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December 18, 2014

Oh… *you* can just coordinate my wedding for me, right?

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 1:48 pm

{ spare your sister }

Should I hire a wedding planner quote


It makes us sad to know the cold, harsh realities of Wedding Planning Land:  a lot of couples feel there’s no need to invest in a Wedding Planner.

What’s worse? If they do think they could use a planner, they think it’s perfectly acceptable to find one on Kijiji. *bangs head on desk repeatedly*

Unfortunately, it seems like DIY is the new wedding trend (Thanks, Pinterest…. ) and what comes next is a fate even more unfortunate – for the beloved family member or unsuspecting friend that you leave in charge of managing your big day. We can just picture it now….

“Surprise! You’re invited to my wedding! …. aaaand I’m going to have you set up the ceremony decor before you get dressed, coordinate deliveries with vendors while you’re getting your hair done, move flowers from the ceremony to the reception, and walk through the venue during Cocktail Hour making sure that all the tables are set for the correct number of guests. Okay?”

Nope. This is not okay.

What budget-savvy couples are missing is the fact that they’re (unintentionally) setting their loved ones up to fail.

Why? It’s simple: spare your sister! (or aunt, or highschool friend that you didn’t really want to invite anyways).

Most people just don’t have the knowledge, skills or EXPERIENCE that it takes to successfully plan or coordinate a wedding day.

Think big-picture:

A wedding is a production.

It’s a large-scale, meticulously-planned, detailed, time-sensitive production that needs to be executed seamlessly to be the kind of perfect that every bride dreams it to be.

And more importantly – every wedding is different…. so even if you helped one friend, once upon a time, with their big day, there’s nothing to say that this time around things won’t go entirely off-the-rails…. on your watch.

Consider this a wake-up call. (we’ve been doing a lot of those lately).



This is why you should invest in a wedding planner:

Do I need a wedding planner toronto weddinggirl.ca

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…

I’ve attended and assisted enough weddings to know that whether you are having a lavish affair or an intimate gathering, the reality is this:

Do I really need a wedding planner Toronto Royal Canadian Yacht Club

Things need to be gathered, transported, sorted, carefully placed and arranged at the ceremony and reception sites. A wedding planner is responsible for helping you plan how things will be gorgeous; a wedding coordinator is the one overseeing the set up and cleanup of these items while you’re off getting gorgeous all morning.

Oh… and item-placement? That’s only the half of it.

The other half: managing people.

We all have that one person in our lives who works in high-stress situation and deals with people all day long… so why don’t you ask them how this story ends?

Coordinating a wedding is a lot more complex than what most people can ever imagine.

Would you really expect your family, or friends, to make sense of your rehearsal itinerary? your morning prep schedule? Or how about your vendor delivery timeline? Would you ask your parents to be the ones running around frantically to summon family members for photos during cocktail hour? Should your volun-told bestie be the designated bridesmaid because you need someone to cue speeches on time?

To be responsible for giving you the perfect wedding day, if you ask any true-blue wedding coordinator, is entirely unfair. I mean, they’re supposed to be celebrating with you – not scurrying around with a Vendor Contact List and Floorplan in their hands! That’s our job.


Check back for when we tell you why hiring a Kijiji Planner could be Wedded Bliss suicide.


Laura Arbelaez WeddingGirl.ca

Laura is a Social Media Maven – and she loves every minute of the fact that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have taken over her life!

Find and follow this creative lass on your favourite feed.

For details on Wedding Day Coordination and Wedding Planning Services, email laura@weddinggirl.ca




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A day in the life of a wedding planning GirlBoss…

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 11:18 am

{ WGx }

written by: mary


The WG team is growing, and as these once-corporate employees slowly convert to self-employed GirlBosses, I’m watching them make adjustments, tweaks, and changes to the way they govern their days and lead their lives.

At one of our team meetings this week, one WeddingGirl asked how I spend my days…..

This was the answer she got:


A day in the life of a self-employed GirlBoss….

0930 – woke up

1000 – drove to get coffee

1030 – did groceries to make breakfast

On those travels I decided on how we’re going to approach the our latest PR proposal. I received a text from one of the executives at a company we’re coordinating a largescale event with – she was updating me on the status of some of our most recent vendor acquisitions.

*mental check*

I’ve been mulling around super cool ways to present our PR pitch.

God, this is going to be a ton of work.

Alas, one of the WeddingGirls has already canceled her weekend plans to help me pull this off. Amazing.

I’ll likely be heading to Niagara on Sunday for breakfast with Mama and Papa Bratko – I’ll stop in Hamilton on the way back to meet with her. Hmmm.. where’s the best coffee in Hamilton?


Okay. Back home.

1130 – Venue has confirmed meeting space for an upcoming meeting. My mind is ripped back to the reasons I’m hosting said meeting – the agenda, the background, the audience, the way I plan on custom-tailoring my information to most benefit my attendees.

I put a quick shout-out to the WG team group on Facebook to update them on the status (and let them know they’re all welcome to attend.)

A quick check of my emails: 2260.


I need to address a cake quote for an upcoming wedding.

There’s a photographer in another province inquiring about advertising on our website. Instead of seeing marketing dollars, I see an opportunity to expand to her city.

*mental note to mull over said expansion*.

Another client wants to schedule a meeting for Friday.

The WG team has started working on a collaborating online platform to manage our projects… I think I’ve received what looks like an invite to join it. Great, something new I need to learn. (should I have written that in my sarcastic font?) Alas… I’m here to work with them. Onwards.

Got a super lovely email full of kindness and support from another WeddingGirl.

Noticed she’s updated her email signature to the super chic new one we adopted last week. I support this.

Read my daily inspiration note. I like it.

Skip over an email about a blog that I know will require an extensive amount of follow-up. I’ll come back to that later.

Get an update from a bride about a photographer she’s not super excited by. Our search continues.

Another bride sends a note to confirm she’s finalized her stationary details.

*mental note* – must begin her design board development in the next few days.

Send a note to a 2016 couple about a function space that I think would be perfect for them.

