September 14, 2020

Southern Wedding Etiquette…

Posted in Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:00 am by JBEvents

Kim Jordan, our Atlanta area Sales Consultant/Event Planner is sharing her tips on Etiquette for Southern Weddings. If you have any specific questions, please reach out to us and we will be happy to answer them!

Even though our weddings look a lot different in 2020, there is still call for etiquette when planning for your big day.  Whether you are a Southern native or have family members who will attend your wedding in the South, everyone will likely appreciate the Southern etiquette that is displayed.  Good manners are always in style. 

It all starts with the engagement. 

By all means avoid broadcasting the news on social media until you have shared the exciting news with your family and friends.  People you are close to should be told before the news is public knowledge. 

Don’t say congratulations to a newly engaged bride.  Although it seems like the most common and normal thing to say, it implies that the girl is the lucky one for being proposed to.  Southern girls KNOW it is the guy who is the lucky one that the girl said yes.  Extend Best Wishes or I Am Very Happy for You, instead. 

Guests typically do not bring gifts to engagement parties.  This party is meant to celebrate and be excited for the couple.  And, of course, to see the ring!  The small gifts that some guests may bring (like champagne flutes) will not be opened at the party. 

The bridal shower (typically a luncheon) can be hosted by anyone from bridesmaids, to the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom, Aunts or best friends of the family.  The guest list should include only guests who are also invited to the wedding.

The gifts given at a shower are very different and certainly not the same as the wedding gift. Functional and practical gifts for the shower are selected to begin a new home.  A coffee maker, or monogrammed towels are appropriate.  The gifts would be on display in a different section of the bride’s childhood home.  Viewing of the displayed gifts is common with the shower gifts where they would be laid out in the basement rec room or guest bedroom.  Wedding gifts, however, would be on full display in the front living room, dining room or library. 

The gifts for the wedding were very special and what the bride covets and has selected for herself.  These gifts are usually chosen from the bridal registry of sterling silver flatware (monogrammed, of course), crystal pieces and the fine china pattern place settings.  Please note that everyday china can go either way for a shower or wedding gift, especially entire place settings or serving pieces are appropriate. 

The rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the groom’s family who also pays for it.  The guest list should, however, be discussed with the bride’s family.  This dinner should be a close-knit event for wedding participants and family only.  

Back in the bygone days of the very proper planning of a wedding, it was typically done by the mother of the bride with very particular “rules” to follow. 

Always send in your RSVP to the wedding in a punctual manner.  This will relieve unnecessary stress on the bride and mother of the bride when planning who and how many will be in attendance for seating purposes and how much food should be ordered. Don’t bring children or babies to a wedding unless they are specifically invited.  If they are not on the invitation, they are not invited!  Enough said!

Likewise, if an invitation does not include a noted plus one, then a plus one is not invited either. 

Don’t wear white to a wedding unless you are the bride.  She is the only one that should wear white on her big day. 

Don’t bring a wedding present to the wedding.  Have it sent to the bride’s home for safe keeping and for the bride to display once it is opened. 

Always be 15 minutes early to get seated for the ceremony.  You do not want to be late, arrive at the same time as the bride, or have the doors closed and miss the ceremony altogether.

Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.

Traditionally a Southern groom will pick his father to be his best man and stand at his side.  After all, he thinks his daddy is the best and therefore the Best Man for the job.  Nowadays, it is common for a groom to select his best friend or fraternity brother to stand at the altar with him. 

Cousins on both sides of the family are typically asked to be bridesmaids or groomsmen. 

The Aunts are in charge of the cake knife, after the bride and groom have cut their first piece, to serve the sliced cake to the guests. {Except for our clients where we take care of the cake knife and server – so even Aunt Sally and Aunt Mary can enjoy the celebration}.

Another Southern tradition is Cake Pulls. This is where small charms attached to ribbons are placed within the cake. The bride, and her bridesmaids will each pull a ribbon, and the charm depicts something special for that person. The one that pulls the wedding related charm, is said to be the next to get married. The charms are typically a gift from a relative and given to the bride at her Bridal Shower.

The punch would be served by the friends of the bride’s family if a caterer was not employed.  The wedding punch would be the same color as the bridesmaids’ dresses.  Common now at cocktail hour is the signature drink that can be customized to fit the color scheme. 

As far as dietary etiquette goes, a gracious hostess will always try to accommodate the guests and their needs.  Ultimately, though, a thoughtful guest will confidentially communicate any bona fide food allergy, religious, or medically necessary diet restrictions prior to the event or when the RSVP is sent in.  A guest should also consider eating before the event to avoid any awkward conversations around eating habits either with the hostess or with other guests.  A good rule of thumb to remember is that the hostess picks the menu, but your company and spending time together is the focus. 

A lot of times expect to be at a Southern wedding celebration for an entire weekend.  Kick off usually begins with the welcome get together for out of town guests.  The ceremony and reception are next.  The day after the big day there may be a brunch for those in town, that may or may not include the bride and groom, if they have already departed for their honeymoon. 

Thank you notes.  Should always be handwritten and never emblazoned with the words Thank you printed on the front.  The note card is informal in white or ivory paper with the full name of the writer embossed or engraved on the front of the folded note paper. These should be received within three months of your wedding day. 

Back in the day, Southern etiquette was taken very seriously, especially for weddings.  It is all about being courteous and respectful of the bride and her family.  And we here at Janice Blackmon Events feel that etiquette never goes out of style!

We are here to assist our clients with all of the details and questions they have! Contact us for information on our packages and learn how we can make planning your wedding or other special occasion stressfree while ensuring the event is fabulous and flawless!!!

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special event planning firm. We specialize in assisting our clients with innovative concepts, creative design and flawless execution of their event. Offices in Atlanta, GA, Orlando and Sarasota/Tampa Bay, FL.

For weddings in the Atlanta area, please contact Kim Jordan: Kim@JaniceBlackmonEvents.com

For weddings in the Orlando area, please contact Dacoda Karvaski: Dacoda@JaniceBlackmonEvents.com

For wedding in the Sarasota/Tampa Bay area, please contact Janice Blackmon: Janice@JaniceBlackmonEvents.com

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. 

 

October 30, 2015

Excited to announce the expansion of Janice Blackmon Events to Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area!!!

Posted in Planning Tips and Information, Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:06 am by JBEvents

Beach photo jumping whole wedding party

Following many years of success in Atlanta, it is only fitting that I announce, with tremendous excitement, the expansion of Janice Blackmon Events into Florida. Wedding packages for both Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area have already been assembled and custom destinations are available upon request. Currently, the packages contain planning assistancephotography and vacation rental (subject to availability). Additional options are to come.

I have produced a number of weddings in Sarasota and to rave reviews. I look forward to continuing to offer these areas a higher level of event planning and production with my innovative ideas, creative design and flawless production of social celebrations. My vast experience and qualifications as an award-winning professional will re-energize social events and elevate the wedding and special events industry.  

Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area are popular destinations for weddings because of their temperate climates and world-class beaches. Unbeknownst to many, the area offers a plethora of stunning and cultural venues.  In addition to selecting your venue(s), we can arrange for all other necessary vendors to carry out your vision. As a former resident of Sarasota, I have strong partnerships with many local vendors that prove to be invaluable for my clients and other industry professionals.  My contacts and their companies include, but are not limited to, décor rental companies, floral designers, officiants, musicians, tents, sound systems, uplighting and specialty linens. We are also able to assist in obtaining any necessary permits.

As with any destination wedding, there are many factors that need to be considered. I have addressed these factors with the services I have incorporated for my Sarasota and Tampa Bay clients. In addition, I am able to assist with all of the designing, planning and production of the wedding itself.

Researching and selecting the vendors with which I have chosen to partner has been a labor of love. I am still putting the finishing touches on my choices. Please see below for the inaugural conception of my newest packages and services for Janice Blackmon Events, Sarasota Division. These packages and services will continue to evolve.

Sarasota Weddings and Special Events by Janice Blackmon!

When selecting a destination wedding, accommodations are always a main concern.  Imagine having a private home complete with a pool for your family or your bridal party to enjoy. The house is fully furnished and close to many of the cultural and entertainment options in Sarasota.  Spend the day by the pool or at one of the many beautiful beaches and then return back to your private oasis for a relaxing evening.  For a little more excitement, head to one of the numerous restaurants and lounges for some fresh seafood and live music. 

Spend the morning of your wedding day in the comfortable surroundings of your rented home while having your hair and make-up services done. Let us arrange transportation for your wedding party and family to and from the wedding ceremony and reception. After the celebration, return to the private house to enjoy your first night as newlyweds.  Keep in mind – one of the special options we offer is breakfast delivered to you personally the day after your wedding. We can also arrange for other accommodations at area hotels or rental properties for your traveling guests if desired.

A professional photographer is essential to capture your beautiful wedding so that you can relive it for years to come. The photographer I have selected has an excellent, long-standing reputation in the area and provides exceptional quality of images and personal service. Feeling at ease with your photographer is important. Your photographer should make you feel comfortable, ensuring amazing images and wonderful memories.  I guarantee you will entrust Lauren and Jaye immediately! They are sure to produce gorgeous images of your wedding day. In addition to the standard package they offer, optional services can be added, such as additional hours of coverage, engagement, post-wedding day or even boudoir photos. 

A beach wedding at sunset is beautiful and can accommodate a variety of guest counts. From a small intimate celebration to a large festive party – both are possibilities. You may choose to have both your ceremony and reception on the beach or just your ceremony. Should you choose to have your reception at a venue, we are happy to determine the perfect place that suits your location and style. Whether it is a luxury hotel ballroom, a majestic art museum, the botanical garden, a historic home or a rustic setting amidst oak trees – the possibilities are endless. We are able to make your dream wedding a reality.

Our planning services include: 

Checklists:  A minimum of five checklists will be provided during the engagement period that will keep you on task with the details of your planning. These checklists will serve as a very useful tool to ensure all the details of the wedding are covered. We will assist with any details you desire and we will create a package that provides an appropriate amount of consulting/planning assistance. 

Vendor Meeting:  We will meet at your venue with key vendors to discuss the wedding day schedule and set-up. This ensures your vision is properly understood by all involved.  

Final Planning Meeting:  We will create a detailed and comprehensive Wedding Day Schedule prepared to your specifications.

Wedding Day Preparation and Scheduling:  The Wedding Day Schedule is comprised of information obtained during the Final Planning Meeting and Vendor Meeting. In addition to the schedule, your vendors will be provided the following confirmation documents: specific vendor itineraries, venue directions, a floor plan and contact information. We will also provide you a list of vendor balances due and suggested vendor gratuities.

Ceremony RehearsalWe will conduct your ceremony rehearsal the day before the wedding. If your ceremony site includes a wedding director, we will still be at the rehearsal to introduce ourselves to your wedding party, distribute the Wedding Party Itinerary’s and retrieve all of your essential wedding day accessories (toasting flutes, guest book, marriage license, rings, etc.). We will also obtain from you any wedding day payments and gratuities that will be distributed to your vendors on your wedding day.

Wedding Day Production: A minimum of two coordinators will be present on your wedding day to ensure timely wedding party preparedness for your special day. The duties that will be conducted include: ensure Bride is properly dressed with all accessories, coordination of pre and post ceremony pictures, set-up of ceremony items (unity candle, guest book, programs, card box), usher instruction on guest seating, orchestration of your wedding ceremony. We will be onsite throughout the reception, as well. Duties that will be covered include: oversee vendor arrival and set-up, ensure all of your accessories are displayed (guest book, toasting flutes, table assignment cards, place cards, menu cards, etc.) and cue all of the events at your reception (first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.). We also work with all vendors onsite to ensure a smooth and flawless event by: cueing all activities and announcements, making sure dinner service is timely, instructing cake-cutting, advising those offering toasts, pampering the wedding couple throughout the reception and attending to any other needs the couple may have.  We will make sure all of your items are safely packed up at the end of the reception, as well. Our goal is to make sure that you and your family are the special guests at your wedding without having to worry about any of the details.

Let us handle the planning while you enjoy your engagement!  You deserve a stress-free, flawless wedding, and with my services you will get just that.

Whether you live out of state and want to plan a destination wedding, or you are a local resident ready to plan your wedding, we can assist with any and all of the details.  Contact us to find out more and let the planning fun begin!!

Consultations available via phone, SKYPE, FaceTime or in-person (upon appointment). 

Here are just a couple of testimonials from my Sarasota clients:

 “My husband and I were recently married in Sarasota Fl, and are so happy we chose Janice to plan our wedding! She is very detail oriented and didn’t miss a beat when it came to planning our wedding. She took care of EVERYTHING! The D.J., the venue, the caterer, the invitations, and much much more. She made our wedding day stress free. We even had a mishap with our wedding cake and Janice dressed it up so beautifully to match our wedding! She was there to andwer all of my questions and concerns. I thought I knew everything there was to know on planning a wedding, but boy I was wrong! Janice has an incredible team and made our day perfect. We will never forget it! Thank You Janice!!”…Ashley, December, 2013

“if you’re looking for the perfect wedding planner you have found her! Janice Blackmon is absolutely amazing at what she does and she loves it.  It was my absolute dream wedding I could have asked for more!! She pays so much attention to small detail that I would never have thought of I would definitely recommend her to anyone!” …Morgan, November 2014

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Peeking out from the statue

Jessica K Photography

Groom and Groomsmen

Jessica K Photography

Couple at Marina

Jessica K Photography

Beach photo jumping whole wedding party Beach photo jumping Ceremony Setting

Ceremony at Windsong Oaks Sarasota by Lauren Bates Photography

Lauren Bates Photography

Back of couple walking at Windsong Oaks Sarasota by Lauren Bates Photography

Lauren Bates Photography

Couple walking beside pasture in Windsong Oak by Lauren Bates Photography

Lauren Bates Photography

Reception view at Windsong Oaks Sarasota by Lauren Bates Photography

Lauren Bates Photography

Windsong Oaks by Lauren Bates Photography ~ Sweetheart Table

Lauren Bates Photography

Ritz Carlton St. Armands Jr Ballroom Sarasota

Ritz Carlton, Sarasota

Ritz Carlton Sarasota reception setup on the Grand Lawn

Ritz Carlton, Sarasota

Ritz Carlton Sarasota wedding

Ritz Carlton, Sarasota

Ca'd zan Ringling Museum Sarasota Florida

Ca’d Zan Ringling Museum, Sarasota

Ringling Museum dancing

Ringling Museum, Sarasota

Ringling Museum reception cake

Ringling Museum, Sarasota

Ringling Museum reception in the courtyard

Ringling Museum, Sarasota

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

July 31, 2015

Morgan & Jesse’s Beach Wedding!!

Posted in Weddings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:15 pm by JBEvents

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This wedding combines some of my favorite things; the BEACH and life-long friends! 

I was super excited to help plan and produce Morgan & Jesse’s wedding.  Jesse is the son of my best-friend and the 2nd sibling in the family that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.  

A unique touch that was in keeping with the beach theme, was that the guys wore starfish instead of a flower boutonniere.

The Sandbar Restaurant and The Studio at Gulf and Pine on Anna Maria Island were selected as the venue.  The ceremony took place on the beach right at sunset.  It was gorgeous.  The couple was so adorable exchanging vows ~ you could feel their love all around.

As soon as the ceremony was over, while guests were making their way over to the reception venue, some lovely sunset photos of the couple and the wedding party were captured by the photographer, Ted West.  

The guests were asked to write a message for the couple and place it in a bottle instead of a traditional guest book.  The couple will read the messages on their 1st Anniversary!!

Guests dined on a delicious array of food provided by the venue while DJ Peyt Dewar spun hits beckoning guests to the dance floor. 

The beach-themed wedding cake was not only beautiful but very tasteful as well. 

The recipients of the bouquet toss and garter throw which happen to be the groom’s sister and future brother-in-law are making good on the tradition of being the next couple to marry AND I’m thrilled to be producing that wedding as well.  

Morgan & Jesse departed the reception amidst a sparkler fanfare as they departed into the night to begin their married life together!

We wish Morgan & Jesse a lifetime of happiness.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day!!

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Sparkler departure

Sparkler Departure 2IMG_4969

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