Cultural Romance at Casa Real

We had a blast working with R + K for over a year. Merging cultures and opinions helped to show the strength of this relationship. A spring time wedding at the beautiful Casa Real Winery in Livermore proved to be the perfect backdrop for the elegant flair this couple desired.



Bohemian + Rustic Love

When C + A approached me with their ideas it was anything but traditional. Set against her families 100 year old ranch in the Livermore Hills of Northern California. Months were spent gathering chairs from flea markets and thrift shops. It was the goal to use an eclectic and boho inspired approach with the decor reflective of her life as a yoga instructor.

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The bridal party opted for an array of patterned bridesmaid's gowns while the brides dress was custom made from a family friend.

For the ceremony guests sat on cloth covered haybales situated in the pastures out behind the large barn, adorned with antique rugs and potted plants.

The reception featured a mix of chairs, table styles, and even china. The food was a very important element, the bride being vegetarian wanted locally sourced food that was intentional and filling. It was all served family style with open style seating. While the guests enjoyed dinner, they were entertained by the fabulous Marie Johnson and her band. We chose an area on the ranch referred to as the Cabin for the backdrop. It was shaded from the September sun, woodsy, and warm all while echoing the rustic charm of the wedding.

 

The party continued and the dancing took place at the Palapa. It was nestled nicely near the hay-bale furniture and giant custom built fire pit. The beer for the bar was served from a self-serve tap system the family built themselves.

C+A involved so many family members and friends to making the day personal, special, and free-flowing. It perfectly reflected their relationship and what they believe in life. Love, laughter, and intentional interest in the beauty of life.

A Special Thanks to all the Vendors

Planning: A Beautiful Gathering

Rentals: Pleasanton Rentals + Winged Heart Vintage Rentals

Bouquet: Sarah's Garden Design

Catering: Morepleaze

Bar + Alcohol: Sutherland Distilling

Music: Lisa Marie Johnson

Bridal Gown: Custom by a friend of the bride

Bridesmaids: BCBG

 

Fall in Love

We loved all of the details and fun of S + J's fall wedding. It had the perfect amount of texture, color, and warmth. Set at the beautiful grounds of Concannon Vineyard and Winery. We were blessed with a beautiful day. Photo's by the talented Rachel Howden.

The bride and groom did not want to do a first look, but they opted for this special moment of a "first touch" . It was a beautiful and sweet time they shared.



When planning the big day it was important for it to be comfortable and inviting. The bride wanted hints of fall given it was the middle of October. We tied in a few tiny pumpkins around the area and decided on a mix of lanterns and florals for the centerpieces. A few of our favorite highlights were the custom designed cornhole boards by none other then Jen of JBG Designs and the late night treat of donut holes for guests to take on the way out.

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Cross Back Chairs : Textured Linen Overlays : Custom Designed Seating Assignments

 

A special thanks to all of the vendors

Seating Assignments

Seating assignments and escort tables or displays are one of our very favorite details. It is the perfect space to do something fun, personal and unique. While you can do open seating in general we prefer assigned seating.... Below are some of our most favorite creations and designs that we have had over the years!

 

We know it can be stressful trying to find an 8th person to go at table Number 4. What about table Number 12 that really needs to have 9 because you just cannot pull anyone one out? We want you to remember that it is just one dinner assignment, grab a good drink, a healthy dose of patience and work as a team to do the best you can and know it won't be "perfect".

 

A few reasons why we are not huge fans of open seating, it tends to cause more stress for your guests, they end up dashing from the ceremony to lean chairs and drop coats missing some of the fun relaxing time of cocktail hour, the need to over set your reception by at least one table to accommodate that every table will not be full, the crazy friend dragging a chair half way across the reception just to be with his buddies, and somehow it always ends up that one of your Aunts sits at a table in the back and isolated from the rest of the family.

Kelly Boitano

Kelly Boitano

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In some cases though it does make sense for open seating. If you have a smaller guest count (generally 80 or under), the majority of your guests really do know one another and the families have mixed before, your reception space has the flexibility to add a table or two above your guest count, or if it really does speak to your personality and the theme of your wedding.

Mark Skovodroko

Mark Skovodroko

TIPS

  • Alphabetize, we recommend making sure your display is arranged alphabetically instead of by table if you have a guest list over 80-100 guests.
  • Readable, make sure the font, size, and style can actually be read by guests.
  • Positioning, try to make sure it is in a space that guests can access during cocktail hour. It helps eliminate a back-up when the reception is finally open.
  • Environment, be sure to think about the elements, do not put candy out on a patio in the sun, paper cards out in the wind, and be sure if it is outside the items are secured and stable.
  • Meal Choice, be sure if you have a plated dinner that the meal choice is easy for the waitstaff to see makes sense.
  • Types, do not be afraid to think outside of the box, you can do large displays, incorporate your favor, make individual items, or keep it simple. Evaluate what is important to you and go for it!
KREATE

KREATE

Dana Todd

Dana Todd

Rachel Howden

Rachel Howden

KANDACE

KANDACE

Mozi

Mozi

Rochelle Mort Studio

Rochelle Mort Studio

Francesca Penko

Francesca Penko

Rachel Howden

Rachel Howden

Erin Marie Cadwaller

Erin Marie Cadwaller

Leah Michelle

Leah Michelle

Thanks for stopping by and best of luck in all your planning,

Amanda

*All photos are from weddings planned + coordinated by A Beautiful Gathering.

 

Rentals

Almost every single wedding we do we are selecting rentals with couples, reviewing them, managing them and making sure they perfect.

We love the girls and inventory at Pleasanton Rentals. They have a great selection of linens and furniture that can really add some personal touches to your wedding. We asked them a few questions to give our clients some insight and tips to consider when looking at rentals...

Photo by Erin Marie Cadwalleder

Photo by Erin Marie Cadwalleder

 If you have a venue that provides everything in a basic level, what is the best item to upgrade (linens, china, chairs)? 

Chairs! Chairs make the biggest impact. When your guest walks into your reception you want to WOW them right away. But, linens are right up there on my list with importance of designing an event. 
Photo by Erin Marie Cadwalleder

Photo by Erin Marie Cadwalleder

Photo by Jennifer Pope

Photo by Jennifer Pope

Photo by Leah Michelle

Photo by Leah Michelle

 

How many months out should most couples be looking at linens and flatware?

We typically want our clients to book 5-6 months out from their event. As a client you want to make sure you book your items well in advanced so there won't be any hiccups later in your wedding planning. You can always update the quantities of your rental items as long as we have the items available.
Photo by Erin Marie

Photo by Erin Marie

What is your favorite trend coming in the next year?

Lush colors with bold table top elements. We have noticed that the trends are leaning more towards a look than a theme. You don't really see a wedding in a barn with mason jars and burlap anymore. You see clients using more elegant touches in a rustic venue. For example, we see rich textured linens, shiny flatware, bold china with our cross back chairs to give this look a little more intimate flare.
 

 A neutral palette is very popular, how do you recommend making it special? 

We all love neutrals, but adding a little pop with your napkin and florals will make a huge difference. Never be afraid of color!

 

 

What items do you rent that clients may not think about at first?

Chargers. Clients don't ever think of chargers right away, but they make a HUGE statement at your event especially if the wedding is buffet style and the plates are at the buffet line, the chargers make the tables look set and complete.
Photo by Rachel Howden

Photo by Rachel Howden

Photo by Leah Michelle

Photo by Leah Michelle

What are your top 3 napkin folds?

Menu fold to show off your menu, but still have the pop of color with the napkin. Wrap the napkin around the charger for a simple look. Throw a napkin ring on for a little detail to the table top. 
Photo by KANDACE

Photo by KANDACE

 What is the craziest thing someone has asked to rent? 

If we rent animals. 

 Thank you so much, if you have a few minutes and want to see some pretty stuff pop on over to Pleasanton Rentals site. We are big fans of personalizing your wedding and believe rentals are a great avenue to achieve a unique look. We love mixing table styles, linens, patterns, and you can never go wrong with a fun flatware statement. One of our personal favorite things is a good lounge. It adds warmth and creates a space for your guests to feel like they can relax and have fun all night long.

Photo by Francesca Penko

Photo by Francesca Penko

Amanda

*All of the photos used in this blog post are items from Pleasanton Rentals from weddings we have planned!

Carmel Wedding

2016 was an incredible year with so many highlights. We spent this last weekend down in Carmel celebrating with the last wedding of this season. It was incredibly special when our phone rang many months ago. Over 7 years ago we were blessed to work with this family planning their other daughter's wedding. Getting to see the difference between styles and tastes was so fun, but the heart and soul that drives that family was same. They are loving, kind, fun, and so incredibly trusting. We wanted to share some sneak peaks from the incredibly talented KANDACE Photography.  We are excited to see more...

 

 

Special Thanks to all of the vendors involved!

Planning: A Beautiful Gathering

Photography: KANDACE photography

Video: SRNDPTS

Florals: Sarah's Garden Design

Ceremony: Carmel Mission Basilica

Reception: Barnardus Lodge & Spa

Signage: JBG Designs

Menu & Programs: Sara Kate

Rentals: Pleasanton Rentals

Photobooth: The Vintage Photobooth Box

Dessert Stands: Julia’s Cake Stand Rentals

Dress: J’aime Bridal

Hair + Make-Up: Brittney Kannel

DJ: Kelly Productions

 

Thank you to every couple and family that has spent this past year with us, we are thrilled for the adventures and celebrations getting under way for next year.

Amanda

 

Welcome to the new site!

A Beautiful Gathering Blog Courtney and Jeff Prep

We are so excited for the update and the addition of the BLOG. We plan to use this platform as a chance to feature more of our work, answer some common questions, and also get some insight from other vendors working to make weddings magical and memorable. We understand planning a wedding can be stressful and time consuming, but we also believe in taking time along the way to invest in your relationship and build the foundation for a strong marriage. We are passionate about supporting our brides in a personal way and really do love a fantastic party!

A Beautiful Gathering Blog Dana Todd Bouquet

 


 

A while back we were honored when the lovely Dana Todd  asked us to do a little write up for her blog.

In doing so we came up with questions that we advise all brides to ask a potential wedding planner. We thought it might be fun to take some time and answer those here from our perspective.

 

A few questions if you are considering hiring a planner:

1. How long have you been planning weddings and how many wedding have you coordinated? (This can vary a lot, but you want to see they are established.)

I have been coordinating weddings for 8 years now, it developed organically and all through referrals. We formally launched A Beautiful Gathering in the fall of 2013. It has been a wonderful time and we feel so blessed to have walked beside so many couples.

2. Do you have vendor recommendations not just positive bridal reviews? (Being well-liked and respected in the industry is one of the best ways to see who you are getting.)

We absolutely love our vendor teams. We think strong relationships with fellow vendors are crucial. We are an open book and can provide any client with a vendor from any field for a recommendation, from caterers, venues, to photographers, and bridal shops. Pro Tip: When you are out and about gather all the names you can, you can use this as you interview selections, if no other vendor has heard of them and they are not on any preferred lists, that would give me pause.

3. Have you ever had something go wrong at a wedding and how did you handle it? (Everyone should say YES! It is the response to how they handled it that is your real answer. If they say NO then they are not being honest, or they do not have enough experience).

Oh yes, sometimes big and sometimes small… We once had a venue close down unexpectedly 8 days prior to my clients wedding. Thankfully we were able to find another venue locally, and successfully moved the entire wedding and all of the details over.

4. Who will actually be present on the wedding day? (Some planners are independent and are always on site, and others work as team, both can be a great option depending on your needs and wedding details. Confirm you know exactly who you are hiring and the level of experience the person at the actual wedding will have.)

I am present at all weddings. We often bring in assistants and various staff to meet the needs, but I am always there. It is important to me to be with you from the beginning until the end, and why we have purposefully chosen to take on a limited number of weddings so that we can provide a high level of service.

 

 Thanks for stopping by!

A Beautiful Gathering Blog Courtney and Jeff Cake
A Beautiful Gathering Blog Signature

(Photos by: Dana Todd)