The first dance....it's such a beautiful part of a wedding reception and a special moment for the newly married couple. It can also make many brides and grooms incredibly nervous! If you're not used to dancing in front of people it can be a little scary. It's important to have a great song to dance to that you and your spouse love and one that will put you at ease the minute you step on the dance floor.
Here (in no particular order) are 10 classic and romantic first dance songs that will make this part of your wedding planning as easy as 1,2, 3!
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The first step in booking our event planning, design and/or coordination services involves an initial consultation which can be done over the phone, in person or with the use of technology these days - Skype or FaceTime. All methods work well and we try to make it as easy as possible by being accessible in a variety of ways.
An initial consultation can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. The more questions you ask or the more details we cover the longer the consultation will be. Schedule a phone consultation when you know you have at least 30 minutes without any distractions so that we can make the most of our time without interruptions.
If you are not sure you need an Event Planner or just want to clarify what we offer and how we can help you, a consultation is a great way to get all your questions answered so you can make an informed decision.
To serve our clients the best we can, we need to get to know more about you, your event and how we can be the most beneficial to you. A consultation not only helps us understand what you need but it also allows us to get to know more about each other which will determine if we are good fit to partner together.
Here are some things you should do prior to our call or meeting.
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Here are some things we will go over together during our call or meeting.
Towards the end of the conversation we will summarize what we discussed to make sure we have all the details correct. If at that point you are interested in a proposal we'll take all the information you gave us and write a formal proposal to send you to review.
There is no obligation after our initial consultation to book our services (but we hope you do)! We are happy to talk with you and answer any questions you have!
Schedule your FREE initial consultation here and let's get started!
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Not a fan of baby shower games? Are you planning a baby shower for a friend or relative and need some fresh ideas? Here are 5 fun baby shower games that anyone can do (and enjoy), without having to leave their dessert!
1. Baby Books Emoji Pictionary - Guests try to figure out the title of children's books using only the emojis on the card. Get these cute Baby Books Emoji Pictionary cards from Zazzle.
2. Baby Word Scramble - Guests have 5 minutes to unscramble words. The person with the most correct words wins! Get this Sweet Blue & Gray Elephant Word Game Notepad from Zazzle.
3. Price is Right - Guests fill in the dollar amount for each item listed. The total of all items is then added up. The guest with the closest number to the actual cost wins! Get these adorable Woodland Fall/Winter Baby Shower Price Game Cards from Zazzle.
4. Baby Bingo - Guests fill in items they think mommy-to-be will receive. As gifts are opened items are checked off. The first guest who gets 5 in a row wins! Get these beautiful and elegant Cream White Rose Floral Baby Bingo Cards from Zazzle.
5. Name That Baby Food - Guests use sight, smell and taste to identify a variety of baby foods. The person with the most correct answers wins! Get these Little Man Baby Food Game Cards from Zazzle.
Did you know Gatherings for Good plans, designs and coordinates baby showers, bridal showers, engagement parties, birthdays and many other social events? Contact us today to get started planning your next event!
Going into a planning meeting with a wedding vendor can be a little overwhelming and confusing if you don't know some of the lingo! If you're pondering over the difference between an "Arch and an "Arbor or have no clue what a "First Look" is, don't worry! We're here to help you figure it all out! Here are a few terms you will most likely hear during the wedding planning process!
Aisle Marker - Decorations used to "mark" or define the aisle the wedding party walks down. Hanging floral baskets or herbs from each chair, floral chair ties, wood or iron lanterns, paper cones filled with confetti, beautiful greenery, soft fabric, mason jars and pedestal flower arrangements are all common types of aisle markers that add beauty and style to your ceremony space. They can be simple or elaborate depending on your taste and budget.
Arbor - A structure that serves as a shelter for the wedding couple to stand under during an outdoor ceremony. Arbors can come in different shapes and sizes. They are typically made up of a variety of materials such as twigs, branches, vines and/or flowers and is where the couple exchanges their wedding vows.
Arch - Typically arches are rounded structures used in outdoor wedding ceremonies that serve as a focal point. Most commonly arches are made of wood, plastic or wrought iron and are often decorated with fabric and/or flowers. The couple can choose to stand underneath or directly in front of an arch during their ceremony.
BEO - A BEO or Banquet Event Order, is a document created by the wedding caterer or venue outlining the details of your wedding including your menu, guest count, time of your event and room set up that staff members follow in order to execute all logistics correctly.
Corkage Fee - The amount charged by a restaurant or venue to open each bottle of wine or liquor brought in and bought elsewhere to serve at your event.
First Look - An intimate moment arranged by a photographer before a wedding ceremony for the two spouses to see each other. Typically a location is determined and agreed upon beforehand. The couple is brought to the location separately where their surprised and authentic reactions to seeing each other for the first time are captured in photos.
Passed - Referring to food or beverages that are tray "passed" during the cocktail hour portion of a wedding reception.
Pin Spot - Pertaining to lighting, it is a focused beam of light that shines directly onto an object such as a centerpiece or cake to draw attention.
Prelude - Referring to music that is played before the wedding ceremony by live musicians or a DJ as guests arrive and take their seats. Prelude music is the first thing they hear upon arriving at the venue and sets the tone for the wedding ceremony.
Processional - The music that is played to signal the start of the wedding ceremony to which the wedding party, family members and bride and/or groom walk to.
Recessional - The music that is played at the end of the wedding ceremony that the couple exits to after the pronouncement of marriage.
Room Flip - Changing the ceremony space into the reception space. This is often done at a venue where you are using one space for the entire day. The venue staff typically will re-set or "flip" the room once the ceremony is complete during the cocktail hour while guests are away. When they return, the space has been transformed for the reception to take place.
Seating Chart - A way to display to your guests which table they are assigned to. This is often used in lieu of escort cards. Seating charts are best placed in the front entrance of the reception venue for guests to view upon arriving and can be an additional part of your wedding decor.
Tablescape - The artistic style, design and arrangement of table top items and how they work together cohesively to enhance a space such as your dinner tables, cake or dessert tables, gift table, and head table for a wedding reception.
Venue Coordinator - An employee at a wedding venue that assists the couple with details pertaining to securing the venue for their wedding date, contract negotiations and all services provided by the venue. They are responsible for delivering their contracted services when it comes to the use of the venue and ensuring the couple follows the venue's rules and guidelines. In some cases food, beverages and rental items can be arranged through the Venue Coordinator depending on the venue and what they offer.
A Venue Coordinator is different from a Wedding Coordinator. A Venue Coordinator typically is not involved in any of the planning details other than what comes with the use of their facility. A Wedding Coordinator handles all of the couple's planning needs from the start which can include wedding design, layout creation coordinating rental needs, vendor procurement, wedding day timeline creation, rehearsal coordination as well as provide the couple with invaluable expertise, guidance and support throughout the planning process and on the wedding day.
No matter where you are in your wedding planning stages, Gatherings for Good can help! Visit our weddings page and email us today and see all the ways we can help you create the wedding you always dreamed of!
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Spring is a time to celebrate! With warmer weather and flowers blooming it's a perfect time to move the party from the cold dark days of winter to the beautiful outdoors to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine! Spring is also a great time to host a brunch, celebrate birthdays, bridal and baby showers, Easter celebrations or just enjoy a relaxing get together with friends. Here are some ideas to ensure you have the best spring party on the block!
When it comes to decorations and flowers, choose fun, vibrant colors that really pop and brighten up any space!
Food is generally the main attraction at any gathering. Unless you are having a formal sit down meal I suggest focusing on small bites and food stations which will encourage movement and make for easy conversation to happen between your guests. Always add fresh fruit and seasonal ingredients to your menu and include both savory and sweet options!
Serve a signature beverage in a fun glass or mason jar. You'll need a cold refreshing drink to compliment all that yummy food. A mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will please any guest. A Mimosa Bar, Bloody Mary bar or Sangria are always popular! Don't forget to garnish! Cheers to Spring!
Decorate your space. From table decor to lighting to beautiful centerpieces.. spring decorations are a great way to get creative and set the tone for any celebration.
Serve dessert. A little bit of sugar makes everything a bit sweeter! Put effort into the presentation and add some pretty details!
Consider giving your guests a small thank you gift to show your appreciation. Send them home with some tasty leftovers, a bottle of wine or handwritten card. Everyone loves a parting gift!
However you decide to celebrate, here's to a Happy Spring!
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Gatherings for Good provides planning, design and coordination for parties, weddings and a variety of special events. Let us help you plan your next event!
