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Friday, June 10, 2011

An Interview with "Special Moments Caribbean": The Newest Event Planning Business to emerge in Sunny St. Lucia!

In this blog post, Yvonne's Invitations & Favors has the pleasure of interviewing Thia Harvey, owner of Special Moments Caribbean, a fresh new Destination Wedding event planning business located in the beautiful sunny St. Lucia! Special Moments Caribbean is one of Yvonne's latest vendors to join Yvonne's preferred "Vendor Community".

Yvonne's Invitations & Favors is proud to partner with Special Moments Caribbean in providing couples with personalized service in their selection of invitations, favors, save the dates & more for their destination wedding.

YIF: Thia, please explain to my readers what you do and what Special Moments Caribbean is all about.
SMC: Special Moments Caribbean is a newly opened Destination Wedding Planning business located in Saint Lucia. We offer customized experiences for our couples! We will work with them on providing a full range of services including accommodation suggestions, airport transfers, tours, detailed planning, design, coordination and execution of all wedding events.

"Island Adventure" Invitation by Yvonne
Great for destination weddings or summer
fun, this sandal-shaped invitation is
accented with tropical flora and stripes.
Click Here To Shop
YIF: Where did your inspiration come from on starting your own event company?
SMC: I have worked in the event planning industry for approximately 15 years, at various levels. Weddings have always been the most exciting to me. It’s one of the most important days in a couple’s life where they should be able to focus on, and enjoy each other. Being able to make their moments come alive while having them able to enjoy the experience is very satisfying to me. I have worked in a resort setting as well at an event planning, décor and production company which entailed only an aspect of weddings. Then, I realized I wanted to be more involved in the planning of the couple's entire wedding experience and offer additional services to enhance these moments for them and and their guests.
The most notable and most photographed
landmarks in St Lucia are without doubt
the Pitons. The towering twin Volcanoes
of Gros Piton and Petit Piton dominate
the landscape of the west coast of St Lucia.

YIF: Please explain what packages you have to offer and/or what is included in a typical "booking"?
SMC: All Special Moments Caribbean packages include all legalities, wedding officiant, witnesses, and basic décor set up for the ceremony. We offer an "Elope Package" which incorporates the entire ceremony with a champagne toast. We also offer two themed packages: The "Creole Theme" for a Saint Lucian-type of set up and a "Sun Sea & Sand Theme" for a more Caribbean-type of set up. Special Moments Caribbean also offers a fully customized package. There are various upgrades and add-ons available with florals, entertainment and photography.

YIF: Are there any other services which you provide?
SMC: Special Moments Caribbean works with various vendors throughout the US and Canada who are able to offer other wedding services such as printing (invitations, save the dates, etc), veils & head pieces, bridal accessories, wedding favors and photography. Yvonne's Invitations & Favors is one particular vendor who offers a great variety of Destination Wedding and Beach-themed Invitations and Favors.

YIF: In your expert advice, what greatest advice would you give people starting to plan a destination wedding?
SMC: Planner! Planner! Planner! Start researching the destination and local planners who are available to help you plan this special day. Local planners have a better idea of what the destination and venue can provide. They will also be able to coordinate with various vendors on your behalf which in itself is one of the most time consuming parts of planning a wedding.
     Timing is also important. Ensure that you give your guests enough notice so they are able to plan financially, as well as apply for time off from work, and make travel and accommodation arrangements.  Also ensure that your dates do not coincide with major holidays or weekends as your friends and family may have plans already. Yvonne's Invitations & Favors suggest sending out Save the Dates four to six months prior to your event. Click Here to view their collection of Save the Date Announcements for your special event.
     Consider the climate. When choosing your destination, be mindful of the climate in respect to the time of year (dry or rainy season), the kind of event you would like, and the type of dress you would like. All very important factors to consider for your wedding event. Also be mindful of guests and advise them on what they should expect.
     Finally, take a trip to the destination to scout out your venues and get a feel for the island, if possible.

YIF: What is the biggest advantage of hiring a professional event planner?

SMC: Although the flash and excitement of impending nuptials can be intoxicating, it can also be overwhelming, especially for a bride choosing to have a Destination Wedding. Special Moments Caribbean always recommends that you contract the services of a reliable and trusted planner who is able to help you make sound decisions while you deal with other details and the emotions related to planning your special day. It is important to have regular consultations with your planner and provide as much information as you can in regards to your specific needs, wishes, style and taste so they can make the best suggestions and sound decisions. Your planner is also able to ensure that you don’t exceed your budget!

Tropical Glass Photo Coaster Favors
Charmingly adorned with enough starfish,
seashell and sand dollar accents
to commemorate your tropical affair!
Click To Shop
YIF: Why is Saint Lucia great for Destination Weddings?
SMC: Saint Lucia is one of the most, if not the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. Known for sun, sand, sea, romance and adventure, Saint Lucia has been awarded the best Honeymoon destination by World Travel Awards eight times! (2002-2004, 2006-2010)
     Saint Lucia offers many beaches with both white sand on northern beaches and black sand on some beaches in the south of the island. There are many activities for couples to take part in whether they are having an elopement or a having guests accompany them. Some of these activities include zip lining, off-roading, waterfall and rivers tours and many others to choose from. There is a wide selection of restaurants with several types of cuisine. Saint Lucia also offers Duty-Free shopping for guests to the island. Throughout Saint Lucia there are many romantic getaways for accommodation and setting up of events. Many of these activities and accommodations were featured in the 14th series of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”   So, why not start the experience from the moment you say “I Do!”

YIF: Describe the most memorable couple or event you've worked with and why?
SMC: The most memorable couple I have worked with is Aylson and Danny. They had planned on getting married in Mexico. However, six weeks prior there was the outbreak of the swine flu and a burst of violence in the area where they were to be married. Alyson and Danny quickly contact the company I worked with at the time. I was able to plan the perfect wedding weekend retreat for them, and their family and friends. The weekend began with an in-room welcome reception on Friday evening, followed by the wedding on Saturday and a beach bonfire after the reception. We took care of arranging several tours including zip lining, snorkeling and several activities around Rodney Bay, the entertainment hub. Everything worked out fantastic for everyone! To this day, I have maintained a friendship with the bride and groom who have expressed their gratitude on every wedding anniversary!

We thank Thia of Special Moments Caribbean for chatting with us and sharing her expertise with our readers!