wedding planning

Your Guide to Traditional Wedding Dances
Planning your wedding dances takes a bit of effort, but you will be rewarded with memorable moments you can cherish for a lifetime.

Planning your wedding dances takes a bit of effort, but you will be rewarded with memorable moments you can cherish for a lifetime.

If you have been to a wedding or two, or maybe even been part of a wedding party, you have most likely watched as happy, newly wedded couples took to the floor in their first dance. Now you are getting married, and it is your turn to craft the same unforgettable memories with your new spouse. How do you schedule in the traditional wedding dances, set the mood with the right kind of music and ensure you look great and don’t trip over your own feet? A few handy tips on the customary wedding dances, along with some other useful pieces of advice, should help as you plan the night of your life.

Timing Is Everything

The first thing you will need to pin down is your reception’s timeline of events. Brides contributor Heather Lee published an online guide in 2014, detailing everything from the start of cocktail hour to the final song. While Lee’s layout assumes an evening affair, it can be adapted to your own wedding by shifting times earlier or later. Her model also separates the traditional dances, putting the couple’s first one shortly after the end of cocktail hour and placing the parent-child dances about an hour after that. The place of these dances in your own schedule is not immutable, and Brides writer Jamie Mackey’s suggests that you can either separate these dances or schedule them consecutively.

Your First Dance Together as a Couple

You and your sweetie will probably dance shortly after your guests have been seated for the reception. Typically, an emcee will introduce your wedding party first before announcing you as a couple, after which you will transition right into the first dance. You will want to think about the song you choose and the dance style you use to craft a memorable moment.

How do you select “the” song to accompany you and your partner as you move across the floor? Washington Post writer Megan McDonough has some great suggestions:

  • Choose a tune with sentimental value
  • Listen to your collections on shuffle and wait for inspiration to hit
  • Ping friends or family members closest to you for recommendations
  • Ask your disc jockey or the live band you’ve hired for advice

Finally, McDonough notes that your reception venue can provide some cues for the perfect selection. A rustic location might prompt a favorite country track for you to use, and offbeat locales could give rise to equally offbeat songs.

No one’s expecting you to move as smoothly as The Weeknd or to have Jennifer Lopez’s grace and dexterity, but dance lessons may be in order if you’re inexperienced or feel like you have two left feet. When shopping for a studio or instructor, be sure to read online reviews and meet with the staff in person. Offbeat Bride advises starting your lessons at least six to eight months prior to tying the knot.

Incorporating Parent-Child Wedding Dances 

Traditionally, most weddings include a father-daughter and a mother-son dance. As with many other customs in the modern age, more couples are adopting personalized approaches and even deciding whether to include them or not. Some same-gender couples are ditching this practice altogether, and there’s always the question of what to do in the case of a deceased or estranged parent. You don’t have to limit yourselves in this regard, as you’re free to include grandparents, in-laws or other relatives. If you incorporate these types of dances, remember to choose suitable music.

Planning your couple’s and parent-child wedding dances takes a bit of effort. It is essential to pick the right songs, work these elements into your reception schedule, and be open to taking dance lessons if you need them. With some careful planning and arranging, you will be rewarded with memorable moments you can cherish for a lifetime.

The Fascinating Story Behind Wedding Cake Toppers
Wedding cake toppers remain a popular way to add a decorative touch and personal style to wedding festivities.

Wedding cake toppers remain a popular way to add a decorative touch and personal style to wedding festivities.

Cake toppers have stood on the summits of multilayered sugary wedding confections for several decades as both decorative touches and symbolic representations of happy newlywed couples. While sources disagree on when their use became widespread, they’ve become a staple at many nuptial gatherings both south of our border and here in Canada. This custom has remained as both an enduring tradition and an opportunity to express each couple’s ethos and personal style.

Origins in the United States 

When did the first toppers grace wedding cakes in North America? It depends on who you ask. In their book “Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding,” authors Cele Otones and Elizabeth Pleck mentioned that pairs of figurines representing newlywed couples came into use during the 1950s and were intended to embody the value of togetherness. Meanwhile, blogger Donna Sundblad places their origin before the United States Civil War, noting that affluent families were the first to adopt the trend.

According to Sundblad, the very first toppers usually consisted of flowers, bells or other small objects that represented the newlywed pair. They were typically handcrafted by a member of their families or sculpted by a professional baker with frosting, icing or plaster of Paris. The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History website exhibited a pair of figurines manufactured sometime in the middle or late 20th century, adding that they were more sophisticated and detailed in design than simpler toppers created in the early 1900s. As these decorations became more complex, they expanded to include versions with monogrammed initials, short phrases and shapes such as hearts, bells, bows and even half-moons.

Modern Interpretations of Cake Toppers

As times have changed, so have cake toppers. Sundblad gave one example in her blog post of groom figurines in military uniform becoming widely available for weddings during World War II. Also, the legalization of marriage equality in our country in 2005 translated into more LGBTQ individuals tying the knot. According to a Statistics Canada report, census figures from 2006 and 2011 revealed that the number of same-gender wedded couples almost tripled, rising to 21,015. With the changing demographics of Canada’s citizenry, merchants slowly began selling customized toppers to reflect the racial and ethnic backgrounds of the couples purchasing them as well as to provide options for same-gender wedded pairs.

These greater customization capabilities have also given rise to some new trends. Enterprising couples have gotten creative, using inspiration from pop culture and working with their bakers to craft unique cakes. As a result, many of them also pick toppers that integrate with or match the cakes’ designs. For example, it’s not unusual to see figurines dressed in Starfleet uniforms or Jedi robes. You might also see cake designs borrowed from popular fictional franchises such as Doctor Who, with its iconic time-traveling blue police box sitting atop these multilayered delights.

Top Tips for Your Toppers

Thinking of including a decorative touch on top of your wedding cake? The experts over at The Pink Bride dispense some important planning advice:

  • Pick objects that complement your dessert’s overall look
  • Make sure your topper fits your event’s theme
  • Silhouettes, monogrammed toppers and food-safe flowers can be great choices
  • Go for timeless over trendy if you’re saving the topper for future generations

Whether as a mode of quirky personal expression or as just one detail in a wedding’s overall theme and style, the popularity of cake toppers doesn’t appear to be diminishing anytime soon. Both brick-and-mortar and online vendors offer a wide range of products and personalization options from which couples can choose. While picking yours probably won’t be difficult, it’s vital to remember your cake’s design and your wedding theme when making your selection.

 

 

Using Apps to Plan for Your Wedding
 If you’re currently preparing for your wedding, you definitely want to explore what tech and apps might be able to help.

If you’re currently preparing for your wedding, you definitely want to explore what tech and apps might be able to help.

Technology has taken the human race to some interesting places. Only a few decades ago, the idea of communicating face-to-face with someone on the other side of the planet seemed impossible. Now, you can pull out your phone and video chat with anyone you wish, regardless of where the person lives. Life has been made a lot easier by the presence of modern technology, especially apps. This is as true of communications as it is of planning for a wedding. If you’re currently preparing for your wedding, you definitely want to explore what tech and apps might be able to help.

There are many exciting paths you can explore when it comes to using technology for the planning phase. Above all else, you definitely are going to want to take a look at which apps are best suited for the job. To help guide you through your journey, take a look at these suggestions for applications you can download to your smartphone or tablet. Finding the perfect apps might make your life a whole lot easier in regards to planning an event you adore.

C’mon Get Happy

When planning for a wedding, there are many different categories you need to keep in the forefront of your mind. You’re going to be looking over your budget, contacting vendors, trying on clothing, sampling food, and generally rushing from one place to another until you finally walk down that aisle. This means you are going to need help with keeping track of everything that is on your schedule so you do not miss out on anything important. A vast majority of the apps out on the market exist for this specific purpose.

Brides and grooms can always benefit from reminders and scheduling assistance. If you are a person who needs to have all of your information condensed into one simple place, an app like WeddingHappy could make sense for you. This app helps you to create a sensible schedule of all the various activities and appointments you have to take care of before your wedding arrives. Seeing the schedule on your phone can help to give you peace of mind and inform you of where you need to be at each step of the journey.

