When it comes to weddings, there is so much effort and preparation that goes into the "big day" and everyone wants everything to be perfect. But there are a lot of things that a couple should keep in mind both during the planning process and for the wedding day itself. And a lot of the time it doesn't come to mind or often goes unsaid...unless you have a Wedding Planner of course.

Here are some things that most people likely won't tell you about planning your wedding (but that a good Wedding Planner will):

1. That two year old Flower Girl or Ring Bearer may not make it to the end of the aisle (and that's OK!)
If you choose to have a very young Flower Girl or Ring Bearer you have to accept that there is a possibility that they may not make it to the end of the aisle (or even go down the aisle at all). Sudden shyness, fear or being distracted are all likely possibilities. And if they don't make it down the aisle, your ceremony procession won't be ruined. In all reality no one will care. It may even provide a lighthearted moment. So avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the little ones (and yourselves!). If you're truly unsure of whether or not your Flower Girl or Ring Bearer can do the job you're planning to give them, opt to not have one. There's no rule that says you have to.

2. It's rain, not acid. 
Everyone wants a beautifully sunny, warm day for their wedding. But hey, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. If increment weather is threatening to rain on your parade, don't let it set you into a panic. It's just rain, not acid. It's not going to melt away your wedding. The key thing is to be prepared. Have matching golf umbrellas handy (a good photographer will be able to set up some awesome positioning/shots utilizing those umbrellas) and have back-up plans for anything happening outdoors whether it's the ceremony, reception or your Wedding Party photos. No one is going to judge your wedding day because you had rough weather. So just accept that you might get wet and move on. (Or don a super cute pair of rain boots and have fun with it!)

3.  S*** Happens. Roll with it.
Any wedding professional who says they can make your wedding day "perfect" is full of it. There is no such thing as a "perfect" wedding day. Stuff can happen. Mistakes can happen. Delays can happen. Bad weather can happen. Just roll with the punches and you'll find that your wedding day will be happy no matter what transpires. And if you have a Wedding Planner you've got it made because they'll do all the stressing and fixing for you which makes ignoring the not-so-great stuff and focusing on all that "hey-I'm-getting-married-today" goodness that much easier.

4.  Not all wedding professionals can give you "discounts" or negotiate their fees. 
There are so many magazine articles and blog posts out there that give you tips on how to "negotiate" with wedding professionals or how to get "discounts". But here's a little secret: Not every wedding professional can give you those discounts or can negotiate their fees. And that doesn't make them bad vendors. That makes them great vendors because they actually value their profession and what they can do for you. You have to understand that this is a wedding professional's livelihood. If you wouldn't accept your Boss docking your salary because they don't want to pay you that much why would you expect a wedding professional to doc their fee? It's important to focus on the quality of service that you'll get, not the price. And if you can't afford that quality, consider downsizing on another element in your wedding so that you can. A good Wedding Planner won't promise to get you "discounts" for all of your vendors. They'll explain that some may offer discounts, others may offer incentives and some will just do their absolute best to make you happy on your wedding day. Focus on what they can DO for you, not on what the dollar sign says.

PS: That goes for us Wedding Planners too!

5. You don't have to please everyone.
Everyone has an opinion or advice as to what you should do or have with your wedding. But that mean that you have to actually incorporate every idea, tradition or demand into it. The biggest mistake you can make is creating a wedding that makes everyone else happy but leaves you stressed and feeling as though it's not about the two of you anymore. I've said it once and I'll say it again, the key words in this scenario is "I'll take that into consideration". Then consider the idea/advice/demand and either put it into practice, toss it or compromise. Parents have their own idea of how weddings should be but while some of their points may be valid in terms of etiquette, culture or religion, you have to remember that they only know how things were done when they got married and they don't quite realize how much the times have changed. If your parents don't like something that you've incorporated, they'll get over it. Trust me. In the end they just want you to be happy (even if they aren't saying it at that moment). Friends, family members and those in your wedding party all, I'm sure, have fantastic ideas but they may not have your budget in mind. The only people that you have to please on your wedding day is your guests and yourselves. If your guests are fed, entertained and respected and you are having the time of your life, then bravo -- you've done what's appropriate.

6. It is not acceptable to be a "Bridezilla" or "Groomzilla".
The fact that there are television programs out there that glamorize the "Bridezilla/Groomzilla" mentality just kills me. It's not funny. It's not cute. It's not even entertaining. The whole "it's my day and it has to be my way" line of thinking is just plain unacceptable. Yes, you want a fantastic wedding day and you want to have a good time. But so do your guests, your wedding party and those who are working their hardest to make that happen. It's all about respect. Giving out as much respect for those celebrating with and working for you will be reciprocated ten fold. Having an overall nasty attitude will just damper your wedding with negativity which defeats what you were trying to achieve in the first place doesn't it?  Refer to point #3 and understand and respect that your wedding will only be as undesirable or enjoyed as your attitude.

7.  Those close to you are as nervous and excited for your wedding day as you are. (Including your wedding professionals!) 
If you have butterflies, can't sleep and are jittery the night before the wedding...guess do those close to you. Even if they don't say it or show it, they all want you to have the absolute best and most memorable wedding day and are secretly crossing their fingers for you. No matter what may transpire before the wedding day, there is nothing but love and excitement and good thoughts for you on the wedding day. So on your wedding day breathe in every laugh, every tear and every pitter-pat of your heart and feel that love and excitement in the air and enjoy one of the most happiest moments of your lives.



The passing of a loved one can be a difficult thing to embrace when celebrating a special occasion. And for most, honouring a loved one who has passed in a celebration can be even more difficult. How do you honor someone without bringing down the mood of the celebration is a question This Planner is frequently asked.

