invitations + what not to do

We all know weddings can be a little stressful. And, more importantly — we know that listing every detail on your invitations can be time consuming. You want your guests to show up to your amazing day, but you also want to make sure they get every piece of information needed. So, how do you make sure you get all of the information to your guests + from your guests?

There is a long list of things you already know TO DO…but here are a few things we will caution you NOT to do (+ an extra tip or two to make your life easier)

– Do NOT tell your guests that your Ceremony will begin 30 minutes sooner than it actually does. We understand why you may think this is a smart idea (because it will ensure everyone is on time), but, it actually creates more chaos. While you are trying to have a private First Look, your guests may end up wandering right into it! Guests typically know to arrive earlier than the ceremony time, so if you try and trick them, they may show up over an hour prior to ceremony and have to wait around for a very long time, with nowhere to go, wondering why you are starting ‘late’ and why they are waiting so long. You also don’t want your guests seeing all of the last minute touches and final set up taking place!

– Do not forget to put how many seats you are allotting on your RSVP card. If you are providing your guests with a plus one, don’t forget to mention that you have “Reserved 2 seats in their name.” Or, if you do not want your friends to bring all five of their adorable children, make sure to also list that you have only reserved two seats in their honor.

– Do not forget to put the RSVP by date on your invitation. It is very important to ask all of your guests to reply at least six weeks before your wedding date. This will give you, your venue, and your amazing vendor team plenty of time to get all of those final counts in and give you some clarity on who you will be dancing the night away with on the dance floor.

– If you need to know specific meal selections for each guest, make sure it’s clear which guest is having each selection. On your RSVP card, ask guests to either write their name or initial beside their meal selection, or have a designated spot for each guest to write in their beef, fish, or veggie preference + their name.

– Will you have a shuttle transporting guests? If so, we strongly recommend a Shuttle RSVP card! This will make sure you know the exact number of guests on each shuttle, how large of a shuttle you will actually need, and it will give you the opportunity to tell those specific guests the shuttle drop off + pick up times and locations.


– An information card. You want your invitations to be beautiful, simple, and reflect the style of your wedding. Therefore, don’t try and cram all detail info on your invitation. Let your invitation remain clutter free, and add a detail card into the suite. The detail card can contain all of the information above, or simply direct guests to your wedding website where all information is listed for them.

Invitation suites below are by the lovely By Invitation Only Ink

Photography by Weddings by Scott and Dana + Katie Palin Photography

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nicole + justin

Nicole and Justin had the most gorgeous + perfect fall wedding at Park Winters. Nicole had a very clear vision for her design. She chose lush green garlands that draped the rustic farm tables with beautiful floral accents, intermingled by the Blonde Bouquet. Blush runners, gold table numbers, and floral touches brought in romantic pops of color. All of their guests held sparklers as Nicole and Justin danced their first dance as husband and wife. The festivities continued into the night as guests danced and celebrated the sweetest couple.

Planning + Coordination Alluring Events | Venue Park Winters | Photography Ryan Greenleaf | Florals The Blonde Bouquet | DJ Function 45 | Beauty I Make Beautiful | Dessert Freeport Bakery | Officiant Tan Weddings | Calligraphy Emily Murphy | Linens La Tavola | Rentals Blossom Farms Vintage Rentals | Transportation Five Star Limo | Videography Max Video Production | Photo Booth Rocket Booth Photos

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janelle + kevin

Janelle + Kevin’s number one priority was hosting a fun party for all of their guests, and they absolutely achieved it! The Claremont Hotel, in Berkeley, hosted their incredible celebration, and was the perfect place for their entire family to spend the weekend together. Their guests enjoyed live music from the band Hip Service, not to mention lots of flowing drinks and delicious food – including a sushi bar! It was a beautiful day full of sunshine, friends + family and the cutest little flower girls and ring bearers. Shades of pink could be found in all of the decor, including their adorable flamingo cake topper! If you’ve never seen a flamingo wear a top hat, now is your chance! One of our favorite elements of their day + the venue were all of the pops of color and patterns that can see seen in their photos, taken by the lovely Green Vintage Photography.

Photography Green Vintage Photography | Florals Green Petal Design | Venue Claremont Hotel | Beauty Dreamcatcher Artistry | Band Hip Service | Dessert Branching Out Cakes | Rentals SNB Party Rentals + Miracle Events | Videography The Good Folk Film Co

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mathilde + cyril

Location: Park Winters (Winters, CA)

Wedding Style: Creative, fun, bright fall colors

Mathilde and Cyril are perhaps one of the most fun and creative couples we have had the pleasure of meeting.

