The last box has been opened, the last check endorsed and deposited, your honeymoon suitcase is unpacked, all the laundry is done…you’re literally out of excuses for why you’re putting off writing those Thank you cards. We’re here to help! Follow these tips to totally rock the note writing process!
• Be organized
You should honestly know that once you’re engaged you’re going to be the recipient of at least a couple of gifts. Stay on top of it! Gifts received before the wedding (we’re looking at all your multiple showers) should have a thank you in the mail within 2 weeks of the event. Which is even better to get a big chunk done before the wedding! Read More
Who doesn’t love a good sparkler? No matter how many times we see them or use them, there’s just something about playing with fire/sparks that is so much fun. This blog’s focus is toward those frequently asked questions about sparklers. So without further ado…
1. Does Shadowland allow sparkler send-offs?
Yes! We do allow sparkler send-offs. Due to city ordinances, lighting lanterns and sending them off into the skies is no longer allowed in St Joe city limits, but sparklers are allowed.
2. How do sparkler send-offs generally work at Shadowland?
Let’s go through the ideal situation! For arguments sake, let’s say the bar closes at 11 and the end of the night is at 11:30. Sparklers would be at 11:15. Your DJ would make an announcement for guests to exit the ballroom toward the sunset patio. Shadowland staff assists in handing out sparklers and we have to be the drink police…alcoholic drinks are not allowed past our patio (city rules again) and that is where guests need to line up for a proper send off. Staff works with your photographer to form two lines, about 10 feet apart from each other. Once the guests are in place, your photographer is ready to go and you newlyweds are set, Shadowland staff will help light sparklers. Then off you go! Take it slow, dip and kiss in the middle, and get some fabulous shots! If you choose, you can have someone pull your car around if you really are going to leave right after the send-off. When the sparklers go out, Shadowland also has a large bucket/trash can full of water ready nearby for used ones. By this time, it’s either 11:30 or a bit after and it lends nicely to starting the clean-up process. Read More
Limos, trolleys, and party busses oh my! These days there are more options than just a stretch limo for transporting the bridal party from point A to point B. Now it’s a growing trend to provide transportation not just for the bridal party for pictures, but for the guests as well. This blog will talk about the pros and cons of providing transportation and some tips to keep in mind when booking your wheels for your big day.
- If you have a lot of guests at one hotel, or have room blocks at a couple places, it helps guarantee guests getting to the ceremony and reception on time.
- If guests are from out-of-town or not as familiar with the area, it cuts down on people getting lost and driving around aimlessly.
- Providing transportation cuts down on the number of parking spaces required at a venue. (Shadowland has roughly 80 available spots so for larger parties, transportation around the area helps with the flow of traffic)
- There is less worry about guests over-indulging in drinks and then driving afterwards
- Depending on the type of transportation you go with, there could be some great photo opportunities with the vehicle
- Using it to tote you and your bridal party around helps keep everyone together and arriving at the same time, which will help stay on your wedding timeline for the day.
Cons (but really more like just things to think about while coordinating transportation):
- Even though there will be a designated driver, Shadowland bartenders will still adhere to MLCC guidelines and not serve overly intoxicated guests
- Transportation is an added line item in the budget for the couple to consider
- Guests who use the service may not be able to arrive or leave when they choose
- When does your contract time end with the service? Are they picking up/dropping off at certain hotels at certain times? Will they be doing a continuous loop between the venue and hotels until all guests have been accounted for? If the vehicle contract is over before your reception is over, you may run the risk of a lot of guests leaving before the party is over.
Other Tips to Keep in Mind:
- It’s recommended to start looking and booking about 6 or more months ahead of time; especially if you are getting married in a high volume wedding month, the earlier the better to book and reserve a vehicle.
- Like with all your other vendor contracts, read it over carefully to catch things like mileage requirements, damage charges, food and beverage policies, any service charges and such before locking in.
- Keep in mind packing up at the end of the night. You will have some gifts, you may have décor if friends and family are handling tearing the room down… in any event, you will have more to take out than you probably brought in at the beginning of the day. It’s good to have one or two larger vehicles on site to handle the bigger things at the end of the night.
- Make it known to guests a transportation service will be available and what times it will be running so they can plan to use it!
Providing wedding transportation is a nice service the couple can provide for the bridal party and guests. While it is an added investment in the day, it will most likely pay for itself when everyone arrives on time and gets a safe ride home at the end of the evening. Read More
Kyle Decker and Erica (Weidner) Decker wed Sunday May 24, 2015 at Dunes Pavilion on Silver Beach with reception at Shadowland Ballroom. Their story all started on a wintery December night in Angola, IN; where they happened to meet when they were out with mutual friends listening to live music. After talking and dancing a bit, they decided to stay in touch. As multiple days passed, talking, texting, and chatting on Facebook were frequent, but it was a little over a month before they were able to have our first date. The rest as they say is history. Read More
So your best friend just got engaged, and appointed you as the maid of honor, congrats! This title comes with a lot of responsibility. Now you have two parties to plan, a bridal shower, and a bachelorette party. So let’s focus on the bridal shower. Coming up with different ideas is difficult, and you want to plan the perfect party that’s not your typical everyday bridal shower.
Wine tasting can be a fun idea, and most of the guests will love it. You can either choose a winery to host it at, or have the winery come to you for a private tasting. Customizing the tastings ahead of time can be a good idea that way you can pair food with the different tastings. When it comes to decorating for the party all you need are some empty wine bottles and some flowers. All you have to do is keep it simple. Read More
A growing trend in the industry is the couple having a “First Look” before walking down the aisle. For you traditionalists out there, you may be panicking at the thought of bringing bad luck to the already stressful day and be looking for the nearest salt shaker to throw over your left shoulder, so this route may not be for you. But for those wanting to be a little trendier, or may just be in a time crunch and need to move things along quicker, a first look may be for you.
Why all the buzz about bad luck?
Once upon time in a far off land a long long time ago, (or still in some cultures today), arranged marriages were all the rage. The fathers of two successful businesses would decide to marry off their son and daughter in an effort to grow the businesses and have both families prosper. Sounds like a win-win for everyone right? But the dear old dads didn’t always let the couple meet before the wedding in case the son didn’t think his bride-to-be was pretty enough and cancel the whole thing! (Pretty shallow if you ask me). So since I’m guessing this happened a time or two, somebody decided it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride at all before the big day. As times went on and the novel idea came about that people should be able to choose their own mates, the superstition got reduced down to the groom not seeing the bride on the wedding day before the big reveal walking down the aisle. Read More
In today’s age of social media, proposals are being shared every day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram…the pressure is on to come up with unique and fun ways to pop the question. No longer limited to just the couple getting engaged, brides are even getting in on the action when choosing their bridal party. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing to inspire some festive proposals for the ladies closest in your life:
Trending now are these personalized bridesmaid’s boxes of goodies. A fun weekend DIY project, most of the supplies can be found at your local craft store and you can fill them with whatever seems most appropriate for your girls. Jewelry, nail polish, mini champagne (or the alcohol of choice) bottles, candy, duties of the bridesmaids (be nice…don’t be a bridezilla right off the bat 🙂 )…the possibilities are endless when it comes to filling these boxes. A nice thing to keep in mind if you are having a large bridal party who may not know each other very well, would be to include the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all in the bridal party so everyone can plan together and be on the same page. Read More
There are few things that put a smile on my face faster than books. I can’t get enough of books and anything that has to do with them. Because of me Barnes and Noble will always be in business. When it comes to weddings, sometimes a traditional book is the way to go. Sometimes couples are looking for other ways to personalize the day There are so many creative and personal touches that can come into play with the guest book area. Here are some of our favorite ideas that have come into Shadowland:
Incorporating the Couple’s Names:
Functional Art Pieces or Objects: Read More
Wedding dresses come in all shapes, sizes, styles. That pretty much goes without saying. No matter the price, color, fabric, or length, the thing that every wedding dress tends to have in common is that after wearing it for oh, 10 or so hours, once you take it off you almost never have any reason to put it back on. Can anything be done about this? Here are 4 ideas for you to maximize usage of the most beautiful dress you will ever wear.
Store it for next generation
Okay, so this is like the common go to thing to do with the dress. But, it still is a viable option and is the most popular way to go for a reason. However, instead of saving it for when your daughters for their wedding day, why not let them play dress up with it when they’re younger? I’m not saying it needs to become a staple in the dress up chest and end up smeared with PB&J and mac and cheese. But what if for one super special day that your kids are playing wedding dress up, which all kids inevitably do, why not pull the dress out and let the “bride” fashion her gown out of yours? Get the camera ready and poised to take as many pictures as you can…because someday when she is planning her wedding, whether she wears your dress again or not, those playtime dress up pictures will be pure gold. Read More
Okay, so speaking completely stereotypically, there is this idea floating out in the world that girls start planning their wedding when they are about…oh…8 years old. It’s assumed and accepted the bride will do the bulk of the planning for the festivities of the wedding. But, it’s not just about HER (I’m so sorry to anyone who thinks that), but the only reason she gets to be planning a wedding is because she has a HIM. Ladies don’t forget about your man! In 2013 David’s Bridal did a survey that found that 83% of grooms are actively involved in the decision making process of planning the nuptials. Guys want to have their ideas heard; don’t forget, this is most likely the most important day of their lives so far too. But, whether or not you guy wants to be involved or is perfectly dandy taking a step back and letting you do your thing, here are 5 ideas you can do to make sure your groom feels super-extra special when he says, “I do.” Read More
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