Posted on July 19, 2017
One of our couples found their way to us after first trying to do all of the planning, booking, and coordinating themselves at a cute but minimally prepared venue. One of the things that actually gave them the most grief was working with the local florist they chose. Rather than seeking out a recommendation, they did a search of Santa Cruz florists and made the initial decision based on photos they loved. During the almost seven months of planning, they struggled to even get their point of contact on the phone. The groom said, looking back, “It seemed like the list of things we were going to have to do ourselves just kept piling up higher and higher.”Continue Reading
Posted on July 14, 2017
My grandparents were happily married for 60 years. I remember being there, along with all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles to celebrate the big milestones with them. Their 40th, 50th, and 60th wedding anniversaries stand out in my mind not only as celebrations of their love and commitment but of the big, boisterous family they had made. What I learned from my grandparents is that marriage is a gift—one that should be celebrated and cherished not just on your wedding day, but every day thereafter.
Of course, married life can be a busy balancing act of work, raising a family, and finding alone time for you and partner. Due to our hectic lives, few of us take advantage of the opportunity to stop and reflect on the magnificent life we’ve built together with our spouse. Thankfully, wedding anniversaries offer the perfect occasion for us to celebrate our longtime commitment to our life partners. Whether you are celebrating ten or fifty years together, it’s important to take the time to honor your marriage and all the beautiful people you share lives with.Continue Reading
Posted on July 11, 2017
“Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? It’s like rain on your wedding day,” sings Alanis Morissette in her classic hit song. But, what’s truly ironic is that rainy wedding days are some of the most beautiful and unique and iconic in our memories. Still, you’re forgiven for hoping that the rain stays away on your wedding day, no matter how badly Northern California might need it.
If you’re planning a wedding in April, May, June, September, or October—not to mention the deep fall and winter months—there is some chance of rain at an outdoor wedding venue in Northern California. But don’t panic! And don’t jump to change your wedding date! We’re going to share some ideas for how you can plan your perfect outdoor wedding even with the possibility of rain and how you can look to your all-inclusive venue for their expertise and creative ideas for weddings in any season.Continue Reading
Posted on July 7, 2017
Did you know that you can get a temperature estimate from the frequency of cricket chirps? The next time you hear those common Bay Area snowy tree crickets chirping up a summer storm, pay attention. Notice if it feels warmer around you all of a sudden.
But why would I need that if I’ve got my phone always nearby to tell me about the weather and anything else I might want to know? Because it’s special. Because it’s simple and instinctual. Because it’s a perfect pathway to reconnecting with the natural world that is always around us and yet so often out of reach.
With the miraculous and generous environments that make up the San Francisco Bay Area, it would be a shame to go through life and not tune into its immense energy and inspiration. Sure, we tap into its resources all the time—but rarely are we in touch with true gratitude for its unparalleled gifts. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to reconnect. A weekend, a day, a moment—to remember the crickets who are behind the noise—is all it takes to tap our sources of life and peace and possibility. Let’s explore the various retreat locations in the Bay Area as you narrow in on the fitting spot for your upcoming event.Continue Reading
Posted on July 3, 2017
Fallen redwood trunks are arranged in side-by-side rows with a wide pathway between them. In this natural amphitheater in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the grove’s natural decor speaks for itself, but at the inner edge of every other row, understated wildflower bouquets are secured to wooden posts, greenery trailing into the center pathway. The guests are hushed as they breathe with the trees. Emily enters the grove with her parents on either side of her, arms linked like redwood roots. Ben waits on the other side of the grove with the wedding party that stands mirroring the trees’ order and asymmetry. Her parents slowly unwind from her grasp.
Smiling warmly, Ben hands Emily a long redwood branch. Each with a branch in hand, they draw a circle on the ground, meeting their lines at a point. Then they stepped into the circle together and joined hands in the soft light filtering through the grove canopy and look to their wedding officiant to begin the ceremony.Continue Reading
Posted on June 29, 2017
What’s your company’s secret sauce? In other words, what works? What makes those critical connections among people, between people and big-picture goals, between people and their productivity, between your product or service and those who buy it? You need to know what works so that you can keep doing it—so everyone can keep doing it—and keep getting better at it.
The San Francisco Bay Area already has its own secret sauce brewing, a sauce to help fuel the innovative powerhouses of various industries that are headquartered here and to push them ahead of the rest. But you’ve got to meet that fuel with a secret recipe of your own to be incomparably successful. If you have a company meeting coming up, this is the time to either establish what that secret sauce is or to refresh and refill your company’s supply of it. Getting out of the typical office flow can wake people up to this critical need, and a private meeting space near San Francisco can become the ideal kitchen for devising that award-winning recipe of your company’s vital goals and strengths.Continue Reading
Posted on June 27, 2017
My experience of spring is that it settles into the landscape quietly. When things do emerge—like the Bay Area’s delightful bursts of wildflowers—they really have a chance to stand out, and people pay attention. The same is true of spring weddings: Unlike the full and ripe wedding season through the summer and into the fall, spring weddings stand out against a gentle natural backdrop and generally calmer calendars.
In fact, even your expenses may prove a bit quieter as well, since many venues offer discounts and special wedding package deals for spring wedding dates. It’s certainly not too late to book a Bay Area wedding venue for spring 2018, but it is time to get moving and get planning. In fact, it’s the perfect time to keep an eye on all of the successful trends through this 2017 wedding season and take the time to consider what really resonates with you, so you can start planning the perfect, memorable spring wedding.Continue Reading
Posted on June 23, 2017
As a parent, planning your preteen’s bar or bat mitzvah can be an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. There’s a fine balance in throwing a fun party that your child will love that also honors the spiritual significance which marks this special coming-of-age ritual. On top of everything, you want it to be an occasion that your whole family will reminisce about for years to come.
The lead up to a bar or bat mitzvah can be a busy time for you and your family—your preteen will be consumed with studying their Torah and working away on their Mitzvah project, and you will be preoccupied with hashing out the logistics of the event. While it is easy to get caught up in the small details and feel overwhelmed when it comes to planning such a sacred celebration (especially if you have a lot of family coming to town for the occasion), you don’t want to forget to enjoy the experience of your child’s coming of age. Choosing an all-inclusive venue complete with accommodation for your guests will make the process of planning, as well as the celebration itself, something that you, your child, and your family can truly enjoy and savor.Continue Reading
Posted on June 21, 2017
My uncle is in charge of planning his 40-year high school reunion. It has crept in as his full-time job during recent weeks, and he has become very attached to how the party will turn out and what a good time all of this old friends will have together. He did a lot of planning before he even found an event venue, so I told him to put on the breaks and redirect. After all, his outdoor Hawaiian luau barbecue idea might not fly at certain venues with only indoor space or with catering or other restrictions. Then again, the right venue could help his party theme instantly come to life, especially in Santa Cruz, in spaces that make the most of the sun and fresh air and relaxed vibes.
I urged Uncle Cass to start contacting some venues with a list of questions, so he can compare what the different places have to offer and narrow in on the right one. Here are some of the questions I came up with that are versatile for different types of parties and other special events, and which take into account the quirks and qualities of the Santa Cruz area. Feel free to adapt these questions to suit your event’s particular needs.Continue Reading
Posted on June 19, 2017
Disney flipped our perspective of the future upside down back in 1937. Snow White kicked off a long line of softer-than-life love stories that convinced our childhood hearts that “the dream that you wish will come true.” For many of us, letting go of the real-life fairytale is an integral part of growing up. But, we could say that “fairytale” love and marriage are relative because that ideal looks different for everyone. A “fairytale” doesn’t have to be limited to a traditional Disney-like vision to be really genuine.
Here, we encourage couples not to give up on the idea of a fairytale wedding because the amazing potential to make weddings unique and personal is incredible. Some of the latest wedding trends will leave you jaw-dropped and with a newfound belief in real childhood wonders. Let’s go ahead and flip the traditional fairytale on its head—the one in which the dream happens to you. Let’s call the modern fairytale the one that you create for yourself.Continue Reading