Shawn Rabideau Events & Design is expanding our services and offices from New York City to Charleston, SC and the Finger Lakes region of New York. With New York City as our headquarters we now have the unique ability to plan your destination wedding in New York, Charleston, the Finger Lakes, nationally and even worldwide.
Hibernian Hall - Charleston, SC
By opening offices is these key new markets, we can easily assist brides getting married along the east coast plan their weddings in a more effective and productive manner. And, by offering a variety of planning levels, Shawn and hit team can customize the services they offer to work for your wedding or event in New York, Charleston or the Finger Lakes. Whether it be full planning, month of planning or ala carte wedding and event consulting, Shawn and his team can customize a package that works for you.
Bristol Harbour, Canandaigua, NY
So if you are in need of planning services in these locations, nationally or even worldwide, we are here to meet your needs. And, for more information you can always visit us at www.ShawnRabideau.com. Happy planning and ... Cheers!
For the most part we all shop on line. Amazon, Fresh Direct, Bloomingdale's and even
places like Target allow you the consumer to research and shop for the best
deals. It's quick, easy and for the most
part you don't have to deal with a cashier who doesn't smile or say "thank
you". It all can be done from the
comfort of your home (with a glass of wine), office or even your train ride
home. It offers consumers a way to shop
without the hassle of dealing with other people.
But should the same hold true when planning your wedding?
Let me put it this way.
When "shopping" for a dog, would you just order one on line
and then hope it works out, fits in with your family. NO most likely you wouldn't. Every dog has a different personality, quirky
behaviors and mannerisms. How would you
really know if that dog is going to be the right fit for you or your family
over the course of the next 10 to 12+ years?
Plus, owning a dog is a huge investment, both in time and money. Most likely you would meet the dog and see if
it was the right fit. Then you would
decide if owning that dog was the right choice.
So my question is this; why would shopping for a wedding
planner, band, venue, caterer or DJ be any different than shopping for a dog? Sure, there are a LOT of differences, but the
point is the same. Like shopping for a
dog, your wedding is a huge investment and time commitment and, if you're like
most brides, you want to be sure you've picked the right vendors to make your
special day perfect. Can you really
choose your wedding vendors by shopping on line? Can you truly know what you're getting if you
don't meet with and discuss the details of your wedding in person or at the
very least on a phone call? In my
You see wedding vendors (or at least the ones I work
with) want to meet with the client. They
want to get to know the client. For them it's not just about money, but it's
about making sure they are the right fit.
The vendor client relationship is a two way street. It has to work for both parties in order for
the client to be happy and the vendor to deliver. The personalities have to click. If they don't, it can spell disaster down the
So as a bride how do you shop for a wedding planner or
It's easy, first, don't email asking “what's your price ?”
or “cost of services?” Sure some vendors
have a set price or packages they offer that they can send you. Some, like myself, customize their services
to meet the specific needs of each client.
Plus, if you only ask what the price is, how is the vendor truly going
to be able to sell themselves "the product" to you? I often receive inquiries that only give the
first name, the month of the wedding and the question of how much are your
services. Unfortunately for myself, and
most in the wedding industry, this isn't enough for us to give you the
information you truly want, which can lead to frustration and disappointment in
the wedding planning process. Help us
This leads me to my second point. The more information you can provide in your
inquiry to your potential wedding planner or vendor the better. If you want concise information to make an
educated choice then I highly recommend you give information to get
information. Your inquiry should always
have the following: your full name, date of the wedding, potential guest count,
time of your wedding, location of your wedding and specifically what services
you're looking for. And if you're not
sure what you're looking for, let us know that too. Wedding vendors love to educate consumers, that's
what makes planning weddings so fun. We
love to guide brides so they get the best experience. Which leads me to my next point, pick up the
phone and have a conversation.
Picking up the phone and having a conversation with a
live person is time consuming; however, it's also part of planning a
wedding. Talking on the phone can be a
great indicator for both you and the vendor if you want to take it to the next
level, an in person meeting. Conversations
are great, you can tell a persons’ energy, if they are articulate and if they
are knowledgeable in their field or craft.
I always request to speak via the phone before I offer any information
so I can truly get a sense of what the client is thinking and if it will be a
good fit. Going a step further, in
person meetings are even better and often the best way to tell if this is the
person or company you want to work with.
