June is for celebrating marriage, fathers & PRIDE
We originally posted June is for Celebrating in 2017 – sure feels a life time ago. Not long after the 2015 Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, David and I began to wonder if a business like ours — built on a commitment to not just marriage equality, but basic equal rights and inclusiveness — might within a few years become so commonplace as to be inconsequential. Ahem…turns out, we were wrong.
Pride month is a reminder that our actions matter, and that we have a long way to go. And while we are grateful for the support so many brands show this one month, discrimination continues year round. And importantly, commercialization of Pride doesn’t automatically create support for the LGBTQ community. What can you do to lend your support?
- Donate to organizations like The Trevor Project or HRC.
- Shop at gay-owned businesses like ours, or our Lilly & Taylor ETSY shop, not just in June, but all year long.
- Attend your local Pride Event – celebrate with your friends & your community.
It’s Pride month! Happy Pride!
And it’s also David’s and my wedding anniversary month (!)
And it’s Father’s Day! Since our family has two dads, two amazing sons and now, one grandson (!!), we have plenty to celebrate.
Since Taylor Street is all about celebrating, we love June!
There is a common thread to these celebrations, and to all celebrations — and that is the sense of community each promotes. There is a sense of belonging and acceptance — and love — that is created when you and I take time to honor tradition, our families, our respect for one-another. And while modern families are increasingly diverse, at their core they remain much the same…
David and I will continue to share stories of people and their celebrations — of all types —throughout the year. We do this to support a sense of community, celebrate its members, and strengthen our collective bond. Because, as Lin -Manuel Miranda said in his amazing 2016 Tony Awards acceptance speech, “Love is love”, nothing here is promised – not one day.
We also will continue to post profiles of wedding industry professionals who support inclusivity and marriage equality.
Thank you for your support & Happy Pride! Please share with us how you are celebrating Pride, celebrating Father’s Day, celebrating your marriage, or – like us – ALL THREE!
#loveislove #NoH8 #lovewins #LGBTPride #Pride
- Heather "at work" with Kelly and Jimmy on their wedding day. Hannah Kate Fotographie
Get to know Heather, Central Coast Wedding Photographer.
I first met Heather of Heather Nguyen Photography at a local wedding professionals gathering in northern San Luis Obispo county. Taylor Street Favors was supplying some wedding favors for the event and Heather was shooting the event. Meet and greets are not my thing, but I am so glad I went that night! Not only do I love Heather’s wedding photography and her warm, easy going vibe, but she continues to be a big supporter of everything Taylor Street. Here is our interview with Heather.
TSF: What is your favorite part of a wedding to shoot?
Wedding Photography is so much fun! If I had to choose one part it would be when I am photographing the couple alone. To me, that is the most exciting part. Some see each other before with a first look and others have waited until their “I DOs”. That is the chance to really see how in love they are. That is the first chance they get to have a candid conversation and complement each other’s outfits.
TSF: Most important question you rarely get asked by couples considering you for wedding photography?
The most important part of the day, photography wise is sunset time. I have a long list of questions to ask but for couples that is usually the last thing they are thinking about. When you think of your wedding, the most important part would be the couple photos when the light is soft and flattering. I usually suggest sunset photos depending on their schedule.
TSF: Tell us about yourself
I have been a photographer for 9 years now. I am a wife of 9 years and a mother to a 6 year old and a 3 year old. They keep me busy during the week, which is why I love my job as a photographer. I am able to enjoy time with them during the week and work on the weekends.
TSF: What is one favorite part of your photography business?
Delivering the images to clients. I always send out the email and wait for their response. Hearing how much they love their images and how well their day was captured is such a pleasure to hear as their photographer.
TSF: Best piece of advice you could give couples planning their wedding
To take moments for themselves and keep dating. When I work with couples, sometimes stress gets the best of them and they forget the wedding is all about their love. After their big day, they will be left with the memories of the guests, their ceremony, and how much fun they had.
TSF: What is your photography specialty?
My specialty is wedding photography. Though I also photograph families, newborns, kids & couples, I spend most of my year on weddings. I love having clients stay with me from their engagement to their family photos years down the road. I really do have an amazing job!
TSF: What inspires you professionally?
I was inspired after my own wedding. I had such a amazing time planning our wedding. So when I meet a couple, I love discussing all of the fun plans they have started and the vision they have.
TSF: 3 questions every couple should ask their wedding photographer
- Do you shoot in RAW? RAW images hold more information than JPEGS which help with post editing. All professionals shoot in RAW.