Today is our anniversary! I usually write blogs about other people's weddings and today I realized I never wrote a blog about my own wedding so here it is! My husband and I were married on October 10, 2015. As a bride, I can say that my wedding day was everything I wanted it to be. Beautiful, elegant, fun, romantic and memorable. It was all of those things from the location, the decor, the fashion, the food, the entertainment and of course the people who came to celebrate with us.
Our wedding was not without challenges. As the wedding day was getting closer, I remember being so frustrated and tired that at one point I threatened to cancel everything, It was so overwhelming at times that I didn't think I could it it anymore.
I was doing most of the planning and design on my own as my husband was away for work quite a bit during that time. Every day I spent hours online looking at photos on Pinterest, collecting ideas and buying decorations from Amazon and Etsy and making countless trips to the local Michael's store trying to piece everything together down to the very last detail. What started out being fun and exciting ended up feeling more like a heavy burden to carry and I just wanted it to be over already!
As a Wedding Planner, I know a lot of couples go through a stressful time during the planning stages and it is very common to feel overwhelmed with everything there is to do. It can be hard to wrap your head around all the little details that go into planning the "perfect" day. You want to make everyone happy but in doing that you can easily wear yourself out.
There are endless lists of tasks to complete from choosing a venue to the numerous phone calls and emails to vendors, selecting and designing invitations and programs, buying gifts for the wedding party, choosing and printing photos, creating signage, creating a wedding website and registry, putting together a play list for the DJ and a shot list for the photographer, assembling favors.... and on and on and on.
Not only do those things that wear you out, you also have to make sure out of town guests secure their travel arrangements, collect RSVPs, attend food tastings, design a seating chart, and deal with two separate families and groups of friends who always have an opinion about everything! It is exhausting!
I decided early on that I wasn't going to discuss any of the details about the wedding with family or friends for two reasons. 1. I didn't want to hear everyone's opinions and have to explain any of my decisions and 2. I wanted everyone who came to the wedding to be surprised when they walked in not knowing what to expect. I had an image in my mind of our guests walking into the room and saying "wow, this is amazing!" Or "wow, this is so beautiful!"
I think it's important for any bride or groom to be able to plan the wedding they want to have without worrying about what everyone else thinks. It is very hard to plan a the wedding of YOUR dreams when you are trying to make everyone else happy, Just remember it is your day and you are only going to do it once so do it right! Don't have regrets later on and think, "I should have or I wish I had..." If your family loves you and truly wants you to be happy (which I am sure they do) they will understand.
I am not saying to ignore your guests needs and only think about yourself. I am simply saying don't let other people's opinions get in the way of having the wedding you always wanted. I tried very hard to be accommodating to our guests and to make them feel welcome. I tried to make sure they were taken care of while still planning the wedding the way I wanted to from the design, the colors, the attire, the food choices, the hotel accommodations and their overall experience, especially those who came from out of town (or out of the country in our case).
I had a vision for how I wanted our wedding to look and I wasn't going to be deterred from that easily. It is important to have a vision and to imagine all the things you want to have on the wedding day - what does it look like when it's all said and done? What colors do you see? What is everyone doing? What music is playing? Are you outside or inside? What does your dress look like? What kind of flowers do you have? Who is in your wedding? Creating a vision board is a good way to start collecting all your ideas and help you make decisions about what you want and what you don't want.
Ok, back to our wedding! We chose the beautiful and historic Santa Barbara Club located in downtown Santa Barbara. My husband and I both knew this was the right venue for us after we went to see it. It had the look and feel we wanted, it was just the right size for our guest count which was around 100 people, it had both indoor and outdoor space, it was private and exclusive just to our wedding guests.
The Santa Barbara Club is also an inclusive space that provides tables, chairs, linens and all the basics we needed for our formal dinner service and they even have their own chef! This was something that was important to us. It meant we didn't need to worry about spending too much money or time on rentals or hire an outside caterer. Having so much available in one space just made things a bit easier for us. We also loved the central location to State Street close to many hotels, shops, restaurants and nightlife for guests to enjoy before and after the wedding.
We chose to have our wedding ceremony outside on the lawn with a reception inside the main dining room. We chose classic and timeless colors which included navy blue, white, gold, silver and a hint of blush pink. The bridesmaids wore a navy blue dresses with lace detail and the groomsmen wore light grey suits with matching bow ties. The same colors were represented throughout the wedding in our decor and wedding details from the color of our table linens, napkins, flowers, and even the smallest details of our wedding favors.
