Inn at Laurel Point - Victoria, British Columbia, V8V 1Z8, Canada

Archived Wedding Blogs

"I Do" Over – What would I change from my wedding?

December 2013

  • I Do Over

Well my gentle readers, the end of 2013 is upon us. Although this is a time to reflect on the past year, and look forward to all the good things that the New Year will bring, I wanted to share a blog post I came across that is all about reflection.

Christy wrote a great post on her blog Avoiding Atrophy . The post looks back at her wedding, at what she might do differently or the same if she were to do it all over again If I Had It To Do All Over: Wedding Planning

Her post is great, and she was on such a roll, she posted Part 2 – so have a read and let me know that you think. If you are planning a wedding in 2014 or 2015, hopefully Christy’s insights will be, well insightful and if you have planned a wedding, what would you do over?

One of my colleagues would have her make-up professionally done, another would have invited more of her friends and less of her parents’…

Laurel

A Christmas Wedding?

December 2013

  • Christmas Wedding 1

Although Christmas or New Year’s Weddings are not for everyone, if you love the holiday season, there are great advantages to having a wedding around Christmas time.

  • Christmas Wedding 2

Whether you have your ceremony at a church or a hotel like ours, you won’t have to worry about spending lots of money on decor – venues like these really “do it up” for the season and often have the decorations up as early as late November.

  • Christmas Wedding 3

Another advantage to a holiday wedding is that most of your guests will have time off around that time and if your wedding is in your hometown, friends & family will be home for the holidays.

Weddings make for great parties, so why not have a New Year’s Eve Wedding and invite your nearest and dearest to celebrate your union and the New Year.

  • Christmas Wedding 5

Plus, a winter wedding gives you a reason to wear fur – faux or otherwise!

Laurel

  • Christmas Wedding 7

Instagram Your Wedding

September 2013

  • instagram

Ask your guests to use a #hashtag for the images they snap & post on Instagram at your wedding – it’s the new “disposable camera on the table”

5 Things to leave out of Thank You Notes

August 2013

  1. That you are returning or exchanging the gift
  2. That you received duplicates of the gift
  3. That the gift fell short of your expectations
  4. Any mention of money even if you received a monetary gift (more on this)
  5. Bad spelling or hand writing (practice)

Laurel

Thank You Notes: TYN 101

August 2013

  • Wedding

My mum was right- but don’t tell her I said that…

The most important part of a thank you note is that it is hand written. Show that you’ve put time and care into your note. In 4 -5 sentences make your message personal and be sure to:

Thank the guest for the gift whether material or immaterial (shower hostess, wedding attendant etc…)
Tell them how you’ll use it – if you aren’t sure yet… use your imagination “Thank you for our parfait glasses, they will look terrific at our next dinner party” – meanwhile you’re Googling parfaits
Mention how nice it was or will be to see/meet them at the wedding
*If you’ve already returned/exchanged their gift thank them for the item, then focus your creative writing on seeing them at the wedding or your next visit.

Remember the note doesn’t have to be long, just genuine.

  • Laurel

Laurel

Thank Yous: the art of feeling or expressing gratitude & app

August 2013

When I was little I had to write thank you notes. My mum insisted.

  • thank-you-edited

I wrote thank yous for gifts or outings or other generosities, and didn’t realize that I was being groomed to do so in my adult life.

Today, I rarely receive thank yous for gifts I’ve given, and as I polled the office I discovered that I am not alone. I think the thank you note is facing extinction!

Now, I could climb onto my soapbox in my 4 inch heels and expound upon the importance of thank you notes, but I have managed to simplify things in a way that even Cole & Cliff would be proud of.

The least you can do is thank a wedding well-wisher in writing for spending time and money on you.

Couples: stock up on a few boxes of blank thank you cards, select a good pen and get it poised to write – I have more on this subject…

  • Laurel

Laurel

“How do I tell my guests we just want cash?”

July 2013

  • No Toaster

My phone chimes with a text message, and it’s my brother with a wedding question:

“Cam wants to know how he tells people that he wants cash for their wedding- he doesn’t want a bunch of crap”

Flattered that baby bro thinks of me as the fabulous resource that I know I am, and acknowledging that he and his buddies are having some beers at the cottage & tact is not top of mind – the phrase “He wants cash for their wedding” scorches my retinas and I pound back my response:

“First, even if Cam only wants cash, he can’t ask for it, but here’s what he can do:

#1 DO NOT mention cash or the registry on the invitation!!! tacky, tacky, tacky

2) On Cam & Sara’s wedding website, mention how they are saving for a trip, new home etc… it’s a subtle hint that a gift of cash would help them get these things

3) Tell close friends & family that they’d prefer cash, and they can spread the message to other wedding guests.

Next, they should register and tell family & friends. Some people just want to buy couples a gift.

  • wedding-presents

Pick a store that is national like the Bay or Sears and register for a few items. Cam can register at Sears for power tools or something.

Register for low, medium and high priced items because people want to spend money on the couple.

Yeah, I’m a little chatty when I get fired up and luckily I have unlimited texts.

Registering mitigates the risk of getting “a bunch of crap” but doesn’t eliminate it. Guests might just get them a gift they think Cam & Sara will use, and they might be stuck with it… at least until you get married, then they can give it to you :)

“Thanks good info, Cam thanks you too – need another beer… laters!”

Laurel~

Wedding Politics

June 2013

No, we aren’t going to discuss how to align political views before your nuptials, my expertise is weddings… with only a minor in counseling.
The politics that I want to tackle is the delicate art and applied science of managing the people involved with the wedding (read family).

  • Dancing in Spirts

Perhaps as the wedding planning gets under way, you find that your future in-laws are calling weekly with unsolicited advice on everything from your wedding night accommodations to your menu selections. Or maybe, ever since your parents offered to pay for the wedding, you feel your opinion doesn’t count.

Here’s where you take a deep breath and remember that the rest of your married life will be filled with holidays and family. You want to make smart political moves to ensure that your happily ever after truly is.

Assign those “helpful suggestion givers” specific tasks or try saying that you really appreciate their advice and opinions, but you have a very specific vision for your wedding.

  • Wedding Politics 2

Try not to cut out the benefactor before exhausting all your options. Find a way to express that your wedding will create your own memories, and you have a vision in mind that you hope they can realize together.
I have witnessed fleeting (and sometimes not so fleeting) moments when a bride thinks to herself “What am I getting myself into with marrying into your family” and I am here to say fear not just be upfront early on.

Here’s $50…Buy A Ladder

June 2013

As wedding season is upon us, it important to remember to plan a wedding that suits you – not all weddings have to be big and flashy. We often have couples marry up in a suite with just their nearest & dearest…

Here’s a oldie but a goodie, originally published in August 2012

Here’s $50…Buy A Ladder

Something my dear dad would joke about constantly with my sister and I. He was fond of saying “who needs a big wedding, all you need is $50 and a ladder.” Insert hearty laughter. Apparently in the good old days the $50 was to cover travel expenses and a marriage license. The ladder was what the groom needed to retrieve his bride from her bedroom window while her parents slept.

  • Buy a Ladder

While my job at Inn at Laurel Point is to sell weddings I certainly do not think of eloping as a bad thing. In fact, I find the idea of running off and eloping just as romantic and kind of old fashioned. In a good way of course, not to mention cheap.

So if a big wedding is not one of your childhood dreams and you and your fiancee decide that eloping is the right option for you, consider these tips to avoid some of the guilt – think of it as having your wedding cake and eating it too.

  • Have a ceremony for the two of you, but throw a reception for all your friends and family.
  • Hire a photographer to come with you then send out great pictures of the I Do’s with a cheeky wedding announcement.
  • Elope now but make plans for a blowout ten year anniversary party. You might even include a note with your wedding announcement saying something like “our wedding day was just the two of us, but we hope you’ll come celebrate when it make to ten years.”
  • Elope

Inn at Laurel Point doesn’t supply the ladder but we have created an Elopement Package lovingly called “I Do For Two.” The package includes two nights in a suite with a patio overlooking the beautiful outer harbour, services of a wedding commissioner, flowers, a signature wedding cake created by our Pastry Chef, and bubbles to toast. Not to mention a roomy soaker tub, rose petal turn down, personalized bathrobes, breakfast in bed and a late check out.

As for the $50 and a ladder, regardless if you have a lavish wedding (call me) or runaway together, $50 and a ladder makes for a great gift and a wonderful story.

Kicking Off Wedding Season

May 2013

The weather here in Beautiful British Columbia has been fantastic, and we at the Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria BC are prepping for another fab wedding season. We have been meeting with couples over menu tastings and going over all things wedding.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share one of my wedding preseason rituals. Before the first couple walks down our waterfront aisle, I watch this video. It always makes me smile. The video isn’t professionally shot, or choreographed – it just features regular people willing to be silly and have fun to celebrate their friends’ union.

As stressful as wedding planning can be, when the big day arrives it is so important to take it all in and have fun.

Watch: JK Wedding Entrance Video

Strut February 2nd & 3rd at Victoria’s Wedding Walk

January 2013

  • Victoria

We at Inn at Laurel Point are thrilled to be one of the many venues participating in Victoria’s first Wedding Walk. The Victoria Wedding Walk was designed by the Victoria Wedding Collective (VWC) to offer an annual fun, authentic showcase of the top wedding professionals, suppliers and ceremony experts along with wedding venues, décor and food ideas.

  • Victoria

Our Wedding Experts will be in our magnificent Terrace Ballroom from 11am-5pm, Saturday February 2nd to meet you and answer all your wedding questions. Like “What’s all this noise about setting a budget” or “Who’s this Pinterest guy my fiancée is spending all her time with?”

So zip up your boots and strut on down!

We have your “something blue” and you might even spot me!

Wedding Shows, you gotta go

January 2013

We’re off to Wedding Fair in Vancouver BC as exhibitors and hope to see you there!

If you can get yourself to a wedding show in the early stages of planning, go and bring your mum. Not only is it great bonding time, it will be as good as renting a time machine to bring your mum to the present if not the future of wedding trends. She might be surprised to see that today’s bridesmaids (for the most part) like their dresses, do not wear coordinating hats, and sleeves are optional.

  • January 2013

(Sweet heavens that picture is something else!)

