Monday, June 29, 2009

Trash the Dress (Oh did they EVER trash it)

I can't even begin to explain how stunning McBride looked on her wedding day. Exquisite is an understatement. We all balled when she came down the grand staircase (yes, they have a photo of me balling behind the scenes).

The guy carrying McBride is McGroom. McBride: Model by profession and a model bride :)

The ceremony was a tearjerker and then some.
So when I got these pictures that Turtle Pond Photography did the day after- my jaw dropped. I was blown away. I knew they would be good, but I most certainly did not expect this phenomenal imagery.
If you had told me this was Ft Myers Beach I would have called you crazy. I'm still wondering where oh where these landscapes came from.
These are the work of a husband/wife photography team overflowing with talent and skill (and such fun to be with to boot).
Here is what Nate and Amanda had to say about this destination wedding and Trash the Dress session:
Let me first say, Jamie is as beautiful a person on the inside as she is on the out, which only made me love capturing her even more! She's obviously no novice to this modeling gig...and blew me away with her mad skills. Eager for more shots of her and her fabulous dress, we caught the last bit of sun the day after their wedding. Jamie was quite the trooper and needed little direction which made my job all the easier! Perhaps my favorite part of the shoot was watching her new husband stand by in awe of her....and fetch us dry sand (now that's true love). Seriously, they are absolutely precious together and we are so thankful to call them friends.”
You can see more of the Trash the Dress photos on the Turtle Pond Blog. Nate & Amanda are out of Indiana but travel worldwide for destination weddings.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A few wedding rules that I've seen "misplaced"

I'm just going to list out a few things that are bad and you shouldn't do and why. Feel free to print this one out.
  1. Don't get sunburned 2 days before your wedding: You'll look ridiculous and feel the same. Wear sunscreen and reapply all the time.
  2. Don't stay out until 3 in the morning the night before your wedding: You'll feel worse than you look. Go to bed on time and wake up filling awesome.
  3. Don't force your seamstress to make your dress super tight: You will be so uncomfortable you will hate your dress in 15 minutes flat. Get some spanx and relax.
  4. Don't ask someone to be in your wedding party out of guilt or persuasion: I promise you'll regret it. Instead, find another way to have them participate (reader, toast, etc.)
There are more, yes. But long lists of rules just look scary.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Blog Look. same wedding fanatic.

Same blog, new look. Hope you love it as much as I do. We're going thru some major changes here at Weddings by Socialites, and this is the first. Thanks to Ellie at Rainy Day templates I am absolutely adoring the new blog look. As you know, I am huge on saying thank you and shouting about great new products and professionals I come across. I just can't say enough about Ellie at Rainy Day. So for brides looking for a wedding blog/journal- give her a shout out. And for the wedding pros looking for a quick clean up or some extras- she's your gal.
Next week we'll unveil the new planning studio (we're up to our ears in paint and hammers at the moment), updates on the new crew, and more.

Don't be THAT bridesmaid

I'm not going to post an example picture on this post because it would be oh so embarassing to the bridesmaid who was distracted, bored, or in another zone. Something I noticed while reading a few wedding magazines last week; pictures taken at ceremonies where there's just one bridesmaid staring in the wrong direction, slouching, or even worse- frowning. Blatantly not paying attention and caught in the act- not good. So just as a reminder,
"At all times, all eyes on the bride"
I say it at every rehearsal and I think it works. Or you could have someone stand at the back row with a cue card reminder. Kidding...don't you dare!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Prevent fainting at your wedding

Ever wonder why you hear of brides and wedding party members passing out at the altar? I'll tell you why, because it actually happens. Common cause: lack of eating, followed by an adrenaline rush while heading down the aisle, and then standing up for 15-45 minutes.

Simple fix: Eat food. Good for you food.
For Blizzard Bride & Grooms wedding this month,they had your everyday packed lunch: sandwich, snack cheese, and pretzels in lunch bags, we made them cute of course (because you know we only do cute), and let everyone in the wedding party grab at will.
This is Me with Blizzard Bride & Groom. We'll post more pics from their amazing wedding in Kings Crown soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

No your bridesmaids don't need to look like they stepped out of a catalog

I am by no means saying that matching dresses are bad. It is perfectly fine, completely traditional, and looks lovely. However, this is one of those "rules" that I feel is safe to abandon. I came across a perfect example in this most recent issue of InStyle Weddings.
Here's how to do this right, without risking scary wedding party photos:
1. Request that everyone stay in a color palette you've selected (print this out for them!). {Quick Tip} pick up paint chips from the home improvement store.
2. Be very clear on what you do not want see (no crushed velvet, no prints or patterns, no trains, etc.).
3. Be very clear on what you would like to see (length, formality, and fabric types)
4. Make it fun and personal. Make a date with each of your girls individually to shop for their dress and shoes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We Wed Brunch

The Summer 2009

We Wed Brunch & Workshops

A Gathering for Wedding Professionals

Naples Beach Hotel in Naples, FL

  • Wedding PR Specialist Leila Khalil of Be Inspired PR will begin speaking at 9:30 am on

Wedding PR 101, branding your business and Do's & Don'ts of the industry

  • The outstanding culinary team of the Naples Beach Hotel will provide a sophisticated Brunch 10:30 to 11:30 am.
  • Kelly McWilliams of Weddings by Socialites will give a presentation and lead a roundtable discussion focusing on

How as wedding professionals we can work better together to create a better experience & product for our clients

We would appreciate your participation in the following survey to assist in the roundtable discussion. All names and occupations will be kept anonymous as the survey is 100% anonymous. We would greatly appreciate your participation even if you are not planning on attending this event.

You can learn more about the We Wed gatherings on the We Wed Blog

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Candles are hot. Just a reminder.

I hear it every single day, "I want candles everywhere" "Can we have more candles?" " I really like that romantic candle lit glow"

Guess what. I like it too. Me, produce a wedding without candles? Unfathomable. However, I do find it necessary to remind you that candles bring fire into the mix. Fire produces heat. Heat and crowds don't mix so well. Particularly in July after eating beef. Throw in some non LED lighting and you've got an a/c catastrophe on your hands. So, with that said...
✵Perhaps ask your lighting designer if LED perimeter lighting is a possible substitution for sometimes standard par lights.
✵Fall in love with battery powered tealights in frosted votives if you really really must have 40 candles on each dinner table.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sorbet is perfect for the dance floor "treat"

Late night refreshments are a very welcome trend in weddings. Honest to goodness, its the one I hope becomes a standard. There is certainly room to go over the top; but I can tell you that a simple something goes a very long way. The dance floor would stay packed longer if your guests can be refreshed with something other than a cocktail.
So maybe consider a small scoop of sorbet? Of course, there's nothing wrong with making it cute. Yeah, I find this a necessity ( cute that is), but you don't have to listen to me.
Perhaps order some Gelato spoons and cups to serve your Gelato or Sorbet in?
And if you're thinking more along the lines of frozen fruit skewers (yum), how about ordering some custom stir sticks from ForYourParty?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to tell them what to wear

Hands down one of the trickiest (kinda) parts of the wedding invitation elements. Deciding on the attire wordage ranks right up there with getting your eyebrows waxed. It's no fun, but ya kinda gotta do it.Here are some articles and tips I found helpful from Wedding Channel, the knot, Destination I Do and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Now here's my 2 cents for destination weddings:
Island casual: Light weight and casual wear. Most guests will take this as nice shorts and short sleeved button up shirts or polos for the men and simple sundresses for the ladies.
Island/Tropical elegant: Again lightweight, and short sleeved, but adding a minimum of slacks and a full length sundress. Certainly less than sequins and ties though.
Resort elegant: Nearly the same as cocktail, only with lightweight fabrics being appropriate. No shorts, no sundresses. Yes to ties & slacks and cocktail dresses without sequins.

I do find it nice to state on guest guides when hats and/or wraps would be a benefit or appropriate.
{Quick Tip} J Crew currently has the best hands down grooms/groomsmen destination wedding suits available. Just sayin.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 The Color Studio & Wedded Bits

Every now and again I'll get an hour to just browse the online wedding world and find some new things. Here's what I found recently that I wanted to share:
From, the color studio. This neat little tool can help you pick out a color palette for your wedding: color studio
Oh, and I am also a big fan of Wedded Bits, the blog. The blog has tips and nearly real time wedding news. It seems like they are always one step ahead of the pack. To make things better, they even have regional blog posts! I highly suggest Florida of course.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wedding party gifts that aren't stupid

Truth be told, I think this is the best wedding party gift. The price is right, its itty bitty, good for both bridesmaids and groomsmen, and can totally be personalized in more ways than one. Personally, I would love if someone handed me this ipod shuffle:
The ipod above is just $49 at or just about anywhere ipods are sold. The 4GB below is awesome, as you can have it engraved with a name. I'll say that I am against engraving your names or wedding date on it. I do however recommend pre-loading some music they'll love. If you want to put your wedding "stamp" on it, pre-load it with songs you know will be played at your wedding. Empty ipods are boring without music (and kind of a tease).
Yeah, this is way better than a beer mug or monogrammed tote bag. Been there, done that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wow ceremony decor without blowing the bank

This is absolutely my favorite way to dress up an outdoor ceremony site. Everyone always decorates the aisle. Sure. It's great. And it's also anything but unique. Still, I think some attention should be placed there. however what is almost always missed is the back row of chairs. Note that I said back row- not all rows. Sure you can do every seat, but really, you can get away with just the back row and make quite the impression.
There will be so many photos from behind your guests, and it is the first thing your guests will see as they arrive- so why not take advantage of the design opportunity?
Things you can do:
  • Chair Covers
  • Chair Sleeves/drapes
  • Garland (Flowers, shells, greenery- like Italian Ruscus, ribbon)
  • Paper Lanterns
  • Paper Mache Letters
  • Bows or sashes (ok, not my favorite- but they can look nice if done properly)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lovely things for your bridal ER kit

We're big on being incredibly prepared for our brides & their wedding parties; and that means having a fully stocked emergency kit (its well over 100 items). A few things I recently found that you should consider if you're pulling together your own...

First, for $10- a fantastic mini kit. Head to for this cute little collection of must haves. They actually have an awesome array of other kits that you may need for your bridesmaids, groom, and guests.

This is my favorite. I've used 3 myself since I found them and will keep them in my purse forever and ever. Leave it to Colgate to come up with Wisp. It's a disposable mini brush for your teeth with a dab of breath freshener. Brushes on one end, soft pick on the other. I love it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Savannah bride gets married in Bonita Springs

And she did it on Derby day. Well, when the horses are running- everything stops. This includes her wedding. Savannah bride and her wedding party refused to leave the suite at the Hyatt Coconut Point until the Kentucky Derby was over. It was quite funny to be honest. Thankfully, the ceremony still started on time. Here are a few photos I took during the day.

How beautiful was my Savannah bride? I absolutely adored her wedding dress which was perfect for the beach ceremony.

Guests left their shoes behind and walked down to the wedding site au natural. This was perfectly appropriate because they had a very informal ceremony. In fact, all the guests stood during the short ceremony. We only had a few seats for the parents and grandparents.
How stunning were these centerpieces from Signature Florals? The white dendrobium centerpieces were striking against the cool blue water in the celebration vases. I chose a champagne crinkle taffeta linen to make sure the room kept a less bold feel.
A special treat for the guests; tableside service. Each guest selected all 3 of their courses at their seat. Confession: I loved not having to track chicken/beef/fish responses.
Oh the reception room was pretty. The club at Raptor Bay was the perfect compliment to her sophisticated dinner party.
Another beautiful cake by Daniella at Ellas cakes in Naples. The sash looked so real in person. I caught a few people trying to touch it, trying to test it out!
Here's to another great wedding!

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons