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June 24, 2014

How to Plan Your Own Wedding Bar :: DIY Wedding Alcohol Planner

{ DIY Wedding Planning }

Wedding Day Fund Mason Jar


Brides are getting smarter.

Budgets are getting tighter.

Many of the weddings we’re planning are opting to skip out on the all-inclusive one-size-fits-bride venues and couples are dancing the night away in what we refer to DIY Venues.

These often-hidden-gem spaces  are reception locations that charge couples a flat rental fee for use of their space (sometimes unreasonably affordable – other times.. not so much), and the Bride and Groom are then responsible for bringing in their own rentals, decor, catering, alcohol, etc.

While DIY venues are (mostly always) the more cost-effective wedding option, they are, undoubtedly, much trickier to plan.

DIY venues usually require you to consider bringing in your own tables, chairs, flatware, stemware, tableware, to make your own catering arrangements, and most importantly, to plan your own bar.

It seems ironic to us as wedding planners that the elements of your big day meant to save you the most money tend to be trickiest to plan!

No worries, though. We’ve got you covered.

{ planning your DIY bar }

Note: Every wedding is different.

Depending on the type of guests you invite (older vs. younger, drinkers vs. not), some weddings will boast a much heavier alcohol consumption than others.

Details of your particular big will also play a role in alcohol consumption: time of day, length of cocktail hour and dinner, availability of shots and varieties of liquor / mix on your bar rail.

We’re basing these particular nuggets of wedding-planning knowledge on the average event.

So, as we were….


{ insider insight }

Between our own (extensive) experience at the weddings we’ve planned, and with the expert advice of a few trusted industry insiders….here’s what you need to know:

1) The average wedding guest will consume one alcoholic drink per hour throughout the wedding

So. 5 to 7 drinks per person for the night, plus two glasses of wine at dinner.

Got it.


2) More specifically put, the average wedding guest will usually drink 2 drinks during cocktails, 2 drinks during dinner, 2 drinks while they’re dancing, and 2 drinks in the last couple hours of the night (this includes shots).

Therefore, if you’re looking to tighten the reigns on alcohol consumption we usually suggest limiting the availability of shots, slowing the bar toward the end of the night, and serving exclusively signature beverages during cocktail hour.



3) Liquor is the most widely consumed alcohol at the average wedding (particularly in the form of shots).

Wine comes in second (and is typically the drink of choice during dinner).

Beer comes last.


4) Red wine is FAR more popular than white wine (usually at a service ratio of 2:1)

If you’re offering wine to your guests during dinner, ask your servers to come around with a “First Pour” rather than opening a bottle of red and a bottle of white on each table. This allows guests to choose their preferred wine at the onset of the meal and servers can be instructed to provide bottles to tables if explicitly requested.

Oh – and it looks classier too!

As has been the case with nearly every wedding we’ve coordinated, more often than not we see whole bottles of white wine go entirely to waste.



5) If Premium and Import beers are offered, they are usually consumed at a substantially higher rate than any Domestic labels.

Plan accordingly.


6) The most popular liquors consumed at a wedding, in order of popularity, are: Vodka, Gin, Rye, Tequila, Rum, Scotch, Amaretto, and Apple + Raspberry Sours.


7) The most popular mixes, in order of popularity, are: Club Soda, Tonic, Cranberry juice, Coca Cola, and Clamato juice.


8) Signature drinks are surprisingly unpopular.

Yes, they look super cute with their colour-coordination and themed straws with personalized flags… but guests will drink signature cocktails only because they’re offered (usually in the proximity of white-gloved servers passing around shiny silver trays).

Once the bar opens and guests can order what they want, the hefty majority stay lightyears away from colourful and fruity drinks.

Skip the drink flags.



{ wedding Signature drinks }

But so long as we’re on the topic of the oh-so-popular signature cocktails… there are ways to plan these so they don’t suck!

As wedding planners – we actually love the personality and creativity that goes into signature drinks…- don’t let us discourage you from the idea entirely – just make sure to choose a drink that tastes good (and isn’t just mixed to be electric yellow so that it matches your 70′s wedding theme).

Most of the signature drink rave reviews we hear involve refreshing, subtle blends like champagne spritzers and light sangrias (think bubbles + white cranberry juice adorned with a berry or two at the bottom of the glass).

