925.775.8046

blog

Click here to add a short description

LEARN MORE

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Budget-Friendly Bridal Trends for 2014

August 18, 2014

1. WEDDING DRESS TREND ALERT!

Brides are rocking floral wedding gowns and being inspired by nontraditional runway looks. We love the nonwhite wedding dresses, pinks and dark pinks are popular as we saw in Vera Wang’s collection this year. Brides are opting for less formal ball gowns, ones that flow more easily and if you keep it simple, the cost will come down too.


2. JEWELRY

Rose gold is in. Boutique jewelry designer Diana Sabatino has been in the jewel’s market for over 20 years. Sabatino confirmed rose gold has been resurrected and one of the most popular requests for engagement rings and wedding bands. “Couples love the soft blush color of the metal. It’s appealing on many different skintones. My brides love the vintage appeal, and the fact that it’s a little more exclusive. I’m also getting many requests to make custom rings and mix the metals of white and rose gold to give a unique look on classic designs.”


3. DÉCOR & WEDDING THEMES

Mixing and Matching. People are less focused on matching and going for the less formal, more casual look. Celtic and rustic looks are reemerging as more couples get married in barns and old plantation homes. Leaf decor and lanterns are popular for outdoor weddings.


4. FLOWERS

Flowers are a must have for every wedding. But be honest to your florist if you can’t afford much. One way to avoid breaking the bank, pick your favorite flower, whether its peonies or hydrangeas and make your bouquet with one type that you love. It’s actually cheaper to buy one kind instead of 25 different types.


5. REGISTRY

With more couples already living together, they have their home essentials. Instead of putting a hole in your pocket for the honey moon, register for your trip of a lifetime. By asking your guests to put money towards an experience you will treasure forever… your allowing them to share in one of the most memorable experiences of your lives.


6. INVITATIONS

Make your own invitations. If you have a great printer at home, you’re halfway there! Browse wedding blogs or online stationery stores for gorgeous free invitation templates that can be personalized with your wedding details before you print. Feel like getting crafty? Order a rubber stamp customized with your invitation wording and a few packs of pretty paper, and get to work.

Alternatives to the classic wedding cake

September 12, 2014

Whether you just aren't a fan of standard big-day cakes or are obsessed with a specific sweet treat, your wedding dessert is the perfect opportunity to share your tastes with your guests. Select a confection that says something about you, or at the very least, is something you'll actually look forward to eating at the end of the night.


Love donuts? Consider a huge stack of assorted artisan flavors, so guests can pick and choose from your favorites! Did you dunk cookies in milk every day after school for your entire life? We found a clever stacked Oreo cookie cake you'll love.


Also these alternative options are way easier on your budget when compared to a classic cake. Plus, they can be displayed at your reception all night long since they don't have to be formally cut or served.

Spring 2015 wedding colors

November 6, 2014

We’ll see a move toward the cooler and softer side for 2015 spring colors, an eclectic, ethereal mix of understated brights, pale pastels and nature-like neutral colors. If you’re getting married next Spring, check out these amazing colors.


With an airy blue and a dreamy feel, aquamarine comes to be the lead color for 2015 spring wedding color. Open and expansive, this restful blue also acts as a stress reduces.


Scuba Blue offers a feeling of escape as it is reminiscent of a tropical ocean, which is perfect for spring and summer weddings. This stirring and energizing shade takes us off to an exotic paradise that is pleasant and inviting, conveying a sense of carefree playfulness.


Lucite Green is a soothing green shade whose time has really come again. Fresh and clarifying, cool and refreshing, Lucite Green has a minty glow.

Reliable and thoughtful, classic blue inspires calm, confidence and harmony, serving as an anchor to the Spring/Summer 2015 wedding palette.


Bringing balance to the coolness of the Spring/Summer 2015 wedding color range is Toasted Almond. A sun-tanned neutral, Toasted Almond offers comforting warmth and is indicative of a spontaneous spring, summer feeling.

Subtle and charming, strawberry ice is an ideal shade for Spring/Summer wedding color 2015. Combining it with grays or blues will be the perfect palette of your unique event.


Tangerine is a juicy orange shade that is energizing, yet not jarring to the eye, which is striking enough to stand on its own and adds vitality to a wedding event.


Custard is a cheering tone that brings thoughts of pleasant relaxation and comfort food, just like the name.


Interesting on its own and a wonderful contrast for other hues, marsala serves as the foundation to the Spring/Summer 2015 wedding color palette.


More dominant for groom than bride in Spring/Summer 2015, glacier gray is an unobtrusive gray that contrasts and enhances; bouncing off other shades without taking away from them as it slips into the background to allow the other palettes.

Cocktail Hour

November 8, 2014

The cocktail hour is certainly a time for guests to get a glass of wine or mixed drink, but it also serves as a buffer between the ceremony and the reception. It creates a window for the bridal party to get their pictures taken, if they haven’t done so before the ceremony – or, possibly, to greet guests in a receiving line.


For guests is a time to contemplate the ceremony, find their seating cards for dinner, and pick up a few nibbles to keep their hunger at bay. If the ceremony and reception will take place in the same room, cocktail hour is an absolute necessity, allowing time for the room to be transformed (the “turnover” or “changeover”). 


Despite the name, cocktail hour doesn't have to involve alcoholic beverages. Some couples choose to have a soft bar for personal, cultural, or budgetary reasons. You should know, however, that many guest like to have celebratory drink or two at the weddings, and some will be disappointed to find they can’t get a glass of wine.

Why to hire a Wedding Planner?​

November 14, 2014

1. Saves time –Planning wedding takes enormous amount of time. In fact, the average couple spends well over 200 hours planning their special day. A good wedding planner will save you time and energy by researching vendors, taking care of the many, many details, and coming up with various creative ideas to make your wedding amazing!


2. Saves money – Weddings can be extremely expensive. However, by hiring a wedding planner, couples can save a great deal of money. Because wedding planners provide so much business to vendors, they are often able to negotiate discounts for their clients. Wedding planners are also well-versed at helping couples set budgets and sticking to them.


3. Saves relationships – Weddings are very stressful. This stress often results in many arguments for couples as well as with family members and friends. Wedding planners have been there time and time again and know how to avoid such problems before they begin as well as act as a buffer when there are conflicts. Wedding planners are also able to take on the responsibilities often assigned to loved ones so that everyone is able to enjoy the wedding. Remember, you still want a relationship with your mother well after your wedding!


4. Ensures dreams are made realities – Most have been dreaming of their wedding day their entire life. Wedding planners work for the couple and ensure that all desires are met (and often surpassed)!


5. Offers advice – Wedding planners have planned countless weddings and know exactly what works and what doesn’t. They are also knowledgeable on wedding etiquette. Furthermore, wedding planners are able to recommend competent vendors, based on personal experience.


6. Acts as the “go to person” – The average wedding has at least 22 different vendors. Combine that with the entire wedding party and all of the guests and that is a lot of people with questions and concerns! By hiring a wedding planner, couples can simply tell others “talk to the wedding planner!”


7. Creates schedules – There are so many events leading up to the big day! Couple that with the many things that happen during the wedding and who can keep track? The wedding planner can! Wedding planners are well-versed at making detailed itineraries for all involved (including other vendors) and making sure that everything happens on time!


8. Handles crisis – Whether we like it or not, most big events involve crisis. Who really wants to deal on their wedding day with the bakery not delivering the cake on time or the flower girl throwing a tantrum? No one! Wedding planners know how to handle all unforeseen circumstances.


9. Orchestrates from rehearsal through the end of reception – Do you want to be responsible for organizing rehearsal or making sure the bridal party is properly lined up? How about making sure that the guest who had a little too much to drink departs safely? Wedding planners orchestrate from rehearsal through the end of the reception, ensuring everything goes off without a hitch!


10. Minimizes stress and maximizes fun! – Hiring a wedding planner ensures that you will have a worry-free and stress-free day, thus, allowing you to enjoy your day like your guests!

How to save money on your wedding day

November 29, 2014

• Instead of offering a full, top-shelf bar, serve wine, beer, and a signature cocktail.


• Your wedding cake doesn’t have to be an overly grand affair, the more labor intensive it is, the more expensive it will be, so keep your wedding cake design fairly straightforward and the cake itself small (your baker can always prepare a sheet cake to serve).


• Bouquets shouldn’t just be carried up and down the aisle, they can also serve as centerpieces for the reception. And other ceremony arrangements can be reused at the reception, altar arrangements can decorate the escort card table, aisle markers can be used as small centerpieces for long tables, and more.


