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


Portraits // Sweet Moments

Portraits are a big part of the story-telling process when it comes to weddings; they capture the essence of who a bride + groom are when they’re around each other. Do you swoon over those romantic images of a bride’s veil flowing in the wind while the couple is looking deep into each other’s eyes? Or do you picture yourselves laughing and playing with each other? Figuring out what style works best for you two ahead of time and making sure you’re on the same page with your photographer will help prep everyone involved prior to the big day!

We completely understand you wanting to get those ideal Pinterest photos, but the wonderful thing about Cypress Grove is that there are plenty of areas around the estate that could be perfect for you! Letting your photographer have the freedom to scope out lighting and find those intimate places will help give you more variety!

Not everyone was born to work the camera but finding a photographer who you’re comfortable with will definitely help! When you stop worrying about what your smile looks like or if your hands are funky, you can just focus on each other. Your photos will suddenly become more authentic ? Sharing inside jokes and giggling will help with those picture-perfect candid shots, or just remembering you’re marrying the love of your life will help the camera disappear!

Photo: Concept Photography

Xoxo,
Sarah


Rain or Shine

Being at an all outdoor venue, the Cypress Grove team is always prepared to help clients determine the best back-up options for their event. Every wedding is different, so we’ve got some tips to help you decide whether to tent or not to tent:

Guaranteed back-up plan :: tents are the ideal option for our clients when it comes to inclement weather. While we can accommodate receptions indoors the space is limited. A tent is the perfect solution because it allows us to accommodate larger events while keeping everything in the same space! If you’re getting married in a rainy {or cold} month, it’s wise to plan ahead and start researching your tent options early. Knowing your options will set you up for an exciting and stress-free time planning all the other details of your big day!

KV Photography

Providing shade :: Being in the Sunshine State has it’s perks – clear skies, temps in the 70’s and 80’s, and a light breeze. Clear skies are ideal for an outdoor venue like ours but it’s always nice to offer your guests the option of a covered space. Our clients, opted to reserve a smaller tent to host a comfy space with lounge furniture and cocktail tables, allowing guests the option of mingling in the shade.

Customized options :: tents have gotten a bad rep in the past for being an eyesore. That’s mainly due to lack of pre-planning and we want you to know there are SO many options out there if you start early! Tents are super versatile – we’ve seen white tops, clear tops, air conditioning, Sperry tents, the whole shebang! They can be as simple or extravagant as you want them to be =)

Jessica Perez Photography

Enhanced lighting + décor :: speaking of versatility, tents allow you add all sort of unique décor that otherwise wouldn’t be possible at an outdoor venue. Think hanging floral + greenery, romantic Edison bulbs over your head table, and more!

Just because :: Cypress Grove has a lot of event space to work with and we encourage couples to be creative with it. We’ve had couples do their ceremony in the amphitheater {typically used as a reception space} and then host dinner by the gazebo; and while we can only host tents on our grand lawn, the use for your tent is endless! Maybe you want it for an intimate dinner or so your guests have somewhere to rest after dancing the night away. Whatever is it, we always tell our couples to just “do you!” If you want to rent a tent just because, then we say go for it!

JP Pratt Photography

Xoxo,
Sarah


Macramé Madness

 

Macramé is a unique lace-like textile created by knotting or “hitching” cords, so naturally it makes the perfect decor for a bohehiam wedding {get it, because you’re “tying the knot” or “gettin’ hitched” ;-)}! This textile has been around since the thirteenth century and is popping up all over the wedding world. It’s typically used for items like tablecloths, bedspreads, and jewelry, but our client, Kendall, got creative and incorporated two macramé pieces into her wedding – one as a ceremony backdrop and the other as a photo backdrop. Macramé is traditionally crafted from fibers like cotton, hemp, and jute, so it can be dyed to match your color palette or left natural for that classic boho look.

Fun-fact: Did you know the word macramé in Arabic, migramah, means fringe {referring to the decorative fringe typically found in macramé designs}?


To Tent or Not To Tent

 

Forecasting Florida weather is always tricky – it’s sunny one minute and the next it’s raining cats and dogs. If you’re planning a wedding in one of those finicky months every good wedding planner will likely recommend having a tent on standby in case of a torrential downpour. Now, we know what you’re thinking – “We chose our venue because it’s stunning and a tent just isn’t pretty enough for our guests to enjoy.” That’s where the tent experts and florists come in =)

Tents don’t have to be an eyesore; they can be a gorgeous addition to the wedding experience and often times even lend to the comfort of you and your guests {whether it’s to shield from rain and wind or keep heat in during colder months}! With a little draping here and there, some floral, and ambiance lighting, you can make a tent look like it was part of the plan from the get-go instead of a last minute back-up option. So forget the white top tents with metal frames and feast your eyes on some of the beauties our clients have dreamed up!