone above and beyond in making arrangements for the guests with children. You have thought it through with respect for the the fact that some of your guests are not comfortable or able to leave their small children at home. You are, in fact, offering to pay their babysitter and allowing them access to their children should their nerves get the best of them. With that being said, and considering the fact that you've personally expressed your feelings about children at the reception to this guest, it is extremely disrespectful for her guest to still feel that it would be okay for her to bring her child. While you don't want to make her uncomfortable, she is not even offering effort on her side.

I suggest that you speak to your mother and father, as well as your future in-laws, and ask them to - should she arrive with the child - gently remind her that you have made alternative arrangements for the children and show her the baby sitting room. She can stay there with the babysitter if she likes, but this is an adult reception. I, as a wedding planner, have been asked to act as a “baby bouncer” on one occasion – I was lucky that no children showed!

It is a sticky situation, but it seems that you have made your wishes very clear, and your guests, especially your groomsman, should respect that. It is quite likely that she will respect your wishes in the end, and she is just being difficult because she doesn't agree with your policy and wants to make that known. If, however, she chooses to defy you until the end, you have done all that you can and it is in your best interest to let it go on your wedding day and not let her affect your mood. After all, she's going to have a tough go at life if she continues with her approach.

READERS: What is your opinion on this situation? Do you think that we are right or wrong in our advice? Have you run into similar problems?

Have a question yourself? E-mail us at

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Historic Charm and Modern Flare

Last night was the Open House for Savannah's new boutique hotel, Avia. Situated in the Historic District, between Bay and Congress, it is conveniently located only steps from City Market, Broughton Street and River Street. This new, modern venue and the Victorian District's The Mansion on Forsyth Park offer the Savannah wedding customer a surprising, yet harmonious, contrast to the historic charm of Georgia's first city.

Avia will be hosting its first wedding on Valentine's festive! They offer a couple of options, from an intimate package including a 3-course meal in their modern and comfy dining room to a larger affair in their Grand Parlor. We had the opportunity to sample some of their menu items, including mini grilled cheese triangles served with tomato or lobster bisque (v-good). But don't fill up on grilled cheese, because all of their wedding packages include...drum rooooollll...a cake from Custom Cakes. That's no joke, kids.....not at all.

Their guest rooms are spacious and beautiful, but the addition of "hosting suites" to the room mix really amped up their wedding party appeal from our perspective. With separate living and sleeping areas, including expanded kitchens, they would be a great place for the bridal party to relax and get ready together before the ceremony OR for the bride's or groom's parents to host out-of-town guests for cocktails as they arrive in town.

From one modern Savannah wedding venue, we travel up Whitaker Street, and around the park to The Mansion on Forsyth Park. A vision in red brick, a wedding at The Mansion is a kin to a wedding in an art gallery + great food + beautiful guest rooms (and hallways, and stairwells, and elevators). They too have a wonderful Intimate wedding package in addition to the Classic option in their Viennese Ballroom, which is hard to match...this is not your average hotel ballroom.

Photo Credit: Donna Von Bruening Photography

The Mansion's bridal appeal can not, however, be fully explained without mention of the Marble Garden Courtyard. The white marble floor and chandeliered tent don't need much decoration to provide an elegant ceremony venue right there in The Mansion.
We could write every day about the historic features that make Savannah such a popular wedding destination, but these newer additions to the city (post 1733) don't hurt.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We'd like to thank the academy...

Nooo, not really...but I've always wanted to say it!

It's to the wonderful brides (and very often, their mothers) that we work with whom we'd like to give a big Thank You today. I know that sometimes, following a wedding, after all is said and done, a bride doesn't want to think about wedding things for a little while - regardless of how flawless the event was! That is why we are so grateful when our former clients take the time to send us kind words, through letters, e-mails, and formal reviews, to let us know that they were happy with our services. Positive reviews and referrals really are the best way to thank your wedding vendors.

2009 Bride's Choice Awards presented by WeddingWire  Wedding Cakes, Wedding Venues, Wedding Photographers & More

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why Pay More?

The Lela Rose collection for Payless is available! I think I'll go check it out today and let you know what they are like in person...I think we have a never know in Savannah.

