Make Your Wedding Unique

Most weddings have a similar structure – the ceremony followed by cocktail hour and ending with a reception. Incorporating elements that make the event unique to you and your fiance is what’s going to make the the day special and memorable! Maybe it’s your design style, your taste in cuisine, or what you enjoy doing together that will set your wedding apart from the rest. That brings me to our Cypress Grove couple, Tala + Michael. The two are amazing performers and they treated guests to a unique acro yoga routine during the reception. Did I mention these two are ah-mazing!?

Photos: JP Pratt

How did you meet?
“We were only acquaintances when we were asked to pair together as acrobatic partners for an upcoming show at The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. We agreed and began practicing together every day. We fell in love quickly and the rest is history! We did our first performance about one month after being paired together to a sold out audience of about 200 people. (And nailed it! Lol).”

Why was it important to you to include a performance at your wedding?
“Acro was a huge part of our love story. It’s how we met, how we fell in love and something that continues to keep us connected. We wanted to express and share all of those emotions through our favorite art form. Plus, we like being hams for the camera! :-P”

What challenges did you face during the planning process?
“I really can’t say I faced too many challenges. Alicia was amazing in recommending vendors and walking me through a lot of the process. Of course I stressed over details and wanting everything to be perfect. The biggest problem is probably that there are TOO many options and ideas out there and having to narrow them down!”

What aspect of the wedding were you and your fiance most looking forward to?
“Michael will tell you that he was most looking forward to the moment he first saw me coming down the aisle. For me, gosh, the entire day was pure magic. I was really looking forward to the reception. I wanted the wedding to be a celebration where we laughed and danced with all of the important people in our lives and got to shout out love out to the world. And the reception and the entire day felt just like that. It was absolutely perfect.”

Video: KEJ Productions

Side note: grab a box of tissues before you watch their wedding film 😉

Xoxo,
Kim


Planning Tips // 30 Day Wedding Checklist

Planning tips for the days leading up to your wedding.

If you’ve met me, you know that I am all about simplicity and organization. Whether that means decluttering my work or personal space, planning out goals for the month, or just taking a day to refresh and reorganize. I’m a planner at heart and I thrive on schedules and knowing what the plan is. So putting together a checklist of wedding planning tips is right up my alley. 😉 This planning tip checklist is certainly not exhaustive but does include the essentials:

Four Weeks Out
  • Apply for your marriage license {can’t get married without one ?}. Florida marriage licenses are actually valid for 60 days. While you could apply for this a bit earlier, I recommend waiting until about a month out so it doesn’t get misplaced.
  • Write your vows {if doing your own}. Give yourself time to really think about what you want to say during your ceremony. We love these his + hers vow books from Foxblossom Co. so they can be kept as keepsakes!
  • Deliver any specific song requests {or do not play requests} to your DJ or band.
Three Weeks Out
  • Finalize RSVP’s. This is a great task for your bridesmaids. ? Have them run through your invite list and call anyone who hasn’t submitted an RSVP.
  • Confirm ceremony details with your officiant. Be sure to discuss what will happen during the ceremony {i.e. unity candle, ring warming, etc.} and review any readings and such. Pro tip: your officiant should do a full run through of the ceremony at your rehearsal.
  • Finalize any printed materials and favors . Now that you have your final guest count, confirm how many escort cards, menus cards, programs, etc. will be needed. If your favors are edible, wait until a day or two prior to the wedding to have delivered.
  • Make sure groomsmen submit their measurements and schedule a time to pick-up their suits/tuxes.
  • Purchase bridal party gifts. I LOVE gifting, and our new store, Miscellaneous Market, has so many cute items to choose from {including gifts for gents}!

    

Two Weeks Out
  • Confirm seating chart. Once all of your RSVP’s are in you can confirm how many guest tables you’ll need and who will be seated where.
  • Submit final numbers to vendors. This will include your caterer, florist, rentals and any other vendor that needs a head count.
  • Finalize the day-of timeline with your DJ and/or wedding planner.
  • Attend your final dress fitting! Don’t forget to bring your day-of undergarments, veil, accessories, and bridal shoes to make sure the full look is picture perfect.
One Week Out
  • Create a “getting ready” timeline. Provide a copy to your bridal party so they know where to be and when.
  • Pick up your bridal gown. Make sure it’s stored in a breathable garment bag and away from any clutter.
  • Pack your wedding night bag. A change of clothes/shoes and toiletries are a must!
  • If you’re honeymoon immediately follows your wedding, be sure to pack a honeymoon bag. This checklist from The Knot covers just about everything you’ll need!
  • Drop off day-of items to your wedding coordinator. They will typically take on the responsibility of delivering these items to your venue on wedding day.
The Day Before
  • Pamper yourself! Get a mani-pedi, massage, and a good night’s rest – just avoid facials and anything else that may cause skin irritation or inflammation.

Our team hopes this planning tips checklist will help you relax on the days leading up to your wedding!

Xoxo,
Kim


Raising the Bar – Part II

It’s summer and you know what that means, time to grab your favorite ice cold cocktail! Can’t decide how to wet your whistle? Here are some fun drink ideas that would also inspire any wedding bar.

Xoxo,
Lacie

P.S. Be sure to check out Part I of our Raising the Bar series!


7 Tips for An Easy Wedding Planning Process

We know that planning a wedding is the opposite of an easy-going task. One moment, you’re experiencing a proposal, and the next you’re feeling excited, but slightly overwhelmed by the stack of “to-do’s” that lie ahead. It is common to feel overwhelmed in the beginning but starting your planning process with this mindset isn’t the best idea. Trust us, there will be a lot of due dates, reservations and appointments that have to be accounted for– the scary part is that the details that come with a wedding are not visually displayed until (gulp) the day of your event. The RW Events team has managed hundreds of events between Cypress Grove Estate House, Luxmore Grande Estate, and our Rentals + Styling division, and we’ve picked up a few planning tips along the way. If you are in need of planning advice, consider these useful tips from our team + our friends at Eventbrite:

Find an Organizational Method
A big no-no of wedding planning is going into it without a method for success. Without an organized checklist or systematic approach, imperative wedding details and appointments can easily be forgotten, and there is no room for that with a tight schedule. In case one of life’s crazy moments get in the way of your wedding arrangements, a personal planner {and hiring a wedding coordinator} can reduce the risk of you falling behind.

Determine a Budget
Maintaining a budget is an effort that can be quite the challenge. As you move along in the wedding planning process, price re-evaluations and changes can occur when you least expect it. Oftentimes, you are spending much more than you thought you would. For us, spreadsheets are a serious addiction, and they make budgeting so much easier! For a service that you can reference on the go when you do not have access to your spreadsheets, try using a bill notification system app to complete payments on time.

Develop a Vision
As wedding ideas are becoming more and more unique, the variety of ways to go about planning are becoming even more creative as well! A common way brides love to start their planning process is by making a vision board! A vision board involves a poster board, glue and a cluster of your ideas– photo collages and fabrics could be some! Now, a vision board can also be created online— pretty neat!

Create a Guest List
It is essential that invitations are sent out in a timely manner, especially if you’re planning to invite a large group of guests. Whether you want to be extra artsy or simple, there are a variety of ways that invitations can be sent out involving both!

  • Handmade: If you are a creative genius, hand making your invitations can be the perfect way to notify your guests. Even though they might take a little longer to complete, it adds in a personal touch.
  • Online order: The internet is a great resource for finding information about absolutely everything. With an online invitation service you can pick the design, color and font of your choice for your invitations, and order them in bulk with envelopes!
  • Online RSVP: With this free online management platform, you can create an event and let guests accept an invitation– all online! This does not require the use of paper and you will be able to track all of your responses in one space.

Find a Location
Now it is time to determine your wedding venue! Depending on the kind of wedding space you envision, take the time to do some extensive research on different event spaces in your desired location. When choosing a venue, knowing the capacity, availability, layout and parking situation are all extremely important. If you are considering two different venues (one for your vows and another for the reception) be sure to find two places relatively close to one another to prevent your guests from commuting too far. If you are interested in having the entire event in one space, check out our luxury venues, Luxmore Grande Estate and Cypress Grove Estate House, available for booking!

Hire Your Vendors
Photographers, florists, and so many more! These vendors are the qualified helping hands that bring everything together for the event. If you have a set schedule for the arrival of vendors, it is best to communicate with them as much as possible about their arrival times and the amount of time they will need to either set up or work. When you discover initial interest in their expertise, let them know far in advance so they have enough time to prepare for your occasion (I removed chefs as we have in-house catering at both of our venues =))

Include the Event Essentials
If you have a unique or funny way of showing your love or that is a part of your love story, don’t be afraid to share it. Whether it’s an inside joke or a distinct memory associated with your relationship, include a wedding essential that is unique to you! This approach can make your wedding feel more personal rather than to just excite guests!

Are you in need of a rental space, specialty rentals, or styling services? Contact us at hello@rwevents.com!


Real Destination Wedding // Claire + Kyle

Over the years we’ve hosted numerous destination events – clients have come from Canada, the UK, Germany, and more to tie the knot at Cypress Grove! And with a destination wedding comes many challenges that local couples don’t face, so we’ve asked some of our international to share their planning experiences with us!

Claire + Kyle exchanged vows on a spring afternoon, followed by a lovely indoor meal with dancing, dessert, and a late night bite.

What were some of the challenges you faced in planning a destination wedding?
There were many challenges, the biggest being the simple fact that I could not visit vendors in person and losing that face to face communication. It was sometimes difficult to express my ideas and desire via email, conscious that it might be perceived in a different way especially with the cultural differences. You lose a certain level of control.

How did you decide which venues you were interested in?
I always knew I wanted an exclusive wedding venue which narrowed my search down to a few venues in the Orlando area. I wanted somewhere with a character and chime and felt that Cypress Grove had just that. We loved the idea of a southern country style wedding with a chilled out atmosphere and Cypress ticked all the boxes.

What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
There were so many favourite parts but I have to say walking down the aisle and seeing my husbands and guests faces. I hate being centre of attention but seeing everyone’s face light up as I made my entrance really did feel amazing.

What advice can you give to couples planning a destination event?
Get a good wedding planner/coordinator – it’s so important and worth every penny. They were worth their weight in gold… even little things like being able to order decorative items online and have them delivered to the them so I didn’t miss out on having personal touches at the wedding just relieved a load of stress!

 

Photos: Sunglow Photography

Raising the Bar :: Part I

Raising the Bar

As they say with weddings it’s all about the details, and one of the easiest ways to make a statement is with your reception bar. It’s no secret that a huge part of what makes weddings so fun is the food, dancing, and best of all the free drinks!

While the standard open bar is always expected, why not wow your wedding guests with a fun signature drink, or bold brand choices? The reception bar is where your guests are likely to flock to, so it is the perfect chance to make your wedding fun and memorable.

One of the hottest wedding trends right now is ‘His & Hers’ signature cocktails. The bride and groom each select a unique craft cocktail that represents them, the relationship, or maybe something personal. That is where naming your chosen cocktail goes even a step further. Who says you have to call it a mint julep? Name it after where he proposed, a favorite memory, or your beloved pet. These details will stick with your guests and make your wedding reception one people will talk about. Finally you can finish this off with a custom menu sign for the bar, tying in your wedding décor as well.

Another unique way to spice up your bar service for the wedding reception is to add unique and craft brands of both beer & wine. Microbrews, and independent craft beers are everywhere these days. There is seemingly a new hipster brewery opening up on every street corner. This is the perfect opportunity to bring in some local flavor, and impress your wedding guests (who I am sure will greatly appreciate it). Organic wines are another new trend hitting the shelves and may be the fitting choice to step up those basic house brands. Look into independent wineries and uncommon brands that awe your wedding guests, and give your wedding a luxury vibe.

Basically, there are so many fun and new ideas to give your wedding reception an exciting edge, because when you keep the drinks flowing your wedding guests are bound to talk about your wedding for years to come.

Xoxo,
Lacie