Enjoy the Entire Wedding Planning Process

One of the greatest perks of having a wedding planner is the ability to put your wedding in someone else’s hands for the day of. Your scheduling and penny pinching efforts have all led to the time-lined events of your wedding day. They should provide a basic map of your days activities including: Hair and Make -up  Mani/Pedi ,Bridal party pre-wedding shots with all other memorable moments to be shared for years to come.

Photo Credit. Ameliaanddanphotography.com 

Photo Credit. Ameliaanddanphotography.com 

The above list barely scratches the surface of the To Do list to make your dream wedding a reality. In addition to all of the above, add on: venue set up, vendor check in, meeting the appropriate staffing requirements, personal touches you’d like to place, and all those little details that create such a unique experience for you and your bride/groom. And you can never be truly prepared for the unexpected mishaps that creep up on you....we are.

Sounds like work now doesn’t it? I mean, who wants to check in the caterer with a drying manicure, or set up tables and chairs in a tux? The only thing you should have to worry about on your wedding day is not tripping down the aisle on your way to say I Do to the person who, at the end of the day, makes everything worth it.

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Traditional Wedding Card Versus Wedding Website Invite


Wedding Cards:

A traditional wedding card begins with selecting Color scheme, type of paper and all other necessary elements to bring a personal sense of style and class to this traditional way of expressing the wedding weekends sequence of events.

Details to include in your wedding card

Specific dates, times, addresses ,and resources should be included along with phone #’s The success of the wedding card along are dependent on how much information you have provided your guests with prior to your celebration.

Weddings Websites:

Wedding websites are most popular with couples now because the only thing they cost is “Time” as they are free!! These websites act as “Control Central” to drive all your guests to as a prime location to post all the weekend events and are readily available for couples to change information, updates etc at the clink of a computer keyboard. 


Happy Beginnings, Mike




Four Seasons Of Wedding Floral

How the Four Seasons can have an impact on your wedding colors


Spring is about freshness!!! Fresh natural colors yellows, greens, blue and pink are my faves!. I’m all about what is local and vibrant.


What comes to mind? Fun, Fun, Festive! Consider if you wedding is indoor or outdoors. Indoor venues are more conservative and follow one tone, so we suggest pulling in all those vibrant bright colors that Mother Nature provides us. Outdoors gives us the opportunity to use the surrounding beauty of nature and lends itself to what is in bloom and flourishing! Sometimes in this case, less is more


Now for example, Charleston’s autumn, go as quick as they come and our summers last so long here that all the above could come into play. Now for you Northerners, that’s a different story. With the transition from summer brings, Orange, Brown and Red Color schemes. I like incorporating a combination of caramel nut colors with deep red and blues.


Wintertime anywhere is a great opportunity to incorporate lighting. Candles are a wonderful way to replace (Not Totally) floral. My advice, Fire and Ice. Shades of red, white, light blue and silver are simply elegant and timeless.

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Help for the Vow-Blocked

Writing your own vows can be a wonderful expression of your love to your future spouse. It can also be extremely difficult for some to put their feelings into words. Here are some tips to help ease your worried mind: 1. Allow yourself enough time to think of your vows. Most people focus on planning everything for their wedding and tend to ignore one of the most important parts of the ceremony: the vows. So if you're name isn't Poe, Shakespeare, Frost or Hemmingway, you might want to allot some free time for your creativity to flow.

2. Keep it simple. The biggest obstacle for most writers is themselves. Don't try to write a novel. Write about your relationship, talk about the little things you promise to do, and the things that showed you they were the one for you. Tell them how you are fully aware that you choose to be their other half for better or for worse, not because you're obligated, but because you genuinely want to.

3. Do your homework. Watch the rom-com's, read the love sonnets, get your inspiration from a cereal box if that's what it takes-maybe something will spark what you truly want to say.

4. No matter what you say, it will be perfect. Your family, your friends, and your other half will adore whatever comes out of your mouth simply because its from you to him.


