Planning a Wine Country Wedding: A Suite D Wedding Shower

(This is Part 16 in a series.  Did you miss Part 15?  View the post here!)

In my last post, I wrote about some of our favorite wedding shower trends.  I was so lucky to have my very own brunch shower at Suite D, hosted by my sister, Katherine, on a gorgeous day in late August.  Katherine chose to host the shower outside on Suite D’s patio, which not only let us enjoy the amazing late-summer weather, but also gave us the perfect Wine Country Casual atmosphere.  Our menu included house-made breakfast pastries, an omelette bar, and amazing miniature desserts that were quickly devoured.

Check out some of my favorite moments and details from a beautiful day at Suite D:






Thank you to my sister, Katherine, for planning and hosting an amazing and memorable day.  Photo credits to my bridesmaid, Anya Kandel, and Suite D Manager, Kathryn Eyers.

If you’re interest in hosting an upcoming event at Suite D, check us out online.

Next Post: Last Minute Details


Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Wedding Shower Trends

(This is Part 15 in a series.  Did you miss Part 14?  View the post here!)

I love showers!  There is something so special to me about family and friends coming together ahead of a big event to show love and support.  Hosting is even more fun.  If you’ve been tasked with hosting an upcoming wedding shower, here are some of our favorite ideas for throwing a fun celebration.


Wine Tasting Shower

A perfect precursor for a Wine Country wedding, a wine tasting party gives your guests a fun activity to participate in.  Look into hosting the event at a local winery, or do it yourself at a private home.  Choose a fun theme like vintages from a certain year or varietals from a certain region (Rhone is our favorite!).  Don’t forget the food; cheese and charcuterie, like our platters from the girl & the  fig CATERS!, make a great wine accompaniment.

Here are some basics on hosting a wine tasting to check out from Real Simple and Epicurious.

Couples Shower

A couples shower is the perfect way to combine an engagement party and shower into one and include everyone in the festivities.  When planning, consider the couples’ joint interests.  An outdoorsy couple might love a camping themed shower with a request for gifts to build their stash of camping gear, or plan a casual, low-key back yard barbecue for the laid back couple.  The possibilities are endless.

Check out these ideas from The Knot for Coed Couple Shower Themes.


Brunch Shower

Who doesn’t love brunch?  You can’t go wrong with some mimosas and sparkling wine.  If you’re hosting a brunch shower at home, save yourself time by planning a make-ahead menu and mixing pitchers of brunchy beverages.  We love this cocktail recipe using homemade pear-infused vodka and this subtly sweet recipe for stone fruit clafoutis.  Still need menu inspiration?  Search through our recipe archives and then check out Real Simples 7 Recipes for an Insanely Delicious Bridal Shower Brunch.

If cooking is out of the question, look into having your brunch at a restaurant or catered at a local event space.  Leave the menu preparation to someone else and focus instead on the details that will make your shower truly memorable for the guest of honor.  We think Suite D is the perfect space for a unique brunch that can be tailored to fit your own vision; be sure to read my next post for details on my own Suite D wedding shower!

Quick Tips:

  • Make it personal!  What is the guest of honor’s favorite color?  Favorite movie or book?  Choose a theme that is special to them to make it a truly special day.

Happy Planning!

Next post:  A Suite D Wedding Shower

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Etiquette

(This is Part 14 in a series.  Did you miss Part 13?  View the post here!) 

One of the biggest things that I’ve tried to follow while planning a wedding is advice on etiquette.  It’s important to me to remain gracious and welcoming to everyone who wants to participate in our day, and showing our gratitude is a necessity.

Here are some of the biggest challenges I’ve found so far:

Who to Invite

A big issue that we’ve been struggling with is including children and plus ones.  Every guest who’s included will increase your cost, and you will need to decide how important it is to you that each person is included as well as to weigh the cost of possible hurt feelings.


For us, plus ones are not only an added cost, but also an unknown guest to an intimate part of our lives that we hope to share with those closest to us.  Ultimately, the decision is yours, but I’ve generally found that the plus one rule is to include anyone who’s at minimum been in a long term or serious relationship.  To help, give yourself a rule; include anyone who has been in a relationship for at least a year or is currently living with your guest.  Anyone who doesn’t fit this rule is excluded.

While it seems to be totally acceptable and even common now to exclude children entirely, our struggle is with inviting some children while excluding others.  We are finding that it’s easier for us to just include everyone’s children rather than picking and choosing, and we know that some of our guests will leave them behind for a childless night out anyway.  If you do exclude children, leave their names off of the invitation; anyone not included on the written invite is traditionally excluded.

Here is some advice from Martha Stewart on guest list etiquette.

Who Pays

It seems more and more couples now are paying for most, if not all, of their own wedding costs, and financial responsibilities between families are always so variable.  Traditionally, it seems as though most of the cost is paid for by the bride’s family, but there are certain costs that should be taken on by others.  The groom’s family, for example, typically hosts and covers the cost of the rehearsal dinner.  They can also pick up the tab for corsages and boutonnieres for family members and lodging for the groomsmen and groom’s immediate family.  The groom and the wedding party also have their own set of expenses.

Check out Emily Post’s advice for a detailed list of how wedding expenses are traditionally divided.

wedding-1249096_1280The Uninvited Plus One

One thing that every couple must deal with when planning a wedding is guests inviting plus ones who weren’t actually invited.  While this is aggravating, especially after paying such close attention to how to properly address your invitations, keep in mind that not everyone knows the etiquette of addressing invitations!  To help curb this problem, consider adding a line on each RSVP card that indicates specifically how many seats are reserved for the guest you’re inviting.  If you still get uninvited plus ones, you will have to decide if it’s worth it to you to reach out to the guest directly.  If so, don’t worry about feeling rude; ultimately, it’s your day.

Here’s more advice from Emily Post, by way of the Huffington Post, on how to handle the uninvited guest.

Saying Thank You

Saying thank you and showing gratitude is extremely important to me.  I want everyone to feel appreciated and know how meaningful their presence is to us and how treasured their gift is (if one is given).  Especially if you’re expecting a large number of guests or sending out a large number of announcements, you could be receiving a deluge of gifts.  To keep on top of it, make sure to send out your thank you notes as you receive them.  Taking the time to handwrite a card over sending a quick email or text is always a nicer touch.

Quick Tips:
–          When in doubt, consult Martha Stewart or Emily Post!

Happy Planning!

Next post: Wedding Shower Trends

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: DIY Favorites Part 2

(This is Part 13 in a series.  Did you miss Part 12?  View the post here!)

In my last post, I wrote about some DIY wedding options.  Here are a few more things that you can do yourself to cut costs and add a handcrafted touch:

Invitations & Paper
The cost of invitations can be high, especially if you go to a professional designer or calligrapher.  As an alternative, consider sites like Minted or Wedding Paper Divas for custom printed invitation suites with an option for printing your guests’ addresses.  These sites also provide an option for DIY printable designs, or you can design your own using embellished paper (Paper Source is great starting point for this).  If you’re up to the task, take it a step further by learning calligraphy and handwriting your guests’ addresses yourself.

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If you sew or know someone who does, you can get away from store bought accessories in favor of less expensive, handmade options.  Veils, ring pillows, and groomsmen ties quickly become heirlooms with a handmade touch.  Your ideas can even spill over in to your reception with custom table runners and soft flannel blankets for your guests to keep warm at a late, outdoor wedding.  For those who can make more of a commitment, you can even take on the flower girl dresses or wedding dress.  Here are some ideas from Coats & Clark.



The Cake
The cake is probably not something that you will want to take on yourself since you’ll be busy with other things as the day gets closer.  If you’re open to sacrificing a traditional bakery style wedding cake, enlist the help of a baker in your family or group of friends.  If you’re not able to find someone to help out, consider buying a simple store bought cake and having it decorated how you want.  We love this decorating idea from Project Wedding for a strawberry cake.  Check out their other ideas for decoration inspiration.

Another option is a smaller wedding cake supplemented with additional mini dessert items.  We’ve found the current trend of replacing a large, traditional wedding cake with a smaller “cutting” cake and station of miniature desserts can provide the best of both worlds.



Quick Tips:

  • Be realistic!  Don’t take on more than you can really handle, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate to others. It’s great if you can DIY, but it’s also important to keep yourself from having too much stress.

Happy Planning!

Next post: Keeping Track of Etiquette

MANY THANKS to the photographers featured in this post!
Imagen Photography (top photo)
Jessamyn Harris (2nd & 3rd photos)

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: DIY

(This is Part 12 in a series. Did you miss Part 11? View the post here!)

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in the months I’ve spent wedding planning, it’s that costs add up quickly regardless of how diligent you are at getting the best deals. One way that we are cutting costs is by doing a lot of the creative work ourselves. If you’re crafty or have friends and family who are creative, this might be a good option for you to eliminate some expenses and create unique, personal touches.

Here are some of my favorite DIY ideas:

Never having the need for anything significant from a florist before, I was shocked at how expensive bouquets and arrangements can be when I first started researching flowers. Look for friends and family members who can step in to make arrangements and bouquets for you; this is a big enough project that you won’t want to take it on yourself. If you don’t want to deal with real flowers, try out the idea of paper flowers and host a craft day to get help with creating the bouquets and arrangements. We love these vintage inspired brooch and paper rose bouquets and this deep colored paper bouquet from The Knot. Search Pinterest for more inspiration and tutorials.


Hunt through thrift stores, estate sales, clearance items, and online auction sites for items that you might be able to use. Keep in mind that you can always paint something or create something. You can also look through real weddings for decoration inspiration and identify items that you can make yourself; garlands and banners are easy paper projects, while table runners and fabric covered arches just require some scissors and a trip to the fabric store.danjames_IMG_8811

Favors are always a fun way for your guests to take home a memory of your day, and one of the best ways you can be creative. If you or someone you know is a great cook or baker, make some edible favors like jams, sauces, cookies, or flavored salts and sugars. Plants make great favors and can even do double duty as escort cards; create a custom packet of seeds or plant a succulent in a mini hand-painted pot. The possibilities are endless. Check out the DIY Network’s ideas on Wedding Favors for some inspiration.


Quick Tips:

  • I am in love with Save On Crafts. Go to their website for DIY Weddings: Ideas & How-To’s, as well as great deals on craft supplies and ready-made decorations.
  • Look through websites like Tradesy and Wedding Recycle for deals on gently used items from other weddings.
  • Another love of mine is Check out their sale fabrics for pieces that you might be able to use in your wedding projects.

Happy Planning!

Next post: DIY Part 2

MANY THANKS to the photographers featured in this post!
Imagen Photography (top image)
Jessamyn Harris (second image)