2014 favorites

As the end of the year approaches, we’ve taken a moment to look back at 2014 and we are feeling so blessed for the wonderful moments we were able to share with friends, family and clients (as well as their friends and family!)

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The best brunch with the best friends!

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Some fun in the sun celebrating a very special birthday!

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Beautiful weddings in beautiful spaces with BLE!

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An exciting delivery from Martha Stewart Home Office/Avery Products.

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2 amazing shoots with the oh so talented Whitney Heard Photography (more to come!)

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A girls trip with a great view

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More wonderful weddings!

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A roadtrip to to the sunny south with my favorite guy was the best way to relax after a crazy/busy/awesome summer

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Bought this book one morning, finished it that afternoon. Loved it.

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Hosted the first TCD networking event!

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Our first home was purchased in 2014. I can’t wait to truly make this house a home, make the new TCD office an inspiring space and create heart warming experience for all who visit!

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Thank you to everyone who was part of the big moments, and the small moments of 2014, we cannot thank you enough for your support, friendships, challenges and laughs!

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Wishing everyone a 2015 filled with love, success and happiness!

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Happy Sunday Everyone!

 All summer I have been trying my best to enjoy the sunshine and the outdoors as much as possible (which can be difficult during such a busy time). After the busy-ness of yesterday’s wedding day, I have decided to sit out on my balcony with an iced tea and some magazines to just relax and “turn off” for a moment.

As I flip through the pages of magazines I am SO inspired by backyard parties and outdoor events. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this month’s gorgeous tented wedding.

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So today I am sharing some tips to a successful outdoor wedding. They are amazing, but can be tricky logistically!

1. Have a back up plan. This has to be the most important thing in planning an outdoor affair. If the weather does not cooperate you need to have something in place to implement quickly.

2. Think about the position of the sun- yes it’s nice when you are at the beach but it may not be comfortable for guests to be sitting and eating in the direct heat (especially when you have a variety of aged guests).

3. Parking & Transportation. This is na important factor to consider for outdoor events which are usually in a secluded area, on a private property or in a unique setting. Having a designated parking area or shuttle service will make it much easier for your guests to arrive & depart.

4. Advise your guests. Depending on the location choice you may want to add some details or tips with your invitation or on your wedding website. Outfit choice, shoe choice etc. may be uncomfortable in your venue.

5. Don’t forget the extra costs! While tented wedding are beautiful, you have to consider the fact that you are starting from scratch. Everything from the tent itself to the floor, washrooms , decor and all rentals must be purchased and set up (this can add up quickly).

6. Plan your day accordingly. If you are going to be outdoors all day you want to have a very early or a later afternoon ceremony so your guests aren’t in the sun (or rain) all day. Late afternoon/early evening lighting is great for pictures too!

7. BUGSPRAY :)

8. Match your menu. Plan for summer-y food, maybe stations or a buffet. The outdoor atmosphere lends itself well to a more casual meal.

9. Hire a team of professionals. Working outdoors can get messy- you don’t want your friends, family and wedding party getting dirty and working instead of enjoying with you.

10. Don’t stress about the rain! Unfortunately, we really can’t control the weather. Keep an eye on the forecast and stick to your decisions, if it rains you’ll have cute umbrella photos, if it doesn’t, Bonus!

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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:

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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!

iLUXE Travel: Vendor Spotlight Part 2

A few weeks ago I published a post all about my chat with Shannon from iLUXE travel. I asked some of the top honeymoon related questions I get from brides and Shannon had the best answers! She truly is an expert in all things luxury travel and honeymoon planning.

Our conversation was filled with so much great advice that I actually had to write a second post, so today, in Part 2 of this vendor spotlight, I am sharing a few more of Shannon’s tips.

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“Planning your honeymoon should be an exciting and stress free occasion. Here are some things to consider when planning your perfect honeymoon.”

1.      When should I start planning my honeymoon? The sooner the better. Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways wants to make your honeymoon perfect so we will work as long this takes to achieve that. Planning ahead allows you time to budget accordingly and get necessary documents needed should you be traveling to destination where you need and do not already have.

