From the bride, Samantha:
Our top priorities when planning our wedding were, 1) to make sure it reflected us as a couple and 2) to make sure our guests would have a great time. I always wanted to get married in a garden, so I began searching out garden venues long before Darren proposed. When we found the Dallidet Adobe and Gardens, we knew it would be the perfect location for our wedding; it was so ‘us.’ Since we loved the look and feel of the Dallidet, we let it shape the rest of our design plans. Rather than deciding all the design elements in the beginning, we just began collecting things we liked. Before we knew it we had a vintage 1930s garden vibe, basically what I always hoped to do! I definitely recommend this approach for other brides- when you start wedding plans it’s easy to feel like you have to make definitive ‘big-picture’ plans right away (like choosing your very limiting ‘two colors’) but by giving yourself time to experiment and find different elements that you love it takes the pressure off and enables you to create an event that genuinely reflects you. We also didn’t want to stick with one set theme; instead we wanted all of the elements to reflect us as couple. That’s why we incorporated the places we traveled to in to the reception, threw in some cute brown bear elements (to match our save the dates), and didn’t restrict ourselves to only vintage decor. We picked out things that said to us, “Darren and Samantha” and one of the most common compliments of our guests was that our wedding was so “us!”
Even though we wanted our wedding to be classy, we also wanted it to be fun. We didn’t want any of our guests to sit around bored, because a wedding is just a big party, right? We also made it a top priority to keep our guests well fed, because hungry guests are not happy guests. Although it might seem a little harsh, when planning we basically just outlined all of the things that had killed the fun at weddings we’d been to before, and then made sure to avoid those things at our wedding. For instance, to avoid the notoriously long and boring wait between the ceremony and reception, we made sure to keep ours to an hour, served hors d'oeuvres, had the vintage soda bar going, and had the photo booth and scrapbook guestbook available.
Some other advice for couples would be to remember this is the one time in your life that all the people you love are in one place, so take advantage of it and enjoy it! The few days before the wedding are so busy; it’s easy to get lost in that. That is why it is so important beforehand to set aside times to spend with your family, friends, and bridal party. To make sure we actually enjoyed time with our awesome bridal party we set up simple events, like the day before the wedding we had a bridal party picnic. The picnic took next to no time to put together, but is now one of my favorite wedding memories. Also, as you get sucked into the week-of craziness try to involve your loved ones as you rush through your to-do list. Even though taking a couple of bridesmaids to Target doesn’t seem all that exciting, you will value those memories later!