Happy Beginnings, Mike


How to Protect Your Wedding Budget from Unexpected Costs and Surprises

Photo Credit Dana Cubbage Lovely reception at Legare Waring House

Photo Credit Dana Cubbage Lovely reception at Legare Waring House


Hi Gang,

I’d love to share this helpful info from Laura Newcomer.

If you’ve spent even one second thinking about having a wedding, then your wallet probably already hurts. Please remember the below amounts averages are based on surveys, not what  YOU have set aside for your Charleston SC wedding celebration .Weddings these days are expensive—sometimes wildly so. In fact, a recent study by The Knot found the national average cost of a wedding rose to $35,329 in 2016 (up from $32,641 in 2015).

Why the major expense? The study attributes the rising cost of weddings to the fact that couples are increasingly interested in “wowing” their guests with unique experiences and adding personal touches to every facet of their big day. While they help make the wedding exceptionally memorable, these details can also add up.

Of course, not every wedding incurs the same expenses. A host of factors can affect how much the happy couple ultimately shells out for their big day. Where you live is a big one: The Knot study found the average New York City wedding costs $78,464, while the average Montana wedding costs a (relatively) measly $20,794.

The couples’ support system is another major factor. The average couple covers approximately 43 percent of the wedding expenses; the parents cover 55 percent; and other members of the couples’ support system contribute two percent.

The bottom line is that weddings are expensive, and they include tons of moving parts. Between navigating familial tensions and deciding on a color scheme, it can be hard to know just how much a wedding will actually cost. What is clear is that expenses quickly add up.

Many couples start with a budgeted number, then find that number becomes the lower end of the range. When it comes time to tally the total, it’s not rare for couples to have gone over their budget by a few thousand dollars. Nearly 50 percent of couples spend more on their weddings than they’d planned, and the vast majority end up regretting what they spent.

While there’s no guaranteed way to avoid all unexpected wedding costs, advanced planning can help you limit surprises when it’s time to add up your total bill. Here’s a rundown of the major cost considerations every couple should take into account, along with simple strategies for regulating expenses so you don’t keel over from sticker shock over your big day.

Charleston Wedding Planner Budgeting Right: Keep These Tips in Mind for Your Wedding

No matter the size of your wedding fund, research suggests you can expect to pay a certain percentage of your budget for each of the following categories:

Reception: 48–50 percent

Photography/videography: 10–12 percent

Attire: 8–10 percent

Flowers: 8–10 percent

Entertainment/music: 8–10 percent

Ceremony: 2–3 percent

Stationery: 2–3 percent

Wedding Rings: 2–3 percent

Parking/transportation: 2–3 percent

Gifts: 2–3 percent

Miscellaneous: 8 percent

These percentages fluctuate a bit depending on your priorities. If you’re fine with sending a digital invitation but can’t imagine a ceremony and reception without a live band, for example, then you may end up paying less for stationery and more for music. No matter your priorities, a variety of strategies can help you regulate costs at every stage of the wedding planning process.

Stationery (Save the Dates, Invitations, and “Thank You” Notes)

Don’t forget to budget for every single piece that goes into each form of stationery. For example, stamps, the weight of your invitation, the type of paper you use, and the number of sheets stuffed into each envelope will all factor into the final cost.

Design to your budget.

The simpler your stationery, the less costly it will be. Minimalist designs, single-color text, white envelopes, and standard paper sizes are almost always less expensive. If you would like to splurge elsewhere, consider sending digital invitations.


Develop an estimate of how many guests will attend. A good rule of thumb is that 85 percent of in-town guests will show up, while 55 percent or more of out-of-towners will RSVP “yes.” While these numbers won’t be exact, they can give you a sense of how many people you’ll be responsible for feeding.

Consider cutting the guest list. Yes, it’s tough to do. But reducing the number of people at your wedding will help you save on everything from food and alcohol to stationery and table rentals. It’s one of the quickest ways to cut down on expenses if your budget is starting to get stretched.

