You said yes…now it’s time to ask your bridal party to be a part of your big day!

ae8d94148252b87e0ccbd8738001a352--asking-bridesmaids-wedding-bridesmaidsWe have recently had an engagement in our Opera House family, and it brought up the question of when and how to ask your besties to be in your bridal party. Here’s some helpful tips…

First, this is your day, so try to set aside everyone’s expectations. Yes, this is a hard task, compromise and communication can be your best friend in wedding planning.

So when do you start asking your “crew, squad, or tribe” ???

The sooner the better is usually a good rule of thumb, especially if your bridal party will be traveling to attend the wedding and wedding festivities. You do not need to have a date picked out, but you should have a general idea of when you are planning to have the wedding. This will help your bridesmaids and groomsmen plan (budget for travel, and prepare for time off from work) for your big day.


916d1426d6f959b0c9c8260a6fb5615dWho do you choose? Things to consider.

There is so much pressure for couples to include everyone in their special day. Those expectations can be so stressful, remember these should be some of the happiest memories you are making. Take into account the size of the venue you are considering, what your vision is for your day (small and intimate, or a big party with everyone involved), and the rest of your friends that you are including. Will this group of people from different areas of your life get along at the events and your special day? Will you be friends with this person five years from now? If you aren’t sure, think about having that person help with other aspects of the wedding planning.

What about siblings? You might not get along great with your fiance’s siblings, or your own for that matter, but remember that you will have a lasting relationship with them, and many times, you may become closer over the years. If you aren’t sure you want them to stand up with you in your bridal party, consider asking them to be an usher, read a passage/poem during the ceremony, hand out programs, or be the guest book attendant.

Be prepared with your expectations of the bridal party responsibilities, will they have an active role in the planning (attending your dress shopping, stuffing invitations, making favors, etc.) or are you looking for them to wear the dress or tux and show up for the wedding festivities that day/weekend? Be sure to let them know how involved you want/need them to be.

How to ask.

Asking your bridal party individually may help avoid any awkward moments with others that might be expecting to be asked, and aren’t in your bridal party plans. Consider an outing with a few of your friends that you want to be in your wedding, maybe a celebratory lunch, mani-pedi date, or drinks somewhere special and meaningful to you. Or send them something fun in the mail (if they live far away), to pop the question.

This is the fun and creative part. If you haven’t joined Pinterest, we recommend signing up. The resources for event planning are endless, and there are wonderful ideas for bridal party proposals, and you can search for any theme or type of event. *BEWARE it can also be overwhelming. So be realistic in the time it takes to bring a Pinterest board to life. Here are some great ideas we found…check them out on our Pinterest page.

Vacaville Opera House: Bridal Proposals

You can also find great items to help ‘POP’ the question here on Etsy.

However you decide to ‘POP’ the question to your bridal party, make sure you enjoy the  process. Don’t worry about making it perfect, celebrate any bumps in the road and enjoy the memories made.

#vacavilleoperahouse #vacavilleoperahouseweddings #bridalpartyproposals #weddingtips



Want to bring your wedding vision to life? It takes a little time.

Bride & GroomYou know what you want your wedding day to look like. Whether it is the flowers, the guest experience, or the photos that will be cherished for generations to come, one recommendation we have for our clients is to take some additional time with their vendors to communicate their vision, ideas, and needs for their wedding day. Here at the Vacaville Opera House, we understand the amount of time it takes just to pick your vendors…wedding fairs, office visits, website visits, tastings, more tastings, and even more tastings (truly the best part of wedding planning.)

However, even if you have chosen the best fit for you in wedding professionals, you should spend a little more time with them before your big day. Talk with your fiancé and prioritize your needs, wants and wishes for the day, and decide what is absolutely non-negotiable.

If you have taken the time to pin to your ‘wedding boards’, interviewed countless professionals, and learned the wedding vendor lingo, take that extra step with your vendor and communicate what is most important to you on your special day.

Talk to your photographer and ask for some additional photos, not just their stock shot list.
  • What pictures are on your “Must Have” list?
  • Special Guests – not on the general family photo list
  • Do you want to take some time out later to make sure you get photos at sunset?
  • Are there family members that you’d rather keep separate? Make sure your photographer knows about this!
Talk with your DJ about the time table for the evening and how long you have the venue and your photographer.
  • Do you want time to go and mingle with your guests before the dinner is served, or the toasts?
  • Do you have a “MUST PLAY” and “DO NOT PLAY” list?
  • Will you need to provide additional music in your favorite genre?

    If the DJ will be dismissing tables for a dinner buffet, you might want them to make sure any elderly family gets served first after the bridal party.
Ceremony Officiant:

Do you have certain wording or traditions you want incorporated in your ceremony?
Will there be a unity ceremony portion like a candle lighting or sand ceremony?
Don’t assume the officiant knows how you want the unity ceremony to proceed. Be specific and explain who will do what, and at what point in the ceremony.


IMG_1642 -It is imperative to let the caterer know if you have any
dietary restrictions for your guests, or family.
-Let them know if you want your grandparents or
elderly family members served first after the bridal
party, so they do not have to wait.
-Will you be providing a vendor meal for your wedding
professionals working during your event? Ask the
caterer to communicate with the vendors when a plate
is available for them.

If at any time you are talking with your hired wedding professional and they try to talk you out of something you really want (not just to stay within budget) you might consider it a warning sign and will need to be very specific about your expectations for their service.

It is also very important to connect with and confirm your timelines for service from your vendors for the wedding day 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding. When will flowers be delivered, when will the cake arrive, when will your caterer arrive and begin serving, what time and where will your photographer meet for photos? Having these questions answered and a solid timeline, will help your venue and your event coordinating staff to ensure things run smoothly.

They say “Communication is the Key.” With regards to the wedding of your dreams,  communication is absolutely essential! Take the time with the people that are helping deliver your dream, this can alleviate last minute questions and on the spot adjustments during your ceremony or reception. You will not regret it!

#VacavilleOperaHouseWeddings #VacavilleOperaHouse #VacaOperaHouseEvents #WeddingPlanningTips






Tiffany and Riley tie the knot – a family event here at the Vacaville Opera House

We are family –

Our staff here at the Opera House work so closely together on so many different types of events:  weddings, company meetings and parties, celebration of life memorials, etc. that we become a family. Actually several of our Opera House staff and management are family!!! So…when one of our extended Opera House family members is getting married, we get so excited.


The Wedding –


Patty (Upstairs Manager) and Janet (event coordinator/Mother of the Bride)

In April, the Vacaville Opera House was the setting for the wedding of Tiffany and Riley. Tiffany’s mom is our own wonderful ‘Miss Janet’. Janet has been working at the Opera House for the last 2 years, as an event coordinator and as event set-up staff. Her attention to  detail has not gone unnoticed by our clients, and she is a delightful addition our “OH” family.

Janet joined the staff here shortly after retiring from her lifelong teaching career. She and Patty (our Upstairs Manager and event coordinator extraordinaire) have been friends for many years. Their friendship started over 25 years ago when their children were in dance class together. Patty helped Janet and Tiffany organize the wedding. This was a labor of love for Patty, since Tiffany refers to her as a second mom. To thank Patty for her help “tying the knot” the bride presented her with a Tiffany & Co. silver knot necklace.


Here Comes the Bride –

The father-of-the-bride, Neil, walked our beautiful bride Tiffany down the aisle to her waiting groom.

Tiffany and Riley said their vows on the stage in our ballroom with the lighted backdrop casting a romantic glow behind them. Their ceremony was followed by a small reception with friends and family.

We are so happy that Tiffany and Riley tied the knot here at the Vacaville Opera House. We wish the newlyweds a lifetime of happiness, and welcome them to the family of Opera House couples!

Beautiful photos of the bridal party, family and happy couple taken right outside our door in Downtown Vacaville.


wedding_tiffanyandriley_067Flowers: Stems Florist, Vacaville
Photographer: Shawna Clark Photography
Venue: Vacaville Opera House

Thanks to the wonderful photographer Shawna Clark Photography for allowing us to use the photos of this special day. (You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram @ShawnaClarkPhotography)

#vacavilleoperahouseweddings #vacavilleoperahouse #vacaville #vacavilleweddings #vacaoperahouse #localwedding

Showering the Bride with Love

Venue: Vacaville Opera House
Accessories: Weddingstar
Succulents: Simply Treasures and More
Cupcakes: KC Cakes

IMG_2921Last weekend the Vacaville Opera House was the setting for an adorable bridal shower for bride-to-be Amanda, the niece of our own Office Manager Nicole. If you have held any type of event here at the Opera House, you have worked with her, she handles most of the paperwork, timelines, and emails associated with events here. This shower was a labor of love put together with her two daughters (Lyndzie and Mckenna) for their niece and cousin. Using local businesses and incorporating a hometown feel for the bride were priorities for Nicole and her daughters as they planned the shower.

Favor 1The bridal shower for Amanda’s 40 guests was held in our front bar room, and decorated in a blue and peach country chic theme. Small 3-inch mason jars with succulents were at each place setting as a favor for the guests. These cute little jars were purchased from our new wedding accessories vendor Weddingstar, and then painted Periwinkle Blue and filled with rose shaped succulents from local vendor, Simply Treasures and More. The centerpieces were white Mason jars filled with peach colored roses, and a candy dish was on the table filled with Jelly Belly’s (a Solano County product) in the wedding color palette.

The room was filled with tables set with classic white tablecloths and burlap runners, a gift and memory table, as well as the dessert table. A photo booth backdrop, for fun selfies and group photos offered a great opportunity for guests to use the personalized snapchat filter, designed by one of Nicole’s daughters for the day! A Mimosa Bar with several fruit options, provided bubbly refreshment, and lunch consisted of finger sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit. Cupcakes from KC Cakes (one of our favorite bakers) were decorated with rosettes in bride Amanda’s wedding colors,  provided a sweet treat for the shower guests.

Many shower planners are always looking for games and ways to incorporate them into the event. Our hostesses provided their guests plenty of opportunity to share stories ofIMG_2910 the bride, provide a recipe and/or advice for the happy couple, and ways for the guests to get to know each other. Nicole sent out a recipe card with the invitations asking the guests to return it with a favorite recipe, advice or “how-to tip” at the shower. Guests were asked to write a “Message in a Bottle” that included wishes for the Bride and Groom such as ” Always___, Never____, Sometimes you have to____, Don’t worry about ____, My wish for you____” then put it into an old-fashioned milk bottle for the couple to open on their first anniversary. Guests also could write a story about a memory they have with the bride, and if the bride wasn’t able to guess who wrote it, that guest won a prize. The variety of games were great opportunities for those in attendance to get to know each other and the bride better.

We are so happy for Amanda as she moves toward her new life with fiance, Jesse. Congratulations to the happy couple and to our Nicole, for providing a wonderful afternoon of memories for her niece.

#VacavilleOperaHouse #VacavilleOperaHouseEvents #VacaOperaHouse #BridalShower #CountryBridalShower #HometownWedding #WagnerWedding2k17



Another wedding from one of our favorite families…

cowanwedding--9050mspAnyone from Vacaville knows about Vasquez Deli-a staple in Downtown Vacaville for over 40 years.

The deli is located across the street from our office, and we eat there a lot! Our staff was over the moon to be part of the Vasquez/Enriquez wedding in August ’15 when their daughter Amanda and her fiancé Eric decided to start their happily ever after here, at the Vacaville Opera House. The details that they incorporated into the design and decor of their wedding were featured in a previous blog.

Imagine how excited we were when we got the call from Tracy again (Mother of the Bride)… letting us know that another of their daughters, Molly, was engaged. They wanted to come talk about having her wedding here also. Knowing their attention to detail, we could not wait to see how the Cowan wedding was going to come together. It also helps that both families were so sweet and easy to work with!

After meeting with Matt & Molly and their family during the planning process, we just got more excited for their event here. The wedding decor included a home-made chicken coop card box (an exact replica of Molly’s actual coop at home), a display remembering their family members that have passed on, and milk buckets to hold the floral centerpieces on the guest dinner tables. Matt and Molly provided their guests a welcoming, country-style, hometown wedding.

This sweet couple took their vows and celebrated the beginning of their life together surrounded by family and friends. Once again their family went over the top with the details that brought the couple’s personality out for their guests to enjoy.

Thanks to Monica of MonicaSPhotography for providing the great photos for us to showcase this wonderful wedding.

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Cowan, may your future be filled with…Love, Laughter and a Happily Ever After!

Thank you Matt and Molly for letting us be part of your special day!

#VacavilleOperaHouse #VacaOperaHouseWedding #CowanWedding

Planning a High School Reunion headache free…

Class Reunion title on wooden ink splattered printing blocks. Grungy typography on a concrete background. Education themed title for reuniting old school friends and class matesPlanning a high school reunion can be so exciting and so full of frustration at the same time.

We have heard time and again from Opera House clients planning their high school reunions, that one of the hardest parts of planning is getting attendees to commit and purchase tickets ahead of time. Without ticket purchases it is hard to plan for food, size of venue, and enter into contracts with vendors without numbers or money for deposits.

Here are some tips to keep the planning process stress free.

Form a committee to help with the planning. Agree as a committee to pre-purchase your tickets. This way you will have some starting money to work with.

Think outside the box! Schedule it for a Friday night. Many venues will have a Friday price that is discounted from Saturday event pricing. Here at the Vacaville Opera House, if you plan on hosting an event on a Friday during the summer, take advantage of the great entertainment that is just across the street. During the Summer Downtown Vacaville, is alive with music from the CreekWalk Concert Series. Think of skipping the price of a DJ, guests can join the fun and dance the night away in Andrews Park.

Skip the seated down catered dinner ($$$). Hire one of our recommended Full-Service Caterers to host a full bar, and provide desserts. An evening event with cocktails and desserts is a great way for your guests to catch up, reminisce and relive the glory days without the expense of a lot of wait staff and the food. Or you can choose one of our Reunion packages with event rental, food, and drink all conveniently packaged starting at just $37 per person.

woman sitting in the street holding her smartphone with music on

Cost effective cuts…skip the DJ.  Many of our Reunion clients have told us that a DJ was an additional expense and that no one really danced. Consider making a playlist on an iPod with the top songs from your high school years. Here at the Opera House, clients can plug their phone into our sound system to play music. We also provide microphones for your event.

Looking to host your High School Reunion this Summer? Contact the Vacaville Opera House for a visit, and discuss your stress free options.
707.446.4441 or

#VacaOperaHouseEvents #VacavilleOperaHouse #VacaOperaHouse #HighSchoolReunion #ReunionPlanning



Addressing your invitations…etiquette hasn’t changed that much.


Ordering your wedding invitations can be as stressful as saying “‘YES’ to the dress!”

Thiswedding-invitation-01 is the first glimpse your guests will have of your wedding style, colors and hints for what to expect. With so many choices for your invitations, it’s no wonder it can be overwhelming.

You have decided on your invitation, color of envelopes, inserts, RSVP cards, and fought the battle of THE GUEST LIST. It is time to address these paper gems and send them off to your closest family and friends.

Here are some tips for addressing your invites:
envelopes-1Outer Envelope – this is the main addressed envelope

This envelope should be formally addressed with titles and last names for invitees

Address components should be written out.

Apartment and suite numbers should be written in number form – except “one”

City, State and address names should be written out completely – without abbreviations (Street, Drive, Boulevard, California, etc.)

Acceptable abbreviations are “St.” for Saint and “Mt.” for Mount

Return address – should be on the back flap of the outer envelope. You do not have to include names but the return address should be spelled out and centered.

How to address for your guests:address-invitation-examples-01

  • Unmarried couples-should be addressed with both first and last names separately
  • Married couples should have the man’s name first and then wife’s name – unless she has a professional title.
  • Married couples with two titles should have the titles and names for both.
  • Same-sex couples should be listed alphabetically (whether married or not)
  • A single friend and guest-address the envelope to the friend and the inner envelope to the addressee and “and guest” or the guest’s name.
  • A single friend, without a plus one-the envelope should be addressed to the invited guest only.

Inner envelopes – these will have the title and last names of the invitees

  • On this envelope you may use familiar names for close family members
  • Or for a more formal style, use their title and last name
  • Invited children’s names may be written out below the parent’s names
Children – if you decide to invite children (young or older) to your wedding there are a few guidelines to follow.
  • If the children are young, they should be included on the invitation of their parents’.
  • If the child(ren) are over 18 and living at the parents’ home, they should receive a separate invitation.


More helpful ideas for hand addressing your invitations. For a fun touch, print a flourish on a clear address label to seal the outer envelope. Also, you can purchase a letter guide (like the one below) to help your writing stay in line with even spacing.  Here is a helpful guide to lettering!


A themed wedding with just the right touches…


In September, we published a blog about immersing your guests in another world with a themed wedding. Today we show you how another amazing couple hosted a themed wedding using little details to showcase their “Super Hero” theme.

When choosing to host a themed wedding, ask yourself, do I want to provide an over-the-top experience, or little touches to entertain your guests?

This couple chose little touches to showcase that the bride was marrying her Superman. elegant gold and sparkling details were scattered throughout the decorations, boutonnieres, and even the bridal veil.

The trick to a successful themed event or wedding is all in the details. You want to show your guests that you put time into special touches that will delight them. You can go “all out” and redecorate your entire space or use unique touches to create a “hidden treasures” type of experience.


Any way you choose, a themed wedding is a fun experience for you and your guests!

Photos by: Shannon Morse Photography

Holiday weddings are so beautiful here…


Recently at our annual Wedding Faire, one of our popular photographers (Photography by Jordanna) shared with us photos of a recent wedding during the holiday season here at the Vacaville Opera House. We are always looking for photo ideas for our couples and ways to showcase our venue when it is decorated for the holiday season.

Here’s a look at the beginning of the Coleman’s Happily Ever After.

The bride Aria, looking gorgeous in the foyer on our fainting couch.

Opera House (54 of 69).jpg


The newlyweds in the front bar room with one of our decorated trees.

When booking for a wedding near the holidays, many of our couples are pleased to have the Opera House all dressed up in neutral gold and silver. This alleviates the need for the couples to purchase elaborate decorations for their wedding.


The convenient location of the Opera House in Downtown Vacaville is across from Andrews Park. The park provides beautiful and varied options for photos before and after the ceremony or reception.

The ceremony showed the love this couple has for each other. Tim gazes at his beautiful bride during their vow exchange.

Then the reception began!


Congratulations, Mr. &  Mrs. Coleman! We wish you a lifetime of happiness. Thank you for letting us be a part of your love story.

Thank you to Photography by Jordanna for sharing these wonderful photographs.


Finding YOUR perfect wedding professional…

Are you  ready for “Wedding Fair Season?”-Part One

It’s that time of year, Wedding Fairs are in abundance to help newly engaged couples begin planning their nuptials.

Here at the Opera House, we are getting ready for our annual Wedding Faire taking place on January 29, 2017.

Each year we invite some of our favorite vendors to gather here in one place to help our couples with planning their special day.2017-8x11-wedding-faire-flyer

For more information on how to get tickets to join us on January 29, 2017 give us a call at 707-446-4441.

At the Opera House we pride ourselves on helping couples plan their special day. It is our goal to alleviate some of the stress of planning for your wedding.  Our Wedding Faire helps couples by bringing together local vendors from each category, providing an opportunity to meet and talk with a variety of wedding professionals in one location.

Ahead of our Wedding Faire we are publishing a series of blogs to help couples make the most of the face time they have with vendors at the Opera House Wedding Faire. We begin our series with a general list of questions you will want to ask each vendor you are interviewing. Each following blog post will have vendor specific questions to ask based on a wedding professional category. Each post will address what you need to know from your florist, photographer, caterer, baker, and DJ.

PART ONE: General questions for any wedding professional

  • If you know your date, are they available?
  • Will there be a written contract?
  • Do they accept credit cards?
  • What amount of deposit is required to save the date?
  • When is the final remaining amount due?
  • Is the deposit refundable if the event has to be cancelled?
  • What is the vendor policy in case of illness on the part of the vendor?
  • Do they have back-up staff?
  • Do they have liability insurance?
  • How many staff members will you have for your event?
  • How do their staff members dress for events?
  • If extra time is needed what is the charge per hour?
  • Will their staff clean up their equipment after the event?
  • How much time is needed to set-up and break down after the event?
  • Have they done events at my venue?
  • Can they offer you references?