After all, planning a Wedding is an awful lot like building a house.  Let me explain!

When you build a house there are steps you need to take no matter where you decide to build.  You need to find the perfect piece of land that makes you feel giddy with excitement.  You need to find an architect to draw up your plans so that you know what your house is going to look like.  You build the foundation so that you know the house is sound.  You construct the exterior using the materials you’ve decided upon and then you choose all of the interior fittings that give the house a style direction.  Lastly you move your personal belongings into place to provide the finishing touches.


Okay – I’m now going to describe the analogy as it pertains to weddings.  Your find the person who makes you jump and down with excitement (go on, admit it!) and decide that there is nothing more you want than to spend the rest of your life with them.  Check.  You hire a planner to help you put the big picture details in place – like vendors, dates, and details (or take on the task yourself) i.e. ‘the wedding architect’.

You decide the overall feel you want for you day and start putting the larger details in place.  Check. You look for the perfect place to marry the love of your life.  Check.   You build a foundation – I call this your wedding blueprint (more on that in a sec).  You start outlining the big picture details that set the overall style for your day and lastly you begin adding all of the personal details that make your wedding day truly your own.

Can you imagine what would happen if you built your house out of order and then just hoped for the best?

Upside Down House Dubai Miracle Garden

Upside down house in Dubai Miracle Garden

You might get what you want in the end, but it’s going to take more time, more money and more compromises than if you had a really great plan right from the beginning.

Here’s the crazy part. I see so many couples – in fact, the majority of them – do just that when it comes to planning their weddings.  They worry about the multitude of little things but skip over the hugely important ones and just hope everything just works itself out. Big OOPS! Guest what? They may get what they want in the end, but it will have cost more, taken more time and they may have had to compromise as a result.


Stay tuned for next week’s post where I walk you through the 6 steps to creating your own wedding day blueprint.

Now I want you to do 2 Things.

Thing 1: Let me know if you have created a blueprint for your wedding day in the comments below … and

Thing 2: Share this with someone who may be starting their own wedding planning journey.

Lori xo

How To Protect Yourself From Disaster

How To Protect Yourself From Disaster

You’re weeks away from your wedding and you couldn’t be more excited! The details are in place, everything is running smoothly and your wedding planner has everything under control. Or do they?


What happens if you are one of the dozens of couples who have been affected by a company that sent a filing for bankruptcy notice in Boston or the handful of couples in Calgary whose wedding planner was fired from the very venue you thought you had a firm contract with?

Calgary Couple


These two stories emerged within hours of each other; two different cities and two different countries.  So how can you protect yourself from facing such a devastating situation when you should only be feeling beyond excited in anticipation of your wedding day?

Here are 5 tips to help you protect yourselves from unethical businesses or unforeseen circumstances:

1/ Check References: In most cases, a wedding planner can simply open up shop and start contracting clients, but this does not guarantee that they know the first thing about running a business. Check their references and/or their professional status (certifications, BBB standing and reviews).

2/ Know Where Your Money is Going: Many wedding planners will handle all of your venue and vendor bookings for you (for a fee) to alleviate the stress of you having to do it all yourself. Make sure you have copies of receipts for deposits on all of the vendor bookings that you have paid for and a communication trail.

3/ Form Relationships with Your Vendors: You will want to know who your planner has recommended to you. Meet individually with your vendors (with or without your planner depending upon the level of service) to discuss your vision and your hopes. They’re human and they’ll have an emotional investment in your day if they get to know you better. Consider them your partner in success on the day. Treat them well and they’ll go the extra mile for you.

4/ Remember That This is Business: Yes, you hired your planner because you immediately connected and felt like BFF’s, but at the end of the day, this is a business transaction. You should have ongoing communication with your planner on a monthly or even bi-weekly basis to discuss the business aspects of your wedding day – including the budget, payments and balances.

5/ Get Wedding Insurance: Once upon a time this wasn’t even available to couples. While every company is different, insurance can help when you are faced with an unexpected occurance from an illness in the family to problems with a venue or vendor. In many cases, it won’t stop you from feeling the stress of having to postpone or reschedule your wedding day, but it will cover you financially. Read more here from the Knot:

This is YOUR wedding day. Unfortunately things happen that we can’t control, but if you can remove the emotional attachment to the business side of your wedding, you’ll be looking out for your own best interests in the end.

Lori xo




A wedding day timeline is one of the most critical elements to “get right” when it comes to your wedding day. On the surface it might seem that a timeline is meant to keep you on track throughout the day – and that’s true but its purpose goes way beyond that one important thing.

All of your suppliers rely on an accurate timeline; your venue requires one; your wedding party uses it; your MC needs it and of course you really do need to understand that timeline while prepping for your day. Believe it or not, having a timeline that works will even save you money.

Most couples know that they need one, but they don’t know how to go about creating one or how detailed it needs to be.

I’m here to make this easy for you.


Photo Image

The number one rule is to start from your ceremony time and work BOTH forwards and backwards to determine your basic outline. What do I mean?

Well, one of the things you will have done fairly early on in your planning process is to set your ceremony time so you knew what to put on your invitations. This won’t change from that moment on and it’s really the only set time in your day.

After that, you need to know some basic rules. You need to allow 45 minutes for every updo and another 45 minutes for makeup for each person. From there it’s simple math.

