Alexandra Lillian Weddings And Events Winnipeg | Destination Weddings
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Malaparte – Domestic Destination Wedding Tour

Ahh, The Six… The Big Smoke… or more commonly known as Toronto.  It’s Canada’s city of lights and home to some of our countries best wedding venues.

I like to travel to Toronto once a year to explore and get inspiration.  A couple months ago when I travelled there, I reached out to one of my favorite wedding venues Malaparte for a tour.

I’m a firm believer that you don’t get what you don’t ask for, so I wrote a thoughtful email to the staff at Malaparte, clicked “send,” and waited for a response.  Within 24 hours their venue coordinator April had emailed me back inviting me to see the venue.

Malaparte is perfect for Canadians looking to host a domestic destination wedding.  Say you grew up at opposite ends of the country from your fiancé, but met them at University.  Why not meet in the middle (Toronto) for your wedding?

The Toronto Pearson Airport is the easiest airport in the country to fly to, with direct flights from most airports in the country.  The day of my tour I took the red-eye from Winnipeg to Toronto and landed at 8:00 AM.  Like most major cities, the airport is no where near city center.  However, you can easily jump on the Union Pearson Express (UP Express) and get to downtown Toronto in 25 minutes.  Once you arrive in Union Station you’re either a quick walk, cab or subway ride away from any downtown hotel.

On most trips to Toronto I either stay at the Royal York (rights across the street from Union Station) or the Delta (attached by the skywalk to Union Station).  After checking into the Delta early (9:00 AM…unheard of right!) I freshened up and walked the four blocks to Malaparte.

Malaparte is located in the famous TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Lightbox building on King Street West.  Needless to say, it’s a pretty cool building and a great way to wow guests as they arrive.

April their venue coordinator was amazing and greeted me with their inhouse chocolate fudge (Yum!) and venue package.  As we walked around she told me some amazing stories about Malaparte.  A year prior, they had a couple from opposite ends of the world that hosted their wedding there. They flew in guests from all over the world.

On my tour I got to see the rooftop terrace and dinning room.  The rooftop terrace is the main selling factor of the venue.  It includes a tent for a wedding ceremony and grand steps for a cocktail hour.  Very little décor would need to be brought in as the venue and skyline truly speaks for itself.

As we continued our tour we walked from the terrace to the formal dining room.  Let’s just say that it’s a jaw dropping space.  The ceiling was my favorite part of the room.  It’s white, textured and slightly angled starting from the bar.  If clean and simple is your look, then this is the venue for you!

A domestic destination wedding is a new concept for a lot of people.  So why not try something new and get married in Toronto at Malaparte!

 

 

 

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 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

Hello, engagement season!  This blog post is for you men and woman out there looking for proposal inspiration, or a good (happy) cry.  Hope you enjoy these two proposal stories!

If you would like your special proposal featured on my blog, please email me at alex@alweddingswinnipeg.com with a mini write up of your love story, along with a photo.

 

First Home Proposal

Olivia Retter (Wifey/Mama/Entrepreneur)

“Brydon proposed to me as we were walking into our house together for the first time.  I had no idea it would happen then.  I loved how it happened!  It really made our house a home from the get go.” [Photo provided by couple]

 

Epic California Proposal

Bretton Meyer (Bride-to-Be, June 2017)

“Mike’s dream was to ride the Pacific Coast Hwy on his Harley.  I was over the moon when he asked if I was interested in doing the trip with him and I said “of course!”  So we loaded up the motorcycle in the bed of our truck, drove to Las Vegas and unloaded the bike.  We jumped on the bike and road to the Pacific Coast.  Our plan was to spend the first evening in Newport Beach then head North to San Francisco.  

Mike had another plan up his sleeve…  Literally hidden in his vest pocket was my engagement ring!  The drive on the motorcycle was breathtaking and so freeing.  We finally reached the ocean as the sun was setting.  We got off the bike and walked towards the ocean to dip our toes in the water.  Hand in hand we walked, little did I know what was going to happen next.  I felt hesitation in the pull of his hand, and turned around to find Mike down on one knee.  He was holding the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen!

He asked “Bretton Meyer, will you marry me?”  Tears filled my eyes instantly, and I said “yes!” [Photos provided by couple]

 

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR WEDDING INSPIRATION

Canadian Destination Weddings – Hello Whistler

Suit case, check!  Coffee, check!  Boarding pass, check!

This lady is off to show you the crème de la crème of Canadian wedding venues.

 

When most brides think of a destination wedding, they think of sunny beaches and crystal blue water in Mexico or the Bahamas.  What most brides don’t think, of is all the beautiful destination wedding locations in Canada!

 

A few weeks ago I got to travel to Whistler, British Columbia.  The sea to sky highway took my breath away and was a beautiful start to the trip.  While I was there, I had the pleasure of seeing two of the towns top wedding venues, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting about my experiences at the venues.  I travelled 6,100 ft. up a mountain to see these venues and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you. Stay tuned!

 

Through my travels I hope to share with you incredible wedding venues all around Canada!  Who knew such picturesque hotels and resorts were right here in our own backyard.

 

I hope you enjoy my blog posts over the next couple weeks highlighting the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb.

 

Sending my love to you and yours! <3

Alexandra Lillian Weddings and Events_Winnipeg Wedding Planner_Whistler Weddings