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August 29, 2014

Vendorcademy | ven·dor·cad·e·my | noun

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 1:45 pm

{ WG University presents… }



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 girls who know how to get you noticed.


Like… seriously noticed.


WeddingGirl University Logo


Okay… so we’ve been making words up all over the place lately.


Blame WeddingGirl University.


WGU is the brainchild of a girl who accidentally became a blogger, planner, and small-business-dream-maker.


Recently identified by TOinitiative.ca as one of Toronto’s most inspirational dreamers, Mary Bratko opted to forego her plans for medical school and in 2009 she launched WeddingGirl.ca instead.


Rick Denham Photography Niagara Toronto Wedding Planner Mary Bratko


Since then, Mary has planned hundreds of weddings, written thousands of blogs, and welcomed millions of visitors to her website.


She believes that anyone can dream a dream and earn a living doing what they love.


She’s set out to prove it.


“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 has spent six years trudging through the entrepreneurial trenches and learning tips, tricks, ideas, while making some less-than-commendable mistakes along the way. All of these lessons have culminated in an intimate knowledge of the wedding industry, of business, of making things happen.


“Every single day, I get emails from passionate aspiring photographers, cake makers, wedding planners. They know the WG brand. They like what WG stands for. They ask how they can get noticed. Once upon a time, I spent a lot of time drinking lattés at one-on-one aspiring-vendor coffee dates. Then I realized that people needed to hear this stuff on a bigger scale. Newbie vendors don’t need the push to get started. What they need is the advice, guidance, support, and tough love required to break the mould.”


Vendorcademy at WGU is an ongoing, intensive, interactive experience custom-tailored to every single one of its individual dreamers.


“If you’re an aspiring photographer, you’re going to learn about how to get seriously recognized in the wedding industry. I don’t care to teach you how to compose an image – there’s YouTube tutorials and stuff for that. But you’re going to learn about what Brides look for while scouring internet search results. You’ll learn how to respond to initial inquiries and build trust rather than just sell a service. I’m going to let you in on the secrets of why you didn’t get hired, how to get noticed by planners, and what to submit for blog feature.”


Same goes for decorators, stationary designers, cake makers, even aspiring wedding planners (but that’s called Plannercademy… and that’s a different beast).


Vendorcademy vendors are getting noticed more, getting hired more, and getting paid more than most of their colleagues just starting out.


“It’s about having opportunities that others won’t.”

“It’s about making insider connections that others can’t.”

“It’s about having someone believe in your success in moments when you’re not sure you believe in it yourself.”


That’s what Vendorcademy is about.





“I know how hard it is to make a name for yourself. Believe me. I’ve done it. But more importantly, I’ve watched so many other vendors do it too! This isn’t some magical skill special to me. Seriously, anyone can make a living doing what they love. I promise. “


Enrolment in the WGU Vendorcademy gets you exclusive invites to WG-based promotional shoots, style sessions, and VIP front-of-the-line access to our blog, social media posts, and our in-house preferred vendor list.


“You’ll get told where you’re awesome, and you’ll get told where you suck. I’m not in the business of sugar-coating things – but together we can make you a lethal guided weapon in your industry.”






If you’re just starting out and are looking for ways to make a splash, make a difference, and seriously hit the ground running in your industry, give us a shout. Aspiring dreamers will be sent a Dreams-Into-Plans questionnaire…. for us to get a better sense if/how Vendorcademy could be awesome for them.


Send a note to info@WeddingGirl.ca telling us all about yourself.


We can’t wait to watch you take over the world!


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August 27, 2014

Please stop wasting water…. #WGxALS

Filed under: Bridal Blog — Tags: , — WeddingGirl @ 1:17 pm

{ #WGxALS}

This blog isn’t about weddings.

There’s nothing about garden roses or table runners or votive candles in it.

This blog is a personal note from a girl who stumbled upon a photo that broke her up into tiny pieces.