Since my husband is from England I wanted to incorporate some British inspired details into the wedding without it feeling like a "British" theme wedding. We decided to have the groomsmen and father of the groom who are also from England wear British flag suspenders and socks which was a simple and fun detail that complemented the grey suits very well.
I also added a few other British details into the decor sprinkled throughout the venue which was just the right amount without going overboard! My husband and his English family and friends who attended the wedding appreciated the blending of both cultures and loved having their country represented in our day. My husband along with his groomsmen proudly posed with their home flag which is a white rose, the inspiration behind the white flowers we chose for our wedding.
A small red telephone booth and a few personal photos were placed on the bar to complement our ongoing British theme. I also found some really cute toothpicks with the British flag on them which we used for our assortment of mini desserts. The British flag custom cocktail napkins from Zazzle were perfect for the wait staff to pass out during cocktail hour and to display on the bar.
My husband and I both wanted to have a classic and timeless look at our wedding which we accomplished using mostly white flowers in small arrangements as to not overpower or crowd the reception space. We chose not to have matching centerpieces on every table and instead the tables were a mixture of flowers and candles in a variety of arrangements.
An elegant paper flower display over the sweetheart table was the perfect backdrop for the bride and groom and tied the look together, beautifully crafted by Fanciful Designs. The venue is so beautiful on its own that we didn't want to take away from the richness of the architecture and felt simple and clean was the way to go.
Aside from the decor and beautiful design of the wedding details, what people are still talking about years later is the food and how much fun the wedding was. That was something that was very important to both my husband and I. We really wanted our guests to have a great time and be well fed and we accomplished both! The chef did an amazing job from our appetizers to our entrees to the dessert station. It was beyond what we expected and surpassed our expectations by far!
These cute meal choice stickers from Etsy were placed on each guests's escort card and worked great. They let the wait staff know what entree to serve them as we had choices of beef, chicken or a vegetarian dish.
For entertainment, local DJ Danny Vasquez of Elite Disc Jockeys got everyone dancing and helped us keep everything on schedule as our Emcee. He did an amazing job playing music and kept the party going late into the night.
Our photo booth was a huge hit and was busy all night long. There was never a dull moment and always something fun to do! What I loved most about the wedding was all the people who came together to celebrate with us from places near and far.
The question many people have asked me is, "did you have a wedding Coordinator?" The answer: YES! Of course I did! There is no way I was going to do everything myself on my wedding day or have my friends or family do anything except come to the wedding and have fun. I hired Alegria By Design for Wedding Day Coordination only. Armando is amazing and I have known him for many years. I trusted him to take care of all the wedding day details and he did help me with questions during the planning stages along the way. It was great having his support and guidance throughout the process and to lean on when things started to get overwhelming.
Even someone like me who plans weddings for a living needed help and I wasn't afraid to ask for it. I knew it was going to be a lot for me to tackle on my own. I am lucky to have a great network of people in the industry here in Santa Barbara to utilize which I am very grateful for! All of the wedding vendors I hired did an outstanding job and I think that is one of the reasons everything went so well. Good, reliable, experienced wedding professionals are a must! I cannot tell you enough what a difference it makes.
Was our wedding perfect? No. But I wasn't planning for perfection. We set out to have a fun day full of love and laughter and we ended up having the time of our lives! Yes there are things I would change if I could do it again (a future blog post). But overall I couldn't have asked for a better wedding or a better group of people to share it with. We loved every moment!
Marriages are not perfect and you shouldn't expect your wedding to be either. Plan for the unexpected. Accept the challenges and face them head on. Enjoy every moment, even the hard ones. The wedding day goes by so fast and if you aren't careful, you will miss it.
THANK YOU to all the OUTSTANDING wedding professionals I had the pleasure of working with and who made our day absolutely beautiful!
