Site Visit: James Leary Flood Mansion

Hello Honeys!

This breathtaking venue in the city is the perfect site for an elegant, high class wedding. We had the pleasure of visiting with our clients A&H, who will be tying the knot here in October. 

The mansion is filled with beautiful and ornate details, and a view that's impossible to take your eyes off of. We feel so lucky to spend time in such gorgeous surroundings! Ah San Francisco, we love you.


our lovely bride taking a pic of where she'll say "I do"


can't take our eyes of this view



Definitely worth a visit if you have time! We can't wait to go back :)

xoxo
H&T

Site Visit: Thomas Fogarty Winery

Oh yes. We are so excited Honeys, because wedding season is upon us, and this weekend, we get to be at one of our all time favorite spots:











Don't those images (courtesy of Tim Sohn Studios) just make you want to breathe deeply and take it all in? Welcome to Thomas Fogarty Winery, home of some of the most beautiful views in the Bay Area. We're sure you'll be seeing more of this lovely venue here on our blog, but if you haven't checked it out in person yet, we highly recommend it! 

Wedding Table Decoration Ideas - The Lab Event

Hi honeys! We've missed you! It's been a while since we've posted but we're back from the wonderful Holidays and ready to rumble into 2013.

We couldn't be more excited to be planning for many beautiful couples this year! To get inspired, we attended The Lab in Sonoma this past weekend. What a wonderful event! If you are a bride-to-be (or soon bride-to-be!) you should definitely plan to check it out next year.

Here are some wonderful wedding table decorations to feast your eyes on!






Happy Honey & Twine Tuesday!
- Hannah

Congratulations Catherine & Jay!

Update: Emily Scott with Gem Photo just posted a sneak peek shot from Catherine & Jay's wedding day on Facebook!

On Saturday, December 15 we had the pleasure and honor of coordinating Catherine & Jay's wedding! Their love-filled ceremony took place at the breathtaking Stanford Memorial Church and was followed by a chill, but seriously fun (I mean, really fun... their friends know how to party!) reception at Gravity Bistro and Wine Bar. Even though it rained, nothing could dampen the spirits of this gorgeous couple.
Congratulations Catherine & Jay! We couldn't be more happy for you!
UPDATE: Sneak peek wedding photo from Gem Photo!
The beautiful couple. Amazing photo by Gem Photo.


Sneak peek of their ceremony from the organ loft. Apologies for my crappy cell phone photo!

Wedding Budget Advice

Today, we're tackling budgets. Do you know "Mo Money Mo Problems" is one of my favorite songs? I digress...

While this isn't the most glamorous part of wedding planning, it's certainly one of the most important. I received this email from a friend recently:

"I'm trying to come up with a budget... I looked quickly at some venues but those prices vary A LOT from place to place. I know there's food / drink costs involved. The dress. The photographer. Arghh! That's when i started to panic because I really have no idea where to start..."

Here are some of my top tips.



1) Prioritize and be flexible: When you begin the budgeting process, all couples (no matter how big or small your budget) should sit down together and place the following list into three categories: "Very Important," "Negotiable," and "Not Important At All." By laying this out on the table, you can agree ahead of time that you won't mind spending more on important items if it means cutting back on others.


  • Venue
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Live music
  • DJ
  • Other guest entertainment
  • Wedding gown
  • Bride’s accessories
  • Hair and makeup
  • Groom’s attire
  • Groom’s accessories
  • Bridal party flowers (bouquet, boutonnieres)
  • Flowers / centerpieces
  • Ceremony decorations
  • Reception decorations
  • Lighting (lanterns, candles, monograms)
  • Cake / Dessert
  • Stationery (invitations, table signs, programs)
  • Transportation
  • Favors


2) Venue Shopping: Your venue is going to be one of the biggest contributing factors to the look and feel of your wedding. Coincidentally, it is going to be one of your biggest costs. Start shopping and doing price comparisons early. Consider location, amenities and complimentary benefits. If you are set on getting married at a winery but have a limited budget, consider Livermore instead of Napa. If you want a ballroom wedding, look for hotels that include a honeymoon suite in the wedding package.

The Palace Hotel, San Francisco


3) Keep an Eye on the Guest List: Keep in mind that some costs are fixed (your photographer and dress will cost the same no matter how many people you invite) and others are charged "per guest" like food and beverage (F&B). When it comes to "per guest" costs, a growing guest list can really put you over budget.

For example, say I have $10,000 to spend on F&B. I invite 100 guests and sign a contract for a catering package at $100 per person. If my guest list grows by only 10 people, I'm already $1,000 over budget!

While it can be difficult, it's important to be strict with your guest list!

Courtesy of Martha Stewart
4) Budget for "hidden" costs: Many couples forget to include sales tax, delivery charges, and service charges in their budget estimates, which can be automatically added to your bill. With 8.5% sales tax in San Francisco and 20% service charge, that's almost 30% more than the original price tag!

We hope you find this helpful, honeys! Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

Happy planning!
- H x

Simple Centerpiece Tutorial

Hellloooo and Happy Tuesday! 

We recently added Diana & Jon's wedding photos to our website gallery, and wanted to share with you how their centerpieces were made. We had such a great time working with them and coming up with ideas to fit their needs and style! 

The centerpieces needed to be low and small enough so that they could be placed on lazy-susans without getting in the way of the delicious banquet. We took cues from Diana's pinterest to create these simple gray flower boxes filled with white hydrangea.




Since the couple didn't have a budget for florals, we created their bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces with silk flowers. To save on labor costs, Diana enlisted the help of her wonderful family, so we made a very simple tutorial for them of how to assemble the flower boxes:



Once the box was assembled, we added a yellow ribbon for the finishing touch. The table numbers, concepted by Honey & Twine and designed by the wonderful Karyssa Magann, were named after SF locations that held special meaning to the couple.

Here's the cost breakdown for their simple and elegant centerpiece:
Hydrangea from Michaels: $21.54 for 6 (we got them on sale – yay for Michaels' 40% off sales!)
Dusty Miller from Michaels: $5.99 per bunch. Each box uses 1/3 of a bunch, so add $2 per box
Wooden Boxes Rented from Honey & Twine: $6
Approximate Total Cost Per Centerpiece: $29.54

Depending on your priorities, there are always creative ways to be cost effective. We can't wait to share more ideas with you in the posts to come!

Stay Sweet,
Tria 
xoxo

Vintage Fashion Expo: 1920's Dresses & Animal Jewelry

Happy Tuesday Everyone! Sunday we went to the Vintage Fashion Expo in SF and saw a huge array of eclectic pieces. We couldn’t help but think of our brides when we browsed Decades of Fashion's  collection. They carry gorgeous delicately hand-sewn 1920’s dresses by the same designers who did costume design for Oscar-winning film “The Artist” and upcoming film “The Great Gatsby”. You can enjoy elegance and comfort in one of these – they all have elastic waists so you can actually breathe and eat! Have a second piece of cake! 

Here's a sampling of what we saw:



My weak camera phone does the dresses no justice, but visit Decades of Fashion in SF to see some amazing options for your wedding, after party, or just for fun! You can make an entire day out of browsing their collection of clothing, hats, shoes, and bags. 


Seeing their lovely goods inspired us to share some other 1920's inspired looks we've been seeing around:


Ventura - Pronovias by Manuel Mota
photo via bodas.net


Eden by Jenny Packham
photo via 100layercake.com


Audrey Ivory by Freya Rose
photo via freyarose.com


I of course got distracted by some adorably precious animal jewelry as well:



Animal shaped things! Sigh~ I have an addiction. Hope your Tuesdays are sweet & strong!
-T xoxo
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10 Tips for Planning a Cross Cultural Wedding

We love the San Francisco Bay Area’s diversity. More and more couples today are multicultural – one in 10 married couples are now interracial, an increase of nearly 30% since 2000!

Courtesy of Tim Sohn Studios
A cross cultural wedding requires more planning and finesse than a single-culture wedding. Not only is it important to blend customs and traditions – it also requires a deeper understanding of cultural nuances such as family dynamics and what is considered appropriate (and inappropriate) behavior at weddings.


Here are our top 10 tips!

Know that this is your wedding. Be confident in your decisions! You may not be able to make everyone 100% happy, but your families will appreciate your efforts and intentions. At the end of the day, they’ll be thrilled when they see you walking down the aisle!

Educate each other and your families on important cultural traditions, customs and what is considered appropriate behavior at weddings. Discuss expectations; communicate openly, respectfully and often. You may even want to consider pre-marital counseling to help you dive into this important area of your lives.

Make a short-list of customs and traditions that are meaningful to you, or that you think your family and guests would enjoy. Once this is done, it’s easier to think about how and when to incorporate them into your wedding.

Don’t try to incorporate too much at once. You don’t need to include every tradition from all the cultures in your family. If the cultures you’re combining are drastically different, consider incorporating one or the other into different parts of your wedding. To honor both South Asian and Hispanic cultures, for example, you could host a mehndi party after your rehearsal dinner and incorporate the lasso tradition in your ceremony.

Courtesy of  Capturing the Light
Photography (Toronto)
Consider honoring both ethnic and religious customs in your ceremony. Some officiants and religious leaders are open to conducting joint ceremonies. They can also work with you to incorporate ethnic customs. To honor Korean culture in a Catholic ceremony, for example, you could discuss incorporating elements of a kunbere, like sipping wine poured by the mother of the bride, with your priest.

Be creative in incorporating culture into your attire and food as these are two of the strongest sensory elements your guests will experience. To incorporate Japanese and Italian cultures, for example, a bride or groom may choose to wear a traditional wedding kimono during the ceremony and serve a family style Italian meal of their favorite dishes at the reception.

Consider a modern twist on old traditions to make it truly yours. A Chinese tea pouring ceremony is traditionally held at the home of the bride and groom’s parents prior to the ceremony. However, if it’s important for your guests to experience this tradition, why not incorporate it into your reception as an extension of your cake cutting?

Choose venues that will allow for the customs you’ve chosen to honor. You’ll want to ensure your venue can accommodate structures like a mandap or huppah if required for your ceremony. And if a traditional Greek Kalamatianos dance is a must at your reception, you’ll want to ensure the venue allows amplified music. Don’t forget that religious centers may even have specific rules and/or required classes.

Explain cultural traditions to your guests. If you’re having a multicultural wedding, chances are you’ll have guests who are familiar with one culture, but not the other, and guests who are not familiar with either culture. Consider explaining the significance of traditions in your programs, on your menus, or by asking your MC to make an announcement. Your guests will appreciate it and feel more involved.

Be yourself. Cultural traditions and customs are important, but don’t forget to let your personalities shine through. Wedding location, colors, specific food dishes, song selection and stationery are just a few of the simple ways you can personalize your wedding. It’s your big day so make sure it reflects you!

Happy planning!
Hannah & Tria / Honey & Twine