Before last night’s WeddingGirl-Multiplied team meeting, we sat around and chatted about life, love, and girl-stuff – just like we always do. Someone made the comment, “I’m tired of seeing people dump water on their head.” … and then someone else brought up this picture.

America Wasting Water Africa Drought Poverty

As a former neuroscience major, I can understand all too well how incredibly debilitating a neurodegenerative condition is. I know the science, I sympathize with the symptoms, and my heart bleeds for those that are affected by ALS; either personally or by caring extension.

I think it’s amazing that us Western world lucky ones decided to spur some serious research funding by creating this viral call for social media shenanigans… but outside of being a girl who plans weddings and makes things pretty in Toronto, I’m also a girl who has traveled to some incredibly humbling places and have experienced, first-hand, what others don’t have.


Mumbai - 29


We don’t think twice about watering our lawns.

We don’t think twice about running the tap while we brush our teeth.

We don’t think twice about dumping buckets of ice water over our heads (most of us, without writing the cheque to accompany it).

We also don’t think twice about the people in the world who don’t have clean drinking water or who have to bathe in polluted rivers.

Forget India, forget Africa….. as close as our American neighbours to the south, many western areas have experienced debilitating droughts that have forced families to ration supplies and struggle to make amends with soaring water prices.

US Drought Image kbps.com

Ask someone in California how they feel about hundreds of thousands of buckets of water being dumped over peoples’ heads and onto lush green lawns, brick driveways, concrete balconies.

As a former neuroscience major, and now the girl behind a high profile wedding blog, I believe in making a difference for those who suffer from A.L.S.

On behalf of WeddingGirl.ca, Luxe + Co. Event Group ltd. and the entire WG team, we’ve written a cheque to ALS Canada to show our support.

Instead of drenching ourselves in ice water, we’re going to have the girls in the Fraîche Floral Studio design a beautiful bouquet to bring to the ALS Canada office when we drop off our donation.

We’re going to play our part in making a difference, but we’re going to remember India, and Africa, and South America, and California while we do it. We’re going to remember everyone else who isn’t as blessed as we are to live where we do.

We’re going to turn the taps off while we brush our teeth.

…. and we’re going to take a moment to acknowledge how incredibly lucky we are to have our health, to have our happiness, and to have more clean drinking water than we could need in a lifetime.


To make a donation to ALS Canada, please visit their website.

ALS Canada Logo

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August 21, 2014

Custom Designed Wedding Gowns | Toronto

Filed under: Bridal Blog,Fab Finds & Giveaways,Fashion,Love,Vendors,Wedding Party — WeddingGirl @ 1:14 pm

{a Fab WG find}

E.L.A. Designs Toronto Logo

Looking for a fun and creative option to picking a bridal gown off the rack or from the mostly unattainable pages of your favourite wedding magazine?

You should probably consider working with a designer to create your dream dress… and guess what? it’s not even going to break your budget!

Wedding Dress custom design

We were recently introduced to E.L.A. Designs by the lovely Amena, who wanted to share her mother’s beautiful dresses with brides-to-be everywhere.

Contrary to rumoured wedding beliefs, having your wedding and bridesmaid dresses custom designed (and created exactly to your specifications!) can often cost less than any bridal boutique price tag. Oh, and you’re guaranteed the perfect fit, every time!

Custom styling that works with your unique body shape, as well as a dedicated designer to bring your dress dreams to life? Sounds like a match made in bridal heaven!


Fashion Designer Elizabeth Lee Adeghe is an oh-so-talented creative who has been creating gowns for brides in and around Toronto and Ottawa for nearly a quarter of a century. This woman knows bridal gowns!

Together with her daughter and business partner Amena, they’ve recently opened a Toronto-based showroom where they host private consultations. It’s where the stuff that gorgeous is dreamed up, designed, and brought into existence. So, pretty much, magic happens!

This magical land of all-things-gowns is currently booking one-on-one consultations for mid-September. Get your leading ladies together, head over to meet Elizabeth and Amena, and let your wildest dress dreams run rampant. The only thing you’re limited by is your imagination, so be sure to come with an open mind and creative spirit (and maybe bring the stilettos you plan on strutting in!)




Check them out in our Vendor Showcase!

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August 19, 2014

just. be. kind.

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 1:45 pm

{ random musings of a business girl }

This blog is for all of you dreamers, thinkers, doers… all of you entrepreneurial adventurers who trek out into the world of the unknown and brave the fear of ridicule and rejection to create something that didn’t exist before you came along. This blog is for all of you, out there, like me.

Entrepreneur Coach Toronto Mary Bratko


Even after six years of dancing around WG-land, I still firmly believe that I fell into this industry by accident. Back then, I had no idea what it meant to be an entrepreneur, a business owner, even a wedding planner for that matter. I remember, at that early time, blindly reaching out for any help, advice, motivation, and inspiration I could get my hands on. I’ll never forget what one photographer said to me…

“Never say a bad word about anyone behind their back, ever.”

He warned me, “The industry is small; it will get back to them.”

At the time he, too, was young, but he was wildly more experienced. I trusted his advice and respected his opinions. Despite the number of times my human ego got in the way, I continued to repeat this particular mantra when faced with difficult clients, difficult vendors, difficult situations.

It will get back to them.

Wedding industry professional aside, sometimes I find myself just stepping back and taking the time to give life some thought: the obstacles, the lessons, the trials, the triumphs. What is it about our egoic need to be right or to be better that drives us to compete with one another? Sure, it’s Darwinian – the strongest get ahead… but at what cost? Is it really fair to get ahead by dragging someone else down?

It will get back to them.

When I first came to Toronto from small-town Niagara, I remember driving into the city, moving into my little condo, and staring, wide-eyed at all of the opulent venues, lavish vendors, and piles of competition.

…. well, sort of.

The whole idea of “competition” seems so ridiculously subjective to me. It’s a perception rather than a threat. So take a moment to consider how you view others who do something similar to you… were there other wedding planners I admired? (perhaps even envied?) – Obviously! Are there still some today that I look at and think, “God, I wish I was more like __________________.” – Yup. But do I wish anything ill upon them? or send them anything but love and light? Not if I can keep my ego in check.

Kindness goes so much further than animosity.

Support extends way beyond the furthest reaches of contempt.

It will get back to them.

It’s scientifically supported that women in business present fierce competition against other women in business strictly on the basis of emotional response. Not facts, not evidence…. emotion. We don’t fight in the boardroom but then go for beers afterwards; we slug it out via passive aggressive comments on social media platforms and mask ill wishes as supposedly virtuous intent.

But, belief in virtue isn’t virtue.

Oh, and stepping on someone to further your own agenda doesn’t make you successful.

For the sake of all that is right in the world, kind in business, and just downright decent as a human being….. check your personal ego at the business-owning door. There’s no room for it here. Look around – we’re all in this together!

I’m not your competition, and you aren’t mine. We’re jointly working really hard to build the kinds of lives for ourselves that we’ve always imagined.

We’re doing the best we can with what we know.. and only when we know better, can we do better.

We’re facing the same struggles.

We’re battling the same fears.

We’re celebrating the same triumphs.

We are all in this together.

“Never say a bad word about anyone behind their back, ever.”

He warned me, “The industry is small; it will get back to them.”

And he wasn’t wrong.

Please, for the sake of loving all-things-in-love…. just. be. kind.




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August 18, 2014

WG x the Ancaster Wedding Show | 2014

{ WGxAWS }

Chalkboard pens, cupcake trays, one-hole punches and little black dresses.

These were just a few of the last-minute details the WG team meticulously arranged in the final hours leading up to their latest exciting project – sponsoring (and being a part of!) the Ancaster Wedding Show.



Some vendors out there are Wedding Show pros – they can do their setup and teardown with their eyes closed and know the spiel inside-out-and-backwards.

Not us.

In the nearly six years I’ve lived in WeddingLand, never have I ever been a part of a wedding show – so when the organizers of the AWS got in touch and invited us to come on board, I looked to the WG team for all the support and inspiration they could give.

“We need to make it different.”

“It has to be unique.”

“We should have cute giveaways.”

We sat and brainstormed and made spreadsheets and conjured up a plan.

We scoured every Homesense, IKEA and Winners from Scarborough to Niagara.

In the end, a DIY vs. Luxe design, Kate Spade inspired, bright, bold, punchy setup is what we brought to life!

Kate Spade Quote Pink Black White inspired wedding


{ DIY vs. Luxe }

Our goal was to showcase to brides how wedding funds can be spent or saved, and how designs could be gorgeously executed either way.

Do-It-Yourself | Budget

Standard white cotton linens, covered venue chairs, a wrapping paper runner, wrapping paper + ribbon wrapped tin cans, inexpensive blooms, wholesale votive candles, and standard venue tableware. We added silk napkins, themed favours and stationary, plastic IKEA place mats, and a DIY mini- pink champagne guest favour.

Behind our table setup? A DIY ribbon backdrop: trendy, and oh-so-simple to create.

Kate Spade DIY luxe wedding decor

Pink Champagne Wedding Favour Istilia Roche Stationary

Luxe on a budget

A sequin linen overlay, black and white striped runner, chiavari chairs, sparkly beaded place mats, themed dinnerware, coloured stemware, stemmed votive holders, and a high-low floral design. The same silk napkins were folded into trendy bows and tied with Kate Spade signature polka dots, accented with matching stationary, finished off with truffle chocolate guest take-aways (pink and black, of course!)

Behind the deluxe table: an eye-catching hot pink + sparkling rosette backdrop.

Kate Spade Wedding Design Istilia Roche Toronto

Kate Spade Wedding WeddingGirl.ca Toronto Planners

A Note to our Supporting Cast

When we first put a call out to vendors who’d like to come on board in our stylings, never could we have ever expected such a heartfelt outpouring of responses. From slews of hair and makeup stylists to handfuls of stationary designers and decorators, we were seriously feeling the love when vendors offered to amp up our design. In the end, we were surrounded by some incredible people… a few familiar faces and a handful of new ones…. and we are so grateful! Each of these vendors believe in enhancing value, in helping brides make smart spending choices, and in making things gorgeous without breaking the bank (just like us!)

The WGxAWS project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Paje over at Honor Beauty. She showed up in Ancaster, bright and early, and beautified our team. Hair, makeup, and even vegan + cruelty-free, homemade lip glosses for each of us to take home – this lovely lady did a stellar job and was an absolute pleasure to work with. There’s something so magical that happens when women are not only doing what they love, but feel beautiful doing it. Paje, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your time and energy! We absolutely can not wait to share your latest and greatest transitions with our WG audience!

If you look around closely in the next few weeks, you might see some lovely ladies sporting some gorgeous mehendi on their hands, wrists, or even ankles / legs (a few girls got creative with their henna tattoo placement!). We were so pleased to welcome Deepali of Henna Kreations to the show, who alongside Leah and WG-Fusion, shared a love for cultural diversity by offering brides and vendors an opportunity to experience ethnic beauty.

Henna Kreations Burlington Deepali WeddingGirl.ca

A note of appreciation goes out to the amazing woman behind Istilia Roché who lovingly created the pink, black, and bling stationary that accented our table design. From Kate Spade quotes to glitter cards, every piece of stationary we showcased yesterday was made with the same sparkle that this woman exudes in person – and we’re lucky to know her.

Kate Spade Pink black White wedding stationary Istilia Roche

The WG team definitely boasted one of the sweetest setups at the show,  giving away hundreds of mini cupcakes created by Ryan and Stacey at Above And Beyond Cupcakes. Vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, lemon…. hundreds of stunning little beauties that attracted hundreds of brides and garnered comments like, “This is the best cupcake I’ve ever had!” – over and over again. We watched people have a cupcake, wait a few seconds, and then take another one – they were that good. As wedding planners, we really do get to eat a lot of cupcakes – and when really, really amazing creations strike our radar, we take notice. These lovelies weren’t only totally delicious, they were seriously stunning… and a beautiful accent to our display.

