All Posts in wedding tips

January 10, 2020 - 6 comments

Wedding Coordinator vs Venue Coordinator, what’s the difference?

Picture this: You’re in the beginning stages of wedding planning and the venue you’d like to book comes with a venue coordinator- ‘That’s amazing!’ you say to yourself. You think this is a great addition because they will be there to help with your every need! 

But do they really? 

If you aren’t familiar with the wedding industry you might not realize the key differences between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator, so let’s dig a little deeper!

Sweetheart table with moody florals and black candlesticks. Green garland with peach flowers for wedding in Los Olivos.

Venue Coordinator: 

A venue coordinator is hired BY the venue FOR the venue. These are typical duties of a venue coordinator: 

  1. Venue space: They are there day of to make sure things are clean, if provided; they will set up tables & chairs, they make sure there is adequate staffing, and make sure things are clean and tidy.
  2. Timeline: They are there to make sure the meals are out on time, cleaned up, and sometimes will make sure dessert is served. They often leave after the meal or dessert is served.
  3. Vendors: Often venues have a preferred vendor list that they will give you. That is the extent of their involvement with outside vendors.
  4. Design: They are there to make sure the venue itself looks its best. They don’t typically ask what your vision is or provide any type of services to help make sure the spaces are unique to you and fit the vibe you are going for.

Bride and groom dance on white dance floor with string lights and moody florals with black candlesticks. Wedding by Cause We Can Events in Los Olivos

Wedding Coordinator: 

A wedding coordinator is hired by YOU for YOU. They are there every step of the way- but for comparison's sake- let's just stick with day of responsibilities.

  1. Timeline: Your planner will make sure things are running on time from getting ready to last call. They are there start to finish to make sure things run smoothly and you can enjoy every second of your big day. They will line you up for the ceremony, que the DJ for the first dance, make sure that speeches start on time, and they will ultimately be there until your last guest goes home.
  2. Vendors: Your planner has helped you handpick every vendor to make sure they are the perfect fit for your day. Planners often have close relationships with wedding vendors and you can feel at ease knowing they were chosen with your best interest in mind. Planners will also be in contact with them on the day of to make sure things are on time, correct, and to ensure everything goes off without a hitch or without bothering you.
  3. Design: When you hire a planner you are hiring someone that wants to make sure you get the wedding of your dreams. They can help with everything from invitation design, floral design, decor, lighting, table settings, ceremony layout, and everything in between. They spend hours day-of setting up to make sure it’s exactly what you envisioned.

As you can see there are major differences between the two- but the biggest takeaway is that unlike a venue coordinator, a wedding planner is there to keep your best interests a top priority and to make sure you are getting the day that you always dreamed of. They listen to your vision and make it a reality. 

Photographer Pretty Branch Photo

December 24, 2018 - Comments Off on 4 Easy Steps to Writing Your Wedding Vows!

4 Easy Steps to Writing Your Wedding Vows!

I would be lying if I told you I wrote my own vows months before our wedding. The truth is, I wrote them the week of. But from what I've heard from others, I'm not alone with the last minute vow-writing.

Since many couples will be getting engaged over the holidays and needing a little vow writing help, I reached out to Katelyn Stanis, a professional wedding vow and toast writer to see if she had any tips for us! She had a ton of great advice and created this 4 Easy Steps to Writing Your Wedding Vows blog for us! Ready?

Vow book with rings on top. 4 Easy steps to writing your wedding vows

 

Step #1—Make a Plan

You need to get organized and create a plan around vow writing to make it stress-free. Schedule time in your calendar for vow writing the same way you’d schedule time for your cake tasting. Then be sure to show up and commit to the appointment.

Get specific with your appointment titles. Instead of simply blocking out time for “vow writing” title the time block with the actual task you’ll complete. For example, “write first draft” or “brainstorm ideas for vows.”

Step #2—Use Writing Prompts

Even the most experienced writers get in creative ruts and are overwhelmed with writer’s block. Using a prompt can lure back your muse and inspire lots of material for your vows. Here are a few wedding vow writing prompts to get you started.

  • Why are you choosing to marry this person?
  • When you think of your fiancé, what makes you most grateful?
  • How does your fiancé show you love?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for our marriage?

Bride writing her vows in on the beach. How to write your wedding vows

Step #3—Write Now, Edit Later

Often times the fear of writing can prevent brides from putting pen to paper. The big secret to writing amazing wedding vows is simple—you just have to start.

Start writing. Put your emotion and wandering thoughts about your love down on paper. The words do not need to be eloquent and the sentences do not need to be perfectly strung together. Just start writing and you can always edit your work later. Once you start getting your thoughts down on paper, you’ll soon realize that you have more to work with than you had originally thought.

