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Advice From A Current Bride!

Congratulations, you have now selected your wedding venue! Well now you are probably thinking what comes next? I am a current bride-to-be and I am giving you my knowledge and advise. If I had this information when I started this process it would have helped immensely. Well ladies and gentleman the next few moments are going to assist you with YOUR big day!

Chelsea & Marc
Carrie McCluskey Photography
Kelly & Michael
Savoring The Sweet Life Photography

 Your Planner is Here For YOU!

It goes without saying that you need to trust your wedding professionals, specifically your planner. It sounds cheesy but those individuals are truly here to make your dreams come true. Your planner is there to bounce ideas/details off of or answer any questions you have. I was definitely unsure in the beginning what to focus on next or how this process truly works. Most couples have never been married before, so planning a wedding is scary, nerve racking and exciting all at the same time. Those feelings are 100% okay and that is why your wedding planner takes care of planning the details for you! I urge you to be as detailed as possible with your planner but don’t be afraid to let your planner take control of some things for you. Allowing your planner the flexibility and trusting their judgement will ensure that you have an AMAZING wedding!

Why You Need A Wedding Planner

Narrow Down Your Ideas

Nowadays it is very easy to get swept up in the “Pinterest wedding”. Trust me from my experience I was all over Pinterest, pinning thousands of ideas to my wedding board. I had décor ideas, hair & makeup, wedding dresses, cake ideas and sooo much more. It was like information overload when I showed it to my planner. In one photo I had a picture of rustic barn doors that I wanted to walk through but then in another picture I had an archway with flowing fabric draped on it. It made it so much easier to make another board that said “Final Day” and I narrowed down my thousands of pictures to the crucial ones I had to have. Your planner wants to get to know your ideas, your likes and dislikes but not EVERYTHING! When you have something that is more organized for your planner it makes their process that much smoother.

Wedding Boards on Pinterest

Communication, Communication, Communication!

 If you couldn’t tell already but I can’t stress this enough, communication is key. When your planner starts putting together your timelines, diagrams or even your banquet of events (BEO) there is A LOT of detail that goes into it. If your planner creates a diagram of your reception and you have changed your mind about any placements, your planner needs to know. If you need a special ceremony such as; sand ceremony, knot-tying, wine ceremony etc. you need to relay this information to your planner so we can incorporate into your timeline. Your timeline keeps everyone on schedule so your wedding day will go as smooth as possible.


Communication is Everything!

Meet With Your Vendors Prior To Your Big Day

If you choose vendors that have not had the opportunity to work with your specific venue, then you need to schedule a meeting so they can get a layout of the property. Your vendors need to know what they need to bring or what is provided for them in advance so they are prepared. If you have a destination wedding you need to plan ahead. Before you get onto a plan or drive 1,000s of miles to your destination, you should have already called your vendors to schedule an appointment. Keep in mind your vendors work other events as well as work the weekends.

The 9 Wedding Vendors You Can’t Live Without and When to Book Them

Sometimes Weather Happens To The Best Of Us

When choosing your venue keep in mind the dates and location you are planning for and the weather during that time. In my experience I had my heart and soul dead set on South Lake Tahoe, NV. Well during the winter it definitely snows!! I took the opportunity to visit the area several times before to see what the weather was like during that time. When I finally narrowed down my search to the venue I wanted, I made sure to ask the planner what is my plan B option in case of weather? Before I said yes to the venue, I determined if I was going to be happy and comfortable with my plan B option. It is important to ask for those questions. We might not think about what if the weather isn’t perfect that day. We can’t control Mother Nature so go with the flow and make sure your plan B is just as special.

Romantic, Rainy Day Wedding Alexis & Chase

Most important advice I can give you….embrace your day and just live in the moment, YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED!

Jacqueline + Justin’s Garden Gazebo Wedding

Today on the blog we are sharing photos of Jacqueline and Justin’s garden gazebo wedding back in September!

How absolutely gorgeous is her dress? The soft tulle layers with the delicate embroidery details and the nude lace sleeves. And these jeweled Badgeley Mischka shoes to die for! And the groom looks so dapper in his tux!

Jacquline and Justin decided to have their wedding ceremony at our classic garden gazebo ceremony. The white columns with floral arrangements and the white wedding chairs with champagne sashes give it such an elegant feel.

The reception was held in the Pavilion with chiffon draped ceiling, a 6 foot Swavorski Crystal chandelier set with gold chargers, blush napkins and perfectly arranged centerpieces.

Bride and dad came across the sparkling lake in our wedding boat and walked down the aisle to meet her soon to be husband.

Now pronounce you husband and wife!

During Cocktail Hour while guests were enjoying tray passed appetizers and drinks at the bar the bride and groom and their bridal party were off in the Meadow taking gorgeous photos and fun one likes this one!

Let’s get the party started!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. McGee!

  Venue: Los Willows Wedding Estate
Photographer: True Photography
Videographer: Carry Onwards Photo + Film
Florist: Blooming Grace
DJ: C Squared
Cake: Elegance on Display
Wedding Gown: Essence of Australia



The Los Willows Team

Hosted, Cash, Tab, Oh My!: Guide to Bar Packages for Your Wedding

You’ve selected your venue and your date yay! Now it’s time to get down to business and start planning the other details of the big day like what food you and your guests will be eating, linens, centerpieces, flowers, cake and whether or not you will have a bar and what kind.

When it comes to bars each venue is different in what they offer. Today we are going to be sharing some of the most common bar types and the good and bad with each.

Photographer: Leah Marie Photography

“Do I even have to have a bar?”The answer is no, of course not! If you don’t want alcohol served at your wedding then by no means do you have to have it. You can opt to just serve the complimentary drinks that the venue provides or just juice and soda. Here at Los Willows if you choose to not have a bar we provide infused water, lemonade, iced tea and sparkling cider for the wedding toast.

“I definitely want a bar at my wedding.”
Love it! Depending on the venue they might have various options for bars. Let’s get into what the different types are.

Cash Bar
Guests pay for their own drinks both alcohol or non-alcoholic. A set up a fee may be required for the Host to pay and non-refundable.

Photographer: True Photography

Hosted Bar
The Host puts down a Tab, a pre-determined dollar amount for the bar and guests receive drinks, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, on the tab until it is reached. Once the Tab has been reached the Host can add more money to the tab or convert to a cash bar.
What you want included on the Tab is up to you and the venue. Maybe you just want to do beer, wine, champagne, sodas and juices and have guests pay for any liquor maybe you want to do beer, wine, champagne, sodas and juices, well and premium liquor and have guests pay for the Patron or Maker’s Mark.


Photographer: Shadowcatcher Imagery

Bar Packages
The Host is charged per person. Packages can range from just soda and juice to everything included.

Corkage Fee
Some venues will allow you to bring in your own liquor but will charge you a corkage fee to do so.

Photographer: Leah Marie Photography

Soft Bar
This is a bar with beer, wine, juice and soda so no “hard” alcohol.


Here at Los Willows we offer a variety of options for bars. Click here to read all about our bar options or schedule a tour to learn all about our packages and to pick the one that’s best for you!


The Los Willows Team