Mathilde, our lovely bride, designed an entire seating chart with a Lego board, complete with each guest, table, and chair – that’s right, we said a Lego board, and it was awesome! Each guest had their own Lego person that went with them to their seat and attached to the place card at their table. Here’s the kicker – each Lego person was personalized and unique to every individual guest…whether it was their hair color, hobby, profession, or physical characteristics, each Lego figure was a work of art.

The creativity didn’t stop there, their bridesmaids and groomsmen all performed skits instead of toasts, complete with outfit changes. It was SO MUCH FUN to watch, and the most amazing tribute to the couple.

The music, laughter, and dancing extended well into the night, and we hope the joy and laughter continue on for ages to come! Wishing you all the best, Mathilde + Cyril!

Photography Jordan Bakey Photography | Florals Dixon Florist | DJ Dart Collective | Photo Booth Rocket Booths | Beauty Michele DeeAnn | Officiant Tan Weddings | Venue Park Winters

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frankie + marcus

Location: Silverado Resort, Napa Ca.

Wedding Style: Romantic summer wedding in Napa Valley, with a whimsical outdoor ambiance.  The colors were primarily whites & greens, with hints of blush accents.

If there was an award for best First Look – Frances + Marcus would win! Hands down.
It was the sweetest, most heartfelt first look we’ve ever witnessed.
From the way Frankie portrayed beauty and elegance, to the way that Marcus literally fell to his knees when he saw her, it was perfect. Every part of it. And it truly summed them up as a couple.

Throughout the entire planning process, their love for one another was beyond evident.  It was so special to watch it all come to fruition on the wedding day.  The best part was that bride and groom were equally involved in planning!

When they had their first dance underneath the market lights it was as if everyone around them faded away.  You could see that they were genuinely wrapped up in their own world.

They were married in August, at Silverado Resort in Napa Valley. Their ceremony was held underneath beautiful trees that created an arch over them, and the reception was in the courtyard underneath the market lights, making for an intimate ambiance. Bellanozze, the florist for the day, put together beautiful arrangements that complimented their design. One of the standout decor pieces was their custom acrylic seating chart, created by the insanely talented Ashlee of Chalk & Design.

Frances & Marcus were surrounded by an amazing group of loving, supportive friends and family; making for one of the sweetest weddings. Definitely the Napa wedding of their dreams.

Photography: Essence Photography | Venue: Silverado Resort | Florist: Bellanozze | Signage: Chalk & Design | Beauty: Love Always BK + Makeup by Susie | Videography: Fresh Wedding Cinematography 

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molly + ian

Location: Nevada Beach Campground (Ceremony) + The Coachman Hotel (Reception); Zephyr Cove + South Lake Tahoe

Wedding Style: Boho Tahoe Wedding, dark tones with shades of deep purple + navy + blush

Molly is that bride that you want to stay best friends with for life. With a love for fashion and design, we were able to work together to create a design that was both Boho and true to who they were as a couple. South Lake Tahoe was the perfect location for their destination wedding. Why keep all of your guests indoors when you can experience the true beauty of nature? Molly and Ian decided to have their ceremony at the Nevada Beach Campground, with the most breathtaking views.

Their handwritten vows were spoken alongside all of the natural elements surrounding them: the crystal clear Lake Tahoe + the majestic mountains in the background.

One of the most unique aspects was their “ring warming ceremony” where their rings were passed from guest to guest, touching every friend and family member so that Molly and Ian could keep their love and blessings with them wherever they went.

The wedding festivities continued on for an enchanting evening at the Coachman Hotel. Deep shades of purple and navy with accents of blush lined the tables and filled Molly’s lush bouquet. Even though there may have been a chill in the air, everyone stayed cozy with blankets, the warm glow of the fire pits, and delicious s’more bar.

One of our favorite design elements for their wedding were the colorful mix of patterned Bohemian rugs we found for their dance floor. Molly and Ian – you are the most amazing couple, and Molly, you are still one of our favorite people of all time.

Photography: Rachelle Derouin | Florals: Helianthus Floral Design | Venue: The Coachman Hotel | Rentals: Celebrations + Tahoe Rustic Rentals + Tahoe Elevated Events | Officiant: Ceremonies by Meredith | DJ: Moonlight Mobile DJ | Beauty: Megan Cary Artistry | Catering: Blend Catering | Linens: La Tavola

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jennifer + mark

Location: Coloma Resort, Coloma, CA

Wedding Style: Intimate campground wedding on the American River, full of blush, ivory, sage and navy

Jen + Mark new the real meaning by their wedding day was what mattered most – and the feeling of true love, understanding, friendship and acceptance between them was palpable.

The rushing South Fork American River provided the most breathtaking scenery for Jennifer + Mark’s big day. They organized a full weekend of activities for their family and friends, including an epic rafting adventure. The couple + all of their friends love camping together, so a campground was the perfect place to say ‘I do’. They even had Chando’s Tacos cater the big day – who doesn’t love a taco truck?!

Shades of blush, ivory, sage, and hints of navy could be seen mingled among the greenery of the Coloma Resort. Dixon Florist created the most gorgeous arrangements of big blooms — Jennifer’s favorite flower, the lovely peony, could be seen all over the tables and in her lush bouquet.

One of the most unique and memorable aspects of the day was the surprise bagpipe player (that was even a secret to their bridal party!) The piper played a full march into the ceremony + played as Jennifer gracefully made her way down the aisle. There wasn’t a dry eye to be found.

With twinkling market lights overhead, the sounds of the flowing river, and the hum of laughter of friends and family, their wedding couldn’t have been sweeter. Sending lots of love and joy to the sweetest couple – Jennifer and Mark, we couldn’t be happier for you!

Venue: Coloma Resort | Photographer: KMS Photography | Florals: Dixon Florist | Rentals: Celebrations | Catering: Chandos Tacos | Service Staff: Night and Day Productions | DJ: Extreme Productions | Beauty: Kiss and Makeup | Officiant: Cindie Wilding 

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david + sarah

Location: Silverado Resort Napa, CA

Wedding Style: Elegant Napa wedding, a garden affair of green + whites

Sarah + David just wanted to have a fun wedding! They fell in-love the beauty of the Silverado in Napa and wanted to include lots of greenery + keep it very elegant with white flowers. The dance party was the best part! We will never forget when Sarah and her bridesmaids started a choreographed dance to MC Hammer. They were just the sweetest couple and we enjoyed every bit of planning with them. Their first look was a moment we all dream of, with the sweetest reaction from both the Bride and Groom, photos below for proof!

Photography Christina Richards Photography | Florals Fieldstone Florals | Venue Silverado Resort in Napa Ca | Beauty A smooth Start | DJ Sir Edgar | Rentals Bright Event Rentals


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sarah + max

Location: The Maples, Woodland Ca

Wedding Style: Classic fall wedding with rustic touches and pops of burgundy, sage and navy blue.

Sarah + Max said ‘I do’ in an intimate wedding on the East Coast, and brought the celebration back to the West Coast where they renewed their vows in front of their family and friends. As wedding planners we always have take-aways from every wedding that we like to share (favorite moments, special decor etc) but with Max + Sarah’s wedding there were so many sweet touches throughout the day that we couldn’t just choose one.

The Groom’s Grandfather performed the ceremony, making it so personal and touching, the Bride’s Grandfather’s classic car was brought onsite and used for photos, and the Bride and Groom even included their precious puppies into the wedding by having a custom card box made of the pups. One of my favorite elements of the day was the petal bar. Guests were greeted with a table full of petals and were able to make their own bag of petals to toss during the ceremony. When the Bride and Groom made their way back down the aisle they were showered with petals raining down on them and it made for some fun photos. Congratulations Sarah + Max, your day was beautiful and we are so happy for you!!

Photography Tahiry Humrich Photography | Florals Dixon Florist | Venue The Maples | Beauty Makeup by Susie + @LoveAlwaysBK | Rentals Blossom Farms + Celebrations | Cake Ettores | DJ DeBorba Events | Linens La Tavola | Lighting Firehouse | Catering Beth Sogaard

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bringing the destination to you: palm springs

We are continuing our series on bringing destination weddings to you! This week… Palm Springs! Not everyone can jet out of town for their “I do’s”, so why not bring your dream destination to you?! Here’s some inspiration for the perfect Palm Springs shin-dig…

The Ronnettes blare over the speakers while everyone dances in colorful mini dresses and gogo boots. Every room you’re in is full of mid-century modern furniture, and Palm Springs is in the center of it all. For your wedding, travel back in time to 1960s Palm Springs right from your home town.

The most important part to pulling off this wedding is finding a vintage rental company with mid century modern furniture. Having those accents throughout will make your wedding feel trendy and on theme. In addition, playing with little disco balls on your tablescapes will be the perfect extra touch to your 60s party look.

Get creative with hair and makeup! Do a stylish winged eyeliner and voluminous hair. Allow your guests to have fun, too. Make it an unforgettable extravaganza by opening it up for everyone to wear their favorite 60s look!

And most important, don’t be afraid of color! Let the colors fly + mix and match patterns and prints.

Photos: Pink Invitation | Couple in Car | Disco Champagne | Retro Invite | Pink Fireplace | Disco Table | Couple | Lounge Set | Tablescapes


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