Wedding Day Details Checklist | Charleston, Philadelphia, Atlanta Wedding Planners & Event Design | Scarlet Plan & Design

It's all about the details. Wedding details, that is! We're talking about all those pretty little accessories and special flourishes that you've likely spent weeks, if not months, selecting. So of course you want to make sure those get documented!

The morning of the wedding is usually pretty bananas and the last thing on a bride's mind is gathering all the pretty little details for the photographer to shoot as she's getting ready. That's why we suggest gathering all of those details in one spot a few days before the wedding and either giving them right to your planner/mom/maid of honor or stashing everything in the hotel safe (if that's where you're getting ready). No matter the case, gather everything BEFORE the morning of the wedding.

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Which Vendors to Tip at Your Wedding | Ask a Wedding Planner | Charleston, Atlanta, Philly Nontraditional Wedding Planner

Which vendors should I tip at my wedding?

Today we're talking about the yucky stuff...money.  Usually our blogs are about the funsies and picking out the pretty stuff or yummy cakes, but today is all about the moolah. Most of our clients are usually pretty in the dark about who to tip at the wedding and thus end up asking us.  So we figured it was about time to get a blog up on that subject! Keep in mind tips are always optional but several vendors will expect them. Make sure you give the envelopes to the planner or the best man before the event to be given out at the end of the night and/or service performed.

Firstly let's talk about tipping your planner, and no, this is NOT a plug for us to get more money out of you! 

Sure, a tip is AMAZING and always very appreciated, but something a bit more personal for the gal (or gent) you've spent tons of time planning this special day with is probably in order. I'd suggest getting her a generous gift card for a restaurant you know she loves or a gift card for a pair of Tieks (anyone who spends hours on their feet should totally own a pair...or four!) or a gift basket filled with her favorite wines and cheeses would be divine!  Whatever you do get her, make sure it's personal and well thought out and you'll certainly make her feel loved! Side note, I would suggest tipping her staff individually. $50-100 per person is perfect.

Should I tip the wedding photographer?

Photographers don't expect to be tipped if they own the company, but if they only work for the company we suggest tipping them anywhere from $50-200 per person. Same rule applies to their second shooters, we suggest tipping them as well. As for a nice thank you for the photographer, try to send them something well thought out and personal. 

Should I tip the wedding hair and makeup artist?

Hair and makeup artists are definitely expecting to be tipped.  We usually suggest 15-25% of the total at the end of the appointment.

who to tip at your wedding | scarlet plan & design charleston wedding planners

Should I tip the officant?

Officiants usually expect to be tipped as well but it's a bit of a gray area as to how much.  Some people feel that if they're charging you to officiate then that's good enough, but we usually suggest tipping them 10-15% of the total, and if you're only asked to make a donation it should be at least $200.

atlanta nontraditional wedding planner, scarlet plan & design

Which other vendors should we tip?

Ceremony musicians

If you've used a larger choir for the service and they haven't charged you a large fee, we'd recommend making a donation to their church for a small amount (around $100 is good) and giving them some cupcakes or cookies when the ceremony ends.

Definitely plan to tip anyone playing an instrument for the ceremony. Whether they're playing as a group or a soloist, we suggest between $50-100 per person.

Catering

Check directly with the caterer when it comes to tipping the catering staff. They typically have their gratuity and/or service fees built into the contract so ask them if that goes to the staff. If the gratuity isn't given right to the staff, we recommend tipping each of them. We suggest 2-5% of the total bill, and have your wedding planner give it to the banquet captain or catering manager at the end of the night.

Bartenders should be tipped if they didn't have a tip jar out for the guests to tip them. We suggest $150-200 each.

Transportation

Another person that will expect a tip is the transportation driver. We suggest 15-20% of the total.

Reception musicians and/or DJ

The band or DJ are technically optional tips, but usually recommended. If they've done an especially good job and really kept the party on its feet, we suggest $50-100 per musician and at least $200 for a great DJ.

Rental staff

We always suggest tipping the rental delivery/set up staff. Usually about $20-30+ per person is perfect for them. They don't expect it, but if they're delivering a ton of stuff, moving things multiple times or coming back for a super late pick-up it's a very nice touch.

Miscellaneous vendors

We suggest generously tipping anyone who falls into one of the more specialized categories below:

  • Cake or specialty dessert vendor
  • Photo booth operators
  • Live wedding painters
  • Henna artists
  • Performers

We hope this helped clear up the great tipping questions we're sure you all have!

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

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 Spotlight | Forage + Fleur by Rebekah Clark Moody | Scarlet Wedding Tour Sponsors | Charleston, Atlanta, New York Nontraditional Wedding Planners & Designers

I am starting to get incredibly excited about the Scarlet Wedding Tour, y'all!  We've got less than 2 months to go and so much in store for our guests!  

Today I'm delighted to introduce everyone to the super talented Rebekah Clark Moody of Forage + Fleur.  She's so much more than just a talented young woman, she's sweet and funny and kind and we just adore working with her and introducing her to our clients.  She's one of the floral designers guests will see on the tour and she's doing two of our fabulous venues!  Her designs will be at The Historic Rice Mill and Upstairs at Midtown.  

  • How long have you been in the event business?  and/or business for yourself? I have been in the event industry for almost three years (wow, time flies) and I launched my business in August 2014. 
  • What inspires you? Authentic moments. Whether it’s sitting down for an intimate dinner with family and friends or getting to know new people at creative gatherings, I love spending that time to create memories. Beautiful light. There’s just something amazing about working on a project when the lighting is just right. I recently worked on my first styled bridal shoot where we recreated the English countryside. Looking through the camera lens when the light highlighted the model and my floral bouquet, how could you not get inspired? And lastly an amazing meal. Sitting down with good friends and good food inspires me greatly. The structure and menu of a well planned meal has the ability to make me think creatively of how a well designed arrangement could compliment the moment and enhance the atmosphere.
  • What will guests of the Scarlet Wedding Tour be seeing from you? Soft, lush blooms with lots of greenery mixed in. The floral arrangements that I design are very natural and whimsical. I forage and work with flowers in their natural state. If my flowers or greens naturally fall to the right I put them on the right. When you see my designs I want them to look as if these flowers naturally grew together and I simply put them in a vase with unique variations and vibrant colors.
  • What are some of your favorite venues to work at? Some of my absolute favorite venues in Charleston are River Oaks Charleston, Boone Hall, and Runnymede Plantation.
  • What do you love most about this industry? I love the ever-changing nature of the event industry. Each and every event is unique, so it is fun to collaborate with other creative vendors to make each event remarkable. We as artists evolve and change over time. It’s inspiring for me to see our work evolve and change through our collaborative process.
  • What do you hope guests of the Scarlet Wedding Tour will take away from this experience? Inspiration and peace of mind. The wedding planning process can be quite challenging, so having good vendors that can help guide you along the way is crucial.
  • Name one thing/place someone coming to Charleston from out of town must see or do. I would spend a day downtown, walking along the Battery, exploring all the beautiful historic homes, and eating at some amazing restaurants... like the Ordinary, Husk, or Two Boroughs Larder. Ok, maybe that is more than one.

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


Atlanta Real Wedding Kellie & Ben | Atlanta Wedding Planner

Kellie and Ben wed on May 10th at Studio 877, in the King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  Their wedding was simple, heartfelt and sweet.  Blush pink, mercury silver, & glittering gold were the colors of romance.  The bride wore a gorgeous blush pink gown with a beaded belt from Anthropologie with Valentino heels.  The one and only bridesmaid was her future step daughter, Julia, perfectly outfitted in white.  The couple had a "family" ceremony.  This meant that the vows weren't only to each other, but also to Julia, promising that they would be a family!  Kellie even presented Julia with a special necklace during the exchanging of the rings.  Seriously, how sweet!!! 

The wide open, industrial space was warmed up with blush and sequined linens a front and center sequined sweetheart table for the bride and groom, lots of flickering candles, flowers, and some fun textured linens.   

The food was raved about - seriously, I had people stopping me and telling me how delicious the food was! They also had a great dessert bar,  including pie pops, cookies and milk, and gold dusted truffles.  

Guest danced the night away to some great tunes and then left with to-go boxes of wedding cake and Phickles pickles & Hotties, which is a small company out of Athens that jars the best pickles!  

Kellie and Ben were an absolute pleasure to work with.  It was an honor to get to be a part of their special day.  Enjoy the images below! 

love, Sara

Ben & Kellie-21.jpg
Florals by Blooms at Waterstone

Florals by Blooms at Waterstone

credits: planning- scarlet plan & design | photographer- brian wagner | venue- studio 887 @ king plow arts center | gown- watters too, anthropologie | bride's shoes- valentino | groom's attire- hugo boss | catering- bold american | flowers- blooms at waterstone | favors- phickels pickles