Consolidate venue visits. Before signing a contract with a venue, most couples visit several potential locations to decide on the best fit. All that driving (or flying) and time can add up to money spent, especially if you have to take time off work. Save money during this stage by scheduling your venue visits on the same day or the same weekend. This way, you aren’t spending money on traveling to venues every weekend for months on end.

Consider the day and season. No matter where you live, most venues have a busy season and an off-season. If you’re willing, booking in the off-season can afford you significant discounts. Similarly, venues tend to charge more for weekend weddings than weekday ones. If you and your guests can swing a weekday wedding, this can be a simple way to stay on budget.

Know that time is money. The longer you’re at a venue on your wedding day, the more you’ll pay. Booking a venue for four hours instead of six, for example, can be a major money saver. This also applies to the time of day: A morning or afternoon affair is likely to cost less than an evening wedding.


Remember that amidst all the romance of a wedding, there are legal matters to take care of. If you hire an officiant who’s legally capable of binding your marriage, expect to spend a few hundred dollars for their time. If you have a civil ceremony, you’ll still need to pay a (smaller) legal fee for your marriage license. There’s no getting around these fees, so it’s important to incorporate them into your budget.


Don’t get duped by dress costs. The average wedding dress may cost $1,564, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. You can save by:

Renting a dress

Scouring Etsy or other online stores in lieu of expensive boutiques

Attending a trunk show to score a designer dress for less

Selling the dress after the big day

Choose accessories mindfully. Pocket squares, jewelry, fancy watches, scarves, boutonnieres, cufflinks, and more can all add to the cost of wedding attire. Scaling back on accessories can be a simple way to save some dough.

Decorations and Flowers

Know that no two flowers are alike. In-season and locally grown flowers are typically priced lower than those that need to be shipped from far-off locales. Talk to your florist to discuss pricing for different flower varieties along with other strategies for managing costs, such as limiting the number of flowers you use and incorporating greenery and non-floral items into your decorations.

Consider the number of tables. The more tables you have, the more centerpieces you need. Using larger tables or shrinking the guest list can be a simple way to make more room in your budget.

Go DIY. There’s something to be said for paying someone else to create decorations for you—it saves time and hassle. But if you’re trying to scale back, enlisting family and friends to help you make some or all of your decorations can be a great way to save.

Food and Drink (Including Cake)

Know that the more courses you include, the more money you pay. Scaling back from five to three courses or serving hors d’oeuvres in lieu of a main course can be easy cost-savers.

Reduce your cake costs. If you’re planning a larger wedding, consider purchasing a smaller, fancy cake for the ceremony and then serving guests from a sheet cake that’s the same flavor. That way you don’t have to shell out for multiple fancy cakes, but your guests still get delicious cake.

Know that cake frills come at a price. Fresh flowers are cheaper than sugar ones; ornate decorations are more expensive than minimalist designs; and unusual fillings are more expensive than good ol’ buttercream. Choose accordingly.

Be aware of alcohol pricing. Beer and wine are significantly cheaper than a full bar. Toasting with Prosecco is less costly than champagne. Fiddling with the alcohol list is an easy way to add some flexibility to your budget.

Photography and Music

Decide where your priorities lie. If it’s important to you to have a live band play at your wedding and reception, then by all means invest in one. Just know that live bands are more expensive than DJs, so this may mean you’ll need to cut back in another area to stay on budget. If you do hire a live band, there are still ways to save money, such as hiring a small group (as opposed to a large ensemble) or enlisting music majors from a local university.

Make sure you know exactly what’s included in your photography package. You’ll pay extras for things such as split frames and multiple exposures. If you want those effects, go for it—just make sure you pay for exactly what you want.


Beware of hidden fees. Cake delivery and set up, overtime costs for the photographer or venue manager, florist or hair and makeup trials, and service charges for servers, coat checkers, parking attendants, and so on are often left off wedding budgets and surprise couples. Before entering into a relationship with any vendor, make sure you know exactly what you’ll be expected to pay.

Budget for gratuities. A huge range of vendors—including servers, stylists, bathroom attendants, hotel staff, and others—earn gratuities for their role in your big day. All told, tips can add up to hundreds of dollars, so make sure you factor these into your budget.

No matter how much money you plan to spend on your wedding, you can avoid financial stresses by keeping careful track of your expenditures and building in a contingency budget for the unexpected costs that will inevitably crop up. It’s also helpful to charge all of your wedding expenses to a credit card that rewards you with mileage, points, or cash back—this way, you can help defray the costs of a romantic honeymoon with your dearly beloved.

After all that wedding planning, you’re going to need it!

Laura Newcomer is a writer, editor, and educator with multiple years of experience working in the environmental and personal wellness space. Formerly Senior Editor at the health site Greatist, Laura now lives and works in Pennsylvania. Her writing has been published on Washington Post, TIME Healthland, Greatist, DailyBurn, Lifehacker, and Business Insider, among others

Tips for a Summer Wedding

Summer is a perfect season for a beautiful outdoor wedding. But this sunny season can be fickle, so here are some tips on how to host your very own perfect summer wedding! Have your florist make a back up boutonniere- in case your flowers get a case of the wilts

Consider using fans as your programs. Also have parasols for your female guests. 

Try to stay away from saying your nuptials during the hottest hours of the day. Avoid 10-3pm unless you’re in a comfy shaded pavilion

Dress the part-use waterproof and lightweight makeup. Linen suits, or opt for the no suit jacket look.

Take advantage of the beautiful flora that summer provides. Give your wedding a pop of color with bold yellow sunflowers or daisies. Choose décor that will hold up in the heat!

Choose light foods that won’t leave your guests feeling heavy. Sticking with seasonal fruits and veggies can lighten up the palate.

Keep the cake indoors! No confection can withstand the heat…well, no edible confection can withstand the heat. So bring your cake indoors! Set up a dessert table to entice your guests into the AC!

Avoid this:

Melted Wedding Cake
Melted Wedding Cake

Happy Beginnings, Mike


How To Plan Your Perfect Wedding Menu

How to plan your perfect wedding menu Don’t feel forced into a blasé sit down dinner based on old traditions. There are unlimited options for your wedding menu. Your caterer will be there to help guide you when you’re making your food choices, but here are a few to spark some ideas:

Incorporate childhood favorites. Dress up your favorite comfort foods for your friends and family to enjoy. Who says mac and cheese can’t be fancy? Try a “do it yourself” mac and cheese bar!

Keep it local and seasonal. Not only will this reduce your overall food cost, but it will ensure that your guests get a guaranteed fresh and high quality meal. Look for caterers that source locally and organically.

Think about the atmosphere you want to create with the food you’re serving. Will you be having a lot of speeches? Consider having a buffet or sit down dinner where your guests can sit comfortably and listen to everyone’s speech.

More things to consider:

How long is your reception? Think about serving a passed appetizer as a midnight snack.

Let your food set the mood. If you have a crowd that loves to dance, keep the food light.!

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Signature Wedding Cocktails


What better way to cool off your guests than a customized cocktail? This personal touch at the bar is sure to be a hit, and the best part is, you can tailor it to your favorite drink! Does your beau love whiskey and you love peach schnapps? Why not have both a Bride and a Groom’s drink?

There are unlimited options for your signature drink, so have fun with creating it! Think of cute names, have them go with your wedding theme, or just stick to the basics. Think fresh and light for the season, and incorporate the tastes you love. Have your bartender post a sign with your drink so everyone can have a taste of your favorite adult beverage (everyone of age that is!).


Happy Beginnings! Mike


It's the Little Things that Count

One thing you do not want is to wake up unprepared on your wedding day. This is where having a wedding planner can keep you on track. Our middle name is Prepared...ok so it legally isn't, but it should be! We have the kitchen sink, and more in our bridal emergency kits, but here are some things for you to remember BEFORE your wedding day: Pack an overnight bag. No one wants a walk of shame in their tux and wedding gown, so be sure to pack a bag with clothes for your wedding night and next day. Some couples leave directly from the hotel to their honeymoon, so make sure you're all packed up prior to last minute. And don't forget the necessities like phone chargers and cameras!


