Monday, November 30, 2009

Hot Trend...Brown, the new black?

Here’s a color that I love to see at fall or winter weddings. Brown sometimes gets a bad rap for being drab or muddy, but I totally disagree.

I think certain shades of this misunderstood color can be elegant and rich and add a touch of sophistication. Much like a black and white wedding, a brown theme pops against bright winter white and creamy ivory.

Or, if you are in search of a burst of color, brown nicely complements popular hues like pink, pale blue, orange and red. Think how gorgeous a bouquet of pink flowers would look next to a chocolate color bridesmaid dress.

Incorporate brown into your wedding invites with a deep shade for your envelopes and font color, or tie up a traditional white or ivory card with a brown ribbon.

Rather than go with all brown linens, introduce the shade in small ways, like with napkin rings, chargers and placecards.

Brown also pairs well with metallics, like silver and gold. If you really want to sweeten things up, put little hot cocoa power in chic canisters or personally wrapped chocolate bars on the tables as party favors to tie everything together.

And don’t forget the devil’s food cake! Add some warm candlelight and you have all the ingredients for a cozy romantic event.

I particularly like how Jessica & Keith Gilbert (one of this issue's Feature Real Weddings) incorporated brown into their event: Bridesmaids' skirts (love the pairing with the ivory cardigans), their brown accented cake, and Jessica's peek-a-boo brown shoes! Subtle and elegant!

To see more of Jessica & Keith's wedding photos, check out the current issue of Real Weddings Magazine, or see their wedding on our Web site.
Photos of Jessica & Keith's wedding by Sarah Maren Photography,

Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cause Worthy

Here’s a cool way to cross a few tasks of your “to-do” list and help a great charity in the process. Two philanthropic organizations, the I Do Foundation and JustGive recently teamed up to better serve the charitable wedding sector.

"The I Do Foundation has always envisioned a world where charitable giving was a more integral part of many life events," says Executive Director Grant La Rouche. "With our new home at JustGive, we are well positioned to build on our success with weddings for other areas of charitable giving."

Here’s how it works: First, you register your wedding via From there you can link your registry to any of the retail partners aligned with the program, like Target, Mikasa or any stores connected to From your personal Web page, your guests will be able to make purchases like a traditional registry, but a small percentage of the sales will go to a charity of your choosing. It’s that easy.

Both programs also provide a service for couples seeking to make a donation in their guests’ honor. This is also a wonderful opportunity to make memorial to a family member or friend, or celebrate your local community with a contribution to a worthy cause.

Visit them online to learn more about the participating charities and vendors. or

Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Recent Serrano Bridal Show

We recently had the opportunity to participate in the Serrano Bridal Show at Serrano Country Club. It was a wonderful event put together by Cherhonda, Roxie and their team at Been There Done That Productions on November 15th.

The talented Mike Jensen of Jensen Wedding Films captured the day on film -- click here to check it out!

Be sure to mark your calendars for BTDT's Folsom Bridal Show coming up on April 25, 2010 at Lake Natoma Inn. For more information, log on to their web site:

And, be sure to check out our Planning Tools Web page and our Bridal Events Calendar in our print magazine for even more upcoming bridal shows!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Five Mistakes to Avoid During the Wedding Planning Process

We recently asked Wedding Planning Pro Lora Ward from A Day To Remember Wedding and Event Planners for some tips to help brides achieve a more blissful wedding planning process – and, she's graciously agreed to be a guest blogger on our site!

So here's her first entry: Five Mistakes to Avoid During the Wedding Planning Process:

1. Wedding Gown Delivery Date – don’t give your exact wedding date to the bridal gown salon. Request (insist) that your gown be delivered at least two weeks prior to your actual wedding date. Mistakes in ordering, delivery problems or alterations could take longer than expected. Peace of mind is everything!

2. A “friend of a friend” – don’t get swayed by a good pitch or a price that’s too good to be true. Hire a professional vendor (whether it’s a photographer, caterer, florist or DJ), as they are prepared and can handle any unusual situation and have experience “walking the walk.” You cannot repeat your wedding day so don’t set yourself up for possible failure and regret.

3. The “B” word (Budget) – weddings, like home construction, almost always cost more than you originally planned. If you have an absolute set amount, research every expense in advance, don’t wait until the moment of hiring as you’ll be up against the wall, then. Track every dime, and keep the head count manageable.

4. Hair and make-up scheduling – like the first doctor appointment of the morning, if it runs late, you’ll spend hours trying to catch up to run on schedule. Set the appointment with your stylist/artist far earlier in the day than you think; communicate with the stylist/artist exactly what services are needed and don’t throw in any last minute services… you’ll run late!

