The Blog

California Love




For the past three years my hubby and I have traveled to the west coast for our annual anniversary trips (Napa, Sonoma, Sedona, Scottsdale). This year we decided to check-out Palm Springs and Malibu. We typically vacation during the fall, but we scheduled an early trip for February because of Ruby’s soon-to-be arrival in June.  This year’s trip was extra special because not only was it our 10-year wedding anniversary trip, but it also doubled as a babymoon!

We decided to fly into Los Angeles for the first leg of the trip and drive to Palm Springs. The LA traffic is REAL. Make sure to pack your patience!

Before hitting the road to Palm Springs, we had lunch at The Tripel restaurant by Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson. Yum! I had the lamb burger. Do you plan your vacations around eating? We do! We love seeking out and dining at Top Cheftestant restaurants when we travel.

Palm Springs is pretty low-key and relaxing, which is just what we needed! We stayed at the cutest boutique hotel, Holiday House, and lounged by the pool all day. The weather was warm during the day and cool at night.

Landon, plans all of our vacations and he really outdid himself with the accommodations this year.

Not only was Holiday House super charming, but our hotel in Malibu was exquisite. I’ve never been “glamping” before, but I would definitely consider Calimigos Guest Ranch in Malibu “glamping” with its luxury cabins and bungalows, sparkling chandeliers hanging from the trees, cows, functioning Ferris wheel, lawn games and tasty barbecue restaurant on property.

We had an amazing few days on the west coast! Where should we travel next?

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Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For




Have you see the Huffington Post article about the “30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For”? The list is comprehensive and all newly engaged brides should bookmark the article, as they begin the wedding planning process.

Here are our top 5 items from the list with a few additional pointers from us!

1. Welcome Bags 
It’s always a nice gesture to have welcome bags if the majority of your guests are traveling from out of town. The welcome bag or out-of-town gift bag may include water, snacks, wedding weekend itinerary, welcome note from the bride and groom, city may, etc. You’ll need a line item in the wedding budget for your welcome bags and also make sure you check with your guest hotel to see if there is a service charge for them to disseminate the gift bags to your guests. Most hotels do not charge extra if your guests receive their gift at check-in, but there’s typically a fee if you want the gift bag inside each guests’ room.

2. Sound
The wedding ceremony is the most important element of the wedding day, but many times guests are left in the dark because they can not hear the officiant or the couple exchange vows. If your DJ is not providing the sound for your wedding ceremony, make sure you look into renting a sound system.

3. Vendor Meals

When providing your caterer with your final meal count, make sure to include your photographer, videographer, wedding planner and wedding band in your count. These vendors will be on their feet for 8+ hours and will need to refuel. A vendor meal is typically cheaper than a guest meal and your band will include their meal requests in their contract.

4. Wedding Coordinator
DO NOT wait to the last minute to book a wedding coordinator. On the wedding day you will not be able to or will you want to take calls from your DJ or baker, while you’re getting your makeup done.  It’s imperative that you turn the reins over to a professional to ensure your wedding day will run smoothly and that you and your groom, along with your family and friends will have a memorable time as a guest.

5. Sales Tax and Service Charges
Read over your contracts carefully to ensure that sales tax and any service charges are in included in the quoted price. Many venues and vendors charge an 18-22% service charge for the administration side for producing your wedding. Service charges are not the same as gratuities. Also, the plus plus “++” in a quote means you will also need to add service and tax on top of the quoted price.

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