Monthly archives: August 2014

Vanessa & Zac Swanson

Married May 31, 2014View More:
The real story began December 2008 at the City of Riverbank’s Benefit Faire where Zac and Vanessa met for the first time. After they exchanged a few rounds of playful eye contact and flirty smiles, with a little help from his fellow fire fighters Zac finally got the nerve to ask Vanessa for her phone number. Vanessa tried playing hard to get and said she could not get calls at work.  After another attempt, Vanessa agreed to meet Zac at the station when she got off work.  She kept her word and showed up at the station, and after a quick conversation, Vanessa finally gave in and gave Zac her number.View More:

After Vanessa graduated college in 2011, she became very antsy about the next steps in their relationship. Zac assured Vanessa things would progress, however he wanted to make sure Vanessa was settled into her new job before they mentioned the topic of marriage. They had already purchased a home one year prior and Vanessa was ready. Towards the end of the 2012 fire season Zac had Vanessa convinced the proposal was not going to happen that year.

View More: More: the presence of 40 of their closest friends and family, at the Swanson’s Halloween Party, Zac finally popped the question! Everyone in attendance knew it was the proposal night, with the exception of Vanessa. Vanessa’s first clue should have been that Zac agreed to go to the party with her as Mickey and Minnie Mouse.View More:
The party began normally, with a live band performing and a rowdy bunch of partygoers.  During the bands break, the lead singer performed a mini magic show. During the last trick of the show, the whole crowd gathered around watching as the acting magician approached Vanessa carrying a covered metal pan; the same metal pan that earlier contained a ball of fire and a fake snake. Vanessa was shocked and backed up in fear.    After a few moments, out from under the lid of the metal pan, Vanessa’s beautiful Engagement ring was revealed.   Zac grabbed the ring, got down on one knee and popped the question. After Vanessa stopped shaking, the lead singer asked Vanessa for her response…she said yes!

View More: planning began Vanessa and Zac researched wedding venues from Lake Tahoe to Disneyland before Zac found Spring Creek Gold & Country Club in Ripon, CA and the couple agreed it was the perfect setting. “During the beginning of the wedding planning, everyone would ask us what our style or theme was. I would get so annoyed because I truly did not know what I wanted, other than not country chic,” Vanessa explained. “I wanted to be different and unique and be able to incorporate things that were “us”.”View More:

Vanessa knew she wanted purple as her wedding color, but it wasn’t until after she found her chalkboard stationary on that she felt inspired and the details would come together.

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Spending time together during their wedding day was important to the couple and they knew they  wanted to see each other before the ceremony. Vanessa thought the balloon reveal would be a fun way to get a sneak peak of each other.  “The emotion of seeing each other for the first time was great and the balloons and the wind gave it a silly twist,”said Vanessa. “The day wouldn’t have been the same without an appearance from our Pomeranian, Stooge in his purple polka dotted bow tie. Everything turned out so perfect, better than we ever imagined. We had a fabulous bridal party, supportive parents, great friends and amazing vendors.”View More:


Kori & Jared Photography

Ceremony & Reception Location
Spring Creek Golf & Country Club
Ripon CA.

Bridal Gown
Essense of Australia
Mira Bridal Couture

Wedding Party Dresses
After 6
Mira Bridal Couture

Men’s Wearhouse

Ciccarelli Jewelers

Country Shelf


Sounds in Motion

Rumble Cinematography

Specialty Rentals
Classic Party Rentals

Sounds in Motion

Candy Bar
Lori Cole Events

Linda Bernadi

Hair Stylist
Crystal Marty & Amanda Teunissan
Studio 101

Make-Up Artist
Make-Up by Antoinette Karlegan

Balloon Chandeliers, & Draping
My Little Balloon Company

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Hot Wedding Trends for 2015

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do have a pulse on what’s hot in the world of weddings. From over-sized bouquets to jeweled necklines and even temporary tattoo wedding favors, here’s what you can expect to see this year.


Woodland WeddingsLauren Finkelstein and David Siegel by Scot Woodman .www.bridalcouturemag.com16
The big wedding theme this year looks rustic and natural with sophisticated, glam accents. So maybe the centerpieces are branchy and green with lots of lush flowers and a pop of sparkle with a sequin or faux fur table overlay. For fashion, long wedding veils and gowns with ethereal lace and floral embellishments are romantic ideas. Your bridesmaids can echo the look with sparkly, mismatched dresses and loose braids in their hair. And don’t forget the flower girls: Flower crowns made out of branches and small dainty flowers are just right for your littlest attendants. Finally, finish your decor off with something really different like a tent (lit with twinkle lights) for the kids to play in or a fun animal motif printed on everything from the invites to the ceremony programs, escort cards and more.