No More Paper 

In the current day and age, there has been a big push to protect the environment. One way people have been approaching this is by discovering new and useful ways of conserving resources like water and trees. The production of paper, for example, tends to lean heavily on the planet’s reserve of trees. With a wedding, a lot of paper is involved. Even when you opt for invitations made from recycled materials, those invitations could wind up in the trash and add to the garbage piling up around the planet.

If you care about the environment and want to make life easier for your wedding, think about using an app like Joy. One of the best features of this application is the option of communicating with your guests via the app itself. The designers have made it easy for your guests to R.S.V.P. electronically, eliminating the need for paper invitations. When you want to help the planet while making your wedding planning a bit easier in the process, Joy could be the app you’ve been looking for.

Tomorrow Is Today

Planning for a wedding might be a stressful situation at times, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t help out there. Using technology to your advantage might completely change the way that you approach your plans. There are countless apps out there designed to help couples. Discover the perfect fit for your needs and give yourself a bit of peace of mind moving forward.

Coming to America: A Guide to American Wedding Venues
There are many spectacular American wedding venues that offer the excitement of a destination wedding but are not as far-flung.

There are many spectacular American wedding venues that offer the excitement of a destination wedding but are not as far-flung.

Destination weddings have long been a popular choice amongst couples who want to see the world while simultaneously tying the knot. While many couples opt to head to far-flung destinations across the planet, you do not have to go to extreme lengths to have a wedding held on foreign shores. In fact, you might simply consider an American wedding as a way to visit some of the most exciting locations and gorgeous venues around. America is a great choice for Canadians looking to throw destination weddings due to its general proximity and wealth of options.

If you haven’t seen much of America, you might not know exactly where to go for your wedding. Luckily, there are some easy ways to get your wheels turning. Take a look at some of the more popular American wedding venues. This can give you a general idea of what might catch your interest and inspire you to find the ideal American destination.

Looking East 

To begin, you might want to think about the East Coast of America. Home to famous cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, the East Coast is packed with amazing locations to consider. A large number of Canadians have been to cities like New York on vacation, and plenty of people want to get married in Manhattan. Unfortunately, it can cost you a small fortune to try and get married within New York City. While it is expensive, it is not impossible.

Instead of opting for a wedding in New York, think about having one on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. Cities like Hoboken and Jersey City are situated on the Hudson and offer a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. On top of this, the venues located in New Jersey often come with smaller price tags than you might have imagined. If you have your heart set on an having your American wedding in New York City, then you need to make sure you are considering your budget and how to best move forward without going broke.

Go West

While the East Coast might be a tad more popular, there are plenty of people around the world who prefer the sunny shores and exciting cities found on the West Coast. Locations like the Pacific Northwest contain gems like Portland and Seattle, cities which have seen huge population booms in recent years. If you and your partner have visited this area before and love the way the natural world mixes with urban environments, then it could prove to be an ideal wedding location for your event.

The cities to the south also have a ton to offer. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego are three of the most popular cities to be found in the American state of California. When you are looking to get married on some of the most captivating beaches found on the planet, then you most definitely are going to want to take a look at the options available to you in California. As with New York, some of these cities might prove quite expensive. Still, you might find a great fit by looking over venue and travel options early enough.

Fly or Drive to an American Wedding Destination

Throwing a destination wedding is a wonderful opportunity for you and your partner to see a new corner of the world. Your marriage is going to be a journey, so it might be fun to start your adventure from a place you have never been before. If an America wedding sounds like the right fit, be sure to look over all your options and pick a destination that makes the most sense for your tastes and desires.

Innovative Approaches to Your Wedding Photography
There are many new trends in wedding photography worth considering for your special day.

There are many new trends in wedding photography worth considering for your special day.

Are you and your sweetie joining the more than 160,000 couples getting married in Canada in the next year? You might already be thinking of methods to magnify the event’s special moments and have unique memorabilia for years to come. If this sounds like you, check out these new, exciting trends in wedding photography.

Is Film Photography Making a Comeback?

Once the digital revolution was in full swing, some photographers abandoned old-school methods and equipment. Not all professionals completely left these techniques or tools behind, as the industry website SLR Lounge revealed in a January 2017 blog post. Among the five methodologies predicted to rise to the top by the California photography firm Lin & Jirsa, film-based approaches ranked number one on the list. Citing the increasing popularity of the Fujifilm’s Instax camera that is capable of making instant color prints, the duo speculated that film will stay in vogue with its potential for softer images, vintage looks and distinctive color profiles.

Send in the Drones?

With the advent of remotely operated aerial vehicles, drone photography was the next logical step in wedding photography. Like it or not, these aircraft are here to stay, and photographers are repurposing them to take all kinds of stunning overhead photos at formal and semi-formal affairs. The Knot recently described this trend, giving tips and instructions for couples-to-be who wanted to set up their own shoots. If you hire a separate drone photo professional, you’ll need to put him or her in touch with your regular wedding photographer to make sure they coordinate efforts. Nevertheless, Wedding Bells documents that some Canadian firms, such as Toronto’s UProductions, have added this service to their menu of options.

Stop-Motion: Not Just for Claymation Anymore 

The Knot contributor Amy Levin-Epstein revealed several unusual, fascinating tools at an event photographer’s disposal. While stop-motion has been used as a filming and animation technique for several decades, Levin-Epstein detailed how a series of still images can be animated and paired with sound and music. These files can then be shared online as part of a digital wedding album or a social media post.

Taking Photojournalism From Magazines to Weddings

In the previously mentioned SLR Lounge piece, Lin & Jirsa also mentioned photojournalistic methods to make a couple’s wedding day images spectacular and visually appealing. For instance, highly stylized journalism takes advantage of hard lighting techniques, which results in firmer edges and more precisely defined images. In contrast, most modern photos use soft lighting, which is diffused and causes shadows to become more indistinct in the final image. Furthermore, professionals might occasionally rely on assisted photojournalism practices, which allow one to “guide” subjects into crafting what looks like a “candid” moment.

Stylized “Selfies” for Social Media Sharing 

While photographers aren’t necessarily the ones shooting guests’ or couples’ selfies, they can incorporate these images into a stylized approach to the total wedding day package. “Selfie” stations are becoming more common, and photo professionals sometimes take pictures of invitees and the newlyweds capturing their selfies. This can add to a candid, spontaneous feel to memories of your affair. Not only will your friends have cool photos to share on social media (with your permission, of course), but you’ll crack a smile and reminisce while flipping through images of them snapping their selfies. 

Get Creative

Engaged couples can be incredibly creative when they’re planning to tie the knot, and that includes finding ways to make their wedding photography stand out. Special events photographers are employing innovative methods to capture the emotional quality, spirit and grandeur of these events. Newer techniques such as a traditional film-based method, a photojournalism approach, stop-motion shoots and drone photography are being embraced by professionals across North America.

 

Doing Your Gift Registry Right
Do your gift registry the right way by planning ahead.

Do your gift registry the right way by planning ahead.

A wedding is a lovely experience for many reasons. While it might not be your primary incentive for tying the knot, you may be a bit excited thinking about all of the gifts that will be coming your way for your special day. Many couples opt to create a gift registry at their favorite shops in order to help guests find the perfect gifts. If you and your partner are planning on creating a registry, it stands to reason that you are going to be looking for some very specific items.

Most couples use their gift registry as a chance to ask for the items and appliances that will help them begin their married life together. This means finding gadgets and equipment for rooms like the kitchen. If you want to make a registry that you feel satisfied with, it can be a good idea to take a moment to think about how you can make the most of the process. Explore some of these ideas and see if you can craft a registry that gets you the best possible items for your future. 

The First Step 

There are many common mistakes that couples make when attempting to create registries for their weddings. For one, most couples assume that they should only be asking for items that they do not yet own. While this might be a great place to start, it does not completely capture the best way of thinking about your needs. You might own a blender already, but it also might be a blender that you have had in your possession for many years. This means it is already outdated and maybe even a bit worn.

Instead of simply creating a gift registry for all of the items that you do not yet own, think about putting items on your registry that you would like to upgrade. That blender in your kitchen may not last as long as you think. By asking for upgraded versions of items that you already own, you are helping to modernize your home and turn it into an up-to-date space you can feel proud of. 

Entertaining

Appliances are some of the more common items that couples put on their gift registry, but there are other options worth thinking over. Dishware is also a common item to see on the list. Unfortunately, plenty of couples wind up making mistakes when they are attempting to register for plates, bowls, and cups. Since it is only you and your partner, you might assume that you only need two of everything. While this is understandable, you are forgetting that there are going to be times when you invite guests over for a meal.

Register for at least four, if not more, of each piece of flatware or stemware that you are considering. This will help you to have enough in your future home for when you are entertaining guests. It can also come in handy when your family starts to grow. Once you have children and they start to get older, you are going to be happy that you have enough plates and bowls in the house for each meal.

Stay Open About Your Gift Registry

You also might want to focus on appliances and gadgets that serve more than one purpose. A waffle maker might be on your radar, but it only makes waffles. This means that you will have a large single-use appliance in your kitchen taking up space. Instead, think about appliances that can serve multiple functions at once.  

When it comes to registering for your wedding, you want to be sure that you are asking for items you can get some use out of. Look into all of your options and see if you can create a gift registry that will make you and your partner feel content.

Why Finances Matter Long Before Your Wedding
Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

The idea of marriage has changed a lot over the centuries. Once upon a time, most couples wed for the sake of their families and futures. When two families would join together as a result of a marital union, it would often bring forth plenty of financial benefits to both sides. In fact, many brides and grooms were sized up by potential partners based solely on how much wealth or property their families possessed. These days, the reasons people marry are different, but there are some similarities when it comes to financial matters.

Getting married means sharing everything with your significant other. This, of course, means finances will often be included. People usually get weird when pressed to talk about money. If you and your significant other have not had a conversation about money and the future, then now is an important time to begin. Without this discussion, you could be in for some upsetting or confusing surprises that add stress to the bonds of marital bliss. Take a moment to look over these tips and see what makes the most sense for your situation.

The Practical Side

When you are marrying someone, you are taking on everything this person embodies or possesses and you are making it a part of your life. The good and the bad come along with this. If your partner has a lot of debt, then you might be taking on this debt with your union. Before you get married, you are going to want to sit down with your partner and begin to discuss financial matters and how you will both be impacted by the wedding.

It might not even matter much to you that your partner is currently in debt. Still, you could want to make a plan to help remove this situation from your lives. Having this talk about money early can help both of you to make plans for the future. Discuss how to get out of debt and what you can both do to create a chunk of savings that will last a good long while. The earlier you have this talk, the less stressful it may wind up being when you enter married life. 

Finances After the Wedding

In many cases, a talk about finances is about a lot more than money. You and your significant other might not really have a clear idea of what either of you would like to do for work after marriage. When you both work all the time, it can make it difficult to take the next step in your relationship. Namely, this means finding time to have and raise children. Now is the right time for you to start these conversations. Hopefully by this point the topic of children has come up. If not, now is your chance.

Children are quite a big responsibility to take on. Not only do you need to have the time to raise them, you also need a significant amount of money. During your talk about your future finances, you may want to breach the topic of children. Discuss the best possible paths for making your dreams into a reality. You might discover that it is possible for one of you to work and the other to take care of the family. You’ll never know until you have the talk.

Tomorrow Starts Today 

Most people feel weird discussing money. While this is a natural feeling, it also can be problematic to avoid these conversations with your significant other. To truly enjoy married life, it is a good idea to have open conversations about finances early. Beginning this chat with enough time to spare can allow both of you a bit of room to figure out any snags or issues that you might predict along the way.

Eight Money-Saving Tips for Your Wedding

money-saving ideas for your weddingGetting married is not cheap. According to Weddingbells.ca, a top Canadian wedding planning website, couples can expect to spend an average of $31,685 on their nuptials, including the engagement ring and honeymoon. Many people assume the cost will be less; two recent Canadian surveys concluded couples think they will spend approximately $15,000 to tie the knot. The huge discrepancy can lead to increased stress and large credit card bills after all is said and done.

Be Realistic

Setting a realistic budget before you begin the planning can help you keep better control of the costs and avoid impulse purchases. If you have your heart set on a certain wedding dress that is more than you planned to spend, recognize that you may have to eliminate something else to make up the difference in your budget.

Location Matters

The location of your wedding can have a big impact on the price tag. According to Toronto Life magazine, Ontario is the most expensive province in which to tie the knot. Here is a complete list from most to least expensive:

  1. Ontario
  2. Manitoba/Saskatchewan
  3. Quebec
  4. Alberta
  5. British Columbia
  6. Atlantic

Toronto is the priciest city for nuptials, followed by Vancouver and Quebec.

Keep It Casual

Having a wedding that is more informal can be key to keeping costs down. A few suggestions are a more causal menu instead of a sit-down dinner, and skipping tuxedos and formal dresses for the wedding party.

Try an Alternative Venue

There is no rule stating receptions need to be in a hotel ballroom. Other venues to consider that are frequently less money are the homes of friends, parks, beaches or church reception halls. The same applies for the ceremony. Often, there are fees that must be paid for the use of a church and clergy to perform a service. It is very easy these days to get ordained online; a friend could do it and perform your ceremony someplace other than a church.

Narrow Down the Guest List

Taking the time to really scrutinize your guest list and only inviting people who are an essential part of your life is another way to cut costs. A good way to approach the task is to ask yourself if you think you will be close to this individual five years after the wedding. Also, don’t hesitate to make it clear to your guests if you don’t want them to bring their children along. There are many gracious ways to communicate this message.

Do It Yourself

Many couples are getting creative and finding ways do certain elements of their wedding themselves or are enlisting the help of friends, rather than paying for these services. Some examples are taking your own pictures, baking the cake, and making your own flower arrangements and decorations.

Postpone the Honeymoon

Waiting to take your honeymoon may also save money. Delaying it can give you more time to pay off wedding bills and save for a trip, rather than having to put it on a credit card and pay interest charges.

Prioritize

Deciding the most important components of your wedding in advance can help you stick to your budget. If there is a band you must have, or a reception venue you can’t do without, make a note of it. Eliminating items like over-the-top invitations or expensive goody bags for guests to take home after the party may make it more feasible to have what is really important. Most guests will not miss little extras (or even the big ones), even though they may seem necessary to you at first.

A wedding is a joyous occasion and does not need to result in a mountain of bills. Following these eight tips can help you avoid spending more money than you planned.

Canadian Wedding Trends for 2015

200469678-0012015 is a great year to get married, no matter the season. For Canadian couples planning their nuptials, there are many fun and stylish wedding trends to consider incorporating into their weddings. Some are tried and true classics and others are more recent additions.

Non-Traditional Reception Venues

Having your reception in a formal ballroom is no longer a must. More and more couples are seeking out less conventional spaces such as galleries, museums, lofts, restaurants and outdoor areas. Avoiding a hotel ballroom can also make way for a greater variety of catering options. Many hotels insist you use their in-house services if you use their venue.

Innovative Menus

Food options for Canadian weddings have substantially evolved over time. Instead of a sit-down dinner or buffet, many couples are opting for more innovative alternatives. Some hire food trucks to cater their reception or hold events at independent restaurants. Serving sustainable, locally sourced cuisine is also becoming more important for a number of couples. Another popular trend is to provide comfort food like mac-n-cheese and BBQ rather than serving a more formal meal. The progression to more casual dining has also impacted desserts; cupcakes, macaroons and other bite size sweets are favorites. However, don’t assume food trucks, comfort food and smaller desserts means the tab will be lower.

Pastel Garden Flowers

Feminine pastel colored wedding flowers such as peonies, hydrangeas, freesias and lilacs are very en vogue. They can often be found all mixed together in bouquets and centerpieces which can create a fluffy light look with lots of texture and depth.

Pretty Stationary

A wedding is one of the few occasions where people still mail invitations. The postal service and stationary companies are undoubtedly happy this trend has endured the test of time.

No Formal Ceremony

A popular alternative to a formal ceremony at a church or synagogue is to use a justice of the peace or clerk of the court, and have only a handful of witnesses. There are also websites where people can easily get ordained online so another option is to have a friend or family member officiate the service. After the vows are done, couples may throw a big party at a later date.

Smaller Wedding Parties

The downsizing of wedding parties is a trend that has picked up steam. Many brides are now opting for one to four attendants and any more is increasingly uncommon. Couples are marrying later in life and attendants are typically older as well.

Different Bridesmaids Dresses

There are many more alternatives for bridesmaids’ dresses these days. Instead of picking one dress for everyone to wear, some brides pick a color and let their attendants choose the style of the dress. This often results in dresses that are more figure-flattering. Another option is to pick a dress style and let your bridesmaids’ choose the color they want to wear.

2014 Canadian Wedding Trends

The Annual Reader Survey from Weddingbells.ca (link) provides interesting information on Canadian wedding trends. Here are some of the statistics:

  • There were approximately 162,056 weddings in 2014 in the Great White North.
  • The average cost of a wedding was $31,685. July and August nuptials are a little pricier.
  • In Canada, the average age of a bride is 31 years old.
  • The top month in which to get engaged is December; 18 percent of Canadian grooms propose then.
  • August is the most preferred time to marry with 25 percent of couples choosing that month to tie the knot.
  • There are an average of 128 guests per Canadian wedding.
  • Since 2010 the Bahamas has been the top honeymoon destination for Canadian couples.

These are a few trends that can provide inspiration when planning your big day. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event and should reflect the unique style of the happy couple.

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Winter Wedding

88356215One of the first things couples must decide after getting engaged is the date of the big day. The initial instinct may be to opt for a spring or summer wedding, but winter weddings in Canada are fast becoming a popular option. There are many lovely venues around the county that are perfect for nuptials at this time of year.

Snow Can Create a Fairy-Tale Setting

If it snows on your wedding day, you will have a ready-made, magical backdrop and the opportunity for uniquely beautiful wedding pictures. Imagine photos of family and friends with gently falling snow in the background. Guests can also pose alongside outdoor ice sculptures, snowmen and Santa’s sleigh. In addition to snow, you may also benefit from festive holiday decorations already in place at your venue.

Availability

The majority of people still get married when the weather is warm, so chances are you will have more options when it comes to venues. Prices are also usually lower, unless you opt for a wedding at a ski resort in high season. There may be less competition when it comes to the availability of friends and family. With the exception of the holiday season, guests may have fewer social commitments during the winter.

Being Different Is Cool

There are probably a lot of people who have never attended a winter wedding, and the allure of a new experience can be enticing. When it is cold, there is a whole array of different ways to entertain guests, such as skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing and snowball fights. There are also a limitless number of choices for less conventional wedding attire. Think faux fur wraps, Victorian boots and funky hats.

Idyllic Spots for a Canadian Winter Wedding

  • Storm Mountain Lodge and Cabins, Banff

Nestled in the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park, Storm Mountain Lodge and Cabins is the perfect choice for a small wedding in a secluded scenic location.

  • Castle Moffet, Nova Scotia

Located on breathtaking Cape Breton Island, there are views of the surrounding mountains and Bras d’Or Lake. The castle provides a lovely, romantic setting that is the perfect place for couples to begin their life together.

  • Vineland Estates, Niagara on the Lake

Long considered the most popular place to honeymoon, many couples are also realizing the Niagara Falls area is a spectacular place for a wedding as well. Niagara on the Lake is situated several minutes from the falls and has many vineyards and orchards. The Vineland Estates vineyard sits on acres of picturesque countryside, and features a gourmet restaurant and a lovely stone carriage house that is a wonderful place for a wedding. There are also many charming inns in the surrounding area.

  • Ice Hotel, Quebec

If you really want to embrace the cold, holding your nuptials at the Ice Hotel in Quebec may be a perfect choice. Composed entirely of ice and snow, this venue is open from January to April. Quebec City is also one of the most romantic places anywhere and offers an abundance of old world charm and fantastic cuisine.

Other Winter Wedding Tips

  • Be Aware of the Altitude

If you are hosting a wedding in the mountains, and you or guests live at lower altitudes, be aware of the possibility of altitude sickness. Drinking lots of water and not overindulging in alcohol the first night in town are two suggestions. There is also medication available that can help you avoid getting sick.

  • Protect Yourself From the Sun

The sun can be particularly intense during the winter, especially if you are in the mountains. The higher altitude makes the sun’s rays more powerful, and they are reflected in every direction off of the snow. Wearing sunglasses and using sunscreen and lip balm provides additional protection.

Your wedding is a very special event. Be bold and consider following the path less traveled by having it in winter.