San Francisco area coastal wedding destinations

“Where Do I Start?” – Half Moon Bay – California

Written by Terry Plank on . Posted in Wedding Tips

“We are getting married! ”  Ok, you’ve now made the announcement to family and friends. There’s excitement in the air and the ideas and years of stored dreams begin flowing between you. You may even find yourselves getting immediately into the finer details for your “big day”. Then you wonder, “Where do we start?” Let us suggest a few “first steps”. First, establish a budget. This isn’t always the easiest subject to talk about between couples and families, but it is a critical piece of information before you can move forward. It’s very important to have an established budget before you start planning and stick to it. If parents are going to be involved, now is the time to ask them what they are willing and able to contribute financially. Also, decide if and how much each of you can contribute to the wedding costs. Now that you have your budget,  ask yourselves whether you want to focus your spending on the ceremony or the reception or whether both are equally important to you and any other different options available to you that you can think up. Fortunately, there is no set  approach to how you should have your wedding ceremony, reception, or how you use vendors  for your ceremony or reception. Finally, create a worksheet ; list the categories for the ceremony and reception and prioritize them before you begin visiting locations or obtain pricing from vendors. Keep in mind that if you are planning on a luncheon or dinner reception most of your costs are for food and beverages. Through it all, don’t forget this is supposed to be an enjoyable, special time in your lives, so listen to and respect  each other’s ideas. And have fun!

Reception Alternatives – Half Moon Bay – Coastside

Written by Terry Plank on . Posted in Wedding Tips

Your wedding day can be very costly, but there are ways to make your wedding day more affordable by taking a less traditional approach to your reception arrangements.

We often think that a wedding reception must be an elaborate affair in a private room with a sit-down dinner, drinks, dancing, and a photographer booked for most of the reception.

A private room can cost from $500.00 – $2000.00 dependent on the location and some restaurants have a minimum food service charge. You may not be having a large enough group to warrant paying that minimum food charge.

An option to reduce the cost of a reception is to have a dinner reception at a local restaurant that isn’t in a private room and make it a luncheon or dinner meal for your guests where a minimum or room charge may not apply. The Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for restaurants in the Half Moon Bay area if you choose that option.Be sure when you call the restaurant you start by explaining that you are calling regarding a reception meal, but it doesn’t have to be in a private room.

If you don’t have a private room then music and dancing would not be an option, so you can further reduce your reception costs.

A photographer for the reception can cost an additional $800.00 – $2000.00 for their time at the reception. Instead of hiring a photographer for the wedding ceremony and reception, just ask a close friend to take pictures at the reception. You can also purchase good quality disposable cameras for the table/s and ask your guests to take random shots throughout your meal.

You might be thinking, “Well, it is important to me to have a professional photographer for the cake cutting “ceremony”.To accomplish this you can hire the photographer for an hour of the reception only and upon your arrival have a “mock” cake cutting to capture the moment and then have your friends take additional shots during the actual cake cutting later.

Everyone is looking for ways to make their wedding day more affordable and special, so I will continue to provide ideas for making your wedding day arrangements with cost saving ideas that you may not have considered.

Best Regards,


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