“Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds” – Shakespeare

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is definitely in the air! This year, there is also the added bonus that Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday which creates the perfect opportunity to really plan something unique and special!

Like the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Valentine’s Day has a very historic background. While the exact details of how Valentine’s Day came about, it is assumed that this day filled with love was inspired by a church martyr, Saint Valentine, who officiated Christian marriages in secret after Emperor Claudis II banned marriages amongst young people, believing that wifeless soldiers fought harder in war than those married. Valentine so strongly believed in the God-given right of marriage, and it was later because of this belief and his secret officiant actions that he lost his life to his fight for “love for love”.

At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I officially declared February 14th to be St. Valentine’s Day, and now here we are!

Continuing on with the historic sentiment of “love for love,” what better way to honor this exceptional day than with an elopement or renewal of vows ceremony? While some might call Valentine’s Day cliché, we beg to differ. A national day that was created to celebrate the historic actions of a martyr who believed in love, without whom we have no idea where the act of marriage would now be, is not cliché in any shape or form, but instead a great testament to the marriage you hope to have for the years to come.

So this year, let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day in historic proportions and honor Saint Valentine with the main thing he fought for, marriage.

A ceremony underneath the Spanish moss dripped live oaks, amongst the salty air and sandy ground or along the river as the sun slowly melts away will be nothing less than a romantic moment that you and your valentine will remember forever.

Call Cricket Elrod in our Sales and Catering Department today at 912-635-5129 and create your best Valentine’s Day yet!

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100th Anniversary of the First Transcontinental Telephone Call

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Tomorrow, January 25th, marks the 100th anniversary of the very first transcontinental telephone call, and the Jekyll Island Club Hotel had its own part of this historic event.

The famous four-way call that transpired around 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on January 25, 1915, was hailed as a technological triumph of monumental proportions, as instantaneous, coast-to-coast conversations became possible for the first time. On the line was U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, in Washington D.C.; scientist and telephone inventor Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, in New York; and Bell’s eminent assistant, Thomas A. Watson, in San Francisco.

As the greeting, “Hello, Jekyll Island,” reverberated across the phone lines, it was answered from Georgia by American Telephone and Telegraph Company President Theodore Newton Vail, who took part in the pioneering chat as he sat in one of the parlors of the legendary Jekyll Island Club.  The historic call had been intentionally planned to inaugurate the San Francisco World’s Fair, but Vail was stuck at the Jekyll Island Club recuperating from a leg injury.

Here is just a tidbit of the conversation that took place that afternoon…

President Wilson: “Hello, Mr. Vail.”
Vail: “Who is this?”
President Wilson: “This is the President, I am glad to hear your voice. I have just been speaking across the continent this afternoon.”
Vail: “Oh, yes.”
President Wilson: “Before I give up the telephone, I wanted to extend my congratulations to you on the consummation of this remarkable work.”

And the rest is history!

Join in the historic festivities as the Jekyll Island Museum celebrates this historic American event that also became another landmark chapter in Jekyll Island’s storied past. The museum will commemorate the centennial of a momentous scientific achievement that literally echoed from sea to shining sea with a celebration in the Morgan Center featuring a short presentation, a complimentary champagne toast, and the unveiling of a commemorative keepsake.  Coffee and cake also will be served, and with this event being open to the public for free admission, there’s no reason not to bring everyone! The fun begin at 4:00 p.m. – the same hour as the precedent-setting transcontinental telephone call a century earlier.

Want to learn more?  The Jekyll Island Museum recently launched an online exhibit telling the story of the first transcontinental telephone call.  The presentation can be viewed at www.jekyllisland.com.

Cherokee, a Memorable Southern Setting

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At the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, there are several fabulous wedding settings to choose from. If you love the quaintness of Crane Cottage, but maybe have a smaller guest list, then Cherokee is the PERFECT option for you!

