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March 12, 2014

Luxe Shopping Experience | Toronto | #WGx

{ all things luxe }

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Jamie-Lee Braunack, Director of Luxe Shopping Experiences, warmly welcomed Bianca, Carm and Laura from WeddingGirl.ca out of the cold and into their media launch at the Four Seasons in Yorkville.

Luxe Shopping Experience Industry Event Toronto

As the three girls made their way up to the third floor, they could not help but stare at the sophisticated and grand interior design of the hotel, perfect for a luxe special event.

The doors of the Jasper Room opened and the girls were greeted with smiling faces and beautiful bling. There were five retailers from the Yorkville area in attendance, ready to show off what they had to offer brides and grooms on their big day. The vendor’s enthusiasm, passion, and level of excellence exuded from each booth and the girls were instantly drawn in.

Their first stop was to White Toronto. They gazed upon gorgeous wedding gowns any fashionista would be proud to wear and exquisite, custom bridal accessories.  Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White Toronto and Montreal, could not contain her excitement as she explained to the girls about her designer label dresses, one-of-a-kind jewellery, and stunning shoes.

Luxe Shopping Experience Toronto WeddingGirl.ca Media

Luxe Shopping Experience WeddingGirl.ca Media

Myra Kastner and Sandi Wilder from Knar Jewellery were sensational. Listening to the history of the company and getting to know more about diamonds was fascinating. The Hearts on Fire was the star of that evening, boasting a cut above the rest in the diamond world. Their magnificent custom pieces caused the girls to dream big and the sparkle of the diamonds were reflected in their wide eyes!

#WGx Media Luxe Shopping Experience Event

Luxe Shopping Experience Toronto WGx evening

Luxe Sthopping Experience Toronto

Meeting the talented and distinguished celebrity makeup artist and skin care specialist Victoria Radford was unbelievable. Carm jumped right onto her chair and was instantly transformed as Victoria instructed on the proper use of the eyebrow brushes and pencils.

The girls immediately noticed the enthusiasm she had for beauty and they were impressed with how willing she was to share her knowledge and educate others. Victoria currently runs her own makeup school in Toronto and has an incredible energy about her.

Victoria Radford Luxe Shopping Experience Toronto

Luxe Shopping Experience Toronto WGx


Treccani Milano, a luxury brand specializing in custom and ready to wear pieces, was the next stop for the girls. All their pieces are handmade in Italy from only the finest leather and materials. They design and create men’s and ladies shoes, handbags, golf bags, boots and dress shirts.

Luxe Shopping Experience Toronto WGx media event

Luxe Shopping Experience Toronto #WGx Media

The last stop of the evening was Gotstyle Grooms. They are a full service shop for men. They offer an excellent selection of suits, tuxedoes and accessories. An on site tailor is there for any alteration needs and a Barbershop that offers both haircuts and hot shaves.


Luxe Shopping Experience #WGx team media

It was a delightful night, filled with delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine, awesome stuff, and incredible vendors! They really do bring the royal treatment and the three girls look forward to their next luxe shopping experience!

Bianca, Carm, and Laura are Bridal Lifestyle Bloggers with WeddingGirl.ca. For media inquiries, or to have WG team presence at your next industry launch, make sure to Get In Touch!

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The Package DJ Trap | Jarek Gora

{ don’t get caught! }

Authored by: DJ Jarek Gora

Jarek Gora Wedding DJ

It’s becoming a common trend in recent years for many venues to offer DJ services for your wedding. It’s an enticing proposal, right? There’s one less item to worry about on your wedding checklist. As with any bundled offer – there’s a catch – and it’s time you know what it is. It’s about time you know how and why it’s happening.


There are two common methods in which venues will attempt to persuade you to select their option over your own.

1. The In-House DJ Service

“Your package comes with a DJ!”

Many brides have heard this phrase and should always question why such an essential service has already been decided for you.

So this is what went down:

A (large) DJ company came and installed speakers and lighting into a venue under the agreement that the venue will push their service on clients. You meet with a sales representative from the company who informs you that no other DJ will be able to position their speakers and lighting properly and that you are taking a risk by hiring anyone else. You generally do not meet the DJ for your wedding before the wedding day itself. Why? Because they are not sure which kid they are going to send out that day.

Large companies have multiple DJ’s that work for them and their roster changes frequently. Why is there such a high personnel turnaround? The good – and disgruntled – DJ’s (who make a couple hundred bucks while the owners make thousands in the same night) will eventually want to be out on their own.

DJ and MC Mystery

Most often, there will be an MC sent out with the DJ as well (and now you’re paying for two extra plates for dinner). The MC’s job is to play participation games and force people to dance but most often their voice dominates the evening with phrases such as “Is everybody having a good time? I can’t hear you!” (Why not just play good music and allow guests to dance?) It’s a distraction and disrupts the flow of the night.

2. The ‘Recommended Vendor’ Option

Terrible DJ Setup

This is generally offered in, but not limited to, venues without a built-in sound system. These are also larger companies who offer multiple services (photo+video+music) and can easily cross two or three items off your list. Once again, this is an appealing alternative because you trust the venue, right?

For the same reasons as stated in the first scenario, you also don’t usually meet your DJ before the wedding. These companies also have multiple employees. The DJ that shows up usually comes with a very basic sound system (two entry level speakers, no subwoofers for full range sound) and minimal lighting (two generic disco lights, if that). Sure, you can definitely ask for more but it won’t be free.


What’s the Catch?

It’s all about the money. Your money. (Or your parents money!)


Venues monetarily benefit from you succumbing to their scare tactics sales pitch. They always make a cut. You can definitely choose to opt out and some venues will credit you some of the cost, albeit it may only be a couple hundred bucks.

(Should your DJ really be valued less than your appetizers?)

Other venues will actually penalize you for not choosing their DJ.

The lack of direct client contact between you and your DJ can lead to unfortunate mishaps such as playing the wrong first dance song and not having certain requested songs. As with any large company, there’s a certain level of disorganization near the bottom.

This option is ordinarily cheaper than the in-house service, which can easily drain you of a couple thousand dollars. (wouldn’t that money be better in your pocket or put towards a more awesome honeymoon?)


How To Make Your Decision?

Do your research. There is no scientific studies that show all DJ’s are created equal.

Try not to get caught up in flashy websites from the larger firms (would you buy a car based on a TV commercial or magazine ad?). Ask for videos and photos from recent jobs. Obtain multiple quotes with a detailed equipment list and then shop those quotes around.  Ask to see the DJ you’re considering in action. Ignore testimonials on DJ websites - (really, who is going to post a poor review?) - search for multiple reviews on wedding forums instead.

Most importantly, utilize your social media networks.

Change your Facebook status to “Anyone know an awesome DJ at a great price?”

Take to Twitter and expand your reach with proper hashtag usage such as “#bestweddingDJever”.

Go the old school route and talk to people you know and trust in real life. Ask who played their wedding, how it was and would they hire them again. Many couples will tell you as soon as you’re engaged who you should book before it’s too late. Word of mouth is the absolute best form of advertising.

The DJ you choose should be an individual who loves what they do. It should be a passion, not a hobby or part-time job. They must be able to stand behind their product and correspond regularly with you leading up to the wedding to achieve your vision and attain your goals for the night. A professional, experienced and reputable DJ will own all their own equipment; possess the ability to play in any venue; have a large musical library and the musical knowledge to coincide with it; be a licensed, insured and registered member of a recognized national DJ organization; and be aware that every gig is an audition for another one. They must always aim to exceed your clients’ expectations.

If you’re booking a wedding, and pricing out venues, try this: tell them you are hiring a band. There should be no discussion of speaker and lighting placement and no penalty for not considering their option.

It is said that the two things guests remember from a wedding are the food and the music. The music is the last thing they hear so it had better be the best.

Here’s a shot from the dancefloor at the last wedding I DJ’d for a real-world WeddingGirl.ca couple.

Curious about my services? Just email Mary and ask!

DJ Jarek Gora WeddingGirl.ca


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March 11, 2014

Becky Grimman | Toronto Make-Up Artist

{ #WGx :: Media }

A few weeks ago, the girls of WGx crashed an industry evening at the fabulous Le Dolci Cupcakes and Cakes in cute little Queen West.  (check out that post here)

One of the featured vendors that evening was the lovely Becky Grimman of Becky Grimman Makeup Artistry, based out of Richmond Hill. Her passion for beauty and meticulous attention to detail was clear. Our very own Linda gravitated to her immediately and the two swiftly fell in to vendor love. Here’s what Linda had to say…..


dil·et·tante  [dil-i-tahnt] 

1. A person who takes up an art, activity, or subject merely for amusement, especially in a desultory or superficial way; dabbler.

