posted 6 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
48 posts
  • Wedding: August 2008


I recommend you get some suggestions from your venue on preferred vendors, including a Wedding Planner. I had a destination wedding and my planner was a huge chunck of my budget, but SO worth it! She helped to streamline everything and keep it in order with my vision perfectly executed. Also, she had such great relationships that she was able to secure discounts on additional vendors to it worked out well with my budget. 

Biggest help and really decreases the stress, throughout the entire planning process and day of. 


Best of luck! 

Post # 4
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Do your parents live in Half Moon Bay? If so, could they do some of the vendor interviews with you via Skype or even speakerphone? Aimee’s ideas are also very good. A good wedding planner will have lots of contacts that may be helpful to you and they can do a lot of the legwork. Does your family have any recommendations about vendors? Could they ask some friends who were married in the area for their recommendations?

Post # 5
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I planned mine from Boulder CO to San Francisco CA without a planner for 350 people.  It was a pain in the ass.  Seriously.  I would say start with your “big” stuff– venue (check!), ceremony location (or it’s the same place), florist, photographer, and DJ/musician.  I’m sure your venue can help you find reputable vendors.  Then you’ll need to deal with the smaller stuff like make up/hair/etc.  I know you’re a hands on person, so if you don’t hire a planner, you may find that you’re going to have let certain things go.  Maybe you’re not going to have as many DIY/small projects because you physically can’t get them there/store them until you’re day.  Maybe you’re going to spend more money because everything will have to be purchased from a vendor.  But if you’re family is near-enough by, maybe they can help you out with finding vases or charger plates or whatever.  The internet is your friend; just keep emailing and calling until you’re comfortable.  Every time you go to CA, make sure you touch base with your vendors in person/on the phone.  Get a miles reward card/membership with whichever airline you fly the most.  And breathe.  You get to marry your best friend regardless of what the flowers look like.  Focus on your marriage above your wedding and you’ll be fine.  🙂

Post # 6
78 posts
Worker bee

Hi!  First: Congrats to you!  

I’m in a similar boat – we’re in DC, trying to decide between my hometown in Ohio or his in MN.  Ohio is at least close enough to drive for weekend trips, but I haven’t lived there in more than ten years.  People will have to travel regardless, and DC is more expensive so it’s out.  

How did you guys decide to travel back to Cali?  I’m a bit overswhelmed with everything and this seems to be the first thing to figure out (after figuring out he’s perfect for me of course).


Post # 9
78 posts
Worker bee

I feel your pain!  It’s so much to take on.  Your Maid/Matron of Honor asked what you needed, you feel it’s too much.  Can you talk to her about all your concerns?  She may be swamped, or she may have some time to do the errand running for you.  Be up front that you don’t want to ‘abuse’ her or take too much of her time.  If you are open and honest with her and yourself maybe you can come up with something that will work.  


Also, check out the prices of a planner and what’s included.  Friend at work used one for her wedding in Puerto Rico and priced out things seperately based on quotes.  The Planner costs were a wash, if not a bit cheaper.  

Good luck! 

Post # 10
214 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m in your same boat- I’m in Australia trying to plan my wedding for Santa Cruz, CA (about a half an hour from HMB).  We did end up hiring a wedding planner since it was just too hired to try and find all the different vendors on our own and she’s been good, but it’s expensive and she knows our budget but then sends me a link to a hair/makeup person who wants $200 for both the trial and the day of makeup-not sure how she thought this person would be in our budget??

Let me know if you need any help.  As I get more vendor info, I’m happy to pass it on.  We are doing a bbq style dinner from a place in Santa Cruz called Michael’s on Main and they are going to be doing all the grilling and stuff on site.  The Buttery in Santa Cruz is supposed to have really tastey cakes, too.  We’ll be doing a tasting there when I go for a visit in January.

Post # 12
1477 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Are you looking for a day of planner? Look up Jessica or Ciera from ‘Dreams on a Dime’. They have amazing reviews on yelp and are really affordable. Day of is $1,000, I think. They also do partial planning, where they help you look up a variety of vendors and then you pick your favorite. They’re based out of SF, but HMB should still be in there area.

Post # 14
784 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Half Moon Bay is awesome! The Mezzaluna is a great restaurant for rehearsal dinner. I dunno if they are still open tho! Is an official wedding planner in your budget? Put it all on them!! LOL

Post # 15
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2005

Look into Half Moon Bay Bakery for your cake.  There are some hair/makeup vendors in HMB that are good, but I usually suggest looking at some from the San Francisco area as well, as it isn’t that far away and many of them will travel to HMB.  Same thing with a DJ.  There are lots of delicious restaurants in HMB for a rehearsal dinner, so you can’t really go wrong with whatever you pick.  Tons of amazing photographers in the Bay Area as well, so expand your search beyond HMB for some vendors if necessary for your taste and budget.  Good luck!

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