Ask H&T: How Long Does It Take To Plan A Wedding?

Happy Thursday Honeys!

Our lovely reader Mingmui asked:

"Of course each couple is different, but what is the ideal time period to allow for wedding planning? And the shortest possible (for those procrastinators out there)? Is a month doable?"

Well Ming, we are believers that anything is possible! The typical length of an engagement in the U.S. is between 14 and 18 months. While some couples begin to plan as soon as the bride-to-be says "yes!", many couples wait a few months and just enjoy being engaged first.

The amount of time you should spend planning your wedding really depends on what kind of wedding and planning experience you envision. If there are certain venues and vendors that you have your eye on and want to obtain before their popularity takes them off the market, it's best to start securing those at least a year in advance. Similarly, if you're the type who likes to research every aspect, you'll need to allow plenty of time for this. 

If however you enjoy making quick, informed decisions, a shorter planning timeline is certainly possible! We've done full planning in as little as 3 months, and had such a great time doing it! We love helping our clients with the challenge of a shorter timeline. Even if any of you out there would like to try a month, we're up for it :)

We do recommend though that if you're going to attempt a short planning timeline, have either a planner or a team of willing loved ones to help you out. Don't wear yourself out before the big day!

Site Visit: Easley Ranch

Happy Tuesday! 

Continuing our East Bay kick, here's one of the best kept little secrets for a stylish celebration:

Easley Ranch

This lovely family-owned venue has so many charming features! A little bridge perfect for a grand exit, a beautiful house, vast yard space to accommodate your dance floor and tables, and even a lovely swimming pool. 

To see an example of a wedding here, check out photographer Kate Harrison's blog

We can't wait to coordinate our couple's June wedding here!

Vendor Spotlight: Ocean Blue Videography

Happy Tuesday Loves!

We wanted to shed a little light on the creator of Diana & Jon's wedding video from our last post.
Van Hsieh is the lovely storyteller behind the lens. A reassuring and sweet presence, we love having her with us on the day!

Let's get to know a little more about Van:
Quick Q's!

Best Meal:
I love Japanese food. I had the best Japanese tapas at Guu Garden in Vancouver.

Favorite place to be:
Coffee Shop

What do H&T stand for to you?
Happiness & tenderness

Best present someone has gotten you:
When I was about 10 years old, my dad worked late and came home after I was asleep.
One night he woke me up and showed me a plastic bag that emitted bright green lights. It looked magical in the dark. He had brought back a firefly bug. I had never seen one before, and so close!
My friend and I released the firefly into a small garden at school the next day. But I've always remembered the magical lights shining in the dark.  

About Your Craft

How did you become a videographer?
I've always been fascinated by visual arts and literature. While getting my MFA at Rochester Institute of Technology, I took many video and film courses. That was when I discovered how much I love FILM as an art form. Video/film allows me to combine visuals(form) and stories(content) to create something very meaningful and powerful.
After graduation, I wanted to do something related to my field/passion, and make a living at the same time. In 2003, I went to a bridal show as a volunteer, and chatted with a wedding filmmaker there. That was when the idea of starting a wedding/event video studio was born.

What’s your favorite part of the creative process?
When you have been thinking very hard about an idea, a story or technical/artistic issue of a project, and suddenly you have an epiphany.

Tell us about a favorite moment you’ve captured.
I can't pinpoint a specific moment, but I think it is precious when a groom/bride tears up when being interviewed or when reading his/her loved one's letter.
Usually this happens in a quiet room. In these quiet moments, the groom/bride is only thinking about the other person, without being weighed down by other logistics of the wedding day. It is a very pure and tender moment.

What do you hope people will feel when they watch your work?
I hope they can feel the emotion(s) of the character(s) in the video, be it happiness, anticipation or sorrow. I hope they can be emotionally engaged.

What philosophy do you use to guide your work?
Give the best of you to your craft. Stay truthful. Enjoy the process.
Talking about this, please watch the movie "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."

Do you have openings for 2013/2014?
Yes we do. Feel free to contact us for availability.

What's the best way to reach you?
Please fill out the contact form on our website (
We can also be reached by email or phone
(Ph: (408) 316 3932; Email: info [at]

Vendor Spotlight: Gem Photo

This week we'd like to shine a light on one of our favorite photographers: Emily Scott of Gem Photo. We showed you some of her work on Tuesday, now let's hear a little more about her!

Photo by Gina Zeidler

Quick Q's!

Best Meal: anytime my husband makes breakfast for us. he is a wizard in the kitchen. 

Best present someone has gotten you: a pair of black Christian louboutins. 

Favorite place to be: my grandparents summer cottage on the lake in Canada. 

What do H&T stand for to you?  my two favorite things : hugging & traveling 

About Your Craft

What inspired you to be a photographer? Living in Japan for a year after college made me want to capture every new sight I saw and share it with everyone back home. 

Tell us about a favorite moment you’ve captured. I recently photographed a dear friend just a few hours after the birth of her first child. It was the most incredible thing to see her hold this product of love and sacrifice  

A moment that has made you cry: I cry at literally every wedding I photograph. Usually during the father daughter dance.

A moment that has made you laugh: I love photographing grandparents and I really wanted to photograph my brides grandmother as she was walking into the reception and when I stopped her I was hesitant to ask her to move into better light. She told me - "Listen, when you have as many kids as I do, you get used to people bossing you around! So you just tell me where to go."

Biggest challenge shooting a wedding: deciding what to focus on when there are so many moments happening at the same time. 

Best thing about shooting a wedding: being with people on the best day of their lives. 

Favorite type of shoot: lifestyle shoots - or engagements where we go and eat at amazing food spots in the Bay Area. 

What philosophy do you use to guide your work? A while back I found a quote from scripture that struck me so deeply - it goes "All beautiful you are, my darling, there is no flaw in you." And the idea that through the eyes of love - there are no flaws. That's how I try to see and capture everyone. 

Do you have openings for 2013/2014? Yes! Only a few weekends open for 2013 left. 

What's the best way to reach you? Email


So sweet and calming, Emily is always a pleasure to work with. She's also a big inspiration to us to follow our hearts and do what we love! To see more of Emily's moments of laughter, light and love, visit her websiteblog and facebook!