Allison + Scott: Seaside Chapel Wedding

What do you get when you mix an adorably sweet couple with an ultra-fun group of friends?  What about tossing in an out-of-this-world pretty palette of blushes and creams paired up with some handsome boys in bowties?  Well, you get Allison & Scott’s fabulous Seaside wedding, of course!

Arden spent a short eight months getting to know this sweet couple (yep, you can totally plan an amazing wedding in less than a year when you follow the advice of your trusty wedding planner), and knew immediately that our talented friends at Celestine’s – one of our favorite Santa Rosa Beach wedding florist and catering companies – would be the perfect fit to bring their wedding vision to life. Add in a rockin’ band from Gulf Talent Services, hair and makeup from Johnathan Doria and Paint Me Pretty, a work-of-art/insanely tasty cake from Confections on the Coast, and you basically have the recipe for a fabulous event!

Oh, and we couldn’t blog and brag on these pretty weddings without some amazing photographer friends! (I mean, we do have a stellar iPhoneographer amongst us, but that’s another story for another day.) Huge thanks to Dede Edwards Photography for such beautiful images!

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Tales of a Wedding Planner : The Heart of the Matter

As I sit here sipping a massive vat of coffee with one eye open and pondering this week’s blog, it occurred to me that we’ve never really featured any pre-wedding goodness.  And, well, why would we?  With no pretty wedding pictures or behind-the-scenes sillies to share, it never seemed logical.  But I’ll tell you, the planning is where it’s at, friends.  All those pictures we like to show off from our awesome photographer friends with so many pretties from our equally as awesome wedding pro friends?  Those photos tell stories.  Stories of laughter and growing friendships with our couples; of to-do lists and the daily race to conquer our inboxes; of phone calls and meetings and collaborating and drawing and revising and calculating and laboring over the dreaded R-word (I know…); of tears of joy and tears of exhaustion; of pure excitement in knowing we had a hand in bringing a couple’s wedding vision to life . . .  So many stories where the heart and business collide, that not sharing seems borderline absurd.

You see, as a wedding planner (or anyone in the wedding industry, really), there’s no such thing as a “typical day” at the office.  One email or phone call can become an immediate priority, oftentimes consuming an entire day, and plans of conquering that to-do list and/or inbox are quickly deflated.  A planning call with a bride, for us, translates to: at least an hour or so of prep-work reviewing the wedding and getting our ducks in a row (because let’s face it, these little brain folds are losing their oomph and the ability to store thousands of wedding details across multiple weddings at a time is not so much working out.  And I usually try to answer questions with more of a response than “uhhh…”), an hour or so on the call itself, and immediately tackling the to-do list that oftentimes transpires from that call (again, brain fold retention at an all time low = need to tackle follow-up items ASAP…).  What about those days where we’re “in meetings”?  Meetings = lots of driving.  Lots.  And lots of talking and note-taking and advice-giving and voice-of-reasoning and playing mediator and thinking logically — and they’re generally an all-day affair.  How about the wedding day itself?  As much as we would love to wake up next to our sweet brides with a mimosa in-hand, or hang out all day fluffing and buffing and running errands, or  show up an hour before the ceremony to send everyone down the aisle (and then party the night away at your reception!), that’s just not the case (thank you, reality TV and JLo).  We’re ensuring all those moving parts are singing together harmoniously, and there aren’t any major snafus to sort through (lost power?  no problem.  A/C unit blowing heat into the tent?  no problem.  tide coming in higher than we expected and have to cram 300 chairs on the beach for a ceremony?  no problem.  rental truck blow a tire?  no problem.  rain cloud appear out of nowhere and now we’re scrambling to protect your pretties?  no problem.).  When we say “we’ve got this”, we really do.  And we kind of like knowing that you’re going about your day none-the-wiser.  :) That itinerary?  Yeah…

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In a tiny nutshell, that’s the “business” side of being your wedding planner.  The side we don’t like for you to see.  The side we try to keep at bay so you can keep on pinning (channeling my inner-Dory) and so we can handle the busy-work to keep things running nice and smooth on your end.  The side that we, as your wedding planners, don’t really share because we genuinely love our couples . . . and know that the day-to-day of what we do can sometimes seem like it lessens the special-ness of your day, or may cause you to think you’re “just another bride”.  Well, I can assure you, you’re not.  There’s a whole other side to being a wedding planner that – while you probably do see a small side of it – also doesn’t get shared much because, honestly, it’s tough to articulate.  And since I obviously have a really hard time with words (hello, current word count of 687…), I’ll do my best to explain.

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To be a wedding planner, you obviously need to be a people-person.  You also need to have a thick-skin, juggle being pulled in multiple directions and be able to “turn on the happy” at any given moment.  Wearing your emotions on your sleeve doesn’t work well in this industry; brides look to you as their sense of calm and as the person who has it all together.  Broadcasting how crazy your life is on social media is a big no-no, and whining about the 18-hour day you just put in won’t exactly win you any awards in the awesome wedding planner category.  No, brides want calm.  Brides want no stress.  Brides want someone they can go to as their peace-keeper and their side-taker in any situation.  Brides want to feel as though they’re your only bride — special and unique and different from the others.  But I’ll tell you very honestly: Although we have a million things zooming through our brains at any given moment, and way too many people to try and make happy everyday, every single one of our brides IS unique and special and different from the others.  This is where the business-side and the heart-side collide for us, and where I personally struggle separating at times.  This has been weighing on my heart pretty heavily lately — and after a meeting with this weekend’s brides yesterday, and the true friendships that have formed with these two amazing people, the heart-side of what we do day in and day out definitely hit me pretty hard.  No matter how challenging life gets or how much work goes into a wedding, at the end of the day, the heart-side, for me, triumphs.

