Real Weddings Magazine

{Sponsored} There’s Still Time to Enter to WIN a FREE Weekend in South Lake Tahoe!

Have you entered Tahoe South’s “Match Made in Tahoe” contest, yet? There’s still time to enter to win this fabulous weekend getaway in gorgeous South Lake Tahoe. Please share the good news with all of the engaged couples you know!

If you missed the big announcement, our friends at Tahoe South are giving away a FREE (yes, we said, “FREE!”) wedding planning escape to 8 lucky engaged couples in their “Match Made in Tahoe” contest!

Sound amazing? It is! Scroll down for details on how to enter…


Enter for a chance to win a FREE weekend exploring Tahoe South’s top wedding locations and activities for you and your spouse-to-be, or your best friend, or whomever you choose to join you in planning your dream wedding.

Do you want to enter? It’s easy! Just click HERE!

If you win the “Match Made in Tahoe” contest, you and your guest will be wined and dined while visiting seven properties across South Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe Wedding Sites properties include: Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge, Lake Tahoe Cruises/Zephyr Cove Resort, The Landing Resort & Spa, The Ridge Tahoe, Hard Rock Café, and Edgewood Tahoe. You will also have the opportunity to meet wedding professionals that can help make your destination wedding personal, playful and perfect!

The winners will enjoy this fun-filled weekend itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel near the Heavenly Village for refreshments and a tour, followed by a welcome party perched above the lake at the iconic Ridge Tahoe.

Day 2: Visit The Landing Resort & Spa, Tahoe South’s luxurious new 5-star resort, then explore Edgewood Tahoe’s exquisite lakefront locale. The Hard Rock Café Lake Tahoe will host a lunch party before the you spend the rest of the day exploring on your own.

Day 3: After breakfast, watch the sun light up Lake Tahoe while taking in the Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge. You will then go to scenic Zephyr Cove Resort, home of Lake Tahoe Cruises, for a tour and refreshments before venturing out.

Enter before April 27 at midnight and then save the “Match Made in Tahoe” date: May 16-18, 2014. You could be one of the eight lucky winners!

For more information, contest rules and to enter the “Match Made in Tahoe,” click HERE!


Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.

Photo courtesy of Tahoe South.

Subscribe to the Real Weddings Magazine Blog! Click here:


Featured Partner: Camellia String Quartet

Ellen Cochran has served as the Camellia String Quartet’s first violinist for more than three decades. Before the recession, she estimates she played nearly 100 weddings annually alongside Bob Woodward (second violin), Nina Vigil (viola), and Alan Clark (cello).


“We are a service that is and extra, and when pennies are being counted, we are the first to be excluded,” she explains. “We still firmly believe that live music at weddings makes the affair do much classier, and so we persevere.”

Cochran and her fellow members call Sacramento home but are happy to travel as far Grass Valley, Stockton and Fairfield when called upon by area couples.

“We feel the love of the guests surrounding [them],” she shares. “We like to watch the look on the groom’s face when he sees his bride walk down the aisle…It is a blessing to get to know the couple and their families and feel part of the whole process.”


Although the group is well-versed in the works of Handel and Bach (not to mention a number of contemporary classics), Cochran says the song they’re most often asked to play is Pachelbel’s Canon, a piece that gained popularity after its appearance in Father of the Bride.

“Each quartet member has their own personal favorites and gets to request them when we are playing for receptions. We each take turns selecting the next piece so no one gets left out,” she says. “We do have a tradition at receptions that we cannot go home until we have played ‘Siboney’ as our last song.”

To learn more about Camellia String Quartet, log on to And, make sure to “like” Camellia String Quartet on Facebook,

Photos courtesy of Camellia String Quartet.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine contributor, Morgan Casarez.

Subscribe to the Real Weddings Magazine Blog! Click here:


Girl Tested, Bride Approved: Garden Apothecary

For the perfect dose of post-wedding rejuvenation, immerse yourself in the world of Garden Apothecary, a line of handmade face and body products crafted by professional horticulturist Jennifer Lee Segale. What began as a landscape design and consulting company more than a decade ago grew in 2008 to include small batch, made-to-order organic treats. From tea and candles to sugar scrubs and massage oil, there’s something to soothe even the most planning-weary newlywed.


Having sampled the roll-on Rose Leaf Flower Essence ($26), I can attest to the calming power of these plant-packed products. Made with a combination of vitamin E and organic almond, rose absolute, and rose leaf oils, the .3 oz container hasn’t left my purse for the past week and is ideal for on-the-go application. Each time I remove the cap, it’s as if I’ve been transported to a rose garden. Knowing the sweetly scented contents are chemical-free is an added bonus, and I’m eager to try the line’s other essences: Cacao & Cardamom, Evening Aphrodisiac, and Lime Peel & Neroli.


For a dose of skin salvation, reach for one of Segale’s French Green Clay Mud Masks ($10 for two). When mixed with a bit of water or honey, the contents of each compostable, single-use capsule become a gentle treatment, and after one use, my dull, tired skin was left feeling soft and refreshed.


To learn more about Garden Apothecary, log on to

Photos courtesy of Garden Apothecary.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine contributor, Morgan Casarez.

Subscribe to the Real Weddings Magazine Blog! Click here:


Reminder…The Sacramento Kings Bridal Show is TOMORROW!

Welcome to the weekend! Who’s ready for some wedding planning? Don’t forget that the Sacramento Kings Bridal Show & Basketball Game is TOMORROW, April 13th, at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. The Sleep Train Arena will open early exclusively to brides, grooms and Sacramento’s best wedding professionals for a great bridal show, followed by a fun-filled day of basketball as the Sacramento Kings play the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Stop by this event for your FREE copy of Real Weddings Magazine and our planning resource, Real Weddings Magazine’s The Planning Guide! Plus, enter to win $50 to The Firehouse Restaurant at our booth!


Here are the details for this fabulous event:

When: Sunday, April 13, 2014

Time: Doors open at 2:30 p.m., the bridal show begins at 3:30 p.m.

Where: Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento

Cost: Tickets are $12 each or $20 for 2 tickets. Tickets are available exclusively HERE or by calling (916) 905-5701. With each ticket to the bridal show, you will receive a FREE ticket to the game. All of your friends, family and wedding party are invited to join in the fun and celebration of your wedding!

About: Lace ‘em up, grab your groom and get ready for a great time at the Basketball Bridal Show! Your favorite NBA team salutes you…the Bride and Groom as you get ready for your big day!

Each couple will receive a goody bag filled with this season’s top bridal magazines, samples and free gifts from our participating wedding professionals.

This is one wedding planning event that your groom is sure to love!

For more information, please click here.

Be sure to tell them you found out about the event from Real Weddings Magazine!


Hope to see you there!

Photo courtesy of and copyright Brides and Basketball.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.

Subscribe to the Real Weddings Magazine Blog! Click here:


Styled Photo Shoot: Danielle & Erik at Historic Oakdale Ranch


The Couple: Danielle & Erik

Photography by Amy Shuman Photography

Shot on location at Historic Oakdale Ranch

“The artistic inspiration behind this photo shoot started with Historic Oakdale Ranch. The beautiful willow trees, the orchard, the vast country landscape made me want to go with something romantic. Luckily we were able to add a beautiful lace gown from Bellisima Bridal Boutique and borrow some cool rentals from America’s Party Rental to complete that look. The flowers and cake added the splash of color we needed and (thanks to the coordination of Polished Event and Design Coordination) it all started to take shape. Danielle is beautifully elegant, and her and Erik’s love made the magic of the day come together.” – Amy Shuman

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Participating vendors include:

Photographer: Amy Shuman Photography

Venue: Historic Oakdale Ranch

Wedding Coordinator: Polished Event and Design Coordination

Décor and Rentals: America’s Party Rental

Flowers: Strelitzia Flower Company

Cake: Ciocolat

Officiant: As You Wish Weddings

Makeup: Dolce Vita Beauty

Hair: Hair by Roberta from Heart & Soul Salon

Invitations: Throne Invitations

Gown: Bellisima Bridal Boutique

Isn’t this photo shoot amazing? We just love the rustic romance at this beautiful venue, Historic Oakdale Ranch! What do you think?

Photos courtesy of and copyright Amy Shuman Photography.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.

Subscribe to the Real Weddings Magazine Blog! Click here:


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