In 19___ [insert your parents’ wedding year here] couples hired bands and after a stroll through a wedding show, your mum will see that it is more common to work with a DJ now. Your mum will be brought up to speed on all things wedding in one afternoon, and you’ll probably be able to avoid the “Don’t you want to wear my wedding headband” conversation now that she knows what’s In.

See you at the show,

Laurel

Who Pays for What (Traditionally)

December 2012

It never hurts to know what the traditional take on a wedding topic is, before you blow the doors off it. Here is what “traditionally” the Bride & Groom’s respective sides looked after on the wedding budget spreadsheet. Thoughts? How would you divide it up?

  • Bride’s Side

  1. Bride’s gown & accessories
  2. Ceremony site costs
  3. Flowers (ceremony, reception & bridal attendants)
  4. Groom’s ring
  5. Stationary
  6. Music
  7. Photography & videography
  8. Reception venue & dinner
  9. Rental & decor items for ceremony & reception
  10. Wedding consultant/planner
  11. Bridal party transportation (ceremony & reception)
  12. Optional Items
  13. Bride & attendants accommodations
  14. Gift to the groom

  • Groom’s Side

  1. Bride’s engagement ring and wedding band
  2. Marriage officiant
  3. Marriage license
  4. Liquor
  5. Flowers (bride’s bouquet, corsages & boutonnieres for honoured family members)
  6. Rehearsal dinner
  7. Groom’s attendants transportation (ceremony)
  8. Honeymoon
  9. Optional Items
  10. Groom’s attendants accommodations
  11. Gift to the Bride
  • Who Pays

Rich bride, poor bride –

November 2012

Maybe you can be more than one or the other… how about setting a realistic budget and living happily ever after?

On average couples spend $27,000 on their wedding and whether that sounds reasonable or preposterous, in my experience a budget needs to be made. You can draw it up on the back of a cocktail napkin, or draft a spreadsheet – just make one.

  • Rich Bride - Poor Bride

The basics are simple; you need to know how much money you have to spend.

Are your parents & relatives contributing, or are you on your own? If you have to borrow money to pay for your wedding, don’t take on more debt than you can pay it back in a year!

Have your benefactors list their top two priorities (what is most important). This is key because often arguments appear to be about money, when they are really about priorities. If you do reach a stalemate, revisit the priority list and if the matter is not in your top 2, save your energy.

  • Rich Bride - Poor Bride 2

Once you know what you have to spend and what’s important, grab that cocktail napkin and list the items you’ll need for the wedding (see below) include a column for estimated cost, actual cost, deposit and a final column for notes. Always keep a running tally to be sure you are on track and factor in a 5-10% cushion for items you may had over looked.

Embrace the budget because it not only keeps your spending in check, it is a great organizational tool that will help track what still needs to be done.

One more thing, you have a lifetime together, let’s not spend it repaying the wedding debt racked up!

Next Post: I’m tackling politics!

*Here is an example of what portion of a couple’s budget is used on the following:

40% Reception (site, food & drink)

8% each Wedding Rings & Photography

6% Flowers

5% each Dress & Videography

4% Reception Music

3% Groom’s Formal Wear

2% each Hair & Makeup for bride & bridal party, Invitations & Stationary, Ceremony Music, Spiritual Ceremony Site, Wedding Cake, Transportation

1% Favours

*Breakdown courtesy of The Wedding Book – The Big Book for Your Big Day, by Mindy Weiss and Lisabeth Levine

  • Rich Bride - Poor Bride 3

Religion, Politics, Money and Weddings?

November 2012

  • Religion - Politics

There are a few topics that shouldn’t be discussed in polite conversation – religion, politics and money to name a few, and lucky for engaged couples these doozies get to be tackled all at once during wedding planning.

Cautious posturing with family & friends will exercise your political skills

Subjects of religion may be tabled when selecting a ceremony site or composing your vows

Though all matters can be thorny, the subject of money can be a recurring character throughout the planning and I think we should grapple with it first.

Let them eat candy corn!

October 2012

For two wedding seasons now, we have served breakfast for dinner. Why you might ask? It turns out that breakfast is the couple’s favorite meal, and really who doesn’t love an amazing benny?!

So it stands to reason that if couples incorporate special foods into their weddings, they would also consider incorporating their most hallowed holidays… like Halloween?!

Maybe you don’t want to serve your guests pancakes at 7pm, but if Halloween is your favorite holiday then bring on the fun size candy bars!

This is the part of the blog where I’d tell you about an amazing Halloween inspired wedding that took place here at the Inn at Laurel Point and share fantastic photos, well guess what – we need to have a Halloween wedding!

Though it would take more than my usual Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo to pull off a Halloween wedding for 2012, Off Beat Bride’s amazing Monday Montage blog post will have to tie us over until October 31, 2013. So grab the Halloween candy you bought to “give to the kids” that supposedly knock on your 15th floor, doorman secured condo and enjoy! (oops that might just be me)

  • Candy Corn

Victoria Wedding Show

October 2012

This Sunday October 21st, Inn at Laurel Point’s Wedding Experts will be making an appearance at the Victoria Wedding Show. Being the Rock Stars that they are, the ladies will be available to sign autographs, but more importantly they hope to speak to you about your wedding plans.

  • October 2012

Stop by our amazing booth, enjoy a tasty treat prepared by Pastry Chef April Iverson (she made desserts for Wills & Kate you know!), and gab with our blinged out Wedding Experts – you’ll be dazzled by their sparkly personality!

Congratulations on your engagement! When’s the wedding?!

October 2012

I’ve noticed that no sooner have couples announced their exciting engagement news, they are immediately faced with the question ”Have you set a date?”

I’m not sure if it is thanks to Hollywood, the press or popular belief, but we at Inn at Laurel Point often meet newly engaged couples who are under the impression that they are already behind in the planning.

I am here to impart my wisdom on the subject, and tell you brides to keep flaunting your newest piece of jewellery, share your happy news, and fret not.

  • Congratulations

People ask about your wedding date because they want to appear interested & excited for you both (though they may be mentally searching through their wardrobe selecting their fabulous outfit – maybe that’s just me).

Unless you are set on a specific date that cannot be changed, breathe easy. You have plenty of time to plan your wedding big or small.

Your date sets the foundation for the rest of your wedding planning and you may need to consider the availability of your officiant, venue & photographer during the selection process. Also, your budget will be affected by the date but more on dollars and sense later…

In short, don’t let the question of when turn your excitement into panic. We have planned weddings with a guest list of 150 in two months and in less than a week, helped a couple and 20 of their closest friends celebrate in style.

Commitment… to a theme

September 2012

To Commit: to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question; express (one’s intention, feeling, etc …)

Committing to a theme for your wedding is to express your vision through the venue, your décor and it is pledged in the details.

I was able to step away from the Inn at Laurel Point in late August to attend a wedding and was prompted to write. The wedding theme started with a vision of mason jars, candles & lace and turned into a beautiful vintage inspired wedding.

  • Theme

Now when it comes to décor and themes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, as it quickly becomes a bad thing. Too much “theme-ing” and you smother your vision and your guests. It is easy to become overwhelmed by magazines, websites, fantastic blogs (present company included), Facebook & Pinterest.

Under commit and the theme ends up leaving more questions than answers, was that chair supposed to be there? is the cake meant to look homemade? - There should never be questions.

The trick (and what impresses a Miss who has planned a wedding or two) is finding a balance. This wedding for example, committed from the ceremony site to the reception.

The couple used furniture & window frames creatively. They dined off of mis-matched china and yes the mason jars, candles & lace made the cut.

  • Theme 2
  • Theme 3

It was clear to their guests that the vintage theme was the expression of the couple’s original vision and it was perfect.

I Do For Two

August 2012

Well who says couples don’t elope, we created our Elopement Package a month ago and we have had two elopements already!

  • Just Married

I was pleased to work with a couple who wanted to get away and do something special for themselves and then celebrate with the whole family later. They chose a quiet corner of our Japanese Garden as their spot to be married. And I was privilaged to be be a witness for another couple who despite having been together 20 years felt like the time was right. They were married in their suite overlooking the harbour.

Both couples felt welcomed by our colleagues at Inn at Laurel Point, both ceremonies were officiated with grace and true to my inner romantic I admit to a happy tear (or two) and quiet sniffle for both couples.

It isn’t always about fitting yourself into a white dress and smiling all night for your crazy friends and relatives. It is about what is right for you and what your heart tells you to do. Inn at Laurel Point has something for all hearts.

  • Just Married 2

The F Word

July 2012

I don’t have any principled objections to swearing, in fact I like to swear, a lot. Did you know that the more you swear in everyday life, the less emotionally charged the words become and the less effective the words are?

The ”F word” I wanted to share with you is actually – fiancée. It seems that my engaged girlfriends have a hard time saying the word. It seems my engaged guy-friends also struggle with it. Many say that they simply use the term “partner.” Partner sounds practical and relevant and I like it.

  • Fiance

Why is it that when two people get engaged, they all of a sudden call each other a fancy French name? We date and are called boyfriend and girlfriend, we marry and are referred to as husband and wife. When you get engaged you are stuck in the middle (who knows for how long!) and there is only one word for both people which apparently has no French translation – fiancée.

  • Fiance 2
  • Fiance 3

Hating the word is not to be confused with hating being engaged – that part is fun. Some other words I’ve heard when meeting couples to plan their wedding at Inn at Laurel Point include “the man, my boy, my partner or just his/her name.”

What makes me happy, months later when all the planning translates into a beautiful day and the commitment to each other has been made, is to hear the words ”my lover, or my bestfriend.” Words that come from the heart.

  • Fiance 4

Tradition and Superstitions #6 – Carry Me Away

July 2012

  • Tradition

As it turns out, weddings in the days of yore sometimes followed kidnappings. This explains not only the role of the best man but also why the bride and groom customarily leave the wedding celebration before everyone else. It’s symbolic of the groom stealing away with his bride, taking her from her family and into a new life with him.

In medievel Europe, carrying a bride into her new home prevented her from seeming too enthusiastic about losing her virginity. By picking her up and taking her into their home, the groom provided an alibi for his wife’s chasity.

The threshold of the home was thought to be rife with unattached spirits. A bride was considered particularly vulnerable to spirits especially through the soles of her feet. By carrying her the groom was covering all his bases.

