bridesmaids gifts

Having a great group of bridesmaids with you along the planning process is so important. Wedding planning can be overwhelming and sometimes your groom may not be so into it.. Having your friends to support you, listen to you or even just make you laugh can make it better!

bridesmaids

Finding the perfect gift for your girls can be tricky- choosing the right sizes, styles etc. can be challenging when each girl is so different.

Today, I am sharing some of my favorite bridesmaids gift ideas- personalized and sure to make every girl happy and feeling appreciated!

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I just love a great tote! These awesome West Elm bags come in a variety of colors with an option to have them monogrammed. Fill these with goodies for the perfect gift!

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Every girl needs a great luggage tag & travel size roll on perfume- available at Chapters, Indigo, Coles stores or online.

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Love these sweet accessories!

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Simple items like this notebook or your favorite nail polish make a great bag filler too.

Happy Celebrating!

vendor spotlight: Whitney Heard Photography

You know when you meet someone that you immediately click with? Those people who can so easily make you feel comfortable and at easy? These qualities are SO important in the wedding industry and Whitney is definitely one of those great people I have had the chance to work with.

Not only is she sweet and friendly, she is super talented and provides a level of service I would want every one of my clients to have with their photographer (or any vendor).

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After working together on a really fun, bright project, I thought Whitney would be a great vendor to feature on the blog. I asked Whitney the top 10 questions that brides have asked me in regards to photography and today I am sharing her answers!

1. How far in advance should I book my photographer? 8 months to a year in advance! Sounds crazy right? Photographers only have a certain number of weddings they can shoot in a year, limited by the number of weekends as well as the time it takes to edit the photos. So if you have a favourite photographer, be sure to contact them well in advance!

2. Is an engagement shoot additional or included in my wedding package? An engagement shoot is included in all of my wedding packages, as I find they’re a very good opportunity to get to know you: i. To see how you and your fiancé are in front of the camera! Everyone gets nervous, so I want to have a chance to make sure you feel calm and comfortable in front of my camera! ii. So you know what to expect from me! Your wedding photographer is going to be with you all day, it is important to feel comfortable with them, and know how they are going to act. iii. So I can get your feedback of the photos before the wedding day! So you can say, ‘Wow, I love that shot’ and ‘Im not sure I like this photo as much as the others!”, so that I know exactly what you would love for your big day. Many photographers do not include engagement photos in your package! But be sure to think about adding it on.

3. How long will you be on site on my wedding day? I find that 8-10 hours of coverage is ideal. Usually, I get there a bit before you finish getting your makeup done so I can capture some getting ready shots, and I leave after the first dance and cake cutting (depending how your day is scheduled).

4. What is the timeline for the photos to be ready? I have your photos finished and delivered to you a month after your wedding, unless you have requested your photos to be delivered on a rush schedule. For every hour I spend shooting, I spend at least two more editing. So, say I was with you for 10 hours, there is still another 20 hours of work for me to do, for editing alone.

5. Do your packages include an assistant or second shooter or this is an extra cost? A second shooter is extra–I don’t mind shooting alone!

6. What would you say is your photography style? I love bright, raw moments. I tend to focus on details, and make sure everyone is smiling!

7. How far do you travel? I have been all over for weddings! I just got back from shooting in Mexico!

8. Do you prefer guests not to take photos while you are shooting? I don’t mind during the ceremony, or other times during the night, but I do like to have alone time with the bride and groom so they can be comfortable, and we can get those intimate moments that are oh so romantic.

9. Do you provide retouching, color adjustment and other corrective services? I provide light editing ( Color, contrast adjustments, light skin touch ups, etc ) in all of my packages! I also include all of the photos in black and white so you know you don’t have to worry about that! Additional re-touching is extra, as it is very time consuming.

10. What has drawn you to the wedding industry? What do you like most about working in the wedding industry? The love stories, the people, and the details! I feel so blessed that I get to be a part of the bride and groom’s big day.

For more information on Whitney Heard Photography, click here!

Planning a Bridal Shower

As a Maid of Honor, you have a lot responsibilities. Having this role is such an honor and it is also a lot of work. You will be there every step of the way for your best friend and you will probably be very involved in all aspects of the wedding plans.

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Here are a few tips on planning the bridal shower in hopes of making this a fun event, not a task!

1. Set your budget. It is so easy to get carried away with details and pretty things, but remember, the person hosting the shower is usually the one paying for it, and you want to be happy at the end of the day, no resentful of how much this cost you.

2. Plan Ahead. Invitations need to go out 4-6 weeks before the event, especially if it is during the summer months- weekends book up quickly! Make lists and timelines for yourself so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute, this will make the planning simple and enjoyable! Side note.. if planning parties really isn’t your thing, hire someone to do it! There are planners who love doing these smaller events and your bride will be just as happy with the results :)

3.  Personalize it. As many of you know, I just love personalizing every event I do. The couple or guest of honor should feel like this was put together just for her/him/them. Get creative and incorporate small details that show this shower is all about her.

4. Pick a theme or color scheme. This is my tip for every event. It makes it so much easier to have a direction when thinking of activities and items you need. Having everything consistent makes the shower look especial too!

5. Remember proper etiquette. Don’t invite guests who haven’t been invited to the wedding, if it’s a large wedding. Do invite guests who haven’t been invited to the wedding if it’s a very small or destination wedding.

Do make sure you greet guests and introduce yourself at the beginning of the shower.

Do add information about the bride’s registry on the invitation- it is not proper etiquette for her to do it on the invitations to the wedding so this is a good time to let people know.

Don’t host your own shower.

Don’t expect the bride to pay for anything- this is up to the friends and family. On that note.. don’t be afraid to delegate, you are doing the planning so you can ask others in the bridal party to participate in crafts, help set up, purchase a few items  or bake/cook items to save on budget.

Bonus Tip: Don’t stress, enjoy the shower!

Happy Planning

pink bridal shower

bridal party bar

 

trending: the nautical theme

To me, the nautical theme is a classic. It can change color palette’s, accents and vary in it’s design but it continues to be one of my favorite themes and today, i’m dreaming of a seaside wedding or party!

The Color Palettes

navy and coral

Navy, Coral and Blush are such a pretty combination! The coral brightens the blue for a more summer-y look.

nacy and nude

I love this gorgeous mix of blues and nudes! So classic.

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The Look

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The Details

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I love how this theme can be so casual yet so chic and elegant! It is so versatile and I can’t wait to work with these color schemes this season!

Happy Planning!

mix and match

As a wedding and event planner, I love watching trends come and go. It’s interested to see what people “go for” and what sticks season after season. A trend I really enjoyed last season and I am incorporating even more this year is mix and matching.

Not everything has to be a matching color.. it can be various shades of one color or within a color scheme. For this of you who aren’t too traditional, enjoy some variety and are planning a more casual event, here’s some inspiration!

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Mix-and-Match-Chairs

Whether it’s the attire, the chairs, the decor or the details, I just love the fun style that comes from mixing and matching! Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new..

Happy Planning!

mother’s day brunch

As promised, today I am sharing my menu for Mother’s Day Brunch this weekend.

coffee bar

 I like to have a coffee station for when guests arrive. A good cup of coffee gets everyone in a great mood and starts the morning off right.

My Favorite Simple Brunch Recipes

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones: recipe here

Brunch Eggs: I ALWAYS use this recipe (they are great on their own, on an english muffin and for a quick  breakfast on the go the next day)

My go-to roll ups: buy a frozen pastry sheet. Let it defrost in the refrigerator the night before. The morning of your event, unroll the dough, fill with ham & swiss (or your favourite combination of ingredients). Roll up & bake in the oven at 400degrees until golden brown.

Cinnamon Pancakes: http://www.sugarlaws.com/cinnamon-pancakes

Want to add a veggie? How about Parmesan Broccoli: courtesy of budget savvy diva

Want to get a little fancy? Black Tea Honey Muffins: I like this recipe

Add some yogourt, granola and a biscotti to a glass. So easy and delicious!

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A wedding planner has to incorporate wedding planning in everything.. planning a bridal brunch?

Here’s some inspiration!

girl brunch bridal shower

bridal brunch

Happy Planning!

entertaining tips: mothers day brunch

Last year I hosted Mother’s Day brunch and it was so much fun! My parents are in the States so having my boyfriend’s family and grandparent’s over was so nice! (I’ve always loved a yummy meal surrounded by friends and family)

When playing host, I like to create a little bit of a color scheme. I have such so much fun picking napkins, flowers and accessories. It makes everyone feel special and entertaining is something I truly enjoy.

Here are a few tips to make “playing host” enjoyable!

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1. Prepare as much as you can the night before. There’s nothing worse then being flustered by having too much to do the morning of your event or while your guests are there. By having a few things done prior to your guest’s arrival- you will have more time to socialize and enjoy!

2. Have a plan. Think about what you want to make and create a list of what you will need – again get these items before the day of the event.

3. Make multiple simple dishes or have one fancy meal, don’t do both! For brunch, I like to have options! Simple options.

4. Have enough seating for everyone. There is nothing worse then having guests standing around or sharing a seat- especially for a seated meal. Create an open space for everyone to gather and socialize but ensure the table(s) is large enough for everyone to be together.

5. Have a little something for your guest (s) of honor to go home with. I had 2 centrepiece last year and had my boyfriend’s mom and grand mother leave with one. They were so excited and it really shows that extra thought.

Bonus tip: if you have the time, get crafty and creative- everyone loves personal touches!

Stay tuned for this year’s Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Happy Planning

vendor spotlight: Peachy Keen Studio

A few weeks ago, when I first met Courtney I was so excited to come across such a sweet vendor in the wedding industry. She showed up to our coffee date with a stylish look, an open mind and of course, a flawless face!

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With her experience in the industry, her unique approach to each bride and her super fun personality- I would highly recommend and trust her with any of my clients, friends or family!

The vendor spotlight series is all about answering the most commonly asked questions by brides. So girls, this is all about you!

1. How far in advance should I book my make up artist? Due to high demand, specifically for wedding dates set between May-Setember, brides should try to book at least 6 months in advance.

2. Do you travel to me or do I come to you? I am a fully mobile service on your wedding day! I am happy to travel to the location of your choice including salons, hotels or your home.

3.  Is there a trial involved? Yes! Trials are highly recommended and are a perfect way for you to receive a little bit of pampering during what can often be a hectic or stressful time during wedding planning. Trials are done out my home studio.

4. What is included in the most common package? Airbrushed foundation is quickly becoming the most popular service that I offer. It provides flawless coverage that feels light and airy without being cake-y or heavy. Airbrushing is fade proof, sweat proof and tear proof.. a must for brides!

5. What make up brand will you be using? My makeup kit s filled with brands including MAC, Urban Decay, Too Faced and Smashbox. I also have several professional brands that are made specifically for flash photography.. perfect for brides. During your trial we will discuss the look you would like and choose the best brad for your skin tone and type.

6. Will you be available for touch ups on my wedding day? Of course, I am happy to stay behind and provide any touch ups for pictures or throughout the evening.

7.  How many people can you accommodate in my wedding party? Is there a minimum/maximum? There is no minimum however maximums depend on the time frame of your day. Alone, I can accommodate up to 10 ladies providing it is a comfortable time frame. If you have a smaller window to get prepared, an assistant can accompany me for no extra charge to you- we want to ensure the morning runs smoothly for you.

8. What is your favourite part of being in the wedding industry? I would have to say that meeting brides for the first time is certainly my favourite. each bride is so unique. They all have a different love story and a different vision for their special day..Being able to meet them during such an exciting new chapter is such an honour for me. I also love seeing their completed look as they leave my studio and feel so happy and even more excited for their special day!

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For more information about Courtney, her talent and her services, check out her website here, and her Facebook page here.

Happy Planning!

food stations & bars

Good morning everyone!

As I meet with new brides and hear about their visions, ideas and desires, I am so happy to hear food bars are still popular.

I am totally one of those people who would prefer to take my time, customize my meal and have lots of options! Interactive food is always a must in my family and I love that couples and caterers and doing such a great job at getting creative and incorporating this into weddings and events.

Here are some favourites for inspiration!

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smores bar

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chili bar

 

From build-your own salad, to yogurt & ice cream bars, cookie bars and the smores station, these food bars are such a  fun way to get your guests walking around and creating a meal they are sure to enjoy!

Happy Planning

an eco friendly wedding

In honor of Earth Day this week I am sharing some tips on keeping your wedding day eco-friendly yet still fabulous : )

1. From the very beginning, be kind to the earth by using biodegradable or recycled paper for your save-the-date and invitations. Less traditional bride? Set up a wedding website or send e-vites! No paper at all. Warning.. some e-mails do get lost in cyber space so make sure to follow up with everyone if you don’t hear back or aren’t sure.

2. Pick a venue that has/includes all the basics. Although a conservation area or outdoor space may seem like a great idea, it’s a blank slate and needs a lot to make it an efficient reception space. Think about the fuel that will be used to bring everything back and forth, the debris that may be left behind and the electricity you will need to make it all work. Not to mention, some historical sites or conservation areas are protected and do not allow trespassers on the grounds. Choose a garden or pretty outdoor location for your ceremony instead, the natural beauty would be a great backdrop!

3. Choose local vendors. Especially when it comes to catering. Local grown, organic food can be amazing and the menu will probably be a nice change for your guests.

4. Get creative with your favors. Donate to a charity that is special to you or choose a reusable gift. See ideas below:

soy candles

plants

I love these soy candles or the pre planted flowers or succulents (give them in a glass jar that can be used over and over). Plant seeds in a biodegradable envelope are great too!

5. Plan a unique honeymoon. There’s an industry all about eco-tourism. Check out the website for ideas and suggestions. No matter where you go, if you are with your love you will have the best time!