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!! 

9 Things You Will Forget To Do [aka: just a few of the things a pro event planner knows to do for you!]

9 Things You Will Forget To Do at Your Wedding [aka: just a few of the things a pro event planner knows to do for you!]

Settle Up with All Your Vendors in Advance.  Many vendors require you pre pay them so they can arrive at your wedding fully focused on you without having to have their hand out. But if you have vendors that accept payment the day of your wedding, make sure to write final-payment checks for your vendors a few days before, and have your planner pass them out on the big day.  And for tips; put checks or cash in envelopes (with a hand written thank you card for those who went over and above their contract) ahead of time and give to your event planner or the best man, so they can be easily distributed.

Pin your Bustle. To keep your reception from being a total drag, make sure your mother, maid of honor or another friend will be available to bustle your gown. Give them a crash course in the complicated hook-and-eye configuration days before the wedding so you can hit the dance floor without getting dragged down. You should also practice going to the bathroom in a huge gown with help from your maids in advance, it's harder than it looks! 

Grab some fuel! Just like your favorite glamorous movie starlet does on red carpet awards night, after weeks of watching calories it’s finally time to eat!! But it may be the one thing you don’t get to what with all the fanfare of friends, family and fun. Ask your planner, banquet manager or your best pal to remember to bring you a plateful of those fabulous hors d’oeuvres and keep your champagne glass filled because odds are you’ll never make it to the bar during the cocktail hour and it’s going to be a long wedding! Be sure to eat healthy so you don't have any unwanted repercussions. 

Get a Private Room. Ask your planner if your wedding reception venue has a separate room to leave your bags and change into your trousseau of going away clothes. A restroom will serve in a pinch, but you’ll probably want a little more privacy and a secure place for bridal party purses.

Lose any Bags. Put a reliable pal in charge of getting your luggage into the honeymoon suite...or at least into the getaway car if you are leaving straight from the reception.

Grab a Midnight Snack. Have your caterer pack you and your new spouse a picnic basket of leftovers. You probably won’t be able to eat more than a bite of the gorgeous meal you spent months planning what with all the celebrating and connecting with guests.

Give away the leftovers. Tell your caterer what to do with the rest of the leftover food. With gorgeous food and wedding cake and desserts by Tastries Bakery like that shown here, you may not have much leftover but just in case... ask your caterer to take the extras to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. And if you aren’t giving your centerpieces to special guests, arrange for someone to drop them off at a hospital, women’s shelter or nursing home.

Farewell. Your coordinator, the wedding shown here was planned by wedding coordinators Fairy Godmother Weddings, will know to stay and get Lyft or Uber rides for guests who need them, and make sure your valuables—the gifts, cake knife, toasting glasses, etc.—get home safely.

Don't forget the Day After Details! You will probably be exhausted the day after your wedding or even be planning a day after brunch for out of town guests! It is wise you assign a few people to take care of the little details the next day. Your Maid of Honor can take your dress to the cleaners, return your husband’s tux to the rental shop and make sure your bouquet gets started on the road to preservation, if you’re saving it, especially if you leave for honeymoon right away.

We always always always recommend a professional event planner so you, your family and guests enjoy this powerful celebration of love without distraction or chaos.  There is quite frankly so much you do not know!!  Check out our list of San Diego event planners

Lovely California wedding photography by Boone and Stacie Weddings 

Spring Showers May Be Just What Your Wedding Photos Need

Your wedding day is full of constant worry like 'what about inclement weather?' A few tips for your big day...

Whether you choose to let someone else do the worrying for you, or you are prone to being the biggest worrywart, there are many things that can go wrong. So, fact is, worry is a big part of any wedding. Some of these concerns can be controlled, but some of these are way out of our control, like the weather. We can all agree that the weather has the potential to either make or break an event. What is important to remember, is that even if the weather does not work out in your favor, (even in San Diego!) you have the opportunity to make something spectacular out of it.  Chelsea and Courey Marshall's wedding happened to take place during a massive rainstorm.  But this couple managed to not only keep their cool, but also flourish during what could have been a major downer [beside being a downpour!] So, with May showers tickling the part of your brain that catalogs worries, don't have a melt down if your perfect day is accompanied by a little shower. Instead, take a deep breath, make whatever changes you need to make to adjust, and just have fun! If you keep your cool, and focus on the love, no matter the weather, we know that you'll end up with some awesome wedding photographs and memories like these! Scroll down for some tips on what to do if your outdoor wedding is facing possible rain....

Wedding Photography: Patrick Ibarra at Kramer Events

What to do if your outdoor wedding day forecast is rain....

1. Call a reliable rental company and rent a tent we recommend Classic Party Rentals or Intent Productions and have worked with both with incredible results. 

2. Ask your wedding venue what they recommend. A professional reception venue should have an idea or a contingency plan in place.

3. If you are on your own or DIY'd at a park or home reach out to local indoor venues near your reception location {even restaurants) that may be able to accommodate you at the last minute. 

3. Stay calm - and if you didn't hire a wedding planner already see if you can get one now! These people really know their stuff and a professional wedding planner will have handled emergencies far worse than this many times over and will know how to save your day! Plus they may have a few connections with venues to get you warm and dry! 

4. Review the odds....It seems like the local weather services often forecast more precipitation than ever actually occurs... On average San Diego, California sees 21 days with some precipitation while the rest of the country sees about 110. The national average for mostly sunny days is 213 while San Diego's is 267.  

4. Rent gorgeous rain umbrellas from Bella Umbrella and go for it anyway!  It's just rain it won't kill you and you may just have the time of your life! 

A Super Cool Rock n Roll Infused Wedding Decor makes for a Totally Cool Warehouse Wedding

A totally cool warehouse, craft beers, tons of style and love...what else do you need for an amazing wedding?! Scott and Stephanie Schaffhausen made our hearts swoon with their rustically charming wedding decor. The creative and unique invitations (which was actually designed by the groom himself) begin this rustic brigade. Original and unique wedding invitations have become a popular wedding trend which give millennials the opportunity to show their creative side, and as we all know, for millennials, creativity is key. The more original the better! Another new trend is the mix-matching of bridesmaids dresses. More and more brides are picking a color family [versions of white and blush for this wedding!] for their besties to choose from, but allowing them to choose their own style. This allows each girl to pick a dress that fits their own, individual budget.  The bare brick walls with wooden accents in this lovely wedding allow couples to do almost anything their hearts desire in designing a special space at their wedding venue. The strung lights with a rose petal-sprinkled aisle lined with an array of succulents that Stephanie chose were breathtaking. From the wooden table numbers to the pom pom tassels at the dessert table, this reception is the Instagram wedding we all crave. 

Featured Wedding Vendor Credits:

Photographer:  Chris Wojdak Photography// Cinema and Video: Aqua Vivus Productions// Equipment Rentals: CC Vintage Rentals// DJ: Dancing DJ Productions//Equipment Rentals:K & J Rentals// Event Planner:Kristin Krahl//Event Venue: Moniker Warehouse//Makeup Artist:Salon Bordeaux// Bakery:Twin Treats//

To Bridesmaid or Not To Bridesmaid...that is the Wedding Question of the Day!

Picking out your bridesmaids is one of the most challenging parts of planning a wedding.  

Whether you are Type A and have been planning every detail out to avoid any and all possible problems that arise, or Type B and you are just letting everything work itself out and just enjoying the ride, picking out bridesmaids is not "easy." Sure, you may have your 5 "besties," your only sister as MOH, and a soon-to-be sister-in-law as your obvious picks to make the perfect 7 girls. However, girls, it's just not that simple. The newly popular, Bridesmaid proposal, adds yet another creative decision to be made. To top it off, if you're the last of your friends to get married, you feel the need to be even more original and not accidentally copy someone else's previous ideas.

To help you out, we've created what we think to be the top 3 tips to keep in mind while engaging in the "Bridesmaid Chronicles." 

1. Don't go overboard when proposing to your Bridesmaids.

We know you love them! And we know you're thinking you want to go all out and ask your girls to be by your side on the best day of your life in a really big way. However, things will come that will cost more than you had planned on them costing. So, our suggestion is ask them in a small, yet meaningful way, and go bigger when picking out an actual bridesmaid gift that you will give them come wedding time. 

2. Pick out a specific Pantone color for your Bridesmaids.

Sorry, our designer geek is showing. It's not an actual Pantone color. But it does require you going to an actual bridal boutique, like those in our San Diego Bridal and Bridesmaid fashion directory, to look at designer color swatches. Now, if you are assigning a single dress for all of your girls to wear, you can proceed to the next tip. However, if you want each Bridesmaid to have a unique style of dress, but all the same color, GO PICK IT OUT. Your wedding day is far too risky a day to have everyone show up in blush except your cousin who shows up in magenta because it was "pink." We highly suggest specifying you want "Blush Garden" by Dessy, for example. 

3. Finally, keep the big picture of your Wedding in mind.

While having your girls organized and perfectly in place is a big part of your wedding, it is not the most important part. The biggest part of your wedding day is remembering that it is YOUR wedding day-- the day that is supposed to be the best one of your life so far. So, while you want everything to go as smoothly as possible, remember why you picked those girls to stand by your side on this day. If they truly are your best friends, then they will accept your "bridezilla" moments or pickiness over their hair pins because they know it is your day. So don't worry about stepping on anyone's toes, and don't worry about what will happen if your college roommate and Bridesmaid shoes up with two different shoes on. Everything will be okay!

Cheers! And be sure to check out our local San Diego Bridal and Bridesmaids Salons directory!  Lovely bridesmaids photos by Tim Otto Photography!

Wedding Day Tip #42: remember to eat a good breakfast on your wedding day

Top local wedding caterer Authentic Flavors Catering has awesome advice for your wedding day! They say "the morning of your wedding will be full of jobs that need to get done. Between your hair and makeup appointments and getting your dress on, you’ll easily lose the whole morning. Your groom will also be busy doing his last minute preparations. One thing you shouldn’t forget is your breakfast.

The saying that it’s the most important meal of the day is even more true on your wedding day. While your guests will have a bit of food before they go out, and small bites during your cocktail hour, you might not get to eat until your dinner.

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One way to ensure you have a great and healthy breakfast is to have it catered. As you get ready, you can have a beautiful spread laid out. Whether it’s frittatas or fresh fruit, your wedding caterer can help with this meal that will help you get off on the right foot."  Check out more ideas and info on their website, you can count on Authentic Flavors Catering to know just how to take care of you on your wedding day.

5 Things You Should Never DIY at Your Wedding

It seems a lot of couples think they need to DIY [Do It Yourself] some parts of their wedding, but is this really such a good idea? Here we offer 5 things you should never DIY at your wedding!

Personalizing your wedding, and saving a buck are a great reason to tackle some DIY wedding tasks. But there are some areas that are always better left to the professionals, no matter how visionary or budget minded you are.

1. Wedding Flowers

Even if attempting the most simple wild-flowers filled mason jar design, creating floral décor is time consuming and time critical. Because blooms are perishable, the delivery and creation timeframe is important. The precious day/hours leading up to your ceremony can be better spent pampering with your bridesmaids and enjoying your family. 

2. Bridal Hair

Regardless of the simplicity of the natural hair style you’re seeking, a professional can do your hair twice as well and twice as fast as you could – no matter how many trials you’ve ran. They will also know which products to use to ensure the look lasts you through your last dance.

3. Wedding Reception Food

Like flowers (above) food is equally perishable and requires a lot of prep work the hours leading up to the event. Professional caterers can better estimate the amount of food required for your event, can uniquely combine the favorite flavors you and your groom are after and can accommodate any dietary or allergy restrictions your guests have. And don't even get us started on attempting to create and deliver a tiered and decorated wedding cake!

