Monday, March 31, 2008

Bridesmaid Gift Bags - Not Just for the Bridesmaid

You've heard of bridesmaids gift bags? What about the Bride’s Friendship Bag? A Bride’s Friendship Bag is great spin-off on the way a bride can show appreciation to her wedding party members - maid of honor, bridesmaids and close friends - showing appreciation and thanks for the person participating in your special day.

Many of those who receive the gifts tend to keep them as a keepsake to remind them of your special day, something to look back on and think of the wonderful memories your day brought to you and your guests.

What Goes in the Friendship Bags?

You can put anything you want in your Bride’s Friendship Bag. It can be as extravagant or as small as you wish. Maybe you want to put cosmetics or something small like chocolates and a card. A bottle of red wine with your chocolates would also be good (red wine goes great with dark chocolates by the way). Or, maybe you'd like to put in a pound of coffee with some biscotti.

Whether it's a bridesmaid gift bag or a friendship bag for bridesmaids and other friends, there's nothing that says you have to give a gift to those in your wedding party. (Although, let's face it, many may be expecting at least something). But, if you do decide to give gifts, the bags are a unique way to deliver the traditional wedding favors.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Newport Beach Weddings - on land or at sea

If you've been searching for a great location for your Newport Beach wedding, guess what? You're search is over. I have a few that you're going to love so much that you will end your search today!

Well, okay, maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but, I do think I have some ideas you'll like

Newport Beach Boat Weddings

Yes, I know I've written about boat weddings in California before. But, Newport Beach is loaded with yacht companies just aching for your wedding business. They usually offer "one-stop" shopping, meaning they'll coordinate everything. You just make a few decisions on what you want, show up, say "I do," eat some, toast some and dance some, and voila, you've had a great wedding on the water outside of Newport Beach that everyone will be talking about.

There are numerous charter companies, we're going to offer you three of them.

Pacific Avalon Yacht Charters

They offer three yachts, The Royal Princess (149 max. capacity), The Ambassador (150 max. capacity) and The Majestic (400 max. capacity). They provide everything you need, and will work with your suggestions, or, if you want some ideas, they will provide those as well. Call them at (949) 673-8545 for a complimentary consultation.

Legend Charters

Get married by the ship's Captain on a sunset cruise. For more information on what they offer, email them at

The Electric Riverboat Angela Louise
located at The Fun Zone on Balboa Peninsula
700 Edgewater Ave.
Newport Beach

While the other two wedding cruises are on yachts, this one's on a riverboat. How cool is that? They offer a one-hour wedding ceremony cruise for 30-70 passengers Sunday through Friday for $999, plus $100 docking fee. Includes the wedding ceremony performed by the Riverboat Captain, and a champagne toast for the bride and groom.

Weddings on the Beach

Okay, so you don't want to go out on a boat. You want to have a beach wedding. Here's a full-service company which performs beach weddings in Newport Beach - WedToday. They offer several different elopement packages, which include:

California marriage license
Personalized Ceremony
Rose petals on the sand
5 digital wedding photos
Marriage License Certificate of Vital Record


Full service beach wedding on-the-sand for up to 40 guests: $895
Up to 30 guests: $595
Intimate Beach Elopement package for bride and groom only: $495
Officiant only: $350

Go to for more information.

You can have your ceremony on public beaches (check for permits), or you can always rent a beach house or cottage and have your ceremony there. You can check beach vacation rentals by going to or

Newport Beach Resort Wedding

Balboa Inn The Resort
105 Main Street, Newport Beach
Toll Free: 877.BALBOA9

Enjoy the Newport Beach view in style at the Balboa Inn The Resort, which boasts ocean-view rooms and balconies, in-room Jacuzzi tubs, Italian marble floors and bathrooms, and a private ocean-view sundeck and Jacuzzi pool.

The Balboa Inn offers two options for your wedding; the Siena Room, which accommodates 175 guests, or the Siena Grand Terrace, which gives you a panoramic ocean view.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

San Francisco Wedding Expo for April

Having a wedding in San Francisco? Then you'll definitely want to make it to the Great Bridal Expo at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco on April 13, 2008. You'll not only get to visit many different wedding vendors, but you'll also be treated to a bridal fashion show, honeymoon show, as well as have the opportunity to win thousands of dollars in prizes.

The tickets are only $7 in advance, $9 at the door. Advance tickets can be bought at the Expo's website, You can also email them for information at

The Concourse Exhibition Center is located at 620 Seventh St.

Doors for the Great Bridal Expo of San Francisco open at 12:00 noon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Long Beach Wedding

Today we're looking at weddings in Long Beach, California. There are certainly many different venues you can choose in Long Beach, as well as a public beach or park. Below are some standouts:

Hyatt Regency Long Beach
200 S Pine Avenue

What's cool about the Hyatt Regency Long Beach is their private lagoon, where you (the bride) can arrive in a gondola. Nice effect. I love gondolas.

The Hyatt Regency Long Beach hosts intimate weddings as well as larger weddings up to 1,000 guests, with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop. If you're having a reception, they offer several ballrooms to choose from. They also claim their Beacon Ballroom as the only waterfront ballroom in Long Beach, with a view of the Queen Mary, Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

The Ebell Club
290 Cerritos Ave. at Third Street

The Ebell Club evokes a sleek, classy time. Built in 1924 as a private women's club, the club was renovated in 2003. They specialize in combined ceremonies and receptions. Not that most people know what this means, but, they say the Ebell Club is an example of Churrigueresque-style architecture. It features an indoor courtyard with a surrounding balcony. Nothing says grand entrance like a balcony! Well, okay, maybe a gondola (did I already mention I love gondolas?). For receptions, The Ebell Club can accommodate 150 guests for a plated sit-down dinner service and 190 for buffet service.

Museum of Latin American Art
628 Alamitos Ave

There's just something about having an event at a museum! I attended a birthday party once at an aquarium (similar concept) and it was absolutely fabulous. The guests were able to view exhibits after hours and celebrate a birthday at the same time. Anyway, the Museum of Latin American Art has two locations for weddings you'll love: the Balboa Studio, with a seated capacity of 350; and the Sculpture Garden, an outdoor theater with greenery, flowing water and a 30' projection screen, with a seating capacity of 375.

Looking for a Quick Long Beach Wedding?

Not really into planning a big wedding? Want a cheap, quick wedding so you can start your honeymoon right away? Then you might want to look into FNS Services, a very non-assuming tax services building at 2527 Pacific Avenue. That's right, they provide income tax services, notary public, fingerprinting, accounting and bookkeeping, real estate loans, immigration services, divorce and child support services, and yes, weddings! They have an on-site wedding chapel, as well as perform wedding services at your own location, like a public beach or park (with proper permits, of course). Here's a link to a picture of their wedding chapel: Go for a public outdoor venue.

FNS Services can provide you with a marriage license, services of a non-denominational minister, and photos of your wedding. No appointment is needed, and they accommodate "same day and rush" weddings. Call them at 562-424-2020.

Wedding Officiants

In addition to FNS Services, there are many officiants in Long Beach who will go to your preferred location. Below are just a few non-denominational officants:

Affordable Wedding Minister
Matthew Linzmeier
(949) 939-4239 tel

Matthew is a recently ordained minister through Universal Life Church, and will officiate your wedding for a flat fee of $100. Matthew's also a barista at Starbucks, for all you Starbucks afficianados. Oh, and he's worked 3 years doing stand-up comedy.

A Ceremony for You
Judy Burke
(562) 799-1984 tel

Judy is a licensed non-denominational minister who can issue marriage licenses, and performs wedding ceremonies as well as vow renewals. Her prices start at $150 depending on your location.

A Ceremony of the Heart
Mary Jean Valente

Mary Jean has over 10 years experience performing weddings, vow renewals and Domestic Partner and Commitment Ceremonies. She is also a Second Degree Reiki Practitioner.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Diamond Carat Weight - Just a Little FYI

We're going to deviate a little here from California wedding locations and give a little info on diamond carat weight. If you've been shopping around for wedding rings, your mind is probably overflowing with things like "clarity," "cut," "color" and "carat." But, just what is diamond carat weight?

Diamond carat is a term used to describe how much the diamond weighs. A single diamond carat is equal to the weight of 200 milligrams, or .2 grams.

Diamonds are described two different ways in regards to the diamond carat. An abbreviation of “ct” is used to describe the weight of a single diamond stone while an abbreviation of “ct TW” is used when describing the total weight of an entire piece of jewelry- when it has more than one stone in place.

It's important to recognize that two stones may have the exact same carats, yet they are completely different in size and appearance. This is due to the actual density of the stone. The more dense a stone is, the more weight it has, and sometimes a smaller stone will actually weigh more than a larger stone because of density.

When selecting your diamond ring, you can choose between a single, solitaire style setting (a single diamond on the ring) and a setting that has multiple, smaller stones to make up the ring. The value of a solitaire one diamond carat will actually be more than if you buy a ring that has two diamonds that add up to one carat or greater. Larger sized diamonds are more rarely found when mining diamonds, making them more valuable and expensive than purchasing the same amount of diamond carats in smaller stones.

So how do you determine what size diamond to buy? Do you want a diamond carat of 1, or 2, or do you want a ring with multiple, smaller stones? The answer to this will depend greatly on your budget, as well as the person who will be wearing the ring.

A diamond will look larger on a slender finger, so keep that in mind when buying the ring. The actual diamond carat measurement is probably not as much of a concern as the appearance, shape, and setting of the ring. Particularly because a 1 carat diamond ring will not look half the size of a 2 diamond carat ring, it's far more important to select a ring that is pleasing to look at than it is to buy one with the most carats you can afford.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wedding Hairstyles Tip of the Day

Whether you're going for a simple elopement or a grand wedding, you do want the wedding photos to be something you want to show off. And that does demand a certain attention to some details, like your hair.

If you're wearing a wedding dress, you’ll want to find just the right look for the type of gown that you’re wearing. You want a design that is going to complement your wedding dress without taking away from the whole overall look or appearing too overbearing.

If you have short hair you’ll want to add a volumizer to give you lift. Short hair looks great adorned with small accessories but once again remember not to make your hair the focus of your wedding look.

If you have longer hair there are more things that you can do such as keeping it loose and flowing or pinning it up with a few flowers that match the flowers that you’re going to be carrying.

No matter what style of hair that you choose make sure that you ask for a price ahead of time so that you know how much of your budget you need to set aside to have the perfect hairstyle.