Archive for the ‘GTA Wedding Photography’ Category



Toronto’s Majestic Castle, Casa Loma. The former home of Canadian financier, Sir Henry Pellatt. Canada’s foremost castle complete with decorated suites, secret passages, an 800 foot underground tunnel, towers, stables and beautiful 5 acres estate gardens, all in a 98 room castle. Open daily 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Self-guided audio tour in 8 languages, included with admission.

Despite the drizzly weather, the view from the Scottish tower was phenomenal. Casa Loma sits on a hill overlooking downtown Toronto, with views as far as Hamilton and Niagara Falls on a clear day. I had to line up at the winding staircases for people to file upstairs and downstairs before it was my turn to get to the highest point of the castle.

The Queens Own Rifles Museum is part of fulfilling the legacy of Sir Henry Pellatt who always had a dream of turning the castle into a military museum. A large poster on the 3rd floor recalls the significance that Casa Loma played in world history: Casa Loma played an important role in the development of sonar technology, when the British government relocated their sonar research to Canada during WWII and chose underground spaces at Casa Loma as the location for advancing this technology. This invention played a significant role in turning the tide of the war.

The third floor also features servants’ rooms – with surprisingly generous proportions. Sir Henry Pellatt employed about 40 servants, the majority of whom lived on premises. The Round Room, although appearing to have an elliptical shape, is completely round including windows and doors as it is housed in the Norman Tower. The Austin Room and the Pellatt Board Room are actually available for rent for private and corporate functions .

The second floor of Casa Loma houses Sir Henry and Lady Mary Pellatt’s private living quarters. Sir Henry’s Suite is the smaller of the two, and none of the furniture is original. In keeping with mysterious medieval traditions, he had a secret storage area to the left of the fireplace to store confidential documents. His bathroom is most impressive, clad all around in Pavenzo marble. Spray nozzles controlled by six porcelain taps completely surround the shower for a full-body shower experience, way ahead of its time. Sir Henry’s love of modern conveniences also becomes evident in the more than 50 telephones that were installed all throughout the castle. The alcove in his bedroom actually held his electrical control centre from where he was able to control the entire building. Considering that Casa Loma was built almost 100 years ago, it is astounding to see all these leading-edge installations that would not be out of place in a high-end home in the 21st century.

Lady Pellatt’s Suite is decorated in soft pink colours and has an entranceway to a large stone balcony and a beautiful sitting area. In her later years Lady Pellatt was confined to a wheelchair and spent most of her time in her spacious 3000 square foot suite. The Girl Guides Exhibit pays tribute to her important role in this organization which at the time was still in its infancy. Just across the hallway is a Guest Suite which is decorated in a Chinoisery style which complimented Sir Henry’s collection of lacquered Oriental furnishings. On the way down to the first floor Lou pointed out the castle’s original elevator to me: it is named “Otis 1” and was Toronto’s first elevator in a private home. It is still functional today.

We took the grand wooden staircase down to the main floor where Lou pointed out to me that the original staircase, complete with imported marble from Italy, is actually located somewhere at the bottom of the Atlantic as the transport vessel sank during the ocean voyage. To the left of the Great Hall is the Library which holds 10,000 books. Lou pointed out that the hardwood floor is the source of an optical illusion: when you look straight down, all the floor boards appear to be the same colour. But when you look away in the distance in one direction, one floor stripe appears light, the other one beside it dark. Then, when you face the other way, the same stripe now appears dark, while the one beside it appears light. The colours of the wooden planks just seem to magically switch.

The family logo “Devant Si Je Puisse” is featured in an elaborate coat of arms on the ceiling of the Library. The Dining Room right next to the Library is lined with walnut – no expense was spared for this castle. A few steps to the left is the Conservatory, for me the most visually stunning space in the entire castle and also Sir Henry and Lady Mary’s favourite place in the entire building. The magnificent bronze and glass doors leading into the Conservatory were modeled after a set made in New York for an Italian villa and at the time cost $10,000 to make.

During our visit, the Conservatory was used as a backdrop for wedding photography, and indeed Casa Loma is one of the favourite places in Toronto for people to get married. Lou mentioned that it takes about two years to be able to book a date for a wedding, and a few years ago one lady booked her wedding date even though she did not even have a groom yet. But in the two years before her wedding at Casa Loma she managed to find her future husband. In the end her dream of a fairy-tale wedding in this stunning castle came true. The black and pink marble floor was imported from Italy while the marble facings on the flower beds are from a quarry in Bancroft, Ontario. The flower beds were heated with steam pipes to ensure the perfect soil temperature for exotic plants.

The Gardens of Casa Loma are astoundingly beautiful and were renovated by the Garden Club of Toronto in 1989. Rare annuals and perennial plants, sculptures and a fountain adorn five and a half acres of well-kept grounds which offer some of the best vantage points to take in the magnificence of this structure. A beautiful terrace on the south side of the castle invites visitors to take a well-deserved rest after an indepth exploration of this heritage building.

Casa Loma is not only the second most important tourist attraction in Toronto, it also offers plenty of special and seasonal events for locals and travelers alike: summer events include Afternoon Tea events which include interesting lectures and a delightful afternoon tea buffet menu. Several Sunday Royal Brunches are offered which include a wide range of gourmet hot and cold foods as well as a sweet table and a free self-guided tour of the castle. The Casa Loma Kid’s Club hosts such events as a Dragon Making Workshop as well as a Become a Knight event. At the end of October Casa Loma becomes a Haunted Mansion for Halloween; and the Middle Ages Come to Life Sundays provide reenactments of the medieval period. There is always something special going on at Casa Loma.

Engagement/Wedding Photo Shoots

Engagement/Wedding photo shoots may be booked from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30a.m.and 12noon – 2:30 p.m. most days, (Subject to availability and special Casa Loma programming). The cost is $300.00 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and $450.00 from 12 noon – 2:30 p.m., and the areas that you would have access to are the Conservatory,the front of the Castle and, depending on the time of the year, the Terrace, and Gardens. For further information and to check on availability email or contact the Catering Department at (416) 923-1171.

Film Shoots

Film shoots may be accepted subject to availability and operational requirements. The basic location fee is $3,000.00 / day for up to 12 hours filming and $300.00 per hour for any hours in addition to the 12. There is an additional fee of $300.00 per hour for dressing and $300.00 per hour for striking. Fees for supervision are $42.00 per hour and for security is $27.00 per hour. The number of security staff necessary will vary depending on timing and complexity. Additional services or requirements will be considered for extra fees. A damage deposit will be necessary and the amount of this deposit will be returned upon the completion of the shoot provided there is no damage or any additional expenses incurred during shooting. For further information please email

Photography – Other Than
Engagement/Wedding Photo Shoots

Photo shoots may be accepted subject to availability and operational requirements. The location fee is $300.00 per hour for minimum of 6 hours. There is an additional fee of $300.00 per hour for dressing and $300.00 per hour for striking. Fees for supervision are $42.00 per hour and for security $27.00 per hour. The number of security staff necessary will vary depending on timing and complexity. A damage deposit will be necessary and the amount of this deposit will be returned upon the completion of the shoot provided there is no damage or any additional expenses incurred during shooting. For further information please email


Sharon Naylor, author of over 30 wedding planning books, has just published the perfect book for brides and groom looking to save money on their wedding expenses. “1001 Ways to Save Money … and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding” is filled with expert advice and insider tricks to show you where you can make cuts to your wedding budgets, and how to make them. We asked Sharon to give us her top tips on creating a wedding budget and where you can really save some money. Here’s what she had to say:

How does one create a wedding budget?
The best plan for creating a wedding budget is taking a series of important steps before making your first plan or purchase. You can’t create a realistic budget, one that will allow you to choose most of the elements you want for your big day, without knowing approximately what things cost in your area. For instance, you don’t want to create a budget and then get stunned when you find out that photography packages start at $5,000 in your area when you only budgeted $1,000 for that. Do plenty of research, invest your time in meeting with all kinds of experts, getting printed price lists, and really knowing the ballparks of what everything costs. Then sit down and look at your available funds to figure out what kind of wedding you will have.

Now there are two more steps here:

  1. Talking with parents to see if they will be willing and able to help pay for the wedding. (Not all parents can split the bill or foot the bill these days. Many offer to pay for the flowers or the bar or the honeymoon, etc.)
  2. Make a Priority List of which wedding elements are important to you (catering, entertainment, gown, and photos) and doing the math to decide you’ll spend, say, 75% of your budget on those things, while spending less on (or doing without) the others. It may take a few steps and some extra time, but it’s so worth it to create a good, flexible budget that keeps you reined in, yet still able to spend a little more than you planned for here and there without a ton of guilt. The best budgets are just there to guide you, not make you feel guilty or stressed … they’re designed to keep you from losing control.


Is there a time of year when you can really save money?
Absolutely! January through April is the new Hot Season when it comes to looking for lower-priced packages in every area of the wedding industry. Mid to late-April is my own favorite time of year for a low-cost wedding, since you get the start of gorgeous spring weather for one-third the cost of a September or October wedding (which are now two of the priciest times of year). November is also a well-priced month, but keep in mind that many families have their vacations already planned, or would never dream of missing a family Thanksgiving elsewhere. Just be cautious about planning your wedding during your region’s rainy, stormy, icy, snowy or hurricane seasons just to save a buck; it’s not worth grabbing an insanely low price package when there’s so much weather threat to your day and to your guests’ traveling safety.

What’s your number one wedding dress budget-shopping tip?
Get on the mailing lists of several bridal gown shops, so that you get advance, VIP notice of upcoming and last-second-planned designer trunk shows and sample sales. At these events, you can find gowns for up to 75% off, as well as shoes, veils, headpieces and accessories for up to 70% off! You should also sign up at your favorite designers’ Web sites as well, since they sometimes plan last-minute trips through your area and their staff will e-mail you to invite you to the sale.

Are there any items a bride should splurge on?
Really good shoes. Just like with the gown, it’s all about how you feel as well as how you look, and you’re going to be in those shoes all day and all night. Comfort is key. One of the new trends is for the groom to buy the bride a fabulous pair of designer heels as a wedding gift, because she may already have jewelry or wish to borrow from her mom. Grooms say their brides swoon over a great pair of Louboutins or Jimmy Choos. Wearing a pair of phenomenal designer shoes will make you feel like a true VIP on your wedding day.

Are there any items a bride should not cut from her budget or not look for a cheaper alternative?
The food, the food, the food! While there are lots of ways to get more catering for your budget dollar, it’s never a good idea to underfeed your guests. Guests get very angry when you cheap out on the catering, especially since they have gone to so much effort to be there with you on your big day. The true gift you’re getting is your guests’ presence at your wedding, so feed them well, be extravagant, devote a larger portion of your wedding budget to unique and delicious food stations, passed hors d’oeuvres, a fantastic sit-down meal and desserts.

The second item to invest well in, and not attempt to replace with a cheaper alternative, is your photographer. Yes, they’re expensive, but the good ones are truly worth it. Those gorgeous photos get more valuable over time, and this is not a day to trust to an amateur or the cheapest “expert” you find. Research well, ask friends who they hired, and invest in the best package possible. It’s worth every penny to get such masterful images of your day.

Is there a tactful way to ask mom and dad to help out?
Most parents expect to play a role in contributing to the wedding, so the best way to initiate this particular conversation is to make diplomacy your number one goal. Plan a get-together such as brunch or dinner at your place, if possible, with each set of parents separately. Here’s the ideal approach: “Mom, Dad, we’re so excited to share the wedding plans with you! We’d love to have you join us to tour potential reception sites and taste wedding cakes, and we definitely want to hear how you’d like to contribute, what you have in mind, what you’d like to work on.”

Mom and Dad should be told your initial wishes about the wedding, such as the number of guests, time of year and formality, so that they know the scale of the wedding (and also so that they don’t try to pressure you into having the wedding of their dreams!). With open communication, parents can tell you how much they were planning to contribute, or they can ask you to help them figure out what a wedding costs in your area. You’ll get much better results when you invite parents to participate and allow them to state what they’re comfortable with, show them your priority list and share your excitement about the wedding planning process than if you just tell them what your dream wedding is going to cost or try to guilt-trip them into contributing more than they can afford. (NEVER say your future in-laws are giving $X,000 — keep all donations discreet.)

Now if you initially told your parents that you’re paying for the wedding but time has passed, expenses have piled up, and you now need parental help, it’s fine to be direct: “We really wanted to foot the bill ourselves, but even with our modest plans things have mushroomed to greater expense than we expected. So if your offer to help with a financial contribution is still on the table, we’d love to take you up on it.” Being direct like this is always going to improve your odds of success.

Check out some more of Sharon’s books (and her blog) at her Web site,



For many brides, their wedding day is something they’ve dreamed of since they were little girls and first heard the concept of Prince Charming.

Only two words could describe how the invitations, flowers, decorations and dresses must look on a bride’s wedding day: just so.

But while some obsess over replicating the grand fairy tale dreams of their youth, others realize that making some practical cuts when planning ahead can ease the potential for stress on their special day.

“I think that the bride can have her dream wedding, but she needs to be realistic,” said Lindsay Bennett, 31, a wedding coordinator and owner of It’s All N the Presentation.

In Bennett’s experience, the brides who give themselves enough time to plan and are willing to compromise on some aspects, are the ones who seem to have the best times at their weddings.

“Trying to make sure everyone is happy will exhaust you,” she said, and added that this can happen more often when bridal parties are larger.

She said when there’s 12 or 14 different friends – all of whom the bride might genuinely care about – that’s a lot of opinions that a woman feels obligated to consider.

“The bigger party they have, the more involved the planning will be. I don’t think brides really understand until they get into it,” she said.

