Wedding Tips

Solo Musicians, Acoustic Duos & Trios: The Best Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music


You’ve booked your dream band for your wedding reception, but what about the ceremony and cocktail hour music? We’ll admit, having great entertainment can be a wedding reception highlight but it’s also important to consider what music elements will be factored into other parts of the big day. Whether it’s a solo musician, an acoustic duo or trio, having live music to accompany a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour are key.

Wedding Ceremony Ensemble Recommendations: Light, beautiful instrumentals

  • String Quartet (Dolce)

  • Solo Guitarist

  • Solo Pianist

Cocktail Hour Music Recommendations: Acoustic yet lively arrangements with vocals

  • Acoustic Duo (Singer + Acoustic Guitar or Singer + Piano)

  • Acoustic Trio (2 Singers + Acoustic Guitar/Piano or Singer + Acoustic Guitar/Piano + Cajón)

Instrumental versions of your favorite song(s) can be played as guests enter and as you walk down the aisle. And after the “I Do’s”, there’s nothing better than listening and singing along to live music as you sip cocktails and mingle with your favorite people. Downbeat LA offers these add-ons with every dance band booking, so make sure your choice in entertainment can cover all the bases for the big day!


Wedding Playlist: Parent Dance Song Favorites

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An important moment for any traditional wedding reception is when the parents of the couple are honored and celebrated during the parent dances. Whether these are both done during one song or two separate songs, it's important to choose music with meaningful lyrics and melodies. 

The most requested parent dance song from Downbeat LA’s 2018 wedding season was “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Here are some other popular picks:

Top 3 Mother Son Dance Songs from 2018 Downbeat LA weddings:

  1. In My Life by The Beatles

  2. Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler

  3. Forever Young by Rod Stewart

Top 3 Father Daughter Dance Songs from 2018 Downbeat LA weddings:

  1. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

  2. My Girl by The Temptations

  3. My Wish by Rascal Flatts

Listen to Downbeat LA's "Parent Dance Favorites" playlist on Spotify for more parent dance song favorites and inspiration for your big day! The most important thing to remember when making music selections is finding songs that are meaningful to you and yours!


  1. Sweet Pea - Amos Lee

  2. Mama's Song - Carrie Underwood

  3. I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack

  4. A Song For Mama - Boyz II Men

  5. Mother Like Mine - The Band Perry

  6. Mother - Sugarland

  7. Don’t Blink - Kenny Chesney

  8. Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynard

  9. Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw

  10. Do I Make You Proud - Taylor Hicks

  11. God Only Knows - John Legend


  1. Dance With My Daughter - Jason Blaine

  2. Daughters - John Mayer

  3. Dancing Queen - ABBA

  4. Daddy's Little Girl - Michael Bolton

  5. Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman

  6. My Darling - Wilco

  7. My Father's Eyes - Eric Clapton

  8. Surfer Girl - The Beach Boys

  9. I Loved Her First - Heartland

  10. I Learned From You - Miley Cyrus, Billy Rae Cyrus

  11. Father and Daughter - Paul Simon

  12. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

  13. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton


  1. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion

  2. Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John

  3. Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra

  4. Days Like This - Van Morrison

  5. You’re The Inspiration - Chicago

  6. You’ve Got A Friend - James Taylor

  7. Child of Mine - Carole King

  8. Hero - Mariah Carey

  9. There You'll Be - Faith Hill

  10. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler

  11. Count On Me - Bruno Mars

  12. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - James Taylor

  13. Just The Two of Us - Will Smith

  14. That's How Strong My Love Is - Otis Redding

  15. Ain't That Love - Ray Charles

  16. You Are My Sunshine - Johnny Cash

  17. What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

  18. Hold My Hand - Hootie & The Blowfish

  19. The Best Day - Taylor Swift

  20. I Lived - OneRepublic

  21. You Are The Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne

  22. Only One - Kanye West

  23. Stand By Me - Ben E. King

  24. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

  25. Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison

  26. I’ll Be There - The Jackson 5

  27. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac

  28. Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift

  29. You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban

  30. Forever Young - Rod Steward

  31. Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

  32. In My Life - The Beatles

  33. 93 Million Miles - Jason Mraz

  34. Wild Flowers - Tom Petty

  35. You'll Be In My Heart - Phil Collins

  36. My Wish - Rascal Flatts

  37. The House That Built Me - Miranda Lambert

  38. Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison

  39. If I Should Fall Behind - Bruce Springsteen

  40. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds

  41. Someone To Watch Over Me - Ella Fitzgerald

  42. Through The Years - Kenny Rogers

Playlist: Wedding Cocktail Hour Favorites

Cover: Maggie Rogers

Cover: Maggie Rogers

Music is an integral part of every wedding day! As entertainment specialists, we always have songs ready when couples ask for suggestions on important music moments for the big day, like the first dance, parent dances, ceremony recessionals and more, but one of the most important wedding playlists you need is for the cocktail hour!

A mix of styles is key to keeping the mood light and happy while guests are mingling and enjoying drinks and hors d'oeuvres. The Downbeat LA music team has compiled a list of songs you can find by following the Cocktail Hour Favorites playlist on Spotify, or you can check out the songs below in a range of categories, including Contemporary, Motown/Soul, Country, Classic, Reggae and more (Updated for 2019!)


  1. All of Me - John Legend

  2. Alaska - Maggie Rogers

  3. Everything - Michael Buble

  4. Better Together - Us The Duo

  5. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

  6. You Are The Best Thing - Ray La Montagne

  7. Latch (Acoustic) - Sam Smith

  8. Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars

  9. Perfect (Duet) - Ed Sheeran, Beyonce

  10. I Do (Cherish You) - 98 Degrees

  11. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles

  12. Valerie - Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse

  13. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri

  14. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones

  15. Collide - Howie Day


  1. Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell

  2. Baby Love - The Supremes

  3. For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder

  4. You Make My Dreams - Daryl Hall & John Oates

  5. The Way You Do The Things You Do - The Temptations

  6. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole

Follow our special Motown/Oldies Cocktail Hour Playlist here!


  1. I Believe in a Thing Called Love - Branches

  2. Havana (Acoustic) - Matt Johnson

  3. What's Going On - John Legend

  4. XO - John Mayer

  5. Let Me Love You - Fitz and The Tantrums


  1. Dream A Little Dream Of Me - Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong

  2. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - James Taylor

  3. Someone To Watch Over Me - Ella Fitzgerald

  4. Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles

  5. By Your Side - Sade


  1. God Gave Me You - Blake Shelton

  2. God, Your Mama, And Me - Florida Georgia Line, Backstreet Boys

  3. Wanted - Hunter Hayes

  4. Tennis Shoes - Nashville Cast, Lennon & Maisy


  1. Is This Love - Bob Marley & The Wailers

  2. Better Together - Jack Johnson

Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2018


The options are endless when it comes to finding the perfect honeymoon destination. Whether you're newlyweds who envision a once-in-a-lifetime adventure somewhere exotic, or are looking to relax and unwind on one of the world's most beautiful beaches, there's no wrong way to vacation with your partner. Take your pick from these romantic destinations and get ready for the trip of your dreams:


Zurich, Switzerland

According to Pinterest's 2018 wedding report, the most popular honeymoon destination is Zurich, Switzerland (pins for Switzerland are up 856% since 2017). The country has so much to offer, with its gorgeous mountain ranges and alpine scenery, charming towns and romantic waterfront spots. Zurich is the country's largest city and a vibrant cultural hub swarming with museums, cafes, and world-class cuisine, and a only a short hop away from Germany, Italy and France for the adventurous newlyweds. 


The Maldives

Southwest of Sri Lanka, this small nation of islands is tailor-made for ocean-going couples. Snow-white sand and waters so blue that you’ll run out of shade names to describe them, the Maldives are home to some of planet's most beautiful beaches. With close to 100 resorts to choose from each encompassing its own private island, like Soneva Fushi, Cheval Blanc Randheli, The One & Only Reethi Rah and more, you’ll find a fit whether you’re five-star types or back-to-nature gurus. The warm waters are also home to a shocking array of sea life from jewel-like coral walls, bobbing sea turtles, and even massive gentle-giant whale sharks. Pack your snorkel–these sights are not to be missed ( 


Amalfi Coast, Italy

There are many reasons the Amalfi Coast continues to be at the top of honeymooners’ bucket list. It’s hard to picture more classically romantic a scene than Positano’s steep village streets, Moorish architecture, azure water and colorful loungers and umbrellas lining the dark sandy beaches. Glamour comes easy, especially at the five-star Le Sirenuse, where the formula for a sexy, sophisticated getaway is tried and true ( 


Comporta, Portugal

Ibiza is so 2017. Instead, we suggest newlyweds turn their sights on this seaside getaway. Just an hour south of Lisbon, this cluster of villages is often referred to as “the Hamptons of Portugal,” with high profile names like Christian Louboutin, Jacques Grange, and Philippe Starck all boasting homes along the rolling dunes of this rice paddy-striped coast. Relaxed sophistication is the order of the day here, making it a perfect choice for honeymooners looking for a place where they can walk down the beach in bare feet and also choose from a full roster of vintage champagne ( 


Bali, Indonesia

Another destination that made Pinterest's 2018 wedding report was Bali, with a 145% spike in pins since last year. A honeymoon in Bali is pure magic. The Indonesian island—the only one in the huge country that’s Hindu—is a perfect place for passion. With a bit more of an exotic feel than the tropical islands closer to the US, Bali doesn’t only offer unspoiled beaches, surfing, snorkeling and massages, it’s full of culture, art, music, rice terraces and temples, many, many temples. Nature is celebrated here, and it’s easy to get into the spirit at lush, authentic properties such as Four Seasons Bali at Sayan and Uluwatu Surf Villas ( 


Wedding Planners & Packages: Choosing The Right One For You!


Weddings - no matter how big or small - involve a certain degree of planning and design. Some couples may opt for a smaller scale, DIY route while others have more extravagant and involved plans in mind.

Downbeat LA consulted with expert wedding planner Bianca of Rosé Events to gain insight into how couples can choose the right wedding planner for their big day and decide on a planning package that fits their needs and style best. 


"Are you the couple who just wants to show up to the party, or do you want to be included in the decisions and details?"

Whaley suggests couples first figure out the answers to the following questions? 

  1. What is the total wedding budget?
  2. How much do you want to be involved in the process?

There are wedding planners who offer full-service planning, which includes conception, design and execution from the engagement to the "I Do's", and there are coordinators who simply offer services for the month or day-of. Some packages can be customized to incorporate design and decor elements, but its important to nail down which is best for you, so Rosé Events has broken down the pros and cons: 


  2. Someone to share your ideas with who can run with them and make it happen.
  3. Viewpoint from someone who can offer unbiased ideas, opinions and suggestions other than family members and loved ones. 


  1. COST! Full-service planning typically requires a large budget.


  1. Suitable for lower budgets.
  2. If you're someone who already likes to be in control and is organized and detail-oriented, you don't have to pay someone to do extensive planning for you.
  3. You still get support close to and on the big day to help you stay in the moment and enjoy it. 


  1. MORE STRESS! You can't just show up to the party, as there are more details to work on and think about leading up to the big day.


At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be ready for your big day! So whether you have a small or large budget, we highly recommend hiring a professional to help with your event! 

If you'd love to talk to Bianca from Rosé Events, we'll leave their info here. 

    Spring 2018 Wedding Inspiration


    Downbeat LA shared the Top Wedding Trends for 2018 earlier this year, but with springtime in full bloom it's out with the cold (yes, cold) and in with the new when it comes to colors, details and trends. 

    1. When it comes to color palettes and themes, watercolor tones, pastels and lighter neutrals are typically found in March, April and May wedding day details. Be sure to incorporate these colors in the invitation suites, bridal wear fabrics, day-of signage and more!

    2. According to Glamour, bridal fashion trends to look out for this spring 2018 season include black accents, belts, deep v-necklines, extreme sleeves, off-the-shoulder bodices and side cutouts. Traditional wedding dress silhouettes and styles will never go out of fashion, but seasonal trends are fun to incorporate in the big day!


    3. Greenery was listed as a top 2018 wedding trend, so including tropical greens and leafy arrangements in spring wedding floral designs is in. Think plant-lined aisles, floral arches, ceiling treatments, lush centerpieces, garden vignettes and more, the options are endless. 

    4. Trusted vendors never go out of style. For California weddings, no matter what time of year, find out some of our favorite vendors on our blog. If you're looking for entertainment for your big day, a live band can make it a celebration to remember! Listen, watch and learn more about what Downbeat LA bands can offer. 

    Congratulations to all the couples getting married this spring! Need more inspiration for your big day? Take a break from planning to swoon over these gorgeous images below:


    Santa Barbara Wedding Venue Favorites

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    Santa Barbara offers some of the most beautiful resorts and properties along the coast of Southern California. Downbeat LA bands have traveled to the region to perform for numerous luxury weddings and private events and have fallen in love with a handful of venues for their views, customer service, overall experience and more!

    Find our our top five favorite Santa Barbara venues we recommend for weddings and events:



    Top Palm Springs Wedding Venues

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    Palm Springs is perfect for couples looking for a quintessential desert wedding. The area known for its warm weather and summer vibes! Everything from Coachella's festival grounds to the swanky Ace Hotel can be found in this California desert oasis, making it perfect for any party!

    For brides and grooms looking for a destination wedding in Palm Springs, here are the area's top venues and event spaces to consider:

    Avalon Palm Springs

    Designed by Kelly Wearstler, this Hollywood Regency style boutique hotel is one of the top wedding venues in Palm Springs. Located within walking distance to all downtown has to offer, Avalon has multiple event lawns that you can utilize over the course of an entire weekend, with events in all different areas of the property. Poolside? Check. Palm tree canopy? Check. Fruit tree gardens? Check. (from


    Between the futuristic architecture, chic room décor, and the most gorgeous pool in Palm Springs, this 32-room boutique hotel will most definitely have guests feeling like they’ve arrived in style. ARRIVE has both indoor and outdoor options for weddings and you’ll definitely want to do a buyout so you can have this amazing venue all to yourselves. (from

    Spencer's Restaurant

    We've played many events at Spencer's and we must say, there's a lot to Within easy walking distance of fabled Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs lies a gateway to an unspoiled wilderness: San Jacinto Mountain, whose waterfalls and treelined canyons are held sacred by the Cahuilla tribe. Ensconced at the base of this imposing natural monument is Spencer’s Restaurant, a local hotspot with an award-winning wine list, picturesque grounds and a hip private event space, the Bougainvilla Room. The buildings are a tasteful interpretation of ’50s modernism, and picture windows, patios and outdoor event lawns make the most of the scenic desert terrain. Spencer’s shares its historic facilities with the venerable Palm Springs Tennis Club, which has been an exclusive gathering place for celebrities since its launch in the late 1940s. The Bougainvillea Room was the site of many a star-studded soirée during Hollywood’s Golden Age. (Make sure to tell your guests that they’re sipping martinis where Sinatra once partied!)

    Spencer’s has recently renovated the spacious Bougainvillea Room so that contemporary hipsters, including your own entourage of glitterati, have a fresh place to party. Located on the Tennis Club’s second floor, the room is wrapped with two walls of picture windows. One side overlooks the treetops, a turquoise swimming pool, and the town just beyond. Its windows are lined with planters filled with bromeliads, ferns and other tropical foliage. The other wall of double-tall windows frames a spectacular mountainside waterfall that cascades down weathered, rocky outcroppings—a pleasant habitat for sundry birds, desert flowers, and butterflies—before flowing inside to the room’s own rock pool. When decked with luminarias, the waterfall becomes the breathtaking centerpiece of your celebration.

    If all this proximity to nature has you yearning for more, then step outside to the adjacent grassy bluffs. Two expansive, terraced lawns surrounded by colorful gardens let you drink in a sweeping panorama of Palm Springs: behind you, the dramatic face of the mountain burnished by the rays of the setting sun; before you, the evening lights of the city, just beginning to sparkle. What a magnificent spot for saying “I do”!


    Korakia is the kind of mediterranean venue you’d expect to find in a small town in Greece, but here it sits in the middle of colorful, playful Palm Springs. This is the kind of wedding venue where time seems to stand still while vows are exchanged. Best for a crew of 130 or less, book this spot if you’re looking for pure desert romance. (from

    Mr Lyons

    Mr. Lyons is a luxe steakhouse in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs. Known for its upscale, retro-style atmosphere, the venue can accommodate parties up to 140 for hosts who want to impress guests with the restaurants American cuisine with a modern twist. 

    Top Temecula Wedding Venues


    Temecula is a gorgeous part of Southern California known for its surrounding wine country and hillside vineyards. Not only is it a perfect place to fall in love, but the area's wineries and luxury resorts can be the perfect place to say "I Do!" 

    For couples looking for a winery wedding, here are Temecula's top venues to consider:




    Romantic Valentine's Day Date Ideas


    Happy Valentine’s Day! Make your significant other feel celebrated with these romantic Valentine’s Day date ideas: 

    1. Take in the arts!

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    2. Stay in and cook a meal together!

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    3. Dress up and treat yourselves to dinner!

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    4. Make it an al fresco affair!

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    5. Dance the night away!

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    Photo Credits: Brooke Cagle, Chris Gramly, La Crema Winery, and Quentin Dr Photgraphy

    New LA Wedding Venues for 2018


    Los Angeles is full of incredible event spaces to suit any need, and reporter Alyssa Brown recently published a collection of brand new wedding venues to watch out for across the city in 2018:

    1. Valentine

     “DTLA’s newest events space can be rented independently or in collab with next door neighbor Grass Room, lending its space for an event of up to 750 guests. Valentine is reminiscent of a greenhouse, with 30 foot high glass ceilings and tons of lush greenery.”


    2. Grass Room

     “Grass Room is a quirky, artsy space located in DTLA that can be easily dressed up or down depending on your vibe. It sits just beside Valentine and the two venues combined can accommodate an event of up to 750 guests, moving through multiple indoor and outdoor spaces and a hidden alleyway too.”


    3.  Freehand Los Angeles

     “The newcomer to LA, Freehand offers a wide variety of party, event and wedding spaces for the discerning event host. Choose from a party pad in a loft suite, in one of the restaurants, at the poolside bar or in another of the outdoor settings.“


    4. Office Party

     “When the brilliant team behind YEAH! Rentals (see also YEAH! Furniture, YEAH! Weddings, The Flashdance, Smilebooth, and Sharkpig) announced they were opening a venue last year, we knew it would be good but didn’t know it would be this good. Office Party is a massive Highland Park loft space with huge vaulted ceilings (think 30’), cement floors, really good natural light, and a modular setup that makes events easy to customize.”


    5. Kim Sing Theater

     “A classic LA story, the Kim Sing has walked a life as a vaudeville theater, zoot suit riot house, Kung Fu theater, event venue, and now, a micro-hotel to retire to when the party has ended. Reopened in Autumn 2017 to cater to the luxury crowd, this spot is as exclusive as it is lauded with LA lore.”


    Vendor Spotlight- SoHappi Together


    California is a dream wedding destination, and a local event design and planning company we absolutely love working with is So Happi Together. Downbeat LA has had the pleasure of performing at weddings this team has designed across Southern California and they have all been incredible. Not only are they fun and easy to work with, but the beautiful, custom weddings they design speak for themselves.

    Take a look at some of their most weddings below: 

    Founder and Principal Planner, Nancy Park, has a rockstar team and philosophy in place to ensure every client gets a the perfect custom experience for their wedding day:  

    "Our philosophy is that phenomenal parties are a result of purposeful planning. The unique identities and stories of our clients inspire the design of our events. No two are alike! Together, we orchestrate a day that harmoniously reflects your style, vision, taste, and love. We adore personal details and the challenge to creatively incorporate them into your day! From ballrooms to barnyards, we love it all as long as it speaks to and about you!" - So Happi Together


    To learn more about So Happi Together and see more of their work from previous weddings, visit their website at

    Wedding Ceremony Instrumentals (Playlist)

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    It's important to create a welcoming atmosphere as guests arrive to your wedding ceremony. The perfect way to set the tone while everyone is greeting one another and taking their seats is to have live or prerecorded instrumentals playing in the background. Whether it's classical music or string arrangements of contemporary songs, you can't go wrong!

    Our "Wedding Ceremony Instrumentals" playlist is ready to accompany any wedding ceremony. Take a listen below and be sure to follow Downbeat LA on Spotify for more wedding day music inspiration: 

    Top Five Wedding Style Ideas

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    One of the first steps to planning a wedding is deciding on a wedding style, which is simply deciding how you want your celebration to look and feel. A certain aesthetic might be built in to the venue or location, but your wedding style should be a reflection of your personal taste and preference because, after all, it's your day!

    We've listed the Top Five Wedding Style Ideas to spark inspiration for the big day:











    Must-Capture Wedding Moments

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    Experts agree you should secure your wedding day photographer at least nine months in advance, or more if they are an in-demand vendor. Finding a trusted team will ensure your special wedding moments will be captured and preserved for you and your family to cherish forever. 

    Any professional photographer/videographer team should have a checklist of important events and moments that occur over the course of your wedding day timeline, but we recommend the following must-capture moments be included in the final shot list:

    1. BRIDE AND GROOM GETTING READY BEFORE THE CEREMONY: Plan on having time for the photographer to be with both sides of the bridal party. Solo portraits of the bride and groom once they are ready are just as important and candid moments between the bride and her bridesmaids as well as the groom and his groomsman. 
    2. EXCITEMENT OF YOUNGER BRIDAL PARTY MEMBERS: There's nothing more precious than capturing moments of excitement among the younger guests, especially the flower girl and ring bearer. 
    3. FIRST LOOK: Ideally this happens before the ceremony in a private location away from guests and other bridal party members.
    4. INVITATION SUITE AND DETAIL SHOTS: A lot of money goes into the finer details when it comes to planning a wedding, so make sure these are packed up and brought along for the big day and have your photographer design a shot to include invitations, wedding rings, bouquets and other mementos you want to remember.
    5. BRIDE WALKING DOWN THE AISLE: Whoever walks the bride down the aisle is an important person, so capturing this moment is a must. 
    6. GROOM WAITING AT THE ALTAR: His expression will say it all!
    7. VOW AND RING EXCHANGE: These separate moments deserve separate shots.
    8. FIRST KISS: One of the most romantic must-capture moments on this list! 
    9. RECESSIONAL: After the pronouncement of marriage, capturing the facial expressions walking down the aisle is priceless. 
    10. BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS: These can be taken before or after the ceremony, depending on what your timeline allows. Group shots are important, but make sure you take the time to get one-on-one shots with the members in your bridal party as well. 
    11. FORMAL FAMILY PORTRAITS: Make sure you communicate the important groupings of family members in advance, and don't leave out extended family. 
    12. GUEST GROUP PHOTO: A great time for this is during cocktail hour before or after formal family portraits OR during the reception when the dance floor opens after dinner. Have your photographer find a vantage point where they can get everyone in one shot. 
    13. OVERALL CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SITE SHOTS: One before guests arrive, and one when everyone is seated. 
    14. THE FIRST DANCE: This is usually a very emotional and beautiful moment that deserves both close-up and wide shots. 
    15. PARTY PICTURES: On your wedding day, it's impossible to be everywhere at once. Make sure your first and second photographers are covering all the bases at the reception, including the dance floor, photo booth, bar, outdoor areas, etc. You will love looking back and seeing all the experiences your guests had and how much fun your wedding was!

    Top Wedding Trends for 2018


    New Year, new trends! 2018 has already seen some gorgeous winter weddings, but the entire year lies ahead and there are new trends to incorporate into planning for the big day! Our friends at compiled a list of 2018's biggest wedding trends from celebrity planners and industry pros, and we wanted to share our favorites: 

    1. "Greenery instead of fabric drapery for outdoor, tented weddings. Think clear tents with lush greenery installations to bring in that natural element and really make things feel organic" - Mindy Weiss, Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

    Some of Mindy's other trend predictions for 2018 include metallic colors, French service dinners, smaller but more flowers, gift lounges, less focus on the wedding cake, less-traditional invites, colored candles, balloons, less-formal invitations, and Italian touches. 

    2. "A big call for casual vibes: lawn games, umbrella-topped picnic table seating, local craft brews, al fresco lighting, and an overall chill garden party vibe." - Calder Clark of Calder Clark

    3. "As we anxiously await the next Royal Wedding in May, we think American couples will also embrace the British tradition of children-only bridal parties. A group of charming flower girls and ring bearers make adorable attendants for an elegant bride—we think the flock of adult bridesmaids have had their day." - Laurie Arons of Laurie Arons Special Events

    4. "Bold and dramatic floral patterns! From the tablecloths to paper and the dance floor, we're seeing dramatic floral prints with saturated colors on black backgrounds as a huge trend right now." - Shannon Leahy of Shannon Leahy Events