- How many weddings have you photographed? I shoot about 15-20 weddings a year on average, so 8 years and 15 weddings a year I would say I am around 120 weddings. It’s very important for your photographer to have lots of wedding experience.
- Do you edit the images? As for editing, I edit the lighting, bring up colors(especially your wedding colors), edit out anything that takes away from the image. Every image a client receives from me has been touched. I never send unedited images.
TSF: Biggest pet peeve with modern technology in weddings today
Cell phone and tablets. I have been a wedding guest many times and I personally have no problem with people taking photos during the day. When it comes to the ceremony, it makes my job very hard to have to ask guests to move (when they should be seated) or change my position because someone is holding their phone out in the isle. When a couple spends so much on their wedding photography, they don’t want cell phones in the way of their vows or first kiss.
TSF: Weddings are stressful. How do you keep yourself relaxed and energized?
I spend time with my kids during the week and usually get massages after a long wedding. I carry a backpack with all my lenses and gear so once the wedding is over, my back is usually sore.
TSF: What one superpower would you want for your wedding photography work?
That my legs would never get tired. After being on my feet for 12+ hours, I am usually exhausted. Legs that would keep going even into the late night hours would be marvelous!
Men as Bridesmaids, Women as Groomsmen – and what about that Man of Honor!
As more newly engaged couples, gay and straight, involve friends and family members in their weddings in more creative and personal ways, they are redefining traditional gender-based bridesmaids & groomsmen roles. Welcome to the I Do Crew!
[And really, why can’t brides and grooms have their BFF’s stand with them at the alter regardless of gender?]
While it’s increasingly common to have wedding party members of both sexes standing up for brides and grooms, what to call your male bridesmaids (not this for sure) or female groomsmen (possibly an even worse idea) is all over the place. Here are a few popular gender neutral alternatives to use in your program or when the wedding party is introduced.
I Do Crew and a Few Alternatives for your Wedding Party
Most popular: “I Do Crew”. It’s catchy, gender neutral, and – to me – a little bit sentimental, in a good way. You can find it on all kinds of wedding swag…and it makes a great hashtag: #idocrew . But if that just doesn’t work for you, here are some others…
The safe choices: “attendants” or “entourage”;
Lighthearted & best for personalized gear: Team [fill in the name of groom(s) or bride(s)];
These show up fairly often too: besties, party people, wedding squad, bridal brigade or bride tribe paired with groom squad.
For the male maid of honor: man of honor
And for the female best man: best woman
Or…how about best friend!
3 Other Wedding Traditions Your I Do Crew Will Love
Just as your wedding party may not conform to tradition, increasingly, today’s modern couples — whether two brides, two grooms or a bride and groom — are choosing to co-create their wedding ceremony too. From the ground up, couples are mixing cultural and religious traditions with unique elements.
Here are a few examples of interesting and modern takes on traditional wedding rituals.
Wedding Colors and Wedding Attire
Couples are managing the all-to-familiar bridesmaid matching outfit and coordinating groomsmen tradition with a much lighter touch. Couples are selecting a color (or two) and inviting a close circle of friends and family to wear the color(s). Sometimes instructions include a particular article of clothing (bow tie / socks / shirt or blouse color) and sometimes the request is simply to include that color in whatever outfit is chosen. Not only are couples able to involve more people than they might if the wedding color was limited to the more traditional gang up front, it looks awesome when it comes time for pictures. David and I went this route, but in hindsight didn’t take the idea far enough. We now wish we would have had his mom and my dad wear some “poppy orange” too [really – see picture!].
But make sure your wedding party members look the part, so that there is something in common that helps your wedding pictures to have a coordinated look. If you’ve left people to interpret your request on their own, you may want to have some things available on your wedding day, just in case – a boutonniere, bow tie, socks – for pops of color that tie your wedding party together.
Rather than the 2X2, invite your closest friends, and wedding party participants to walk down the aisle at the start of your ceremony with their respective significant others and then sit in reserved rows at the front. This eliminates the need to have everyone pair up nicely…and means you can forget about requiring an equal number of attendants for each “side of the aisle”. Isn’t it more natural and enjoyable if a family with children move as a clump, or if you have a friend who is happily single, stride down your aisle individually?
Combined Bridesmaids-Groomsmen Party
Why not! Especially if you each already have both men and women as attendants, why not have a co-ed party involving both groups. Not only do these people then have more of a chance to get to know each other, you can have some fun with your best friends while getting to know your future spouse’s best friends – win/win.
New roles, new rules…or in this case, no rules. Be creative in the way(s) you choose to honor your friends and your lives together. If you are feeling in need of a “steady-hand”; someone to help you think things through, get a professional wedding planner involved! Your wedding is a time to celebrate. Ultimately, do what feels right rather than what you wish felt right.
Monogramming adds a thoughtful detail to any item and is the perfect way to make a gift feel even more special & unique. One of the most important decisions in purchasing a monogrammed gift is selecting the monogram style and order of the initials. But, what is proper monogram etiquette exactly? Which initial goes first? How do different size letters effect the order of the initials? What is appropriate for same-sex couples, opposite-sex couples or singles? We hope we can calm your nerves and guide you in the proper direction to suit your individual needs.
A LITTLE HISTORY
As the oldest form of identification in the world, monograms date back to as early as 350BC. They served many roles, from indicating social status, to serving as a signature for royals and artists, to being a form of currency in the barter system. The earliest known examples were used on coins. The Greek cities who issued the coins, often used the first two letters of the city’s name. Monograms were also used to identify property and were typically ornate, which makes them desirable when adding monograms to elegant gifts even today.
SINGLE-LETTER TRADITIONAL MONOGRAMS
Single-letter monograms, traditionally, represent the last name for both men and unmarried women. Rules for creating monograms for children are the same as those for unmarried adults. For a child it is important to consider where and how they will be using a personalized gift. For safety reasons you may not want to put too much information on something a child will have in public. Choose instead to use a monogram versus a name on something like a backpack.
A single initial that can be either the first or last name initial. Example: Anne Masters or Magie Davies. Modern or traditional, you can’t go wrong. Consider who the gift is for and what fits them best.
If you’re looking for a cool and custom gift to impress the ‘I do crew‘ in your wedding party go with a single initial monogram. It’s a modern twist – First name with first name initial above or just an initial only. Example: Andrew Michael or Michael Davis. Modern or traditional you can’t go wrong. As mentioned above, consider who the gift is for and what fits them best.
THE INFAMOUS THREE-LETTER MONOGRAMS
Traditional, three-letter Victorian monograms are the variety we use most often today. Letter arrangement depends on marital status and letter sizes within the monogram. Monograms add a special touch engagement, weddings and anniversary gifts. Something they will treasure for a lifetime and become family heirlooms.
Single Men and Single Women
Single men and single women use the first initial of their first, middle and last name, in that order.
Large surname letter in the middle
Single men and women would use the first initial of their first, last and middle names, in that order. The last name is always the centered, largest font.
MARRIED THREE INITIAL MONOGRAM
For married same-sex couples who choose to use one last name, even hyphenated, the first initial of the first name on the left is up to the couple as to who would be first. Possibly setting a family tradition going forward with who is always on the left or right. The center initial will be the chosen last name initial. The same initials would be used on linens, glass and tableware.
For married opposite-sex couples the bride’s first initial is on the left of the last name initial and the groom’s first initial is on the right, as in ladies first. (Often used on linens). Shown here on our Traditional Monogram Printed Napkins.
A more traditional view is the groom’s first initial is first and the bride’s first initial is last. (Traditionally used on glass and tableware).
TWO INITIAL MONOGRAM
Different Last Names
For unmarried couples, and married couples who choose to keep their individual last names, both initials of each partners’ last names are used together as a 2-letter monogram. For a more modern twist on the two letter monogram stack initials or enter a horizontal line between them. Example: J|P
Use First Names
For all couples, married or unmarried, you may want to keep it simple and use the initials of each partners’ first names together as a 2-letter monogram. Example: Jenny & Perry Roberts
MARRIED PERSONS INDIVIDUAL MONOGRAMS
It is tradition for the woman to use her maiden name initial as the middle initial in three-letter monograms. Otherwise, she would use her first name initial, married name initial, and middle name initial. Shown above the monogram is in the traditional last name initial in the middle position format.
It is tradition for the man to use his last name initial as the middle initial in three-letter monograms. Otherwise for new-tradition men, he would use his first name initial, married name initial, and middle name initial. Shown above the monogram is in the traditional last name initial in the middle position format.
While a highly decorative script font may look just fine on it’s own, it could be extremely difficult to read when used in traditional three-letter monograms. Also note that although these are the more “traditional monogram rules,” there are no right and wrong ways to create monograms. Most of the time, it depends on the person receiving the gift. Focus on fitting the design to their personality, and you won’t go wrong!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on Monograms. Tell us how you’ve decided what monogram style works for you in the comments below.
It’s finally here – that time in the wedding planning process when you decide on your wedding cake topper.
Do wedding cakes need a topper?
How tall should a wedding cake topper be?
What do wedding cake toppers cost?
Short answer, It depends…
Just how do you decide on your perfect wedding cake topper when there are a ba-zillion wedding cake toppers to look through on Pinterest, dozens of ETSY wedding cake topper shops to ‘favorite’, and too many other wedding decisions competing for your attention. And you can’t leave this decision to the last minute. Your wedding cake baker most definitely needs to know so she/he can make sure your cake can support your cake topper.
So what do you do?
Wedding Cake Topper Types: Traditional vs Modern vs Hobbyist
What fits you as a couple? You could be a traditional couple who loves to play golf (hobby) or a modern couple that loves vintage materials (traditional) or a mountain climbing couple that loves urban design (modern). It’s all in how you mix the match or match the mix. We are all a little bit of all three. Which one works for you? After that we’ll browse materials, colors and price ranges.
Traditional Cake Toppers
Traditional wedding cake toppers usually involve hand-painted porcelain – posed, dressed up and perfect for highly decorated white wedding cakes. These often are or can become family heirlooms and reused from one generation to the next. For same sex couples this may be an impossible find because it’s hard to find figurines that work without going whimsical, stereotypic, or cliche.
Slightly less traditional, yet classic, are figurine pets and children to add to the top of the cake or on the tiers. Porcelain figurines also come in a variety of custom hair colors, skin colors, attire, and poses. If you see mostly toppers that are white and blond, don’t get discouraged. When you don’t see yourself represented – ASK – or let the owner know you are taking your business elsewhere. It’s a great opportunity to push and ask for more inclusivity and cultural diversity in the wedding industry.
Modern Cake Toppers
Acrylic or wood Laser-cut words and phrases are cake toppers that can be used to display a quote, your names, or just your initials. These toppers take an updated approach to a traditional décor piece. There are some beautiful choices out there with acrylic colors in solids, glitter or with metallic finishes. There’s the option of stained wood cut calligraphy which adds an elegant and whimsical feel to any cake design. These are a great way to personalize your wedding day.
Laser cut toppers are easily customizable to commemorate your special day with names, initials, or the date of your wedding. Wood toppers and acrylic blocks can be heavy and require advance planning with the baker. Acrylic cake toppers are often thin (1/4”), somewhat fragile, and will include cake stakes to hold them up. Stakes can be designed to break off easily so that you can store or display your topper after.
A little less modern in the traditional sense – see what I did there – are Silhouette Cake Toppers. They are the ‘vintage’ modern and can be whimsical by adding silhouettes of balloons, words, pets or special items that relate to the two of you. Silhouette Cake Toppers are usually acrylic, but can also be found in wood.
Wire Wedding Cake Toppers are also popular, particularly for brides and grooms wanting a casual, modern vibe. These are not ‘hangers on’ from days-gone-by. These are modern toppers with-a-twist to spell out a variety of different words, monograms or just spell out your name(s) in a fun twisted script. If you are having a dessert table full of trendy Bundt Cakes, a few of these trendy toppers certainly are a nice finishing touch your guests will notice
Hobbyist Cake Toppers
If you have a passion, or love doing a particular thing together, you can show that off on your cake top. There are custom and ready made topper designs for golfers, motorcyclists, dog lovers, beach lovers, and everyone in between! The more meaningful and personalized to your relationship, the better. Hobbyist cake toppers come in a variety of materials – porcelain, wood, acrylic and plastic.
Creative Wedding Cake Toppers and Unique Cake Topper Ideas
Having a Beach wedding? A pair of Adirondack chairs embraces that sun-kissed vibe and romance. A woodland wedding? How about some antlers laser cut out of wood. A garden wedding? What about a topiary initial cake topper. Maybe it’s just simply the BEST DAY EVER! in a custom acrylic color or a beautiful laser cut wreath cake topper for a rustic wedding. If you have a particular theme, there is a cake topper for it.
Same Sex Cake Toppers
When Derek and I were looking for a wedding cake topper we did not have as many choices when it comes to materials and expression. Same sex wedding cake toppers can be as simple as an acrylic Mr. & Mr. to a Bride and Bride Same Sex Wedding Cake Topper Set in Hand Painted Porcelain. Custom acrylic cake toppers with names and dates because they are easy to customize and also in a variety of colors, materials and designs.
Themed Cake Toppers
Cake toppers can also come in a wide range of themes. Disney, Game of Thrones, Vampires, Star Wars, Sports, Harry Potter, super heros, and on and on. Themed weddings with a wedding cake topper to match will take your event from cool to AMAZING. It’s your wedding – go for it.
Funny Cake Toppers
Who doesn’t love a good laugh. Fun and funny cake toppers can range from Batman Legos, funny figurine wedding cake toppers, cake toppers that look like you with bobble heads, and some over-the-top expressive cake toppers.
Floral Cake Toppers
Boho Weddings are famous for amazing floral wedding cake toppers. Dahlias, Tropical leaves, Roses, Eucalyptus, Paper Flowers, Grapevine are all great features on your cake and make a beautiful ode to nature. Check with your baker about whether your live toppers are edible, or ask for sugar versions instead.
Materials and Size
Wire, stone, acrylic, porcelain, wood, plastic, flowers, and paper are all available materials. It comes down to personal preference, keepsake value, cost and vision. I actually think this is the least difficult part of the decision. Once you have your look and feel of your wedding down you’ll know what material would fit best.
Size is largely determined by the size of the cake. If your cake is tiered, it is the top tier size you will want to consider. Most stand alone cake toppers are about 6 inches tall. The more custom your wedding cake topper, the more control you will have over the size, but know that a topper can easily look top heavy. Weight also becomes an issue as size increases. Get your cake baker or wedding planner involved to help you with your decision.
And you don’t need a cake topper for your wedding cake. Some cake designs are best left alone.
Wedding Cake Topper Pricing
Wedding cake topper pricing varies widely. Ready made cake toppers are generally less expensive than custom designs, but still will vary based on materials and personalization. You’ll have to decide what makes sense to you on cost. At Taylor Street we have wedding cake toppers that start at under $30 and have custom wedding cake toppers that could cost you upwards of $100. We try to offer a variety of prices and materials.
Getting married is an incredibly magical and sometimes stressful experience. Wedding cakes are deeply rooted in tradition. Deciding on your cake topper is a little wedding decision with a surprising amount of pressure behind it. Whether you prefer a traditional, modern topper or something with a lot of glitter and flair, we’re sure that Derek and I can help you find that perfect fit here on Taylor Street.
Contact us if you need some help finding what you need. We can check our resources to see what is possible.
We love this color combination for weddings!
Elegant and classy, navy & gold is a sophisticated color combination that appeals to both men and women. Adding white helps to lift the overall feel without pulling focus, and cameras love it. All three of these colors are easy to find, and while interpretations of Navy will vary somewhat, most golds and whites shades are very close.
Navy and gold make a striking night sky color palette, perfect for outdoor evening weddings with a golden sunset as your backdrop. There is nothing subdued about this color combination; it is dramatic, bold and beautiful.
Here are a few of our most popular navy and gold items:
These classy favor boxes are the perfect size for small treats – 2 inch squares. We make these ourselves from heavy duty card stock, no flimsy cardstock wannabe paper used. If you love the idea but are not sure about the geometric pattern, we also offer these in a champagne bubble top. The navy blue pull on top is optional.
We import these candle holders from the Philippines. They are beautifully handcrafted and provide a shimmery candlelight glow, even with battery tea lights. These also make beautiful gifts.
These gold geometric candle holders add a modern element to your reception tables. We show it here as a flower holder, but since the glass holder is included, you can easily use candles or battery operated fairy lights. These look great indoors or outside, and the small eye-lit at the top makes it easy to suspend these in trees or archways.
Our labels come in a variety of colors – including Ivory and Navy. They coordinate beautifully with a variety of wedding reception themes and are easy to use. The black bow tie doesn’t come with these, but we do sell them if you want to kick your wine bottles up a notch!
These mercury glass votives are just perfect for a navy and gold theme. These are 2 inches in diameter and about 2.5 inches high. Guests love these little candle holders as wedding favors. The price is right too.
A great complement to the mercury votives, these glass coaster favors come gift ready in a gold gift box with a clear lid. Coasters have rubber feet too, so they really are a gift your guests (or you) could use over and over again. They capture the navy, gold and white color theme perfectly without being over-the-top. These are affordable at less than $2 per coaster. Sweet.
