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April 16, 2014

Wanderlust Weddings by WG | a blogger abroad

Filed under: A Blogger Abroad,Wanderlust Weddings,WGx — WeddingGirl @ 4:54 am


When we first brought the #WGx team on board we asked every one of them to dare to dream and come up with their vision for Happily Ever After. From those early brainstorms and inspiration sessions have come some amazing new adventures including fraîche Floral Atelier, WG{=}, and Wanderlust Weddings by WG.


WanderlustWeddingsbyWG logo

With our WeddingGirls wandering about the world, taking in all the beauty this planet has to offer, we decided it was time to start sharing the jet setting love and inspiring our brides to succumb to a bit of wanderlust themselves!

Most recently Linda wandered down to the beautiful Radisson Blu resort in spectacular St. Martin, you can read her review here! – we also have a handful of other WeddingGirls venturing out in to the world… Vanessa is heading to Mexico and Laura is hopping over to Europe! These girls love falling in love with the globe and love sharing their adventures.


{ EuroTour.2014 }

Mary set out for her European adventure on Monday night from YYZ – just in time to escape Mother Nature’s wintery spell (in April?!)

Mary Bratko YYZ WanderlustByWG

Lufthansa was the airline of choice for this globetrotting – comfortable seats and exceptionally kind flight crew! The flight was smooth and uneventful (exactly the way you want them to be!). It was 0815 when they touched down in Frankfurt for a quick layover before heading to Barcelona. Check out this stunner of a sunrise over the United Kingdom!

Lufthansa Sunrise Europe Flight

It was an overcast and dreary morning in Germany, but that didn’t stop Mary’s lust for exploring. She headed out bravely from FRA and made her way in to Frankfurt-proper, in search of a bakery for breakfast and some medieval architecture! (she found both).

Wanderlust Weddings by WG Mary Bratko Europe Frankfurt

Kamps @ BAckstube Frankfurst Breakfast

We’ll be back to explore beautiful Germany soon, but Barcelona was waiting! Another quick flight, this time over the majestic French and Swiss Alps, before landing in beautiful Spain.


It was 25 degrees and sunny at touchdown and the warm Spanish breeze was oh-so-welcoming!

A quick train ride in to Barcelona town center, and after some unfortunate mishaps with getting completely misdirected on the city’s incredibly-extensive metro network, this wandering WeddingGirl finally made it to her hotel.

Mary Bratko TravelGirl backpacker

Stay tuned for our full review of the posh little boutique hotel we stumbled upon! EuroStars Hotels | Angli


Wanderlust Weddings by WeddingGirl.ca



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April 14, 2014

The Original Wedding Soirée | Toronto Bridal Show

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 12:07 pm

The Original Wedding Soiree Toronto

{ the Grand Carnival }

Unveiling Toronto’s Finest, the original Wedding Soirée invites you to join them at The Warehouse Event Venue on Sunday April 27th for The Grand Carnival!

The Original Wedding Soiree is the originator of the first intimate and interactive wedding showcase in Ontario.

This curated + themed experience is sure to have something to delight and inspire every bride, guest and industry visionary!

The Original Wedding Soiree Carnival

{ fun elegance }

Step in to a world that’s both fun and elegant while this first-in-Ontario themed event treats guests and vendors alike to an afternoon at the Carnaval de Paris.

Experience a local wedding library complete with mini-consultations on site, live Inspiration Installations (the first of their kind in Toronto!), and live entertainment.

Savour delectable eats and tasty treats at the Soirée’s specialty food stations and outdoor food truck feast with Bistro Tent!


Adagio Valet will be on site to pamper you with valet parking.

Valet Parking Adagio Valet

Your arrival will be toasted with a hand-crafted signature cocktail.


You’ll be dazzled with a spectacular aerial Cirque performance by A2D2, Aerial Dance Cirque Company!

Aerial Cirque Toronto Wedding Performance

… all to the soundtrack of Cadence, live!

Cadence Toronto Wedding Band


{ delight your senses }

Between appetizers from 10Tation Catering, couture ice cream from Ice Volcano, sinful samples from the Iceberg Vodka Bar, as well as Cremahh‘s delectable gelato plus some good ol’ fashioned carnival snow cones from Sweet Ice, your senses will be completely enraptured and your taste buds will be dancing from all of the delicious!

 Toronto Original Wedding Soiree Collage


{ dress to impress }

The Carnaval de Paris is the perfect excused to get all gussied up on a Sunday afternoon. Make sure to get your picture taken at the PictureX Photo Booth!



Brides, Grooms, Family and Friends – Come one! Come all! Make sure to Save The Date for Sunday April 27th and visit the Grand Carnival!



The WGx Team will be live-on-location, posting and tweeting and gushing about all-things-gorgeous! Make sure to find them and get your picture taken for a chance to have your wedding story featured on our blog!

