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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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June 22, 2014

Two Girls. Two Dresses. One Love. | #LoveIsLove

{ When Briar met Amanda… }

LGBT Wedding Two Brides Toronto Planners

:: the First Meet

Briar and Amanda met in 2009 through a mutual friend. Their connection was instantaneous and the rest is history!

:: the Big Question

Amanda proposed to Briar one evening in February of 2012. She surprised her with a card saying they were going on an adventure back in time, and re-created some of their favourite memories all around their home. Each memory ‘station’ had an envelope that lead to the next. 
“We initially met over a game of pool so the first visit down memory lane was over a game of ‘table top pool’ and beer. From there we continued on to have a drink inside our tent in the living room, play some NHL hockey on the Xbox, enjoyed some beer and wings and played a great game of 20 questions (at this point we clearly had all the answers!).”
Briar thought the end of the evening was over when Amanda gave her the last envelope and proposed to her with a ring pop!
“To this day she lies to me and says she was surprised when the real ring came later!”

:: the Planning

“That’s when the real fun began…the planning!!” – the Newlyweds tell us.
They chose a date that was 18 months after the proposal.
“We wanted ample time to get ourselves organized and create some fun DYI projects”.

Before their engagement, Amanda and Briar would spend hours hiking in Balls Falls Conversation Area, so it didn’t take the two girls long to decide they wanted to get married in its gorgeous, quaint chapel and have a rustic barn wedding reception.

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Rainbow Bridesmaid Dresses LGBT Lesbian Wedding Planners Toronto

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“We carefully and lovingly selected each and every one of our wedding vendors by hand”.

 Judith Twells officiated the girls’ ceremony - “and she was absolutely amazing! It was intimate, personal, and loving.”

“Our photographer, Joel Hannigan was an absolute no-brainer.”

In her own words, Amanda had been creeping Joel’s work for many months before she proposed – “and knew I would do anything to have him capture our wedding! It certainly paid off! Huge shout out to Joel and his second shooter Eva Derrick.”

Kelly and Stacy from Ooh La La Designs created the Brides’ beautiful floral arrangements.

“We had a lot of small details that represented us both, right down to the hockey jersey table numbers and Briar’s running shoes. We wanted to make it unique with our own personal creations. We literally made everything that was there (table numbers, banners, chalk boards, centre pieces, etc.). The day of the wedding, Amanda’s Aunt Leslie took all of the DYI items and decorated the barn from floor to ceiling (incl. lights, lanterns, tulle, etc.). She executed our vision perfectly!”

Bridal Gowns + Bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal, Canada

Catering: Kent Heritage Farms

Food Truck: Thunderin’ Thelma | Caplansky’s Deli

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All of us here at WeddingGirl.ca believe that #LoveIsLove and that #LoveIsNeverWrong.

To feature your #SameLove wedding on our blog, or to feature your Community-Friendly wedding business, please make sure to Get In Touch!

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May 19, 2014

Casino Resort I Do’s | Fallsview Casino Wedding

{ Casino Wedding Celebrations }

If your love story tells the tale of fate and excitement, have you considered a wedding celebration that reflects the same?? Located just one hour north of high-profile Niagara Falls, our planning team over here at WG has been getting more and more inquiries about casino resort weddings.

The Do’s and Dont’s of a Casino Wedding

Don’t listen to anything Hollywood tells you; anything you’ve ever seen go wrong with a casino wedding had more to do with silver screen scriptwriters than leaving your nuptials to chance.

Casinos are becoming increasingly glamorous, fun, stylish venues for elegant ceremonies, great photos, and rocking receptions. Here’s a How-To guide to making sure your casino resort wedding goes off without a hitch.

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:: Don’t get drunk to get hitched

Think Ross and Rachel, the guys from The Hangover, and even Britney Spears (the first time around) – the perils of a not-so-sober decision to get married in Vegas are endless… but that’s not exclusively what casino weddings are about.

Like any big life decisions (and legal contracts, for that matter!) getting married requires time and planning. Happily Ever After isn’t about necking too many mojitos and scuttling off to the chapel with the first croupier you lay eyes on.

:: Do your research

While Las Vegas has an abundance of wedding chapel options from the good, the bad, to the downright ugly, rest assured that our more local Ontario casino options will help to create a classy, tactful, enjoyable planning experience.

You’re engaged and lucky enough to be madly in love and getting married: make sure to leave no planning stone unturned! Take the time to pay a visit to your ceremony chapel and give some thought to reception spaces, guests’ accommodations and local amenities. Not every casino will have everything you need conveniently located outside its doors (especially if you DO opt for Vegas and find yourself out in the middle of the desert!)

Niagara Wedding Planner Mary Bratko Fallsview Casino

:: Don’t do a tacky theme

Unless everyone that you know and love knows (and loves) that you’re seriously hooked on Texas Hold’Em, if you’re opting for a casino wedding, skip the Vegas wedding theme. Yes, with bright lights, excited patrons and entertainment everywhere, it can be tempting to try and theme your wedding. Take it from a wedding planning expert, themes (while sometimes executed beautifully) can often turn disastrous, fast.

Regardless of wherever you choose to say “I Do”, keep your wedding style tasteful. Choose your favourite colours and textures without regard for the madness and chaos of the gaming floor. Please keep the tacky 3-D dice and fake dollar coins to a minimum.

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:: Do set a budget (for yourselves AND your guests!)

A wedding day is about celebrating being lucky in love, not about everybody else’s changes to win big. When planning a casino wedding, talk to your friends and family about enjoying the festivities without breaking the bank at the Blackjack tables. Politely suggest a set amount of gambling money – it can be easy to get carried away.

The same budget boundaries apply to planning your nuptials as well: set aside funds for a trip to the slots, but keep in mind that weddings are pricey affairs and nobody wants to overshadow their celebration with concerns about paying the bill at the end of the night.

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:: Don’t set geographic limits

Sure, Vegas is notoriously the obvious choice for a casino wedding, but the world is brimming with amazing casino resort options – and new ones are cropping up every day! If you don’t want to renew your passport, the luxurious Fallsview Casino is a perfect option.

If you find yourself leaning more toward celebrating with a bit of wanderlust in your veins, check out some other gorgeous casino venues including Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, Ibiza Gran Hotel in Spain, and the stunning Hotel De Paris which features the Casino de Monte-Carlo, a setting some may remember from the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.

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:: Do have fun

Casino weddings bring a whole new element of entertainment to the wedding celebration table. They give you and your friends and family the chance to get a tiny bit crazy, a little bit competitive, and have a whole lot of fun in a light-hearted, yet still opulent and elegant, environment. Make the most of your once-in-a-lifetime festivities: play wisely, drink champagne, and know that you’ve already beat the odds with your once-in-a-lifetime love.

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For more details on planning a casino resort wedding, make sure to Get In Touch.

{ Blog Love :: photog credits }

Rob Lapensee Photography

mINK Creative Photographic

 

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May 17, 2014

Crazy Hotels | Wanderlust Weddings by WG

{ Crazy Hotels }

Be Surprised.

Stay Inspired.

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What better mottos are there for everything to do with life, love, and the Universe? There’s no denying that just about everything to do with Crazy Hotels totally made us fall head-over-WG-heels for them.

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Founded in 2012, Crazy Hotels is a worldwide collection of extraordinary, amazing and unique hotels providing unforgettable travel experiences – the kind of hotels you’ve always imagined but never knew existed.

Follow them on Twitter for a continuous dose of travel pictures and befriend them on Facebook to fall in love with places you’ve never seen.

Some of our favourites:

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Rosewood London Marble Staircase Hotel

{ Wanderlust Weddings by WG }

If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug like we have and want to celebrate your love abroad, make sure to Get In Touch with our team of destination and travel wedding planners over at Wanderlust by WG.

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{ Photography Credit :: in order of appearance }

Marianne Hope, Picturely Spoken - The Netherlands

Karim Rashid, Prizeotel – Hamburg, Germany

@soccergirl296 via Matador Network

Rosewood London staircase, circa 1914 (valued at £40million)

 

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