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C   ongratulations! You're getting married! Getting engaged
    is one of the most romantic, unforgettable events of your life.

                                           Excitement,          tears,         fears,
                                           congratulations, bridal jitters, and love
                                           abound. So do the realities of planning
                                           the big day. Everyone wants to make
                                           their wedding day perfect, no matter
                                           how big, how small, how extravagant
                                           or how simple. Each couple wants
                                           their special day to hold a reflection of
                                           their personalities, and to be a
                                           memorable celebration with family
                                           and friends. So how do you get
                                           everything looked after without
                                           getting overwhelmed and also being
                                           able to take time to enjoy this once in
                                           a lifetime event?

                                           A wedding is a complex event to
                                           orchestrate. The Bridal Fantasy
                                           Wedding Survival Guide and Planner
                                           will help you stay organized.

     “     The more I give to thee, the more I have,
                    for both are infinite.
                           -William Shakespeare

table of
The Engagement ..............................................................................................3
Calendars & Checklists ................................................................................4
Wedding Overview........................................................................................8
Dress Styles......................................................................................................10
Bridal Style ........................................................................................................11
Checklist for the bride and her attendants ..................................12
Bridal Beauty....................................................................................................13
Ready for Anything Bag ............................................................................15
The Bridesmaids Style and Attire........................................................16
Formalwear Facts ..........................................................................................18
Checklist for the groom and his attendants: ................................21
The Rings ..........................................................................................................22
Your Guests/Invitations & Thank Yous ..............................................23
Create a Wedding Website ....................................................................25
Bridal Registry ................................................................................................27
Photography & Videography ..................................................................29
Wedding Flowers..........................................................................................30
Entertainment ................................................................................................32
The Wedding Cake......................................................................................33
Related Parties................................................................................................34
The Ceremony ..............................................................................................36
The Reception ................................................................................................37
Cultural Colour..............................................................................................41
Destination & Honeymoon ....................................................................42
Honeymoon Checklist ..............................................................................44
Packing Checklist ..........................................................................................45
Ecoism ................................................................................................................47
Miscellaneous ..................................................................................................50
Dollars & Cents ............................................................................................54

     t's official! He proposed and you've accepted. This kind of
     wonderful news should be delivered to your families in person. If distance does not
     allow this, a phone call should be made as soon as possible. Next, you should tell
your friends and relatives followed by supervisors and coworkers. The sooner everyone
knows the more time they will have to arrange their schedules for the big day.

You may announce your engagement as soon as you are officially engaged. An
engagement ring is not necessary to publish the news. All that is necessary is your
promise to each other.
• Let your parents and immediate families know first. It's best done in person
• Announcements should be sent to both of your hometown's newspapers
• Include a good quality 8x10 black and white glossy photo of you and your fiancé, for
  each newspaper
• Wedding announcements should be in the paper one week before the wedding date
• The wedding announcement should cover the same information as the engagement
  announcement, as well as your occupations, schooling, parents and the location of the
  wedding (Warning: Listing the specific wedding date and your street address may
  invite theft)

A Newspaper

 & checklists
           See Calendars on page 60

  Twelve or More Months Before
  I   Set your date and times
  I   Establish your budget
  I   Decide on the size and style of your wedding
  I   If desired, book your wedding consultant
  I   Choose your wedding party and confirm the participants
  I   Meet and book your wedding officiant
  I   Start working on your guest list

  Nine to Twelve Months Before
  I   Announce your engagement
  I   Order your wedding dress and attendant’s attire
  I   Book a photographer and/or videographer
  I   Book the caterer
  I   Book your music (live entertainment or DJ)
  I   Book your florist
  I   Book any rental items you might need i.e.: chairs, linens, etc.
  I   Book the ceremony and reception locations
  I   Research accommodations for out-of-town guests
  I   Plan your honeymoon

  Six to Nine Months Before
  I Reserve the location for the rehearsal dinner
  I Order the invitations and any other stationary
    (i.e.: reply & thank you cards)
  I Order your wedding cake
  I Book your wedding day transportation
  I Have the mothers select their dresses
  I Check marriage license (and any other paperwork) requirements
  I Finalize your guest list
  I Finalize what you want on your gift registry list

Three to Six Months Before
I   Finalize your flowers
I   Send out the invitations
I   Purchase the wedding rings
I   Reserve formalwear for the men
I   Finalize the menu
I   Choose wedding favours and start
    getting them ready
I   Reserve the hotel for out-of-town
I   Reserve your room for the wedding night                    ALL GIFTS SHOULD
I   Purchase additional event outfits                         BE ACKNOWLEDGED
I   Purchase attendant gifts                                        WITHIN TWO
I   Start gift registry                                         MONTHS OF YOUR
Two Months Before
I   If required, make appointments for blood tests
I   Decide on your wedding vows
I   Confirm wedding details with your officiant
I   Confirm wedding details with your musician
I   Purchase parents’ gifts
I   Make hair and beauty appointments
I   Compile guest lists for showers and give to hostess
I   Schedule final dress fitting
I   Have programs printed
I   Purchase any additional bridal wear (veil, shoes, etc.)
I   Confirm attendants’ attire
I   Finalize your gift registry
I   Record all gifts received with name, address and type

One Month Before
I Have final meeting with photographer/videographer
  * give a list of Must Have Photos
I Plan and send out invitations to rehearsal dinner
I Get the marriage license
I Confirm all of your travel arrangements
I Have the bachelor and bachelorette parties
I If needed, get all the appropriate name change documents
I Attendants should have their final fits done
I Confirm your transportation

Two Weeks Before
I Submit (with photo) wedding announcement to the
  local papers
I Have the final fit on your wedding dress
I Contact any guests who have not replied
I Notify your caterer of the final guest count
I Write your toasts/speeches
I Have a party for your attendants
I Finalize the reception details
I Deliver your song lists to your musician
I Confirm your honeymoon plans
I Break in your new shoes

One Week Before
I   Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
I   Finalize seating arrangement
I   Determine order for the procession
I   Pick up attire for the men
I   Assign responsibilities to the attendants

Confirm details with (if you haven’t already)
I Caterer
I Florist
I Musicians
I Officiant
I Photographer/Videographer
I Transportation
I Honeymoon
I Wrap your attendants’ gifts
I Have all your beauty treatments
I Write any required cheques i.e.: officiant, caterer, etc.
One Day Before
I Have your rehearsal
I Give the attendants their gifts
I Give the parents their gifts

The Wedding Day
I   Take your time getting ready
I   Give the wedding rings to the best man
I   Give the written cheques to the best man to hand out
I   Relax and enjoy your special day!

After The Wedding
I Make a gift list and send out thank-you cards
  * should be done with two months of receiving
I Arrange for cleaning and preservation of your wedding gown


        Weddings around the world…
In Fiji the bride-to-be leaves her home, friends and family
gather for a farewell ritual. Before marrying, the bride is
usually tattooed, and sometimes painted with turmeric and oil.

Wedding Style
There are several things to think about when deciding on the style of your wedding.
You need to consider budget, the level of formality you want, the location of the
ceremony and the reception, the number of guests, and finally, who is paying for the

The People in your Wedding Party
•   Maid/Matron of Honour                    •   Flower Girl
•   Bridesmaids                              •   Ring Bearer
•   Best Man                                 •   Father of the Bride
•   Ushers/Groomsmen                         •   Mother of the Bride

Duties of the Bridal Party
Maid/Matron of Honour
•   Helps with addressing and stuffing envelopes
•   Keeps a gift record at the shower
•   Arranges bridal shower
•   Pays for her own wedding attire
•   Helps the bride arrange her train and veil at the alter
•   Holds the groom's ring until the appropriate point in the ceremony
•   Signs the wedding certificate
•   Stands in the receiving line
•   Helps the bride change her clothes after the reception
•   Takes charge of the brides gown after the wedding
•   Is the bride's best friend through all the good and bad

•   Pay for their own wedding attire
•   Help with the bridal shower
•   Help dress the bride before the ceremony
•   Stand in receiving line

Best Man
•   Organizes the bachelor party
•   Rents or purchases his own formalwear
•   Drives the groom to the ceremony
•   Holds the brides ring until the appropriate point in the ceremony
•   Gives payment check to the officiant either just before or after the ceremony
•   Returns the groom's attire (if rented)

•   Rent or purchase their own formalwear
•   Arrive at the wedding location early to assist with set-up
•   Ushers escort guests to their seats
•   Ushers roll out aisle runner immediately before the processional
•   Help decorate newlywed's car

Flower Girl
• Proceeds down the aisle just before the Maid/Matron of Honour
• Tosses flower petals down the aisle
• There can be more than one flower girl. If there is more than one, all of the flower
  girls would walk down the aisle together

Ring Bearer
• The ring bearer precedes the flower girl in the procession
• The ring bearer carries the rings down the aisle on the pillow (usually the
  rings are fake and the maid of honour and best man carry the real rings)

Father of the Bride
• Proudly walks his little girl down the aisle
• Wonders how he is going to pay for the wedding

Mother of the Bride
•   Helps the bride choose her gown
•   Helps the bride select bridesmaids attire
•   Co-ordinates her own attire with the mother of the groom
•   Works with the groom's family to assemble a guest list and seating plan
•   Helps address, stuff and mail invitations
•   Helps with the bridal shower
•   Stands at the beginning of the receiving line
•   Assists the bride with all the arrangements and details of the entire day
•   Provides invaluable emotional support

                Love doesn't make the world go round.
               Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
                                 -Franklin P. Jones
                                   very bride wants to look beautiful on her
                                   wedding day. With the right planning, your hair and skin
                                   can look amazing. By looking through magazines and
                             checking out websites, you can get great ideas for your bridal
                                  hairstyle and make-up.
                                                        With so many bridal shops out
                                                        there, it’s difficult to know where to
                                                        start, but shopping for a dress does
not have to be strenuous! You just need to determine what is important to you, whether
it be cost, selection, or exclusivity. Most bridal shops will specialize in different areas.
Depending on the dress you have in mind, you can begin your search at a custom design
shop, a bridal boutique, or a consignment shop.
We’ve compiled a list of the top styles in bridal gowns. This should give you an idea of
what style will suit your body frame.

                A-Line:                                         Pegged Sheath:
                Fitted bodice with a skirt that                 Fitted bodice with a skirt that
                gently flares to medium                         gradually tapers to narrower
                fullness at the hemline. Great                  than hip width. Really only
                for hiding flaws and slimming                   works well with a boyish
                larger figures, not a good                      figure, not a good choice for
                choice for petite figures                       the larger bride.
                Ball Gown:
                Fitted bodice with a skirt that                 Sheath:
                flares to maximum to                            Fitted bodice with a skirt that
                exaggerated fullness at the                     hangs straight from the
                hemline. Looks fantastic on                     hipline. Good choice for
                taller brides, but not a good                   either the boyish or petite
                choice for larger figures.                      bride.

                Mermaid:                                        Empire:
                Fitted bodice and hip with a                    Fitted bodice that hugs tightly
                skirt that dramatically flares                  under the bust line and flares
                below the knee. Wonderful                       out. Great choice for petite
                choice for the petite and/or                    or larger brides.
                slender brides.

The Wedding Gown
           he wedding gown is the one article of clothing every

T        woman has dreamed about since they were a little girl. Looking through
         magazines, attending Bridal Fantasy and other bridal shows and window
shopping can help you become familiar with the latest styles and fabrics.
More than 90% of the time, your dream                 The runways are showcasing a trend
dress is the one you'll purchase because              toward simple and more elegant styles.
when you finally put it on it will make you           Bridal shops are carrying sophisticated,
smile, confirming that it truly is the one. To        narrower silhouettes, and off-shoulder
protect yourself, and your dream, it is wise          dresses that reflect a more romantic style.
to shop with reputable businesses.                    There is a move toward intricate trims and
We all have heard horror stories of brides            detailing to make each gown unique.
that go to pick up their dress, days before           There are many different dress styles and
the wedding, only to find it missing, or that         necklines to choose from. A halter neckline
it has suddenly become a size 4 when it               comes up from the bust and goes around
was originally a size 8. If you have friends
                                                      the neck while a strapless neckline goes
who have recently married, check with
                                                      across the bust. A jewel neckline sits high
them to see if they were happy with the
                                                      on the collarbone and usually goes straight
service they received at the businesses they
chose. If so, you've got a place to start.            across. V-neck and scoop necklines are
                                                      great for girls with a larger bust, while the
There has been a distinct shift in wedding            sweetheart adds a little more of a
gown styles. When selecting a gown, the               “princess” feel to your bridal gown.
individuality and uniqueness of each bride is
now much more important than it used to               When shopping for your wedding gown,
be.                                                   make sure to utilize the knowledge of the
                                                      professional in the bridal shop you select.
                                                      They can advise you on what style would
                                                      best suit your body type and what fabrics
                                                      would go well with your wedding theme.
                                                      Remember, it is easier to take a dress in
                                                      than let it out, so keep that in mind when
                                                      ordering your gown.
                                                      Try to take along the undergarments and
                                                      shoes you plan on wearing on your
                                                      wedding day. Even if it isn’t exact, you will
                                                      get a better idea of the fit of your dress and
                                                      if it will need to be hemmed.

