Gala Events & Weddings

Humboldt County's Premier Event & Wedding Planning Services


Avoid This Post-Engagement Mistake

Posted on December 28, 2016 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! To all of our newly enganged couples. The Holiday Season is notoriously the most popular time of year for couples to get engaged, and 2016 has been no exception. Please take a moment to visit the Re-Play of our" target="_blank">Facebook LIVE broadcast on how to avoid making one of the most common Post-Engagement Mistakes. We hope you'll take the time to really enjoy this special time in your lives as engaged before you walk down the aisle. Congratulations again, and whenever you're ready... we are here to assist you with all of your wedding planning and officiant needs! Cheers!" target="_blank">

Love in a Redwood Forest Faery Tale: Victoria & Justin's Wedding

Posted on June 27, 2015 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Victoria had me at faeries! During our initial phone consultation, she said she wanted a faery wedding in the redwoods, and I knew we were meant to work together! Victoria (who I came to personally call Vee) is a bit of a faery herself. Not long after meeting, we discovered that we share mutual friends and a love of aerial arts! Vee is an aerialist, and can be seen ascending and dangling from long, draping silks, performing acrobatics in the sky. I was beyond thrilled to work with her to create a magical faery tale wedding in the redwood forest at Miranda Gardens Resort.


 Country Living Florist provided the flowers, which added splashes of purples, magentas, whites, pinks and greens to the natural redwood backdrop. I loved Victoria's large purple and white paper flowers as a back drop for the band, and behind the cake.

And the cake!!!! One of my favorite details was the opulent, moss-dripped cake table, alive with figurines of faeries. Verbena Cakes did an amazing job with the immaculate cake!

Faery figurines frolicked on the moss-dripped cake table, adding playful fancy to the festivities!

Good thing we brought the dream catcher for this sleeping faery!

The guest tables were simply set for Citrine Catering's lovely buffet, with keys as guest favors. I loved Victoria's paper cranes suspended above the guest tables! It was a sweet nod to her own love of suspension from the sky!

The evening ended with Contra Dancing and Thursday Night Bluegrass, which got the entire party swingin around the dancefloor together!

Victoria and Justin, it was an honor to coordinate your wedding and a privilege to Officiate your ceremony. We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness together!


Alegria Sita, Alli McCarthy, and the Gala Events & Weddings Team!

Service Learning and FUNdraising: The Elegant French Dinner and Dance:

Posted on May 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (2)

On February 21, 2015, Gala Events and Weddings had the privilege of working with the parent council and students of Arcata's Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy (NPA), an acclaimed public charter high school recognized as one of the top high schools in the nation. NPA is the only school in the area to consistently see over 90 percent of the senior class graduate with an International Baccalaureate Diploma and go on to some of the world's most prestigious Universities around the world.

Parents of NPA students are encouraged to play an active part in both the social and academic aspects of the education of their children. In addition to participating in monthly all-school meetings, parents and students host a number of events throughout the year which highlight student talent, academic achievements, civic engagment and global awareness. One of the most popular events of the year is the Elegant French Dinner and Dance, a benefit for the student international travel scholarship fund which offers financial assistance for students to travel abroad as part of their academic enrichment. This year's 13th Annual dinner and dance was a huge success, and we were honored to be a part of the production!

Poster designed by Annette Makino

I worked alongside parent council members, offering ongoing consulting throughout the duration of the event-planning. We set clear goals to guide our decision making throughout the planning process, and to help us assess our success with the event. The following were our outlined goals for the French Dinner

  1. Raise funds for scholarships for student travel. Goal: $15,000
  2. Promote awareness of NPA within the Humboldt community, via clear branding incorporating the school logo and image throughout the details of the event (including social media, signage, guest favors, décor and ambiance, etc.)
  3. Extend beyond the immediate school community to invite new attendees to the dinner, specifically prominent members of our community with a vested interest in education and student travel abroad
  4. Maintain an ambiance of elegance throughout the event (student attire, décor, entertainment, food presentation, etc.)

