Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Weddings in Samoa are wonderfully romantic and Samoa is a Pacific destination that more than live up to the photographs – white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, and lush tropical rainforests. Couples can choose to marry in a church, on a beach or beside a waterfall in a stress-free atmosphere that is part of fa’a Samoa (the Samoan way).
Catholic, other denominational weddings and civil ceremonies can be arranged. We only recommend properties that we have personally experienced and wedding packages range from around $1000 to around $2500, depending on the location and the inclusions (some samples below). Following is an overview of some of the wedding locations.
SHERATON SAMOA AGGIE GREY’S RESORT
Aggie’s is a terrific choice for couples who invite guests who have children (has a good Kids Club and lots of activities) and for those who would like a Catholic wedding as the 100-year-old chapel is now consecrated as a church (only Catholic weddings are allowed in the chapel).
There are other lovely wedding locations by the water or in the stunning rainforest Day Spa. There are 140 air-conditioned rooms looking out across the water to Savai’i island. The resort is five minutes from the International Airport and about half an hour from Apia.
Couples can choose to marry at sunrise or sunset and celebrate with a romantic dinner or party with guests under the stars. As well as a range of ceremony locations there are a number of celebration/reception options. Just email for more details.
SINALEI REEF RESORT & SPA
Having undergone major renovations and refurbishment following the September 2009 tsunami, Sinalei is now even more ‘special’. The ‘catch phrase’ used by the resort is “Simply Sinalei” and Sinalei is simply stunning. Set in 33 acres of lush gardens on the south coast of Upolo (45 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Apia) there are just 27 fales with two restaurants, swimming pool, golf course, tennis and watersports (swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, fishing and diving). The beachfront fales are superb with an enclosed atrium with outdoor shower and large deck looking out to the ocean. Both the resort and manager, Sose Alexander, exude casual elegance. There are various wedding options to choose from – from a church wedding to canoe wedding to a sunset beach ceremony. Sinalei makes weddings special for couples by themselves or those who invite guests (adults only).
COCONUTS BEACH CLUB
Coconuts Beach Club is located not far from Sinalei on the south coast of Upolu. Unlike Sinalei, it allows children but it also has Samoa’s only overwater fales (bungalows). There are also villas, suites and beach fales.
Coconuts is owned by Americans and prices wedding packages in US dollars. Wedding packages start at $1500 and you can step up to a package that includes photography and a Samoan string band to a package that includes spa pampering and a romantic dinner to the full-on ‘Samoan Experience’. Email us for more details. Religious ceremonies can also be arranged.
There is a minimum five-night stay at the resort for couples wanting to marry at Coconuts.
Seabreeze is along the coast from Sinalei and Coconuts, is owned by Wendy and Chris Booth who left Australia in 2005 to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and they are still living that adventure.
Seabreeze is adults only and all villas have ocean, lagoon or reef views. The Honeymoon Point House is particularly special.
A minimum five-night stay applies for Seabreeze wedding packages and ceremonies can be religious or non-religious. The packages can include a a champagne breakfast to start the day, a beach ceremony, local warrior escort and a local string band to serenade. At certain time of the year the resort may offer a free wedding (subject to seven nights accommodation being booked.
SALETOGA SANDS RESORT
Saletoga Sands is also on the south coast of Upolu. Owned by Kiwis Lou and Gavin Brightwell the resort is a result of them following a dream to build a contemporary but casual tropical resort in a stunning location. Right on the beach with a swimming pool and a range of accommodation options to suit couples and families, Saletoga is ideal for wedding with family and friends attending.
There is a well-priced tropical wedding package for two, a deluxe package that includes a traditional Samoan Warrior escort and the Le Tiamane all-inclusive package that includes four nights’ accommodation for the couple, the ceremony, three course reception and three-hour beverage package for 20 guests for just NZD$6280.
LE LAGOTO RESORT
Some visitors to Samoa only go to the main island of Upolu, but there are lots of rewards not far away on the northern island of Savai’i. It’s a 10 minute flight or a 90 minute ferry ride. It is scenically beautiful and, believe it or not, it is even more laid back than Upolu! Le Lagoto is a lovely resort and, not surprisingly, Le Lagoto in Samoan means ‘sunset’ – it is a lovely spot for a wedding!
