Saturday, May 31, 2008

A real wedding with Real Style Photography.

But not Jest-er ordinary wedding.

I can't help the corny title, it was too hard to pass up. With Jester as a last name, I knew there would be fun with this crowd. It was a perfect wedding weekend. There really weren't any surprises until I got the photos back from the photographer. Why? Because they are phenomenal. Jason P Smith- remember that name. At the wedding I barely even knew he was there. He didn't pose anyone- ever. He just let it happen. I was nervous of course, thinking that there was no way he was getting any good shots. Boy was I wrong! I have a new name for his style of photography: Real. Basically, if you're looking to have still memories of your wedding the way it actually happened- Jason is your man. I can't wait to work with him again.
For the ceremony at South Seas resort we had a canopy structure designed that gave the beach some intrigue, but still allowed the backdrop of the ceremony be the true beauty of the space. While Holly walked down the aisle, I kid you not, there were dolphins jumping directly behind the groom. Unbelieveable.
Hollys one request for her bouquet was Lady Slipper Orchids. Well let me tell you something, it took a long trip from Thailand to get those blooms. I had my breath held for weeks that they would arrive. But it was worth it because Holly broke into tears when she saw them. Truly one of the most beautiful bouquets I've ever seen.
A couple little touches- we had a small cigar bar and a signature plate rather than favors and a guest book.
Dinner was out on the lawn under a bazillion stars and then we moved inside for a few great hours of dancing. Starting with an awesome 1st dance to Alicia Keys' "No one".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Cruise to Cabbage Key

Since most of the weddings I plan are weekend weddings, I get to plan some really great shindigs for my clients. This spring we had our fair share of awesome parties. But the one that seems to have been the overall crowd pleaser was the cruise to Cabbage Key for lunch or dinner. Here's the thing. If you go to the Cabbage Key website, it really doesn't look that thrilling. And if you look at the Captiva Cruises website, the boats don't look like they will blow you away. But let me tell you something, in reality, these 2 combined are off the charts fun.

Why? It's the experience of spending 4 hours with a group of your closest family and friends. It's seeing the dolphins follow the boat, jump the wakes, and completely soak crazy groomsman Jack. It's being in the open air and seeing all the surrounding islands with a cold Captiva Breeze cocktail (yummy beyond all imagination)in hand. If you charter the Lady Chadwick, when you get to Cabbage Key the staff greets you at the dock with another tropical cocktail before you head up to the restaurant for some casual island fare. This is no chain restuarant! The staff all live on the island, and the menu is the menu...they make burgers one way, the good way.

Once your done eating, there's only native Cabbage Key things to do. Climb to the top of the water tower for an unforgettable view, go on a short hike, play football on the lawn, lay out on the beach, chase a turtle (this requires several captiva breezes to be funny), play the hook game (see previous post), and most importantly, hang your signed dollar in the dollar bill room.

I know this sounds like a sales pitch, but its more my intention of letting you in on a secret spot. It's the perfect prefix to the big wedding day. Many times my clients are concerned that its just too casual. Yeah, well, I can say this- I've never heard a single guest use any description but, "Wow, incredible, amazing, teriffic, wonderful, outstanding..."

Oh, and if you have an extra day to spare, rent out the entire island for your wedding party and throw the biggest most fun overnight relaxing bash ever. Party all night, sleep til the sun comes up, gather for breakfast, and then head back to Captiva totally prepared to enjoy the rest of the wedding festivitites. Nothin to do but chill out and have fun together. Speaking from personal experience (my 30th birthday)- it rocks!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blogging from T-Dock

Danielle and I are having a busy wedding planning day down here! This morning we dropped off the Smith wedding welcome bags on Sanibel Island and then headed out here to South Seas on Captiva to meet up with Super Sarah. It's finally her wedding week! We made some adjustments to a few of her welcome bags (which are unbelievably amazing- photos to come) and dropped them at front desk. Then we headed over to RC Otters in Captiva Village for a crunchy Grouper sandwich. Can I just say how good that sandwich is? When you come, you'll have to try it. Okay, so while we were waiting for our sandwiches, we watched Sarah & Ben roll by in their golf cart and we played a couple rounds of the hook game. Looks stupid- but incredibly addictive. Again, you'll have to come try it out. Now we're sitting out on the dock, watching the manatees, blogging (Danielle is studying for her accounting quiz), soaking in the sun. I am totally cracking up right now by the way. This sure beats working from the office. It's absolutely gorgeous weather- about 80, Gulf breeze, perfect amount of sun, not a cloud in the sky. Love it! We have Glenn & James' tasting at 2:00 about 20 steps away. Oh life is good.
ok, so I know I always post photos- but for some reason I can't get them to upload. I'll try again when we go inside. Ciao for now!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Style Your Dream Wedding

Ya gotta get this book

Hands down, I think this is the best wedding book I've opened in years. Those of you who have been reading this blog for the last nearly 2 years know that I am a wedding book phiene. Love love love the wedding books. Well Susie Coelho must have a direct link to the zone in my brain that constantly seeks wedding inspiration. Page after page it has the best wedding photos. And I have to say, some really good advice as well. The book has a myriad of features besides the 600 amazing photos: Quiz booklet, Color palette booklet, Dress silhouette accordion pullout, Six 8-page gatefolds, CD of wedding music, even Postcards. It's insane there's so much stuffed into this book. Truly, it's worth every penny and then some. My personal favorite pages are pages 1 thru the LAST FREAKIN PAGE.
Click below to buy from my favorite online book store (for way less than what I paid for it!):

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Forgetful Wedding Party Syndrome

All these months you have planned an amazing weekend for your friends & family to celebrate your nuptials. And now it is time to actually celebrate! You're excited. They're excited. Wow, it is going to be great!

So here's the truth. You can't control everything. Nobody can. Besides weather you will have what I call the Forgetful Wedding Party Syndrome. You will probably have at least half of them swear they, "had no idea that they were supposed to be there then".
They will also inevitably ask, "Where am I supposed to go?" and, "Am I supposed to go to this?" and, "Can my date come?" And you of course, will probably want to strangle a few of them after you've been asked 43.7 times.

Well, you know you told them, and I know you told them, and I told them again at rehearsal, and its on their wedding weekend celebration program too. Yet still- they will swear, that they had no idea and nobody told them. So, the best thing you can do, is get started early. Every reminder helps.

10 days to 1 week before the wedding, mail everyone a last newsletter. Five days before the wedding, email everyone. Include the times, locations, and how they should get there (walking, personal car, trolley, private coach, etc.) and why they are there. By everyone, I mean any and all people who are scheduled for anything! This means, parents, siblings, bridesmaids, groomsmen, grandparents, and photo must people. It also helps to mention who does not need to attend certain things. In other words, make it perfectly clear. For example:
Just after the ceremony, we'll need just these people to stay on the beach for family photos:
John Smith
Jill & Jack
Jack & Lynn
All parents, our siblings, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flowergirls (and a parent)
It will take about 15 minutes and then a trolley will take you to the cocktail party where you can meet your spouses and the rest of our guests.

Yes, its a boring tedious task. But it will make your weekend that much easier for you so that you can focus on the real reason you are there; to get married!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Melissa & Chad: Another great directors cut

I have a good 4 weddings to catch up & post about- its been a great spring season! But we've got 3 more still to come before we wrap it up and have a few hours to get all the great photos posted. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at Cool Calm Cheerful Brides GORGEOUS Scottish wedding at South Seas. It was one of the largest destination weddings we've done this season(just under 200). I'll be posting more about this incredible wedding really soon.
I can't say enough about Rob and the crew over at AMC Video. These directors cuts are just amazing. How they manage to get 8 hours of fantastic wedding into this 3 minutes is beyond me.
Here's the link to the video

Bustles, Ties, Hooks & Eyes

Wedding Dress Alterations. Oh the drama, butts, and boobs I have seen. Alterations are typically the last thing you consider when purchasing your wedding gown. Let me tell you something though- it should be the most important thing once you choose your gown.

First things first. Go to a seasoned professional alterations person. Get referrals! I can't stress this enough.

Listen to the professionals at the salon. If they say size 8 is the size you need, order size 8...not size 6.

Plan on at least 3 fittings. One right away, one about 2-3 weeks before the wedding, and another the day you plan to leave the bridal salon with your dress (wedding week).

Ask the seamstress to double re-inforce all the elements. Do not back down on this. In other words, if she's planning on 1 hook & eye, ask for 2.

Snug is good, can't breathe is bad. Do not try to shove yourself into your dress. You will be uncomfortable, the attachments could give and break, bend or rip off. Trust me when I say its not worth it.

Fashion Tape, Safety Pins, and mini sewing kits can only do so much, especially if you have many layers, heavy fabrics, or a very long train.

The bustle that seems to work the best is the underbustle because it ties. Knots seem to stay put much better than sewn on hooks, loops, etc.

Ask the seamstress to number the ties so that whomever your designated bustle pro is, she can tie you up quickly and easily. Even if you have 27 bustle ties!

Ask for a ER plan- the wrist loop. Nobody wants to use it- but let me tell you something, if your bustle does fail, when the DJ plays "Shake your Tailfeather" and you are ready to boogie, if you don't have something to get the train off the ground you won't be shaking anything except your head!

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons