Inspiration Friday's…Beautiful Tables

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Inspiration Friday…Beautiful Tables

Friday’s for me are my days of inspirations and paperwork! As I am designing creative concepts and decor elements for my client’s upcoming events, one of my favourite sites for tabletop and linen inspirations is Wild Flower Linens

As former fashion designer, Wild Flower Linens owner Youngsong Martin has created a new standard for tabletop and event design. Her innovative collections are infused with rich colour, textures, and patterns. Her collections are released several times a year and mirror couture trends from Milan, Paris and New York.

Youngsong’s designs are sought after by every well-known event planner I know (including myself) and celebrities. Her designs have been featured in many well know publications including: Grace Ormonde, Weddingbells, Inside Magazine, In Style Weddings.

Take a look at her collections and be INSPIRED for your next event!

Enjoy and Have a great weekend.

Planning Ethnic Weddings

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Photos by Cavvy Chin

Planning Ethnic Weddings

“A wonderful way to share your uniqueness”

Today’s couples come from varied backgrounds and are made up of mixed races, religions and ethnicities. There are few customs that unite us all as people, but the ritual of the wedding has no cultural boundaries and the concept of marriage remains the same from culture to culture. The way in which a two people are united can be very personalized and enlightening. There is no one right way to get married, and many contemporary couples bring their own blend of tradition and tastes to their big day.

Incorporating ethnic customs and traditions in a respectful manner are an excellent place to start when planning (since the process can easily become overwhelming) and is a great way to honour both individuals and their families. Even the smallest out of the ordinary gestures and details can personalize a wedding and set the mood for the entire event. It can also ensure that this special day makes a lasting impression that will be memorable to both you and your guests for a lifetime.

If you and your fiancée come from different cultural backgrounds, there are many ways to think about how to integrate and blend both backgrounds into your wedding ceremony and reception celebration.

Tips to help incorporate and blend your cultural traditions:

Invitations:

Invitations usually set the tone for the wedding, couples can use this opportunity to let guests know about the cultural traditions that will be part of the wedding. For example incorporating a cultures sacred text, poem, quote or choosing to create a bilingual invitation is a great way to customize any invite.

Décor:

Colours are a great source of inspiration and featuring traditional and prominent colours of a country or region is a unique way to create a very personalized and custom décor theme. For example, those with an Indian background could use the vibrant, rich and jewel tone colours of their culture and clothing in their table decorations, linens and wedding flowers.

Attire:

Couples may think about having their wedding party wear traditional accessories and clothing and/or at least traditional colours that envoke a cultural feeling.

Food and Drink:

Food is a great connector and a great way to embrace cultural blending. Choose to have an ethnic menu instead of the norm of “chicken and beef”. For example choosing hors d’ouevres from one or both cultures or doing a traditional dish for the main course. Think about creating a dinner buffet that fuses the cuisines of both cultures, create a special wedding cake that showcases special recipes for each layer, or serving wines from both countries or sake for toasting instead of champagne.

Ceremony:

Finding the right officiant or clergy member to perform your ceremony can help honour and blend traditions. Many couples can honour their culture and even different religious beliefs through readings, blessings, clothing and music. Many couples even opt for two separate ceremonies (and sometimes two different receptions) so that both religions and all customs can be respected. This definitely allows for twice the amount of celebrating and fun!

Programs:

Provide explanations of rituals and traditions that are included in the wedding, this will help guests feel more at ease and on top of what’s going on. A well thought out and beautifully designed program can help educate and entertain your guests.

Music:

Consider hiring a band or DJ that specializes in cultural music… strategically including a polka or bhangra in the musical repertoire always adds to any event. You may even want to have professional performers and dancers showcase and teach cultural dances, this helps guests join in the fun!

Favours:

Look at cultural traditions when choosing your favour. Many cultures have traditional types of favours for example at an Italian wedding, Jordan almonds are given to guests to symbolizes the wish for the new couple of “health, wealth, happiness, children and long life”. Put extra thought into your favours (you want guests to cherish them, not shove them in a drawer or even worse toss them in the garbage upon arriving at home) Personalize your favours with custom wedding labels, ribbon and even use traditional language and symbols to add flair to your favour packaging.

Remember, your wedding should represent who you are as a couple!

Etiquette 101

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(Cool Book Cover….it has the same E font as in my logo)

Over the past few weeks I have been meeting with many of my new clients and have begun the planning process for variety of ‘09 events. Every year at this time, some of the first questions asked are regarding etiquette and budget……………usually the two go hand-in-hand.

Here are just a few of the common Wedding related questions I get asked.

Who pays for what?

A wedding is supposed to be a celebration of your love and new life together, and is not meant to be a financial strain on you and your family. Traditionally, the bride and her family pay for most of the wedding costs. However, relationships and roles in marriage have changed considerably and as a result, having the financial burden on the bride’s family is no longer standard in today’s world. All three parties including the bride, groom and parents should talk about the wedding plan ahead of time so that everyone’s concerns and willingness to contribute can be taken into consideration.

The Cash Bar Issue?

Yes, weddings are expensive. Yes, couples should be on the lookout for budget saving tips. However, hosting a cash bar at your reception is an etiquette buster! Think about it …. you would never ask anyone to pay for a drink in your own home. People at your reception are still your guests, even if the event is not held in your house. That said, if a full bar is not within your budget, consider these alternatives:

1. Host a soft bar, in which guests can order champagne, beer and wine.

2. Host a consumption bar, in which the bar is open till a certain time or until a certain amount of drinks are served.

3. Host a non-alcohol based bar (mocktails) with neat signature drinks.

4. Cut down the size of your guest list – this is the only significant way to reduce costs in the first place.

Is it acceptable to allow my bridal attendants to select their own dresses?

While it is traditional to have the bride’s attendants in the same attire, today we are seeing more brides giving their attendants independence to select a style that is flattering to their figure and personality within a specific hue. Also, nice dresses these days a few hundred dollars plus alterations, why not let your attendants get something “that they feel they will wear again!”.

What do I do if I do not want children at my wedding?

It’s not appropriate to make sweeping statements on your invitations. Instead make sure your invitations are addressed explicitly with only the names of the guests invited. As back-up, you should also pre-arrange for a children’s hospitality suite with babysitting service, activities and a fun meal like pizza at the wedding venue.

How can I communicate to my guests that I would prefer them to donate to my favorite charity in lieu of a gift?

While the tradition of gift giving is a social norm, it is completely optional for your guests. If you want your guests to donate to a charity or the cause of your choice in lieu of a gift, you can include this on your personal wedding website or through word of mouth by family and friends

What do I do if the bride and groom have different cultures/religions?

In interfaith marriages, the cultural and religious traditions from both the bride and groom are often incorporated into the ceremony. This sometimes leads to multi-day affairs. This gesture symbolizes the new unity of faith between the couple while paying tribute to both heritages.

Is Champagne the only beverage used for toasts?

While champagne is the traditional beverage used in toasts, today’s fashion forward brides are customizing the beverage to accommodate their favorite libation, seasonal drink or lifestyle/cultural family heritage.

What do you with your flowers after the wedding?

Some suggestions are to offer them to your guests to take home, reuse them for a post wedding brunch the following day or donate them to a hospital, charity or local foundation.

How long do I have to send out my thank you cards?

Ideally, you would send thank you notes throughout the pre-wedding period as you receive gifts. A timely thank you is proper etiquette, so the sooner the better; however, it is never too late to be gracious. Remember to personalize the thank you note specific to the gift or include a memory from the big day.

Who should plan the honeymoon?

In the past, the groom was known to plan the honeymoon; however, today it is viewed as a grand vacation and is planned by both the bride and groom. This includes all of the research, making the reservation and arranging all of the details prior to your departure (i.e. children, pets, mail delivery, house sitting arrangements, etc.).

Hiring a Wedding Consultant/Planner?

No more planning the wedding on your own with help from your various cousins and friends. The trend has clearly shifted towards hiring a wedding consultant/planner who takes care of all the details for the wedding and ensures that it is not a mismanaged and haphazard affair! Consultants can help guide you through all of the intricacies of contracting vendors, staging rehearsals, seeing that proper wedding etiquette is followed and basically ensuring that no loose ends are left unattended. A consultant can be used just for the beginning or ending arrangements of your wedding or throughout all of the planning stages.

Inspiration Friday….

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New President, New Hope For Many.

This week was a historical week with the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama being sworn in with millions viewing his inauguration. Whether you like him or not, agree or disagree with his political views and policies……..this was a momentous occasion for the whole world!

Being part of the visible minority population, a women and a mother of three young children this week has given me new hope, and has reminded me that anything is possible for anyone who works hard and dreams big. I really feel that change is in the air.

The new President certainly has his work cut out for him, but hopefully with the support of his family, the American people and all the countries and leaders around the world I am sure that he will create positive change and help America to move forward, especially in these tough economic times. (It can only get better right?). For those of you who missed it, please find the text to his great and well written speech which he delivered with real conviction on Tuesday below:

Text of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address on Tuesday, as delivered.

OBAMA: My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers … our found fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Have a great weekend!

Trends 2009

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Photo by Blue Orchid Designs, Flickr

Tonight I had the pleasure of participating in a special Wedding Planning Workshop at Red River Community College, hosted by Elaine Kinchen. I was asked to discuss hot wedding trends, etiquette and the do’s and don’ts of vendor selection. I also threw in a fun demonstration on creating a themed decor table. Special thanks to Kylee (Planned Perfectly Linens) and Gloria (Floral Elements) for allowing me to use some of their supplies, props and past wedding show creations for tonight’s workshop.

Here are a few tips, resources and great articles that I shared with the group tonight:

2009 Top 12 Trends

Please keep in mind when planning your wedding that trends are just that. What’s most important is that you, the bride and groom, use the trends as a guide, selecting those things that are in sync with your own ideas, unique tastes, cultural backgrounds and reflects your own personal style.

Trend 1: Vintage, Rustic Homespun Details

Outdoor weddings — on a farm, in a park, or even in the backyard — are huge right now, and we’ll continue to see a lot of them in 2009. It’s really no wonder: An outdoor setting makes for a fun, laid-back vibe and the decor options are limitless. So what kinds of details are in store? Vintage vases filled with fresh-from-the-garden flowers, mismatched china in bright colours, and homemade wooden signs to direct guests. Even catering is in on the action with in-season ingredients paired with organic wine.

Trend 2: Jewel Tones

Say good-bye to pale pastels. Rich gem and jewel tone colors like navy, plum, and amber are going to be hot. And instead of chocolate brown, look to a soft creme brulee hue, bronzes, coppers, and black. Yes, that’s right — black is back too. When choosing colours, just pick the colours that fit with your personality and taste and that "speak" to you.

Trend 3: Patterns That Pop

Gingham, checkered, polka-dotted, paisley, toile, damask — you name it, colourful patterns are in and in a big way. Add patterned overlays to your tables to instantly perk up the room, find an off-the-rack patterned dress for your bridesmaids, and have your invitations and envelopes lined with colourful designs. The best part about this trend is that it lets you throw around a lot of different hues and still keep a cohesive look and feel.

Trend 4: Gowns and Accessories

From a full A-line gown to a very over-the-top design, this silhouette will make a huge resurgence down ceremony aisles this year. And you don’t have to have a ballroom wedding to pull it off either — the key is in the fabric. Find one with layers of airy tulle or even cotton for an outdoor spring or summer wedding; get a silk satin ball gown for a more formal wedding; or go for ultra-soft suede for a wintertime wedding.

When is comes to jewelry brides are hinting and grooms are buying emerald, topaz, gannet, and other precious stones as the centre, or complimentary stone for engagement rings.

Trend 5: Two-tiered Wedding Cakes

While cupcakes, candy and dessert bars have been popular for the past few years, wedding cakes are making a comeback — but not in tall towers anymore. Now it’s all about having just two tiers. Order several small cakes and put them on each table as a centrepiece, or set up a table of tiny wedding cakes mixed with desserts, cookies, pies, and more. And vintage cake toppers are in too.

Trend 6: New Centrepiece Vessels and Flowers

Traditional large centerpieces, such as tall vases or candelabras, are out. They are being replaced with clusters of different size and shape small arrangements embellished with clusters of decorative candles of all sizes. The classic floral vase has given way to mix-and-matched clusters of vintage pitchers, vases, jars, and galvanized buckets. Other ideas: apothecary jars with colorful rocks, sand, or even candy; uniquely shaped glass vases featuring fresh fruits like raspberries and blueberries; and mason jars loaded with fresh flowers like daisies and dahlias. To throw extra color or texture into the mix, line your flower-filled vases with patterned paper or even fabric.

Exotic flowers are more popular than ever and the cascade-style bouquet is experiencing a resurgence.

Trend 7: Chandeliers and Creative Lighting

Lighting designers are turning out impressive designs, projecting chandeliers, large trees, flowers, and even city skylines right onto the walls. When it comes to your space, hang chandeliers in different sizes, add colourful lamps and shades to the tables, and don’t skimp on the candles!

Trend 8: The Updated Photo Booth

Renting a photo booth has been growing in popularity over the past few years. The updated version? Entire photo sets with fabric backdrops and props. Set up a photo area at the reception that’s big enough for a group shot. Drape the background with fabric and add couches, chairs, and plenty of props (think easy-to-throw-on hats and scarves). You may be able to have your photographer or an assistant man the station, or ask a trusty friend to be on hand with a digital camera.

Formal and posed shots will always be popular, but more and more couples are choosing to switch to, or add candid, photojournalistic photography.

Black and white photos continue to be popular, as an addition to shots in color.

Trend 9: Fabulous Food & Drink

Try starting your meal with an amuse-bouche (chef’s teaser). These small dishes are a great way to prepare your palette for the meal ahead. Sit-down dinners will not be as popular as they have been in the past, instead the trend is toward having several food stations with a variety of foods, everything from appetizer selections to dessert choices. Caterers will have an opportunity to demonstrate their skills with what’s being called a "progressive wedding." The idea is to have every course with a different country’s cuisine for each part of the dinner. In that way guests can sample foods from all over the world and are sure to find something on the menu that suits their taste.

Signature drinks and family recipes are extremely popular. Colour will be key in food presentation, with caterers making an attempt to make food even more pleasing to the eye. Ethnic theme dishes such as Middle Eastern, Latin and Mediterranean themes are the newest trends. Be the first of your friends to add a “pre-dessert” to your wedding. This hot new trend is the bridge between the savory entrée and a sweet dessert. Some examples are basil ice cream, strawberry soup, olive oil ice cream with roasted figs, and rice and ginger panna cotta with soy ice cream. This is sure to get the mind and taste buds ready for the much-awaited course … wedding cake!

Trend 10: Gifts and Favours

While it is not necessary, it is always a nice token of appreciation for sharing your wedding day. Customary table favours are set either 1 per person, 1 per couple or alternating two coordinated items. Always ensure the items selected are thoughtful, memorable and practical to the event. In lieu of a table favours, couples are also choosing to offer parting treats as a fond farewell. Instead of traditional Jordan almonds, couples will go upscale by giving each guest an iPod Nano pre-loaded with the couple’s favorite songs.

Trend 11: Green and Gorgeous

Couples are choosing to go green as a reflection of their commitment to being eco-conscious. Brides will demonstrate their affirmation of this trend in everything from getting to the church and reception in a hybrid car to growing their own centrepieces and bouquets, to wearing recycled gowns. This is a trend that will expand in the numbers of brides coming on board and in the ways in which wedding-related professionals will offer green options to their brides.

Eco-Friendly Travel and Wild honeymoons like an Ice Hotel in the Arctic, backpacking in the rain forest, or honeymooning in a hut along the Amazon are definitely in.

