Tips on Surviving a bridal show/wedding expo

6th May, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments

Bridal Shows or Wedding Expos can be a ton of fun and also provide you with a little insight into your wedding planning as well as give you a one stop shop to all vendors in the surrounding area.  The one thing I find is couples go there and become overwhelmed with the amount of people and vendors there. The one thing that you need to keep in mind when you arrive is to go with the right attitude, and take advantage of all the benefits, compare prices and services between vendors and remember to have fun! Here are some tips that will help you get through the long day.

  1. Register Online- By registering online you not only save time at the door but you also save money on the entry fee as well. Registering early allows you to receive savings on the actual ticket price.
  2. Create a temporary e-mail- You will be handing out your e-mail to almost every vendor so instead of having so much spam mail sent to you even after your big day, create a temporary one designated for your wedding planning and after your big day delete it.
  3. Bring name and address labels- print them out from your computer, or hand write them yourself. This will save you a lot of time at each booth as you will be asked for your contact information over and over again. Don’t forget to add your wedding date to your label as vendors will want to know that important detail.
  4. Walk down every aisle- Take everything in. Visit every aisle and do it slowly, you want to experience the whole show and every booth, you want to be able to compare prices and services between all vendors and also have some time to talk to each professional as well.
  5. Bring a notepad with you- this is very important, you want to take notes from what you learn from speaking with each vendor, this will help you when you look over all the pamphlets you received another day, as you will be reminded of what each vendor had to say.
  6. Bring your credit card, debit card, or cheque book- Just incase you want to book some services right there on the spot this is the best idea. Remember, sometimes vendors offer one day deals to the show attendees. It’ll be your only chance to save even more money on their service, so why not take advantage of it.
  7. Wear comfortable shoes- Sometimes you will be at the bridal show or wedding expo for more than four hours make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes to walk and stand for a long period of time.
  8. Bring your groom- Let him come with you, after all he is getting married too. Let him have a say in the planning as well and take in his feeling and opinions on what he sees.
  9. Ask a lot of questions- Make sure you are asking a lot of questions to each vendor you want to make sure you are finding out everything you need to know, don’t worry if you forget to ask an important question you can always contact them later.
  10. Bring a Camera- or use your smartphone to take pictures of things you want to remember, booths, designs, vendors, and even the bridal fashion show that most shows do have.

 

This is one of the most beneficial events for a bride and groom, so please go take advantage of them.

 Lia

 

 

diy sangria centerpiece…

4th May, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments

 

The one thingabout centrepieces is that you can place whatever you please to add to your theme for your big day. One idea that I personally love for a summer wedding, is a punch bowl for the centrepiece filled with sangria. This idea is not only fun for the guests but it also looks very pretty on the tables.  It also saves you money on placing wine bottles and decreases the line up at the bar. It’s a great DIY idea and is not expensive at all.

Here is a great starfruit sangria recipe I found on www.seriouseats.com that you could try!

This sangria is remarkably fruity considering that there isn’t the regular assortment of fruit floating in it. It’s somewhere between spiked lemonade and sangria, and looks especially snazzy with slices of starfruit lining the glass. Try it with club soda or with ginger beer; we like it both ways.

Ingredients

yield: 6, active time 15 minutes, total time 15 minutes

  • 12 ounces sauvignon blanc or dry riesling, chilled
  • 6 ounces London dry gin, such as Tanqueray
  • 8 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 ounces simple syrup
  • 10 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 starfruit
  • ice
  • 3 ounces chilled club soda or ginger beer

Procedures

  1. In a large pitcher, stir wine, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters together. Add 1 cup of ice and stir well.
  2. Slice starfruit into 1/4-inch thick slices. Fill serving glasses with ice and line sides with starfruit slices. Add club soda or ginger beer to wine mixture, stir gently to blend. It’s ready to serve!

 

Until Next time!

