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March 10, 2015

#MeetThisGirl | Tola Farayola

{ Meet Our Intern }

We’ve already introduced you to one of our interns, Bayley…and now we’d like you to meet Tola.

While Tola may be a bit on the quiet side, we know she will move mountains. Here is her first ever blog.

Tola

It is such an honor to be working with everyone of this amazing team because I know that each day I am going to learn something new and go home with more knowledge about wedding and event planning (which can be a bit tricky at best).

It hasn’t even been two months and I feel like I have known the WeddingGirl team for a very long time, especially my fellow intern Bayley.  It’s like we have been friends for a long time and she makes me feel more open and relaxed.

Although I am still learning the ins and outs of event planning and what goes on behind-the-scenes of running a business, I can tell you that in the short amount of time that I have been part of this team, I have had the pleasure of working with the most open, appreciative and understanding team I have ever met. It is a privilege to be learning so much in my short amount of intern hours that I would normally learn on a regular basis.

Aside from the great people, one of the reasons why I wanted to join the WeddingGirl team was because of the love I have for traditional weddings. Where I come from, Nigeria, weddings are celebrated to the fullest; in a large ceremony of family, friends and well-wishers in various traditions and I can’t wait to start sharing these traditions with you.

Joining this team will and has given me more confidence and belief in myself because I know that I have people that I can share my knowledge, opinions, care, understanding, wisdom and accountability with, and they will be able to tell me what is right or wrong and push me in the right direction.

If there’s one thing I can leave you with, it is to know that every wedding and event planner deserves so much respect and admiration for what they do because it takes the motivation, love, dedication and willingness to learn to bring magic to life, which is what each and everyone of the WeddingGirl team members is all about and I am so honoured to be working with them.

I really hope that in the days to come I am able to achieve more and make the team proud to have me on board.

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…and proud we are, Tola!

We are so happy you chose us! <3

You can find and follow Tola’s internship journey with the WeddingGirl team on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram! Go find her and say hello.

WGx 2015

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March 9, 2015

#ShopLocalSeries | Luxe Drive

{ Toronto’s Ultra-Luxury Chauffeur Driven Auto Service }

Authored by: Lisa Hardie

Sometimes you meet someone and they just make such an impression on you, even if you only end up connecting with them for a few moments. The passion that came from Nick Stillo when I briefly chatted with him back in January was really unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time. With the way he spoke about his company, Luxe Drive, you could immediately see the pride he has for his profession.

It was right then I knew our brands would collaborate on something epic.

Rolls Royce

Luxe Drive’s mission is to give their clients in the city of Toronto and surrounding areas, a bespoke driving experience of carefully curated fine details, perfect timing every time, and impeccably professional and friendly service for their passengers and clients.

And we know this first-hand.

Nick and his team at Luxe Drive provided our #Indie88Wedding winners, Jessie and Jim, with the ultimate wedding day vehicle, a Rolls Royce Ghost, and we really couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Rolls Royce4

In fact, when Jessie and Jim were having some photos done, Nick gave me a quick call to say he’d be right back to pick up our Indie couple after a quick stop at the car wash because the stunning Rolls Royce became too dirty amidst all the salt and snow while driving around.

How’s that for service?

And pride.

And dedication.

And…well, the list can go on and on.

I actually asked Nick what set his company apart from others (aside from the above) and here’s what he had to say,

“We’re about creating an experience for our passengers, not just transportation.  We’re about the little things, the details…the things others don’t think of, we do!  We’re about the fashion and style of being driven around, the luxury of being catered to. We’re not about single serving a client, we’re about learning to know what they like before we drive them so that the client feels like we’ve been driven them for years, even if we only just met.”

Silver Cloud III_2

Luxe Drive isn’t just for weddings either (though I’d highly recommend them because they love couples in love as much as we here at WeddingGirl do); they are also for business, film, leisure, and just because (because every woman deserves a date night with a sweet ride every once in a while).

So when it’s time for you to start looking at your wedding day transportation, take a look at Luxe Drive. They stand behind their service and quality just as much as we stand behind them.

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Our new Shop Local Series brings you the best the fine City of Toronto (and beyond) has to offer. Stay tuned as we feature some of our favourite places, spaces, and vendors!

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February 28, 2015

#Indie88Wedding | Jessie + Jim | Toronto Wedding Giveaway

{ #JessieAndJim + their #Indie88Wedding }

by: Brenda Hanks

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a beautiful princess and a handsome radio station…

Oh.

Wait.

That’s not how it started at all.

It started with a random afternoon lunch date.

Just a regular, run-of-the-mill, patio lunch date in Liberty Village; in attendance was the crew from Indie88 FM in Toronto and Mary from WeddingGirl.ca. And during this regular, run-of-the-mill lunch date, something magical happened… for it was then that the idea for the most epic wedding giveaway ever, was born.

*Cue dramatic music*

Back in January, our friends over at Indie88 announced a contest that promised to change two lives forever.

After some teasing, the details came pouring out and the entries came pouring in.

Within just two weeks we’d received 88 submission videos (coincidence?)

Can you imagine how hard it was narrowing it down to just two finalists? Luckily we only had to get it down to two, and that’s when the power of social media took over, Toronto voted for the winner, and vote they did – about 16,000 times!  The votes were in. The tallies were counted. The decision was final.

A few of us here at WG were lucky enough to be in the Indie studios when the announcement was made.

Emotions went wild when The Morning Show with Brian, Matt, and Candice,  congratulated Jessie and Jim on their victory! (Click here to listen to the exact moment they found out!) – how’s that for reality radio?!

Finding Out

And this is when the real fun started.

Our lucky couple found out at 8:10AM on Friday that they would be getting married on Valentine’s Day.

The next day.

About 30 hours later to be exact.

Luckily for them, we had it all planned out.

All that was left for us to do was get these two lovebirds a marriage license, finalize dress alterations, pick out the rings and jewelry, and get the groom fitted for his suit.

Oh….

And the shoes.

And pick a hairstyle.

… and invite the wedding guests!

Good thing we’re experts.

 

With so much to do and such little time to do it, A-Celebrity Limousine swooped in with an amazing 10 passenger limo to chauffeur the WG team, photographers, and our winning couple around town.

In the lap of luxury, Jessie and Jim traveled from the Indie88 studios directly to City Hall to get the paperwork that would make everything the next day the real deal. No falsie-weddings here!

Limo

Limo2

Once the legal business was in check, our next stop was a visit with the gorgeous urban studio of Susan Dicks on Richmond. It was here that our beautiful bride was fitted in the top two gowns she’d picked out at LoversLand bridal boutique.

Dress Alt

After a quick stop at Starbucks, we all loaded back into the limo to take a ride out to Queen St West, to pick some rings from the amazing Made You Look jewellery studio.

Rings2

Sure, the stop here was for Jessie and Jim to pick out their wedding rings, but let’s face it… we’re girls… and girls love sparkly things! Each of us took turns trying on (and gushing over!) the stunning one-of-a-kind finds that this boutique is packed with We even think our very own Laura may have fallen in love with a wedding band!! (Yay, Laura!)

Once the blingy details were finalized, we were on the road again.

Rings

It’s hard to believe after accomplishing all of these tasks it wasn’t even lunchtime! Definitely the makings of a pro team of planners (and a stellar team of supporting cast).

One last stop to make: getting the groom handsome as hell. Thank you to the fab crew over at J Crew in Yorkville – for treating our groom like a king and helping him pick out his threads for the big day.

And now all there was to do was wait…

… but only until Check-In time at One King West - where our Nearlyweds had luxurious accommodations provided for the weekend.

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After a long and restful night’s sleep (or not?!), our Bride-To-Be woke up ready for her wedding day prep.

First on the agenda:  a perfect indie-hairstyle by Sacha of All Glam Affair and wedding day makeup by Caryl Baker Visage – Yorkville.

In no time at all, Jessie was transformed from her lazy morning PJ style to being aisle (and runway) ready; complete with her custom-designed headpiece from the oh-so-talented Blair Nadeau Millinery.

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Makeup 3

Headpiece 2

Photographers from Purestorm Studios arrived in the prep suite and Mark and Emily began with all the behind-the-scenes snaps before heading down to the One King West lobby for our couple’s First Look.

First Look 3

Wedding Party 4

Shortly after noon, it was time to get these two gorgeous people married!

Our friends over at LuxeDrive sent over a Rolls Royce Ghost to deliver the couple to the venue in style…

Rolls Royce4

Jessie and Jim 5

Despite the short notice of these nuptials, there was no shortage of guests arriving at The Richmond; which had been transformed from a contemporary gallery space to a gorgeous and intimate wedding space by J Company Designs and our WG style team.

Each guest’s place setting was adorned with amazing stationary from Paper and Poste and tea leaf wedding favours from our friends at Lemon Lily.

Favour

And then the magic continued….

Just like any other wedding day:

Guests seated.

Groom in place.

The beautiful bride emerged from her elegant Rolls and glided effortlessly down the aisle with a proud papa at her side.

Jessie and Dad

Waiting for her at the end of the aisle was Indie88′s own Raina to officiate!

Ceremony

The couple exchanged super-cute, personalized vows and after a killer first kiss, these two were ready to eat, drink, and party like rockstars!

Kiss 4

That’s when the party started.

Step 1:

Open up the bar.

Double Trouble Brewing sent over some of their finest beers for their guests enjoyment, while Dillon’s served up some tasty gin.

Step 2:

Feed the masses!

If you have never been lucky enough to indulge in Cookery Catering eats, add them to your next event’s menu – FOR SURE!

Our indie-inspired fun, casual, and creative menu was flying out of the kitchen and guests were gushing.

Step 3:

Open up the video booth!

TalkBox Events set up their photobooth to capture Truths and Dares revealed and acted out by Jessie and Jim, alongside their friends and family.

The guests especially loved seeing their Same Day Edit played during dessert!

Step 4:

DANCE PARTY!

What’s a wedding without dancing??

Indie88 served up the First Dance for our newest husband and wife and kept the music coming while wedding guests got their groove on.

Step 5:

Let them eat cake!

To our friends at Le Dolci, we thank you. Love, all of the world’s tummies and tastebuds.  <3

Cake

And then you’d think that was it, right? That the night ended like any other wedding and that al the guests went home?

Nope.

Not at this indie wedding.

Instead of packing it in, we packed them all up… and sent the entire wedding reception to see STARS!

A wedding reception party ensued at the Danforth Music Hall.

Jealous yet?

Don’t worry….. us too.

Stars3

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Here’s the video that PureStorm Studios unexpectedly created:

 

{ ALL of the Thank You’s }

Like any epic wedding celebration, there are so many people working together behind-the-scenes to make it gorgeous, flawless, and unforgettable.

To all of the vendors who helped us make this Indie Wedding happen: from the bottom of our WeddingGirl hearts…

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you to all the couples who entered –  we wish we could have married you all!

… and a special thank you to Toronto!

Without your votes we would probably still be trying to pick a winner.

Indie Sponsors

 

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February 26, 2015

Satisfying Your Inner Green Goddess

{ Going green with your wedding invitations }

Authored by: Bayley Sarrasin

The date has been set. You’ve chosen the most perfect eco-friendly venue you could find, and you’ve been successfully ticking off the boxes on your wedding to-do list.

You’ve got almost all of your details sorted out except for one last piece – designing the perfect “green” wedding invitation.

Inner Green Goddess Invitation

You’ve spent the last 20 minutes staring at a design, and are starting to question everything about it. Is it too colourful? Is the font legible? Is it really cute as you first thought, or is it just tacky?

Invitations are seen as the gateway into your wedding. They give your guests a feel for the theme and formality of your big day. The more elegant your invitation, the more formal the affair. After spending countless hours trying to figure out how to make your wedding as eco-friendly as you are, you now need to communicate your eco-chic style through your invitation.

Traditional wedding invitations tend to produce a lot of waste more often than not. As soon as the wedding is complete, all of the guests go home and throw away their invitations. Here at WeddingGirl x Green, we have come up with a few suggestions that should satisfy your inner Green-Goddess.

While using recycled paper is a good alternative, and a great first step towards going green, a good way to satisfy your inner Green-Goddess is to go with plantable seed invitations! These invitations allow your guests to plant the invitation once the wedding is done, and a variety of flowers will grow as a result! Unique and oh-so-eco-friendly!  There are several companies that can provide these plantable invitations, but one of our favorites is Invitation Twist. They offer DIY options for the creative types as well as a variety of pre-set themes we think you will fall in love with.

Inner Green Goddess Invitation 2

Online wedding invitations, or evites, are becoming more and more common for less formal weddings. You can design your own website (satsifying your inner techie maybe?) or use one of many free template sites out there to provide your wedding and RSVP information to your guests. Simply send an email with a link, and you’re set to go!

If you’re planning a more formal event, or just want the traditional invitation feel, there are still green options out there for you! Using a postcard for an RSVP avoids the need for an envelope for the RSVP card. Alternatively, you can ask your guests to RSVP through email alone. Also consider waterless printing and plant based inks to green up a traditional invitation package.

We hope these tips have helped inspire your inner Green-Goddess.  Not only will going green help the environment, it will share the eco-love with your family and friends.

—–

Bayley is a WeddingGirl Intern.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 Bayley 2

 

{Blog Love}

Photography Credits: Dan Osadtsuk Photography / Emily Christine Photography

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February 25, 2015

First Impressions: Looking Your Best to Enhance the Dress | Gown And Glory Consignment Boutique

{ The Do’s and Don’ts of Bridal Gown Shopping }

By: Angela Kerry

Gown And Glory Consignment Bridal Boutique


You know the saying, “oh she’d look good in a paper bag”. Well unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of always looking good dressed.

A few months ago we talked about the Top Ten Rules For Being A Super-Awesome Wedding Dress Shopper. This time, we’re digging even deeper! With todays fashions of flowy tops, layered looks and boyfriend jeans, we’re not used to wearing form fitting, figure flattering garments that hug and enhance all of our curves. So if you’re not initially comfortable with how you look in various bridal silhouettes, it always helps when you can envision the entire look, and here’s some simple Do’s and Don’ts to help enhance how you look in each dress (to help you wear it well), in hopes that you’ll find ‘the one’ that is perfect for your personality, your body and your confidence.

1. Look The Part

This means: do your makeup and hair!

I’m not suggesting you get a full updo and professional makeup done every time you go to a bridal boutique, but do lightly freshen up your face with a bit of mascara and lipgloss.

Wear your hair in a way that makes you feel beautiful and confident.

If you look like you just rolled out of bed, it really does affect the overall impression a gown makes. At the very least: have a shower, bring a hair clip, wear deodorant and minimal-to-no perfume.

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2. Control Unflattering Variables

DON’T go to try on wedding gowns when you’re all sweaty after the gym

DON’T go dress shopping after a meal at your favourite Korean BBQ.

Believe it or not, the odours that are either directly from your body or aromas that have stuck to your clothes and body, will also stick to the dress. In the case of boutique’s similar to Gown and Glory, we only carry one dress of each, off-the-rack and ready to purchase. So they must be cared for, because if one is not the dress for you, it is ‘the one’ for another bride.

 

3. Mind Your Undies

DO wear proper undergarments. When you first start shopping, you may not know whether you will love a ballgown or a more fitted gown, therefore, you may not be prepared with the proper undergarments. If you decide on a ballgown, in some cases you could wear red boycut underwear if you wanted and no one would know because the skirt is so substantial. On the other hand, a mermaid gown would show every seem, colour, flaw or uneven surface under the dress. Because it’s unknown what you will be trying on from shop to shop, wear a nude coloured undergarment that smooths everything out to ensure there are no panty lines or otherwise. You will be able to view each dress as it should look on you without the distraction of lines and bulges. Some girls are lucky enough to try on a gown that seems like it was made for her body in every way, but this is a rare occurrence so you don’t want to be dwelling on how the dress is puckering at your panty line or that you can see your belly button. Believe me, it’s more distracting than you think.

 

4. Mind Your Bra

DON’T wear your most fun, fluorescent polkadot bra with ruffles on the edges. However flirty and cute, it will throw the whole look off when you’re trying to concentrate on what you like most about a dress. If you intend on wearing a bra under your gown on your wedding day because you have a fuller bust, or merely because you would feel more comfortable doing so, bring one that is strapless if you have one, and wear one that is neutral in colour i.e. white or nude.  (it is not necessary to go out and buy a strapless bra for the shopping process, we’ll just tuck the straps in if necessary).

Bra

 

5. Stand Tall

DO bring a pair of heels. Ones that you have already chosen to wear on your wedding day, or ones with a heel height that you know you’re comfortable in. Although most dresses you try on will be way too long for you anyway, even with heels, and you’ll be standing on a pedestal to get the full perspective of the dress, it’s not a bad idea to try the dress on with a pair of shoes in the desired height you would most likely wear on your wedding day. Wearing a heel often changes your stance making you stand with better posture.

 

6. Wash Up

DON’T forget to come with clean hands. It never fails, when a girl puts a dress on that she feels  stunning in, or that has a fabric that is luxurious to the touch, she almost always starts caressing herself and rubbing her hands all over the dress. I don’t mean this in an awkward, inappropriate way, but it’s an automatic reaction that I think we all do when something feels good against our bodies, just like how you might constantly rub a cozy blanket you curl up with on the couch. But with consistent rubbing and friction, some fabrics more than others, will take on dirt and absorb the natural oils from our hands, ultimately leaving markings on the dress.

 

7. Accessorize

DO bring any special jewellery or accessories that you know you will be wearing regardless of the dress you decide on. Often women find the dress first then accessorize afterwards. But if there is a family heirloom or accessory pieces you love, wearing them will help you visualize the complete picture.

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8. Take Photos

DO bring your camera! I encourage taking pictures of your favourite dresses, and highly recommend it. If you decide to shop at more than two stores, I guarantee that it will become difficult to remember which ones you liked best and from what store…especially if you’re shopping with others. Everyone views a dress differently, so a dress without a photo is sure to cause confusion when your discussing your options. Once you have narrowed the photos down to your favourite 2 or 3 dresses, download them to your computer so you can view them on a larger scale to compare your favourites side by side, instead of flipping back and forth on your phone. Then to make your decision; it just comes down to process of elimination.

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9. Open Your Mind

DON’T disregard a dress even before trying it on just because you read somewhere that a certain shape doesn’t flatter your body type. Some experts say that certain dress silhouettes suit specific body types. Although true, from a general standpoint, please remember that this is a guideline only. I’ve had girls avoid an entire style family simply because she was told it didn’t suit her body type. Go into the shopping experience remembering that every dress is built differently depending on the designer, specific dress proportions and design details. Each dress will fit every body differently depending on her proportions.

10. Trust Your Gut

If it catches your eye, try it on.

If you love it, wear it.

Wedding-Dress-Racks

 

Style is in the eye of the beholder! And any girl who has tried on a wedding gown can attest to the fact that a well structured dress can really transform the body. But, in the same light, a dress itself is just fabric while it’s hanging on a hanger.

A body can transform a dress!

 

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{Blog Love}

Photography By: Pure Storm Studios / Sara MonikaErin Kate Photography

 

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February 23, 2015

And the Oscar goes to…

{Wedding Ready Gowns}

By: Leah Sandhu

Did you watch the Oscars last night? Who were you routing for to win Best Picture?

If you’re like me, and only watch to see what show stopping dresses come down the red carpet, then we can be friends.

If you read this post about alternative wedding dresses, you’ll know that there are so many options outside of the ‘big puffy white wedding dress’! I’ve pulled some of the top looks worn by stars such as Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Anna Faris, Lupita Nyong’o and Zoe Saldana, to show you how you can take a designer dress, and wear it as your wedding dress.

 Zuhair Murad - Anna Faris - Jenna Tatum-Dewan - designer dress - Oscar Red carpet

(one of my personal favourite designers, Zuhair Murad!)

Zoe Saldana - Atelier Versace custom gown

Faith Hill - J. Mendel - Jennifer Lopez - Elie Saab - Oscars red carpet

Kerry Washington - Miu Miu gown

Marion Cotillard - Dior Haute Couture gown - Felicity Jones - Alexander McQueen Oscars 2015

Lupita Nyong'o Calvin Klein Collection custom

What do you think? Would you wear a designer gown instead of a traditional wedding dress?

Photos via: Who What Wear | Huffington Post

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Why Do You Charge So Much?

{Why Investing in a professional Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist is worth it}

Authored by: Sacha Parawan

Back in December one of our own WeddingGirls, Laura, wrote a fantastic blog about the trials of hiring a discount wedding planner and why it’s not a great idea. However happy it may make your budget to book vendors at bottom-of-the-barrel prices, you get what you pay for (and we want to make sure its great!).

Let’s face it – you invest a lot of money (and time!) in planning your big day. You have planned for everything from the pre-wedding events,  décor, photography, your wedding planner, flowers, centerpieces, wedding favors, and of course that once-in-a-lifetime wedding dress.  Nobody knows better than us here at WeddingGirl.ca the real cost of a wedding. We know when and where to pinch your pennies (and when and where you should consider splurging) to help you create your perfect day, on your perfect budget.

So after all that hard work, why cheap out when booking your makeup artist and hair stylist?

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As a freelance makeup artist and hair stylist with All Glam Affair (oh, and wedding planner with WeddingGirl.ca), I can tell you one of the questions I get asked a lot is “why do you charge so much?“. This sentence is sometimes chased by “my sister’s friend said she would do my makeup for free, and I can probably copy a hairstyle off of youtube…“. Although this may sound like a great idea, it probably isn’t. The last thing anyone wants is extra wedding day stress caused by hair and makeup struggles. Every bride wants to look and feel her best – and she should! You only get one shot a this afterall!

So here are my top 5 reasons why you should budget for a professional makeup artist and hair stylist on your big day:

1. A professional will often travel to you, arrive on time,  and  be ready to cater to your specific needs. Prepping in comfortable atmosphere will allow you to relax and enjoy this pampering moment even more (and you can sleep in a bit longer rather than travel to the salon!).

2. You’ll have access to high-quality products. Professional makeup artists and hairstylist have kits that are worth well over $2,000 in order to cater to every skin type and skin tone. You are not just paying for their skills but also the quality of products used on your skin.

The last thing you want to happen on your wedding day is to have your makeup fade away half-way through the ceremony, have your foundation rub off on your Grooms’ black tuxedo, or even worse – have black mascara running down your face from your happy tears at the alter because someone didn’t think to use waterproof mascara.

3. When you hire a professional you have their ultimate commitment, and a signed contract. The risk of hiring someone without a contract means that they can cancel at any time, including the day of the wedding with no recourse (or backup plan).

4. Professionals are passionate about what they do and take great pride in their work. They will bring an assistant for larger groups,  additional resources if needed such as a high chair and makeup lights, and will often go the extra mile for clients such as getting things like hair extensions, hair fillers, or even the shade of lipstick used in the trial run for them to keep on their wedding day.