• Get married in the off-season. Avoid the spring and fall, and if you can, pick a date in January or February which are typically the least expensive months. And if that’s not a possibility, avoid getting married on a Saturday night, having a Friday and Sunday wedding can save you a bundle.


• Cut the guest list! Fact: The fewer the guests, the less expensive your wedding will be. Depending on your venue and catering situation, you may end up paying over $100 per person. So even cutting 10 guests from your list can be a major money-saver.

Popular Wedding Traditions

November 26, 2014

Today's popular wedding traditions have evolved over hundreds, even thousands of years of people joining together in some form of matrimony. Regardless of the wedding tradition itself, all wedding traditions share the same essential symbols of unity, happiness and prosperity; messages that stand the test of time.


Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

The saying, "Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue" is a popular rhyme that has been used since Victorian times. The "something old" represents the bond to the bride's family and her old life; "something new" represents the couple's new life together and their future hope for happiness, prosperity and success; "something borrowed" from a happily married woman is meant to impart similar happiness to the bride; and "something blue" represents fidelity and constancy.


White Bridal Dresses

Wearing white also dates back to Victorian times when Queen Victoria abandoned the usual royal tradition of wearing a silver gown, instead choosing to wear white. Before that time brides simply wore their best gown, rather than a special wedding dress. The popularity of white can also be attributed to it symbolizing purity and virginity. White was also thought to ward off evil spirits.


Throwing Rice

Showering the couple with rice is an ancient tradition. As rice is considered a "life giving" seed it is thought that by throwing in on the couple they will be bestowed with fertility and have many children. Many churches now forbid it on their property but there are some safe alternatives to throwing rice.


Sharing the first piece of wedding cake is a wedding tradition with Roman roots. The Romans believed that by eating the wedding cake together a special bond was created between the couple. The wheat used to bake the cake was symbolic of fertility and a "fruitful union", while the cake's sweetness was thought to bring sweetness to all areas of the couple's new life.


The ceremonial kiss that concludes the wedding ceremony is said to represent the couple sharing and joining their souls. In Roman times the kiss "sealed" the couple's agreement to join in a life-long commitment.


The wedding tradition of the groom wearing a boutonniere originates in medieval times when a knight wore his lady's colors (through flowers) as a statement of his love. Flowers and bouquets have long been used in weddings. In addition to adorning the bride with flowers to promote good luck and good health flower meanings allow the bride to express her feelings for the groom. Orange blossoms signify purity, daisies loyalty, violets modesty and red roses signify true love.


Placing the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand has two possible origins; ancient Egypt or 17th century Europe. The Egyptians believed the "vein of love" ran directly from the ring finger to the heart, therefore the ring was placed there to denote eternal love. During a 17th century wedding ceremony the groom would slide the wedding ring part way up the bride's thumb, index finger and middle finger as the priest said "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit". As the ring finger was the first free finger, the ring was placed there.

Wedding food menu: Making it yours!

December 04, 2014

Many couples don’t realize how many ways there are out there to put their stamp on their meal. Before you do anything, though, stop to make a list of foods that are you passionate about. Even if you think you should never in million years serve it at the wedding, write it down and show the list to your caterer or catering manager. You’d be surprised at the ideas your favorites could spark in a creative food professional. Bring your regional background via food. 


For a New York groom, that could mean mini pastrami sandwiches at cocktail hour and black-and-white cookies at the desert buffet. For a Texas bride, you could crave barbecued brisket into small rolls at cocktail hour.


Whenever you incorporate a personal element in your food, put a note on the menu, the table or the connected to you. If you’re serving an ethnic food that will be unfamiliar to some guests, write up a description of the food and the tradition behind it.

Things no one will tell you about wedding planning!

December 17, 2014

You and your groom-to-be probably won't agree on all the details straight away

But that's good! Your wedding day will be based on your personality as a couple and that means you will inevitably disagree on certain things. Never agree for the sake of it - and FYI, grooms, only half-paying attention and nodding along with anything the bride says doesn't count as an opinion.


The childhood dream you grew up with probably won't happen

For one thing, the groom is totally different to the Prince Charming you had in mind when planning your fantasy wedding. Partner aside, you'll probably find that your tastes have totally changed over the years. Whereas your younger self might have daydreamed about tying the knot in a grand castle, the present-day you will probably have your heart set on something else entirely.


