Today on the blog I want to discuss a topic that may seem a little self-serving, but in the end is actually bride-and-groom-serving, literally! I’ve had many brides and grooms tell me that they don’t need my services because they have a (insert friend, relative, co-worker, etc) who can handle their wedding planning for free, or that they consider wedding planning/coordinating to be an unnecessary expense. While I do not doubt that friends and family have the best of intentions with regards to assisting with wedding planning, even the best laid plans can fall by the wayside on the road to your big day. Let’s discuss three reasons to hire a certified wedding planner.
I say certified because the wedding industry is largely unregulated, and hiring an uncertified wedding planner is risky because essentially anyone can masquerade as a wedding professional. Insisting on hiring a certified planner creates a safeguard for the investment you have made into your big day. For example, Whim Event Coordination and Design is certified through the Wedding Planners institute of Canada, and as such we are governed by a strict Code of Ethics. A certified wedding planner will offer you expertise, convenience and value.
A certified wedding planner brings many skills to the table. For example, Michelle and I have an intricate network of vendors who know their way around most venues in the GTA. These are consummate professionals who are dedicated to customer service and creating a magical day for our brides and grooms. Since wedding planning is our passion, we are careful to create lasting relationships with other vendors who are just as passionate about weddings.
A good planner will have the skills to avoid (and if required, artfully fix) most wedding-day disasters. By employing a wedding planner at the onset of your planning, you will avoid a world of headaches on your wedding day itself. Your planner will know the vision of your wedding day, will be intimately familiar with your venue, and will have met and communicated with all of your vendors. Your planner will assist in creating your wedding day timeline, and will have a detailed list of your vendors and their set up times. Michelle and I usually act as a buffer between the vendors and the bride and groom on the wedding day, so that our couples can sit back and enjoy their day, and the vendors still have a point person to work with to ensure that everything flows smoothly.
An expert planner also has a fully stocked wedding day emergency kit and knows how to use it! A knowledgeable planner knows how to get red wine out of your white dress, how to quickly sew on a missing button, will have extra hairspray to fix your hair, knows how to repair a run in your pantyhose, and probably even has double sided tape to ward off any wardrobe malfunctions. Michelle and I always carry a huge emergency kit that has everything from safety pins, backdrop pins, snacks to keep the bridal party alive during photo sessions, lint brushes for the groomsmen’s suits, and even sanitary napkins in case of an ill-timed monthly visitor!
Probably the most common reason that Michelle and I get contacted for wedding planning services is the convenience that we provide to our couples and their families. Since we are so well connected in the events industry, we are easily able to provide our couples with recommendations for almost every type of vendor to suit the theme and feel of the event. If we don’t have a particular vendor recommendation, we are always able to reach out to our WPIC network to find a great vendor who is backed by other planners who had positive experiences using them.
The average wedding takes over 250 hours to plan, and that is time that most couples do not have to spare to comb through every vendor in the pool of thousands that exist in the GTA. By partnering with Whim Event Coordination and Design, you are afforded the luxury of time – time that you can use to enjoy the fun aspects of wedding planning, like dress fittings, cake tastings and being pampered!
We often have couples tell us that they feel as though they cannot afford a wedding planner because of a tight budget. While expertise and convenience ultimately save you time, which is, of course, valuable, a qualified wedding planner can save you actual money. We are the advocates of our clients and we represent their interests with every interaction with other vendors. We also spend a lot of time ensuring that your budget is followed so that you do not break the bank on your event.
I also mentioned that Whim Event Coordination and Design is WPIC-certified, and as a result, we adhere to a strict code of ethics. A key aspect of this is that we do not accept kickbacks. What I mean is that if a vendor offers us an incentive to refer our clients to them, we pass on any savings or perks that we receive directly to our clients. The reason for this is simple – when you sign a contract with us, you are our client and we are working for you, not for anyone else, therefore we do not accept payment from any vendor for referring them to our clients.
Many vendors offer kickbacks to incentivize their services, but a WPIC-certified wedding planner recognizes that vendors are only referred based on their merit, not based on any perks they may offer us. We have many vendors who are more than happy to offer discounts to our clients simply because of the relationship that we have built with them. Since we work for you, we are always very excited to pass along these perks to you! After all, it in our best interest for you to have the best wedding experience possible!
