Unique Wedding Invites that Everyone will Remember

By Linda Owens

Freak, geek, nerd, punk. There are people who will proudly wear every label in the world except one: boring. You and your partner are far from being boring people, so why should your wedding invitations be anything but exciting and memorable? With more than 150,000 wedding performed in Canada each year, according to WeddingBells.ca, your friends will probably receive multiple invitations this year. Make yours the one they remember longer than the time it takes to tack it on the fridge with a magnet.

Use Your Video Skills

Avoid the whole paper wedding invitation tradition and make a unique wedding invite with your video camera. Use your interests as a theme for the film. Are you both into science fiction? Old movies? Gourmet food? Create a 2-minute story and include all the wedding information on a marquis, poster, or other flat surface some time during the movie. Amaze your guests or make them laugh and they’ll view your invitation over and over again. Thanks to Momentville.com for this tip!

The Brighter the Better

Traditional wedding invitations are white, ecru or cream. Maybe ivory. At any rate, they’re some variation on the theme of plain and boring. Avoid having invitations that look like everyone else’s by using bright colors and designs. Try a swirling 1960s flower power design, use stark red and black for a modern touch, or give them a bright punch with a solid bright favorite color. You can do your own designing with these fun concepts. Once you’ve got the perfect look, have them printed. It’s much less expensive than having a professional designer do the invitations, and a lot more fun, too.

Use Your Sense of Humor

You’re sly, witty and sarcastic, and your friends totally get you. You’d rather spend your life laughing than getting serious, and the everyday details in your life show it. Why not let your humor show in your wedding invitations? Anything else wouldn’t really be you. As Buzzfeed suggests, take a hyper-formal engagement portrait, but put a t-Rex in the background. Dress up as zombie hunters or characters in Mad Men for the picture on the cover. Include your love for Doctor Who or your passion for competitive stunt kite flying and make a photo montage for the invite. Just let your humor run wild to let your guests in on the fun.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Paper

Your wedding invitation doesn’t have to be a card folded into an envelope and sent through the mail. If you’re having a relatively small wedding and you can hand deliver the invites, get creative with the packaging for your one-of-a-kind invitations. For a summer wedding, roll up a printed scroll and use it in a message in a bottle. Include some sand and tiny shells in each bottle for authentic flair. Have the invitation printed on coffee mugs, Frisbees, or t-shirts and hand them out on a relaxing weekend. Print them on fabric so your guests can use them in craft projects. Use one of the companies online that mold chocolate in any design and make a tasty invitation. Just print the invite on the wrapper, too. Think outside the envelope, especially if you only have a few invitations to send out. Props to PoptasticBride.com for some of the ideas here!

About Linda Owens
Linda is a wedding planner from Texas who loves to go over the top for her brides and grooms.

Sarah & Andrew’s First Look & Wedding

By Rev. Alan Viau

I really like the new trend of the First Look. It is a private moment between the bride and groom that is very tender and sweet. It helps relieve a bit of the stress and in no way diminishes the joy of the wedding.

Traditionally, the bride and groom are not supposed to see each other the day of the wedding until the ceremony. When they first see each other, they are filled with emotion. Each seeing the other in the most beautiful of moments. The attraction for each other seems to reach a crescendo when they finally clasp hands together. Sometimes, seeing what is about to happen I say, “Wait! The kiss is at the end.”

The new trend is to have a First Look photo session before getting all wrapped up in the events. I love it because it is a private moment where they can really let their feelings show.

Sarah and Andrew had a First Look. In this sequence of pictures you can see how excited they are for it. The tenderness and joy really show through.





The wedding was held at the National Gallery of Canada. The sun streaming through the windows and high ceilings were spectacular.


The ceremony included a handfasting.


And, you guested it, the kiss at the end.



Wedding Menue Tips – Two Entrées

By: Diane Farquhar courtesy of I Just Said Yes

What do most guests remember from a wedding? The food of course!

Approximately 3 months before the wedding you should sit down with your venue’s Catering Manager and discuss your menu options. Sometimes it is very hard to select that one main entree and hope that everyone likes it so more weddings are choosing to give their guests a choice of two entrees by selecting their meal in their RSVP card.

Is this a good idea? Absolutely it is, but you need to know the following before going this route: the most important thing is the reply card. If you are sending an invitation to a family of 2 or more, then you MUST have a line for each guest to fill out their name and what they would like to eat. This way you can make a spreadsheet with each guest’s name and their order when you present it to the Manager at the venue. The last thing you want is a reply card with 3 chicken and 2 fish and not knowing who is having what. It makes it very difficult on the Chef and wait staff the night of the wedding and you can run into some embarrassing situations.

Here is where your organizational skills come into play. You will have the spreadsheet completed after all RSVP’s are in. This spreadsheet is then sent to your Catering Manager. You will have the normal seating chart outside the room but you also need table cards at each guest seat identifying what their meal selection was. This will certainly help the wait staff when they first greet the guest table to confirm their pre-food order. This will also stop the guests who cannot remember what they ordered or who decide to change their mind at the last minute. You may ask…..what if the guests says his/her card is wrong? Well that’s when your spreadsheet comes in handy. The wait staff will write down the guest name and go back into the kitchen, look up that person’s name and order on the spreadsheet YOU originally provided.  Whatever is listed is what the staff will go by.  Trust me, people try anything to change their meal last minute.

The table place cards can be identified by different color, ie. red for fish and blue for steak. You could also use symbols, or coloured jewels to identify the food choice. Whichever idea you choose make sure to share the coding with your venue’s Food and Beverage staff.

This process is definitely more work for you but if it done properly the event will run very smoothly and all guests will receive their requested order. It’s also nice to give the guests this choice since so many people are now becoming vegetarian. Guests really appreciate it when the bride take their feelings into consideration.

What is the wedding all about but making your guests remember your wedding for years to come! Ultimately, this can save you money because you don’ t have to serve multiple meats trying to satisfy all palates.

Do it Yourself Wedding Favors

By: Diane Farquhar courtesy of I Just Said Yes

Weddings are very expensive and although you want to have things just perfect, it helps to save on some areas to improve the bottom line.

Favors are the gifts you either hand out, or place at each plate for your guests to take home at the end of the evening.   It is your way of saying thank you to the guests for sharing in your special day.  There are so many different favor ideas but the cost can quickly add up depending on what you choose.

In order to save some money, why not do the favors yourself.  Not everyone is Martha Stewart, but with a little imagination and some help from your bridesmaids and family,  you can come up with some very neat and unique ideas.

What type of wedding theme are you going with?  Perhaps you can follow that theme with the favors.  If it’s Valentine’s go with heart shaped box filled with candy or if it’s Christmas purchase ornaments wrapped in beautiful tissue.   For spring, provide a seedling package in a small decorative pot which could also be used as a placecards.  How about buying small jars or tins and place almond, chocolate or candies in them.  If you are inviting small children give them a craft book or box of M&M’s as their favor.  They will certainly like that!  The options and ideas are endless.

Perhaps you can honor your grandmother, by printing one of her special recipes to pass along to the guests or a few of her famous cookies –  wrapped up in a decorative package.

Once you have decided on your color selections then you can decorate the favors to match your wedding colors.  Tissue paper and ribbon are excellent and inexpensive choices to compliment the favour.  There are so many dollar stores like Dollarama or the Dollar Tree and craft stores like Michael’s crafts that if you take a look, you will find many items that you can put together or create with just a little imagination.   If you need a little help, the internet has tons of ideas and pictures on “ do it yourself favours”

If this is the route you want to take, don’t wait too long.  You should decide months in advance and start working on them.  Wedding plans are very hectic the last couple months and the last thing you want is to start working on favours with so much going on.

Marriage defies Friday the 13th superstition

Phil Eaves and Jess Chapman get married at 13:13 on Friday the 13th, 2013

By Rev. Alan Viau

People take such care in planning their wedding day, avoiding anything that may ruin it.

I reported back in April that brides and grooms seem to be avoiding 2013 as a year to be married because of superstition of the number 13.

Video: Ottawa’s wedding slump blamed on unlucky number

It has certainly proved true during this wedding season. Everyone I’ve talked to has had a down year. Photographers, jewelers and hotels are among the vendors saying it was a slower than usual year.

And with Friday being the 13th day of September in the year 2013, you’d expect many couples would avoid putting their special day on one many consider unlucky.

However, Phil Eaves and Jess Chapman aren’t one of those couples. They embraced wholeheartedly the number thirteen.

They approached me about doing a wedding on Friday the 13th day of September 2013. Not only did we start at 13:00 Hrs; we ended the ceremony at 13:13 hrs. We did the ceremony indoors because it was a little chilly outside: 13C to be exact.

So talk about embracing the number 13 for your wedding day. Why not?

See why they wanted to get married on Friday the 13th in Steve Fischer’s report in the CBC TV  video player.

