Friday, April 30, 2010

How to have a designer look on your wedding day without leaving your sofa.

Thank the dear Lord Jesus for the internet. I live in the middle of nowhere... seriously, we don’t even have a Macy’s... and Pensacola is supposed to be a “big” city... yeah right! I mean the meaning of designer clothes is simply lost on 90% of the people I have meet here... Fancy clothing, accessories, and jewels are not considered a big deal. To me, they are a HUGE deal, not because I like having stuff, but because I adore fashion. There is no other day I can think of where what you are wearing is a bigger deal. Your wedding is so important. You want to be beautiful and feel perfect in your skin because you are going to be looking at these photos for years. Then some day your grandkids and great-grandkids are going to see those photos... I’m getting all emotional... and I hate children... But you get my point, it’s important.

One of life’s little pleasures is going onto Net-A-Porter and clicking on all of the ah-mazingly beautiful things. Their list of designers just gives me goosebumps. I’m so happy just sitting here thinking about it. This past month they have put the finishing touches on “The Wedding Boutique” and let me tell you, it is wonderful. You can shop by piece: dresses, veils, shoes, jewelry, etc. You can shop by style: classical, minimalist, bohemian, or fashion forward bride. They even have a honeymoon section! I die!!! I mean who needs a store or sales person when you have so much goodness. Now, on a day to day basis, I would say that Net-A-Porter is either for super special purchases or the insanely rich because their prices are out of control!!! but when you translate that to wedding day somehow it’s not so insane... and for bridal prices it’s sometimes reasonable.

net-a-porter.001 They even have an online wedding magazine, it’s genius. It’s sponsored by Bobbi Brown, so you as well. The magazine is full of brilliant styling, so seriously, you needn’t leave your sofa to have the most ah-mazing wedding day look. I never thought to wear a t-shirt on your wedding, but they pull it off and so could you... it’s all about being and feeling confident. And the best part about an online  magazine, if you like something all you have to do is click on it and it takes you to the item for you to purchase. Ah, shopping made easy. net-a-porter.002

I know that it sounds like a pain to buy gowns over the internet, but they have accurate size charts for each individual designer and if it doesn’t fit, their free return/exchange policy is wonderful. The best thing for you to do is go and check out the site, they have tooons of information and just rock.

net-a-porter.003So, they totally didn’t pay me to write this, but I think it’s genius to open bride’s up to a different variety of designers by not only featuring “wedding” gowns. Like anything you slap you also have the latest makeup trends available to the word wedding on it and it costs a grand more... you want a cake 100 bucks... you want a wedding cake that’ll be 900 dollars please! You get my point.

Until we meet again, stay bridal and shop in your pajamas... it’s so liberating. I swear.

Lauren

websites: net-a-porter - http://www.net-a-porter.com/

net-a-porter bridal boutique - http://www.net-a porter.com/Content/boutique/wedding

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ask Morgan: Why do wedding planner’s ask about my Budget?

Question: I have interviewed a number of planner’s in the area and they all ask me about my budget. The problem is that I don't know what my budget is. Is this a problem and why does this seem like such an important question? –Ms. Moneytree

Picture 2 Answer: I know it might seem like an important question when beginning your planning process and hunt for planners and to be honest it is! When I conduct my calls and meetings with potential clients the oh so dreaded budget question does come up at some point. I don't ask it to establish what I am going to charge for my services. My services are a flat rate and do not change as the budget changes. That is another blog for another day! But today…let me tell you why knowing and asking about your budget is a necessary question for a number of reasons:

Know Your Starting Point: You cannot really begin any planning until you have a general budget in place. Your budget is one of the main driving points of your wedding planning right beside your guest list/count. You can read back on my blog about how to begin your wedding planning by clicking here.

Type of Service You Can Afford: We cannot be everything to everyone. We know that. Our pricing is not the least expensive in town but we aren't the most expensive either. We believe in quality over quantity and have priced our services accordingly. Now this doesn't mean that every wedding we take has an high/unlimited budget. When we have clients come to us with a smaller budget, it just means that we suggest our “Vendor Referral and Week of” package instead of our “Full Service” package instead. We ask specific questions to provide pertinent information to you to your inquiry. If I am in the market to buy a sporty couple I don't want the car salesman to sell me a truck! And we have priced our “Week of” package so that no one has to be without at the very least…a “Day of” planner! No bride should have to worry if the cake is being delivered or if the linens are set up properly, while she is getting ready with her best friends and family!

