Our wedding was so much fun! We only invited about 22 of our closest family members and spent the whole weekend with them in Inlet Beach, FL. We had our rehearsal dinner at FIRE! in Grayton Beach - best restaurant in the area!! Our ceremony and reception was so beautiful.. I can't express how thankful I am to the team of people who helped me pull it off. Our vendors are the best in the area, hands down. Please feel free to visit my blog at www.cupcakemom.wordpress.com to see our wedding pictures or email me at stephmiller(at)comcast(dot)net if you have any questions!
We were absolutely spoiled rotten at Sandals. We had a honeymoon rondoval with a private plunge pool and butler service. Our butlers, Maureen and Cecil, were awesome!! The only complaints we had were that the Sandals staff would often come and go from our "private" plunge pool area unannounced, even after putting up a do not disturb sign. Other than that, the room, resort, and all the staff was very friendly and we had a great time. I would definitely recommend leaving the resort to explore the rest of the island. It's like two different worlds and you will get a much better experience if you leave the resort some to venture out. The island seemed very safe during the day. We never went very far from the resort at night.
I LOVED using wishpot.com for my registry. It was so easy and I loved that I could add ANYTHING to it. I wasn't confined to one or two stores. I could find items anywhere online and add them to my registry. LOVED IT! The only downfall is that none of our guests wanted to use it. They weren't familiar with it and they're not very internet savvy, so they asked us to register at a "real" store which we ended up doing to make it easier on our guests. If your friends and family are more internet savvy and don't mind shopping online, you'll love wishpot!
I loved looking for my dress at Bridal Gallery. Nancy was so helpful and made the experience enjoyable for me, my mom and grandmother. After trying on many dresses at many different stores, I fell in love with the Casablanca 1900 at Bridal Gallery.
When I began looking for the perfect wedding invitations, I was SHOCKED by the prices out there. The ones we wanted were over $900 for 50 invitations, not counting the necessary extras (response cards, reception cards, etc)... needless to say, we didn't get those! I've always created my own invitations and announcements in the past, but I really wanted our wedding invitations to be perfect and I didn't trust Kinkos for the job. (Does anyone else have never-ending problems with Kinkos?) Amber works with a Nashville wedding planner, Mary Alice Sublett with A Delightful Day Event Planning, and she has her own design business among other things. Amber created all of our stationary: invitation suites, menus, programs, place cards, etc. She also printed some maps and newsletters that I created. Not only did she complete our projects while she was eight and nine months pregnant, she finished some last minute things for me while she was on maternity leave after having her son. I can't express how thankful I am to Amber for taking time away from her new family to work on our wedding!
Kate is extremely talented and creative. I love the angles and colors she captures. She is very attentive to details and doesn't miss anything. Very laid back and easy to be around, good at giving direction when it is needed, but also captures a lot of candid shots. Check out her website to see her photography or check out her blog to see pictures from our wedding.
Art and Mary are a husband/wife steel drum band and they are awesome! They learned a new song just for our wedding, and listened to any of my requests. They are very nice people & all of our family enjoyed their music. They are from Pensacola but our wedding was in Inlet Beach, Fl. Give them a call if you are anywhere in the FL panhandle!
My mom and I loved Heidi's cake so much, we did everything short of licking the plate clean at our tasting. I don't know how she makes her cake so spongy and light and her fillings so flavorful. When she asked how many guests were were having (approx. 25) and said that the three tier cake I'd asked for would serve over 60 people, I had NO doubt that it would be eaten. Jason and I had a small tier to bring home and freeze for next year (though truth be told, half of it was devoured on our car ride home). I'm very particular and detail oriented, and I know what I want. I wanted to use mostly buttercream with minimal fondant since most people just peel off the fondant anyway and don't eat it. Fondant usually looks more flawless than buttercream, but it is possible to smooth buttercream and Heidi did a wonderful job. She warned me that there may be bubbles in some of the piping, but I honestly didn't notice them if there were any. Our cake looked almost identical to the picture I showed her. We settled on genoise cake with chocolate ganache and vanilla creme patisierre filling on the bottom layer and creamy coconut custard in the top two layers, and I think everyone tried both flavors (I think the coconut filling was the fave among our guests). Heidi has an adorable little bakery at 511 A Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541. Stop by for a treat or contact Heidi for your next event!
Tammy was one of the first vendors we hired, and she is so much fun to work with. You can't help but be happy when you talk to her. I don't think she ever has a bad day - she was always upbeat & happy to help me however possible. When we were looking for a new planner, she offered to help with anything I needed. Luckily, we found Robyn and she got things rolling for us, but it was so nice to receive Tammy's occasional emails checking up on me. Most importantly since she is a caterer, her food is drool worthy. My mom and I had a tasting with Tammy in February and we left town craving her mushrooms. We've been talking about "Tammy's shrooms" for months now! Unfortunately, I had a bit of a heart attack when I found out Tammy wouldn't actually be at our reception. Apparently, there was a miscommunication (or lack of) with our first planner and I wasn't aware of that little detail until a few days before our wedding. I was under the impression that whoever did our tasting would also do our reception. Although I didn't meet her at our tasting, Tammy's assistant Laura helped at the tasting and she was the head chef for our reception so the food was basically the same. The 'shrooms weren't quite as addictive as Tammy's shrooms (or maybe they just aren't quite the same once you've had them before), but they were great nonetheless! I met Laura the morning of our reception when she arrived to set up, and she was just as upbeat and sweet as Tammy. Her staff was so attentive and thorough all night up until the last few minutes. Tammy & Laura both deserve kudos for being amazing chefs and amazing women. I will definitely be calling them whenever we are back in town!
If you've been reading my blog at all for the past few months, you should already know that Robyn is the BEST event planner EVER. My husband and I had a rough start with a previous wedding planner and had to let her go. I was a bit discouraged after that experience, but I was more prepared to choose a better planner since I knew what we didn't want in a planner. I interviewed many, many planners on the phone (quite possibly every planner in the Florida panhandle area) and Robyn stood out as the most prompt, organized, professional, pleasant, upbeat, and experienced planner I talked to. I had a LOT of questions (since we didn't want to fork out a fee for a second planner only for it to not work out again) and Robyn answered every question and assured me that our temporary crisis would be nothing but a bump in the road and we'd forget all about it. Robyn returned all of my phone calls and emails within 24 hours, if not immediately. The most priceless thing she did for me was answer all of my millions of questions. I am very hands-on and I enjoyed planning a lot of our wedding myself, but I doubted myself and sometimes didn't know what to do in certain situations. Robyn never tired of my questions (or at least didn't let me know if she did) and always assured me that we were on the right track. Like every other typical bride, I got totally stressed out a few weeks before the wedding and Robyn was a lifesaver. Every phone call with her was like a breath of fresh air. She went above & beyond, searched for items I couldn't find, attended our vendor meetings with us, corresponded & coordinated things with the vendors, etc. Every single one of our vendors has commented on how wonderful Robyn was to work with, and our family has continued to compliment her and say how pleasant she was at the wedding. Not everything went as planned, but thanks to Robyn and whatever magic tricks she had up her sleeve, our wedding day was absolutely perfect in every way. I'm not sure where Robyn will travel to work, but I know she has planned and coordinated events in California and Florida and her rates were very reasonable. She plans birthday parties, celebrity events, weddings, you name it! If you need any help on an upcoming event, please give Robyn a call!
Christina has an amazing gift for event design. After talking to a few other florists and not really feeling like they understood what I wanted, she completely "got" me. I mumbled a few inarticulate descriptions of what I envisioned for our wedding day, and she translated my vision into exactly what I wanted but much, much, much better. She is a bit pricey, but totally worth it. I gave her a limit, and she stayed within our boundaries. She was honest with me when I asked which items would add an impact to our event design and which items were unnecessary. Her store is every bride's dream, and I've been told she has a warehouse full of even more dreamy things. Our dining tables were beautiful wood tables, covered in a cluster of turquoise vases, pots, candles, rocks, etc. and gorgeous white orchids. Our adirondack chairs, beautiful cake table, cafe lighting, indoor florals, and ceremony decor were also provided and designed by Christina. Her staff arrived just minutes after our reception was over to pick things up, and they did so in such an organized and quick manner. She really knows her stuff & is GREAT at what she does!