There you have our most popular navy, gold and white decor, gift and wedding favor ideas. Let us know what you think or if you have any ideas on what to create. We love to create!
Wedding planners are amazing. They are on the front line and I love the absolute creativity and style that the best planners bring to each wedding. I’ve been following Maria at By Your Side Events on Instagram for a while. I love her work. I think you will too. Based in Napa, California, she also travels to wherever her couples are planning their destination weddings. Here’s our interview with Maria at By Your Side Events:
TSF: Tell us a little about you.
Hey everyone! So, this is my first blog post…EVER, I’m excited and a little nervous, but that’s usually the way all great adventures begin, right? I’m so excited that I get to share my thoughts and ideas with you and to hear what you think! I already have so much I want to talk to you about, but let’s start from the beginning.
I am so lucky that I started my journey with a feeling. I didn’t set out to be a wedding planner in the beginning, in fact I thought I wanted to be a teacher. In 2006 I moved from my hometown of Ann Arbor Michigan to Santa Rosa California, I needed a break from the snow, and I guess I was looking for a new adventure. That “break” turned into a permanent residency, and 13 years later, here we are! My passion for events came from a seemingly unlikely source…lesson planning. IT turns out that teaching really wasn’t my thing but planning for my lessons and activities and scheduling out the day made my heart race. I didn’t know what do to with that feeling but I wanted to feel it more, so I kept finding things to do that made my heart happy, (or did they find me?). Lesson planning turned into BEO’s for winery events, which turned into Day Of Timelines which is where we are now. That feeling that I got from planning has now taken on a life of its own, when I get to work with someone on their most special event, and to see their faces on that day it fuels me. It fills my tank and gets me excited to do more.
TSF: What’s Been Your Favorite part of being a Wedding Planner?
I have been asked a few times over the years what my favorite part of the job is, and I can’t say that I do have a favorite part exactly, in fact, I have two. There is something so magical about watching a bride float down the aisle. After I give her dress one last fluff and whisper, “go ahead” she is off; all of the months of planning, phone calls, emails, texts, facetimes, schematics, laughs, sometimes tears and hugs is all happening, it is so cool to see it all come to life!
Also, you know how they say to brides and grooms all the time that your wedding day will go by so quickly, don’t forget to enjoy it? I always tell them don’t forget to EAT and enjoy it, but it is true, and it’s also true for me and my team, just before the ceremony begins it is show time and it all fly’s by in a blink, thankfully we have photographers to help us remember how it all looked and the way we felt on that special day. When I get the pictures back from my couples’ events it’s almost like I get to experience the same feeling that I had with them on their wedding day all over again! I love being able to revisit everything – the getting ready shots, photos during cocktail hour, the first dance and all of the amazing faces that people make during toasts (those are some of my favorites 😊).
TSF: Best piece of advice to give couples planning their wedding.
Ok, well this is going to sound a bit bias and I really don’t mean it to be but hire a planner! I don’t necessarily mean your best friend’s sister or your co-workers friend’s daughter (unless they really are planners) but an actual licensed, educated, professional planner. Here’s why: chances are you have never done this before; planning a wedding is different than planning a birthday party or dinner party. This is the biggest dinner party you are ever going to throw; all of your family and friends are going to be there to celebrate with you and the last thing that you need or want is for something unknowingly preventable to go wrong. We didn’t order enough glasses – your planner would have warned you that you will need extra glasses if your venue doesn’t provide them. Our guests were running to their cars for jackets they were so cold – your planner would have reminded you that your cocktail hour would be outside after the sun set in March and would have added heaters to your rental order for you (and probably saved you 10% – 25% with your rental company because they are a preferred vendor). Our DJ was horrible and just talked the whole time and didn’t play any of the songs on our “play” list – your planner would have made sure that you were matched with the right DJ for your style they would have made sure that your DJ was playing what you wanted to listen to, not what they want to play.
TSF: What is By Your Side Events specialty?
We specialize in planning, coordinating and executing successful, magical events, while having fun along the way! I mean it when I say we will be by your side, we are going to be your wedding planning bestie, not just for the brides but the grooms too.
TSF: Weddings can be stressful. How do you keep yourself relaxed & energized?
