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December 15, 2014

Wed-iquette: Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

{Q + A: Planning your Rehearsal Dinner}

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

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

Some questions to ask yourself when planning your rehearsal dinner:

 ———-

Q: Who will be paying for the dinner?

A:

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

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

parentsofthebride

 

Q: Who do you invite to the rehearsal dinner?

A:

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

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

 

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

A:

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

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

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

cheers-friends brunch

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

A:

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

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

 

{ blog love : photo credits }

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

———-

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

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

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

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December 9, 2014

Choosing your wedding date…

{ … and why it doesn’t actually matter }

Authored by: Brenda Hanks

———-

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

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

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

hearts

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

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

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

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

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

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

{ Planning Outside The Box }

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

1. Don’t be afraid to book a weekday

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

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

Sounds pretty blissful, doesn’t it?

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

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

3) Consider a non-dinner reception

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

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

4) Think of the space!

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

5) It’s YOUR day

This is your party.

This is your wedding.

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

——-

Brenda is a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger at WeddingGirl.ca

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

Brenda@WeddingGirl.ca

Brenda Hanks WeddingGirl.ca

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December 8, 2014

Tips for making your wedding day pop!

How to infuse your wedding with colour

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

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

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

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

Pantone Marsala Bridal Bouquet Red Fraiche Floral Toronto

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

 

 {Add in some Unexpected Colour}

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

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

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{ It’s all in the details }

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

NicoleBerrett_ItalianBlush_12

{ Break The Rules }

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

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

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

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

———-

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

{ blog love }

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

———-

leah

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

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

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

 

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December 6, 2014

Wedding Budget Tip: Gutting your Guest List

{ managing your numbers, without hurting feelings }

… because, contrary to popular belief, your Dad’s cousin-twice-removed does not need to watch you say “I do.”

Vintage Rustic Wedding Guestlist Redfield Photography

The ring.

The question.

The tears.

The ring-shot-selfie on Instagram.

And then….

“Who’s coming?”

One of the very first questions (aside from the big one) at the onset of planning your wedding is who to invite. And, surprisingly, it’s usually much harder to answer than you’d think!

Countdownevents.com Wedding Guestlist quiz

These are just a few of the questions you’ll ask yourself, or other people will ask you. And it can be pretty stressful, trying to decipher between who you should or shouldn’t invite, especially when others around you will likely chime in with their own opinions.

It’s important to remember that the bulk of your wedding budget will go toward your reception, so one way to manage your budget is to effectively manage your guest list.

Yup, a daunting task, for sure, but with more and more couples paying for their own wedding, or having both families helping out with the bill, your guest list and size will undoubtedly affect everyone involved.

Did you know that wedding etiquette dictates that if your parents are paying for a certain percentage of the wedding, they’re entitled to curate a certain percentage of the guest list?

Some of the easiest ways to set guest counts? Base it on maximum capacity for your venue (if your reception space only seats 80, you can NOT invite 81 hoping that someone will say no!), or you can base you numbers on budget – a solid place to start.

Robin Hood Wedding Guestlist seating chart

 

{ follow these steps }

Get started on creating your initial guest list by making four separate lists. They’ll eventually come together to become your overall list – but this approach makes the process far less overwhelming.

1. Must be invited

This list will include immediate family members, friends and close relatives.

 

2. Want to invite

Here’s where you put your co-workers, childhood friends, etc.

 

3. Parents’ of the Bride’s list

 

4. Parents’ of the Groom’s list

 

- and ask both sets of parents to use the same #1 and #2′s in their own lists – Must’s and Want’s.

If the combined lists garner too many people then begin to trim the parents ‘wants’ (after all it is your wedding, not theirs).

If the number is still too large after that, then you begin to trim your own ‘wants’. Many couples start with casual colleagues, then distant relatives, then your Starbucks barista that you accidentally invited that one night while waiting for your skinny latté.

The bottom line:

There is usually no way to include absolutely everyone on your wedding guestlist unless you increase either your budget or your venue capacity (oftentimes either and/or both are just not realistic). Don’t forget that weddings aren’t an expression of IOU’s. Just because someone, somewhere, invited you to their wedding years ago (and you haven’t spoken since) doesn’t mean you are obligated to invite them to yours (and make sure your parents know this as well).

Don’t be sorry for not wanting to invite someone to your wedding!

This is the single most elaborate party you will likely throw in your lifetime….

You’re allowed to be choosy about who gets to come!

