Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Northeast Florida Wedding Tips & Tricks

I got married. Yippee. It's over now and I have all this information just floating around. Surely someone can use it. I sure could have during my planning process. Would have saved me a bunch of time.

Some of these tips may also help you even if you are not from the Northeast Florida area. I am all about saving money.


Location #1:
Heritage House Wedding Chapel
Kingsland, GA
They provide small indoor chapel or outdoor garden weddings for affordable prices. Decent place for the quick wedding but honestly it is on the corner of the block in a small residential neighborhood. I wouldn't recommend more than 50 people. They also do case you are interested.Link

Location #2:
Howard Gilman Memorial Park
St. Marys, GA
Absolutely beautiful! On the water with a white gazebo, white pergolas with picnic tables and also a stage area with stairs and the water as your background. All this surrounds a public park with a beautiful fountain. Super pretty and affordable. $300 ($200 refundable)

Location #3:
North Hampton Lofton Creek Outpost
Fernandina Beach, FL
Set on the marsh with lovely decks all over. Includes a kitchen, bathroom and small screened in room. Newly built so it doesn't have that rundown look. You have to be a member of the neighborhood or find someone who is. Costs $125 ($100 refundable)


The reason I put location before the dress is because if you have a very formal wedding spot you don't want to show up in a not so formal gown and the other way around.

Personally I got my dress at a David's Bridal clearance sale. Marked down to a third of the original price. And I didn't even have to put a stain on it. (I would NEVER do that lol) It was a little big but a wonderful friend of the family altered it for me. Otherwise David's Bridal was going to charge me $300 to alter it and would take 6 weeks. Rip off.

There are quite a few China based dress makers on eBay with excellent feedback. The average price of a custom made dress was around $175 including shipping. Took about 14 days to complete. This is a great option, however if you are on a time crunch or cannot find a seamstress local, I would not suggest going this route. Be prepared to make alterations once you get the dress just in case.

You have your location and now your dress...well and the groom


I called, emailed and checked out every rental place I could imagine for tables, chairs and linens. Either they cost way more than if I wanted to buy the items or they didn't deliver. What bride wants to set up 100 chairs the day of her wedding or make her family do it? Not me.
Drum roll please....
Camden Party Rentals, in Kingsland, GA, took the show. Wonderful staff who is caring and kind. Their prices are super affordable. They also deliver and pickup anytime you need them to. She doesn't have a website but her number is (912) 576-6858


I will NOT suggest or name my cake lady, as I was very disappointed the leaning cake she provided us with. I was then disappointed in her unprofessionalism. Oh yeah and did I mention she put wagon wheels on the cake...not flowers. Shew that rant is over. Learn from my mistake.
  • Go with someone you trust, word of mouth isn't always the best.
  • You don't have to spend a ton of money on a cake that is to big for your party.
  • Depending on the way the cake is cut, you can get 75 pieces from a layer.
  • Try your local supermarket. They generally need a 14 day advance notice. Get the cake blank, just frosted, and decorate yourself with fresh flowers.
  • Get a cake serving set (knife and server) that you can use in everyday use. Avoid the bows and pearls on the handle. It makes it a disposable wedding favor.


Supermarket Supermarket Supermarket
Better yet if you have a Publix near you go there. Flowers are $10 for 3 good size bouquets. We ended up purchasing about 12 bouquets of White Mums (the big ones), Carnations, Mini Carnations and for a few bucks extra 2 bouquets of white roses. With all the flowers and supplies to make 8 boutonnieres, 3 small bouquets and 1 large bridal bouquet was about $60. Get your bridal party together with the moms and grandmas, drink some wine, have some laughs and make your arrangements no more than 2 nights before. Place in water in the refrigerator.


Think candles. Not flowers. It gets to expensive when you start adding flowers.
Tall, skinny glass candle holders with glass rocks in the bottom and a candle can be done for around $3. Get your supplies from the Dollar Trees wholesale supplier online.
Spend a few more bucks and get floating candles from ROSS department store. I had to dig but I found a 16 pack for $2. Tea candles are on sale at MICHAELS Craft store for $100 for $2.
Forget the toulle. It is a pain in the butt and a waste of money.

We purchased a ton of battery operated paper lanterns in white at the Dollar Tree. They make for good mood lighting...make sure you get good batteries.

We bought white twinkle Christmas lights right after Christmas. Got them for about a $1 per box. Use clear zipties. You can get a bag of them for $1.50 at Walmart.


We used Men's Warehouse. I do NOT recommend them. To begin with they ordered the wrong size tux for my husband. Twice. He didn't get the correct one until the day of the wedding. The store manager also proceeded to inform my then soon to be husband that if the bride was not wearing white this was her second marriage or she was unpure. My husband looked down and saw he had on an ivory vest...not white. How could she say that to him? About me? My dress was Ivory and this is my first and only marriage and pure? what the heck who says that about someone?....Rant over. Brides you are so allowed to have a rant here and there. If you let it fester then you may just blow at the wedding. Who wants pieces of the bride everywhere?

So for tuxes, I have no idea. We had a bad experience.


Again, go to someone you trust. I have a stylist that I absolutely adore. She has done my hair for the past 2 years and I totally trust her.

Don't just think that trendy salons can do your formal hairdo. Places like the Hair Cuttery or Supercuts also do them and at half the price. Go in for a pre run through a few weeks ahead of time. Bring your camera. Take photos. This will give you something to look at and also help your stylist remember what she did to your hair. They see a lot of heads, so help her to remember. I paid a total of $70 for both appointments. Not bad at all!


For about 30¢ a piece we made our favors. So easy and affordable.
Glass Magnets with loving sayings...
Love • Cherish • Laugh • Kiss

  1. Get Photo Paper, Modgepodge, E600, small round magnets, and small glass rocks. All available online or at Michaels Craft Store or Walmart
  2. Using your at home printer, print out words in fun fonts (nothing to scrolly) about half the size of the glass rock. Have fun, play with different background colors. We used turquoise since it was our wedding color.
  3. Cute out the text. Put a glass rock/marble over one of the words flat side down to gauge the size to cut it.
  4. Put a thin layer of Modgepodge on the text size of the words you just cut out.
  5. Lie glass marble flat side down over the Modgepodged word. Press firmly to get air bubbles out. Allow to dry.
  6. Put E600 on the back of the magnet and affix magnet to the back of the now glass marble and paper sandwich. Press firmly. Allow to dry. Use in well ventilated area. Super stink.
  7. The Dollar Tree has toulle circles. Get some of those and some ribbon in your wedding color.
  8. Put one magnet in the center of the tulle circle and gather at top. Tie with ribbon into a bow.
  9. There are your favors.
  • Have a drink that is dyed your wedding color. Like Turquoise lemonaide.
  • We were not able to do the unity candle ceremony since the wind was so gusty. Prepare for that. Maybe try the sand ceremony.
  • Suprise your husband by having the DJ play your man's favorite football teams fight song when you walk down the isle as husband and wife. (Make sure they play the correct one, unlike our DJ)
  • Dangle beads and jewels from your bouquets to make it unique.
  • Get a photo frame matting for your guests to sign. Kits are available at Michaels craft store.
  • Can't find the perfect cake topper? Do a monogram. I found mine on eBay for $7 and it is flat and pretty. We can keep it in our scrapbook.
  • Keep away from serving meat at your wedding to keep costs down. Try pastas.
  • Trade services for your services you need. For example, if you do web design offer to trade for the photography.
  • Don't forget about your wedding bands. Try for the groom's ring. They run specials and we got his for $90. My band came from Sams Club. Cost $300 and is full of diamonds. Took 5 weeks to get it. Plan on having some time to wait.
  • Propaine patio heaters are wonderful if you are having an outdoor wedding and need some extra heat.
All in all, I hope this helps you frantic and not so frantic brides in planning your wedding. I hope to save you the headaches I got from not having this information. It is your day. Everyone will tell you that...along with their opinion of what YOUR day should be. Be strong, stand tall. Don't be rude, but remember not to let anyone tell you what you want. Be reasonable and flexible all at the same time. But don't let people walk on you. And the best thing of all, at the end of the day you will be married to the most wonderful man in the world. So have some fun and get some great pictures to remember it.


Adagio Beadcrafters said...

As I told you before: you could be a wedding planner. Seriously!
It was a lovely wedding and I'm just so happy I got to be there to see it all...;)

Kevin Matin said...

found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later ..
Florida wholesale jewelry

Perry said...

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Photography said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)