Tag Archives: wedding

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!






To Cupcake or Not to Cupcake at Your Wedding

9 Jun

These days, the ultimate wedding dessert sugar showdown is the decision of having a traditional wedding cake or to opt for the new fad of having a cute tower of cupcakes.  Depending on the type of wedding you are dreaming of, there are certainly pros and cons to both desserts.  The below chat will focus on the cupcake craze, pros, cons and how to make these delicious pint sized desserts work for your wedding.

If your vibe of your wedding and reception is fun: Cupcakes all the way! Cupcakes are best suited for a reception that is more laid back, themed or youthfu.  If you wedding is a more formal, perhaps consider the cake option because it has a more sophisticated feel overall.

Here are a few other reasons to say “I Do” to Cupcakes

Another Way to Personalize: Who doesn’t love the idea of unwrapping their very own little piece of baked good heaven?  Serving cupcakes gives your guests the feeling that you have created a dessert just for them.  Some couples also order different flavours to compliment all taste buds.

Please Don’t Stop the Music: Dessert is usually served later in the night when the drinks are flowing and people are ready to dance.  Cupcakes certainly cut back on the formality and stress of trying to organize all your partying guests in order to cut the cake and serve it in an orderly fashion on plates with silverware. Cupcakes allow your guests to come up at their leisure, grab their personalized cake and keep groovin’

Keep the Tradition Alive: Many couples want to keep the 100 year old tradition of the wedding cake, complete with its personalized cake toppers. They want the experience of cutting the first piece of wedding cake together and smearing cake, I mean feeding cake, to one another.  It’s a messy but very yummy tradition (which also makes for a great photo op!) If you opt for cupcakes you can keep this tradition by asking your bakery of choice to provide you with a small (6 to 8 inch) cake to place at the top of your tower of cupcakes.  This is where your cake topper can be displayed, what you can cut in the photos and freeze to have on your one year anniversary.  It’s the best of both dessert worlds!

The Price: There is the perception that cupcakes are the less expensive option compared to wedding cakes.  If you are simply comparing iced plain cupcakes to a multi-tiered wedding cake, you would be correct. On average in Southern Ontario, generic iced cupcakes range in price from $2-$3 each, while a wedding cake is approximately $3-$6 per slice.  Where couples need to air on the side of cupcake caution is where all the “extras” come into play to decorate and creatively display your mountain of sugar.  For example, to match the icing to your wedding colours, to have unique and ornate cupcake liners, for icing decorations such as flowers or your initials are all extra costs; which range anywhere from $.50 -$6 a cupcake.  On top of that, the tiered cupcake display tray is usually not included with the cost of your cupcakes (where as it usually is for cakes).  This display tray can range from $10 to rent from the company to $30-$60 to buy.  Just be sure you know all the costs up front, or if you are the DIY type, order plain cupcakes and add your toppers once you have received them.

Hope some of this info helps make you make your dessert decisions! Here are some Local Wedding Cake and Cupcake Creators to help you make your reception DELICIOUS!

Weils of Westdale


Sweet Celebrations Patisserie

Cakes by Cheryl

Sweet N’ Unique Cakes

Visit www.TopWeddingShows.com for more info



Brides for Banks….Food Banks that is

22 Dec

Top Reasons Why Brides-to-be should donate to their local Food Drives

  • You are busy planning your wedding…but you are also planning the rest of your life.  Many times you have already decided which city you are going to start your lives as a married couple.  Whether that city is just a temporary resting place or it is the place you plan to build your future; why not make it a little bit happier, healthier and more prosperous while you are there?  In Hamilton, there are currently 19,500 people accessing food banks every month, 8,300 being children.  Donating a few canned goods goes a long way in making sure that Hamilton is a wonderful city to live, work and raise a child for all residents.  For those that think Hamilton is a temporary residence, who knows!  You may help build a city that you never want to leave!
  • Most couples get engaged over Christmas and New Years.  Why not start off the New Year and your new journey with your husband-to-be by donating canned goods to your local Food Drive?  Not only is it a good deed you could do together as a couple, right after the holidays is a time in which the food drives are in most need of donations.  Often times there is a substantial amount of donations flowing in right before Christmas (More is always welcome!), however those donations drop off drastically after the season of giving ends.  Help make someone’s year not just their holiday by donating a selection of canned goods after the Christmas season
  • Learn how to shop with your husband-to-be! For newlywed couples, the weekly task of grocery shopping is often one that is accompanied with a serious difference of opinion, bickering,  a few dented canned goods but also comprises and lots of laughs.  Challenge your husband- to-be to a “Shop Off” for Hamilton Food Share.  Grab the list of Hamilton Food Share’s Most Needed Items to make you own shopping list (which items and how much of each item you are going to get) and head to your local grocer.  Either work together to complete the list or each of you grab a cart and compete to see who can complete the list and make it to the check out first! Once Food is purchased you can drop it off at Hamilton Food Share or at one of their drive sites
  • Just do it already!  I promise, it’ll feel good! I encourage you and your hubby-to-be to round up your bridesmaids, groomsmen, moms, dads, friends, neighbours and challenge each other to contribute 10 canned goods each (ranges in price from $5-$10 per person) to your own Bride’s for Banks Food Drive. It’s a way to de-stress and focus on something other than the wedding for one moment, while still do something constructive with your loved ones.  Bottom line: whether you are getting married, in the wedding party, attending a wedding, heck even if you aren’t getting married at all, donate a couple of canned goods to your local Food Bank.  It will make you feel warm and fuzzy, but more importantly it is a simple way to brighten someone else’s day

Drop off your canned goods at the 41st Annual Hamilton-Halton Spring Wedding Show 2010 January 9 & 10, 2010, Hamilton Convention Centre 11am-5pm both days.  All food donations are donated to Hamilton Food Share.  We hope to raise 6,000 canned goods for Hamilton Food Share! Even if you can’t attend the show, we still welcome donations!

There is a New Bride on the Block…..and she’s socially conscious!

21 Dec

Every year Martha Stewart, Today’s Bride, The Knot and other big names in the Wedding World come out with endless Top 10 Trends lists about The Dress, the reception, sizes of weddings, engagement rings etc.  These lists are ever-changing and often exhausting to try and keep up with.  However, there has been a trend that has seemed to stick around for quite a few seasons: The Socially conscious Bride and Groom.

The socially and environmentally friendly trend has appeared in nearly every aspect of the bride and grooms wedding: invitations made on recycled paper, e-invites to avoid using paper, gently used wedding gowns, wedding gowns made out of eco friendly materials, the wedding party taking public transportation instead of cars and having the wedding and reception at the same accessible site so there is less driving time (and therefore less cars on the road) for the guests, donate leftover reception food to the homeless….the list could go on and on…

I have also seen many couples forgo actual wedding gifts and gift registries and instead ask their guests to make a donation to Canadian Cancer Society, to Alzheimer’s Society, to bring toys and books to donate to underprivileged children (City Kidz), raise money for the couple’s old high school or local children’s sports team.  And even if they are not completely omitting the gift registry they are certainly incorporating an altruistic perspective to their wedding.

While I certainly applaud the socially conscious bride; I at first wondered why she goes to such lengths on her special day to pay attention other people, places and causes.  I mean, look at the Bridezilla!  While her actions live up to her Godzilla namesake, she seems to waltz away smelling like roses, lookin’ beautiful and loaded down with wedding present loot.  However after a few episodes of Bridezillas, I soon realized this was not the type of wedding I would want.  I think it is actually the socially conscious bride and groom that end up having the day that is most “about them” because:

  • Puts the focus on things that are really important to the bride and groom: Instead of the focus being on material items, it is on the beliefs, causes, philosophies, and community that the bride and groom really care about.  What could be more special than supporting and celebrating what truly represents that couple and what they hope to help and create?   The cause that the couple decide to support may also be in memory of a loved one that sadly cannot attend the wedding, but through that cause, their spirit is represented and honoured at the wedding
  • The Socially Conscious Couple creates the perfect “marriage” between the wedding and the Marriage(pun, of course, intended) In the past, we have seen a huge trend of brides-to-be being focused on their wedding day, with the entire marriage being an afterthought.  The socially conscious couple appears to view the wedding day as the first day of the rest of their lives life as a married couple. They publically declare to their friends and families how they are choosing to live their lives as husband and wife by showing people what they care about and that they want the community they are getting married in to be a healthy, happy and prosperous one for their own lives and for the families they will be starting together.

