Monday, June 30, 2008

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All About Kelly McWilliams and Weddings by Socialites

About Kelly McWilliams:
Just so you know, it took me forever to write this page. I think that is because weddings are my passion, and most certainly not writing about myself. I find comfort in lists (yep, I'm pretty organized and adore lists).
So here's my "about me" list:
- I say this, do this, and sincerely believe this: "Work hard, smile alot, and be very very nice".
- Laugh, laugh, laugh. I do it all the time. And I try to make others do it too. It makes the difficult boring stuff not so difficult and boring.
- I founded and own Weddings by Socialites.
- I'm married to a guy named Kelly. We have 2 awesome kids. No, they are not named Kelly.
There's a reason why I've had so many great weddings at great wedding venues. There is a true value in having a wedding planner and designer, and I aim to prove this time and time again.
You may have seen us in:

Our beliefs and a few facts about all of us at Weddings by Socialites:

- We've been "weddings" since 2003, but our events started long before that.
- All events are planned by Kelly McWilliams, and I have a team that works together for each seamless event. This isn't "corporate" - I am your wedding planner, and I'm fortunate enough to have other people as passionate about as weddings as I am working alongside me. In other words; I take it personally.
- While we do have preferred wedding professionals, we're happy to work with new ones that want to exceed your high standards as well.
- When we say customized, we mean it. No two weddings are alike. Not even close.
- We believe some traditions are great to include, some can be broken or excluded, and some are looking to be born.
- We believe in knowing our clients (relationship based planning) so that we can create a wedding that is a reflection of you.
- We believe in one great wedding after another, with nothing but love, laughs and celebrating. It's all about an unforgettable experience.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Real Wedding: A Scottish-English-Nashville Affair on Captiva Island

Meet Melissa, Cool-Calm-Cheerful bride. Truly, Melissa had to be the most giddy bride ever. She made it her goal to enjoy her wedding day from beginning to end, and I think she pulled it off. I don't think I ever saw her without a smile or moving without a little bit of a dance!Hilary Hopkins joined us at South Seas once again to photograph this amazing affair. Here's one of my favorite beach shots:
The Ceremony program:
A Scottish tradition, during the the ceremony, each member of the wedding party walked over to the Gulf and tossed in a pebble, making a wish as it was mid-air:
Some shots of the ceremony site (LOVE the colors!):
Melissa's brother carries down the littlest wedding party member, Charlie:
Just Married! Right after the ceremony, all the wedding party members hopped on baord the same boat that Melissa arrived to the ceremony on and went on a short cruise to nowhere:
In addition to a 4 piece steel pan band, we had a string trio, 2 bag pipers, a soloist, and a top 40 duo-DJ!:
Unity candles don't really work outside, so we do sand ceremonies instead:
Melissa & her dad on board the trolley to the dinner tent for just over 200 guests:

It was a warm day, so before the ceremony, guests helped themselves to an ice cold beverage at the lemaonade station: Towards the end of the ceremony, Melissa's father had a very special toast. Each guest was butlered champagne at their seats just before Iain made the sentimental toast:

This was a BIG wedding party. Big enough to have 2 dress colors! All the men in the wedding party wore traditional Tartan kilts:

Cool Calm cheerful bride Melissa had one of the funnest, most sentimental, colorful weddings ever. It exuded hapiness. How could it not with her never ending smiles, cute little dances, and the happy colors of blue & coral? Throw in some amazing toasts, dozens Scottish men in kilts, English ladies in hats, and an awesome array of music and wine; and you've got a bonified wedding of the year. Oh, almost forgot about Nashville...home to Melissa & Chad.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's been a funny day

Today Michelle and I had to run some errands. Little did we know we'd be cracking up the whole morning.