X-O-X-O

Natasha

wedding planning from the groom’s point of view…

18th April, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments

Advice is always given to the bride, but what about the groom? After all he is the reason why you are walking down the aisle, he did pop the question. Nine out of ten times the groom will agree to everything just to make his beautiful bride happy, but what he should be doing is getting more involved in the planning.  Your wedding is for the BOTH of you, not just the bride.

Here are some tips for the handsome grooms:

  1. Have an opinion: You’re getting married too so why not help with the planning. You don’t need to help pick out the colour of the bridesmaid dresses, or the floral arrangements, but you should be providing your input into the major planning. This will help your bride feel like she is not alone in the planning process and help to distress her.
  2. Speak Up: (This ties in with number one) If there is something that you do not like per say, or do not agree with ‘ SPEAK UP’ Tension tends to always build up in the wedding planning process of grooms not expressing their feelings towards something. Don’t be those pushover grooms; let her know how you feel about certain things. Make sure that you are both on the right page. You will make her happy with expressing your opinions and you will also get your manhood back.
  3. Take on some tasks: Why not help your bride out with the little tasks for instance your wedding registry. I’m sure your bride has already jotted down items that she would love to have, so why not take that list and go to the store and execute this task for her? Don’t forget to add in some items that you may like or want to have. Gifts are not just given to the bride they are for both the bride and the groom.
  4. Choose the attire for the groomsmen ( this ties in with number 3): Take care of what tuxedos you would like to purchase/rent for your groomsmen, take care of all the details yourself. Keep communication with your groomsmen to let them know exactly what is going on. If you are having trouble picking out the right suit, take your best man along he would love to help. That’s what he’s there for.
  5. Get some help: If you notice your bride is overly stressed out and is having trouble with the planning, suggest hiring a wedding planner. Your planner will help the both of you with all the details for your wedding. It will also help relieve a lot of stress and tension built up which leaves more time for cuddling.
  6. Moral Support: Your bride is very stressed out at this time, and the littlest things may get on her nerves, so when she has to vent-LET HER- hear her out, but never bash the people she is venting about.
  7. Keep the romance alive: On the day of your wedding send your bride flowers or a love letter to read while she is getting ready. Remind her of how you are the luckiest man in the world to have her as your wife. At the reception, why not pull the videographer aside and record a romantic message to her. She won’t see it until your video has been edited and complete, but she will thank you later for it.

 

Until next time!

X-O-X-O

Natasha

Events by Natasha

 

Wedding apps to assist you in planning.

13th April, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments

There are numerous Apps you can purchase and download to assist you in planning for your wedding, they become great tools and help you stay on track of your big day. Make sure to read the reviews before you go off and purchase a number of apps; you don’t want to be disappointed after you purchase it. If you are uncertain of which apps to purchase search online for the top wedding planning apps.

Here are a few suggestions to check out, that I personally refer to people that need assistance but do not want to hire a coordinator:

iWedding Deluxe- the Ultimate Wedding Planner- $9.99- an all-inclusive app that has everything you will need to plan your wedding, including budgets, contracts, locations, task lists, as well as tons of tools to help keep you on track of details you will need for your big day. It also has a calendar function to show you what needs to be completed by what day. This app will definitely help you to remain organized and stress free.

Wedding Bridal Binder- $6.99- Some people prefer simpler tools to help them stay organized, if that is you, this app is perfect. The wedding Bridal Binder can assist you in planning and organizing your wedding, while sticking to your budget and staying on top of all the tasks. It is very similar to iWedding Deluxe but with less features and it costs less too.

Brides Wedding Genius 2.0-FREE- If free doesn’t make you happy then I do not know what will, this app contains photographs of wedding dresses, rings, honeymoon destinations, themes, and all things that are apart of planning your wedding day. This app is great for ideas and suggestions to create the perfect wedding of your dreams. And after all it is free.

Wedding Budget-FREE- This app is designed to do one thing and one thing only, help you keep on top of your budget.  Each cost is categorized so you know how much money you are spending wear.

