Friday, June 20, 2014

DIY Welcome Sand Buckets - Beach Wedding

My last post was rather long so this one will be rather short!! We discussed how to make the AWESOME Welcome bag for your adult guests ...but what better way to make the little ones feel special than to make them a special little "something" as well!! I have a 2 year old Nephew, who happens to be Magen & Josh's First and Only Child, so when we say BEACH! it means a whole lot more than just a towel and a bathing suit.Does he have his Swimmies, floaties, sunscreen, hat, kiddie pool and SAND TOYS!!

We knew when we were planning the wedding that we would have several children in attendance so what better way to give them a little something extra then a welcome bucket of Sand Toys!! I found these Mini-Sand Buckets with the cutest little toys on Amazon. They came with a Mini Bucket, Sand Rake, Sand Shovel and a Mini Sand Scoop. You could get a total of 12 for $12.97 with Free Shipping.
But why stop there...since we were adding in a Fishing Themed Favor for the Guests, we decided to add in a Fishing Themed Element to the Welcome Buckets. After purchasing the big container of Goldfish at Walmart ($7.00) and clear plastic favor bags ($1.99 for 24 ct), we had a fabulous little gift for the kiddos. Of course I used some tags I already had and my stamp I used for the Adult Welcome Basket (hello there) and we were DONE!!
Such a cute little favor for the kids to play with and then munch on when they need a break!! Just remember that you can do things like this for very low costs and it makes a huge difference in those sweet little faces when they receive it!! I hope you enjoyed this DIY project.

Check out my Facebook for more pictures of Josh & Magen's Beach Wedding.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DIY Beach Wedding - Welcome Bags for Out of Town Guests

The Wedding of Josh & Magen is Complete and I am surrounded by Sand from Beach Towels, Leftover Wedding Supplies and Lots of Memories from Such a Busy Weekend. Josh is my brother and I wanted to make sure I gave him all the special details I did for my sister when she was married in 2012. The couple chose Mexico Beach, Florida because this was one of the first beaches Magen had ever been to in her ENTIRE life along with the location for our Annual Father's Day Reunion with my Father's Side of the Family. My two sisters and I wanted to add something to the planning process and thought that designing a Welcome Bag for the Guests would be something Extra that they would not be expecting and refreshing to dig in when arriving to their room. As a Wedding & Event Professional, one of my favorite items to receive at Wedding Expos and Conferences is the "SWAG".  Of course I searched Pinterest high and wide to find the latest trends and cute ideas. I wanted to give you our version of the Welcome Bags to see how a low budget option can still be equally charming and memorable.
The Bag was the very crafty and low budget option from Hobby Lobby (12 for $6.99). If you wait until they have a sale then you can find them for 50% off. I wanted to do a more cloth or burlap type bag or beach towel but it was not in the budget, therefore I decided to spruce it up a bit. I went to the stamp aisle in Hobby Lobby and found the perfect stamp "Hello There" ($3.99 + 50% off = $2.00) for the Welcome tag. Next I searched for the perfect color from the bride's wedding colors and added that to the basket ($2.99 + 50% off = $1.50). I decided to find a stencil that would add to the beach/aquatic theme and found a value pack of over 20 stencils, including this seahorse, that I thought would be simple and perfect for the front of the bag ($4.99). Just remember when using a stencil and acrylic paint, use a sponge to dab on the paint to the stencil with it taped or secured. I tried to use a paint brush at first and it looked like my 2 year old nephew had painted a big blob on top of the bag (thankfully we had a few extras)!!

The only thing left was the paint that I matched to the stamp pad ($2.99) and the Cardboard Colored Tags that were hugely discounted ($2.99 for 24 scalloped edged tags + 50% off = $1.50). The string I used was some that I had laying around in my craft bag (FREE) and the sand dollar that I attached to the tag was already part of the bride's shell order from Shell Horizons so I snagged a few (FREE). If you wanted to order shells, the website is and they have great deals on a variety of high quality shells. I used one of my stamps where you can create your own words by organizing the letters in the stamp holder (Michaels $12 over 2 years ago) to stamp "Magen & Josh June 14 2014". This was the final touch to the outside of the bag.

The Bride wanted a Koozie added, she purchased these generic "To Have & to Hold & to Keep Your Drink Cold" Koozies from Oriental Training for $20 for a total of 50. We added in the Miniature Bottles of Water ($1.88 for a 12 pack) and a matching colored straw ($1.99 for a 24 pack Hobby Lobby).

The next idea was the "hangover" pack. I found the cutest little beach themed sleeves on clearance for $1.99 for a pack of 24 at Hobby Lobby. At the time I did not know what I would use them for but soon figured it out. I searched for bulk quantities of Advil and Alka Seltzer (my moms cure all) on Amazon and found a 50 count box of Individual Advil Packets for $12.00 and a 72 pack of Alka Seltzer for $13.87. With an added bonus of Free Shipping (WOOHOO).

The Bride loved Saltwater Taffy so I knew I had to add that in. I found the precious bags on sale for $1.99 for a pack of 24 at 50% and used one of the stencils and paint from the outside of the bag to paint a starfish on the front of the mini white bags. Onto the sticker aisle of Hobby Lobby (can you tell I love this place!!), I found these "Handmade with love" stickers 42 count for $1.99 to finish it off. I searched Ebay for a cheap deal on Taffy and to my surprise actually found one on the first listing. It was for 2 pounds of Mixed Flavors of Saltwater Taffy for $12.00 with Free Shipping (arrived in 2 days). I added a handful to each bag and VIOLA!! Now of course I sampled 2 or 3 or 10 before I added them, I mean ....I had to see if they were fresh!!

What's a beach trip without a little fun, I found the miniature blow up beach balls on Amazon for a quantity of 24 for $12.00 with free shipping. Everyone had these out within minutes of receiving their bags. 

I still needed something sweet along with the Saltwater Taffy. My great friend, Carla Raymond of Sweet Treatz Custom Confections in Byron, Georgia, was the girl to call. The Bride's grandfather who passed away a couple of years ago was always known for anchors. I told Carla about my idea of the Anchor themed cookie in her wedding colors with the new last name initial and wedding date added. She individual packaged these up and tied with white ribbon. We received 2 dozen for $55 and they were one of the most favorite items next to the beach ball!!

So now that the sweet tooth was covered, we needed a little something salty. We found generic round stickers for $1.00 for 24 at Michaels on Clearance and Clear Plastic Goody Bags for $2.99 for 24. After returning from Walmart with 2 bags of Chex Mix and 2 bags of Bugles (Total $12.00) we had assembled a great snack pack for each bag.

The last item added was a Timeline of the Wedding Weekend so that the Guests could keep the agenda handy. I happen to be very handy with Word and created it from scratch based off of a favorite Pin on Pinterest using free clip art and shapes and arrows. It can take some time but it is cheaper than buying them online at several dollars a piece. My mother printed these from her printer on card stock at no cost (I always have card stock on hand). 

The Welcome Bag was COMPLETE!! I hope you enjoy this post. I found that I loved reading similar ones online from different blogger websites. It is the hot summer sunshine months and what better to kick start the old blog again then with a Beach Inspired DIY project. Add what you want and take out what you don't want, make it meaningful and personal to the couple. Tomorrow I will add the DIY on the Children's Welcome Buckets, which were a simple yet personal favorite of mine. I would love to hear your feedback!!

Here is your price breakdown...

White Bags ( Hobby Lobby) $6.99 for 24
Cardboard Scalloped Tags (Hobby Lobby) $1.50 for 24
Hello There Stamp (Hobby Lobby) $2.00
Stamp Pad (Hobby Lobby) $1.50
Acrylic Paint (Hobby Lobby) $2.99
Sand Dollar (Shell Horizons) (Free)
String (Free)
Stencil 20ct (Hobby Lobby) $4.99
Straws 24ct (Hobby Lobby) $1.99
Miniature Bottle Waters 24 ct (Walmart) $3.76
Saltwater Taffy (Ebay) 2 lb $12.00
Miniature White Bags 24ct (Hobby Lobby) $1.99
Handmade with Love Stickers 42ct (Hobby Lobby) $1.99
Minature Beach Balls (Amazon) 24ct $12.00
Koozies (Oriental Trading) 50ct $20.00
Beach Themed Sleeves (Hobby Lobby) 24ct $1.99
Advil Miniature Packets (Amazon) 50ct $12.00
Alka Seltzer Packets (Amazon) 72ct $13.87
Anchor Personalized Cookies (Sweet Treatz Custom Confections) 24ct $55.00
Round Stickers (Michaels) 24ct $1.00
Clear Plastic Party Bags (Walmart) 24ct $2.99
Chex Mix (Walmart) 2 bags $6.00
Bugles (Walmart) 2 bags $6.00

Total Cost: $172.55
Total Cost Per Bag (24 Total): $7.19

To Check out the Pictures from the Wedding, please visit my Facebook site.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Things for Christmas Themes

Well as the shortest Christmas season in years creeps upon us, its time for another holiday office party. Now I work full time at a school and we do it big as a school budget can be....and of course the planner has to show her stuff at this time of the year!! The past two years we have had a theme...the first was a Blue Ribbon Christmas for our National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Status and the colors were Blue and Silver. Last year we had Red Hot Christmas and guessed it....the main color was RED!!! This year has flown upon me and I am now crunching to put together fabulous decor for this party that is coming up in 2 weeks. I dont have to plan for Santa coming or stand in long lines for gifts that go on mega clearance at 2am in the morning...but I do have parties to decorate where a room full of women will be critiquing every detail! I know you know the feeling of trying to please everyone and keep your as the wheels are churning...I leave you with a couple of pictures of our last two years party decor in hopes it gives you some holiday inspiration as I gather my inspiration for another fabulous holiday festivity!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Callie Loves Caricatures!!

Well just to give you a brief blog post for the is all smiles!! If you know me then you also know I love to take pictures and I absolutely love Caricatures. It is an annual thing at the Georgia National Fair in Perry Georgia every year to step up to be completely horrified by whatever facial feature the artist over exaggerates on my picture. Nevertheless,  they are absolutely my favorite. The new trend is Digital Caricatures and at our last Networking Meeting with ABC in August, we had Caricatures by Tony come and digitally draw the beauties of the Georgia Chapter and printed out our very own copy. We love to have some form of fun and entertainment with our meetings.

So instead of maybe a photobooth at your reception...consider adding or using a Caricaturist instead. Tony could do more black and white in an hour but the average was 18 to 20 in an hour of full color. You also get a link to download your digital copy within the next days following the event. Your guests are sure to never forget your reception and having it posted on a big screen as it is being drawn is part of the fun. I love when I go to an event and there is a memory like this that I can take away and share with everyone. Please enjoy my lovely photo and remember that the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating special mementos for your guests.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Featured Spotlight: The Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta

Oh Great....another Bridal Show.....I DON'T THINK SO!! The Bridal Extravaganza is THE bridal show to put on your calendar every year and the event hosts twice a year in August & January. The Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta is put on by Engage A Bride owned by Donna Jakulski & Linda Surles.

 That's right...this phenomenal WOW Factor Experience is ran, designed, produced by WOMEN baby!! I cannot speak enough about these two social butterflies. I had the absolute pleasure of volunteering with them last February when they hosted their last show, I had know idea what I would be doing but wanted the experience and sent Donna an email. I was overwhelmed by how "down-to-earth" she was and how exciting she sounded about the show. It was not until I arrived the Friday before the event that I met Linda. Now Linda is absolutely a hippie, vintage, bohemian style diva who is laid back with a dry sense of humor. They are by far two of my favorite women in Atlanta and huge role models to me as a New Wedding Planner.

I opened my schedule for the show and found my post at.....Wait for it.....David Tutera's Sticky Note Girl!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! I had no idea what a sticky note girl was...but it was somewhere near David Tutera and I was so pumped. It turned out, I wrote down who the brides wanted him to sign the book to and wrote it on a sticky note on the inside flap of the book so he could quickly move thru the line of eager brides waiting for their moment of fame with him. I was so excited to be standing 3 feet away from him and was able to snag my own autographs and photos with him before the day was over with.

The show was an absolute DREAM...a extravagant explosion of color and sound that filled each booth. Unlike any show I have ever been too. The other volunteers were local wedding and event planners and friends who were so warm and friendly. I cannot say enough about these great Chic's!! Working the show gave me an opportunity to network with local vendors and become familiar with great local businesses as well. Take a gander at the pictures I took from the last show....and scroll down for updates on THIS SUNDAY's Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta at America's Mart...

The Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart 
230 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA 30303
Sunday, August 18, 2013 from 1pm- 5pm & Sunday, January 26, 2014 from 12pm-5pm

Here’s what you’ll experience:
  • One hundred plus of Atlanta’s Best Wedding Professionals.
  • Spectacular wedding galleries showing the latest trends and ideas for your wedding & reception.
  • Photography, floral and wedding cake galleries.
  • Couture fashion shows.
  • Taste scrumptious appetizers and wedding cake.
  • Discover the perfect wedding reception location, honeymoon, flowers, wedding planners, photographers and more.
  • Find creative ideas and designs for your reception.
  • Visit with our honeymoon & destination wedding specialists.
  • Chance to win romantic honeymoons and thousands in door prizes!
Event Schedule (subject to change)
  • 1pm Doors Open
  • 1pm – 5pm Viewing of Exhibits
  • 2:30pm Fashion Show
  • 4:30pm Fashion Show
  • 4:30pm Grand Prize Giveaway
  • 5:00pm Show closes
Entrance to the show: All brides and their guests will enter The Bridal Extravaganza thru the AmericasMart Building 2 Parking Garage. Take the parking garage elevator to the 2nd floor and follow the signs to the West Wing. No entrance to the show will be available on Williams Street. Directional signs will be posted.
Building 2 Parking Garage: 230 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Enter on the left side of Spring St., between Andrew Young International Blvd. and John Portman Blvd. $6.00 parking at the AmericasMart Bldg 2 Parking Deck.
Location, Location, Location The Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart is located in the heart of downtown and attached to the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Within walking distance to MARTA, the Georgia Aquarium, CNN, Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, there is no venue with better accessibility than the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart.
You do not want to miss these giveaways!! Plus you will leave with a bag full of goodies...the great things to come are this Sunday at 1pm.....I will be there...the one with the HUGE smile on my face....excited to be a part of yet another Fabulous Show put on by Donna and Linda!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Its HOOOTTTTTTTTT!!!....Plan your Destination Beach Wedding Right Here in the States!!!

So everyone has thought, for at least a minute or two, what it would be like to have a luxury planned destination wedding at an exotic beach with magic in the air as you walk down the aisle on a palette of sand, the waves crashing in the background, writing your names in the sand and those memorable sunset pictures on the seashore. But then you think about how would your family be able to be there, would anyone be able to afford it, would you be able to afford it? Then you move on to the next reasonable option and have it somewhere local that is convenient for everyone...right? Don't let the little things stand in the way of the day of your dreams because you cannot wrap your mind around how it would all work. First, hire a wedding planner (no brainer!) and then start thinking about your vision as if it is really going to happen. That is what my couple in Macon has started to do for their beach wedding....

They love the beach and that is where they first spent a vacation together. The location was Mexico Beach, Florida about 45 minutes from the famous Panama City Beach. But if you have ever been to Mexico Beach, you will see that there are not many options to grand ballrooms or venue sites to choose from. You have to know your area and research the possibilities. The bride, although wanted it in Mexico Beach because of the sentimental value, had decided on traveling about 1 1/2 hours instead to Destin Florida for a more convenient venue site. After many meetings discussing the possibilities, I finally discovered that the reason for the city change was because she had only seen the El Governor Motel in Mexico Beach and was not going to have her reception there. You see where I am going....don't forfeit an experience that means something to you because you may not be able to see the bigger picture. Although the El Governor Motel may be the largest hotel in Mexico Beach, it is NOT the only option. I found a more cost effective option for the couple and wanted to share with you in case you are ever in this sort of situation....

The groom's family takes a family beach trip every father's day weekend to Mexico Beach so that is when they decided to set the Wedding Date so that the majority of the guests would already be there to attend. Instead of booking the fabulous Annex Rooms at the El Governor Motel, as they have done every year, the family decided to rent two very large beach houses right beside each other that sleep up to 16 people each. Dividing the costs up, the family is able to stay for 7 days instead of just 2 or 3 (as they normally do at the El Governor) for less. The family is all together in two houses, doesn't have to pay as much, more amenities available for them at this location, the bride and groom do not even have to pay for their room at the beach house and this also became their wedding and reception venue. The beach house has its own private little part of the beach, perfect for a sunset ceremony, free of people walking by and staring, cars honking, drunk people whooping and hollering, the perfect setting. The beach house is fully equipped with a in the ground pool where table and chairs are able to be rented and placed perfectly. This couple is on a low budget, so we pinched where we could. Tables, chairs, linens are able to be rented from Port St Joe, the cake and catering can be done by family and displayed using rented glassware and tableware. The wedding guests totaled 50 people, therefore more time and money is able to be spent on the intricate details of the wedding like the bride and groom wanted. The groom is making the altar for the ceremony, centerpieces are designed by seashells and beach themed items picked and saved from the past several years by the couple (and trust me they are not tacky-I do not do tacky). The favors/table assignments are open shadow boxes made by the bride and groom with a copy of the invitation and program, a picture, starfish and seashells from their adventure, with plenty of room for guests to add their own piece of the excitement! Sounds cute and awesome....right??? It is have to have a dream and a vision...don't keep it a secret...share with your wedding planner so he/she can start to put that vision in place!!

Always remember the legality of this as well when booking a beach house. Some of the houses I searched did not accommodate beach weddings even though they have the space to hold the amount of people. You run into insurance issues and damages may occur. Always be up front with your rental company about what will be going on, you do not have to hide anything, there are numerous rentals that accommodate small weddings....or even big weddings!!

Would you believe that the estimated costs for this wedding/reception for the couple is under $3000.00?Now that is obviously with the help of the family covering the rental fees for the beach house (which they are currently going to stay in as well). Now you may say...that's nice...but can we have a little privacy? I completely agree!! Since they are able to save money on their ceremony and reception...more money can be spent for a brief honeymoon nearby.

The hidden Black's Island is a secluded island right next to Port St Joe and Mexico Beach, where you must take a beach taxi to get to the island. The huts are equipped with your basic necessities...a low key all inclusive island. All of your non-alcoholic drinks and food are covered in your $499/night rental. Your rental includes access to the entire island, a meeting/clubhouse where the latest ball game is on, pool tables/card games and social drinking is carried out. You have access to paddle boats and water sports equipment, or access to the private pool to relax and soak up the sun. The island is absolutely quiet and secluded to spend that special time with your new husband/wife where you are not swept away by all the busyness of life. And did I mention that the island is a 21 year old and up ONLY island, so you do not have to worry about children playing, enjoy your adult alone time and then head back to real life when you are ready. But don't take my word for it...check it out yourself...!! I have been visiting Mexico Beach since I was a little child and have never heard of this place, never knew it even something new together and make new memories and traditions to come with your new family!!

For more information on how I can make that beach wedding happen for you...please call me!! I am a native of Fort Walton Beach Florida, therefore my roots lie in the sand and water...I can make it happen!!