How many girls are having their hair and makeup done? You will either need to allow time for a single hair stylist and makeup artist – or book more than one of each depending upon how many people are being prepped.

Bride getting makeup done

Let’s break this down. If you have 2pm ceremony time – and you need allow travel time (say 30 minutes), dressing time (another 30 minutes) and you have 4 girls to prep (3 hours for hair and 3 hours for makeup done concurrently), you need to start getting ready no later than 10am. That’s if you have a single stylist and makeup artist.

If you have more girls or moms and grandmas – either expect a very early morning start or hire more people. Either way it will cost the same.

Alright, those are the biggest hurdles for the morning prep time and that is by far the easiest part to figure out. Moving forwards from your ceremony time there are far more things you need to consider.

Here are some questions you’ll need to answer:

  • How long is your ceremony?
  • How long does it take you to get to the reception site from the ceremony site or the photo site?
  • How long have you allocated for photos if you are doing them between ceremony and reception?
  • How long is your cocktail reception?
  • When is dinner scheduled to be served?
  • Are you doing a special couple / wedding party introduction?
  • How many courses are you serving?
  • How long have you booked your photographer for?
  • What hours did you book your DJ for?
  • How many speeches have you planned?
  • Will you be doing a cake cutting?
  • How about a first dance?
  • Will you be playing any games?
  • Will you be doing a special couple dance / mother-son dance / father-daughter dance?
  • Are you serving a midnight buffet?
  • When is last call?
  • Are you doing a complicated décor set up?
  • When do you have to vacate the premises by?

The fun part is taking all of the information above and plugging them into your timeline.

I’ve created a short video that walks you through what we did for a real couple that takes into consideration the elements above and how we managed the day. You’ll even hear me explain how we allocated the appropriate times and why. It’s much easier for me to show you than to try and explain it all.

Just click the link below and enter your name and email address – I’ll send you the link to the video so you can watch it and see it all come together.

Sign Up To Watch Timeline Video

Click here to get watch the video now!

Lori x





The cost of planning a wedding is higher than ever before!  The Knot, one of the most trusted research bodies in the wedding industry, surveyed close to 16,000 American couples and found that the average cost of a wedding in 2015 was an all-time high of $32,641.  (Say what???)

Cost of Wedding Graphic

More worrying to me, is that 45% of couples exceeded their ideal budget.  Does this mean that couples have unrealistic expectations of how far their dollar will go or are the wedding vendors using sneaky tactics to get you to spend more?

Well, to be honest, both statements have some truth to them.

Now, before you pass out, let me explain that the average cost is somewhat dependent upon the part of the world you get married in. For example, the cheapest place couples tied the knot was in Utah with an average wedding cost of $15,000 and the most expensive was not surprisingly in Manhattan with an average wedding cost of $82,299.

How do you even begin to budget for your own wedding?

Wedding Budget Image

Well, given that the number of guests fell from 149 in 2009 to 139 last year – the average cost per guest has actually risen over time.  Let’s do a bit of simple math.  If we divide the average cost of a wedding ($32,641) by the average number of guests (139), the average cost per guest is just under $235.  This includes all of your expenses from wedding dresses and attire to ceremony and reception costs.

Simply put, if you are planning on inviting 100 guests to a wedding in a somewhat populated part of the world you can assume a wedding budget of $23,500 based on the Knot’s research.

So how can you stretch your wedding budget to get more of what you want on your wedding day for less?

Tomorrow I’m going to touch on some tips and strategies that will help you stretch your budget without sacrificing style.

More tomorrow,

~ Lori x




The topic of wedding centerpieces is a hot one with a huge number of online searches every month for cost effective ideas. I thought I’d join the conversation and provide you with some options for less than $30 – a fraction of the price of an average centerpiece.

The ideas I am providing are DIY ones. Labour charges could otherwise elevate the costs outside of the $30 range.

Choose a variety of glass vases or bottles in varying heights.  You can collect all types of used containers to mix and match or you can find small items starting at $2.  Don’t rule out dollar or thrift stores or even big box stores like IKEA.

picmonkey glass vases

Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3

Add single blooms or a just a few of the same type and you have a stylish inexpensive centerpiece.

3 glass vases


Clear glass isn’t your only option, you can add coloured glass to achieve a slightly different mood or feel.

Coloured Glass 2

Clockwise from top left:  Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4

Additional textural details like the cut or sawn logs in these photos adds dimension without a lot of cost.

Glass and Logs

Photo 1 | Photo 2

Milk glass or white vases that mimic the look are a very popular option.

white vases

Photo 1 | Photo 2

Silver containers add a vintage feel to your centerpieces.  They can be found on eBay, at garage sales or thrift stores.  Remember that the pieces do not need to be in perfect condition; in fact some distressing adds a more authentic feel.

Silver containers

Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3

Depending upon where you live, your costs will vary.  If you are fortunate enough to live in or are planning to get married in Hawaii, your flower costs will be significantly lower than those areas in the middle of the country where everything has to be shipped in.

However, by using single large blooms, small groupings of blooms or even inexpensive berries or grasses you can create centerpieces that look more lavish than they really are.  Use smart shopping tactics to source interesting inexpensive containers or bottles and you are well on your way to having centerpieces for less than $30 each.

Feel free to leave me a comment below.

Lori x




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