The Engaged & Inspired Wedding Planning Workshop

Introducing....The Engaged & Inspired Wedding Planning Workshop! 

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What It Is: Consider this your wedding planning bootcamp! Learn everything you need to know to plan your perfect wedding, without hiring a planner. 

Who You Are: You want to plan your own wedding. You love a good challenge but you have a job and a life and can't spend every waking hour planning (even though you really want to!). You need a little push in the right direction and then you'll be off the races!

How It Works: Upon arrival you'll be greeted with the full service planning binder that I give to each of my clients and use myself day in and day out. This will act as your planning guide throughout planning your wedding. 

First up, Vendors! Finding your perfect vendor team is so important, but is also SUCH a challenge.  We will go through the must-ask questions, give you the tips you need to know to find that perfect someone and even have a few talented professionals on hand for you to talk to.  Flower samples, portfolio books, cake tastings - it'll all be there. 

Next we will move onto logistics! We will create the first drafts of your wedding timeline, vendor production schedule, venue diagrams, work out seating charts, transportation schedules, room blocks, wedding websites, venue logistics and SO much more. When the time comes to finalize these pieces, you'll be ready to tackle these things head first.

Now we get to the fun part, design! Turn that Pinterest board into a full fledged design plan and mood board with help from our staff. You'll walk away with a first draft design plan including color palettes, ideas, and where to source everything! Then it is on to rentals, linens and finding out how to secure and source some of those pieces that are oh so important in bringing your inspiration to life!  

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We will do a few budget checks along the way to ensure you are in line with where you need to be, show you some styling tips, and constantly give you tidbits of advice that will make your wedding planning journey that much easier. What we have listed here only scratches the surface of what this full-day intensive wedding planning session will entail and in the end, you'll be sent off to plan your wedding with a solid foundation on how to finish up from there. 

If you haven't realized by now, this workshop isn't just a bunch of lecturing that will leave you with a notebook filled with to-do's and little tidbits of knowledge. This is a full fledged hands-on day of wedding planning! You'll get all the tips and tricks of the trade, hands on help throughout each piece, and plenty of samples along the way. Try the foods, feel the linens, mock up the tablescape, and turn those ideas into reality. You'll walk away prepared to conquer it all! 

The Details: Join us on January 31 in San Francisco. Hours: 10-6. Breakfast goodies and full lunch will be served! Price: $395. Exact location TBD. 

Sign Me Up: Sounds awesome, right? Buy Tickets Here!

Kris + Michael | Holman Ranch Wedding

Here are a few shots of our first wedding of the season back in March! I'm seriously so in love with that dress. The lace and buttoned back is such an incredible detail, don't you think? This was such a great season starter at Holman Ranch. 

The Timeline | How To Make Your Wedding Day Last

Everyone tells you your wedding goes by in a flash. And they are right. But you might not realize how right you really are. They key to making your wedding day last is in the timeline, and the current traditional timeline needs a lot of work. So let's dive into this, shall we?

You are on a schedule the whole time. Have you ever been on a minute by minute schedule for 8 hours straight? It is kind of brutal, and that's the honest truth. I pad timelines throughly, and yes, sometimes things are a little off. Honestly, the timeline is second for me to the feeling of the day. Want to do rounds at tables (which are taking more time than we alloted for), do it! The timeline is meant as a guide, so I always make it second to the couple creating amazing memories on their wedding day. That said, there are some things you can do to make yourself feel a little less scheduled throughout the day. 

Getting ready: Start getting ready early, enjoy your time with you girls and make a morning out of it. Drink mimosas, get breakfast delivered and make that time a great experience for your bridal party. It's your wedding day, what else do you have to do?!

First look: Do it. Seriously. It'll save you so much "wedding time". When couples opt for a first look it offers a chance for you to get a lot of photos done ahead of time - bride portraits, groom portraits, bridesmaids photos, groomsmen photos, couple photos and full bridal party photos. I like to give about 2 hours of time before the wedding for all these shots, plus about a half hour before the ceremony for touchups and to sit down and take it easy before walking down the aisle.

When couples don't do a first look, all the above photos I listed out have to be done during cocktail hour. This means a few things - you definitely won't be joining the cocktail hour, and you won't have a chance to breathe before we are onto the next. A first look allows you and your bridal party to enjoy a bit more of the actual wedding since we got so much out of the way ahead of time.

Family photos: Ahh family photos. Now these are kind of a pain logistically. Of course you want some photos with your wonderful family, and you should have them, but try to keep the list short. Keep it as close to immediate family as possible, and always make sure you have a family shot list planned. This will help the photographer get all the shots you are hoping for, and will give them a list of names to call out for each photo. Unfortunately your sweet aunt doesn't realize that grabbing a drink and chowing down on the yummy apps while everyone is looking for her, well, that's taking time out of your couple portraits or maybe even your 15 minutes of time to enjoy cocktail hour. Let your family know ahead of time if they are in photos and tell them to be around and available so we don't have to go on the search for them!

Dinner: take a few minutes to eat and then it is off to do rounds and say hi to your guests for the first time since the wedding began! (3 ish hours later!!). But that can't take too long because you've got sunset photos and toasts! It is all a whirlwind. If you do a first look, you'll have been able to enjoy cocktail hour and at least say hi to a few people. Not too much you can do here in terms of making this time last a little longer, but do tell each person giving a toast to be mindful of the time. They don't have to rush it, but telling them to be mindful will help them understand that they don't have an infinite amount of time. 

Dancing: Once you've hit the dancing portion you have a little more freedom to let lose and enjoy yourself. This is often the first time you'll get a moment to yourself. Do you want that interrupted by yet another thing? Cake cuttings, bouquet/garter tosses and other little traditions of that nature can be awesome if you're into them, or they could just be one more thing that pulls you off the dance floor. Just think about it before saying you definitely must do them.

TLDR (Too Long, Didn't Read):

Do a first look and get as many pictures as you can done before the ceremony starts. 

Create a shot list for family photos and keep the number of photos to a minimum.

Add 10 minutes into your timeline right after the ceremony for some alone time with your new husband! Believe me, it is worth it. 

Tell the special people giving toasts to be mindful of time.

Toss out tradition. It's your wedding day, you don't have to do anything. If cake cutting or the bouquet toss have no meaning to you, scratch them.

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This season I'm really into loose, colorful bouquets. The palettes in each of these comes together in a very organic way, but without being afraid to make a little bit of a statement when it comes to color! 

Some brides will mention colors they really don't want. Yellow for example. But as you can see in each of these bouquets, there are small touches of yellow that are done in a thoughtful way to enhance the palette of the bouquet as a whole. Sometimes, by trying to express what you want, you might limit yourself to something that could be great instead of good. Remember that you have hired your vendor team because you love their work, now trust them and see what they come up with!

The Venue Search | Carmel & Big Sur Wedding Venues

Finding a venue is the first step in planning a wedding. It also happens to be one of the most challenging. Finding everything you want in one place isn't easy, but it can be done! (sometimes you just have to visit a billion venues, like I did).

I received an email asking for venues from Big Sur to Santa Cruz with redwoods, pine trees or gorgeous views. Not all of these fit that exact bill as I like to give options, just in case! I thought I'd share some good venue options here too!

Big Sur:

Anderson Canyon: This one is my very favorite!

Wind and Sea: Great for smaller weddings. 

Glen Oaks: Recently redone! This place looks so beautiful, although very mid-century modern. 

Post Ranch Inn: Gorgeous location, but only for smaller parties up to 20 people. 

Ventana Inn: This was another top contender when I was getting married! Beautiful hotel and location to get married :)


Carmel:

Holman Ranch: Obvi I have to throw Holman Ranch on this list. :) 

Gardener Ranch: Beautiful spot and it has accommodations for up to 50 people! So you really get to make an experience out of it! 

Santa Lucia Preserve: This place is a stunner! Logistically, it is a tough one as you have to have a member of the community "sponsor" your event. This was my number one location when I was getting married but I was turned off by how much of a pain it would be to try to find someone to sponsor, etc. 


Santa Cruz:

Nestldown: Beautiful trees, a gorgeous barn. This place sort of has it all. 

Castle House and Gardens: I love this charm of this location. It takes "backyard wedding" to a whole different level!

Costanoa Lodge: This one isn't my most favorite in terms of ceremony locations, but it has some gorgeous views and a very cozy feel. 

Industrial Wedding at Loft 212

I posted a sneak peek of this wedding on Instagram a while back, so I'm really excited to finally share the whole thing!

This venue and this dress are seriously the most perfect combination. I just love how this whole wedding was pulled together from the luscious floral, amazing sunset and beautiful brick detailing. It was all captured wonderfully by j. Woodbery Photography

Photographer:  j.woodbery photography//Transportation: Coats Classic Cars LLC//Event Venue:Loft 212//Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Mr Burch Formal Wear//Cinema and Video: ProjectMEDIA Productions//Makeup Artist: Rawwbeauty Makeup Artistry//Floral Designer: Studio Flower//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights