They captured the Golden Snitch…at their wedding.

This couple planned the ultimate Harry Potter themed wedding. Here’s  how they took their theme to the extreme!

Themed weddings can be so much fun for your guests and really highlight your interests and personalities. In July, was the setting for an enchanted wedding embracing a Harry Potter theme.


If you are thinking of planning a themed wedding, take some tips from this couple to  make your wedding an experience your guests will never forget!



Erica Marie’s catering staff dressed for the occasion!

It all starts with commitment! Not only to your new life together, but with an “All In” commitment to your theme. Asking the caterers to dress for the occasion is a great touch!


As your guests await your arrival, think about ways to help them pass the time. Ask them to leave notes on successful relationships for you, like they did here. Make finding their table a little more fun with a memento like these beautiful keys.


Make sure your gift table and card box, keep with your theme. This couple used the owl and bird cage to hold cards from guests.

The bride and groom included Harry Potter themed activities to keep their guests entertained by providing: a photo booth with props, Quidditch Pong, a Wii for guests to play, trivia quizzes, and scenes from the movies played on our screen in the ballroom.

Dinner tables were decorated with a nod to classes and well known places in the world of Harry Potter. The centerpieces were vignettes incorporating items that fit with the theme of the table. Table centerpieces are an important way to spread your theme around the room, and leave your guests feeling immersed in your theme. 

For drink, Butter Beer was served and for dessert the bride and groom were both imaginative and traditional. They had a simply beautiful tiered cake, “Exploding Cake Balls,” truffles and a “Trolley Cart” themed candy bar.


You might not choose to recreate the world of wizardry, but if you choose to have a themed wedding, take tips from this couple. The delivery is “all in the details!”

Wishing a wonderful Always!









Getting married in your hometown…a great idea?

You’re the questions start. Have you set a date? Where are you going to get married? Will it be a church wedding, outside, country setting, or an indoor service and reception? With so many options to choose from, why not choose your hometown?

Aside from the sentimental aspect, having your wedding in your hometown can have some great perks!

Bride & Groom

Finding your wedding

Knowing the local businesses in your area, can be helpful when choosing vendors for your wedding.

The little details~

Your friends can help with the little details that are hard to manage from far away. They can even do a little prep work for you so your visits home for planning to make arrangements can be more efficient.

You know the area~

A place for your rehearsal dinner, hotel and guest accommodations, as well as your wedding and reception venue options will be more familiar to you. You might even have a favorite restaurant you would like to share with your wedding party, hold your rehearsal dinner there. A local park that holds special memories is a great place to have your engagement or wedding photos taken.


Friends and family may not have to travel far~

If you have relocated, it doesn’t mean that your family and friends have. Having your wedding where you grew up may save your family and guests travel time and money.


So you got a big city job after college, but with a city location, you can expect big city prices…”going back home” might possibly save you money on your wedding. Consider looking up your high school friends that might have started a hometown business.

Help with the after party details~

If you are leaving for your honeymoon right from your reception, it can be a relief having family or friends that are local to take care of your gifts, returning any rented items, and any general wrap-up that you might need after the wedding.

Wherever you choose to get married, we hope that your wedding is filled with wonderful memories, love and a happily ever after!

Think outside the (cake) box!

vacaville_operahouse_wedding-167Having a hard time deciding what flavor or cake to serve? He wants chocolate and you want Chantilly cream between layers of lemon flavored sponge cake, or maybe you just can’t decide between several flavors.

Try skipping the traditional multi-tiered wedding cake and try something different.

Many couples are opting to have a special one tier “cutting” cake made and then provide their guests with single serving dessert options.  We have compiled some ideas to help you think outside the (cake) box!

French Macarons are very popular for weddings and special events. With beautiful colors that can coordinate with your wedding design, and the multitude of options for fillings, they are perfect for an elegant event such as a wedding.

Their per cookie price can scare away a budget conscious bride, but when you factor in the size of a typical “serving slice” of wedding cake and the price tag per serving, you may even save a little dough. vacaville_operahouse_wedding-165

Cupcakes have been the rage for several years now. With the baking challenge shows on TV,IMG_3115 cupcakes are becoming works of art. Single serving cupcakes allow couples to choose multiple flavors and decorations. Also, you can save on the rental price of serving dishes, plates, forks etc. if your venue charges for those items.

Cake pops are making their way into dessert bars at events also. These are bites sized cake and frosting truffle like treats. They can be dipped in chocolates, sprinkles and other confection treats.

Fruit tarts are a great idea for gluten free alternatives. They are also refreshing, especially in the hot summer months.

Single glasses of mouse, pudding or even jello are a fun way to give your guest something a little sweet at the end of the night.

Can’t decide? Serve a dessert buffet! Just be sure to add a sign that desserts will be available after dinner and your cake cutting!


Hashtags, I Do’s and Sparklers. This wedding had it all.

Pete and Janelle booked the Vacaville Opera House in August of 2015. It only took six months for this blushing bride to plan and execute a beautiful wedding to begin their life as husband and wife. Grindle-4

Janelle, chose peacock inspired colors for the wedding, using bright teals and purple. Royal blue and purple colored orchids, and Peacock feathers were used through out the rooms from the wedding cake to the centerpieces.

This fun couple choose to involve their guests in sharing photos of their special day by choosing to advertise hashtags for their guests to tag photos taken that night. #PGnJSayIDo #MeettheGrindles


They chose to have a smaller cake that was placed on the stage near their table, after dinner the cake was cut by the newlyweds. Additional desserts that included several types of cookies and cupcakes were provided as a dessert buffet. During the toasts, their 9 year old nephew congratulated the newlyweds.

To end the evening, the happy couple was sent off on their new life together by their guests, as sparklers lit up the night on the Creekwalk Bridge just outside the Opera House.

Congratulations, Janelle and Pete. We wish you a life full of love, laughter and happily ever after!

Our Favorite Favors!

Give your guests with a little bit of yourself, reflect your style and personality. Make sure your favors are a reflection of you as a couple.

Your guests have come from far to share in your special day, so to show your appreciation and give them a little something back, you provide them with a token of your appreciation at their seat.

Not sure if your guests will enjoy the packet of 6 Jordan Almonds that you painstakingly tied with little ribbons, the votive candle holder artfully monogrammed with the your initials and color matched with your bridesmaids dresses, or a CD of gushing wedding songs?

So how do you get away from the cliche and give something that your guests will love? Consider letting your favor symbolize your and your day, instead of a monogrammed item that your guests will probably not keep. Food items are a great favor, the guests can enjoy a taste of something yummy as they reminisce on your special day.

Find a way to share some of your love story with your guests.
Reflect on how you met. What do you like to do together? Where was your first date? Are you world travelers?  Are you “going green” for your wedding? Think about choosing a local products like those picture below.




Many “Do it Yourself” sites have great ideas, but do you want the same favor that millions of other couples gave away on their day or do you want to WOW your guests?

Making a statement can be done simply and inexpensively if you do a little research and are creative. There are favors for EVERY theme. For example, Starfish items are great for a beach theme, wine accessories are a great way to showcase our close proximity to the Napa Valley and our own local Suisun Valley wineries, Airplane themed favors are a great way to share your love of travel.

To help you out, we have some assembled a list of our Favorite Favors:

  • For your out of town guests, share some of our Vacaville goodies!
  • Jelly Belly’s come in every color and are a local product
  • Local Splits of wine from one of our amazing local wineries
  • Bottle Stoppers/Wine Corks
  • Small Cheese Boards for the foodies at your event
  • A small potted succulent
  • A small gift jar featuring a locally made honey, jam or sweet
  • Scratch-off Lottery tickets in a beautiful envelope can send your guests home with a little money in their pocket.
  • For the travel loving couple a compass with personalized tags
  • Luggage tags that your guests can use after the wedding
  • Try a themed Wine Bottle Opener there are so many options for these.

Many of these favors can be found on these great event websites and POPSUGAR.

Beach inspired or Summertime

beach cookiesstarfish bottle opener

beach seeds palm tree

For the World Travelers

airplane tageiffel tower ring holder

compasscompass bottle stopper

For a Fall wedding

leaf bottleopenerleaf bookmark

For the Food and Wine Loving couple

(bottle openers can be found for every theme)

heart cheesboard2in1 bottle stopper

1948-500love wine opener

XO wine openerantler bottle opener

Whatever you choose-make it special to you, then it will be a treasured keepsake for your guests.

A vintage inspired wedding….

Our staff here at the Opera House were so excited when we go the call from local restaurateur Tracy Vasquez, to help the Vasquez family celebrate the wedding of their daughter Amanda. She is the first of their three girls to get married. Amanda can often be found at the hometown favorite Vasquez Deli. A local eatery that has resided in downtown Vacaville for 34 years.

Amanda and Eric’s wedding brought together a beautiful mixing of muted colors and vintage inspired table settings. Family members came together to make rustic touches for the decor. The wedding was a mixture of culture and refinement. couple said their “I do’s” in front of a room full of family and friends. To honor family members no longer with them, they had a remembrance table keeping with the rustic theme.

We love this wedding not only because of the family but the personal touches they incorporated into their special day.


After taking their photos Mr. and Mrs. Enriquez rejoined their guests for an evening of Mariachi music and dancing.

Whatever decor you decide for your wedding. Take notes from this fun couple, and incorporate cultural, family and new traditions into your special day.

Congratulations, again Mr. And Mrs. Enriquez. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your “Happily Ever After!”


photos by: Monica S Photography

Wedding Planner, Coordinator or “DIY”?

Weddings are expensive. There isn’t any doubt that costs can soar when planning your “perfect day”.

With the advent of the Do-it-Yourself (DIY) apps, websites and readily accessible information on the internet, many couples choose to cut costs by doing wedding planning and coordinating themselves. If you are undecided, not sure you have the time, patience and resources to do it all yourself? We want to help you decide on the best game plan for your wedding.

The Wedding Planner: 


Wedding Planners and Coordinators will see to every little detail on your special day leaving you free to get ready without rushing.

Is it worth the price? What a wedding planner costs you in money, it can save you in time. They will help make your dreams come true. Using their expertise in event planning, and contacts in the “business” can save you research time. Based on your wants for the day, they offer suggestions for event vendors such as venues, caterers, bakers, florists, officiants and even seamstresses that they have worked with and know are reliable and will deliver an amazing product for your special day. You provide them with your vision, they will bring it to life.

The Wedding Coordinator:

Coordinators, like those we have on staff at the Opera House, are great for the “DIY” couple, and are also invaluable on your wedding day. This is a more budget friendly service for couples. They offer their voice of experience to bring your ideas to life. They can meet with the vendors with you to help ask the important questions you might miss.  Wedding Coordinators can be hired a few months before, weeks before, or even for just “the day of” the wedding.

They are invaluable on your wedding day. It may sound like a good idea to bring the flowers to your venue yourself and set-up the room with your special touches, or ask your friends and family to do it. What you might not think about is that you, your family and your closest friends, will be very 11071412_905114916207534_1713922562107028444_obusy just getting ready for your wedding that day. Typically, hair and/or makeup appointments begin hours before your wedding time, in order to accommodate the size of your bridal party. Then you need to schedule in time to get dressed and for your pictures. Your wedding day will be very busy. This is where a “day or week of” coordinator may be your answer.

bulap vases centerpiece

These vases are available on Etsy.

The Do-it-Yourself Couple:

Wedding planning apps for your phone are plentiful, so are magazines, websites as well as your married friends that are so excited to share their knowledge and experiences with you. If you decide on the “DIY” route, make sure you start early with your planning and any construction of items for the wedding. You would be surprised how long those super cute etched, monogrammed and burlap bow-tie centerpiece vases take to make.

If you are incorporating ideas from popular apps, the trick is to take the great ideas you find, and personalize them for your wedding. Watch out for “trendy” ideas, many of your guests attend more than one wedding a year, and you want yours to stand out as special and individual.

Our wish for you is to be able to enjoy and relish every minute of your day. So whichever path that you decide to take on your way to the altar, we wish you a lifetime of happiness.


Color choices make a statement. What do you want to say?

Blue, Pink, Red, Gold or Silver? Decisions, decisions…

In the movie “Steel Magnolias” Julia Roberts’ character Shelby declares her signature color is Pink and the colors she has chosen for her wedding are “Blush and Bashful.” Her mother describes it as Pink and Pink, Shelby goes on to explain that they are two different shades, one is a much deeper than the other.

You don’t have declare a signature color, but choosing the colors of your wedding will have an impact on the overall look of the day. Here at the Opera House we have seen couples try to incorporate current trends and their favorite colors into their color scheme.

So where do you start picking colors for your special day?

Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Do you have a favorite vacation spot, what colors remind you of a fun or memorable time that you would like to share with your guests?
  • Do you have a favorite photograph that brings up memories of family or a time you would like to pay tribute to on your special day?
  • Is there a family keepsake or heirloom that you want to incorporate into your event?

You should also keep in mind the color palette of your venue. Here at the Opera House, our brick walls are over a century old and lend a romantic and elegant ambiance to the Ballroom and Bar room. However, we also have luxurious drapes that can be drawn to cover the walls to neutralize the palette. Our Gold Chiavari chairs compliment any color scheme. They can be covered or you can use a creative bow or drape to incorporate your wedding colors.10423879_908674272518265_1576554488139917923_n

What style is your vision? do you like neutral colors, if so incorporate natural colors, and a muted green. Grey in all shades is making a splash on the scene, pair it with a warm yellow or ivory for a chic update on neutrals. Do you want to make a elegant statement? Then try a regal palette, using dark, rich and intense colors like: Dark Magenta, Dark Plum, Berry Red and Slate. Want to reinforce your energetic personality? Then choose a fun and exciting mix with Sapphire Blue, Deep Coral, or Peach with a touch of Silver.

What’s trending for 2015/2016?

Want to be ahead of the trend for 2016? Pantone just announced the Color of the Year for 2016, and or the first time Pantone designated two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity as the colors of the Year 2016. “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”-Pantone

If you aren’t into light and airy colors, the 2015 color of the year was  Marsala. It is a rich color that is redder than chocolate, browner than burgundy, and not quite maroon.

 Colors that coordinate and compliment Marsala are aged tans, sea blues, forest greens or soft pinks, all work beautifully with it and can adapt the color for both luxurious backdrops, or more rustic occasions.


No matter what colors you decide on, make sure it represents you as a couple. As with all aspects of your wedding day it will be a reflection of your style.

For more ideas on color pairing check out the Pantone website Dessy for color coordinating for your perfect wedding palette The Dessy Group.

Finding YOUR Wedding Professionals-Part Three: Flowers, Photographs and Music

This is the third post in our blog series to help you get ready for your interviews with possible wedding vendors. Choosing the professionals to work with on one of the most important days of your life can be overwhelming. We hope these tips can take some of the stress out of the planning for you. In this last post we have included tips and questions for you to ask any potential florist, photographer, and DJ.

A Floral Designer


Flowers tie your colors together. The proper floral designs for your day will bring your “vision” together. With coordinating dresses, linens and even the cake, your flowers will add a softness to your overall decor, no matter what colors you choose.

Getting down to business…

  • How many weddings have you done?OH_wedding_faire_2015-6001
  • How many events or other weddings will you schedule on the same day?
  • Who will be putting together the arrangements for my event you or another floral designer in your shop?
  • Do you specialize in a specific type of design (i.e. traditional, modern, trendy?)?
  • Can you work within my budget?
  • Do you offer packages? Or is everything a la carte?
  • Can you give me recommendations to maximize my budget?
  • Do you charge a delivery fee or set-up fee?
  • Do you offer a service to move my flowers from the ceremony (if it is off site) to my reception? If so, what is the charge for that service?
  • Will there be an itemized price list of charges?

The flowers…

  • What flowers are in season at the time of my wedding? Is it better for my budget to use in season flowers?
  • Can you give me flower recommendations for my budget, color scheme and style?
  • If I am planning a “green” wedding, can you provide organic, sustainable grown, and pesticide free?
  • If I provide a picture of a bouquet or arrangement can you recreate it?
  • Where can I find samples of your work to see some designs in the style I am looking for?
  • Do you draw sketches or make mock-ups of what my flowers will look like?
  • If I would like fresh flowers on my cake, will you work with my baker to decorate it the day of?
  • How far in advance do you create the arrangements, bouquets, etc.?
  • Is there a way to preserve my bouquet after my wedding?OH_wedding_faire_2015-6048

To make your sit down meeting with a floral designer the most productive, you will want to have decided on a few things for your wedding.

You should have an idea for your color scheme. Bring a swatch or photo of your bridesmaids’ dresses (if you have them chosen.) The florist can help you with ideas for shape, colors, and flowers for bouquets and boutonnieres. Keep in mind what linens and table items you will use.

Bring with you photos of flowers that you like. They should be able to give you ideas to personalize those ideas into something special for you within your budget.

Your flowers are a main part of the décor for the day, make sure you feel comfortable with the business that you hire to take care of your floral needs.

The Photography

Nothing lasts longer from your wedding day than your vows and your photographs. Your relationship with the photographer you choose could last a lifetime. If you like them, they could potentially be taking your picture for years to come. Think….pregnancy photos, baby photos, family photos, etc. The photographer you choose should make you feel at ease. It is very intimidating to have hundreds of photos taken of you in one day, this person could potentially be with you from getting dressed all the way to your send off at the reception.

Getting down to business…

  • How many weddings have you photographed?
  • Will you be the one photographing my wedding day?
  • Do you bring an assistant? Will this assistant be shooting as well?
  • What type of equipment do you use?
  • Do you bring back up equipment?
  • Will you be shooting any other weddings that day?
  • Have you photographed at my venue before? Do you have samples of my venue?
  • Do you have sample albums or products?
    How long before I see my photos?
  • What are your packages?
  • Do you shoot and charge by the hour or by the event?
  • If my event runs longer what is the charge per hour?

Photos and Products…

  • Do you have a list of potential photographs for the day?
  • Do they hold the copyright to the photos?
  • Do you receive edited images?
  • Do they offer printing services, or are you responsible for the final printing of photos and albums?
  • Will they help you design a wedding album?
  • Can you show them photographs you like, for them to replicate?

Now ask yourself…11063593_905114729540886_2131666212578765076_o

  • Do I feel comfortable with this person?
  •  Does their photographic style match what you’re looking for?

Let’s Dance…Hiring a DJ is not just about playing music.

A DJ acts as the emcee of your reception. They can be in charge of the accompanying wedding music and set the tone for your guest experience at the reception. A bad DJ can leave a lasting impression on your guests. Make sure you hire who is right for you. You should always hire someone with experience. “Uncle Joe” may be able to mix tapes, but when it comes to keeping dancers on the dance floor, and making sure your reception timeline runs smoothly, someone with experience is invaluable.

When you are interviewing a DJ you should ask the following to get a good idea of their experience level, and it helps you find out if you “click” with them.

  • Are you familiar with my venue?
  • How many weddings have you done? How many do you average a weekend?
  • What do you think, sets you apart from other DJs?
  • Are there other services you offer, such as lighting, photo booth, others?
  • How far in advance should I book with you?
  • What do you do if nobody is dancing?

Getting down to business…

  • How is your pricing broken down? Does the price include set-up and take down of your equipment?
  • Does your price include use of wireless microphones, speakers and sound system (for toasts)?
  • Are there additional fees that I might not know of?
  • How much time do you need for the set-up of your equipment? This is important if you have a venue with a set number of hours available.
  • Do you have a video from a wedding or event like mine?
  • What do you wear when working a wedding/reception?
  • Do you need special cords, electrical or spacing for your equipment, that I need to let me venue know about?
  • Do you have backup equipment?
  • How much space do you need? Do you need a table or do you bring your own?
  • How many people will you have staff my event?
  • Would you like a vendor meal provided?

The music…

  • Will you work with my playlist?
  • Do you take requests from guests?
  • Are you willing to keep the reception on track so guests are entertained?
  • Do you have ideas for ceremony music?
  • Do you have new ideas for special dances for the reception, or traditional reception events i.e. garter toss, bouquet toss, or money dance?
  • How many toasts are too many?
  • Do you need a break during the reception? If so, do you set up music to play during that time?
  • Do you have other employees, or are you the person that will be working my event?
  • How often do you add new music to your collection?
  • If I have special music genre requests, how is the best way to accommodate them?
  • Can I provide my own music to incorporate into the event? If so, what is the best way to get it to you?
  • Can I give you a list of songs that I don’t want played 

BlackboardWe wish you good luck on your search for the perfect wedding professional for your special day. These are important decisions. These businesses have the potential to be long term service providers for you in the future. As always, we can give some recommendations of vendors we regularly work with to help you on your search. Check our website for our Wedding Professionals list.




Finding YOUR Wedding Professionals-Part Two: Caterers and Bakeries

Choosing your Caterer and a Bakery…

This is the second part in our blog series to help couples make the most of  our Wedding Faire on January 31. We are providing a list of questions to ask when you visit a wedding professional at a wedding faire or at an individual booking appointment. Remember you are interviewing them to be part of your special day. You will want to be comfortable with their services and they should make you feel at ease when dealing with them.

Caterers and cocktails

The Food…

  • Are you licensed by the State of California?
  • Keeping in mind the budget and guest count, does the caterer have recommendations for food choices?
  • Do they specialize in certain dishes?
  • Can you create a custom menu for your event? Will they prepare or serve a special dish for
  • Do they charge by event packages or is everything a la carte? 
  • Can you schedule a food tasting? If so, what is the charge?
  • If you are looking for organic, or specialized diets, can they accommodate your needs?
  • Do they provide décor for appetizer or buffet stations?
  • Can they do a theme menu? Is there an extra charge?
  • What is the difference in cost between passed appetizers?
  • What is the cost difference between a served dinner and a buffet, for your menu? It is ok to ask what is a better price for the menu you are planning.
  • What do they charge for children’s meals? Vendor meals?
  • Will your staff help with the cutting of the cake? Is there an additional fee?
  • What do they do with the extra food? Can it be packaged up for guests to take home or donated to a local shelter?
  • How far in advance of the event do they need the final headcount?

The Bar…

  • Do you have a liquor license to serve alcohol for my event?
  • Do you provide alcoholic beverages for the bar and bartenders?
  • How do you charge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks? Is it based on consumption or per
  • Is the champagne toast after the ceremony included in the meal cost or is it extra?


“Let them eat cake”  Many couples are opting to provide small desserts for their guests instead of a traditional tiered cake. Here are some ideas to help stay within your budget, vision and a successful meeting

Getting down to business…

  • Do they offer cake tasting? What is the charge?
  • How many wedding cakes do they schedule for a weekend?
  • How is the pricing done? Is it by serving and does it depend on the desing?
  • Are all of the cake flavors and fillings priced the same?
  • What is the minimum per person cost for your cakes or desserts?
  • Do they have a menu of pre-priced cake combinations? Do they have a written list of
    pricing and options I can take with me?
  • What are the delivery fees?
  • What happens if my cake is damaged in transit?
  • Do they provide cake toppers, a cake knife and server, and any décor for the cake table? Are there any available for purchase or rent?
  • How far in advance should I order my cake?

The Cake…

  • Do they have a portfolio of cakes that you have done?
  • Do they have any specialties?
  • Can they design a custom cake for my theme? Is there an extra charge?
  • Can they decorate a cake to match a photo I supply?
  • If you have a favorite flavor or family recipe are they willing to make the cake using that?
  • Will they help you design a cake, if you are unsure of what you want?
  • What flavors and fillings are available? Is there an additional charge for any?
  • Can they accommodate dietary restrictions i.e. Gluten Free, Vegan, or Sugar Free?
  • What icing options are there?
  • Do they work in fondant, use buttercream, can they make sugar paste, gum paste or chocolate decorations?
  • Are they willing to work with your florist if there will be fresh flowers on your cake?
  • Will they help you preserve the top tier of your cake for your first anniversary?
  • Can they make a groom’s cake? Is it priced the same as the wedding cake?
  • Are they willing to make a smaller cake for you to cut, and sheet cakes for serving to the guests?
  • Do they offer cupcakes to accompany your main cake?

If your budget is tight, you might think about having a smaller cake to cut, and order sheet cakes from the bakery in your flavors. Or think about having a “cutting cake” and then cupcakes for your guests. It can save time and possibly a serving charge from your caterer.