Send a note to another couple about a photographer that I think would be a perfect fit (had to remember to CC those girls on the WG team who are anxious to start planning weddings on their own).

Email a decorator to set up a lunch date to talk about a design proposal for a super strategic function we’re executing together. He agrees to meet at my preferred time in my preferred spot. Amazing. They have stellar gyoza.

*scribble that lunch date into my day planner*

I realize I haven’t added Friday’s meeting to my dayplanner yet.

I receive an inquiry from an aspiring planner who wants to work for us…. respond with details for us to meet and greet. Looking forward to it.

I follow up on some emails that I’ve owed one of the WeddingGirls for over a week now. She’s eager to get on board and help with finalizing details for one particular event and my lack of response was stopping her from being able to do her job. Shoot.

Some updates come in for another wedding that affect the entire team – I go back into our Facebook group to pass along the note.

Spend a few minutes deleting unnecessary emails re: one particular event…. manage to get my Inbox down to 2226.

Receive a note back from another venue that we have a meeting confirmed for Tuesday. I get up from my cross-legged spot on the couch to grab my pink dayplanner to scribble those additional meeting details into it.


I realize that I’ve somehow managed to spill nailpolish remover in my office bag; not much of it, but enough to wreck the nail that landed in in when reaching for my planner. Planner seems to be safe, though. All’s well.

I scribble all meeting dates and times into the planner. I try to always book meetings between 11-2…. it usually means I’ve missed morning rush hour traffic and haven’t yet hit afternoon rush hour traffic. Very strategic. I also know that I’m bound to get stuck in traffic sometimes. I don’t let it sour my mood or affect my presentation. It’s just a part of doing business in Toronto and I’m grateful for the *privilege* of being a business owner in one of the most dynamic cities in the world.

I pick meeting locations that have convenient parking (and good food). Or good coffee. Or wi-fi.

One vendor sends along a Gmail Calendar invite. It’s scheduled for 30 minutes off from the time we agreed to. I need to send back a note to confirm that either she has it wrong or I do. Turns out she does. She updates the invite.

As I’m staring at the top 10 emails in my Inbox, I’m reminded that there’s a pretty hefty email from another client that I know I need to respond to, as well as a note from a vendor who was hoping to meet with as soon as possible but haven’t had a chance to respond with availability.

The pressure of ‘drowning’ starts to set in and it’s barely lunch time.

… one thing at a time.

I’m constantly receiving an influx of ‘small talk’ emails – I respond pleasantly and make mental notes to remember the details of everyone’s holidays and family plans so that I can ask about them after the holidays.

*mental note to enhance customer service despite feeling like you’re gasping for air*.

Updates to a hefty radio station giveaway are confirmed. I send a note updating the team. We’ll now be collaboratively working alongside one another to finesse the details of the plans and make them spectacular. I’m excited about this one!

Created my first Asana project as per an email I received from a bride and her associate planner and I ironing out ongoing planning details.

Also go in and updated another WeddingGirl’s project with notes about details I’ve just received from the executive.

I don’t hate this platform.

Another WeddingGirl updates her email signature.  I can’t help but smile about the fact that I directly lifted it from a lawyer and now we’re all using it. I offered to pay for his coffee in return. He refused… so perhaps I’ll write about how awesome he and his firm’s work are on the blog. (which reminds me that I haven’t opened or responded to that one note about that blog thing I need to take care of …. off to do that now).

Inbox down to 2223.

Deleted a note that I was CC’d on between a planner and a Groom – these are my favourites, since they usually don’t require any action from me.

Emailed back about that blog thing.

Realize I haven’t eaten yet. Begrudgingly get up from my spot on the couch to nourish myself.

1230 – while scarfing down eggs I’m figuring out my strategy for the evening’s planner session: topics, questions, discussion points. Send all the attendees an email confirming location.

Check my inbox, back up to 2230 since sitting down for breakfast.

Added “how to bring additional vendors on board (for an upcoming event)” to my mental strategy task list… will give this some thought.

A WeddingGirl reminds me that we haven’t heard back from a new inquiry on a meeting time and that this still requires follow-up. Grateful to her for doing it on my behalf.

Get a bounce-back email from Asana that I can’t just reply to a thread in my email because settings are set to send emails from “info@WG” instead of wg@gmail …. lame. Decide to keep an Asana window open along my task bar to update as needed (alongside about a dozen entrepreneurial articles that I keep open to remind myself to read).

Read this great article: http://time.com/3610313/kat-cole-cinnabon/

A cake quote comes in. I carefully review it. It doesn’t seem to match what I remembered their original quote to be. Have to go back through my emails to double check a note sent on Dec 2 that quoted an entirely different price. Email the pastry chef back to ask why the difference in cost. Send a follow up email to the bride letting her know her quote is still baking.

Respond to the out-of-province photographer.

*mental note to my to-do list to think of strategies for this expansion*.

Today’s daily-subscription message :

“Note from the Universe”

Sure, we have an “Advanced Self Help” department here, Mary!

Down the hall and through the doors with the sign that says, “Help Others.”

Yeah, same-same, because the therapy that comes from helping someone else is one of the most advanced ways to help yourself.

Shhhhhh… please do not tell a single soul!

- seems largely applicable.

1300 – sign up for Natalie MacNeil’s “Conquer Club” – for women entrepreneurs. I try and reverse-engineer the success of others and use it to keep myself inspired when being a GirlBoss totally sucks.

I reread one of the WG’s love note emails she sent me that morning.

I’m reminds that I need to confirm our new corporate mailing address.

Also makes me think that I need to give some thought to Fraîche Floral Studio development strategy (another mental to-do)

Read an email from another WG with a blogpost that my mind seems to tell me we’ve already published but I’m not sure. Off to the website to verify.

Yet another WeddingGirl has submitted a blog about brooch bouquets.. which reminds me I still haven’t published her lace blog from last week. I feel shitty for dropping the ball on that. Off to the WG website to make at least this first blog happen.

While I’m downloading the images I was sent for the brooch blog, I realize that I have an opened (unsent) photography email that I was working on for a couple this morning that I entirely forgot to send. Finish off that email and send it away.

1310 – email to the couple sent.

Two of the brooch blog’s images were broken in the email so I ask the WeddingGirl to re-send. One of her images reminds me that I still owe one of our couples a revised floral quote.

Another “to-do”.

- back to writing the blog.

- get distracted with notifications in our Facebook group about one girl’s note re: a couple of upcoming projects.

Go back to Asana to create the thread to discuss the pitch but realize I’m not getting the blog post done.

Back to the blog.

(the fine art of constantly reminding yourself that you’re distracted).

“Does what I’m doing right now pay my bills? No? Stop doing said thing.”

1345 – blog post done.

Added in a few photos from previous weddings I’ve planned as well as cross-linked to a blog from back in 2011 – which was super popular in traffic but clearly was written and edited before I had any clue what I was doing. Take the time to update that blog as well.

1400 – back and forth emails about a cake / cupcake situation.

Schedule another planner’s blog post for tomorrow.

Haven’t reviewed that lace post yet.

Answer text messages from WeddingGirls that I’ve been ignoring in an effort to try and get this editing done.

I’m reminded that I need to create an Asana thread about marketing goals. Off to do that now.

1410 – Asana post complete.

I’m going to get coffee.

(feeling bogged down that I still haven’t responded to that one super-important email… and can’t event remember the other important thing I was supposed to respond to.)

1420 – still haven’t left for coffee.. but have updated the original vintage bouquet blog. Wow, so many comments on this vintage WG gem (pun intended).


1600 – get coffee.

Walk my dog.

Go to Winners to find an outfit for that evening’s strategy session.

Decide I prefer to buy exclusively on Clearance to keep things unique and outside of my comfort zone. Entire outfit = $75 with shoes, tights, and scarf.

Anxiety about the evening starts to set in. I’m wondering what I’m going to say, who’s going to be there, how it’s going to go.

Email inbox is at 2223.

A super stressed-out bride sends a super-stressed-out note.

Must address.

Get an email request for an interview with WeddingPlannersInTheCity.com.  I agree to it and assume they’ll connect with me in the next day or two.

Start to watch the clock and get nervous about my session.

Follow up with a bride who wants to get together to chat planning before the Xmas holidays.

Some more vendor back-and-forth.

Should probably give some thought to food prior to tonight’s session. I haven’t eaten anything since the eggs.

Get an inquiry for vases in Alberta.

I’m reminded that I’ve been thinking about Canadian distribution for our “shops” for years. I’m not in a position to be figuring it out now. I explain to said inquirer that shipping to Alberta will likely cost more than the vases she’s inquiring about. I feel horrible. Apologize profusely. Carry on.

1715 – arrived at my session.

Still haven’t eaten dinner.

Have cute purple tights with cute new black shoes though.

Will figure out where there’s decent enough lighting to instagram said fashion statement.

Our company name is on the readerboard again.


Would be lying if I said there wasn’t tiny bits of butterflies to see WG’s name alongside other big corporate names.

Pretty lucky to be getting the kind of hospitality we’re greeted with in the city.

Random girl in Louboutins walks. She has no idea how to walk in stilettos, is probably about 21, and hanging off the arm of a 60+ year old dude. The Dior bag waving around in her hand pretty much tells the story. Clearly I’m doing it wrong – this ‘working for myself’ bit. Maybe I need a sugar daddy? I spend about 48 seconds debating said proposal in my head. I decide against it and go back to planning my meeting notes.

I sit down and breathing for the first time all day.. and almost anxious that I’m not even sure where to pick up on my work / food / social media strategy / book … — should probably work on some kind of a script. Off I go.

Stop and muster up a way to take a purple-tight-selfie for the WeddingGirl who texted to remind me that I should.


2310…. finally in bed.

I’ve ignored my Jeep’s plea for oil for weeks and almost seized my engine on King Street driving home.

Good times.

$60 of gas station oil later, I think I’m good.


Breakfast was the only meal I’ve managed to eat.

Time for bed.

The end.


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December 17, 2014

Glitter, sans gaud.

{ untacky bridal bling :: brooch bouquets  }

Or, “A WG-take on what could be considered either a modern or timeless approach to bling’ing up your wedding day.”


Are you dreaming of adding a touch of sparkle to your wedding day look, but don’t want to bedazzle it to the nines?

I’ve collected some beautiful, bejeweled inspiration in the form of dazzling brooch bouquets… and paired them with tips on how to incorporate sparkly gems without looking like a 1980′s denim pencil case.

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto Fabric Bridal Bouquet

Brooch bouquets can be elegant and understated or show-stopping statements.

They can ‘bling’ up your day or be a timeless way of honouring the memory of a loved one. Incorporate jewels into your existing floral arrangement, or go all-brooch for full-on-glam…. and, I mean, who doesn’t love glam?

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto brooch Bridal Bouquet2

These elegant pieces are one-of-a-kind, unique wedding day enhancements that will hold up longer than your wedding dress (and can definitely be used by your daughter in a few decades!)

Take the emotional significance of your design one step further and call up your gal-pals…. see who has brooches they’d be willing to lend (or donate) to your project (Something Borrowed, ladies?!). Keep in mind that aunts, grandmothers, godmothers, etc. would be tickled pink at this request as well. Otherwise, there are thrift stores, antique stores, and flea markets to scour. Can you think of a better way to spend the afternoon with your Maid of Honour or wedding planner?!

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto brooch Bridal Bouquet 3

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto brooch silk corsage

brooch vintage bridal hairpiece wedding style

vintage brooch charm bridal bouquet stem wrap

Here’s a gorgeous, vintage-inspired brooch and fabric bouquet in WG-action… carried by a stunning past-bride….

Floral Vintage Fabric Brooch Bridal Bouquet

Vintage Fabric Brooch Bouquet

Vintage Rose Pink Gray Wedding Design

…. and since we know that brooches don’t always come cheap, consider half-brooch and half-blooms the way another one of our beauties did!

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


Still not convinced that brooch-bling is for you? Learn more about floral trends and traditions here.

In love with what you see? Check out these vintage fabric gems as well!