Suggestions and Parameters: As a planner, I have to know what kind of parameters we are being guided by. Although I wish money were no object and everyone had copious amounts of cash to spend, this is wishful thinking…I KNOW! So, we have to be sure to pair you with the correct vendors and suggestions based on your wants and budgetary means. I cannot suggest a $5,500 dollar photographer and the Jepson for a site when your total budget is $20,000 for 60 guests because that would leave less than 1/2 for the remainder of your vendors and details. Obviously, I wouldn't be doing my job thoroughly or well if I did. So I would suggest maybe a $3,500.00 photographer and an all in one venue site!

So the long and short of it is that everyone has a budget…even deep pockets himself…Bill Gates. Don't be afraid to share your budget with those that are going to help you make your wedding day a reality. We also want the best for you, but we cannot start without some guidelines.

On Monday, I will post a blog about how to approach the “Power that BE” with grace and confidence to help you establish your wedding budget.

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Photo by Turtlepond Photography

del.icio.us Tags: Wedding budget,Savannah wedding budget,Savannah Wedding Planner,Savannah Wedding,Savannah weddings,Planning a wedding

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Grooms~ J. Crew might be your new best friend!

Look no further for your wedding day attire boys! J. Crew has it all! From dressing to the “Nines” with their Ludlow Two Button Tuxedo to their laid back Khaki and Searsucker suits, you will be able to finish your look head to toe with the click of a mouse.

OR you can visit their new Bridal Store opening in early summer in NY.

Dress up or dress down an Italian Wool pinstripe suit with an abundance of accessories the site offers. Ties, bowties, argyle socks, fun stripped belts, pocket squares, or their fabulous leather oxfords!  Or you can get really dapper with the great suit vests! Talk about a night and day look!

Think about it, if you rent a tux/suit it could cost upwards of $200 dollars once you have all of your accessories to complete your look. Post wedding, you have nothing to show for it! So…why not invest in a great suit or tux that you can wear over and over again! I don't know any groom, including my own, that doesn't have more occasions to get all gussied up post wedding! (I KNOW YOU CAN THINK OF ONE)

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Go on boys…treat yourself! It is your wedding too!!!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

How to pick the perfect honeymoon spot.

So, I think that there is a perfect honeymoon for every couple. It’s not required that you go to a Sandal’s resort. I want you to open up your mind to all the places the world has to offer and you don’t have to fly halfway around the world to have the best trip ever. So here are a few tips on how to narrow down where to go on your honeymoon.

Hot or Cold?

City or Beach or Mountains?

Adventure or Relaxation?

Domestic or International?

Those to me are the BIG basic questions! Answer all of those and you have the basic outline of where you should go! Depending on when you get married and how far you want to travel, some of those question will be answered for you. So here are a few different scenarios and where I think you should go for the trip.

Cold/City/Adventure/International

Prague, Czech Republic

honeymoons.001Prague is brilliant. We went for our honeymoon and fell in love! The air was cool and streets were just full of that European sexiness. This isn’t adventure like repelling and kayaking, but you are constantly moving. We walked like 95% of the time. We traveled to different regions to see other churches and sites. There are ah-mazing fresh water springs that you could take day trips to for a lovely relaxing getaway from the city. This place is brilliant and the people are insanely friendly and the price is right. I highly suggest it.

Fave Hotel: http://www.hotelgoldenstar.com/

quaint and sweet. complimentary breakfast.  great views of the city.

Cold/Mountain/Adventure/Domestic

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

honeymoons.002I love cold honeymoons. There is nothing sexier than bundling up next to a fire while the snow falls down. And think about all the fun! Skiing, Snowboarding, snowmobiling, etc. There are just endless things to do. And I love rustic cabins, done up all modern. They are so romantic and perhaps it's just me, but sitting on a beach for an entire week bores me to tears! I would rather be skiing and playing with hubby... There is plenty of time for honeymoon "good times" after a day of snow sports. hehe.

Fave Hotel: http://www.hotelterrajacksonhole.com/

absolutely stunning. great amenities. offers great ski-packages. eco friendly.

Hot/Beach/Relaxation/Domestic

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

honeymoons.003Having to stay in the United State doesn’t have to be a drag. Cape Cod is beautiful and lively and romantic. Imagine renting a cottage on the beach just for the two of you, waking up every morning and bringing your coffee out to the water! The food in Cape Cod is world renowned and the beautiful little communities along the cape all have ah-mazing little shops and sites.

Fave Hotel: http://www.alittleinnonpleasantbay.com/

Beautiful grounds, near the bay and a cranberry bog, easy access to many beaches, close to walking/biking trails.

Hot/Beach/Adventure/International

Costa Rica

honeymoons.004Yay, for adventure! Costa Rica is beautiful and full of lots of outdoorsy fun things to do! Scuba diving, snorkeling... all kinds of creepy water things... oh, side note, I absolutely terrified by all natural bodies of water... so you have fun in your large death pools, but you also have hiking and loads of other things to do. For as many random local hotels, there are just as many monstrous luxury hotels. So, you can get whatever you wish, you can choose your level of “rustic.” You can choose to stay at the beaches near the airport, but the real fun and seclusion is at the pacific side of the island.

Fave Hotel: Hotel Makada by the Sea http://www.makanda.com/

stuuuuning!!! along pacific coast of the island. ah-mazing sunsets. adult only. close to tours, attractions, and beaches. 

Other destinations to look into: Boston - city, Florida Keys - beach, Aruba - adventure, Paris - city, New Zealand - adventure, Virginia - mountains, Napa Valley - relaxation, Asheville, NC - mountains,  Bali - beach.... there are so many places!

My Soapbox: All inclusive resorts are nice. I see the appeal, but I am not a huge fan. These resorts are generally run by outside countries and while they do employee many of the local population, they are usually not giving anything back to the community. I also don’t think that you get any feel for the country you are in... If you do decide to stay in one, please try to find one run by locals. And I’m not talk about little bed and breakfasts. I’m talking about huge, beautiful, 4 & 5 star resorts. I just urge you find places within the country you are staying, really get out and enjoy day to day life there. If you are just going to sit on the beach and eat bad food, you could do that in Panama City ;)

Until we me again, stay bridal and remember to get away for a little while.

Lauren

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Friday, April 23, 2010

A Real Wedding at the Ford Plantation: Stefany and Ethan Part 2-Reception

Ford Plantation Weddingtent
 Ford Plantation Wedding Placesetting menu cake  table

chair dancemusic sparklers  
Photos by Tim Zielenbach 
May you always remember how you felt this night…it was truly an honor sharing this amazing night with you!
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Real Wedding at the Ford Plantation: Stefany and Ethan Part 1-Ceremony

    Ford Plantation WeddingLast October, we had the pleasure of sharing in Ethan & Stefany’s intimate and breath-taking wedding at the Ford Plantation. They’re love was addicting! Even more amazing…you could see that their family and friends all shared this deep and profound connection with them. Even when they were both getting ready, there was the calm and positive feeling shared among everyone. The whole wedding took place on the property of the Ford Plantation in Richmond Hill, GA just before dusk. If you think of the low country and coast, you think of old plantation homes, marsh views and over-powering oak trees. This is exactly what The Ford Plantation offers their couples! Tim Zielenbach did an amazing job capturing each and every moment! Check out his website for more images of the day and stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2-Reception! You wont want to miss the fun!

Ford Plantation Dressbouquetceremony program

ceremonyFord Plantation Richmond Hill Wedding
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Ford Plantation Wedding Ceremony
    

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ask Morgan: “And Guest” on a wedding invitation OK or Taboo?

imageInvitation by Emma J Design

Question: I am getting ready to send out invitations and I have a lot of single friends that we would like to offer that they bring a guest with them, but have heard that it is poor taste to put “And Guest” on the invitation. Is this true? If so, how do I go about letting them know that it is OK to bring a guest? –Miss Manners

Answer: The short answer is that there's nothing actually *wrong* with writing "and guest" on the invitation envelope (except that Emily Post hates it). If you are going to use it, I recommend writing it on the inside envelope. Never the outside! However, it's really impersonal, and can be rude when you know (or could find out) the name of the actual person your friend might actually invite. The message could be misconstrued as well……”you can bring somebody, and I don't care who it is." instead of “we would love for you to bring someone you want to share the evening with.” You don't want to come across as insensitive or unaware of their current relationship status either! What kind of a friend would you be conceived as?

