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Amazingly, right after the ceremony, the rain stopped, which allowed the photographer, Bill Quinn, to get some great outside shots while guests mingled inside during the cocktail hour.

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Then it was time for the reception to begin! The ballroom at Vizcaya was beautifully decorated in shades of pale pink, champagne, and ivory, with touches of black and gold. Audrey Chaney from Botanica Floral and Event Design made the most beautiful floral arrangements, mixing up tall and short throughout the room. Botanica also provided many wonderful decor pieces including the adorable settee that the bride and groom used for their sweetheart table. The floral and decor pieces that were intended for the outdoor cocktail hour, found new homes all throughout the ballroom.

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After dining on a delicious meal, then came dessert! Musarrat Afshan of Pretty Sweet outdid herself with this amazing assortment of sweets. The beautiful trays and serving pieces were provided by Botanica Floral and Event Design. In addition to the dessert buffet, each guest was served a beautiful cupcake in the same flavor as the bride and groom’s cutting cake. Take-out boxes were provided for guests to take a few sweets home.

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The best “wow factor” of the day came during the first dance. Yes, DJ Mike Anderson of Creative Memories Entertainment actually made it snow in the the ballroom! The guests were blown away and it made for such a memorable first dance. It was the perfect touch for a December wedding!

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Some how, the rain that had foiled the morning ceremony plans, managed to continue holding off during the evening hours. So after the wedding reception was over, photographer Bill Quinn took Suzanne and Titus out for some great photos around Downtown and Old Sacramento.

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Congratulations Titus and Suzanne! May you have an amazing happily ever after!

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Special thanks to my AMAZING vendors!!

Venue: Vizcaya   vizcayasacramento.com

Photography: Quinn Photography   www.quinnphotography.net

Flowers and Decor Rentals: Botanica Floral and Event Design   botanicaevents.com

DJ and Lighting: Creative Memories Entertainment   www.creativememoriesdj.com

Dessert :  Pretty Sweet    https://prettysweet.co/

Linen: Mimi and Company   mimiandcompany.com

 

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On a cold and cloudy December morning, Titus and Suzanne’s wedding day had finally arrived! Months of planning for their amazing Vizcaya wedding was about to take shape into a fun and fantastic wedding day. As our beautiful couple and their bridal party got ready, we vendors were working hard on making their wedding look just right.

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However, just as the outdoor ceremony site was perfect, and we were working on finishing the reception space, Mother Nature got the last laugh. It started to rain! Now, we knew that rain was in the forecast, but the weather people on TV all said it wasn’t going to arrive until the afternoon. The ceremony was scheduled to start at 10:30 am. PERFECT! My couple would get their outdoor ceremony after all, right??? WRONG!!! But it’s times like this that I am constantly reminded that this is why you hire professionals. It really does take a village, a professional and organized village! As myself, the DJ, the florist, the photographer, and the staff from Vizcaya all huddled around my cell phone looking at the doppler radar, we knew that the light rain was about to get MUCH worse.

So as I went to break the news to Suzanne (something I HATE to do by the way…..I never, ever like giving bad news to a bride), the rest of the team got to work, moving the entire ceremony set-up inside and on to the dance floor. By the time I got back in there, the DJ had already moved his set-up (which had been centered next to the dance floor) over to the edge. This is no easy fete, by the way, as that equipment is heavy and rather sophisticated. The staff from Vizcaya, along with the florist and her assistant, had picked up the rather heavy arch and brought that in. Someone else had grabbed some towels to wipe down the wet chairs that others were bringing in. Keep in mind that at this point, we had guests arriving and they were quickly taking shelter in the reception area from the rain. Fortunately, someone had moved in the beverage station that had been outside, so guests were able to visit over over a hot cocoa or cup of coffee while we finished our set-up.

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With everything finally set, it was show time! The love that was in the room that day was overflowing as two families joined together and became one.

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One of my favorite moments from the day was when both Titus and the bride’s brother got all teary-eyed as Suzanne walked down the aisle. Titus’ grandfather officiated a very beautiful and touching wedding ceremony. And the best part for me, was just how beautiful Suzanne said everything was. The disappointment of not having that outdoor ceremony faded instantly when she walked into the room and saw Titus standing there waiting for her. This is why I do this job!

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Special thanks to my AMAZING vendors!!

Venue: Vizcaya   vizcayasacramento.com

Photography: Quinn Photography   www.quinnphotography.net

Flowers and Decor Rentals: Botanica Floral and Event Design   botanicaevents.com

DJ and Lighting: Creative Memories Entertainment   www.creativememoriesdj.com

Linen: Mimi and Company   mimiandcompany.com

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Coming up next…..Part 2…..the reception!

 

 

 

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k0098

One of the things I stress the most with my clients is that there are NO re-dos of your wedding day!! If you choose a sub-par photographer, you WILL regret it!!

Did I make that point clear?? 🙂 I’ve heard so many horror stories from people (who were NOT my clients) about how terrible their wedding pictures turned out and their disappointment can hardly be contained. Too many people think owning a “really good camera” means they are now a “photographer”. That could hardly be further from the truth.

Over and over again, I hear this, “Oh, my friend is a great nature photographer and has a really good camera, so they are going to take our wedding photos.” Great! It will save you some money, but trees, flowers, mountains, etc……these aren’t weddings. Weddings are fluid and moving. Getting a group of 30 family members to all look at the camera, at the same time?? That takes experience and patience. And you only get one chance to capture that first kiss on camera. You better bet you want the person behind the lense to be experienced with weddings.

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Photo by Quinn Photography

I’m not going to lie……good photographers cost money…..period! And you get what you pay for. Experience matters when it comes to your special day. If someone is offering an “amazing” price that seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. On average, in the Sacramento region, a good wedding photographer will cost between $3500 – $6500, depending on what services and products you need.

By now you are probably saying, “Well, why does this cost so much? They only spend a few hours taking pictures.” Ummmmmm……no! First, with digital photography, we now have the ability to tell a complete story of our wedding day, something I wish was available when I was married almost 23 years ago. You are going to want the photographer there to document the entire day, from the time you are getting your hair and make-up done, to the moment you step into that amazing vintage car and are whisked away from the reception. From ceremony start time to reception’s end, the average wedding is 5-6 hours long. Then add in about 2 hours for the getting ready photos and another 1 1/2 to 2 hours for pictures before the ceremony starts, and you are getting into quite a long day. And because digital cameras allow the photographer to shoot thousands of pictures of just your wedding day, it will take he or she days (uninterrupted) to review all those photos to delete the blinks or less than perfect lighting. Then, when you factor in the amount of time they spend editing those photos in Photoshop afterwards to crop them just so, or adjust the lighting just right, they are probably barely making minimum wage on your wedding. And don’t forget the time they spend meeting with you beforehand, shooting your engagement photos, or designing your wedding album.

View More: http://kristyweldonphotography.pass.us/patricejoewedding

Photo by Kristy Weldon Photography

So how do you go about finding the perfect photographer for your wedding? First, your coordinator can provide you with some good recommendations. We are fortunate enough to have some amazing photography talent here in the Sacramento area, and I’ve been privileged to work with many of them. I have an extensive list of photographers that I recommend to my clients based on their styles and needs. You can also ask friends and family members who they used for their wedding. Just make certain to see their finished album so you can see whether or not this photographer’s pictures style is right for you. Looking at a photographer’s website is also a good start, but remember, this is just a small representation of their best photos.

Once you have narrowed down your list, it’s time to start meeting with photographers. Most have various packages depending on your needs, but if you don’t see one that meets yours, ask if they can put together one that does. Most contain an engagement session. I highly recommend doing an engagement session as this allows the photographer to spend some quality time getting to know you and your personalities. This also gets you more comfortable with the photographer’s working style and makes wedding day pictures go much more smoothly. Ask to see many different albums from many different weddings. This will allow you to see a complete wedding, from start to finish. Also, make certain that the photographer has lots of good quality photos both inside and outdoors. Many houses of worship forbid flash photography during wedding ceremonies. Many photographers can get great lighting outside, but it takes a talented photographer, who knows how to use his/her camera and lenses, to take great indoor pictures.

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Photo by Everlasting Images

Ask if the photographer is bringing an assistant, or second shooter as we often refer to them. Having a second photographer makes sure that all angles are covered on wedding day. One photographer can capture the bride walking down the aisle, while the second can capture the groom’s priceless reaction.

Photos by Jacqueline Photography

Do invest in a package that includes an album. Many couples decide they can “save money” but just using the photographer’s “digital” package. This is usually all the edited photos on a CD or flash drive. Most of these couples think they will just take these digital pictures and have an album made later, but that rarely happens. This is one of the most important days of your life! Don’t leave the memories sitting on a CD or flash drive. Put them into something that you (and your future generations) will truly cherish for years to come.

AndreasImages (37)

Photo by Andrea’s Images Photography

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Last night I attended the local quarterly meeting for the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), of which I am a member.  I always thoroughly enjoy these meetings.  It’s so great to see all of my wedding planning colleagues and catch up on business, kids, wedding trends, and even discuss all the latest episodes of the various wedding shows we watched…LOL!  We are a great group of people for whom wedding planning is our passion.

The quarter’s event was planned by our local group’s fearless leaders, Lora Ward of A Day To Remember, and Kendra Wershing of  Pfeiffer Event Planning.  We met at the really cool Beatnik Studio, a cooperative studio/gallery on 17th Street in Sacramento.  This would be a perfect location for someone who is looking for a hip/modern vibe for their wedding or special event.  As an added touch, local artwork hangs on the walls for your guests’ viewing pleasure.

My favorite part of the evening was definitely the food.  Lora and Kendra arranged for the Mini Burger Truck to cater the event.  They are a brand new business here in Sacramento and the two owners/chefs are trying to bring a more upscale food truck culture to Sacramento.  The burgers (both beef and chicken) were DELICIOUS and cooked fresh, to order, right in the truck.  They were definitely given a more adult twist.  I also had he sweet potato tater tots…..YUM!!  In addition to a daily schedule of places they serve, the Mini Burger Truck is also available for events.  How much fun would this be at a wedding after party, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or birthday party?!

Our evening concluded with two educational presentations.  The first was from long-time ABC member, Norville Weiss of Wedding Gown Specialists, on gown preservation.  He specializes in wedding gown cleaning and restorations of heirloom gowns.  This was followed by a presentation from Paulette and Don Woods of Forget Me Nevers flower preservation.  They specialize in preserving wedding flowers and bouquets and had some wonderful examples of their work to share with us.  Their biggest words of wisdom were the sooner they can get the bouquet the better.  Don will even pick it up from you at your reception!  I wish I had known about this service for my own bouquet 18 years ago.  Same with the specialized gown preservation.  My mother took my gown to a dry cleaner thinking this would be fine (no one had taken the time to educate either of us on this).  Unfortunately, most of the beads, that she personally hand sewed onto my gown, were ruined.  Thank goodness for good pictures!

As always, it was a great meeting and I look forward to our next one in May.

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This past weekend, my clients Fatima and Bruce were married in beautiful McKinley Park .  And the weather……couldn’t have been better!  Sunshine and 70 degrees….now that’s perfect wedding weather :).  170 guests and a few dozen squirrels (they are ALL OVER the park) witnessed Fatima and Bruce exchanged their vows in McKinley Park’s Rose Garden.  After the ceremony, they all had a fabulous time at the reception which was held at the Clunie Community Center (also located in McKinley Park).  They dined on delicious food provided by Rayna’s Gourment Catering and danced the night away to music provided by DJ Chris Ore from The Sound Crew.  Everything look amazing thanks to Brandi Richards from Party Petals (florals), Mimi and Company (chair covers), and the 4-tier cake made by Mary Ann Marshall of Baker’s Delight.  Out of town guests stayed at Larkspur Landing and MGM Limousine provided shuttle service from the hotel to the wedding with their party bus.  At the end of the evening, MGM sent their “Hummer” limos out to transport the guests back to the hotel.  The best end of night surprise was for the bride from the groom……we arranged for MGM to provide a limousine to transport them to Embassy Suites after the wedding.  I can say with great certainty that everything was PERFECT!

Here are some pictures that I took.  Keep in mind, I AM NOT a photographer in the least :).  Soon, I will have the much nicer professional pictures that were taken by Jackie Willard of Jaqueline Photography.  So until then, enjoy these!

The carnations in the centerpieces had special meaning.  Bruce’s mother passed away in 1995 and was dearly missed at the wedding.  Carnations were her favorite flower.  Also, her favorite candy, peanut M&M’s, were waiting for the guests on their chairs to enjoy prior to the ceremony.

Congratulations Bruce and Fatima!  I have enjoyed every moment of planning your wedding and I wish you nothing but the BEST in your new life together.

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I am so excited for my next wedding….Bruce and Fatima.  They are actually getting married this Saturday, March 20th, at McKinley Park.  I have had so much fun working with them and have thoroughly enjoyed planning their wedding.  They had their engagement session with Jackie Willard from Jacqueline Photography a couple of weeks ago and she just posted the fabulous results on her blog.  So I thought I would share.  Jackie is an extremely talented photography and I can’t wait to work with her, again, this weekend. 

http://www.jacquelinephotographyblog.net/

Enjoy!

Karen

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My latest issue of Modern Bride (Oct/Nov) arrived in the mail today.  As usual, I tossed aside the bills and junk mail and immediately starting devouring the magazine.  Right away an article caught my eye and I just had to read it.  The name of the article was called What it Really Costs to DIY.  It was about a bride who did most of her major vendors work as DIY projects.  She made her own floral arrangements and wedding cake.  No DJ but a play list instead.  Things like this.  She seemed to think that she save tons of money, but as a professional wedding planner, I knew better.

Let’s start with the stationery.  She spent about $650 on her stationary.  Immediately I thought to myself, but I know professionals who could have made those for her, for less money.  And, she wouldn’t have dealt with frustrating printer jams and the trouble of ordering new stationery when the first batch was the wrong color.

The same with the cake and flowers.  By the time it was all said and done, she spent $350 on cake supplies and $1400 on flowers and supplies.  I know a professional who could have made a cake and even delivered it for what she paid, without all the hassle.  The same with the flowers.  I know several floral designers who could have worked within her budget and made her some amazing arrangements and bouquets.  In the end, she seemed a bit disappointed in how her DIY flowers turned out.  A floral designer knows where to get the best flowers and how to make them look fabulous!  Plus, there is no stress on the bride’s part in those all important and hectic few days before the wedding.

The other two vendors, DJ and photographer, she certainly did save some of money but at what cost.  I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but not having a good DJ at your reception is a recipe for disaster.  This bride did mention that there were awkward pauses between songs.  Also, who was making the announcements?  Trust me, just because a person can talk does not mean they are a good emcee.

I think the DIY photography scares me the most.  After all is said and done, the flowers are wilted and the dress is put away, the pictures are what you take with you (oh, and your new spouse too 🙂 ).  But seriously, the photograpy is what you have to preserve the memories of your very special day.  If you have a professional photographer as a friend or family member, then that’s great.  But most of us don’t have that.  Even this bride mentions that she was worried so she gave her SLR camera to a friend as a back-up.  She also admitted that most of the photos on the disposible cameras were not very good.  I usually warn my clients against putting the disposable cameras on tables because of this very reason.  I haven’t found one person yet who was happy with how those pictures turned out.  Those things cost the author $120, which she could have either pocketed or put towards something else.  In the end, it sounds like she was happy with the pictures that both her family member and friend took but honestly, she took a big risk!

Someone reading this might think I’m against DIY wedding projects altogether and I’m actually  not.  I am so excited when I have a creative bride who can add some wonderful personal touches to her wedding and I strongly encourage it.  I recently had a bride who made some great looking decoupage candle holder/lanterns to line the ceremony aisle and they were a huge hit.  In fact, as I was setting up the ceremony, another couple came through to do a tour of the venue and the bride-to-be LOVED them.  DIY projects like this can give your wedding a personal and unique touch.  The creative person in me is always doing lots of DIY stuff for my own parties, around my own home, or for gifts at Christmas, etc.  But when I read this article, I just kept saying to myself, “For the money she spent, I could have found a professional to do that, without all the hassle.” 

The moral of this story is pick and choose your wedding DIY’s carefully.  Really research the costs, time, effort, and consequences before deciding to go the DIY route for your major vendors.  You only do this once and there are no do-overs or rewinding on wedding day.

Happy Planning!

Karen

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