Much, if not all, of the original meaning behind a groom carrying his bride across the threshold has been lost in modern weddings. The practice is more done with humour or as a photo op as today’s couples are not entirely sure why to do it. But, it’s better safe than sorry right?

  • Tradition 2

Traditions and Superstitions #5 – Wedding Crashers

July 2012

In times of old, brides were often not courted into marriage but instead they were captured during neighboring wars. In these times, the duties of what we have come to know as the best man and the groomsmen were to protect the groom from the fury of those he had previously captured his future bride from. They were ready to give up their lives to ensure the safety of the groom.

  • Wedding Crashers

The custom of the bride standing to the left of the groom during the wedding arose from a need rather than etiquette. During the ceremony the groom needed to have his right arm free to defend against any intruders who may have attempted to reclaim his future bride before the conclusion of the ceremony.

  • Wedding Crashers 2

In ancient times the bridesmaids had a more ominous duty. They were dressed in identical clothing. This was done in the hope of confusing the evil spiritis that may be decending on the bride. The bridesmaids were ready to absorb any evil spirits that may have been ready to attack the bride.

Tradition or Superstition # 4 -To Toss or Not To Toss?

July 2012

Today the tradition of throwing the wedding garter is down right tame in comparison to the 14th century.

In England, guests would actually go into the wedding chamber and check the bride’s stockings for signs that the marriage had been consummated. This charming custom was called “fingering the stockings.”

Even more fun in France where after the ceremony those cheeky French guests would rush the bride at the alter to snag a piece of her dress, which was considered a piece of good luck. Mon dieu.

  • Toss or Not

Now the bride usually wears two garters; one as a keepsake and the other to throw away. Both garters are worn on the right leg just above the knee. Before the removal of the garter, the bride first throws her bouquet to all the single ladies. Cue Beyonce. Whoever catches it is supposed to marry next.

The groom removes the throw away garter from the brides leg, sometimes with his teeth or hand (my vote) while his bride is standing or sitting. As with the flowers the first man to catch the garter is supposed to marry next.

  • Toss or Not 2

Traditions and Supersitions # 3 – Something Old, New, Borrow

July 2012

When it comes to weddings, everyone’s superstitious. Even if you are the kind of person who loves a black cat or walks under ladders, nothing will stop you from having something old and wearing something blue.

In early times, the bride’s father gave all of her old shoes to her new husband. This was a symbol that the father was no longer responsible for her, and that now, the husband was. Good luck to the dad of most of my girlfriends, he will need a U-Haul to get all the shoes to the new husband.

The tradition of tying old shoes to the back of the couple’s car stems from Tudor times when guests would throw shoes at the Bride and Groom, with great luck being bestowed on them if they or their carriage were hit. In Anglo Saxon times the bride was symbolically struck with a shoe by her Groom to establish his authority. Then Brides would throw shoes at their bridesmaids to see who would marry next. Ouch.

  • Superstitions

Traditions or Superstitions # 2 – Flower Power

July 2012

Ladies, did you ever consider walking down the aisle clutching a bundle of garlic and dill? Well, if you are a stickler for tradition, you might want to think about it. Until modern times, brides did carry garlic and dill. The practice probably originated from the time of the Plague, when people clutched the herbs over their mouths just to survive.

In today’s happier times the bouquet is one of the most symbolic and treasured elements of the wedding. Tomato, tomahto – nosegay or bouquet. The nosegay is the first image most people hold of a bridal bouquet. A small nosegay is a posy.

  • Flower Power

Streaming ribbons from a bouquet is a centuries old tradition to bring good luck. The ribbons called “love knots” are tied to represent the lives that are about to be intertwined. The beautiful flowers shown are from Verbena, one of our preferred floral suppliers for weddings at Inn at Laurel Point.

Traditions or Superstitions # 1 – Dressing The Man

July 2012

Just hosted 3 beautiful weddings at Inn at Laurel Point and the questions I heard most was “where does the boutonniere go and how do I put it on?” Acutally I even heard one groom say “where is my mother?” Let Laurel help!

A boutonniere is a floral decoration worn by men. It is the French word for buttonhole. Traditionally, a boutonniere was pushed through the lapel buttonhole and the stem was held in place by a loop at the back of the lapel.

These days most lapels do not have the loop so the boutonniere is simply pinned onto the jacket lapel. The boutonniere is worn on the left side.

This classic accoutrement for men has been in and out of vogue over the years but there are ways to pair a modern suit with a flower. A simple bud, single orchid or a sprig of lavender can be very comtemporary. Your flower should share a common element with your lovely brides’ bouquet.

The groomsmen’s boutonnieres should all match, but the groom’s is usually distinguished in some way to make him stand out. Just in case we can’t figure out the guy standing by the bride is the groom? This last part could be just tradition talking.

  • Grooms
  • Grooms 2

Time Honored Tradition or Silly Superstition?

July 2012

In the shadow of the multibillion-dollar wedding machine, it can be hard to tell real tradition from a made-up sales pitch. Without question, the wedding industry has piled on the notion of paying to preserve tradition, when in fact, many of those high-priced traditions, such as the diamond engagement ring, don’t go back much further than the 1920’s.

