December 15, 2014

Recap: Sandals Mega Fam Trip

Two weeks ago, I had the honor of attending a Sandals Mega Fam Trip where I visited three islands in three days.  During this trip, I had the opportunity to visit the Sandals properties on Exuma, Bahamas and Antigua as well as the Beaches property on Turks and Caicos.  Sandals and Beaches are both all inclusive resorts however, Sandals are couples only and Beaches is for the whole family. 

I had such a great time attending this Fam trip and look forward to helping my clients plan amazing trips (honeymoons, anniversaries, etc.) to a Sandals and/or Beaches resort.  Please see some other photos and a video of my Sandals Fam Trip shenanigans. Enjoy!

Exuma

Exuma is one of 700 islands that make up the Bahamas.  I've had the pleasure of visiting 4 islands of the Bahamas but not Exuma.  If you're looking for a true getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Sandals in Exuma (Sandals Emerald Bay) is a great option.  There are 7 restaurants, access to a Greg Norman-designed golf course, a 7000 square foot spa among other things.










Turks and Caicos


I had the opportunity to get a tour of Turks and Caicos by a family friend and it was absolutely beautiful.  There are many things to do and places to shop on the island.  During my visit to the island, I stayed at Beaches Turks and Caicos which has something for everyone.  There's a waterpark for all ages, Sesame Street characters roaming around the resort and even night parades, 19 restaurants, 5 pools, and 12 miles of beautiful beach.






Antigua

I was so looking forward to visiting Antigua however, it was pouring when we arrived which effected the ability to tour the resort.  From what I was able to see, it was beautiful.  I even met a couple who got married at the resort and were currently honeymooning.  They absolutely loved it. 







All three of these properties are perfect for a destination wedding, honeymoon, or family vacation.  Call me to find out how.


video
Beaches Turks and Caicos






video


November 24, 2014

Precious Occasions is featured on Style Unveiled

I'm so excited to share that Precious Occasions has been recently featured on Style Unveiled.  I had the pleasure of working with an amazingly talented group of wedding professionals to plan an inspirational shoot that was inspired by the movie, The Hunger Games.  

Below are a couple of shots from the shoot as well as the list of the vendors.  Style Unveiled loved the shoot so much that they actually decided to split it into two blog posts.  To see both posts, visit http://styleunveiled.com/hunger-game-inspired-food/ and http://styleunveiled.com/hunger-games-wedding-ideas/.  Enjoy!



South Florida Wedding Planner, Precious Occasions, Hunger Games

South Florida Wedding Planner, Precious Occasions, Hunger Games




Credits:
Event Design:  Precious Occasions
Photography:  Jamilah Photography
Floral Decor:  J Morgan Flowers
Cinematographer:  Key Moment Films
Groom’s Attire:  Southern Formals
Bride and Bridesmaid Attire:  Bacio Bacio Bridal
Desserts:  Johnson’s Custom Cakes
Hair and Makeup:  DMD Artistry
Venue:  Delaire Country Club
Stationery:  The Invitation Lounge
Linen Rentals:  Over the Top Rental Linens
Rentals Items:  Hitched Event Rentals
Models: Jessica Hernandez, Daphna More, and Willy Meyer


November 12, 2014

Hidden Costs of Weddings

South Florida Wedding Planner, Miami Wedding PlannerThere are many upfront or obvious costs when it comes to wedding planning. Sure, you know about budgeting for the venue, food, DJ, photographer, etc.  However, there are some costs that aren't as obvious that catch many couples by surprise.  Below is my list of costs that you might not expect.
  • Tips/Gratuity - While gratuity is up to your discretion and satisfaction of services received, you will definitely need to set aside funds to show your vendors your appreciation.  To see my recommendation based on industry standards, click here.
  • Labor - This hidden fee is usually affiliated with the catering costs. If you're bringing in a caterer to an event space, you'll see costs associated with servers, bartender(s), etc that are usually included in the per person fee when you host an event at a hotel.
  • Service Fees/Taxes - This is another fee that is associated with catering costs.  The taxes are based on the levels established by your state or county.  However, the service fees can be anywhere between 18-23 percent of the total of food and beverage fees.  This can add up to a huge chunk of change.
  • Pick up Fees - This is associated with anything that has to be picked up after your wedding i.e. linens, furniture, draping, tent, etc.  The amount you pay is dictated by when your venue indicates that things need to be picked up.  This fee is usually more, when it has to be picked up the same night of your wedding because the company has to pay overtime to their staff.
~Emmanuela

August 21, 2014

Unplugged Weddings

{Photo Credit: Evangeline Lane}

I'm sure you've seen pictures like the one above - professional wedding photos capturing your guests taking photos with their mobile devices.  Unplugged weddings have become more popular after guests have ruined photos by blocking the photographer or using flash that ruin the photographer's lighting.

If you're thinking about having an unplugged wedding, you'll want to definitely let your guests know nicely as to not ruffle any feathers.  Also, you'll want decide on the level of unplugged that you would like for your wedding.  Do you just want to be unplugged for the ceremony or do you want the whole wedding to be unplugged?  Here are a few of my tips for informing your guests that you will be having a mobile free wedding: 
  • Add it along with your invitations or wedding website.  The earlier your guest know what to expect, the better. 
  • Ask your officiant to make an announcement prior to the processional.  Guests typically take the information better and adhere to the request when it comes from the officiant.
  • Place signs at the entrance to your ceremony.  Below are some of my favorite signs.

{Photo Credit: Glimpses Captured Phototgraphy}



{Photo Credit: A Love Affair Photography}

{Photo Credit: Chelsi Lee Designs}
I'd love to hear from you.  Are you planning on having an unplugged wedding?  How are you planning to let your guests know?

August 13, 2014

Cocktail Hour Trends

Photo Credit: Jessica Claire Photography
The cocktail hour is usually the time that falls in between the ceremony and reception.  It almost always lasts an hour long and is filled with hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and soft music for your guests to enjoy.  This portion of the wedding started to become popularized over the last 25 years or so.  Its primary function/purpose is to provide an informal atmosphere for your guests to mingle.  This time is also important since it used as a block of time for the wedding party to take photos.  Some couples aren't really sure how they can change things up with the cocktail hour so I wanted to share some trends that I have seen recently.
  • When Cocktail Hour Happens - As I shared before, cocktail hours usually take place between the ceremony and reception.  Recently, I have seen couples who want to have the cocktail hour before the ceremony.  I've also had couples who have wanted two cocktail hours - one before the ceremony and one afterward.  Quick tip about this trend - if you decide to eliminate the cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception, do be sure to have time built into your timeline for photos prior to the ceremony so that you can just go right into starting the reception.  This way, you don't leave your guests wondering what they should be doing.
  • Comfortable Seating - Promote mingling by having comfortable seating which can be created by incorporating lounge furniture.  You can configure the furniture to create pods which makes it easier for people to spark conversation with one another.
  • Custom Hash tags - This option is becoming more popular as our addiction to social media increases.  Creating a hash tag helps to make the images that your guests post searchable.  When the night is over, you and your significant other can view all of the fun photos that your guests posted, provided that they used the hash tag.  Including the hash tag on creative signs throughout the cocktail hour and reception will help promote it to your guests.  You can also have your DJ make a couple of announcements about the hash tag throughout the night.  Quick tip about hash tags - make sure that you do a search on Twitter and/or Instagram to make sure that no one else has used the hash tag that you are considering.
  • Entertainment - Music is typically central to the cocktail hour entertainment.  Try adding other elements of entertaining such as a live musician, caricature artist, games, or photo booth.  Don't wait to introduce some of these entertainment options during the reception.  Having them open during the cocktail hour will encourage your guests to participate and will allow for more people to participate throughout the night.
Other Tips:

Don't forget that the cocktail hour leads into the reception so keep that in mind for the decor.  The linens and decor should tie in nicely with the overall theme for the wedding.  Cocktail hour is typically forgotten when it comes to decor.  Be sure to discuss floral ideas with your florist.

Cocktail hour is a great way to have your own happy hour for your wedding guests.  Be sure to have great food, entertainment, and drinks.

What are you planning to do with your cocktail hour?  I'd love to hear what you're doing to make it different.

~Emmanuela


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