Wedding Day Coordination: Alegria By Design
Wedding Venue: Santa Barbara Club
Rentals: Party Pleasers
Ceremony Music: Monica Cremona
DJ: Elite Disc Jockeys
Photo Booth: 805 Party Pix
Flowers: Ella and Louie
Photography: James & Jess
Cake: Your Cake Baker
Transportation: SB Trolley
Vintage Car: Santa Barbara Tours a la Carte
Bride's Hair: MiSalon
Bride's Makeup: Spa Escape
Men's Attire: Mission Tuxedos
Accommodations: Fess Parker Double Tree Hotel
Gatherings for Good Partners with the William Sansum Diabetes Center to host the 15th Annual Taste of the Vine & Auction Fundraiser
Earlier this year, Gatherings for Good partnered with the William Sansum Diabetes Center (WSDC) to produce their 15th Annual Taste of the Vine & Auction fundraiser which was held on August 26, 2017 at QAD in Summerland, CA. Money raised went to support the organization and the work they do in the Santa Barbara community through education, care and treatment to those affected with diabetes.
Taste of the Vine & Auction - August 26, 2017
The event included 36 food, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverage purveyors who offered up small bites and tastings to over 300 guests which included several sponsors including their largest sponsor, Rabobank. Event goers were treated to music by local Santa Barbara DJs Zeke Monarrez and Jerry Rodriguez who were also the event Emcees.
Special performance by 2016 teen star winner Jackson Gilles was one of the highlights of the day. Jackson who is a Type 1 diabetic played a couple songs for the crowd and spoke about his personal experience. Chef Charles Mattox, executive director of Reversed, a reality show about diabetes also spoke to crowd and displayed enthusiasm for doing his part to help raise awareness about diabetes.
A VIP reception on the balcony was set up beautifully with lounge furniture provided by the Tent Merchant and Riverbench Winery served glasses of sparkling wine as first guests began to arrive.
It was a busy day that came together over a period of 5 months from the time we came on board as the event producer. Over 80 volunteers were onsite throughout the day which began at 9am for set up in the morning. Many volunteers were needed to help with tasks including event set up and breakdown, food service, raffle ticket sales, auction set up and working the guest registration area assisting with checking guests in and out.
The Gatherings for Good team along with the WSDC staff and event committee worked together to create a fun afternoon event that provided people with a wide variety of food and beverage options, live entertainment and impressive auction items to bid on during both the silent and live auctions which included trips to Tuscany, Ireland and Costa Rica!
Local transportation company Jump on the School Bus who is known best for providing wedding and event transportation and tours graciously donated an 8 hour wine or beer tour for up to 30 guests to visit some of the finest local wineries and breweries around the central coast.
Here is a brief video the WSDC put together with photos and music from Jackson Gilles of some of the day's highlights.
The event raised $127,000 for the diabetes center and generated more exposure in the Santa Barbara community. We were happy to do our part to ensure the event was a success by strategic planning, design concept, vendor sourcing, volunteer coordination and management, overseeing all logistical elements as well as on-site event execution.
Thank you to our industry partners for all your efforts at the 15th Annual Taste of the Vine:
The Tent Merchant
Santa Barbara Ice & Propane
Blue Star Parking
Image: Ryanne Bee Photography
Weddings are a beautiful occasion where friends and family gather to celebrate the marriage between two people in love. For destinations weddings guests may travel long distances to attend spending money on flights, hotels, transportation, meals and activities both before and after the wedding. As "hosts" of your wedding, one way to ensure the guests are happy and taken care of is to feed them well.
As a Wedding Coordinator, I have seen couples make choices questionable choices when it comes to what to serve at their wedding. They may only think about what they themselves like to eat and not always keeping their guests likes or dislikes in mind. This is a big No-No! This may be your wedding day but your choices should reflect the type of experience you want your guests to have and how you want them to remember this day.
We know catering for weddings can be expensive especially if you are planning a large wedding. But if you want the guests to leave happy and enjoy themselves you really need to be realistic about your food budget and either increase it (and cut back in other areas if necessary), or decrease your headcount. That may sound harsh but it's a realistic way to approach it in my opinion. Your guests, no matter how far they traveled, expect to be fed and it is one of the things they will remember about your wedding day. Food leaves an impression on people, either good or bad.
Here are 5 tips to make sure you are keeping your guests the entire guest experience in mind when planning what food to serve at your wedding.
1. Feed Them Quickly and A Lot!
Wedding days in general are very looooong days. From the time you get up in the morning to the last song of the night, you are going non-stop and your guests are too. Parents, grandparents, siblings, your BFF, the wedding party - whoever you have invited to the wedding is going to need to eat in order to keep going to the end. By the time the ceremony comes around, your guests are probably already hungry so plan to serve food as soon as possible.
