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November 10, 2015
Posted by WeddingGirl

To all you renegade romantic Wedding Planners out there…

{ Canada’s Highest Profile Wedding Planners’ Network }

Palais Royale WeddingGirl.ca WGx Lisa Hardie

Yesterday, we made a pretty gigantic announcement…. that after almost seven years, and hundreds of weddings planned, this team of Wedding Planners is hanging up their planning capes!

Yup…. we’re moving over to create something that this city, this province, even this COUNTRY has never seen before!

As of today, right now, WeddingGirl.ca is no longer a website for Mary and her team to promote themselves as planners and feature their favourite work. As of this moment (and specifically with the new re-launch coming in a few short weeks!) WeddingGirl.ca exists entirely for you, Wedding Planners!


Originally created by a bride for other brides, the WeddingGirl.ca brand has been attracting hundreds of thousands of readers each month – over 150k per month to be exact!

That’s some serious traffic!

And now that our plans and passions have been re-focused to some new and exciting projects, we’re stepping off the WeddingGirl stage and shining the spotlight on you instead.

But don’t worry, we’re not throwing you to the wolves. You’ll have a team of strategists, editors, and sideline cheerleaders behind the scenes to offer advice, support, and feedback on featuring your work.


When our newest website design is ready to be launched, this blog is going to be entirely curated by professional wedding planners for the wedding world at large!

WeddingGirl.ca, and all our current blog subscribers (almost 50,000 of them!) will become a channel for you to share your weddings, your clients, and your story with the world.

WeddingGirl.ca will be a stage for you to make an impact.

WeddingGirl.ca will be a stage for you to grow.

… all in the vein of building a strong, supportive, collaborative online experience.

Our years of blood, sweat, tears, and hard work to earn us some pretty spiffy web stats (almost 2million unique visitors in 2014!) will now be a springboard for new and seasoned wedding planners alike to connect with one another, to connect with vendors, and most importantly, to connect with Brides.

The countdown is on. We’re rolling out the pink carpet to introduce Toronto’s, Ontario’s, and all of Canada’s fiercest, most creative, most authentic and most impactful wedding planners – eager and excited to turn wedding day dreams into real-life memories.

{ a personal note from Mary }

To all you renegade romantic wedding planners out there…
You fearless beasts, this blog is for you. I’ve planned hundreds of weddings with thousands of vendors, wading through tens of thousands of ideas, inspirations, and plans. This industry is one of the most dynamic, challenging, colourful, inspirational, difficult, magical opportunities to write your own life’s love story alongside the epic tales of so many once-in-a-lifetime celebrations.
Today, I’m handing over my megaphone to all of you out there creating inspiration boards, answering emails at midnight and placing hundreds of escort cards neatly in a row. You have one of the most commendable careers on the planet, and ‘Community over competition’ always, Babes. Let’s get you the web-love you’ve earned!
WGxPhotoshootum (110 of 444)


No more submitting to blogs and crossing all your fingers and toes for consideration. No more rejection notes. No more struggling to build your website’s online presence. We’re unveiling a brand new strategy to get YOUR wedding planning career seriously noticed… and we can’t wait to get started!

If you’d like to hop on board the new WeddingGirl.ca blog experience to promote yourself and YOUR brand, just Get In Touch and tell us about yourself! We want to hear about you, your business, your hopes, dreams and fears in this industry. Give us your hearts and passion and commitment to helping Brides everywhere and we’ll trade you for digital visibility that truly makes a mark. We’re working on something that’s about to change EVERYTHING…..

The countdown is on, Lovers!

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November 9, 2015
Posted by WeddingGirl

The end of a Wedding Planning era…. | #WGxBigChanges

{ #WGxBigChanges }

“You’re overthinking it.”

These three words were all the advice I needed to muster up the courage to write a blog that’s going to change everything.

And the words couldn’t be more true.

I have been overthinking this blog since months ago when I admitted its reality. This blog needs to be written. This story needs to be told. These changes need to be shared and the novelty and excitement that’s happening behind-the-scenes here at WeddingGirl.ca finally needs to be allowed to spill over because it’s been bubbling up inside of all of us for months!

It’s the end of an era.

After six years and ten months since creating the WeddingGirl.ca domain;

After six years and six months since working with my first bride and groom;

After almost a decade of loving weddings so hard that “Always a planner, never  wife” seemed exceptionally appealing to me;

It’s time to hang up my clipboard.

…. Orrr, I mean…. put away my iPad. Delete my planning app. Whichever. All of the things – it’s time to close them.

This particular wedding planning chapter, for me, has come to a end. And as I penned the new “About” section for the shiny new WeddingGirl website the other day, I realized just how far on this journey I’ve come.

WeddingGirl.ca Vintage Photography promo shoot - Amanda Lachapelle Photography 4

{ Once upon a time … }

Everything began, once upon a time, when I was in love and arguably far too young to have any idea what the hell I was doing. Sometimes I think we were both far too young to be making any kind of ‘Happily Ever After’ decisions… but when you’re young and you think you know everything, nothing will stop you from pursuing what it is you think you want.

And what I wanted was a fairytale.

As it turned out, I’m better at writing fairytales for other princesses, because my own was (fatefully?) doomed from the start.

I got engaged, planned a wedding, then realized we were having a wedding for all the wrong reasons, got disengaged, canceled everything. And that’s the story I told because I was too afraid to be judged by anyone else – that those who can’t do, teach. Over the years I received a lot of “Well, at least you didn’t go through with it.” comments based on the “About” section of my increasingly popular wedding planning blog. Alas, that wasn’t entirely the truth. I stopped the story where I felt I wouldn’t be quite so fiercely judged… and needed to time to grow into a skin where judgment doesn’t scare me anymore.

The truth is, that after cancelling that particular star-crossed affair, I met someone else.

Completely unexpectedly.

In a whirlwind he and I started spending time together, and I wanted to be a bride, and he wanted to have a wife, and out came another diamond and suddenly I was joyously entangled in another set of wedding plans.

I hadn’t taken the time to learn any life lessons in between.

I didn’t know what it meant to live my life for myself.

I had twirled from one set of the wrong arms directly into another because my wildly-insecure self felt loved and wanted and safe, etc. … and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened to anyone who warned me otherwise, even if they tried.

WeddingGirl.ca was born from the ashes of my own inability to wed.

WeddingGirl.ca Canadian Wedding Planning Blog

Well, I mean… I planned my own two weddings like a rockstar… and I went through with one of them… sort of….. a few short weeks after I breathed the wrong vows to the wrong groom, standing at the end of the wrong aisle, in the wrong dress (though, God knows it was all STUNNING!) that fairytale, too, would crumble.

WeddingGirl.ca Disney World Wedding Planner

WeddingGirl was the product of a med-school-bound, neuro-nerdy girl who had discovered satin, tulle, and photojournalistic photography. From dissecting sheeps brains to playing with petals, I took a complete 180° turn on life, love, and my career. 

I wasn’t engaged, and I wasn’t married.

I moved away from the world I’d grown up in and everybody in it.

I decided to spend my days doing what I loved, and if I hadn’t the foggiest clue about how to be in love myself I decided that at least I would surround myself with people who did.

And so, I planned.

WeddingGirl.ca Mary Bratko Wedding Planner Niagara Toronto Hamilton Rick Denham Photographer Photography

And planned, and planned, and planned and planned……

Mary Bratko Wedding Planner Expert Canada Karrie Marcel

Niagara Wedding Planner WeddingGirl.ca Day Of Coordination


Mary Bratko Wedding Planning Expert Canada

WeddingGirl.ca - Cecilia + Chris - Day Of Coordination


And as a handful of weddings turned to dozens, and dozens turned to hundreds, and hundreds of weddings turned into literally tens of thousands of plans, I got really good at what it means to design flowers, book a cake, discreetly manage the drunken guest who took off his clothes and fell asleep on the terrace of a politician-filled reception at a 5-diamond venue.

Not kidding.

Seriously, being a wedding planner makes you basically bullet-proof.

And as I became better and better at weddings, when the challenge of tipped-over decor and MIA limos stopped being a challenge, I refocused my attention onto my own storybook life. I knew I wasn’t in a place to consider Happily Ever Afters again… at least not in a white dress. I began to think about different adventures – ones made up of timezones and boarding passes rather than planning files and diamonds.

I began to write my own story.







Mary - London

Nassau 2013

My story took me overseas and around the world; into the throes of sleepless nights and inspiring mornings. I met characters along the way who wrote chapters into my book that I never would’ve been able to write on my own. And while I helped couples iron out the wrinkles of their nuptial bliss, I simultaneously began to fall in love with a life entirely removed from what it means to be married to anyone but yourself.

I began to teach; aspiring planners, aspiring bloggers, aspiring entrepreneurs – I wanted them to know how very possible it was to live a life they loved.


WGx 2nd Floor Events Mary Bratko Toronto 2


And while I was still traveling, and teaching, and planning weddings, I became really turned on to the idea of media.

As a blogger I quickly realized that content had been the atomic particle of every inch of my digital marketing strategy. I began to look, strategically, at what it was I had done for the past few years to get the WeddingGirl brand so noticed – without really trying at all. I figured that if I could do it, I could also inspire other entrepreneurs and corporations to do it as well. Another passion project was born from a foundation I’d inadvertently been building for years. (more on this gem soon, I promise!)


Aaaaand so, today, in the midst of spins and twirls and random adventures within my own fairytale of life, it is with a bittersweet sentiment that I *officially* hang up my wedding planning cape – and all the wedding planning capes of all the beautiful faces of the WeddingGirl-multiplied team. Our planning chapters have been filled with their incredible stories and it’s time for us to turn the page.

Wedding Couples, wedding vendors, and other wedding planners alike have shaped, sculpted, and turned me into who I’ve become. Being a wedding planner teaches you strength, strategy, and resilience like nothing else. You think on your feet, you make everything pretty, and you realize at the end of every day just how many decisions you helped to shape, form, make. No wonder we spend our days exhausted! Outsiders look at our lives and picture J. Lo scampering around in stilettos and an ear-bud and think we have it made… but the truth is, the only one who’s made anything for us, is ourselves. Wedding planning is one of the most challenging, dynamic, inspiring, gruelling industries I’ve ever been a part of – and I’m confident most other wedding planners will agree.

So what does this mean now?

{ For all you seriously fierce planners out there … }

Wedding Planners…. our stage is now set for YOU.

We’re giving you a sharing platform like none other in Canada – an opportunity for you to grow your audience and gain traction and visibility in the wedding industry based upon the years of traffic and followership that this website has gained.

How would you feel if, at the click of a button, suddenly your story reached tens of thousands of subscribers?

Visibility is pretty powerful stuff… and that’s why we’ve decided to give it away.


Wedding Planners…. tomorrow’s blog is for YOU!

Tomorrow we’ll be announcing all the juicy details of how the WeddingGirl.ca brand is about to turn being a Wedding Planner in Canada entirely on its head. And while this may be the end of this particular journey for me, this is only just the beginning for all of us together!


Stay Tuned!


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Read the WG Story:


- the girl behind it all.

  • wedding planner
  • neuro-nerdy Starbucks lover
  • bridal lifestyle blogger
  • event stylist
    just a girl who loves her job
​                   





To all you renegade romantic Wedding Planners out there…
Posted 10 Nov, 2015

The end of a Wedding Planning era…. | #WGxBigChanges
Posted 09 Nov, 2015

The Love Story of a Canadian Couple | Justin Trudeau + Sophie Grégoire
Posted 05 Nov, 2015

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