So You Wanna Be a Wedding Planner?


For those of you who follow this blog, then you already know about the pitfalls to hiring an inexperienced wedding planner.  But for this post, I would like to actually address those who are looking at a potential career in the Wedding Planning field.

Lately there appears to be a huge influx in the number of “wedding planners” in Edmonton (could this be because of the recent launch of “Four Weddings Canada“? I’m going to go with that! ;) ). I receive numerous emails a week from would-be planners who are either looking for advice on how to enter this field, or from people who are looking for me to hire them as an assistant.

Since I don’t like to ignore emails, please take this blog post for what it is: My Advice for Those Wanting to Become Wedding Planners.

1) Get a “Weducation”!

Whatever you do, please, please, PUH-LEASE do this! Professional wedding planners do this for a living. It is a business and we take it very seriously. Having been a bridesmaid in your cousin’s wedding and being an avid watcher of the Slice network does not mean that you have what it takes to be a wedding planner. If you are really serious about a career in wedding planning, please take a course and get certified!

2) Pay Your Dues:

lady hard at work

{ source }

I am not referring to your association or membership fees (although you’ll want to make sure that you pay those!). What I mean is: put in your time! Like any newbie starting out in their respective field, be prepared to work your way up. You can’t just expect to book clients as soon as you get your certificate in the mail. You need to pound the pavement and put some hard work into it. Network with others in your industry. Familiarize yourself with local vendors and their products. Research trends, statistics and demographical information for your business area. This is one of the more exhausting parts of getting your business up and running, but it is a very vital part.

3) Humiliate Yourself:

There isn’t enough room on this blog for both you AND your ego, so check that attitude at the door! Humility is a good quality to have – you can still come across as confident and capable without trash-talking those who have been in the industry longer than you. This desperate attempt to build yourself up is exactly that – desperate! In trying to make other people look bad, you just end up ruining your own reputation, that of your company, and you will also lose the respect of your colleagues.

4) Honesty is the Best Policy:

honesty be honest{ source }

I hate to bring up this point, but it clearly needs to be addressed. When starting out your business don’t book meetings with other planners by pretending to be a prospective client! Not only is it dishonest and totally sketchy, but it’s a waste of time and money for the planner. This is time that is being taken away from my paying clients, or family, friends…and my cat! (If you could see Delilah‘s sad kitty face when her Mum’s not home, believe me, you would feel guilty!)  If you want to know information about how to price your services, or have general business questions, just ask! Better to be upfront and honest about it than for us to do a background check on you, only to find out that you created a fake email account a week ago and have a Kijiji ad out promoting your services as a planner!

5) Take the High Road:

Women gossiping

 { source }

Once you start to build your business and begin to get people following your work, it’s a wonderful feeling! However, that success and recognition will also bring out…THE HATERS! These are people who will talk bad about you to vendors, other planners and even clients (and they are people who CLEARLY didn’t follow Step 3!). The sad fact is that this happens to everyone in every line of work once they are acknowledged for something or are recognized for their skills and talent. The wedding industry, largely, is a female-dominated world…and you know how catty some women can get. Therefore, gossip and slander is everywhere. In order to maintain your reputation as a professional, it is very important to resist the temptation to engage in such behaviour. You never know just how small the wedding industry is in your area until some juicy tidbit of information travels down the grapevine. (Just make sure that you didn’t start it, and that you didn’t pass it on!)


certified edmonton wedding planner

{ source }

All in all, wedding and event planning is a very rewarding and fulfilling career; but it should not be entered into lightly. Reality shows have really thrust what we do into the spotlight and have sensationalized it to some degree. The actual reality is that most of our time is spent in front of the computer – responding to emails, researching vendors and products, balancing budgets and creating timelines. Part of being a Wedding Planner means that you are dealing with a very stressful and emotional time in people’s lives, and there is no do-over. Expectations and tensions can be high, and you are in the thick of it all.

Wedding planning is a fun, rewarding, stressful and exciting career.  It takes strong organization, confidence, creativity, business sense and a lot of hard work to become successful at it.

If after all this, you still think that you want to become a wedding planner, then I wish you all the very best! Maybe I’ll see you at an industry mixer someday! ;)

Wedding Dress Trends for 2012, part 2 – New York Bridal Show


And to round out the blog posts about the New York Bridal Show, here is part 2 of the Kleinfeld Bridal Fashion Show! :)

Vintage Lace Wedding DressYet another Pnina Tornai creation that doesn’t disappoint! This beautiful Chantilly lace gown features Pnina’s signature illusion bodice and a tiered skirt. Price: $11,500

Feather Detail Wedding Gown KleinfeldAnother trend for 2012 is feathers. This Sophia Moncelli for Kleinfeld gown features ostrich feathers on a trumpeted skirt. Price: $5,300

Gatsby Inspired Wedding GownHere’s another vintage bridal gown with a Valentino-like feel. This silk charmeuse tank dress with a low back is by Pnina Tornai and features rhinestone accents on the waist. Price: $10,000

Satin trumpet wedding dress This champagne colored Judd Waddell gown features a trumpet skirt with a beautiful lace bodice and rhinestone belt. Price: $3,300

Adding Color to your Wedding DressA great way to incorporate your wedding colors into your attire is to add a colorful sash. This Edgaro Bonilla wedding dress features a crumb-catcher bodice and is accented with a dark teal ribbon. (I especially love the shape of this dress without the ribbon!) Price: $4,200

Raw Edge Skirt Wedding GownIn 2012, look for volumized and structured skirts, like this Rivini dress’ raw edge skirt detail dress.

Romantic Flowered Wedding DressI absolutely love this wedding dress by Dennis Basso, featuring hand-embroidered rosettes. Price: $4,800

Modern Edgy Sheath Wedding DressThis modern strapless sheath dress by Carol Hannah features raw edge seams. Price: $2,800

Organza Ballgown Wedding Dress When people think “wedding dress”, they typically envision a white ballgown. This fun, flirty organza ballgown by Alita Graham is the quintessential wedding dress. Price: $2,500

Bridal Suit Lesbian Wedding Outfit I must say that I was so happy to see this come down the runway! This beautiful women’s tuxedo by Douglas Hannant features a plunging neckline and is fabulous for more mature brides, Lesbian brides, or brides who just aren’t fond of dresses!

Bling Wedding GownIf you’re a girl who loves her bling, then you’ll love this dress! This Kleinfeld mermaid-style gown features an embroidered dropped waist and a starburst rhinestone pattern. Price: $4,200

Pink Blush Mermaid Wedding DressIt’s a little hard to tell from the photo, but this gorgeous Dennis Basso mermaid gown is a blush pink color, which is a lovely alternative to white or ivory and still keeps that romantic feel. Price: $2,800

Kleinfeld Pnina Corset GownThis gown is certainly for the more daring bride and probably wouldn’t be church-approved. ;) This Pnina Tornai gown features an ivory beaded illusion bodice. Price: $11,500

Kleinfeld Pnina Tornai Wedding DressYet another Pnina Tornai gown. This was the show-stopper! The dress is called “Mother of Perla” and is a lace ballgown with a tiered skirt. Price: $32,500


So, let’s recap the dress trends for 2012:

  • Lace is making a HUGE comeback (thanks to Kate Middleton, I’m sure!)
  • Bling is here to stay!
  • Skirts with volume, texture and structure rule the runway.
  • Blush Pink is the new white.
  • Stapless has some stiff competition – look for more dresses with straps and sleeves.

Wedding Dress Trends for 2012, part 1 – New York Bridal Show


Ok. Here it is. The post that I know you have ALL been waiting for…the Kleinfeld Fashion Show! :)

I noticed a lot of trends for 2012, but I’ll keep them short and sweet:

Lace                    Volume                       Bling                 &                     Blush

Lace Bridal Gown

This Judd Wadell gown is made of ivory lace and features a sweetheart neckline and an ivory satin belt. Price: $4,700


Kenneth Pool Bridal Gown

I love the ruched bodice on this classic ball gown by Kenneth Pool for Amsale. Price: $5,600


Peter Langer Mermaid Wedding Gown

I absolutely adore the illusion neckline and lace appliques of this Peter Langer dress. Price: $7,300


Kleinfeld Organza Ball Gown Wedding

Here is another classic ball gown, but in organza with some beautiful organza flowers to match. Price: $2,200


Strapless Wedding Gown

Check out the pick up skirt on this dress!! This is a taffeta strapless dropped waist a-line gown by Ian Stuart. Price: $6,200


Tornai Ruffle Ball Gown Wedding Dress

If you’re looking for a dress with volume, look no further! This Pnina Tornai silk ball gown features floral details on the back. Price: $15,000


Vintage Wedding Dress

Personally, I found this dress to be reminiscent of Kate Moss’ Galliano dress that she wore on her wedding. This dress is a chiffon sheath gown with beading and embroidery and is made by Matthew Williamson. Price: $4,000


Claire Pettibone Lace Bridal Gown

This Claire Pettibone dress features gold and silver vintage lace and an empire waist. Price: $3,500


Halter Top Wedding Dress

This whimsical Reem Acra dress features a tulle v-neck halter with embroidered flowers. Price: $5,900


Greek Inspired Wedding Dress

I love the “Grecian Goddess” look, so I was naturally drawn to this Matthew Williamson dress as well. This is a spaghetti strap empire waist sheath gown accented with a satin belt. Price: $5,500


Chiffon Cocktail Bridal Gown

How awesome would this dress be for a destination or casual wedding or as a reception dress? This Badgley Mischka strapless chiffon cocktail gown also features a shredded chiffon skirt. Price: $2,900


Kleinfeld Say Yes to the Dress

If you watch TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress”, then you’re probably already familiar with Kleinfeld designer Pnina Tornai and her signature illusion corsets. This ivory strapless gown features handkerchief cut lace and is certainly for the bride who wants to make a statement! Price: $12,600


Well, that’s all for Part 1! Part 2 of the Kleinfeld Fashion Show to come next week! ;)


Wedding Trends for 2012 – New York Bridal Show


Welcome to Part 2 of our post from the New York Wedding Party bridal show.

This post is all about the upcoming trends that you can expect to see in Edmonton, oh, a couple of years from now! ;) (You know how slow on the pick-up Canadians are sometimes).

1) Unconventional Tables:

McQueen tablescape plaid table

{ Nancy Swiezy Events & Flowers }

When it comes to tables and reception decor, be on the look out for couture influences. This Alexander McQueen-esque table is a perfect example! Non-traditional elements and found objects, such as the skull candle, could replace the traditional floral centerpiece. Alternating your tables while still staying within your theme is not only cutting-edge, but a great conversation piece and a memorable design element to your wedding.

 2) Healthier Options

 veggie buffet vegetable bar

{ Marcia Selden Catering }

Candy Buffets and Dessert Tables (or Sweet Tables) are still really popular at weddings and events. But if you’re looking for a different take on a current trend (or you just don’t have a sweet tooth), check out this posh Veggie Buffet. That’s right! Those are fabulous containers filled with an assortment of veggies and dips. Don’t worry about filling all the containers with edible delights, use sugars, beans, whole and un-peeled vegetables and legumes as filler in the bottom of deeper containers and add your sliced veggies on top.

 3) Fashionable Functionality

twist bridesmaid dress

{ Twobirds Bridesmaids }

If you ever tried to squeeze all your girlfriends into the same style of dress, then you understand that it doesn’t always work. Women come in all different sizes and shapes and the bridesmaid dress that you choose may not work on everyone. Introducing the convertible bridesmaid dress! This dress can be worn 15 different ways AND they’re available in Canada as well!

3) The Return of the Cake

 couture designer vogue cake

{ Fashion Design cake by Heather Barranco Dreamcakes }

Cupcakes (as much as it pains me to admit it), have had a good run. The Wedding Cake is back on top, but it’s anything but traditional! The new trend in cakes is two-fold: fashionable couture or themed. Look for cakes with design elements similar to a dress from your favourite designer: rosettes, rouching, texture, bling, etc. kimono wedding cake

{ Mikado inspired cake by Heather Barranco Dreamcakes }

Also look for artistic elements such as “watercoloring” or ombre color techniques.

modern orange yellow wedding cake

 { Mosaic cake by Ron Ben-Israel }

As for themed cakes, these aren’t just for groom’s cakes anymore. Check out these Alice in Wonderland and Lovebird themed wedding cakes:

wonderland wedding cake

{ Alice in Wonderland cake by Heather Barranco Dreamcakes }

lovebird wedding cake

{ Love Birds in Birdcage cake by Heather Barranco Dreamcakes }

By far, the most eye-catching cakes that I have ever seen belonged to Creme Delicious. These Henna-inspired cakes and mini cakes are just so colorful and vibrant that I was instantly drawn to them!

colorful indian wedding cake edmonton wedding planner

I was also fortunate enough to win one of these beauties!

indian wedding cake sari henna

Be sure to stay tuned for Part 3 of our New York Bridal Show series…the dresses!


The Wedding Party – New York Bridal Show


New York Bridal Wedding Show

Last week I flew to New York City for The Wedding Party Bridal Show, put on by The Wedding Library along with Martha Stewart Weddings. I met up with a few of my colleagues from the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and we hit up the bridal show V.I.P. style!

Wedding Show VIP Passes{our gold VIP wristbands!}

The event was held at the gorgeous New York Palace hotel in Manhattan. The atmosphere and grandeur of the foyer totally put you in the wedding spirit!

Elegant Hotel Lobby Palace

While waiting in line to register (with almost 600 other attendees!), we were treated to some classical music from a string trio…and of course I had to grab a photo of myself with my registration bag!

Wedding Sting Trio

Edmonton Wedding Planner Sweet Bliss Weddings

When the time arrived for the Bridal Show to start, the doors opened to the grand ballroom where we were to take our seats for a presentation by Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings and a Q & A by the celebrity panel. Once inside the ballroom, we were treated to another musical performance.  This time it was an amazing “revivalist jazz” band called Carte Blanche, complete in period costume. (Personally, I LOVED them! I felt like I was an a 1920s Paris speak-easy!)

vintage jazz french band

amsale mindy weiss sylvia weinstock amsale aberra peter callahan matthew robbins

The celebrity panel consisted of: (from left to right) Darcy Miller (editorial director for Martha Stewart Weddings), Amsale Aberra (Bridal Fashion Designer),  Mindy Weiss (Celebrity Wedding and Event Planner), Matthew Robbins (Event Designer), Peter Callahan (Celebrity Event Caterer), and Sylvia Weinstock (Celebrity Cake Designer).

After the Q & A, we were able to roam around the exhibitor halls. While wandering around, I was able to snap some photos of some of the celebrity vendors, close-up:

Martha Stewart Weddings Editor{Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, Darcy Miller}

celebrity cake designer{Celebrity Cake Designer, Ron Ben-Israel}

Celebrity Cake Designer{Celebrity Cake Designer & Wedding Cake Guru, Sylvia Weinstock}

Stay tuned for next week’s post: Up and coming wedding trends from New York!bridal show attendees