Monday, August 17, 2015

TIPS On Attending Bridal Shows & Wedding Fairs In Santa Rosa, Napa & San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento & Los Angeles

             Attend the SonomaWeddingShow - September 13th, 2015 - 11 am to 3 pm - Santa Rosa, Ca
             Find more local & national wedding shows on

Brides enjoy shaping up their local budgets and gain some insight into the newest bridal trends at their local bridal Shows.  Late August and from September through late October, you will find creative shows in the San Francisco Bay Area & The Sonoma and Napa Wine Country.  They begin again in January.
Inspired by unique themes, displays and meeting many wedding experts and often finding exquisite wedding venues, WE offer some great tips on attending and getting the best from your time at the show of your choice.  Many show links are found on  There You can Shape-up Your Local Wedding Planning. from our resource links to wedding venues and expert wedding services for every budget. (Each offers you five or more years in business & good reviews).
When shaping up your budget and wedding celebration, we encourage you to receive our free digital
Wedding Planner - found on the home page of or call 707-539-3585 with your name and email address, and we will e-mail it the next day.  The Digital Wedding Planner has management forms including a budget sheet.

Before you attend, make some labels of your name, phone, e-mail, aprox. wedding date and year to be wed
Before you attend, charge your I-Phone
Before you attend, check their website for address of show, map, time and date. Most shows are on Sunday, but some are on Saturdays.

#1.  Most shows charge you.  You can purchase tickets ahead from their websites, and at the door. Some let the groom in free. Others give the bride free attendance and let the other guests in for a fee.  If they are serving any alcohol in the show, they will want to card bring your ID.
#2.  It pays to bring your friends/family in to gain information.
#3.  Many of the booths encourage you to sign up for their booth prize.  Using the won prizes will help offset the cost of your wedding expenses.  But do not feel pressured to hire them, just because you won their prize.  We encourage you to interview and check references on anyone you hire for your wedding.
#4. Mark your program, or make a special mark on the service's business card/brochure, you will want to make an appointment with.
#5. Before you go, make a list of questions you believe important to ask prior to attending.
#6. Wear comfort shoes, come casual.
#7  Use your I-Phone to record names, phones, website addresses and photos. If it is important to you, Ask if they text.
#8. Sometimes booking a venue or vendor at 2015 prices can save you money.  Most businesses change their fees by January.

Please Remember :  Any business can purchase a booth - whether a new, old, etc. it pays to check into their history and references before you hire them.  You will find many wedding service interview questions on    ENJOY The Shows - they are fun!!

                                                             The Wedding Coach

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Five Tips on Hosting Big City Weddings in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston & New York City

Exciting cities provide amazing backdrops for weddings and receptions.  The skyline, the skyscraper atmospheres, elegant ballrooms and drama of the lights coming on across the city in the evening.  

                                                        Photo by
Many event and wedding spaces provide rooftop gardens and terraces bringing the outdoors in to enhance your wedding and reception.  There are specific details we encourage couples to look for beside the pricing, size of the space, and overall upkeep of a site. 

#1. When food is served, the proximity to the kitchen and being out doors can lead to cold food.  With cocktail receptions, this is not a concern, but with seated receptions, it can be a big one. You can off-set this by asking questions ahead of time:  How do you keep the food hot for the guests?  Can you serve barbecue or grilled items?   

#2.  We are never in charge of the weather.  So much for thinking so.  Select a site with indoor and outdoor terrace to be your less stress situation.  With an interior ballroom and windows looking out on that view, adds to the flavor of your day....and moon filled nights - even more so. 
                                                 L.A. Skyline at dusk by
#3. Indoor ballrooms with windows to the world are often elegant and add a great deal of atmosphere to your reception.  Our tip here is to consider the carpet and flooring colors of the ballroom.  Your selected theme colors may not work well with what is there.  We can do a great deal with lighting, but the flooring cannot be changed easily.  

                                                           New York City Rooftop Wedding -

#4.  Big City Weddings incur parking problems for your guests. Some locations offer free parking for up to a certain number. Other sites require valet parking.  It is nice to include a note in your wedding invitation regarding parking options.  Also, we see couples block off fees at a specific garage as part of their budget.  Always ask what the hotel or building management suggests.
#5.  Your guests entering a hotel or major building may not understand which elevators or which ballroom you are in.  Prepared Signage is a great assistance.  Well placed at the hotel/building entry and near the elevators, or ask a building personnel or friend to the wedding party  direct from these areas. 