    5. " The biggest wedding trend will be couples moving to more modern, clean, and minimal wedding styles. From stationery that is not filled with loopy calligraphy to minimal table designs, I think the trend coming up will be a less-is-more approach to the wedding. I do not want people to think that a minimal approach means we are doing away with installs or thinking outside of the box for decor, but I think couples will invest in a few more magical things, rather than multiple, less special things." - Jove Meyer of Jove Meyer Events

    6. "The after-party is no longer an afterthought. It has become a critical part of the wedding celebration with its own entertainment experiences!" - Augusta Cole and Lynn Easton of Easton Events

    7. "Destination weddings continue to be big! And our clients are thinking bigger—we have couples coming to us saying things like, “Wouldn’t it be epic if all of our friends vacationed in Italy together?!” Well, you can! Invite lists become smaller and the goal becomes more about creating authenticity, creating an environment that is relaxing and inspiring, and giving their guests the best possible time." - Alison Laesser-Keck and Bryan Keck of Alison & Bryan

    New Year's Eve Wedding Must-Haves!


    New Year's Eve marks the celebration of new beginnings, which is why it's also the perfectnight for a wedding! This holiday is a big deal for many who uphold traditions and attend annual parties, so couples planning New Year's Eve weddings have the big responsibility of exceeding guest expectations when planning the party of a lifetime. 

    There are plenty of ways to tastefully incorporate the New Year's theme into your celebration without having to sacrifice the traditional elements of a wedding. Here's what Downbeat LA suggests: 


    Take your party to the next level by enforcing a black tie dress code. Tuxedos and long gowns make for a festively formal night of celebration.



    Whether it's accents in your floral arrangements and tablescapes or you go all in with bridal party colors, don't be afraid to incorporate gold and silver metallics to give the evening a New Year's twist.



    Make party favors available to guests looking to ring in the New Year the traditional way, with noisemakers, hats, poppers, confetti cannons, and more! These can be at every table or displayed in a separate location closer to midnight. 

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    Have you band or DJ conduct the celebratory countdown to midnight. You want to make sure guests are all on the dance floor together to share in the big moment of the night. Don't forget to have a song chosen to mark the New Year (ask your band or DJ for recommendations). 



    A champagne toast is a perfect way to ring in the New Year surrounded by your loved ones. If you have more grandiose ideas for when the clock strikes midnight, talk to your venue about coordinating a balloon or confetti drop for the ultimate surprise! 


    Winter Wedding Inspiration


    Winter is just around the corner, and for couples whose weddings fall between the months of December and March, there are so many incredible ideas out there for throwing the perfect seasonal wedding. If you happen to live in a snowy climate, you have the whimsy of snow and wonderland in your favor, but snow isn't the only factor when planning for a winter wedding. 

    Picture faux fur accents, leather and velvet fabrics, deep jewel tone and metallic color palettes, hot chocolate and mulled wine bars, evergreen foliage in the floral arrangements, cozy lounges with fireplaces, candle-lit tablescapes and so much more. It's one thing to read about it, but it's another thing to see it.

    Take a look at these photos for more winter wedding inspiration:

    Happy holidays, and happy winter wedding planning! 

    Grand Entrance Songs: Hip-Hop Edition


    Your Grand Entrance song is a big deal. It's THE song that lets everyone know that you're about to come in the room and get the party started, and it's the first song that gets people on their feet, sets the vibe, and starts the night off.

    With so many songs to pick from to match your taste and style, here are a few of our favorite hip-hop songs to kick the night off right! Playlist brought to you by Los Angeles-based DJ, DJ BSHAW:

    1. Good Life - Kanye West, T-Pain

    2. Bring Em Out - T.I.

    3. Party Up - DMX

    4. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar

    5. Whoomp! - Tag Team

    6. Feel So Good - Mase

    For more Downbeat LA music recommendations, follow us on Spotify or check out our other playlists on our blog! 

    Destination Wedding Inspiration: Hawaii

    Known for it's beautiful string of islands, crystal blue waters, white sand and lush flora, Hawaii is a highly sought after and world-renowned vacation spot, and it provides a perfect setting for couples who dream of having a destination wedding. 


    The scenery is beautiful no matter what island you find yourself on, but we've rounded up our top picks for picturesque Hawaiian destination wedding venues:

    1. Four Seasons Lanai

    2. The Grand Wailea Hotel

    3. Olowalu Plantation House, Maui

    2. Dillingham Ranch, Oahu

    5. The Modern Honolulu