The students played a myriad of roles throught the evening including: greeters/hosts/hostesses, sous chefs, servers, bussers, performers (music and dance) and speakers. One of the details we focused on for this year's dinner was building a Service Learning component into the event. In an effort to instill confidence in the students with their various roles throughout the event, we hosted a two-hour food service skill building training to prepare students in providing a fine dining experience for the guests.

I called upon my friend, colleague, and local, professional server, Samuel Santangelo to collaborate in building and teaching a comprehensive curriculum in fine dining food service. Samuel has lifelong experience in restaurant service and guest hospitality (dating back to 1987 when he began working in his family's Italian restaurant, Santangelo's, in Syracruse, NY). You may recognize him from some of our very own local establishments including, Five Eleven, Oberon Grill, Abruzzi, and Avalon. Most recently, you can find him at Restaurant 301 at Hotel Carter.

The two of us set to work building a 2-hour experiential workshop to teach the students fine dining skills including: table settings, appearance, hosting and greeting, verbage, menu presentation, taking orders and table mapping, food safety and handling, customer service, and bussing. Our goal was not just to prepare the students for their roles in the Elegant French Dinner, but we hoped to also provide a crash course that would serve them in entering the workforce, should they choose to take serving positions in the future. The students were incredibly engaged throughout the training, asking relevant questions, participating in demos, and practicing their menu presentation scripts. By the end of the workshop, everyone felt French Dinner ready!

 A classy French Bistro was our inspiration for style and design. We played up the theme with black and white stripes, accents of the school color: cobalt blue, classic chalk board art and signage (designed by Buzz Parker), and of course, sprinklings of the Eiffel Tower throughout the event.

When guests arrived to the Bayside Grange, they walked up to a beautifully decorated porch of willow sculptures and greenery (designed by Wilathi Weaver).

Just through the door into the entryway sat a student busker playing guitar setting the stage of a romantic Perisian street scene outside of a cafe.

As guests made their way into the main dining room, they were greeted by our student host/hostesses and welcomed with a signature cocktail, The Blue Heron (also the school mascot) prepared by mixologist Greg King. The scene was bustling with student servers dressed professionnally in all black, topped with red barrets carrying passed hors d'oeuvres (prepared by Gwenn and Katie), and ready with white serviettes.

Other students busked with musical performances in tiny vignettes throughout the room as guests mingled and perused the elaborate silent auction (put together by Rabia O'Loren).

While guests arrived and mingled, the kitchen was bustling in overdrive! Chefs Victor Angular, Marceau Verdiere, student sous chefs, and parent volunteers were hurriedly, yet precisely putting beautiful dishes together.

Our student servers politely ushered guests to take their seats for dinner service, while additional student performances took the stage. Performances included the NPA Jazz Band, Chamber Orchestra, and individual student performances on guitar and piano.

The student servers put their training into action, gracefully delivering pre-ordered entrees out to their tables. On the menu were the following dishes:

  • Plated Appetizer: Trio of Toppings with Beignets: Tapenade of Marinated Olives, Citrus Mouse, and Herbed Cheese
  • Chicken Chasseur: Chicken braised in a rich tomato based sauce, with mushrooms, shallots, smoked herbs, grapes, wine and butter
  • Mushroom Pievioli: A savory pastry filled with Mushrooms sautéed in Herbs and White wine, topped with walnut browned butter sauce and creamed mushroom fricassee
  • Baked Seafoodie Salmon: Baked Salmon accented by an Aioli of Leeks, Carrots, Celery, and Lemon, topped with a toasted buttery seafood sauce

Needless to say, guests were delighted with dinner!

In an effort to encourage additional spending, we ended table service following dinner, so that guests would be inspired to continue to mingle and revisit the silent auction before it closed, and/or make a trip to our wine (generously donated by Cabot Vineyards), coffee, or dessert bars (deliciously prepared by Rabia O'Loren).

The general post-dinner flow gave us an opportunity to clear the tables nearest the stage in preparation for the Eureka Brass Band. Many students have studied swing dance, so a catillion of dancers opened up the dancefloor as Eureka Brass began to play. Soon, the dance floor was hoppin with students and guests!

Following the event, students stayed to assist with clean-up and take-down of the event. And, in true Samuel fashion after a busy shift of serving, it was time for a tall, cold glass of milk!

The entire evening was a huge success! Feedback from guests was incredibly complimentary. Though we did not reach our financial goal of $15,000, I'm aware that we came close to raising 2/3 of our goal (the exact figure was not available in time for this article to post). The school brand was definitely promoted throughout the event and it's promotion. The blue heron was a signature detail on all promotional items, décor throughout the event, and  we even had heron-shaped cookies that were part of the "goodie bags," that guests received upon their exit. The event sold out and was well attended by prominent community members, parents, and friends of NPA students. We will definitely continue to reach out to the broader community in coming years. We also succeeded in mainintaining a ambiance of elegance. The overal décor really did take guests to a Perisian street scene outside of a classy bistro. The student uniforms complete with red barrets and the white serviettes definitely added to the overall feel of the experience. One guest called me specifically to highlight how spectacular their experience was, "such a magical time."

A few weeks following the event, Samuel, Cindy, Keta, and I hosted a reflection and appreciation luncheon for the student servers. We took a moment to reflect on the success of the event and what students learned from their experience as well as gave them an opportunity to offer their feedback (successes and challenges) of the event. Overall, the feedback was positive, and the students expressed that the experience provided them with valuable, usable skills for the future. One student even approached me for a job this summer, and others have since expressed interest as well!

This event could not have been possible without all of the tireless efforts from the NPA Parent and Student community! It was a pleasure to work with all of you! First and foremost, all of the student volunteers that served, prepped, hosted, clean-ed up, and performed!!! You truly made this event a delightful experience for all! And to all of the parents and volunteers. I would especially like to thank the following: Keta and Cindy for spearheading the event and bringing me aboard; Rabia for all of your efforts in soliciting donations for the silent auction, and putting together a beautiful spread and presentation of your delicious desserts; Chef Marceau and Chef Victor for your delicious dinner; Wilathi Weaver for building a beautiful, green entrance to the dinner; Sophia P for coordinating the rentals and wine pull; Buzz Parker for your amazing artistry and design; John and Kimberly Cabot for generously donating organic wine for the event and Kimberly for coordinating the wine bar; Gary and the Eureka Brass Band for incredible entertainment, Arny for your excellent service as Master of Ceremonies, Gwenn for coordinating the beautiful passed hors d'oeuvres, Marilyn for securing permits; Becca Hall for coordinating green waste management; Nicole Barchilon for coordinating all of the Thank-You's, Greg King for your mixology skills, and Heidi Kerr. Thank you to Christel Shaughnessy for your tireless efforts in soliciting donations for all culinary delights! Tammy, thank you for the referral that lead to this amazing opportunity. Thank you to Gala Events and Weddings team member, Karli Laier, for volunteering to assist with set-up... could not have done it without your help, and all of your ups and downs on the ladder! ;) Thank you Samuel Santangelo for coming aboard to co-facilitate a service-learning opportunity for the students; a true highlight of the experience! :) Thank you also to all of the busineses and individuals that donated to the event!!!

If you were unable to attend this year's Elegant French Dinner and Dance, and would like to make a contribution to the international travel fund to assist students in traveling abroad with NPA, please contact Keta Paulson at: [email protected]  She can assist you with making a donation via PayPal, or with your credit card via their square reader. If you attended this event, we would love to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment below. You may also leave us a review on our Facebook page, or if you'd like to see more of what we do, please like our page!

Wedding Show Thrival Guide

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Approaching the wide world of weddings as a newly engaged person can be daunting. There is so much to learn and research to plan your Big Day. Wedding planning requires familiarizing yourself with vendors and products and services you may never have encountered before. Wedding shows (and bridal fairs) can be a great introduction into the wide world of all things weddings. You'll have the opportunity to meet many vendors and learn about various products and services all in one place, like a one-stop shop. However, if you don't approach the wedding show with a game plan, it can become very overwhelming.

That's why I'm writing today's blog. I want to offer you some helpful tips and advice so you can go into your wedding show experience prepared to maximize your time and engery to get the most out of the show... it's all about approaching the show with a plan!

There are many things you can do to prepare for a wedding show that will prepare your for an efficient, productive, and fun experience at the show... Before You Get to the Bridal Fair:

  • Create a wedding-only email account through Gmail or another free email service. This will allow you to sign up for mailing lists and get all the wedding info you’ll ever need (and then some) without bombarding your personal email. When the wedding is over, you can just delete the account.

  • Want to receive a bunch of info via snail mail? You can sign up for a PO Box for a few months and have all your wedding mail sent there. Close it up once the wedding is over.

  • Print out mailing labels that include your name, mailing address, wedding-only email address and wedding date. You can pick up some labels at your local office supply shop and print them yourself.

  • Check out the event schedule and list of vendors online beforehand, if available. Highlight any that you’re especially interested in talking with.

  • Call the wedding show posse. Friends, mom, sisters, bridesmaids -- they can help you cover more territory. Just make sure you have everyone’s phone number so you can text one another should you go separate during the event.

  • Find a sitter for the day. Wedding shows are all about information gathering, and making connections with vendors. All that talking and walking is sure to bore the little ones. They won’t be able to keep up with you all day and stay interested!

  • Get a sample of the colors for your wedding to bring with you, such as ribbons or swatches. This will help vendors understand your needs better.

  • Pack bottled water, snacks, a notepad to make notes about vendors and service you like, and a bag to carry all of the info and samples you receive.

  • Make a list of vendors you still need to acquire for your wedding (or a list of ones you already have, if that’s shorter).

  • Put on comfortable walking shoes. Think of it like going to Disneyland -- you won’t be able to see everything you want to unless your feet are prepared for all that walking!

Once You’re At the Bridal Fair:

  • Sign up for ALL of the giveaways! You can win products and services that can offer you BIG savings on your wedding expenses.

  • Use your smartphone or a portable calendar to book appointments with vendors that interest you. Don’t expect to sign contracts for services at the event. If a vendor offers a discount only if you sign up that day, ask them to extend it to your appointment.

  • Approach vendors offering the services you still need for your wedding, first. This way, if you run out of energy mid-way through the show, and you decide to leave, you will have spent time talking with vendors you are most likely to book

  • Snap pictures of elements you like for future reference, whether it’s bouquets or candy buffets.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Write down notes you want to remember about a vendor on the literature or business card you receive from them.

  • If you already have your dress picked out, skip the fashion show and talk with vendors. Since most people will be at the fashion show, you’ll have more one-on-one time with the vendor to chat. 

After the show is over:

  • Relax with your wedding show possee and talk about the event. This way you can get their opinions as well as decompress.

  • Visit the websites of the vendors you liked. You can learn a lot about their services online. Be sure to check their references, and read their client reviews.

  • Follow vendors you liked on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social media for inspiration and updates.

  • Follow up with vendors who made a good impression on you and set up consultations right away. It's important to book your consultations as soon after the show as possible, even if your wedding is a ways off. Vendors (especially the best ones) can book up quickly following a wedding show. 

  • If you know you want to work with a specific vendor, secure your date with a deposit ASAP... Don't wait! Most vendors only hold your wedding date on their calendar with a non-refundable deposit... and their calendars fill up quickly following a wedding show!

Be sure to stop by the Gala Events & Weddings Booth at the upcoming Wedding Shows. The "Something Blue Wedding Show" is this Sunday, Sepember, 28th at the Blue Lake Casino's Sapphire Palace.

 On October 19th the" target="_blank">The Bridal Extravaganza will be hosted at the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka.  We hope to see you at the shows!


Celebration Boulevard and Vendor Etiquette on Gratuities

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (3)

On Tuesday, July 15th, the Wedding and Event Industry Professionals Norcal met to mix, mingle, and strengthen our local events community. This was an especially celebratory mixer for the group, as we welcomed a new Venue to the industry! July 15th marked the first day of open doors for Celebration Boulevard, the newly restored,100-year old historic Paradise Ballroom located at 107 Fifth Street in Eureka. Carole Crossley, along with her husband, Keith Crossley have taken the venue on as a complimentary business venture to their business as the Gift Concierge. We were honored to have the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful new space for our mixer, and look forward to events to come at Celebration Boulevard! Congratulations Carole and Keith!

Additional featured vendors at the mixer included: Just A Little Get-Together, Filigree Cakes, Gift of Touch Massage, Lilla Rose Jewelry, Dawn Photography, and" target="_blank">Ford Entertainment.

Just A Little Get-Together is a team of two sisters, Meredith JoAn Griffiths and Megan Eileen Davie, that love to do all things stationery. They are based out of Ferndale, and also offer event planning services.

Filigree cakes is a local cake company specializing in cookies, cupcakes, cakes and pasteries and emphasizes using local, organic, non-GMO, ingredients. Carin Sorisio loves baking and promoting all things local in Humboldt.

Kim Weeks is a licensed massage therapist, and owner of Gift Of Touch Massage. We all know that planning events can get stressful, so it's good to know Kim can help us all relax.

Sarah Borgeson represents Lilla Rose Hair accessories and jewelry. Everyone needs some sparkle for their events!

Amber "Dawn" Agent-Martinez owns Dawn Photography offering portraits and wedding photography. She takes lovely photos, and especially love to weave aspects of nature into her images.

John Ford offers emcee and dj services as Ford Entertainment. He knows how to bring the party!

Once all of our featured vendors shared about their businesses, everyone gathered into small groups at the tables to discuss vendor etiquette around Gratuities. Carole posed the question, should owners of businesses accept gratuities from clients? Collectively, vendors around the room answered a resounding yes!

I'm not sure what the discussions entailed at other tables... but at my table, vendors discussed the importance of not expecting a gratuity, but graciously accepting them when offered. We also discussed how gratuities ought to be shared amongst a team. Being in the service industry, all of us work very hard... and sometimes the money does not match what we put into our work... so it is most welcome when our clients graciously extend a token of appreciation, be it monetary or not. We like to know we did a good job... and a gratuity lets us know we met a client's expectations. Those at our talbe also acknowleged that a great review can be just as valuable, if not more, than a monetary gratuity.

What are your thoughts about accepting, expecting, asking for, or declining a gratuity in the events industry. We want to hear what you have to say, so please leave a comment below. :)

Old School DIY That Takes Stationery to the Next Level!!!

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

On Tuesday, April 8th, we hosted another workshop in our DIY Wedding Workshop Series... this time focusing on Stationery!  We partnered with Lynn Jones from Just My Type Letterpress to showcase a bit about how she creates beautiful stationery for weddings and other events, and to teach us how to design and carve our own rubber stamps. 

We were fascinated with the antique press from the 1800's! It was incredible to see just how much human power was required to run this industrial machine. We were mesmerized by the gears turning and rollers rolling. Check out this video to see the press in action!

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

We've learned that DIY means something different to everyone.  For some clients it literally means DO IT YOURSELF... in which case, you'll have to come up with another way to print hundreds of your own designs.  For other clients, however, DIY is a handcrafted style that doesn't necessarily mean you actually have to do it yourself.  For these clients, we think that you can have beautiful DIY, handcrafted wedding stationery, by hiring Just My Type to hand do it for you. Each artpiece is designed by hand-carving wooden blocks which then fit into the press to print the image on your paper. Not only will the art be original and hand-crafted, but so will the actual priting, as each print requires human muscle to work the machine!

The words on your invitations, save-the-dates, etc are type set by hand with the lead letters provided in these gorgeous cabinets. We were amused to learn that if your text requires more 'e's than are available in the set, you may just have to re-word an entire line or two of text to ensure enough letters to go around!  Can you imagine?!

The printing press from the 1940's allows larger prints to be made (for example, 8"x11")... yet even in the machine from the 40's still requires human-powered operation.

