{Bespoken Bride} Meet Candace

Candace and Josh | Greenville SC Engagement | Bespoken

Several months ago, I met Candace and Josh to talk about their upcoming wedding and what they were looking for in a wedding planner. I loved chatting with them, and am excited for their November wedding! I asked Candace to answer a few questions so you can get to know her a little better :)

Your love's name: Josh Pitts

How did you two meet? How long have you known each other? We met through a mutual friend over 7 years ago.

Where do guys like to go on your dates? We like to go eat of course and see movies!

What is your favorite restaurant or type of food? We love sushi.

We go together like _______.: peanut butter and jelly

When did you know he was "the one"? Did he know before you knew? I knew he was the one when he stuck with me through the good and bad times we've had. I think I knew before he did, but he does take a while to make up his mind on things lol

How did he propose? Were you surprised? It was our last day in Cancun last year, and we took a walk around the beaches. He asked someone to take a photo of us by a palm tree, and then he got down on his knee and asked! After many tears and OMGs, I said yes!

Candace and Josh | Greenville SC Engagement | Bespoken

When and where are you two getting married? What made you decide to get married here? We are getting married in November in a barn near our home town. We chose November because we both love the fall season. I wanted a rustic type wedding, and the barn was a perfect place for such a wedding.

What colors are you using for your wedding? Chocolate, burnt orange, white and yellow.

Describe your wedding in three words. Best Day Ever!!

How would you describe the style of your wedding? rustic chic

What are your top 3 must-haves for your wedding? Good entertainment, good food, and dancing with my love

What is your favorite wedding blog or magazine? The Knot

Candace and Josh | Greenville SC Engagement | Bespoken

What have you loved most about planning your wedding? I have loved seeing all the dresses and colors come together. I have also loved the showers that we've had because it has been such a great opportunity to get closer to each other's families and friends.

Are you guys going on a honeymoon? Where? Why did you choose this location? What are you going to do? Yes, we are going about 2 weeks after the wedding. We are doing 5 days in S. New Zealand and 3 days in Fiji. New Zealand will give Josh his adventure that he seeks, and Fiji will give me my relaxation that I seek. Win Win!

What are you most excited about in your marriage? Growing a family with my best friend.

If you could give any future bride one piece of advice, what would you tell her? Breathe! Let others help and don't try to take everything upon yourself. Enjoy the time you have planning the wedding.

Wedding Room Block Advice

Another question many of my brides ask me quite often is regarding their hotel room block for their wedding. Should you have one? What's the process in securing one? Do you need to secure a room block at more than one hotel? This whole process can definitely be a headache, but hopefully with the advice below, some of that will be alleviated for you.

Should you get a hotel room block?

Yes. If you have any number of guests coming to your wedding from out-of-town, it is customary and a nice gesture to secure a hotel room block. This will ensure a discounted price for your guests, who are likely already spending a good chunk of money to attend. By having everyone at the same hotel, it also helps simplify logistics if you are going to arrange for transportation.

How do I secure a room block?

The easiest thing to do is hire a travel agent or add it on as an a la carte service from Bespoken. If you'd rather secure the room blocks on your own, here are some steps to take.

First, choose a few hotels and call around to get quotes. Try to choose hotels that are close to your Reception venue. When you call, make sure you give them any details or requests, such as dropping off Welcome Bags to hand out to your guests. You're going to want to book room blocks at 2-3 hotels, and I highly suggest they be at different price points to accommodate a variety of budgets. You're going to want to book a smaller number of rooms first; you can always add more later, but by reserving a small number upfront, you won't be held responsible for any rooms that are not reserved.

Each hotel is going to give you a contract. Be sure to read each contract carefully. Two common terms to be aware of:

  • Allowable Shrinkage Clause:  This is the percentage of rooms that are allowed to go unbooked. You want to aim for 10-20%.
  • Attrition Rate:  This is the percentage of rooms that must be reserved in order to avoid you paying a penalty fee. You want to aim for 80-90%.

How do I let guests know about my room block?

I suggest putting this info on your wedding website. You may also include it on a "Details" card in your wedding invitations.

Wedding hotel room blocks can be exhausting and confusing, so be sure to do your research or hire someone to take care of it for you!

Wedding Stationery Timeline

Photo:  Angela Zion Photography | Invitations:  Fat Cat Paperie

Photo:  Angela Zion Photography | Invitations:  Fat Cat Paperie

One of the things I get asked most often is, "When do I need to send out my Save the Dates?" and "When do I need to send out my wedding invitations?" So...to help all of you...today, I'm giving you the stationery timeline and tips I give to all Bespoken Brides:

Save the Dates:

  • These are sent 6-8 months before the wedding, but can be mailed up to a year in advance.
  • Include: the Date, Venue, City, and Wedding Website URL
  • Extra Touch:  Send a Save the Date to all of your booked vendors! We LOVE getting these!
Photo:  Ryan & Alyssa Photography | Invitations: Shasta Bell

Photo:  Ryan & Alyssa Photography | Invitations: Shasta Bell

Invitations:

  • Order them 4-6 months before the wedding. Order 10-25 more than you think you'll actually need. Trust me :)
  • Send them 6-8 weeks before your wedding.
  • Be sure to include RSVP cards with self-addressed stamped envelopes.
  • If you will have out-of-town guests, it's thoughtful to include a "Details" card with accommodation info and your wedding website URL.
  • Extra Touch:  Send an invitation to all of your booked vendors! We LOVE getting these, too!
  • Bonus:  Save at least one full invitation suite for your photographer to photograph on the day of your wedding.

Thank You Cards:

  • For gifts you receive BEFORE the wedding, send thank you cards within 2 weeks.
  • For gifts you receive AFTER the wedding, send thank you cards within 4 weeks.

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations:

  • Send these 1 month prior to the wedding, but you can also send them with the wedding invitations.

Menu and Programs:

  • Order these 1 month before the wedding.

There you go! 

{Bespoken Bride} Meet Sarah

Happy Monday, friends! I'm excited to introduce you to another Bespoken Bride today! When Sarah first inquired about hiring Bespoken to plan and coordinate her wedding, I was super excited to meet her. I could tell she was sweet, and yet had spunk. We met at Larkin's and hit it off...I mean, she also wishes she were a mermaid, just like me ;) 

Your love's name: Clay 

How did you two meet? How long have you known each other? We met on Tinder, and we've been together for about two and a half years.

Where do guys like to go on your dates? Our first date was at Coffee Underground, so we like to revisit that when we're back in Greenville. We also love Willy Taco, Nose Dive, Borderlands and Tangled Web (comic book/gaming shops), movies at NGC Theater, and anywhere we can take our pup Charlie.

What is your favorite restaurant or type of food? The original Willy Taco in Spartanburg!

We go together like _______.: Mickey and Minnie

When did you know he was "the one"? Did he know before you knew? I knew on our fourth date, when he told me he had never seen Mulan but knew all the songs because he had listened to the Disney station on Pandora a lot. He then proceeded to sing "I'll Make a Man Out of You" perfectly, doing the characters' voices and everything. Who could resist that?!

How did he propose? Were you surprised? We are an egalitarian couple and decided to propose to each other. We picked a date in advance, bought engagement jewelry for each other, and planned ways to surprise each other. For Clay's half of the day, he recreated our first date and had Coffee Underground create a gluten free version of the dessert we had on our first date (I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance about a year into our relationship and thought I'd never be able to have this again). For my half, we went to the Greenville Zoo and took a backstage tour where we were able to hand feed the red pandas (Clay's favorite zoo animal).

When and where are you two getting married? What made you decide to get married here? We're getting married at our church, Hub City Church in Spartanburg. We decided to get married here because we have a personal and spiritual connection to the space and because we were given much more control over our day than we could have had at a traditional venue.

What colors are you using for your wedding? Literally every color.

Describe your wedding in three words. Offbeat, personal, and FUN

How would you describe the style of your wedding? We're taking a lot of inspiration from the movie Up, so we'll have lots of bright colors and a general "vintage travel/adventure" theme.

What are your top 3 must-haves for your wedding? Clay, the dress, the cake.

What is your favorite wedding blog or magazine? A Practical Wedding

What have you loved most about planning your wedding? I'm big on spreadsheets and crafting, and I've had a ton of both over the last few months.

Are you guys going on a honeymoon? Where? Why did you choose this location? What are you going to do? We're going on a 7-night Disney cruise to the Western Caribbean with stops in Jamaica, Mexico, and Castaway Cay (Disney's private island).

What are you most excited about in your marriage? Hanging out with my favorite weirdo every day forever.

If you could give any future bride one piece of advice, what would you tell her? At the end of the day, it's about you and your partner. That's what everyone is showing up for, not for the linens or the specialty cocktails or the hand-made favors. Do something that reflects you as a couple and your guests will love it because they love the two of you. Don't drive yourself crazy on details nobody will notice or spend a crazy amount of money on something because it's trendy or expected.

How to Make Sure You Have Time Alone During Your Wedding

I meet so many brides who tell me that they keep hearing from their friends who've gotten married that they won't have much time to spend with their groom. That they won't have much time to take a step back, breathe, and just enjoy a moment together...relishing in the fact that they just got married.

A wedding is meant to celebrate the marriage of two people, and yet weddings can be all sorts of emotions. Intense...exciting...overwhelming...emotional. It can go by in a blur, so fast that you look back at the end of the night, and think, "Did I even really get to see my new husband/wife?"

So how do two people who just want to soak it all in for a moment find a way to sneak off?

Here are 5 ideas and ways for you to make sure you have time alone during your wedding:

  1. Head to a separate room (or rooftop like Ryan & Jenny did).
  2. Do a First Look.
  3. Sneak away in a private room to sign your marriage license after the ceremony.
  4. If your wedding is at two separate venues, book a car for two, and take a ride around town before heading to the Reception.
  5. Eat dinner at a sweetheart table.

Be intentional about setting some time aside to spend with your new husband, even if it's just for 5-10 minutes. This day is about you. Your guests will be fine. I just don't recommend being gone for more than 20-30 minutes :)