having an outdoor weddings

10th May, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

The pros and cons of having an outdoor wedding……

Depending on where you live, 3 of the 4 seasons allow brides to at least entertain the thought of getting married outdoors. But before you get your heart set on saying ‘I do’ with nothing more than the big blue sky overhead, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

☼ Having an alternative plan is a must. Weddings require weeks, if not months, of preparation. There’s no way to predict the weather for a particular day that far in advance, so having an alternate location is essential. Your alternative location, including address, needs to be included on the invitation, too.

☼ You need to accommodate your guests’ needs in regards to shade, bathroom facilities, parking, and convenience of getting to and from the seating area. Is it possible for guests with handicaps or limitations to attend without complications?

☼Will your location have a building or room for a tent for the wedding party to get ready in? Or will you arrive ready to walk down the aisle?

☼Will you hold the reception in the same location or somewhere else? If ‘somewhere else’ is the answer to this question, how convenient is your location to your reception area? Will guests be driving across town, several miles away, or forget it and go home?

☼What happens to deposits made on either the outdoor location or alternative-depending on which one you use? Will you forfeit any monies paid for the one not used?

☼What about wedding vendors; the florist, caterer, etc. Will they know where to go?

Outdoor weddings do take some extra planning, but they’re not something to be discounted. An outdoor wedding can be absolutely beautiful-and there are just as many pro’s as there are con’s to having one….

☼Outdoor weddings usually eliminate the need for flowers and other decorations. Most outdoor venues come ‘wedding ready’.

☼Outdoor wedding venues usually tend to be able to accommodate more people. All you have to do is make sure there are plenty of chairs.

☼Outdoor weddings are often a bit less formal. This allows you to go a bit more casual with the reception décor, food served and other such items.

If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, then by all means, do so. It’s your day. Just be sure you think ahead, have a ‘plan b’, and know that if you have to use it, you won’t be any less happily married.





wedding invites, from frugal to extravagant!

9th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

I was absolutely shocked when I saw how expensive all paper products for weddings are! Who would have thought that something so tiny and thin would cost me 12 percent of my wedding budget! Here are some fanatic ideas for your wedding paper invitations regardless of your budget. There’s always something for everyone!

Note: Many people automatically assume that an e-invite would be the cheapest way to go because it’s….well, free. Don’t even think about it. This fringes on tacky! Spend the extra money to purchase some paper goods and stationery to notify guests of the occasion!

For the budget savvy bride: Clearly DIY is the way to go here. There are many kits you can purchase to DIY or purchase the materials at your local craft or paper good store. Your best inspiration for something like this would be Pinterest– type in keywords like DIY invites, DIY wedding invites, and DIY paper goods and you love what you find! Most of these give a how to as well. Invite your bridesmaids over and have an invite making day, it will be fun and inexpensive!


Image Courtesy of www.bridesmaidsandweddings.com


For the techie bride: If you’re anything like me, you will enjoy and take advantage of all that technology has to offer frazzled brides. I purchased my save the dates from a smaller printing company with vintage and mod romantic designs (PearTreeGreetings); order over 150 and you can get your cards for as little as 53 cents each. They’re amazing designs and if you order in bulk, will save you a ton of money. Many smaller printing companies like this have templates online you can create your invites with customizable colors, shades, themes, and your own photos . ( Check out wedding paper divas too!) Once you’re done, they send you a proof to approve or deny and then you’re on your way!


Invites available at WeddingPaperDivas.com


For the non-existent budget bride: *Sigh*  Don’t we all wish we didn’t have budget constraints? I envy you ;) if you’re one of those brides who does not have a strict limit on funds, you can hire a graphic designer through a friend, freelance site, or places like Etsy.com and they will create your own original design based on what you want or have envisioned. It will be a one of a kind design and invitation set, created just for you! For extra money they can have them printed as well, just depends on your time frame and how busy of a bee you are. Looking for a more elaborate invite? Stick them in aged bottles for ” Message in a Bottle”,  have 3-D invites, hire a videographer to create a video story for  DVD invites, or hire  a techie for an iPhone app invite with details to location, registry info, couples stories, and a slide show of engagement photos.


Image Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com







ottawa’s dave ward trio..entertain your guests with style!

14th January, 2011 - Posted by Lia - No Comments


Today I’m pleased to present the Dave Ward Trio. Dave took the time to give us some background information on his trio and what he has to offer as well giving us a few pointers on song choice. Dave’s music will  add that special touch to your wedding, by helping you to create a magical ambiance. For music that’s smooth and cool yet stylish and graceful contact the Dave Ward Trio !

A bit about Dave Ward……..

Since graduating from the University of Ottawa with a degree in music, Dave Ward has worked as a professional freelance musician playing clarinet and saxophone. He has played everything from classical to commercial to jazz gigs, and has worked at the National Arts Centre, Orpheus Society, C.B.C shows, Ottawa Jazz Festival, as well as cruise ships and numerous corporate and private functions.

Over the past 30 years Dave has also booked many gigs for various functions. The Dave Ward Trio in essence is a jazz trio consisting of saxophone, acoustic bass and guitar. They seem to have found a niche playing for clients who want music that will not overpower conversation. For these functions they are able to play the music they are passionate about such as jazz standards, bossas and even some contemporary tunes. Some of their past engagements include Steven Harper’s Garden Party, Prime Minister Chretien’s Retirement Party, Bank of Canada, Heritage Society, CMA, as well as numerous diplomatic functions, corporate events and wedding receptions. 

Now for the questions………..

Are you available for both the ceremony and reception? How does it usually work?

Usually we are hired to play for the reception only, but on the occasions we are also asked to play for the ceremony I would play either one of the two traditional wedding marches or any special tune or tunes the bride would want us to play. I would ask beforehand if there is any special tune they would like us to play.

Can you give us an example of one of your repertoires? Do you have any suggestions?

For the reception we usually play it by ear, there are hundreds of tunes to choose from. A typical set would be something like: 

  • The Days of Wine and Roses
  • Embraceable You
  • Girl from Ipanema
  • It had to be You
  • Emily
  • My Romance
  • Killing Me Softly
  • Samba d’Orpheu
  • Moonsong
  • Fly Me to the Moon
  • My One and only Love
  • Some Day My Prince Will Come

In other words, a mix of various tempos, waltzes, bossas and sambas. I would ask if they have any tunes they want played, it’s usually no problem to find the music. I would also ask if there will be speeches, what they want us to wear and anything else I can think of that would be relevant. If they want music for dancing, I would suggest adding a drummer to the group. If on the other hand their budget is too low for a trio, I would say that we could play as a duo (sax and guitar or sax and piano, depending on which they prefer).

**For music clips you can visit the Dave Ward Trio website listed on his MPW listing.**

bridesmaid dilemma Q & A- can’t we all just get along?

1st January, 2011 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Q. Two of my bridesmaids have a rocky friendship past but I want them both in my wedding, how do I handle it? 

A.  Having a bridesmaid feud can be super stressful and awkward on everyone. However, you and your bridesmaids need to remember the reason why they are bridesmaids in the first place: to celebrate you and your fiancée getting married. The drama and rocky past need to be set aside so that you can enjoy your big day and so that they can be a part of it as well. If they can’t has out their differences on their own as adults, then you may need to calmly sit down with the both of them and explain that this wedding needs to be drama free. Remind them that this day is about you, and you need them to act like the friends that they are and set their differences and opinions aside.

Q.   Can I fire a bridesmaid?

A. Nobody likes to use the word “fire”, as your bridesmaids aren’t employed or obligated by any means to be a part of your wedding, it is an honor and privilege, not a right. However, if a bridesmaid is continually causing you stress, grief, and anxiety due to immature behavior then you do have every right to politely explain that they are no longer to be a part of your bridal party. It may end in some tears and the cold shoulder but you  need to do what’s best for you. 

Q. My bridesmaids keep making negative comments about the bridesmaid dresses I picked out, should I change the style or color?

A.  Your wedding day is about what you and your groom have worked hard for to plan and prepare for your special day. Naturally, this means that dress choices and colors should be you and your grooms’ (if he wants to help) decision. Of course you want to pick out a dress that flatters all of your bridesmaids as well as a color that they all love but truth of the matter is…you can’t please everyone! Remind your bridesmaids that this is your special day and you hope that they can grin and bear it on your wedding day. If you want all of your bridesmaids to feel satisfied in whatever dress you choose, then give them a color swatch and material you want each girl to wear and have them pick out the style that suits them best. This way each bridesmaid can pick out a dress that compliments their style, body shape  and figure. 

Q. How many bridesmaids can I have?

A. There is no magical number of bridesmaids you can have in your bridal party. Each wedding is different as it depends on how many close friends you have, or how many family members you want in your bridal party. Another thing to keep in mind that many are not aware of is the fact that your numbers do not have to match up with how many guys are standing on your groom’s side. There is no special rule for  how many groomsman or bridesmaids should be on each side, or if it has to be even. You can have a maid of honor who’s your best girlfriend, or your best guy friend, same goes for your groom. Expand your wedding party criteria past the traditional rules and myths you think you have to follow, and select the wedding party that YOU want.

7 ways to “wow” your guests…..

30th October, 2010 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Yes, we know that your wedding is not a time to show off…but a time to celebrate. But who says you can’t show off and wow your guests a little?  

1.  Photo Booth:   A fun added wedding touch that is becoming a huge hit is the photobooth. These can be rented by various vendors, both locally and online. Reserve one for the length of your reception. Here your guests, your bridal party, and you and your new groom can hop in and snap a few funny pictures to keep forever. It’s a great way to have a momento of the special day, and you’re guaranteed quite a few laughs along the way! Visit  Photobooth Montreal to have a booth at your next Montreal big event!

2.  Have a Killer MC & DJ: Everyone looks forward to hitting the dance floor after you and your guests wine and dine. Find a MC and DJ that are personable, fun, and know how to get guests to interact on the dance floor. Nobody likes to go to a wedding that has guests awkwardly dancing or walking across the dance floor—find someone that will make them stand up, dance, and ENJOY! 

3.  Original Wedding Favors:  We know that these can get a bit pricey but there are plenty of ways to WOW your guests with your tiny favors they get to take home. How about 99 cent flip flops in your wedding colors? Simple, cheap, but original. Check out Nadia’s Cookie Boutique : you can personalized cookies with your photo of choice and your guests will have a cute momento of your wedding they can eat and enjoy! 

4.  Bedazzle them with your Décor:  Take the time to budget and find original decorations for your reception. Perhaps you and your fiancé travel a lot, include memories or souvenirs from each trip on each table. High school sweethearts? Place momentos of your years together (like movie stubs, prom tickets, old pictures) on each table.  Never underestimate the beauty and importance of light: check out places like IKEA for modern lamps that run under ten bucks to add some extra touches to the reception hall. Chinese lanterns are another affordable option, they’re available in a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes. For all your decorating needs look no further than Decor & More Gift Shoppe in Montreal.

 5.  Rock the Dance Floor: We have all seen the YouTube phenomenon of posting the wedding couple and wedding party’s dance routines—why not come up with one of your own? It ALWAYS surprises guests when the newlywed couple begins to dance slow and then breaks out into a funky routine. Meet up with a dance instructor, dance student from a nearby school, or a friend who has dance experience to create special choreography that will leave your guests impressed!

 6.  Specialty Bars: A “bar” at your wedding doesn’t have to be alcohol related. There are other types that guests enjoy that are original and simple. One of the most popular recently is the candy bar. Set up a long table with specialty candies, bright colored goodies in different sized vases and jars. You can even do some research and find some old time candies to bring back memories. Provide tiny paper bags and silver scoopers so guests can take what they want to enjoy at the wedding or bring it home. Montreal’s KREAVIE creates the cutest sweet tables ever!

 7.  Interact: A simple gesture that leaves guests feeling touched is  when the bride and groom take the time to sit down and enjoy the company of their guests. Many-a-time guests attend a wedding and don’t even get to enjoy visiting with the bride or groom because they are so busy. Take some time to interact with those that came, it will be the most simple, yet the most genuine gesture you can do at your wedding— showing you care will certainly wow them!

have a bollywood inspired wedding….

27th August, 2010 - Posted by Lia - 4 Comments


Over the past couple of years, Bollywood has taken society by storm. There is a Bollywood craze in North America and in countries across the world. It hit North america when the  2008 film, “ Slumdog Millionaire”  hit theatres and ever since then, it has  sparked an interest in this age-old culture. Bollywood is making its appearance everywhere in many different ways.  Fitness clubs are offering Bollywood dance classes, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine restaurants are gaining quick popularity, and the films, dance, and fashion of Bollywood is making it all over the world. 

Whimsical Bollywood Style Wedding Cake

Bollywood is noticed and cherished through many factors, one of which being the bright colors and intricate patterns on the clothing and fabrics. If you are looking to add an original twist to your wedding, or perhaps getting in touch with part of you and your family’s culture, consider going Bollywood for your wedding theme.  There are Bollywood stores and online vendors that offer you the best costumes and accessories for your wedding day.

The colors are what makes Bollywood style so fantastic. The bright and vivid colors are what defines and  creates the elaborate costumes and culture of Bollywood. Incorporating this into your wedding add originality to your special day.

A Bollywood theme can be used in every aspect of the wedding. Creating or having a brightly colored sash to put around your wedding gown, or across your shoulder will add some flair. Decorate the ceremony and reception Bollywood style by hanging tapestries or rent a tent and decorate the ceiling with the fabrics, colors, and intricate interior design of Bollywood culture.

If you are interested in incorporating the Bollywood entertainment to your wedding, look no further. Bollywood is becoming so popular there are most likely plenty of bands that play Bollywood music,  and dance companies that will come and teach your guests the dance steps. If you are looking to save money on on DJ and entertainment, make a playlist of Bollywood favorites on your iPod or CD player.

Regardless of how you incorporate the traditions and beauty of Bollywood, it is sure to be a hit.  Your wedding will leave a lasting impression as your wedding will shine, while it is celebrated in Bollwood color and flare.

If you’re in Calgary, Canada & would like a Bollywood theme to your wedding visit: Fusion Bollywood Inc

For bridal henna in the Toronto, Canada area contact the Henna Sooq: Henna Sooq