Monday, December 27, 2010

Planning your Wedding?! Come to the Hamilton-Halton Bridal Show!

I trust that everyone had a great Christmas celebration with family & friends. And now that the holidays are winding down, it'll be time for all you engaged couples to begin to set your mind & efforts on planning your wedding day! WHAT FUN that can be. But also, what a lot of stress it can be as well... I mean, with so many options out there for you, WHERE do you even begin?

Here's two great tips for you as you start focussing in on your wedding plans.

1. Attend the Hamilton-Halton Bridal show .
This is a great opportunity to find awesome vendors in your area who are eager and willing to serve you, give you great deals and to talk with you face to face. Jan.8-9, from 11am - 5pm each day, you can wander through two floors of vendors, enjoy bridal fashion shows & get TONS of great ideas. Come with labels pre-printed to make entering draws faster for you! (Name, Address, Phone, Email, Wedding date) And when you come, take the time to actually talk to vendors. Of course they are all wanting to get their information into your hands, but the best thing to do is to speak to them - tell them what you're looking for, find out what they're offering and be open to new ideas! We vendors are full of great resources and are more than happy to do what we can to help you plan the best wedding ever!

Be sure to stop by my booth on the 3rd floor to say "Hi!" and to fill out a ballot to win one of several great items that will be drawn for after the show!

2. Seriously consider hiring a Wedding Planner or Coordinator.
A Wedding Planner can be an amazing source of help & support and a real time-saver for you as you begin to plan all aspects of your wedding. A Planner is with you through the whole process to assist and guide through the full planning stages.

However, if you prefer to find your vendors/venues on your own, then you might just need the services of a Wedding Day Coordinator. A Coordinator will work closely with you during the last month before your wedding - helping you to pull all the details & loose ends together, creating your wedding day schedule, confirming all your vendors, and being on hand to ensure that all your wedding day logistics come together just as you expect them to!

I am a certified wedding planner and I would be happy to provide you with full or partial planning services... But my true area of specialty and passion is in providing brides with Wedding Day Coordination services!

I look forward to meeting you at the show - and possibly even working alongside of you during the planning of your special day.

We take care of your wedding day details so that you don't have to!

Good luck with all your wedding plans - and enjoy the experience!!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Beauty of Live Music for your Wedding Ceremony

There is nothing quite like having a live musician performing at your wedding ceremony. Many times couples try to save a few bucks by using recorded music off an Ipod or MP3 player... but a live musicians adds such a special touch to the ceremony that recorded music can't touch.

When you use recorded music, you have to be so very careful with the cueing & timing... where do you actually start the song for the processional? How long do you need to play it for the bridal party to get down the aisle? Will the song be at a place that will be a "natural" fading out point? What will come on for the bride?
Sure couples have their favourite songs that they may want to use for the walk down the aisle - but often they fail to recognize that the length of the aisle & the time it will take to walk down it doesn't coincide well with the song!

And often, couples who use recorded music also just use "a cousin or friend" to control the music cueing, playing & fading out, which unfortunately doesn't always work out timing wise or doesn't transition smoothly.
Live musicians, however, are "in the moment". They are in the very center of the activity so they know exactly what is happening, and their flexibility allows them to be able to "go with the flow" of events. Sso if the bride is running late, or if the bridal party takes longer to walk down the aisle than expected, or if the flower girl has a meltdown part-way down the aisle and needs to be "rescued".... these are all situations that can cause mayhem to recorded music - but not to a live musician who will simply adapt the music to the situation. They can either cut a song short and provide a very smooth "natural" ending to the song, or they can extend the piece in order to avoid any "dead" space.

A live musician can see the need of the moment and quickly change their planned music in order to fill that need. And when you hire a musician who is passionate about their talent - then their presence and performance will only serve to grace & enhance your ceremony.
Because of this, I always recommend to my bridal couples that they find a live musician to take care of the ceremony music. Perhaps the ceremony is in a church and the church can provide you with an organist or pianist. If not, why not a string trio or a flutist or a classical guitarist or a violinist or a steel pannist. There are many great musicians out there who will do your wedding for a very reasonable cost - especially some that are not hugely well-known. Ask your ceremony venue for recommendations.
Or call a local church for suggestions (even if you aren't getting married at the church - often they have extremely gifted musicians who attend the church who are also willing to perform at ceremonies). Contact local music teachers or music schools or theatre companies... there are SO many gifted people who just need to be given a chance to showcase their talent for very inexpensive rates!

I have seen ceremonies (& often also the cocktail hours) serenaded by the following talented musicians who I would highly recommend:

Pianist/Soloist - Christie Latta (
Pianist/Soloist - Andrea Gal (
Steel Pannist - Steve Perez (
Steel Pannist - Kenn Lewis (
Harpist - Chantal Dube (
Harpist - Kristen Theriault (

I was also this week just introduced to a very talented, young Harpist that I have yet to hear in person, but who I've seen on YouTube - and who impresses me greatly! Her name is Camille Inston - check her out! (

Take some time to consider the theme, the tone, the beauty of your ceremony (& cocktail hour) and then consider how the right musician will just add that personal, classy touch to the event!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Local Bridal Salon is "Giving Back"

Coach House Bridal Salon is located in Waterdown Ontario - and they are offering an amazing promotion right now (from November 2 to 30, 2010). According to an article in "The Flamborough Review", the focus of their sale this year is "Give and Save"... and here's how it works:

First, they GIVE... Coach House will be donating a percentage of the profits from this sale to the Good Shepherd Centre in Hamilton. They are also holding a food drive during the sale and are encouraging people to drop by & make a donation of a non-perishable food item. For visitors who do so, they will be given a ballot for a draw for a pair of his & hers watches!

Second, you SAVE... Coach House's annual inventory sale this year offers INCREDIBLE savings for both bride and bridesmaids - potentially saving you scads of money! Wedding gowns are selling from $9.99 to $499. And bridesmaids & formal gowns are priced starting at $0.99. YUP! You read it right! Unbelievable prices on a wide variety of in-stock inventory. And, if you prefer to order a gown, they'll give you up to $150 off a veil & accessories.

SO.... if you're needing a wedding gown.... bridesmaids dresses.... or a formal gown perhaps for upcoming Christmas parties or New Years Eve events... be sure to check out this great boutique in the heart of Waterdown.

For more information about the sale & this store:
For more information about Good Shepherd Centres:
For the full article from The Flamborough Review:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wedding Planners Conference in Nassau Bahamas

Last week was a great week! I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Nassau Bahamas to attend the WPIC Wedding Professionals Conference. There were about 150 of us in attendance - mostly planners, some photographers, DJ's, decorators - mostly from Canada, but also USA, Bahamas & even one from Germany!

Our first night in Nassau was fun with a cocktail party at "The Cove" of Atlantis Hotel - a very high-end hotel complex that is part of the greater Atlantis hotels. Great cocktails, delicious appetizers set among a pool/patio setting to die for.... upholstered daybeds, double lounges, cool chaises, unique pools & water features.

On Tuesday, we enjoyed two great seminars...first was JUNG LEE & JOSH BROOKS of Fete Events from New York City. I've watched them on TV on "Who's wedding is it anyway?" and on "Wedded to Perfection". They addressed business-side issues as well as discussed the design elements of a wedding. Great tips & ideas were shared with us. This was followed by KeyNote Speaker, COLIN COWIE... "event planner to the stars". Great presentation of incredible events he's done as well as good advice on providing customer service.

Wednesday was a full day of seminars with Peter Merry, Andy Ebon, Mary Dann, Wedding Wire, Tom Haibeck & Richard Emmanuel. Lots of great material... now to bring it home & apply it!

Thursday was Sandals Certification training.... and then a beautiful gala dinner hosted at Sandals Resort.

Many great lessons were learned - but the theme that seemed to emerge from many of the speakers was the value of providing great customer service that goes above & beyond what they expect!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grindstone Church Volunteer Appreciation Evening

On Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, the staff of Grindstone Valley Bible Church honoured about 45 of the many volunteers (unfortunately they all couldn't come!)who give of their time to help run the many programs and areas of responsibility at the church.

The event was held in the hall of St. Luke's Parish in Burlingon - a beautiful facility! We decorated the tables with brown tablecloths, a taupe coloured placemat in the middle & then silk fall leaves & real pumpkins on that as the centerpieces, surrounded by 4 tealight candles. Other tables were set up for getting place cards, for beverages & then for decadent desserts.

A speaker came to address the group and challenged us to look after our inner selves so that we can better serve others.

It was a fun evening and I think the volunteers appreciated some recognition for the tireless services they provide to the church community.

VENUE: St. Luke's Parish Hall

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WPIC Wedding Planners Conference - Nassau Bahamas!

