A Groom’s Guide to a Destination Wedding

So, you are lucky enough to have booked that dream wedding in the sun. A taste of bridal paradise if you will. From mingling in Maui to sunning it up in Seychelles, grooms need to pay attention to those vital details. 

And we are not just talking about throwing their passport and sunnies into his hand luggage. Oh, no folks…but before you shout Bon Voyage, there’s so much more to a destination wedding. 

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Image Source: www.truephotography.com

Even before you kick off your flip flops on the golden sands, there is lots of prep to undertake. In the first place, consider getting suited and booted before you jet off to your wedding hotspot. Squeezing into your three-piece or tux like a penguin? It will certainly be worth it as there will be no time for adjustments at 30,000 feet. 

Meanwhile, a groom should think about what to pack. After all, he can’t be waddling around in his tux for the entire weekend. Whether flying off to a long or short-haul location, you will be at your venue for at least a few days. 

In this way, it is imperative you pack enough clothes so you don’t get hot under the collar. Jaunting off to tie the knot? Read on and consult our one of a kind beach wedding guide for grooms.

Protect Those Essentials

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

We have all heard about getting protection. 

Well, this is all about providing security for the groom’s wedding gear. If you are heading to a tropical resort you will need to factor in what you actually require to ensure a seamless luggage collection at the other end. 

First things first, why not consider buying a smart garment bag for your specific attire. Ideal for a destination wedding, whack in your wedding costume as well as any accessories such as a tie clip, cufflinks or boutonnieres for the ultimate storage solution. 

If you’re taking everything but the kitchen sink or packing a few key items, you may want to invest in a stylish weekender bag. Effortlessly chic and super luxurious, strut to your wedding destination in style thanks to a sleek and spacious holdall. 

Great for short trips, there are numerous articles like this one offering ideas on the best travel bags. 

Thank Your Bros

It’s not quite time yet to sit back by the pool with a Pina Colada or Mojito. 

Remember, you are going to have a think about how to thank your buddies…at least in between having a dip in the plunge pool.

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Image Source: True Photography

And what better way to show your appreciation for years of friendship and crazy capers with a top-notch groomsmen gift. Although your gang will want to make your wedding into the Hangover, your pals deserve as much pampering as the groom.

In this way, you should really put some thought into spoiling them rotten. Go for something that is not only long-lasting but will also make a lasting impression. Tailor your groomsmen present to your pals’ tastes, hobbies, and interests and he will cherish those man hugs even more.

On the other hand, you don’t want something cluttering up your man’s closet so finding a practical groomsmen gift is just as important. How about a money clip, leather wallet or a smart beer mug? Smack on personalization for a truly unique man gift. 

Are you already at the check-in desk? Have some downtime before the big bash? If you cannot find room in your man bag check out a range of custom groomsmen gift sites 

such as ZAZZLE.COM, AMAZON.COM, and GROOMSMENGIFTSOURCE.COM.

Meet the Manager

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Image Source: www.truephotography.com

One of the key areas you need to literally lockdown is all matters concerning the wedding and the venue itself. 

Ranging from food and beverage to guest accommodation queries, you should discuss everything in detail with the hotel manager including room rates. As a result, your guests can benefit from discounted lodging for the duration of their stay. 

Better still if you have a dedicated event or wedding planner on site, you can easily rack their brains with this and other queries. 

Food Glorious Food

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Image Source: www.truephotography.com

The dining experience will need to be given proper care and consideration over. With Zoom now de rigeur, arrange a few meetings over this platform before embarking on your journey.

When it comes to the menu, go over the details regarding food ideas or a cuisine you prefer from your travels with your better half. And leave no wedding stone unturned as far as the venue is concerned. Make sure everything is covered with your designated planner from the seating plan to the open bar.

If your head is in a marital spin there are many articles offering insight on how to plan the perfect destination wedding.

Thank you Emma with www.vowtobechic.com for this great guest blog!

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Simplifying the Wedding

Everyone has their own idea of their perfect wedding. Be it large or small, they all require quite a bit of planning and research to pull off an ideal nuptial event.

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Flexibility is the key to simplicity and a smooth planned event.

Modify the Guest List

When there is a larger guest list, things to consider such as venue, parking, menu, and drinks are all a priority. Most places have a per person charge for food and that is whether you have it in-house or catered.

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By limiting guests to close family and friends, your finances are free for more venue and menu options. Continue reading

Advice For a Stress Free Wedding Day!

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with San Diego Party Ride, a local luxury limousine company. They compiled a list of advice from wedding planners all over the San Diego metro. As a featured participant, I’ve been given a wonderful opportunity to offer my advice on how to bring together the two families for a wedding.  As a lot of you know, this can be harder than it seems!

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At Your Side Planning is thrilled to be part of this interesting piece! With all the different opinions shared by other wedding planners, I believe this is a great resource for any bride and grooms out there currently preparing for their wedding. Keep in mind that your wedding is a unique time and the memory of this day will forever last. Check out the article HERE, you might learn a thing or two on uniting your families on that big day of yours! Continue reading

Bridal Party Gifts

Wedding gift ideas for the bridal party.

You’ve planned the wedding and are feeling a sense of relief.   Hold on.  You’re not done yet… Bridal party gifts are still on your list! Trying to come up with new, fresh ideas for bridal parties can be tough. Start by searching Pinterest and Etsy to get your creative vibes flowing.  Next, think unique, think about something that means something to you and your future husband or wife. Some brides choose to gift their ladies with accessories for the wedding day such as jewelry, purses or robes for the morning of the wedding! A bride that taught English in Japan gave her bridesmaids kimonos to wear while getting ready for the wedding.  A small wooden crate filled with some special soaps, alcohol, candy, can always make a great gift when thoughtfully presented.  A mini bar in a jar packed with your favorite mini alcohol bottles will always be everyone’s favorite.

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Although most would love Tiffanys jewelry, it’s not in the budget for many.  A nice alternative is a personalized necklace, bracelet, or ring from Etsy which coordinates to a spot you and each person loves (Think favorite restaurant, vacation spot, college dorm, sorority house, where you hang out with each person).  With a little thought, you can put together a gift all will adore no matter your budget.

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Photo credit: Photography by Anjuli

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Unique Favor Ideas

Can’t decide what your perfect fit wedding party favor is for your special day? Look no further and get off of Pinterest, because we made you a list of the most loved wedding favors of 2016  guests can’t stop talking about. Leaving your guest with an unforgettable special gift  to take home at the end of the night will make your guests  feel like they are an important part of your most memorable day. We love photobooth photos as a great way to say thank you for celebrating with us. Photobooths are always fun for everyone!

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Don’t let them leave the fun. Make them take it home by creating personalized engraved bottle openers. Every time they use their unique bottle opener they will remember your special day and fun times they had with you. Continue reading

Creating your own Photobooth!

Photo stations have become part of the wedding reception culture. Without a doubt when you attend a wedding these days, there will be a photo booth or photo station! They are interactive, fun and a great way for guests to meet one another.

If a professional photo booth is not in your budget, don’t worry! There are many cost effective ways to create your own photo station without breaking the bank. The first step is to scope out your venue and decide on the best location. The ideal spot is somewhere with a solid wall or a place to hang a backdrop. If you choose to use a backdrop you can purchase a solid or designed sheet, curtain or tapestry. You can even make your own by ripping different solid colored sheets into strips and hanging them. Use a bamboo curtain for a tropical themed wedding or make a sparkly curtain with little round mirrors glued to string. Not too crafty? Choose a shower curtain with a map on it and have guests color in where they’re from with markers!

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Sponsors in Weddings! Who are these people?

Last year we planned and coordinated many weddings in which sponsors were part of the ceremonies. Sponsors are people who are special to the bride and groom, such as family members, who hold key roles in the ceremony such as holding a special items like a the bible, coins, the cord, or veil. These items are tradition within Catholic ceremonies. This is a cultural tradition that began many years ago when sponsors were there to assist the couple financially. Today it is significant more so as honoring those close to the couple. The sponsors names are included in the program and they are part of the ceremony processional, entering after family and prior to the bridal party. Some couples include the sponsors names on the wedding invitations as well.

Ceremony_241-LThank you Torrico Photography

Celia and Kevin had all the items listed included in their ceremony and chose those people who meant alot to them to be sponsors. In the past year, the majority of our weddings included sponsors; at least 4 couples! Each bride and groom have different preferences on choosing the ways to incorporate their sponsors. One couple chose to pair their sponsors with someone other than their spouse as it was considered good luck!

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AL1_8445Thank you Lowery Photography

Leslie and Josh chose to do this for their ceremony at the Immaculata and it was wonderful. Having sponsors makes everything so much fun. The grand entrances into the reception, which include announcing sponsors, should be given a significant amount of time because if there are family, sponsors and a large bridal party, it can be quite a bit for the emcee to say! Normally sponsors also have a specific color of attire as well so that all is cohesive with the wedding design, bridal party and colors. Sponsors are a fun and meaningful way to incorporate both tradition and significant people into your wedding ceremony.

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_BHV4127Thank you Bob Hoffman

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The Real Deal In Changing Your Last Name!

So, is it really that chaotic to change a young ladie’s last name?