5. Private/Professional Planner vs. Facility Coordinator – don’t assume the person who walks the floor at your event is also your personal wedding planner. While he/she can be and often are very helpful to you, he/she works for “the house.” They will take great care of the staff, the meal service and other details of the facility (and are often taking care of those same details in another part of the building for a second event). Services you’ll need throughout the planning of your wedding (sometimes a year long process) needs more than just the facility coordinator. Remember, a successful wedding depends on excellent planning.

About A Day To Remember Wedding and Event Planners:
A Day to Remember Wedding and Event Planners believes planning the wedding of your dreams should be just like falling in love… joyful and effortless!

Your wedding will have a myriad of details that a professional consultant and wedding planner will have the experience to deal with, and the knowledge to implement. A Day to Remember Wedding and Event Planners listen to your wishes and concerns, offering guidance and providing peace of mind.

Based in Sacramento, California, A Day to Remember Wedding and Event Planners have 25 years experience coordinating and planning special events in the Northern California area, including the Greater Sacramento area, Napa Valley, Sierra Foothills/Gold Country and Lake Tahoe and are available for travel to your destination. They are here to help you plan and coordinate a worry-free wedding that will be memorable, exciting, unique and romantic.

Be sure to check out A Day to Remember Wedding and Event Planners' Web site: and Lora's blog:

Photo above of cover model finalist Theresa Garcia by Jodi Yorston Photography, dress by Alfred Angelo, flowers by Ambience Floral Design and hair/make-up by Nevaeh Boutique, Spa, Salon. Shot on location at Cosmo Cafe.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WOOHOO! The new issue of Real Weddings Magazine has arrived!

We're so incredibly excited to announce the arrival of our newest issue, Real Weddings... Sacramento to the Sierra, Winter 2010! Our team worked really hard on this issue (we actually equate it to giving birth!) and we hope that you, our darling brides, will really like it and find inspiration in the pages of Real Weddings Magazine.

This issue features our cover model winner, Kimmi Armstrong!

In addition to Kimmi, this issue features our other stunning cover model finalists, real brides Kate Adams and Theresa Garcia (all three of these women will appear together on our Spring 2010 issue which will come out at the end of February 2010).

These young women allowed us to poke and prod them and get them all guzzied up for our photo shoot this past September at our photo shoot at Cosmo Cafe, Esquire Grill and Spataro. Gorgeous young women, talented hair and make-up teams, beautiful dresses from local area bridal boutiques, fabulous flowers, cool locations and, of course, the talented Jodi Yorston of Jodi Yorston Photography all came together on a perfect fall day! (We hope to have some more photos from the shoot loaded to our Web site in the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back!)

Yes, it's true, we put real brides on the covers of our magazines! Each issue, hundreds of local area brides enter to be one of our three cover model finalists. Are you interested in entering? If so, click here to download our entry form. One word of advice, show us your personality on the answers to the questions -- we love working with brides who have a lot of spunk, personality, humor and who are just darned cool girls. Be sure that your answers really reflect who you are! Also, be sure to read all of the rules to make sure that you're eligible to enter.

Thanks so much to all of the vendors who participated in our cover model photo shoot:

Photographed on location at:
Cosmo Cafe, Esquire Grill and Spataro Restaurant and Bar, Part of the
Paragary Restaurant Group
Cosmo Cafe
10th & K, Sacramento
Esquire Grill
13th & K, Sacramento
Spataro Restaurant and Bar
14th & L, Sacramento

Photography by:
Jodi Yorston Photography

Jewelry provided by:
Jazzy Jewelz by Nancy
6545 Chesbro Circle
Rancho Murieta

Dresses provided by:
Alfred Angelo
1208 Galleria Boulevard
917-797-1919, 775-826-7300

Always Elegant Bridal Boutique
229 Clark Avenue
Yuba City

The Bridal Box
8546 Madison Avenue
Fair Oaks

Diamond Bridal Gallery
6963 Douglas Boulevard
Granite Bay

Dreamnette Bridal
1850 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 988

Miosa Bride
1125 J Street

Hats and Headpieces
provided by:
Advantage Bridal

Gena Conti Millinery

Hair and Make-up for
Kimmi by:
Image Provocateur and
VIP-CAT Academy

232 Vernon Street

Hair and Make-up for
Kate by:
Fay Linson, Hair
Shari Whisler, Make-up
Dynamic Images Salon & Day Spa

611 Placerville Drive

Hair and Make-up for
Theresa by:
Jennifer Gouge, Hair
Taryn Passifione, Make-up
Nevaeh Boutique, Spa, Salon

9205 Sierra College Boulevard

Flowers provided by:
Ambience Floral Design
7251 Galilee Road, Suite 115

Botanica Floral Designs
Serving the Sacramento Area

1913 Capitol Avenue, Suite B

Visual Impact Design
2443 Maryal Drive

Pick up a copy of the Winter 2010 issue of Real Weddings Magazine today!

Blog post by Wendy Sipple, Editor/Publisher.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time to Pamper!

Many brides are ditching the traditional “night-out” bachelorette parties and booking mini-escapes with the girls.

Lucky for us, Tahoe makes for a great weekend getaway, both because of its stunning beauty and overall convenience. One of my favorite retreats in Tahoe is the Trilogy Spa in Squaw Valley. This sprawling, 4,000-square-foot retreat makes the perfect venue for a day of relaxation and pampering.

Trilogy offers special packages tailored to wedding parties with customized treatments, goodie bags, tropical snacks and plenty of Champagne. Some of the spa’s most luxurious services include a Lomi Pohaku Stone Massage, the DRENCH Cascading Vichy Rainbar, an Awapuhi White Ginger Body Treatment and SOAK Moana Plunge Tub with Maile Floral Melt.

If you and your girls choose to rent a house for the weekend, Trilogy can also arrange for an in-home spa party, so you never need to leave the comforts of your accommodations to enjoy a day of bliss.

To speak with a spa manager, call 530-584-6125. Trilogy Spa is located in The Village at Squaw Valley, 1850 Village South Road, Olympic Valley.

Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Delta King's Bridal Open House

We were honored recently to be part of another bridal open house at the Delta King.

Unfortunately, I couldn't be there myself, so I asked Catering & Wedding Sales Manager Jenny Johnson to sum up the day, and here's what she had to say:

"You would have LOVED the fashion show!!! Seniya with the Diamond Bridal Gallery is a rock star! Her models and dresses were beautiful and Image Provocateur did an
amazing job on their hair and makeup. Lora Ward from A Day to Remember Wedding and Event Planning gave a wonderful speech on "How to Organize a Fairly Flawless Wedding Day." All the vendors did a great job, and I'm really appreciative to have their support, especially Sound
Image Entertainment
, Mimi & Co. , River City Cake Company, Diamond Bridal
, A Day to Remember Wedding and Event Planning, JnJ Treasures and Eye

Delta King's next bridal open house won't be until June 2010 -- be sure to watch our Web sites ( and for more details!

Blog post by Wendy Sipple, Publisher/Editor.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good Grooming...One for the Guys

For guys with style, putting a wedding ensemble together doesn’t always start at the tux rental shop.

A trend we're seeing is that more and more grooms are stepping out of the traditional template and suiting up their own handsome tailored threads.

From made-to-measure suits to colorful pocket squares, dapper dudes are stepping it up and looking sharp (afterall, it’s their big day too).

So, where does the fashionable gent go for a winning look? Retailers like Julius in Sacramento ( and Patrick James in Sacramento (, along with custom clothier like Navin's (, have excellent track records outfitting grooms in quality suits and ties.

Another shopping resource grooms are taking full advantage of is the wonderful Web.

Online stores like Fine and Dandy Shop ( carry a variety of slick accessories, like ties, bowties, ascots and handkerchiefs, at reasonable prices. Plus, they also blog, offering fantastic tips on dressing and current trends, recently posted a lookbook for visual reference.

Fine and dandy, indeed.

Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist, Darren Elms.

Photos courtesy of Fine and Dandy Shop.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We've been blogged!!

Ok, we're such suckers -- we LOVE being blogged!!!

My friends Brandon and Kami from Sound Image Entertainment just emailed me to let me know about a wedding that they just posed to their blog...and it mentions Real Weddings Magazine!! Love that!

So I ventured over to their blog and got to check out their clients Tyler and Alicia's wedding, shot by the talented Jodi Yorston (who just shot our cover model finalists shoot for our next issue of Real Weddings Magazine) at the Carvalho's Family Winery at Old Sugar Mill.

We love this location -- it was the locale for our cover model finalist photo shoot for the current issue. And, it's close to my heart because I did my "trash the dress" shoot with Sarah Maren Photography at this location too!

Brandon and Kami are wonderful people, amazing wedding professionals -- thanks for sharing Tyler and Alicia's wedding with us -- it looks like it was a lot of fun! I loved the songs that they chose for their wedding, particularly the theme from St. Elmo's Fire. Congrats to you Tyler and Alicia on your wedding!

To learn more about Brandon and Kami and Sound Image Entertainment, check out their Web site:

Blog post by Wendy Sipple, Publisher/Editor.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ready for My Close-up!

If there’s one thing we hear over and over from our brides featured in our Real Weddings, it’s that they regret not having used a videographer. They love their still photos from their wedding photographers, but as they reflect back on their wedding day, they say that it went by so quickly and now is such a blur.

Finding a good (and reliable!) videographer can be tricky business -- and, you may be tempted into having a friend or family member act as your videographer. But in the end, will you be happy with the results?

We asked Eric Leas from Acti-Video what he's experienced over his nearly 20 years as a videographer in the Sacramento area. Here's what he had to say on the subject:

"A friend or relative might be able to videotape your wedding, but most likely, if they don't do it professionally, they won't have the same tools a professional possesses to do the job properly, and it will really show in the results.

I have had many, many couples call and show me footage from their wedding that a friend or a family member who claimed to be 'pretty good with a camera,' asking me for help to fix it or to help present it in a more professional manner. Unfortunately, the footage is just terrible and I cannot fix it for them.

The reality is that there is no replacement and no 'do overs' -- if only these couples had hired a professional in the first place, it would have saved them heartache, bad memories and in some instances cost!"

Of course, we recommend hiring a professional videographer to capture your big day (so that you can share it with your grandchildren 50 years from now!). To find the right one for you, Eric recommends checking out several videographers' Web sites, and then meeting with your chosen few. He equates finding the right videographer to matching the right director with the right movie…requires talent, vision and a good relationship between collaborators.

Check out this recent wedding video clip that Eric and his team at Acti-Video produced:

About Acti-Video Productions:

Acti-Video Productions has been serving our area for nearly 15 years, covering not only Sacramento proper, but wedding destinations as far as San Francisco, Napa and Tahoe. These guys know their stuff, getting all your most precious moments on high-definition cameras with authenticity and care, forever captured on DVD or Blu-ray. They offer a variety of packages and plenty of extras, including the “First Dance Romance” Video Edit, “Original Love Story” Video Edit, and "Wedding Day Replay," to name a few.

Visit their Web site at, or call them at 916-788-1690.

Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid columnist Darren Elms.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Honeymoon Destination Idea

Divine Destination...Taha’a

One of the best-kept secrets in French Polynesia is a small island just a couple hours by plane from the main hub of Tahiti. Taha’a, known as the Vanilla Island, truly captures the essence of the South Pacific experience – beauty, romance, tranquility and an exploration of all five senses.

After arriving in Tahiti, you’ll take a short plane ride to the island of Raiatea and a boat cruiser to the Relais & Chateaux Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, a private oasis just off the main island of Taha’a. Everything you’ve heard about French Polynesia comes vividly to life at this tropical paradise – warm waters in every shade of blue, white sand beaches, delicious cuisine full of local flavors, and finest the hospitality and service you can imagine. The resort offers day trips to the main island, where you can explore wild botanical gardens, fragrant vanilla plantations and black pearl farms. But, nothing beats the seductive starry walks back to your over water bungalow with the moon shimmering on the Pacific. Needless to say, I was totally bewitched by the charms of Taha’a. Book this amazing getaway for your honeymoon and prepare to fall under its spell.

For more information, visit

Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist, Darren Elms

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Wedding Class Bridal Event

We recently hosted our third bridal event, The Wedding Class at Whitney Oaks Golf Club.

Thank you to all of our participating vendors!


Andrea’s Images

D Elaine Photography


Dynamite Weddings

Exquisite Events & Entertainment

Granite Bay Floral

Jaclyn Photography

Jazzy Jewelz by Nancy

Mimi & Co.

Siegel’s Portrait Design

Stephanie J Designs

Sweet Cakes by Rebecca

The Makeup Artist Academy

Whitney Oaks Golf Club
916-632-8333 Ext. 20

And thanks to all who gave us goodies for our special Wedding Class Wag bags!

• Thank you cards provided by
• Beauty products provided by
• VIP shopping pass provided by
• Chapstick and $5 off coupon provided by
• Petal cones provided by
• Bookmarks favors and band-aid favors provided by
• Eyelashes provided by
• "Will you be my bridesmaid" cards provided by
• Bride license plate frames, Bride-to-be buttons and a special offer provided by
• Wedding DVD provided by
• Wedding stickers provided by
• Magnets provided by
• Cupcakes provided by
• Long stemmed roses provided by
• Wedding planning binder and Real Weddings Magazine provided by

Watch our Web site for shows coming up in 2010!