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February 8, 2014

#WGxTCBS :: a surprise Bridal Show giveaway!

{ Toronto Charity Bridal Show 2014 }

Today’s the day – the official launch of the 2014 Toronto Charity Bridal Show - and we couldn’t be more excited to be in attendance with both the production crew for Hitched: Abroad and the new #WGx team!

The show is taking place at Brighton Convention Centre and tickets are still available at the door! (with all proceeds going to charity)

We’re going to be doing a live casting call ::

 

… and we’re going to be meeting and greeting with brides to chat all-things-wedding!

You’re going to get your first chance to meet the beautiful new faces of #WGx in person.

WGxCollage

{ #WGxTCBS }

What better way is there to celebrate such a special weekend that’s being planned in support of a handful of incredible charities?

Paying it forward!

Around these here WG parts, 2014 is about multiplying, and the new #WGx team was created to give back.

That’s exactly what we’re going to be doing this weekend!

 

{ TCBS Wedding Contest }

One lucky bride is going to be waking up on Monday morning with a smile and a huge sigh of relief knowing that she walked away from the Toronto Charity Bridal Show armed with her strongest ally in Wedding Planning crime – a team of event planners!

The #WGx group will be “hiding” a WG giveaway somewhere at the TCBS. All nine women will be texting, Tweeting, and Instagram’ing secrets, clues, and details of the hiding spot and the prize itself:

 - an inclusive wedding

design,

planning,

and coordination package

valued at over $3500!

 

Just follow the #WGxTCBS hashtag via social media and the more #WGxTCBS tags we see pop up on YOUR statuses | tweets | insta-pics, the more clues we’ll give you!

Come back and check out the WG blog on Monday to meet our winner!

Good luck!

 

 

—-

*For a complete list of contest rules and regulations, please contact info@weddinggirl.ca

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January 30, 2014

Toronto Charity Bridal Show 2014

“Those who are happiest

are those who do the most for others”

- Booker T. Washington

When I was approached to speak at the Toronto Charity Bridal Show there was nothing that could have stood in my way. Not only is it an incredibly humbling honour to be regarded as an “expert” in something I love, but the entire philanthropical inspiration behind this event, with proceeds going to four notable charities, stirred me immediately.

SickKids logo Ontario Shores Foundation logo CAMH logo Lakeridge Health logo

{ why care? }

We all have a story.

As you read this, I want you to choose one person, near and dear to your heart, who suffers from mental illness: depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, an eating disorder. The diagnosis doesn’t matter. The struggle is the same.

Have you thought of them?

Good.

Now think about why you love that person.

Think about how they’ve made you feel.

Think about how they’ve cared for you in moments that you needed it.

Think about what they’ve done for you, likely without being asked.

Think about how different your life would be if they were to not be a part of your world.

And think about their struggle.

Think about the demons they face, the battles they wage, the steps they take to win the war over invisible illnesses.

….. and support TCBS for them.

—–

And if you’re one of the fortunate few who don’t know anyone afflicted by mental illness, then think about that young newlywed couple who welcomed a beautiful baby in to the world, but have spent every day at The Hospital For Sick Children since their little one was born.

Think of the time, money, research, and love poured in to keeping that little one alive… knowing that the world of those two in love revolves around the health and wellbeing of the life they created.

….. and support TCBS for them.

—–

If you don’t know anyone whose life has been touched by Sick Kids Hospital, then take a moment to picture in your mind how much it would mean for your parents and grandparents to receive quality health care should the need ever arise (*touch wood*). Think about your local hospital and consider how it would impact countless lives should that facility shut down.

….. and support TCBS for them.

 

{ my Story }

Before I created WeddingGirl, I was in school with a dream to become a psychiatrist. I earned degrees in Psychology and Neuroscience and was passionately motivated to work in the forefront of mental health services. My resumé highlighted positions as a Child/Youth Worker, a Crisis Intervention Counsellor, and Mental Health Researcher.

“What does one life really matter?”

If it wasn’t for the support of mental health organizations like CAMH, and Ontario Shores… if it wasn’t for the relentless passion of the faces behind Sick Kids or community hospitals like Lakeridge Health…. our lives would be very, very different.

……my life, would be very, very different.

And that’s why I’m supporting the Toronto Charity Bridal Show.

Mary Bratko Toronto Charity Bridal Show 2014

… and I’m not the only one!

Dozens of the top industry professionals across the Greater Toronto Area are coming together on February 8th and 9th at the Brighton Convention Centre to showcase the best of planning a wedding in 2014, and beyond!

{ show your support }

Whether you’re getting married, know someone who recently got engaged, or just want to come out and support four amazing causes, please show your love and pick up your tickets for the Toronto Charity Bridal Show.

Or you can just grab a pair of tickets and come visit me!

Oh….

And if you haven’t heard and seen the excitement of Hitched: Abroad and #WGx lately….

HitchedAbroadTVRealityShowCastingCallToronto

The Production Crew of our new Wedding Reality TV show, as well as a lovely group of fresh new faces that have come on board with WG-multipled will be at the show as well.

Come meet us, stroll through all the lovely, and most importantly, show your support for Toronto’s only bridal show planned with the kindness of paying-it-forward.

kindnessquote

We can’t wait to see you there!

 

—-

 

ATTENTION: Wedding Vendors

If you’d like to come on board with the TCBS and I, please contact us for details on booth space and ways in which you can get involved. There’s definitely no better love worth spreading than that which we have for the work that we do!

 

—–

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January 26, 2014

a Sculpted Love :: 3D printing :: Crowtrees Studio, Toronto

Crowtrees Studio Toronto logo

One random autumn afternoon, while working away over Americanos at White Squirrel,  Rui came over and said hello.

“Are you a wedding planner?”

“Yes, indeed!”

“Have you ever seen 3D image printing?”

Intrigue ensued.

Rui and James own Crowtrees Studio, specializing in 3D imaging and 3D printing in Toronto and across the GTA.

Beyond wedding cake toppers or mantle showpieces, these Toronto artisans have propelled art in to the future by creating three dimensional print outs of life’s most special milestones… weddings, babies, or just being in love. These sculptures capture the intricate details of moments most worth remembering: embracing an expecting belly or holding an elderly hand you never wish to let go.

Mary Bratko 3d Image Scan Crowstrees Studio Toronto

Toronto Maternity 3d printing Studio Crowtrees

CrowTrees Studio Toronto 3d printing sculpture

Crowtrees Studio Toronto 3d printing

Toronto 3d Printing Crowtrees Studio

The technology behind this process is designed to be immediate and interactive. The artists love what they do and want their subjects to feel the same. Their scanning process allows them to be spontaneous, just like real life. The 3d printing technology isn’t about manufacturing, it’s about personalization.

Hindu Bride 3d Printing Art Toronto

Crowtrees Studio Toronto 3d printing statues

“It’s not about little plastic figurines, it’s about capturing uniquely you.”

Rui and James have created a studio that allows them to become your personal Michaelangelo or Degas…. and have a great time doing it.

Through the use of a 3D imager, all the details of real life are captured and transposed in to a digital workspace  where they’re corrected and refined with meticulous detail.

Couture Wedding Cake Topper 3d Printing Toronto

Couture Wedding Cake Topper 3d Printing Toronto 2

 

Once the digital figure is captured perfectly, the printing process begins.

Choose your material: sandstone, acrylic, various kinds of plastics, sterling silver, bronze, gold-plated, stainless steel, ceramic finish…. one day they even hope to be able to print in chocolate!

Depending on the material and size of the figurine, printing can happen is as little as a few hours… and the moment is sculpted forever.

“We’ve even had clients ask us to scan them with their pet, on their new motorcycle, sitting in their favourite chair or posed with their game winning hockey stick.”

“These days, photographs remove us from experiences. This is about returning to tactile interaction, an image with depth and context. The technology is advancing in leaps and bounds and we’re so excited to see where it takes us.”

Agreed! And with that, it’s so exciting to announce WeddingGirl.ca’s Sculpted Love contest! Enter to win your very own custom-printed 3-D moment.

 

—–

{ Giveaway }

One lucky WG reader is going to win a customized 3-d work of art (a $500 value). This prize includes an imaging session, post-scan digital clean-up and preparation to print a set of 1/15th scale figurines (approximately 5″ tall) in a class, timeless, white silk finish.

Toronto 3d sculpture Printing Crowtrees Studios

To enter, please visit the Crowtrees Studio page on Facebook and upload a photo of the scan you’d like re-created with a caption about why this particular moment was so special to you.

Get creative!

(just make sure the “pose” can be held for a few minutes during scanning!) – a winner will be chosen and announced on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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May 15, 2013

UBER :: Toronto Black Car Service :: WG Promo Code

{ so this is why we love UBER! }

(and why we think you should too)

UBER logo

 

“Uber is everyone’s private driver”.

First introduced to Uber when Courtney and I were invited to the UNIUN industry open house last month, I started out completely unfamiliar with the service and totally skeptical of signing up for a smartphone app with a credit card number. It wasn’t until a super-helpful Uber rep, Lucas, took the time to tell us more about who they are and what they do that I opted to set my uncertainties aside and live on the edge….

Uber Toronto Black SUV Driver Service

 

… and my first thought after the black car dropped us off that evening? Where has this service been all of my life?!

{ all about UBER }

Uber is an on demand car service application for smartphones. It’s so easy to download the free Uber app for iPhone/Android - search, select, download.

Once you’ve signed up your account (yes, it’s totally safe to give them your credit card!) – just pick the vehicle you’d like, press a button, and a car with your own private driver arrives to your location in minutes. Cars range from Lincoln Town Cars to Cadillac Escalades, with traditional taxi cabs available as well.

And remember that credit card I was so uncertain with sharing? Well – it’s brilliant! It means I can just hop out of the car once we’ve gotten to where we’re going and I don’t have to worry about whether anyone has cash on hand, change for a tip, etc. No more pit stops at gas station ATM’s when you unexpectedly find out your cab doesn’t take plastic in the middle of your ride (I speak from experience!)

Within a few minutes of getting out of the car, UBER emails you a detailed receipt (and by detailed, I mean VERY detailed!) – date, time, distance traveled, average speed, map, driver’s name, car type. Perfect for record-keeping.

UBER’s black car service is priced at approximately 30% more than the average cab and gratuity is always included (so $13 vs. $10? – totally worth it). It’s also found in 25 + markets worldwide, from Toronto to San Francisco, New York to London. You can rely on the service anywhere, without worrying about how you’re going to get from A to B. LOVE IT!

Since signing up for UBER that night at UNIUN I’ve used the service multiple times on my own and never cease to be amazing at its promptness, efficiency, and totally high-end feel. I mean, really – who doesn’t want to live a life of having their own private black car to shuttle them around??

{ UBER on your wedding day }

Since learning about the UBER service I’ve shared the details with all our Toronto WG-couples. Get in touch with us to have the UBER team set up personalized promo codes on behalf of WG for your wedding party, family, and guests. This entitles all of them to their first ride free as well. It’s an amazing alternative to that pricey late-night sedan you considered booking through your limousine service (and ensures everyone gets home safely, despite all the shots they did at the bar!)

{ a ride on US }

When I love something this much, I want everyone else to love it too. I chatted with the folks over at UBER and they were awesome enough to set up a specialized promo code for new UBER users.

Download the app and use the code WeddingGirl to get your first free black car ride (in Toronto, up to $30). The code is active now and expires on December 31st 2013 – so even if you’re not from the Toronto area but you know you’ll be going downtown at some point this year, stash the details and take a ride on us!

Happy UBER-ing!

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May 13, 2013

Bottle Green :: sparkling cocktail hour wedding drinks

{ Bottle Green Sparkling Drinks }

bottle green drinks logo

Last week we met with a bride and groom who are planning a beautiful August wedding in a vineyard in Niagara On The Lake. As we sat with their venue coordinator and confirmed details about the flow of the day, menu notes and bar details, we found ourselves brainstorming a fairly commonplace element of outdoor wedding ceremonies: the refreshment station.

Over the years we’ve urged brides planning outdoor wedding ceremonies to have cold drinks available to guests as they arrive or leave the ceremony to ensure everyone is satisfied and comfortable despite sunshine and warm temperatures.

We’ve seen everything from simple DIY cucumber water and lemonade stands to elaborate white-gloved champagne service.

DIY Cocktail Hour Refreshment Stand Wedding Ceremony

If you’re looking to quench your guests’ thirst in a chic, stylish, and budget-savvy way, you need to try Bottle Green!

If you’re not familiar, make sure to check out their wide range of creative and original flavours, including delicate cordials, pressés and tonic waters! Even their presentation is a feast for wedding guests’ eyes.

Bottlegreen DIY Cocktail Hour Wedding Ceremony Reception Refreshments

These tasty treats are not only perfect for a sunny afternoon ceremony refreshment stand or cocktail hour, but also a great non-alcoholic alternative to champagnes and pricey sparking wines at your reception.

 

{ how to DIY }

Fill a themed container with ice and let your sparkling drinks chill before guests arrive. Whether you’re using stainless steel buckets or an old canoe, your refreshment stand can be styled to make as much a WOW-factor impression as the yummy drinks you’re serving!

If you’re getting married at an inclusive venue that’s willing to have servers pass refreshments to your guests, inquire about bringing in your own drinks or having the catering staff order these little lovelies directly.

You can get a hold of the lovely folks over at BottleGreen here!

{ just a hint of sparkle }

The other day two cases of Bottle Green’s Pomegranate & Elderflower sparkling showed up on our doorstep. With its soft blush hue and just the perfect amount of sparkle, this spring water based drink has a touch of exotic flavour with just a hint of carbonation. It’s the perfect afternoon wedding champagne alternative!

BottleGreen Pomegranate and Elderflower

 

 

{ how to WIN }

And since we have an extra case of delicious drinks to give away, all you need to do is follow us on Twitter for details! We’ll be giving one lucky bride this sparkling treat later this week! (must be available for pickup in the Greater Toronto Area).

 

Good luck!

 

 

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April 16, 2013

{WG Media} :: Persona :: trendy bridal jewelry

{ Persona :: stylish bling for the modern bride }

(and for all her bridesmaids too!)

Persona Logo Toronto

We just got back from a super-swanky media event at the gorgeous Windsor Arms Hotel in Yorkville. Invited by the lovely Jennifer and Astrid of PersonaWorld, we had the opportunity to learn more about Persona jewelry, styled by a group of Toronto-based designers that draw inspiration from fashion runways and use only the finest materials from around the globe.

Persona is a collection of chic and unique jewellery comprising of interchangeable beads and charms that can be worn on bracelets, earrings and necklaces – and we even got to take a bit of sparkle home with us!

IMG_9027

Thanks to the girls at Persona we indulged in some delightful afternoon tea treats, and even had our fortunes told by a Tea Leaf Reader!

Windsor Arms Hotel High Tea Toronto

 Mary Bratko WeddingGirl.ca Tea Leaf Reading Toronto

Courtney Tredwell WeddingGirl.ca Social Media Stylist Tea Leaf Reading

These uniquely designed and personalized pieces are the perfect way to showcase your story with your wedding day frocks, or express your gratitude and sentiment towards bridesmaids and special women in your family.

We’re looking forward to showcasing more of Persona’s beautiful designs and collaborating on a WG giveaway soon!

Stay tuned!

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April 11, 2013

Colin Cowie : Wedding Chic : autographed copy giveaway

{ a Colin Cowie giveaway }

Mary Bratko Courtney Tredwell Colin Cowie Giveaway

Once upon a time, Mary and Courtney met Colin Cowie. He was introducing his new destination wedding designs exclusive to Hard Rock All-Inclusive resorts, and told Courtney that she looks like Taylor Swift.

Colin Cowie Toronto Hard Rock Cafe

Romantic White Carnation Centerpiece Colin Cowie Toronto

Colin gave the WeddingGirls two copies of his style guide, Wedding Chic. They’ve kept one book to inspire their oh-so-gorgeous wedding designs, but asked Colin to sign the other in the hopes of spreading the design-love.

Colin Cowie Wedding Chic book

We are so excited to see Colin’s cutting-edge trends shine through the wedding industry in 2013 that The Flower Shop @ WG is giving away an autographed copy of his inspiration guide to the trendiest lover of all-things-chic that we can find.

Whether you’re getting married or just love to lavish yourself in all-things-beautiful, Colin’s oh-so-luxe designs are sure to set ablaze the most opulent stylist’s imagination.

Autographed Wedding Chic Colin Cowie Giveaway

Want to win? just show us your style! Head over to the Flower Shop @ WG page on Facebook and post a photo on our wall of something that shows us how trendy you are! It can be a photo of you sporting a killer outfit or hair-do, a pic of a chic room you’ve styled, or a snapshot of the unique engagement ring you’re showing off.

Know of a super-trendy bride-to-be? You can enter the contest on her behalf! (just be sure to ask for permission first).

We’ll have our friends vote on their favourite, and ask your friends to do the same! The popular favourite will be selected on April 18th and his/her autographed copy of Wedding Chic will finally meet its new trendsetter.

Good luck!

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March 21, 2013

An eco-chic giveaway

{ Calling all DIY-inspired Eco+Rustic brides }

…. or any of you super-stylish Modernistas who would love to add some earthy flair to your next dinner party!

Wooden Slab Charger Plates Toronto

Image Copyright: mINK Creative Photographic Studios

The Flower Shop @ WG is giving away a set of wooden chargers as seen on the set of eTalk during our segment this week. All the details on how to enter are up on our Facebook Page.

If you missed our segment on Etalk Canada, check it out to get some rustic DIY inspiration, Blake Lively + Ryan Reynolds’-style!

To see more photos of our Rustc-inspired styled set, take a peek here… and for behind-the-scenes photos of the filming, click here!

 

Good luck!

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March 6, 2013

a Soirée giveaway | the Original Wedding Soirée Toronto

{ Attention Brides! }

ws_2013_logo

Last week we posted about the upcoming Original Wedding Soirée, and today we’re excited to announce a fabulous WG giveaway!

Unlike typical wedding shows, this high tea affair is hand-crafted of vignettes and installations designed specifically for elite and modern brides.
The event will be held on March 17th from 10am-5pm and we will be announcing the winner in one week, right here on the WG blog.

For your chance to win 2 tickets to the 2013 Original Wedding Soirée | High Tea affair (a $70 value), all you need to do is LIKE US on Facebook and share our contest post.

If you’d like to attend this stylish High Tea Affair and don’t want to leave your luck to chance, make sure to sure the WG Promo Code and purchase your tickets online! Details can be found here.

Good luck!

Original Wedding Soiree Toronto Bridal Show Pear Photography

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February 27, 2013

The Original Wedding Soirée :: a High Tea affair

ws_2013_logo

{ a High Tea Affair }

The 2013 Original Wedding Soirée is an exclusive showcase of wedding installations from the top purveyors in the industry of “I Do”.

Unlike typical wedding shows, this High Tea Affair (set at the lavish Intercontinental Yorkville Toronto Hotel) is hand-crafted of vignettes and installations designed specifically for elite and modern brides.

The afternoon features the Fabulous Bridal Beauty Bar and High Tea Seating where brides can peruse Inspirational Vignettes and interact with Live Mood Boards as a welcome alternative to traditional exhibitor ‘booths’.

“We are not providing a flea market / bridal fair for brides and grooms, but rather a unique, intimate, and highly sophisticated experience for the discerning bride”.

Experience a day of true bridal decadence.

 

{ the Details }

High Tea is scheduled for Sunday, March 17th 2013 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Intercontinental Yorkville Toronto Hotel.

High Tea admission ticket – $35.00

This includes

* Signature Cocktail upon your arrival
* High Tea Seating with: Assorted Teas, Scones with Preserves & Devon Cream, Finger Sandwiches, and  Berries with Whipped Cream
* Entrance to the Bridal Beauty Bar with Pamper + Makeup Stations
* Entrance to DIY Workshops
* A non-traditional runway show while sitting for High Tea
* Original + Innovative Wedding Installations

* Tickets are only available in advance and online
* Tickets are not available for purchase  at the door on the day of the event. 

 To purchase your tickets, click here and be sure to enter promotional code WG2013 for a 15% discount.

For details on how you can win Two Complimentary Passes to the 2013 Original Wedding Soirée High Tea Affair, LIKE the WeddingGirl.ca page on Facebook and stay tuned for giveaway updates. A lucky winner will be chosen on Sunday, March 10th and announced on our blog. Good luck!

The Original Wedding Soiree Tara West Photography Cupcake

The Original Wedding Soiree Pear Studios Toronto

Vintage Bride Tara West Photography

Vintage Wedding Fascinator Tara West Photography

Original Wedding Soiree Toronto Bridal Show Pear Photography

Bridal Tea Tara West Phtography Original Wedding Soiree

Vintage Wedding Bride Tara West Photography Toronto

 Tara West Photography Original Wedding Soiree Toronto

Pear Studio Photography Toronto Bridal Tea

 

Tara West Photography Bridal Portrait

Toronto Wedding Show

{ Photog Love }

Photography Credit: Tara West Photography & Pear Studios

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