Apr 272015

Southern Traditions: Bury the Bottle of Bourbon

Tips and Opinions, Traditions, Wedding Trends Comments Off on Southern Traditions: Bury the Bottle of Bourbon

Southern wedding traditions are the best….at least we think so!  If you live in the South and want to embrace some of the deep rooted Southern traditions during your engagement and wedding we are compiling the top traditions you should embrace to pull off a true Southern affair!  Here is our #1 pick!

Bury the Bourbon Bottle

Do you want perfect weather on your wedding day?  There is a Southern tradition that can help you out!

This may be a bit superstitious, but I can vouch from personal experience that it works!  There are a couple different versions of how to bury the bottle of bourbon  but the one that worked for us went like this; bury a bottle of bourbon, upside down,  at the location of your ceremony, exactly one month (and within the hour) of the day of your wedding.   After the ceremony you get to dig up the bottle and pass it around to the wedding party to celebrate!

The other option is to repeat the same steps but to do it on a where the weather is exactly how you want it on your wedding day.

Burying the bottle at Bowing Oaks Plantation

Here are a couple tips if you want to embrace this tradition;  First; ask permission from the venue.  Many venues in the Greater Jacksonville area will accommodate this and/or have a special spot for this like Bowing Oaks Placation!  If you are getting married at a golf course or wedding venue that might not be keen for digging up the landscaping, ask about bringing in a large flower pot and burying it in that for a month!  Second; have a marker indicating where you buried it.   Our marker got moved due to construction and we dug up the whole side of the tree to just to find it.  It was funny…but it was a bit messy too! Third; save the bottle!  It is a great keepsake, especially if it worked!

Photos by Susan Michal 

Digging up the bottle…where is it?


Found it!


A swig for everyone!

Mar 232015

Gifts for Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Attendents in Your Wedding, Tips and Opinions, Traditions Comments Off on Gifts for Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Being a gracious bride and groom means taking care of your wedding attendants!

They’re the friends you have known for years or perhaps soon-to-be in-laws who you admire and cherish for their special words of love and laughter.  Wedding attendants play a large part in weddings and it’s no surprise that brides often languish and toil over the perfect wedding attendant gift.

It’s no wonder that you want to give these special people a gift and long-term memory of how important they are in your life.  If some of your attendants are traveling in from out of town how about holding a luncheon for them the day before the wedding?  Local attendants can also be treated to a nice lunch, however in this case you can do it several weeks before your big day.

In regards to the luncheon you might also want to include your mother, the groom’s mother and a few of the other participants who are helping to round out your day.  This could include singers, organists, attendants at your reception and even parents of important people who have helped your day come together in such a unique way.

A special gift is also in order and you might even want to present it to the attendants at the luncheon if you desire.  More than anything the gift is a thank you for all their hard work.  Many times gifts are engraved and can range from a jewelry box to a key chain to a toasting flute.  Jewelry is another gift that just about any woman can appreciate. It has become customary for brides to give the bridesmaid jewelry as their gift or for the bride to pay for the hair and/or makeup to be done!

It used to be the rule, that when giving,   make everything identical with the exception of your maid/matron honor and, for the man, his best man.  However, there are no rules to weddings anymore and if you would like to customize your gifts…go for it.  Just so feelings don’t get hurt….try to make each gift appear of equal value and significance.

Wedding albums are also becoming quite popular since it is a wonderful way to keep your special day in mind.  Perhaps an album engraved with the name of the couple and the date of the wedding might be a nice change of pace for your attendants, both his and hers.  If you don’t just want the professional pictures think about asking your guests to download an app or use a hashtag to capture your wedding images.   Also, ask your wedding planner for ideas and companies that make customized gifts!

Tried and true gifts include:

•           Silver or gold bracelet

•           Silver picture frame

•           Silver engraved compact

•           Silver or crystal engraved jewelry box

•           Wine bottle stopper

•           Wine accessory set

•           Toasting flutes or gold rimmed champagne flutes (perhaps even engraved)

•           Candle with verse

•           Handkerchiefs

•           Engraved key ring

•           Wish pearl and necklace

•           Silver notepad and pen set

•           Compact mirror

•           Roses that are 24k gold

•           Personalized wedding cake topper

•           Silver-plated lip stick case

•           Silver-plated makeup brushes and pouch

•           Silver heart shaped bookmark

•           Bridesmaid bookmark with silk ribbon

•           Engraved bud vase

•           Ribbed glass trinket box

Men also have the responsibility of giving their groomsmen and ushers thank you gifts for their time and loyal friendship.

For men, thoughtful gifts include:

•           Key rings

•           Corkscrews

•           Cuff-links

•           Engraved beer mugs

•           Personalized wallets

•           Business card holder


However, for every tradition in the world there is an opportunity to break it and nowadays some couples are getting more than just a little creative with their attendant’s gifts.  A good way to have the entire group together while enjoying one anothers company is buying concert tickets to Veterans Memorial Area, Ponte Vendra Concert Hall, or St. Augustine Amphitheater  or sporting event tickets to Everbank Field  or even host a dinner for the wedding party after the bride and groom return from the honeymoon.