Trend 12: Tough Times

Results from recent economic times, couples are cutting back wedding budgets. This is reflected in choices that bridal couples are making, such as: smaller weddings with fewer guests, destination weddings or destination type weddings closer to home, increased reliance on family and friends to help plan, pay, and provide some of the services, simplified decorations, centerpieces and wedding invitations, increased use of online RSVP’s vs. traditional mail-in RSVPs, off-peak weddings with buffet meals, hors d’oeuvres, and cocktail reception.

Final Thoughts

The key word in 2009 wedding trends is "glamour." Well-to-do couples are being more and more extravagant. Those not in the affluent income category are opting for a small, decadent wedding, by electing to do more for fewer guests, rather than less for more guests. Whatever you do, keep in mind that it’s your wedding and it should reflect your style.

Resources: Princeton Online, Hudson Valley Weddings

GREEN INC.

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Photo by Juttaschnecke, Flickr

Incorporating "GREEN" into every event!

In 2009, Events by Emma will challenge ALL of our clients and ourselves to modify at least one event element (overall concept, design, décor) to be more earth-friendly.

We will journal our progress and share them with you. Not just our ideas or recommendations, but the outcomes, the cost differences and the anticipated impact the modification made and could make on our environment.

The Wonderful Wedding Show 2009

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Photos by D.Singh

Wow! This weekend was The Wonderful Wedding Show at the Convention Centre and it was my first time participating in the show with a Booth. For awhile now people have been encouraging me to take part and finally I decided it was time……. and boy did I have a great time!

Although it was exhausting and hard on the feet, I had the chance catch up with some old friends and colleagues as well as make some new ones. I also met some really great brides, grooms, their families and members of their wedding parties. I was thrilled to see the numerous vendors who really worked hard on their booth displays to showcase their unique work, services and products.

I especially want to thank Imagination Ink, Vogel Creative, Trevor Brucki Photography, and Deborah Jean Photography who helped me to create the great backdrop for my new booth. Special thanks to Ed and Marianne from Flowers R Us Inc. who created my “GREEN” inspired floral arrangements and the Events by Emma logo inspired arrangement for my desk. Also, many thanks to Gloria and Deb from Floral Elements who didn’t laugh at me when I gave them my idea for my Ethnic inspired table setting and who spent over seven hours working on my “INDIAN ELEPHANTS” and the other beautiful arrangements for my back table. I have created three great albums of my Booth, showcasing their fantastic work in the “Portfolio” section of my website. Please take a look.

Also, to all the Events by Emma Preferred Vendors who had booths of their own at the show: Trevor Brucki Photography, Floral Elements, Planned Perfectly, Branneck Video, Krystal Dreams, Weddingbells, Aldo Formal Wear, CKLY Fashion, Chantel’s Bridal, Holiday Inn South, Harp Oasis, Crystal Sound, Mary Kay, Arch Angel Fireworks……………Congratulations on a job well done and I hope the show was very successful for you and your business this year!

A New Year, A New Look!

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Photo by Ragsnehali, Flickr

EVOLUTION OF EMMA.

Events by Emma is proud to announce the launch of our new website!

This year will mark many big changes as we expand, hire new staff and embark on many new endeavors and partnerships, all the while continuing our dedication to providing credible, professional and experienced event planning support to the Winnipeg community and event industry.

The timing could not be more appropriate with a New Year comes our fresh New Look which reflects the variety of quality services and level of commitment we pass onto our clients. I am particularly proud of this new development and I hope you enjoy it. Please view our new image gallery and portfolio, check out our updated vendor listings and latest news, and for all you bloggers out there, check out my new blog "Ask Emma". Go ahead don’t be shy, blog away!

A very special thanks goes to Marcelle Lussier and the creative staff of Urban Ink who designed the site and spent many weeks developing and tweaking it so it was just right. Also, thank you to Trevor Brucki Photography and Deborah Jean Photography for all of their beautiful images on my new pages.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Emma