Northern California Wedding Planner | Hiring a Wedding Planner - The Support You Didn't Know You Needed

At times it seems like you literally can do anything with a click of a button, need a ride, or a snack, or a - it’s yours! The ability to have an app or a service handle tasks for us can provide instant gratification and of course save us time, but when it comes to something as personal as planning your wedding - an app just isn’t going to be the equivalent of an experienced wedding professional who can provide insight, guidance and expertise in their craft.

Our clients are busy! They have their every day life with responsibilities at work or school, or at home with kiddos and the biggest service we can provide is that we have their absolute best interest in mind with every vendor referral, email, site walk, timeline detail and photo suggestion. We can see the bigger picture and help guide couples through budget decisions, vendor consultation, design ideas and more. Individually, all of these tasks are not hard or all that time consuming but when combined with other time commitments it can be challenging to keep up.

The 530 bride was a life saver when I planned my wedding and worked full time as well as going back to school. I felt like I was organized and always ahead of schedule. She made my vision come to life. I would recommend the 530 bride to any couple getting married! They are essential!
— Ashley H.

As wedding planners, we come into the picture at various stages of planning depending on the couple and the timeframe of their engagement. We understand that you might have set out to do all of the planning yourself but as your wedding date approaches you may feel more inclined to have some of these details covered by a third party so that you and your family/friends can be 100% present for this special time together.

Some of our absolute favorite events have been simple celebrations that we were just able to help everyone have fun and feel stress-free, and knowing that we helped couple’s have that type of experience is the best reward we could ever ask for!

So if you are getting engaged or know someone who may just need a tiny bit of help (or a lot!) we would be happy to chat more about the upcoming event!
~ Happy Planning!~

Northern California Wedding Planner | IronGate Garden Inn Wedding Venue

Chico’s newest wedding venue Irongate Garden Inn is officially booking weddings for the 2019 & 2020 season and we couldn’t be more thrilled that we will be spending a lot more weekends there planning amazing weddings. Owners Krista and Neal worked so hard to make this property perfect for weddings and they took the time to connect with the local wedding professionals to gain feedback on what our couples need. We wanted to show you some of our favorite elements of the venue!

Iron Gate Garden Inn Wedding (1).png

The stone courtyard has given us #allthefeels since the first time I walked through the property and I just knew that wedding magic was going to happen here. In fact this courtyard has seen many weddings under former management years ago, but what is most amazing is that Krista and Neal have brought it back to shine even brighter than its’s former glory.

The beautiful landscaping and paths around the property make you feel as if you are in the secret garden tucked away, and what better for a first look photo! We were honored to plan the first official wedding at Iron Gate Garden Inn, photos captured by Samantha McPherrin Photography

Flowers by Little Red Hen Floral & More // Images by  Samantha McPherrin Photography

Flowers by Little Red Hen Floral & More // Images by Samantha McPherrin Photography

If you’re engaged and looking for an outdoor wedding venue in Butte County please contact us and we can arrange a site visit for you. We would love to help you bring your ideas together for your wedding day!

~ Happy Planning!


Northern California Wedding Planner | Meet Your Wedding Vendors ~ Diane Nicole Photography Spotlight

We are so excited feature Diane Clifford of Diane Nicole Photography today because not only is she a fantastic photographer she is super sweet and we adore her laugh! When choosing your photographer for your wedding it is so important to take time to get to know them and their personality, after all you will spend the majority of your wedding day with them so you want to make sure you click! Here is a our little Q+A session with Diane!

What inspired you to become a photographer, how did you get started?
Diane: I really enjoy everything about weddings, the happy gathering of people and all that love bouncing around everywhere through out the day. I can’t get enough of that feeling. 

I also cherish my clients so much. I have been so lucky to meet some incredible people and honored to be involved in such an intimate part of their lives. Every one of the weddings I photograph is so special and I enjoy offering my services. 

I don’t see myself doing anything else but be a professional photographer, it feeds my creative side and nourishes my soul. I am so happy I get to do this for a living, don’t be fooled though, I have put in years of blood sweat and tears, thousands of hours behind a computer and believe it of not solo time is abundant part of my job. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.


If you could give one tip to couples before their engagement session, what would it be?
Wardrobe, wardrobe wardrobe! I cannot express enough to my couples that these images are going to be on the special list along with your wedding day romantics. And more times than not it is their first professional images taken together as a couple. Also, more than likely these images get used as a “save the date” and become heirlooms framed on the walls of their homes.

 Your wardrobe shouldn’t be just your everyday wear, it should be special, because the session is special and honestly the images will either shine or just look like your everyday photo that mom or dad could have taken of them. 

 Make it unique like you are, have fun and get dressed up. Couples will be so happy they did and to top it off since everyone is looking snazzy why not make it a date night right?!

Engagement (3 of 3).jpg

First looks are quickly becoming a trend, what is your take on it?
First looks or waiting to see your partner for the first time at the altar really depends on the couple and what they want to experience on their wedding day. The timeline is another factor as well. There are pros and cons to both so I try and educate them and see what is most important to the couple. 

I think the main benefit for having a first look is to ease the nerves for the couple. Weddings can be very nerve racking for those that aren’t used to being in the limelight and this gives people a quite moment before being in front of a crowd. This can be really important for some people who want to have this time to enjoy seeing each other for the first time and soak up the moment for just themselves. If their timeline allows it, this is also a good time to have their romantic session photographed and helps with that long wait time for guests after the ceremony. You know that cocktail hour where the guests are waiting for the bride and groom to get back to their guests from taking pictures? You never know sometimes how long photographs might take, even with a timeline, and those romantic shots are the money shots in my opinion. You really don’t want to cut that short in any way.

Now me personally, I’m a sucker for that built up moment of seeing your future partner for the first time and all the emotions that come with it. It really can be an incredible experience for the couple and all the guests and family to share in as well. 

Depending on what time couples have their ceremonies would also be an indication of what to decide. If it’s an earlier time then the timeline allows for those pictures to be taken after the ceremony. If it’s later in the day then doing a first look is something to consider, but it is completely up to the couples and I am more than happy to photograph whatever they decide.


Do you recommend that couple’s purchase a physical wedding album? 
I absolutely 100% recommend albums! I think having images in print form is incomparable to a USB drive or a computer disk.

I know we live in this digital era right now and for a while I actually did not even offer anything but disk’s (ugh I know dinosaur items) and USB drives.  I realized how impersonal that is and how much the client was missing out the full experience of seeing their wedding day come back to life for them. 

Having a gallery online is great to be able to share with friends and family, I do agree with that, but what people don’t realize is how obsolete that will be in the next few years. I don’t know about you but I don’t go back and look at pictures I posted on face book over a week ago, unless I made an album of them or something, and even then I know that I would be the only one going to look at those. Not anyone else. Grandparents and even some parents don’t even know how to use Facebook or are computer savvy to look at a wedding online either.  Disks are becoming out dated and USB drives will eventually too. But a printed album will NEVER be outdated.  I’ve seen how couples react to holding their wedding album and turning the pages and reliving the wedding day, totally absorbed in the memories, it’s an incredible thing to watch.  

An album is an heirloom that can be handed down from generation to generation unlike a USB drive.

What would say you to couple’s who are still deciding on how many hours of coverage to book for their wedding day?
By the time people come to me to talk about working together a lot of the details haven’t been figured out yet. The timeline is a bit in the air, such as getting hair and makeup appointments set or when the caterer is going to show up and so forth. What seems to be the normal in most consultations is suggesting my starting time of 7 hours and go from there. Through experience I know on average I’ll be able to capture most of the story of they day and when they get a little closer to gathering information with their other vendors we tend to adjust the amount of time they need or want me to be photograph.

Obviously we are obsessed with your wedding portfolio, do you shoot other styles of photography (glamour, boudoir etc) 
I have a portrait studio that focuses on modern portraiture. It includes Female Contemporary portrait (glamour photography in a sense) boudoir, maternity, high school seniors and self-branding (marketing and headshot portraits) And if the shoe fits I get clients that want to do a creative session which I love! I recently photographed a client in a bed of flowers and it looks like an image out of a fashion magazine! It takes portraits to the next level and lets me create a magazine styled photo shoot for them. Hair and make-up is included in the session and we go over wardrobe, it’s so much fun and the images turn Vanity Fair style gorgeous!

Do you travel for weddings? And Lastly, Are there any dream locations that are on your bucket list?

I do travel for weddings! I have been up and down California and even back to my home away from home in Florida to photograph weddings. I love being able to travel and experience new locations and venues. I’m a sucker for beachy boho weddings and would absolutely love to photograph weddings in places like Hawaii, Bali or Indonesia. Actually any beach honestly I just love any reason to get to the ocean.

I do have a little bit of a life change coming my way this year with welcoming my baby girl into the world in May. I have decided not to take weddings out of the Northern California area this year and a few for next year. But I plan on picking up what comes my way eventually again. I love my job and I don’t plan on slowing down.

You can connect with Diane by visiting her website or following her beautiful Instagram account at @dianenicolephoto