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Please Don’t # or

Instagram Our Wedding!


Don’t like the idea of guests attached to their phones throughout the ceremony and reception? Opt for an unplugged wedding like Zac and Vaneesa did at their May 31st ceremony. Provide a phone check at the door (like a coat check), or add a note to your wedding website or ceremony program asking guests to refrain from taking photos or video. You can word it nicely — something like: “We want you to truly enjoy the ceremony and reception, so we ask that you please refrain from taking photos or video today and just have fun!”


The All-Nighter

Like to party? Have a late-night after-party. This works well for weddings with a mixed guest list of elderly guests and families (who prefer to be in bed by 10 p.m.) and close friends and college buddies (who wouldn’t think of leaving until the last song). To pull off a smooth transition, plan to cut the cake, toss the bouquet and take care of all those special parent dances by 10 or 11 p.m. That will  give your older guests the signal that it’s okay to leave and your friends a chance to cut loose. Change up the style and vibe too by moving the party into another room or even an alternate venue. Arrange for transportation home or back to the hotel, so that none of your guests drive home afterwards.

The Year of the FlowerKSO_0498
While flowers tend to show up in 99 percent of weddings, this year, floral arrangements are getting a serious upgrade. We’re talking about an over-sized cascade bridal bouquet, elaborate flower installations that hang over the dance floor or a few of the tables, fresh flower ceremony arches, cake canopies decked out with flowers, or even a fresh flower wall for escort cards and seating arrangements. It sounds pricey (and it definitely can be), but you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to get the look. Choose one big focal point or detail and then keep the rest of the flowers on the simpler side.

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Featured Wedding ~ Amanda & Daniel Stall

Amanda and Daniel Wedding Edit Proof-711

We are just adoring the video captured by one of our favorite Cinematographers, Charles Rumble of Rumble Cinematography on the gorgeous grounds of Pageo Lavender Farms in Turlock, CA.

Thank you Melissa McKinley for the beautiful images.

Congratulations Amanda & Daniel!

Married May 24, 2014

Amanda and Daniel Wedding Edit Proof-242  Amanda and Daniel Wedding Edit Proof-165
Amanda and Daniel Wedding Edit Proof-137

Pageo Lavender Farms
Turlock, CA

Melissa McKinley

Rumble Cinematography


Sounds in Motion

Event Coordination & Florist
Alexandra’s Home & Garden


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Wedding Drones: The Latest Nuptial Must-Have

Couples taking wedding photography to new heights with Drones.

American weddings are endless one-upmanship. “Your signature cocktail and macaroons sound simply darling, but now you absolutely must have a terrarium for every guest!” — every bridal mag ever. The new hotness: wedding photography via drone.2014-07-16-DroneWedding2_pictureperfect

The Huffington Post reports that Iowa’s Picture Perfect Portrait and Design now offers aerial wedding-day photography. $400 gets you 30 minutes, which for many couples is just a drop in the bucket, I guess. Of course, the shoot requires even more coordination on a day that already resembles the invasion of Normandy, logistically:

“We plan it out about a week before the wedding, then we have the shots set up when it’s time to shoot,” he said.

In order to make sure each 30-minute session runs smoothly, Stierman communicates by two-way radio with a team on the ground, who directs the wedding party on where to go and what to do. He also has an expert flyer controlling the drone.

2014-07-16-dronewedding_PicturePerfectThis is really just the logical conclusion of the drone craze. The remote-controlled copters have become increasingly popular among folks with cash to burn, looking to entertain themselves. Martha Stewart, for instance, has sung their praises and recently captured “amazing aerial photographs” of her farm, which she of course published on her blog. Drones take “extraordinary photos,” according to Her Martha-ness. Don’t you want “extraordinary photos” of your wedding day? You wouldn’t want pedestrian, mundane, EARTHBOUND photos of your special day, would you?

And Quartz reports the proprietor of Picture Perfect Portrait and Design isn’t the first person to have this idea. A New York congressman is currently under investigation after hiring a videographer to shoot his wedding via drone. (The FAA says you’re not supposed to use drones to film anything for commercial purposes.) Paparazzi also used drones to snap shots of Tina Turner’s 2013 wedding. See, all the chicest weddings have them! But happens when a drone crashes into the bride or groom as it did at this August 2013 wedding

Can’t wait til Pinterset is flooded with little D.I.Y. veils for everyone’s now-obligatory unmanned aerial vehicles.

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10 tips to follow when selecting your wedding vendors

There may only be two of you walking down the aisle in the end, but the number of people that will help you plan the perfect wedding is far greater. So many of us want to refer to online reviews like Yelp. Google, Yahoo, and Trip Advisor, but you may find it challenging to make a decision on what vendors to meet with and what vendors to steer clear by doing this.2013-09-01 Kurt & Meghan-1366 In a Web-enabled world, it should be harder for careless or unscrupulous businesses to exploit consumers. Yet recent studies suggest that online reviewing is hardly a perfect consumer defense system. Researchers at Yale, Dartmouth, and USC have found evidence that hotel owners(and other businesses) post fake reviews to boost their ratings on the site—and might even be posting negative reviews of nearby competitors. We spoke with one of our own local wedding vendors that found a negative review online. As she read through it confused not ever recalling the situation she found that the person that logged the review had not logged out of his online account so his name posted at the bottom (verse the ever-so-popular “Anonymous”). To her surprise it was her closest competitor.

BridalCoutureMagazine-internet shopping

We have spoken to experts in several wedding related categories and the following is 10 easy steps to follow.


Take Recommendations Lightly

A friend’s good word goes far, but there is no one caterer, band, or florist perfect for everyone. Compatibility is key: Do you have the same taste and temperament as the advice-giver? If not , proceed with caution. This goes with online reviews. Through research we have found many reviews extremely exaggerated and sometimes completely false.

Let Your Passions Drive Your Priorities

Arm yourself and your fiancé with notebooks, and spend a week recording anything you encounter that grabs you, whether it’s a color on a sign, a song on the radio, or a dessert at a restaurant. Then compare notes. Does food dominate your list? Did he jot down only song titles? You’ll see on paper what matters, so you can budget for the most important.

Create a Guest List That Reflects Real Life

When you’re narrowing down the invites, think about your present (and future) relationships rather than the past. Is this someone you want in your life in 20 years? If so, invite that person. The others are negotiable.

Chat with Recent Clients

Once you’ve edited the list of potential vendors, ask to talk to a few of the couples they’ve worked with in the past year. It doesn’t matter if a bride 10 years ago loved someone; their staff and resources have likely changed since then.

Note Your First Impressions

Be aware of how potential vendors deal with your initial contact: How do they react, how quickly do they respond, and how do they conduct themselves? If a band tells you to come to a wedding to check them out, it ’s a hint that they may invite strangers to your event, so make sure they understand that your day is for invitees only.

See Beyond Your Own Style

Look for a diverse portfolio when you’re hiring any vendor. You want to see a body of work with a consistent level of quality — not a one-trick pony who can only do, say, boho. You might not like a Glee-centric birthday party, but if the work can still wow you, imagine what the vendor could do with a theme you love.

Know When Familiarity is a Good Fit

In some cases, a vendor having an existing relationship with a venue can be a big plus. They’ll already know about any shortcomings — like if the space needs a generator or is challenging to load into — and how to work around them. Alternatively, if you’re having doubts about your vendor, you can ask the venue manager about her experience with them. Questions about how they treat people behind the scenes and if they handle stress well can tell you a lot. With a photographer, though, the first time at a location can be charmed. Someone who’s seeing a space with fresh eyes may bring more spontaneity than a lensman who’s already shot the same backdrop for 10 other couples.

Hire People Who Accept Your Budget

Whether you’re in for $9,000 or $9 million, find a team that will creatively rise to the occasion. The best will be able to suggest savvy budget-trimming swaps. So if you’re asking for pricey peonies when they’re out of season, a resourceful florist might suggest lush, fully opened garden roses instead. Keep in mind, vendors with integrity will listen to your budget and find a way to work within it, not try to convince why you should spend more.

Look For a Team Player

You want to collaborate with someone who will listen and create an event that isn’t just beautiful but reflects you two as a couple. For instance, skip a barn wedding with cowboy boots if neither of you has ever ridden a horse. When your future children look at your wedding album and ask, “Why did you get that cake?” you’ll be able to say, “Your dad and I used to go to this great restaurant and… .” The right vendor will create moments where your guests think, “This is so Jane and John!”

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

When you’re not happy with a vendor, wait until you can articulate your concerns in a non-emotional way. Express the problem, and then ask for a solution. Depending on how they react, it may make sense to part ways. If you have a contract, you’ll likely have to pay a fee, but it may be worth it to move on to someone who’s a better fit.





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