4. Wedding Reception Music

Please just don’t DJ your own wedding. On behalf of the sanctity of your day, and your dear wedding guests, it is absolutely necessary to hire a professional to emcee your event, keep the event flowing, make announcements and decipher which song is best in that moment to keep the energy you are going for no matter how savvy you are with your I Tunes!

5. Wedding Event Clean Up

With the increased popularity of rustic barn weddings and exclusive venue rentals, comes the newer demand of cleanup requirements. The last thing you will want to do after joyfully celebrating the best day of your life is tidy up the after-math. Be sure to check your contract to verify the cleanup requirements.  If this is not included in the rental, be sure to source a professional cleaning company to do the job for you.  Worth every penny!

Photos By: Andie Freeman Photography

Starting your San Diego wedding planning off right: wedding planning 101

Weddings, in some ways, will never change. The beauty, the emotions, the joy and spirit of love and new beginnings, all combining to create an incredible, memorable event for you and for your guests. Wow!

Wedding planning on the other hand, has changed a lot! Weddings are no longer a matter of inviting your guests from across town to drive over to the church or temple and convene at a nearby club or home for a reception. Southern California weddings in particular involve many more activities, agendas and travel arrangements and don’t forget to add in the stress of unique relationship dynamics involving divorced or step parents and the myriad of other issues among families and friends that we must contend with in our time.

Your wedding is most likely going to be the only time in your life that you will gather your entire world together for a celebration of life. This can be very top heavy, pressure filled, and possibly chaotic, however it also offers you the opportunity for greatness. A haphazardly planned wedding; an event without focus, feels stressful and sloppy. It never takes off into a higher realm because it too disjointed.

Photo by Paul Douda Photography

Photo by Paul Douda Photography

We don’t believe in Bridezillas. But we do know just how colossal an undertaking producing a wedding usually is and that being unprepared and having unrealistic expectations is a recipe for a meltdown. So the more you know and the more you get the right the help the better experience you will have at your own wedding!

Your decisions on everything from location, flowers, music, tablecloths, and dress need to work together to create a cohesive feeling. In other words; a wedding is more than the sum of its parts. By the way the ability to make decisions together is one of the key elements to a healthy, successful relationship so don't shy away from working together.

And that is where effective planning comes in. The first step in planning a powerful and cohesive wedding event is getting focused on what you want; this can be challenging because there are so many wonderful things to choose from!

It’s an Instagram and Pinterest world baby! Begin collecting images and see how your style and taste manifest into the wedding for you, see our expert advice planning articles and tips and our budget help section to find the right price range for your event and then start with location searching! Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest and all other social media platforms for constant inspiration and ideas.

A Coordinator is truly the one event resource that you should book right from the start as they can assist you with so many details and save you countless hours and money. Let's face it even Brain Surgeons won't do a DIY procedure and unless you are a professional planner for a living [then you REALLY shouldn't plan your own event!]  you just won't know all the tips and tricks and work and elements to handle. And shouldn't your job be to show up and enjoy one of the most powerful and profound days of your life with all of your focus on the ones you love and the magic of the day?

Some people choose a date with meaning and they’re off and running, first others wait to find out the available dates at their venue of choice, either way, after you have a set date you then begin interviewing and booking the perfect professionals who will listen to your needs and ideas and manifest them. Oh and be sure to visit the top wedding expo in town The Wedding Party EXPO to meet a ton of great wedding professionals and experts in person! Register with us for ticket giveaways... And remember to have fun!

Ps. Can we crash your wedding?

A super fun Summer bridal show celebrates San Diego love and marriage for all

San Diego's top bridal show celebrated its 39th show at Venues at Liberty Station with tons of amazing wedding pros and ideas, cake tasting, catered food, cocktails, fashion show and the winner of the Most Adorable Doggie Ringbearer Contest Rocco! We had a blast at this fun day of the best local wedding planning and style. We loved seeing so many talented companies all in one place. 

