First comes love. Then comes Publix.
We’re more than the wedding cake. We offer catering and floral services too. Let us help make planning your wedding a breeze. See how at publix.com/engaged.
BUDGET YOUR Wedding
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!
Northeast Florida is one of best places to get married! The area offers so many different landscapes and backdrops to your big day. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it in Northeast Florida!
CAKE & SWEETS
$500 to $4,000+
$3 -$20+ per invite
Invitations have many different options and formats. Your invitation budget will depend on the quantity, number of pieces to the invitation, using a calligrapher and postage. Calligraphy can range from $2 to $8 per invitation depending on the number of pieces you address, the RSVP’s, style of font and ink. Also, keep in mind, some invitations are more than 2 oz which requires more than one stamp!
Average number of weddings guests is between 75 & 125
Cakes are often priced “per slice” or how many people it will feed. They are also priced on the level of décor difficulty.
$1,800 to $7,000+
Factors that can affect the price; number of hours the photographer shots, number of photographers shooting the event, number of prints and photo album.
$20 to $75+
Factors that can affect the price; type of venue, choice of food, serving style, and number of servers. Alcohol is not included in price; this is figured on a per person basis too. Alcohol can be estimated at $20 to $50 per person depending on venue, length of open bar and alcohol choices.
$99 to $15,000+
Most brides select a dress between $800 and $3,000. Please budget for alterations which can start at $125 and go up depending on the amount of work. More if it’s not done at the location of purchase.
$1,500 to $6,000+
Factors that can affect the price; number of hours they film, number of videographers, length of wedding video, number of hours of editing
$300 to $15,000+
Flowers have so many variables and it is hard to give a range because it depends on the quantity of bouquets, center pieces and décor arrangements, the type of flowers, the season or time of year, and how many stems you use. Bridal bouquets could be $125 to $800+ and Bridesmaids from $60 to $250+ depending on what you pick! With flowers, talk to your florist about what you want and estimated budget to come up with a plan!
DÉCOR & RENTALS
There are so many elements to this! Chairs can rent for $2 to $20+ per chair not including delivery and set up. Tables can rent for $6 to $75+ depending on style, size not including delivery and set up. Linens can rent for $6 to $75+ depending on style of linen. China, glasses and flat wear can rent for $0.75 to $10+ per setting depending on what you pick!
Limo buses or limos run on a hourly basis with a typical 4 hour minimum. Distance is also a factor. Minimum charges of $400 are typical and will increase based on size, time, and mileage.
$600+ – $3,500+ Day of Coordination starting at $600+, Weekend or Month of starting at $1,500+ and Full-Service Planning starting at $3,500+. Factors that can affect the price are involvement in the wedding planning process, experience of the wedding coordinator, wedding budget, or number of wedding guests.
POPULAR wedding months are October, November, March, April & May
HAIR & MAKEUP
$50 to $200+
$250 to $500+
A wedding officiate costs vary based on time location and time.
Makeup can run $50 to $125 for a bridesmaid and $50 to $150+ for a bride. Hair can run $50 to $125 for a bridesmaid and $50 to $200+ for a brides’ hair style. Prices might not include hair extensions. There also might be a travel fee!
DJ’S & MUSICIANS
$750 to $10,000+
A professional wedding DJ company will start around $750 and go up to $3,000+ depending on time, date, and experience. Ceremony musicians will start around $100 to $250+ per hour, per musician depending on experience and travel time. Wedding bands could range from $1,000 to $10,000+ depending on how many members, time, and travel.
You’ve said the “I do’s,” kissed the bride, and now it’s time to party! You want your reception to be unforgettable. The venue itself, the food, the ambiance, and the overall guest experience determines just how your reception will be remembered for years to come.
tion& BEN OCTOBER 1, 2022 BECPHOTOGRAPHY
front and center
Whether you’re framing the moment you say “I do,” giving guests a pretty spot to snap a photo, or sprucing up your reception space with something that’s more your style, backdrops might come into play at any number of times throughout your wedding day. Here are some ideas for backdrops both subtle and show-stopping.
From black tie to boho, flowers and greenery go with any style of wedding. If your flower budget allows, incorporating lush botanicals into your wedding backdrop ensures a stunner. Consider a literal wall of flowers or a sculpted, skyhigh hedge of greenery—the kind you’d find in a perfectly-manicured English garden. For slightly less all-over wall coverage, a simple frame lined with vertically-hanging garland can be striking. Have a rustic wooden wall? See if you can attach strategically-placed planters for some leafy flair and dimension.
Metal or wooden, curved or squaredoff, airy archways and on-trend hoops are more of a frame than a full-on backdrop. Yet they serve the same purpose: lending style and calling attention to special moments on your wedding day. Shapely frames are bestsuited to ceremony vows and reception photo ops. Usually, they’re adorned with foliage and/or draped fabric. The nice thing about these frames: they allow you to save money on fullcoverage flourishes, while still bringing a photogenic accent to the scene.
Feeling crafty? Create a wall of paper flowers in various sizes and colors. Try your hand at weaving decorative macramé to hang from a plain wood frame. Enlist a professional to hand-letter your last name or a favorite phrase on a canvas, wooden, or chalkboard backdrop. These personal, handmade touches make for a wedding backdrop that’s truly one of a kind.
A curtain of airy fabric looks ethereal and enchanting when mixed with strings of warm white fairy lights. Hanging marquee letters or a custom neon sign bring some boldness and electric edge. Having an outdoor wedding? Commandeer a tall tree and suspend bulbs from the branches for a romantic, natural photo op. You really can’t go wrong with a little bit of light.
Look around. Does your ceremony or reception venue have a blank wall you could adorn, a spot with exposed brick, a fireplace and mantle you could decorate, or a special nook with gorgeous wallpaper or stained glass? Though this backdrop isn’t portable, it can still make for a marvelous kind of photo booth—one that you don’t even have to pay extra for.
Take stock of what you, your friends, and family have at home that could create a photo-worthy scene. You might also create a photo-worthy vignette with furniture, lighting, and accessories that suit the style of your wedding. Dare
NO SECOND GUESSING.
Once you’ve decided on something, stop looking! Trust your gut, check it off your list and move on. You'll drive yourself crazing sifting through all the options and Pinterest ideas you have.
A SMALL WEDDING IN A BIG WAY
planning (or pivoting to) a smaller wedding
One of the biggest trends in 2020 weddings was the need to pivot the planning. Couples rescheduled, pared down their guest lists, and largely scrambled to rearrange and reimagine. Because of the state of the world, we’ve seen a surge in smaller weddings done up in a big way. Whether you’re choosing a small wedding out of want or need, here are some things to consider.
A NEW VISION
On the heels of 2020’s uncertainties, there are a few key changes many couples are encountering as they start to plan weddings. First up, streamlining the guest list. Brides and grooms are choosing smaller, intimate affairs in an effort to keep guests at ease and conform to any local capacity regulations.
Since many couples shifted back their 2020 wedding date, Saturdays are filling up fast in the foreseeable future. This means a rise in Sunday, Friday, and even mid-week weddings. One good thing about a weekday wedding: Your dream venue will likely be more wallet-friendly.
Brides and grooms are also embracing nature, taking any chance to host some or all of their wedding out of doors. On the tech-savvy flip side, live-streaming and wedding watch parties are on the rise, as is the desire for professional videography services to fully capture the day for friends and family at home.
SMALL WEDDING, BIG STYLE
Because of the modest number of guests, couples are able to allocate budget funds elsewhere. Consider detaildriven tablescapes, larger-than-life floral installations, and characterful rentals to create the ultimate atmosphere. Think outside the box to create the small wedding of your wildest dreams.
Brides and grooms are getting creative with entertainment, too. There’s still uncertainty surrounding crowded dance floors, so couples are either ensuring ample space to spread out or dreaming up a fun alternative. From musicians to live painters to dancers, there are countless ways to keep guests entertained even off the dance floor. It might also help to think of your intimate wedding as a glorious dinner party and find inspiration in that.
While couples want to plan a day that’s beautiful to behold, there’s also a focus on keeping guests safe and healthy. As such, weddings are leaning heavily on thoughtfulness. To limit points of contact throughout the day, consider giving each guest a personalized welcome box complete with their wedding program, favors, and more.
Perhaps seat guests in smaller, spacedout clusters, rather than at crowded banquet tables. With the right attitude and imaginative thinking, an intimate wedding can be the wedding of your dreams. Make the most of your small numbers, focus on the marriage, and you’re sure to find that a small wedding can be perfect in a big way.
• A ceremony location with breathtaking views
• Event space that can accommodate small, intimate gatherings, as well as grand affairs
• A creative culinary team who will offer custom menus
• Event spaces appropriate for your engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and farewell brunch
WORKING WITH VENDORS
who and what to tip
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH WEDDING VENDORS
From photographers to caterers, DJs to florists, a successful wedding hinges greatly on the vendors you choose and the relationship you cultivate with those professionals. Here are some ways to ensure a vendor experience that keeps all parties happy and expectations fulfilled.
APPRECIATE THE PROS
For starters, appreciate and treat each vendor like a professional. Established vendors come with years of experience in their industry, plus the proven results that made you seek out their services in the first place. Respect their expertise and skill. Listen to them and trust that a good vendor will always have your best interest at heart.
ACT LIKE A PRO
Remember that you get what you give, so it always pays to act like a professional yourself. At your initial meeting with a vendor, be on time and make a good first impression. Once hired, make payments in a timely manner. Stay on top of communication, but be reasonable with your expectations in how that vendor communicates back. They may have dozens of events to tackle before your big day, so understand that you can’t be the center of their universe.
HELP THEM HELP YOU
Before your initial meeting with a vendor, thoroughly read through their website, view their portfolio, and check out any testimonials so you have a full understanding of their offerings up
Our 14 acre Crystal Lagoon & beach inspired clubhouse is the perfect setting for weddings and special events 904.203.1068 100 Beachwalk Club, St, Johns FL ClubBeachWalk.com
From the first planning steps to full event coordination, we are here ensuring your day is carefree. Our grand facility boast intricate stone work, a double sided fire place, and floor to ceiling columns. Your photo opportunities are endless featuring our tranquil lake, manicured golf course and Florida’s natural beauty. We invite you to be spoiled by our award winning service, designer meals, and southern hospitality.
WORKING WITH VENDORS
front. Come to that meeting with ideas and a vision, or at least be prepared to explain what you don’t want. Even the best vendors aren’t mind readers, so help them help you.
KEEP CLEAR EXPECTATIONS
Before signing a contract, give it a very close read so everyone’s expectations are clear and agreed upon. Is there a service fee and is gratuity included? Don’t be afraid to politely ask for what you want, especially if it’s a matter of merging certain parts of a vendor’s available packages. It doesn’t hurt to ask nicely. In the meetings you have leading up to your wedding, be honest and upfront about any concerns or dislikes, so the vendor has a chance to make it right ahead of time.
DAY-OF BREAKS & MEALS
For any vendor putting in significant time at your wedding, breaks are required by
law. It’s also good form to provide a meal for vendors working six or more hours. Set aside time and seated space for your vendors to eat, ideally when the rest of your guests are eating. The DJ or musicians might eat during cocktail hour, so they can keep the music and speeches flowing during dinner.
For any vendor who doesn’t include gratuity in their fee, be sure to tip them. If you were especially impressed a particular vendor, leave them a thoughtful review on their social media pages. This way, you will have built and maintained a positive relationship with your vendors, rooted in respect and admiration for the way their talents and services made your wedding an unforgettable experience.
Experience the heart of Amelia Island
Stay downtown where after a day at the beach you can enjoy beautifully appointed rooms.
Walk to restaurants, pubs, galleries, shops, attractions, and spa services.
Free parking and breakfast buffet. Complimentary use of the business center, fitness center, and 2nd floor pool.
DON’T SWEAT THE DETAILS
details that are worth your time—and ones that aren’t
“Bride brain” can happen to even the most organized, unsuspecting wedding planners. No bride wants to spend nights tossing and turning, but odds are you will lie awake and worry in your own way. Perhaps you’ll fret over how to do your hair, which readings to choose, or if you should spring for the chiavari chairs. You only have one day to get it right, right? We’re here to help you think through which details are worth sweating, and which are not.
DETAIL DO: TIMELINE
When considering details, the most important ones to nail are the logistics. This includes timeline, seating arrangements,
spatial layouts, and communication with guests. Do send save-the-dates and formal invitations. Make a wedding website, too. Ensure that all key details are accounted for, including dates, locations, and times. On paper invites, include your wedding URL so you can direct guests to find even more detailed information online.
Plan your wedding day timeline, right down to five- or ten-minute increments. Staying on track time-wise is imperative to making the day run smoothly and ensuring there is enough time for all that you hope to accomplish. Not sure where to start with a timeline? Your
Weddings & Special Events
Kelly Farm Events is a beautiful event space in St. Augustine. Green pastures, stunning sunsets, horses and live oak trees give the perfect backdrop for timeless wedding photos. Schedule a tour and experience the rustic charm that is Kelly Farm Events.
SWEAT THE DETAILS
wedding vendors can be a wonderful resource. From the venue to the caterer to the photographer, it’s to everyone’s benefit that you all agree on the amount of time needed for things. This way, vendors can give you their very best service, and that service trickles down to the guest experience.
