Celebrate: Sarah + Will

One of my favorite venues in town is Belle Meade Plantation.  It is so classic and timeless, and the bright eyed bride came up with ideas that were a perfect contrast to bring together the old and new. I think we bonded because she lives in my beloved San Francisco, and I in their hometown of Nashville.  Talking to her felt like I was at home part of the time.

With a gorgeous bride and handsome groom, Sarah and Will kept their styles traditional for this event.  But the design, oh the beautiful design, brought in a bit of new with bright bold colors, and a bit of old with vintage napkins and gold silverware.  It was a perfect blend of two families coming together to celebrate this union.

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Celebrate: Erika and Sheldon!

The story behind this lovely couple is so inspirational. They didn’t meet in some high-end club and catch one anothers’ eye from across the room, they didn’t meet at a cocktail party, and they definitely didn’t meet using online dating… they met one another fighting for our country. That’s right, they met one another across the world serving in the United States Army. Despite the circumstances, they managed to find love amidst the battle.

I am so honored to be a part of such a beautiful marriage!

Coordinator: Christina Logan Design
Venue: Belmont Mansion 
Photography: Bella Te Photography
Flowers: Parsons Florist
Hair & Make-up: Cassandra Higgins
Cake: Nashville Sweets
Rentals: Eric’s Rentals

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Celebrate: Madeline & Jason

Some times “small towns,” really aren’t that small. Take our beautiful couple, Madeline and Jason. Both grew up in the town of Lancaster, but they went to opposing high schools! They met a year after graduating from high school when Madeline interviewed Jason to become a campus tour guide at UC Irvine. They bonded over both being from Lancaster, and the rest is history.

I have to admit, when Madeline first called to talk about her wedding in Lancaster, I had no idea where Lancaster was! During my first drive up north to meet the lovely couple at their venue, I was very curious as to what I would find amongst the canyons and desert terrain. And did I find a gem! Jason and Madeline were married at the Lancaster Museum of Art & History (affectionately known as “MOAH” to the locals). Madeline used to work at the museum, which made the day even more intimate and special. This beautiful venue featured fantastically high ceilings, gorgeous lighting, and amazing art as the backdrop!

Madeline and Jason were intimately involved in planning every detail, down to the gorgeous coral centerpieces and picking out the most delicious cupcakes ever from local favorite, Double D Cupcakes! I had a blast helping them bring their final details together in what proved to be a beautiful ceremony with lots of tears capped off with a night of dancing on the rooftop. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your beautiful day!

Venue: Lancaster Museum of Art & History

Photography: Candice Benjamin Photography 

DJ: Extreme DJs

Catering: Stone Fire Grill

Flowers: The Wild Rose

Rentals: A-1 Rentals

Cupcakes: Double D Cupcakes

Desserts: Carmel Pastrie’s Bakery

Hair & Makeup: Jordan Curtin

Wedding Coordinator: Christina Logan Design

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Know: Have Fun!

So, maybe it’s the heat of summer (or the rain in Oregon–it was pouring during a recent CLD trip up there!)… but it seems like everyone I am meeting right now in the wedding business is stressed. Hitting their limits. And I am so sad that I have even seen a few brides about to hit their insanity stage.

We get it, we seriously do. Wedding planning is HARD (which is why you have hopefully hired an amazing wedding planner to make it easier). But we also know that even if you have a wedding planner, there are times you are going to stress and totally freak-out: you have a lot of decisions to make, you might not always get every little thing that you want, that bridesmaid might be getting on your last nerve, and oh-my-goodness can you just be married already!!! Yup, we have had that conversations with our brides and in our own minds (because we were once brides too!).

This might sound totally lame, but it bears repeating: this process is pretty fun. We can’t promise it will be fun 100% of the time (floorplans are just the worst) but the really great parts will always outweigh those moments of panic (you had the perfect excuse to stuff your face with cake at the 3 tastings your scheduled).

When in doubt or in a moment of panic, we suggest you try remembering these moments:

– When you first received your engagement ring (or you had just received an acceptance of your amazing proposal), how excited you were?

– How diving into the wedding planning process was thrilling?

– How you felt when you found THE dress??  Or THE venue? Or picked THE date??

Let those happy moments flow through you, giving you awesome energy. Just keep breathing, keep smiling and power your way through. You are bound to hit something fun soon 🙂

Know: Regret

Yikes.  We all hate that word: regret.  It’s that agonizing feeling that looms in the back of our minds that we can’t quite shake.  It keeps us up at night, it makes us *wish* we could do something again.  You can only re-hash something so many times or annoy your bff with the same details so often if you want to keep her from sending you to voicemail.  So how do we live without regret?

Prevention.

Just like home insurance and car insurance and life insurance (ahem, and pet insurance … yep, Type A here).  We get these things to protect ourselves and loved ones in order to decrease our odds of the problems that could come ahead.  We had an awesome seminar from spokesperson from mywedding.com this month.  Being a medium for thousands of brides, it was great to hear him reiterate what we try so hard to tell our clients.  Hiring the right team will decrease your chances of regret.

So how do we do this when it comes to a wedding?  You hire a wedding planner.

The number one thing HE heard from clients was “I wish we’d spent more money on ___, it would have been worth it looking back”, or “If only I’d know, I would have ____”.  We’re not asking you to throw your budget out the window, and the catch 22 is you’re not supposed to know!  You’re busy with work and life and love, you’re not expected to know the whole wedding planning process when you’re only going to do it (hopefully!) once in your life.  That is why you need a team of professionals to help you.  That is our job, and we decrease your risk level when you hire the right team.

For whatever reason, a planner has the tag-line of “luxury item”.  Well, we disagree.  Do you want to be that person who finds out after their wedding that they should have hired someone to help?  Nothing is more painful for us than when we meet a newlywed and they say to us “it was so stressful and I didn’t really enjoy myself because I was so worried about ___”.  UGH.  If I’d have known then what I know now …

Well, this is us telling you!!!  You can’t claim no one has told you that you need a planner.  This day happens once.  You spend a lifetime thinking about it and up to a year getting details together for an event that takes 6 hours.  Is it really worth chancing it and looking back thinking “if only”?

Celebrate: Megan & Lee

Malibu and Music: could there be a better combination?

When we first met Megan and Lee back in January, those were the 2 major focal points for their upcoming wedding in March. The venue was to be Malibu West Beach Club (a CLD fave!), where they wanted to incorporate the beautiful scenery and beach elements. For music, both Megan and Lee are amazing musicians, so every musical element was selected with care. The result? Fantastic!

This amazing couple pulled off quite a feat with planning the whole wedding in under 3 months, but with clear communication and hard work, everything came together! There were even a few magical music surprises: singer Kenny Lattimore sang the processional and the mother of the groom sang opera!

Megan and Lee were such a blast to work with, from their creative ideas to their DIY attitude, not to mention their beautiful baby girl stealing the spotlight!  We also had the pleasure of working with an amazing team of vendors that made this stunning Sunday wedding spectacular.

Thank you so much to Megan and Lee and congrats to the beautiful couple!

Venue: Malibu West Beach Club
Wedding Coordinator: Christina Logan Design
Photographer: Haoyuan Ren
Flowers: Diane Carvotta
Lighting & Decor: CFS Design
Make-up & Hair: Elite Makeup Designs
DJ: DJ Malski and Music-To-Go Entertainment
Catering & Rentals: Pierre’s Catering
Desserts: Frosted Cupcakery

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Meet: Malibu West Beach Club

We can’t lie–even though we have offices in Nashville and Los Angeles, we here at CLD are beach girls at heart. Lucky for us, we frequently get to work near one of the most nostalgic, historic, and beautiful beaches in the world: the 27 scenic miles of Malibu.

But we also can’t lie about the fact that with those 27 miles comes a wide variety of options and choices when it comes to getting married. There are historical inns, hotels, private estates, oceanside restaurants, and quite a few beautiful chapels, just to give you an idea. So why not check out one venue that brings so many of those options right to you?

Meet Malibu West Beach Club.

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Photo Courtesy of Malibu West Beach Club

Situated at the northern end of Zuma Beach, MWBC was made for beautiful weddings. Ceremonies take place on the patio looking straight into glorious waves and perfect sunsets, without your guests having to tackle the sand. The adjoining ballroom feels like the classic hotel ballroom, with ample space for nearly 200 guests, but without the feel of actually being in a hotel!

Under events manager Jacqui Spiros, Malibu West has made a few awesome upgrades in the last year.  The bathrooms have undergone a complete remodel, along with new kitchen updates. The kitchen allows caterers to prepare onsite, and there is also an enormous bridal suite for your bridal party to relax and primp in perfect lighting.

But the best changes have occurred in the reception area. The room features new rustic hardwood floors (no need to bring in a dance floor!), and the elimination of a few walls for even more space and light to shine through.  Unlike hotel ballrooms, which typically have a set décor theme, this blank canvas allows any wedding color scheme to work perfectly or can transform for the more eclectic tastes (we have seen a goth-themed wedding pulled off here to perfection!).

But it gets better. Malibu West is also unique in that you are allowed to bring in your own caterer and you own alcohol (all subject to licensing and insurance, of course!). So after maybe saving some cash by hitting up Costco or BevMo for libations, you can splurge in other areas from fancier food, extra flowers or whatever your heart desires!

Historic location? Check. Privacy? Check. Fine dining? Check. Ability to be transformed to the most unique of tastes? Check! Malibu West just might have it all…

 

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Photo Courtesy of Malibu West Beach Club

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Ample space and beautiful views from the Patio!

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Panoramic shot of the entire ballroom!

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Views of the main entrance and dancing areas.

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Awesome hardwood floors!

Just an idea of what a wedding could look like on the beautiful deck!

Just an idea of what a wedding could look like on the beautiful deck!

Stay tuned in the next few weeks for even more photos from a recent CLD wedding hosted at Malibu West!!

A Toast to Tastings!

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This week at Christina Logan Design we had the awesome opportunity to attend a tasting with a potential caterer with one of our lovely brides! Food is a critical component of any successful wedding or event, which makes a tasting just as crucial. When checking out your potential caterers, we thought we would give you a few pointers, tips, and good questions to ask:

Get the details. Is the tasting complementary? How many people can attend? How many different selections will you be allowed to try? Attempt to get as many details aligned and set before you head off to your appointment. This also allows you to set a good precedent with your potential vendor!

Bring the right people. Obviously you and your fiancé are the most important people in attendance, but are there other opinions that are important to you? If a family member is helping with the wedding bill, it might be a good idea to invite them so they understand how much you value them. Finally, bring your planner! They have been through this routine before and can further assist with a successful tasting. However, don’t bring the whole wedding party. Keep the tasting party limited to those whose opinions will make a difference.

Bring the right documents. If you have an agreed upon menu, bring it along to ensure you are tasting the right things. Further, also bring any bids or contracts that a potential caterer has prepared for you. This is important as caterers usually provide more than just food—chairs, linens, beverages, and much more. Having the bid right in front of you can help you make any necessary changes, compare pricing, and ensure that you have everything covered.

Take notes. The menus and bids are also good places to take some notes on. Was that crab cake a little salty? Or was that sauce for the steak just not quite right? Do you think you should maybe only do 3 appetizers instead of 4? How much will it cost to upgrade your barware? Take those notes to keep your thoughts and preferences straights.

Speak up! If your notes feel a little critical, that’s OK! You need to tell your potential caterer what you like and what you don’t. Chefs will usually be able to provide alternatives and suggestions that will make your tastebuds happy.

Tastings can be a fun adventure! If you prepare yourself with the right people, documents and mind-set, you are well on your way to finding fabulous food!

Coordinator vs. Planner and Why You Need One!

What is the difference between a Coordinator and a Planner?  The word is often used interchangeably even though the roles are different.  So which do you need?  Well if you missed the last post on why you need a Coordinator, take a look here.

If you’re up to speed as to why you need at minimum, a Coordinator, then let’s break down the differences for you.  It can get tricky, and with all the vendors you’re working with and all the new terms they’re throwing at you (a gobo and a posy anyone?!), I wanted to make it simple for everyone.

A Planner helps you actually plan elements of your wedding by going through options with you and lending their expert advise and opinions and then helping you book the best options.  Depending on the extent of your agreement with them (partial or full planning servies), they can help with a lot or a little.  And they typically will help you review contracts , read the fine print and ask those uncomfortable questions that you really don’t want to ask out loud.

A Coordinator puts together all the elements you’ve already planned and makes sure they go off accordingly and that the vendors fulfill their contracts.  They are also the go to person in case anything does not go smoothly.  I prefer to drop the term “day-of”, because I have never met a Coordinator who just works the “day of” the wedding.  They are so much more and are so important.  When you are referring to anything short of planning, they are then a Coordinator.  Please take major note of the fact that the Coordinator does not actually plan any element of the wedding for you, but the Planner will also coordinate the wedding for you – it is included in their services.  It’s that whole ‘a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square’, phenomena.

So why do you need a planner?  And I’m not talking about the bride or groom that is totally clueless or is overworked and can barely make time for their dog.  We know why they need Planners.  But why does the average Annie need a Planner?  Isn’t a Planner a “luxury item” that isn’t really necessary?

Look, when you break it down, the whole wedding process is a luxury item!  I mean we don’t need bountiful arrangements of flowers on every table in site, but they sure as hell make us feel special and beautiful and unique for that one amazing day!  So why when you’re breaking the bank everywhere else should you also invest in a Planner?  Because they will be the only person there from start to finish to help you make the right, un-emotional, educated decisions in each department on the wedding process.  Their service is not always tangible, but it sure is worth it’s weight when you have someone guiding you through the process.  They will save you countless hours of research, back and forths and even straight up money by reviewing contracts for you and going to bat with vendors on your behalf when they’re being wishy-washy.

They are like an interior designer.  Not “needed” but so darn worth the money that they will make every moment happier and more memorable.  The time spent on your behalf doing research and putting everything together is priceless.

Why have a Coordinator?

I have heard that question before.  “Do I need a Coordinator?”  “But my venue already has someone on site. They’re going to ‘supervise’ the whole event.”  And I’m sure they will, and I’m sure they’ll do an excellent job at supervising the event … but who’s going to supervise your specific needs?  And make sure you have what you need when you want it?  And tell the DJ that you actually want 15 more minutes of dancing before cutting the cake. And help find Aunt Sue for the family portrait?  Or realize that the photo booth delivery is 45 minutes late, and find your lipstick or grab your flip flops from you bag in the bridal room?

I can tell you who’s not going to do it.  The on-site Coordinator.  And they shouldn’t!  It’s not their job.  Their job is to watch and protect the venue.  Of course they care about you and want you to be happy with everything, but they’re not going to set up all your little details and then pack it up for you at the end of the night.  They will kindly tell you that you need to remove all your items from the venue that evening, and you get stuck asking family to grab things.  And let’s be honest, your maid of honor Jessie probably isn’t in the best state to be grabbing your burlap wrapped mason jars, and mom’s feet are ready to collapse.

Your personal Wedding Coordinator is the person who is going to take care of you.  They are going to be looking out for you, number one, at all points of the process.  Your coordinator will be in contact with all your vendors before the event, make sure they know addresses, call them if they’re running behind, and be their point of contact. They will work with the site coordinator and distinguish responsibilities so you are covered in every context.

They will make you a timeline with enough time for everything so you’re not rushed or flustered. And then they will get you when you are needed and help guide you through the evening.  They will stop things from happening out of order and check with you every step of the way.  And at the end of the night, they’ll gather your things so you don’t have to remember anything, and wish you a goodnight on your way to your Honeymoon Suite!

I have not met a single bride or groom who just “threw a wedding together”.  They all take time, thought and energy, no matter how simple the affair.  The couple spends money on gorgeous venues, the best photographers and organic food.  But then for some reason, they think they can forgo a coordinator, and it makes no sense.  After so many hours of your time planning and slaving away, don’t you want to spend the little extra to make sure the event goes off without a hitch?  Don’t you want some assurance that someone out there knows every vendor, is watching the guests, is looking out for you and is going to be your problem solver should something arise?

I know it can seem superfluous to spend more money on this day when you’re not getting something tangible.  But you are getting a service.  An important, valuable service, and you are investing in peace of mind so you can enjoy this day that you have worked so hard to plan and waited so long to happen.  A good Wedding Coordinator will prove their worth by relieving you from the worries that you should rightfully not have to give a moments thought.    And you will never have been so happy you hired one.