Sarah + Laurence | Savannah, GA

Happy first day of Spring! I don’t know about you, but we’re ready to put all this cold weather behind us and bring on warm sunny days and flowers blooming all around . We’re throwing it back to Sarah and Laurence’s wedding held last spring to provide some inspiration to get us through these last cold weeks. We love the pops of lilac details and the all the fresh flowers used as decor, as well as the garden the couple got married and took pictures in – the more flowers the better, right?! To see the full feature of this wedding, grab your copy of the current issue of Savannah Soiree….on stands now!!

Savannah Wedding Vendors: PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Williams Studio | WEDDING PLANNER Posh Petals and Pearls | CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE Ships of the Sea Museum | OFFICIANT Friend | FLORALS Mark Williams Studio | HAIR Salon Eleven 84| WEDDING GOWN The Bride Room | CEREMONY & COCKTAIL HOUR MUSIC Michael Houston | BAND Loose Chain Band Reggie Ware | CAKE Lowcountry Confections | CATERING J Thomas Catering | RENTALS Amazing Event Rentals | LIGHTING JLK Events

Categories: Real Weddings

Fashion Friday: Fall Wedding Attire

With the weather cooling down, or in Savannah more or less staying the same (!), your wardrobe is bound to see an influx of chunky sweaters, warm tights and flannel scarves. I love fall, as I have said before, and I also love dressing for fall. While we can’t always look our cozy best without breaking a sweat here in the low country, temperatures are getting noticeably cooler in the evening. I welcome the cool temperature and changing colors; I am clearly living in the wrong climate!

Recently I attended two weddings up north that boasted some seriously chilly temperatures. As I packed for the weekend, and the outdoor affairs, I knew I would have to stay warm and also fashionable. This was a fun challenge for me as we don’t get those temps down here.

I will say that opting for tights was a lifesaver! Although the sun was out, the wind blew even harder and I was thanking my lucky stars for my thick Donna Karan go-to tights. I also wished that I had thought of packing some cute gloves. My poor little fingers were absolute icicles about five minutes in.

To help our wedding goer’s and brides who might be hosting a fall wedding here are some great ideas on what to wear to a fall wedding.

For the black tie fete:

Black tie fall wedding

For semi-formal nuptials:

Semi formal fall wedding

For the casual affair:

Casual fall wedding

Categories: Inspirations, Planning, Real Weddings, Trends

Destination Honeymoon

Hon·ey·moon ˈhənēˌmo͞on/ noun: a vacation spent together by a newly married couple, otherwise known as the calm after the storm!

If you and your groom have chosen to go on a honeymoon you may now be wondering where to spend it. There are millions of options for a vacation and I feel that a honeymoon needs to be exactly what you want it to be. It is so easy to become overwhelmed with all of the choices out there and really the honeymoon should be the fun part of the planning process, but sometimes it can bring more stress than relaxation.

When thinking of your dream honeymoon it is important for your groom and you to get on the same page. Ask yourselves some questions: beach or mountains, adventure or relaxation, city or rural. Some of these may seem silly but it is really important to talk through these.

Beach vs. mountains- obvious pros to each, a beach vacation being the more popular type of honeymoon we see. Think secluded islands and beaches for miles. But do you and your groom love to hike, ski and do outdoorsy things? A mountain vacay may be right for you! Think the French Alps or the Great Smoky Mountains.

Adventure vs. relaxation- are you two ready to not lift a finger for seven days or are your boots packed and you are ready to explore? Some folks (including my hubby and I) did not want to do a single thing but lay on the beach the entire time so when booking a resort the pool and the beach location were key to us. For adventure seekers ask about activity packages or even check Groupon.

City vs. rural- want to hit the town and party the night away? Maybe a city would be right for you. Think Honolulu, you get the beach and the city! For those who could go to an island population 2 look for something secluded and research relaxation packages.

All inclusive? This is critical to decide early on as it will impact the type of property you will book. Some pro’s to all inclusive are that you never really have to take your wallet or purse with you. You pay everything up front and generally stay within the property to reap the all inclusive benefits. Forgoing all inclusive allows you and your new hubby to explore the town, eat off property and maybe even save a little money. Both are great options!

Whatever you two decide make sure there is something for each of you. If he wants a round of golf and you want a mani/pedi make sure to make those happen- this is the time for you two to enjoy each other and bask in newly-wedded bliss!

Categories: Inspirations, Planning

Let's Get Real

Real weddings are near and dear and close to our hearts. As planners, we are honored to be charged with planning the most important day of your life. We pride ourselves on being up to date on the newest trends, knowing the best vendors in our area and assembling a rock star team. We meet with brides and they give us their list of questions, pour out their ideas and enlist their trust in us. Bring a bride is tough business and that is why we are here, prepared to answer all your questions, make [most] of your dreams come true and send you down the aisle.

One thing that makes working with brides so rewarding is helping alleviate necessary stress, and boy do brides have a wealth of that! It is one of our biggest joys to take the reigns and leave you feeling calm. After planning countless weddings it is pretty safe to say that we have experienced our fair share of pitfalls and triumphs. We learn from both, and go forward even more prepared.

I remember when I was a bride, my vision clouded with peonies and paper goods, my ring still sparkly and practicing my new signature. I remember I was beyond excited. I also remember one of the first meetings I had with our planner, and all the insane questions I flooded her with. Most brides sit in the same chair I sat, a huge looming to do list before them and no clue what to do next. And that’s where we come in!

Helping not only plan but also keep brides and grooms happy and calm it is important that we keep some key factors in mind when beginning the planning process. Here are some examples of some of the most important real life issues and topics we deal with-

  • Have the money talk early. Don’t write a single check or wait for any time to pass by before having “the talk” with all contributing parties. I know it is uncomfortable, but it is so incredibly necessary. After this is done you can move forward knowing exactly where you stand without breaking your budget. Remember, no budget is right or wrong, it’s just important that it fits your needs.
  • Enlist help! This is where we come in, the professionals. Whether you want to plan the entire day yourself and just want help along the way and on the day of or you want to hand everything over at the beginning, hire a professional! We are here to be your advocate, your expert and your worker bee.
  • Make time to not plan. While you are engaged you will be engrossed with all things wedding and it is important to know when to step away and spend some time with your hubby to be. Designate one night per week where you and your groom talk about anything but the upcoming wedding. This will help keep stress levels down and lighten the mood.
  • Exercise! In the immortal words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Exercise not to lose weight but to feel happier and less stressed. Find a fun workout class like TRX or Barre and make it a priority to go.
  • Remember that weddings are emotional. You and your groom may be the ones saying the “I do’s” but don’t forget that family and close friends can, and will, get super emotional during the planning process. You might not understand why mom and dad insist on inviting their neighbors from 1983 but try to remember that this is the day they have been waiting for too, and they still want to have an input.
  • Get extra cooks out of the kitchen. We all know the saying and we all have been in situations where there are just too many opinions flying around. Prepare to make decisions on who will be involved with what. Have 15 bridesmaids? It might not be the best decision to take them all bridesmaid dress shopping at the same time, holy drama! Staff your crew with the people who’s opinion you value most but never forget that this is your day and you and your groom have the final say.

Wedding planning is enjoyable but at times stressful. Remember not to forget why you are getting married in the first place, because you found love! Enjoy the ride and savor all the moments.

Categories: Planning

Falling for Fall

Oh belles, I cannot tell you how much I love fall. The smells, the colors, the pumpkins on front porches. Absolutely everything about fall screams cups of hot cocoa and big blanket scarves. However living in Savannah, we rarely see fall peak it’s head out until December, even January. What is a girl, and numerous brides, to do when she wants to bring the colorful season to the low country?

Being a guest at four weddings this fall, and working many more, I have seen a ton of different ways to weave in the spirit of fall to a big day. From using miniature pumpkins and heirloom gourds, to candlelit chandeliers and family style seating. There are so many ways to subtly and tastefully give a nod to the cooling temperatures and changing colors. Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate the season:

  • Do an oyster roast for your rehearsal or even the reception! Oysters are synonymous with the fall months, didn’t your mama ever tell you to only eat oysters in months with an “r”?
  • Serve spiked apple cider or hot toddy’s as a signature cocktail- recipe here
  • Throw an outdoor celebration and set out warm blankets or shawls for guests to curl up in as your favor.
  • Use the season’s colors as your backdrop; play with deep purples, grays, and romantic reds. Even better, dress your gals in plum or wine shade.
  • For floral, incorporate seasonal blooms like dahlias, thistles, and gum tree leaves.
  • Use vintage barn tables to create a chic rustic look.
Categories: Colors, Florals, Inspirations, Trends

My Best Friends Wedding

I have this friend. She’s practically a walking Barbie Doll, platinum blonde and her favorite color is glitter. Our whole lives we have basically done everything together. Shared jobs, clothes, tears and countless memories. She is every bit indicative of my adolescence. She remembers things I wish she didn’t (like that awful hairstyle I had for years), she never fails to say the perfect thing to me when I’m feeling down, she is always a great time.

Naturally, doing everything together since we were practically babies, it would make sense to get married together (ie: Bride Wars without the actual war). I remember picking out our engagement rings together, talking about color schemes before we even had any bling. When I got engaged I knew she would follow days or weeks later. I could barely contain my excitement when she called and told me that her beau finally popped the question.

And on our planning marathon went. We both had 18 month engagements, we swapped online vendors and Pintrest boards, gushed about the new registry item we just added. We both dreamed of our fairy tale moments side by side, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

So now that my big day has come and gone (and was the most magical day I could have ever dreamed of) I can now solely focus on the wedding fever plaguing my best friend. We live thousands of miles apart and this week that we have spent together has been needed and appreciated. I was there with her for her bachelorette, we both helped each other out of our Mexicoma’s, and together with our third Mustateer threw her the most darling tea party bridal shower.

But to be totally honest, I am a little sad. I don’t know if my friends felt this way on my wedding but I feel like I am saying goodbye, and goodbye’s really really stink. It feels like the end of an era. I feel so grown up and want to catapult myself back to junior year of high school (who EVER says that!?). I feel my life is a walking Vitamin-C song. I feel like we are packing up and leaving for college all over again. The distance seems too real. And I’m not all that surprised with these emotions of mine. I know some of our other lifelong friends feel that same little lump in their throats every time we hear her say her new last name. It’s all so bittersweet. However I guess I am grateful for feelings like this. Because I know I feel this way because I care for my best friend so much. Her happiness is sometimes paramount to my own. Her sadness is my sadness. Her tears are my tears, her celebrations are mine too.

In just two short days I will stand beside Lauren as she marries her best friend. I can guarantee there will be tears, lots of them. But I can also guarantee that it will be one of the best days ever. My heart is exploding with excitement for her, for all the love and gratitude coming her way. My dress is steamed and my dancing shoes are awaiting their big performance. My nails are prepped to be pained and my spray tan is scheduled. And as I check all these items off my list I am reminded of how completely lucky I am to have a friend like this. A friend who knows me better than I know myself sometimes, a friend who truly gets me and makes me want to be a better human and friend. And though she will always be LoJo to me I could not be happier for her as she starts her forever.

So to you Ryan and Lauren, I love you both immensely, cheers to your happily ever after.

Categories: Uncategorized

Choosing a Wedding Band: Bride Edition

To do lists. To do lists are my absolute favorite thing in the whole entire world. There is something about the smell of the new sticky note pad I often use to make these lists. When I check off an item I feel a rush of accomplishment. I feel productive and confident. My own to do list while planning my own recent wedding constantly grew larger day by day. I followed the timelines of so many different wedding bibles I loved.  I made sure I had checked off every big box and when I did I felt totally in control. As the months wore down and my big day inched closer my to do list seemed to shrink and this I completely welcomed. It wasn’t until I was chatting with a close friend over coffee one day that I realized I had forgotten something. A BIG thing. A really super duper important thing.

I didn’t have a wedding band.

And oh boy did panic ensue. I immediately called my calm, cool, collected fiance and word vomited this huge oversight. I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth fast enough. We needed to get my wedding band immediately, like yesterday. I was out of town at the time and begged him to go down to the local jewelry store to look. While he indulged my panicky plea I still felt unaccomplished. My control freak self wanted to be there to pick out the perfect addition to my engagement ring. What if what he picked didn’t match? What if the diamonds were too big (yes, I feared that!)? What if the band took away from the beauty of my engagement ring? So naturally, when I got back in town a few days later I took us on a mission to find my wedding band.

Now I would love to say that this shopping trip was one of the highlights of the wedding planning process but, sadly, it was not. We went from store to store, each time a little more disappointed. Nothing quite fit. Nothing really matched my setting, or personality. They weren’t what I envisioned myself wearing for the rest of my life. By the time we left the fifth store I was completely defeated. My poor sweet fiance felt helpless as he knew I would not rest until we (I) found the one. I felt annoyed and annoying. Why was this such a big deal to me? I should just pick one and call it a day. We decided to take reprieve and go grab a diet coke. While we were driving out of the parking lot I suddenly shouted, “wait, let’s try over there!” A jewelry store we hadn’t tried yet? I thought we looked everywhere.

Walking into the store with a massive chip on my shoulder I immediately asked the saleswoman two questions: 1) how long do wedding bands take to size (mind you this shopping trip was only weeks before our big day) and 2) do they carry platinum bands in the store (both my fiance and I had a hard fast rule that we only wanted one metal for both of my rings). Her answers were music to my ears. With a smile growing across my face I looked up to my fiance with a new found sparkle in my eye and exclaimed, “let’s look!” I showed the saleswoman my engagement ring so that she could show us some wedding bands that would coordinate. As she pulled out the first band and I slipped it on my finger I instantly knew. I had finally (at the sixth store) found my wedding band.

As you make your journey to find your perfect band remember these little nuggets of wisdom:

  • Shop around. Now while I wouldn’t recommend hitting up six jewelry stores in one afternoon, getting to try on different styles is important. This is the ring you will wear for the rest of your forever. Get a feel for what you truly want and kindly tell your fiance your preferences.
  • Planning on wearing a family heirloom? Make sure to get it properly sized well before the big day.
  • Don’t forget about the groom! Shop around for styles for him as well and make sure you know his ring size. Will the groom not wear a ring? See if he would like another piece of jewelry or memento to remember your union by.
  • Store both rings in a safe place until the big day arrives. Slip them into your boudoir or a safe if you have one. Give both rings a little cleaning a few days before the ceremony so both are in tip top condition.
  • Once the big day arrives place both rings in the safe keeping of a trusted friend, relative or member of the bridal party.

Here are a few bands that I love for all different types of brides

 

As we wrapped up our purchase at the store I felt a rush of adrenaline knowing that we were one step (one big step) closer to officially being married. It donned on me that I wasn’t being picky, I wasn’t being unruly or over demanding. I simply wanted the ring that I would wear, the symbol that legally and spiritually tied me to my husband, to be mine. When I finally found my ring I knew that it was not only an expression of the woman I am but also of the marriage we were going to build. It was the reminder of the covenant we were about to enter into. And that, I took very seriously.

With love and wedding bands,

HP

 

Categories: Uncategorized
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