Q & A / Q&A
Commonly Asked Questions
1. Can I have a private location?
There are no private beaches on South Padre Island. There will be people on the beach during your wedding. We can't rope off an area for you. The permit only lets the city know that we are at that location. They could issue a permit to another wedding party at that same location. We have to put the wedding 60 feet from the waters edge to leave room for emergency vehicles.
2. Should I wear a veil?
It is always windy here. Certain veils do not do well. Veil often blow in your face and even blow off your head.
3. Which month is the best month to get married?
December, January and February can be cold, windy and drizzly rain. It could also be sunny and 80 degrees. Those are very risky months.
March can also have cold fronts blow in and the middle two weeks is Spring Break and not a good time to come to the island as prices are very high, traffic bad and lots or college kids here. It can be done but I would recommend a wedding in the morning before 10 a.m.
April and May are good months as it is still off season prices and not too hot. They are our two of our windest months though.
June, July and August are months with the most to do on the island. It is hot but always with an ocean breeze. It rarely rains during these months but the beaches are full of people. Sunrise weddings during this time offer empty beaches and beautiful weddings.
September is what I consider our rainy month. Weather is unpredictable so it could be perfect.
October and November are great months. It's not too hot, it's off season prices and beautiful skies. Some years we get whats called Red Tide that comes in October which is not good if planning an outdoor wedding. October can also have high tides caused by hurricanes out in the gulf.
4. How quickly can you plan a wedding?
I have a great team and we can put your wedding together in just a few days. If you have your marriage license we can do the day that you call.
5. Do the packages include the reception?
The sailboat package does include dinner. I also offer a dinner option from the middle of September through the middle of May. Ask me for details. If you want something different I will
listen to what you are wanting for your reception and make recommendations. In most cases I do not book the venue or the food.
6. Do you offer bilingual offciants?
I do offer ceremonies in English, Spanish and Bilingual. I have male and female officiants. I also have pastors available to do your wedding but no catholic priests. Catholic Priests require you attend their church and/or classes.
7. Is my date available?
I do more than one wedding on a given date. I don't put two weddings with a set up at the same location. I have several officaints, photographers and assistants that I work with. I will be able to do the date you are requesting most likely.
8. How should I wear my hair?
I would wear your hair up. It is always windy here.
9. Can I have a sunset wedding?
The sun sets on the opposite side of the island from the beach where most of the weddings take place. I typically will plan the weddings an hour from sunset. It is called the golden hour for pictures. If you go any later than that then you loose the lighting for the pictures.
10. What do we do if it rains?
In the event of rain we look at different options together. I look at where you are staying and where you are having your reception to see if these offer any kind of back up plan. If it is not too windy we can get a tent to put up. We can also call places such as the Birding Center and the Chapel yo see if they are available but there is about a $500.00 fee associated with this. Some weddings we wait in the car for a break in the rain or just go ahead and do it in the drizzly rain. Weather is very unpredictable. I warn brides about watching the weather too far out. I find that it will just stress you out. I would bring an umbrella if you plan on getting married on the beach just in case...especially if you are getting married in September. Get in your mind that you are going to be happy no matter what.
11. I would like an aisle runner for my wedding. Do you provide this?
I can provide an aisle runner but it just runs between the chairs. This is not a runner so that you don't get in the sand. It does not run all the way up to the walkway that leads to the beach. This is mainly just for the looks of it.
12. I didn't receive an email from you . What happened?
After getting your information from you it typically takes me up to two days to get your proposal to you. If you don't receive one from me check your junk mail. I find that couples will often find it there. If you send me an email and haven't heard back after two days something is wrong. Please email me again.
13. Do I need to sign my marriage licese after the wedding or provide any witnesses?
You will not need to sign your marriage license after the wedding. You do all the signing necessary when you purchase the marriage license. The state of Texas does not require any witnesses. The officiant typically will sign the marriage license and mail it off for you. You will get it in about 6 weeks weeks in the mail. If you need it sooner than that you can ask the officiant to sign it and give it back to you. You will then need to return it yourself to the place where you purchased it. You are not legally married in the state of Texas until the marriage license has been returned and recorded.
14. Do you attend all the weddings?
My smaller packages do not include anyone being at the wedding coordinating things because they were designed for elopments where there is just the couple and their kids attending. They were designed for those families or couples who are arriving together and walking out and meeting the officiant and photographer and getting married. It doesn't mean you can't be given away by someone and arrive separately. but the package was not written that way. If your package does not say "Day of Service" or Wedding Planner Fee then I will not be at your wedding. If your wedding package does include Day of Service or "Wedding Planner Fee" then I or my associate will be at the wedding making sure things are going smoothly and everyone knows when and where to go. I do not attend all the weddings, so I don't get to meet everyone unfortunately.
15. What is your pet peeve? What if I am late?
I really like my weddings to run on time. I don't like weddings to start late. I will give you a schedule to follow and if you follow that schedule everything will run smoothly and on time. It is hot on the beach and I don't like guests to be kept waiting nor my vendors. Photography is booked by the hour. If your wedding is booked at 5:00 then photography is from 5:00-6:00. If you are 45 minutes late then you have lost your photography time. In the summer time we can have lots of traffic on the beach and issues parking if doing the wedding off of Gulf Blvd. Allow extra time for these issues. I do understand things can happen but I have had brides 30 minutes, an hour and even up to an hour and a half late. This is not cool with me. I often have weddings spaced one hour between them and will have one officiant doing both. If your wedding is starting more than 30 minutes late than this can mean an addditonal charge for you as I would need to hire someone else for an emergency fill in. The charge would be $300.00.
16. Do you have more than one wedding a day?
I do more than one wedding on any given day. I can do sunrise and sunset weddings. I may have five weddings all going on at the same time on a Saturday in the summer. I do not put more than one set up at the same location. I have great people who work with me. I have multiple officiants, photographers and associates. I have been doing this for over 10 years and you are in good hands. Just because I don't plan two weddings at the same location doesn't mean there won't be two weddings going on. Sometimes another wedding planner or bride on her own will plan a wedding at the same location as your wedding. It is all public beach here so there is nothing I am able to do about this. Typically the weddings are separated far enough away that it doesn't cause much of an issue.
17. What should I do after the wedding?
Most wedding groups go to a restaurant after dinner to celebrate. Some families will go to a beach home and do a barbecue. I do have some wedding parties that go to a ballroom for a sit down dinner. One of my packages has the "reception" on a sailboat. It's all up to you.
18. I want to get a tent and do a party on the beach after the wedding. Is that possible?
It is possible to rent a tent and do a party on the beach after the wedding but there are many things to consider and I try to discourage doing your reception on the beach. Here are some reasons why: 1) It is always windy here and the sand will blow in your food. 2) Many locations do not have a restroom. 3) If it does rain you do not have a good back up plan as your wedding and reception are all scheduled for the beach. 4) If it is too windy the tents are not allowed.
19. Where can I leave a review or read other reviews?
You can leave and read reviews on google, my facebook page, yelp, the knot and Wedding Wire. I would really appreciate your reviews. I believe google might be the most helpful to me. My facebook page is Weddings and Renewals by Valarie Waddell.
20. Is the deposit refundable in the event of a hurricane or any other event out of our control such as the coronavirus?
The $275.00 deposit is non-refundable. By the time you pay your deposit we have talked, I've written a proposal, I have booked needed items for your wedding and often times answered numerous emails. If you pay your full amount up front then any payment beyond the $275.00 deposit will be refunded. minus any pay pal fees not covered in most cases for weddings taking place within 45 days. If you cancel for other reasons less than 45 days before the wedding then the other payments made beyond the $275.00 deposit will be looked at in a case by case basis. The deposit is transferable to a new date within one year.
21. Are pets allowed?
Yes, pets are allowed. They must be on a leash and picked up after.
22. Do you do weddings every day of the week?
I do weddings seven days a week. Saturday and Sundays are the most crowded days. If you are able to do your wedding on any other day of the week I would recommend that.
23. Are there places to park?
Parking on the island is an issue. You should plan extra time to park and carpool when you can. If you are traveling from anywhere other than the island, and it is summertime or the weekend you should allow extra time to travel here. A trip that normally takes 15 minutes will often take over an hour. There are taxis, limited ubers and a free transportation system.
24. What is the nearest airport?
The nearest airports are in Harlingen and Brownsville. There is not much difference in the distance. The airports often offer free transportation to the island. You could check with the airport about this option.
25. Do I need my marriage license if we are already married?
If you are already married I will not need to see you marriage license.