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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

Unpopular Opinions from a San Jose wedding planner

Updated: Mar 27

Hey, everyone! Today, I want to share some potentially controversial thoughts that could be helpful as you navigate your wedding planning journey. Being a wedding planner based in San Jose and having coordinated events throughout the Bay Area, I've had the privilege of witnessing countless beautiful celebrations. This experience has given me a unique insight into various aspects of weddings and emerging trends.

However, it's important to remember that these are just my opinions, shaped by my professional experience. Ultimately, your wedding day should reflect your unique style and preferences. So, while I'm here to offer guidance, I encourage you to take my suggestions with a grain of salt and prioritize what resonates with you as a couple. After all, it's your special day, and the most important thing is that it brings you joy and reflects your love story!

Sparkler Exits: Balancing Safety and Style

Let's start with sparkler exits—a favorite for many couples seeking that enchanting send-off. While undoubtedly magical for photos, let's not overlook safety considerations. I've seen firsthand the risks involved; from burns on my hands and those of my employees to the challenges of lighting them all simultaneously and extinguishing them afterward. Additionally, it's worth noting that many venues don't permit their use due to safety concerns. Beyond the stunning photos, there are real dangers to consider, such as burns and fire hazards, particularly in our sunny California climate. Wildfires pose an even greater risk, especially during dry summer months, when vegetation is highly susceptible to catching embers and start a wild fire. But fret not! We've got plenty of alternatives that are just as stunning! A few of my favorites: whimsical bubbles, glow-sticks, light-up balloons, and ribbon wands are all wonderful alternatives, ensuring your exit is memorable without compromising safety.

Favors: Small Gestures, Big Impact

cake, photo booth prints from a wedding.

Ah, wedding favors—a topic that often stirs debate among couples. While some may see them as unnecessary expenses, I've come to believe that it's the thought behind the gesture that truly matters. In my experience, guests are always excited to receive wedding favors, especially when they are personalized and thoughtful. I've never seen a guest not be happy to receive a cookie or to take home a photo booth print out. Imagine your loved ones leaving your celebration with a token of appreciation tailored just for them—whether it's a heartfelt note accompanied by a cherished photo or a small keepsake that reflects your shared memories. These thoughtful touches not only show your gratitude for their presence but also serve as meaningful reminders of the love and joy shared on your special day. So, while wedding favors may seem like a minor detail, they have the power to leave a lasting impression and add an extra layer of warmth to your celebration.

Plus-Ones: Embracing Inclusivity in Celebrations

Now, let's address the plus-one dilemma—a topic that requires delicate consideration, particularly when budget constraints are in play. However, weddings are fundamentally about celebrating love in all its forms. It's essential to acknowledge and honor the relationships of your guests by extending invitations to their significant others, especially those who have been together for a significant amount of time, say, two years or more. While it may seem convenient to categorize guests by engaged or married couples, not all partnerships aspire to marriage, and that's perfectly valid. Each relationship deserves recognition, regardless of its formal status. While being mindful of costs, inclusivity fosters a warm

and welcoming atmosphere, enriching the celebration for all attendees. After all, everyone there is to celebrate love! Remember, it's challenging to ask others to celebrate your union while inadvertently disregarding someone else's partner. By extending invitations to significant others, you not only show respect for your guests' relationships but also create a sense of inclusivity and unity among your loved ones on your special day.

Timelines: Crafting Guest-Centric Experiences

Finally, let's discuss timelines—a crucial aspect often overlooked in wedding planning. Timelines should revolve around the guest experience. While we all cherish those Instagram-worthy moments, it's crucial to ensure that your guests have an enjoyable and engaging day as well! For this reason, we always suggest creating a timeline with the guest experience in mind, minimizing any awkward gaps and creating a good flow for guests. For example, opting for a first look before hand is a great way maximize the time spent with your guests. This allows us to capture as many photos as possible before the ceremony, ensuring that you can make the most of your reception time. If you're keen on those breathtaking sunset shots—which we completely understand, we recommend sneaking out during cocktail hour. If you can't especially with how late the sun sets during certain times of the year, then we suggest going out for a quick 10-15 minutes during dinner. Alternatively, if you prefer to save that special moment for the aisle, you can opt for family photos instead of a first look before the ceremony. The aim is to maximize photo time before the ceremony so you can maximize your reception time with your guests, who are there to celebrate you. By prioritizing the guest experience, we create a seamless flow throughout the day, making it effortless for everyone to follow the events and ensuring a more memorable celebration overall.

In conclusion, these insights stem from my experiences working on various weddings. However, it's crucial to remember that weddings are deeply personal events, meant to reflect the unique bond between the couple. Therefore, it's essential for couples to follow their instincts and do what feels most authentic and meaningful to them. At the end of the day, amidst all the planning and preparation, we're all united by one simple yet profound purpose: to celebrate love.

If you're looking for a wedding planner who's not afraid to buck a few trends and help you create a celebration that truly speaks to you, feel free to get in touch with us at We'd be honored to assist you in bringing your vision to life and making your special day everything you've dreamed of and more.

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