Brooke Borough Photography
Many couples I consult with seem to want to have the quickest ceremony possible and then move on to the reception. They say things like "we just want it to be fun!" or "we just want to have a party!" That's all great.
But there is also something to say about a wedding ceremony and the reason FOR the party. People are there to have fun of course, but they're also there to witness the two people who are joining their lives together. The couple who is getting MARRIED and making a HUGE commitment to each other. That is the reason the wedding is even taking place.
So please put some thought into it and don't rush! You'll get to enjoy the party soon enough. Take time to write your vows and make it meaningful. Get creative. Include loved ones. Play your favorite music. Set the tone for the day and the mood you want everyone to feel. This is your moment. The one you've been planning for months (or years)! You will have plenty of other reasons to party and celebrate for the rest of your life. But your wedding... that is different. You only get one of those (if you're lucky).
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A PARTY, HAVE A PARTY.
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A WEDDING, THEN PLAN AN ACTUAL WEDDING.
THERE'S A DIFFERENCE.
What makes a wedding different than other events is tradition. And I guarantee your guests who are flying across country or driving across state lines to get to the wedding want to see some of those traditions. There are certain expectations that people have when it comes to weddings. Maybe you're not the traditional type and you want to do things your way. I get that. But a wedding needs to feel like a wedding and not just a dinner party or some random event.
What are some of the most common wedding traditions?
1. A ring exchange
2. Wedding vows
3. A bridal bouquet
4. Bride being escorted down the aisle
5. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
6. Serving wedding cake
7. The first dance
8. Dances with parents
9. Toasts and speeches
10. A bouquet and/or garter toss
You don't have to incorporate all of these and you can certaintly put your own spin on some of them. There are ways to get creative when it comes to weddings and making them feel personal and unique. It doesn't need to feel like your grandma's wedding day but a little bit of those old school values and tried and true traditions will go a long way in making your wedding day a memorable one for all.
Elise Nicole Photo
Thank you to the amazing team of vendors and everyone involved in making this day so special for these two lovely people!
Wedding Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Venue: Santa Barbara Women's Club
Catering: Lucca Truck
Bartending: Simply Cocktails
Rentals: The Tent Merchant
Photography: NPO Photography
Ceremony Music: The Desk Set
DJ: Val-Mar Records
Flower arrangements: Gathered Blooms
Cake: Lele Patisserie
Guest Book Typewriter: Simon Kiefer
I am selling my gorgeous San Patrick Eresma dress that I love so much! I've been holding on to it since my wedding in 2015 and am hoping to find someone who will love it just as much as I did! This dress exceeded my expectations! It was not what I imagined my dress to be but once I tried it on in the shop I knew this was THE ONE! I knew as soon as I put it on. I felt like a bride!
To see more pictures of me wearing the dress, check out the blog post I did on my very own wedding day!
Photos by James & Jess
Description: Beautiful strapless wedding dress, size 6. Sweetheart neckline, floral lace details and gemstone embroidery. Fitted with mermaid ruffled skirt. More pics can be found online of this style. (Google: San Patrick Eresma Wedding Dress)
This stunning dress can be yours for only $399!
(Shipping and handling fees not included)
For inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located in California. Shipping available within the USA. Contact me for details!
Thank you to the talented team who helped make this an amazing day for our lovely couple!
Wedding Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Venue/Catering: Riviera Mansion
Rentals: Discount Party Rentals
DJ: Prince William
Flowers: Ranay Schmandt
Dessert: Enjoy Cupcakes
Bride's Makeup: Chi Beauty Artistry
Photography: Native Heart Photography
Videography: Foster Films
Tucked away off Highway 246 and minutes from Solvang and Buellton, CA is a gorgeous sprawling family owned event space that is a total hidden gem and a must see for anyone wanting a private outdoor wedding in the heart of wine country along the beautiful central coast of California. We recently had the pleasure of coordinating Cris and Allison's wedding at La Arboleda and the pictures speak for themselves. This venue has something for everyone.
This rustic romantic getaway includes two separate suites for the couple to get ready in, a built in bar and kitchen, covered dining and dance area, built in stage, paved walkways, lush gardens and an abundance of natural surroundings. For this wedding the bride chose white and pink floral arrangements created by Bella Florist for her bouquet and centerpieces which complimented the natural beauty of the space perfecly.
