Alexandra Lillian Weddings And Events Winnipeg | Wedding Planning
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2018 – Year in Review

Wowie, 2018 has been quite the year!  A theme for this year has been growth and transformation.  One year ago, I set goals for myself both personally and financially.  I not only reached those goals but I surpassed them and I could not be prouder!

FINACIAL + BUSINESS GOALS

In January 2018 I made the decision to dive head first into wedding planning full time.  As many business owners know, this is a massive leap to take.  For my first year after leaving a full-time job I saw a decrease in income, but saw an EXPONENTIAL increase in my happiness!  Wedding planning feeds my soul, and getting to do it full time is such a blessing.

With going into weddings full time, I bumped up my goal amount of weddings for the year.  In January I set the goal to coordinating 25 weddings, and guess what… I exceeded my goal and coordinated 28!!!  I know this may not seem like a lot, but this was a HUGE achievement for me and my company.  Lisa my Lead Coordinator played a major role in this success.  I can’t put into words how much I appreciate having her on my team!  Without her, we would NOT have been named one of the Top Three Wedding Planners in Winnipeg for 2018!

MEDIA GOALS

Starting off the year I gave myself the goal of appearing on TV once.  Girl, I knocked that goal out of the ballpark and appeared on TV twice this year!  I’m naturally a very anxious person, so it was one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done.  I had the privilege to speak on both Global Winnipeg and CTV News.  Both times I had my incredible husband behind the scenes supporting me every step of the way.  Funny story, during the CTV taping my husband was trying to take some behind the scenes photos for me (#instahubby am I right?).  One of the camera crew saw him doing this and offered to get closer up and get some shots.  Needless to say, this guy knew all the best angles and got captured some great moments.

NO WEDDING SEASON COLD GOAL

I’m definitely the type of person that gets sick easily, especially if I don’t prioritize self-care.  One thing that changed my life was reading the book The Ripple Effect by Greg Wells.  I HIGHLY suggest everyone reads it!  He speaks on how we need to “sleep better, eat better, move better and think better,” to live healthy productive lives.  This was my go-to book referral for everyone in 2018.  Greg, if you ever read this shoot me a discount link for readers!

This book opened my eyes to how necessary sleep is to push through wedding season and not get bogged down with a cold.  I took Greg’s advice to heart and DID NOT GET A SINGLE COLD (woop woop) all wedding season!  This allowed me to be there for all my clients and put my full heart and soul into their weddings.

2018 showed me that I’m able to achieve more than I could ever imagine.  I’m so excited to see where 2019 takes me and my business!  BRING IT ON 2019!!! <3

-Alex xoxo

Top 5 Things to Consider When Planning a Winter Wedding

Winter weddings are PERFECT for the bride who wants a moody, romantic candle lit wedding.  I have the privilege to execute several winter weddings in 2018 and could not be more excited for them!  For all those 2019 / 2020 brides thinking about having a winter wedding, here’s five things to consider when planning a winter wedding in Winnipeg!

Guest Availability

With all the many holiday events, the winter months can be busy for some people. Keep this in mind when choosing to plan a winter wedding.  Here’s a month by month breakdown;

November: Early November can still feel a bit like fall. So if you want a Winter wedding, hold off until the last two weeks of the month.

December: Choose dates after Christmas and don’t be afraid of hosting a New Years Eve wedding! People want to celebrate, so why not have them celebrate with you!

January / February: Most people are back from winter holidays at this point. If you want the most amount of people to attend the wedding, then these months are a safe time to get married.

Flowers

Fresh flowers are one of my favorite parts about weddings! The smells, colours and textures, ughh it’s heavenly.  However, the one time I will suggest ordering silk flowers is if your winter ceremony or wedding photos will be outside. Most flowers don’t do well in the cold and will start wilting if left outside for too long.  Even if your bouquets and boutonnieres are silk don’t worry, your floral arrangements for the ceremony and reception can still be real!

Ceremony Locations

Since Winnipeg gets so cold in the winter months, your ceremony will most likely take place inside.

However, if you do choose to host an outdoor ceremony please ensure your guests are told in advance so they can dress appropriately. Have blankets or a hot drink waiting for them when they arrive.  Who could say no to cup of hot chocolate?  Depending on the size of your wedding, rent 4-6 heaters for guests.  And last but not least, keep your ceremony short!  No one wants to sit out side for longer than 15 minutes in minus 10 -20-degree weather.

 

 

Photos

I can’t stress this enough, but please please please book an indoor photo location apart from your reception venue. Both your wedding planner and photographer can help you find a spot that matches your style.

If you do want a couple of outdoor photos, ensure everyone in the wedding party is prepared with warm clothes. There’s nothing worse than catching a chill on your friends wedding day.

Make sure everyone has a warm jacket, mitts, and comfy slip on winter boots. Ugg’s are perfect for this!

Scheduling for daylight

If you’re a Winnipeg, you know that our winters are cold and we have a little amount of daylight. One thing to consider, is how important photo with natural sunlight are to you.  If natural light is important to you, consider bumping up the ceremony time.

In late December the sun sets around 4:30 PM, so if you want natural light for your ceremony it would be wise to have your ceremony by 3:00 PM at the latest.

 

 

When you envision your wedding day, is it in the winter?  If so, please keep in mind these five tips to planning a winter wedding.  Your wedding planner will also be able to help you with all the smaller details that often get forgotten.

CONTACT Alex and her team at alex@alweddingswinnipeg.com to learn how to plan the perfect winter wedding!

What Bride’s Won’t Admit While Wedding Planning

They Judge Their Friends Weddings

Girl, we have all been there. Almost all my couples have told me that if they go to a friends wedding leading up to their own, they will take mental notes about what they liked and didn’t like about that wedding.  This can be things like the order of events, colour scheme, or first dance song.  Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be a negative thing!  You could go to a wedding and adore how they changed up their wedding day timeline.  Let your wedding planner know about what you like and don’t like from those weddings.  Your planner will be able to create a theme or timeline that works best with your vision!

Hating Everyone’s Unsolicited Wedding Advice

Becoming engaged is such an exciting time.  When you get engaged A LOT of people come out of the woodwork and tell you how things should be done on your wedding day.  Auntie Sally believes you should do X, Y, on your wedding day, but then your friend Dayna thinks that the perfect wedding day should include A, B, C.  As a bride, don’t be afraid to be straight forward and direct about what you want YOUR wedding day to be.

Friends… If you have a bestie that’s engaged and your already married, do them a favor and hold back from overwhelming them with a zillion pieces of advice unless they ask.

They Get Caught up in What Guests “Expect” on their Wedding Day

Who gives a F*&^ what your guests want, this day is about you and your hubby.  This mindset of truly personalizing your wedding is becoming more popular and we at ALWeddings are totally on board!  Your wedding doesn’t have to follow any rules.  If you don’t want traditional stationary then don’t, or if you don’t want to do dances then don’t!

To be honest, as wedding planners we start salivating when couples come to us saying they want an nontraditional wedding. This means we get to flex our creative muscle and design an epic wedding that matches our client’s vision.

 

Photos by: Xandra Photography

Melissa and Dylan’s Wedding

I first got introduced to Melissa a couple years ago in New York while sitting next to each other at a hockey game.  We both work in the events industry and instantly hit it off while talking shop.  At the time I had just launched my business and spoke about how excited I was to see it grow.  Who would have thought that several years later I would coordinate her wedding?

Some of my favorite photos from their wedding day included their fur baby Leo.  I swear I’ve never met a more handsome and smiley dog before.  Don’t they make the perfect little family?

Melissa and Dylan chose to tie the knot at the brand-new venue Whitetail Meadow.  It was the perfect backdrop to bring Melissa’s vision to life.  My favorite piece of décor used on their wedding day was the macramé hung from their ceremony arch.  This beast was not light, but tied (yes pun intended) everything together.

Can we take a moment to appreciate the stunning flower arrangements created by Lily Stone Garden?  The bouquets looked so effortlessly pulled together and added the perfect pop of colour.  Many of my 2018 couples decided to use a garland of greenery down the middle of their tables, but the added blooms gave it that extra wow factor for guests.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, what makes a wedding truly special is the people.  Melissa and Dylan were surrounded by the sweetest and most kind group of friends on their wedding day.

I wish Melissa and Dylan the best in this new exciting part of their lives!

VENDORS

Izabela Rachwal Photography | Lily Stone Garden | Whitetail Meadow | Alexandra Lillian Weddings and Events | Grace Hill Salon | Touch of Glass | Jamil Williams | Oak Bluff Limo | Garett Neiles | Little Flower Shop | Justine Barry | WOW Catering | 111 Films

 

 

 

Janelle and Riley’s Club Regent Event Center Wedding

Janelle and Riley’s Club Regent Event Center Wedding

As a wedding planner I’m constantly surrounded by love and beautiful relationships.  Janelle and Riley’s love however, is the kind of love that could bring a tear to anyone’s eye.  With every look and touch they shared on the wedding day it was apparent how much they loved each other.

Janelle first contacted me about planning her wedding in May 2017.  She had an elegant meets modern vision for the wedding design.  The bridesmaids wore beautiful floor length light pink gowns, and the guys wore sharp blue suits.  To give the venue a modern twist, she used floating candles in glass vases on guest tables and added a “LOVE” marquee sign in front of the head table.

Janelle and Riley chose the Club Regent Event Center for the wedding reception.  I was completely giddy with excitement when Janelle told me, as I had never worked there before!  As a wedding planner it’s always fun to explore new wedding venues.  Their staff was amazing to work with!  They perfectly mixed professionalism and humor.  I don’t think I’ve laughed more at a wedding!

Both myself and my lead coordinator Lisa were incredible proud of how everything came together on Janelle and Riley’s wedding day.  We wish them nothing but the best in married life!

VENDORS

Charmaine Mallari Photography | Alexandra Lillian Weddings and Events | Club Regent Event Center | H & M | Fauna and Fern | Colour Me Artistry | Taylor Neufeld |

Stephanie Anne Cakes

 

 

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.

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 – 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]