Author: Alana

Beautiful Bouquet Types, Ideas & Tips!

There are so many amazing options available these days when it comes to bouquets. From colour scheme, specific blooms, style and shape, there are many choices a bride is faced with when deciding on her bouquet. It is an important decision, as it will be front and centre when you walk down the aisle, in the majority of your wedding photos, and a memory you will treasure for years to come! Below I share a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your bouquet, as well as amazing images of some of my favourite bouquets from the last few years.

Colour – you can go classic with white or bring in colour to add a vibrant pop to your photos
Shape – there are so many bouquet shapes to choose from (organic, cascade, teardrop, round, crescent, nosegay & pomander, to name a few), make sure you consider the style of your wedding gown when choosing your bouquet shape, to ensure you create the most perfect look for yourself on your big day
Style – your bouquet doesn’t have to be an exact match of your reception decor, but it should embody a similar style, and not look completely out of place when compared to all the other floral components of your wedding

Crescent Bouquet with Cascade
Flowers: The Social Rose
Photo: Samantha Ong
As seen in: Wedluxe
Cascading Bouquet of Orchids with Mauve Roses Peeking Through
Flowers: The Social Rose
Photo: Samantha Ong
As seen in: Event Source
Natural / Organic Bouquet full of Coloured Blooms
Flowers: Blush and Bloom
Photo: Ikonica Images
As seen in: Today’s Bride Magazine
Round Bouquet with Textured Blooms
Flowers: Fete Floral
Photo: Samantha Ong
Nosegay Bouquet
Flowers: The Social Rose
Photo: Samantha Ong
As seen in: The Bridal Affair Magazine

Goodbye for now,
Alana xo

I Saw The Sign… At Your Wedding!

Signage at weddings is so important. Don’t overlook this detail as it really sets the tone for when your guests first enter any part of your wedding – whether it be the ceremony, cocktail area or reception. And let’s not forget – signage is also very useful!

I’ll be sharing a few ideas and tips for different wedding sign ideas below. My best advice overall is be creative – this is an area where you can easily bring in personal touches and really wow your guests, while providing useful information to your guests at the same time.

BONUS: One of the perks of working with Swoon Events is that you get access to our templates for personal signs and seating charts, along with access to our inventory collection of signs, picture frames, table numbers, money boxes, styling accessories and so much more!

Welcome Signs

You can use a welcome sign for any part of your wedding – whether it be the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, or all three! It’s a great little touch to literally welcome your guests to your wedding and make them feel special. Don’t forget to add cute touches like a pretty garland across the top.

Seating Charts

Seating charts have become increasingly popular over the last few years vs. seating cards. A seating chart is easier to set-up and can create a bigger impact as it is a large focal point. Here are a few tips:
– Framing your seating chart looks a lot more elegant than printing on a foam board
– If you decide to print on a foam board, ensure you add a garland or something else to jazz it up
– Be creative! You can create large-scale seating chart installations that will really WOW your guests
– Hire a calligrapher to write on a mirror or piece of wood – so classy!
– You can print vinyl to go on a mirror to look like calligraphy – see below for an example (2nd photo in the gold ornate mirror vs. 3rd photo in grey frame which is real calligraphy)

BONUS TIP: If your wedding is 130 guests or more, ensure you create the seating chart alphabetically and not by table number, as hundreds of guests will not be easily able to find their name by table number.

Photo: Ikonica Images
Calligraphy: Made by Caddie

Keep everything cohesive with the look and feel that you are trying to achieve and you will be sure to impress your guests. I hope you gained some helpful tips and fun ideas from all this signage inspo!

Goodbye for now,
Alana xo

Welcome to… Tipsy Tuesday!

Covid-19 hasn’t been all bad, right? For me, its birthed some fun ideas I normally wouldn’t have time for in the craziness of day to day life. For those of you following along on Instagram, you might already know what I’m referring to.

Tuesdays are home to Tipsy Tuesday! Every Tuesday at 9pm EST, I share some wedding tips while having a sip of a delicious cocktail I’ve made, and I always try and relate the cocktail to the tips I’m sharing. I post this in my stories on my Instagram feed, so it’s up for 24 hours for everyone to view. I always share the cocktail recipe at the end as well!

The feedback I’ve received about Tipsy Tuesday so far has been incredible – a big thank you to everyone who joins me and is following along! I wanted to create something fun but still informative for all my brides and followers.

In case you missed it, there’s now a highlight reel on my Instagram Profile called – you guessed it – Tipsy Tuesday! You can check out all the past Tipsy Tuesdays there. My Instagram handle is @alanaswoonevents or click here to be directed right to my profile.

Are there any tips or cocktails you wish I would share? Message me on the gram and let me know!

Goodbye for now,
Alana xo

Shiran & Mike’s Elopement in Las Vegas… with Elvis!!

Shiran and Mike are one of my amazing full planning couples, who are located in New York, but currently in Palm Springs (Shiran owns this really cute Airbnb there – The Palm Baum!) We have been planning their epic wedding in Toronto for a year now, and due to COVID-19, had to postpone to May 2021.

Shiran and Mike have been super fun to work with – their creativity constantly shines through, and we have one heck of a wedding in store! Shiran and Mike wanted to get officially married now, so they decided to make the drive from Palm Springs to Vegas, where Elvis (Eddie Powers) married them under the Welcome Sign with his pink cadillac!

I am so happy for these two, and literally cannot wait until the real wedding plans can come to fruition!

Their elopement has been featured by Brides and Over The Moon – you can read more about this exciting day there!

Goodbye for now,
Alana xo

What Kind of Head Table Should I Have?

For many years, the Head table has traditionally been a long table that faces outwards towards guests, with the Bride and Groom in the centre, and their bridesmaids and groomsmen on either side. There would typically be draping behind you to create a backdrop, and some large-scale floral centrepieces on stands behind the bride and groom. There are many more options available these days when it comes to Head Tables at weddings. Read on to find out the different options, and some pros and cons of each.

Traditional Head Table:

Pro – Anyone sitting at it can see the room clearly

Pro – Guests can see the Bride & Groom clearly

Pro – Provides a big impact in terms of decor since traditional head tables are usually quite large

Pro or Con – Puts the Bride & Groom and the wedding party / family on display

Con – Costs more to decorate since they are so large

Fun tidbit: in some cultures (like Jewish weddings for example) it is traditional to have your immediate family at your head table, not your bridal party.

Traditional Head Table
Photo: Ikonica
Florals: The Social Rose
Tables and Chairs: Detailz Couture
Table Runner: Plate Occasions
Venue: The Manor

Sweetheart Table:

A Sweetheart Table is as sweet as the name implies – it is a smaller table facing out to the guests, where only the bride and groom sit.

Pro: Gives the bride and groom some alone time to enjoy dinner together 

Pro – Takes up less space (if your guest count is getting tight for the size of your venue, this can be a great option, and allows for more creative floorplans)

Pro – Much more cost effective than a traditional head table (less area to decorate)

Pro – Guests can see the Bride & Groom clearly

Pro – Your bridal party can sit with their significant others and friends 

Pro or Con – You don’t get to sit with your bridal party or family during dinner

Sweetheart Table
Photo: Brittany Williams
Florals & Decor: The Social Rose
Table: VintageBASH
Vinyl: Axe Media
Venue: York Mills Gallery

Kings Table:

I get asked a lot what a King’s Table is. It is like the name implies – the Bride and Groom sit at one end facing out to the guests in the room, and the bridal party or family sit down either side of the table, so instead of facing out to guests, they face each other. Typically we use two rectangular tables (industry lingo is double wide) so there’s lots of space for decor and place settings, with a third rectangular table at the top where the Bride and Groom sit. Picture a large T shape.

Pro – Easier for bridal party or family to see and talk to each other

Pro – Is more cost effective than a traditional head table (since there is less table length to decorate, and a smaller backdrop would be needed)

Pro – Takes up less space than a traditional head table (which means you can get more creative with your floorplan or fit in more guest tables)

Pro or Con – Less formal and attendants will feel less on display 

Con – Sometimes the bride and groom are a bit harder for guests to see

Kings Table
Photo: Samantha Ong
Florals & Decor: The Social Rose
Venue: York Mills Gallery

My friend Kristina over at Elysian Weddings & Events wrote a blog post about head table options too – go have a look if you need any more info!

So, where do you think you’ll be sitting at your wedding?

Goodbye for now,
Alana xo

The First Look – To Reveal or Not to Reveal

I get asked all the time by my couples about the pros and cons of having a First Look. Many question if it’s something they should consider, if it will take away from the ceremony, and how the timing of the day will play out if they have one. In today’s post, I am going to share my thoughts about First Looks, and answer all your questions!

What to Consider If a First Look is Right For You:

Timing of Your Ceremony

This is the most crucial aspect to consider. If you are having a traditional church ceremony in the morning or early afternoon, you will likely not do a First Look. Why? Because you will have a gap once the ceremony ends, before the reception starts, and should have plenty of time to get your photos done then. If you’re nervous and want to see each other before the ceremony, a quick First Look can always be added in.

If your ceremony is later in the afternoon or early evening and your schedule of events are back-to-back (i.e. ceremony flows into cocktail hour which then flows into dinner) you will not have a lot of time to do your Bride & Groom Photos, Bridal Party Photos, and Family Photos, and I would strongly advise having a First Look in this case.

Flow of Events

You could have a prolonged cocktail hour (like 1.5-2 hours long) to try and get all those photos done during that time, but I would advise you to consider this from a guest perspective: if you were a guest at a wedding, would you want to stand for 1.5 to 2 hours during cocktail hour while the entire family was off doing photos? The answer is likely no.

Photo Location

If you are planning to take all your photos during cocktail hour and not have a First Look, is there a space that you will adequately be able to do so? If you’re planning to do photos outside, is there an ideal rain back-up location? Will you be separated enough from your guests during cocktail hour that they won’t try coming up to you while you’re busy doing photos? Keep in mind that if your reception room requires a room flip, you will not have access to that space during cocktail hour for photos.

Timing of Your Cocktail Hour

I never want my couples to feel rushed at any point on their wedding day. If you have a First Look earlier in the day, you are able to get the majority of your photos out of the way, so that during cocktail hour, you can either:

A. Join your guests, relax and enjoy with them.

B. Stay in the bridal suite and have a private moment as Bride & Groom (as your planner I will always ensure hors d’oeuvres and your fav drinks are brought to you there!) 

C. Take extended family photos, and then join your guests.

Will it Make My Ceremony Less Special?

My short answer is: absolutely not! In fact, I have been told by many couples that the First Look was one of the most special moments of their day, and made them feel less nervous and more excited for their ceremony. It’s a great decision for couples who want to spend some quiet time together before the ceremony.

Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer, it is a personal decision based on many factors, as noted above. If you are more traditional, and your wedding schedule allows it, maybe you want to skip the First Look. But if you want to ease wedding day nerves and give yourself more time to enjoy your cocktail hour, a First Look may be the right choice for you. Speak to your photographer and planner if you’re on the fence, and I’m sure you will end up making the best decision for your wedding day!

What to Consider When Hiring a Photographer for your Wedding Day

Your vendor team is one of the most crucial aspects of your wedding day – after all, your vendors will be the ones bringing the day to life. It is imperative that you pick vendors that will match your style and aesthetic and help make your vision a reality. One of the most important vendor decisions is your photographer. Certain weddings turn to pure magic behind the lens of the right person.

Personality and style plays a key role in this decision. There are different photography styles from light and airy to dark and moody. Below you will find two gorgeous bridesmaids shots, with very different photography styles. Take a look at different photographers portfolios or Instagram accounts and see what style you vibe with. From there you can make a running list of photographers you’re interested in.

The next step would be to reach out for availability and pricing. If they are available and their pricing is in-line with your budget, set up a call or in-person meeting with your top two choices. It is important to ensure you like their personality, since they’ll be with you for many hours on one of the most important days of your life. Aside from personality, there are other key questions to ask so you can have all the info you need to book the right photographer.

Important Questions to Ask:

1. How long have they been doing this for? How long have they had their current business?

2. Who do they use as a second shooter or assistant? Do they assist with lighting as well?

3. Do they bring extra memory cards the day of? Do they back up on site the day of the wedding?

4. Do they have a back up photographer they can send in case something were to happen the day of (sickness, accident, etc.) 

5. How long after the wedding day does it take for you to receive the edited photos? Approximately how many edited photos will you receive?

6. How long after your wedding do they keep your files/ photos stored for? 

7. How would they describe their photography style?

8. Do they take a lot of posed photos or more candid shots? 

9. If they notice your dress is out of place, will they or their assistant help fix that while shooting?

10. Have they worked at your venue before?

11. Are they familiar with the area around your venue? 

12. What has been their favourite wedding to shoot so far and why?

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Swoon Events

Toronto, ON
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