I am so excited about the upcoming Wedding Planners Conference being organized by the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada (WPIC). About 150 planners from across North America are meeting in Nassau Bahamas on Monday for 5 days. Cocktail hour at Atlantis Hotel, Seminars at Breezes Resort & Sheraton Resort, Seminars & Gala Event at Sandals. Tours of resorts that specialize in destination weddings.

Great speakers including:
Keynote speaker Colin Cowie!!

& other speakers:
Jung Lee
Mary Dann
Peter Merry
& others!

Should be a GREAT week of learning, challenges, networking and business growth ideas!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stunning Wedding in Black, White & Fuschia

Last Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day as Denise & Blake became husband & wife at the Scottish Rite Club in Hamilton. The architecturally stunning mansion was a gorgeous backdrop for this fabulous wedding, which was decorated for the event in black & white with hits of fuschia - and lots of feathers!!

Denise was gorgeous - and her "wedding boots" were incredible - pointed toe, high heel and LACE to the knee boots!! (imported from Poland, ordered online!!) WOW!

A wedding party of 4 bridesmaids & ushers, a jr bridesmaid and a jr groomsmen and 4 flower girls & 3 ring bearers helped them celebrating this special event. Guests enjoyed the fun of a Photo Booth during the cocktail hour - taking serious & fun pictures - dressing up and having a great time - all to create a unique & memorable guest book for the bridal couple.

A big hit of the reception was the Candy Buffet - all in black, white & pink of course! The adults enjoyed this as much (if not more) than the kids did! Amazing how candy brings out the kid in people!!

Denise & Blake - what a good-looking couple! I wish you all the best as you begin your this new stage of your journey together as husband & wife!!

Ceremony & Reception Venue & organist: Scottish Rite Club
Officant: Hans Hamer, Police Chaplain
Steel Pan Player: Steve Perez
Photographer: Photos by Alex
DJ: Trevor Parnell
Limo: Hamilton Limo
Decorator: Kathy Taylor
Florist: Sarah Moir of Crazy Daisy
PhotoBooth: Fun Photos

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This is a special announcement to all brides & grooms planning their future wedding!

I am offering a FALL BOOKING SPECIAL - but the offer is quickly coming to an end!

Call to book an appointment before OCTOBER 31st, 2010 and you will qualify to book your Wedding Day Coordination package at the 2010 package rates!

This is a great deal for you - no matter if your wedding is in the last couple months of 2010 or anytime in 2011 or even later!

CALL: 905-220-9239

Save money by reserving YOUR wedding date with me now - and avoid the rate increases that are coming November 1st!

Looking forward to hearing from YOU!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Despite Gusting Wind & Threat of Rain, the Wedding was Amazing!

Amy had her heart set on being married outside, overlooking the lake at Liuna Gardens in Stoney Creek. For a half hour just prior to ceremony, the debate was on... would the ceremony be outside or inside?!! The wind was whipping, tree branches falling down & chairs wouldn't stay set up. And just as the bride arrived, it began to spit rain. But her dream was firmly in place, and with the support & encouragement of a wonderful bridal party, her photographer, officiant and her soon-to-be-husband.... Amy decided to risk the weather to have the wedding of her dreams.

And it all worked out beautifully. Yes, the wind kept blowing. Yes, a few rain drops fell off & on.... but what was the most important was that Amy married the love of her life, Chris, in the outdoor ceremony of her dreams!

During the photos, a few more raindrops fell - but soon enough, the wind slowed down a bit and the sun even came out!

The reception was beautifully decorated in white & red and candle-light. Great speeches from fathers & friends, delicious food, wonderful service, awesome music... a great evening!
Especially touching was the the bride's dance with her father - where they were just in a world of their own, talking and sharing such special moments with laughter & tears together as "Butterfly Kisses" played in the background. (I mean really - how can you NOT shed a tear or two watching that?!!)

Congratulations Amy & Chris....
I'm so happy your day turned out to be exactly what you had wanted it to be!!

Venue: Liuna Gardens
Officiant: Reverend Deborah Coleman
Photographer: Alyssa Alkema
Videographer & DJ: AMV Pros
Cake: Lakeview Pastry
Florist & Decorator: Sue Gallo Designs
Limo Service: Celebrity Limousines
Hair & Makeup: Joseph's Coiffures
Invitations, Table Cards, Seating Chart: Inviting Elegance

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Great Day at Cambridge Bridal Show

This past Sunday was a great day for the Cambridge Fairy Tale Bridal Show. It was a sunny and refreshing fall day as brides, grooms & their "entourages" made their way to the Portuguese Club in Cambridge. Many vendors were set up inside - displaying their wares & services and some were offering delicious cake & cupcake samples! Then, outside the hall, under a huge tent, more of us vendors were set up.

The flow of guests was pretty steady throughout a good part of the day - and many brides stuck around to the end for the door prize draws and the draw for the grand prize of a free honeymoon to the Dominican Republic!

Just a reminder to all brides who attended the show....
if you'd like to book my services to be your personal wedding day coordinator, be sure to do so before October 31, 2010 in order to reserve your date at the 2010 prices!

And if you aren't sure you need a coordinator - I'd love the opportunity to meet with you over a cup of coffee - my treat & NO obligation - just to chat with you about your wedding plans & needs and to share with you the benefits of the services I can offer to you!

Hope to hear from you brides soon!

And have fun planning your special day!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cambridge Bridal Show - Sept. 19, 2010

I am very excited to be participating for my first time at the upcoming, 3rd annual "Cambridge Fairy Tale Wedding Show", hosted by Event Emporium. It will be on Sunday September 19, 2010, from 1pm to 6pm at the Portuguese Club of Cambridge - Townline Road, Cambridge.

Vendors will be set up both inside the club and outside under a huge tent - that's where you'll find me!! There are MANY vendors planning to be on hand to give you more great ideas and discounts and deals than you can imagine!

Highlights will include:
* grand prize draw for a free honeymoon
* first 100 brides get a cloth bag full of vendor discounts
* great hot lunches catered by the Portuguese Club
* incredible shows
* dancing demonstrations
* bridal gown sale
PLUS all those great vendors!

All this & more for only $10pp at the door - or pre-register on line!!

One impressive "eco-friendly" aspect of this show is that they do NOT provide you with plastic bags. So you can bring your own bag - or purchase reusable, eco-chic bags at the door for only $6.00 plus HST! As vendors fill your hands with cards, goodies and more you will find that you NEED a bag - so come prepared!

Check out the website for more information...

And if you come - be sure to stop by my booth - "Leave the Details To Me"
I'd love to meet you, chat with you about your wedding - and of course, don't forget to fill out a ballot to win a beautiful Gift Basket from me!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ancaster Wedding Show A Big Success

KUDOS to Tiffany Walsh & Team members for putting on a great 1st ever Ancaster Wedding Show! Most vendors entering the show were a big uncertain as to what to expect - with this being the first show by this organizer in this location in this month!! But personally, I thought it was a great show.

The morning started off with a huge influx of brides along with their moms, future mother-in-laws, bridal parties, friends, family members - and even quite a few grooms! The afternoon was slower, but in my experience this fairly typical.

Brides were treated to some new vendors (including Jason Matos of Jason Matos Photography - yup, he's my son!), some vendors who are "regulars" at local shows, and of course, lots of great ideas, inspiration, samples and handouts!
To check out what vendors were at the show, go to:
Congratulations to all the brides (& grooms) who attended - we hope that you went home with MANY great ideas for your upcoming wedding and that you found the perfect vendors to meet your wedding needs!

Don't forget Brides.... "Leave the Details to Me..." is offering a WEDDING SHOW SPECIAL - book by Oct 31, 2010 for your future wedding and lock in at 2010 rates!! (This offer is available to ANY brides - whether you attended the show or not!)

Thanks Tiffany for a "show well done!"

Bride's Morning Disappointment Doesn't Diminish Her Beauty in Any Way!

Shashika's day as a bride didn't start out too well - when her hair stylist failed to show up at her house to take care of her long, gorgeous hair, a bit of panic set in! However, family stepped in and helped to style her hair - and that of the bridal party! And they did a GREAT job! And while this set-back caused a short delay in the start of the wedding, everyone finally arrived - looking wonderful!! - and the ceremony proceeded with joy & special touching moments.

After the ceremony, photos were taken at the Illuminaqua Ampitheatre along the canal in Welland with family members, and then at the stately old courthouse with the bridal party. Then, the limo whisked the couple off to Niagara Falls. At a hotel there, Shashika changed into a "greek goddess" style wedding gown that her mother had made - and then they were off to the Botanical Gardens for their couple photos.

Meanwhile, friends & family gathered at the Club Italia hall in Niagara Falls for cocktails. When the bride & groom arrived, they greeted their guests in a receiving line, and then guests were then given a token gift which was a memorial to Joe's brother who recently passed away after a brief battle with cancer. A glass of champagne embellished with a "wild hisbiscus edible flower" in it was given to each guest as they entered the banquet hall for the reception.

All the flowers - bouquets, boutineers, centerpieces, church pew decor, and 4 large flower displays - were gorgeous in whites & yellows, providing sunny accents to the girls' yellow gowns. (Gowns & flowers were all made by Shashika's mom - what a talented lady!!)

So, despite the disappointing start to Shashikas' day - and despite the threat of rain all day - in the end, the wedding day was a huge success.... with beautiful hair and NO rain... and great memories made for this wonderful couple!

Congratulations Shashika & Joe!

Ceremony Site: Rev.Will Alakas of Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Photographer: Sarah of Indigo Stars Photography
DJ & Videographer: Matt & Chris of Liquid Cube Productions
Reception Hall: Club Italia
Decor Rentals: Creative Imports
Head & Cake Table Decor: Christina of Gala Decor
Wedding Cake: Cheryl Miller
Limo: Exquisite Limo

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Brides-to-be.... THIS SUNDAY - August 22, 2010 - plan to come out to the all NEW Ancaster Wedding Show!

Great venue at the brand new Ancaster Fairgrounds - new vendors & some familiar faces - new looks - special features - great give-aways.... truly a wedding planning event you don't want to miss!

ADDRESS: 630 Trinity Rd, Jerseyville

TIMES: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm!
COST: $8.00 online in advance, $10 cash at the door

Check out all the exciting details at:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fun Wedding with Sri Lankin and Trinidadian Grooves!

Malki & Gary survived the terrible humidity and a few passing showers on Sunday as they joined together as husband and wife. The day had a few highlights in my mind...

At the start of the service, Gary & Malki ended up standing kind of far apart -
but when musician Andrea Gal began to sing, Gary stepped forward & took Malki's hand -just in time to the song lyrics, "Draw me close to you...never let me go".... oh boy - I think a few tears were shed at the timing of that move!!

The reception hall was gorgeous! Tall elegant palm trees were set up around the room with uplights on them. The centerpieces were tall glass vases filled with tropical flowers & leaves, surrounded by 3 tulip votive holders. A steel pan player entertained guests during the cocktail hour & dinner... so there was a very tropical, "caribbean" feeling in the air!

After the guests enjoyed the receiving line, favours, shooters & picked up their custom-made "leopard print" place cards (in honour of Malki's love of this print!) the bridal party were ready for their introductions - and they all certainly made a Grand Entrance with funky dance moves... even the Ring Bearer did a few "break-dance" moves on his way in!! The party played up the entrance by doing a "soul train" routine.... and then this led to Malki & Gary's first dance together as husband & wife. Following that, they cut their cake, which was a spectacular creation on a gorgeous table display.

The kissing of the bride & groom was done with great fun - as they had to kiss for as long as a guest could keep a hoola hoop going! After a fabulous meal and a few speeches, Malki had a big surprise for Gary.... Caribana Dancers!! Three stunning dancers arrived and put on an incredible show, which of course included getting the bridal party and guests involved! What fun! After that - the party was well on its way.

Later that night, Gary & Malki changed into traditional "Sri Lankin going away outfits". Gary wore a very classy suit with a hot pink vest and Malki was adorned in splendor in her hot pink & gold sari & jewellry!

The day was a wonderful success! Congratulations Gary & Malki!

Ceremony Site: Parkwoods United Church, Don Mills (Rev. Ellen Redcliffe)
Photo Site: Glendon College Campus
Reception Site: Venetian Banquet Hall, Vaughan
Ceremony Musician: Andrea Gal
Photographer: Chuck of Pickering Photo
Videographer: Dan of ChiliPepper Videography
Request Limosines:
Cake Decorator: X-quisitte - Stacey Fernandes
DJ & MC - X-quisitte - Shaun Fernandes & Brian
Steel Pan Player - Kenn Lewis
R.S. Divas Dance Troupe:
Florist - Laurel Munro Floral Design
Decorator - Terri-Anne of TASAJ:
Palm Tree Rentals - Amhurst Greenhouses:
Hair Stylist: Angela Gale of Gorgias Hair Salon (friend of Malki's)
Makeup Artist:
Sari Dresser: Sobi Thiru
Place Cards Designer/Calligrapher: Aliza Latta (friend of Gayla's)
Ceremony Decor: Heather Pearson (friend of Malki's)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Unique Reception at Warplane Heritage Museum

On Sat. July 31st, Phil & Brandy celebrated a fun evening for their Ontario Wedding Reception at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The couple actually tied the knot earlier in July in Alberta - then had a great honeymoon for a couple weeks and ended up back in Ontario to celebrate with their friends & family here.

Brandy wore her gorgeous wedding dress for the reception and looked amazingly beautiful. The head table was set up under a HUGE warplane, and at the head table were Phil's sister & brother-in-law and brother & sister-in-law. The tables were all surrounded by various warplanes. Guests had the opportunity to view the planes & museum, guided by on-site volunteers. Each table was labelled by the name of a warplane, along with a picture of the plane. These table labels were done by the groom's dad who is passionate about warplanes!

The museum catering was DELICIOUS! HUGE portions of chicken breasts and side dishes were so amazing. Who knew that plane-specialists could cook so well!

After dinner, guests enjoyed a slide show of the happy couple, and tender speeches from the groom's parents & then from the bride & groom. Then, after dessert, "Relative Harmony" musicians led the guests all in a "contra dance" evening. Fiddle, piano & a "Caller" who led us all in what can be described as "english square dancing". What a great way to engage just about ALL of the guests - many of whom might not have danced at a typical dance!

It was a fun evening and a great celebration of this newly married couple.

Congratulations Phil & Brandy - and all the best in your new home in British Columbia!!

Venue & Caterers & decorators - Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Musicians - Relative Harmony
Flowers - Longo's grocery store
Cake - Stephanie Krish, sister of groom

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Intimate Family-Focussed Wedding At Liuna Station

This past Friday afternoon, I had the privilege of coordinating the wedding of Val & Shawn. Val arrived to the venue in high style, riding like a true princess bride in a 1962 white Rolls Royce Limousine.

The ceremony was touching, and included Val's 5 year old son (THE most adorable ring bearer!!)
who helped them celebrate their new family unit with a symbolic "sand ceremony" where the three of them poured three different colours of sand into one jar at the same time. Rev. Deborah Coleman officiated the wedding ceremony with passion, humour and tenderness.

Following the ceremony, which was held in the Liuna Station lobby, family photos were done on site in the gardens and then the couple set out for photos at Pier 4 in Hamilton, enjoying the drive in the antique limo.

The reception was attended by about 70 close family & friends and was a true celebration of special family ties. Speeches were words of encouragement and support for this newly married couple and it is evident that they are surrounded by people who truly love them and care about them.
The day was a huge success and it was my privilege to work for this couple on their special day!

Congratulations Val & Shawn...

Ceremony & Reception Venue - Liuna Station Officiant - Rev. Deborah Coleman
Photographer - Milton from Split Image Photography
Flowers - Josie Syers, Hamilton Farmer's Market
Limo - Memory Lane Limousines -

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Help! How do we cut our Wedding Cake?

Wedding cakes are a traditional part of a wedding reception. Some couples really get into their cake and end up smashing it all over each other's faces - or the faces of their Best Man & Maid of Honour. Other couples cut a piece in order to feed it to each other. But the one small item that is often overlooked in planning this event is to think about HOW you are actually going to cut into this amazing piece of edible art!

At a one wedding that I coordinated, the bride & groom posed for the standard "first cut" photos with their cake - but then suddenly panicked when they realized that they didn't have a clue about how to actually cut out a piece to share! Across the hall, I heard the bride call to me: "Gayla - how do we cut this thing?!"

So - what is the best way to cut a piece of wedding cake for the two of you?
Here's a great video clip that will teach you how to cut it easily & effectively.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

10 Ideas for Your Wedding Ceremony

I've been thinking about wedding ceremonies lately and I've come up with some tips & ideas to make them just a bit more unique/special/personal for both the couple & their guests.

So, here's some of the ideas tumbling around in my head that might give you some "inspiration" for your ceremony....

1. I got a great tip from Officiant "Rev. Deb" Coleman from Hamilton.... don't have your officiant disrupt the flow of the end of the ceremony in order to make "announcements" for the guests. Instead, before the ceremony starts, have your Reception MC - or someone else who is good at speaking - get up to welcome guests, let them know the ceremony will begin shortly & then let the guests know what to expect after the ceremony. That way, all "announcements" are done & overwith even before the ceremony starts & the flow of the service isn't interrupted.

2. The other option for "announcements" is to include them in writing in the program, if you have one, which is then handed to guests as they arrive.

3. And speaking about programs... What's their purpose (besides the announcements)?! Programs are generally used as a means to communicate important things to your guests - such as: the order of service, a means of introducing the bridal party, provide the bride & groom's new address, a way to give special thanks to important people, and a way to acknowledge & remember those who have passed on. Programs can be an especially helpful to guests if your ceremony will be including traditions that are unique to your religion or culture if you explain in the program what each element of the service is about & its significance to you as a couple. However, if you choose to print programs, this is one thing that you don't have to spend a lot of money on because the reality is that after the ceremony, most of them will be left behind & thrown out. So, keep them simple & only print enough for one per couple/family - but be sure that YOU keep a copy for yourself!

4. Request that your officiant have his/her back to the audience (or have them stand off to one side) so that you & fiance are facing the audience during the ceremony, if your religion/location permits it. Guests don't come to a wedding to see the officiant's face - they want to see YOUR faces, your expressions, your tears, etc. So when possible - face each other or your guests.

5. Have a microphone available to use for your vows. Guests get very frustrated when you say your vows and maybe shed some tears, but they can't hear anything you are saying. While it is true that your vows are desigend for each other, everyone loves to be a part of hearing them - especially if you've taken time to write your own vows.

6. And speaking of vows... Why not take the time to write your own vows that can be said in addition to or instead of "traditional" vows. This is your one chance to very openly & publicly declare your love & commitment to your soon-to-be-spouse. Take some time to carefully think it through (give yourself at least a couple weeks) and make it personal, tender, from the heart and "you"! Don't want to memorize your vows? There are a couple options... print your vows on cue-cards that you read to each other - your officiant can hold them for you to read from if you don't want to hold them. When my husband & I got married 25 years ago, we had our vows written in calligraphy on parchment paper, rolled up & tied with ribbon. We each unrolled our "scroll" & read our vows to each other, then rolled them back up & exchanged them. Later, we had them framed and to this day, they hang on our wall with our wedding photo between them.

7. If you have young children in the wedding party, have a "back up" plan in place in case they decide at last minute not to cooperate with how you want them to behave! Children in a wedding are always somewhat risky - so be sure that you are flexible and "easy going" about them as THEY will be the ones who decide if they're going to cooperate or not. Also, its a good idea to plan to have them sit in the first or second row with a parent/grandparent or other adult they know well. Have a fabric gift bag (vs paper which is noisy!) placed at their seat with "quiet" toys to keep them occupied during the ceremony. Things like colouring book & crayons, stuffed toys, puzzle books, stickers, etc. are all great to keep little ones quiet & content - and finding the bag there waiting for them will be a special treat for them to find!

8. Think of special ways to honour the special people in your life - ie. mothers, grandmothers, etc. Why not have a few extra loose flowers held in your hand with your bouquet that you stop & give to your mom, mom-in-law, grandmothers as you walk down the aisle. OR, if you have been deeply touched by special women/mentors in youre life, do what my friend did.... have each person you want to honour be given a flower as they arrive & seat them along the aisle. As you enter the ceremony - don't have a bouquet. Instead, stop at each person along the aisle and collect your flowers from them as you hug them & thank them for being so special to you. At the end of the aisle, you will have 'created' your bouquet. Have your mother or other key person have a ribbon to wrap & tie the bouquet for you.

9. If you have children of your own, include them in special ways in the ceremony. Let them be in your wedding party. Have them walk you (or your mom) down the aisle. Create a special "family dedication" element of the ceremony. Use the "sand" ceremony idea which is the mixing of different colours of sand (one per family member) all together in a large vase. Make sure they feel that this day is also about including them in this new phase of your life, so that they don't feel left out or unimportant.

10. If you are doing the "unity candle" as part of your ceremony, don't have your mothers fumble with butane lighters, which can be very tempermental. Instead, a decorator friend, Marian VanGeest, taught me this trick - have a tea-light candle lit & "hiding" behind the main candles or flowers on the candle table. Then, when mom's go up to light their candles, they can just pick up the candle, touch the wick into the lit tea-light and voila - candle is lit & ready to be set back in the holder. (Just make sure its a good quality tealight that burns long & well.)

Hope these ideas might give you a bit of inspiration for your wedding ceremony. Make it unique. Make it personal. Make it YOURS!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wedding of Heli & Stephan - a beautiful event!

Yesterday was a PERFECT day in every way for Heli & Stephan's wedding - clear blue skies, warm sun, cool breeze.

Stephan waited anxiously for his bride to arrive at the end of the pier of Bronte Harbour - and when he turned to face her, the tears that sprung into his eyes proved how beautiful his bride was - and how in love he is with her!

The Maid of Honour wore a long hot pink gown with one strap of fabric flowers. The Bridesmaid wore a short, strapless dress in the same colour & fabric. The Bridesman wore a black tux with hot pink shirt and tie. The best man & ushers were in black tuxedos with lime green vest, ties & accessories. White peonies, lime green spider mums, granny smith apples and bright pink berries were used for bouquets, bouttonieres, pew bows and altar flowers.

The ceremony was held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Burlington, followed by cocktail hour and reception at Geraldo's in LaSalle Park. The bride & groom choreographed the first part of their first dance song and then the bridal party & rest of the guests joined in for the last half of the song. It was a fun start to the evening which unfolded with delicious food, touching speeches, lots of laughs with the "shoe" game and great music!

Their wedding cake was a simple white tiered cake with pink satin ribbon - and the topper was a bride & groom - each on their cell phones - a very true depiction of this couple (Heli's wedding dress had pockets in it - and guess what was in her pocket? Yup - her phone!!)

Congratulations Heli & Stephan - a beautiful couple!

Photographers - Paul Koziorowski Photography
Florists - Botanically Bent
DJ - Mike Marinuk
Church & Officiant - Pastor Colin Cameraon - Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Reception - Geraldo's
Limo - Fox Run Limos
Cake - Lakeview Pastry & Chocolates

Friday, June 11, 2010


This week, I've had three separate brides contact me and each one was having their own little "panic attacks" as they were working on their wedding plans...

* guests I didn't know we'd invited just RSVP'd and I don't know where to seat them - help!
* well-meaning people are trying to re-design my decor plans - augh!
* the limo driver is giving me attitude - what should I do?
* I have a list wedding-related things to buy and I hate spending money on things I'll never use again - I need some creative & cheap alternative ideas!
* my dress needs to be altered & my seamstress won't return my calls - how do I find someone else reliable & trustworthy?
* I have wedding stuff all over my dining room table and I thought I had it all under control - but I'm freaking out - I can't do this!

Yup - wedding stress is very real, very common and very challenging to deal with! And every bride will face it at some point in the planning process - especially as the time ticks down closer to the big day! It can become very overwhelming.

SO - HOW can you deal with this stress? Here's a few ideas for you...

FIRST.... BREATHE! Deep, slow breaths to calm you down. None of the plans are worth hyperventilating over! Take a break from wedding plans for a night - go for a walk, sit on your deck & read a book, sit at a coffee shop & just people-watch, go to a good & funny movie. You have a life outside of wedding plans - don't forget to LIVE it!

SECOND... KEEP LISTS & KEEP ORGANIZED! Get a notebook that you keep with you always. Write down anything & everything you think of so you won't forget it or keep worrying about it. Then as you accomplish a task, black it out or better yet, use white-out tape & make it disappear! Its done & over with, so get it out of your line of vision and watch your list get smaller.

THIRD...PRIORITIZE! Look at your lists and decide what you MUST do first - and then do those things first. Take care of the big things as soon as you can & then you'll have the head-space to think about the little things. Take a serious look at the items on your list and decide what things you can let go of if you have to. Remember that while most of your ideas will be good idea, if trying to get them all done breaks you, then they are no longer good ideas! Its just not worth falling apart over some things.

FOURTH...DELEGATE! Anything you can delegate to your mom, your fiance, your Maid of Honour or bridesmaids, your family members... DO SO! If someone volunteers to help you - take them up on their offer! YOU don't have to do it all by yourself! Give them a task and then TRUST THEM to do it.

FINALLY... or really, this should have been FIRST OF ALL THESE SUGGESTIONS... hire a wedding DAY coordinator to help you with all of these things. Every single bride I have worked with in the past and that I am working with this year tells me how glad they are they've hired me - how my referrals saved them money - how my attention to details to things they wouldn't have even considered have helped the plans to flow smoothly - how the way I listen and am there for them really does calm them down & helps them to keep things in perspective.

As a wedding coordinator, besides handling all the myriad of details that needs to come together for a wedding day - I also pride myself in being a "calming influence" and the "voice of reason" that can help to reduce the panic attacks & relieve the stress that brides face during those last busy months of planning.

SO - are YOU feeling stressed & panicky as your wedding draws closer?! If so - give me a call & let me take care of the details - so you don't have to!!

PHOTO by: Heidi Ram Photography