WGx Palais Royale Photoshoot Toronto



{ the Details }

Tickets are only available in advance; no door sales

* Valet Parking by Adagio Valet
* Signature Cocktail: White Grape Margarita by The Warehouse
COCOLILY Magazine Tote Bag
* Aerial Cirque Performances by Aerial Dance Cirque Company
* Live Performance by Cadence
* Appetizers by 10Tation Catering
* Ice Cream by Ice Volcano
* Cupcakes by Nancy’s Sweet Treats
* Mini Donuts by Bash Events
* Photo Booth by PictureX
* Tasting Bar by Iceberg Vodka
* Onsite Gelateria by Cremahh
* All-natural snowcones by Sweet Ice Snow Cones

{ the Fine-print}

* Ticket price does not include price of other food or beverage providers. Average food item cost: $7
* Tickets are limited
* Ticket inclusions while quantities last
* Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable
* Please read the Event terms & conditions



Have questions about The Original Wedding Soiree presents The Grand Carnival?




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April 10, 2014

Radisson Blu, St. Martin | #WANDERLUSTxWG

{ Radisson Blu, St. Martin }

#WANDERLUSTxWG was recently on location in beautiful St. Martin.. and Sint Maarten! -a small island in the south Caribbean shared by France and The Netherlands. Borders are marked by flags and wandering herds of goats: things are fairly laid back there.

For four days our wandering WeddingGirl, Linda, found herself at the island’s most luxurious resort, surrounded by lush green mountains and endless blue skies. Add the odd iguana and colourful local culture around every hair-pin turn, and you have this island in a nutshell.

Nestled on the beautiful north shore, a winding road in over steep hills really gives the sense you’ve discovered a secret paradise when approaching the Radisson Blu.


Driving under huge palm tree arches and seeing smiling faces everywhere certainly sets the tone for a relaxing vacation. The resort exhibited truly exceptional hospitality and customer service from the moment Arthur at the front desk greeted us with a friendly ‘Bonjour!’ and drink (never underestimate the power of rum punch on a tired traveller!) to being delivered to our suite by golf cart.. they didn’t want us lifting a finger and did everything to ensure we were settled in and comfortable.


The resort has everything you need, but to experience more of the island our WeddingGirl rented a cute little car to explore some of the roads less-traveled.  She found beautiful empty beaches and charming churches in vibrant neighbourhoods. There are activities to entertain all kinds of adventurers: skydiving, paintball, guided snorkelling or dive tours, environmental reserves to explore. She found dozens of fun things for couples and families to enjoy.


Local grocery stores are well stocked and prices are reasonable for vacationers who like to really get involved and make some of their own meals.

Fun Island Fact: Alcohol is inexpensive and available everywhere! Imagine the reduced cost of THAT wedding reception bar bill?

The Radisson Blu resort itself was stacked with wedding resources:

Imagine your guests dining in a bright & beautiful indoor ballroom with sliding doors to let the tropical evening breeze blow through..

Imagine your wedding party having full access to spa & fitness facilities, a stunning private beach and beautiful hot tub & pool.

Imagine evenings leading up to your special day spent relaxing at one of the many beach-front bars at the resort or in one of the dozens of the private sitting areas on the property.

Imagine every wedding need being taken care of by the charming and helpful resort staff..


The warm temperatures of the island were mirrored in every interaction with the local people. It was a delight to be somewhere they embrace the tourist culture with open and friendly arms.

Interested in getting married on St. Martin or Sint Maarten? Check out this document our team found with all the requirements for curious couples who want to tie the knot on the island.

Better yet, reach us at wanderlust@weddinggirl.ca to talk about YOUR dream destination wedding


Elle the Wandering WeddingGirl

{Wanderlust by WG}

Wanderlust Weddings by WeddingGirl.ca



Linda is a Lifestyle Writer for WeddingGirl.ca and WANDERLUSTxWG.

For trip reviews and content advisory, reach her directly at Linda@WeddingGirl.ca

WGxPhotoshootum (178 of 444)



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Destination Wedding Bridal Bouquets

{ fraîche Floral Atelier }

So, what would you say is the most important bridal accessory?

We argue it’s that thing people look at right after they see your beaming face step out at the end of the aisle… your bridal bouquet.

It makes a statement.

The bouquet isn’t just a bunch of flowers tied together… its responsible for anchoring the design and style of your entire wedding to your beautiful smile and as you walk toward the love of your life. That’s a big job for a little bushel of blooms, huh?

WeddingGirl.ca planners and coordinators help you take care of every teeny tiny wedding detail, regardless of whether you’re getting married at home or abroad {just ask our destination wedding planners over at Wanderlust by WG!} but ever since we introduced the fraîche Floral Studio to our wedding planning world, we’ve been surprised at how many inquiries we have received for destination wedding flowers!

There’s no doubt about it, an increasing number of brides are filing requests for international I Do’s. Most assume they don’t need a planner (hotels and resorts are appealing for their inclusive services) but are you positive you won’t risk any intricate details to being lost in translation?

What if your resort planner can’t get their hands on the blooms you’ve been dreaming of and decides to replace them with something else ?  What if the task of styling your bouquet gets passed to a local florist who you’ve never heard of or connected with? … and… what if you don’t find any of this out until the minute you’re ready to walk down the aisle?

Some brides are particularly good at not sweating the small stuff, but if you have a seamless vision of how you’d like your picture perfect day to look,  if you ask us, it might be best not to take any chances. 

As much as the Fraîche team loves working with all things… well… fresh, this new trend of hand-styled artificial destination wedding bouquets has really got everyone excited! It really is the best way to make sure that the bouquet in the wedding day photo you hang over your couch one day is made precisely the way you hoped it would be – without leaving any detail up to foreign chance.

Oh… and did we mention that artificial flowers have come a long way from Dollar Store silk blooms? Take a peek at this stunning coral + sage inspiration bouquet for a beautiful bride saying I Do in Mexico in the Fall. She’s always dreamed of oh-so-chic succulents in her bouquet and knew that her Mexican resort likely wouldn’t be able to create exactly what she had in mind.

Coral Rose Succulent Bridal Bouquet

Well, all it took was some floral styling magic, and here’s what will accessorize our destination bride’s wedding day look:

Coral Mint Succulent Wedding Bridal Bouquet Design


So now, just imagine having this same kind of stylistic input in to your bridesmaids’ bouquets, your men’s boutonnieres, and personal flowers for your family?  They’re completely immune to heat, cold and your klutzy Maid Of Honour (though they’re still styled with precision by hand, so don’t be too rough on them!)

Just like that, you’ve got a bouquet that will live long after your celebration ends, never drying out, maintaining their shape; a perfect reminder of all the beautiful memories you made with them in your hands. How’s that for a lasting investment?

For details on styling your destination wedding floral wish list, make sure to Get In Touch!

To stay up-to-date on all the beautiful things that are coming out of the fraîche Studio, check them out on Facebook

Note: artificial bouquets can shipped worldwide –  international inquires are always welcome


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April 2, 2014

WGxSundayBrunch | Intercontinental Yorkville

{ Intercontinental Hotel, Yorkville }

The lovely ladies of WGx received a cordial invite to visit Heidi at the beautiful Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighbourhood.

Intercontinental Yorkville Toronto

Laura, Bianca, Vanessa, Lisa and Mary gathered beneath a stunning crystal chandelier on Sunday morning and met the lovely Heidi before heading to their elegant Signatures Restaurant for breakfast.

Crystal Chandelier Intercontinental Yorkville

What more lovely start to the day than champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice?

Signatures Restaurant Mimosas Intercontinental Yorkville

Over mimosas, Heidi chatted with our group about what she believes sets the Intercontinental Yorkville apart from other wedding venues in the city.

“It all starts with the service.” she explained. “From a bride’s experience with Front Desk, Concierge and our event catering staff, we al understand the importance of listening to brides and understanding what they like, what they don’t like. This, then, gives us an idea of exactly how we can make their wedding day dreams come true.”

From 2000 square foot ballrooms drenched in natural light to smaller, more intimate function spaces for bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners, this hotel space really does offer everything needed to make wedding plans seamless, elegant, and memorable. And the food was to-die-for! {Tweet. Eat. Repeat!}

 Intercontinental WGx Sunday Brunch

After brunch we perused Proof, the hotel’s swanky vodka bar (and an oh-so-chic space to host a trendy event as well!)

Proof Vodka Bar Intercontinental Toronto

{ words from the WeddingGirls }

From Vanessa:

Over Italian coffee I asked Heidi how she got into the field and about her own wedding; I loved hearing the details! Our table was facing the courtyard, where many couples have their wedding ceremony, and while I took a bite of my perfect Applewood Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict we saw a bride come out into the courtyard for her first look!  We got up so fast, ran to the window and melted;  a perfect way to round out a lovely morning of all-things-wedding.

Intercontinental Toronto Wedding First Look

My favourite part of the tour? definitely viewing the bridal suite. It was big enough to have the bride and groom get ready separately but still nearby. We also got to peek in to the Royal Suite, and wow! It was comfortable, and had a gorgeous fireplace! Intercontinental’s wedding venue is perfect for weddings of many different sizes and I can’t wait to feature it to my couples and travel partners! Thank you, Heidi, for showing us what your beautiful venue has to offer.


WGx WeddingGirl.ca Toronto Intercontinental Site Visit


From Lisa:
Our brunch and tour at the Intercontinental Hotel in Yorkville was so lovely. The food was great and we actually got to see a live wedding day moment between a Bride and Groom during their ‘First Look’. It really ended up being something special. This hotel offers great spaces and guest rooms for all kinds of celebrations, and the service was fantastic. I was especially happy to see that they had a Keurig in each room since I myself am a big Keurig fan. Definitely bonus points there!
Intercontinental Yorkville Keurig Guest Rooms

From Laura:

Being invited for Brunch at the luxurious Intercontinental Hotel in Yorkville was a pleasure. After enjoying an excellent and delicious meal at the award winning Signatures Restaurant, we had the opportunity to see the elegant Event Spaces, the Penthouse Lap Pool, the enchanting SkyLounge, The Exclusive Royal Suite and so much more. Special thanks to Heidi, for personally giving us a tour of such a fantastic space.

On top of everything else this wonderful Hotel has to offer, I always love a space with spectacular views, and the Intercontinental has them! What would you say to striking views of the Royal Ontario Museum? How about a marvellous view of the Toronto Skyline? 

WGx Intercontinental Yorkville Sunday Brunch
From Bianca:
It was such a lovely morning having brunch with Heidi and the WGx team. Once we finished eating, Heidi gave us a tour of the hotel and showed us all the different room options available to couples. The ballrooms are intimate and give the guests a feeling of having utmost importance to the happy couple. My favourite room was, by far, the Royal Suite.  It has an amazing view of the Royal Ontario Museum and is a perfect spot for pre-wedding photos. I enjoyed our time at the Intercontinental and it was a pleasure meeting Heidi! Thank you!


From Mary:

Over the past five years, WG has been involved with the Intercontinental in Yorkville a number of times, from brides booking suites to attending lavish wedding shows. It was such a pleasure to meet with Heidi in person and have her show us around their beautiful function space, gush about all-things-wedding over a delicious brunch, and connect about all the exciting things this upcoming wedding season has in store for us! The most important element of any set of wedding plans are the faces that stand behind them… and this group is definitely one that’s eager to write some Happily Ever After’s together soon!

#WGx at Intercontinental Yorkville Toronto

Stay Tuned for more #WGxSundayBrunch posts featuring our favourite hotspots around the city and around the globe!

To have the #WGx team visit your venue (or favourite spot!) and be featured in the WGxSundayBrunch series, make sure to Get In Touch!

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March 20, 2014

Tales from the Wedding Planning Trenches | #WGx

Filed under: Author: Lisa Hardie,Bridal Blog,Real WG Weddings,Vendors,WGx — WeddingGirl @ 10:30 am

{ A Real-World Wedding Planning Experience }

By: Lisa Hardie


I recently had the opportunity to join forces with Mary and start planning my first wedding. It was so great to meet Julia and Steve and I am so excited to start working with them. They’ve been madly in love for over eight years and it’s come time to make it official! With a stunning sparkler on her left hand, Julia became a bride and the two set out to plan their picture perfect Happily Ever After.

Ashley Brooke Designs Save The Date Toronto

Our first meeting with our happy couple was all I expected and more (although there always seems to be more details when you plan someone else’s wedding than when you plan your own!).

Hearing the details of the Who’s, What’s, and When’s was so exciting and putting together their preliminary Day-Of timeline really made everyone involved feel more at ease toward the end of our meeting. When deciding specific details on the floor plan, where to have their photos taken, and asking who in Toronto makes the best gluten-free wedding cake, you could tell our bride and groom felt that they were in good hands, having two experts to help make the final decisions!

Julie + Steve - wedding cake - two tier, 80 guests

Next up in their planning process? Contacting our final few vendors, confirming guest counts, arranging floor plans and all of the nitty gritty details including favour placement, escort card design, transportation logistics and things they hadn’t even thought of… like a kissing game! (nobody wants to listen to 150 guests clink glasses).

Toronto Hunt Club Sample Floor Plan


I am truly looking forward to this experience as all of these finer details are exactly what I have done in my previous role as a Training Specialist. It’s funny, actually, how so much of what I’ve done professionally up until this point has inadvertently prepared me for launching my dream career. Though nothing could have prepared me for how much is involved! It’s easy to see the glitz, glamour, photo shoots and all the fun stuff I’ve gotten to do as part of the #WGx team but there really is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

What aspiring wedding planners don’t see are the countless hours we spend using social media. Sure, this can seem like a lot of fun, but we’re not using it for updating our girlfriends on our daily lives or posting what we just made for dinner. Social media has become a tool that helps us run a viable business and I’ve learned to make careful consideration in what I post, who sees it, and the true purpose of what I’m doing online. I’m finding myself spending hours making sure my online presence is done just right…. on top of the time I’m spending doing research for my new couple! 

No one sees me staying up until 2:00am so that I can catch up on emails, respond to planning inquiries, answer vendor questions, and sift through hundreds of spam messages that somehow are already making their way into my inbox.

Behind the curtain, most don’t see our researching and staying on top of current and upcoming wedding trends; constantly writing blogs; researching destination weddings, doing all of our homework so that our couples don’t have to.

We are literally always working. Although, Mary warned us, when we came on board, that that’s what being in business for ourselves would look like.

You may have read her recent post on being an entrepreneur.

This is my life now.

Being a wedding planner, bridal lifestyle blogger, social media stylist, and entrepreneur all comes with a territory and Mary’s post really summed it up.

It’s scary, but it’s what I love, and it’s what I feel I was meant to do.

While planning is my passion, with the hopes of making more wedding dreams come true, I am just starting to get used to the lifestyle that comes with it.

I am always on-call; always on.

I have a husband and a toddler at home who will always take priority, but this is the career I’ve chosen and with that comes with the fact that sometimes I won’t be able to make that special birthday party or dinner because I have a commitment to my Couples. It’s just the way it will have to be at times. And I’m okay with that. (Good thing my husband and little boy are too!)

It may not be easy, but it’s so, so worth it. In true entrepreneurial spirit, I will go on. I am lucky enough to have a great team of women standing behind me, and an amazing mentor to help lead the way.

Mary Bratko WeddingGirl.ca WGx Toronto Wedding Planners

I can’t wait to watch Julia and Steve’s plans for “I Do!” unfold in the next few months. I look forward to learning more along the way and sharing my lessons from the wedding planning trenches with all of you.





Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton

Lisa Hardie is a Hamilton-based Wedding Planner and Bridal Lifestyle Blogger at WeddingGirl.ca. If you have any questions or are thinking about hiring a Wedding Planner, make sure to email her at lisa@weddinggirl.ca.

