Today you're in for a treat because it's brought to you by to leading ladies, Courtney Coquilla and Christina Lee, the wedding planning duo of C&C Engagements. Keep on reading to get an insider's look into who they are and why they love doing that do--making couples happy on their journey to "I Do!"
Hometown and current location/areas you serve
Tina’s Hometown: Hau’ula, Hawai’i & Santa Rosa
Tina’s Current location: Vallejo
Courtney’s Hometown: Vallejo
Courtney’s Current location: Emeryville
C&C Engagements services the Bay Area & beyond
How you got into wedding industry, how many years in business
We decided to delve into the industry a little over a year ago after realizing it's actually been our niche for quite some time. We've been planning events on a personal and informal level and knew we could really make a difference together as wedding professionals.
Where you see your business going in the future
We definitely plan on staying within the wedding-related field, and we want to see our future in C&C expand toward other avenues such as multiple event planning, and also provide more than just the consultation. By taking in what we learn & experience, we plan to eventually be able to cut out the necessity of reaching out to too many different vendors.
What makes your company different
We understand that planning a wedding is business and people expect their coordinators to be well-oiled machines, but we also understand that the business we’re in is about more than spreadsheets and contracts.
Who is your ideal or perfect client
We can’t expect much from “the perfect client” except to hope that they will allow us to create their dream wedding with the few details they provide.
Wedding industry leaders you admire
We don’t necessarily have any one specific person in mind, but instead have come to admire anyone and everyone we’ve come across. We’ve researched several vendors and read several blogs, and are definitely blown away by the amount of creativity and genuine desire people have to make others happy. We have very good friends who have their own wedding-related businesses and couldn’t be more proud and excited to work with them.
Where you get your wedding inspiration from (person, website, blog, magazine, etc)
Blogs and magazines have definitely been referred to on a number of occasions for our inspiration. More specifically, projectwedding.com, myweddings.com, weddingbee.com, HawaiiWeddingsandEvents.com and TheKnot/NorthernCalifornia magazine. But we’ve come to realize that inspiration can come from anywhere. As time goes by, couples are definitely wanting more originality with their weddings, so we try to keep our minds open to what could potentially be utilized in the future in terms of venues, décor or themes.
What you do to relax
We actually relax by spending quality time together w/ the men in our lives. We’ve double dated to a weekend at Disneyland, countless dinners, and even Tomales Bay with picnic blankets and BBQ oysters. We know we’re always friends before business partners, so we know where and how to separate business and pleasure. With a few more scheduled trips in the near future, relaxing is never an issue for us!
Where do you go shopping (website or location)?
It’s 2010… online! There is an unbelievable amount of options on the internet that it can almost become overwhelming, but it’s definitely a way to always find just what we need. One online store that we refer to on a regular basis is Save-On-Crafts. They have such a great selection that you can easily find what you need to create that perfect centerpiece or wedding favor. Living in the Bay Area, we are also spoiled with an amazing amount of unique shops.
On a more personable level, our favorite clothing stores (if that’s what you were really referring to) is Francesca’s, Old Navy, Gap, H&M, and Urban Outfitters.
Fave food or places to eat around the Bay
Tina: Any good sushi restaurant, Thai Original BBQ restaurant in So. SF, Asian Wok & Grill in American Canyon, Keanu’s in Vacaville, Marica’s in Oakland
Courtney: Marica’s for Seafood in Oakland, Zabu Zabu in Berkeley for shabu-shabu, Mercury Lounge in San Francisco for Asian Fusion, Canto do Brasil in San Francisco for Brazilian, Champa Garden in Oakland for Thai/Laoatian. None of these are chain restaurants, but they’re all unbelievably delicious.
How you stay fit
Tina: Thanks to my husband Jay, I’ve been trying to keep up with my P90X Workout dvds. I’m trying to learn to enjoy the Core Synergistics, but it kicks my butt. My favorite is the Ab Ripper X. I also want to get into more yoga next semester, and get out on the tennis courts again.
Courtney: Shake Weight. I heart anything on TV. Haha! I also have a gym trainer who I love because he allows me to make up training sessions when I get too lazy. But when I really feel like getting crazy, I do Insanity with my boyfriend at home. We also just bought bikes and recently took them from the AT&T ballpark to Sausalito. For me it’s quite a challenging (but amazing) ride.
Wedding trends-what's hot now or your forecast for future
We think some people are going back to the simplicity of a natural wedding to fit their personality, whether it be a hopeless romantic, to a vintage-retro style wedding. For the future, we see couples wanting to branch toward going Green with their wedding planning.
If you are married, one thing you learned from your engagement process/wedding/being married. If you're not married, one thing you wish brides could learn.
Tina: The whole engagement process is one of the more important events you don’t want to let slip away without enjoying it. We all know that planning a wedding can be stressful at times, but being able to sit back and take pleasure in being an engaged couple is a key factor to keeping the happiness buzzing during the stressful times. During the planning and wedding, I’m proud that I was able to ask for help even when I thought I could handle it. Sometimes, you’re better off passing along a certain duty to someone who is willing and there to help. Also, don’t forget to take a break and sit down during the latter part of your wedding festivities. I was able to sit for a few minutes in the back with Courtney and glance over at the dance floor to find all the people who mean so much to Jay & I. It put nothing but big smiles on our faces. For the marriage part, like they say, “don’t sweat the small stuff”. And although it’s hard, I’ve learned to do just that along the way. It all comes down to the real fact that you married the person for who they are and you can only help them change if they’re willing to.
Courtney: Being unmarried, I definitely can’t comment on personal planning experiences. But what I do want brides to remember is that oftentimes men really don’t know what they’re roll is in this process. They never sat down with their bros and started out a sentence with “When I get married, I want…” Thus, let them offer up suggestions, but make sure to turn them down…lovingly. In addition, I know that parents are usually the major financiers so sometimes they use this as an opportunity to be too involved. Please remember that it’s your wedding, and take their opinions with a grain of salt. You will always make the ultimate decisions.
How you de-stress (something that brides could do too).
We feel the best way to de-stress is by getting away from the madness and taking a short weekend getaway. Even if this trip consists of a couple hours drive out to Lake Tahoe, Monterey, or even Stinson Beach, sometimes being in the midst of something so natural as a body of water can be extremely calming. If you really can’t find the time for a getaway, try a massage, wine tasting, listen to your favorite music, or hang out with friends and talk about non-related wedding topics only. Remember friends are the ultimate stress reliever!