2. A lover of an art or science, especially of a fine art.



1725–35;  Italian, noun use of present participle of dilettare  < Latin dēlectāre  to delight


1. Amateur.

This blog is about make-up. More specifically how little I know about it. I remember being into it during my  younger years – back when I worked in a bar, hit the clubs regularly etc etc… makeup can be a necessary mask in situations like that. First impressions tend to be superficial and interactions are brief.

Being older now, wearing that same mask doesn’t feel comfortable. I usually opt for little or no makeup (especially in the summer).  I prefer real connections with people and try not to hide behind anything.

But here’s the thing…

Adventures with WeddingGirl are bringing me face-to-face with a brand-new working environment. My days of hiding in a kitchen are over! I’m playing in a different arena and get to make up (pun intended) some new rules for myself!

Meeting the beautiful WGx ladies and attending our first few events inspired me to rediscover the fun side of getting made up, endeavor to upgrade my dilettante status and step up my style game! Make-up doesn’t need to hide what’s there, but can be used to accentuate natural beauty and draw attention to your best features.

Enter: Becky Grimman

Becky Grimman Makeup Artist Toronto

I met her at a vendor event a couple of weeks ago. Her face lit up when I approached her booth, she gave great eye contact and I felt immediately at ease. Once my confessions of a makeup amateur were on the table she assessed her target and started working magic.

Knowing I don’t wear a lot of makeup she went with a look that wouldn’t make me feel overdone or uncomfortable. She used subtle purple eye shadow to complement my brown peepers, and taught me how showing your eyebrows a little extra love frames your face and polishes a look.

Linda Keeping WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

Her steady, gentle hand, made it easy to feel comfortable in her chair. The whole time she was giving me great advice and tips about how I can easily add to my routine without taking too much extra time, which was definitely a concern for me – I refuse to spend an hour getting ready!Her work garnered tons of positive feedback, but more importantly I felt fantastic! On a night of interacting with so many new people, she let my best features shine through & helped this introvert put her most confident foot forward.

Yes, I was made up.

But I wasn’t covered up.

No more masks, only stunning veiled hairpieces & smiles.

Mary Bratko Linda Keeping WGx Toronto


For the love of all that is gorgeous in the world, find + follow Becky everywhere!

Her website   http://www.beckygrimmanmakeup.com/

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BeckyGrimmanMakeupArtistry

And check out her work on this beautiful shoot featured on Style Me Pretty.


Linda is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger, Creative Content Strategist and lover-of-all-things-beautiful at WeddingGirl.ca

For media requests, contact her directly at Linda@WeddingGirl.ca

Linda Keeping WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

Blog Love:

Photography Credit: Lotus Photo Group, Serena Swan Photography

Event Venue: Le Dolci Cupcakes and Cakes

Custom Headpieces: David Dunkley Fine Millinery


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March 10, 2014

Palais Royale | WeddingGirlx | Promo Photo Shoot

{ a #WGx Production }

We all woke up before the sun, packed bags full of all-things-beautiful, and made our way downtown.

We shared jewelry.

We did each others’ hair.

We spent the morning drowning in coffee, Portuguese custard tarts, and make-up.

We rocked little black dresses with killer stilettos and oversized balloons in frigid temperatures.

We laughed.

All day, we laughed.

The #WGx team planned this photoshoot to celebrate the incredible things that happen when your wildest dreams become a reality.

The gorgeous Palais Royale invited us in to their elegant ballroom, which we proceeded to deck out in couture furniture rentals from JCompany Designs and beautiful blooms from Fraîche Floral Atelier.

Stills of the day were captured by the oh-so-talented Miss Serena Swan and behind-the-scenes cinema was documented by Barking Mad Media, and the reason everyone looked absolutely flawless? Makeup stylings by the incredible Sabina of A Brush Of Sass.

And finally… a GIGANTIC Thank-You from every single one of us on set goes out to the amazing Rob of Palais Royale. Our day would not have been half of what it turned out to be without his kindness, thoughtfulness and assistance every step of the way. Rob – thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Here’s just a teeny tiny sliver of still frames of how our day went down:

Serena Swan Photography WGx Promo 2014

Lisa Hardie WGx Promo Photo Shoot

Sabina Babayan A Brush Of Sass Toronto Makeup Artist

Sparkly Stilettos Serena Swan Photography

Palais Royale Ballroom Serena Swan Photography Toronto

Serena Swan Bridecast Barking Mad Media WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

Serena Swan Bridecast Barking Mad Media Toronto

Barking Mad Media Jeff Ridout Toronto

Toronto Budget Wedding Flowers Fraiche Studio WeddingGirl.ca

Fraiche Floral Atelier Toronto Wedding Flowers

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto Budget Wedding Flowers

 Little Black Dresses Photoshoot Serena Swan Photography Toronto

Pretty In Pink Dress Photoshoot Serena Swan Photography

 Palais Royale Toronto Corporate Photoshoot Serena Swan

WeddingGirl.ca Wedding Planner Toronto

WeddingGirl.ca Team Promo Shoot Palais Royale Toronto

 WeddingGirl.ca Team Serena Swan Photography

Serena Swan Toronto Wedding Photographer

WGx Palais Royale Toronto Pretty In Pink photoshoot

WGx Palais Royale Photoshoot Toronto

WeddingGirl.ca Team Palais Royale Toronto

WGx Palais Royal Photoshoot

WGx Palais Royal Photoshoot Pretty in Pink

To see the rest of our #WGx Promo Shoot, as well as some outtakes and behind-the-scenes photos, make friends with WeddingGirl Dot Ca on Facebook and check out the entire album!

To read Mary’s Open Letter to the #WGx team and learn more about what made this shoot so special, click here.



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March 9, 2014

An open letter to the girls of #WGx

Filed under: WG Media,WGx — WeddingGirl @ 11:37 am

{ #WGxPhotoShoot }

Palais Royale WeddingGirl.ca WGx Lisa Hardie

This photo, captured by the beautiful Lisa, says it all.

We leave a mark.

Yesterday, that mark  happened to be beautiful shades-of-pink bouquets strewn about luxurious white furniture set up across the dance floor at one of the most elegant ballrooms in Toronto.

Newton says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It can therefore be said with certainty that a mark has been left on us. And especially on me.

A handful of months ago I was just a girl with an idea.

Today, I’m a girl lucky enough to stand among nine of the most passionate, hard-working, curious, motivated, beautiful women I’ve ever met.  These are the faces of WeddingGirl-multiplied.

Mary Bratko WGx WeddingGirl.ca Behind The Scenes Serena Swan Photography

Five years ago when I accidentally ventured in to the land of all-things-wedding, I knew I wanted to make a difference. I knew the industry needed to change.. and I’ve been watching it change ever since.

It began with budgets.

When I decided that WG’s tagline would be “luxe, on a budget” I experienced violent opposition.

“You’ll cheapen your brand.”

“No one will ever pay what you’re worth.”

“Brides don’t like the idea of being on a budget.”

Well… I stuck to what my heart told me and five years, plus 135 weddings later, I still stand by what I said.

WeddingGirl.ca is about being in love. It’s about celebrating once-in-a-lifetime loves with unforgettable weddings and making everything around us beautiful. It’s about making smart spending choices and knowing that every dollar saved on planning an unforgettable wedding gets put toward living happily ever after.

That’s what WG is about.

And once I held firm on planning on a budget, then I decided that WG was about more than just  making my own dreams come true. I knew that my success meant nothing if I didn’t share it, and one crisp fall afternoon, while walking west on Bloor Street, just east of Yonge, an idea was born.

The idea was to multiply what I’d done. The idea was to inspire others to be the architects of their lives and start living the ones they’ve always imagined. The idea was to do what someone else, once upon a time, had done for me…. and #WGx was born.

WeddingGirl.ca is about inspiration. It’s about creative ideas, unique plans, designer days that change the landscape of your life. #WGx just extends these from brides to eager, passionate, multi-talented young professionals alike. It’s about building each other up instead of tearing each other down. It’s about creating a hurricane together instead of dancing in the rain alone.

It’s about making everything around us beautiful. Always.

While we set out, together, to make a mark on the wedding industry – sharing tips, tricks, and ideas on getting engaged, planning a wedding, and living happily ever after… the industry is busy leaving a mark on us – teaching, learning, growing, and making dreams come true.