Trust these TIPs and ideas have helped, we would love you to add your ideas. 
                                                Join In The Conversation !

Find thousands of wedding venues and expert wedding services on
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Monday, July 6, 2015

The First Four Things You Need To Know Before You Look At Wedding Venues

He Popped The Question!!  
Savor and enjoy your engagement time together.  After awhile begin the discussion of how far out you want to set the wedding date.  So now you need to consider the process of the wedding planning.  We have a great deal of help for you on with links to venues, services, the questions for interviewing the wedding services, and a free online wedding book, plus our "Best Style Wedding & Honeymoon digital magazine for California.

Your first four questions to answer prior to shopping for your wedding venue (site, location, facility) are:

#1. Approximate time of the year and theme/style wedding you want.
#2. Your number of guests from family, friends and business relationships.
#3.  Your budget.  This involves 50% to make deposits for venue and service reservations.
#4.  Do you want it catered by professionals.

The size and The catering can be the tricky questions.  A catered hall or hotel, you may not like their food, but love the hall.  You may have friends who want to gift you with catering services - and many venues do not allow other chefs in their kitchens.  Also falling in love with a facility that does not have enough room or is too pricey, can be a threat to successful planning.

First of all, you want to look for a large planning portal that lets you know the number of guests and the general ambiance of a location and its city. Couples want ambiance:  Beach, Garden, Vineyards, Historic, Mansion, B&B or Inn, Major ballroom in hotels and restaurant banquet rooms.

The Wedding Coach at

Friday, June 19, 2015

Can You Count on Wedding Services' References & Reviews? What Can You Count On?

Please DO  Count On Your Due Diligence ...

                Call The REFERENCES  Before  You  HIRE  The  Wedding Services

         People are hired to write, and  there is software designed to ADD reviews to Yelp, etc. 
                                        Now you are engaged - & thinking about wedding planning.

You are about to spend thousands of dollars -- this is one time you need to ask questions of the people who were suggested you call for a reference. Yes, you do see references, reviews... but where do they come from.  Don't use a wedding planning web portal that allows anyone to add their links.

The  and criteria are: they must be in business five or more years and have good personal reviews.

This is a very tricky area for corporate, bridal and social events.  It is beyond me how people can book just by calling a visitor’s bureau and asking for a referral -- businesses PAY to be members and referred. There are weak QUALIFICATIONS to become a member of a CVB or Chamber.  

Some publications & websites state they only do business with “quality vendors” and when you look at the complaints lodged against some of the businesses, it is amazing the publication or website would be able to make this statement.

Hiring people from magazines, web sites and/or a  friend’s recommendations can be “a road down buyers regret” when you do not check the references out by calling a them and asking specific questions.

ALWAYS Ask for three references from the people you are really interested in, and call each one -- questioning them regarding:
1.        How the business performed -- were they on time, have the proper attire for the formality of the event.  Did they provide the exact services requested, and were there unusual charges on the bill? 
2.        Ask if the business followed through on their contractual agreement?
3.        What was their WORK PERSONALITY like?  Same as when they interviewed them?
4.        Is the same person going to be at your event - as who you interviewed with?
5.        If the references check out -- then finalize your investigation by going on  The and find out if there have been any complaints lodged against the business.  Or you could type their business name in the Google cursor with complaints against as the searched business name or owner.
6.         Keep good notes on your calls.  If some references do not call you back, ask for MORE references regarding the business you are interested in.


From the Wedding Coach - Judith Rivers-Moore

Friday, May 22, 2015

Adding Luxury Ideas To Your Wedding Design - Part I of 3

The following are TIPS and Ideas on design that can move your wedding and reception from a nuts and bolts, mechanized, ho-hum experience into a celebration reflecting your…

Standards for elegance
Electrifying personalities
Joyful, LUXURY surprises
Stylish Additions
Out of the box ideas
photo by
Luxury statements can be placed throughout the entire wedding or focused on one area of the wedding day celebrations. We will cover methods in this three-part-series. Join Judith Rivers-Moore, The Wedding Coach on  and add your ideas to to this topic - here on the WeddingLinksBlog.
                                         Remember, you are the royal couple on your wedding day!
#1. Meeting & Greeting the Guest With Luxury: Everything from your personal website, save the date card, list of local hotels, maps to your event sites in the invitation to ample parking and good signage on where to go or adding transportation will lead to less-frazzled guests.

