Wedding Tips

Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2018

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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. 

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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 (harpersbazaar.com). 

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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 (brides.com). 

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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 (harpersbazaar.com). 

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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 (brides.com). 

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

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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. 

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"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: 

FULL-SERVICE PLANNING: THE PROS

  1. LESS STRESS!
  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. 

FULL-SERVICE PLANNING: THE CONS

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

MONTH/DAY-OF COORDINATION: THE PROS

  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. 

MONTH/DAY-OF COORDINATION: THE CONS

  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

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    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!

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    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:

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    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:

    THE RITZ-CARLTON, BACARA RESORT

    SAN YISIDRO RANCH

    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 VenueReport.com)

    ARRIVE

    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 VenueReport.com)

    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

    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 VenueReport.com)

    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

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    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:

    1. GALWAY DOWNS

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    5. VILLA DE AMORE

    Romantic Valentine's Day Date Ideas

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    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

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    Los Angeles is full of incredible event spaces to suit any need, and venuereport.com 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.”

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    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.”

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    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.“

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    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.”

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    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.”

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    Vendor Spotlight- SoHappi Together

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    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

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

    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:

    1. VINTAGE GLAMOUR

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    2. BOHEMIAN

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    3. RUSTIC ROMANCE

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    4. CLASSIC ELEGANCE

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    5. MODERN CHIC

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    Parent Dance Favorites Playlist

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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. 

    Downbeat LA's "Parent Dance Favorites" playlist on Spotify has favorites for mother/son dances as well as father/daughter dances. Many of these songs can apply to both, but the most important thing to remember choosing a song that's meaningful to you and your parents.

    isten and choose from our list below:  

    PARENT DANCE SONGS - MOTHER/SON

    1. God Only Knows - John Legend
    2. You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban
    3. Forever Young - Rod Steward
    4. Sweet Pea - Amos Lee
    5. Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
    6. Mama's Song - Carrie Underwood
    7. I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack
    8. In My Life - The Beatles
    9. 93 Million Miles - Jason Mraz
    10. Wild Flowers - Tom Petty
    11. You'll Be In My Heart - Phil Collins
    12. My Wish - Rascal Flatts
    13. A Song For Mama - Boyz II Men
    14. Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra
    15. Child of Mine - Carole King
    16. Do I Make You Proud - Taylor Hicks
    17. Hero - Mariah Carey
    18. There You'll Be - Faith Hill
    19. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
    20. Mother Like Mine - The Band Perry

    PARENT DANCE SONGS - FATHER/DAUGHTER

    1. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - James Taylor
    2. Dance With My Daughter - Jason Blaine
    3. Daughters - John Mayer
    4. Just The Two of Us - Will Smith
    5. Daddy's Little Girl - Michael Bolton
    6. That's How Strong My Love Is - Otis Redding
    7. Ain't That Love - Ray Charles
    8. You Are My Sunshine - Johnny Cash
    9. Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman
    10. My Darling - Wilco
    11. What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
    12. Hold My Hand - Hootie & The Blowfish
    13. My Father's Eyes - Eric Clapton
    14. The Best Day - Taylor Swift
    15. I Lived - OneRepublic
    16. You Are The Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne
    17. Only One - Kanye West
    18. Surfer Girl - The Beach Boys
    19. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
    20. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

    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!

    Wedding Cocktail Hour Favorites Playlist

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    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!

    CONTEMPORARY WEDDING COCKTAIL HOUR SONGS:

    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 Smiith
    8. Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars
    9. Perfect (Duet) - Ed Sheeran, Beyonce
    10. #Beautiful - Mariah Carey, Miguel
    11. I Do (Cherish You) - 98 Degrees
    12. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles
    13. Valerie - Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse
    14. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
    15. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
    16. Collide - Howie Day

    MOTOWN/SOUL WEDDING COCKTAIL HOUR SONGS

    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

    WEDDING COCKTAIL HOUR SONG COVERS

    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

    CLASSIC WEDDING COCKTAIL HOUR SONGS

    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

    COUNTRY WEDDING COCKTAIL HOUR SONGS

    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

    REGGAE WEDDING COCKTAIL HOUR SONGS

    1. Is This Love - Bob Marley & The Wailers
    2. Better Together - Jack Johnson

    Top Wedding Trends for 2018

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    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 Brides.com 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!

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    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: 

    1. BLACK TIE AFFAIR

    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.

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    2. METALLIC COLOR PALETTE 

    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.

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    3.  GUEST PARTY FAVORS

    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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    4. NEW YEAR'S COUNTDOWN

    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). 

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    5. MIDNIGHT CHAMPAGNE TOAST

    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! 

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    Winter Wedding Inspiration

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    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

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    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. 

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    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

    How To Avoid Interrupting The Party For Traditional Wedding Moments

     

    Wedding celebrations are made up of so many magical moments throughout both the ceremony and reception. While newlywed couples and their guests want to party the night away, there are often special dances and traditions, such as the bouquet toss and cake-cutting, that are factored into the timeline of events.

    hile these traditions provide amazing photo opportunities and memories for a lifetime, they should never be made to feel like an imposition to guests who are enjoying the party. Instead, they should be strategically - and tastefully - placed during the reception to avoid any awkward pauses or breaks in dancing or dinner.

    Here are some tips to ensure the party doesn’t stop for these traditional wedding moments:

    1. Schedule moments immediately following dinner! Before the band or DJ start their first dance set, go ahead and cut the cake (bonus: dessert is served promptly) and get the special dances underway. This will avoid interrupting the dancing later on.

    2. Discuss with your DJ/MC ahead of time and ask them to seamlessly integrate these moments into the dance sets! If your Master of Ceremonies makes clear announcements to guests to stay on the dance floor surrounding the bride and room, they are made to feel a part of everything instead of just spectators.

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    3. Throw away the rule book and opt out of these moments completely! If the idea of dancing with your parents in front of 100 of your closest family and friends makes you uncomfortable, know that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do! Feel free to make your own rules and traditions, it’s your day after all!

    For more industry insights and tips, visit the Downbeat LA blog here