Courtesy of Peyton Wright
Celebrity blogger Peyton Wright is best known for her 2007 stint on the “Bachelor” where she vied for Andy Baldwin’s heart.
Four years later, she is engaged to “Bachelorette” runner-up Chris Lambton and in the midst of planning a beach wedding in Charleston, South Carolina.
In her latest blog, Peyton talks about how she and Chris picked their wedding venue and important questions to consider before touring locations.
Plus, get Peyton’s advice on working with an on-site wedding coordinator and why it made selecting vendors so much easier.
Selecting a Location-Vendors, Vendors, Vendors!
I honestly thought Chris and I would have no problem agreeing on a wedding location. Boy was I wrong! We went back and forth and discussed every possible idea. I grew up in Kingsport, TN, went to college in Knoxville, and currently live in Dallas, TX. Chris has lived in more places than I can list, so you can see our dilemma. After much discussion, we narrowed it down to the beach.
I began searching on TheKnot.com for top destination wedding locations. We don’t have the time or money to go visit multiple locations so thank goodness for the internet! Many people have asked why we didn’t just go with Cape Cod since that is where Chris has spent most of his life and that is where we will be living. After looking at the guest list, we realized we would have people coming from all over the US. It made much more sense to go with a more central location on the East Coast. Also, I am a people pleaser and wanted to make this as simple as possible for all of our friends and family to be able to attend.
I grew up going to South Carolina beaches as a child and Charleston is one of my favorite spots on the planet. So I threw this idea out to Chris and showed him the website for Wild Dunes, a resort on Isle of Palms. This is what I like to call my ‘little piece of heaven.’ It is a beautiful area that is fairly simple for everyone to travel to and it is on the beach. It doesn’t get much better than that! At that point my mind was set that this was our spot, but Chris had never been to the area so he was thinking I was jumping the gun. I just want to get married and he wants it to be on the beach. This isn’t rocket science!
We reached out to the onsite wedding planner, Samantha Martin, after looking through all of the beautiful weddings they have listed on the website. Many of the spaces were new and I had not seen them before. Samantha was wonderful over email and answered any questions I came up with. She had even gotten married on the property, so this was very appealing to me. I had no idea how much goes into planning a wedding and Samantha really helped to guide me. She asked many questions I never even thought of.
Good things to think about before you meet with a potential location vendor are:
1. How many people will be attending your wedding? This doesn’t have to be a finalized list but will be the basis of cost from here on out for rentals, food and the space where the event will be held.
2. Do you want to get married inside or outside?
3. What time of day?
4. What type of food?
5. What type of alcohol?
Wild Dunes is a location that provides on-site catering as well as rentals like tables, chairs and linens. If you are looking into a location where you will need to bring everything in, then I would suggest finding a wedding planner first who can handle this for you. Many brides try to save some money by doing it themselves. I am here to tell you that it is well worth the money to have someone who will recommend vendors and will be there to help you stay on budget. I don’t know the first thing about rental contracts or scheduling set up and take down. I also don’t want to deal with that on the most important day of my life.
Samantha provided me with her list of preferred vendors and from that I was able to choose my florist/event designer, Justin Wham, with JW Events and Weddings in Charleston. She also gave me a wonderful band, Two 3 Ways with Other Brother Entertainment, which will help us party the night away. See how simple that was? I asked for a price range and she gave me names of people she had worked with and who knew the property lay out. Done and done!! All wedding planners and coordinators will have their list of preferred vendors. If you like the wedding planner, then you are more than likely going to like who they recommend. Trust them and try not to stress. As I said before, the internet is a wonderful resource, but you can also get lost searching through the millions of sites that are available. My best resource has been word of mouth and the on-site wedding coordinator. If you are getting married out of town like us, just ask around and people will tell you what’s good. This is a really fun experience and you should have the time of your life planning.
Relax, breath and enjoy!