Nonetheless, some traditions are real. And like anything many traditions have evolved from old ideas that we may see as a little strange today. For years, the joining of a bride and groom and the idea of starting a new life together, has been viewed as such an important development that a great deal of superstition has cropped up around weddings.

The series of blogs to follow will look at many of our common practices, customs, traditions and supersititions.

  • Custom - habitual practice of a community, established usage
  • Tradition – practices passed from generation to generation
  • Superstition – a belief based on irrational fears and marked by a trust or reverance for charms, omens or signs.

FYI – Tossing the bride for good luck is a silly superstition!

  • Toss the Bride

Shades of Grey

July 2012

  • Shades of grey 1

No, not Fifty Shades of Grey, THAT is another blog entirely …

The colors you choose for your wedding day set the style and tone for your entire event. You can use color in your bridesmaids’ dresses, decorations, cake, favors, flowers, accessories, linens, and even the invitations. Choose colors you love, but also consider the following:

Avoid too much black, it can look like a funeral. Dont lose your personality, don’t do pastels just becasue it is summer. Too many colors is too many colors, consider going monochromatic.

So let’s talk grey. It is such a beautiful, soft neutral color and I love to see it as a main wedding hue with colorful accents around it. Shades of grey seem to be the new modern these days! I anticipate seeing lots of grey this season at the Inn Laurel Point. Yellow and grey is perfect for a summer wedding. And my personal favorite, is violet and purple paired with a combination of grey.

Check out these elements of style some in our Terrace Ballroom, and beautiful blooms with shades of grey from Clare Day Flowers.

  • Shades of grey
  • Shades of grey 2
  • Shades of grey 3
  • Shades of grey 5
  • Shades of grey 4
  • Shades of grey 6
  • Shades of grey 7
  • Shades of grey 8

Grooms Do Make Passes at Brides Who Wear Glasses

June 2012

  • Glasses

Do I or Don’t I … wear glasses on my wedding day? My thought is your glasses are YOU, and you wouldn’t be you on your wedding day, without them. And lucky you, because your man proposed to the beautiful girl wearing the glasses.

Up until this year a bride in glasses at Inn at Laurel Point, a Victoria hotel has been a rare sight! But I just love seeing girls who rock out their specs and frankly don’t you want to be able to see on your wedding day?

  • Glasses 2

So which is more important, appearance or comfort? Well frames are a part of your face so you could stick with your glasses and add some dramatic eye makeup. Or look at the glasses as a part of your wedding ensemble. Get a funky new pair to play up your “inner 4 -eyed goddess,” or coordinate them with your dress, your flowers, or try understated frameless lenses that barely show.

Every bride wants to look like the most beautiful version of themselves on their day. If you have only ever known yourself with glasses and that is how you feel most natural or comfortable then why not wear them. I found so many gorgeous brides to share on this blog that clearly you do not need to bow to someone else’s idea of beautiful being a bride wearing contact lenses.

So ladies … embrace your bad vision and say “I Do” to your glasses, just remember to use waterproof mascara.

  • Glasses 3
  • Glasses 4

Brides and Kids and Dogs, Oh My!

June 2012

Have you ever hear the old show business adage “never work with children or animals?” Children and animals can behave unpredicably and they can steal every scene. Want to open up a can of worms – just tell people you want a “no children wedding.” You will have some supporters but others will secretly scorn you behind your back.

Weddings are not typically adult only events, in fact at Inn at Laurel Point a Victoria BC Hotel, children often play an important role in the symbolism associated with weddings. Ultimately it is YOUR day and you can have it YOUR way.

  • Kids
  • Kids 2

For many families a dog is someone they would love to include and there are lots of ways to involve a furry friend. Temperment and disposition, the dogs’ not the grooms’ will help you make this decision. And don’t try to train him, the dog not the groom, in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

You should let your wedding party, vendor and officiant know in advance. The best man may have allergies, and some officiants may refuse to preside over a wedding that includes pets. Be assured however if you were having your wedding at Inn at Laurel Point, you and your four legged friend will find our pet policy “fetching.” We are truly an Inn for lovers and pet lovers … and kids too.

  • Dogs
  • Dogs2

With This Ring . . .

May 2012

In 1947, an advertising agency representing De Beers’ diamonds coined the phrase “A Diamond is Forever” and the rest is history. It’s often said that a man should spend twice his salary on a ring, but I have a strong suspicion that’s just another marketing ploy by the diamond industry. Which brings up my question – is there a rule that you must give a diamond?

Some of the weddings I have seen at Inn at Laurel Point a Victoria Hotel, the brides have embraced the trend to look back to antique or vintage pieces of jewellry. Why not consider a stone that looks like a diamond, or you can choose your birthstone or stones in colors that symbolize something important to you.

  • Ring
  • Ring 2
  • Ring 3

Some brides find diamonds too expected and want to stand out by wearing a different gem stone. Other brides object to the politics associated with their mining. Did you know that sapphires are a symbol of fidelity and the heavens while rubies represent love and passion? Find a ring you love, a ring that hopefully you will be wearing everyday for the rest of your life. Yes, I did just say pick out your own ring!