Once your timeline is finalized, share it with all relevant parties, including close family, bridal party, and vendors. It can also be helpful to make a list with each vendor’s name and contact information. Share this with your on-site coordinator or chosen point person.
DETAIL DO: SEATING
Do you want to thoughtfully place guests next to certain other guests? Would you rather assign people to specific tables, but let them figure it out from there? That may depend on the dynamics of those on your invite list. Regardless, you need to give at least some minimal direction to help everything run smoothly.
For ceremony seating, don’t take ushers for granted. Even at a small wedding, an usher can be critical to ensure that key family members get a front-row seat. If you don’t have a person assigned to this task, it may be overlooked—so get an usher or two.
DETAIL DO: DECOR YOU SIMPLY ADORE
Every bride has her thing. Maybe you’re determined to DIY your centerpieces, make handmade favors, or are willing to put dollars behind floral, tablescapes, or high-end paper products.
DON’T SWEAT THE DETAILS
If it’s important to you, it will be worth your time and money in the end— but not all decorative details are created equally. For instance, if you’re a lover of flowers, you may want to splurge on a hanging installation. If you want to infuse more color into the day, you might upgrade your glassware and place settings to more eclectic, colorful pieces. You may want to incorporate more handlettered elements throughout. Bottom line, if your gut tells you a detail is worth it for you, it probably is. Choose your must-have mood-setting details, and cool it with the rest.
DETAIL DON’T: OTHERS’ ATTIRE
Hair up or down. Fresh-faced or bringing the drama. Killer heels or comfy flats. Brides have enough to worry about with their own look, so don’t worry about what other people are wearing. If your groom doesn’t buy himself a new pair of coordinating socks, nobody— yourself included—will notice. While such aesthetic details can feel strangely important (these pictures will last a lifetime!), when the time comes, it won’t matter if your father-in-law’s tie is loud or your aunt is wearing hot pink. It’s all part of what makes your wedding every bit as unique as the people involved.
DON’T SWEAT THE DETAILS
DETAIL DON’T: THINGS THAT DON’T COME EASILY
A wedding can sometimes leave you overplanning for every possible scenario. Will it rain? Will it be too hot or cold? As you’re planning, only take time for those scenarios whose fixes come easily. If the weather is chance and you have the budget to buy last-minute umbrellas or shawls for the wedding party, go for it. If not, just send folks a friendly reminder to fend for themselves, rain or shine.
If you’re DIY-ing parts of your decor, know when to admit that it’s not worth the headache. Planning centerpieces? If you can borrow dozens of glass vases from a friend, that sounds very worthwhile. But if you’re running all over town in search of the perfect vintage candlesticks, that may not be worth your time. Consider the payoff, and lean on your professional vendors—your florist or caterer, perhaps—to help weed through what details are worth the upfront effort.
DETAIL DON’T: BUDGET BUSTERS
It can be tempting to upgrade to gorgeous chiavari chairs, reclaimed wood tables, and luxurious seating areas. If your budget allows for such eye candy, that’s wonderful—but oftentimes venues come complete with on-site tables, chairs, and even linens. Before dismissing those white folding chairs, ask to see photos of other weddings at your reception site with the chairs in action. It might be that, once you see the big picture, you won’t feel the urge to upgrade after all. In the end, by choosing wisely which details to focus your efforts and budget on, those are the things that will shine.
Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After!
to Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After!
Here’s to Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After!
Here’s to Love, Laughter and Happily
Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After!
Your specialday deservesthe best of everything &while our exquisite outdoor settings & ballrooms can be transformed into the wedding of your dreams,our award-winning Culinary Team will customize a menu to impress and our wedding professionals will help guide you through this journey of a lifetime!
Your special day deserves the best of everything & while our exquisite outdoor settings & ballrooms can be transformed into the wedding of your dreams, our award- winning Culinary Team will customize a menu to impress and our wedding professionals will help guide you through this journey of a lifetime!
Your specialday deservesthe best of everything &while our exquisite outdoor settings & ballrooms can be transformed into the wedding of your dreams,our award-winning Culinary Team will customize a menu to impress and our wedding professionals will help guide you through this journey of a lifetime!
servesthe best of everything &while our exquisite outdoor settings transformed into the wedding of your dreams,our award-winning customize a menu to impress and our wedding professionals will help guide you through this journey of a lifetime!
Call today to schedule an appointment with our Event SalesManager, Emiliana Mesat 904.940.8635
Your specialday deservesthe best of everything &while our & ballrooms can be transformed into the wedding of your Culinary Team will customize a menu to impress and our wedding guide you through this journey of a lifetime!
specialday deservesthe best of everything &while our exquisite outdoor settings oms can be transformed into the wedding of your dreams,our award-winning Team will customize a menu to impress and our wedding professionals will help guide you through this journey of a lifetime!
Call today to schedule an appointment with our Event Sales Manager at 904-940-8659
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – St. Augustine, FL –https://floridaresortwedding.com
Call today to schedule an appointment with our
today to schedule an appointment with our SalesManager, Emiliana Mesat 904.940.8635
Event SalesManager, Emiliana Mesat 904.940.8635
Call today to schedule an appointment Event SalesManager, Emiliana Mesat 904.940.8635
Call today to schedule an appointment with our Event SalesManager, Emiliana Mesat 904.940.8635
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – St. Augustine, FL https://floridaresortwedding.com
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort Augustine, FL –
Your specialday deservesthe best of everything &while our exquisite outdoor ballrooms can be transformed into the wedding of your dreams,our award Culinary Team will customize a menu to impress and our wedding professionals guide you through this journey of a lifetime! Call today to schedule an appointment with our Event SalesManager, Emiliana Mesat 904.940.8635
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – St. Augustine, https://floridaresortwedding.com
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – St. Augustine, FL –https://floridaresortwedding.com
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – St. Augustine, FL –https://floridaresortwedding.com
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort • St. Augustine, FL • Floridaresortwedding.com
MAKE YOUR DAY UNIQUE
make your wedding your own
By adding a couple of personal touches to your wedding, you’ll offer guests an inside look into your love story and the chance to be part of a meaningful, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Start with the invitations. A picture of you two or a personalized map of the city that includes your favorite hot spots are great ways to set an intimate tone for the big day.
For the ceremony, consider writing your own vows. Don’t be shy if you lack creativity – a pastor or wedding guide can help. Think of your favorite romantic song lyrics or poetry to express your commitment. As your guests file into the reception, seat them at tables with names, not numbers. It will provide them with a conversation piece and a little
insight into an interest you share or how you met. After the toasts, surprise the guests by raising your glasses to them. Thank them for being there and share your appreciation for all their support. Everyone will love being addressed as an integral part of your day.
Don’t forget about the dancing! For your first dance as a married couple, take tango or ballroom classes and relish the opportunity to show off your new moves with a choreographed number. If you’re really brave, invite your whole bridal party in on the action!
Personalizing your wedding simply means bringing a little bit of “YOU” into the day. Express yourself!
ALTERNATIVES TO CHURCH
Contrary to popular belief, not every couple gets married in a church. Nowadays, many couples are choosing to say their vows in the location where they hold the reception. If you prefer to wed in a simple, yet religious atmosphere, a nondenominational chapel could be the answer. The intimate setting of a chapel also allows for the freedom to add personal touches including unique music or personalized wedding vows.
Special services provided by the owners of such chapels can vary from tuxedo rental and decorations to photography and catering. Additionally, preserving a date at a chapel rather than a church may be easier, especially if you want to marry within a short time of the engagement.
The scene of a sentimental moment shared between the two of you can be turned into the place where you say, “I do.” Weddings are performed in parks, on cruise ships, under a temporary trellis in a backyard, or in the privacy of one’s home. Other options to explore are canopies, tents or gazebos set up outdoors or you can even exchange your marriage vows in the beauty of nature, think about a beach, a field or a forest.
Weather, shelter and the number of guests must obviously be taken into consideration, but many businesses cater to these unique circumstances and can assist you in planning your wild and wonderful outdoor event.
Plan Your Fantasy Wedding
THE OCEANFRONT GUY HARVEY RESORT ON ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH
From an intimate, barefoot beach ceremony to an elegant formal reception, we have it all. Complete wedding packages available.
The Nautilus Ballroom, graciously appointed, may accommodate up to 160 guests with catering services. The Patio Terrace adjoining the Ballroom is the perfect setting for your cocktail hour with sumptuous hors d’oeuvres. Additional reception rooms are available for your rehearsal dinner or farewell champagne breakfast.
Enjoy the miles of white sand beaches and relax by our aquamarine outdoor pool with live music and cold drinks from our seasonal poolside tiki bar. Dine with us at Santiago’s Florida Kitchen, our on-site bar and restaurant featuring Florida-style dining and fresh seafood, currently open for breakfast and dinner.
CATERING & BAR SERVICE
Last year’s trends haven’t gone away; they’re just pitched toward health & social responsibility. Luckily, catering services have raised the bar on every aspect of wedding cuisine creating personal, memorable, and delicious meals.
FEASTS WITH FLAIR
saying “I do” to cuisine and a caterer
As couples get more adventurous, caterers are offering more bold flavors, meaningful meals, and interactive experiences. Make sure to have as much information on hand as possible. They’ll want to know your wedding date, time, approximate number of guests, and whether you’d like a sitdown, family style, food station or buffetstyle meal. If you already have some ideas for your menu or any specific limitations (think vegetarian or gluten free), let the caterer know. Ask to see sample wedding menus and references.
DECIDE ON YOUR STYLE
Think about the vibe of your wedding — is it a classic ballroom affair or a rustic outdoor bash? How formal? Do you want the food to be posh or playful? Such details will help a caterer determine what they can offer that falls in line with your vision. Don’t be afraid to disclose your food budget as it will make the process easier. Make sure to go to all tastings and speak up! Don’t be afraid to ask if they can tweak something to your tastes.
FINALIZE THE MENU
Gather inspiration from magazines and websites, think about weddings you’ve attended, and ask friends for favorites and failures.
Consult your caterer and trust them. They’ve seen lots of weddings and know what works best for the number of people, time of day, and location, so take their professional advice to heart.
CALCULATE THE COST
Facilities with in-house catering departments may have a minimum charge or set-up fee, while an independent caterer will usually work within any reasonable budget. Include any wedding-related personnel. Find out if your caterer will provide table linens, plates, glasses, crystal, silverware, and serving pieces.
Your caterer will give you their expert opinion, but a safe bet is one server for every 10 to 12 guests for a sit-down dinner, and two servers for every 50 guests for a buffet-style dinner. If you’re having a full open bar, that will require more help — one bartender for every 60 guests. Sign a contract and make a deposit only after you have all the details spelled out: date, time, food items by course, beverages, number of guests, provisions for special meals, cocktail hour, time meal is served, number of wait staff and bartenders, linens, terms of payment, and liability insurance.
Banquet & Reception Guide
841 Riverfront Wedding and Events
841 Prudential Dr., Jacksonville 904.591.9591
SuggestednumberofmonthstoscheduleNumberofbanquet roomsavailable AveragepriceperpersonSite/RoomFee
N/A 20-1000 1 1-12 $15 to $75 Varies Yes
Bayfront Marion 142 Avenida Menendez St. Augustine 904.824.4301 17 60 1 14 N/A $5900 complete package No
Beaches Museum & Chapel 381 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville Beach 904. 241.5657
100 Beachwalk Drive Saint Johns 32259 904.203.1059
N/A 130 2 N/A Varies Varies Yes
N/A Up to 300 indoor and 500 outdoor 2+ 2-6 Varies $150 - $10,000 Yes
Deercreek Country Club 7816 McLaurin Rd N. Jacksonville, FL 32256 904.363.1604 0 170 1 8-12 $55 $850 Yes
Eagle Harbor Golf Club 2217 Eagle Harbor Pkwy., Orange Park 904.269.9300
N/A Up to 150 2 6 Varies $250 - $2000 Yes
Fountain of Youth 11 Magnolia Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 904.829.3168 1 130 1 2 N/A Varies Yes
Guy Harvey Resort 860 A1A Beach Blvd./St. Augustine Beach, FL 904.471.2555 153 160 2 2-3 $28-$150 $2,000-$4,000 Yes
Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island-Historic Harbor Front, 74 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 800.304.4208 122 Up to 125 1 Varies Varies Varies Yes
Hampton Inn Jax Beach Ocean Front 1515 1st Street North, Jacksonville Beach, FL 904.685.3009 177 200 2 1 $30 Yes Yes
Holiday Inn St. Augustine World Golf 475 Commerce Lake Dr. St. Augustine FL 32225 904.940.9500 162 100 2 3 45-60 Varies Yes
Riverfront & Indoor All Yes Yes No Yes
Yes All No No Yes Yes
Riverfront view with southern hospitality… Enjoy our indoor & outdoor GRAND staircases, marble floors & columns, covered parking and fabulous Jacksonville skyline.
Water view, Historic District, great photo opportunities, Pro wedding planner on staff
Yes All No No Yes Yes
Yes Multiple Options N/A No Yes
Buffet and Plated Dinner Service No No No Yes
A unique historic Chapel surrounded by a beautiful park are an unforgettable ceremony location. Receptions space is a Museum complete with exhibits on Beaches history.