Keeping with the natural and rustic look, the family style tables were decorated with a neutral runner across the center topped with gold votives and gorgeous blooms in wooden containers. Wine barrels were spread throughout the venue and used as cocktail tables. Guests were treated to a lovely meal starting with antipasto during cocktail hour followed by authentic Italian wood-fired pizzas made on-site and fresh green salads catered by Santa Barbara restaurant Bettina Pizzeria.
Dessert included an lavish assortment of delicious mini cupcakes in a variety of flavors from another Santa Barbara favorite, Enjoy Cupcakes. The Bride, Groom and their guests danced to music provided by the ever popular and always entertaining DJ Zeke who also provided the photo booth for an extra bit of fun.
This was one unforgettable day that we were so thankful to have been part of. Congrats to the happy couple!
This wedding was simply stunning! Thank you to the amazing team who helped make their day so special!
Wedding Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Venue: La Arboleda
Catering: Bettina Pizzeria
Staffing: Central Coast Party Helpers
Bartending: Bottles & Ice
Rentals: Santa Ynez Valley Elite Events
Music: DJ Zeke
Photo Booth: DJ Zeke
Flowers: Bella Florist
Dessert: Enjoy Cupcakes
Bride's Makeup: Renee Jean Makeup
Photo/Video: My World Productions
Transportation: Next Adventure Tours & Tastings
Guest Accommodations: The Sideways Inn
Shannon and Cameron got exactly what they wanted for their wedding day... a beautiful beach ceremony followed by a fun and intimate evening celebrating with close family and friends. These two love birds were all smiles on their big day despite some cool and overcast weather conditions. None of that mattered though because the love and excitement beaming from their adorable faces was enough to warm everyone's hearts from beginning to end.
From their ear to ear smiles to their fashionable sneakers to their sincere and genuine vows proclaiming their love for one another, to an amazing buffet dinner and homemade cookies for dessert (made by the groom's mother), ending with some serious dance moves to music by the one and only DJ Freddy Sparxx, it could not have been a more perfect day!
We love how the bride and groom incorporated personal touches into their decor including a photo of their beloved cat (who was no able to attend), personalized hot sauce favors, homemade cookies and brownies, and some stylish personal accessories which added a bit of flair to their tropical beachy theme that was seen throughout their wedding. The fun and upbeat atmosphere complimented both the bride and groom's sunny personalities perfectly.
My team and I were thrilled to be part of their journey and their beautiful wedding day and see it all come together seamlessly.
Thank you to the talented team of wedding professional who made this day possible and for making Shannon and Cameron's wedding an unforgettable day!
Wedding Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Venue & Accommodations: Hyatt Centric Hotel
Catering/Staffing: Hyatt Centric Hotel
Rentals: Hyatt Centric Hotel
Officiant: Pastor G
Ceremony Music: Hyatt Centric Hotel
Reception Music: DJ Freddy Sparxx
Flowers: Tangled Lotus
Cake: Jeannine's Bakery
Photography: Jeffrey Biri, Classic Photographers
Bride's Hair: Cassi Young-Paxton
Bride's Makeup: Andrea Mae Beauty
We don't know what is more beautiful - this gorgeous venue or this stunning couple! One thing is for sure. We were thrilled and honored to be part of Danielle and Andrew's amazing wedding at the breathtaking Slay Estate & Vineyard right here in my little town of Lompoc, CA. This Tuscan style private estate and winery was the perfect destination for this glamorous couple to say "I Do" in front of family and friends who traveled from near and far, taking in the sights and beauty of the California Central Coast.
If you are searching for a wedding venue this one should definitely be on your list of places to see. Please contact us or visit https://www.slayestateandvineyard.com/ for more details.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this incredible day possible.
Wedding Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Venue: Slay Estate & Vineyard
Catering/Staffing: David Slay, Slay Estate & Vineyard
Rentals: Bright Event Rentals
Music - Ceremony: Kevin Fox, Pianist
Music - Reception: Complete Weddings & Events
Flowers: Bella Florist
Photography: DA Photoz
Videography: Ashley Watson Videography
Signage: The Blue Farmhouse
Cake: 1914 Bakery
Hair & Makeup: Fairytale Hair & Makeup
Transportation: Jump on the School Bus
Moody Color Palettes
Darker edgier color palettes are a big trend this year and we couldn't be happier about it. In recent years we have seen a lot of soft colors including bright white, yellow, soft blue, lavender and the ever popular blush and light pinks. Now couples are going to the darker side opting for deep rich berry reds, burgundy, rust, mahogany, and garnet mixed with a variety of filler greens like Dusty Miller, Eucalyptus, Italian Ruscus and Myrtle to compliment the look. These colors have typically been reserved for fall and winter weddings however they can work year round! Don't be afraid to be adventurous and play with colors that typically wouldn't go together.
Images via Unsplash
Clean lines and well placed minimal decor is the way to pull off a minimalistic look for your wedding. Minimalism doesn't mean boring. It can be beautifully refreshing when done right. By incorporating wood tones, structured centerpieces and other natural elements you can create a elegant look just by choosing a simple color palette and 2 or 3 accent colors to tie it all together. It can be tempting at times to over do table decor creating a very cluttered and busy space. If that is not your style, a minimalistic approach might be a better choice for you. The overall look is delicate and very pleasing to the eye.
Images via Willhouse Photography
Not everyone is a fan of a traditional wedding cake, however statement wedding cakes are trending this year and for good reason. They're beautiful, they make for amazing photos and they can be customized and as unique as you are. No two weddings are alike and not all wedding cakes are made the same way. If you're looking to add something that will make your wedding day stand out consider a beautiful statement cake.
Images via Unsplash
No, we're not talking about a new cleanser for your face or hip new fitness studio. We're talking about on-site beauty bars or "glam bars" that are set up at your wedding venue in restrooms, bridal ready rooms or even out in the open. Hair and makeup pros are hired to give your guests a quick touch up whenever they need it so they are picture perfect at any given moment. A simple lipstick refresh, some powder on the nose or a swipe of blush or mascara can help your gals feel glam all night long. Pros can also keep extra bobby pins, hairspray and curling irons on hand to help keep your do sleek and stylish so you can dance the night away looking your best well into the after party.
Image via Grace Tyler Photography Image via Unsplash Image by Alexandra Wallace
Lighting gets a boost this year from what we have typically seen in past weddings like uplighting which many people use to add color and ambiance to a large room to make it feel more intimate, or string lights that are strung from tree to tree at outdoor weddings. In 2019 we'll be seeing a variety of new and exciting ways to enhance your space using brightly colored neon, basket lanterns and the use of pendant lamps hanging from the ceiling or structures above. Playing with lighting can be both fun and functional and is highly recommended to enhance your overall wedding aesthetic. Whether you want to highlight one area or an entire room choosing the right type of lighting will be key to your success.
Images via Unsplash
If you're looking for tips and ideas to make your wedding stand out and want to work with us, contact us here for a free quote! Visit our weddings page for a list of packages and services we offer.
This stunning venue is one of Santa Barbara County's most hidden gems! La Arboleda Ranch is a private outdoor oasis located near the Santa Rita Hills just off Highway 246. This beautifully landscaped property includes both indoor/outdoor structures, several ceremony location options and lush backdrops.
Throughout the property are paved walkways for ease and accessibility, a built in stage and dance area, market lighting along the trellised areas, a large covered space for your dinner reception, an elegant and fully equipped bridal suite, a large built in bar as well as women's and men's restroom facilities.
Guests can enjoy multiple entertainment areas while wandering around the property admiring the breathtaking views including a flowing waterfall that feeds into a meandering stream. This rustic and romantic setting will be talked about by your friends and family for years to come.
Parking is limited. Shuttles are recommended for weddings over 50 people.
Visit the La Arboleda website for more information on pricing and availability.
Gatherings for Good is available to help coordinate your wedding at La Arboleda Ranch! Contact us for packages and pricing. See our weddings page for more details.
Coordination: Gatherings for Good // Floral: Bella Florist // Hair: Lindsey Rule, Shear Salon and Day Spa // Makeup: Candi Michele // Venue: La Arboleda // Invitation Suite: Vibrant Imagery // Bridal Dress, Shoes, Jewelry and Tux: A Heart’s Desire Bridal // Wedding Ring: Bumatay Jewelers // Vintage Rentals: The Blue Farmhouse // Gift Favor Bags: Just 2 Sweet Candy Creations and Events // Bakery: Sweet Baking Co. Hair Accessory: Julie Miller of Little Girl’s Pearls // Artisan Bread: Three Flies on a Knife // Classic Automobile: Lompoc Antique Auto Club
Image: I Heart My Groom
It's the biggest day of your life. You've dreamed of this day since you were a little girl. By some miracle you've found the person you want to spend your life with. The day he proposed was amazing and took you completely by surprise! You had no idea he could be so sneaky and clever! You scheduled your engagement shoot with the amazing photographer your friends can't stop talking about, you invited your closest friends and family to celebrate at your engagement party at the newest, swankiest hotel, your besties are planning a fabulous out of town bachelorette weekend (cue poolside cocktails with mini umbrellas), you've found THE perfect dress to walk down the aisle in (no one is looking better than you on your wedding day), you've spent countless hours researching and visting all the possible wedding venues on your list and have finally narrowed down your options and think you have finally found the ONE! So exciting!
