Home | Contact | Advertise | Grab a Badge

September 23, 2014

it’s time to Fall in Love….

{ Hello, Autumn … }

September 23rd.

The autumnal equinox.

The first day of Autumn.

Regardless of what you want to call today…. it’s time to fall in love.

Over the years we’ve watched hundreds of brides fight tooth and nail for sunshine-y afternoon weddings in June, but if you ask us, there’s something unyieldingly romantic about the autumn leaves turning their brilliant hue, and couples in love saying “I Do”.

How can you not love our gorgeous Heather and her stunning bridal portraits among the colourful leaves in her family’s backyard?

Burlington Wedding Planner Fall Autumn

Or when Bobbie and Dave tied the knot beneath an “Autumn Love” DIY burlap banner while guests looked on from spots at their harvest-inspired dinner tables.

Navy Hall Wedding Planner Niagara Fall Autumn

Even Kate and Mike’s wedding photos gleamed with the natural elegance that this season brings.

Balls Falls Wedding Planner Fall Autumn

This year, we find ourselves falling into a different kind of love.

Trends are changing.

Designs are elaborating.

The ways in which our couples are celebrating are becoming more intimate, more personal, and more creative than ever.

As we conjure up our creative muses for the coming months of dreaming and design, we can’t help but turn to the gorgeousness that surrounds us: the colours, the textures, the earthly-meets-whimsical beauty of the outdoors.

The air is crisp.

The nights are cool.

The scents of warm apple cider flutter on the breeze.

Oh, and boots. We finally get to wear boots!

So, really… what’s not to love about being in love in the Fall?

Fall Wedding Autumn Portrait

{ blog love }

Love, Madly Photography

Charity Swords Photography

Darling Mine Photography


Love it? Share it!

September 22, 2014

Navy, Coral + White :: Hockley Valley Wedding

{ rebecca + adam}

There’s something so exciting about a bride who knows what she wants immediately.

That was Rebecca.

From the day we met over Starbucks lattés, this WG bride was unwavering in her ability to know, with conviction, what she loved, what she less-than-loved, and how her wedding day to her “boyfriend” would look. (She hated the word fiancé.)

Navy blue.



Never have I ever met a bride who was more passionate about paper than Rebecca was about her big day stationary. We gushed over samples and colours and fonts and prints and sizing. She actually made me excited about paper, especially when I discovered all of the hidden gem stationary shops around downtown Toronto.

I think stationary was the only detail of Bec’s big day that she went back and forth on. Planning everything else was smooth-sailing with this bride-to-be, so much so that we had some vendors telling us, “Sorry, but I don’t book brides this far out. Can you call me back in a few months?”

Before we knew it, all of our vendors were in place, our design was finalized, our plans were confirmed. And then, the big day came: a beautiful bridal party, a handsome groom, a stunning bride and every shade of coral we could get our hands on. The result was an elegant, sophisticated, yet playful affair. It was, without a doubt, an unforgettable day.

Coral Bridesmaids Barrie Wedding Planners

White Coral Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto

Navy Bridesmaids Lace Wedding Gown

Navy Blue Bridesmaids Wedding Party

Barrie Hockley Valley Wedding Planner Toronto

Hockley Valley Wedding Photography First Look

Coral Navy Bridesmaid Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio

Navy Coral Wedding Toronto Planners

Grey Navy Coral Wedding Hockley Valley Orangeville

Hockley Valley Orangeville Wedding Planner

Coral Navy White Wedding Fraiche Floral

Coral Bridal Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio

Blue Navy Coral Scottish Wedding Ceremony

Scottish Wedding Planners Toronto WeddingGirl.ca

Blue Coral Scottish Wedding Hockley Valley

Hockley Valley Wedding Coordinator Barrie

Orange Coral Navy Scottish Wedding Planners

Blue Coral Chevron Wedding Planners

Barrie Wedding Cake Luvvly Cake Co

Barrie Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca

Laura Fess Photography Barrie

Coral Blue Wedding OMG Decor Events

Hockley Valey Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

{ Vendor Love }

Venue: Hockley Valley Resort

Officiant: Ian, Kettle Creek Weddings

Photography: Laura Fess

Videography: Fresh Canadian Content

Flowers: Fraîche Floral Studio

Decor: OMG Events

Cake: The Luvvly Cake Co.

Piper: Mike Connolly


Love it? Share it!

September 17, 2014

Made you look…

{ coming soon … the WG real-world Look Book! }

Carrie Bradshaw Wedding Gown

The gorgeous Grace Ormonde Wedding Style tells us that being in love never goes out of style.

While little girls dream of what their fairy tale will look like one day, girls-engaged find themselves pouring over pages and pages of bridal styles trying to find what speaks to them. But are we really the only ones intimidated by the bleak-faced, stick-thin models rocking the frocks we hope will look just as gorgeous on our real-world frames??

With the 2014 wedding season slowly coming to a close, all of us at WG Headquarters are eagerly anticipating the fresh new looks that will adorn the pages of our favourite magazines and wedding blogs in 2015, but the truth is, we’ve never really been good at sitting back and waiting for things to happen. Over here, we make things happen. And it’s with that mindset that the WeddingGirl team is excitedly launching a new blog project – the WG Look Book.

We think that it’s about time designing the look of your dream day became approachable, affordable, and inspiring.

Our Real-World Look Book project was dreamed up by a team of artistically fearless creative visionaries; girls who seriously love being in love. But we can’t do it without your help!

Audren Hepburn Wedding Gown

{ real world models }

We need models.

And we don’t mean the Parisian runway kind…. we mean the real-world, real-life, naturally beautiful kind.

Not every bride-to-be is eager to sport white.

Not every bride-to-be is a Size OO with waist-length tresses.

Not every bride-to-be plans on posing for her couture wedding day shots with a questionable frown on her face.

Let’s face it…. those high-end bridal magazines aren’t exactly a realistic depiction of what Happily Ever After is supposed to be!

Whether you’re a bride-to-be eagerly counting down the days to her big day, a newlywed who sometimes secretly puts on her wedding gown to do the dishes, or a mother of three who can’t help but love all-things-in-love, we want to make everything around you beautiful.

Use your own wedding gown, or let us pick one for you.

Imagine being styled by a team of stylists for the day – hair, makeup, fancy frocks, serious shoes.

There’ll be flowers.

There’ll be details.

There’ll be a team dedicated to making you look and feel beautiful while you help us set the stage for upcoming trends we’re dying to see. You’ll even leave the shoot set with a bag of stellar swag and professional photos of all the gorgeous.

Sparkly Stilettos Yves Saint Laurent

{ real world dreamers }

Oh… and one more thing? You’ll have creative input in the style!

Whether you’re a gypsy-souled wanderer or a polished princess, whether you prefer diamonds on your neck or flowers in your hair, your story will inspire your style.

Have you always dreamed of being a character in an upside-down Alice In Wonderland world?

Do you secretly wish your wedding day had been in a barn instead of on a beach?

The team behind our new launch of WG Look Book has it taken care of.

You might end up in white. You might not.

You might be styled with a lavish floral bouquet. You might get a killer, sparkly clutch.

Either way, you’ll be making heads turn (and bridesmaids jealous!)


{ the details }

Think you’re up for playing dress-up with us? We want to hear from you.

Send an email to info@WeddingGirl.ca with the subject line, WG Look Book.

Tell us about yourself.

Send us photos of yourself.

Gush about everything you love and all the things that make you you!

Couture Bridal Photography Taylor Jackson


We can’t wait to make you look.



{ blog love :: }

One Fab Day – Coco Chanel Inspired Wedding

Yves Saint Laurent



Taylor Jackson Photography

Love it? Share it!

September 16, 2014

for Brides that are bored of ruffles and lace…

Filed under: Cake,Design & Decor,Vendors — WeddingGirl @ 3:36 pm

{ blog love :: Wild Orchid Baking Company }


Ruffles and lace are crazy-gorgeous.

We have loved every bit of vintage, rustic, artisan whimsy that’s graced the pages of wedding magazines this year, and that’s unfolded at every one of the beautiful Happily Ever After’s we’ve planned….. but something fresh is always welcomed!

Stumbling upon this confectionary gem from the Wild Orchid Baking Company in New Hampshire, it’s clear to see that new trends are peeking around the corner.

Does this stunningly sweet treat remind anyone else of those adorable tights we used to wear in gradeschool??

White Black Heart Pink Poppy wedding cake Wild Orchid Baking Company

Love it? Share it!

September 15, 2014

#WGx :: turning dreams into plans

{ it’s time …. take II }

WGx 2014 Casting Call from WeddingGirl.ca on Vimeo.

Palais Royale Toronto Corporate Photoshoot Serena Swan

Corporate jobs.


Someone else’s schedule.

Someone else’s rules.

Soooo, none of that sounds like a good time – does it?

The WG brand has spent over five years making bridal dreams come true… and now the WeddingGirl-Multiplied team is turning their focus to making life dreams come true.



Little Black Dresses Photoshoot Serena Swan Photography Toronto

On October 14, 2014, we’re inviting all of the Dreamers, the Thinkers, and the Doers to join us for an intimate conversation on turning their dreams into plans.

We’re connecting passions, hosting the kind of Question-and-Answer session that Mary, the CEO of WG, wishes someone had hosted back when WG was just a twinkle in her eye.

The faces of the WG team know the magic locked behind a hope, a dream, a wish, some hard work, and a killer team of like-minded souls.

Come meet us. Feel free to come on your own or bring a friend. Bring nothing more than your own open mind and a courageous heart. Oh, and your love for all-things-beautiful. Bring that too. And we’ll provide the rest!

1470342_756833667679229_456062946_n (1)


To read more about the inspiration behind WGx - click here!

For more details, or to RSVP, please feel free to get in touch.


Love it? Share it!

September 11, 2014

Wedding Guest Dress Codes :: de-coded

So…. what does ‘Creative Black Tie’ even mean?

Authored by Leah Sandhu

Some weddings have very specific dress codes and as a guest it can be hard to know what to wear. So, I thought I would share some notes for you to refer back to next time you get an invite that says Creative Black Tie, and mostly have no idea what that means.

bowtie - invitation

{ White Tie Wedding }

A white tie wedding is formal.

And by ‘formal’ I actually mean ultra formal.

Like, super, crazy, over-the-top, red carpet formal.

Ultra formal black tie event Black Lively Ryan Reynolds

What to Wear

Ladies: If you’re attending a white tie affair, you best be rocking a floor-length ball gown.
Gentlemen: You, Sir, must be in full dress: white tie (bowtie or ascot), vest, shirt with cufflinks, top hat optional (if you don’t know what an ascot is, you may want to just go with the bowtie).


{ Black Tie Wedding }

A black tie wedding is formal too. Just not as formal as a white tie one.

Black tie formal wear

What to Wear

Ladies: Rock a long evening gown or a fancy cocktail dress – either is appropriate for this affair.
Gentlemen: Black Tie on an invitation indicates, unequivocally, that the host expects tuxedos to be worn. Don’t be the dude that shows up in a suit – you will stand out… not in a good way.


{ Black Tie – Optional Wedding }

A black-tie-optional wedding is a semi-formal shindig.

Semi-formal attire

What to Wear

Ladies:You’ll look best donning a long dress or a formal knee-length gown. Feel free to get creative with your frocks, but just make sure they’re not too revealing! (perhaps your hostess will prefer you skip the plunging neckline).
Gentlemen: Black Tie Optional (or Black Tie Invited) on a wedding invite suggests that men wear tuxedos but not to insist on it. A dark coloured suit and tie would be another option, but skip shirts with button-down collars; they are too casual for this occasion.


{ Creative Black Tie – Wedding }

Okay…. so….  some Nearlyweds get just as creative with their invitation wording as they hope their guests will get with their outfits. “Creative Black Tie” indicates that formality is optional.

Creative Black Tie Wedding attire

What to Wear

Ladies: Cocktail dresses and dressy separates. Follow instructions – get creative! Have fun with colours and patterns and funky accessories.
Gentlemen: Modern tux, tie optional. Think: grey suit, blue shirt with brown shoes. Trust us. It works.


{ Informal - Wedding }

Informal weddings are dressy-casual.

firenze_jumpsuit - dressy casual attire

What to Wear

Ladies, bust out your cute little sundresses or polished jumpsuits.
Men: Dress pants, button-up shirt, casual shoes. A tie is optional.
Note: Casual does not mean you can wear jeans to a wedding. It’s usually referring to an element of comfort that the couple wants to extend to their guests. Be appreciative of their gesture – don’t take advantage by showing up in cargo pants.


{ Beach Formal - Wedding }

Now we’re getting casual.


What to Wear

For the ladies, a beach wedding calls for breezy knee-length or maxi dress attire

(No, bathing suits aren’t appropriate… even if they are underneath).

Boys, show up in a button-up short sleeve shirt and shorts. While sandals are okay, please do NOT wear cargo or palm printed shorts …. even if it is a beach resort wedding! Nobody likes that Hawaiian design as much as you think they do.


If you find yourself in doubt about what to wear to a particular celebration, remember you can always ask the host or hostess directly! They’ll likely have way more appreciation for the fact that you cared enough to ask… and opted to leave your band tee’s at home.


Leah Sandhu is a Fusion Wedding Expert and Bridal Lifestyle Blogger at WeddingGirl.ca.

To have Leah’s creative input and meticulous attention to detail for your Fusion celebration, make sure to Get In Touch!

Find Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest |  leah@weddinggirl.ca

Love it? Share it!

September 10, 2014

to DIY or not to DIY :: Wedding Flowers

When DIY probably isn’t as awesome as you think…

 Fraiche Floral Studio Purestorm Photography

Planning her wedding day is every girl’s dream: the excitement of finding the dream dress, the delicious food tastings, and of course the stress-free time a bride-to-be gets to spend with her man, making all the final decisions to make her dream day come true.  Okay…. well….  except for maybe that last part!

Truth is, everybody knows that the months leading up to your wedding can be exceptionally stressful – even when you vowed never to be that bride.

Between vendors asking for itineraries, family asking for direction, wedding party asking about fittings and that nagging feeling that you’re not spending enough time with your main squeeze, even the most organized, structured, cool-as-a-cucumber bride can find herself spinning in a whirlwind of uncertainty and confusion leading up to her I Do’s. So much so, that the majority of brides haven’t even considered some of the nitty-gritty details until someone comes out of left field with, “What about toasting flutes?” or “What will you cut your cake with?”.

Really, what bride wants to be thinking about how many extension cords she will need to string her patio lights or what type of permits will she require for photography? That’s why, in times like these, having someone else to count on to take care of things (that you didn’t even think of!) is so important. In many cases that person is a planner or coordinator like the ones here at WG. These girls plan picture perfect beginnings to fairytale endings – and on the Day Of, they make sure it’s not you who’s running around looking to replace the floral arrangement your minister accidentally knocked over! A Planner / Coordinator starts with your caterpillar of a vision and nurtures it into a butterfly of a wedding day…. and then that’s where the team at the Fraîche Floral Studio come in.

Fraiche Floral Studio Purestorm Studios Toronto

Instead of diamonds on our neck we wear flowers in our hair. We believe that the perfect bridal bouquet is the most important accessory a girl can wear on her wedding day. Behind the beautiful bouquets and showpiece arrangements that you see in all those glossy magazine weddings, there’s a professional floral stylist who has spent hours designing, ordering, processing, arranging, and re-arranging them. This designer isn’t only educated in creating the floral pieces you see, but also in the tedious care that goes in to every single bloom that’s arranged in them.

Don’t get us wrong…. we are, of course, huge fans of all-things-DIY…. but more often than not, the risks of DIY around time-sensitive wedding details (like cake and flowers) will outweigh all of their benefits. Sure, your floral arrangements might end up looking like you dreamed.. but will they survive the heat in the old church? will they make it through the transport to your reception venue? will they wilt in a cold snap during your outdoor photos?

Winter Bride White Blue Bridal Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio Designs

Ask any seasoned planner or coordinator, in time-sensitive situations it is always best to working alongside someone that you trust will not only make your visions come true, but help make it affordable. And that, our dear brides-to-be, is why Fraîche follows WG’s tagline of creating luxe, on a budget.

It is so important to consider the fact that photos of bridal bouquets and centerpieces which you see in magazines and inspiration websites are not only edited to perfection, but are also the best of the best. Those individual arrangements were selected not only because they were the most visually interesting, but also because they would transfer well in to digital film. With these high-end arrangements comes a very high-end price tag to match. For bouquets like these, most brides would assume they cost around $150. Truth is, the more realistic price for a basic boutique bridal bouquet, the kind that graces bridal magazine pages, would actually start around $300… and go up from there!  Inspiration bouquets have been meticulously arranged by stylists with oodles of experience. They’re designed under circumstances where money and time are of no consequence.  The reality is that when it comes to real-world wedding days, nothing is more important than both of these (and often, there’s never enough of either!).

So, now with the harsh truths of pricing uncovered, let us shed some light on why it might be prudent to hire a floral designer rather than try to take on the floral-world yourself.

Imagine this……

It’s the night before your wedding. You are enjoying yourself at your rehearsal dinner, having drinks with your bridesmaids, stress-free and far from worry. While you’re having fun and letting the excitement of the next day seep in, your wedding planner and floral stylist are working late in to the night to ensure that those wedding dreams you have end up a reality.  While your planner is checking and re-checking itinerary and vendor details, your flowers have been purchased, conditions, supervised while opening, cut, arranged, preserved, and prepared for delivery. The blooms you see in wedding magazines were carefully selected as being in an optimal stage for design use – not too closed, not too open. This means they were exposed to the optimal amounts of nutrients, water, and temperature in the days leading up to their styling. We don’t know about you… but how many brides have that kind of time on their hands leading up to their big day??

Even if you’ve planned meticulously and know you have the time to DIY your flowers, make sure to consider that every single stem must be individually cut, cleaned, and arranged. The average number of stems we see per centrepiece is 30. Multiply that by an average of 15 wedding tables and you have 450 stems plus all those that go in to bouquets, family flowers, and decorative showpiece arrangements.

That’s a lot of flowers.

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto Wedding Flowers

And each type of flower has a different set of rules to guarantee staying fresh, erect, and full of life – not only through the ceremony but for the entire wedding day. One of the most common wedding flowers, the hydrangea, is a popular choice for budget brides due to it’s large size and high impact in design. Did you know that hydrangeas, while being super-romantic and budget-friendly, are also alarmingly finicky blooms? If they aren’t properly cut, hydrated, and arranged, they will wilt in less time than it takes your hair and makeup to be completed (we’ve learned from experience).

Some flowers like orchids, if not wired in to a bouquet properly, will break in half under the strain of typical bouquet-movement. No bride wants a wilted or snapped bloom in her wedding photos.

And if you’re not fluent in the techniques of wiring and taping flowers before they go in to a bouquet or corsage, those delicate little beings will end up breaking or bending in the wrong direction. They won’t photograph well either.

Rustic Purple Green Bridal Bouquet WeddingGirl.ca

Floral Stylists have the knowledge and experience needed to predict any problems that may arise. If something goes wrong, the knowledge, confidence and resources they have will fix the situation before the bride even realizes something went awry. As much fun as the idea of DIY can be, hands-on experience is something that can not be learned from Google, YouTube, or a weekend course in floral design.  Without proper care and handling before the flowers are arranged, it’s almost a guarantee that stems will wilt, snap, or not open fully. What’s the point of spending $4.50 a stem on that coveted cottage rose only to have it stay tightly bound in its little bloom shell?

Eco Rustic Shabby Natural Bride Succulent Bouquet Kristen Pete Fraiche Studio

Yup. DIY is a great way to save money and have fun with your wedding plans. Decor, food and drink, bridal accessories – these are all great ways to save money without the risk of the unknown. When it comes to flowers, every shipment of blooms is different. It’s pretty much impossible for the untrained eye to detect any issues a flower may have. Miss that little bugger of rot in the middle of a bloom and it’s possible that your entire gorgeous blush arrangement will be brown by the time your reception rolls around.

Trust us.

Hire a pro.

Sure, we’re biased… but you don’t have to hire us.

Just hire a pro.

Not only will you avoid stressing about your flowers beforehand, you can spend the time leading up to your wedding having fun DIYing with your bridesmaids, or relaxing with your groom, not wiring a hundred little orchids to thread into a floral crown.

Leave the worrying about the most gorgeous details of your day to those of us who can ensure they’ll see the light of day….

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto Budget Wedding Flowers


For more information on wedding floral design, to ask any DIY questions you may have, or to chat about your own big day floral vision, make sure to Get In Touch!


And we’re on Facebook and Twitter too.

And Pinterest.

We really like Pinterest.

Happy Styling!

Love it? Share it!

September 8, 2014

an intro to Cakecademy … beginner Q+A

{ WG University presents… }

an introduction to Cakecademy :: / kāk ‘ kadəmē


1. A place of study or training designed for a person or company offering something in a special field. 
2. A society or institution of distinguished (some call us crazy) entrepreneurial dreamers who know how to make your sweetest wishes come true.

WeddingGirl University Logo

Haven’t heard of WeddingGirl-University? Read all about it here! We believe that anyone can dream a dream and earn a living doing what they love.

“Vendorcademy is for anyone who’s ever been told, ‘You should really start a business!’
Whether it’s making cakes, designing stationary, arranging flowers, taking photos -
being creative is something that feels so natural to creative-types that
they often overlook the fact that they can get paid to do it!”

- Mary Bratko, Founder of WGU


Luvvly Cake Co Logo

Our newest course offering in the WGUVendorcademy is the much-anticipated Cakecademy, brought to you by the Luvvly Cake Co.
Amy knows all-things-sweet, and as a relatively-recent newbie turned wedding-cake-designer-extraordinaire she’s passionate about sharing her insider tips and tricks with aspiring confection artists.

Luvvly Cake Co. Toronto - Jessica + George Wedding Cake 2

Luvvly Cake Co Burlap Lace Mint Green Wedding Cake

Toronto Wedding Planner Peach Vintage Cake Luvvly Little Cake Co

PInk Black White Wedding Cake the Luvvly Cake Co  Toronto

From humble beginnings as a stay-at-home mum who began by making birthday cakes for her little boy, in a few short years Amy has learned lightyears worth of lessons when it comes to designing, baking, decorating dream wedding cakes. Alongside gumpaste and fondant, Amy has had to overcome the challenges of branding a business, re-branding a company, developing social media strategies and aligning herself with industry experts.

“In the beginning I dreamed of connecting with an expert who could answer some questions, share some guidance. Not a single pastry chef responded to my notes. To them, I was the competition.”

Instead of keeping her trade secrets behind lock and key, Amy is offering to give back.

Toronto Wedding Contest Luvvly Cake Co

“The Cakecademy is not a YouTube Tutorial and it’s not an investment of thousands of dollars into an expert intensive. It isn’t a baking course, nor is it an advanced curriculum involving gold leaf or wired gumpaste blooms – it’s right in between. Relatable, approachable, and inspiring… Cakecademy is exactly what I wish had existed when I first got started.”

Perfect for creative minds with a serious sweet tooth, stay-at-home parents and aspiring entrepreneurs, Cakecademy workshops are beginning next month.
Before you commit to coming on board, the WGU team is hosting an introductory Q+A session with Amy herself. She’ll be chatting about things like:
  • The who’s, what’s, where’s, and how’s of starting a cake business
  • Types of events
  • Business Branding
  • Self Promotion

She’ll be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of venturing into the world of pastry artistry – filling you in on the honest truth of all the things she wished she’d known.

For additional information on the Cakecademy workshop or to sign up for the Q+A session, email info@WeddingGirl.ca – subject line, “Cakecademy”.

Love it? Share it!

Real Wedding feature { Lorah + Galen } | The Gibson Centre

Authored by Leah Sandhu

Today we’re sharing Lorah and Galen’s charming DIY wedding. The Gibson Centre was the perfect venue for their simple, yet modern wedding. The open brick and wood flooring, paired with the freshly picked flowers and birch accents made it feel so warm and cozy. Enjoy!

 {A Word from the Photographer}

“This wedding was such a joy to shoot! Lorah and Galen were such a fun couple, and their love for each other was so evident, making it easy to shoot some great candids!

Lorah had poured so much love and care into all of the little details of their special day. From her handmade bouquets and centrepieces, to the earthy and natural colour scheme, this wedding made for some beautiful photos and was definitely one of the highlights of my summer.”



{DIY Projects}

“I did all of my own flowers – the bouquets, centrepieces, and one arrangement  for the church.

In the church, we decorated the pews with bunches of greenery my sister and I gathered around our property. As part of the centerpieces, we bought a thick birch log which my dad cut up and sanded. On each of these we had a variety of vases/jars I had collected from thrift stores and borrowed from friends.

We bought birch branches from a farmer’s market that were on sale after Christmas which we cut down for table number holders (and  bought the cards from Etsy.)

For the favours, we made homemade caramel corn (under the supervision of a friends mom) and packaged them up for each guest.”








Reception table1

{ From the Bride }

“Use your friends skills! If they have creative talents, use them!

A friend made our cake, which we topped with foxes from Etsy and decorated with some left over greenery from our flowers.

A graphic design friend did the invites and programs… and did an amazing job!

Another friend who was involved in a lot of film projects in college made the wedding video.

I had my cousin do my hair and a friend do my make-up, which was great because I wanted to look natural and they pulled that off excellently. It also made my morning really fun and relaxing because I was surrounded by all of my girlfriends.”


Total Budget: $15,000

130 Guests

Budget tip: Instead of renting the hall for a cocktail hour (which would have been an extra $2,000-$3,000), a bunch of friends made baked-goods which were served with punch outside the church.


Photography: Hannah Belvedere Photography
Church: Bond Head United Church
Venue: Gibson Arts & Cultural Centre of Alliston
Hair: Laken Gleason (cousin)
Make-up: Kristina Kamenar (friend)
Caterer: Casal Catering, Barrie
Flowers: DIY’d by the bride
Dress: The Gown; Newmarket (Essense of Australia)
Suits: JC Penny
Cake: Lyssa Pelton


Leah Sandhu is a Fusion Wedding Expert and Bridal Lifestyle Blogger at WeddingGirl.ca.

To have Leah’s creative input and meticulous attention to detail for your Fusion celebration, make sure to Get In Touch!

Find Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest |  leah@weddinggirl.ca

  Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Love it? Share it!

September 1, 2014

D.I.Y. Wedding Venues | southern Ontario

{ DIY Venues }

For years, our team has been helping engaged couples plan really gorgeous celebrations on a budget.

One of the easiest ways to save the most money on your big day? a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) venue! These are usually empty spaces that give you complete creative control over design, setup, catering, and bar.

Empty Wedding Hall

DIY venues are coveted little gems that offer affordable rental rates and the allure of saving a substantial amount of money on food, alcohol, and rentals. Sure, the planning logistics might get a bit trickier – but don’t let that scare you! Over the years we’ve used DIY venues to help couples save thousands (and thousands!) of dollars while helping them coordinate everything from water jugs, pepper shakers, rental delivery and decor tear-down.

We have come to know and love some of Southern Ontario’s most charming DIY spaces. Their specific parameters differ – from varying capacities to different indoor and outdoor facilities. Some of these allow for both catering and alcohol to be brought in, others allow just catering. Yup, the planning is a little more extensive, and the details are a tiny bit more elaborate… but either way – the savings can be pretty hefty – and we’re definitely up for the challenge!

Planning a DIY wedding on a budget? Here’s a list of venues to help you get started…. (oh, and we’ve included a list of helpful blog posts to help you plan below!)

(NOTE: There are so many venues available for DIY weddings and this list is by no means exhaustive. We’re constantly adding venues, updating facilities, and perfecting the details! - if you can help us by elaborating or adding to it, please get in touch!)


:: Niagara + Surrounding Area

Niagara Area Wedding Venues WeddingGirl.ca

{ 1 – 50 }

Rancourt Winery – Niagara On The Lake


{ 50 - 100 }

Niagara-On-The-Lake Museum

Navy Hall - Niagara On The Lake

Southbrook Vineyards (indoors) - Niagara On The Lake

Stonechurch Winery – Niagara On The Lake

Creekside Estate Winery – Jordan

Stonewall Barn Estates – St. Catharines

{ 100 – 150 }

St. Mark’s Church, Addison Hall - Niagara On The Lake

Grantham Lion’s Club - St. Catharines

Balls Falls Conservation Authority, Glen Elgin Room - Jordan

{ 150 – 200 }

Old Courthouse, Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake

Southbrook Vineyards (tented) - Niagara On The Lake

Balls Falls Conservation Authority, Big Barn - Jordan

Caroline Cellars – Niagara On The Lake

Crystal Ridge Banquet Centre – Ridgeway

Sue-Ann Staff Winery (tented) – Niagara On The Lake

Heartland Forest – Niagara Falls

{ 200+ }

Niagara-On-The-Lake Community Centre

Cave Springs Camp (outdoors) – Vineland

Market Square – St. Catharines


:: Hamilton + Surrounding Area

Hamilton area wedding venues WeddingGirl.ca


{ 1 – 50 }

Calamus Estate Winery – Jordan

Rosewood Estates Winery – Beamsville

The Stable at Whitehern Historic House & Garden – Hamilton

The Woodshed, Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology - Hamilton


{ 50 - 100 }

Beamer Falls Manor – Grimsby

Ruthven Park Coach House – Cayuga

Mike Weir Estates – Beamsville

Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre – Hamilton

Ancaster Old Town Hall – Ancaster

The Cellar At Grandview – Hamilton

The Coach House at Dundurn Castle - Hamilton

The Staircase – Hamilton



{ 100 – 150 }


{ 150 – 200 }

The Design Annex – Art Gallery of Hamilton


{ 200+ }

Leander Boat Club – Hamilton

Ruthven Park (tented) – Cayuga

Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre (tented) – Hamilton

Ancaster Fairgrounds - Jerseyville

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum – Hamilton



{ Burlington + Surrounding Area }

Burlington Area Wedding Venues WeddingGirl.ca

{ 1 – 50 }


{ 50 - 100 }

Halton Regional Museum – Milton


{ 100 – 150 }

Alton Mill – Caledon

Rockwood Conversation Area, Harris Woollen Mill Ruins – Guelph


{ 150 – 200 }


{ 200+ }

Paris Fairgrounds – Paris

Cambium Farms – Caledon

Teatro Conference and Events Centre - Milton

Alton Mill (tented) – Caledon


{ Toronto + Surrounding Area }

Toronto Area Wedding Venues WeddingGirl.ca

{ 1 – 50 }

Montgomery’s Inn – Toronto


{ 50 - 100 }

{ 100 – 150 }

Todmorden Mills – Toronto

Henley Room, Argonaut Rowing Club – Toronto

McMichael Art Gallery – Kleinburg

Heintzman House – Thornhill

Markham Museum – Markham

Camera, Stephen Bulger Gallery – Toronto

The Burroughes – Toronto

The Gibson Centre – Alliston


{ 150 – 200 }

St. Lawrence Hall – Toronto

De La Salle / Oaklands – Toronto


{ 200+ }

Fort York – Toronto

99 Sudbury – Toronto



{ related (and helpful!) blogs }

Planning your DIY bar

The Perks and Perils (read: Do’s and Don’ts) of DIY

Friendor Photography


Love it? Share it!
Older Posts »