You can also be friends with Lisa on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, and Instagram as well!


Blog Love ::

Stationary Design Credit: Ashley Brooke Designs

Photography Credit: Serena Swan Photography

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March 18, 2014

The Rules of Planning a Budget Wedding

{ wedding planning on a budget }

By: Carmelina Karas


Jennifer Roper Photography

When you are planning your dream wedding as a little girl, the cost of that perfect day never plays a factor. When the time comes to actually fulfill that reality, some brides are wondering what they can do on their own to help cut costs.

How can you have that dream wedding without the nightmare of the price?

We’re going to walk you through the step-by-step process that can help you have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.  After all, WG is all about luxe… on a budget!

{ DIY Weddings }

Brides want a fabulous wedding, unique from all others, which people will remember and discuss for years to come. What a better way to do that then to create a wedding, Do It Yourself-style, with your own two hands?

Live View Studio Photography

How about a new spin on a traditional place card?

Use a photo of the guest to show them where to sit. Every wedding guest will feel super special and their photo card will be something they can take home and display. WalMart Photo Center prints photos for $0.20 a print, allowing a bride on a budget to spend $20 for 100 prints. You can create a special picture frame by grabbing some craft supplies and a frame, (dollar stores carry a variety of art supplies – markers and picture frames for around $2) and writing the name of the guest and a special message to them on the back of the photo or the frame. Up to 100 guests can take home a personalized memento from your wedding for under $30!


Whether you are having in indoor or outdoor wedding, if the venue permits, you can use Christmas lights to light up your special day. No matter the colour scheme, you can find Christmas lights to match. These strings of festive lights can be bought at Canadian Tire for as low as $8, or found in your family’s Christmas decoration stash. For an outdoor wedding, string the lights up trees and down the aisle. For indoor weddings, string the lights around the room like streamers, creating a magical, romantic venue. When hanging lights both indoors and outdoors, make sure you abide by all fire and safety regulations.


A quick design note from an expert: skip the tulle! Bare Christmas lights can be oh-so-twinkly and beautiful, but swagging them in tulle is outdated and tacky. Also, a fire hazard!

For a more chic, bistro-inspired look, consider patio lights!


{ have your cake }

Niagara Budget Wedding Cake Stoney Ridge Winery

It’s easier than most realize to spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a beautifully elaborate wedding cake. Sure, lavish edible pieces of art are a gorgeous way to accent any reception space, but if you don’t have room in your budget for grandiose designs, chat with your wedding planner and cake stylist about more affordable options.

A word to the wise in Wedding-Planning-Land… do NOT attempt to bake your own cake! First-time brides often don’t realize the kind of time constraints they’ll be facing leading up to their big day. Regardless of how organized their plans might be, how seamlessly arranged all the details are, wedding days bring with them unforeseen responsibilities: out of town guests, last minute adjustments, spending time with family. The last thing a Bride should be worried about the night before her big day is whether or not her first-time fondant work will crease or bubble, or whether the cream cheese icing on her DIY red velvet cupcakes will go sour if the power goes out overnight.

{ DIY Decor }

Kortright Conservation Wedding Forest Path Vintage Rustic Eco Green Apple Baby's Breath Vintage Centerpiece Design WeddingGirl.ca planner 3

Another great money-saving idea is to create your own unique centerpieces. They’re what everyone sees, what everyone wants to take home, and what everyone talks about while sitting at the table. For many brides, the centerpiece is just as important as her dress, so make your centerpieces a reflection of your character, your personality, and your love story.

Wedding planner tip: Stay away from the Dollar Store! While it might seem alluring to pick up oodles of stones, feathers, shells, faux flowers and beads to launch in to a bedazzling frenzy, centerpieces should be stylistic and carefully designed. Going crazy at A Buck Or Two often leaves DIY decor looking messy and jumbled, and, dare we say it… cheap. Your money can go further by purchasing from online retailers who don’t pay the overhead of brick-and-mortar shops with warehouses ful of inventory. Shops like those at WeddingGirl let you DIY to your heart’s content but also hook you up with an experienced event designer when you’re placing your order. This guarantees an honest opinion on where to splurge, when to save, and what to skip all together.

One more thing: Flowers don’t have to be as hairy|scary|expensive as you might think! Chat with your planner about affordable options for beautiful blooms and consult with affordable design studios like our very own fraîche Floral

{ ask for help }

If you find yourself pressed for time to do all the things you need to do, ask for help. Your wedding planner, your wedding party, and your friends and family are eager to make things easier for you… take advantage of their ambition to help you make things gorgeous!

Note: Be careful not to leave tasks requiring meticulous detail to others. The last thing you want to be dealing with is a crying Mother-In-Law when you tell her that all those escort cards she staying up all night stencilling are crooked (and you then have to re-do them yourself anyways).

There are so many ways to save money when planning a wedding but there’s something to be said for making really, really smart spending choices. Invest in a planner – they’ll help you determine priorities for budget expenses and offer suggestions for affordable alternatives to lofty wishes. Be reasonable with DIY projects and don’t take on the world – you’ll have your hands full… believe us! And do your research. Just because Pinterest makes it look easy doesn’t mean it is.

If DIY is still coursing through your wedding-planning veins, be sure to check out Lisa’s really awesome blog about the Perks and Perils of DIY for additional tips and tricks.