Wrangling large bridal parties and lots of opinions isn’t only frustrating for the bride. It can also make things more difficult for wedding vendors. They are getting paid for their services, but most still want to provide an unforgettable experience for the bride and groom.

“I think the main pitfall can be not sticking with one idea,” said Tareeca McKee, 62, owner of Sylvia’s Flowers in Groves.

She said when too many people are involved, a bride can get overwhelmed and shuffles through concepts without feeling tied to any of them.

“It’s cliche, but I’ve always said less is more,” said Bennett.

McKee agreed. She said the most elegant wedding she’s ever done cost almost no money.

“The bride used baby’s breath everywhere, on the aisles and everything. It looked beautiful and elegant. Like a fairy land,” she said.

The bride, McKee said, got the idea from a picture in a magazine and brought it with her to order her flowers, which is something McKee recommends.

“We always tell brides during consultations to look at a lot of magazines, but only bring in one or two ideas,” she said. “That way, there’s very little chance of indecision.”

According to Beaumont-based wedding photographer Emily Lockard, 23, furnishing the photographer with a list of the bridal party ahead of time is another way to be more efficient. It speeds up the process of formal pictures after the ceremony and helps ensure that the priority shots are taken.

“Some think it’s not effective, but it helps because I can at least learn the names of who to call on for the different pictures. That way, the couple can get to the reception quicker,” she said.

Lockard also said it’s important to let the photographer know if the venue has any specific rules regarding photography. For instance, she said many Catholic churches do not allow flashes during a ceremony.

And then there’s the budgeting aspect of weddings.

Bennett said laying clear expectations for what is affordable ahead of time can save on disappointment.

“People don’t always know that this can get expensive,” Lockard said about wedding photography. It’s not only the time she spends shooting a wedding that a client pays for, but also the about 40 hours of editing after the fact.

Bennett also said that many brides can fixate on having every possible tradition represented, especially when it comes to the wedding reception.

“Sometimes, depending on your age group, you might not want to do the bouquet toss,” she said.

On a number of occasions, Bennett has had to drag guests on to the floor so a bridesmaid isn’t waiting for the bouquet toss alone.

“I just think that’s one of those traditions that can totally die down and be OK,” she said.

However she said that some traditions are fun and easy to include.

“Something borrowed, something blue – a lot of girls have fun with that,” she said.

Local wedding coordinator Lindsay Bennett is full of good advice if you’re getting hitched. Here are a few of her tips:

– If you get invited to multiple showers and the wedding, you don’t have to bring a gift to every one. One nice gift at one of the events will suffice.

– For outdoor weddings in the summer, or early fall, make sure you have fans or air conditioned tents. If it’s the winter or early spring have heaters.

“The weather in Southeast Texas is the worst thing to fight when it comes to planning an outdoor wedding,” said Bennett.

– Allow toasts at the rehearsal dinner, but not the reception. If someone goes on too long or tells an inappropriate story, the audiences at the former are generally smaller and more forgiving.

– “Never give a toast if you’ve had too much to drink,” said Bennett. “That never works out well.”

Selecting a photographer for your wedding photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. Wedding has the largest selection of top photographers for your wedding photography. You can find detailed information about many photographers for your wedding photography, including years of experience, sample photographs, packages and rates at Wedding a Photographer for your Wedding PhotographyMake sure you meet and get to know your photographers for your wedding photography and that you get along with him/her. You can hire the best wedding photographer, but if he or she doesn’t make you smile, you will not be happy with your photographs.

You should make sure that your photographer for your wedding photography brings a backup camera to the wedding. Make sure your photographer for your wedding photography specializes in shooting weddings, as weddings are very specialized events. If you hire an experienced photographer for your wedding photography, you can rest assured that you and your family will enjoy your wedding photographs for years to come.

Questions to Ask

• How many years of experience about wedding photography does your wedding photographer has?
• What percentage of your Wedding photographer is dedicated to wedding photography?
• Is the person you are interviewing will be the person who will do your wedding photography?
• Does your photographer have a professional wedding photography studio?
• What type of equipment will your photographer use for your wedding photography?
• Does your photographer bring backup equipment with your weddings photography?
• Does your Wedding photographer have liability insurance?
• What is your payment policy of your wedding photographer?
• What is your cancellation policy of your wedding photographer?

Getting engaged can be one of the most memorable and exciting moments in your life. For the first few weeks after the proposal, you both feel dizzy with happiness and are bursting with anticipation. As well you both should be! You’ve met the man or woman of your dreams, you’ve decided to get married, and now it’s time to plan the wedding — the official celebration of your love and commitment.