We’re not wedding planners anymore… we’re girls that love being in love. We can keep you on schedule, keep you on budget, and advise against really hideous centerpieces… but more importantly, we’re the girls you’re going to turn to when your sister-in-law-to-be is trying to impart her (uninvited) opinions. We’re the girls you’ll confide in when you’re feeling overwhelmed and without direction. We’re the ones that will be standing, waiting, beaming at the end of the aisle as you walk out of your ceremony as Mr. and Mrs.

We’re not just girls that plan really gorgeous parties anymore….. we’re a social media and online presence force to be reckoned with. We post, tweet, instagram and check our way in to the hearts of brides and vendors alike. Girls in love love what we do…. and they keep coming back to hear what we have to say about it! We have digital reach like no other… a team of outspoken, connected, and creative women who love what they do for a living.

And to the girls who have joined me on this journey….. thank you.

You have inspired me.

You have humbled me.

You have motivated me.

You have been brave enough to share your hopes and dreams with me. You’ve been brave enough to tell me when you’re completely afraid.

You have shown me unconditional love and support in life, in business, and in daring to dream bigger than I’ve ever dared to dream before. All I can hope, now, is that I can continue to do the same for you.

Each one of you, in such a short period of time, has made me a better version of myself…. and, look around…. you’ve made one another better versions of each other.

We are a team. In the best way possible.




Little black dresses.

Oversized balloons.

Laughing so hard our cheeks hurt.

How’s THAT for making a difference? A difference in business, a difference in wedding planning, a difference in what it means to experience life together.

That’s what #WGx is all about. And I couldn’t be luckier that you girls chose me to be a part of it with you.


~ mary

WGx Wedding Planning Team Toronto





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March 6, 2014

Details, details…. | hangers, ice cubes, and manicures, oh my!

 { Wedding Day Details }

Authored by: Laura Arbelaez

Laura A.


I learned no detail was too small. It was all about the details.” – Brad Grey

This quote has echoed in my heart for the last couple of days. Then, I just knew. I knew there was something to be shared, as it perfectly defines any Wedding Day.

Weddings are more than just invitations, flowers, linens, food and cake. These are just some of the general guidelines, but there are infinite things that can be created. It truly is all about the details. It is also about creativity, imagination and presentation.

You will also need an open mind.

If you would like to see something unique on your wedding day, it should be tailored to you. Having something custom designed does not necessarily mean expensive. All it takes is research, knowledge and the right vendors to pull it off. Playing even the smallest part in making a wedding day unforgettable is every vendor’s aspiration.

Over the past year, having assisted at a number of weddings and after looking at tens of thousands of wedding photographs, here are a few things that I have noticed that could make a difference on your wedding day.

Every girl wants her wedding dress photographed and unless you buy or rent a mannequin, chances are it will be hanged. Take a look at those wedding dress photos on Pinterest again. Do you notice anything out of place? Have you considered investing on a custom designed hanger? It will not only make for stunning and unique photographs but it will also make for a really nice keepsake.

Personalized Wedding Hanger Bridal Details 2

Custom DIY Bridal Wedding Day Hanger Beach Theme

Personalized Wedding Hanger Bridal Details

As much as I love the traditional French manicure, I would love to see brides showing off their personalities through their nail art design. Talk to your nail technician; show her your wedding dress, colour scheme and accessories! Wouldn’t it be perfect if your nails complemented your bouquet? What if they tied in with the overall theme of your wedding? Have fun with it!

DIY Glitter Nails Wedding Bridal Beauty

Glitter Nailpolish Bridal Wedding Manicure

Bridal Manicure Nail Design

Custom Themed PInk Brown Glitter Bridal Manicure

Having worked as a Server for many years, I had a long time to think about this one. Every venue will offer water on your wedding day. That’s a fact. Have you considered offering your guests water infusions? They are super refreshing, they look sensational and everyone loves them!

Fruit Infused Water

Fruit Infused Water Wedding Reception Decor


What about a little DIY project? Have you thought of making fruit or floral ice cubes for your wedding reception? These are just a wonderful idea! Consider placing these fabulous decorated ice cubs on the water pitcher on every table; or what about an infused water bottle for each guest? That…that will be something to talk about!

Lemon Blueberry Mint Ice Cube Wedding Decor

Edible Flower Herb Ice Cubes Wedding Details

Fruit Herb Designer Ice Cubes Wedding Details

Food for thought!

The options are endless. Just know that there are no small details and that every detail on your wedding day counts.

Stay tuned for more!



Laura is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Social Media Stylist at WeddingGirl.ca. To have Laura feature your product or service in a media blast or blog spotlight, make sure to Get In Touch! You can follow Laura on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well.


{ photos sourced from Pinterest.com – via Laura’s board, found here }


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March 5, 2014

wedding day “Friendors” | Serena Swan Photography

{ my thoughts on “Friendors” }

By: Serena Swan

So, you really need your hair done!

You are talking it over with a friend over coffee and she says to you “Well I just got a new pair of shears and would love to help you out!”. The scissors that she has are the same ones that the pros use and she’s offering to do it super cheap/free. Why not let your friend try her hand at your hair??

I know what you’re thinking right now… HECK NO!!

So if you wouldn’t let your random friend try out her questionable hair cutting skills on your hair (that will eventually grow back) why would you let a friend take on the job of capturing one of the biggest days of your life? A day, mind you, for which there will be no do-overs.

Serena Swan Toronto Wedding Photographer

My name is Serena and I am a girl who likes to make lists. So with that, here is a list with my top reasons to invest in a professional photographer:

A Backup for the Backup. A friend or someone starting out may have a really great camera but in most cases it is their only piece of equipment. As time has taught us, sometimes things break or malfunction. If a camera or other piece of equipment decides to throw in the towel in the middle of your wedding day, you want to know that there is a backup right there to take over the job.

Knowledge is Power.  Wedding days, as we all know, are very hectic. The photographer has to be organized and ready for anything. From organizing family and details, dealing with changing light conditions, to creating all those amazingly natural-yet-posed portraits. When you have never undertaken an event of this magnitude, it’s hard for a new photographer to know what moves to make. This can make the day run far less smoothly and often results in missed moments that you can’t get back.

Two is better than One: Everyone knows that two is better than one! On your wedding day a professional photographer will more than likely working closely with a second shooter. This gives them the ability to give you two points of view as the day progresses. As one photographer is capturing shots of the bride walking down the aisle with her father the other is snapping away at the groom’s expression when he sees his beautiful bride for the first time. The added benefit to the second shooter is yet another backup should the unthinkable happen.  If, heaven forbid, something happens to one piece of equipment, it’s not a total loss because you have both a back-up photographer in addition to back-up equipment.

We work for you.  The mindset between someone who you have hired to photograph your wedding and a friend, who is helping you out, is very different. For a professional photographer every wedding is a test of their skill, and every client is a test to their reputation. They are going to work hard for you from start to finish because they know that you have made an investment in their art. Issues can arise when hiring a family member or friend to photograph your wedding. Just ask Mary of WeddingGirl.ca about her thoughts on “Friendors”. These arrangements can create a scenario where there is no line between guest and vendor. Along with the “to party or to work?” conundrum, there is also the possibility of dealing with issues once the wedding is over. If you are unhappy with the wait time or the images themselves, it can become something that can put a wall between you and a lifelong friend or family member. No one wants that elephant in the room at Christmas Day brunch!

The Edits.  Once the wedding day is over, it’s just the beginning for your photographer. Next comes the backing up of your images to ensure their safety, and then the culling and editing. It takes dozens of hours to go through thousands of frames captured throughout your day. The software and equipment used for editing may be something your friend/family member has never used or may not even own. You may feel like its okay for the images to just be given to you on a disc, as-is… but how do you think you’ll feel spending hours scrolling through poorly-lit images, un-cropped and un-edited… with imperfections and bright red EXIT signs for all the world to see? Much like strolling through an art gallery of half-finished paintings, your wedding photos will be incomplete and you’ll be left disappointed.

If she’s not a licensed hair stylist, you wouldn’t risk your tresses in the hands of unabashed passion for all-things-hair.

The same goes for photos.

Everyone has a camera these days…. but your wedding photographer is an artist. Let them paint the day of your dreams.

Serena Swan Photography Toronto


Serena Swan Photography Logo

Serena Swan is a Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer in the Hamilton, Niagara, and Toronto area and the official photographer of the #WGx team.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for life through her lens.

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On being a hopeless romantic | #WGx

Filed under: Author: Carmelina Karas,Bridal Blog,Love — WeddingGirl @ 10:00 am

Authored by: Carmelina Karas

Carmelina Karas WeddingGirl.ca WGx Toronto

Growing up, there were many things that I always aspired to be. A designer, a singer, an actress – all these things were full of creativity and passion. What I had never bargained for was I found it was less important the “career” path that I chose, but most important how I approached life as a whole.

As my years progressed from childhood to becoming an adult, I quickly came to the realization that I had to like…no…I had to love what I was doing. Therefore, love became my job.

I decided to enter the magical world of weddings and make weddings my life.

Whether it’s attending a bridal show, planning a wedding, or browsing social media for new wedding inspiration – I am hopelessly in love.

Being in love with the most romantic and beautiful time in a couple’s lives has its perks. Everyone that you come in contact with has a loving and dedicated and happy vibe. Yes, things do go haywire in the wedding planning process as the stress gets to some and life just happens. But, at the end of the day, you are all working together to join this couple in wedded bliss and send them off to their happy ever after.

There are times during the engagement where couples may forget the end goal and why they decided to start this journey in the first place, but a quick reminder of how they met, their proposal story, and their vision for their new future together gets them right back on track.

My vision for my own future in the wedding industry is constantly being molded and shaped and is expanding. The more people I meet, ideas I see, and inspiration I get creates new dreams and hopes and goals for me to shoot for. If I am in a rut, I open up a wedding magazine. If I am out of ideas, I log in to Pintrest. If there is ever a time that I wonder just how any choices or decisions are made when there are so many options out there, I just remember to follow my heart. After all, it was my heart that chose my career path.

That career path became my life path. And – my life path is love.

Heart Love Photography
Carmelina is the Co-Editor of the WeddingGirl.ca magazine and the Founder and Editor of The Wedding Planner Magazine. She is a Wedding Planner with WG and a lover of all-things-in-love. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
For wedding planning inquiries with Carmelina, make sure to Get In Touch!
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March 3, 2014

Do I really need a wedding videographer? | #WGx

{ confessions of a bride with a wedding video }

Authored by: Brenda Hanks

Brenda Hanks WeddingGirl.ca WGx bridal lifestyle blogger


According to Wikipedia, only two people have been documented as truly having a photographic memory. What does that have to do with weddings you ask? It means that in the whole wide world, only 2 people out there don’t need a wedding videographer.

“But we will have a really good photographer so we don’t need a videographer!” – Said by couples everywhere.

Sure. Photos are wonderful and they really capture the moment. Looking back at a photo can make you laugh, make you cry, make you remember the special day like it was yesterday.

But you can only remember what you remember – does that make sense?

What about the stuff you don’t remember or never saw?

My husband and I are a shining testimonial to videographers everywhere.

Brenda + Kris - Rick Denham Photography C Hotel Hamilton Carmens WeddingGirl.ca planner Photography 12

We had been planning our wedding for a while, looking at photographers and thinking about a videographer, but the prices just seemed so high. We had decided we wouldn’t bother as everyone would have their cell phones and video cameras and we’d just get a copy from them for free! (sounds familiar, right?)

Lucky for us, we ended up winning the very first WG wedding threesome contest. Free planning, free photography and free cinema! We really had it made here. We saw a few videos made by our cinematographers and fell in love with their style. We met with them and discussed what we were hoping for and knew from the start they would do a great job.

Soon after, our wedding day arrived. Like all couples we were both a bit nervous about the day; would it go perfectly?

Would I trip and fall in the aisle?

So many things to worry about it, so little time.

Everyone says your wedding day will fly by in the blink of an eye, and they are not lying.

Our cinema team (and photographer, but we’ll discuss this in another article!) showed up nice and early to capture all our prep. We knew we were getting a Same Day Edit, which means that they would be filming and constantly feeding their editor new data to work with so we would have a video in time for our reception.

We did things a little backwards – which is becoming the new normal these days. We got ready, did a staged “first look” and did all our photos as a couple and with our wedding party prior to the wedding.

Fun Fact: Not actually married during our official photos!

Anyway, The cinematographers worked hand in hand with the photography team to capture everything. We didn’t even realize we were being filmed sometimes, but those candid moments are great memories.

During our reception, just as dinner finished, we played our Same Day Edit. Without a doubt the best wedding video I’ve ever seen!  As hard as you try to “be in the moment” there is so much missed. Of course there are things you did not see as you were not there like the groomsmen getting ready, but there are also things you did not see because YOU were what everyone was looking at.

I have compiled a list of things most brides will miss seeing at their wedding:

1. Your bridal party getting ready. You personally have so much prep you will miss out on this.

2. The look on your partner’s face when you reach the end of the aisle. The aisle is longer than you expect and most brides don’t have binoculars.

3. Seeing yourself walk down that very long aisle!

4. The look on your family and friends’ faces during your ceremony.

I could spend all day adding to this list, but I think this gives you an idea. Nerves really have an effect on our memory and on what actually gets a permanent home in there. Having a wedding video gives you the best of both worlds: you get to experience it all first hand, but then you get to relive the moment as well as see new and wonderful things you may have missed out on otherwise.

Will you watch it again? Definitely! Our Same Day Edit was posted online during our honeymoon. It was video-love. We watched it, like, 20 times while were away. Recently we got our hands on even more footage from our wedding (thanks to Captivate Cinema) and I spent an evening clicking through it all. They really captured so much that day. More than two years after our wedding I am seeing things I didn’t even know happened – seeing myself do things that I had forgotten. We are so lucky to have won this and will always have this video to remember one of the most wonderful (and definitely the fastest!) day of our lives.

So who really needs a videographer for their wedding?


Try to find space in your budget for a talented videgraphy team and I promise it will be money well spent.

{ Blog Love :: Photog Credit, @RickDenham }

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February 27, 2014

Where is it legal to have a same-sex wedding? | #WG{=}

{ #GlobalLoveIsLove }

Authored by: Vanessa Adams

Vanessa Adams WeddingGirl.ca Toronto



While Destination Weddings have become extremely popular with mainstream couples, unfortunately many couples in the LGBT community must lead their wedding plans with wondering where is the best, safest, place that they can legally tie the knot. It’s so sad to consider that in 2014 there are still so many places on the planet that openly reject same sex unions.

The idea of celebrating the ceremony, reception and honeymoon with friends and family in a beautiful country sounds like a dream come true, but many LGBT couples must first ascertain that they are choosing a safe space in which they can openly celebrate their right to love and wedlock.


WG{=} is a public stand for love never being wrong, and we’re hoping to inspire the entire industry to follow suit.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 3.23.15 PM

After learning that one of my #WGx Girl’s brother was being denied a same-sex wedding at the resort of their dreams, I knew I needed to explore the legalities and attitudes in the destination wedding industry.

Imagine, as a newly engaged man or woman, having to contact a resort venue and ask the question– “Will you allow me to marry my best friend despite the fact that we are of the same sex?” How debilitating must it be to, in that moment of joyous excitement, face critical judgment and rejection.

In 2014, countries around the world that allow same sex unions include:

Argentina, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Uruguay, France, Iceland, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Scotland, Britian(England and Wales) – as of March 29, 2014, and Mexico (Quintana Roo and Mexico City only)

In the United States, legal marriage status depends on each, individual state. Presently, only 17 allow for same sex unions. Kudos to California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jershey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, as well as Washington D.C.

Despite the global limitations there are still so many beautiful places to run away and celebrate your own Happily Ever After.

What about an ultimate travel experience to South America, where you can exchange vows in the lush rainforests of Brazil?

Brazillian Destination Wedding Planners

Perhaps your heart yearns to say “I Do” beneath the glistening moonlight at the base of the Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina? – how’s that for a wedding to remember?

Brazil Wedding Planners Iguazu Falls

And if you’re a couple with an adventurous spirit, make sure to follow the Hitched: Abroad page on Facebook; it’s the world’s first extreme destination wedding reality TV series hosted by WeddingGirl.ca’s own Mary Bratko!

If you can dream it, we can help make it a reality. For inquiries on planning your destination wedding together, make sure to Get In Touch!

Two Dresses.

Two Suits.

One Love.

and because…..


LGBT World


:: Photography Credits (in order of appearance)

Timothy G. Laman

Fred Miranda

– sourced at Travel.NationalGeographic.Com


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