All these months of planning are totally going to be worth it when the day is finally here! All that hard work is going to pay off. You're going to have a great time! You've been saving your money and being very careful how you spend it.. splurging a little here, saving a little there.. it's all working out. Sure the photographer cost a little more than expected but that's totally reasonable because you'll always have those photos and they have to be beyond AMAZING! Everyone will see them on social media and you'll have those canvas images from Shutterfly hanging on your wall for years to enjoy.
Oh, the venue - that was a stretch. You didn't expect it to cost that much but c'mon - it's like the most important part right? Where you get married is EVERYTHING! So you'll just have to be careful from now on with the rest of the budget, no biggie. But hang on.... there's still food and drinks. Yep, that's a big one. You have 150 people to feed and they'll definitely want some alcohol and a good meal. They're traveling all that way to see you on your BIG day! Serving a good meal and drinks is the least you can do. Turns out catering is costing a lot more than you expected after looking over the menu. Damn! For this crowd you'll need around 3-5 types of appetizers, two types of beer, red and white wine, hard liquor (definitely), several bottles of champagne for the toast, and some non-alcoholic beverages for kids or those who don't drink. After all that there's still service and labor charges, set up fees, taxes.. WOW! This one stings a bit. Maybe you have a buffet instead of a plated meal. Doesn't seem to cut the cost down all that much but it's something. How about only serving beer and wine instead of a full bar? Sure... let's go with that.
Ok so, let's figure out how many tables and chairs you need. How about what color linens you want and if you need any cocktail tables, umbrellas or lounge furniture? What about dinner service? Is the caterer providing everything or do you need to rent all the plates, glassware and silverware? Not only that but this venue doesn't have outdoor lighting (it's a bit remote) and the reception will be going on late so you may need to hang some string lights, maybe put a few lanterns around and possibly rent heaters. And then there's the transportation. You want to arrive in style, safely and on time right? Maybe a shuttle or limo service would be a good idea to get people to and from the venue because let's face it, a lot of people are from out of town, don't know where they're going and they'll be drinking so... ya, you better hire a shuttle service and make sure all your guests are taken care of!
Oh wait! We can't forget the flowers! You'll need centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres for the guys, corsages to pin on the mothers, and maybe some extra flowers to decorate the ceremony aisle or arch or to place around the venue along with some other personal decorations that you still need to purchase like candles, signage, framed family photos, a guest book, a card basket to name a few. That also leads us to paper good and miscellaneous items like your wedding invitations, escort cards, table numbers, favors... I could go on and on. The point is, these little things are all adding up!
Wait a second.. you've hired a really good photographer and this is your wedding day so you definitely want to look your best! You'll need a excellent glam team for you and your gals to get all dolled up with hair and makeup! Whatever it takes. You cannot skimp on beauty! You want to feel and look like a million bucks. You might even need to splurge on a spray tan or a pre-wedding facial for the ultimate glow. Might as well add in some eyebrow shaping too cause you know - good brows! And you definitely need some accessories to complete the ensemble. Veil, earrings, bracelets, necklace, sparkly headband... and shoes! Don't forget shoes!
I still think there's some vendors missing however.. oh yes! The DJ! You'll definitely need some music at the wedding and someone who can make some announcements and keep the momentum going. Whew! That was close. Ok, now we've got it all, right? Oooops! Wait! Someone needs to marry you! That's a pretty important detail not to forget! Let's get the Officiant on board and make it all official! Someone has to sign the license right and.... ohmygosh! You totally forgot to get your wedding cake! Literally EVERYONE expects cake at a wedding. Peole wait around for cake! People don't want to leave until.....CAKE! Let's definitely get a cake and avoid a catastrophy!
Ok let's recap! We've got the venue, the dress and accessories, the catering and bartending team, the rentals, the DJ, the Officiant, the flowers, the CAKE, the glam squad, shuttle transportation, paper products, decorations, and the pricey (but TOTALLY worth) it photographer. I think that covers it all. Yep, look at that! You've done it! You've planned the entire wedding and it's going to be EPIC! Everyone is going to be so impressed and have so much fun! You can't wait to get married and party the night away... what could go wrong?
You've spent months, maybe even a year or more planning your wedding day. There is no other day like it. This is it. This is your moment. It will be unforgettable! All the phone calls to vendors, emails back and forth, reviewing quotes and contracts, menu tastings, gown fittings, and the hours spent making decisions on details like where Aunt Margie should sit and what song you and your father should dance to.. all those thoughts and meticulous details you put into it are now in the past. You are looking ahead to the future - the moment you and your fiance say "I Do" in front of all your loved ones. You cannot wait to be married and to be celebrating into the late night hours, drinking, dancing, laughing and enjoying every moment of your new life together. It all goes by so fast!
That is the ideal scenario. The one we all strive for. We want that to be the outcome. We want all your hard work and beautifully crafted day to be noticed and to go off without a hitch. But that can only happen if you have someone there to ensure that it does. That person cannot be you.. you're the bride! You cannot possibly execute all those details that you've set in motion. You need help. You don't want to burden family or friends with tasks and "to dos" on your wedding day - a day that everyone should enjoy without worrying about how things are getting done. That's not their job. Who's job is it?
THE WEDDING COORDINATOR!
The Wedding Coordinator is your best friend from the time you start working together. The one who will have your back. The one who gives it to you straight. The one who you can lean on for support and advice. The one who will listen to the issues you're faced with and offer solutions. The one who understands how many decisions you have to make and will pick you up when you feel like you're failing or can't do it anymore. The one that is on the phone when the florist is 5 minutes late to the venue and you need your bouquet for photos. The one who makes sure the DJ brings a microphone for the Officiant and one for the toasts, that the decorations are set up exactly as you want them, that there are exactly the right amount of chairs at each dinner tables, that the linens you rented are the right size and color upon arrival. The one who fixes your dress before you walk down the aisle. The one who makes sure someone has the rings! You get the picure?
We are the ones. The ones managing the flow of the day. The ones who see it all. We make sure things happen when they are supposed to and that all the pieces of the puzzle come together. We are not there to take over your day and make you do things you don't want to do. We just want your day to be the best it can be. We are there to eliminate risk and the chance for something will go wrong. We are there to resolve any unforseen issue that could arise quickly and as discreetly as possible so you and your guests are none the wiser. It all happens so seemlessly behind the scenes when you have a Wedding Coordinator taking care of all those details for you so you can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on nothing else but getting married!
You may have thought about hiring a Wedding Coordinator and decided against it for some reason. Maybe you didn't plan for it in your budget and after you spent all your money on other things there was little to none left for a Coordinator. But let me tell you - you really cannot afford NOT to hire a Coordinator. And let me clarify. I don't mean hire someone strictly to manage the wedding day. That is a myth. Yes, you read that correctly! There is no such thing as a "Day of Coordinator." Any professional Wedding Coordinator who has over 2 years of experience is going to charge you for their time on the wedding day plus any time they spend leading up to the wedding in the final few weeks.
What will a professional Wedding Coordinator do in those last few weeks you ask? At a minimum 4-6 weeks before the wedding is the timeframe needed to finalize your details, review your vendor contracts, fix any last minute issues or make changes, help you make final decisions, create a timeline, conduct a site visit at the venue, schedule a final planning meeting with you to go over the wedding day schedule and coordinate and manage the ceremony rehearsal the day before. If you think your friend, relative or person you met that offered to "help" can handle all that plus work 10+ hours on the wedding day (with little to no breaks) you are very misguided.
So brides, please do yourself a favor and budget for a professional Wedding Coordinator. Hire one from the beginning or as soon as possible so you can get the most benefit by relying on their knowledge and expertise. Very often they can save you time and money! It truly is an invaluable service and one you will not regret. Don't spend weeks, months or years planning your perfect day to have it all go downhill because you made the mistake of not hiring a professional Wedding Coordinator. It's just not worth it.
Ready to take the next step? Read Which Wedding Planning Package is Right for You?
Image: Kacie Jean Phototography
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.