Tag Archives: wedding invitations

How to prevent wedding expo disasters. Part 2 of 2: survival guide

7 Jan

One of the fun parts of the bridal expo: The fashion show with all these gorgeous wedding dresses

After the overwhelming response from part 1 (how to use wedding shows to save money), here’s part 2 on how to physically survive an exhausting bridal show full of lots of standing, talking, lugging around brochures, and sugar overdosing. Bridal shows are great because you can talk to wedding vendors in person and avoid hours and hours and hours of Google search and phonecall time, all in one place. We tasted cakes at the wedding show and one was so good that we decided then and there that it would be our bakery. Took one thing off our list right away! When we went to buy was a pleasant experience.

  •  The most important tip: Go with your fiance!!! I can’t stress this enough. Number one, it’s his/her wedding too so they should have input. Number two, at Canada’s Bridal Show they called up the grooms on stage to do silly dances and the winner got a $5,000 diamond ring! A second set of eyes is great, and your fiance will be able to help you cut down on which vendors are a definite no so you can cut down on the number of heavy brochures you’ll have to lug around the rest of the day. You two are marrying to become a team, start practicing teamwork now!
  • Wedding expos are usually held at ginormous convention centers. This means don’t wear stilettos and don’t wear thick jackets. You will do lots of walking. You will get hot and bothered (literally, not figuratively). Today is time to put away the Louboutins and stick to the Nikes.
  •  The first items you will see when you walk in are the wedding magazines. Make these the LAST items you pick up.  Some of these are as thick as these ancient devices of the 80s called catalogues and phonebooks. I know you’re trying to get in shape for the wedding but you will get tired, fast if you pick them up first.
  • Figure out your nourishment strategy. You will need lots of energy to carry around all those brochures. Remember, convention centers often equal quality food like hot dogs or greasy pizza for $7 per slice. I personally went on a half-full stomach because I knew there would be cake samples. You don’t want to feel sick by stuffing your stomach full o’cake on top of a regular meal. I am also happy to say I did have a few lunches that consisted solely of cake :). Take this knowledge my child and do what is best for you.
  • In the last post we discussed how to get discounts at the wedding shows, but don’t assume everything is a bargain! Make SURE you shop around.  I’ve bitched and moaned about wedding price gouging on this blog over and over and over again. Just remember that you can get a lot of stuff you need from vendors that are not in the wedding show circuit, and don’t charge you your first born child as payment. The florist down the street from my parents’ house offered a MUCH better deal than the “wedding specialist florists.” They were still gorgeous, cheaper, and our florist knew the local church so there were no issues with deliveries. You can find much cheaper prices online even, on stuff like wedding invitations.

Sure this looks great, but talented florists can be found away from the wedding show circuit too.

  • Take the organizers.  These are agenda books with checklists and schedule on what order you should do your wedding-related tasks. These are full of ads, but very, very good in helping you plan the long list of things you’ll have to do and will point out things you may never have even thought of.
  • DON’T buy a clearance wedding dress at a bridal show! This will probably be your first exposure to wedding gowns and you will be so starry eyed about your new engagement, you will find every dress gorgeous. Don’t fall into the trap! You should look at photos of gowns in those magazines, and then go to a place where you can try on those dresses with good lighting and proper mirrors. That way you won’t be stuck with a clearance dress from two years ago that may be damaged (the lighting sucks! It might be damaged and not even the vendor knows it). Because you know as soon as you drop the cash you’ll see one in a magazine that you like better. You want to go to a place where you will have recourse in case there’s issues with your dress. I mean if you’re spending, $1,000 do you really want to get it at what is basically sidewalk sale? Seriously, it may be tough, but I promise you will have a better experience if you wait it out and go to a store. I will be posting about Toronto’s best bridal shops soon.
  •   Watch out for contests. There will be hundreds of vendors offering hundreds of contests. Some of these we’ve found weren’t actually “contests.” The vendors will call you back 2 weeks later saying you’ve “won” something, but in fact, everyone who entered “won.” And it often involves stuff like “winning $500 worth of stuff if you spend $2,000” or buy only their most expensive package.  Just be aware of which contests you’re actually interested in and how reputable the vendor is. . And added incentive to be careful. Blogger Rogue Bride found out her information was sold to scammers! If you do end up entering contests, some people suggest printing out stickers or business cards with your contact info in advance, so you don’t have to fill out endless forms all day. We didn’t do that, so it helped us cut down on the number entered.
  •  Focus on the owners to avoid “wedding vendor factories.” We found some photographers, for example, that have a pool of 20 photographers and you get some random one at your wedding. That means the one you get could have a completely different style from the one whose album you’re looking at. Focus on the places where the owners are the only photographers available and you know you’ll be getting what you paid for.

So hopefully you’ll have planned this out so the wedding show will be a fun experience. They can be overwhelming, but are worth it alone for the fashion shows. They bring out some fun DJs, and you can drool over wedding dresses in action on the catwalk. I hope you have fun at your shows and come out ahead and congrats on your engagement!

A bridesmaid dress on sale at the bridal show for just $30! I wouldn’t make the bridesmaids buy on the spot with no colour selection, but you can wear this at your rehearsal dinner, or bachelorette. Look great, and it’s cheap.

Some wedding shows in the Toronto area: Canada’s Bridal Show. The Total Wedding Show. The Wedding Co. Show. The Wedluxe Wedding show, the National Bridal Show.


One day until wedding! Good news all around

7 Jul

My friend is out of the hospital and feeling better!

We’re getting tons of “good luck” and “can’t wait!” messages from our guests!

I’m worried I will cry at our wedding and mess up my makeup, I’m crying just thinking about it (happy tears!)

What do I do to prevent this?

Weddings: even if you’re nice, people make you feel bad

5 Jul

Me to friend who plans on waking up at 5:30 a.m., driving a long way to get to the wedding and then leaving as soon as dinner is over, which means we won’t even get to talk to each other for five minutes.

“My suggestion is you should sleep in so that you can stay at the reception longer. We’re going to leave the ceremony very quickly or we won’t get pictures. I would love to see you but won’t if you leave the reception early. I understand that you can’t come to the rehearsal, because it will cost you a lot with your new mortgage. Let me know what you want to do.”

Her reply: “I am being accomodating, I am spending a lot of money on my mortgage and your wedding is costing me a lot of money.” She actually wrote that she is trying to give, give, give, but its not enough?!?!  God forbid you are driving all this way, so you probably want to see us, and am letting you know how to make it happen!

What does this cost have to do with me suggesting you come later instead of waking up at 5:30 a.m?  How does my suggestion ask you to spend money or spend extra time? My email suggested you get MORE sleep and said nothing about you spending money. My email was ONLY about actually SEEING you.

That’s the last time I try to help ANYONE.

Dear every single person on the planet: I am not your personal dumping ground, I have enough shit to worry about, including trying to make you and the other guests happy. Thanks for whining, now move along!

Babies messing up the wedding guest list

4 Jul

Note to everyone:

Don’t have your wedding in July. Too many babies born. I’m not exaggerating when I say that TEN people have cancelled on us because their babies were born early and they don’t want to come to the wedding with newborns, even though we’ve insisted they are welcome.

So don’t have your wedding in July so that you won’t get blindsided.

It makes me sad because someone I’ve been friends with for 15+ years isn’t coming now because she’s scared her week-old baby will cry and disrupt everything.  Sure I’m happy she’s having a baby, but I’m sad that she won’t be around at our wedding. 😦

Regret not sending a wedding invitation: What do I do?

22 Jun

I was best friends with someone for five years. She had planned her “trip” to Vancouver for months. Then 3 days before, she told me “oh, by the way, I’m never coming back.”  I haven’t really spoken to her since, other than small talk on Facebook. It really hurt me that someone would disappear, move 2,600 miles away from Toronto, and not give their best friend any kind of notice. I have feelings you know. It was pretty hard for her to suddenly vanish and I didn’t know how to handle it. 

A couple of months ago, after about a year with minimal contact, I sent her a business suggestion. She sent me an email saying she “kind of” missed me. This made me feel worse. I didn’t invite her to the wedding. Now with two weeks to go, I regret it. She had been my friend for so long. We would have lunch together about three times a week, spend Saturdays together, hold sleepovers, even as 22-year-olds. I’d take the regional train to go visit her out in suburbia. I don’t do that for just anyone!

I don’t want her to be blindsided when she sees the wedding photos posted on Facebook (we didn’t update our “engaged” status). And I do feel like inviting her now, because she was my best friend for so many years. But I feel that with her living on the other side of the country, and always having money troubles, that she wouldn’t have come anyway. And it’s too late for her now to buy a plane ticket and book accomodations, etc.

What do I do?

Dear wedding magazine: $2,800 on invites is not worth it

16 Jun

Dear wedding magazine:

Sure Viewmaster invitations are pretty cool.

They’d be fun to have as wedding invitations. But life’s not fair.

Don’t think a whole lot of people would think that $2,800 would be worth spending on invitations, when you can buy two photographers on that.

So no, it’s not “worth the splurge.” And don’t forget to add the cost of mailing that thing.

Wedding magazines are so unrealistic.

Be smart and make the invitations yourself, or go through a local company. Or get $20 off a $100 purchase at Wedding Paper Divas.

What to do with wedding RSVP cards in case of a mail strike

1 Jun

Canada Post strike is imminent

Girls, I see through Google that you’ve been trying to find out what to do with your wedding invitations or RSVP reply cards if Canada Post goes on strike tonight.

My advice: Haul Ass.

Waiting for replies? Start calling people. Get email addresses. Skype numbers. Look them up on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn. Get their BBM pins. Use Evite. If they’re seniors or someone that doesn’t use a computer, hunt them down at their front door step if you have to.

If you have paper invites, you and your family/bridesmaids/groom’s dudes can deliver them. If you can afford it, hire a courier. If you can’t, and no one can help you deliver them all, hire a neighborhood kid with a bike or a subway/bus pass to deliver envelopes.

If that doesn’t work, hire the lady from “Murder, She Wrote” if you can find her. Seriously, people will do just fine without a “formal” invitation. It’s just gravy. Kick it old school, combined with new school technology and you should spread the word no problem.

If you already have the nice paper invites and can’t deliver them (to people who live far away for example), call to give them details, and then keep a basket of invitations at the wedding for people to take home. Or put the invitation with their favors.

If you haven’t mailed out invites yet, think of the bright side. You’ll save money on stamps.

Personally, I hope the mail doesn’t strike. We still haven’t received all the RSVP cards, and we’re trying to get people to return our calls. We’ve enlisted others to harass them. 

What annoys me the most is that I was so happy to be ordering a bunch of stuff on the Internet because I just click a button and the stuff shows up, with zero stress to me. *Insert strike stress now.* Bleh! Hopefully they use courier like The Shopping Channel will. I’m not going to order anything else online until it is all sorted out.

EDIT: Last time Canada Post went on strike in 1997, the government forced them back to work. Could it happen again this time?