Pink Black White Cupcakes Above Beyond Niagara

Fraîche Floral.  Oh, Fraîche – how we love you. Not only have you become a passion project for various members of the WeddingGirl team, you give brides on a budget a stunningly gorgeous alternative to boring, budget blooms. Daring to be different, braving to be bold, and boasting the “brightest pop of colour” in the entire show (a quote we heard over and over and over) – these flowers were seriously stellar.

Mary Bratko WeddingGirl.ca AWS 2014

Thank you, J. Company for the napkins, chair covers, and linens!

Kate Spade Wedding Place Setting Pink Black White Silver Sparkle

We couldn’t have pulled this off if it wasn’t for each and every one of you. Thank you!


A Note to the Brides we met


Our beloved Brenda came up with this hashtag at one of our team meetings, and it seems our WG brides agreed!

It was such a lovely surprise to see so many familiar WG faces at the show yesterday, especially the ones that we know drove from far and wide to visit! Even more heartwarming was the opportunity we had to welcome all of the new brides into our world of all-things-awesome.

HennaKreations Burlington Wedding Planners

A Note to the WG team

What more can I say?

When we get together, we make things happen. And we make it epic.

For all of us, the AWS this past weekend truly was a labour of WG love.

From planning spreadsheets and cupcake flags to colour-coordinated truffles and the Starbucks coffee that showed up mid-afternoon… pretty wicked things happen when we get together. While a few of the WeddingGirls were missing in the flesh, they were with us in spirit and in our hearts all day. Thanks for being awesome, Ladies!

WeddingGirl.ca Ancaster Wedding Show 2014

WeddingGirl.ca team Toronto


Finally, a Note to Tiffany

Last but (certainly) not least….

There’s something to be said for putting on a really, *really* great wedding show. There’s a reason WG has never exhibited at a show before, and it’s because most of them… well…. most of them suck.

I speak on behalf of every girl on the WG team that being a part of such a beautifully planned, meticulously executed event yesterday was an absolute privilege! Tiffany, we heard nothing but lavish praise all around – from brides, from family members and friends, and vendors alike.

Your hard work and energy shone through in every single detail of the day and it felt as though we set up, blinked, and it was over.

The lineup outside the doors to get in yesterday afternoon was an incredible testament to how much you know (and love!) your industry.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, a hundred times over, for allowing us to be a part of it! We can’t wait to start gushing about next year!




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August 9, 2014

Royal Canadian Yacht Club | Toronto Wedding Venue

{ Virtual Venue Visit – RCYC }

As seasoned wedding planners who have seen the best (and the worst) of wedding venues, sometimes we find ourselves lucky enough to stumble upon a gem of a function space that blows us away…..

Cue: the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.



When we first met our August 3rd couple, they had nothing but lovely awesomeness to say about the venue they’d booked for their I Do’s (despite the fact that the space itself was booked sight-unseen!) The RCYC is located on Toronto Island and is inaccessible in winter months, so many couples take a leap of faith and base the biggest decision of their wedding plans on stunning photos and impeccable rapport.

In the case of our couple, their initial experiences with word-of-mouth referrals and the Club’s administrative staff was enough to encourage their final decision. They put their faith into the beautiful photos they’d seen – and we trusted their opinions entirely! As it turned out, last weekend, our expectations were not only met, but vastly surpassed.

Everyone at the RCYC, from the Event Coordinator with whom we worked closely from Day 1, down to the Banquet supervision and Day Of service teams, (even the ferry captains and Quartermaster!) were an absolute pleasure to interact with. It’s not often that, as Day Of Coordinators, we feel so incredibly supported by the onsite team – and because of this, the wedding production went off without so much as a hitch.

Beyond the ease of working with its staff, the venue itself boasts a timeless elegance – accented with character, charm, and classic details – the picture-perfect backdrop to a fairytale event.

Wedding guests begin their experience aboard the RCYC ferry, departing from Cherry Street and Queen’s Quay, in downtown Toronto. A fifteen minute boat ride, with a picturesque view of the city skyline and just beyond the jetty, guests arrive on the rolling lawns of the Club.

Brides and Grooms can choose from a variety of onsite ceremony locations: a willow tree lawn, the front lawn, or the Club’s beautiful rose garden – all with a perfect rain plan back-up location if required.

Front Lawn West Ceremony Setup - Facing Club

Front Lawn West Ceremony Setup - Facing Water

Rose Garden - Ceremony

Cocktail hour takes guests from one part of the property to another, each with a beautiful view to take in while sipping on carefully crafted cocktails and indulging in top notch hors d’oeuvres. Indoor cocktail hour space is available if the weather chooses not to cooperate.

Rose Garden Reception

West Front Lawn Reception2

Enclosed Verandah - Tables

As per yacht club tradition, the Quartermaster announces the call to dinner and guests move indoors to the Ballroom.

Ballroom - Rented Silver Chivari

Ballroom - Long Head Table with BQT Rounds

Ballroom - Rounds with BQT Chairs

The RCYC only allows one wedding onsite per day, ensuring a private celebration and meticulous attention to service and detail.

Merriment ensues with dancing to follow – either in the Ballroom, in the adjacent Patricia Room, or on the covered verandah.

Patricia Room - Empty from South

Patricia Room - South View

Patricia Room - Wedding Set Up

Ballroom North Verandah

Patricia Room - East Verandah


Overall, this function space is getting a glowing review and an emphatic WG seal of planner-approval. The food is delicious (even the vendor meals), the service is stellar, and the setting couldn’t be more gorgeous.

We’re so honoured to be preferred Planners / Coordinators on the RCYC Vendor List, and are looking forward to returning soon.

For details on planning your big day here, make sure to Get In Touch!

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August 8, 2014

join us at the Ancaster Wedding Show!

{ #WGxAWS }

Hey, Toronto brides – did you know you can save 10-15% of your overall wedding budget just by hosting your nuptials outside of the city??

Yup, you can.

Oh, and Ancaster (+ area!) is crazy gorgeous, and overflowing with incredibly talented wedding vendors.

On August 17th, the WeddingGirl team is taking the Ancaster Wedding Show by storm – come meet our team, have your picture taken in our chic photo display, and learn about planning your wedding LUXE vs. BUDGET!

We’ll be setting up a stylish display of affordable alternatives to high-end wedding trends and sharing expert tips and tricks on where to spend, how to save, when to splurge, and what to skip all together. We believe in helping brides make really, really smart spending choices…. and we’re pretty excited about shining the WG spotlight onto everything Ancaster, Hamilton, and surrounding areas have to offer!

Ancaster Wedding Show Anna Kobelak Photography

Ancaster Wedding Show SIlver Themed Wedding Decor

Ancaster Wedding Show White on White wedding head table

Anna Kobelak Photography Ancaster Wedding Show 3

And did we mention we’ll be giving away a Day Of Coordination package to one lucky bride?! You know, just an extra set of hands two months before the wedding to tie up all the loose ends and make everything run flawlessly (an $1800 value!).

Pick up your tickets here….

And send us a note to let us know you’ll be there!

We can’t wait to meet you.

With much love,

~ all of us on the WG team <3

Little Black Dress Photoshoot Palais Royale

Ancaster Wedding Show 2014

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July 29, 2014

Priya + Ryan | One King West | WG Fusion

{ fusion Love }

Authored by Leah Sandhu, WG-Fusion


There’s something so special about seeing two cultures come together. The joining of two very different families and seeing them share their traditions with one another is truly beautiful, and Priya and Ryan’s wedding was no exception.

Toronto Wedding Planner Leah Sandhu

The brightly coloured sari’s and the bride’s handmade red reception lengha were stunning. I mean, really, how gorgeous is this bride?!?  All of the outfits were handpicked across the globe in India, making the cultural elements that much more authentic.

Toronto Hindu Wedding Bride Bridesmaid Saris

The Grand Banking Hall at 1 King West was the perfect fit for this sophisticated affair. The moment Priya and Ryan walked through the doors, the architecture immediately caught their attention and they knew it was where they wanted to celebrate their marriage. As explained in their Thank You speech, the Newlyweds had opted for a private ceremony surrounded exclusively by closest friends and family, while their lavish reception was the party they threw to thank everyone for their unyielding love and support. And what a party it was!

Leah Sandhu Toronto Fusion Wedding Planner

Ribbons Twine Photography Wedding Toronto

Toronto Indian Hindu Wedding Planner Leah Sandhu

Leah Sandhu Toronto Wedding Planner

Toronto Hindu Wedding Planner WeddingGirl.ca

Toronto Indian Wedding Planner Leah Sandhu WGx

Urban Indian Hindu Bride Toronto

One King West Toronto Wedding Venue

Sandra Kennedy Floral Design Toronto Wedding Decor

Ribbons Twine Wedding Photography Toronto

The oh-so-talented Grenville Pinto entertained the guests during dinner with his alternative take on a traditional sound. The passion he has for his art oozes from his every note and he draws guests into the magic while enveloping them in the sounds of electric violin. The night unfolded with food, dancing, and a stylish Scotch bar.

Scotch Bar Wedding Toronto One King WestFusion Hindu Indian Wedding Planner Toronto Leah Sandhu

{{ Vendor Love }}

Venue: One King West Hotel & Residence

Photography: Ribbons & Twine Photography

Décor: J Company

Floral Design: Sandra Kennedy (Family Friend)

Hair Stylist: Fancy Face Inc.

Make-up Artist: Lush Brush Hair and Makeup

Wedding Dress: Mori Lee Designs

Shoes: Le Chateau

Suits: Vera Wang

Bridesmaids Sari’s: Purchased from India

Invitations: Seahorse Bend Press

Menu Card/ Scotch Menu: Emily Stephenson

Ceremony Program: Leah Sandhu

Entertainment: Grenville Pinto


Leah_Indian Bridal portrait1

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

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July 28, 2014

A Sunday afternoon surprise | Congratulations Tanja + Stephen!

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 11:09 am


{ surprise! }

A few weeks ago we posted on the WeddingGirl Dot Ca profile on Facebook that a large Canadian corporation was giving away a Day Of Coordination package to one lucky couple (a $2000 value!).

The catch? They needed to be getting married in less than six weeks!

Entries poured in and a handful of top finalists were selected.

Yesterday, we surprised our winners on the Burlington waterfront.

Our winning bride had no idea that we’d secretly been scheming with her groom for days on how to plan the ultimate reveal. The time was set, the photographer was in place, and the oversized balloons were drawing quite the crowd.



Apparently, as they walked down the boardwalk hand-in-hand, Tanja said to Stephen – “I love those big pink balloons!” (the balloons just happened to match her wedding colours).

“Excuse me, Miss – are the balloons for sale?”


“No… I’m sorry. They’re actually for someone else…..”

I took off my sunglasses and smiled at the Bride.

“Oh my god! I know who you are!!!!!”




Nothing but love and smiles and shrieks of joy basking in the afternoon sunshine.

The magic always happens outside of what’s expected, and yesterday, Tanja’s entire wedding plans took a turn.

“All I need from the two of you, for the next five weeks, is to stay madly in love. Go back to loving each other the way you did when you first met. Send her flowers to work, and cook him his favourite dinner. Remind yourselves of all the reasons why you’re walking down that aisle in a few weeks. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

And with that, a new love story was born….. ours.

Can’t wait to celebrate with these two gorgeous people!

From all of us here at WG,

congratulations to you both!

(and thanks for turning me into an expert oversized balloon tamer!)


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July 23, 2014

An Open Letter to Wedding Venues re: Vendor Meals….

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 10:13 am

{ Dear Wedding Venues …. }


One hundred and thirty seven weddings.

I’ve planned and coordinated 137 weddings.

For a little, self-employed, accidental planner….. that’s a lot of weddings.

This also means that I’ve eaten a lot of wedding meals.

Some have been good, some have been pretty bad.

And then… there’s the Vendor Meal.

There are few things more offensive to me than venues that even allow for these things to exist, let alone Venue Coordinators who beam with pride when they offer their couples a discounted “Vendor Meal” to feed those people behind the scenes who are working non-stop, all day, to make sure the entire production goes off without a hitch.

You, Venue Coordinators (and wedding venues alike) should be ashamed of yourselves.

And this is why.



Dear Wedding Venues….

Please take a moment, and consider this….

We’re all on the same team.

Guess what? Your Bride and Groom aren’t your repeat clients.

We are.

Keep in mind that photographers, DJ’s, planners, coordinators – we’re all a part of your industry.

We know the same people and we work for (and with) the same clients.

We’re all on the same team.

As a Wedding Day Coordinator, I have asked (at every single one of my 137 weddings) that our vendors are given a plate of hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour.

And it’s not for them to sit and indulge while ignoring their responsibilities – ask any wedding photographer and they’ll tell you that every mini quiche or chicken skewer they’ve hurriedly devoured has been while swooping past the vendor table en route to another end of the venue to keep snapping away.

Just know that that mini quiche or chicken skewer is usually the first bit of sustenance they’ve consumed since the bagel and coffee they scarfed down en route to the Bride’s house eight hours earlier.

Then there’s the call to dinner, guests are seated, introductions begin.

At this point, the DJ has likely been on site since his setup time about four hours earlier.

The photographers have been shooting all day.

Planners and coordinators have been planning and coordinating since the crack of dawn.

The two or three bites of cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres we manage to consume while busily preparing for the reception will ensure that we’re able to move harder and faster to get all of our team’s ducks in a row so as to pull off a flawless production for our couple.

Dinner is served.

…… and while wedding guests are delighting in arugulas with figs and goat’s cheese, vendors are getting their fill on (if they’re lucky) baby greens with some julienned carrots and gelatinous dressing.

Wedding guests eat hearty tenderloin, grilled sea bass, or chicken supreme…. while vendors…. we get pasta.

If we’re really lucky, it’s good pasta.

It’s usually not.

It’s usually bland, overcooked, and comes in a shockingly small portion.

Soooo…. this is how multi-million dollar venues save on food costs?

You actually mean to tell me that not charging couples your outrageously inflated alcohol costs for their vendor count isn’t enough to offset giving vendors a real meal?

You shouldn’t be charging them full price for us at all! We’re your family!

I tell my couples – “Vendors don’t get charged alcohol”…. and they’re usually super grateful because it’s a detail most wouldn’t have thought of on their own….

but for a venue to take it one step further and offer “Vendor Meals” – shitty, underwhelming, borderline offensive versions of the food their kitchen is boasting to everyone else in the building, is utterly confusing to me.


We all know the margins on food and alcohol.

We all understand that profits need to be maintained.

We all get that tenderloin is pricier than penne.

…. but to not feed your vendors? like, the ones that’ll be coming back and working alongside of you time and time again? really?!

It’s not about us needing to eat the tenderloin. If I’m being perfectly honest, when I want a really great meal I have two-dozen options to visit that will feed me well at a point in time when I’m allowed to drink wine with my dinner. But to not eat the same as everyone else on a day when we’re all working toward the same common goal? (and repeats of this common goal many times over in the foreseeable future)

I would love for someone to give me a reason for this.

And don’t blame a budget-conscious couple…. because the onus should be on you, not them. They’re busy living happily ever after…. while we’re the ones left having to ask, with humility, for a bread basket and ice water.

Three times.

So… Venues… what gives??

…. and if you’re a vendor who agrees, please share this link! An answer would be awesome.


Wedding Vendor Meals Blog Rant



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