Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All Crystal Bridal Shoes by Benjamin Adams...

So I wanted to share with you to my newlest love... Benjamin Adam's 2011 Wedding Shoe Collection by Paradox London. My favourites are their Swarovski crystal pumps. The collection is crafted from the finest duchesse silk, stunning Swarovski crystals, soft kid leather lining and the highest quality leather soles. These shoes are feminine, chic and oh so pretty to look at.

Product Info:
Benjamin Adams footwear was born out of an ethos to create unique but luxurious bridal footwear. The glamour and allure of each of it’s pieces have created a signature brand identity which is immediately recognisable as ‘Benjamin Adams’.

The striking nature of each design is achieved through the intricate detailing and craftsmanship of head designer Alessandro Pavan.

The new 2011 Benjamin Adams Collection consists of 25 chic styles ranging from elegant peep-toes through to stunning SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS encrusted platforms. The strong influence of platforms and vintage trims for the 2011 collection has taken its lead from the international fashion runways to create a sophisticated yet fashion forward range.

Here are 4 of my favourite from the collection:

The Charlize (above) is one of Benjamin Adams most luxurious shoes and by far my favourite of the collection. This high heel peep toe pump is covered in Swarovski crystals and hand crafted by Paradox London. This shoe is perfect for the modern bride who loves a clean and sexy look! The Charlize is available in Ivory Duchesse silk and comes in sizes 5–10. The heel height is 4 1/4" and it retails for $399.00 Canadian.

The Electra (above) is a stunning shoe. This high heel sling back is covered in Swarovski crystals with a Swarovski encrusted buckle. This shoe is hand crafted by Paradox London as well and is simply stunning. The Electra is available in Ivory Duchesse silk and comes in sizes 5-10. The heel height is 4 1/4" and it retails for $379.00 Canadian.

The Gaga (above) is one of Benjamin Adams most classic shoes. This high heel pump is covered in Swarovski crystals from front to back. Hand crafted by Paradox London, the Gaga is available in Ivory Duchesse silk and sizes 5-10. The heel height for this shoe is slightly lower than the others at 3 3/4" and retails for $379.00 Canadaian.

And in case all that sparkle is a little too much glitz for you, the Neve (above) by Banjamin Adams is a softer look. Also by Paradox London the Neve is a sleek peep-toe court shoe with a gorgeous rolled top edge and a diamante-trimmed bow to the front. The heel height is 4" and this option retails for only $205.00 Canadian.

The entire 2011 Benjamin Adams Bridal Shoe Collection can be seen here:
2011 Benjamin Adams Bridal Shoe Collection

You can search store locators in the US and Canada here: Store Locator

Additionally you can can purchase some of the 2011 collection online from Bridal Shoe Canada

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weclome Baby Brooklyn...

Today's blog post is the happiest of posts. I'm proud to announce that at 9:54am this morning (March, 21st) our own Kelly Spinelli, welcomed her second child, Brooklyn Jude Spinelli, weighing in at 7lbs. 9 oz. Mommy and baby are doing well, and they are all very excited to have baby Brooklyn join their family.

A HUGE congratulations to the Spinelli Family!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lancy & Collin - A True Love Affair...

Last July, we had the pleasure of helping Lancy & Collin walk down the aisle in true vintage-chic style at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club . Lancy was one of the best brides we've ever worked with. Her attention to detail and her creatively inspired me month by month! She single handily crafted many of her decor and wedding elements and displayed a true commitment to bringing her visions to life. Photographed by the incredible GeeHae Jeong Lancy & Collin brought personality, romance and wonder to their special day. Above all, they emboided a warmth and sincereity that lit their reception room on fire... not to mention their send off at the end of the night!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our Next Rich Bride Poor Bride Episode Airs Tuesday March 22 @ 8pm on Slice...

Our next Rich Bride Poor Bride episode premieres Tuesday March 22 @8pm on the SLICE network.

Episode Description:
Bride Jihan and Groom Justin are beginning their journey down the matrimonial aisle! Although the couple has no problem foreseeing a beautiful life together, they do lack a shared vision for their big day. If there’s ever been a bride who knows what she wants it is Jihan and with her “tell it like it is” attitude in full effect, her groom is learning just how off the wall his bride really is. His love of traditional things and her quest to be completely different and to incorporate a travel theme into their day have landed them in a precarious planning position!

The dynamic duo of planners, Laura and Kelly, will have fun bringing the couple’s visions closer together and navigating the budget to pull off their dream travel themed wedding.

For more info, check out:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Canadian Wedding Costs 101...

Successfully planning a wedding very much relies on being able to successfully budget for your wedding. However, I've come to notice that many couple's quickly find themselves in a struggle of dream vs. reality; They dreamed of wedding that in reality costs a lot more than expected. As a wedding planner, part of our job is to help our clients get the most value for their money, but sometimes it's a real challenge to bring a clients vision to life because the dream they come to you with, is severely under-priced in their mind compared to the reality of what things cost.

This article is our way of sharing with you what weddings in 2011 really cost. We wanted to be able to share with couples what the normal rates are in the wedding world so that they can dream within their scope of reality and know what they're walking into when they begin to meet with vendors. There will always be options under these average costs, and quotes that come in way over. We know some couples will read this article and say, "Well my venue was only $100 per person," and that's to be expected. There are great deals to be had, but for the sake of general education, here is what we've come to expect as planners in the Canadian Wedding Industry!

If you're going with a regular all inclusive food and alcohol banquet hall, the average cost we're seeing with tax and gratuities included is around $120-$150 per head. If you're going with a more original venue such as a museum or historic building that requires you to also bring in a caterer and rentals (chairs, tables, place settings, glass ware, furniture, lighting etc.), expect to pay at least $200 per head.

DJ & AV:
The average DJ service for the night for a DJ/MC is $1200-$1500. If you want extra AV elements, expect something around the following:
- Intelligent lights: $100-$150 each
- Up lights for the room: $25-$50 each
- Pin lighting for guest tables: $18-$25 per table
- Use of in house AV screen: $100-200 each
- Dry Ice for special dances: $100-$175
- Custom Monograms with Lights: $200-$250 each

If you're considering a live band for the night in place of a DJ, expect to spend starting $4,000 easily.

Many couples are bringing in about a half hour to an hour of special entertainment like string ensembles, drummers, violinists, pianists. Be prepared to budget at least $400-$500 for no more than 30-60 minutes of any of the above. If you're looking for a whole team of dancers for a 30 minute set, be prepared to pay between $500-$800.

Real flowers aren't cheap, but neither are artificial ones. Any good artificial flower will easily be double the cost of a real one. For that reason, we suggest keeping it real with these real life average costs:
- Bridal Bouquet: $150-$200
- Bridesmaid Bouquet: $70-$100 each
- Corsages: $15-20 each
- Boutonnieres: $10-15 each
- Alter arrangement: $45-$75
- Large Ceremony Fresh Floral Arrangements on Pedestals: $200-$400 each
- Pew Arrangements: $15-30 each
- Flower Girl Baskets/Kissing Balls: $25-40 each
- Centerpieces: Low vase: $50-$100/ High vase: $80-$130
- Candelabra/Crystal Chandelier Rentals for Centerpieces: $40-$65
- Low and Long for Head Table: $125-$150

Decor is one way to create ambiance at your wedding and bring your theme to life, but it does come at a cost.
Backdrops: $700-$1500
Head table and Cake Table decor (linens, candles, flowers, accents): $500-$1000
Linens: $18-$25
Napkins: $2-$4
Napkin Rings: $2-$4
Charger Plates: $2-$5
Runners: $6-$10
Overlays: $10-$15
Chivari or Ghost Chairs: $8-$10

An experienced photographer will cost you anywhere from $3000-$5000 for full day coverage, usually including an engagement shoot and second shooter on the wedding day.

An experienced photographer will cost you anywhere from $2500-$4500 for full day coverage, usually including a second camera and moderate to extensive editing.

The average 3-4 tier wedding cake can easily run you anywhere from $500-$1000 depending on flavours and design. When it comes to wedding cakes, the more detailed the design, the more it will cost you. Time equals money and a simple cake can be done in half the time of an equal sized but way more detailed custom cake.

Most limo packages are for a standard 6 hours (that can not be broken up). Using 6hours as a base, expect to pay around $800 for a stretch limo, $1100-$1300 for an SUV limo, and $1800-$2400 for a limo bus (depending on size). Night pick ups for the bride and groom are always extra!

Bridal hair is usually around $120, and slightly less for a trail. Bridal make-up is usually around $100 and slightly less for a trial. Bridesmaids tend to be a little cheaper than the bride for make-up and up-dos.

The average full piece tux rental with shoes, tie, vests and pocket square will run you anywhere from $140-$160 on average.

The new average we're seeing when it comes to gowns, shoes, veil, accessories is between $2500-$4000.

Most churches have a set fee to host your wedding ceremony which usually amounts to a cost of $400-$600.

Custom invites are a beautiful way to infuse your personality into your wedding. Prices are often structured based on the quantity order, but be prepared to pay between $5-$8 depending on design style. If you're planning to match wedding programs, place cards, menus and table numbers to your invites, be prepared to shell out a few hundred more on top of the invite cost.

So there you have it... the general things couples will consider when planning a wedding and the general costs. We truly feel that every couple deserves to have a wedding that is uniquely their own and full of all of their wildest expectations! Hopefully in the last few minutes, we've given you a little more insight about what to expect those expectations to cost.

Happy Planning!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

10 Ways to Make Your Wedding More Memorable...

Every couple wants their wedding to be special, unique and truly memorable. In order to get your creative juices flowing, we've compiled some of our best tips for creating a wedding day that will leave your guests talking... in a good way!

Tip 1: Good Food
We're starting with this one, because it's the quickest make it or break it. Chances are you've all been to a wedding where the food was less than great, and chances are it's the thing you remember most. The best way to win over your guests is still through their bellies. Choose a venue that is highly regarded in terms of quality of food, presentation and service and serve a menu that the average person wouldn't order out for dinner on a Saturday night! Also consider swapping your late night sweet table for a savory spread of Poutine, Sliders, New York Fries, or Chinese Food!

Tip 2: Choose a Live Band over a DJ
Not that we don't love DJs, but realistically, you see them at 99% of the weddings you go to and for that reason, you'll remember a wedding where you didn't. Not only is live music more engaging and entertaining for guests, but it also creates an electric energy at your reception that draws guests in to the moment and keeps them there longer.

Tip 3: Choose a Unique Venue
A banquet hall is a great place for a wedding, but so are Art Galleries, Museums, Historic Buildings, Wineries, Private Residences, Conservation Areas, and Out-of-Town Resorts... If you want to wow your guests, give them their first WOW when they open your wedding invite and see the location you've selected!

Tip 4: Creative Bar Ware
If you have a theme for your wedding, bring it to your bar. Whether it means mason jars for a vintage chic wedding, elaborate martini garnishes for a black tie affair, or ice luges for a signature drink, put some extra effort into the presentation of the beverages; it's sure to make a lasting impression.

Tip 5: Contemporary Ceremony Music
While classical music is classically beautiful (I had it at my own wedding), some of the most memorable wedding ceremonies I've been to, have used contemporary slow tempo music that is personal to the couple. I've seen a processions to Leona Lewis' "I Got You" and Sade's "By You Side" and recessionals to Coldplays' "Clocks" and Beyonce's "Halo" and let me tell you, I remembered those moments like no other. They were a refreshing unexpected change and it left me thinking that these couples were on to something good.

Tip 6: Don't Toss the Bouquet, Dedicate it
Something I've grown to dislike very much at weddings is the "Bouquet Toss", in fact I've come to find it quite tacky and meaningless. No longer is it exciting to race to the floor to announce to a room full of couples, that you're still single and ready to catch a symbol of someone elses happiness. Instead, something I've recently seen done as an alternative is for a bride to opt out of tossing her bouquet, for a chance to dedicate it to the one women in the room who has made the greatest impact on her life, often a mother, grandmother, aunt, or friend. It was a welcomed change and it definitely created a memory I'd like to see repeated.

Tip 7: Flip your Photo Booth Station for a Flip Book Station
Photo booths for guests to participate in during cocktail hour and your evening reception are very popular, but if you want something equally as pleasing but more original, consider a flip book station. Lots of media event companies offer these portable stations for corporate affairs and weddings. They will take a 10-12 second video of your guests with props and scrolling messages and turn it into a mini-flip book on the spot to take away as a wedding memorabilia. I've seen them done before, and they are a HUGE success, not to mention so cool!

Tip 8: Multiple Centerpieces
Your centerpieces are the center of attention for your guest tables... If you want to make them stand out, choose not one, but two to three different styles that you will alternate on the various tables throughout your reception venue. Guests will have more to look and more to remember!

Tip 9: Unique Centerpiece Games
If you're giving away your centerpiece, don't be predictable. We've all passed a napkin to the left, and pulled a set of keys out of our pockets and waved them in the air. One of the most memorable weddings I've been to used a really cute centerpiece give-a-way game. They gave every guest a number from 1-10 under their bread plate, then played a horse race on all the AV screens in the venue with 10 horses. If the horse who had your number won, you got the centerpiece. In the first 10 seconds of the race, guests were surprised and intrigued, in the next 60 seconds, they were up off their feet, cheering for their "Sea Biscuit" loving the excitement of the impromptu race.

Tip 10: Don't Just "Name" Your Wedding Party, "Explain" Them
Include a "Get to Know the Wedding Party” section in your programs or on the tables in your reception area. It's a given that many of your guests might not know all of the people in your bridal party or their histories with you. Include a picture and Bio of each Wedding Party member so your guests can learn more about each person and why they are so special to you and your significant other!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

2012 Booking Fast!

Attention Couples of 2012!

We are pleased to announce that dates for 2012 are filling up quickly! We are thrilled that there is so much love in the air and 2012 is going to be a great year for fabulous weddings!

September is also the hottest new month for weddings it seems, as we have nothing available for 2011, so if you are considering a September 2012 now!

Call or email us to inquire about our packages, whether you are interested in Full Wedding Planning or Wedding Day coordination...perhaps even something in between....our "first date" meeting is always complimentary and always no-obligation!

Dates for 2011 are limited, but call to inquire! We'd love to help you plan a well executed and absolutley unforgettable wedding experience for you and your guests!

Happy Planning!