Archive for September, 2010

What do you get when you combine a cool couple, a riverside backyard paradise, and an A-Team of vendors?  You get one awesome wedding day.  Morgan and Todd’s day began with a ceremony at  St. Francis Church in Sacramento, where guests were surrounded by the church’s gorgeous interior and serenaded by the harp and flute music of Music a Due.  Following the ceremony, guests were shuttled by Universal Transportation to a private estate right on the banks of the river.  Talk about beautiful – the reception was held on the property’s huge lawn which was covered with old oak trees and looked out on views of the river which were absolutely breathtaking as the sun went down.  The best part about being on water?  Morgan and Todd were able to make their grand entrance into the reception by boat!  After the excitement of their arrival, Morgan and Todd and their guests enjoyed a scrumptious, family-style meal provided by the Culinary Specialists and two unique cakes by Village Cake.  Then it was on to dancing, where the oh-so-talented Matt Brys of Extreme Productions DJs got the party started.  Wonderful Beth Baugher of True Love Photography was there to document the entire day and she caught some really great shots (which you can check out below!).  This was a great group of people, a great couple, and a truly wonderful day – Congratulations Morgan and Todd!!

Bride and Groom in front of purple wallBride's "final touches" photosGroom and GroomsmenCeremony at St. Francis Church SacramentoThe Ceremony at St. Francis Church in Sacramento with musical accompaniment by Music a DueBride and Groom at St. Francis Church SacramentoGaaaah, love the expression on his face!!Statue and Bride and Groom St. Francis Church SacramentoBride and Groom YellowBeth Baugher’s use of color is so cool!Bouquet and Tree with Shoes!River along the propertyBlue, aqua, and red tablesCenterpieceBride and Groom listening to toastBride and Groom close up

*Sigh*  Lovely.  Thank you True Love Photography for lending us these fabulous photos!


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Morgan and Brandon (who are sweet and shy and absolutely lovely together) had a gorgeous day surrounded by the sweeping views of David Girard Vineyards in Placerville.  The ceremony was absolutely incredible!  Millington Strings classical ensemble played as Morgan was driven up to the ceremony site by her father in a rare red and white vintage car. All Seasons All Reasons catered the event, providing delicious food and top-notch service, while DJ TJ of the Entertainment Team was great as the evening’s MC.  The white reception tent at David Girard was personalized with eggplant and ivory satin draping by CMC Events, florist Debbie put together knock-out centerpieces and bouquets, and Cake and Candy Specialties created the cake.  Mark Lydell Photography captured the day on film, including lots of kisses between our bride and groom!  Congratulations Morgan and Brandon, you two are the sweetest!

David Girard VineyardsBeautiful shot of the David Girard tasting room and pond.Bride with bouquetThe stunning Bride – we love the expression on her face!GroomsmenGotta love groomsmen and their sunglasses!  Of course, yours truly had to snatch them before the wedding and try to fit all 9 pairs of them into one teeny-tiny apron pocket.  We seriously need to consider bringing a “Groomsmen’s Sunglasses” basket with us to every wedding…Mother of the Bride with locketLove love love this shot of the Mother of the Bride displaying her locket pictures of herself and her lovely newborn daughter.  How can you look at this and not tear up?!Bride and her FatherIt is such a meaningful moment when the Father of the Bride sees his daughter for the first time on the wedding day.  There are few things more touching.

We love these last few pics of the Bride and Groom!  What a beautiful couple, don’t you think?Bride and Groom with classic carBride and Groom in rearview mirrorBride and Groom black and white

Thank you again to Mark Lydell Photography for all these stunning images, and to Morgan and Brandon and their families for allowing us to play a part in their day!

David Girard Vineyards

CMC Draping, Mark Lydell Photography, All Seasons All Reasons Catering, TJ (Entertainment Team), Millington Strings, Cake and Candy Specialists, Florist Debbie

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Bewildered Bride-to-BeMy fiancé Darwin and I have been together 6 years.  We finished high school together, we went to college at UC Berkeley together, we studied abroad in Italy together…we even joined a ballroom dancing team together.  We’ve both kind of known for a while that we would end up getting married, and I’ll admit that I did have some fantasies abut what our big day might be like.  The thing I didn’t imagine was that my planning process would be a little more complicated than most, because I would be planning a military wedding.

What do I mean by military wedding?  Well, if you’re thinking sword arches and gun salutes, that’s not quite what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the practical demands of planning a wedding around the fact you or your future spouse is fully committed to a very demanding job.  There is no postponing military orders if the timing just doesn’t really work for you.  You have to make it work, and you have to be willing to be flexible.

Just a couple of months ago, Darwin joined the Navy as an officer.  He’s about to head of to basic training (yikes!) and when he’s done, we’ll be relocating to Washington, DC.  I am incredibly proud of him and excited for our new life together in DC.  But, I’ve got to be honest, from a wedding planning standpoint this is not going to be easy.  I’ve thought a lot about how to tackle our wedding plans and I’ve gotten some great advice, so I’d like to share what I’ve come up with so far…

Tip #1: Tell your military contact or sponsor that you are getting married, because the military is often willing to work with your plans.  For example, I have heard of a service member who was flown back from overseas deployment for threeRed, white, and blue wedding cupcakes days so that he could attend his wedding.  At the very least, get an outline of what you or your fiancé might be doing over the next year so that you aren’t surprised when something comes up.  When possible, get exact dates for training, deployment, and relocation.  Darwin was able to find out that, luckily, he’ll have a gap in between training courses around the time we want to get married, so it will be much easier to get time off.

Tip #2: Tell your venue and your vendors that one of you is in the military.  You might be able to get a military discount (love those!), but, more importantly, you can let them know that you could be subject to a sudden change of orders, such as deployment.  Work with your vendors to ensure that in the event that you have to change your wedding date, you will be able to alter your plans without incurring huge fees or paying for services that you won’t receive.  Ask your venue and vendors if they offer a “postponement” option that will allow you to postpone your date if necessary.  If not, ask them to add something into the contract that will allow above-average flexibility in terms of date changes.  Most vendors are happy to help accommodate members of the military, so it’s always worth a try!

Tip #3: If you are relocating and you still want that big wedding of your dreams, hire a planner.  I am not about to ask all my friends and family to fly to DC for my wedding, so essentially I’m now planning my wedding from across the country.  If I didn’t have my talented sister to figure out logistics, to occasionally meet with vendors, and to help with design decisions, I would be a whole lot more stressed Red, white, and blue wedding seating chartthan I am now.  At least ask a friend or family member who knows your style and taste to be your “on location” person when it’s impossible to attend meetings yourself.

Tip #4: Again, if you’re relocating, plan for both of you to make at least one trip back before your wedding to hash out menu details, meet your DJ personally, and maybe schedule an engagement session with your photographer.  There are certain things that you really need to decide on in person (preferably together), so be sure to add some additional travel expenses into your budget.

Tip #5: Lastly, make sure that the people involved in your wedding (close family and wedding party) knows your plans and realizes that you could face some shifting dates.  You don’t want the Best Man booking tickets for a surprise bachelor party in Vegas if the Groom is going to miss it!  Get involved in the planning process and make it clear that you have to OK any plans before they become final.

So, that’s my two cents when it comes to planning a military wedding!  If I’ve left more practical questions unanswered, email me at marianna@catrinamaria.com…I leave arches and salutes to your discretion 🙂

Your Bewildered Bride-to-Be,


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