{Weddings}

Real Wedding: Carolyn & Michael

Carolyn & Michael were married on an early spring day at Olympia's Valley Estate. From the day I first met with C & M, they described a celebration that was full of beautiful, natural touches, lots of authentic vintage touches and a little bit of glamour. Well, the team that they selected did just that on this beautiful day! They literally partied until the cows came home at this organic dairy farm. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="2178,2173,2211,2212,2213,2174,2179,2170,2192,2193,2195,2196,2201,2202,2203,2204,2208,2189,2214,2223,2224,2225,2216,2217,2218,2219,2220,2221,2222"]

Venue: Olympia's Valley Estate

Caterer: Cordoza's Catering

Photography: Gretchen Gause Photography

Floral Design: M. Design

Rentals: Encore Events Rentals

Band: Hot Buttered Rum

Cake: Forget-Me-Not Cakes

Full Service Planning and Coordination: Kai Squared Events 

Real Wedding: Natalie & Dylan

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="2138,2139,2140,2141,2142,2143,2144,2145,2146,2147,2148,2149,2150,2151,2152"] Photography: Carmen Holt Photography

Venue: Olympia's Valley Estate, Petaluma

Flowers: Blissfulness Florals

Catering: Cordoza's Catering

DJ: Alexander from AMS Wine Country

Partial Planning & Coordination: Kai Squared Events

Giveaway Alert!!

Attention Northern California couples!!AFlyingCamer My awesome friends at A Flying Camera are giving away a free 4 hour Photo Booth session to couples that enter before the end of the month. They are so much fun to work with and I would love someone in the Kai Squared Family to win, so enter! Here's how:

  1. Like their Facebook Page
  2. Share the contest on your Facebook Page (feel free to share our post too!)
  3. Complete the entry form on AFlyingCamera.com/contest

They'll be drawing a winner on March 31st and word has it that the odds are still really good

Good luck!

D

Wedding Wednesday: Floral Inspiration

Flowers are an amazing way to elevate a space and transform a location. They can improve your guests' experience, convey joy, whimsy, elegance and happiness and a well designed centerpiece or table grouping can make a world of difference. Whether you know floral design or couldn't tell a rose from a ranunculus, it's important that you know how to express what you like when it's time to start talking flowers.  Below are some awesome examples that can help you determine shape, floral style and size.

Pin a few or print them out along with our floral style guide and seasonal flower guide when you're ready to start meeting with your floral designer.

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Happy Planning!

Xx Danielle

Wedding Planning

“A wedding is a lot like an orchestra- many different elements come together to make one cohesive event. But just as a symphony might feature strings more than horns, not all aspects of the event are equal in importance… It’s important to set priorities in order to give you a filter through which to view your wedding planning.”-Jennifer Shawne, “Instant Weddings: From ‘Will You?’ to ‘I Do!’ In Four Months or Less”

FYI Friday: Stress-Free Bridesmaid Dresses

Little_Borrowed_Dress_Main2014 Okay ladies, let's get real. Being asked to be a bridesmaid in a friends wedding can be quite an intimidating honor. While you couldn't be happier to stand up with your sister/cousin/best friend while she exchanges vows with the love of their life, lots of things come to mind when she pops the question: "Will you be my bridesmaid?"

If you've recently been asked to be a bridesmaid you may soon be daunted with the task of coming to consensus about a bridesmaid dress. When you have a number of beautiful attendants who all favor a different style, color or cut, this can be a true labor of love.

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Well, stress a little less, because the lovelies over at Little Borrowed Dress got smart and are offering bridesmaid dress rentals to fit any bridesmaids taste and budget.

How it works:

FIND YOUR COLOR

With 18 dress colors to choose from, there’s a perfect palette for your bridal party.

Need inspiration? Order free fabric swatches to see your colors in person and check out real weddings on the site to see how other brides outfitted their ladies.

PICK A STYLE

Select from more than a dozen dresses that you can mix and match or go for one look. Rental costs start at only $50.

BRIDESMAIDS FIGURE OUT THEIR FIT

 Once a style has been picked, all you need to do is select a size and place your order.

Use their  size guide to compare your measurements. They send you a free backup size with every rental—just in case.

ORDER

Place your order at least three months in advance, then sit back and relax. Your dress will be at your door and ready to wear, two weeks before the wedding date.

ROCK IT. THEN RETURN IT

Returning your LBD is easy. All rentals come with a pre-paid envelope, so just drop it back in the mail two days after the wedding date, et voila! Piece of cake.

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Article originally featured on Green Wedding Shoes- a constant source of inspiration for brides and planners alike!

2014 Is The Year of the Wedding Guest

I've had the privilege of working with many couples for nearly ten years. I've helped them create fairy-tale like celebrations, creative and visually stunning moments and out-of-the-box parties that have blown everyone away. I've seen a lot of fun, crafty and crazy trends come and go. Froelich_Faith_HeatherScharfPhotography_0437_0_low

When recently asked by a couple what the biggest wedding "trend" of 2014 I've seen is, I responded without hesitation: THE GUESTS!

But let me explain.

When I ask my couples in our consultations to rank their the ten most important priorities for their wedding day, the one thing that makes it in the top three for nearly ever couple is "Positive and Fun Guest Experience." More important to our couples than a towering custom wedding cake, over the top floral arrangements and an eight course plated meal is that their guests not only enjoy themselves, but leave feeling like VIP guests who were wined, dined and wowed by the details.

From thoughtful details like parasols placed on the seats on a sunny day, shawls for the ladies on a chilly night, thank you gifts for each guest and surprise entertainment during the reception, couples are thinking more and more about how to make their celebration unforgettable for every guest.

Wedding 78

So this has lead me to unofficially proclaim 2014 as the year of the wedding guest and I'm looking forward to sharing a series of tips and tricks to ensuring that you and your guests enjoy every moment of your big day. I'll also be sure to include some tips for wedding guests because when our couples go to great lengths to ensure that their VIPs, it's important that everyone be on their best behavior.

Happy Planning!

Backdrop Inspiration

Whether you're creating a photo backdrop for your next party, dreaming up the perfect place to exchange vows with the love of your life or just creating a fun focal point for a room or photoshoot, check out these inspiring backdrops from Huffington Post. For more inspiration, head over to our Pinterest Board: Arbors, Altars and Chuppahs. Oh my! [gallery type="square" link="file" ids="1762,1763,1764,1765,1766,1767,1768,1769,1770,1771"]

Wedding Wednesday: Invitation Inspiration

Wedding stationery plays a really important role in setting the tone and formality of your big day. Here is a collection some seriously beautiful customizable invitation suites from Paper Source (a must visit for DIY brides and crafters alike). [gallery type="square" columns="4" ids="1728,1727,1726,1729,1730,1731,1732,1733,1734,1735,1736,1737,1738,1742,1741,1740,1739,1743,1744,1745,1746,1750,1749,1748,1747"]

Happy planning!

Tip Tuesday: 5 Things to Know Before Looking For A Venue

Lindsay & Tyler | Photography by Arken Studios | Olympia's Valley Estate Finding a wedding venue is one of the first and most important steps of planning your wedding. And before you dive headfirst into the hunt, make sure that you can answer these questions about your vision for your wedding.

Where do we want to get married? While tradition dictates that a wedding should occur in the bride’s hometown, these days, anything goes. You can get married in your significant other’s hometown, the city where you currently reside, or some other far-off destination. Just be sure that you, your future spouse and both families are aware and comfortable with the general location of where the wedding will take place.

Budget How much money do you have to spend? Hopefully this is something you’ve already figured out, but be sure you have a clear budget in mind – both for your entire wedding and specifically for the venue costs – before you start looking.

Guest Count  While you don’t have to have the exact number of guests nailed down, you should have an estimate – it’s one of the first questions a venue will ask you when you call. This will also help you narrow down venues that are too small – or too big – for your guest count.

Style

Willow Farm

Talk to your future spouse about the style of venue – and wedding – you’re hoping for. A rustic barn in the country or a grand ballroom in the city? A laid-back beach setting or a super-modern loft? You’ll want to make sure you’re on the same page before you tour venues.

Date Do you have a target wedding date – or even season – in mind? If you have an exact date when you’d like to wed, this may narrow down your options significantly – and that can actually be a good thing.

If you are still in search of your wedding venue, please contact Kai Squared Events! We would love to help you discover the place where your fairy tale beginning will take place.

This article originally appeared on WeddingWire. Visit Kai Squared Events page on WeddingWire for client reviews.

FYI Friday: Insurance

Many clients are confused about the type of insurance that they will need for their big day. There are a lot of products available to newlyweds and the most common are wedding insurance and special event liability insurance. Here's a little run down on both types: Insurance Wedding insurance protects against losses due to extreme weather, illness and/or either party experiencing a sudden change of heart. This can recoup monies paid to vendors if your wedding is postponed or cancelled  and should be considered by couples planning a destination wedding or a celebration in a non-traditional  location. This product costs about $500 and is available through Travelers Ins., Fireman's Fund and WedSafe.

Liability insurance protects you (and certain vendors like catering and venue) from claims arising from accidents taking place during the wedding, reception and rehearsal. Most venues require that you name them as an additional insured on a minimum $1,000,000 liability policy with a liquor liability policy. You can get this through your homeowners insurance or regular liability insurance provider as a single day increase in policy or you can go through a private companies like WedSafe. You'll want to provide proof liability insurance when you make final payments to the listed vendors.

The Married Name Game

Which married name is right for you?

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Are you engaged or newlywed and curious what married name change option is right for you? Take the Married Name Quiz quiz to find out! Answer ten short questions, and they will use their proprietary name change algorithm to determine your ideal married name. Whether you take two last names, hyphenate, take your maiden name as a middle name or don’t change at all discover the option that is distinctly you!

Tip Tuesday: Five Things to Know Before Beginning Your Wedding Dress Search

Thank you Wedding Wire for the follow five things to keep in mind when selecting your wedding dress: 1. Your Date (Or At Least Your Season).wedding dress 2Season matters, ladies. Not as much as you think, but it does matter. You'll be sweating bullets in structured heavy silk for the summer, and floaty layers of thin chiffon might look silly if you're battling snow come winter. Brides in transitional months like March, April, May, September, and October can get away with a wider variety of styles, but if you're saying I Do during a more extreme weather month, adjust the gown you're looking for accordingly. As a general rule, more substiantial, multi-layered ball gowns and beaded sheaths work better for winter months, and lighter, ethereal styles make sense for summer. The ever-popular fit and flare and trumpet silhouettes works for the widest variety of seasons.

2. Your Venue Type. OCTOBER2013 NEW YORK BRIDAL FASHION WEEKHolding your reception in a cozy NYC restaurant? Might want to re-think the voluminous gown that's impossible to sit down in. Exchanging vows on the beach? Consider a short dress—that way it you won't be kicking sand off of it for years down the line. Practical predicaments like this should impact the kind of dress you look for, and you also want to kick off your search by ruling out things that will seem stylistically out of place at your venue. If your venue is a formal ballroom, for example, avoid rustic lace gowns that feel too casual.

3. Your Budget.This doesn't need to be set in concrete, but you should have an idea of how much is too much before you start pinning only Veras and Moniques. Our suggested approach: work out your overall wedding budget and set your priorities first. This way you'll be able to clearly visualize the things that you care more about spending money on, and the lower the gown falls on list, the smaller the percentage of your budget that should be dedicated to it. Most brides settle somewhere between the $700 and $1500 range, and you can use our wedding dress finder to search for gowns at that price point.

4. What Works for Your Body. wedding dress 3No matter how trendy you are in your everyday life, weddings are not the time for extreme fashion risks. Instead, this day is about knowing your best features and finding a gown that shows them off. This helpful article breaks down the best dresses for the most common body types and offers examples to kickstart your search.

5. To Not Worry (Too Much) About Sizing at the Salon. Ready to start trying things on? Whatever you do, don't get caught up in the numbers. Most wedding dresses still run off haute couture sizing specs instead of the ready-to-wear stuff we're used to seeing at the mall. Go into the process knowing you'll be a few sizes bigger than you're used to so you won't be caught off guard at the salon. Alterations are also an expected part of the process, so make sure you're away of a salons tailoring policy before you commit to purchasing.

 

Our New Year's Resolution: No Regrets Wedding Planning!

It's a new year and we wish you all the things that you can dream of: Health, Happiness, Joy, Love, Beauty, Success… and most importantly, no regrets! If you're planning a wedding in 2014, do us a favor and make sure that you do not look back on your big day with any regrets for what you should have or could have done differently. Contact Kai Squared Events to get your planning off on the right foot!

No Regrets Wedding Planning

What NOT to say to a recently engaged couple

If you know someone who recently got engaged during the holidays or who have announced their engagement this holiday season, here's a little etiquette reminder about what the correct response is: "Congratulations!" "I'm so excited for you!" "Tell  me about the proposal" are all socially acceptable responses to the couple's happy news. On the list of things not to ask a couple who have just announced their nuptials are: "Have you set a date?" "Am I going to be in the wedding party?" and any of the following  actual cringe-worthy responses:

  1. "So I take it you're not wearing white?"
  2. "I hate weddings."  Thanks! So glad I can cross you off the invite list, then.
  3. "Are you pregnant!?", "So, when are you having kids?", or even "You're old to be getting married. Better get pregnant right away!"
  4. "You better lose some weight before the wedding!"
  5. "I thought you'd never get married! You were such a swinging single!" Or even worse, "Dude, you finally let yourself be trapped, huh? Welcome to the jail of married life."
  6. "I can't believe you're marrying him." (or her)
  7. "This is so soon! Are you sure this is the right decision?"
  8. "Maybe this one will last."
  9. "I can't wait to come! I'm trying to decide who to bring as my date!"
  10. "Who's paying for the wedding? It must be costing you a fortune!"
  11. Any sentence that begins with the words, "You HAVE to" or "Well, traditionally, you know" or is another way of saying, "You're doing it wrong." And my favorite inappropriate thing people say is:
  12. "You know 50% of marriages end in divorce, don't you?" Actually that's a false statistic. The actual rate is closer to 24% for couples older than 25. But it's always great to have a pessimist around to rain on my parade. 

Tip Tuesday: Flowers!

Life is the flower for which love is the honey. - Victor Hugo

When it comes to creating a visually stunning and beautiful wedding, flowers are -hands down - going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. They are also a big chunk of your budget so while you're Pinning up a storm of some of your favorite extravagant bouquets, centerpieces and floral crowns, know that it takes a lot of skill, craft and a trained professionals TIME to create those.

Trust me: the floral designers time is worth every penny so don't haggle the price for their time… It's rude. If you need to save some money on florals, select locally-grown and IN SEASON flowers for your event. I know, I know… The peonies on the cover of Martha Stewart Weddings are AH-MAY-ZING! but they're just not in season and in October they're going to cost three times as much as they did in May.

#SNS

Keep this guide in mind while dream-designing the cascading mountains of flowers that you envision for your big day.

Seasonal Flower Chart

 

Meredith & Dominic

We are so excited to be working with Meredith and Dominic on their beautiful rustic wedding at Precious Forest next July. They have such a cool vibe and are so very in love with each other. Dominic is a jazz singer and we just HAD to share the video of his surprise proposal during a set when his bride-to-be was in the audience. Seriously, guys… We are so freaking lucky to have the coolest couples ever!

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