California & Europe luxury wedding photography



Napa Valley, Sacramento,
San Francisco, Santa Barbra, Pismo, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Yosemite

California wedding alter with white florals

Elevate Your Wedding Day – Tips from a California Wedding Photographer


July 14, 2023


Learn more

Welcome to the blog. Here, I share recent weddings and sessions, travels, and more. I'm Tiffany, a California-based wedding photographer specializing in fine art photography. When I'm not photographing my amazing clients, I'm busy being a girl mom to two and capturing life's beautiful moments as a family. I treasure working with joyful couples in love and am excited to tell your unique story.

Hello Friends!


When it comes to planning your dream wedding in California, every detail counts. From personalized elements to stunning stationery, enchanting music, to exquisite ambiance, there are countless ways to make your special day truly unforgettable. As a professional California wedding photographer, I’m here to share expert tips on how to create an extraordinary experience that reflects your unique love story.

Groom and wedding party infant of California barn chapel at Union Hill Inn in Sonora, CA Image by Tiffany Longeway Photography
Venue:  Union Hill Inn | Planner: An Occasion Events

Dress Code Creating Cohesion and Personalization:

To add a touch of personalization, consider asking your guests to dress in specific colors that complement your wedding palette. By keeping it simple with one or two colors, you can ensure a cohesive and intentional look. When inviting your guests to join in the wedding’s color palette, remember to use kind and subtle wording to avoid sounding too demanding. A suggestion from Martha Stewart Weddings is to kindly invite guests to wear a shade of blue that aligns with your chosen colors.

Favorite song wedding reception table numbers at California wedding venue Union Hill Inn
Venue:  Union Hill Inn | Planner: An Occasion Events

PersonalizationReflecting Your Journey as a Couple:

Incorporating personalized elements can elevate the uniqueness of your California wedding, making it more intimate and reflective of your journey as a couple. Consider adding custom neons, wedding signs, and wishing wells that resonate with your love story. These thoughtful touches not only create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests but also provide captivating details for your wedding photographer to capture. Give your photographer the opportunity to document these personalized elements, ensuring that the essence of your love story shines through in every frame.

Violin player at intimate wedding reception at the Ferry Building San Francisco, CA

Music Setting the Mood and Energy:

The power of music should not be underestimated when it comes to setting the mood and energy of your wedding. To bring vibrancy to your special day, consider hiring a live musician for your ceremony and cocktail hour. Their talent and experience will add an extra layer of magic. For the reception, a skilled DJ can ensure the party gets started and keep the momentum going. Live music not only entertains your guests but also serves as a great conversation starter.

white and gold acrylic wedding invitation suite with white flowers
Venue:  Union Hill Inn | Planner: An Occasion Events | Caligraphy: Little Wildflower Craft Company 

Stationery Adding Special Details and Unifying Your Theme:

Wedding stationery presents an excellent opportunity to tie in your theme and add special details. Complete your table setup by including a menu on each place setting, and make guests feel included and acknowledged with personalized place cards. Consider reaching out to a local calligraphy artist for a custom design or explore options on websites like These small touches will make a big difference in creating a cohesive and memorable wedding.

gold wedding reception chairs with greenery
Venue:  Union Hill Inn | Planner: An Occasion Events

Chairs Enhancing the Overall Ambiance:

The chairs you choose for your wedding can significantly contribute to the overall ambiance. While upgrading all chairs can be costly, you can mix and match styles to create an elegant look within your budget. Opt for more affordable Chiavari chairs for guest tables and the ceremony, reserving something more elegant for your head table or sweetheart table. Another option is to reuse chairs from the ceremony at the reception, with the assistance of your planner, to avoid unnecessary expenses.

cocktail lounge area at spring Union Hill Inn wedding in Sonora, CA
Venue:  Union Hill Inn | Planner: An Occasion Events | Rentals: Standard Event Rentals

Lounge Area Creating Cozy Spaces for Relaxation and Mingling:

Designating a lounge area offers your guests a cozy space to relax and mingle between dance sessions, dinner, and dessert. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring both families together and fill any empty spaces while incorporating your unique design and aesthetic. Choose comfortable seating and decorate the area to reflect the ambiance you want to create.

White flower wrap fireplace wedding ceremony alter at Union Hill Inn, Sonora, CA
Venue:  Union Hill Inn | Planner: An Occasion Events

CandlesAdding Romance and Warmth:

Candles are an absolute must for creating a romantic atmosphere and a beautiful warm glow at your wedding. Before incorporating candles, make sure to check with your venue regarding their policies on open flames. With countless options available, such as tall taper candles or decorative votives, you can find the perfect match for your wedding vision. Candles also make stunning centerpieces and are often more budget-friendly compared to elaborate floral arrangements.

Calligraphy seating chart at The Ferry Building San Francisco, CA

Escort Cards Providing Clear and Visually Interesting Guidance:

Help your guests feel at ease by providing clear and visually interesting escort cards to guide them to their seats. This is an opportunity to have some fun and add personalization. Consider incorporating a specialty cocktail with a pop of color or using unique items like apples, leaves, or stones such as agate or marble. If creating personalized escort cards for all guests seems overwhelming, focus on creating bespoke place cards for the head table, using unique items to make them stand out.

Champ tower at luxury garden wedding in Sacramento CA
Venue: Cairnwood Estate | Planning: Heather Benge | Florist: Rosaspina Floral

Craft Cocktails, Champagne Delights, and Dazzling Champagne Towers

Infuse elegance, fun, and visual spectacle into your California wedding with a combination of craft cocktails, exquisite Champagne delights, and stunning Champagne towers. Whether you and your guests prefer alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, a skilled California wedding photographer can capture the joy and celebration as you indulge in delightful craft cocktails and Champagne-based drinks. Craft cocktails, Champagne, and the dazzling display of Champagne towers add a touch of color, class, and uniqueness to your California wedding. Raise your glasses and toast to an unforgettable celebration while your wedding photographer captures the beauty and excitement of these special moments.

six tear white luxury floral cake
Cake: Cakewalk Heirloom Baking Co. | Venue:  Union Hill Inn | Planner: An Occasion Events

Desserts Satisfying Every Sweet Tooth:

Indulge in a delectable array of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth and cater to various preferences. If you’re not a huge fan of cake, explore other unique dessert options. To keep traditions alive, consider having a small cake for the ceremonial cutting alongside a selection of alternative desserts for your guests. Personalize your sweet course by serving the dessert you enjoyed on your first date and infusing your wedding colors into the design of your wedding cake.

Your California wedding should be a testament to your love and a celebration of your journey as a couple. By incorporating personalized details, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere, and paying attention to every little thing, you can make your wedding truly unforgettable. Whether it’s through carefully chosen colors, beautiful music, exquisite stationery, or enchanting candlelit ambiance, every element plays a role in creating a magical experience for you and your loved ones. Trust a professional California wedding photographer to capture these unforgettable moments for a lifetime of cherished memories.

All images by Tiffany Longeway Photography

Click here to inquire about photography coverage for yous dream califoina wedding day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

reader faves

browse by category








Meet Tiffany

Welcome to the blog. Here, I share recent weddings and sessions, travels, and more. I'm Tiffany, a California-based wedding photographer specializing in fine art photography. When I'm not photographing my amazing clients, I'm busy being a girl mom to two and capturing life's beautiful moments as a family. I treasure working with joyful couples in love and am excited to tell your unique story.

hello Friends!



The Wedding guide

Coming soon.




Get the secret to building the prefect wedding day timeline to insure you have time to capture all those must have moments.

free download

© tiffany longeway photography 2020