Monday, September 29, 2008

From Chicago to Captiva

Destination Wedding South Seas

Captivapalooza Bride!

Anoher gorgeous bouquet by Floral Artistry
Each table was named a variety of fish local to the island
Welcome! Lemonade and programs
A local favorite for a guest favor, Captiva blend coffee
Corie had a special sash tie for the ceremony and another for the reception
The groom designed this one of a kind seating list!
Here's the room, all a glow. I love candlelight.
There wasn't a single slice of cake left although it was almost to pretty to eat.
The dance floor stayed packed the entire night
Nick Adams from Impact UK was Captivapalooza brides amazing photographer. He put a slideshow on during the reception of some of the great shots he took earlier that day. As soon as he send them our direction, we'll make sure you get to see them!

And to think it all started like this!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The short story of the Ugly Bouquet

At 2pm my cell rang,
"Kelly, its Jamie (Florida brides sister/Matron of Honor). We have a flower emergency. Bring whatever you've got."
That sounds pretty bad right? Yeah, I thought so too. So I grabbed the bucket of roses I had for the aisle presentation, my ER kit and some shears and I hightailed it up to the bridal suite. I almost passed out in horror at the sight of what I saw before me (slight exaggeration). This is what she pulled out of the florists box:This picture does no justice on how awful and pathetic looking it really was in person. The roses weren't open, the stems weren't cut trimmed, the ribbon was that cheap crunchy white stuff- I could go on and on, but I promised a short story.
Here's a picture of Florida bride had actually asked for (less the feathers): A round bouquet of Anna roses with white double faced satin ribbon and reminants of her moms wedding dress tied in:photo by Julie Goodacre
Yeah. I see a little bit of a difference between the two.
So off to work I went. I have never ever been so happy that I had watched the Martha Stewart Wedding DVD Series. THANK YOU MARTHA! I made Florida Brides bouquet from scratch with the roses we pulled from the petal aisle stash and then gave the bridesmaids bouquet making 101 and we remade all 6 of their bouquets as well. Here is how they all turned out:

Want to see more photos from Florida Brides wedding? Check out Mike's work at the impressions photography blog.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear Kelly, I want to be a wedding planner.

How do I do it?

I get this email every single day. I'm really quite flattered by it to be honest. So, thanks for asking, it makes me smile. This answer is NOT for everyone. I guarantee there is going to be someone who thinks that this is the stupidest answer ever. Hopefully though, it will mean something good to someone out there.
Hi, my name is ______, I'm a 20 year undergrad at University of _____, and am addicted to your blog. As a young college student, the question of my career path has come up quite often, and with much research and thought, the one job that constantly is in the back of my mind is wedding and event planner. Ive had my hand in planning a few events and parties, and loved every tiny detail. I'm originally from _________, and with a large high end mall, and many gated communities popping up on the west side of the city, I'm wondering if soon would be the time for someone like me to start up something and see if the city can support it. It's been slightly frustrating as every search for "Becoming a wedding/event planner" comes up with results of online courses/ guide books... and finally your blog, and many other wonderful sites like junebug and weddingbee. I don't think for a second I could make a website, open doors and succeed, none the less have a clue what I'm doing and would rather do this right to make a career, and not a failed attempt :) Ive contacted a few local businesses but am not receiving the friendly response I'd expected and don't know if this is due to my approach. I'm wondering if I could throw a few questions your way, and maybe get some advice on how to approach this subject. Thank you so much for your time, and I really appreciate anything you'd be willing to offer.

My response:
Hi ______,
Thanks for reading my blog! I understand your frustration. I was there once myself. The reason you aren't getting a great response from the local wedding industry is probably one of two things. Either you're contacting them during wedding season when they are all extremely busy and can't deal with someone calling on them for help at the moment, or (and more likely), they are afraid of helping the competition.
Are you at a school that has a Hospitality & Resort Management major? If not, that might be your 1st big decision...that's where you need to head to. If you are looking to get a small business degree and use that as your foundation- then stay put and start learning events from a different angle. If you can't find a wedding planner who will let you come on as an intern, look for internships with photographers, florists, wedding cake bakers, and videographers. Photographers and Videographers are your best bet so that you can actually attend as many weddings as possible. You'll also want to get a job in sales and catering at a local resort. I say resort and not country club because a resort will allow you to hold several positions outside of food and beverage that you can learn from and use in your career as a wedding planner.
I want to tell you that you are 100% doing the right thing...look for the areas that are growing and are going to need a wedding planner in the next couple years. Get in while nobody else is there so that when it does "boom"- you are it. In other words, learn how to plan in a market that has already been built, and then open shop in a market that shows signs of becoming big.
Best wishes to you _______- let me know how it goes!

