Viewing posts categorised under: Blog

The Art & Essence of the Professional Tasting

Blog, Event Planning Advice / 04.21.20150 comments

CC Matt Roberts Tasting Room

Catering Connection Private Tasting Room | Photo by Matt Roberts of Rewind Photography

Many wedding clients feel that a mass-produced meal event could not have the quality and caliber of an intimate more private dinner for two at one of the area’s leading restaurants.  Santa Barbara has several leading full-service caterers that prove otherwise and one of them – who just celebrated 20 years in business as one of the area’s finest- Catering Connection– confirmed just that.  Using only the freshest produce and ingredients, Catering Connection clients are always

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The Appetizer Wedding Reception : What Doesn’t Work & Two Solutions

Blog, Event Planning Advice / 04.08.20150 comments

Photo Credit: Chelsea Elizabeth

Photo Credit: Chelsea Elizabeth

Every wedding and special event has a spending plan.  Whether you have $2,000 or $2million, at some point, one has to make choices.  One of the ways many couples decide to save money on their wedding reception food and beverage (the largest “slice” of the wedding budget) is by nixing a formal meal plan altogether.  This is fine in theory, but if not done properly, guests end up paying the price and all that will be remembered was a miserable wedding.

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When a Workshop Is Held In a Wedding Chapel | Weddings at The Grand Sierra

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Industry Shenanigans, Special Events / 01.28.20150 comments

Grand sierra chapelWhen NACE Reno/Tahoe asked me to do a workshop on generating immediate revenue for wedding businesses for my other company division, Engaging Inspiration, I was delighted.  When I found out that my presentation was going to be in the newly-renovated wedding chapel of The Grand Sierra Resort, I was absolutely tickled. I love originality and creative locations and how could a presenter ask for a more elegant setting for a wedding industry presentation than in a wedding chapel?

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Complimentary Firestone, Foley & Lincourt Wedding Planning Guide Announced

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Event Planning Advice, News / 01.22.20150 comments

FFW Wedding Planning GuidePlanning a Santa Barbara wine country wedding at the world-renowned  locales of the Foley Family Wine Group just got a lot easier.  Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings and Events introduces a Wedding Planning Guide customized to each Foley Family Winery : Firestone Winery, Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery and Lincourt Winery.  Each beautiful & distinct property has an infinite number of possibilities and this guide walks you through the possibilities of each site, all while maintaining FFW’s policies and unique logistics and considerations in mind, so you are assured of a seamless event. 

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So You Saved A Few Dollars Hiring a Coordinator for a Few Hours Only. Congratulations. It Shows.

Blog, Rants / 12.04.20140 comments

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Photo by Mary Jane Weddings | Location: San Ysidro Guest Ranch

“Oh, I’m really hands on,”  the caller says to me during our initial interview.  “I will do all my own planning. I just need a few things put out and someone to direct vendors,  day-of.”  This is generally where our conversation and interview end or, if they are genuinely interested in the expertise of a professional, I can provide some education that helps to re-direct their thought premise.  The fatal thinking behind this notion is simply this:   the caller is most likely doing wedding planning for the first time and as a seasoned wedding professional, this is my approximate six hundredth.  There is no such thing as a  “hands on” bride who can flawlessly execute her wedding planning solo and have it turn out seamless. It is  because of this: 

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When It’s Time to Get Real About Your Wedding Venue & Budget. Top 3 Mistakes Clients Make

Blog, Event Planning Advice / 10.04.20140 comments

kld collage4It’s time for a reality check.  After hundreds of  weddings, I see this almost all the time:  couples come to our world-renowned Santa Barbara including  its beautiful wine country and see the epic resorts, private estates, ranches, beaches and wineries and they are smitten.  This is one of the reasons I’m so proud to call this place home and specialize in weddings in America’s Riviera.  The location options afford a unique wedding experience for the wedding couple that they – and their guests- will remember for a lifetime.

That said, with venue rentals ranging $7,000-$10,000+ just for the location (and often locations with incredible restrictions), many newly-engaged wedding-location- seekers are so star struck when they find that “perfect” venue that is “the” one, they will do whatever it takes at any cost to host their wedding at that location.  This means that they will

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Fresh Holiday Party Trends for 2014

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Special Events / 09.25.20140 comments

Photo: Hotel Kings Court

Photo: Hotel Kings Court

With the corporate economy improving,  the company holiday party has returned.  However, after having such a hard-hit economy with individuals and companies struggling the last several years, many company parties are returning to a holiday party experience with a conscience.  They are also offering an “experience” for guests and not just a meal with a DJ (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The latest trends include:

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Wine Country Wedding at the Mission and Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort

Blog, Real Weddings / 09.19.20140 comments

alisal lauren and brian landscape and invitationLauren and Brian chose the Santa Ynez Mission to exchange vows for their wedding ceremony.  For their reception, they chose a location that had been a family vacation tradition with Lauren’s family for years: Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort.  The Sycamore Room, which is adjacent creekside to lush trees and the main entrance of the ranch, offers tranquility with soft , plentiful lawn space, all with the sound of a soft creek running nearby for cocktail hour.  Inside, for dinner, guests enjoyed a cozy roaring fire in the river rock fireplace and sounds of

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Feasting Fabulousness |A Connected Dining Experience

Blog, Special Events / 06.11.20140 comments

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l-r : Jill Remy of Jill&Co, Cori Lassahn of Avante Events & Kerry Lee Dickey of Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events

There are those moments in life when you truly realize that the pretense of what you are doing on the surface has actually little to nothing to do with the “real” moment you are supposed to be experiencing.  Such was last night at Trattoria Grappolo‘s in Santa Ynez, in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country.

The invitation said simply to come for

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Cocktails-N-Vinyl Vintage Basement Party

Blog, Special Events / 04.20.20142 comments

imageHow does a gal who grew up in the 1970’s in Southern California in a basement-less home decide to host a basement-party themed celebration?  I love the way middle-class parties were done in the 1950’s – 1970’s and I spent a year as a child living with my grandmother in the Pacific Northwest where she had an incredible basement and I attended a few basement parties in my friend’s homes. It always felt like a private world away from “reality” and lots of open space to just “hang”.  Fast forward to 2014, where it felt like a fun and inspired twist to  a “happy hour”.  Throw in my passion for music and love of the sound of music on vinyl with all the pops and scratches, and I suppose it makes me feel nostalgic for

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