Here are some ways in which you can honor a loved one (or many loved ones) who have passed that cherish their memory but won't damper the mood with tears.

For a wedding ceremony, have a framed photograph of your loved one next to an enclosed candle. The candle can either be lit prior to the ceremony or can be lit during the ceremony as a special inclusion. Following the ceremony the candle and photograph are moved to the reception where it will continue to burn. Not only will this honor the loved one, but it will feel as though they are there celebrating with you.

Did a passed loved one have a special recipe for an appetizer, entree or dessert? Providing that the caterers or venue will allow for it, why not have that recipe replicated in honor of that loved one? Was your Aunt's Southern Fried Chicken a hit at all the family gatherings? Why not have that same recipe replicated by your caterers and served as part of the meal or as a savoury addition to the late night table? Having your Grandmother's perogies as a food station? Why not label the station as "Nana's Perogies" and have a small framed photograph of her next to the label? Food has always been part of celebrations and by incorporating your loved one's special recipe into your celebration you're not just honoring them but celebrating them as well.

Did your loved one have a specific drink that they had in hand at every family gathering? Was there a specific beverage with which they started or ended their day? Why not offer a "signature drink" at your function's bar which is the same drink your loved one preferred and name it after them? Perhaps "Uncle Leo's Spectacular Scotch" for example? Did your Nonno have a shot of whiskey in his coffee every day? Offer a "specialty coffee" as an option with dessert in addition to regular coffee or tea wherein the coffee has that same shot of whiskey as Nonno and name it "Nonno's Special Caffeine Fix".

In lieu of the typical giveaway at a celebration, incorporate a giveaway that will offer a lasting memory of a loved one. Give a donation in each guests name to a charity or organization that reflects on your loved one. Was your loved one a fan of basketball? Give each guests a silver basketball key chain so that they will always have a memory of your loved one with them. Did your loved one have a favourite flower? Give away a crystal frame with that flower pressed inside the glass.

We've all watched the "In Memory" portion of the Oscars wherein a dedicated video montage is shown to honor those actors that have passed that year. It's a moving tribute without bringing down the mood. Loved ones can be honored in a celebration the same way. Whether it's by video or photographs, have a slide show or montage of loved ones who have passed. The key to making this celebratory and not depressing is to choose images that will make your family laugh or smile rather than make them sad. Choose photos from funny moments in their life or a video of them doing something funny rather than just a standard image.

Whether it's wearing your mother's wedding gown, your father's favourite tie or a piece of jewelry that was once coveted by a loved one, incorporating something that belonged to your loved one in your attire will have them present at all times. Attire aside, incorporating a piece of jewelry or a small item that once belonged to your loved one in your wedding bouquet or boutonniere or corsage will make them ever-present in your celebration.

Having a loved one's favourite song played during dinner is another way to honor them without dwelling on the sadness. This song would be played unannounced by the DJ or band, but those who knew and loved the honoree will recognize it immediately. If the song is an upbeat one that can be danced to, have it played during the dancing portion of your evening. Having fun and remembering the good times with that loved one is one of the best ways in which to honor them.

When a dearly loved one is missing from a milestone celebration it can be incredibly difficult but by choosing to honor them in a way that will bring about happy memories rather than sad, you are not only keeping them ever present in their heart but you'll have their spirit celebrating right along with you.

*In loving memory of Alfred Lugli and Gino Vecile*



This Planner has a schedule chock full of parties, weddings and events and so when I have a personal, family celebration I tend to take the more simple yet intimate route. After all, there's only so many hours in a week!

Recently, my son turned one year old and a low key gathering of family and friends was our celebration of choice. The party was simple and casual with, of course, a few personal touches to make it special. We call our son our "lil' monkey" and so a monkey-themed celebration seemed fitting.

The colour scheme

Wanting something vibrant and fun, I chose orange and turquoise for the overall covers of the party. It was still boy-friendly while straying from the usual blues, browns, yellow and greens that a monkey-themed party might utilize.

The menu:

Keeping it simple while offering a variety of options and quantity for a guest count of thirty was key. Aside from the typical cheese and meat platters and veggies and dip as appetizers, we chose a simple low key lunch menu which consisted of:

  • pasta with homemade meat sauce
  • mini pizzas
  • corned beef sandwiches on Pandesal
  • ceasar salad
  • lumpia 
  • rolls with butter or an assorment of lunchmeat and cheeses

Dessert was simply homemade brownies, fruit salad and, of course, the butter pecan cupcakes topped with cream cheese icing.

The personal thematic touches


Turquoise linens covered the various tables in the room. A tower of cupcakes acted as a centerpiece for one of the tables while the others had stuffed monkeys and plastic bananas gracing their surface. Orange and turquoise balloons hovered in the corners of the room.

Orange and turquoise cupcake toppers were handmade to adorn the cupcakes. Cupcake toppers could have been purchased for $4 - $8 but I chose to make them myself to add that personal touch. I found the monkey label online and customized it in Photoshop so that it matched our theme colours. After cutting out the labels, I simply taped a toothpick to the back of one of them and then glued another label, facing out, to the first so that there was a front and back to the cupcake topper.

As a fun and unique parting gift for our guests, I created Monkey Cones. These handmade orange and turquoise cones were stuffed with sweetened banana chips for the adults and banana-shaped marshmellows for the kids.  To make the cones, I used orange bristol board and turquoise ribbon and again, finding a monkey label online, cut out monkey faces to glue onto the cone's front. To make the cone I found an online template and followed the directions. To house the cones I covered white party trays with styrofoam and covered the styrofoam with plastic grass that I had found at the Dollar Store.