If it’s a destination wedding you might also opt to pay for your attendant’s airfare or hotel accommodations in order for them to be able to attend.  While some of the attendants you choose to be part of your special day might be able to afford a trip to the South Pacific, others might have to say no.  An excellent gift in this case is just offering to get them to the destination at no charge or offer them a discounted room rate.  Once there, it’s certain that your attendants will also be able to relax and enjoy your special day with you.

Whatever you decide make sure it reflects the fact that these special attendants realize how much you appreciate their time and efforts spent on your behalf.

Nov 042013

Wedding Guest Books

Traditions, Unique Ideas Comments Off on Wedding Guest Books

Every bride and groom have a guest “book” at their wedding.  Although the traditional book as virtually been replaced with creative ones.

If you are planning a wedding the Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Amelia Island  or anywhere in United States for that matter….here are some creative ways to capture your wedding attendance!

Do you have another creative way to to sign your guests into your wedding?  Please share!

Use the guests thumb prints to make a picture that follows your wedding theme!

Have your guests leave some wise words of wisdom for you on marriage, love or the key to happiness!


Have your guests select a word from the dictionary that describes you and your husband, tag the page and sign!


Create a book from your engagement pictures and have the guests sign the pages!


Have your guest sign a picture frame that will hold your wedding photo!


World traveler? Have your guests sign a globe!


Have a photobooth at your wedding. Most photobooth companies will put together a book of the photos on the spot, the guests signs the pages!


Crafty? Have the guests sign fabric and make a quilt out of the pieces!


Jun 222012

Something Blue

Traditions Comments Off on Something Blue

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue….

For generations brides have been chanting that rhyme and thinking of 4 special items to have on their wedding day that will bestow good luck on their marriage!

We thought we would explore some ideas on “something blue” to help all your brides out there with this tradition.

The garter belt is probably one of the most common “something blue” items used by brides!

Some brides choose to combine the “something old” and “something blue” with a handkerchief passed down from a parent, grandparent or great grandparent!  A popular wedding gift has also become monogrammed handkerchiefs!

Any “Sex and the City” fans out there?  Ever since the movie, brides all over have been walking down the isle in a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s….the pair that Carrie wore.  Regardless, blue shoes are a popular and fun choice!

We love this!  Use a blue pen so it counts as your “blue” – have your bridesmaids sign the bottom of your shoes with well wishes! We think this is a totally sweet touch on  your special day!

Accent your wedding day jewelry with blue gemstones!  Integrate sapphires, topaz or  aqua marine in your earrings, necklace, ring, bracelet or broach!

Shoe decals are becoming very popular.  You can find cute phrases or put your wedding date on the bottom of your shoes.  It makes for cute wedding day photos and if you kneel down at an alter….your guests will get a look at your message.  Just make sure you put the right decal on the right shoe!

We all know where the “little blue box” is from!  Tiffany’s also has a line of blue diamonds, as pictured above.  Not a bad “blue” something on your wedding day!

Jun 082012

Unique Guest Book Ideas

Traditions Comments Off on Unique Guest Book Ideas

Instead of having a traditional guest book, get creative and have fun with it!  There are so many guest book options….choosing just one could be difficult.  Think about your wedding theme, think about who you are as a couple, and what would be your favorite memory or keepsake!


Have a “Birthday Guest Book” place a calendar at your guest book sign in table, instruct each guest to find their birthday and sigh their name!  This is a great way to remember each one of your friends birthday throughout the year! It also become a great keepsake on your wedding day that can be used for years and years!

Create a board of small envelopes, on the table have small pieces of paper specially cut to fit the envelopes.  Request that each guest leaves the two of you a “Love Note” and place it in the envelope.  Once the wedding is over, it will be special opportunity to read the notes your family and friends wrote for the two of you!


Are you the creative, fun couple and your want your wedding guest book to reflect that?  Then consider having a thumbprint people book! Buy colorful ink pads and pens, ask guests to make a thumbprint in your guest book and make it representative of them!


Wish guest books are popular these days and they can take a number of forms.  Some are in the form of a book, others use small pieces of paper hanging from trees.  The purpose of the “Wish Guest Book” is to have your guests share a wish with the bride and groom on their wedding day.  These always create great memories and something fun to reread!


The thumbprint tree is one of our favorite guest book ideas.  Trees are symbolic in love and the leaves of the tree are represented by the people who attended your wedding.  You can make the tree leaves the colors of your wedding, the colors in home, or the traditional shades of green! Once this guest book done, it makes a great piece of artwork in your home that you will treasure for years to come!

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