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!