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October 11, 2014

WGxBOS :: Boston Blogpreneur Workshop | 11.02.14

{ Boston Beginner Blogger Workshop }

I love Boston.

I mean, how can you not?!


Craft beer.


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

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

boston love graphic

{ what’s blogpreneur? }


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

…. if I had a nickel.


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

….. that is how it went, right?


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

WeddingGirl University Logo

{ So…. who’s WG? }

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

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

Henna Kreations Burlington Deepali WeddingGirl.ca


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

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

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


Mary Bratko Entrepreneur Blogger Wedding Planner Toronto

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

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


2. Expressions of wanton coveting.

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

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

I travel at least a dozen times a year.

I spend most days working in pyjama pants.

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

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

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

Mary Bratko Toronto Blogger Entrepreneur

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

So what’s that mean?

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


What previous attendees are saying:

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

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

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

Mary Bratko Toronto WeddingGirl.ca

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

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

Let’s do this!

{ Blogpreneur :: beginner }

Date: Sunday, November 2nd

Time: 2:30 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE!

RSVP: info@weddinggirl.ca

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

Register at Eventbrite ASAP.


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




Can’t wait to meet you!

(and then watch you change the world)

(for real.)




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


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October 6, 2014

Once Upon a Time in Paradise

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

Authored by Laura Arbelaez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria Sunwing Vacations Travel Wanderlust Blogger

Memories Azul Beach Resort Explore Adventure Travel Blogger Wanderlust Paradise Nature

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

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

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

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

Cuba Cayo Santa Maria Travel Blogger Wanderlust

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

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

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

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

Laura Arbelaez Travel Blogger Cuba Cayo Santa Maria Paradise Wanderlust Explore

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

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


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

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


- Blog Love -

WGx Photoshoot: Serena Swan Photography

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October 4, 2014

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

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


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


It’s been nearly 24 hours now.

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

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

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

So….. here it is.



Good morning -

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

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

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

Wanderlust WG Air canada YYZ

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

YYZ Air Canada Diverted Flight Toronto


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

Air Canada YYZ plane reboot Toronto

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

We have lost a $2000 hotel booking in Chicago.

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

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

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

People are still getting from YYZ to O’Hare.

Passengers are moving to where they need to be….

While all of us keep being told to wait.

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

… and we wait.

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



Again… thank you for opening this email.

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

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

I understand there will likely be nothing you can do…

But thank you for listening.

Much love,

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

YYZ Toronto T1 Air Canada

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September 30, 2014

From one WeddingGirl to the World

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

Authored by: Laura Arbelaez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Varadero Cuba Travel Tourism Wanderlust Gaviota Tours Architecture

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

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

Havana Cuba Wanderlust Travel Tourism Architecture UNESCO Heritage Site

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

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

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

Laura Arbelaez Wanderlust Venice Italy Beautiful Architecture Travel Skyline Floating City

Laura Arbelaez Contiki Tour Swiss Alps Switzerland Europe Travel Wanderlust

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

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

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

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


- Vendor Love -

WGx Photoshoot: Serena Swan Photography

Bridal Bouquet: Fraiche Floral Studio


 Laura Arbelaez is a Travel/Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Social Media Stylist at WeddingGirl.ca

To have Laura feature your product or service in a media blast or blog spotlight, make sure to get in touch – laura@weddinggirl.ca

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September 24, 2014

Ask a WG :: Wedding MC | Master of Ceremonies

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

How to be a wedding mc

Why pick an MC?

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

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


Who is the MC?

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


How to pick an MC?

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

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


What does an MC do?

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

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

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

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

Typical MC responsibilities include:

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

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

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

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

5) Introducing wedding speeches

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

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

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


Where does the MC sit?

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

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

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

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


When does the MC speak?

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


Tips for Wedding MC’s


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

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

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

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

Some advice for Him:

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

Then some advice for Her:

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


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

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

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

#1. “Fine”

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

#2. “Five Minutes”

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

#3. “Nothing”

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

#4. “Go Ahead”

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

#5. “Loud Sigh”

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

#6. “That’s Okay”

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

#7. “Thanks”

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

#8. “Whatever”

Is a women’s way of saying F-YOU!

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

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


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

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

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September 22, 2014

Navy, Coral + White :: Hockley Valley Wedding

{ rebecca + adam}

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

That was Rebecca.

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

Navy blue.



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

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

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

Coral Bridesmaids Barrie Wedding Planners

White Coral Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto

Navy Bridesmaids Lace Wedding Gown

Navy Blue Bridesmaids Wedding Party

Barrie Hockley Valley Wedding Planner Toronto

Hockley Valley Wedding Photography First Look

Coral Navy Bridesmaid Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio

Navy Coral Wedding Toronto Planners

Grey Navy Coral Wedding Hockley Valley Orangeville

Hockley Valley Orangeville Wedding Planner

Coral Navy White Wedding Fraiche Floral

Coral Bridal Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio

Blue Navy Coral Scottish Wedding Ceremony

Scottish Wedding Planners Toronto WeddingGirl.ca

Blue Coral Scottish Wedding Hockley Valley

Hockley Valley Wedding Coordinator Barrie

Orange Coral Navy Scottish Wedding Planners

Blue Coral Chevron Wedding Planners

Barrie Wedding Cake Luvvly Cake Co

Barrie Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca

Laura Fess Photography Barrie

Coral Blue Wedding OMG Decor Events

Hockley Valey Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

{ Vendor Love }

Venue: Hockley Valley Resort

Officiant: Ian, Kettle Creek Weddings

Photography: Laura Fess

Videography: Fresh Canadian Content

Flowers: Fraîche Floral Studio

Decor: OMG Events

Cake: The Luvvly Cake Co.

Piper: Mike Connolly


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September 17, 2014

Made you look…

{ coming soon … the WG real-world Look Book! }

Carrie Bradshaw Wedding Gown

The gorgeous Grace Ormonde Wedding Style tells us that being in love never goes out of style.

While little girls dream of what their fairy tale will look like one day, girls-engaged find themselves pouring over pages and pages of bridal styles trying to find what speaks to them. But are we really the only ones intimidated by the bleak-faced, stick-thin models rocking the frocks we hope will look just as gorgeous on our real-world frames??

With the 2014 wedding season slowly coming to a close, all of us at WG Headquarters are eagerly anticipating the fresh new looks that will adorn the pages of our favourite magazines and wedding blogs in 2015, but the truth is, we’ve never really been good at sitting back and waiting for things to happen. Over here, we make things happen. And it’s with that mindset that the WeddingGirl team is excitedly launching a new blog project – the WG Look Book.

We think that it’s about time designing the look of your dream day became approachable, affordable, and inspiring.

Our Real-World Look Book project was dreamed up by a team of artistically fearless creative visionaries; girls who seriously love being in love. But we can’t do it without your help!

Audren Hepburn Wedding Gown

{ real world models }

We need models.

And we don’t mean the Parisian runway kind…. we mean the real-world, real-life, naturally beautiful kind.

Not every bride-to-be is eager to sport white.

Not every bride-to-be is a Size OO with waist-length tresses.

Not every bride-to-be plans on posing for her couture wedding day shots with a questionable frown on her face.

Let’s face it…. those high-end bridal magazines aren’t exactly a realistic depiction of what Happily Ever After is supposed to be!

Whether you’re a bride-to-be eagerly counting down the days to her big day, a newlywed who sometimes secretly puts on her wedding gown to do the dishes, or a mother of three who can’t help but love all-things-in-love, we want to make everything around you beautiful.

Use your own wedding gown, or let us pick one for you.

Imagine being styled by a team of stylists for the day – hair, makeup, fancy frocks, serious shoes.

There’ll be flowers.

There’ll be details.

There’ll be a team dedicated to making you look and feel beautiful while you help us set the stage for upcoming trends we’re dying to see. You’ll even leave the shoot set with a bag of stellar swag and professional photos of all the gorgeous.

Sparkly Stilettos Yves Saint Laurent

{ real world dreamers }

Oh… and one more thing? You’ll have creative input in the style!

Whether you’re a gypsy-souled wanderer or a polished princess, whether you prefer diamonds on your neck or flowers in your hair, your story will inspire your style.

Have you always dreamed of being a character in an upside-down Alice In Wonderland world?

Do you secretly wish your wedding day had been in a barn instead of on a beach?

The team behind our new launch of WG Look Book has it taken care of.

You might end up in white. You might not.

You might be styled with a lavish floral bouquet. You might get a killer, sparkly clutch.