Cherokee Cottage, as beautiful as the wild rose for which it was named, is also Italian Renaissance architectural style. 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.
Cherokee might be smaller in size of the two cottages, but the beauty and charm is nothing less than superb. With the ability to hold events up to 50 people, Cherokee is the perfect setting if a more intimate vibe is what you seek. Many brides choose to have their ceremony on the Cherokee Lawn underneath the shade from breathtaking live oak tree, followed by cocktail hour on the drive and the pleasures of dinner, reception and dancing in the Main Hall and on the Veranda.

If you are searching for a setting that offers a mix between indoor and outdoor setting with added privacy and true southern touches, then call our Sales Department today to book a site visit and head over to view this gorgeous venue!

There is still a good mix of availability for wedding weekends here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel for 2015, but we expect fill up soon! Go ahead and secure your perfect wedding weekend while you still have the opportunity! We’d love to be a part of your special day that you will cherish forever.

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Wedding Planning Made Simple: The Club Package

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Leave everything to us for your all inclusive destination wedding here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel!

We at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel understand weddings, and with that knowledge several packages were created to help simplify the wedding planning process. Among those packages is the client-favorite, the Club Wedding Package.

Once you have selected your date, you would then just need to tell us your choices of the available settings, music and food options, and your ceremony and reception will unfold just as you always imagined, from your gorgeous bridal bouquet right down to a handcrafted wedding cake that tastes as good as it looks! With our Club Package, you have the opportunity to put your own touches on everything to make your wedding match you and your future husband’s personalities….all without the headache of trying to do the wedding planning alone!

Our Club Package is best for groups ranging from 31-130 and also includes a Ceremony Director for your rehearsal and on your big day, a big added bonus for ensuring your wedding weekend goes as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

It’s not too late to plan a 2015 wedding here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. With several weekends still available at multiple locations all over our property, there is sure to be a date that fits in your desired time-frame, and maybe even a discounted weekend too!

Spectacular Wedding Special Weekends 2015
All Weekends in January March 13-15 November 20-22
February 6-8 August 7-9 November 27-29
February 20-22 August 14-16 December 11-13
February 27-March 1 August 21-23 December 18-20
March 6-8 August 28-30 December 25-27

 

We’re booking fast though for our 2015 wedding season, so be sure to snag your dream weekend before it’s gone…and ask for the Club Package too of course!

A Wedding Favorite: Crane Cottage

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With the beautiful scenery, twinkling lights and historic charm, it’s no wonder that Crane Cottage is the most popular setting here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Built in 1917, this grand, Italian Renaissance-style cottage, adjacent to the main Hotel, has a formal Sunken Garden with beautiful greenery, sparkling fountains and an upper terrace, a fountained Courtyard with bare-bulb lighting and an arcaded loggia, a Reflecting Pool Lawn, an elegant Living Room complete with two oversized fireplaces and a cozy library.

Crane’s garden is the perfect setting with its lush trellises and tranquil fountains for romantic wedding ceremonies underneath the sun for up to 250 people, followed by the pre-reception gathering filled with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on either the Reflecting Pool Lawn or set inside the Living Room. The evening would then continue into the Courtyard for the reception, which is a great setting if you are looking for a mix of indoor and outdoor. Serve up to 130 guests with either a plated or buffet-style dinner, with dancing and either your band or DJ set in the Living Room.

If you’re having a big wedding or if you are worried your group won’t fit in the Courtyard, don’t fret! With the addition of a tent outside the Courtyard, up to 250 people can be accommodated, so everyone can be invited to share in your special day.

And of course, this is just one of the ways we feel Crane Cottage works best for weddings, but you can always customize your special day how you choose.

But, with all this being said, Crane Cottage only has a select few weekends still remaining in 2015, so you should act quick if your heart is set on this gorgeous, historic cottage. We’d hate for you to miss out on the dream wedding venue you’ve been searching high and low for!

