Tag Archives: Advice

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

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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