Lagoon Bar, Beach, 18 acre Crystal Lagoon, Waterslides & Beach. Multiple options for event space.
Ballroom has floor to ceiling windows and overlooks the golf course
Yes All No Yes No Yes
Yes All No Yes Yes Yes
Golf Club setting with golf course view. Large patio with fountain.
Celebrate your nuptials on the beautiful grounds of our Nation’s most historic location.
Beach Casual to Upscale Formal No No No Yes
No Buffet No Yes Yes No
On the beautiful St. Augustine Beach, our Resort is the perfect destination for your wedding. All new banquet and reception spaces. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service are available.
Located in the heart of historic downtown Amelia Island.
Yes Buffet No No No Yes
Yes Buffet and Plated No No No Yes
Beautiful, private oceanfront property that specializes in ceremonies and receptions. Professional on-site event planner & courteous staff here to help you every step of the way!
Featuring Lake Side Reception areas accommodating 40-100 Guests
Banquet & Reception Guide
Kelly Farm 5895 CR 214 St. Augustine 904.392.5318
SuggestednumberofmonthstoscheduleNumberofbanquet roomsavailable AveragepriceperpersonSite/RoomFee
N/A 280* 1 + outside space 1 N/A Call for details Yes
Marsh Landing 25655 Marsh Landing Pkwy, Ponte Vedra Beach 904.285.6514 0 150 1 6 $65++ Yes Yes
Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center 1000 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204 904.630.4000 N/A from 150-3,300 8 6 $30+ Varies Yes
Queen’s Harbour Yacht & Country Club 1131 Queen’s Harbor Blvd., Jacksonville 904.220.2118 N/A 180-250 2 3 $55-60 $1000 -$1500 Yes
Renaissance at World Golf Village 500 South Legacy Trail St. Augustine 904.940.8635 300 2000 Multiple 12 Varies Varies Yes
Renaissance Resort Historic St. Augustine 6 W. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine FL 904.824.4457 88 220 5 4 N/A $600-$2600 Yes
Ribault Club 11241 Fort George Rd Jacksonville FL 904.251.1050 0 25-400 2 4 N/A $5,800+ Yes
Serenata Beach Club 3175 South Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach 904.823.3368 N/A 125 1 6-9 $75$100 $300 Yes
Southbank Hotel 1515 Prudential Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32207 904.396.5100 323 800 21 3+ $45+ Varies N/A
St. Johns Golf & Country Club
205 St. Johns Golf Dr. St. Augustine FL 32092 904.940.3200/904.940.3206
The Amelia River Club
4477 Buccaneer Trail, Amelia Island, FL 32034 404.822.2287
N/A 300+ 6 3-12 $20-$100 $250-$2000 Yes
N/A 250 seated 2 3
$12 - $15 for venue @ 250 ppl Varies Yes
OutsidecatererspermittedOutsidereception areaavailable Specialfeatures
Picturesque setting on a working horse farm. Pond for water views. * New venue, open calendar, call for capacity details
the facility was originally a train station built in 1919, 10,000 sqft Grand Lobby with marble walls and ceiling and 75’ ceiling
Beautiful indoor & outdoor area surrounded by golf course and plush scenery.
Will help you plan the perfect storybook wedding in our beautiful ballroom, or in one of our romantic outdoor settings. Our award-winning culinary team will create a menu sure to surprise and delight your every sense.
No No New Hotel, located in the historic district, walkable to attractions
Water views and majestic oak trees, indoor and outdoor spaces
Over 35,000 sq. ft of space, including the Topsider and rooftop overlooking the St. Johns River! Making us one of the most luxury options for venue space and guestroom accommodations.
Brand new venue that features a outdoor water front ceremony location overlooking the 9 & 18th green. All-inclusive venue to include ceremony, reception, full food & beverage as well as an onsite coordinator.
Located in the secluded Amelia River Golf Club overlooking Amelia River. We have the most gorgeous sunsets and views of the river. No neighboring homes so there are no noise restrictions. Our tent is top of the line and a blank canvas, perfect to create your dream wedding!
The Hilltop Club
2030 Wells Rd., Orange Park 904.272.5959
The Keeler Property
17255 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville 904.535.0789 / thekeelerproperty.com
The Palencia Club
650 Palencia Dr., St. Augustine 904.599.9040
The Reef Restaurant
4100 Coastal Highway St.Augustine, Fl 32084 904.824.8008
N/A Up to 500 6 2-12 $19.95 to $28.95 $200 and up Yes
N/A Up to 300 1 12 N/A 3200 to $4500 Pending
N/A Up to 160 2+ 2-12 Upon request $200 and up Yes
N/A 20 - 80 3 3 $30-$50 $200 and up Yes
The Hilltop is a beautiful victorian mansion nestled among towering trees and gorgeous gardens with s parkling fountains.
Rustic! Elegant! Scenic, unique location with covered bridge and barn.
Romantic setting, fabulous fountains, gazebo & outstanding panoramic views from gardens & village greens. Comfortable elegance with stunning décor
Sitting directly oceanfront, our fully private upstairs banquet facility comes equipped with a private bar that can be indoor or outdoor, a dance floor, and 2 private balconies. We are a full service venue so all food, beverages, tables, linens, glassware, etc is provided by us.
The best gift a bride and groom can give each other is a professional wedding coordinator. Today, planning a wedding is more complicated than ever. Most couples have high expectations for their special day, but are novices at planning such a big event.
In today's busy world, hiring a wedding planner is not a luxury it's a necessity! Whether you need help pulling together the final details, or you need someone by your side from start to finish, our team can help make your wedding day fun and enjoyable! Visit our website to learn more about our services and to schedule a complimentary get-acquainted phone call or video chat
LGBTQIA+ ONE OF A KIND BUSINESS
Specializing in secular and religious ceremonies for all couples. We also offer referrals for wedding vendors and businesses who will not discriminate against couples! 904-362-3145 • SafeSpacesWeddings.com
Photo Credit: Oliva Morgan
tips to keep you going
There are lots of titles used to describe one of a bride’s most-indispensable vendors. Whether a wedding coordinator, planner, consultant, or designer, these professionals are here to make your day a seamless success. After all, many brides say that planning a wedding celebration feels like a full-time job. And the day itself? It’s a lot of work. Our advice is to hire someone whose job is to exclusively manage some, even all, of the planning.
PLANNER VS. COORDINATOR
Wedding planners are with you from the onset. They can handle all logistics like referring vendors, negotiating contracts, keeping track of your budget, and even making payments. They can also be a big part of bringing your day-of vision to life, creating a detailed timeline to keep everything on track. A wedding coordinator, on the other hand, will typically step in much closer to the wedding, perhaps a month or so before the big day. This person will take care of any day-of or last-minute needs, keeping your wedding day and everyone involved on schedule and stepping in if there’s an emergency. If for any reason you don’t work with a wedding coordinator, put someone else in charge of fielding dayof issues. Trust us—as the bride, your only responsibility should be to delight in the day.
DO YOU NEED A WEDDING PLANNER?
You may want to hire a wedding planner or coordinator if you don’t have time to devote to planning yourself. Planning can take about 5 hours per week, some estimate. If you’re unsure about what’s all involved in a wedding, a wedding
planner will ensure nothing gets missed. If you have a short engagement or are planning a destination wedding, a planner is invaluable.
HIRING THE RIGHT PERSON
Wedding planners and coordinators should be detail-oriented, organized, and reliable. They should stay on top of their field and be in touch with trends and new offerings within the wedding industry. Many belong to consultant groups or associations, and networking with local wedding vendors is crucial. This allows your planner to make recommendations if you need them, and also shows you can trust them to work well with your chosen vendors. Here’s a handy checklist when looking for a wedding planner or coordinator:
1. Ask around to other brides, your vendors, or a trusted wedding publication like Premier Bride about recommendations for wedding planners and day-of coordinators in your area.
2. Read any reviews and look at photos of other weddings they have planned.
3. Meet in person and make sure your personalities click.
4. Confirm all the items your planner will handle. Ask about what happens in case of emergency.
The exact cost of wedding planning and coordination services varies greatly. Some charge an hourly rate, while others bill a flat rate or a percentage of the overall wedding budget. Know that the cost of hiring a wedding planner will be anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 or more. The cost follows the hours put in; it’s said wedding planners typically spend anywhere from 80 to 250 hours planning a single wedding.
CREATING YOUR ersona
Whether it’s a glamorous reception hall or a tent in your own backyard, it’s extremely common to rent both necessities and decorations for your wedding. Here are some of the basics to help you navigate the world of wedding rentals and event design.
olor and linen trend
Event trends tend to follow interior design trends. For 2023 the colors are trending towards muted taupe with sea mist and sahara blush accents.
bold and beautiful
Gone are the days of being afraid of color for your big day. Bold accents are a stunning way to inscorporate some of your personality; such as fuchsia, emerald and purple.
Blue is the color! Create a beautiful table scape with dusty blue as the featured color, accented with sage tones and textured white linens.
While boho is sticking around for the coming year, it is trending towards a more elevated vibe. Adding gold accents throughout your décor gives it that next level feel.
A l l A b o u t E v e n t s i s t h e p r e m i e r e v e n t r e n t a l c o m p a n y o f N o r t h E a s t F l o r i d a a n d o u r p r o f e s s i o n a l s h a v e d e c a d e s o f e v e n t r e n t a l e x p e r i e n c e . W e u n d e r s t a n d t h a t y o u r e v e n t i s t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t e v e n t a n d w e m a k e s u r e t h a t i t i s t r e a t e d t h a t w a y !
A l l A b o u t E v e n t s i s t h e p r e m i e r e v e n t r e n t a l c o m p a n y o f N o r t h E a s t F l o r i d a a n d o u r p r o f e s s i o n a l s h a v e d e c a d e s o f e v e n t r e n t a l e x p e r i e n c e . W e u n d e r s t a n d t h a t y o u r e v e n t i s t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t e v e n t a n d w e m a k e s u r e t h a t i t i s t r e a t e d t h a t w a y ! O u r s h o w r o o m i s o p e n M o n d a y – F r i d a y . S t o p b y t o s e e o u r a m a z i n g i n v e n t o r y !
O u r s h o w r o o m i s o p e n M o n d a y – F r i d a y . S t o p b y t o s e e o u r a m a z i n g i n v e n t o r y ! 4 5 5 6 S t . A u g u s t i n e R d . J a c k s o n v i l l e , F L 3 2 2 0 7 /allabouteventsjax 904.379.6822
4 5 5 6 S t . A u g u s t i n e R d . J a c k s o n v i l l e , F L 3 2 2 0 7
Planning the ideal wedding and coordinating all the services involved is no easy matter. It can take numerous phone calls and dozens of visits before deciding on the wedding professionals that best fit your needs. That’s just the beginning to, since once your selections are made you then must enter contract negotiations with each vendor for their products and services.
DECEMBER 18, 2022
There is an alternative to this tedious shopping tradition. It’s the one stop wedding shop. More and more couples are turning to multi-service companies that provide photography, videography, bridal apparel, invitations, favors, hair, make-up, music, tuxedos, cakes, rentals, planning, wedding decorations and a host of other services under one roof.
The benefit of working with this type of service is that you will be dealing with one company and one person. Once you sit down and explain your wishes, a tailored-made package will be put together detailing each service exactly the way you want it. Just think how easy it will be to work with and explain to one person explain your decorating ideas to a staff that works together as a team.
More than likely, the staff will be at your disposal and eager to give suggestions to enhance your ceremony and reception while offering timesaving advice. Planning your special day need not be a frustrating experience. Full service salons understand the anxiety couples undergo to coordinate schedules and the decision making process involved in making a wedding celebration a success.
Creating unique weddings is a timely trend. The individuality of our age is an opportunity for eloquence at this most meaningful of ceremonies.
CHOOSING WHERE TO WED
your ceremony location
For centuries churches and synagogues have been the traditional choice for the sacred act of exchanging vows. Lending an air of reverence and dignity to even the most casual of ceremonies, these holy places have created the perfect setting for the formal commitment of marriage. There are many unique options for couples who, for whatever reason, would prefer an alternate location. These locations usually have fewer rules and guidelines than other formal houses of worship, yet still provide a spiritual setting.
Have the ceremony at the reception venue. Couples often choose this option as a convenience for their guests, minimizing the distance one must travel from ceremony to reception. Facilities that provide this option normally have separate areas for each event, or a plan for quickly converting the room.
Sometimes places with the most personal significance make the best ceremony locations. For example, a park you walked through on your first date, the backyard where one of you grew up or a relative’s home where you enjoy spending time are all good choices.
If you love the outdoors, consider holding your ceremony at a city park, the beach, a zoo, or even at the foot of a national landmark.f you’re a little on the daring and outrageous side, you might consider exchanging vows while sky diving from a plane, scuba diving, or in a hot air balloon. Whatever your preference, there is no right or wrong way to say “I do.”
Duval County Courthouse
501 W Adams St Jacksonville, FL 32202 904.630.1436 • 8:00 to 5:00 M/F duvalclerk.com
Clerk of Court 1543 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach 904.270.1508 • 8:00 - 4:30
ST. JOHNS COUNTY
Clerk of Court St. Johns County Courthouse 4010 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine 904.819.3600 • 8:00 to 5:00 M/F clk.co.st-johns.fl.us
Clerk of Court
Clay County Courthouse 825 N. Orange Ave., Green Cove Springs 904.269.6300 • 8:30 – 4:30 M / F .clayclerk.com
Clerk of Court 1478 Park Ave., Orange Park 904.278.4769 • 8:30 - 4:00 M / F 1836 Blanding Blvd., Middleburg 904.282.6490 • 8:30 - 4:00 Tuesday only
Clerk of Court
Nassau County Courthouse 416 Centre St., Fernandina Beach, FL 904.491.6430 • 8:00 – 4:00 M / F nassauclerk.com
Clerk of Court
76347 Veterans Way, Yulee 904.548.4600 • 8:30 – 4:00 M / F Hours and days of operation are subject to change at all Clerk of Court locations.
FLORIDA MARRIAGE LAWS
Legal age is 18.
There are no citizenship or residency requirements. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a valid passport, must be presented.
No blood test is required. Both must apply in person.
Both must bring a Social Security Card or another form of identification to include the Social Security number and one of the following: Drivers License (valid photo I.D.), State I.D. Card, Military I.D. or passport.
If divorced or widowed, you will need to provide how your last marriage ended and the exact date (month, day, year). When in doubt, bring papers!
Florida Law requires that the Family Law Handbook (provided by the Clerk’s Office) be read prior to issuance of the marriage license.
Waiting period is a full 3 days if both parties are Florida residents.
This means: apply for license on Monday…it is valid on Friday.
There is no waiting period for out-of-state residents. The 3-day waiting period is waived if a stateapproved, 4-hour Premarital Preparation Course has been taken by both within the past 12 months. Certificates of completion must be presented at the time of the application.
You must go to the Clerk’s Office or website for a list of approved course providers as they are numerous and vary from county to county and over time.
Fee is payable in CASH ONLY $93.50 without Premarital Course $61.00 if you have taken the course
Florida marriage licenses are good for up to 60 days anywhere in the state of Florida.
Completed Marriage Certificate must be returned to issuing office for recording within 10 days of the ceremony.
Allow at least 30 minutes to complete paperwork.
CAKES AND SWEETS
TO A SPECIAL DAY
There are few things we appreciate more than a gorgeous, visually stunning wedding cake or sweet table display. So why limit yourself to just one. Go ahead and indulge!
When deciding on your wedding cake or dessert, start by considering the rest of your wedding. The look and feel of your sweet treat should match your day, whether that’s classic elegance, rustic romance, whimsical fun, or megawatt glam. For a black-tie wedding, a traditional cake is probably the way to go. If your wedding is outdoors or in a rustic barn, a traditional cake, bunt cake or lattice-topped pies are a charming choice. A candy buffet, ice cream sundaes or everyone’s favorite boost, a coffee bar, are fitting additions to any celebration.
As you style your dessert, think about what speaks to you as a couple. Are you both big movie buffs? Work your love of cinema into the cake with fondant rolls of film and famous characters perched
on each tier. Did the groom propose in Paris? Find a baker who can craft a veritable Eiffel Tower of cupcakes, brimming with French romance. If you have a uniquely sweet idea, seek out a professional who can bring your vision to life.
Tiered cakes are a timeless choice for a reason — they’re impressive, eyecatching, and make for a very pretty picture. There’s no end to the myriad of styles you can apply to this classic design. Tiers might be adorned with textural elements or ruffles for a cake with lots of delightful dimension. Metallic luster or edible sequins and gold leafing bring the glam. For more colorful weddings, consider a painted, illustrative, or ombre cake that draws out the color story
of your wedding. Watercolor, geode, sculptural, or tile-inspired designs are modern showstoppers, while painted or fondant monogramming and lace details are a classic, elegant way to go.
While a lone tiered cake can be a stunner, there are lots of ways to feature your dessert table as décor. Instead of just one large wedding cake, consider three to five smaller tiered cakes displayed at staggered heights. Cupcakes are another way to expand your wedding cake’s presence: Try showcasing the central cake surrounded by towers of matching cupcakes. You can even place a small cake at the center of each dinner table so the dessert can double as a centerpiece.
A LITTLE VARIETY
Wedding dessert doesn’t have to stop at cake. In fact, many couples are embracing variety these days, to the delight of their guests. It’s not uncommon to see a traditional cake paired with other sweets like cookies, truffles, or whole tables chock full of candy. Candy also makes a great favor, as you can give each guest a cute bag for filling with candies of their choice.
You can even think further outside the box to make your dessert experience an exceptionally memorable one. Having an outdoor wedding? Invite guests to roast marshmallows and stack their own s’mores, or build their own sundaes, complete with a well-stocked toppings bar. You could even serve your all-time favorite sweets. Do you share a donut or chocolate chip cookie obsession? A display brimming with deep-fried confections or loads of cookies can be fun and whimsical.
SWEETS TO SIP
Who says dessert must be merely edible — why not drinkable, too? For winter weddings, hot chocolate bars are a cozy way for guests to warm up. Have helpyourself hot cocoa dispensers with an array of toppings: marshmallows, fresh whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and peppermint stirring sticks. Consider hiring a barista for a portion of the evening to whip up lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso drinks to compliment pastries, biscotti, and specialty chocolates.
FINDING A BAKERY
Whatever you decide on, take advantage of all food tastings. That shouldn’t be hard to do when desserts on the tasting menu! Go with your gut and choose the dessert you deem the tastiest, but also factor in the bakery’s efficiency and professionalism. The baker should return your calls and emails in a timely manner, be flexible with your needs, have some familiarity with your reception venue, and guarantee on-time delivery, set-up, serving, and clean-up (if needed).
Wedding cakes are typically priced by the slice, depending on the style, ingredients, size, and embellishments. Your reception site might also charge a plating fee, often per person, to cut and serve the cake.
THE FIRST BITE
If you’re planning on a traditional cake cutting, make sure you have a knife and lifter set to go; these might be engraved with your initials or decorated with ribbons in your wedding colors. Traditionally, the bride grasps the knife with her right hand and the groom covers her hand with his as they cut the cake together — and the crowd goes wild!
FOR THE DAY
Your photographer acts as the paparazzi all day, snapping pictures here and there and of course capturing the ever-so-important “kiss!” Here is a guide to getting the most out of your photographer, as well as some fun shots along the way.
DAY OF A LIFETIME
trust the professionals
From falling in love with a dreamy online portfolio to the nitty gritty of contracts, let’s look at the process of finding a photographer that’s your perfect match.
DEFINE YOUR STYLE
The right wedding photographer for you will not only document the day, but also capture the spirit of you as a couple. Determining a photography style that speaks to you is the first order of business. Below are a few styles you might consider.
Documentary: Candid, spontaneous, not styled or posed. Capturing moments as they happen; shots of decorative details, action, and people.
Portrait: Classic and posed. Poses can be staged with traditional backdrops or more creative Portrait doesn’t mean dull or dated, it just means the scenery and composition are arranged just-so.
Fine Art or Edgy & Bold: Dramatic and dreamlike, with interesting angles and framing. Photos will represent the photographer’s vision, such as using more muted tones for a film-like effect.
Many photographers can do a blend of these styles. In the end, worry less about what a photographer calls their style and more about whether or not their work makes you happy.
Once you’ve established your target style, it’s time to shop around. Collect referrals from friends, review local wedding magazines and websites, and check out bridal shows near you.
DAY OF A LIFETIME
Browsing local photographers’ websites, blogs, Facebook pages, and Instagram feeds is the quickest way to get a feel for the talent in your area.
But beware of amateur photographers with limited real-world experience. Just because someone takes pretty iPhone photos, launches a website, and has a business card, that doesn’t make them a professional photographer. Choose someone with a strong portfolio of quality work, testimonials from happy clients, the right gear, well-thought-out contingency plans, and a professional attitude.
MEET IN PERSON
Don’t underestimate your meetings with photographers! Even if your artistic visions align, it’s just as important that your personalities click. Remember, this person is shadowing you on your wedding
day. They should be professional, respectful, and know when to hang back, while also being bold enough to go after great shots and draw natural expressions from your guests.
QUESTION & EVALUATE
First and foremost: Only meet with photographers within your budget. It’s disappointing to fall in love with a photographer’s work only to later discover their rates exceed your spending allowance.
At these meetings, ask to see a complete album of a wedding shot in a similar venue or with a style similar to yours. If you’re only gauging a photographer’s work off their online portfolio, you might be seeing a highlight reel; it’s best to get the whole picture.
DAY OF A LIFETIME
GET IT IN WRITING
Photography packages vary from one professional to the next, so it’s critical to find out what’s included, as well as the cost of any add-ons. A photography package may or may not include the following: second shooters, additional hours, highres jpgs, photo albums, or engagement sessions. Some photographers offer such services a-la-carte, so you can choose only what’s of value to you.
Speaking of files, ask any potential photographers how they back up your photos; if their answer doesn’t come swiftly and confidently, that can indicate a lack of professionalism. Also ask about their typical timeline for delivering proofs and final photos. Bear in mind that faster isn’t always better. Some professionals shoot weddings nonstop during the high season, then spend the next six months of the low season processing photos flawlessly.
When you finally make your decision, get everything in writing. When is payment due? Will there be a backup camera? What’s the contingency plan should your photographer fall ill or have a family emergency? When will proofs be ready to view? Answering all of these questions up front will ease your mind and manage your expectations.
CAPTURE MOMENTS THAT MATTER
If there are friends and family that you want to be sure to snap a photo with or a particular time in the ceremony or reception that you want captured, it helps to put that in writing as well to help keep you and your photographer on track. Download our Ultimate Planner online at premierbride.com/planning where you’ll find a list of questions to ask your photographer and a checklist of can’t-miss moments.
get ready to work the camera
Engagement photos are a natural step in the wedding-planning process these days. In fact, many photographers include engagement sessions in their standard wedding package. But this is more than just a nice perk. Beyond resulting in gorgeous images, an engagement photo shoot is a chance to get to know your photographer, and for them to get to know you!
WHY ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS?
Now’s your chance to warm up in front of the camera. It’s also an opportunity to see your photographer in action. You can work with them to establish which poses are winners and which angles you do or don’t like. Your photographer will learn just how much or how little direction you and your fiancé need so they can be prepared with how to best capture you on your big day. The beauty of engagement photos is they are more casual and laid-back than your wedding day will be here.
Use your engagement photos to populate your wedding website with imagery, or even pick the best photo to put on your save-the-date. If you live in a climate with four seasons, perhaps plan your engagement session during a time of year that’s different from your wedding. A winter shoot might give you the perfect cover for next year’s Christmas card!
DRESS TO IMPRESS
An engagement shoot should feel like everyday life, elevated for the camera. Be conscious of what you’re wearing and make sure you and your fiancé coordinate. Think of it this way: You want to look like you’re both going to the same party. One shouldn’t dress for a ball game while the other dresses for New Year’s Eve. Choose
colors that flatter your skin tone. Not sure? Ask your most fashionable friend for advice! Avoid pieces that are overly trendy: that funky hat might be fun today, but you might regret it in five years. Finally, be sure to dial in the details. Steam your ensembles and be conscious of clean socks, shoes, and nail polish. To take it up a notch, treat yourself to professional hair and makeup! This is a fun excuse to splurge and really look your best.
One of the perks of an engagement shoot is it should, in theory, help you feel more at ease in front of the camera more quickly on your wedding day. Take your time and don’t rush this photo session. Pick a place you and your fiancé feel connected to and comfortable in: a favorite coffee shop, an antique store, outside of a local movie theater, or playing a sport. The more creative you get, the more creative your photographer can get, too!
Some tips for acting naturally: Pull out your inside jokes to make each other laugh. Listen to music you both love to help you get out of your head and into the moment. Bring any props that make you feel at ease, whether it’s your bikes, your favorite drinks, or your sweet dog.
MAKE IT A DATE
The best way to approach your engagement shoot is to make a date of it. End your session with a favorite outing, like dinner or drinks, a movie, or a trip to the museum. It’s something to look forward to throughout the photo shoot and a chance to end the experience on a high note.
HAVING FUN WITH PHOTOS
unique ideas for your wedding
Even though weddings are a testament of very personal love, sometimes the whole day can seem like a cookie-cutter type deal. But there’s almost nothing more personal than a photo so use those to make your day one of a kind.
For a couple of your photos at the wedding or reception, add a little personality by wearing fun sunglasses, a hat from your favorite sports team, or a very trendy item that might look hideous when you look back on the photo 15 years from now.
Surround your engagement photo with a large, smooth, white mat, and display it with nice pens at the reception for people to sign. You’ll have a personal touch around a beautiful photo of the day.
Especially at huge reception halls and banquet rooms, the place can seem large and impersonal. By adding pictures from your parents’ and grandparents’ weddings framed nicely, the room will become a little more intimate. It’s also a nice way to honor deceased relatives or long-standing marriages.
Here’s a fun, crowd-pleasing, partyenhancing idea: rent a photo booth to have at the reception! Your guests will have a great time entering the booth, posing for photos both lovely and silly, and enjoying the black & white or color prints. Put some scissors, gluesticks, pens and scrapbook pages on a table by the booth for guests to leave one of their photos for you along with a little note.
