I’m Engaged! Now what?

Engagement Season is here & despite the bitterly cold temperatures we went through here in Toronto, the warmth of love and excitement of newly Engaged couples is heating things up really fast!

The Canada’s Bridal Show started the weddings shows off with a bang on the first weekend of the year!  As always, it also marked the launch of our 2014 PWG Wedding Planning Directory or as our couples like to call it, the Planning Bible.

As we met and chatted with many and got to know some of the Brides-; & Grooms-to-be, there were a few questions that kept coming up often. The one that came up most often is: “I’m Engaged! Now what?”

It’s easy to get overwhelmed once you get engaged, but we encourage you to enjoy every step of the way. Go to Bridal Shows, sign up for wedding contests, get on Pinterest.com to create your dreamy vision boards, discuss different wants with your fiancé, flip through wedding magazines & the PWG ‘Bible’ and just have fun being engaged. It’s easy to feel rushed and get ahead of yourself, but there is no ‘written rule’ that says you have to set a day immediately, pick your venue etc. right away. Take a breather; enjoy the new bling on your finger and when you’re ready start planning, open up the PWG planner and get to it. Here are a few Do’s to get you in the planning frame of mind.

  • Subscribe to our site and our blog: www.thepwg.ca – there is so much to guide you along and tips to ensure a stress-free planning journey.
  • Join Pinterest: www.pinterest.com – Along with your other half, create some vision boards. You want to both be on the same page when your planning begins.
  • Attend Wedding & Bridal Shows. You don’t need to book anyone right away, but it’s a great place to get ideas of things you like, check out fashion shows and meet great vendors that you might want to work with.
  • Discuss, with your fiancé, what things are must have’s and what things can be compromised on. Remember, you’re a couple and it’s a day for you both.
  • Discuss what you have to spend on the budget. If you have parents or any family contributing, have an open discussion with them as to what they will be helping you with. If it’s just the two of you, be realistic. The date you select should be based on when you will have enough money to pay for the wedding. Nobody wants to go into a marriage with serious debt.

 

Here come the Toronto Bridal Shows!

Photo by http://shaadiesque.com/

First and foremost Happy New Year to all secondly, here come the Toronto Bridal Shows! It’s engagement season folks and so the start of new couples planning their once-in-a-lifetime event!

This new year is going to be amazing and we are incredibly excited to launch our newest wedding planning guide, or as we like to call it, the ‘wedding bible’ and start off this first weekend of 2014 at Canada’s Bridal Show. We are excited to meet new couples and hear your proposal stories. Take a look at our previous wedding show post: Inspired by Toronto Fall Bridal Shows which focused on a few tips on making the most of the wedding shows.

Come get your wedding guide and visit us at The Perfect Wedding Guide Booth: Numbers 201, 202 & 203. The Guides are complimentary and are the only resource you will need for your planning needs. We have everything from Jewellers & Gifts to Destination Wedding Planners and Photo-booths and absolutely everything in between. In addition, the second half of the book is a Wedding Planner complete with a budget list, a meeting notes section for each of your vendors, timeline, guest list developer, checklists and so much more. It truly is all you will need to plan the most incredible day of your lives!

Following is a list of the wedding shows coming up this 2014 Winter Season. 

Jan 3, 2014 to Jan 5, 2014
255 Front St. W., Toronto, ON,
(905) 264-7000
Jan 11, 2014 to Jan 12, 2014
270 Longwood Road South, Hamilton, ON,
905-524-3689
Jan 17, 2014 to Jan 19, 2014
The International Center
6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8
905-264-7000
Jan 18, 2014 to Jan 19, 2014
325 Ontario Street, St. Catharines, ON,
905-524-3689
Jan 24, 2014 to Jan 26, 2014
100 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto, ON, M6K 3C3
905-842-6591
Feb 15, 2014
6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON,
(416) 451-7530

10 Celebrity Weddings of 2013

As we wrap up 2013 here at the Perfect Wedding Guide in Toronto, we are finding ourselves reminiscing on over 100 celebrity weddings, some small and some large; some frugal while others were grand luxe; we narrowed it down to 10 celebrity weddings of 2013 that we found to be interesting!

Tina Turner & Erwin Bach

Wedding Details:

120 Guests

Venue: Lake Zurick Küsnacht Manor – Northern Switzerland

Dress Designer: Giorgio Armani

Halle Berry & Olivier Martinez

Wedding Details:

60 Guests

Venue: Chateau des Conde – Vallery, France

Dress Designer: Jenny Packham

Avril Lavigne & Chad Kroeger

Wedding Details:

50 Guests

3 Day Celebrations

Venue: Chateau de la Napoule, French Riviera, France

Dress Designer: Monique L’huillier

Kelly Clarkson & Brandon Blackstock

Wedding Details:

40 Guests

Venue: Blackberry Farm Resort, Great Smokey Mountains – Walland, Tennesse

Dress Designer: Alice Temperley

Jimmy Kimmel & Molly McNearney

Wedding Details:

300 Guests

Venue: Ojai Valley Inn – Ojai, California

Christina Applegate & Martyn LeNoble –

Wedding Details:

6 guests

Venue: Their Living Room in Los Angeles

Dress Designer: Maria Lucia Huhan

Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Justin Mikita

Wedding Details:

200 Guests

Venue: 82Mercer (SoHo) in New York City

Bowties: Custom Bow Ties – Tie the Knot www.tietheknot.org

Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard

Wedding Details:

Zero Guests – Nada, none, ziltch. Instead a few friends celebrated with a cake later that day on the set of Kristen’s latest project.

 Venue: Courthouse in California

Budget: $142.00 (not a typo)

 Shanae Grimes & Josh Beech

Wedding Details:

Venue: Tudor Style Countryside Mansion, London, England

Dress Designer: Vera Wang

Michael Jordan & Yvette Prieto

Wedding Details:

300 Guests

Venue: Bears Golf Club – Jupiter, Florida

Dress Designer: J’Aton Couture

Photos by US Magazine, People and Hollywood Reporter

10 things a couple should do before the wedding

photo by shutterstock

It’s so exciting to be engaged. Congratulations! We know you’re ready to get the planning started so we put together a list of  these 10 things a couple should do before the wedding to walk into the sunset happily ever after.

1. Start a joint savings account for your wedding.

This serves three purposes. One, you are working independently towards a joint venture;  two, it is a responsibility you share together and; three, it teaches you to work together to achieve a mutual goal.  In every marriage being accountable, united and dutiful together are pertinent to resolving some of the tougher situations that may come around.

2. Sign up for Marriage Preparation Classes. Whether it’s through your church or through a relationship counsellor, it is important to really delve into some of the deeper issues that you may come across as a couple. These group-style classes are designed to prepare you for marriage and have proven to be very helpful.

3. Create a Budget for your wedding.

Create your must have guest list and the things that are non-negotiable for your wedding and get a consultation (usually around $150 and up) with a Wedding Planner to create a budget for your wedding. You can’t determine the amount of time and money you will require if you don’t have every detail accounted for.

4. Talk about your current financial situation.

Don’t go into your married life with baggage. Be open with eachother about any outstanding debt, bankruptcy’s, consolidations, bonuses and salary increases. Remember you are joining your lives together and transparency is key to a happy union.

5. Meet & Get to know each-other’s families.

It is important that you really get to know one another’s families. It’s true that you won’t be living with them, but the way you each interact with your family and how the family interacts with your other-half is important to know before marriage. That way if there are any questionable situations, they are addressed prior to your wedding day. The last thing you both need is drama on your important day.

6. Go on vacation together.

Take a trip or several via plane, car, train or ship. Whatever it is, spending time together away from it all and learning the all important act of compromising. It will also give you insight on what the other likes to do when they are in their most relaxed environment. Are you both adventure travellers or do you have different ideas what makes the best trip? Compromise is important when traveling as a pair.

7. Give each other some space.

Don’t bombard the other with wedding plans. Likewise don’t suffocate the other by creating situations where they are away from their friends and family all the time and solely focused on you. It’s not healthy. Take breaks and give the other a chance to miss you. A change of atmosphere and socializing is healthy and very important in creating a blissful marriage.

8. Have the ‘kid’ conversation.

You don’t want to get married and fine out a few months later that your spouse has no  interest in having kids while you want a team of them. There is nothing worse than having to choose after you have already wed.

9. Discuss your life goals.

What are your goals independently and as a couple. Are they feasible and will you have the support of your spouse on things you want to do? It’s important to let your spouse know what your plans and dreams are. If your dream is to sail across the world upon retirement and your spouse wants a house in the country with horses, it’s good to discuss all this. There are ways to compromise so you both are supporting each others present and future dreams.

10. Discuss your spousal duties.

What will your responsibilities be once you are married? Talk about sharing household chores, who will be responsible for the bills and accounting as well as date nights. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in ‘life duties’ that you romance goes out the door. Find a schedule and balance before you get married so that the transition is flawless.

5 Wedding Traditions from around the world

There are so many cultures here in Toronto and just as many wedding traditions from around the world. In any age where mixed marriages dominate, at least here in Canada, couples take variations of traditions and personalize them for their weddings in order to embrace the two cultures and unite the families. We looked for some of the most unique and symbolic traditions and this is what we came up with. If you have more to add, please do so by commenting in the comment section.

Jewish: Breaking of the Glass

The breaking of the glass at the end of the Jewish Ceremony under the Chuppah represents the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.  The Groom crushes the glass with his right foot as the guests shout out “Mazel Tov” meaning Good luck as the couple sets out to rebuild the ‘house of God’ within their now married lives within their happy Jewish home.

Republic of Macedonian: Pig Dance

In the Republic of Macedonia they take part in what is known as the Pig Dance. Usually the Groomsmen come out clanging knives and carrying a huge platter with a whole roasted pig. This symbolizes the couple’s first meal together as husband and wife. The pig is circulated from table to table and guests toss money onto the tray to wish the couple prosperity in their married life together.

Indian: Painted Hands or Henna

Usually held a day prior to the ceremony and often combined with Sangeet, the Mehendi Ceremony (Painted Hands) symbolizes the bond that marriage brings between the couple and the family.  They also say the darkness of the Mehendi on the Bride’s hand indicates how deep the couple’s love is.

Japanese: “San-San-Kudo”.

The literal translation here is 3-3-9 times. The ceremony itself involves the Bride and Groom sipping Sake from 3 different cups 3 times in turn.  Since 9 is a very lucky number and symbolizes happiness, sipping nine times by each one in the couple means unity and a happy start to their marriage.

Russian: Ransom for the Bride

On the day of the wedding the Groom has to go to her Parents house and ask for his Bride. He then undergoes a series of tasks, banters and must offer payment and jest to win the parents over so that he can have her. Once he fulfills all the family’s wishes and they feel he is worthy, he is allowed to see his Bride-to-be.

Tips on choosing the right Toronto Venue

Choosing the right Toronto venue for your wedding is mandatory. Here are 7 tips that will help you in selecting the perfect wedding spot.

Budget

As we’ve said in past blog posts, you must know your budget. Without it, you are asking for trouble. There are so many things to consider when it comes to budget that ultimately we recommend you consult with a professional Wedding Planner or Coordinator to create a preliminary budget sheet for you to follow. There are often fees like SOCAN, Landmark Fees, Service Fees, Venue Fees and Gratuities that are often not mentioned when you are being quoted a per person price.  In addition, they may charge for other items that you don’t even think about when booking.  Items like linens, specific napkins, parking and even the labour on certain napkin folds and décor placement. Make sure you ask as many questions as possible and get the answers you need.

Capacity

How many people does the venue hold? Simple right? Not necessarily. Make sure when you are being quote on maximum capacities you ask if that includes a dancefloor big enough for all the guests to dance as well as a DJ station. Also, you should make sure that tables are not going to be so close together that people are packed in like sardines.

Location

Consider your guests. Where are most going to be coming from? Is parking accessible easily or will your guests need to go on a hunt? If the venue is all stairs, do they have a handicap accessibility point?  Your location can make or break your event. If you want to invite 200 people but it’s inconvenient for 100 or more of them, it would make for a very uncomfortable situation. However, if your heart is set on a location that is an hour away, perhaps considering the option of Bus transportation for your guests would make sense.

Venue’s Flexibility.

When selecting your location you also want to explore the venues flexibility.  What will they allow you to bring in; what are their restrictions? Some venues have preferred vendors that they solely use (Décor, DJ, Catering, Cakes etc). If you have your heart set on a late night food truck or Ice Cream Truck, it’s bet to check before you put down deposit. You also want to find out what time set up can occur and when you need to clear out by. Will they allow you to come in to set up in the morning or will you need to do it 2 hours before your event. With some venues hosting multiple weddings a day, they need to accommodate which may mean your times will be specific.

Availability.

Does the venue have availability? Is your preferred date available and furthermore if you are having your ceremony and reception on one site will there be time logistically for both? Make sure your timing coincides with theirs.

Know what you want.

Don’t go into the venue with no ideas of what you want. Even if it’s just the number of guests, menu, bar & times preferred. Price will be very different depending on the dish. Remember you get what you pay for, so be realistic. Getting Surf and Turf on a Roast Chicken budget is reason to question the quality of your food.

Time of Year.

Always be mindful of the time of year of your wedding. Not simply because of weather but also because of road closures, traffic and construction schedules.

Also, during the winter, it is recommended that your venue is close to your ceremony location so that your guests don’t need to get back on the road in case of bad weather. As we all know, Toronto is a hub for special events, marathons and construction so road closures are not only common, expected.

Best Wedding First Dance Songs

We, at Toronto’s The Perfect Wedding Guide have composed a list of our favourite and what we thing are the Best Wedding First Dance Songs. The tradition of the First Dance stems from as far back as before the 17th century where there used to be very formal dances or Ball’s thrown. The First Dance would be reserved for the guest of honour, which was usually the person of the highest social standing, who would begin the first dance as a way to open up the Dancefloor. The first dance at weddings used to be a waltz in the 17th-19th centuries changing to more modern Ballroom Dancing and now, presently the slow dance.

Nowaday’s it can be used to open the dancefloor, but oftentimes it opens up the post-ceremony reception festivities. Couples tend to place a huge importance on the selection of the perfect song that suits them, and we, as always, want to help. So here are out top picks of Top First Dance Songs and their artists.

The PWG’s top 15 Wedding First Dance Songs

Little Things – One Direction

A Moment Like This – Kelly Clarkson

The Way you look tonight – Frank Sinatra

God gave me you – Blake Shelton

You and Me – Lifehouse

Make you feel my love –Adele

At Last – Etta James

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

Diamonds – Rhianna

You are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne

Grow old with me – Tim Odell

By your side – Sade

Marry Me – Train

Amazed – Lonestar

Love of My Life – Dave Matthews Band


We’d love to hear any other song choices you love too, so please let us know by adding your comments below.

Fun Winter Wedding Ideas

 

There is something very romantic and fairy-tale-like about having a winter wedding. From the beautiful wedding attire to the glorious festive decor, fun winter wedding ideas and inspiration are plentiful.

Pictures of Elegant White Horses trotting along pulling the Bridal carriage to the Church, Fur Capes brushing upon the snow, Church bells ringing and magical sounds of merriment leading the procession. What more magical and dreamlike wedding can you ask for? Right? For some, it’s perfection, but for others, a Majestic Dark horse riding into the sunset along a sandy white beach after a beautiful seaside ceremony is the ideal scenario.

Whatever your taste, a winter wedding is stunning and definitely worth considering. Here are some fun and unique ideas to get you all warmed up with the idea of winter nuptials.

Hot Chocolate Station. Include flavoured hot chocolate, Chocolate Fondue and even tasty marshmallow’s in your wedding colours for guests to warm up with.

If the wedding is somewhere hot, how about a ‘Cold Chocolate’ station as opposed to a Hot Chocolate station? You can have iced cocoa, fudgesicles and even chilled coffee with chocolate liqueur as a late night treat.

Instead of a guest book, how about paper snowflakes where your guests can write their wishes for you. You can later glue these throughout your wedding photo album.

Don’t use flowers for your bouquet, how about branches adorned with crystals and small brooches and ornaments throughout. Not only will it be a great keepsake, but certainly one of a kind.

Instead of the typical red, white, gold and green, how about brass, silver and blue? There are no rules that say you have to follow the ‘Christmas’ colour palette just because your wedding is in the winter.

Follow us and take a look at our Pinterest Board for more fun ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/thepwgca/toronto-and-destination-winter-weddings/

We’d love to hear your ideas, please feel free to share by commenting.

 

Five Strange Wedding Trends

How many times have you wondered how weird certain trends are and how in the world they even came about. Here are Five Strange Wedding Trends that we thought would be fun to share!

Photo by: Simon Taylor http://www.phooto.co.uk/

1. Trash the Dress. – Creative Photography has become amazingly popular and it is truly quite the impressive art form. Trash the Dress consists of literally trashing your perfectly fine wedding dress and destroying it for art’s sake.

Alternatively: Glam the Dress & Rock the Frock have also increased in popularity in the Creative Photography realm. Brides get all dolled up again and this time take amazing fashion photos in various likely or even unlikely locations!

2. The White Wedding Dress. – Way back when this trend started with Queen Victoria popularizing the White Wedding Dress, White was worn for mourning. So wearing a white gown for the big day would be quite morbid. The norm before that were dresses in different colours.

Alternatively: Nowadays, Colourful Dresses have made a comeback, and although white is still the number one choice, the present day morbid counterpart is the Black Dress. Maybe that will be a norm one day, who knows.

3. Bad luck will come to the couple is the Groom sees the Bride before the wedding ceremony. Although this has been so romanticized, this tradition started when marriages were more like business transactions (arranged) and there was fear that the Groom might potentially back out of the wedding altogether if he didn’t like what he bought … sorry, slip of the tongue, meaning who he was about to marry.

Alternatively: The First Look has become increasingly popular. The couple arranges a time to meet prior to the ceremony where they privately get to see each other for the first time in dressed as a Bride and Groom.

Photo from: amazon.com

4. Marrying your Pets. – Ok, we admit, pets are cute and cuddly and totally part of your family. However, having them get dressed up as Bride & Groom to get married the same time you are to symbolize the fact the now the two pets are also adjoined in harmonious marital bliss is, well… just plain weird. I mean you wouldn’t have your children do that would you?

Alternatively – including your pets in the ceremony is a great idea. Maybe you can have your dog in a bow tie pulling a little wagon down the aisle with the rings in it. That would be super cute.

5. The Bachelor Party – This is a party for the Groom-to-be to celebrate (be taunted and inebriated) his last-hurrah as a single man; before the ole ball and chain is locked on!  The origin here is that this would symbolize the Groom going from boy-hood to man-hood. In North American Strippers, mass amounts of alcohol and disorderliness used to be the way it was done. Thankfully it’s much more toned down now and strippers are not typically the norm.

Alternatively: Pick a Destination like Las Vegas or Cancun, Mexico and have all your closes family and friends join you and your other half for a weekend getaway!

Is Marriage for you?

I know, what a title right… Is Marriage for you? Well, we definitely got your attention! A little while ago we came across an equally eyebrow raising title: Marriage Isn’t For You and as we continued to read, we realized that what Seth Adam Smith had written, was Gold. It was advice that would ring true for decades and centuries to come.

Marriage Isn’t For You

 Kim and I

 

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

SKwedding394

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.