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!

Jeana and Andy's Wedding Celebration- June 16, 2012

Kris Holland Photography |
Kris Holland Photography |

Jeana and Andy were one of the sweetest couples I worked with in 2012. Their wedding took place at Riversbend Retreat in Philo, CA. The wedding was all about friends and family enjoying each-others company for an entire weekend. Celebrating two people bringing two family's together as one. The ceremony brought tears to my eyes, each and every guest brought so much love and compassion for the couple. It was one for the books, which will forever fill my heart with lovely thoughts.

A few fun facts: As the couple walked down the aisle the sound system over heated and stopped working (100 degrees the entire day!). Jeana and Andy proceeded to walk down the aisle as one and each guest started to sing their recessional song to them in harmony. Tears came rolling down both of their faces as they realized the love that was their supporting them that weekend. It still gives me goose bumps to this day to think of that moment.

The toasts were some of the most touching I have ever heard.

All guests danced and grooved until the very end of the night.

I have never drank more water in my life, until that day! Same for the photographer who shared all of these fabulous photo's with me! I hope you enjoyed!

Photo's provided by the fabulous Kristi at Allison Reed Wedding Photographers; or contact her; phone: 510-432-5833 and email:

Brides bouquet designed by Bryce at Vanda Floral Design: or contact him; phone: 707-763-9271 or email:

Pies (YUMMY!) baked by Julie at Boonville Market; email:

Rentals by Fort Bragg Rent all; or contact them by email: or phone: 707-964-6661

Hair and make-up by Mendocino Beauty; stylist was Marianella, contact her by email: or phone: 707-937-9977

Venue and catering by Rivers Bend Retreat;

Ceremony and Reception flowers were DIY by the couple and their friends and family.

Coordination services provided by no other than Cristina Heald here at HWC!

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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!

DIY Chalk Board Directional Sign

Have you guys seen all of the super sweet chalkboard signs popping up all over Pinterest? So have we! One of our fabulous brides (the lovely Allie) wanted to use one to direct guests at her wedding… so it was the perfect time for us to do a little DIYing! Here’s a breakdown of what we did:

First, gather all your materials and tools. We had some plywood-esque boards, (whatever you use for the sign portion, just be sure it is something that is already smooth or can be sanded for best results!), a support post, sandpaper, (we also used) a saw, measuring tape, wood glue, and clamps. You might need other supplies depending on what materials you use, so just be sure to plan ahead. Of course, you’ll also need some chalkboard paint! We used Krylon Chalkboard spray paint.

Next, you’ll want to decide on the size of your signs. Don’t forget to factor in the distance between spots so your guests can actually see them. We measured ours out and had Cristina’s hubby use a skill saw to cut them out for us (thanks Max!).


After the signs were cut, we did a little sanding and taping to prep for paint (be sure to read all the directions for your chalkboard paint, there might be some special steps you’ll need to follow).




We let the paint dry and attached them to our support post, using wood glue and clamps. Measure for the center and use a carpenter’s square to make sure they are straight. Be sure to give the glue plenty of time to dry, but again, depending on the weight of your materials you might need some nails or screws, so have some handy just in case.




Our paint said to wait 24 hours before using the chalkboard, and viola (we use this a lot don't we?)! The next day we were ready to test it out!


Be creative! There are a lot of simple variations you can do to the physical signs, but also different uses, experiment with thick and thin chalk and chalk pens, and play with inventive vocabulary that will make these an easy and charming piece to add your celebration. We’d love to see the results!

The Measurements of our sign:

6x20- For the top board

4x18- For the three remaining boards

10x2x1- for the support post (which we did have to trim down a bit!)

Be sure to check out our fun sign options!

What questions should you ask your photographer?!

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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!

"We all grow old, our lives go by- and photographs are so important for preserving our memories"

I had the pleasure of asking Leana from Looking Glass Photography (link to fabulous website below!) a few questions (just a few ;)). I thought you would enjoy an insight! A photographer is one of the most important choices all couples make! Each and every-one of them want someone to create memories that they can look at and reminisce in. Something to take them back in time, to remember all those incredible memories, and feelings experienced. I hope you enjoy!

What made you decide to start photography as a career?

I practiced photography as an art for many years before it became my career. My husband urged me into it after he realized what great photographs I could take. His support and that of my family/friends, and the reactions of my first clients to their photographs made me realize this was what I was meant to do.

What do you love most about photography?

I love creating beautiful photographs for my couple’s, ones that they will cherish and enjoy throughout their lives together. It makes me truly happy to be able to give them that after their wedding day. Sometimes when I snap a photo of a bride and groom, I think- They are going to have that photo on their nightstand 40 years from now…and that makes me smile!

"We all grow old, our lives go by- and photographs are so

important for preserving our memories."

At the end of the wedding day, what memories do you hold close to your heart?

I love to see family and friends support couples as they start their lives together.  The outpouring of emotion at weddings, the joy of two people making a lifelong commitment- I feel very blessed to be a part of that.

What is your favorite moment during the wedding?

The look on the grooms face, as he sees his love walking towards him down the aisle.

If you had any advice for brides, what would it be?

Stay organized from the beginning by creating a time-line early on. Make sure your vendors are aware of what times they need to be there, how they need to work together, and your general goals for the day. Hiring a wedding coordinator can be a great asset to a bride, because they have the experience necessary to keep you on organized and on track.

What challenges do you face most often?

Having enough time to get all of the photographs I want to do- being in ten different places at once! This is why I help my couples with their schedule, so I know there will be enough time for all their photographs, without the photography disturbing the flow of the day.

What would you recommend brides look for in a photographer?

Choosing a photographer is such a personal thing- besides choosing one whose photographs you enjoy and relate to, I think personality is very important. Your photographer is going to be with you/near you most of the day. Choose someone you like on a personal level and someone you feel comfortable around. (like me! hahaha)

What qualities do you feel a professional wedding photographer should posses?

Besides being a master of their art, I believe a wedding photographer should be a caring person who invests themselves in their clients. A wedding is a huge milestone in a person’s life and I don’t think it can be treated like any other job—there is no room for an “off” day in this business. I approach every wedding like it is the wedding of my best friend.

What questions do you ask potential clients you are interviewing/being interviewed by?

I ask them many questions about their wedding- theme, size, location, etc. Specifically I ask them what their goals are for their wedding photographs. Every couple is different- some prefer candid shots, others like direction and posing- others want to re-create specific ideas, etc. Some couples are all about photos and want to devote lots of time to being photographed, while some prefer a “fly on the wall” approach and want to spend most of their time visiting with their guests. I try and understand my clients needs so that I can give them the best experience out of working with me possible.

What difference do you see in clients who hire professional coordinators and ones who do not?- (We had to ask! :))

Clients with professional coordinators are generally more relaxed during their wedding, knowing that everything is being taken care of by someone with plenty of event experience. I see that brides with coordinators are able to better step back and enjoy their day, and also enjoy an element of surprise at seeing everything put together at last. Also, during the planning process, it is a huge help to have that support and knowledge base from which to draw, especially for destination brides. (We totally agree!)

How important is a time-line to a wedding day?

It is absolutely essential for couple’s who have a number of events planned within the day (ceremony, dancing, cake, toasts, etc) Making sure there is enough time for all of those things to happen, and that there is enough time in between events to enjoy them is what a good timeline can do. Timelines also help vendors stay on track and work together more efficiently. (Agreed! And we rock at them ;))

How important is professional hair and make-up?

Having hair/make-up done professionally is a personal choice. I have seen brides turn out looking stunning even having done their own styling on the day. What is important to me in terms of hair/make-up is that if a bride does decide to hire out, that she hire a great artist/team of artists with a solid work ethic. Hair and make-up vendors can throw off the whole days schedule if they are late to the session, or if they are understaffed and cannot complete everyone in a timely manner. I also prefer that hair/make-up artists dress wedding appropriate, as they are often in the brides “getting ready” shots. They need to be able and willing to work with me as I take those photographs, which can be some of the most beautiful of the entire day.