And finally, for now…
SAMPLE WEDDING PACKAGES
SINALEI REEF RESORT & SPA CANOE WEDDING
- Decoration of Canoes
- Brides Bouquet
- Brides Head-dress (Pale)
- Ula (Floral necklace – Groom)
- Village Serenaders
- Champagne Meal for two
- Wedding Cake
- CD ROM (photography/compilation)
- Video Taping
AGGIE GREY’S LAGOON BEACH RESORT & SPA WEDDING PACKAGE
- Personal Wedding Coordinator
- String Band Greeting on arrival with leis at the Resort
- Private Return Airport Transfers
- VIP Express Check In at the Resort
- Champagne and Fresh Fruits in your Deluxe Ocean View Room on arrival
- Traditional Samoan Kava Ceremony on your Chosen day
- Traditional Samoan Garments for Bride and Groom
- Fresh Leis for Bride and Groom
- Tropical Flower gown for the Bride and Groom
- Flame Torches for Sunset or Sunrise Wedding
- A beautiful archway of flowers
- Sarong for Bride and Groom
- Planting of tree of love or Niu on the Romantic Island getaway
- Photographer with 40 photos in a beautiful tapa cloth wedding album
- Champagne Breakfast for Sunrise Wedding or Champagne Dinner for Sunset Wedding by the beach
- Marriage Celebrant or Pastor
LE LAGOTO WEDDING PACKAGE
- Special ceremony venue with floral arch
- Pastor or Celebrant to conduct the ceremony
- All marriage licence and registration requirements
- Bouquet for bride & 1 bridesmaid (if any)
- Buttonhole for groom & best man (if any)
- Ulas- floral necklaces for bride & groom
- 2 witnesses
- Special setting for dinner
- Romantic dinner for 2 – from A la carte menu ( entrée, main course & dessert each)
- Wedding coordination
- 1 Bottle champagne
There are special packages for couples inviting guests.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Wedding planning is in high gear for floral designers and newly engaged couples. While flower farmers plan for four distinct seasons, many floral designers observe just two: wedding season and wedding planning season. This is the time of year when Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards are flooded with ideas and inspiration for incorporating flowers into life’s biggest celebrations.
Will blush pink continue to dominate color palettes? What new hues will see in centerpieces? Will bouquets be big and bold, or simple and elegant? Will we see any new floral statement pieces gracing the aisles this wedding season? While trends vary slightly from region to region, here are some of the hottest styles we see on the horizon:
Fresh from the garden, seasonal flowers. For brides, there is nothing quite like clutching a bouquet filled with fresh, fragrant flowers grown with love and harvested by hand by a local farmer or designer with whom they have a personal connection. Thankfully, this trend is becoming more and more common, as awareness and interest in local, seasonal flowers continues to grow, especially among studio florists and style- and eco-conscious couples. A recent Slow Flowers survey and Industry Insights Report also confirmed the uptick in consumers’ and designers’ use of U.S.-grown and locally-grown flowers.
Dahlias, dahlias, dahlias. If the extremely high demand for Floret dahlias is any indication, we’ll be seeing dahlias dominate late summer and fall wedding designs. ‘Café au lait’ is still the queen, but other big beauties such as ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Peaches N’ Cream’ are increasingly being sought out by discerning designers.
Old-fashioned flowers as “new” favorites. The thought of using common zinnias, carnations or mums for wedding flowers used to make some floral designers and style-conscious brides shutter. But heirloom varieties and new flower cultivars with uncommon forms and colors have turned heads and helped to change minds and attitudes. Heirloom chrysanthemums, frilly scented heirloom carnations, and ruffly scabiosa-flowered zinnias have become in fashion. Farmer-florists across the country are fighting to get their hands on limited seed and plant stock to meet the increased interest and demand.
Flowers by special request. Armed with beautiful images curated from Pinterest and Instagram, brides increasingly are asking for specific and sometimes more obscure flowers for their bouquets. Perennial favorites include: garden roses and peonies, but more recent requests include ranunculus, dahlias, lisianthus, chocolate queen Anne’s lace, seeded eucalyptus and dusty miller. These specific requests can be a challenge—and an opportunity—to explain the seasonal nature and availability of certain flowers.
Muted, muddy & moody hues. This year, we’ll see more subdued and muted monochromatic bouquets and far fewer multicolored bouquets in bright or contrasting colors. Shades such as dusty rose, milky coffee, champagne, buttercream, apricot and moonstone will challenge floral designers and flower farmers to source blooms in these complex colors.
