We’ve been married for one month and three days (July 12, 2013). I planned our historic St. Augustine wedding for 18 months as DH and I completed our graduate degrees. I planned and planned, and our day was perfect, but not everything went as planned. Of course mother nature had other plans besides my wedding day and it POURED during the afternoon. The florist was setting up in the afternoon, and because of the bulky big chuppah she uses, she had to set up inside and it couldn’t have been moved outside. So, even though the rain had passed by the time our evening ceremony rolled around, the ceremony was still inside. It still worked out and the whole ceremony was beautiful, but I still wish our pictures had that rooftop backdrop.
Biggest pieces of advice to offer (take or not take what you like):
· Get a suite for you and your girls to get ready in and a room for the boys, it will make coordinating the day off soooooooo much easier.
· Make sure your florist/designer knows and respects your vision. The décor and flowers I had were beautiful, but not exactly what I wanted. I also wish I had asked about her backup rain plans as I did with the venue.
· Don’t let people (family members, friends, vendors, etc.) get under your skin. It is your wedding day, not theirs, and as long as you are not imposing bridezilla on them they don’t need to give you an attitude.
· Breathe, relax, and enjoy your day! I had so much fun and just let all my worries go away the day of. I finally realized I planned as much as I could and what was going to happen was just going to happen.
WED Windham Event Design – Lauren is great, artist, and professional. I loved the design concept she provided me with and all of the items she provided as décor and floral were beautiful. She really worked with my budget and I appreciated her help. Plus, she is a fellow Nole so I knew I made the right choice J
Contemporary Cakery – Andrea Plumely makes great cakes! We chose two flavors: her signature amaretto flavored cake and icing and regular vanilla and buttercream. The whole cake had strawberry filling. It was delicious! I provided Andrea with a picture of what I wanted my cake to look like and she completely nailed it, I was so happy! The cake was probably the one thing that came out perfect, besides getting married of course J Also, her prices were very reasonable!
Terri Smith Photo (based in Tallahassee, FL) – AMAZING!!!! Terri was the best most perfect vendor I could have ever chosen!!! She is based in Tallahassee, FL, but travels to many cities in FL and GA. She takes the best photos and is all over the places making sure she is capturing every moment. She was great with kids, all of our guests, and very very professional. Plus, she is the sweetest person! Her prices were out of my budget, but as soon as I saw one photo on another wedding blog I immediately cut videography so that I could book Terri, and I do not regret that decision one bit!
Y? Entertainment – David was the perfect DJ entertainment vendor we could have chosen. He played all of the right music, interacted in with our guests in a fun and professional manner.
Bella Bay Inn – We got a free night when we booked one night because they also own TWR venue. It was really nice and convenient to be located right next to the venue. I wish I had been smart enough to book a suite, but the single room was very spacious and very nicely decorated, it was a decent size for 5 girls to get ready in. However, parking is very limited, the air conditioning was like non-existent, and the door knob to the main building broke off on our wedding night and was very hard to get in and out of the room. Overall, I recommend, but I hope they do a little bit of touch ups.
The White Room Rooftop/Loft – The venue was perfect and the staff and friendliness and excellent customer service for my big day exceeded all of my expectations. All of the coordinators and staff there are highly professional and it really shows they know what they are doing and know their profession more than anyone. The views are great, the food was great, they did everything to make sure our day was perfect!
Hair and Make up – As I am not from the St. Augustine area, I am grateful my SIL lives there and we were able to use a friend of hers that does free lance make up on the side and the lady she goes to get her hair cut by was able to come by and do all of the girls hair at a very good price. I would definitely recommend having all the girls get hair and make up done, it was nice to get all dressed up together!
The New Image Bridal Salon (Thomasville, GA) – Drove up to Thomasville with my best friend one afternoon. She picked out my dress to try on, it was the first bridal dress I tried on ever and would have never picked it out. Needless to say, I was crying as soon as I saw myself, and her jaw dropped. This dress was perfect! Debbie, the bridal consultant, was amazingly helpful and honest. Went back later with my MOH and we picked the bridesmaid dress there. I highly recommend this cute little store.
Veil: As a royal family lover and follower of Kate Middleton, I really wanted to have a drop veil. I looked for one with the intricate and simple lace edging such as she wore, but could not find one I liked. I decided to order just a simple plain tulle drop veil and it worked so well and compliment my dress wonderfully! I highly recommend this etsy shop.
Wedding accessories: I originally had my heart set on wearing a tiara. As I was putting together my bride look, I realized a tiara just did not fit. I was so happy when I found this lace headpiece/head band for quite a reasonable cost, it really compliment my dress and completed my look! DH husband got me diamond earrings and a pearl bracelet to wear on our day J
Men’s Warehouse (Tallahassee, FL Governors Square location) – as our bridal party is scattered geographical, we chose Men’s Warehouse for the gentlemen’s attire. I went to a few different locations, and some of our groomsman did not have very good experiences in some of their locations, but the Tallahassee location is great. They were helpful, personable, and helped us save a little.
Bridal party and family gifts:
Groomsmen: for the guys we purchased flasks and shot glasses. For the little guys (ring bearers and FG escort we got them thermises and stickers)
MOH, FG, and BM’s: I really wanted to spoil my girls because they put up with A LOT from me. Etsy (estsy.com) was my go to for getting all of their gifts. They each got a hanger that had their name in the wire, I necklace with a pearl and their first name letter to wear on the wedding day, and button down shirts to wear while getting ready.
Parents of the bride: I really wanted to get my parents something sentimental, and again etsy was my go to. I ordered them this frame and had it personalized to be to mom and dad (instead of just dad). They loved it!
Parents of the groom: My DH’s parents are extremely hard to shop for. Luckily, I found something beautiful and in our price range. I ordered them this vase and had our wedding date etched on it. They loved it and were very surprised!