PRESERVE your weddin
Wedding videos have dramatically improved. Professional videographers have the technology, talent, and time necessary to produce videos with excellent quality.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
new on the horizon
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million. With a professional videographer by your side, you can relive the sights and sounds of your wedding day for years to come. These memories in motion are priceless, and it’s worthwhile to have it done right.
PROFESSIONALS & ARTISTS
Professional videographers have dramatically improved the quality of wedding videos in recent years. They have the technology, talent, and time necessary to produce videos with excellent quality, clear audio, crisp visuals, and sharp editing. A good videographer is an artist who will remain inconspicuous throughout the day, yet find a way to capture intimate, uninhibited moments of you and your guests. These days, creativity knows no bounds. The art of videography has experienced a sort of revolution in recent years, with professionals dedicating their time and talents strictly to video. Today’s filmmakers use the latest technology and storytelling techniques to create stunning and highly-personalized wedding films. Choose a videographer with a style that speaks to you, whether it’s classic and even-paced, quick and contemporary, or even a little edgy.
There are all kinds of tools available to videographers that offer Hollywood-style special effects, but drones certainly offer some of the most exciting opportunities to get creative. They can offer a sweeping, cinematic mood and breathtaking aerial views. While drone technology can be thrilling, it’s not without its boundaries. Make sure your videographer is licensed for drone flight. A drone pilot’s license is required by the FAA. If your videographer
has a drone, make sure they’re aware of the rules before you hire them!
SPECIALS & SERVICES
In addition to the final wedding video, some videographers offer same-day services such as rush editing of wedding day highlights or photo and video montages to show at your reception. Projectors for these shows are recommended and may also be available through your videographer. These upgradeable video services are especially fun and could add an extra-special touch to your celebration. If you’re a high-tech couple, put your videographer to work before the wedding. Work together to create a video save-the-date for the folks on your guest list. You can save money by uploading this video to your wedding website, then sending friends and family an online invitation to view it. Video invites are modern, fun, personal, and, if worked in to your videography package, a potential money-saver.
CHOOSING A VIDEOGRAPHER
Scope out their websites and social media accounts to get a taste of their style. If you can only find a short sample, ask the videographer if you can see a fulllength version. This is critical, since short snippets shown on a videographer’s website tend to be more of a highlight reel. Have you ever seen a terrible movie that had an awesome trailer? What really matters is the finished product, so make sure to base your decision on a final video rather than a teaser.
Pay close attention to make sure the film meets your expectations in terms of video detail and quality. Things to consider when viewing a sample video
DO A FIRST LOOK. Yes, watching his face when he first sees you walk down the aisle is special. But so is having that moment just for the two of you. A first look also gives you time for bridal party pictures with you both before the craziness of the day begins. You can enjoy spending time with your guests between the ceremony and reception, instead of cramming in pictures.”
picture, as well as the videographer’s ability to smoothly edit and transition the material. Other things to keep in mind: audio, color, and emotional connections.
Quality videography services can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000. While that sounds like quite a sum, remember that your videographer will spend six to ten hours editing each hour of film. If they’re filming during the entire wedding day on multiple cameras, do the math. Why does it take so long? The process includes color matching, audio syncing, setting music, syncing footage from multiple angles, editing periods of silence, and adding
transitions. Taking into account all of the professional equipment, experience, and time spent, it’s not surprising that the fee coincides with what you’d pay a photographer. When you finally choose your videographer, be sure to ask to see a copy of the contract and make sure you understand all of the ins and outs of specific costs.
MEMORIES IN MOTION
We all know the one big reason to invest in a wedding day video: You’ll have it forever to enjoy as a couple. So too will any guests who couldn’t make it to the celebration; having a video to share with family and friends who weren’t present on your wedding day will be a wonderful treat. And should there be kids in your future, think what a kick they’ll get out of watching your video. A once-in-a-lifetime day deserves the once-in-a-lifetime movie treatment.
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
Music is used throughout the years as a form of celebration, and will serve as getting the party going, and keeping it going for the entire night. If you choose the right mix of music, your guests will never want to step off the dance floor. Selecting the music can be a daunting task, but with the right help, you can get it right.
FACE THE MUSIC
the soundtrack to your wedding day
Imagine a wedding without a soundtrack. Sounds crazy, right? From moving songs at the ceremony to classy cocktail hour tunes to the late-night dance jams, music does so much to set the tone at a wedding. Here are the many ways you might incorporate music into your wedding day, and some helpful tips for ensuring that your soundtrack goes off without a hitch.
What have you always envisioned for the soundtrack to your ceremony? A vocalist? String quartet? Solo pianist? When weighing your options for ceremony musicians, consider your vision, but also look to your wedding’s style and venue; make sure there is harmony between the location and the music you choose. Think back to past weddings you’ve attended. What did you like about the music for each ceremony? What didn’t work so well? Did you cry like a baby when friends of bride played a charming, acoustic tune? Did you cringe when the groom’s cousin, even with the best of intentions, sang entirely off-key? Your guests could likely react the same way, so choose wisely!
Once you and your fiancé have some ideas in mind, check out local musicians. Visit bridal shows, review bridal publications and online sources like premierbride.com, or ask for referrals from recently married friends or from your ceremony officiant. You could also work with an experienced talent or booking agency that offers convenient, one-stop-shopping for all
wedding music needs.
Narrow down your options, and arrange meetings to hear your musicians and singers in person before signing any contracts.
After you’ve secured musicians for your ceremony, they can help you decide on what songs to include. Most musicians who specialize in weddings have a lot of valuable experience and will be a great resource for song suggestions. Your ceremony officiant will also be helpful in guiding your musical selections. Also, you may have to have the music approved by the officiant, depending on your ceremony location.
COCKTAILS AND DINNER MUSIC
Background music is a must for bringing romance to the latter part of your wedding day. Conversation is key during cocktails and dinner, so the tunes should set the mood, but not intrude. You have three main options: use the musicians that played during your ceremony, use the band or DJ that will be playing at your reception, or hire entirely different musicians. If you decide to have live music, some solid options include chamber music, classical or acoustic guitar, or a jazz ensemble. Each of these offers subtle entertainment without overpowering the scene of mixing and mingling. A seasoned pianist can also be a fun choice if he or she can play a wide range of musical styles and take requests!
If you go with your reception’s DJ or band, make sure they keep it on the softer side. You might even want to make a list of songs to be played during this time to keep the soundtrack on, well, track.
RECEPTION AND DANCING MUSIC
Dinner and dessert are over — it’s time to hit the dance floor! Let’s face it, this is one critical decision that can make or break an entire wedding. Fortunately,
most musicians who specialize in weddings are talented professionals, and with the tips included here, you’ll be able to confidently select an excellent entertainer and selection of dance tunes for your big day. First and foremost, ask yourself: live band or DJ? While there are pros and cons to each, it always comes down to personal taste and budget. Start researching musicians early in the wedding planning process. This way, once you find someone you like, availability is less likely to be an issue.
Live music gives the evening a sort of festive energy and is a wonderful option if your budget allows. The key is finding a band that caters to weddings. These musicians offer versatility and will appeal to guests of all ages. Keep in mind that any live entertainment will require breaks, so find a solution that ensures music is always playing. If the band is large enough, it’s possible the band members can stagger their breaks so that someone is always playing.
Or you can always configure a portable music-streaming and speaker hook-up to play some of your favorites that the band might not attempt. In terms of expense, a live band will almost always cost more than a DJ. Keep this rule in mind: if you can’t afford a good wedding band, hire a DJ.
A DJ will be more cost-effective and can offer an almost infinite variety of music –truly something for everyone. Bonus: no breaks! Some keys to finding happiness in a DJ:
• Consider personality. Are you looking for a crazy-fun, “put a ring on it” party animal or an upscale, keep-it-classy entertainer? Ask for, and follow up on, several references.
• Clarify what songs and events (first dance, father & bride dance, bouquet & garter toss, etc.) you do or do not wish to include. Decide on the details ahead of time; make a “do not play” list of any songs you simply can’t stand and a “must play” list of songs you don’t want to miss.
All things considered, whether you go for a band or a DJ, your dance party will be a guaranteed success as long as you treat your guests to a wide variety of music. From Frank Sinatra to Whitney Houston to Béyonce, diversity is key in playing a little something for everyone.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Consider your ceremony and reception site and how this might impact your choice of music and entertainment. Communicate with your site manager so you’re aware of any restrictions and so that he/she is aware of your plans ahead of time. If your entertainment has never performed at your chosen ceremony or reception site before, ask the site manager when they can visit the venue to make sure it meets their needs in terms of space, electricity, and lighting.
As with other wedding vendors, make sure the ins and outs of your agreement with your musicians is very clear and in writing. This includes payment, start and end times, fees for playing overtime, alternate plans if a musician is sick the day of your wedding, etc. If any of your vendors don’t use a contract, put all the details into a document and send one to the vendor and keep one for your records. Confirm all the details with your musicians about one week prior to your celebration.
Once you’ve done your homework, hired musicians for each stage of your wedding day, and worked out the details, you can rest easy. That is, until it’s time to start practicing your dance moves.
Dan+ Shay Speechless
Elvis Presley Can’t Help Falling In Love
Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud
Dan+ Shay From The Ground Up
James Arthur Say You Won’t Let Go
Father Daughter Dance
Tim McGraw My Little Girl
Bob Carlisle Butterfly Kisses
Rascal Flatts My Wish
Louis Armstrong What A Wonderful World
Steven Curtis Chapman Cinderella
Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight
Mother Son Dance
Tim McGraw My Little Girl
Bob Carlisle Butterfly Kisses 4 Temptations My Girl 5 Rascal Flatts My Wish 6 Louis Armstrong What A Wonderful World 7 Steven Curtis Chapman Cinderella 8 Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight
Wedding Party Dance
1 Walk The Moon Shut Up And Dance 2 Justin Timberlake Can’t Stop the Feeling! 3 Sister Sledge We Are Family 4 Ed Sheeran Feat. Beyonce Perfect 5 Kool & The Gang Celebration 6 LMFAO Feat Lauren Bennett and Goon Rock Party Rock Anthem
1 Beyonce Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) 2 Meghan Trainor Dear Future Husband 3 Shania Twain Man! I Feel Like a Woman! 4 Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Want to Have Fun 5 Ludacris Feat Mystikal Move B’”H
1 Ginuwine Pony 2 Nelly Hot in Herre 3 Queen Another One Bites the Dust 4 Marvin Gaye Let’s Get it On 5 Def Leppard Pour Some Sugar On Me
OF YOUR DREAMS
Through decades of evolving wedding traditions and styles, certain things remain constant like a bride’s white dress and gorgeous flowers to adorn the day. Though we think of flowers as an accent, they’re so much more at a wedding. Flowers help define the wedding colors, theme, and mood.
statement-making florals & foliage
For both a beautiful photo op and a functional way to draw your guests eyes to the pivotal moments of the day, flowers are a fabulous way to accentuate the scene. At the ceremony, a traditional or rounded archway is a picture-perfect spot for saying “I do,” especially if your event is being held outdoors. Your archway could be anything from a simple wooden frame adorned with a few floral flourishes, or an entire arbor lush with leafy greenery and a bounty of blooms. Living walls and full-floral backdrops also look lovely at the ceremony and can double as a stunning open-air photo booth for guests at the reception. Can’t commit to an entire archway or wall of foliage? Consider a pair of statementmaking arrangements to frame your altar.
When it comes to wedding reception centerpieces, there has been a recent surge of suspended floral pieces. For practical reasons, it’s nice to get the flowers off the table and allow more room for easy chatting and dinners served family style. If gorgeous impact is your goal, a hanging flower arrangement is tough to top. Chandeliers draped with greens and flower boxes that run the length of reception tables pack an unforgettable punch.
At an intimate wedding, one super-long table set under a bloom-filled wooden pergola, woven with lights, is nothing short of magical. Don’t have the budget for such an elaborate scene? You might work with your florist to craft a series of hanging geometric pieces trimmed with
greenery. These could be large wooden frames wrapped in budding vines, or a cluster of hoops strung together and festooned with flowers. Embrace this “less is more” aesthetic for all the impact at a fraction of the cost.
Until lately, the most popular wearable wedding blooms were flower crowns. Now, brides are branching out in their floral fashions. A close cousin to the flower crown, floral tiaras are having their moment. These are a little less bulky than the traditional crown, perhaps being tied with a ribbon at the back of the head, rather than an abundant wreath of flowers. . When it comes to the groom and his groomsmen, however, you may notice that simplicity is where its at; no lapel gardens, rather simple, unfussy boutonnieres.
WHAT’S ON TREND
Popular blooms range from exotic protea and anthuriums to old fashioned dahlias and chrysanthemums, lauded for their remarkable range of color. Some brides are all about the tropics, while others turn to their own backyard, incorporating branches, leaves, and wildflowers found in local plant-life for a field-to-vase vibe.
