August 17, 2011

Beach Weddings

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:29 am by JBEvents

For those of you that know me, it comes as no surprise that my favorite place to be is the beach.  With that in mind, there are so many fantastic ideas for beach weddings.  Whether you want a more formal wedding or the most casual, there are options to fit your style.  There are so many locations to select from – some of which are all-inclusive resorts, while others are just beautiful beaches in popular vacation spots. Each location does have different rules and regulations on events, however, I can assist with coordinating all of the details so that your beach wedding will be stress free and flawless.

There is something about a wedding taking place at the beach – whether you choose sunrise or sunset as the appointed time, the beauty of the sand and water creates a stunning backdrop.

Of course, you must keep in mind that planning a beach wedding does have some specific areas of consideration, mainly weather!  Especially if you are planning a Florida beach wedding, you need to be aware that afternoon/evening pop-up showers are a very common occurrence – more so in the summer months than other times of the year.  Many times, these showers are short-lived, but can make a difference in the timeframe of the wedding. 

Some couples choose to have more of a “gathering” of family and friends on the beach to observe the vows while others want the complete setting of the ceremony.  For a “gathering”, typically no seats are provided (unless there are circumstances for special guests requiring a seat).  Guests arrive at the appointed time and are usually greeted by either a family friend or other selected person.  When it is time for the ceremony, the guests are directed to the location of the ceremony.  Once in place, the wedding party emerges and takes their place.  Some couples will have the traditional music played either by live musicians or via a sound system – while others choose to not have any music.  The guests gather around the couple surrounding them in a circle of love and support and watch while the couple recites their vows.  In this type of ceremony, usually at the conclusion, the guests will congratulate the couple right on the spot.  Of course, many couples do choose to have the traditional recession of the bride and groom and wedding party, if applicable, and then return to the ceremony area for photos.

For the more traditional ceremony setting, chairs are set-up for the guests and music is provided.  The wedding party and bride and groom would process in just as would be a normal ceremony. 

Regarding appropriate wedding attire, the options are wide-opened, however, keep in mind that if the wedding will take place on the beach, a long train on the bride’s dress is not necessarily appropriate.  Usually, most brides select a lighter style of dress with little or no train and some even select one of the stylish short wedding dresses.  For the gentlemen, khaki pants are by far the most popular paired with a crisp white shirt.  Another variation would be white linen trousers with perhaps a blue shirt.  Footwear is another area that should be considered.  Sandals are most appropriate or the guys could even wear deck shoes.  Heels are not recommended as walking in sand is tricky. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The reception for the beach wedding can be varied as well.  Many couples will have a venue selected for their reception close-by – whether a hotel or other venue, while some opt to continue to celebrate at the beach perhaps in a Pavilion or barbecue/picnic area.  (Please check with your specific beach for the guidelines and rules).

   

 

 

 

 

The menu for a beach themed reception is also wide open for options.  It of course makes sense to have seafood offered, however, don’t feel limited to only those options.  A specialty cocktail, whether an original creation or a typical tropical concoction, is a wonderful element that will please and refresh your guests.

 

 Many couples will opt for a beach-themed wedding cake, but just as appropriate would be individual desserts or perhaps an Ice Cream or Gelato cart.

   

Finding an appropriate table for the display of the cake or treats is also important.  I happen to love the driftwood table and think that a cake placed on it would make a huge statement. 

There are so many varieties of stationery products appropriate for a beach wedding.  Set the tone with your Save the Dates and Invitations.  If you are having more of a casual type of event, your stationery products should relay that message by their style. 

Carrying the beach theme all the way through would also include the Escort cards (for assigned seating receptions), décor, menu cards, music selection, favors as well as fanfare for departure.

 

 

It makes sense to incorporate natural elements found at the beach into the décor – whether personally gathered or purchased (be advised some plants and items found at or growing at/on the beach are against the law to pick).  There are so many varieties of shells available that you could select either just one type or use a combination of many.  Driftwood is another common element found at the beach and a wonderful addition to décor. 

Depending upon the time of the ceremony, the type of reception could be a morning breakfast or brunch or an evening dinner or even a low-country boil.  The level of formality selected will dictate the types of products (linens, table settings, glassware, etc.) to be used.  Again – please check with your location to determine what the rules are regarding glass, etc., at the beach.  The level of formality will also aid in selecting the menu.  The earlier in the day the event, the food options are of the lighter variety.

If the reception is held at the beach, it’s fun to incorporate typical beach activities such as volleyball, paddle ball, limbo, even horseshoes or corn hole.  For daytime events, providing sunscreen and wet wipes proves to be a nice and needed touch.  And don’t forget about providing flip-flops for your guests. 

Favors abound in a beach theme – from shaped candies to beach-themed barware, to beach towels or many other items. 

Also in keeping with the beach theme, this is a perfect setting for a Unity Sand Ceremony.  You can have your ring bearer carry an adorable beach themed pillow.  Other accessories that would also be appropriate would be beach themed toasting flutes, cake knife and server and even the guest book. A really cute idea is to place the ceremony program or even the menu in a bottle.  These bottles could also be used as another option for table assignment items.

What better place than to have a little fun with the sand by using it for some clever  photos.  There are vendors that will make a custom “photo” for the couple by having your names, wedding date or other message written in the sand.  Something that I think is so cute is flip-flops that have “Just Married” stenciled on the bottom, so that when you walk on the sand, it leaves the imprint. 

There is usually a breeze at the beach – but just to be prepared, why not provide fans to your guests.  You can select natural raffia fans or fans that coordinate with the wedding color palette. 

Another thoughtful gesture for guests comfort is to provide umbrellas/parasols.  These too can create fantastic photo opportunities as well as provide protection for those unexpected rain showers.

There are so many amazing ideas for beach weddings beginning with the location, theme, and décor.  Whether you want to have a close destination or one further away, there is a beach that is just perfect for your wedding. 

To begin planning your Beach nuptials, contact us and we will begin working on making the plans for your flawless wedding!!! We are available for travel worldwide and with our connections, we are able to plan your perfect beach wedding.

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August 11, 2011

Wine Themed Wedding for Amy & Nick

Posted in Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:44 pm by JBEvents

A hot July day at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation was the setting for what could only be described as an amazing wedding.

One of the things that I love is when my clients take my recommendations on the vendors to use for their event because I know going into the planning and all the way through the production of the event things will go smoothly AND my client will receive excellent customer service as well as superior quality of product from those vendors.  Such is the case with this wedding!

Please grab your favorite beverage, sit back and relax and enjoy the story of the wedding of Amy and Nick!!

 

Late last year, I met with Leah (Mother of the Bride) and Amy (The Bride) to begin planning for The BIG Day!  I knew immediately upon meeting them that we were a good fit – you know the kind where you feel as though you have known the family forever! 

The first decision was the venue.  They had already looked at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation, and after discussing what a beautiful place for a wedding – that decision was made.  The Ritz-Carlton Lodge is one of those venues that is a not-so-far-destination location.  The good thing for this particular family is that they have a home in the area, so they were able to utilize their comfortable surroundings for all of the pre-wedding activities.

Amy selected her gown from Bride Beautiful.  The gown was an Anjolique design in ivory double sheen organza with a strapless sweetheart neckline, pick-up ball gown with corset back and embellishments.  Amy looked absolutely stunning in the gown. 

The bridesmaids wore a Lula Kate design in “bud” dupioni silk from Bella Bridesmaid.  The dresses were above the knee with a ruffled neckline.  All of the girls looked beautiful in the dress.  They style was very flattering on every one of them.

The groom and groomsmen wore Silver tuxes with a coral tie.  They all looked so handsome.  The groom sported special “groom” socks which were an adorable accessory.  Another special touch was that the groom had custom-made NIKES for each of them.  The groom’s pair was complete with bright green laces and had his nickname and wedding date embroidered on them.  The groomsmen had bright orange laces in keeping with the color scheme of the wedding.  The guys changed into their new sneakers for the reception and we had fun taking a few cute photos!

While on the subject of shoes, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the brides.  For the ceremony, the bride surprised her groom by having coral sandals with rhinestones to match the guy’s ties.  Then, not to be outdone by the guys, she too had a custom pair of shoes in the form of a heeled flip-flop adorned with a large rhinestone with her new name embroidered on them which she wore for the reception.

We worked with Larry and Greg from Foxgloves & Ivy for the floral décor.  The color palette was one of my favorites, hot citrus colors.  Various varieties of flowers were used and included “Cherry-O” roses, Orange Gerber daisies and hot pink miniature Gerberas, “Mozart” miniature callas, gold celosia, lisianthus in purple, orange Dahlias, Vermillion gladiolas, pink larkspur, “Revert” green Fuji mum, purple stock, Olive branches, hydrangea in Baby Green, and two shades of pink, as well as coral Hypericum berries!  For the ceremony, they created 2 large and lush arrangements that were placed on sleek columns in a very neutral color.  The reserved rows were denoted by an ivory ribbon with a nosegay attached.  The reception décor consisted of both high and low centerpieces.  Glass cylinder vases in various heights with fuchsia ribbon attached were used to hold the arrangements.  The Estate Table was beautiful with two large arrangements, three smaller arrangements plus vases which held the bridesmaids bouquets and tall candle holders with floating candles. 

The ceremony was planned to take place on the event lawn by the new Pergola – however, due to threatening weather, we had to make a last-minute decision to move the ceremony inside.  This is one of the hardest parts of my job – since I know how badly the bride wants that outside wedding – but, keeping the safety and comfort of everyone in mind, sometimes these types of decisions have to be made.  In this instance, Amy was such a trooper and went along with the “change” saying that “nothing could ruin my special day”!  So, with some quick movement by all of the vendors, we were able to set up the ceremony in Salon I inside where the threatening storms would not disturb the celebration!

As guests arrived for the ceremony, they were treated to passed hors d’oeuvres and a champagne bar.  We gathered the group in a central location as was planned for the original ceremony plan and decided to still do that for the location change.  Guests were able to mingle and enjoy a variety of cold hors d’oeuvres and create their own champagne cocktail with the selection of various fruits and blends.  This was such a welcome surprise for the guests.

Since the ceremony was originally to take place outside, and since we knew it would be very warm, we decided to provide hand-held fans for each of the guests to use.  In keeping with the color scheme, we used Fuchsia and bright Orange fans – alternating the colors on every other seat.  This made for a wonderful photo-op at the conclusion of the ceremony.

After the group photo, guests were then invited to join the Cocktail Hour where they were greeted with a large selection of hors d’oeuvres as well as beverages to include the champagne bar.  Johnny Porrazzo provided the musical entertainment for the Cocktail Hour and was certainly a hit.  The Majestic Photo Booth provided their services so guests were making excellent use of the photo booth to take fun and memorable photos which will serve as a memento for the Bride and Groom as well as the guests.  A very touching story was told to me by the father of the bride.  He said that when he and Amy’s mom went on their first date, they had their picture taken in a photo booth and that was 30 years ago.  I told them that they MUST re-create that first date on this special occasion and they did.  I sneaked a peek at their pictures and have to say it made my heart smile!

Shari Zellers and her team provided the photography services for the day.  Being the true professional that Shari is, she took the time to make a visit to the venue before the wedding weekend to scout out the best locations for the photo ops.  She even went so far as to check certain locations at the same time that the specific photos would be taken so determine the location of the sun in order to take into consideration the accompanying heat.  This was truly a time-saver, as on the wedding day, she had a clear plan on where each of the photos would take place. I can not wait to see her photos from the wedding as I know they will be spectacular.  I’ll be sure to re-post them here on my blog when available so you too can see what a talent she is.

A favorite ensemble of mine was selected as the ceremony musicians – Amati Chamber Music Ensemble.  Led by Sarah Paul, this group is awesome to work with.  Sarah is so personable while being the utmost consummate professional.  She offers assistance to clients in selecting their music and will work within the ideas of the client.  Of course her performance is always fantastic and I always try to be close by so that I can hear the beautiful music.

A close friend of the family, Lisa, sang The Lord’s Prayer during the ceremony accompanied by the string ensemble.  Lisa was also in the parents of the brides wedding where she served as Maid of Honor as well as soloist.

Particularly endearing was that the bride’s brother served as the officiant.  He might have been nervous – but he did a wonderful  job.  There was one point in the ceremony where he “slipped” and instead of saying “you may now kiss your bride” – he said “you may now kiss my sister”.  He caught himself immediately but the “slip” was PERFECT!!!!

One of the areas of design that I think makes a celebration unique and even more beautiful is linens – so for this wedding, I could think of none other than Tamara Gollob of I Do Linens.  Taking the concept and ideas to her, she created custom linens that were totally awesome.  Keeping in mind our hot citrus color scheme, we selected Fuchsia linens for the guest tables and the accent tables but for the Estate Table and the Cake Table, we used a complimentary color of Coral with an overlay that contained the design that was used in the wedding invitations.  For me, it’s important to carry a theme all the way through, and even if not everyone recognizes the similarities, when looking back, you can clearly see the cohesiveness of the event from start to finish.  The family was thrilled with the outcome and admitted that everything was even more beautiful than they had ever imagined.

PPi provided all of the sound equipment, including the DJ system, as well as the ambient lighting around the room and the custom GOBO.  Jimmy Economos provided his expertise in determining what would be needed for the DJ that was coming in from California for the event.  Since he too is a DJ, he was keenly aware of what would be needed and this was such a relief for me in knowing that there wouldn’t be any surprises for the DJ.  Also, the lighting that was provided was just perfect.  We had pin-spots on each table to highlight the décor and the cake table.  It’s amazing at how different a room can look just by adding these types of lights.  I’m a huge proponent of event lighting!!

Speaking of the DJ, Alvin Caampued, a friend of the couple from California, provided the entertainment for the reception.  He played a large variety of music and kept the dance floor full.  This was a big dancing group and there were times when you would have thought that “So You Think You Can Dance” was filming!!! Alvin was such a pleasure to work with and although we are separated by the expanse of the U.S., I hope that we will have the opportunity to work together again soon…..because of course, we too travel for events!!!!

The JBEvents staff videographer, Angela McIntire, provided the video services of the event.  She always does such a great job and gets excellent footage without being one of those in-your-face videographers. 

Nick, the groom, is a high school football coach and teacher.  To give a little different spin on the Wedding Party Introductions, we had the wedding party enter the Ballroom carrying Pom Poms create a tunnel for the Bride and Groom to run through and end up on the dance floor for their first dance.  This was a great start for the evening and got everyone all excited and ready for the party that followed.

It goes without saying that the meal was delicious.  The family selected a dual entrée of Filet of Beef and Sea Bass with appropriate accompaniments.  A special treat of a Raspberry Sorbet with a Champagne finish was served between the salad and entrée.  The wedding cake was a Grand Marnier chiffon cake with strawberry filling.  As guests were working off their dinner by dancing, a Fondue station was displayed with delectable goodies such as shortbread cookies, mini brownies, gingersnap cookies, chocolate chip cookies along with all sorts of fruits were provided to dip in three different fondues; white chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate.  YUM!

One of the common elements that was a theme through the event was WINE.  Since the couple lives out in California where vineyards are all around, they wanted to incorporate some of their favorite wines into the reception for guests to enjoy.  The Ritz special ordered many of the varieties that the couple chose.  Each table was named for a Wine, and then a bottle of each White and Red were from that winery was placed on the table for guests to sample.  Since each table had a different wine, guests were able to go to other tables and try other varieties.  It was like having a private wine tasting. 

Also in keeping with the wine theme, we used these adorable wine corks for the Place Card holders that guests were welcome to take with them.  The guests were also given wine stoppers that had a large heart at the top as a favor.   Maren Nicholas provided calligraphy services for the Escort Cards, Place Cards and Table Name Signs.  As always, her work was impeccable.

As the evening came to a close, Amy and Nick made their departure through yet another “tunnel” created by their guests who were holding long sparklers in a path that led to their awaiting chariot, I mean Golf Cart.  They were driven away waving while guests were still cheering them on.

This was truly a beautiful wedding for a fabulous family!!  We wish Amy and Nick a lifetime of happiness!!  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this special day!!!!!

 

 

 

 

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