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October 15, 2014

New York Bridal Fashion Week 2015

From the Runway: J. Mendel Bridal Collection

Authored by: Leah Sandhu

Is anyone else excited to see what’s coming off of the Bridal Fashion runways?!  If you haven’t had a chance to catch up, here’s a selection of some of my favourite’s from the J. Mendel Collection. I’ve been working on our Bridal Look Book and have been dreaming about using some of these gorgeous gowns!

J.Mendel13-14

J.Mendel13

J.Mendel1-18

J.Mendel22

J.Mendel17-21

Photo source {J. Mendel Collection}

Who is your favourite bridal wear designer?

What dress are you dying to wear on your wedding day?

Stay tuned for more of my favourites! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for more inspiration.

leah

Leah Sandhu is a Fusion Wedding Expert and Bridal Lifestyle Blogger at WeddingGirl.ca.

To have Leah’s creative input and meticulous attention to detail for your Fusion celebration, make sure to Get In Touch! leah@weddinggirl.ca

 

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October 13, 2014

Meet Carly :: #TheNewWeddingGirl

Filed under: Author: Carly Whiteman,Bridal Blog,WGx — WeddingGirl @ 11:07 am

{ this is Carly }

Authored by: Carly Whiteman

(the newest WeddingGirl)

Carly Whiteman WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton Wedding Planner

“Wow”

That’s what I’ve been walking around for the last 48 hours saying.

Well, to be completely honest I’ve walked away from each WeddingGirl meeting and event over the last month with a huge smile and always the same reaction…

“WoW”.

This “WoW effect” ( thats what I’m calling it) comes from me being absolutely amazed at the love, support,  and kindness that a group of intelligent, business savvy, smart witted, beautiful women (and AlphaGroom) exude so naturally and here I stand in shock.

Am I actually fortunate enough to be a part of this ?

To back track a little I should introduce myself.

My name is Carly, I’m from Hamilton, I’m raising 2 amazing kids, and have just about 10 years experience in the wedding industry.

I never anticipated coming out of the shadows from behind a business name, or discussing what I have to offer….

… but here I am.

And I’m all in!!

I’m ready to share my experience, put my ideas and concepts on paper, and spread glitter and a contagious smile wherever I go.

This is my transformation.

It’s happening when I least expected it, but taking that leap can move mountains and surround you with the kind of love you never anticipated; a sisterhood, a family, not through blood, but through bond.

So in the spirit of thanksgiving I cannot help but support what Mary wrote yesterday….

Be grateful every day.

Don’t limit your gratitude to one day a year.

I am so very grateful to be on this team.

This is the beginning of my dreams coming true.

I am unbelievably grateful to have this team support me and I cannot wait to introduce myself to all of you in person.

Girlboss quote

Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

 

 

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Alternative Late Night Buffet Ideas

Filed under: Author: Lisa Hardie,Bridal Blog,Catering,DIY Weddings,WGx — WeddingGirl @ 12:00 am

{Dare to be different when it comes to your late-night buffet.}

Authored by: Lisa Hardie

After the vows have been said and the formal dinner over, your guests are ready to party as your DJ drops the beat (yes, I actually did just say that). But after a while they have likely had a few drinks and need something to soak up all the alcohol.

Enter your late night buffet.

Gone are the traditional fruit and veggies trays; and those awful egg salad sandwiches that we used to see. It’s time to keep up with the trendy late night buffet tables that suit your personality. Don’t be afraid to talk to your caterer or venue on what matters to you; they should work with you to help make every detail just the way you want it. Of course, your wedding planner can help with that too.

Here are just a few idea’s to help make your late night buffet stand out.

1. Burgers and beer; a natural combination.

Burgrs and Beer - Pinterest Edited

 

2.  A doughnut bar; to satisfy your guests sweet tooth.

Donut Bar - Pinterest Edited

 

3. Taco bar; to keep the fiesta going.

Taco Bar - Indulge Party Blog Edited

4. A pizza bar; because quite honestly, who doesn’t love pizza?

Pizza Buffet - Abi Q photography Edited

5. For something completely out-of-the-box; how about a trendy food truck?

Food Truck Edited

The possibilities are endless when it comes to catering your event. Just have fun with it and make it your own; you’ll be sure to leave your guests wanting more!

___

 

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton

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

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

___

Blog Love::

Pinterest

Indulge Your Party

Abi Q Photography

Chaz Cruz Photogrphy

Serena Swan Photography

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October 12, 2014

thank you. thank you. thank you.

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 12:25 pm

{ Today I am thankful for…. }

Thanksgiving Thankful Wedding Place Setting

Just like Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a marketing ploy to remind people to love one another, Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a turkey-laden, pumpkin-adorned reminder to be grateful. Alas, whatever the outside reminder may be to take a moment and reflect inward on the all the incredible bounties in our lives, so be it.