A FLORAL BOUTIQUE
Your Bouquet should Complement your Dress Style
As possibly the single most important design detail of the ceremony, you don’t want to hide the specialness of your dress with the wrong bridal bouquet. A cascade bouquet could overwhelm a simple sheath dress, while a contemporary design won’t be a good match for a classically designed ball gown. Consider the size and style of flowers each type of bouquet calls for and ask your florist how it will work to compliment your dress.
A larger version of the Posy, this bouquet traditionally contains one or two types of flowers arranged in a perfect dome shape. Roses and hydrangea are the perfect flower to keep this uniform and symmetrical.
POSY, NOSEGAY OR CLUTCH BOUQUET
A very small tight bouquet of flowers without a lot of extra greenery. This petite, round bouquet can usually be held in one hand and is perfect for bridesmaids, mothers; in lieu of a corsage or an informal bridal bouquet for an elopement or trip to the courthouse.
SINGLE STEM BOUQUET
Simplistic yet striking bouquet choice, a single stem. Make the most of this budget friendly option by choosing a large, full bloom, like a hydrangea or peony, especially for a large bridal party.
FREE-FORM, UNSTRUCTURED BOUQUET
This style is intentionally asymmetrical and predominately horizontal. On trend with a bo-ho vibe this bouquet often features all types of botanical elements; fresh flowers, foliage, dried grasses, pods and even fruit).
FLOWERS: BELLEFIORIFLORIST.COM • PHOTO: GEORGIA-LLOYD.COM
Forward facing with a full top and narrowing vines that waterfall to the bottom. Can be more dramatic and highlights the overflow of beautiful blooms or a tiny handful fit for a royal princes. Perfect for a seasonal mix of garden flowers with beautiful greenery help to fill out this style of wedding bouquet.
FLOWERS: BELLEFIORIFLORIST.COM • PHOTO: DEGROOTFILMCO.COM
the first impression
Traditional wedding invitations include so many tiny etiquette details from how to address each envelope to arranging the many parts and pieces. To keep all the invitation details straight, it’s best to find a qualified local professional to act as your go-to person for all paper goods and etiquette questions. Or if you choose to purchase online, give yourself some extra time in case there are any problems that require shipping back and forth. It’s also smart to test-drive an online retailer before committing (ask for paper samples, etc.).
The sooner you start on invitations, the better. Before you choose a style of invitation, it’s crucial to know some of the broad themes of your wedding: casual vs. formal, bold colors vs. soft hues, rustic vs. black tie, etc. Knowing these key details will help you find or create invitations to reflect the style of your day.
If possible, order invitations and other wedding stationery six or more months before the big day to give yourself plenty of time for proofreading, printing, addressing and envelope stuffing. Formal invitations should be sent six to eight weeks before the wedding with save-the-dates going out months in advance. Save-the-date cards, or even an in-formal conversation with your guests, are especially important for out-of-town guests. Plenty of advance notice gives traveling guests enough time to book flights and lodging with some flexibility.
While formal invitations, complete with calligraphy and foil-lined envelopes are never out of style, the breadth of invite design options has grown immensely. The use of watercolor and illustrated elements is also growing to such an extent that many stationery companies now have a resident artist to accommodate those personalized, handmade touches. Beyond formal calligraphy, you might choose whimsical hand-lettering or even white ink on dark envelopes. Dress up your invites with a belt or sash wrapped around the middle. Hand-drawn embellishments, a chalkboard look, and vintage-inspired designs are also lovely if they work with the style of your wedding.
PAPER PARTS & PIECES
Wedding invitation suites typically consist of several parts: a ceremony card with the details of the ceremony, a reception card explaining reception details, a response card with its stamped/addressed envelope (yes, it’s proper etiquette to provide return postage), a map or some other card with directions to the ceremony/reception and hotel information for out-of-town guests, and an inner and outer envelope. The rules aren’t hard and fast, however, you can combine information on a single card, omit the tissue paper, or really think outside the box with your design if that suits the style of your wedding day.
Traditionally, whoever is hosting (read: paying for) the wedding will be listed first on the invitation. But it’s best to work this out on a case-by-case basis with open communication between the couple, the bride’s parents, and the groom’s parents. Some couples today who are paying for the majority of their wedding say “Mary Bride and John Groom, together with their families, request the honor of your presence at their marriage.”
To address the envelopes, you can run them through your printer in a beautiful font, hand-write them yourself, or hire a hand-letterer to do the job for you. Hand lettering gives a beautiful first impression and can even act as a sort of frameable gift to your guests. Avoid using labels at all costs, even clear ones as they just don’t convey an elegance or special-ness that a wedding deserves.
If you want to keep things formal/classic, here are some tips for the etiquette of addresses. Street names, cities, and states should be written out completely (no abbreviations). To address a married couple, use “Mr. and Mrs. Tom Smith.” For an unmarried couple living together, use “Mr. Tom Smith and Miss Judy Jones.” If every member of the family is invited, use “Mr. and Mrs. Tom Smith & Family.” If you don’t want young children at your reception, then politely say “adults only” somewhere in the invite.
Include your return address on the back of the envelope. Placing it on the back is less crowded and leaves room for the guest’s address to shine on the front. You’ll also want to make sure that the return address matches the primary host. Is it Mary Bride and John Groom, or Mary’s parents?
YOU HAVE ARRIVED
wedding day transportation
Your search for transportation starts once you decide how many people you’ll be moving. Do you want just the bride and the groom in a vehicle, or is the entire wedding party heading to the reception together? If the whole party is going, do you want to include their spouses or dates? What about each couple’s parents? Due to safety and convenience concerns, it’s becoming more common for buses and trolleys to be used shuttling guests to and from wedding events.
Once you make those decisions, you can start searching for transport based on size. Then, you can pick out a limousine, a coach party bus, a trolley, or something more unique and personal. Whatever you decide on, keep safety in mind while revelers are bouncing from place to place.
Catch the Coach – For larger wedding parties or for those that want a little extra elbow room, a party bus or a luxury coach is a great way to travel from the ceremony to the reception. These boast all the amenities and style of a luxury limousine, but with more room to spare; they seat up to 10 people very comfortably. For even bigger parties, a passenger coach or a party bus can seat anywhere from 21 to 49 people.
Take the Trolley – A trolley is a fun and photo-ready option. Trolleys generally can accommodate between 20 and 35 people. With their old-world charm, they’ll
HAVE YOU ARRIVED
lend a timeless touch to this wedding day detail. Limo Life – If there is a day to splurge on this iconic luxury vehicle, your wedding is certainly the day. A formal limousine seats four people. Or, if you’d like to include the wedding party, stretch limos can allow for six to 10. For larger parties, sport utility models like the Hummer and Explorer are popular and unique both inside and out. The larger models are often posh, with flashy lights and decorative interiors.
Limos, party buses and trolleys are fabulous, traditional options, but some couples might opt for something more personal or creative. A horse-drawn carriage or vintage car offer timeless class and romance — and a unique photo op!
Or, as with everything else in the wedding, transportation could be an opportunity to add a truly personal touch. Maybe you met at a Harley rally — rev up your twin Hogs! Perhaps you’re both avid golfers — drive off in a golf cart! Or maybe you share a love of biking — wheel over on a tandem. If it’s possible to reflect your own personality in your wedding transportation, go for it!
DOWN TO DETAILS
OCTOBER 22, 2022
Confirm transportation booking and verify pick-up and departure times well in advance of your wedding dates. In a written contract, look for things like: Name & contact information for you and the company, the date/time and address for all pick-up and dropoff locations, the type and number of vehicles and any amenities, hours of rental, total cost including gas, mileage, tip, and overtime fees, deposit amount & cancellation policy.
Usually when you think wedding transportation, you think limousine. Limousine service has been a bridal standard for years and still continues to be a wonderful option. Depending on the location and size of your wedding, however, you may choose the newest alternative in wedding transportation--a luxury coach.
A luxury coach has a lot more going for it than luxury, though. It’s the perfect solution to a ceremony site without a changing room. You and your attendants can enjoy your time together as you get ready in the plush surroundings. After the ceremony the bridal party can enjoy a private celebration with the bride and groom on the way to the reception.
Parking is another obstacle that the luxury coach easily overcomes. If the only downside to your dream reception is the price your guests will pay to park, eliminate the problem. Transport them from the ceremony to the reception in a passenger coach. These coaches generally seat 21-49 passengers. If you hire more than one transport you can accommodate those guests who need to leave at an early hour. Coaches are also a great solution for remote locations or those with limited access.
As do the majority of limousine companies, passenger and luxury coach companies require a minimum number of hours. The size and type of coach determine the hourly rate, which is generally comparable to that of a limousine.
Bridal shows can sometimes feel overwhelming but with a little planning, they can save you money, provide outstanding ideas and let you sample tasty treats. It can be a great one stop shopping experience if you go prepared. The vendors are local wedding professionals, ready and willing to answer your questions.
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
Wear comfortable shoes! You’re going to be walking quite a bit. You don’t want to leave early because your achy feet give you no other choice.
Print up labels with your name, address, wedding date and email address. This will save you a lot of time when you sign up for all the prizes usually given out at shows. Plus, the information will be legible.
PLAN IN ADVANCE
First of all, you need to have a budget planned so you have a general idea of what you’ll be spending on each product and service for your wedding. Know what is most important to you, where you might be willing to have a little flexibility on the cost versus items that you’re not as passionate about.
VISIT HERE FIRST
Remember, some wedding service providers can only do one or two weddings a day because they are one or two person operations. One of your first questions should be if your wedding date is available.
beauty tips, makeup musts & more
On your wedding day, it’s all eyes on the bride. From makeup to hair to nails, every blushing bride, mother-of-the bride/groom and bridesmaid wants to look their absolute best on the day of the wedding. We’ve got tips for the day itself and beautification plans to implement months before the big day.
What’s the difference between a makeup artist, cosmetologist, and esthetician? A makeup artist is the person a bride turns to on the day of her wedding, enhancing her own natural beauty. Cosmetologists do makeup, as well as, sometimes, skincare, nail care, and hair styling.
Manicures and facials fall in the realm of cosmetology. Estheticians take things one step further. They perform services such as skincare treatments and hair removal that makeup artists and cosmetologists may not be licensed to. Each of these beauty professionals — whether in the weeks and months leading up to your wedding, or on the wedding day itself — can help you look your best.
These pros can also provide you with great information, advice, and tips that will last a lifetime — a beauty investment! And when it comes to hair, a great hairstylist can help you create a look that complements your facial features, headpiece, and veil — and do so in a way designed to stay set through the last dance. When you go pro, the end result is a relaxed, picture-perfect bride.
HAIR DO’S AND DON’TS
When choosing a hairstyle, consider your gown, the formality of your wedding, your personal style, your hair type and texture, and your face shape. Generally speaking, if your gown is elaborate, opt for a simpler hairstyle to avoid looking overdone. An updo is a classic way to go and is ideal for showing off a dramatic neckline. If you’re a trendy girl, try braids, hair extensions, or a tousled bohemian look. Just be cautious of overly-trendy styles, as you risk looking back at your photos and saying “What was I thinking?!”
If you’re considering any drastic changes to your hairstyle, make the change at least a couple of months before the wedding. That way, if you don’t like it, you have plenty of time to make changes or figure out how to style it to your best advantage. Consult your hair stylist four to six weeks before the wedding to find the right look for you, and be sure to show the stylist a photo of your gown.
Whether you hire a pro to do your makeup, have a friend do it, or do it yourself, do a trial run before the wedding. Now is the time to practice, not on the day of your wedding! Keep the makeup on throughout the trial day and see how it lasts. How does it look at two, five, and even eight hours later? Is it easy enough to touch up?
The key to wedding makeup isn’t caking it on, but rather looking like a more polished version of yourself. Define your eyebrows with a pencil and try fake eyelashes so that your eyes really pop in photos. Try highlighting key places, a bold lip color, or using a primer under your foundation, lipstick, and eyeshadow so that it lasts longer. Waterproof mascara recommended!
NAILS AND BROWS
Regular manicures in the one or two months before your wedding day will get your nails in perfect shape. As a rule, it’s best to avoid really trendy nail polish colors. Play it safe and go with a classic, neutral color, so you’ll have no regrets years down the road.
Have your eyebrows professionally shaped at least two weeks before the wedding. If you’ve never done this before, you’ll be amazed at how different you look with well-groomed brows! Some people may experience a red, rashlike reaction, so doing this early enough gives you time to recover if it happens to you. In the end, always remember that a bride’s best beauty secret is her smile!
A SCENT TO REMEMBER. Buy a special perfume for your wedding day. Then every year, wear it on your anniversary to remind you of your special day. Fun fact: memories that are associated with a certain smell tend to be more vivid.
NIC Studios is Jacksonville’s exclusive and growing team of makeup artists and hair stylists that provide on-location and studio services for the Northeast Florida market. We know that the way you feel makes a big impression on all your memories. NIC Studios is here to make sure you love the way you look on your special day, or every day!
Whether it is your first wedding, an anniversary celebration, a vow renewal, or maintaining an everyday look, NIC Studios is here to guarantee you look your best, whatever the occasion. CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org / 904.648.7066 6817 Southpoint Parkway #803 / Jacksonville, FL 32216
GOWNS BE YOUR wn kin OF BRIDE
Gone are the days of brides in white and grooms in a simple black tuxedo. Now brides are experimenting with colors, textures and even sleeve length!
