Monday, August 27, 2012

Love Notes VI

Love is the master key which opens the gates of happiness.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
Photograph by Luminaire Foto

Love Notes V

You smile...oh and then the spell was cast and here we are in heaven for you are mine at last.
-Etta James
Photograph by Ashley Brockinton

Love Notes IV

How beautiful life can be when touched by love.
-Tiffany Anderson
Photograph by Ashley Brockinton

Love Notes III

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are in the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
-Henry Drummond
Photo by Ashley Brockinton Photography

Love Notes II

You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
-Dr. Seuss
Another beautiful engagement photo by Concept Photography

Love Notes

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.  It was not my lips that you kissed, but my soul.
-Judy Garland
Photograph by: Lockwood Studios

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wedding Planner Internships

We're looking for a few great interns for the winter and spring wedding seasons here at Weddings by Socialites, could you be one of them?  If interested, please reach out to me by emailing Info{at}KellyMcWilliams.com for details.
This was Kylie working at one of our weddings. She's 1 of over 25 interns sponsored at WBS.
Photo Credit: RiversEdge Photography.
What are we looking for?  Happy and enthusiastic people who have strong commitment & work ethics and the desire to learn everything about the wedding industry.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Pretty little purple bridal shower luncheon

It doesn't get any more girly than this!  Lauren loved purple, every shade of it.  And she is also one of the girliest girls I have ever met. Putting this bridal shower &n luncheon together for her was so much fun for us.  Lauren & Joe's photographer, Ashley Brockinton came to snap these great photos of the pre-wedding celebration.When you're done be sure have a look at her wedding featured on the Every Last Detail Blog and watch the directors cut by AMC Video from her wedding a few months later at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort in Naples.
The beautiful centerpieces by Signature Floral were so perfect.  Using so many shade of purple helped to make sure that the flowers provided  the perfect contrast to the lavender tables and chairs.

 Lauren was becoming Mrs. Ciancimino - Italian!  Her future mother n law brought dozens and dozens of fresh homeade Italian cookies.
 How sweet is this petite cake cake topper on the polka dot cake?

Want to see the details from the wedding?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Upgrading the bar at your wedding or welcome reception

Are you trying to think of something new to do at your wedding?  This can be especially tricky if you and your friends have been to 12 wedding in the last 8 months and there are 2 more before yours. Well the good thing is that you don't truly need to reinvent the wheel.  Just "feature" something.  For instance, if you're having a summer, beach or tropical wedding, Rum is just the ticket for a feature.
Ask your caterer or venue coordinator if they can offer different types of rums at a bar separate from the main bar.  Have the bottles on display with a sample glass of each rum concoction available for your guests to choose from.  A Rum bar menu would be good to have as well.
I found a good list of rums in Martha Stewart Living.  It would be great to have create a rum menu with a cocktail for each of these:
White Rum (Banks Five Island)
Spiced Rum (Sailor Jerry)
Rhum Agricole (Rhum JM Vieux V.S.O.P.)
Dark Rum (Goslings Black Seal Bermuda 80 proof)
Aged Rum (Zacapa Rum 23)

Now, I'd like to introduce you a rum cocktail.  I was very lucky to have my favorite displaced southern belle wedding planner-bff Nicole of RSVP Shindig about threaten my life if I didn't eat at Husk when we visited Charleston this summer. I owe her big time.  I can not begin to explain the amazingness we enjoyed at that dinner.  Including a few of their cocktails and punches of course. Here is one of their specialities:

If you do go to Husk, try the fried chicken skins and the Fried Green Tomatoes.  I know, you can't even imagine. Nor could I. But for the 1st time in my life, I contemplated licking a plate; or in this case, slice of tree.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

May Books. Notebook lovers, be prepared.

How I did not know about May Books is beyond me.  I happened upon it while going through my feed on instagram. Whichever one of my lovelies that I follow ordered one and showed off your picture, Thank you!
I am a note taker list making fanatic and I have always had a thing for notebooks.  None, none, have ever excited me as much as these beauties.  I ordered this one for my dear friend Beckys birthday (see right):

And now I am trying to create my own.  That's right, create. May Books are totally custom!  The process is so easy and so much fun.  It's kind of goes something like:
"click-click-click,  allow me to send perfection to your mailbox."

You even decide what kind of pages you want!  Agenda pages, Wedding Planning pages, lined pages, blank.  There's a list of options a mile long.  It is amazing.  Oh, and I have to say, the price is right at under $20 each if you google for a May Books discount code (hint hint).
Help me decide. Which should be my first May Book? The vintage, the chevron, or the Navy Stems?

  

Retro or Vintage postcards for your wedding

If you're considering vintage postcards at your wedding, this post is for you.  I was inspired by a page of vintage linen postcards featured in the summer travel issue of Martha Stewart Living (pg 81) and one of our dear destination wedding clients.
I found a couple sites for you to resource:
Zazzle has an outrageous collection of postcards.  Although, I can't say if they're truly vintage. But if the look is what you're going for, this could be right up your alley.



Finally, if you wanted to have something off the charts amazing- have your own postcards commissioned. I love illustrator Jenny Medved for projects like these.  We recently had her design the cover to one of our guest guides (for the welcome bags) and she is absolutely brilliant to work with.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Destination Wedding Itinerary, What to do?

Hands down the best thing about destination weddings is that your wedding is the cornerstone of one of the best weekend long parties-reunions you can imagine. You and your guests will feel like they are on vacation! I like to say that destination weddings are experiences, not an "event".  
With that being said, if you haven't been to a destination wedding then you wouldn't really know what you should or could plan for your guests.  One thing to keep in mind when planning your weekend is that the wedding should always be at the forefront.  Everything else is just an extra that adds to the experience.

Based on what we have received the best feedback on from our clients and their guests, here is the ultimate Destination Wedding Weekend Itinerary.  I've also added in whether or not to hire photography, videography or music (this part I am answering based on what our clients have told us after the wedding what they were most glad about or had regrets about) :

Day One:
A Family dinner.  Let everyone arrive and get settled, then have a very intimate dinner with just bride & groom and both sets of parents.  If siblings are in town, you can always invite them as well. This should be hosted by the bride & groom.
Photography: Not necessary
Videography: Not necessary
Hired Music: Not necessary

Day Two:
The Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner with just the bride & groom, both sets of parents & grandparents, siblings, and the wedding party (and their plus one's). This is traditionally hosted by the Grooms family.
Photography: Yes
Videography: Yes
Hired Music: Consider

Day Three:
A Pool day or Beach Day for everyone.  Don't plan anything formal for this, but do let everyone know where the bride and groom will be available for hello's for the afternoon as guests check in.  I highly suggest renting a cabana or two at the pool if possible.
Photography: Consider
Videography: No
Music: Not necessary
The Welcome reception. This should begin as late into the evening as possible, to make sure that as many guests as possible have time to arrive and check in before the event begins. A 1.5 to 2 hour reception is a good length. If you're not hosting dinner at the reception, make sure this starts late enough so that everyone has time to get dinner prior to. This can be hosted by anyone, but typically its hosted by the wedding hosts. Expect that anyone who has arrived to town will attend.
Photography: Yes
Videography: Yes
Music: Yes

Day Four:
Wedding Day Lunch or Brunch. While it isn't necessary to plan anything on wedding day other than the wedding, it is nice to offer a very casual and optional lunch for the guests at the host hotel if you are having an evening ceremony & reception. This can be hosted by anyone, but most often we see it offered by the wedding hosts. Typically the wedding party would not attend as they are busy preparing for the wedding. Expect that 90% of guests staying on site will attend.
Photography: Not necessary
Videography: Not necessary
Music: Consider

Day Five:
A Farewell Brunch. All invited and out of town guests should be invited to a this event before they begin their travels home.  Typically the brunch is a buffet or serving stations and offers a couple hours to attend.  Most often we aim for 9:0-11:00, but consider flight times if many of your guests are leaving on early or late flights. Expect that 85% of guests staying on site will attend.
Photography: Not necessary
Videography: Not necessary
Music: Consider

Ripped from the pages of Brides magazine


I still read wedding magazines.  Don't get me wrong, I love blogs and pinterest and photographers websites, but there is something to be said for what is in print.  If you haven't picked up an issue of Brides magazine since its relaunch this spring ... it is time.

Word down the aisle is that the already spiffy website may be getting some upgrades later this year too.

Here is one of my favorite pages.  It's the wedding style page created by Cyd Converse over at The Sweetest Occasion.  Hello Style. Cyd has a garden wedding down like nobodys business. One of each please.

Another thing about print to consider; often the editors will save their favorite weddings exclusively for the print issue and then release it to the online world later. In other words, you haven't seen what is in print 40 times already.  It is fresh and new and fabulous.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A rather perfect reply card

A few months ago I wrote about what should be included on a response card.  Your guests reply makes all the difference in both the final planning that you'll do.  It is also guaranteed to either increase or decrease your stress level those last weeks before your wedding.

This week one of our clients sent us their wedding invitation.  I could not have been more thrilled by what I found and just had to share them with you. 

These pictures are just taken with my iphone, so please be forgiving!
What's right about the below response card? Oh let me count the ways...
  1. The response date is at least 6 weeks prior to the wedding date.  This gives us enough time to track down the people who don't return their cards, plan exact transportation schedules for the guest guides, plan seating at the wedding dinner and to order the appropriate number of stationery & welcome bag items. Trust me, there's never time to spare with this part.
  2. A double name line.  This means we'll know the first and last name of each guest.  This is important particularly if you're doing welcome bags and the +1 has the room reserved under their name.  Finally for accuracy on escort & place cards. I don't know about you, but & guest on an escort card never made me feel special.
  3. Number attending each event.  This will enable us to give exact head counts for the pre and post wedding events so that we don't end up paying for guests who may not even be in town.
  4. Initialing the entree selections. Heavens to Betsy; this is the biggest relief ever.  How else would we know who has the chicken and who has the beef?  Trust me, its very impressive when the proper meal just magically gets set in front of you.


  1. Clarifying that there will be event transportation well in advance will help your guests with making their ground transportation.
  2. Letting your guests know that transportation is limited to certain locations could help influence your guests to stay at the host hotels.
  3. Knowing of any guests planning on using their own vehicles will allow us to reserve just what we need and not have a bunch of empty shuttles (waste of money!).
  4. Arrival, hotel and reservation name information makes welcome bag delivery as simple as it should be.  Its truly the only way we can give the host hotels a perfect list that will be easy for them to follow and make sure that every single invitee receives their welcome bag when they arrive (and not 2 days later or never).
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101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons