Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Wish for a Better Guest Book

I’ve attended two weddings this year where the bride and groom decided to move away from the traditional guest book and mix it up a bit with a Wish Tree. The Wish Tree is a Dutch wedding custom where guests are given a piece of paper, either shaped like a leaf or made of card stock. The guests write their wishes to the bride and groom and then hang it on the tree. This creates a gorgeous centerpiece and the tree is placed at the entrance to the reception to wow your guests right when they walk in. articles_alt

I got to assist in assembling a Wish Tree when I worked with Maxine Andrew of Instead of You at an event in September. I loved being a part of putting this together and seeing how it looked all aglow with the crystals sparkling and the heartfelt wishes hanging from each branch. articles_alt

After the wedding you can create a scrapbook with the wish cards. You could even find pictures of the guests who wrote each one and place it next to their wish.

Helpful hint: give yourself plenty of time to assemble the Wish Tree.
It must be done onsite and can’t be moved once it’s assembled. The one in these photos took about two hours to complete from wrapping the crystal garland inside each hurricane to laying out the wish cards for the guests to hang. It takes some time, but the wow factor is huge.

— Denise Martinez, Director of Vendor Sales

Wedding Day Emergency Fashion Kit

As maid of honor for my sister’s wedding last year, I wore a strapless dress.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m no Heidi Klum. I’ll probably never be asked to model bras for Victoria’s Secret if you know what I mean, so I needed to make sure that strapless gown stayed put against all odds. I’d worn a strapless dress at weddings before, and I have to admit I spent half the night pulling my dress up.

I wasn’t interested in constantly monitoring my dress’ coordinates at my sister’s reception, so I made an appointment to have my dress altered 2 weeks before the wedding. When I got the dress back from the seamstress, I was thrilled. It fit like a glove! It passed every test: jumping up and down, dancing, sitting.

The day of the wedding, I put my dress on and, to my horror, it felt loose. I guess those last few spin classes did more than I wanted them to! Luckily, one of the bridesmaids had fashion tape in her bag. I’d never used it before, but all I could hear in my head was Tim Gunn saying, “make it work.” We lined the very top of the dress with a couple of pieces of tape and I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I’m proud to say that fashion tape saved my life! My dress didn’t budge all night, and let me tell you I put it to the test and danced my butt off!

Here’s a list of items I’d recommend a bride and bridesmaids have handy in an emergency kit for the wedding day:

Fashion tape in action: me and my sis at her wedding1. Fashion tape
2.  Sewing kit
3. Extra jewelry and earring backs, in case anyone forgets their pieces or something breaks and you need a replacement.
4.  Tide To Go pen, baby powder and white chalk to remove or hide any stains
5.  Bobby pins
6.  Mints
7. Tampons
8.  Advil
9.  Band-Aids
10.  Super glue
11. Clear nail polish
12. Travel lotion
13. Travel hairspray
14.  Sole inserts for high heels (your feet will thank me).
15.  Nail file
16.  Lipstick, lipgloss and Chapstick
17. Oil blotting sheets for your face: I love them because they take the shine away without loading another layer of makeup.
18.  Travel deodorant
19.  Static Guard 
20.  Small brush or comb

(Just so you know, the links here are Amazon affiliate links. We get a little commission, which we appreciate, but that’s not why we recommend these things.)

Country Wedding in Napa Valley: Christy + Christian

In addition to the work I do for Here Comes The Guide, Maxine Andrew of Instead of You! Coordination and Design, calls upon me a few times a year to be her right-hand woman for the weddings she produces. I adore working with her. Maxine’s an amazing designer and I love helping her vision come alive.

I spent my 4th of July at The Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa for the wedding of Christy & Christian. It was such a treat to be a part of this event. Not only did I get to go to one of my favorite places in Wine Country, but I got to witness a truly beautiful wedding.

Martha Stewart eat your heart out!  

Christy + Christian's Wine Country Wedding

Being Maxine’s right-hand woman can be glamorous, but it’s also a lot of hard work. I spent a good portion of the afternoon in the sweltering sun, slipping Wildflower Linen’s white linen chair covers over 90 Chiavari chairs and then squirting each one with water to get any wrinkles out. But when I saw the finished product, I’m proud to say that the sunburn on my back was well worth it. And in a way, I should be thanking Maxine: I think I did over 100 squats that day, so I got my exercise in!

100 Layer Cake just featured the event on their blog, and I thought Guide Brides might want to check it out here.

I’m so glad this event is getting some well-deserved exposure. The pictures by Jose Villa and the images Joel Serrato captured for their video truly show the personality, style and love that Christy and Christian share. It was fun to see them both in action!

The Event Pros:
Cake: Perfect Endings
Coordinator: Maxine Andrew of Instead of You! Coordination and Design
DJ: Patrick Numair
Floral Design: Kathleen Deery Designs
Lighting: Got Light
Photographer: Jose Villa
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Blueprint Studios, La Tavola, and Wildflower Linen
Venue and Catering: The Carneros Resort and Spa
Videographer: Joel Serrato Films

Wedding Favors That Grow

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly wedding favor that’s sure to wow your guests, check out

What a perfect symbol for your wedding! Aside from being adorable, Pinky Trees are alive and growing. A clear capsule (which can be imprinted with your names, monogram, or wedding date!) holds a live plant that will keep growing in their capsules for 6-12 months. Guests can use their Pinky Tree as a keychain, handbag accessory, mobile phone charm—or even create a little garden at their desk! The plants can also be re-potted to become a permanent reminder of your wedding.

Bachelorette Party Planners

I was both maid of honor and wedding coordinator when my sister got married last year. Because so many of the guests were coming from out of town, we decided to combine the bachelorette party and bridal shower into one fun-filled weekend to save on travel time and ensure that everyone could attend.

But at some point, as I trudged through the pre-wedding and wedding day event plans—not to mention my usual full time job!—I started to wish someone else could take on more of the planning workload. I really wanted some time to actually enjoy these gatherings with my sister. I’m sure there are many plan-weary bridesmaids and maids of honor out there who can relate, so I thought I’d make a suggestion: enlist a bachelorette party planning company.

What a great concept! This way you can enjoy the special day with the bride and let someone else stress over the details.

Firefly Group EventsFirefly Group Events: Firefly can come to the rescue for San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles bachelorette get-togethers. They have some fun packages, and will even customize your party if none of the existing packages are right for you. They’ll also give you your own web page, making it easy for you to manage all the details online. The best part is that your guests can log on to the Firefly website and pay for their participation so you don’t have to worry about managing the event funds.

Brides Night OutBrides Night Out: This company really does it all: They’ll be there to greet your guests, guide you on your adventure and make sure the night ends with everyone arriving home safely. Brides Night Out has so many different packages you’re sure to find something that fits your group. For more information on Brides Night Out, click here.

Trust me: As maid of honor and guest, you’ll have enough to do for the wedding. Getting some help with the bachelorette party planning will mean you can actually let loose with your friends and celebrate!