Here Comes the Guide brings you expert articles and blog postings about planning your California wedding. We’re all about making sure you find the right wedding location and services, but also addressing some of the other issues that come up.
The list below gives you the option to read longer, more detailed pieces from our Articles + Ideas section or shorter, topical and timely pieces from our blog. Either way, you’ll get great info from the experts on everything related to California weddings.
The main point of any wedding is for you and your partner to get married, right? But beyond that, it may also be the biggest party you'll ever throw! And when we think of the word “party,” we think FUN.
Blooming rose bushes and lush greenery…quaint bridges and graceful statuary… splashing fountains, waterfalls and reflecting ponds…who wouldn’t want to exchange vows amidst a magical garden setting? Chic garden parties have a long tradition among high society (think “Great Gatsby”!), and some of the finest garden venues sparkle with sophistication. But modern couples also appreciate less formal landscapes, which make fabulous natural canvases for their own unique event stylings. Above all, today’s brides and grooms crave a wedding experience that’s connected to nature, as their own new beginning is reflected in the beauty all around them.
Whether you have a year to plan your wedding or you’re trying to organize a last-minute celebration, you don’t have to feel completely overwhelmed by the process.
Make it clear that this is your wedding, yet you also want to make your families’ customs a part of your day. If they’re not 100% happy with your choices, don’t sweat it. The important thing is you tried, and they’ll probably come around once they see the awesome party you’ve put together.
Nowadays, with so much digital wedding inspiration, you can literally hold all your wedding ideas in the palm of your hand (thank you, smart phone!) You’d think this would have simplified wedding planning, but in reality the limitless options can leave even the most decisive of couples feeling bewildered. How are you supposed to commit to a Gatsby-style wedding when you’re tempted by an effortlessly chic beach ceremony one minute, and tantalized by a down-home barn reception the next?
Whether it’s on a faraway tropical island, at a secluded wine country villa or at a seaside manse, weddings at signature private properties top the charts for couples tying the knot—and we’re not just talking about celebrities.
You’ve visited a lot of potential wedding venues, and the private estate you’re considering for your Big Day has it all: it’s gorgeous, romantic, and, of course, totally private—truly your dream location! However, while it’s great to get swept away by the beauty of the place, make sure you’re aware of all the extras you’ll need to provide to turn your vision into reality.
If you’re wondering why we’re including a brief item about recycling it’s because parties and special events often generate recyclable materials and leftover food that the bride and groom don’t want to take home. Nowadays, you and the caterer can feel good by donating the excess, and recycling plastic bottles, glass, metal and paper. An added benefit is that food donations are tax deductible for either you or the caterer. And if you recycle, the cost for extra garbage containers (bins) can be eliminated or reduced.
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
1. Work out your budget and establish your top priorities—where to save/where to splurge. 2. Start browsing bridal blogs and magazines to identify your wedding style and color palette.
Wedding budgets may be shrinking these days, but the number of tasks on a wedding to-do list never does. This video showcases one of our Certified By The Guide wedding planners, Amber Events, as she works her wedding magic.
Hosting a booth at a bridal fair isn’t just a good way to take a break from the office; it’s also a chance to meet our Guide Brides (and Grooms!) face to face, answer their burning wedding questions and hand out copies of our current Here Comes The Guide books along with our pretty pink bags.
When the euphoria of the engagement begins to fade, you're struck by a flutter of panic—"I need to plan the wedding!" Bridal fairs are actually the most convenient way to learn about a myriad of event options. Here are some tips of making the most of a bridal fair.
In the first flush of joy after your engagement, you’ll probably begin browsing magazines and wedding websites…and soon feel buried by a blizzard of checklists and a daunting array of decisions. That’s when you and your fiancé might want to think about hiring a professional wedding planner.
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.
Yes, you will save money by hiring the cheapest vendors you can find or doing things yourself. But the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” really comes into play here. Skimp on services and you could end up paying a big price anyway. More info on saving yourself some headaches.
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.
California’s Central Coast, celebrated for its charming wineries and photogenic vineyards, also lures visitors with landmarks like Hearst Castle, and the chance to golf, surf or go horseback riding amidst spectacular natural scenery. If you’re planning a honeymoon or destination wedding in one of the area’s picturesque towns, you might think beyond the winery.
Besides your location, the food and drink for your wedding bash will probably consume the largest portion of your wedding budget. Catering costs are usually presented as “per-person” charges, sometimes abbreviated in wedding brochures as “pp” after the amount. But be aware—the per-person charge often doesn’t include everything: Tax and the gratuity (sometimes called the “service charge”) might be extra, and there may also be separate per-person charges for the meal, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and even setup. Read more…
Too often choosing the entertainment is left to the end of your overwhelming “Wedding To Do List”—but it shouldn’t be. Not only does music set the appropriate mood, but a skilled Master or Mistress of Ceremonies will gracefully guide your guests from one spotlight moment to another.
by Drs. Michelle & Patrick Gannon, Marriage Prep 101
Plan the Planning Process First.This is the most important step in our approach to wedding planning. Unfortunately, this is also the step that most couples forget. Remember this: planning a wedding takes time and effort and, like any challenge, the way you meet the challenge requires planning too. Do this step first before you are drowning in the details.
Nowadays, if someone gets injured at an event or something is damaged at or near the event site, it’s likely that someone will be sued.
In order to protect themselves and spread the risk among all parties involved, facilities often require additional insurance and/or proof of insurance from service professionals and their clients.
Friends and relatives who've come from afar often stay for a few days, and they won't want to sit around twiddling their thumbs before and after the wedding. Since you're not going to have the time to play Tour Guide, have a list of activities prepared in advance. You can include familiar options like Disneyland and Universal Studios, but Southern California offers so much more.
Invaluable tips on how to select a wedding location in Northern California. Your first big decision is to select a location that makes geographical sense to you, your family and the majority of your guests. Get more tips for choosing your Northern California wedding location from the HCTG experts.
Invaluable tips on how to select a wedding location in Southern California. Your first big decision is to select a location that makes geographical sense to you, your family and the majority of your guests. Get more tips for choosing your Southern California wedding location from the HCTG experts.
In the old days, say, five years ago, here's how a bride-to-be might have gotten together with her best friends for a last fling: A few nights before her wedding day, they'd put on their high-heel sneakers and head out to party into the wee hours. These days, you can hire a planner for a customized bachelorette party.
You no longer have to wrestle with your conscience to have a celebration that is both beautiful and "green"— here's how.
It’s housekeeping time at Here Comes The Guide! We’ve reorganized our website a bit. If you’ve been reading our blog (thank you!), you’ll now find all our newest stuff over in Find Ideas, our online guidebook of wedding ideas, how-to’s, advice and lists of questions to ask prospective locations and vendors.
Timing, choice of wedding stationery and, of course, guest list protocol are all critical steps in your wedding planning. The ever-savvy Vera Wang has some ideas for helping you get organized.
Recently a bride tipped us off that she used an online RSVP form from Wufoo.
There are a lot of wedding plans that can be made well in advance, but some to-do items are better left to the last few months. Case in point: Don’t buy your bridesmaids dresses more than two months before your wedding.
A Guide Bride wanted to incorporate the groom’s Middle Eastern heritage in the invites and place cards, so she recently asked me if I could help her find Arabic wedding stationary. As someone who did the same fruitless search 7 years ago, I suggested an alternative that didn’t involve ordering invitations from an international vendor (will it arrive in time? what’s the currency exchange again?).
Unless you’re marrying a fairytale prince and birds help you get dressed in the morning, you probably already know that planning a wedding comes with its share of stressful situations. But what if a film crew followed your every move as you trudged through the wedding details? What if your wedding planner was a big, burly man named Sandra?
As a wedding planner for umpteen years, I’ve learned that there’s no substitute for doing your homework. Follow these three steps before your wedding photo shoot, and you’ll increase your chances of getting the quality images you dream about.
When hiring a photographer for your wedding, remember that this is a business decision. The event professionals you talk to fully expect you to do your diligence. Besides, if they act offended, they aren’t really professional, right?