Trade SEcrets

The Trademark Venues Blog

Sustainable Weddings

Welcome to our first installment of Sustainable Weddings, where we help to ensure not only helps your funds last longer, but ensure your wedding is an event that gives back to the community.

Your wedding is the most important day of your life; but it’s also an extremely important day in the timeline of our beautiful planet Earth! There are so many ways that your wedding can positively impact the future of our planet. Today, we’ll discuss how carefully selecting your style of dinner service can influence the future of Earth as we know it!

It’s often joked that the only thing that people remember after a wedding is the food. And while we can say with confidence that’s not quite true, food is an extremely important element of a wedding! When selecting your dinner service, we highly recommend considering the eco-friendly family style.

It’s a Social Style of Dinner

Family style is a great way to make sure that all of your guests enjoy a farm-to-table meal at the same time. Gone are the days of waiting until your table is called to join the buffet line! Selecting family style means that a quick-moving catering staff can deliver fresh, hot plates of entrees and sides to your guests. First, guests are greeted at their tables by a freshly chilled salad that they can enjoy immediately. As the larger plates arrive at each table, your guests can begin to serve themselves a selection of delicious food. They’ll have the option to select whatever appeals, offering them autonomy and independence rarely found at a wedding that will resonate deeply with them.

Family style dinner service also encourages your guests to get to know each other. When you ask your guests to look to either side and pass a plate, you’ll find that this simple act of sharing food opens a door for conversation. Family style is an exceptional way to match family and friends together; after an evening of sharing food, they’re sure to create a connection that lasts. 



It Can Save You Some Money

By choosing an all-inclusive Trademark venue, you’ve automatically eliminated any additional costs, such as rentals, dinnerware, or serveware. There’s no upcharge – family style is one of our top-rated dinner services, and for good reason!

Family style saves you time and energy. Unlike other styles of dinner service, where you need to have your guests pre-select their meal, family style ensures your guests can select what appeals in the moment. After all, who wants to choose what they’re going to eat several months in advance? Not only do you not have to keep track of meal orders – you don’t have to pay for the additional postage and stationary required for selected dinner service! 

Your Meal Can Be Your Decor

If you’re like us, then you love food. So why not make food the centerpiece of your table? When you have a locally sourced, locally grown farm-to-table meal …that’s worth making it a focal point! You don’t need to worry about spending additional money on floral or centerpieces. Instead, you can set the tables with a tasteful (no pun intended) array of food. Trust us – your guests will love it…and so will your budget!



You’re Helping Eliminate Food Waste

A family style meal is good for the Earth because it cuts down on the amount of waste. Here at Trademark Venues, we’ve been doing weddings for over ten years; one thing we’ve noticed over and over again is how much guests are prepared to eat…and how consistently they fail! 

The plates of entrees and sides that are being passed ensures that your guests’ eyes are not bigger than their stomachs – they can take a little bit of everything, find something they love, and get more. What’s left at the end of the night? Only empty plates and full tummies! 


Holy Matri-Money

Welcome to Holy Matri-Money! We’re here to help you build the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. Today, we’re going to show you how you can be creative with your floral budget. 


Florals are one of the most important elements of a wedding. Live floral offers that extra special touch – it really shows that you’ve taken the time to designate the type of flower that graces the ceremony and reception areas. It’s often the first thing that your guests notice when they enter a space; done well, floral is a design element that can impress even the most seasoned wedding guest. However, florals are also something that can quickly become one of the most expensive parts of your day. But there are plenty of ways to ensure that you have beautiful flowers within your budget!

Select flowers that are in season.

Selecting seasonal flowers is a surefire way to save you some money. It’s much more difficult for your florist to acquire flowers that are out of season. Those flowers need to be transported in from around the globe, and guess where that cost ends up? That’s right – it gets passed onto you. By selecting flowers that are in season, you eliminate that additional cost and can put those dollars into the arrangements. 

Seasonal flowers don’t just have monetary benefits; There are more aesthetic benefits that you may think! By ordering seasonally, you’re going to be able to get the freshest and most beautiful flowers! Your florist is not going to have to outsource to another state (or even country!) and risk your floral getting dry or damaged along the way. You’re ensuring that your decor will be as fresh as possible, making your photos more vivid and leaving an impression on your guests. 

You’re also able to give back to your local economy! If your florist is able order seasonal flowers for your big day, chances are they are going to be able to order from local growers. By giving your business to a farmer in your area, your hard-earned dollars are being harvested from local soil and planted right back into your community.


Here’s a handy guide to seasonal flowers: 


  • Pale flowers are more dominant, so think of softer colors, such as the pinks, yellows, and whites found in calla lilies, peonies, and hyacinths. However, if you love brighter colors, yellow is also available during this season, so consider daffodils and tulips. 


  • The warmer the weather, the brighter the colors! If you’re looking to bring some color to your big day, sunflowers and hydrangeas can help with that. However, summer also yields a variety of shapes of flowers, which lends itself to beautiful wildflower-like bouquets. 


  • Transitioning from warmer weather to cooler weather brings out the best of the floral world. This season combines the energetic colors of summer with the warmer tones of the colder seasons, offering many combinations of colors and sizes of flowers. Consider mixing the dainty baby’s breath with the solid characteristics of roses and chrysanthemum. 


  • This season is characterized by deep and warm colors of floral, found in plants such as eucalyptus, holly and jasmine. 

Less is more. 

When people think of wedding flowers, the image in their mind is usually of tall glass vases filled with voluptuous sky-high arrangements in the center of the table. And while those types of are certainly beautiful, and have been popular for awhile – the truth is that they don’t make as much sense for weddings today. Let’s think about it – large floral centerpieces can make your guests feel isolated, especially because larger arrangements prevent guests from conversing from their friends across the table from them. Consider simpler arrangements that will bring life to your tables without overpowering them.

Repurpose the floral you’ve used in your ceremony to your reception.

Let’s be real – there is a lot that goes into a floral installation! You’ve probably spent hours on Pinterest choosing your color scheme, and weeks selecting the florist that matches your vision and budget. So let’s get as much use out of them as possible! 

And don’t worry…you’re not going to have to move floral in your beautiful wedding dress! Our Trademark coordination team is always happy to take down the floral from your ceremony arch and move it down to your reception! And there are so many places that ceremony flowers can be used at the reception. Having garland on your ceremony chairs? Why not use it on your head table. Are you having some arrangements made for the end of the aisle? Let’s put those on your dessert table. And that amazing arch piece would look great in the center of your sweetheart table. And at the end of the night, you can take them home with you and have a reminder of your perfect wedding day.

Krystal and Chris – Before They Said I Do!

It’s been one year since America watched fitness coach Krystal Nielson and sales trainer Chris Randone fall madly in love on Bachelor in Paradise. In early June, the pair said “I Do!” surrounded by a small group of family and friends at the Vidanta Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – the exact site of their first date. Bachelor Nation will recognize some familiar faces, including Jared Haibon, Ashley Iaconetti and Becca Kufrin. The new Mr. and Mrs. told People Magazine: “We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives together. We will have each other’s backs forever.”

And even though you’re going to have to wait until the August 5th premiere of Bachelor in Paradise to get a peek at their nuptials, we do have a treat for you – a behind the scenes look into their May 2nd engagement party!

This couple wanted an elegant, whimsical and private locale for their intimate fairytale celebration, and Ethereal Gardens was the ideal backdrop. In addition to the thousands of twinkling lights and breathtaking photo opportunities, Ethereal is a certified organic garden – a perfect fit for the couple, who are notorious fitness and health gurus. 

Krystal and her treasured ladies arrived into our Ivy Villa, where they popped champagne, snapped selfies, and did final touches on their hair and makeup. Meanwhile, Chris and his groomsmen enjoyed cocktails and vintage monopoly in the Distillery. Before their friends and family arrived, the bride-and-groom-to-be snuck away for a private sunset photo session. Krystal was radiant in her white feathery gown, and Chris’ tan suit complimented the look perfectly!

The overall aesthetic of the evening was a mix of rustic elegance. Our design team brought Chris and Krystal’s vision to life, setting up photo opportunities all over the venue. They brought their skills and exquisite attention to detail to every aspect of the event, from handwritten menus and signs to creating a floral wall to adding fresh greenery from our property to the bars and tables. 

As guests arrived, they were greeted by our valet service and directed to our vintage Ethereal Barn for cocktail hour. On the menu? Glitter (Hers), which was a tequila Paloma with a splash of rose, giving it a sparkling effervescent effect. Goose (His) mixed Grey Goose vodka (of course!) with freshly squeezed lime and muddled mint from our garden.  Guests were even given a secret code to tell our bartenders to spike their drinks – “Moose Knuckle!” They snapped photos in front of a 10-foot-tall suspended macrame backdrop, sipped drinks next to an antique piano, and enjoyed the sweeping vista views of the California hillside. 

Chris and Krystal worked closely with our Chef to handcraft a menu that catered to their specific tastes and healthy lifestyles. Their 50 guests dined on buffalo cauliflower bites, gluten free arugula and balsamic glazed pizza, peaches topped with creme fraiche and honey, andouille sausage kabobs, and freshly made butternut squash ravioli. Guests also enjoyed baked goods from the couples’ favorite bakery in San Diego’s Little Italy, and roasted s’mores over a roaring fire pit. 

If there’s one word to describe these two, it’s fun! The couple wanted their guests to have a great time – which, of course, meant incorporating some activities! According to Chris, “Games are everything!” Friends and family tested their knowledge of the couple with trivia, answering questions like “where did we get engaged?” and “what is our song?” Guests also played cornhole and giant jenga under a canopy of lights on our lawn as the sun went down behind the hills.


Krystal and Chris entered our beautiful Marquis building amidst thunderous cheers, and thanked their guests, many of whom had travelled long distances to share the day with them.  DJ Mojo kicked off the dancing portion of the evening with “We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris,” by Rihanna, which is their song! They danced the night away next to our fireplace underneath sparkling chandeliers. The group ended the evening by singing along to classic Backstreet Boys, then boarded a party bus to continue the celebration – the party actually kicked off their bachelor & bachelorette party weekends!

Everything came together so seamlessly, the couple told E! News, that some of their guests thought that they were going to say “I Do!” that night! “The venue really blew our minds away with how they put it together. It was very enchanting” said the blushing bride. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. – we wish you a lifetime of happiness!

Photos: Be Studios