Kir seems to be popular too – black current liqueur topped up with white wine (a touch heavier than sparkling + juice – a more popular option for Fall and Winter affairs).

Some of our couples are opting for a choice of drinks: Moosehead for him, Apple Pie Martinis for her.

A handful of skillful (and passionate!) bartenders are even willing to take a couples’ favourite flavours and custom-design a concoction from scratch – so get creative!


Of course, cocktail hour drinks that suit the style and theme of your wedding are always classic (assuming they’re tasty too!).

Chilly autumn weddings are complemented nicely with hot apple cider and rum, while sunshine-y summer wedding guests appreciate ice-cold sparkling numbers and flavour infused waters (even if they’re non-alcoholic!).

DIY Wedding Bar Infused Water Jenn Sean

Cocktails that come with a custom-story are always a big hit too…

“The Bride celebrated her acceptance to medical school with one too many margaritas!”


“The Groom’s been known to get messy with martinis!”


{ a few tips }

Regardless of whether you’re planning an open bar all-day-long, or signature cocktails followed by dinner wine and dancing – alcohol is meant to enhance your celebration, not overshadow it.

Guests are encouraged to have a great time but over-indulging often leads to embarrassing moments and constraining conflicts that nobody (your coordinators included!) should have to deal with.

Take your guest demographic into consideration when selecting your alcohol line-up.

Make sure to overstock (liquor in Ontario can always be returned to the LCBO with a receipt!).

Keep all of your proofs of purchase (event alcohol must be purchased with a valid Special Occasions Permit – which must be clearly displayed behind the bar before the first drink is poured).


{ extra help }

We know that planning a DIY wedding can be stressful and overwhelming, but if envisioned properly and executed seamlessly, it can help save you thousands of dollars!

Our WeddingGirl team offers Reception-Planning consultations for DIY Brides to help ensure that no dishes go overlooked, no water jugs un-ordered, and that alcohol service goes off without a hitch.

Make sure to Get In Touch with any questions you might have!

Little Black Dress Photoshoot Palais Royale


Much love,

the WG team <3


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we believe in #OneLove | @WP14TO @WedGirlEquals

{ why we believe that #LoveIsLove }

Not everyone meets their soulmate.

Not everyone gets butterflies.

Not everyone writes a story that includes the fairytale version of happily ever after.

Falling in love is hard enough – why make it more difficult by eliminating half of the planet’s population from your options??




Toronto and cities around the world are celebrating World Pride.

All of us here at WeddingGirl are just celebrating being in love.

How lucky we are to live in a city that emphatically, openly, and graciously accepts that love is never wrong.



Sure, #SameLove isn’t what’s always been the “norm”… but our grandparents would have looked strange with white earphone cables dangling on either side of their faces too.

Yeah, #LGBTlove is considered a travesty in certain religions and illegal in many countries…. but by those standards, do vegans have to fast on Fridays and should wearing a headscarf be outlawed as well?

Times are changing.

People are changing.

Shame on our ancestors for scoffing at all that was “different”.  Our world is evolving into the most connected, the most advanced, and the most open-minded it’s ever been. I bet those of us who are left-handed would agree!




One planet.

One population.

One common goal of happiness.

One love.

That’s what we believe.

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June 23, 2014

Business vs. Brand | Getting Brides to Love You


{ a WG industry insider Interactive }

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“The wedding industry isn’t what it used to be. We hear it constantly… wedding vendors are struggling.”

At a time when brides are getting smarter and budgets are getting tighter, successful business owners know the secrets to getting noticed while their competitors end up getting lost in a sea of discount services and all-things-DIY.

If you’re as obsessed with celebrating couples-in-love as we are, you already know about the incredible rewards this industry can deliver. While you might have started your business just as a hobby or side-passion, there’s ways to turn it into your entire life – this girl is living proof.

In the past 5 years Mary Bratko of WeddingGirl.ca has planned hundreds of weddings and has been decoding the inner workings of the bridal mind.


With a little bit of tough love and a whole lot of hard work, Mary knows that you can take your business from your spare bedroom to around the world, like she has.



Join her for this engaging Interactive and learn everything from where you should be spending marketing dollars to why that bride didn’t hire you. Participate in an afternoon of creative connections, branding strategies, blogging how-to’s, sales pitch secrets and the one thing you can do to make sure all of your clients tell all of their friends about you!



{ the Details }

Date: August 24, 2014

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Location: announced to attendees upon registration.

Cost: $119.00 + HST

Currently 15 spots available. Registration Application Forms are available by exclusively by email {info@weddinggirl.ca}

Suggested reading: The WG Story (discount code available for all registrants)

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June 22, 2014

Eilish Palmer | Arkansas Wedding Photographer

{ Arkansas believes that #LoveIsLove … }

On May 9th, 2014, something amazing happened in Arkansas: a state judge ruled the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.

Arkansas Heart State Necklace

The ruling was made late on Friday afternoon, and it was expected that dozens of LGBT couples would arrive at the courthouse on Monday morning to be lawfully wed – and arrive they did!

Among the couples that piled into the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock, strolled in Eilish Palmer of Lady With A Camera Photography. She walked in carrying two cameras… and this sign:

Eilish Palmer Lady With A Camera Arkansas

“It was just automatic that that is what I was going to go do.” – she said.

Palmer figured that when the state judge struck down the same-sex marriage band early on Friday evening, the court would start issuing marriage licenses to LGBT couples first thing on Monday. Recognizing that the majority of these couples wouldn’t have had the privilege of planning a wedding, Eilish felt it was important that they had photos of this historical moment and their once-in-a-lifetime loves.

She took all of the photos for free.

“I feel strongly about marriage equality. I always have.”

By the time the Courthouse closed that Monday afternoon, 169 marriage licenses had been issued and Eilish shot for six hours without stop – over 64gb of images!


“These girls were old enough to know that their moms were getting married and were so happy…” – even the clergyman could feel the emotion.

Eilish’s photographic talent (seen across her Facebook page) is undeniable, and her heart is clearly bursting at the seams. The world is a better place because of wedding vendors who believe that love is love, and that love is never wrong.

From all of us here at WeddingGirl to both Eilish and to all the couples she photographed -



If you or a wedding vendor you know agrees with us that two suits, or two dress – but still one love – please make sure to get in touch for a chance to have your story featured on the WeddingGirl.ca blog!WG= Logo

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Two Girls. Two Dresses. One Love. | #LoveIsLove

{ When Briar met Amanda… }

LGBT Wedding Two Brides Toronto Planners

:: the First Meet

Briar and Amanda met in 2009 through a mutual friend. Their connection was instantaneous and the rest is history!

:: the Big Question

Amanda proposed to Briar one evening in February of 2012. She surprised her with a card saying they were going on an adventure back in time, and re-created some of their favourite memories all around their home. Each memory ‘station’ had an envelope that lead to the next. 
“We initially met over a game of pool so the first visit down memory lane was over a game of ‘table top pool’ and beer. From there we continued on to have a drink inside our tent in the living room, play some NHL hockey on the Xbox, enjoyed some beer and wings and played a great game of 20 questions (at this point we clearly had all the answers!).”
Briar thought the end of the evening was over when Amanda gave her the last envelope and proposed to her with a ring pop!
“To this day she lies to me and says she was surprised when the real ring came later!”

:: the Planning

“That’s when the real fun began…the planning!!” – the Newlyweds tell us.
They chose a date that was 18 months after the proposal.
“We wanted ample time to get ourselves organized and create some fun DYI projects”.

Before their engagement, Amanda and Briar would spend hours hiking in Balls Falls Conversation Area, so it didn’t take the two girls long to decide they wanted to get married in its gorgeous, quaint chapel and have a rustic barn wedding reception.


Rainbow Bridesmaid Dresses LGBT Lesbian Wedding Planners Toronto









“We carefully and lovingly selected each and every one of our wedding vendors by hand”.

 Judith Twells officiated the girls’ ceremony - “and she was absolutely amazing! It was intimate, personal, and loving.”

“Our photographer, Joel Hannigan was an absolute no-brainer.”

In her own words, Amanda had been creeping Joel’s work for many months before she proposed – “and knew I would do anything to have him capture our wedding! It certainly paid off! Huge shout out to Joel and his second shooter Eva Derrick.”

Kelly and Stacy from Ooh La La Designs created the Brides’ beautiful floral arrangements.

“We had a lot of small details that represented us both, right down to the hockey jersey table numbers and Briar’s running shoes. We wanted to make it unique with our own personal creations. We literally made everything that was there (table numbers, banners, chalk boards, centre pieces, etc.). The day of the wedding, Amanda’s Aunt Leslie took all of the DYI items and decorated the barn from floor to ceiling (incl. lights, lanterns, tulle, etc.). She executed our vision perfectly!”

Bridal Gowns + Bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal, Canada

Catering: Kent Heritage Farms

Food Truck: Thunderin’ Thelma | Caplansky’s Deli




All of us here at WeddingGirl.ca believe that #LoveIsLove and that #LoveIsNeverWrong.

To feature your #SameLove wedding on our blog, or to feature your Community-Friendly wedding business, please make sure to Get In Touch!

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June 21, 2014

Pride Month Weddings | @WP14TO | #LoveIsLove

{ WG Supports #SameLove }

By: Vanessa Adams

Vanessa Adams LGBTQ Wedding Planner Toronto WeddingGirl.ca

June has traditionally been the single most popular month for weddings in North America. Trees are lush, flowers in bloom, and the beautiful summer sunshine provides a gorgeous backdrop for photos.

While brides and grooms celebrate June “I Do”‘s, the LGBTQ community acknowledges a more historical celebration – the privilege of celebrating who you are, who you love, and the opportunity to openly express orientation free of judgment and discrimination.


To the Community, June represents the riots of Stonewall 1969 and the last weekend in June is recognized as a “holy” time in remembrance of those who fought before.

When I first started my blogging journey a few years ago, I wanted to visit the Stonewall Inn and pay my respects to those that fought in the famous riots for LGBT equality. My global #LoveIsLove journey started in this exact spot and so many magical things have unfolded since then.


To honour the culture and history of what the month of June represents, LGBT couples often incorporate symbolic elements into their wedding day celebrations – rainbow details to represent the community as a whole, or pink details to represent lesbian love. (Pink is deeply rooted in the lesbian community as Holocaust prisoners identified as lesbian were brought to segregated camps and a pink triangle was sewn to their garments).

Looking for understated and elegant ways to acknowledge the community in your big day? Consider rainbow wine charm guest favours, or hand-stamped initials to wrap into bouquet stem wrap.

Rainbow Charm LGBT Wedding Favours

Or have the team over at the Fraîche Floral Studio custom-design a floral style that reflects your #SameLove love story.

LGBTQ Wedding Flowers Rainbow Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio

The ideas for #LoveIsLove wedding day creativity are endless. To plan yours, make sure to Get In Touch!

~ sparkles + rainbows ~



Vanessa is a Toronto-based Wedding Planner, Destination Wedding Expert, Travel Writer, and Content Strategist for WeddingGirl-Equals. Follow Vanessa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up-to-date on all her adventures!

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June 20, 2014

WeddingGirl.ca supports @WP14TO | #LoveIsLove

WG= Logo

We believe in being in love.

We believe in two suits, two dresses, one love.

We believe in equality.

When Vanessa joined our team and made us realize that there are still so many countries around the world, and so many vendors in our own city, who don’t recognize same-sex unions, we knew it would become our mission to change this… on however a small scale we can make a difference.

Toronto Gay Lesbian Wedding Planners

We believe in standing up for those that deserve to celebrate the most beautiful feeling in the world openly, safely, and without judgment.

We believe that love is never wrong.

Today, our amazing city of Toronto welcomes the launch of World Pride 2014, and we couldn’t be more proud to celebrate alongside those who have come from near and far to show their support.

The landscape of weddings is changing, but being in love will never go out of style. If you, or someone you know, has a #SameLove love story worth sharing, please Get In Touch! We would be honoured to feature you on our blog. (The same goes for vendors open to same-sex unions! Send us a note and let us know why this cause is important to you!)

Together, we’re changing the world.

Don’t stop dreaming, and never, ever, stop loving.

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June 19, 2014

How Pinterest is Ruining Weddings

{ … and why Wedding Planners love|hate it }

 PInterest Single Girl Wedding

A bride said to us the other day, “I can’t compete with all of the perfection on Pinterest anymore.”

… and our hearts broke for her.


If you’re the 0.067% of the female population who doesn’t / hasn’t / won’t use Pinterest to plan her wedding (both real and/or imaginary) then 1. Kudos to you and 2. You should probably skip this blog.

(for the record, I did make that statistic up… but it may as well be true).

Whenever we get emails from newly engaged girls inquiring about wedding planning services, the first thing we often receive in response to questions about Big Day dreams is a URL to a (usually secret) Pinterest board labeled something along the lines of “I Do” or “Blushing Bride” or “Happily Ever After”.

Okay, okay. So maybe hating Pinterest is a bit rash…. but here are three reasons why Pinterest-Planning is ruining weddings everywhere.


1. Copy + Paste

Sure,  these online digital inspiration boards are a pretty awesome way of getting a sense of what you love and what you hate and what you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE on your wedding day… but, much to the disappointment of creative wedding vendors everywhere, most of what Brides-To-Be are pinning on Pinterest these days seems to be the exact same thing.

If you’ve scoured “Wedding Pins” online, you know exactly what we mean.

It seems that unless you’re getting married at magic hour in an oversized rustic barn surrounded by endless fields of tall grasses and dotted with colourful vintage bottles spilling over with wildflower arrangements among mason jar candles accented with twine, lace, and lavender bundles –  you’re apparently doing it wrong.

Everything is wrapped with burlap.

Every wedding boasts vintage furniture with distressed paint.

Every bridal bouquet is an over-the-top, meticulously crafted, couture concoction of a precise number of succulents (in varying shades of minty green), cottage roses, peonies, (mostly impossible to get) anemones, and random sprigs of wildflower-inspired (almost weed-like) blooms that a seriously stylish floral designer was able to tie together and accent with a vintage locket to make it “yours”.

Every bride is wrapped in the arms of her handsome groom while sun rays bend and dance and create whimsical lens flares for the photographer.

Each reception showcases the now-obligatory cake-replacing cutting tier surrounded by a sea of cupcakes (half clearly demarcated as gluten-free via stylish little themed flags carefully glued to tiny toothpicks).

With every new bride who contacts us, our hearts break a little when she shows us a photo of someone else’s gorgeous nuptials saying, ‘I want this.”

Wedding Vendors everywhere have been forced to swallow their creative juices and instead are being asked to recreate the same cakes, the same flowers, and even the same photographic frames that someone else has already done for their big day.

“…. Ummm. Sure. I can recreate that same cake I did for that other bride for that wedding last year……. again.”

Luvvly Cake Co Burlap Lace Mint Green Wedding Cake


2. DIY-Dreaming

Nothing is more frustrating to a wedding planner than when a bride shows us a photo of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ “DIY-inspired” rustic barn wedding and asks us to recreate it on a budget. Yup, our WG team  can do absolutely brilliant things on a shoestring budget… but unfortunately we don’t usually have the resources to hire an army of 50 (no joke) Martha Stewart wedding coordinators to help pull off that “We just did this ourselves this morning” look.

Pinterest is leading modern-day, budget-savvy brides to believe that Do-It-Yourself EVERYTHING is the way to go – that a leisurely walk through the woods will suffice in collecting perfectly round wood slab chargers, that a stroll along the shoreline will provide perfect oversized pieces of driftwood from which to construct a ceremony arch, and that centerpiece flowers can be plucked from alongside any interstate roadway the morning of your wedding.

Pinterest has this bittersweet way of showcasing the best-of-the-best of what WeddingLand has to offer a Nearlywed couple without the necessary price tags attached to it (and remember, cost refers to time and money).

We wish Pinterest photo captions read more like:

“These hand-stamped, colour-coordinated fabric flower escort cards were the reason I missed three weekends at the cottage last summer.”


“This airy, fairy, whimsical bouquet cost more than all of my wedding day jewelry.”

Eco Rustic Shabby Natural Bride Succulent Bouquet Kristen Pete Fraiche Studio

It breaks our hearts to have to tell a bride on a budget that the centerpiece she loves-loves-loves on Pinterest can’t be arranged for less than $6 per table, or that those sheer, romantic  barn door drapes are going to cost hundreds of dollars to install and dismantle.

No, unfortunately we can’t just go to Ikea and buy a lot of sheer curtains and staple them up ourselves.

Believe us – we love, love, love those designs as much as you do…. but as wedding professionals we know the realities of them - the truths that Pinterest wedding boards keep tucked away in their secret digital vaults.


3. The cold, hard, truths.

“I can’t compete with all of the perfection on Pinterest anymore.”


And therein lies the issue of everything that’s wrong with planning a wedding today.

It’s become a competition and brides are allowing their weddings to get bigger than the love they’re supposed to be celebrating.

Like Carrie Bradshaw said, “I let the wedding get bigger than Big.”


Shows like “Say Yes To The Dress” and “Four Weddings” pit Bride against Bride to see who can spend more, plan better, and out-wow each other’s guests.

Those Pinterest bouquets you’ve pinned and loved are the top tier, upper echelon, best-of-the-best bridal bouquets around the world.

Those Pinterest wedding designs are the products of some of the most crafty, creative, affluent bridal dreams on over-the-top budgets.

Those ethereal, whimsical, super-romantic shots with the sunlight refracting into the photographer’s lens are sometimes more the result of right-place-at-the-right-time (with the right weather conditions) than of meticulous itinerary planning.

St. Catharines Toronto Wedding Planner Yellow Green Gray White Vintage Shabby Chic Wedding Wendy Alana Photography Chateau Des Charmes Vineyard Winery Wedding Ceremony Decor


Here’s the thing, Ladies.

Your guests won’t scoff at your wedding day if they’re not dancing the night away in an oversized, rustic barn in the middle of a field of wildflowers.

We promise that no one will be offended that it wasn’t a hand-written, wax-sealed, lace-embossed escort card that directed them to their seat that night.

And even if it rains, your photos will still be gorgeous.

Yup. Pinterest weddings are stunning. Absolutely. We completely agree that the whimsy and the magic and the soft hues and the vintage furniture are all crazy-beautiful. But contrary to mainstream wedding-media belief, these aren’t the only options to having a picture-perfect celebration.

Bright, bold, contemporary photography can be equally as stunning as faded, vintage edits.

Weddings in oversized airport hangars and market squares can be just as much a party as those in barns and fields of flowers.

And, we pinky-swear, if you entrust your tried, trusted, and true wedding vendors with your personality, designs, and inspirational visions, they’ll help you create a wedding day that’s unique, creative, and better than anything you’ve seen on Pinterest. Promise.

It’s not a competition.

It’s about a once-in-a-lifetime celebration to honour your once-in-a-lifetime love.

So how about your skip hand-tying twine to eight dozen escort cards and take your fiancé on a roadtrip instead?

Rather than toiling over hand-stamped favour tags, treat your bridesmaids to an afternoon of gossip and sangria on a patio.

Forego the elaborate vintage furniture rentals and splurge on your favourite bottle of champagne to drink on your one-month Wediversary – just because.

As one of our past WG brides so cleverly put it…

“At the end of the [big] day, it’s not the escort cards, flowers, or decor that you remember or care about — it’s how you felt while celebrating your love. Pinterest can’t prepare you for that so plan what you want, spend what you can, and then enjoy every minute of what you’ve created for yourselves and your guests. It ain’t rocket science and it ain’t a competition — it’s a party.”

And if you’re going to scour the pages of Pinterest leading up to your Big Day, spend more time reading about how to kiss longer, love harder, and live an epic life together… because ultimately, that’s what Happily Ever After is about.



- Photo courtesy of Pinterest. <3



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June 18, 2014

Traveling with your Treasures

{ treasures + travel }

To our dearest Brides-To-Be and Newlyweds alike….

You fell in love and a ring was presented in all of it’s sparkling, gorgeous glory. If you recently said “I Do”, toss in a couple of timeless gold bands and now you’re traveling with potentially tens of thousands of dollars of irreplaceable treasures.



{ top 3 tips for traveling with your treasures }


1. Home sweet home.

Obviously, the safest option for your sentimental keepsakes is to leave them be. If you’re anything like me and can’t bear the thought of being away from your bling,  pick up some fun fashion-jewelry alternatives to the pieces you love and leave their pricey counterparts on tucked away in your jewelry box at home.


2. Better safe than sorry.

There’s no denying that tourists are a target. Not only are we often dazed and confused in the madness of a foreign city, we tend to find ourselves lost in a sea of maps, blindly maneuvering sidewalks while staring down at our cell phones, and often unaware of our surroundings. For this reason alone, keep pricey pieces back at the hotel. While these hotel safes aren’t entirely thief-proof, they do put some onus on the hotel if something does go missing.

Not only is jewelry a target for thieves, but it’s also not life-proof. We’ve heard countless cases of diamonds falling out of rings in hotel pools, necklaces coming off in the ocean, and gemstones loosening from bracelets while playing in the sand.


3. A protection policy.




Traveler’s Insurance isn’t just about mosquito bites and contaminated ice cubes anymore. If the love of your life invest thousands of dollars in putting all your shared hopes, dreams, and wishes for the future into a stunning display of brilliant on the fourth finger of your left hand, insure that bling!

Traveler’s insurance is a small price to pay in comparison to replacing a 1.5 carat, round-cut diamond. Read your options carefully – some policies cover loss and theft while others only cover damage. Understand what your options for replacement are and what the deductible will cost you.


Catriona Barry Sheehan Rosie Niagara

Our WG Insurance Specialist (and past WeddingGirl herself!)  Catriona Barry (of Sheehan & Rosie LTD. – Insurance Brokers) tells us,

“You are insured under your Homeowners, Condo or Tenants  Insurance for up to varying amounts for jewellery, property, etc. However if you make a claim it will be subject to your deductible. Should you wish to carry more comprehensive coverage then you should “Schedule” your jewelry based on appraised limits with “all risk” coverage.

This would provide you with loss anywhere in the world up to the insured value and will include as your situation dictates “mysterious disappearance”. Although you pay an additional premium it is definitely worth it!

For example – 1 Ladies White Gold with Diamond Inset Wedding Band appraised at $2500 would be $45/yr no deductible covered anywhere you are travelling etc. Scheduling requires an appraisal, but it also means no deductible!

It is also important to know that the best insurance comes through an Insurance Broker. If you think you have a claim, call your broker; who will counsel you through the process and provide assistance and direction on whether or not it’s valuable to put forth a claim (deductible and loss of deductible if not scheduled). Calling your insurance company or Direct Writer directly can result in an unwarranted claim as even hypothetical questions (regardless of how meager they seem) can be documented as a claim.”


So, Ladies ::

SCHEDULE your Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands right away! (so many opportunities for loss, between giving to Groomsmen on the wedding day, Honeymoon travels, and just in general not being used to wearing $2-$20k on your little left finger)



For more insurance-related wedding information, feel free to reach out to Catriona directly :: Catriona@SheehanAndRosie.com

Make sure to let her know that WG sent you!

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June 17, 2014

Wedding Invitation Etiquette | #WGx

Filed under: Author: Lisa Hardie,Bridal Blog,DIY Weddings,Etiquette,Stationary,WGx — WeddingGirl @ 11:33 am

{ Wedding Invitation Etiquette }

By: Lisa Hardie, Wedding Planner

Hamilton, Canada


A couple of weeks ago when I was shown a 40th birthday party invite, my jaw nearly hit the floor! The invitation contained the usual who, what, where, and when, but two lines included at the bottom made my stomach churn, then drop: ‘Dress to Impress’ & ‘Monetary Gift Preferred’.

In our opinion, these are definitely some things you do not put on any invitation. Ever.

Inspired by this, allow me to share some invitation etiquette, for weddings and beyond.


{ the Look }

Don’t forget that your wedding invitation is your guests’ first glimpse in to your big day.

Stylistically, it should reflect the theme of your event. A rustic chic wedding invite can be delicately accented with burlap while a modern, contemporary affair should boast similar clean lines and bold font as guests will see throughout your big day.

There are things that your invitation tells your guests without saying anything at all (and they’re just as important as the written word itself!)  A properly designed wedding invitation will convey the tone, feel, formality and design of your wedding.

 Black White Silver Wedding Invitation Design


{ the Formalities }

Brides often get caught up on what details to include on their wedding stationary and which to omit – there are so many examples out there that it’s easy to get overwhelmed! Of course, there is certain information that must be included:

  • Your name and the name of your fiancé, including last names.
  • The date, location, and time of the ceremony.
  • The location and time of the reception.
  • Reply information.
  • If you’re hosting a formal wedding, middle names of the bride and groom should be included.

Traditionally, if the bride’s parents are paying for the wedding, the first line of the invitation should include their names. For example, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Katherine Smith to Eric Jones”.

If the groom’s parents are the ones hosting, include their names instead. In this case, the groom’s name can be listed before the bride’s.

If both sets of parents are contributing to the wedding equally, the invitation should state, “Together with their families, Katherine Smith and Eric Jones request the pleasure of your company at their marriage…”

If the couple is hosting, you can have your invitation read, “Katherine Smith and Eric Jones request the pleasure of your company at their marriage…”


A formal invitation requires that the date, address, and time be spelled out. For example, “Saturday, the sixteenth of June, Two Thousand and Fourteen”, “Two Thirty Three Main Street East” and “Two O’clock in the afternoon”.

We’ve planned a wedding in the past where the bride and groom thought it would be oh-so-cute to have their handsome little man invite guests to the wedding of his mommy and daddy – complete with little-kid printing and toddler scribbles! Of course, a creative and personality-driven invite like that wouldn’t require the same degree of formality as an invitation to a cathedral ceremony followed by a ballroom reception. Have fun with your design and make sure it reflects what’s most important to you!


A meticulously-designed invite will also serve double-duty of suggesting to guests how they should gift. a casual backyard BBQ wedding suggests a different gifting pattern than an opulent, lavish ballroom affair. Keep in mind…. suggesting is not stating. It is not proper form, in any way, to mention gifts on your stationary.

Furthermore, it’s considered in poor taste to even include registry information. Gift registries can be attached to invitations for bridal showers, or guests can reach out to the bridal party or get the info from the couples’ website.


{ the Details }

  • When it comes to addressing your invitations, consider the following:
  • If the invitation is addressed to a couple, both names should appear on the same line.
  • Non-married couples should have their name on different lines (including engaged couples).
  • Always spell out “street,” “avenue,” “apartment,” etc.
  • When giving someone a plus one, try your best to find out their guest’s name and include it on the envelope.
  • Put your return address on the back of the envelope, not the front.

  • Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the RSVP.
  • Provide a map and directions to the ceremony and reception locations.

  • The only polite way to let people know about your gift registry is to have your friends and attendants spread the word. Some consider including instructions for gift registries with your invitation rude.
  • Never, under any circumstances, do you mention anything regarding monetary gifts. Ever.
  • Hand-writing the address on the envelope adds a personal touch that will mean a lot to the people you’re inviting.

  • Punctuation is only used on invitations after courtesy titles such as Mr. and Dr.
  • If you’re allowing children at the wedding, address the envelope,“Mr. and Mrs. Michael Adams and Family”.


{ the Real Deal }

I asked my social media followers about the worst thing they have seen  on a wedding invitation and here is what they had to say:

Melissa writes, “The location that the couple is registered, or even worse some kind of “cash only” message”.

Maddison says, “Specifically asking for no guests to be brought (no date). Also, specifically asking for cash over presents. Tacky!”

Stephanie says, “I think [it’s] rude to be invited to just the reception”.

Brittany writes, “I don’t like seeing monetary gifts only. Seems so rude to me! I’ve [also] seen one that even stated how much each plate cost…So pretty much they were telling you to pay for your own food plus a gift!`

Rachael writes, “The worst I thought was one that had the information for the registry and said that the couple prefers for people to not stray from the registry, stating it was less problematic for everyone in the long run…needless to say, I threw it into my recycling and declined”.

Rachael bring ups a good point, coming across as being tacky and rude will just be a turn off to those who you are inviting and you may end up offending some so much that they will actually decline your invitation. This is the last thing you would want to do because you’re inviting them for a reason and obviously want them to be a part of your special day.

What do you think? Reach out to me in Social MediaLand to join the conversation!


Twitter: @LisaWedGirl

Instagram: @LisaWeddingGirlDotCa

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton


{ Blog Love }

Wedding Invitation designed by Istilia Roche Paper Designs, Toronto



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