engaged! now what? {part three}

We’re sure you’ve already told everyone you know about your engagement. You probably started by announcing it on Facebook and changing your status, then let your families know, and then everyone else, including the grocery store clerk.

Meanwhile, of course you’ve been reading our series on what to do first in starting to plan your big day. You’ve decided on your wedding style, and figured out how much you’re willing to spend, you’ve probably started thinking about venues and some options for wedding dates….but what about your guest list?

So here’s the deal: how many guests you invite can affect your venue choice (depending on capacity), and vice versa.

First, ask yourself this: Do you want an intimate wedding, or do you want your version of, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? Now, take your budget and do a little math. Normally, factor about $300 – $550 per guest. Keep in mind that this is inclusive of all vendors needed on the big day (venue, catering, bar, photographer, band, floral designer and the list goes on). How many guests does your budget allow? (If you’re going over, don’t worry- if you simply must have all those people attend, we can tweak some things in your budget to make that big wedding more attainable!)

Here’s our MOST important tip: always remember that it’s YOUR day and the point is to be surrounded by the people that mean the most to you.

That being said, there is always at least one “sticky” issue that you’ll have to deal with when creating your guest list. What if you want to have an intimate ceremony, but a big reception? Or a big ceremony, but small reception? What do you do about all those extra people your parents insist you “must” invite? And then there are all those “plus one’s”- should you always allow your single guests to bring a date? Should you invite guests that you know won’t be able to attend, and how does that affect your budget?

The Knot has put together this really great Q&A to help you deal with these situations without headaches!

If you still feel a little lost, we can assure you you’re not alone, so just take a deep breath! Give us a call if you want to chat about some more tips and tricks (like having an A and B list). See? We told you this would all be a piece of cake- and once this step is done, you can actually go taste all that delicious cake! Enjoy!

{image via Oh So Beautiful Paper, Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake}

What’s Cooking At Cavallo Point?

One of our favorite details to any wedding is choosing the menu, we’re total foodies! Being in the Bay Area we’re so blessed to have local organic farms with the freshest ingredients at our finger tips. We recently had the opportunity to join one of our couples at Cavallo Point for their menu tasting . With so many unique dishes and amazing flavors this is anything but traditional wedding food.

                     Passed Canapes

1. wood grilled skirt steak & horseradish mascarpone 2. lettuce cups, grilled chicken & thai style vinaigrette 3. lobster & mango skewers 4. grilled wolfe ranch quail & romesco glaze 5. wood grilled prawn, white bean puree & rosemary vinaigrette 6. point reyes grass-fed beef skewers & chimichurri marinade

                     To Start

1. local octopus carpaccio, jalapeno-mint mouse, dashi broth & frisee salad 2. organic carrot soup, leek emulsion & tender spinach ravioli 3. little gem salad, lop-chong, humboldt fog dressing & banyuls vinegar


1. rack of sonoma coast lamb, fresh shelling beans & carrot sabayon 2. pan-seared day scallop, soy bean coulis, parsnip mousseline, madiera-mirin sauce & scallop chips

A big thank you to chef John Reyna the wonderful team at Cavallo Point for a delicious lunch. Everything was so good that we’re having a difficult time selecting the final wedding menu. If it were up to you, what would you serve?

engaged! now what? {part two}

How’s it been going since you said “yes”? Still staring at your ring and doodling your future last name on every writing surface possible? Last week, we started a series for those of you that just started planning your wedding.

Have you decided on your wedding style yet? Great job! Today, we focus on your budget. We’re sure most of you just let out a big groan, because, let’s face it, this is often the most stressful part of planning a wedding. Good news- once we give you some pointers, you’ll be well on your way and thinking, “That wasn’t so bad at all!”

Let’s begin.