5. Professionals know the various tips and techniques that will help enhance your look. They will know the specific colours that will highlight your beautiful eyes or can cover up that small blemish that you’ve been staring at for days.

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When you hire a professional makeup artist and hairstylist, you’re not just getting your makeup done with loose curls. Their fees include their skills and experience, professional training, their extensive kit of clean and quality products (because nobody wants someone’s old used mascara), and their calm and relaxing manor which will get your day started off right!

Until next time fabulous beauties!

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Sacha Parawan is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Wedding Planner. Connect with her at sacha@weddinggirl.ca

You can find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram as well!

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{Blog Love}

Photography Credit: Pure Storm Studios

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February 13, 2015

Tom & Lisa’s Toronto Wedding | Hamstra Photography

{ Distillery District Wedding: Tappo Wine Bar }

Some couples just have it, you know? And, when you combine that kind of love with a bride wearing a champange coloured dress, you know you have to share their wedding with the world!

Tom and Lisa’s wedding was held on a gorgeous October evening at Tappo Wine Bar in Toronto’s hip Distillery District. The perfect location for these lovebirds to tie the knot!

From the Photographers:

When we sat down with Lisa and Tom to discuss the plans for their wedding day, we asked Lisa if there was anything special that tied their wedding day together – we quickly determined it was champagne! From her champagne coloured dress, to the champagne diamonds in her wedding bands; even the ceremony was closed with a champagne toast. It was such a fitting theme for this effortless love-struck couple. Everything about their day was an honest celebration of hope and love found. We were so thrilled to be part of Tom and Lisa’s special day – cheers!

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Hamstra photography - Toronto wedding- bride

Hamstra photography - Toronto wedding- bride groom - champagne

Hamstra photography - Toronto wedding

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Hamstra photography - Toronto wedding-Distillery District

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Thank you Sarah for sharing this beautiful wedding with us! You captured it perfectly!

Check out Hamstra Photography for more of their beautiful work!

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February 12, 2015

#SocialMedia: More than just a number’s game!

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart…!”

Laura Arbelaez Social Media Stylist Lifestyle Bridal Blogger Canada Instagram Toronto

Authored By: Laura Arbelaez

Did you know that most introverts excel at social media? It’s the perfect way for those who are (dare I say) “Socially Awkward” to express themselves and experience the world like never before. I can say with all certainty that Social Media is my #passion, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Watching my social media accounts grow over the past year has been an emotional rollercoaster! The key to being successful in social media is staying relevant to your audience, which means constantly updating status’, photos, and responding to comments.

Did you know that for a fair price you can buy Instagram followers? Sadly, it’s true.

As a Social Media Stylist I am well aware of the importance of BIG numbers. Over the last couple of days I have been contemplating the pros and cons of this matter. You must understand that buying followers is an illusion. There is no real value in them. At the end of the day, you are not spreading your message, knowledge and experiences with people that are genuinely interested in what you are sharing.

When you take the time to engage with your audience, the outcome is extraordinary… I have met fantastic wedding vendors and remarkable human beings online. The following are just a few of what I consider to be Social Media #SuccessStories.

After months of following Lemon Lily Tea and The Toronto Popcorn Company on all things Social Media, I finally had the marvelous opportunity to work with them on one of our latest projects; The #ShadesOfWhite Wedding Lounge and Open House at One King West. Meeting the creative and brilliant minds behind these companies, hearing their awe inspiring stories and trying first hand their unbelievably amazing products was an incredible experience!

The Toronto Popcorn Company Bridal Lifestyle Bloggers

I have no doubt we will be seeing a lot more of the Toronto Popcorn Company and Lemon Lily Tea around here! Don’t forget, #ShopLocal!

 

Toronto Wedding Photographer Dan Osadtsuk Photography Bridal Lifestyle Weddings

Another one of the talented and coolest business owner I had the pleasure of meeting through Social Media is Dan from Dan Osadtsuk Photography. Let me just start by saying that wedding photographers have my utmost admiration! They gracefully capture moments that we can keep forever. You may remember Dan from one of our recent real Indie wedding features this year! We also had the opportunity to collaborate with him on the #WGLookBook project!

Finally, a social media success story will always be connecting with Toronto brides. Have you been following along with our #WGxIndie88 Win a Wedding Contest?

WeddingGirl.ca and Indie88 are giving away a wedding to one lucky couple this Valentine’s Day! The finalists are down to #SamanthaandJonathan and #JessieandJim and we can’t wait to hear who the winning couple will be tomorrow at 8:10 am. You have until midnight TODAY to cast your vote! This is the power that social media can have.

Toronto Weddings Indie 88 Wedding Girl Social Media Contest

Toronto Weddings Indie 88 Wedding Girl Bridal Lifestyle

These people, these companies have touched my life in one way or the other. Creating an online community is what social media is all about. It’s a lot more than just a number’s game!!

The question remains, do you think buying followers worth it? Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and let me know!

{ Blog Love }

Serena Swan Photography / Pure Storm Studios

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February 11, 2015

This One is Personal

{ Turning a negative into a positive }

Authored by: Lisa Hardie

Let me be up front and honest; this post isn’t about weddings.

It’s not about sparkly unicorns, lavish parties, or cupcakes.

Instead, I’d like for you to get to know me a little bit better.

I am the fun-loving Hamiltonian who has a serious thing for cupcakes; but I am also a wife, mom, sister, aunt, friend, and now…

… a full-blown entrepreneur.

And that right there scares the shit out me. (Sorry Mary, I know I said I’d never say that again but it’s still true!).

The truth is, up until a couple of months ago, I’ve been a full-blown corporate woman for almost nine years. Nine. Almost a full decade. I started working in the world of HR right after I finished college and spent the past nine years working for the same company. Talk about loyalty.

I guess it wasn’t mutual because I was laid off as a result of restructuring. Not fun.

When One Door Closes

I have to admit; it was really unexpected (though I guess those situations always are). I was shocked, saddened, and I really didn’t know what to do. I cried. I called my sister. I called my husband (and made him come home from work). We went for breakfast and then that afternoon I went for a manicure and pedicure. I deserved it after all.

Not a completely bad day considering how it started.

My point though? I’m 100% going to turn this into something positive.

Yes it’s a pretty crappy feeling when you lose your job, but I also see it as a clean slate. An opportunity to do something I truly love and was meant to do.

This was my sign – I am no longer meant for the corporate world.

I am meant to set my own schedule; be my own GirlBoss. I am meant to live out my dream.

I can now spend some time volunteering at my son’s school; I can keep up with my daily activities and chores without trying to be super mom; I can prepare healthy meals at home; I can spend more time with my family; and I can spend more time focusing my efforts on doing what I love, which is planning weddings (and everything else that comes with being a WeddingGirl).

Leap of Faith

Just because one door closes it doesn’t mean another one will automatically open. First, make sure the first door stays shut and then work as hard as you can to pick the right door. Don’t just take on the first thing that comes at you as you might end up with some regrets.

As it turns out for me, WeddingGirl has been my right door all along.

Deep down I knew it, it was just hard to make the official transition and I am happy I now have that opportunity.

It’s true that sometimes life throws you unexpected punches. Things go wrong in life, situations change, people change. But the question then becomes, how can I make it better?

You make it better by changing your outlook on the situation. Ask yourself how you can turn the negative into a positive. Picture the change as a clean slate that can be painted anyway you want it.

And own it.

Make it happen.

Be happy because you have the right to be. And trust me, you do.

Oh, and try not to let anyone dictate when you can take your vacation.

Be Happy Quote

———-

Lisa Hardie is a Hamilton-based Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Wedding Planner. Connect with her at lisa@weddinggirl.ca

Like Lisa’s page on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram as well!

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton

 

{Photo Credit}

Serena Swan Photography

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