Are you planning a wedding on a budget? Does it feel like everything costs more than what you expected?
Maybe you've already gone over your budget trying to have the wedding you've always dreamed of and getting concerned about all the extra charges on your credit card statement.
Believe me, I can relate! But you're not alone. I have spoken to many couples who are facing the same dilemas.
One reason for this is that most couples set a budget but don't have any idea how much weddings actually cost. Or they have a basic idea of what a wedding costs but are surprised when they actually start getting quotes and seeing how quickly things add up.
The second reason this happens is because many couples don't understand how to identify their wants and needs. It is easy to get caught up in thinking you need to have a Pinterest worthy wedding.
With so many beautiful wedding images flooding the internet and social media, it is easy to try and immitate what you see on your computer screen. But that simply is not realistic and it can cause problems for your wallet.
The best way to identify wants and needs is to discuss the important parts of the wedding and things you actually need to make the wedding happen.
For example, a location, food, tables and chairs, an officiant, etc. Create a budget for the things you need and see what you have left over for any "extras" - the wants.
A good rule of thumb is:
If it doesn't enhance the overall experience of the wedding day you don't need it.
Your guests will remember a few things about your wedding - the food, the music, dancing, and spending time with friends and family making memories.
Smaller personal details such as programs, favors, welcome bags, or a personalized cake knife are nice but it's the overall exerience they will remember.
(Nice to have but not necessary)
Ceremony arch or backdrop
Gifts/welcome bags for out of town guests
Guest book cameras/film
Unnecessary lighting (monogram/gobos/pin-spotting)
Multiple forms of music/live entertainment
Excessive amount of candles or other decor
Rose petals down the aisle
Elaborate dessert displays
Late night snacks
(Necessary to make the wedding happen)
Bartender/ Service Staff
Cake / Dessert
You may have noticed that flowers and videography are listed under the wants section. That is because in my opinion I don't believe they are necessary to make a wedding successful.
Adding flowers to the overall aesthetic isn't always necessary depending on your venue. Personal flowers for the wedding party should be included in your budget, however, flowers for your centerpieces can be optional. If your venue is already surrounded by a beautiful landscape you may not need them.
Wants and needs can be tricky. It's important for you and your partner to discuss what the most important aspects are to making your wedding day truly special and unique to you.
Taking time to identify your own wants and needs early in the wedding planning stage will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Be sure to check out our blog page for more ideas and inspiration!
We had an amazing time working with Susan and Frankie for their wedding at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo this past October. Susan and Frankie hired me later in the planning stage and wanted help executing their vision. When the day arrived everything came together so beautifully and was exactly what they dreamed of.
Their wedding had so many fun details that showed their personality and style. Some of the highlights were the fall inspired moody color palette, the velvety smooth bridesmaid dresses, the dinosaur bride and groom cake toppers, and the custom neon sign hanging above the sweetheart table.
But the best part had to be seeing all the smiling faces of friends and family, and feeling all the love and joy surrounding the happy couple the entire day.
A huge thank you to our vendor team who helped make this day happen. We couldn't have done it without you!
Venue/Catering/Cake: The Madonna Inn
Floral Design: Kaleidoscope Flowers
DJ: DJ "G" Cue
Photographer: We the Blackwells
Planning & Coordination: Gatherings for Good Events
If you haven't been to the Madonna Inn be sure to stop by on your next visit to the Central Coast! It is truly a one of a kind experience!
And if you are planning a wedding connect with us through out website or on Instagram, or head over to our wedding page to learn more about our wedding planning packages and services!
We'd love to hear from you!
Follow us on Instagram @gatheringsforgoodevents
Attention Santa Barbara locals and visitors! A new restaurant and event venue has recently opened in the heart of downtown offering fresh, local, healthy Mexican cuisine, hand-crafted cocktails, agave spirits, and an assortment of wines guaranteed to please any palate.
Augie's of Santa Barbara offers a unique dining experience that is both sophisticated and casual - a style Santa Barbara is known for. Highly acclaimed Chef Eduardo Gonzalez serves up beautiful, delicious, and authentic cuisine using fresh, local ingredients and inspiration from his roots growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Chef Gonzalez, a native of Santa Barbara, brings his cultural background and love of fine dining to Augie's along with his previous experience working at some of the finest 5 star restaurants including The Four Seasons and Rosewood Miramar.
More than a restaurant, Augie's is known as a place to gather and socialize while being part of a larger community. Not only do they serve up some amazing food, they are also committed to their philanthropic efforts.
Each month they partner with a local non-profit to help bring awareness to many important causes in the Santa Barbara community. Patrons can support these local organizations through direct donations or though purchasing food or beverages that directly benefits the cause.
A list of organizations can be found on here.
If you are looking for a fun local spot for your upcoming event, family dinner, office party, holiday party, wedding or other celebration, Augie's of Santa Barbara offers is the perfect place for small gatherings and groups up to 100. To inquire about a private event, click here.
Happy Hour served daily from 4:00-5:30pm (Closed Wednesdays)
Walk-ins and reservations are accepted
Family friends, however due to space limitations strollers are not accepted
Due to health code regulations, only service animals are permitted
Parking available in nearby parking garages
Augie's of Santa Barbara is located at 700 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA
For more event planning tips and info on local venues and activities, please follow us @gatheringsforgoodevents
Click here to inquire about our event and wedding planning services!
All photos by: @kaciejeanphoto
Attention newly engaged couples (or soon to be engaged couples). This one is for you!
You're engaged or about to be! Yay!
You're starting to plan your wedding. You don't know where to begin. You're feeling excited and overwhelmed all at once. You've thought about hiring a Wedding Planner but you're just not sure you're ready.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so keep reading to find out the 3 reasons NOW is the best time to book a Wedding Planner for your 2023 wedding!
1. Grab Your Preferred Date Before Someone Else Does!
Right now we have several dates available for 2023 but they will begin to fill up as the year comes to an end. More couples will get engaged over the holidays and the longer you wait, the harder it will be to secure your preferred date.
Wedding season is typically April through November. Summer and fall dates tend to be the most popular because of the warmer weather and summer holidays, which makes for a nice wedding weekend getaway for out of town travelers.
On average there are only 52 Saturdays in a year and with Saturdays being the most popular day of the week for weddings, they tend to fill up quickly. If you have a special date in mind, don't hesitate and get it booked now!
2. You'll Have More Time To Plan The Wedding
The earlier you book a Wedding Planner, the longer you have access to them to help with all the details and logistics around your wedding day. We can help you find vendors, source your rental and decor needs, assist with your food and beverage requirements, plan your venue layout, review contracts, attend meetings, and start putting all the pieces together for the big day.
Also, the earlier you book your Wedding Planner the more you will benefit from our endless knowledge and expertise! We will work together as a team, listen to your needs, give advice, and offer you endless support and guidance making the wedding planning process less stressful and overwhelming. We can take some of the planning off your to do list, freeing up your precious time so you can still live your life and do the things you enjoy.
3. Book Now Before Prices Go Up!
Inflation is on the rise and the wedding industry is no exception. It is very common for Wedding Planners to evaluate their pricing structure at the end of the year to determine if they need to increase their pricing in order to keep their businesses running.
On average it is common for Wedding Planners to raise their prices anywhere from 5-10% to keep up with the cost of doing business. With the cost of food, gas, labor, and materials going up, it presents many challenges for business owners.
Booking your Wedding Planner in the fall (September to November) allows you to get the current pricing for the services you need before an increase goes into when January 1st comes along, (which is just around the corner)!
Hiring a Wedding Planner will be the best investement you can make for your wedding day and for your own peace of mind!
Schedule a discovery call today to discuss our wedding packages and get a free quote!
Elegant, joyous, and sophisticated. Those are some of the words you could use to describe this beautiful wedding.
Most of the time when a wedding is over I find myself breathing a sigh of relief, as I am (sure the couple does as well). Planning a wedding can be an enormous task. It's such a good feeling seeing all the details come together on the wedding day after months of hard work.
In the case of Melissa and Derek's wedding however, I find myself holding my breath, hoping and waiting for more. Melissa and Derek were one of the sweetest couples I have ever met, and every moment of planning their wedding was pure joy. The gorgeousness of it all was simply out of a storybook. A fairytale wedding. A prince charming sweeping his princess off her feet, quite literally!
The setting at the historic Santa Barbara Club was perfection with stunning pastel floral arrangements inspired by the bride herself, and brought to life by floral designer, Blooms by Melly, complemented the lush green landscape of the outdoor patio.
Photographer Jen Rodriguez captured all the beautiful details and through these images it's easy to see the love and emotion felt by all. It was truly a magical day and I felt so grateful to have witnessed this joyful moment in their lives as they became husband and wife.
If you weren't at this party over the summer you missed out! This was such a cool event that I was so excited to be part of. When Bram's mother Heather contacted me and told me her ideas and everything she had planned, I knew right away it was going to be something special.
Heather did an amazing job creating a unique and ultra-fun experience for her son Bram's Bar Mitzvah. So much thought and preparation went into the details from the menu to the decorations to the party favors and games. It was such a blast for kids and the adults!
This event had it all! Checkerboard dance floor, giant screen with vintage cartoons playing in the background, a bubble machine, a chocolate fountain and cake pops, photo booth, games at each table with prizes... there wasn't a detail missed!
My team and I were thrilled to execute Heather's vision and enjoyed seeing all her ideas and hard work come to life! This was definitely a production that took a team to coordinate. Check out the complete list of vendors at the end of this post and enjoy the photos from this awesome day celebrating Bram on the Santa Barbara waterfront!
Thank you to the talented crew who helped make all this happen!
Venue: Santa Barbara Sea Center
Coordination: Gatherings for Good Events
Catering/Bartending: Pure Joy Catering
Rentals: Bright Event Rentals
Lighting/Specialty Decor/Audio/Visual: Spark Creative Events
Videography: My World Productions
Photography: Sarita Relis
Photo Booth: Soiree Photobooth Co.
DJ: Party Proper
Transportation: Jump on the School Bus
Weddings, Parties, Non-Profit, Corporate Events - We do it all!
Contact us today for your next event!
A lot happens between the time you get engaged to the time of your wedding day. The moment you say "yes" you are agreeing to a lifetime together with your person. You see yourself growing old together and maybe having a family. Your proposal is a moment in your story as a couple that you will never forget.
And neither is your wedding day.
As a Wedding Planner I want to help tell your story and show everyone how special your love is. Your wedding day is a reflection of your life together - past, present, and future. It should be celebrated. It shouldn't feel like every other wedding you've been to. This is your day and your moment to cherish forever. Your wedding day is as unique as you are.
My job as a wedding planner is to ensure you have a flawless day, free of stress or worry. I'm there to guide you during the planning phase and to help you execute all the details once the day arrives.
Not only am I invested in your wedding physically by managing all aspects from beginning to end, I am also invested emotionally.
I care about your wedding day as much as you do, if not more.
That's why I feel it's important to expose some of the myths going around and take an honest look at the role of the Wedding Planner and why you shouldn't always believe what you hear.
Myth #1: Wedding Planners Are A Luxury.
No true. While some people believe wedding planners are a luxury - aka expensive, this is not always the case. Many Weddings Planners offer packages in a variety of price ranges. Not all weddings are the same and neither are wedding budgets.
At Gatherings for Good we understand that you can only work with what you have. If you are talking to Wedding Planners and getting quotes that are way out of your price range, you haven't found the right one yet. Or you may not be asking the right questions.
Always discus your budget up front and be honest about how much you can afford. This is the best way for a wedding planner to provide you with a realistic quote and determine which services are going to be the most beneficial for you.
At Gatherings for Good we offer serveral wedding packages and can also customize packages based on each couple's unique needs, wedding size, location, budget and a variety of factors. We always do our best to come up with options that work for any budget.
Myth #2: A Wedding Planner Will Take Over My Wedding
False. A good Wedding Planner only wants the best for you and will listen to your needs. We are there to offer our advice, expertise, support, and guidance to help you achieve your goals and execute your vision.
If you are unclear about your vision, we can help you find your unique style, fine tune your visual aesthetic, make recommendations on design and decor options, and help you create a beautiful wedding day that looks and feels like you. We never want you to feel like you don't have control over your own wedding.
At Gatherings for Good, we are there to support your decisions and give you the tools to help in every aspect of the planning up to the wedding day, allowing you to to make all the final decisions.
Myth #3: I Can Plan the Wedding Myself.
While it may be fun and exciting to plan all the details, it can also be time consuming and overwhelming. Many couples like having a Wedding Planner to help take on some of the planning to free up their time and to help expedite the process.
You may not think you need a wedding planner but it will make things a lot easier, especially on the wedding day! While you are getting ready, drinking mimosas, and enjoying time with your besties, we are working hard behind the scenes setting up your decorations, managing vendor arrivals, coordinating with venue staff, directing everyone where to go, what to do, and to make sure we are getting things done on time so when your guests arrive we are there to greet and welcome them with a smile and a glass of champagne.
We show up before anyone else to get the day started.
We're there to line up the processional and cue the music.
We're there to make sure grandma and grandpa are escorted to their seats.
We're there to make sure your dinner is ready and served to you before anyone else.
We're there to find a bridesmaid bouquet that was left behind.
We make sure your chairs are all lined up and your tables are set the way you want.
We're there to pack up your gifts at the end of the night and make sure they're kept safe.
Wedding Planners have a whole network of vendors and industry partners we can recommend. We've planned hundreds of weddings and know what things to look for. We have the ability to tap into our resources and use all the knowledge and experience we've gained throughout our career to ensure no detail is missed and you have a worry and stress-free wedding day. This is a huge benefit to you!
Planning your own wedding can also present some risks and challenges. Details can be missed, and problems can arise on the wedding day if you haven't properly thought things through.
We're problem solvers.
We put out fires.
We detail and organizational masters.
We come up with solutions to any issues or unforseen challenges that occur on the wedding day without anyone ever knowing.
All you have to worry about is having a great time!
All photos credit to @brooke_borough
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Is there a wedding in your future! Contact us for a free quote and to discuss what wedding planning packages are right for you!
A brief history lesson.
Traditionally speaking, boutonnieres have a long history that some say dates back to the Middle Ages. Back then, women would present ribbons or scarves to their lover as he was going into battle as a symbol of their devotion and affection. The men would wear them on their arm for the world to see. Later this tradition evolved into flowers. Women would take a flower from their wedding bouquet and give it to their groom to wear on the day of their wedding. Today, it is still very much a romantic gesture.
In modern day times, the history and tradition of the boutonniere carries on with the groom wearing a flower that is displayed in her bridal bouquet. Doing this shows a sign of unity and togetherness. Most brides will carry a bouquet, therefore, their grooms have a boutonniere to match.
When it comes to the wedding attendants, the bridesmaid's bouquets can be the same or a variation of bride's bouquet, but generally smaller in size. For the groomsmen, boutonnieres are usually smaller, simplified versions of the bride's bouquet and slightly different from the groom - more subtle and less prominent.
How to wear them.
Boutonnieres can be attached to the groom's or groomsmen's jackets and traditionally on the left side. There are two ways to secure them - using pins or magnets. Pins are the most common way to secure them but can be tricky and difficult to get on correctly, especially in the stressful, time-sensitive moments before the wedding. Magnets are a nice alternative if it's within your budget as they will cost more. They are easier to work with and you don't have to worry about putting holes into your clothing or accidentally sticking yourself.
A few other things to know.
On average, boutonnieres can range in price from $10-$30 depending on the flowers chosen and the size. Prices are also determined by any additional elements you add such as rhinestones, pearls, feathers or anything else used for decoration.
Are boutonnieres necessary?
No! They are not necessary but most couples agree they do add a nice touch to the overall look of the wedding and the wedding party. If you are not concerned with tradition there are many alternatives!
Here are a few ideas to help inspire a unique look that is all your own!
Ready to plan your wedding or event with us!
Adventure awaits for these two newlyweds! Chelsea and Craig celebrated their wedding aboard the Papagallo II Luxury Yacht in the Morro Bay Harbor. It was the perfect day to set sail with not a cloud in the sky! The couple was surrounded by a small group of their closest friends and family and were all smiles on the big day as they set sail and said "I Do" with stunning views of Morro Rock behind them. The celebrations continued into the night with a one of a kind dining experience, a costume dance party, and a spectacular sunset to top it off!
Special thanks to the yacht Captain and the entire crew who made this day so amazing for Chelsea and Craig! As always, a big thanks to the rest of the vendor team for the amazing work you do making dreams come true!
Venue & Catering: Papagallo II Luxury Yacht Charters
Cake: Madonna Inn Bakery
Photographer: Namu Williams
Planning & Coordination: Gatherings for Good
DJ: Epic Entertainment
Makeup: Kelly Mendoza
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.