Tip #1 Do not make your guests wait too long to eat after your ceremony. This will only make them impatient, cranky and if you're serving alcohol, chances are they'll get a little too drunk a little too fast. I recommend having a cocktail hour and serving drinks AND appetizers between the ceremony and reception. Keep it light and simple but serve something! It might be a while before dinner begins.
Tip #2 If you're doing your grand entrance with your entire wedding party, immedately sit down at your tables once the wedding party has all walked in. Save your first dance, speeches and other formalities until the middle of dinner or at the end. This will allow food to be served right away and avoid guests getting "hangry."
2. A Better Buffet.
Buffets... (sigh). Many guests will cringe when you mention you are having a buffet at your wedding because in general, it means they will have to wait longer to get their food. Let's be real. Nobody wants to wait in line for their food at a wedding. People want to sit down and immediately eat. When it comes time for the buffet, guests will sit at their table anxiously waiting for their turn while people around them get up to go through the line. No table wants to go last. I've seen guests walk out in the middle of dinner because the buffet was taking too long.
Tip #1: If you choose to have a buffet you can make things easier by asking your caterer or wedding venue to create two buffet lines. Having two buffet lines going at the same time will speed up the dinner service giving your guests the opportunity to get their food much faster. This is particularly helpful for large weddings with over 100 guests. By doing this you are also helping to keep all the other formalities on time such as getting to your first dance or toasts and speeches. A long buffet service can cause major delays in the entire evening which you definitely don't want!
Tip #2: Keep the buffet options to a minimum. A lot of people think a buffet is cheaper than a plated meal. Not always the case. Especially if you have multiple options. To keep costs down and the line moving, limit choices. For a typical American buffet, I recommend serving 2 types of meat, a choice of fish or pasta, 1 vegetable dish and 1 salad. You could also have fresh baked bread at the buffet or served at the tables. That is more than enough food especially if you're serving dessert and/or late night snacks!
3. Keep Kids and Special Dietary Needs in Mind.
If you are planning to have children at your wedding be sure to have a few kid friendly options on the menu for children who will need a meal. Determine how many children will be attending the wedding and give them 2 or 3 options to choose from such as chicken strips, cheeseburger and fries and pizza. If there are very small children or babies attending the wedding, their parents will most likely bring food and snacks for them if they are not old enough to eat at the dinner table.
You should also keep in mind any special dietary needs such as allergies to certain foods like shellfish, nuts, dairy, etc. Nowdays many caterers offer gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options. If you're not sure if any of your guests have allergies ask them! Or ask other family members to help you find out. You just want to be on the safe side and make sure all your guests have a meal and there are no last minute, on the spot meal requests that the chef now has to magically create.
4. Offer multiple dessert options. Not everyone is a fan of traditional weddings or wedding cake, I get it. Thankfully there are so many options when it comes to desserts! You no longer have to have a wedding cake (although, it is still nice for pictures). You can choose to have a dessert buffet with lots of "mini" desserts which are both cute and delicious! You can serve fresh baked pies, doughnuts, mini cupcakes, cake pops, ice cream sundaes, a cookie bar.. the list is endless. The point is, people want dessert - sugar is not the enemy. It keeps people happy and energized for dancing and in a good mood in general. And serving coffee and/or tea with dessert ... bonus!
Image: James & Jess Photography
Include late night snacks. If you're one of those couples who wants to throw an all night party ('till the break of dawn), for goodness sake have some late night snack food! Think about it.. dinner at 7pm followed by dessert and then dancing for 2-3 hours.. your guests will be getting hungry by 10 or 11pm. If you're planning to party until midnight or later plan to take the party to a bar where you can get late night food served until 2am, hire a food truck to serve up some delicious meals on wheels or order in a few pizzas. Either way you go you can't go wrong. More is better than not enough!
For more wedding tips, click here!
Are you planning a wedding? Contact us for a free quote on Wedding Planning and Coordination services!
If I had to sum up Taylor and Ryan's wedding day I would have to say that is was definitely not boring! This wedding had A LOT going on including a very brief (yet scary) microburst storm that sent tourists scattering from beaches, umbrellas flying in the air, street lights that lost power and fallen tree branches and debris in the roadways causing major traffic in downtown Santa Barbara.