As you plan this wonderful day, you both will continue to feel great joy, but may also experience a few butterflies and a little confusion. After all, organizing a ceremony and reception is a big undertaking.

There will be questions about anything and everything: from the meal (fish, chicken, or beef?) to the wedding gown (low-cut, fitted, or empire-waisted?) to the reception music (live band, small orchestra, or DJ?). There will be issues about budgets, guest lists, and styles.

But in the end, just remember what this day is really about — a celebration of love. Stay focused, and keep organized. This is where this article comes in handy. It’s packed with helpful information and useful worksheets that you both can click on and print out to help you stay on top of your wedding planning. You’ll find:

  • checklists for keeping track of what needs to be done
  • useful charts for organizing the many little wedding-related details
  • worksheets for wading through vendor candidates and potential site possibilities
  • hint boxes loaded with valuable tips and other information

Plus, this article features special Stress-Busters and Budget Extenders tips that help you both tackle the tough problems and really stretch the wedding dollars.

Designed to help the engaged couple plan an entire wedding, from announcing the engagement and buying the rings to cutting your cake and planning the honeymoon, this article will help you both create a truly memorable day — without driving yourselves crazy in the process.

Every wedding is different so there might be worksheets that you both will have to reprint to have enough to cover all of your guests or all of your vendor candidates. Conversely, there might be some worksheets that you won’t need at all or that you might have to tweak to fit your needs.

Get started on the right track by beginning a list of important phone numbers — from wedding party members to the florist and musicians. Then take a look at the next page to help you establish a budget and a timetable. You both also will find information about announcing your engagement and how to choose a ring — that is, if you don’t have your rings already!


Here are some money saving tips that FB would like to share with you. Use a couple of tips to save a few bucks or use more and save $1000+.

The Most Important Money Saving Tips

  • You will save yourself an enormous amount of money if you get married during the off-season months of January, February, March and November.
  • Getting married on any other of the week other than Saturday.
  • There is no official name for this disease but many brides get it.
    • 1st Symptom – around 3 months before your wedding, you’ll begin to second-guess your decisions.
    • 2nd Symptom – You’ll get scared and think about what you can do to make your wedding better or more unique.
    • 3rd Symptom – Then you’ll ask friends, family, co-workers and anyone that will listen to you, about what they think of your new ideas.
    • 4th Symptom – and most dangerous…you make a few phone calls and start up-grading a few of your packages.
    • The Cure – stick to your original budget. As the wedding draws near, your emotions take over…ignore them.
  • Vendors are well aware of the disease. That’s why every contract allows for you to upgrade a package at any time but there are rarely loopholes for downgrading.

The Wedding Attire Search

  • If finances don’t allow you to purchase a designer wedding dress, consider renting. Look at it this way, if you’re the type who wouldn’t even consider wearing your mother’s dress, why do you need one collecting dust in the closet.
  • Never mind buying an expensive silk gown. Stick to polyester blends. They’re cheaper, don’t wrinkle as much and are easier to clean.
  • The more beading and detail on the gown, the more expensive.
  • Most of the big bridal shops have huge sales once a year, usually held at hotels or other big venues.
  • To take care of the something old-new-borrowed-blue, look to family and friends for items you can use.
  • Go shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses during prom season and after New Years. There’s nothing written in stone that says you have to buy your bridesmaids dresses at a wedding shop, and generally your prices will be a bit cheaper elsewhere.
  • Shop for those pretty little wedding shoes in the summer, when white shoes are on the shelves of every shoe and department store, or you’ll have to buy them in a bridal shop and pay their prices. Shop in the afternoon, your feet swell during the day and they’ll also be swollen on your wedding day. FB prime advice … try “Payless”.
  • Men’s Tuxedo rentals are pretty much all the same price no matter where you go. The thing to check on is the condition of the suits and accessories.

Flower Power

  • Unless you plan on keeping your bouquet on display in your home, don’t bother with a duplicate to toss.
  • Instead of tossing your whole bouquet, just pick one flower to throw. We all know what condition the bride’s bouquet is in after 30 women (or more) start clawing at it.
  • Silk flowers save you a lot of money and they’re already preserved. The Bride can have fresh flowers, but there really isn’t any need for everyone else to go fresh.
  • If you’re using flowers in your centrepieces, decorations or large altar arrangements, go with silk. Would be nice if your guests could actually use the centrepieces that they just won again. You could re-use the decorations and larger arrangements at home, party accents or resell them on the Babbling Brides Board to another FB.

I Have No Idea How To Decorate!

  • To decorate the head table and save money buy vases, line them up and place the bouquets in them on the table and place votives in between.
  • Before shopping for candles and candleholders anywhere else, be sure to check out a couple of dollar stores.
  • Dollar stores and chains like Wal-Mart and Zeller’s also carry many items that can be used to decorate your ceremony or reception locations.
  • When decorating the church or reception venue use silk flowers.
  • Check with your florist or garden centre to see if you can rent plants, some places do.
  • Kill 2 birds with one stone and use your guest favours/bomboniere as your centrepieces. Buy a raised cake plate and display the favours on each table. Your MC can make an announcement explaining.

How Can I Cut Corners on the Invitations?

  • To make your invitations more personal and less expensive, do them yourself. There are a number of paper stores and websites availabile where you can find original ideas and ways to make your own invitations.
  • Order your invitations over the Internet instead of a printing shop (it’s a little cheaper). Mail order is another possibility.
  • Order a plain invitation from a company and decorate it yourself. All you need is a hole-puncher and some ribbon and/or parchment paper.

I Don’t Want to Spend a Fortune on Favours/Bomboniere

  • Please, go to a DOLLAR STORE first and check out their selection of party favours.
  • Some bomboniere stores decorate the gift for free and some don’t, so make sure you ask.
  • Instead of buying a trinket that will be tossed into a drawer, make a donation to a charity. This is a new trend that many brides are choosing. Pick a cause that means something to you. Your MC can say something like: “Instead of favours, the couple has decided to make a donation in their name to the Lung Cancer Society. The bride’s grandfather passed 3 years ago from this disease.” Donations always get a round of applause…ever see anyone clap for a candy dish?

Wedding Cakes too expensive? No Problem!

  • Buying a cake made with different flavoured tiers will save you money as you wouldn’t necessarily require a dessert table.
  • To get away with not paying a cake cutting fee at your venue, purchase their sweet table but serve your wedding cake for dessert. This means you’ll have to do your cake cutting as soon as your wedding party does their entrance. The staff will take the cake away and have it cut and plated in time for dessert.
  • If you’re having a dessert table, you really don’t need to buy an elaborate wedding cake, try renting.
  • Buy a plain wedding cake and decorate it yourself with silk or fresh flowers.

What about my Hair & Makeup?

  • Try to hire one person or company that does both hair and makeup.
  • Only the bride needs a trial.
  • You can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 for hair and $30 to $85 for makeup. Know that the more women you have that need these services, the cheaper the cost per person.
  • If hair accessories are going to be put in anyone’s hair, make sure you buy them yourself. If you leave this up to the hair stylist it’ll cost more.
  • If you have sensitive skin, we suggest that you do not go for a facial the week before your wedding. You don’t want to be all broke out for the big day.
  • Please get your nails done and make sure the groom’s hands are also manicured. More than likely you’ll be getting a picture that shows your hands and the wedding bands. People will be constantly asking to see your rings.
  • Lastly, try to find a makeup and hair vendor that will do a trial a few months before the wedding. It gives you time to work out any areas you are not happy with and makes the wedding day process much quicker

Using a Caterer & choosing a Reception Venue

  • Hire a caterer that supplies everything you need, plates, glassware, table cloths, etc.
  • Make sure you’re only charged for the services that you need. Some caterers have packages that include decorating and other items. If your venue is decorated already you won’t need the extras. Extras should be deducted from the bill or replaced with something else you want.
  • Pick fruits and vegetables that are in season.
  • Stick to serving food that everyone is familiar with. Fancy food is expensive.
  • Buffets generally cost a good deal less and give your guests the opportunity to get up and mingle with the other guests, and they can pick exactly what they would like to eat.
  • Make sure to read your contract and check to see if the gratuity is included. This goes for all services.
  • Booking a venue that allows you to buy your own liquor is more work but saves you money.
  • Depending on your culture and where you live in Canada, having a cash bar is totally acceptable. This can be a huge money saver.
  • Consider only serving wine and domestic beers.
  • Liquor (vodka, rum, rye, scotch) plus all the different mixes you’ll need adds to your expenses.
  • Liqueurs like Grand Marnier, Sambucca, etc. can put a real strain on the liquor budget.
  • Do you really need that Champagne toast?
  • Common sense tip – the more guests the more cash you’re going to put out.
  • Holding your reception in a hotel has a lot of good points. They usually decorate, have professional services, i.e. DJ, can cater well to large groups, and most likely will include the honeymoon suite, with discounted rooms for out-of-town guests.
  • If you’re having a wedding with 75 guests or under, consider having your reception at your favourite restaurant. You will already know the staff and how the food is.
  • Order child meals for kids under 11.
  • Order a teen meal (same as adults but no liquor) for ages 12 to 17.
  • Your reception is the biggest expense. It’s also where you can save the most money if you shop around and plan well!

Photographers charge too much!

Photographers equipment and development costs alone are huge. Then there are batteries, film, an assistant and the hours of work on and after the wedding. You can save money on enlargements and albums but don’t penny pinch when it comes to the photographer. After your wedding day, the only things you have left are your pictures and your video. These are the only 2 services that last a lifetime and can be passed down to the next generation.

  • Biggest tip – hire a photographer that gives you your negatives, that way you can make as many copies of pictures from your wedding day as you want without having to order them from your photographer.
  • If you choose a photographer that does not give you your negatives, always find out how long they keep your negatives on file and if you can obtain them when they are ready to discard them. Most photographers in general don’t keep negatives past a couple of years. If your photographer still won’t give you the negatives after that point without charging you money, I would question the ethics of the vendor.
  • $1000.00 for a photographer is a great price but if they charge $40.00 for an 8 X 10, where’s the savings. Don’t just look at the photo packages or wedding day shoot costs, ask how much their enlargements are.
  • If a package includes a couple’s album and 2 parent albums, ask how much that same package would cost without any albums. Sometimes it’s worth the savings to buy your own albums elsewhere and sometimes it’s better to take the albums offered by your photographer.
  • Unless you’re doing a formal shoot at the bride or groom’s house, you don’t need a photographer there. Your wedding party and family will have their cameras out anyway.
  • A great idea and one that many are using now is, putting a disposable camera on every table at the reception. Then you’ll only need to book your photographer for the church, photo location and maybe to take a few detailed shots at the reception venue.
  • You don’t need your photographer to stay until 1am. Once the bouquet and garter tosses have taken place, there are no more major events to shoot. Your 1st & last dances look the same on film.

I think I’ll just forget about a Video

Some couples think that having a video is a waste of money. How many times will we actually watch it? As necessary as still pictures are they can not capture the mood, movement and sounds of your wedding day like a movie can. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have a great memory and you’ll remember everything about your day. You won’t, you can’t, there are too many things going on and you’re on cloud 9. Keep this in mind.

  • Go for packages with one camera coverage
  • Pick a package with limited editing or none at all.
  • If you can’t afford a professional video, ask a friend or 2 that own their own video cameras to shoot the day for you. Putting an unfamiliar camera in someone else’s hands is useless. Professionals know what to shoot and how to shoot it. So, give your friend a list of events that you want footage of and how you want each shot, for the entire day. Example:
    • Pre-Ceremony: Close-up footage for 10-seconds of the different decorations.(altar arrangements, pew bows, wreath outside and unity candle)
    • The guys waiting. Ask the groom what he’s thinking about.
    • The guests arriving (especially immediate family)

Do I Have To Pay a Fortune for Transportation?

  • Shop around, there are so many limousine companies out there. Prices do vary.
  • There is no rule anywhere that says, “You have to have a stretch limousine.” The smaller the car the cheaper.
  • Other than the car and uniformed chauffeur, you really don’t need any other extras.
  • You can also save money by renting your vehicles from Budget, Hertz, etc. They all have new model luxury cars, sports cars and SUVs.
  • You really don’t need the limousine to take you home after the reception. Late-night pick-ups cost $100.00+
  • Before the ceremony, have the limo pick up the bride and her bridesmaids. The groom, groomsmen and parents can take their own vehicles to the church. After the ceremony, the bride and groom can take the limo and the bridesmaids can hop in the groomsmen’s cars.
  • You may already know someone that owns a Cadillac or Lincoln, a fancy sports car or for fun a Beetle or an antique car. Give this person a call.
  • Some couples need more then one limo. If this is the case for you, compare the cost of 2 to 3 limos vs. the cost of 1 limo bus or Chartered Bus.

Choosing Your Music Service

  • Common sense, the least amount of people providing a service, the cheaper.
    • Ceremony – An organist is cheaper than a string duo, which is cheaper than a trio
    • Reception – A DJ is cheaper than a band
  • The least amount of extras the cheaper. Lighting, smoke & bubble machines, other props, costumes, give-aways, fireworks, the list is endless, all cost money. It’s up to you.
  • A really expensive package doesn’t mean that your party will last longer or that your non-dancing guests will feel the need to shake their booty for the first time in their life. But a crappy DJ or band will ruin your reception.

Do I really need a Wedding Coordinator or Planner?

Let’s face it, the ONLY service you need to get married is an officiant.

  • Most wedding coordinators can save you money because they know…
    • about all the tips mentioned above plus more
    • what to say to and ask your vendors
    • They have connections in the industry.
  • You really don’t need a coordinator at your reception once the dance floor is open to your guests. That usually happens between 9-10pm.
  • You could hire a wedding consultant to help with the final stages of your wedding; creating a detailed wedding day itinerary, making up a checklist for items at the ceremony & reception locations, and confirming with your vendors. While she won’t be in attendance at your wedding, she has planned the day smoothly on paper. As long as you follow the times closely (not exactly) and do the events in the same order as the itinerary states, you’ll be fine.
  • You can appoint a friend or family member to be your honorary coordinator. Give her an itinerary, checklists (ceremony & reception items, photo and music list) and phone numbers for all your vendors. The honorary coordinator should be someone that’s organized, the more obsessive-compulsive the better and not scared to open her mouth when something goes wrong.


In the course of every individual’s life, he must go through the process of planning his own wedding, and how spectacular the wedding is and entertained the guests are all depends on how much time and effort the bride and groom puts forth into the planning process.

Whether the person is organized and professional is all shown through one’s own wedding. Typically, if a couple is planning to marry, they should start planning the ceremony of their lives one year ahead of time. Especially in a busy city such as Toronto, planning ahead is important since numerous wedding services are constantly in demand. Not only will a couple succeed with good organization skills, good innovative thinking and creativity will also play a large role in creating the perfect Toronto Wedding.

First and foremost, before a couple decides the details of their wedding, they must decide on a specific date and setting. As soon as the time and location has been chosen, it would be wise to reserve the location immediately to avoid possible conflicts with others who are planning their wedding in Toronto. There are hundreds to thousands of beautiful wedding reception facilities and banquet halls in Toronto, and choosing the right one may take some time. As soon as the time and location is set, it would be a good idea to draw up a guest list, which actually takes an unbelievably a long time to do.

After the couple has selected their Toronto wedding location and date, they can start looking for numerous assets and services for their wedding. Choosing the bride’s wedding dress nine to twelve months before the wedding allows the bride ample time to select the perfect dress for her special night. It will also give her time to request modifications or changes if needed. Allow a few months time to carefully select the perfect decorations, chair covers, and lien. It would also be wise to spend more time in deciding the right wedding photographers in Toronto, since there are thousands of them to choose from. Choosing the right photographer is essential and possibly one of the most important parts of a Toronto wedding because these photos will be the memory pieces of the beautiful moments during the wedding.

Another crucial aspect that should be planned at least nine months before the Toronto wedding is selecting the wedding cake. The wedding cake is like a monument representing the couple in the wedding. The creativity and design of the wedding cake allows the couple to stand out during their wedding. Not only will an elegant and large wedding cake bring praises from guests, it will also instill pride within the couple, as having one of the most unique wedding cakes in Toronto.

In about half year’s time, the to-be-married couple should start creating their menu and reserve their caterers in Toronto if they have not done so. Food is also another important aspect in a wedding and is a way to show the elegance and grandeurs of the Toronto wedding. The type of food should match the decorations and central theme of the wedding. If the reception facility is a Chinese restaurant, then the food and decorations should be of an Oriental theme. Choosing the right caterer is important to deliver the best and most delicious food to impress guests.

Three months before the wedding, most of the planning such as decorations, live music and entertainment should be completed. It would also be a good time to reserve limousines or other modes of transportation to the wedding. The traditional arrival for the marrying couple is through riding Toronto wedding limousines, but one can be creative and choose something else such as motorcycles, old-fashioned vehicles or even helicopters. Be brave and try something new! Not only will a creative mode of transportation to a wedding impress guests upon arrival, it will also be fun and an enjoyable experience for the bride and groom.

With two months to one month before the grand wedding, everything should be all well planned out. The marrying couple should be in their final stages of planning. Booking make-up, hairdressers, and beauty salons should be done during this time. Also, buying gifts and favors should also be started since they are a big hassle if left to the last week before the wedding. Everything should be finalized and almost ready. Vows and speeches should be already drafted and ready to go.

If planned efficiently, the final weeks before a wedding should not be too extremely stressful. If caterers and other services have not been confirmed, it would be a wise idea to give them a call. Also give a call to all guests as a reminder of the grand Toronto wedding. Basically, the last few weeks before the wedding should be all about confirmations and making sure everything will go smoothly as planned on that special day. Have several rehearsal dinners to make sure everything will go perfectly smooth. This time would also be a good time for bachelor and bachelorette parties and close bonding with future in-laws and friends.

The amount of stress before and wedding and the grandeur impressions from guests all depends on how much time and organization the bride and groom decides to put forth. If one if dedicated and organized, the process of this commonly-deemed tedious task in planning a wedding will go as smoothly as slicing butter. With great planning and organization, the bride and groom will be able to sit down for a cup of coffee even before the day of their Toronto wedding.