I've been busy and knee deep into all sorts of 'trouble'. I've been featured on the online magazine The Examiner and really gave them the nitty gritty on what I feel is the #1 Wedding Essential for your Wedding in Toronto or any where around the world.
WEDDING PLANNING ESSENTIALS by Renee Ferguson - The Examiner
Wedding Planning can be beyond stressful at times, if done carelessly can result in disasters on the big day... but when done right, with care, and effort, and sometimes some much needed help couples will reap the benefits the second they set foot on that aisle.
That’s why here on the Toronto Weddings Examiner page we are giving you access to some truly amazing Toronto Wedding Professionals who giving you advice, tips, and inspiration to help you have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. And remember if you don’t get the answer you were looking for in any of the Q&As contacts for all the wedding pros are at the bottom of each interview.
Today we are asking all of the wedding planning essential questions and giving the answers is Denise Georgiou-Newell from WeDDings Jubilee Planning Services.
WeDDings Jubilee is a Toronto Based Planning Services Company, specializing in everything surrounding Wedding Events. Owner and Wedding Planner Denise Georgiou-Newell is a certified local and destination Wedding Planner serving the Globe. With a combined 15 years of experience in Event Coordination, Special Occasions and Milestone Celebrations, our goal is simple: Deliver top of the line, customized services to ensure our clients a wonderful and stress-free experience.
Why are Wedding Planners a great necessity when it comes to planning a wedding? What are the greatest benefits to having one vs. not?
Contracting a Wedding Planner for the wedding should be the first thing to mark off the wedding ‘to do’ list. Not only will it save you a ton of unnecessary time in prioritizing, but it will also put you in a position of ease and contentment throughout the planning process. A planner is there to make your vision come to life. They take on the daunting tasks so that your wedding doesn’t take over your day-to-day life; did you know it takes the average couple about 250 hours to plan their wedding? Wouldn’t you rather spend that time with the fun parts of planning instead? Of course you would.
Wedding Planners or Wedding Coordinators offer a multitude of services and oftentimes will customize packages suitable to your needs. Consulting services should be a must as you can use that throughout the planning process for advice on anything wedding related. Equally important is Month-of Coordination or Day of Management. These services ensure that everything is taken care of from vendor confirmations, final payments, Rehearsal Coordination, itinerary creation and Wedding Day management. It always amazes me when I hear of couples appointing family and friends to ‘work’ their wedding. It is a huge responsibility, requires their undivided attention and frankly is unfair to them as a guest.
Things to look for in a Planner: Couples should look for a planner that is knowledgeable, certified, experienced, and compatible with their personality and style.
With the summer and fall wedding upon us, what are some of the trends you have been noticing with couples getting married?
Although this has always been important, I’ve been noticing that couples are putting a lot more focus on the food for the wedding. They are opting for unique food stations and really fun edible favours. Although Candy buffets are still fun and often incorporated, I have been noticing couples adding things like Chocolate Buffets, Coffee Stations, Ice Cream Bars and Fruit ‘Gardens’. Other trends I’ve been noticing is a lot more personality in their wedding details. From everything like custom made shoes, things they collect on display and their choice of entertainment. Personalization is a huge trend right now and for next season.
What theme/colours would you suggest for the upcoming seasons?
Repeat after me: “Less is more!” That is my recommendation regardless of the season. Ensure that the theme and colors are something that represent you as a couple and try not to go overboard on thematic elements. It’s very easy to cross the line to tacky. I love neutral tones with fabulous splashes of color throughout and love the presence of these elements in subtle ways throughout the wedding day celebrations. Aisle Runners made of coloured floral petals; Coloured napkins on a neutral table linen; a fun colourful ribbon tied on a favour box; small theme reminders on the tables or incorporated into the centerpiece & even a DIY or custom made Card Box or Guestbook are all ways to create theme and incorporate color.
Were there any big differences in trends this year vs. last year for local weddings?
There are a quite a few ‘evolutions’ making an appearance:
Firstly, Grooms are so much more involved in the wedding planning and decision-making process. They are aware that it is their day too and are very vocal in saying what they want.
Secondly, I am seeing a much greater focus on the most important part of the wedding celebration: The ceremony. Couples are going all out for the ‘I do’s’ and creating a more lavish setting for the walk down the aisle.
Lastly, more and more, couples are having Friday night and Sunday Brunch Weddings. This is great for couples with more modest budgets or for couples looking to spend more on other wedding related items. I’m also seeing a decline on some of the more traditional staples like the bouquet & garter toss, kissing games and wedding cake. Instead there is more entertainment, from aerial dancers, illusionists and on-site artists.
What is the MUST have for weddings this upcoming season?
There are a few things:
Reception Dress/Suit: A second dress for the Bride and/or an evening suit for the Groom. Second (and even third) dresses are a trend that Brides are embracing. So much so, that some dress designers are incorporating Two-in-one dresses in their collections.
Sparkle and Shine: Whether it’s in the décor, on the dress, floral embellishments and more recently shoes, bling is in!
Dessert Hour: Just like Cocktail Hour except for Dessert. People love dessert and love to mingle after dinner so why not do both at the same time. From tray-passed desserts, Cake pops, dessert coffees, milk shooters and cookies to Flambé Stations and Dessert Wines.
‘Bucket-list’ Honeymoon: I’ve noticed that couples are spending more on their honeymoons to get a trip they’ve always dreamed of. Europe, Africa and the South Pacific are some popular ‘trips of a lifetime’ for honeymooners. **Be sure to see a Q&A with Denise Georgiou – Newell on Honeymoon Planning
This truly depends on the Bride or Groom. If they have the time, the artistic and creative flair and a helpful wedding party, they could take on a few things. Putting together favours and personalizing them with hand written notes; they can make Place Cards and Seating Charts; some couples even opt to making their own invitations, programs and menu cards.
What I would steer clear of (even if you are talented in it), is making your own centerpieces, floral bouquets or setting up decor. Although it seems like you will be saving money; the stress, time, the risk of them not being completed or not turning out the way you want will be a major headache, not to mention that you would need to have someone assemble them as per your vision on the day of. If you have a Do-it-yourself idea for your centerpieces, spend a little extra and hire a professional do it for you.
What about the eco-conscious couple. What advice would you give for the summer and fall seasons?
There are so many options these days for the eco-conscious couple. In fact so many venues are utilizing more ‘Green’ practices. They donate the leftover food to shelters, use ‘Green-Powered’ Energy sources and provide both ceremony and reception options so that the guests don’t have to drive to two different places and add to the carbon emissions. See more “green wedding ideas”.
When it comes to wedding planning in different seasons what should couples consider when planning a summer or fall wedding? Does weather play a big part?
Summer = Mosquitoes; heat waves and freak Thunderstorms. Fall = Rain; Chillier Weather and falling leaves. Weather matters. If you are having an outdoor wedding, make sure you have a backup plan. What if there is torrential downpour on your day? It’s disappointing for sure, but its worse when there is no plan in place. Fall brings less flowers and bare trees. If you are a flower lover, you will want that to play a part in your photos, so fall may not be the season for you. However, if you are set on an outdoor wedding and mosquitoes are ‘not your friend’, I would likely go with a spring or fall wedding.
What type of timeline should couples stick to in order to get their date for a summer and fall wedding? What’s a good time to start planning?
The rule of thumb is typically a year, but couples are starting to plan well in advance of 18 months to 2 years now for local weddings, in order to get specific venue or a popular date. Having said that, I, along with many planners out there have planned weddings in fewer than 6 months with no issues, as long as the couple is somewhat flexible on the venue and can provide a few date options, the possibility is there.
What other advice do you have for brides and grooms getting married shortly?
Always remember the phrase “you get what you pay for”. If you are looking to get a planner just because they are the cheapest, you risk disappointment. Ensure that they are not just giving you a ‘sales pitch’, but that they are truly knowledgeable and credible. Always ask for references. In fact, you should ask for references from any Wedding Professional you work with.
To get in contact with Denise Georgiou –Newell for advice on all things wedding: