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?
Chris and Julia were a charming and delightful couple to work with so it was no surprise that their destination wedding was the same. This family oriented couple wanted to celebrate with a close group of family and friends, many of who flew across the country to be by their side. The intimate ceremony and heartfelt vows filled the Mural Room of the Santa Barbara Courthouse with pure love and joy felt by all.
After the couple said "I Do" guests gathered outside for photos and later were whisked away by the city's iconic red trolleys leading them to the ever popular French Bistro, Stella Mares where they enjoyed cocktails on the patio followed by a fabulous dinner in a very intimate and romantic setting. Singer and Guitarist Matt Commerce kept everyone entertained with many soulful and catchy tunes through the evening's festivies.
Thank you to the amazing team of event professionals who helped create this unforgettable day!
Planning & Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Ceremony Venue: Santa Barbara Courthouse
Reception Venue: Stella Mares Bistro
Flowers: Ella & Louie
Photography: Head and Heart Photography
Music: Matt Commerce Guitar
Bride's Hair and Makeup: Chateau Belle
Bride's Transportation: Santa Barbara Rides
Guest Transportation: Santa Barbara Trolley
We were so excited to work with Lisa and Jeff on their wedding day and as you can see in these photos, it was absolutely stunning! The bride and groom chose a traditional and timeless color palette that suited their taste and the venue perfectly. The men wore dark suits which were the perfect contrast to the light dusty blue bridesmaid gowns. The soft white and pink flower arrangements by The Twisted Twig complimented their attire and tied everything together. Can you say classic romance?
The starry eyed couple's decor included string lighting, gold star lanterns hanging from the trees and a festive sparkler send off. You could say the love this couple has for each other is defintely out of this world! The guests were treated to a fabulous dinner at the Riviera Mansion and danced the night away with music from local DJ Scott Topper Productions.
We were so thrilled to be part of this love story. Thank you to the amazing team who helped make this magical day possible.
We were so happy for Gisselle and Danny when their wedding day arrived! They had their share of ups and downs and there were definitely stressful times during the wedding planning process. A few months before they said " I Do," they went through an unexpected venue change for their reception which ended up being a blessing in disguise! Even though it wasn't how they imagined their wedding day in the beginning, everything worked out exactly how they wanted in the end!
The couple's ceremony was at Santa Barbara City College Maxwell Overlook high above the Santa Barbara Harbor with a picturesque backdrop of palm trees and sailboats. This sunny September day could not have been more perfect for this adorable couple who were surrounded by friends, family and spectacular ocean and mountain views.
The reception was held at Saint Barbara's Greek Orthodox Church which was decorated with beautiful flowers, shells and ocean insipired decor. Guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers on the outdoor patio. Once everyone came inside for the main event, the bride and groom were treated to a surprise flamenco dance performance followed by dinner, heartfelt speeches, a stunning cake and dessert display and lots more dancing through the night!
Thank you to the following event professionals who assisted in making this day possible.
Planning & Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Ceremony Venue: SBCC Maxwell Overlook
Reception Venue: Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church
Officiant: Richard Munoz
Ceremony Rentals: Just 4 Fun Party Rentals
Lighting: SPARK Creative Events
Flowers: Santa Barbara Floral Artistry
Catering & Event Staffing: Martin Renteria
Ceremony Guitarist: Dean Anbar
Reception Guitarist: Jared Wachtman
Photography: Head and Heart Photography
Photo Booth: Complete Weddings & Events
Cake & Mini Desserts: Room for Cake
Bride's Hair & Makeup: Luna Bella
Transportation: Pipeline Transportation
Hotel Accommodations: Franciscan Inn
This beautiful wedding took place on a warm Saturday in August in downtown Santa Barbara. The picturesque mountain and ocean views from the roof of the MOXI Museum was the perfect backdrop for this unforgettable day. An amazing time was had by all! Special thanks to everyone involved, see list of event pros at the end of this post. Enjoy these lovely photos from Ryanne Bee Photography who captured their day, and their love perfectly!
Thank you to the following event professionals who helped create this magical day for the Bride and Groom:
Planning & Coordination: Gatherings for Good
Venue: MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration & Innovation
Rentals: Discount Party Rental
Lighting: Islay Events
Catering & Event Staffing: California Tacos
Ceremony & Reception DJ: AMS Entertainment
Photography: Ryanne Bee Photography
Desserts: Solvang Bakery
Cheese Tower: C'est Cheese
Bride's Hair: April Snow, Los Olivos Studios
Bride's Makeup: Amanda Nicholson
From walking down the aisle to the first kiss, we are breaking down the various parts of a traditional wedding ceremony. If you are planning a ceremony on your own and want to learn the basics, this is a great place to begin. This example can be used as is or you can incorporate your own religious elements or add some personal touches to make it more personal to you.
Many couples are choosing to have a friend or family member act as the Officiant on the wedding day in lieu of hiring a professional. While this is a trend I fully appreciate and support, keep in mind that the person you chose to marry you may not have the knowledge or confidence to take on this role. However, by using the example below they will feel much more at ease once the wedding day arrives.
Ceremony Order of Events
The Processional. This is the start of the ceremony where immediate family and wedding party walk down the aisle and proceed to the altar. They will either stand next to the couple or take a seat in front depending on their role.
There are many variations of how to line up the wedding party for the Processional. Some couples are choosing to forgo a wedding party altogether or simply have a Best Man and Maid of Honor. This is a very personal choice and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Often times the Officiant or Wedding Planner can help you determine the best scenario for you.
Welcome and Introduction. The Officiant takes a moment to welcome everyone to the venue, introduces him or herself, and thanks everyone for coming together to celebrate and witness your marriage. He or she may share thoughts about love and marriage, your relationship and some background information about the two of you.
Readings. If you choose to have a friend or family member read a passage from a Bible or a poem, this is the moment to do that. Generally readers are sitting near the front in the first or second row so they can easily walk up to the front when it comes time. The Officiant can introduce the readers or they can come up unannounced. Depending on the venue you may need a microphone and sound system to ensure that guests sitting in the back rows will be able to hear. I suggest you practice the readings at the ceremony rehearsal so the people who are participating understand what to do and when they will be called upon.
Vows. At this time the couple would exchange vows which can be something they personally wrote or something they found online that spoke to them. It can be short or long, funny, heartfelt, spiritual, or traditional. Again, this is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong way to do this. My advice: don't overthink it and speak from the heart.
Rings. After the vows while you are still facing each other, rings are exchanged. You can choose to hold on to the rings yourself, have the Officiant hold the rings and hand them to you, or have members of your wedding party hold them. Traditionally the Maid of Honor and Best Man would take on this role. The Officiant will then have you recite words to each other about what the ring represents and the union you are entering into.
Kiss. After the vows and rings are exchanged you can finally kiss to seal the deal!
Pronouncement of Marriage. The Officiant officially pronounces the couple and confirms their union into marriage. You can discuss with your Officiant how you would like to be introduced. At this time the couple faces the guests and everyone cheers.
The Recessional. After the announcement by the Officiant, the musician or music would start playing a song that the couple then exits to. Typically they would hold hands and walk back down the aisle followed by the Officiant, wedding party and then all the remaining guests exit row by row.
From there on, all the hard work is done, your nerves begin to calm down and you can go off and enjoy the party!
As a Wedding Planner I bring most of these items with me on the wedding day but if you are packing your own wedding emergency kit, here are some items you'll want to include!
What are some other items you would add to this list? Let us know!
Image: Kacie Jean Phototography
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.