Sunday, December 20, 2009

But We Will Stand Tall - Photo Art Show

On December 3rd, a young photographer held his first public art show in Hamilton at The Freeway Cafe & I had the privilege of working with him to set up and decorate the venue and to help him organize all the planning details.

Jason Matos (yup - he would be my son!)has been working on series of photos for a few months now. They are all photos of people who attend our church, Grindstone Valley Bible Church in Waterdown. What makes these photos unique is that they all tell a story about the person - depicting in photos a struggle or difficult time they went through in their life - and then photos depicting how they are now stronger and stand taller today because of how they grew and learned and matured through that hard situation.

Jason photographed 12 people - some with just one photo, others with two, a few with 3 or 4 photos - and each person wrote out their "story", which was printed and mounted by their photos.

The Freeway Cafe was set up with lots of candles on tables as people came in to enjoy a cup of free-trade coffee or tea or specialty beverage, some great snacks and then sat around small tables or on comfortable leather sofas and enjoyed the acoustic music of 4 different musical sets. And throughout the evening, people mingled around the photos, reading the stories and often being moved to tears.

About 180 people came through the Cafe during the 3 hour show - and it was a resounding success for Jason.
Congratulations Jason on an excellent photo art show!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wedding Florists & Decorators

Last month, I took a course in Toronto offered by "The Wedding Decorators" ( It was a very informative and educational experience. But the main thing I learned from it was that brides & grooms should only hire professionals for their florals & decorating needs!

The morning of this training was all about wedding florals - bouquets, boutineers, corsages, and centerpieces. The guest florist was Shelley from Wedding Wows ( and she created some beautiful arrangements for us. There's certainly a lot to know about dealing with fresh flowers - how to properly wrap & tie them, treat them to keep them fresh, and arrangements to WOW any wedding!!

After a quick lunch break, we learned all the techniques of draping a head table, a backdrop and an archway. There are some beautiful ways to simply but elegantly spruce up your reception hall. Nothing looks more elegant than a head table draped with boile or satin - adorned with florals or greenery - and lit from underneath with spotlights. Adding a backdrop of matching or coordinating fabrics is a wonderful way to complete the look - and works great to hide a plain, boring or even ugly wall!!

Thanks to Shelley & Sherisse & Ali for a great day of awesome ideas, useful tips and a simply fun experiences!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Colourful, Fun & Tasty "Goan" Wedding

Olivia & John got married on Sat. Oct. 17, 2009 in Hamilton - and enjoyed a great reception at Maplewood Hall in Ancaster. I had the privilege of being on-site at the hall to assist in preparing the hall for the reception. Olivia is from Goa, a state of India - and so there was a wonderful Indian flare to the reception.

Colourful is a great way to describe the guests, bridal party and florals for this wedding. Many guests were adorned in beautiful Sari's - as well as two of the girls in the bridal party. Each bridal party bouquet was unique in the colours of the flowers and the ribbons. A large fall-coloured floral display was set on the elaborate stone fireplace mantle. The table centerpieces were simple brown clay pots with purple cyclamens.

Fun is the best way to describe the attitude of the bride & groom - and the celebratory feel of the reception. The bride & groom were welcomed into the party with singing & clapping & a "ceremonial walk" through the room. They cut their wedding cake and then enjoyed a few minutes to savour Indian appetizers. Before the meal began, Olivia & John, followed by their bridal party & family & all of the guests were led in a traditional Goan "Bridal March", set to different songs, and accompanied by much laughter! The couple concluded the March with their first dance together and were then joined by their guests for about 20 minutes of dancing.

Tasty - well, that describes the traditional Indian buffet meal that was served to their guests. Rich flavours & unique spices filled the room with tempting aromas. And of course, the meal was accompanied by some great libations!

It was a great day for the happy couple....Congratulations to Olivia & John!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rain Holds Off for Outdoor Wedding!

Alyson & Bill were determined to get married outdoors - regardless of threatening rain & grey clouds! Halton Regional Museum in Milton was set up ready for either an indoor or outdoor ceremony - and 15 minutes before the event, the decision was made to brave the elements! Guests were seated and the guys made their grand entrance to Star Wars theme song. Then the mothers, bridesmaids and 4 adorable flower girls entered, followed by the bride - escorted part way by her step-dad and the rest of the way by her dad. Part-way through the ceremony, a few drops of rain fell - but while signing the register, the sun actually peeked out!

Part-way through the photos & cocktail hour, guests were able to enjoy the museum as the heavens opened up and the rain came down, drenching the outdoor option! Silver Thyme caterers were amazing - setting up the reception site and working around visiting guests while at the same time serving great appetizers and drinks.

The Hearth Room was a beautiful venue for the reception - very rustic, with lots of great autumn decor. It was a gorgeous fall wedding, fulfilling the dreams of the bride & groom to enjoy the outdoor property and a rustic indoor setting.

Venue: Halton Regional Museum, Milton
Officiant: Robin Barlow
Caterers: Silver Thyme, Milton
DJ: Bob Peake
Photographer: Michael Fauvelle
Cake & Cupcakes: Heather's Bakery
Limo: D & D Limo Services
Flowers: Westdale Florist

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Intimate Outdoor Wedding

It was a perfect day for an outdoor fall wedding on Sept.19th as Erica & James joined in marriage! The sky was clear blue, the sun was out and a gentle breeze kept it from being too hot. The ceremony site was decorated with 180 votive candles in red glass holders, all lined up over a bridge & along the grass, defining the 'aisle' at the park.

Fragrant rose petals marked the actual ceremony location and a harpist provided wonderful background and processional music. The wedding was witnessed by an intimate group of 34 friends & family, who gathered in a small and secluded park in Burlington. A nice touch was that each guest was given a red rose when they arrived. Then, when Erica - looking amazing in a red wedding gown - arrived, she went to each guest, greeted them with a hug and received the rose from them. At the end, two women wrapped the flower stems together with ribbons to create her bouquet. A very sentimental touch I thought! James' son and daughter stood up with them as their attendants and everyone looked amazing!

After taking photos at the park, the bride & groom & guests headed to "The Black Tree" restaurant in the Roseland Plaza in Burlington for a unique reception, all based on Alfred Hitchcock theme! It was not "a night of mystery & mayhem", but rather "a night of mystery & marriage"! Congratulations Erica & James!

Photographer: Stephen Dominick, Niagara
Florist: Blossom's, Burlington
Ceremony Venue: Hidden Valley Park, Burlington
Reception Venue: Black Tree Restaurant, Burlington
Tent for Reception: Pat's Party Rentals
Ceremony Harpist: Kristen Theriault

Monday, September 7, 2009

Despite the Traffic, the Wedding was a Success!

It was the long weekend. The CNE was on. The airshow was starting. A BlueJays game was playing. And all of this was happening right along the QEW highway just at the very time that the girls' limo had to drive by that way in order to get to the church! And then, on the grounds of the church (located at the University of Toronto) there were Frosh Week activities going on! These things certainly caused a few moments stress & noise and delays for the wedding! Brian Whittaker deserves a medal for being a very patient groom, as his bride and the girls' bridal party were delayed in all that traffic and arrived about an hour late!! However, despite the late start... it was a beautiful wedding! The bridal party were stunning in deep purple dresses with silver accents. The groomsmen were handsome as all get out!! After some photos on the U of T grounds, the party enjoyed the comforts of a limo-bus from downtown Toronto to the reception at Liuna Gardens in Stoney Creek. Guests were treated to a steel pan player during the cocktail hour and to a take-home gift of a piece of wonderful Caribbean Rum Cake made by both families.

After more photos taken on site in the gardens and by the lake, the bridal party enjoyed a wonderful reception with all their guests - many of whom came from long distances to share in this special day. It was truly a day that honoured family, friendships and faith!

Congratulations Kamara & Brian!

Photographer: Ambient Photography, Jason Hendricks, Toronto
Videographer: Michael Soo-Chan, Toronto
Florist: Debbie's Flowers, Stoney Creek
Decorator: The Wedding Depot, Hamilton
Cake Decorator: Andra Owen
DJ: Damien Mitchell
Limo: Dynasty Limo, Jordan
Church: St. Basils, Toronto
Officiants: Fr. Jim, Pastor Kevin
Church Musicians: Mark Yensen, Justine Owen, Paul Sanvidotti
Reception: Liuna Gardens, Stoney Creek
Steel Pan Player: Kayla Owen

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gillian & Michael Tie the Knot at the Old Mill Toronto!

For a summer of uncertainty when it comes to weather, the day was perfect for Gillian & Michael's outdoor wedding ceremony at the Old Mill on Aug. 7th. Not too hot, a few clouds, a gentle breeze - and NO rain!!

Michael's face when he saw Gillian was priceless - and the ceremony went off beautifully. After photos in various locations of the Old Mill's grounds, the couple and their bridal party joined their guests for a wonderful reception. The place was decorated beautifully and the food & service provided by the Old Mill was exceptional!

Congratulations Gill & Mike!

Ceremony Venue: Old Mill Toronto, Wedding Garden
Officiant: Judge Juliette Baldock
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Musicians: The Alexsandre Ensemble
Photographer: Bassem Wahba, GK Photography
Photo Site: Old Mill, Toronto
Reception Venue: Old Mill, Toronto
Florist: Ital Florist, Toronto
Decorator: With All My Heart Wedding Decor, Oakville
DJ: Daryal Roberts, Party Productions
Limo: AC Limo Services

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Couple's Wedding a "Hallelujah" ending!

Cheryl & Dave tied the knot last Friday evening in a wonderful ceremony in Cambridge, ON. As they are both a "bit older" and this was their first wedding, their family & friends were so excited for them both! Knowing their families' excitement, Cheryl & Dave's officiant announced at the end of the ceremony that they had chosen a special song for their recessional - in honour of their families. And with that, the "Hallelujah Chorus" came on and everyone broke out in applause & laughter as they made their way triumphantly down the aisle!! The reality is, if Cheryl's older brother had been still been alive and was at the wedding, we all know he would have yelled out a hearty "Hallelujah!" upon their introduction as 'Mr & Mrs'.... so it was a fitting song and a special tribute to her brother!

The weather certainly kept us on our toes as it would change from rain to sun every few minutes it seemed. Driving to the photo shoot, it was raining. Arrived to the site in the sun & managed to stay dry for the time needed to get some great photos - and then as we drove back, it poured rain again! But all worked out in the end!

The reception began with the Bride & Groom being "greeted" by family members blowing on party noise-makers!! Then, a surprise video montage was presented of Cheryl & Dave - all in great fun & good taste! The evening ended with an "English Country Dance" - very much like a square dance, but more of "waltz" type music than "country" music. It was so much fun and almost all of the guests were up and participating - even those who typically don't dance!

Congratulations Cheryl & Dave on a wonderful wedding day!

Ceremony Venue: Heritage Bible College & Seminary Chapel, Cambridge
Officiant: Pastor Karen West
Ceremony Musicians: Allison & Caroline, Doug Thompson & Paul Wilson
Photographer: Jason Matos Photography, Waterdown
Photo Site: Mill Race Park, Cambridge
Reception Venue: Holiday Inn, Cambridge
Cake Decorator: Lori-Anne McDonell, Barrie
Flowers & Decor: Zehr's, Cambridge & MaryLou Burkard
Reception "English Dance" Musicians: Rick & Jonathan Avery
Reception "English Dance" Caller: Sheila Scott

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Groom that Almost Wasn't Allowed to Get Married!

Heather & Matthew have been planning their wedding for months! And then, the week of the wedding arrived full of hope & promise.... but quickly became a week full of anxiety and fear - that the Groom would NOT be allowed into Canada to get married! Yup - Matt is an American and apparently there's quite a bit of paperwork involved in getting permission to enter Canada to get married to a Canadian and then live here for a few months! Upon attempting to cross the border on Thursday in order to be here for the rehearsal, he was promptly denied access because of missing paperwork and he was turned back at the border, along with a long list of things he had to do to "prove" that he would indeed return to the USA at the end of the summer.

So, the rehearsal Thursday night was interesting as we were missing the groom and his best man (along with two other groomsmen who we'd already known wouldn't be there). So we had 2 of 6 guys present! Heather held up amazingly well considering she had to practice marrying a "stand-in" for Matt - and considering the uncertainty of whether Matt would actually be allowed to come into Canada to get married on Saturday or not!

Well - thanks to a lot of running around on Matt's part, help from his past employer and even some important help from our local MP David Sweet's office, Matt was permitted to enter Canada and arrived on Friday afternoon - WHEW!!

The wedding day dawned with clear skies and sunny, warm temperatures - perfect for their outdoor tent wedding at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington and their outdoor Barn reception at Dyments' farms in Dundas. Everything fell into place and looked amazing!

And the most important thing is - they ARE married!!! YEAH! Congratulations Heather & Matt!

Ceremony Venue: Rose Gardens Tent, Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington
Ceremony Musician: Hanna Strauss
Officiants: Doug Veenstra & Pastor Jim Pot
Photographer: Katie Button, Dundas
Photo Site: RBG Gardens, Burlington
Reception Venue: Dyment's Farms, Dundas
Caterers: Maitre D' Catering, Burlington
Cake Decorator: Lakeshore Pastry, Burlington
Reception Musicians: Corrie Kessler & Band

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jessie & James Perfect Day!

Friday was a very special day - a perfect wedding day for Jessie & James.
Jessie was one of the most relaxed and laid back brides I've ever met - she just went with the flow and didn't stress out about anything! The bridal party were wonderful to work with as well - also very relaxed, just chillin' and enjoying the day - and oh so patient during the photo shoots where they had a fair bit of time to wait around while the bride & groom had their photos taken.

As the wedding was on a Friday evening, the couple decided to have their photos all done before the wedding, which meant that they'd see each other before the ceremony. But the photographer set it up beautifully for "the big reveal" moment. James was put in a corner on a porch, so he couldn't see the bride arrive. Then, they set her up - fluffed out her gown, had her back to James but turned slightly towards him, holding her bouquet - and then, with only the photographers on hand to capture the moment (the rest of us were not a part of this moment) - they got to see each other and share a special moment. Very romantic!

The ceremony was at the beautiful outdoor chapel at the Ancaster Old Mill - and a nice cloud rolled into place just as the ceremony started, provided relief to the guests from the sun - and it lasted just until the ceremony was over - amazing! The evening progressed with a casual and relaxed "stand up" reception - no seating charts or reserved seating - just a few tables & chairs set around the room and a few bistro tables, thus allowing guests to mingle and visit and enjoy the company of many other guests. Great eats and drinks, lively music, fun dancing - it was a wonderful wedding!

I was so thrilled to be able to coordinate this wedding and to work with such amazing people - bride & groom, bridal party, family & guests - they were all fabulous and made my job so easy and VERY enjoyable!

Congratulations Jessie & James!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Ancaster Old Mill Inn
Photographer: Vine Images (Julie Johnson), Burlington
Photo Sites: Dundurn Castle, Hamilton & Old Mill, Ancaster
Florals & Decor: Botanically Bent, Oakville
DJ: Bill Copeland DJ Services (Jeff), Burlington
Videographer: Jesse Hunt
Cake Decorator: Kate Fretz
Officiant: Pastor Scott Anderson, B.C.
Ceremony Musicians: Ben Fretz & Jacob Fretz, Lianne & Jordan Phillips

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bridal Shoes

Your Bridal shoes are an essential part of your wedding day attire! You will be walking, standing, posing, photographing and dancing in these shoes - and so you must put some time and thought into choosing the right shoes for your special day. Not only do you want them to look good - but you'll want to be comfortable in them!

Several things you need to consider when purchasing your bridal shoes are:
* what style of bridal gown are you wearing? (ie. ballgown, sheath, mermaid)
* what is your fashion style? (ie. romantic, classic, sporty, casual)
* what colour is your gown?
* what are the special features of your gown? (ie. sequins, feathers, ribbons, beading)
* where will you be walking during your wedding day? (ie. grass, cobblestone, beach)
* what do you value most - comfort or fashion?
* are you taller or shorter than your groom?

There is a wide range of great options on the market for bridal shoes - and these shoes come in a huge variety of fabrics, colours, heel-heights, styles, decorative touches - and in a wide price range. Most brides typically choose a dressy, heeled shoe that coordinates with and compliments her gown.

However, some brides prefer to choose something unexpected or unusual when it comes to their shoes. Here are some unique ideas to consider:
* white canvas runners, dressed up by replacing the laces with ribbons and glueing sequins or beads onto the canvas
* white flip flops dressed up with embellishments to coordinate with your gown
* satin ballet slippers
* brightly coloured dress shoes that match the bridesmaids' dresses or your bouquet

If you choose a high-heeled classy shoe, you might want to consider having a second pair of flat, comfortable shoes to put on for the reception.

Plan to purchase your shoes well in advance of your wedding. That way, you will have the shoes available for your dress fittings and you will be able to wear them as much as possible around the house to break them in. If the shoes pinch or if your heels slip, go to a cobbler or shoe store to purchase accessories that will help to pad the shoe and protect your feet. Also, if you'll be walking on slippery floors, it is a good idea to scuff up the soles of your shoes to help avoid slipping.

A great little tip for high-heel shoes - especially if you'll be walking on grassy areas or cobblestones is to purchase a little accessory called "SoleMates High Heeler™." These plastic heel covers attach easily to most high heels and provide a larger surface area to walk on, effectively stopping your heels from sinking into the grass or wobbling on cobblestones. This specialty item is available in Canada only at "What a Heel" shoe store located at 453 Brant Street, Burlington, Ontario, or online at

On your wedding day, you will be spending a lot of time on your feet - so be sure to find a pair of shoes that will be comfortable and that will also make the fashion statement that you want them to make!

Happy feet makes for a happy bride!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Special Ways to Celebrate Family at Your Wedding

Some people are blessed with great family relationships – special people who have shaped and influenced your life and who mean the world to you. If you are so blessed - then your wedding is a wonderful time to honor those special people in your life.

Here are some ideas on how you can pay tribute to those closest to you on your wedding day – both those in the here & now, as well as those who have already passed on.

Ask special family members to be involved in parts of the ceremony.
• to hand out bulletins or “man” the guest book
• to be ushers and seat guests
• to be readers
• to provide special music during ceremony
• to light candles - This is especially sentimental if you are having a unity candle – have each of your mothers (or fathers) light one candle, representing your family & then as part of the ceremony, you each pick up your family candle & light one center candle, symbolizing the joining of two families to become one
• during processional, Bride can pause to hand a single floral bloom to groom’s mother and her own mother
• A special floral arrangement can be placed in a seat of honour with a deceased relative’s name on it

At the reception, you can ask special family members to play a role with some of the details.
• to “man” the guest book
• to assist guests in finding place-cards/seating arrangements
• to be the M.C.
• to give special toasts or speeches
• to provide special music during the reception
• have a special family dance after your first dance

Set up a display to honour your families – display in a large frame as a collage, or on a decorated backboard/bulletin board, or set up in nice frames on a table
• photos of your parents’/grandparents’ weddings (especially if they are still together!)
• Photos of special memories of you with family members
• Photos of family members who have passed on

Prepare a slide-show of your growing-up years with special family photo memories featured – put it to a great song about family/relationships.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How to be a Relaxed Bride on your Wedding Day

On your wedding day, the last thing you want is to be stressed and anxious.
Your dream day is here and you want to be at your best in every way – relaxed, excited, calm. Here’s a few tips & ideas to help you prepare for your wedding day so that you can enjoy the whole experience to its fullest…

• A few days before the wedding, hang your dress & veil up high, spread out so that wrinkles will fall out – steam if needed
• Pack your overnight bag and your honeymoon suitcases a day or two before your wedding day – keep a piece of paper and pen handy to make a list of the last-minute things you will need to pack on your wedding day
• Have all your travel documents, ID, etc. packed - make photocopies of documents and leave copies with family members at home.
• Lay out your purse, undergarments, shoes, jewelry, garter the day before
• Don’t have your bachelorette party the night before your wedding – the last thing you want is to be over-tired or worse, hung-over on your wedding day!
• Instead, get a good sleep the night before – drink some hot milk, or herbal tea, have a hot bath before going to bed to help you relax, and try to get to bed early.
• Set 2 alarms for your wedding day – 5 minutes apart – so that you don’t sleep in!
• Get up early enough to have a nice, long, hot shower or bath
• After bathing, lather your body with a soothing body lotion, put on a comfy robe & slippers to let the lotion sink in
• Sip your favourite hot beverage and enjoy a few minutes of quiet & calm – take time to breathe deep, meditate, pray, listen to soothing music
• Be sure to eat something light and balanced and healthy for breakfast – whole wheat toast, egg, fruit, whole-grain cereal, yogurt.
• If your tummy is experiencing some butterflies, stick with bland food – crackers, toast and tea instead of coffee.
• Plan your hair & makeup appointments so that you are done before your bridesmaids – you don’t want to be rushed at the end of the makeup session!
• If your wedding is in the afternoon, be sure to eat something at lunch as well – you need your energy and food to sustain you & to keep you from fainting!
• Be sure to give yourself enough time to get ready without feeling rushed
• Let your Wedding Day Coordinator and your bridesmaids / family take care of the details of the day – your role now is to just show up and enjoy the whole experience!

This is YOUR day…. Do all you can to be sure that you enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Even a Wedding Planner Needs Help on Her Wedding Day!

The following is an email I recently received from a friend who went to a wedding that was NOT well organized. The bride in this wedding is, apparently, a Wedding Planner … but the following email about her wedding "flaws" just goes to show that even an experienced planner needs a good Wedding Day Coordinator to oversee everything!

Every bride needs a good set of helping hands, a pair of observant eyes and someone who is able to really pay attention to what is going on at the wedding – anticipating and dealing with needs before they arise!

Here’s what my friend told me about this wedding – and my own comments in italics about how a Wedding Day Coordinator would work to ensure these situations are avoided or corrected.
It's a bit long for a blog - but I believe it is well worth the read!!

Dear Gayla: We were at a wedding yesterday. The bride is a wedding planner and, if I were attending her wedding and looking for a wedding planner for myself, I would not choose her. I have never seen so much confusion and panic at the front of the church! Here are some things for your check-list if they aren't already there:

* all readings should be in the hands of the readers before the wedding (one of the readers thought she might have to read from an i-phone! Someone raced in at the very last minute and handed the reading to her) Your wedding coordinator will have a copy of all readings with her in her folder!

* have everything in place for easy lighting of the candles - not a lighter that is difficult to use! They finally lit a votive to light tapers and then used tapers to light the rest of the candles Your wedding coordinator carries “torch”-style lighters that are very easy to use!

* have one person (not family) who arrives early at the church with everything that is needed for the ceremony (people were racing around trying to find someone who knew what they were doing)! Your wedding coordinator will be at the church early to make sure everything is in place (she will know this because she was at the rehearsal) and she will have a name tag identifying her.

* let grandparents know ahead of time where they will be sitting, when they should be there; and if they will be wearing corsages. It would be good to find out if the grandparents even want a corsage or boutonniere.Your wedding coordinator always verifies that all special guests are aware of their seating – that the ushers are also aware of who sits where – and ensures that everyone needing corsages or boutonnieres have them on properly - she also brings extra pins to make sure they stay on securely!

* if congregational songs are to be sung make sure that there are copies to give to the bridal party and the minister
Your wedding coordinator will ensure that words to songs are in place discreetly at the front of the church for the bridal party & minister to follow along with.

* make sure that someone knows where the washrooms are Your wedding day coordinator will not only be aware of washroom locations, but will check the washrooms before hand to ensure cleanliness and adequate supplies – and will inform bridal party & key people of location of facilities – or provide signage as needed to direct people

* if it is snowing make sure the steps and walkways are cleared before and after the ceremony Your wedding day coordinator will do this herself or arrange for this to be done – as well as adequate salting to avoid guests slipping

* encourage the minister to not walk up and down the aisle looking for the bride (she was 30 minutes late) Your wedding coordinator will be the one who is informing people of the status/location of the bride/groom or whoever is late

* try to avoid the asking a friend to be the hair stylist, especially not for the whole family/wedding party (the hair stylist was still doing the bride's hair 10 minutes before the wedding!) Your wedding day coordinator will always advise having multiple stylists and that the bride be done first – not last! As well the coordinator will adequately schedule the day, allowing enough time for hair/makeup & photos before the ceremony.

* think about the wedding and reception places from the point of view of people with walkers or wheelchairs, etc
Your wedding coordinator will have discussed specific guest needs with you ahead of time and will ensure that ceremony & reception sites are convenient for guests with special needs.

* try to get a reception place with room to walk between the tables (the meal gets served faster and people can actually move and get up easily to talk to each other and use the washrooms) Your wedding coordinator will review the reception site and numbers before hand to ensure feasibility of set-up – and then will “walk through” the reception hall before the reception begins to ensure that there is adequate space. Re-arrangements will be done as needed to ensure guest safety and comfort.

* keep speeches to a minimum time and number of people (there were speeches all during the meal along with a lounge singer and 3 hours of speeches after the meal!) The scheduling of events by the wedding coordinator will ensure that there is adequate time allotted for plans and will give counsel regarding speeches & entertainment
* I think my favourite was this: there was an elevator but when asked where it was the response was: "Just up those stairs" - something else to check out for people with physical challenges! Your wedding coordinator will ensure that elevators/escalators are easily available will post signs if needed to direct guests to them

* if there is a choice of meals for guests – here’s a couple suggestions: make sure the meal options are somewhat "equal" in value/size/quantity & perhaps you could include the menu choice with the invitations and let guests choose in advance when they reply. (We received a phone call about our choices and then there was confusion about what was actually being offered). Your wedding coordinator will advise on ways to adequately handle offering meal options for guests

* Check out the size of the dance floor and the ceiling height - it was a very small space and the ceiling was really low – one guest in particular actually had a difficult time dancing because he touched the ceiling – and he’s NOT that tall! Ok - I can’t even imagine what kind of room this was – but your wedding coordinator will review the dance floor spacing and ensure that there is enough room for guests to enjoy themselves without overcrowding (or hitting their heads on the ceilings!)

* The guests didn't get to dance for quite awhile as the bride and groom danced to a very long song; then one couple at a time danced - parents, attendants, etc Your wedding coordinator will work with your DJ to encourage the bridal party to enjoy their first dances within a reasonable time frame and then to quickly involve guests – the party is now about the guests enjoying themselves!

* All in all - if you invite guests to your wedding, treat them as guests and think about their comfort, food, drink, ease of moving, enjoyment, special needs etc. Your wedding day coordinator will do everything she can to ensure your guests are treated with utmost respect and that they enjoy the day as much as possible

I think there were more things that seemed to go wrong that I can’t think of now… but I don't think I have ever seen such a disorganized wedding! They surely could have used a "detail" person like you! I have to say I did think of you several times, thinking: "This wouldn't have happened if Gayla were in charge!"

SO - the moral of the story is this:
“You’ll never give a party that matters so much to you as much as your wedding reception. Remember that this is when the focus turns from you to your guests – and it is your obligation to treat them as honoured guests and see that they have a wonderful time."

Hiring a Wedding Day Coordinator will ensure that you AND your guests enjoy the event to its fullest.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why Should You Hire a Wedding Day Coordinator?

You've been planning your wedding for a few months now and the day is fast approaching. But there are still many last minute things piling up to be done! A wedding day coordinator will be your best friend during those last few weeks of planning - helping you to make final vendor confirmations, arranging the schedule for your wedding day events, working out the final "to do" lists.

A coordinator will be on hand to orchestrate or observe the rehearsal of the ceremony, as required... helping to work out the cueing, timing and details of the ceremony. But then, most imporantly, the coordinator will be on-site for the wedding day to do anything and everything that needs to be done to make the day flow smoothly. Your coordinator will ensure that everything is set up for the ceremony - that guests are seated and treated properly and that after the ceremony you get off to the photoshoot in good time. If the photographer requires it, we will assist at the photo shoot arranging people groups to be ready for the next shot. At the reception site, the coordinator will verify that the room is set up as per your expectations including placements of menus, place cards, bombonieres, guest book, etc. The coordinator becomes the contact person for the caterers, hall managers, bar tenders, DJ's, MC's, decorators, etc.

Besides organizing and directing the details of the day, a Wedding Day Coordinator provides a fully stocked Wedding Day Emergency Kit and is fully prepared to handle any unexpected situation that may arise - from lost buttons, tears or stains in bridal attire to headaches, cuts or sprains to wilting flowers, broken centerpieces or lost pens to bad breath, holes in pantyhose or a groom wearing white instead of black socks.... we can resolve it all!!

Don't leave the last minute details and unexpected situations to your bridesmaids or family members to deal with... hire a Wedding Day Coordinator to take on the stress for you - and then just show up, relax and enjoy your day to the fullest!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A New Blogger has Joined the Technological World!

This is my first blog - ever! But in keeping with the times, I had to give in and get connected.

As a Wedding Day Coordinator, I hope to use this space to share tips and ideas to help brides plan their weddings, to keep up with current wedding trends, to provide useful pieces of advice and guidance that will be of value to brides.

Any specific topics of what you, as a bride, want to know about? Feel free to ask!

Stay tuned for my next entry!

Until then - happy planning!