Alexandra Lillian Weddings And Events Winnipeg | Blog
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What to Wear to a Wedding

At a clients one month out meeting, the bride expressed how a couple of her wedding guests had reached out to her unsure of what was appropriate to wear for her formal or black-tie optional wedding.  I thought that if a couple of people are curious on what to wear, so would others. With that in mind, I decided to write this blog post on what to wear to a wedding. In this post I will outline for women, what to wear to a black-tie and formal, semiformal, and casual wedding.

Before we dive into what to wear, I thought a good place to start would be with what NOT to wear.  I’ll try to be nicer about this than Stacey London and Clinton Kelly from the TLC show.

Never ever wear white, unless your directed to on the invitation.  Sure in 2018 we are generally more flexible on wedding attire. But wearing white is still a major faux paux.  Unless you want evil looks from a bride, I would highly suggest hanging up your white dress and saving it for another event.

Formal and Black-tie optional

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine introduced me to the company “Name of Love.” They are a mail order bridesmaid dress company based out of New York. The styles are so classic that you can wear them even as a wedding guest. Something special about the company is that they have a local connection. One of the founders is originally from Winnipeg (woop woop). They have a ton of elegant, minimalist dresses that fit a formal and black-tie optional dress code.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Planner tip: When purchasing a dress look for an investment piece, one which you can wear for years to come.  Ensure it’s a timeless piece, purchase the dress in black, navy, or burgundy.

 

Semi-Formal

The main difference between formal and semi-formal, is that with semi=formal you can play around with colour a bit more.  A dramatic red or sweet blush pink are perfect options.

Keep the length a bit more conservative.  Definitely do NOT wear a mini dress. Save that for the after party. ;).

 

Casual

For a casual wedding play around with some fun floral prints, stripes and colour.  This will be the typical attire for a country wedding.

Luxurious New Years Eve Wedding

When Savanna first contacted me about wedding planning, something clicked!  I knew we would be a great fit working together on her new years eve wedding.  This was my first new years eve wedding, and let me tell you, it was a BLAST to ring in the new year with Savanna and Nick’s friends and family!

In the months leading up to her wedding, Savanna and I met a couple of times to talk about logistics and design.  She had a very luxurious vision for her wedding day, incorporating crisp white, gold and black. One way she incorporated white was in her stunning bouquet by Couture Florals.  How stunning does it look in the picture below?!

At our first meeting Savanna mentioned one of her top priorities was to create the perfect atmosphere for guests.  Let me put it this way, Savanna definitely succeeded in that! During the wedding ceremony and reception everywhere I looked people were smiling and enjoying themselves.  

 

One question I always get asked is “what makes a wedding great?”  The honest answer is the people. I have the privilege to work with some incredible couples that have an amazing group of friends and family.  For example, Savanna’s bridesmaids were incredibly kind and welcoming on the wedding day.

Are you planning a winter wedding?

I would love to assist you plan a magical wedding day like Savanna and Nicks!  Contact me at alex@alweddingswinnipeg.com to arrange a complimentary initial meeting.

CLICK HERE TO SEE SAVANNA AND NICKS WEDDING VIDEO!

Vendors: Alexandra Lillian Weddings and Events, Couture Florals, Niakwa Country Club, Jess Stephens Photography

5 Advantages of Planning a Summer Wedding

5 Advantages of Planning a Summer Wedding

 

  1. The Colours:


    Fun and fresh is how I would describe summer wedding colours.  Summer gives you ample freedom to play around with different colour combos to wow your guests.  

    These colours can be used in your decor, attire, and flowers.  Don’t be afraid to play around with unique and contrasting linens.  One of my brides last year used two different colours of linen for the guest tables.  Similar to your linens, play around with fun funky colours for your bridesmaid dresses.  Different tones of blue, red and pink always look great!  

    For your flowers there’s so many colours and textures you can play around with.  An extra added bonus is that a wide range of flower styles are more easily accessible in the summer than the winter.

     

  2. Outdoor Ceremonies:


    Many venues offer both indoor and outdoor ceremony locations.  From May to September I suggest taking full advantage of the outdoor ceremony spots at your venue.  

    Warning!  Manitoba summers for the most part are warm and sunny.  But I always tell clients to always have a backup ceremony location incase it rains.  Wedding photos in the rain are beautiful, but your guests may not be prepared or ready for the weather.

    Ensure everyone enjoys your wedding day and have a backup location ready.


    Photo by: Moore Photography

     

  3. Tent Weddings:


    Where my country girls at!  Tent weddings are perfect if you or a family member owns property outside the city.  The wonderful thing about tent weddings is that there are many different sizes and styles of tents you can rent.  

    Be warned, there are extra elements to think of when planning a tent wedding.  But don’t worry, a wedding planner will be able to walk you through these elements and make planning your wedding a breeze.


    Photo by: Luxe Images by Jill

     

  4. Photos:


    The world is your oyster during the summer for wedding photos.  Work with your photographer to brainstorm unique photo spots that reflect you and your fiance’s personalities.  Ex. if you grew-up going to the cabin, take some photos at the lake or near water.  

     

  5. Entertaining guests:


    Every couple wants their guests to enjoy their wedding day!  Depending on your wedding day timeline, guests might have a longer amount of time to kill between the ceremony and reception.  During the summer it’s warm enough for guests to enjoy time outside.  Lawn games are the perfect way to entertain your guests outside.

    Large versions of classic games like tic-tac-toe or Jenga are great ideas!  Also, don’t forget about everyone’s lawn game favorites like; croquet, bocce, ladder ball, and cornhole.
    Photo by: Sugar and Soul Photography

PLANNING A SUMMER WEDDING?  We are now booking summer 2019 and 2020 weddings!
CONTACT Alex at alex@alweddingswinnipeg.com to arrange a complimentary initial meeting.

Want to be inspired for your summer wedding?  CLICK HERE!

Top 5 To-Dos, Before the I-Dos

Congratulations to all the beauties out there that just got engaged!  This is an exciting and special moment in your lives, make sure to take a step back and let it all soak in.  To keep this time as stress free as possible, here is a list of my top 5 to-dos, before the I-dos.  Follow these to-dos, and you will be well on your way to a relaxed wedding planning experience.

 

Budget

Budgeting can be tough, especially with so many ideas, pressures and opinions on what your wedding day should be.  Any experienced wedding planner will sit down with you before jumping in head first and create a detailed budget.  This will allow for your planner to refer vendors, venues and designs that are within your budget and avoid potential disappointment later on.  Everyone deserves the wedding day of their dreams, but let’s make sure you don’t go broke in the process.

Choose Your Venue

There are venues out there to fit any style and budget.  The one tricky thing with venues is that popular and trendy ones book up far in advance.  Create a list of both your top three venues and top three wedding dates.  This way you have some flexibility and a backup plan if your first choice is already booked.

PRO TIP: There are dozens of hidden gem venues that fly under the radar which can be both more affordable and flexible than the trendy venues of the moment. I recently had a friend tie the knot in a relatively unknown campground near Winnipeg and the pictures looked just as incredible as venues triple the price and the bride and groom could have their wedding on a prime weekend.
Hire a Wedding Planner

Hiring a planner early in the wedding planning process will take a lot of stress off your shoulders, keep the process organized and save you money in the long run.  As a wedding planner, three services I offer are full wedding planning, month of wedding coordination, and consultations.  Each services fits a certain client’s needs and budget.  For example, full wedding planning clients can expect;

  • Monthly wedding consultations;
  • Creation of a budget breakdown;
  • Wedding design and inspiration;
  • Vendor management;
  • Creation of a day-of wedding timeline;
  • Confirmation and coordination of details and logistics with vendors, ceremony speakers and other service providers;
  • Collection of small décor for the wedding; and
  • Coordination of your wedding rehearsal, ceremony and reception.

As a planner I have worked with a wide range of wedding vendors in the province and would be able to suggest venues, florists, bakeries, officiants, etc. to fit your budget and vision. When you work with an experienced planner, you can be rest assured that you are working with professional, pre-screened vendors who are reliable and affordable (never mind that some vendors often throw in little extras for a bride and groom when the booking is made through a planner they have worked with before).

Hire a Wedding Photographer

There is a wedding photographer out there to meet every style and personality.  Similar to wedding venues, great photographers book up far in advance.  This is why hiring a photographer is one of my top five to-dos before the I-dos.  Feeling stressed about how to pose and position yourself?  A great photographer will make you and your fiancé feel at ease and gently guide your through the photo process.

PRO TIP: In the past 4-5 years, many couples have began prioritizing wedding videos before wedding photos. While each come with their advantages and disadvantages, be warned that high quality videographers are far fewer in numbers than photographers and should ABSOLUTELY be booked early to avoid disappointment. While some photographers may claim to also be able to shoot video simultaneously, I highly recommend that you have a separate vendor for each service (I have unfortunately seen the results of a photographer trying to do both and neither product ended up being as good as it could be).
Choose your Bridal Party

Which best pals will you choose to have stand by your side on the wedding day?  Ignore the politics and pressure, think of who you are closest and trust most.  For some this is an easy decision, but for others can be difficult. If you are part of the latter group, don’t fret – not everyone has a rock solid group who are the automatic choice.  Regardless of your decision, everyone in your life will be happy and supportive on your wedding day.

Pro Tip: Wedding parties come in all numbers. I have seen as low as three and as many as seven. Also don’t forget your partners situation and their desires in filling out their roster.

 

Congratulations again on your recent engagement.  Happy planning!

 

Photography by Aimee De La Lande Photography

 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PLANNING YOUR BACHELORETTE PARTY

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Month-of Wedding Planner

  1. Keep Your Planning on Track

    Planning a wedding while working full time can be tricky, and can lead to you forgetting to coordinate smaller details.  A wedding planner will send you updates every couple of months to ensure you stay on track and answer any questions you have.
    PRO TIP: As a wedding planner, upon signing a new client I give them a form to fill out in the months leading up to their wedding.  This form helps to keep the client on track and ensure that even the smallest detail is not missed.

  2. Scheduling and Timing

    Scheduling and timing is one of the most difficult components to planning a wedding.  Communication between both a wedding planner and vendors is key to successfully scheduling and completing any event.
    PRO TIP: I like to meet with month-of wedding coordination clients twice before their wedding day.  The first meeting is typically one month before the wedding.  At this time, we review the day-of wedding timeline that I’ve created specifically for their big day.  Having a day-of timeline ensures that everyone is on the same page, and your wedding day runs smoothly.

  3. Set-Up

    On a wedding day we arrive at the ceremony and reception venues with enough time to set-up your smaller decor. Ex. Guest book table, place cards, seating chart, ext.
    PRO TIP: Hiring a wedding planner ensures that your family and friends don’t have to lift a finger on your wedding day.  Let Alex and her team take care of the heavy lifting.

  4. Thinking Three Steps Ahead

    On a wedding day sometimes things come up unexpectedly.  Say for example, if it rains a wedding planner will think ahead to find a solution to any issues or complications that arise.

  5. Allows You to Relax on the Wedding Day

    You’ve been planning your wedding day for months, so make sure you enjoy every moment.  A wedding planner will give you peace of mind, knowing that every vendor will arrive on time and your day will run smoothly.  Family and friends will also thank you, as they will get to be fully present on your wedding day and not have to worry about checking on smaller details.
    Pop that bubbly and relax!  Let Alex and her team take care of the rest.

 

Interested in hiring a Wedding Planner?  Contact Alex today to arrange a complimentary initial meeting.  alex@alweddingswinnipeg.com.

Top 10 Moments and Happenings of 2017

Pop the bubbly – It’s time to reminisce on the past year and tell you about my top 10 moments/happenings of 2017.

  1. Who’s Who Wedding Magazine

    In the Fall 2017 Winnipeg Free Press, Who’s Who Wedding Magazine I had not one, but THREE features.  This was a huge honor and something I’m very proud of.  It was definitely my TOP moment of 2017.
    CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MAGAZINE.

  2. First Wedding Show

    I participated in my first wedding show in March with the Big Day Wedding Expo at Assiniboia Downs.  Let me tell you, wedding shows are not easy!  It took a lot of time to design my booth, marketing material, and set everything up.  Luckily I had my assistant Lisa there to keep me company during the show!
    CLICK HERE to read a past blog post about my experience at the show.

  3. Taking on More Weddings

    At the start of 2017 I gave myself a goal amount of couples to help on their wedding day.  I’m so happy and proud to say that I surpassed that goal by SEVEN weddings!  That’s huge!  I can’t wait to help my 2018 and 2019 couples with their weddings.

  4. Lisa becoming a Lead Wedding Coordinator

    Lisa has been with me from the very beginning and has been a major part of our company’s growth.  This year she took on her first solo wedding and became a Lead Wedding Coordinator.  I’m so excited to say that she is continuing to lead weddings and assist me in 2018.  I’m so thankful to work with her, she’s an absolute rockstar!

  5. First Destination Wedding

    This summer I had the privilege to help a couple from Calgary plan their wedding in Clear Lake, Manitoba.  Clear Lake is such a special spot.  I’ve gone up there every summer for the past six years with family, but this was my first time being there for a wedding.  If you or anyone you know are looking to plan a destination wedding, I highly suggest Clear Lake!

    [Photos by Esther Funk Photography]
  6. Wedding Planner Pals

    Shout out to all the planner pals I’ve met this year, you know who you are!  It’s great to have alleys to grab a glass (or bottle) of wine, and catch up about life and business.

  7. New Venues

    In 2017 I had the chance to work at several new wedding venues.  One of my favorites I had the chance to work at was Ashgrove Acres.  In September I had not one but three weddings there.  It was my home on weekends.  The venue is so diverse and offers many different photo-op spots for couples and their wedding parties.

  8. Self and Business Improvement

    As a business owner I’m always trying to push myself and grow.  Courses, podcasts and books are my largest source of inspiration.  Shoot me an email at alex@alweddingswinnipeg.com and I can send you a list of my favourite books and podcasts!

  9. First back-to-back weddings

    My first back-to-back weddings are happening in a couple of days on December 30 and 31.  This is a HUGE milestone that I’m excited to accomplish.  I will most likely spend the following 24 hours vegetating in bed watching Netflix but it will be worth it!

  10. Planning my Wedding

    After getting engaged in November 2016 many of our vendors were booked within a couple of months.  Spring/Summer/Fall 2017 was spent refining our design, creating a guest list, having our engagement shoot, and shooting our pre-wedding video.  In July 2018 my fiance and I say our “I-do’s.”


    I’m excited and ready to take on 2018!  I still have several dates available for month-of wedding coordination in April, May, August and September.  Give me a shout at alex@alweddingswinnipeg.com and I would love to hear more about your upcoming wedding!

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT ALEX ABOUT MONTH-OF WEDDING COORDINATION

Engagement Season – Real Couples, Real Proposals – 3

Welcome to the third and FINAL installment of real couples, real proposals!  This blog post is for you men and woman out there looking for proposal inspiration,

or a good (happy) cry.  This week’s installment is extra special, as I’m featuring a he said, she said of a proposal.  This gives you a cool look into the thoughts going through their minds leading up to the proposal.

 

He Said / She Said Proposal

 

She Said – Anna (Bride-to-be)

“Stephen has always been a bit of an open book to me and so the summer of 2015, I knew something was “up”. It was also the summer my sister was getting married. Stephen of course was invited to the wedding and would meet my whole extended family for the first time that year (we are quite dispersed throughout the world) and both of us were feeling it a bit inadequate to just introduce him as my “boyfriend” when we had already been together for 4 years and knew we wanted to be together forever. Unbeknownst to me, when he got back from medical school in Ireland that summer, the first week back he invited my parents out for a walk in Assiniboine park to ask their permission to ask me to marry him.  

Four weeks later, Stephen decided to surprise me with a dinner. I was immediately suspicious, but Stephen just said it was a dinner but refused to tell me where it would be, so I let it go and decided that it was probably just a dinner and not to get my hopes up. The other important thing was that Stephen knows I love to document special occasions, trips, and nights out, so I always take tons of pictures. He also knew that I would hate to look bad when he proposed to me, or to be dressed down. So the same night of that surprise dinner, I was going for a makeup trial for my sisters wedding (not a coincidence! Stephen made sure he was going to propose to me that night so I would look my best in the pictures!). So by the time we got to the restaurant, I was wearing a dress, heels, and had had my full makeup done.

We were seated in a relatively empty section (which I thought odd for a Thursday night) and Stephen proceeded to be quite nervous and fidgeting with his jacket (which was a weird item to have in July on a 27 degree day, now that I look back on it). Before I knew it, Stephen was telling me how much I meant to him and how he felt and all of a sudden he was on one knee with a beautiful ring in his hand and I was VERY surprised. Even though I thought I would know when it was coming, he managed to completely throw me off. The whole restaurant applauded, we were both shaking and laughing and we had champagne brought out to us right away (pre-arranged, of course). It was a bit of a traditional and perhaps not out of the box proposal, but it was a total surprise to me, even though I thought I would know when it was coming.  I guess, the moral of the story is, Stephen, through his deep understanding of me found a way to make it a surprise, made sure I would look the way I wanted to on that day, included my family and bought me the most beautiful ring that suited me in particular. And we looked great in the pictures!” [Photo provided by couple]

 

(Photo by Gabrielle Touchette Photography)

He Said – Stephen (Groom-to-be)

“For her engagement ring Anna had wanted something different. She always looked at different ring designs. When she came across the black diamond concept she loved it (she always said she hated yellow gold and yellow diamonds). She had hinted strongly that she loved the princess cut style. Once I had a basic idea of what she was looking for, I realized that jewellers would most likely not have the ring I wanted to give Anna in stock, so I went to Vandeburg jewellers since they make custom rings. I wanted The black diamond to be show cased, so I picked a princess cut with bold lines, with a ring of white diamonds and 6 white diamonds in the band. This was the final design. I went back and forth with adding some smaller black diamonds in the ring, but as I mentioned before, they detracted from the main diamond. when I first saw the final product, the black diamond really popped so I was I knew it was perfect!

On the night I was going to propose, I couldn’t even think straight. I was shaking and nervous and couldn’t focus. A lot of guys say they already know what the answer will be then ask, but part of me was terrified for a “what if she says no” scenario. I had called ahead to make a reservation, so the restaurant knew why were coming; they put us in the corner and ensured the tables around us were empty. I can’t remember exactly what led to what, but at one point Anna had said that she was a bit disappointed, not in anything important, but something had happened. I said “I think I can make your night better” Then I got down on one knee and asked. She said yes and I almost dropped the ring putting it on he finger because I was shaking so much. I kissed her after and then we started calling all of our friends and family.

The rest is history!” [Photo provided by couple]

Engagement Season – Blue Nile Inc. Interview

I’m so excited and honored to be blogging today about Blue Nile Inc.  They are one of the largest diamond distributors on the planet and traded on the NASDAQ.  When I first decided to launch a blog series about engagement season, I had a gut feeling to get an interview with their company about diamonds.  On a whim I emailed Amanda, their Public Relations Manager for an interview.

Blue Nile is a massive company and I wasn’t 100 % sure if I would receive an email back.  I was over the moon when Amanda emailed back.  This says a lot about their dedication to customer service.

What makes this company so special to me is that I have a personal connection to the brand, as my engagement ring is from their company.

(Image supplied by Blue Nile Inc.)

Here are some things Blue Nile recommends for getting the best diamond ring possible for your future fiancé:

Do Your Homework. You don’t have to be an accomplished gemologist to buy a diamond, but you must take the time to do research. The No. 1 fear diamond buyers have is – will I get ripped off? With a little research on the education sections of sites like BlueNile.com, you can quickly become knowledgeable. In fact, you’ll end up knowing more than any behind-the-counter jeweler.

Of The “Four C’s,” Don’t Sacrifice Cut. A diamond has four major characteristics – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight, known as the Four C’s. Taken together, they determine a diamond’s quality and price. All are important, but cut is the most critical because it determines a diamond’s brilliance (sparkle). Even if a diamond has perfect color and clarity, if it has a poor cut, it will appear dull. And a more sparkly diamond = a bigger-looking diamond.

Buy Shy to Save Big. Diamond prices increase disproportionally at the carat and half-carat marks, so shoppers should try to buy just shy of these levels. For example, instead of a one carat diamond, look for a .95. That will save a significant amount of money, and the slight size difference will never be noticed – especially if it has a high-quality cut.

Find the “Sweet Spot.” As a diamond’s color and clarity grade improves, its price increases. But at a certain point the human eye cannot detect the difference in grades. That makes paying for perfect color and clarity like paying someone to paint the bottom of your house. For the best value choose a near-colorless (graded G-H) instead of a colorless diamond (graded D-F), or an eye-clean VS2 clarity grade as opposed to a Flawless clarity grade diamond.

Make Sure It’s Legit. Guess what? Diamonds are not created equal. Insist that the diamond have an independent grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The quality of diamonds accompanied by these grading reports is considered guaranteed. Independent grading is important. If the grading report comes from the jeweler itself, it’s a bit like the fox guarding the hen house.

And of course, pay attention to return policies and whatever you do don’t put it in the dessert! No one wants to wear a sticky ring.