wedding planner 06.17.16

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The Press special section for planning your big day in far East Contra Costa


  • Photo courtesy of Discovery Bay Studios Wedding Photography

    The Press sPecial ediTion summer 2016

    June 17, 2016

  • JUNE 17, 2016 Wedding Planner THEPRESS.NET | 3B

    Plan your dream day in Discovery Bay

    Imagine walking down the aisle on your wedding day on a private outdoor veranda at a country club, framed by meticulously

    groomed gardens and greens, with

    views of Mount Diablo, extravagant

    sunsets or twinkling, starry night


    If your dream wedding is indoors, picture yourself walking through a Mediterranean-style clubhouse, where sunlight falls through skylights onto tall, white, marble columns and an atrium-style lobby. Best of all, you dont have to belong to a country club to make either of these luxurious weddings a reality.

    Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club is one of Contra Costa Countys most elegant and picturesque destinations for saying I do, offering exceptional service, delicious food, affordable prices and wonderful ambiance that transforms any vision into a dream wedding. The country club, known for its broad lawns, gorgeous lakes, colorful flowers and grand willow, poplar and ash trees, is available for rental to both members and nonmem-bers. Indoor and outdoor sites make the perfect spots for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

    Our grounds and clubhouse are beautiful, providing so many stunning, photographic locations, said Jenelle Tissot, the clubs food and beverage manager and event coordinator. Having a wedding here is an intimate and unique experience, because we do not overbook our location to ensure we can give each guest special attention and an experience

    catered to their vision.From start to finish, the staff at the

    club helps with all of the details, from menu planning, timeline and other special touches, to make your customized, once-in-a-lifetime day memorable. In addition to the on-site wedding coordinator, who helps plan the perfect event, brides and grooms work with culinary staff to plan a sit down or buffet-dinner package.

    Our wedding was everything and more, said bride Samantha Aranda. The chef was spectacular, and all of my guests complimented the food. There was a huge selection of salads, pastas and pota-

    toes, and the chicken cordon bleu was spectacular. I could not have asked for our wedding day to go any more perfectly.

    Besides delicious food, Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club gives wedding parties extra time to set up. Since the club hosts only one event per day, wedding parties have unlimited access to the venue the entire day of the wedding, prior to the event start time. Other amenities include silver and all basic linens (one tablecloth and napkin color choice), tables and chairs, a wedding food tasting with the booking, a bridal suite, dance floor and optional valet parking.

    In all of our research, we have never met a more dedicated or profes-sional event coordinator, said groom and Brentwood resident Alex Tuveson. I would recommend Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club to anyone who is looking for a wedding venue. We cant thank them enough for making our wedding something that we will cherish and remember for the rest of our lives.

    Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club is located at 1475 Clubhouse Dr., in Discovery Bay. For more information, visit or call 925-634-0700.

    To comment, visit

    A M Y S C H R A D E R

    ON THE COVER: The Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club offers a dramatic, romantic backdrop for weddings of all sizes, tastes and budgets.

    The Mediterranean-style architecture at the Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club, offers a unique, one-of-a-kind ambiance for weddings, with on-site catering and event-planning services.

    Photo by Discovery Bay Studios Wedding Photography

  • 4B | THEPRESS.NET Wedding Planner JUNE 17, 2016

    Donate, recycle, reuse for a greener wedding

    Sometimes, a wedding can be a testament to excess. In order to make an impression and please every guest, couples often go above and beyond with regard to food, favors, flowers

    and much more at their weddings.

    At the end of the night, couples might be left with a good deal of food and other items that go to waste. That is, unless they donate the excess to someone who can use it.

    Leftover wedding food, flowers and wardrobes can be donated and make a difference in other peoples lives. By asking a few questions and doing a little legwork, you can turn items that would be discarded into something that goes on to help another person.

    Food - Food is one area of the wedding thats often prepared in abundance, particularly for buffet-style weddings. In order to keep chafing dishes filled and inviting, catering halls or restaurants often prepare much more food than is necessary. At the end of the night, there are usually plenty of leftovers. Some caterers may contract with food-recovery groups to take leftover food and bring it to the needy. You can ask your caterer if they do so. If not, do an online search for a food-recovery organization and find out how you can donate the remainders of your wedding feast.

    Clothing - Bridesmaid dresses and formal wear are seldom worn again, unless you are a person who has mastered the art of turning pink taffeta into a new

    ensemble. However, you may be able to donate a dress or suit to a consignment store or thrift shop, where it can be purchased and worn by someone who may not be able to afford an off-the-rack item. You can also consider donating it to an organization that provides clothing to the underprivileged. Some people offer wedding clothing for sale at deep discounts through newspaper classifieds or online, where it can also live on in someone elses closet.

    Floral arrangements - Wedding centerpieces can last for several days before they wilt. While friends and family members may take some home, several centerpieces will likely be left at the end of the night. Think about bringing them to a hospital, hospice center or nursing home. The flowers can help brighten the day of others who are in somber settings. If you cannot find a place that will take them, consider dropping one or two of them off at the home of an elderly relative who might be confined to their home.

    Favors - Provided your favors have not been engraved with a date or names, you may be able to return extras to the store. Theres also the possibility of making them available to a couple planning their wedding and looking to cut costs wherever possible. Or, take the favors home and send one out to any person who gives you a gift or a card, but wasnt able to make it to the wedding.

    Weddings do not have to be wasteful. If you put your mind to it, you can find ways to reuse items featured on your big day.

    Courtesy Metro Creative

    Photo courtesy of Metro Creative

    Drop off floral arrangements at nursing homes, where they can brighten up the environment.

  • JUNE 17, 2016 Wedding Planner THEPRESS.NET | 5B

    A guide to engagement ring shoppingLong before many couples stand in front of an officiant and say, I do, they make another pledge to each other by getting engaged and agreeing to begin a new life together.

    In a 2011 survey by from XO Group, Inc., formerly The Knot Inc., the average engagement ring costs Americans $5,200. Considering engagement rings are typically once-in-a-lifetime purchases, many men say the high cost is warranted and are even willing to finance the purchase or push their budgets to procure a beautiful ring.

    Many engagement rings feature a 1-carat center stone with some smaller stones surrounding it, accounting for a 1.4 total carat weight on average. Considering a ring is such a significant investment, it pays to have some knowledge in gem selection.Start by answering a few questions

    Having an idea of what you want can help anyone get a better deal, whether one is shopping for a new sofa or an engagement ring. An informed shopper can avoid being taken advantage of or buying something that really isnt worth the asking price.

    The four Cs are a good place for shoppers to get started. Various attributes affect the value, quality and beauty of a diamond. The four Cs stand for cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

    The cut refers to the shape of the stone, as well as the skill involved in achieving the shape of the facets so that it reflects the light brilliantly. The grading color in a diamond determines how closely a diamonds color approaches colorlessness. The diamond will be assigned a letter grade. The higher the letter in the alphabet, the clearer the stone. Clarity refers to the amount,

    size, type and location of internal flaws in a diamond, also known as inclusions. The cost of the diamond increases when there are fewer inclusions in the stone. Finally, the carat weight is the size and weight of the stone. The larger the stone, the pricier it can be.

    Another question to ask is which style of ring? Your fiancee-to-be may have a certain setting style and diamond shape preference. It pays to know these things, including the type of setting the stone will be encased in. You should also know whether they would be happy with a larger stone that may have some invisible imperfections or a smaller, flawless stone.Know your budget

    Many expenses are associated with planning a wedding, and some couples may not want to begin their lives together in debt. This may need to be factored in to the decision-making process. You should go to jewelry stores to price out different styles and see how diamonds compare. This way you will have an accurate idea of just how much rings cost.

    Carefully consider your options. Having an intimate knowledge of what your significant other will want can help you to narrow down something that is reasonable.

    It also pays to understand a jewelers return policy. Even if you may know what you want, in the event that the ring doesnt work out, find out if the style can be changed or if you can get a refund or make an exchange.Other tips for savings success

    There are ways to maximize your budget and still end up with a beautiful stone. Ask for a stone that is slightly less than the next carat, for

    example 0.9 instead of one carat. Experts say the price difference between a 1.9 carat diamond and a 2 carat diamond can be as much as $5,000. Also, choose a stone that has more surface area, which will make it appear larger, even if it does not have as much sparkle. If the look of platinum is desired, realize white gold, silver or

    tungsten are more affordable options that will still give off that silvery hue. Mixed gold colors, including white, pink and yellow, can be unique. Try to buy a loose diamond. You can inspect the entire stone

    and then shop around for an acceptable setting. This can save you money in the long run by buying the ring elements separately. Dont shy away from a warehouse store for a good deal on

    rings. As long as the diamond is to your liking and follows the requirements of the four Cs you desire, it should not matter where the ring was purchased. Make sure the store is accredited by the Jewelers of America

    or is a member of the Gemological Institute of America. This way you know you are buying from a reputable source and the diamonds were acquired ethically. Negotiate the price. Comparison shop and find out if another

    jeweler will match a competitors offer. Courtesy Metro Creative

  • 6B | THEPRESS.NET Wedding Planner JUNE 17, 2016

    St. AnneCommunity Life


    Weddings Quinceaeras Birthdays AnniversariesSeating for up to 400

    2800 Camino Diablo Rd.Byron

    (925) 634-6625www.stannechurchbyron.comorn orn

    Candy displays raising the bar on wedding treats

    When planning a wedding, there are always a million details to attend to - the guest list, venue,

    seating, dcor, food, cake and favors

    - but with the newest trend entering

    the wedding circuit, you can take care

    of many of these details all at once.

    Having a candy bar is a colorful, tasty way to brighten up your wedding or special event. With the big, decorative apothecary jars and endless color and display options, it can add fun to any theme. Plus, it can take the place of favors - guests can simply take a personalized container of their favorite candies home with them at the end of the event.

    Theres no need to go far to find this service, either. Le Candy Bar Occasions, located in Brentwood, is available for any special event. Desiree Ramos and her daughter, Vanessa Wheeler, founded the business in April, after Wheeler realized there were no businesses in the area providing candy-bar services.

    Ramos runs the business side of

    the company, focusing on their online

    and community presence and collecting

    contacts. Wheeler, who attended the

    Academy of Art in San Francisco, directs

    the creative side.(Vanessa is) very creative; she just

    loves decorating, said Ramos.The candy bar works like a catering

    service Ramos and Wheeler bring all

    of the treats to the event and create a beautiful display. If there are additional items needed such as tables or other equipment, they will provide that too.

    It takes away the responsibility of set up, said Ramos.

    Displays can also be incorporated with other elements of the wedding, such as the cake. Ramos has recently begun collaborating with the popular Brentwood business, TLCakes, delivering all the wedding treats together on one table.

    While the candy-bar trend has largely been seen at weddings, Ramos wants potential customers to know that the possibilities are endless. She lists birthdays, retirements, Halloween, corporate events, Mardi Gras, quinceaeras and bachelor and bachelorette parties as possible places to have a candy bar.

    Let us sweeten up your occasion, she said.

    For more information, visit the business booth at the Brentwood farmers market each Saturday, call 925-457-1851, email [email protected] or visit

    To comment, visit

    A N N A H U R T

    Photo courtesy of Desiree Ramos

    Le Candy Bar Occasions is a fun, trendy and tasty way to brighten up your wedding or special event.

  • JUNE 17, 2016 Wedding Planner THEPRESS.NET | 7B

    Weddings Special OccasionsBirthday Parties Holidays

    Tables, chairs, tents, infl atables & much more!516-7664 3981 Walnut Blvd., Brentwood

    e Largest Selection of Party Rentals in East County Since 1998Every bride has what-if jitters before her big day. What if hurricane-force winds destroy the

    outdoor tent? What if the flowers arrive

    wilted or dead? What if the food goes bad

    and everyone gets food poisoning? What

    if the best man loses the rings?

    What many people dont realize is that insuring your wedding day with special-event insurance can stop what-if jitters and give new brides and grooms peace of mind. Just like buying insurance for expensive trips, cars or concert events, new brides and grooms can protect themselves from financial disaster on their big day.

    It never hurts to have the extra insurance, said George Stewart, agent broker with East County Insurance Agency, Inc. It covers your liability if a guest is injured or causes property damage, as well as unexpected mishaps that can cause brides and grooms to lose money.

    The agency, which was started by Stewarts father-in-law, John Slatten, is a family

    business with more than 55 years of experience in Contra Costa County. Today, they have two locations, in Antioch and Brentwood, which Stewart and his wife, Emily Slatten, operate. The two locations enable them to serve a majority of the county.

    Stewart recommends all prospective brides and grooms invest in wedding insurance.

    Its a small price to pay for added security and peace of mind, he said, adding that special-event insurance costs less than $200.

    According to Stewart, the most important component of special-event insurance to buy for your big day is personal-liability insurance. Just as you could be financially responsible if someone slips in your home and becomes injured, you could be held financially responsible if someone gets injured at your event or damages the property of the venue. Many venues even require liability insurance.

    Additional types of insurance available cover extreme weather, vendor protection, gift coverage for theft of non-monetary gifts, wedding attire coverage, wedding ring coverage and cancellation coverage that insures your deposits, cake, flowers and more, or if you have to cancel or postpone your event

    A M Y S C H R A D E R

    Stop the what if s with special-event insurance

    see Insurance page 9B

  • 8B | THEPRESS.NET Wedding Planner JUNE 17, 2016

    Wedding dress silhouettesFew wardrobe decisions are scrutinized as much as a bride-to-bes choice of wedding gown.

    Finding the perfect gown that flatters her figure while stunning her guests and soon-to-be husband is a labor of love for many brides. The Bridal Association of America esti-mates brides spend between $1,500 and $2,000 total on their gowns, veils and accessories. Finding the right gown means having an understanding of what silhouettes are available and what flatters certain body types. Here is a look of some of the common types of gown silhouettes and why choosing this shape might be right for you.Ball gown

    A ball gown dress is truly a classic style, evoking images of fairy-tale princesses. With a fitted bodice and full skirt that flairs at the waist, this silhouette is usually good for all body types. Because the full skirt, which is typically poofed-up by crinoline, will hide the hips and thighs, women with a pear shape might gravitate toward this style. The ball-gown style may not be ideal for petite women, as the skirt may overwhelm their figures.A-line

    Another silhouette very forgiving or appropriate for many body types is the A-line gown. A-line cut dresses are the go-to style for anyone looking to minimize perceived flaws. The cut of the dress will fit to the waist and gradually fan out from the hips, forming the outline of an uppercase A. When in doubt, A-line gowns are classic and sensible and a favorite among brides.Trumpet

    Women who prefer something a little more form fitting might select a trumpet silhouette. This dress is fitted

    through the body, then the gown flares out at mid-thigh level. Women with taught stomachs and hourglass figures can benefit from this style gown, but those who do not want anything tight in the hips and thighs will want to select something else.Mermaid

    A bit more fitted than the trumpet, this silhouette is close to the body from the chest down to the knee. The skirt then flares out slightly by the knee. Tall, thin women generally look best in this type of gown.Modified A-line

    A balance between a traditional A-line and a more fitted gown, the modified A-line does not flare out as much, but does flare out enough from the waist to hide areas around the hips and thighs. This is another good choice for a wide array of figures.Tea length

    Brides who do not want a gown that reaches the floor can opt for a tea-length dress, on which the skirt generally falls between the ankle and the knee.Sheath

    Lean brides who want simplicity in their gowns can opt for a sheath silhouette. The narrow shape of the gown from the neckline to the hem will definitely accentuate the body shape. Therefore, women who are shy may want to select a different option. Petite women who may be overwhelmed by more fabric can usually wear a sheath gown with success.

    Although a bride may have a wedding gown style in mind, it is a good idea to try on a number of different silhouettes to find the one that is most flattering. Bridal salon employees are usually well versed in matching body types to a gown and can prove invaluable when selecting a dress.

    To comment, visit

    Courtesy of Metro Creative

    There are many wedding gown silhouettes which are universally flattering on all women.

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  • JUNE 17, 2016 Wedding Planner THEPRESS.NET | 9B

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    due to unforeseen circumstances. The cost was small in the grand scheme

    of what we were paying for our wedding, said Oakley resident Megan Burgoon, who opted to purchase special-event insurance for her wedding. It was a small price to pay for not having to worry, and I immediately liked the idea, because

    you never know what can happen.East County Insurance Agency, Inc. is

    located at 2738B West Tregallas Road, in Antioch, and 4550 Balfour Road, Suite G, in Brentwood. For more information, call 925-757-4208 or 925-240-1330 or visit

    To comment, visit

    Insurance from page 7B

    Did you know?According to The Knots 2015 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding cost, exclud-ing honeymoon costs, in the U.S. in 2015

    was $32,641, an increase of more than

    $1,400 from the year prior.

    The study found that couples looking to tie the knot in New York Citys Manhattan borough can expect to pay well above the national average. Manhattan weddings cost couples an average of $82,299 in 2015. Thats over $20,000 more than in Chicago, the next most expensive city to tie the knot in 2015. Couples who want a more affordable place to get married than the Big Apple may want to look into saying I do in central Illinois, where the average wedding cost was $21,818, more than $10,000 below the national average. The meaning of white

    Though the idea that white wedding dresses symbolize virginity and purity is often

    cited as the reason behind wedding dresses being white, a 2014 exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London indicated that white wedding dresses were a symbol of wealth and had little, if anything, to do with virginity.

    The exhibit, titled Wedding Dresses 1775-2014, noted that, during the 18th and 19th centuries, white wedding dresses indicated a family could afford to buy a dress the bride would wear only once. During that time, white dresses were especially difficult to clean, and that made it impracti-cal for any but the wealthy to purchase dresses that would likely never be worn a second time. Englands Queen Victoria, who married Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840, is widely credited with popularizing the white wedding dress.

    White dresses remain a traditional and popular choice today, though many brides opt for various shades of white, if not an entirely different color.

    Courtesy of Metro Creative

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