Northern California Wedding Planner | Booking your glam squad

If you follow us on Instagram or if you’ve scrolled through our gallery here on our website you will see the work of so many dedicated professionals to ensure that every detail is above and beyond the couple’s wishes. We love seeing the wedding glow and “glammed” bridesmaids so this post is all about the glam squads that make sure couple’s look and feel their best!

Why hire a professional?
We feel pretty strongly about hiring professionals for your wedding day, because they not only come prepared for just about anything, but they also have experience staying on track with the timeline! When you combine a room full of girls with the excitement of a wedding day it can be easy to get behind on the schedule without a plan in place.

How to plan your hair & make-up timeline
Look over your list of bridesmaids, family members or other special guests at your wedding that will be getting ready with you. Determine who will need hair and make-up services and when they will need to be ready for photos.

You’ll also want to decide if your wedding party will have a specific style or if each style will be up to the individual, that way you can work with your hairstylist to see how long they need per person.
For make-up you will want to know who is getting full make-up vs eye make-up and how long you need to expect per person.

Then you will need to ask your stylists if they will have an assistant coming or if they will be doing all of the services one at a time. Remember these stylists are very skilled at what they do so as long as you let them know what time you all need to be camera ready they can determine when they should start.

Photo by  EMK Photography

Look for the best lighting
You’ll want to make sure that where ever you plan on getting ready has a lot of natural light. This helps ensure that your make-up looks natural and picture perfect! This is also the best lighting for your photographer to capture those stunning bridal portraits.

Photography by  Sunnie Heers  | Hair by  Allure Salon

Photography by Sunnie Heers | Hair by Allure Salon

As wedding planners we aren’t always able to be at your getting ready location so it gives us a lot more reassurance when we know you have a wonderful team there to support you before your ceremony. We do get to pop in to say hello and it is always so fun to see the glam happening with all of those pre-wedding butterflies!

We can’t wait to help you create a seamless wedding day timeline and if you need recommendations for hair and make-up artists we’ve got you covered!

~ Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | Can you do it all?

When I talk to couples about planning their wedding there can be a lot of elements that they feel confident about doing on their own. It’s understandable to want to cut costs, and to want to feel connected to the details of your wedding. What some clients don’t realize is that you are going to have a lot on your plate in the weeks leading up to your wedding so you aren’t able to approach these projects with a lot of free time.

Photo: Grace Aston Photography

Photo: Grace Aston Photography

Even when you have an open schedule, you won’t be able to solve the age-old problem of being in two places at once. We find the most stressful situations that we hear about are when the couple has booked a venue for one day and have 12 to 15 hours total to bring in all of the decor, set-up - hold the event and then break down.

The reason we have our Wedding Management package is to help couples tie up these loose ends and organize some of these elements so that our team can handle placing the details and fine tuning everything while the couple enjoys getting ready with their wedding party or family. They get to walk down the aisle and look around at their venue with all of their special people surrounding them and not worry if everything is ready for cocktail hour and the reception.

So if you are considering doing some of the work yourself, here are some do’s and don’t’s:

Projects that you can tackle early on such as collecting the centerpiece vessels (wood boxes, vases, vintage books, lanterns, jars, etc) that you can take to your florist to use for the arrangements, or creating cute signs & photo prints that you want to place around your venue to personalize your space —> Yes!

Intricate details that need to be assembled on the day of your wedding at each of the 150+ place settings —> No!

Seating charts and escort cards when your guest count is finalized two weeks out —> Yes!

Anything that can melt or wilt (flowers, cake, desserts, bags of ice) etc —> No!

Custom sign-in books, welcome table signs, keepsakes and other handmade items —> Yes!

Cleaning-up/Breaking down the tables, chairs, linens, rentals and garbage on your wedding night —> No!

To learn more about how we can help you have a stress-free wedding day, we can get started with a complimentary consultation!

~ Happy Planning!

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Northern California Wedding Planner | Keeping Your Wedding Budget in Check

Our tips for keeping your wedding budget in check

the530bride_budget-tips

If we had to name one thing that can really cause stress it wouldn't be hard to guess that the Budget topic is first on the list.  Why? Because it is often skipped over in the excitement of being engaged and the couple or the families of the couple choose a wedding venue off the bat without realizing how that impacts the rest of the budget moving forward.  

Looking at sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire, you will see an estimation of 50% of your total budget going towards the cost of the venue.  What varies greatly is what the venue actually provides.  If your venue doubles as your ceremony and reception venue and includes amenities like tables and chairs, you probably in good shape.  

Our advice is to A) Discuss the budget and be realistic on how much you are comfortable putting away or who will be contributing.  B) Meet with a wedding planner who can put these numbers into perspective for you based on the area C) Create two spreadsheets based on your top two venues and break down how the budget would be allocated in both scenarios.  

Wedding planning is fun we promise, but it does come with some reality checks and for good reason.  We strongly believe in planning for the experience and not for the "stuff" or you will definitely go over budget and feel like you are being over taken by the whole process.  

We use a planning dashboard to help our couples through their planning and budgeting so that we can track costs and keep all of those items in check.  By tracking deposits, payments and final balance it keeps the financial aspect much more transparent.  

What has been the most stressful aspect of planning for you? Just getting started? Contact us today for a complimentary consultation for wedding planning and how we can best help you. 

Tackling Your Pinterest Board: how to focus ideas into a vision

By Christina Rafael

When I first got engaged, back in February 2012, I had a plethora of ideas I wanted to incorporate into my wedding and no idea how to execute them.

Was I a modern bride? Rustic? Should I call vendors? What about my dress?

These were just some of the topics I was mulling over in my brain and obsessing over in my dreams.

I had been planning—like most women I know—an imaginary dream wedding on Pinterest for quite some time before a ring was even introduced by my fiance. Anytime I would see something shiny or pretty, I would pin it.  Anytime something made me cry, I would pin it. And anytime I did a mini clap over a creative idea, I would pin it.

I got a bit shameless with my “pinnings” and needless to say, had no focus or clear vision for my big day (May 25th!)

I’m sure I’m not the only person who went a bit overboard with ideas and thought it might be helpful for our 530 Brides to know they aren’t alone!

Here’s some tips on how I was able to condense my  ideas, pave the road to planning and communicate with vendors who lacked psychic abilities to know EXACTLY what I wanted.

Take a Good, hard, look at your wedding Pinterest board

I set aside a morning to scan all three hundred pins (I know…) and look through them for repetitive ideas.

I recorded reoccurring themes and colors on post-it’s and found that I pinned, more than often, a LOT of burlap and blush-themed wedding ideas. As a result of this exercise I was able to determine my colors (neutrals with splashes of blush) and bridal style: rustic romantic. I was also able to select DIY projects I could successfully complete.

Folders, folders galore

My wedding folders can be classified as a bit obsessive. Once I was going through my Pinterest  on paper I decided to tackle it virtually. I saved actual images from pins to my desktop and classified them by what they applied to.

For example, if I loved a cake design I would have a folder entitled “Reception” and within that folder would be one named “Food”, within THAT folder would be a “cake” folder filled with several photos.

This organization prevented me from getting lost in my own ideas. It also came in handy to show family and vendors photos of what inspired me from my laptop without relying on wifi connection.

Look at vendor websites

One thing I’ve learned as a bride is to pay attention to the vendors you pick and why you pick them.

Many wedding vendors—from caterers to consultants—have social media you can look at to view previous work. If you seem drawn to a certain vendor, make sure to see what they’ve done in the past and branch off of it.

For example, if you find a dessert display (like the one pictured above) on a caterer's Facebook page, reference it to them when you discuss your own plans and discuss why you liked it.

Often times they’ll be flattered, know exactly what you’re talking about and can make it better than it was before.

Call in for re-enforcements

If your vision wanders, you feel overwhelmed or just have a small question as you begin this planning journey, give us a call or comment on a post through our website or on social media . We're always reading our feedback and love to hear from our brides.

Our services are also available, from full planning packages to specialized event coordination. We also offer hour-long consultations where you can get detailed answers to questions, help with vendor planning, guides for invitation wording  and much more.

Happy Planning and remember, we're here if you need a hand.