We were surprised to learn that a multi-colored print requires one day of printing for each color?  So, if you have 14 colors on your invitation, sign, or poster, that equals 14 days of printing for each print! Whew! Laborious! Check out the video to see how this machine works.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Following our introduction to the printing presses, we stepped inside to make our own rubber stamps. Using kits found at any local craft store, we traced our selected image onto the rubber pad, making sure that the image traces reverse of how we want it to stamp. This is essential when a stamp includes letters or words.

By the end of the workshop we were proud of our finished products and can't wait to make our own stationery!

Stationery Timeline & Etiquette

Now that we're in the digital age, clients are asking us if its okay to cut costs on stationery and send electronic invites via email. If you're an Off-Beat Bride that likes to go against the grain, or one of the core values of your wedding is environmental sustainability so you'd like to cut down on paper and expense, e-invitations might be for you... However, Emily Post Etiquette says, most certainly not! Weddings are usually a time to bring friends, family, and relatives together, and while you may have been born during the time when internet has always existed, some of your elderly guests have not, and they definitely expect to receive an invitation sent via snail mail. Some of these guests may not be entirely proficient in using e-mail, plus they love holding on to the mailed momento for your wedding. 

So, what's the timeline for mailing traditional stationery? Save-the-Dates go out as soon as you set your date and location.  This will give your guests ample time to request time off from work, plan their travel and accommodations, and lock in your date on their calendars.  Invitations, RSVP cards, directions, maps, and other details are sent out between 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding day.  This will give your guests plenty of time to RSVP, and you enough time to follow up with friends and family who need some RSVP wrangling.  Be sure to give your printer plenty of time to get the job done without becoming a rush order.  The optimal time to order your invitations is 6 months before your date.  As you can imagine if you choose to use the old school style of printing we've shown you today, and you have multiple colors to print on your stationery, you'll need to provide your printer additional time (14 colors = 14 days for each print!). 

When you have guests coming from long distances, we suggest building a free wedding webiste to guide your guests through their planning.  It's ideal to have your website built before the Save-the-Dates go out... that way, your guests will be able to start making their plans right away without flooding you with calls for travel and accommodation suggestions. A personalized weddings website can inform your guests about your love story, wedding details, changes, RSVPs, and the Gift Registry.  Did you know it's considered tacky to include information in your invitation for your gift registry? It's kind of like saying please come to our weddings and bring a gift on our list. While it's tacky to include gift registry info in your invitation, it's perfectly acceptable to include it on your website.

If you've found any of these tips helpful, be sure to comment below and let us know. If you have any questions, or would like additional advice on invitation etiquette and timing, visit us at: and we'll continue our conversation there!


Be sure to check out our next DIY Wedding Planning Workshop:" target="_blank">DIY Tablescapes & Design with The Party Place
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
6PM - 8PM
LOCATION: The Party Place, Eureka
COST: $20 in advance/ $25 day-of

Pre-registration & tickets available online at:


This hands-on workshop will cover many layers of table décor and design, from overlays and table skirts, to runners and place mats, to napkins and centerpieces and sweetheart tables to guest tables. You will have the opportunity to build a table creation of your own. Come learn about all the fundamentals of beautifying your Big Day with tablescapes you and your guests will remember.


1. How table décor adds to the ambiance of your event, both beautifully and logistically.

2. Creative napkin folding techniques.

3. Proper placement of table crockery.

Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses: Color & Texture

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The second workshop in the DIY Wedding Planning Workshop Series was held last night at Promises Bridal & Formal Wear.  We had a fantastic time mixing and mingling around the inspiration of dress colors and textures. 

The workshop focused on the many considerations brides ought to have when selecting Bridesmaid Dresses.  Many DIY Brides are inviting their Bridesmaids to go out and pick their own dresses without realizing how vast the options in dress selection really are.  Bridesmaid dresses play a large role in setting the tone and ambiance of your Big Day.  It's important to take into consideration the wide range of colors and textures in dress fabrics in order to maintain a cohesive visual asthetic at your wedding.

For example:  Say you decide to tell your bridesmaids that you want them to pick out their own dresses, and your color is blue.  Off your bridesmaids go to purchase the perfect dress for your wedding, yet one buys a tiffany blue short tule dress, and another buys a royal blue chiffon floor legnth gown.  Just look at the wide range of blues in the photo above.  Which blue is what you really meant?

One way to steer your bridesmaids into selecting dresses that will go well with your palette is to visit a local paint and/or fabric store to get swatches of what you have in mind.  You can provide each of your bridesmaids wtih the colors (and even textures) that you would like them to find.  Now when they go searching for dresses, they have clearer guidelines to work with, which will help them to match your vision.

While mis-matchy fashion is also growing in popularity, you can still guide your bridesmaids with colors and textures that go well with one another, even though you prefer variation in the attire.

While shopping for your own dress or your bridesmaids, it is essential to keep in mind that ordering, shipping, and altering dresses takes time.  Plan to purchase your dresses with plenty of time to ensure a good fit.  Sixteen weeks is ideal ordering time for bridesmaid dresses that allows for a couple weeks of minor alterations in time for the wear date.

On behalf of the ladies at Promises Bridal & Formal Wear, and Gala Events & Weddings, we would like to thank all who attended the second workshop in the DIY Wedding Planning Workshop Series!   

Our next workshop in the series is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 11th.  The topic is" target="_blank">CAKES!!! with Boujie Baking Co. Be sure to join the" target="_blank">event page for updates.  Seating and supplies for this workshop are limited, so be sure to Pre-Register to garuntee your spot!

4 Tips for Putting Together Your Guest List

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

You’ve told everyone you know that you’re now engaged, and they’re, of course, happy for you! But of all those folks, who do you invite to the wedding ceremony and reception?  Afterall, each guest adds cost to your event.

Putting together the guest list is a source of stress for many couples, so here are four tips that will help you narrow down that list and avoid major faux pas:

  • Work with both sets of parents when drafting the guest list, especially if they are paying for a significant portion of the wedding. The bride and groom should sit down and make their own list of guests together, and their parents can do the same. Bring the lists together and see what the total guest count would be, just be sure not to double count people who appear on more than one list. Is it within your budget to invite all of these people? Probably not. You can start to narrow down the list from there. If you want to have a small wedding, tell your parents well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Break the draft guest list down into “must invite,” “should invite” and “could invite” categories. The must-invite list includes immediate family and members of the bridal party. The should-invite list includes close friends and more distant relatives that you still have a relationship with. The could-invite list will have the couple’s colleagues and other friends. Once you’ve divided your list up, it becomes much simpler to narrow down the list. Start trimming from the could-invite list first.
  • Plus one or none? This is the quandary that many couples face -- do you allow your single guests to invite a “plus one” to your big day? Typically, those who are not married but in a serious, committed relationship are allowed to bring their significant other. In this case, you would address the invitation to both people. However, for those that are single and not in a serious relationship, you can allow them to bring a guest if your budget allows for all of the single people to bring a guest. If not, don’t add “plus one” to any of the invitations for single guests. If they ask why, tell them there are other singles being asked not to bring guests, and that other friends and family members were also not invited because of space limitations. This will let them know their presence is appreciated and you aren’t just singling them out (no pun intended).
  • Should you allow your guests to bring their children to the wedding? It all depends. If the bride or groom has children, they should definitely be invited, as should the flower girl and ring bearer since they are in the ceremony. Other children that should definitely be on the guest list are younger siblings. If you are having an evening ceremony and reception or your wedding is very formal, it is definitely acceptable to ask your guests to arrange for childcare that day. You could also hire a babysitter for the day to keep the children preoccupied and out of trouble, if you so desire. If you plan to not have children at the wedding, be sure it is clear on the invitations -- don’t address it to “The Smith Family,” address it instead as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

For more tips, guidance, and advice like this, check out our DIY Wedding Planning Workshop Series.  The first workshop will be held on Tuesday, February 4th from 6pm - 8pm at the Humboldt Bay Tourism Center in Eureka.  For more information, check out the" target="_blank">Facebook Event Page.