Friday, December 01, 2006

Wedding Reception Food - Ways to Save Money

Before we delve into ways to save money on food at your wedding reception, I want to give a shameless little plug for a sister site, In that site we share with you places you may never have dreamed of visiting, like Canary Island holidays and holidays to Croatia, in addition to places right in your backyard, like Michigan vacation getaway or cheap Vegas vacation.

And, now, a few tips on saving money on food for your wedding reception.

When it comes to a wedding one of the most expensive parts of it is the food. This is particularly true if you are hiring a caterer. When you sit down to create a wedding budget, you will be spending most of it on the food per person. This money can quickly add up beyond your wildest dreams. Of course, it doesn’t have to. It seems as if weddings are just a cause for much feasting and merriment, and that requires a great deal of food.

One of the most expensive parts of a wedding is the food served at the reception. This is particularly true if the bride and groom want to serve their guests food that is theme based or that is on the more extravagant side. This can include foods such as fancy appetizers, sushi, tapas, or gourmet meals. The bride and groom that are on a tight budget will want to avoid fancy foods and stick with a menu that is more within their means.

There are many things that you can do to help cut the cost of your wedding food. Let’s look at some of them:

1. Be careful on how many hors d'oeuvres you order if ordering from a caterer. You don’t need eight different types. If you must serve appetizers offer cheese and crackers or mini items.

2. When you are choosing your menu, be careful to only get what is really needed. Do not binge on a five course meal if you can’t afford it. Know what your per person budget is and stick to it no matter what.

3. Have your friends and family prepare appetizers, side dishes, bread, and meals and salad.

4. If you're trying to keep costs low, stay away from certain foods that are very expensive such as shrimp, salmon, lobster and beef tenderloin. If you have your heart set on one of these dishes only serve them as appetizers and not the main course.

5. Instead of a full meal, serve only hors d'oeuvres. It is easier to dish out and cheaper to provide.

6. Food stations can offer your guests variety and save you money. These can include stations from around the world like pastas (Italy), Mexican foods, etc.

7. Offer a buffet style meal rather than a sit down dinner. 8. Offer lunch instead of dinner because it is much cheaper.

9. You can have barbecue if you are throwing an outside wedding ceremony and reception.

10. Choose a specific theme for your food, because this will make it easier to select your food items.

11. And finally - skip the alcohol. Okay, just kidding (unless, of course you don't drink). But, if having some wine or champagne available to your guests is important, there are still some pretty good bottles available that won't break the bank. If you live in California, inexpensive wines are easy to find. But, if you live elsewhere, there are always labels like Columbia Crest, BV Coastal and Mirassou that are great tasting and inexpensive. Chandon, a label from California, has good, inexpensive sparkling wine for around $13.99 (from You can always have a more expensive bottle of champagne reserved for the bride and groom.

It's all about priorities. Decide which elements of your wedding are most important to you and which you want to reserve for a major part of your budget and which elements aren't all that important to you. Perhaps saving money for a house is your priority and a wedding just isn't all that important. In that case, elope and have a modest party later. You two are creating the lives you want. Do what makes you happiest.

If you want to know the best places to get married, visit

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wedding Photography

How to Capture those Perfect Wedding Moments

Just a few tips on Wedding Photography:

1. Choose the right photographer

In order to select a wedding photographer, a couple must first decide on the picture style that they want.

Portrait photographers are perfectly capable to take both formal and casual pictures, but he or she will most likely concentrate on the formal ones.

Photojournalists take shots that are candid and not planned. This kind of photographer usually has experience in journalism photography.

Hobbyist photographers are those who are often a friend or a relative of the couple, and would likely offer his or her services for free or a very low price. It is hard to tell the kind of pictures that they will produce, and there is a risk that the pictures may not be as good as a professional's.

2. Color or black and white?

Color is usually used in wedding photos, but those who want a more artistic feel may go for the black and white film. Black and white photos lasts longer than color ones, though color films capture the details of the event more appropriately. One option would be to take the pictures in color first, then have copies made in black and white.