Jewellery and Accessories                            The demands of a hectic and long
Jewellery should complement rather than              wedding day, plus a night on the dance
compete with the wedding gown. Keep in               floor means you must place importance
mind the general tone and style of the               on your footwear. You need to find
wedding as well as the gown neckline,                something beautiful and functional. Break
silhouette and fabric. Heirloom pieces are           your shoes in before the wedding by
excellent for weddings.                              wearing them around the house.
Gloves: Choose a style that complements              Makeup & Hair : Should be done
your gown; long gloves are excellent for a
                                                     professionally or by a talented friend or
gown with little or no sleeves, short gloves
                                                     family member. A professional makeup
go with short sleeves, and elbow length
                                                     application can make a significant
gloves look great with a sleeveless gown
or one with elbow length sleeves.                    difference in the way the bride looks and
                                                     how the wedding photographs turn out.
Lingerie: Should be comfortable and                  Both hair and makeup should be
discreetly hidden. Consider the style of             rehearsed a couple of weeks before the
your dress and purchase your lingerie
                                                     wedding to avoid disaster.
accordingly. A strapless gown should be
fitted with a strapless bra, etc. Many brides        Headpiece/Veil: Your headpiece and your
also purchase garters, garter belts and              veil should complement the overall style
stockings to complete the entire                     of your gown. Another thing to consider is
ensemble. Brides should also purchase                your wedding day hairstyle. It’s a good idea
special nighties or teddies for the wedding          to do a rehearsal veil fitting with your hair
night and honeymoon.                                 styled as you want it to be on your
Shoes: Brides beware...this one item can             wedding day. This allows you to make sure
make or break your wedding day comfort.              you have the look you want.I

Checklist for the Bride & Her Attendants:
Bride:                             Maid/Matron of Honour:               I Lingerie
I Gown                             I Dress                              I Hose (plus
I Veil                             I Jewellery                            an extra pair)
I Headpiece/Train                  I Lingerie                           I Shoes
I Gloves                           I Hose (plus                         I Gift
I Jewellery                           an extra pair)                    I Bouquet
I Shoes                            I Shoes
I Lingerie                         I Gift                               Flower Girl:
I Hose (plus                       I Bouquet                            I Dress
   an extra pair)                  I Ready For Anything                 I Jewellery
I Garter                              bag                               I Gloves
I Bouquet                                                               I Hose
I Groom’s gift                                                          I Flower Basket with
                                   I Dress
                                   I Jewellery

bridal beauty
         very bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day. With
          the right planning, your hair and skin can look amazing. By looking through
          magazine and checking out websites, you can get great ideas for your bridal
hair style and makeup.

Your Wedding Hairstyle                         accessories you want to wear on your
Don’t try anything drastic right before        day. Another tip is to bring pictures in for
your wedding – i.e.: a new cut or colour.      your stylist to look at. Pictures can help
You want and need to feel good on the          you communicate the idea you have for
inside and the out. Rushed decisions are       your hairstyle.
rarely good ones – and especially on            Some hot wedding hairstyles are:
such a big day! Your wedding pictures are
something you want to treasure, not hide       The Princess Bride - The finishing touch on
because you hated your hair.                   this look is a tiara. Tiaras can actually be
                                               difficult to wear, so consult with your
Plan early – as soon as you have picked        stylist and bring it to your hair rehearsal
your wedding gown, start planning your         so you can determine how to make it sit
hairstyle. If possible, have a friend take a   well, and comfortably.
picture of you in your gown and decide
on the image you want to convey. You           The Breakfast at Tiffany’s Bride - A look
can then style your hair to capture that       that is typical of Audrey Hepburn and
look; whether it be romantic, modern or        the 60’s. Add a jewelled pin for some
edgy.                                          flash. This is a clean and architecturally
                                               beautiful look.
When you do your rehearsal (don’t skip
this – it can make a huge difference)          The Classic Bride - A traditional updo with
bring everything with you. You should          some contour and drama. Tiaras look
bring your veil, tiara and any other hair      nice with this style, just keep the size
right. You’ll need a hairstylist that is an        your skin tone and give your skin time to
expert in updos to get this look right.            heal from any reactions you might have.
The Fairy T Bride - Riots of gorgeous              If you are wearing a strapless gown, get
curls create a sensational bridal look. If         two shades of foundation – one for your
you want to capture this feminine and              face and one for your shoulders. Powder
bold style, you may need to start                  is a must – flashes from cameras can
working on growing your hair. Shoulder             reflect off your face, making you look hot
length or longer works best.                       and greasy. Focus attention to one
Try accessorizing your locks with a tiara          dramatic part of your face – either the
or diamante pins. Flowers can also look            eyes or the lips. A great tip to keep in
fabulous in the right style and                    mind; blush is an accent, not a feature!
beaded/pearled pins are great for a                Whether you go light, dark or dramatic
bridal look.                                       on your eyes, always use a matte contour
Make-Up Magic                                      in the crease of the eye – never a frost.
                                                   Save frost shades for the lower lid, slightly
When it comes to beauty, the first thing           under your brow bone or on your lips.
any bride-to-be should do is take a good           Eyeliner is the best product to bring out
look at their skin care regime. Visit a            the glamour for your bridal make up.
dermatologist or skin-care experts (you            Reshape or darken your brows with a
can get recommendations from your                  pencil or powder for better definition. If
doctor, family or friends) to find out             you are getting your brows waxed (or
exactly what you need to do to get the             any part of your face), do it at least three
perfect, healthy skin you want for your            days before your wedding.
wedding day. Ask lots of questions and
learn how to take care of your                     Eyelashes are the finishing touch on your
complexion – both your face and your               wedding look. Try using a eyelash curler
body. One thing you can start doing right          for more dramatic lashes. The key is to
away is to drink more water. This flushes          curl your lashes before you apply
toxins out of your skin and your system.           mascara. Stay on the safe side – black and
                                                   waterproof. If you are looking for more
To tan or not to tan? Most brides choose           than your lashes can give you, get false
to tan for their weddings. As long as you          ones. These are available individually or in
do this properly, you won’t have to                strips, so you can choose exactly how
worry about the orange colour from a               much you want. After you’ve applied
sun-lamp or the redness of being                   them, finish your lashes with a thin line of
outside. Tan gradually and never                   liquid eyeliner to make them look more
excessively. Watch for tan lines – you             natural.
don’t want them to show. Don’t tan in
the week prior to your wedding because             Keep your lips simple. Use a lip liner only
your tan needs the time to turn from red           if you are willing to touch it up all day.
(or orange!) to the lovely brown you’re            Lipstick lasts longer than gloss, but lip
seeking. Another option (which is quite            gloss is very easy to use for a touch up in
healthy) is a tan-in-a-bottle or a spray           a hurry.
tan. Test either of these methods well             Pedicures and manicures are a must for
ahead of your wedding for any reactions.           your day. Simple and soft shades are
Get a full facial done (not within two             usually your best bet – a nice touch
weeks of your wedding) to even out                 without overpowering your total look.I

             ready                                                   for
 anything bag
           calm bride is a prepared bride. Avoid last-minute jitters and
         frantic searches by stocking necessaries in a bag. This bag would be kept in
         the area where you are getting ready, and is not meant to replace your bridal
purse. Make sure it contains the following:

I scotch tape                 I touch ups for               I extra batteries
I pad and pencil                makeup                      I antacid
I scissors                      (lipstick, powder,          I nail glue
                                mascara, etc)
I hairpins                                                  I nail polish
                              I needle and thread
I brush & comb                                                  (in the colour you
                              I moist towelettes
I mouthwash/breath                                              are wearing)
                              I extra hose/stockings
   mints                      I safety pins                 I tissues
I tylenol/aspirin             I hair spray                  I water
I earring backs               I toothbrush &                I tampons
I contact lens solution         toothpaste                  I stain remover
   (if needed)                I camera                          (i.e.: Tide-to-Go pen)
                the bridesmaids
style and attire
          uick! Look in the back of your closet. How many old
          bridesmaid dresses are in the corner? Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
          Many women have a closet full of taffeta Cinderella dresses they would never
wear again. However, designers are finally creating gowns that double as cocktail or
black tie function attire.

By looking for quality construction, fine           • Be considerate…while it is an honour
fabrics, timeless design with the ability to          to be asked to be in the wedding
mix and match separates, each                         party, it does cost money so talk to
bridesmaid can look great and have a                  your attendants about a budget and
useful gown after.                                    stick to it. Etiquette says bridesmaids
                                                      pay for their own gowns.
Finding a gown that works for everyone
in your party takes some give-and-take              • You want your friends to look amazing
from everyone.                                        so your pictures look fantastic.

• All the bridesmaids do not have to                A-Line
  look alike. Many brides consider styles           A-Line dresses look good on many body
  and colours that look good on their
                                                    types. The hottest styles are two tone,
                                                    two piece floor length styles. Separates
• Ask yourself…would I wear this?                   are popular too.
• Have a brainstorming session, plan a              Colour
  shopping date and include your
                                                    Give your wedding an instant shot of
                                                    high voltage with a dazzling flash of
Elegant, simple gowns that can be worn
                                                    colour. Weddings will be awash with
again are very popular right now. New
                                                    striking colourful gowns and accessories.
bridesmaid dresses feature numerous
strapless and backless styles, many with            Hot fuchsias add flourishes to neutrals.
shawls or wraps, which make them                    Zingy berry tones are artfully mixed with
acceptable in church but removable for              black; apple greens and bright yellows are
the reception. Prints are also finding their        given an energetic kick with primary
way into many lines. For informal or                hues. The new fashion focus is colour
outdoor weddings where you don’t want               contrast to create an upbeat vibe for
a solid colour, prints are good choices.
                                                    your wedding.
Simple and Elegant
                                                     Don’t forget about the flower girl. She
Elegant simplicity is a great choice. Slip
                                                    doesn’t have to wear a mini-replica of
and sheath dresses are popular as they
flatter lots of figure types. These dresses         the bride’s gown anymore. Tea-length
can also be re-worn later as cocktail               dresses are sweet, but there is a huge
dresses.                                            variety to choose from. I

          Weddings around the world…
       Among the Masai tribe (Kenya, Africa) the father
       of the bride sprays milk on his daughter to invoke
       fertility. When she leaves her home to see her
       groom, she must not look back at her family for
       legend has it she'll turn to stone.

Choosing a Formalwear Specialist

Y        ou should look at the reputation and quality of your options.
          Get referrals from friends and family. You don’t want to compromise on quality
          or service. Keep in mind that you want to find a retailer that carries current
styles. The last thing you want is a tuxedo that looks like it’s from five years ago! Ask
your tuxedo retailer these questions:

• Is stock replaced on a regular basis?          How can the groom's attendants
                                                 complement the bride's?
• How many times is a garment
                                                 With so many choices in accessories,
  cleaned, and what methods are used?
                                                 you can find the perfect colour that will
• Is there a full-time, on-site tailor?          highlight the colours chosen for the
                                                 attendants. With the largest selection of
Why be measured by a
                                                 vest and accessories, formalwear
Formalwear Specialist?
                                                 professionals can assist you in
It’s essential in ensuring you get a             coordinating the look of all the
properly fitting tuxedo. Properly fitted         attendants.
formalwear is a must for comfort and
look. Ask for a trained, knowledgeable           When is the best time to book
fitter.                                          our formalwear?
                                                 You should book your formalwear as
How do we select a style?                        early as possible, especially if you're
Look through men’s magazines and                 looking to rent during May through
catalogues (Derks catalogue is available         September. The summer is the most
online too) to find styles that appeal to        popular time for weddings. Booking
you. Share ideas on what the bride's             early will ensure that you get the style
attendants will be wearing, because you          you desire. Four to six months in
want your formalwear to compliment               advance is suggested.
the overall look of the wedding. Once            Does everyone need to be there
you’ve decided, head to your chosen              when we book?
formalwear location and speak to a               No. It may be easier to come in alone,
specialist.                                      or just with your fiancé, when making
                                                 your decisions. Once the styles are

chosen, your consultant will enter them         What payment is required?
into the computer system. The rest of           Payment is usually required at the time
your party can then come in at a time           of booking, but make sure to check with
that works best for them, but make sure         your formalwear provider.
they are prompt.
                                                Should shoes be rented?
What happens if someone
comes in much later?                            In order to maintain consistency and
                                                complete the formal look, we suggest
When one person waits too long, they
                                                you rent shoes. You don’t want your
might not be able to fit into the same
style you have chosen, which can lead to        groomsmen showing up wearing tuxes
a lot of disappointment. Your                   and sneakers. Footwear is professionally
formalwear specialist should then               cleaned and maintained to the highest
inform you of the situation and you will        standards. At Derks, we guarantee style,
have to decide what needs to be done.           quality and freshness.
Avoid this situation by having everyone
                                                What should I do in the event
come in a timely fashion, no less than
                                                there is a problem with my
three months prior to your event.
                                                formalwear on my special day?
                                                Check with your formalwear provider
                                                to see what their policy is. On
                                                Saturdays, Derks has an extra person
                                                on staff to assist you, should a problem
                                                arise, and Derks can even send
                                                someone out to you. Should something
                                                be forgotten, or if something needs
                                                fixing, call our emergency service
                                                department and we'll do what it takes
                                                to make it right.
                                                When do we return our
                                                To avoid late fees, all garments must be
                                                returned as soon as possible. Your
                                                formalwear specialist should cover all of
                                                this information with you, including
                                                when the tux should be back, as well as
                                                late fees, and the hours your location is
                                                open for returns.

Formalwear Checklist                                       neck as cummerbunds and ties
The tuxedo is stylish and always elegant.                  usually match. And always place
Worn with matching trousers, a dress                       the pleats upward
shirt and coordinating accessories a
                                                      f. Vest: Made of brocade, silk or
tuxedo is perfect for any wedding. Here
                                                         satin in a fullback or halfback style,
are the elements you should be familiar
with when choosing your formalwear:                      a vest is the most comfortable
                                                         and popular compliment to the
   a. Collar: Stand up or wing collar                    tuxedo. They come in a wealth of
      complements a long neck; a                         choices and add personality to
      shorter neck looks best with a
                                                         even the most conservative
      laydown collar.
                                                         tuxedo. The fullback vest looks
   b. Ties: Bow ties are made of formal                  terrific on its own and allows the
      fabric like a satin or brocade. Euro               jacket to be removed later in the
      ties are made of the same fabrics                  evening when everyone is more
      and offer a more forward look                      relaxed. It's not necessary to
      ideal with a three or four button                  match vest and tie but make
      jacket. Ties needn't always match
                                                         certain you don't clash with the
      the colour of the bride's
                                                         hue of the boutonniere.
      attendants' dresses. Black, gold, or
      silver ties with a subtle shimmer               g. Trousers: can be double-
      give formalwear a timeless                         pleated or flat-front and should
      elegance. Distinguish the groom                    break about five-inches above the
      from the groomsmen by choosing                     ankle.There's a satin stripe on the
      a slightly different tie, a solid if               side. The bottoms are never
      they're wearing a pattern, brocade                 cuffed.
      if they're in a matte fabric.
                                                      h. Shoes: Black patent or matte
   c. Shirt: Traditionally, a pleated
                                                         finished oxfords or slip-ons are
      shirt is worn with a tuxedo. The
      proper closures are studs and                      appropriate choices. A business
      cuff links in black, pearl, gold, silver           shoe clashes with the streamlined
      or precious stones.                                look of formalwear while Formal
                                                         shoes are sleeker. Match socks to
   d. Sleeve: Allow one-half of an                       trousers.
      inch of your shirtsleeve to show
      beneath the sleeve of the jacket.               i.   Boutonniere: A          groom's
                                                           boutonniere should complement
   e. Cummerbund: Made                   of
      brocade, silk or satin, it covers the                the flowers and colours of their
      waistband and range from mild                        bride's bouquet. But they should
      to wild. Consider the mood and                       say something about the groom's
      season of the wedding before                         personality, too. Groomsmen
      choosing one and be sure that                        boutonnieres should complement
      what you wear around your                            the flowers of the bride's
      middle looks good around your                        attendants I

  Checklist for the Groom
      & His Attendants:
  Groom:                         Ushers:
  I Tuxedo                       I Tuxedo
  I Shirt                        I Shirt
  I Tie/Bowtie                   I Tie/Bowtie
  I Cufflinks/Shirt Studs        I Cufflinks/Shirt Studs
  I Shoes                        I Shoes
  I Pocketsquare                 I Pocketsquare
  I Bride’s gift                 I Gift
  I Boutonnière                  I Boutonnière

  Best Man:                      Ringbearer:
  I Tuxedo                       I Tuxedo
  I Shirt                        I Shirt
  I Tie/Bowtie                   I Tie/Bowtie
  I Cufflinks/Shirt Studs        I Cufflinks/Shirt Studs
  I Shoes                        I Shoes
  I Pocketsquare                 I Pocketsquare
  I Gift                         I Gift
  I Boutonnière                  I Boutonnière

  Groomsmen:                     M.C.
  I Tuxedo                       I Tuxedo
  I Shirt                        I Shirt
  I Tie/Bowtie                   I Tie/Bowtie
  I Cufflinks/Shirt Studs        I Cufflinks/Shirt Studs
  I Shoes                        I Shoes
  I Pocketsquare                 I Pocketsquare
  I Gift                         I Gift
  I Boutonnière                  I Boutonnière


Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend
         he tradition of sealing an engagement with a diamond is said to

T         have started more than 500 years ago, when Maximillion of Austria gave a
          diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. The Duke made a wise choice – the diamond
has proven to be a fitting symbol for everlasting love because of its beauty, hardness and
rarity, not to mention its enduring value.
Start early and do your homework when purchasing your wedding rings. Before
purchasing a diamond every couple should understand the Four C's (cut, colour, clarity,
and carat)– the diamond industry uses the Four C's to determine the value of a diamond.

Cut                                                      value-however a smaller carat diamond
• Determines the visual beauty of a diamond              with better color, clarity or cut can easily
• The cut transforms a rough, natural                    cost more than a larger carat diamond
  occurring crystal into the faceted, refined         Most importantly your ring's cut, setting and
  gemstone seen in the jewellery store                stone should all be a reflection of your own
                                                      tastes, opinions and backgrounds. Remember,
• The common diamond is somewhat
                                                      you will be seeing your wedding rings every
  colourless, usually tinged yellow, brown or
  grey                                                day, for the rest of your lives. You want to
• A completely colourless diamond is very             make sure you both love them. Delight in the
  rare, and therefore, very valuable.                 details like finishing or engraving. Matching
• "Fancy stones" are also rare and valuable.          your rings is optional. You may have
  Fancy stones are diamonds with definite             completely different ideas on what looks
  colours such as red, yellow, green, blue or         good on your hand, so pick out the ring you
  canary rather than just a shade or tinge            like.I
• Is the most impressive quality of all
• The more irregularities there are, the lower
  the value of the diamond
• A flawless diamond must show no surface
  blemishes or interior inclusions when
  examined at a 10-power magnification
• The weight of a diamond is expressed in
• The weight of a diamond is the most
  important factor when determining its

                        your guests
  invitations &
    thank you’s
The Guest List                                        You both need to establish the ground
             hen     you       are                    rules up front, and both families must

W            planning your guest list
              you need to set some limits.
Most couples have several factors to
                                                      abide by these ground rules. Some
                                                      examples of ground rules are: no co-
                                                      workers, no dates for single guests, no
                                                      distant relatives, or maybe no children. It is
consider, including their budget, and the
                                                      best to be up front and let your parents
size of the facility where the wedding is
                                                      and future in-laws know beforehand how
going to take place. If you need to set limits        many guests they are each allocated.
you should also prioritize your guest list            Another tip is to send out wedding
with an "A list," which should include                announcements to individuals that you
immediate family members, members of                  want to know about the wedding, but are
the wedding party, and closest friends.               unable to invite due to limitations.

Invitations and Thank–You Cards                         have a much higher chance of getting
• Finalize and “Cut” the list - Separate                response cards back when they are
  your list into an “A” and “B” list. The “A”           pre-addressed and stamped. If you ask
  list is composed of family and friends                guests to RSVP to an email address, a
  who you can't imagine not being there,                response card is unnecessary.
  and the “B” list is composed of people
  that you would like to attend, but                  • Order at least 30 extra invitations for
  whose absence wouldn't upset you.                     mistakes and last minute additions.
  Send invitations out to the “A” list first,
                                                      • No nicknames should be permitted,
  then, after you receive regrets, send out
                                                        and the date and time should be
  invitations to the people on your “B” list.
                                                        written out in full.
• Invitations should be ordered at least
  three months prior (at this time you                • Addressing Etiquette: Use full names,
  must have your locations for the                      write out all words (including "and") and
  ceremony       and    the   reception                 use numerical figures only when writing
  confirmed)                                            house numbers and postal codes. Write
• Invitations should consist of the                     first names of children to be invited
  invitation, the envelope, the response                below the parents in age order.
  card and a stamped, self addressed                    Children over 18 should receive their
  envelope for the response card. You                   own invitation

Guest                          Outer Envelope                          Inner Envelope
Married couple                 Mr. and Mrs. Matt Smith                 Tracy & Matt
Married couple                  Mr. and Mrs. Matt Smith                Tracy & Matt
with children                   & Family                               Stacy & Mike
Women kept                      Ms. Tracy Jones and                    Tracy & Matt
maiden name                     Mr. Matt Smith
Divorced woman                  Ms. Tracy Jones                        Tracy & Guest
or man
(If the divorced women resumed using her maiden name, use that instead.
This is also how you would address an envelope to a single person and their date)

Unmarried couple               Ms. Tracy Jones and                     Tracy & Matt
living together                Mr. Matt Smith
Widow                           Mrs. Tracy Smith                       Tracy

E-Vites                                              wedding and leave cute little notes for you
Electronic      invites   are     becoming           as well.
increasingly popular. They save on paper             Use internet marketing tools like
and have less of an impact on the                    Facebook or MySpace to create events for
environment. For the modern bride, this is           the parties that surround the wedding like
a great way to invite your family and
                                                     the bachelorette party or the rehearsal
friends to your special day in a trendy, chic
                                                     dinner. This gives everyone all the
way. E-vites can also save you a lot on
                                                     information they need in a paper-free way.
postage, depending on the avenue you
choose.They can be DVD invites you send              You can also send out emails/e-vites to
out – these can include a slideshow of               guests as your wedding day approaches to
your favourite pictures of the two of you,           keep them updated on all the latest
a brief re-enactment of how you met, or              happenings.
anything else you can think of. You have
                                                     Thank–You Cards
unlimited options. Another e-vite idea is to
send out an email version of your                    The well-planned bride always keeps
invitation, which can also include a picture         thank-you cards at her fingertips. You will
of the happy couple and all the                      need to send thank-you cards after your
information your guests will need.                   bridal showers and engagement parties.
                                                     These will come from the bride herself.
Have your guests email their responses to
you.You can set up a special wedding email           After your wedding day, you will need to
address                                  like        send thank-you cards for your wedding for all              gifts. These will come from the bride and
your wedding needs and then, once the                groom, using your newly married titles. It
special day is over, you can close the               is also good to keep some special thank-
account! Or you can set up a Save-the-               you cards on hand to thank someone
Date website for your guests to visit when           who has gone out of their way to help
they can reply with a ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to your         you or make your day special.I

           Create A
If you’re planning your wedding, it’s          wedding registries. You can also link
likely you’ve been using the internet          your social media networks to your
as a tool to find pictures of wedding          website to increase the interaction
gowns, hairstyles, bridesmaid dresses          and communication with your guests
and to research the wedding                    throughout your wedding journey.
professionals you need to help you
                                               The sky is the limit when it comes to
to achieve the look and vision you
                                               wedding website content and
want for your wedding day. You can
                                               features. In many cases, couples like
take your use of the internet as a
                                               to post stories of their relationship,
wedding planning tool even further
                                               such as how they met, along with the
by creating a personalized wedding
                                               details of the proposal. Couples can
                                               also post save the date details, gift
 It’s not as intimidating as it sounds,        registry information, wedding party
and you don’t need to be a web                 details, and even polls and quizzes.
designer. Many reputable and
                                               Here a few other great ideas for
established online wedding planners
                                               your wedding website:
such as, The Knot,, and eWedding, all               • Include a simple and private
provide free website design tools                contact form to allow guests to
and templates for you to use to                  quickly email you changes to
create your own customizable, user-              their mailing address in case
friendly, and attractive wedding                 they’ve moved since you first
website. You can do just about                   sent     out     your    wedding
anything: keep track of your vendors,            invitations. This will really help
email your family & friends, enable              you out when it comes to
your guests to RSVP online, upload               sending out your thank you cards
photos, music & videos, and add your             after the honeymoon.

• You can even add a “Go Green”               in the mail as necessary. Your
  component to your website.                  guests   will    value     and
  Consider implementing a poll                understand your motivation
  or maybe an individual                      towards       saving       the
  preference check box to the                 environment!
  “Go Green” page. There you
                                           • If you are encouraging your
  can determine whether or not
                                             wedding guests to suppor t a
  guests would prefer an e-thank
                                             charity at your reception
  you card over receiving one in
                                             (through donations at the bar,
  the mail. With e-thank you
                                             etc), link your website to the
  cards, you won’t have to worry
                                             charity’s website so they can
  about them being lost in the
                                             learn more about it, or make a
  mailing process. Guests can also
                                             donation ahead of time.
  receive them immediately after
  the click of the send button, and        Other options are to use your
  it could quite possibly save you         social media accounts as tools to
  from a few painful hand cramp            communicate to your guests.
  episodes! Keep in mind that              Create a Facebook Event Page,
  some of your guests might not            share news and updates on Twitter,
  be as technology savvy as                or star t a special blog, and then
  others, so be prepared to send           email your guests and ask them so
  out hard-copy thank you cards            subscribe to the RSS feed. I

         ridal registries have become                  a fashionable and practical way
        for engaged couples to communicate what they would like to get as gifts from
        their guests. Registries are welcomed by guests and the recipients alike for their
convenience and precision. Many retail outlets have adopted registry or registry-style
programs - using a registry no longer means you have to choose all your items from
one place.

                              For those of you who still believe bridal registries are for
                               those social climbing couples who select china, flatware
                                and crystal, think again. Today’s bridal registries are more
                                 likely to include dishtowels, shower curtains or camping
                                   gear in the wish list.
                                  We know exactly how wedding guests feel when
                                   faced with the ‘what do we buy them’ dilemma.
                                     Everyone buys a gift, but wouldn’t you rather give
                                       them something you know they need or like?
                                          Too many people fall into the trap of buying
                                             for themselves rather than the lucky
                                                couple...who end up getting saddled
                                                    with four teapots or an
                                                       assortment of towels that
                                                            don’t     match       their
                                                                     Today’s        bridal
                                                                       registries let you
                                                                       get an idea of the
                                                                        couple’s choices,
                                                                        while giving you
                                                                     the opportunity to
                                                                  customize your gift to
                                                               suit     your     personal
                                                     preference. Remember - a registry is

a guide to the couple’s preferences. For            preparations, may never have thought of.
example, many people go into a store
                                                    Before you head off to the store, sit down
and discover that the china pattern in the
                                                    with your fiancé to discuss what you are
registry is beautiful, but not in their gift
                                                    looking for on your registry. Are you
budget. Instead, choose complimentary
                                                    looking for camping supplies or linens, or
items, such as table linens, that mirror the
                                                    both? Make a list of items you really want
china’s colour scheme. This way the
                                                    or need before you head to the store.
registry list is not as imposing. A good
                                                    You don’t have to limit yourself to one
registry planner will help guests consider
                                                    store either. A lot of today’s couples are
various price points to accommodate
                                                    registering at a variety of different stores
their own budgets.
                                                    to give their guests, and themselves, more
When choosing a company to register                 options; both in price and creativity. Don’t
with, always check the level of service             get dazzled by store displays, as it is easy
that the store will provide to you and              to add a lot of items to your registry that
your guests. This should include providing          you don’t really want. Another piece of
a 1-800 number or website for out-of-               advice: if you decide to go for the mixing

“Don’t get dazzled by all the store displays
as it makes it easy to add a lot of items to
your registry you don’t really want.”

town guests who may need to have their              bowls and utensil set, get the baking pans
gift wrapped and delivered to the                   that match. You want to keep your sets
reception. The registry should also take            complete, whether in cookware or
time with each guest who comes in to                bathroom towels. When you go out to
buy a gift, by walking them through the             create your registry, make sure to make it
store and pointing out the items that the           a special day for the two of you.
bride and groom have already selected.
                                                    Be prepared to update your registry on a
When you, as a couple, decide to arrange            regular basis. Seasonal items that were in-
your registry, we recommend putting                 store when you registered might not be
aside two to three hours to do a                    available come your wedding date.
comprehensive job. This allows the
                                                    If you're still feeling uncomfortable with
person setting up your registry to get to
                                                    the thought of asking people to shop for
know your tastes and needs. An obvious
                                                    you at particular stores, just imagine how
example is if the couple plans to
                                                    uncomfortable you would feel if they
entertain formally or not. This creates a
                                                    found out you returned those awful
whole new list of products and gadgets
                                                    looking ceramic monkey lamps! I
that the couple, in the midst of wedding

• A photographer should be booked              Draft a “Must Shots” list for
  as early as eight months to a year in         the photographer. Some of
  advance.                                         these shots might be:
• Shop around, ask for references or           Bride:
  ask friends and family who they used.        I Alone: close up and full length
• Ask about package prices and what            I With parents
  is exactly included in a package.            I With the maid of honour
                                               I With the flowergirl/ringbearer
• Ask about extra costs: meal and              I With the maid of honour &
  transportation expenses, enlarge-               bridesmaids
  ments, extra prints, etc.                    I Tossing the bouquet
• Who will own the negatives? Who is           Groom:
  responsible for lost proofs?                 I Alone: close up and full length
• Most importantly, the photographer           I With parents
  must be able to be a good listener           I With the best man
  and communicator.                            I With the flowergirl/ringbearer
                                               I With the best man & groomsmen
Videography                                    I Waiting for the bride right
• All of us have seen home videos.                before the ceremony
  Successful videotaping requires              I Removing and tossing the garter
  practice and skill                           Couple:
• Hiring a professional videographer           I Lighting the unity candle
  ensures a high quality and memorable         I Cutting the cake
  video                                        I Exchanging rings
                                               I Dancing
• Professionals often use more than
                                               I Kissing
  one camera, with microphones
  placed in strategic positions                Wedding Party:
  throughout the ceremony and                  I With bride
  reception venues                             I With groom
                                               I With both bride and groom
• Interviews with parents, family and
                                               I Dancing
  guests can make your video even
  more special                                 Miscellaneous:
                                               I Bride/groom getting ready
• Videographers can also add many
                                               I Ushers seating guests
  special effects and can dub and edit
                                               I Wedding cake
  your entire day, personalizing the
                                               I Reception photos (guests
  video to your wants and needs
                                                  eating, dancing, etc)
• Be sure to shop around - Compare             I Guests waving goodbye
  quality and price before hiring a
        ay it with flowers. Your wedding flowers play

 S        a major role in your wedding theme. You want your
          floral accents to complement the entire theme and
 feel of your wedding day.

                       • To make sure that your flowers say
                         exactly what you want them to say,
                         you     must    first   successfully
                         communicate with the florist.
                       • Visit shops, talk to the florists, and
                         choose the florist you are most
                         comfortable with.
                       • Be prepared for your first
                         consultation. Before you meet with
                         your florist you need to know how
                         much you are willing to spend.
                        • Bring along a swatch of your
                          bridesmaid's dresses to match
                          colours. Flowers are an important
                          focal point of your total wedding
                          picture. Visual impact is important so
                          consider the colour, the size, and style
                          of    the      message      you     are
                          communicating with your flowers. I

          Flowers Checklist
I Bride’s bouquet                                 I Flowergirl’s basket of
I Groom’s boutonniere
                                                  I Ringbearer’s boutonnière
I Maid of Honour’s bouquet
                                                  I Ceremony Décor - Signing of the
I Bridesmaid’s bouquet                              registry table
I Best Man’s boutonnière                          I Ceremony Décor - Unity
I Groomsmen’s boutonnières                          candle/sand ceremony table

I Mother’s corsages                               I Ceremony Décor - Other
I Grandmother’s corsages
                                                  I Reception Décor - Gift table
I Father’s boutonnières
                                                  I Reception Décor - Guest book table
I Grandfather’s boutonnières
                                                  I Reception Décor - Centerpieces
I Master of Ceremony’s
  boutonnières/corsage                            I Reception Décor - Other

reception flowers
           eception flowers create both a special ambience
         and bring together the colour scheme at your head table. Centrepieces
         add charm to each table, but should be kept to a lower height to
encourage conversation.
If you do decide to use a tall centrepiece, like calla lilies, put them into a tall
vase so the flowers will sit above the heads of your guests at the table.
Small, round vases stuffed with blooms and some light greenery make
great centrepieces as they add a subtle touch of colour to the table. Small
plants in a hand-painted pot are a wonderful way to personalize each
table, and do double duty as favours your guests can take home and put
into their own flowerbed to remember your special day. Potted trees with
twinkling lights add beautiful ambience to the dance floor. You can also try
hanging escort cards from a flowering bush.
Flowers are one of the ultimate symbols of love, whether you choose a sweet
gerbera daisy for beauty, or romantic red spring tulips. No matter how you look at it,
flowers play an intricate role in weddings. They accent the attire of the wedding party
and create some amazing photo opportunities. Flowers add that finishing, natural touch
to your décor. I

        he musical entertainment is a very noticeable reflection of the
        bride's and grooms personal taste. Music is a key part of the day from the
        beginning to the end.

• The Prelude: Background music played                 complement the formality and mood
  while the guests are being seated.                   of the reception. For smaller and formal
                                                       receptions, a string ensemble would be
• The First Solo: Establishes the mood for
                                                       best. For a lively and large reception
  the ceremony. It is played or sung after
                                                       planned to last until the wee hours of
  the bride's mother is seated.
                                                       the morning, a professional DJ should
• The Processional: This is the traditional            be hired.
  wedding march. It is played while the
                                                    Other things to consider when planning
  wedding party members and the bride
                                                    entertainment at your reception:
  walk down the aisle.
                                                    • It is also important to keep your guests
• The Second Solo: Played immediately
                                                      in mind: Are there songs for older
  following the recital of the vows, this is
                                                      couples to dance to? How about the
  usually a personal, meaningful song to
  the bride and groom.
                                                    • Rehearsing is required no matter what
• The Recessional: This should be an
                                                      type of music and musicians you decide
  upbeat, celebratory piece heralding the
                                                      on. Most couples insist on hearing a
  new couple.
                                                      rehearsal of their entertainment during
• The Postlude: Entertains the guests as              the wedding rehearsal the night before.
  they are being ushered out.
                                                    • If there will be a live performance, can
• The Reception: The music should                     you get a tape or video? I

Here are some questions you should remember to ask the musicians or DJ you hire for
your reception:
• Can you play a variety of music?-Dance, polkas, jazz, etc.
• Will you act as Master of Ceremonies (if you want them to)?
• How will you dress? (Preferably in formalwear)
• How long will you play?
• Overtime?
• Will you provide all of your own equipment?
• Do you provide any special effects or lighting?
• What are your cancellation policies?
• Are you allowed to control the volume of the music?

        he wedding cake is perhaps the most recognized
         symbol of wedding receptions and the cutting of it by the bride and groom is
         one of the most beloved traditions. The wedding cake tradition started in
ancient cultures as a fertility rite for the newlyweds. The Romans broke grain cakes over
a bride's head to bless her future with successful childbearing.Today, the bride and groom
simply cut the first slice together, with his hand placed over hers on the cake knife.

The bride always samples the cake first             in the price. It is advised to pay extra,
before lovingly giving her groom a taste,           if necessary, to have the baker setup
a leftover gesture of the fertility rite.           the cake. Do not set up your own
Saving the top layer of the wedding cake            cake.
for the couple to eat on their first
                                                  • Some bakers provide knives to cut the
wedding anniversary is a more recent                cake, but many couples provide their
custom, at least since efficient                    own.
refrigeration has been made available!
                                                  Traditionally, the groom's cake is a small,
• Wedding cakes come in a multitude of            single layer dark fruitcake with white
  flavours, shapes and sizes. From
                                                  icing, but it can also be baked in your
  amaretto and mint to chocolate and
                                                  fiancé's favourite flavour, or in the shape
  traditional white.
                                                  symbolic of his special interest or hobby.
• Icing flowers, fresh flowers, fountains,        At the reception, it is served along with
  hand blown glass and other decorative           the bride's cake or packed in decorative
  tops can all be used to decorate the            boxes for guests to take home as
  cake.                                           favours. Legend says that single guests
                                                  who put a sliver of groom's cake under
• The size of the cake is best decided
                                                  their pillows on the wedding night will
  after the number of guests is finalized.
                                                  dream of their future spouses. I
• Delivery and set-up is usually included


The Engagement Party                             cocktail party. The formality of this
This par ty ser ves as the official              event should be established by the
announcement of the engagement.                  bride and groom as well as the host, as
When extending invitations to guests,            this party sets the tone for the rest of
it is not necessary to state the purpose         the engagement.
of the party (i.e. the engagement), as           The Bridal Shower
no gifts are to be expected, and it is           The first party held in the bride's
often nice to make the announcement              honour is the bridal shower. This
a surprise.                                      gathering is most often hosted by the
The party can be hosted by either the            maid of honour, but may also be put on
bride or groom's family. It is the host's        by other members of the bridal party,
responsibility to announce the                   close friends, or even by colleagues.
engagement with a toast.                         The shower itself can take several
                                                 forms, and can range from a casual
The form of this party can range from
                                                 lunch to a formal seven course meal.
a formal sit-down dinner to a more
casual summer barbecue, or even a                Who to invite: You should invite any

female who is on the guest list for the           for all those involved with the wedding,
wedding. However, if you want to keep             their spouses and dates, as well as the
the party more intimate, invite only              bride and groom's immediate family.
those who are closest to the bride. If            This dinner should be fun and lively, but
you want to host a more
                                                  should not be intended to upstage the
contemporary event, you may also
                                                  wedding itself. Popular options for the
wish to include male guests.
                                                  rehearsal are at-home dinner parties,
Timing: Due to the busy schedule of               which can be home cooked or catered,
the bride, it is best to hold this event 1        or the dinner may be held at a
- 2 months before the wedding date.
                                                  restaurant with a private room. This
                                                  event is most often hosted by the
                                                  groom's parents, and the choice is
                                                  ultimately left up to their discretion.
                                                  At the end of the evening the bride
                                                  and the groom part separately, not to
                                                  see each other again until they arrive
                                                  at the ceremony.
                                                  The Bachelor Party
                                                  Vegas Brides are often anxious about
                                                  sending their bridegrooms of to a
                                                  bachelor party because they've heard
                                                  to ritual is associated with "temptation"
                                                  and have listened to horror stories
                                                  about wild drinking, gambling or
The Bridesmaids Luncheon                          partying with strippers or prostitutes.
This is the bride's opportunity to thank          The truth is, most bachelor parties
her attendants for their involvement
                                                  involve a men's night out game, tickets
and help with her wedding. This
                                                  to a football game, or visits to bars or
luncheon can be scheduled on the
same day as the final fittings of the             burlesque shows. They are a time for
bridesmaids' dresses to streamline                old friends to gather, reminisce, and
your hectic, pre-wedding schedule.                wish the groom good luck.
Traditionally a pink cake with a trinket          The Bachelorette Party
or charm baked inside is served.
According to legend, the bridesmaid               These days, the bride and her friends
who receives the trinket will be the              are passing on the quiet tea party and
next to be wed.                                   opting for a night on the town
                                                  including dinner, drinks and dancing. In
Rehearsal Dinner
                                                  fact, some bachelorette parties are
The     rehearsal      dinner,    which
                                                  making those bachelor parties look
immediately follows the wedding
rehearsal, is meant to be an ice breaker          tame. Try a poker party or even a
                                                  weekend trip to Vegas! I

            rehearsal for the wedding ensures smoothness
            and grace. Schedule the rehearsal at the actual scene, preferably the day
            before the wedding and all participants should attend. If you decide to have
a rehearsal party, hold the party after the rehearsal.

Thirty Minutes Before                             • Processional music begins
• Prelude music begins; ushers escort             • The wedding party enters
  guests to their seats                           • The groomsmen enter first, followed
Guidelines for Ushers                               by the bridesmaids (or as couples)
• Left side of the church is reserved for         • The flower girl and/or ringbearer
  friends and family of the bride                   come in just before the bride and her
• Right side of the church is reserved for          father
  friends and family of the groom                 • The bride and groom then join the
• The ushers stand at inner doorways                officiant(s) for the ceremony
  and ask guests if they are "Friends of          • The best man stands to the groom's
  the bride or groom?'- and then offers
                                                    right holding the brides ring
  female guests his right arm and escorts
  her to the appropriate side                     • The other attendants and groomsmen
                                                    may be seated in the front row of the
• The ushers also unroll the white aisle
                                                    church or synagogue but can stay at
  runner if one is being used
                                                    the front, depending on the ceremony
Twenty Minutes Before
                                                  The Recessional
• The groom and best man meet the
                                                  • When the marriage ceremony is
  officiant, who checks the marriage
                                                    completed, the bride turns first to her
  license and is given the fee
                                                    honour attendant for her bouquet
Ten Minutes Before
                                                  • The bride then takes the groom's arm
• The attendants, bride's mother,
                                                    and together they lead the recessional
  groom's parents and other immediate
                                                    down the aisle with the attendants
  family members arrive
                                                  • The attendants may double up or walk
• Relatives, except for the parents of the
  bride and groom are now seated                    single file, depending on which looks
• Grandparents are escorted in
                                                  The Receiving Line
Five Minutes Before
                                                  Couples today often forgo this tradition,
• Groom's parents are seated
                                                  but it is a great way to greet each guest.
• Bride's mother is seated – the solo             Usually the mothers of the bride and
  begins                                          groom stand in the receiving line, while
• Two ushers unroll the white floor               the fathers circulate among the room
  cover                                           (An ideal solution to the problem of
• The clergy, groom and best man take             "who stands where" in families with
  their place                                     divorced and remarried parents).I

the               reception

            hile the only two requirements for a wedding reception
           are cake and champagne, menus for marriage run the full gamut, from a
           light breakfast to an elaborate dinner. It is considered courteous to serve
guests a meal appropriate to the time that the wedding reception is being held.
However, if your reception plans and budget do not include a full dinner; make this clear
in your invitations. Indicating the menu plan on the invitations will eliminate guests'
preconceived expectations for a meal. Alternatives to full menus could be: "Cake and
Champagne” or "Hors D'oeuvres and Cocktails."
Hors d'oeuvres                                    package. For a raw bar, carving station, or
The trick with hors d'oeuvres is to design        pasta assortment, you will most likely be
a menu that has broad appeal, is                  charged per head. Between eight and ten
appetizing, and leaves guests with energy         pieces per person is ample for a one
to party. Besides hors d'oeuvres, having          hour cocktail reception.
one or two stations with guacamole,               The Main Course
chips, and baked brie, not only helps             Here are a few popular options for the
discourage people from jumping the                dining service of the wedding reception:
waiters as they come out of the kitchen
                                                  • French Service – Waiters heat plates
door, but also provides a natural                   and garnish food at a side table or cart.
gathering spot.                                     Although considered the height of
Passed hors d'oeuvres are usually priced            elegance, it is rather slow and requires
per piece or included in the meal                   a great deal of space

• Russian Service – Waiters serve from a            with a variety of flavours, colours,
  silver platter.                                   textures and temperatures. Stay away
• Plated or a la carte – Waiters carry the          from a line-up of silver chafing dishes
  food out on plates. The most elegant              as they look fairly institutional. Instead
                                                    choose unique baskets, platters and
  way to serve plated food is to have
                                                    bowls. call out by table numerically.
  waiters carry two plates at a time and,
  choreographed by the captains,                  The Toast
  "blanket" the room, completing one              It is said that toasts got their start in 16th
  table at a time.                                century France, when a piece of bread was
                                                  put in the bottom of a wine goblet to soak
• Buffets are food stations that enable
                                                  up sediment from the wine.The goblet was
  you to serve eclectic and creative
                                                  passed from woman to woman, with the
  meals without traffic jams, and are very
                                                  last woman to drink getting the "toast" for
  much in vogue. Buffets create a shorter         good luck.
  reception than a served meal because
                                                  To begin the toasts, the best man is
  downtime        between         courses
                                                  introduced by the MC, and asks everyone
  disappears. Have your MC or DJ play
                                                  to stand. The bride and groom should
  games to find out who goes to the
                                                  remain seated.The best man’s toast may be
  buffet first, or simply call tables             brief and sentimental or it can be more
  numerically. Choose a buffet menu               detailed and personal. Often the toast is
                                                  amusing and anecdotal, and should express
                                                  hope and happiness for the couple. It
                                                  should never reflect the highlights of the
                                                  bachelor party.
                                                  The champagne or sparkling wine chosen
                                                  to be served at the wedding should be
                                                  special - one the guests will remember. It's
                                                  best not to cut corners here. On average,
                                                  allow two drinks per person during the first
                                                  hour of the reception and one per hour
                                                  thereafter. Also consider the time of year
                                                  (guests drink more in warmer weather),
                                                  the time of day (people drink more in the
                                                  evening) and the age of your guests
                                                  (people in their 20s and over 50 tend to
                                                  drink more).

                                                  “The champagne or
                                                  sparkling wine chosen to
                                                  be served at the wedding
                                                  should be special, one the
                                                  guests will remember…”

The Favours                                        • You’re on! Introduce yourself to the
Long considered as tokens of                         guests and explain how you know the
appreciation given to family and friends             bride and groom
by the bride and groom, wedding favours            • Thank everyone for coming
come from a beloved Italian tradition.             • Make sure to ask everyone for their
Tulle-wrapped bundles of sugared                     attention whenever you are speaking -
almonds representing the bitterness and              don’t try to speak overtop of the
sweetness of married life are always                 room. Simply wait for the crowd to fall
brought home by guests at Italian                    silent, repeating “your attention
weddings. Favours can be the sweetest,               please…” as necessary
most imaginative tokens for wedding
                                                   • Ask the audience to stand when the
guests, representing the bride and
                                                     wedding party proceeds to their table.
groom's personality, style and wit.
                                                     The guests may sit down after the
From personalized golf balls, to tiny clay           wedding party is seated
pots with tree or flower seeds, to small
                                                   • The MC should get a list of everyone
crystal vases, and holiday ornaments;                the bride and groom want introduced
wedding favours can be anything. They                from the happy couple before the
are a symbol of the special day, as well as          wedding
a way to thank guests for their
attendance.                                        Some of the duties may include telling
                                                   stores, giving special announcements,
The Role of a Master of
                                                   informing guests of traditions, reading
                                                   letters or emails sent from guests unable
A Master of Ceremonies (MC for short)              to attend the wedding, announcing the
is the person who presides over the                bouquet and garter toss, announcing the
entertainment. The bride and groom                 cutting of the cake and whatever else the
trust the MC to keep their wedding on              bride and groom assign. An MC should
track. MCs should have the ability to              always follow the line of good taste,
keep things under control. MCs should              especially in jokes or anecdotes. Avoid
meet with the bride, groom and the                 suggestive or offensive material. Smile a
parents before the wedding to get the              lot, because smiling is contagious!
necessary information they will need to            Some must-knows for the MC:
keep this special day running smoothly.
                                                   • Keep to the agenda
Find out when and where the reception
is taking place, how many guests are               • When the time comes to hit the
expected and what type of reception it               microphone, the MC should introduce
is.                                                  themselves and state their relationship
                                                     to the couple. They should also thank
The MC is responsible for keeping things
                                                     the guests for coming on behalf of the
flowing, and making sure everyone who
                                                     bride and the groom
is speaking is prepared. The MC needs to
know who is speaking. The best man                 • Ask everyone to stand as the bridal
only? Parents? The maid/matron of                    party takes their seats (If this is how
honour? Keep a list of everyone who is               the bride and the groom want to be
speaking and in what order handy. Find               introduced)
out what the bride and groom want, and             • Introduce the head table and any
make sure the MC checks the agenda                   members of the wedding party that
with the bride and groom.                            may not be sitting at the head table
• Allow time for photographs
• Introduce the parents of the bride and
  the groom
• Introduce special guests including
  those from out of town
• Read any letters and well wishes
• Announce toasts
• Announce the cutting of the cake
• Announce any special events, like the
  garter and bouquet toss
• Announce the location and time of the
  gift opening
• If the wedding party is in formalwear,
  then your MC should be as well, in
  complimenting colours of the wedding             • Make sure that those who are
  party                                              speaking know how much time they
                                                     have at the podium. This will ensure
• The Master of Ceremonies shouldn't
                                                     that everyone who planned to speak
  expect the bride and the groom to
                                                     has a chance to without dragging the
  pay for his garments
                                                     event on for too long
Setting for stage
                                                   • The MC should fit in with the theme of
• Know the mood of the wedding,: Is it               the wedding. If everyone else is
  casual or formal?                                  wearing a tuxedo, the MC should too.
• Adjust your style to the event                     Check with the bride and groom, but
• Keep things "clean" and "general" for all          don’t expect them to pay for your
  ages                                               attire. If you aren’t wearing a tux, wear
                                                     a nice suit. Make sure your colour
• Stay away from the four things you're
                                                     choice complements the wedding
  never suppose to discuss in a room full
                                                     party. If they are wearing green, don’t
  of people having a good time: sex,
                                                     wear purple. Be clean and presentable.
  politics, race or religion
                                                     This is a very important day, so make
• Include inside information into the                sure to reassure the bride and groom,
  romance, for example, tell the story of            and their confidence in you! I
  the two of them meeting, their
  adventures together, and when the
  groom knew he loved the bride and
  wanted to marry her

