A simple Californian wedding – Tips 7 & 8


Catering, Champagne & Entertainment

We decided to do the Californian thing for catering and had a barbecue. My sister managed the barbie – thank god, another helpful relative roped in – and the salads and breads were supplied by the venue owner who did small scale catering as a sideline. We tried to find some nice disposable plates but they proved elusive and costly so in the end we went on down to Ikea and bought some of their cheapest white ceramic plates and bowls at 50c a go. Just plain white crockery – it worked a treat and what would it matter if they broke at that price? At least we could recycle by using them at home or giving them away afterwards.

Because we were celebrating around a poolside, we had to use plastic glasses for the drinks and the toast. Incidentally, we used cava instead of champagne. Much cheaper and tastes just as good to me, although possibly not to be recommended if your friends and relatives are champagne connoisseurs!

During the barbecue we had a compilation of music playing in the background so that people could eat and chat. Later in the evening, after guests had had an opportunity to explore central Palm Springs or go back to their hotels in the late afternoon, we served hot food and drinks and a live Mariachi band played as the twinkle lights and candles flickered.

Wedding outfits

Like a lot of couples getting married, we were very keen to buy outfits that we could both wear again. Of course, this is much easier for the groom as he can go for a smart suit which is often the first suit investment of a lifetime and will form part of his wardrobe for future weddings, interviews etc. However, not every bride wants the big, white bouffant dress with train and veil.

Although I wanted to buy something well made and classic I didn’t want white partly because we got married in our late thirties and partly because I wanted something in a pale colour that was more of a cocktail dress than a bridal gown. I went through some hoops to find something in a pale colour a month before Christmas, I can tell you. I found the perfect dress ten times over in chocolate brown! Not that I don’t like chocolate brown, because I love it, but as tempted as I was, I wanted to stick with the pastel colour.

Two shopping weeks went by and I had no luck whatsoever. Even South Coast Plaza, southern California’s retail Mecca, couldn’t help me in my quest. I visited bridal gown stores where I thought I might find a fitted bridesmaid dress in a pastel shade but the fabric was like upholstery material and reminded me of childhood dressing-up clothes.

In desperation, and completely going against my instincts, I gave in and tried on a couple of white wedding dresses. These did nothing to lift either my mood or solve the outfit problem and I had to leave. I scoured the Internet into the early hours wading through countless pages of dresses, none of which were right, until I came across a site for Nicole Miller. She is a wedding dress designer but she also carries a wide range of attractive bridesmaid dresses in flowing fabrics and pastel colours and at more reasonable prices. It meant a long drive down to San Diego for the nearest shop but I finally managed to buy the dress I wanted.

Ten top tips: Introduction
Tips 1 & 2: Traditions and Wedding Group/The Ceremony
Tips 3 & 4: The Officiant/The Venue
Tips 5 & 6: Invitations/Decoration and Flowers
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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