Friday, January 8, 2016

Myths in wedding planning

Every so often I come across an article that I think is spot on and I feel needs to be shared with my readers and anyone planning a wedding.

I have to shre this article from the Huffington Post because I think it is so on target.  It discusses a number of misconceptions in the wedding industry and what is the reality.  With so much information on the internet, much of which is really not accurate, I think it is important to be able to see the truth.  Just click on the link below and you will see what I mean.

I would love to hear your input on the article and some of your experiences planning a wedding.  Feel free to leave your comments.

Until next time...


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Communication is key when planning any wedding

A couple of days ago I wrote about “Who to Please When Planning Your Wedding” and it occurred to me I never truly closed the loop on how to handle unruly family and friends when you are planning your wedding.

While I’m not a family therapist, and have no intention of becoming one, (although some days I do feel like I play the role) I often have to step in and iron out family matters and smooth over ruffled feathers.

Photo Courtesy of Maring Visuals
The truth is, families are complicated and they get even more complicated when planning a wedding.  The mothers want to feel like they are contributing, especially when there is a planner involved.  Some siblings want to help, but aren’t sure where they are needed.  And others members of the family really don’t care or perhaps they care too much.

So what is a bride to do when it comes to planning her wedding and dealing with family dynamics?  Communication is the key…While it may not solve all problems and while not everyone involved will truly understand, communication is the key to almost any relationship.

I often recommend to my brides and grooms who have sticky family relationships to sit down and clearly communicate what their vision is for their wedding.  Notice, I said “their”.  It’s because it is about the bride and the groom, that’s not to say others opinions shouldn’t be counted, but in the end it is about the bride and groom.  By clearly communicating what they desire it will hopefully be a springboard for how others will react and respect their choices.

Photo Courtesy of Fifth Avenue Digital
Also, by clearly communicating the roles they wish family members to take it will help set boundaries and in the end open the lines of communication.  I’m not saying there won’t be heated discussions here and there, but what I am saying is that if everyone comes together and clearly communicates their desires, their wants and their “don’t want’s” then it puts everyone on the same page and it creates mutual respect.

Again, I’m not a therapist, and I don’t pretend to be one, but after many years of planning weddings with hundreds of different personalities' the one thing I’ve learned is that if everyone is on the same page, whether they want to be or not, it does make planning a wedding a bit easier.

Until next time…


Monday, January 4, 2016

Who to please when planning your wedding?

I’ve come to the realization that, in life, you will never truly please everyone.  And this fact definitely holds true when you’re planning your wedding.

Recently I have had a few brides who are playing the delicate balancing act of trying not to hurt someone’s feelings.  Whether it be their mom, their future mother in law or their bridesmaids.  While I applaud them on this balancing act, I also caution them because giving someone an inch often leads to them taking a mile.

We’ve all been there, right?  We are planning a night out with friends.  You like sushi, someone doesn’t.  A friend wants to go to a wine bar, you to the casual neighborhood watering hole.  Another wants to go to the new hot spot in town, while another hates crowds.  Ultimately you all end up at a place that is just okay and still there’s someone who isn’t happy.

The reality is, when planning your wedding you’re not going to please everyone.  This means, mom, grandma, best friend and so on.  Now I’m not saying you throw everything to the wind and don’t care, but what I am saying is that if you listen to everything everyone else says you as the bride (and let’s not forget the groom) are not going to enjoy YOUR day!  You need to do what’s right for you, what you feel in your own heart.

I’m also not saying you throw etiquette out the window.  Etiquette will always play in role in any wedding.  But what I am saying is that if you want a beach wedding and want to wear a ball gown, go for it!  If you want to get married at city hall and have your reception in a park pavilion go for it.  And if a few people don’t like it, then so be it.  After all it’s your wedding and your memories.

Don’t let those who don’t approve take up space in your head.

So go forth, plan away and remember, when you’re planning your wedding you’re creating your own memories, no one else's.

Until next time…


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dream destination wedding locations

As an experienced destination wedding planner, more and more often I have clients coming to me looking for the perfect destination to hold their wedding.  While everyone's dream is a little different; some want the beach, others want a quiet country wedding and some prefer a more exotic locale, the goal for everyone is the same; to find the perfect destination.

In my constant search for interesting locations to please my clients I came across the following article in Elle Magazine.  Elle: 10 dream wedding destinations.  I think these are some amazing destinations and I can just imagine planning a wedding in any of them   

But this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to amazing destinations for a wedding.  What I think would be really interesting is to compile a list of dream wedding destinations from readers here on the blog.  Where would you hold your dream wedding?  I would love to get all of your comments to share with my readers.

Looking forward to all of your comments and ...


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Guest Blog - Honeymoon in Africa

Over the last few months we have had the great pleasure of working with John Holley and the team at Iconic Africa to assist us with travel and lodging for guests at our upcoming bush wedding in South Africa.  We asked them to give us their take on honeymoons in Africa on our blog.  I think they provide some wonderful insight and, if you are looking to plan any type of travel in Africa, I highly recommend that you reach out to Iconic Africa.

Enjoy and ....


“Every great love starts with a great story.” Nicholas Sparks

Why not start yours in Africa? Africa is one of the world’s greatest honeymoon destinations; offering the most romantic luxury safaris, heavenly beach hideaways, fine dining splendour and a magnitude of once-in-a-lifetime experiences!

“Live in the sunshine.
Swim in the sea.
Drink the wild air.”

Taking Emerson’s simple yet sincere advice we suggest a combination of the following for an unforgettable and extraordinary honeymoon. Click here: African Luxury Honeymoon for an in depth look. The link includes our interactive map, videos and images of some of Africa’s most exquisite destinations!

Spectacular Safaris

Whether you choose The Kruger National Park, Madikwe or Botswana you and your loved one can expect a truly romantic retreat.

The magic of the African bushveld touches all that visit it, an indescribable feeling and the perfect backdrop to begin a life of wedded bliss. From relaxing in your own private plunge pool, to sipping a superb sunset cocktail while watching elephants at the waterhole, to a sumptuous, 5-star dining experience and large lavish lodges… you cannot go wrong. Sit back, relax and let the exquisite African luxury engulf and spoil you.

Iconic Africa recommends the private reserves of the Sabi Sands, Timbavati Game Reserve, Thornybush and Singita’s concessions, all set within the park. These private preservation areas are notorious for their Big 5 sightings, and the definitive luxury safari style. In true African fashion these lodges go above and beyond for honeymooners, so we have no doubt an adventure here will surpass your wildest expectations!

Beautiful Beaches

Whether you choose Mozambique or Cape Town the pristine beauty and breath-taking sunsets at these incredible destinations will have you begging to stay for longer.

Mozambique is a complete sensory overload of beauty, wilderness, culture and flavour flanked by 2400kms of silky white beaches. Dotted along the astonishing coastline, little pieces of African paradise have floated out into the azure Indian Ocean to create the last remaining wild island paradises in the world. Azura Benguerra and Azura Quilalea are the best possible places to experience the abundance, luxury and seclusion of an authentic, superlative, tropical island honeymoon.

Cape Town also offers stunning beaches and is the very destination where awe-inspiring nature, gourmet Cape cuisine, exceptional service and ultimate indulgence meet in glorious harmony on the edge of Africa. From sweeping ocean views, pristine white beaches, mountain walks, whale watching, sun tanning and spa treatments need we say more?

Wistful Winelands

For the wine-lovers and foodies out there… there is no better setting than Franschhoek, which literally blooms romance and is without a doubt one of the most beautiful villages in the world. Drive across rugged mountain passes, down lightly down age-old cobbled driveways and through century old vineyards and gently make your way into the Cape Dutch style manor houses that are typical in the culinary capital of the Western Cape.

The Cape Winelands epitomises luxury and relaxation and romance. Although the area is steeped in tradition it is also a vibrant hub for fine wining and dining. Whether you are looking to simply slow down and take in the countryside ambiance, or perhaps a cultural journey visiting galleries, historical monuments and time-honoured wine estates. Whether you want to taste some of the region's finest bubbles, sample the local treats or simply wander through the vineyards holding the hand of your loved one… the Cape Winelands has endless experiences on offer.

Captivating Cape Town

Without question one of the world’s most spectacular cities, Cape Town was recently voted the 2014, World Design Capital.  Despite being South Africa’s oldest city, Cape Town has managed to retain its traditional charm whilst developing its cosmopolitan lifestyle. This combination ensures a wealth of experiences for tourists and locals’ a-like. Cape Town is undoubtedly a destination in itself but also the honeymooner’s gateway to the African continent.

Cape Town has an allure and a heartbeat that cannot be experienced alone… it is a city for couples. Honeymooners will fall further in love not only with each other but also with the idyllic views and white sanded beaches, incredible food on offer and breathtaking views no matter where in the city you are.

Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness, and adventurous escapades but infused into all of this is an unmistakable and ancient romance. Contact Iconic Africa now to combine the perfect mix of beauty, wilderness and adventure into a honeymoon your loved one will remember forever. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tips for choosing the perfect wedding cake

One of my favorite quotes is the simple saying "You don't know what you don't know." Simple but very true, especially when it comes to wedding planning.

A big part of my job comes in educating my clients as most have not had to deal with the intricacies of planning a large event and there can be some real surprises.  I also like to use this blog as an educational tool for brides and grooms.

Certainly, one area that can be foreign to brides and grooms is ordering a bakery for the wedding cake. This is not a daily occurance so I am here to help the process.  By asking a few of these simple questions you can choose the right bakery for you.

Most brides want to know “how much”.  The cost of a cake varies based on ingredients and complexity of the design.  So when you inquire, rather than ask how much will a cake cost, ask your prospective bakery what is the price range.  Note that a large portion of the cost is in the design so the more intricate, the more you will pay.  I recommend that you have photos or a solid idea of what you want the cake to look like before contacting bakeries so they can provide accurate pricing information.

When it comes time for the tasting, not all bakeries will provide you with every single flavor to taste.  This can get costly and time consuming.  When making your tasting appointment guide them and let them know what flavors you like or don’t like.  This is also the time to let them know any allergies you might have.

Another good question to ask is who will be delivering the cake.  Will it be the baker themselves or do they have a company that they outsource?  If it’s the latter, I often recommend getting an emergency number of the bakery.  Mishaps happen and you may need to call on your baker to make some minor fixes to the cake should it get damaged in transport.  This is where your day of coordinator or wedding planner comes in.  Most likely they’ll handle the situation and you’ll be none the wiser, but if you’re planning the wedding and don’t have that luxury it’s nice to know they’ll be able to fix the cake in a jiffy.

Sometimes bakeries will put in faux layers or tiers for support.  I highly recommend asking your bakery if they will do this.  There’s nothing worse than trying to cut into the cake to find out that tier is fake!

I also recommend asking the bakery to provide a cake box for any left overs and for the top tier of your cake.  This way you can take your cake home and store it properly.

And finally, remember it’s not simply flower and eggs.  This is the livelihood of those who are making the cake.  Most likely these people have spent years perfecting their craft to be the best they can be.  There’s a reason they exist and a reason they’re good at what they do and they charge what they charge.

Go forth and eat tons of cake and until next time…


Monday, July 20, 2015

Wedding on New York Harbor

It has been a busy Summer at Shawn Rabideau Events!  As I mentioned, we opened our Charleston, SC office earlier this year and have been busy connecting with all of the wonderful vendors there.  I can't wait to start showing you photos of upcoming Charleston weddings.

For today I want to share a beautiful wedding I planned and designed at The Liberty Warehouse on New York Harbor last Summer.  It was a beautiful event with some fun details that I would like to share.

The day started with a ceremony at St. Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan.  This is such a beautiful setting for the ceremony that I really did not need to add decor elements to the ceremony.  

To add a personal touch, as guests left the ceremony they were greeted by traditional bagpipes who played in honor of the Groom's Heritage.

As I mentioned, I kept the decor elements clean and simple.  This is reflected in the Bride's bouquet that included pink and white blooms with roses, peonies and anemones.

Following the ceremony, guests were taken by Motorcoach to The Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn.  While I have to say that as you approach this venue many guests would question where they are going, but once you get there, the setting is incredible.  With great views of New York harbor and Manhattan, it offered the perfect setting for a lively reception.

For the floral bright spring colors in pink, fuschia and peach were used to add life to the decor and the room.

I combined long and round tables with high and low arrangements create movement and give a wonderful flow to the room.  I then added lots of candlelight including hanging votives to create a romantic glow.

While storms did roll through during the evening, they created some great photo opportunities with spectacular skies and an amazing sunset.

To cap off the evening, as guests were leaving they were able to pick-up their favorite comfort food from the food truck we brought it. It was the perfect end to a great New York wedding.  I would like to thank all of the great vendors who brought this event together and Michael Justin Films for the photos featured here.

I am always excited to share a great wedding experience and hope you enjoy reading about them.

Until next time....