July 2, 2017

Happy 4th of July!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:55 am by JBEvents

4th of July

 

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holiday’s.  Summertime, friends, good food and fireworks is the perfect combination for a fun time.  

Some of my fondest memories are from my late teen’s and early 20’s when a friend of mine and I would get a hotel room with a view overlooking the Sarasota Bay and have a few friends over to celebrate the 4th of July and watch the fireworks.  

The 4th of July tends to lend itself to being a great time for gathering with friends.  Barbecues or low country boils are popular themes.  Having activities for the kids as well as games for kids and adults is sure to bring out the competitive spirit in everyone.  The decor for your party can be very simple to elaborate, but having refreshing beverages and yummy food to nosh on are key.  You can get some ideas on my 4th of July Pinterest board.

If you don’t want to host a party at your home, there are many other local attractions that you can attend.  Getting a group together to go watch fireworks is still a favorite activity of mine.  Grab some cold beverages and snacks and put them in a cooler, take sparklers, glow sticks or poppers for the gang to celebrate with while waiting for the show to begin.  Don’t forget to pack the bug spray to keep those pesky little heathens from eating YOU as their snack.  :o)

 No matter how you celebrate, remember the freedoms our Country was built on, which have not come without sacrifice.  These words need to remembered not only on Independence Day, but everyday!

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776

Looking for something to do in the Atlanta, Sarasota/Tampa Bay area or Orlando?  Here are a few ideas:

http://www.atlanta.net/events/seasonal/fourth-of-july/

https://atlanta.curbed.com/maps/where-watch-atlanta-july-4th-fireworks-fourth

http://www.visitsarasota.com/blog/celebrate-red-white-and-blue-florida-gulf-coast

http://wfla.com/2017/06/30/fourth-of-july-celebrations-parades-and-fireworks-in-the-tampa-bay-area/

http://www.visitorlando.com/events/holidays/july-fourth-in-orlando/

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/entertainment/4th-of-july-at-walt-disney-world-resort/

I would love to hear your favorite memories or traditions for the 4th!

Wherever you are, whatever you do, I wish a Happy and Safe 4th of July to you!!! 

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special event planning company specializing in assisting our clients with innovative ideas, creative designs and flawless execution of their event. 

 

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June 21, 2017

Ways to Honor the Memory of a Loved One in a Wedding

Posted in Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:45 am by JBEvents

Many times, my clients will have a deceased parent, grandparent, sibling or someone else important to them and they want to incorporate a way to honor their memory into their wedding.  There are many ways to do this and I’ll share a few ways that we have used to incorporate honoring the memory of those loved ones. 

Displaying photos is always a touching tribute.

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Another way to incorporate photos, is to use them as a charm to attach to a bouquet or boutonniere.

Mr.&Mrs.Jones-194Garters, hanky and charm of brides mom

 

A candle burning in memory is also a beautiful gesture.

In Memory Candle ~ Carlson Craft

 

For one of my clients whose mother had passed away, she wanted her to be close to where the couple would exchange vows, so we placed a sign and flowers beside the altar area.

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One of the most special ways of honoring the memory of a bride’s mom, was a custom necklace the groom had made of the bride’s moms actual handwriting.

Opening gift from Groom

 

For this bride, placing her dad’s favorite flower in her bouquet was the special way of honoring him.

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Attaching a hanky or a piece of cloth to the bride’s bouquet or dress is a touching way to have the loved one close to you.

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Similarly, attaching a piece of jewelry to either a bouquet or the wedding dress is a way of keeping the loved one close to your heart.

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Many couples choose to place a message in memory in their Ceremony Programs, which is a very sweet tribute.

Ceremony Program In Memory

 

Placing a flower on an empty chair at the wedding is another way to remember a loved one.

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And one of the most powerful way’s to honor those who have passed was this Table Set for One.  This particular wedding was for a police officer who was previously in the military.  The table represented his friends who have lost their life serving their country or protecting citizens.

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However you choose to honor the memory of your loved one is perfect.  For ideas on a unique way for you to incorporate a memory tribute, contact us today.

Photo credits:  Kristen Alexander Photography, 3 Rivers Photography, A&A Photography,  Paul Perdue Photography, Brenda Upton,  Scobey Photography,

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning event planning firm specializing in assisting our clients with innovative ideas, creative design and flawless execution of their event.  

