Ask a married person about his or her wedding and you might not get too many details. The whole event might be a blur of tulle and canapés. And yet the details are what we get caught up in when we’re planning. You know what none of those married folks will say? “I wish I had obsessed more.”

Have you fallen into a Pinterest hole? How do you make sure your bridesmaids don’t resent you forever for those dresses? Amy Barnes gives it to you straight: what’s important and what to let go when planning your wedding, and how to enjoy it no matter what best laid plans go awry. (Hint: open bar.)

If you’re wondering what to serve at that bar, John-Michael Wilkerson has some intel on custom couples’ cocktails for savoring the occasion. He even scores you a recipe to get your imagination started. We’ve also sampled local chocolate makers (it was tough — you’re welcome) to show you some of the gorgeous and decadent sweets you can share with your guests, from petite artisanal bars and dipped fruit to photo-printed pieces.

  • Chris Tuite Photography

Think your Humboldt wedding’s tricky? Try planning it with one of you in the Bay Area and the other one in Norway. Jane Leer and Roberto Valle Kinloch made their international wedding happen with touches from their respective homes, Nicaragua and Arcata. Nora Mounce gives you the highlights from their ceremony (you’ll want to get a pencil and crib some ideas).

One thing all your guests will remember is the party music. Fellow musician Josephine Johnson interviews wedding pro Leah Crenshow-Pepke, of Bump Foundation and Eyes Anonymous, about what gets people on the dance floor and how to find and work with the band you want. That should help you find your groove.

And, of course, we’ve got you covered with vendor listings, a to-do checklist and photographer showcase for easy planning. 

We hope you enjoy and draw inspiration from this year’s guide. Just remember to take a breath, slow down and savor it all.
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About The Author

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal. She won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2020 Best Food Writing Award and the 2019 California News Publisher's Association award for Best Writing.

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