2.      Have an idea of your Geography. Yes, Seychelles, Maldives and Fiji are amazing honeymoon destinations, but not if you have only one week for your honeymoon. Picking an exotic location is ideal if you have enough travel time and don’t mind long flights. Some locations require over a day traveling time and you will need to adjust to a time difference.

3.      Know your budget. Airline fares play a significant role when planning your budget. If you are a frequent traveler, save your mileage and try to use your accumulated mile points. Many credit cards also offer airline mileage awards that may assist you as well.

4.      When do you want to leave? If you are getting married on a Saturday, you may want to rethink traveling the next day, especially when traveling to the Caribbean as most flights leave in the morning.

5.      What type of honeymoon are you looking for? Discuss with your fiancé exactly what is most important for you to experience while on your honeymoon: adventure, relaxation, touring, a little of everything? Communication is the key, we will be able to provide options with you of where to go and stay.

6.      What kind of resort are you looking for? All inclusive? Adult only? Many resorts offer all inclusive options, allowing you to know ahead of time exactly how much you are going to spend. If one chooses a non-all-inclusive hotel and has a steadfast budget in mind, many resorts have menus on their website so you can get a general idea of what you will be spending for meals.

7.      Do I need a Visa, do I need vaccinations? Some destinations do require Visas; your travel professional will be able to advise you of that requirement and assist in obtaining them should you need. Also important is what type of passport you are traveling under and many countries are now requiring passports valid 6 months after entering country. Always best to confirm with your doctor if they suggest vaccinations to where you are traveling it to an exotic destination.

8.      I don’t need insurance, this is my honeymoon and I will never cancel. There are hundreds of circumstances that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. Travel Insurance provides protection for your travel investment in case an unfortunate situation arises, such as sickness, bad weather, or civil unrest at your planned destination; just to name a few

Executive Travel Manger

1075 Bay St, Toronto, Ontario  M5S 2B1

 D. 416 312 5488 | 1 800 463 1512

www.iluxetravel.com

vendor spotlight: iluxe travel

Dreaming of a warm, sunny getaway lately?

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I know I am!

For this week’s vendor spotlight I am featuring Shannon from i LUXE travel. Shannon plans luxury honeymoons and has been in the industry for over 10 years! She is super personable, sweet and extremely knowledgeable about travel destinations.

A few weeks ago I met with Shannon and asked her a few of the top questions brides have about planning a honeymoon. Here are Shannon’s answers.

1. How far in advance should couples plan their honeymoon?

I recommend booking your honeymoon at least nine months in advance, to allow myself to confirm the places and hotels you would like to include in your itinerary, especially if you will be traveling during peak season. If you are considering a location such as Africa, I would give yourself at least one year

2. How many days is the average honeymoon?

 10 days up to 18 days.

3. What is the biggest advantage to working with a travel agent/planner?

 With over 14 years of experience and TICO licensed, I have been able to build strong working relationships and partners throughout the World which allows me to offer the following Benefits to my clients

·       Passing along personal insider knowledge

·       Exclusive Resort and Cruise lines Preferred rates

·       Resort Credits

·       Select Amenities & Room Upgrades

 7. We’re an adventurous couple- where should we go?
Close to Home, without much travel time – Belize. I have been sending many couples to this location in the last few years. I would compare this to Costa Rica 10 years ago, very rustic and perfect for those who love water sports especially Scuba diving, Zip Lining in the Rain Forest, National Parks and beautiful white sand beaches. Resort to consider: Turtle Inn, owned by Francis Ford Coppola, one of my favorites.. 
8. My fiancé and I are so busy, all we want to do is relax and sunbathe, where should we go?
Tahiti: With 118 islands offering coral reefs, turquoise-blue lagoons, white sand palm-fringed beaches, and over water bungalows, it is where some will say “Where Heaven and Earth Meet”Bora Bora, and Moorea the most popular islands to visit but if you have the time Taha’a, Island should not be missed.
9. What are some upcoming trends for honeymoons?
Mini-Moons Mini-moons are quickly becoming a popular hot item for couples. With limited vacation time and budgets after the Wedding, couples are looking at having a mini-moon after the Wedding and at a later date going on the Dream Honeymoon. Great place to check out : Langdon Hall, Ontario 
10. Top 3 locations for 2014?
HAWAII, INDONESIA/ BALI and MALDIVES
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Interested in discussing your honeymoon plans with Shannon? You can reach her here:
Executive Travel Manager
1075 Bay St, Toronto,Ontario  M5S 2B1
 P. 416 928 3113|  D. 416 312 5488 | 1 800 463 1512
Shannon and I had such a great time chatting- Part 2 of this post is coming soon and is filled with honeymoon planning tips!

the kid-friendly wedding

Thinking of inviting the little ones to your wedding? Keeping them entertained is key to a successful evening for everybody.

Parents want to enjoy themselves and be attentive to the wedding happenings while the kids want something “fun” to do (they usually loose interest by the time the speeches start).

Here are a few tips for keeping those kids busy!

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Having a kids table is essential! They will be much happier sitting with others their age and will be excited about having activities available especially for them.

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I love the idea of having a welcome basket at each child’s place setting. Use simple items such as coloring books, crayons and snacks for an inexpensive personal touch. You can even theme the table!

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Thinking you might want some extra supervision? There are companies that do exactly that! There are certified teams  you can hire to supervise kids at your wedding- they can set up a craft area, cookie decorating table, magic trick hour, games etc.

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There may even be games the adults would like too.

Happy Planning!

setting up your candy bar

 Candy bars have been super popular for a while now. They are great for weddings, birthdays, showers etc.

People are getting very creative and providing there guests with a nice alternative to traditional favors. Candy bars allow guests to get engaged in an activity and if done properly they look awesome too!

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 If you are considering a candy bar for your wedding, party or event, here are a few things to remember:

1. Determine a budget for this project- candy can get expensive quickly.

2. Pick a color or theme- this makes your candy bar part of the decor and can replace giving your guests favors! It also makes purchasing your candy a lot easier.

3. Make sure you have enough for everyone.

A good rule of thumb is to order between .2 and .25 pounds of candy per guest. For an event with 100 guest you should plan to have round 20-25 pounds of candy.

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The Wedding Planners suggest

Number of guests x 3, divided by 16 = Grand Total in pounds

For example, we have 155 guests at the wedding I am coordinating this weekend:

155 x 3= 465, then 465/16 = 29lbs of candy (for kilos divide by 2.2 = 13kg)

4. Have a designated person to refill the jars if necessary (this could be a planner, coordinator, catering member or someone from your wedding party). You don’t want the jars sitting empty when only half the guests have had a chance to participate.

5. Don’t forget scoops, tongs & signs. For a wow factor get a sparkly table cloth, backdrop and fun accessories that match your theme.

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happy planning!

no more winter blues

I think we are all just about ready for spring.

Although the snowflakes, hot chocolate and skating dates were fun in December, it’s easy to feel those winter blues by March.

Beach season will come sooner then you think though! So let’s climb out of the rut, get energized and say goodbye to those winter blues. Here are some of my tips:

1. Do something that’s been on your to-do list forever. Don’t you feel so much better after getting those things done? Give your home office a makeover, reorganize your closet and donate old clothes, print pictures, paint some frames.. Making the space around you prettier and more efficient will make you feel the same way!

2. Get outside. I know , it’s freezing. But even a few minutes of fresh air can made a big difference.

3. Treat yourself- you work hard and everyone deserves to be spoiled once in a while. Whether it’s a manicure, a weekend away, a new “something”- do something for you.

4. Exercise. That 30 minute pilates class, jog on the treadmill or walk with the pup can make a big impact on your mental and physical health. It also gives you time to disconnect which we all know can be a difficult task.

5. Find what makes you happy and do it. Whether it be a new business venture, a project, catching up with an old friend, setting aside more family time, whatever it may be,  make sure you find yourself smiling.

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