3. Personality of the photographer

Most couples want a photographer who can take great pictures but who is also friendly and sociable. Set an interview with the prospective photographer, and make sure to ask effective questions. Also, make sure to ask for references, and take a look at his previous work.

All these tips can help couples in getting those perfect pictures on their special day. Make sure that these pictures can be shown proudly to families and friends, and can be passed down to future generations.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More San Diego Wedding Ideas

Here are more ideas for those of you considering a wedding in San Diego.

Wedding Reception in San Diego

Author: Randy Wilson

A Wedding Reception in San Diego will provide fun and elegance due to the wide range of choices that are available to wedding couples. This is probably due to the fact that San Diego is a seaside city, a physical factor that allows for more options and arrangements for wedding receptions. A San Diego wedding reception also has its Creole influences, which works to offer variety in wedding themes as well as adding cultural color to the occasion.

Of course, when planning a Wedding Reception in San Diego, the first area of concern is the amount that has been allocated for the occasion. Other important considerations include the proximity of the location to the cities center, the facilities provided by the venue management and also the suitability of the menu selection.

The uniqueness of a Wedding Reception in San Diego is the popularity of holding one on board a luxury yacht. Remarkably exclusive and prestigious, organizing a wedding reception on board a yacht is by no means cheap. Just a 4 hour brunch or evening event will cost the host between $70 and $200 per head, depending on the type of package chosen. Of course, nothing can compare to the ambiance on board of a yacht, with an accompanying DJ, food servers, champagne and the wedding cake.

As for couples with less money to indulge themselves in, there is plenty of variety that San Diego can offer. If you are looking for a wedding reception in a private and tranquil paradise, than Los Willows will be a suitable choice. With a French pavilion area for wedding receptions, this area will be breezy in warm months and heated during the winter time. Elegant white tables and chairs are used with high quality and elegant chinaware to add to the sophistication. A heavenly wedding cake is included in the package and a champagne toast for everyone prepared.

There are also plenty of hotel and resort venues in San Diego which make excellent wedding reception venues. For example, the Paradise Point resort and spa offers wedding packages that include accommodation amidst a 44 acre island located in Mission Bay. That's not all as you can opt to have your wedding reception held indoors possibly in the Paradise Ballroom, or in the outdoor lawn or on the beautiful sandy beach.

Finally, for couples who would prefer a San Diego wedding reception held nearer to the city, they can opt to hold it at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel, with everything completely set up by the hotel. This would include the flowers, the cakes, food and even arranged transportation. In fact, if you are in the dark on your wedding planning, they can even recommend a list of photographers and entertainers to turn your wedding reception into one that you will never forget.

About the author:
© Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

Randy has more articles on weddings at Weddings Information such as Wedding Favors.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Halloween Wedding

Halloween's fast approaching. For those of you considering a Halloween wedding, here are some suggestions.

Elegant Halloween Weddings

Author: Tonia Jordan

There is a growing trend of weddings occurring on Halloween. This date offers a wide range of options for a wedding party, and though many may think a Halloween wedding must consist of gothic and "spooky" imagery, it is quite possible to hold a classic and traditional wedding on October 31st.

Atmosphere is everything in a wedding. An elegant Halloween wedding can include glowing candles, fall colors and decorations, like pumpkins, leaves and gourds, or even simple yet romantic moonlight. Warm colors, like gold, oranges and browns reflect the colors of the season.

Dead branches can be used along with ribbons or twinkling lights and artificial leaves in fall colors to create a perfect autumn environment. Candelabras can also create a simple and elegant effect.

Some classic costume ideas for the wedding party would be an angel for the bride, or even just a sleek, slim-fitting dress. A Victorian style or a Morticia Adams style dress fits perfectly with the season, yet remains traditional and elegant.

Decorate tables with dark cloth sprinkled with gold or orange confetti or artificial fall leaves. Goblet-themed place card holders add an elegant touch. Party favors can include fall-decorated votive or tapered candles, or even Halloween candies.

Just adding wings to a bridal gown can also create an instant and beautiful costume. Bridesmaids can dress similarly to the bride. Ideas for costumes with wings include butterflies and moths. The groom and groomsmen can dress up in a cape and cane in addition to their dark tuxedo.

A bride's bouquet and flower arrangements for the wedding can easily incorporate flowers of the season or even just a mix of oranges, yellows and reds. Tiger Lilies or orange roses add an elegant touch.

If you like gothic themes but want your wedding to remain classy, a Victorian style can be very elegant with its silver ornamentation and classic dress. Dark colors work well to create a classic Victorian style.

Invited guests can be asked to dress in classy costumes, such as Vampire/Vampiress, classic movie stars, etc. Suggestions can be given on wedding invitations.

The wedding reception is often less formal than the wedding ceremony and your choice in decoration and atmosphere for a reception can include a variety of Halloween-themed stylistic touches. Imitation statues of cherubs create an elegant yet slightly gothic environment. Music for a Halloween wedding reception can range from a stringed orchestral group to a DJ playing classic Halloween-themed songs.

For a Victorian-style reception, think of a grand and lavish ball, complete with elaborate ornamentation, chandeliers, and ballroom dancing. Music performed by an orchestra or even a simple piano add a classic touch to a Victorian-style reception.

A classic and elegant Halloween wedding is quite possible without using any gruesome imagery like skeletons, monsters and tombstones. One thing is certain no matter what your choice - Your elegant Halloween wedding will be an event for all to remember.

About the author:
Tonia Jordan is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/; which is a site for Writers.

She is also a stringer for the Standard Speaker, a Pennsylvania newspaper, and is editor of Word of Mouth Magazine.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mt. Shasta Wedding

Want your wedding against one of the most spectacular backdrops in California? Consider the Mt. Shasta area in Northern California, off the I-5, north of Redding. You have your choice of two areas, Lake Shasta and the Mount Shasta City area, both great locations for your wedding.

Mt. Shasta City has the feel of Sedona, Arizona. No, you won't find the red rocks, but you will find mineral baths, crystal healers, and other spiritual and wholistic practitioners. Supposedly there are energy vortexes in the area, if that's something you're into.

If you're into luxury, and wish a wedding venue against the backdrop of Mt. Shasta, try the Mount Shast Resort, where they would be more than happy to host your wedding. There are luxurious cabins, as well as a championship golf course. You can call 530-926-3030 for more information.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Planning For Your California Wedding

By Michael Brito

Arranging plans for your wedding will involve many things from hiring a photographer to selecting a good caterer and allot more in between. Whether you are having your wedding in sunny San Diego or breezy San Francisco, the average cost of a California wedding has just recently surpassed $40,000 with many couples electing to spend far more than that figure as guest lists expand and venues are upgraded. Regardless of your budget, you can control costs and enjoy your day without being saddled with tremendous debt. Let’s take a look at all that you can do to plan for your upcoming California wedding.

A Budget and a List

Planning for a California wedding will likely include the input of your parents as well as your significant other. Traditionally, the bride’s family paid for the entire event, but today’s couples sometimes prefer to foot the bill themselves or ask both sets of parents for financial contributions. Regardless, a ballpark amount of money should be budgeted before you begin the wedding planning process. Much of those plans will be centered around the total number of guests expected to attend the reception, so go ahead and begin working on the list as you scout out various venues.

The Ceremony and the Reception

Although you may have a date in mind, those plans will be quickly altered if either your church is unavailable that day or a favored reception hall is already booked. If your marriage plans include a wedding during the most popular months of June through September, you may encounter more difficulty on getting the date that you want. Conversely, if you marry during the four months of the year, you will have the best chance of seeing your plans come to fruition. Consider a Friday evening wedding if your Saturday plans cannot be worked out.

The Internet: An Indispensable Tool

21st Century couples are using the internet like never before to help plan their big day. You can do the same for your California wedding to help you search for vendors, compare prices, and purchase goods. Indeed, savvy couples can accomplish the majority of their work online 24/7/365 to save time and money.

Virtually every business has a web site these days and from the ease of your laptop you can accomplish the following tasks:

• Tour reception halls via links to video clips and photographs.

• Find a wedding disc jockey to listen to interviews and music clips.

• Locate florists to preview flower designs and arrangements.

• Preview sites featuring the works of photographers.

• Shop for wedding rings, bridesmaid gifts, party favors, etc.

Spreadsheets and Wedding Plan Software

To keep track of and manage all of the costs, you can also use a handy spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel to get the job done. Beyond Excel, some couples have discovered that by using dedicated wedding plan software you can control all of your pertinent information and create a web site for guest preview. Some couples are now extending invitations and receiving replies completely electronically through these types of sites. Use whatever plans works best for you as you do have options!

Here Comes the Beautiful Bride!

Once your wedding plans are in place you can fully enjoy the day without worrying about the details. Short of hiring a wedding planner, a trusted family member or friend can help you keep you on track and relieve you of much of the minutiae related to planning your California wedding.

Click here if you need help planning for your California Wedding.

Michael Brito is an internet marketing consultant and freelance writer for a variety of consumer related products.

Article Source:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

San Diego Wedding Idea: Get Married with the Sharks

Planning a San Diego wedding and getting overwhelmed with location choices? After all, you want a location which takes advantage of gorgeous San Diego sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, right? You want a location your guests will remember for weeks, if not months, to come, right? Then, you might consider getting married with the sharks. Or the seahorses. Or any other sea creatures you might find at the fabulous Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla, just outside San Diego.

I attended a birthday party there several weeks back and am still thinking what a wonderful venue the Birch Aquarium is for any kind of large gathering, especially weddings.

What makes the Birch Aquarium the perfect location for your destination wedding? For one, there’s the aquarium itself. You can have your wedding at the aquarium after visitor hours, which means you and your guests have the aquarium all to yourselves, free to wander past the exhibits without the crowds. This is nice if your guest list includes people with children who might get bored at a traditional wedding location. Exhibits include the coral reef exhibit with live coral and reef inhabitants such as giant clams, lionfish and chambered nautilus. There is also a nice shark exhibit, displaying swell, nurse, leopard, horn, shovelnose guitarfish, angel, whitetip reef, blacktip reef, and wobbegongs.

Then, there’s the incredible view for which San Diego is famous. Located on a coastal bluff overlooking La Jolla Shores beach, the Birch Aquarium has one of the most breathtaking views in the San Diego area. The outdoor tide-pool plaza is the perfect place for your guests to gather at sunset.

The Birch Aquarium can accommodate up to 1,500 people, and is conveniently located to hotels, motels and resorts in the cities of San Diego, La Jolla and Oceanside. You can call them for more information at (858) 534-7769.

To learn more about Southern California Weddings, check out Destination Weddings

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lodi Wedding - Wine Country Ambience

Okay, here's another idea for those who love wine and wine country. Lodi. That's right, Lodi, a wine area in California (SOUTH of Sacramento) which specializes in Mediterranean varietals (syrah, sangiovese, pinot grigio). (If you read the following comment you'll see that I had originally posted that Lodi was north of Sacramento. What was I thinking? I guess my thoughts weren't "stuck in Lodi" but indeed, Lodi is SOUTH of Sacramento. Thank you to the person who left the comment correcting me.)

This is definitely wine country which you want to visit in the fall or spring months, as the summer months can be quite hot (which is fine for the style of grapes grown there, but not necessarily for people getting married (unless you think perspiration pouring down your face makes for great wedding photos).

Anyway, there's an historic inn there which has special wedding packages. It's called the Wine & Roses Hotel, 2505 W. Turner Road, and looks quite lovely, and will accomodate up to 350 guests. The hotel has a restaurant and spa, perfect for the newlyweds who want to immerse themselves in fine wine, fine food and relaxing pampering.

They can be reached at 1-877-310-3358.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Southern California Wedding Destinations

What do you get when you have your destination wedding in Southern California? Sun, sand and a mouse. Mickey Mouse, that is.

From the numerous sun-drenched beaches to a magical wedding at Disneyland, Southern California has it all. Consider these familiar settings and not-so-familiar settings:


Southern California has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beautiful, breathtaking beaches that serve as beautiful and tranquil backdrops to your wedding ceremony. From the smaller communities of La Jolla, Laguna Beach, Malibu, Newport Beach and Oxnard, to the larger communities and beaches of San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Ventura and Santa Barbara, you're sure to find a beach that has what you're looking for - beautiful scenery for your wedding and perfect hotels for your honeymoon.

If you're trying to keep your wedding within a smaller budget, consider having your ceremony at one of the many public beaches. One such public beach is La Jolla Cove, 1100 Coast Boulevard, a very small beach in La Jolla (15 minutes north of downtown San Diego). La Jolla Cove claims to be one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California. (Having been there, I don't doubt it for a moment). For permit information call Coastline Parks at 619-221-8901.

If you have an expanded budget, you might consider the Surf and Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach, 1555 South Coast Highway, a fabulous resort hotel with their own private 500-ft. white sandy beach. Their Grand Pelican Ballroom can host receptions of up to 250 people, or provide an intimate sit down dinner wedding reception with dance floor for up to 160 people. Call 888-869-7569 for reservations.


That's right - Disneyland. Why not hold your happy wedding at the "happiest place on earth?" Disneyland is a very popular wedding venue, so be sure to make your reservations about a year in advance. You can start now by calling the fine folks at Disneyland's Fairy Tale Weddings at 714-956-6527.

Wine Country:

No, not Napa or Sonoma. Southern California has its own wine producing region, and it’s called Temecula, located approximately 85 miles south of Los Angeles, 60 miles north of San Diego and 20 miles inland from the cities of San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside (other great beach wedding locations). Numerous wineries in the area host weddings, including Callaway Vineyard & Winery (800-472-2377) and Falkner Winery (951-676-8231), both with beautiful landscaped grounds.

Look, Up In The Sky…:

Say “I do” in an aerial wedding above Palm Springs. Call “Balloon Above the Desert” at 760-776-5785 to inquire about their special wedding package. And, don’t worry, if you wish they can use smaller, more private balloons so you don’t have to share the balloon with strangers.

Whether you get married at the beach, Sleeping Beauty's Castle, or flying high above the desert, a Southern California wedding is truly a memorable one.

For more California Wedding ideas, visit Destination Wedding Locations

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

San Juan Capistrano Weddings

Thinking of a Southern California destination wedding? There are certainly many cities and locations from which to choose: Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara. But, today, I'm going to focus my attention on San Juan Capistrano, halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. If beautiful sunsets and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean appeal to you, you will certainly want to check out San Juan Capistrano for your location wedding.

Here is a sprinkling of the venues in San Juan Capistrano which will make your wedding memorable:

San Juan Capistrano Mission Inn Hotel, conveniently located within walking distance of the Amtrak and Metrolink train depot exudes intimacy and charm. It's not cheap, however. Two day, weekend event packages begin at $12,000 and include use of the entire inn, all 20 guest rooms and suites, swimming pool, parlor and gardens. The event fee also includes a sumptuous continental breakfast served each morning from 8-9:30 am as well as Sherry and homemade sweets served each afternoon. The Mission Inn can be reached at 1-866-234-0249.

La Casa del Camino has several settings to choose from, including indoor or outdoor wedding settings. You can choose from the Rooftop Garden, a sprawling, sun-drenched terrace with breathtaking ocean and coastal views, the The Italianate Courtyard, which is lushly landscaped, the Cress Room, an intimate meeting/reception room off the Italianate Courtyard, and the Catalina Room, a rooftop meeting/reception room with views of the Pacific Ocean. You can reach La Casa del Camino by calling 888-367-5232.

The Franciscan Gardens is located in historic downtown San Juan Capistrano. With blooming rose trees and bubbling fountains, the Franciscan Gardens accommodates as many as 200 guests. Can be reserved for both daytime and nighttime ceremonies. They can be reached at (949) 489-8082.

Rancho Capistrano is a 175-acre "spiritual oasis" located in a romantic lakeside setting and surrounded by palms, weeping willows, and shady eucalyptus trees. Great setting for wedding photographs. You can be married in the Spanish courtyard in front of the Hacienda, an historic adobe ranch house built in the 1800's, or on the grassy hillside overlooking the lake. You can have a church ceremony for $800, an intimate gazebo wedding for $500, Church or Hillside Garden Ceremony with Hacienda Courtyard/Patio Reception begin at $2,000. Meals are not included.

The Tea House On Los Rios is located in the Los Rios Historic District. Looking for a garden setting? Then this is the perfect place!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Laguna Beach Wedding

Getting married in Southern California? Ever consider a beach wedding?

Southern California is known for its beaches and spectacular sunsets, so why not take advantage of the beauty and have your destination wedding on one of California's many beaches?

This post will focus on Laguna Beach, which is an hours-drive south of Los Angeles. Laguna Beach has a lovely coastline, and is perfect for a casual beach ceremony or a more elegant wedding at one of its fine resorts.

If you're considering a destination wedding and aren't concerned with cost, consider the Surf and Sand Resort, 1555 South Coast Highway. Their phone number is 888.869.7569. They have a private beach and ocean-front rooms with spectacular views. Their Grand Pelican Ballroom can host receptions of up to 250 people, or provide an intimate sit down dinner wedding reception with dance floor for up to 160 people.

I've never had a wedding at the Surf and Sand, but have stayed there numerous times and have never been disappointed. It's certainly a place to consider if you're looking for a beach wedding.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Southern California Weddings - Disneyland

You loved going there as a kid. Okay, let's face it, you love going there as an adult. It's magical. It's happy. It's Disneyland! What better way to celebrate the magic of your new life together than plan a Disneyland Wedding?

Disneyland weddings include a magical ceremony and a creative reception that you can’t find any place else on earth. You won’t have to stress over the details. Like Cinderella, you can have your very own God Mother to take care of the details – although in this case, it will actually be a fairy God Wedding Planner.

Disneyland weddings are not last minute events. The planning stage starts one year before the date of the wedding with a meeting with the Disney wedding planner, a site tour, and a selection of the possible locations for the wedding. Eleven months before the big day, the letter of agreement must be signed and returned with a deposit. At ten months, announcements are mailed out to the guests who are to be invited.

Eight months before the big day, the planning steps up. Planning sessions are held by phone or in person with the wedding planner, and ceremony and reception event orders are prepared. Everything starts falling into place, and the planning continues until one month before the big day. Final payments are due thirty days before the wedding date, and the final guest count is due four days before the wedding is to take place.

Everything is planned with your input, and all of the details are handled without any stress being placed on the happy couple. Flowers, invitations, and catering are all included. After a ceremony that will live in your memory forever, you and your new spouse will enjoy the reception of your dreams.

The reception will be handled by a white gloved staff, complete with elegant resort table settings, a head table, floor length linens, and place cards. Your wedding cake will be magical, as only Disneyland could create, selected by you from a variety of choices.

There are also honeymoon packages available at all of the Disneyland Resorts. From start to finish, your Disneyland wedding will have all of your dreams coming true, so you and your spouse can start your road to happily ever after.

One caveat--start your planning early. Disneyland is a very popular place for a wedding, so you must make your reservations well in advance.

Friday, May 26, 2006

California Destination Wedding

Welcome to California Wedding. The purpose of this site is to introduce you to all the wonderful places in California to get married. Future posts will include Southern California (Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, San Diego), Central California and Northern California (San Francisco, Monterey). California is the place where dreams turn to gold. What better place to start your new life together?