Another glass of red wine, please. Whether you prefer cabernet, merlot or pinot noir, these delicious deep wine tones pair beautifully with a variety of color palettes, from bold jewel tones to soft blush pinks as well as many of the muddier hues mentioned above. An outgrowth of the popular 2015 Pantone color of the year, Marsala, look for lots of dahlias, chocolate Queen Anne’s lace and other seasonal flowers in these more saturated hues to continue to appear in late summer and fall weddings this year.
Gray on gray. Considered the “new neutral” within the home décor world for the past few years, gray has become a staple in floral design as well. Gray pairs well with most colors and is often combined with perennial popular blush pink. Gray will continue to hold court as a popular accent color, but could move towards center stage alongside crisp white. Look for bouquets with dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus, succulents, olive branches and other gray foliage to fill your Instagram feeds this year.
Greenery as a theme. Pantone’s 2017 color of the year, Greenery, will be reflected in weddings, but in subtle, and less literal and overtly obvious ways. We predict we’ll see less focus of this specific hue of green, and more of the concept of using nontraditional greenery and foliage as a more prominent focal point in wedding decor. Greenery can be incorporated in creative ways, such as garlands of foliage stretching down the middle of Kings tables, sprigs of greens adorning place settings, greenery wreaths, chair decor and foliage backdrops for ceremony sites or photo booths.
Wild, ‘gathered from the garden’ bouquet shapes. Traditional tight, round balls of blooms are a trend of the distant past. Stylish brides are opting for large, lush, loose bouquets with more organic forms that tend to be bigger and wider than years past. The continued popularity of boho and gypset-inspired wedding décor also support this this organic aesthetic and design style.
Luxe ribbons & unique finishing touches. A bouquet just isn’t a bouquet without a ribbon finish. Brides are looking for ways to make their bouquet more meaningful or stand out in a special way by requesting unique elements such as antique lace, a charm or cameo of a loved one, vintage handkerchiefs and multiple layers of long, ultra-luxe hand-died silk ribbon streamers.
Stylish floral wearables. Subtle, delicate floral hair accessories, have virtually replaced the big, bold floral crowns from years past. We’ll see more half halos, pretty floral hair “combs” and simple sprigs of foliage woven artfully into hairstyles this year. Another big trend will be elegant cuff wrist corsages that look and feel more like jewelry. These bangle-type bracelets will hopefully permanently replace the often reviled elastic wristlets popular at high school proms. Keep an eye out for other creative interpretations of traditional floral wearables on mothers, grandmothers and other wedding party attendants. For the guys, this will mean mixing moreinteresting textural elements, including pods, berries & grasses alongside traditional focal flowers.
Bold and beautiful arches, chuppahs & hanging installations. More couples are choosing to say “I do” framed by foliage and flowers. Last year, we said foliage-focused backdrops would take center stage. They did. But so did arches & chuppahs. Look for a continuation of this trend for ceremony site décor. For reception site décor, we’re seeing lots of delicate foliage wreaths, floral chandeliers and other creative floral installations hung above head tables.
Less rustic and more modern décor aesthetic. We’re witnessing an evolution in wedding décor that is greatly simplified, with clean lines and a more contemporary feel. This is part of an overall movement away from country chic (think: less barnwood and burlap) and more toward an urban, industrial look (more gunmetal, mercury glass and galvanized steel).
A mix of high and low. Rather than a sea of carbon copy centerpieces, more couples are opting to mix and match their table décor. This entails alternating elevated bouquets, with long, low centerpieces, sprawling low profile compotes, or clusters of small bottles of single blooms. By choosing just a few larger statement pieces, the mix of elevated and low designs provide vertical interest without busting the budget.
Sweet treats: cake flowers. The trend away from oversized wedding cakes and more toward sweets tables has allowed for more opportunities to creatively incorporate flowers into cake designs and table decor. Look for live flowers serving as cake toppers and more flowers and foliage used to style cakes, donut and dessert tables. Sounds good to us!
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
This is a crazy time for many newly engaged couples. With all the Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s engagements, it probably seems like half of your friends are involved in a wedding in one way or the another. Everybody is either engaged, a member of the wedding party, a parent of an engaged child or making travel arrangements to attend a destination wedding.
With all the crazy going down, brides and grooms sometimes get ahead of themselves and — feeling happy and like they can take on the world — do and say things that cause them stress and consternation down the road. Here are 10 things you should not do after you get engaged and before you get married:
1) Do not adopt a puppy. Do not buy a horse. Do not add anything to your schedule that will require extra maintenance and a babysitter for your wedding week. You won’t have time for it and it’s not fair to the animal. Seriously. Do it after you get back from your honeymoon.
2) Do not decide that it’s time to start house hunting or move unless it’s absolutely, positively necessary. The most stressful times of your life are getting married, moving, changing jobs, having children and getting divorced. Why would you want to double up on the stress when you’re already committed to wedding planning for next however many months? Adding a move to the mess will only make you crazier. Plus, it will smack your budget hard, no matter how well you plan ahead. Also try not to change jobs if you can help it. Why pile on more to worry about?
3) Don’t take an out-of-control vacation within six months of your wedding, unless it’s your bachelor or bachelorette weekend with friends. If you have the money for a fabulous trip, please save it. Put it away and hold onto it for unexpected expenses that may come up with your wedding. Blowing it all on a cruise three months before your big day and then whining because you have 20 more guests than you’d anticipated so you’re over budget is just ridiculous. Plan for the emergency if you have the resources.
4) Don’t spend all of your time surfing wedding websites and buying bridal magazines. After you’ve planned your décor,swear off of Pinterest for a whole 30 days...if thats possible. One way to really make your wedding planner insane and blow the hell out of your budget is to keep messing with the details of the wedding after the decisions have been made, bids obtained and deposits paid. The time to choose was before you signed the contracts and locked things down.
5) Don’t continue shopping for wedding gowns after you’ve already bought one. That’s a really, really stupid thing to do, unless your original intent was to end up with more than one dress (and yes thats a huge trend now).. But if you planned to buy and wear one wedding gown, once you’ve ordered it, stop second-guessing yourself. And stop looking at dresses. I’ve had clients who bought three different dresses (and absorbed the cost of all of them and wore only one) because they made themselves crazy continuing to shop.
6) Don’t share all your wedding details on social media or with all of your friends. There should be some surprises, and it’s tacky to talk about it in a forum where most of your “friends” on Facebook won’t be invited to participate in the festivities anyway. You may find the vast selection of favors fascinating, but you don’t have to post about it. In fact, you shouldn’t. Look forward to having amazing pictures that you can share after the wedding when no surprises will be ruined and those who aren’t invited won’t feel like it’s being shoved up their noses.
7) Don’t solicit the opinion of all of your bridesmaids regarding the bridesmaid dresses. That is the kiss of death and a guarantee that somebody is going to end up unhappy. Include the Maid of Honor and maybe one more bridesmaid (particularly if you have somebody who is going to be a difficult fit), but leave everybody else out of it until it’s a fait accompli. Seriously.
8) Don’t involve your bridal party in your wedding planning, unless it’s to help you make favors or do some other bridal party project. Leave them out of your meetings with vendors and conference calls with your planner. Your fiancé and your mom are the only ones who should participate (and only if you want to include your mother).
9) Don’t put off the stupid little homework assignments that your wedding planner gives you. Do not wait ‘til the last minute to write your wedding ceremony. Do not wait ‘til a month before the wedding to start thinking about your DJ playlist. The marriage license information form you were given at the first meeting could have been completed the first week of planning — the info on there won’t change before your wedding date. Although it seems like you have gobs of time for planning when you’re looking at the “to do” list six or more months out, it’s important to listen to your planner about what should be finished when, or you’ll find yourself with a big old pile of homework a few weeks before your wedding.
10) Don’t let the stress of wedding planning ruin the fun of being engaged. I know brides who never tasted anything at any of their showers or parties and only drank one night of their bachelorette weekend because they were so determined to lose the extra pounds before the wedding. Some of them have even been known to turn on the groom, asking him to diet too. He didn’t ask you to lose weight to get the second ring, why are you asking him to drop pounds to say “I do?” I mean, for real, does that sound like fun? I’m not saying you can’t slim down, but don’t get so stressed out about it that you take away the bubbly fun of all of it. Don’t turn dance lessons into a torture session — go out for cocktails first (it worked for me and my husband Bill). Don’t talk exclusively about the wedding when you’re spending time together — it will make you both a little nutty. Try to be your normal selves and bask in the glow of the shiny diamond. And remember to keep your nails pretty.
At the end of the day, you can make your wedding planning process as easy or difficult as you want to make it — really, it’s up to you. But if you avoid the items we mentioned above, you have a better chance at having fun during your engagement and making fantastic memories along the way.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Style Guide