Unique Wedding Backdrops

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Go to any wedding and chances are there is probably some sort of backdrop in amongst the decor – whether it be to serve as an “altar” space at the ceremony, to create interest behind the head table at the reception, or for a fun photo booth.

A backdrop can help set the mood for the wedding as well as carry your style or theme through the space.

Aside from making a space look pretty, the bottom line is that a backdrop makes for better photos. Think about it: would you rather have photos of the emcee standing in front of a drab, ballroom wall, or in front of a wicked backdrop with uplighting and other decor accents?

Instead of your typical “pipe and drape” backdrop, here are a few other options that you can do yourself in order to add that “wow!” factor to your next event:

The Book Backdrop:

DIY wedding backdrop with books

Book Backdrop |  source

This backdrop easily creates texture by using actual books.  However, you can also try ripping the pages out of various books (preferably picked up from the used bookstore for cheap!) and arranging and layering them to create a similar effect.  To create the words, just tightly roll some of the pages and glue them in place to form the lettering.

Origami Backdrop:

origami crane wedding backdrop

Origami Crane Backdrop  |  source

Aren’t 1000 paper cranes supposed to be good luck? Then  isn’t this just perfect for your wedding! The only setback – you need to know how to make Origami cranes and you need to make a lot of them! This could also be done with Origami roses, butterflies, etc.

Paper Chains:

Wedding Backdrop Edmonton Wedding Planners

Paper Chain Backdrop  |  source

I remember making these chains in elementary school! They didn’t look like much then, but in the right colors, they make for a fun and lively backdrop.  Try going from a darker shade to a lighter shade to create an ombre effect.

Ribbon Backdrop:

DIY Ribbon Wedding Backdrop

Ribbon Backdrop  |  source

This is one of my favorites! This can be done with any sort of ribbon to create different effects. For this rustic backdrop, tear fabric into long strips and tie individually to a pipe or curtain rod.  Then add ribbons of different colors and textures (or lace!) randomly throughout.  For a more elegant look, use satin and beaded crystals.

Newsprint Backdrop:

DIY newsprint wedding backdrop

Newsprint Backdrop  |  source

How cool is this? And SO easy to do! Simply find samples of black and white newspaper (no advertisements or negative photos) and glue together like a collage.*  Viola! Fun and modern backdrop!

* If you’re finding it difficult to gather up plain black and white newspaper, you may have to photocopy sections in black and white and then collage together.

Flower Bubbles & Baubles Backdrop:

floral wedding backdrop edmonton wedding planning

Flower Bubble Backdrop  |  source

Christmas and holiday decor are sometimes great for use as wedding accents.  These glass “bubble” ornaments have a hole on the side so that items can be placed inside.  In this photo, flowers and small succulents are placed inside each “bubble” and then are strung together.  With a bit of uplighting, these tiny bubbles would look even more fabulous!

Whether you are renting a backdrop, or DIY-ing one, the possibilities are endless. Experiment and get creative!

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

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A wedding is probably the singularily most expensive “party” you will ever throw in your lifetime, and it’s amazing how quickly everything adds up.

Aside from the obvious suggestions, (i.e.: cutting your guest list, having a dry wedding, etc.) here are 5 more things to consider if you are trying to save money on your wedding:

1) Host your wedding in the morning or the afternoon - Chances are when you think of “wedding”, you immediately picture a dinner and dance type of event. But in my opinion, some of the best weddings are followed by a brunch instead.  First of all, you would be saving money on a DJ. You could add a couple of extra hours onto your package with your ceremony musician in order to provide some music while you and your guests eat. Second, you will save a LOT of money on alcohol! Even if you provide Mimosas or have a Champagne toast, the total alcohol consumption will still be significantly lower than a cocktail, dinner and dance wedding.  If you decide on an afternoon wedding, you can provide finger foods and appetizers as opposed to having a meal.

2) Make your decor work “double-duty” - If you have a separate venue for your ceremony and your reception, decorating both could be costly.  Instead, choose decorations that are easy to transport and have them adorn the ceremony site and then be transferred (by a friend, or wedding planner!) to the reception site. Most of your guests will never know that they are the same decorations and it will also help to carry your theme from start to finish!

3) Let them eat something other than cake - Personally, I LOVE a good wedding cake. But, if you need to cut costs, there are plenty of fun and trendy alternatives to the traditional wedding cake. Consider cupcakes, cookies, tarts, donuts, brownies, pie or a even Rice Krispie cake! Your guests will love the novelty and more often than not, you will also save on the cake cutting fee charged by most venues. If you still want the “cake” effect, simply arrange your treats on a tiered cake stand.

4) Limit the alcohol consumption - Let’s face it, alcohol is a big part of weddings and it can be difficult to go completely without. One of the ways you can save money is to limit the hours that the bar is open. For example, you could close the bar during speeches; or, if you are serving wine with dinner, close the bar during the meal.  Another way to save money is to ask the venue to serve the wine to each table as opposed to leaving a bottle of red and white at each table. You could also request that the venue only serve domestic beer and common spirits as these are a lot cheaper than imports.

5) Consider renting a car as opposed to a Limo - Most limo companies offer a package of a certain number of consecutive hours, which could amount to almost a thousand dollars.  If a limo is not a big deal for you, you may want to consider renting a vehicle or two instead. Car rentals are charged daily, which means that if you get your timing right, you may only need to pay for 1 day’s use. However, keep in mind that most car rental companies cannot guarantee you a make/model or color of vehicle. If you let them know it is for a wedding, they will do their best to provide you with a more neutral-toned vehicle, but do not assume that it will be guaranteed.  Or, if you know someone with a vintage car or even an RV (talk about your amenities-on-wheels!), see if they would be willing to let you borrow it for your wedding.

Tekoa + Brad – Engagement Preview

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Tekoa and Brad are a fabulous, fun-loving couple who are planning a hockey-themed wedding this summer.

I just had to share their hockey engagement session with you as it was too cute not to! ;)

Special thanks to Shirley from Girl Named Shirl photography.

wedding engagement photo

edmonton wedding planner hockey wedding

hockey wedding photo

edmonton wedding planner hockey engagement

 

So You Wanna Be a Wedding Planner?

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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

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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

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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

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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!