Speaking of honeymoons, if you are going out of the country, don't forget your passport! Last thing you want to do is call your mom and ask her to run it to the airport. She will hold this over your head. I repeat, do not forget your passport!


Write your vows and speech down. If you're not exactly an 'off the cuff' kind of person, write it down! That way you don't need to stress about forgetting what to say. And don't worry, no one will judge you for reading off a paper, it's what you say that counts!

If you are exchanging a bride and groom gift,or giving your bridesmaids or groomsmen little trinkets of appreciation, pack them with your 'get-ready' bag. This way, you'll remember to bring them along!

Eat!!!! Please, this is especially important. No one wants you passing out at the alter, so have a hearty breakfast, or at the very very least, a few snacks to keep your energy up !

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Incorporating Long Tables in your Wedding Floor Plan

Seaside Dining Splendor

Seaside Dining Splendor

To create a more intimate reception for your wedding try using long tables in your floor plan. Long tables are perfect when you’re a little short on space. They won’t suit every wedding venue, but when you can incorporate long tables, the overall aesthetic can be wonderful.

Plantation Family Style -Legare Waring House-www.redshutterstudio.com

Plantation Family Style -Legare Waring House-www.redshutterstudio.com

Long tables can be a great way to keep your groups of friends and families together without creating an air of separation with your guests.Long tables are classic and simple, and can create symmetry within your reception space. Dressed with linen and centerpieces, they can be that subtle elegant touch you've been looking for.

Backyard Wedding Brunch

Backyard Wedding Brunch

Happy Beginnings,  Mike


FAQ When Planning a Wedding


When to apply for a marriage license:

In South Carolina, there is a 24 hour waiting period for all marriage licenses, so if you’re getting married on a weekend, be sure to sign up for your Charleston Marriage License on a Thursday and it will be ready on Friday!  Please remember if you cannot apply until Friday it will be ready for you the following Monday.

How can I stay on budget?

Staying on budget depends solely on you! If you have a wedding budget, it should be fairly easy to keep your finances on track. Its also a great idea to map out your “Must haves” and “Wants” list, and be completely honest with yourself on both! I would suggest, ceremony and reception sites, catering, bar, photographer, band or d.j., floral and decor, cake and sweet treats

How can I cut wedding costs?

This ties a lot into your budget. Once you have your lists of “Needs” completed , you can go shopping for the best prices in town for everything that checks off your list. This is when having a wedding planner comes in handy, because they usually have a list of ‘preferred vendors’ who have proved reliable, and fair, to whom they can refer you to.

How can I plan for wedding day weather?

This is always a big one for outdoors weddings. If you are having an outdoor wedding, HAVE A RAIN OR INCLIMATE WEATHER PLAN B!!! Go over your rain plan with everyone involved in the wedding party. Consider having a time to make an executive decision to move your ceremony site. There is a lot to think of when rain is looming over your big day, but there is no need to stress if you have a plan!


Happy Beginnings,  Mike


Wedding Invitations



Picking out wedding invitations can be an exciting time in the wedding planning process! The style of a wedding usually determines the degree of formality of the invitation. When wording your wedding invitations there are certain guidelines that apply.

Here are a few friendly tips to keep in mind when wording your wedding invitations!!

  • ~The first names to appear on an invitation should be those of people paying for the wedding.
  • ~ All names, the date, and the time should be written out in full.
  • ~ If the year is used, it is traditional to spell it out. For example, 2015 should be "two thousand andfifteen"
  • ~ Traditional wording for a religious ceremony is "the honor of your presence." Wording for the reception is "the pleasure of your company".
  • ~ It is important to mail the wedding invitations between four and six weeks prior to the wedding. Allow as many as eight to ten weeks for summer or holiday weddings.
  • ~ Always send self- addressed, stamped response cards with the invitations! This encourages people to send in their RSVP's, which is very important.
  • ~ Remember to include a "Respond by" date on the card, this encourages guests to respond immediately.
  • ~If a choice of entrees for dinner will be offered, this may also be listed on the response cards.
  • ~ Write the guests' names and address on the outer envelope. The names of the people invited to the ceremony should be written on the inner envelope.
  • ~Maps and directions to the ceremony and reception sites should be printed clearly and photocopied for inclusion with a formal invitation.

After the invitations have been ordered and have arrived for pick up, it is IMPORTANT to proofread the invitation before mailing them out to your wedding guests! When proofreading, the following things should be closely checked!

  • ~ Are the style and color what you ordered?
  • ~ Are all names spelled correctly?
  • ~ Are titles such as Dr. used properly?
  • ~ Are there periods after all abbreviations?
  • ~ Are the proper words capitalized?
  • ~ Are the date and time of the wedding correct?
  • ~ Are the day, time, and year fully written out?
  • ~ Are the address of the wedding site and reception correct?
  • ~ Are the directions correct?
  • ~ Is the type style correct?
  • ~ Is the type the right size?

Congratulations, you have successfully sent out your wedding invitations! Hope you have enjoyed our friendly tips!

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Writing Your Own Weddings Vows

In the United States over two million wedding ceremonies are held every single year. …But one fact remains. Each and every single one of these weddings is guaranteed to include one element: the bride and groom,  and in this ritual that unites husband and wife together as a couple in the eye of the lord and in the view of the law, the exchange of vows really is the very heart and soul of the entire ceremony.


The wedding vows are verbal articulations of the happy couple’s feelings for one another, ‘for better or for worse’. Physically making the vow can be as simple as “Will you marry me”: “I will”.

Couples often go into great detail when making their wedding vows before the actual ceremony. This can take many forms, and depends on the individual couple! Sometimes the couple use traditional vows that have been written by another person, and are used in churches, the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis. And sometimes the happy couple decides to write their own personal vows for one another, these are my personal favorites!

Of course it is a wonderfully romantic idea for a couple to decide to write your own wedding vows. In fact, this is becoming an increasing popular phenomenon as time goes by. Hover, it is not as easy as it may seem. Even the most expressive and creative person can find it hard to express exactly what they are trying to communicate to their lover. Remember, these words will not only mean more to your lover than any before, but they will also be articulated in the most public of scenarios. The pressure is on! But never fear, as help is at hand


If you find that you are struggling to get the wording absolutely perfect, there are many specialists readily available to guide you. On the Internet alone there are many different companies that offer affordable and effective services to ensure that you can express your eternal love for one another perfectly.

Each company has a different stance - from using freelance writers to write personalized messages as guidelines for your development, to suggested frameworks for the actual structure of the vow, and possible adjectives alongside. It is a good idea to have a really good browse through these websites before committing yourself to them - but when you do; the chances are that you will be guaranteed word perfect result that will express all of your hearts desire, and more.

Happy Beginnings,  Mike


Do it Youself Wedding Decor

Are you a Pinterest lover like we are?? Honestly, who does not love the creative and unique ideas you run across on Pinterest that you feel you MUST have at your wedding? Or you may be on a somewhat tight budget, or maybe you just want to be able to keep something from your wedding as a reminder of the day you married your true love. Well guess what! You can do it all yourself and make it look fabulous!! We have noticed a new trend lately in that couples tend to use ideas they may have gathered on wedding websites or saw at a previous wedding and use it for their own. For instance, we recently planned a wedding for a couple that got married at The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation, located in historic Charleston who had an assortment of DIY ideas for their wedding that turned out beautifully!

The couple had a photo booth set up at the reception with different color hearts hanging from the wall to use as a backdrop. They provided an assortment of props for the guests to have fun with, which provided very good entertainment!

Happily ever after
Happily ever after

You may often see a lot of recent weddings that use the window pane to write the drink menu, a black chalkboard to write the dinner menu, “Happily Ever After” signs made out of wood and paint, and providing their own décor to decorate throughout the venue, for example, initials have seemed to be a very trendy and popular thing that couples are doing today.

