Destination Weddings

When planning a destination wedding, a couple has several factors to consider. It is exciting to have a “vacation” mindset when thinking about a wedding in a remote or tropical venue, but there is considerable more work involved for all parties. To start with, almost all of the couple’s personal attire must be purchased or rented offsite, unless you are holding the nuptials in a typical wedding destination such as Las Vegas or the Great Smoky Mountains. Places like those have stores that rent apparel, and some boast that they can outfit you in less than an hour!

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Secondly, if something is forgotten, it may be difficult to find a replacement. There may be some great vendors that service the area you choose, but if a couple feels limited on the items that those folks have in stock, it is not uncommon to “import” specialty items from surrounding cities. A few planning trips to the venue may be necessary before the couple feels that the wedding plans are ready to roll.

Another very important thing to consider is the law of the land. Do your research ahead of time to see if permits and special marriage licenses and passports or visas are necessary to obtain before you book with that locale. If so, make sure that you communicate the travel documentation needed to your guests when you send them a wedding invitation.

Regarding weather, most of the time a tropical or outdoor venue can be beautiful even in the traditionally colder months of January – March. However, once summer gets underway it is important to monitor the weather in case of approaching storms. So, when choosing your locale, be sure to ask the venue if they have an indoor area that can be reserved as a backup in case of inclement weather.

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From a guest standpoint, everything is exciting, because most guests will probably combine the wedding weekend with a few vacation days in order to sight see while in the area. Several coastal or tropical wedding venues offer horseback riding, golfing, beachcombing, boating, museums, boutique shopping and tours of the historical area. Famous cities that may be nearby offer exciting nightlife and culturally diverse foods.

A fun and popular way for a couple to kick off the welcome party after their rehearsal is for them to host a dinner or cocktail hour. This is a great way for the bride and groom and their families to take time to acknowledge all of their guests who have traveled to the wedding, as everyone knows that the wedding day is often very busy and bustling with necessary “to do’s.” Also, depending on the honeymoon choice that the couple has made, it may be possible for them to host a “morning brunch” on the day immediately following the wedding. This is a low key and relaxed way to thank the guests for their attendance and to spend a few quality moments with family before rushing to the airport or cruise port.

So, don’t let the “to do” list of holding a destination stop you. Just start early, get everything in writing, make a check list of papers and things to carry with you, then grab your significant other and head out for the wedding of your dreams!

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Planning a Summer Wedding

 

Traditionally, late May and early June have been the favored months in which to be wed. However, as weddings become more personalized and distinctive, several brides have opted to choose later summer dates in order to save costs and give their guests one last fling by which to remember the season.

Since August is really not a typical wedding month, several couples are saying “I do” then, because they have found unbelievable specials or deals with the local wedding vendors. Now, most brides that shop in advance know that prices for everything from food to flowers can fluctuate during certain seasons of the year. However, more and more brides are finding that if business is slow, a vendor may be running a “special!”

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Amy and Bill wed on the river!

So if you are one of the lucky ones that discover an unbelievable deal and wish to stage a late summer wedding, here are some factors to consider:

Will your guests be able to travel to your wedding during the last few weeks of August or early September? Most families with school aged kids will find travel during this season to be very difficult because of the many demands facing them at the beginning of the school year.

Will your guests heat to death before you walk down the aisle? The month of August tends to be very hot and humid, especially in the south, and no one wants to be miserable at a friend’s wedding. You also need to think about how you might look and feel, as you do not want to look listless and tired from the heat for your wedding pictures.

What about the bugs? If you are holding an outdoor wedding, you need to think about the bugs that might be out and about during this time of year. Gnats are always bothersome, but some stinging bugs may also put a damper on your special day by annoying you and your guests.

What about the rain? Yes, this is always a concern for an outdoor wedding, but August tends to bring a lot of pop up late afternoon thunderstorms. Also, if you are holding a destination wedding on the coast, you never know when a tropical storm or hurricane may decide to head your way.

We once coordinated a wedding and reception on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia, and had to end the festivities a couple of hours early because a voluntary hurricane evacuation order was given and winds were already causing trouble at the venue. Guests were anxious to get out of the storm’s path and everyone started trying to leave early. The couple wisely decided to go ahead and depart for their honeymoon before any of the storm’s effects could delay their get-away.

So, if you do find a special deal, consider everything we’ve discussed above and then book your venue and your day, but do consider holding a backup date and time with the venue until you can verbally check with close friends and family on their availability. Then if everything looks clear, go ahead with your plans and give yourself and your guests a summer to remember!

Outdoor bridal portraits.

A first look outdoors.

A Fall Wedding at Big Canoe

Fall colors, twinkling lights and a cool breeze set the stage as we celebrated the union of Kelly Abbott and Matthew Ellis in Big Canoe. The couple met while studying at Berry college and have been together since a year after graduating. They did a great job of adding humor to their wedding day as evidenced by this shot, which really tells the story of a modern day couple in today’s society.

Who's on the phone?

Who’s on the phone?

 

Their outdoor wedding in the mountains occurred at the peak of the fall foliage, and guests were wowed by the brilliant leaves and natural rustic beauty of the area.

 

The beauty of fall in the mountains.

The beauty of fall in the mountains.

We heard reports that a bear had been sighted nearby just the night before, but fortunately for us, no furry visitors crashed this wedding!

Did you say "a bear?" !!!

Did you say “a bear?” !!!

 

The calm and cool groom waited patiently with his friends until it was time to take the walk down the aisle…

"Can I get back to the game yet?"

“Can I get back to the game yet?”

 

Black and white with touches of red were the colors of the day.

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The wedding cake was tasty and gluten free, while the groom’s cake was iced in chocolate with a fresh strawberry topping – everyone’s favorite!

Bride's cake

Bride’s cake

Groom's cake

Groom’s cake

 

Romance, reminiscing and radiance filled the air as the couple and their guests danced the night away and walked out onto the patio overlooking the lake to enjoy the beauty of the night. Finally, the happy couple dashed away in the groom’s truck for a visit to the happiest place on earth.

We look forward to catching up with them again soon!

The happy couple :) !

The happy couple :) !

December 2017
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