 

April 12, 2017

Wedding Budget Tips

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:10 am by JBEvents

You just got engaged and are excited about beginning all of the plans for the wedding.  It’s easy to get carried away with all of the ideas that are going through your head – however, two of the main concerns you need to determine early on is the dreaded, BUDGET and the Guest List!

Guest List image

The budget will dictate the decisions that will be made and it directly impacts the Guest List.  

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Each person you include on your Guest List has an associated dollar amount connected to them.  That is why it is important to thoroughly vet your Guest List.  Generally the couple and their parents will create the guest list based upon who they feel should be invited.  There is always the “Must Invite” list but many times my clients will create a “B” and even a “C” list.  While it’s usually true that not every guest you invite will attend, you must consider the possibility that they will.  It’s also important to note that if you want to send out Save the Dates, whomever you send them to MUST be sent a wedding invitation, So if you have a “B” and/or “C” list, you need to take that into consideration.   Here’s a good infographic of how to determine your Guest List. 

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Once you have the draft of your Guest List, then you can begin searching for a venue (or let us do that legwork for you).  One of the first questions a venue will ask is, what is your estimated guest count, so that’s why it’s important to work on the Guest List first. Venues have a maximum capacity for their event space, so the estimated Guest count has to be considered to determine the appropriate space for your celebration.

If you hire a professional Planner at the beginning, we can lead you through the details so that you can make great informed decisions. With our experience, we can guide you through the process of planning your wedding while removing much of the stress.  We are familiar with venues and can make appropriate suggestions based upon your budget, guest count and vision.

Contact us for information and let us begin planning your flawless wedding while reducing your stress. 

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning Event Planning company specializing in assisting our clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless production of the event.  

 

January 3, 2017

Next in the Series….From Planner to MOB!!

Posted in Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:04 am by JBEvents

Continuing the series “From Planner to MOB” takes us now to what has transpired since the last post.  

Quick recap of where we are — Officially engaged, bridal party selected, dress purchased, venue selected, invitations ordered, caterer selected…!

We have also determined the date and confirmed the venue.  The wedding will be in March {yikes less than 2 months}!  As I mentioned in the first post, originally, my daughter, Jessica, wanted to get married in Sarasota, FL at the beach. Aside from spending so much time there growing up, she was really considering that location because the relationship between she and Rocky blossomed there.  However, after much discussion we determined that it would be best to have the wedding here in the Atlanta area, so the search began.  We considered a variety of venues, but in searching their hearts, they truly wanted to choose a location that had meaning for both of them, so the decision was made to have the wedding at our church.  I admire that they came to the conclusion that the wedding should take place in a significant place rather than just a random venue.

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The groom and groomsmen have selected their tuxes and it seems that the bridesmaids dresses have been decided upon as well.  That was a HUGE decision.

Now from the design perspective, our church doesn’t offer a “beautiful” background like many traditional churches, so my mind is filled with ideas of how to soften the look and make it look more weddingish.

Since the color palette and theme has been selected, I have accumulated a large supply of vases, containers as well as other decor items.  It’s been like a treasure hunt and it’s interesting where you can find perfect pieces!  I am so excited to pull it all together and then to see the final product.  There are some DIY projects that we will be working on to create just the look we want, so I’m sure that will provide a few fun stories to share.  :o)

Sneak Peek at a SMALL sampling of some of my “treasures”

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Vendor selection is well underway and we are super excited about the Team that will be executing our vision!! Keep following as I will be doing a vendor Spotlight on each of them.

Jessica & Rocky are currently working on vows and music selections…..which has turned into a massive undertaking  – but they are making good progress.

They had their Engagement Photos (Michelle Pratt of Elephants and Apples) which turned out great.

The Bridal Shower will be held later this month hosted by her Matron and Maid of Honor.  We are both so excited for that celebration. The invitations are adorable.

Tune in next time for an update on our next steps and a recap of the shower and other details.

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special events planning firm specializing in assisting our clients in innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution of their event.  

 

September 26, 2016

Venue Spotlight ~ Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Florida

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:00 am by JBEvents

When planning a wedding or any social celebration, selecting the venue is key.  We assist our clients in determining the perfect venue for them by asking many questions to include among others, anticipated guest count as well as their vision of the theme and atmosphere. When it comes to weddings and social celebrations in Sarasota, there are so many options of venues available, from luxury hotels to historic homes, art museums, botanical gardens or of course, the beautiful beaches.  

