A DIY Moroccan #Wedding Blanket

Exotic handcrafted textiles are becoming increasingly popular in Western culture, and that includes the dreamy and romantic Moroccan Wedding Blanket. This creamy, sequined blanket, or handira, is traditionally made by the bride’s female family. During the making of the blanket, the relatives impart all of their marriage advice to the bride-to-be. After the wedding, the bride ties the blanket around her neck and wears it into her home. (Clearly a blanket with soul. ) 

And while you don’t need to fuss with all of the tradition, the Moroccan blanket idea can be customized into a wondrous DIY event with your bride tribe. Have each of your gals bring a different piece to add to the blanket and watch it become an heirloom to treasure for the rest of your life.

Check out this DIY Moroccan Wedding Blanket how-to here.   

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How to De-Stress While Wedding Planning

Any bride will tell you that planning a wedding is no easy feat.  With the myriad of things to do on top of living your life, it’s a wonder anyone can navigate the perilous waters of engagement without throwing themselves – or someone else – overboard. Your hair falls out, you get eye bags and age well before your time but there are lots of ways to rest your mind, body and soul. Here are some tips to get you to de-stress and get your wedding day intact.


[Photo Courtesy of Flirty Girl]

Exercise. Try something new and exciting that won’t bore you like your old treadmill routine. Taking a pole-dancing class is a great idea. Maybe you were thinking of doing that for your bachelorette party or to impress your husband-to-be? Forget that! The added stress of getting all your friends together or having to perform isn’t worth wasting the chance to let loose, have a laugh and release some endorphins in an activity that is the perfect combination of flare and sass. Sometimes exercise and fun with a few close friends is the best solution.


[Photo Courtesy of Yoga Tropics]

Meditate. When your mind gets caught up in the millions of things you have to do every day, it spins, and spins, and spins. Try to calm things down inside your head by lying down or sitting upright comfortably and focusing on your breathing. Even a few minutes of meditation can be soothing enough to ground you and give a new spring to your step.


[Photo Courtesy of Good Life Zen]

Smile – to yourself. Seems simple and intuitive enough but how many times have you forgotten or faked it? It’s easy to pretend to the outside world that you’re doing great and have everything under control, but inside you know the hot water you’re in. Take a moment to let yourself know that you’re doing an amazing job and appreciate yourself for it. You’ve gotten this far, you can get the rest done!


Dawn Lo is a contributing writer to the Bridal Guide.

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Wedding Ideas from Pinterest: Desserts

Pinterest is a bride’s best friend! There are so many good ideas from food to dress to décor that any bride-to-be would be in heaven. But when it comes to Pinterest inspired desserts it won’t just be the bride that’s happy, these ideas are perfect for the groom and all the guests as well.


[pinned by indulgy.com]


Many weddings have a candy station or they just give out cake as the dessert, but this unique idea from Pinterest will have all the guests reminiscing about their childhood camping days. Having a s’mores stations is fun, it’s interactive, and it’s a delicious idea that everyone of all ages will love – just make sure mommy and daddy make the s’mores for the little ones.


[pinned by Judy Puttmann Nelson]


Wedding cakes are usually very girly, flowery, and classy, but a lot of the time that just isn’t symbolic of a couples’ relationship. If you want to do something really out there with your cake, a great idea is to have the groom’s cake play just as big a role and the traditional wedding cake. It doesn’t have to be a wheel spitting chocolate onto the gorgeous white-tiered cake, but displaying the two cakes together in a playful way is the perfect way to show everyone that the bride and groom have equal focus at this wedding.



[pinned by whengeekswed.com]


If you don’t want to have a whole other cake for the groom and you’d really prefer a more traditional look for the most part, this Pinterest idea is the perfect touch. By incorporating a sneaky character into the cake that represents the groom both bride and groom can be equally represented. Plus it’s a really cute idea that the guests will love.


[pinned by theperfectpalette.com]


If you don’t have a wedding cake and you opted for the cupcake tier instead, this is a classic Pinterest idea. Getting back the a more traditional and feminine look, having cupcakes iced like flowers just adds a level of beauty and romance to your dessert station. Who doesn’t love a white rose cupcake?


[pinned by thepeakoftreschic.com]


Finally, something special for the kids! When everyone gets a glass of champagne to toast the happy couple the kids can munch on cookies and raise their glass of milk. This is the perfect idea for couples with lots of young children at the wedding. It’ll be so popular we’re sure some of the adults will even be jealous!


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for the Bridal Guide.

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How to Plan a Great Wedding Reception on a Budget

The wedding reception is the crown jewel of the wedding day. The dress has already wow-ed the guests, the couple has already said “I do,” and now it’s time to celebrate. Even if you don’t have a big budget that doesn’t mean you can’t have one of the best wedding receptions your guests have ever been to.

There are 8 main features in a wedding reception:

  1.  Venue
  2.  Catering
  3.  Cake
  4.  Bar
  5.  Decorations
  6.  Flowers
  7.  Photographer
  8.  Music

The secret to a having an awesome wedding reception on a limited budget is to cut down on each without cutting anything out.

Step 1: Find a cheap venue


[photo courtesy of investinged.com]
The best thing to do is find a package deal – it makes life easy and you get discounts on catering, decorations, alcohol entertainment and more. If you can’t find one then look around at free or cheap wedding spots, like parks, backyards, community centers, and beaches.

Step 2: Find a cheap caterer
Food and alcohol are the biggest expenses for a wedding reception, but you don’t have to pay over $100 a person. Some ideas to cut down on cost include hiring friends, family, or culinary students, having a buffet style dinner, or hiring a restaurant for a “party” (weddings are more expensive.

Step 3: Get a cheap wedding cake


[photo courtesy of Sweet Naturally Bakery]
Cakes can be expensive, up to $1000, but they don’t have to be. Hire an up and coming baker or go for a cupcake tier, which is much cheaper.


Step 4: Cheap bar options
The cheapest thing to do is have a limited bar where guests pay as they drink, but if you decide to please the guests and have an open bar you can limit the bar to beer and wine, or restrict the open bar to select hours of the night.


Step 5: Get cheap decorations


If you want to save money, DIY. Buy decorating materials from Wal-Mart, the dollar store, Amazon or eBay. Just remember to keep it simple and modify and personalize the decorations so they don’t look cheap.


Step 6: Buy cheap flowers
Flowers are always expensive, but you can haggle to get the best deals. Great money savers include watching YouTube videos on flower arranging doing it yourself, and ordering whatever flowers are in season.


Step 7: Hire a cheap photographer
Wedding photography doesn’t have to be professional. In this day and age everyone has a high resolution camera phone and there are lots of photo sharing options, including the Free Wedding Registry we offer at the Bridal Guide. You can hire a friend or an amateur for the ceremony or for a short photo-shoot in the dress, but keep it small.

Step 8: Hire a cheap DJ


[photo courtesy of iweddings.com]

The DJ is the most important factor in having a fun wedding reception. Luckily more and more people are learning to DJ. Use your connections and hire someone who’s inexperienced, just make sure to run through the song list and make sure they know how the equipment works. Paying a lot for a DJ doesn’t ensure they’ll be good, but having a run through and telling them what you want will help make your wedding reception fun for sure.

Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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Off-Beat Wedding Cake Toppers

Do you feel like adding an extra personal touch to your wedding reception? Are you artistic, quirky, or a little bit off-beat? Take the opportunity to top your wedding cake with a unique and funny cake topper! Guests are guaranteed to notice and you’ll be happy with the meaningful touch. The Bridal Guide has brought you some suggestions for off-beat wedding cake toppers.


The Nerdy Cake Topper

Photo courtesy of NerdWeddings.WordPress.com

Photo courtesy of NerdWeddings.WordPress.com

If you consider yourself to be somewhat of a nerd and your spouse-to-be follows suit, consider geeking up your cake toppers. Every self-proclaimed nerd has a favourite sci-fi series or set of characters that can likely be adapted into toppers. If not, you can always choose a classic robot model.

The “We Met Online” Cake Topper

Photo courtesy of CakeChooser.com

Photo courtesy of CakeChooser.com

If you’re a couple born from the Internet, what better way to own your love story than with a quirky cake topper? The pictured topper is adorable, and better yet, it literally tells part of your love story. Some people are hesitant about revealing that they met their significant other online, but we say that you should be proud of making your best discovery on the Internet!

The “’Til Death Do Us Part” Cake Topper

Photo courtesy of Squidoo.com

Photo courtesy of Squidoo.com

Taking a nod from traditional vows and modern art, you can have a beautifully crafted skeleton cake topper. This topper represents the classic “’Till Death Do Us Part” oath of marriage while being totally avant-garde. If you’re the kind of person who likes to push the envelope a bit more than the average person, consider this uncanny twist on the modern wedding cake topper.

The All Partied Out Topper

Photo courtesy of TheMetaPicture.com

Photo courtesy of TheMetaPicture.com

It’s hard not to look at this All Partied Out topper and not giggle. If you have friends and family that won’t scold the alcoholic joke, then this option may be a hit at your wedding. If your reception is going to be the biggest party of the year, we have a feeling that this cute cake topper will suit you and your spouse-to-be perfectly.

The Play on the Classic Cake Topper

Photo courtesy of GeekArtGallery.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of GeekArtGallery.blogspot.com

This final cake topper option is a play on the classic bride and groom topper. For this one, we suggest crafting something cheeky that has grounds in real life. Does your soon-to-be-hubby play too many video games, watch too much football, or not do any chores? Why not poke some fun at him by depicting yourself dragging him away from his old bad habits. The perfect (and funny) symbol of a new beginning!


Whichever off-beat wedding cake topper your choose, make sure the theme or idea has personal meaning to you (as a couple). Be sure to choose one that is displayed in good taste, won’t offend guests, and that you won’t look back on and regret. If you design a wedding cake topper that truly depicts you, you can’t go wrong!


Lauren Chan is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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How To Mismatch your Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Picture 2
Photo Courtesy of Pretty Lady Society

Do you feel like stepping out of the proverbial fashion box for your wedding? Do you already have your wedding dress in mind? If this is the situation you’re in, consider mismatching your bridesmaids dresses for a change! This can eliminate the common problem of fitting multiple girls into the same dress and getting everyone to agree on one look. Your bridesmaids will appreciate the idea, be more willing to spend their money, and your wedding party will be unique and impressive. Here’s how to mismatch your bridesmaids dresses—successfully.

Photo Courtesy of Angel in the North

Keep all of the bridesmaids’ dresses the same length. Whether you want your girls to don long gowns or short cocktail frocks, keeping the dresses the same length will keep some congruency between the looks. Keep in mind: Though you are creating difference with the array of styles—and possibly colours—some things need to stay similar.

Choose dresses with a lot of shape, features, or texture. Since the whole point of mismatching bridesmaid dresses is for your bridesmaids to look different, make them look different! Dresses with an architectural or textural theme will stand out from one another in a good way.

If your wedding theme and colour scheme are fairly traditional, keep all of the dresses in the same colour family. You will be surprised at how many shades of the same colour you will be able to find. You will be more surprised at all the colours that fit into one colour family. The possibilities will be endless!

If your wedding theme is vibrant and modern, feel inspired to have very different coloured bridesmaid dresses—but make sure they stick with your theme. In the picture below, al of the brightly coloured bridesmaid dresses match the fun pinwheel theme.

Photo Courtesy of Whicdn.com

Now that you have read some pointers on diverse bridesmaid dresses, start searching for the perfect mismatches. This can be a very fun and inspiring fashion adventure for you and your bridesmaids. The ladies will appreciate being able to flex their own opinions, ideas, and preferences with the dresses. Hopefully, they will feel accommodated with sizing, fit, and price; and in the end, your wedding will be more stand out. It’s a win-win!


Lauren Chan is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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How To Wedding Hairstyles: Braided Headband

If you want to look like a princess in a fairytale, one of the most popular looks right now is the braided headband. It’s a great hairstyle for brides with long hair and no bangs.

It works perfectly for anything from a church wedding to a beach ceremony, and the best part is all the hair is away from the bride’s face so it accentuates the her gorgeous eyes and face.

This is a perfect DIY look for summer brides, and if you want to know how to get this gorgeous braided headband look, follow this simple how to guide and you can replicate this beautiful trend.


Step 1

This first step is to part your hair on the far side and brush all your hair across your head in the direction you want your braid to go. Then isolate the section you want to braid (you’ll want a section a few inches wide close to your forehead). You can also take a larger section if you have thin hair or want a thicker braid.

Step 2

With the section you want to braid isolated, start to french braid the hair – you can watch tutorials and practice, don’t try this the first time on your wedding day!

It’s confusing but with practice you’ll get it.

Step 3

Once the french braid is finished keep braiding regularly and tie the braid at the bottom. Now bin it behind your head, so the pins are hidden. The best way to pin the braid is to use two bobby pins and cross them in an X pattern under your hair at the base of your hairline and neck.

Step 4

Now you just have to style the rest of your hair. Loose curls work best for this look, but you can also pin your hair up into a messy bun. Get creative and fun and try out lots of different styles until you find the one that is just right for your special day.


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for the Bridal Guide.

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Gift Ideas for Your Wedding Party

Are you stumped on what to gift your wedding party? We know the task of finding the perfect thank you gift can be a daunting one, but fear not! The Bridal Guide brings you a few outstanding suggestions for wedding party gifts. Your wedding party will love a personalized gift that reminiscent of your wedding day and is useful to them.

The Bridesmaids

Photo courtesy of Spa Finder

Photo courtesy of Spa Finder

1. A knotted piece of jewelry to thank the women for helping you “tie the knot”. Ha-ha! Women can always use more jewelry, and a ring or bracelet is wearable with almost any look as a cute reminder of your wedding.

2. Something special to sip on. If your bridesmaids love a good glass of wine, you could satisfy their thirsty side by going to a winery and blending your own wine creation with your new husband/wife. You can design your own label to boot! It’s a personal gift that’s sure to go to good use.

3. A cliché spa day. We know that a spa day of spa gift certificate may not be unique, but think of how enjoyable and relaxing it would be to escape to your favourite spa for the day. If it’s possible, your bridesmaids could make the trip together and have even more fun.


The Groomsmen

Photo courtesy of The Die List

Photo courtesy of The Die Line

1. Personalized running shoes in your wedding colours. Nike ID has a service that lets customers design colours and add initials to a range of their running shoes. An athletic friend will appreciate the practicality of the gift.

2. Engraved Zippos, flasks, or tie clips. If your groomsmen appreciate the finer things in life, gift them one of these useful items. Consider engraving your wedding date subtlety on the back and their initials on the front.

3. A day trip. After all is said and done with the wedding and honeymoon, the groomsmen could reunite with a gifted day trip. We’re thinking a visit to one of Toronto’s breweries; tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, of Blue Jays game; a big name concert; etc.


Getting good gifts for your wedding party should be important to you. It’s a great way to say thank you for all of the time, effort, and money they put into your wedding. Remember it’s all about effort, and sometimes it’s hard to please everyone. Whether you hit it out of the park with your wedding party gifts or not, know that they were happy to be a part of your big day.


Lauren Chan is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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To Cake or to Cupcake, That is the Question

A white wedding cake is a traditional wedding staple, but it may be time to shake things up with you big day dessert. As lots of traditional wedding aspects continue to change, cakes are becoming more unconventional in design. Some couples are even opting for options like cupcake towers or cake pop platters. If you’re less than formal, perhaps an alternative cake, fun cupcake structure, or cake pop display is for you.

A Non-Traditional Cake

Photo courtesy of BlogTO

Photo courtesy of BlogTO

Having a non-traditional wedding cake may be right for you if you want to ditch some aspect of the tradition, but not the whole lot. You can serve anything from a traditional shape with bold, new colouring, or you could completely rearrange the shape of the cake. As long as your new cake matches your personality, wedding environment, and colour scheme, go nuts! If you’re creative, you could help design a personalized, unconventional cake with your baker. If you’re not artsy, have your baker show you some examples, and trust him or her with the reigns.

Some great custom wedding cake shops in the Toronto area are Bobbette & Belle, The Wedding Cake Shoppe, Le Dolci, and For the Love of Cake. Most cakes start at $350.

A Cupcake Tower

Photo courtesy of CupcakeFactory.ca

Photo courtesy of CupcakeFactory.ca

Are you a huge cupcake fan? Are you excited by the extravagant flavours that bakers are inventing? Do you like the idea of guests being able to grab a cupcake and go? A cupcake tower may be right for you. In lieu of a cake, a cupcake tower can be built to look just like one. With a tower, you can have an eye-catching wedding dessert and your design options are endless. Having a wedding cupcake tower gives you the option of many different colours (of cake and frosting); individual garnishes and toppers; multiple flavours for cake, frosting, and filling; and more! Bakers can meld the couple’s favourite flavours together to make a meaningful set of cupcakes.

Some wonderful cupcake shops in the Toronto area are Desmond & Beatrice, Dlish, OMG Baked Goodness, and  Sullivan & Bleeker. Most cupcakes are under $3.

Cake Pops

Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books

Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books

Another cake option is cake pops. If you’re highly innovative and you love the latest trends in food, a cake pop platter or display may be for you. Having cake pops as your wedding dessert will certainly make yours a wedding to remember. They’re easy to pick up and pop in your mouth, and due to the icing used throughout the cake batter, they’re always sweet and moist. As pictured, you can see that the pops can be decorated, even though they may be small. A bride and groom design is a safe option, but if you want to be totally out-of-the-box consider a design based on your wedding colours, favourite hobbies, sports teams, defining qualities, or occupations.


Lauren Chan is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.


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The Bridal Guide’s Free Wedding Registry

Have you signed up for the Bridal Guide’s free gift? If you haven’t you’re truly missing out. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your very own free wedding website and registry.


My Experience

Even though I’m not yet a bride, I had a blast discovering how the Bridal Guide’s free wedding website and registry worked. I almost want to start using the program for real – too bad I’m not even engaged yet!

First off, making an account was really easy, and that’s coming from someone who is not good with computers. Right away you enter all your info, along with fun descriptions and photos of you and your partner.

If you want to skip all the tedious info and go back to it later you can.


Once you have the basics out of the way you can get started on the fun stuff. You could easily be on this site for hours, but here are the main features you’ll want to set up:

–       the registry
–       the events
–       the invitations

The registry is the main function of this program and it’s so convenient. There are three options: you can have a cash only registry, you can have a registry of all the items you want from various online retailers, or you can do both.

If you want to register for gifts and not just cash you have to install the wedding registry button on your toolbar by simply dragging and dropping. You can register gifts from their featured stores or find things online and simply click the registry button to add it to your account. It should redirect you to the site where you verify that all the information transferred over and that the image displayed for the gift is the right one. Once everything is up and running it’s really simple!


The events and invitations are just as simple. The great thing about this program is that you have just enough freedom to make everything personalized, yet you follow easy to use templates that allow you to create fun events and invites without worrying about the format or font.

You can create as many or as few events as you want and as many registries as you want too. You can send out virtual invites for the Bridal Shower and make a registry for that separately. It’s really a one stop shop for all pre and post wedding organization.

The Best Part

If you have trouble with anything, and I mean anything, there are videos walking you through each step. I played the video on how to set up the registry while I installed the button just so I wouldn’t make any mistakes.

The registry is used by thousands of brides, grooms, guests, and vendors in over 100 different countries across the world. There’s no doubt it works and it works well.


One of the things people have been most enthusiastic about is the cash registry. Getting cash at a wedding is more than acceptable, but sometimes it can be difficult to find a tasteful way of asking your guests for cash only. This site does that perfectly. You can rename your cash registry something like ‘honeymoon’ and then include a description of where you want to go and how you’ll put their money to good use.

Users have also loved the thank you video capability as well. Rather than sending out cards you can take a video directly on the site and share it with selected guest. If you had a cash registry raising money for a honeymoon you can go on the site and take videos from your exotic destination showing your friends and family how much you appreciate their contribution. They’re short, simple, one shot videos with no editing, but they’re way more exciting and personal than a traditional thank you message.

My favorite part about this whole site is the photo sharing. When you go to a wedding as a guest you take dozens of your own photos. Sometimes you have a great camera, other times you use your cell phone, but either way your photos are special and the bride and groom would love to see them.

With photo sharing everyone who has access to your wedding website can upload their photos to the site. When you log on you can see all the photos in one place and you can choose to download any or all of them to your computer. It’s one of the most effective ways of getting all the guest photos in one place, since even Facebook has you jumping from page to page.

There are so many exciting capabilities that come along with this free gift that it seems almost too good to be free!

If you’re a future bride or groom this is definitely something you’ll want to utilize to make your wedding much easier and more fun and interactive.


Jill Zacchia is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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Cruise Ship Weddings

There’s a rumor going around that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will finally tie the knot on a private cruise ship surrounded by their 50 closest friends and family. It seems like a great idea and we’re sure that their iconic nuptials will inspire other couples to do the same.

Here’s what you should know about Brangelina’s rumored wedding and all the information you will need to start planning your own cruise ship wedding.

Brad and Angelina’s Wedding Plan

Photo courtesy of Us Weekly

Photo courtesy of Us Weekly

The idea for a cruise ship wedding came from Maddox, the couple’s 11-year-old son, reports The Sun. Maddox chose the gorgeous Hebridean Princess cruise ship, which sales around Scotland when he looked back at old family vacation photos.

The family has cruised with the ship before and they also loved their stay at the Carnell Estate in Ayrshire, Scotland, so the ship seems like a perfect fit. Even the Queen of England took a ride on the 50-year-old luxury cruise ship.

Privacy is more of an issue for the A-list couple than money, so they plan to pay over $400,000 to rent out the cruise ship.

Is a cruise wedding right for you?


You may not have the means to rent out an entire luxury cruise, but you can host your wedding either on the ship or on the beach when the ship docks. Either way, a cruise ship can be the perfect setting for your wedding, especially if you were already planning a destination wedding.

One of the benefits of getting married at sea is that the pressures of getting a license are lessened. In many cases it’s easier to get married in the water around a foreign country than it is to get married on land. Anything that makes your special day less stressful is worth considering.

Destination weddings in general are less stressful because your wedding is a package deal—you don’t have to worry about dinging a caterer, getting flowers, hiring a DJ, and getting a cake all from different vendors. Overall, it seems like a great option, as long as you don’t get sea sick.

Brad and Angelina have already picked their cruise line and destination, so if you’re just starting your cruise ship wedding planning that’s a good place to start.


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for The Bridal Guide.

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Hipster Wedding Touches

Does the idea of a traditional, formal wedding make you cringe? Would you rather have a natural ceremony and a calm, artsy reception? You may need to take a queue from The Bridal Guide and add some hipster touches to your wedding.

Photo courtesy of 2dayslook.com

Photo courtesy of 2dayslook.com

An off-beat wedding gown. The first way to take some formality away from your wedding is definitely to ditch the pure-white-ball-gown idea of a wedding dress. This isn’t your mother’s wedding! Try something with an architectural design, a colour that isn’t white, or something that shows your hidden (tasteful) tattoos.

Mis-matched bridal parties. Mis-matching brides maids’ dresses can bring excitement to your wedding ceremony and reception. Your guests will be so impressed! Make sure that the dresses have some congruent themes like colour family or shade, relative length, similar shape, etc.

Mason Jars. Hipsters can put mason jars to use anywhere, just check Pinterest! If you want to add a vintage feel to your ceremony or reception, try using mason jars for decorative or functional purposes. Think: flower pots or cocktail mugs.

Sara K Bryne Photography

Sara K Bryne Photography

Outstanding graphic design. If you want to make your wedding look more modern, hire a great graphic designer. With all the possibilities of graphic design, you can make your decoration truly unique. Have the designer design invitations, place cards, signs for dessert tables, menu for the bar, etc.

Organic, vegan, or gluten-free food. Though it may cost more money, serving organic, vegan, or gluten-free food at your wedding will make it a progressive celebration! You can accommodate everyone’s nutritional requirements and feel good about it.

Photo courtesy of Imgur.com

Photo courtesy of Imgur.com

An uncanny setting. If getting married in a church isn’t your ideal, break out your creative side, and come up with an uncanny venue or setting. How about an old barn or a contemporary studio?

Instagram and Twitter live feeds. Create an Instagram or Twitter hashtag for your wedding day and night, then have your graphic designer make signs instructing guests to upload photos of the wedding as it unfolds using your hashtag. That way, you and the guests can revisit the “real time” wedding after the matter.

Whether you want a full-blown hipster wedding or just a touch of something new and non-traditional, adding some of our hipster touches will make your wedding feel unique and progressive.
Lauren Chan is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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How to Build Your Wedding Emergency Kit

Every woman pictures their big day going off without a hitch, but what will you do if something goes wrong and you don’t have the tools to fix it? A small beauty blunder or tummy ache could put a huge damper on your wedding day, but they are easily fixable if you’re prepared. That’s where your wedding emergency kit will come into play. The Bridal Guide brings you our suggestions for what to include in your save-the-day kit.


Photo courtesy of womenspeakersassociation.com


1. Double-sided fashion tape. Your wedding is not the place for a major wardrobe malfunction. Avoid any slippage of your dress/bra/spanx with double-sided fashion tape. The tape attached to your skin and garments, keeping everything in place. Try Hidden Essentials Fashion Tape at Walmart.

2. Stain remover. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing will get spilled on your wedding gown, but in case something does, keep a nifty little stain remover on hand like Tide To Go.

3. Translucent powder. We all know how quickly make-up can melt off or succumb to the oils in our skin. It’s one thing to appear oily to your guests, but it’s worse to look forever oily in your wedding photos. You can keep shiny skin at bay by keeping a translucent powder on hand. It is easy to dust on, and won’t change the colouring of your make-up look. It’s almost too good to be true. Sephora’s version of this powder is under 20 bucks.

4. Gatorade. You will likely be way too busy to drink your recommended 8 glasses of water on your big day. That’s understandable, but to prevent dehydration (especially at a summer wedding) we suggest keeping a bottle of Gatorade G20 near by. G20 only has 20 calories per serving, so no need to worry about a sugar overdose!

5. Protein Bars. Pick your favourite protein bars and pack them in your kit. With all the energy you will be expending on your wedding day and night, you’re bound to get hungry or feel faint. Munching on a couple bites of a protein bar will pick your energy up without making you bloat or crash hours later.


Photo courtesy of bijuteriateilor.ro


6. Foot support. Dr. Scholl’s For Her Hidden Arch Supports are gel pads placed under the arches of feet while wearing heels to alleviate pressure build up and pain. If you totally can’t wear your heels for a minute longer, break out the Dr. Scholl’s For Her Fast Flats, which collapsible are ballet flats that can fit in the palm of your hand.

7. Perfume. Stop by your local department or beauty store, like the Bay or Sephora, and ask if they have a couple of perfume samplers in your scent. One should be enough to last for reapplications during your wedding day and night, and it won’t take up much space in the kit.

8. Breath freshener. No one likes bad breath, especially when you’re the centre of attention. Talking through your ceremony, greeting guests, and chatting up your new hubby or wifey all day and night is bound to leave your mouth dry and a bit smelly. Keep some Listerine Pocket Packs on hand as a discreet way to kill bad breath. If the classic Listerine Cool Mint is too strong for you, the Pocket Packs also come in Artic Berry.

9. Pepto Bismol. Whether you’re prone to heartburn, nausea, indigestion, or an upset stomach or not, it’s probably a good idea to have some Pepto Bismol caplets or chewable tablets on site. Just think about how upset you would be if you were missed out on fun at your wedding because you felt sick. Pepto Bismol certainly won’t hurt you, and it’s a quick way to fix any pesky tummy troubles.

10. Sewing Kit. A dress rip may seem out-of-the-questions, but you never know what can happen.


Hopefully, you won’t need to use much of our emergency kit on your wedding day and night, but we do advise that you build one and have your maid of honour keep it close by. Even if you don’t use it at all, it won’t cost a fortune to build, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Now that you know how to prepare, we trust that your wedding day will unfold perfectly.


Lauren Chan is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.



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All the Rage: Long Sleeved Wedding Dresses

Did you know that most brides wear white wedding dresses because Queen Victoria was married in a white gown? Well it seems that in this century Princess Kate Middleton it setting a trend of her own: long sleeved wedding dresses.


[photo courtesy of quilting.about.com]

Who could forget the gorgeous gown Kate wore to her wedding to Prince William? Thousands of brides wanted a ‘Kate Middleton’ dress for their own wedding after seeing how gorgeous she looked in the Alexander McQueen gown.

With the wedding long behind them (and a baby due this weekend) her dress is still setting the standard for iconic weddings around the world.

Last weekend Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert married Toronto Maple Leaf Dion Phaneuf in the country’s east coast. The bride looked gorgeous in a conservative yet becoming long sleeved wedding gown that made her look as classy as Princess Kate.

[photo courtesy of E! Online]

[photo courtesy of E! Online]

Before the Royal Wedding, Nicole Richie wore a long sleeve gown in 2010. The reason Nicole broke with the strapless trend was because they were going for a very upscale classy look and because Richie is very fashion forward.


[photo courtesy evelynclarkweddings.com]

Aside from Kate’s dress that has been replicated in countless stores, one of the most iconic long sleeve wedding dresses came from a movie. You may be familiar with the fictional character, Bella Swan, who wore a long sleeve dress to marry her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen, in the blockbuster film Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1.

Even if you aren’t a fan, which many are not—since the film is a bit below the age bracket for most brides—the wedding dress has stood out and been recognized beyond the film. Replicas of the intricately handcrafted gown have been shared thousands of times on Pinterest and beyond. Brides love the unique back and spine of the dress and they want to get a similar look.


Kate Middleton was expected to wear a long sleeve gown because she was getting married at Westminster Abbey and she needed to be covered up. She may have needed sleeves, but her elegance inspired so many brides and now long sleeve dresses are becoming increasingly more popular.

Long sleeved dressed are special because they showcase the bride’s body in a mature and elegant way—which for many brides is ideal. If you want a classy look for your wedding, the long sleeved trend may be just want you’re looking for.

Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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How to Make your Maid of Honour Speech Epic


Have you ever been to a wedding where the maid of honor performs a rap instead of a traditional speech? Last week, a video surfaced of maid of honour Jennifer Gabrielli doing just that at her sister Nicole’s wedding at La Costa Resort in California.

While not every maid of honour will be comfortable writing and performing a five-minute rap, here are some tips for creating an epic maid of honour speech inspired by this amazing video.

Start with How the Couple Met

The maid of honor is usually the bride’s best friend—sisters are best friends too—so they inevitably have an interesting story to tell in regards to their first impression of the groom. Talking about the maid of honour’s interpretation of how the couple met is a great way to capture everyone’s attention and make the speech interesting and personal. In the featured video, Gabrielli talks about how her sister and brother-in-law met online. Because it’s a rap, it’s hard to understand what she’s saying, so the story gets lost. To make your story meaningful, make sure it is clear, short, and fun.

Stand Out

While it was impossible to hear all the words in Gabrielli’s rap, there were some lines that got stuck in viewers’ heads because of the Eminem beat playing in the background. To make your speech fun and memorable you will need a few ideas that help your moment stand out from all the other speeches at the wedding. Gabrielli was good at singing and she was clearly comfortable with a microphone, and it worked for her. Play up your own strengths! If you’re funny, write some jokes; if you’re artistic, create some props; if you’re tech savvy, create or edit a video to share with guests.  If you don’t want to do anything that elaborate and you still want to stand out, tell a personal story and include lots of shout-outs to guests.

Be Confident

Gabrielli’s rap is impressive because of the way she presented it. She was in-character and confident; and if you want an epic speech you have to be self-assured. The best speech I’ve ever heard at a wedding was by one of the guests who grabbed the microphone after he had a few drinks. He wasn’t drunk, but he was inhibition-free and confident enough to share a hilarious story about his childhood with the couple. He finished the speech by saying that he looked forward to making more fun memories with the bride and groom. To master the microphone you have to come prepared and you have to be sure of yourself.

If you want to make your speech stand out, all you have to do is be personal and write something honest, heartfelt, and entertaining. Even if you can’t rap like a pro, you can still blow everyone away. Good luck!


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer to The Bridal Guide.

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Hilarious Wedding Photos

“Hilarious” and “wedding photos” aren’t words you would usually use in the same phrase; but for some non-traditional couples, fun and creative wedding photography makes their wedding day meaningful and personal. Hilarious wedding photos capture a couple’s unique sense of humor—and friends and family will love the unforgettably funny snap shots.

We’ve found some of the funniest and most exciting wedding photos on the Internet. Maybe they will inspire you to make your wedding photo shoot a little bit more innovative and zany.

 Quinn Miller Photography

Quinn Miller Photography

This wedding shot has gone viral and we love it! While everyone looks scared they also look beautiful—and like they’re having a lot of fun. Everyone is in character; the photo is perfectly balanced and symmetrical; and the bride is the first thing I notice in the picture, despite the fact that most of the image is taken up by a photoshopped dinosaur. Overall, it’s not only a fun image, it’s also very well executed.


This next image attempts a similar theme with a Star Wars focus. Everyone is in character yet again, but about the best part of  this image is that you can see the people in the forefront more clearly. One of the downfalls of this image is that several people are completely cut out of the image except for their legs. On the upside, the pink bridesmaid dresses really stand out and looks great in this landscape. Unfortunately, my eyes are drawn to the bridesmaid center-left rather than the bride (who isn’t even facing the camera). This shot needs a few adjustments, but it’s a fun variation of the dinosaur photo.


What guy doesn’t want to feel like a superhero on his wedding day? This photo is a fun and playful way to highlight the men—for a change. The girls are wearing capes and the bride is sporting Wonder Woman cuffs, but really this photo is about the groom and groomsmen, who are unveiling superhero uniforms under their suits. We think it’s a great photo that the guys will really love and get excited about.

 Image by Micah Bowerbank

Image by Micah Bowerbank

Now here’s a hilarious wedding photo that brides will love. With the bride’s foot in the foreground and the men in the distance, the image is produced to look as if she’s about the crush them with her foot. It really symbolizes the control the woman has during the wedding (and maybe during the marriage), but more than anything it’s a fun and creative way of showing off the bride’s personality.

Photo courtesy of MoIllusions.com

Photo courtesy of MoIllusions.com

This photo is another one that went viral, but it takes a while to realize what’s “funny” about this picture. Look closely: The groomsmen are all down on one knee and the bridesmaids are seated on the men’s knees, but because of their dresses it looks as if all the bridesmaids are little people (about 4 feet tall). Once you see how bizarre the illusion looks, you can’t help but smile! If you want to confuse and crack up your friends and family take a few photos like this and see if they can spot what’s wrong.


The bride has to have some pictures exclusively with her bridal party. In this case, the funny wedding photo shows the women doing some pretty hilarious things as they get ready. Each bridesmaid is acting out something mildly taboo, while the bride covers the flower girl’s eyes. This is way better than a photo that has all the girls standing in a row smiling because the bridesmaids get to show off their personality.  This might not be an appropriate photo to frame on your wall, but if you post it on Facebook you’ll get a lot of Likes!


Finally, here’s something just as fun as the previous photo for the groom and groomsmen. There’s nothing funnier than a bunch of guys acting like a bunch of women. The stereotype is light-hearted and well executed. Here, the groom shows off his wedding ring to his groomsmen as they all flip out. This is an easy shot to replicate and it will get lot of laughs.

It’s fun to have a few silly photographs along with all the professionally-directed, smiling shots. For your wedding consider throwing in some curveballs, it’ll make your wedding album feel more exciting and complete.


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for The Bridal Guide.

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Can You Have Too Many Wedding Photos?

Paul Roy Photography

Paul Roy Photography

No wedding is complete without lots of gorgeous wedding photos; but does there come a point when enough is enough?

I recently attended the wedding of one of my close friends; and as soon as I saw her walk down the aisle in her gorgeous mermaid dress I burst into tears. Not only is she the first of my close friends to get married, but I couldn’t believe how stunning and happy she looked. All I wanted to do was give her a big hug and congratulate her. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a minute alone with her for hours following the ceremony because she was busy taking pictures.

I understand the importance of capturing every moment at a wedding on film. There is so much going on throughout a couple’s wedding day that sometimes it’s hard to remember it all. You would think that you would recall every millisecond of your big day, but couples often do not. In the moment, your mind is in so many places at once and you are overtaken by emotions. You could imagine that, more often than not, you’re disconnected. When you think back to your wedding day, everything can be a big blur. That’s where the photos come in. All you have to do is look back at your wedding photo album and all the memories of the day will come flooding back.

All photos are used to trigger memories, but wedding photos are unique because they capture your big day moments and make them look perfect. When a photo is perfect, the memory associated with it follows suit. You won’t remember that pimple on your chin once it’s airbrushed out of your photos.

Hundreds of perfect weddings photos generate hundreds of beautiful memories, but there can come a point where you have more photos than memories.

Every time my friend went to speak to one of her guests or walked onto the dance floor at her wedding, the photographer would come in and position her for a new photo. With a photographer telling you where to put your arms and directing you around the venue for hours you may not be able to enjoy your wedding—all you’re doing is taking photos that look like you’re enjoying your wedding.

Can you have too many wedding photos? I think so. The more time you spend with your photographer away from your guests, the less fun you’ll have, and the less authentic all those smiling photos will be. You have to find the right balance between enjoying your wedding, interacting with guests, and taking photographs.

A simple solution is to have lots of candid photographs. The photographer can take pictures of the couple dancing or enjoying themselves and they still get hundreds of beautiful photographs after the wedding. As long as there’s the right balance between photos and fun, everyone will be happy, and the bride and groom will have created and captured hundreds of precious memories from their wedding day.

Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for The Bridal Guide.

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Hair and Make-Up Trials by Jane Dayus-Hinch


Photo courtesy of Bride.ca

On the day you pick up your wedding photograph album from your professional wedding photographer’s studio, how do you think you will feel? I’m betting you’ll be a mix of excited, apprehensive, and nervous.

Why? Because seeing your wedding album is the culmination of all the planning, the hard work, expenses, and memories of your big day. Above all, you want to be sure that your photograoher captured every moment, guest, and action, both formally and informally.

Now picture this: Your partner and yourself open the cover of the album, and the photographer has chosen what he or she thinks is the best image of the two of you on your wedding day to start the album…But all you can see is how shiny your face looks, how the false eyelashes were not straight, and how much your hair style had fallen out of it’s curls, It’s simply not how you pictured the money shot and the disappointment is overwhelming.

“Why didn’t someone tell me? Why didn’t I have some powder? Look at my lips! No gloss on them at all,” you think.

Thinking about a situation like this in hindsight will give you 20/20 vision: You should have booked a hair an make-up trial. If you’re the kind of bride who thinks, “I don’t need one, I’m doing my own,” or, “I don’t wear much makeup, I like a natural look,” think again.

Photo courtesy of Cancun.fm

Photo courtesy of Cancun.fm

You will highly benefit from having your makeup done by a professional makeup artist. Try different looks and trends. Take a camera with you and get someone to photograph you to see what you look like in photos. Consider these questions: Are the eyes too dark or light? Is the lipstick the right shade?

Perhaps you can use the day to also have your engagement photos done and see the end results. This is a great way to see how you look on camera before the big day, giving you time to rectify or change your look before the wedding.

Take your tiara, headpiece, or veil with you to the hairdressers and see how long it takes for them to do your hair. This is how long you will need on the morning of the wedding.

The trial is to see how your hair looks after (at least!) 6 hours. Do the curls hold? Does your hair react to humidity? It may be best to put the hair in an up-do so that it’s all pinned and you know that it is all in place and it looks elegant.

No amount of Photoshop, or any other corrective work will correct a bad hair and make-up job on your wedding day. You will benefit from booking a hair and make-up trial! Remember to have a translucent powder to get rid of shiny skin with you on the day (for you, your Bridesmaids and even the Groom!). If you can budget / afford to do so, have a hair and make-up artist on hand throughout to do ‘touch-ups’ before, during and after your photos.

Jane Dayus-Hinch

Wedding Planner
JDH Weddings
647 700 6581

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Wedding Shoes: What’s your Perfect fit?

A helpful guide to help you find your perfect wedding shoe style.


Photo courtesy of ShoeDazzle.com

When it comes to weddings, there’s nothing wrong with being traditional. Most traditional brides choose white or beige heels to go for a classic look. In addition to the colour choice, they also chose a traditional style. If you’re the type of bride who thinks, “Why buy something fancy when no one will even see it?” it’s possible that traditional wedding shoes are for you. There’s no bling and no special design, just classic elegance for a beautiful bride.

Open Toe

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Choo

The most popular wedding shoes right now are open toe heels. If you always have your toe nails manicured and painted, you should want to show them off! Open toed shoes are likely your first choice when you walk down the aisle.


Photo courtesy of Haute Look

Sandals give brides the option of having a uniquely shaped shoe. Instead of a traditional silhouette, the straps create a more intricate look on your feet. By choosing a sandal you can add a lot of personality and flare to your wedding shoe. Sandals are perfect for summer brides who want to show a bit more style and originality.


Photo courtesy of GlitzNGlamourou


Flats are a great choice for several types of brides. They are great for taller brides who don’t want to tower over their husbands. They’re also great for brides who value comfort. Wearing flats doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, there are many gorgeous wedding shoes that are feminine and flirty without a heel.



Thisbe Grace Photography

Most brides want to feel like a princess on their wedding day. What better way to feel like Royalty than with a touch of sparkle? Having jewels or sparkles on your wedding shoes is a great way to be flashy and fun but it’s also a good way to feel like a princess. These shiny shoes will look lovely on young and outgoing brides who want to dazzle.

