Aug 162017


Gown and Garter Bridal Boutique is a custom styling studio; specializing in Bridal and Special Occasion Gowns. The boutique is located on Jacksonville’s Westside, providing a unique experience in Bridal shopping. Gown & Garter’s mission is to ensure you have the wedding gown or special gown of your dreams. We spoke with the owner, Pam Wilcox, about her boutique and here is what she had to say.


What made you decide to work in the wedding industry?

I fell in love with the wedding experience as a preteen and it never left. I was 12 or 13; my uncle had a very large southern wedding. Here is his bride wearing this white gown and all these ladies (my mother & aunts and her friends) are dressed in these beautiful long lavender pleated gowns and tea cup hats surrounding her. I was hooked on the glamour of weddings.


What do you love the very most about what you do?

I have a deep love and appreciation for the beauty in wedding gowns. In my humble opinion, a wedding gown is a representation of love. My goal is for every Bride to walk away feeling and saying, “I love me in this gown!”


Tell the brides-to- be your best wedding advice.

Breathe. When it gets down to that magic hour, the only thing that matters is the look on your significant others face and second you’re able to hold their hand and say, “I do!”  That’s it, nothing else matters. Remember to breathe and take it all in. Be present.


What is your most favorite wedding trend right now?

What I am finding now Brides are straying away from traditional gown and going creative. I love it!! I am working with a bride who wants a yellow gown with a unique silhouette.


What do you do that makes you stand out more so than others in your industry?

Gown & Garter is looking at the present, the OtisJames Bride line, focus is to embrace and love all Brides’ beauty and curves.  In an industry where women are made to feel that they must confirm to the dress, let the dress be made to confirm to you. It’s all about you. It’s just that simple.


What is your favorite product or service that you offer brides? Please describe it.

I love gowns from weddings to special occasions. I love the way the right dress makes you feel wearing it. The topper is the look your significant other gives you when they feel your confidence.


Do you offer any other products or services?

Not only do we offer designer and custom gowns, we offer special occasion gowns, flower girl dresses, men’s dress shirts in array of colors, custom garters, lingerie, veils and accessories.We also host OtisJames Bride. This is a bridal gown line almost exclusively for curvy Brides. Gown and Garter also host a monthly Wedding Planning Workshop. It’s a 4 hour intensive workshop on focusing your Bride Style throughout your wedding.


How far in advance should a bride to be contact you before the wedding?

A Bride or anyone desiring a special made gown should reach out to Gown&Garter at least 4 to 6 months. If it is a designer gown, delivery will take 8 to 12 weeks. With custom gowns the process is similar but usually 8 to 10 weeks, which includes the consultations.


How long have your been doing what you do?

For over 4 years I was a wedding planner and it was a great experience but I always seem to focus more on the details of the gown and what everyone was wearing. I decided to focus on wedding gowns! I was always curious about the design and construction of the gown.


What are 5 adjectives that describe you and/or your business?

Custom, Unique, Customer-Centric, Fashion Forward and Passionate


Contact Information:

An array of gorgeous gowns for many occassions

Beautiful shoe selection

Large Selection of dresses for many different body types

Flower Girl dresses available

Large Dressing Rooms

May 112015

Coastal Coordinating knows how to make your wedding day just how you’ve envisioned.

Decor, Flowers, Planning a Wedding, Wedding Consulants and Planners Comments Off on Coastal Coordinating knows how to make your wedding day just how you’ve envisioned.

Today we are featuring Coastal Coordinating, a full-service wedding and event planning company based out of St. Augustine, Florida. We spoke with owner, Katy Hurtig, about her love of weddings, why her company is different than other event planning companies and much more. Read on to see if Coastal Coordinating is the right fit for your wedding!

What do you love the very most about what you do? I love working with my clients to make their visions come to life.  Working on the event design is so much fun and it really allows creativity to come to life.

Will you be on-site during the entire reception until the very end? Yes, We are the first vendor to arrive and the last to leave.  We make sure that everything is taken care of from start to finish.

Tell the brides-to-be your best wedding advice. The best advice I can give to any couple is to make sure you hire the right vendors and to hire professionals.  The vendors are the ones that make your event a success and it is important so that you can enjoy all aspects of the day.

What is your most favorite wedding trend right now? Currently I love the golds. I love that it has come back in style.

 What do you do that makes you stand out more so than others in your industry?  I think that making myself available to my clients after hours and on weekends helps me stand out from others in the industry.  I pride myself on getting back to my clients quickly.

 Will you have an assistant during the wedding? Yes, with all of my wedding planning packages you will get an assistant with the day of coordinator.

 How far in advance should a bride to be contact you before the wedding? Currently for Saturdays we are getting booked up a year in advance.  For weekdays and Sundays we are booking up 9 months in advance.

 What are some of your specialties? RSVP Management.  This is a service where we will contact anyone that has not RSVP’d.  This takes a lot of stress off of the couple and the awkwardness of contacting their loved ones to get an answer.

 How long have your been doing what you do? I have been planning weddings for 10+ years.  I did my first college internship in weddings and have been doing them ever since.

Name of Business: Coastal Coordinating

Category of Business:  Wedding Planning, Event Planning, Event Design

Contact Information: Katy Hurtig, Owner

Apr 172014

A Stress Free Wedding…

Wedding Consulants and Planners Comments Off on A Stress Free Wedding…

            The number one tip we give every bride at the start of her wedding planning process is…hire a wedding planner…or budget for a day of coordinator.  After interviewing brides after their weddings, their number one regret is not hiring a planner and stressing on their wedding day.

            You have just accepted the most amazing wedding proposal and now you and your fiancé are in the process of planning your dream wedding. Former brides and grooms will tell you the secret to a stress-free wedding experience: get help.

            In a survey by and the International Institute of Weddings, 72%of recently married brides who did not use a wedding coordinator for their weddings said that based on their experience, if they had to do it over again, they would hire a wedding coordinator to assist with the planning, or at least be on hand to supervise the wedding day itself. 49%reported that if they could only change one thing about the entire wedding, this would be the thing they would do differently!

Don’t make the mistake that brides before you have!  Learn from those who have walked the aisle before you, and don’t underestimate the overwhelmingly huge job planning a wedding can be. Most couples today are very busy, both working full-time, and don’t necessarily have any experience at event planning. Planning a wedding includes endless details to arrange, logistics to organize, large numbers of service providers to coordinate and contracts to negotiate… it’s no wonder most people end up wishing they had some experienced help with all these details!

Unfortunately,  couples don’t even consider a wedding consultant because they assume that only couples with huge budgets and lavish weddings need one, or can afford one. But it is not true!!!   Consultants can do as much or as little as you need, and can work with any budget. Did you hear that?  They can work within any budget!   If you explain, “our budget is $20,000,” then they’ll help you figure out the best way to allocate that money, which includes their fee. Many times professional wedding planners can actually save you money with special discounts or experienced knowledge of the best deals and money-saving ideas, so they can help pay for themselves! If your budget is really tight,  consider using them for just part of the wedding – for example, just the flowers, decorations and day-of coordination. At the very least, have help on the wedding day itself. Just having an experienced professional on-hand to make sure that everything and everybody is where they need to be, when they need to be, would be a huge weight off your shoulders, giving you the freedom to really enjoy your day. 

Like any wedding vendor, if you decide to use a consultant, the most important thing to do is choose someone you like. While there are many good consultants in the business, finding one that suits your temperament, fits with your overall personality and is enjoyable to be around is the real key to success. You will be working with your planner during your entire planning process and on the wedding day…so make sure that your personalities are a match! Other things to consider: Does the consultant care about what you want? Is he/she a good listener? Is the consultant prepared for the meeting, and does he/she appear organized? Does he/she have good experience, appropriate skills and interesting ideas? Remember also to ask for and check references.

Overall, wedding consultants are all about making your day the best it can be, and alleviating your burden so that you can actually enjoy the planning process and relish your wedding day with care-free joy. Jacksonville and the First Coast has amazing wedding planners!

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