November 2016

FAQs About Wedding Gift-Giving
Some parties or weddings will have a table set aside for you to drop your wedding gift off at.

Make sure that you place your wedding gift with the others.

The traditional summer wedding might be over, but ceremonies happen all year long. Many guests don’t know what’s expected from them when giving a wedding gift. Here are some etiquette tips to help you make good decisions about giving a present to the couple when you’re invited to the party.

What Should I Buy?

The wedding registry is the best resource for choosing a gift. The couple may have a wedding website with some special notes about wanting to save up for a larger purchase. You should consult the registry to make sure you match the couple’s style and personality. If you’re making a handmade gift, you can find color ideas and patterns on the registry to know what the bride prefers. 

How Much Should I Spend?

There are a number of thoughts about how much to spend on gifts. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t need to spend the same amount on a coworker or distant relative as you would on a close relative or friend. According to Proflowers.com, the average wedding gift costs $106. That figure will vary depending on your budget, the relationship you have with the couple and how much you’re spending to get to the wedding. Traditionally, you don’t need to spend as much on the gift when it’s a destination wedding or if you’re coming from a long distance.

When Should I Send the Wedding Gift?

Although many people still bring gifts to the wedding, this is often very difficult for the bride and groom to manage. These gifts may have to be transported to different places, and if the couple is leaving directly from the reception for the airport, it will be complicated for the family. Plus, there are more opportunities for money and small gifts to be stolen at a reception. It’s best to send it to the home of either the bride or the groom before the ceremony or up to three months following the wedding.

If I’m Bringing a Gift to the Wedding, Do I Have to Buy One for the Shower, Too?

A shower is a party to bless the bride (or couple) with gifts. It is the one party that is all about the gift-giving. Set your gift budget when you get the wedding invitation. If you get an invitation to a shower, use the 20 percent rule. Dedicate 20 percent of your budget to the shower gift. If you get invited to more than one shower, take another 20 percent out of the original budget for the gift. Whatever is left, use it to buy the wedding gift. For example, you set a budget of $200. You’re invited to a bridal shower and an engagement party. Twenty (20) percent of 200 is $40. Spend $40 on a gift for the engagement party, then another $40 for the shower. This leaves $120 for the wedding gift. But feel free to use those limits as you choose.

One final thought: You should not stretch your budget too far to give what might be expected. The wedding is not about gifts and money; it’s about celebrating the union of two people. If your finances won’t let you give a large gift, do what you can. A gift certificate to a local restaurant would be a nice treat for the couple when they get back from the honeymoon. Picture frames are always welcome and can be expensive when you want to buy a lot. Treat the bride to a couple of special ones. Maybe on the couple’s first anniversary, your budget will allow you to do something more. The wedding should be a celebration, not a gift-grabbing event. If the couple knows and loves you, they will understand your limitations.

Wedding Traditions From Around The World
Certain wedding traditions have been practiced for hundreds of years.

There are all kinds of traditions that continue through the world. Many have similarities while others can be vastly different.

If you’re trying to plan a unique ceremony for your special day, check out some of these special wedding traditions from around the world.

 

 

 

Wedding Traditions from other Cultures

  • Congo – Brides and grooms aren’t allowed to smile on their wedding day. When they do, it shows that they aren’t serious about the marriage.
  • China – The bride travels to the groom’s home in a decorated sedan chair. Attendants take care of the bride on the journey by holding parasols to shield her from the elements. They throw rice at the chair as a sign of prosperity and health. Female bridesmaids put the groom through a series of tests for him to prove his worthiness of the bride. He must give them envelopes of money before they’ll allow him to have their friend.
  • Fiji – The potential bridegroom must present his father with a whale’s tooth when he asks for her hand in marriage.
  • Jamaica – The bride is paraded through the streets. If the villagers go home, it means she didn’t look her best. She must go home and spruce herself up for another go.

Some Other Cultures Practices

  • Guatemala – The groom’s parents host the reception party. The groom’s mother breaks a ceramic bell filled with grains to give the couple prosperity.
  • Germany – The guests break porcelain dishes in front of the new home. The bride and groom are to clean these dishes up together as a demonstration of working together to overcome anything.
  • Scotland – Gretna Green is the place to elope. In medieval times, Gretna Green would marry young couples who did not always have parental permission.
  • Kenya – The bride’s father spits on her as she leaves the reception. It’s thought to preempt fate by not seeming too supportive of the couple.
  • Greece – The best man (or groom’s best friend) shaves the groom before the wedding. The new mother-in-law feeds him honey and almonds.
  • Japan – A Shinto bride wears white from head to toe. The head covering is thought to hide the horns of jealousy toward her new mother-in-law. The white symbolizes her maidenhood.
  • Norway – The traditional cake is called kransekake. It’s a tower of almond cake rings stacked on top of each other. The center is often filled with a wine bottle. The bride may wear a gold and silver crown with small trinkets as part of her wedding finery. As she moves, the trinkets jingle, which scares off the evil spirits.
  • Russia – Couples partake of a sweetbread called karavaya which is decorated with grains of wheat for fertility. Whoever takes the largest bite without using their hands is thought to be the head of the family.

As you go through this list, you might notice that many of the wedding traditions are similar to customs we have here. It just shows that we’re more alike than we think.

8 Romantic Sites to Visit in Montreal
There are plenty of romantic sites to be seen in Montreal.

Couples young and old can enjoy many of the romantic sites that Montreal has to offer.

If you’re planning a honeymoon, one of the nicest cities in Canada to visit is Montreal, but you don’t have to be newly married to take advantage of the romantic sites and locations along the St. Lawrence River. Revive your marriage by spending the weekend or a few days somewhere new. Here are eight of the best sites to rekindle your love.

 

Romantic Sites on Montréal

  1. Montréal Botanical Garden: Even if you aren’t a horticulturist, you will enjoy the beauty of the 20 thematic gardens, greenhouses and pavilion. Guided tours are available, or else just walk through the more than 75 hectares holding hands and talking about your dreams and aspirations. Don’t forget to turn off your phone and focus on your partner.
  2. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Since 1860, the museum has been showcasing fine art and sculptures. You can stroll through a sculpture garden, enjoy stained glass windows or classical artwork in one of the beautifully designed pavilions. The museum offers permanent collections of Canadian artists and typically has special exhibitions on tour.
  3. Biodome: Experience a rainforest or the sub-polar regions in the Biodome all within walking distance. It has more than 4,500 animals and 500 plant species all under one roof.
  4. Notre-Dame Basilica: Although the Basilica has religious roots, it draws in many visitors each year who want to explore the architecture and beauty of the parish. You’ll get a 20-minute guided tour as part of your admission and have the opportunity to see one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in North America.
  5. Parc-Jean Drapeau: The parc offers the perfect opportunity for the adventurist. Depending on the season when you visit, you could enjoy the beach, museums, swimming, roller coasters and more. Check out their calendar for special concerts and events.
  6. Marché Bonsecours: A historical building with its own heritage, the Marche now houses boutiques and restaurants that feature Quebec artisans. It’s a must-stop on any trip to Montreal at least once to enjoy the local flavor and take home a piece of the area.
  7. Old Port of Montreal: The port offers a number of activities and attractions, such as the Montreal Clock Tower, the Science Center, access to the riverfront and many cultural events throughout the year. Rent a bicycle, Segway or roller blades to explore the 2-kilometer area filled with shopping and restaurants. You could easily spend your entire vacation enjoying the port and its activities.
  8. World Trade Centre Montreal: Located close to downtown, the Trade Center is a hotel and office building with indoor parking, restaurants and boutiques. Take a historic discovery tour or enjoy one of the special events that goes on throughout the year.

These eight locations are just a few of the many attractions in Montreal where you and your partner can get away from your normal life to reconnect. Take a walking tour of the city of just drive around and see the spectacular architecture, some of which dates back to the 16th century. The city has been designated a UNESCO City of Design, one of just three in the world. Explore the underground complexes for a different shopping experience. There are a number of beautiful churches, not only the Notre-Dame Basilica.

Montreal is home to many local restaurants where you can enjoy exotic food from other countries or experience the local flavors of Canada. It has a wealth of accommodations, from five-star hotels with all the amenities to small, intimate bed and breakfast inns. You won’t need a passport to travel to this historic and modern city that has been named Canada’s Cultural Capital by Monocle magazine. It truly could enhance your romantic life.

