Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Real Wedding: Amanda and Matt -- Professional Pictures

If you've been following the blog, you probably remember these detail shots that I took at Amanda and Matt's gorgeous wedding in February.

Well, last week I got an email from their talented photographer Jimmy Ho, letting me know that their images were up on his blog!

He posted tons of great shots, but these are my favorites.


Amanda's stunning Romona Keveza gown.
She was having such an awesome time working it for the camera!!
These getting ready shots were taken at the St. Charles Inn, a cute bed and breakfast in nearby San Antonio, Fl. Isn't this antique couch gorgeous??
Having fun in the limo, headed to the Lange Farm for some fun bridal party shots.

The beautiful Lange Farm

At the ceremony -- I love the look on Matt's face!
Love the lighting in this one!
Amanda's florist, Pam Verschure, did a great job. I loved these little floral pomanders marking each pew.
After the ceremony, Amanda and Matt headed back to the Lange Farm for some portraits.
LOVE the texture in this one!
This veil shot is absolutely amazing.
Their gorgeous cake! As I mentioned in my last post about their wedding, Amanda had this gumpaste magnolia custom-designed for her cake.
Amanda and Matt's first dance
The fun sparkler exit at the end of the night.
The awesome getaway car -- a vintage Rolls Royce

Thanks so much to photographer Jimmy Ho for sharing these images with us. You can see these and more on his blog.

Congratulations again Amanda and Matt! We were thrilled to be a part of your big day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Q&A Monday: Careers and Employment

Wow. It's really Monday already? The past week flew by.

Ok so today's question is not really for brides-to-be. But it IS one that we get on an almost daily basis. (In fact, I got two emails today asking this same question.)

So without further ado, here's this week's Q & A Monday!

Question: I have always wanted to be a wedding planner. Do you have any positions available at your company?

Answer: The answer to this question is very complicated, so I'll have to answer it in steps.

First, yes, we do have several positions available. These are internship positions. (Which means non-paid.) We do not currently have any paid openings.

Now, with that being said, our internships are only available to a select group of individuals. These are individuals that make a good impression on us, and give off the air that they will represent our company well. These positions are also not available to those interested in starting their own event planning company. We are looking to add to our team, not train the competition.

For those still interested, here are several do's and dont's when inquiring about jobs with a wedding planner. (I know several prominent event planners have also written about this topic, and I wholeheartedly agree with and second everything they've published on this topic. But I just have to contribute my two cents as well, even though much of it is very similar!!)

1) Don't use the wedding planner's website contact form to submit your inquiry. We are currently in a recession. Everyone needs business. Imagine our disappointment to open up what looks like a potential lead in our inbox only to find it's someone inquiring about a job. So sad!

2) Please read over your email. Very carefully. If it sounds to us like a 16-year-old wrote it, we're probably not going to give you a call back.

3) Please do not send your email to "whom it may concern." Most planners have an "about-me" section. Find out who the owner of the company is and address your email to that person. Show you've done your homework.

4) Don't copy and paste the same email and send it to 15 event planners in town. Show the planner why you want to work with THEIR company above any others. Know something about the company, and express that in your email. Reading their blog is a good place to start.

5) Please double check your spelling and grammar. This is a professional business. Need I say more?

6) PLEASE please please don't tell us that you'd be great at this because you planned your own wedding. Every wedding planner I've ever talked to inwardly cringes when they hear this.

7) DO get some education. Join an association. (I'm a member of ABC and it has given me a wealth of information and tools to use as I continue to grow my business.)

8) DO be willing to work, unpaid, for as long as it takes to get your foot in the door. No event planner will be willing to pay a virtual stranger to help out at an event. There is too much at stake.

9) DO understand how seriously the owner takes their business. Wedding planning is our life's work. We've spent thousands of dollars and many years to build our businesses to the places they are today. We aren't willing to jeopardize that, and anyone who comes on board must be FULLY committed to upholding our business reputation.

10) Be persistent! If this is something you really want to do, work at it to make it happen. Just do it the smart way.

To read other planners' thoughts on this very topic, check out these posts:

"Becoming a Wedding Planner" by Saundra Hadley of Planning...Forever Events

"Why I Won't Hire You" by Terrica Skaggs of Fabuluxe Events

"Advice on Being a Wedding Planner" by Liene Stevens of Blue Orchid Designs

Monday, March 23, 2009

Q&A Monday: Beach Wedding Backup Plan

Question: I'm planning a beach wedding. What do you recommend as a back-up plan in case of rain?

