the wedding planner inc

{ $$ who’s paying for this wedding anyway $$ }

Monday, August 13th, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

One of our new clients mentioned that they were really stressed about figuring out who is supposed to pay for what at the wedding. This is a question that clients used to ask me ALL the time – but in the last 5 or 6 years it actually hasn’t come up very often, or only in regards to the rehearsal dinner or one small detail.
A good portion of our clients are paying for the wedding themselves so if their parents contribute any money it’s just a nice bonus, but when an engaged couple is counting on their families to pay for most or all of the wedding it can be a sticky topic for a number of reasons.
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It’s rarely the case that both families have similar financial circumstances, and some families wish to stick to a very traditional division of costs where other families don’t have the slightest idea who is supposed to pay for what. All of these elements can conspire to cause the couple a lot of stress – even just bringing up the subject of the financial obligations can cause even the calmest couple some sleepless nights.
Traditionally, of course, the bride’s family assumed the burden of most wedding costs – probably a vestige of the practice of providing a large dowry to attract a good husband (!!). However, these days only about 25% of weddings are paid for solely by the bride’s parents.
Today, almost 70% of weddings are paid for either by the couple or by some combination of both sets of parents. It’s now VERY common for both families to share the costs equally, or for the bride and groom to pay for all of the expenses themselves.
If you do want financial help from your families to pay for the wedding, you must keep in mind you must be wiling to compromise on some of your wishes for your wedding. Although it can be a difficult subject to broach this subject with your parents – do your best to keep the conversation calm & dignified…it’s amazing how grievances that arise during the engagement can linger far past the actual wedding…whatever happens, whoever pays…just remember these people are going to be your family for the rest of your life so tread lightly!
If age-old tradition is ruling the financial structure of your wedding, here is the TRADITIONAL DIVISION OF COSTS from Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette:
The Bride & Her Family:
• services of a wedding consultant
• invitations, enclosures, announcements
• bride’s wedding gown & accessories
• floral decorations for ceremony & reception
• bridesmaids’ flowers
• bride’s bouquet
• formal wedding photos
• videographer
• music for church & reception
• transportation of bridal party to & from ceremony
• all reception expenses
• bride’s gifts to her attendants
• bride’s gift to groom
• groom’s wedding ring
• ceremony rentals
• cost of soloists
• transportation of bridal party to reception
• accommodations for bride’s attendants
• bridesmaids’ luncheon

The Groom & His Family:
• bride’s engagement ring
• bride’s wedding ring
• gifts for groom’s attendants
• ties for groom’s attendants if not part of rental package
• bride’s bouquet (in regions where this is the custom)
• bride’s going-away corsage
• boutonnieres for groom’s attendants
• corsages for immediate members of both families
• officiant’s fee or church donation
• transportation & lodging expenses for the officiant if required & invited to officiate by groom’s family
• marriage license
• transportation for groom and best man to ceremony
• honeymoon
• all costs of rehearsal dinner
• accommodations for groom’s attendants
• bachelor dinner (if groom wishes to have one)
• transportation and lodging for groom’s immediate family*

Bridesmaids/Honour Attendants:
• purchase of apparel and all accessories
• transportation to and from city where wedding takes place
• a contribution to a gift from bridesmaids to bride
• individual gift to couple (if being in the wedding is not the gift)
• shower/luncheon for bride

Ushers/Groomsmen/Best Man:
• rental/purchase of wedding attire
• transportation to and from city where wedding takes place
• a contribution to a gift from groomsmen to groom
• individual gift to couple (if being in the wedding is not the gift)
• bachelor party for groom

Out-of-town guests:
• transportation to & from wedding
• lodging expenses
• wedding gift

* just as a total aside – it always makes me crazy when I watch “Father of the Bride” and Diane Keaton tells Steve Martin they have to pay for all of the groom’s family to fly in from Denmark…NO!!! No you don’t!! Whether you’re following old traditions or new – or none for that matter – unless you happen to own an airlines…that would be just stupid…but artistic license I guess :)

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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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{ Happy Canada Day!! }

Saturday, June 30th, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments

We’d like to wish everyone a VERY HAPPY CANADA DAY!!

i-3-u-canada

xo

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{ 5 “quickie” hints for a great relationship }

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…

jun12-la-feet

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.
http://ideas.thenest.com/love-and-sex-advice/dealing-with-relationship-issues/slideshows/the-new-quickies.aspx?cm_ven=Responsys&cm_cat=Nest&cm_pla=Newsletter&cm_ite=June%2026,%202012&MsdVisit=1

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{ that cupcake is taunting me!! }

Friday, June 8th, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

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.

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Q. I’m hoping you can help me. When my fiancé proposed about eight months ago, I was so excited I ran right out and bought my wedding gown. I was so determined to get into shape before the wedding that I bought a dress a size too small. I was certain I could lose enough weight in 11 months to look fabulous in this dress – but now that the wedding is three months away I don’t think I’ll actually fit into it. What should I do?

A. Oh dear…you are certainly not alone in the “it will fit!” attitude to your wedding dress. However, now that it looks like “it won’t fit!!” you need a realistic plan of attack to make sure you actually have something to wear.

You’d be hard pressed to find a bridal magazine or website without copious amounts of information about fitness or weight-loss programs aimed at whipping you into shape for the big day. It seems to be the norm that engagement equates to frenzied fitness and beauty regimens – for the bride anyway. Just as most brides have a long-held fairy tale vision of what their wedding will look like, they have an equally long-held vision of what they’ll look like walking down the aisle.

A reputable bridal shop shouldn’t have let you out the door with a dress that “might fit.” So, unless you bought off the rack, and they didn’t know the dress did not fit you, you should enlist the store for help. You should also start asking everyone you know for the name of a seamstress.

I know you want to look your absolute best in the wedding photos – but remember that your fiancé proposed to you, as you are – not some ideal you may or may not achieve by the wedding day. What I’m sure will make him happiest is the knowledge that you’re actually enjoying yourself at the wedding. For that you need to feel comfortable – comfortable in your dress and comfortable with yourself.

I suggest you run, don’t walk, to the nearest skilled seamstress to see what can be done with your dress. Then take a deep breath, know that you will look beautiful and radiant on your wedding day – and perhaps steer clear of the woman that insists on bringing big boxes of doughnuts into the office!

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{ just an intimate affair…?}

Friday, May 4th, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

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

lg-wdg-rcptn

Q: We chose a very small venue to have our reception and it was very difficult to get our guest list small enough. We all had to cut quite a few people we would love to be there – but it simply won’t accommodate any more people. A few of our friends (and our parents’ friends) are quite offended and upset about not being invited. How should we handle this?

A: When planning a wedding, making the guest list is frequently fraught with problems. The process of cutting down the guest list is, at best, the cause of making some hard choices, and at worst, absolutely agonizing. Most of the time it can be an emotional minefield for everyone:
• Mom, I don’t care if you envisioned my wedding having 400 guests – we only want 35.
• What do you mean you want to invite your ex-girlfriend?
• No Dad, I don’t want all 47 of my first cousins at the wedding.
• You mean I can’t invite 14 people from the office, what will I tell them?

You need to decide what is important – the venue or the number of guests. Have you always dreamed of an intimate wedding or is a huge bash more your style? If you have your heart set on a small wedding you have to be a little ruthless with the guest list.

If you’re having a wedding for 350 people – your friends have a right to be offended by their omission from the guest list – however, if you’ve chosen a venue that only holds 50 people – they should understand the size constraints – that you simply don’t have the option of including everyone. It is perfectly appropriate to host a wedding for just immediate family and a few close friends.

Remember a few things which should help before making the final decisions: Your wedding is not an opportunity for your parents to get payback for all the wedding gifts they’ve given and weddings they’ve attended over the years. It is also decidedly not an occasion for them to fulfill their social obligations (nothing makes a bride feel more special on her wedding day than a room full of her father’s business associates). It is also not appropriate to send invitations to a bunch of people you know will not be able to attend – it looks like a blatant plea for gifts.

In an ideal world, you could have your ideal wedding and everyone you’ve ever met could be invited – but unless heisting a Brinks truck is in your immediate future – your friends and family need to be understanding of the type of wedding you and your fiancé have chosen.

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{ man of honour…or…how to have a guy as your bridesmaid }

Friday, April 27th, 2012 | etiquette, media, Q&A | No Comments

I know I’ve already blogged about having male bridesmaids and honour attendants of the opposite sex – but as it is a topic that comes up time and again with clients I thought it bears repeating. I think my first experience with this was a female “best man” in the mid-nineties sometime. She wore a floor-length strapless black gown and looked just lovely – and not even a little out of place – standing between the groom and the groomsmen.
I feel very strongly that you have the person or persons that mean most to you standing next to you while you get married – regardless of gender. You don’t need to have 4 attendants because your soon-to-be spouse is having 4 attendants. You don’t have to have them all in the same outfit (in fact, please don’t!!) – it’s great to infuse some character into your bridal party. And, you definitely don’t have to have female attendants because you’re the bride, nor male attendants because you’re the groom. We have had lots of “men of honour”s and “best women” over the years and it’s always perfectly appropriate – regardless if you’re having a religious or secular ceremony.

 

man-of-honour
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, MARCH 2005, 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.

Q: I’m having a very hard time choosing a maid of honour. I have a few girlfriends that I’m fairly close to, but my very best friend is a guy. We’ve known each other since junior high – and he’s seen me through everything. Would it be weird to choose him instead of a maid of honour? Should he just dress like the groomsmen? Will I give my grandmother a heart attack?

A: Unconventional, yes! Unexpected, you bet! Acceptable, absolutely!

You want your honour attendant – whether it is a maid of honour, matron of honour or man of honour – to be the person to whom you feel closest. You should choose your best friend, the person you want standing beside you on your big day – not the friend that would look best in the bridesmaid dress.

If you choose a man to be your honour attendant – you may opt to eliminate some of the “typical” duties like hosting your bridal shower, or helping you get into your wedding gown. But the most important part of the job description is being supportive and serving as the legal witness to your marriage.

Choosing your attendants can often be a difficult process – for the bride and the groom. There may be family politics involved. Or, like some, you may have served as a bridesmaid for a dozen of your friends and family members and feel obligated to ask them to stand up for you in return. Well…don’t.

This is your day – and although it is impossible to accommodate everyone’s wishes – you can’t make your choices based on not wanting to offend someone. You can’t make everyone happy – nor can you make everyone your bridesmaid – so just choose those you are currently closest to. You can always assign tasks – like doing a reading or taking care of the guest book – to those you want to feel special and included in your wedding but aren’t in the bridal party.

When you decide on the attire for your attendants, he can wear a suit or tuxedo and coordinate his tie to the other bridesmaids. This scenario also holds true for the groom. It is also perfectly acceptable to have a woman be the best “man.” A best “woman” looks great in a black strapless gown to coordinate with the other groomsmen.

So, feel free to choose your best guy friend or brother to stand up for you at your wedding. Just keep your “man of honour” away from the lavender chiffon and size 11 purple pumps – and your grandmother’s heart should be just fine!

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{ fabulous spring fête }

Friday, April 20th, 2012 | media, weddings | No Comments

This is a lovely wedding we did a while ago, but in honour of the lovely spring day today I thought we could use a touch of the soft pinks and ivories that embued this lovely spring wedding in the mountains.

We were excited to see that one of our weddings was featured in the western Canada edition of WedLuxe Magazine. It was a beautiful wedding in Banff…with an equally beautiful bride & groom.

There were SO many details to look after with this wedding – every detail from the invitations to the bride & groom’s exit was carefully orchestrated. Their monogram appeared on EVERYTHING…invitations, aisle runner, silk panels in the church, programs, menus, table numbers, signage, gobo projected onto the dance floor, favor cards, tags on the late night snack, and even the matchbooks to light the sparklers for their exit.

Menus, cake, Monogram on dancefloor, sparklersthe beautiful bride & groom - Jani & HP

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{ seven brides(maids) for…two groomsmen }

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CALGARY HERALD, SEPTEMBER 2005, 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.

bridalparty

Q. I’m having trouble choosing my attendants (or support team, as I like to think of them). I originally wanted only a Maid of Honour (my sister) without any other attendants. Unfortunately, my fiancé really wants 3 groomsmen and has already asked two of them. So I now feel stuck. I’ve narrowed it down to 4 people (one is a guy) for two spots. Two are a husband and wife. He and I have been through a lot together and have known each other much longer than his wife and I, but she has become a good friend too (and I was a bridesmaid at their wedding so I feel obliged to include her). The other two are good friends from when I was in school. How does one make this decision? Please help.

A. Choosing attendants seems to fall into two categories: it’s either easy and clear cut – you have three sisters, you have a tight knit group of four that you’ve known since childhood, you have one sister and your fiancé has one brother, etc. – or, more likely, the whole idea of having to choose more than one, but less than 12, bridesmaids is more challenging than an advanced Sudoku puzzle.

Countless brides juggle choosing who they really want vs. who they feel obliged to ask, simplicity vs. having everyone you know in a matching dress at the front of the church with you…it’s rarely easy.

Just because you were a bridesmaid at someone’s wedding, does not mean you have to ask them to be your bridesmaid in return. Some women have had the (un)fortunate experience of being a bridesmaid a dozen or more times – it would be completely impractical to reciprocate. Sometimes it’s a case of – if you ask Sally, Jane will be upset, and vice versa, so you need to ask both or neither.

You could still make your friend’s wife feel included by asking her to be an usher, or do a reading during the ceremony. However, this depends a lot on her personality. You don’t want your wedding to be a cause of strife in their marriage – so if you really want him as an attendant – and you think she’d be completely insulted to be left out – then ask them both and get your other two friends to participate in some other way.

The other option is to avoid the whole mess by doing what you had originally planned – just ask your sister to be your Maid of Honour and leave it at that (don’t worry about it looking slightly lopsided).

When all is said and done, it is your day, and you should have the “support team” you want, not the one you felt obligated to have.

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{ this is not your mother’s wedding…literally…}

Friday, April 6th, 2012 | etiquette, Q&A | No Comments

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

boxing_bride_small

Q. We’ve recently started planning our wedding and it seems like everyone has an opinion about how everything is supposed to be done. No one really agrees which one is the “right” way, but I’m fairly certain a lot of them are definitely the wrong way. I really like my future in-laws, but their ideas are making me cringe. I don’t want to offend them – but how do I tell them that their plans are way off base?

A. Getting everyone to agree on details when planning a wedding can often require more tact and patience than a UN peacekeeping summit. You want to make sure that you’re following protocol, and do not offend your guests. However, while you are planning your wedding you are also establishing a relationship with your future in-laws and don’t want to cause hard feelings that may still be lingering when it comes time to plan your 25th anniversary party.

If the details in question are small (your future mother-in-law wants programs that include all the readings for your ceremony and you don’t), the best idea is to let them go – by letting her take charge of something you don’t care too much about – it might take the attention off a more contentious issue. If they’re a big deal like she is determined your wedding colours should be purple and green (or some other combination you find equally distasteful), or she decided she didn’t get to invite enough people and has had her own invitations printed (even though you’ve already invited more people than the venue will hold) – then something should be said – but not by you. It will make for far less hurt feelings to always have your fiancé deal with issues involving his family, and you with yours (bringing in those UN peacekeeping forces might be a wise idea also).

Here are a few tried and tested rules of etiquette that will help the bride and groom, their families and the guests from pulling their (or anyone else’s) hair out:

• The mother of the bride or mother of the groom should never host the bridal shower.
• Don’t invite 400 people if you can only afford to host 100 – and similarly don’t invite throngs of people you know cannot attend in hopes they’ll send a gift.
• Make sure your guests feel welcome – think about details like parking and dietary restrictions – and don’t expect them to pay for anything at your wedding.
• Don’t refer to gifts or gift registries with the wedding invitations; however it is ok in the bridal shower invitations as the bride or bride’s family is not hosting (see above).
• The rules of “who pays for what” are traditional – but don’t be unreasonable: don’t ask the groom’s family for money – but don’t be shy about discussing the realities of the financial situation and accepting help or to split costs.
• The bride and groom must send a written thank-you note for every gift (yes, even those crocheted place mats!) – and do so in a timely manner – aim to get them out in a month – but absolutely no later than three months after the wedding.

Good luck with your in-laws…but don’t let anyone make you lose sight of the fact that the day is about you and your fiancé…enjoy!

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