It's also a great opportunity to discuss pricing and budget.
I often find brides become a little shell shocked when it
comes to pricing and their budgets. I'll
be posting another blog soon on pricing in the wedding industry; but I can't
stress enough if you don't know your budget or you aren't sure what things cost
let the potential planners and vendors know that up front. It will avoid wasting your time and theirs if
they are out of your range, but I must also stress, cheaper doesn't mean
better. You often do get what you pay
for. I've had brides come to me because
they hired an inexpensive planner that they've had to fire because the cheaper
was just that, it was cheap, unprofessional and the person didn't know what
they were doing. Hiring good vendors
does cost money, but it also give you peace of mind knowing that you are
getting what you pay for.
The last thing I'll say is to manage vendor
expectations. Some vendors or planners
only take a certain amount of jobs a week, month or year. And if you've received a proposal, pricing
and information that doesn't work for you, let us know. Often times we're happy to make adjustments
so that we can work with you. But if
you've moved on in a different direction, let us know that as well so that we
don't potentially lose other jobs. And
the best thing a bride can do is to let us know why. Was it personality, pricing? Whatever you say will be fine because it only
helps us become better at what we do..
The worst thing a bride can do is to not let us know anything and move
on in a different direction.
All wedding professionals want to see your wedding dreams
come true, helping us help you will make planning your wedding a little easier
and bit more stress free.
I know I promised to post more photos last month but between planning clients' weddings, and my own last weekend, time got away from me. I do want to catch up with a lovely Virginia wedding I planned and designed over the Summer in Old Town Alexandria. I must say I fell in love with Alexandria. The old town is absolutely charming and the food was spectacular. In that regard I have to give a special shout out to Virtue Feed & Grain, the site of the rehearsal dinner. They were spot on with the food and service for the rehearsal and definitely became a favorite of mine in Alexandria. I will say that they will be my first dinner stop when I am back in the area. The wedding itself was set at the Lorien Hotel and Spa, a beautiful hotel with a variety of settings that proved to be perfect for this wedding. We were fortunate to have a beautiful day for this outdoor wedding on the rooftop terrace of the Lorien. Since the Bride and Groom were engaged in Tuscany, they wanted to used this setting as the theme for their wedding. True to the Tuscan theme of the wedding the Bride carried a bouquet of roses, scabiosa, lavender and rosemary.
Given that we were on the rooftop, guests were provided with simple paper parasols to help shield them from the sun. I must also say that if you are looking for photos, the hotel and the area offer countless charming locations as you can see from the photos I am sharing here.
Following a simple, touching ceremony guests were escorted to the other side of the rooftop for a cocktail reception. I used roses, lavender, rosemary and olive branches in cut glass containers to create cocktail arrangements continuing the theme. As you will see in later photos, I used linens that matched the invitations, menus and escort cards. The design is the Schylar pattern from my stationery collection.
The views over old town Alexandria were stunning. It was perfect for this reception.
Following cocktails guests were welcomed to the lower level ballroom which continued the elegant Tuscan theme. As guests arrived to the ballroom they first saw the escort card table. As you can see, the escort cards themselves had the same pattern as the cocktail linens so as to carry the look through the entire wedding.
As the centerpiece for the table I created a beautiful arrangement using the same combination of roses, scabiosa, rosemary and lavender but added hydrangea to create a lush centerpiece and accented it with lemons keeping with the theme. I then added silver mercury glass pillar candle holders and votives to add a romantic glow.
Once guests entered the room I continued the look using the same flower combinations on the dinner tables. Each in a rustic stone urn, and accented by a table number that again utilized the design from all of the collateral materials, I created a truly romantic look in the room.
And I love it when everything coordinates as you can see with the menus that again, carry through the theme.
Once dinner was complete it was time to move on to the next room for dancing and dessert.
The dance floor was perfectly located next to a wonderful terrace so guests could have a blast dancing to DJ Ben and then relax in the courtyard where I added a variety of lanterns and candles to give a romantic glow. It was a perfect end to a wonderful evening.
It has really been a busy Summer as I have been planning and designing some wonderful weddings up and down the East coast. I am looking forward to sharing all of these great events with you and have been anxiously awaiting the finished photos. To start, I did recently receive some wonderful photos of a wedding I produced at Zugibe Vineyards located on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes.
We had a beautiful June day for Kelley and Jason's outdoor wedding in the middle of a lush vineyard overlooking Seneca Lake. The setting could not have been more perfect! To create the perfect decor I kept the feel very simple and natural with white and cream roses accented with pink and fuchsia peonies to give a pop of color. For the Bride's bouquet I added natural elements like Queen Anne's Lace, dusty miller and even geranium leaves giving the bouquet the garden feel that the Bride loved.
We utilized the outdoor pavilion at Zugibe Vineyard for the ceremony and later converted it to the dance floor. With the vineyard in the background it really did create a wonderful setting for both the ceremony and the reception.
Zugibe is great for weddings due to having the option of either using the indoor tasting room or their large deck that overlooks the lake. Given the wonderful weather, we chose to hold dinner on the deck so guests could take advantage of the view. I brought in farm tables to use for the dinner. The tables were then accented with a simple white fabric runner to which I added a combination of crystal cut glasses and silver julep cups filled with roses, peonies and other seasonal blooms. The result was a simple yet stunning look that was a big hit.
There were a number of personal touches that were added to really personalize the wedding. I always think it is this detail that really makes a wedding memorable and it was certainly the case here.
In the end it was a great celebration for the couple and their guests. For me it was another special day in the Finger Lakes with a wonderful couple. I love to see a happy bride and groom!
I would like to give a special shout out to Julia at Zugibe Vineyards who was such a pleasure to work with, Lisa at Showcase Sound who did an amazing job with the lighting and entertainment, McCarthy Tent who supplied all of the rentals and Gary at Michael Dade Photography who captured all of the images you see here. I cannot wait to work with these wonderful vendors on my next event in the Finger Lakes. Until next time... Cheers!
This year Autumn is coming with a new bridal trend! Designers are onto something this season with the knee-length wedding dresses becoming a standard in bridal fashion.
Knee-length wedding dresses were all over the runway at this year's New York International Bridal Fashion Week. Since then, many designers have joined the movement to add knee-length dresses to their collections.
Celebrities such as Keira Knightly and Nancy Shevell have even joined the movement the past couple of months:
LEON NEAL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
LEON NEAL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
And you really can see the trend catching on with some of the top women's designers adding short gowns to their collections. Just check out some the incredible gowns that have been hitting the runway.
The 4th of July celebrations have come and gone, but who says we need to end the party there?! July 14th is Bastille Day, why not help the French celebrate this weekend! There are so many fun ways to celebrate this weekend whether you are in your own backyard or heading to the concrete jungle for a wonderfully French fair. You probably still have some red, white, and blue decorations from last weekend so start decorating with those, its simple and you now have a little bit extra to splurge on that French wine you've always wanted to try! Add a few French flags around the yard and your decor is set. As for food, put out a platter of cheese, crackers, grapes, and a bottle of French wine. To round out the evening, make some white chocolate covered strawberries dipped in blue sprinkles. These few items will make it seem like you're sailing the South of France or strolling through Paris in no time. If you're looking for a fun fair to go to, head to NYC July 13th from 12-5pm. Bastille Day on 60th (between Lexington & 5th) is an annual street fair put on by the French Institute Alliance Française. There are crepes, eclairs, fromage (French for cheese!), wine, beer, and of course live music. There are booths for gifts, prizes to win, and face painting for the kids. Keep you're party spirit going and join the French this weekend! Vive La France!
The indoor activity can easily be done with two paper plates, two popsicle sticks, and one balloon for endless fun on a rainy day!
Rock Your Words!
This is an easy activity to help keep up on spelling skills. It requires is some river rocks and scrapbook letters, both can be purchased at the local craft store. All you have to do is put the letters on the rocks and let the kids spell out words. Rock Your Words is a fun and educational activity for the summer and it can be done indoors or outdoors!
Rabi-DO: Add some numbers on some of the rocks and help the kids keep up on their math skills as well as the spelling.
Gather up some construction paper, glue, and salt and get to work! Separate the salt into three or four ziploc bags and kneed some food coloring (pick your favorite colors) into each bag. Once the salt is fully colored, drizzle glue over the construction paper and pour the salt over the glue (treat it as glitter), and in 30 seconds you have an original work of art to hang up on the fridge!
Rabi-DO: Do this project over a cookie sheet this way it is an easy to shift around the salts and you have a place to shake off the excess salt!