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.”
Thursday, March 28th, 2013 | trends | No Comments
We love these great suggestions from our friends at BHLD!
There’s nothing we love more than a cute wedding photo that includes a puppy!
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 | media, trends | No Comments
Thanks to our friends at thenest.com for this fun article:
Walking down the aisle together
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Married: October 20, 2007
It was their best friend’s wedding in 2003: Sara was a bridesmaid and Patrick was a groomsman. “We were introduced during the rehearsal, and we walked down the aisle together,” says Sara. “At the rehearsal dinner, Sara’s table was by the buffet, and I got up to refill my plate six times as an excuse to talk to her,” admits Patrick. Adds Sara, “We dated long distance for six months; then I moved to Jacksonville. Eventually we talked down the aisle again- but this time it was for real!”
In a virtual world
Hometown: Seacaucus, NJ
Married: April 25, 2008
The couple first met at Tiki Cove Plaza- but wait a sec, it’s not an actual plaza. It exists in a virtual world called There.com, and their two animated avatars started “hanging out.” After a year of virtual dating, they decided to try it for real. “We were both nervous,” says Megan. “But we really hit it off!” They dated in real life for another year before deciding to get hitched. Their wedding was in New Jersey, and a virtual one (yep, they exist!) was on There.com for online friends.
In front of a mailbox
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Married: August 12th, 2006
When Cedric moved into Maria’s building, her pal (who happened to be the building manager) told her they had to meet. “I stalked the common areas and saw him at the mailboxes on day,” says Maria. “I helped her carry her bags onto the elevator, and when she got off, I said, ‘If you ever need anything, I’m in 3104,’” Cedric remembers. Later that night, she knocked on his door and asked him out. “A year later, I proposed… by the mailboxes, of course,” says Cedric.
In the waiting room of a Dr.’s office
Hometown: Austin, TX
Married: September 13th, 2008
Jen had pulled a muscle in her back, and Mike had an earache. They both ended up in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, and Mike struck up a conversation with Jen. “I never, ever imagined I’d meet my future husband in a waiting room, much less while I was barely able to walk due to major back pain, but I guess it happens when it happens,” says Jen. “This all went down before the movie Garden State came out,” says Mike. “We think they stole our story for that movie.”
At an Arizona Cardinals game
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Married: January 24th, 2009
“I bought season tickets to the Cardinals and went to every game,” says Charlotte. “But I didn’t notice this handsome, sweet, smart man sitting next to me every weekend.” During a particular lackluster game, the two started talking. “I had convinced this kid in front of us to give Charlotte some of his cotton candy. I knew that sealed the deal,” laughs John. “At the last game, she gave me her business card. I emailed her right after the game and asked her out.”
At nursery school
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Married: July 11, 2003
“Alex and his friends were playing Star Wars at nursery school,” recalls Emma. “He was Luke and let me be Leia.” The two stayed friends all though college, where they were roommates. “After grad school, we moved to NYC and rented a one-bedroom apartment, and fate said enough was enough,” says Emma. “We became a couple, to the amusement of our friends, and got married. It’s funny…. We’ve known each other longer than our younger siblings!”
– Melissa Walker
Friday, August 24th, 2012 | trends | No Comments
We don’t often, or perhaps ever, blog about specific products, but we just saw these same-sex wedding invitations from Alfie Cooper and we thought they were so FANTABULOUS we had to share…
How cute are these:
Love the “Haberdashery” pocket invites:
The “Big Gay Wedding” slider invites are so cute…love them:
Friday, August 17th, 2012 | media, testimonials, trends | No Comments
We just stumbled across some new photos of this lovely wedding we did last year – just in time to wish Jani + Colin a very happy 1st anniversary. Below are some of the “new” photos (taken by the very talented Kristi Sneddon).
photo credit: Kristi Sneddon
Taking inspiration from favourite old movies and their love for writing (Jani is a writer and Colin a PhD in English), the couple began to dream of a shabby chic wedding style incorporating their love for the written word. A colour palette of teal and charcoal with pops of pink, red, and yellow set the tone they were looking for, but after finding out that the venue they booked had been turned into a rave club, they had to start fresh. A hotel was chosen for both the ceremony and reception, where they were wed in a beautiful poolside ceremony. A navy aisle runner with a sparkly teal monogram lined by votives in mason jars lead the way to the altar. Both the bride and groom had composed a short piece about their love for each other to incorporate into their vows: “Colin’s note was beautiful—complete poetry. That moment, and the rush of joy walking back down the aisle as a married couple are my favourite memories. There was so much love it was palpable!” says the bride.
When it came to planning the reception…things started with the decision to incorporate their personal collection of antique typewriters and as much text as possible. So, the typewriters replaced the traditional guestbook, guests typed notes to the happy couple before finding their seat. A stack of old books was placed on each table, topping a pewter pintuck linen with teal runner. On top of each stack of books was either a vintage-looking candelabra or small arrangement of flowers, with small posies and votives scattered throughout the tables. Custom table numbers were displayed with small vintage typewriters, and a custom seating chart and matching menus finished the look. Pink and yellow paper lanterns added a fun vibe to the space, while the photographer set up a photo booth that kept the guests busy and lined up all night long. The five-tiered cake was decorated to suit the couple’s fashion, featuring lines of poetry iced onto the cake and topped with a feather pen.
It was very quirky & unique while still being elegant & inviting. Every element had lots of character…just like the bride & groom!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY xo
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | trends, Uncategorized | No Comments
Thanks to our friends at thenest.com here are 5 great suggestions to keep your relationship fabulous – before and after the wedding…
The New Quickies: 5 Simple Tricks for a Better Relationship
Looking for an instant love boost? Forget the fireworks, Kama Sutra and grand gestures. Sometimes, the obvious is all you need to make your relationship feel fresh again.
The Quickie: Making small, unexpected gestures
Why It Works:
Sometimes the best validation that you’re loved and appreciated is when you experience a gesture that proves your partner is always thinking of you. Yes, planning a romantic night on the town takes thought and is always appreciated. But buying your husband a red velvet cupcake, just because you happened to walk by a bakery, see it in the window and know he would love it, will really make an impression. It’s that for-no-real-reason feeling that makes the act mean so much.
The Quickie: Doing something your partner always does
Why It Works: Sure, when you divided up the chores, you agreed that he would take out the trash and you would do the dishes. But every once in a while, when he’s super-slammed at work, rather than nagging him for not noticing the overflowing trash can, take it out for him. When you love someone, you pitch in — even when you’re not asked (or it’s technically not your turn). Small gestures to make each other’s lives better remind you why you put up with his stinky feet, or her snoring, in the first place. Plus, giving your mate a break means he has one less item to worry about, and the more relaxed he is, the easier it will be for you to appreciate each other’s company (wink, wink).
The Quickie: Letting her (or him) breathe
Why It Works: Because you’ll be so much more excited to see each other! Having someone to come home to is a definite plus to being in a relationship. But sometimes — just sometimes — it would be nice to walk into an empty house and, perhaps, slip into a lavender-scented bath or chill out in front of the TV without having to speak. Even couples that are joined at the hip sometimes require a little alone time — not to brood or escape, but to refresh. Perhaps you don’t understand the need for solo moments. But if your husband enjoys winding down from a long day with only himself and maybe the dog for company, or your wife likes to be alone with her thoughts on Sunday mornings, give him or her that space — guilt free. Make plans to meet a friend for brunch or make a date with your personal trainer for Sunday morning, conveniently come home late from work one night, or run errands alone one afternoon. You don’t need much distance to make the heart grow fonder, but a little goes a long way.
The Quickie: Writing it down
Why It Works: Let’s face it: Telling your mate how much she means to you can feel kind of sappy or trite. But expressing your feelings, even when you assume they’re known, is key in long-term relationships. Otherwise, you risk falling into “taking each other for granted” syndrome. Now, we’re not suggesting you start penning long love letters (or emails). But an “I love you” written on the dry-erase board in the kitchen, or a “Have a great day!” Post-it left on the bathroom mirror, is all it takes to let your other half know you cared enough to take the time to write it down.
The Quickie: Saying “yes”
Why It works: Agreeing to try something you always veto, or joining your partner for something you normally try to get out of (like your two-year-old niece-in-law’s birthday party), shows you are listening to what your significant other wants and are willing to put your partner’s needs first. Now, we’re not suggesting you go out of your way to do something you truly despise — no one benefits if you’re visibly miserable the entire time. But a “yes” to a fairly innocuous, temporary thing can still mean a lot. For example, let him flip to the game and keep watching — and don’t get off the couch. Or maybe have sex the next time you’re tired but she’s raring to go. Seeing how happy these small gestures can make your partner should make you feel good and inspire you to do them more often. Plus, they’ll probably inspire your partner to start doing the same, and soon enough, instead of arguing over who gets to man the remote, you’ll notice you’re starting to work much more like a team.
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 | trends, weddings | No Comments
We had a lovely wedding two weeks ago. It was very quirky & unique while still being elegant & inviting. Every element had lots of character…just like the bride & groom!
The linens were pewter pintuck with accents in 2 shades of teal. As both of them are writers and surround themselves with writers and poets I decided each table should be adorned with a stack of old books.
There were candelabras surrounded by small floral posies in mason jars, and large posies in mason jars surrounded by votives in small mason jars.
Both the cocktail area and the dance floor were adorned with dozens of paper lanterns in hot pink, red & yellow, and all the uplighting in the room was hot pink & red.
The tables were named for their favorite writers.
Their guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner…
and a very literate wedding cake!
One of my favorite parts was the use of their collection of vintage typewriters.
The typewriters were used instead of a guest book. It was a huge hit and I’m sure they will have lots of interesting prose…especially as the evening progressed!
Best wishes! xo
Monday, July 18th, 2011 | trends, weddings | No Comments
We had a lovely tent wedding last weekend…very rustic chic…burlap is beautiful!
Although there were tornado warnings…and the weather was crazy & terrible during set up – mother nature came through and it was a beautiful day.
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.
Congratulations Sasha + Pat!
Monday, July 11th, 2011 | media, testimonials, trends, weddings | No Comments
We’re thrilled to be featured again in Weddings in Alberta.
Erin and Devlin first met at a party, ten years ago. Seating was tight and they ended up sitting together. They hit it off, but Erin started to feel a bit under the weather. After he helped her to the bathroom throughout the evening, she knew that Devlin was a keeper. After dating for nearly 8 years, during which time Erin had lost her father, the couple knew it was time to tie the knot but a large, extravagant wedding was the last thing on their minds. Deciding to elope, they booked a trip to Vegas, Erin bought a little white dress at the mall, and they started telling people. Those reactions planted a little seed of doubt in the couple’s minds as to whether or not eloping was the right thing to do. After telling her best friend and seeing a mixture of happy and sad in her reaction, Erin and Devlin realized how important it was to have all their family and friends celebrate with them. They didn’t decide until the last minute possible whether they were going to go through with the wedding—but when they came across the perfect engagement ring at a store in Vegas, everything felt right. When they showed the engagement ring to family when they returned, without a matching wedding band, everyone was excited and relieved. And so, the planning for a wedding to take place two and a half years later began.
Drawn towards modern design and technology while sharing a love for classic architecture, Erin and Devlin knew they needed to have a mix of old and new in their wedding style. After selecting the Hotel Arts as their reception space, they found inspiration in the natural, modern elements the venue shows off. Selecting a peacock-inspired colour palette that prominently featured teal, brown, navy blue, and gold allowed some fun and whimsy to be introduced into their big day. With the help of The Wedding Planner, Inc, the wedding was perfectly designed and coordinated. The ceremony took place in an intimate photography studio, incorporating many personal touches. With a small wedding party consisting of just a best man, maid of honour, and bridesmaid, the couple was happy to share their day with the friends that have known them the longest.
The Wedding Planner, Inc. designed a fabulous reception, using copper pintuck linens, teal table runners, and green napkins to tie into the peacock feather colour scheme. Plus, peacock feathers were added throughout the room, resting at each place setting, added into Erin’s bouquet, and even used as the design for a custom gobo on the dance floor. The finishing touches were candelabras placed on each table, an iced martini bar, a four tiered cake decorated with damask-patterned fondant that matched the linens on the head table, and an elaborate candy buffet, complete with custom labels and glassine bags. The couple served food based on their culinary love, choosing appetizers that represented international flavours they had fallen in love with while traveling abroad, and made sure to serve classic Alberta beef tenderloin as a main course. Plans for a dance-filled reception were made to honour Erin’s Pakistani heritage. When they started their planning, the couple knew that her family really wanted to celebrate and all they could hope for was to uphold the family tradition of a memorable wedding—and although they froze up during their first dance and forgot everything they learned in their dance lessons, the party went on!
After she fell in love with a budget-busting dress and making the tough choice not to spend the money on it, Erin kept looking and looking. She lucked out when she found this sample dress from Pronovias at Mina’s Bridal and loved it. The sweetheart neckline gown featured lace appliqués on the bust and hem, and was perfect for her trash-the-dress session with f8 Photography in the hotel pool to morning after the wedding. She added bright blue heels, a birdcage veil, and a colourful bouquet with a small silver picture frame attached, holding a photo of her father who passed away a few years ago.
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