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TBT: Wedding Vendor Courtesy – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Skip

August 28

Usually, about a month before their wedding day, I give my clients a little cheat sheet – tips on handling important things they may not otherwise think about. Vendor relations is always on that list.

Since a few sweet SRE brides are nearing their exciting “one-month-away” marks, I thought I’d share a few of the tips on that list. Tips on keeping your vendors happy and grateful. Because happy vendors do their best work, after all.

Gratuity
Whether or not you choose to leave your vendors gratuity – and how much you leave – is absolutely your choice, but since a successful wedding day is most definitely the result of great planning and hard working folks behind-the-scenes, it’s important to offer them a little something to show your appreciation.

I ask my clients to decide how much – and to whom – they would like to leave, enclose a quick note and appropriate tip in an envelope for each and seal them up! I collect the envelopes during ceremony rehearsal and distribute to the correct vendors on wedding day. As a rule of thumb, I usually recommend tipping those you would typically tip in everyday situations – hair and makeup stylists, transportation, service staff, etc.

Trust Them
I’ve been witness to many brides, mothers-of-the-bride and other wedding party members second-guessing and working behind decorators and florists as they set up on wedding day. It’s important to remember that you’ve planned for this day with them. The vendors are professionals. They know what they’re doing, and you’re almost certain to love the outcome. Let them worry about whether or not there are enough peonies in the guest book table arrangement and you concentrate on how fantastic you look in that pretty gown of yours.

Feed Them
Don’t forget to include your vendors in your final guest count! For seated/plated affairs, I advise clients to feed all vendors who would otherwise just be standing around during dinnertime – i.e. photographers, videographers, sometimes DJs, etc. For band members and any other vendor who may need to be working during dinnertime, it’s polite to set aside a plate and a designated space for them to enjoy dinner either before the event begins or during one of their breaks.

Send a Note
After you’re Mr. and Mrs., chances are you’ll be quite the busy bee writing thank you notes for all the gifts you received. Since you’ll have the pen and stationery out anyway, why not write a quick “thank you” to your vendors? Everyone loves to hear from happy clients, and there’s nothing like a handwritten note.

Spread the Good Word
Social media is a big driver of new business these days. Be sure to pop over to your favorite vendors’ Facebook pages, Wedding Wire accounts, etc. and leave some sweet words or a nice review. It will make their day, and also help other brides-to-be as they select vendors.

So there you have it – tips for my pretty brides-to-be and for you – to being a gracious Southern bride. (;

Photo from Meghan & Louis’ fall wedding, by Woodland Fields Photography

What I’ve Been Up To

August 25

I’ve been away from the blog for a little bit, but we’ve had a pretty eventful last couple weeks.

Caroline. This little lady. My whole heart. All of it. In her little 7 lb. body, made up mostly of chubby cheeks. So excited for our new little buddy. Life has totally changed. And it’s such a cliche, but I now understand what new moms mean when they say their hearts could burst. The amount of love I have for this little girl, and as I watch DC with her, and as we go through moments like we had this morning when we rocked her to sleep to Braham’s Lullaby… it’s all enough to make a heart grow like that scene in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Loving every single second.

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My whole heart. <3

TBT: Wedding Band and DJ 101 | Birmingham Wedding Planner

August 7


My mom liked our wedding band. Seriously, how cute is this picture?

A band or DJ can absolutely make or break a wedding. I’m about the furthest thing from a “dancer” you’ll ever meet, but after a glass of bubbly or two, wedding dancing is just about the most fun there is.

My brides & grooms and I always about the importance of lining up reliable, fun entertainment. Because throw in all the pretty touches you want, if there’s appropriate, fun music and some cocktails, the rest will take care of itself. (;

Here’s a list of some of the things to remember as you hire and plan with the group behind the mic:

Try to see your band in action before you hire them. Ask where they’re performing next and take your fiance to check them out. They don’t have any gigs lined up or you’re not in the same city? Ask them to direct you to their YouTube page for videos or have them send you a DVD. Between these three options you should be able to get a little peek of how they sound and how they interact with the audience (and vice versa).

After you nail down who you’ll hire, review your wedding day timeline with them (planners come in handy here). Which party “milestones” – announcement, special dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. – will they need to be prepared for? Learn how many breaks they request and how long each will be (this information is typically in their contract, too).

Load your iPod with your favorite songs and give to the band beforehand. This way, they can pop that in to play during their breaks, instead of what can sometimes be pretty boring house music.

Will they be the ones to announce you as the new Mr. and Mrs.? If so, give them exact wording of what you’d like them to say. And always just spell your names like they sound (I usually don’t even worry about writing tricky names as they’re spelled. If you simply write them out phonetically, you can rest assured that they’ll get it right).

Give them the songs you’d like to use for first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dances, and be sure to give them the list early enough so they can practice if they’ll be learning and performing the songs themselves. If not, a simple iPod with attached directions works.

Make sure you request that the DJ or band begin playing music before the first guests arrive to ensure no guest walks into a quiet room. That’s the worst!

Provide them with a “Do Not Play” list. This is not necessary by any means, but if you have a song or two that you just can’t take, jot it down and let them know. They’re always happy to accommodate!

If you’re planning a seated, plated dinner, it’s always courteous to let the band or DJ know whether or not they should play during dinner. Also, let them know when and where they will eat to avoid any awkward feelings (or empty stomachs!) on their end. Remember, treating your vendors well is very important. The nicer you are to them, the more likely they are to go above and beyond for you.

In my experience, bands and DJs are usually agreeable and eager-to-please so do your homework to make sure their sound is a good fit for what you’re looking for, be nice and up-front and you’ll be good to go!

Will you be my bridesmaid? 3 Fun Ways to Pop the Question to Her

August 6


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by SRE spring intern Sadler Sanders

In today’s wedding society, there are constantly new trends being born, one of which is proposing to your bridesmaids and maid of honor. This is a fun and exciting opportunity to make a special memory for your wedding party from the very beginning. Though there are so many ways a bride could go about this, there are a few special ones that stuck out with this hopeless romantic. (;

Scavenger Hunt
Oh this is a good one! What could be more fun and exciting to see all your best friends run around trying to find clues you’ve left out for them? This is a unique idea because it’s active and gives the bridesmaids a specific memory to laugh about years down the road! What’s so great about this idea, is that you can make it your own and personalize it however you see fit! For example, if you want the girls to run around and go to spots that are important to you and your groom, you can! If you want them chasing some of your old memories together, you can! At the end of the scavenger hunt, you’ll be there waiting with a champagne bottle in hand and the big question: ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’

Ring Pop in a Box
Yes, you heard me, ring pop! This is a great idea if you don’t want to put in a ton of effort like a scavenger hunt, but more in than just a simple phone call. The idea behind this one is literally proposing to your bridal party – how perfect! Put the ring pop in the middle of a box, write a cute saying at the top like “Now that I have my ring, I want to give you yours! Will you be my bridesmaid?” and wait for the fun replies to roll in!

Wedding in a Box
This one is for all the hopeless romantics out there (and my personal favorite)! Wedding in a box is a great idea for the bride who has already figured out her wedding colors, the date, an idea of what she wants the dresses to look like, and a general idea of the style of her big day. Put all of these components of your wedding into the box to get everyone excited about all the pretty details right away. Include color swatches representing your colors, a drawing of your idea of the dresses and the colors you want them to be, earrings that you want the bridesmaids to wear during the big day, a picture of the two of you, a card with the date, and the big question: ‘Will you be a part of this big day?’ Chances are, they’ll be just as excited as you are for your special day after receiving this bundle. (:

Birmingham Wedding Venue: B&A Warehouse

August 4

I got a chance to take a tour of Alabama wedding venue and rehearsal dinner space B&A Warehouse with the lovely on-site coordinator, Haley, a few weeks ago and know for sure that Alabama brides who want a rustic, industrial feel will love this place. It’s open and airy and dripping with history (there are so many layers of exposed walls in here!).

A block from the main railway and in the heart of downtown Birmingham’s warehouse and transportation district, it’s a totally original space preserved with the character of the early 1900s. And best part? It can hold up to 1500 people if you’re a big guest list kind of gal (but smaller rooms suit smaller guest counts just fine!).

I’m seeing lightbulbs hanging over the dance floor, marquee initials, wrought iron spheres hanging from exposed rafters and pretty, romantic white flowers in steel vases on the tables. Who’s in? (;

Ann Evans & Michael | Birmingham Wedding | Birmingham Wedding Planner

July 30

Ann Evans and Michael’s Birmingham wedding was all about elegance and fancy, special-occasion touches. From the 15 bridesmaids in Natalie Deayala Collection gowns to groomsmen in dinner jackets, it was a return to classic glam, the way I imagine socialites used to celebrate their biggest days.

Couldn’t think of a better way to officially kick off Shannon Reeves Events in Alabama! I loved being a part of it.

The day started at the Country Club of Birmingham, which with its brick and vines and chateau-esque design, looks like it should be dropped in the middle of France. Inside, Ann Evans got approval all-around as the day got started.

After the First Look, it was off to the Cathedral Church of the Advent in downtown Birmingham! Can you tell by looking at these pictures how absolutely precious these two are? They are the nicest.

…and back to the Country Club of Birmingham for an evening under candlelight draping and chandeliers, and a 10-piece band that had the dance floor packed all night. There were 400 guests celebrating two of the sweetest, most grateful, fun people that night. And of course I fell in love with this “work” all over again.

Peek at more by (amazing) du castle photography in the Gallery here.

Vendor Team
Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Church of the Advent
Reception Venue: Country Club of Birmingham
Photographer: Du castel photography
Coordinator: Shannon Reeves Events
Flowers: Lagniappe Designs
Dress: Lela Rose from Ivory & White
Bridesmaids Dresses: Natalie Deayala Collection from Sash Bridesmaid Boutique
Lighting: AG Lighting & Total Entertainment
Draping: AG Lighting
Band: The Answer Band
Catering & Bartending: Country Club of Birmingham
Cake: Mary’s Cake and Pastries
Groom’s Cake: Sweet Magnolia
Hair: Rebecca York, Centrifuge
Makeup: Alex Stone
Trolley: Rare Transportation

Bridesmaids Gifts Under $30 | Tuscaloosa Wedding Planner

July 29

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by SRE summer intern Sadler Sanders
‘Tis the season when buying bridesmaids gifts is on many minds. Bridesmaids are an essential piece of your wedding puzzle and should be appreciated for playing such vital roles in your special day. But you don’t have to break the bank to show your appreciation and love for these ladies. Here are 10 great gifts under 30 that will surely show your gals how much you love them:

Makeup Brush Kit. This Sonia Kashuk Brush Set from Target is great to use on wedding day, then perfect to pop in beach-getaway bags any day after that! $24.99

Rose Gold Bar Necklace. Perfectly elegant and simple for wedding day, and classic enough to wear on both casual days and date nights long after. $22

Minimergency Kit. This fabulous invention can be found at many retailers and salons and is equipped with a gals most important essentials. This is another great gift for the busy wedding day! $18

Ceramic Jewelry Tray. Go for a classic vanity staple in J.Crew stripes. $19.50

Luxe Nail Polish. Julep polish is fast-drying, long-lasting, made with a non-toxic formula and is paired with a high-performance, professional brush. And a portion of the proceeds go toward organizations that empower women. Empowering women and pretty nails to hold your bouquet with, what’s better than that? $20

Scarves. Winter brides, peruse scarves.com for a selection of fabulous options to fit each bridesmaid’s style OR pair with their pretty bridesmaid’s dress to keep the chill away on wedding day. $23-30

Naked Basic Palette. The most fabulous eye shadow palette on the market right now. (: With six gorgeous neutral tones, Urban Decay knows what they’re doing! This is great for everyday and night wear and looks great on a wedding day! $28

Plum Pretty Sugar Eye Mask. Pair these pretty little things with some fancy, feminine eye cream and you’re all set. $12

Icon Tote. “Tying the knot” – a cute reference and a fun reminder, but more reusable than something that references your specific wedding weekend. $12.99-25

Plum Pretty Sugar Cosmetic Bag. Plum Pretty Sugar’s newest little arrival, and it happens to be perfect for summer brides. $24

Saks 5th Avenue Birmingham | Birmingham Wedding Planner

July 27

As part of my relaxing little weekend in Birmingham a couple weekends ago, I was invited for a spa facial at Saks and makeover at their Guerlain counter.

Did you know Saks did facials? I didn’t! Have you heard of Guerlain? I had not!

Let me tell you, girls. It was SUCH a treat. A pretty, all-white private room, a spa robe, fresh, light moisturizers and creams…enough to totally relax this mom-to-be AND the busiest bride-to-be, I’d be willing to bet!

And Guerlain! Girls, it’s the oldest cosmetics company in the world and oh-so-fancy. I’m terrible at makeup, but Teresa Thompson at the counter is a pro, and makes the whole experience so fun. I’m thinking it’d be perfect for you – pre-shower makeup, engagement party makeup, bachelorette party makeup, (and all those goodies to make you just glow as a bride-to-be should).

Thank you for such a nice invitation to visit and experience Saks and Guerlain, Teresa! It was fabulous to feel a little fancy before I turned back into a pumpkin. (;

Happy Monday, ladies! Make it a good one!

xoxo,
Shannon

Shannon Reeves Events Featured: Style Me Pretty Florida

July 24

Exciting morning around here, girls! Jenn & Ian’s pretty faces are featured on Style Me Pretty Florida today…not a bad little start to a Thursday morning. (:

Such a fun couple. Such a pretty spot on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Good music. Good food. Fun drinks. Pretty flowers. The prettiest photos. A little salty air. …a can’t miss.

Have a little eye candy with your coffee and have the happiest of Thursdays, ladies!

xoxo,
Shannon

Birmingham Bridal Shop | Ivory & White Bridal Boutique

July 23

On a cute little main road in the darling little Birmingham neighborhood of Mountain Brook, Ivory & White stands with a white brick facade and the prettiest peeks for window-shoppers. Inside, private dressing rooms welcome you, with enough space for your favorite ladies, a bottle of champagne and hopefully “the dress.” It makes me giddy just thinking about girls’ experiences here!

And the owner, Brooke Mason, couldn’t be more precious. This gal is so fun and makes you feel instantly comfy in her boutique (so important!).

Loved my behind-the-scenes shop tour, Brooke! Can’t wait to visit again with a bride, no baby bump and some bubbly. (;

Visit Ivory & White here.