In Sex and The City, when Mr. Big asks Carrie if she’d like a diamond ring to seal their engagement she responds “No. Just get me a really big closet.” She is my kind of bride. I can think of a handful of other things I’d rather put ring money towards. Not to say I would forego the symbol entirely, but something that is simple and beautiful – not sooo simple that there is no sparkle. I am still a girl who writes a wedding blog for goodness sakes!

  • With this ring..

Classic Style

May 2012

Iconic, famous, fabulous and always fashion forward – look back in time at these beautiful brides and their dresses. Some things never go out of style.

  • Classic
  • Classic 1
  • Classic 2
  • Classic 4
  • Classic 3

Something Borrowed

May 2012

  • Something Borrowed

Apparently some brides are saying “I do” to the idea of renting a wedding dress. At first, my inner wedding diva was alarmed but the more I research the idea the more I am “being sold.” Really, once the big day is over, what do you do with the dress? Yes some gowns are passed down to daughters, and a few can be made into an evening dress, but most are simply packaged and put into a closet.

Will we see a rented dress at Inn at Laurel Point, a Victoria BC Hotel this season? Maybe, but who would know and that’s pretty awesome right? The trend of renting a once-loved wedding dress is taking off as brides realize that someone wore the dress only once, that the dress is still beautiful and stylish and the dress can be made their own. New wedding dresses can cost anywhere from $200 to $10,000 for a designer dress,or $400,000 if you are marrying a future king. According to Wedding Bells the average cost is $1.093, while a rental dress can average $400 and usually includes dry cleaning.

  • Something Borrowed 1
  • Something Borrowed 2

Men have been renting tuxedos for years so why should a bride have reservations about renting a wedding dress. Why not save some money, money that could be put towards your first house or that romantic honeymoon you’ve imagined.

  • Something Borrowed 3

But if you decide renting is not your style – why wear the dress just once? Inn at Laurel Point will work with your photographer for a post wedding shoot that is fun and memorable. ”Trash the Dress” is an opportunity to wear your dress again but wear it in the pond located in our private Japanese garden.

  • Something Borrowed 4

In the end let’s remember that all eyes are usually on the bride during the ceremony and reception, and no one knows (or cares) whether the dress is designer or gently used, as long as the bride looks happy and ravishing!

I Do’s and No You Don’t's

April 2012

What I am sharing are things to do and not to do at a wedding. Some of the information comes from professional etiquette godesses’s Martha and Emily and other tidbits come from what I have learned from planning weddings. So, if you are attending a wedding at Inn at Laurel Point, a Victoria BC Hotel this year, read and remember.

Respect the wedding invitation – if you can bring a guest the invitation will read Ms Laurel Point and Guest. A guest is not a child or a dog or a child with a dog. If small things are not invited this is not the time to question the couples decision. Do not add their names to the reply card and do not show up with them anyway.

During the ceremony be on your best behavior. Dress according to the location, time of day and level of formality. Arrive early, don’t leave the location and parking to chance. Turn off you cell phone during the ceremony. Enjoy yourself and engage with other guests.

If your event will not include a full meal, it is courteous to inform your guests. Use phrasing on the invitation such as “and afterward for cocktails” instead of the classic “at the reception.” This comes from personal experience and having to deal with “the date” who on the way home has to stop at McDonald’s. You can however be sure, that weddings at Inn at Laurel Point, do include the full meal deal.

Stick to using table numbers. Pictures of famous couples, your travel photos, or names of your favorite movies are hard to see from across the room. I’ve heard many a complaint by guests at weddings when they have to search for their table.

  • I dos
  • I dos 2

Do not alter place cards or switch tables. You should be cordial and sit where the bride and groom have designated. Introduce yourself to your tablemats and share how you know the couple and enjoy yourself.

Please no speculation about the bride and groom’s ”big night.” If you want to talk about what a big night it is, focus on what is already happening. Compliment the beautiful room and view at Inn at Laurel Point, the flowers, and the great time you are having. No innuendos allowed.

And another “I Do” for any couple, which is gracious and a welcome gesture, is to thank the hotel staff particularly if they contribued to a memorable day for you and your guests

Let Them Eat Cake

April 2012

Let me tell you something, after the wedding at Inn at Laurel Point, a Victoria BC Hotel, we hear alot of talk – ok gossip. Seriously, what are the two most important things at a wedding? If you said the bride and groom you’ve clearly never been a bride. The correct answer of course is the dress and the cake!

2012 cake trends include cakes with romantic frills and ruffles and open flowers. White wedding cakes be it vintage or modern are a timeless confection that will never be out of style. Buttercream icing with that “just whipped” look versus fondant. And one of my favorites is multiples of single tiered cakes. This trend allows for more flavors and creates a beautiful dessert table. Our Pastry Chef April Iverson is a cake wizard – you dream it she will make it happen. So take a wander through some of wedding cake images for even more inspiration.

Gourment cupcakes, tired donut cake, miniature desserts including cake pops, tarts and pies, funky shaped cakes that speak to your personality and sweet tables. They are not for bat mitzvahs anymore. Mazel tov! And have you heard about savory cupcakes. While traditional cupcakes aren’t going anywhere, savory cupcakes are a unique idea you can provide. Imagine mini meatloaf cupcakes topped with mashed potato icing and grated parmesan cheese as a late night snack!

