Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Smaller weddings are very much InStyle!

Intimate weddings are making a big comeback!! With all the over-the-top Hollywood weddings and stories of people spending enough on their wedding to buy a small country, smaller weddings don't get a lot of press. That said they are very much back InStyle!
The smaller wedding are ideal for couples who prefer a more intimate approach for their wedding - as opposed to an affair for 450 of their "closest" friends.
Don't confuse the idea of a small wedding with the level of formality. A small wedding does not have to mean an informal affair. The concept of a "small wedding" simply refers to the size of the guest list. So instead of your mother inviting the next-door neighbor who babysat you when you were 5 because they are still neighbors, the guest list is just limited to your small inner circle - just the closest of family and friends that you really want to share your day with.
Beyond sharing the most important day of your life with a small, intimate group of friends, a small wedding allows you the freedom to focus on the areas of your wedding that are most important to you, which may have otherwise been out of your reach.
Whether simple or extravagant, a smaller wedding has the potential to be very elegant. It can be quaint, or luxurious. The choice is yours.
Having a smaller wedding also gives you more flexibility with your menu and your wines. If you both are foodies and that is an important aspect, then with a smaller wedding you are able to hire that high-end chef/caterer or upgrade your wines to something a little better then the run of the mill house wines. That being said, you may equally enjoy an afternoon brunch or an evening cocktail reception. There are so many options and the trend for 2011 is to shake it up and not be so formal.
We were interviewed this morning by EZ Rock and they posed the question of time lines, when should the couple start looking, booking and buying everything they need for the perfect day. If you missed the interview here is what we had to say:
Find the venue that fits you perfectly. There are only 52 Saturday’s in the year and if you want to be a summer bride, then the chances of getting your dream venue have just been reduced to a 12 week window and all the trendy, chic venues book up fast! That is not to say that you have missed out on your venue altogether, in fact we are here to share some good news with you. Fridays & Sundays are the new Saturday. If you have some flexibility and are willing to get married on another day of the week your chances have just tripled on securing your dream venue not to mention perhaps save some addition money with the venue and the caterers.
Once you have found your venue, the next step is finding your photographer. This city has so much talent! Do not rely strictly on Goggles front page, as you will find MANY hidden gems beyond the first page, we of course are always happy to provide you with our favs.
Something new to consider is a videographer/cinematographer. NEW? Wedding videographers aren’t new??? We beg to differ! What you will see and find now in the marketplace, is unlike anything that you have seen to date. They are NOT hours in length, and won’t have your viewers wishing silently that you would fast forward it to get to the good parts.
Please feel free to call us or stop by for a visit, we would be happy to meet you! We are located at 107 Murray Street in the heart of the Byward Market, 613-440-4446
Alternatively you can find us on Facebook and we would love for you to “Like” us there as we are always sharing relevant industry information which can greatly benefit you on your journey towards I Do.
Have you heard about our I Do - Dream Come True Contest with EZ Rock
On Feb 14th, one lucky couple will be saying " I do" live on 99.7 EZ Rock in a dream come true wedding or vow renewal ceremony right here with us at Weddings InStyle. The winner will walk down the aisle in a dream dress from With Love Bridal, holding a gorgeous bouquet from Ottawa Flowers. They will also enjoy a cocktail reception for 30 of their closest friends, while being photographed by Ontario's #1 Photo Journalist Kathi Robertson. Don't worry - there will be cake too,  Kate Green's edible art is all we are going to say... Enter here and share your story today!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weddings InStyle offers more than just wedding vows ...

Alexandre Singh pulled off the surprise of the century  by sweeping his then girlfriend, Catherine Letendre off her feet, all the way to Nassau, Bahamas and proposed right off the plane; she said yes.

Alexandre and Catherine had been together for seven years, most of which he traveled home from the States (where he works) on weekends to see her. They had always talked about eloping one day, in a private setting on a beach somewhere… but Catherine had no idea what Alexandre had up his sleeve this winter. The question for him was how to execute? Where to begin? How do you pull off a surprise wedding in the Bahamas when you’re residing in Ottawa? Well the answer was simple- call Weddings InStyle!

"It all started with an idea I had for a romantic wedding in the Bahamas,” Alexandre recalls. “After a few days of struggling on my own, I knew it would be hard to pull it off without help. I was a little overwhelmed withthe task at hand and I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it happen.”

After contacting Weddings InStyle, Alexandre explains, he knew it was in good hands and they could take his idea and turn it into reality. “They took care of everything,” he adds, “from researching all of the legalities, finding an officiant, to taking care of all scheduling and payments setup.” Not only did Weddings InStyle take care of the particulars, organizing and production, they ensured that it was still on track to the ‘dream wedding’ he was inspired to have for Catherine. “They listened to what I wanted and respected my budget,” Alexandre said. They also provided great insight and feedback on little details that I would have overlooked.”

From the flight to the floral arrangements to the wedding dresses, Weddings InStyle handled it all. They even bought two wedding dresses and had a seamstress in the Bahamas on stand by for any last minute alterations.

We wanted to give her choices, so we went with two different dresses that were shipped to the Bahamas so she could then pick one for herself. This way, Catherine could feel part of the decision making for her destination, surprise wedding. We also gave her choices for her flower arrangements upon arrival.

“They made the whole experience feel like I was working with a friend and someone who had my best interest at heart,” said Alexandre. “The end result was better than what I could’ve imagined. I think they may have even made sure that the sun would be out in time for the ceremony! 

"Thank you ladies for all your help and making me look like one of the most romantic guys in Ottawa."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Valentine's Day - 1 Month Away

Valentine's Day is a month away tomorrow. It is touted to be " THE" most romantic day of the year, I'm not sure about "that" statement because we believe love is ALWAYS InStyle any of the other 364 days ... However, that being said we know for sure is getting reservations at your favourite restaurant for dinner will prove to be a challenge unless you aren't thinking in advance. 

We at Balance InStyle, our personal Concierge company use a little tool called "Open TableIt's our newest "can't live without it" tool.   The reason is simple. Restaurants' reservation inventory shifts on a regular basis due to changes and cancellations. Ironically, the premium reservation times are often the ones to change. With an Open Table App, you can check and re-check availability several times a day, wherever you are. It's also a great tool for last minute reservations - like for those of you who completely forget to make a reservations on Feb 14th let's say...

In my recent experience using this app, I was originally unable to find availability at one of the city's new hot spots. Deciding to "wing it" about 30 minutes before we wanted to dine, I snagged a prime reservation that wasn't available the many times I tried previously.

Another neat feature is Open Table's "Special Requests to the Maitre D'" section.  Try it next time you book your reservation for a little extra love from your hosts for the evening. Yes, the restaurants read the comments, and I love to use this space to send compliments and express how much my clients are looking forward to dining at their restaurant. Set yourself apart by establishing a profile as being a fan. No one wants to disappoint a fan! 

Given that Valentine's Day is one of the biggest restaurant nights of the year and you've got to get romance right if you have a special someone in your life.  Book in advance!  Why not try the Maitre D section - you can EVEN order flowers to the table from this section!!  No worries, we won't tell anyone we guided you! Hey listen, even Cupid has helpers!!! ( consider us one of them!)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sneak peek at Monique Lhuillier bridesmaids dresses.

Monique Lhuillier, one of the top queen-bees of bridal, premiered her first line of bridesmaids dresses this month and we couldn’t be more excited about it. There’s an amazing variety of both short and floor-length dresses – all of which would work beautifully for your destination wedding. She has partnered with JS International, a leading evening dressmaker with over 30 years of fashion experience, for two bridesmaids collections.

The first collection, Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids, retails for $225-$330 and is available in full-service bridal salons as of January 2011.The second collection, ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids, now retails under $200 with exclusive distribution through Nordstrom’s stores and online. This is great news because Monique Lhuiller’s gorgeous chiffon confections are now available for a broader price point without sacrificing quality and design sensibility.

“Monique Lhuillier’sreputation among fashion and Hollywood’s elite and her luxurious design aesthetic is unsurpassed,” says JS International’s CEO, Mitchell Hops. “Our goal is to take her signature style and make it accessible to the aspirational shopper.”

Bridesmaids dresses have a reputation of being overpriced and frankly - ugly. Now, bridesmaids can rest easy knowing they can get a quality, name-brand dress that they can wear again and that their bride will love. The line sold exclusively at bridal salons does appear more high-end, but either line would work beautifully for a destination wedding. 
One shoulder draped crinkle chiffon cocktail dress. Style #450015. US MSRP $275.00
Racer halter draped grecian gown. Style #450021. US MSRP $325.00
Strapless dupioni dress with front pleats and sash. US MSRP $275.00
Racer halter crinkle chiffon cocktail dress with center flower. Style #450006. US MSRP $325.00
Halter crinkle chiffon gown with front twist. Style #450008. US MSRP $395.00
Strapless sweetheart polyester chiffon gown. Style #450017. US MSRP $325.00
Strapless side drape taffeta cocktail dress. Style #450010. US MSRP $275.00
Strapless ruched taffeta bodice and full aline cocktail dress. Style #450009. US MSRP $275.00
One shoulder dupiono dress with sash. Style # 450002. US MSRP $285.00
One shoulder grecian crinkle chiffon gown. Style #450019. US MSRP $375.00

The looks above are all from the Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids Collection sold exclusively at full-service bridal salons. To view the ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids Collections, please visit Nordstrom’s web site. So, without further a-do, looks that take the “maid” out of bridesmaid.

Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Monique Lhuillier

Saturday’s are NOT THE ONLY day of the week to say I DO …

 Midweek weddings are becoming more popular with couples who want to save money or avoid having to wait years for their wedding day.  It’s true Saturdays may still be the most popular day of the week to get married (closely followed by Fridays and Sundays), but more and more couples are considering weddings during the middle of the week and reaping the benefits.

The concept of midweek weddings always has been a part of European tradition, and Manhattan society picked up on it at least two decades ago. The custom has slowly made its way throughout the country.
There are a lot of benefits to getting married mid week - Venue availability is probably the biggest. The most popular, trendy wedding venues are now getting booked 18 – 36 months in advance.
Wedding vendors typically have less demand during the week as well, so getting your favorite caterer, photographer, DJ, make-up artist or stylists will likely be an easier feat then trying to fight over what’s left of the 52 available Saturday’s that aren’t already booked.
A weekday/night wedding can also add sparkle to a routine week. Your guests will know about the date far enough in advance to work out their work schedules. If they want to be there, they will.
Intimate weddings are really hot right now and are the trend for 2011. Brides are going for a more personal and comfortable approach. It’s all about gathering your family & friends and celebrating your marriage InStyle!  
“Having a small wedding doesn’t mean having to settle. Thank you Weddings InStyle for giving us the wedding we never knew we could have! We will be forever grateful to you!” This was a quote from one of our most recent weddings. (see website/gratitude section for full quote).
 So you see, you don’t need to compromise when it comes to your wedding day. The day of the week you choose to get married on doesn’t dictate whether or not you will live happily ever after … well maybe it does, as a little extra money in anyone’s pocket is reason enough to be happy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gratitude ... what some of our couples had to say ...

With over 50 weddings under our belt in 2010 here are a few highlights from our 1st year in business! Much Gratitude to all the couples who made it so effortless and fun to work with! We are SOOO excited for what 2011 has in store for us. 
It is easy for us to tell you what our commitment is to our couples, it is an entirely different thing to hear it first hand from the couples themselves.
With pride, we offer you to enjoy a few words and pictures from some of the couples we had the privilege to marry InStyle this past year.
When my wife and I got engaged, we knew we wanted a small intimate ceremony. Being new to the city, we automatically settled for having the wedding at city hall because we assumed it was the only option we had. I had always dreamed of seeing my bride for the first time, right before she walked down the aisle as I awaited her at the alter. I had simply accepted that with the city hall ceremony, I would never have the moment I had always dreamed of.
Thankfully, someone referred us to Amanda and Jill at Weddings InStyle!!!! They gave me the moment I had dreamed of and so much more. The decor I can only describe as elegant and trendy, yet it provided all the warmth and intimacy we had hoped for in a wedding of only 9 people. But WeddingsInStyle is more than just a venue. They look to fulfil every request a bride and groom could ever think of. It’s like getting a venue and wedding planner all in one! Flowers, champagne, cakes, music, decor, officiants…if there was something they couldn’t do themselves, it seemed like they were connected with someone in the Ottawa wedding industry that could. But I never had to call any outside contacts myself, we just told Amanda and Jill what our preferences were and they took care of everything for us…did I forget to mention that we only found WeddingsInSyle 8 days before our planned wedding date?!?! They made everything happen on such short notice and exceeded all of our expectations in the process.
Having a small wedding doesn’t mean having to feel apologetic. It doesn’t mean having to accept something cold and lifeless. Having a small wedding doesn’t mean having to settle. Thank you WeddingsInStyle for giving us the wedding we never knew we could have! We will be forever grateful to you!
Keith and Alisha
From the moment we walked through the door on that February afternoon to inquire about our fall wedding we were made to feel as though it was not only the most important day to us but to those working on it. We were told that we were an easy going couple when it came to planning our wedding but I have to say that we only seemed to be so easy going because we trusted the choices and plans you put together one hundred percent. We showed up on the day of not knowing what the flowers looked like, nor the cake or the table settings but when we walked through that door we were blown away. It was better than anything we could have done on our own. The process from beginning to end was a fantastic experience. The mother of the bride’s necklace was even repaired moments before the start of the ceremony. I would recommend Weddings InStyle to every couple thinking of getting married. That day will be remembered forever and it wouldn’t have been possible without all your hard work. Thank you so much for being our saviors when it came to planning the wedding we wanted so badly but didn’t know how to go about making it happen.”
Senecca and Peter Tasker

“I am Steve Bowker’s mom and I just want to congratulate you on your superb business venture that you offer. Your venue is spectacular and the extra special touches that you gave as a surprise for Amy and Steve were so special. My 3 sisters, my sister-in-law and my 96 year old mom were blown away by this wedding. In fact one of my older sisters told me that it was the best wedding she has ever attended! I am positive it is because of your beautiful venue and your attention to detail. It was all so classy and sophisticated yet warm, intimate and cozy at the same time. All my friends, acquaintances, neighbors etc. know about the wedding of course and when they ask about it I certainly have spread the word about” Weddings in Style”……everyone wants to know where you are etc. etc. and I am so excited about you guys that I go on and on more about the venue almost than the kids! Of course I do mention the gorgeous bride that I now have as THE BEST daughter-in-law ever! (along with the groom who is our pride and joy!)So thanks to you both….and best of luck for a bright prosperous future. You deserve it!”
Bev Bowker

“I don’t know how to say thank you enough for the incredible and spectacular day! Everything was perfect and it couldn’t have been more perfect for us!! You really made every step of the wedding process so fun and exciting! The ceremony was lovely, the champagne/toast was great, and the location was perfect for pictures! The cake was phenomenal- not only to look at, but to eat!!! Yum! Eddie and I both agree that our day was magical. We are so lucky that we had you taking care of all the details for us. Everyone you arranged for the wedding was top-notch. Our family was raving about how beautiful the ceremony was- and we agree!”

Thanks SO MUCH! Kerry & Eddie
I wanted to let you know Cory and I are thrilled with the wedding. Everything turned out wonderfully, the limo, the food, the decor, the photographer, the cake, the music, Peter, the wine, EVERYTHING was perfect!! We had such a good day, a good time and it did go by too quickly. We are appreciative of the hard work you put into our wedding and everything went so smoothly, thank you. The venue was very elegant, graceful exactly what we wanted. We couldn’t have asked for more. 
Sandra & Cory

“We are so grateful to the staff at Weddings InStyle for making our finest moment unforgettable. Every detail was elegant. The ensemble, woven together flawlessly. Your passion for beauty is unmistakable. Thank you Jill and Amanda for loving what you do. Whatever you touch, evidently turns to gold.”
Tatyana & Camille
It all started with an idea I had for romantic wedding in the Bahamas. After a few days of struggling on my own, I knew it would be hard to pull it off without any help. I was a little overwhelmed with the task at hand. I thought I would not be able to make it happen. After contacting Weddings InStyle, I knew I was in good hands and that they could take my idea and turn it into reality. They took care of everything, from researching all of the legalities, finding a Preacher, to taking care of having all the payments and scheduling setup. They listened to what I wanted and respected my budget. As well as, provided great insight and feedback on little details that I would have overlooked. They made the whole experience feel like I was working with a friend and someone who had my best interest at heart. The end result was better than what I could of imagined. I think they may have even made sure that the sun would be out in time for the ceremony.
Thank you Jill and Amanda for all your help and making me look like one of the most romantic guys in Ottawa.”
Sincerely, Alexandre Singh
“Living in BC and getting married in Ottawa complicated an already daunting task of planning a wedding for us. We had a very small window to see our venue, officiant, and all the other numerous wedding details six months before our big day as we were visiting over the holidays. In a nightmare scenario, our venue host/officiant didn’t show up to our scheduled appointment. Peace of mind for a soon to be bride and groom is essential (particularly when you are planning from across the country), and for this reason we were forced to severely alter our wedding plans. This ended up becoming a blessing in disguise as after we discovered them online, Weddings InStyle stepped in to save the day.
We received the most professional, personable, and top of the line service from Weddings InStyle and we found the assurance and peace of mind we were looking for. Jill took care of every need we had and we were pleasantly surprised to discover that Weddings InStyle was able to take care of every little detail (everything from, hair/makeup, to flowers and decor). They also provided us with a top notch officiant who gave us exactly the kind of wedding ceremony we were looking for. Weddings InStyle is truly an innovator in the Ottawa area for being able to provide a personalized 5 star alternative to the more traditional civil ceremony in an affordable all-in-one package. The day itself couldn’t have gone better with all the stress removed from the bride and groom. The venue was stylishly decorated to meet our tastes and we couldn’t possibly have been treated better by Jill and Amanda. Thank you Weddings InStyle for making sure our special day was one we will cherish the rest of our lives!”
Joel & Jacqueline
“Thanks again for all of your help with our wedding. Everyone was really impressed with how things went. We couldn’t be happier.
You made it better than City Hall ever could and though of details that would have never even crossed my mind.
Thanks again so much
Melissa & Rob
“I just want to thank you for everything. The ceremony was amazing and the venue looked incredible!!! Everyone wanted to know how we found Weddings InStyle….they absolutely loved it!!!! You truly go out of your way to make all involved feel so special. Your wonderful service will forever be remembered.”
Andrea & Rommey xox
I cant believe we already celebrated our one month all feels like a lovely dream.. everyone who came for the wedding was praising how intimate and wonderful it was.. all thanks to you. You made the planning and the day so stress free and memorable. Especially planning from a distance. Thank- you!.”
Lilangi & Sabarish

My fiancé and I were looking for a modern, classy and stylish venue in which to hold our wedding reception.  After visiting numerous hotel reception rooms boasting ‘alcoholic punch fountains’ and providing tacky stained carpets from the 1970’s as their flooring of choice, we came across the website for Weddings InStyle.  After seeing the venue and meeting with Jillienne and Amanda, it was clear this was the space for us.  The girls were passionate about making our vision come to life, the space was in keeping with our contemporary sense of style and the price was right!  Weddings InStyle’s turn-key approach to a wedding experience made the planning process so easy and enabled us to focus our attention on our family, friends and each other on our special day.

Thanks so much Weddings InStyle, we had a perfect day and wouldn’t change a thing!

Nicholas & Kathryn, married October 16, 2010