What do you think?

Would you ever carry a brooch bouquet for your special day?

* or if you did, tag @WeddingGirlca in an image for feature!


Carly is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and designer-of-all-things-gorgeous at WeddingGirl.ca

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Carly Whiteman WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton Wedding Planner

{ blog love :: photog credits }
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December 15, 2014

Bridal Beauty :: skincare | #VisageYorkville

{ wedding day complexion prep }

by: Mary Smirle


Take a look at your skin.



Give it a once-over.

And then stop.

And take off those ultra-judgey jerk-brain glasses through which you judge yourself harder than you’d ever judge any one of your friends.


If you can, go look at yourself through the eyes of your best friend – you know, the one that has spent hours of time (and bottles of wine) with you, talking about wedding plans, wedding colours, your guest list, that one colleague at work who just makes you SO MAD, wedding food, whether Guy Fieri is the best or the worst thing about The Food Network…

You know.

That friend.

How does that friend see you?

Because, it’s probably not how you see yourself.

Let’s be real: a random person off the street doesn’t judge your looks as harshly as you judge yourself.

Take a look at what the Dove Real Beauty Campaign learned about how women see themselves:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches 3

Dove Real Beauty Sketches 2

Dove Real Beauty Sketches 1

See a pattern there?




Kermit drinking lipton tea

And that, my dears, is what can be so incredibly dangerous about that classic ritual that all brides buy in to: the Pre-Wedding Pampering. And more specifically, the pre-wedding facial. Brides look in the mirror and hone in on all the wrongs:

“My skin is flat.”

“My cheeks are red.”

“My pores are the size of dinner plates.”

But your guests? They’ll just see the you that they love…. we promise, they won’t see the  you that you see.

So, let’s let them see the Best You there is.

“Okay. But. Seriously. What does that even mean?”


Would you ever consider getting your hair dyed (or, your brows done) the day before your wedding?

Bride of Frankenstein Bridezilla blog

We didn’t think so.

But then why would you consider getting your first facial the day before? or even a week before, for that matter?!

Note the wording: your first facial.

Don’t get your first facial the day before your wedding day.

A face treatment in the days leading up to a big day is a great idea regardless of what that day might be – a wedding, graduation, prom …) but it’s not he time to say YES! to that new mystery treatment that will (literally) peel years off your life… and by life, we mean face.


Instead, after you’ve ordered your own, pencil an appointment into a beauty spa… and if you’re lucky enough to be around Toronto, make it #VisageYorkville.

You’re looking for a place that has people who know their skincare stuff? And who can make sure every step is providing your skin with stuff it actually needs? You should probably talk to these guys. They don’t call them “Face Experts” for no reason.

Caryl Baker Visage Yorkville Kyla Garritano Face Experts Toronto

Now, this does depend on when you buy your wedding gown… but let’s just go with general timelines here and assume you’re 8-10 months out from “I Do.” Kyla and her team at Visage could totally make you fabulous for one day on short notice, but if you have the time, why not build from the foundation… down?

Let’s face it:

If there’s one trait that causes serious envy, it’s radiant, healthy, glowing gorgeous skin.

If you’re thinking, “Wait! But I want Giselle’s hair, not her skin!”, well, Constant Reader, there’s someone in your life who is really, really jealous of your skin.


But where to start?

Got red skin, Miss? Roseacea. Acne. Those evile little fine red capillaries some of us get without the fun of the gin that supposedly causes them?

Kyla says you should be using products chock full of Vitamin E (the skin’s hero!). This guy’s a powerful antioxidant and protectant.

Then there’s Biotin (also known as Vitamin H, but Biotin just sounds so much cooler, don’t you think?!) – this baby keeps your skin hydrated and improves elasticity.

And alfalfa extract.

Alfalfa photo child

Not that guy.

No… we’re talking about the sprouts on the sandwich at that strange raw bar down in the food court.

Those alfalfas.

Turns out, alfalfa provides beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and is one of the best natural food sources for vitamin K (which really helps with those dark circles under your eyes, too!). Alfalfa extract helps reduce the ruddiness of your complexion and improves overall tone and texture of your skin.

Or, maybe your skin is just…. you know… fine. Maybe you’re lucky and don’t have any major problems, so…. then let’s keep it that way! But have you ever planned a wedding before? Ever undergone the stress of a serious strain on time, finances, and that once whimsical, care-free relationship you shared with your main squeeze? Stress isn’t good for anyone… and your complexion can often take the brunt of the load.

Make your face shine (but in the non-greasy way).

Ever had kombucha tea?


It’s all the rage, but if that weird sediment sludge it needs isn’t really your bag, you can get its legendary skin brightening and smoothing effects through a cleanser and toner that uses it alongside white and green teas – bringing you bioflavinoids galore to keep calm, detox, and soothe your skin whether it’s dry, oily, or both (Curse you, T-zone!).

But, you don’t have to take my word for it.

No, seriously, don’t.

Go see the Face Experts.

These guys have gone through some seriously intense training to make sure they can give you the treatment your skin needs. And they have them all. If you’ve got skin, they have a regimen for it.

Visage Yorkville Kyla Garritano Toronto Caryl Baker

The team at Visage Yorkville will make sure you have that Perfect You look we were talking about. And that’s without even getting into the amazing facials they provide.


Did I forget to mention their 60-minute-facial with a free make-up application afterwards?

Hello, sandwich.

I’m sorry.

I’m cheating on you this lunch hour.

Doing part of your face treatment on your lunch means you don’t have to do it after work, or on the weekend – you know, those times when you have a bazillion wedding appointments to attend.

It’s pretty handy, is all I’m sayin’.

Visage Yorkville Toronto spa facial photo


And, Gentlemen?

Taking care of skin isn’t just for the ladies.

Grooms can totally benefit from some face-grooming as well! Now’s the time to get your man to give his skin (and facial hair) some loving, too.

Once you find the right aesthetician, come the lead-up to the big day, you’ll know what you want – and more importantly – what your skin needs – to be gorgeous.

And, those folks over at Visage – well, they get it. Their post-facial makeup touch-ups aren’t their only artistry. All of these Face Experts know how to get your skin clean, but more importantly, know how to glam it up! You’ll have a make0up artist who not only knows your skin intimately before your wedding, they’ll give you the products you need to make it glow, and touch it up with makeup that will transform you into a more beautiful You than you ever could have sketched yourself.

After all, it’s hard to disagree with another beauty guru, Sonia Kashuk: ” … you want to look like you – only better. When you’re walking down the aisle, the person on the other end wants to see you!”.

Groom Wiping Tears


Visage, Yorkville is located on the concourse level of the Holt Renfrew Centre in Toronto.

Find and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – and make sure to let them know that the WeddingGirl team sent you for added special treatment!

Now, go get gorgeous!

~ xo

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Wed-iquette: Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

{Q + A: Planning your Rehearsal Dinner}

Now that you’ve decided who you want to invite to the wedding ceremony and reception, it’s time to start planning your rehearsal dinner guest list!

Outside of actually rehearsing your ceremony details, rehearsals are a time for your closest friends and family to get to know one another before your big day. The rehearsal dinner (usually slotted for after the rehearsal itself) can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like; just don’t end up planning a whole second wedding!

Some questions to ask yourself when planning your rehearsal dinner:


Q: Who will be paying for the dinner?


Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal. However, our generation of nearlyweds today are opting to pay for most things themselves, so those “traditional” rules don’t necessarily apply.

Speak with your parents and make a mutual agreement on what each of you will be contributing to the wedding.



Q: Who do you invite to the rehearsal dinner?


Close family and friends, and those who are participating in your wedding day should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. It is courteous to allow the members of your wedding party to bring a guest, as well you must  invite your officient and their spouse (note: they often won’t attend).

If you are having a flower girl or ring bearer, their respective parents and family should be invited as well.



Q: Should out-of-town guests be invited?


If you are having out-of-town guests arrive prior to the wedding day, your rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity to spend some extra time together. Your wedding day will go by so quickly, so the night before will allow you some quality time to spend with those guests who have made an extra effort to celebrate with you.

Another option for catching up with your out-of-towners is to host a breakfast or brunch the morning after the wedding. This can usually be booked at the hotel where most of your out-of-town guests are staying (they’ll appreciate the convenience!).

It’s inexpensive and your guests will love the extra quality time they have with you.

cheers-friends brunch

Q: How far in advance do you send out an invite for the rehearsal dinner?


Give your guests as least 3-6 weeks notice for your date and time of the rehearsal dinner.


I hope you have found these tips helpful. If you have any questions for one of our wedding planners, send me an email at Leah@weddinggirl.ca


{ blog love : photo credits }

Brides.com | Anouschka Rokebrand Photography | Jessica Burke photography | Minted


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

To get Leah’s creative input and meticulous attention to detail for your own celebration, make sure to Get In Touch!

Find and follow Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

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December 14, 2014

because, guestbooks are boring.

{ Guestbook Alternatives }

by: Lisa Hardie


Back in October I wrote about changing up your late night buffet, so in the vein of doing things differently, I thought I’d share a few alternatives to that super-boring guestbook you picked up at a craft store thinking the doves on it were kinda-cute and you didn’t really know what else you’d make guests sign when they arrived at your reception.

Newsflash: never will you ever open that dove-laden guestbook ever again.

We promise.


Traditional guest books are pretty much non-existent these days.

They’re dated.

They don’t add a stitch of personality to your wedding.

They’re boring.

… basically, just don’t do it!

Changing up tacky traditions like guestbooks is a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding – and it’s often among the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to make an impact!


Music Lovers:

This one’s for the old-soul music lovers.

Forage your neighbourhood antique shops, and even your local thrift store, for old records. They’re unique, visually-appealing, and will look just as great on your wedding day as they will hanging on display in your indie-inspired home!

Vintage Records


Whether you’re planning a travel-themed affair, you teach as your day-job, or even if you’re planning a ‘green’, eco-conscious celebration, get your guests to sign a globe rather than a guestbook.

Globe Guestbook Colin Cowie Weddings

Game Players:

Gaming-loving twosome? Here’s a guestbook alternative that provides hours of fun – both at your reception as well as back home during your wine-fueled game nights!

Jenga block guestbook alternative wedding DIY

Sports Fans:

Bust out your favourite balls and a Sharpie … then tuck these game-day gems into a gorgeous glass case for safe display in your living room or man cave!

Or why not invest in a custom jersey with your new last name on it and get guests to sign that?!

 Wedding day baseball guestbook alternative hollywood pro weddings

Custom Jersey Wedding Guestbook

Simply simple:




We’ve seen this thumbprint idea come to life in tree-form, UP!-inspired form, and so many more.

All you need is an oversized print-out, a few ink pads, and be sure to provide your guests with wipes to clean off their paws before grabbing a glass of wine. Wedding Planning Tip: have a cute little waste bin nearby – this idea can get messy if not executed well.

thumbprint guestbook alternative

Thumbprint Guestbook alternative collage


What’s the most creative wedding day guestbook alternative that you’ve ever seen?!

Tag @WeddingGirlca on Twitter or Instagram to be featured!


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

Become friends with Lisa on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, and Instagram as well!

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton


{ Blog Love: Photo Credits }

UniqueWeddingPlan.comSarah E. Evans Photography | Colin Cowie Weddings | RusticChicwedding.com | Hollywood Pro Weddings

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December 10, 2014

Vendor Love | Glam Gorgeous Salon

Filed under: Author: Linda Keeping,Bridal Blog,Health & Beauty,Love,Vendors,WG{=} — WeddingGirl @ 11:07 am


Can we all agree on the power of a truly stellar hair cut?

I mean, who doesn’t feel like an A-Lister when a professional makes up their face? Even just a simple trim can revive and refresh your whole look {and outlook} on any given day.

Last week I found myself in just that position – In need of a trim, and a mood boost!

Enter: Jamie, founder of Glam Gorgeous Salon.