         Weddings around the world…
At the end of a Hindu wedding, the bride's brother or closest
male relative showers the couple with jasmine flowers or rose
petals for good luck.

     n the global melting pot of today there are many amazing cultural
     traditions to explore. Ethnically inspired weddings are known for their glamour and
     glitz. For example, Indian-style weddings incorporate jewels, bright colours and
exotic fabrics. These accents are found in everything - from the traditional bridal sari to
the décor.

There is no greater event in Indian culture           hanging a red cloth over the bride and
than a wedding, and the extravagance of               groom's front doors to symbolize that a
their celebrations illustrates this. Indian           happy ceremony is happening in their family.
couples that tie the knot in Canada usually           The groom showers the brides’ family with
adopt some Western traditions for their               gifts such as cakes, money and food.
celebration. For example, the wedding cake,           Another, less common Chinese tradition is
a wedding essential in Western culture, can           to place two coconuts and white nuts called
now be found at many Indian celebrations.             “lin chi” over the couples’ new bed to
Indian fashion boasts an enormous                     symbolize good fortune.
selection of gorgeous accessories. Even if
                                                      Other Traditions:
you’re having a traditional Western
wedding, Indian inspired accessories will add         • Spanish brides like to wear a flamenco
flare to your bridesmaid’s dresses, and finish          style flower in their hair. It is usually daring
off each ensemble with an exotic and                    in colour, and works as a major focal
unique edge. Fashions with bright oranges               point.
and turquoise offer the beauty of the                 • Irish wedding cakes are topped off with a
traditional Indian look with a stylized                 layer of whisky cake.
Western edge.
                                                      • During a traditional French wedding, the
Italians wear wedding cake earrings. This is a          husband and wife toast from a specially
custom that started in Venice. The earrings             engraved, double-handled goblet, which is
are made from handmade Italian                          usually passed down from generation to
adventurine glass beads, which contain                  generation.
copper filings to produce a sparking effect,          • At a German wedding, the newlyweds
and feature little flowers and icing swirls to          throw coins to the children who are
duplicate the appearance of the bride’s                 watching as they leave the chapel.
wedding cake.
                                                      • Portuguese couples still pass around the
Chinese weddings require that specific                  bride’s shoe during the reception and
traditions be followed before, during and               stuff it with money to help the young
after the wedding. One of these traditions is           couple with their honeymoon. I

destination &
            estination weddings have                  Another great thing about a destination

 D          become      increasingly
             popular over the last ten years.
 More couples want to go somewhere
                                                      wedding is that you can combine it with
                                                      your honeymoon! You can tie the knot on
                                                      the large island of Hawaii, and then take a
 exotic to exchange their vows.                       quick flight to Maui for the week following
 Destination weddings generally cost less             your wedding. Or, if you prefer, you can
 than a traditional wedding and most are              board a cruise ship, say your nuptials at the
 all-inclusive, which means they may                  beginning of your cruise, and enjoy the
 provide unlimited food and beverages for             rest of your trip as a newly married
 your guests (excluding alcohol of course).           couple.

 There may also be personnel on hand                           raditionally, the honey-
 who specialize in helping to reduce the                       moon has marked the
 stress of planning your wedding day,                           first time that a couple was
 including coordinating your guest list. Last,        alone together. It was the time for the
 but certainly not least, a destination               official consummation of the marriage.
 wedding provides an amazing memory for               These days, a honeymoon is considered
 you for and all of your guests, who get a            more of a romantic getaway vacation,
 vacation along with a wonderful                      and a special chance for newlyweds to
 celebration.                                         devote time only to each other, away

from the demands of work and the "real"           out on hangers or in dry-cleaners’ bags.
world. This is a fabulous chance to relax         When choosing what to pack, try to go
together and remember all the special             for wrinkle-resistant fabrics like nylon and
wedding day memories you’ve just                  lycra.
                                                  Stuff your socks and underwear in shoes
According to traditional wedding                  and bags to help these items keep their
etiquette, it's up to the groom to plan           shape. Wrap any belts around the inside
the honeymoon. Today, travel agents can           of your suitcase to save space. Make sure
handle every detail imaginable. They can          to bring along an extra empty bag for
book airline flights, package and charter
                                                  any souvenirs and other goodies you
tours, cruises, hotels, car rentals and
                                                  might pick up while you are traveling. Put
much more. Travel agencies will first
                                                  your valuables, a change of clothes, and
inquire about your budget for the
                                                  minimum toiletry needs in your carry-on
honeymoon. Your budget for the
                                                  luggage. Check with the airport you are
honeymoon should be carefully planned
                                                  flying out of for carry-on restrictions.
and included as a part of your wedding
budget. If you're beat after the big day,         You don’t want to worry about money
don't worry - you don't have to rush off          while you are on your romantic trip, so
to your honeymoon. Some couples are               take care of business before you leave.
too exhausted to enjoy their                      Know your limits and carefully consider
honeymoon because of the stress and               the mix of cash, traveller’s cheques and
pressure of the wedding and choose to             credit cards you want to take. Check
take their honeymoon a couple of weeks            your travel destination – are there ATMs?
later.                                            If not, you will want to take more cash
Couples should communicate to each                (this isn’t usually a concern in more
other about the type of honeymoon                 popular tourist locations).
they would prefer. Your partner might
                                                  More Advice:
want to sleep in, lounge on the beach,
and stay up late at night clubs, while you        • Leave a copy of your itinerary,
want an action-packed vacation full of              passport and emergency list with at
hiking, scuba diving, biking, boating and           least one person at home.
water skiing. Make it the trip you both           • Assemble a list of all the emergency
want by talking and planning ahead.                 contacts you will need if your wallet
                                                    goes missing.
Travel Tips
Whether you are going away for your               • Conceal your money by stashing it
destination wedding or off on your                  under your clothes or in a front
honeymoon, one thing is the same. You               pocket.
have to pack properly! Roll, don’t fold           • Get any necessary vaccinations and
your clothes and make sure to pack                  preventative shots you will need –
tightly. This can help to prevent wrinkles          check with your doctor and your travel
and usually allows for more room in your            agent. I
suitcase. You can also lay your clothing

Six Months or More Ahead
I Investigate destinations and set budget
I Reserve airline tickets
I Reserve the hotel

Three Months Ahead
I Obtain your passports
I Arrange for necessary visas
I Finalize all the reservations

Two Months Ahead
I Make a shopping list of what you’ll need
I Get any required vaccinations

One Month Ahead
I Confirm all reservations
I Book any special trips (i.e.: tee times, tours, spa days, etc)
I Make kennel reservations if required
I Arrange for your mail and newspaper to be picked up

Three Days Ahead
I Reconfirm overseas flights
I Buy books for plane and poolside
I Arrange transportation to and from airports
I Leave your itinerary with relatives
I Check the weather reports

One Day Ahead
I Reconfirm domestic flights
I Get your home ready – clean out your refrigerator,
  take out garbage, etc.
I Pack your suitcases!


Packing                                 P
                                                  lease see below for a
                                                  quick reference on what

Checklist                                        should go into your suitcase. You
                                        might not need all of it or you might have
                                        more, but this is a easy reference for packing.

Documents & Necessities                      Clothing & Accessories
I Hotel Reservations                         I Comfortable walking shoes
I Tickets                                    I Sandals
I Insurance Information                      I Socks (one pair/day & one extra)
I Passport/visa (& photocopies)              I Sneakers
I Car Rental Information                     I Hiking boots
I Emergency List                             I Dress shoes
I Cash/Traveler’s Cheques/Credit &           I Swimsuit(s)
  Debit cards                                I Beach cover-up
I Driver’s License/Membership cards          I Underwear
I Medical/Vaccination records                  (one pair/day & one extra)
I Guidebook & Day pack                       I Belt
I Other ______________________               I Dress(es)
                                             I Jacket
Personal Items & Hygiene
                                             I Suit(s)
I Toiletry Bag
                                             I Pants/trousers
I Body Lotion/Suntan Lotion
                                             I Shirts/Blouse(s)
I Shampoo & conditioner
                                             I Pajamas/sleepwear
I Cosmetics
                                             I Shorts
I Deodorant
                                             I Hose/stockings
I Contact lenses & solution
                                             I Skirts
I Curling iron/hair straightener
                                             I Sweatshirts
I Feminine hygiene products
                                             I T- shirts
I Toothbrush, toothpaste & floss
                                             I Beach Hat
I Soap/body wash
                                             I Raincoat/rain boots
I Hair care products (hairspray, etc)
                                             I Long underwear
I Brush & comb
                                             I Scarf & mittens
I Glasses
                                             I Slippers
I Razors & shaving cream
                                             I Knit Hat/Toque
I Towel/wash cloth
                                             I Jewellery/watch
I Hand sanitizer
                                             I Other ______________________
I Nail polish & remover
I Make-up remover
I Other ______________________

Medications & Health                      I Ice scraper
I Current Prescriptions                   I Pillow & blanket
I Allergy                                 I Music
I Motion sickness                         I Food & drinks
I Nausea/diarrhea                         I Other ______________________
I Contraceptives                          Outdoor Gear
I Pain relievers (Tylenol, etc)           I Air mattress
I Vitamins/herbal supplements             I Towels (beach/dish)
I Anti-itch cream                         I Tent
I Other ______________________            I Sleeping bag
                                          I Camping stove & fuel
Gadgets                                   I Lighter/matches
I Camera & charger                        I Cutlery & dishes
I Batteries                               I Can opener
I Cell phone & charger                    I Large umbrella (beach size)
I Converters & adapters                   I Insect repellent
I Extra memory cards/film                 I Compass/GPS
I Laptop & accessories                    I Fresh water
I IPOD/MP3 player                         I Binoculars
I PDA                                     I Flashlight/lantern
I Travel alarm clock                      I Other ______________________
I Video camera & charger
I Other ______________________            Kids
                                          I Diaper bag (with cream, diapers, etc)
The Plane                                 I Baby food
I Books/magazines                         I Car seat
I Earplugs                                I Bottles/sippy cup/pacifier
I Eye mask                                I Formula/juice/water
I Pillow/blanket                          I Food/snacks
I Carry-on bag                            I Changing pad & bag for dirty
I IPOD/MP3 Player                           diapers
I Other ______________________            I Nursing pads
                                          I Extra clothes
The Car                                   I Bibs
I Radiator fluid, windshield fluid        I Colouring books & crayons/markers
  & oil                                   I Games/cards/toys
I Directions & map                        I Stroller
I Jumper cables                           I Extra wipes
I Spare tire & jack                       I Other ______________________

    the greening of your wedding
An Earth-Friendly Reception                            site with items you can use again at the
The key to an eco- and style-conscious                 reception – like arrangements that decorate
wedding is to keep it simple. By reusing               the program area at the ceremony, and then
materials and accents, you can save money              dress up your guest book table later on at the
and save resources at the same time. Work              reception. By selecting decor that you can use
with what’s local and with what's in season            at both events, you can save money and
and you can feel good about your efforts -             reduce waste. And it doesn't have to end at
and your celebration.                                  the end of your night: when your magical
When choosing your site, select a place with           evening is over, see if there are any pieces you
significance that will benefit from your event.        can donate to a hospital, or to the local
For example: an art gallery or museum. If              nursing home.
possible, find out how the site plans to use           By choosing earth friendly materials like
your fee – will it be used towards upkeep or           bamboo, which is one of the most sustainable
new programs? If you’re looking for an                 materials on earth, you can lower your
outdoor venue, try a botanical garden, or the          environmental impact without compromising
grounds of a historical home in your area.You          style. Bamboo makes a very modern-looking
may even be able to find one that is run by a          option for decorating. It can grow up to two
non-profit organization.                               feet a day, so it takes only three to seven
When it comes to decoration, there are a               years to mature, unlike trees! Use tall stalks of
few simple things you can do to green your             curly bamboo for centrepieces and try lucky
choices. Consider decorating your ceremony             mini bamboo stalks as wedding favours.

Want something energy efficient and                     floor, or hang escort cards from a flowering
romantic? Candles! Look for soy candles as              bush (like hibiscus). Try going a little trendy.
they’re made from a renewable resource and              Have your bridesmaids carry beautiful fans, or
are cleaner burning. Plus they burn longer              silk purses with jewelled blooms.You can also
than regular candles and soy wax spills are             look into silk flowers. They are sometimes
really easy to clean up – just use soap and hot         more expensive, but the arrangement will last
water. They are available in every size, shape,         forever and it makes a great keepsake for
colour and scent you can imagine.                       your girls.
When it comes to transportation, hybrid                 Your goal: support local nurseries by looking
vehicles continue to evolve, so keep an eye             for locally grown, seasonal blooms. Talk to
out for hybrid limousines. In the meantime,             your florist to figure out what flowers fall into
there are a lot of other options out there.             this category so you know what you can
Some great ideas are: tandem bicycles, a                choose from.
canoe (if your ceremony is near the water)              Using seasonal herbs, greenery and berries,
or something classic, like a horse-and-buggy            there is so much you can do. You can even
carriage. Also consider organizing carpools             add an alternative touch to an existing
for the wedding party to and from events                bouquet by adding a branch of blackberries
such as the rehearsal dinner. Enjoy!                    or raspberries.
Alternative Flowers                                     Green Weddings – Your Menu
Since flowers are a symbol of the natural               Do you find the world of organic food
world, wedding flowers provide a great                  confusing, but long for the health benefits it
opportunity to make some eco-friendly                   provides? Officially, the term “organic” refers
choices. Investigate the origins of flowers and         to food that is grown without the use of
think about the pesticides that might have              pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics and is not
been used. Were they grown in an                        genetically modified. Brides and grooms are
environmentally friendly way? Cut flowers               looking beyond the basic chicken or filet for
result in a lot of waste. Talk to your florist          their menus, and there is a broad horizon of
about conserving flowers by reusing                     alternatives to consider.
bouquets, or sharing your blooms with                   While many caterers are now specializing in
another party.                                          organic foods, nearly any caterer can create
Flowers that are pesticide free glow with                an organic meal. So, choose one you love, and
natural beauty. Some flowers, like mass                  then discuss replacing ingredients. When you
produced roses, are so genetically engineered            buy organic, you are ensuring that everyone,
that they need to be sprayed with an artificial          including the workers who harvested your
scent. Organic roses smell exactly how they              food, are not exposed to pesticides.
should. If you can’t find a florist in your area         Meats
with organic blooms, there are a lot of                  Free-range, organically raised meat isn’t just
options on the internet.                                 delicious, it’s better for the farmers, the
For an alternative centrepiece, try potted               animals, and you. Organic meat and poultry
plants, flowers, or even small trees. These can          has less exposure to genetically modified
 be transplanted later on. Use potted trees              food because the animals eat organic feed. If
 strung with lights to enhance your dance                you’re going to have seafood, stay away from

“     To marry is the ultimate act of trust… to take another’s hand
      and step forward into the unknown with hope and courage.
                                         - Clara Ortega
fish that are commercially raised or high in            place that specializes in regional and organic
mercury. A really great option is a white fish,         selections.
like tilapia, or wild salmon, which is generally        What about your wedding cake?
named for the region it comes from. Plainly
                                                        Here’s another place you can ask about
labelled “salmon” is most likely farmed.
                                                        substituting organic ingredients. While
Vegetables                                              choosing organic ingredients will increase the
Organic produce grows slower, so the flavour            cost of your cake, many people agree the
is magnified and more intense. Levels of                taste is a lot better. Another option is to look
Vitamin C are also higher in organic produce.           for a baker who specializes in organic or
Remember that organic salads should not be              vegan cakes.
washed with water that has chlorine in it, so
                                                        More Advice
be careful. When deciding on organic
produce, target carrots, lettuce, apples and            Local, local, local! For as much of your
strawberries, as non-organic versions of these          reception food as possible, look for local and
fruits and vegetables contain the highest               seasonal eats. They’re fresh and readily
levels of pesticides and fungicides.                    available (translation: delicious and cheap),
Don’t forget your drinks!                               especially for your salads, where you definitely
                                                        want to go with what’s in season.
You can think local with your alcohol choices
as well. Though you may not be aware of                 At the end of the night, don’t let all those
 them, there are probably fantastic                     extras go into the trash. Work with your
 microbreweries, distilleries, and wineries in          caterer to send the leftovers to a food rescue
 your area (or region). If you’re big wine fans,        group. These organizations can pick up the
 don’t worry - organic wineries can offer               fresh and untouched food and then deliver it
 quality and selection. Look to liquor stores           to local food shelters and families in need.
 and wine shops in your area or try to find a           What a better way to end the night. I

Extra Eco Tips
• find a vintage or used gown, then dress it up with accessories
• choose a dress made from organic cotton, silk or hemp – these materials are much
  more eco-friendly than a lot of other materials
• rent your wedding gown
• sell your wedding gown after the wedding (either through eBay or a local
  consignment store)
• rent the men’s formalwear
• create a website to keep your guests up-to-date on all the happenings with your
• use fewer programs, menus, etc – print one per couple or table, instead of one per
• encourage your guests to use gift bags that can be re-used
• let your guests know you are having a ‘green’ wedding and how they can do their part

Professional Wedding Planners vs.                      can find information on anything you will
Planning your own                                      need for your wedding day.
Professional Wedding Planners:                         Wedding Day Transportation
Professional Wedding Planners are the
                                                       Today wedding parties are finding original
creative geniuses behind many dream
                                                       modes of transportation ranging from
weddings. Many couples have demanding
                                                       limousines to horse drawn carriages,
careers that do not enable them to have
                                                       Lamborghini's to hot air balloons, a vintage
the time or energy to plan their special day
                                                       Rolls Royce to a bus. There are many
the way they want it to be. Wedding
                                                       options available.
consultants provide professional help and
expertise.Their responsibilities include start         Traditional Order of Procession To
to finish wedding planning, plus you gain the          and From the Church
benefits of their connections with allied              There are traditionally three cars. The
firms that are reputable and cost saving.              bride's mother, Maid of Honour, and a
Wedding planners can help free up your                 couple of attendants arrive in the first car.
valuable time and money.                               The second car carries the rest of the
Most consultants charge a flat fee, or                 attendants. The third car carries the bride
charge by the hour if you require help in a            and her father. The groom and his
specific area. A lot of wedding planners               attendants should arrange their own
have different service packages for as much            transportation to the church beforehand.
or as little help as you require; from full            Order of Procession after the
wedding packages to hourly consultations.              Ceremony
Planners can help you in areas such as: your           The bride and groom leave together in the
venue, invitations, salons, stylists, and more.        car the bride and her father arrived in. The
A great wedding consultant will work                   second car is for the parents of the bride
closely with the bride and groom to help               and groom, and the rest of the bridal party
understand exactly what is are looking for             leave in the third car.
on your special day. They work hard to see             Questions to ask when booking your
every detail flawlessly executed to your               transportation:
standards and within your budget.
                                                       • Are the vehicles available to view prior
Planning your own: Brides today are                      to the wedding?
truly fortunate as there are many
magazines and planning guides in the                   • What is the minimum rental time?
market to help create a dream wedding.                 • What about overtime availability and
Bridal shows like Bridal Fantasy are also a              costs?
good venue for couples to get an overall
view on the current wedding scene and                  • Are there mileage limits?
great information on the products, venues,             • What is the deposit amount and when is
catering, fashion, and services that are                 the remainder due?
needed for your special day. The internet
also has amazing resources for brides; you             • Cancellation policies?

Remarriage                                               spend half the time alone and can be
In approximately 46% of weddings today,                  joined for the other half of their
the bride or groom has been previously                   honeymoon by their children, if desired.
married. As remarriages become more                    The Gift Opening
common, wedding etiquette regarding size
                                                       Your wedding does not end right after the
and ceremony has become much more
                                                       reception.The day following the exchanging
flexible. For example, a second wedding
                                                       of vows is traditionally when the gift
can be larger and more elaborate than the
                                                       opening is held. This gathering often takes
first if desired. However, there are special
                                                       the form of a champagne breakfast, light
conditions that need to be considered.
                                                       brunch, or afternoon tea. The gift opening
• Announcements: Children of the couple                can take place in a variety of locations, from
  should be the first to know, then their              the home to the hall where the reception
  parents, friends and relatives.                      was held.
• Invitations: Invitations are printed for             When opening the gifts, have someone
  large or formal remarriages; after a                 record who each gift is from (usually the
  private ceremony, send announcements.                maid/matron of honour), to ensure that all
  The invitation's wording should fit the              gift givers are properly thanked.
  circumstances properly.
                                                       Wedding Gown Preservation
• Ceremony: If you want to be remarried                After your magical day, what do you do
  in a church, contact your clergy member              with your wedding gown? You paid dearly
  right away, as certain remarriage                    for it and you’re sure to feel extremely
  regulations must be followed for religious           sentimental about it. Your wedding gown
  services. Regardless of the ceremony                 also has major heirloom potential. While
  size, the children of the bride or groom             preservation is done after the wedding, you
  may participate as attendants. The bride             should have a plan in place beforehand.
  is escorted (the bride is never "given               Wedding gown preservation can be done
  away" a second time) by her father,                  at anytime, the sooner after the wedding,
  brother, son or her husband to be, or                the better. Quickly preserving your dress
  may walk down the aisle on her own.                  means there is less of a chance for staining,
• Attire: Only two guidelines should be                or damage due to improper storage.
  followed by the bride: she should never              Come up with a list of reputable wedding
  wear either a full face veil (it symbolizes          gown preservationists and do your
  virginity) or a long train (still exclusively        research before the wedding.This gives you
  worn by first brides). Otherwise, the                a change to create your list in a relaxed
  bride can wear any color or style of                 manner rather than in hurried desperation.
  wedding dress. The groom should follow               Check references from friends; look them
  the bride's lead - he can wear anything              up with the Better Business Bureau and find
  from a tuxedo to jeans.                              out exactly what they offer, as each
• Honeymoon: One necessity for any                     company is different.
  remarriage is a honeymoon. A practical               Wedding gown preservation is a process
  way to solidify a new family is to split the         completed by trained professionals who
  honeymoon in half: the newlyweds

carefully clean your gown, remove stains,
and repair any damage that might have
occurred. These specialists know the
proper techniques for cleaning bridal
fabrics and working with the beading,
pearls or jewels that might be on your
After it has been thoroughly cleaned, your
gown undergoes a safe chemical treatment
to prevent “aging” of the dress; i.e.:
yellowing and deterioration. Your gown is
then placed into airtight packaging to
further protect it. If you want to get your
gloves, headpiece or veil preserved as well,
most shops can do this along with your              Some flowers preserve better than others.
wedding gown. Some shops also include               Here is a list for you:
this in the price with your wedding gown,           • Roses: excellent (ask your florist for roses
so make sure to find out.                             that will have a sculptured look, medium
                                                      to large size)
Flower Preservation
Your beautiful bridal bouquet won’t last            • Alstromaris: fragile (these become
forever, unless you get it preserved. If you          trasparent)
want to find someone who’ll do a great job          • Casablanca Lilly: excellent
of preserving your flowers, you’ll need to          • Calla Lilly: excellent
be prepared to ask lots of questions of
                                                    • Carnations: excellent
potential candidates. How do they
preserve their flowers? They should have a          • Delphinium: excellent
few different methods, as some flowers              • Dahlia:fragile (shatters easily)
work better with freeze drying and others           • Freesia: fragile (shrinks and becomes
work better with sand. Do they guarantee              transparent
their work?
                                                    • Gardenia: excellent
Don’t forget that you will need to let your         • Hydrangea: excellent
florist know that you plan on preserving
                                                    • Lilac: fragile (shatters easily)
your flowers so that they are as fresh as
possible.                                           • Lily of the Valley: good
                                                    • Dendrobium/Catelya Orchids: excellent
After the wedding day, keep your wedding
flowers refrigerated and in water to                • Phallanopsis Orchids: fragile (becomes
prevent them from opening any further. If             trasparent)
possible, have your flowers picked up from          • Peonies: excellent
your reception. It saves you time and worry.        • Stargazer Lily: excellent
Remember to check if there is a fee for this
                                                    • Sunflower: fragile (shatters easily)
service. Try to keep some greenery in your
bouquet; it adds a nice finishing touch.            • Tulips: fragile (shatters easily)

Relationship Advice
               for Newly Engaged Couples
The engagement period is a wonderful, and sometimes overwhelming, phase of a relationship. Below
are some tips and suggestions for you to consider during the hectic months to come:
• Don’t try to change each other. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life.
  It should be a day to commemorate your love, and to think about all the great things you see in
  one another. Brides: try not to become a dreaded "bridezilla." If you do, your fiancé might get a
  case of (equally dreaded) "cold feet." If you feel overcome with stress, take a deep breath and
  remember why and how you fell in love with each other in the first place.
• It's easy to forget that your partner can't read your mind. It doesn't matter how close you are. If
  you want or expect something to be done, it's best to simply ask.
• Communication. Use clear communication as opposed to hints. 'Hinting' is not an effective way to
  achieve anything, and it can lead to greater confusion. Be vocal. Communicate your feelings. Talk
  things out. Your communication with one another now sets the tone of how you will
  communicate with one another during your marriage.
• Never say negative things about your fiancé in front of other people, or publicly make fun of your
  fiancé. It's hurtful and embarrassing. Keep any teasing private.
• Although the proverb says the contrary, absence actually makes the heart grow less fond during
  an engagement. You need to work together with your fiancé to plan your wedding. Dealing with
  the big and small issues of planning your wedding and honeymoon can be helpful in establishing
  your problem solving techniques in the future. Plus, this is a time for the two of you to grow even
  closer together.
• To best prepare for marriage, it’s important to seek some kind of pre-marriage counselling. A pre-
  marriage retreat is a fantastic way for a couple to spend time together and learn more about
  each other. An unusual, exciting setting like a nature retreat is a great way for engaged couples to
  explore their partner's views on all aspects of life.
• Don’t forget to have fun with each other. Planning a wedding is stressful, but taking time out to
  lighten up can help keep things in perspective. Smear some whip cream on his face when picking
  out the wedding cake, or buy her a nice bouquet of flowers after picking out the arrangements.
  Who knows, perhaps he or she might just fall even harder for you than before!
• Set priorities and goals. The two biggest obstacles to good wedding planning are procrastination
  and poor timeline management. Make sure both of you sit down and set timelines for each other.
  Timelines should include notes on who is doing what, and you should also establish deadlines for
  when different tasks need to be completed. Leaving an open ended gap for “one of you” to take
  initiative is usually a great way to start a big fight.
 • Try to work well with your new in-laws and your fiancé's extended family. Learning how to work
   and cooperate with family members, and his or her best friend is important. When you both try
   to cooperate with all of the people in one another's lives, it shows well-rounded commitment to
   your relationship.
 • Finally, be frank about your personality differences, sexual expectations, and financial concerns.
   Finances come between many couples. A mutual agreement about your expectations and goals
   right out of the gate can eliminate, or at least reduce, future disappointments. Professional advice
   from marriage counsellors can be helpful here, as some couples prefer a professional space, and
   guidance, while exploring these sensitive areas.

     dollars & cents
We have put together a budget spreadsheet for you. Happy planning!

Pre-Wedding                       Estimate                 Actual Cost
Bridal Consultant                 $ ________________       $ ________________
Announcement in Paper             $ ________________       $ ________________
Engagement portraits              $ ________________       $ ________________
Engagement Photograph             $ ________________       $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________       $ ________________

Stationary                        Estimate                 Actual Cost
Announcements                     $ ________________       $ ________________
Invitations                       $ ________________       $ ________________
Thank-you notes                   $ ________________       $ ________________
Postage                           $ ________________       $ ________________
Miscellaneous                     $ ________________       $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________       $ ________________

Attire & Beauty                   Estimate                 Actual Cost
Bride's gown                      $ ________________       $ ________________
Headpiece/veil                    $ ________________       $ ________________
Alterations                       $ ________________       $ ________________
Bride's shoes                     $ ________________       $ ________________
Lingerie                          $ ________________       $ ________________
Jewellery                         $ ________________       $ ________________
Accessories                       $ ________________       $ ________________
Hair & Make-up                    $ ________________       $ ________________
Groom's formalwear                $ ________________       $ ________________
Groom's shoes                     $ ________________       $ ________________
Going away outfits                $ ________________       $ ________________
Trousseau                         $ ________________       $ ________________
Miscellaneous                     $ ________________       $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________       $ ________________

Rings & Gifts                     Estimate             Actual Cost
Bride's engagement ring           $ ________________   $ ________________
Bride's wedding ring              $ ________________   $ ________________
Groom's wedding ring              $ ________________   $ ________________
Marriage Licence                  $ ________________   $ ________________
Gifts for attendants              $ ________________   $ ________________
Gifts for each other              $ ________________   $ ________________
Rehearsal dinner/party            $ ________________   $ ________________
Parents gifts                     $ ________________   $ ________________
Miscellaneous                     $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________   $ ________________

Ceremony                          Estimate             Actual Cost
Church or ceremony site           $ ________________   $ ________________
Officiant's fee                   $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________   $ ________________

Music                             Estimate             Actual Cost
Organist                          $ ________________   $ ________________
Soloist                           $ ________________   $ ________________
Other                             $ ________________   $ ________________
Live                              $ ________________   $ ________________
DJ                                $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________   $ ________________

Flowers                           Estimate             Actual Cost
Aisle runner                      $ ________________   $ ________________
Bouquets                          $ ________________   $ ________________
Boutonnieres                      $ ________________   $ ________________
Ceremony Flowers                  $ ________________   $ ________________
Reception Flowers                 $ ________________   $ ________________
Corsages for mothers              $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________   $ ________________

Miscellaneous                     Estimate              Actual Cost
Videography                       $ ________________   $ ________________
Photography                       $ ________________   $ ________________
Transportation (limousine, etc)   $ ________________   $ ________________
Parking, powder room, and
coatroom attendants               $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                          $ ________________   $ ________________

Reception                             Estimate             Actual Cost
Site                                  $ ________________   $ ________________
Food/Caterer                          $ ________________   $ ________________
Liquor                                $ ________________   $ ________________
Serving Staff                         $ ________________   $ ________________
Wedding Cake                          $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                              $ ________________   $ ________________

Reception                             Estimate             Actual Cost
Rental equipment (tent)               $ ________________   $ ________________
Linens                                $ ________________   $ ________________
Tableware                             $ ________________   $ ________________
Crystal                               $ ________________   $ ________________
Balloons                              $ ________________   $ ________________
Other                                 $ ________________   $ ________________
Favours                               $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                              $ ________________   $ ________________

Post Wedding                          Estimate              Actual Cost
Gratuities(if not already included)   $ ________________   $ ________________
Wedding night accommodations          $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                              $ ________________   $ ________________

Honeymoon                             Estimate             Actual Cost
Transportation                        $ ________________   $ ________________
Accommodations                        $ ________________   $ ________________
Spending money                        $ ________________   $ ________________
Clothing                              $ ________________   $ ________________
Gown preservation                     $ ________________   $ ________________
Flower preservation                   $ ________________   $ ________________
Subtotal                              $ ________________   $ ________________

GRAND TOTAL                           $ ________________   $ ________________

            In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals
           everything, and two minus one equals nothing.
                                -Mignon McLaughlin



               January 2011
                       THU    FRI   SAT   SUN MON
                                                     February 2011
                                                    TUE WED     THU    FRI   SAT   SUN MON
                                                                                              March 2011
                                                                                             TUE WED   THU    FRI   SAT
                                      1               1   2       3     4      5               1   2     3     4      5
 2    3    4       5    6      7      8    6    7     8   9      10    11     12    6    7     8   9    10    11     12
 9   10   11      12   13     14     15   13   14    15  16      17    18     19   13   14    15  16    17    18     19
16   17   18      19   20     21     22   20   21    22  23      24    25     26   20   21    22  23    24    25     26
23   24   25      26   27     28     29   27   28                                  27   28    29  30    31
30   31
                April 2011                               May 2011                              June 2011
                               1      2     1   2     3   4       5     6      7                   1     2     3      4
 3    4    5       6    7      8      9     8   9    10  11      12    13     14    5    6     7   8     9    10     11
10   11   12      13   14     15     16    15  16    17  18      19    20     21   12   13    14  15    16    17     18
17   18   19      20   21     22     23    22  23    24  25      26    27     28   19   20    21  22    23    24     25
24   25   26      27   28     29     30    29  30    31                            26   27    28  29    30
                July 2011                                August 2011                         September 2011
                               1      2         1     2   3       4     5      6                         1     2      3
 3    4    5       6    7      8      9     7   8     9  10      11    12     13    4    5    6    7     8     9     10
10   11   12      13   14     15     16    14  15    16  17      18    19     20   11   12   13   14    15    16     17
17   18   19      20   21     22     23    21  22    23  24      25    26     27   18   19   20   21    22    23     24
24   25   26      27   28     29     30    28  29    30  31                        25   26   27   28    29    30
               October 2011                          November 2011                           December 2011
                                      1               1   2       3     4      5                         1     2      3
 2    3    4       5    6      7      8    6    7     8   9      10    11     12    4    5    6    7     8     9     10
 9   10   11      12   13     14     15   13   14    15  16      17    18     19   11   12   13   14    15    16     17
16   17   18      19   20     21     22   20   21    22  23      24    25     26   18   19   20   21    22    23     24
23   24   25      26   27     28     29   27   28    29  30                        25   26   27   28    29    30     31
30   31

               January 2012                          February 2012                            March 2012
  1   2    3   4         5     6      7                   1       2     3      4                         1     2      3
  8   9   10  11        12    13     14    5    6     7   8       9    10     11    4    5    6    7     8     9     10
 15  16   17  18        19    20     21   12   13    14  15      16    17     18   11   12   13   14    15    16     17
 22  23   24  25        26    27     28   19   20    21  22      23    24     25   18   19   20   21    22    23     24
 29  30   31                              26   27    28  29                        25   26   27   28    29    30     31
                April 2012                               May 2012                              June 2012
  1   2    3   4         5     6      7               1   2       3     4      5                               1      2
  8   9   10  11        12    13     14    6    7     8   9      10    11     12    3    4    5    6     7     8      9
 15  16   17  18        19    20     21   13   14    15  16      17    18     19   10   11   12   13    14    15     16
 22  23   24  25        26    27     28   20   21    22  23      24    25     26   17   18   19   20    21    22     23
 29  30                                   27   28    29  30      31                24   25   26   27    28    29     30
                July 2012                                August 2012                         September 2012
  1   2    3   4         5     6      7                   1       2     3      4                                      1
  8   9   10  11        12    13     14    5    6     7   8       9    10     11    2    3    4    5     6     7      8
 15  16   17  18        19    20     21   12   13    14  15      16    17     18    9   10   11   12    13    14     15
 22  23   24  25        26    27     28   19   20    21  22      23    24     25   16   17   18   19    20    21     22
 29  30   31                              26   27    28  29      30    31          23   24   25   26    27    28     29
               October 2012                          November 2012                           December 2012
      1    2   3         4     5      6                           1     2      3                                      1
  7   8    9  10        11    12     13    4    5    6      7     8     9     10    2    3    4    5     6     7      8
 14  15   16  17        18    19     20   11   12   13     14    15    16     17    9   10   11   12    13    14     15
 21  22   23  24        25    26     27   18   19   20     21    22    23     24   16   17   18   19    20    21     22
 28  29   30  31                          25   26   27     28    29    30          23   24   25   26    27    28     29
                                                                                   30   31
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