Dear Here Comes The Guide: My fiance and I are considering a destination wedding somewhere in California. We aren’t sure what the expectations are in terms of covering the costs of our guests. Also, what do you think is the best place for a California destination wedding? Thanks!—Janet O., Clackamas, Oregon
San Francisco is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, which makes it a much sought-after setting for both local and destination weddings. And although it has a reputation for being pricey, there are quite a few affordable venues where you can host your event.
Four talented cakeries conquer tiers and tears in their efforts to produce the finest confectionary masterpieces that will take center stage at wedding receptions all over the country. From a Chicago wedding cake designed to look like stacked tea cups to a Southern California wedding cake with koi fish sculpted out of frosting, if you can dream it, these cake designers can make it.
In the name of that all-important wedding budget (and in the tradition of convenient combo products offered all across America!) what about one item that gives you both class and sass in one neat package? The answer is in the wedding transportation.
You’d think that working from a budget would be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people, especially brides and grooms, are unrealistic about what they can afford. Part of the problem is that most people aren’t very experienced with event budgeting and don’t know how to estimate what locations, products and services will ultimately cost.
Planning a green wedding? Check out designer Hanna Hartnell as she goes for the green at her eco-friendly bridal salon.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview celebrity wedding planner David Tutera at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. Even though he’s worked on events with such VIPs as Jennifer Lopez and Vice President Al Gore, I was impressed by his enthusiasm for helping non-famous brides have equally stellar weddings.
These days, brides want wedding flowers that exude an authentic, down-to-earth feeling. Think less showy and much more “real.”
I just got engaged and I keep hearing about trunk shows for wedding dresses. What exactly is a “trunk show”? Is it worth going to one?
—Amanda, San Luis Obispo, CA
I paid $220 for my wedding dress. My colleague Jennifer? Got hers for $125. Since we were both footing the bill for our own weddings, there was precious little in the budget for our gowns (I had to make sure there were enough offerings at the pasta bar to satisfy my Italian relatives!). We both looked lovely, by the way, even without spending 2 two months’ rent on our wedding attire. Here are some of our dress-shopping secrets:
Over a bottle of deliciously light Pinot Grigio from Meridian Vineyards, Suzy shared her favorite budget beauty buys, which she recently touted on a Fox TV segment. These are quality products that do everything from maximize to moisturize—for far less cash than pricey department store brands.
There’s no doubt that the biggest 2009 wedding trends all seem to be centered on the same idea: less is more. Budget weddings are big: Couples everywhere are looking for the best deals around before they plunk down the plastic. Check out this episode of Road To The Altar for one hilarious example of a wedding budget gone awry:
Want to be a DIY bride but don’t know how to get started? WeddingDNA.com gives you access to chic graphic templates which can be used for wedding invitations, save-the-dates, programs, thank-you notes, place cards…even powerpoint presentations for reception slideshows! Membership’s just $39.95/year, and you can download and print as much as you need to create a cohesive wedding style. I’m partial to the Moonlit Owl design—a new twist on the usual lovebirds!
I confess to major butterflies for my interview with celebrity wedding planner and TV show host, David Tutera at the elegant Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena last month. I needn’t have worried. He was warm and charming, and very open to sharing his wedding planning pointers. Later when I dished the dirt with two of his “My Fair Wedding” Season 2 brides, Dee and Quiana, they both agreed that he was way more personable and down-to-earth than they had expected. I was particularly excited to confirm that David and I were in complete agreement about several key “Wedding Dos & Don’ts.”
I saw a super simple DIY way to decorate your cocktail tables for your wedding while hanging out on the harborside terrace at The Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey.
If your personality is more backyard than ballroom, you’re in good company this year. The New York Times says that casual food and a relaxed setting are the latest trend among couples who either don’t have the money for a fancier wedding—or just don’t want to look inappropriately lavish in this economy. Whatever the reason, an at-home, casual wedding is always appropriate, IMHO.
The 2009 edition of this luscious glossy (actually, the pages of Real Simple Weddings have a soft matte finish) is the kind of mag you want to read while soaking in a bubble bath…breakfasting in your sun-dappled garden…or curled up in bed next to that special someone. It has the effect of unraveling the pre-wedding stress by breaking down the planning elements into manageable components: Location, Flowers, Food, etc.