Tales of a Wedding Planner

Tales of a Wedding Planner

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Based in the heart of Wine Country, Ybarra Events is an Event Planning Company that will not only ensure your event runs smoothly, but also make sure your personality shines through in the details. Whether you're looking for something elegant and sophisticated, or quirky and cute, when they are done, your event will emerge representing Uniquely You!

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110 Must-Have Wedding Photos Checklist

Tricks of the TradePosted by Tara Ybarra Sat, June 30, 2018 10:06PM
Every couple getting married should have a photo checklist they send to their wedding photographer as well as their videographer roughly one week before their wedding date. Usually the photographer and videographer will be working side-by-side, capturing your important moments.

Here are 110 Wedding Moments you should capture on film!

Getting Ready

Wedding dress on a hanger
Wedding invitation
Engagement ring and wedding bands
Bride and bridesmaids' bouquets
Bride's jewelry
Bride’s Shoes, Garter, something old, new, borrowed, blue
Gifts to each other
Family memorabilia, e.g. heirloom jewelry
Bride & Bridesmaids in robes/PJs
Bride applying makeup
Bridesmaids and/or mother of the bride helping the bride into her dress
Putting on the veil
Bride looking at herself in full length mirror
Groom tying his tie
Groom’s Shoes
Groom pinning boutonniere on his father
Father pinning boutonniere on the groom
Leaving for the ceremony

Before the Bride and Groom See Each Other

Bride alone
Bride with mom and dad
Bride with dad
Bride with mom
Bride with immediate family
Bride with siblings
Generational shot: Bride, mom, sister(s), grandmother
Bride with mom and mother-in-law
Bride with mother-in-law
Bride with bridesmaids
Bride with maid of honor
Bride with flower girl(s)
Groom alone
Groom with mom and dad
Groom with dad
Groom with mom
Groom with immediate family
Groom with siblings
Generational shot: Groom, father, brother(s), grandfather
Groom with father and father-in-law
Groom with father-in-law
Groom with groomsmen
Groom with best man
Groom with ring bearer(s)

Photos Together

Bride and groom
Bride, groom, bride's immediate family
Bride, groom, bride's parents
Bride, groom, groom's immediate family
Bride, groom, groom's parents
Bride, groom, both sets of parents
Bride, groom, both immediate families
Bride, groom, siblings
Bride, groom, all grandparents
Bride, groom, each grandparent (or set of grandparents)
Bride and groom with extended families
Bride, groom, maid of honor, best man
Bride, groom, flower girl, ring bearer
Bride with groomsmen
Groom with bridesmaids
Bride, groom, full wedding party


Anticipation of 1st look
The 1st look
Room shots at ceremony
Aisle arrangements, e.g. floral on arch, hanging vases, aisle petals
Ceremony signs
Wedding party and parents walking down the aisle
Ceremony musician
Bride walking down the aisle
Groom’s face as he waits/sees her
Bride and groom at the altar together
Altar or canopy from the back during ceremony
Wide shot of audience during ceremony, from bride and groom's point of view
Faces of bride and groom as they exchange vows
Bridesmaids at the alter
Groomsmen at the alter
Close-up of the exchange of rings
The first kiss as husband and wife
The recessional
Congrats shots: bride and groom hugging, laughing, and crying with good friends
and family
Ketubah signing and/or signing of marriage certificate
Bride and groom in limo backseat

Cocktail Hour

Guests Mingling
Table décor
Cocktail tables
Special Entertainment


Room shots at reception
Wish you were here table
Cake/Dessert Table
Close-up of all signs, e.g. bar, welcome sign, guestbook sign
Close-up of seating-card display
Close-up of centerpieces
Close-up of dinnerware on table
Specialty drinks/champagne
Grand entrance
The Toasts
The first dance
Father/daughter dance
Mother/son dance
Sunset photos
Band & Dancing
Food prettily plated
Special entertainment, e.g. people using photobooth
Kids playing/dancing
Parents Dancing
Grandparents Dancing
The cake cutting
Bouquet and garter toss
Parents of bride dancing
Parents of groom dancing
Couple’s departure

Here is a PDF Wedding Photo Checklist free for you to download:

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Buffet vs. Plated and Everything inbetween

Tricks of the TradePosted by Tara Ybarra Mon, July 24, 2017 10:06PM
Everyone wants the food at their wedding to be amazing. Wedding Guests always remember the food. They will remember if it was good, if it was bad, if it took too long and they were starving... they'll remember if there wasn't enough and they were still hungry even after eating.

Having the right type of food plus the right style of service is important. BBQ Buffet dinner gives a more casual feel than a Plated Filet Mignon dinner. It will help set the tone of your wedding. That being said, there are a lot of options of how to serve dinner.

Depending on your experiences, you may already have a preference for the way food at a wedding should be served. I am here to compare the options and maybe even give you new options you didn't know existed!

I am a fan of buffets. It is great for a more relaxed environment, and people can pick and choose what they would like on their plate (and how much). It's quite a bit less work for you and your caterer too. No need to send out the extra invitation inserts of "chicken or fish". Buffets are great for large groups, but it is time consuming to get everyone through the line. One way to help, is to set up multiple lines. I like to have up to 4 lines depending on the wedding guest list size. We can get (give or take) 250 people through a buffet in 30-40 minutes with 4 lines. (This obviously varies greatly depending on the guests, venue, and set up.) Then, once it gets to the final table, instead of a group of friends of the bride/groom that are starving and wondering if the flowers in the centerpiece are edible, they are pleasantly surprised that it's already their turn for the buffet.

What I like even better than Buffets though, are Soft-Open Buffets! Soft-Open Buffets are similar to buffets, but instead of having the guests sit down, and dismissed table by table, the buffet is available straight from cocktail hour. It's a bit quicker because we save the first migration time to the seats. Normally, as the wedding planner, for a traditional buffet, I would go around at the end of cocktail hour and ask everyone to find their seats. 15-20 minutes later the guests would be seated, and we would have the bridal party grand entrance, then dismiss by table. With the Soft-open, usually the grand entrance fits nicely at the end of cocktail hour, then I would go around telling groups the buffet line is open. For some reason, it generally only takes them a few minutes to get in line! *wink wink, nudge nudge* The migration time is much shorter, and the hungriest guests will be the first in line. They also only have to go to their seats once!

I do love the sophistication of plated dinners though. It's so elegant and they're garnished beautifully. It is an opportunity to really treat your guests to fine dining. You would think it is faster than buffet, but generally it takes about the same amount of time to get all the plates delivered to the guests. Here is where staffing is crucial. You need to have enough staff to get the food to the tables at a good pace.

Probably my favorite way to serve food at a wedding, though, is Family Style. (However, it still depends on what ambiance you are designing.) Family style is the perfect balance between Plated and Buffet. Every table is brought food in courses. An example would be, the catering staff would bring each table big bowls of salad. As each guest is helping themselves to salad, the waiter is getting the next course to trade out the salad bowl. The things I like about this serving style, is you feel more like a family when you interact at a dinner table this way, it is the fastest way to get food out, and you are not waiting in line, so it feels like you're at a restaurant.

Really, the styles all vary greatly, and not all Caterers offer every option. Every style of service fits everyone differently as well. More than likely, you know how you want your wedding day to feel, and the food can help that feeling transpire.

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