Tips for Choosing Flowers for Your Wedding
Successfully choosing flowers can really bring a wedding together.

Correctly choosing flowers for the wedding can be one of the hardest parts of a wedding.

When you’re planning a wedding, there are so many decisions to make to have the perfect day. Choosing flowers is one of the most important elements of the ceremony, as the bridal bouquet will most likely be in 95 percent of the pictures. It’s recommended that brides allot about 10 percent of their overall budget for flowers. This should include the bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets, the boutonnieres, corsages and the reception.

According to The Knot, these are some of the most popular wedding flowers:

  • Rose
  • Tulip
  • Calla lily
  • Lily of the valley
  • Hydrangea
  • Peony
  • Sweet pea
  • Gardenia

Many of these popular flowers are only available seasonally, such as the peony and lily of the valley. The price of roses often fluctuates, depending on the season. You will pay much more for roses in the month of February, because demand is so high. Here are some tips for finding the right flowers and florist for your wedding.

  • Get some ideas about what you like before you go talk to your florist. Know what you’d like to have at the wedding and where you’re willing to compromise.
  • Meet with two or three florists to compare styles and prices. Talk with the florist about the seasonality of your options for flowers.
  • The florist will want to know your budget and your style.
  • When you meet with the florist, bring a photo of your wedding dress and swatches of your colors. You might also want to bring the brochures of your ceremony and reception sites.
  • Ask to see the florist’s portfolio to get an idea of his or her sense of style.
  • Ask for suggestions about flowers that won’t wilt over the time of the wedding and reception. Get affordable options that might work more effectively.
  • Get information about the “warranty.” Will the flowers be fresh and arrive on time? What happens if a specific flower isn’t available on the wedding day?
  • Find out the payment process for the florist. It’s not uncommon for a 50 percent deposit to be made when you sign the contract. The balance will most likely be due the week of the wedding.

Talk with each prospective florist and get an estimate in writing based on what you’ve discussed. Then go home and consider what really works with your budget.

Correctly Choosing Flowers Doesn’t Mean Breaking the Bank

Keeping your flower budget in check isn’t easy, so here are some tips to help you manage your money.

  1. Reuse bridesmaid bouquets and ceremony arrangements. Have the bridesmaids slip their bouquets into vases in the reception area and ask venue staff to move the arrangements from the ceremony to the reception.
  2. You might skip the ceremony arrangements altogether. There’s no rule that says you have to have flowers at the altar. Greenery, candles or lights might fill the space quite effectively.
  3. Don’t plan on getting married in February when demand for roses and other flowers are quite high.
  4. Use large, inexpensive blossoms to fill in space.
  5. Choose cheaper flowers as the mainstay of the arrangements. Carnations and baby’s breath are two of the most inexpensive stems and have a lot of bang for your buck.
  6. DIY floral arrangements and bouquets. The internet has plenty of how-to guides for those who love to craft by putting together their own wedding arrangements. Consider paying the florist to make the intricate corsages and boutonnieres.
  7. Get your blooms from the grocery store instead of the florist.
  8. Work with a florist who understands your budget and is willing to help you stay within it.

You can get the beautiful flowers you want for your wedding and stay within your budget when you plan for it.

Choosing the Right Wedding Date
Winter wedding dates are becoming increasingly popular.

Due to the popularity of the movie “Frozen”, more and more people are placing their wedding date in the winter.

Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding and one of the first decisions that you have to make is the date. Some couples have a special day and won’t even think about choosing another wedding date, but many people aren’t even sure where to start. Here are some tips to help you narrow the choices and select a date that will work for you.

What’s Your Dream Wedding?

When you see yourself getting married, you have to know what you envision as your ideal. Maybe you want to be married in a lush rose garden, which might mean a late spring or early summer wedding. If you’ve always wanted to get married in a vineyard, you might have to think late September or October. With the popularity of the movie “Frozen,” more couples are thinking of a beautiful white, winter wedding. Choose a season that fits your imagination.

Consider the Weather

Even if your wedding is inside, you should take into account the weather when planning the date. If you imagine the groom wearing a tux or full suit, the middle of summer might not be the best choice. It’s just too hot to be so formal in 100-degree weather. The other factor in considering the weather is your guests’ comfort. If you’re having an outside wedding, you don’t want your guests to bake in the sun or freeze because it’s too cold. Of course, there are always unseasonable temperatures, but you can’t control everything.

Consider Your Budget

There’s a reason June, September and October are popular months to get married in, and it’s because the weather is generally fairly dependable. Vendors know that these are popular months, and the prices go up during the wedding season. If you have a strict budget, you might want to consider an off-season wedding. But you do need think about sacrifices in other areas, because specialty flowers aren’t always as readily available in off-season months. Saving money with the venue, then spending it on flowers doesn’t make the most sense if you’re trying to save money.

Special Occasions to Consider for Your Wedding Date

It might be nice to get married on New Year’s Eve, because the date will always be special in more ways than one. When considering your wedding date, you have to consider the holiday season. On Valentine’s Day, roses tend to be more expensive, which could increase your budget. If you live in a college town, you may also have to think about sports events, such as homecoming. This might make it difficult for your friends and family to find reasonable accommodations. Hotels, flights and car rentals all tend to get more expensive on holiday weekends and when demand is higher.

Another element in looking at special dates is that of those dates special to you and your spouse. Whether it’s the day you met or your grandparent’s anniversary, you may be looking at one particular date. Consider how important the actual date is versus some flexibility in scheduling.

The Venues May Have Limited Availability

Once you choose your ideal date, you have to work it out with your venues. Often, churches won’t hold weddings on Sundays because they are using the facility for their own services. With some places, you may have to work around corporate events or other weddings. Again, some flexibility is always good when planning, especially when you have a short time frame.

Decide what’s most important to you when choosing your wedding date and what you won’t compromise on. Check with family members and your wedding party to make sure you’re not planning your wedding on top of someone’s graduation from college or silver anniversary wedding trip. It will save you a lot of headache in the long run. Although you cannot plan for every contingency, you can really consider some of the most important factors in choosing your wedding date to have the wedding of your dreams.

7 Great Places to Visit on Your Vancouver Honeymoon
Lion Gates Bridge is one of many places to spend your Vancouver Honeymoon.

Lion Gates Bridge is an attractive spot for couples looking to maximize their Vancouver Honeymoon fun.

Although there are many exotic locations around the world in which to spend your honeymoon, Canada offers a number of great places that are romantic and fun after the stress of a wedding. Flying domestic is typically much less expensive than taking an airplane to an international destination, making it good for your budget. If you’ve never experienced the lovely city of Vancouver, here are seven places to visit on your Vancouver honeymoon, anniversary or just a romantic getaway.

Great Vancouver Honeymoon Spots

  1. Capilano Suspension Bridge – The suspension bridge has been a main attraction in Vancouver since 1889, and many other features have been added to the landmark over the years. Walk across the bridge that sits 70 meters above the river and experience a view that is unlike any other. Take the cliffwalk or the treetops adventure to see all the rainforest has to offer. Don’t forget to take in the Story Centre, which is an educational feature that explores the fine details of the bridge.
  1. Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours – Who wouldn’t enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through many different famous settings in Vancouver? Private tours for two people are available, or you can join a group of even more people to see the red-cedar forest, the Rose Garden, the Lions Gate Bridge and some of the most iconic statues in the area.
  1. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – The first classical Chinese garden in Canada is a perfect place to find peace and romance when you walk through the covered walkways and pavilions. Enjoy a jade green pond filled with koi fish, miniature trees, and tai hu rock. Have a cup of traditional Chinese tea before you leave.
  1. Vancouver Art Gallery – Take in some culture while you’re on vacation at a world-renowned museum. If you’re into photography, you’ll find a huge collection of works from Ansel Adams, Cindy Sherman and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The gallery also has a collection of paintings by Emily Carr, who is known for a modernistic style influenced by the local indigenous peoples of B.C.
  1. Science World – This museum may be known as a place for children to explore the scientific world, but adults can enjoy the exhibits and see how science and art collides. The Geodesic dome is a beautiful piece of architecture that should be admired. The museum periodically hosts adult-only events. Check the calendar to find dates and plan your trip accordingly.
  1. Queen Elizabeth Park – Even if you’re not into floral displays and horticulture, Queen Elizabeth Park offers stunning views in a romantic setting where you and your partner can talk and connect. The park sits 152 meters above sea level and is the highest point in Vancouver. It features native and exotic trees and beautiful sculptures as well as recreational activities.
  1. BC Place – The stadium is the home of the Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions, but it also hosts many different special events throughout the year. The retractable roof is a technological wonder, and if you ever get a chance to see this venue, you should definitely take advantage of it.

Vancouver offers many styles of hotels, from the most modern with all the bells and whistles to classical bed and breakfasts outfitted in antique décor. If you enjoy shopping, you’ll find a plethora of different stores featuring local designers and artisans to find the perfect souvenirs of your trip. If you’re into sports, Vancouver has a full selection of summer and winter sports venues. Enjoy the ocean or the mountains, both in the same day should you choose. You can’t go wrong when you take a trip to Vancouver to see all it has to offer.

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Marriage Equality in Scotland
Gay / lesbian wedding icons set

The fight for marriage equality is one that is being fought on a global scale.

Next month, the Anglican Church of Canada votes on marriage equality in the church. As the ULC has reported in the past, this topic is hotly debated within the Anglican Church. The Episcopal Church in the United States changed their canon last year. They were given a “time out” by the international church, but have held to their beliefs that marriage equality is for all of their members. Now, the Scottish Episcopal Church has taken small steps toward changing the canon on marriage within their doors.

The Status of the Canon in Scotland

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church passed a first reading of the change. Currently, in Canon 31, it states that marriage is understood to be between a man and a woman. The proposal is to remove that statement from the canon. This is just one step along the process, because it should be noted that the proposed change is not the final decision. Now that the General Synod has made this proposal, it goes to the seven dioceses within Scotland for more discussion and opinions.

Next year at the General Synod meeting in June, the proposal will get a second reading. To pass, it must get a two-thirds majority of votes. Bishops, clergy and laity are included in this vote. Individual churches send representatives to the General Synod. The first reading received a vote of 5 for, 2 against from the bishops; 43 for, 19 against from the clergy; and 49 for, 12 against, 3 abstentions from the laity. The proposed change does seem to have a great deal of support from the church leadership.

The General Synod is the church’s legislative body, kind of like you might think of Parliament. The Synod members oversee the work of the church and vote on policy. They also might work on national and international issues. A diocese is made up of a group of churches in a particular region. This lets church members and leaders have input into the final canon of the church.

The proposed change would allow clergy to solemnize weddings between people of the same sex. However, there would be a conscience clause for clergy who are opposed to the change. They would not be forced into blessing a same-sex union.

The International Debate in the Anglican Church

Just recently, Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, married her girlfriend. Although South Africa recognizes same-sex marriages, the South African Anglican law does not. The church has made it clear in the past that gay clerics must remain celibate. Shortly after Tutu van Furth’s marriage was celebrated, the diocese withdrew her license to practice as a priest in the church. The South African Anglican Church is also looking at new guidelines for church members who are entering same-sex unions.

It’s been suggested that there might be consequences from the Primates and Archbishop of Canterbury, the international governing body of the Anglican Church, if countries move forward with changing church canon concerning same-sex marriage. Some countries with an Anglican church still have laws on the books that make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Other countries, such as Russia and Lithuania, simply have repressive laws that prohibit a propaganda of homosexuality. The leadership from some of these countries does not approve of the changes in other countries.

Pushing for same-sex marriage equality in the church is becoming an international issue. We’ll continue to watch how things in the church become more inclusive for all the members, not just heterosexual individuals. The Scottish Church is taking positive steps, but there is still a long way to go. It will be interesting to watch the vote at the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada this summer to see what happens.

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Understanding the Wedding Invitation Codes
Coming up with the right wedding invitation is a big part of the wedding planning process.

Wedding invitations are a great way to let guests know what attire and colors they should wear.

With wedding season almost upon us, couples are starting to mail out invitations. You’re probably thinking about your summer wardrobe budget, and trying to decide what you need to shop for over the next few weeks. In a standard wedding invitation, many brides will tell the guests what attire they are expecting, but this information may need some decoding. Here are some of the most common identifiers for dress codes at the event, to help you avoid feeling over- or underdressed.

White Tie

This is the most formal wedding. Think red carpet, Hollywood awards, your most special outfit. Most men think that the black tuxedo is the most formal outfit they could wear, but a white tie event takes it up a notch. A black tailcoat, white starched shirt, and high-waisted black trousers are required, but a formal military uniform is acceptable at a white tie event. It’s almost impossible to be overdressed for a white tie wedding, so wear that evening gown and tiara you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

Black Tie or Black Tie Optional

Black tie for men means a tuxedo. Women have more options at black tie events, but some experts recommend neutral hues when it comes to choosing colors, such as champagne, navy, or black. An evening gown is appropriate, but a tea-length dress can also work. Make sure the fabric is elegant enough to look formal. If the word optional is included, men can get away with a black or dark suit with a white shirt. Dress it up with a pocket square, but think timeless and classic. Women can go with a cocktail dress, provided it isn’t flashy or too sexy.

Semi-Formal or Cocktail Attire

This type of wedding is a bit more festive and modern. Go with a trendier look, with sparkle and panache. However, semi-formal does not mean informal. Leave the jeans and khakis at home. For men, a tie is optional. Feel free to wear a light-colored shirt with a suit. Women can wear a cocktail dress appropriate for the season or even a dressy skirt with a stylish shirt. If the invite says, “beach formal,” get out the linen suit for men, or formal sundress with sandals for women.

Casual Attire or Informal

While this dress code does indicate an “anything goes” idea, it’s still better to choose more formally than you might for a simple party. Jeans and tank tops are really unacceptable, even though that may be your casual attire. Think casual business dress when it comes to an informal wedding. Remember that this day is special, even though the event may be low-key. Take the time to be well-dressed in a nice outfit. When the pictures are later revealed on social media, you’ll be glad you look your best.

Added Tips for Wedding Apparel

Most people still believe that white should not be worn to a wedding, unless requested by the couple. Brides are choosing all shades of white, such as ivory and ecru, so stay away from any shade. Know the environment where the wedding is being held to really understand what to wear. When in doubt, check with the family of the bride and groom. Men can also take the invitation to their tailor or the tuxedo rental business, which can help in choosing the correct attire.

If the invitation doesn’t specify dress code, you can get an idea of what should be worn by taking note of the time of day and place of the ceremony. Morning weddings tend to be a little less formal than evening weddings. When the venue is a religious site or church, don’t dress in an outfit which may be revealing or too short. Men should probably wear a suit or dress pants.

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Wedding Rules You Might Want to Consider Breaking
Breaking some of the rules during wedding planning can allow the couple to save some funds and allocate them to a different aspect of the wedding.

A couple making a heart because they love saving money by breaking all of the wedding rules.

The demographics of brides and grooms are changing. Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for most of the expenses of a ceremony, but according to the Association of Bridal Consultants, only about 10 percent of weddings now are paid in full by the bride’s parents. People are waiting longer to get married too. The average age of brides is 27 and for grooms, the age is 29. This allows people to be more established in a career and foot the bill for their own nuptials. With the average cost of a wedding approaching more than $32,000, one way to save money is to break some rules.

Plan the Date Carefully

While many brides dream of a summer wedding, holding the date off-season can be very economical. Another way to save substantially is to hold the wedding on a weekday instead of Saturday. Technically, there’s no rule that says you have to get married on a Saturday, it is just more convenient for those who have to work.

Watch Your Guest List

There is a rule that you shouldn’t invite someone to the reception who hasn’t been invited to the ceremony. You don’t want to break that rule. It could appear that you are being greedy. However, there are ways to cut some corners when it comes to the number of people you’re inviting. Shorten the guest list. Less guests means less tables, so you cut costs by not having to rent linens, chairs, or flatware, and by not having to provide centerpieces.

Do You Have to Wear White?

White wedding dresses were made popular in the 18th century when Queen Victoria chose to wear white for her marriage ceremony, but in one survey almost half of people feel that a white dress is on its way out. The wedding dress can be one of the biggest line items, so it makes sense to really get the dress you want to wear. The grooms don’t necessarily need to wear a tux either. For a summer wedding, a nice vest and shirt might be formal enough without being too hot. Just because it’s always been done one way, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.

Choosing the Venue

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the reduced costs of a wedding in Windsor. Choosing to hold your ceremony in a larger city such as Montreal or Vancouver can significantly increase the costs of your nuptials. Look for different venues that have the space you want without having the demand of multiple brides. You might be surprised at the cost difference, which could help you have more money for other items that are more important.

Watch Your Bottom Line

Every good entrepreneur knows that every item in the business budget counts. Think like a business owner instead of a bride when you’re having to watch your finances. Go through every item and see exactly where you want to cut costs. If the photography is a priority, then don’t make a trade-off in that category. Maybe you have a friend who can drive you to the wedding instead of hiring a limo. Instead of having a full sit-down meal, could you have an afternoon wedding with cake and punch or a buffet service?

What Is Your Wedding About?

Every bride and groom wants their wedding to be memorable. Sure, the decorations, flowers, and reception are important to making those memories, but keep in mind that the real matter of the day is the vows. It’s about making a commitment to each other to live together for the rest of your life. The rest of the stuff is just that. Don’t be afraid to break some rules about your wedding. Remember what’s important. Be a good host. Rock your vows. Enjoy your day without wondering how you’ll ever pay for it.

Windsor Entering the Wedding Industry
By Windsor entering the wedding industry, they are offering savings for couples that can't be found anywhere else.

Saving money on your wedding means that you will have money left over to get that fancy champagne or cake you’ve had your eye on.

When thinking about weddings, many brides and grooms think of big cities or exotic locations. Here in Canada, the cities of Vancouver, Montreal, and even Toronto come to mind as special locations with beautiful venues to hold a ceremony and reception. Windsor probably wouldn’t be your first choice, but this community is making itself known as a wedding destination. One of the key factors is reduced costs. The average wedding in Canada costs about $32,000. One advertisement from the promotional campaign estimates savings of 30 to 50 percent when you host a wedding in Windsor versus that of a larger city.

Didn’t the Economy Collapse?

During the economic downturn in 2008, many young people left the area. Then, the neighboring city of Detroit faced economic problems, which created even more financial issues for the area. Over the last few years, things have turned around. The tourist industry in Windsor has always been one of the biggest draws. A local wedding coordinator realized that the city was performing more out-of-town weddings. A community-wide promotion began to increase that industry, and it’s working.

What’s the Draw of Windsor-Essex?

WeddingshowsWindsor can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Local businesses are working together to boost the economy and to offer couples all the amenities found in larger cities. The region is surrounded by water on three sides. If you’ve always dreamed of being married near a river or lake, there are breathtaking waterfront properties that have picture-perfect settings. The city offers indoor and outdoor park locations with reception areas, and many historical churches are also available to rent for a more traditional ceremony. Some of the churches not only host the service, but will also allow the reception to be held at the venue. This keeps it easy for guests and the bridal party.

Windsor is noted for the Liebeszauber rose, and the city itself is nicknamed “City of Roses.” There are numerous gardens around the area, including the Queen Elizabeth II Sunken Garden. Cultural centers are abundant, giving couples even more venue options. Choose one of the stunning art museums, golf courses, or the major casino for a memorable destination wedding.
Windsor bills itself as having more ethnic banquet halls per capita than anywhere else in the country. It’s supportive to same-sex marriages. The Windsor Pride and Education Centre provides guidance for couples who are coming to the area to get married. The centre helps identify vendors that specialize in planning same-sex marriages.

GetmarriedinWindsorEssex.com offers a full listing of local suppliers that are wedding professionals. From bakeries and caterers to photographers, it’s all there. Local wedding planners make it easy to plan the wedding of your dreams. Don’t worry about finding makeup artists and hair stylists, as Windsor has many businesses that specialize in providing services just for marriages. One interesting note is that the vendors, even those who technically are in competition, are supportive and positive of others. It isn’t the cutthroat industry that you might find in other markets.

Be Unique

When you’re thinking about a destination wedding, don’t be afraid to look for locations which may not be on the wedding map. Many cities have beautiful venues that are comparable to what you’d find in more traditional centers, but the costs are often lower. It can also be easier to get the dates you want, because you don’t have the competition of hundreds of other couples who are vying for the same venues.

Windsor-Essex is making strides to be known as a destination wedding spot. It does have some beautiful sites to take photos and hold a ceremony. Thanks to American tourists, Windsor has international appeal. When the exchange rate is good, it makes sense for U.S. citizens to come into Canada and hold their ceremony. Check it out for your wedding.