There are much better ways to let your friend know that it is OK to bring someone with them. Maybe a more personal way to let someone know is to write a note on the save-the-date itself, dash a note across the bottom corner that says: "Mary—we would love for you to bring a guest. Start thinking who you'd like to invite." or even a little note in the invitation itself on a separate piece of paper. Even give your friend a call! “Mary, I just sent our wedding invitation to you and wanted you to know that I would love for you to bring someone with you if you had someone in mind!” If you give them some time to think about who they would like to accompany them to you wedding, then by the time the invites are going out they would have had the chance to get back in touch with you and let you know their name!

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BuzzNet Tags: Wedding Invitation Etiquette,"And Guest" on invitation,Wedding Etiquette,savannah wedding,savnanah weddings,savannah wedding planner,hilton head weddings

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to get Lauren's favorite wedding day hairstyle.

So, as some of you may know, I have quite a love affair with style. Clothes, makeup, and hair are all things that I love dearly. I did hair and makeup for a delightful young lady last weekend and I wanted to share with you a video on how to get the same fabulous hair. You really don't need to be an expert to look beautiful on your wedding day, it just takes a wee bit a practice. All you really need to achieve this look is a hair tie, tons of bobby pins, a small barrel curling iron, and looooooads of hairspray. So watch and enjoy!!!!


Part 1


Part 2


How hot is this bride!? Here is the lovely Ashley Wilkes sporting the perfect hairstyle and her adorable little net headpiece is just fabulous!!! She was a delight to work with and just looked stunning!! I did her hair exactly the same way as I do in the video. pretty hot right!?

If you have any questions concerning hair or makeup how to's send it my way! If I don't know the answer, I have some ah-mazing friends, I will find it!

Until we meet again, stay bridal and remember "do it yourself" weddings are HOOOOT!

Lauren

Monday, April 19, 2010

Go out of the box with these rehearsal dinner options

Why not try being different throughout your whole wedding weekend starting with the first day! Savannah offers lots of neat opportunities to allow you and your guests to enjoy our Hostess City to the fullest! Here are just a few of my favorites!

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One lump or two? Savannah’s charm is carried throughout the town in many forms and the two fabulous tea companies that live in downtown Savannah are great options for a unique experience and tea lovers everywhere. The Gryphon Tea Room and Savannah Tea Room are quaint and delicious! Guests will love the experience and the tea!

 

 

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Strike 3, your a turkey! Why not gather at a bowling alley with some beer and pizza and share a few friendly games bowling? I had a bride do this a few months ago and let me tell you what, her guests had a blast and the pictures were priceless!

 

 

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What better way to show your guests the Savannah River then by a Riverboat Cruise? Savannah Riverboat offers private and semi-private rides during the day and night each day! Music is already provided and tasty treats and drinks are available as well! For 2-3 hours, guests will enjoy Savannah from a different perspective!

 

 

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Chocolate lovers unite! Gather everyone and head down to Lulu’s Chocolate bar in downtown Savannah for amazing desserts and drinks! They have some of the most delectable yummies and will even close down to allow you, your family and friends all the privacy you want! This is a great option to add if you have a lot of out of town guests coming into town that might want to stop in for a few minutes and give the bride and groom a hello before the big day!

 

What are your favorites?

 

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meet Tali and Joe: A special Savannah Wedding couple!

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Tali & Joe

Date Engaged: January 4th, 2008

Where did you meet?

On the porch at Tubby's in Savannah!  They have a band play Thursday nights during the summer and we we just kept staring at each other all night..he finally grabbed my arm as I walked by and asked me to dance, we've been inseparable ever since!

How did he propose?

We were in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on a skiing trip and we had just gone to the most quaint little Italian restaurant across the street from our bed and breakfast. We were walking back in 5 feet of snow and it was snowing again and as I get under the gate (covered in lights) of our bed and breakfast I realize I had been running ahead to get inside quickly and left Joe behind! I turn around to look for Joe and he is down on his knees buried in snow proposing just laughing since he had been on his knees for so long  and I was oblivious to what was taking place behind me! Being a southern girl at heart, I was so cold in the -16 degree weather, that I was in such a rush to get inside I almost missed my proposal! We were surrounded by the Teton Mountains on all sides and it was funny and absolutely perfect!

When is your wedding date?

July 3, 2010

Why did you pick the area you are getting married in?

I grew up in Savannah and we love the water. We both went to school in New York and most of our friends will be coming from up north so we thought it was the perfect place for everyone to experience the charming and beautiful city we love so much!

Where do you reside now?

Savannah for right now!

Anything interesting or out of the ordinary you are including in your wedding day?

