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Savannah, GA Wedding Venues and Events Blog

A brief history of the wedding ceremony

The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton caused us to reflect on what led to the wedding ceremony, why it became what it is today, and how royalty plays into a number of our wedding day plans and ideals of that perfect day.

On February 10, 1840 at Chapel Royal in St. James’ Palace in London, England, the face of wedding ceremonies changed forever.   A number of items we consider important to the “traditional wedding ceremony” started with the marriage of Prince Albert to Queen Victoria.  Although not intending to start an industry trend, their marriage made popular the following items:

diamond engagement rings
white gowns
net veils
ring bearers
flower girls
bridesmaids

The young couple also broke royal custom with their ceremony, being the first marriage to take place during the day – 1:00pm – with the intention of public interest and involvement.  The public gathered to see the royal wedding procession, despite the wet weather, but luckily the rain ended just as the newlyweds left the chapel for Buckingham Palace.

Until their ceremony, most couples merely adorned their Sunday best for their wedding day, but once the world saw Victoria’s incredible white gown and veil, the fashion industry could barely keep up with the demand.  She also wore a veil that covered her face, another tradition that took hold once Victoria was seen in it.

Queen Victoria was amazingly popular already at the age of 20, and her love affair with Prince Albert only solidified her status among the British elite.  Their love story has astonished people for years and continues to be recounted in Hollywood, most recently in the movie “The Young Victoria.”

Victoria broke a number of royal traditions and chose her day to be a celebration of her love for Albert, which is a lesson for today’s engaged couples.  Let your day be a reflection of the two of you, chose your wedding ceremony to be one that showcases your love of one another, and let your friends share in the celebration of your love, and your new life together.

The Mackey House is one of the premier Savannah wedding venues, located just minutes from Downtown. For more information, please visit our Savannah wedding page, as well as join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter

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Planning a Royal Wedding

Much ado is happening right now in London as Westminster Abby prepares to host The Royal Wedding.  There’s so much to do – much like everyone’s wedding – making the guest list, ensuring the reception seating chart, timing everything down to the minute – it really can be a lot for one person to do.

Never fear – while you may not have the number of assistants Prince William and Kate Middleton have – you can have help planning your wedding.

Savannah has a number of incredibly talented wedding planners always ready to assist with any details that you need.  The Mackey House will also work with you to solidify every element of your special day as well.

Just because you’re not marrying into the Royal Family, doesn’t mean you can’t have the day you’ve always dreamed.  Besides, their checklist looks surprisingly familiar:

The Service
The Dress
Bridal Party
Venue
Flowers
Music
The ring
The receptions
Cake
Gift Lists

Sounds like most wedding to-dos, doesn’t.   They’ll have a few more guests than most weddings and ultimately have spent more money, but truly, their list is the same as everyone’s.

The countdown is officially on for Kate and William – their date Friday, April 29th is less than a week away.  At this point, according to most recommendations, you should have the following things to do:

Call guests that haven’t RSVPd
Make final payments
Final gown fitting
Create wedding day schedule
Confirm plans with vendors
Give caterer final head count
Finalize seating arrangements and place cards
Pack for honeymoon

Even if you’re not this far down your check list – breathe – there are plenty of people willing and able to help.  Trust us – we’ve helped a lot of couples with more to do than you have and with less time.  Give us a call, we’ll help get you where you need to be to have the wedding you’ve always wanted.

The Mackey House is one of the premier Savannah wedding venues, located just minutes from Downtown. For more information, please visit our Savannah wedding page, as well as join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter

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To elope? in Savannah, GA

Although once considered an act of rebellion, let a few celebrities get into the act, and it’s now the coolest thing since central air. Eloping has become a new trend in tying-the-knot thanks to celebs like Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr, and Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott — the list goes on.

Some pro-eloping arguments include:

1)      Cost – it is cheaper to have a wedding and reception for a few of your closest friends and family rather than hundreds
2)      Avoiding family conflict – if you have family members, or soon-to-be-in-laws, that don’t get along, this is one way to skirt the issue

3)      Party later – elope now, but plan a BIG party for a vowel renewal at 5 or 10 years1er’s new family is your wedding, you’ll miss this opportunity

The Mackey House would love to help you plan and coordinate your special day.  From eloping to a wedding party of over 200, we will work to make your day the day you’ve always wanted.

The Mackey House is one of the premier Savannah wedding venues, located just minutes from Downtown. For more information, please visit our Savannah wedding page, as well as join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter

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3 fun team building exercises for businesses

We host a number of business events at The Mackey House and we are always happy to pitch in to plan for any occasion.  One of our favorites to help coordinate is Corporate Events with team building exercises.

Businesses large and small throughout the Coastal Empire and Low Country know the importance of keeping a harmonious balance within the workforce – and sometimes that balance needs some assistance.

Below are 3 of our favorite team building exercises that you can do anywhere – or preferably – at an offsite retreat.

1)      Early Bird vs. Second Mouse – taken from Steven Wright’s stand-up quote, “The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese,” this team building exercise highlights a number of different areas.

This is a simple exercise for groups between 8 and 30 people, and involves many different learning elements: understanding strategies, teamwork, presentations, argument, debate, analysis and group decision-making.

Split the group into two teams.

Nominate one team to be ‘early bird’ and the other team to be ‘second mouse’ (or allow the group to decide this themselves, which can be an interesting mini-exercise in its own right).

Give the teams 5-10 minutes, each to develop a presentation as to why their strategy (‘early bird’ or ‘second mouse’) is best for business.

Encourage the teams to make use of the knowledge and abilities and views of all team members in creating their presentations.

After the two presentations chair a 5-10 minute debate between the teams of the question: “Early bird or second mouse: Which is the most effective strategy for business?”

After the debate hold a ‘free’ vote to see what the combined group now believes about the question. Allow but do not encourage abstentions (‘don’t knows’). Encourage group members to vote as individuals, putting their team loyalty to one side.

There are many possible learning areas to review after this exercise, depending on your situation and development purposes,  for example:

different strategies for different situations
adaptability versus consistency
different strategies for different types of people and personalitie
organizational cultures
assembling an argument/case/presentation in a team against a tight deadline
presenting a concise and convincing argument/presentation
constructive debate and discussion – using evidence, examples, structure, passion, etc
how groups consider and decide responsibility of those in authority to assist and enable clear understanding, debate and decision-making

2)      The Paper Tearing Exercise – the idea is to follow directions, but with your eyes closed, anything can happen, and usually does.  Each participant needs only a piece of 8 1/2×11” piece of paper.

Tell the participants the following: “We are going to play a game that will show us some important things about communication. Pick up your sheet of paper and hold it in front of you. Now, close your eyes and follow the directions I will give you—and no peeking! Participants cannot ask questions.

Give the following directions, carrying them out yourself with your own sheet of paper and pausing after each instruction to give the group time to comply:

“The first thing I want you to do is to fold your sheet of paper in half.
Now tear off the upper right-hand corner.
Fold it in half again and tear off the upper left hand corner of the sheet.
Fold it in half again. Now tear off the lower right-hand corner of the sheet.” 

After the tearing is complete, say something like “Now open your eyes, and let’s see what you have. If I did a good job of communicating and you did a good job of listening, all of our sheets should look the same!” Hold your sheet up for them to see. It is highly unlikely any sheet will match yours exactly.

Observe the differences. There will probably be much laughter.  Ask the group why no one’s paper matched yours.  Then, lead into a presentation on the importance of  two-way communication in the workplace.

3)      Letters into words game – giving teamwork a little bit of challenge, each team is measured on the number of words they can make out of randomly selected letters.

Each team will need 3×5 index cards (5 cards per team member) and  pens (one per team member).

Before dividing into groups – have each person write one letter of the alphabet on each given card (letters can be random, but must be kept to themselves). Divide the group into teams of four to ten people.

Once in groups, have each team member put all their cards into a pile.

Set a time limit (five to ten minutes) and challenge the teams to use their cards to make as many words as possible, using each card only once per word. You may give points according to how many words they come up with, extra points for longer words, etc. The team with the most points at the end wins.

Discussion Prompts:
Did the letters you chose hurt or help the group? How did this make you feel?
Did the helpfulness of the letters you chose depend on the letters that others chose?
Do you sometimes do a lot of work for a group and then find out later it wasn’t needed? How do you feel when this happens?

The Mackey House is one of the premier Savannah wedding venues, located just minutes from Downtown. For more information, please visit our Savannah wedding page, as well as join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter

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Bark for Life event in Savannah, GA

Join The Mackey House and The American Cancer Society of Savannah as they strive to beat cancer – one paw at a time.

Bark for Life takes place Saturday, April 9th, with registration beginning at 8:30am.  Much like its counterpart, Relay for Life, Bark for Life is a one mile walk around the beautiful landscape of Red Gate Farms with your favorite canine.

“We know how important it is to give back,” explains Trey Mackey, curator of The Mackey House at Red Gate Plantation, “and this is one of those events that’s near and dear to our hearts.  The Mackey House’s  mascot, Scarlet (seen in the picture), will be walking the grounds too.”

All money raised at the event will go to benefit The American Cancer Society.

“Pets and people working together to beat cancer, it doesn’t get any better than that,” smiles Mackey.

For more information or to get registered, visit www.relayforlife.org/barkchathamcounty.

The Mackey House is one of the premier Savannah wedding venues, located just minutes from Downtown. For more information, please visit our Savannah wedding page, as well as join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter

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