We are celebrating a lot of anniversaries this month and today’s moment is one from Karen and Andrew’s wedding.  I love this shot of the ceremony because it’s such a smile filled moment.  The couple had a lot of friends participate in their ceremony which made it all the more personalized and special.  It was lovely and I hope they remember it as they celebrate their anniversary.

(Photo credit: Arrowood Photography)

Apr 24, 2015 by Jamie Chang

Wedding Tip from the Pros:  Find out in advance what your musicians are wearing

Ask your musicians (and all your vendors for that matter) what they will be wearing to your wedding to ensure that they look presentable and that their attire fits in with the style and feeling of your wedding.  This also gives you a chance to request a particular type of dress code if necessary.  You want to make sure that their attire will not only blend in with the guests, but will also look good in your wedding photos as well.

(Photo credit: Sherman Chu Photographer)


This week’s tip is brought to you by the super talented folks of Golden Gate Music.  They are the premier Northern California source of string ensembles and your personal music designer for some of the most unique and beautiful weddings.

Apr 23, 2015 by Jamie Chang

Need a wedding planning pick me up?  We’ve got one right here for you in our Wedding Wednesday Q&A.  Today we’re chatting about hotel accommodations: I’m not having my wedding in my home town, but not far enough away to be considered a destination wedding either.  It’s close enough for most people to drive, but I am imagining that some people might want to make a weekend vacation of it.  Do I need to get a hotel room block for my guests?  Or should I just let them fend for themselves?

Great question!  Hotel room blocks can be quite tricky, so it’s good that you ask because you don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you wished you did a room block or the opposite and you wish you hadn’t.  So, first off, room blocks are great because it ensures that you’ll have rooms for X amount of people and you don’t have to worry about it selling out.  Also, they lock in the price which means you don’t have to worry about prices going up (you can most times also get a discounted rate).  However, the bad side of hotel room blocks are that most have some form of financial guarantee whether it’s a deposit required and/or an attrition rate that you have to hit or you’ll be on the hook for the remaining rooms not booked.  So, before you book any room blocks, you’ll want to make sure that whatever financial guarantee you agree to is something you can cover.  What I mean is that if you don’t meet the required number of rooms, you are ok with what you’ll have to pay.  A good way to cover your butt here is to only get the smallest amount of rooms you’ll think you’ll need.  Most room blocks come in blocks of 10, so you’ll need at least 10 rooms.  Make sure before you sign anything that you are reasonably sure you can cover those 10 rooms.

So, how do you figure out if you need a hotel room block?  First, make a list of who you know will need a room (i.e. yourself, parents, wedding party, people flying in etc…).  Then make a list of people who you think will most likely need a room either because they are invited to the rehearsal dinner or day after brunch or are just the type that would make it a vacation.  See what that number comes out to room wise.  If you are over 10 rooms, then I’d get a room block.  It will save you some money and then people can stay together.  Keep in mind that not everyone who decides to stay overnight will want to stay at the hotel you got a block at, so you always want to underestimate.

Now, outside of the above exercise there are two instances when it’s good to get a room block.  The first is if the area you are getting married in is a smaller town that doesn’t have too many accommodation options or it’s high season in that area.  The worst thing would be for your guests not to be able to find a room if they wanted one, so having a reserved room block will make sure they are taken care of.  The second is if you are having your wedding at a hotel or resort and you want your guests to stay onsite with you versus staying elsewhere.  You should be able to negotiate something special with the hotel since you’re having the event there and having a room block will ensure you have the rooms you need there.

Make sense?  You just have to think through your particular guests and then underestimate a little and see how you come out.  From there you’ll be able to make a decision.

(Photo credit: Kevin Dooley)

Suffering from wedding planning problemitis?  We can heal you, just tell us your problem and we’ll prescribe the solution.

Apr 22, 2015 by Jamie Chang


Jamie Chang

Freshly picked is a blog of tasty morsels to inspire, amuse, encourage, excite and help make your life easier. We share wedding planning, travel and design tips and inspiration and anything else that tickles our fancy.

Jamie Chang is the owner and wedding planning maven at
Mango Muse Events, a boutique event planning and design firm specializing in customized destination weddings and social occasions. Mango Muse Events is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and orchestrates events all over the world.

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