Monday, November 24, 2008

Do I Destination?





So often you hear, "I want a destination wedding, but I'm worried my guests won't be able to attend." Something to consider when both are equally important is your location. When deciding on a location, keep a few things in mind. First, remember you're essentially taking your friends and family on a vacation with you. So give them plenty of time to plan, I suggest at least a year. Second, choose a location that is easy to get to.




Remember, a destination wedding doesn't necessarily mean from California to Cabo. You can still put your toes in the sand if you choose the right location! Don't give up your dream of a destination wedding, just be a little more creative!

For those of us in Northern California, the stunning shores of Lake Tahoe, the Shenandoah Valley, San Francisco, or the breathtaking Northern Coastline are fantastic options. You will have a true "destination" and still have your beautiful day close enough for your loved ones to travel.

If you do decide on a location that requires extensive travel, be sure to send out "save-the-dates." I also highly recommend creating a wedding website. Mywedding.com has a great website that will allow you to keep your guests up to date on lodging and other important event details. And it's FREE! Your friends and family will greatly appreciate it, and it will make their own planning process that much simpler.





Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lets start planning!







My first blog to all of you brides to be! ....How about a little bit about myself? I decided to jump into this industry due to my love of design and implementation. I truly love creating events that are so incredibly specialized that they scream "Becca and Keith" or "Andrea and Leonard." There's nothing more gratifying then seeing your bride light up and say, "YES! That's exactly what I was thinking!" Then, seeing her express sheer joy when it all comes together on her big day.

So lets start with, CONGRATULATIONS! You're engaged! This is going to be one of the most amazing and exciting times in your life. The love that you and your fiancé share is out there for the world to see! So what's next? Are you thinking, "O my gosh! Where do I start?" Don't worry, I'm going to give you some advice to ease the panic!

First and foremost, COST

Talk with your fiancé openly and honestly and decide on a budget. If your families are contributing have that same conversation. The most stressful issue for a bride and groom tends to be budgeting. If you speak openly and honestly with your fiancé and family, there will be no need for interpretation. Do the best you can to stay on task with your budgeting. Record EVERYTHING onto a spreadsheet if possible. There are always costs that somehow sneak up on you when you least expect it.
Second, FIND REPUTABLE VENDORS

Unless you've planned an event on your own, you will be, sometimes unpleasantly, surprised by the amount of coordination needed. Make sure you surround yourself with vendors you can trust. Have someone double check your contracts, and don't be afraid to ask for references. If you decide to hire a wedding planner, don't hesitate to ask these same questions of him or her.
Third, LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!

One of your absolute first decisions should be your location. Both your ceremony and reception site should be your top priority! Your local church, rose garden, a private estate, or a destination, this will set the stage for your big day. Look at several locations, you'd be surprised how many hidden gems are out there! Make sure it's perfect....

Flowers, Lighting, Music, Caterers, Entertainment.....start thinking about the details of your wedding. Most of you have a vision. Follow that vision, seek out help to see it carried out. The details of your big day should showcase you as a couple.When you interview your vendors, reception and wedding site representatives, take a list. Does the wedding site have a bridal room? Will the reception site allow off-site caterers? Do you need wedding insurance? Do prepare yourself to make, a typically non-refundable, deposit. This usually equates to 50%. You will spend the majority of your budget during the initial planning process.

Finally, don't limit your imagination. Whether a $15,000 budget or a $150,000 budget. The possibilities are endless when you surround yourself with knowledgeable people. Don't give up the idea of a wedding planner because you don't think you can afford one. And don't hesitate to call several that you are interested in. They just might have a planning package that will fit into your budget.
So having given you my advice for your own special day, I decided to post some pictures of my own wedding and day after session, photographed by the incredible Rachel Robertson. Hope you enjoy some of her amazing work as my husband and I have! I must mention, my Maggie Sottero gown was purchased through Debra LaSpina Goldwater of Dori Anne Veils in the East Bay, an absolutely amazing resource that I send ALL of my brides to! Stephanie Nishikawa of the Paper Garden Boutique created my gorgeous, one of a kind invitations.
So once again....Congratulations to you all!






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