Carmelina is the Co-Editor for the WeddingGirl.ca Magazine, Founder of The Wedding Planner Magazine, and an event stylist with WeddingGirl.ca. For wedding planning inquiries or magazine media inquiries, email her at Carmelina@WeddingGirl.ca. Follow Carm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!

Carmelina Karas WeddingGirl.ca

{{ Blog Love }}

Photog Credit: Jennifer Roper Photography | Live View Studios | Silverlight Photography | Charity Swords Photography

Guest Photo Board: featured on the oh-so-lovely Ruffled Blog

Christmas Light Inspiration: featured on It’s A Bride’s Life.com


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March 17, 2014

(Kids) x (Weddings) | the ultimate equation

{ Kid-Friendly Wedding Day Tips }

Authored by: Lisa Hardie


I recently had the opportunity to stand in as the ‘Best Woman’ for my best friend’s wedding. It was such a nice day and I am so happy I was able to be involved in the celebration of Sean and Robin’s special day (congratulations to you both!). My son was also involved in the wedding and served as the Ring Bearer (along with two flower girls).

Involving children in your wedding day is really something special, but since children can be unpredictable you’ll want to ensure they play the appropriate role for their age.

There are so many roles that children can take on including a Junior Bridesmaid/Groomsmen, Ring Bearer, Flower Girl, Junior Usher and Reader (reading a script or poem during the ceremony). This is an exciting time for the kids you’re involving, but there are some tips and tricks that I’ve come up with that will make the involvement easier for you and them!

This isn’t to say that your three year-old ring bearer won’t run up and down the aisle or that your four year-old flower girl will just dump the basket of flowers petals at the end of the aisle (which is both cute and entertaining), but it will make things run more smoothly.

Rick Denham Photography Wedding Prep Flower Girl Photo

Involve the children right from the beginning.

Children are naturally curious and like to know what is going on and what will happen. Involving them right from the beginning of your plans and letting them know what their role will be, including the tasks involved, will help minimize any surprises. They will know exactly what to do and be less confused when the time comes. Of course, you will need to keep reiterating these things as the time goes on and at the rehearsal dinner, but the more they hear it the more they’ll remember.

Prep your wedding planner / Day Of Coordinator on the ages, roles, and personalities of the little ones. These go-to figures will be just as involved in keeping the munchkins at bay as their parents will! (and sometimes more)


Ensure their parents are just as involved.

This really goes without saying since you require the parent’s permission to have the children involved, but ensuring the parents of the children know exactly what’s going to happen will make things that much easier for everyone.

Since the parents will likely be close friends or family members, the last thing you want is for anyone to become even more stressed than they already are on the day of the wedding. Be sure to give them explicit information about all the details. If you  want the flower girls to wear a head-band or specific shoes, be honest and tell them. Don’t leave these small details for them to decide, especially when you have a couple of children in the same role (e.g. two flowers girls). This can cause issues between the parents (if the children are unrelated), especially if one set of parents tries to take charge over the other.

Also, if you’re charging them with purchasing the outfits, be explicit with your requirements or give them a picture. The last thing you want to happen is having someone return the flower girl dresses with only days to the wedding and not being able to find the ‘right’ one.


Assign them a helper.

Assign someone in the wedding party to keep an eye on individual kids. For example, I was the Best Woman so when my son reached the alter I was able to keep him wrangled (even though he didn’t stay with me the whole time). Ensure this person is someone the children are familiar with and trust. It’s a good idea to introduce them well ahead of time so they can feel comfortable with that person. Alternatively, show them exactly where their parents will be sitting (practice this at the rehearsal!). In the event they get tired and/or shy (this will happen!) they are able to go directly to their parents.

WeddingGirl.ca - Cecilia + Chris - Day Of Coordination

Oh. And seasoned wedding planners know how far bribes will go! Explain to the babes that they’ll get a special treat if they’re good and have gummy bears, lolli-pops and prettily-packaged “Thank You for being our Flower Girl / Ring Bearer” surprises for afterwards!

Make them comfortable.

Bring an extra change of clothes for youngsters. If you’re allowing them to attend the reception (even if only the dinner portion), having a more comfortable outfit for them to change into will keep them happy. Besides, kids in little onesies on your dancefloor make for oh-so-cute photography!


Practice, Practice, Practice.

This goes back to my first point about letting the kids know what is going to happen. Have them practice walking down the aisle and dropping flower petals on the floor. If they’re required to wear accessories or carry props, practice with these well in advance.

DIY Here Comes Your Girl Ring Bearer Sign

Have some fun activities available at the reception.

If you’re having children at the reception, it’s a good idea to have some activities there to keep them occupied: colouring books and crayons, a craft station to make cards for the bride and groom, the possibilities are endless. Check out these cute ones I came across on my internet travels!

Children Wedding Kids Activity Packs

Reception Activity Book (BridalGuide.com)

Wedding Kids Activity Table

However you choose to involve the children in your wedding, my final advice is to just be patient. They may become shy or uneasy the day of the wedding when all eyes are on them as they walk down the aisle. Have fun with it and allow them to be themselves. Assume that they will blunder their way through everything, look totally adorable doing it, and know that any mistake the little ones make will undoubtedly make for a cute wedding stories that your guests are sure to remember (and hopefully your photographer captures on film!)

Tutu Flower Girl Dresses


Lisa Hardie is a Hamilton-based Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Wedding Planner at WeddingGirl.ca. If you have any questions or are thinking about hiring a Wedding Planner, make sure to email her at lisa@weddinggirl.ca.

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca WGx

You can also be friends with Lisa on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, and Instagram as well!

{ blog love :: photography credits }

Rick Denham Photography

mINK Creative Photographic

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Wedding Flowers :: styled exclusively on a budget

{ Spring is coming! }

These recent hints of warm weather and exciting upcoming projects in the fraîche Studio have our stylists eagerly looking towards the upcoming Summer 2014 wedding season.

Last weekend we created gorgeous posie bouquets in all-shades-of-pink for an exclusive style shoot with the #WGx team at the stunning Palais Royale Ballroom in Toronto.

Fraiche Floral Atelier Toronto Wedding Flowers

Pretty In Pink Dress Photoshoot Serena Swan Photography

To emulate WeddingGirl’s black, grey and shades-of-pink branding we styled multi-toned arrangements bursting with visual interest. This can be achieved by using blooms of varying size & style. Much like the lovely ladies of WGx, every bouquet was beautiful and unique while still seamlessly fitting in to the overall look.

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto Budget Wedding Flowers

 WGx Palais Royal Photoshoot

One bouquet in particular was made to be very colourful…. and it couldn’t have been worn better than by the beautiful Vanessa of WG{=}.

Toronto Gay Lesbian Wedding Planners

In celebration of her work with the new “Two Dresses. Two Suits. One Love.” project we styled a special rainbow rose bouquet to represent the beautiful colours of love everywhere.

For all the details on this exciting new movement in the wedding industry, follow @WedGirlEquals on Twitter!

This wedding season our studio is getting handfuls of requests for asymmetrical and wildflower-inspired bouquets. We’re also seeing the continuation of the succulent trend, with brides wanting to incorporate this brilliantly earthy, natural element into their wedding decor.

Eco Rustic Shabby Natural Bride Succulent Bouquet Kristen Pete Fraiche Studio

Rustic Purple Green Bridal Bouquet WeddingGirl.ca

Have you decided which floral style is right for you? Airy and whimsical or classic and timeless?

Sometimes, all you need is some creativity and inspiration over a couple of lattés. Make sure to get in touch if you’d to chat!


~ the fraîche team


{{ blog love :: Photography credit going out to Serena Swan, Taylor Jackson and mINK Creative }}

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March 14, 2014

the inner workings of a business-owning mind

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 5:07 am

{ middle-of-the-night musings of an entrepreneurial girl }


Warning: this post has nothing to do with weddings. If you’re a bride reading this blog in hopes of learning something earth-shatteringly amazing about centerpieces or signature cocktails, I’m just going to apologize in advance…. and blame it on the ungodly hour in which this post is being written.

It’s barely 4:30 a.m.

I can’t sleep.

The moment I woke up a couple of hours ago, I knew I wouldn’t quickly fall back in to slumber.

Welcome to the inner workings of an entrepreneurial mind.

They say that if a man ever wonders what it’s like inside a woman’s mind, he should open up 2478 browsers on his desktop. Well, open up another three dozen or so and you get what any given slice of a business owner’s day feels like. Actually.

Ask anyone whose bills being paid on time are directly reflexive of the hours they pour in to their art (because, let’s face it, we must be mad artists to forego the comfort and security of a steady income) and they’ll give you a mouthful on how preoccupied their mind is at any given moment.

Just because we answer our phones randomly during the day doesn’t grant the right to get upset when we tell you you’re interrupting our work. If I had a “real” job I bet you wouldn’t be calling me with nonsensical rambling at the office?

Just because I wake up later in the day than you doesn’t make me lazy. It likely means I was up until 3 a.m. worrying about something business-related and didn’t get to sleep until the time you were waking up. (like right now… it’s 4:37 a.m…. what are you dreaming about?)

So, you work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Lucky you. I work Monday thru Sunday, 24 hours a day. Making me feel guilty for not being able to go to dinner or away to the cottage is like me harassing you for not being able to go for lunch dates or mid-week beach trips. You think your boss sucks when you skip out on work early? Believe me, mine’s worse.

Every time my phone buzzes during our random afternoon lunch date, I have no choice but to be at work. You got to “punch out” and leave the office and breathe a huge sigh of relief that you were “free”. Well, If I check my phone while we’re out, just know that I’m not trying to be rude… I’m making sure I’m able to pay for my lunch. It is unfair of you to tell me to ‘stop worrying about work’ when we are out. Worrying about work is what’s paying for me to be out with you.

Just because you see me on Facebook all day long doesn’t mean I’m being lazy or distracted. What you’re not seeing are the 13 other windows I have open with my email(s), calendar(s), website(s), bank accounts, planning tools, and inspiration pages. You know how you work in an office and have the luxury of coworkers to chit-chat with? Facebook is often the only social outlet I get in the day.  Twitter is a business owner’s version of small-talk at the water cooler. We’re not being slackers, we’re trying to keep our heads above work-water.

