Lisa Hanslip

{ what’s a wedding guest to do…? }

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:

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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
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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
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“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
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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
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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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{ cute wedding photo ops }

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 | trends | No Comments

We love these great suggestions from our friends at BHLD!

artwork

There’s nothing we love more than a cute wedding photo that includes a puppy!

http://www.bhldn.com/b-inspired/b-inspired-decorating/how-to-stage-a-photo-op?cm_mmc=broadcast-_-Q12013-_-20130328_photoops-_-cta

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{ Unconventional Ways Couples Met }

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 | media, trends | No Comments

Thanks to our friends at thenest.com for this fun article:
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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

http://ideas.thenest.com/love-and-sex-advice/real-couples/articles/how-couples-met.aspx?cm_ven=Responsys&cm_cat=Nest&cm_pla=Newsletter&cm_ite=October%2030,%202012&MsdVisit=1

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{ put those dancing shoes on… }

Friday, October 19th, 2012 | Q&A | No Comments

Tips on Breaking in your Wedding Heels
From our friends at Weddingful.com:
The heels have been chosen and they’re gorgeous! Now the question is, how do you break in these babies so you can enjoy your wedding day.

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Tip #1: Wear them in: We know you don’t want to scuff your beautiful shoes, but they must be worn in. Wear them at the office (at your desk of course) or wear them around the house. Pop them on for half an hour to an hour a day.

Tip #2: Bend & stretch: We saw this tip on Lauren Conrad’s website The Beauty Department. Stretch and bend the heels upward and downwards (if the shoe permits) a few times. Use a hair dryer and heat the heesl for 2 to 3 minutes and repeat.

Tip #3: Buy the right size: This might sound silly, but lots of women will buy the wrong size of shoe, perhaps it was the last pair on sale or you just couldn’t hunt down your size. We recommend you buy a perfect fitting shoe. If a shoe is too big, you risk tripping and if it’s too small, we guarantee blisters will form.

Tip #4: Sandpaper the sole: If you find the heel slippery, take a piece of sandpaper and rub against the sole.

Tip #5: Have a backup plan: Let’s not lie to ourselves, even if your heels are super comfortable, you will likely be tired by end of day. So pick a pair of pretty crochet TOMS, sparkly flip flops or satin ballet flats for a quick change. These are perfect to switch in throughout the day.

http://blog.weddingful.com/tips-on-breaking

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{ to destination or not to destination…? }

Friday, October 12th, 2012 | etiquette, media, Q&A, Uncategorized | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
beach-wedding1

Q. My fiancée and I can’t quite decide what to do about our wedding. She is the youngest of 10 kids and her immediate family alone now numbers about 52 people, not to mention all the cousins and aunts and uncles. I have three siblings (all married with kids), countless aunts, uncles and cousins, and my parents are both re-married. By the time we actually start inviting all of our friends our guest list will be huge. We’re actually considering a destination wedding because we know very few of them could afford to attend, but we’re not sure we’d be happy with this decision. What should we do?

A. The guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding – even without such an expansive family tree. Destination weddings are increasingly popular for many reasons. Although thinning out the guest list often falls near the top of the list, it’s not the best reason to run off to the islands to get married.

“Is there really a bad reason to get married barefoot on the beach at sunset?” you ask… Actually there is. It really depends on what you want to remember from your wedding day – the pool boy bringing you a Mai Tai in a coconut as soon as you say “I do,” or that your family was there to share it with you.

Destination weddings can be wonderful if you choose a place that has particular meaning to you as a couple. Many resorts do a lovely job with weddings, however most of the time it’s a crap shoot what kind of officiant, flowers and photographer you’ll end up with, so do lots of research before you choose a location. You also want to look into residency requirements – some islands require you to be there several days before you can get a marriage license.

If you do decide to opt for a destination wedding to avoid feeding all 52 of your fiancée’s immediate family (yikes!), just make sure you do a good job of selling them on your penchant for fruity umbrella drinks so no one gets offended. Aloha!

 

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http://www.mystylishwedding.com/store/destination-wedding/paradise-in-vellum-wedding-invitation-set

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{ will you marry me? }

Friday, October 5th, 2012 | etiquette | No Comments

Thank you to Peter Post for these great tips for the perfect proposal!
proposal

Countdown to Proposing
Peter Post’s 10 Day Proposing Plan
From the ring and flowers to what to wear and how to ask, Peter gives men the advice they need to get through the big moment.

Day 10: Make a Plan
Decide on the who, what, when, where and why of how you will ask her to marry you. A public place or a private setting? First thing in the morning or late at night? Think about what suits your personalities and relationship. Keep in mind, this is a story she will be telling for the rest of her life and you want her to be proud to tell it. But at the same time, the more complex a plan you concoct, the more difficult to pull off.

Day 9: The Ring
You’ve got two options here: pick the ring you know she’ll love or go with something basic and let her choose the setting and band once she’s said yes. If you go with the latter, remember that this is not an insult to your jewelry selection capabilities. You want to make sure it’s the ring she wants.

Day 8: To Ask or Not to Ask – Permission from Her Dad
Individual circumstances determine whether you should ask permission from her father, either alone or with your intended, or if you should simply announce your plans together. Be respectful of the culture and traditions of your future wife’s family. This will help you decide the most appropriate course of action.

Day 7: Schedule Her In
Don’t forget to make plans with her for the big day. It would be pretty embarrassing to go through all this effort and then have her tell you “I’m not available that night, I have yoga class till 8:30 p.m.”

Day 6: Dress
Figure out what you’re going to wear. Make sure it’s clean and pressed. Shoes polished. Hole-free socks. Get a haircut. Shave. You want to look and feel your best.

Day 5: Flowers
There’s only one choice: red roses. Lots and lots of red roses. And remember, even if you think flowers don’t matter, they do.

Day 4: Food
To cook or go out? Don’t cook. Think about it. You want to focus on her, not on cooking. Make a reservation at the nicest restaurant you can afford. Try not to be a nervous wreck, hopefully you’ll enjoy the meal. If you’re planning to pop the question there, ask the maitre d’ for a quiet table.

Day 3: Wine
This is clearly a champagne occasion. Pop the question early and then order a bottle to celebrate. You can even call ahead and arrange to have the sommelier bring the champagne out once you’ve proposed.

Day 2: Practice
Think about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Decide if you’re a down-on-one-knee kind of guy. Visualize what’s going to happen. You’ve established a plan for the dinner, now think about how you’re going to actually pull this off. Make sure you know how to get to where you are going. Remember these could be some of the most important words she hears from you, so make them memorable.

Day 1: Just Do It!
Give yourself time to get ready. Don’t forget the ring. Do plan on having a night the two of you will always remember. Look her in the eye and speak from the heart. Enjoy the moment!

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{ That’s Why God Invented Babysitters! }

Friday, September 28th, 2012 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, OCTOBER 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
nochild
Q. My husband and I just got married and we had a really lovely wedding, except there’s one thing that is really bugging me. We had both decided not to have any children at our wedding, both because of the type of wedding we wanted and because we had such a small wedding, our guest list was very limited. Friends of my husband asked him about our opinion of kids at the wedding and he told them that a good gift to us would be a baby sitter as we were not having any kids at either the ceremony or reception. The first thing I saw, and heard, as I entered the church to walk down the aisle was this couple with their children, including their newborn. Am I off base or was this totally out of line?

A. I have three words for you: tacky, tacky, and tacky! Not only were his friends rude and inconsiderate, but they can’t even claim ignorance as you had a specific conversation about your decision to have a child-free wedding.

Regardless whether you are having a small or large wedding it is completely appropriate to choose not to have children at your wedding celebration. The day should reflect you as a couple, and if there are no children you are close to, or if you wish to have a “grown-up” event, there is absolutely no reason you should feel obligated to include any children on your invite list.

The best way to handle this is to be consistent: if you don’t want lots of children, don’t invite any – however, it is also ok to only invite children over a certain age. Some couples want only certain kids, for example their nieces and nephews, but no others. This choice isn’t particularly appropriate etiquette, so you need to be prepared for a little backlash.

To all prospective wedding guests out there – it has been said before, but apparently it bears repeating: IF YOUR NAME IS NOT ON THE INVITATION – YOU ARE NOT INVITED!! This includes your children, the guy you started dating last Tuesday and that unexpected house guest you need to keep entertained.

You are completely correct to be ticked off at your husband’s friends – they were totally out-of-line. As to how you should handle it now – well, that’s entirely up to you – but you should probably set a couple extra places at the table the next time you invite them over for dinner, just in case…

P.S. If it is too problematic to “not” invite the children – consider setting up a kid’s room – hire a team of babysitters and stock it full of kid-friendly fun – they’ll be nearby so their parents can check on them – you’ll get the child-free wedding you desire and you don’t have to have that sometimes uncomfortable conversation with your guests.

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{ eeek…bridezilla!! }

Friday, September 21st, 2012 | media, Q&A, testimonials | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, JUNE 2005, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…”
bridezilla image credit: Alex Eben Meyer (http://www.eben.com)

Q. My best friend is getting married in a few months and I am so happy for her, but in the six months since she got engaged she’s changed into a totally different person. She never wants to discuss anything but the wedding and she’s obsessing about every single detail. Since I announced I’m pregnant she no longer wants me to be her bridesmaid because I won’t look good in the wedding photos. She’s gone completely crazy, is there anything I can do to snap her out of it?

A. Alas, I fear Bridezilla has reared her ugly head:

bridezilla (brId-ZILL-uh) n. A bride-to-be who, while planning her wedding, becomes exceptionally selfish, greedy, and obnoxious.

Bridezillas are a new breed of brides who abuse the idea that weddings are their day to get exactly what they want. They terrorize their bridal party and family members, make greedy demands and break all rules of etiquette. Their sole desire is to be the single most important person on the planet from the time of engagement right up until the last dance at their wedding.

Here are some tell-tale signs that someone you love might be turning into a Bridezilla:

-The bride is incapable of discussing any subject other than her wedding.

-The bride barely eats so she can fit into her dress and then complains that she’s hungry all the time.

-The bride obsessively watches what her bridal party is eating and gasps every time anyone reaches for a cookie.

-The mother-of-the-bride and the maid-of-honour are beginning to feel like medieval footservants.

-The bride chooses couture bridesmaid dresses, even though most of her friends are on a budget. She does not, however, offer to pay.

-When the bride is discussing all the details of her wedding (which she does to every person who crosses her path) you can’t help but picture more “Bride of Frankenstein” than “Princess Bride.”

-The bride is thrilled when her groom is sent away on business (“Finally, he’ll stop interfering in all of my plans…”).

Your friend may have been the sweetest girl you knew before she got engaged, but once a bride falls to the dark side, there’s very little you can do but grin and breathe deeply (slipping the bride a valium couldn’t hurt either). So, take a deep breath and count the days until your friend returns to her normal self. In the meantime…be afraid, be very afraid.

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{ it’s all a matter of perspective }

Friday, September 14th, 2012 | etiquette, media, Q&A, Uncategorized | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, JANUARY 2006, IN LISA HANSLIP’S COLUMN “I DO, BUT DON’T…” { The long road from happy engagement to wedded bliss is paved with potential etiquette faux pas. Wedding planner Lisa Hanslip is here to help you resist your inner Bridezilla along the way. }
wdngszblog
Q. My fiancé and I are planning to get married in about eight months, but we haven’t made many plans yet because we can’t seem to agree on what the wedding should look like. As this is the second marriage for both of us I would like a small intimate event. My fiancé on the other hand comes from a very large family and is expecting a large celebration. Do you have any suggestions how we can plan a wedding that will make everyone happy?

A. A wedding is not just a celebration of the union of two people, but more often than not, it is the joining of two families – which brings with it a veritable treasure trove of opposing traditions and expectations. If the meeting of the in-laws doesn’t tragically mirror a scene from Meet the Fockers consider yourself lucky.

A good compromise in many situations is to split the difference – but I don’t think a medium-sized ceremony and reception will satisfy either side – you’ll still feel like the event was much bigger than you were hoping for (“There were 150 people at my wedding, it was a total zoo!”) – and your fiancé’s family will inevitably deem the moderate guest list too small (“How can we possibly have a proper wedding celebration with only 150 people?!?”).

You might consider having a small intimate ceremony with just your immediate family and closest friends followed by a large celebration later in the day. This way you’ll have the memory of a ceremony that reflected your sensibilities while your fiancé and his family can relish tales of the big bash.

Another option is to have the large wedding your fiancé’s family is hoping for, followed by a small gathering. Try a morning ceremony followed by a raucous afternoon reception – then in the evening you can sit down to an intimate dinner for just immediate family.

Whatever you decide to do – make sure it is a solution that doesn’t leave either of you disgruntled. Focus on what you two need from your day, even if that means ignoring your families. It doesn’t bode well if one of you spends your wedding night on the sofa (because that only leads to a honeymoon spent on the marriage counselor’s couch – and that’s no good for anybody).

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{ 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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