Wedding planners + married couples know how much preparation goes into a wedding—there are hundreds of little choices to be made and not a lot of time to execute the end result. But ultimately, it’s worth it….Right?
A lot of couples consider eloping because of that very question: Is planning a big wedding really worth it? Obviously, this is a complex thing to consider. There are all kinds of benefits and drawbacks to elopement and traditional weddings, but one thing is certain: the common perception of both events is changing.
Most people have heard their share of anecdotes about eloping. Spontaneous “Vegas weddings,” boat ceremonies in international waters, and simple courthouse services have started to become more popular; this probably has to do with a change in the perception of elopement over the last few decades. It’s gaining a more positive reputation, rather than being seen as a sneaky way for couples to wed without their parents’ approval or as a secretive last-resort for couples These days, the act has gained more respectability as an intimate, financially sensible choice. The increasingly positive perception of elopement is even reflected in pop culture. Spontaneous, secret, and low-key marriage ceremonies seem to turn out well!
As for traditional weddings, their reputation has remained fairly consistent, although many spouses-to-be are opting for ceremonies that break smaller traditions and better suit their personal interests. People are getting creative. There are a lot of options out there, and our understanding of what a wedding should look like is changing. Still overwhelmed? Planners love offering elopement packages as well..So, is elopement the way to go, or does the bad still outweigh the good?
All Cards on the Table..
Attractive Price Tag
It’s true: weddings can be insanely expensive. You’re paying for every detail—from chairs and tables to flowers and sparklers. With elopement, most of those details aren’t included, so you don’t have to abuse your bank account over them. Due to the lack of guests, you won’t have to pay for catering, seating, transportation, decorating a large venue, or even accommodation (if it’s a destination wedding). The only things you’ll have to worry about buying are the necessities for you, your spouse, and whoever will be with you during the ceremony.
Stress Free is the Way to Be
For most of us, saving money decreases stress, but there are plenty of other things that you can avoid stressing over if you opt out of a traditional wedding. With an elopement, there are fewer guests to manage, fewer decorative elements to tweak, and a much looser schedule to follow—and even those things are assuming that you have any guests, decorations, or schedule in the first place. In the end, a smaller ceremony lets you take your mind off of the little things and focus all of your attention on your new spouse. In fact, that’s a pro of its own:
Intimacy is Key
Without a doubt, having your wedding day all to yourselves is special and personal beyond compare. Although a bigger wedding would allow more people and extravagance, the romance and intimacy of elopement cannot be overlooked; optimally, there are no distractions from one another during the ceremony that binds you and your partner together for life. It’s about just the two of you and your connection, rather than you as a couple in the wider family/community.
More Marriage, Less Wedding
In that same vein, elopement can make your big day all about marriage itself, focusing your attention on the lifelong love and commitment between you and your partner. A traditional wedding, on the other hand, usually requires that you split your attention between your new marriage and the party that surrounds it. Although a celebration can emphasize the excitement of marriage, it can also take away from the solemnity of the day itself.
You Me and Spontaneity
Up until now, I’ve mostly been concentrating on planned-out elopements, but it’s important to note that elopement is the perfect method for getting married without any planning at all. There’s something to be said for the passion and excitement that accompany spontaneity, especially with a decision as big as marriage. If you think you want to get hitched but you want it to happen in-the-moment, elopement is probably the best way to go.
Where is the Personality
Although intimate, elopement doesn’t let you make the hundreds of little choices that typically go along with a big wedding, meaning that you might not feel like the ceremony is as tailored to your taste. There probably won’t be as many decorations, so choices like color scheme, types of greenery, and furniture arrangement won’t be as impactful to the ceremony’s overall look.
Lost Loved Ones
Some elopements include a few close family members or friends, but the guest list still has to stay relatively limited. Even if you have ten of your closest people with you, there will probably be others that you wish were there, too. Also, many couples consider eloping without anyone but an officiary and a required witness. This method, though very private and significant to the participants, is even more likely to result in regret over absent parties. Getting married can be stressful regardless of how it’s done; eloping may not bring as much pressure as a traditional wedding, but you still might want someone other than your spouse there to support you and calm any nerves.
