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December 1, 2014

Current Project: #WGLookbook

A sneak peek of our latest shoot…

Even though wedding season is “over”, our schedules are filling up faster than ever with exciting projects and planning with our next season of couples. One of the projects our team has been working on is the WGLookBook! We are gathering local vendors and every day women, to pull off some seriously stunning bridal looks.

If you missed out last time, you can check out a behind-the-scenes look from our first photoshoot here.

Our recent shoot took place at the AGH – Design Annex store, and around the city of Hamilton.

Here’s a sneak peek at what we were up to;

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behind-the-scenes

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hamilton photoshoot weddinggirllookbook

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Of course none of this would have been made possible without the incredible vendors who joined us! Thank you from the WeddingGirl team!

{Vendor Love}

Gown & Glory

Revival Bridal Boutique

Solee shoes

Hattitude Jewelry

Fraiche floral studio

Emily Christine Photography

Julia Park Photography

JCompany Designs

Helix Candles

Savvy Sendables

Creation of Beauty

Salon Lily

Our beautiful models, Sarah & Katie

_ _ _

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 celebration, make sure to Get In Touch! Have a question? Email me leah@weddinggirl.ca

Find Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

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October 17, 2014

Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica | #WGxWANDERLUST


{Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, Runaway Bay}

Authored by: Lisa Hardie

As Mary and Linda set off to beautiful Jamaica, I am here sipping on a tea reminiscing about the trip I took to Jamaica back in May. And let me tell you; it was paradise.

I am there in spirit, ladies!

I turned into a wandering WeddingGirl when my husband and I took a kid-free trip in the Spring, and it was pure bliss (because having some alone time is hard to get sometimes!). We spent a week in Runaway Bay, surrounded by lush green mountains and blue skies (much like Linda was when she went to St. Martin).

Island

Runaway Bay is a town in Saint Ann Parish on the northern coast of Jamaica and is considered one of the most naturally beautiful places on the island. There, we stayed at the beautiful Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica.

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When you walk into the grand lobby of the resort, you’re greeted with nothing but smiles from the resort staff. The service at this resort was nothing short of exceptional. They truly aim to please; especially when the first thing they hand you is a welcome drink.

The resort itself is family-friendly and I was actually surprised at how many children were at the resort (including many infants). Having said that, we hardly noticed they were even there. There were no screaming or crying kids, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities, and the resort is so big that we hardly ever saw them. I guess that can happen when your resort has 850 rooms.

There are a lot of activities to do at the resort; this includes windsurfing, tennis, snorkelling, catamaran, kayaks, and bicycles. You can also check out the shopping centre or the nightly entertainment.

Or you can simply lie by the pool all day, for about three days in a row like I did. Bliss I tell you.

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There are also plenty of things to do outside of the resort. We went on a tour to Ocho Ríos; a botanical garden tour, a visit to a local flea market, a visit to Dunn’s River Falls, and a truly authentic Jamaican Beef Patty make for a pretty great day. If you’re looking for a more relaxed excursion, take a raft ride down Martha Brae River.

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The resort is also somewhat of wedding experts. There were a several weddings taking place there, and we even managed to catch a proposal in progress. It was magical.

Imagine getting married in a beautiful beach gazebo, followed by a lovely dinner on a lit beach patio. The food itself is amazing, and with five different restaurants to choose from you have plenty of options. Of course, staff members will be there every step of the way to provide you with prompt, excellent service.

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I encourage you to check out this beautiful resort. The warm weather, amazing people, and stunning resort will be there to greet you – as well as the amazing sunsets!

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L+D

If you’re interested in a destination wedding, be sure to get in touch – we’d love to help plan YOUR dream destination wedding!

To view more photo’s, follow me on Instagram! You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

____

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton

Lisa Hardie is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Wedding Planner at WeddingGirl.ca.

To have Lisa’s creative input and meticulous attention to detail for your wedding, make sure to email her at  lisa@weddinggirl.ca.

