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

Photographers on Scarlet Wedding Tour are The Click Chick Photography, Sea Star Arts, You Are Raven & Catherine Ann Photography! | The Wedding Show On The Go (TM) | Charleston Wedding Show Alternative

Eeeeeek! I am so excited to start spilling the beans about the amazing vendor lineup we've got for the next Scarlet Wedding Tour!!! Today's post is all about the incredible photographers shooting at the venues our guests will be touring. Guests will be given the unique opportunity to get an up close look at how these talented folks work at events all while getting to know them better in an intimate setting. Although they all have very different styles, every one of our photographers is incredibly talented and we're beyond overjoyed to have them all on the Tour!

In case you're unfamiliar with our amazing Tour, we've rethought the traditional wedding show at the SWT, y'all. On our Tour you'll be skipping the enormous crowds, and you definitely won't find vendors stuck in rows of booths with only a few seconds (if that!) to chat with you while clawing past other brides-to-be for a small bite of shrimp and grits or a tiny sip of a weak watery cocktail. Guests will be split into small groups with other super fun newly engaged couples and shuttled aboard amazing vintage buses to tour 4 unique venues for tours and tastings all in one incredible afternoon.  Read more about it HERE.

happy planning, loves!

sara

tickets available here


First up we've got a veteran of the last SWT, my sweet friend Mackenzie Clark of The Click Chick of Photography! She will be shooting at my venue, Cannon Green. Her style is fresh, fun, playful and vibrant.  Her eye for detail and styling her shots to perfection has made her a go-to photographer in Charleston and we're so happy to have her on the Tour again! Read more about her here.


Next we've got Raven Shutley of You Are Raven Photography shooting at The Cedar Room, designed by Sara & Regis. Quirky and playful, we're pretty much obsessed with all things Raven and couldn't be happier to have her on the Tour!

How long have you been in the event business? I've been a photographer for around 8 years, and started focusing on weddings & portraits about 6 years ago. Weddings are my FAVORITE thing to shoot, now!

What inspires you? My couples! Everyone is different and every couple is different as well, their love manifesting and appearing differently depending on their story both as individuals and together. So though I always stay true to my style, I shoot every couple slightly differently depending on the vibe I get from them. I'm also super inspired by locations! I love finding really great textures, colors, or shapes that help me say a little something about my couple.

What will guests of the Scarlet Wedding Tour be seeing from you? They'll be seeing how I work with an awesome couple and as a bonus, how I work an event space! With every group that comes in, I'll be challenging myself in new ways to show them how I work, my style, and my personality. We'll be exploring the space, utilizing it in new and wacky ways with each new wave of people.

What do you love most about this industry? I have met, worked with, and photographed some of the most amazing people in the entire world. Not only are the people I work with always kind, generous, genuine, fun, hilarious, and laidback, they all greatly appreciate art and highly value creativity. Equality and purpose are incredibly important to them, and I adore that. My fellow vendors and I are working hard to change the world, one wedding at a time, to make it a happier place where everyone feels welcome to be themselves, and I think that's all kinds of amazing.

What do you hope guests of the Scarlet Wedding Tour will take away from this experience? I hope that their minds expand and are filled with so many ideas of how their personal perfect day can be created. How the things that make them who they are can take physical form with a talented team of creatives who understand what they're looking for and get them as people.


Another veteran of the first Tour, Katie Capo of Catherine Ann Photography will be filling her pockets with salt when she shoots Amy's haunted venue, Old City Jail. Clean, elegant and timeless are just a few of the words I'd use to describe Katie's style and I can't wait for our wonderful couples to meet her in person!

How long have you been in the event business/and/or business for yourself? I started shooting weddings in 2009, but didn’t really establish myself as a business until 2013. 

What inspires you? Dreamy natural light & historical places for sure! But authentic moments are my favorite thing. Nothing makes your photos shine more than being joyful and honest with your emotions on your wedding day. 

What will guests of the SWT be seeing from you? They’ll be seeing Jay & I in action, capturing the details of the Old Jail & the models, as well as candid moments of the guests. They might even see some sneak peek photos of the set up while on the tour!

What are some of your favorite venues to work at? My favorite venues are outdoor garden areas & historic places. If I had to name a few, I would say Lowndes Grove, Middleton Place, and Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. I think the Old City Jail will make that list after the tour for sure!

What do you love most about this industry? Definitely the other vendors. They’re always willing to help, pass on referrals, and I can always count on them to go out for dinner and chat! Most of us work alone, so others in the industry act as our ‘co-workers’ and I think thats important. You need a ‘team’ to succeed, even if you’re not all doing the same thing. We’re all in different departments (-; 

What do you hope guests of the SWT will take away from this experience? I hope that guests will see how important it is to hire professional wedding vendors if they want to bring their wedding visions to life. If you’re going to spend the money on a wedding (which IS a luxury...it costs next to nothing to actually get married) then you might as well hire the best people you can and not skimp out on one area, while splurging on another. No point in spending so much on a spectacular venue and wedding gown but then skimp on the flowers and photography! I also hope it inspires them to think outside the box for their wedding venues. I never would have thought to have a wedding at the Old City Jail, but now I think its an amazing spot and will definitely be memorable to guests. 

Name on thing/place someone coming to Charleston from out of town must see or do. Oh dang, this ones hard! I suppose taking a history tour (be it walking or a horse and carriage). Charleston is so full of history and is interesting to learn about. You’ll see so much of the city that way and you’ll have a knowledgeable local telling you about everything.


And last but certainly not least we've got Jeni Becker with Sea Star Arts will be the photographer with Alicia at the stunning Wingate Plantation on Johns Island. This sweet new mom's style is warm, fresh and filled with emotion.

How long have you been in the event business? I have been photographing weddings for a decade now. Having a creative business is exciting!

What inspires you? Light. Sparkling light that is in someone's eyes, coming through the trees, dancing on the water... light! It is nature's way of sharing emotion.

What will guests of the Scarlet Wedding Tour be seeing from you? The SWT guests will be treated to polite southern charm. With a side of humor and sweet photographs to remember the fun day!

What are some of your favorite venues to work at? Have you seen Charleston? I mean really seen this town? I have traveled all over the world, photographed venues in many states, and I always come home to the most beautiful place on earth. So favorite venue? Any and all along our precious waterways. 

What do you love most about this industry? We have a terrific group of vendors that truly live for the wonderful experience of a wedding. Everyone I have worked with all have one goal in mind, to take care of the couple getting married and make it a once in a lifetime experience. It is thrilling that so many people truly care about the events and the guests while taking grand care of the two saying their vows!

What do you hope guests of the Scarlet Wedding Tour will take away from this experience? I truly hope that the guests that invest their time in the SWT find new friends, exciting ideas, and inspiration from the light that will shine in each venue. There is truly something for everyone!

Name one thing/place someone coming to Charleston from out of town must see or do. EAT! You get all of the senses excited! Amazing food in really cool places with lots of history and charm! My favorite thing to do with my husband is just walk around sampling drinks and appetizers while strolling down alleys and holding hands under live oaks and Spanish moss. 

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!

The Scarlet Wedding Tour | Charleston Wedding Venue Tours | A Wedding Show Alternative | Charleston, Atlanta, New York Nontraditional Wedding Planning & Design

This past weekend was easily one of the hardest and most rewarding weekends of my career.  My team and I have spent just about the last full year talking about, planning, designing and pulling off essentially 4 events in one day.  We took engaged couples and their loved ones on tours of 4 of Charleston's most amazing wedding venues before ending with a super fun private after party.  Each venue featured a different design by a Scarlet planner complete with live models styled by a Scarlet stylist, full tablescapes, floral designs, tastings by award winning caterers, cocktails, epic wedding cakes (and even a cake made entirely out of cheese wheels!), and so much more!

More than anything I need to thank my incredible team and our amazing sponsors.  Without them this event never would've happened.  I love all of you!

My venue was Boone Hall Plantation.  Most people opt for the Cotton Dock, but that's not what we wanted.  We went for the Back Patio and it was perfect for my design!  It's funny how my design went from being super Tuscan inspired to ending up kind of a mash up of all things "Sara".  I basically created a wedding that was entirely 100% me without even realizing it!  We mixed some Italian/Tuscan pieces, a killer vintage airstream, farm tables topped with mismatched plates that could've been just as easily at home in my Nonna's cupboard as they were on our tables, fun travel themed pieces like vintage globes and suitcases (thanks, Whitney!), a little bit of my love for Wes Anderson flicks, and some very fun Boho touches to create this one of a kind theme!

Enjoy!

vendors

Planning/Styling: Sara Skinner assisted by Regis Byrd & Jordan Zarwel; Styling by Alden deHart & Brittany Lapin, Scarlet Plan & Design  | Photography: Catherine Ann Photography | Venue: Boone Hall Plantation back patio | Videography: Before Your Eyes Cinematography  | Linens & Furniture Rentals: Event Haus  | Invitations: By Brydon | Gown: Maddion Row | Tuxedo: Charleston Tuxedo | Catering: Crave  | Mixology: Flute | Cheese “Cake”: Sablee/Charleston Artisan Cheese | Florist: Wildflowers Inc. | Music: Ear For Music  | Airstream: I Roll With It  | Favors: Holy Smoke Olive Oils  | Table Settings: Polished!  | Makeup/Hair: Charleston Lash & Beauty Bar  | Cigar Roller: Cigar Row | Vintage Car & Bus: Lowcountry Valet

click on any image to enlarge

Sweet Taylor Girl one of our favorite bloggers (Holy City in Heels) acted as our lovely bride model paired with Max owner of Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil as our handsome groom.  We put Taylor in a stunning lace Sareh Nouri gown (arguably one of my favorite designers EVER) with an illusion neckline and back.  I mean, what's more Italian than lace?  Niente!  Max was decked out in a classic black tux from Charleston Tuxedo.

I'd say this "cake" is probably my favorite piece of this entire design.  I mean, seriously?  A cake made entirely out of cheese-wheels is legit the coolest thing I've ever seen and perfect for the couple that loves savory more than sweet!  And with a cake like this, there's no need to wait until late in the evening to slice that bad boy and mangia!

Vintage globes throughout the tablescapes kept the vibe fresh and unexpected.

Individual baguettes wrapped in kitchen paper with a spring of rosemary tucked in atop vintage china plates with gold flatware completed our "Family Style" feel on the guest table.  If you're in the market for gorgeous vintage plates, gold flatware or any other unique table toppers, look no further than our friends at Polished!

Sweet Brydon at By Brydon Fine Paper Designs absolutely knocked our paper suite out of the park with the colors she chose and the design we collaborated on!  And how about that canary yellow diamond on Taylor's ring?  Amazing!

click on an image above to enlarge it

With the bride getting so much attention and say so when it comes to the wedding plans, we KNEW we had to do something pretty epic for the fellas!  A vintage airstream inspired by Teddy Roosevelt and all his manly machismo decked out as a quirky cigar lounge and bourbon bar was perfect!

click on an image above to enlarge

click on an image above to enlarge