Is Bigger Really Better
For many people, the festivity and socializing that come with a bigger wedding are an important element of their big day. Also, a little vanity can be justified—a lot of couples look forward to all of the attention being focused on them, their love, and their bond for just that one day. With elopement, there won’t be as many people there to give you the gift of their attention, excitement, support, or mere social presence. The lack of attendees and celebration can impact the significance of the ceremony, as well, making it feel like less of a big deal. So, these factors shouldn’t be considered lightly. They can be really important parts of a couple’s wedding day, but they may not be necessary for everyone.
Too Much Drama Mama
If you look up “elopement ideas” online, a lot of the results include tips on how to handle your family’s reaction to the concept. Along with judgement, you should also prepare yourself for drama or resentment from the people who hear about your plan to elope. More conventional people, especially family members, might feel that a wedding is a right extended to the couple’s family and friends rather than a privilege. They may take it personally that you’re not having a ceremony to which they will be invited, and these feelings could create tension between yourselves and your loved ones that you might not consider worth the trouble.
So, those are the ups and downs of eloping. What do you think—is it worth it?
With engagement season fast approaching, we know the planning and process can be daunting! From planning the big ta-dah, to picking the shiner you will place on her finger forever, there is so much to consider. Never fear, we are here with some helpful tips and tricks to make the big day a little easier along with all the fun to follow!
For the Boys
Do your Ring Research. Start with the basics. Look at the style of jewelry she wears or ask her best friend for advice. If you think it’s too obvious to ask her ring size, take one of her everyday pieces to measure! Need more insight? It may be time to whip out that magnifying glass to take a closer look. Don’t be afraid to investigate, every girl has pinned, liked, or even commented on her dream ring through some social media platform. Do some digging.
Ask the Future Family: While this is not customary, it shows a great deal of respect and could go a long way with your future in-laws. Who knows, they may give you some great insight on how to achieve her dream proposal! She may have mentioned it once or twice.
Dress to Impress: Planning your outfit may sound silly, but your bride-to-be will want you looking spiffy in those proposal photos. Most importantly, keep the ring box safe and concealed until the big question arises. Choose pants or a jacket with deep pockets to keep your secret safe until the moment of truth!
Grandeur or Private Affair: Ask friends and family whose secrecy you can trust for their advice. Trust your gut too. You know your bride-to-be and their personality. If they are shy, have the proposal be an intimate moment to cherish forever. If you have a slightly more adventurous fiancé-to-be, plan that huge party and the reveal she’s most likely expecting.
Trend NOT: Think back to those noteworthy moments in your relationship that led you to falling in love. You are about to make the woman of your dreams your future wife, so don’t skimp on the romance. Finding the perfect proposal location might seem complicated, but the answer may lie in the simplest of places. Think about where you had your first date or first kiss, even locations with inside jokes between the two of you!
Outsmart Your Smarter Half: Think of activities or outings you know she can’t resist. Recruit a trustworthy accomplice to join you in your plan. Great starting points include planning around friends or family member visits into town. It is easy to disguise just meeting company for dinner, cocktails, or a work party, the list never ends.
Off the Script: Collect your thoughts. You should have some concept of what to say when you propose, and how to deliver it. Your tact should be heartfelt, and your demeanor direct. However, memorizing lines will make it seem forced and less genuine. Sticking to a script may contribute to unnecessary stress, and who needs more of that?
Seal the Deal: To go above and beyond, think about what comes after the bride to be says YES (other than jumping up and down!). Consider what or where you are you going to go after. Will it be a planned dinner or celebration with friends? A lovely walk, night on the town, or maybe a simple trip back home to “celebrate” hint hint wink wink.
Post Proposal…What’s next?
Don’t Show THEN Tell: While the moment is beyond exciting and you want notify everyone on the face of the planet, understand how important it is to tell your parents and close loved ones before posting on social media. It is better to protect their feelings by hearing it from you, before seeing it in a picture! Remember to be prepared to tell the story a million times with the same enthusiasm and gusto, no matter the number of repeats you must endure.
Bling Without the Brag: It is only natural to want to show the amazing job your fiancé did picking out a ring that best suits your taste and your personality! If you aren’t patient enough to wait for engagement photos, a tasteful way to show off your rock on social media is by incorporating your fiancé into the shot. Tip: Treat yourself to a manicure!
Live in Your Moment: You may want to jump right into wedding planing, however, don’t feel pressured to rush. Enjoy your honeymoon phase of being engagement before stressing over details. Remember, your fiancé put in a lot of time, thought and effort, into planning the engagement. Give him a little breather room, he may need a break! Plus, let him bask in spotlight for planning such an awesome engagement, just a little bit longer.
It’s Party Time: Why not have a get together to celebrate this new step together in the journey called life. Test your planning skills and host one yourself, or pass it along to a group of friends. (even potential bridal party) Getting engaged is a big change for both you and your friends, and you can be easily swept up with your fiancé and all the excitement. Planning these parties & showers will give you a chance to spend time with your best gal pals.
Tip: Keep track of the recipients to your engagement party/bridal shower/ initial save-the-date invitations. Guests will expect an invite to your big day..keep this in mind when you’re planning wedding numbers!
Wedding Who? Enjoy your engagement, however, it is okay to start thinking of “Big Picture” ideas for the big day! We all know People wills start to ask about potential dates, details, venue, and food before you have time to think about it. Don’t stress out, just start a conversation with your future hubby and both of your overall visions and wants! Think about the date/season, venues, budget, wedding size a little later in the process. Tip: It is never too soon to start your wedding planner research. A planner can assist you in making those “Big Picture” decisions, and setting you up for a successful and less stressful wedding experience.
As a Bride,
you go to great lengths planning your wedding day to ensure everything will be picture perfect, enjoyed by your guests, and seamlessly executed. Of course all of these elements are extremely important, however, it is crucial to take time to prepare yourself mentally and physically for your big day! Yoga is the perfect outlet to rejuvenate your mind and body during the stress of wedding planning, and the perfect opportunity to relax with your bridesmaids before the big weekend. Treat yourself and your crew to a yoga session and brunch party here at the Rutledge House. Breath, let go of stress, relieve tension, enjoy the moment, and stretch your body. Have the instructor read passages that invoke thoughts of love and happiness. It will be the calm before the storm, literally!
Ditch The Studio: To make your yoga session an intimate affair, researchvenuesthat have private popup event packages, equipped with vendors and specialized personnel that will take care of the logistics and legwork for you.
Home Grown: After taking time to replenish your spirit and your mind, you and the girls can refuel your bodies by partacting in a healthful brunch. Take advantage of local artisans and indulge brunch-y selections such as cold pressed juices, Kombucha, organic blends of hot tea, chia seed pudding, homemade granola with almond milk, acai and smoothie bowls, avocado toast, and fresh heirloom bruschetta.
Goodbye to nuptial traditions & hello to modern couples eager to travel!
The uptrend in both domestic and international destination weddings means saying goodbye to nuptial traditions, hello to modern couples eager to travel, and welcoming the bridal party to do the same. We can part with the days when throwing a bachelorette party meant a one night affair filled with bar hopping, tacky matching attire, and far too many shots! The bachelorette party is all about the bride making special memories with her closest friends, and a one night rendezvous just isn’t going to cut it. Bachelorette Weekend it is – and even better – make it a destination…maybe even to Charleston, SC! Organizing activities and getting a group somewhere for a destination weekend can be a tough task! Here are some of our favorite tips + ideas to make your weekend away (or stay) as smooth as possible, and fun for the whole group!
Land Your Lodging: Try an Airbnb instead of a traditional hotel
There is no better way to bond with the entire group than sharing a common space such as a home in the destination you are visiting. Everyone is able to get ready together, encouraged to hangout and chat in lounge areas, and eliminate any left out feelings within the group. Not to mention, splitting the cost of an Airbnb property can be substantially less expensive than buying individual rooms in a hotel or resort. ProTip: Buy communal snacks and drinks to keep in the kitchen for your clan, to satisfy any munching or quick bite needs.
Value in a Venue: If your lodging can’t accommodate all your activities, rent a swanky venue to host the weekend’s festivities! Check out venues that offer special packages specifically for bachelorette weekends or popup events for small groups. Check out one of our favorites here!
ProTip: Here are some unique private event ideas to host during your bachelorette weekend
- Sweat It Out – Jumpstart your day and spend the morning breaking a sweat to getting those endorphins flowing and burn some wedding planning stress. A cardio, pilates and/or dance class at The Rutledge House is the perfect start to the weekend for you and your girls. After, reward your hard work, by indulging in a yummy brunch. Get more info about their yoga & brunch special here!
- Belt It Out – Let’s be honest…We all love karaoke, but hate doing it for the whole bar to see. Host your own karaoke night and let loose with your ladies. I promise, Insta-worthy stories and videos will commence, especially with a group of ladies who feel no shame in belting their favorite 90s pop melodies.
- Paint & Prosecco – Give your gals an opportunity to tap into their imaginative side and pour their creativity onto a canvas! Pop some bottles, sip on some bubbly, and paint away! Not only does this create lasting memories, it leaves you with a piece of artwork to cherish after the weekend is through.
It can be tough establishing reservations for meal times that accommodate larger groups, especially when seeking a dining experience. Host a private dinner with an entirely chef selected menu. Set up a wine or beer tasting with appropriate food pairings. Showcase a chef demo with interactive elements. These intimate experiences will cater to everyone’s needs, and make the most out of your use of a venue. The Rutledge House Wine Cellar is the perfect backdrop for wine tastings and private dinners, and we offer a variety of options for you and your group. Check more info here!
Get that pep back in your step after the weekend and try an unconventional approach to Sunday Brunch. Go on a caffeine crawl! Research local Coffee Shops, Tea Artisans, and Bakeries to try a little bit from everywhere. The fresh air and cups of joe might just be your bridal party’s saving grace.
Hire a Photographer/Videographer:
Quick, add this to your list of bachelorette weekend must-haves! Gone are the days of alternating between which girls take what photos, and the stress of posting photos in the moment. Why not hire a killer photographer/videographer to capture you and all your best gals during the celebration? Any photographer & videographer would be happy to capture these moments for you! ProTip: Plus..it’s the perfect surprise gift for the bride!
Somehow, it’s already August. That means footballs are about to fly, pumpkin spice is in the air, and wedding season is about to be in full swing.
With the best time of the year upon us, it begs one question: what to wear?! We teamed up with one of Charleston’s best bloggers and boutiques to find the answer.
We got together with Savannah Guss of Boho & Bows to get inspired for the season. B&B, the life & style blog providing a spark of creativity from the perspective of a young mother, gave us top picks for the upcoming wedding season’s looks for the lowcountry and beyond.
We stopped by local standout boutique Maris Dehart because, well…how could we not? While walking out of Maris Dehart’s doors and not looking fabulous is virtually impossible, owner Alden Haviland had some special items waiting at The Cabana that even exceeded expectations. The Cabana by Maris Dehart, the summer-only section of the boutique, is a must-see if you’re on a search to stand out.
Savannah got started with this elegant white dress.
This stunner is the ultimate look for all things bride. Rehearsal dinner? Elopement? Engagement pictures? Beach wedding? Reception dress? You name it, and this beauty can be styled for any bridal occasion. I absolutely adore the high-low ruffle hem & mini train on this dress; it’s the perfect touch to give this look sass & class! I love the versatility to pair with a bright statement earring for a more casual vibe or with a simple veil and some bling, you’re ready to say “I DO!’
I never met a fringe I didn’t like! The detail of this light, delicate fringe hem combined with the ever-flattering fit of a wrap dress & soft color makes this dress a total show stopper. This is a style that would look gorgeous on anyone. As a wedding guest or attendee of a bridal shower/brunch/rehearsal dinner, this look is fool-proof & fabulous!
I love the unexpected sass of a classy pants and top situation instead of a dress. If you’re a bride looking to breakaway from tradition, or just not so much of a dress gal, then ladies look no further! The simplicity of the black and white is stunningly elegant, while the detail of the fringe gives it that extra WOW factor. Throw on a bright statement earring for a pop of color and totally rock this look at a rehearsal dinner or engagement party!
This set is so eye-catching & fabulous and it’s such a fun alternative to a dress. The stripes with the small detail of fringe and high waist, in combination with the subtle crop, give this look the ultimate vibe of elegance and style. Sets are one of my favorite styles because they take the work out of having to “piece” an outfit together. They’re a fashionable no-brainer, if you will. This set in particular is super easy to style for a more casual bridal brunch or glam it up for a dinner, by a quick change of accessories, shoe, or a bold lip. (P.S. It’s super comfortable too!)
Whatever you decide to do when attending the big day of your nearest & dearest this upcoming season, Savannah says to make sure to stay true to yourself and you can’t go wrong.
“No matter the trend, cost or brand, true style is about who you are,” she says. “Kindness & confidence will never go out of style and will always be everyones best looks.”
You’re getting married. It’s official. Woo!
It’s time to make your vision of the perfect day come to life, and that all starts with the rentals. Between the essentials such as chairs, tables, bars, and dinnerware to unique crowdpleasers like games extra decor pieces, possibilities are endless and can make decision-making a bit overwhelming. We asked Ashely Von Rosenberg of EventWorks for some tips when picking rentals. According to Ashley, the most important thing when picking rentals is to make choices early in the process and order in advance.
“Items are available on a first come, first serve basis,” she said. “While we have a large inventory with depth due to our three locations, some items we have limited quantities available. It’s important to lock in your items, which can be done by paying a deposit to reserve an order. At EventWorks, our deposit is 25%.”
We’ve used rentals in fun ways, such as making crescent bars into a 360 bars and using greenery walls as backdrops and overhanging bars. When thinking about your rentals, take pieces that can have many uses into special consideration.
“Clients have used our bookshelves to display escort cards, used our Wood Serving Blocks as centerpieces, or even our Bohemian Beaded glasses to serve small salads. Be creative with your search!” Ashley said. “Even some of our lounge tables have doubled as unique cake tables! We love seeing clients plan and design beyond the norm.”
Do you need a tent? This is one of the most discussed details when it comes to rentals. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the venue and the season. Each venue has it’s own policies for tenting as well as unique perks and challenges, such as space limitations and how they affect design or what parts of venues are allowed to be tented. Seasonal weather is probably the biggest factor to consider. In Charleston, for example, fall weddings can be the most susceptible to surprise weather due to hurricane season. Ashley said she always recommends that clients put tents on reserve just in case.
“We have a Rain Reserve policy, which is 35% of the total cost of the tent to hold for your date with the decision needed three days prior to delivery by noon,” she said. “I always recommend this because we have had many busy weekends where we are simply maxed out on tents and labor.”
Rental setup can begin anywhere from days to hours before the wedding, depending on the size of the tent, amount of rentals, and your venue. Make sure you’re prepared in advance, so you can spend your wedding day enjoying your beautiful tent without worry.
As spring weddings approach, we are seeing confident and feminine looks that put a fresh spin on the classics. Trends that channel every bride’s inner personality and create a look that is less than traditional and out of the ordinary. The rise of temperatures in the spring and summer months brings inspiration for new bridal looks that are vibrant and enhance a seasonally appropriate feel. Consider design elements like ruffles, florals, color and cuts to add a playful vibe that suits this time of year!
Color Me Pretty: In bridal, ivory, white and alabaster reign supreme, but of all seasons this is the time to experiment! If you are unsure about wearing white, consider taking a risk with color. Choose soft pinks, pastel floral prints, butter yellow, something soft blue and pistachio greens for a look that feels fresh in the months where everything is in bloom – transforms the most traditional silhouette into something unexpected – or go bold with multicolor embroidery!
Back to Black: Black and white are a match made in heaven when it comes to everyday wear, and now the classic pairing is making a splash in the world of bridal fashion. A simple black belt can add a hint of edge to a sweet gown while black velvet ribbon accents provide visual interest without overwhelming a look. Even opt for a piece of dark jewelry or make a splash with a black shoe.
Short Story: From sassy minis to sophisticated tea-length dresses to romantic high-low hems, this trend is not afraid to play with length, and you neither should you. Raising your hemline does not require you to lower expectations for a dramatic dress moment. Shorter skirts feature embellishments and textures and allow for spunky layering. Bonus Perk: Showcasing your fabulous legs – or adding the perfect pop of color with an outrageous shoe.
Bang for Your Bow: Let’s be honest—putting a bow on a wedding dress isn’t exactly revolutionary. But bows are back and even bow-lder than before. This ultimate feminine detail softens up otherwise sultry looks but with ads a sophisticated spin. Asymmetrical bows stand out against clean lines and can introduce subtle volume to your sleeves. The trend has never felt fresher.
Hot for the Cold Shoulder: This trend may have already made its way into your closet—now the cold shoulder look is begging to be featured in your wedding. Strapless used to reign supreme, and then off-the-shoulder made its debut – now this neckline has proved it not going anywhere anytime soon. Add interest to a classic shoulder-bearer with ruffled, off-shoulder sleeves or a cut-out version that still feels fresh. This is the happy medium between a basic strapless gown and anything with sleeves. Bare shoulders and peek-a-boo cutouts highlight your enviable frame and infuse a soft and sexy appeal that feels right for the season.
Playsuits, Yes Please: In months where easygoing minis, blouson gowns and effortless A-lines are the best bets, try for something even more easygoing–a jumpsuit or palazzo panted set that feels as special as any bridal gown could. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be the world’s sharpest dresser to pull off an all-in-one wedding-day look! Hint – the same rules for accessorizing apply! Don’t worry.
The beloved tradition of having a first dance is a wonderful moment that signifies the beginning of a newlywed’s exciting journey together. Whether you choose to choreograph a routine or simply sway back and forth, this once in a lifetime moment is by no means supposed to be stressful. That being said, your song selection is a key component in making this moment magical and memorable.
We have created some tips below on how to choose a perfect wedding song that will create an unforgettable experience with your new spouse, allow for friends and family to gather around and admire your love, and kick start celebrating the wonderful night ahead of you!
1. Pick a song that has meaningful/sentimental lyrics to you as a couple; maybe it reminds you of the time you first fell in love, your journey together so far, or a special moment you have shared.
2. Choose something you can dance to. You want to be comfortable with how slow/fast the beat is so you hit those right steps you practiced. And if you miss one, don’t worry! Enjoy the moment and laugh about it together.
3. Find a song that resembles who you are as one. Every couple is unique and so are the endless amounts of songs to choose from! Decide whether you want to go for that romantic, classic, modern, or sheer fun tune.
4. Take into consideration your wedding venue. If you’re hosting a southern wedding, maybe choose an acoustic/country song or if you’re tying the knot at a destination, choose a song that originated from that location!
5. Utilize all the music services offered today. From Apple Music to Spotify and everything in between, there are sure to be tons of pre-made wedding playlists. While browsing, if you fall in love with a song, go for it!
6. Select a song from an artist/band that you both love. When you both relate to the song on a personal level, it makes your dance so much more extraordinary.