Tag Archives: Wedding shows

Gorgeous Wedding Inspiration at the Wedding Show

23 Jul

The Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows are like Pinterest….live! The collection of local vendors at each wedding show not only delight your visual senses but also allow you to touch, taste and breathe in all aspects of your wedding. Here is a small collection inspirational images from our last bridal shows.

Upcoming shows:

10th Annual Niagara Autumn Wedding Show: Sunday September 29, 2013

16th Annual Hamilton-Halton Fall Wedding Show: October 5&6, 2013

Gorgeous Sweet Table at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

Gorgeous Sweet Table at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

beautiful wedding cakes at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows 2013

beautiful wedding cakes at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows 2013







Wedding Shows: A Complete How-To Guide

28 Dec
  • Before the wedding show, research which vendors will be exhibiting at the show  www.topweddingshows.com as well as a layout/map of where the vendors will be located. This will help you make the most of your time & organize the best questions to ask those specific vendors you are most interested in.
  • Make a Personal Email Address specifically for planning your wedding.  Many of the wedding professionals you are working with will be contacting you via email with dates, details, quotes etc. We recommend that you do not give out your work or school email.  Use services such as gmail, live, or hotmail so that you can access your account anywhere.  It will make for a much more organized and stress-free planning period if you separate your wedding planning information from your personal and professional information.
  • If you’ve already selected your wedding colors / bridesmaids’ dresses, ask your retailer for swatches from the material and bring them with you to the wedding show. Many wedding vendors, (bakers, florists, wedding cake, invitations…) will use your colors to make appropriate suggestions for your wedding.
  • Bring a notebook and a pen. A wedding show can be a great resource for information. Some savvy brides even bring a camera or use a camera phone to take a pictures of ideas and samples they like. This can especially be handy during the fashion show!
  • Wear comfortable shoes and if at all possible, leave your coat in the car. Then you can have your hands free as you stroll the aisles.
  • If you are going to be out of town during the day of the wedding show, send mom or a trusted friend / bridesmaid to collect information on services you need and register you for prizes.
  • Print neatly –  When you register at the door or for prize drawings at the booths, make sure all your information is legible & complete. You just may walk away from the show with a very useful prize or gift for your wedding day .
  • When comparing wedding services at a wedding show, be careful to compare “Apples to Apples” and not to Oranges. “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
  • Interact with all the Wedding Professionals: Don’t just pick up material from their booths!  Actually talk with the people manning the booths. They often have great ideas and further insight into how to make the most out of a wedding day experience.
  • While you are at the show, there is another great resources to take advantage of… think of how many other brides-to-be will be there.  Who knows, you might just make friends with another couple going through the same things you are and you can share ideas!  Hundreds of brides get married every weekend during the summer in the Hamilton Halton and Niagara Regions.
  • As much as you are able, try to decide on your budget before attending the wedding show.  Many vendors will offer great discounts for reserving their services / products at show. So if you are aware of how much you have to spend in a certain category, it may help you in deciding which company is the right fit for you.
  • Be sure to request references. You want to make sure that the people you hire for your special day have made other peoples weddings a happy, successful and memorable occasion… and who better to ask then other couples!
  • Have a list of questions ready to ask wedding vendors. Don’t be shy…taste cake, smell flowers, load up on brochures, enter contests and leave your name with everyone.  Be a bride in the know!
  • Wedding vendors will often have draws for prizes at their booths. Instead of having to fill out multiple forms with contact information, some have found it helpful to make address labels in advance. Be sure to include: Bride’s name, Groom’s name, address, phone, email and your wedding date.
  • Be sure and wear your “I’m the Bride” and “I’m the Groom” stickers that are handed out at the entrance to the show.  Wedding vendors are more likely to give you that little bit of extra fun attention.  Plus, if you are spotted wearing them, you could win great door prizes!
  • The daily catwalk fashion shows are a great opportunity to see what’s hot this season. Watch how dresses move, fit and flow down the aisle. There are also tuxedos, bridesmaids’ gowns, mother-of-the-bride dresses, flower girl outfits to see!
  • Be sure and bring along your friends, family, maid of honor, mom and of course your fiancée! You will need the trusted opinions of those who share your vision of your wedding day. And ask for help, assign some one to collect business cards, take pictures or scout for comparable companies.
  • In addition to reserving the day in your schedule for attending the wedding show, also reserve a couple hours after to go to a coffee shop with your entourage and review all the brochures & materials you received. That way, while it’s fresh in your mind, you can recall who to follow up with.
  • Have Fun! Getting married is an experience like no other, especially with all the amazing options available to brides and grooms today.  So make the most of it and enjoy the fun and excitement that surrounds the planning process!





Brides- Why You Absolutely Need To Go To A Bridal Show When Planning Your Wedding

19 Nov

I found these tips from GTA Wedding Design Specialist, Stephanie Thompson. Check out her weekly e-magazine for more wedding planning tips! It’s useful, takes a modern approach to wedding planning, and full of creative and fun advice! Happy Reading! www.stephaniethompson.ca

1.   The Experience- You’re getting married! A bridal show is dedicated to helping you out with your wedding.  There’s pretty decor, inspiration, ideas, tips, tricks, food and fashion. A ticket of $10-15 is nothing compared to the savings you can receive from the show and its way better than going to a movie ;).  It’s a great date for you and your fiancé to bond and discuss the wedding.

2. Make Planning Your Wedding Easier- There will be a variety of vendors there to help you with your needs, talk to them, learn about them, you may save yourself hours and hours goggling and doing research.

3. The Savings & Discounts- Many booths will offer you special show discounts just for being there, search them out, see if you get along great with that vendor and if they are the best fit for your wedding

4. The Free Stuff- Pens, food, trinkets… I’m amazed at the sort of freebies you can get at the shows.  But behave yourself, don’t take a handful.  And talk to the vendor to at least hear what they have to say, nothing worse than feeling like someone just came over to eat or get freebies.  Even if you don’t intend to hire them you never know when someone else you know could use their services or if you need a plan B.  I find that vendors who offer free things are really generous with how they treat their brides, they want to give you a little gift, just so they can learn about you.

5. It’s FUN!  A Lot Of FUN!

What To Expect

1. Sign Ups, Give-a-ways, Prizes & Draws- Come prepared with pre-signed labels that include your name, address, phone number, email address, wedding date.  Check out your local office supply store, find the address labels, download the template, fill in your info, hit print and voila.

2. Dress To Impress *Comfortably- Wear comfy shoes and wear comfy clothes.  That doesn’t mean look like you’re going to the gym.  You’re engaged! Dress up like you’re going out to the mall, do your hair nice, make-up pretty and glow like the beautiful bride-to-be you are.

3. Have A Strategy In Place- The bridal show producers post the vendors and their booth information on their site.  Make sure you use this information. What vendors are you looking for; check out their sites… where are they on the floor plan.  Write down some questions you want to ask them and go and speak to them face to face at the show.  If you like what they have to offer, set up and ask to set up an appointment right there at the show. Once you get home you may be too overwhelmed with all of the information you’ve received and may not utilize the show to help you plan your wedding.

4. Bring your groom- More and more grooms are becoming involved with the wedding plans, make sure he can come and attend the show with you.  I’m sure you won’t be making decisions without his input anyways so save yourself some time discussing what you saw at the show and make him come.  It’s not like going into a women’s lingerie store like he might think… there are killer cars, food, music, photographers, tux fashion for him to look at… only a few traces of flowers, pink and sparkle…. honest!

5.   Vendors Approaching You- Vendors will talk to you, approach you, say hello, hand out their information, and you never know if you’ll need their services.  Be open, ask questions, if you’re not interested just take their pamphlet and thank them and you’ll have a looksy later (maybe).  If you really aren’t interested for instance you’re photographer is already booked, then put this pamphlet into Bag B- the “I’m not interested bag” vs Bag A- the “you’re a superstar and I’d love to consider you for my wedding bag”.  Hang onto Bag B, you never know if you’ll need a Plan B last minute- say your photographer doesn’t show up, you may need to call these vendors in case yours cancels a week before your wedding or doesn’t show up.

Wedding Design Specialist, Stephanie Thompson, publishes “Wedding Wishes” weekly e-magazine with 3500+ subscribers.  If you are looking for more wedding design & planning tips sign up here to get my FREE Special Report “7 Easy Ways To Get Wedding WOW Factor” at www.stephaniethompson.ca.

©2010  Stephanie Thompson, Stephanie Thompson.ca  All rights reserved


42 Annual  Hamilton-Halton Spring Wedding Show 2011

14th Annual Niagara Spring Wedding Show 2011



A Bridal Shower Gift with Taste!

28 Jul

Every bride loves to receive gifts from their chosen bridal or honeymoon registries, unique gifts or gift cards, and of course cold hard cash.  I mean, who does love getting gifts?! All of these types of wedding and bridal shower gifts are very generous and important as they help the couple celebrate and begin a new life as husband and wife.

While the above listed traditional and more expensive gifts are still necessary and fun to both give and receive; another emerging trend in wedding gift giving is giving a creative gift from the heart (which often accompanies the traditional gift). Some examples of gifts from the heart include: scrap booked photo albums of the couple from childhood up until their wedding day, gift certificates to 12 different great restaurants so the couple can have a fun and delicious date night once a month for a year, or building a library or music collection by asking the couples loved ones to donate their favourite book or CD/song etc. However, one of my favourite unique wedding gifts, and the one that will be discussed below, is The Personalized Cookbook.

What: The personalized cookbook is just that: a cookbook specifically created just for the bride and groom. The cookbook can take the form of a community collaborative, where moms, aunts, grandparents, neighbours, friends and extended family all contribute one of their favourite or “go-to” recipes along with a little blurb why they loved it, or why they wish to share it with the new couple.  Another option for the personalized cookbook is to create the book around a theme based on the couple’s palate and philosophy on food.  For instance, if the couple likes to socialize, ask for everyone’s favourite go to recipe for entertaining. Other themes include, cooking on a budget, hot and spicy, desserts, on the grill, health conscious, vegetarianism, or even skip the food and just have drink recipes!

Who should participate: Up to you! All are welcome, but as the organizer, you may want to limit it to a specific number or group of people because it can be quite a bit of work putting the cookbook together and keeping it organized. I have seen this gift given from a group of the MOB’s friends; one generation passing along their secrets to the next.  I have seen the entire wedding party get involved, just close girlfriends, both guys and girls…really you and the organizer and gift giver can set your own limit…Depending on the form in which you decide to present the cookbook, people you haven’t initially invited can always add to the collection of recipes on their own.

When: Even though cooking and baking has become popular for women and men alike, I would still suggest presenting the gift at the bridal shower or a joint stag and doe.  Since it is a gift that several people have contributed to, it feels more heartfelt to present it as a collective group and allow the contributors to see the bride’s appreciative and touched reaction (thankfully I have only seen a happy reaction when this gift is given). In addition, presenting it at a shower will allow a spokesperson to explain the gift to the bride and then the cookbook acts as a conversation piece afterwards.

How: The Cookbook can be presented in several different ways. If you have more time on your hands, you can gather all of the recipes before hand retype them and put them together in a cookbook form (this can all be done on the computer, or done artfully through scrapbooking).  I have also seen this done by having all contributing members write their recipes on recipe cards and present the lot in a beautifully decorated recipe box.  If you don’t have that much creative time, or the bride-to-be lives and breathes through technology, you can simply email the bride the recipe links with an index on the main email saying who sent each recipe, or create a blog where all recipes can be posted. A blog will also be a convenient place for the bride and groom to build and maintain their recipe collection throughout their marriage. There are several blogs sites out there, but obviously, I’m a fan of www.wordpress.com 😉

I love this gift idea; first and foremost because it is practical….a bride and groom have to eat, so why not help them eat well?! I also really like it because it ends up being a beautiful history of yummy and heartfelt secrets given to the bride by her nearest and dearest. I say this because many times the recipe will come accompanied with a cute or romantic story such as; the recipe for the only meal her mother-in-law will willingly consume, or the recipe for peanut butter cookies made on all movie nights. I have seen one recipe for a spaghetti and meatball dinner that is accompanied with an entire play list because the contributing couple loved to dance around the kitchen together as they cooked (Sooo romantic!). And ladies, even if you can’t cook, you can still contribute.  One of my all time favourite “recipe” entries was a list of all different types of restaurants that either deliver or have takeout and the best way serve them so they look “homemade” lol.    Lastly, I love this gift idea because cooking is a great experience that brings a couple together and allows them to spend quality time together and learn something new as a couple…is there a better gift than that?

Happy Cooking,



Tips on Researching Local Wedding Businesses

21 Jun

Whether you’re heading out to your local wedding show , searching a wedding website or dropping by a local wedding retailer you’ll do yourself a great service to do some research before you part with your hard earned cash. One website that is shaking up the landscape is wikiDOMO.com. Every day more and more people are jumping onto wikiDOMO to rate, review, comment or check-in with local businesses. But here is the twist, you can also add and edit people who work at these businesses and places. It is a compete open website that is unbiased and will probably change how we shop. Picture the yellow pages, Wikipedia, yelp and foursquare all mixed together. So see if the business you are thinking of booking for your wedding is already listed and if not add them. Once you use their services go back to wikiDOMO and add your comments, reviews or rating and see if others have had the same experience as you. Here is wikiDOM’s blog with a video on how it works. wikiDOMO has launched in Canada and will be launching in the USA in the next few months.

The Hamilton Halton Fall Wedding Show is moving to The Careport Centre

17 Jun

Lots of exciting developments are taking place as we gear up for the 13th Annual Hamilton-Halton Wedding Show! The foremost of which is… We’re moving! That’s right, we’re getting set to host the biggest and best wedding related event of the season at The Careport Centre, located on 270 Longwood Road, South in Hamilton.

What does this move mean for our brides?

FREE PARKING! No more searching for a spot or paying extra to park, The Careport Centre boasts over 650 free parking spot in the building’s adjoining lot!

EASY ACCESSIBILITY! If you are driving in to our show from the greater Hamilton area (Burlington, Dundas, Ancaster, Brantford etc.), we are now right off the highway… just take the Aberdeen exit and you’ll see us!

LARGER SHOW! With less limits on space, we can now accommodate our dream floorplan with a more unique set up for brides to visit and talk with each exciting vendor. As well, we can now (finally) offer more seating surrounding the fashion show! Just sit back, relax and watch this season’s biggest bridal fashion trends strut the runway!

We look forward to welcoming you, your friends and entire wedding pose at this year’s Hamilton-Halton Fall Wedding Show, now at The Careport Centre!!

Planning a Destination Wedding? Tips and advice for the Getaway Bride!

11 Jun

Perhaps one the hottest trends for weddings emerging in the last few years is turning your nuptials into a getaway celebration by hosting a destination wedding. There is much to be said about the fun, exciting experience this can be for both the bride and groom, but also for their guests. It turns a one day special event into, in some cases, a week-long vacation! Once you’ve covered your bases and taken care of the big things, a destination wedding can offer a less stressful approach to traditional ceremonies.

Still there are important factors to take into consideration when planning this type of occasion. The foremost of which are; weather, dates and travel convenience. Be sure to avoid things like hurricane season, spring break, or too many connecting flights since this can make the trip laborious, more expensive and unpleasant. It’s important, if at all possible, to visit your venue prior to the wedding and inquire of any ongoing renovations or construction that may be planned around the time of your event. If you are travelling to another country one of the best and safest things to do when working with vendors, is get everything in writing. Sometimes language barriers, misunderstandings or employee turn over can cause upset, so work over email if possible and keep signed contracts at hand. Save the date cards and information packages can play an important role in assisting your guests preparing to attend. They will need ample notice in order to book off the time necessary from work, save for the incurred travel costs and book flights and accommodations. Some hotels and resorts offer discounts for large groups, so perhaps reserve a room block for your guests to take advantage of lesser rates.

Once all the planning is done, it’s time to enjoy the festivities and relax. This year, my husband and I will be Jamaica bound in order to attend a friend’s destination wedding and we could not be more excited about the prospect of celebrating her big day on the beach and spending a week with our closest friends in paradise! A destination wedding pulls you and your guests out of the day-to-day routine and let’s everyone relax, pause and enjoy.

As the wedding approaches, I’ll be helping my friend get set for the wedding, so I’ll be sure and see what further advice, excitement and details she has to share.

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