Wedding Flowers Moodboard-$1.99-  This app is perfect for the bride who is having a hard time choosing the right floral arrangements for her big day. You can find numerous pictures to gain ideas of arrangements for your wedding.

WeddingScan-$2.99-  This app is perfect for the busy bride who doesn’t have time to go to stores for her registry. Everything can be done on this app. Saving you time and of course stress.

Montreal Wedding Planner-FREE- Marketplaceweddings.com has just launched a new wedding planning app for Montreal and will soon be soon expanding to include all major cities. The app will help organize, guide and inspire you while keeping the most useful info at your fingertips and you get to shake your handset while viewing a vendor to rapidly send out an automated email enquiry . Give it a try, it’s free and you’ve got nothing to lose!

Make sure when choosing the right app you choose something you will feel comfortable using, or you will not remain stress-free. Also, don’t try to do all the planning yourself have your family, bridesmaid, and maid of honour help you along the way.

Until next time!

X-O-X-O

Natasha

Tips on finding the perfect bridesmaid dress..

12th April, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments

Choosing the right dress for your bridesmaids might be just as hard as finding the perfect gown for you. You want to make sure you find the perfect dress so no stress is put on your bridesmaids; you also want to make sure that everybody looks good and feels comfortable wearing the dress. Here are some tips for finding the perfect bridesmaid dress:

  1. Remain a best friend- The worst thing that you could possibly do is ask your best friends to be a part of your big day and then turn them into fashion victims. Do not choose a dress that is hideous and nobody would wear just so you will stand out and look better, and don’t choose colours or dresses that will make your bridesmaids look heavy or non-attractive.
  2. Choose the right style- You want to make sure the bridesmaid dresses complement your wedding gown, so take your time when you are choosing the right ones. Find a feel that is similar to your wedding gown but doesn’t look similar, you want to make sure that you do stand out.
  3. Small, Medium, Large- You have to keep in mind that one size DOESN’T fit all, find a style that flatters all types of sizes and body shapes. You don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable wearing a dress that looks like its a size smaller for them. Keep in mind: A-line dresses and empire waists look good on most body types.
  4. Colour- Choose colours that you think will look good on your bridesmaids, keep in mind their skin tones and hair colours. Fairer complexion ladies will look good in pastel hues, however, darker complexions will not.
  5. Re-use: You want to make sure you find the perfect bridesmaid dress that your friends can wear again, nothing is worse than spending money on a hideous dress that you wouldn’t be caught in again.
  6. Money is a thing: Remember when you are searching for a bridesmaid dress to take into consideration everybody’s budgets. Sometimes people can’t afford to spend $500.00 on a dress. Make sure you discuss with your bridesmaids what they feel comfortable spending, unless you would like to cover the cost of their dresses.
  7. Take them along:  Invite a few bridesmaids or just your maid of honour to go bridesmaid shopping with you, and extra opinion will be very helpful. Try not to invite everyone at once as it will become more stressful and harder to make a decision. Why not search for dresses that you favour prior, and send out some pictures to your bridesmaids to gain their opinions.
  8. Help!!!: Don’t try to control the whole thing yourself and turn into a bridezilla. Ask your maid of honour to help you be in charge of organizing this purchase. Have her get everybody’s opinions and write it all down on a list, incorporating sizes and colours that will flatter each girl.

Make sure through this whole process you are remaining calm and having fun. After all these are your best friends and you choose them to be a part of your day for a reason.

 

 

The importance of lighting

3rd April, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - 2 Comments

The one thing a lot of people tend to not pay  attention to in the planning of their wedding is the lighting. Lighting is one very important aspect that sets the tone and mood for your venue, if it is done right, it can make your $30,000 wedding look like it is $100,000. Here are some tips on planning your lighting.

Contact a professional:  You want to make sure that you contact the right person for this job, ask other brides what company they used, or ask your venue on what vendors they can recommend. You want to ask to see pictures of previous events that they have done to see the lighting arrangements they can create.  Do your research! You want to make sure that this person knows exactly what they are doing, as lighting is a very important aspect.

After you find your professional you must…

Assess the Venue: As most receptions are held during the evening, paying visits to the venue in the evening will help you get a feel of what tone and mood you would like to have made with the lighting. Take a walk around the room; bring a friend or a family member that has a keen eye for detail as well as your professional of course, as you want to look for the spots that need to be focused on the most. Ask your coordinator at the reception if any service doors will be kept open, or if the pot lights will be dimmed, or if there is any florescent lighting as this could take away your lighting and ruin your effect.  Remember: too little, will make the room seem dark and your guests will have a hard time seeing, and too much can flood the space and look less appealing.  You also want to make sure you are not drawing attention away from the centre of the room, where your head table will be, you want to make sure everyone can notice the tables, the dance floor, each other, and of course your head table.

Use Colour: Think outside the box, sometimes people are not as brave when it comes to adding colour into their lighting, but this is a must and there are plenty of advantages in doing so.  Different colours set different tones and moods, so you want to make sure you pick the right one for the mood you are trying to create. You also want to make sure you have different lighting for different parts of the night, during dinner soft lighting is suitable, as it portrays the atmosphere of candlelight, after dinner for the duration of the night that is where you start to get bold and daring, you can even be very dramatic with your lighting as well. When transitioning between different colours make sure you are doing ones that won’t hurt the eye, a tip is to find colours that go together, take a look on a colour wheel. You want to make sure that the transition between the colours flow.

Outdoor Venues:  Lighting for an outdoor wedding is an ultimate must, as it serves a lot of purposes. If your site has a walkway or stairs, you will need to enhance these features with lighting to ensure nobody trips and gets hurt. Outdoor weddings can be a lot of fun when you are incorporating light, as you don’t need to use the typical equipment you would use in an indoor wedding; you can use more dramatic pieces that can also serve as wonderful decorative items as well.

Spending time working with your lighting designer is a very crucial part to your wedding, and it also will be one that is worth-while, although, lighting can be costly, it can also eliminate other expenses in the decoration and floral budget as lighting can create more benefits to the room then most decorative and floral pieces can.

Until Next time!

X-O-X-O

Natasha

How to save money on your wedding!

2nd April, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments

 

More often couples are always asking the famous question “How can we save money on our wedding, without cutting our guest list or bridal party down”  I must tell you, it is possible and here are a few tips that can help you save thousand of dollars.

 Buy a second hand dress: Usually wedding dresses have only been worn once, so it will still have that new look to it. By doing this you will definitely save a few thousand dollars and it can also help out that bride who wants the Vera Wang, without spending the retail price for it. At the end of the day who is really going to know where exactly you purchased it from.

Venue: The best way to save money on the venue is to have your reception in the winter, banquet halls, always offer discounted menu prices for the winter months, so you can end up saving almost 50% off the price that you would normally be paying for the popular summer months.

Be Crafty: Instead of spending a lot of money on the ring bearer pillow, wedding veil, or jewelry, you can make your own with craft kits you can buy at your nearest craft store. It will not only be a money saver, but it will also be a one of a kind piece that nobody else would have had and nobody would have seen before. Tip: Add in your personal style.

Photography: Hire a college or university student that would like to build up their portfolio to take your photographs. Tip: Contact professors or deans of the program to inquire about the top students, so you know you are getting the best of the best.

Sound Systems: If you are not interested in hiring a dj, your iPod will do just fine. Set it up to a loud speaker dock, set-up your play list, and hire somebody from a college or university to be the disc jockey.

Balloons vs. Flowers: Considering decorating in balloons for your reception rather than lots of flowers, it will create a different ambiance, that will sure to be a wow factor, there are tons of how to videos online that teach you how to create specialty balloon decorations (such as: arches and bouquets), they are very neat looking, and are a money saver, as they are much cheaper then flowers.

Purchasing Decorations: Purchase majority of your decoration a year before, when that particular season is ending, decoration items at your craft store will most likely be up to 50% off, you will find you can afford more.

Musical Performers: Entertainment is always fun at a wedding, but it can be quite pricey. A good tip is to look on YouTube, MySpace, twitter, facebook for local unsigned talent in your area; you can find some great artists out there that love the exposure.

Hope these tips were helpful!

Until next time!

X-O-X-O

Natasha

A Bride’s Personal Fairy Godmother

30th March, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - 1 Comment

 

I feel very honoured that I was asked to become a weekly contributor to this blog, as a wedding/event planner and coordinator for Events by Natasha, I believe I can provide brides with the right advice and tips on planning their wedding.  For my first blog, I thought it was suitable to explain the benefits of hiring a wedding planner/coordinator as I find many people ask ‘Why should I hire one?’

So you just got engaged, a million thoughts are running through your mind and the thought of it all is starting to stress you out a little, not only that you have your family members adding to your stress with question after question about the planning of your wedding.   You are not sure of where to even begin with all the planning, nor do you have that much time to devote to it. That is where a wedding planner/coordinator comes in.

I truly believe, a wedding planner/coordinator is the bride’s personal fairy godmother and after reading this blog, I’m pretty sure you will too.  The average wedding takes about 250 hours to plan, now throw in your full-time job, your extra-curricular activities, your own personal time, and sleep of course – what are you left with? Stress!  Hiring a wedding planner/coordinator is probably the best decision a bride could make, not only does it save the newly engaged couple time to go about doing their daily activities, but it also helps relieve a lot of stress and with relieving stress, comes eliminating a lot of arguments that may have started between you and your groom, or family members, not saying that the normal quarrels might not happen during the wedding process, but majority of them are eliminated.

When hiring a wedding planner/coordinator you are not only saving yourself the stress and anxiety you are also saving a lot of money – yes, I said it MONEY! Wedding planners have a lot of connections in the industry with qualified vendors and venues, where they offer them certain discounts that you are able to use, not only that, wedding planner/coordinators are very skilled in negotiating so they are always trying to get you the best deal for your money.  Budget Management is one of their strong suits as well, so they will make sure your money is being spent right and you are never going over your budget or spending money in the wrong places.

Majority of Brides have been dreaming about their wedding day, since they were little girls, collecting pictures, visioning what their special day will look like, a wedding planner/coordinator will work for you to make sure that all these dreams are met, and surpassed. They will plan your wedding as to how you want it planned not how they want it planned.

Now, we all know sometimes even during the greatest day of our life emergencies or crisis tend to happen. But, fear no more, your wedding planner/coordinator can take care of them; they are trained in handling any type of emergency and making sure that everything gets taken care of immediately.

Wedding planner/coordinators also create detailed schedules and itineraries for your wedding allowing you not to worry about orchestrating your rehearsal, or ceremony. Your wedding planner/Coordinator will make sure your bridal party and parents are properly lined up and standing in the right places. They can orchestrate the whole wedding from rehearsal right through to the end of the reception and make sure that everything goes as planned.

But, the number one reason as to why people should hire a wedding planner/coordinator is to reduce stress and put the fun back into planning a wedding, more often enough brides forget to enjoy the days leading up to their wedding and have fun because they are so stressed out from planning. Wedding planners/coordinators allow you to throw the fun back into it, and sit back, sip champagne, choose colour swatches, and taste cake.

In the past a wedding planner/coordinator was known to be more of a luxury, today it is more of a necessity to ensure that your wedding is planned smoothly and you are having fun throughout the whole process.

If that doesn’t seem like a bride’s personal fairy godmother-then I don’t know what does.

 

X-O-X-O

Natasha

a fun bachelorette party idea, make and wear your own jewellery!

30th January, 2011 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

A reader wrote to me and gave me the heads up about a creative new trend in the bachlorette party world. Beading Buds, an Ontario based travelling jewelry making party.  This company is ideal for bridal showers as a fun activity for the guests who will love creating one-of-a-kind jewelry.  This also takes care of the bonbonniere since the guests will be taking home the jewelry that they make.  Jewelry making parties are also the perfect solution for brides that want to have a bachlorette party and would prefer celebrating by spending a cosy girl’s night in with their close friends and family, especially in the Canadian winter!

Another great service this company provides for brides is a “bridal jewelry making party”.  The bridal party and the mothers of the bride and groom get together for a fun night where they make the jewelry that they will wear on the big day.  A Beading Buds designer will work with the bride prior to the party to design the bridal party jewelry using pearls, swarowski crystal and semi-precious stones to create beautiful jewelry that is completely custom and fits in exactly with what the bride is envisioning for the big day.  The designer will be at the party to assist the bridal party and to make sure that everybody has a piece of jewelry that they love and will be proud to wear.  This is the perfect attendant gift for the bridal party and is a fun way to celebrate the bride and the upcoming wedding.

The concept of  Beading Buds is that they are like having a bead store come to your home or choice of venue to assist you and your guests in making jewelry.  They send beading designers/instructors who bring beading tools and hundreds of beautiful glass beads in every shape, size and colour imaginable as well as a wide assortment of unique sterling silver plated clasps.  The instructors assist you in picking your beads and designing and creating your piece.  Their prices start at $18 per person.  The company originally started out as a birthday party entertainer for kids, but in the last few years have expanded to doing adult birthday parties, corporate events, holiday parties, bachlorette parties and bridal showers.

They are located in the GTA and service Hamilton, Guelph, Georgetown, Milton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Port Credit, Streetsville, Brampton, Etobicoke,Toronto, North York, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Thornhill, Richmond Hill and Newmarket.  You can reach them via e-mail or telephone by visiting their MPW profile at Beading Buds.

 **CONTEST FOR OUR LUCKY READERS, WIN A PAIR OF CUSTOM-MADE EARRINGS!**
Beading Buds has donated a pair for earrings for one lucky reader.  And so you can get a taste of custom designed jewellery,  Beading Buds will design a pair of exclusive earrings for the winner that nobody else will ever own.   All you have to do is visit http://www.facebook.com/beadingbuds– click “LIKE” and leave a post saying that you’re a Marketplace Weddings reader and what colour earrings you would like.  All posts will be entered into a draw to win the earrings. The contest closes on the 15th of March 2011  and the winner will be posted on our blog 10 days later!

rachel a. clingen- wedding & event design with flair

30th August, 2010 - Posted by Lia - 1 Comment

 

The team at Rachel A. Clingen have been leaders in the wedding and event industry for more than 18 years. David and Rachel the husband and wife duo, along with their experienced design crew have been transforming venues and wedding tents all over Canada. They are unique to the wedding industry as all their services are provided ‘in house’ for a less complicated design experience and to ease the stress of multiple vendors.

Rachel believes that wedding decorating and floral has become as important or as necessary to brides as her wedding gown itself! . The owner of the company explains, “Most brides will attend other weddings before their own and want to ensure that theirs is one of a kind.”  Rachel continues, “brides are realizing that making their day unique is more then just changing the colour of the flowers. We have certainly noticed a trend over the past number of years that brides are becoming very interested and serious about their weddings being ‘original’.”  

Rachel believes focusing on one element entirely such as flowers or even fabric work to create a theme or atmosphere is like trying to paint a picture with only one colour.  ”We like to design utilizing different mediums. Certainly including flowers but also creating texture with props and fabric decor, such as backdrops or chair covers. This allows much more flexibility when trying to meet the unique needs of each client.”

Rachel A. Clingen offers two convenient ‘one stop shop’ locations, one in Caledon and one inThornhill where brides can choose their wedding flowers, backdrops, chair covers, linens and centrepieces from their comprehensive portfolio. 

As the bridal market and awareness continues to grow in Toronto,  wedding decorating by Rachel A. Clingen will insure customers have many options to choose from.

For more information visit: Rachel A. Clingen