So I encourage brides and grooms to incorporate the causes and charities that they are passionate about or would like to become passionate about in their wedding.  It is a simple way to make your wedding a rewarding, positive experience that truly represents who you are as a couple.  It also allows your wedding to leave a memorable impact on your community and your world…not just in your photo album.  To get your wedding planning started on the altruistic track, the Hamilton-Halton Spring Wedding Show 2010 is running a food drive in support ofHamilton Food Share in hopes to raise 6,000 canned goods for the families and children in the Hamilton area. Please bring your canned goods with you to the show at the Hamilton Convention Centre on January 9 and 10, 2010.  11am-5pm each day.  Even if you can’t attend, we still welcome donations!

For more info:



Adding a personal touch to your wedding – top ten!

15 Dec

Every bride is looking for a way to make her wedding…hers. There are many ways that you can make your wedding unique such as choosing bombonieres that reflect you and your fiancé’s personal style, or creating a video montage of your lives together. What brides are looking for today are personalizations that go beyond the traditional, and stretch to the limits with adding their individual style to their special day.

So where do you start?

To help you through these sometimes difficult decisions her e is a Top Ten list to personalize your wedding day.

1)        What is your story? On your place cards for seating arrangements, try creatively inserting your love story, how you met. You can either do this by putting your story on the inside of the card, or inscribing your story around the outside of the card.

2)       Make the experience a treasured one for your groomsmen and bridesmaids. When you ask your friends to share in this special day, make it less about the ask and more about the experience. For example, invite those that you would like in your wedding party for a dinner and surprise them all. Present them with personalized gift such as a friendship poem or plaque. Use your sense of humour and create a card with a really outrageous groomsman or bridesmaid outfit on the front.

3)       Personalize your wedding ceremony. As you walk down the isle collect your favourite flower from important guests along the side to build your bouquet, just as they have built your life experiences.

4)       Add a personal touch to your wedding cake by writing your favourite saying or prayer around the sides of each tier.

5)       Utilize the natural settings if your pictures are taken outside. For example write in the sand on with chalk on the ground ‘Jim + Julie = FOREVER’

6)       Make your gift to your loved one something out of this world…name a star after them and include a picture of the night sky to illustrate where their star is.

7)       Take a piece of your mother and mother-in-laws wedding dress and use it as the ribbons that hold your bouquet together or have it incorporated into your veil/dress.

8)       Re-enact your parents wedding photos for your wedding photo, to bring that spark of history into your special day.

9)       Pick and choose different wedding traditions from different cultures and combine them into a personalized wedding ceremony.

10)      Ask your DJ if you and your fiancé can hand pick a good portion of songs to be played, inform your guests that these songs were picked by your specifically. Just a simple added touch of personality to your night!

You and Your Fiancé have unlimited options of ways to make your day special, ways to make your day reflect your relationship. You do not have to stick with the traditional ‘cookie-cutter’ wedding, it is your day, and the one day that truly celebrates your love for one-another, make it count!

Etiquette for your Bridal Party

10 Dec

One of the biggest issues that frequently pops up when figuring out the bridal party is how many people and whether or not to have an even amount of groomsmen and bridesmaids. Let’s solve the argument before it happens….YES! It is okay to have an odd number of groomsmen and bridesmaids! There are many ways to get through this you can double up your odd numbers, have someone walk solo or as I am sure we’ve all seen on you tube recently have your whole wedding party dance their way down the isle!  The most important thing to keep in mind is ensuring that your bridal party is comfortable and happy with your choice, and this doesn’t just apply to how they walk down the isle.
Each person in your bridal party has a role and assigned duties within your wedding planning process.
Maid of Honor: This is the most demanding position of the bridal party, you are the right hand woman and above all else the main support system for the bride. At times you are even the target.
Bridesmaids: The duties of the bridal party are usually dished out from the maid of honor. Usually these tasks will be light and not require too much of ones time, this of course is depending on the bride.
Best Man: The best man is the grooms deputy, his second in command. This is the man that takes the groom out for beers when the planning stage gets too overwhelming.
Groomsmen: Typically now the groomsmen main position in the bridal party is to plan an amazing stag party! They are there to escort the beautiful Bridesmaids throughout the day and above all else ensure that the groom gets to the altar in one piece.

There are a million different roles and tasks that for each member of the bridal party along with these come rules and regulations on how to behave before, during, and after the big day. One major thing that needs to be focused on is the rules that apply to the groom and his lovely bride. Make sure that above all else your bridal party and groomsmen have an enjoyable time, the last thing that you want to do is make your wedding feel like a reincarnated D-Day to your friends and family involved in the planning process. Your bridal party and groomsmen should feel honored and beyond happy to play such a huge part in your wedding, you don’t want to take this away by being a drill sergeant. There are so many different, beautiful ways to make the planning process of your big day special for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Personalize their gifts, let the girls pick out their style of dress so they feel comfortable and sexy too! Let your groomsmen have fun and be guys during the pictures, this can make for great candid photos. Above all else just have fun with your bridesmaids and groomsmen so that hopefully when all is said and done your relationship with them is ten times better than it was before, not ten times worse!

Sexiest Celebrity Bride of the Ages

1 Dec

We’ve decided to look over the past five decades and find the sexiest bride of the ages! There have been numerous bridal gowns, outfits and even suits that have adorned wedding aisle ways over the years, but we picked out our favourites. Let me know what your thoughts are or if you have any other sexiest celebrity gowns of the decades!

Shannon’s Pick – -Jacqueline Bouvier & JFK September 12th, 1953

Jacquline Kennedy's Wedding Dress

Jacquline Kennedy's Wedding Dress

Even as a young bride of 24, Jacqueline still possessed the poise, grace and subtle sex appeal she became known for.  The new Mrs. Kennedy wore an Anne Lowe Wedding gown that was made of 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta and a full bouffant skirt woven with tiny white flowers. She added a touch of colour with tiny orange blossoms in her hair.  The focal point of the look was the portrait neckline of her gown that showcased her beautiful shoulders and neck, which was adorned with a single strand of family pearls.

Stacey’s Pick – – Audrey Hepburn & Mel Ferrer September 26th, 1954

Audrey Hepburn's Wedding Dress

Audrey Hepburn's Wedding Dress

No matter what Audrey Hepburn wears, she always has an amazing presence. For her wedding ceremony with Mel Ferrer she wore a timeless gown by Balmain. This dress was a sweet-tea length dress that matched her pixie length hair decorated with fresh flowers.

Shannon’s Pick – -Sonny Bono & Cher: Married 1964 in Tijuana or in the USA in 1969?

It’s a mystery when their actual wedding date is, just as it is a mystery what the bride wore.  I’m sure with Cher’s flair for the dramatic and her far out and sassy wardrobe; whatever she wore, she was quite a spectacle.  Sexiest thing about Cher as a bride: on her wedding day, she did things here way: throwing convention, rules and other people’s judgement to the wind.

Stacey’s Pick – – Yoko Ono & John Lennon: March 20th, 1969

Yoko Ono's Wedding outift

Yoko Ono's Wedding Outfit

One of the most famous couples in the music industry, even though they may not be the favourite. Yoko’s outfit this day is definitely a statement of her personality, the peace loving bride wore a white mini-skirt with white knee high socks and instead of your traditional veil or headpiece she modeled a huge floppy sun hat. Yoko made a statement of individuality which is sexy no matter what!

