A simple Californian wedding – Tips 3 & 4


The Officiant

When we searched for someone to perform the ceremony, the officiant, we found that quite often his or her services came packaged with other goodies – or not so goodie, depending on your point of view. Don’t know about you, but the prospect of getting married in front of a golden lectern in the shade of a silk flower encrusted arch with a copy of the wedding certificate printed on tea-stained faux parchment paper was just TOO cheesy. But with further research it seemed almost impossible to find one that didn’t come without these additional baubles and it hiked the price as well!

We spoke to several potential Officiants and, as nice as they all were, not one of them answered the brief. After much agonising, we discovered that anyone (in the state of California, at least) could become an Officiant if they were an American citizen. Bingo. We asked one of our best friends if he would do the deed – and he agreed!! So if you have a friend who is happy and confident to speak out loud in public then rope them in. We did, and it is what made our day really special. (Don’t forget to apply for your marriage licence in advance of the wedding day.)

The Venue

To cut costs and logistics it is a good idea for ceremony, celebrations and, for visiting guests, the accommodation to be in the same place. We chose Palm Springs as the place to be as we were marrying in December and we wanted to guarantee sunshine as well as giving visitors from the UK more of a holiday. Off to research Palm Springs, we found a small hotel consisting of ’50s chalet style accommodation nestled around a swimming pool. We commandeered the venue for the whole weekend with all family staying on site and the ceremony and party taking place by the pool.

When looking for a venue it is also worth looking around to check whether there are good backdrops on site for photography on the day. One thing to beware of is additional costs for photography at certain hotels. The bride and groom stayed at the hotel over the road from the venue as there was only space for our families at the venue hotel. We wanted to take a few pictures of us with our parents and were charged an additional $175 "site fee" for the privilege of using the grounds of the hotel we were guests at! That was certainly one thing we hadn’t planned or budgeted for so ask the question before you book.

Ten top tips: Introduction
Tips 1 & 2: Traditions and Wedding Group/The Ceremony
Tips 5 & 6: Invitations/Decoration and Flowers
Tips 7 & 8: Catering, Champagne & Entertainment/Wedding outfits
Tips 9 & 10: Photography/Relax and enjoy every moment

I’d be happy to answer any questions if it would help you out with your wedding planning.

You can contact me on louisemuzio@yahoo.com


Just as we’re collecting wedding tips and anecdotes from around the world, we’re also interested if you have any best man’s speech anecdotes. Please contact us if you have any for us.

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