Stayed tuned for more spotlights on our other beautifully unique settings here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel!

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Give our Sales Department a call today at 912-635-5170 to receive more information about your wedding at Crane Cottage.

Top 5 Travel Trends of 2015 at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel

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With the beginning of a new year, new trends pop up everywhere and we are here to talk about the travel and vacation trends that we believe will be all the rage during 2015 from examining the trends we saw rising tremendously by the end of 2014.

Multi-Generation Vacations

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start making more regular calls to the grandparents as it’s now the year of multi-generation travel. We’ve watched as relationships between baby boomers and their grandchildren grow as they share their vacation with their children and grandchildren. We especially love this growing trend because we get to be a part of a memorable family vacation that the grandchildren will remember forever, while also being constantly reminded how Jekyll Island can make a connection to people of all ages. Utilize our Winter Getaway rate to save 25% off your accommodations for the family, or book the Family Beach Getaway package to include items such as beach towels and discounts on babysitting!

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New Year, New You: Health & Wellness

Healthy vacationing has been a growing trend among guests and events here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, and it sounds more fun than you would think! The Jekyll Island is set up perfectly for a health and wellness filled trip with 20 miles of bike paths, paddleboard and kayak rentals, three beautiful golf courses and volleyball nets on the beach, along with handmade salads, an abundance of fresh seafood and fish and much more! To truly capitalize on your health conscious vacation, check out our Yoga Retreat Weekends and the Nature and Outdoor Adventure Weekend package, or book a stay at a discounted rate for the annual Turtle Crawl Triathlon.

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It’s a Food Party!

Food has always been at the heart of travel, but increasingly, travel has now become a way to celebrate cuisine. You could say 2015 is a landmark year in cuisine as the concept of a “formal restaurant” turns 250, beginning way back when in Paris during 1765. In today’s age, the mainstream “foodie” mentality has turned dining into entertainment and a full on celebration, and that’s exactly what our Executive Chef Dale Ford and his culinary team tries to achieve here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. With our monthly Chef Demonstrations, health-conscious Kid’s Cooking Camps, Cooking Schools and handcrafted displays and menus for all events, holidays and even weekly occasions like Sunday Brunch, your taste buds will be jumping for joy during your time here!

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A Vacation for One

While multi-generation vacations are a growing trend of 2015, so is its counterpart, solo traveling. It is said that traveling alone allows a greater sense of self-discovery and allows you to create the exact voyage you seek, and here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, we support this growing trend completely. With our new Solo Traveler Package, you can easily explore all of the beauty and historic charm that Jekyll Island has to offer in as little as three days with our perfectly planned itinerary, or go against the norm and customize your entire trip to fit in what’s most important to you. With breakfast, tickets to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, historic district tour and hotel tour, a bicycle rental, Victorian Tea one lovely afternoon and a picnic lunch to carry with you on your adventures, this Solo Traveler packages packs the punch for highlighting some of the best attributes of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

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Never a Dull Moment

Unplanned vacations are a thing of the past and customized trips are in for 2015. Most family vacations now consist of planned activities, events, and bucket list items as we now like to utilize our vacations, weekend getaways and even business trips as a two-for-one deal. We’ve seen more family vacations here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel consist of attending hotel events like Comedy Night and the Shrimp and Grits Festival, while also hopping on dolphin boat cruises, kayaking the marshes, learning how to paddleboard for the first time, biking around the island instead of driving and having delicious family dinners then watching the sun set together over the river. We’ve also seen business meetings offering planned activities for the attendees like a scavenger hunt, historic tram tours and golf tee times. Your stay here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel can be action packed or full of relaxation, but either way, you have the option to fully customize your stay to include what you desire the most! Plan a trip of a lifetime in 2015 here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and you won’t be disappointed!

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2014 Ended with a Bang!

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The employees of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel got to cut loose December 19th for the annual holiday gathering and end of the year awards. Lunch was served and was made up of delicious treats such as homemade guacamole, pimento cheese, ham salad sliders, mini cheeseburgers, gooey brownies and much more! Once everyone had their fill of all the food they could take, the award banquet began.

Managing Director Kevin Runner presented the Department and Employee of the Year awards for 2014 as well as various other milestone accolades. Before beginning the awards banquet though, all employees were invited to participate in a raffle event put on by the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in efforts to raise money for the Salvation Army Food Bank. Various hotel vouchers around the Southeast were raffled off and the hotel is very excited to have raised $1,000 for this great cause!

Every year, several department heads and managers nominate employees who exemplify an all-star worker with great work ethic. Among those nominated, Runner draws one at random. This year’s Employee of the Year was presented to Gabriella Feher, a Courtyard at Crane Server. Gabriella was very honored to be named Employee of the Year and stated, “I’m very honored to be named Employee of the Year for 2014. I have greatly enjoyed working for the Club Hotel over the past years, and hope to continue doing what I love for a very long time.” As Employee of the Year Feher receives an engraved plaque, $500, complimentary meals for one year and a dedicated parking space at the hotel.

The Department of the Year award was given to…..the Club Café staff! The Club Café was chosen as the 2014 Department of the Year for their tremendous hard work, increased sales of over $100,000, and spike in positive reviews all year round. Club Café employees include: Alan Cate, Jasmine Colbert, Ashley Currie, Carolyn Fair, Robert Hodges, Cooper Hope, Allyson Smith, Arrin Smith, Alisha Szucs and Ashley Wolfe.

Several employees were also awarded for their yearly dedication to the hotel. Sterling silver gemstone award rings were given to Lynn Lee, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage, and Glen Fye, Purchasing Manager, both of whom celebrated 25 years of service to the hotel. The Fifteen Year Awards were presented to: Sherri Zacher, Coincerge; Jenny Lane, Front Desk, Martin Heys, Banquet Chef; José Ruiz, Bellstand; and Katha Tovey, Director of Reservations.

The Ten Year Awards were presented to: Heather Redick, Gift Shop; Gail Rumble, Concierge; Melissa MacBride, Front Desk, Mike Ross, Event Manager; and Carmen Brown, Club Café. The Five Year Awards were presented to: Ray Smith, Maintenance; Lisa Pritchard, Server; Alan Cate, Club Café Manager; and Ashley Hartenstein, Chef Garde Manger.

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel would like to thank all employees for contributing to the success of the hotel in 2014 and making it one of the best yet!

National Bird Day

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Today, January 5th, is National Bird Day and Jekyll Island is full of unique bird species and birding activities to suit any bird lover’s fancy! With different special species like the black skimmer, bald eagle, marbled godwit, white ibis and south polar skua, along with various types of shorebirds, wading birds and much more, you are sure to see something spectacular all throughout the year!

The Golden Isles comprise a vast network of rivers, marshes and barrier islands that provide habitats for hundreds of species of birds. More than 300 species of birds have been spotted along the Coastal Birding Trail, of which locations in the Golden Isles are a part of. The area’s importance as a birding destination has been underscored by the Georgia Audubon Society, which has designated two important birding areas in the Golden Isles: Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. The birds you see will depend on when and where you visit, as some birds can be seen year round while others are migratory and can be seen only during migration periods, generally in the spring and fall.

With a visit to the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, you will be rewarded with sightings of interesting and unusual birds, along with discovering different species with each visit and the chance to experience a new wildlife adventure! With there being several nature tours offered by the Jekyll Island Authority, along with access to bike rentals through the hotel, you have a variety of options for your next birding escapade!

Book our Nature and Outdoor Adventure Weekend package to participate in a birding excursion this summer, or simply customize your own trip and make it your very own birding adventure!

Our Winter Solstice Contest Winner is…Shelley Rish!

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Here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, we believe those who brighten other people’s lives with kindness, grace and going above and beyond their call of duty should be celebrated. This winter, we hosted our Winter Solstice Contest where we asked the community to nominate those special people who brighten up their winter. After much deliberation and reading, the selection committee selected Shelley Rish as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s 2014 Winter Solstice Contest winner!

Shelley was nominated by her husband, Luke Rish, in a heartfelt submission detailing her work as a special needs teacher. Here’s just a small snippet of Luke’s submissions:

“Shelley often works 12 hours days, spends her own money and braves the stress that teachers go through. Shelley has made a difference in her students life’s by writing grants to get iPads to allow nonverbal students to communicate, leading dance sessions with the kids confined to wheel chairs, taking the kids to special Olympics, taking the kids swimming and developing customized lesson plans.”

Upon learning that she had won our Winter Solstice Contest, Shelley was very surprised and could not believe her husband had nominated her. “It was such a wonderful surprise. He is the sweetest person I know,” said Shelley.

Before becoming a special education teacher, Shelley was actually in the recreation field and was in charge of children and family activities. One of her teenage students had down syndrome and as she was helping him one day, she said she felt a connection. “We really connected on a certain activity he was struggling with and he said I am a wonderful teacher. This one small moment in time made me change my whole career path.” After three years of thinking about this moment on and off, Shelley decided to go back and get her graduate certificate in teaching.

Shelley is a 3rd through 5th grade teacher at Metro School in Charlotte, NC, a school strictly for those with disabilities. “My students are what I love most about my job,” said Shelley. “My students are nonverbal but communicate through body gestures just like you and I do. My students laugh, smile and cry. I wouldn’t be a teacher if it were not for them. They are my reason for waking up and looking forward to my day. Every day is different and that is what makes teaching so fun and exciting.”

Shelley and her husband first visited Jekyll Island on their honeymoon as a surprise planned by Luke, yet again. Luke had driven around the island with his parents as a teenage and the memory had always stayed with him, so he decided to use their honeymoon as the perfect opportunity to finally stay at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and to make new memories with his new wife.

Shelley elaborated, “Luke made reservations the day before we returned and kept the grandeur of the club as a surprise.  We fell in love with the island and we actually call it “our island”.”

When asked what Shelley is looking forward too about their next trip to Jekyll Island, relaxing was the first word to come to mind. “I am looking forward to relaxing among the beautiful and elegant atmosphere of the club hotel. Luke and I enjoy sitting in the courtyard as well as the benches overlooking the water,” said Shelley. Well, we hope Shelley and Luke get to do just that!

Congratulations Shelley!

We also want to say a special thank you to all who participated and to say how much we enjoy reading all of the touching stories. We hope your winter continues to be brightened by those loved ones around you!

Do you know a special volunteer who deserves a vacation, or maybe a hardworking women who has earned a relaxing weekend? Check out our National Women’s Day and Spring into Spring contests to nominate those who truly deserve to be recognized!

Top 10 Wedding Trends of 2014 at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel

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With 2014 coming to a close, we couldn’t help but become a little nostalgic about all of the fun and fabulous weddings this year at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. All of the weddings this year were so different and truly brought in such a variety of personal touches and unique elements that we decided to combine them all into our top 10 wedding trends of 2014 that we saw at the hotel.

10. So Long, Farewell!

Several weddings this year ended their wedding weekend by making sure that their guests left the hotel with a full stomach for whatever travels they had. An early Sunday breakfast or late brunch offer the happily married couple the chance to say their formal goodbye to their guests and can also serve as a great “thanks for coming” or wedding favor to the guests. Plan the meal as drop-in style so your wedding guests can easily stop by before hitting the road!  Our catering managers can easily customize your selections to include sweet hand-held pastries to fresh omelet stations to create the perfect combination!

9. Fancy Feet

In 2014, we saw a lot of couples adding a personal touch to their wedding via footwear and we thought it gave the wedding the perfect cherry on top! For beach weddings, some brides wore barefoot sandals that added a little bling, and with garden weddings, brides switched it up with Chuck Taylors and Toms for a more casual, yet personal, option.  Wedding footwear was all about style combined with practicality this year!

8. Classic, Casual Elegance

A lot of the weddings this year at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel mixed classical elegance settings like the Crane Garden with more rustic décor such as our handcrafted farm tables and plantation bars to create a winning combination that was all the rage of 2014. For some of our casual weddings, the farm tables even added a nice stylish touch with little effort involved on the wedding planning part! Set among the oak trees, the plantation bars and farm tables will truly give your wedding that southern, rustic touch!

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7. Wedding Weekend Extravaganza!

One of our wedding directors had a couple that wanted to offer their guests a weekend full of fun and activities. The wedding weekend was filled with group meals, bike rides, croquet on the lawn, and cocktails together while watching the sun set. We loved the trend of seeing the wedding couple and their guests get to justly enjoy their time on the island and really enjoy each other’s company.

6. Bridesmaid Envy

Fashion and attire are always big trends at weddings that alter every year, but in 2014 we saw a growing trend that we loved. Instead of the bridesmaids all wearing the exact same dress, several bride’s had their girls wearing different colors and styles of dresses without it looking like a hot mess express! By picking a few colors and styles for your girls to choose from, it allows them to be more comfortable on your wedding day and to wear what makes them feel beautiful!

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5. For the Food Lover

The pre-reception is typically the time where the couple goes off to take their wedding portraits after the ceremony, but you still have to have something for your guests to do in the meantime. Having passed hors d’oeuvres as your guests arrive from the ceremony was a great trend we saw this year that provided a perfect transition. Having the option of hors d’oeuvres will cure any of those snack attacks any guests have and will comfortably hold people over until dinner is served. It’s also a great option to showcase any exotic food tastes that the couple has and giving the guests the option of trying something new!

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4. Touching Moments

There were more special wedding moments this year than we could count, but one stuck out a bit as a great way to thank your loved ones in a special way. A bride this year wanted to honor the special women in her life, so after she walked into the ceremony before holding hands with her groom, she took a single white rose to her mom and also to her sister who her maid of honor and simply said “thank you”.  It was touching to watch and gave the ceremony an added special moment in an unexpected way. Moments like these are timeless trends that we hope to continue to witness.

3. Warm Welcome

Nothing kicked off the wedding weekends here this year like the personalized welcome bags! Instead of having to deal with the fuss of it all, your catering manager can easily put together a wonderful welcome bag or basket filled with local treats and maps to make your destination wedding have that special touch for your guests. It also was a great way that the couple said thank you to their guests for coming to take part of their special day.

2. Friendly Competitive Fun

In the wedding crowds, there are always a handful of people who aren’t the dancing type and often look unenthused during the pre-reception and reception. This year, bride’s fixed that problem by providing fun lawn games like corn hole, jenga and croquet for their guests to enjoy. It also proved a great way to have the guests mix and mingle with one another instead of sticking to their usual cliques. We hope lawn games are a trend that will continue into the New Year because some of the most fun weddings hosted this year at the club had them!

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1. Floral Frenzy

One of the biggest trends we saw this year was in the floral industry as Bride’s used nontraditional flowers in nontraditional colors, and also used non-flower items as well in their centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres and ceremony arrangements. We saw ranunculus flowers in a bright orange used, which are perfect for fall, and other items like lavender, hops and seashells gave the bouquets a very unique touch. We even saw the trend of cotton and wheat stalks used in place of the traditional rose boutonnieres. Think outside of the box when it comes to flowers and you could become the next trendsetter for 2015!

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What other trends did you see this year that you loved? We’d love to hear about them! Our sales department is always looking for the next best thing to make your wedding perfect here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel!

And that’s a wrap for 2014!