Archive for November, 2013

Why Choose a Wedding Planner?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Oceanfront wedding venue
An oceanfront reception at The King and Prince Resort, St. Simons Island.

What’s the relevancy of a wedding planner? Are destination weddings easier to plan without a wedding coordinator? Whether you are hiring a wedding planner or not, read on for advice provided by real wedding planners.

What purpose does a wedding planner serve? Many wedding planners offer differ levels of services, depending on the needs of the bride and groom. These can include event design, full service planning, day of event coordination, and a la carte services.

Couples who are too busy or planning a very elaborate affair generally call for the services of a full service wedding planner. This includes hiring vendors, the design of the ceremony and reception space, transportation, and more – the full service wedding planner manages every single detail.

A la carte, event design, and day of event coordination reflect the various phases and responsibilities that a wedding planner provides.

“Everyone can have a wedding at a hotel, but what makes it unique is personalizing it…” says Mindy Weiss, a full service event planner catering to high profile clientele in LA.

How can a wedding planner help with budget? A trusted wedding planner can help you decide what details are a must for your big day and which can be spared to save money. In Martha Stewart Weddings online magazine, wedding designer Pamela Fishman Cianci shares that line items such as a band, flowers, and monogrammed cocktail napkins are not a requirement, but rather an area to cut the budget. Instead, hire a DJ and replace flowers with candles to cut costs!

Should you choose a local wedding planner? When planning a destination wedding, an event planner simplifies the coordination of small and grand details, and a local wedding planner will know the area better than anyone. Wendy Jacobs Hampton of Telluride Soiree advises, “When you work locally, your planner will have key relationships with vendors who will work harder knowing that it is not a one-shot event.” Wedding planners can often negotiate lower prices, which is another bonus to hiring a planner rather than contacting vendors yourself.

TIP: Most destination weddings do not provide wedding planning services, but should be able to accommodate brides and grooms with a list of local vendors. Check with your venue for recommendations!


St. Simons Island Restaurant Guide – Part 1

Friday, November 15th, 2013

St. Simons Island is a food-lovers paradise. From fresh seafood to restaurants using farm-to-table ingredients, you can dine like royalty at many spots on St. Simons Island. Of course, we love ECHO, our own restaurant located here at the resort which features classic coastal cuisine and handcrafted cocktails (and beautiful ocean views!) but we love all of the dining options on St. Simons Island as well! Here are our top restaurant picks (along with some favorite menu items):

Crabdaddys Seafood


1) Crabdaddy’s Seafood– Located just a block from The King and Prince, this island landmark always serves up delicious seafood and great service! Crabdaddy’s is a favorite among resort guests and locals. Staff Pick: Try the Teriyaki Steak & Scallops for their take on “Surf & Turf.”







2) Brogen’s– If you are looking for a fun, casual place to catch the game and grab a bite to eat, Brogen’s is the place to go. They have a great selection of burgers, salads and sandwiches and their menu will not disappoint. Their prime location in the pier village area makes Brogen’s a great location to grab a bite and then do some shopping or people watching. Staff Pick: The Mushroom-Swiss Burger.




Halyards Restaurant St Simons Island

3) Halyards & Tramici– Whether you are in the mood for seafood or rustic Italian cuisine, executive chef and owner Dave Snyder has you covered. Halyards highlights a seasonal dinner menu full of fresh catches that were caught locally earlier that day and farm fresh produce. Tramici serves both lunch and dinner in a fun atmosphere. Enjoy fresh baked bread while you wait for your delectable entrees to arrive and whatever you do, don’t forget dessert! Staff Picks: Halyards- Try a cup of the Creamy Blue Crab Bisque followed by an entrée of Wild Georgia Shrimp with Gayla’s Grits. Tramici- Order a large bowl of P.E.I. Mussels to share and don’t forget about their homemade pizza.



blackwater grill4) Blackwater Grill– Located in Redfern Village on St. Simons Island, Blackwater Grill is a treat for your taste buds with their Cajun and coastal cuisine. Their spicy and savory menu items have kept locals coming back for over 13 years! Staff Pick: Crawfish Etoufee.

Check out Part 2 of our St. Simons Island Restaurant Guide here!


The Hybrid Meetings Trend

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

A hybrid meeting can be defined as a trade show, conference, or other meeting that combines a “live” in-person event with a “virtual” online component. Even though hybrid meetings are gaining in popularity, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) reported last year that “most venues aren’t equipped to accommodate hybrid events.”

Knowing that some venues can be harder to equip for a hybrid meeting, what is the best way to prevent an Internet issue from spoiling your meeting’s agenda?

Hoping an expert could shed light on what is trending in hybrid meetings and whether MPI’s findings remain an accurate assessment, we contacted Vice President of Creative and Chief Storyteller of Plan Your Meetings, Kristi Casey Sanders.

Mrs. Casey Sanders answered seven questions on what’s trending in hybrid meetings, and how to withstand the technical glitches which often plague these events.


Are hybrid meetings a fleeting trend in meeting planning?

Kristi Casey Sanders (KCS): With social media, the recap of the meeting has become just as important if not bigger than the meeting event itself. Hybrid meetings involve more storytelling than before.


Has the hybrid meeting influenced the meeting planning industry’s professional service providers?

KCS: AV technicians have to diversify their services into social concierge services.


What is a common issue for most meeting venues and meeting planners?

KCS: I have had nine shows this year. And, there has been some kind of connectivity issue. Either the hotel is a historical building or the bandwidth is too slow.


How can you determine if a meeting venue has a poor connection?

KCS: There are apps you can use. I use when I check a meeting venue. I’ll run a quick test to evaluate the network speed.


How have you circumnavigated some of these connectivity issues?

KCS:  When I check in, I’ll run a quick test that evening on the network of my mobile devices. I have used my own WI-FI service in a hybrid meeting of 200 attendees.


In your meeting planning RFP for a hybrid meeting, is there anything that you request to assure optimal Internet connectivity?

KCS:  When we put in an order to plan a hybrid meeting, I always request wired Internet.


What are the greatest changes you’ve seen in meeting planning?

KCS:  The speed of technology is dramatically bringing the cost down. Before you had to host the session live, have it uploaded to a satellite feed and coordinate numerous other details. I can go on Goggle Plus to a hangout, broadcast, have it archived and search engine optimized in real time.


Please visit our website for information about meetings and conferences at The King and Prince Resort.

Welcome Wounded Warriors to St. Simons Island

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

American Flag

At 9:30am on Saturday, November 9th, approximately 50 wounded veterans and their families will be driving over the F.J. Torras Causeway to enjoy a day of fun at The McGladrey Classic. Visitors and members of the community are being asked to line the causeway and cheer these heroes on as they drive on to St. Simons Island. Bring flags to wave as they drive by, or make a banner to hold up as we welcome them to our community for their special day.

If you are an active duty service member or veteran and are interested in attending the tournament at a discounted rate, visit the McGladrey Classic website for more information.

5 Tips to Balance the Wedding Guest List with the Wedding Budget

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Wedding guest list how to
How to build the perfect wedding guest list!

The size of the wedding guest list influences a great percentage of the wedding budget. And with the average wedding running upwards of $25,000+, establishing your wedding guest list right away can determine what type of wedding you can afford. Take a look at our 5 tips for managing your guest list!

1. Prior to compiling the wedding guest list, review the wedding reception prices to develop a budget. Make note of the per person rate, along with any extras prices such as chair covers, service charges, and so forth. Most wedding destinations and resorts offer a strolling reception, sit down dinner, and buffet style dinner reception to choose from.

Since the bridesmaids and groomsmen play a definite role in the head count, start with the wedding party. Next, on the wedding guest list, factor immediate family members of both the bride and groom. This includes parents, step-parents, siblings, and grandparents.

2. To deter parents from expanding the wedding guest list, allot each parent a specified number of guests. If you have a large family, discourage parents from inviting distant relatives that you have not been seen in a longtime.

3. On the wedding invitation, be clear about inviting additional guests. Be sure to include spouses and significant others’ names to alleviate confusion on the envelope and wedding invitation.

For example:

Mr. and Ms. Bob Wilson

Ms. Goodsby and Guest

Some wedding planners advise brides and grooms to extend the plus one on the wedding invitation to close acquaintances only.

4. To alleviate the stress involved in finalizing the wedding budget and wedding guest list, set the RSVP deadline to give yourself plenty of time to finalize all of your arrangements. According to The Knot, your RSVP date should be two to three weeks before your wedding date.  But, be sure check with your reception venue first before deciding on your RSVP deadline. Different vendors have different requirements for final head count, usually somewhere between one to three weeks prior to your event.

5. Need an easy way to manage your guest list? Download this free guest list spreadsheet from Microsoft Office to track each guest’s name, address, relationship, shower, ceremony and reception RSVPs, food choice, gifts received, and thank you notes.

Travel & Leisure Names St. Simons Island One of America’s Favorite Towns

Friday, November 1st, 2013
St. Simons Island Lighthouse

The readers of Travel & Leisure Magazine voted St. Simons Island one of America’s favorite towns. The secret about our quaint, coastal community is finally out! Why do you love St. Simons Island?

To read the full article, click on the link.

6 Effective Ways to Take the Monotony Out of the Meeting

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Entertainment is an unspoken aspect in planning an educational conference, business convention or a corporate meeting. While meeting planners have no way of controlling a meeting’s topic, it’s the engagement during the meeting and activities outside of the conference hall that eradicate a monotonous convention. Below are six tips on how to engage your attendees and create a more memorable meeting experience.

1. Change it up.

Switch the presentation style every so often to maintain an engaging momentum for the meeting. Alleviate meeting monotony, striking a balance between the presentation, panel discussions, videos, break outs, audience participation and so forth.

2. Reenact lessons learned.

Break up attendants in groups of four to eight people. Using the topic of the conference, assign each group a medium for reiterating the business meeting’s objective. Have one group develop a case study, another YouTube video, a slide show, and other media to reenact lessons learned from the conference.

3. Separate the meeting from eating.

Although it may seem cost effective to schedule working lunches and dinners, clanking forks and wait staff interactions detract from the business agenda. Effective Meetings recommends scheduling meeting and eating agendas separately. Allow a minimum of 30 minutes for a meal.

4. Move around.

It goes without stating that meeting destinations with a few select attractions ease planning. On St. Simons Island, the

Fort Frederica St. Simons Island
Photo Courtesy of A walking tour at Fort Frederica reveals a historical, awe-inspiring account of the clash between the French and Spanish on St. Simons Island.

lighthouse and Fort Frederica make for a great walking tour. Plus, research has shown that moving around can improve concentration!

Wherever the meeting, design a walking tour with plenty of interesting things to review. Optional: Have the attendees make note of three interesting elements to share with the group upon the return to the meeting. If it’s not too much of a stretch, have guests correlate the walking tour to the theme of the conference or corporate meeting.

5. Culinary speaking.

Plan a dinner with the focus on the region’s culinary traditions. Make the dining experience interactive with a presentation from the hotel or restaurant’s chef, historian or even a local vintner.

6. Unusual engagements.

Plan a memorable activity with the entire group. Try to opt for a unique attraction, such as the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Georgia meeting goers can gain an appreciate for sea turtles, as well as other local wildlife. Depending on the time of year, you might just get to take a walk and look for American alligators! Contact the center for more information on groups and seasonal activities.

A collaborative or individual art experience presents another unforgettable outing for group participation. In close proximity to The King and Prince Resort, the Glynn Art Gallery hosts  group painting events, with the canvas and paint included.