Answer: A back-up plan is a must. If you're planning a beach wedding, especially here in Florida, keep in mind that the weather can be very unpredictable, sometimes changing from hour to hour. If you're planning a beach wedding, you have several options for your back-up plan.

1) Check to see if the beach you're planning to marry on has "pavilions" for rent. These pavilions are usually covered and have some sort of seating. These are usually reserved through the same state or city office you got your beach permit from. This is probably the simplest, quickest back-up option for beach weddings.

2) Consider renting a tent as your back-up plan. This plan usually takes a little more fore-though, as many rental companies require a few days notice to get a tent and an installation crew ready to go. However, if you're keeping an eye on the weather and rain is headed your way, putting a back-up tent on "hold" with a rental company is not a bad idea. Sometimes there's a deposit involved, which may be lost if you end up not needing the tent, but often that's a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with having a good back-up option.

3) Sometimes, being outdoors is not a good option at all. In severe winds, tents can have difficulty stading, and rain can blow in through a pavilion's open sides. If this is the case, consider moving the ceremony to the space where your reception will be held. It may mean a quick flip of the room to change from a ceremony set-up to a reception set-up, or it may mean that you've got your guests sitting at tables while you say your vows. However, if severe weather threatens, this very well may be your best bet.

4) If your wedding is very small, very casual, and very flexible, you have the option of changing your ceremony time or ceremony date. Especially here in Florida, we can have gorgeous mornings and then stormy afternoons, or vice versa. Keep a close eye on the weather predictions, and if your guests can quickly be notified, sometimes a change in time can be a viable alternative. If all your guests are from out of town, and are setting aside several days to celebrate with you, pushing the ceremony back a day might work too. If you go this route, be SURE to check with all your vendors to make sure a switch will work. Again, this option will be best for those with very small beach weddings, especially if there is no true "reception" planned, or maybe just a nice dinner afterward.

5) Finally, there's the "brave-the-rain" method. Maybe it's just sprinkling. Maybe the showers are off and on. But if your guests are as fun-loving and carefree as you are, a little rain never hurt anyone. Grab your umbrella in one hand, your bouquet in the other, and head down that aisle!

Above all, your best bet when planning a beach wedding is to be flexible. Beach brides tend to be spontaneous, and fun-loving, and this attitude will definitely serve you well if nature doesn't follow your well-laid plans! And remember, having a coordinator is a must. If a back-up plan must be executed, your coordinator will have the skill and connections to make that happen for you. Your coordinator will defintely be able to handle what could potentially be a very stressful situation!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coming this Weekend: The Wedding of Danielle and Jay

Wow. It's hard to believe it's here already. I've been working with Danielle since July, and while we've done SO much planning, sometimes it seems like just yesterday we were out touring venues and discussing the wedding theme.

Danielle and Jay will be married this coming Saturday in a stunning ceremony at Riverside Baptist Church, followed by a Modern Chic Reception at The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. I am super excited about this wedding, and can't wait to post about it once it's over! Danielle and I have really focused on the details in her planning, and I can't wait to show all my blog readers some of the amazing surprises we have in store!!

For now, here are some shots from their engagement session with fab photographer Scarlett Lillian. I'll post wedding shots as soon as I have them!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Q & A Monday: Getting your Marriage License

Question: What's the process I need to go through to get my marriage license?

Answer: This is a question that, understandably, we get asked VERY often.

