canada wedding planning

Gift Etiquette Basics for Your Wedding
When it comes to wedding gift-giving, there are many ways you can commit an accidental etiquette misstep, so knowing some basic guidelines can help.

When it comes to wedding gift-giving, there are many ways you can commit an accidental etiquette misstep, so knowing some basic guidelines can help.

Your upcoming wedding is a celebration. Sure, your ceremony carries with it importance and perhaps an air of dignity. Yet your reception is the time for your friends and family to make merry, and naturally, they may want to give you a gift. When it comes to wedding gifts, there are so many ways you can commit an accidental etiquette misstep. Knowing some basic guidelines can help you avoid embarrassment and offense.

Handling Gift Registry Details

Before you receive your first gift, you’ll need to create a wedding registry or two. You have many options from which to choose, but Martha Stewart Weddings suggests limiting yourself to a couple of different providers. Also, your gift registries should be completed between two and six months before the big day. However you proceed, remember that registry information should never be printed on your invitations. Your inner circle can spread the details through word-of-mouth, and you can post them on your wedding website. Just make sure that you include a clickable link and list the specifics on another page deeper in your site.

Is Asking for Cash a No-No?

Experts have been divided on whether asking or registering for cash is an acceptable practice. Thankfully, Anna Post from the Emily Post Institute offers some definite guidance. Registering for cash gifts is perfectly fine, but you should follow the same guidelines for publicizing it as you do for traditional registries. Let your family and friends spill the details, and be sure to have a standard registry as a backup. Not sure what to add to the alternate registry? Try some unique items you don’t already have, but offer a few low-cost gift options as well.

Brides writer Jaimie Mackey echoes the advice of never asking for cash on the invitation. She adds that you should be explicit about how you plan to use monetary gifts, whether it’s for a new home, a cross-country move, or your honeymoon. You can discuss these details on your wedding website if you wish. Don’t forget to provide a box for checks and gift cards at your reception, since some guests may bring these with them. Have a trusted individual check the box throughout the evening and securely store the contents to prevent theft.

Other Pitfalls To Avoid

You’ve followed all this great advice, but you’re still not home free. You’re probably not the type of couple that keeps score on gifts, but Wedding Wire Canada’s Diane Hall reminds readers that this is a major faux pas. After all, gifts aren’t an obligation, and The Knot sets the record straight on the “cover your plate” rule. On the flip side, you could encounter guests asking how much you’re spending per plate on your wedding to guide them in gift-giving. In those cases, you may need to deflect the question and stress that you value their company more.

While you’re at it, don’t neglect those all-important thank-you notes. Hall mentions that registry providers usually send you notifications when items have been purchased. You’ll want to send out your notes within three weeks of receiving each gift. For presents given to you on the big day, you should send out your notes within three months.

Don’t Proceed Without a Plan

Wedding gifts are a way for guests to show their affection and care for a happy couple. If you’re the ones tying the knot, graciousness and discretion are your best friends. First, count on your closest family and friends to let others know about your registry. Don’t be afraid to register for cash, but include some physical goods to provide your guests with alternatives. Finally, send out your thank-you notes in a timely manner. These tips should help you navigate the world of wedding gifts before and after the big day.

Keep Your Guests Guessing and Incorporate These Surprises Into Your Wedding
Incorporating surprises into your wedding can be a great way to spice things up and give your guests a memorable experience.

Incorporating surprises into your wedding can be a great way to spice things up and give your guests a memorable experience.

Attending a wedding can be a lovely experience. Guests have the benefit of going to this type of event and dancing, drinking, eating, and engaging with a fun night centered on love. Of course, plenty of people have been to countless weddings in their lives. If you’re planning for your big day, then you might want to think about incorporating surprises into the night’s itinerary. This can be a great way to transform your nuptials into something a little more exciting than most people will be anticipating.

There are plenty of simple and effective ways to surprise your guests. Consider these surprises and find a fun way to keep the people at your wedding guessing.

