My Biggest Wedding Planning Regret

Everyone has one. What’s my biggest wedding planning regret? Read on.

By Kirsten Quinn-Smith

Scarlett and Preston's Wedding Highlight from Walnut Grove, Moorpark, CA

When you’re a bride, everything is about the details. When you’re a wife, however, everything is about the marriage.

What do I mean?

Keep The Feeling Alive  

Well, the other day, I was sitting with a family member on an outdoor patio in Valencia, soaking up the sun of a gorgeous Sunday with a mimosa in hand. She seemed a bit off from the start, and then she said she was asking her husband for a divorce, a week before their one-year anniversary.

She showed incomprehensible strength as she told her story, describing how things unraveled slowly — and then suddenly. Though I listened intently, there were moments when I thought of my own marriage, just six months old.

Suddenly, I was reminded how delicate marriage is, and I instantly wanted a reminder of the strength of my own union.

“I really wish I could watch our vows right now,” I thought to myself.

I didn’t just need to remember the moment we exchanged vows  — I needed to feel it again. Why? Because it would have felt so good to relive it when I needed to most.

My Only Wedding Regret  

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Whether life throws you a curveball or reminds you how lucky you are, there are moments in every relationship when you just want to return to the day you took the leap.

What did your partner look like? How shaky was your voice? What feelings swept over you? Which words made cry? Which jokes made you smile? What promises did you make?

With regret, I’m here to tell you I can’t answer all those questions.

I didn’t have a videographer at my wedding, and it’s my biggest regret.

Why?

Reason 1: You Don’t Miss A Thing.  

It ends up being such a magical day — and such a blur.

Many memories feel hazy, while others I need to be reminded of completely. There is so much to experience that not even the bride and groom get to see everything.

“About 70% of your finished video shows moments you weren’t even there for,” explains Matthew Sutherland, owner of Matrimony Films, which produces the best wedding video in Santa Clarita and beyond.

Brides, for example, miss many major moments: the flower girl and ring bearer, what happens during cocktail hour, what the reception space looks like before anyone gets there, and more.

“You don’t get to be part of so many of the elements you put together, often agonizingly, in the planning stage,” Matthew said.

Dani & Russell's Wedding Highlight from Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu, CA

Reason 2: It’s Worth It.  

Video is one of two parts of your wedding budget that increases in value over time: video and photography.

Your wedding day is meant to be that: a day. But it’s so beautiful that you want to make it last forever! Or at least hold onto as much as you can.

That’s why your wedding video and photography become so valuable over time. I chose not to pay $1,500 for a wedding video at the time, but now I’d pay thousands of dollars to have those memories back. You do the math.

Reason 3: It Keeps The Feeling Alive.  

Matrimony Films Love Story Videos in Southern California and Worldwide

Wedding photography and wedding video capture different things.

Photography, for example, captures the beauty and the emotion in a moment. Video, on the other hand, captures the actual moment. You don’t just remember laughing during your sister’s speech, but you can listen to exactly what she said and how she said it.

“When you hear your partner talk and watch his expression, it brings you back to exactly the way you felt in that moment,” Matthew explained.

Photo allows you to commemorate the experience; video allows you to relive it.

“On your wedding day, you’re going through the entire spectrum of emotion,” he said, “When you rewatch it over the years, you can feel those things again.”

Something that valuable shouldn’t go in the “if I have the budget” category.

The Moral of the Story   

My wedding was perfect and magical and everything I ever wanted it to be.

Of course, I left my veil behind at the hotel, someone forgot the Champagne toast, and the DJ played the wrong songs — but I loved every minute.

I have only one regret: that I can’t relive it all today.

Jamie & Matt's Wedding Highlights from Hartley Botanica, Somis, CA

About Matrimony Films, Santa Clarita Wedding Videographer  

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Matrimony Films in Santa Clarita is a nationwide company full of creative filmmakers who are inspired by the emotions and the excitement of a Wedding Day. We pour our hearts into capturing and telling a story that each couple will enjoy for their lifetime. We service the needs of brides all over the United States, Canada and anywhere in the world.

We have recently worked professionally with Panasonic, XProtex, Flixel, Coast Southwest Cosmetics and Porsche, but our favorite clients are our wedding clients. There's no better reality television than a real couple making the decision to spend the rest of their lives together. It's a privilege to be invited to capture the most special day in someone's life, and we take pride in every opportunity to do so.

Whether we shoot your wedding film from the ground or from the air with our new Phantom Drone Helicopter, we’ll make something you can cherish and share with family and friends forever.

Take a look at our Vimeo page to see samples of how far we go to give our clients every moment of their wedding day, captured professionally and presented beautifully.  

West Coast Clients: 818-262-5402

Worldwide: 661-263-8903

About Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Professionals   

Your vision is our passion. The Santa Clarita Wedding Professionals is a united group of the most accomplished and sought-after wedding vendors in Southern California. Together, we form a unique network providing access to a wide variety of services in every stage of planning.

Our goal is to provide prospective brides in the Santa Clarita and Los Angeles areas with a comprehensive list of qualified wedding vendors, including wedding florists, wedding and event DJs/MCs, wedding photographers, wedding videographers, wedding hair and makeup artists, wedding invitation makers, and wedding planners. Look no further for the most trusted wedding vendors in Santa Clarita and beyond.

The #SCWEPblog provides useful tips and tricks, and our quarterly educational event, The White Stage, brings Southern California’s best vendors together in one room, where they present their best advice for the season.

Design Your Perfect Ceremony Site In 3 Easy Questions With A V Party Rentals

A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita shares their best tips to decorate your perfect wedding ceremony site.  

Design Your Perfect Ceremony Site In 3 Easy Questions With A V Party Rentals

One of the things that makes wedding planning difficult is it requires two very different skills in one couple: the ability to visualize the big picture, as well as execute the details. This is never more true than when you decide on the vision and atmosphere of your ceremony site.

Design Your Perfect Ceremony Site In 3 Easy Questions With A V Party Rentals

Your ceremony site not only sets the tone for the rest of your wedding, but it’s also the reason you’re here, right? To get married by publicly declaring your love in front of your closest friends and family.

But where do you start?

That’s where the Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Professionals (SCWEP) come in. We spoke with longtime expert Rusty Parr, owner of A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita, and he gave us the top three questions you should ask when decorating your ceremony site. These questions address the big picture, so you can work with your vendors to handle the details.

1. Is your ceremony site indoor or outdoor?  

This single factor, along with weather, is the biggest determinant in the look, feel and cost of your ceremony. 

Indoor Ceremony Site  

Indoor ceremony sites are generally easier to tackle because they control the most unpredictable variable: weather. Once that’s removed from the equation, all you’re really focusing on is: What do I want to hide, and what do I want to enhance?

“You don’t have to worry about weather because that’s taken care of, so now all your decor really just adds to the atmosphere,” says Parr, a member of SCWEP. “Consider decorating the ceremony site differently than the rest of the room or space, so there’s some separation and movement.”

Next you want to think about the layout. How do you want people to move from one “event” to the next? For example, do you want people to stay close to the dance floor for the majority of the reception? Put your bar and desserts within range.

Design Your Perfect Ceremony Site In 3 Easy Questions With A V Party Rentals

Outdoor Ceremony Site

Outdoor ceremony sites have been popular in recent years, but they also add an element of risk and, often, additional cost. Why? Weather.

“You seriously have to consider the weather,” Parr says. “As best you can, research the expected temperature, chance of precipitation, and wind speed. More often, people will think about rain, and hopefully arrange a Plan B, but they usually forget about wind.”

Consider how the temperature changes throughout your ceremony and reception. In California, the temperature can change greatly in a matter of hours. And when it comes to wind, consider the temperature, strength and direction. Is it a hot breeze? That’s not likely going to cool your guests during the ceremony. Is it a strong, cold gust? That will make the temperature seem much colder.

“Whether it’s hot or cold, it’s always best to have a Plan A and a Plan B,” Parr says. “Pay for the optimum conditions, but arrange a backup plan for the worst case scenario. Make sure you reserve the equipment for your Plan B, in case your rental company runs out of the equipment closer to your date. A good company should keep you up-to-date on what’s available, so you know you’re prepared.”

 

2. What are your goals for the atmosphere of your ceremony?  

Three main elements determine the atmosphere of an event: mood, comfort level and lighting.

Mood  

To determine the mood, again consider the question: What do I want to hide, and what do I want to eliminate? Then it’s time to talk decor.

Design Your Perfect Ceremony Site In 3 Easy Questions With A V Party Rentals

“Consider the level of formality and the vibe you want to deliver,” Rusty says. “For example, are you a flower child who wants to wear a light, flowing gown and walk barefoot down the aisle? Then maybe an arbor or archway would look great. Or, if you’re more traditional, you may want to opt for high-backed chairs and drapery. Then, of course, there’s the popular woodsy look, that brings in wine barrel decor and lots of greenery.”

Comfort  

Most couples naturally gravitate toward the mood-based decisions, focusing on aesthetic decor choices. Comfort, however, is way more important to your guests than what color linens you choose.

“Consider what time of day your ceremony falls in, and think about the direction of the sun,” Parr says. “If you’re going to have a 45-minute ceremony at 1 p.m. in August, you should look at your options for a canopy. If it’s a windy day, you may want to block out the wind, so guests can hear you. Brides often worry about hair and photogenic moments when it’s windy, as well.”

Also think about your older guests. Will they be comfortable on your chairs, or do you want to arrange a comfortable lounge area near the dance floor — so they can enjoy the festivities from a close distance?

Cost-cutting Tip: If weather is a big concern, set up your ceremony and reception at the same site, so you can provide maximum comfort without doubling the cost.

Design Your Perfect Ceremony Site In 3 Easy Questions With A V Party Rentals

Lighting  

Time of day greatly affects lighting, as well as your desired mood.

“If any part of your wedding is held in the evening, then your lighting is purposeful — you need it for your guests to see,” Parr says. “If not, then your lighting is atmospheric and less necessary. Once you determine that, you’re really asking: What kind of lighting do I want, and how much?”

Atmospheric lighting can make a big difference if your budget allows. Add lighting around the perimeter to set the tone before your ceremony even begins, or uplight the background trees to give your venue some color and depth.

3. How do you want to execute your plan?  

Consider your team, think about setup and tear-down, and plan your day-of mindset.

Team  

Design Your Perfect Ceremony Site In 3 Easy Questions With A V Party Rentals

We highly recommend working with a rentals company that has specific experience with weddings and can work within your timeline. Wedding-based companies are accustomed to coordinating with the florist, checking in with the wedding planner and doing their best to accommodate last-minute or high-stress requests.

Labor  

Don’t forget to coordinate the setup and tear-down of your event with your venue, and make sure you understand all their requirements to avoid being penalized or fined.

Are your family and friends doing this part? Make sure to clearly coordinate who will be doing what, and account for the possible “drunken uncle” who won’t be able to fulfill on his duties.

Mindset  

This is the most important factor of all — because it determines how you will feel about your big day. Before the day comes, resolve to stay focused on what matters: you and your love. Don’t peek at the setup, or worse go “help,” while you’re supposed to be enjoying time with your bridal parties and getting pampered. Instead, hire a team you trust, and then trust them.

“In most cases, micromanaging will ruin your night — not your guests’ night,” Parr says. “They only notice the big picture. That’s why you do the details, so they fill out and complete a big picture. Focus on that.”

For more information about A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita, please visit avparty.com or call 661-259-2151.