Step #4—Practice 

Writing is only half of what’s involved in creating impactful wedding vows. You also have to be able to confidently recite the words you wrote. To really make a strong impression on your fiancé and your guests, practice reciting your wedding vows.

I recommend recording a video of yourself. While it might feel a bit awkward at first, you’ll be thankful to recognize your nervous ticks before the big day.

4 easy steps to writing your wedding vows. Desert bride reading her vows to her husband-to-be in Zion, Utah

There you have it! But if you still find yourself struggling to write your vows (many do) you can work directly with Katelyn in these 2 ways:

  1. We can work together to create custom wedding vows through my one-on-one vow writing service.
  2. If you prefer to handle more of the writing on your own but could use some guidance throughout the process, then her digital vow writing course is the right option for you.

Now, get out there and write your vows!

Photos by Chloe Moore Photography and Lauren Mihae

 

June 19, 2018 - 449 comments

Is It Ok to Leave a Tip Jar at The Bar?

One of the biggest questions we get when we're helping  couples plan their wedding is: "Is it ok to leave a tip jar at the bar?". This can be a bit of a sensitive topic so let's get through it together.

best bartenders in southern california, Calif Craft Cocktails with Sarah and Sean

Past Trends

It wasn't that long ago that open bars were only for a portion of the wedding reception. After cocktail hour or dinner, it would become a cash bar and guests would have to pay for their own drinks and add their own tip. This can definitely still happen today but it's a little more rare.

Current Trends

In any case, wedding trends are constantly changing and there's really no perfect answer when it comes to tip jars at weddings. With this said, we wanted to get a professional opinion from our favorite bartending company, Cali Craft Cocktails. We asked Sarah, co-owner of Cali Craft Cocktails, what her thoughts were on having tip jars at weddings and she replied with this:

Putting tip jars out is FINE. People WANT to tip. If you take the tip jars away, it makes it more awkward. People want to reward you for doing a good job and they look around for a tip jar, then have to wait until they have the bartenders attention to ask “where is the tip jar?”. Then they have to try and slide you money into your hand anyway and most often we have a “tip cup” under the bar, for all the people who insist on tipping even though there is no jar.

Having said that, if you don’t want to put a tip jar out and you want to pay gratuity ahead of time, that is better for the staff, because you will 100% be spending more than what people will put in the jars anyway.

Advice from your Wedding Planner

On a planner side of things, we've seen tip jars work really well at some weddings while at others not so great. It's a really hard thing to predict. Worst case, if you choose to put a tip jar out and your guests don't tip as much as you thought, keep some extra cash on hand so that you can supplement if needed.

As a final thought, having a great bartending company like Cali Craft Cocktails who is able to create really delicious drinks, serve them out quickly and have incredible customer service (we promise this is not a paid post!) really encourages guests to tip more. The overall experience is so much for fun for them and they're excited to support the bartenders!

We're curious, what are your thoughts about this? If you're already married, did you have a tip jar out? Did you tip your bartenders ahead of time? Share in the comments below!

Photos by Molly + Co and Reminisce Photos

January 18, 2018 - Comments Off on Merari + Fernando’s Initmate TreePeople Park Wedding

Merari + Fernando’s Initmate TreePeople Park Wedding

Ok full confession: this wedding happened a couple of years ago BUT it's still one of my favorites because it was small, intimate and full of natural beauty. Merari and Fernando chose to have their ceremony at TreePeople Park in the Santa Monica Mountains which overlooked all of Los Angeles. It was stunning and just full of wildlife! The cocktail hour and reception were held in the coolest private room at Cecconi's West Hollywood. Take a look at this beautiful and intimate Los Angeles wedding:
Bride and Groom at TreePeople Park

Getting Ready

The bride got ready at her beautiful bright apartment in Marina Del Rey, CA. Her dress was actually a 2-piece short dress + skirt combo which I am obsessed with!

bride getting ready marina del rey

Bride's blue suede shoes

his and hers vow books with rings and flowers

vow book with handwritten vows and rings on top. His and Hers vow books

bride getting ready short hair blue shoes

groom getting ready marina del rey

The First Look with a view

The First Look was done at TreePeople Park with an absolutely gorgeous view. Did you know that TreePeople Park is first and foremost a non profit that bring the LA community together to plant trees, renew landscapes and harvest rain water?

Bride walks up to groom for First Look at Tree People Park

Bride taps groom on shoulder for first look at Tree People park. A great wedding venue in Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains

Groom turns around to see his bride at TreePeople park for the First look before the ceremony

Bride cries during First Look at TreePeople Park in Los Angeles

Bride and groom before ceremony on top of TreePeople Park in Los Angeles for a first look and romantic photos at sunset

The Ceremony on top of TreePeople Park

Since the trails don't have a ton of room for wedding rentals, we opted for a few benches and a small arch with simple florals. Merari's father walked her down the path, around the corner and down the aisle.

Bride and father walk down the path at TreePeople Park for the ceremony overlooking Los Angeles

father walks bride down the aisle at TreePeople Park for intimate wedding in top of the mountain

Small intimate wedding with 25 guests at TreePeople park. The ceremony was overlooking Los Angeles and the view was spectacular

Bride and groom kiss at TreePeople Park ceremony

throwing confetti after ceremony at treepeople park

bride and groom walk under confetti after ceremony at treepeople park

Bride hugging her guests at the intimate wedding on top of TreePeople Park in Los Angeles

Romantic photos at sunset

We can't resist a good sunset on top of a mountain. TreePeople Park has a million places you could take photos. Their photographer, Chloe, found the perfect spots to capture both the view and sunset during their romantic photos.

Bride and groom at TreePeople Park during sunset. Bride wore a 2-piece dress with details on the sleeves

Bride and groom holding hands at adventurous wedding at TreePeople Park

 

romantic kiss for adventurous couple in Santa Monica. Outdoor wedding ceremony in Santa Monica Mountains at TreePeople Park

groom kisses his new wife on the shoulder with sunset in the background

Eclectic Reception in West Hollywood

After those sunset photos the small group of 25 headed to Cecconi's in West Hollywood for some cocktails, appetizers and a delicious dinner in a fun and eclectic room!

Wedding reception at Cecconi's west Hollywood. Very eclectic room with big orange heart and black and white floor

small intimate wedding reception in an eclectic colorful room in west hollywood

 

cute thank you gift idea for wedding. Wedding favor candies in a jar with custom stamp

Planning/Coordination 'Cause We Can Events // Photography Chloe Moore Photography // Florals Pavan Floral // Ceremony Venue TreePeople Park // Reception Venue Cecconi's West Hollywood

August 15, 2017 - 29 comments

5 important things to remember when choosing your Wedding Photographer

Want to know what the number 1 thing couples regret not doing for their wedding? Hiring a really GOOD wedding photographer! I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say that they wish they had spent more on an experienced and really talented wedding photographer. That, and hiring a wedding planner but that will be a post for another day ha! Choosing a wedding photographer can be pretty hard because there are so many talented ones out there. Here are some things to remember when searching for your wedding photographer.

1. Find your photography style

First, look through some wedding photos and find out your personal style. Would you rather have professional portrait photos? Do you prefer more action shots and candid moments? Or are you a nature-lover and are more passionate about whats in the background of your photos? Esthetically, do you tend to like the bright and airy photos or gravitate toward the warmer and moody tones?

Bride and Groom at TreePeople Park Photo by Chloe Moore Photography

 

bride and groom kiss in the desert in joshua treePhoto by Alissa Noelle Photography

Photo by Samantha Roy Photography

2. Scheduling

This is important if you run into an issue when the photographer is booked for multiple events. If you want someone that is all-in and dedicated to getting the photos back to you quickly, you might want to look for someone who doesn't have a crammed schedule around the time of your wedding. Also, some photographers have different pricing if you want to hire them personally or one of their (very talented) associates. Just make sure you know who you're getting!

art deco bride and groom

Photo by Laura Goldenberger & Kayla Lilli Photography

3. Budgeting and Extra Charges

Before your special day, make sure everyone is on the same page with the costs. If you are, the next question would be if they charge extra for special services you might want. Do they charge for extra travel? Do they include an engagement session or is that additional? These are all important questions to ask to make sure you can stay within your budget.

bride and groom canyon walk

Photo by Laura Goldenberger & Kayla Lilli Photography

4. Second Shooters are a must

We assume that every photographer brings along a second shooter to help them out on the wedding day but sometimes that comes as an additional charge. I really believe it's important to find someone that includes a second shooter because while your main photographer can snap some photos of you getting your hair and makeup done, the second shooter can capture all the decor photos and even a few candids of guests arriving or family members hugging. One photographer can't be at 2 places at the same time!

5. Personality Check

Most couples will be able to feel if a photographer is right for them. He or she will be interested in knowing your story as a couple and want to portray that in the photos they take. It is important to have a few in-person meetings to become more comfortable with each other and create chemistry. You want to be genuine and natural when taking these photos, so make sure you and your photographer have a solid relationship of understanding and friendship. Don't forget, your photographer will be with you for at least 8 hours on your wedding day so choose someone who makes you feel like you've been friends forever.

photographer Chloe Moore behind the scenes

retro just married getaway

Photo by Amy Lynn Photography

That’s all! Five simple tips to remember when hiring a photographer for your wedding day. I hope it was helpful and it sparked some good questions for you to ask. Let us know what tips you have when searching for your ideal photographer.