5 Tips On How A Bride Can SHINE On Her Wedding Day!

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Every bride wants to look stunning on her wedding day… if you didn’t you wouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars on the gown, designer shoes and your beauty regime. You want your guests to tell you how stunning you look and how much fun they are having at your wedding. However your guests take their cue from the hosts… which is ultimately the bride + groom and their families. If you’re running around not enjoying yourselves then your guests won’t either. I guarantee you that all eyes will be on you and your families the entire time, so it’s important to have a good time while you’re there.
Here are a few of my tips to ensure that you can be the stunning beautiful bride but also ensure your guests know your wedding is amazing!
Steph’s Bridal Advice:

#1. Accept Compliments- When someone says that you look beautiful… it’s simple… say thank you! When they tell you that they are having a wonderful time, don’t start complaining that the venue didn’t serve the right food. Unless you point it out… your guests have no clue what was supposed to be right or wrong.
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#2. Smile, Laugh, Dance + Have A Good Time- Your wedding will be over before you know it. At the end of the night you won’t believe how fast it goes by. So make sure that you enjoy every single moment. Smile, laugh, eat the yummy food, smell the roses, hug your guests, dance like mad, kiss your new husband and just soak it all up!
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#3. Glow Like The Star You Are- On your wedding day you cannot be the star in the spotlight and the director behind-the-scenes. Even though you have this wedding perfectly planned, you need someone there to oversee the entire day from the time you wake up until the time your last guestleaves. You want someone there to help communicate your wishes to your vendors and venues. To help with the set up to ensure that everything is how you wanted it to be. To ensure that the services you’ve paid for is up to your standards and as per your contacts. And that if any problems or issues arise, someone with the proper experience and expertise will be able to handle the problem with grace and quickly without panic.
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#4. Walk with poise, grace + beauty- Practise walking around in your designer shoes several weeks before your wedding day. Concentrate on feeling beautiful, graceful and confident. Here’s a DIVA tip I heard from Beyonce… to wear your shoes with socks while you begin to break them in to prevent blisters.
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#5. Stress-less the last few weeks prior to your wedding- What helps you unwind? I love singing + music… it empowers me. So sing in the shower, sing in the car, rock to work with your favourite tune. Perhaps you love the spa- get a package and spend a day at the spa have a facial, a massage, get your nails done. Journal- starting to go a little crazy just before the big day. That’s okay, this is very normal. Grab a journal and start writing out how you feel… vent to your journal and get it all out. You’ll feel so much better.
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Consider hiring a wedding day coordinator + team to help you the last few weeks prior to your wedding. This is the most crucial and stressful time during your planning, and a professional wedding day coordinator is your insurance policy that the money you’ve spent on your wedding day can be thoroughly enjoyed by your guests as well as your friends, family and yourself.

8 Unique Venue Ideas for Your Wedding Day

Winery – Ideal for small, intimate weddings a winery can be an excellent location for an outdoor ceremony or even an indoor reception overlooking the vineyard. If you love wine, this is a gorgeous place to have your special day.callawayvineyardwinerythm1

Museum – Why not add a little culture to your wedding by having it in a museum? With lots of space and beautiful exhibits, a museum makes an excellent place to say ‘I do’.

School House – An intimate wedding in an old school house can add historic charm to your wedding whether it is indoor or outdoor.

Art Gallery – An art gallery is a unique venue for artsy couples that want something different. There are many different sized art galleries, and many offer wedding packages as well.02-the-bride-and-groom-at-an-old-school-house-in-mississauga-300x247

Bed & Breakfast – With the option of having a small, indoor wedding or an outdoor garden wedding an bed & breakfast is an ideal location for smaller weddings. If you want the homey charm of having a wedding at home without all the work, this may be for you.

Mill – A wedding at an old mill can add a natural, elegant feel to your wedding. And plenty of photographic locations for wedding pictures.

Barn – A unique location to say ‘I do’. Barns offer plenty of room, and a lot of options to decorate.

Restaurant – Is there a restaurant where you and your fiancé had your first date? Or do you guys have a restaurant you just absolutely adore? Why not see if the venue will host your wedding? And there’s no need to hire a caterer.

5 Tips to Deal with Post Bridal Show Overwhelm

It’s the end of January and Bridal Show season is starting to wrap up. You’ve got dozens to hundreds of brochures and wedding business marketing materials. You have found a few vendorsfile-folders_300-252x300 you’ve met that you like; you got ideas from some of the booths and lots of e-mails in your inbox from vendors. But now what? How do you know what’s the next step with your wedding? Many brides and grooms I’ve spoken with are now even more confused and overwhelmed after the show then they thought they’d be. So what’s the next step?

  1. Purge – Go through all the brochures, flyers, information, etc and get rid of the one’s you don’t need. You can dispose of any promotions that are over, anything that’s beyond your price range, anything you just don’t like, or anything that is not in near or in your designated area.
  2. Organize – Get some file folders, or binder, or accordion folder, etc. Label each section with categories (Photography, Catering, Venues, etc) and separate the vendor information into these sections.
  3. Research – Look up online the vendors that you have received information on in each category. If you decide you’re no longer interested in a vendor, dispose of their pamphlets and information materials. If you are still interested, contact them and request a quote.
  4. Organize Quotes & Other Information – Put all information regarding quotes into your organization folder, binder, etc to help keep it organized. Any vendor that you find is out of your budget, dispose of their information. Set up meetings with the vendors that are left to see their work and get further information.
  5. Get Help – Getting help from a Wedding Planner, such as myself, can be a big timesaver. We have connections in the industry and can help decide which vendor will be the best fit for you and even attend vendor meetings.

When looking for the right A-team to work with you on your wedding there are several things brides and grooms overlook and wouldn’t know otherwise unless they’ve planned several weddings before and had an extensive list of reliable, professional vendor contacts and have experienced their services first hand. You need to be working with the right vendors. You need vendors that match your personality, vision, style, quality of service, professionalism and budget. I see many couples making the mistake of going with the first vendor they see that’s “cheap”. As much as I wish you could get an amazing wedding for 300 people for $5,000 it simply won’t happen. I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news but you will be sadly disappointed with the results and I don’t want that to happen to you. As a professional wedding planner I know what to look for when it comes to finding reliable wedding vendors for your wedding. I know your preferences, your wishes, your vision, your personalities, your goals, your dreams… your family… everything! I know everything about you and your wedding. I also know everything about the connections I’ve made. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities, their style, the level of service, professionalism and what sort of product or service they put out there. As a wedding planner my job is to play matchmaker. My job is to have all of the answers or get all of the answers you need to make the best decision for your wedding and what your end result will be. I want you to have the best experience for your wedding for your allotted budget no matter if that’s $5,000 or $500,000. You deserve to have your dream day! All I’m asking is for you to be realistic and let me help you.

Do I believe every bride should work one-on-one with a wedding planner? No. Why, because sometimes you’re money needs to be spent elsewhere. If you have the time to plan your own wedding then put that money elsewhere. Can you still work with a wedding planner to guide you through the wedding planning process? Absolutely! Couples are able to work with me at a variety of price points, to utilize my expertise without the thousands of dollars it costs for me to work with you solely on your wedding. Now if you’re a busy professional and you just cannot do this on your own. That you want to set a standard with your wedding, to go above and beyond you and your guest’s expectations then you a professional wedding planner could be very beneficial to make these dreams come true. In this case, this is a good investment of your money as a wedding designer will help create a unique experience while allowing you to focus on your career, family, etc and be stress free.