Just Married
Just Married
Mantle decor
Mantle decor

These are just a few ideas for those of you looking to have some DIY at your wedding. The list goes on and on! You may consider creating your own save the dates or invitations, guest favors, signs, there are so many things to choose from!

Wedding planners love to see how involved the couple gets in their wedding and how creative they can be! But it is important to remember to not get too carried away and lose focus on what is really important! We want this experience to be as fun as possible for the couple!!

Happy Beginnings! Mike


Where Do I Begin With Planning a Wedding?



Wedding planning whether it here in Charleston S.C. or from the comfort from your home can seem like an overwhelming process — with so many details to take care of and options to choose from, where does one begin? Well we have the answer, Yupper you guessed it! The internet has become a popular source of information for ideas, advice and a helpful tool to get and stay organized, while enabling you to share with your wedding planner, family and friends.

So let’s get started…

Let’s start with the two most important things, you’re wedding date and securing a Ceremony and Reception venue. Simply do a Google search for your destination city and hold on to your seats. Not so fast! We recommend seeking out the right wedding planner who can express the in’s and out’s of each venue while translating the contractual jargon at the same time, or perhaps joining a chat room or forum for helpful info.

Next in order of preference we highly recommend seeking wedding planning vendors who take your thoughts, vision, dreams, and budget and make it a reality. Start with the “Meat and Potatoes” of Wedding Planning vendor’s .What I mean is, you should ask yourself “What do I need not want for your big day. These are what should be on your needs list.Caterer and Bar,Photographer,Floral / Décor ,Band or DJ, Cake and Sweet Treats.

Do your homework when seeking out vendors you are not familiar with. Referrals should be a must as well as a good open line of communication. Did they promptly return or email or phone call or did they just send you to their website? We truly believe in the motto “You only get one chance to make a first impression”.

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Creative Wedding Favors

The wedding day is a wonderful opportunity to show your friends and family your personality as a couple.  Let your personality shine through with the theme of the wedding, style and design and as your guests depart from your event, with your favors. What a lovely way to show each guest your appreciation for them sharing this special day with you.  Why not show your creativity and personal flair!

I’ve seen mints, drink koozies, bags, sandals for the beach, glasses, box matches and countless other keepsakes.  However, most people find they have enough “stuff” so therefore I suggest to couples favors the guests can eat! How about a local southern  favorite bag of Benne Wafer's or mini bottle of Charleston's own Firefly Vodka?  We also enjoy the idea of mini bags of grits with a Shrimp and Grits recipe attached as seen by Cru Catering photo below




A big hit that's fun and interactive are “Candy Bars”.  A table lined with beautifully ornate glassware and jars filled with different candies all in the wedding colors or theme.  Guests love this as they can snack through the event and take some for the trip home!

Seasonal treats are splendid!  For example, if you’re getting married in the fall what better thing to eat than apples; expand that and get creative and you could have hand rolled candied apples!  Each guest will have the chance to create their perfect candied apple.  

A table lined with glass jars full of crushed walnuts, m&ms, chocolate chips, fun sprinkles, coconut and more; warm caramel, white chocolate sauce and chocolate fudge simmering, waiting for the dunking.  This is not only creative, but serves as a clever late night dessert station as well!  They can be eaten immediately or wrapped and taken home as a fun memory of the recent event.

Get creative, be clever and your guests will love taking those favors home; and bonus, they’ll be talking about it for years!

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Wearing Your Something Blue

Wearing your Something Blue for your wedding? Here are a few creative ways to do it!


Wearing blue shoes is a somewhat new trend for brides, but what better excuse to go buy new shoes?

In your hair

When you're getting your hair done why not have your stylist put a little something blue in your do?


For the adventurous bride, you can spice up your something blue by tinting your veil!

Dreamy Blue Veil 

Dreamy Blue Veil 

A Little Blue in your Wedding Dress

A personal favorite for the daring! Ask your gown designer or seamstress to sew a blue heart or your wedding date in blue thread into your gown.

Blue Bouquets!

Use your wedding flowers to your advantage! Ask your florist to use an array of blue flowers for your bride bouquet.



Happy Beginnings, Mike


Rehearsal Dinner Checklist

Meet and Greet

Your rehearsal dinner is a chance for the entire wedding  party to be all in one place at the same time before your wedding day. This is a great time for everyone to get to know one another throughout the evening on a more casual level.




...and by rehearsing, I mean rehearsing the processional and recessional of the ENTIRE wedding party.

This is after all, what ‘rehearsal’ stands for! Your wedding planner will have a list of your processional and recessional order, and they will be there the next day directing people where to go. This is also a time for your wedding party to become familiar with the wedding planner, so they know who’s direction to follow the following night. Eliminating any surprises is ALWAYS in your best interest.

Speeches and Toasts

Many couples are choosing to forego the traditional speech segment of their wedding night and instead are asking speeches to be made at the rehearsal dinner. Being surrounded by your closest family, and friends, who know all of the inside jokes can make their words even more touching.

Gifts for the Wedding Party

If you have purchased or made gifts for your bridal party, now’s the time to hand them out!

Your rehearsal dinner can be so much more than a stuffy formality. It’s a time for some quality interaction with close friends and family, since you will most likely be pulled in a few different directions the next day.

Fun tip: Plan your rehearsal dinner with your wedding in mind. You don’t want to take any of the wow factor away from your wedding venue. Think opposites if that’s helpful. If you are having an outdoor plantation wedding then about hosting the rehearsal dinner at a downtown location.

Happy Beginnings, Mike


Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

Your wedding guest book is a log of warm wishes from your guests. This will be something y'all  will set out, usually in a high traffic place, to be seen by all your friends and family to encourage everyone to jot down some thoughts and prayers for the marriage.

In the past, the guest book was just that...a book. But now more and more couples are choosing to branch out and use alternatives! 

Notes to the bride and groom written and sealed off in a vintage suitcase

They say a picture says a thousand words, so why not let your guestbook be photos of your guests?

Create a custom sign in book with photos from your engagement shoot

Let your guests have a little fun with your custom wedding mad libs!


Happy Beginnings! Mike


Wedding Planning Basics

When planning your wedding, sometimes it seems like the work is never done. And with social wedding websites  popping up everywhere, the focus seems to be placed more so on the details than the backbone of wedding itself! So if the creative side of your brain is going crazy, give it a rest! There are ways to plan every detail of your dream wedding without losing all your hair in the process. My suggestion to all couples is to make a checklist of the necessities. Crossing off these items will keep you on track and keep planning less of an obligation and more fun!

The Date

One of the most important details of the wedding you and your fiancé have to decide upon is the actual date of the wedding. This should be taken care of first. What is your idea for your perfect day? A Late spring or early fall should be your best bet to avoid the hot weather.

The Budget

Before you start to make your plans, you must have a budget. Know how much you want to spend for each detail of your wedding. With the average wedding costing approximately what you have to spend you want to budget for each detail so you don’t find yourself over extending. Wedding Planner tip: STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! Last thing you want to do is create stress because you’re spending money not initially planned for.

The Guestlist

It is very important to talk with your future spouse about the size of your wedding that you both have in mind. Be sure that you are both on the same page of what to expect, and it will eliminate hard decisions about cousins and uncles or friends on the list.

The Venue

Where your wedding will take place. Looking for a place to have your wedding certainly is important and it is also the biggest chunk of your budget besides your honeymoon. To save money, look for venues which offer discounts for events held off season and other non-peak times.

The Photographer

Sure your friends and family will be taking pictures, but for this special occasion you will want to consider a professional because you want something very special, lasting and visually presentable. Sure, Instagram and facebook updates are allowed but don’t let them be our only wedding album.

Extra Help

Some couples also look to seeking wedding planners who take your thoughts, vision, dreams, and budget and make it a reality. Not quite sure how a wedding planner will benefit you? 

Of course, the food, the entertainment, the flowers, the centerpieces and the dress/tuxes will all come in due time, but trust me, if you get these checked off, you'll be ready for a wedding in no time.  Hope this helps you get started!

Happy Beginnings, Mike