What are some of your favorite things about brides from 2012?

I love all of the different styles of weddings happening now. From DIY to classic traditions, weddings at the moment vary so much. It is great fun for me to see each couple’s ideas come together, unique to them. And of course, the dresses! There are some amazing things happening in dresses right now- I especially love the vintage inspired styles.

Do you like the coming of age of all Social media?

Sure! It’s a great way for people to connect, share creative ideas, and share their photographs with family and friends.

Why do you think Social Media has boomed so much?

More and more families are living far apart from each other, the modern world being the way that it is. Social media sites allow us to connect with our loved ones easily and more intimately than a telephone call. Also, they are a great resource for couples planning a wedding! Who needs “save the dates” when you have Facebook Evites?? NO!!!!!! 

What are your thoughts on Pinterest?

I love Pinterest. In fact, I am always pinning things. Being able to see other photographers work, be inspired by it, and also to see the pins from my couple’s as they plan their wedding- I just love that! I get an insight into what inspires my clients, their wedding theme and projects, and that helps me plan ahead for what I will do on their wedding day. I don’t think that photographers should use Pinterest to copy each other’s photos down to the minute detail- but it is a great way to share ideas and to get inspired. No two photographs are ever the same, anyhow!

If you could meet ANY photographer, whom would you want to meet?

OH MAN. That is a tough one. I would like to meet a female photographer working around the turn of the century. So I could try out her camera, for one, and also to get her take on what it was like being a woman in the field in those days. Only now are there more and more female photographers- historically it was a male dominated field and I am glad that fact is changing.

Photography by Leana at Looking Glass Photography;

Contact Leana here: 805-703-3659, LEANA@LEANASLOOKINGGLASS.COM

Be sure to check out our other interview piece of Amber from Sasee Salon here:

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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 the HWC team!

San Francisco Flower Mart~

Yesterday we decided to hit the road and check out the fabulous SF Flower Mart, that many of our amazing clients use for their DIY- Wedding flowers! We wanted to check it out and see what and who was there so we could be more knowledgeable on the experience that our clients are having when they decide to do their own flowers.

I must say I was very surprised. There were many store fronts of different wholesalers, a wonderful variety of flowers, as well as vases, ribbon, and much much more.  The quality of most (not all) were impeccable! Recently we met with Chris Neve from Neve Bros. Wholesale Cut Flowers (soon to be up on the blog!), they are a local wholesaler who sells to the public, here in Sonoma County, and at the SF Flower Mart. It was great to see their operation in swing at the Flower Mart. We also met another great contact who delivers to this area three times a week!

We took many pictures so you could experience the greatness of the SF Flower Mart on your own! Enjoy!

Be sure to keep an eye out for our Neve Bros. post coming soon!

See their website here:

If you are looking for more information on the SF Flower Mart:

Here is a link to all the wholesalers who sell at the SF Flower Mart:

Check out our engagement shoot with Nick and Sabrina for some fabulous inspiration:

Designing your own boutonniere? Here is your how-to guide:

You will also want to know how to pin that fabulous boutonniere that you put together:

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If your 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!

Introducing Miss Melissa

Melissa has been a part of my life for many, many years now, since she has been dating my cousin well… forever. They were even at MY WEDDING, so forever is probably an understatement (hint, hint CHRIS)! But, just a few months ago I learned she was a Hospitality and Tourism Management Major at San Francisco State with an emphasis in Conventions, Meetings, and Event Management, and she is very interested in the Wedding industry. So one day we decided to meet at Peet’s (as you all know my fave!) and chatted about her expectations, where she wanted to be, where she wanted to go, what she was passionate about, and we decided to give a go at working together. So here we are a few short months later, and she has just been a wonderful addition in every way. You will truly start to love her as much as I do, from her personality, to her capabilities, to her amazing word and excel knowledge ;) and her brilliant design concepts!

Here are just of the few questions to help you get to know Melissa a little better! Enjoy:

Why are you interested in this industry? Welllllllllllllll…. it’d be impossible to answer this without giving a little background on me. A few years ago I had no real idea of what I wanted to do, and meddled in a lot of different classes at SRJC. I thought I wanted to major in Italian but I think I really just wanted to go to Italy! And translating or teaching really didn’t seem like what I wanted to for the rest of my life. Next I thought about ditching the JC and going into interior design or home organizing, because well, I love both. I was uncertain I’d be able to actually make the kind of career I wanted out of either and then began taking some of the pre-requisites for an architecture program (see a pattern here?). I then put some serious thought into it, and realized that a number of different factors crossed that off my list. Somewhere in there I also thought about going into graphic design or psychology but neither of those worked out for me either. I landed in my current venture by pretty much dreaming about it. I just thought about how great it would be to get to plan weddings and events all the time, and didn't ever think of it having the potential to be reality. I’ve heard many times that if you “find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” and I find that to be absolutely true… when it comes down to it there’s hardly anything that I’m not excited about when it comes to weddings! I guess you can say in some way or another virtually all of those interests have the potential to be part of my career- I get to see wonderful artwork and graphics in invitations and other paper products, admire various locations and buildings, come up with or appreciate what I like to think of as temporary interior design for events, definitely maintain organization throughout, and hopefully connect with and help some really wonderful people along the way, and perhaps someday I’ll get to start planning international events and that Italian will come in handy too.

What are your interests? Weddings and events have everything to do with almost all of my interests. I love paper and paper crafts, and that represented by invitations, I love DIY-ing and crafting, and the endless possibilities in weddings is crazy. I love entertaining for people I love and so getting people together, having a good time, and just celebrating comes natural to me. I do truly enjoy helping people and planning and organizing and inspiring!

What makes you passionate about Weddings? I think the reason why I'm so attracted to weddings is because there are so many components in which I have the potential to utilize my creativity (whether that be for some quick-style problem solving or coming up with some really awesome designs or DIY projects). I think it's also a really great honor (and some MAJOR responsibility) to be a part of someone's big day, regardless of what role I play! It is really rewarding to me and I'll probably cry at every single one because I think -- and yes this is super cheesy -- but it is truly beautiful to get to see and celebrate the union of two people with their family and friends.

What about weddings and events make you come to life? There’s some sort of indescribable spark that goes off inside me and fills me with excitement because of the creativity and excitement that go with them.

What do you do in your off time? Ummm, what free time? Hiking, going to the gym, scrapbooking, playing with my dog-ter (haha I am so hilarious…not) ;)and fueling my serious addiction to Pinterest, watching New Girl, cooking and baking, knitting and some occasional sewing. Most of all I enjoy laughing and doing everything I love with a smile!

Special thanks to Lauren for taking some fabulous photo's of the newest addition to the HWC team!

Photography by Lauren Heald at Lauren Heald Photography- 707-483-2480,

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If your 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 the HWC team!

DIY Boutonniere

We know just how much brides and grooms are loving including DIY elements to their Wedding Day. And lets just be honest here, doing somethings yourself--if done right--can save you a good chunk of change while personalizing your Wedding Day at the same time! Who doesn’t love that idea?! Just look at how much Pinterest is exploding on so many fronts, but in particular when it comes to DIY-ing, Weddings, and well, DIY-ing your Wedding! ;) So after a fantastic HWC Bride brought up they would be DIY-ing their bouts we decided to put together a little tutorial on how to make a boutonniere on your own. We hope you enjoy!



QUICK FIX: In case you are in emergency need of a boutonniere last minute, and you may not have all the supplies above. We in the past have made bouts skipping step three, and using double stick tape for step four. So keep in mind if you are in a situation where maybe you forgot about the ring bearer, you always have this quick fix option!

