Ah, that burning question that clients ask me on a regular basis. Which vendors do we tip? Do we have to leave a tip? How much?

Tipping is not a requirement but most vendors will expect it

When you sign the contract for the venue usually gratuities are included but make sure to check

Wait staff usually get 15% of the bill, which may be included in the contract

If you feel the staff did an exceptional job & you would like to give them a tip, $1.00-$2.00 per guest is appropriate

Limousine drivers are given tips based on service, as the company pays them 15-20% of the bill

Wedding Coordinators/Consultants, florists, cake decorators, & photographers do not receive a tip unless their work is absolutely out of this world

Live bands & DJ’s are tipped when they provide exceptional service. Each band member generally gets $25.00

DJ’s can be tipped 15% of their bill

Parking/ Restroom attendants should be paid $1.00-$2.00 per guest at the beginning of the night

Just remember that “tipping” is always at the discretion of the bride & groom and only for a job well done

You should never feel pressured into it, especially if they are not deserving of one!


Our next September Wedding

Victoria & Daniel~ Sept. 7, 2013~Royal Ambassador

Not only did we provide all the flowers for this lovely couple, but we also provided Wedding Day Management

The bride & groom chose the Royal Ambassador as their wedding due to the gorgeous outdoor ceremony site. The gazebo & stunning manicured gardens overlook a tree lined pond.

Unfortunately Mother Nature did not co-operate & she rained, hard all day!

Victoria called my cell phone just as she was en route to the venue, hoping I was going to tell her that it was not raining & the sun was shining……um, no

I had to be the bearer of bad news. I had to tell her, her dream wedding wasn’t going to be exactly as she dreamed, we had plan B (inside) set-up & ready to go

All 300+ guests have arrived & are seated, waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle……..then……the rain stopped!

Daniel insisted that his bride was going to have the wedding she dreamed of & myself, my assistant & the amazing RA staff sprung into action & we flipped the ceremony site. All the guests moved outside, after the staff dried off all the chairs, moved all the flowers & lanterns & the DJ moved all their equipment, all in 15 minutes!

Mother Nature kept the rest of the day/night dry from that point on & our couple was so happy as they surprised their guests with an awesome fireworks display!

Here are a few photos of Victoria & Daniel’s wedding

This was the moment the bride was told that we were going to flip the ceremony & move it outside. I think she was happy, no?

To see more photos of this wedding & others, please go to our Facebook page

Photography by Natural Flash Photography


Have you heard the news? Did you see that report on 20/20 last week, about the Wedding Industry, “Wedding Confidential”  that you will be scammed by us vendors?!?!

It’s all over Facebook & Twitter at this very moment! It has become THE Blog subject of many  wedding professionals, all who are down right angry & on the defensive.

I saw the 20/20 report & I too was a ‘lil upset at what they were saying. If you haven’t seen the report, I suggest doing a search on Youtube, I’m sure you’ll find it.

But unlike most of the wedding profesional blogs, I’m not going to disagree with 20/20 so fast.

As in EVERY Industry, there are always un-professional businesses out there, looking to take advantage of people! Whether it be providing poor service and/or products, mis-representing themselves, or simply scamming you out of your hard earned $$, unfortunately they do exsist!

There are 2 Industries that come to mind when I think of buinesses that will use your emotions to get you to spend more money, & they are Weddings & Funerals. I’m sorry, but I have to be honest here!

WEDDINGS: Some vendors will tap into your “Dream Wedding” not your budget first. Knowing that the bride-to-be, more than likely has been dreaming of her wedding day since she was a little girl. “Tell me what your dream wedding looks like” instead of “what is your budget for your wedding” & showing them what they can actually afford.

I had a client meeting just the other day, where the bride-to-be told me that the other decor co. they were talking with spent almost 2 hrs with them discussing their wedding decor, showing them pictures, telling them what they should have to complete their vision. The couple was delighted with the decor co.’s suggestions & LOVED what they were shown. She was excited…….then she asked, “what is the cost of all this?”

Gulp! Major disappointment, as she learned, after 2 hrs, that they could NOT afford it! she felt like her dream was squashed & left the meeting feeling very upset & frustrated!

I know there a vendors out there that use this sales tactic to try & upsale their clients. It’s not illeagal, in fact, many businesses try & upsale you everyday. “Would you like fries with that”, “can I interest you in the extended warranty”, “buy 2, get 1 free”, etc, etc, etc.

When bussinesses hear the word “Wedding” they know that you will be spending a lot of money. They will try & sell you the dream. Take a wedding magazine for example, many of the weddings you see in those magazines are not real, they are stagged photo shoots. What they advertise is way out of most of our budgets! It’s a fantasy, unless you are a celebrity and/or rich & budget is unlimited

So, how do you avoid this from happening to you? Simple, as you meet with each vendor, tell them up-front, what your budget is. Don’t let them show you anything that is not in your price range, & if they do, move on! A good vendor will work within your budget & make suggestions to help you with your vision

Get referrences! If someone you know has worked with them, & have good things to say about them & you trust their judgement, take it! Many vendors have reviews, read them! Inquire with other vendors about vendors. Your photographer can recommend a great florist, or decor co. They do work with many vendors, so they know who the good ones are.

Stop the competition! Trying to out-do your cousin Stephanie’s wedding, will only lead you to the poor house. This is where a vendor can upsale you! Make your wedding special & a refelection of yourselves. If you enjoy the simplier things in life, your wedding should reflect that. Unless of course you are competing to win a luxury honeymoon!

Hire a Certified Wedding Planner/ Coordinator! He/She will only refer you to vendors who are professional, trusted, & most of all, in your budget!! They will keep you both focussed & in-line. Keeping you from getting caught up in all the hoopla & extra costs.




During the wedding planning, at some point you will be discussing decor with either your wedding planner and/or the venue. Some venues do offer “standard” linens & chair covers in their wedding packages. More often than not, they are usually basic white.

Nothing wrong with white, it’s a neutral colour, works with any theme & other colours. But couples want more….more colour, more choice. So the question is do you rent or do you buy?

First you contact a decor rental company to inquire on rentals & their costs. Whoa….you want how much?? Heck, I could buy them for that price! Then a light bulb goes off….yes, maybe we should buy instead of rent! Then after our wedding we’ll just sell them to another bride on Kijiji….Brilliant! Or is it?

Things to consider when you decide to buy, instead of rent:

 Sweet you just paid $2.50/per chair cover, great savings! Renting them would have been the same price (DIY) & if we wanted the rental company to install them, OMG, that would have cost approx. $4/per chair cover

Now, you have to pick them up & store them until the day of the wedding & you have 150 wedding guests at your wedding, that’s a lot of chair covers! What if you buy linens too, that’s another 15 120″ floor length linens that need to be stored.

Another great money saver is DIY centerpieces!

Those awesome feather centerpieces are pretty expensive to rent. Just go & purchase your own vases & a bunch of feathers & do it yourself!

Since they are not real flowers, you can make them weeks in advance & just store them until the wedding day.

Keep in mind, to achieve that full look, you’ll need approx. 25 ostritch feathers per centerpiece.

The wedding day has finally arrived!! Now you need to have someone to bring all 150 chair covers, 15 120″ table linens & 15 3′ tall feather centerpieces to the venue…..no problem

Ok, now you have to designate someone in your bridal party or a family member to install all 150 chair covers, linens & 15 centerpieces….wow, that’s a lot of work!!! Not to mention at the end of the night, you must remove all 150 chair covers, linens & centerpieces. I know,I know……you’re tired & have had a few drinks, but someone has to do it!

Now you have all your chair covers, linens & centerpieces home, back in the garage or basement. So you quickly post an ad on kijiji

“For Sale” 150 navy blue “tie back” chair covers & 15 120″ navy blue floor length linens & 15 white feather centerpieces….Awesome price!

Days pass…..no bites, Hmmmmmm? Ok, so you lower the price a bit more…..still nothing?

Finally….someone calls, they’re interested, but they only want 75 chair covers & 8 linenes & no centerpieces. What do you do? Say no, it’s all or nothing, ’cause you NEED to get rid of everything, or do you sell what you can, just to recoup a small portion of what you paid?

You start to think, maybe renting wasn’t a bad option after all?

If you rented, no need to sell afterwards! You pick up what you need, then drop off, back to the rental company, but keep in mind, you still need to DIY

But…..if you pay a little bit extra, no need to DIY, you can enjoy your wedding day & not work through it! The rental company delivers, sets up & at the end of the night, they will come back & pick it all up!

So….what is the better choice, buy or rent?

Only you can make that decision, now that you have the facts. Buying & DIY can save you money but in the end, is it really worth it?

Something tells me that those rental prices aren’t looking so bad after all

Happy Planning!




It was a gorgeous evening in Downtown Toronto. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the skies were blue, & 42 WPICC Wedding Coordinators & vendors came together & boarded the “Showboat” for a fun night of networking & cruising Toronto!

I am the WPIC Regional Representative for Durham Region! As the Regional Representative, it is my responsibility to organize networking events & learning seminars for WPICC alumni

Certified Wedding/ Event Planners are constantly educating themselves & networking with other wedding vendors & venues. We tour  many venues & taste their food, so we can confidently refer them to our clients. It’s a tough job, I know…..but someone has to do it

We learn all there is to know about the venue. What packages they offer,  pricing, food, etc. We can match the right venue to our clients. Saving them a lot of time & running around from venue to venue & meeting to meeting, trying to find that perfect venue they have been dreaming of

Jana, a Mariposa Representative, discussing with us, their fleet & what they can offer our wedding & corporate clients

Jana explains that Mariposa doesn’t offer wedding packages, as all weddings are custom to what the client wants. Giving couples the freedom to design their own ceremony and/or reception the way they want, & within their own budget.

Mariposa’s fleet consists of many boats & ships. They can accomedate groups from 2- 500+. Whether you’re having a small intimate wedding or a BIG fat Greek wedding, Mariposa has a boat for that.



The Super-Friendly staff at Mariposa Cruises!

The delicious food that Mariposa Cruises offers

We had a 2 hour cruise around Lake Ontario. Seeing a side of Toronto that you just don’t get to see everyday

During the cruise we had the opportunity to chat with other amazing wedding professionals, that I selected to showcase their work!

gorgeous ring pillow


and stunning garters from Hair Candy Couture

 Hair Candy Couture

Maple bacon cupcakes

fun & oh so yummy treats from Sprinkld with Love

Sprinkld with Love

Florals provided by First Comes Love Floral Designs

Had fun creating the WPIC logo in flowers!

 First Comes Love Floral Designs 

Rand Ridley & Micki Bean, representatives from Paragon DPI, discussing with us, what they can offer us & our clients. Everything from logos, monagrams, business cards, signage,wedding invitations, etc, etc.

Paragon Rep. Rand Ridley presenting to WPICC alumni

You can’t have a boat cruise, without great music!

Matthew Beachamp from Mobile Productions rockin the boat!

Mobile Productions 

I offered all WPICC alumni professional head shots for them to use on their websites, Facebook page, etc. The talented Will Prentice from Captura Photography & Imaging offered his services

Also had the amazing Lini Campbell, capture the night’s events for us…..All photos provided by Lini Campbell Photography

Lini Campbell Photography

 Lini Campbell Photograpy

What a great evening! Great weather, great food, & great friends! Can’t wait for my next WPIC Networking Event…….Coming soon!




  1. More often than not, venues now have their own wedding coordinator to assist couples on their wedding day. If that’s the case, why hire a Wedding Planner?

Let me set the record straight about this burning question!

It takes approx. 250 hrs to plan a wedding. Brides & grooms usually start to feel like they are in over their heads soon after starting to plan their own wedding. All of their weekends & evenings start becoming devoted to their wedding & can feel like a second job to them. Hiring a “certified” wedding coordinator can save them time, stress & money.

The 4 main reasons couples hire a “certified” wedding coordinator:

They are too busy/overwhelmed to properley plan their wedding

They are planning their wedding from a distance

They want a professional to handle all the leg work involved in planning a wedding

They prefer to take pleasure in their wedding day, not work through it.