 

And o you have your final list together, ensure you obtain everyone’s full name, address and phone number (get the list owners to provide this to you in a timely manner). You’ll want this information on hand when it comes time to mail the invitations (usually sent two to three months before your wedding date). Phone numbers will come in extra handy when it’s time to follow-up with those who haven’t responded for the RSVP date (and, we speak from experience when we say that a surprisingly large number of guests won’t RSVP on time!).

 

Don’t forget…

Getting engaged, while exciting and emotional, also brings with it a substantial amount of unfamiliarity and stress. If you think a buffer might be helpful between you and your parents to keep your guestcount in check, have everyone sit down together with your wedding planner to talk about the Do’s and Don’ts of who gets invited. Oftentimes parents respond well to the reasons we give for why the paperboy’s second aunt probably doesn’t need to attend. Not only that, once your guestlist is in check, we’ll be helping to field questions from family about itinerary, big-day directions for your wedding party, and keeping all of the MC’s joke-etiquette questions from flooding your Inbox.

Remember, it all starts with falling in love…. everything else… well, that’s just knowing who to ask for help!

———-

Lisa Hardie is a Hamilton-based Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Wedding Planner at WeddingGirl.ca. If you have any questions or are thinking about hiring a Wedding Planner, make sure to email her at lisa@weddinggirl.ca.

You can also be friends with Lisa on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, and Instagram as well!

Lisa Hardie WeddingGirl.ca Hamilton

 

{ blog love }

Redfield Photography | Countdown Events | MarthaStewartWeddings.com

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November 15, 2014

The Making of a LookBook

Behind-the-scenes of the 2015 #WGLookBook

If you’ve been following along with our social media, you’ll have noticed some buzz about our upcoming LookBook which we will be launching in March. (So exciting!!!)

We had our first shoot October 26, which wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing vendors!

Gown & Glory

Lush Brush

Country Lane Floral Design

Country Lane Vintage Rentals

Serena Swan Photography

Inviting Elegance Stationery

Sweetcity

And our beautiful model Stephanie

Here’s a behind-the-scenes-look at a day on the set of a photoshoot. (You can also check it out on our Facebook page.)

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I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak!

Can’t wait to share the photos from Serena Swan Photography.

- – -

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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November 5, 2014

What to wear for your Engagement Session

How to put to together The Perfect Outfit

Authored by: Leah Sandhu

Engagement photography is a fairly new concept, but I’m so glad that someone decided to start marking this joyous occasion with a photo session!

E-sessions are a fun time for you to play around with your outfits, but hunting for that perfect outfit can be tricky, which is why I am here!

Makeup

First let’s start with makeup. You can choose to have professional makeup done, or keep it simple and just add a fresh lip colour with each look. The important thing is to look and feel like yourself.

makeup-engagement-photography-bride

{Wedding Sparrow}

Be Yourself

Wear something that shows your personality and that you are comfortable in. Wearing something too tight, or too low, if you aren’t used it will make you look and feel uncomortable.

boho-engagement-photography-outfits

{Wedding Chicks}

Wear solid colours

Solid colours photograph best, but don’t wear red close to your face. Take a cue from this stylish guy and wear red shoes & suspenders instead!

Laura-tommy-engagement-photography-outfit-whattowear-fashion

{Magnolia Rouge}

Match without being matchy

Plan your outfits together so that the colours don’t clash, but don’t wear ‘matching’ outfits. Things should go, but not necessarily match.

eshoot-whattowear-engagement-photography

{A Paper Proposal}

Dress for the weather

If you are cold, it will show in your pictures! Bring an extra sweater or blanket to throw on if necessary, and have an umbrella handy in case the storm clouds roll in half way through your shoot.

blanket-engagement-photography-fashion-tips-city

{Simple Registry}

{Style Me Pretty}

———-

Congratulations on your engagement, I hope these tips help you as you plan for your e-session!

For more tips and inspiration, follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’d love to connect with you!

leah

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 her: leah@weddinggirl.ca

 

 

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October 21, 2014

NY Bridal Fashion Week 2015 {Part deux}

 From the Runway: Monique Lhuillier

Authored by: Leah Sandhu

Have you seen Monique Lhuillier‘s latest bridal collection? I think I’m in love! She always comes up with the dreamiest designs, and I couldn’t help but share some of my favourites with you.

MoniqueLuillierBridal_Fall2015_03MoniqueLuillierBridal_Fall2015_07MoniqueLuillierBridal_Fall2015MoniqueLBridal_Fall2015_12MoniqueLuillierBridal_Fall2015_8

All images via [Monique Lhuillier]

I seem to love anything with sleeves lately! What’s your favourite?

leah

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 15, 2014

New York Bridal Fashion Week 2015

From the Runway: J. Mendel Bridal Collection

Authored by: Leah Sandhu

Is anyone else excited to see what’s coming off of the Bridal Fashion runways?!  If you haven’t had a chance to catch up, here’s a selection of some of my favourite’s from the J. Mendel Collection. I’ve been working on our Bridal Look Book and have been dreaming about using some of these gorgeous gowns!

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J.Mendel13

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J.Mendel22

J.Mendel17-21

Photo source {J. Mendel Collection}

Who is your favourite bridal wear designer?

What dress are you dying to wear on your wedding day?

Stay tuned for more of my favourites! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for more inspiration.

leah

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! leah@weddinggirl.ca

 

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September 11, 2014

Wedding Guest Dress Codes :: de-coded

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

Authored by Leah Sandhu

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

bowtie - invitation

{ White Tie Wedding }

A white tie wedding is formal.

And by ‘formal’ I actually mean ultra formal.

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

Ultra formal black tie event Black Lively Ryan Reynolds

What to Wear

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

———

{ Black Tie Wedding }

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

Black tie formal wear

What to Wear

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

———

{ Black Tie – Optional Wedding }

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

Semi-formal attire

What to Wear

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

———

{ Creative Black Tie – Wedding }

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

Creative Black Tie Wedding attire

What to Wear

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

———

{ Informal - Wedding }

Informal weddings are dressy-casual.

firenze_jumpsuit - dressy casual attire

What to Wear

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

———

{ Beach Formal - Wedding }

Now we’re getting casual.

c-intimate-laguna-beach-wedding-18

What to Wear

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

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

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

———-

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

leah

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

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

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

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September 8, 2014

Real Wedding feature { Lorah + Galen } | The Gibson Centre

Authored by Leah Sandhu

Today we’re sharing Lorah and Galen’s charming DIY wedding. The Gibson Centre was the perfect venue for their simple, yet modern wedding. The open brick and wood flooring, paired with the freshly picked flowers and birch accents made it feel so warm and cozy. Enjoy!

 {A Word from the Photographer}

“This wedding was such a joy to shoot! Lorah and Galen were such a fun couple, and their love for each other was so evident, making it easy to shoot some great candids!

Lorah had poured so much love and care into all of the little details of their special day. From her handmade bouquets and centrepieces, to the earthy and natural colour scheme, this wedding made for some beautiful photos and was definitely one of the highlights of my summer.”

Bride1

bride_groom1

{DIY Projects}

“I did all of my own flowers – the bouquets, centrepieces, and one arrangement  for the church.

In the church, we decorated the pews with bunches of greenery my sister and I gathered around our property. As part of the centerpieces, we bought a thick birch log which my dad cut up and sanded. On each of these we had a variety of vases/jars I had collected from thrift stores and borrowed from friends.

We bought birch branches from a farmer’s market that were on sale after Christmas which we cut down for table number holders (and  bought the cards from Etsy.)

For the favours, we made homemade caramel corn (under the supervision of a friends mom) and packaged them up for each guest.”

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{ From the Bride }

“Use your friends skills! If they have creative talents, use them!

A friend made our cake, which we topped with foxes from Etsy and decorated with some left over greenery from our flowers.

A graphic design friend did the invites and programs… and did an amazing job!

Another friend who was involved in a lot of film projects in college made the wedding video.

I had my cousin do my hair and a friend do my make-up, which was great because I wanted to look natural and they pulled that off excellently. It also made my morning really fun and relaxing because I was surrounded by all of my girlfriends.”

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Total Budget: $15,000

130 Guests

Budget tip: Instead of renting the hall for a cocktail hour (which would have been an extra $2,000-$3,000), a bunch of friends made baked-goods which were served with punch outside the church.

{Vendors}

Photography: Hannah Belvedere Photography
Church: Bond Head United Church
Venue: Gibson Arts & Cultural Centre of Alliston
Hair: Laken Gleason (cousin)
Make-up: Kristina Kamenar (friend)
Caterer: Casal Catering, Barrie
Flowers: DIY’d by the bride
Dress: The Gown; Newmarket (Essense of Australia)
Suits: JC Penny
Cake: Lyssa Pelton

leah

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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