By: MANGO MUSE EVENTS

Hello and welcome to Wedding Wednesdays Q&A! For those of you new to our little family, Wedding Wednesdays Q&A is where we answer all your wedding planning questions to help get you on the road to wedding planning bliss. This week’s question is about the seating chart: I’m trying to figure out my tables and how to seat people and I’m having some difficulty. I can’t seem to get 10 people on every table. Everything I try just doesn’t work and the only way I can do it is if I sit random people together, which doesn’t sound fun. Is it a bad thing if the tables are all different? Will that look weird? Great question and it’s a question that I get all the time. When working on a seating chart, couples seem to want to keep all the tables the same and while that does make it easy on the venue or catering team, it really isn’t necessary. It also makes doing the seating chart that much harder. The chances that your guest list will work out perfectly to have tables with the same number of people on it, is very slim. What I suggest instead is to group people who you think will have a good time together. They don’t have to necessarily all know each other, but perhaps they are the same general age or personality wise would be compatible. Once you’ve grouped people, then see how your numbers turn out. If you are shooing for tables of 10, usually about 8-11 will also work. To answer your question specifically, tables with different numbers of people is not a bad thing and will not look weird! The only times it can be weird is if the number of people on the table is either so small that it looks empty or so large that the table looks crowded. And in both of those cases it’s also not so fun for your guests, so it’s an easy thing to avoid. Tables come in different sizes, so the ranges of what is acceptable and comfortable can vary. Make sure the range you are working with actually works with your table and floorplan. The last thing to factor into your range is if you are doing a family style meal or your place settings are large (i.e. if you are using a charger or have a lot of glassware) or your chairs are large. If any or all of these apply, you’ll need more room per person on the tables and that will make the range smaller. If you are unsure what numbers to use you can ask your wedding planner, caterer, or venue coordinator and they will be happy to help you. So, don’t worry too much about the numbers (it will work out) and instead focus on making tables that your guests will be happy on. Do you want wedding planning bliss? Send us the question that has been bothering you and we’ll get you on the right path.

By: VIVAN SACHS PHOTOGRAPHY

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By: MANGO MUSE EVENTS Life is hard sometimes, we all know this.  But, what sets us free is love.  Love is what keeps us going and gets us through the hard bumps whether small or enormously large.

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By: MANGO MUSE EVENTS

 In honor of the upcoming July 4th holiday, this week’s question is about a holiday wedding:  My fiance and I are trying to pick a date for our wedding and we only have a few limited options because of both of our work schedules.  The day that works out best timing wise is on a holiday (July 4th) weekend.  The 4th of July weekend is nice because people will have a long weekend, but I’m worried that having a wedding on a holiday could be a bad idea.  What do I need to consider before choosing it as my wedding date?

Many couples do try to aim for holiday weekends for their weddings (especially destination weddings) purely because of the long weekend.  And I will say that it is nice to have that extra day for everyone, but there are some things you will want to consider before moving forward.  First off, holiday weekends will be more expensive for anyone who has to travel.  Things like flights, hotels, and rental cars will all be at a higher rate for the holiday.  Also, if your wedding is taking place in a tourist destination (like Napa or New York or Hawaii), you will have larger than normal crowds in the area, which could potentially add on problems like traffic, getting taxis, or even privacy for the wedding venue itself (if it is at a hotel for example).

Another big factor to think about is that you may have to pay your vendors a higher rate because of the holiday weekend.  This is especially true if your wedding falls on the actual holiday itself.  In addition, you may find that some vendors will not work on that weekend, which may leave you with more limited options.  If you have your heart set on a certain wedding planner or photographer or florist, you might want to check with them before picking the date.

Now these all sound like Debbie downer things, but there are lots of upsides to a holiday weekend besides the long weekend.  Your anniversary will always fall on a holiday so, you’ll always have the time off to celebrate which is nice.  If you have a bad memory, you will never forget your anniversary date.  And most importantly, if the holiday has special significance to one or both of you, that is also a nice touch.  A July 4th wedding would be particularly great for some American history buffs.  But, in the end you have to pick a date that works for you, so just go into it knowing the potential problems you might have to work around or plan for and you’ll be fine.

Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans!

By: MILOU AND OLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

We’re always poking around on Elizabeth Anne for lovely wedding inspiration, and today we’re excited to see one of our fabulous weddings on her gorgeous blog! Jennifer and Matt’s San Francisco Ocean Club wedding is full of sophistication and romance in the heart of our favorite city. Click through for all the details!

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By: VIVAN SACHS PHOTOGRAPHY

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By: MANGO MUSE EVENTS

I don’t know what it was like where you were this past weekend, but where I was it was super hot. Not heat wave hot, but almost. Hot to the point where all you want is cool drinks, sitting in front of a fan and not cooking which is totally what I did. What is interesting is that heat makes people irritable (me included), but love is loving someone no matter how you’re feeling about them at the time.

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By: MANGO MUSE EVENTS

Geyserville, while being a part of Northern California wine country, isn’t known for having a ton of wedding and event venues. It’s a small town tucked up north near the more well known town of Healdsburg. But, things are a changing! I was invited the other night to a kick off party for a new event space in Geyserville at Catelli’s and it is our find of the week. Catelli’s is an old family run restaurant that recently renovated part of their property to hold events. The space is pretty cool exhibiting kind of a desert Palm Springs/Vegas vibe and can hold about 125 for sit down dinner. They did a great job with the landscaping and have some cool details like the black and white graphic floor which you’ll notice pops up in the stone walkway and on their menu (which by the way was pretty yummy). I think the space would work well for a wedding, but maybe even more so for a rehearsal dinner or welcome dinner or a fun after party! That floor is just asking for some dancing, don’t you think?

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By: MILOU AND OLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Hello and happy Monday! There’s some gorgeous weather going on here in NorCal, and I’m holding down the office fort since our fearless leader is off shooting what is sure to be an unforgettable shindig in Brooklyn, NY.

If you don’t know by now, I’m Morgan Elizabeth, “Production Sweetheart” here at Milou + Olin, and occasional mistress of Morgan Mondays on the blog. I was just married on April 12th, and can’t wait to unveil the spectacular night that Caroline captured for us. After the ins and outs (and ups and downs!) of getting married, I like to share a little wisdom with brides that are in the thick of planning, or girls who want to be properly prepared for the big day someday.

Bridal Beauty Tips

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I’m not a very high-maintenance girl when it comes to beauty. If I really want to, I can bust out my Naked palate, curl my hair, and glam myself up for a night, but it lasts about as long as the event I’m attending. Due to curiosity and a cousin who works for Benefit (she’s seriously my makeup guru) I’ve experimented with masks, have found my ultimate mascara, and try to keep my nails done, but on any given day you’ll find that my hair is it’s usual “just out of the shower” curly, I might or might not have makeup on, and I’m a wonderful shade of half-Dutch pale.

But for my wedding day, I underestimated how much I wanted to attain a level of personal pretty that would translate into photos. There are things I did and things I didn’t do, and I definitely have a few regrets! I’ll share my best ones with you in the hope that you’ll feel and look your best self on your wedding day.

1. Consult the Experts (right after you set the date) 

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If you have any concerns about your skin, your weight, your hair – whatever you are concerned about – go find someone who is properly credentialed to give you a solution. Although it might be embarrassing to bring up something you’re already self-conscious about, trust me you’ll feel better talking it out and coming up with a fix. And do it as soon as you know your wedding date! Some issues take longer to clear up than others, or may require testing to figure out (some rashes or skin conditions are caused by allergic reactions to food or environment). I totally slacked on this one and didn’t find a dermatologist before my wedding, and ended up wishing I’d been more diligent. It didn’t ruin my night, but it was a worry I shouldn’t have added to my wedding day.

2. Get Moving (asap!) 

Whether you spend your time on the couch, aren’t partial to gyms, or think you don’t have time to work in fitness, there are so many benefits to incorporating something that gets your heart pumping a few times a week. There are so many endless options that range from walking or biking, to dance fitness classes (Zumba is so much fun!), yoga, or a sport like tennis. Gravitate to what gets you excited and go from there! If you are open to the concept of a gym or home workouts, I suggest this article to get you started. There are a plethora of reasons backed by health professionals for incorporating fitness into your life – and it will do wonders for your skin, help you feel confident, and amp up your energy. There’s no downside, and you might find a new hobby you love!

If you are already a fitness buff, think about how you want your body to look on your big day and set some goals. Want some long, lean muscles? Pilates, yoga, and swimming could be your new go-to routine. Want to get toned up for a back-baring dress? Tweak your weight lifting routine or talk to a trainer about your goals.

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3. Consider your roots (4-6 months before)

Your hair is an important part of most brides’ big day, and it definitely was for mine. I wanted it to be the right shade of blonde that I hadn’t achieved in years (one that wouldn’t wash me out or look too brassy) and I was worried my “down” hairstyle wouldn’t have much volume since I have a really fine head of hair (read: I always need the really small hairbands and always use volumizing products!) I talked with my hairstylist and worked toward a hairstyle that wouldn’t steal any layers and worked toward a pretty champagne blonde that I love. I also got some clip-in hair extensions that we dyed the same color as my hair for the big day; they made such a difference! I can also use them whenever I glam up for an event – they are great for updos!

4. Nail it down (3-6 months before)

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Your nails will be ogled – there’s no getting around it when there’s a sparkly new ring everyone wants to look at! No matter how you do it, put some thought into your wedding day mani. If your hangnails are out of control now, make a date with a local nail salon for a once-a-month or every-other month manicure, and use a good hand and nail lotion (my personal favorite – Vaseline Intensive Care Hand and Nail) every day. If you have more severe problems like cracked skin or fungus (icky, but it happens) refer to tip #1.

My nails are always getting chipped no matter how careful I am, so I chose to get a gel manicure at my local salon. They have so many options now and it stayed intact through my honeymoon! Since I had so much bling already, I toned it down with a pretty nude on my nails.

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5. Don’t do anything last-minute (1 week before)

I can’t stress this enough; don’t try anything new right before your wedding! If you want a spray-tan for your big day, test it out a month or two before to get the right shade. New creams, facials, procedures, crazy workouts, crash diets – they all have one thing in common: they can backfire on you in a bad way. I’ve heard horror stories about rashes from high-end moisturizers the bride waited to use until the night before, botox gone awry, injuries from new or amped-up workouts, or health issues or skin problems from a detox or crash diet. As with anything, consult your doctor or medical professional before trying out anything diet or workout related, and test out creams and lotions well before your wedding day.

Extra Tips:

If you do nothing else, moisturize! Keeping your skin hydrated will allow your makeup to be applied smoothly and minimize caking. If you’re prone to oily skin, I’d recommend Neutrogena’s oil-free moisturizer.

Don’t break the bank on products just because they are expensive or high-end. Use sites like makeupalley.com or allure.com to research what works well for your budget. Sometimes a cheaper product works just as well or better than something with a designer label!

Do a trial of hair and makeup after you get your dress. A neckline can change the type of hairstyle you want, less beading or rhinestones could prompt you to get more creative with makeup, a blush or colored dress could determine lipstick and eyeshadow colors. I was sure I wanted an updo or sideswept hairstyle until I decided on my dress. Strapless and sweetheart, it swayed me to do a half-up half-down romantic look.

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