Video: Friday 13th


Trendy Fall Weddings

By Bunches Bob

Picture a country lane lined with trees, their leaves bathed in bright fall colours, and an old wooden fence leading up to a barn. What a great place for a fall wedding.
As the floral wedding consultant for BunchesDirect, I’ve talked to many brides lately who have that same idea – a barn wedding. These brides are looking to give their wedding a rustic look, and really, you can’t get anymore rustic than getting hitched in a barn.
Here’s an idea of the types of floral arrangements and décor I’ve been suggesting for brides in search of that trendy, rustic look for their weddings.

Kingsbury Barn Built in 1374 By adamnsinger, courtesy of flickr.com


Picture this: the bride in ivory with her bridesmaids in brown.
The bride carries a clustered,casual look, with red, orange or yellow garden roses (or a mixture of all three), accented by some bronze Chrysanthemums daisies, a couple of sunflowers, deep purple lisinathus with some red hypericum berries. Add some solidago, which looks like Goldenrod, and will give any bouquet a bit of a wild, garden-type look. For additional greens, I would suggest asparagur or sperengeri ferns. Wrap the stems with burlap and tie with raffia.The attendants can carry the same style of bouquet, just a bit smaller. For the groom and male attendants, very small clusters or a single flower boutonniere to match the bouquets.


Mason Jar flowers by Jinx!, courtesy of flickr.com

The big look for tables these days are mason jars, which are just perfect for rustic weddings in a barn (especially on a checkered tablecloth.) To fill them up, use the same flowers as the wedding party, only larger, and add some branches, wheat, and maybe a bit of straw around the bottom of the jars. Remember, you have a large space to deal with, so the decorations have to be big and showy – subtle won’t work here. If you really want to go all out, display some bales of hay and corn stalks with cabbage plants in the corners of the space.
I would also suggest having mason jars on the head table filled with just water to put the bouquets in, rather than just laying them on the table.

Mason Vase by trekkyandy, courtesy of flickr.com


Not the barn type? You can still achieve the rustic look.
Let’s start with a church: I suggest two large arrangements on the floor or on pedestals at the front of the church, Arranged loosely with large flowers in fall colours to follow the theme, such as Gladiola, Sunflowers, Celosia (otherwise known as Cockscomb), Chrysanthemums, Red Hypericum Berries, Solidago, and maybe some corn husks at the bottom of the arrangements. If you want to go further, add some pew markers, made of burlap ribbon with clusters of corn husks. You can transfer the church decorations to the banquet hall after the ceremony.

Now, on to the banquet hall. Start with the chairs – instead of the satin covering, use burlap on the back of the chair tied with raffia and a raffia bow at the back. The mason jars could have a band of burlap ribbon around them and tied on with raffia on checkered table clothes. Add a lantern for a country rustic look.

For the head table: Again, checkered tablecloths and the two arrangements from the church spaced in front, with mason jars lined up on the front of head table for the bride and attendants to put their flowers in.


The choices are endless with cakes and colours, but let’s say the cake is brown. The cake top should have a casual look, like the bouquets – perhaps a block of oasis on a aluminum plant. It must be light so it doesn’t sink into the icing. For the bottom of the cake, I suggest a bit of garland with ferns and a bit of straw.

A do-it-yourself wedding takes a bit of work, but it’s worth it. The BunchesDirect brand was designed for brides on a budget, and Bunches Bob is here to help you. Whether you buy pre-made arrangements or do-it- yourself, have fun with those blooms.


ABOUT BUNCHES BOB: A fifty year floral industry veteran, Bob started in the floral business in Cornwall, Ontario back in the late 1950s. Bob has hosted and taken part in numerous floral demonstrations for various groups. Some of his greatest claims to fame was when the Toronto Star commissioned him to create a Thanksgiving bouquet for their annual Thanksgiving Day special section, and when he had the honour of creating a floral arrangement for Elizabeth Taylor’s birthday while she was filming in Toronto. A man of many talents, Bob has been heavily involved in community theatre, film and commercial acting, singing, dancing, directing and choreographing, and his favourite hobby, painting in watercolours and acrylics. Bob has helped hundreds of brides in recent years as a wedding flower consultant for BunchesDirect, and has become a hit on Youtube, with multiple videos garnering over 100,000 views.

Choosing Wedding Rings Part 2- Rustic & Urban

By Rev. Alan Viau

Brides and grooms carefully choose their wedding rings. The metal they are made of is a personal statement. Like everything else in the wedding, their personality reveals itself in three themes. This post is part 2 of 2 posts on wedding rings.

In my FREE eBook Love In The Capital, I described three themes for weddings. The three themes or personalities are also apparent in the choice of metal for the bride and groom.

For people who love the outdoors, wedding rings need to be able to withstand scrapes and scratches.


Titanium is a relatively strong metal that is light-weight, has a silver color and high strength. The advantage of a titanium wedding band/ring is that it is highly resistant to corrosion. If you are a sailor, lifeguard or in water related profession where you are consistently in contact with sea water, chlorine etc., it’s a great metal to choose. Titanium rings are very affordable. It’s a great choice for a couple on a budget.

Why choose this metal: Highly recommended for those in water professions, titanium is considered to be the most corrosion-resistant metal. It’s also budget-friendly!



Wolfram, commonly known as Tungsten, is very hard metal with gray color in pure form. Tungsten rings are popular among men for its gray metal look, affordable price, designer style and durability. These types of rings are known for their high density material, their scratch proof surface and easy maintenance, which are often desired features of a men’s ring. Tungsten carbide rings are also available in other colors, such as gold plating and black plating. Being a very hard metal makes tungsten brittle. It can shatter on high impact.

Why to choose this metal: Tungsten is perfect for the rugged type that is looking for a masculine looking metal that is low maintenance and durable.

Urban Chic/ Modern

If you are looking for a sleek modern look, these two metals may be for you.


Platinum is considered to be the “most precious” of all precious metals, costs more than gold and is rarer than gold. It’s usually mixed with other similar metals, known as the platinum group metals: iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium and ruthenium. Platinum is extremely dense and much heavier than gold or silver.  Platinum has remarkably high level of durability so it does not wear or tarnish like other metals, but its white appearance without regular cleaning can develop hazy patina over time. Platinum is not susceptible to problems like stress cracking or corrosion as can be the case with white gold.  Though platinum is scratch-resistant, it’s not scratch proof. It is more durable than white gold and does not wear down or abrade like gold. Scratches can easily be removed by buffing, and all that is required to maintain platinum is to soak it in mild soap and warm water followed by a gentle rubbing with a soft brush.

Why to choose this metal: Although platinum costs more, it requires less maintenance over time.


Palladium is also a member in the platinum family. It has similar characteristics of platinum, such as high melting temperature, cool gray color, durability and rarity; however, it is much less dense (lower specific gravity). Palladium is a soft silver-white metal that resembles platinum.

Why to choose this metal: In order to save money on the metal and spend more on a stone, choosing palladium is the best option for you. It is also naturally hypoallergenic and durable, so it is ideal for people who have sensitive skin.



Photos compliments of Berricle.com

Save the Date Cards – Required or Not

By: Diane Farquhar courtesy of I Just Said Yes

Save the date cards can be sent to your wedding guests approximately 6 months to 1 year before the wedding date.  This will tell your guests to “save the date”.

Not all couples send out save the date cards but if you are planning a destination wedding or are inviting a lot of guests from out-of-town it would be very helpful.  They can at least plan and have sufficient time to save some money and look for early deals on flights and accommodation. The same logic can also apply to a couple who decides to get married fairly quickly, say within 6 months.  As our busy schedules fill up so fast it would be beneficial to let the guests know.  If you are planning a very small gathering with very little out-of-town guests then there is really no need to go through the expense.

Make sure you keep a list of all guests you sent the cards too because you must invite the same people with a formal wedding invitation.  It is definitely not appropriate to send a guest a save a date card but not send a wedding invitation.

There are many ideas that you can use for this; postcard, electronic email, bookmark, mini calendar or picture frame.  Some of these will even help save you on postage.  If it is going to be a themed wedding then you can incorporate something to match the theme.  If it’s a destination wedding you may want to do a message in a bottle.  One of my brides was Canadian and her fiance was American so they decided to make up a passport Save the Date card which was really cool.

The information needs to have your names, date of wedding and where it will be held.  You want to keep these very short and sweet.

As I mentioned earlier, they are certainly not necessary so you don’t have to do them.  In all the weddings I have been invited too, I have only received one save a date card.  Word does travel fast so if you want to put that expense into something else then go ahead a do so.

Your Honeymoon Budget

By: Diane Farquhar courtesy of I Just Said Yes

Just as the wedding and reception budgets are made you also need to have a budget set aside for your honeymoon.  Are you looking for a short weekend getaway, a tropical island, a drive along the California coast or a site seeing tour in Europe?

Depending on how much money you have to spend, there are so many deals and packages available.  You must set time aside to research the Internet and see what flight and hotel packages are offered.   I know first hand that there are many ways to save on travel.  Many times, it is best to book the flight and hotel separately.    Call the hotel directly because they may be offering a in-house promotion that the 1-800 center may not be aware of.  Always ask if there are any specials or upgrades for “honeymooners”.

If you are booking a honeymoon that is not all inclusive then budget how much money you may spend on accommodations, meals, car rental, tours, gratuities and tax.  If you find a hotel with a small kitchenette that will certainly reduce your meal expenses.  If you are doing an all-inclusive trip you will not require a lot of cash leaving your pocket since all your food and beverage is included at the resort.

Sign up for a honeymoon registry where your guests can actually contribute to your trip.  You will be surprised how quickly this will add up and just maybe you won’t have to pay anything in the end!

Ensure all your travel documents are in place and you have a copy of your marriage license.  Purchase travel and out of town medical insurance in the event something should happen to you while away.  Many credit cards and the companies you work for offer this already so investigate this first before purchasing travel insurance with the tour operators.  This alone will reduce your bill by a couple hundred dollars.

Always remember that the best prices are usually last minute or in off season.  If your wedding falls into this time frame then you are sure to get a better deal.  Last minute may be a little tough as you want everything in place far in advance but don’t count it out.  If you are willing to go anywhere the last minute deals are then great.

Final note, once you have selected your destination make it a promise that the two of you will go back to the same location for your 5th wedding anniversary.  It’s only something to look forward to and will bring make many wonderful memories.

Choosing Wedding Rings Part 1- Romantic

By Rev. Alan Viau

Brides and grooms carefully choose their wedding rings. The metal they are made of is a personal statement. Like everything else in the wedding, their personality reveals itself in three themes. This part 1 of 2 posts on wedding rings.

Wedding rings used to be linked to the bestowal of ‘earnest money’. Historically, the wedding ring was part of the exchange of valuables at the moment of the wedding. It is a relic of the times when marriage was a contract between families, not individual lovers. Today they are a symbol of eternal love and devotion.

Most weddings I conduct have the double-ring ritual which only became popular in the late 1940s. Couples choose a wedding ring design that suits their personality. The metal used in the ring is also part of that personalization.

In my FREE eBook Love In The Capital, I described three themes for weddings. The three themes or personalities is also apparently in the choice of metal  for a bride and groom’s.


According to the prayer book of Edward VI: after the words ‘with this ring I thee wed’ follow the words ‘This gold and silver I give thee’. Gold and silver are the traditional metals used by brides and grooms.

The “K” in 14K gold refers to “karat”, a measurement which is used to describe the purity of gold in jewelry. Karats, measured in units of 24, indicate the amount of gold as a percentage of the total. For example, 24 karat gold is 100% pure gold. 14 karat gold, standard in American jewelry industry, is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metal(s), which is 58.5% pure gold. Pure gold and other precious metals can often be too soft for most jewelry styles.


Yellow Gold and White Gold


In yellow gold, the most commonly used alloy metals are copper, silver and zinc. In white gold, besides copper and zinc, extra white metals such as nickel, manganese and palladium have to be added in order to get the silver-grayish color. Palladium and nickel act as primary bleaching agents for gold to dominate the color, creating the warm gray tone. Also, white gold is usually plated with rhodium to give the same look as platinum, but eventually the rhodium will wear off and the white gold will take on a yellow cast. White gold jewelry needs to be rhodium-plated every few years to maintain its whiteness.

Why to choose this metal: Yellow and white gold are traditional, popular and widely available. Although rings made of yellow gold may show scratches and other abrasions, repairs and maintenance are easy.

Sterling Silver


Sterling silver is the whitest of all the metals. Sterling silver is a mixture of 92.5% silver and 7.5% metal alloy, and the standard quality stamp is 925 which indicate 92.5% purity.  The same way rhodium plating is used for white gold, sterling silver is plated with rhodium to enhance surface reflection and protect tarnishing. Tarnishing occurs when silver reacts with sulfur in the air. Wool, rubber band, some type of paints and gloves made of latex are some household items which contain sulfur. By using method of rhodium plating and proper care, sterling silver jewelry can last for a few years without tarnishing while maintaining a polished shiny look.

Why to choose this metal: Sterling silver jewelry is popular. The price is very affordable, and with rhodium plating it gives the look and shine of platinum or white gold. With careful maintenance, sterling silver jewelry can last for many years to come.



 Photos compliments of Berricle.com