I can't tell you just how important florals are the day of your wedding or at any event for that matter.  I have seen lots of different florists put together wedding centerpieces and bridal/bridesmaid bouquets but the difference between a good one and a great one is in their individual vision, and tying it in with yours, when designing.  When their vision is spot on with your vision of how you want your wedding to look, it becomes magical. Your tablescapes pop, your wedding arch becomes a centerpiece in your ceremony and it pulls everything together in your wedding or event theme.

When choosing a florist, it's important that you give them a good idea of what you want.  Browsing through Pinterest, you can get tons of ideas.  Start a wedding flower board, or take a look at the one on our Pinterest site, Karen Marie Events.  From there, start collecting your favorites and narrow it down to a few.  Take those pictures with you when you consult with your florist making sure they understand the theme and vision of your wedding.  Show them samples of the colors you are using and the venue.  All of this should help them create floral designs that will be unique for your wedding.

Keep in mind cost as well when planning for your florals.  Repurposing from your ceremony to the reception will save you money as well as making sure you use florals that are in season and not costly.  A single stem can cost $4-$5 a piece so a bouquet with high priced flowers adds up quicky!

Some of our favorite floral designers, Unique Floral Designs, Greenwich Floral Design, WildflowersCA and Dulce Floral Designs, utilize a lot of natural greenery in their designs and they are truly breathtaking.  There are many more we can refer you to depending on the type of florals you want and you’re your budget. 

Photo Credit:  Jenn Jasso Photography


The day you have finally dreamed of is here and one of the most important things that assures it goes smoothly is a timeline.   Bride and grooms have missed cake cuttings and bouquet tosses getting caught up with everything that is going on and you definitely don't won't to miss one of those memorable moments.

Start by listing all of the special events that are happening that day such as those moments including the first dance, mother/father dance, toasts, garter toss, etc.  The build in your vendors into the list (i.e. when is the cake arriving, when is the band setting up, etc.)  Pictures are next on the time line as to when the photographer will need you before and during the ceremony and reception to catch the best photo ops.

Once you have it all listed, you'll know have a guide to follow.  Make sure all of your vendors get a copy of it as well so that they know when they are expected.  This will also help you MC when announcing everything as to when you want it to occur.  

Part of the services are Karen Marie Events is to create this timeline for you.  With our day of ceremony package, this is an important tool we use and we make sure that everything on that timeline happens exactly when it is suppose to assuring a flawless beautiful wedding day!  

Photo Credit:  Lucas Rossi Photography


Southern California is the perfect backdrop for a beautiful wedding venue and none more so than the city of Thousand Oaks.  A premiere community recognized as one of the most desirable and safest places in all of California, it is often referred to as the Conejo Valley.  Nestled between the Los Angeles and Ventura county lines, it is a just a short distance to Malibu’s scenic coastline and is surrounded by scenic mountains and rolling hills.  With a Mediterranean climate, it also offers a diversified selection of wedding venues featuring outside areas that you can comfortably enjoy on a year round basis.

Keeping the budget conscious happy, there are many community choices such as the Oak Park and North Ranch Community Centers as well as the historic Stagecoach Inn and the Chumash Indian Museum outdoor area. 

For the country club lover, golf courses abound, both public and private, offering indoor and outdoor venues such as The Gardens @ Los Robles, North Ranch Country Club, Wood Ranch Golf Club,  Sunset Hills Country Club, Lake Lindero Country Club and the elegant Sherwood Country Club, to name a few.

Outdoor venues are endless in the Thousand Oaks and the adjoining cities.  If you are looking for an exquisite 40 acre ranch vineyard estate setting, Epona Estates is the perfect setting.  Within a couple of miles from Thousand Oaks, ranch and barn weddings have multiplied in the Moorpark and Camarillo areas with Quail Ranch, McCormick Home Ranch, Camarillo Ranch, Walnut Grove, Eden Gardens, and Rancho de las Palmas to name a few.

Of course, the traditional hotel settings from the simple Palm Garden Hotel to the more luxurious Four Seasons and Westlake Village Inn also offer indoor and outdoor areas for wedding celebrations.

And if that’s not enough choices you will find many, many more which is why hiring a local wedding planner can help you not only with your venue choice but in assuring you are connected with the best local resources.  Of course, a local wedding planner also knows these venues well which is paramount to making sure your special day runs smoothly and goes off without a hitch!


Photo Credit: Lucas Rossi Photography


Many wedding venues with banquet facilities have an event manager on staff.  They will book the venue for you, assist you with menu planning and usually handle the setup of the tables and chairs as part of their responsibility. Today, many of the wedding venues, also have on staff a wedding coordinator that they include with your wedding package. 

The important thing to remember in both cases is that these venue coordinators are employed by the venue.  Their responsibilities are to the venue who employs them and is limited to taking care of the venue itself, their food service & staffing and in some cases, depending on the venue, tables and chair set up.  They have not worked with you closely over several months getting to know you on a more personal basis, helping you to create your vision and getting to know how you want your day presented.  Their services are also limited. 

An outside wedding planner is like your general contractor.  Beyond the basics, they manage all of the vendors confirming with them prior to the wedding, providing headcounts, coordinating arrival and set up times and to assure that everyone is on task during the event.  Your personal wedding planner is there not just to coordinate the day but to set up your décor to create your vision, make sure guests are greeted, assure that the cake cutting and other events of the day are done in a timely manner, music is getting your guests on the dance floor, etc.  They are also there to also take care of things that may not go so right – like the wrong flowers being delivered, the cake not delivered on time, getting an emergency keg of beer when you run out, etc.   Their services are over and above a venue coordinator’s normal responsibilities. 

Your own personal wedding planner also relies on your happiness as their business is built on referrals.  The venue coordinator is an employee and their goal is to facilitate the wedding for the venue.  Their desire to make your day as special as can be may not be at the same level as your wedding planner who hopes to have you as a lifetime client who will refer their friends and families.

Photo Credit:  Lucas Rossi Photography