When I first reviewed the steps I had created in a quick article for a prior bride, I must admit I became a little overwhelmed. First of all, I wasn’t sure I was completely ready to let go of my current last name. I considered the idea of hyphenating, but that was too much for me, personally. My maiden name is Romero and my husband’s is Bribiesca…I know right?! It comes from a small town in Spain, Briviesca, which we will visit one day soon, I am sure.  After speaking to a few friends who had recently been married, I decided it wouldn’t be so difficult to change my name to Bribiesca.

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The first step is receiving the marriage certificate, which shows the marriage is legal. I was married in Hawaii so rather than the typical one month, it took about 3 ½. Our friend married us, so we questioned if he did everything correctly and if we were even really married. We were thankful when we received our certificate!

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The next step was going to the social security office and applying for a new card with the SS-5 form, which can be accessed here. When I went to the social security office I took my marriage certificate, my social security card, birth certificate, and ID, along with copies of the marriage certificate just in case.  I went to the social security office in La Mesa, CA and grabbed a number, spoke to an employee, and then waited for about 10 minutes. The gentleman who called my name was very nice. He couldn’t pronounce my new last name but said my ring was gorgeous and that my husband did great. He also said that with my receipt of name change, I was ready to go anywhere I needed to.

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The next place I went was DMV to get a new license to reflect my new name. I made an appointment so I was in and out within minutes! After DMV, I plan on getting my passport, which just expired last year, so the timing couldn’t be better.  I will hold onto my current ID since so many places have me as Diana Romero and I plan on tackling those at a steady pace.

Here are the other places I will need to go:

  • My bank to adjust all my accounts

  • My employer’s records, health insurance, retirement accounts and any IDs

  • Bills such as SDG&E and other utilities and Victoria’s Secret!

  • Gym membership

  • Insurance companies (car, home, health)

  • Post office to request a change of address form in order to change the name

  • Credit cards

  • Any automatic withdrawals from my account

After beginning the process, I realized it’s not all that crazy. I know it will take some time to go to and call all the places I need to, but I am giving myself some time to complete it all. After I complete the name change, I am going to make an announcement to all my family and friends! I think it’s a wonderful event in life and can’t wait to share!

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Unique Bridal Entrances!

“Here Comes The Bride”, originally written for Lohengrin, the opera, in 1850, is the most traditional and popular way to walk down the aisle, with your father at one side. But one of my brides recently asked me about ideas for more personal and unique ways she could walk down the aisle, and I’d love to share my thoughts with you all too.

Today brides are replacing the wedding march and choosing a song that represents them more expressly. Some songs that have become popular are “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’le,  “She” by Elvis Costello and “Cowboy Take Me Away” by Dixie Chicks (instrumental only). Surprise your guests with something exciting and unexpected. After the bridal party enters and doors close, the bride’s song could change over to a dramatic and lively song such as the Star Wars theme or 20th Century Fox movie intro.The song by Manfred Mann, “Doo Wah Diddy” would be a blast for a bride to walk into! Imagine everyone expecting a slow, mellow song then hear:  “There she was just a-walkin’ down the street, singin’ ‘Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do…”. A bride can have so much fun creating just the right entrance that represents her.

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Photo by Life Fusion Studio

As for the father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle, this tradition is also changing. I was married last year and opted to have both of my parents walk me down the aisle, and a good friend of mine sing, “Forever” as I entered. Halfway through the entrance, my friend’s daughter placed leis on each of my parents and kissed their cheeks. My friend who sang teared up and asked my parents if they gave us their blessing. After we exchanged vows, my husband and I exited to “I Do!” by Colbie Caillat. It was just perfect for us!

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Photo by Torrico Photography

I have seen brides enter with different parts of their families as well, from siblings to extended family. One bride of ours’ parents had passed away so her young nephew walked her down the aisle and gave her away. It was moving and adorable. For a wedding in which the bride and groom already have children, think about incorporating the children with roles in the march. For example, the bride’s son can walk her in, with the groom’s son meeting them halfway and taking the bride to the groom or vice versa.

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Photo by Domingo Photography

Incorporating the bride’s personality into the march is what makes it special. If having the person or people closest to her means a lot, then it should be done. Some brides choose to enter solo, this way she can see all of her loved ones while she enters. Some brides love the romantic guitar while other wants something upbeat. For me personally, I chose my friend to sing a song that had meaning for us, and having live music while I entered was important because of who was singing the song, the words, and the uniqueness of this type of entrance. Whatever a bride chooses to enter to, you can’t go wrong if it’s heartfelt and meaningful to you and your future spouse!

Img_141_090509Photo by Studio Duva

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