Sunday, August 30, 2009

A great First Dance Song

I got a call while driving to LaPlaya Beach Resort last week.
"I'm callin it!", Clint Wiley says.
Every now and again one of us will come across a new song and just know that its going to be huge in weddings. The BIG song is always going to be the first dance song, and when a new one is called- boy, that's a big deal.
About a year ago I called it with Jason Mraz's Lucky & I'm Yours. Sure enough- I've had at least 8 of our last 15 weddings use them for the 1st dance and recessional songs.

So what is the new song Clint has called? It's by Uncle Kracker and it's titled Smile. I LOVE IT. Not just a little either, a whole lot.
Click here---> Uncle Kracker - Smile - Single - Smile to download and love it too.
Oh, what's that? Is this the new Weddings by Socialites theme song? Why yes, yes I think it is. Check it out!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Mothers Tea

An idea I just love the thought of. As you know, gathering for tea is all the rage. Although I suppose the words "rage" and "tea" are kind of conflicting. Anyway.
So I was sitting here this morning drinking my chai while writing a proposal for a glorious Naples Beach wedding weekend next spring. While listing out all the events planned, I felt like something was missing. In this case, the mother of the bride has been my contact. In fact, I have a feeling she and I will be doing most of the planning together as the bride is quite busy with work. It just seemed to me that the moms so frequently get left out of it after all the work involved in planning. With that, I am inspired to plan for this client
The Mothers Tea.
I imagine it as a small gathering of the ladies: moms & sisters of the bride & groom, grandmas, aunts, moms best friend, and the bride. Maybe also the bridal party if the moms are close to these girls too. I think the event should be hosted by the bride & groom.Its a great opportunity to really spend some quality time with the ladies of the family your moms are closest to, and also to have them all get to know each other and of course its an opportunity to wear a great hat. This would also be a wonderful time to gift your moms with something special for the wedding day, perhaps a piece of jewelry, handkerchief, or clutch?

Do you like the idea? I sent my dear friend Risa of the Partea Planner a message today, hoping she'll send me some photos to share. You can check out her website for Partea inspiration.

Photo credit: the always fabulous Hilary Hopkins

And the winner is...

Jody Taylor-Smith of Good Taste Events! Congrats Jody, you are going to love Cabbage Key and doing nothing but
watching the sunrise & the sunset,
maybe a little island hopping to Captiva, Sanibel, Useppa, and Boca Grande,
fishing and
eating cheeseburgers in paradise

Did you know that Cabbage Key is supposedly where this infamous song was written about?
Have a great getaway!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last day to win the 2 night stay at Cabbage Key!

If you haven't already, be sure to comment on Tuesdays post to win 2 nights at Cabbage Key. If you're in need of some sunshine, R&R- this is the contest to enter!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Win a 2 night stay at Cabbage Key!

For no other reason than to be totally nice and introduce you to a very cool little island- we're giving away a 2 night stay at Cabbage Key! If you've never been, Cabbage Key is one of the little barrier islands off the Gulf Coast of South West Florida. Many of my wedding couples have hosted 1/2 day getaways for their guests at Cabbage Key. Click here and here to read about them.
Here's the kicker- the gift certificate is only good until September 3rd! So you'll have to be able to visit by then. You can easily access Cabbage Key by boat or ferry leaving from Captiva Island or Pineland.
To win the getaway, just comment below! We'll announce the lucky winner Thursday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Decadent: Cheese & Chocolate.

Looking to bring something chic to your wedding or rehearsal dinner? Or actually- this is fantastic for a welcome cocktail party.
Now only does it just give such a luxe feel, it is that good. Consider doing a cheese display spread complete with assorted gourmet cheeses, berries and pestos with wine pairings.Then later in the evening have it transformed into a chocolate and cordial presentation. Besides Milk, Sweet, Bittersweet, Semi sweet, and white chocolate; you can also add some scrumptious truffles.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Click on these today. Wedding blog love.

Dear Google Reader,
How did I ever survive without you?

Style Circle. Oh Abby, you have outdone yourself. Yes, I am a long time fan of Style Me Pretty, but I can't get away, nor do I want to. Go, go check it out. If you have any passion for weddings as a bride or wedding pro- you will love Style Circle. It's like a playground for wedding junkies. I haven't had near the amount of time to really dive in yet, but I did make my first inspiration board with the stock images (which are ridiculously lovely).


This wedding that Snippet & Ink featured is so incredibly classic. I love the blue, the yellow, the white. The clean of it all. The amazing photos. The dress I would wear in a heartbeat. Yeah, no wonder they featured it. It's that good.

We're headed to Savannah in a few weeks for a wedding that will be nothing less than Spectacular, so this post from Wedding Bee was a plus. Great ideas!

Remember when I posted about not having your entire wedding party in the same attire? This wedding on Southern Weddings blog beyond proves that it can look phenomenal.

Ruffles. I never in a million years would have ever thought I would one day love ruffles. They're so feminine and not plain. I love the attention they garner. Leila at Inspired by This- she's into the ruffles too. Love her collection of ruffle images on this post. And if you like ruffles even a little bit, you will too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wedding Photography you might not have known about (but you should)

Your wedding, although its one of the biggest events in your life, literally life changing, passes by in just a matter of hours. There are so many ways to capture more of everything that your wedding means to you through photography. So I called up one of our Wise Bride experts, Audrey Snow to explain all the different wedding photography options that there are. Audrey and her photography partner & fiance Michael are based out of Sarasota.
Looking back, I very much wish I'd had the opportunity to do a few of these, especially the Bridal Portrait. And even more so, I wish I had some of these of my parents. So often we forget to think of the future.
Here are all the various types of wedding photography we could list. The descriptions are all Audreys words- thank you so much Audrey! Check out more of Audreys words and images on her blog

Engagement: The engagement session is a more casual reflection of the bride and groom. While sometimes dressy, it's usually not as formal as the wedding day look. More often the engaged couple will be in jeans or other more casual looks. Another great chance to play around with different locations and styles. With these images, many couples will make fantastic guest books for the wedding, or submit one to the local paper for the engagement announcement. We love engagement sessions so much we include them in all our packages. It gives us a chance to get to know our couples before the big day and all work together.
Pre-wedding Celebration coverage: How much thought and planning goes into the events leading up to the wedding? Engagement parties, showers, rehearsal dinners? Why not round out your wedding image collection by including your pre-wedding events in your coverage? Tell the whole story! This image is from an engagement party/ceremony that took place months before the wedding. Images from this day will likely be included in their wedding album along with images from other events surrounding their wedding.

Boudoir: A sexy photo shoot of the bride done just for her groom (she's likely to be in gorgeous lingerie), the boudoir session is typically done anytime in the months leading up to the wedding, sometimes even on the day of. Smaller coffee table books and fine art prints are wonderful finished products for presentation. Could there be a better gift? Nope, but the truth is it ends up being just as much a gift for a woman to herself. Playing supermodel and having amazing images of yourself to show for it is so much fun.
Bridal Portrait: A bridal session is all about just the bride alone in her dress. Somewhat like the boudoir shoot, the bridal session takes place in the months before the wedding or at the very least, earlier the day of. If the session is planned for an earlier day it can be a fun opportunity to get images in a different location than the wedding/reception location. Some of a woman's most beautiful moments are in her wedding dress, she deserves a little extra press in it! As a photographer I could photograph just the bride all day long. Many of my favorite images are brides alone where they can really shine and take the attention solo for a bit.
Day before/Day after: Concerned about not having enough time to get all your favorite wedding images on your wedding day? A shoot in your wedding clothes the day before or after the wedding can be the perfect solution. This couple did most of their wedding photos the day before to be able to spend more time with their guests they day of rather than spending the time on photos. They were relaxed and had a great time shooting all over town. Important note: If you choose to do the pictures the day after, I still recommend shooting on the actual wedding day everything you would if you didn't have the extra shoot planned. Just to be on the safe side. Think of the day after shoot as bonus images rather than replacement images. And consider changing up your look just a little. Had a tough time deciding on the veil, or his tie, etc? Try this shoot with the runner up goods and enjoy some variety in your images.

Wedding Day:Wedding day coverage usually begins with getting ready moments, and continues to include ceremony coverage, formal photo sessions of family, bridal party, and of course just the bride and groom (all of which may actually happen before the wedding ceremony rather than after), as well as reception coverage. It is likely anywhere from 6 to 12 hours of coverage on the day of the wedding and is combination of true photojournalistic moments and more loosely posed, stylized shots as well as lots of images of the details that make your day unique to you. These are the images to remind you exactly how your wedding day looked and felt for years to come.Trash the dress: A session done sometime after the wedding where you don't worry about getting a little wet or dirty or messing up the dress. Locations might include in the water at the beach or in a swamp. Activities might include anything you wouldn't expect to see someone dressed up participating in. Painting, auto repair... you get the idea. It's about creating fun, daring, unexpected, dramatic images. You don't even have to use your actual wedding dress. Check out a local bridal shop's clearance rack. This gem came from the off the rack sale from a local bridal boutique. We spiced it up a bit with a corset and accessories and had a ball!

Quite a list isn't it? You can catch Audrey and Mike on twitter for more wedding photography tips and tidbits
Quick Tip: Many of these images taken prior to the wedding can be used in your wedding videos and slideshows. Check with your videographer on how you can incorporate them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Who won the iTunes card?

I didn't forget to pick a winner- I just forgot to announce the winner.
Thanks to everyone who commented on my Pro Series interview. Congrats to Heather Canada!
Need to catch up on the series? Here you go!

Clint Wiley (None Other Band)
Kelly McWilliams (Weddings by Socialites)
Sue Bain (Signature Florals).

The Pro Series: Clint Wiley

There is nothing like a great band at a wedding. Music is one of those crucial decisions in your wedding planning quite frankly because it has the greatest impact on the celebration portion of your wedding day, and that is most likely half of the time your guests will be spending with you. This band you're about to read about is not your typical wedding band because they play the most current music on top of the standards;
"Oh you want to hear Rihanna & Maroon 5? Sure we can do that. Michael Jackson too? Got it. The Cure? Will do. Your mom wants to here Sweet Caroline? Consider it done."

With that said, let me introduce you to one band that has kept dance floors packed at my clients weddings for years now.

What are your company and profession?
Clint Wiley Entertainment. I am the owner as well as singer, guitarist, emcee and DJ.

What’s your name? Should I know anyone else from your company? Clint Wiley. My six piece band consists Lyli, Dom, Chris, Quinn, and Billy. I have other band members for horn sections, percussion, and dancers if desired.

Where do you do weddings?
I offer my services internationally, but a majority of my shows are in the state of Florida. I own a 15 passenger van and 20 foot trailer, so getting to most locations is easy.

Website Link

How long have you been in business?
The band was formed ten years ago when we were VERY young:) We did our first wedding in 2001. I have been averaging at least one wedding a week for about three years.

Why weddings?
I really like to be a part of 'big' things. I have pacticed my skills for decades, and the opportuinity to use my gifts to make someone's special day the best it can be is very fulfilling. I think weddings should always be about 'the best' of everything, and I find that challenge exciting.

What your clients most often commend you on?
The top comment heard from clients is that I went far above their expectations. Their guests usually say we are the best wedding band they have ever heard. I don't say that to sound cocky, but it is the most common and rewarding comment I hear.

Best piece of advice for brides & grooms?
Do lots of research before picking a band. Make sure the band actually plays the styles you want. Make sure the band has sound/movie clips of what they can do. Some bands will say they can play a style just to land the job. For weddings, I believe the selection should be diverse. Bands that focus on one style or a couple decades can be fun for a while, but it can get tiring over an entire night. Playing music from all decades will involve everyone. 80's songs seems to go over really well with all ages, and adding some modern hits makes the younger crowd happy. Also make sure bands have a good sound system and lighting package. Once you find the band you like, give them a little direction, but let them do what they do best. I've seen some brides empty a dance floor by picking a song list that doesn't work well.

What is one thing that makes working with new clients easier?
Having the client know what they want at least a month before the wedding date. Last minute changes can be frustrating at times. Also, seating the older guests away from the band is ALWAYS a great idea. Otherwise, the older guests wants the music low, and the other guests cannot enjoy the dance music.

What is the craziest request you’ve ever received? Or
What is the craziest thing you saw happen at a wedding?

The craziest thing I saw happen were a group of grown men acting like chickens(sounds and all) in front of the stage because I would not play the Chicken Dance. The bride was very adamant about not hearing that song, or anything cheesy. Evidently the men were cousins who had harassed her since she was a kid, and her wedding day would, evidently, be no exception.

What is something you hope to do in the near future?
I constantly work to improve my show, and part that consists of new staging and lighting. I now own a full intelligent light show with a professional truss and lasers. I hope to be able to use them at a wedding in the near future.

Previous Pro Series Interviews: Kelly McWilliams (Weddings by Socialites), Sue Bain (Signature Florals).
Next up: Michael Schuhmann (Photography by Michael)
Want to be interviewed? Send an email to WeddingTidbits{at}

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A summer mini wedding

This is the mini of all mini's. I'm pretty sure I could fit all the guests into my car and bring them to the Bubble Room for the wedding dinner in 2 trips. This also happened to be the hottest wedding of the year as well. It was 634 degrees on Captiva that day. My flip flops melted in the sand. {slight exaggeration}

Julie Goodacre shot these images. Something that she did, not sure what, just makes me want to look over and over.
Anyway, I just wanted to share these pictures with you because the images are wonderful and I love them.
I also think mini weddings get a bad wrap. I love the intimacy of them. So I wanted to post of these minis.

Believe it or not, this is 20 minutes after the ceremony was to start.
And everyone always wants to blame the bride for a late wedding...

This is everyone. Yes, everyone. Mini.

Another gorgeous piece by Laura Hooper Calligraphy.


Caught Twittering

Julie Goodacre caught me twittering at one of our mini weddings last month:

You can catch Julie twittering here.
Some great images from that wedding coming later today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

No, your toast does not have to include Champagne

Big Tips: Ever been to a wedding and looked around after the champagne toast? What do you see? Yep. A bunch of still full champagne glasses. If your guest list isn't full of Champagne drinkers, consider an alternate drink. At one of our mini weddings this summer we served Sanibel Sunsets and they were a huge hit.
Photo by Julie Goodacre
A couple more ideas:
Tequila. The presentation on this can be amazing with salt and lemon, and the pictures even better!
Amaretto. Yum. Just yum.
Ice cold Vodka. As long as its good Vodka, and very cold, its great served in a super mini martini glass.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Pro Series: Sue Bain of Signature Florals

Here's the first in our Wedding Pro Series! I'm very excited about all the professionals who reached out to be included. I have some really great interviews to share with you, and some completely crazy answers! I was the first interview and next up (after this one) will be Clint Wiley of None Other.

Tomorrow by noon is the last day to comment on the original post to win the iTunes card. Alright, let's get this party started:

What are your company and profession?
Signature Florals and Gifts - Specializing in Weddings and Events with a sideline in Education programs and custom decorating

What’s your name and title? And is there anyone else you work with?
Sue Bain and I have Gail Stangeland as a part time enthusiastic assistant, Jim Malone who is my computer guru, bookkeeper and logistics in building advisor. On any weekend there may be several others to help deliver and set up

Where do you do weddings?
I've done and will gladly do weddings all over the country but mostly Sarasota to Marco Island

Blog Title
Susan Bain AIFD

How long have you been in business?
I first started designing and building perennial gardens in 1985. Within a year or two I became a floral designer/manager with a passion. I was inducted into AIFD in 2003. I started Signature Florals about 3 years ago.

Why weddings?
I love the emotional aspect; the highs and lows during the planning stages. I also love the complexity of the entire event, the interaction with other wedding vendors. Working with Wedding Couples allows me an opportunity to develop a personal relationship. It is always more enjoyable to do flower arranging when I can express myself and represent the couple's wishes.

What do your clients most often commend you on?

That I am easy to work with, have a calming nature and exceed expectations in design.

Best piece of advice for brides & grooms?

Trust the good feeling you get when you meet the right vendors to hire, then trust their professional expertise. Make your wedding as personal, as much about you as possible.

What is one thing that makes working with new clients easier?
Recommendations from other vendors helps to solidify the first impression. I try to disarm the price shoppers and get them to look at the whole picture.

Can I find you on Twitter?


What is the oddest request you’ve ever received? Or
What is the craziest thing you saw happen at a wedding?
Odd request:
I could write a book on the funny and strange things that have happened but who would read it? One thing that comes to mind was the armed security that surrounded the church for a ceremony where the groom was certain that his ex-wife would arrive and do something rash.

Anything you'd like to share?:
I'd love to give away a $25.00 gift card to one lucky person who reads this! By commenting on my Blog page, you are automatically registered to win.

What is something you hope to do in the near future?
I definitely want to re-build my website to include some of the beautiful weddings we've done recently, but in a broader picture, I plan to do more floral art pieces for exhibition.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Take notes & pictures at your early meetings.

Most things you'll be deciding during your wedding planning will not be instaneous decisions and many will be difficult to finalize. Mostly because there are so many wonderful options these days.Today lets use your Wedding Dinner (or Brunch!) as an example.
Choosing your wedding food and drink can be one of the more complicated, however, if you make a couple small efforts in advance of your tasting, making those final decisions won't be a struggle. One of my clients recently came prepared with a survey she created so that she and her fiance could write down their thoughts as they came and not forget some of their reactions.
Also, we took photographs of every dish that landed on the table. This way, when they got home, they could open up the wedding planning blog we have set up for them, and match the survey notes with the photos of the items they tasted.
A little extra pre-planning can make all the difference.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Details Details: Ceremony Chairs

Sometimes the little details go a very long way.
Imagine this ceremony site without the blue...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Big Tip: Read the Editors Page

It is so tempting when reading the wedding magazines to skip right on through to your favorite parts; the real weddings, the hot trends, the oh so lovely pictures we all crave for. Here's the thing though, the Editors page, sometimes referred to as the letter from the editor, is kind of like a summary and explanation of why everything included in that issue has been selected. Magazines are very much like books with chapters and each chapter has something to do with the next- they're just laid out differently.
I particularly love Grace Ormonde's page in Wedding Style and Darcy Millers page in Martha Stewart Weddings. Read these and you'll understand the thought process for the issue and you'll get more out of everything they've carefully selected for you (more often than not through a painstakingly difficult narrowing process).

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Defining a Destination Wedding: Let's Clarify.

Disagree with me if you'd like, and I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on this, but I have a different point of view than many on what makes a wedding a destination wedding.
Are 85-100% of your guests traveling to your wedding location?
Will all the guests traveling be staying overnight or longer?
Is your wedding taking place at a locale that would be considered by most a "travel destination"?
Are you also staying overnight at the location you're marrying (or where your guests are staying)?
If yes to the above- then YES it is a destination wedding. Even if you (Bride and/or Groom) live in that destination.
Here's why I believe this is the case:
You're going to have to provide all the same information (travel, accommodations, maps/directions, itineraries, etc.)to your guests.
You'd still be blocking rooms.
You'd still do welcome bags.
You'd still plan welcome and farewell events.

Still not quite sure? Read this post from a few years ago (I forgot I wrote about this). Also, Pick up Destination Bride
and a few recent issues of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine and read them. Does they speak to your wedding? If you're reading these and finding a great deal of it really does apply to your wedding; well, if the shoe fits.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons