We recently had the pleasure of attending an exclusive wedding planner event hosted by Ra Beauty Bar in West Hollywood in Los Angeles. This impeccable salon is owned by a trio of inspiring and incredibly talented women–Audrey, Whitney and Kennedy–who lead a team of amazing stylists and artists. They had quite the amazing day of beauty planned for us!
The morning started with some delicious cocktails and a yummy selection of bite sized brunch treats, provided by the Scrumptious Cafe Bakery.
In between sips and nibbles, we experienced some pretty stellar treatments! I started off with their exclusive Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment, made with a special blend of oils. It smelled divine! Afterwards, I got a blow out by Audrey–my hair had never felt softer.
Next up, I was treated to a delightful experience with a scent specialist from Jo Malone who blended some amazing oils and creams to create a custom lotion for me. The smell was absolute divine and left my skin so soft and smooth.
For the rest of the morning, we all received a variety of treatments. From makeup touch-ups and table massages, to eyelash extensions and even tanning!
Ra and their incredibly talented stylists offer an unparalleled and luxurious experience for a bride and her bridal party looking for upscale hair and makeup services for her wedding day. If you’re hosting your wedding in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, it is so worth bringing you and your girls to the salon the morning of your wedding for this stellar experience. But if not, for an additional fee, the stylists are happy to travel to your wedding location whenever your wedding may be (whether in Southern California or beyond)!
Since we are relatively new to the Los Angeles area, we decided to scope out some of the most incredible wedding venues that Los Angeles has to offer. These venues provide a sense of elegance and luxury for your wedding day and while definitely venues for high budget brides, these venues are worth it. From super unique wedding spaces for both ceremonies and receptions to dynamite culinary offerings, your wedding guests will be absolutely blown away every minute of your wedding day. Here are some of our top picks!
The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, CA
This luxurious wedding venue is a historic location, dating back over 100 years to 1907. The Langham Huntington Hotel has been featured on hit television shows and movies, and features a number of Japanese Gardens and elegant ballrooms that you can book for your wedding day. It’s an absolutely stunning wedding venue located in close proximity to the San Gabriel mountains, and is one of Southern California’s premiere wedding venues. Since the venue itself is also a hotel, your guests can stay on location, making your wedding day that much more of a seamless experience for them.
Vibiana in DTLA
Vibiana is a stunning and unique wedding venue in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. An architectural masterpiece, Vibiana was the first Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles, which opened its doors in 1876. Now it is used for weddings and events, with catering provided by Redbird, one of LA’s most popular restaurants (which is right next door to Vibiana!). They also offer an enchanting enclosed garden space where you can host your ceremony and/or cocktail hour outdoors if you so choose–however getting married inside the venue will provide you with some stunning photos as well.
Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica
With stunning views of the ocean and Santa Monica, Casa Del Mar is an amazing wedding venue location for any beach loving couple. They offer six different locations within the hotel where your elegant wedding can be held, including two outdoor terraces that provide stunning ocean-side views. Imagine the amazing photos you’ll be able to take right on the beach!
So what is the biggest regret couples have after their wedding day? According to a recent study, a whopping 72% of recently married couples regret not hiring a day of coordinator for their wedding day. 72%!!! Anne, a bride who got married in Connecticut last year, very much regretted not hiring a DOC and had this to say; “Day of coordination is very important. We had some issues with the venue and the buses that were out of my control that day. I realized how frustrated I was that I had to worry about some small details [on my wedding day]…”
For most couples who have never planned a wedding before, it’s hard for them to grasp how insanely busy and hectic things become in the weeks and days leading up to your wedding day. This is where a day of coordinator can save you countless hours of frustration, stress, heartache and worry prior to your wedding and on your wedding day. A DOC works for YOU and knows every single detail of your wedding day both big and small. From the officiant, to the photobooth you rented, to the special table settings from the rental company that you just MUST have on your big day, a day of coordinator makes sure all of your vendors show up on time, set everything up on time and in the case of transportation, ensures that you and your guests actually arrive for the ceremony/reception/other wedding day events on time!
You may have some questions as to why you need a DOC, so I will answer the most frequent questions we hear from engaged couples.
What exactly is a day of coordinator?
Day of coordination is a service that many wedding planners offer and typically includes key coordination between all of your wedding vendors in the month/weeks leading up to your wedding day (this service is often referred to as “Month of Coordination). This service is usually more affordable than hiring a wedding planner to plan your entire event from day one.
But my venue offers a “wedding coordinator” as part of my venue package. Isn’t that basically the same thing?
This is where most couples get confused. Unless your venue offers full wedding planning services as part of your wedding package (which is very, very rare—I only know of one such venue that offers this service), it is not the same thing. Not even a little bit! While the venue provided coordinator is there on the day of your wedding to make sure everything flows—they work for the venue and not for you. So for example, if your photographer becomes MIA four weeks before your wedding and you’ve already paid in full, or the florist you hired all of a sudden has a shortage of the perfect blooms you’ve requested for your big day, this venue coordinator will not be the person to track your vendor down, renegotiate your contracts or find alternate vendors in case you need a plan B (and in some cases, a plan C). This is something that you and your fiance(e) would have to do yourselves and having to deal with any potential last minute changes the month of your wedding is extremely stressful.
A day of coordinator sounds great and all, but I heard that wedding planners are super expensive, so it’s just not in my wedding budget.
This is simply a misconception–most wedding planners offer a number of different services beyond Full Planning (which does tend to be on the pricier side because of how labor intensive it is). Many planners offer Partial Planning, Month-of/Day-of Coordination, and other custom services. We here at This Modern Love Events exclusively offer a 3rd tier of wedding planning called Digital Pre-Planning–learn more about it here; TML Events Digital Pre-Planning. It never hurts to have an initial conversation with a planner, to discuss your wedding planning needs and which service would benefit you the most. We always offer a free consultation if you aren’t sure where to start.
Hindsight is 20/20, which is why again, 72% of couples regret not hiring a day of coordinator. Think ahead—not hiring a day of coordinator is like trying to put on a play without a director. You and your spouse to-be are the actors and stars—it’s not your job to manage lighting, sound, and the rest of your cast!