31st January, 2013 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
Selecting your wedding entertainment
Your wedding entertainment could be a make or break decision, so it’s very important that you choose carefully. It’s going to be the biggest day of your life, and the last thing you want is a shoddy tribute band or a student group that just play Queen covers all night. To help smooth the way, here are our tips to top finding the best wedding entertainment.
If you find a group or entertainment that appeals to you, make sure you get a certified reference or testimonial. Don’t rely on their website for a review, it’s so easy these days to just write your own, make sure you get it from an unbiased source. If they have a Facebook page, that would be a good place to find comments and reviews.
Make sure they are insured. If they are professional then they should have a public liability insurance certificate. Some venues might even ask you for a copy of this certificate. Also, when booking a professional service, make you get what you pay for and don’t always pick the cheapest option. A band with ridiculously low prices could definitely turn into a complete disaster. However, do be wary of bands that go the other way and inflate their prices for weddings.
It’s your wedding, so it’s only natural that you get what you want. Be clear in your guidelines: tell them what you want from their list of songs and what you definitely don’t want. Don’t let the band dictate what they want – it’s your wedding. Check if they take requests, having a set list is all well and good, but being able to play songs on the fly might add a little spice to the wedding.
Get a contract. This should include their fee as well as the schedule. This way you can have everything put down on paper catering to both your needs and theirs. Will they bring their own equipment? Do they need any extras? Also check for any cancelation fees – what if any of them fall sick?
To know what you’re getting, go see them perform. You’re not going to drop hundreds or thousands without knowing what you’re paying for, so make sure you get to see the band live in action before the deal is done.
If you’re struggling to find entertainment, then there are plenty of entertainment booking services out there that can help you find something right for you. Chances are they’ll also be able to offer testimonies and information to you, making your life easier.
2nd July, 2012 - Posted by Lia - 2 Comments
Every bride should be made to feel like a princess on her wedding day. But when you are married Moroccan style, you can be sure you will be treated like royalty.
Moroccan brides (and grooms) are treated to parties and celebrations for weeks leading up to the wedding. Then on the day of the wedding, parties are held at the home of both the bride and groom’s family with guests at each one. At the appointed time, the groom, his family and their guests caravan to where the bride is-singing, dancing, honking horns…you name it! It’s a processional worth watching.
Once the couple is together, they are carried around on pillows-their every wish and whim provided for. There is lots of food, dancing, music, and celebrating. Following the ceremony, the couple is allowed to leave for a while to consummate their marriage. Then, in the most traditional of ceremonies and celebrations, the couple returns to the reception for a while longer. The act of leaving is also meant to demonstrate their leaving the homes of their parents and beginning their own family.
While in the past, most Moroccan marriages have been arranged, today’s young women are allowed to fall in love and marry who they wish to marry.
Moroccan brides can wear white, but will change into a brightly colored caftan representative of their family’s colors. Their white gowns might also be accented with more traditional Moroccan colors. Other brides, though, will wear a brightly colored silk wedding gown with an abundance of gold embroidery running through it.
The bride’s head will be ornately decorated and her makeup will accentuate your eyes.
Moroccan receptions include chick pea and lentil soup (a favorite), fish, chicken, mint tea and coffee. Dessert consists of rich cakes that are ornately decorated and iced in bright colored icing.
A Moroccan wedding will be filled with rich colored décor, gold, lots of candlelight and rich, age-old traditions. It’s a lovely thing when a young couple embraces their heritage in such a full-bodied way.
14th May, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments
Instead of the traditional rose petals or rice being thrown at the bride and groom after their ceremony, why not pass out blow bubbles to your guests so they can blow bubbles as you exit the church?
Decorate the bubble wand however you please, place some tulle or ribbon around it to customize it for your theme.
It’s a fun way to get your guests involved, and who doesn’t love bubbles?
Until next time!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
6th May, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
All eyes are on you! The first dances of the wedding reception; father/daughter and husband/wife are the most memorable of a girl’s life. It won’t really matter how well you dance, but I guarantee you will never hear those two songs after that day without the memories of your wedding flooding back into your mind. But what songs, you ask. How do you pick the ‘perfect’ songs for these two monumental moments?
Choose from the heart. What kind of music means the most to you? Is there a song you learned to dance to? Is there a song you remember from the grammar school father/daughter dances? What was first song you heard after your husband proposed? What was the first song you danced to? You get the picture…choose something meaningful and fun.
For the father/daughter dance, why not consider:
- Theme from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” or Snow White’s “Someday My Prince Will Come”.
- “Daddy’s Little Girl”-sung by the Mills Brothers
- “I Loved Her First”-Heartland
- “My Wish”-Rascal Flatt
- “Stealing Cinderella”-Chuck Wicks
- “He Didn’t Have to Be”-Brad Paisley
- “Love Me Tender”-Elvis
- “Daddy’s Hands”-Holly Dunn
- “Wind Beneath My Wings”-Bette Midler
- “Cleaning This Gun”-Rodney Atkins
- “Isn’t She Lovely” or “You are the Sunshine of my Life”-Stevie Wonder
- “Sarah Smile”-Hall and Oats
- “There Goes My Life”-Kenny Chesney
- “My Girl”-the Temptations
And now for that irreplaceable first dance as husband and wife…(drum roll, please)
- “God Bless the Broken Road”-Rascal Flatt
- “Can I Have This Dance”-Anne Murray
- “Come Away with Me”-Norah Jones
- “Everything”-Michael Bauble
- “On This Day”-David Pomeranz
- “Feels Like Home”-Chantal Kreviazuk
- “I Got You Babe”-Sonny andCher
- “I Walk the Line”-Johnny Cash
- “Peaceful Easy Feeling”-Eagles
- “Unforgettable”, “When I Fall in Love” or “Embraceable You”-Nat King Cole
- “Chances Are”-Johnny Mathis
- “Longer”-Dan Fogelberg
- “I Honestly Love You”-Olivia Newton John
- “Close to You”-Carpenters
- “The Glory of Love”-Jimmy Durante
The lists could go on and on and on and…. Music is the language of love and love is what marriage is made of. So sway to the music, get lost in the moment and in the arms of the man you love and just dance.
Portrait/Photo by www.sharonkarst.com
3rd May, 2012 - Posted by Natasha - No Comments
I came across a blog the other day that was about bride and grooms that tweet or facebook at their wedding, the website gave advice to the couple to make someone the designated tweeter for the day. I had a little chuckle as I was reading this. I then read that a groom in the middle of his ceremony pulled out his phone to update his “relationship status” on facebook to married. Social networking has become a huge part of our world, but how much is too much.
Would you or your soon to be husband tweet or facebook during your big day? Or would you designate someone to do it for you?
Let me know.
Until Next Time
Photo source: www.drgphotography.ca
16th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
There are wedding blogs galore with all sorts of horror stories about what takes place during weddings and the receptions that follow when children are present. But I’m here to tell you-it’s not the children that are the problem. Most of the time, it’s their parent’s lack of disciple that causes the problem.
But that’s another story altogether, so to make sure your youngest guests don’t get bored, frustrated or out of sorts, you might consider the following:
- Provide a nursery area. Most weddings take place in the mid to late afternoon-nap time for most toddlers. By staffing a nursery or nap area with two trusted friends (an adult or college aged female and a teenager, a few toys, a couple of playpens or mats, and a rocking chair, you’ll eliminate the problem of crying babies during the ceremony. This will also allow their moms to enjoy the wedding without feeling self-conscious. NOTE: Make sure you publicize the nursery via the guest book attendants as young families come through the door.
- Provide coloring pages for little ones both during the ceremony and the reception. Oriental trading (www.orientaltrading.com) has wedding coloring pages/puzzles and miniature boxes of crayons packaged in lots of twelve. They are inexpensive and something the kids will enjoy, especially if put in a colorful goodie bag with other treats.
- Provide a play room (with supervision) for the children during the reception. Bubbles, inexpensive craft kits, play dough and kid’s movies will keep them entertained.
- Make your youngest guests feel welcome by playing a few songs for them. They’ll enjoy the hokie pokie, the chicken dance and other fun songs. FYI: so will the adults.
- Teenagers can also feel out of place if the wedding is not one of a close family member; one at which they will know most of the guests. To make them feel welcome, play a few songs for them, as well. You can also provide them with disposable cameras and ask them to snap some candid shots of the reception and provide an area of the reception hall for them to hang out in.
Your wedding day is just that…yours. Well, yours and your husbands. But because your guests take the time out of their busy lives to celebrate with you, you owe it to them to make them feel both welcome and comfortable.
**Photo source: www.affordableutahwedding.com & www.thingsfestive.com
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!
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!
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.