Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | trends, weddings | No Comments
Here is a lovely tent wedding we did a while ago…very rustic chic…burlap is beautiful!:
There was a delightful old claw-foot tub full of Jones soda & water on ice to greet the guests as they arrived for the ceremony:
We used 6000 white and cream rose petals to line the aisle. There was very little adornment for the ceremony…they had a (beautiful) bridal party of 20….so there wasn’t much more decoration needed!:
After the ceremony the guests migrated over under the trees for cocktails. The bride tracked down some barrels and we covered a piece of plywood with burlap…it was such a cute setting. Her bridesmaids also wrapped almost 200 mason jars with lace for their signature cocktails….just lovely!:
We went with 16′ tables draped with ivory linen + a burlap runner + sandalwood napkins. Each table had an assortment of different sizes of mason jars filled with little posies in whites, creams, pale yellows and soft peach, candelabras + vintage oil lamps. The bride & groom named their tables with names of places that are significant to them…the place he proposed, the place they’re going on honeymoon, etc.:
All the vintage (or vintage looking) dishes used for the candy buffet were so sweet…this little dish with the bird was my favorite!:
Stringing the tent with all the little lights in the gale-force winds proved quite challenging – but on the wedding day everything was twinkly & magical:
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 | trends, weddings | No Comments
We did a lovely small wedding this weekend that was just filled with lovely candlelight…candelabras everywhere…the palette was champagne & eggplant with a few cranberry accents…perfect for the beautiful autumn day…and perfect as a backdrop for all the candles.
Here’s a sneak peak:
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 | trends, weddings | No Comments
Here’s some pretty purple for TBT:
We had a picture perfect purple wedding on the weekend in Vancouver. The weather was glorious, the bride was gorgeous and the bridal party was gigantic!
The processional of 27 (!!) was a fabulous cast of characters that included 2 tuxedo-clad pugs, a pregnant bridesmaid more than a week past her due date, 2 fathers-of-the-bride and a handful of NHL players.
The palette of purples ranged from lilac to aubergine and was used in everything from their custom invitations, the flowers, the 3 shades of linens, the uplighting in the tent, the cake, the cupcakes, the 12,000 rose petals that lined their aisle, the custom M&Ms in their purple monogrammed favor boxes, the custom labels on the wine bottles, the custom menus, table numbers and seating charts, to the purple haze martinis that greeted the guests as the ceremony finished…it was truly spectacular.
Friday, July 18th, 2014 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments
Thanks to our friends at Emily Post for this great reminder:
Special occasions call for gifts, and weddings are no exception to this rule. From Do I really need to send a wedding gift? to What if I already brought a gift to a shower?, here are some guidelines for wedding gifting.
Close friends and family usually do give the couple an engagement gift, and in many parts of the country it is customary to bring a gift to an engagement party. An engagement gift is more of a gesture of affection and needn’t be expensive or elaborate. Something simple, such as a picture frame, cookbook, or a nice bottle of wine to start a collection, is the way to go.
As per tradition, it is expected that wedding guests give gifts to the bride and groom. When choosing a gift keep your relationship and affection for the bride and groom as well as your budget in mind. Whether you attend or not, send a gift in appreciation of this most special invitation and to honor the marrying couple.
Bridal Party Gifts
It’s traditional for the bride and groom to give gifts to the members of their bridal parties. Whether this means earrings for the bridesmaids, cufflinks for the groomsmen, or monogrammed tumblers for all, don’t over think it. Keep it simple but significant to show the bridal party your appreciation and allow them to remember the occasion in the future.
For guests, the key to selecting shower gifts is finding something the couple can use while staying within your budget. If attending more than one shower, it’s okay to bring a gift to the first one and then bring a card or smaller token gift to the others. Regardless of your gift choice for a shower, don’t forget to plan for a wedding gift, too.
Gifts for Guests
Wedding favors are entirely optional but have become a popular way for the bride and groom to show their appreciation and thank their guests for being with them on their special day. These are usually smaller commemorative items-mini boxed chocolates, little jars or sachets of candy, match boxes printed with the date, personalized packets of wildflower seeds-presented to guests atop a place setting or arranged on a table for taking home.
All in all, it is important to keep in mind that it is not the price tag that matters, but rather the thought that really counts.
Thursday, July 17th, 2014 | trends, weddings | No Comments
A lovely indoor garden party for TBT:
We absolutely LOVED how this ballroom turned out…it was truly scrumptious. The tables were colour blocked – soft pinks, soft lavenders and soft greens…everything was very soft & ethereal and the overal effect was a gorgeous garden fete brought indoors.
During the ceremony several dear congregated right behind the couple…it was so sweet…and seems like a very good omen!
The cake was yummy inside & out…it was so pretty and really epitmozed the overall feel of the space. mmMMmmm…
Thursday, July 10th, 2014 | trends, weddings | No Comments
Another favorite for TBT:
This wedding had a very juicy colour palette of turquoise, teal and apple green. For the ceremony it was punctuated with a pattern of coral rose petals down the aisle which perfectly matched the bridesmaids dresses. With the magnificent view of the lake and the tempestuous skies, simple was all that was required for a truly memorable ceremony site.
The very moment the bride signed the marriage license there was a great clap of thunder and it started to rain. The groom was thrilled with the timing…he told me now he’s got a great story for the rest of his life!
Cocktails managed to be both cozy & elegant – and the two signature cocktails were a huge hit.
Some well-placed uplighting can really make a huge difference. The alternating green + blue on the columns surrounding the guest tables both accentuated the colour palette and delineated the room.
I made sure the bride and groom had a great view of the lake…but with such amazing vistas from every angle, it didn’t really matter where you were seated in this beautiful space. The details were kept quite clean and chic. Centerpieces of granny smith apples and green hydrangeas and orchids, teal runners and green napkins, our ubiquitous custom wedding day printing and a ton of candlelight.
The custom glassine bags were so cute…the candy buffet was a huge hit…guests started raiding the candy buffet before dinner was even finished…sour gummy worm anyone?
Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 | trends, weddings | No Comments
Here’s another #TBT…enjoy!
Here is a 10.10.10 wedding that was 16 months in the planning and 10 years in the making…Erin + Devlin are an awesome couple that decided to get married on their tenth anniversary of dating. At various stages they thought they’d get married in Jamaica or India, but in the end decided to get married in Calgary so all their friends and family could attend.
The peacock feather was our inspiration….which gave us a sumptuous colour palette…coppers, teals, browns and greens.
The bride walked down the blue aisle runner (with copper monogram) in her fabulous teal shoes. The bridesmaid wore navy and the maid of honour wore chocolate brown. The groom, best man, and father of the groom wore very stylish brown tuxedos.
Deep Blue Sea martini anyone?
The seating chart, menus, table numbers, candy buffet sign, photobooth pix, martini luge, and dance floor gobo all bore their custom wedding day logo with touches of damask & a peacock feather….pretty!
The head table was adorned with teal & brown damask which was reiterated on the cake.
Thursday, June 26th, 2014 | trends, weddings | No Comments
We decided it would be fun to revisit some of our favorite events for Throw Back Thursday #TBT:
This wedding was a wonderful combination of sleek & modern with a twist of retro. The palette was yellow, saffron, grey and silver and everything looked positively scrumptious!
The reception began with poolside cocktails. The guests were treated to an abundant supply of lemon drop martinis and customized water bottles….
I was so enamored with this candy buffet I could barely tear myself away. We’ve done lots of candy buffets before but with this one we got to make all the details just right.
I was so excited with this design. The multiple shades of yellow on the beautiful pewter pintuck linens was so sharp and fashion forward – but still very warm & inviting. The vinyl cling on the back of the ghost chairs was a huge hit…we always like to make the bride & groom’s chairs a little bit special.
These tablescapes were definitely my favorites in a long while.
Usually we do a gobo on the dance floor, but this time we had it shining on the wall over the guest book table and seating chart. All the floral arrangements were fun & fabulous.
Love is Sweet…Have a Treat!!
Monday, December 16th, 2013 | trends | No Comments
wishing everyone much health + happiness + all good things for 2014!
Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 | media, trends | No Comments
We are frequently interviewed about all things wedding…here’s one from the perspective of the wedding guest:
No, I don’t want to go to your expensive wedding
by Melissa Leong | Financial Post | May 7, 2013
When a beautiful wedding invitation arrives in our mailbox, imagine if we could RSVP in the most honest way.
“Dear friend, Thank you so much for wanting me to be a part of your incredible celebration. But I am spending a month’s rent on gifts, a bridesmaid dress and the bachelorette party in Vegas. If you have a third bridal shower, I am going to lose it.”
“Dear cousin, I know you’re getting married at the swankiest venue in the city. But my date and I will not cover our heads at $350 a pop. Please don’t badmouth us to the rest of the family.”
“Dear work colleague, No way. In debt from the last wedding that I attended. But congrats.”
How to survive the wedding season
Attending weddings can be expensive. So here are some tips to help you emerge from the tulle-draped, flower-petal littered and champagne filled celebrations with more of your money in the bank.
Read more here
We know weddings are expensive. Weddingbells Magazine’s annual survey recently revealed that couples spend an average of $32,358 to get married and go on a honeymoon. But lovebirds aside, it can be expensive for everyone else too. According to new research by American Express, people expect to fork out $539 per wedding this year, including $167 on travel and $108 on gifts. (Close family members spend an average of $179 on gifts and co-workers cough up $66.)
Also, more couples are opting for destination events which raises costs for traveling guests; 24% of all American weddings in 2012 were abroad, up 20% since 2008, says TheKnot.
Statistics Canada’s 2008 data shows that men get married at an average age of 31.1 and women get hitched at 29.1. So for recent graduates with student loans and for people with new careers trying to build wealth, a flurry of weddings invitations couldn’t come at a worse time.
In the past 10 years, Mira M. has attended about 20 weddings and says she’s easily spent $10,000. Last year, the 29-year-old Toronto resident went to six weddings. One bride had two engagement parties, three showers, an out-of-town stagette and an in-town stagette. And the wedding invitation read: “Monetary gifts appreciated.”
“I gave a gift at every single event,” she says. “You start to feel the pressure because the bride starts talking to you about who gave gifts and ‘How much do you think a party like this costs?’”
So how much are you supposed to give?
Well, you don’t have to give anything if you don’t want to.
Big wedding gift, big mistake
These emotional highs can sometimes lead to brash decisions — such as the decision to unconditionally give your newlywed children extraordinary wedding gifts.
Read more here
“From an etiquette perspective, the most common misconception that I hear is that you’re supposed to spend how much you think they’re spending on your dinner. That’s not the case. [The] wedding is not supposed to be a money-making or break even proposition,” says Lisa Hanslip, owner and senior event designer at The Wedding Planner Inc. She used to write an etiquette column for the Calgary Herald. “You need to take into account how well do you know this person and what your particular circumstances are.”
She has planned several weddings in the last few years where the couple either didn’t want gifts or asked for charitable donations.
“You shouldn’t feel obligated to buy something off the registry. The registry is supposed to make it easier for you, in case you don’t know them that well or you don’t know what they need,” she says. “I’ve had clients complaining about friends’ registries where the cheapest thing is one silver teaspoon that’s $100 and you feel so stupid buying one spoon.”
Buying a silver spoon is the least of our problems if we get the call to join the ranks of the wedding party. (It’s like having the honour of being knighted, except the sword cuts your purse strings.) According to the wedding site TheKnot.com, the average bridesmaid could face a bill for $1,385 when adding all potential costs.
Julianne Taskey, a 31-year-old Toronto resident who works in fundraising has been in six wedding parties; she spends about $1,000 to fulfill her bridal party duties.
“I’m a spender. It’s someone’s special day so how do you put a price tag on it. How do you say, ‘No?’” she says.
Take just one of her events. The cost included more than $400 for a bridesmaid dress, $150 for hair and make-up, $80 for shoes, $50 for a pedicure and manicure. Add to that $150-$300 for a wedding gift, $50 to $100 for shower gifts and $500 for the bachelorette party. “The rooms, the cabs, the drinks, strippers, the bridesmaids tank tops. I probably have four [tank tops],” she says.
Going to people’s weddings could deepen your relationship
Debauchery isn’t cheap. At bachelor parties, Armando Guedez’s friends call him “the banker.” That’s because the 31-year-old Toronto resident doesn’t drink much.
“They’ll give me the money and my job is to make sure they don’t make stupid decisions with their money,” he says.
He’s been invited to about five weddings in the last few years and the bachelor parties are the costliest part. “I usually budget $500. Drinks could be $150 to $200. The hotel and gas is shared so $50 to $100. Food might be $100. The rest goes to the ladies.”
The price of these man-parties and the $150 gift that Mr. Guedez gives at weddings is worth it, he adds. “Going to people’s weddings could deepen your relationships.”
Michael O’Farrell, a 31-year-old entrepreneur who lives in Gatineau, Que., flew to Las Vegas for his cousin’s bachelor party.
“Without the flight, it was close to $1,000 to $1,500 for three nights,” he says. “You’re a bunch of guys. They say, ‘Why don’t we spend $1,000 on drinks and bottle service?’ Everyone chips in. There’s definitely peer pressure and the guilt trip. In some cases … no one wants to take charge and if you do decide to, you’re loading up your credit card.”
He will also buy a new suit to wear to weddings. Blame Facebook for being a catalogue of our formal wear for everyone to see. (To deal with this, Mira once rented a $2,000 gown for $150 from Toronto company, Rent frock Repeat, to wear to a black-tie wedding.)
I’ve been invited to a Jack and Jill where I wasn’t invited to the wedding. It’s so tacky
You cannot put a dollar amount to attending a wedding, Mr. O’Farrell says. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for the bride and groom. Getting an invitation is a sign that you’re important in their lives. It’s important for you to be there and you want to share that moment with them … If you get invited, it’s not proper to say ‘No.’”
I’ve said “no,” and not sent a gift (which according to my mom, is the rudest thing in the world). I’ve said “no” to being in someone’s wedding party. I also don’t go to what Winnipeggers call “socials” or Jack and Jill parties where guests pay a cover and buy raffle tickets to help raise money for someone else’s wedding.
“I’ve been invited to a Jack and Jill where I wasn’t invited to the wedding. It’s so tacky,” says Kirsten Ellison, a 28-year-old student at the University of Calgary.
She has three weddings to attend this summer in Ontario and one bachelorette in Las Vegas. She’s been saving and spreading out the costs for the flights, for the “spa-rty” (spa party) ahead of one wedding and the hotels.
“I know of people who’ve taken a second mortgage on their house to have a wedding. It was an extravagant thing and all of the bridesmaids were swept up as well,” she says. “It’s important for the couple to have those who are close to them, family and friends, to be there and be supportive. At the same time, it has spun out of control and gone beyond the celebration of two people getting together.”
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