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October 6, 2014

Once Upon a Time in Paradise

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

Authored by Laura Arbelaez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria Sunwing Vacations Travel Wanderlust Blogger

Memories Azul Beach Resort Explore Adventure Travel Blogger Wanderlust Paradise Nature

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

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

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

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

Cuba Cayo Santa Maria Travel Blogger Wanderlust

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

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

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

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

Laura Arbelaez Travel Blogger Cuba Cayo Santa Maria Paradise Wanderlust Explore

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

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

FacebookTwitterInstagram

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

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

laura@weddinggirl.ca

- Blog Love -

WGx Photoshoot: Serena Swan Photography

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September 22, 2014

Navy, Coral + White :: Hockley Valley Wedding

{ rebecca + adam}

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

That was Rebecca.

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

Navy blue.

Coral.

Chevron.

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

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

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

Coral Bridesmaids Barrie Wedding Planners

White Coral Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio Toronto

Navy Bridesmaids Lace Wedding Gown

Navy Blue Bridesmaids Wedding Party

Barrie Hockley Valley Wedding Planner Toronto

Hockley Valley Wedding Photography First Look

Coral Navy Bridesmaid Wedding Fraiche Floral Studio

Navy Coral Wedding Toronto Planners

Grey Navy Coral Wedding Hockley Valley Orangeville

Hockley Valley Orangeville Wedding Planner

Coral Navy White Wedding Fraiche Floral

Coral Bridal Bouquet Fraiche Floral Studio

Blue Navy Coral Scottish Wedding Ceremony

Scottish Wedding Planners Toronto WeddingGirl.ca

Blue Coral Scottish Wedding Hockley Valley

Hockley Valley Wedding Coordinator Barrie

Orange Coral Navy Scottish Wedding Planners

Blue Coral Chevron Wedding Planners

Barrie Wedding Cake Luvvly Cake Co

Barrie Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca

Laura Fess Photography Barrie

Coral Blue Wedding OMG Decor Events

Hockley Valey Wedding Planners WeddingGirl.ca Toronto

{ Vendor Love }

Venue: Hockley Valley Resort

Officiant: Ian, Kettle Creek Weddings

Photography: Laura Fess

Videography: Fresh Canadian Content

Flowers: Fraîche Floral Studio

Decor: OMG Events

Cake: The Luvvly Cake Co.

Piper: Mike Connolly

 

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September 1, 2014

D.I.Y. Wedding Venues | southern Ontario

{ DIY Venues }

For years, our team has been helping engaged couples plan really gorgeous celebrations on a budget.

One of the easiest ways to save the most money on your big day? a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) venue! These are usually empty spaces that give you complete creative control over design, setup, catering, and bar.

Empty Wedding Hall

DIY venues are coveted little gems that offer affordable rental rates and the allure of saving a substantial amount of money on food, alcohol, and rentals. Sure, the planning logistics might get a bit trickier – but don’t let that scare you! Over the years we’ve used DIY venues to help couples save thousands (and thousands!) of dollars while helping them coordinate everything from water jugs, pepper shakers, rental delivery and decor tear-down.

We have come to know and love some of Southern Ontario’s most charming DIY spaces. Their specific parameters differ – from varying capacities to different indoor and outdoor facilities. Some of these allow for both catering and alcohol to be brought in, others allow just catering. Yup, the planning is a little more extensive, and the details are a tiny bit more elaborate… but either way – the savings can be pretty hefty – and we’re definitely up for the challenge!

Planning a DIY wedding on a budget? Here’s a list of venues to help you get started…. (oh, and we’ve included a list of helpful blog posts to help you plan below!)

(NOTE: There are so many venues available for DIY weddings and this list is by no means exhaustive. We’re constantly adding venues, updating facilities, and perfecting the details! - if you can help us by elaborating or adding to it, please get in touch!)

 

:: Niagara + Surrounding Area

Niagara Area Wedding Venues WeddingGirl.ca

{ 1 – 50 }

Rancourt Winery – Niagara On The Lake

 

{ 50 - 100 }

Niagara-On-The-Lake Museum

Navy Hall - Niagara On The Lake

Southbrook Vineyards (indoors) - Niagara On The Lake

Stonechurch Winery – Niagara On The Lake

Creekside Estate Winery – Jordan

Stonewall Barn Estates – St. Catharines

{ 100 – 150 }

St. Mark’s Church, Addison Hall - Niagara On The Lake

Grantham Lion’s Club - St. Catharines

Balls Falls Conservation Authority, Glen Elgin Room - Jordan

{ 150 – 200 }

Old Courthouse, Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake

Southbrook Vineyards (tented) - Niagara On The Lake

Balls Falls Conservation Authority, Big Barn - Jordan

Caroline Cellars – Niagara On The Lake

Crystal Ridge Banquet Centre – Ridgeway

Sue-Ann Staff Winery (tented) – Niagara On The Lake

Heartland Forest – Niagara Falls

{ 200+ }

Niagara-On-The-Lake Community Centre

Cave Springs Camp (outdoors) – Vineland

Market Square – St. Catharines

 

:: Hamilton + Surrounding Area

Hamilton area wedding venues WeddingGirl.ca

 

{ 1 – 50 }

Calamus Estate Winery – Jordan

Rosewood Estates Winery – Beamsville

The Stable at Whitehern Historic House & Garden – Hamilton

The Woodshed, Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology - Hamilton

 

{ 50 - 100 }

Beamer Falls Manor – Grimsby

Ruthven Park Coach House – Cayuga

Mike Weir Estates – Beamsville

Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre – Hamilton

Ancaster Old Town Hall – Ancaster

The Cellar At Grandview – Hamilton

The Coach House at Dundurn Castle - Hamilton

The Staircase – Hamilton

 

 

{ 100 – 150 }

 

{ 150 – 200 }

The Design Annex – Art Gallery of Hamilton

 

{ 200+ }

Leander Boat Club – Hamilton

Ruthven Park (tented) – Cayuga

Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre (tented) – Hamilton

Ancaster Fairgrounds - Jerseyville

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum – Hamilton

 

 

{ Burlington + Surrounding Area }

Burlington Area Wedding Venues WeddingGirl.ca

{ 1 – 50 }

 

{ 50 - 100 }

Halton Regional Museum – Milton

 

{ 100 – 150 }

Alton Mill – Caledon

Rockwood Conversation Area, Harris Woollen Mill Ruins – Guelph

 

{ 150 – 200 }

 

{ 200+ }

Paris Fairgrounds – Paris

Cambium Farms – Caledon

Teatro Conference and Events Centre - Milton

Alton Mill (tented) – Caledon

 

{ Toronto + Surrounding Area }

Toronto Area Wedding Venues WeddingGirl.ca

{ 1 – 50 }

Montgomery’s Inn – Toronto

 

{ 50 - 100 }

{ 100 – 150 }

Todmorden Mills – Toronto

Henley Room, Argonaut Rowing Club – Toronto

McMichael Art Gallery – Kleinburg

Heintzman House – Thornhill

Markham Museum – Markham

Camera, Stephen Bulger Gallery – Toronto

The Burroughes – Toronto

The Gibson Centre – Alliston

 

{ 150 – 200 }

St. Lawrence Hall – Toronto

De La Salle / Oaklands – Toronto

 

{ 200+ }

Fort York – Toronto

99 Sudbury – Toronto

 

 

{ related (and helpful!) blogs }

Planning your DIY bar

The Perks and Perils (read: Do’s and Don’ts) of DIY

Friendor Photography

 

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August 18, 2014

WG x the Ancaster Wedding Show | 2014

{ WGxAWS }

Chalkboard pens, cupcake trays, one-hole punches and little black dresses.

These were just a few of the last-minute details the WG team meticulously arranged in the final hours leading up to their latest exciting project – sponsoring (and being a part of!) the Ancaster Wedding Show.

AncasterWeddingShowlogo

 

Some vendors out there are Wedding Show pros – they can do their setup and teardown with their eyes closed and know the spiel inside-out-and-backwards.

Not us.

In the nearly six years I’ve lived in WeddingLand, never have I ever been a part of a wedding show – so when the organizers of the AWS got in touch and invited us to come on board, I looked to the WG team for all the support and inspiration they could give.

“We need to make it different.”

“It has to be unique.”

“We should have cute giveaways.”

We sat and brainstormed and made spreadsheets and conjured up a plan.

We scoured every Homesense, IKEA and Winners from Scarborough to Niagara.

In the end, a DIY vs. Luxe design, Kate Spade inspired, bright, bold, punchy setup is what we brought to life!

Kate Spade Quote Pink Black White inspired wedding

———-

{ DIY vs. Luxe }

Our goal was to showcase to brides how wedding funds can be spent or saved, and how designs could be gorgeously executed either way.

Do-It-Yourself | Budget

Standard white cotton linens, covered venue chairs, a wrapping paper runner, wrapping paper + ribbon wrapped tin cans, inexpensive blooms, wholesale votive candles, and standard venue tableware. We added silk napkins, themed favours and stationary, plastic IKEA place mats, and a DIY mini- pink champagne guest favour.

Behind our table setup? A DIY ribbon backdrop: trendy, and oh-so-simple to create.

Kate Spade DIY luxe wedding decor

Pink Champagne Wedding Favour Istilia Roche Stationary

Luxe on a budget

A sequin linen overlay, black and white striped runner, chiavari chairs, sparkly beaded place mats, themed dinnerware, coloured stemware, stemmed votive holders, and a high-low floral design. The same silk napkins were folded into trendy bows and tied with Kate Spade signature polka dots, accented with matching stationary, finished off with truffle chocolate guest take-aways (pink and black, of course!)

Behind the deluxe table: an eye-catching hot pink + sparkling rosette backdrop.

Kate Spade Wedding Design Istilia Roche Toronto

Kate Spade Wedding WeddingGirl.ca Toronto Planners

A Note to our Supporting Cast

When we first put a call out to vendors who’d like to come on board in our stylings, never could we have ever expected such a heartfelt outpouring of responses. From slews of hair and makeup stylists to handfuls of stationary designers and decorators, we were seriously feeling the love when vendors offered to amp up our design. In the end, we were surrounded by some incredible people… a few familiar faces and a handful of new ones…. and we are so grateful! Each of these vendors believe in enhancing value, in helping brides make smart spending choices, and in making things gorgeous without breaking the bank (just like us!)

The WGxAWS project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Paje over at Honor Beauty. She showed up in Ancaster, bright and early, and beautified our team. Hair, makeup, and even vegan + cruelty-free, homemade lip glosses for each of us to take home – this lovely lady did a stellar job and was an absolute pleasure to work with. There’s something so magical that happens when women are not only doing what they love, but feel beautiful doing it. Paje, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your time and energy! We absolutely can not wait to share your latest and greatest transitions with our WG audience!

If you look around closely in the next few weeks, you might see some lovely ladies sporting some gorgeous mehendi on their hands, wrists, or even ankles / legs (a few girls got creative with their henna tattoo placement!). We were so pleased to welcome Deepali of Henna Kreations to the show, who alongside Leah and WG-Fusion, shared a love for cultural diversity by offering brides and vendors an opportunity to experience ethnic beauty.

Henna Kreations Burlington Deepali WeddingGirl.ca

A note of appreciation goes out to the amazing woman behind Istilia Roché who lovingly created the pink, black, and bling stationary that accented our table design. From Kate Spade quotes to glitter cards, every piece of stationary we showcased yesterday was made with the same sparkle that this woman exudes in person – and we’re lucky to know her.

Kate Spade Pink black White wedding stationary Istilia Roche

The WG team definitely boasted one of the sweetest setups at the show,  giving away hundreds of mini cupcakes created by Ryan and Stacey at Above And Beyond Cupcakes. Vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, lemon…. hundreds of stunning little beauties that attracted hundreds of brides and garnered comments like, “This is the best cupcake I’ve ever had!” – over and over again. We watched people have a cupcake, wait a few seconds, and then take another one – they were that good. As wedding planners, we really do get to eat a lot of cupcakes – and when really, really amazing creations strike our radar, we take notice. These lovelies weren’t only totally delicious, they were seriously stunning… and a beautiful accent to our display.

Pink Black White Cupcakes Above Beyond Niagara

Fraîche Floral.  Oh, Fraîche – how we love you. Not only have you become a passion project for various members of the WeddingGirl team, you give brides on a budget a stunningly gorgeous alternative to boring, budget blooms. Daring to be different, braving to be bold, and boasting the “brightest pop of colour” in the entire show (a quote we heard over and over and over) – these flowers were seriously stellar.

Mary Bratko WeddingGirl.ca AWS 2014

Thank you, J. Company for the napkins, chair covers, and linens!

Kate Spade Wedding Place Setting Pink Black White Silver Sparkle

We couldn’t have pulled this off if it wasn’t for each and every one of you. Thank you!

 

A Note to the Brides we met

#ItsWorthTheDriveToAncaster

Our beloved Brenda came up with this hashtag at one of our team meetings, and it seems our WG brides agreed!

It was such a lovely surprise to see so many familiar WG faces at the show yesterday, especially the ones that we know drove from far and wide to visit! Even more heartwarming was the opportunity we had to welcome all of the new brides into our world of all-things-awesome.

HennaKreations Burlington Wedding Planners

A Note to the WG team

What more can I say?

When we get together, we make things happen. And we make it epic.

For all of us, the AWS this past weekend truly was a labour of WG love.

From planning spreadsheets and cupcake flags to colour-coordinated truffles and the Starbucks coffee that showed up mid-afternoon… pretty wicked things happen when we get together. While a few of the WeddingGirls were missing in the flesh, they were with us in spirit and in our hearts all day. Thanks for being awesome, Ladies!

WeddingGirl.ca Ancaster Wedding Show 2014

WeddingGirl.ca team Toronto

 

Finally, a Note to Tiffany

Last but (certainly) not least….

There’s something to be said for putting on a really, *really* great wedding show. There’s a reason WG has never exhibited at a show before, and it’s because most of them… well…. most of them suck.

I speak on behalf of every girl on the WG team that being a part of such a beautifully planned, meticulously executed event yesterday was an absolute privilege! Tiffany, we heard nothing but lavish praise all around – from brides, from family members and friends, and vendors alike.

Your hard work and energy shone through in every single detail of the day and it felt as though we set up, blinked, and it was over.

The lineup outside the doors to get in yesterday afternoon was an incredible testament to how much you know (and love!) your industry.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, a hundred times over, for allowing us to be a part of it! We can’t wait to start gushing about next year!

AncasterFairgroundsWedding

 

 

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August 9, 2014

Royal Canadian Yacht Club | Toronto Wedding Venue

{ Virtual Venue Visit – RCYC }

As seasoned wedding planners who have seen the best (and the worst) of wedding venues, sometimes we find ourselves lucky enough to stumble upon a gem of a function space that blows us away…..

Cue: the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

ca@rcyc

———-

When we first met our August 3rd couple, they had nothing but lovely awesomeness to say about the venue they’d booked for their I Do’s (despite the fact that the space itself was booked sight-unseen!) The RCYC is located on Toronto Island and is inaccessible in winter months, so many couples take a leap of faith and base the biggest decision of their wedding plans on stunning photos and impeccable rapport.

In the case of our couple, their initial experiences with word-of-mouth referrals and the Club’s administrative staff was enough to encourage their final decision. They put their faith into the beautiful photos they’d seen – and we trusted their opinions entirely! As it turned out, last weekend, our expectations were not only met, but vastly surpassed.

Everyone at the RCYC, from the Event Coordinator with whom we worked closely from Day 1, down to the Banquet supervision and Day Of service teams, (even the ferry captains and Quartermaster!) were an absolute pleasure to interact with. It’s not often that, as Day Of Coordinators, we feel so incredibly supported by the onsite team – and because of this, the wedding production went off without so much as a hitch.

Beyond the ease of working with its staff, the venue itself boasts a timeless elegance – accented with character, charm, and classic details – the picture-perfect backdrop to a fairytale event.

Wedding guests begin their experience aboard the RCYC ferry, departing from Cherry Street and Queen’s Quay, in downtown Toronto. A fifteen minute boat ride, with a picturesque view of the city skyline and just beyond the jetty, guests arrive on the rolling lawns of the Club.

Brides and Grooms can choose from a variety of onsite ceremony locations: a willow tree lawn, the front lawn, or the Club’s beautiful rose garden – all with a perfect rain plan back-up location if required.

Front Lawn West Ceremony Setup - Facing Club

Front Lawn West Ceremony Setup - Facing Water

Rose Garden - Ceremony

Cocktail hour takes guests from one part of the property to another, each with a beautiful view to take in while sipping on carefully crafted cocktails and indulging in top notch hors d’oeuvres. Indoor cocktail hour space is available if the weather chooses not to cooperate.

Rose Garden Reception

West Front Lawn Reception2

Enclosed Verandah - Tables

As per yacht club tradition, the Quartermaster announces the call to dinner and guests move indoors to the Ballroom.

Ballroom - Rented Silver Chivari

Ballroom - Long Head Table with BQT Rounds

Ballroom - Rounds with BQT Chairs

The RCYC only allows one wedding onsite per day, ensuring a private celebration and meticulous attention to service and detail.

Merriment ensues with dancing to follow – either in the Ballroom, in the adjacent Patricia Room, or on the covered verandah.

Patricia Room - Empty from South

Patricia Room - South View

Patricia Room - Wedding Set Up

Ballroom North Verandah

Patricia Room - East Verandah

 

Overall, this function space is getting a glowing review and an emphatic WG seal of planner-approval. The food is delicious (even the vendor meals), the service is stellar, and the setting couldn’t be more gorgeous.

We’re so honoured to be preferred Planners / Coordinators on the RCYC Vendor List, and are looking forward to returning soon.

For details on planning your big day here, make sure to Get In Touch!

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July 29, 2014

Priya + Ryan | One King West | WG Fusion

{ fusion Love }

Authored by Leah Sandhu, WG-Fusion

----------

There’s something so special about seeing two cultures come together. The joining of two very different families and seeing them share their traditions with one another is truly beautiful, and Priya and Ryan’s wedding was no exception.

Toronto Wedding Planner Leah Sandhu

The brightly coloured sari’s and the bride’s handmade red reception lengha were stunning. I mean, really, how gorgeous is this bride?!?  All of the outfits were handpicked across the globe in India, making the cultural elements that much more authentic.

Toronto Hindu Wedding Bride Bridesmaid Saris

The Grand Banking Hall at 1 King West was the perfect fit for this sophisticated affair. The moment Priya and Ryan walked through the doors, the architecture immediately caught their attention and they knew it was where they wanted to celebrate their marriage. As explained in their Thank You speech, the Newlyweds had opted for a private ceremony surrounded exclusively by closest friends and family, while their lavish reception was the party they threw to thank everyone for their unyielding love and support. And what a party it was!

Leah Sandhu Toronto Fusion Wedding Planner

Ribbons Twine Photography Wedding Toronto

Toronto Indian Hindu Wedding Planner Leah Sandhu

Leah Sandhu Toronto Wedding Planner

Toronto Hindu Wedding Planner WeddingGirl.ca

Toronto Indian Wedding Planner Leah Sandhu WGx

Urban Indian Hindu Bride Toronto

One King West Toronto Wedding Venue

Sandra Kennedy Floral Design Toronto Wedding Decor

Ribbons Twine Wedding Photography Toronto

The oh-so-talented Grenville Pinto entertained the guests during dinner with his alternative take on a traditional sound. The passion he has for his art oozes from his every note and he draws guests into the magic while enveloping them in the sounds of electric violin. The night unfolded with food, dancing, and a stylish Scotch bar.

Scotch Bar Wedding Toronto One King WestFusion Hindu Indian Wedding Planner Toronto Leah Sandhu

{{ Vendor Love }}

Venue: One King West Hotel & Residence

Photography: Ribbons & Twine Photography

Décor: J Company

Floral Design: Sandra Kennedy (Family Friend)

Hair Stylist: Fancy Face Inc.

Make-up Artist: Lush Brush Hair and Makeup

Wedding Dress: Mori Lee Designs

Shoes: Le Chateau

Suits: Vera Wang

Bridesmaids Sari’s: Purchased from India

Invitations: Seahorse Bend Press

Menu Card/ Scotch Menu: Emily Stephenson

Ceremony Program: Leah Sandhu

Entertainment: Grenville Pinto

———-

Leah_Indian Bridal portrait1

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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July 7, 2014

Legion of Honor | Fine Arts Museum | San Francisco, California

Bianca Guarnaccia | Wanderlust Weddings by WG | WGx

 

Every amazing couple begins with an incredible story.

The Legion of Honor has over 4000 of them.

Vincent Au Photography California

Located in the heart of oh-so-romantic San Francisco, and overlooking the world renown Golden Gate bridge, The Legion of Honor offers your wedding guests both the timeless elegance of Paris and the enriching history that has made it so special to its visitors.

Dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the Great War, this museum is a symbol of strength, commitment and loyalty – a beautiful testament to marriage as well. Celebrating in a venue that represents all the reasons you feel in love is the perfect beginning to a fairytale ending.

Legion of Honor in the Fog

Legion of Honor San Francisco Wedding Venue

Besides welcoming local brides in the San Francisco area, the Legion of Honor hosts numerous destination weddings as well. Couples who live outside of the city fly here specifically for the backdrop itself – believing that it brings their love alive.

Sphynge Photography San Francisco Wedding Planners

“It was the purpose of my wife and myself to contribute to the beautification of our native city – something not only beautiful in itself – but also something devoted to patriotic and useful ends; something which might be dedicated as a suitable memorial to our brave boys who gave their lives to their country in the Great War, and also lend itself as a home of art and historical treasures, to promoting the education and culture of our citizens, and especially the rising and coming generations.”

 - Adolph B. Spreckles, Founder

To celebrate your wedding at California’s beautiful Legion of Honor, make sure to get in touch!
———-

Bianca is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Travel Writer with WeddingGirl.ca.
Follow her worldwide wedding planning adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
WGxPhotoshoot (327 of 444)

{{ blog love :: photog credits }}
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June 24, 2014

How to Plan Your Own Wedding Bar :: DIY Wedding Alcohol Planner

{ DIY Wedding Planning }

Wedding Day Fund Mason Jar

 

Brides are getting smarter.

Budgets are getting tighter.

Many of the weddings we’re planning are opting to skip out on the all-inclusive one-size-fits-bride venues and couples are dancing the night away in what we refer to DIY Venues.

These often-hidden-gem spaces  are reception locations that charge couples a flat rental fee for use of their space (sometimes unreasonably affordable – other times.. not so much), and the Bride and Groom are then responsible for bringing in their own rentals, decor, catering, alcohol, etc.

While DIY venues are (mostly always) the more cost-effective wedding option, they are, undoubtedly, much trickier to plan.

DIY venues usually require you to consider bringing in your own tables, chairs, flatware, stemware, tableware, to make your own catering arrangements, and most importantly, to plan your own bar.

It seems ironic to us as wedding planners that the elements of your big day meant to save you the most money tend to be trickiest to plan!

No worries, though. We’ve got you covered.

{ planning your DIY bar }

Note: Every wedding is different.

Depending on the type of guests you invite (older vs. younger, drinkers vs. not), some weddings will boast a much heavier alcohol consumption than others.

Details of your particular big will also play a role in alcohol consumption: time of day, length of cocktail hour and dinner, availability of shots and varieties of liquor / mix on your bar rail.

We’re basing these particular nuggets of wedding-planning knowledge on the average event.

So, as we were….

 

{ insider insight }

Between our own (extensive) experience at the weddings we’ve planned, and with the expert advice of a few trusted industry insiders….here’s what you need to know:

1) The average wedding guest will consume one alcoholic drink per hour throughout the wedding

So. 5 to 7 drinks per person for the night, plus two glasses of wine at dinner.

Got it.

 

2) More specifically put, the average wedding guest will usually drink 2 drinks during cocktails, 2 drinks during dinner, 2 drinks while they’re dancing, and 2 drinks in the last couple hours of the night (this includes shots).

Therefore, if you’re looking to tighten the reigns on alcohol consumption we usually suggest limiting the availability of shots, slowing the bar toward the end of the night, and serving exclusively signature beverages during cocktail hour.

Noted.

 

3) Liquor is the most widely consumed alcohol at the average wedding (particularly in the form of shots).

Wine comes in second (and is typically the drink of choice during dinner).

Beer comes last.

 

4) Red wine is FAR more popular than white wine (usually at a service ratio of 2:1)

If you’re offering wine to your guests during dinner, ask your servers to come around with a “First Pour” rather than opening a bottle of red and a bottle of white on each table. This allows guests to choose their preferred wine at the onset of the meal and servers can be instructed to provide bottles to tables if explicitly requested.

Oh – and it looks classier too!

As has been the case with nearly every wedding we’ve coordinated, more often than not we see whole bottles of white wine go entirely to waste.

Shame.

 

5) If Premium and Import beers are offered, they are usually consumed at a substantially higher rate than any Domestic labels.

Plan accordingly.

 

6) The most popular liquors consumed at a wedding, in order of popularity, are: Vodka, Gin, Rye, Tequila, Rum, Scotch, Amaretto, and Apple + Raspberry Sours.

 

7) The most popular mixes, in order of popularity, are: Club Soda, Tonic, Cranberry juice, Coca Cola, and Clamato juice.

 

8) Signature drinks are surprisingly unpopular.

Yes, they look super cute with their colour-coordination and themed straws with personalized flags… but guests will drink signature cocktails only because they’re offered (usually in the proximity of white-gloved servers passing around shiny silver trays).

Once the bar opens and guests can order what they want, the hefty majority stay lightyears away from colourful and fruity drinks.

Skip the drink flags.

 

 

{ wedding Signature drinks }

But so long as we’re on the topic of the oh-so-popular signature cocktails… there are ways to plan these so they don’t suck!

As wedding planners – we actually love the personality and creativity that goes into signature drinks…- don’t let us discourage you from the idea entirely – just make sure to choose a drink that tastes good (and isn’t just mixed to be electric yellow so that it matches your 70′s wedding theme).

Most of the signature drink rave reviews we hear involve refreshing, subtle blends like champagne spritzers and light sangrias (think bubbles + white cranberry juice adorned with a berry or two at the bottom of the glass).

Kir seems to be popular too – black current liqueur topped up with white wine (a touch heavier than sparkling + juice – a more popular option for Fall and Winter affairs).

Some of our couples are opting for a choice of drinks: Moosehead for him, Apple Pie Martinis for her.

A handful of skillful (and passionate!) bartenders are even willing to take a couples’ favourite flavours and custom-design a concoction from scratch – so get creative!

whitegrapemargarita

Of course, cocktail hour drinks that suit the style and theme of your wedding are always classic (assuming they’re tasty too!).

Chilly autumn weddings are complemented nicely with hot apple cider and rum, while sunshine-y summer wedding guests appreciate ice-cold sparkling numbers and flavour infused waters (even if they’re non-alcoholic!).

DIY Wedding Bar Infused Water Jenn Sean

Cocktails that come with a custom-story are always a big hit too…

“The Bride celebrated her acceptance to medical school with one too many margaritas!”

or

“The Groom’s been known to get messy with martinis!”

 

{ a few tips }

Regardless of whether you’re planning an open bar all-day-long, or signature cocktails followed by dinner wine and dancing – alcohol is meant to enhance your celebration, not overshadow it.

Guests are encouraged to have a great time but over-indulging often leads to embarrassing moments and constraining conflicts that nobody (your coordinators included!) should have to deal with.

Take your guest demographic into consideration when selecting your alcohol line-up.

Make sure to overstock (liquor in Ontario can always be returned to the LCBO with a receipt!).

Keep all of your proofs of purchase (event alcohol must be purchased with a valid Special Occasions Permit – which must be clearly displayed behind the bar before the first drink is poured).

 

{ extra help }

We know that planning a DIY wedding can be stressful and overwhelming, but if envisioned properly and executed seamlessly, it can help save you thousands of dollars!

Our WeddingGirl team offers Reception-Planning consultations for DIY Brides to help ensure that no dishes go overlooked, no water jugs un-ordered, and that alcohol service goes off without a hitch.

Make sure to Get In Touch with any questions you might have!

Little Black Dress Photoshoot Palais Royale

 

Much love,

the WG team <3

 

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