Jennifer & Fred | Richmond Yacht Club|Richmond, CA


Jennifer and Fred were married at The Richmond Yacht Club where they spend much of their time. So when it came to choosing a venue for their big day, there really was no other choice. They had a deep connection to the location, which made it the perfect place for them to tie the knot! It clearly made the perfect setting, the weather was unbelievable, and the view was absolutely perfect! All of their friends and family gathered on the lower deck to see the couple make it official, then transitioned up to the hall where they were greeted with the bride and grooms signature drinks and a plethora of stationed appetizers themed perfectly to the occasion! Mahalo!

Ceremony + Reception Venue (catering also provided in house): Richmond Yacht Club |

Entertainment: Hiram Bell |

Photographer: Rebecca Hinden |

Florist: DIY + SOMA Flowers

Dessert: Maria’s Gourmet Pastries |

Hair and Make-up: Annette Macfie |

Linens: BBJ Linens |

Draping + Rentals: Hartmann Studios |

HWC assistants: Brittany + Max!

Kelsey & Blaine | Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena, CA

I could tell from my first call with Kelsey, her and I would get along well! I enjoyed every minute of helping this amazing couple plan their big day, and seeing it all come together. Between Kelsey, Blaine, and Dianne (mother of the bride) you really couldn't get a better family to work with!

To them, the most important aspect of the weekend was to make sure their friends and family had an incredible time! With no shortage of amazing food, beverages (I mean we are at the CIA!), and incredible setting that is certainly what transpired! Celebrating with family and friends was at the very heart of this wedding. I can't say how incredibly refreshing that was to us!

We spent an incredible year working with Kelsey to make the wedding day look and feel the way she imagined. She was the most pleasant bride to work with! If she liked something she said so, and we moved on and built/created from there. From the custom designed paper products that Melissa created (are you swooning over them? because I know I still am), to the tented terrace with custom made wine barrel ring chandeliers (created by us here at HWC!), to the perfect bouquets and floral accents to compliment the grey/blue/neutral color scheme we picked out (created by Vanda Floral Design). But my very favorite had to be Kelsey's incredible reception dress! It was GORGEOUS (did you see the back!). We were so thrilled with the way all of the details came together in the end. Each and every vendor made it possible, and we can't thank them enough! The very best part was watching Kelsey and Blaine enjoy every moment of their wedding with their family and friends, dancing the night away. Blue Breeze Band rocked the house (or barrel room if you want to be technical)!

We spent the day with an amazingly talented vendor team! Julie Cahill Photography took the amazing shots you see here, and helped capture every important moment shared. See the wedding video captured by the amazing Rain Studios by clicking the link! The Culinary Institute of America and Greystone created the perfect backdrop for their celebration, following their nuptials at The St. Helena Catholic Church. It doesn't get better than this! Find the full vendor list below!


See Kelsey and Blaine's Wedding Video here! K&B wedding video!

Ceremony Venue (catering and desserts): St. Helena Catholic Church

Ceremony Musicians: Corelli Strings |

Reception Location: Culinary Institute of America at Greystone | 

Photographer: Julie Cahill Photography |

Videographer: Rain Studios |

Florist: Vanda Floral Design |

Cocktail hour trio/Reception Band: Blue Breeze Band | 

Alterations: Heidi Johnson |

Shuttling: Pure Luxury Transportation |

Hair and Make-up: The Powder Room | (Mary Beleui, Sheila, Mazie)

Rentals: Bright Event Rentals |

Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen |

Lounge seating/back bars: AFR | 

Accent tables: Encore | 

Lighting and Draping: The Luxe |

Invitation Printer: Frye's Printing |

Paper Designer: Vanilla Piece of Pie | Melissa Bonilla | 707-849-2359

Brides getting ready location: Hotel YountvilleWWW.HOTELYOUNTVILLE.COM 

Grooms getting ready location: Villagio | 

HWC assistants: Katie, Sabrina, and Max!

Wedding Vendor Costs & Running a Small Business

Josa_and_Jeff_Candids-0263 Before reading this I want to be clear that this is not about ranting, complaining, or proving a point. It is really geared towards educating couples searching for wedding vendors on why our prices may be more than they are expecting to pay. And what it takes to run a small business. Most people have no idea what running a small business really takes. And how are they suppose to? Because you don't have to, so how would you know! So I truly hope this helps couples searching for wedding vendors realize why the cost may be higher than they were anticipating. Also, keep in mind these items are geared towards my company, each vendor you contact will have different expenses and inclusions, which will affect their prices. Not each is the same. We all try to innovate and be unique so that our companies stand out from one another.

Unfortunately, we as an industry have been hit with some pretty big stereo types. Different vendors get hit with each of their own, wedding coordinators the same. But the biggest is directed as a whole; "Weddings cost more, simply because the word wedding is involved". I am not saying some vendors don't charge more than others. Because we all try to base our pricing off of how we evaluate the value of our work individually. Let's look into a few factors: (does this clearly state that weddings don't cost more just because they are weddings? Or should it be elaborated more?)

  • Most wedding vendors (including myself) are self-employed. What does that mean?Then there is the time we dedicate to running the business: How did you come across your wedding vendors? Did you find them on a website? Did you hear from word of mouth? Did another vendor refer them to you? Did you see them on Facebook? Pinterest? Twitter? Google +? Guess what? You find us, because we spend many hours every day, week, month,  and year to get us out there to be heard, seen, and found. Those hours we spend  at things such as networking events, managing online presence; such as website information, blogging, posting on all those fabulous social media sites that you get all of your amazing decoration, and organization ideas from. We don't just show up on there, and we don't get paid for the time we spend getting ourselves visible. We do all these things, in hopes that you find us, or hear about us.  Then spend the time sending you quotes, and talking on the phone answering questions, or meeting in person at consultations, hoping to get the honor to work with you.  Each and every wedding vendor you talk and work with, are doing exactly that. Every day! Because we absolutely love helping couples relax and celebrate their wedding day the way they should be.
  • Well, we pay for everything ourselves. Every year my expenses include:
    • Business licenses
    • Insurance; business, health, and dental
    • Web hosting/maintenance
    • Advertising
    • Each and every wedding has an expense of their own- from notebooks, supplies, paperwork, etc.
    • HWC specifically has an inventory that needs to be maintained and expanded
    • Education; such as Conferences, webinars, etc.
    • Office expenses (even vendors who work from home have significant office expenses!)
    • Equipment upkeep and maintenence
    • Blogging/Social Media Management materials
    • Legal advice
    • Taxes
    • Tax advice/assistance
  • Let's talk about more time: How does your wedding vendor know all that information? Because let me tell you, we know a ton when it comes to weddings and our clients can attest to that! And we learn more and more every year. Well, some is experience of-course, webinars, reading, and continually educating ourselves in every aspect of the industry. New wedding trends, better ways to coordinate a time-line, better ways to logistically coordinate shuttling, more, and more ways to save you money. And guess what? We still aren't making any money yet. We are just growing our knowledge so that when you come to us, we can give you the great advice and feedback you deserve.
  • PHEW!We are finally at the wedding coordinating part: Now we spend all that time helping you coordinate, organize, plan, staying stress free, keeping you organized and on task. Organizing your meeting schedules with vendors. Making sure deadlines are met. Insurance is provided. Oh, how the list goes on. Don't let this list fool you, because even some of our most basic packages contain many of these things as-well.
  • Wedding day: So we provide you with 10 hours on the day of the wedding (usually around 12). However our work day doesn't start on-site. It starts about 2-3 hours prior (or usually the night before!). Folding napkins, double checking details, organizing seating charts, escort cards, looking over our emergency kit, making sure all your vendors are ready and set to roll. Then once all the guests are off to the after-party, you are basking in your amazing wedding, and the tables are broken down. There is still more work to do. Did the rentals all make it back? Did the presents get to the hotel? And the list goes on.
  • Temporary: I am sure it comes as no surprise to you that weddings are seasonal. Most people love the sunshine, winery's, beaches. Rightfully so (I know I do)! What does this mean for us? Well we have to account for all those "off season times" to be sure we are here for you during the "on season times".

Let me be very clear here. I absolutely love my job. It is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever had the honor to do- besides being a mother to a beautiful little girl!  I love every minute of it, and I wouldn't change it for anything. But my point of posting this is simply to educate couples of the time and energy put into a small business-especially a seasonal, and specialized one. 

So next time you are a bit upset that a vendor costs more than you are valuing their services for, or you read a terribly written online article bashing the wedding industry, take a second to consider why that service costs what it does. Because its not just walking on-site, taking some pictures, sticking them on a disk, and dropping them in the mail. As seen above, running a small business is more work than most people realize, and takes a lot of time and energy prior to even being hired.

Now that doesn't mean there isn't someone out there in your budget. Because when I first started out, I was making about 2 dollars an hour (before covering my expenses- so pretty much zilch). So if you are on a small budget and those vendors you have already contacted just aren't in your budget. Don't get frustrated or expect them to give you a pound of gold for the value of iron. You may be able to find someone who is just starting out, building their profile or a clientele. We all have to start somewhere, or we would get no where!

Just remember that emailing a vendor saying their prices are to high for what they are offering, is very offensive. Because we work very hard to make sure you have an incredible wedding experience, and put lot's of money and time into running our small businesses.

I really hope this helps those couples out there reading those terrible articles being posted, that we really aren't here to shaft you! We love you guys and want to be sure you have a wedding that you can celebrate and enjoy. By the end of the process you all feel like family to us and on many occasions, we feel sad that we don't get to chat with you each day and see how your life is going -thank goodness for Facebook!

So no matter what you choose to do. Just be sure not to be to presumptuous about costs.  And remember to keep searching. If you are on a small budget, it may be tougher to find someone, but you will!

Photo provided by the amazing Bryan and Vita of Hewitt Photography:

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If you’re thinking about hiring a Wedding Coordinator in the Northern California and Central Coast areas, be sure to check out our website for packaging, pricing, and to set-up your FREE consultation!

Happy Planning! Love HWC!