Northern California Wedding Planner | Demystifying the Invitation Suite

Throughout planning, some elements come naturally to couples and other elements just seem more tricky or confusing. Invitation suites can feel like a lot to figure out, from choosing the design to deciding what wording to use or how formal you want the suite to be. Budget does play a part in these decisions of course, but sometimes the difficulty simply lies in not being able to visualize these pieces together.

Our post today will be highlighting the various elements of the modern invitation suites, as well as what options couples have when deciding where to go to get started. We’ll share links and resources to find all of the info you need to make a decision on the best option for you!

 
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Custom Stationery design is a process of bringing the couple’s desired aesthetic and their personalities together to create something unique and authentic. These details can be in the paper and color choice, a custom monogram or crest, specialty envelope liners, hand painted details, wax seals, custom postage and of course the calligraphy for addressing the invitations.

What goes into a design suite, well of course that varies by preference and budget but a complete suite would include most if not all of the elements below:

The method of production, from letterpress to digital or hand-painted/calligraphy is one of the more major decisions because that dictates the cost, the type of paper, the turnaround time and the design process in general. One would argue that the invitations set the tone for the rest of the event, however I don’t believe couples should be held to that 100% of the time if that deters them from moving forward with a design that they really feel drawn to.

Image via  Unsplash

Image via Unsplash

If you have a vision of a beautiful flat-lay image of your whole invitation suite (like those stunning photos you see on Pinterest and Instagram) this can still be achieved even if you chose a semi-custom or template from a digital design retailer and had them printed. Tip: Do be sure to mention to your photographer that this shot is important to you!

With the introduction of sites like Minted.com, Wedding Paper Divas, Etsy and many more, couples are flooded with pages upon pages of designs to choose from and this can certainly be overwhelming. You want a design that speaks to your personalities and matches with your theme or vision but you might not want something that is trending or overly popular at the moment. Even when using a pre-designed template you can find ways to personalize it by adding a band, ribbon, vellum sheet, envelope liner, embossing, calligraphy etc.

So should you choose a custom designer to ensure that you have a one of a kind invitation suite? Here is a great article from Raspberry Creative listing 5 reasons you should hire a stationery designer.

Image via Unsplash

Image via Unsplash

One recommendation that I make when working with couples is to find at least one to two elements they really want to throw their personality into during their wedding planning process. This could be the decor, the food menu, the ceremony or even the dance/entertainment line-up. Of course you could put your personality into all of those, but sometimes your wedding budget doesn’t give you the ability to customize every element.

In the interest of keeping this post short and sweet, we have linked to a few helpful articles and resources on each of the various topics that we find couples have the most questions about.

How much do custom invitations really cost & a breakdown of the process

Letterpress Wedding Invitations (Etiquette, Samples, Ordering Resources, F.A.Q’s & Tips)

Watercolor/ Hand Painted Wedding Invitation examples

Additional Articles/Links:
Comparing invitation costs
https://www.papelnco.com/custom-wedding-invitations
https://www.sableandgray.com/press
https://inkandpressco.com/the-semi-custom-collection
https://www.bellafigura.com/customize/calligraphy/
https://www.howdesign.com/creative-freelancer-blog/passion-projects/why-wedding-invitations-will-never-go-digital/
Envelope Liners
How to properly Mail Your Wedding Invitations

Northern California Wedding Planner | Re-Thinking Your Wedding Budget

Pop quiz - how many wedding related tabs or apps do you have open at this very moment? Just kidding, we aren’t here to judge! In all seriousness, it can feel like a rabbit-hole once you get started down the path of wedding planning. Once that ring is on your finger or the word gets out that you are engaged, all of the sudden people start asking you questions and giving you advice & opinions that you never actually asked for; the pressure is on to have all of the answers.

Good news! You don’t have to have it all figured out so fast, take your time and think about what you actually want and make an intentional effort to enjoy being engaged. If you have read some of our other posts about you will probably see a trend that we truly want you to make the most of your day and to not try and do all the things because you think you should. Instead, really commit to making the whole event a reflection of your relationship together because if you can do that - you can’t go wrong!

Once you have committed to planning authentically, the fun part starts of building this awesome crew of event partners to support you in this quest to have a kick-ass (*and pretty) wedding day. So the title of this post was re-thinking your budget right? Let’s talk about that, shall we? According to Wedding Wire’s 2019 report, 1 in 3 couples underestimated their budget.

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Inevitably there will be logistics to hosting guests in a space no matter if this is in your backyard, or City Hall. Understanding your vision for the overall flow of the day and then working with your planner to fine tune this flow into a fluid experience for you and your guests will take some finesse. What we don’t want is for you to feel rushed to choose a venue that doesn’t really represent or support that vision, and in some cases can hinder it.

We’ve created a blog series PDF full of tips related to keeping your budget in check and thinking through some of the steps in the decision making process. Be sure to grab part 1 of the series by subscribing to the list below, and each topic will be emailed right to your inbox!

You can read another recent blog posts about budgeting here or check out our list of blog categories over in the sidebar!

~ Happy Planning!
Veronica

Northern California Wedding Planner | The Good Stuff

In the thick of wedding season, it could be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of email inboxes, layouts, to-do lists and budgets .. but the special moments when couples get a little watery in the eyes thinking of their ceremony details or when they see their engagement photos come back; that’s the good stuff!

Photo by  AVH Photography

You see, it is so personal and special to be a part of this experience with our couples. We are there for the big decisions down to the smallest of the details, the phone calls and texts with advice and support through every planning milestone. Even for the couples who book with us a few months out before their wedding after they have made the majority of the decisions, realize the benefit to having someone to advocate on their behalf while bringing the details together in the final weeks.

We find ourselves telling our couples how fast the wedding day truly will fly by and we want to help them enjoy every moment of it. So the more we can do to take your focus off of the “stuff” and put it back on your experience, and being present with your fiance, friends & family - that’s what matters most.

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When we meet with our couples and potential clients we will be able to help you prioritize the details that will actually impact your day and streamline the rest. Our goal is to also make sure that all of the event partners who are a part of your day (photographer, videographer, hair & make-up, transportation, florist, caterer, DJ and venue for example) are all set up for success as well. This helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that you know the details are handled!

Sometimes the biggest impact of all, is the ability for the parents of the couple and their immediate family to be able to relax and know that everything is in place for the big day which allows them to be able to relax and enjoy as well. This sweet note below is from a bride’s mom at a recent wedding and it touched our hearts:

Dear Veronica, Thank you so much for all of your guidance & help to make Jade & Mark’s wedding perfect for them! You were the super glue that held it all together. Also, holding my peace of mind in check with your amazing timeline. Anxiety comes from fear of the unknown. When we organize our plans & see it in writing, it helps so much. You came into our lives quickly, but made a long lasting impression. So grateful you helped Jade navigate the dog situation and went above & beyond in delivering our leftovers to our home. The 530 Bride is amazing!
— Julie A.

So no matter how close you are to your wedding date we hope you will consider having a wedding planner or wedding management/coordination team support you. If we are booked, we are always happy to provide recommendations of local and reputable planners who will do an amazing job for you.

~ Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | Miners Foundry Weddings, Nevada City

Have you ever connected with a space, every time you walk in you just instantly feel at ease? From our first wedding at Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City back in 2015 to our most recent wedding last fall, it is simply a space a space I could never tire of because it can be something entirely different for every event that takes place there!

Photo by  Artpix

Photo by Artpix

The Stone Hall is the show stopper of the venue, from the dramatic beams and stone work to the stone fireplace and when you add a pop of decor like the fabric draping or lounge furniture - it’s just stunning. Some couples choose to do ceremony in the Stone Hall, and reception in the Osborne Room while others have done their ceremony in the upper gallery and used the Stone Hall for dinner & dancing; there are many different variations.

Photo by  Kindred Weddings

We’ve also done weddings were the ceremony and reception is held in the Stone Hall and during the cocktail hour our team along with the catering staff transition (aka flip) the space from the ceremony set-up to reception. It’s always an exhilarating task and so rewarding to see everyone’s reactions when they come back into the space.

Photo by  Kindred Weddings

What’s also really great about Miners Foundry, is the proximity to the local shops, bed and breakfasts, hotels and more so the guest experience is always really fun for those who can spend a little time to enjoy Nevada City. Since we are based in Chico, it is an easy (and beautiful) drive to Nevada City and always a treat to work in the area so if you are looking for a really awesome destination in Northern California for your wedding definitely check out Miners Foundry!
~ Happy Planning!

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 wardrobe..click - 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 | Historic Covered Bridge Wedding ~ As seen on Lovely Day Journal

No matter how much time passes, we could go back in our minds to the specific details of a past wedding day from the planning sessions, emails, floorplans, to getting the wedding party lined up and sending them down the aisle for their ceremony! We remember these moments because it feels like such a gift to experience them, and to share them with our couples.

This June wedding was one for the books as far as warm weddings go, but I can’t think of a single guest that I didn’t see out on the dance floor having an amazing time because Nerissa and Quinn were absolutely enjoying their day! We love to see weddings featured especially when the couples can share details and some of the story behind each element that made their day so special. Obviously we were excited to see Nerissa & Quinn’s wedding featured on Lovely Day Journal! Phots by Annamae Photo

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

“Everything about our wedding day was perfect. I especially loved our vows. My husband wrote them and they were exactly us.”
— Nerissa
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Nerissa was not only an organized bride, but she was able to incorporate her talent as a graphic designer into the details of her day while still being able to relax & feel present with her friends and family. We know that it takes an incredible amount of trust to hire a team to manage these special details, and we are so thankful to have been there along the way with Nerissa & Quinn!

See the full feature on Lovely Day Journal here or see the links below to learn more about the vendor team:
Second Shooter: Annamae Photo//Beauty: Two Twenty Two Salon//Makeup Artist:Powder Room Beauty Bar//Floral Designer: Lisa Claire Floral//Pre Ceremony Location: Hotel Diamond//Ceremony Location: Honey Run Covered Bridge//Event Planner: The 530 Bride//Design and Decor: WeDo Designs//Caterer: Kinders BBQ//Bakery: Upper Crust Bakery & Eatery//DJ: Elite Sound Professional DJ’s//Photographer: Annamae Photo//

If you would like to learn more about the The Honey Run Covered Bridge rebuilding efforts or to donate, visit: https://hrcoveredbridge.org/donate

~ Happy Planning!
XOXO, Veronica

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 | Sharing the Love!

With so many special engagements over Valentines Day, we wanted to share the love with all couples who are getting ready to start looking at save-the-dates and invitation suites! While we do love a beautiful custom suite (who doesn’t) we have found that Minted offers so many incredible designs for every style and budget. You can take advantage of our Minted Wedding Planner Discount with the code below!

Not sure when you should send out save-the-dates, or how to track RSVP’s? Schedule a complimentary consultation to chat about your wedding stationery, planning checklist and choosing the best vendor team to help bring all of your ideas together for your day!
Shoot us a message on our contact form or directly to hello@the530bride.com and we can set up a meeting or phone session at your earliest convenience.

Northern California Wedding Planner | The Design Process

We’ve been meeting with a lot of amazing engaged couples who are interested in learning more about the design process and how a wedding planner can help. These days with Pinterest and Instagram, couples can feel overloaded with designs and it can be difficult to hone in on the right aesthetic for their day. Afterall, a wedding you see on Pinterest in an entirely different setting, time of year, and budget might not align with what works for you in your specific wedding venue space.

Photo by  Diane Nicole Photography , showroom featured WeDo Designs

Photo by Diane Nicole Photography, showroom featured WeDo Designs

First things first, let’s chat about how you want your day to feel. What do you want your guests to experience and what do you want your memories of your day to be? If the custom menu cards and extensive signage details are important to you then we would shift to looking to create a very cohesive approach to your wedding. On the other-hand if you are focused on the lighting, food & entertainment to drive the guest experience then we would allocate more of your budget to making the guest experience more focal to what they will be interacting with.

We all love pretty wedding details, and it is always a great idea to start narrowing down the colors that you want to incorporate into your design. A spring or fall wedding can look very different for each wedding so we really want to pull together a palette that feels just right.

Photo by  Diane Nicole Photography , showroom featured WeDo Designs

Photo by Diane Nicole Photography, showroom featured WeDo Designs

Then we take inspiration from your Pinterest and source local items to give you a similar look but still customizing to your wedding. We’ll attend a design meeting with you to go over rentals & decor items and then put together a mock table set-up. Once the mock table set-up is approved we move on to creating your site plan, in certain settings where space is limited we want to double check that we are utilizing the space and creating a great flow for guests.

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As we get closer we can adjust with changes and update your design details, then we’ll work with all of your vendors to ensure that no detail is missed!

Do you have questions about the design process? If you are feeling like you could use a little more help with pulling your design together while staying on budget, be sure to reach out to us and we would be happy to chat!

