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Why a professional event planning company (like Coastside Couture) charges what they do

Hello and Happy Thursday!

We are getting into booking season over here at Coastside Couture and of course have been getting lots of inquires to our pricing. I’d like to explain why and how Coastside Couture  charges what we do.

In 2008 Heidi and I incorporated our sole proprietor businesses making us a SCorp. So Coastside Couture is an actual legit Corporation (we think big around here ;) ).  We had decided to become a corporation for a number of reasons, all of which we are happy we went that route. We pay quarterly and yearly corporate taxes to do business as a corporation.

Then we have our fantastic staff, because Heidi and I are employees of the corporation we pay ourselves a salary and along with Kayla as a full time employee, we have payroll costs and taxes. Keep in mind we have a part time employee, Sonia and other contractors working on our business and helping run events, so our labor cost is also a factor.

We have two offices to help support the amount of weddings we do each year. Of course there are costs associated with the offices like utilities, internet, phones, cell phones etc. etc.

Here is a big one, we have insurance! I know right? Surprise! We are insured and we also have a license to do business, and we pay for these things. We pay city and county taxes as well.

Ok then there is the other stuff like, mileage, website, advertising, event supplies, accounting, organization dues, printed collateral, educational costs (because we do refresh and learn about as much as we can in our industry each year) etc .etc…

I think you are getting my point right?

We aren’t just a small company with no overhead, we choose to be big, we choose to be excellent, we choose to have a warm office to meet in instead of a coffee shop with wifi. We want to give our clients the personal planning experience they deserve. So in order to do this, we have to incur costs. Which is our choice, but it also sets us a part from other planners. There is a great group of planners who have a legit business going on and you should commend them for it. Please when deciding on a planner don’t compare a planner that charges “a lot” more to a planner who is obviously not as experienced and charging  ”a lot less”, it’s not fair to the planners who do this for a true living, who have invested time, money and hard work into making their business successful.

Think of it this way if you were going to the doctor, would you want to go to a crowded, maybe not so clean office and wait a long time while sick people cough all around you to get mediocre advice and feel like you were just a number? Of course not, you want to go to the Doctor who has a big cozy waiting room with hot tea where the receptionist knows your name and asks if there is anything she can get you. Your Doctor walks in and makes you feel like your cold is the only cold in the world right now. Yep that’s what we all want and that is what you get with Coastside Couture.

Hey I get it, we all have to start somewhere. When I first started Coastside Weddings and Events, I worked from home (I even had a part time job to help supplement my income). Even with the amount of event experience I had prior to starting my business, I certainly did not have the experience to be doing full scale weddings in a field with little resources or the magnitude of events we do now. I had to work my way up to it.

So when you are looking at a planner and comparing them by pricing alone, first make sure you look at the experience. Then ask yourself some questions. Does the planner who is less expensive have some years under their belt? Do they have the ability to make decisions on a moments notice to make the event work more smoothly. Do they have the confidence to take care of your wedding day. Look at their reviews, ask about their insurance, see if they are a registered business. These are all really important things to know.  I’ve heard some sad stories recently about a planner who’s not from our area, who is undercutting the local planners then taking two weddings in one day because she isn’t making enough money off of one. Seriously, you want your planner to go to another wedding in the middle of yours? This is another reason why a professional planner will charge more, because they charge what they are worth! They don’t just charge to get the job.

I was recently asked if I would discount my rates for a package. No, we don’t discount our rates. We actually have a formula to figure out how to charge so we can run the business and actually have a little something left over to pay us with. We are a legit business. So please keep that in mind when you are looking for a planner. Do you want someone who actually does this for a living, do you want someone who has some experience to make sure the biggest day in your life so far goes smoothly?  This is a one shot day, would you trust someone with little experience to make sure it’s  perfect?

We all know you get what you pay for.

Heidi and Karissa were featured on the cover of Inspire Smart Success Magazine

Heidi and Karissa were featured on the cover of Inspire Smart Success Magazine in 2013




Happy Birthday Heidi!!!!


As we get ready to coordinate our last wedding of the season this weekend I wanted to take a minute to say a big Thank you and Happy Birthday to my rock, my “wifey” my sister, my BFF and my amazing Business Partner Heidi!

You complete me ;-)

Photo from forever ago before we merged I believe our buddy Mike Steelman took this

Can’t wait to rock the wedding with you, Kayla and some of our favorite vendors at Holman Ranch this weekend!


Ps. Photo from forever ago before we merged I believe our buddy Mike Steelman took this

Bridget and Chris’ Ranch Chic Carmel Valley Wedding at Holman Ranch

On this rainy winter day, I felt it was a perfect moment to share a gorgeous tent wedding we designed and produced in Carmel Valley this past spring. Thank you Scott Campbell for letting us share these gorgeous images!! Enjoy!
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We are so excited to share Bridget and Chris stunning spring ranch wedding. They were married just this past March at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley, California. With over 200 guests including many local farmers and ranchers in attendance, our lovely couple exchanged vows in a Catholic ceremony with the beautiful valley as their backdrop. The couples dog Chester acted as ring bearer. The weather turned from a predicted drizzly day to perfect blue skies and sunshine and the celebration spilled out over the beautifully manicured property. Details during the cocktail hour included a DIY Polaroid guest book station, and escort cards displayed in branches that the groom made from wood found on the family ranch. For dinner, the guests moved into a stunning clear tent adorned with garlands, draping, trees, and three spectacular antler chandeliers custom made for the event. A large cross configured table was centered in the tent and acted as the head table. It was surrounded by round tables of family and friends. A custom runner with the Bride and Groom’s new ranch brand was featured and each guest sat down to a personalized menu. The diners feasted on local artichokes, wedge salads, rib eye and salmon. The meal was concluded with berry cobbler and ice cream. The Bride and Groom spent the last few hours of the night dancing, eating cake and celebrating with their family and friends. We loved planning this wedding with the Bride and her amazing Mother Pam during a whirlwind 6 months. It was the perfect rustic chic ranch affair they were hoping for.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Kate Spade
Lighting And Plants: Carmel Plant Tenders
Invitations: The Quill
Videography: Anchor Cinema
Event Planning: Coastside Couture
Floral Design: Fleurs Du Soleil


Wedding Planning for all Budgets

We hope you had a wonderful Turkey Day full of  eating and drinking and thanks!

This is the time of year we start really ramping up with inquiries and people needing help finding the perfect venue or vendors for their wedding. We wanted to be able to help every budget so we came up with The Couture House a service to help you get your wedding planning started.

 I thought I’d share a video we did a few years ago with our pal Peri from BigTime Video about our Couture House Services. This wonderful service is available to all budgets and is your one stop shop to helping you put together your wedding team of vendors prior to hiring a planner!



Give us a call to set up a Couture House appointment to get your wedding planning started! This fantastic  service is just $500 and we also gift certificates a great gift for Christmas for the newly engaged!


Ps.  A big thank you to  Nexus Audio recording studios who did the voice over recording, I know I am not easy to record (giggle fits), you guys were so sweet and patient!



Destination iDo Magazine Cover, Big Sur- Part Three


Happy Friday!

On our last and final post for this fantastic wedding that I’ve blogged both Part one and Part two, I’d like to share the reception details with you. So another little story. There was NO chance of rain for this wedding. Then a surprise storm came in the night of the ceremony. We were concerned that it might get pretty wet even if it didn’t rain, so at 9pm on Friday night, we decided to get a tent brought in. Thank goodness we have such a great friendship with Chic Event Rentals, they saved the day and at 6am on Saturday morning we started the tent install. It was a rough set up for sure between pouring rain, lots of vendor deliveries and a complete redo of layouts, our amazing vendor team made it happen, (even Mr. Steve Ezzo our band leader stepped in and moved furniture, even though that isn’t surprising, he’s AWESOME!) and just in time for guests to arrive and the rain to stop and open up to stunning blue sunny skies (of course). All in all it was beyond beautiful and the guests had a blast!


Guests are greeted with Champagne while a trio of strings set the mood





With the Bride’s family in the fishing industry it was no problem flying in a 200 pound tuna for Chef Hobbs to delight guests with tuna four ways


wheels of Parmesan cheese were flown in from Italy

Rosemary Salt favors by The Detail Shop doubled as placecards


Another stunning and oh so yummy cake by our dear Edith Meyer

























We are still relishing in the weekend, even a year later this wedding reminds me of how much I absolutely love what I do and am so proud to be a part of so many wonderful couople’s special days

Part Three Fantastic Vendors:

Rosemary Salt Favors/ Placecards- The Detail Shop

The always amazing and fun Carlie Statsky (and Gabe) for Photos

The sweetest and uber talented Chef, Annie Hobbs of Taste of Elegance Catering and Events

Hair and Make Up done on day two by lovely Melissa Marie and Sarah Nicole

Rentals and lighting by our friends at Classic Party Rentals

Last minute ( and I am still grateful!) Tent by Chic Event Rentals

So so so beautiful floral (nailed it again!) by the fabulous girls at Seascape Flowers

Music and MC by the awesomest (yes my word) Steve Ezzo of Steve Ezzo Entertainment

Espresso Truck- Travelin’ Joe Espresso

Guest Shuttles- our favorites Main Event Transportation

Planning and Design by Coastside Couture

Venue: The never again but PERFECT Big Sur wedding location, Anderson Canyon

Also note:

Family Dinner on Thursday Big Sur Bakery

Sunday Brunch Big Sur River Inn

Destination iDo Magazine Cover, Big Sur- Part Two

Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday I posted Part one of our beautiful Anderson Canyon Wedding that made the cover of Destination iDo this month.

Today I am posting the Day Two Part of this wedding, the day of reception photoshoot. We decided since we had this incredible venue that it would be fun for Elizabeth and Brian to have a take pictures all over the property prior to the guests arriving for the reception. It was the best idea (well and the tent but that comes later) not only did they get to have fun and relax, they got to experience the magic of Big Sur during fog, rain and sun and now you dear readers get to as well!

tune in tomorrow for our final post, The Reception


A new day a new sash ;-)


and of course a new “do” with a flower crown

















one of my favorites I I crack up thinking about how many heaters Gabe Statsky and I had to move to get the perfect shot


Day Two Vendors for above included:

The always amazing and fun Carlie Statsky (and Gabe) for Photos

Hair and Make Up done on day two by lovely Melissa Marie and Sarah Nicole

So so so beautiful floral (nailed it again!) by the fabulous girls at Seascape Flowers

Planning and Design by Coastside Couture

Venue: The never again but PERFECT Big Sur wedding location, Anderson Canyon


Stay tuned for more tomorrow!



Destination iDo Magazine Cover with Coastside Couture and Carlie Statsky

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

We have been working our butts off down in Cancun this past week for the ISSE Riviera Cancun so it got me thinking a bunch about doing destination weddings and well, it reminded me that we have a GORGEOUS wedding to share with you that made the cover of Destination iDo wedding Magazine!!!!

Sooooooo Exciting!!!!!!!

So a little story, Elizabeth and Brian hired us in 2012 for a full service, destination wedding in Big Sur because they wanted an intimate place to host a small group of family and friends. It ended up being exactly that way and on Friday night, Elizabeth and Brian exchanged vows in front of 25 of their nearest and dearest on a dramatic cliff over looking the Pacific Ocean with the majestic background of the Big Sur landscape behind them, it was magical. Because they are so loved and have so many people who adore this awesome couple, they invited about another 100 people to celebrate with them on the following day at the same incredible location, Anderson Canyon in Big Sur. We had been planning this beautiful weekend for a year and it was beyond all of our wildest dreams how beautiful it turned out. Not even a little rain (the first time it rained in 31 years on that date to be exact rain) could throw our plans for an outstanding, romantic and yummy weekend.

So now I share with you Elizabeth and Brian- Day one ceremony and family dinner, tune in tomorrow for Day two-Reception




























Magical Day one Vendors Included:

The always amazing and fun Carlie Statsky (and Gabe) for Photos

The sweetest and uber talented Chef, Annie Hobbs of Taste of Elegance Catering and Events

Hair and Make Up done by our dear friends at- Shawn Cavalan Beauty Co.

Rentals and lighting by our friends at Classic Party Rentals

So so so beautiful floral (nailed it again!) by the fabulous girls at Seascape Flowers

Ceremony and Dinner Music by the awesomest (yes my word) Steve Ezzo of Steve Ezzo Entertainment

Detailed and remarkable, Invitations, paper and stationary-Crescent Moon Paper Company

Planning and Design by Coastside Couture

Venue: The never again but PERFECT Big Sur wedding location, Anderson Canyon

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!





Shoes For Thought Thursday, Laser cut!

Charlotte Olympia Belinda Cutout

Rupert Sanderson Urania Leather Sandals

We are loving the laser cut theme in stationary, well why not carry that theme through to your wedding day shoes! Find these pretties here and here.

Shoes For Thought Thursday, Crazy About a Bow

Kate Spade



Oh Kate Spade how I love thee. Find this beauty here.