We don't do "gay" weddings | Charleston, Atlanta & destination nontraditional wedding planner & designer | LGBT wedding planner

I have a feeling this blog is going to ruffle a few feathers but I'm ok with that. This has been on my mind for quite some time and I feel like I need to just go ahead and get it out in the open. I'll likely lose a few friends and a few likes on our Facebook page, but, again, I'm ok with that.  

I've been working with this one wedding vendor for years and years and absolutely adored working with them. I recently inquired about a date for one of my couples and they were totally available...until they found out I had a same-sex couple. Then all of a sudden the convo got super awkward and they had to "check their schedule" and would have to get back to me. Ultimately they passed on the wedding without any real explanation.

Now, I'm not here to point any elbows or start any drama, but I do feel like I need to get something out there.

We don't do "gay" weddings. There, I said it. Now hold up a second, before you go and get all bajiggity about it, you should also know that we don't do "straight" weddings, "white" weddings, "black" weddings, "Chinese" weddings, "Jewish" weddings or any other wedding you're tempted to label.

You know what we do?  

We do weddings.  Period.  

We do big weddings. We do small weddings. We do medium sized weddings. We do weddings with two grooms. We do weddings with a bride & a groom and weddings with two brides, too. We do pop up weddings and elopements. We do incredible, authentic, unique, breathtaking, heartfelt, swoon-worthy weddings. We do weddings so filled with love and heartfelt joy that our entire team straight up Ugly Cries as the couple exchanges their handwritten vows.  We do super unique, weird, quirky weddings.  We do weddings steeped in tradition.  We do Muslim nikkahs.  We do fusion weddings combining time honored traditions with new traditions that our couple has created.  We do weddings where the clients want to hang cakes from the ceiling with circus performers swinging around it.  We do weddings with food trucks and ultra luxe weddings with seven course meals presented by white gloved servers in tuxedos.  We do weddings where instead of exchanging rings, they both get tattoos.  We do weddings where the bride is escorted down the aisle by her children and they have a "family ceremony" where they all pledge to love one another and to go forth as more than just a husband and a wife, they go forth as a family.  We do weddings where it's just the couple, their officiant, me and a killer photographer on a cliff overlooking the sea.  We do weddings where the couple has their best friend in the entire world get ordained so he can legally marry them using a ceremony script the three of them wrote together.  (That wedding hit us right in the feels.)

I guess my point is, yes, of course we do same-sex weddings (and straight ones and black ones and white ones and all the other ones too)! And for us it's really about everything but the orientation of our couples, cuz let's be honest, that's none of our damn business anyway. #amiright?! 

We don't care how you love, the only thing we care about is that you love.

We love loveWe love it in all its many forms. We love helping our couples celebrate their love for one another more than anything and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank the good Lord for allowing me to do what I love.

And speaking of Him, I believe with all my heart that the greatest commandment we were ever given was to love one another (Matthew 22:36-40) and that's exactly what I intend to do.  I'm confident that when I'm called to account for my life in front of my Creator, all He's really going to care about is that I did my best to love folks without judgement and helped them celebrate their love for one another.

Now how about we all enjoy some photos of a few weddings that just make us happy, happy, happy?! You can't tell me that seeing people this happy makes you do anything but smile!

mike allebach, the creative genius behind the lens for this photo, is available for travel to all 50 states and abroad

mike allebach, the creative genius behind the lens for this photo, is available for travel to all 50 states and abroad

the couple's best friend, Alan, officiated the nuptials in this photo

the couple's best friend, Alan, officiated the nuptials in this photo

mazel tov!

mazel tov!

a ceremony filled with love and the promise to go forth as a family was just perfect for this couple

a ceremony filled with love and the promise to go forth as a family was just perfect for this couple

scarlet plan & design
who says you can't wear a tuxedo with flip flops?

who says you can't wear a tuxedo with flip flops?

a traditional church wedding with 11 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen at peachtree road united methodist church in atlanta

a traditional church wedding with 11 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen at peachtree road united methodist church in atlanta

jumping for joy!

jumping for joy!

matching boat shoes?  i looooove!!

matching boat shoes?  i looooove!!

scarlet plan & design boone hall plantation wedding

7 things to do the morning of your wedding | wedding planning advice | charleston, atlanta, new york nontraditional wedding planner

OH MY GOODNESS!  Today is the Big Day!!!  What are you doing the morning of your wedding?  All too often when I ask this question my sweet brides start listing a million things they have to finish up and I just want to beg them to take it easy so I figured it was probably high time for a blog on this subject.  The only things you should be doing the morning of your wedding are relaxing with your nearest and dearest and being pampered by your makeup artist, but here are a few of our tried and true suggestions!

photo credit :: VUE photo

1. Eat a big old breakfast!  Then eat a big old lunch!  You're probably not going to have another chance to eat for a very long time so eating now is essential.  And odds are, your bridesmaids have lots of champagne ready to be poured so avoid getting tipsy on an empty tummy and eat up!  Tip: make sure its high in protein and complex carbs to keep you going for hours.

2. Spend the morning with people you actually want to be around.  There's no law or rule saying you have to spend the whole morning with every single person in your immediate and extended family, bridal party and well meaning visitors, so if a big huge group is not really your scene, ditch the crowd and just kick it with your mom and bestie!  And guess what?  If you want to sneak out and have coffee with your soon-to-be hubby, that's just fine too!  The one and only person who was able to calm my nerves the morning of my wedding was Tony and thank god he stopped by the house to pick up his forgotten tie and check in on me.  One hug and a smooch from that handsome fella was all I needed to soothe my frazzled nerves and get my day started right!  So throw the rules away, smooch your sweetheart and dance on the bed with your bestie!

3. Stay hydrated!  For every glass of champagne (or coffee) you have follow it with a glass of water.  No, it will not make you look bloated but it will keep you from getting a headache or getting tipsy too early in the day.  Seriously, nobody wants to be that hammered bride at her own wedding...save that for your bridesmaids weddings!

4. Write a sweet card or letter to your love!  Have your wedding planner or a bridesmaid deliver it to him with your groom's gift.  Or better yet, exchange the letters with a door between you to keep from seeing each other and read them at the same time.  Bonus points if the photographer catches either of those things in motion!  #swoon

5. Steal one of your sweetie's favorite button down shirts to get ready in.  When getting your hair and makeup done the morning of your wedding the last thing you want to do is wear a tee shirt that you'd have to pull over your beautiful hair and makeup risking smudges and smears and ruining your lovely hair.  By snagging one of his beloved button downs your hair and makeup will be safe and your getting ready shots will be even more special.  Bonus points if its one of his college team shirts!

photo credit :: dana cubbage weddings

6. Do a "First Look" with your parents or just your dad.  Everyone is always talking about the First Look with the groom, but the first time your mom and dad see you all made up and in your wedding gown, the tears are bound to flow and stunning heartfelt, tear-jerking photos are usually the result!

7. Take a few minutes alone to let it all sink in.  Pray, meditate, cuddle with your dog, do whatever brings you peace when everything around you is going at full speed.  You've spent months, maybe even a year or longer, planning a wedding and now that it's finally here, try to slow down for just a few minutes and find some quiet.  This day is going to fly by and if you don't stop to enjoy it, it'll pass you by in the blink of an eye.  Let the joy that this day is filled with come into your heart and just try to focus on the new life you and your beloved are forging from this day forward.  

Well, there you have it!  Those are our favorite tips and suggestions for the morning of your wedding!  What are some of yours?  

Happy planning, my loves!

Sara

Scarlet Wedding Tour | Kate Spade Chic at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina | Charleston Wedding Tours Bridal Show Alternative | Charleston, Atlanta, New York Nontraditional Wedding Planning & Design

Our first and last stop on the Scarlet Wedding Tour was the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, arguably one of my absolute favorite venues in all of Charleston.  With several impressive venues right on site for weddings and events, CHRM and their amazing event team are my first stop when venue hunting for clients or working on one of our many editorial shoots.  Shannon Hartman, the director of sales at CHRM, was one of the first people I spoke with when we first started planning the Tour and she went above and beyond for us in the months that followed.  

We used the Yacht Club above the Fish House for the afterparty.  With enormous windows and panoramic views of the Charleston Harbor, the Ravenel Bridge and most of downtown Charleston, the Yacht Club is absolutely breathtaking.  The last time we were at CHRM we put together an amazing nautical wedding inspired photo shoot (recently seen in Charleston Weddings Magazine) but wanted to stray from Nautical and show that although the space is perfect for that design theme, you're not limited to only that!  

Our design was inspired by Kate Spade, all things elegant, clean and fun.  We started with black, white and gold as our base colors and added an array of blush pink, peach, fuchsia, lilac, dusty rose, and lots of greens to round out our stunning and fresh color palette.  It was the perfect setting for the private after party!  We used elegant black sequined linens on the high top tables, black and white chevron sequined runners on our white farm table estate tables, paired with square plates, perfect gold flatware and used Riedel red wine glasses with delicate Kate Spade polka dotted white wine glasses to finish off our tablescape.

venue :: Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina | planning & design ::  Scarlet Plan & Design | photography :: The Click Chick Photography | rentals :: EventHaus | florals :: Tiger Lily Weddings | catering :: CHRM | cakes & cupcakes :: Sablee & Gardenia's Custom Cakes & Catering | table top rentals :: Polished | linens :: La Tavola & Ultrapom | paper suite :: By Brydon Fine Paper Design | mixology :: Firefly Vodka | music :: Ampd Entertainment

happy planning!

love, Sara

Gorgeous Gayla of Tiger Lily Weddings putting the finishing touches on their stunning floral design!

Try moving the table runners from the center of the table to either side tucked under your plates for a fun, fresh take on tradition!  Black and white keeps it elegant while the chevron and the pop of pink in the napkins keep it light and unexpected!  Gold flatware on square plates were the perfect finishing touches for this tablescape.

How perfect are these invitations?!  Brydon Holsey & I collaborated on the design and it came out incredible!  All I had to do was give Brydon my inspiration and color palette and she just absolutely nailed it!

This cake by Monica at Sablee might be my most favorite part of the entire design!  I mean, how can you go wrong with polka dots, stripes, gold confetti and our very own Scarlet ampersand?!

The cakes Monica makes are absolutely outstanding and we just love taking our clients to do tastings at her West Ashley bakery.

The catering provided by Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina was outstanding...as always!

Local favorite Firefly Vodka sponsored the tasty cocktails our guests enjoyed!

Ampd Entertainment played remixed tunes and kept the party bumping!  They're easily one of our favorite DJ's in the South and one of the first vendors we recommend to clients that want to get the party started and keep it going!

Gorgeous cakes and outstanding tastings by Gardenia's Custom Cakes and Catering.  Bit of trivia for ya, the owner of Gardenia's, Desmond Pringle, and I go waaaaay back to my pastry days in Atlanta when we were on the same pastry team.  Working with him was probably my favorite part of being a pastry chef!  Desmond even made my wedding cake when Tony & I got married back in 2011.  Love me some Desmond!

Friendor Friday | Flute Bar Service & Party Rentals | Scarlet Wedding Tour Sponsors | Charleston, Atlanta, New York Nontraditional Wedding Planners & Designers

Today I am so excited to talk about Petra Petrillo and Flute Bar Service & Party Rentals.  Petra was kind enough to host an Open House Holiday Party for all us event pros at LOKAL on Johns Island a few days ago and I am constantly blown away by her creativity and grace.  As always, the cocktails were incredible, the food was outstanding and the service was perfect.  Just a few of the many reasons that we are overjoyed to have Flute and her sister company Crave Catering on the Scarlet Wedding Tour.

  • how long have you been in the event business? and/or business for yourself?  Cooking and mixology were always in my life! My husband - Executive Chef Mike Petrillo and I opened our first restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA in 2002. We have started with catering as well as private parties back then. In 2007 we moved from Pennsylvania to Charleston and we launched Crave Charleston Catering. After 7 successful years in catering business I have started Flûte Charleston - bar service. I have many years of bartering experience and it just made sense to us to open a bartering service.
  • what inspires you?  Farmer’s markets and interesting grocery stores! I am exited about seasonal fruit for juices - I love mixing cocktails with fresh squeezed juice! Also, I have a passion for traveling and like to collect different ideas from various countries. 
  • what will guests of the scarlet wedding tour be seeing from you? Flûte will prepare 3 specialty cocktails created just for this event and will be serving them at Boone Hall Plantation.
  • what are some of your favorite venues to work at? My favorite definitely are plantations - they are just stunning! My favorites are: Boone Hall Plantation, The Island House on John’s Island and Brookland Pointe Plantation on Edisto Island.
  • what do you love most about this industry? I really like working with people and be part of their special day. I like to see how the events come together.
  • what do you hope guests of the Scarlet Wedding Tour will take away from this experience?  I hope they will be inspired to have a wedding of their dreams. With all the wonderful vendors participating in the Scarlet Wedding Tour there are going to see that the options and ideas have no limits!
  • name one thing/place someone coming to Charleston from out of town must see or do.  Carriage ride and a tour of one of the mansions in downtown is a must!
flute-chsstyle-web-ad-01.jpg

Friendor Friday | Dana Cubbage Photography | Charleston Wedding Photographers | Charleston Wedding Design | Scarlet Plan & Design Wedding Tour

I am so excited to talk about my good friend Dana Cubbage of Dana Cubbage Weddings on the blog today!  She was one of my first friends here in Charleston and is one of my go-to photographers when I have clients looking for a photographer with her clean, elegant, timeless style.  Dana is quick to laugh and has to be one of the easiest people I know to get along with.  Brides and grooms just adore her and we are absolutely delighted to have her on The Scarlet Wedding Tour.

We've put some fun questions together for folks to get to know the sponsors of The Tour a little better.  Enjoy!

happy planning, loves!

Sara

  • how long have you been in the event business?  and/or business for yourself?  Photography was always a hobby of mine, but my background is in business + finance.  After 7 years in corporate America, I was laid off at the most perfect time and became a full-time wedding photographer!  It was the push I needed to make it happen!  I've been shooting weddings full-time since August 2012 :)
  • what inspires you?  Traveling, new locations, beautiful light, color, texture, architecture, nature, my clients… there is so much beauty in our every day life!
  • what will guests of the scarlet wedding tour be seeing from you?  I'll be photographing all of the lovely details that the Scarlet Plan & Design team creates!  Shooting details is one of my most favorite things!
  • what are some of your favorite venues to work at? I absolutely love plantations + nautical settings!  Luckily, Charleston has plenty of them.  In Charleston, I'd have to say my favorite venues are Lowndes Grove, the William Aiken House, + the Legare Waring House… but honestly, there isn't a "bad" venue in town!!  I just really love the versatility of those places :)
  • what do you love most about this industry?  The camaraderie among the vendors.  I've met SO many incredible people in this industry and I feel like we are so very lucky to be surrounded by such creative AND kind people!
  • what do you hope guests of the scarlet wedding tour will take away from this experience? I hope they are able to see the possibility of creating a unique wedding experience for themselves and their guests.  I hope they come away with new ideas + inspiration on what is possible!
  • name one thing/place someone coming to charleston from out of town must see or do. Taco Boy :)  You know it's my fave!  Other than eat, I'd say take a walk downtown South of Broad.  It's magical down there!

Salute to Our Brave Men & Women Serving in the Military | Military Weddings | Scarlet Plan & Design | Charleston, Atlanta, New York Nontraditional Wedding Design

Few things hit me in the feels harder than our brave men and women in uniform.  Having come from a very military family, my appreciation for the people serving and protecting our country is deeply personal.  As I write this blog post I'm thinking about, and missing, my brother (and best buddy) who is currently deployed.  If you're reading this, Joe, be safe and we love you!  

From the bottom of my heart, I'd like to thank each and every one of our service men and women for their dedication and sacrifice.  Here at Scarlet Plan & Design we're honoring them the best way we know how, by simply sharing some of the most incredible military weddings we've ever seen shot by our incredibly talented friends.

me and my handsome brudderhead, Joe, on my wedding day


Mom-Couture Rent the Runway Style | Dressing the Mothers of the Bride and Groom | Charleston Wedding Design | Atlanta Wedding Design | New York Wedding Design

I adore helping the sweet moms of my clients dress for the wedding day!  I love when they want to compliment the wedding party with their attire but want to look their best at the same time.  I mean, your mom has to look amazing, right?

But sometimes its really hard to find a gown or dress suit that looks appropriate for a wedding without looking like a performer in a casino.  Avoid the dreaded bling, mamas!  If it's covered in sequins and sparkles, you're running the risk of looking like one of Beyonce's backup singers and that's not really the most appropriate for your child's wedding.  A little bit of sparkle can go a very long way, loves!

Also note that unless you're attending a brunch wedding, there is no need to wear something as boring as a day suit, ladies.  You're a person of honor at the wedding and as such you must look the part.

One of my favorite places to find amazing gowns is Rent The Runway.  There is no shortage of incredible couture gowns appropriate for every type of wedding!  Here are just a few of my favorites perfect for nighttime events!

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

For only $135, this incredible Monique Lhuiller would be stunning at a formal but fun wedding!

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

This low-backed, black and gold Theia is just beyond incredible!

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

Color blocking is huge right now and has taken runways and the red carpet by storm all over the planet.  Go bold with this black and white confection by Milly for only $150.

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

Another Monique Lhuiller gown, this one in glittering gold, would be perfect for any wedding where gold is being featured.

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

This modest black lace Anna Scholz gown is just incredible!

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

Is the event at a fabulous art gallery or perhaps have a more casual, but still elegant, feel?  This black jumpsuit by Cushnie Et Ochs is the perfect fit!

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

This playful high/low gown by Monique Lhuillier would be perfect for a daytime or evening event.

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

Whimsical garden wedding?  Look no further than this Badgley Mischka for only $165!

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

This one shouldered, floor-length Badgley Mischka with the flattering peplum waist would be just as at home in an ultra formal setting as a semi-formal one.  And for only $150, who could say no?

dressing the mothers of the bride and groom, scarlet plan & design

Yes, I know, I'm obsessed with Badgley Mischka, but who isn't?  This royal blue and black peplum/ruffled gown is just killer!