Weddings on Lake Ontario 

Photo credit :  Avenue Photography

Photo credit : Avenue Photography

If you are on a limited budget, but are still wanting a 'wow' factor for your wedding, then why not consider having your ceremony and reception on a boat! I have been lucky enough to plan a couple of boat weddings on the Mariposa cruises and a fashion party on the Yankee Lady in the last couple of years. The amazing Toronto skyline certainly gives your photo's the 'wow' factor. 

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The ceremony and reception take place on the boat so everything is there. If you decide to have a lunchtime wedding the boats board at 11.30am and sail at 12pm. They get back to the dock at 4pm. This gives 4 hours for everything to happen, so you can imagine it is like a well oiled machine. However I would recommend a great wedding décor company who are experienced at boat weddings and a wedding coordinator if you want decor as it is such a small amount of time.

The advantage of having a lunch time wedding, you can do your photo's after the boat trip. The Toronto Music Gardens are a beautiful setting.

Photo Credit :  Avenue Photography

Photo Credit : Avenue Photography

Photo Credit :  Avenue Photography

Photo Credit : Avenue Photography

Cruising is not for everyone. If you have guests who are elderly or disabled, it is very challenging for them. But it is a very unique experience and one of my favourites.

Wedding Insurance

Fire destroys century-old Saskatoon family homestead used as wedding venue

Fire destroys century-old Saskatoon family homestead used as wedding venue

I know weddings are expensive, but if something disastrous happens, such as the venue burning down 2 weeks before your wedding, wouldn't you want the peace of mind that you're not completely at a financial loss?

What is Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance will protect the couple against financial loss for things that are out of their control. For example, if your wedding venue has a fire the week before your wedding and cannot open as happened at Orsett Hall a popular wedding venue in the UK http://thurrock-history.org.uk/orsett.htm

Why pay for Wedding Insurance?

  • With the right policy, you could postpone your wedding and receive back all the money you have paid out (less a deductible) including deposits so you can rebook.
  • The wedding boutique where you bought your dress goes out of business, but you're paid for 50% of your dress! For example this store in BC https://bc.ctvnews.ca/bride-to-be-left-gownless-after-shop-suddenly-closes-1.1340395 You would be financially compensated to get a new dress.
  • Your mom has a car accident and cannot travel to your destination wedding. Your expenses would be covered to postpone.

When should you get Wedding Insurance?

ASAP!

What does Wedding Insurance cover?

1 - Commercial General Liability including Host Liquor Liability for three(3) 24 hour periods.  Includes coverage for rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and gift opening. 

2 - Wedding cancellation: Reimbursement of deposits paid or contracted to be paid because of unexpected cancellation of the wedding.

3- Honeymoon cancellation: Will reimburse if Insured suffers a loss of pre-paid, non-refundable cost of travel due to the cancellation of the actual wedding.

4 - Loss deposit: Will pay for non-refundable deposits made to providers of any booked goods or services if they suffer financial failure.

5 - Wedding photos and video: Payment of the extra expenses necessary to retake the photos if they cannot be reproduced for any reason including non appearance of the photographer. 

6 - Bridal attire: Coverage for physical loss or damage to the bridal attire once the property is in the care of the Insured. 

7 - Wedding presents: Insurance for direct physical loss or damage to wedding presents (24 hours prior and after the wedding) while property is at the couples home or reception location or in transit between the two. 

8 - Rings: Covers physical loss or damage to wedding bands. Coverage starts 7 days prior to wedding.

9 - Wedding Cake and Flowers: Direct physical damage or loss to the wedding cake or flowers seven days prior to the wedding.

10 - Wedding Stationary: Physical damage or loss to the wedding stationary prior to the wedding. Includes invitations, RSVP cards, menus and name cards.

11- Rented Property: Reimbursement of direct and physical damage to rented property used during the wedding reception. It includes, but is not limited to, temporary outdoor shelters, such as tents or marquees, tables and chairs, stages, audio and visual equipment.

What insurance doesn't cover

  • Cold feet!

Here are some companies who provide wedding insurance

PAL - Insurance Brokers Canada Ltd

Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers Ltd

Easy Insure

 

The real life of a wedding planner!

Everyone thinks that I have the best job ever! Just like J Lo! And yes I do think I have the best job, but it's not glamorous all the time!

Photo credit : Avenue Photography

Stressful

Firstly, being a wedding/event planner is in the top 10 most stressful jobs. I can see why we are on that list, as every wedding day we have all the pressure to make sure the wedding is exactly what the couple want and that it is memorable for all the right reasons!

Long Hours

Each couple we spend around 25-30 hours working on their wedding day. It starts when we meet the couple for the first time and we spend 45mins-1hour chatting about their special day. We then meet again 4 weeks before the day and spend 2-3 hours with them, then the rehearsal another hour.

We spend 4-5 hours putting together the itinerary and personally contacting each vendor to make sure that they know what they are doing and if they have any special requirements. The wedding day arrives and we work around 12-15 hours on average.

On call

We are deemed to be on call 24/7. Receiving calls and emails at all times of the day and night.

Play the bad guy

We spend all day chasing vendors and telling them to change this, move that, go back and bring me the correct items. Cut off the drunk cousin and deal with the fallout.

Things we have to do

  • Hold up a dress while bride pees
  • Put hand up dress to fix bustle
  • Keep the divorced mom and dad away from each other
  • Keep the alcoholic cousin sober
  • Ask the cousin to leave
  • Drive to the bride and grooms house to collect some specialty drinks they had forgotten
  • Moved the cutting of the cake sooner as the cake was leaning
  • Sew buttons on grooms shirt
  • Cut fingers off surgical gloves so the flowers can be put on the cake (cannot push unprotected flowers into edible items)
  • Stop fights between guests
  • Receive calls from the groom at 2.30am to ask where his bag is, receive another call at 3am to ask the same question. Then receive a text message from the same groom at 7.15am to ask for a debrief of the night.
  • Pull labels off dollar store bought vases (they do not want to come off)
  • Asked to tell the wedding in the room next door, to stop their dancing until we've finished our speeches! (I didn't, I asked if they could turn it down a little. Downside of busy convention centres.)

Do I love my job? Absolutely, it's never dull.

If you are interested in hiring a wedding planner/coordinator please checkout our website www.perfectplanners.ca

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Wedding Coordinator versus Venue Coordinator 

When I chat to brides about their wedding and I ask if they are looking for a wedding coordinator  and I sometimes get the reply "no my venue has a coordinator." At this point I cringe internally.

Photo by Phat Dog Visuals Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing venue coordinators out there, but that is not the norm. Venue coordinators look at everything from the venues point of view. They will not be chasing if the cake does not show up, they will not be sewing the grooms button on because it fell off before the ceremony. They will not be checking that the dress/hair/makeup looks ok whilst you're having your photo's taken. 

Wedding coordinators are independent from everyone and are solely working for YOU and in YOUR best interests. They will create a timeline of events for your day and communicate it to all of your vendors, they will cue music, speeches, first dance etc. When something doesn't go to plan which happens at most weddings, wedding coordinators are skilled to find solutions or work around the issue to ensure that the day is kept on time. The couple often has no idea until after the day that anything has happened. And that is the job of the wedding coordinator, to ensure this day runs smoothly and you get to enjoy a stress free day! 

Photo by Sawyer Photography If you are starting to plan your wedding, do not assume that every service that your venue suggests is the best thing for you. Just because they are on the venues preferred vendor list, does not mean that they are the right fit for you. Ask questions to your venue coordinator regarding the timeline, cueing music, working with other vendors, managing the vendors, how often can you contact them, will they attend/supervise the rehearsal? All these things are included in a wedding coordinator's package. So do your research and ask the questions.

You are spending thousands and thousands of dollars on your special day, therefore it is so important to find vendors who you are comfortable with and who you feel you can trust to do a great job and take the stress away. 

This is what is included in our standard wedding day coordination package:

  • One Wedding Planners certified by the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada
  • At least one assistant coordinator
  • An initial meeting at no cost to you, at a mutually convenient location
  • One planning meeting prior to the rehearsal, normally at the venue of the reception 4 weeks before the wedding (usually 2 hrs duration)
  • Design an itinerary which once the couple has signed off it is distributed to all vendors involved in the day
  • Reviewing all vendor contracts
  • Unlimited communication from when you contract our services until your wedding day
  • Contacting all vendors to co-ordinate arrivals/set up/take down etc
  • Supervision and Direction of Wedding Rehearsal
  • Supervision and Execution of Ceremony and reception set up
  • On site direction of the Wedding Ceremony and Reception
  • Supervision of Photo session
  • We will arrive when needed and leave after the last major event (usually after the night table has been laid out)
  • Access for you and your guests to our emergency bag, because we are prepared for most situations

Christmas at a planners house!

Us wedding planners are creative types and we never need an excuse to decorate! Christmas is the time of year to go all out with décor. Last year, I was very taken with the light blue and silver which seemed to be very popular. I like to try something different, and so I did. img_1807-2

I loved the winter feel of the ice blue with the silver.

 

For Christmas Day, I coordinated the table with the tree.

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My friends at With All My Heart Wedding Décor did a great job with helping me pick the right chair sashes. They also had the perfect colour napkin holders.

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The centrepiece was creatively designed by Select Flowers who did a great job bringing to life my vision.

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This is a great time for those of you who are DIY brides to try out things that you have thought of for your tables.

 

 

 

DIY Rustic Wedding Signs

  DIY sign 1

Rustic signs at weddings are very trendy right now and they don't look like they are going anywhere. Made out of barn board, stenciling and white paint not only do they add a romantic touch to weddings but they are also simple, quick and inexpensive to make. These quirky signs suit easy going outdoor weddings but can also look quite elegant placed inside with just the right cursive.

DIY 2

Photo credit Caroline Frost

These signs can be placed to welcome your guests and also to direct your guests where they need to be in an organized fashion. For example use them to direct guests where the ceremony and reception will be taking place, where the bar is or where the washrooms are. They can also be used to state the menu at the buffet table. Not only are these signs functional but they may also be used as decor displaying your favourite beautiful quote.

Wedding-in-the-woods-17Photo Credit : Paige Jones

il_570xN.948671948_qfdy.jpg Or to catch the cute moments!

 

The materials needed to make these signs are barn board, stenciling and white paint. You can find barn board at most DIY stores but also check out any antique shops where you may find something interesting made of barn wood that can be recycled. Or if you´re lucky you may be able to score some wood from someone´s old barn - make sure you ask permission first of course. And unless you are very talented and can write or print beautifully freehand then I suggest you use stenciling. White paint shows up the best on the dark wood. If you´re really crafty jazz up your signs with flowers.

f6f5c2e1f68f18a4420622054eb0171f Unknown Photographer

If you´re placing your signs outside you´ll need to attach them to pickets so that they can be hammered into the ground. If you´re displaying them inside, setting them on easels is a good idea. You can find ideas and tutorials on how to make them on internet sites such as Pinterest.

The best part about these signs is getting together with your girlfriends, getting a bottle of wine and creating them together. Not only will they look amazing at your wedding but after your wedding is over and beautiful memories have been made, you can take them home and hang them on your walls as a reminder of the best day of your life.

For all your wedding planning needs contact Perfect Planners - Your Wedding Specialist

 

 

What to do with your bridal decor after the wedding?

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Your wedding was last month, you have had your honeymoon and when you got back you put away all the presents, but what are you going to do with your candle votives, mason jars, blackboards, centrepieces, umbrellas, dress? The Original Bridal Swap (8)

Your choices for selling them were limited to kijiji, craigslist or facebook groups, but not now.

The Original Bridal Swap is coming to Toronto!

This event is where past brides will sell their gently used items to brides to be. Let's face it, these items have been used for only 1 day, so they are in great condition!

The Original Bridal Swap (11)

You can also sell your wedding dress! There are consignment store in and around the GTA, but your dress could sit there for a year before it sells. With the bridal swap it is there one day. Also, with consignment you will receive around 50% of what the dress is sold for. If you consign your dress with the bridal swap you receive 70% and you set the selling price!

The Original Bridal Swap (2)

For more information contact The Original Bridal Swap Toronto West at torontowest@bridalswap.com or call 416 805 2096 (Vicky)

The Original Bridal Swap is brought to you by Perfect Planners - Your Wedding Specialist

 

Are couples getting married for the wrong reasons?

One of my husband's colleagues is getting married next year. He has started verbally inviting guests. One of his friend's who he has known for quite some time has been trying to decide whether to go or not. The wedding is 3 hours drive away and he isn't sure he can make that trip as he doesn't drive, pay for accommodation, present etc. The Groom to be came up to him a couple of days later and said 'so what are you giving us for a wedding present?'

I was so disappointed by this comment as I believe it shows they are getting married for all the wrong reasons. What happened to getting married for love? You invite guests to share in your special day not because of what you can get from them.

What's your view?

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