Northern California Wedding Planner | 2018 In Review ~ The 530 Bride

If you would have told us this time last year that 2018 would fly by as fast as it has, we couldn’t have believed it! Being a part of each of these incredible celebrations was the biggest blessing, and we feel honored that our clients trusted our team to take the work off of their plates in order to bring all of the details together.

We will definitely be posting some individual blog stories about each of these events as we continue to receive images, but we thought it would be fun to share a little from each wedding all in one post!


Each of these couples had their own love story, their own vision for their day and each wedding had it’s own magical moments that we feel so honored to have witnessed. We’re seriously hooked on weddings, so we can’t wait to see what 2019 holds!

It goes without saying that a successful wedding requires teamwork and communication, so we want to thank all of the wedding pro’s who work so hard for their clients. Stay tuned for the full posts and for a vendor spotlight on the incredible friends we work alongside throughout the wedding season.

Happy New Years & Happy Planning!

'I Do' Responsibly

Drink Station Weddings are a time we bring friends and family together to celebrate your new chapter in life, so unless you have chosen to have a "dry wedding" odds are there will be a champagne toast and then some!  You can choose to serve drinks during either the cocktail hour, reception or both.

When deciding on what types of beverages to serve, consider your guests, budget, and the type of atmosphere you want to have. If you are concerned with over indulgence or expense considering limiting the amount of alcohol per guests, or perhaps only offering beer and wine.

Many wedding venues will specify their requirements and limitations with serving alcohol, some may require a licensed bartender, event insurance, and/or an additional deposit. Some may allow you to supply your own alcohol, while others may not.  If you are supplying your own alcohol but don't know how much you need, try the Bevmo Calculator

We recommend hiring a licensed and insured bar service to host your event as they are not only great bartenders but they specialize in weddings and events and know how to determine when someone has had too much to drink.  They can discreetly handle this for you without causing a scene, and in the end will help ensure everyone has a safe but responsible evening.  A professional bar service will also assist you with selecting wines & spirits as well as the quantity needed for the size of your event. For help choosing a Bar Service in the 530 area, visit our directory.

When it comes to the end of the night (your wedding night is a blur so take care of these details ahead of time) have a transportation plan in place.  If your location is a distance from town consider a shuttle for larger groups.  Make sure that you discuss vehicles and over-night parking with your venue, you don't want any guests to have their cars towed!

Cheers to an amazing wedding night, and to celebrating responsibly!

~Happy Planning!~

Teegarden House Event Center - Bridal Faire Recap

We were delighted to be a part of the first Bridal Faire at The Teegarden House Event Center in Yuba City. Not only did we get to meet brides from the area, but we also got to mingle with several talented wedding professionals and businesses. The Teegarden House is a great spot for an intimate wedding or bridal shower celebration, baby shower, birthday party or corporate event. If you missed the event and would like to check out this charming venue just give Cindy at Teegarden House a call to schedule a tour or inquire about hours. Teegarden House Event Center 731 Plumas Street, Yuba City (530) 674-7310

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Wedding films and happy tears

By Christina Rafael

Much like my love for all things Nicholas Sparks and Adele, I love a good cry.

Though my fiance makes fun of my ability to shed tears at the start of a sad song (or really good Google commercial), wedding films are the icing on the cake to my cry sessions.

Something about the combination of music to the happiness of vows, change of family dynamics and new beginnings always guarantees a lunge for the tissue box.

So grab a Kleenex and take a look at my top 3 favorite wedding films:

Wiley & Mallory -

I mean, come on…this man's vows win every award! The way he looks at her during her vow reading, the soft "baby" as she finishes and that crying break at 1:27 had me in tears immediately.

I think what I like most about this film is that the love these two have for one another is apparent in every action captured. Their story wasn't convenient and lacked storybook effortlessness but the couple worked hard to stay together, despite all odds, and had their happy ending. His vows were the structure this film needs to pull the best kinds of heart strings.

Jake & Jordan -

I think what really gets me in this film is the family dynamics. From the family members featured on her bouquet to the dad/ bride moment, it's all Hallmark gold. I also loved the idea of writing a letter to your bride/ groom to be read before you see each other and might steal it. ;)

As Jordan reads the lines referencing "the mother to my children" and "the grandmother to my grandchildren" I can't help but wipe away some happy tears. What a sweet idea, great groom and amazing words to capture.

Brandon & Stacey -

I'm a bit partial when it comes to this one because it hits so close to home. From the smile she has when she talks about her groom to cry-heavy vows she uses, it's a mirror image of myself. It also doesn't help that this couple's film was shot by a videographer team from Chico (who just got married, congrats Stephen & Chelsey!).

I lose my cool when she tells her groom that when he told her she was beautiful, she finally believed it. It's such an honest sentiment to spill in a vow and really lets the viewer in on their relationship dynamic. The groom's vows are also highlighted when he reveals the best decision he's made: her.

Book a Videographer If you can swing it budget wise, having a wedding film is definitely something to consider for any couple. In addition to being unique each time, a videographer can capture fast-paced wedding day details and emotions in first-person way, so you (and family members who could or could not attend) can revisit your special day as if it was happening again.

Though was highlighted, there are many more local options to explore.

Research online or book us for an hourly consultation to find the best videographer for your special day!


Budgeting and The Elusive "Average"

As wedding coordinators we meet with couples who may be planning a very intimate wedding of 40 people or under, or on the other hand couples who are trying to keep the guest list under 300.  After the engagement is official and the couple begins making selections for their venue and vendors, it becomes a question of where to start.  There are many tools and checklists that are helpful, and we offer our assistance for every step of the way during the planning process even if a couple books us for Day of Coordination vs. Full Service.    The biggest question that I hear brides ask is "what is the average cost of _________?" The reason this question isn't always easy to answer is because there are many variables to cost, therefore the photographer or venue for one wedding may not be comparable to another event due to some of these reasons: ♥ Location ♥ Time of Year ♥ No. of Expected Guests ♥ Specific Package Selections ♥ Demand for Service/Product ♥ Level of Experience of Vendor

Watching the Wedding Programs on TV or flipping through a magazine may have skewed your grasp of what a realistic budget is in your area.  While it is important to understand what is realistic, it is even more important to establish your budget based on what you feel comfortable with.  Even if a $2k floral budget is average in some areas, it may not be a number that you can or want to spend for your event.

When clients contact us, we ask them to complete a questionnaire and rate what the most important areas of their budget is.

We ask questions such as:

From 1 -5 in importance (1 being most important) rate the following:

  • Abundance of Fresh Flowers
  • Extensive Photography and/or Videographer Package (over 6-8 hours of photography and printed images in album)
  • Luxury Linens, Centerpieces & Decor
  • Venue
  • Food & Beverage

If budget was no option we would splurge on: a. Gourmet Food & Premium Drinks for our guests b. Chandeliers, Draping & Up lighting c. Modern Furniture & Lounge areas d. Gift Baskets /Custom Favors e. An over the top Wedding Cake f. Custom Stationary (Invitations, Save The Dates, etc) g. Other(s) ______________________

These types of questions give us insight on helping you establish your budget, and pair you with vendors that can not only provide the products and services you are looking for but also stay on budget.  We can assist clients prioritize the expenses so that all of the major areas are covered and we can identify some of the "extras" to have on standby if budget permits.

We support the DIY Couples in their projects and creativity, and can even help you budget for your DIY projects to estimate your savings and cost effectiveness for each project.  Our goal for the DIY couple is to help you organize all of the projects and elements that you have worked on creating, and put them together into a smooth timeline with tasks and detailed information to keep everyone on the same page.  If you would like information on our packages, or our upcoming DIY Workshop please shoot us an email at

We will be seeing our Northern California Brides at the upcoming Bridal Shows!

Yuba Sutter, January 27th at the Yuba City Fairgrounds Chico Bridal Show, February 24th at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico

Want tickets? Shoot us your information from our contact us page to get on the list for fast pass tickets!

The Topper

Wedding Cakes have transformed from a fancy dessert to the focal point of the evening, (besides THE dress!) If you have seen shows like Cake Boss, or Cake Wars you know the design ideas are endless.  A cake topper is the finishing touch, accenting the cake design and even show a little flair of your personalities.  Here are a few different spins on the cake topper, which one fits your personality? 1. Traditional or Personalized "Wedding Couple" toppers Photos Courtesy of

2. Floral - Fresh Flowers, Icing Floral Designs Photos Courtesy of

3. Paper Cake Toppers Photos Courtesy of, and

4. Monogram Topper Photos Courtesy of and

5. Love Bird Topper Photo Courtesy of and


Happy Planning!

Featured Vendor ~ Jaz Events

Many brides spend some time reading bridal magazines and watching shows on T.V. like My Fair Wedding, or Platinum Weddings, and they may think that the beautiful weddings they see are beyond their reach.  We hope to show Northern California Brides that you have access to vendors that can create events that are magazine and t.v. worthy. Jaz Events is the go-to source for event furniture that can transform your venue, and make a lasting impression on your guests.  Offering both indoor and outdoor furniture, Jaz Events can help stage the furniture to flow with your venue and your decor.  Jaz Events can take the couple's vision and concept for the event and add their expertise which equates to some pretty cool events if you ask us.

As you can see the combination of the furniture and some uplighting can really create an exceptional atmosphere.   The ladies of Jaz Events think outside of the box, and offer an affordable way to style your venue and add that wow-factor you have been looking for.

Where do you start, you ask? Simply set up a consulation with Jaz Events to look through their catalogue and find the furniture that will suit your needs.  After considering thinks like the layout of your venue or party location, how many guests you are planning on having, the number of seating areas you would like, and the atmosphere you would like to create; Jaz Events will take it from there.

We asked about set-up and rental, and Jaz Events makes it easy.  They deliver the furniture, set-up/stage your event, and then pick it up after the event.  Pretty simple!  What we found impressive were all of the different furniture and staging options, and the endless possibilities you have at a very reasonable price.

You may have seen some of the lovely designs by Jaz Events at the January Chico Bridal Showcase, or the recent Open House at the Palms.  When you meet with Jaz Events it is very clear that these ladies love what they do, and take pride in their work! You can check out their portfolio of designs, or contact them to schedule a consultation by visiting their website at

Creating Your Wedding Playlist

Have you hired a DJ, live band, string quartet, or orchestra for your wedding? Or maybe are you going to take charge of your own music for your event by using CD's or your Ipod.  Either way, you should still try to get a play-list together to make sure you have songs picked out for some of the highlights of your wedding.  What kind of music have you always dreamed of hearing as you walk down the aisle? Are you looking for a DJ who will also serve as an MC for your wedding? This person will essentially be the voice of your wedding, as he or she will be keeping the event flowing and announcing your entrance, first dance, cake cutting etc. A good DJ has finesse, and can get all of your guests onto the dance floor, and keep the party going.  Take the opportunity to meet potential DJ companies to ensure that you feel comfortable with their level of professionalism. Don't be shy about what your expectations are, and determine what equipment is included such as a cordless microphone, lighting effects etc.  Last, make sure your wedding venue has accessible power outlets for the DJ to set up their equipment.

Next, take the opportunity to define your personalities, and set a tone for your event  by choosing great music.  First, make sure you know the basics of wedding ceremony music. has a great article about wedding music, so we have provided an excerpt here for you. "The most basic wedding ceremony music setup involves a minimum of three types of songs: preludes, processionals, and recessionals. Prelude music is light, ambient music that sets the mood while guests are being seated and waiting for the ceremony to begin. It usually begins when the doors open, or as early as 45 minutes prior to but no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony.

Next is the processional, which accompanies the entry of the extended wedding party-- family, bridal party, and bride. The same song can be used for each, but we love the idea of changing to another song when the bride enters to add drama and highlight her entrance. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the recessional plays. As the name implies, this music accompanies you as you recess (that is, make your exit) and is traditionally bright and lively -- a reflection of your joy. " (

There are tons of resources for lists of traditional, contemporary and modern wedding music, and these are a few we found to be really helpful.

If you plan on using some of the more traditional wedding processional songs such as (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen by Edvard Grieg, or one of the many versions of "The Wedding March,") a piece of advice is to listen to the song using YouTube, so that you can hear the song first.

A handful of great classical/traditional songs:

Romance ( Op. 44, No. 1) Anton Rubenstein Vocalise - Sergei Rachmaninoff The Maestro -  Composed by Hans Zimmer Bridal Procession - Edvard Grieg All I Ask Of You - Phantom of the Opera, (Piano) Canon in D - J Pachelbel Ave Maria - (There are several beautiful instrumental versions)

Here is a list of some recommended songs, from many different genres.

Marry Me - Train Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole This Year's Love - David Gray I Do - Colbie Caillat Rhythm of Love - Plain White T's All You Need Is Love - The Beatles Your Guardian Angel - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Time of My Life - David Cook Lucky - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat I'm Yours - Jason Mraz Better Together - Jack Johnson She's Everything - Brad Paisley Why Wait - Rascal Flatts Are you Gonna Kiss Me or Not - Thompson Square Mama's Song - Carrie Underwood Only You Can Love Me This Way - Keith Urban Wishn and Hopin - Dusty Springfield Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra I loved Her First - Heartland (Great Father Daughter Dance Song) The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra Spend My Life With You - Eric Benet I Do - Boys II Men L-O-V-E - Nat Cole King I Cant Help Falling In Love – Elvis That’s what makes it a love song – Miranda Lambert Better Half – Keith Urban Oh Love - Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood Our Love is Here To Stay - Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald Versions I Could Not Ask For More - Edward McCain Sail Away - David Gray The Only Exception - Paramore Forever - Chris Brown Wedding Bells - Coldplay (This song is not yet released, but has an anticipated release date of late 2011)

Don't forget to check out our Vendor Directory, to find great DJ's and other Entertainment.

Mark Your Calendars

The Palms Pavilion in Chico will be having an open house at their beautiful venue, on May 10th, 2011.  The admission is free, and as if that wasn't exciting enough, each couple will each receive a free engagement photo!  If you have never visited The Palms, check out all of these great amenities included in their wedding package. AMENITIES: •   Luxuriously furnished, private bride and groom dressing rooms •   Fully equipped catering kitchen • Air-conditioned and fully lighted pavilion space, accommodating up to 300 guests •   Built-in beverage service bar •   Portable stage with overhead lighting •   Parking spaces for 250 automobiles •   Multiple ceremony spaces throughout the landscaped gardens •   Tiki torches light up evening celebrations •   Koi ponds and fountains provide water features.

Enjoy h'orderves and champagne, while you take in the scenery and  mingle with other engaged couples.  WeDo Designs is the on-site wedding designer, and Rabina Khan along with her team are sure to wow you with their elegant designs and modern innovations to wedding decor.   Many brides watch shows like Platinum Weddings, or My Fair Wedding with David Tutera and feel like those weddings are just a fairytale. Let us assure you that with the right vendors, you can have the Platinum Wedding you have dreamed of without breaking the bank! Check out WeDo Designs, for picture galleries, pricing and available services.

So mark you calendars, and make sure to attend this great Open House at The Palms Pavilion.  May 10th, 2011 from 4 to 7pm.

The Palms Pavilion is located at 2947 Nord Avenue, Chico CA 95973

For more information contact:

Rabina Khan, WeDo Designs (530) 566 - 7603 2947 Nord Ave Chico, CA 95973

Hire a Professional Beverage Service/Bartender

Even if you are having a "dry" wedding, your guests will still be thirsty.  Hiring a professional bartender or beverage service helps to make sure that you and your guests can enjoy the evening without having to pour your own drinks! Catering companies often supply water, tea, or lemonade but when it comes to champagne or cocktail drinks you are on your own.  With a professional bartender you can rest assured that your guests will be taken care of. Make a statement, and treat your guests with signature cocktail drinks made special for your wedding. You will need to check with your wedding venue to ensure they allow outside alcohol for your event.  You can create signature drinks that match your theme, or plan around the season of your wedding.  White Russians for winter weddings and blended margarita's or mojitos for the warmer months.

For our DIY brides out there, look for sales and deals on alcohol and drink mixes and stock up on supplies such as straws, cocktail napkins, stiring sticks etc. offers printable labels for your stirring sticks, which you can personalize with your monogram, intials or wedding date etc. Another way to keep your budget in check, is to only serve alcohol during the cocktail hour (which may also help keep your guests from getting over indulged.) Have a friend or relative that knows a thing or two about making drinks? Don't be afraid to ask them to help out if you aren't planning on hiring a bartender.

For local professional bartenders and beverage services check out our directory. Below are some cocktail drink recipe ideas, and keep in mind there are endless options out there. Use the recipes for bridal showers, bachelorette parties as well.  If you have a smart phone you can also download free cocktail recipe apps!

White Russian   1 1/4 Vodka 1 1/4 Cofee Licquer 1 1/4 Heavy Cream Directions: Stir together in a pitcher, then pour into ice filled glasses.

Cosmopolitan (serves one) 1 oz vodka 1/2 oz Triple Sec 1/2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice 1/2 oz Cranberry juice Lime Wedge Directions: Shake liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice, Place lime wedge on the rim of  Martini glass. Pour mix into the glass & Enjoy

Lemon Drop (Shots) 1 Shot Absolut Citron 1 Slice Lemon 1 tsp Sugar Directions: Place sugar on lemon, take the shot and then bite down on the lemon!

Mojito                                                                                         2-3 oz of Light rum Juice of 1 lime (1 oz) 2 tsp Sugar 2-4 Mint Sprigs Soda water Directions: Mix the mint and sugar with a splash of soda water in a mixing lass, until sugar is dissolved.  Squeeze the lime into the glass, add the rum and shake with ice. Top off with soda water, garnish with ming sprig and serve.

Real Northern California Weddings

Veronica & DanielChico, CA 10.10.10

With all of the planning leading up to my wedding day in October, I had begun to get overwhelmed with all of the details. Eventually, I let myself stop stressing and try to enjoy everything that was happening. I knew my vendors had everything under control so it was time for me to just be a Bride!

Initially I had wanted to hire a wedding coordinator, but I had confidence that I could handle organizing the details myself, and although there were a few rough patches I must say everything went rather smooth!  (Believe me when I say I was far from a DIY Bride)

My theme was black and white damask, with an accent of red. (Oh and of course some bling)  When I booked WeDo Designs, I knew that the owner, Rabina Khan really understood my vision and from samples of her work I knew she would be able to exceed my expectations.

The wedding venue was The Card Center in Chico, which offers an outdoor area for the ceremony as well as indoor reception area with a patio for the cocktail hour.   The Card Center staff provided me with a floor plan of the reception area, and we were able to work on the layout and plan out how the tables and chairs would be set up.  We also decided we would use floor to ceiling fabric, and up-lighting to really transform the room. See the before and after photos below.

When I met Lisa Hunter of Lisa’s Flor Décor, I was hooked on her artistic creations with flowers and centerpieces. I had so many different pictures of designs I liked, but she was able to choose designs and flowers that were cohesive with my wedding theme. She made sure that the centerpieces were an appropriate height for the room and really accomplished what I had asked of her. I loved that she was willing to mix things up and play with different heights and centerpiece ideas. When it came to the altar, Lisa brought my vision to life and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out.

I really loved our aisle, and Lisa's Flor Decor made a beautiful Monogrammed "E" covered in Roses.

Speaking of flowers, every bride dreams of walking down the aisle holding her beautiful bouquet! I loved the mix of flowers used in the my bouquet, and the Gerbera Daisy’s had a dark center which matched the bridesmaid dresses.

I wore a Casa Blanca wedding gown and the Bridesmaids wore Black Alfred Angelo gowns with Red Accents.

Daniel wore a black Tuxedo with a White Vest, and the Groomsmen wore Black Tuxedos with Red Accents from Mens Wearhouse.

What is a wedding celebration without appetizers and a delicious dinnner? Leslie with Shelly’s Creative Catering really brought her A game to the wedding and not only was the food amazing but she was also great at keeping the festivities on schedule. The cocktail hour consisted of an open bar, fruits, cheese and crackers, and veggies, followed by a tri-tip and chicken buffet dinner.

Christy, with Christy's Creations created a cake that tasted amazing and fit perfectly into our theme. It was a three-tierd white cake with fondant. The photo-booth was a blast, and the photos served as our wedding favors. Chico Photo and Video brought the booth to the reception, provided props and also a cd of the photos for us to be able to see all of the pictures. Having the props really added to the fun, and since there was no limit on how many pictures we could take I think the kids at the wedding probably went in the booth over 20 times! Tracy with Tracy Lynn Photography captured some great shots, and really made us feel comfortable in front of the camera. She knew I wasn't a picture person so she really had a challenge on her hands!


Say Cheese!

There are many ways to capture the memories and kodak moments of your big day. From the professional photos or videos taken by your photographer, to candid snapshots taken by your guests.  A photobooth gives you a combination of the two, because the photos are taken with a professional camera and it is just plain fun!

Photobooth companies often supply props and costume pieces that allow the guests to take as many playful pictures as they want.  You can have your names and date or monogram printed onto the photo strips so that they become a keepsake for you and for your guests.  Give your guests the option to keep half of the photo strip and place the other half into your scrapbook where they can write a personalized note to you.  Keep in mind that in most cases you will get a cd with all of the pictures on it for you to enjoy, and make extra prints if necessary.

So in between the father daughter dance and your bouquet toss just throw on a cowboy hat and some oversized sunglasses and have a unique photo with your friends and family forever!

Check out these examples of Photobooth Fun, and don't forget to checkout our directory to find local photo booth rentals.  

Are You a Spring Bride?

Spring is the time of year that just makes you appreciate mother nature and all of her beauty.  The grass is at its greenest, the birds are chirping, everything is blooming and chances are love is in the air.  So why not plan your blissful day in the spring time and take advantage of the lovely backdrop of nature! A great way to plan a successful spring wedding is to book a venue with both indoor and outdoor areas for your ceremony and reception.  This ensures that if the weather takes a sudden turn for the worst you are still covered (literally, who wants to get rained on in their wedding dress?) Another positive, is that you should be able to have a wide array of floral options because most of popular flowers are going to be in season.  A great way to lower your cost and keep your floral budget in check is to consider which flowers are in season and readily available in your area.  If your florist has to have flowers shipped from out of the country, chances are your budget will be busted! A few of the top spring flowers are Tulips, Hyacinths, Peonies, Forsythia, Lily of the Valley, Freesia, Pansies, Poppies, Ranunculus, Roses, and Violets.

Check out a few of these spring beauties!