Pop of Colour

Photo courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Many non-traditional brides opt for colourful shoes on their wedding day. This is a great way to incorporate ‘something blue’ into your wedding outfit. It’s also a great way to show your personality. If you choose a colourful shoe, you can work in your theme or colour scheme, you can match your groom, or you can make a trendy bold statement. The best part about opening up your colour pallet is that almost any shoe becomes a potential wedding shoe. Colourful shoes are for unconventional brides who think that white shoes with a white dress are just too bland.


Photo courtesy of Vera Wang

It’s hard to find a trendy wedding shoe this season that doesn’t have a bow on it. Whether it’s an actual ribbon or a jeweled design, bows are popping up on all different types of wedding shoe styles. If you love keeping up with the trends and this girly style speaks to you, then you should keep an eye out for wedding shoes with bows.

Personalized Love Note

Alea Photography

Thanks to Pinterest, brides are learning that wedding shoes can hide a secret love note from the groom. If the thought of handing your partner your wedding shoes and a Sharpie doesn’t bother you than this romantic gesture is certainly something you should consider with whichever wedding shoe style you choose.


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for The Bridal Guide.

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Ice Sculptures for Every Wedding and Every Budget

Ice sculptures may be widely considered a luxury, but the unique and elegant piece of decor can be incorporated into any wedding.

The price of wedding ice sculptures depends on two things: size of the sculpture and intricacy of the design. There are some small and simple designs that work well for small budget weddings, and, of course, there are large and elaborate ice sculptures that work well for upscale, big-budget affairs.

Here are some of the top trends in wedding ice sculptures that will work for every budget.

Ice Vases

Photo courtesy of PrestonBailey.com

Photo courtesy of PrestonBailey.com


Flower vases made of ice are extremely beautiful and relatively inexpensive. A small vase can cost around $45. Larger vases, like the one in the photograph, can cost about $350. These vases can be used as centerpieces, or you can have one on display; but however you use them they’ll add class and sophistication to your reception and your guests will love them.

Ice Bar

Paul Johnson PhotographyPaul Johnson Photography

Having an ice bar is one of the most exciting and practical ways to use ice sculptures. They add an element of fun at the bar and they’re a very memorable part of the wedding. They are quite pricey though, starting at $500, depending on the size.

Frozen Centerpieces

Art Below Zero Photography
Art Below Zero Photography


Another great way to use ice sculptures is to freeze flowers inside the blocks of ice. It creates a beautiful fairly tale look. Because these sculptures are smaller and simpler, they are more affordable.

Traditional Ice Sculptures

Art Below Zero Photography
Art Below Zero Photography


You can also have a traditional ice sculpture that has the names of the couple engraved on it along with (most often) a swan. This is perfect for a big wedding with lots of décor—flowers, lights, crystals, chandeliers, and candles—as it adds to the whole nine yards. If you have a big ice sculpture like this, which costs between $500 and $1000, it is accompanied by an LED light and it sparkles across the whole room.

Ice Cake

Photo Courtesy of Creative Ice
Photo Courtesy of Creative Ice


One of the latest trends in wedding ice sculptures is the ice cake. In many cases, the wedding cake is mostly a decorative piece anyway. Newlyweds won’t be able to cut the cake, but it’s a great option for trendy couples who don’t care for the extra calories. If you have a sweet tooth like many brides do this ice sculpture isn’t for you. If you like the stylish piece, it costs around $350, which is less than the price of a regular wedding cake this size.

The type of ice sculpture you get will depend on your venue, your theme, the season, and your budget. These ice sculptures look perfect in any winter wedding, but the ice bar is a big hit with summer weddings as well. Picking the right ice sculpture is about finding what works for you and being creative.


Jillian Zacchia is a contributing writer for The Bridal Guide.

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Why have a wedding rehearsal? by Jane Dayus-Hinch

Michael Straub Photography
Michael Straub Photography


“Why would we need a wedding rehearsal” one bride asks.

On the night before her wedding, while she is rehearsing in the Church, it’s clear why a wedding rehearsal is necessary.

She forgot her marriage license, the readings, the unity candle and the rose ceremony wording, the ring pillow, the actual unity candle and tapers. Plainly – she’s just lost the plot!

As her wedding planner I texted her, emailed her and even left a voice message 3 hours prior – all to no avail.

The Priest was NOT impressed.  I was there with the first three row seating plan, the Order of Ceremony booklets, the music list, and a fake bouquet.  I knew what I was doing.

“Everything is going to be alright tomorrow – isn’t it?” the bride asks.

I may be a fairy Godmother but sometimes the fairy dust doesn’t put it all right.

The 5 P’s.

Ever heard of the 5 P’s of wedding planning? Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. (Some people add a 6th P that’s a bit rude).

I ALWAYS do a rehearsal.  It puts everyone in the right mood, mode, and focus and makes it all REAL. It gives everyone a reality check!

It takes you through when and where to walk, where to stand, where to sit, and what to do and when. It just takes away the stress of the whole situation – not just for the Bride and Bridegroom – but for the whole Bridal party as well.

Let me ask you… When did you last wear a long white dress and veil in front of ALL your family and friends…?  So, shall we do a bit of a run through then?  It’s fine ‘talking the talk ‘in a pair of jeans, but it’s all very different on the day.

What to do at the rehearsal

Get everyone inside the Church or venue. Have a ‘meeter’ get them off the phone or get them to stop chatting or smoking. When they are inside, ask the guests if they are on the Bride or the Bridegroom’s side?

Then the ‘greeter’ will give them a program (an Order of the Day/Ceremony/Service).

All close family and VIP’s should be seated on the first three rows for a civil and church ceremony. A seating plan must be produced and given to the ‘Seaters’.

Let the parents be escorted to their seats, and rehearse the whole ceremony – the signing, the music, everything.  Listen to the readers, is a microphone required, and figure out what to do if children cry etc.

Weddings are stressful. It is THE most important day of your life.  It is the most expensive day of your life.  So tell me, why wouldn’t you rehearse it?


Jane Dayus-Hinch
Wedding Planner

For all your wedding related questions, and to book Jane as your wedding planner, please contact janedh@hotmail.co.uk.

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