A Beautiful Idea...this weekend's 'I Do Re-Do' because sometimes it doesn't go the way you wanted it to....

June 29-30 in Yucca Valley a really cool group of wedding pros is getting together to create an amazing experience for couples’ whose wedding, well, didn’t go as planned. With an incredible venue (Tumbleweed Sanctuary, Garden and Labyrinth) opening up their space to support couples who were not able to have the wedding of their dreams and a fantastic photographer (Bree Hulan with Parallel33 Photography) to capture it all!

This experience will allow couples who may not have had the wedding/photos/venue of their dreams the chance to don their wedding threads (or outfit of their choice) and capture some incredible photos, while renewing their vows. There is a small fee for couples to participate, which will allow for a small honorarium for participating vendors.

Do you know someone who really needs an "I do Re-do"? Contact Andrea@EventsByAbel.com with Events by Abel who is running the whole shindig out of the goodness of her heart, for more information.

Editor’s Note: This is how professional wedding experts behave; with class, dignity and solutions. LOVE THIS.

How to Choose your San Diego Wedding Vehicle by San Diego Party Bus Service

How to Choose your San Diego Wedding Vehicle

Lucky you! You have so many choices when it comes to the wedding vendors at your San Diego wedding - since San Diego is the most popular wedding city in the USA [and 10th most popular destination city in the world!] there’s a lot to work with here. In fact, so many options is exactly what makes choosing wedding services so hard! Your options for customizing your wedding to your liking are absolutely limitless. One very important choices you will have to make is the method of San Diego wedding transportation. There are all kinds of vehicles you can choose from, but how do you know which is best for your specific needs? Here are a few ideas on some of the most common vehicle choices engaged couples make and how they can benefit your celebration. For more information, check out sandiegopartybusservice.com.

Party Buses

This has become the most popular choice for San Diego weddings, and we will tell you why. The biggest reason is that party buses have tons of space for the wedding party to move around in. They're also an excellent choice for shuttling your guests from one spot to the next without worries of them driving themselves around after enjoying drinks at your reception.


The great thing about choosing a limousine for your San Diego wedding is the fact that there are so many different vehicle styles to choose from. There are classic town cars as well as SUV's and even luxury options like Hummer limousines. This makes it quite easy to find an awesome limo that works with the specific vision that you have for your wedding. You cannot deny the classic and elegant appeal that limousines have for weddings, and this is part of the reason why they are such a great choice for wedding transportation.

Unique and rare vehicles

There are companies and individuals who rent out exotic cars for weddings. These can range from vehicles like trolleys, to sports cars and vintage cars. These types of vehicles are highly sought after, and can be booked up to two years in advance sometimes! If you are looking for an exotic vehicle for your wedding, be sure to start your search as early as possible. Unless you are reserving a trolley, specialty vehicles are often only big enough for one to three people. So, it's a good idea to reserve a secondary vehicle for your wedding party if that's applicable to your needs.

5 Wedding Transportation Insider Secrets from San Diego Party Bus

5 Wedding Transportation Insider Secrets

Chances are, you've never had the task of procuring wedding transportation. It can be tricky knowing who you can trust or what exactly you're looking for. The right transportation can certainly elevate the efficiency of your celebration.  Here are 5 insider secrets when it comes to wedding transportation. This will be helpful information you can reflect on as you prepare to make your wedding vendor decisions!

1. Book as early as possible

Often times, transportation companies adjust their pricing as periods of time get busier through out the year. Wedding season (practically all year in San Diego!) happens to be the busiest time of year for limousine and party bus providers, so be sure to book your transportation as soon as possible to lock in availability and the rate you want. 

2. Ask to see the vehicle before you book

Planning a wedding will fill up your schedule, there's no doubt about that. However, it's important to make the time to check out the vehicle you're interested in before actually booking it. You want to make sure it looks as great as it does on the website, and it gives you a chance to meet with the company beforehand and get a better feel for how they conduct business face to face.

3. Sizing of vehicles isn't always what you think

This is another reason why it's important to view a vehicle before booking it. Transportation companies don't set the standards for sizing of vehicles, the department of transportation is responsible for that. They only give about 13 inches for a standard seat size, which isn't very much space at all! This is important to think about if your wedding party has full skirts, as one person could easily take up anywhere from two to four seat spaces.

4. Make sure your transportation provider knows your venue well

An experienced chauffeur will know where it is acceptable to park, drop off, and pick up a group of passengers in the most efficient way. If you hire a company who is not familiar with your wedding venue or picture destinations, you're risking some delays in time as they figure these details out on the spot. The last thing you want is a domino effect of late vendors because you were late to your wedding or reception.

5. Get a clear understanding of their contract

Contracts are an important part of any wedding vendor decision! When it comes to wedding transportation, you want to be aware of any extra fees that relate to fuel charges, mileage, or tip to the chauffeur. Be sure you're fully informed about the all inclusive price as opposed to the advertised price. A reputable San Diego Party Bus company will be transparent in this regard!

Five Creative Ways to Include Apothecary Jars in Your Wedding

Five Fresh Ways to Include Apothecary Jars in Your Wedding

Versatile pieces of decoration—that’s what apothecary jars are. They can store and display basically anything you want. Regardless of shape, size, or color, they can add a whimsical touch to any place or table. They are available in a lot of stores that sell craft supplies and decorations for any purpose, and most importantly, they can be used in any occasion.

It’s not a wonder that more and more people and interior designers are trying to incorporate these jars into different kinds of spaces and special events. Now, are you thinking of using the elegance of these versatile containers in your wedding? Then you ought to read how you can creatively utilize them. There’s more than one way that you can take advantage of the adorable jars! 

Give Your Cake a Real Bakery Dome

Photography: Jonas Peterson via Ruffled Blog

Are you planning to have small cakes at your wedding? Use a cloche, a type of apothecary jar in the shape of a glass dome, to display the sumptuous pastry in a classy way.

With a presentation such as this, no one can resist a slice of the yummy goodness in a glass. You can display one majestic cloche-cake combo in each table so everyone can experience some cake cutting in your wedding.

Give Out Gratitude in a Jar

Show gratitude to the people who played a major role on your special day, and say it with a jar. You can place a thank-you note inside it along with edibles or other materials for a more dramatic effect. This time, it’s you who’s giving back something memorable to everyone who made your day special.

Capture the Outdoors in a Glass

Photography: Ali Leigh Photo via Ruffled Blog

Do you want to display plants as your centerpiece? No problem. Create a mini terrarium inside a cloche. The jar makes a pleasant, warm home for little flowers and plants.

If you’re also the type who likes to explore the great outdoors (well, hello possible honeymoon destinations), then you can also utilize the jar and put in a plastic model of a butterfly or any other material that reflects the spirit of nature and adventure.

Showcase Sweetness in a Jar

Make your special moments sweeter by doling out candies and other goodies. You can arrange apothecary jars in varied shapes and sizes on a table near the entrance. Now that’s the kind of welcome everyone will love.

Moreover, both children and adult guests will appreciate the sweet treat as they go around the reception hall and catch up with mutual acquaintances and relatives.

Gather Words in a Container

Image Credits: EveryDay-Lovely

Your wedding day is going to be a very busy day for you, so you may not have enough time to have lengthy interactions with all the well-wishers. Why not give them a chance to share their heartfelt message in a note? And nothing is more perfect than a beautiful jar to contain their lovely words.

At the end of the ceremony, you can take the apothecary container home, display it in a prominent area, and let it serve as a reminder that a lot of people are wishing you both all the great things that life has to offer. 

Some Creativity Required

You see, decorating with apothecary jars can be fun. Because of their versatility, they can fit any wedding theme or venue. And they come in numerous shapes and sizes, which gives you the freedom to choose what best suits your plans.

The only thing you need to do is decide how you’re going to showcase the beauty of the jars. Whether you use it for food or any other material, rest assured that the outcome is just the same: a beautiful, whimsical decor. Why don’t you start browsing for apothecary jars now?

Editor's Note: Thanks to Save On Crafts [where we have shopped for years!] for these great on-trend ideas! We love Apothecary jars and are constantly finding new ways to use them at weddings, in styled shoots, and even in the office and at home [they are gorgeous with holiday decorations in them on a hall entry table!] after the big day.

Wedding Day Must Haves to Keep You Looking and Feeling Your Best!

Wedding Day Must-Haves - Great tips to Keep You Looking and Feeling Your Best!

Any bride- or groom-to-be knows that planning a wedding isn’t easy, but can be a lot of fun and definitely pays off when the big day is finally here. A lot of decision-making and effort goes into the year or months before the wedding, but oftentimes, day-of tasks get forgotten in all of the excitement. One piece in particular that gets neglected is the getting ready process. Weddings often take place at a venue, leaving the bride to pack a bag (or two or three) with belongings that she might need to get ready to walk down the aisle. But what should be packed?

Hair, skin and nails

Every bride wants to look glowing in her wedding photos. A big, beautiful smile will do wonders, but if you’re looking to make sure your hair, skin and nails are perfect as well, make sure you prepare to keep them on-point the day of your wedding.

For your hair, you’re likely going to have practice appointments with your stylist in advance, so have conversations with him or her on any products that you might need. Sometimes they will supply items such as hairspray and bobby pins, and other times they’ll expect you to have them. It’s pertinent that you get on the same page. If you’re wearing special hair clips on your wedding, have some back up pins or clips handy (in your hair color, if possible), in case anything breaks or doesn’t work as it should. Also make sure you have extra-hold hairspray on hand, as well as a hair tie (these are great for maintaining crease-free hair!) for putting your hair up when you hit the dance floor with your new spouse.

If you’re getting married outside, protect your skin with sunscreen. Be sure to check out all of your options and find a product that won’t leave behind a greasy coat or make you smell like you just stepped off of the beach. Moisturizer is also a great idea for battling dry patches or simply for getting a little extra glow. With all skin products, make sure you try them out beforehand to check for any poor interactions. No bride wants an unexpected breakout!

Nails might not seem that important to every bride, but your hands will be in your photos as your photographer snaps pictures of your wedding ring, holding hands or any other photo opps that pop up. If you opt for a color or for fake nails, make sure you have a matching bottle of nail polish handy, or glue, to handle any digs, chips or broken pieces. If you’re not doing something fancy, a nail file and a clear coat will do the trick!

Find more beauty and pampering tips here!

Your wardrobe

For some brides, their dress is the most important piece of clothing that they will ever buy. Therefore, it needs to fit perfectly. Fittings will help get the sizing just right, but sometimes there are tiny fit issues that occur the day of your wedding. Stay prepared with a comfortable and supportive strapless bra, sewing materials and wardrobe tape. If you’re dress has any buttons, think about getting some extras in case one pops off. While you’ve already picked out the perfect pair of wedding shoes, bring along an extra option, such as flats or flip flops for something comfortable to slip into if your feet begin to get sore.

For fashion inspo, check out our Wedding Fashion & Attire section!

Stay healthy

Accidents happen, which is when a small first-aid kit will be super helpful. Even blisters from shoes can benefit from a quick dab of ointment and a bandage. Make sure you have some pain-relievers tucked in your kit as well in case a headache pops up, and don’t forget to pack a small snack and bottle of water to ease your stomach and stay hydrated.

Thoughtful side notes

There are going to be so many people that help make your wedding day a success. From parents to siblings, the wedding party, guests and vendors, wedding-day helpers are going to help out as much as possible. Show them that you appreciate what they’ve done by keeping some thank-you cards handy. You can even plan ahead with small gifts for your bridesmaids, parents, future in-laws and future spouse. Etsy is full of unique and thoughtful gifts that they won’t expect, but will definitely appreciate.

Ultimately every bride’s wedding-day bag is going to be different from the next. These are just some of the items worth considering, but there are surely others that will help make your day as stress-free as possible. Lean on those around you for suggestions, think through your big day from start to finish, and plan ahead so you’re prepared to focus on what’s most important - enjoying your special day.

Love, Marriage and Support. Being Brave Enough to Allow Your Mate to Support You

To all the strong ladies out there. Remember to lean on him once in a while. Really lean on him, let him hold you up. You are probably a very a strong and independent woman who may need reminding that leaning on someone is not failure. You are friends that love each other. And it takes courage to love someone so completely that you’d trust them to support you. So don't be afraid to let go of some of that super-woman strength and lean. Partnership is a constant dance between two people; sometimes one is up, sometimes the other, and sometimes you both are up or down. No one wants to be a dependent in a healthy relationship, but don't be afraid to be vulnerable when you need to be. Vulnerability is not weakness, it is where true intimacy is born and grows - when you're vulnerable you allow the other to show you how much they are truly there for you and allow them to hold you up and love you to your core. 


photo by Justin Hulse, hair by Lia of Kuthaus Glendora, makeup by Alta DeKoven, her fashion by Justine Alexander, his fashion by Gentlemen's tux Club, location Tower 23, styled by Love your Show, inc.

Proposal Tips and Trends by Prime Style Jewelry or Getting Him to Propose!

In case you are not where you want to be yet with your honey, the jewelry experts at Prime Style have some great advice: Five Ways to Get Him to Propose!

Sometimes, getting a man to propose is one of the most challenging feats ever. It’s not that he doesn’t love you, but that he may just be clueless about what it is that you want.

Men are wired differently than women are, so he may be contented with your relationship as it is while you’re daydreaming about a forever family. Here are five tips for getting him to propose to you. Try them, and see if they take him closer to popping the question.

Meet His Family

Something about meeting your mate’s family will bring you closer together. Suggest having dinner at his parents’ house if you’ve never met them before. A “meet the parents” meal is sort of a gateway to a proposal because it’s as intimate as you can get with him. If his parents like you, he will be more likely to propose.

Get your family involved, as well. Talk about your beau, and let them know that you’re interested in having them meet him. Take the opportunity to get deeper with him, and let him into your childhood. Your relationship will reach a whole new level at that time.

Probe Him during a Movie

Probing him doesn’t mean jabbing him with an alien analytic device. It just means that you should pick his brain a bit and bring up marriage during something relevant, like a romantic movie.

Interject during the most romantic part of the movie, and say something to drop a hint. You can be blatant if you want as well. “I wish that were us” may work for you if you say it at just the right time.

Take Him Window-Shopping

Nothing says “I’m ready for you to propose to me” like some glistening, affordable wedding ring sets. You’ll have to take him window-shopping for this trick to work. Take him out to your favorite mall, and then stop by the jeweler so he can get a good, close look at what you want. Try a ring on if you want to be a bit bolder, and drop a “How do I look in this?” line.

Another trick you can use is asking for a specific piece. If you see something you like, look at him with puppy-dog eyes and say, “Can I have that one . . . now?”

Discuss It Over a Home-Cooked Meal

You already know that a way to man’s heart is through the meal that you prepare. Therefore, you will have to create a masterpiece of a meal for him. Wait until he’s full and content, and say something like “How would you like to have meals like that for the rest of your life?”

Sure, it may sound like you’re proposing to him, but you're not. You're just helping to increase his awareness of your desire to wed. You’re just giving him a little hint as to what to do next. He can still give you an amazing experience when he asks for your lovely hand.

Just Be Honest

Finally, if all else fails, just tell him outright that you’re thinking about marriage. The most important thing in a relationship, whether or not it’s a marriage, is honesty. When you’re expressing your most candid thoughts on the subject, you may discover if you’re envisioning the same thing for your future.

Sometimes, the conversation may reveal some differences in your outlook and personalities, but knowing those early on will help you decide if you can strike a compromise at all and how you can settle these differences. A serious conversation about marriage may be unpleasant, heavy, and intense at times, but knowing your partner’s real thoughts is worth the discomfort, as you don’t want your marriage to be written off as a regrettable decision later on.

Those are just a few good ways that you can introduce the idea of a possible marriage to your man. Try all those on the list. If they don’t work, you’ll be able to think of some additional creative ones. 

Photo URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/Goa8mFLZHQ8

Handling Nerves on Your Wedding Day a Word to Meghan and to You!

So how nervous do you think Meghan Markle is right about now? Every bride deals with nervousness on the day of her wedding - whether your wedding is 4 friends at the beach or the millions watching an American girl wed a Prince at tonight's Royal Wedding. We at SanDiegoWedding.com #lovetotallyplanlocally have been a part of over 500 wedding ceremonies and helped many couples through lots of nerves, so here's a few tips for Meghan and for you! 

1.  Nerves are Natural and They're a Good Sign

Your wedding day is a turning point of leaving one life for another - even if you've been living together for years there is something magical and deep and invisible that happens at a wedding. You are psychologically and physically transitioning from a single person, or an "I", to half of a partnership, or a "We".  You are also joining a whole second family [or third] and will be woven into their past and future forever. If you are not feeling at all nervous as you shift this deep understanding of who you are as a person, something is actually missing. So embrace your nerves and step into your new life and new self! 

2. Nervousness Means the Power is Building

Nerves signal a large amount of energy is building and a personal power shift is happening. Think of big wave surfing. That is a lot of power building but what a ride it will be! If you were to get up and speak in front of 2 people you would feel different than if you were going onto Oprah or Ellen in front of millions. So really more nerves you are feeling, the more power you are building so instead of being afraid of nerves ride the wave! 

3. Get Grounded by Those Who Love You

If you are really getting into anxiety attack level of nerves pre wedding find a rock. Sadly, sometimes this may not be your immediate family. If other people are causing a little more stress than centeredness [remember your family is nervous and full or emotions too!], then seek out someone who really grounds you and loves you the way you are. This may be your bestie or even the very person you are about to marry! We know you're not supposed to see each other before the ceremony but seeing your true love in a sweet moment may just make all the fears disappear as you remember why you are getting married and what it's all about. 

4. Eat Some Comfort Food

You would be amazed at how many brides go down the aisle on an empty tummy! And your chance to eat anything [or go tot he bathroom!] diminishes as the day goes along as you never get a second to your self! Eating some comfort food - even a little - will really help ground you - there's no sense in having whacked out blood sugar from not eating distorting your mood on top of every thing else so pass the mashed potatoes! 

So stay cool - okay maybe have that pre ceremony mimosa - but seriously not too much alcohol though- the power of being the recipient of a ceremony of marriage is, in a word, intoxicating, and you want to feel and remember every minute of this amazing, powerful, big wave ride of when you transformed into someone new! Congratulations!! 

Welcome Bright Event Rentals to San Diego!

We can finally let the cat out of the bag! Bright Event Rentals has acquired Classic Party Rentals and is now in San Diego! You still have all the same totally awesome people from Classic; like Cris and Kelly and Justine...but now with even more inventory and choices and exciting ideas to 'Brighten' up your wedding or special event! Say hello to Bright!

Bright logo.png

Visit their amazing showroom of rentals, decor, event specialists and planners of great ideas in Miramar at 7069 Consolidated Way San Diego, CA 92121 [see map] to see all kinds of exciting options for your big day! 


Family Style Wedding Reception Dining & Why You Want It!

So what is 'Family Style Dining' you say? It's when everyone sits at one [or a few if you have a lot of guests] long table and dines together like a family. Sure, large weddings still use the old wedding classic set up of multiple round tables with head table - but these great big tables offer a closeness and an intimacy [and an Old World familiarity] that will have all your guests feeling like family! This is a big plus for solo guests, wallflowers or shy relatives, and those who know few other guests. And the extra bonus? No one feels as though they're stuck at the 'boring table'! Boun appetito! Gorgeous Family Style Table setting styled by I Do Weddings & Events, photo by Fawn Christiansen taken at the totally fabulous San Diego wedding venue Luce Loft


5 tips for a better (more danceable!) wedding reception by Elite British DJ

Ever wonder about the tricks of the trade to picking wedding songs? Well Mick Scrivener of Elite British DJ [a hugely popular San Diego wedding DJ] has some expert tips for you that come straight from decades of successful wedding receptions where people got up and danced the night away! His first bit of advice? NO GOOGLING!! Mick says "There is no such thing as a Cake Cutting song, it does not have to say sugar, sweet or honey in the title - just pick a song you love! In fact, I love it when my clients pick all their favorite songs for the cocktail and dinner hours. And I suggest the cocktail music be more upbeat than the dinner music, but never too mellow, and not all the same type of music as it becomes just background after a while if it all sounds the same. As for getting everyone up and dancing; I do recommend that you limit the dance 'must play' song list to about 5 songs as every crowd is so different. If you want everyone to have a good time, you need to take their tastes into account, that is why you have a DJ, to read the crowd. Make sure you provide your wedding DJ with a list of songs you like as 'Plan A', but allow the DJ to react to the crowd. Your 'Do Not Play' list is the most important list you have and can be as long as you want it to be !!! Remember your guests are going to base their experience more on the entertainment than anything so think about all of your guests when it comes to music choices (remember to think 'what would I like if I was a guest?') If you like Motown and you went to a wedding where they told the DJ 'No Motown' because the Bride and Groom didn't like it, would you be happy?"

More Wedding Reception Music Tips from Mick:

  • The introductions are very important, it's the only time you have everyone's attention. I recommend doing first names only, for 2 reasons, firstly it is easier for people to to remember names if you do not include last names (try it with your own bridal party !!) and secondly it is less formal.
  • Choose something fun and upbeat for introductions, one song for the bridal party and a different one for yourselves. It doesn't matter if the songs have lyrics as a good DJ can work around that and make sure they do not compete with the names being introduced. I would not recommend a song for each couple as they enter, it gets very choppy and confusing.
  • Your First dance should be after the introductions and before dinner. The main reason I recommend this is that introductions do not take long, once you come in, you are all psyched and then I announce "it's time for dinner" it seems very anticlimactic.
  • For your first dance, don't worry about how long the song is, have a "signature move" such as a dip and a kiss. I am watching for this and when I see it I will end the song. You are now free to dance for as long or as short a time as you want !! Remember that dancing in your wedding dress is different to dancing in jeans and a shirt.

Mick Scrivener, is the owner and DJ for Elite British DJ. His wife Julie is a wedding coordinator, and together they are privileged to offer a DJ/Coordination service that goes above and beyond. For more information, please check http://www.elitebritishdj.com or Julie’s site http://www.thebestweddingforyou.com .

How to stay healthy during your honeymoon

How to stay healthy during your honeymoon - a tip for traveling couples! With travel inspiration from Avant-Garde Travel honeymoon experts.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

To whoever lives for the experience, riches of the soul and understanding of something bigger than they themselves are, traveling comes as a solution and a logical choice. Letting yourself dive into something so powerful, diverse and different from all the things you had the opportunity to experience so far is the best way to broaden your understanding of life, love, potential and all other wonderful things life has to offer. And when you are going with the love of your life and your forever-partner, the whole experience is better, extra fulfilling and even more rewarding than when you travel on your own. 

Utilize a Pro Travel Agent & Honeymoon Expert 

Avant-Garde Travel designs once in a lifetime experiences for their clients. They have the tools, industry pricing, expertise, knowledge, opportunities, resources and connections to elevate your travel to the next level. There is literally no reason to go it alone when an agency, like Avant Garde, can plan and book your tip and save you money! Avant-Garde Travel is a boutique travel company located in San Diego that specializes in group travel, custom vacation planning, escorted tours, river and ocean cruising and luxury hotels. Avant-Garde Travel creates once in a lifetime experiences for our clients based on their individual needs and interests.

Naturally, to have the best experience possible on your travel-tours, you need to make sure you stay safe and healthy, especially if you are traveling to destinations that are far from your home. With that in mind, here are a few smart tips to help you and your better half enjoy your time and stay vigorous during the trip.

Make sure you feel good traveling!

No matter how wonderful your go-to destination is, unless you feel comfy while traveling (and while actually being there), it’s all a waste. To feel great, you need to make sure both your body and your mind feel rested and relaxed. The mind? Well, that’s the part you have to take care of yourself – get in the mood for traveling, free yourself of any potential traveling anxieties and be ready for all the possible cultural shocks you might experience. Talk to your partner about their potential anxieties and face them head-on. Be each other’s support system both while you travel and when you reach your destination. The body?  Well, when you’ve got an awesome company like Go Travel,  you can easily solve the “problem” of a comfy trip. Take precautionary measures to avoid any potential mishaps‒like having your batteries leak, getting wet with no raincoat at hand, having a neck spasm because you don’t have a travel-pillow, etc.‒ by buying all the travel items you think you’ll need in advance. See? It’s pretty simple when you have proper guidance.

Don’t get too excited (if you know what we mean)

Yes, we totally understand the thrill of being THOSE newlyweds that are absolutely mad about each other and would rather do nothing else but love it up all day long and then spice things up at the beach late at night. While this sounds super romantic, please take into consideration that you are in a foreign land/strange city. Heaven forbid something happens, like your beach chair gives you back spasms, you get a UTI, because you won’t have your regular doctor there and things may get a bit odd, uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially if you cannot speak the local language!  Now, we’re not saying you should sleep in separate beds, we’re just saying... be careful.

Keep your hands clean and bacteria at bay

Now, this tip’s way more practical (sort of) and less weird to talk about, right? Right. Now no one is saying you should become a germaphobe, but....different locations have different bacteria that your system may not be used to. When you are traveling, keeping your hygiene on point is extremely important. Coming into contact with people, things, animals, handles in public transport and taxis, doors, etc. is the source of bacteria and the last thing you want is to subject yourself to some type of infection. When you are on the go, there’s often no soap and water available to wash your hands, so rely on hand sanitizer to save the day. Natural ‘wet wipes’ are awesome, too like EO® Lavender Hand Sanitizer Wipes. Also be sure you drink bottled water that has definitey been purified! 

Don't flash cash

You'd be surprised at some of the places you can get mugged pr pick pocketed even in cities that you wouldn't expect. Be smart, be safe...keep your valuables in hotel safes and don't show off your money. Even out of the way places take credit cards now that keeping track of [and being able to dispute charges] goes a lot better digitally - but do have some local money on hand for that one place with the best local food that doesn't do plastic.  

Check in with local government agencies if you're going off the beaten path

We're not trying to sounds extreme here or like Goldie Hawn in "Snatched" but if you are going to a less touristy destination be smart and let people - like the State Department and your family at home- know your itinerary and have check in times and dates so everyone knows you're having the time of your life! Find out everything, from which vaccinations you need to the local laws to any travel warnings (including crime and security warnings). While you're on the website, head over to the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) page, where you can register your travel plans. So heaven forbid, in the event of an emergency (whether it's a natural disaster, an emergency back home or whatever), they will be able to contact you.

Backup important documents

Also before you depart the USA, scan a copy of your passport, e-mail it to yourself and take a photo of it to save on your cell phone. That way, if you need your passport while out (but it's locked up in your hotel safe), you'll have access to all your details. And, if it's lost or stolen, getting a replacement will be that much faster....we know we've been there.

Wherever you go and whatever you do we hope you enjoy an amazing [positive] story-filled honeymoon! Just be smart and be safe in advance so then you get to focus just on having fun! 

All travel photos by Avant-Garde Travel.

Plan an Amazing Bachelorette Party for your Bride and Friends without Breaking the Bank

Bachelorette parties are a right of passage for you and your girls and it seems they're evolving all the time. Bridal parties can be found flying all over the world [Paris anyone?], celebrating in amazing hotels [what stays in Vegas...], heading down to Baja, or tucking into a quaint mountain cabin to play games and stay up all night chatting and just keeping it mellow, or, er....having a pillow fight. San Diego has probably the most options and directions to go since we are so close to it all! There are actually ways to have an amazing party without going crazy in the process. Plus, your bachelorette party should also be meaningful. Getting the bride out and little wild is fun, [spare her any social media posts of having too much fun please!] but letting her know how much you care about her and are happy she found the right person to marry is what it’s really all about. 

Here we bring you just a few ideas and tips for you to plan the ideal Bachelorette Party. 

Check in with the bride! First you should talk to the bride and find out what kind of party she wants. If she wants to go out of town, that’s great. But also find out what people can afford. Some might be more interested in the time spent together than spending a bucket full of dough [especially after wedding gifts, bridesmaids dresses and hotel rooms] so be sensitive to all! 

Consider going to a city that’s nearby, but still away from home. You might be able to find a place that has group wine tours or a regional casino like Viejas resort & Casino. Or head out to Palm Springs for a fabulous girls getaway that's just a few hours east! The Ace Hotel is a charming way to dive right into the PS spirit! Or how about Mammoth Mountain Inn for a winter wonderland getaway? Or the famous Rosarito Beach Hotel or Las Rocas Resort & Spa in Baja Mexico? A quick drive to Temecula gets you to the gorgeous South Coast Winery Resort & Spa or just go as far as San Marcos and live a lakeside dream Bachelorette weekend at Lake House Resort! Perhaps a rented cabin up at Big Bear would be a great place to hang out and a chance for the bridal party to get to know each other, while paying tribute to the bride-to-be. Go camping or “glamping,” take a cooking class, go skydiving, go to a dive bar and sing karaoke, visit museums, take a craft beer tour, visit a distillery or go to a spa (ask about a group rate on spa services!). You can even do volunteer work or Arts and Crafts at Charity Wings.

When planning, remember to be diplomatic: Ask the bride first what she wants to do, and then ask the other attendees for ideas to add.