Necklines and silhouettes are changing with the season and brides are pushing the envelope with their wedding day fashion. Lively details such as capes and shawls are on the rise and peplums are coming back in style.
YOUR DREAM DRESS
making it a reality
Even from a very young age, most girls daydream about their wedding dress. We’re constantly bombarded with movies, TV, and photos of pictureperfect, iconic brides. And what makes these brides iconic? The dress! Although finding the right dress for your wedding day isn’t as easy as daydreaming, we’re here to help with these bridal gown basics.
Bridal attire ranges from extravagant princess gowns to tailored suits. There’s no rule saying a bride must wear a fancy gown. This is the age when brides dress for their own comfort level and personal style, but more polished. Even so, most brides stick with a dress. The strapless style is always a favorite, but the market has expanded in recent years to include gowns with all manner of straps, sleeves, and accessories. You’ll see many dresses that are modest in the front and dramatic in the back. Dresses are also belted, have convertible or removable cap sleeves, and come in an array of bold and muted colors in addition to just white. Some brides even wear more than one dress. They might choose a traditional gown for the ceremony and a short dress for the reception, so they can comfortably dance the night away.
FABRIC & AFFORDABILITY
Satin, tulle, and lace are the most common fabrics for wedding gowns, and the type of fabric you choose will greatly affect the price. If you’re dreaming of intricate, hand-stitched, Italian lace with delicate beading, the cost will rise, not to mention the price of alterations. But these days, it’s entirely possible to find designers that create gorgeous
gowns with price points that suit the mainstream bride. The professionals at your local bridal salon will be able to help you determine which fabric and details fit within your budget.
STARTING THE SEARCH
Start by gathering ideas. Bridal magazines, designer websites, and Pinterest are a great source as you start the hunt for your wedding dress. Compile the styles you like that suit the mood of your wedding. Is your wedding venue a rustic lodge, classic ballroom, or ultramodern loft? Ask yourself, “What kind of dress makes sense for the activities of the day?”
Also think about what kind of dress makes sense for you. Weddings are no longer strictly adhering to tradition, and brides are embracing this new mainstream by crafting weddings that are a true reflection of themselves, and that goes for bridal style, too. If you’re not into princess gowns, wear a white jumpsuit and sassy heels. If your wedding’s on a beach, don a knee-length sheath and comfy sandals. Keep your vision of your true self in mind as you search for ideas.
Then, make an appointment at your local bridal salon. Salons give you more bang for your buck and a better overall experience and value than an online retailer. At a salon, you can try on multiple styles free of charge, and you’re guaranteed to work with a consultant who has seen countless brides before you and can help discern the right style of dress for your body type. A local salon may also offer, or can at least refer you to, someone who can make alterations to the dress you choose.
When you go, invite a trusted team of family and friends to join you. You don’t need an army, just a few close people you can count on to tell you the truth. Ideally you should start visiting salons anywhere from nine months to a year before your wedding to allow enough time. If you’re in a rush, 6 months or less, tell your consultant immediately.
SHAPES & SIZES
Remember that no two brides are shaped alike, therefore, no dress will ever accent your silhouette exactly the same way it does another bride’s body. When the time comes to try on gowns, explore a myriad of styles and cuts to figure out what works for you. Keep an open mind; you might be surprised! Note that bridal salons often carry only one sample size of each gown. Try on these gowns even if they’re not your size. Consultants are there to help
you get in and out of sample sizes. If you’re nervous about the sizes available at your local bridal salon, give them a call. Talking to a representative will ease your mind, and you’ll find that whether you’re full-figured or very petite, there have never been more options to accommodate brides of all shapes and sizes.
TRYING ON DRESSES
Don’t be afraid to try on dresses that aren’t necessarily in your comfort zone. You never know what a gown will really look like until you try it on, and lots of brides end up choosing a style of gown they never even dreamed of. Remember that the gowns at salons are just samples, so the size won’t be tailored to you, and most dresses can be ordered in various shades of white. So just because you’re not crazy about that big blush dress on the hanger, try it anyway! What do you have to lose?
WORKING WITH A CONSULTANT
While at the salon, make sure to take advantage of your professional consultant’s knowledge and expertise. A good bridal consultant should steer you in the right direction so communicate your likes, dislikes, wants, and needs as much as possible. It’s the consultant’s job to handle every step of your salon experience including showing you every
SKIN TONE: Dark
WEAR: Stark white, or almost any shade
SKIN TONE: Medium with yellow tones
WEAR: Off-white or creamy ivory
SKIN TONE: Fair and pink-toned skin
SKIN TONE: Medium with olive tones
WEAR: Champagne or diamond white
option within your price range. They can also coordinate alterations and other practical matters once you’ve found “the one.” If you’re not in sync with the consultant you’ve been dealt, don’t hesitate to ask to work with a different representative. Every bridal salon’s goal is to give you an enjoyable experience.
ALTERATIONS & FITTINGS
Deciding on a gown is a major hurdle, but that’s not the end of the wedding dress “to do” list. There are usually as many as four fittings that follow saying “yes” to the dress. Here are some tips for making this process run as smoothly as possible. First, give yourself and the seamstress sufficient time. If you’re in a rush, this is when working with a bridal salon can really help. It’s usually their job to make sure alterations run smoothly and on time.
Second, choose a dress that’s very close to your actual size. Most gowns can’t be changed by more than two sizes, up or down. Buy a dress that fits the biggest part of you, not the smallest part. It’s easier to take a dress in to hug your figure than it is to let it out.
When the time comes for your first fitting, make sure you’re sporting the same undergarments and shoes that you’ll be wearing on your wedding day. Even the slightest tweak in bra padding or heel height can change the way a dress hangs and where the hem falls.
As you’re working with the seamstress, trust that they know what they’re doing. You may ask them to make one alteration, and they might suggest an alternate way to achieve that look, or advise against it altogether. Know when to take a deep breath and have some faith in the professionals.
Bridal Salon Guide
20 Seminole Road, Atlantic Beach FL 32233 321-662-5144
Beauty Within: A Bridal Boutique
474388 E. State Road 200, Fernandina Beach FL 32034 904.252.5854
1626 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville 32207 904.374.0351
310 Front St #875 Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082
725 Atlantic Blvd Unit 3, Atlantic Beach FL 32233 904.372.0933
9990 Southside Blvd., Jacksonville 32256 904.519.8933
13221 City Station Drive #155, Jacksonville FL 32218 904.724.0909
Debra’s Bridal at The Avenues
9365 Philips Hwy., Jacksonville 32256 904.519.9900
3520-4 Blanding Blvd Jacksonville 32210 904.779.9000
Love Bridal Boutique
434 3rd St. N., Jacksonville Beach 32250 904.242.9800
Michael’s Bridal & Formalwear
4413 Town Center Parkway 904.645.3999
OML Bridal and Formal 321 NW Cole Terrce Suite 101, Lake City FL 32055 386.438.5556
1636 Hendricks Ave Suite B Jacksonville FL 32207 904.503.8263
One Love Bridal Outlet 904.746.3924
Rachel Ann Bridal
4465 US Hwy 17 Ste 8, Fleming Island FL 32003 904.458.4244
1590 Arapho Ave, St. Aug 32084 904.829.7098
The Tailor Shop
3803 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville 32216 904.642.7780
The White Magnolia Bridal Collection
1555 San Marco, Jacksonville 904.352.3309
4712 River City Drive Jacksonville FL 32246 904.740.3557
By Appointment Only
BeInBridal.com Ethical Bridal Fashion
Closed: Sun, Mon, Tues, Open Wed, Thurs, Fri 12-6 & Sat 10-4 BeautyWithInBridal.com By Appointment Only
Mon-Sat: By Appt. Only bellabridesmaid.com email@example.com
In historic San Marco between San Marco Blvd. & Prudential Dr.
Sun-Mon Closed M-F 11-5 Sat 10-5 calvetcouturebridal.com Located in the Sawgrass Village
Tues-Friday 10-6 Sat 9-5 Closed Sun & Mon CurveBridalCollection.com
Mon-Fri:11-9 Sat: 10-6 Sun: 12-6 davidsbridal.com
Curve is the only plus sized bridal boutique in Florida Appointment only
On Southside Blvd. between I-95 & The Avenues next to Best Buy & The Sports Authority
Mon-Fri:11-9 Sat: 10-6 Sun: 12-6 davidsbridal.com Now located at River City Marketplace
Mon-Fri: 10:30 am to 6:30 Sat: 9:30 am to 5 pm Sun: 1-4 pm bridalshopavenues.com
Mon-Fri: 11-7 Sat: 10-6 Sun: By Appt. frenchnovelty.com
Tues-Fri: 11-6 Sat: 10-5 Sun-Mon: Closed lovebridalboutique.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon-Fri: 10-8 Sat: 10-5 Sun: 12-5 tuxedosbymichaels.com
Closed Sunday MonFriday 10-6 Sat 9:30 to 5 OMLBRIDAL.com
1 mile north of The Avenues Mall in shopping center across from Shad Rd.
Located in the Winn Dixie Shopping Plaza
Corner of 3rd St. N. (A1A) and 4th Ave. N.
Located in the St. Johns Town Center next to Publix
Bridal, bridesmaids, groomswear and pagent
9-5 Tues-Sat Closed Mon and Sun OneBridalBoutique.com In San Marco, close to Downtown
By Appointment Only
Tues-Sat: 10 am-6 pm Closed: Sun-Mon Rachelannbridal.com
By Appointment Only
Mon by Appt. Tues-Fri: 9-6 Sat: 10-4 TheTailorShopinc.com
By Appt. Only Tues-Thurs: 11-6 Fri-Sat: 9-7
Mon-Sat 11 am – 8 pm Sunday 12-6 Vowdweddings.com
Off the rack gowns $200-$1500
Casablanca, enVogue, House of Wu, Elena Designs, homecoming and prom dresses
Off of US 1 South of Target Complex
Custom wedding garments for brides and grooms and alterations
In historic San Marco between San Marco Blvd. & Prudential Dr. across from Jimmy John’s
St. Johns Town Center email@example.com
JACOBY & JUAN
Venue: Magnolia Room at Fountain of Youth
Planner: Events by Amanda
Ceremony Ensemble Music: Adagio Weddings
Catering: Mai Oui Gourmet
Photographer: Shannon Fries Photography
DJ: Party Solution
Florals: Foxhound Floral
Rentals: St . Johns Illuminations
Hair & Makeup: Studio Bride
Bar Service: The Perfect Pour
Cake / Sweets: Creme de la Cocoa
Ice Cream: Kilwins Ice Cream
Alpha lit marquee letters: Hennessy Events
TUSCAN ROSE VINEYARDS, CALLAHAN, FLORIDA
ON THIS SPREAD: GOWN: Tebault Bridal DÉCOR: Simply Weddings by Amanda
THE WELL-SUITED GROOM
everything you need to know
THE LEVEL OF FORMALITY
The first order of business is to evaluate how formal your wedding will be. This depends on the time and location of the wedding, along with the level of formality the two of you settle on. Just make sure whatever level of formality you settle on, make sure you’re consistent throughout — invitations, décor, food, location, and wedding attire should all match in terms of formality.
In warm weather and for beachy destination weddings, lighter colors (tan, light grey, white) look effortlessly handsome. Though in all climates, darker colors (navy, charcoal, black) always look sharp. Ties, and vests can match or compliment (neutral tones) the wedding colors. If the wedding gown is ivory, don’t wear a white shirt. Wear ivory to compliment the dress. Combining two suite accessories into one is the pocket boutonniere. This chic and modern cluster of florals adds a unique element to your wedding day look with the bonus of no pins.
DISTINGUISHING THE GROOM
It’s nice to have some way of setting the groom apart. One way to distinguish the groom is to give him a different, but complimentary, boutonniere to wear. Another idea is for the groom to wear a white jacket while his groomsmen are in black. Or the groom could wear a white, ivory, or silver vest and/ or tie while his groomsmen wear vests and/or ties in black, or a color that matches
the bridesmaids’ dresses. Semiformal weddings have plenty of options: a high quality, single- or double-breasted suit in black, charcoal, or navy with a Windsor knotted tie in ivory, navy, silver, or black is a less formal option. For a more formal look, consider a tuxedo with a single- or double-breasted jacket, a white or ivory pointed-collar shirt, a vest and either a bow tie or a four-in-hand tie. A very formal wedding, called “white tie,” calls for the traditional black tuxedo with tails, a vest, a white winged-collar shirt, and a bow tie.
When visiting the formalwear shop, have a firm idea of the women’s wedding attire and bring fabric or color swatches from the bridesmaids’ gowns. Pictures of preferred formalwear styles would also be helpful in the decision-making process.
Reserve rentals at least three months in advance of the wedding (although the earlier, the better, especially during the busy season). Final measurements should be taken about three weeks before the ceremony; however, be sure to come back a few days before the wedding for last-minute alterations. Outof-town groomsmen can get measured at any formalwear store or local tailors near them and send their measurements to the groom or to your formalwear store.Someone should be designated to return all formalwear to the store on time to avoid late fees, which can get quite expensive adding up the per day, per outfit costs.
THE PERFECT FIT
There are a few key points to keep in mind regarding fit when ordering formalwear. Shirts should fit well around the neck. The bottom hem of the pants should just touch the top of the shoes. Jackets should be fitted, with some
room at the waist. Sleeves should end at the wrist bone with the same number of shirt buttons showing. Vents on the side of the jacket should lie smoothly and follow the lines of the body. The collar should hug the neck comfortably, and the lapels shouldn’t buckle.
GROOMING THE GROOM
An important detail that is sometimes overlooked is the groom’s hair. Men are generally more casual about haircuts than women, but they should ideally get their hair trimmed two weeks before the wedding to add the finishing touch to their wedding finery. Pass this helpful tip on to the groomsmen as well! If you plan to take photos of the bride’s hand and the groom’s hand with the new rings, it would be a great idea for the groom to get a manicure just before the wedding.
CURRENT TRENDS IN FORMALWEAR Black is classic. But navy blue, grey, or tan suits are handsome and on-trend.
Vests & ties. Vests and dressy standard neckties (called four-in-hand ties or Windsor knotted ties) are popular, but bow ties are also making a comeback. Both are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Lapels & pleats. Notched lapels on coats are the most common, though peak lapels and shawl collars are increasing in popularity. Current fashion trends opt for flat fronts on pants and smooth fronts on shirts — no pleats.
Be stylish, have fun. Groomsmen accessories that complement the groom instead of matching the bridesmaids’ dresses are another alternative. Adding colored socks or suspenders is a fun way to tie in the wedding colors and show some personality.
With the whirlwind of planning and parties behind you, it’s time to get away! From the planning stages to the trip itself, here are some of our best honeymoon ideas and advice.
ST. BARTS ISLAND oneymoo
Saint-Barthélemy Island in the Caribbean, also known as St. Barts or St. Barths, blends vibrant blue waters, white sandy beaches, and all the elegance of Paris for an unmatched tropical destination. As on Overseas Collectivity of France with roots in French influence dating back hundreds of years, it’s little wonder that French is the official language and the Euro is the currency of St. Barts. However, English is also spoken fluently and American dollars are often accepted, making it incredibly easy on U.S. honeymooners.
At just 11 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, you could drive the whole of the island in about half an hour. Temperatures remain between the low 70s and low 90s yearround. The island draws the biggest crowds from December through May, and hotels are likely to close altogether during hurricane season.
There are no direct flights to St. Barts. The airport is small and the runway, even smaller. To get to St. Barts by plane, you’ll first have to fly to another Caribbean island, then take a small propeller plane to reach your destination. Many recommend flying into San Juan, Puerto Rico, for ease of
travel and clearing customs to and from the United States. Alternatively, there is a ferry you can take, but sources say it’s less reliable than flying, and choppy waters may start your honeymoon off on the wrong foot.
THE FRENCH RIVIERA OF THE CARIBBEAN
With its penchant for opulence, designer shopping, European influences, and celebrity sightings, St. Barts has been called the French Riviera of the Caribbean for good reason. Relative to the actual Riviera, St. Barts offers the best of both French sophistication and laid-back Caribbean vibes. Alongside stunning shorelines, you’ll find trendy beach clubs, gourmet restaurants, and luxury hotels. It’s truly a recipe for romance.
In the capital city of Gustavia, the harbor is lined with lavish yachts and sailboats in the midst of ample natural beauty and accessible outdoor activities, like hiking and water sports. Unlike other Caribbean islands, St. Barts isn’t about being confined to your resort. Rather, you’ll enjoy wandering the island, partaking in the nightlife, and sampling local eateries and world-class shopping. It’s perfect for
honeymooners in search of both beach life and total glamor.
BEING BUDGET CONSCIOUS
To avoid crowds and perhaps snag a better price, it’s recommended to travel to St. Barts in November or June. You may find however, if you’re on a tight budget, that this luxurious little island may not be to your liking altogether. But consider this: it’s your honeymoon! You deserve a oncein-a-lifetime experience. That said, we’ll share some of the best ways to stay money-conscious on a trip to St Barts.
As fancy restaurants and bars are a culprit of copious spending, start by considering your mealtime budget. Spend smartly by packing a picnic for your day at the beach instead of paying beaucoup bucks at a pricey beach club. You might start your morning by visiting a local bakery for breakfast pastries and sandwiches to take along for later. If you’re staying at an Airbnb or condo with a kitchen, cooking your own meals is another way to save.
When planning your trip, give yourself ample time to look for special offers and compare high season rates to shoulder season. Be prepared to be flexible. When you get to St. Barts, make nature your primary source of entertainment. Miles of beaches, azure waters, and picturesque hikes are all yours for the taking, and at no charge.
Lastly, rent a car to ensure you have maximum freedom to explore the island. Cabs are expensive and hard to come by, and there’s no reason you should rely on a driver when St. Barts is so easy to navigate on your own. It’s truly impossible to get lost! In the end, our
recommendation is to be conscious of spending and prioritize your wants and needs accordingly. Save in areas that are maybe more expendable in favor of splurging on what really matters to you and your partner. For example, you might choose to skip shopping, instead opting to spring for a nice dinner every night.
THE BEST BEACHES
There are 22 public beaches to explore in St. Barts, but there are a handful that stand out from the rest. Saint-Jean Beach on the north coast is located minutes from the capital city of Gustavia. While the beach itself is quiet, the town of Saint-Jean is buzzing with hotels, shops, and restaurants. The airport is nearby, so the daily parade of small planes arriving to the island brings hours of endless entertainment. If you’re in the mood to imbibe beachside, the Nikki Beach Bar is a famous one here.
Even closer to Gustavia is Shell Beach, a mere 5-minute walk from the city center. Shell Beach rests at the bottom of a rocky cove and is lined with shells that are so finely crushed, they appear as white as sand. West facing, Shell Beach is a perfect spot to catch a sunset.
Also on the western side of the island is Colombier Beach, which takes some effort to get to but is totally worth it. This protected area of the island’s natural marine reserve is a half-hour trail walk, as there are no direct roads. Of course, for those with yachts, they will approach Colombier Beach by the water. So depending on the season, the cove may be filled with luxury boats, or it may feel rather private and secluded. A honeymooner’s dream! There’s also ample sealife to be spotted here, such as sea turtles, leopard rays, lobsters, and starfish.
Another beach for watching wildlife is Saline Beach, which CNN has ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the world. This seemingly-endless stretch of fine sand and turquoise water is located to the south-east. Compared to other beaches on St. Barts, this one feels more unexplored and less crowded.
Last on our short list, the east-facing Gouverneur Beach is situated on the southern cape and features pale sands against a lush backdrop. The beach is bookended with rocky formations that lend a sense of isolation and privacy for a peaceful, undisturbed setting.
ACTIVITIES TO EXPLORE
Any island in the Caribbean will have you feeling spoiled for choice as far as gorgeous vistas and outdoor activities, and St. Barts is no exception. The landscape of St. Barts is a hilly one, so there are lots of hikes with pictureperfect views. The aforementioned Colombier Beach is the perfect spot to enjoy a hike and beach in one. And all across the island, you’ll be able to enjoy everything from kite surfing to kayaking, paddle boarding to snorkeling and diving. If you and your partner don’t see eye-toeye on such activities, never feat. You can stay planted on a white-sand beach while they go adventuring.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
If money is no object and you’re looking to experience something truly exceptional during your St. Barts honeymoon, there are two annual events to consider planning around. First is the St. Barts Bucket Regatta, which is an annual boat race that takes place over three days in March. Owners of superyachts, or yachts measuring over 100 feet. It’s an exhilarating race and impressive nautical event that’s not to be missed, particularly if you’re a sailing enthusiast.
Another event that you’ll treasure forever is New Year’s Eve on St. Barts. As the clock strikes twelve, fireworks fill the sky and yachts sound their foghorns in celebration. Festivities continue through the night, and there’s no shortage of glamor and glitterati. With all of the A-listers who return annually to ring in the new year on St. Barts, joining in these festivities may seem out of reach. But as it’s your honeymoon, we say: dare to dream.
THE WEDDING TIMELINE
Organized advance planning will ensure you enjoy every minute of your special day. Start planning your wedding 12 months ahead of time if possible and use the following timeline as a guide through the process. Once the planning is complete, relax and get plenty of rest - the festivities are about to begin.
12 MONTHS AHEAD
Decide on the budget
Reserve ceremony site and officiant
Work on guest list for a rough count
Visit reception sites and reserve one
Hire wedding consultant (for help with all planning, certain aspects of it, or day of coordination only)
9-12 MONTHS AHEAD
Shop for and order wedding gown, veil and accessories
Compile guest list
Select bridesmaids’ attire
Plan details of reception: colors, decorations, balloons
Select photographer Select videographer
Select band or DJ for reception
Discuss honeymoon plans Mail save-the-date cards if necessary
Get engagement photo taken
6-9 MONTHS AHEAD
Reserve wedding day transportation
Register for gifts at one to three stores
Book musicians for ceremony
Reserve party rental equipment (table, tent, chairs, etc.)
Order wedding cake
Order invitations, personal stationery and thank you notes
Reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests
Finalize honeymoon plans (get your passport if needed!)
4-6 MONTHS AHEAD
Order men’s formalwear
Book stylist or salon for bridal party hair, nails and make-up
Select and purchase guest favors
Find and reserve rehearsal dinner location
Reserve accommodations for wedding night
Finalize guest list
2-4 MONTHS AHEAD
Address wedding invitations
Buy and wrap attendants’ gifts
Buy wedding rings and order engraving Announce engagement in local newspapers
Confirm delivery dates of bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses
Meet with caterer to discuss menu
Select ceremony music, readings and vows and meet with officiant
Arrange ceremony rehearsal and notify participants
Schedule dance lessons for your first dance as husband and wife
1-2 MONTHS AHEAD
Call county clerk’s office for marriage license details, and schedule date to obtain Mail invitations
Arrange for final fittings on your gown
Make reservations for bridesmaids’ luncheon
Confirm honeymoon arrangements
Record gifts received and write thank you notes promptly Prepare printed program for ceremony
Start reception seating chart and placecards
Purchase wedding accessories (guest book and pen, unity candle, toasting glasses, cake knife and server, and flower girl/ ring bearer accessories)
2-4 WEEKS AHEAD
Arrange for professionals to preserve your gown and bridal bouquet
Follow up on missing RSVPs and finish seating chart/ place cards
Confirm final guest count to caterer and reception site
Write rehearsal dinner and wedding toasts
Confirm honeymoon arrangements
1 WEEK AHEAD
Have final consultation with caterer, florist, musicians, photographer and videographer
Host bridesmaids’ luncheon
Begin packing for honeymoon
Put fees due on the wedding day in envelopes, for the best man to distribute
THE WEDDING BUDGET
Know your overall budget BEFORE you start planning your wedding - it’s one of the first issues you and your fiancé should discuss. Set your priorities based on what is most important to both of you and spend accordingly.
Ceremony Site Fee Officiant
Marriage License Aisle Runner Candles/Candelabra Other
FAVORS & ACCESSORIES
Cake Knife & Server
Flower Girl’s Basket Guest Book & Pen Ring Bearer’s Pillow Toasting Glasses Unity Candle, Kiddush Cup Other Other Maid/Matron of Honor
Bride’s Bouquet Attendants’ Bouquets Groom’s Boutonniere Attendants’ Boutonnieres
Helper Corsages/Boutonnieres Ceremony Flowers Reception Flowers Decorations/Balloons
Bridesmaids’ Best Man Groomsmen Ushers Child Attendants
Bride & Groom
Bride’s Parents Groom’s Parents Hosts for Out-of-Town Guests Pre-Wedding Party Hosts Cake Cutting Attendant Gift Table Attendant Guest Book Attendant Soloists/Musicians (who are friends) Other
MUSIC Ceremony Reception Other
Wedding Coordinator Disposable Cameras Attendant Accommodations Bridesmaids’ Dresses/Shoes Flower Girl’s Dress Groomsmens’ Formalwear Ring Bearer’s Attire Bridesmaids’ Luncheon Other
Photographer’s Fee Engagement Portrait Formal Wedding Portrait Proofs
Wedding Album Candids Parents’ Sets Other
Reception Site Fee
Food, Service, Tax & Gratuity Beverage/Bar Corkage Fee Cake/Cake Cutting Fee
Rental Items Other
Engagement Ring Bride’s Wedding Ring Groom’s Wedding Ring
Save-the-Date Cards Invitations & Envelopes Calligrapher Postage Thank You Notes Informal Stationery Ceremony Programs Placecards Announcements Other
Wedding Party Transportation Guest Transportation Parking Other Other
THE WEDDING BUDGET
BRIDE: Bride’s Gown Alterations Headpiece & Veil Lingerie, Hosiery & Garter Shoes
Jewelry & Accessories Wrap/Jacket Hair, Makeup & Manicure Other
GROOM: Groom’s Formalwear Neckwear & Cufflinks Accessories Shoes Other TOTALS Rings Ceremony Reception Music Wedding Attire Photography Videography Flowers Stationery Transportation Favors & Accessories
Photo Montage Video w/Music
Edited Highlights of Ceremony
“Love Story” Production Projector Rental Other
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