A Twist on Rustic Wedding Decor


A Twist on Rustic Wedding Decor

So I have some confessing to do. I’m sassy, so one time on my personal Facebook page I reposted this meme that popped up in my feed…

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And I didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings when I posted it! In fact, many of my wedding vendor Facebook friends thought it was funny! But somebody got offended and unfriended me because HER wedding decor had comprised of burlap and mason jars and twinkle lights and wooden crates and SHE thought it turned out beautifully! Well, I’m sure it did, and that was never my point.

But here’s my honest opinion: Standard rustic wedding decor is TIRED. It astounds me on the daily that so many couples still want rustic decor when there are so many other themes out there that are just as affordable and less commonly seen! Don’t get me wrong, rustic isn’t ugly or bad, it’s just very common—I see it every weekend. And because it’s so common, it has become impersonal to the couples getting married when they go rustic-themed because it’s become such a stereotype.

As a planner, I am all about helping clients personalize their decor by choosing themes and ideas that help them express who they are as a couple! I get so excited when clients do something bohemian, art-deco, tropical, whimsical… you get the idea. I find that couples who branch out to these kinds of themes feel more invested and satisfied with the decor they go with because they are not constantly comparing themselves to the Pinterest Wedding Ideal (come on, you know what I’m talking about!)

I’m in Oregon, where almost every venue is a barn, and here it makes sense to go rustic with our themes. HOWEVER! That doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a super cool hybrid that spins rustic and, say, boho, together! In fact, that’s what I’m about to do.

We are going to take a look at decor that can fit in the rustic theme while offering some creativity with other theme roots: boho, art-deco, garden party, tropical, whimsical, modern… HERE WE GO!

Laura Goldberger Photography

Laura Goldberger Photography

Geometric Shapes ~ Bohemian, Art-Deco.

I see this often in centerpieces and I LOVE it. But what if you went…bigger?!

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Vines and twigs ~ Rustic, Garden Party.

They have more strength than flowers and standard greenery and can create beautiful volume and fairy-tale vibes.

Paloma Cruz Events

Paloma Cruz Events

Pampas, Carpets and Macrame ~ Bohemian, Tropical, art-deco.

Pampas are those big, fluffy, feathery plants. They offer a luxurious but relaxed setting, and are amazing at creating volume without overwhelming the eye. Add them to your archway arrangement, your bouquet, your centerpieces… put them EVERYWHERE.

Carpets create a vintage or bohemian setting, and make excellent aisle runners because they’re heavier than standard runners and are less likely to become tripping hazards; they’re also more sturdy for those in heels to stand on!

Macrame is extremely “in” right now, and its standard neutral color makes it easy to incorporate into any color palette. Use it in your ceremony, for your photo booth backdrop, or to decorate a cute corner of your venue.

Take a look at the close-up below—I just can’t get enough of this design!

Paloma Cruz Events

Paloma Cruz Events

Just WOW! Right?

Ed and Aileen Photography

Ed and Aileen Photography

Flower Walls ~ Whimsical, Garden Party, Modern.

This flower wall will fit right into your decor even if you are going for a mostly rustic theme. Your florist can provide these kinds of backdrops out of real flowers, or they can be made from silk, paper, or even thinly cut wood. Another variation of this is a moss wall.

Do you spot those coffee shop vibe hanging lights? I’m in loooooooove with those too! Ugh. Bring me all of this.

Plum Sage Flowers

Plum Sage Flowers

Flower Hoops ~Rustic, Whimsical, Art-Deco, Garden Party, Modern.

Flower hoops are not just statement pieces—bridesmaids are walking down the aisle with them instead of bouquets, and Flower Girls are holding these instead of baskets of petals. It’s a great way to incorporate the accent metals of your color scheme more directly into your decor, and it offers a new take on what floral arrangements can be.

It will also make your guests go, “Where are the bouquets? …Wait a minute, why do bridesmaids HAVE to hold bouquets? Yeah, they can hold anything they want! Holy cow, I’ve been conditioned all this time to believe bridesmaids have to hold bouquets!” And bam, you’ve opened their minds.

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Floating Arrangements ~ Rustic, Whimsical, Art-Deco, Garden Party, Modern.

It’s the same idea here, guys! Unique shapes, metal accents, a touch of floral, pretty floating objects framing your faces at the altar… I can’t handle how much I love this idea.

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Vintage Doors ~ Vintage, Rustic, Whimsical.

I love it when the ceremony entrance at the beginning of the aisle has doors or something else to frame the bride as she makes her walk down the aisle. And if you’ve got some old doors like this on hand already, they’re the perfect, inexpensive addition to your wedding decor. I would even consider putting doors at the actual altar.

Also, I’m still waiting for the day that my clients go full Narnia and put a wardrobe at their altar (wouldn’t that be AWESOME?!) I can see it now—winter wedding, Victorian gown, accents of rose gold, moss, old books, tall candlesticks, Wardrobe Altar, Mr. Tumnus officiating, the first dance is actually a sword fight… too far? Mmh, I don’t think so.

Ardent Rose Floral Design

Ardent Rose Floral Design

Non-Floral Bouquets. Rustic, Whimsical, Bohemian.

Especially if they’re wild leaves and flowers reminiscent of fall and representative of hearts that can’t be tamed. I have heart-eyes for this kinda bouquet.

Lauren Nicole Photography

Lauren Nicole Photography

More Pampas Leaves. Rustic, Whimsical, Boho, Modern, Beach Vibes.

Pampas leaves are kinda pokey, so watch out, but they sure add body and whimsy to a bouquet! If you wanna be the unique bride pushing boundaries, this is your bouquet.

Braeden Flynn Photography

Braeden Flynn Photography

Put Pampas anywhere! Neutral colors, a little goes a long way.

Karra Leigh Photography

Karra Leigh Photography

. . . You get the idea.

Carmen Santorelli

Carmen Santorelli

Glass Card Boxes. Rustic, Modern, Art-Deco, Whimsical, Classy AF.

A glass card box adds a shiny, elegant touch to any Welcome Table, and looks even better with greenery nestled at the bottom of it beneath cards from your guests.

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Copper-Accented Details. Rustic, Boho, Art-Deco.

These flutes are so pretty, and Etsy is flooded with items like this to personalize your wedding.

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Clusters of Candles. Rustic, Boho, Whimsical.

If your venue will allow it, clustering hurricane glasses filled with pillar or floating candles is an elegant evening wedding touch, perfect for dressing up a simple ceremony altar or bare corner of your venue. As the night goes on, the twinkle vibes will just get brighter and brighter.

Jose Villa

Jose Villa

Carpets. Art-Deco, Boho, Whimsical, Garden Party.

Carpets add a pop of color and decoration where there is often none: the ground! Tell me how many people decorate the floor of their wedding venue? For the record, it’s not always necessary. But if you happen to have one on hand that matches your color palette and that can handle an afternoon in the outdoors, setting up a carpet beneath the ceremony altar, the sweetheart or head table, or the area on your dance floor where first dances will take place will make your colors tie in that much more to the rest of your venue.

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Artistic Decor Pieces. Whimsical, Avant-Garde, Art-Deco, Rustic.

Shout out to all the fantastically artistic brides and grooms out there who can replicate Pinterest projects and make them look just as good as the original. I am not one of those people. My advice is that if you’re not artistic, leave the decor for the professionals. But if you ARE and making art is your happy place, holy cow, your wedding is your art exhibit. Show off those skills! If you can make flowers explode out of an empty picture frame, you basically have an obligation to the rest of us to do it.

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Streamer Photobooth Backdrops. Whimsical, boho, Modern, Rustic, Natural.

Many of the photobooth backdrops I’ve seen are solid and hung against a wall. These are great, but they’re not the only option here. If you have a frame or a tree branch to hang a streamer-like backdrop from, why not go for it? If the background is pretty, all the better if some of it can peak through.

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Macrame. Boho, Rustic, Art-Deco, Beach Vibes.

Macrame is a fantastic photo booth backdrop, and the neutral color makes it that much easier to incorporate into the rest of your wedding style. Extra points if you can pair it with a stunner brick wall like this.

Hyde Park Photography

Hyde Park Photography

More flower hoops. I feel like you could make a statement piece like this yourself with hola hoops. Spray paint them gold or brown, and have your florist attach some pretty arrangements!

Emily Chidester Photography

Emily Chidester Photography

Paper Statement Pieces. Modern, Art-Deco, Whimsical.

Flowers don’t need to be the only way you decorate. Employing crafty mediums can be a modern way to shake things up. Paper, for example, is also likely to be much cheaper than flowers, and can be made months in advance (unlike flowers, which are time-sensitive!)

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Hanging Decor. Whimsical, Rustic, Romantic.

First of all, the colors here are so lovely! Second, we often see lanterns used as centerpieces , lining the ceremony aisle, or even framing the ceremony altar, but hanging from trees? How simple yet unique!

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Repurposing Vintage Furniture. Rustic, Romantic, Whimsical.

If you already have items like this on hand, why not repurpose them as wedding signage? Seating charts are a classic choice, using paint or chalk pens to apply lettering.

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Hanging Statement Pieces. Modern, Classic, Romantic, Rustic, Art-Deco.

Hanging glass bulbs is such a modern, coffee-shop vibe approach to wedding decor. Especially hanging them from statement pieces like in the photo above. Wow!

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Decorating with or Wearing Herbs and fruit. Rustic, Boho, Whimsical, Romantic.

Ok, herbs and fruit are totally underrated wedding decor. Imagine decorating a green table garland with real figs, peaches, and pomegranates? It’s a super easily DIY, affordable and colorful touch! Incorporating herbs into arrangements, especially delicate ones such as hair pieces or boutonnieres, is another way to be unique without breaking the bank. Do you grow lavender in your front yard? Bam. That’s your flower girl’s flower crown right there!

Unique Hanging Pomander.jpg

Pomanders. Rustic, Romantic, Boho, Art-Deco, Whimsical.

Pomanders can serve the same purpose as bouquets or flower hoops (again, why do we feel so strongly that bridesmaids should only hold bouquets?) and hanging arrangements as opposed to placing them on tables or elsewhere is a unique take on decor. Pomanders can be purchased from florists, but you can also make them by purchasing foam balls and poking stems into them. If you’re going to DIY them, I suggest using silk flowers, because they’re lighter and less delicate to handle. Real flowers will need wet oasis (similar to foam, but absorbent), which is crumblier and won’t do you any favors when putting it together.

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Gold-Painted Cakes, Incorporating Maps into Decor. Modern, Romantic, Whimsical.

Okay, what isn’t to love about this cake? *heart eyes*

Incorporating maps into decor is an especially good idea if the couple enjoys traveling, grew up in different parts of the world, or met in a special country. Another idea: having guests sign a globe instead of a guest book.

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Stained-Glass Cakes. Southern-inspired, Whimsical, Modern, Rustic.

Fun-fact: this cake was most-likely painted instead of iced (isn’t painted food a crazy idea?) With how far the food industry has come, we can make cakes look HOWEVER we want them to—we don’t need to be limited to buttercream or fondant designs anymore. Get creative!

Also, incorporating stained glass into other areas of decor is a great ideas! Stained glass window guest book, anyone? What about a stained-glass window seating chart?

Paloma Cruz Events

Paloma Cruz Events

Smoke Bombs. Modern, Whimsical, Boho, Super Cool!

Smoke Bomb Grand Entrance, anyone? The smoke bomb will match your wedding colors and everything. Just don’t be too attached to the original color of your clothes!

Now, wasn’t this fun?! This was SO fun, right? Writing about this has emphasized to me more than ever that we are needlessly limiting ourselves to just rustic decor when we decide that our wedding is “on a budget.”

So? The wedding industry AND other creative industries have made it abundantly clear (even on Pinterest) that the customization possibilities are endless! Let’s begin designing the weddings that are personal to the couples getting married, instead of designing the wedding that Pinterest says is easiest or cheapest or trendiest or the best. Stay true to YOU. I promise you can find a way to make it happen without compromising your budget.



Ariana and Chavo's Summer Wedding


Ariana and Chavo's Summer Wedding

I had the honor of coordinating Ariana and Chavo’s stunning wedding earlier this July in Eugene, Oregon. They had a beautiful Catholic ceremony at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, and guests joined the couple for cocktail hour and a reception at the Downtown Athletic Club.

Ariana’s friends did her and her bridesmaids hair and makeup.

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Ariana rented silk bouquets and boutonnieres from Something Borrow Blooms, a boutique that mails you the arrangements you request for your wedding day, which you just mail back once you’re done with them! You could hardly tell in photos that they’re not real.

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The Groomsmen rented Generation Tux for their suits.

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We had Joshua Rainey Photography take the wedding photos!

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The Downtown Athletic Club (DAC) catered and provided all of the rentals and centerpieces, as well as helped me with set up and tear down. They were incredibly helpful the day of, and offered use of their room of various decor pieces.

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Ariana’s cousin’s provided the photobooth!

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The cake and dessert spread was provided by Mad Batters. I had a fun time setting up the tables with one of the DAC’s helpful staff. Some of the desserts had shots of liquor in them! Those all got snagged within about one minute…

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Ariana and all the single ladies enjoyed a traditional bouquet toss, but for the garter toss, because Ariana didn’t want to be involved, Chavo tossed her garter on a small soccer ball instead!

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One of the surprises I was in on was having Puddles The Duck surprise the guests during the reception. Ariana and Chavo both graduated from University of Oregon in Eugene, so this was special for them and their families. Puddles was also a riot!

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The Reception DJ was Trevino Entertainment, who got the dance party going until almost midnight!



Deer Park Villa ~ Debbie and Chris's Spring Wedding


Deer Park Villa ~ Debbie and Chris's Spring Wedding

Bright are all of my memories of working with Debbie and Chris to plan their wedding. What a gift it was to be a part of their special day and to witness their joy! It was a beautiful day, full of love and churros. Shout out to Magnolia Weddings for capturing this amazing album!

Deer Park Villa Wedding Planner
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Vendor List

Venue: Deer Park Villa

Photographer: Magnolia Weddings

Coordinator: Perfectly Planned Moments

Florist: Angella Floral Arts

Caterer: California Rose

DJ: Runaway DJ

Bus Transportation: First Charter Bus

Hair Stylist: Suzanne Van Houten

Makeup Artist: Fox and Belle Salon


Deer Park Villa ~ Tina and Danny's Winter Wedding


Deer Park Villa ~ Tina and Danny's Winter Wedding

I had the honor of coordinating Tina and Danny’s wedding at Deer Park Villa last December. We had an incredible team working together to make this wedding the absolute dream that it was, and I am in love with the photos Morgan Hydinger took!

Scroll to see the vendors to made this wedding a success.



Photography ~ Morgan Hydinger

Catering ~ Forks and Fingers

Coordination ~ Perfectly Planned Moments

Venue ~ Deer Park Villa

DJ ~ Morning Star Entertainment

Florist ~ Fantasy Florals

Hair and Makeup ~ Triple Twist

Officiant ~ Pastor Jon Cook


Ty Pentecost Photography Sneakpeak


Ty Pentecost Photography Sneakpeak

California Wedding Planner Palo Alto San Francisco
California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto
California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto
California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto
California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden
Perfectly Planned Moments California Wedding Planner Wedding Coordinator San Francisco Palo Alto Outdoor Garden


Venue: Allied Arts Guild

Videography: Cinememories

Wedding Coordinator: Perfectly Planned Moments

Photography: Ty Pentecost Photography

Bridal Gown and Veil: Nelly’s Bridal Boutique

Bridal Jewelry: Blue Nile

Bridal Hair and Make-up: Vinnia via Susie Chhuor Professional Hair and Makeup Team

Suits/Tux: Men’s Warehouse

Florist: (Christina Yan) Bellevue Floral Co.

Ceremony/Reception Décor: Bellevue Floral Co.

Caterer: Caterman Catering

Baker: Mazzetti’s Bakery

DJ: JustINterrainment



How To Approach Pinterest When Planning a Wedding

PC Boredpanda.com

PC Boredpanda.com

Ever since Pinterest launched in 2010, engaged people have become obsessed with what is now commonly known as the Pinterest Wedding. And while it has definitely increased the scope of DIY wedding inspiration, it has also created a Pinterest Wedding Standard that tends to pressure couples into decorating their weddings accordingly. 

This has created an interesting dynamic, since the Do It Yourself wedding photos of beautiful favors and painted mason jars do have their appeal, both in aesthetic and in potentially money-saving hacks; however, the Pinterest Wedding is not for the faint of heart, nor is it as original as it once was. Nowadays, weathering wedding planning with Pinterest around can be very conflicting. To help you out, listed below are some general rules to help keep you focused on what's really important. (Hint: it's NOT the burlap table runner your photographer will cry about when you show him.)

Pinterest Rule #1: Don't Fall For the Money-Saving Lies

PC Loquitur

PC Loquitur

"Make your own wedding favors!" they say. "It will save you so much money!" they say. This is not always the case. Those itty-bitty jars you're going to fill with handmade jam are only $2 each, but you have 150 guests. You're already at $300, and you haven't even bought the ingredients for the jam yet, the ribbon you're going to tie around it, or the cute labels you're going to hand print and stick on! And did I mention how much time you're going to spend making these? Uh, don't you have a wedding to plan? On top of spending $XXX on your wedding favors, you now have to shop for and prep these darned things! How much is your time worth? Is it really less than the cost of professionally crafted, shipped-right-to-your-door favors from Etsy? A better question: do you really need favors at your wedding at all? 

Here's the other problem with DIY projects: it's hard to stop at one. Not only because one handmade item cries out for another to join it for the sake of a cohesive decor theme, but because the idea of DIYing these projects is addicting. (Note that I did not say assembly.) On top of your favors you will want to DIY the paper flower bouquets, the assorted flavor cake-pops, the painted Chinese lanterns, the hand-embroidered ties for the groomsmen, and the freaking glitter-stuffed balloons you want to mail in your invitations for some reason.

...The point is, you're going to spend a lot of money DIYing things, thinking all the while that you're sure saving so much money! Listen to me: that is nonsense. 

Pinterest Rule #2: You're Going to Spend So Much Time REMAKING Your Projects 

PC SheKnows

PC SheKnows

Unless you're an expert crafter, DIY won't look as good as the professionally taken pictures. You just have to realize that the bloggers who create and post about these things usually aren't the Do It Yourself type like you're thinking--they're professionals who Do-This-Stuff-For-A-Living. If you end up attempting these things the week of your wedding thinking it'll be a cinch, you're going to be surprised and overwhelmed when you find that your version of the project that you followed to a T looks nothing like Pinterest's picture! You will have to try again! And...probably again. After the third time, one of three things will happen:

1) You will succeed and have a good product after spending more time and resources than you thought you'd have to.

2) You will have failed miserably and throw up your hands and finally say "Fine, I'm hiring a professional."

3) You will have a dreadfully embarrassing cake as shown above and below, you will be dirt poor from all of those late-night runs to Michael's, and you will then have to use your embarrassing cake at your wedding because you cannot afford another. Now that's #pinterestworthy!

PC Pinterest

PC Pinterest

Please take a moment to enjoy these other Pinterest vs. Reality photos.

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PC Pinterest

PC Pinterest

PC Pinterest

Pinterest Rule #3: Substance, Not Just Decor, at Your Wedding, is important

Vancity Bride

Vancity Bride

Want to have a memorable wedding your guests will look back on with appreciation? Give them great food and drinks. Of course, you want your wedding to be beautiful, and it is YOUR day, so ultimately you should make your wedding look the way you dream of it, but if your main concern is having a wedding that will impress your guests, invest in things your guests, not just your photographer, will appreciate.

Pinterest Rule #4: Pinterest-Inspired no longer guarantees original

PC Pinterest

PC Pinterest

In fact, finding decor ideas on Pinterest and imitating them for your wedding isn't original at all, and some are so insanely overdone that your wedding vendors secretly cry about them together. (Read: burlap-anything, twinkle lights and mason jars. Seriously, PLEASE STOP WITH THE MASON JARS.)

Pinterest Rule #5: Telling Your Photographer What You Want with Your Pinterest Boards Limits Creativity

PC Pinterest

PC Pinterest

If it's on Pinterest, it's already been done! Pinterest is an awesome resource for IDEAS, but don't get swept up into trying to make your wedding an imitation of your Pinterest Board. Your photographer will not appreciate being asked to copy someone else's staged photos; instead, allow your photographer to create new photos worthy of their own Pinterest Posts!

Pinterest Rule #6: Be Inspired By Pinterest, Not Pressured Only to Copy It.

Hopefully throughout this post you've not come away with the idea that Pinterest is The Worst, because that's not at all true. Pinterest is a wonderful resource to use when planning--let's be real--anything! But it is not the end all be all of ideas. Let it start you off, however, remember that you too can come up with original ideas to make your wedding beautiful, memorable and photo-worthy. The last thing you should be concerned about is whether your wedding is adequate based on your ideas' exposure to Pinterest. You too can pioneer Pinterest-Worthy decor!




Katie and Shariff ~ Allied Art Guild Wedding

Last week I had the privilege of coordinating an absolutely STUNNING wedding at Menlo Park's Allied Arts Guild. A hidden gem in the middle of a lovely neighborhood, Allied Arts is an enormous garden with small artist shops in nooks and crannies throughout. What a beautiful day!