Remind the other party-goers not to post on social media until you get back, or you can create a private Facebook group to post photos for only those you trust. You don’t want strangers to know your house is unattended.

What’s most important:

Take some time to shower the bride with love, too. Play games, create a scrapbook for her, do crafts together, talk about how each of you met her and why you are still close friends. Brides planning a wedding are usually stressed to their limit, so take some time to allow her to relax and have fun. Maybe give each other pedicures, or have a home spa night.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, delegate. Centralize the planning, but ask other friends or bridesmaids to help out. Have one person research venues, another decide on games, another get a cake and champers, and so on. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Doing all the work yourself almost guarantees you won’t have fun and maybe even end up feeling resentful.

The most important part of any bachelorette party is the memories you make. The bride will remember this party as the most important time of her life with her best friends. She’ll love you for it. 

Oh and please if you want to have a pillow fight Bachelorette Party like this adorable one shot by Chris Wojdak Photography.... you should do that part at home!:) 

Why we love family style wedding reception table set ups by Farm Tables & More

We know the traditional wedding reception set up of the last 30 or 40 years has been lots of round tables, where you place people based on common interests, relationships. and even history together. But to us there’s something really special about dining “family style” at long tables at a wedding reception!  Check out these gorgeous tables by Farm Tables & More,  a local, family run business and one of SanDiego‘s loveliest specialty rental companies - with a fabulous inventory of nice, long, family style tables for your wedding!


 And outdoor wedding comes together so beautifully with one long table! 


 We feel like longer tables are an extra perfect fit at a vineyard wedding! 

“Thank You” matters as much as “I Love You”!

We love this hand-lettered easel sign by Lavender and Sea, one of our favorite lettering artists, for many reasons. Of course it’s charming and beautifully done like everything they do, but the message it conveys is everything. Because in all the hustle and bustle of wedding planning and celebrating and getting down the aisle, today’s wedding couple needs to makes sure to make time to say thank you in old-fashioned ways to their guests....and that means saying it and showing it. 


5 gorgeous photo booth backdrops that will make your images pop

Photo booths are the must-have addition to any wedding reception! They add a fun ice breaker for guests and get you tons of amazing [sometimes silly] photos of your guests at play. But a photo booth's backdrop can make or break the photos. The right backdrop not only matches your style of event, it elevates the photos from a bland 'mugshot' to a feast for the eyes that inspires your guests to new heights of play and fun! Here are a few of our favorite trending photo booth backdrops...

Gold Sequins- the classic photo booth backdrop for 2017! This rich sparkly backdrop by Shadowcatcher Photobooths adds glamour to any event! 

Colored Sequined Backdrops - adding an extra flair to the sequined back drop these fun color palettes of iridescent pink, blush, silver, red, and more, by Indybooth are the perfect on-trend way to frame your guests’ happy faces and antics!


Black Rosette - this dark and rich backdrop makes any event more formal! Did you know that a textured backdrop like these beautiful black fabric rosettes by Shadowcatcher Photobooths, adds dimension to your photos and avoids that 'we just hung a bed sheet for a backdrop’ look! 

The Garden Hedge - 2017 has been the year of the garden hedge prop at weddings and event and for good reason! These versatile, bright green, outdoors comes inside hedges - like this one by Indybooth make the perfect complimentary photo backdrop. 

Giant White Roses - talk about dimension! These huge bold paper flowers will have your guests looking as amazing as flowers in a garden! Shadowcatcher Photobooths offers this incredible backdrop that will have your guests lining up to bloom!  

Black and White Damask - in case you hadn't noticed black and white [always a classic] is having a major renaissance in weddings! This classic damask pattern in contrasting black and white by Shadowcatcher Photobooths adds excitement to your photo booth photos! Their damask pattern is also available in purple and black and red and black - awesome for holiday parties!

Love totally, plan your wedding locally and remember to shop locally for the holidays

We live to promote the local business person, the on the ground wedding artist and professional who cares so well for San Diego area couples celebrating with a wedding.  Many of our favorite event pros [like Simply Adina Florals and Gifts in Escondido - shown here] have local retail shops you can patronize.  So just a reminder to please shop locally during the holidays! 


So if you're up Escondido way stop in and say hi to Adina and her family at their lovely shop at 401 West Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA. 92025  Did you know Grand Avenue is one of North County inlands coolest spots for shopping!? Happy Holidays!