Author Archives: stephen.doucette@gmail.com

Taylor Swift Songs for Your Wedding

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For those of you who may not know, Shadowland’s event manager is a MAJOR Taylor Swift fan. And in honor of her birthday today (and the fact that 2018 Reputation Tour tickets are secured), we’ve compiled the top 10 Taylor Swift wedding songs. No, she’s not just all break ups and heartache…T Swift can set the tone for the romantic, whimsical, fun night you’ve been dreaming about. From cocktail hour to the last song of the night, Taylor Swift’s anthology should not be overlooked when crafting that perfect play list.

Cocktail Hour/Dinner Music

1. Love Story

Oh Love Story…the imagery of Romeo and Juliet actually working out was a song we all belted out in high school. For a grown up version, we suggest snagging the instrumental version and featuring it during cocktail hour. Read More

The Great Debate: Fresh or Fake Flowers?

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How many of you out there are torn between what kind of floral you want to incorporate into your big day…and budget? It’s a fair concern! What comes to mind when you think of fake flowers? Visions of scratchy, dusty, faded fabric bulbs in Grandma’s living room? To be fair, that’s what fake flowers were for many years and so the connotation that comes with fake can be cheesy, low quality blooms. But, alas! Fake flowers have really come a long way! There are some artificial flowers out there that even upon the closest of inspections, most people won’t be able to tell they did not once grow in the ground. So why go with one bloom over another? Read More

Thank You Notes 101

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The last box has been opened, the last check endorsed and deposited, your honeymoon suitcase is unpacked, all the laundry is done…you’re literally out of excuses for why you’re putting off writing those Thank you cards. We’re here to help! Follow these tips to totally rock the note writing process!

• Be organized

You should honestly know that once you’re engaged you’re going to be the recipient of at least a couple of gifts. Stay on top of it! Gifts received before the wedding (we’re looking at all your multiple showers) should have a thank you in the mail within 2 weeks of the event. Which is even better to get a big chunk done before the wedding! Read More

Miranda and Jenna

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Miranda and Jenna met while working together at Applebee’s, and it was love at first sight. After moving around to four different states, they finally settled down in Fort Worth, Texas. Seeing that their relationship could survive so many changes, Jenna knew that Miranda was the one for her. On a random Wednesday, Jenna setup a perfect proposal. She had music playing and post-it notes of all the reasons why she loves Miranda. Meanwhile, Miranda had no idea this was happening, she just thought it was a normal day, until she got home from work and saw everything. Needless to say, Miranda said yes when Jenna asked her to be her wife, and the planning process began. Read More

Holiday Weddings Yay or Nay?

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With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s right around the corner, many couples may be thinking about booking a holiday wedding in the next year or so. Is this really a good idea though? Before booking, consider both sides of the coin before putting any deposits down

The Pros:

 1.       Friends and family are most likely out of work

Holiday time means longer weekends and longer weekends means time to party! This should allow more folks to be able to be included in the rehearsal dinner or morning after brunch festivities. And it’s a good excuse to get all the extended family together around the holiday season. Read More

Why Hire the Pros

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Why on Earth would you want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a professional caterer, bartending service, DJ, florist, baker, wedding planner, or photographer when you have a friend or family member who “does weddings” offer to do it at little or no cost? Well, to put simply, you get what you pay for. Now before getting too far I’m going to start right off the bat and acknowledge that not everyone is going to agree with me on this post. But keep in mind I am speaking in generalities. My hope with this post is it just gets couples and families to pause and think before diving in to hiring all the family and friend “friendors” that come out of the woodwork after posting your new sparkly rock. Read More

Traveling with Your Dress

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“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Thank you John Steinbeck for these words of wisdom! But how on Earth do they relate to wedding dress travel? Well put simply, ladies, please please please, when getting your plans together for packing, do NOT forget your precious dress! No matter how great your packing game is, if you leave your dress to the last minute something could go wrong and who wants that stress days before your wedding? So what’s the best game plan for packing that bundle? Read and find out!

• Do not fold it up in a suitcase and check it. Murphy’s law says if something can go wrong, it will. No matter how many times you’ve traveled and not lost your luggage, the one time you pack your wedding dress separately and let it out of your sight, it will end up in Timbuktu. The best plan of action is to keep your dress in your sights at all times. Read More

Shine Bright Like a….Sparkler

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Who doesn’t love a good sparkler? No matter how many times we see them or use them, there’s just something about playing with fire/sparks that is so much fun. This blog’s focus is toward those frequently asked questions about sparklers. So without further ado…

1. Does Shadowland allow sparkler send-offs?

Yes! We do allow sparkler send-offs. Due to city ordinances, lighting lanterns and sending them off into the skies is no longer allowed in St Joe city limits, but sparklers are allowed.

2. How do sparkler send-offs generally work at Shadowland?

Let’s go through the ideal situation! For arguments sake, let’s say the bar closes at 11 and the end of the night is at 11:30. Sparklers would be at 11:15. Your DJ would make an announcement for guests to exit the ballroom toward the sunset patio. Shadowland staff assists in handing out sparklers and we have to be the drink police…alcoholic drinks are not allowed past our patio (city rules again) and that is where guests need to line up for a proper send off. Staff works with your photographer to form two lines, about 10 feet apart from each other. Once the guests are in place, your photographer is ready to go and you newlyweds are set, Shadowland staff will help light sparklers. Then off you go! Take it slow, dip and kiss in the middle, and get some fabulous shots! If you choose, you can have someone pull your car around if you really are going to leave right after the send-off. When the sparklers go out, Shadowland also has a large bucket/trash can full of water ready nearby for used ones. By this time, it’s either 11:30 or a bit after and it lends nicely to starting the clean-up process. Read More

Beating the Post-Wedding Blues

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First comes love, then comes marriage, and then…what? After months (or sometimes years!) planning and dreaming up the perfect wedding day, some couples (but girls I’m talking to you here) can feel some post wedding blues. Why does this happen? Is it normal? Are you crazy for feeling this way? Is your newfound relationship doomed?! What can be done to fix it?!?

Okay, okay…deep breaths. In….and out…..once more….okay is your breathing back to normal or at least you’ve stopped hyperventilating? Good. So post wedding blues are VERY normal and common. It’s science. Almost 10% of women experience some form of depression during their first year of marriage. Two researchers, Allison Scott and Laura Stafford looked into this more and found that women ranged from being bored, but happy to blue and depressed. It seemed to be the trend that the happy brides felt their wedding marked a new chapter in their lives and the blue brides saw their wedding as the end goal. Is one view more right than another view? No! These feelings do not mean your relationship is doomed from the start. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy on planning on the details to arguably the biggest party you’re going to throw. Feelings of boredom and sadness once that is over are inevitable. And admit it, a small part of you is going to miss that spotlight and friends and family wanting to talk about shades of blush or the best canapes to serve during cocktail hour. But when the last bottle of bubbly has popped and the last sparkler has sparkled, what things can you do after the wedding to keep the Eeyore feelings at bay? Read More

Getting your guests to follow the rules!

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As strange as it may sound, rules are actually kind of a tricky thing. Of course, making rules is one thing; however, trying to follow them without being a damper is another whole story. You’re throwing the party of the century, and, understandably, want it to be the greatest event that your guests have ever attended, but you don’t want to make a giant announcement of the dos and don’ts of the venue and kill the entire vibe.  So, even though you’ve studied the rules inside and out and are following them to the T, how do you make your guests do the same? Well, luckily for you, we have already thought of four ways to (sneakily) get your guests to follow the rules, without becoming a dictator of the entire evening. Read More