Our recommendations: If you do decide to do DIY flowers we say to keep it simple. It can become very overwhelming. It is A LOT of work (I really cannot stress that enough) especially just before your wedding day!

  1. Think about choosing one or two flower types instead of many. Keeping it simple like this will help ease the stress of making your arrangements look perfect.
  2. Make sure you do a few trial runs to get an idea of how you want them to look. Also be sure to do this before you decide to take this project on yourself, so you have enough time to consider alternatives if they don't turn out the way you'd like.
  3. Take pictures of exactly what you would like if your family will be assisting. This way you can avoid having to oversee the entire set-up process.
  4. Make sure to count how many stems you will need for each type of arrangement, so you just enough and not to many or not enough flowers.
  5. Think about putting everything together the day before instead of the day of. If you have an area to store your arrangements properly.
  6. Also, get a few price quotes before making any final decisions. You may just be able to get what you want for your budget. And make sure you share your budget with who you get quotes with so they know where to start!
  7. Think about having a florist do your bouquets, bouts, and corsages then do the rest of your flowers yourself. These items do take a lot of skill to put together something amazing if you want a bouquet with a lot of variety (not that some of our DIY bouquets weren't amazing)!
  8. Our number one recommendation is if you decide to put a lot of DIY aspects into your Wedding Day would be to hire a Wedding Coordinator (I know I know), but they can oversee that every little detail is done exactly how you want!

Check out our blog on how to pin a boutonniere either way, we have some helpful tips to make sure these details are properly displayed, whether they are professionally done or not:

Here are a couple links to a few of my clients pictures who decided to DIY their own flowers: (Bouquets, hair flowers, and bouts where done by Vanda Floral Design:

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If your 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 the HWC team!

Window Bar Menu

I seem to take many many trips to random places in my home town, collecting very random things for these fun blog posts. Especially when I have a burst of creative ideas! I blame most of my trips to recycle town on my husband, where I found the window! He always wants to go and find thing for his projects. Thus, making me come a long and find random things for my projects ;)! ALL HIS FAULT. RIGHT?! The things I find at recycle town are usually pretty crusty. But occasionally I find some amazing gems, like this one. As soon as I saw this old window I thought, "what the heck can I do with that?!" And then I came up with a fun bar menu you will see below. It was very simple. I found the window as is, although I did have to clean off some cob webs and such. I purchased paint pens from my local Michael's (I purchased the Craft Smart Paint Pens). I planned out what would be included on the bar menu (all my personal favorites!). Then spent some time choosing a font I thought was fitting for the style of the piece. Along with exactly how I wanted the lay out to look, and viola! Here we have it. A simple, easy, and unique bar menu for your Wedding or Rehearsal Day decor.

Now obviously you will include the drinks you will be serving at your event! Signature drinks are growing and growing in popularity! Your guests will love it, it ads character to a Wedding Day! And its a great way to keep your bar budget in check! Just make sure that what ever drink you choose is easy and quick to make more of, for when your guests gobble it all up and the bartender needs to mix up some more! Come up with a cute name for your drink. Something that represents you as a couple, things you love, etc. And funny is always a hit :)!


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And keep updated on our future blog posts! Or check out some of our past posts here: Like how to make a Vintage Chalkboard!

Happy Planning! Love HWC

How to properly pin a Boutonniere

Pinning a Boutonniere may be the very least of your worries when you begin the journey of planning your wedding. However it is something that you, your wedding party, or someone who will be helping with your flowers should be informed of. Especially if you decide to do your flowers on your own and not to hire a Wedding Coordinator ;). While a boutonniere is a small piece of your big day, who wants to spend money on these accents for your groomsmen to just have them sloppily flopping around on their lapel? Or you could have a nightmare-ish experience of blood on the best man’s shirt from improper technique or a stray needle poking grandma’s pace maker during a congratulatory embrace. Here are the steps we recommend taking to not have any boutonniere tragedies at your Wedding (or worse, having them pinned improperly!):

-First, watch our video ( and if you can, pass it on to a few of the more responsible groomsmen, or whom ever may be assisting with your flowers. It will also be a good idea to put a print out of the basics of pinning with the boutonnieres for the day of. Also, be sure to have a list of names or put a name on each boutonniere for reference. You would be surprised how traumatizing it is to give a ring bearer a boutonniere that was not intended for him, then have to makeshift one because the poor kid is DEVASTATED after you took it away from him to give to the proper person. What a let down!

-Line up the boutonniere with the angle of the lapel, hold securely in your non-dominant hand.

-Flip the lapel over and slide one pin in through the bottom of the stem. While inserting the pin try to line it up to stay within the stem of the boutonniere, however the pin does not have to go all the way into the stem.

-Do a small check of the front of the lapel to make sure your boutonniere is still lined up and the needle is not protruding, then flip it back over and check to be sure it is not protruding on the back side as well. You will use another pin for the top to help secure it properly, inserting it as you did with the bottom pin.

-Lay the lapel back down, do any adjusting if necessary, and voila! You have an ouch-less, secure, and straight boutonniere!

Here is a link to our "How to properly pin a Boutonniere" video:

Here is a link to the pins we love using to pin bouts with:

Make sure you follow us for future blogs on how to make a boutonniere and using things other than flowers!

Happy Planning! Love the HWC team!

Photo's provided by the incredible Lauren Heald at Lauren Heald Photography;, 707-483-2480!

Boutonniere provided by

Nick and Sabrina's Engagement Shoot

Nick and Sabrina Stone were married on March 10, 2012 in Las Vegas! Congratulations to you both! And thank you for letting me be involved in so many ways for your beautiful wedding! This photo shoot started out as just a fun way to express all these ideas that kept building up in my mind! A creative outlet I shall say. Since it isn't all to often that I get to design to my hearts desire, I was beyond excited to do this project! I was writing down tiny little ideas, thoughts, and design concepts for MONTHS before this shoot came together. And although not everything came together quite as I expected. I am beyond amazed and thrilled at how it came out! I love every small aspect of it. Nick and Sabrina were the perfect couple to bring in for this shoot! They're love and passion for each-other shows in every picture of them!

They were high school sweet hearts and after years of being apart from each-other and many challenges in their lives, they found themselves back with each-other, and happier then they had ever been before! I had the pleasure of being right beside them on their wedding day after this photo shoot. All they're love truly emanates from every bit of them, every time I am around them! They absolutely love to travel, which explains their MONTH long honeymoon all over Europe (jealous? I know I am!). It was absolutely freezing out on this Sunday at a private residence in Petaluma, CA. Nick, Sabrina and all the fabulous people involved were such troopers. Melissa's beau who hung out to help even made us hot chocolate somehow from his truck (great asset to have right?!)! So let's get on to the good part!


The pictures! Enjoy!


I was lucky enough to put together an amazing group of people for this shoot. Their work really speaks for itself! Thank you all for all your amazing hard work! None of this would be possible without you! Special, special thanks to our new addition here at HWC Melissa Medeiros for your amazing recommendations and assistance in guiding this shoot to completion! Oh and your running around like a crazy lady to help me get it all completed ;)!

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated on our "how to's" on all these special items we put together for this and future shoots!

HWC's Facebook-

HWC's Twitter-!/HealdWeddings

See the full gallery here!

Find out how to make your own chalk board sign and all its uses here!

Design and Coordination: Heald Wedding Consulting:

Photography by Lauren Heald at Lauren Heald Photograph- 707-483-2480,

Hair and Make-up by the incredible:  Amber Stewart (Hair) and Traci (Make-up) at Sasee Salon in Cotati, CA-

Flowers by Jennifer and Danielle at Flowers Sweeties: