Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Community Christmas Dinner

On Sunday, December 16th, the real meaning of "community" was experienced and demonstrated at Forest View Church in Oakville, as a traditional Christmas dinner was served to almost 400 guests - serving people who were from lower-income, new-to-Canada and marginalized sectors of the Halton region.  

The church sanctuary was transformed into an elegant banquet dining room - with 22 tables set up, all decorated with fine linens and china and silverware, centerpieces and candles.  Christmas trees decorated with mini lights and silver and purple ornaments graced the foyer space.  Gifts for the children of the families who attended the meal were provided. 

The whole event was run by various teams of volunteers.   One team stayed after church services in order to rearrange the sanctuary and set it up the dining room and do all the decorating.  At 4:00, for the first sitting - several people volunteered to drive guests who neeed rides.  A couple dozen volunteers arrived - some bringing hot cooked food and others who came to serve the food and wait on and clear tables.  One team of people worked the toy room, wrapping the gifts that guests selected for their children.  Other volunteers were table hosts, there to make guests feel welcome.  Then, after the first sitting, all new teams of volunteers arrived to do the whole thing over again at 6:30... and after that, a whole clean up crews came to tidy up and re-set the sanctuary back to a church setting.  All told probably close to 100 volunteers were involved to provide a delicious meal and great experience for over 400 guests.

It was a wonderful event to be a part of... to see the joy on the faces of people as they walked into a candle lit room.  To see them enjoy the children of the church who performed some Christmas songs during the first sitting... and to hear the musical treat of a jazz trio during the second sitting.   To meet families who were new to Canada and eating their first ever turkey dinner.   To hear the laugher and the chatter of people from various cultures, sitting together, interacting, and sharing in the joy of the meal and evening.   To hear guests express their gratitude for the gift of a nice evening out with a delicious meal as well.   To watch the volunteers scurrying around the dining room... taking care of needs and requests, serving guests with humility and graciousness.  To see the excited faces of children carrying their wrapped presents home with them at the end of the night.  It was truly an event that warmed my heart and brought joy to my soul... and one I look forward to helping with again next year!

Merry Christmas!

Paul Millar - Event Coordinator
Special Events Rentals
All the Volunteers from Forest View Church
and of course... the guests!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Styling Your Bridesmaids

Recently, we discussed the attire elements for you, the Bride.  But once you have your wedding dress, headpiece, shoes and accessories selected, its then time to turn your attention to how to dress and style your bridesmaids.

Your gown will set the tone for the wedding as to how formal or how casual, how traditional or how trendy your day will be.  When selecting dresses for your girls, keep this same tone and theme in mind for them. 

Traditionally, the bride had full say and control over what dresses her bridal party would wear.  She selected the style and colour and her choice was not debated.  And for a more traditional or formal wedding, all bridesmaids usually wear the exact same dress.  The "PROS" of tradition is that there is no arguing or debating among bridesmaids which means less drama to deal with... and in the end, all the girls have the same look.  The "CONS" of tradition is that the bride may select a style (or colour) that really doesn't look good on all of her girls, leaving some feeling self-conscious and less-than-thrilled about an expense that she'll never wear again.

More recently however, the dynamics of bridesmaids styles have shifted somewhat, allowing the girls to have more input and say into the dresses that get selected.  And there has also been a trend towards allowing the bridesmaids to choose a dress of their choice, within certain parameters set out by the bride.  The "PROS" of being more flexible is that each girl can select a style that she feels secure and comfortable in, and they'll be happier about putting out money for a dress they will indeed wear again.  The "CONS" of individual choice is that the girls may look totally uncoordinated and sometimes giving too much freedom can end up with a bridesmaid selecting a dress that the bride totally dislikes. 

So, what is the best option for choosing your bridesmaids attire? 

In my personal opinion... it all goes back to what the tone, feel or theme of your wedding will be.  If it is very traditional and formal, then all the same dress (or at least all the same colour and length of dress by the same designer, but in different styles) is the best way to go.  But if your wedding is more casual and informal, then giving your girls guidelines about the colour and length and letting them choose their own dresses might be a better idea.

Regardless of how you decide to attire your bridesmaids... just remember to be considerate of their body styles, personal styles and budget as you make your decision.  Don't alienate a dear friend over a dress disagreement. 

And don't forget:  
on your wedding day
it is MORE important
that your BFF's are standing up with you as your maids
than what dress they are wearing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Accessories

You have your wedding dress, your wedding shoes and your headpiece... the bridal look is coming together and is almost complete. The final elements are your accessories - which include jewellry, your handbag and of course, your undergarments!
It is common for brides to use their jewellry and accessories to fulfill the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" traditions of weddings. An old brooch of grandma's pinned to your bouquet. A new clutch to hold all your day-of necessities. A strand of pearls borrowed from mom to compliment your dress. A garter of blue satin ribbon to entice your beloved! For Brides who love traditional jewellry looks for their wedding, these gems include gold, diamonds, crystals or pearls.
Choose jewellry with simple lines and delicate elements to add a nice touch to a formal gown.

For the more modern or unconventional bride, bold jewellry can really make a statement, bringing in whimisical elements or shots of colour or artistic interest. As always, keep in mind the overall look of your dress and the style of your wedding... and keep your jewellry selection in line with that.

Jewellry tip - don't wear your watch! Its the one day that you don't need to worry about time... let others do that for you!
Your next accessory for your wedding day is your purse... and for this one day, leave behind your super-size, carry-all bag and opt for a simple yet elegant clutch-style purse. You don't need to carry much with you for the day, so a small bag to hold your touch-up makeup and some tissues is about all you really need. The clutch can be the same colour as your gown, or you can choose a colour to match your shoes or the wedding theme. Just keep it small and easy to carry.

Probably the most important accessories for your wedding attire will be your undergarments, so be sure to choose these carefully. Whether you wear a bra or a bustier, you'll want to be sure that no straps show. Take your wedding day undergarments with you to a dress fitting so that you can be reassured by a professional seamstress that you will not be fussing with straps or bras peeking over the edge of your dress bodice. There are many different kinds of undergarment accessories you can buy to fix various "faux-pas" and keep those garments hiding! Also, you want to ensure that there are no unsightly seams or lines showing through your dress from your panties. You'll want to wear undergarments that lift and tuck and support in all the right places without adding bulk or lines. Thanks to the invention of shapers, such as Spanx, you have lots of great options for looking your best in your dress.

You are now all set to be the best-adorned, best-attired bride you can be... you've selected the dress of your dreams... the headpiece sends you over the top feeling like a true bride... your shoes will add a personal touch to your look... your jewellry and handbag will accent your dress and you'll feel supported and confident with your well-chosen undergarments!

Now all that's left for you to do is to
go get dressed ... its time to be a beautiful and confident bride!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Headpieces

So far in this "Bride's Attire" blog series, we've discussed wedding dresses - and then wedding shoes. Today, I want to chat about headpieces... the crowning touch to your bridal attire!
As in all other aspects of wedding wear - the options available to brides are endless! And again, what a bride chooses to wear on her head or in her hair is often dependent on the style of her dress and the theme of her wedding.

So, for a more traditional bridal look, veils are still the option of choice. Veils are usually attached to a comb so that they can be easily removed, while leaving the rest of the headpiece intact. Veils come in several different lengths (elbow, fingertip, chapel, cathedral lengths) and can be simple, plain tulle or embellished with pearls, crystals, ribbons, etc.
More modern options include combs, barrettes or headbands adorned with pearls, crystals, flowers or feathers and these can range from simple elegant styles to ornate, flasy "statement" creations. For those who love the princess look, what better headpiece than a sparkly tiara. Pillbox hats with bird-cage veils are a blast to the past and look lovely with a vintage look dress. Flower wreaths are a nice touch for soft, romantic, whimsical weddings. Thanks to Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and her recent Royal Wedding, hats and fascinators are more popular than ever at weddings both for brides, bridal parties and guests!

A fascinator is a head piece, or style of millinery, commonly made with feathers, flowers, jewels or beads that attaches to the hair by a comb, headband or clip, and is usually worn on the side of the head. For a bridal fascinator, there is often a bird-cage style veil included that is detachable, making it easy for the bride to have one look for the ceremony and a different look for photos and reception.
Many brides today are choosing to not wear any headpiece or veil, but instead, to just add small jewels or flowers to their hair style, giving them a simple and natural look.

So... here's my tips for headpiece shopping:

* keep in mind your dress style - and whenever possible, try on various headpiece options while wearing your dress so you can be sure that the headpiece looks appropriate with your dress. Sometimes, brides who are indecisive about a wedding dress find that by adding a headpiece and/or veil to the dress is all they need to convince them of the dress and the whole look comes together.

* be sure your hair is clean and nicely styled when trying on headpieces... maybe bring along a brush and some pins/hair elastics if you think you might wear your hari up abit... style your own hair a couple different ways to see how it affects the look of the headpiece.

* if your wedding will be outdoors, think carefully about whether to have a veil or not - I've seen several brides who have become flustered during the processional, ceremony and photos as their veil was whipped around by wind.

* when you go for your hair trial, be sure to take your headpiece or hair accessories with you so that the stylist will know how to do your hair while incorporating your headpiece for the best possible look.

So... dress, shoes, headpiece... check! Last items to discuss for your complete bridal attire... accessories & undergarments! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Shoes

The hardest part of wedding attire shopping is done - you've chosen the wedding dress of your dreams! Now, its time to have a bit of fun as you begin to shop for the elements of your wedding attire that will really make the day a statement of YOU...

So - first off - Shoes!! I mean, what woman doesn't love shoes?! But when it comes to selecting the shoes that you'll wear for your wedding day, you need to put some careful thought into this selection... yes, style is important... but so is comfort!

The options for shoes are as wide and varied as are the options for dresses. You can shoes that are labelled as "wedding shoes" or you can wear pretty much any shoe you desire. Bridal shoes range from swarovski-encrusted stilhettos
to white satin pumps to kitten-heeled sandals to flip flops to canvas runners! There really is no "right or wrong" when it comes to your wedding day shoes.

More traditional brides will likely choose elegant, classy shoes that match the colour of their wedding dress, going with a heeled shoe often adorned with jewels. More modern brides will often choose shoes that are somewhat unexpected or out of the ordinary... maybe a pair of lace boots

... maybe a pair of blinged up canvas runners or flip flops... or maybe even a pair of cowboy boots!

Shoes are one way that brides are tending to bring in a bold dash of colour... choosing shoest that match the flowers, the bridesmaid dresses or wedding theme colour... or maybe choosing a colour or pattern that is the bride's favourite.

Weddings today are more and more focussed on being unique and individually-styled, and so there are no "rules" about your choice of shoes!
But regardless of what style of shoe you choose, here's a couple tips to make sure that your shoes work for you and not against you on your wedding day:

* buy your wedding shoes well in advance of the wedding... and wear them regularly around the house to break them in... the last thing you need is to get blisters on your wedding day! BUT pack a few bandaids in your clutch - just in case!

* if your shoes need insoles, heel grips, or other additional supportive elements to make them more comfortable, get these in advance and again - make sure they feel good by wearing them around the house for several hours at a time.

* take your wedding shoes with you to each of your dress fittings... it is very important to have the shoes to make sure that your dress hem length is perfect with the shoes.

* even if your shoes feel great and you are confident that you'll last all day & night in them, bring a second pair of shoes with you for dancing in. This will let you feel more comfortable and will give your feet a rest... especially if your wedding shoes are high heels. Bring a pair of flats or low wedges to change into later... your feet will thank you!

* If your wedding will be outdoors or you will need to walk long distances or on lots of grass or cobblestones, you might want to consider foregoing spike-heeled shoes, or else you'll spend much of your time trying to pull your heels out of the grass! OR, if you are convinced that heels have to be your shoe of choice, then consider buying "soul mates", which are clear plastic heel protectors that stop your heels from sinking into the grass or getting caught in cobble-stone cracks www.solemates.com

Your wedding shoes add a special touch to your wedding attire... by complimenting your dress and style, or by adding a dash of your unique personality to the overall look! So have fun - shop to find shoes that you love, that feel great and that will best suit your wedding theme and style!

Stay tuned... next blog: wedding headpieces!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Bride's Attire... Tips and Ideas: Wedding Dresses

Bridal attire is the crux of the bride's wedding day! With so many options for dresses, shoes, headpieces, accessories, where does a bride even start to decide what is best for her?!

Starting this week, I'm offering a blog series that will discuss each aspect of a bride's wedding attire... starting today with the Wedding Dress!
Your bridal look - and in fact your whole wedding theme - starts with the dress you choose. And so, because of this, the bridal gown will be the most influential and vital purchase you will make for the whole wedding experience! The gown you choose will be a key element in setting the tone and theme for the entire wedding.

So, before you start to shop for your dress, take time to think through a few questions... what kind of a feel do you want your wedding to have?
Do you want a formal, traditional, elegant wedding or do you prefer a whimsical, fun, informal event?
Will the wedding be indoors or outdoors? Will it be local or destination? What season of the year will it be when you get married? And do you have a "dream" look that you want for your dress? Also, you need to determine in advance what your budget is for your entire wedding outfit and then stick to this. Remember to include the dress, shoes, undergarments, accessories, headpiece AND alterations in the amount of your budget! Once you have an idea of the overall feel and theme for your wedding and dress, and what your budget it - then its time to go shopping!

When shopping for your dress, it helps to take some photos with you of dresses that you like from magazines or online bridal sites. This will give the bridal consultant an idea of where to start selecting dresses from the hundreds of styles that most stores carry.
Start by trying on the styles you have in mind, but if you aren't finding your dream dress in those styles, be open to trying on completely different styles you didn't think you'd ever like. You might be very surprised to discover that you actually fall in love with a totally different look and find your actual dream dress is something completely unexpected! Its happened to many brides in the past - including me! When I got married 27 years ago, long sleeves were very "in style" - and so I tried on one dress based on what the sleeve looked like.. but as I put the dress on, I started to laugh because it had SO much lace on it... rows of lace around the bottom of the dress. However, when I walked out of the change room in that dress... everyone's mouths dropped open and when I looked in the mirror, I fell in love with that dress... miles of lace trim and all!! So don't be afraid to try on something different and unexpected!

Another tip for dress shopping is to wear a skin-coloured or strapless bra/panties and do your hair and makeup nicely. This will help you get a more accurate over-all look in the dress.

But I think the best tip of all for shopping for your wedding dress is to only take a couple friends or family members along with you to the appointment! Even people with the best intentions can end up confusing you and sabatoging your own interests, so if you have too many voices with you at the appointment, you're going to get frustrated. And always remember - this is YOUR dress, so if YOU love the dress, then stick to your opinions and don't let others sway you! If the dress make you feel like a bride... brings tears to your eyes and butterflies in your tummy... then go for it!

When considering the myriad of different styles & colours available in bridal gowns today,
keep in mind what style/colour is going to look best on you and what will best suit your wedding theme. You especially want to select a colour or hue that enhances your own skin tone and not make you seem pale or washed out. The options in dresses go from very traditional to ultra modern... from long trains to floor length to short and sassy cocktail dresses... and these all come in a multitude of fabric choices. And Colours! Never before have brides had so many colours to choose from in dresses! Colours range from pure white to eggshell to ivory to every other colour you can imagine! Non-white wedding dresses are becoming more popular all the time! Whether pale, muted, neutral shades or bold, bright, vibrant colours, anything is acceptable these days.
Regardless of what style or colour of dress that you choose... in the end, what is most important is that you choose the dress that makes you feel like the beautiful bride that you are!

Once you've selected the dress, the hardest part is done! Stay tuned for the next blog where we look at some fun elements of your bridal attire that will help you create your own unique look through your choice of shoes, headpieces, and accessories.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surprise! A 10th Wedding Anniversary Party

Peter & Wendy have been married for 10 years... and Peter wanted to surprise Wendy with a party to celebrate their anniversary ....

"Celli's Osteria", a fabulous Italian restaurant in downtown Burlington has a lower level restaurant called "Big Tomato", and we were able to rent out this space for this special private party.

The atmosphere is very "Italian"... with walls and tables and decor done in various autumnal shades ... industrial piping along the ceiling with hanging crystal chandeliers... bookcases along the walls displaying various vases and bottles and artifacts... the room is a pleasing eclectic mix of visuals and a great location for a private party!

Guests were invited to attend this great evening... and about 40 friends arrived between 7 & 7:30 pm, enjoying drinks and antipasto platters.
At 7:30, Wendy & Peter arrived - and it was very evident by Wendy's shocked expression that she truly had no clue about this being a party for her - for them! After mingling and greeting guests for a bit, the dinner began and guests enjoyed a leisurely and delicious dinner. A scrumptious carrot slab cake was presented for the "bride & groom" to cut together before it was served to guests.

A dear friend, and the minister who had performed their wedding 10 years ago gave a speech in their honour.. and then a touching video was shown - a special work that Peter had made to honour Wendy. Following the video, Peter & Wendy enjoyed a "first dance" together with a song that he had over-taped with a personal message to her part-way through. The rest of the evening was filled with guests visiting together as well as dancing, with great music provided by DJ Ron of Perpetual Rhythms.

Congratulations on 10 years of marriage Peter & Wendy... and wishing you many more years together!

Venue - Celli's Osteria www.cellis.ca/
DJ - Ron Finlay from Perpetual Ryhthms http://www.perpetualrhythms.com/
Video Production - Cole McFarlane http://500px.com/ColeMcFarlane

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Perfect Day for a Princess Bride!

Amy never thought she'd want a princess wedding dress... but on Friday, she looked every bit of a princess! Her sparkling tulle dress looked amazing on her and she was glowing... and was a bit teary as she walked down the aisle to meet up with her groom, Nathan. The ceremony had some nice personal touches as Nathan's dad was the minister who performed their marriage.

Photos were taken on the beautiful grounds of West Haven Golf Course while guests did a photo guest book and enjoyed the cocktail hour. The wedding colours were ivory and apple red and the dresses, flowers and reception decor were stunning.

The reception was served by great staff at the club and guests were entertained by brother of the bride, Ryan, who was a funny and "natural" MC for the evening. Speeches and a slide show of the couple were tender and touching.

In lieu of favours, guests were each given a gift tag that said "Choose a Charity"... and they were instructed to put their tag in one of three baskets, representing three charities... International Justice Mission, Compassion Canada and Austism Ontario. This was a neat way to give donations to charities and to involve guests in the process.

The evening was rounded out with lots of fun dancing and guests enjoying visiting around their tables. A highlight was all the guests watching bride Amy and her brother Ryan doing the dance to "Thriller" together... very entertaining.

The whole day was a perfect day... with the rain and cold holding off until later in the evening and with the event running smoothly for the couple and their family and friends. Congratulations Amy & Nathan!

Ceremony Venue - North Park Community Church - www.northpark.ca/
Reception Venue - West Haven Golf Course (Rob) - westhavengolf.com/
Photographers/Videographers - www.kolabcinema.com/
Florist - Nicole Cake (London) nicake@gmail.com
Ceremony Musicians - DaCapo Strings dacapostrings.wordpress.com
DJ - Rob from Music Central www.musiccentral.ca/
Late-night Limo - Checker Limo - www.voyageurtransportation.ca/

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rain Rain, Go Away!

A creative, detailed wedding plan for an outdoor ceremony and barn cocktail reception
was severely threatened as the sky turned dark and the rain poured down. All the preparations for setting up were on hold as we anxiously kept watching the weather forecast... which said it was to clear up by 4pm. With the ceremony scheduled for 6 pm, there was a glimmer of hope.
At 4:00 pm, the clouds broke, the rain stopped and the sun came out and the bride said ' Let's do this!"... sending everyone into frantic set-up mode! While the couple had their private photos done, the bridesmaids in cream-coloured dresses and heels, the Mother of the Bride in her sparkly dress and heels and the handsome groomsmen in their vested outfits all pitched in to help us get the outdoor venue set up! Water was dumped off chairs and many old towels put to good use to dry the chairs off before arranging them on the lawn. Mason jar vases with baby's breath were set out to line the aisle. The lemonade stand, signing table, photo booth props, and memory photo displays were all put in place and just in the nick of time - we were ready for a wedding!
Olivia looked absolutely stunning in her strapless ballgown! She was just glowing all day and despite the weather, was relaxed and enjoying her day. She & Mike had a private "first look" moment, captured by the photographer, before the bridal party joined them for photos.

Guests arrived and the ceremony started right on time and a personal ceremony was led by Olivia's papa, a life-long minister. They signed their register in a very small, quaint gazebo covered in greenery.

Guests enjoyed appetizers, cake and fruit served in the barn and lemonade from the outdoor stand.
After a brief stand-up reception, due to the cool fall evening temperature, the chairs were brought into the barn for a program of speeches and a slide show. It was a cozy and intimate evening. As Olivia & Mike are deeply involved with the youth from their church, the youth group was invited to join the party after speeches for a huge bonfire and dance in the barn... which they all loved and thoroughly participated in.

So, the rain DID go away, and Olivia & Mike enjoyed the wedding of their dreams, surrounded by family, friends and the youth that they love! Congratulations to a beautiful couple!


Venue: Oasis Country Retreat - barb.hoekstra@gmail.com;
Caterer: Mamdouh Dahab - Chef of Basilique www.basilique.ca
Photographer: When He Found Her (Reid Lambshead) http://www.whenhefoundher.com/blog/
Decorator: VanGeest Special Occassions www.vangeestspecialoccasions.com/
Parking, Bonfire, DJ, Set-up crew, clean-up crew: MANY various friends!

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Plan B" was Wonderful!

Plan A was an outdoor wedding ceremony - on the east lawn of Knollwood Golf Course, with white chairs set up, facing a pond... a wonderful plan A for the wedding. But rain poured down, soaking the grass and the skies played games all day... sunny, cloudy, rainy... what to do!? Finally, to be sure that we wouldn't get rained out, Plan B was decide on... to have the ceremony inside Harris Hall (a barn) instead.
The reception tables were pushed to the back of the room. Chairs were set up in rows facing the large stone fireplace. Candles lined the mantle. The table centerpiece flowers, in mason jars, were set out along the floor in front of the fireplace and in other strategic locations around the room. And the effect was BEAUTIFUL! It was cozy and intimate and ended up being better than outside!

There were many unique touches to the wedding... hand-made table number signs on wood.
A glass lemonade jar was used as the card holder. Mason jars, flowers, lot of votives accented the room. A "just married" banner was hung across the fireplace. And as a "guest book", guests painted the palms of their hands and made handprints on large canvases, and signed their names.

Sarah was a beautiful bride...
dressed in a lace gown with a deep open back. Neil was very handsome and they made a stunning couple - definitely well-suited for each other. The weather cooperated enough for them to get videos and photos taken outside while guests enjoyed cocktails on the patio.

Speeches were very tender and meaningful and a slide show highlighted their lives. It was a wonderful day for this special couple.

Congratulations Sarah & Neil!


Venue - Knollwood Golf Club www.knollwoodgolfclub.com
Videographers - KoLab Cinema www.kolabcinema.com/
Photographer - Elizabeth in Love http://www.elizabethinlove.com/
Florist - Jeans Flowers - www.jeansflowers.com
Cake - Weils of Westdale http://www.weilsbakery.com/
Officiant - Rev. Dan McLean http://graceunitedcaledonia.com
DJ - As You Like It DJ - www.asyoulikeitdj.com/

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hot Day for a Rustic Chique Wedding

Deanna & Adam had a rather hot summer day for their wedding on July 14th - but the humidity didn't put a bit of a damper on the day at Balls Falls Conservation Park. A nice breeze helped to keep things comfortable!
The ceremony was held in the country chapel on the grounds and then had time for photos on the grounds. Many of the guests enjoyed winery tours at nearby wineries... others stayed around and enjoyed lemonade and garden games - and relaxing on picnic tables and on picnic blankets under trees.

The cocktail hour & reception was held in the barn .... set with square tables for guests, the head table set up in front of open barn doors with the chapel in the background. The tables had a burlap runner down the center and then mason jars of wild flowers, candy sticks and mini lights.
Chinese lanterns with mini lights in them were hung from the ceiling... and mini lights wrapped the beam posts and were tacked around the perimeter of the barn. The colours were grey, pale yellow, light green. A unique idea was using old window frames to showcase the seating chart... one table list in each window pane!

The bridal party guys were dressed in grey casual pants, white shirts, blue plaid skinny ties and blue 'runners'.

Girls wore casual grey, short dresses. After the ceremony, the bride kicked back and relaxed in her Burkenstocks!

Congratulations Deanna & Adam on being a fun, relaxed and wonderful bridal couple! All the best in your new life together as husband & wife!

Venue - Balls Falls Conservation Park www.ballsfalls.ca/plan-your-event/weddings/
Caterer - Niche Catering www.nichecatering.ca/
Photographer - Shawn Taylor Photography www.shawntaylor.ca/
Transportation - Niagara Classic Tranport www.nctcanada.com
DJ - Spectra Audio Visual www.avniagara.ca/home.htm
Flowers - The Watering Can https://thewateringcan.securesite.ca/

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Beautiful Day for a Great Couple!

Jason & Melanie have been planning their wedding day for over a year and a half, with Jason counting down the days, hours & minutes on Facebook for much of that time!! Finally, this past Saturday, they became husband & wife!

Community Church in Waterdown was the venue for both the ceremony and reception ... and all the decor was done in both blue & green, the bride's favourite colours. :

Melanie is also a big "DIY"er - and so many of the decor elements were made by her... tissue balls of all sizes, seating chart, lettering for bulletin boards, posters of family photos, table name cards, etc. The tables were all named after wedding movies... Father of the Bride, The Wedding Singer, Meet the Parents, The Wedding Planner, etc.

The ceremony included personally written vows, a hand ceremony and a sand ceremony - as well as a special song sung by one of the bridesmaids. After the ceremony, the bridal party had photos taken in the yard behind the church and guests enjoyed appetizers on the patio while the cermeony room was "flipped" and turned into the reception hall.

After a buffet dinner, speeches and a couple of fun games, the couple danced their first dance to a song sung and played on guitar by the father of the groom & his friend. The guests enjoyed dancing as well as playing fooseball, air hockey, pingpong & basketball in an adjacent games room! It was an intimate and fun evening.

Congratulations Jason & Melanie - thanks for letting me be such an intimate part of your wedding day!

Venue - Community Church - www.communitychurch.ca
Officiant - Matt Pamplin, pastor of Grindstone Church mpamplin@grindstonechurch.com
Musician & Makeup Artist - Christie Latta christielatta@gmail.com
Soloist - Catherine Wickett - catwickett@gmail.com
DJ - Aaron White - www.djaaronwhite.com
Caterers - Maitre 'd Catering - http://www.goldbook.ca/burlington-on/caterers/maitre-d-catering-5201/
Decorators - Marian Van Geest & Jan Stevens of Van Geest Special Occasions - www.vangeestspecialoccasions.com/
Florist - Samantha Forrest of Pocket of Posies - www.pocketofposies.ca
Cake Decorator - Grant Brierly of Grant's Custom Cakes - grantbrierley_@hotmail.com
Linen Rentals - Josie Gibson of With All My Heart Wedding Decor - www.withallmyheartweddingdecor.ca/
Videographer - Jason Matos Photography -
Photographer - Heather Braaten (friend of family)
Assistant Wedding Coordinator - Susan Zuk of Elegant Details www.elegantdetails.ca
Volunteers who helped with various elements of wedding: Karen Hayes, Mary Montini, Jolaine Montgomery, Lois Montgomery, Sonya Cuttriss, Pauline, Jo-Anne & Marc Rudy, Shantelle Matos, Liz Walmsley,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunny Day full of Smiles!

The elegant Blessed Sacrament Church in Toronto was the setting for the wedding ceremony of Charise & Nedzad... a beautiful couple who were surrounded by loving family and wonderful friends. Their ceremony included special Phillipino traditions in honour of Charise's background. Following photos at a park across from the church, the bridal party gathered in the foyer of The Rosewater Hall for an Islamic wedding ceremony in honour of Nedzad's background.

The whole event showed evidences of Charise's DIY expertise... from the place cards, menu cards, table cards, favours, centerpieces to the "guest book", which was a canvas designed by Charise that listed all the guest names, and above their name, guests made a heart out of their thumb prints - what a unqiue idea!

The reception began with a fun choreographed dance by the bridal party followed by a graceful and romantic choreographed dance by the bride and groom - a dance that brought many of us to tears! The reception included some fun elements such as elastic wind-up butterflies hidden under the menus to surprise the guests... a ball-smooch game for 3 guest couples... a father/daughter dance with the groomsmen as "back up singers"... a traditional Phillipino "money dance"...the bridal couple game to determine "who knows each other best"...piano solos by the bride's nieces...and of course the garter & bouquet tosses. One of the reception highlights was seeing a same-day edit video of the wedding day.

It was a wonderful day - planned perfectly by this amazing couple and supported incredibly by their dedicated bridal party and family. What a pleasure it was to coordinate their special day for them!

Congratulations Charise & Nedzad!


Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church - www.blessedsacramenttoronto.ca
The Rosewater Hall - www.libertygroup.com
Photographers - Mariane M Photography - www.marianemphotography.com
Videographers - PGP Studios Inc - www.pgpwedding.com
DJ/MC - Impact Entertainment - www.impactentertainment.ca
Cake - I Do! Wedding Cakes - www.idoweddingcakes.ca
Floral Rentals - Pacific Florist, Lawrence Square, Toronto
Florals - Real Canadian Superstore, North York
Linen Rentals - Around the Table - www.aroundthetable.ca
Limo - Toronto Limo Rentals - www.hummerlimousineservice.ca
Assistant Wedding Day Coordintor - Susan Zuk