A Whole New Outfit

Most couples spend a lot of time and money on the outfits they wear on their wedding day. The dress a bride selects, for example, tends to be an important decision. While guests at your event are definitely going to comment on how wonderful you and your significant other look as you walk down the aisle, you can squeeze a bit more excitement out of your look than you might think. A costume change can be a fantastic way to show off a second look to your friends and family members.

It is also important to think about how a costume change is more than simply an opportunity for you to wear another amazing outfit. For many brides, dancing during a wedding can be an impossible task. With so many flailing, drunken bodies on the dance floor, a bride might feel as if her dress will be ruined by one simple misstep. By changing into an outfit that lends itself to dancing, you are putting your fears to rest while also giving yourself a chance to freely bust a move.

Dessert Surprises

What you wear will definitely have an impact on guests, but there are other areas on which you can focus if you want to offer surprises. The food at your event will be a feature that people will remember. To really wow the crowd, you may want to play around with the menu in a few unexpected ways. Your caterers will be able to provide a delicious dinner, but you can work wonders if you decide to focus your energy on re-imagining the way you provide dessert.

In addition to the wedding cake, think about what sweet treats will leave your guests smiling and satiated. An ice cream sundae bar is always an excellent choice, but you can even go a few steps beyond this idea. A milkshake bar can be a great way to give your guests a delicious, creamy way to wash down the cake and other desserts. Plus, you can even work with the bar to offer a special dessert cocktail that guests can sip on as the evening winds to a close.

The Afterparty

Finally, when the night has ended, you may have guests who want to keep the party going. Hosting an “afterparty” is the best way to make sure you and your new spouse are involved with all the excitement. Whether you decide to host this party in your hotel room or you bring the whole crew to a local bar, make sure you are offering plenty of snacks and drinks to the crowd and you’ll be sure to see a satisfied group.

Surprising the guests at your wedding isn’t necessary, but it can definitely shake things up and deliver a memorable night people will be talking about for a long while. Find an idea that works for you, and see what surprises you can offer the crowd.

A Quick Crash Course on Wines for Your Wedding Reception
Serving wines is a must at most wedding receptions, but the endless varieties can be overwhelming. Read this quick primer to help you navigate your options.

Serving wines is a must at most wedding receptions, but the endless varieties can be overwhelming. Read this quick primer to help you navigate your options.

Wine is a staple at many wedding receptions, but it’s easy to find the endless varieties confusing. This is especially true if you aren’t familiar with wine varieties and their unique properties. If you can barely tell the difference between white and red wines, you’re going to need some assistance navigating your wine selection. Fortunately, a quick guide can help you begin to understand your options.

Wines 101: White, Red, and Sparkling

There’s more to red and white wines than just their hues, as Wine Folly explains. Red varieties are usually fermented with grapes’ skins and seeds, while white wines are not. Different oxidation methods are used, with red wines aging in oak barrels and white vintages aging inside stainless steel tanks. Oak barrels increase exposure to oxygen, resulting in darker wines’ rich, bold flavors. Conversely, stainless steel tanks reduce oxygen exposure to give white wines their bright, zesty and fruity taste.

Sparkling wines are so named for their carbonation, resulting from a second fermentation process. Vine Pair describes how this works. After the primary fermentation occurs, yeast in the wine is encouraged to activate and consume leftover sugars. The result is excess carbon dioxide, which produces the familiar bubbles. Champagne is eponymous thanks to the region in which it’s made, but it’s only one type of sparkler. Prosecco, Cava, and Lambrusco are other popular kinds, and sparkling vintages can come in white, red, or blush-pink rosé.

Choosing Your Wine Selections

How do you determine which wines to serve at your reception? A lot of factors can influence your decision, but you may benefit from some useful advise. Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast cautions against offering too many choices, so keep your selection simple. One white and one red is the standard advice, but The Knot recommends adding one sparkling variety to your menu. Also, don’t worry about serving strictly seasonal vintages. Your guests will appreciate what you serve as long as it’s thoughtfully selected and complements your meal.