One of the gorgeous venues that we love is Selby Gardens.  For historical information on Selby Gardens click here. The stunning beauty of the gardens coupled with the view of Sarasota Bay, creates a magical setting for an unforgettable event.  

selby-gardens-signPhoto By Jason Demutiis

Weddings may be held anywhere throughout the Gardens. The most popular locations are the Schimmel Wedding Lawn and Pavilion, the Gazebo, the Banyan Grove, and The Wedding Oak adjacent to the Christy Payne Mansion. Additional areas that lend themselves to nuptial celebrations are the Great Room by the Bay indoors or outdoors at the Christy Payne Mansion.

Renovations have been underway at the Gardens, but are estimated to be complete by the first part of October which will also include an option for wedding party’s to arrive by boat on the south lawn side. 

The south lawn includes the Gazebo, Children’s Playground, and cocktail area looking over the bay, as well as a dance floor/seating area. This area can accommodate 250+ for a seated event.   There is not a backup plan on this side when it comes to weather, so usually a tent is booked. 

The Great Room by the Bay is smaller, consisting of 3600 square feet, however, for an indoor event it has a lot to offer. There is a large bay view, terrace for band or DJ, and the “wedding oak” which is picturesque for ceremony backdrop. 
Contact us to begin planning your event at Selby Gardens or any other venue in the Sarasota/Tampa Bay area.  
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This space is adjacent to the back of the Gazebo. Perfect for Cocktail Hour with the view of the Bay.

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Back view of the Gazebo looking onto the Great Lawn. Great location for a wedding ceremony.

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View of the Great Lawn while standing in the Gazebo

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This is a private lawn to the side of the Gazebo that is a great space for a Cocktail Hour or small intimate dinner. The mangrove trees are being trimmed down to offer a better view of Sarasota Bay

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View of the opposite side of the Great Lawn. This area accommodates larger events. The concrete Terrace makes a nice dance floor. See the next photo for an event set up with lights in the trees.

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Photo by Cat Pennenga Magical setting under the trees.

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Photo by Cat Pennenga Late afternoon view of set-up under the magnificent Banyan trees

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Another view of the Terrace that is perfect for a Dance Floor. The sectioned off balcony is great for a DJ or Band

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Another view of the Great Lawn. Imagine tables set up throughout the lawn.

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The Wedding Oak. To the right is a lily pond which is usually in full bloom during the peak wedding season.

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Panoramic view of the area. The Wedding Oak in the center. The mangrove trees to the left of the Wedding Oak are being removed which will leave a stunning view of Sarasota Bay. This area is filled with the “old Florida vibe” containing many unique elements of Florida nature.

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View from the Great Room standing right outside the doors. The path to the right leads to the Wedding Oak. This area provides a magnificent view of Sarasota Bay.

Combine this gorgeous venue with our unparalleled level of assistance and service and you have the makings for a truly memorable and flawless event. Let’s begin planning YOUR event now!

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning planning company specializing in assisting our clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution of their event. 

 

September 16, 2016

Next in the Series…From Planner to MOB!!

Posted in Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:51 am by JBEvents

Continuing the series “From Planner to MOB” takes us now to what has transpired since the last post.  

Jessica has selected her wedding party!!  She created these adorable boxes filled with goodies that had a message asking each to be a part of her bridal party.  She did a great job on the gifts!

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Once the bridal party was selected, next came DRESS SHOPPING!  

We visited a few bridal salons and Jessica enjoyed the process of trying on dresses.  We had appointments at each store – so we were not just walk-in customers.  I must interject one thing here, as a Planner, my clients through the years have used some of these same stores for their wedding gown, but experiencing it on the other side was somewhat eye-opening.  Probably the biggest difference between our appointments was how we were treated. At one store, which happened to be the first we visited, we were constantly being reminded of how much time we had left for our appointment.  I thought this was very interesting in that the stylist made a comment one time when we still had over 45 minutes left – which should be plenty of time to try on dresses – however, she truly made us feel that our time wasn’t as important as her time or that we were just a “number”.  In addition, as with all bridal salons, you are instructed to go through and pick out dresses that you are interested in trying so that the stylist can determine your interest.  It is their job to make recommendations on other styles that they feel will best fit your body type (and budget) – however, with the first appointment, of the group of dresses Jessica initially selected (which by the way were available in her size and budget), she only tried on one, whereas the stylist pulled a few other dresses that were not even close to what she had chosen. When we asked about when we would get to other dresses she was interested in, basically she ignored out inquiry or reminded us of how much time we had left.  I felt bad for Jessica, and left wondering if this truly is how all of my other clients have been treated in this particular store.  

The next day we had two appointments and they were drastically different from our first experience.  In both stores, Jessica selected dresses that she had an interest in which the stylist did pull, however, the stylist worked with Jessica and pulled several others based upon her criteria.  Both of the stylists spent time with her answering questions, suggesting options and made her feel special.  THIS is how every store should make you feel. She did select her DRESS.  It was a hard decision for her because she really had 2 that she fell in love with, but she made the decision on the one that she felt matched her style and theme.  We have checked off selecting a dress on our Check List.  I won’t share any details about the dress other than she said she felt like Cinderella…you will have to wait until the wedding to see that photo!  :o)

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Next up — the date and venue and vendor selection!!!

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special events planning firm specializing in assisting our clients in innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution of their event.  

 

September 5, 2016

From Planner to MOB {Mother of the Bride}

Posted in color palette, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:46 am by JBEvents

I have been planning and producing weddings for MANY years but I now am taking on a new role as MOB {Mother of the Bride}!  I must say, it is a different perspective, but I look forward to the role and process.

As the plans unfold, I will be sharing information here about the process.  I hope you will follow along on this journey.

Let’s start at the beginning!  The groom-to-be, came to ask for my blessings to marry my oldest daughter (Jessica) on a Wednesday.  We had a nice chat and talked about quite a few things.  He showed me the ring!!!  GORGEOUS!  He did a great job selecting it AND keeping it a secret from my daughter until he asked her to marry him the following Saturday.

Jessica's Engagement Ring

Coincidently, my daughter had already planned to attend a bridal show the following day. {Insert plug for Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta – the BEST Bridal Show around.  Held twice a year, in January and August.  Check it out by clicking here!} Since I was working at the show, she had fun with her sister and best friend getting inspiration from the many beautiful designs seen at the show.

We initially planned to have a beach wedding in Sarasota followed by a celebration in Georgia, however once we discussed the realities of the budget, it was decided that we will have the whole wedding in Georgia.  We are still waiting to get confirmation on the date and venue.

Jessica has selected the color palette for the wedding, Navy, Coral and Gold.  I know it will be beautiful.  We have also determined the theme of the decor style and I have already been out scouring Antique and Thrift stores for items that will be incorporated.  The fun has just begun!!!!

Color palette

Next in the series — wedding party selection, venue, date and THE DRESS!!!!!!

 

Janice Blackmon Events is a planning and consulting firm for special events specializing in assisting our clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution!

June 30, 2016

Happy 4th of July!!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:29 pm by JBEvents

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We are less than a week away from one of my favorite Holiday’s, the 4th of July!  The 4th has always held a special place in my heart and remembering back to my teenage and young adult years, I LOVED spending the 4th at Island Park in Sarasota.  There would be a festival taking place all day and then fireworks would be shot off over the bay at dark.  Being with friends celebrating the Holiday made the day all the more special.  When my daughters were young, we would usually spend the 4th with my brother in Orlando.  We would always have a cookout with a group of friends, hang out in the pool and even be able to see Disney’s fireworks from there.  It always seemed magical.  Although I’m not in Sarasota or Orlando this year, I do plan on celebrating locally with friends and family and look forward to watching fireworks to bring the special day to a close. 

If you are getting ready for your 4th celebration, I would like to offer some ideas on decor, food, beverages, crafts and games.  Please visit my Pinterest board for what I hope will be inspiration for your celebration!

Wishing you a Fabulous, Safe and Happy 4th!!!!

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award winning special events firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Sarasota, Florida offering our clients innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution of their event!

May 2, 2016

DIY, Pinterest and Stress…What they have in common!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:00 am by JBEvents

Since the inception of Pinterest, I have seen a rise in the level of stress my clients endure in the planning of their wedding or special event.  While we can effectively use Pinterest as well as other sources for inspiration it should not be used to create a “must have” for every image or item shown.

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Creating storyboards for clients has been a longstanding method of organizing ideas and visions, however, with many clients living out-of-state from their Planner and other vendors, sharing that board became increasingly difficult.  With Pinterest though, it is an easy process to create a “secret” Wedding Board and share it with only those involved to kick ideas back and forth.  I have used this process with clients to share specific ideas for colors, designs, attire, favors, etc., as well as for those who were having a difficult time narrowing down their specific vision.  Collecting images of various decor components that indicate potential ideas is helpful just as much as indicating styles and ideas that the client doesn’t like.  By determining ideas of interest a more streamlined and detailed outline can be made for the cohesive theme of the event.

