We just love featuring guest writers on our blog! Here’s a wonderful article written by Natalie Tsang over at Simply Bridal! Simple Bridal is a wonderful company that takes designer looks and gives them to you at way discounted prices. How awesome is that?! They also have their very own line of affordable bridal veils and jewelry. They were nice enough to provide us with a sample from their veil collection, so if you swing by the Southern Charm office you’ll get a chance to check it out in person. Head on over to simplybridal.com and check out all they have to offer!
Hate Dancing? Reception Activity Alternatives
For some brides and grooms, the idea of having to dance at their wedding causes an extreme amount of anxiety. The moment that the dancing starts is the moment that every guest over the age of thirty decides to leave. There are a multitude of reasons to leave dancing out of the wedding reception, but for many celebrations, this would mean a large span of time where guests aren’t really doing much. It is a good idea to plan alternative activities so guests will enjoy your special day for as long as possible.
Karaoke / Games
Having some sort of electronic game corner is a fun way to get guests involved with the fun. Karaoke is a popular choice, and many deejays offer karaoke service. For more intimate weddings, a home karaoke machine may work just as well. If singing isn’t your style, try a video game that will bring increase the energy in the room, such as Guitar Hero. For a more old-fashioned take on the gaming theme, you can rent blackjack or pool tables to scatter throughout the reception area. Games such as Corn Hole or Horseshoes are great options for casual, outdoor weddings.
Renting a photo booth provides your attendees with a great souvenir from your wedding, eliminating the need to make or purchase wedding favors. Most photo booth companies will provide copies of all photos for the bride and groom, so it is also a fantastic way to get a lot of fun, goofy shots of your guests. Have interesting props available (hat, mustache, glasses, toys, etc.) so guests can customize their photos.
Rather than plan an activity for guests to participate in, consider simply entertaining them. Hiring a band that guests would be excited to listen to is a great way to entertain your guests, since they do not have to be dancing to enjoy the show. Some couples will hire local entertainers to put on a performance, while others may commission a caricature artist to draw guests as they mingle.
Whether you decide to include dancing in your wedding reception or not, it is always a good idea to have some music. Even while guests are talking, background music sets the mood and helps people feel at ease. If you won’t be having dancing at your wedding, but are worried that the crowd won’t mix well, try placing small, bar-height tables around to keep people mingling instead of seated at tables. It is your wedding, and if dancing isn’t your cup of tea, there are a lot of alternatives to dancing that your guests will love.
Southern Charm had the pleasure of working with this beautiful couple to plan their big day that came together this past Saturday at the Englewood Christian Church and reception at the Hilltop Restaraunt. We love when we see a couple that is so in love that they can’t keep their eyes off of each other all night. Courtney and Jeff were a pleasure to work with and we wish them a lifetime of love and hapiness!
Vendor list for this fabulous wedding:
Wedding Planner: Southern Charm Wedding and Events | Ceremony: Englewood Christian Church | Reception: Hilltop Restaraunt | Caterer: Hilltop Retaraunt | Cake & Cupcake Bar: Choux Bakery | Linens: Kirby Rentals | Photographer: Jenn Guthrie Photography & Brent Culbertson Photography | Hair & Make-up: Stephanie Rodriguez | Florist: Special Arrangements | DJ: Check 1,2 DJ
Our friend and esteemed collegue, Christy Whitehead, recently posted a great article on her blog as to Why You Need a Wedding Planner. We thoght it was a nice follow up to our post on why you need a second shooter. You can read Christy’s Entire Blog, but we thought you might like to read a few paragraphs:
And now my two cents as the photographer.
The majority of weddings I shoot do not have a planner. Some have a venue coordinator, but in many cases I find that the event coordinator is gone as soon as the food is done being served. Which is when the bride usually turns to me to ask what to do next.
A wedding planner not only helps make sure you arrive on time and gets you down the aisle but helps ensure that at the reception everything is done in a timely manner. Which can mean money saved to you, because many of your vendors are likely charging you by the hour.
Let me put it this way, say you have to pay 3-4 of your vendors to stay an extra hour (happens ALL the time) that is likely to run you $1,000+ easily (And some vendors may have other weddings to go to and can’t stay!). Many day of coordinators start in that range and could have not only helped the wedding stay on time but have been on site all day to ease the tension of stained dresses, vendors arriving on time, and other emergencies that happen at EVERY wedding.
I hope you will consider hiring a wedding planner/coordinator for your wedding day. Not only can they save you a lot of stress, but sometimes the amount of money they can save you could cover the cost of hiring them. And I don’t know a wedding vendor who doesn’t prefer a wedding that has a coordinator in charge, it makes our day go by sooo much more smoothly. I also have someone to go to, should I have any questions, so that I don’t have to bug the bride who likely won’t know the answer for sure anyway.
The photographs taken at your wedding are the one thing that will last a lifetime. They tell the story of your wedding day. That may have been a blur to most brides, if you are anything like me. From the getting ready process, to walking down the aisle, to the reception and send off, your day is filled with so many unique moments and memorable events that you don’t want to miss one second of it.
Let’s walk through a wedding day as if we were fast forwarding through the day. You wake up and are enjoying a leisurely lunch with your bridesmaids, get your hair and make-up done, and enjoy some final moments with your closest friends before you walk down the aisle. Meanwhile, your future husband and his best friends are getting ready themselves, often having just as much fun as you and your girls are! But, there’s only one photographer, so which “getting ready” process is the photographer going to miss? The guys, or the girls?
Next you are at the church marrying your best friend. In between getting pictures of you walking down the aisle, photographing your entire wedding ceremony and getting all of those traditional “post wedding pictures,” of your family and friends, who is taking the photos of the details of your reception that is currently getting swamped by all of the guests that have arrived quite a while before you to the reception venue?
Did you get a picture of the cake before your nephew put his finger down the bottom tier to get a quick taste? Did you get a photo of the beautiful place setting you spent so long working on to make it perfect for your personal style? What about a photo of just the details of your reception venue that you don’t want obstructed by your Uncle Mike in the background?
So my question to you is, can one person really capture every aspect of a wedding successfully? My answer would be no, unless you have found a photographer that has developed a way to be in multiple places at once. Now with that being said, one photographer can be successful in taking great photos, there is no question of that, skill and artistry have nothing to do with the simple fact that two of anything will always be better than one.
So when you begin planning your big day, or if you have already started, consider hiring a photographer that that fits your wedding day best. If details and documentation of each part of your big day are important to you, you will want a photographer that uses a second shooter so that every aspect of your wedding day is captured in a memory to last a lifetime.
It has been well over two months since Lucy’s wedding in June and she has yet to receive video footage of her wedding day. After several weeks of squabbling and bickering back and forth with the videographer, she has given up hope. She has concluded that it was a waste of time and energy and the best thing to do is simply rid herself of all the negativity.
She had hoped that the video would at least be completed before her
husband’s seven month deployment. But that hope was quickly flushed down the toilet shortly after his departure and still no sign of the video.
The videographer was actually a good friend of the family. It was the day before the wedding during the rehearsal that Lucy realized the need for a videographer. Since it was short notice and this friend of theirs specializes in such things, her sister suggested him right away. Making a quick phone call, the deal was made without a contract.
That was a big mistake. Days, weeks, and months later, there is still no video in hand, but instead ill feelings, empty promises, and an ended friendship remain. It really is disheartening to say that sometimes you learn who your true friends are and what they can be trusted with during the most important times of your life.
This leads us to our next tip:
Friends or not, make sure a written contract is provided for every deal that is agreed upon among all parties involved. This is to ensure that all legalities are handled in an appropriate and established manner and that all promises are met. This way, you’re not being hustled for your money and lead to believe in false promises. For some, this friend equation with business works out well, but for others, it can only lead to disaster.
We all know the tradition, the one you don’t want to take part in with an audience of anyone of anyone that can be considered a grandparent or child… the garter toss. Going hand in hand with the bouquet toss, these pair of rituals has an unusual and downright dirty start.
Back in the day, after the bride and groom said, “I do,” they immediately went into a nearby room to “close the deal” and consummate the marriage. To make it official there would need to be witnesses. Hopeful (and somewhat greedy) guests would attempt to get their hands on a lucky remnant of the bride’s dress as it was ripped off her.
After some time people came to their senses and realized this was a bit inappropriate. As the tradition evolved (for modesty’s sake), the bride could toss her bouquet as a diversion when she made her getaway and the groom could remove a bridal undergarment and toss it back to the waiting throng of men.
We have come a long way but many shy brides (and single ladies) will agree the quest for the garter and broadcast of status of the single ladies in the house is uncomfortable at best. Worry no longer, I have got an alternative for you.
When the time comes to throw the bouquet, ask all married couples to stand. Slowly have couples sit down as their marriage year is called (In example, “If you have been married one year or less, sit down. Five years? Ten?”) The married couples trickle down until only the longest married couple is still standing. Present them with your bouquet and ask if you can have the next dance. Here’s a tip: Don’t present the garter to the old man; he might have a heart attack. Give him the groom’s boutonniere, the bride will be happy to save herself the embarrassing frisk and the image of her younger brother’s friend acquiring the lingerie.
I recently booked a very sweet couple from Georgia planning a destination wedding at Jacksonville Beach. Their story is so sad and we are still sorting out the mess. They booked their Destination Wedding through a local company that advertises as a “one-stop” shop. They were quoted a very unrealistic price to include planning and coordination services, flowers, cake and photography. They paid their deposit and have never heard from this company again. After many unanswered emails and unreturned phone calls they started checking out this company to find the company had many complaints with the Better Business Bureau for the same type of behavior.
Too many people are opening up these one stop shops. Beware!! One person cannot do everything and do it well!! I am not talking about groups or companies that employ other vendors for package deals. Most of these are reputable groups and the companies are each independent of each other. They are just providing a package deal as a group to make your choices a little easier.
But again, do your homework and check out your vendors before you send them any money or sign any contract! It will save you a lot of heartache, stress and money in the end!
After a wonderful ceremony the guest socialized and enjoyed a lovely cocktail hour. A delicious and taste filled spread was put on by Chef’s Garden and devoured almost instantly.
THEN THE PARTY BEGAN! Which to be perfectly honest, between the high energy, crowd pleasing DJ Kris Parnell from Footloose and David and Andrea’s “ready to get down” guest it was not hard getting this party started. You could tell these people were having the time of their life. I am quit sure it was the best wedding they had ever attended. After dancing the night away the Bride and Groom ran through a tunnel of brilliant sparklers to an awaiting Jaguar, provided by Bella Limo. The perfect end to a perfect day.
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. David Kohen
Southern Charm wishes you a life of love and laughter and a happily ever after!