Decoding Food and Wine Pairings

Some tastemakers elevate food and wine pairing to an art form. For the rest of us, a few rules can guide our choices. Food & Wine provides some simple suggestions to help you get started:

  • A dry rosé works well with most hors d’oeuvres.
  • Unoaked white wines are ideal for most seafood, especially fish and shellfish that are complemented by citrus flavors.
  • Sweet or low-alcohol wines pair best with spicy foods.
  • Rich red meat benefits from bold red vintages.
  • For lighter meats, pair the wine to its type of sauce.
  • Earthy wines are perfect companions to earthy foods.
  • Lighter ones are excellent for dessert.

For couples serving vegetarian menus, Vegetarian Times offers more great tips. For instance, sweet vintages contrast well with the piquant heat in Indian, Thai, or other spicy cuisines.

After you’ve picked your drink menu, don’t forget a few serving hints to get the most out of your wines. Vine Pair suggests temperature ranges of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for sparkling wines, 50 to 60 degrees for white and rosé varieties, and 60 to 70 degrees for reds. For best results, keep pours consistently to 3 ounces per glass. To ensure that you have enough for your crowd, budget for one bottle per guest and add a few extras just in case.

Maximum Enjoyment for Your Guests

Wine is a vital part of the hospitality you extend to friends and family at your wedding. When catering to your crowd, a limited yet varied menu is best. For food and wine pairings, choose vintages that match your dishes’ flavor intensities. Wines should be served cold to best enhance their natural flavors and aromas.

Attending an Outdoor Wedding? Bring These Essentials Along!
Survive an outdoor wedding this summer with style and grace by remembering to bring along these essentials to protect yourself from the elements.

Survive an outdoor wedding this summer with style and grace by remembering to bring along these essentials to protect yourself from the elements.

The summer has arrived, which means more people will be spending time outdoors. It also means summer weddings are on the horizon. If you will be attending an outdoor reception in the coming months, you might need a little bit of help. While an outdoor wedding is very similar to a traditional indoor event, there are also a handful of considerations to take into account before the day arrives. This is especially true when it comes to what personal items you should bring along for your own comfort and enjoyment.

The outdoors can offer some unique challenges. Survive an outdoor wedding in style this season by remembering to bring along these essentials.

Sun Protection

The summer can get hot fast. When the sun is shining high in the sky, those down below need to take proper precautions to stay protected. Studies conducted over recent years have unearthed some alarming facts about the skin’s long-term exposure to sunlight. To keep your skin protected, you need to make sure you always put on a bit of sunscreen before you head outside. Medical professionals recommend you use products with an SPF of no less than 30 and that those with sensitive skin aim for a much higher SPF.

The sunscreen you use should also contain protection from both UVA and UVB rays, as these are the two you need to be wary of when exposing your skin to the sun. Don’t let an overcast day fool you, either. Just because the sun is obscured by clouds doesn’t mean it isn’t doing damage. For added protection at an outdoor wedding, you may want to consider wearing an outfit that covers your arms and your legs. Hats with wide brims can also be helpful for keeping the sun off of your face throughout the event. 

Weather Challenges 

The trouble with an outdoor wedding is that it is at the mercy of the elements. When rain is in the forecast, the event cannot simply be rescheduled. A lot of time and energy has gone into putting the wedding together, which means a raincheck is not possible. Though the happy couple has probably made some alternative arrangements, guests who are planning on heading to outdoor weddings should also take a few precautions themselves. Bringing along the right accessories can help ensure you don’t fall prey to whatever the weather has in store.

An umbrella is a must when rain has been predicted for the day of the wedding. Even if you leave your home to blue skies, be sure to bring this along with you. The couple might plan on bringing people into an indoor space if it rains, but you still could get caught outside when the clouds open. A change of shoes can also be a wise choice, as some outdoor weddings are held on farms or grounds that can become muddy fast. An umbrella and extra pair of shoes can do wonders when an outdoor event gets wet.

Shades

Lastly, no guest at an outdoor wedding will feel complete without a pair of shades. Sunglasses can be a huge asset when you’re sitting outdoors for long periods of time in the summer. You don’t want to squint into the sunlight to watch the ceremony unfold, and sunglasses help to take a huge strain off your eyes. As with sunscreen, don’t let an overcast day fool you into thinking you’re safe. Sunglasses can prove just as invaluable when it is a bit cloudy out. Plus, everyone looks cooler in shades.

Attending an outdoor wedding can be a lot of fun. Be sure to bring along the right essentials to keep yourself comfortable while watching two people you care about tie the knot.

Consider These Easily Forgotten Wedding Concerns
Keeping these wedding concerns in mind and planning ahead can help make your wedding run more smoothly and make both your guests and the vendors happy.

Keeping these wedding concerns in mind and planning ahead can help make your wedding run more smoothly and make both your guests and the vendors happy.

No one ever said planning a wedding would be easy. In fact, even the simplest and most intimate of gatherings can require a lot of work on your end. Though you’ve spent countless hours looking over all the details of your big day, there could very well be potential issues that you’ve not yet considered. Luckily, now is a great time to think about last-minute concerns and potential solutions.

From broke bridesmaids to disappearing guests, there are lots of issues you could be facing with your wedding. Explore these suggestions and find solutions that can help you keep your sanity, knowing all your effort will pay off in the form of a beautiful and seamless event.

Bridesmaids Who Don’t Budget

The members of your wedding party take on a lot of responsibilities for your big day. You’re likely asking them to help plan your wedding, run errands, throw small events like showers, and take on a million little duties that you can’t handle yourself. Unfortunately, your friends and relatives also have their own lives and can’t always rise to the occasion. This is especially true when it comes to bridesmaids or groomsmen who are dealing with money problems. Broke wedding party members can easily cause concerns or even derail all of your carefully laid plans.

You might not be able to pay for everything, but you can definitely prepare in advance for a bridesmaid who can’t foot the bill. Your best option in this scenario is to show compassion and be as considerate as possible. Don’t forget, you’re the one putting these demands on your friends. If your solution to a bridesmaid or groomsman who can’t pay is to cut them from the wedding, then you might need to do damage control on your friendships when all is said and done.

RSVP Delays

Among other concerns is the issue of RSVPs. Though you likely have given guests ample time to reply to your invitations, you’re still going to deal with people who forgot to respond or lost their RSVP cards and all sorts of other issues. In almost all cases, someone who replied “yes” to your invitation is definitely going to show on your big day. Unfortunately, you also are probably going to deal with guests who show up but never even bothered to respond to your RSVP.

The worst thing you can do is assume that anyone who didn’t respond by the RSVP deadline is not coming to the event. Give yourself extra time after the RSVPs are due, and you’ll notice how many late responses start flooding in. Since you might still have to deal with people who show up without responding to the invitations, the best way to handle this is by planning for more guests than responded. Account for a few extra chairs and meals, and you should have no problem fitting everyone into the venue without having to turn people away.

Feed Your Vendors

Finally, many couples forget to show proper thanks when it concerns the hard-working men and women who cater their weddings. While you might already be planning on tipping your vendors, you also should give these individuals a set time where they can sit and eat.  You can even mention this to the caterers early so that they can prepare additional meals for the DJ, photographers, and anyone else working your event who will need to stop and recharge at some point. Typically, allowing the vendors to eat at the same time as the guests can keep the night flowing without any frustrating delays.

Try as you might to cover all your bases, there are always going to be unforeseen concerns that you didn’t anticipate. The best you can do to keep your wedding free from mistakes is to take the right precautionary steps and try to plan for whatever you think could be an issue.

 

Should You Invite Coworkers to Your Wedding?
Deciding whether to invite coworkers to your wedding can be tricky, so follow these suggestions to make sure you craft an appropriate guest list.

Deciding whether to invite coworkers to your wedding can be tricky, so follow these suggestions to make sure you craft an appropriate guest list.

You’re about to tie the knot, and you’re excited about taking such a huge step. You’re awash in planning details or in awe from the fact that your special someone wants to build a life and future with you. Understandably, you may feel like sharing the happy news and details with everyone. However, prudence is essential when it comes to crafting the guest list. Deciding whether to invite coworkers could become a bit tricky. Fortunately, you and your partner can better navigate this challenge by following some wise advice.