My wedding was the first wedding that Anna Bonick photographed professionally, and WOW did she amaze us!!! Her pictures are just as great as our other photographer who has been doing this for a much longer time! She is wonderful, so sweet and easy to be around. I didn't even know she was shooting most of the time. Her pictures are gorgeous. Check out her website - click on her blog to find my wedding pictures.
Inlet Beach is my new favorite place!! If you are familiar with Seaside, Rosemary Beach, or Alys Beach you know those areas are very pricey, especially for weddings. They charge so many fees just to use their sand or facilities, and then extra fees on top of that for everything else. Well, INLET BEACH is a FREE public beach just next to Rosemary Beach. All you have to do is get a permit from the county which was very easy, and find a reception location. I chose a beach house directly across from the beach where we got married. (www.annasveranda.com) Our ceremony and reception were both SO beautiful, and we avoided all the outrageous fees of the other private communities.
Anna's Veranda is a 100 year old house that was moved from Marianna, FL to Inlet Beach. It has been lived in as a single family residence, later turned into apartments, then turned back into a single family residence, and most recently purchased and remodeled by Anna Hamer and her partners. The house was literally falling apart before the renovation, and it now stands as one of the most beautiful houses I've ever had the privilege of visiting. Anna's Veranda has two wrap-around verandas, a screened porch on the side of the house, and a covered stoop on the back of the house. With a privacy fence and palm trees lining the back of the yard, it's *perfect* for entertaining. As you walk up the brick steps to the front door of the house, you know you are about to enter a special place. The front door opens to a beautiful, open foyer and you immediately notice the antique creak of the heavy door, the hardwood floors, the tall ceilings and door ways, the gorgeous white woodwork, an inviting fireplace, beautiful chandeliers, and a soothing color palette that says "come in, sit down, stay awhile..." The downstairs boasts a formal parlor and a living room with sleeper sofas, a beautiful dining room with a table I quite possibly would have stolen if I had a moving truck, seating for 12 people in the dining room, a kitchen that is fully equipped for any chef or caterer, and a full bathroom. Upstairs, there are four gigantic bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and a half bath. The upstairs could easily sleep up to eleven people (not including the sleeper sofas available downstairs). The rooms are spacious with tons of natural light and gorgeous views. My favorite bedroom is painted turquoise with coordinating accent colors, a beautiful (and COMFY!) king size bed, a gorgeous antique armoire, and a huge attached bathroom that can be closed off for privacy. This was the room where I spent our wedding day getting ready, and I can't think of a place I would have enjoyed any more than this. The 2nd bedroom had two queen size (or maybe double?) beds, an armoire, dresser, and trunk and a charming old rocking chair. The best part... the breathtaking view of the ocean! All of these rooms, especially this one, are much bigger than they look in pictures. The 3rd bedroom held a queen size bed, bay window seat overlooking the ocean, and an exterior door to the upstairs veranda. The 4th bedroom contains a sleeper sofa, bunk bed, and a private bathroom. I *think* this bedroom also has an exterior door to the upstairs veranda but I could be mistaken. The entire house - every little nook & cranny - is full of Anna's personal touches. The paint colors, the brilliant mixture of antique and modern accents, the custom furniture, chandeliers throughout, knick knacks, books, the beautiful bathroom sinks, clawfut tub, fireplace with a mosaic of seashells, adorable lamps, an abundance of blankets, comfy mattresses, and other things to make your stay even more comfortable. Anna didn't forget a single detail... this house has it all. And Anna is such a pleasure to talk to. She was so helpful, answered all of my questions almost immediately from her Blackberry, and took time out of her busy schedule to meet with my vendors. She put a lot of time and love into this house and it shows in every single detail.
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