You'll realize how important organization is...

You've not been this organized since...Well, ever. You'll find yourself musing disbelievingly as you update your planning spreadsheet whilst cross referencing dress fitting appointments with cake tasting sessions, over how you could have ever been quite so un-disorganized.


You will have doubts

As with any big commitment, there will be an edge of doubt and uncertainty. Don't read into it; after all, it's perfectly natural to feel nervous when faced with the unknown. Focus on why you're marrying your partner and ignore the jitters, it would be more unusual to not have them!


You will cry. Don't fight it!

You might pride yourself on never shedding a tear but you will shed a tear or two on your wedding day. Embrace the emotion but remember - not even your industrial-strength waterproof mascara will stop a lone streak of black trickle down your cheeks. Ask your Maid of Honour to keep tissues with her so you can dab away any tears, as well as a few beauty essentials so you can reapply your make-up as and when needed.


You probably won't do 'it' on your wedding night

Gone are the days of being 'put to bed' together, instead, it's more a case of dragging a drunken bride and/or groom off the dance floor at 4am. However, it doesn't really matter, does it? You've just had the best party of your life and, after all, married life has only just begun...


Prepare to feel a little miserable once it's all over!

You've devoted months of your life to planning the best day ever and now it's all over! Yes, it's a grim thought but rather than dwelling on the fact your wedding day is over, focus on the exciting future you and your groom have together.

Wedding planning advice from an expert

October 4, 2015

If you want your dream wedding to have lasting beautiful memories, 

take this advice:


1. Don’t ask your friends to play professionals. Friends don’t let friends play florist. Your friends and family should only be invited as guests. Let them enjoy the party celebrating your big day. Don’t ask amateur hairstylist Aunt Karen to do hair and nails the morning of the big day or sorority sister Maureen to take the all-important wedding photos. This advice also goes for Uncle Joe driving the limo or whatever form of transportation you and your wedding party will rely on on your wedding day. And just because your sister Laura made a beautiful cupcake cake for your nephew, doesn’t mean she can do a three tier cake with the white chocolate mousse filling that you want. You may think asking them to help you will save you money, but all it will bring you are unnecessary headaches.


2. Don’t take chances with hobbyists. This is not the time for Anna to test out a press and curl. This is your wedding day so it’s not the time to use the hobby hairstylist, photographer or caterer – you know, the person that works as a bank teller during the week and takes photos of surfers on Saturday mornings. You really do get what you pay for. That’s not to say you should pay through the roof for your wedding photos but there are so many things to consider. Wedding photographers know how many different places they need to be in order to get all the right shots for the wedding album. That being said, a landscape photographer isn’t going to have the same experience as a wedding photographer. You need to make sure the person you choose has prior wedding experience (look at the photos), references (ask to speak with some of the brides) and has the same approach that you are looking for.


3. Don’t be afraid to tell wedding vendors exactly what you want. Be assertive. If you don’t tell the wedding cake designer the exact cake you want, you will show up to the reception happily married and find a very different cake. If you have your heart set on a Bavarian cream cake with chocolate icing, let them know that this is what you exactly want. Some wedding vendors will try and get you to use their preference and while that can be helpful with some choices that you are stuck on, make sure the decisions you are firm on really happen. My floral arrangements at the reception were all different summer colors of gerbera daisies. For over 15 years, gerbera daisies (especially the red ones) have been my favorite flower so it seemed a natural decision to have them as my table floral arrangements. The event planner of my reception site kept suggesting roses since they buy roses in bulk and they would be a cheaper alternative. I stuck to my decision and got the flowers that I wanted for the table arrangements.


4. Don’t be afraid to move on. Make sure your shoes are laced up. If you aren’t willing to compromise with what you want from that wedding vendor, trust me, it’s best to just move on. You will end up talking about the flowers that you really wanted but couldn’t get or the dress you could have worn if you had a better seamstress. The one thing that I wanted for my outdoor wedding ceremony was a string quartet that would play only for my ceremony. We spoke with several who had time limits of 3 or 4 hours but I was only willing to pay for 1 hour as the string quartet wouldn’t be needed at the reception. We kept looking until we found the perfect wedding ensemble.