Inspiration-Board

I encourage my clients to share their ideas with me and I love working with them to develop the branding of their event.  While using images as an inspiration, I always recommend putting a unique touch to the overall idea so that it is not just a copy of someone else’s design.  Each client is unique and so their event should also be unique.  One such example of this was the following image that was provided as something the bride LOVED.  I then took that image and worked with the floral designer (Chelsea Floral Design Studio) to create a similar look while staying within the budget and style of the other decor being used. The end result was gorgeous and my client was overjoyed.

Inspiration for Design

Inspiration for Design

Actual Design

Actual Design

We have discussed some good ideas of how to use Pinterest, but there is also a down side.  This is where the stress comes in!  Finding images of tons of ideas you would like to incorporate and thinking that you must have every single one.  Now, I agree that there are some ideas that you find that would be excellent to incorporate, but just don’t go overboard.  With every idea comes time and money.  Both of which are considered a budget item.  Trying to create or provide every little detail you see will not only create stress, but it can also take away from the overall design and feel of the event.  Remember, keeping things cohesive is what makes an event truly stand out.

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Feel free to Follow us on Pinterest for some inspiration, and contact us to find out how we can assist with planning and producing YOUR special event.

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special event planning firm specializing in assisting our clients with innovative ideas, creative design and flawless production of their event!  Offices located in Atlanta, Georgia and Sarasota, Florida.  

April 27, 2016

Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

Posted in Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:25 am by JBEvents

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Stressed Bride

There are so many things that a professional Wedding/Event Planner can assist with to make planning your wedding or special event easier and less stressful.

Let me first ask this question –

How many hours on average does it take to plan a wedding?

A.  25-50 hrs   B.  100-150 hrs   C:  150-300 hrs   D:  400-600 hrs                                           (Read on to find out the answer)

When consulting with my clients, I am listening to pick up on information not only for the vision of the event but for other specific things that can impact the overall details of planning and the stress level of the client.  For instance, if the client has very limited time to spend planning the wedding, they should select a full-service planning package.  While the cost of the full-service package might be more of the budget than anticipated, care should be given to consider all that the Planner is able to do, from sourcing and securing the venue and proposals, to developing the vision, negotiating contracts, maintaining the budget, providing guidance on etiquette, consult on custom stationery and event branding, design a floor plan, construct a wedding day schedule, communicate with all vendors, as well as orchestrating the entire event to ensure a smooth and flawless wedding, to just name a few. There are so many tasks that a Planner handles behind the scenes to ensure that any emergencies are handled without the client having to know, we keep things running smoothly to ensure that all vendors are able to perform their contracted services in a timely manner and we handle packing up all of your items at the end of the reception so that you or your family don’t have to.   All of these details require many hours to complete and as a bride with already restricted time constraints as well as not being familiar with all that goes into planning a wedding – the stress factor drastically increases.

If you choose option D in the question above for the number of hours to plan a wedding, you are correct!!!!  Yes, that’s correct – 400 – 600 hours to plan a wedding from start to finish. If you consider how much time you have available between the time you become engaged until your wedding, keeping in mind your work/school schedule as well as having personal time as well, this will help you to determine just how much help you may need.  A professional planner can save you time since we will already know the venues and vendors to contact based upon your budget and vision, whereas trying to do this on your own is a daunting task.

Stressed bride ecard

Many times brides will think that hiring a planner is a luxury, but considering that we can provide referrals to appropriate vendors to accommodate the budget, style and overall vision which can result in discounts that would not be garnered on your own, the savings can balance out the fee for our service. Not only that, but don’t forget, we are able to save you time and that is something you can’t put a price tag on.  One thing I always tell my clients is that it is important to maintain and cultivate your relationship during the planning process because you are preparing for a MARRIAGE not just the wedding day.

Some times brides think that a wedding planner will insist on the vision for the wedding, but that is not the case (at least with my company).  We are there to offer suggestions and provide advice, and to align our client with the best vendors to achieve the vision.  My goal is to always produce the wedding my couple desires.  While I have had clients task me with making all of the decisions, that certainly is not the norm.

If you or someone you know is getting married, do yourself or them a favor and have them contact us so that you/they can experience stressfree planning and a flawless wedding.

Check back soon for more helpful planning tips!

 

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special events planning company specializing in assisting our clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution.

 

 

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