Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wedding Traditions. Why we do the things we do...

Most of the things we do at weddings come from the days of old, and the reason we do them are very interesting. Lets take a look back into time...

Tossing the Garter: Most think this is something designed to go along with the bouquet toss, or a DJ's way to make fun. This custom actually traces back 500 years ago to an England ritual called "flinging the stocking". Wedding guests would invade the bridal chamber and the women removed the grooms stockings, and the men removed the brides. They all took turns tossing the stocking, and whoever landed the stocking on the the bride or grooms nose would be the next to marry.

The Best Man: Today the Best Man is considered to be the best friend, or cherished family member. In ancient times the groom sometimes had to capture his bride by force. The groom would take along his strongest and most trusted friend to help him fight off the resistance of the brides family. The best man would then escort the groom down the aisle to help defend the bride.

The Bride Standing on the Grooms Left: Because the groom often had to defend the bride she would stand to his left so that his sword arm could be free.

Tiered Cakes: Wedding guests would bring small cakes and stack them on top of each other. Later a french baker created a cake in the shape of the stacked cakes and covered it in frosting, thus became the tiered cake.

Matching Bridesmaids Dresses: In the ancient times the brides friends wore the exact outfit as the bride to confuse evil spirits that wanted to destroy her happiness, and also to prevent the bride from being kidnapped by a rival suitor.

Receiving Line: In the ancient days it was believed that the bride and groom brought good luck to everyone they touched.

Jumping the Broom: Slaves in the United States were not permitted to marry, so they would exhibit their commitment by jumping the broom. Jumping the broom is embedded even farther in African History, its true meaning is the joining of two families, and is a symbol of sweeping away the old, and welcoming the new.

Sharing the first piece of cake: The Romans believed that eating the cake together created a special bond between the two. The wheat used to bake the cake was symbolic of fertility and the cakes sweetness was thought to bring sweetness in life.

Did you know that during the 18th and 19th centuries gloves were the traditional wedding favors for guests?

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Capital Grille

This hot new restaurant is now offering Weddings! Conveniently located in the St. Johns Town Center which offers lodging and shopping for your out of town guests. I toured this restaurant and it is absolutely gorgeous. Space is available to hold both the ceremony and reception as well as an outdoor patio for additional possibilities. The restaurant has a unique charm and offers outstanding table service.
Menu: The Capital Grille’s diverse menu is critically heralded for steaks, dry-aged and hand-carved on premise, fresh seafood selections and Chef’s daily features made with local and artisanal ingredients.

· Signature Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers
· Lobster and Crab Cakes
· Dry Aged Porterhouse Steak
· Porcini Rubbed Delmonico with 12-Year Aged Balsamic
· Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Caramelized Shallot Butter
· Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon
· Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese
· Parmesan Truffle Fries
· Classic Crème Brûlée
Wine: The Capital Grille has an extensive wine list featuring more than 350 New World and Old World selections. An additional Captain’s List includes 150 highly allocated and sought-after wines. Twenty five wines are offered by the glass. Roughly 5,000 bottles are housed by each restaurant in a floor-to-ceiling, temperature-controlled wine kiosk. The Capital Grille also offers brass-plated personal wine lockers for annual lease.

Private Dining: The Capital Grille has three private dining rooms:
· The Wine Room seats 28 guests
· The St. Johns Room seats 20 guests
· The Board Room seats 10 guests
· A Chef’s Table, with a front line view of the open kitchen, can accommodate up to 10 guests
· Café seating for 56 guests

Size: 6,000 square feet; seating for 260 guests

St. John’s Town Center
5197 Big Island Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32246
Phone: (904) 997-9233
Fax: (904) 997-9343

Joe Zacker, General Manager
James O’Donnell, Executive Chef
Kelli Hadd, Sales and Marketing Manager

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Money Saving Myths Exposed

Often when Brides are given advice to cut wedding costs, they are not in the best interest of the total wedding success. This is why I am exposing these myths. Although this is my opinion, I have also personally experienced the after effects of these cost savings. Where do we begin...

Making your own wedding invitations: Oh what a fun project...Not! I have yet to see a good set of homemade invitations. They are usually not aligned perfectly, ink is bleeding, and we don’t want to even go there with the ones that need to be cut by hand. Your invitation is the first detail your guests will see about your wedding. The invitation sets the tone. What are you saying about your wedding with a tacky invitation?
I can use an IPOD instead of a DJ: Wow! IPODS cannot make announcements, read a crowd, nor can they turn themselves on and off. Your entertainment can make or break your reception. Trust me IPOD weddings do not work. Your wedding coordinator (if you hired one) will end up being your DJ/MC and that is just not our expertise and it takes away from the other duties we should be performing. Invest in a good DJ and leave it in their capable hands to make your reception a success.
My friends and family can take my wedding pictures: Just because you went to the local electronic store and brought a good camera, a photographer does not it make. This is your wedding not a birthday party. You went through the expense of a wedding, yet you do not have quality pictures that captured the day. Never skimp on the photography. You want good pictures to show for years and years to come.
You don't need a wedding video: It is true; you can have a wedding without a video, however from experience many brides wish they had had a video. Pictures are wonderful, and a video is a great complement. You can see the actions and hear voices with video. Sometimes we loose love ones, and the videos are good remembrances of them alive and well enjoying themselves at your wedding.
You don't need a wedding coordinator your venue has onsite coordinating: A wedding coordinator is your personal representative looking out for your best interest, not the interest of the venue. I have yet to see a venue coordinator accompany a bride to the gown shop or help with invitations. A wedding coordinator can offer A to Z assistance in planning and coordinating your event. Having your own personal consultant allows the onsite coordinator to focus on the venue specific duties that make your wedding flow. Even if you hire the best vendors in town you still need someone to pull it all together. The best team needs a coach.
Some true ways to cut costs are as follows:
Champagne Toast: Guests can toast with the drink they are holding. Often champagne is sipped for the toast and the rest is left sitting on the table.
Fruit and Cheese Platter: Who remembers the fruit and cheese? Your guests will remember your wedding in total chaos because your IPOD was not a hit, and you didn't hire a wedding coordinator to attend to the details.
Extra magnets and printed favors. One favor will do just fine. And choose a favor that will not be left sitting on the tables after all guest have departed.
Seasonally available flowers: Consult with your florist to get the same looks with less expensive, in season blooms.
That’s my two cents worth for the day. Remember when saving money consider all consequences.