Archive for the ‘WEDDING PLANNING’ Category

Do I really need a wedding planner at my wedding rehearsal?!

May 20

Something I get asked often is whether or not a couple needs a wedding planner or wedding coordinator present at their wedding rehearsal.

The truth is, it’s entirely up to you!

Take time to consider your bridal party and family’s personalities (are they rambunctious, lack focus, disorganized, forgetful) and perhaps discuss with your officiant/commissioner/pastor/justice of the peace how they like to instruct the wedding rehearsal.

Many times, these individuals have their own way of instructing a wedding rehearsal and (not always, but) more often then not, they are not familiar with having a wedding planner present at the rehearsal.

Like your officiant/commissioner/pastor/justice of the peace, every wedding planner/ wedding coordinator will have their own spin on orchestrating a wedding rehearsal, but traditionally, you can expect them to lead you through the following:


1. Introductions

They will introduce themselves, their role on the wedding day and explain all that will be reviewed in the wedding rehearsal; possibly how long they expect it to take.

2. Placement

They will begin with placing all parties in their appropriate spots at the altar or front; where you are to stand throughout the ceremony.

3. Processional

They will then lead you to the place where you will be entering for the processional (walk down the aisle), line you up in the appropriate order and have you practice walking in to your altar spots / placement at the front. They will discuss time, give you pointers for walking in (such as how to hold your hands or bouquet) and cue you at the right time so theres no need for you to stress or count music.

4. Ceremony

They will then turn it over to the officiant/commissioner/pastor/justice of the peace to run through the ceremony program

5. Recessional

Once you come to the end of the ceremony program, they will explain how and when to exit for the recessional

6. Special Instructions

At some point, they will also take the time to discuss any special instructions, plans or announcements that need to be made or happen throughout the ceremony

This will likely be REPEATED 1-2 times as needed.



If you do plan to have a wedding planner or wedding coordinator present, I would encourage you to inform your officiant/commissioner/pastor/justice of the peace and if they haven’t worked with one prior, share the above with them. Ensure them that their role is not to take over the rehearsal, or boss them or anyone around, but to take the logistics off their hands so that they can focus on the most important part- the ceremony program.

When the wedding planner or wedding coordinator works effectively together with the officiant/commissioner/pastor/justice of the peace, the rehearsal will be seamless, thorough and quick; Everyone involved will know their role and places and no one will be left wondering what will happen on the day!


Photo by

Unique Bridesmaids Gifts | Heart felt and Personalized Attendant Gifts

January 22

Whether you’ve considered it or not, your bridesmaids put a lot into joining you in your journey to the aisle.

They offer physical support in helping you with hands on tasks and wedding to do’s, emotional support when you need advice, a listening ear or encouragement when the overwhelm of planning seems to get you down. They labour in love to celebrate you with a shower and they sacrifice their time and hard earned money to be and dress the part in all your needs and desire of them.

It’s a big job and sometimes a tall order.


Heartfelt and Unique Bridesmaids Gifts that will make her feel Special and Appreciated

It’s easy as a bride to assume you’re the one blessing them by asking them to stand beside you, but in reality, the road goes both ways. They may just be giving you a bigger gift than you realize! Take the time to thank them from the heart, be it in words, deed or in gifting them with personalized and unique bridesmaids gifts.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking…


Fuel her Passion

Feed her guilty pleasure; delight her with the things she’s passionate about.

  • Instructional Classes [photography, dance, scrapbooking, cooking, baking, refinishing/distressing etc.]
  • New Workout gear
  • Monogrammed Travel Accessories [luggage, bag, camera case, passport holder, travel kit]
  • Sessions with a personal trainer or nutritionist
  • Gardening supplies, accessories or a gift certificate to gardening center
  • A magazine subscription
  • High end Headphones
  • A book for her collection or e-reader
  • Personalized stationery or scrapbooking supplies


Crafted with Love

Who says your thanks has to cost a fortune? Even small acts when done in love, become great. Get creative and make something with your hands!

  • Scented Candles
  • All-natural soaps
  • Bath Salts
  • A hand-painted keepsake [find a local ceramics studio]
  • A knitted scarf or throw
  • A photo album or scrapbook for your memories together
  • Homemade goodies and treats
  • A poem or letter framed with a picture


A Night on the Town

Who doesn’t love a little entertainment and fun? Perfect for the lady who loves a good time

  • Tickets to a musical, play or concert
  • Collectors edition Game Board or Card Set
  • Movie Tickets or a movie-themed gift basket
  • Tickets to a game or sporting event
  • A day at the Horse Races Together [dress up and have fun!]


Pamper Packages

We all love nice things, but many of us can’t justify the splurge. So buy her that something pretty- that something fussy or just a little too pricey- that she wouldn’t dare consider for herself.

  • Luxury Pajamas
  • Keepsake Robe
  • Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set
  • A gift certificate to her favourite boutique
  • A Spa or massage Treatment
  • A photo session [Family, engagement, boudoir, maternity]
  • An at-home pamper package
  • A Bath Caddy


Hostess with the “Mostess”

For her inner Martha, whether she be a true foodie or the loveliest of entertainers.

  • A French press and gourmet coffee
  • Sushi-making supplies
  • A wine club membership
  • Home decor or table accessories [linens, dishes, platters etc.]
  • Gourmet chocolates and Wine
  • Gift certificate to a gourmet grocer or cooking shop
  • A picnic basket
  • A collection of your favorite recipes with a kitchen trinket
  • a state-of-the-art pepper mill
  • A hot new cookbook or classic like Julia Child



Photography by Matt Kennedy Photos and Ameris 

The Realities of Wedding Planning you won’t want to Hear but Need To

December 10

What if I told you that you that the things you don’t want to happen throughout your wedding planning likely will?

That the things you hear from your friends wedding experience and vow “will never happen to you” probably will?



Before you stomp your foot or X the heck out of here saying, “who does this woman think she is?!”, let me first explain why…

The truth is, everyone has ideals and expectations when they first begin wedding planning. But as things start to progress, hiccups will arise.

If you’re not careful, they can steal your joy and your focus from the things that matter most: your love, your relationships and the marriage waiting on the other side of “I do.”

Instead, be prepared for the realities of wedding planning, and ready to handle them like a pro.


1. You will get stressed out

In the beginning, it’s fun and games. Everything is new and exciting. But while you may be thrilled now at the thought of spending every waking moment planning, you’ll eventually run out of steam… and motivation… and pep. Things add up and the task lists are long, so confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed are bound to set in.

How to handle:

• Create realistic goals in manageable chunks, such as month-to-month planning checklists. There are tons of great resources online such as the  Real Weddings Wedding Planning Worksheet or the  Be My Own Wedding Planner Kit.

• Set aside planning days each week where you’re committed to working on wedding to-do’s. Also be sure to block off down days, where you simply enjoy each other, your friends and family apart from wedding talk. Living real life will only inspire your wedding plans.


2. You will have to compromise

Your fiancé and you will likely have different ideas about how your wedding should play out and what you each value as most important. Rarely will you be entirely on the same page.



Read the completion of this article over at Real Weddings Magazine Vancouver.


 Photo credit Studio Jeanie

Wedding Day Timeline Template | DIY Wedding Webinar

November 4

This past weekend I was delighted to host Be My Own Wedding Planner‘s first ever webinar, as part of the pre-launch!

I taught on creating and finessing a Wedding Day Timeline, just like the professionals….


Over the years, the Wedding Day Timeline has become my secret weapon and has truly allowed me to serve with the excellence and passion I strive to bless the industry with.


Together, with DIY Brides and aspiring/ novice wedding planners, we walked through:

  • The Do’s and Dont’s of Creating a Professional Timeline

  • Tips and Tricks from the Pros

  • A Real Wedding Example + Demonstration

  • Q+A Time


For a limited time, you can view the webinar recording FREE of charge.


You can also download a copy of the powerpoint presentation to follow along and use for future referencing!

Download a Wedding Day Timeline Template to get started on your own!


Not sure if this webinar is right for you?

It’s ideal for brides who don’t have the luxury of a coordinator there on wedding day and new/aspiring/novice wedding planners looking to brush up on their wedding timeline creation skills.


 Want more on DIY Wedding Planning and the Business of Weddings?

Stay tuned for the launch of The Be My Own Wedding Planner Kit January 2015!



Finding your Dream Gown | 6 things every bride should know when wedding dress shopping

October 14

Like most aspects of wedding planning, we think it’s like the movies… or the reality shows… or the countless dreamy and googgly eyed stories our friends have shared, right?!

As a wedding planner, I’ve been welcomed into the most intimate details of my clients wedding experience and many times it looks very different than you’d think:

A listening ear through family disputes, a reminder to focus on each other and not the show of it all, a helping hand when stress was all consuming, a wine buddy when they needed a break, a shoulder to cry on when family became ill, even a way out in the wake of financial disaster.

It’s not always the fairytale you’ve played over in your mind. Why? Because wedding planning is full of heightened emotions with countless hearts intertwined; yours, your spouses, mom and dads, your friends and bridesmaids’. Everyone has ideas and expectations of what they want for you; always with the best of intentions.

If we’re not careful to be realistic and keep our eyes focused on what really matters, each other and preparing for a marriage even more beautiful than the big day, we can get caught up and overwhelmed, drowning in a sea of disappointment. 

Wedding dress shopping is no exception!

Here are my 6 best tips for finding your dream gown; advice every bride should know when wedding dress shopping….



1. Don’t go to too many shops

Or try on hundreds of dresses for that matter, because more often then not, you’ll end up selecting one of the first few you tried on. The more you try, the more overwhelming the decision becomes!

2. Think outside the box

Don’t be afraid to try on a style you’re not initially drawn to.

Wedding gown shapes fit unlike most other dresses and many brides are surprised by what looks good and what doesn’t on their frame!

I’m never surprised when I hear my clients say, “I didn’t even want to try it on! It didn’t look like me at all.”

3. Don’t think you have to cry

or exclaim “THIS IS THE ONE!” before you’ve found “the dress.”

Countless brides don’t have that emotional response to finding their gown and instead, it’s simply a contented comfort and joy that they feel in it.

4. Only bring 1 or 2 people with you

And remember: everyone will have a different opinion based on their own desires, styles and expectations for you.

It’s important you know whose opinion matters most to you and that you choose a dress YOU feel comfortable in and love, regardless.


5. Think functionality;

Can you sit, stand, eat food, dance, walk etc. in it comfortably?

6. Account for Added Costs

When looking at the price tag, don’t forget to account for tax and alternation costs, as well as accessories, such as a veil and belt, to ensure you remain on budget!



So there you have it, my 6 expert tips when shopping for your wedding dress.

Have other great advice? COMMENT below.


Photo Credits top left to right and down:
Blush Wedding Photography
Matt Kennedy Photos
FRESH Photos
Pure Light Studios
Dragonflight Photography
Studio Jeanie