1. Warning: If you're at the grocery store buying key limes, don't pick up the bag by the wrong end. Key limes roll fast and furious.
2. Yeah, we absolutely had to take a picture of ourselves in front of this:

3. For those who can't make up their minds about what wine to have. The bottle that pleases all palettes (and the planet):

Real Wedding: Sanibel Style

Isn't this just one of the cutest pictures ever? Photographer Julie Goodacre captured all these shots. Jen & Scott tied the knot back in May at Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island. When Jen came to me, I asked her to go through the wedding books and find images of what she liked. Many of her favorites were popular ones this year (from Karen Bussens Simple Stunning Weddings). Click on the books label to see a list of my favorite wedding inspiration books.

Have a seat...

I loved how romantic her bouquet was. And notice that Scott's Boutonierre matched!

What a pretty dress. So pretty, that two of our brides wore it this season!

Candy is not just for kids anymore:

Jen & Scott have lots of little ones in their families (like 10!). So to include them all, we had them start the processional by walking down the aisle and placing starfish on the sand at each chair. Cutest thing ever:

Jen liked the chair embellishments we did at Donna & Jims wedding. So we recreated the look in her colors:

This is a true beach lounge area. Because that whole South Beach vibe didn't mesh with this classic Florida affair:

It's the little details that make these simple tables special:

The ceremony site:

Yep! Those are oranges:

The maid of honor with both the bouquets. GORGEOUS
(and by Floral Artistry by the way):

We carried the motif from her invitations on to her menu cards:

We did a mix of round and long tables under the dinner tent. This was the round centerpiece:

And this is how the long tables looked. I loved the collection of varying vases and flowers:

Another great wedding!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ripped from the headlines. Well, the magazines actually.

I spent the last few days reading months and months of wedding magazines. Back in the day (last year), I used to keep all the magazines. Now I have learned to rip out the good pages, circle the really good stuff, and send the remains on their way. Ok, so here's what I found to be noteworthy:

Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 08:
Page 193, Planning an Outdoor Wedding. Great article and some really good tips you should pay attention to.
Page 250, In living Color. Gorgeous bouquets. Martha never fails us on pretty flowers.
Somewhere in the middle, a 25% off Michaels coupon.

InStyle Weddings Summer 08:
Page 98, 5 Ways to cut down the guest list. They did leave the number one easiest way though: have a destination wedding.
Page 164, Number Seven- LOVE this idea! And I dig Matt Lauer too.
Page 168, Number 23- Chocolate. This is so easy and perfect I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. Somebody do it so I can come to the tasting.
Honorable mention, I love the chair adornments on number 22.
Page 199, Project Destination Wedding. This is a fantastic article. I'm all over it.

Inside Weddings Spring 08:
Page 75, not an article, but an ad for Chameleon Chairs. Y'all- chairs count. They can completely transform a room. If they're too pricey for your wedding, maybe consider them for one of your smaller events like the rehearsal dinner or one of your showers.

Town & Country Weddings Spring/Summer 08:
Page 57, Give Directions. If you're having guests come to a new town where they will be having several locations for your events, maps are an absolute must. Also check with your calligrapher to see if she can create something for you. is one of my favorites. Not to mention that she's just one of the nicest people ever.
Page 127, Entertaining. Just adore the signature bowl. Hate the price. SERIOUSLY, $6100?

Bride & Bloom Summer 08:
Page 39, The Art of Custom Invitations. Read this article and you will "get it".

Destination Weddings & honeymoons 08:
Page 51, Food for Thought. I love food. I am a total foodie. This article has 3 incredible chefs giving some of the best wedding dinner advice I've heard in a long time. Take advantage of the chef at your venue...let them create something spectacular for you.

Weddings Unveiled Spring 08:
Page 22 Stuff We Love. I love the stamps too. If you get stamps, do it right off the bat so that you can carry the theme through your wedding. I like to scan a stamped paper and make it a jpeg to use on things like the guest itinerary, menus, wedding party schedule, etc.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Before & After: From Idea to Reality

P.S. I Can't draw

Today I'm cleaning out my office (ugh) and I find some old drawings and photos. It's amazing what they eventually developed into:




Obviously we made some changes...but it's neat to see what developed huh?

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons