Once a soon-to-be bride gets engaged, there’s always the moment after where they think “now what?” Wedding planning can appear stressful because unfortunately, the engagement ring doesn’t come with a set of instructions, but that’s no reason to spin into a state of chaos! While everyone’s styles and preferences are different, we’ve come up with a 5-step guide for all of you blushing bride’s out there that most of our past brides have typically follow here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
1. Set a budget
For obvious reasons, setting a budget is at the top of the list. While you don’t have to immediately sit down and crunch numbers right after you say “YES”, you should create a general budget before beginning the planning process so you don’t end up overwhelmed down the road. Some important questions to ask here are: “Are you paying for the wedding?”, “Are your parents or grandparents planning on contributing?”, “How much are they willing to help?”, “Are you comfortable with the budget amount?”
2. Create a Guest List Guideline
After setting the purse guidelines, you will then move on to the guest list. Start by sitting down with your fiancé and creating your personal guest list of all the close friends you would like to invite, and asking your parents to create a list of the family and family-friends who they would like to invite (especially if they are footing the bill!). Now don’t freak out, this first total is probably going to be a big one, it’s necessary though so you can then take a step back and ask yourself “Should I really invite my old college roommate who I haven’t talked to in a few years?”. From there, you will chisel away at the guest list until you arrive at a number you are comfortable with, and then you are ready to begin the fun stuff!
3. Go Venue Shopping
Now that you have a good estimate on your guest list, you will then move on to venue shopping. It’s important to have a good grasp on your guest head count because this will be vital to choosing your venue to ensure everyone has a seat! Here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, we have several venue settings that range in size and are all perfect for ceremonies and receptions. Whether it’s an elegant garden setting, a sun-set background, sand between your toes, a jaw-dropping entrance or a charming chapel ceremony, we have it all!
Our largest setting for up to 300 people is the Morgan Center, featuring an outdoor terrace, deluxe lawn, a mezzanine and a large main floor complete with skylights and romantically draped fabric. The Morgan Center Lawn is perfect for a blissful outdoor ceremony as the trellises and surrounding greenery creates an intimate feel, or inside the main hall is a grand staircase that will be aglow with lights for a dramatic entrance as the bride can walk down the stairs to the aisle. What is truly wonderful about the Morgan Center is that it can house your entire wedding event from the ceremony to the reception.
Following the Morgan Center in size is Crane Cottage, a grand, Italian Renaissance-style cottage featuring a formal Sunken Garden with fountains and an upper terrace, a fountained Courtyard with an arcaded loggia, a Reflecting Pool Lawn, an elegant Living Room complete with fireplaces and a cozy library. Crane’s garden is the perfect setting with its lush trellises for wedding ceremonies up to 250 people, followed by the Reception of up to 130 guests in the Courtyard underneath the loggia. Worried your group won’t fit in the Courtyard? With the add-on of a tent outside the Courtyard, an additional 170 guests can be accommodated.
Our third and final setting that offers the ability to have all wedding events in one location is the Riverfront Lawn. With some of the best sunset and river views, along with a beautiful canopy of ancient oaks providing a sensational open-air setting, the Riverfront Lawn is a storybook location to fill all of your wildest dreams. Have a ceremony underneath the oak tree with your reception follow either out on the lawn as well or indoors, where the Club Ballroom would be a perfect fit!
If you are searching for a setting that offers a mix between indoor and outdoor setting with added privacy and true southern touches, then Cherokee is the setting for you! Constructed in 1904, the stand-alone cottage encompasses a southern-style front Veranda, three arched, double front doors that welcome guests into a light, spacious great room that is great for an indoor/outdoor reception, and its ten accommodations express a life of elegant leisure. With the ability to hold events up to 50 people, Cherokee is the perfect setting if a more intimate vibe is what you seek.
Here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, not only can you have riverside ceremonies, but you can also say I-do with a sea breeze in your veil! The Hotel’s Beach Pavilion, located along Jekyll Island’s pristine beaches, is a spacious open-air structure accommodating up to 70 guests–the perfect seaside setting for outdoor wedding events or rehearsal dinners. Sandy toes and salty kisses are the perfect duo for a blissful ceremony!
Boasting historic charisma and elegance, the Club Ballroom is conveniently connected to the Clubhouse and just a few steps away from ceremony locations, making it the perfect setting for your desire to have your ceremony and reception in two different locations. Being able to accommodate up to 100 people for a reception filled with food, libations and dancing, guests will be able to mingle inside and out as the four sets of double doors open onto the Veranda, overlooking the moonlight sky and the Annex Courtyard.
Another great option for having an indoor reception, or even intimate ceremonies as well, is our historical Hall of Mirrors. Smaller, more intimate weddings are sensational in any of the private banquet rooms that flank the Hotel’s historic Hall of Mirrors: The Pulitzer, Federal Reserve, Aldrich, and Alexander rooms. All have 12-foot ceilings, natural light and a charming fireplace, and can accommodate up to 15-30 guests each. What makes the Hall of Mirrors so special, besides all of the rich historic background, is that they can easily be combined for larger groups up to 100.
A great nod towards a more traditional ceremony, Faith Chapel is centrally located in the historic district just next to Cherokee and Crane Cottage. With decorative elements derived from the Gothic style, and a beautiful signed stained glass window of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Faith Chapel is a great ceremony venue setting for up to 100 guests. The chapel is managed by the Historic Museum and makes the perfect background for an intimate chapel ceremony.
4. Set the Date
Once you have found your dream wedding venue, it’s time to pick a date! We suggest picking the venue before the date because if you only have one specific date when looking at different settings, you will be limiting yourself! The first few months out of the year is the biggest wedding booking season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still plan a 2015 wedding! We still have availability at select settings all throughout the year, and there are even still a few discount wedding weekends up for grabs! Finding a date that works not only for you and your fiancé, but also for the majority of those important guests you would like to attend, will help save some stress later so things like work, school and travel conflicts don’t arise.
Spectacular Wedding Special Weekends 2015
|Spectacular Wedding Special Weekends 2015
|All Weekends in January
|February 27-March 1
5. Leave the Planning to Us!
Once you have selected your venue, chosen your date and dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s on the contract, your personal Catering Manager will reach out to you to begin the process of forming all of your wedding’s details. Select any of our wedding packages for wedding planning made simple, or chose to customize your wedding with the help of your Sales and Catering Managers. Either way, our staff is here to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch and with as little stress as possible. Our Sales and Catering Managers are also available for support on your special day as a full-on Wedding Coordinator to double check everything is how you pictured it would be, or book a one of our packages that includes one of our Wedding Coordinators!
Leave the wedding planning and coordination up to the professionals and enjoy this treasured time in your life, instead of spinning into a wedding spiral!
Give our lovely girls in the Sales and Catering Department a call today at 912-635-5170 and start planning your dream come true!