I’m in Napa this week scouting for a beautiful summer wedding we’re designing and when I travel, I can’t help but reminisce about past weddings in the area. Especially ones that are as pretty as this one. Natalie and Pat married at the gorgeous Carneros Inn and with it’s cool blue tones, abundance of white on white and sleek ghost chairs, it’s easily one of our favorite weddings. The aesthetic, the food and the intimate group of 80, made for a modern yet comfortable day and one we were thrilled to have a hand in. If you want to read more about hop over to Style Me Pretty to read Abby’s take on it. She even called it a “Wedding That Set the Bar” in an article for Huff Post. Enjoy the images from the too talented for words, Jose Villa. And stay tuned for more Napa goodness!
There’s nothing scary about these ghostly treasures…
The right blanket can make a wedding ceremony (or home) that much cozier…
If you’re just getting started with the planning of your destination wedding, you are already thinking of the obvious: Who will do my hair and makeup? Who is the best photographer? What will my bouquet look like? If you are like most destination brides, it isn’t until a little further in the planning process that you realize you have not only invited guests to your wedding but you have invited them on vacation. You have suddenly taken on the roles of fiancé, travel agent, concierge and event planner. This can be tons of fun but also a lot of pressure. Here are my top six tips to get you through hosting a destination wedding celebration:
1. Allow guests to enjoy their vacation. While they are there to celebrate your union, there is also a part of each guest that is looking forward to some down time. Because of this, don’t feel obligated to plan every minute for them. Let guests have enough time to relax and plan activities on their own.
2. Use the culture of your destination to shape events. Your guests will want to explore the activities that can only be done at the destination of your choice. Take your guests to a wine tour rather than a traditional rehearsal dinner when in Napa, or introduce them to the Caribbean with a welcome party consisting of Mojitos, steel drums and a sunset sail.
3. Create an itinerary and list of recommended activities. Outline for your guests the events they are invited to, as well as some additional activities that they may enjoy. The itinerary can go out with your invitations or they can be sent separately one month before traveling to allow your guests to plan their down time. Don’t forget to put another copy in their welcome bag along with a map of the area.
4. Don’t feel obligated to pay for everything. If hoping to extend your wedding celebration throughout the week with a welcome party, morning after brunch, etc. but have a limited budget, do not stress. Discuss with your families who will be hosting each event. Have one set of parents pay for the welcome party if your parents are hosting the wedding and reception. For other activities that you would like to arrange but can’t afford to host, put out an “optional” invite letting them know the expense affiliated should they decide to go. Not everyone will join, but if you arrange an activity that the guests were likely going to do on their own anyway, then you should have a good attendance rate.
5. Have all of your guests stay in the same area if possible. The beauty of a destination wedding is it allows you and your fiancé’s families to come together for an entire week. If everyone is staying all over the island or city you are in, your guests will not have as much opportunity to get to know each other. On the other hand, planning accommodations for all your guests can be a logistical nightmare. Solve this by providing accommodation information in your invitations or save-the-dates. Include information only on hotels and condos that will keep your guests near the party. After the wedding, if you and your fiancé want privacy, consider sneaking off to another city or even just another hotel.
6. Don’t take everything on yourself. Planning a destination wedding and reception alone can take a lot of time and research. Depend on the professionals within your reach like your wedding planner, travel agent or even the concierge at the hotel you will be staying at to organize events and activities for you and your guests.
I’ve said it before, but chairs at a wedding can make or break your look. I hear so many couples say “no one notices the chairs” but I promise you, the reason you “don’t notice them” is because they were the perfect fit for the look. If you choose the wrong chair for your design, it is all you will notice. This being said, today we’re starting a little series on some of the most common rental chairs out there and the type of event they are best suited for. Below are some of my favorite options when I’m working on a rustic or homespun look:
Dark Wood Folding chairs are just a nice basic, reasonably priced option if budget is of concern or you sincerely do believe “no one notices chairs”. While they do very little to add to the design of the day, they certainly don’t take away from it either and typically they blend right into most outdoor environments. The above image is from Alyssa & Ryan’s Malibu wedding by Steve Steinhardt.
Bentwood chairs are cozy and perfect in a country setting. With a bit of french flair, their shape adds a softness and a feminine feel to what can feel a little more masculine depending on how rustic of day you are designing. These chairs were the perfect touch for Liz & Chris’s Los Olivos Wedding with photography by Aaron Delesie.
Mismatched chairs not only feel homespun and eclectic, but also a little residential. It gives the feeling that you just pulled the look together with chairs you had in your home or family. We love this look for couples who aren’t afraid to make more of a statement with their furniture. For Jessica & Chetan’s Paris wedding we sourced vintage chairs and benches from Parisian Antique dealers. This image is from Steve Steinhardt.
Chivari chairs are always a nice catch all. Super classic and they come in a variety of colors. The Tuscan wash has a rustic Italian vibe and can make a rustic backyard wedding a bit more refined. The above image is from Bettina & Brian’s Gull’s Way wedding by Steve Steinhardt.
Benches are perfect for an intimate and approachable wedding. If possible, find them in reclaimed wood for a more organic vibe. For Jacey and Grant’s Smog Shoppe wedding, we collected benches and softened them with mismatched throws and pillows. Image courtesy of the talented Lauren Ross.
Franklin or X back chairs are a timeless favorite. They look amazing outside and if you can get the cane seats, you have the perfect blend of residential meets rustic. We love these little guys which we used for Natalie & Pat’s black tie Napa wedding. The image is by Jose Villa, whom we love!