Though I write this from my perspective, I can imagine this rings true for so many of us in the wedding industry.  I never thought that almost three years after starting this journey planning one of the most important days in a couple’s life, I’d have so many reflections of clients-turned-friends.  It’s surprising to me, yet humbling and heart-warming all at the same time.  As I read through the sweet notes and emails from couples-turned-friends, and reflect on the graciousness of you all, I can’t help but sit for a moment and be truly grateful to have formed so many bonds with so many amazing people.  And I think about how for you, too, the heart triumphs through this entire process.  We genuinely take your wedding to heart, and truly, genuinely hope for your wedding to be the best. day. ever.

XOXO,

Jen2

October 21, 2013 - 2:53 am

erica - pretty much one of the best blog posts, ever. mean it. xo

Bailey + Zack’s Rosemary Beach Wedding

When we met Bailey and her sweet mom, Jennifer (hello, match made in namesake heaven!) last year over coffee, we knew right away she was our kind of bride: laid back, sweet, fun, down-to-earth, and completely trusting. They came to us after feeling a little frazzled about where to start with their wedding plans, given the overload of information out there on the big, wide world of the Internet. We immediately took the pressure off by hopping right in the car to search for the perfect venue. Imagine our sweet bride’s surprise when we unveiled (ha, get it?) Rosemary Beach! Operation De-frazzle was an immediate success!

Once we had their perfect venues all picked out, it was time to find a date that worked with their hectic schedules. (Fact: Finding your wedding venue is probably the most complex piece in getting your wedding plans off the ground. We put on our thinking caps and consider things like your estimated guest count, time of year, budget, whether the ceremony and reception venue can be combined and if so, is it logistically feasible? Is there a built-in rain plan or will we need to haeve a Plan B (and C, and D…)? Are there rules within a given community we need to consider? Etcetera, etcetera.  Of course, that just scratches the surface; we can’t give away all our secrets now you know.)  Luckily, Bailey & Zack were so darn cool and easy to work with that they were totally open to suggestion and – like wedding magic – the Western Beach and Town Hall were officially theirs!

After months and months of phone calls, emails, wading through proposals and contracts and budgets (oh my!), checking things off to do lists, considering buying stock in Post-it Notes, keeping everything straight with a slight binder/folder obsession – the wedding day coming together right before your eyes is truly and overwhelmingly rewarding.  But . . . seeing your bride and groom truly enjoy every second of their day: absolutely what makes our jobs as Rosemary Beach wedding planners beyond gratifying.

Mega-thanks to Dear Wesleyann Photography and Alan of Pure7 Films for the insanely amazing images and video!  And to our incredible team for, as always, being over-the-top amazing!  Congrats, Bailey & Zack: Y’all are the best!!

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Bailey & Zack (Cinematic Wedding Film) from Pure7 Films on Vimeo.

XOXO,

Jen2

Amy + Steve | Rosemary Beach Wedding

Fall at the beach usually means cooler temps, pumpkin everything, an overabundance of cute boots, and . . . really pretty fall weddings!  We’re digging into our fall wedding vault and showcasing some of our favorites – and couldn’t resist sharing Amy & Steve’s late-November Rosemary Beach wedding.  These two define what it means to truly be in love.  Such a sweet, gracious, adorably awesome couple!

November weddings can pose a bit of a challenge time-wise – given that the sun sets super-early and nearly everything we do hinges on those pretty sunset photos on the beach.  Why not just have an earlier ceremony, you ask?  Well, it’s not always that simple.  An earlier ceremony almost always means a longer reception, which almost always means needing to extend the hours your wedding team is contracted for that day (e.g., the band, photographer, videographer, your coordinator (ahem), etc.).  And of course, with a destination wedding, your guests have typically been going strong for several days, so a 6-7 hour reception is not always recommended.

Amy & Steve opted to have their ceremony just after sunset, allowing them to enjoy a full – but not overly lengthy – celebration with their family and friends.  Now, a sunset ceremony is certainly beautiful, but there are a handful of other things to consider with that as well that you can read all about here.  We think of everything, don’t we?

Thanks to Steve Wells Photography for the gorgeous images and to the rest of our amazing wedding team for creating such a beautiful day for Amy & Steve!

Lacey + John William | Rosemary Beach Wedding Planner

This week in the big, happy world of It’s a Shore Thing events, we’re super-excited to show off Lacey & John William’s fabulous Rosemary Beach wedding – in real-life fashion!  Josh Kidd Films never fails to impress, and the wedding video trailer of this adorable bride & groom he created is simply amazing.

This wedding was a perfect example of a bride & groom who trusted completely, as Arden planned this wedding in just three short months!  Knowing the ropes as a Rosemary Beach wedding planner – everything from putting our bride & groom in the hands of the right team of professionals to meet their vision (and style . . . and budget . . . and needs . . . and personality) to executing the day to a ‘T’ by ensuring each and every detail is covered – is what allows our couples to truly be a guest at their own wedding.

Congrats, Lacey & John William!  We adore y’all to pieces and loved being a part of your gorgeously fun wedding!

Venue: Rosemary Beach, Florida

Photography: Meg Baisden Photography

Event & Floral Design: Events by Nouveau

Catering: Townsend Catering

Event Rentals: Elegant Tents & Events

Band: Black Jacket via Music Garden

Makeup: Jamie Gummere, Paint Me Pretty

Hair: Mindy Norris

Transportation: A Bride’s Ride