Jacksonville wedding

10 Tips From Bride To Bride

This article was written by one of our former brides, Lauren, after her wedding! We hope you enjoy these tips.

  • Place a small number on the back corner of each response card, and record that number on your guest list. You WILL get RSVP cards back that do not have a name written on them or a return address on envelops, and the stamp from the post office from where it shipped from will only go so far.

  • Go to Wedding Expos! See what and who your choices are first hand and in person. Expos give you a chance to see everyone in one place, whether you are looking for one vendor or all of them, and you don’t have to drive all over town to find out they are what you are looking for. Hint: Take your fiancé! If he/she isn’t involved in the wedding planning, they sure will appreciate you after a Bridal Show experience!

  • Please, oh please, don’t buy a dress that weighs more than you. I had a light strapless dress and the only thing I could think about 30 minutes until the end of the reception was taking it off! (And no, not only for that reason!) You don’t realize how much a heavy dress can interrupt your night.

  • Do schedule a little night photo-shoot with your photographer. We did pictures around 10:00 pm when everyone was good and comfortable on the dance floor. We snuck away and took some great shots, along with having a little breather so you get a few minutes of sweet alone time.

  • If you choose to wear a veil, as much as you love that veil and won't have another opportunity to wear one, let me just share my experience before you make the decision you don’t want to part with it the whole day. Everyone that hugs you or dances with you will tug on the veil (without knowing of course) and whatever style your hair was at the beginning of the day will look torn up! If I were to do it again, I’d take it of after dinner!

  • Do a fake cake! The bottom layer of our 5-tier cake was the only part of the cake that was real so we could cut into it and get those priceless picture of smashing it in each others faces. The rest of our cake was in the kitchen already sliced and put out right after we cut into it. Instead of having waitstaff at your cake table for 30 minutes making a mess, it was already done.

  • Make an email address only for wedding correspondence. I had (my name)2B(future last name) and it worked great! If you want to stay in contact with any of your wedding vendors after the big day, send an email to specific people politely asking them to update their address book.

  • Do eat! My hubby and I didn’t make it around to everyone’s table; if that’s rude, we sure didn’t get any complaints. We noticed as we were eating, the people that were going to leave early or knew they weren’t going to run into us on the dance floor came to us.

  • I worried up until a few weeks before the wedding about what “Our Song” was going to be. Its really easy getting frustrated finding a song if you don’t already have one when you’re listening to every word making sure its perfect, however, not you, your hubby, or your guests will most likely hear every word like you did listening by yourself. My advice, pick a song that’s just special between the two of you.

  • Make sure both sets of parents have a speech planned. Our wedding was pretty traditional. The groom's parents threw the Rehearsal Dinner, where his parents said a little something, and my father had a toast during the wedding reception. I know it sounds very traditional, but it really sets the tone for two families becoming one. Everyone could feel the love our parents had for us and our new spouse with words they said.

Kaley and Ross - TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach

Venue: TPC Sawgrass
Photography: Wiler Weddings
Flowers: Anything With Plants and Flowers
Cakes: Classic Cakes
Entertainment: Bay Kings Band

Laura and Jamey - Memorial Presbyterian Church + Timuquana Country Club Wedding

Ceremony Venue: Memorial Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue: Timuquana Country Club
Photographer: Life and Love Studio
Florist: Rose of Sharon European Florist
Entertainment: White Tie Entertainment and Wehner Weddings
Cake: Heavenly Chocolate Creations
Linens: Connie Duglin Specialty Linen

Laura and Collin - TPC Sawgrass Ceremony, Ponte Vedra Beach

Venue: TPC Sawgrass
Photographer: Life and Love Studio
Ceremony Music: Wehner Weddings
Flowers: Floriade

Summer and Frank - TPC Sawgrass Wedding, Ponte Vedra Beach

Venue: TPC Sawgrass
Photography: J. Mosley Photography
Flowers: Rose of Sharon European Florist
Cake: Classic Cakes
Beauty: Casey Does Hair

Mallory and Chris - Bowing Oaks Wedding, Jacksonville

Venue: Bowing Oaks Plantation
Floral: Marble and Pine
Photography: Flora and Fauna
Catering: 4 Rivers
Entertainment: The Royals
Video: Seth Dunlap
Cake: Creme De La Cocoa

Kimberly and Gene - TPC Sawgrass Wedding, Ponte Vedra Beach

Venue: TPC Sawgrass
Photography: Dana Goodson
Videography: Take One Productions
Flowers: Arlene's Designs
Cake: Classic Cakes
Entertainment: D'Land Entertainment and Wehner Weddings
Beauty: Key To Glam

Paige and Paul - Cathedral Bascilica + River House Wedding, St Augustine

Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Bascilica
Reception Venue: River House
Floral: Rose of Sharon
Photography: Alex Michele Photography
Catering: Catering By Liz
Entertainment: DJ Jacob Towe
Video: CollabCreation
Cake: Sweet Weddings
Transportation: Old Town Trolley / Red Train Tours
Photobooth: Chic Booth

Premier Wedding Expo Bridal Show This Sunday!

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Looking for a great way to meet lots of wedding professionals in one place? Stop by the Premier Wedding Expo this Sunday! We have been proud to help produce these great events for many years, and they keep getting better.

  • Over 100 exhibitors
  • Great discounts and prizes will be available for brides and grooms planning their weddings
  • Each couple gets a bridal bag when entering the show

The event runs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. Tickets are $10 at the door, but if  you purchase the online in advance they are only $7! Be sure to visit the show's website, www.PremierWedding.com, to learn more.

Holiday Weekend Weddings

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Memorial Day at Arlington National CemeteryThis weekend, we're enjoying a rare Memorial Day weekend off from weddings.  But holiday weekend weddings are extremely popular - is it a good choice for your wedding? With a long weekend like Memorial Day or Labor Day, your guests may be more inclined to stay longer if they are traveling. They won't have to rush back to work on Monday, so they can relax on Sunday. This is great, if you plan to leave for your honeymoon Monday or later.

However, travel fees tend to be higher around the holidays, so it may be more of a financial burden for your out of town guests.

Because your guests may be in town longer, you may also need to host additional parties - a welcome reception, a post-wedding brunch, a Sunday beach party, etc. While this means more time to spend with your friends and family, it can also affect your budget significantly.

If you decide on a holiday weekend wedding, be sure to block off hotel rooms well in advance, as popular destinations may sell out. Also, send your save-the-dates out as soon as possible, so that your guests can begin making travel plans.

We'd also like to take a moment to honor our nation's heroes, and encourage you to do the same this weekend!

Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
~Wallace Bruce

Marta and Michael (03.01.14) - TPC Sawgrass Wedding, Ponte Vedra Beach

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Marta and Michael were married on March 1, 2014 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. They planned their wedding long-distance, all the way from North Dakota, with the help of Marta's parents and sister who live in Florida. What a beautiful weekend, and an amazing blending of two families and cultures! Thanks to Nate and Bryn from Deremer Studios for sharing these photos with us.

TPC Sawgrass wedding Ponte Vedra Beach

TPC Sawgrass wedding Ponte Vedra Beach

TPC Sawgrass wedding Ponte Vedra Beach

TPC Sawgrass wedding

TPC Sawgrass wedding, Sunset Room

Bride and groom signs on chairs

TPC Sawgrass Wedding

Classic Cakes Jacksonville FL

wedding menu cards

Wedding Favors

Since Marta and Michael are both dentists, they created these cute little bags as favors - they contained toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other cute goodies!

TPC Sawgrass wedding

TPC Sawgrass wedding

Venue: TPC Sawgrass  //  Photographer: Deremer Studios  //  Videographer:  CollabCreation  //  Floral and Decor: Rose of Sharon European Florist  //  Cake: Classic Cakes  //  Band: Diggin' Rhythm and Brass  //  Ceremony Music: The String Group

The 10+ Year Club: A Fantasy In Flowers

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Welcome to the next installment in our blog series, spotlighting local wedding companies that have been in business for 10 or more years! Today we feature florist Susan Kass of A Fantasy In Flowers: Susan Kass A Fantasy In FlowersWhat year did you start your business?

I purchased a Fantasy in Flowers in 2003. It was an existing business with a storefront located in Mandarin. My previous experience had been in hotel sales and catering. I also managed a showroom for a clothing rep in the Miami merchandise mart for 6 years when my daughter was young. This gave me insight into the wholesale and buying end of business. It seemed like it would be a great match for buying a florist. I was naive…

What was your motivation? 

We had moved to Jacksonville in 2001 and my daughter was getting ready to start high school. I thought going back to work would be a good idea. I just had no idea how much work I would be getting myself into!!

How has your business changed over the years?

There have been so many changes to my business in 10 years it is difficult to count. I started out with one retail location and 2 years later bought a second location on Park Street ( Catanese Florist). When the economy was strong I employed 7 people full-time and we concentrated on corporate events and daily deliveries. The recession came and the corporate market went dormant so we moved our emphasis to the wedding world and never looked back. 2 1/2 years ago we moved to our wonderful new design studio on County Road 210. We now have 2 designers and a part time driver/set up guy and we are busy and happy but only occasionally stressed. Last year we provided flowers and décor for almost 90 weddings. We have 72 reviews on wedding wire and a 4.9 out of 5 rating, so I guess we are doing things right!!

A Fantasy In Flowers, Jacksonville FL

Looking back, what do you wish you had done differently? 

Looking back I would never have expanded as much as I did, however everything has been a learning process. I have made every mistake in the book. I just try to not make the same mistake twice. The one real change I would make is to have never gotten involved with any of the wire services ( FTD, TELEFLORA etc.). On-line ordering is a big scam and it costs reputable florists hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, as well as delivering an inferior product to the consumer.

What are you most proud of? 

I am proud of many things, but mostly of my loyal and talented staff. They are the heart of my business and have stayed with me through thick and thin. I couldn't do it without them...literally!!

Why do you think your business has made it while so many other small businesses fail in the first five years? 

Our business has made it due to changing with the economy and the trends. We also have a core group of very loyal local clients who have stuck with us. The positive reviews and word of mouth from our brides has also been invaluable. We always try to go the extra mile and it seems that we are appreciated for that.

A Fantasy In Flowers St Augustine FLWhat advice do you have for a business just starting out in your industry?

Starting a business today in the wedding industry is incredibly tough. Do not sell yourself short and please charge the appropriate amount for your services. Do not undercut the existing companies in the industry. This will make other vendors unwilling to promote you. You must have a strong vendor network and you must be patient. It takes a long time to build a good reputation and good relationships. Attend networking events and get to know others in your industry. That will pay off big!!

Do you have a most memorable wedding or funny story you'd like to share?

Most memorable wedding story...Just when I think I've seen it all something new and amazing happens for the first time. That's what keeps this business interesting!!!

Ashley and Matt (07.27.13) - TPC Sawgrass Wedding, Ponte Vedra Beach

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Ashley and Matt had an amazing wedding at TPC Sawgrass, complete with a little lightning before the ceremony and some spectacular fireworks during the reception!

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

The bridesmaids' dresses were an amazing shade of blue - paired with the green and white flowers, the girls looked stunning!

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

This was quite possibly the closest weather call I've made in my 14 years of doing weddings. I made the call to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony, despite a few rain cells on the radar. Minutes before we were supposed to start, TPC's golf course sirens were going off, alerting golfers to nearby lightening! But, we made it without any rain - but you can see the impending storm approaching in this photo!

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

This was a first at a wedding reception - I don't think I've ever had a groom do a handstand!

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

And of course, who doesn't love fireworks at a wedding!

Be sure to check out Tonya Beaver's blog for additional photos and details from this beautiful wedding!

Venue: TPC Sawgrass  //  Photographer: Tonya Beaver Photography  //  Videographer: Visual Power Cinema  //  Cake:  Classic Cakes  //  Florist: Rose of Sharon European Florist  //  DJ: DJ Shane  //  Fireworks: Santore & Sons  //  Ceremony Music: Wehner Weddings