Advice & Guidance

Choosing Who is at the End of the Aisle

While we know you've said yes and we expect the groom to be at the end of the aisle, he will not be the only one standing there - your officiant / celebrant will be there too.

There are so many ways to go about selecting an officiant / celebrant but I suggest finding a straight forward approach. Now this does not mean there are not steps involved but follow these steps and you'll be fine.

1. Unless you feel like paying $300+ for an officiant start with the government's Marriage Commissioners website where a ceremony should cost under $80 plus mileage and parking expenses, if required: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/marriages/marriage-commissioners

2. Search using the city in which you are getting married. This would mean less mileage. Speak with your fiance and choose either a female or male marriage commissioner. This will narrow down those found in your search.

3. Review photos and jot down phone numbers from the website. Call each one you've shortlisted and listen to their voice and get a sense of their character by asking three simple questions: a) Are you available on {insert date of your wedding}, b) how long have you been conducting weddings?, c) What is one of your favourite wedding locations in {insert name of your city}. First question qualifies if you should even continue the call, the second should be easy to answer and gives you an idea of their experience and the last questions suggests they tell a story (where, why it's their favourite) and often reveals a bit about their character.

4. The one you like best, email them to confirm costs providing more details (e.g. ceremony location, date and time of wedding, date and time of rehearsal) All this should be done within 3 days as not to lose availability of your choice marriage commissioner.

If you're looking for someone to conduct a very specific type of nuptual / wedding ceremony that is outside the capabilities of a marriage commissioner (who only provides civil ceremonies - i.e. perform non-religious ceremonies) or you need a specific language that is not available from the marriage commissioner directory then check out wedding directories such as Wedding Wire or Real Weddings.

Planning the Morning Wedding Prep Photos

Be sure to have your favourite wedding things available for the photographer to photograph. Work it out with your photographer before your big day what items they want to have photos of before you use/wear the items and which items they want photos of you wearing/using/putting on. Also, brides, remember to ask that you get at least 70% of your hair and makeup done before photos are taken. We're all naturally beautiful, but for the sake of our own small vanity, work out timing with your hair and makeup artist to help you show the best of you on this special day when the photographers arrive on-site for prep shots.

For the Bride, this could include:

  • Your wedding dress
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Ring pillows, flower girl basket
  • Wedding ring, engagement ring
  • Evening dress, if applicable
  • Cultural dress, if applicable
  • Garter

For the Groom, this could include:

  • Suit
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Tie
  • Watch
  • Cuff links, if applicable
  • Belt, if applicable
  • Pinning of your Boutonniere

Wonderful does not depend on Weather

One of our weddings started with a heavy spring shower that prevented the garden ceremony they had wanted. Once the ground is wet (soaked) it is no longer safe for guests, staff or the bride so venues have to shift to the indoor alternative.

The bride has specifically indicated that she did not like the view from the tent nearby as it looked into soaked bushes and the alternative side looked into a parking lot. With just three hours before the wedding, Events To.The.Nines called up their preferred vendors and ordered a backdrop to be added inside the tent.

The overcast gave the tent a glow that ensure the ceremony would be stunning. In all the photos and videos the tent space illuminated like a studio and both the bride and the groom's faces were glowing. The weather, no matter what type of weather, is NOT going to ruin your wedding. It's nature's way of guiding you to the wedding you're suppose to have - that day you will make smart choices and the end result will be better than what you had planned. Trust in Wedding Karma!

All that Glitters does not have to be Gold

Brides are compelled to research wedding decor using tools such as pinterest, etsy and wedding magazines. The only issue with this method is that you're often looking at very expense decor that is difficult to achieve without an investment. A few suggestions for the brides that love a $10,000+ decor image:

  • Choose a venue that has most of the decor elements you want BUILT into the space (e.g. beautiful chandeliers, walls that do not need to be covered by pipe and drape, beautiful chairs that do not need to be covered etc.) If you're able to find a place that has most of your decor elements you will be much happier and set up / take down labour will be much more manageable
  • Think DIY and consider making some of the decor elements.
  • You can also try sourcing decor elements online (e.g. DHGate, Alibaba, Aliexpress, Amazon etc.) and having them shipped in. Be careful of currency exchange, duty, taxes and shipping costs. Self-owned items will need set up and take down support.
  • Try looking online for brides selling their items or visit Bridal Swap events. Plan first so you know what you need and don't be shy to ask the seller for their best price.

Remember: if you're planning any DIY projects that you work with professionals (e.g. wedding coordinators) to help you set up and take down. While it's wonderful you can make 400 napkins with your mother or 60 centerpieces but think about WHO will be able to set up the day of your wedding and if the venue will allow you to store the volume of DIY or self-owned items conveniently at the location the day prior to the wedding.

Wedding with Entertainment; Not the Other Way Around

Common fear of couples is that your wedding will not be interesting. We cannot stress enough how this thinking, if taken too far, will just lead to a fragmented, overtly busy wedding that ends up being more expensive than necessary. Remember that the first step to having an interesting wedding is the GUEST LIST. If you invite a number of people you don't know or people your parents barely know than there won't be proper hosts for all your guests. These guests then feel bored and disconnected from the wedding events and tend to give off a low energy which affects other guests and then they leave early which makes you feel worst.

Just invite people you know; ideally they know at least one other guest in the room and that will ensure you're being a proper host.

Next, you need to think about how long your wedding is and where strategic activities may come in handy as a conversation starter. Do not have activities for activity sake because it distracts from conversation and from engagement with your wedding.

Photo booths and slo mo booths and flip books etc. are great but these are cocktail or end of the evening activities where the wedding events are not competing with the activities for people's attention. Try getting everyone back to their seats to watch a projection (e.g. Same-Day-Edit [SDE] video or a slideshow made by the bridal party) or stay attentive during speeches when so many activities are happening out of their seats.

Also, remember that no one likes to stand in line and then be asked to sit down before they make it through the line. These are things that can be avoided with better scheduling and careful planning of relevant and timely activities.