Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Post Wedding Survey: Anna & Daniel at Rancho del Cielo

Anna and Daniel got married last Saturday, as in 5 days ago! They are leaving today for their honeymoon so Anna graciously answered my post wedding survey in record time. I decided to post it today as yesterday's blog about shuttles/parking was inspired by Anna & Daniel's wedding. A bit of background: Rancho del Cielo is a tough, TOUGH venue for many reasons. A few being: 6 parking spots on a mountain top, all guests shuttled up from PCH (25 minute round trip without traffic), rentals brought up, and an off-site kitchen built out by the caterer. For a caterer that HAS worked this property, it's still a toughie. Anna and Daniel chose a caterer early on that wasn't very truthful about their experience with off-site catering. Needless to say, there was some stress for myself and my couple due to many issues that popped up around this vendor. Had it not been for my associate Krista, and my interns Nira and Kelsi jumping in to help take care of the guests, the day would have unfolded differently. Oh, and had my clients not been the nicest and most gracious people to work with, my day would have gone a bit differently as well....

Q. What was the best part of your wedding day?
A. The best part of the wedding day was by far the prep time leading up to the ceremony and the ceremony for us. We were both nervous and just to get to Rancho del Cielo early and hang out with the bridesmaids and groomsmen before hand and relax and take in the view was amazing.
Then when we did our first look it was an incredible experience and the best part was the actual ceremony. The view was breathtaking and it just meant so much for us to be surrounded by all of our family and friends from all around the world, in one place.

Q. What do you feel was totally unnecessary?
A. Worrying! After having some spats with our caterer we were both worried about how the day would unfold because we just wanted our guests to have a great time…afterall they were coming from all over the place to be there for us so the least we could do was make sure they had a goodtime. In the end, Amber Events took care of every little thing and we really would have had some major issues without them.

Q. What would you change, if anything?
A. We really had a great time and we wouldn’t change anything except for our caterer if we knew before hand how much anxiety they would give us.

Q. What was unexpected that you loved?
A. There was a small speech/toast that the bridesmaid’s date wanted to do for us and it ended up being a funny little piece of humor that everyone loved right after the toasts.

Q. What are your fondest memories of your wedding day?
A. Our first dance and also received words of wisdom from older couples on relationships. Reflecting back, we wished we had thought to set out a basket on each table and asked each guest to give us words of advice for a happy marriage.

Q. Is there anything you wish you had spent more time or money on?
A. The programs had a typo so we wished we had proofread that a little more carefully.

Q. Is there anything you wish you had spent less time or money on?
A. Just less time worrying and fighting over things that don’t really matter to make a wedding day special (like d├ęcor, or color, etc.). Everyone is there for the couple, not the decorations.

Q. Were there any unexpected surprises or issues?
A. We thought we ran out of alcohol at one point, but in the end the bartender had misplaced a few cases of wine and beer. However, it all worked out and Jill (the homeowner) even offered solutions to help us, the photographer even offered that she could chip in and we could pay her back and we just felt so blessed to have our vendors who’ve only known us for a short time try to make the day run smoothly. That was probably the most touching moment of the evening.

Q. What's your number #1 tip for future engaged couples?
A. We actually have 4!

Tip #1: Make sure your RSVP cards are numbered, we were lucky that we numbered all of ours with a white pen because we received a few back that said they were coming but they didn’t put their name on it.

Tip #2:  make sure your caterer has worked the venue before to avoid serious set backs along the way. In retrospect, the caterer is the one vendor that your guests will definitely notice if something goes wrong (along with the DJ).

Tip #3: make sure your bartender has experience and if you’re bringing your own alcohol make sure you tell them to open 1 bottle at a time and find out from the stores where your purchase your alcohol what their return policy is, some stores in CA will not let you return unopened bottles b/c of state law.

Tip #4: do all the planning ahead of time before your out-of-town guests come in so you can relax the week of and just enjoy yourself with your family and friends.
Q. How did you feel after the wedding?
A. Overjoyed, completely in love, happy beyond belief, relieved, ready for the next project (ha!)


Anonymous said...

i'm actually considering rancho del cielo for my own wedding right now. did the transportation of people cut into time that much? also, was the 10pm curfew for music a huge deal to guests from out of town?

Amber Events said...

Hi there!
For a wedding at Rancho, it is CRUCIAL to have the invitation time be 1 hour before you plan to start the ceremony. Last Saturday, due to beach traffic, we started 1.5 hours after the invitation time, but I cut 15 minutes off of cocktail hour to make up for it.

Because the curfew is 10pm, the recommended timeline is:

3:00 invitation time
4:00 ceremony start
4:30-cocktail hour
6:00 dinner, dancing, cake, etc
10:00 end

Because it is a long day for your guests, they're not unhappy that it ends at 10pm.

And make sure you hire a strong coordinator ;)