Preliminary Steps To Build Your Guest List

Nearly every wedding planning guide suggests setting your guest count as early as possible. Your budget will impact how many you can comfortably afford to host. Also, your guest count will determine the venue size, amount of food and drink, and supplies you’ll need. The Knot offers advice for trimming a bloated guest list:

  • Don’t include non-relatives to whom you’ve not spoken in three years or more.
  • Leave out people whose names aren’t familiar to you.
  • Do not invite anyone out of obligation or guilt.

Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast mentions more categories of people whom you can safely leave off your guest list:

  • People with a tendency to cause drama
  • Those who can’t curb their alcohol intake
  • Individuals who only seem to make negative comments
  • People whom you’ve dated in the past

What Do Etiquette Guidelines Say?

Some modern etiquette guidelines are pretty clear on who should definitely receive invitations. According to Alice Prendergast at Wedding Wire Canada, you must invite people who also attend your showers, pre-wedding bashes, and the engagement party. The only exceptions are destination weddings and showers thrown for you at the office.

Meanwhile, Martha Stewart Weddings provides more etiquette-based wisdom. Citing two etiquette and wedding planning experts, contributor Ellie Finn insists that couples shouldn’t allow a sense of obligation to dictate who makes the guest list. With that said, Finn also mentions three key questions to ask yourself when mulling over whether to include coworkers: Do you often see this individual outside of work? Have you met this person’s significant other or spouse? Would this coworker add happiness to your event that you’d otherwise miss?

Still Can’t Decide About Coworkers? Other Details To Consider

In a 2016 Brides article, Jaimie Mackey mentions that it may be standard practice to invite bosses, CEOs, or presidents in more traditional office environments or conservative-leaning industries such as law or banking. Even in nontraditional workplaces, it may be an unwritten rule to send wedding invites to coworkers. Mackey advises asking employers if there’s an expected custom at your firm.

Next, Mackey suggests that engaged couples consider the size of their workplaces before making a decision. In larger offices, it is easier to invite only a few colleagues who happen to be close friends. The issue becomes trickier in smaller offices, where news of your impending nuptials may quickly spread. If you’re able to tactfully and subtly extend invitations to closest friends, then do so. Otherwise, Mackey recommends either inviting the entire office if there’s enough room to accommodate them or leaving everyone off the guest list.

A Wise Approach Yields Optimal Results

Solving the puzzle of coworkers on your wedding guest list requires a respectful and careful approach. Depending on your relationships with your colleagues and the general workplace environment, determining if or who you should invite from your job can be difficult. Even so, you must consider personal ties, available space, and your own enjoyment before finalizing your count and sending out invitations. With a smart plan and circumspect choices, you’ll find solutions that benefit both you and your guests.

 

 

Naked Cakes Enjoy Popularity at Canadian Weddings
Naked cakes continue to enjoy popularity at Canadian weddings, and may be just the right dessert option for your nuptials.

Naked cakes continue to enjoy popularity at Canadian weddings, and may be just the right dessert option for your nuptials.

How do you feel about naked cakes? Ask engaged couples, food fanatics, and wedding industry insiders, and you’ll likely find folks who either love or loathe them. While some south of the border decry the trend as overdone and trite, others suggest that naked cakes will remain a top choice among Canadian couples. If you’re curious about these unusual treats and are thinking of one for your reception, read on.

A Brief History of Naked Cakes

Jennifer Bain reported in a January 2015 Toronto Star piece that naked cakes (cakes in which the sides are bare) became a top choice for weddings in the Queen City that same summer. Bain traces the genesis of the naked cake trend back to 2008, where the treat debuted in New York City at Milk Bar’s grand opening. After chef Christina Tosi invented the confection, it was embraced by foodie culture and eventually crossed the border into Canada.

Brides writer Gabriella Rello adds that naked cakes first hit mainstream American bakeries in 2013. As more establishments added them to their menus, demand for these low-fi desserts slowly increased. American actress Angelina Jolie boosted their popularity when she opted for a naked cake at her August 2014 wedding to Brad Pitt. These treats quickly made the top trends and ideas lists of several major wedding publications between 2014 and 2016. They became a frequent sight at weddings, especially those with rustic, bohemian, or casual themes.

Perhaps due to the common tendency for trends to become trite, 2016 saw a hatred for naked cakes that was just as spirited as the initial fervor for them. In a September 2016 Country Living article, Lyndsey Matthews cited several reasons for this backlash. She opined that the trend had run its course, then pointed to both sloppy execution and their tendency to dry out as her rationale for agreeing with the haters. Even the U.S. version of Wedding Wire said “See ya” to naked cakes, rolling out new cake trends south of the border for 2019.

To Bare or Not To Bare? Key Factors To Consider

Despite the detractors, Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast speculates that naked cakes may still be popular choices at Canadian nuptials in 2019. She suggests that they could take on new dimensions in looks and taste, elevated by elements that infuse new aesthetics and flavors. Prendergast mentions a few ideas for kicking your cake up a few notches:

  • Dripped glaze over the top and sides
  • Out-of-the-ordinary decorations
  • Incorporating multiple cake flavors
  • Playing with complementary or contrasting colors

As both Country Living’s Lyndsey Matthews and Brides writer Gabriella Rello point out, naked cakes are at a higher risk of drying out due to the lack of exterior frosting. However, the “nearly-nude” versions avert some of this risk with a very thin layer of frosting on their surfaces. Meanwhile, Lucie Loves to Bake discusses a few other factors that will impact your planning if you select a naked wedding cake. First, your confection will need to be assembled and decorated at the venue, since it can’t be transported in its finished state. Secondly, delivery and assembly should occur as close to your meal as possible. Finally, naked cakes melt more easily in hot weather and have a greater tendency to attract unwanted insects.

Are Naked Cakes Here To Stay?

Depending on who you ask, naked cakes are either the best wedding trend du jour or a tired and overrated fad that’s run its course. Nevertheless, adventurous new takes on this delectably bare dessert may help continue their popularity at Canadian weddings. If you decide a naked cake’s right for your event, plan accordingly and shop for a trustworthy baker who can deliciously and flawlessly execute your vision.

 

 

Food Stations Boost the Fun Factor at Your Wedding
Food stations are a fun and flexible option for any type of wedding, and you should consider them when planning your wedding reception meal options.

Food stations are a fun and flexible option for any type of wedding, and you should consider them when planning your wedding reception meal options.

As you try to figure out your reception meal options, you’re probably inundated with tons of possibilities. Maybe a typical sit-down dinner isn’t suitable for your casual wedding, or you’re not thrilled about the idea of long buffet lines. On the other hand, you may want to encourage guests to mingle more during the celebration. Maybe it’s time to consider food stations, an appropriate option for formal, semiformal, and casual affairs.

The Low-Down on Food Stations 

Brides writer Heather Lee explains how food stations work in an April 2018 article. For your food station setup, you’ll break down your menu into individual categories and then assign each one to a freestanding table. Your guests can then choose from available options and either serve themselves or request made-to-order items.

How should you divide up your reception menu dishes into individual stations? Your caterer can offer some guidance, but some typical arrangements include the following:

  • Assigned stations for entrées, salads, side dishes, breads, and desserts
  • Foods grouped by their countries of origin
  • Heavy appetizer stations

Of course, these are just a few possibilities. You can conceivably divvy up your offerings according to any scheme you wish, as long as you have the room and the budget.

Consider These Key Advantages

In her Brides article, Lee points out several advantages that food stations have over traditional plated multicourse or buffet meals. Your invitees can mingle and eat as they wish, allowing for more opportunities to interact with each other. Made-to-order items are prepped to their specifications, reducing the chance that they’ll be unhappy with their meals. You can also designate some stations to offer alternatives for guests with dietary restrictions. Finally, spreading the stations throughout your venue cuts down on long lines and waiting times.

Planning Tips for Your Food Stations

At the same time, you must also plan properly to ensure that your food station reception is successful. Southern Living, a United States-based lifestyle magazine, mentions that placing your stations too close together can lead to reduced floor traffic flow, longer lines, and congestion. For that reason, you’ll need a reception venue with plentiful room in order to properly space your stations. Be sure to budget appropriately, as Brides writer Heather Lee clarifies that you’ll need additional chefs for interactive stations and more staff to bus tables and assist with cleanup.

Not only that, guests with food allergies and dietary restrictions will require additional assistance in navigating your stations. Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast stresses the importance of labeling stations to indicate whether they have vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free dishes. She also recommends allowing guests with food restrictions to serve themselves first. You’ll ensure that they won’t have to contend with cross-contamination from serving spoons accidentally placed in the wrong dishes.

Stumped for Ideas? Try These Recommendations

Want to incorporate food stations but you’re stumped for cuisine or theme ideas? No worries. You’ll find loads of suggestions at many wedding websites. The Knot mentions several unique food station setups to surprise and delight your guests, with standouts such as a late-night snack bar or mashed potato bar. For brunch receptions, Wedding Wire Canada offers great recommendations such as pancake and waffle, salad, and cereal stations. Lunch and dinner receptions may benefit from Wedding Wire Canada’s savory food station suggestions to please your guests’ palates.

Food stations are becoming more popular at weddings for several reasons. They allow people to select their food when they wish while giving them more opportunities to move around and socialize. For hosts, they provide the chance to offer fun food while accommodating invitees with food restrictions. With wise planning and smart menu selections, your food stations will be a big hit with your guests.

 

Familiarize Yourself With These 2019 Wedding Trends
2019 is right around the corner, so take a look at these wedding trends to discover which are the most appealing to you as you plan your big day.

2019 is right around the corner, so take a look at these wedding trends to discover which are the most appealing to you as you plan your big day.

The New Year is right around the corner. If you are getting married in 2019, then you are likely currently working hard to plan for your event. Unfortunately, weddings trends tend to change at a rapid pace. Designers and tastemakers have already released their predictions and suggestions for what will be trendy at weddings in the new year. Since it can be difficult to keep up with all this information, it can be helpful to get a little bit of assistance learning which fads and trends are out there.

While you don’t need to get on board with all the wedding trends for the coming year, you may find that some of the upcoming styles are right up your alley. Take a look at these 2019 wedding trends, and discover which are the most appealing to you.

Fifty Shades of Purple

Above all other wedding trends, colors tend to go in and out of fashion the fastest. Knowing what colors are “in” at the moment and which are considered gauche might help you avoid a faux pas with décor. In 2018, colors like dusty rose, green, and peach were quite popular. While you can get away with using them next year, it is important to know that trends are shifting away from these hues and toward other options.

The color predicted to see the most use in 2019 is purple. From bridesmaid dresses to tablecloths to invitations, shades of purple are all the rage. It isn’t just standard purple that is seeing popularity, either. Shades like violet, lavender, amethyst, and periwinkle are all excellent choices when you’re looking to incorporate this color into your event. You may even want to think about using colored lights at your wedding, as the soft glow of purple bulbs can help to invigorate the venue in a comforting, intimate way.

Natural Elements

While purple might be the big color of the year, you can explore a variety of shade options when it comes to floral arrangements. According to expert florists, flowers like dahlias are going to see a lot of use in the coming year. The main reason for this is the variety that dahlias can bring. The flowers come in a range of colors, making them easy to incorporate into a number of palettes. From Dutch Explosion dahlias to the large, shimmering Henriette, there are many dahlia types to consider for your needs.

Flowers are not the only way to incorporate nature into the décor of your space. Trendsetters are also predicting wedding trends where couples incorporate “natural elements” into their décor. “Tailored greenery” is specifically popular, which involves stylists working living plants into a reception space in clever ways. If this appeals to you, learn different ways you can bring the outdoors inside for your wedding.

Small Plates Mean Big Satisfaction

Finally, another big trend predicted for 2019 is serving small plates instead of full meals. Also known as tapas, small plates allow guests the opportunity to indulge in a number of different dishes throughout the course of the night. Not only does this allow for a bit more culinary variety, it also can save you and your partner a bit of money when it comes to catering costs.

Wedding trends tend to change frequently. If staying current with the latest styles matters to you and your partner, then it can be a good idea to learn about next year’s trends early. Take time to research your options, pick what works best for your needs, and see what you can accomplish for your big day.

 

Don’t Get Scammed! How To Spot and Avoid Honeymoon Travel Rip-Offs
Take a look at this advice on how to avoid honeymoon travel scams in order to have a carefree vacation without the headaches.

Take a look at this advice on how to avoid honeymoon travel scams in order to have a carefree vacation without the headaches.

To simplify your honeymoon planning, you may depend on a travel agent to reserve your transportation, accommodations, and itinerary. Over the next several months, you’ll remit your deposit and installment payments. All the while, you picture yourself and your sweetheart enjoying majestic scenery, fabulous cuisine, new adventures, and plenty of alone time to spare.

Yet what if you find out that your travel agent pocketed your money, leaving your wallet emptied and with no honeymoon to show for it? That’s exactly what happened to one Alberta couple just weeks before their big day. Fortunately, you can avoid the same thing happening to you by looking for some key warning signs.

Honeymoon Dreams Turned Into Nightmares

A November 2018 CTV News article tells the tragic story of Camrose couple Rhys Herle and Ashley Thengs. The two had planned to marry in Cancun on December 3, relying on travel agent Shez Khan from Beachvows.ca to make their arrangements. After the couple and their destination-wedding guests had paid several thousand dollars to Khan’s agency, they discovered that their airline had only received partial payment. MK Voyages, the third-party vendor in charge of managing other details, claimed that it never received any money. Meanwhile, Khan has slowly reduced contact with the couple, leaving the future of the Herle and Thengs wedding up in the air.

Even so, this isn’t the only type of scam targeting potential travelers. USA Today discusses other common rip-offs in a February 2018 piece, adding that customers often fall for cut-rate prices on airfare, hotels, rental vehicles, and other amenities, only to encounter bait-and-switch tactics or surprise fees.

Avoid the Hustle With These Helpful Tips

As you look forward to your own honeymoon, you’ll need to do your homework and watch out for red flags that could indicate a scam. TripSavvy writer Mark Kahler explains that travel rip-off artists frequently take advantage of bargain-hunting hopefuls as well as the typical industry practice of pre-paying for itineraries and arrangements. Kahler then lists several characteristics of a potentially dishonest deal:

  • Demands for payment without a written contract
  • Transactions performed by phone or courier only
  • Limited-time-only offers
  • Vendors not disclosed in writing
  • Overuse of terms such as “complimentary” or “free”

Besides these warning signs, Kahler also advises customers to beware of travel sellers operating under different names than the providers whose services they sell. In this scenario, the marketing agent may be more interested in closing a sale than in offering a positive experience or attempting to eliminate liability claims and lawsuits. This is precisely what happened to Rhys Herle and Ashley Thengs, since Khan claimed that she booked their getaway through MK Voyages.

Kahler also cautions readers about pricing that’s significantly below fair market value. Some scammers rely on split pricing to dangle cheap rates as bait but bury additional charges deep inside a travel contract. On the other hand, they may use the advertised specials to hook interested buyers and pressure them into purchasing expensive travel package add-ons. Finally, he recommends that prospective honeymooners steer clear of anyone who offers to certify them as travel agents. These offers usually state that agents can access free trips and perks, but you could wind up forking over money for bogus credentials.

Shop Smart and Find a Trustworthy Travel Agent

Locating a good travel agent involves some thorough research and listening to your gut instincts. Start by shopping for local professionals with glowing reviews and who have memberships in the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies. If you do go it alone in booking your travel, it pays to scrutinize online travel deals and look for fine print, loopholes, and outright scams. Following this advice will ensure you get the honeymoon you want without the headaches.