I've never been a fan of dyable shoes. I guess too many horror stories of bridesmaids with matching pink shoes...that don't quite match their red dresses. So I'm not disappointed that the Unforgettable Moments by Lela Rose white shoes are not dyable. Just because you are celebrating a perfect match, doesn't mean your shoes have to be a perfect match to your dress...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Purple..the new navy

My high school's colors were purple and gold. My sorority's colors were purple and white. Honestly, I hated the color purple. But now I just can't get enough of it. I am a brunette, with pretty light skin, so I don't like to wear black. I prefer Navy and, recently, dark purple when I am choosing dark solids. Navy looks good on everyone, but I think Navy is conservative no matter what you do to accessorize it. Purple can be so many different things - royal, funky, warm, sophisticated, playful, exotic - that it's hard to imagine a style that purple wouldn't work with.

Positano Invitation, Mr. Boddington's Studion,
Mark Joseph Cakes
Earrings, Kenneth Jay Lane from Avelle
Ring, Tiffanys
Paper Flower Escort Card, Martha Stewart
Adianna Papell Shantung Dress, Nordstrom
Jessica Simpson Donora Pumps, Piperlime
Flowers, Table Settings and Tux,

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Going Away Attire

My favorite outfits in wedding movies are the brides' going away outfits. The brides look so happy and adult in their feminine suits. This is a tradition that has, more or less fallen by the wayside. For a midnight send off, a pair of comfortable slippers and pajamas might be more appropriate for today's bride. But at the close of an afternoon wedding, I'd love to be sent off with my new husband in this s0phisticated ensemble.

Tory Burch Casey dress, Orla Kylie Crayon Crocus Wheelie from Anthropologie, Tory Burch Kerry Clutch, Babette shoes and French Serge day coat from JCrew

This look would also be great for a romantic elopement or a smart city hall ceremony!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

'Cause 2 outta 3 ain't bad...

I know that it possibly makes me sound like a bad person, but I'm not the biggest fan of children in weddings. Ugh, I know, I feel mean even saying it. Yes, they look adorable all dressed up, and I know the tradition will not go away, but it's a lot of work for the's terrifying for many of the children, I could go on and on. That said...

Check out these handsome ringbearers from a wedding we did at the Harper-Fowlkes house! They were pretty much a best-case scenario. They were all buddies, they looked adorable in the outfits that grandma made them, and they weren't afraid of the wedding planners :) When I was chatting with the gentlman in the top right of the picture, before his walk down the aisle, I asked him if he had a girlfriend...and he said "Yes, my Mom." Too cute.

I just had to share that anecdote and this great photo by Teresa of Memories N' More Photography here in Savannah. But I should note that our reluctant little friend who hasn't left the landing yet, in this picture, never did. I guess 2 outta 3 ain' bad...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Less Wasteful Welcomes

I know a lot of couples are looking for ways to "green" their weddings. It can be a daunting task, and I don't think any couple should beat themselves up over the consumption and waste that results from their wedding if they are conscientious in the way they live their everyday lives. If you can, however, put some of your everyday practices into use for your wedding, well that's just great. If you're looking for a place to start, look at your Welcome Bags for out of town guests! Check out these canvas beauties from They're only $0.99 each and highly unlikely to end up in the hotel's dumpster.

I'd wager 99% of Welcome Bags also contain bottled water. If you're not already making use of polycarbonate water bottles yourself, get on that! ( 8 out of 10 plastic water bottles used in the United States end up in a landfill. ) Then see if you can't start your wedding guests off on a greener foot by sending them home with customized, reusable water bottles! These are from and are about $1.50 each. They even have some generic wedding clip art that you can have imprinted if you don't have a monogram or motif of your own.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Local Wedding Traditions - The Second Line

With time off from working on weddings, I had the pleasure of attending a wedding in New Orleans this weekend. I had never been to New Orleans, so we tried to do some touristy things in our spare time. But it's impossible to take in all that you'd like to on a normal trip when you are visiting a town for a wedding. That's why we were so happy when we realized that our friends incorporated so much of New Orleans culture into their wedding! We got to participate in our first Second Line...which was awesome; they served traditional NOLA foods, like Gumbo, at their reception; and they had their reception at a great venue that overlooked Bourbon Street!
It's so important, especially when throwing a destination wedding, to incorporate local traditions into your event - not only for the guests who are traveling to celebrate with you, but also for yourselves! If you are looking at the details of your wedding as it comes together and thinking "this could be happening anywhere," consider local customs that could be incorporated in order to take it to a more personal and relevant level.