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July 1, 2014

Using UBER for your Wedding Day Transportation in Toronto

{ an oh-so-UBER-alternative }

This blog is being written for Lili and for all those other budget-savvy wedding parties in Toronto who just aren’t up for spending thousands of dollars on wedding day transport.

All of us here at WeddingGirl discovered Uber the day we  first met Lucas and his team at the UNIUN Industry Open House last summer.

We’ve loved them ever since.

For those of you that don’t know, Uber is like your own personal chauffeur – sending a swanky black car to anywhere you are, directly through their mobile app on your phone (and it’s crazy easy to download the app for iPhone/Android - search, select, download – done!)

Once you’ve signed up your account (yes, it’s totally safe to give them your credit card!) – just pick the vehicle you’d like, press a button, and a car pulls up to your location in minutes. Uber Black cars range from Lincoln Town Cars to Cadillac Escalades, and if you’re looking to save a buck or two, regular yellow taxi cabs are available as well. – No payments, no tipping, no hassles! If you’ve got your cell phone, you’ve got yourself a driver.

Uber Toronto Logo

 

{ Wedding Day Uber Transportation }

I guess it’s no coincidence that Lili emailed us right as we were working on the Uber details for a Day Of Itinerary for one of our upcoming WG couples. It sealed the deal that this really is a pretty fab alternative to traditional wedding day transportation in the city!

Of course, some logistics will need to be ironed out.

1. Determine who in your Wedding Party doesn’t already have the UBER app installed on their phone.

2. Get them to download it.

3. Promo code WEDDINGGIRL will give you a $30 credit (which will mostly get you anywhere in the city for free).

4. Figure out how many people you’ll be moving around with and make sure to specifically request the SUV Black Car option – by sliding the car selector to the right – otherwise you might get a limo sedan that only fits 4….. or, 1.5 brides, depending on the size of her train!

5. On the day of the wedding, have your UBER call details worked into your itinerary.

A piece of advice from a wedding planner who’s mostly seen everything that can go wrong – be super robust in your scheduling! Uber cars usually take < 15 minutes to get to you… so allot yourselves 30. If you’re traveling somewhere that’s 30 minutes away, schedule at least 45.

 

{ first come, first serve }

There is no way to pre-reserve your Uber cars. Just like a regular taxi service, Uber’s are available on a first-come, first-serve basis …. so you do need to consider how long you’ll be waiting for a car on weekends, holidays, during freak thunder storms, etc. (Unfortunately, there are a couple of drawbacks alongside saving a thousand dollars)

Beyond the time it takes your car to arrive, remember that any time you’re moving around the great metropolis of Toronto you know that traffic can either be absolutely mental or entirely non-existent – it’s a risk any commuter takes. Hey, limos get stuck in traffic too – just plan accordingly!

{ Uber Planning }

Say you’re looking to transport 12 people on your big day – 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, and the Bride and Groom.

For the purposes of comfort and wedding dress logistics, let’s give the Bride her own UBER car just in case her dress has one of those oversized crinolines or crazy-long trains to accommodate.  Here’s a sample Wedding Day Itinerary complete with Wedding-Planner-Approved UBER details….

11:30 a.m. – Groomsman #1 orders Uber SUV Car #1 (6 men will usually easily fit into an SUV car)

12:00 p.m. – Groomsmen leave Westin Harbour Castle Hotel (1 Harbour Square, Toronto)

12:30 p.m. – Groomsmen arrive at Thompson Hotel for the First Look (550 Wellington Street, w). 

1:00 p.m. – Bride + Groom’s First Look at the Thompson Hotel (photographers in place)

1:15 p.m. – Groomsman #2 orders Uber SUV Car #2 | Bridesmaid #1 orders Uber SUV Car #3|  Bridesmaid #2 orders Uber SUV Car #4

1:30 p.m. – Wedding party travels to UofT (27 King’s College Circle)

2:30 p.m. – Groomsmen #3 + #4 order Uber SUV Car #’s 5 + 6

3:00 p.m. – Wedding party travels to Metropolitan United Church (56 Queen Street, East)

4:00 p.m. – Ceremony begins

4:30 p.m. – Ceremony concludes – family photos begin outside of the church

4:45 p.m. – Groomsman #5 calls Uber SUV Car #7 | Bridesmaids #3 and #4 order Uber SUV Car #’s 8 + 9

5:00 p.m. – Wedding Party travels to St. James’ Cathedral Event Centre (65 Church Street)

5:30 p.m. – Eat, drink, celebrate!

Sooo, the grand totals? Nine of your closest lovelies signing up for the UBER service, 9 black SUV cars, for a grand total of $0.00 assuming everyone is signing up for the first time and using their WEDDINGGIRL promo credit!

Ta-Da!  Just a bit of pre-planning details and some digital data magic = free wedding day transportation!

Happy Uber-ing!

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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.

Noted.

 

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.

Shame.

 

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!

whitegrapemargarita

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!”

or

“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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June 22, 2014

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.

RainbowBridalPartyLesbianGayWeddingNiagara

Rainbow Bridesmaid Dresses LGBT Lesbian Wedding Planners Toronto

OhLaLaDesignsFonthillBouquets

BallsFallsWeddingCeremonyChapelJudithTwells

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SameSexWeddingBallsFallsNiagara

LesbianLoveSameSexWeddingJoelHaniganPhotography


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“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

JoelHanniganPhotographySameSexWeddingNiagara

 

———-

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 12, 2014

Traditions + Trends | Wedding Flowers on a Budget

{ oh-so-Flowers }

Soft, flirty florals? or bright, bold blooms?

One thing we can’t ignore is the turn in wedding trends toward all-things-budget and all-things-less-traditional.

Eco Rustic Shabby Natural Bride Succulent Bouquet Kristen Pete Fraiche Studio

 

{ time are changing … }

… and so is (almost) everything about weddings these days!

Is it really bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony? Not at all. We’ve seen some ‘First Look’ photos that capture such insanely intimate emotion between couples that the magic oozes from the pixels.

Wedding Day First Look Leah Bryan Wendy Alana Photography

And did you hear the recent uproar about the not-so-virgin who wore a white dress down the aisle?? Nope. Because it’s not considered scandalous to deviate from outdated traditions surrounding wedding day attire. Actually, brides are rocking some gorgeous non-white alternatives on their wedding days these days; our favourites include stunning champagnes and beautiful blushes.

Candlelit Wedding Aisle Decor The Flower Shop @ WG copy

Regardless of how far some weddings are gravitating away from tradition and opulent expenses, there’s no denying that flowers continue to withstand the test of time and, against all budget odds, remain a huge part of wedding decor and overall big-day design.

But like like wedding dresses and photography trends are constantly evolving, so too are options for flowers; giving every bride an opportunity to style her floral dreams based on beautiful new inspirations for theme, colour, and personality. As inquiries for 2015 begin to roll in to the Fraîche Floral Studio, we’re seeing everything from simple and timeless to over-the-top-trendy. We can’t help but be madly in love with every single stem!

Indian Wedding Flowers Gold Red Bridal Bouquet Yellow Fraiche Floral Studio

 

 { the investment }

“But flowers are expensive! Why would I spend all that money on something that’s going to die?!”

… if we had a nickel for every time we’ve heard a bride express concern about the cost of wedding flowers. And they’re not wrong! With over five years of experience in planning weddings, we’ve seen everything from luxe-turned-disaster with gaudy, over-the-top arrangements to the stunning, timeless beauty of everything elegantly understated. Sure, we’re biased – we looooove peonies and anemones and hand-crafted Italian lace accents, but we’re here to set the record straight: flowers don’t have to be expensive! (And as for them dying… well.. I mean.. you’re only going to listen to your DJ play once too, right?)

Over in the fraîche studio we aren’t looking to give you “cheap”. It’s easy to toss together a half dozen boring roses and call it a Bridesmaid’s bouquet. The magic of our styling comes through when we can help enhance value and create brag-worthy arrangements that rival the city’s most high-end designers without putting you in the red.

Blue Purple Celestial Inspired Bridal Bouquet fraiche floral1

 

{ fancy flower alternatives }

Styling those gorgeous, wildflower-inspired bouquets is pricier than most brides realize. The bouquets you see splashed across magazine pages are meticulously styled and usually made up of a dozen varieties of flora – blooms, twigs, seeds, and stems.

The truth is, a classic rose bouquet can be elegantly designed to evoke just as much a high-end feel as its pricey couture counterparts. It’s all in visualizing colours that wouldn’t otherwise come together, and utilizing shapes and sizes that complement each other well.

fraiche floral studio vintage rose bridal bouquet

And guess what? Contrary to what the lovely ladies of Sex And The City tell us, carnations aren’t just filler flowers anymore. Add a hint of class, vintage charm to your classic rose bouquet by mixing in the lovely textures of same-c0lour carnations to enhance its designer feel without breaking your budget. All it takes is a couple of sprigs of this-or-that, here-and-there, to transform a bouquet entirely.

Winter Bride White Blue Bridal Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio Designs

If you feel your bridal style leans more toward trendy than traditional, think about gravitating toward exotic bloom designs or non-floral alternative all together! Succulents are the perfect accessory for ec0-chic and rustic-inspired designs. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and shades of green. These hearty little lovelies are available year-round and can even be planted after your wedding. You can tie in your earth-friendly theme by accentuating designs with wood, burlap, twine, raw cotton or pine cones.

Rustic Purple Green Bridal Bouquet WeddingGirl.ca

We’re starting to see more and more brides incorporate hints of fabric and lace among their natural bloom counterparts to really set off the romance and whimsy of their designs, while others are opting for contemporary wire and metal accents.

fraiche floral studio purple red modern bouquet

One bride opted to carry an entirely artificial bouquet made from fabric, lace, and brooches and we styled complementary fresh bouquets for her bridal party.

Fraiche Floral Blush White Sparkle Bouquet Fabric Bridal Wedding Peony Baby's Breath

It seems that the new rule for wedding flowers is that there are no rules! So long as arrangements are styled on a budget, and carefully constructed with meticulous attention to detail, no one will know you opted to skip versus splurge. Most of the modern brides that contact our studio are looking for unique, one-of-a-kind spins on their favourite Pinterest-inspired dreams – and all of us here get pretty excited about infusing arrangements with personality and character.

Every day we’re sending out stunning Wish Lists made up of new and inventive designs that just continue to inspire us further.

Get In Touch with all-things-gorgeous and we can’t wait to sprinkle on a bit of our own je ne sais quois to turn those fabulous floral dreams in to your wedding day designs.

Much love,

the fraîche team.

Follow Fraîche on Facebook for sneak-peek photos and

Behind-The-Scenes action from our studio!

Fraiche Floral Studio Pink White Green Bouquets

{ blog love :: photog credits }

In order of appearance….

Taylor Jackson Photography

Wendy Alana Photography

Captivate Bridal Cinema

Serena Swan Photography

Holly Thomas Photography

mINK Creative Photographic

 AMB Photo

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May 26, 2014

Bicoastal Images | Toronto Destination Wedding Photographers

{ moments to memories }

Jennifer and Manuel Salazar of Bicoastal Images caught our eye when our very own Vanessa posted that she was going down to Cancun for 9 days on Instagram. Jennifer was so friendly and open to meeting and chatting about all-things-Destination-Wedding-Photography.

Destination Wedding Beach Ceremony Bicoastal Images

 

Shortly thereafter, early one morning these two lovely ladies had a chat on the beach and exchanged ideas and inspiration for destination weddings.

Vanessa Adams Jenniger Bicoastal images

Jennifer and Manuel have a passion for weddings and being in love for as long as they can remember. Based in Cancun, Mexico as well as in Toronto, Canada, having wedding photographers that understand the ins and outs of the countries they’re shooting in puts them head-and-shoulders above those photographers that fly down blindly and hope for the best.

It’s important to know that your wedding photographers have done their research and understand what it means to take pictures at your destination: climate, weather, time of year, daylight hours, local permits, landscape and even wildlife can play a role in wedding day photography – make sure to stick with seasoned experts!

And Jennifer and Manuel aren’t strictly stuck to Mexico. Earlier this year they ventured to Ocho Rios, Jamaica for a destination wedding. They called it one of their most beautiful to date! (no doubt)

“There’s nothing more exciting than capturing the chemistry and excitement between couples from all over the world. Love knows no borders and we give our brides and grooms moments and memories that they can relive and treasure for years to come. Our hearts know no happiness greater than turning life’s moments in to incredible memories.

Destination Wedding Bride Groom Bicoastal Images

Indian Destination Wedding Bicoastal Images

Destination Wedding Shoes Bicoastal Images

———-
Vanessa is a travel blogger and destination wedding planner with Wanderlust Weddings by WG.
To have Vanessa feature your travel-related product or service on the WG blog, please contact her directly: vanessa@weddinggirl.ca
For destination wedding planning inquiries, make sure to Get In Touch!

WGxPhotoshoot (347 of 444)

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May 23, 2014

{ Hotti Biscotti | Gourmet Desserts | Hamilton, Ontario }

 

We recently had the pleasure of meeting Debby at the Niagara Food + Wine Expo, promptly fell in love with her desserts and delightful disposition, and now MUST introduce her to the WeddingGirl.ca universe!

She’s the founder and driving force behind Hotti Biscotti, a gourmet dessert shop in Hamilton, Ontario. They create tasty treats for weddings, showers, special and everyday occasions.

Their desserts make amazing, tasty favours that can be colour-coordinated to match your wedding’s theme.  What about incredible, heaping dessert platters to delight your wedding guests? Check, they have those too! The options are really only limited by your imagination!

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Located in Westdale Village, the cozy, 200 sq ft shop pumps out hundreds of desserts for distribution throughout Hamiton. Debby has an amazing ally in all of this: her son, Louis. He not only brings a fresh, contemporary energy to the brand, but continues to motivate and encourage Debby in her life-long dream of running a bakery.

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We can personally vouch for the tastiness of Debby and Louis’ baked goods – we tried their biscotti, chocolate peanut butter pops & chocolate pretzels – all incredible! This mother-son duo has hit a home run with Hotti Biscotti and we’re so happy to share their loveliness with all of you!

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Looking to have these delightful, delicious treats on your big day? Make sure to Get in touch!

To see your product or service featured on the WG blog, send a note to Media@WeddingGirl.ca

 

 

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May 22, 2014

{The Sweet Treat Co. | Clionadh Twomey | Dublin, Ireland}

 

As lovers of all things pink + colourful it’s no surprise The Sweet Treat Co. grabbed our attention!

A perfect addition to any wedding or birthday party, The Sweet Treat Co. elevates dessert tables and candy buffet from ordinary to exceptional. Check out their website, and awesome online boutique.

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While planning her own own wedding, Clionadh – the founder of The Sweet Treat Co. (a.k.a. The Queen of Candy) – became frustrated at the lack of original and unique ideas for the big day.  She wanted something that worked with the stylish theme, while indulging her guest’s affinity for fun!

Huwelijksfotograaf Den Haag, Nederland

In that moment, she decided that all Nearlyweds looking to make a statement, with unparalleled style, should have a place to go…and so The Sweet Treat Co. was born!! Now, Clionadh works with a carefully selected team, to turn dessert dreams into a sweet reality!

Completely and utterly obsessed with creating beautiful displays at home and in the garden, Clionadh approaches the Sweet Treat Company with the same passion and creative styling. She researches trends, event styling, and always looks for ways to add a bit of shimmer and sparkle.

“I hope to inspire you to infuse personal style with gorgeous details in your next celebration.”

- The Queen of Candy

Huwelijksfotograaf Den Haag, Nederland

 

Looking for ways to have some stylish, yummy accents incorporated in to your sweet day? Make sure to Get in touch!

For Destination Wedding Planning, contact our team of experts at Wanderlust Weddings by WG.

To see your product or service featured on the WG blog, send a note to Media@WeddingGirl.ca

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May 21, 2014

Istilia Roche | Paper Designs

{ Toronto Custom Stationary Design }

There’s no denying that picture-perfect celebrations begin with beautiful invitations. Your wedding day stationary is your guests’ first glimpse in to the style, design, and overall feel of your big day – so it’s important that you create a stationary concept that’s a great reflection of your love story.

Tess Istiliah Roche Paper Designs Toronto

We recently had the pleasure of being introduced to the lovely Tess Mantas, Invitation Artist and Designer over at Istilia Roché Paper Designs. She offers a stunning selection of meticulously tailored invitations for any celebration, as well as matching stationary for the entire event or special occasion.

Tess Mantas Toronto Stationary Designer Artist

Stationary isn’t just about invitations anymore. More and more couples are opting to have their Stationary Artists create gorgeous packages that include Save The Dates, Invitations, Ceremony Programs, Table Menus, Table Numbers, Escort Cards, Seating Charts, Favour Tags, Thank -You Cards, and sometimes even more. The most memorable pieces are custom designed and handmade with love; each matte perfectly aligned and every font chosen with care.

“I personalize every design to each, individual bride. I create timeless styles to suit each couple’s theme and budget using only the highest quality of paper, the most beautiful lace trims, elegant satin ribbons, and just the right amount of bling, crystal accents, and chic buckles.

 

All of our invitations are entirely customizable – so be sure to think outside of the box! Everything can be altered to match your liking… from size, colour, graphics, and layouts to individual embellishments that will adorn your notes.”

 

Istiliah Roche Wedding Stationary Toronto

 

Tess works closely with her brides to design not just an invitation, but unique pieces of art. “I’m often told that guests thought the invite was so beautiful that they just couldn’t throw them away after the wedding. Many of my pieces end up displayed in china cabinets and saved as a token of an memorable celebration.”

Whether you’re recently engaged, planning a bridal shower, or planning a birthday party or baptism, every picture-perfect celebration begins with an invitation, and Istilia Roché will make sure yours is unforgettable.

Tess Mantas Toronto Stationary Artist

Black White Silver Wedding Invitation Design

Custom Wedding Stationary Design Toronto

Purple Gold Wedding Invtitation Design

Ribbon Lace Buckle Wedding Invitation

Tess Mantas Istilia Roche Toronto

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May 15, 2014

Wedding Celebrant | Sandie Smith | Paris, France

{ France is always a good idea… }

Paris Eiffel Tower Wedding Celebrant Sandie

Sandie Smith’s Twitter profile grabbed us with the words “evolution of the soul”.. visiting her website, we knew immediately that something special was crossing our path! She is an experienced, wedding celebrant (we LOVE this term!) who happily officiates humanist, non-religious wedding ceremonies all over the world.

SandieSmithWeddingMinisterFrance

We love her commitment to honouring personal sensibilities and cultural traditions.

She works closely with couples to chose readings, vows, music and laughs.

Celebrant Sandie Paris France Wedding

She embraces ideas both formal and informal with patience and compassion.

She aims to tell a story with every ceremony; A perfect reflection of the love being celebrated.

Celebrants in France Sandie Smith

*Swoon*

Sandie, why do you have to be so far away!?

“…but the wedding ceremony is the quiet moment where everything stops.

It must be moving and absolutely engaging.

Even the most cynical must get swept along.”

Celebrant Sandie Smith France

Combining her passion for spiritual development with years of experience in the performing arts, Sandie will orchestrate an uplifting, romantic ceremony which is both joyful and profound.

Her services have been sought all over the world, as reflected in her impressive portfolio.

Fluent in English and French, Sandie has made France her home for the past thirty years. As she mentions on her website:

“People come from all over the world to get married in France. Its romantic allure is perfect for fairy tale weddings in French chateaux, on beaches, in family homes, under the Eiffel Tower, Paris etc. A great deal of effort and resources go into the organization of the event.”

We couldn’t agree more!

We also wish on every star that one day our paths might cross in person, to give us the chance to meet this kind soul who’s making the world a better, brighter place by uniting people in love.

To connect with our Destination Wedding Planning team, take a peek at Wanderlust Weddings by WG.

To have Sandie officiate your same-sex marriage, connect with us over at WeddingGirl-Equals on Facebook!

Celebrant Sandie PAris France

 

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Sandie Smith, France, has earned our WG{=} seal of approval, denoting a safe and open love and acceptance of all relationships. For more details on how to be denoted an {=}-Approved Vendor, make sure to Get In Touch.

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May 14, 2014

Eco-Chic Accessories | Custom-Designed Stationary :: Boston

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“The luminescent glow of a freshwater pearl, the crisp texture of a handmade paper, the way that a new journal feels in your hands – these are the things that I seek to preserve in my designs.”

- Aurora Palesca

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Luxury.

Hand-crafted.

Eco-conscious.

– All things that our WG event designers love, love, LOVE!​

AuroraPalesca Custom Jewelry Stationary Design Belgium 

Aurora Palesca Designs opened for business in the spring of 2009, the inevitable result of a life-long love affair with art and beauty. Designer Robyn Palescandolo, nicknamed Aurora Palesca, began selling her beaded jewelry to classmates when she was only 10 years old, and received her first paid calligraphy job at the age of 12. She has spent much of her life wandering the halls of art museums and galleries, and has traveled the world discovering unique perspectives. She is a self-taught artist and artisan of many trades, has exhibited her paintings in Boston area restaurants, and holds a degree in Art History from Boston University.

After 10 years of working in art-related fields, Aurora Palesca had fully realized that nothing could satisfy her artistic impulses better than creating simple, natural, and handcrafted goods that make everyday life a little more beautiful. In the spring of 2008, she decided to take the plunge. She left her full time job at a cutting-edge virtual tour company in order to pursue her dreams. Aurora Palesca is now a full-time mother, a full-time business owner, and a happily prolific creator of handmade luxuries.

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“One of our primary goals at Aurora Palesca Designs is to celebrate what is naturally beautiful. We like to think that what we are making adds something special to our world, rather than taking something away from it. Because of this, we feel a strong commitment to providing a fully sustainable and ethical service. So we choose materials not only for their beauty and superior quality, but also for their sensitivity to our world and the people who live in it.

“We also run a green studio focused on the beauty of craft rather than productivity and profit margins. Our philosophy is simple — respecting our world, our creations, and ourselves deepens the sense of pride that we feel in our work.”

Custom Designed Eco Stationary Belgium

Aurora Palesca’s jewelry and stationery has been described as eco-chic, understated, and elegant. She designs primarily in sterling silver, gemstones, and natural papers, but is constantly exploring new media. She runs a green studio, and uses ethical and environmentally friendly raw materials whenever possible (think: recycled metals, textiles, and fairly traded stones! so lovely!).

These stunning pieces are currently sold online, through private parties, and at various craft shows. Robyn also frequently donates items to charity auctions.

To have your very own Aurora Palesca custom-designed pieces accentuating your one-of-a-kind wedding day, send us a note about the dreams you have – and we can’t wait to watch them come to life!

 

Everyday we’re choosing a twitter follower at random to feature to our WG readers – follow WeddingGirl for your chance to be our next surprise media spotlight!

 

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