{What are the 3 most important things to you on your wedding day?}

Why’s this important, you ask? Good question. Once you and that fiancé of yours are on the same page as to what’s most important to you, then you’ll find it easier to agree on where to spend and where to save. So, let’s start by answering these questions:

Rate the following in order of importance 1-10:

___Aesthetics/Appearance (flowers, decorations, centerpieces, ambiance)
___Family and Friends

When I look back on our wedding, I want to most remember: (choose 1)

___How exciting everything was
___How romantic it was
___How beautiful it was
___How proper everything was
___How smoothly and easily everything went
___How happy my parents and family were

Now, check out this basic budget worksheet so you can get an idea of some of the things you’d need to include in your wedding budget.

{Who’s paying for the wedding?}

Will you be paying for the wedding entirely by yourselves, or will your family/s be helping out? Sometimes, couple’s family/s offer to pay for specific items, like the attire or catering.

{Set a budget.}

Factoring in who will be paying for the wedding, how much are you willing to spend?








___more than $100,000

Also, if you check out these wedding budget no-no’s, you’ll be smooth sailing all the way to your big day. 

That’s it. Yes, really. Now that you know what your budget is, you can take a deep breath and get back to daydreaming about your special day. Next up, we’ll be walking you through your guest list. What do you do about Great Aunt Betty who you haven’t seen since you were 3 but your parents insist on inviting? We’ll give you some ideas next week.

{Images via: All Things ElegantPiccsy , Style Me Pretty}

rain, rain go away

June 4, 2011 will forever be a date that no one in the event industry will soon forget. The skies above open-up and decided to play tricks on us throughout the day. Heather and Carol with Gertrude and Mabel Photography worked wonders, they were quick to get the shots just before a major downpour. Our amazing team of vendors made it our mission to make this the best and dry as can be day for Kim and Jeff. Rain boots, umbrellas, tent, check!

Wedding Photography: Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel Photography / Wedding Coordinator: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Venue: Annadel Estate Winery / Caterer: Elaine Bell Catering / Flowers: Cherries / Cake: Sweet On Cake / Band: Notorious / Videography: Basico  / Lighting & Sound: Got Light / Hair & Make-up: Wendy Walter / Tent: Zephyr Tents / Linens:La Tavola / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Paper: Union Street Papery / Transportation: Pure Luxury  / Getaway Car: Classic Convertible Wine Tours

engaged! {now what??}

Did you recently get engaged? Congratulations! So exciting!!

If you’re already totally overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, you’re not alone. We’ve put together a little guide, in a series of posts, that will help you figure out what you should do now, and what you can sleep on.  If you’ve just started thinking about your wedding, tasting cakes and trying on dresses can wait (trust us). There are a few other things you need to do first.

{Decide what type of wedding you want to have.}

This is the most important step. Deciding on your wedding style will help you pick a venue and a date. Not to mention ALL the other fabulous details!

Imagine yourself on your wedding day. How do you want to feel?

Some questions to ask yourself and your fiancé: (Don’t you love saying that, by the way? Let’s say it again. Fiancé. Ok…moving on.)

What defines you as a couple?  Are you always doing fun outdoor-sy stuff? Are you beach bums or do you like to get cozy in a snowy cabin? Do you love to glam it up and go out on the town? Are you artsy and always doing fun creative projects?

This fun little quiz from The Knot might be a good place to start.

{Decide on your budget.}

Don’t freak out! It’s easier than it seems (and of course, we’ll walk you through it). For now, make a list of the most important things to you on your wedding day. Are you a foodie and want an incredible spread for your guests? Is music your life and do you want to dance the night away? What are the things you must MUST have at your wedding?

{Put together a guest list.}

This step will also help with choosing a venue AND deciding on a date.

Who do you want to surround yourself with on your special day? Think about your nearest and dearest. Would many of your guests need to travel? Are there other big events that might be a conflict for your guests? (ie. having your wedding the same day as your cousin’s graduation might not be such a good idea.)

Now, go give your honey a kiss, pour yourself your favorite glass of vino, and maybe even book that much needed mani/pedi appointment. This planning stuff will be a piece of delicious cake. We’re here to help! {In fact, check back next week, when we continue this little series for those of you that are newly-engaged and glowing…See? We got your back!}