~ 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!

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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 | 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 | Newly Engaged - Top F.A.Q's

If you’re secretly reading this at work while your boss is away - we get it, the excitement of being engaged is sort of distracting so you are starting to try to get the ball rolling with your wedding plans. We’re going to cruise through the top frequently asked questions from newly engaged couples!

One of our favorite engagement sessions by Matthew Lim Photography check out the full  blog post

One of our favorite engagement sessions by Matthew Lim Photography check out the full blog post

How do we choose a wedding venue?

If you read a few of our posts here, you’ll quickly see a pattern of us recommending to determine your budget before booking your wedding venue. Okay, we know budget isn’t a fun topic right off the bat but trust us when we say how important it is because it will determine how much you can spend in other areas of your wedding such as food, alcohol and entertainment. Comparing amenities and the amount of access you will have to the space is another important factor, a local wedding planner can help you easily compare and narrow down the search. Lastly, sometimes the venue search simply comes down to just knowing how you feel when you’re onsite. Hop over to Butte County Weddings for a list of venues!

What’s the average wedding cost?

This question is a little harder to answer because there can be so many factors from the size of the guest count, time of year, style of the wedding, food & alcohol etc. However you can read these posts about budget breakdowns: Service Fees // Alcohol Budget // Catering Budget

Do we really need a DJ/Emcee?

A DJ or a band with an emcee will make a huge difference in guest experience because they will have an idea of what is happening next, and the DJ will be able to interact & read the crowd on what music is keeping everyone on the dance floor. Now, if your wedding is 20 guests enjoying a 5 course meal in a more intimate setting you may be able to find a more suitable music solution such as an acoustic musician if dancing isn’t the main focus.

It feels like there is so much to do, where do we start?

It can definitely feel overwhelming when there is so much noise, from Pinterest and Instagram to wedding websites giving you the daily countdown.. but understanding what is a priority to you as a couple comes first. We’d say that meeting with a wedding planner for a no-obligation consultation right from the start can help you get a sense of the local wedding scene and we can speak from experience that we are always happy to point you in the right direction even if you decide that you want to do the bulk of the initial planning yourself.

Remember, this is a fun & happy occasion so stay true to yourself and to your partner during the planning process. Life does go on after a wedding but our focus is to help you make the most of this amazing chapter in your lives!

~ Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | Romantic Orchard Reception ~ Amanda & Emilio

As the saying goes, “when you know, you just know” and it couldn’t be more true for newlyweds Amanda & Emilio. Their excitement and passion for starting their new chapter together was so inspiring and you could feel this connection right away. Getting to see the photos from their day has brought it all back, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks again to Wild Native Photo for sharing these images!

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Thanks to all of the amazing vendors who were a part of Amanda and Emilio’s day and to all of their friends and family who contributed to each element of transforming this working orchard to a magical celebration!

Photography: Wild Native Photo // Florals: North Bloom // Planning and Bar Service: The 530 Bride // Beauty: Mecca Salon Chico // Ceremony: St. Johns Baptist Church, Chico // Reception Venue: Private Home // Music Phil (Family Friend) // Catering: Javier Solis (Family Friend) // Place Setting Rentals: WeDo Designs // Tables and Chairs: Mac’s Hardware Gridley Restroom Rentals: New Hock Farms

Northern California Wedding Planner | Planning Your Wedding During a Disaster

A week ago today, the world as our little community knew it changed. The amount of loss in from the #campfire is devastating, and unprecedented. With each press briefing and community meeting we learn more details and updated numbers of lives lost, and damaged homes and structures. Our couples, “friendors”, neighbors and friends all are touched by this fire and our own experience of being evacuated was surreal in itself.

While we are working to assist our couples who are affected, and offer support to vendors who have lost their homes or businesses we also want to offer support to couples who aren’t sure how to proceed. Who can you talk to about your wedding plans in a time like this, when everyone around you is in disaster mode? We are here for you with a shoulder, an ear, and a clip board of to-do lists on how we can help you.

Maybe originally you felt that you could plan your wedding with family and friends but now feel like you aren’t sure what life around you will look like a few months from now or even a year. Please give us a call and let us know your situation, as many venues and vendors have offered to help couples with making changes to their existing plans or easing the process for those going forward.

Planning a wedding is an exciting time, one that you want to share with your friends and family and we still want you to be able to have that amazing day!