Either way, you’ll be making heads turn (and bridesmaids jealous!)


{ the details }

Think you’re up for playing dress-up with us? We want to hear from you.

Send an email to info@WeddingGirl.ca with the subject line, WG Look Book.

Tell us about yourself.

Send us photos of yourself.

Gush about everything you love and all the things that make you you!

Couture Bridal Photography Taylor Jackson


We can’t wait to make you look.



{ blog love :: }

One Fab Day – Coco Chanel Inspired Wedding

Yves Saint Laurent



Taylor Jackson Photography

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September 15, 2014

#WGx :: turning dreams into plans

{ it’s time …. take II }

WGx 2014 Casting Call from WeddingGirl.ca on Vimeo.

Palais Royale Toronto Corporate Photoshoot Serena Swan

Corporate jobs.


Someone else’s schedule.

Someone else’s rules.

Soooo, none of that sounds like a good time – does it?

The WG brand has spent over five years making bridal dreams come true… and now the WeddingGirl-Multiplied team is turning their focus to making life dreams come true.



Little Black Dresses Photoshoot Serena Swan Photography Toronto

On October 14, 2014, we’re inviting all of the Dreamers, the Thinkers, and the Doers to join us for an intimate conversation on turning their dreams into plans.

We’re connecting passions, hosting the kind of Question-and-Answer session that Mary, the CEO of WG, wishes someone had hosted back when WG was just a twinkle in her eye.

The faces of the WG team know the magic locked behind a hope, a dream, a wish, some hard work, and a killer team of like-minded souls.

Come meet us. Feel free to come on your own or bring a friend. Bring nothing more than your own open mind and a courageous heart. Oh, and your love for all-things-beautiful. Bring that too. And we’ll provide the rest!

1470342_756833667679229_456062946_n (1)


To read more about the inspiration behind WGx - click here!

For more details, or to RSVP, please feel free to get in touch.


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September 11, 2014

Wedding Guest Dress Codes :: de-coded

So…. what does ‘Creative Black Tie’ even mean?

Authored by Leah Sandhu

Some weddings have very specific dress codes and as a guest it can be hard to know what to wear. So, I thought I would share some notes for you to refer back to next time you get an invite that says Creative Black Tie, and mostly have no idea what that means.

bowtie - invitation

{ White Tie Wedding }

A white tie wedding is formal.

And by ‘formal’ I actually mean ultra formal.

Like, super, crazy, over-the-top, red carpet formal.

Ultra formal black tie event Black Lively Ryan Reynolds

What to Wear

Ladies: If you’re attending a white tie affair, you best be rocking a floor-length ball gown.
Gentlemen: You, Sir, must be in full dress: white tie (bowtie or ascot), vest, shirt with cufflinks, top hat optional (if you don’t know what an ascot is, you may want to just go with the bowtie).


{ Black Tie Wedding }

A black tie wedding is formal too. Just not as formal as a white tie one.

Black tie formal wear

What to Wear

Ladies: Rock a long evening gown or a fancy cocktail dress – either is appropriate for this affair.
Gentlemen: Black Tie on an invitation indicates, unequivocally, that the host expects tuxedos to be worn. Don’t be the dude that shows up in a suit – you will stand out… not in a good way.


{ Black Tie – Optional Wedding }

A black-tie-optional wedding is a semi-formal shindig.

Semi-formal attire

What to Wear

Ladies:You’ll look best donning a long dress or a formal knee-length gown. Feel free to get creative with your frocks, but just make sure they’re not too revealing! (perhaps your hostess will prefer you skip the plunging neckline).
Gentlemen: Black Tie Optional (or Black Tie Invited) on a wedding invite suggests that men wear tuxedos but not to insist on it. A dark coloured suit and tie would be another option, but skip shirts with button-down collars; they are too casual for this occasion.


{ Creative Black Tie – Wedding }

Okay…. so….  some Nearlyweds get just as creative with their invitation wording as they hope their guests will get with their outfits. “Creative Black Tie” indicates that formality is optional.

Creative Black Tie Wedding attire

What to Wear

Ladies: Cocktail dresses and dressy separates. Follow instructions – get creative! Have fun with colours and patterns and funky accessories.
Gentlemen: Modern tux, tie optional. Think: grey suit, blue shirt with brown shoes. Trust us. It works.


{ Informal - Wedding }

Informal weddings are dressy-casual.

firenze_jumpsuit - dressy casual attire

What to Wear

Ladies, bust out your cute little sundresses or polished jumpsuits.
Men: Dress pants, button-up shirt, casual shoes. A tie is optional.
Note: Casual does not mean you can wear jeans to a wedding. It’s usually referring to an element of comfort that the couple wants to extend to their guests. Be appreciative of their gesture – don’t take advantage by showing up in cargo pants.


{ Beach Formal - Wedding }

Now we’re getting casual.


What to Wear

For the ladies, a beach wedding calls for breezy knee-length or maxi dress attire

(No, bathing suits aren’t appropriate… even if they are underneath).

Boys, show up in a button-up short sleeve shirt and shorts. While sandals are okay, please do NOT wear cargo or palm printed shorts …. even if it is a beach resort wedding! Nobody likes that Hawaiian design as much as you think they do.


If you find yourself in doubt about what to wear to a particular celebration, remember you can always ask the host or hostess directly! They’ll likely have way more appreciation for the fact that you cared enough to ask… and opted to leave your band tee’s at home.


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

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

Find Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest |  leah@weddinggirl.ca

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September 10, 2014

to DIY or not to DIY :: Wedding Flowers

When DIY probably isn’t as awesome as you think…

 Fraiche Floral Studio Purestorm Photography

Planning her wedding day is every girl’s dream: the excitement of finding the dream dress, the delicious food tastings, and of course the stress-free time a bride-to-be gets to spend with her man, making all the final decisions to make her dream day come true.  Okay…. well….  except for maybe that last part!

Truth is, everybody knows that the months leading up to your wedding can be exceptionally stressful – even when you vowed never to be that bride.

Between vendors asking for itineraries, family asking for direction, wedding party asking about fittings and that nagging feeling that you’re not spending enough time with your main squeeze, even the most organized, structured, cool-as-a-cucumber bride can find herself spinning in a whirlwind of uncertainty and confusion leading up to her I Do’s. So much so, that the majority of brides haven’t even considered some of the nitty-gritty details until someone comes out of left field with, “What about toasting flutes?” or “What will you cut your cake with?”.

Really, what bride wants to be thinking about how many extension cords she will need to string her patio lights or what type of permits will she require for photography? That’s why, in times like these, having someone else to count on to take care of things (that you didn’t even think of!) is so important. In many cases that person is a planner or coordinator like the ones here at WG. These girls plan picture perfect beginnings to fairytale endings – and on the Day Of, they make sure it’s not you who’s running around looking to replace the floral arrangement your minister accidentally knocked over! A Planner / Coordinator starts with your caterpillar of a vision and nurtures it into a butterfly of a wedding day…. and then that’s where the team at the Fraîche Floral Studio come in.

Fraiche Floral Studio Purestorm Studios Toronto

Instead of diamonds on our neck we wear flowers in our hair. We believe that the perfect bridal bouquet is the most important accessory a girl can wear on her wedding day. Behind the beautiful bouquets and showpiece arrangements that you see in all those glossy magazine weddings, there’s a professional floral stylist who has spent hours designing, ordering, processing, arranging, and re-arranging them. This designer isn’t only educated in creating the floral pieces you see, but also in the tedious care that goes in to every single bloom that’s arranged in them.

Don’t get us wrong…. we are, of course, huge fans of all-things-DIY…. but more often than not, the risks of DIY around time-sensitive wedding details (like cake and flowers) will outweigh all of their benefits. Sure, your floral arrangements might end up looking like you dreamed.. but will they survive the heat in the old church? will they make it through the transport to your reception venue? will they wilt in a cold snap during your outdoor photos?

Winter Bride White Blue Bridal Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio Designs

Ask any seasoned planner or coordinator, in time-sensitive situations it is always best to working alongside someone that you trust will not only make your visions come true, but help make it affordable. And that, our dear brides-to-be, is why Fraîche follows WG’s tagline of creating luxe, on a budget.

It is so important to consider the fact that photos of bridal bouquets and centerpieces which you see in magazines and inspiration websites are not only edited to perfection, but are also the best of the best. Those individual arrangements were selected not only because they were the most visually interesting, but also because they would transfer well in to digital film. With these high-end arrangements comes a very high-end price tag to match. For bouquets like these, most brides would assume they cost around $150. Truth is, the more realistic price for a basic boutique bridal bouquet, the kind that graces bridal magazine pages, would actually start around $300… and go up from there!  Inspiration bouquets have been meticulously arranged by stylists with oodles of experience. They’re designed under circumstances where money and time are of no consequence.  The reality is that when it comes to real-world wedding days, nothing is more important than both of these (and often, there’s never enough of either!).

So, now with the harsh truths of pricing uncovered, let us shed some light on why it might be prudent to hire a floral designer rather than try to take on the floral-world yourself.

Imagine this……

It’s the night before your wedding. You are enjoying yourself at your rehearsal dinner, having drinks with your bridesmaids, stress-free and far from worry. While you’re having fun and letting the excitement of the next day seep in, your wedding planner and floral stylist are working late in to the night to ensure that those wedding dreams you have end up a reality.  While your planner is checking and re-checking itinerary and vendor details, your flowers have been purchased, conditions, supervised while opening, cut, arranged, preserved, and prepared for delivery. The blooms you see in wedding magazines were carefully selected as being in an optimal stage for design use – not too closed, not too open. This means they were exposed to the optimal amounts of nutrients, water, and temperature in the days leading up to their styling. We don’t know about you… but how many brides have that kind of time on their hands leading up to their big day??

Even if you’ve planned meticulously and know you have the time to DIY your flowers, make sure to consider that every single stem must be individually cut, cleaned, and arranged. The average number of stems we see per centrepiece is 30. Multiply that by an average of 15 wedding tables and you have 450 stems plus all those that go in to bouquets, family flowers, and decorative showpiece arrangements.

That’s a lot of flowers.

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto Wedding Flowers

And each type of flower has a different set of rules to guarantee staying fresh, erect, and full of life – not only through the ceremony but for the entire wedding day. One of the most common wedding flowers, the hydrangea, is a popular choice for budget brides due to it’s large size and high impact in design. Did you know that hydrangeas, while being super-romantic and budget-friendly, are also alarmingly finicky blooms? If they aren’t properly cut, hydrated, and arranged, they will wilt in less time than it takes your hair and makeup to be completed (we’ve learned from experience).

Some flowers like orchids, if not wired in to a bouquet properly, will break in half under the strain of typical bouquet-movement. No bride wants a wilted or snapped bloom in her wedding photos.

And if you’re not fluent in the techniques of wiring and taping flowers before they go in to a bouquet or corsage, those delicate little beings will end up breaking or bending in the wrong direction. They won’t photograph well either.

Rustic Purple Green Bridal Bouquet WeddingGirl.ca

Floral Stylists have the knowledge and experience needed to predict any problems that may arise. If something goes wrong, the knowledge, confidence and resources they have will fix the situation before the bride even realizes something went awry. As much fun as the idea of DIY can be, hands-on experience is something that can not be learned from Google, YouTube, or a weekend course in floral design.  Without proper care and handling before the flowers are arranged, it’s almost a guarantee that stems will wilt, snap, or not open fully. What’s the point of spending $4.50 a stem on that coveted cottage rose only to have it stay tightly bound in its little bloom shell?

Eco Rustic Shabby Natural Bride Succulent Bouquet Kristen Pete Fraiche Studio

Yup. DIY is a great way to save money and have fun with your wedding plans. Decor, food and drink, bridal accessories – these are all great ways to save money without the risk of the unknown. When it comes to flowers, every shipment of blooms is different. It’s pretty much impossible for the untrained eye to detect any issues a flower may have. Miss that little bugger of rot in the middle of a bloom and it’s possible that your entire gorgeous blush arrangement will be brown by the time your reception rolls around.

Trust us.

Hire a pro.

Sure, we’re biased… but you don’t have to hire us.

Just hire a pro.

Not only will you avoid stressing about your flowers beforehand, you can spend the time leading up to your wedding having fun DIYing with your bridesmaids, or relaxing with your groom, not wiring a hundred little orchids to thread into a floral crown.

Leave the worrying about the most gorgeous details of your day to those of us who can ensure they’ll see the light of day….

Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto Budget Wedding Flowers


For more information on wedding floral design, to ask any DIY questions you may have, or to chat about your own big day floral vision, make sure to Get In Touch!


And we’re on Facebook and Twitter too.

And Pinterest.

We really like Pinterest.

Happy Styling!

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