Take the Stress out of Picking the Dress

Picking out your dream wedding dress is a fun and exciting experience. But there are many options and many different price points that often make buying your wedding gown overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when looking to buy your dream wedding dress.wedding-dress-shopping-300x240

  1. Budget – Set a budget for your dress and stick to it. Going over your dress budget can quickly push you over your total budget amount, or take away finances from other important aspects of your wedding. Generally the rule of thumb is that attire should be limited to about 5-12% of your total wedding budget. Keep in mind this percentage includes the gown, a veil, shoes, accessories, undergarments and hosiery, jewellery, as well as a tux for your groom and his shoes, cuff links, tie, etc.
  2. Research – Research gowns and gain some overall knowledge of gowns before even going out to a bridal shop. Look online, read bridal magazines, and look at a few catalogues.
  3. Decide a Few Dress Preferences – What type of silhouette do you want? Ball gown, A-line, Sheath, or Empire Waist? What colour do you want? Do you want pure white or an off-white shade or something even more non-traditional? Think about length. Do you want a long dress or do you want something shorter and less traditional? Do you want something really formal or less formal?
  4. Bring a Few People with You to the Bridal Shop – Bring your mother, friends, sisters, or anyone’s who will give you an honest opinion on the dress and tell you if they think it looks good on your or not. Be careful not to bring too many people. Having a lot of people can end up being more stressful than helpful.
  5. Don’t Buy Right Away (unless you have to) – Try not to purchase your dress on your first visit to the bridal shop, at least sleep on it before you buy. You don’t want to be stuck with a dress you aren’t fully sure of.
  6. Enjoy the Experience – Buying your wedding gown should be a fun experience, don’t stress, enjoy the time with the girls.

The Maid of Honour – How to Choose Her & What Her Duties Are

Your Maid of Honour should be that special friend or family member who maid+of+honouryou feel you are closest with. The Maid of Honour should be responsible, organized, and someone you can count on to talk you through any stress you may come across. The Maid of Honour has many duties. Although, these duties vary from wedding to wedding, here are a few tasks she may be required to do:

  • Help you pick your wedding dress
  • Help with invitations, seating cards, and wedding favours
  • Help plan the Stag & Doe
  • Plan your wedding shower and bachelorette party
  • Deliver a toast at the wedding
  • Help you make sure that you are looking your best at the wedding for photographs
    Carry the grooms ring for the ceremony
  • Sign the marriage certificate

Sometimes it is impossible to decide between two people. So don’t pick between them, ask them both to be your Maid of Honour. Yes, they will have to divide the duties, but it will lighten the work load for both of them and everyone will be happy with the end result.

Also, keep in mind how far the Maid of Honour lives from you. If she lives far away, it may be difficult for her to perform her duties. She’ll have to travel more and that can become financially draining and exhausting.

Your Maid of Honour is an important part of your wedding day. Make sure you choose wisely and don’t be pressured into picking anyone you don’t feel comfortable having as Maid of Honour. This is your special day; choose someone who is special in your life.

Do’s & Dont’s of Selecting Your Venue

Do:

  • Set a budget and stick to it.72405_450763383743_151679248743_5329780_7677521_n-300x200
  • Know how many guests you plan on attending each the ceremony and reception.
  • Decide if you want to have the ceremony and reception at the same location.
  • Keep a couple of dates in mind in case a venue you really like is already booked.
  • Create a list of the things you need your venue to have (ie. Wheelchair accessibility, catering, on-site ceremony area, on-site accommodations, adequate parking).
  • Decide whether or not you need accommodation and/or transportation for your guests.
  • Think about whether or not the decor of the venue matches the decor you have in mind for the wedding. If it doesn’t, it may cost more to cover it up with decorations and flowers.
  • Read your contract carefully! Watch for hidden costs.
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Don’t:

  • Stray from your budget. Spending too much onchurch1-300x199 a venue will affect how much you can spend on other things at the wedding. Keep in mind that if your venue includes catering, liquor and other things that you require for your wedding you can cut costs in other areas of your budget.
  • Forget to check out health and safety regulations as well as liquor licensing at the venue.
  • Choose a venue that’s too large for your number of guests. If there is too much open, wasted space at your venue you may have to spend more filling it up with decorations and flowers.
  • Forget about the menu. Find out if they offer catering services with food that you would be interested in. Do you have any limitations on what outside catering services you can uses?
  • Be afraid to ask a lot of questions (ie. Adequate bathroom facilities, cancellation policy, payment schedule, overtime charges, parking, inclement weather plans).