The procedure is generally pretty harmless, but you'll definitely want to "know before you go" so you don't forget anything.
1) You and your fiance must go to a Florida Courthouse.
(Note 1: It can be ANY courthouse in the state of Florida -- it does NOT have to be the county you are planning on getting married in.)
(Note 2: You and your fiance BOTH must be present.)
2) Bring two forms of identification.
One must be a picture ID (Driver's License, Passport, etc.) The other must be your social security card.
3) Bring $93.50 in cash.
Some court houses have gotten online and are now accepting charge cards, but not all. So either call first or play it safe and bring the cash.
4) Remember the waiting period.
Florida residents must go through a three-day waiting period before the license is considered valid. This means that if you applied on a Tuesday, your license would not be valid until Saturday. The waiting period is waived for non-Florida residents.
5. If you were previously married, bring proof that your previous marriage has ended.
In some counties, the date your divorce was finalized is sufficient. Others will ask to see a certified copy of your divorce decree. If you were widowed, please be prepared to provide the date of the death of your spouse.
6. Don't let the license expire!
It is valid for 60 days. If you don't use it within those 60 days, it expires and you would need to get another one to have a legal marriage ceremony.
7. Consider counseling.
If you participate in a state-approved counseling program, not only can you have the waiting period waived, but your fee will also be reduced.
8. Know your citizenship status.
Non-American citizens will have different procedures concerning identification necessary. Please contact your Clerk of Court for more info.

If you still have questions, the best person to contact would be your Clerk of the Court. Here is a list of all Florida Clerks of Court, and their contact info.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Please Nominate Flaire Weddings!

Past Brides, Current Brides, and Vendors: We'd love your nomination! Jacksonville Magazine is hosting their annual "Best of Jacksonville" readers polls, and one of the categories is "Wedding Professionals!"

We'd love your nomination for Best Wedding Coordinator! They also ask for many other vendors as well, so be sure to nominate your faves from the Jacksonville area.

Click here to nominate us and other pro's as well!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If you don't have any plans for St. Patty's Day....

Come join us at the ABC Northeast Florida Local Networking Group meeting! (Boy that's a mouthful isn't it?)

We're meeting at the Capital Grille in the St. John's Town Center on Tuesday at 6:30 pm. The cost is $15 for ABC Members, $20 for Non-members in Advance, and $25 at the door.

Our topic is being presented by.....

none other than Yours Truly!

I'm going to be giving a presentation entitled "Blogging 202... Beyond the Basics." The content is really designed for those wedding professionals who've started a blog, but would like to see improvement in various areas. We'll cover consistency, developing content, commenting, and more!

If you're in the Jacksonville area we'd love to have you. There will be a Q and A Session following the presentation, and I'd love to have to blogging "experts" in the audience as well to give their thoughts and provide feedback.

And just in case you're concerned there wouldn't be anything "Irish", I've got quite a bit of Irish heritage myself -- my mother's grandparents were 100% Irish!

Come network with other wedding pros in the Jacksonville area. We hope to see you there!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Q&A Monday

Question: I just discovered I have an extra $1,000 in my wedding budget. Where should I spend it for the maximum impact?

Answer: This is an excellent problem to have. Now, you could always put that money aside for your upcoming married life.

But... if you're desperate to spend it.... we HIGHLY recommend renting event lighting! Uplighting, pin spots, and gobos can turn an ordinary event into something truly spectacular. Imagine walking into a standard banquet room in a hotel, but instead of seeing the bland walls and ugly carpeting, you see that the room is washed in your wedding colors. The room has a glow to it, and you can feel the energy in the room.

Can lighting really make that big of a difference? Absolutely!

Check out these images from NashvilleEventLighting.com

Uplighting definitely sets the mood and sets your event apart from the rest. There are several awesome lighting vendors here in Northeast Florida that we love to recommend to our brides. But remember: Lighting is just one piece of the "event design puzzle." If you'd like customized assistance with your event design, please drop us a line!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Real Wedding: Amanda and Matt

This past weekend, I got to use my camera again to snag some awesome detail shots!

Amanda and Matt had a gorgeous wedding down in Dade City, Florida, and Maggie and I had such a blast coordinating their day.

I'll post their actual pictures when I receive them from their photographer, but for now I wanted to show off some of their amazing details!

Two of these wreaths graced the church doors.
The beautiful place card table.

Mr. and Mrs! Sweetheart table.
The amazing cake. Amanda had this gum paste Magnolia custom-made for her cake.
A wider shot of the cake and cake table. Amanda had us place pictures of both her and Matt's parents cutting their own wedding cakes. So sweet!
The centerpieces. I loved all of Amanda's cream and greens.
The favor table.
A few shots of the room -- everything looked so elegant!
It seems my little camera has risen to the occasion yet again -- I'm definitely glad I made this purchase.

Amanda and Matt -- your wedding was incredible and we were so thrilled to be a part of it!