I think we will have a lot out of the ordinary but we will just have to wait and see;)

We are so excited!! I have such a soft spot for military weddings and this couple is just fun! Here’s to amazing planning with you and even more memorable day to come!

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BuzzNet Tags: Tubby's Tankhouse,Savannah Wedding,Military wedding,Savannah military wedding,Savannah wedding planner,New couples,Engaged

Monday, April 12, 2010

Choosing Savannah for your Dream Wedding-Morgan’s guest blog for Key to Savannah

Morgan Gallo opened MG Events, a luxury wedding planning firm, in 2005. Providing wedding planning services to Savannah, Hilton Head, Jekyll Island, and the LowCountry, MG Events believes that your wedding should not be the only day that you are showered with gifts and personal attention and strive to make the entire wedding planning process and memorable and enjoyable journey for the couple.

Orleans Square When you think of Savannah, what comes to mind? Maybe hospitality, southern charm, historic homes, architecture,  Spanish moss hanging from majestic oaks that line the streets and squares, southern cooking, and rich history?  These are all the unique elements that lure destination couples to Savannah and the LowCountry to host the wedding of their dreams and treat their guests to a unique experience.

20080510-008 Essentially, when you choose to have your wedding in Savannah, there are aspects that you would want to incorporate into your wedding weekend. The abundance of unique venues and talented vendors offer something for everyone.  Try picking a venue that either showcases the picturesque views the city offers or highlights the history that has made Savannah what it is today.  Have our incredible chefs incorporate the local fare that will offer you and your guests a true taste of Savannah’s local southern cuisine that no other destination can offer. Highlighting our famous local vendors such as the Savannah Bee Company, pralines from Savannah Sweets,  and the Byrd Cookie Company will allow your guests to take a piece of Savannah with them. Speaking of your guests, there is no better thing to treat them to a little old fashioned Hostess City hospitality as well.  The small extra steps you take, such as providing a trolley to your ceremony and reception site,  or scheduling group tours for your guests to take when your wedding festivities are not in full swing , will help them appreciate not only your wedding but Savannah as well.  Or sometimes it is something just as simple as a personalized note awaiting them on their dinner plate.

wedding trolley For the past 6 years, while my team and I have been planning destination weddings for couples from all over the United States and world, I’ve relished in being able to look back at what weddings were when I started and what they are now. I am in awe of the growth and high quality vendors that Savannah now offers our couples. When deciding whether to hire a wedding planner or not, I ask my potential clients to think of their careers and lifestyle. “What do you make per hour?  How many hours do you think you would spend researching and planning your wedding? I know we spend about 250 hours planning a wedding from beginning to end. Are you ready to spend your free time planning? Do you feel comfortable planning a destination wedding with limited knowledge about the city?”

If the answer is anything other than an enthusiastic “YES!” then you might want to consider a wedding planner and designer. This will not only offset the time and money, but also offer essential knowledge, save your sanity, and allow you to enjoy the entire process. We know that many of our couples are working professionals who have limited amounts of time to plan and research their wedding, so we strive to give them comfort in hiring us. Planners must be reputable, professional, honest and able to not just guide couples through the process of planning, but also offer a strong neutral shoulder in times of emotional need. You should feel comfortable and trust that your planner has and will always have your best interests at heart.  Read reviews and contact their past clients to learn more about the relationship that the client and planner maintained. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth.

0269 We feel it is so very essential that couples fall in love with the entire planning process, not just the wedding day. That is why our planning philosophy not only focuses on establishing more than a business relationship with you; we ensure a luxurious experience in every sense of the word. You should be showered with personal attention and the spoils you deserve not just on your wedding day! We want to share a personal relationship throughout your planning and long after your wedding. We provide a completely unique approach to planning your wedding by spending many hours getting know our clients over lunch, spa dates and meetings. We learn what makes you unique, your personalities, hobbies, wants, needs, likes and dislikes. This process allows us to narrow down the hundreds of vendors in the area and match you perfectly to the vendors that are within your budgetary means, and that fit your personality as well. Only then are we are able to create an event design with you that expresses who you are as individuals becoming one. When we help you infuse your personalities, wants and what Savannah truly is, it creates a wedding that uses all of your senses (sight, smell, taste, and touch) leaving nothing to be desired and everything to the imagination.

[Photography Credit: Geoff L Johnson, Allison Reisz Photography, DVB Photography]

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