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Photo via Christopher Luk Photography
Updated January 9th, 2017.
During my seven-year career as a DJ, I had the chance to work and attend 400+ weddings all over Toronto and the GTA. I’m always paying close attention to the food, service and how well I am treated (even as a staff member – these are the people who will sing your praises). A few of them stand out in my mind, so I’m sharing my most favourite and unique wedding venues in Toronto as an industry-insider:
By: Troy Williams
It’s not every day that you get the chance to fly up to Sonoma, California and attend a beautiful wedding. Not just any wedding either, but the most teched-out dream wedding planned by The Knot with details voted on by America.
Samantha & Taylor were selected from thousands of engaged couples across the country to have their unique story live-streamed for everyone to witness for The Knot’s Dream Wedding. Twice before this deserving couple’s plans to get married were cancelled due to the bride’s mother falling ill with cancer.
By hosting the event with the latest wedding technology on the market, Samantha’s Mom was able to watch her daughter’s dream wedding come to life from her hospital room. It was simply the best way to use modern day technology to witness one of the most traditional moments in a couple’s life.
Here are 5 of my favorite wedding technology features of Samantha & Taylor’s The Knot Dream Wedding that you can use for your own special event: (more…)
In all its gorgeous boho glory comes the Free People Wedding Dress Collection! I love the crazy, cool casualness of it all with the long trains, lace detail and just all that flow. It’s very much the wedding dress I would pick out now in my 30s vs. the more classic A-line princess-like dress I chose in my 20s. The dresses are also sort of perfect for a beach or destination wedding.
FP Ever After is the first bridal collection from Free People. I love that there’s just so much more variety and choice in the wedding gown game and gone are the days of just straight up silk or satin. It’s also so difficult to find a unique wedding dress out there, which is why this collection caught my eye. (more…)
Getting married or know someone who is?
Perhaps the venue is now booked, the invitations have been sent, you’ve registered for your honeymoon (did you know you can group fund your honeymoon?) and you’re now ready to build the perfect wedding reception timeline. After working over 400+ weddings as a special event DJ, there are a few tricks that really help a wedding reception flow.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning a wedding schedule:
1) Speeches – It’s better to schedule speeches in-between courses. It’s a natural lull that could easily be filled by a quick 5-minute speech (try not to let them go longer). Guests generally prefer this format as opposed to listening to 20 minutes of back-to-back speeches at the end of dinner.
2) Speech Timing – I like to cue the MC when the last table has been served their food. He or she will then quickly introduce the next speaker, encourage people to keep eating and get the show on the road. I would also advise the banquet hall not to clear any dishes until the speech has been finished so there’s no competing noise.
3) The Best Man Speech – Slot this one in as early as possible. I’ve seen too many Best Men get super nervous and knock back way too many drinks to compensate. Get this speech in early on in the night; same goes for anyone else who is very nervous about speaking.
Wedding season is kicking off soon which means bachelorette party o’clock is happening right now. So you’ve been tasked with planning and hosting the BEST bachelorette party ever for your best girlfriend. No pressure right?
Where do you even begin? How do you deal with all the opinions and tastes? How do you manage collecting money from a big group of people? I’ve got a few tips for you on planning a great bachelorette party:
1) Pick a Memorable Location
The first thing to decide is if this will this be a one night party where you will celebrate locally or will this be an all-out weekend of debauchery at a fun destination? Consult with the bride and ask her where she would like to go. Then poll the bridesmaids and her closest girlfriends to see if a weekend in Vegas/Miami/NYC is do-able for everybody’s schedule and budget. You can always bunk four to a room, fly on points or go during low season.
If the bride wants to include as many people as possible, a local party is probably your best bet. But if you’re looking for a memorable getaway with just a small group of girlfriends – perhaps it will be a weekend trip. It could be a spa getaway in the country, a cottage rental in Muskoka, or a visit to a new city – anything is possible.
2) Pack it Full of Unique Activities
Once you’ve decided where you will be hosting the bachelorette, start researching fun activities for the group. Is there something incredibly unique that you can do as a group or at your destination that you can’t do at home?
Book an afternoon at the spa, take a local cooking class, hit up a comedy show, reserve a bunch of swanky dinners, go dancing, have brunch, go for afternoon tea or spend the day shopping. Ask the concierge at the hotel you are staying at for their opinion on the best ideas for your bachelorette party and let them help you. (more…)