 

About A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita

Quality and style you and your guests will appreciate long after your wedding is over. A V Party Rentals is Santa Clarita’s favorite wedding, party and event rental store! And you can put Santa Clarita’s best to work for you. We are a family-owned and -operated business, and have been serving Southern California for over 30 years, sharing our expertise in events with thousands of brides.

Whether you’re planning the party of the century, or just a small get-together, the staff at A V Party Rentals is ready to help you determine your needs. From tables and chairs to tents and canopies — and everything in between, including dance floors, china, flatware, linens, and bars — we’ve got it! Our party consultants are more than happy to help you plan your event, right down to the last detail. We will help you anticipate you and your guests’ needs, so you don’t have to.

Let A V Party Rentals make things easy. We have everything you need, all in one place. Please stop by and visit our showroom, where we have many displays and great ideas

Advice From A Wife: The Most Valuable Wedding Planning Tool In Santa Clarita

Engaged? Start here. SCWEP’s The Wedding Stage, a bridal event hosted by Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Professionals, is your crash course in wedding planning.  

How To Attend

When: March 7 @ 6 p.m.

Where: Valencia Country Club

Tickets: $30 (Purchase Here)

More Info: scvweddingsandevents.com

By Kirsten Quinn Smith

When I attended SCWEP’s The Wedding Stage, I didn’t realize it would be such a valuable experience in my wedding planning journey — so I didn’t come prepared to make the most of it.

The hosts, 20 wedding professionals who’ve collectively serviced thousands of weddings, truly understand what this experience is all about. They’ve walked countless brides through the process, from the moment you slip on that engagement ring until your big day is nothing but a perfect memory. And they have your big picture in mind, as well as the details.

The people behind SCWEP’s The Wedding Stage don’t just want you to have a beautiful wedding; they want you to have a beautiful engagement and planning process, too!

I feel it’s my duty as a new wife to share with you: my most valuable wedding planning tool and how to get the most out of it.

How It Started 

The Most Valuable Wedding Planning Tool In Santa Clarita

SCWEP members collectively service and/or attend about 500 weddings a year.

“We were watching the mistakes and the struggles, as well as the successes and creativity, and thought: ‘Isn’t it our job to share this information?’” recalled the original members.

And so SCWEP’s The Wedding Stage was born. A private bridal show meets wedding planning workshop, this one-night event isn’t available anywhere else.

“We wanted to give back,” said Matthew Sutherland of Matrimony Films in Santa Clarita. “We wanted couples to have access to our experience, not just our services.”

How It Works  

The Most Valuable Wedding Planning Tool In Santa Clarita

SCWEP knows brides. So the evening kicks off with a cocktail hour, complete with appetizers from Valencia Country Club and Stonefire Grill, as well as a complimentary signature drink. Guests are invited to mingle and find a place to sit in the dining room, where the tables are styled according to popular themes and looks.

“It gives you a taste of the different options in table settings, linens, chairs, florals,” said Claire Middleton of Claire’s Flowers in Santa Clarita. “It helps you see what’s possible.”

Pro Tip: Arrive on time, so you can snag the table you like most.

Your host and President of SCWEP, Mike Diaz, will then welcome the guests and begin the program, while a SCWEP member and Santa Clarita wedding professional sits at each table to chat with the brides.

The Most Valuable Wedding Planning Tool In Santa Clarita

“Our goal here is to see where you’re at in the planning process,” said Julie Susdorf of Perfect Day, Perfect Look. “We take your specific questions and figure out where you’re stuck. Then we relay those questions to the appropriate professionals, so they can answer them during the Q&A.”

After that brief opening, Mike, of Diaz Entertainment, and Jorge Lopez, with J&M Entertainment, will co-host the festivities. SCWEP members take turns hosting a 5-minute Q&A, during which they cover the Dos and Don'ts for each vendor category: flowers, photography, video, cakes, honeymoons, entertainment — you name it.

“This is where we invite you to pick our brains and ask your most pressing questions,” said Rusty Parr of A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita. “It’s more a look at the wedding industry as a whole than one wedding vendor in particular. We tell you what questions to ask your vendors, to make sure they’re well-prepared for your big day and the cost is what they say it is. We give you the criteria, so you’re empowered with that knowledge when you sit down for consultations.”

After the Q&As are complete, vendors hold demonstrations. Learn how to cut the cake without blocking out the photographer. Take a turn at the bouquet toss, and get the florists’ secret for the perfect throw. Watch video clips of wedding tragedies, and see how uplighting can change the mood of a room.

Pro Tip: Don’t be shy! Volunteering for the demonstrations means you get prizes!

Wrap up the evening by revisiting the vendor booths, grabbing cards and getting more detailed answers to your questions.

The Most Valuable Wedding Planning Tool In Santa Clarita

What You Learn  

Knowledge is power. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to tackle the most important moments of your big day
  • How to handle sticky situations in the planning process with grace
  • The essentials of wedding etiquette
  • The Dos and Don’ts of each vendor category
  • What to ask your vendors to get the best deal and services
  • How to create backup plans
  • How to structure your budget
  • A cost range for each vendor category
  • Time frames: when to book vendors and in what order
  • How to make your big day meaningful — not just beautiful

What You Get  

Information, presents and memories — here’s what you get at SCWEP’s The Wedding Stage:

  • Access to 20 high-end wedding professionals serving Southern California
  • A planning booklet to take notes and write down questions
  • Discounts from Santa Clarita’s best wedding vendors
  • 2 complimentary signature drinks
  • Appetizers from Stonefire Grill and Valencia Country Club
  • Prizes!
  • An fun evening of wedding planning with your friends and family

How To Prepare  

Because a bride can never have too many checklists, we created a checklist to prepare for your own visit to SCWEP's The Wedding Stage:

The Most Valuable Wedding Planning Tool In Santa Clarita
  1. Consider your vision. What atmosphere do you want to create? Decide where you fall on the spectrum from casual to formal, religious to non-religious, small to large, ceremonial to celebratory. Then consider a theme, if any.

  2. Get Pinterest out of your system. Go crazy. Make your dream board. Then hand off your vision to the professionals, so they can enhance it with years of experience and know-how.

  3. Write questions for your vendors. Where are you having trouble? Are you stuck somewhere in the planning process?

  4. Grab your girls. This event is really special when you come with the people you love. It’s great to bring your partner, but if you want to go full-bride on this one, grab your girls, your mom and your future MIL. Did we mention there’s champagne?

Advice From A Wife: Make The Most Of It  

My best advice to make the most of this event — and your Big Event? Get yourself in the mindset of being the bride. Think about what brought you here and what your wedding is actually about. My guess is, at the heart of it all, it’s about your love and commitment, your dreams for the future, who you are now, and who you want to be. Soak that in. Be the bride. Let yourself feel special without getting swept up in the craziness of place settings. Get grounded in your purpose and inspired by your dreams. At the end of the day, remember your why: that sexy man or woman you want to lock down forever.

For more information about SCWEP's The Wedding Stage, please click here. Or ...

 

About Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Professionals  

Your vision is our passion. The Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Professionals is a united group of the most accomplished and sought-after wedding vendors in Southern California. Together, we form a unique network providing access to a wide variety of services in every stage of planning.

Our goal is to provide prospective brides in the Santa Clarita and Los Angeles areas with a comprehensive list of qualified wedding vendors, including wedding florists, wedding and event DJs/MCs, wedding photographers, wedding videographers, wedding hair and makeup artists, wedding invitation makers, and wedding planners. Look no further for the most trusted wedding vendors in Santa Clarita and beyond.

The #SCWEPblog provides useful tips and tricks, and our quarterly educational event, The Wedding Stage, brings Southern California’s best vendors together in one room, where they present their best advice for the season.