Here's the thing gang. It is HARD and I mean really hard to be a wedding planner. I am not even going to try and deny that. Is it fun? Yes. I love it. I am totally addicted. When I talk to a bride and I say, "I am so excited!" I am not kidding- I really am. You have to have a passion for it. A passion for planning your own wedding does not mean you will have the passion to plan 15 weddings at the same time, with 15 different personalities, tastes, and styles. And if you're going to do this for a career, that's what you have to plan on doing. Also, you have to be prepared to work your arse off. I work a minimum of 60 hours a week, and during our wedding seasons, there are weeks on end where I don't get a day off and I work 14 hour days 3 weeks straight. Why do wedding planners have to work so much? Because on top of the weddings that we're planning, It's a business that has to be run. Accounting, marketing, public relations, administrative- it's a long list. I so wish that there was a wedding tv show that showed what this job is really like. I think so many people would be surprised.
Is it worth it? Absolutely! I LOVE BEING A WEDDING PLANNER. And _____, I hope that you will love being a wedding planner too.

P.S. For those ready to pick up the phone and call a bunch of wedding pro's and ask for internships- don't. Check their websites first to see if they have a preferred method of contact for such inquiries. I pick all my interns via email.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Florida Bride: A gorgeous Sanibel Wedding!

Don't yell at me. It was such a busy day that we never broke out the camera. No worries though because Michael from Impressions photography was there and I know he'll have amazing pictures on their blog quickly. So, in the meantime, we staged a few detail photos and I took a couple with my iphone. Just so that we could share a few.Here she is just an hour after she became a Mrs.
Mr & Mrs Florida Bride at Lighthouse beach on Sanibel Island
This is Jessica's Bouquet. There is quite the story behind this bouquet, which I will tell you all about in a later post.
These are the wedding programs that Jessica made herself! Aren't they super cute? I love the palm tree cut out.

Instead of your ordinary guest book, Jessica & Ryan bought this adirondack chair and had a friend paint and attach the plaque. Jessica has the best plans for it, she's keeping the chair in the guest room as a luggage rack.

Instead of starting off the day with the ceremony, we planned a mini cocktail hour with pink and green signature drinks. The cocktail hour and ceremony were poolside at Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa. They have a fantastic paved deck with palm trees and a fountain for a wedding ceremony, call Kristin if you're looking for a truly stunning sunset poolside event. So the rule is you never serve drinks without something to eat. You know me, the details count. We kept the appetizers pink and green as well: Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus with Garlic Aioli & Ahi Tuna on Risotto cake with Wasabi Creme Fraiche. Yummy and they matched too.
The reception was held at Dolce Vita on Sanibel Island. All the hot pink roses in the vases (filled with keylimes) looked amazing against the dark cherry woods of the italian restaurant. It really was a romantic scene in the candlelit dining room that night.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Brides in the Limelight, South Beach

I know you're all waiting on this post; but it looks like we're going to have to hold off until tomorrow...the camera with the photos didn't make it back to the studio today! I PROMISE its coming!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The NEW best wedding songs.

I'm callin it

Risky right? Callin it? But I'd put $10 down that this song makes Jack Johnsons Better Together step into the number 2 slot. $10 is what's in my wallet at the moment. I spent $20 at lunch. It was a good lunch. Met with some halloween party planning people at Bacchus. Ummmm Ahi Tuna. Oh, back to the song.

Okay, so the entire cd rocks. But this song in particular spoke to the wedding planner in me. It spoke so loud I actually called Clint Wiley (the best not-a-wedding-band-that-does-weddings ever) and told him he needed to get these songs on his playlist like now. Clint informed me that I am behind the times. Seems this Jason guy has been around a while. Still, I think this is going to be big in weddings.

It's Jason Mraz and the song that 1st spoke to me is called I'm Yours Jason Mraz - We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things - I'm Yours. Here's the one thing I see getting in the way of this song being on the top of everyones either recessional song short list or 1st dance; Jason's other song Lucky Jason Mraz - We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things - Lucky (feat. Colbie Caillat).

You can buy the cd on Jasons hilarious website or download it from itunes. He seems to be a really funny guy. A rather talented funny guy.

Thank you photographers.

You made the place look great!

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to a few of the photographers who very generously gave us nice big pictures of our clients and amazing albums to display in our studio for all the brides to see.

So thank you very much. I appreciate it. "Holla!"

Michelle Reed Photography
Gigi Hamlett Photography
Impressions Photography
Julie Goodacre Photography

Introducing Lily

Isn't she just the cutest little thing ever?

Look who stopped by today! This is Lily and she belongs to Jen & Chris who are the wedding Phenoms from Casa Ybel Resort. Michelle and I pretty much knocked each other over trying to get away from our desks and over to her 1st.
It was just a year ago last March that we helped them tie the knot... Wedding Photo by Gigi Hamlett

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Studio & Library Hours 9/15-9/21

Here are the hours we'll be open for brides in the Planning Studio & Bride's Library next week:
Monday 10am to 6pm
Tuesday 10am to 5pm
Wednesday CLOSED for special event
Thursday 1pm to 6pm
Friday CLOSED for wedding
Saturday CLOSED for wedding

Stop by, we'd love to see you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Recap: Crazy, Funny, Cool Week

This week and Last week have been busy ones here at the studioThis week Andrea joined the team. Welcome Andrea! We did a little shopping yesterday and scored big time. We got these awesome bowls and trays on clearance for Writer Bride's wedding. Well, not all of them had the red tag, so we asked nicely, and the nice ladies at the store gave us 50% off EVERYTHING. Woohoo! Yep, we like to save our clients money! Click to enlarge the photo.
I don't usually put pics of our brides up before the wedding, but we're going to today. This is Fishing Bride and she won a weekend at Cabbage Key at our party for the brides! You'll see more about why we call her fishing bride after her will all make sense then. Like all our clients, she's so cool.
Some pictures from last week (Click the photo to enlarge). Yeah, we laugh ALOT around here. Wedding planning is not easy work (especially when your're planning a dozen of them). So we laugh and dance to get through the rough parts of the day. Okay, Emily. She had to stay home from school one day. She was sick for like a minute. And we really did order 1000 keylimes for Florida Bride's wedding next week. Publix thinks we got the recipe wrong for key lime pie. I think we'll ask for 5 pie crusts when we go pick them up. Then they'll really think we're nuts.
Last week Lucky Bride & groom came over from Delray Beach for a planning weekend. We did her centerpiece mock-up, floral consult, wrote her ceremony, and had her tasting. Yep, you could say it was a busy 2 days.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Destination Deal of the Year. Literally.

South Seas Island Resort

Photo by Jason P Smith
You guys know I absolutely adore planning weddings at South Seas Island Resort right? Well it's for several reasons. Mostly, because its freaking gorgeous. It's hands down the closest you can get to a truly tropical location without a passport. Secondly, its one of the few places that you can have a truly private beach ceremony. Just you and your invited guests. Most beaches are public and so there could potentially be tourists watching your nuptials...from near or far. Not at South Seas- this place is exclusive. Oh, and have issues with sand under your toes? Not a problem. They have breathtaking green lawns overlooking the Gulf of Mexico too.
Photo by Lauren Pauline
Click the Real Weddings label to see a few of our recent weddings out there. Oh, and if you thought you couldn't have a formal wedding in a beach setting- think again. Super Sarah did here to see her wedding trailer courtesy of Luxe Films.
Lastly, it is so inexpensive and easy to get here. Direct flights are available to Ft Myers from just about everywhere.Photo by Hilary Hopkins
So what is the deal of the year? Well, I got an email from the girls out at South Seas today. They are actually offering a 2008 wedding package that is 20% off their regular prices. Yeah- these kinds of deals are VERY rare. If you're even remotely thinking about having a beach wedding anywhere- call Julie at South Seas first. Her number is (239)472-7685. And yes, I realize there are only 16 weeks left this year. I've planned big gigantic weddings in 3 weeks flat, so no can be done!

Yeah, I know this sounds like a sales pitch, but the truth is that I really like South Seas, and I like to save my clients a dollar (or thousands in this case) when I can. So I'm passing along the info.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Are you a Blogger?

If yes, Follow me!

I am so excited! I just looked at the bottom of my dashboard and realized I can "follow" bloggers right on Blogger! How cool is that? So if you're reading this blog, be sure to "follow me" on your dashboard as well!

Happy Anniversary Boca Bride!

I got an email this morning from Boca Bride that made me cry. Good tears of course. She sent me a photo of her and Dr. Boca Bride slicing into their top tier. So sweet!Marguerite and Tripp had such a great wedding on Boca Grande last July. Let's go back down memory lane:the sunset we almost missed
Love this aisle from I Do originals We surprise gifted this aisle runner to Marguerite and Tripp when plans to appear on Whose Wedding is it Anyway fell through. Oy, that was craziness!
Beth from Floral Artistry came to the rescue on this wedding. They traveled from Sanibel Island to Boca Grande Island just for this wedding. Seriously, they rock!

Who thought white hearts could be so cute? LOVE THEM!
Okay, could there be a more perfect little island church? So classic.

Her getting ready zip up says sexy, but she's just the cutest little bride isn't she?

Photography by Julie Goodacre
I want to do it again. Want to get married on Boca Grande? Call me...I just happen to know all about it.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons