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Florida Weddings
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Date:2008-08-04 18:56
Subject:Pensacola Photogs?

Anybody have any recommendations for photographers in the Panhandle area? I'm getting married in Pensacola and have one that I like very much but I'd like to further explore my options.



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Date:2008-04-17 00:23

Good evening everyone!

First of all, my name is Arnoldo Offermann. I am a DJ and MC, however, I am not here to sell you on my services. I joined this community to give random wedding planning tips. If you have any questions about your wedding, feel free to e-mail me or comment on any of my posts. I'm not here to advertise, that's what Wedding Websites are for.

My first tip of the day will cover two things 1) outdoor weddings and 2) choosing your date.

My tip for outdoor weddings: TRAINS! I can't tell you how many brides I have worked with that never thought about any local train stations. Granted, I make this call for them sometimes, but many people never think about this! A great example is the beautiful Hollis Gardens in Lakeland, Florida. CSX and Amtrak shoot off trains at 3:30 and 5:30.

Call any local train stations, find out how to make sure they won't be heard at your location and find out the times.

If your wedding ends at 3:20 and the trains come in at 3:30, make sure your bridesmaids are ready AT LEAST 15 minutes before they are expected. It is better to stand around waiting than to rush everything last minute!!

Now, for my second tip: Your wedding date.

So of you may be aware of the major school date change. It starts around August 20 (before: ~Aug 2) and ends on the first week of June (as opposed to the first week of May). Because SAT testing dates do not change, prom season has been extended by a month! It now begins the second week of March and ends on the LAST WEEK OF MAY!!

Why is this something to be concerned about? March-May are the hottest wedding months in Florida. With proms becoming a bigger source of income for most vendors, everything becomes limited: tuxes, flowers, DJs, venues, even photographers.

Book AT LEAST a year early for March-May dates. Do not wait last minute for any of these dates as you will not find anything that you desire at that point.

Bonus tip: Don't wait for discounts.

August dates used to be great for discounts... so were Sundays. Since everyone has tried to choose August or Sunday wedding dates, most vendors are no longer offering discounts. It never hurts to ask, but remember to create a budget with no discount in mind.

I'll be posting more tips and ideas, not only as a vendor with over 70 weddings under his belt a year, but as someone who just got married and has been through the same thing. Let me know if there's anything I should post on.

Ladies (and gentlemen), I'd like to congratulate you on the most important day of your life!

God bless,

--Arnoldo Offermann

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Date:2008-02-11 22:55
Subject:Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival Recap

I went to the Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival yesterday, and figured that some of the Florida brides who missed out might want a recap of what I saw. There was quite a bit to see, and I was pretty tired after only being there for half their scheduled festival activities. Driving into Anna Maria is quite a treat, as you end up traveling through Bradenton's historic district and over several bridges that cross the rivers and inlets to get to Anna Maria. Apparently some of the inlet beach areas are quite dog friendly, as we saw several adorable dogs playing games with their owners on the beach.

  • Anna Maria is very pretty; it definitely reminded me of going to Pompano Beach in the 1980s as a small child, and I enjoyed the relaxed beach town vibe. Not everything was within walking distance, but there's a free trolley system that runs every 20 minutes all over the island.

  • There are a lot of cottage and bungalow-style properties out on the island; many of them are for rent per day, per week, or per month, and a lot of them are set up like 1950s Florida hotel suites. I particularly liked Tortuga Inn, the Harrison House, and Tradewinds Resort. Although the Siam House Inn was cute, the bedrooms were really small for a suite. There's a lot to choose from on the island, including vacation rental houses, so I can't really recommend one thing as the best for everyone.

  • Although Publix has a good reputation for cakes and such in other areas, the cake samples we got at their booth were abysmal. Dry cake + too sweet icing = nasty. Matt & Dom's Pastry Cafe, on the other hand, had really tasty samples, and the owners were on hand to answer any questions we had about cakes and what they make. An added bonus is that the stuff they make is high end but averages about $3-5/slice.

  • There are a number of spas and salons on the island; the two that I liked when walking in were Acqua (an Aveda salon) and Body & Sol (a day spa & yoga center). Acqua is very modern in typical Aveda fashion, but is quite pleasant and relaxing to stand about in. (If you're allergic to anything, I will warn you: Aveda salons smell strongly of herbal/medicinal plant matter, so I'd do a walk-in to one of their regular salons/shops if you're not sure that you'll have an adverse reaction to the scents.) Body & Sol is a second-floor day spa, and is really relaxing with lots of subdued tones and separate areas for different procedures (massage/yoga/waxing/nails/hair). The pricing appears to be similar, so neither of them are going to be a big bargain.

  • There were more than a handful of photographers on site, and almost all of them produced mediocre work at best. Jack Elka had the worst photography quality in his samples, and Chi Photography had the best technical skill and artistic quality. We'll be doing a more thorough search for photographers throughout the region who do photojournalistic work.

  • There were a lot of options for transportation vendors, but there were two that stood out: Longboat Limousine and Siesta Trolley. Longboat Limousine has a handful of vintage limousine sedans that are quite elegant along with some more modern sedans and stretch limousines. I am in love with their 1961 Rolls Royce Phantom V limousine.

  • There are a number of groups that do catering on the island that can either work with locations or have their own reception friendly location. Wild Monkey Gourmet makes these amazingly tasty salmon appetizer thingies that my FH likes (and he normally hates salmon because it's too "fishy" tasting). The Sun House Restaurant was quite pretty and had good samples, but wasn't all that impressive. Harry's Continental Kitchens had a table with information and nobody supervising it, so I can't say much about them. Mr. Bones BBQ has really good barbecue, and would be a great kitschy rehearsal dinner option (or reception food if you like the picnic style barbecue). The Sandbar and the Beach House Restaurant are owned by the same individuals and offer similar items; both have their own pavilions for receptions and have good ideas. The major difference is how casual the atmosphere is and what the beach looks like; Beach House has a lot of coquina rock surrounding its restaurant, whereas the major feature of Sandbar's beach is the grass that grows through random sections of beach. The Waterfront Restaurant is very pretty, but they can hold 40 people at the most in their reception areas; they're also one of the priciest options that has a restaurant site, so it's not budget friendly unless you're dealing with a very small crowd. If you like seafood, Anna Maria Island is definitely the place to go, as just about everyone does a good deal of seafood options in their catering.

  • Michelob set up tables with people to give out samples of flavored pilsner. I didn't try it, mostly because I hate pilsner and am a little horrified at the idea of adding flavor to beer after the fermentation is over. Call me a traditionalist or a beer snob if you want, but I know from my own mead brewing experience that one adds the flavors before fermentation so it blends well.

  • I didn't really look at any of the florists that were there; I'm planning on DIYing my own stuff, and I'm really not the demographic that they were marketing their samples to anyway. ::shrugs:: Some of the stuff was pretty original, but I wasn't all the impressed.

  • Out of all the tables with officiant information, only two of them actually showed up to chat with people. I can't remember the second lady, but the first one (whom we chatted with for a while) was Debora Cohen of The Marriage Place. Nice lady, very even tempered and relaxed. We'll definitely think of her when we get down to actually planning some of this stuff.

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Date:2007-08-06 10:44


Name and/or LJ userID: brennakimi
Wedding Date: april 5, 2008
Bride/Groom/Other (please specify): bride
Age: 23
City/State/Country you live in: tallahassee (wedding in pensacola)
Your song/First Dance song: eh.
Wedding Colors: turquoise and spring green
Formality: spring semiformal
Theme (if you have one): cafe
Number of guests: 50-70
How'd you meet your fiance?: oh probably playing vice city in someone's common room. after graduation i needed a roommate and he needed a place to live. possession is 9/10ths.
How long have you been together?: 2 years
Do you have a personal wedding website?: yes, but it's ghastly. i need to work on it.

i'm trying to throw this thing for as far under 5k as i can get away with. i'm doing pretty well. (if you want any suggestions, i have a few.) i should get away with about 350 for my dress and i've already got the decor for shy of 1k and my flowers will be extensive for less than 300. the site rental was 500 and came with tables. my biggest problem right now is finding a photographer. i've budgeted at most 600 for photos and you can imagine how well i'm doing. anyone know of a real photographer with flexible packaging? i don't want a fancy album. i don't want photoshopped collages. i don't want cuteness. as a photographer, i'm convinced those are tricks to hide poor technical work. i want crisp shots that document the day. so if anyone knows of a good photographer who is willing to work with a tiny budget in pensacola, please give me a link!

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Date:2007-07-13 15:32

Hey all! I'm a new member of the community... My fiance and I are currently planning a beach ceremony for May 31st, 08 in Treasure Island. We are planning on having a reception once we get back home to NJ... Any questions, feel free to ask!

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Date:2007-07-13 10:56

My Fiancee is looking at either the Castle Hotel in Orlando or the Best Western in Lake Buena Vista as possible wedding/reception locations for next year. Anybody have any experience with either of these good or bad?

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Date:2007-07-04 08:16

Name and/or LJ userID: singr1682
Wedding Date: December 16, 2007!
Bride/Groom/Other (please specify): Bride
Age: 25
City/State/Country you live in: FL, USA
Your song/First Dance song: Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette
Wedding Colors: midnight blue and silver
Formality: Afternoon elegant
Theme (if you have one): Stars (the sparkling kind, hence the colors)
Number of guests: 125ish?
How'd you meet your fiance?: In college - We went out for lunch one day, and then it turned into bowling, and costume shopping (it was two days before Halloween), and dinner... a 9 hour date!
How long have you been together?: 7 years
Do you have a personal wedding website?: no

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Date:2007-04-19 23:58
Subject:New Community!

Ok let's try this again.

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Date:2007-04-19 14:47
Subject:New community

New community for Newly weds in Central Florida


Come check us out

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Date:2007-03-14 09:03
Subject:So Fla Vendors

Does anyone have any photographers, videographers, or other vendors to recommend in South Florida? My wedding will be held in Miami, but my family lives in Ft. Lauderdale, so as long as the vendor travels, anything in Palm Beach-Broward-Dade is probably fine...

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Date:2007-01-07 17:17
Subject:make me an offer!

Hello girls!

(First of all, I hope this is not against the rules...I think it is rather helpful actually!- just let me know if it is, and I'll delete this post!)

My FMIL bought me Martha Stewart's Keepsake Wedding Planner ($20 + shipping on amazon.com) for Christmas, but I already have about 5 planning books and I don't really need another one! It's still in the plastic wrap so no one has thumbed through it or anything (including me)...

So if anyone is looking for a practically brand new planning book:

I'll sell mine for $18 (obo) shipped via FedEx Ground (in the Continental U.S.)

x-posted all over lj wedding communities

The Actual Planner That I Am SellingCollapse )

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Date:2006-12-30 00:22
Subject:Bridal Shower

Ok so Jamie my MOH and Traci my Matron of honor want to throw me a bridal shower.  Sounds like no problem right?  Wrong.  It really kind of troubles me. 

This really troubles me.  I feel like I'm causing a problem just getting married.  I don't want my friends to not be friends anymore because of a party.  I don't want Jamie to have any bad feelings against my FH or Elise because of this either. 

Has anyone else had this situation occur.  How did you resolve it?  

I am looking for advice on this topic not criticisim of my attitude on the subject.

*cross posted

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Date:2006-09-27 09:54
Mood: working

Does anybody have any recommendations for photography in the Northeast Florida (namely Jacksonville/St. Augustine) area, particularly for a bride on a budget?

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Date:2006-09-03 20:30

Any recommendations for djs in the Northeast florida area?

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Date:2006-08-08 13:39

Here's a little heads up for South Florida brides!

My friend did some researching and found that FIU North Campus (WUC/Wolfson Center) rents out their ballrooms for really low prices. The one that holds 100 people goes for $300 for the day. They also provided her with information on a catering company that has a relationship with the unversity. They also don't charge a lot; plates start at about $13/head and run up to about $30/head depending on what you want to eat.

So if any of you are in/around the North Miami Beach area and need a relatively inexpensive place for a reception, do look into it! The university's website is http://www.fiu.edu/ but I'm not exactly sure how to get to the webpage with information about the ballrooms/catering. It might be good to call them up or, better, take a visit. I'm SURE the South Campus has something like this, as well, since it's the bigger/nicer campus.

FIU North also has the Kovens Center available, but even with an FIU alumni discount, the bare bones package will cost $2300. Still, it's an option if you're in the area and want a huge 500-seater ballroom on the water. (It's really classy. Just... a bit out of my budget!!)

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Date:2006-08-08 11:26

If this isn't allowed just delete it please!
For everyones enjoyment!

Even better!

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Date:2006-04-20 22:22

I know this seems silly but i need help
the bridal stores in my area just suck PERIOD
so i want to purchase my crinoline online, well i already ordered one and dyed it... but now that my dress has come in i am not a 100% happy with it..Read more...Collapse )

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Date:2006-03-21 21:11
Subject:creative wedding photography starting at $400

Creative, fun, old world wedding photography. Wedding photography with a vintage look. I take photos with a variety of film formats and cameras to make your day extra special. I also use a variety of Lomographic and Medium Format cameras to make your wedding day look action packed and fun. Your wedding will be shot as an artistic adventure with many different ideas. All negatives are yours to keep and make prints from. I work great as a second photographer to make sure you capture the most at your wedding.

Email me for pricing info. Prices starting at only $400.


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Date:2006-02-18 18:56
Subject:Wedding Gown for Sale
Mood: loved

I'm selling a size 4 Justin Alexander gown on craigslist. Let me know if you are interested/would like to stop by to try it on. Pic available here. I live in Delray Beach, FL.

I can also send more pics if you are interested.

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Date:2006-01-21 14:20
Subject:my friend's dream dress
Mood: hopeful

Hello all!

I'm hailing from South Florida and helping plan my friend's wedding (to take place in July). I was wondering if I could get some help. My friend and I found a picture of her dream dress on the knot, but I believe they no longer have it and/or it was too expensive and/or the designer website no longer had that style.

Since she's on a $5000 budget for the entire wedding I was wondering if anyone could direct me to any lower priced versions of similar dresses or dresses in this style. I would really appreciate it! Most of the dresses we find have soo much decorations on the top half/bodice that the skirt is completely plain and undecorated (not my friend's style at all) so any leads would be wonderful!

Picture of the dress behind the cutCollapse )

x-posted galore!

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