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I always say it's all in the details, but there are those who decorate like a fabric bomb literally exploded in the reception room. Don't shake your head like you don't know what I'm talking about. It's almost like they have a mathematical equation that goes something like this:

Chair covers + Chair Bands + Crystal Broach + Satin linen + Sheer Lace Overlay + Satin Table Runner. And that's just the basic foundation. Then they add.... Gold Charger Plate, Bow-tie Napkin with a Crystal Napkin Ring +  Personal Table Menue + Place Card + Bonbonierre + a bedazzled mirror with a cylinder vase with glue gunned crystals........ and in that vase there are water beads and a tinny little florescent light glowing from within............ Then the ceiling swag fairy came and went to town.....

Layers upon layers of decor which will overwhelm your guest into a blur. The biggest and most costly mistake you can make is definitely within your decor budget, because it can start to look tacky reeeaaallllll fast.

My number one piece of advice, "Don't waste your money on trying to have everything while cheaping out along the way. Sacrifice, re-evaluate your priorities and shift the dollars you would have spent on mediocrity towards a larger element that will leave your guests with a lasting impression." 

I'll give you a few examples, and if your a client reading this, you might have already heard this story. Back in the day when ghost chairs were only coming out of Toronto with a  price tag of $20 per chair, I had a client who just simply had to have them, but couldn't make it work within her budget. So I said "No problem, we'll trick them!". We ordered 1/3 ghost chairs and 2/3 white flip chairs. We used the ghost chairs at square tables and the flips at round tables and strategically laid out our floor plan accordingly. A few months later I heard back from my newlyweds and they said every single guest thought that they were sitting on ghost chairs... they raved about it endlessly. Keep in mind we're talking 2010 when the thought of mixing table types weren't even a design thought in anyone's mind. - I'm actually pretty proud that I hit that before the curve :) 

That's just one example of how I design to be budget conscious with intention. In case your curious, here is where we think you should spend your money.



Linen-less tables and chairs

Personal dinner menus 

Over-sized organic bouquets

Embellished wedding dresses

Handwritten calligraphy invites







Before I delve into the details, YES there is a difference! 

A little bit of history on my part. When I graduated from the Event Management program at Algonquin College, my first job was a Event Coordinator for a local venue, and believe me when I say "I can work a food and beverage budget like nobody's business!".  I also know all the back-end tricks venues use to make money as well as the true cost of the food your paying for before inflation. Don't ask me, you don't want to know! 

So naturally when I hear brides-to-be saying "Oh I don't need a planner the venue provides one." I tend to shudder. Because if you think a "venue coordinator" is a planner then you'll be quite upset with the lack of help on your wedding day. 

Here is the reality. Venue coordinators are responsible for any and all information which relates to directly doing their job and their job only. This means that they will do you floor plans, food & beverage orders and sometimes include very basic timing details. That's it. Anti climatic isn't it! On the Saturday of your wedding, the Coordinator will be on hand but will also be taking meeting with prospective clients while giving them tours of the venue before your guests begin arriving. So really, their not available to your beck and call. Let me break it down for you.


Provide you with advice on planning your wedding or negotiate with vendors on your behalf

Attend key vendor appointments or style weddings

Create your wedding day itinerary 

Follow up with all your vendors to make sure they know when to arrive and where to set-up

 Keep you on time throughout the day

Wont have a bridal emergency kit on hand to re-sew your broken bustle or provide your bridal party with advil, fresh pairs of stockings, granola bars, tide sticks and bandaids because the heels you bought for the wedding must have been purchased one size too small ;)

Will not receive vendors as they arrive onsite ensuring quality control nor cross reference rentals to make sure all contractual agreements have been fulfilled

Will not trouble shoot or resolve problems which are not related to the venue. So if your napkins come in the wrong color and your rented chivary chairs are falling apart...too bad!

They do not normally set out any decor on behalf of clients (favors, placecards, seating charts, signing table items etc)

Oh and they leave at 5pm before your event starts.... 

Do not cue speeches or attend to you guests needs. Nor will they get Uncle Sam a rum & coke even though the bar is closed during dinner or check and make sure the father of the bride's steak is served well done.

They also most certainly do not pack everything into your vehicles at the end of the night! 

Now with this being said, there are some venues that have amazing coordinators that will go above and beyond the call of duty. And these coordinators will tell you that even though they may do more then the average,  hiring a Wedding Planner will be the best money you will even spend.

Truth be told, we don't want you to be one of those brides that say "I wish we had a planner". And we all know one of those girls! 

xoxo Elise  

Photo Credit: Andrew Geddes of Union 11






A year or so ago we were featured in Canadian Living Magazine on the Do's and Don'ts for hosting a Jack and Jill party. It boggles my mind how many people, still to this day, read the article and hop on over to our website. So in light of this cool analytic revelation, if your interested, take a peak