calgary wedding planner

{ murphy’s law vs. bride }

Friday, September 7th, 2012 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
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Q. My sister got married last weekend and it seemed like every possible thing that could go wrong, did. The make-up artist showed up really late, the beautiful vintage car she had booked broke down, the Videographer missed the entire processional and shot the whole thing focused on the back of their heads, the hotel misplaced their engraved cake knife, and the bridesmaids’ dresses didn’t arrive until 2 days after the wedding. I’m getting married in the spring and although I wasn’t worried about anything, I’m now terrified about all the things that can go wrong. Is there any way to make sure these things don’t happen at my wedding?

A. Yikes! Your sister is apparently the Murphy’s Law poster-child. It’s difficult to plan a wedding without something going awry along the way (and thankfully equally hard to plan a wedding with everything going wrong). A lot of the mishaps at your sister’s wedding could not have been prevented – but planning for acceptable alternatives can help.

Most contracts are written to protect the vendor not the client, so keep that in mind when you’re reading them over. There is almost always a clause pertaining to the “what ifs…” – think about what contingency would make you happy – and don’t be shy to at least suggest it to them. For example, if the car you booked breaks down or is otherwise unavailable – ask to have it written into your contract that the driver will come fetch you in an ancient Egyptian litter (a la Cleopatra) rather than merely substituting a car of equal value. It is highly unlikely they will actually agree to this, mind you, but the mere thought of it may give your sister some satisfaction.

Before booking any vendor, ask about their background, and don’t choose simply based on price. Discuss potential problems with them at the time – it is a lot less stressful to think about these things prior to your wedding.

To help deal with any hiccups on your big day, have a list of all the vendors involved and contact numbers. Another great way to help alleviate stress: Have an emergency kit so you can tackle any last minute problems like a torn dress (which you caught on the door as you were running in because your limo broke down), too few boutonnieres (because the florist didn’t think you were actually serious about there being 12 groomsmen), a missing ring (because the jeweller didn’t quite finish and you don’t want to have to borrow your cousin’s skull ring), or bad breath (because corn nuts are your favorite comfort food – and it seemed like a good idea this morning ).

So…read over your contracts….then pucker up and enjoy that first kiss (breath mint anyone?)!

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{ wise words }

Friday, July 13th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments

pink

I believe in pink…I believe in kissing, kissing a lot…and I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

- Audrey Hepburn

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hmm…our venue is on fire…isn’t that delightful!?!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, MAY 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”

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Q. Our wedding is a few weeks away and our reception venue just had a big fire. Although we had our hearts set on this location, we decided to book another place close by instead of waiting for the repairs to be completed. What is the proper way to inform our guests? Can we just tell everyone at the ceremony?

A. All sorts of things can pop up (or burn down) when planning a wedding. The venue can double book, the church can flood, the photographer can unexpectedly choose another occupation (what do you mean you’ve really always wanted to be a plumber?), or there can be a family emergency requiring a postponement. Whatever the scenario, it is not uncommon for something to instigate either a change of date or a change of venue.

Typically, the appropriate etiquette to handle a change of wedding details is mailing the new details to your guests. Either a hand written note or a simple card – printed to match your invitations – is acceptable.

Had you decided to postpone your wedding the same rules would apply. It is the top priority to inform your guests if there is a major change – such as a change of date or a change of locale. Every wedding usually has at least a few guests coming from out of town – they’ve graciously taken time off work and made travel arrangements. Your local guests may have arranged baby sitters or transportation. Make sure you tell them…post haste!

With so little time before your wedding date I suggest using the telephone. Although your new venue is nearby, it is courteous to let your guests have some warning. A reminder at the ceremony – either printed on the programs or with a verbal announcement – is always a good idea. However, there are inevitably always a few guests that don’t make it to the ceremony (I told you it was left on Main Street), and even more guests that don’t bother reading the programs (Oh, doesn’t she look beautiful, I wonder what I’ll look like on my wedding day…).

So, enlist your family and your bridesmaids to help you man the phones. Then, take a deep breath and relax (having a fire extinguisher at the ready couldn’t hurt either!). Well done finding a new reception venue so quickly – your wedding will be smooth sailing.

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the etiquette of gift registries

Saturday, January 21st, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, FEBRUARY 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”

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Q: We recently went to register for our wedding and the store clerk offered us registry enclosure cards to include in our invitations. Is this acceptable? We were also a bit unsure what to register for. Help!

A: No, no, a thousand times, no! It may seem helpful, but it is never acceptable to enclose a registry notice or gift wish list with your invitation. Never. Ever.

One of the major etiquette dangers is the method of informing your guests about your registries. The stores themselves help perpetuate this etiquette no-no by offering you the offensive invitation enclosures.

Your gift registry can be one of the most fun aspects of planning your wedding (”Here, honey, just point this gun at things and voila, they’re on our wish list!”) but it can also prove to be an etiquette minefield.

The first major issue is the registry itself. Today’s engaged couples often have established households of their own, so a registry is an excellent way for your guests to know what you actually need (Oh look! Another toaster! Everyone needs four toasters, don’t they?). Make sure you think carefully about what you actually need and make a wish list that is agreeable to both you and your partner.

Your guests have different budgets, so register for items in a variety of price ranges. You cannot expect all of your guests to spring for that $400 food processor, or that they will be happy buying you one teaspoon because at $100 a piece it is the only thing on your registry they can afford. A thoughtful gift registry gives everyone the opportunity to buy you something you will love.

These days, it is also perfectly acceptable to register for nontraditional items such as hardware, sporting goods, charitable donations, or, yes, even the honeymoon. Keep in mind, though, that although lifestyle gifts are appropriate, some people are going to prefer giving you something tangible.

You may prefer to receive money, which is traditional in many cultures, or contributions to your honeymoon fund, but you cannot tell your guests what to give you. It is just not polite to request gifts of ANY kind. Giving a wedding gift is the socially acceptable thing to do – but no one is really obligated to buy you a gift. Informing your guests what kind of gift you would like at the same time you are inviting them to your wedding is like telling them the gift is more important than their attendance.

The way to let people know where you’re registered is via word of mouth.

Make sure your bridal party and family know where you are registered or if you have a preference for a more non-traditional gift. Then you have to wait until someone asks where you are registered, and just cross your fingers!

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{ style me pretty }

Thursday, September 8th, 2011 | media, weddings | No Comments

One of our recent weddings is now being featured on Style Me Pretty

http://www.stylemepretty.com/2011/09/06/central-alberta-wedding-by-eternal-reflections-photography-the-wedding-planner/

Radelle Jensen of Eternal Reflections took such gorgeous shots…

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balancing the wedding budget with etiquette

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

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Personal Finance
Balancing the wedding budget with etiquette
Roma Luciw
From Monday’s Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jul. 31, 2011

When Laura Helm gets married this fall, she plans to do it all for under $5,000.
The 45-year-old Oshawa bride is tying the knot in front of 65 people on a Friday that falls on Remembrance Day, which made the venue and caterer cheaper. The guest list is mostly family, and single people were not asked to bring a date.
“We want to get married. We just don’t want to spend a fortune doing it,” says Ms. Helm, especially since it is the second marriage for each of them.
To cover their alcohol costs, they will have a “toonie bar” – where guests pay $2 for their drinks while the couple pays for the rest.
Lisa Hanslip of the Wedding Planner Inc. in Calgary says that while she encourages couples to have a budget, adhering to proper wedding etiquette is equally important.
For instance, keeping the guest list down by inviting people without kids or dates is completely acceptable, but she discourages couples from having a cash bar.
Ms. Hanslip offers these financial tips for people planning or attending a wedding this summer:
Gift: Cash or flatware?
While it is acceptable for guests to give money as a wedding present, it is definitely not all right for the bride and groom to ask for it. For instance, mentioning in the invitation where you are registered or that you are interested in getting cash is considered gauche. It’s the job of the bridal party and close family to disseminate information about gift-registries, etc., but only if the guests ask. Ultimately, guests are free to buy whatever gift they want.
How much should you spend?
This depends on two things: how well you know the couple and your financial circumstances. While it also depends on what part of the country you’re in, $50 to $150 per guest is a good range. If a couple registers, they should have items at many price points – no one wants to spend $200 on one silver teaspoon.
Can you ask the parents to kick in?
It’s definitely acceptable to ask parents for money to help with the wedding. Remember: If you’re going to ask for a monetary contribution, be prepared to receive their input.
Can I do a wedding brunch?
You can sometimes get a more affordable venue by opting for a non-Saturday wedding. A Sunday brunch can be lovely – and save you a fortune on alcohol.
Is it all right to have a cash bar?
If you can’t afford to feed and serve drinks to all of your guests, you are inviting too many people. If you absolutely must have a cash bar, opt for a toonie bar after dinner so your guests will still feel like guests and can opt to leave after dinner before they’ll need to fish out their wallets.
Can we invite singles without a date?
If you are having a small or medium-sized wedding, it is absolutely fine to invite singles without a date. In fact, trimming your guest list is the best way to keep your budget in check. Kids are not invited, unless they’re specifically mentioned on the invitation. As a guest, you should respect the couple’s wishes for an elegant soiree sans children and get a babysitter.
Are gifts for guests necessary?
A small take-home gift from the bride and groom is increasingly the norm, but it certainly isn’t a requirement. The cutesy little favours are almost always a waste of money – less than half usually even leave the reception site, and most end up in the trash the next day. Some couples are now replacing the favour with a charitable donation.
Do bridesmaids’ dresses have to match?
If your bridesmaids are paying for their dresses, you must keep their financial circumstances in mind. Consider deciding on a colour and length and then letting them choose their own dresses – they are less likely to resent paying for them, and they are more likely to wear the dresses again. Agreeing to be part of a wedding party can be a huge financial burden. The cost of a stagette, a shower gift, a wedding gift and the wedding-day outfit can quickly add up.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/balancing-the-wedding-budget-with-etiquette/article2115702/

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{ rustic chic }

Monday, July 18th, 2011 | trends, weddings | No Comments

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We had a lovely tent wedding last weekend…very rustic chic…burlap is beautiful!
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Although there were tornado warnings…and the weather was crazy & terrible during set up – mother nature came through and it was a beautiful day.
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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.
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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!
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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!
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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.
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All the vintage (or vintage looking) dishes used for the candy buffet were so sweet…this little dish with the bird was my favorite!
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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.
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Congratulations Sasha + Pat!

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chocolate-dipped honeymoon

Monday, March 28th, 2011 | travel | No Comments

I’m always a fan of anything that involves high quality dark chocolate. In fact, part of my 3 1/2 week honeymoon in Italy included a visit to the Perugina chocolate factory, a night in the Etruscan Chocohotel, and a six-course tasting menu – each of which included chocolate. So when I heard about this new, oh-so-fabulous resort in St. Lucia, I knew I had to find out all about it.

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Hotel Chocolat is the brainchild of two British chocolatiers, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris .

On this 140-acre, 18th-century plantation, you can learn the entire chocolate-making process, helping to harvest and roast the beans and, of course, taste the finished product. Or you could simply retire to one of the six cocoa- and cream-colored cottages with gauze-draped four-poster beds, ocean-facing chaise longues, and open-air rain showers. (Eight additional villas will open in October.) The restaurant takes its inspiration from the hotel’s crop, with dishes like yellowfin tuna with cacao pesto. Talk about a delicious getaway.  Definitely my idea of hot chocolate!

http://www.thehotelchocolat.com/

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Posh Purple

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 | trends, weddings | No Comments

Kim designed a plush palette of purples for this large Muslim wedding.

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The aisle runner was lavender with chocolate writing…so pretty!

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Kim used rich chocolate linens, with a mixture of amethyst, eggplant and lilac satin runners and napkins. It was such an appealing combination – and as always, everything from the custom invitations right through to the menus, table numbers and seating chart all matched. Everything had a lovely mehndi patterns, and the delicate and intricate pattern used for the gobos and ice martini luge were a huge hit with the guests.

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The professional dancers that performed intermittently throughout the reception were fabulous…and the bride and groom had the perfect view from their table adjacent the dance floor. The flowers, the up-lighting, everything looked just sumptuous.

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Kim did a superb job designing and executing the big picture – but she also left her mark, and more importantly the couple’s mark, on all of the little details as well.  Kim made sure every penny of their budget was utilized for maximum effect.

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PRETTY IN PURPLE!!

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Let There Be Light!

Thursday, June 24th, 2010 | trends, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We just received a shipment of 30 candelabras – and they’re SO pretty! We love them because they’re elegant & simple. They work really well with a more traditional decor – but I just love that they’re so streamlined they look fabulous with sleek & contemporary and everything in between.
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We love using really large versions of these candelabras for the head table.
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They’re a great & affordable way to add some drama – and also punctuate the head table.
Can there ever be too many candles?? We think not…let there be light…warm, glowy, flattering candlelight that is!!
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