My calendar reminders are my lifeline in staying organized, the second I schedule an appointment with someone – boom – it goes on the calendar. If I need a reminder to reach out to someone at a specific time – boom – it goes on the calendar, and most importantly, when I book an event! Boom – It goes on the calendar. I am super blessed that I get to live in such a beautiful area of California and I realize that I take it for granted sometimes, but driving up and down the Silverado Trail or HWY 29 through the vineyards and the hot air balloon parade in the mornings is one of the most relaxing things I never knew I needed! Then when I’m really feeling adventurous, I get to see the Golden Gate Bridge or the cliffs on the 1 after an hour in the car, or even snow after a few hours. Also, wine and just some good old fashion wine and girl talk do the trick too.
TSF: What inspires you professionally?
My couples do, every one of them is different and I have a special bond and unique experience with all of them to where no two events are the same. That means that I get to create or discover something new all the time! Making new discoveries, creating and learning is so inspiring and motivating and fun! It’s really cool to be a part of my couple’s ideas, and it is super interesting to see what is important to people and what their interest are.
TSF: Biggest pet peeve with modern technology in wedding planning?
Just when I feel like I am getting the hang of something, a different something will come up that is the newest, latest and greatest and I have to start all over again. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for evolving, just give me a minute to catch up please!
TSF: What one superpower would you want for your work?
Cloning. I want to be everywhere all the time, there are never enough hours in the day right? On a personal note though, I’ve always been jealous of Snow White, I would love to have conversations with animals!
I do have some other favorite things that fill my tank. When I am not planning weddings or events you will find me in my other happy place, Disneyland (I’m a complete Disney Dork and I don’t care who knows it!) with my daughter, singing wherever I can, going on adventures or being crafty on the couch. Of course, living in Napa, I never pass up a chance to go wine tasting, R and D right?
I can’t wait to share more of my thoughts about all things weddings, events, parties, life, and more with you and to hear some of your adventures too! Talk soon,
There is no single route to finding the best planner for your wedding. Both WeddingWire and The Knot have great lists of suggested questions. If you have a question you’d like to ask Maria about her wedding planning business, or her opinion on anything wedding related, please ask it in the comments below or send us an email.
This month’s spotlight is shining brightly on the husband and wife team Cheetah & Cheetah. The Cheetah’s, Nadine and Brian, were introduced in spring of 2000 by a mutual friend who recognized their mutual love of Cheetahs.
Nadine, a fashion design graduate obsessed with all things cheetah print, and Brian, the loud and very friendly DJ Cheetah, discovered that besides Cheetah’s they also had a mutual love of music.
Nadine: “We bonded over our love of music. Going to Melrose in LA was one of our favorite spots. We could spend hours digging through records trying to find that record we just couldn’t live without. After finding records we would go shopping on Melrose looking for that unique outfit no one else has.”
After dating for two years Brian proposed on a hill called “the top of the world” in Laguna Beach and on September 8th, 2002 we got married at the Hotel Laguna.
In 2009 when their son was 4 years old and expecting their daughter, they decided to make the move to San Luis Obispo, the happiest city in America! SLO, to all the locals, really is the best place to raise a family.
Starting over in a new location was a challenge, but after years of hard work they were back on top and booking most of their weddings together as a husband and wife team.
Brian: “Watching our business grow each year is such a rewarding experience. Especially knowing that we did this all on our own.”
Working together is their preference, always looking for ways to help each other out. As an example Brian will get on the mic and make an announcement to help me get the perfect shot. And Nadine, being out among the guests, will help pass around the wireless mic during toasts. Being a team the collaboration makes things run smoothly. Brides and grooms can be at ease knowing …
Nadine’s love for photography started when she was a teenager.
“I had a pink film camera that I used to take photos of my friends and pets. I would drop off rolls of film to get developed. It was so exciting to get the photos back and see how good my shots were. I also loved to buy fashion magazines, tear out all the fashion photos that inspired me and put the images up all over my walls. The walls in my room were completely covered with beautiful Supermodels like Nadja Auermann, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Shalom Harlow, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista. In high school the book LaChapelle Land by David LaChapelle inspired me take photography classes. Which lead me to photographing the fashion section of my high school year book. Being a wedding photographer is the perfect fit for me. I get to photograph brides in beautiful dresses. Giving me that perfect mix of fashion and photography”.
Brian’s DJ career started by seeing a ‘DJ wanted’ flyer while in college.
“I answered the ad, got the job and immediately knew this was my passion. Bad Boy Bill and Richard Humpty Vision inspired me with the way they mix music. I love to feel the music and bring energy to the dance floor by beat mixing, scratching and adding sound effects. I enjoy weddings because every client has different music requests for me to mix. It’s fun to find new songs that work well together inspiring me to create new mixes.I have so much fun at every wedding I DJ. It is so rewarding to keep the dance floor packed and watch my clients having a good time.”
In 2017 The family, together, made the decision to legally change their last names to cheetah. It is because of their mutual love of cheetahs Brian and Nadine met, married, started a business and a family.
“We all feel very proud to have the last name cheetah.”
Follow the Cheetah’s on Instagram: @DJCheetah.CheetahPhotography
LIKE the Cheetah’s on Facebook: @DJCheetah.CheetahPhotography
Jackie & Mireya were married on November 17th, 2018 at Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles. The event was filled with gold, deep reds, and creams with a few skulls placed around the venue. A simple, but elegant November wedding. Photographed by Nadine Cheetah of Cheetah Photography.
When did you know you were meant to be together? I knew before we were anything serious that she was the one. My soul genuinely felt calm and at peace anytime I was around her.
Who Proposed To Whom? Mireya proposed to me. We had kind of tossed the idea back and forth for a while and almost eloped to Vegas (where else?!) the day she proposed.
How / Where Did You Get Engaged? It was spur of the moment.We were enjoying a cup of coffee at our favorite local bakery, talking about being married and just decided to go for it! We went and picked out a ring together. When her daughter got out of school that day we had a picnic in a cemetery. It sounds creepy, but the cemetery had always been a special place to us. However, about a year before we were engaged my mom had passed from breast cancer. Visiting the cemetery had allowed me to feel close to her. Mireya dropped on one knee while we were there. It was as if my mom was also able to share that moment with me.
What was your Wedding Date? November 17th, 2018
Venue? Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles
Did you have a Coordinator / Planner? Not really. My friend was our day-of coordinator.
Did you have a Theme / Color Scheme in mind or did you wing it? I wouldn’t call it a theme. We had skulls around our venue and our colors were gold, deep reds, and creams. It was very simple, but elegant.
Catering? The Vineyard did the catering and cake and was phenomenal! One less thing to worry about! We did the tastings in their restaurant and that’s what won us over on the venue. We planned our wedding from out of town so it was really convenient.
Photographer? Nadine of Cheetah and Cheetah. Brian and Nadine were a sweet and groovy couple to work with.
Dj? Dj Cheetah
What was your song? Our First dance was Bad Habits by Maxwell
Florist? Bloom N’ Grow Florist
Hair/Makeup? Jacob Hernandez did our hair and FacebyFabe – Fabian Alexander did our make-up
Any advice for couples planning weddings today? Find a quiet moment to have with your spouse right after the ceremony and before the party starts. That special moment, the “why” you decided to spend your life together, is what you will remember after the tequila and champagne hit!
What was your favorite part of your wedding day? Our quiet moments with just the photograph before the party got started. I look back on those pictures and remember exactly how happy I was to have my forever.
Anything Else You’d Like To Share? Enjoy the party and don’t sweat the small stuff!
Finding that first dance song is never easy. Some songs may fit one personality, but you want something that represents you both. Maybe you have a song that you fell in love to, when you first met or had your first kiss. From classic to contemporary, romantic to sappy, rock and roll to country to rap – it’s your day, it’s your song. Below are our top 29 picks for a first dance – not 30, just 29. Our first dance song was Love Me Crazy by Moonshine Collective and we were lucky enough to have them at our wedding. What song did you chose for your first dance?
- Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake
- “At Last,” Etta James – sung by Beyonce
- You & I – John Legend
- All of Me – John Legend
- Perfect – Ed Sheeran
- Simply the best – Noah Reid
- Stand By Me – Tracey Chapman
- Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole
- New York – Alicia Keys
- Love me crazy – Moonshine Collective
- Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha (feat. Florida Georgia Line)
- A Thousand Years – Christina Perri –
- Amazed – Lonestar
- One More Try – George Michael
- The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – George Michael
- You’re My Best Friend – Queen
- Better Together – Jack Johnson
- Yours – Ella Henderson
- You Are The Best Thing – James TW
- Marry Me – Train
- How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
- You Are The Reason – Calum Scott
- Home – Michael Bublé
- The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
- The Rest of Our Life – Tim McGraw, Faith Hill
- Can’t Help Falling in Love – Haley Reinhart
- Someone Like You – Van Morrison
- No one – Alicia Keys
- “Marry Me” – Jason Derulo
Let us know in the comments below what song you chose for your first dance.
- Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake