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© Melissa Nowakowski December 2009

There are an abundance of winter wedding themes that add an extra dab of bliss to the holidays. But what wedding theme could be more warm and fuzzy than a Gingerbread Wedding!
Love the sweetness of Gingerbread but just can't see it in your wedding? This planner can!

Sit back with a warm cup of cocoa, close your eyes and picture this:

COLOURS: Cozy your wedding up in warm hues of tan, cream and poppy

FLORALS: Use cream coloured florals with a dab of brown hypercium berries for a splash of colour. Want to get super adorable? Have a lone Gingerbread bride peak out from the bouquet and accessorize the Groom's boutonniere with a miniature Gingerbread man!

CENTERPIECES: What could be more fun (not to mention über cute!) than Gingerbread houses of different shapes and sizes? (And you can just imagine the fight over who gets to take the centerpiece home!)

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MENU: Spice up your menu with the taste of Gingerbread (just be sure to add the flavour to specific menu items for impact rather than to everything)! Serve up Gingerbread Martini's (Absolut Vanilia, Kahlua and Gingerbread liqueur) during the cocktail hour and Hot Gingerbread Toddies or Lattes during dessert! Include baked German gingerbread apples with your late night table! Toss the traditional wedding dessert and offer Gingerbread Squares with Honey-Mascarpone Cream! The possibilities are endless!

CAKE: Forget the cake knife and server! Try a Gingerbread Wedding Chapel on for size and break a piece off the steeple in lieu of the traditional cutting of the cake. Let your guests come up and break off their own piece of the Chapel rather than serve cake.

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ENTERTAINMENT: Have a "Decorate your own gingerbread man" table set up with plain Gingerbread Men, icing, sprinkles, candy and more. You'd be surprised to see the excitement on children's faces and just how many adults sneak over to do it too!

FAVOURS: The obvious and most practical choice for favours would be Gingerbread men but there are an abundance of Gingerbread Men/House - themed items out there...everything from soaps to key chains and bookmarks. Other ideas? Make a donation in your guests' names to a homeless shelter or a charity 'house' like the Ronald MacDonald House.

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LOCATION: Host the wedding in a Victorian mansion or a building with similar architecture. Want to get really in theme and have a unique destination wedding? Host your wedding at the Gingerbread Mansion in Ferndale, California!

Photo courtesy of

Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?



Another photographer with whom I had the pleasure of working this past year, Joee Wong from JW Photography, is also offering a special gift to wedding couples in need. See below for a clip from his Blog about his BIG GIVE for 2010!

Good luck y'all!

Here we go ! The Big Give is back for a very special couple in 2010 ! Now that I have officially stopped taking anymore bookings for 2010, I’m hoping I will find a lucky couple sooner than later.

If you don’t know what this is all about, here’s a little information on my wedding giveaway…

Over the years, I have been truly blessed to be surrounded by amazing couples whom I have built strong relationships with as a result of documenting their weddings. They are the backbone of my business and I cannot thank them enough for spreading the good word about myself and my team. These former strangers have given me so much and I feel that it is only right that I give back to a deserving couple…What better once-in-a-lifetime experience can I give to someone than a once-in-a-lifetime WEDDING !

So here’s what is up for grabs:

- Full Wedding Day coverage with myself and my Associate(s)
- Engagement Session (if possible)
- JW Signature leather 12×12 30-page Flush Mount Album
- JW Signature leather 10×10 30-page Flush Mount Albums for Parents
- Up to 100 custom Thank You cards
- Edited high-resolution digital files
- Travel and accommodations inclusive !!!

This gift is valued at over $15,000 !

Here’s what I’m looking for:
- A couple who has a wonderful story of how they met or has overcome great odds and adversity
- Why photography is so important to them
- The couple must be getting married somewhere in North America in 2010 with a set date and venue, provided I am available for that date
- The couple must be willing to appear on this blog and have their story shared to my readers

How to submit the story:
- send your entries to with a small picture of the deserving couple
- entries can be submitted by anyone…friends or family of the couple or even the couple themselves…I am really hoping for an awesome, couple to do this for.

*** The DEADLINE for submissions has been tentatively set for January 15th, 2010 and the winner to be announced February 1, 2010. ***

There are absolutely no strings attached ! I’m a giver :) It’s just as simple as that.


I received this recently from Andreas Avdoulos from Andreas Photo with whom I had the pleasure of working this past year and thought I would pass it on...Good luck y'all!

A Special Donation:

Each year a few dozen families give me access to their lives for one day to document their wedding event. By establishing a strong level of trust and comfort between the couples that I work with, I am able to capture the images that you see in my gallery. Without them, I would not have the body of work that I do, and for that I am grateful.

This past week I confirmed that I'll be donating my photography services to a family in need through the Woodgreen Foundation in the form of a family portrait session and prints this coming spring.
In the spirit of giving and sharing, I've decided to offer a wedding photography package to one very lucky couple***!

This is what I'm offering:
- Rehearsal coverage OR an engagement shoot
- Full coverage by myself and my associate photographer
- Three bespoke 11x17 Japanese silk, hand bound 80 page books (One for the couple, two for the families), presented in archival clamshell boxes
- Twenty Artist signed and mated Fine Art 11x14 Gallery Prints
- Edited and post processed high-resolution files on personalized USB drives
- Online gallery for one year

This Wedding Collection has a value of over $14000, and I'll be donating this package to one lucky couple this year!!!

This is what I'm looking for:

1. A story about yourselves, about your life, and the details of how you met....the more details the better.
2. A couple who have gone through great hardships and heart aches to get to where they are today with their soulmate.
3. A couple who are willing to have their story published on this website and in print.

***If you're planning a big six figure wedding, and are in position to afford such a photography package, I'm afraid that you cannot qualify for this - this is not a freebee handout, but a charitable donation that I'm offering to a couple that are truly in need. Please keep this in mind when submitting your entry.

***Please send your submissions to by January 1st 2010.
***This donation is for 2010 and 2011 dates, provided I am available on the day.

Thank you for your help!

andreasphoto inc.
tel. 416 994 8131 email.