The gift table. Engagement photo by www.typentecostphotography.com.

The gift table. Engagement photo by www.typentecostphotography.com.

Sparkler Sendoff!

Sparkler Sendoff!

The Ceremony Aisle (Merner Green).

The Ceremony Aisle (Merner Green).

Look at the detail in this archway! Floral by www.bellevuefloralco.com.

Look at the detail in this archway! Floral by www.bellevuefloralco.com.

Cocktail Hour.

Cocktail Hour.

Reception tables (Sunset Patio).

Reception tables (Sunset Patio).

Getting Ready. Videographer: www.cmslowmotion.com.

Getting Ready. Videographer: www.cmslowmotion.com.

The wedding cake.

The wedding cake.

Guests eating dinner on the patio.

Guests eating dinner on the patio.

Signage by www.bellevuefloralco.com

Signage by www.bellevuefloralco.com

The Dance Floor (Sunset Room).

The Dance Floor (Sunset Room).

Reception Centerpieces (www.bellevuefloralco.com).

Reception Centerpieces (www.bellevuefloralco.com).

Looking forward to the next few weddings on my calendar this summer! Stay tuned for more.



Conflict Resolution During Wedding Planning

PC Social and Personal Weddings

PC Social and Personal Weddings

Are you getting into unexpected fights with your Significant Other about napkin colors? Pouring your time, tears, and more emotional stamina than you have into guests lists? Have you stopped caring about who will give a toast at dinner?

...You're probably planning your wedding.

Weddings are notorious for bringing out unusual tension during the planning process in ways that you'd never expect, and may never experience again once the wedding is over. For sure, it's unfortunate timing, as you have a hundred other things to handle that are stressful enough by themselves. It can, However, be viewed as a good opportunity to work through never-before-seen areas of your relationship with your SO to improve your relationship post-wedding. Below are listed three ways to help you manage conflict during your wedding planning process, and afterwards too.

PC Levo.com

PC Levo.com

Handling Stress

Keep in mind that a lot of relationship tension is stress-induced. Having the correct outlook on stress can significantly impact how it effects you. According to studies presented in This TED Talk, whether stress impacts your health depends on whether you think of it as a good or a bad thing. Stress looked at as a bad addition to your life can begin to break down your mental, emotional, and physical well-being, however, addressing stress with the attitude that it adds an extra bump of energy to your life will only serve to drive you forward, with no side-effects. 

PC Evans Incorporated

PC Evans Incorporated

Take Time to Communicate

I'm going to be bold and assert that the biggest reason why most Relationship problems occur is not because people make huge mistakes worthy of our dramatic grief, but because we often fail to communicate to one-another. When problems arise between you and your SO (and they WILL arise at some point during the planning process), instead of immediately thinking the worst of them, take the time to repeat back to them what you think is going on or what they said. Chances are, you've misunderstood them. If you hurt each others feelings, use "I feel" statements instead of saying things like "You did..." When we properly communicate our thoughts and feelings, we are more likely to quickly and civilly resolve conflict.

PC Naples Elite Transportation

PC Naples Elite Transportation

This is YOUR Day

If your mom wants all of her friends to come to the wedding but won't financially contribute to it, your best friend is insisting on wedding colors you don't really like, and your cousins from out of state want you to have the wedding in their town so they don't have to travel...you just need to put your foot down and say "NOPE." This wedding is not about them. You choose the guests you want at YOUR wedding, and where it will be held, and what colors it is in. Pleasing everybody will not result in a happy wedding. The more you try to please everybody, the less "you" this wedding will become, and--believe it or not--the less happy people will become with you because there is simply not enough room or money to compromise for everyone. If you compromise for one person, but not another, you're asking for trouble to arise. Be solid from the start that the wedding choices are yours by setting boundaries. This doesn't give you permission to go Bridezilla, but rather, to respectfully listen to others' ideas and request that they respect your wishes if you say "no."



Spring Wedding Gallery

Last week was a dream! It was the first wedding I coordinated to kick off the season and it was so wonderful. My clients and I have been planning their wedding for nearly a year now, and to see it finally come together was beautiful.

Here are some of the photos captured by Tyler Rodrigues, the fabulous florist.

The Sweetheart Table

A Groomsman's Boutonnierre 

The Bride's Bouquet

The Bridal Party's Bouquets

The Banquet Table Setup

The Beautiful Ceremony Arbor

The Reception Banquet Room

My next wedding is in just a couple of weeks, and I am so excited to share more photos as soon as they are captured.



Wedding Food Series: Cake and Dessert Options, Part 2

PC Pink Cake Box

PC Pink Cake Box

Continuing the previous post on cakes and dessert options for your wedding, let's get right into icings to be considered.


There are many different types of icings to choose from, depending on what texture and look you want for your cake. Different icings vary in how they taste, pair with cakes, and dry on cake. Here are descriptions of the most common icings you will find on cakes. 


Made of real butter, eggs, and sugar, this icing is smooth and dries soft and shiny. Keep in mind that buttercream needs to be refrigerated, and easily melts, as its base is butter. It is not the ideal icing for an outdoor wedding where it will sit in the sun, but is instead a good choice for an indoor event where it will more likely be in an air-conditioned place where the integrity of its shape will be maintained. It is an incredibly versatile frosting choice, as its flavor is easily paired with nearly any cake, and can itself be flavored with choices like almond or mint. 


Fondant icing is poured over a cake as a liquid to coat and dry on small cakes, or is rolled into a sheet, and molded around larger cakes like a dough. It tastes similar to marshmallows, and holds up well in heat, as it is very thick, and dries hard and smooth. Because it is thick, it can be shaped into decorative items like flowers, leaves, and other fun cake toppers.

PC Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking

PC Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking


Marzipan is very sweet-tasting paste made from ground almonds and vanilla, which can be used similarly to fondant. 

Modelling Chocolate

Modelling chocolate be can white,milk or dark chocolate. It can also be applied like fondant, but is prone to melting in sensitive environments just as buttercream is. 

Royal Icing

This icing is made of eggs, icing sugar, and lemon juice. It's very sweet and hardens very quickly, but is a great choice for decorating with because it keeps it shape, and has a pretty, glossy look, like glass or porcelain. 


Meringue is light and airy, with a mildly sweet taste. It dries hard, and holds up well in heat as long as it has time to set. It has a very mild taste that complements most cake flavors. It is also a good choice for decorating with.

PC Tiny Prints Blog

PC Tiny Prints Blog

Decorative Icing

Icing  is not just frosted. It can be piped in hundreds of different shapes to create beautifully elaborate or elegantly simple patterns on your cake, similarly to the cake in the picture above!

Other Decorative Options


If using flowers on your cake, go for flowers that match the ones in the bridal bouquet, and--if possible--in colors that match the wedding colors. Ask your confectioner about edible flower options. Inedible flowers can also be used so long as they have not been sprayed with pesticides and are removed before serving. Obviously, silk flowers are also an option. 


Ribbons are often used to call attention to the layers on a tiered cake. They can be made from silk or created from icing options such as fondant. 

PC Lia Griffith

PC Lia Griffith


Wedding cake toppers are best known as being a tiny replica of a bride and groom, but can also be 3D words sitting atop the cake, flowers, crystals, or nearly anything else!  Get creative! 

Other Cake Details To Be Aware Of

Signing the Contract

When you've decided on a confectioner and a cake option you like, it's time to sign the contract. Remember to read everything first before you sign it. Make sure what you're signing is what you agreed to when you talked to your confectioner! In the contract should be the following details... 


The deposit and date the cake is to be paid for (often 50%), and when the remainder will be due should be laid out. Make sure this includes delivery fees and all rental costs (such as toppers, cake cutters, cake displays, etc).

PC Pinterest

PC Pinterest

The Date the Cake will be Prepared

Sometimes cakes take multiple days to prepare! The start and end date of the cake's preparation should be included. 

Cake Transportation

It is usually the confectioner's job to transport the cake to the venue. Make sure the date of the reception, it's location address, and arrival time are listed. 


Make sure a list of cake ingredients is included, as well as a list of acceptable ingredient substitutions for ingredients that may become unavailable when the cake must be baked (I.E. seasonal fruits).


A complete description of the cake, including the number of tiers and layers, flavors and fillings and icing, as well as its decor should be listed. Sometimes pictures can be included to ensure design accuracy. 

Saving The Top Cake

It is traditional for the bride and groom to freeze the top tier of their cake and eat it on their 1st wedding anniversary. If you are serving cupcakes but have a small cake for this purpose, it is customary to cut from that cake to feed each other a bite during the reception, but to then wrap the rest up for freezing. Ask your confectioner to help wrap it up to avoid freezer burn.

Other Dessert Options

PC Pinterest

PC Pinterest


If you would prefer not to serve a wedding cake, you can choose cupcakes instead! A cupcake tree is a popular option, similar-looking to the picture above. 

Dessert Tables

If your not a cake fanatic, don't worry! Serving cake at your wedding isn't the only option at all. Pies are also good choices, as are chocolate fountains or s'mores. You can serve a candy bar or a build-your-own-sundae bar. Or, if you don't want to focus on anything specific, you can serve a dessert table filled with a variety of cookies, chocolates, cakes, pies, mouses, squares, the list goes on. Get creative!

PC Luxury Wedding

PC Luxury Wedding

As you can see, while the variety of cake options is huge, the dessert sky is the limit! Forget about tradition, if that's your only reason for choosing cake. Choose the dessert you like the best! What is most important for your wedding dessert is that you're happy with it. Choose the dessert that best suits who you and your fiance are! Your guests will be sure to love it.



Wedding Food Series: Cake and Dessert Options, Part 1

What comes to mind when choosing the ideal cake for your wedding may be things like the style, the size, and the flavor; but there are some other crucial parts that may slip your mind when you think about your cake.  For example, how the cake reflects the theme of your wedding, or how appropriate the size of your cake may be when considering your guest count. Let's begin to cover some of these aspects to ensure that you'll choose the perfect cake for your wedding.

PC Style Me Pretty

PC Style Me Pretty

Portion Costs

Portion cost: How much one portion of cake will be per person. One slice may be anywhere between $4-10, which, multiplied by your entire guest count, can add up quickly!  

Cake size is another big factor to consider, because over- or underestimating how big of a cake you need can really mess up your budget--or cause guests to go without cake!

Cake Type

There are several types of cake to choose from:

- Tiered Cakes (which are stacked cake layers resting on wooden or plastic dowels sticking into the cake for support.)

- Small cakes (often a personal cake for the bride and groom to cut from and then take home, while the guests are served something else.)

- Cupcakes (individual cakes for each guest, often served in very creative flavors.) 

-Styrofoam Cakes (Styrofoam shapes covered in frosting on display which are taken away after the initial cake cutting and replaced by cake slices from Sheet Cake cut up in the kitchen, which are then distributed to guests.)

PC Cake Central

PC Cake Central

Bakery Location vs. Reception Location

 The location of where you get your cake can play a big role in how much you are going to spend on it, along with how easily the cake will transport to the venue. If your venue is in San Francisco, remember that bakeries in high-end cities can charge high-end prices. Ordering from a bakery nearby but not in San Francisco may improve costs. 

A few other things that need to be considered when choosing your cake:

Transportation of The Cake

It is a good idea to keep in mind that a long or difficult transportation of your cake to the venue and be costly as well. For example, if your reception is in the mountains and there are no local bakeries nearby, you may have to pay some hefty transportation costs to get your cake to the wedding from whatever bakery you order from.

Hot Weather

Always make sure that your cake matches the environment it will be in, taking into consideration the sensitivity of the ingredients in the cake. It wouldn't be wise to have an ice cream cake if your wedding is outside in 90 degree weather.  And don't forget about frosting! Butter cream can be very sensitive and melty in the heat, just as a pad of butter tends to melt at room temperatures in your kitchen in the summer. You DON'T want a sad, droopy wedding cake! In situations where the cake is outside for a lengthy period of time in heat, consider choosing fondant as your frosting, which tends to hold up better.


There are lots of different flavor options to choose from when it comes to cakes (bakers are so innovative these days!), especially when you're forced to choose a cake flavor, the filling, and a frosting as well! Remember that you can choose multiple flavors if you have multiple cake layers, or if you're offering cupcakes! Choosing flavor combinations makes attending a cake tasting before signing any contracts especially important.

Cake Tasting

PC Kalmar Kakes

PC Kalmar Kakes

The average cost for a tasting can be around $25-50, which is because the baker must be compensated for the time it takes to prepare the cakes you're tasting, and for the supplies it costs him. In the event that you taste the cake and end up choosing a different baker, this baker has not lost time or money that he was not compensated for. 

Please don't forgo the tasting and sign a contract before knowing what you're going to end up with on your wedding day! Cakes are costly! Choose wisely.

Meal Pairing

Lost when it comes to deciding what flavors to choose? Look no further than your dinner menu! Just as restaurants that serve multiple course meals pair specific entrees with desserts, you can do the same to ensure that your meal flavors compliment each other well. If you are serving such a robust flavor as steak, pairing it with a rich red velvet or chocolate cake makes sense. Similarly, if you're serving fish, or something on the lighter side, going with the wonders of airy and delicate angel food cake, or a cake with a fruity base, may be just the thing.


Try and take into account the people at your wedding who may deal with allergies. It's always polite to let people know if there are any major ingredients that are known for being allergens in their cake (try choco-peanut butter bliss cake). Avoiding common-allergy flavors, offering multiple flavors or gluten- and dairy-free options, or simply placing a small placard next to the cake to communicate the allergen to those interested is always appreciated.

Getting the Opinion of the Baker

Always be willing to have an open mind when you're discussing the cake with the baker; he knows what flavors go well together, and may suggest combinations you wouldn't have thought about! 

Take Into Account How Perishable Your Cake May Be

Understanding the technical side of cake-decorating when ordering a more delicate cake will ensure that it will not perish before it's served to guests. For instance, if your cake is filled with fresh fruit, and the outside of the cake requires your baker a full day of decorating, by the time it is served to guests, it may be unsuitable to eat. If you want a very delicate design on the outside of the cake, you will need a sturdy cake with filling that does not require refrigeration. If it's very important to you that you have a fruit-based filling, you will simply need to sacrifice having an intricate outer design.



Wedding Food Series: Bartending Details

Food and drinks, how different can they be?

Not so different for the consumer, but dealing with the vendor providing drinks can be a different animal when it comes to alcohol. In this blog post, I want to outline some important details that you should be aware of if you're planning to serve alcohol at your wedding, discuss alcohol purchasing quantities for those not going through their bartender, and define the different types of bar options that you have to choose from.

Let's get down to it!

PC Mean Look

PC Mean Look

Things to Keep in Mind

- Bartenders have to have a license in order to legally serve alcohol. Qualified bartenders are also trained in how to safely serve guests. Specifically, they know when to dilute drinks for guests who frequent the bar too often to be safe, and how to refuse drinks to certain guests altogether. This can be pivotal to the success of your wedding if you have an open bar with guests who may abuse the luxury. 

- If you are hosting an outdoor reception, your bartender may need to provide a portable bar (depending on the venue's set up) that may include generators, refrigeration units, glasses, and all other items needed to serve guests--not to mention the alcohol!

- Make sure, before signing a contract with your bartender, that you see proof of the bartender's license and other credentials. If you don't see this in the contract, ask for it. If he won't provide any evidence that he is licensed, DO NOT HIRE HIM.

- In the contract your bartender provides, make sure all working hours, corkage fees, overtime fees, and bartender's hourly wages are specified. Who provides the alcohol and exactly what drinks are to be served should also be written out clearly In the contract. No technical details that you agree to should be excluded from the contract. 

- Often, couples will serve one or two "Signature" cocktails at their wedding. These can be the favorite drinks of the bride and groom, and are a good personal touch.

- If there is to be a toast, non-alcoholic drinks should also be provided for those who cannot or choose not to drink.

- Consider providing non-alcoholic drinks free of charge, even if your guests must pay for all alcoholic drinks. This encourages guests to drink responsibly. 

- If you choose to provide the alcohol for your own wedding, you may save money despite corkage fees! Buying wholesale can get you significant discounts, and any unopened bottles can often be refunded.

- Keep in mind that as the hosts of a wedding, whether at home or at a venue, the bride and groom are legally responsible for the well-being of their guests. It is their responsibility to ensure that no underage drinking take place, that no one drinks and then drives, and that everyone gets home safely after the wedding. If anything happens, it is possible that the couple will be fined or taken to court! Serve responsibly!

- That's another reason why having a professional bartender at your wedding is a great idea! They are professionally trained to avoid over-serving alcohol to any one person. However, if you have multiple bartenders, keep in mind that some guests can avoid notice until too late. 

- It is a good idea to provide some sort of transportation from the venue in order to ensure that guests who cannot drive safely are not stranded. Having a taxi company on standby, or providing a shuttle service are good options.

PC IndoSurfLife.com

PC IndoSurfLife.com

Alcohol Proportions for Every Hundred Guests

These proportions should be considered suggestions to be discussed with your bartenders before making any large purchases! If you're only serving specific alcohol, only invest in those types! 

Red Wine: 8 Bottles

White Wine: 9 Bottles

Beer: 2 Cases (24 bottles each)

Whiskey: 1-2 Liters

Bourbon: 1-2 Liters

Gin: 2 Liters

Scotch: 3 Liters

Light Run: 2 Liters

Vodka: 6 Liters

Taquila: 1 Liter

Champagne: 9 Bottles

Dry Vermouth: 2 Bottles

Sweet Vermouth: 2 Bottles

PC Be a Better Bartender

PC Be a Better Bartender

Types of Bar Options

Open Bar

Open bars serve an unlimited amount of drinks to guests, free of charge. 

Limited Open Bar

This option serves free drinks to guests for the first few hours of the cocktail hour and reception. After a cut-off point, such as the end of dinner, the bar starts to charge for drinks. 

Consumption Bar

This method of bar service is becoming more common--it has the limit on the amount of alcohol served rather than the amount of time it can be served in. For instance, if the couple is providing their own alcohol for their wedding, their bartender may serve the couple's alcohol free until it has run out, and then will charge for drinks once he begins using his own bar's supply. 

Cash Bar with Mealtime Drinks Provided

The couple provides meal time drinks--such as wine--free of charge, but any cocktail hour or post-meal drinks must be paid for by the guests.

Cash Bar with Drink Tickets

This option is dated and has dealt with a great deal of controversy between those who feel it is tacky vs. a great way to save money. In my opinion, it is both. Wedding's are not circuses that should require Admit One tickets... Drink tickets communicate to your guests that they are worth a limited expense; they are also very impersonal. Would it be weird to invite your guests to dinner and hand them drink tickets at the door? Would you be comfortable accepting "payment" for their drinks throughout your dinner and then cutting them off once they run out? If it's weird at a dinner party, it's weird, and even insulting, at a wedding. Don't choose this option!

Full Cash Bar

This option requires guests to pay for all drinks during the wedding.

Champagne Toasts

If there is a toast during the wedding, Champagne is often offered free to guests.


This is an uncommon option, sometimes found at religious weddings that prefer to serve no alcohol. Dry weddings have no bar and serve only non-alcoholic drinks. 


Whatever option you choose--remember that weddings are a time not only to honor the happy couple, but to appreciate the guests' many important roles in the bride and groom's lives. Taking care to show that they are appreciated at the wedding by offering them quality food and drink is one huge way to do this!



Wedding Food Series: Catering Details

This is not going to be the standard, "So you need to find a caterer within your price-range, taste the food, and viola! You've booked a caterer!" blog post. It is my desire to go deeper, and discuss the details that are often forgotten, overlooked, or mere afterthoughts in the realm of booking caterers. I'm not going to discuss the basics here, as there are plenty of other posts out there that go over those many details. 

Let's get right down to it!

PC Stonefire Grill

PC Stonefire Grill

Types of Catering

There are more than just Buffet and Plated food services to consider.

- Family Style Service is a great option for those concerned about guests waiting in long lines. It's a kind of happy medium between buffet and plated service. Rather than stand in line or wait for pre-plated meals to be served from the kitchen, platters of food are brought to and placed at the tables by servers and guests are able to dish their own plates. 

- French Style Service is another option, although much less common, because it requires a lot of staff. French Style has two servers per table plating food. One server holds the tray of food options, and the other dishes it onto each guest's plate before placing it on the table.

- Russian Style Service, also called White Glove Service, is the most formal service style. Servers in white gloves serve food items on plates already placed at the table, allowing guests to decline items they don't want. So fancy!

PC Free Hotel Management Training Blog

PC Free Hotel Management Training Blog

Pricing and Quality Considerations

Obviously, there's the general rule that "you get what you pay for" to keep in mind...especially with food! Beyond this, here are some more in-depth ideas to think about.

- Any kind of sit-down food service requires additional staffing, which can increase the bill exponentially! For every two tables of guests, one server should be there to accommodate them. Think about it as a restaurant set-up! Is it efficient for a restaurant accommodating your guest count to run on the same amount of staff as at your wedding? If you feel it’s not, then you should seriously consider adding more service staff to your catering contract.

- Unlike the myth, buffet is generally cheaper not because less food is served (based on the idea that guests decline the food they don't wish to eat) but because less service staff is needed. Buffets actually have to prepare MORE food than a plated meal might, because people serving themselves may choose more or less than a standard serving, and the caterer needs to ensure that every guest, served first or last, has every food option available. 

- Don't forget about tipping your caterer's service staff at the end of the event! Sometimes contracts include this already, but not 100% of the time. Service staff deserve to be tipped 10-15% of the total catering cost, just as waitstaff at restaurants expect tips. This tip will be split evenly between each staff member.

- Is your caterer licensed? Just because they have a website doesn't mean they're licensed to serve food. Most generally, are, but it's always smart to check. Ask to see a copy of of it. You want the food you're paying so much money for to be top-notch, so it's worth the effort to check.

- This is a more common money-saving tip, but it bears repeating. Choose seasonable produce to help control the ingredient costs. If you're having a wedding in the winter, don't choose summer fruits and veggies for the sides! This will be so much more expensive on the caterer's end, and he'd be foolish not to charge extra for it. Ask your caterer what seasonal sides he recommends serving.

PC Sweet Alexis Vegan and Allergy Friendly Bakery

PC Sweet Alexis Vegan and Allergy Friendly Bakery

Picky Eaters and Extra Meals

- As allergies and specific diets become more common, caterers are getting better about offering these specific accommodations. Take advantage of this to accommodate any friends with food allergies or preferences. Consider ordering some options for vegans and vegetarians, and serving some common allergy-friendly goodies, such as gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or nut-free sides and desserts. Making a small sign out of card stock to indicate these allergy-friendly foods will be greatly appreciated, as those with allergies often will just skip over foods that commonly contain allergens. In addition, signs indicating foods that DO have these common allergens in them will also help prevent any guests with strong allergies from having reactions!

- Vendors working the wedding have to eat too! It is courtesy to feed your photographers, DJ's, coordinators, etc. at the reception if a meal is being served. Give your caterer the vendor count, letting him know that they are vendors, as they won't need all the fancy embellishments he may be planning for your guests.

- Sometimes extra guests who didn't RSVP (or +1's who weren't invited!) show up too! Have your caterer plan for around five extra meals for unexpected guests. It's worth it to be prepared. If in the end they go unneeded, you have extra food you can take home!

- Speaking of headcount, do keep in mind that your caterer will need the final headcount number about a week before the wedding. Plan to have your final RSVP count by this time.

Wait Time

Weddings are notorious for their long buffet lines...

- Setting up the buffet tables so guests can walk down both sides of them helps eliminate guest wait time.

- Setting up serving “stations” (i.e. multiple buffet tables) can also help the line go faster.


Does your caterer offer more than just food?

- Ask your caterer if they provide rentals, such as chairs, tables, linens, tableware, etc. to consolidate vendors. Often, adding extra services to a package with a vendor you're already working with will be cheaper than adding an extra vendor to your team.  

- Does the caterer also make cakes or bar tend? This can make the menu more cohesive, eliminate additional staff, and consolidate your vendor team. 

- Remember to get as many details included in your catering contract as possible. Some good details to have on the contract (in addition to standard items, such as menu, pricing, etc.) are the caterer's arrival, set up, dinner, and tear-down times, server-to-guest ratio, and any fees, such as overtime, delivery, cake cutting, and corkage fees.

PC Grace For Dover

PC Grace For Dover

Whew! That was a lot of information! Feeling overwhelmed? Don't be! If you find the right caterer, they will walk you through the process and make your wedding food experience amazing. Questions? Feel free to ask down below.



Guest Post: Why a Wedding Video Should Be Treated Like Any Other Feature Film - Helen Clark

Your wedding day is coming, and of course, you are going to have a video version of the entire thing. However, a mundane wedding video is just an extremely long film that features the beginning of the wedding ceremony and the reception afterwards. The picture quality is far superior to the one we had in the past, but you should also create a more impactful and meaningful video.

Don’t make a casual wedding video, when you can turn the whole experience into a romantic documentary. Basically, you can treat your wedding video like any other feature film and the following article will give you some good reasons to do so.

Wedding Videos Are Also a Story

Your wedding day is itself a story on its own, and if you simply start your video with the footage of the groom and bride, then proceed to the wedding ceremony, then with a long shot of the guests entering the restaurant, and a series of shots of people dancing and people sitting and eating, you've already created a cohesive story. It is how most wedding videos are done, and it can be so much better and much more meaningful.

Your wedding video can tell your whole story in a much better fashion and incite a stronger emotion.  Also, you can use some top quality music, and improve the feeling even further.

Not All of the Moments Are Equally Important

Truth be told, not every second of your video is important, and if you are going to receive raw and unedited footage anyway, you won’t lose anything if you opt for making a wedding movie. If you carefully edit the video, you can have an impactful story that is interesting from start to finish. So, hire someone who is an expert in video editing, like video caddy to create a real movie from your wedding footage. 

Once the wedding is over, you are going to invite your friends and family to watch your wedding video. Sure, you will start and pay attention for a first hour or two, but soon, you’ll start to skip and fast-forward the video. Then, you’ll start to recall the memorable moments and spend hours searching the footage just to find that one moment you wish to see again.

In other words, you can cut the unnecessary footage, and preserve all the important moments, and still not lose any crucial parts from your story structure.  

It’s the Most Important Day of Your Life; You Deserve a Quality Video

Lastly, this is the most important and the happiest day of your life, so creating a real movie-like video will do it justice. You do not want to have a video that will put you to sleep as you watch; you want to go over it again and again! Moreover, it is something you are going to show to your kids, so it is in your interest that they sit through it.

Well, hopefully, this will inspire you to opt for this solution. Create a one of kind experience from your wedding video. It is a good way to have a something that will actually look better than you remember it. You’ll have perfect shots of the first dance, of the wedding ceremony, and it will all be romantic and touching, just like in Hollywood movies.



Diary of a Wedding Planner, Part 3

Blue Chip Accounting

Blue Chip Accounting

I believe deeply that we should never stop learning. Learning who we are, learning how to handle life, learning to expand on what we know. It's because of this philosophy that--even though I already have my certification as a wedding planner--I am continuing to take classes. It was last January that I started my wedding and event planning course; how fitting it is that this January I am starting a whole new course... Except, this time, it's accounting.

"Uhm, yuck?" You might say. But I'm honestly very excited, because I think it will be refreshing to take a college class that I feel is immediately relevant to my life (unlike many of the GE college classes I've taken in the past). The class squeezes right into the last few months of the wedding off-season, so I won't have any wedding weekends until after finals, and the class ends right before April, when I'll have to do my taxes. Call me a nerd, but THOSE TAXES ARE GONNA BE DESTROYED once I know how to get everything organized! 

I'm also excited to make friends with other business-bound students. Coffee friends are wayyy awesome. 

Speaking of coffee friends, have I raved yet about this amazing network called The Rising Tide Society? It's this huge group of entrepreneurs, many of which are involved in the wedding industry, who believe in community over competition. This enables us to unite--even when we're in the same line of work--and learn from each other, complain together, rejoice together, work together on projects, and feel less alone, which is important when you're the only member of your work-at-home business like me. It has been such an asset to my growth as a business-owner that I find myself recommending it to every remotely business-y person I come across. Are you a business person? Oh my goodness. Please go Check it out


As an end of the week update, I'm happy to report that my accounting class is going very well. I enjoy the peers and the professor, and am already thinking about how to write up my businesses financial statements to make life easier on my tax-guy, come April. Everyone warned me going into the class that it would be the most boring mistake I could possible make, however, so far it's been very interesting. I attribute that mainly to its relevance to me now that I'm responsible for this kind of bookkeeping, but hey, interesting is still interesting. 

Business owners, I'd love to hear how you do your taxes! Do you know much about accounting? Let's start a discussion in the comments below!



Let's Put Our Hands Together for All-Inclusive Venues

PC Le Bam Studio

PC Le Bam Studio

I've been on the hunt for a venue for some clients recently, and I've run into numerous all-inclusive venues with some tempting offers.

All-inclusive venues can be known for taking advantage of clients by requiring that certain services--such as catering and alcohol--be purchased in addition to just the venue, else you pay some meal and corkage fees. They get a bad wrap for being expensive...but as I researched and compared pricing for independent vendors vs. all-inclusive venues, it began to appear that the all-inclusive venue might actually be the better deal...

1) Less Vendors to Keep Track Of

How convenient would it be to make a couple of large payments, rather than a dozen or more small ones to pull your wedding together? Imagine how much fewer emails you'll have to manage, consultations you'll have to attend, and wedding liability issues you'll avoid altogether if your venue is handling the food, the bar, the chairs and tables, your decor... All you'll have to do is bring in a photographer, officiant, DJ, and a few other vendors and you're be set!

2) Less Set-Up and Tear-Down to Manage

When your venue provides everything that involves any kind of set-up or tear-down, it means that they are responsible for doing just that. This means you won't have to rent your venue for the hours it would take to set up and tear down, and you or your coordinator won't have to be there for set-up and tear down. How convenient!

3) Less Staff To Pay

One of the reasons all-inclusive venues are on the pricier side is due to the fact that these venues have a larger staff to pay to be present for the duration of your event than a venue that doesn't offer extra services would. Because of this, you're not just paying for the use of a space, but the hourly wage of a dozen or so staff's time. How much staff would independent vendors also add up to, though? Rentals and catering alone require a group of people, as does floral decor... Additionally, the staff at this venue are trained and experienced to work at that particular location, and will most likely do a better job at solving and preventing common problems, ensuring things run smoothly, etc. 

In the end, how much more would your all-inclusive venue cost? Of course, in some cases, venues are just very pricey; but if you find the ones within your price-range, and compare them to the costs of paying independent vendors, you might be surprised at how little a difference there is in favor of the vendors. 

On a budget? That doesn't rule out all-inclusive venues, guys! Do some exploring, and you might be surprised at the great deals you'll find!

Oh, and my favorite venue site right now? https://www.wedding-spot.com/

You'll thank me later.



The Tricky Thing About New Year Resolutions

PC Wear Action

PC Wear Action

You know what I'm talking about.

You get to the end of the year and you've eaten your share of holiday nostalgia, dropped the workout routine "due to necessary family commitments", and spent so much money that you're afraid to look at your bank account balance. We're such wrecks by the end of each year that New Year Resolutions just seem like the perfect opportunity to--forgive the stereotypical expression--start all over again. 

But come on, how effective are they really if we habitually forget about them after two weeks? Every single year? 

I wrote a blog post about this last year on another site where I stood adamantly against New Year Resolutions, holding fast to the idea that commitments like the ones we use for for them ought to be implemented immediately if we really believe in their value, rather than waiting until January 1st. After all, it's because we don't believe enough in their value that they only last the stereotypical two weeks. 

This led me to campaign to my friends, family, and LinkedIn about how--rather than setting lofty goals for January 1st, we should focus more on setting goals we can implement immediately. 

Time passed. I started my business this summer and have been working, picking up speed, and am now living and working at such a fast pace--meanwhile pushing to the side priorities like taking the time to eat well, vacuuming the house, and updating my Business Instagram--that a clean slate come January 1st sounds really good. 

I came to realize that the New Year Resolution may not even be about the actual Resolution. Maybe it's something we've created to give us the mental clean slate that we need after a year of the crazy, especially after a month of holiday binging, overworking, or whatever your vice is. I know that I need this; in the same way that I clear my morning thoughts with a fresh To-Do List even if yesterday's still has some unchecked boxes, every year needs a new, fresh start. And if that means adding a "Go to the gym" box to your daily routine, that's great!

Sometimes life needs to be changed up a bit. It's a good thing. Even if you do give up on the thing you originally set out to do, sometimes the setting out part is all that you need.

On the other hand, let's talk about the actual resolutions that we tend to set. Working out and dieting are healthy goals, but let's be real: they're overused, and there are so many other (more interesting) resolution options out there! 

For instance, this year I want to say "thank you" more, and try to complain less. To empathize with people instead of judge them. 

How life-changing would it be to resolve to unplug our social media when we are spending time with friends and family-members? To resolve to give to the homeless, or to a charity we care about, on a regular basis? What about controlling our tempers, and focusing on calmly, verbally expressing our feelings instead of whatever it is we do instead?

There are so many things we can resolve to do that can make a bigger difference than our physical appearances can. Obviously, taking care of our physical health is important, and we should be doing that regardless of what our New Year Resolution is. Something more internal might stick longer though...and it has the potential to turn something that was negative into a new good habit!

So this year I'm not turning my nose up at the New Year Resolution. Instead, I'm going to adopt one that personally matters to me...enough that I think it might last longer than the first couple of weeks of January. Who's with me?



Diary of a Wedding Planner, Part 2

PC Engstrom Photography

PC Engstrom Photography

I'm so excited to kick off 2017 with a new, great, big business step forward! I'm going to launch a wedding product line! I can't give away the details just yeeeeet, but I've been conducting research, bouncing ideas off of my friends and family, and starting to gather items to be used for said products. Now that wedding season is officially over, and engagement season has begun, I have the time to re-brand myself a little bit in anticipation of this product line. Sheesh! Who knew that there was so much that went into making and selling stuff?

In other news, now that my December wedding is officially over (pictures coming as soon as the photographer releases them!) I am free to focus on the six other weddings I am in the midst of planning and coordinating. It's a lot of computer research, paperwork, and emails, which I really enjoy. I love the freedom of not having to pass my communication with clients and vendors by anyone else--such as a boss. It's just me! How crazy awesome it is to be able to call the shots. It saves so much time and keeps things organized, as information goes through less hands this way. 

I am also excited that as I work with more vendors, I am beginning to pull together a cohesive Preferred Vendors List, especially because it means there's a possibility of working with my favorite vendors more than once. I really love strengthening my relationships with great vendors, because it makes working with them during weddings organized, predictable, and enjoyable.

As a wedding planner, I sometimes feel as though other vendors worry I'm just there to tell them how to do their jobs. On the contrary, I don't want to have to do that--I have my own job to get done. Instead, I want to work with vendors who know how to do their jobs better than I even understand. Rather than worry they'll do it wrong, it's my dream (I'm serious, my DREAM!) to work with a group of vendors who can seamlessly work together to pull off a beautiful wedding. 

December is almost over! Uh, when did that happen? As this year inches near it's closing, I feel proud of what this business has accomplished in the seven months it's been around, and look forward to what 2017 will bring. Here's to growth in personal knowledge and experience, and to the happiness and success of all my clients' marriages.