Today’s blog post is a super fun Q&A with Amber from “Oh MY! Occasions” in South Florida.
I love having the opportunity to collaborate and network with other local wedding professionals, so I was super excited to ask Amber her thoughts on the 2016 Metallic trend, putting fun new spins on old traditions and considerations to make when planning a wedding in South Florida.
Check out her answers to my 5 burning questions:
1) What are the key factors a couple should look for when selecting a wedding planner:
A couple should always have a connection with their planner, and vice versa. I offer free consultations to any potential clients because it’s important that we meet face to face (or via Skype if in person isn’t possible). When you interact this way, it makes you more “real” as a planner. You’re not this robotic organizer that pieces together a wedding; you become a person, a friend, someone who cares about them as a couple. Find a planner who isn’t too biased. There’s a difference between giving décor advice and suggesting color schemes that may work well, and turning your nose to a particular idea that you might not personally be a fan of. Look for similarities where you can: maybe your planner grew up in the same state as you, or you were both in the same sorority. Maybe you’re both dog fanatics or have a love for antique cars. Those seemingly tiny details do help to build a trust. Don’t be afraid to ask your planner questions. Make sure he/she knows what they’re talking about. Are they calling themselves a planner after helping cousin Sally light some candles at her wedding… or do they have an established and certified business with a team that does this every other weekend? Before settling on a price that you’re willing to spend on a planner, do your research on just how much work goes into their job. A good planner will make you feel comfortable about the amount you’re spending for their services. Red flags are a planner with lack of (or no) experience, wishy washy answers, someone who is disorganized or unprepared, and a price that seems “too good to be true”.
2) What are some considerations in planning a wedding in South Florida:
The most important issue to take into consideration is weather. A lot of brides from out of town will assume that the sunshine state is always sunny. It is my job as a planner to educate couples on what to accurately expect during specific months (intense humidity, rain showers every other hour, love bugs, hurricane season, etc.) A lot of destination couples dream of a beach wedding, but don’t consider that a particular beach may be open to the public- meaning wedding pictures with men in speedos or cats using the sand as a litter box. If clients are educated in advance, we can prevent certain mishaps by suggesting a simple venue change, tent setup, location with a private beach, etc. South Florida offers some incredibly unique venues and hidden gems. (Think Viizcaya or The Bath Club for instance.) I call these the “empty house” type of venues, where the rooms are set for a kitchen and ballroom, but you have to bring all the vendors in. Catering, lighting, furniture rentals, draping, and whatever else is needed. If the client is interested in an event at a “turnkey” property like the Ritz or Biltmore, these venues offer many “in house” amenities that aren’t provided (and required) at other places. It is necessary for a client to consider items like this far in advance, otherwise they may be stuck with a location they love, but food they don’t, or gorgeous hotel suites that are far from any transportation. If there are a lot of out of town guests, consider having the wedding a reasonable distance from one of the airports. If the ceremony and reception are at different sites, think about providing transportation shuttles. Another thing to consider is the time of year when the wedding will take place. Florida is a mecca for festivals and spring breakers. Make sure to thoroughly check what events, fairs, festivals, and holidays may be attracting an overflow of tourism. A lot of the typical wedding items to consider are consistent throughout any state. The colors or theme of your event needs to fit the aesthetic of your surroundings. No matter how unique or “out there” décor may be, there still needs to be a level of continuity that remains throughout the design. A planner will help ensure that all your creative ideas become reality!
3) What are some fun ways a couple can take tradition and make it their own
While I love when a certain culture or religious tradition takes place, I also enjoy exploring the unorthodox realm. I’ve had clients forego wedding bands and get matching tattoos instead! I’ve watched dogs as ring bearers and flower girls being pulled in wagons. I make it clear to my clients that there is no “norm” in weddings. Etiquette books and articles online deceive many people into believing that they can’t put a personal spin on their big day. I remind my clients that this is one day for them to celebrate who they really are. The best weddings are true reflections of who the couple is. All the time I am asked questions regarding extremes. “Do I have to do this?” “When should we do that?” Simply put, no; I will guide my couples’ ideas into a timeline so that everything is organized and lawful, but other than that, I say, go for the crazy ideas! Did your fiancé propose under the 4th of July fireworks? Awesome. Then let’s get some industrial sparklers to go off after you say I do. Do you want a “man of honor” and 3 best man? Fine by me! Are you Star Wars fans and want to have a light saber battle during your intro? May the Force be with you! Was your first date at a pizza parlor? Then let’s have bite sized pizzas passed as a “late night bite”. If you can imagine it, we can create it. No vision is too big or too crazy to make happen. Pending venue regulations and state/federal laws, we can bring their dream wedding to life.
4) What do you think of the colored metallics trend emerging for 2016?
Personally, I love it. Trends in this industry move quickly, and I think it’s fun to embrace whatever fad may be “in” at the time. Look at wedding pictures from years ago with puffy sleeved bridesmaids dresses and the guys in cummerbunds! Years from now it may be something that “dates” this period, but if metallics fit the couple’s style, I think that’s great.
5) The best advice you can give a bride when dress shopping
Listen to your heart. Try on all sorts of styles, even ones you’ve sworn off. Maybe you think your dream dress is a mermaid fit, only to fall in love with a tulle ball gown. Make sure you give yourself enough time. Some orders are handmade and take 6-8 months just to arrive. Keep your “entourage” small. Too many people giving their opinions interferes with your own thoughts and judgment. If you’re set on a “white wedding”, go for a dress in ivory or off-white. White often washes out the bride, and you’ll never know the difference in color unless you’re right next to something stark white. Find your personality in the form of a dress. Maybe you don’t want white at all- maybe you are bold and funky and a red dress suits you. Again, do what makes you happy. Make sure you’re open to visualizing the end result- often sample dresses will be clamped or pinned or way too long, so it’s hard to see how a properly fitted dress will look on your body. Lastly, don’t be harsh on yourself if you don’t find “the one” the first time dress shopping. Or the second time. Or the third! Not everyone has that “this is the one” reaction. And that’s okay!
Have a question for Amber or looking to plan a wedding in South Florida?
Find Amber online: Oh My! Occasions
Facebook: Oh My Occasions LLC