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?

Savoring the Wedding Day with a Mid Century Style Wedding Reception

John and Katie met through something they both truly love; dancing Argentine tango. Taking tango classes from the same teacher in San Diego over many months they began to feel a deep connection until one day they knew it was love!  After the proposal, both Katie and John knew of the San Diego Woman's Club from tango dances held there. In the evening light, it's easy to envision the ambiance of an elegant late 40's/early 50's dinner and dance club when looking at this grand old building and since Katie had already selected a dress in an early mid-Century style, [the Woman's Club was built in 1948] a vintage wedding theme was born! This sweet, lovely lady of a venue had everything they were looking for: a large, beautiful dance floor [of course!], space for 200 guests, an accessible location, and a tango connection. We think you will love this charming featured wedding shot by Derek Chad Photography.... Having both been married before and experiencing all that a wedding can entail, both Katie and John wanted to be sure really savor and remember all the details and hired wedding coordinator At Your Side Planning, which sure helped! Mainly they both truly cared about their people being happy, taking a moment to really celebrate life, hope and love. Looks like they absolutely got their wish!

Vendor Credits:

Photographer:  Derek Chad Photography

Venue:  San Diego Woman's Club

Coordination: At Your Side Planning

Caterer: Dinners By David

Florist: Artistic Floral

DJ:  Allen Walker Entertainment

Bakery: Sweet Cheeks

Ceremony Videographer + Photobooth: David Zumaya

Makeup: Maggie

Hair: Celestina

Officiant: Craig Sargent

Transportation:  Hire Old Cars

7 ways a Professional Wedding and Event Planner makes your wedding everything you want and need it to be

Wedding coordinators, event planners and event designers are the backbone of successfully implemented weddings. Here's 7 great reasons for you to work with a real pro planner.!

Photo by Aaron Huniu

Photo by Aaron Huniu

1. A good wedding planner is the conductor to the orchestra of your wedding vendors. Yes your wedding vendors know what they're doing individually, but having a real professional event planner coordinating all these different professionals into creating a symphony just for you can make your event a harmonious work of art instead of a discordant mess. And the best wedding vendors truly appreciate working weddings when there is a capable planner at the helm.

Photo by Aaron Huniu

Photo by Aaron Huniu

Photo by Aaron Huniu

Photo by Aaron Huniu

2. Someone who knows what they're doing and knows what can go wrong and how to make things go right overseeing and running your wedding makes all the difference in the world to your event and your family's and guests enjoyment of it. Have you planned numerous weddings yourself? Probably not. Reading a bunch of information on websites can never prepare you for the experience of running one of the most top-heavy and emotional experiences of your life which, oh yeah, involves all of your family and friends and - no pressure here - a good chunk of money and is also supposed to be one of the best days of your life. Ahhhhhh!

3. Ask yourself: 'do you want to enjoy your wedding or handle it?' Good. That's what we thought. Now go hire a planner and step aside and actually experience your wedding as the single most important guest there.

Photo by Aaron Huniu

Photo by Aaron Huniu

4. A wedding planner becomes your voice when you can't speak for yourself because you're busy getting married. Handling an upset wedding guest or controlling family member, can ruin your wedding experience. But if your event planner is in on the potential pitfalls and politics of your family he or she can handle anything that comes down the road leaving you free to feel the love and celebrate. 

5. A wedding planner is your budgetary advocate. In other words inexperienced planner who often brings a lot of business to a venue or a vendor and who helps avoid expensive mistakes can save you a lot of money.

6. A great wedding planner becomes your therapist and confidant. Planning a wedding is stressful. Being able to vent and complain, cry or get it out with someone who is not in your inner circle of family or friends (i.e. someone who won't be hurt or hold what you say over your head for the rest of your life) really helps you clear out some mental junk. A great planner helps you release then straighten your crown and move on. 

Photo by Aaron Huniu

Photo by Aaron Huniu

7. And sometimes a planner becomes a best friend. Think about someone who- for a living -helps people celebrate one of the most powerful intimate and impactful days of their life. Frankly wedding planners are pretty cool people so allowing this person into your celebration is allowing them into the best part of your life. Befriending your event planner happens an Who doesn't want a friend who's loving and talented and cares about other people's most important days?

Do yourself [and everyone you love] a huge favor: hire a professional event planner and enjoy your own wedding! 

Photo by Aaron Huniu

Photo by Aaron Huniu

A wedding or even designer helps you from day one create your dream wedding with all their expertise and talent.  Check out our list of Event Planners, Coordinators and Designers here...