Despite how successful I appear to be to the outside world, every single little bad experience that happens in my business will, for a split second, make me worry that everything I’ve created is about to implode. I second guess myself sometimes because, even now, regardless of how many years it’s been and how many successes I’ve had, I still look around and have a hard time believing that all of this is real (and that I created it).

There is something to be said about the security of a pay check; and I don’t get one. So when I get stressed out about money – it’s not just until two weeks from now. Please be sensitive.

You went to school to be a paramedic or a pilot or an accountant. You were equipped with the tools you needed to do a job. I don’t actually know how on earth I ended up where I am – and I certainly don’t have a degree on my wall as proof that I have any idea of what on earth I’m doing. There’s something in the land of academe known as Imposter Syndrome. It’s a real thing, where successful people feel like they’ve somehow “tricked” the world in to believing they’re successful.  It’s a fear that one day someone’s going to “find out” that they’re a fraud and take it all away. It’s a fear, and it’s real. And it sucks.

Sure, you think I’m SO lucky that I have no one to answer to but myself… because you hate your boss and your boss is horrible and, and, and…. but if you think your boss is tough to deal with, try having to look at him/her every time you look in the mirror. At least you get to walk away from yours when you go home. I have to go to bed with mine; every. single. night.

You complain about Secret Santa and “lame work Christmas parties”. Sometimes, I kind of wish I had them.

You get to call in sick. I’d mostly have to call in ‘dead’.

You worry about getting fired. I worry about making some kind of unforgivable mistake or committing some kind of heinous entrepreneurial crime and losing everything I own.

Just because we’re friends doesn’t mean you’re entitled to free services. Please remember that what I do is how I pay for spending time with you in the first place.

“Writing things off” doesn’t mean that the government is paying for it.

You can’t even begin to imagine how much I have to pay an accountant to sort out the debacle that are my taxes at the end of the year.

My biggest fear is letting down a client. Not because I think I will but because it’s the last thing on the planet I could ever imagine doing. Yup, I understand that I can’t make everyone happy… but I became an entrepreneur by being an anal-retentive, Type A perfectionist who goes big or goes home. The thought of over-promising and under-delivering makes me ill.

I guarantee that I have more email addresses than you do.

There are few joys greater than finding random non-work emails amidst the hundreds of work emails I trudge through every day. If you’ve taken the time to send one, thank you. If you haven’t…. you should. It’s like, “Tell your favourite entrepreneur you love them today.” That note it takes you 20 seconds to send will leave him/her smiling for hours.

There are few things harder in life than figuring out where to draw professional vs. personal boundaries. Yes, I want to be your friend. No, that doesn’t give you the right to tag my business profile in embarrassing selfies we took while we were three cocktails deep at our favourite bar. If you wouldn’t email that photo to your boss in the morning, please stay away from tagging mine.

I may be an entrepreneurial superhero, but please remember that I’m still human. I’m allowed to have friends and a life and go out and live and have fun. You get weekends. Please be patient with me while you’re waiting for a response. Sometimes I’m up to my eyeballs in responsibilities. Other times, I just need to not work. For a second.

I may be an entrepreneurial superhero, but I make mistakes. I’ll do my best to hide them from you so that you never realize I made them…. but sometimes, you’re just going to have to forgive me when I humbly apologize. It’s never my intention to let you down. Ever.

At some point, I will use work as an excuse to not attend something lame. I mostly won’t apologize for it.

I am going to be friends with vendors in competing industries. Please, don’t make me choose favourites. Or, I mean, you could always bribe me. Either way.

I love, love, love it when you find ways to use your professional skills to help me with mine. We’re all in this together.

I am an entrepreneur because I was always the kid at school who took over group projects. This means I do not delegate well. If I look like I need help, I probably do, but you’re going to have to be a bit more persistent than, “Tell me what I can do to help.” Threats work. Kind words of support and understanding work better. Please don’t scold me for being stressed out…. sometimes an offer to just be an ear will make everything better. Cocktails work too.

You telling your friends about who I am and I do is like magic and sprinkles and unicorns to me. Your personal endorsements and referrals are better than marshmallows. Even the pink ones from Nadège on Queen West. And that’s pretty special.

If you would prefer that I not judge you for how messy your desk is, you’re not allowed to breathe a word about the state of my car. It’s the same thing. Just saying.

I have a love-hate relationship with what I do for a living. Some days, I’ll be telling you about how it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Other days, I’ll be wanting to gouge my eyeballs out with a soupspoon on account of being completely incapable of satisfying a difficult client. Just go with it.

My Inbox is bigger than your Inbox. I assure you.

You envy my ability to work from home, in my yoga pants, cross-legged on my couch all day long? I envy your scheduled breaks and lunch times that remind you to eat regularly and properly. Oh, and I envy your excuse to buy new pencil skirts. There’s nothing logical about wedding planners working in pencil skirts. Ever.


So, anyways… all of this to say…. you win some, you lose some. Please just understand it’s different in these, here, entrepreneurial parts. Nobody said it would be easy, though they did say it was worth it. I’m mostly still trying to figure it out.

I guess I’ll let this afternoon’s random nap on the couch (after being awake for most of the night) be the judge of that.

success image


{ blog love :: thanks for the random Starbucks shot, Rick Denham! }

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