Here is a quick video of some of the destruction this storm caused (which is also a good reminder why it is important to check the weather report before your wedding day and always have a backup plan)!
Thankfully the storm was brief and the sun came out shortly after. As a Wedding Coordinator it is my job to be prepared for anything! I was fully prepared to move the ceremony indoors if necessary. Luckily we did not have to do that and we were able to still have the ceremony at the beautiful Winslow Maxwell Overlook at Santa Barbara City College overlooking the breathtaking Santa Barbara Harbor with endless ocean and mountain views.
Nothing was going to take away from Taylor and Ryan's day, not even a little rain in the forecast! This young and vibrant couple were able to celebrate their love among family and friends who got to see Santa Barbara in style courtesy of Santa Barbara Trolley. Once they arrived at the ceremony site, guests enjoyed the view and music from a mariachi trio who set the tone for a beautiful and joyous occasion!
Once the bridal party arrived and guests were seated, the ceremony was quickly underway. The officiants who happen to be close friends with the bride and groom got everyone laughing and kept guests fully entertained with the couple of honor taking part in the fun themselves!
After the ceremony, the fun continued at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center where guests enjoyed a delicious dinner served from LA based food truck, Shrimp vs. Chef. Dessert came in the form of refreshing Hawaiian shave ice in a variety of flavors from ParadICE Shave Ice and Welcome Coffee Cart kept everyone fueled with caffeine and dancing all night serving up coffee to order.
The most entertaining part of the night (and gets my vote for most creative grand entrance of 2017) was when the entire bridal party entered the reception to their wrestler alter ego and was announced by the bride's uncle, in his best wrestling announcer voice! The bride and groom, who are huge wrestling fans, came up with the idea and even got their parents involved!
This wedding was full of surprises. All jokes aside, I am so happy for these two and was thrilled to be part of their special day!
Thank you to the following vendors!
Ceremony Venue: Santa Barbara City College Winslow Maxwell Overlook
Reception Venue: Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center
Coordinator: Gatherings for Good
Catering: Shrimp vs. Chef
Coffee Service: Welcome Coffee Cart
Bar/Event Staffing: Simply Cocktails
Photographer: Bob Faulkner Photography
Transportation: Santa Barbara Trolley
Rentals: Discount Party Rentals
Hair: Sequel Salon
Dessert: ParadICE Shave Ice
Bride & Groom's Hotel: Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara
Melanie and Tetlo are a fun-loving couple with a unique style all their own! Their wedding day was a celebration of food, family and fun which you can clearly see in these photos by Chelsea Elizabeth Photography who captured it all so perfectly! Melanie and Tetlo chose to have their wedding at Imagine Park at Alpha Resource Center, a private outdoor space which complimented their love and appreciation for natural beauty and rustic elements. The bride's DIY flower arrangements in mix and match vases, along with potted plants and succulents used as centerpieces gave just the right amount of color and style to enhance the already beautiful landscape.
The intimate ceremony was set in front of the greenhouse which is flanked by an abundance of lush green trees and plants. The decor was minimal in order to preserve the venue's rustic, earthy appeal. Guests were greeted with glasses of champagne as they waited for the bride and groom to arrive. During the ceremony the couple performed a traditional planting ceremony to symbolize how they will nurture each other and the love they share in the years to come.
After the ceremony the couple along with members of their families joined together to perform a traditional Botswana wedding dance as they made their way into the reception. Their VERY grand entrance was followed by the couple's first dance together as husband and wife.
Once it was time for dinner guests feasted on a delicious BBQ buffet from Simply Marvelous BBQ followed by as assortment of desserts including a traditional wedding cake, homemade pies and a variety of fresh baked donuts. DJ Kacy Wilson kept the party going late into the night with a fun mix of dance tunes suited perfectly for this family affair!
Thank you to all the talented wedding and event professionals who made this day so special!
Venue: Imagine Park at Alpha Resource Center
Coordinator: Gatherings for Good
Catering: Simply Marvelous BBQ
Rentals: Amigo Party Rentals
Vintage Rentals: Otis + Pearl
Photographer: Chelsea Elizabeth Photography
Hair/Makeup: La Rouge
Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes
Pies: Simply Marvelous BBQ
DJ: Kacy Wilson
Lighting: SPARK Creative Events
Image: Kacie Jean Phototography
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.