Destination Weddings & Welcome Basket Checklist

Over the past three or four years, we have realized that we are an amazing resource for local brides who are getting married more than two hours away from home. In our world, more than two hours away from home-base is considered a Destination Wedding.

Some of the more-than-two-hours-away locations our brides have tied the knot in are: St. Thomas, USVI (see Tammy and Troy’s portfolio); Andrews, North Carolina (see Katie and Brandon’s portfolio); St. Simon’s Island, Georgia; Silver Spring, Maryland, and other corporate events all over the world (Bangkok, Thailand; Orlando, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; etc.). Our brides have told us that the benefit of hiring a planner that is local to them versus a planner that is local to the venue is that we can spend more time with them and really understand what it is they want for their wedding weekend. We can be available for a coffee appointment because the bride spent several hours on Pinterest and now has a new direction for the centerpieces. Otherwise, all of that would have to wait until she went back to the beach to meet with the planner there.

We’re really excited about working with some great ladies this coming year to plan their destination weddings. Keep an eye out as we’ll be posting pictures in the coming months from Cashiers, North Carolina; St. Simon’s Island, Georgia; and Savannah, Georgia.

Have you been thinking about a destination wedding but want to develop a relationship with your planner in person, rather than just on the phone and when you visit two or three times in the next year? We would love to help.

In the meantime, don’t forget about your guests who are making the trip to your destination. A welcome basket in their hotel room is always a nice touch. Here is a checklist to get you started. (Oh, and by the way, we can help put these together and deliver them to the hotels for you.)

{Starter} Welcome Basket Checklist for Destination Weddings

Have Suitcase, Will Travel!

One of the new features of our website is an entirely separate destination events page! We’ve always done them but now destination has its own place to shine!

Planning any event from far away can be extremely stressful and challenging but we’re here to help! We offer all of the same package options to our destination clients as we do to local clients so you’ll get the same great services.

Some of the destinations that have already experienced the magic of A Big To Do Event are: St. Simon’s Island, Georgia; St. Thomas, USVI; Orlando, Florida; Andrews, North Carolina; Kenosha, Wisconsin; Bangkok, Thailand; and Washington, DC.

We’re already so excited about some of our 2013 destination event locations including St. Simon’s Island, Savannah, and Cashiers, North Carolina!

If you’re planning a wedding more than three hours from home, we’d love to help. Whether that means there is sand under your toes or, like one of our brides last year, knew from the time she was two years old that she would get married at the Lovely Lane Chapel in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, we would love to be part of the team.

Emily and Michael’s E-Sesh

We are thrilled to work with Emily and Michael on their 2013 wedding! You know those couples… The ones you know are saying “I love you” with just a look? The ones you know are playing footsie under the table? Yeah… That’s Emily and Michael. So in love.

I had the privilege of spending time with Emily and Michael even before they were engaged during the wedding planning process for her sister, Katie. (To remind you, check out Katie’s Andrews, North Carolina wedding here.)

Emily and Michael will be married at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on June 1, 2013. We’ve gotten a great start on building her dream team of vendors.

Here are their engagement shots. These were all taken on Emily’s parents’ property in Dawsonville, Georgia. Can’t wait until June to show you the gorgeousness that will take over the beach in St. Simons Island, Georgia!

All photos courtesy of Photos by Soto. We are excited to work with Mike and his team on Emily’s wedding.

Sarah’s Wedding Part II- The Beginning Details

**Sarah was an intern with A Big To Do Event in 2010 and remains a friend of A Big To Do.  We are so excited to help Sarah plan her and Slayden’s big day. She’s keeping us (and you) informed on her progress through the process. For a recap of her progress so far, click here: http://abigtodoevent.blogspot.com/2011/06/guess-who-is-planning-wedding.html **

This weekend marked three months until the big day! THREE MONTHS?! I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO! It is no wonder the average engagement is 14 months; we are having an eight month engagement and I feel like there is ALWAYS something to do!

So let me start with some advice:
– Keep a journal during your engagement. This journal should include everything from the proposal, to asking your bridesmaids, planning, fun memories and everything in-between!

Speaking of many of those events… I have lots to fill you in on!

Once I got my venues secured I had a few things I knew I needed to take care of. I knew choosing our bridal party needed to be one of our first tasks! We have some many important people in our lives and narrowing them down was a difficult task. I wanted to do something that would be unique to our wedding and special to my best friends.

I decided to buy bathing-suit bags for each of my girls. The front said, “Let’s hit the beach!” I wrote each of them a note asking if they would join me on the ultimate beach trip. It was something that was not a huge expense, but was special to each of them!

Now it was time to get organized. Creating the ultimate wedding binder would help keep my mom and me on track until the wedding! We divided the wedding into different sections such as: Attire, flowers, details, colors, budget, etc. We used sleeve protectors in the binder so I could pull pages from magazine and easily sort them! We also put a calendar in the front of the binder with a printable month for every month until the wedding. Lastly, we printed out a timeline of what needs to be done when to help (try) to keep us on track!

Until I could move on to any other decision I had to decide on a theme for the wedding. How you want people to feel when they leave the wedding is an important part of all you decision making. Do you want a romantic affair? A whimsical evening? Or a casual afternoon? While some of the “themes” will overlap it is important to decide what you are going for before you move onto the big details.

For me, I wanted people to leave feeling like they just left a dinner party with all their best friends. Since we are having a relatively small wedding, I want everyone to leave with their heart full after spending a long night with people important to them. Since we are in historic venues, we are keeping things classic/traditional in our attire and decorating.

Now you are up-to-date on the beginning details! Up-next I will cover the big stuff! Including my dress!

Guess who is planning a wedding?

Remember me? Last semester I led you through gifts, parties, questions and fashion for your wedding. You guessed right! Former A Big To Do intern Sarah is here because, I’M ENGAGED!

Even though I helped Erica for six-months, there is still SO much I am learning through this process (with the help of an amazing planner of course).

So here we are. Me planning a wedding, and you planning a wedding. So the only natural solution here is for us to help each other! For the next 5 months, I will be blogging about my struggles and successes of planning a wedding. Also, for the next 5 months you can comment, tweet or email me your questions or anything I need to know during all of this!

Lets go ahead and kick this blog off with my very first obstacle when I got engaged. Since I was 5, I have said I want to get married at Lovely Lane Chapel, a historic chapel on St. Simons Island where my family and I have vacationed all my life. When it finally came time to pick a venue I was very confused. Did I really want a destination wedding, or was my family so invested in the story, that I didn’t want to let them down?

After 4 days, and taking tours of 13 different locations for a reception on the island… I was more confused than ever. Sure I loved the chapel, and we had good options for reception venues, but is a destination wedding what I wanted?

My wonderful fiance gave me the best advice of all. On the phone one night while we were there I was venting about the decision, and how I just truly didn’t know. He said to me, “Sarah, you’ve been talking about this place since you were five. You love it, your family loves it. Don’t pick something else because its easier. We are all going to help to make sure it is your perfect day, even if it’s more complicated out of town.”

Our final choices ended up being Lovely Lane Chapel and Historic City Hall.

The wedding will have a romantic feel, with all dark wood in both locations, stained glass in the chapel and high ceilings with chandeliers in Historic City Hall.

So get ready as we have to work through caterers, rentals, bands, florists and everything in-between.

Check back soon; our next post will be on fashion and save-the-dates!