Today, I’m taking a moment to express gratitude, and be thankful.

Today, I’m thankful for a fateful trip - an unexpected adventure to and through India and Nepal – that changed, forever, how I see life, love, business, and the world.

Mary Bratko India Instagram Eleghant

I’m thankful for a random, slightly drunken afternoon walk west on Bloor Street that gave rise to an idea that would change everything I knew about the company I’d built.

I’m thankful for those loving and supportive faces that showed up on that random evening back in January when, for the first time in ever, I sat in front of a group of  mostly-strangers and spoke aloud about this crazy idea.

MaryBratkoWGxUniversityTorontoFacultyClub6

I’m thankful for the faces from that crowd that believed so much in what I had to say that they decided to come on board and be a part of that wild dream.

I’m thankful, today, for that dream being more alive and more real than ever.

I’m thankful for WeddingGirl-Multiplied…. #WGx …. and for the group of people I’m surrounded by that remind me never to stop dreaming.

Little Black Dress Photoshoot Palais Royale

In alphabetical WeddingGirl order….

Today I’m grateful for Brenda – our tech-savvy, creative, sarcastic and baby-loving WeddingGirl who can write a stellar blog post on just about any topic in such a way that makes you want to re-read it over and over.

Brenda Hanks WeddingGirl.ca

I’m grateful for Carly, our newest WeddingGirl. And by newest I mean, literally less than 24 hours old. Carly and I met at a wedding years ago. Our paths crossed again at an event in the summer, and after some dreaming big together, WG was lucky enough to bring this passionate, driven, talented soul on board.

Carly Whiteman WeddingGirl.ca

I’m so grateful for our beautiful little Laura. This meek, timid little mouse is a Social Media Maven force to be reckoned with. In her own words, speaking in public may make her want to vomit, but put this brave traveler into any social media vessel and she’ll circumnavigate the earth. Twice.

Laura Arbelaez WeddingGirl.ca

I’m grateful for Leah. She may have just had to pass her #TheNewWeddingGirl title off to Carly, but this business-minded dreamer has been making things happen since her very first day with us in WG-Land. Whether it’s planning weddings, styling shoots, or changing the way things are done around here…. Leah’s going to scorch the earth and we’re so lucky to have her.

Leah Sandhu WeddingGirl.ca

Linda. Grateful doesn’t even begin to express my gratitude for Linda. Once upon a time I bribed Linda with cupcakes and champagne to be a friendly face of support at that WGx talk in January. That night she proposed to come on board. Since then, our best-friend-ship would never be the same again. Corporate strategy, media relations, nights out in little black dresses and cocktails on rooftop patios…. what’s more amazing than being in business with your bestie? Well, I guess, being in business with 7 of them….

Mary Bratko Linda Keeping WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

So very grateful for Lisa. Our Little Miss DIY who can make anything, do anything, and so far has been one of the few WeddingGirl’s to muster up the intestinal fortitude to post video selfie diaries. Lisa has coordinated a couple of gorgeous weddings with me and is planning a handful more – all while learning what it means to be a mum, be a stellar wife, all while chasing her dreams for Happily Ever After of her own.

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton

And then there’s AlphaGroom. How can I not be grateful for a dude who’s brave enough to join a team of ALL-of-the-girls, be a high octane gentleman every time we get together, and, most importantly, watch our purses during WG-army outings. Thanks for being awesome, AlphaGroom.

AlphaGroom.ca

And last but BY FAR not least…. to all of our beautiful brides, incredible vendors, and those friends and family who won’t ever stop supporting our mission to lace the world with cupcakes, glitter, and unicorns.

So while I may not agree that turning leaves and colourful gourds are required to remind us to acknowledge the awesome, I suppose any external reminder is a good one.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

thankful grateful blessed

{ blog love }

Credits:

Typhanie Peterson Blog

Etsy :: ASign4Life

Serena Swan Photography

 

 

 

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October 11, 2014

WGxBOS :: Boston Blogpreneur Workshop | 11.02.14

{ Boston Beginner Blogger Workshop }

I love Boston.

I mean, how can you not?!

Cobblestone.

Craft beer.

Cannoli.

- what’s not to love about this gorgeous place?

And in a few weeks I’m lucky enough to be heading back to that gorgeous place….  only this time, I’m bringing the Blogpreneur Workshop with me!

boston love graphic

{ what’s blogpreneur? }

 

“OoooOooo! You’re a blogger?! I want to be a blogger!”

…. if I had a nickel.

———-

When we first announced WeddingGirl-University earlier this year, the primary motivating factor behind its launch was a deeply-rooted passion to share information, motivation, and ideas. It’s that whole “Give a girl a cupcake vs. teach her how to bake”-type proverb….

….. that is how it went, right?

Regardless.

WeddingGirl University is about multiplying….. and the Blogpreneur Workshop Series is about inspiring everyone to create a life they love by working online.

WeddingGirl University Logo

{ So…. who’s WG? }

We’re a team of event planners who spend their lives connecting.

Our days are spent designing, planning, coordinating, and attending some of the best moments of being alive. We snap, tweet, post, and buzz online to immortalize the parts of life that nobody ever wants to forget… and in this modern day of complete digital connectivity, it’s become clear just how life-changing the e-world can be!

Henna Kreations Burlington Deepali WeddingGirl.ca

ThompsonHotelWeddingPlannersToronto

We’re constantly getting asked why we take so many pictures.

As is most often the case when we explain what we do for a living, our response are met with an elated – “OoooOooo! I want to do that!” – and suddenly the clouds part and angels sing and our WGU logo appears in the sky like a foretelling bat-signal.

Okay… well, maybe there’s no bat-signal. But there should be.

———-

Mary Bratko Entrepreneur Blogger Wedding Planner Toronto

Whether it’s telling someone that I’m a wedding planner or mentioning that I’m a blogger, I’m usually met with

1. Comments of disbelief (Yes, I assure you – I’m a blogger… and yes, it pays my bills)

and/or

2. Expressions of wanton coveting.

Indeed, I am a blogger. Once upon a time I decided to do away with my degrees in Psychology and Neuroscience and my plans for medical school.

These days, I don’t have to go to an office every morning.

I travel at least a dozen times a year.

I spend most days working in pyjama pants.

I get to mess around on the interwebs all day long and I’ve found ways to get paid to play on Pinterest (and Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter!).

And on the days when I do decide to get dressed, it’s usually because I’ve been invited to special things by special people just so that I can tell other people about it.

Here’s the thing, though…. and let’s be serious: I never meant to end up here.

Mary Bratko Toronto Blogger Entrepreneur

A fortune twist of fate landed me where I am today – with multiple blogs and nearly 2 million views a year.

So what’s that mean?

It means that I’m living proof that anyone can start a blog and be crazy-successful with it! For real.

———-

What previous attendees are saying:

You are such an amazing person and so inspirational. I love your story about how you got started in your business, and how successful you have become.”

“I am so glad that I attended your workshop and looking forward to more of your fabulousness. I learned so much, and as the saying goes you become like who you associate yourself with.”
“I am so excited to start applying all these thoughts that I have…What really stood out was that there are so many more possibilities out there!”
———-

So, whether you work full time and are looking for a creative outlet, or you’re passionate about starting your own business, I have no doubt in the world that you can follow in similar footsteps to what WeddingGirl has become – a full time career, a blooming business, and a VIP pass to the kind of lifestyle you barely dare to dream of.

Mary Bratko Toronto WeddingGirl.ca

The Blogpreneur Beginner Blogger Workshop is an introduction to the basics of getting started in Blogland – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a business owner or an ambitious 9-to-5′er who dreams of being your own boss. Blogpreneur: Level I is about idea development, branding, introductory social media strategy, digital networking basics, and content creation. 

Subject matter doesn’t matter. Whether it’s weddings, babies, living green or HVAC systems – I know firsthand how amazing and rewarding blogging can be. Your ideas. Your terms. Your success.

Let’s do this!

{ Blogpreneur :: beginner }

Date: Sunday, November 2nd

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Location: Boston, MA (secret venue disclosed to attendees)

Cost: FREE!

RSVP: info@weddinggirl.ca

For additional details, please feel free to Get In Touch!

Register at Eventbrite ASAP.

eventbrite-logo

{ Registration closes on Friday, October 31st at 11:59 EST – or whenever the 15 available spots are taken }

MaryBratko-WeddingThreesome2.0-15

 

 

Can’t wait to meet you!

(and then watch you change the world)

(for real.)

m

 

———-

Mary Bratko is the C.E.O. and Founder of Toronto-based, and internationally-recognized, WeddingGirl.ca.

 

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October 6, 2014

Once Upon a Time in Paradise

“I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little of it…”

Authored by Laura Arbelaez

Laura Arbelaez Cayo Santa Maria Cuba Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort Wanderlust Travel Tourism Traveller

Laura Arbelaez Sunwing Vacations Memories Paraiso Beach Resort Cuba Travel Tourism Traveler Blogger

As some of you know, once upon a time, I went to school for Interior Design. Before you say anything, no, it is not at all like in the movies or reality TV shows, THEY make it look easy! It is a lot of fun, but it also takes a lot of research, practice, and HARD work, lots of if! So it is no surprise that by the time I graduated, I was exhausted. After a few months of staying at school all night way too MANY times, eating pizza at 2 am everyday (because it is about the only thing that delivers at this time!), microwavable food for every meal, and #ZombieWalking from one class to the next and from one project to another.. it was no surprise that I was ready to take some time to recover.

As part of my graduation present, mom and I made our way to paradise: Cayo Santa Maria – Cuba

Cayo Santa Maria Cuba Memories Paraiso Azul Sunwing Vacations Travel Wanderlust Blogger Laura Arbelaez Nature

Cayo Santa Maria Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort Laura Arbelaez Travel Blogger Wanderlust

The year 2012 – I had seen my fair share of hotel reviews and had been fantasizing about travelling for months now. We decided to book our trip with Sunwing Vacations (as it was very affordable and had heard fabulous things!). We stayed at Memories Paraiso Azul… it is about an hour and a half away from the airport, so if you are considering staying at this resort, keep that in mind! I was thrown off by the amount of people who were not happy about it. I love road trips, so I personally enjoyed the ride very much. I will tell you this, it is totally worth it.

Let me just say that this is not a hotel review. You can find that in our Trip Advisor Account!

Cayo Santa Maria Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort Hotel Review Trip Advisor Sunwing Vacations Wanderlust

This blog is all about the journey and the lessons learned on this trip! We all travel for different reasons… We travel to unlock a little piece of who we are. We travel to explore and discover nature. We travel to enjoy everything this world and its people have to offer or we simply travel to relax, after all, we all need a little “me” time from time to time!

I want to tell you that it is OKAY to travel and not leave your resort
(or only once)…

Because that’s what I did, and at the time that was exactly what I needed. A week in paradise to gather my thoughts, figure out my next move, spend some quality time with mom, get in touch with nature, enjoy the sun, long walks on the beach and some of the most breathtaking sunsets that I have ever seen.

Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria Sunwing Vacations Travel Wanderlust Blogger

Memories Azul Beach Resort Explore Adventure Travel Blogger Wanderlust Paradise Nature

Laura Arbelaez Travel Blogger Explore Adventure Nature Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort Wanderlust Love

Although I only left the resort once (to go to a “Tourist Town” – A town made entirely for tourists, Pueblo Las Dunas), I learned so much about Cuba. I immersed myself in the culture by talking to the hotel staff and the few locals in the town. I heard some of the most amazing stories. Stories that begin with, “Once upon a time…” and end in tears because that is how much they touch your heart. We talked about politics, western society, and education. We also talked about gardening, fishing, hard work, faith and the universe…

I fell in love with #Cuba and its people BECAUSE I see the passion they have for life, for knowledge. They truly are happy and grateful with the “little” they have.

Cayo Santa Maria Cuba Tourist Town Pueblo Travel Blogger Wanderlust Explore Discover

Cuba Cayo Santa Maria Travel Blogger Wanderlust

Cayo Santa Maria Tourist Town Bar Tower Las Dunas Travel Blogger Wanderlust

If you are not aware of this, all levels of education in Cuba are free. Everyone is highly educated even if they “don’t look the part.” You may be surprised to learn that your gardener is a teacher, a science major, or even a lawyer. Cubans are the most warm hearted, loving, beautiful people I have ever met. Which is why this trip was so important to me.

Today, I wish I had photographs that reflect everything I learned during my stay. Yes, the photographs that I shared with you are all beautiful. I just wish I had photographs of these conversations, of those moments that I treasure so much, moments and people that changed my life. I wish you could see it all.

Cuba was a little reminder – Count your blessings, give thanks and be happy, TRULY happy!

Laura Arbelaez Travel Blogger Cuba Cayo Santa Maria Paradise Wanderlust Explore

If today I inspired ONE of you to travel, to visit Cuba and so many places like it, I would have done what I set out to do. This is an open invitation: explore and discover our magical world!

What are your travel stories? What have you learned so far? Find me and let me know!

FacebookTwitterInstagram

Laura Arbelaez Wedding Girl Bridal Travel Lifestyle Blogger Social Media Stylist Wanderlust Wedding Planner

Have you been to Memories Paraiso Azul lately, would love to hear your thoughts! Lets take it further, have you or anyone you know gotten married at this resort? Message me for a chance to get featured in our website!

laura@weddinggirl.ca

- Blog Love -

WGx Photoshoot: Serena Swan Photography

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October 4, 2014

WGxAC :: an open letter to a faceless airline….

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 12:00 pm

———-

We write blogs about weddings. We talk about dresses and flowers and decor and how to choose a wedding photographer. But when we’re not talking about flowers and decor and photographers, we’re human beings. I’m not just a black-haired, blue-eyed avatar behind a glittery, sparkly website. I’m a girl who works harder than most realize to be able to live a life that let’s her be free… except for when she’s trapped.

———-

It’s been nearly 24 hours now.

For nearly 24 hours I, and dozens of other travellers, have been attempting to get to leave YYZ. Some of us for weddings. Some of us for business. Some of us to get home.

The Gate Agent handed us an email address. They claim it goes to the President of the company. Most of us doubt that entirely…. but this note is the only option any of us have in being heard right now. Otherwise, we’re entirely at the mercy of the travel gods – and the maintenance crew that reset the fire bottles in yesterday’s diverted flight, the customer service reps on the ground, the agents at the gates, the immigration officials that allegedly won’t give us clearance to enter the US. We got it. You win.

They say that all I can do is call the 1-800 number or send an email to the alleged President of Air Canada.

So….. here it is.

———-

 

Good morning -

First and foremost, thank you for opening this email. I’m certain there is a long list of other emails in your Inbox that could have received your attention instead – thank you for opening this one.

Secondly, I understand that the majority of the emails in this inbox are sent by unhappy travellers. From what I’ve seen in YYZ in the past 24 hours, unhappy travellers are a ferocious beast.

But conversely, from what I’ve seen on the ground at YYZ, the order of events that have led up to this note have been hellish. Please hear me out.

Wanderlust WG Air canada YYZ

We arrived at the airport yesterday shortly after noon. We were scheduled on a 1400 flight to Chicago. The 1400 flight departed at 1530. By 1600 we were turned around apparently due to mechanical issues.

YYZ Air Canada Diverted Flight Toronto

IMG-20141004-WA0002

After being told we weren’t allowed to deplane, by 1730 we were granted permission and a gate agent told us there had been a cargo fire on board – accurate or not, landing gears dropping at 8,000′ with zero visibility and a rapid descent is shockingly frightening (even for a seasoned traveler).

Air Canada YYZ plane reboot Toronto

Our 1800 flight option was delayed. Our 2200 flight option was delayed.

One of the passengers tried to lighten the mood and bought everyone shots of vodka.

20141003_225847

By 2311 we were all just wishing to get on a plane.

1111makeawish

Our 2345 flight looked promising, until it, too, was canceled.

Around midnight, the remnants of AC staff on the ground at YYZ had about two dozen exhausted, frustrated, helpless, hopeless travellers on their hands. No one could/would help. Connections would send us up to the booking agents. The booking agent told us she’s “been here for a zillion years” {and she knows better} and insisted we return to Connections. Downstairs, a couple of police officers ensured no one “crossed the line”. When an AC agent finally emerged from the abyss of Connections, he opened his greeting with, “If anyone gets upset, I’m handing you over to the cops”. A handful of young women (myself included) burst into tears. The agent insisted on delivering his matter-of-fact spiel about taxi chits and hotel vouchers in the most condescending, belittling, demeaning tone. There was no compassion, there was no understanding, there was just a distinct air of apathy and annoyance.

The ray of AC sunshine shone through when Tiffany and her desk mate, at St. John’s, answered our 1-800 calls (after 30+ minutes on hold). They were kind. They were warm. They were understanding. Even though they had little-to-no ability to resolve the issue(s) at hand, they were soft, sensitive, and as I sobbed to them (one on one phone call, the other on the other) the genuine kindness in their voice immediately provided emotional relief. These two women shone yesterday. I thought you should know.

As for this morning…. we arrived back at YYZ at 0730 for a 0955 flight. It was then delayed until 1025. Then until 1100. 1200. 1215.

This has been a 24 hour ordeal. Passengers are sleeping on the floors. Others are crying. Some have given up and gone home.

We have lost a $2000 hotel booking in Chicago.

We were told that because this flight was booked on Aeroplan, that there would be no option for a refund.

We have lost 24 hours of life – are exhausted, are emotionally obliterated… and we have no outlet.

The most frustrating part is that flights are still getting out.

People are still getting from YYZ to O’Hare.

Passengers are moving to where they need to be….

While all of us keep being told to wait.

We were given $15 for a dinner that cost $50. $7 this morning for a breakfast that cost $22.

… and we wait.

It’s 11:11 again…… wishing for a flight. For real, this time.

IMG_20141004_111028

———-

Again… thank you for opening this email.

Again, I understand that this isn’t something you caused nor something you can do anything to rectify right now.

Ultimately, this email address was my last hope…. it’s the last option for feeling heard in any way.  Our hands are tied – we have to continue flying AC out of YYZ…. you guys win. But the situation on the ground here isn’t one that any of your gate agents or airline reps in the terminal deserve having on their hands. Nor us, the faceless passengers, that will literally just be a minor blip on your AC radar…..  But, alas, we’re all people too. We all have emails that need to be answered, jobs that need to be done, flights we need to take, and hours in our lives we will never get back.

I understand there will likely be nothing you can do…

But thank you for listening.

Much love,

Mary
(and everyone else around me in the departure gate right now)

YYZ Toronto T1 Air Canada

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September 30, 2014

From one WeddingGirl to the World

This blog is not about weddings, or flowers, it’s not even about travel (Well, maybe a little!). It really is about life… it’s about change… it’s about being human!

Authored by: Laura Arbelaez

Surprise, Surprise! At twenty-something I am still figuring out what I want to do with my life. All I know is that I want to change the world. I want to make a difference, I want to do something great and I want to be happy. You know, the usual!

The first thing I need to do in order to accomplish that is to face my fears. Something that we all know a little too much about. At one of our WGx meetings, a very special someone, kindly pointed out that I have a tendency to run away from the spotlight. The truth is, I try as much as possible to go unnoticed, I don’t actually think about it, I just do. I am shy, soft spoken and part Introvert.

If you want to read my very first blog post, my intro to WeddingGirl land, click here!

What I’ve come to realize is that in order to change the world I have to get noticed. So, addressing thousands of strangers, seems like an appropriate first step. Walking away from amazing opportunities is something that I WILL stop doing, and if you have the tendency to do the same, I invite you to do it with me.

Laura Arbelaez Solo Travel London England UK British Flag Architecture Beautiful Adventure Wanderlust Europe

Laura Arbelaez Solo Travel Wanderlust England London Landmarks Big Ben Underground Saint Pauls Cathedral Architecture Explore

Laura Arbelaez Solo Travel Wanderlust European Adventure Countryside Blue Sky UK United Kingdom England

 

The list of what I would like to share with the world, with YOU, is endless. I am most excited about sharing my latest travel experiences. If you have been following my Instagram account, you would have noticed that this summer has been quite the adventure for me, I was not only able to travel across the pond to Europe, but I also made my way to Cuba recently! #Blessed

 

Varadero Cuba Travel Tourism Wanderlust Gaviota Tours Architecture

Laura Arbelaez Authentic Cuba Gaviota Tours Jeep Safari Explore Wanderlust Travel Tourism Nature

Varadero Cuba Sunwing Vacations Memories Beach  Resort Sea Wanderlust Crystal Water Turqouise Travel

Havana Cuba Wanderlust Travel Tourism Architecture UNESCO Heritage Site

Someone once told me, if you are afraid of doing something, you must announce it to the world. That way, you will be accountable for making it happen. So here it is, there are a series of blogs coming to you:

My first Solo Travel Experience (sort of), My First Contiki Tour, Hotel Reviews from Around the World and My Latest Cuban Adventure!

I also have some wonderful floral and bridal blogs on the works! Including blog features from some amazing vendors!

Laura Arbelaez Wanderlust Venice Italy Beautiful Architecture Travel Skyline Floating City

Laura Arbelaez Contiki Tour Swiss Alps Switzerland Europe Travel Wanderlust

Laura Arbelaez Contiki Tour Wanderlust Amsterdam Holland Wanderlust Explore Travel Adventure Traveller

I am very excited (and terrified) to be on this journey. But most of all, I am truly grateful to have you all along for the ride! I know what I want to write about, BUT, I am wondering what would you love to read about?!?

Find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let me know!

Laura Arbelaez Wedding Girl Bridal Travel Lifestyle Blogger Social Media Stylist Wanderlust Wedding Planner

 

- Vendor Love -

WGx Photoshoot: Serena Swan Photography

Bridal Bouquet: Fraiche Floral Studio

———

 Laura Arbelaez is a Travel/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 – laura@weddinggirl.ca

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September 24, 2014

Ask a WG :: Wedding MC | Master of Ceremonies

So you’re going to be a Wedding MC…. now what?

How to be a wedding mc

Why pick an MC?

Many of the couples we plan with choose to have a wedding reception Master of Ceremonies rather than just having the DJ do it (some DJ companies charge extra, so be sure to ask!). Often times, we tell couples that a friend or family member as an MC leads to a more personalized, intimate, and often humorous reception experience…. so if you have someone that’s up for the challenge, let them do it!

We’ve also been asked, numerous times, about how a first-time wedding MC even begins to put together his/her list of duties…. so, here you have it! Brides, be sure to pass this one on!

 

Who is the MC?

If the DJ doesn’t end up acting as your event’s MC, typically you can ask any friend or family member to deliver these duties. Sometimes couples will opt to have 1 or 2 members of their wedding party act as the MC’s for the evening, while others like to designate someone who is special to them, but who isn’t a part of the wedding party itself.  For some reason, uncles do a really good job. Especially the ones with quirky-yet-awesome foreign accents (but not those who struggle with the language).

 

How to pick an MC?

Choose an MC whose personality fits the desired feel of your wedding reception. If you want a funny, casual, interactive reception, choose someone who is outgoing, funny, casual, and interactive! If you’re looking for a celebration that’s more reserved and formal, choose someone whose personality is more subdued and understated (usually older, but not always!)

Pick someone you can trust not to embarrass you or your guests (alcohol plays a role in this, so someone who doesn’t drink – or who monitors their drinking, is particularly ideal!)

 

What does an MC do?

MC’s are basically the voice-on-the-mic that announce when things are going to happen during your wedding reception.

As Day-Of Coordinators, it’s our job to make sure that the timeline of the wedding day is accurate, concise, and runs as smoothly as possible. It’s our job to ensure that hair and makeup are done on time, that flowers get to the hall when they’re supposed to, that the cake is set up properly, and that the groomsmen know when it’s time to stop drinking mimosas and start getting ready.

After the wedding ceremony, once all the vendors have done their jobs, it’s our job to make sure that the timeline we’ve created for your reception is executed just as seamlessly as the rest of the day was.

If the timeline for the evening is like the play script, and you and your wedding party are the actors, we end up being the directors… your MC is the stage producer. Based on the timeline that we put together, your MC is the one who “delivers” your reception to your guests via microphone and (hopefully) some humour and entertaining antics!

Typical MC responsibilities include:

1) Introducing themselves to guests as the MC for the evening (sometimes a background story on why the MC was chosen is a nice, personalized touch)

2) Inviting guests to be seated and delivering any house rules the venue may have stipulated (or the bride and groom have asked to share)

3) Introducing the wedding party + newlyweds into the hall (though this can sometimes be done by the DJ – who’s likely more seasoned in presenting an impressive intro!)

4) Saying grace or delivering a blessing before the meal (or introducing the person who will do this)

5) Introducing wedding speeches

6) Announcing reception “events” – i.e. cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss, first dance, the bride and groom’s departure (can also be done by the DJ)

7) Thanking guests for attending at the end of the night and officially “closing” the ceremonies

In our (extensive) planning / coordinating experience, we like to split the MC duties between DJ and MC. As guests are seating, we’ll usually ask the DJ to introduce the wedding party and newlyweds. Once all are seated, your DJ can introduce your MC who will then continue with the evening’s announcements as planned. Typically, we hand over announcing responsibilities back to the DJ after the Bride and Groom speak. This allows your MC to go back to being a guest at the party. The “work” stuff can be taken over by the guy that’s getting paid to be there!

 

Where does the MC sit?

If your MC is not a part of your wedding party at the head table, be sure to seat him or her near the head table, somewhere close to the podium. If you don’t have a Day Of Coordinator to help you with your seating plan, make sure to remember details like putting the podium near the DJ (if possible) – just in case there are problems with the sound system, microphone, etc.

Seat your MC in an area where he or she isn’t interrupting many guests to make their rounds to and from the podium.

If you have Day-Of Coordinators, seat them near the MC as well. This ensures that we can cue him or her when it’s time to make an announcement (this allows your MC to still enjoy being a guest at your wedding and not spend the entire evening glancing at their watch).

And on behalf of all MC’s everywhere, we say this…. if you can get your DJ to toss in a wireless microphone, it’ll make a world of difference!! – it allows for flexibility and creativity in delivering MC duties and speeches; much appreciated by all, indeed.

 

When does the MC speak?

The MC speaks throughout the evening – timing based on a reception itinerary that you’ve provided or that they have created (with your approval). Because the MC needs to be “around” throughout the entire night, do not choose someone who needs to leave the reception early. Avoid choosing someone who will be consuming large amounts of alcohol (unless, of course, you’re comfortable with this!)

 

Tips for Wedding MC’s

 

1) Be humorous!  – tell appropriate jokes (use sites like THIS to get inspired!)

2) Keep it short! – when we get nervous, we tend to ramble… have a script and stick to it.

3) Be interactive! – don’t read from your script… make sure you use that shining personality that the bride and groom love about you.

4) Give “well-chosen” advice…. (a special thanks to Kevin for this!)

Some advice for Him:

  • Never let her go to bed angry – you’re defenseless when you sleep.
  • If she says, “Do whatever you want to” – You’d better figure out what it is she wants you to do.
  • When you say “I do” she owns you from the nose down. What you think, and look at, is your own business.
  • What you think, and look at, can still get you in trouble – if she catches you thinking it, or looking at it.
  • “Do it when you get a minute” – Means “It should have been done already, and without me telling you.”
  • If you go shopping with her, she will inevitably leave you alone in the bra and panty section – Don’t Browse.

Then some advice for Her:

  • “Would you be mad if I decided to…….” – means he already did it, and doesn’t know how to hide it.
  • If you ask his opinion, and he says “I don’t care”, or “I don’t know” – he really doesn’t care, or know.
  • Men don’t have to know the rules of a sporting event to enjoy watching it.
  • Men really believe that: mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, and reading the paper, is doing their fair share.
  • Men don’t spend money on expensive toys just to make you mad – it’s genetic, they can’t help it.
  • Criteria for stopping while channel surfing: 1) women in bikinis, 2) a karate fight scene, 3) a beer commercial.

 

Another favourite “speech” of mine…. (Thanks to Mary for this!)

Women are often misunderstood by men. That’s why men should know the words used by women to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminologies..

Here are the top 9 words women often use to hide their feelings:

#1. “Fine”

This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

#2. “Five Minutes”

If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

#3. “Nothing”

This is the calm before the storm. This means something,and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

#4. “Go Ahead”

This is a dare, not permission. Don’t do it.

#5. “Loud Sigh”

This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

#6. “That’s Okay”

This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

#7. “Thanks”

A woman is thanking you, do not question or faint. Just say “you’re welcome”. (I want to add in a clause here – this is true, unless she says “Thanks a lot” – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say “you’re welcome” … that will bring on ‘whatever’).

#8. “Whatever”

Is a women’s way of saying F-YOU!

#9. “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got it”

Another dangerous statement, meaning you knew it had to be done but you were lazy to do it and had to wait till i came home to do it. Men should automatically know it has to be done, also, this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘what’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to #3.

 

… in any case, you’ve chosen your MC to officiate your wedding reception because you love them…. so as an MC, know that there are very few things you can do “wrong” (though there are a few!) – relax, enjoy yourself, stick to the schedule, and have fun… after all, it’s all about the Bride and Groom!

(and if you have questions about specific MC duties, feel free to get in touch!)

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September 22, 2014

Navy, Coral + White :: Hockley Valley Wedding

{ rebecca + adam}

There’s something so exciting about a bride who knows what she wants immediately.

That was Rebecca.

From the day we met over Starbucks lattés, this WG bride was unwavering in her ability to know, with conviction, what she loved, what she less-than-loved, and how her wedding day to her “boyfriend” would look. (She hated the word fiancé.)

Navy blue.

Coral.

Chevron.

Never have I ever met a bride who was more passionate about paper than Rebecca was about her big day stationary. We gushed over samples and colours and fonts and prints and sizing. She actually made me excited about paper, especially when I discovered all of the hidden gem stationary shops around downtown Toronto.

I think stationary was the only detail of Bec’s big day that she went back and forth on. Planning everything else was smooth-sailing with this bride-to-be, so much so that we had some vendors telling us, “Sorry, but I don’t book brides this far out. Can you call me back in a few months?”

Before we knew it, all of our vendors were in place, our design was finalized, our plans were confirmed. And then, the big day came: a beautiful bridal party, a handsome groom, a stunning bride and every shade of coral we could get our hands on. The result was an elegant, sophisticated, yet playful affair. It was, without a doubt, an unforgettable day.

Coral Bridesmaids Barrie Wedding Planners

White Coral Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto

Navy Bridesmaids Lace Wedding Gown

Navy Blue Bridesmaids Wedding Party

Barrie Hockley Valley Wedding Planner Toronto

Hockley Valley Wedding Photography First Look

Coral Navy Bridesmaid Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio

Navy Coral Wedding Toronto Planners

Grey Navy Coral Wedding Hockley Valley Orangeville

Hockley Valley Orangeville Wedding Planner

Coral Navy White Wedding Fraiche Floral

Coral Bridal Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio

Blue Navy Coral Scottish Wedding Ceremony

Scottish Wedding Planners Toronto WeddingGirl.ca

Blue Coral Scottish Wedding Hockley Valley

Hockley Valley Wedding Coordinator Barrie

Orange Coral Navy Scottish Wedding Planners

Blue Coral Chevron Wedding Planners

Barrie Wedding Cake Luvvly Cake Co

Barrie Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca

Laura Fess Photography Barrie

Coral Blue Wedding OMG Decor Events

Hockley Valey Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

{ Vendor Love }

Venue: Hockley Valley Resort

Officiant: Ian, Kettle Creek Weddings

Photography: Laura Fess

Videography: Fresh Canadian Content

Flowers: Fraîche Floral Studio

Decor: OMG Events

Cake: The Luvvly Cake Co.

Piper: Mike Connolly

 

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