The on-site wedding consultant’s primary focus & responsibility is the Venue. The relationship between them & the couple remains a professional one. The on-site coordinator will assist in the creation of a timeline for the wedding in regards to the venue’s role & responsibilities. If the ceremony is also taking place on-site the venue coordinator will usually run the rehearsal for the wedding & direct the ceremony on the wedding day. The on-site coordinator is usually on-site on the wedding day & generally leaves before dinner turning the event over to the banquet manager or “Captian”

A “certified” wedding planner’s primary focus & responsibility is the Bride & Groom. They work closely with the couple, building a personal & professional relationship right from the beginning of their engagement. From selecting vendors & venues, budget management, theme development & decor, managing & seeing to the finest details & supervising the event itself. They keep everyone organized by setting up a clear plan for the event & following up to make sure all flows well.

They will be present at the wedding to direct the ceremony & reception & make sure all goes according to plan. On the wedding day, the “certified” wedding coordinator will be with the couple from before the ceremony until the end of the reception.



One of the biggest questions I get as a floral designer, aside from “how much” is “what are my flower choices for my wedding date”

I have Fall brides wanting peonies and Spring brides looking to have Amaryllis. I have to be the bearer of bad news and tell them their beloved blooms are not available at that time of year. So what is available for your wedding? Let me break it down for youSpring: Peony, daffodils, lily of the valley, ranunculus, sweet pea, tulip, hyacinthus, muscari, anemone, forsythia, cherry blossoms

Fall:Dahlia, hydrangea, protea, star of bethlehem,tuberose, sun flower, delphinium, sedum, amaryllis, snowberry

Winter & All Year Round: carnations, rose, gerbera, anthurium, eustoma, dendrobium orchid, stephanotis, lily, cymbidium orchid, freesia, calla lily, chrysanthemum, gypsophila, daisy, hypericum

Summer: the posibilities are endless….No matter the season, you will have a great selection of blooms to choose from….

Happy Planning!



I had the pleasure of meeting UK’s top wedding planner & host of the popular TV series “Wedding S.O.S”, Jane Dayus-Hinch!

She was as lovely & funny as she appears on her television show.

She was the guest speaker, talking to a room full of wedding planners & other wedding professionals, inlighting us with her wisdom & amazing stories she has accumulated over her 25+ years of being a Wedding Planner!

Jane told us that she has planned over 1800 weddings…..WOW! You can imagine the stories that she has. Many she can’t tell us about, as she has signed wavers stating she cannot reveal the names of some of her “celebrity clients”. I’m sure she has planned MANY famous weddings, with several great stories to tell……only if she could.

Jane explained the importance of hiring a wedding planner, especially now of days. Although brides feel that they are the best person to plan their wedding, with some  help from mom & bridesmaids, most brides do not deligate enough. Couples are far too busy these days & usually feel overwhelmed shortly after the planning process begins.

It takes approx. 250 hrs to plan a wedding. Most couples will have no choice but to spend every weekend planning their wedding. Hiring a professional will take the stress out of planning & will free up a lot of time, so the couple can enjoy their weekends. Wedding Planners know lots of vendors in every category & usually have their own “preferred vendors list”. Many of those vendors offer wedding planner’s clients discounts, saving their clients money as well as time!

As a WPIC certified wedding planner, we do not accept referral fees from vendors! It’s considered a “kickback” and is against our “code of ethics” Our vendors are referred on merrit , we will only recommend the best to our clients!

Jane also discussed the importance of vendors working together! She explained to us how  officiants (for example), sometimes will not want to work with a wedding planner. Jane says “they ruin the wedding”! By not allowing the planner to help the officiant & work together, things always go wrong. They are only concerned with getting them down the asile & saying the vows, not all the other many details involved with getting everyone to the ceremony & having everything & everyone in its place, all on time. There is so much more to the ceremony that they (officiants) don’t consider or have any part in.

It was great to see that one of the many guests enjoying the seminar & learning  was an officiant, named John. He was given a thunderous applause because he wanted  to learn more about the role of the wedding planner. He now agree’s to be more accepting of us & work together! I really hope I get to work with him some day! Good for John!

At the conclusion of the seminar, we all had a chance to chat & have our pictures taken with Jane. She was such a delight! Since I was sporting a cast, due to an injury from my last bridal show, I fell & broke my wrist. She signed it for me, Jane writes: “Broken? Never! Wedding Planners Rock!”

Thank you Jane Dayus-Hinch & Thank you to Jennifer Maxwell of  www.WiseBride.ca  for organizing the event.

www.paulshannoncaterers.com -The Lake House -Pickering for the delicious food & gorgeous venue.



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