Say good-bye to rustic and hello to “old world luxury”.

Organic meets industrial.

Get creative with your menus. If you say “fresh from the sea”, let your guests know where it’s from.

Lighting can completely transform your venue. It can highlight the important elements of your decorations and turn the focus towards the wedding party table or dance floor or simply enhance your wedding.

To-be-weds are creating two weddings, one is created on pinterest and one is the one they can afford.

Culinary experiences and progressive dinner receptions are pushing the good old wedding buffets in the corner.

#instagram references are still big but more and more do we see snap chat filters and stories incorporated in the wedding day.

Every wedding needs to special unique and personal detail that makes the difference. If it’s a creative cake that symbolizes your hobby, table names that describe your wedding guests or personalized koozies, which one will yours be?


I love it when I get true feedback from guests.

Things to look out for on your wedding day:

  • Don’t single out the single ones! Bouquet and garter toss are not very enjoyable for your guests..
  • Talk to all of your guests and thank them for coming!
  • Guests should be comfortable, if it’s hot, provide fans, if it’s cold, offer blankets, if the shoes are getting tight, have flip flops available – don’t seat guests in front of speakers or close to doors where it’s drafty
  • Inform your toasters to keep it short!
  • Spreading out your ceremony and reception time makes your guests feel lost in between
  • Pick a good day to travel! Holidays are expensive, weddings during the week make it hard to take off work..
  • A delicious dinner goes a longer way than an elaborate centerpiece
  • Host the night, don’t have your guests pay for drinks at the bar! It doesn’t have to be a full bar.


How many guests are expected to come to your wedding? The more guests you have, the more expensive your wedding is going to be.

Find a venue and set a date! Will this space offer additional room for maybe 20 guests more? If guests are coming in from far away, you may want to incorporate some more time with them. This could be a welcome reception after your rehearsal dinner, a boat ride after the wedding, a brunch, a fun night out, etc. Celebrate you and invite others to join!

Your friends and family have come from near and far, try to make time for each and every one. It really helps to get a lot of your pictures done before the wedding, so you can find time to mingle with your guests during the cocktail hour or dinner.

Guests need to be entertained. No matter how small or large your party is, incorporate activity stations for your guests. Have them sign a piece of furniture, play bocce ball, take pictures at the photo booth, roam the dessert stations or invite them to group dances. Trivia questions can assist with the conversation, especially at tables where not everyone knows each other. I’m a big fan of progressive dinners, food from all around the world, family style or interactive dessert stations are my favorites.

Favors are traditional little gifts to your guests, to say thank you for coming. However, 10, 15 years ago, weddings didn’t offer all of the goodies they have now. From cigar bars, flip flops to pashminas, cell phone charging places, etc. Favors are not a must these days.

Assigned seating.. I hear from brides that would like to keep their reception casual and not assign seats. I can understand that, however, it ends being fairly messy when guests start to run to tables and reserve them and then it turns out that some friends don’t fit at the table and chairs are being moved around, glasses are being picked up, etc. If you don’t want to assign seats, just assign tables. You can give the tables names, number them, use your favorite vacation spots, celebrity names, train stops, books, wines, the list is endless.

The DIY and rustic-vintage revolution brings a lot of ideas for the reception but shouldn’t your ceremony be the most important part of your wedding day? Ceremonies are getting shorter and shorter and most interest is spent on the reception. Re-think and make the ceremony a part of you, let the guests learn about you and your story, incorporate friends or family members to do a reading or sing a song, make it “younique”. Have your pet walk down the aisle, leave notes for your guests, have your guests write you a note on a rock during the ceremony, offer hairpins for your ladies, boutonnieres for the men, personalize your song selection, plant a tree, have your guests be set up in a circle.

You all know, I love champagne and I love it when couples choose to welcome their guests with a glass of prosecco or champagne of choice, it again, sets the tone for the day. It is a special day!

Not everybody can make it to your wedding? Did some guests travel from another country to be with you? Include them in your welcome toast, ceremony or other ways. Find alternatives that can be used for your ring pillow or change up the entrance of the ring bearer and flower girls.

Rental items.. I won’t go there today, that will be another chapter one time. Selections are endless, be mindful of your budget.

Invest in your food, your photo and videography team, your music, have a stunning bouquet and dress!

My husband and I decided not to do gifts on our wedding day but looking back, I wish I would have done a boudoir shoot, what do you think? I guess there is still time..

If you are thinking about a midnight snack, even if it will be served before midnight, do it! I can only recommend it, guests go crazy over food in the later part of the evening, especially if you have a lot of your friends attend. Cookies, Pretzels, Mini Pizzas, Sliders, Mini Tacos, anything works. I’m a big fan!

When the wedding day approaches, don’t forget to do some yoga in the morning, play some golf, have a brunch with close friends and make enough time to enjoy every minute of your day. It will go by too fast


I receive a lot of inquiries from college students and others who want of find a new career and they ask if I have availability for an internship or a “start up job”.

Recently, I asked one of my interns to describe her view and what it takes to get to where you want to be. Please enjoy!

….Being in the wedding coordination industry is an extremely rewarding job. Not only do you get to help two people with one of the happiest days of their lives, you also get to have fun while doing it. It is a lot of work to be a primary wedding coordinator and every great coordinator has their partner in crime. I have been lucky enough to work with Sandy and her team at Strings & Champagne Events as an intern during 2014 and then as an assistant wedding coordinator in 2015.

It’s not always an easy thing to be 2nd in command when it comes to weddings. You need to know just as much and of all the details and answers to questions that could arise. As an assistant you should also be able to see what needs to be done without being asked. There are so many things that can be done to make sure you are a successful assistant for the right event planning company. To be an assistant wedding coordinator, you must be prepared for what it entails. You must be ready to give up weekends and evenings. It is also important to remember that, if a wedding coordinator asks you to help at a certain event, they are counting on you being there. You won’t just shadow Sandy and her team, you are critically involved in making this wedding successful! This was one of the best parts, I felt that I was needed AND I learned a lot!

I decided that I wanted to know as much about the different event planning companies before contacting them so I researched various ones fully before finding Strings & Champagne Events. I believe that you should take time to research different coordinators to make sure you and that person have the same style. Schedule a time to meet with the coordinator to get a feel for how they conduct their business and then have a trial run with that coordinator at a wedding. At my first wedding with Strings & Champagne Events, it was so nerve-wracking because it was our trial wedding to see if I would mesh well with the team. The time was filled with decorating, watching, listening and making sure everything was done according to plan and efficiently. When I left that evening, I was so excited as I drove home, reviewing the evening in my head and I knew that I had found my calling. Since that first night I have been working with Sandy and her team on several weddings and different events and every event has been as wonderful as the first. All of the weddings I have had the opportunity to work with her on have been different and creative in their own way and all so rewarding.

Over the past two years, I have been lucky to find my place within Strings & Champagne Events and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. – Elena


Elena has been fortunate to take her career to the next level. She has worked for the Sacramento Convention Center and is now an event planner with the Crocker Art Museum.


There are so many little details to remember while planning your wedding. Rest assured, most of them will be handled by your wedding planner but here are some things, you will want to remember to bring to your wedding venue:

  • An Overnight Bag with your cosmetics, tooth brush, etc
  • Comfortable getting-ready-clothes
  • Tip envelopes
  • Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
  • Stationary for photographer
  • Family heirlooms
  • Emergency Kit
  • Extra shoes
  • Your vows, rings, marriage license
  • Your dress and all other accessories to go with
  • Don’t skip breakfast

Most of all, enjoy your day. Make sure your wedding planner gives you enough time for everything. Don’t be rushed!