Vibrant, kind, and full of positive energy, Jamie’s private holistic salon is fun and inviting, with touches of glam everywhere! Imagine elegant strings of pearls draped over crystal light fixtures.. on sexy pink damask-patterned walls… Not to mention the totally chic white christmas tree, dressed with jewel-tone ornaments, beads and feathers! It’s official: this salon has some serious style.


If you’re near Niagara, and in the market for a new hair guru – your search is over!

I’ve seen his work before many times, {he’s made some of my close friends and family VERY happy}, but now, having visited the salon myself, I can confidently recommend him to anyone and everyone – Jamie is a total professional, who’s intuitive and considers the lifestyle and personality of his clients when choosing a cut or make-up look.

His salon is also the set and studio for his fabulous youtube channel! His videos are informative and engaging – his bright personality beaming throughout. My favourite thing on the salon’s website though, is the main page Mantra. It was JUST what I needed to read on the day I found it – there are no coincidences!

You should all go read it out loud to yourself. Check it out here.

Seriously.. I mean it..

Go right now, then come back – I’ll wait.

Oh hi again!

Feeling warm and fuzzy inside? I believe loving yourself is a huge part of achieving sustained happiness. Not to get to deep here.. but really, when one feels good about the way they look, that good feeling seeps way further than skin deep. A little outward pampering can do wonders when feeling a little down, or amid struggles with low self-esteem.


 “Love is love, we celebrate all love.”

The Salon’s Wedding Page does something special with this simple sentence. It suggests an inclusive and safe environment for all brides and grooms-to-be. Over here at WeddingGirl.ca we couldn’t agree with this more, and LOVE Glam Gorgeous even harder for it.  In fact, we have an entire division {WG =} that functions around this very principle.  Love IS love… and Love is never wrong.  Same-sex marriages and alternative unions don’t always receive the same care and attention as the traditional Mr. + Mrs. when preparing for “I Do’s”. We never want to hear that type of story EVER again. So we always aim to network with inclusive vendors who welcome every kind of couple.

WG= Logo

If you are looking for a warm welcome, serious skill and just the right amount of sass –make an appointment at Glam Gorgeous Salon, then follow their brilliant advice:

Be Celebrated • Be Beautiful • Be Magnificent.



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

For media requests, product or service reviews, contact her directly –  Linda@WeddingGirl.ca

Linda Keeping WeddingGirl.ca Toronto


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December 9, 2014

Choosing your wedding date…

{ … and why it doesn’t actually matter }

Authored by: Brenda Hanks


This past summer I had the pleasure of being a guest at four weddings.

Of these four weddings, only one of them took place on a Saturday.

While Saturdays have been the day of choice for what is often the biggest party of your life, it’s becoming more and more acceptable to think outside the box when it comes to your wedding date. 


So, as mentioned above, one wedding I went to was on a Saturday. Two fell on a Friday, and the final wedding, an intimate mid-day affair, took place on a Thursday.

When I looked up those dates in the calendar my first thought was about how many vacation days I was going to be spending on attending these nuptial affairs. Regardless, I diligently booked my vacation days to attend my friends’ special days, and I’m happy I did. We never did end up asking our friends why they chose to be wed on non-standard dates, but in retrospect, good on them!

I’m sure you’ve been there before: your friend’s wedding date is finally here. You spend a few hours getting dressed and prettied up for the big day, you go to the ceremony, the reception, and then stumble home late that night (or sometimes – if it’s an especially good party - the next day). Sunday is then spent recovering and suddently, *BAM!* – it’s Monday morning and you’re back in the office. The entire weekend sped by and now you’ve got to wait another 5 days before you get a of couple days off to yourself.

Now, having never been to a Friday wedding before, I hadn’t realized how great it was to go to a wedding, celebrate as usual, and then still get an entire weekend to do whatever I wanted. Looking back, these Friday weddings were no different than a Saturday date, except for the guests had to use some vacation time to attend.

The Thursday wedding, however, was totally different. With an 11AM ceremony, followed by an amazing lunch in a beautiful winery setting, the Newlyweds celebrated with only 20 of their closest friends and family. No big party, no dancing, but it still definitely felt like a wedding; maybe even more special than usual!

That particular event was over by 3PM and we ended up crossing the border for some post-wedding shopping (hey, we were already almost there anyway!).

{ Planning Outside The Box }

As 2014 comes to a close, I’d like to offer the following tidbits of advice to you when it comes to choosing an “outside-the-box” wedding date:

1. Don’t be afraid to book a weekday

Your guests will take the time to come, AND you’ve still given them an entire weekend to enjoy at their own discretion. Everyone wins.

And did you know that all of the swankiest Manhattan events are happening mid-week these days? Yup. Posh, couture couples are being wed in candlelit ceremonies in the evening, followed immediately by cocktails, dinner, some light dancing, and late night limos are taking them straight to the airport en route to Bora Bora for some post-wedded bliss.

Sounds pretty blissful, doesn’t it?

2) If you’re considering a Friday wedding, try a late afternoon ceremony.

In most cases your guests can get away with a half day of vacation, which makes it an easier sell. Say “I Do” no earlier than 4:30 or 5PM.

3) Consider a non-dinner reception

This is especially fun for smaller guest lists, and is often a very budget friendly option.

A few years ago the WG team planned a 9AM ceremony at a butterfly conservatory followed by a beautiful brunch onsite. Guests indulged in table-side build-your-own omelette bars and the Newlyweds jetted off at noon for their honeymoon in China!

4) Think of the space!

The most highly sought-after venues that get booked up for years on Saturdays are often not only available but will also offer discounts to tie the knot during the week! And don’t forget that lower guest counts mean substantial wedding budget savings.

5) It’s YOUR day

This is your party.

This is your wedding.

So you OWN that Tuesday, or Wednesday, or whatever day you choose! No matter the day of the week, you and your guests will be celebrating like it’s a Saturday…. and I guarantee that a year down the road, you’ll barely even remember it wasn’t.


Brenda is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger at WeddingGirl.ca

To have her feature your product, service, or industry-related blog on this website, get in touch -


Brenda Hanks WeddingGirl.ca

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December 8, 2014

The Top 10 Reasons to Consign Your Wedding Gown

{ Say Yes to Consigning Your Dress }


Congratulations – you did it! You had the picture-perfect celebration and couldn’t be happier with how perfectly everything turned out.

Now you’re busy living Happily Ever After, yet, sometimes, you can’t help but stare, dreamy-eyed at your gown … that gorgeous thing hanging in your closet that, once upon a time, made you feel like a million bucks.

Or perhaps you’ve just surprised your husband, donned those frocks one last time for your first year anniversary and revelled all over again in that feeling of being crazy in love (with both the dress and the man!)

But now it’s time to get on with post-wedded reality.

Some newlyweds may have the real estate in their matrimonial abode to display their stunner on a mannequin and stare at it lovingly… but for most of us, let’s face it, storage is the only solution. Somehow.

But…. seriously…. what a shame to pack up all that lace and tulle - never to be seen again! It’s far too gorgeous to be locked away… it should be showcased.

Scratch that…

It should be shared.

These days, gone away are the superstitious hoaxes about wearing a previously-loved gown on your wedding day. More and more brides are turning to consignment as an option to not only recoup some wedding day dollars, but to play their role in paying-it-forward and outfitting a budget-savvy bride in the same love and beauty they felt themselves.

{ Top 10 Reasons To Say Yes To Consigning Your Dress }

1. Storage

Reality check: most of us just don’t have the room to store a wedding dress.

Whether we’re tight on storage in a condo or have small closets in a starter home, packing away a ballgown eats up precious property for linens, towels, and … well…. shoes!

And, if we’re being honest: Out of sight = out of mind. If your dress is tucked neatly away, you won’t be thinking about it (regardless of how much you fantasize about doing dishes in it one day).

Don’t waste space in your closet and don’t spend even more money on preserving the dress in those tacky preservation boxes that don’t fit under your bed regardless of how hard you push. That dress will ultimately end up in your basement only to be found a decade later when you move. At that point, please don’t consider consigning. Regardless of how beautiful the dress was once upon a time, it’ll be outdated and nearly impossible to sell.



2. Sentiment

You’ve married the man, not the dress.

If you’re emotionally tied to your gown because it represents such an important day of your life, just ask a 10-year-married-mother-of-three how often she dreams about her dress. As life goes on, new milestones will undoubtedly become the focus of your life, leaving the sentimental value of your wedding dress, the garment itself, entirely worn away.

Sell your dress as soon as possible so that it is still a sought-after design. Not only will the likelihood of selling be higher, you’ll assuredly sell it for more.

Yes, you might be sad that you’ll never hold that amazing piece of clothing again, but one day you’ll be sitting in a rocking chair staring at the canvas print of your wedding day above the mantle while holding a sleeping newborn…. and just think of how happy your heart will be knowing you weren’t the only one who shared that sentiment!

Back of wedding gown


3. Practicality

Tell me I’m wrong up and down… but I’m probably not: you won’t ever wear your wedding dress again.

Unless you buy tickets for some fabulous Do-It-All-Over wedding gala or your dress is designed to be altered or dyed, you won’t ever wear your wedding dress again.

The earth-friendly and economical alternative is to turn your wedding gown into a cocktail dress, keep it, and get more wear out of it. But, let’s be serious, most newlyweds won’t…. and even if they did, where would they possibly wear it?

If you have hopes of holding on to your dress for your yet-to-be born daughter to wear down the aisle, the cold, hard truth is that fewer than 1 percent of brides will choose to wear their mother’s dress (did you?). It’s nothing personal; there are many different reasons for 20+ year old gowns not to make a second appearance… but the fact is, it probably won’t.  Besides, wouldn’t you much prefer the experience of shopping for a gown your little girl loves anyways?

picking out a wedding gown

4. Eco-Love

We all love the planet.

We also all owe it to the planet to be concerned about the carbon footprints we’re leaving behind… even on our wedding day.

Recycle your dress.

Tell me… where do 10-year-old, discarded, wedding gowns go to die? Landfills.

Even if you purchased your dress brand-new, reselling it shows environmental responsibility by offering the next bride a choice to decrease the negative impact her big day will leave on the planet.

Eco-warm-fuzzies all around, right?!

 Kate Ignatowski Wedding Eco Bride Photography


5. Self-Sale Fail

The internet is bursting at the seams with online forums and bridal resale sites that you can use to liquidate your wedding day inventory… but therein lies the issue.

Did YOU buy your dress online?


Because you were skeptical?


And most brides are.

Not only that, but maybe you’ve listed your pre-owned gown, maybe you have gotten inquiries and feedback, but now you need to juggle incoming inquiries, multiple schedules, and random strangers showing up at your house (or promising to show up and instead leaving you hanging without explanation). Remember that those who do show up will likely do so with an entourage of their four or five favourite people… who will sit in your home…. while she tries on your dress….. in your bedroom.


For posterity’s sake, look up the Calgary Kijiji wedding dress scam too.



6. Buyer’s Remorse

Maybe your wedding gown didn’t make it down the aisle at all? Maybe, while you were planning your own dream day, you decided to spare no expense and go without compromise and then…. you regretted it.

For some brides, high-end designer labels matter more than their credit card limit. Maybe you went shopping, fell in mad-love with a gorgeous gown that you couldn’t picture yourself living without… but then you got home and realized that there’s just absolutely, positively, without-question, no way to make it work.

For others, it’s not about the pricetag so much as it’s about the indecision. Maybe you went shopping, fell in mad-love with TWO gorgeous gowns that you couldn’t make a decision between…. and then you got home and realized that there’s just absolutely, positively, without-question, no reason on the planet to have two wedding dresses.


It happens.

Think Lindsay Lohan on 2 Broke Girls.


And then there’s the newlywed wives who look back on the extravagance of their big day, love every minute of it, but feel overwhelmed with the debt and bills left over. Sometimes smarter spending choices could have been made beforehand… but at least this way, there’s an opportunity for some salvation!


7. Plot Twist

Picture this: you started out planning a luxurious ballroom gala …. the chandeliers, the chiavari chairs, the ….. family’s opinionated shenanigans.

Change of plans.

You decide to leave the stress of chandeliers and chiavaris behind and tie the knot on a beach instead. Will that over-the-top, extravagant ballgown fare well in the sand? Sure, it’s suited for a queen… but it may not suit an easy, breezy day of romping barefoot in the waves. Not to mention, it’ll be a nightmare to travel with.

Brian Dorsey Studios Beach Destination Wedding Photography


8. Mind Change { re: Dress }

So, your wedding plans have stayed the same …. but ….

“Ooooohhh, I promised I wouldn’t go into any more dress shops …. Ooooohhh, okay, just this one.” …. and then we all know what happens next.

We’re women.

It’s our biologically-given prerogative to change our minds as often as we please; choosing a wedding gown is no exception. Unfortunately there isn’t a bridal boutique in the world that will take back a gown after a down-payment has been paid.

Maybe you made an impulsive decision based on emotion… and that’s totally okay… but if you realize you won’t feel your very best on the day that literally all eyes will be on you, you need to continue searching for the stunner you’ll feel stunning in.

MegPhoto.com Indecisive Bride


9. Mind Change { re: Guy }

Sometimes even the best laid plans and dreams don’t always work out exactly as you expected.

Maybe your wedding didn’t happen – you may have purchased your gown and then decided that married life wasn’t right for you as a couple. Or perhaps you’ve gone separate ways from your fiancé but there are no hard feelings toward your dress. Remember, it was just an outfit you bought to enhance the beauty of a special day …. the satin itself didn’t do anything wrong.

For all you skeptical Soon-To-Be Brides … the tulle, lace, and loveliness of a dress that didn’t make it down the aisle isn’t stitched with bad karma. Truth be told, most of those dresses never even left the bridal boutique.  And if a fellow female had the courage to call off a wedding and/or life that was poorly fitted to her, consider her gown to be infused with the bravery and courage to follow her heart – and know that everything happens for the best possible outcome!

Canceled Wedding Cake Graphic

10. Selfless Love

Maybe you didn’t change your plans.

Maybe you didn’t change the guy.

Maybe you aren’t struggling with storage, sentiment, or savings ….

But maybe you just want to be selfless.

Simply put, consign because you want someone else to experience the joy and beauty that you did.

Not only do you adore your gown too much to leave her bagged up in a stuffy closet, but you know the difference you can make in a bride-to-be’s big day when you hand her a budget-savvy alternative to a dreamy designer dress.

Wedding Dress racks


Regardless of the ways in which your gown was bought, loved, worn, or not … the option to consign allows you to make back some of your wedding dollars that can now be put toward a weekend away or a mortgage payment. Assuming your dress is in good condition, expect to earn back about 25% of your original purchase price when you consign… on top of all the warm-fuzzies you’ll get for doing a good thing.

You had the dress.

You had the day.

You’ve got the guy.

You’re ready for life.

Sell the dress, buy some bubbles, toast to the future.

It’s time to pay that lace forward, Ladies.

Previously-loved dress superstitions are about as lame as disallowing a bride with a baby to wear white. Welcome to the new millennium, you gorgeous bridal beasts!



Gown And Glory is a consignment bridal boutique in Toronto, Canada.

To consign your gown, contact Angela@GownAndGlory.ca

(out-of-town inquiries also welcome!)

Gown and Glory Toronto Wedding Used Dress Store



{ blog love :: photo credits }

Flare | Peloso Cleaners | Huffington Post | Glamour | Kate Ignatowski Photography | BridalSpectacular | Brian Dorsey Studios | MegPhoto.com | St. Pucchi | BodyConsciousnessBlog





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Tips for making your wedding day pop!

How to infuse your wedding with colour

We, the WeddingGirls, love colour. Better yet, we love weddings with colour!

As beautiful as it is, we’ve seen a lot of Blush and Gold weddings. So, how do you infuse your wedding with colour in a way that’s classy, but still totally fun? We’re here to show you how!

Let’s start with Pantone’s colour of the year – Marsala (Pantone #18-1438 for those who want to get technical). It’s dramatic, romantic, and this eye catching colour is perfect for weddings. We can’t wait to get creative with some fall weddings this year using this beautiful earthy red tone.



It seems like the team over at the Fraîche Floral Studio was one step ahead of Pantone when they designed this gorgeous shades-of-red bouquet for our latest WeddingGirl LookBook photoshoot.

Pantone Marsala Bridal Bouquet Red Fraiche Floral Toronto

But bouquets aren’t the only way to colour your wedding day anymore!


 {Add in some Unexpected Colour}

Wearing coloured shoes is a fun way to add some colour to your bridal look.

Dare to be bold and go bright and brave with a pop of colour under your dress: and bonus design points if the look of your stems matches the look of your overall day! We love the unique shade of green this bride chose for her wedding day.


{ It’s all in the details }

If you’re afraid to be bold in a big way, add your pop of colour in the smaller details of your wedding. Choose a colourful ribbon for bouts and bouquets, or weave some colour into your bridal jewellery and accessories.


{ Break The Rules }

If your favourite colour is green, then just ditch the white all together and rock green!

It’s your day, and the most important thing is for you and your fiancé to be happy about it. If wearing your favourite colour will leave you beaming on your wedding day, then that’s exactly what you should do!

wedding colour -green-bride-groom-attire

There are so many beautiful, and unique colour palettes out there – yet brides are afraid to touch them for their wedding designs.

We speak on behalf of all wedding planners, “break the rules”. We’re begging you to take a tiny step outside the ‘traditional’ box with us. Trust our suggestions to colour outside the lines, and go entirely show-stopping for your big day. We promise, you won’t regret throwing caution to the wind and daring to be bold!


Need additional inspiration to be colourful? Then you should Meet This Girl! { Tiffany Pratt }

{ blog love }

Pantone | Troy Grover Photographers | Wedding Chicks | Berrett Photography | Caught the Light Photography | Love My Dress



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

To get Leah’s creative input and meticulous attention to detail for your own celebration, make sure to Get In Touch!

Find and follow Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest


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