Expert Advice: Children in Weddings

Ahhh the memories, the joy, the...surprises! Everyone has fond memories of the adorable flower girl and ring bearer coming down the aisle with smiles and nervousness and occasionally a few tears. But depending on the child, even the smallest role in a wedding ceremony can be frightening and a little overwhelming and trying to keep kids happy getting to and down the aisle may be more work than you think.

Knowing the how to deal with kids in a high pressure wedding environment is crucial to insuring that everyone makes it through unscathed. If you want to have children in your wedding, here are some tips to allow everyone to enjoy the big day and create happy memories for all. 

TIP: Always invite children who are special to you in some way;  your nieces, nephews, special friends, students, god-children or your own little ones are connected to you emotionally and will respond well to your emotion and excitement.  Be advised: kids you know and love will create a far more charming  day than those you added in just to have a cuter bridal party and photos.

Remember that children can change their minds and feelings rapidly: a “yes” from a small child three months before the event may change to an emphatic “no” [and vice versa!] on the big day.  If a small child balks at the last minute, honor their fear! Forcing a child to do something they are uncomfortable with will leave all of you scarred. Offer a less scary alternate: waving ‘bye bye’ or blowing kisses or bubbles as bridal party walks  back up the aisle after ceremony ends. Older children [10-14] will need junior bridesmaid or groomsmen positions as the traditionally younger role of Flower Girl and Ring Bearer may insult their feelings.

Get childcare, get childcare, get childcare.... Even if you don’t opt for professional childcare or a hotel room for kids, consider appointing a responsible adult guest or family member as a ‘child – wrangler’ [okay designated kid - watcher] in advance if you plan on having a lot of children in attendance. Just knowing one person is keeping an eye on whether they need more ketchup (or even uh oh....where did all the ketchup go?!). If they are staying occupied with treats and toys helps everyone enjoy the day! Do yourself and your friends with children a favor and hire a pro childcare team for your at your wedding. Check out San Diego Event Nanny...

Ways to incorporate children into your wedding:

FOR THE CEREMONY:

  • Have your Flower girl ring a bell and say “the bride is coming, the bride is coming!" 
  • Have children be pages and carry the bride's train. 
  • Have your Flower Girl pull a wagon decorated with flowers or candles to hand out to guests. 
  • Have Flower Girl carry a sign or a parasol to match event. 
  • For babies; decorate a baby stroller to have a junior attendant push down aisle.

FOR THE RECEPTION:

  • Children and even preteens [usually found sulking in the corner] will be more prone to hitting the dance floor if they hear familiar music. Ask kids in advance for their fave pop songs to be sure your DJ has them.

  • Play the kid friendly music earlier in the evening before kids run out of steam.

  • Occupy kids when they’re not dancing with a crafts table with crayons, paper and supplies.

  • Hire a professional babysitting service to monitor children at reception or in a nearby hotel room.

MEALTIME TIPS TO KEEP KIDS HAPPY: 

  • Food is a highly charged issue for children. Having easy and familiar foods available for children at your reception will alleviate problems and allow parents to enjoy the event too!

  • Have a kid’s buffet - keep it low to the ground but grown up with chafing dishes [no sterno!] and condiments etc.

  • Always remember: Kids love ketchup!

  • Ask your caterer to create a special kid friendly menu with favorites like hot dogs and hamburgers, French fries and mac 'n cheese.

  • Be sure to ask parents about food allergies in advance.

  • Mini wedding cakes, cake pops or personalized cupcakes make a fun kid-friendly finish to the meal.

Most importantly stay cool...one of the greatest secrets to enjoying anything in life is to retain a childlike perspective, so enjoy planning your wedding with children involved and all the surprises that unfold with childlike wonder and abandon. 

Amazing images all by SheWanders Photography xoxo (don't you love it when a photographer clearly adores kids and can capture the best in them? We do! That's one of the many reasons we love Suzanne Hansen and her whole team)