An Entry Host to direct the reception guests and  a water or ice tea service are especially appreciated on hot days. Depending on the venue, we see couples setting up a cocktail or wine bar ahead of the ceremony with music favorites being played. This provides an added luxury to greeting the guests. We also see couples providing a water service or bottled water just after the ceremony on hot days.

Making certain seniors and senior guests have someone assigned to pick them up and deliver adds to their luxury and welcome. Finding one's way in a region can be difficult. Very formal weddings often have a reception line. More casual methods are for the couple to go to each reception table and greet guests.

#2. Flowers & Decor & Lighting Enrich  Your Setting. Brides love garden settings with beautiful backdrops and environmental views. The ceremony aisle being spread with rose petals is a royal carpet treatment and focal point for the nuptials. Even a simple room may be enhanced with flowers on the aisle.

#3. Luxurious Ideas For Wedding Invitations: Invitations set the tone of the wedding. Very high style custom-made papers that include eco-friendly types with beautiful, hand–written calligraphy are available and add a special touch on wedding invitations. The gold leaf border (or a copper wax seal) might be enough trim. Create a personal monogram or watermark on the paper with your initials. The style chosen can be used as a unifying element for your invites, reply card, menu card, envelopes and ceremony programs. Conveying your theme or the wedding colors on all the paper products including your Thank You Notes will add that touch of luxury. Whatever design you choose, make it's eye-catching. Be sure to indicate if your wedding celebration is a black tie formal affair, or a themed wedding with costumes etc. and/or is cocktails and dinner following and/or any uniqueness. There are specialty services to assist with this and some brides have the invites addressed and mailed by the services with special stamps or hand canceling. When weddings are in major cities, the added touch of messenger delivery is a possibility.

We have seen:
Fabric boxes with the invitation set inside to be an outstanding delivery through mail or messenger. These may also be placed on the tables at the reception as an added display with your centerpieces.

Gold Rose Boxes with flowers and invitations being delivered at the same time.

Wine or champagne bottles sent by messenger with the invitation affixed as a label or attached in the envelope to the neck. Additional bottles can be your wedding favor - set on the tables for the guests to take home.

Boxes of candy or chocolates mailed with the invitation inside - shipped to guests.
                                                  Your invitation to a sweet affair.

Beach Wedding Invitations with grains of sand or sea shells (not a real starfish)

Beautiful Invitations with initialed SEALS on the envelopes.

We will cover venues in the next blog, please give us you input.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Same Day Wedding & Elopement Wedding Venues In The Sonoma Wine Country & Napa Wine Country

Couples desiring a same day wedding in any part of beautiful California will find it easy. Many choose the Sonoma and Napa wine region for its romance, great food and hotels for every budget.  There are many experts to assist in the area -  found on ...  But I'll name a few below:

The Bridal Path in Santa Rosa gives you two non-denomination officiants, a romantic carriage ride and beautiful ponds and gardens for a romantic backdrop to your photographs.  Affordable & Picturesque.
                                                              Photo by Bridal Path

A Luxury Package with meals, your lodging, the ceremony and more is found at the Madrona Manor
in Healdsburg. This is amazing Victorina Mansion with beautiful gardens.  Very romantic.
                                                       Photo by

The Farmhouse Inn in Forestville is an inspiring venue with vineyards all around in the Russian River area.
Luxury, and several packages include fine dining, ceremony and romantic lodging.
                                                                      Photo From the Farmhouse Inn

Churchill Manor in Napa City is a delightful Victorian Inn with spa, bed and breakfast and lovely gardens. They offer several packages. Large groups and elopements are welcome.
                                                    Photo from the Churchill Manor 

The Meadowood near Calistoga in Napa valley is a favorite destination wedding venue that also does elopements. Luxury is the word for their amazing meals, romantic lodging, spa and gardens.

                                                            Photo by

You will find more venues for Same Day and Elopements on

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#elope to napa
#elope to sonoma

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Sonoma Wine Country To New York City - How To Give The Perfect Wedding Toast

Who gives a Wedding Toast????  
Anyone can after the maid of honor, best man & family first share theirs.

When are toasts appropriate?
Wedding Shower - Maid of Honor & Hostess of Shower
Girls Night Out - The Bride For Her Bridesmaids
Bachelor Party - Best Man For The Groom
Rehearsal Dinner - Fathers and/or Mothers of the Bride & Groom 
Receptions - Best Man & Maid of Honor & Parents

Every culture is different on this sign of respect and celebration process. 
                                                     Photo by:

TIPS On Giving A Wedding Toast For A Bride & Groom

You know you will be making a toast very soon for a wedding celebration.  Even though the event is still weeks away you are already fretting about what you are going to say in you your wedding speech.  This is one of the most important duties, and even tho the movies show people flubbing up - most speeches go well and are long remembered.

Gather a few tools before you begin.  There are some great articles and books written on speech making, books on romantic quotes and read Anne Wycoff's paper on
                                 Love Is A Verb - to gain insight on the meaning of love.

The words spoken to the bride and groom, and their wedding guests should convey the importance of the celebration and connect the guests with the couple on a more meaningful way.  With a bit of early preparation and creativity, you speech can easily become one of the highlights of their day.

Before beginning any toast, find the microphone that will help carry your voice to the back of the room.  Arrange with the servers to make certain the guests and couple's glasses are filled, and call their attention to your beginning the toast by telling the DJ/or tap on a glass for attention.  Having the crowd hang on your every word is easy by following the simple tip outlined below.

1. Don't forget the basics.  It's easy to forget to begin your speech by introducing yourself and sharing how long you have known the couple, as well as what your connection to the bride or groom is.  Many of the wedding guests may not know you, so this information is important.

2. Remember to thank the bride and groom for allowing you to be a part of their special day.  The bride and groom could have chosen anyone, but instead, they chose you to play such a important role in their day.  By acknowledging this in your speech, it shows the couple, and the guests that you appreciate them placing you in this special role.  It also shows you are honored by their trust in you to carry out the responsibilities.

                                                       Photo by

3. Use your history with the bride/groom/couple as a foundation for your speech.  Whether you have known them since childhood, or only for a few months, sharing a special memory between the two of you shows the significance of your bond.  It also highlights the positive aspects of their personality that may have been a factor in drawing the bride and groom into their relationship.  Remember, however, not to embarrass the couple with overly personal stories.

4. This is not a comedy act, but you can infuse your speech with ta bit of humor.  The last thing you want to do is offend the bride, groom or any of the wedding guests.  Keep the joke simple.
With this type of speech making, the governing rule is: stand up, speak up and very quickly shut up.  Appropriate speech times are 2 to 4 minutes - unless you are showing films & a story.

5. Don't be afraid to use a quote. There are thousands of wedding appropriate quotes in books and on-line with a quick web search.  The most important thing to remember is to choose a quote that rings true to the couple and the celebration.  If you want to play it safe, a sentimental quote on everlasting love can be your best choice.

6.  Get Creative!  If you don't want to go the typical route, consider doing something a bit different to honor the couple.  Maybe a song, dance or photo/video could add a new demension to the usual speeches.  If you decide on this, remember to choose something that is in line with the couple's taste.  A poem is also a nice touch to a maid of honor speech.

7.  Always end on a positive and uplifting note. Wish them a long and happy life together, and remind them of your continued support.

PREPARATION - Prepare your speech well in advance, collect your items/books/readings/quotes to create the speech.  Review your statements. Place them on 3 x 5 cards or on a paper to remind you. This tracking helps offset the nervousness. Until the speech is over - do not drink alcohol. You need a clear head.  Above all have fun and remember you are honoring their special day. Your speech is a very important extension of their wedding ceremony and often recorded by video. 

A SPECIAL GIFT - record the speech for them, or give them your words on nice paper for their memory book.  

Please, Join in the conversation with your ideas and tips for others.

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#give a wedding toast
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