Saturday, December 13, 2014

Destination weddings - Fountainbleau in Miami

I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Fountainbleau in Miami and want to share this amazing location for a destination wedding.

I think everyone has at least heard of the Fountainbleau since it really is a Miami institution. And if you are planning a Winter destination wedding why not take advantage of the wonderful weather in Miami.  

My experience at the hotel was incredible with great service, wonderful restaurants like Hakkasan, Scarpetta and Michael Mina 74, you never have to leave the hotel.  Also, the hotel offers such a great variety of options for holding a wedding.  From the elegant ballroom, to the beautiful beaches there are options for all tastes.  You can even hold your ceremony poolside.

When you are thinking about destinations for your wedding, I would recommend that you look into the Fountainbleau Miami.

Until next time,


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More thoughts on Pinterest

Think those wedding Pinterest ideas are easy and cost effective? Think again...Check out my contribution to the article on the "10 Lies Pinterest Tells Us About Weddings". Now on The Fashion Spot!  Just click on the link below.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Exciting news!

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

Happy planning and ...


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rabidos and Rabidon'ts to wedding planning

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 opinion no...

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 road.

So as a bride how do you shop for a wedding planner or vendors? 

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 help you...

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.

Until next time...Cheers!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lovely Virginia Wedding

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.

I would like to give a special shout out to East Coast Entertainment and DJ Ben Felton for providing great music and dancing, Somerset cakes for a beautiful cake and sweet treats, and Stevie T Photography for all of the great images I have shared here on the blog.

Finally, a special congratulations to a wonderful couple, Susan and Jack.  Here's to a lifetime of happiness!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It's been a busy Summer season

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...


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Season ... New Bridal Trend!

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: 


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.

I would love to hear what you think about the trend toward short gowns.  Is it a hit or a miss?  I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Until next time....


Friday, July 11, 2014

Bastille Day

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!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Activities: Kid Edition

Looking for fun activities to keep the kids busy this summer?  Look no further!  Take a look at these awesome creative crafts and games to play this summer that you and your kids will enjoy.

A wonderful alternative to the classic water balloon fight.  Sponge-balls are simple, mess free, and reusable all summer long!
Check it out: Sponge Ball Instructions

Balloon Badminton
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.

Salt Art
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!

Enjoy and...


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Back in the Finger Lakes

I just realized it has been over a month since my last post.  With wedding season in full swing I guess time just got away from me!

Right now I am kind of in a Finger Lakes frame of mind as I recently designed and produced a winery inspired wedding at Zugibe Vineyards with stunning views of Seneca Lake that was followed by a Tuscan themed wedding at the Lorien Inn and Spa in charming Alexandria, Virginia.  It has been a busy June!

With the Finger Lakes in mind I want to share images of a stunning wedding I produced last year at Bristol Harbour Resort on Canandaigua Lake.  I love the setting at Bristol Harbour and working with Sara is such a delight that I always look forward to planning weddings here.  So, when a long term client called me to plan his daughter's wedding in the Finger Lakes area, I immediately thought of Bristol Harbour as the perfect setting.  The Bride and Groom agreed and I moved forward planning their environmentally friendly wedding.

The natural beauty of the outdoor ceremony area was the perfect setting for this couple who wanted their wedding to be environmentally friendly.

The ceremony area was kept very simple and, to accent the aisle I used ball jars that were wrapped in twine and filled with gypsophila.  It was the perfect accent for this setting.

To enhance the ceremony we hired the wonderful Angelicus String Quartet to play through the ceremony and cocktail hour.

For all of the floral the Bride wanted a very natural look.  Her bouquet was done in an open, garden style with roses, veronica, scabiosa and lisianthus.  For the Groom's boutonniere I simply used veronica with twine wrapped around the base instead of ribbon.

As I mentioned, the Bride and Groom really wanted the wedding to be environmentally friendly. Therefore, instead of cut flowers I created the escort card centerpiece using a variety of potted herbs.  The only cut flower was gypsophila which can easily be dried and saved.  I then accented each of the escort cards with a sprig of rosemary.

For the dinner tables I carried on the same look as the escort table with the gypsophila and potted herbs.  At the end of the evening guests were welcome to take home the herbs as their 

Even the cake carried through the elegant simplicity of this wedding.  Designed by Sweets by Marie, the tiered carrot cake was the perfect finish for a great meal.  I have to give special credit here to Bristol Harbour, and especially Sara, for going above and beyond in creating an exceptional vegetarian menu that left all of the guests raving.  

In addition to the great vendors I have already mentioned I would like to thank Sean at Redstone Studios for the photography featured here along with Ellco Entertainment and the band Up2Somethin for keeping guests on the dance floor throughout the evening.   In all this was another wonderful wedding in the Finger Lakes.  It is always such a pleasure to plan weddings in this area.  I look forward to sharing many more with you.

Until next time...


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Calling All Brides!


A major national cable network is looking for BRIDES OVER 30 YEARS OLD who are planning high-end, big budget, luxury weddings for THIS FALL OR WINTER SEASON. Do you and your bridesmaids have larger than life personalities? Are any of your bridesmaids or other friends or family members also planning a wedding?


Until next time...


Thursday, May 15, 2014

More Destination wedding tips

I know I just posted an article last week with tips for planning a destination wedding.  I did not know that another article was about to be published on where I give some of my own tips for eloping and/or planning a destination wedding.  You can check out the article using the link below.

Until next time...


Friday, May 9, 2014

Great easy ideas to celebrate Mothers' Day

With Mothers' Day just around the corner I want to share a new video that Maring Visuals and I produced with some fun tips to help make Mom feel special.  The tips are fun easy and inexpensive.

Enjoy and ...