Shannon’s Pick – – Bill Clinton & Hillary Rodham the law grads married in October 11th, 1975

Hillary Clinton's Wedding Dress

Hillary Clinton's Wedding Dress

After rejecting Bills proposal 3 times, Hillary finally agreed to take his hand in 1975 (we all have our opinion about whether that was the best opinionJ) Nonetheless, Hillary looked gorgeous, confident and strong in her Jessica McClintock lace gown purchased at Dillards.  Her hair was loose, curly and beautifully framing her face.  The sexiest thing about Hilary on her wedding day is her mysterious smile and the mischievous twinkle in her eye, which can be seen in many of her wedding photos.  She looked ready to take on the world with her new husband and have a lot of fun while doing it

Stacey’s Pick – – Mick Jager & Bianca Jager: Married May 12th, 1971

Bianca Jager's Wedding Suit

Bianca Jager's Wedding Suit

Bianca Jager literally rocked out rebel style in a white Yves Saint Laurent suit with nothing underneath! Shocking? Yes!! Sexy? Absolutely!! Bianca definitely had guts of steal, but even more so she stole the eyes of her beloved husband all day/night long!

Shannon’s Pick – – Prince of Wales & Lady Diana Spencer July 29th, 1981

Princess Diana's Wedding Dress

Princess Diana's Wedding Dress

When Lady Di got married, she appeared to be living every little girl’s fantasy of actually marrying into royalty and becoming a princess. As a result, she wedding gown started the trend of the “Meringue” Wedding gown that literally lasted a full decade.   The David Emanuel designed wedding dress that cost 9000 pounds was made of silk taffeta, decorated with lace, puffed sleeves with hand stitched sequins and tens of thousands of pearls.  Did I mention the 25 foot train and 8 metre long veil? Despite being draped in all that opulence, Princess Di’s inner beauty, innocence & freshness shined through.  She was the picture of Grace under Fire.

Stacey’s Pick – Madonna & Sean Penn: Married August 16th, 1985

Madonna's Wedding Dress

Madonna's Wedding Dress

First of all Madonna has never not looked sexy throughout all her years of singing, acting, and dancing. However, she looked especially stunning in her wedding dress with Sean Penn. The black ruffle across her bodice was such an inspiration to add extra flairs to your wedding dress as it doesn’t always have to be plain Jane.

Shannon’s Pick – – Rande Gerber & Cindy Crawford May 29, 1998

Cindy Crawford's Wedding Dress

Cindy Crawford's Wedding Dress

The Ultimate supermodel wore an off the rack John Galiano slip dress with delicate lace overlay and of course both the bride & groom were barefoot. With her perfect bronze figure, gleaming smile, little make-up, & windblown hair; Cindy was the ultimate beach bride

Stacey’s Pick – – Victoria Beckham & David Beckham: Married July 4th 1999

Victoria Beckham's Wedding Dress

Victoria Beckham's Wedding Dress

This dress almost needs no explanation.  Victoria’s dress designed by Vera Wang was nothing short of stunning with its jagged neckline and Ivory colour, Victoria stayed true to her personality and edgy personal style

Shannon’s Pick — Ellen De Generes & Portia de Rossi August 16, 2008

Portia de Rossi Wedding Dress

Portia de Rossi Wedding Dress

Portia wore a Zac Posen backless pink gown with a Cinderella tutu inspired skirt with a stunning Neil Lane diamond pin in her hair.  Portia opted for the look of the traditional Cinderella bride but added and unconventional sexy pink twist; just as she put a modern twist on “happily ever after”

Stacey’s Pick – Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale: Married September 14th, 2002

Gwen Stefani's Wedding Dress

Gwen Stefani's Wedding Dress

Gwen’s coloured frock was definitely a statement in the early 21st century!  Gwen wore a custom made pink and white silk faille Christian Dior gown complete with an antique lack veil, designed by her friend John Galliano. Her dressed combined every girl’s fantasy about a wedding dress with an edgy pink twist that upped the ante on bringing sexy to your wedding day.

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