After spending so much money and time dreaming and planning for your big day, it would be a terrible shame to see those efforts wasted because there wasn’t an extra set of hands and eyes dedicated to making sure that all of the details were in place. At this point you have spent a lot of money to have a wonderful event for yourself, your family and your friends, so doesn’t it make sense to take precautions to protect that investment? As certified wedding planners, we are like insurance for your wedding; we make sure that your wedding runs beautifully and you get a top return on your investment!
Thanks for reading,
The Ladies of Whim
On November 8th 2014, a beautiful event occurred. Our clients and now friends, Ashley and Ben, got married! Michelle and I had the privilege of decorating and coordinating the event, and from start to finish it was a smashing success!
Michelle and I provided the décor for the ceremony and reception, and we also assisted throughout the day to ensure that the families, bridal party and our couple were well cared for and that the timeline ran according to schedule.
Ashley and Ben have featured in past posts as the couple with the fall engagement shoot, and in planning their wedding we learned a lot about this awesome couple. Ashley and Ben share such a sweet love story. They dated for about 5 years prior to their engagement, and as soon as Ben proposed, these two lovebirds knew that they did not want a long engagement. Around 4-5 months after he popped the question, Ashley and Ben were saying I do.
They chose to have their wedding at the beautiful Skyloft Ski Resort in Uxbridge. Michelle lives in Markham, and I live in Mississauga, so we used Michelle’s place as our base of operations as we planned and put together décor. Skyloft has a stunning banquet space, and as we planned out how the day would flow, we were very excited to see how it would all come together.
Little did we know, however, as we drove in the morning of the wedding, that we would be facing huge fluffy flakes of snow coming down on us as we traversed the dirt roads up to Skyloft! Fortunately the wedding guests arrived after the snow pretty much disappeared, and my loving hubby made a point of driving out to the main road to attach a sign that directed guests to the venue in case anyone missed the turnoff.
When we planned the ceremony décor, we had a vision for the space. Skyloft has gorgeous, high ceilings and a huge window with a breathtaking view. Our vision for the ceremony was to have our couple walk down the aisle, lined with ivory and soft yellow rose petals, with vases of floating candles and chairs adorned with baby’s breath bouquets toward a rustic birch arbour complete with hanging candles and tiny bud vases of flowers. This type of décor, we felt, would complement the hall, which has a lot of natural lighting and is all wood on the inside.
Ashley and Ben are also both into design, as both have a background in graphic work and printing. Since this was the case, we really wanted to wow them with the seating chart, and so we designed a seating chart made from old windows that we cleaned up and painted. Nirvanie assisted with this project as she wrote each and every name onto the panes of glass (thanks Nir, I owe you one.. or ten!). We placed the seating chart on a nude-matte glitter table runner and added a few small votives and fresh cut blooms in tiny bud vases. We believe that every event should have a show-stopping piece, and this was it!
For the centerpieces, we used wildflowers in a small milk-bottle shaped vase, with twine around the lip and votives along side, all sitting on a woodslice. We attached the table numbers by using a clothes pin, and voila, beautiful, rustic centerpiece!
Lastly, to really give the hall a romantic look, we incorporated a few white lanterns with pillar candles. In fact, we used quite a lot of candle light, as it gave the hall a very warm feel once the sun set.
All in all, the wedding was incredibly beautiful and the bride and groom were so happy. Listening to the families speak and the couple speak about their love was heartwarming. Michelle and I are so happy for Ashley and Ben, and we are proud that we played a small part in their wonderful day. We would like to send a quick thank you to all of the vendors that played such a critical part in making this wedding a success, especially the owner and staff at Skyloft Ski Resort. They were a pleasure to work with and made every effort to ensure that the event ran smoothly and seamlessly!
Is your wedding really a wedding if there aren’t obnoxiously over-priced flowers present? Well, yes. But more often than not, brides and grooms pay an arm and a leg for some fresh foliage on their big day. And we get it, flowers are beautiful and undoubtedly add an extra flair- but dishing out the cash for them can be painful. Truth is, it isn’t necessary to spend a third of your entire wedding budget on them. So how can you save a few extra dollars without compromising your sweet smelling blossoms? Read on.
Using seasonal flowers can pare your floral budget down significantly . Paying attention to which flowers are in season during your wedding can leave you cost-effective and fabulous. Of course it depends on where you live, but most places have flowers available year round- it’s just up to you to figure out which ones, and which of those match your theme.
I know what you’re thinking- what kind of flowers are in season in the winter? Don’t worry, you’ve got some options.
Here’s a short list of some pretty choices for each season:
Keep in mind, this list is not extensive- these are just a few of the more popular wedding blossoms. There are a ton of others to choose from if none of these tickle your fancy.
Another option if you’re having a winter wedding is to find a locally owned greenhouse. These places are more likely to have some additional options, since they can grow flowers of all seasons at different times of the year. They’re also likely to be cheaper, since they don’t have to import blooms from abroad to accommodate your needs. AND you can support your local economy! It’s a win-win situation. Check out Pick Ontario’s website for more information on locally grown flowers and florists.
There are a ton of ways to be cost efficient without depriving your big day of some floral beauty. Leave us a comment below and let us know which is your favorite seasonal floral combination!
Burlington, Window Painting, and Starbucks: The Whim Girls’ Guide to Window Seating Charts – Toronto Wedding Planner
This past Sunday Michelle and I decided to get going on a project we needed to complete for an upcoming wedding. We meant to do it sooner, but we’ve had a few other projects come up along the way. In any event, we have a rustic wedding coming up later this month, and we are designing all of the décor for this beautiful ceremony and reception. The venue is Skyloft Ski Resort, and it is the perfect setting for all sorts of pretty little rustic details. One of the ideas that we came up with was repurposing old windows and using them as a seating chart.
Our first task was to locate old windows. Michelle found a great listing on Kijiji that was advertising old windows from a cottage for $25 each. The panes were painted a soft yellow, which made them a perfect find, since they were both affordable and easy to repaint white.
So after verifying that our vehicle could hold all of these windows, we scooped up my cousin Nirvanie from Brampton and hit the road for Burlington!
The owner was very nice and helped us load up the windows into our already-stuffed car, and we headed over to Michael’s to purchase a few supplies.
Once we arrived at Michael’s, we immediately began searching for appropriate markers to write on panes of glass. It took a while to find the right kind of markers in white, but we eventually found them and bought two, as we had 18 panes of glass and 140 names to write. And by we, I mean my cousin Nirvanie, as she has the best writing of the three of us. Thanks again, Nir!
While taking some time to apply a bit of lipstick, and stop for a much-needed Starbucks-infusion, we headed back to Markham to begin our adventure in window re-purposing.
Once we arrived back in Markham, we created a workspace in the garage by laying down some old sheets, and setting out our supplies. We had 3 windows that needed to be cleaned and painted. We used clean cheesecloths to clean the wooden parts of the windows and windex and paper towels to clean the panes of glass.
Next up was probably the most tedious part: applying painter’s tape to each pane of glass. This part is especially important because getting paint on the glass is no fun to clean up later, and if we are honest with ourselves, none of us are master painters. We enjoy colouring outside of the lines J.
We decided to use a white paint with primer already in it, just to avoid having to put several coats of paint on the windows. The yellow paint on the windows was a very soft colour and easy to cover up, and because this was designed for a rustic wedding, we didn’t want the windows to look too modern and clean.
The exact colour of our paint was eggshell, and one can was more than sufficient to cover all 3 windows. We used two sizes of paintbrushes, one medium in size and one smaller, thinner brush to get into angles and corners nearest to the glass.
After a while we moved our operation into Michelle’s bedroom because it got a bit chilly in the garage, and we also wanted to watch The Walking Dead J. As you can see, the painter’s tape was a necessity!
Once the paint dried, which took about half an hour tops, Nirvanie was able to begin transposing the seating chart names onto the panes of glass. She went through a few dry runs before deciding on the appropriate size and orientation of the text, but overall, we are very happy with how the windows turned out.
As you can see, one coat of paint covered the yellow nicely, and hand writing the names, while tiring for poor Nir, added a lovely touch to the windows.
The last task to complete these windows is to add hinges onto the sides so that the windows can stand up on their own on the receiving table, which we will add in a little later. All in all, this was a fun way to spend a Sunday! Bookmark our blog to see these beauties in all of their glory at our client’s wedding later this month.
If you are interested in having us design a custom piece for you, contact us at –firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 647-990-5474. Remember, if you can dream it, we can design it! Our décor selection is extensive, and we are always excited to add to our repertoire.