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche - but not too much cake my dear or they will be talking about you and your dress!

  • Let them eat cake
  • Let them eat cake 2

Lovely Quotes

March 2012

  • Flowers

The spaces between your fingers were created so that another’s could fill them in ~anonymous

  • Kiss

A kiss is a lovely trick, designed by nature, to stop words when speech becomes superfluous ~ Ingrid Bergmen

  • Elegant

Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwile ~ Elizabeth Browning

This blog’s a bloom’n

March 2012

Spring is in the air and as I walked into work today I passed trees bursting with cherry blossoms. So it’s a perfect time to talk blooms.

I know this wedding season at Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria BC Hotel we’ll see a trend towards choosing local and earth friendly flowers. Choosing a local product reduces the carbon footprint required to move those flowers to their final destination – your wedding!

My new favorite is Vintage Shabby Chic. This romantic and elegant look combines full and overblown blooms such as roses and peonies with vintage pots and containers for a classic and timeless feel. This trend would lend itself to shades of blush, champagne, peach, cream, white and soft pale celery green.

Loves me, Loves me not

* Do add glamour to your bouquets or arrangements by considering a keepsake brooch, pearl pins, rhinestone accents in the blooms or a monogrammed ribbon to dress up the wrap of your bouquet.

* Don’t choose a date for your wedding near any holiday if you have a flower budget. Planning a wedding near Valentine’s Day or near Mother’s Day in May will increase your flower cost by as much as 50%

* Do try to choose flowers that are a part of the florists regular inventory and do let the florist know your budget concerns

* Don’t forget that your flowers can do double duty. If you are having your ceremony and reception in separate venues why not use your centerpieces as décor down the aisle. Or use large arrangements from the ceremony to flank the head table.

* Do use your bouquets make great table centerpieces for the head table when repurposed in appropriate vases

The photo above is beautiful example of the vintage look I was describing. This photo is from local florist Clare Day. Also be sure to check out our other “go to” florists Verbena and Rook and Rose I know that they too are all over this trend.

  • Blooming

Here is a quick snap I took of our own Japanese Garden at our Waterfront Victoria Hotel. Hmmm imagine your bridal party in our garden for fabulous wedding pics!

Laurel

This Victoria Hotel is launching a wedding blog

March 2012

Here at Inn at Laurel Point, we know weddings.

As one of the West Coast’s top go-to wedding destinations, our event managers are, well, know-it-alls. Not only do they stay up on all the trends by attending numerous tradeshows, liaising with other wedding professionals and reading thousands of on- and offline articles (you should see the stack of magazines in the corner of the office), but they’ve really seen and done it all, from hosting intimate ceremonies to throwing extravagant affairs (and, of course, everything in between).

And as a trusted weddings resource, our events team gets many questions from brides and grooms, asking anything from what the season’s hottest colours are to where one should seat that overbearing mother-in-law at the reception. I’ve often wondered how I could turn this wealth of information into something that’s useful for all brides- and grooms-to-be, and not just clients. And then, as I sat drinking my mid-day latte the other day, it hit me: why not launch a blog that’s all about weddings?

So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our new blog: It’s Inn the Details (snappy name, huh?), written by no other than Laurel . Laurel is a 30-something Type A event manager who just looooves weddings (well, as long as she doesn’t get cake icing on her Chanel pantsuit).

What should you expect from our new blog?

Videos, photos and music clips (oh my)

Brides and grooms already know that the decisions associated with throwing that big day ceremony are endless: will the invitations be on heavy cardstock with hand-scripted calligraphy, or on a DVD with an animated love story? For the first dance, should they waltz to Etta James’ At Last, or shuffle to Michael Jackson’s Thriller? And for the cake, will they spring for a four-tiered fondant masterpiece, or go for whimsical cupcakes? Add these choices with a saturated Internet, packed with videos, photos and music clips, and we just might have a bride- or groom-zilla on our hands. To make it easy for our gentle readers, Laurel’s going to put in the legwork: trawling the web and sharing her top wedding finds.

  • blog launch

A couple of the gals getting ready

Trends (both the upcoming and the passé)

In the wedding industry, trends move faster than you can toss a tulip bouquet (just look back to mom’s wedding dress: helloooo high collars, lace sleeves and other fashion faux pas that’d raise the eyebrow of any 2012 bride). From sustainable, Earth-friendly nuptials to breezy photo shoots against a Pacific Ocean backdrop, Laurel will keep you up-to-date on the hottest dresses, themes, décor and more.

  • Groom time

Questions from the soon-to-wed

How much should brides tip their hairstylist? Can one ask their vegan bridesmaid to BHOD (bring her own dinner)? And just how uncouth is a cash bar? All these questions (and more) will be answered by Laurel. And if you have a query that needs a response, feel free to post them on this blog – who knows, maybe you’ll be featured on an upcoming blog! (Anonymity is guaranteed, too!)

A whole lotta fun

The road to getting married is fraught with emotions, stress, happiness and, best of all, fun. On the new blog, Laurel promises to light up readers’ days with posts that’ll make them smile, chuckle and even give out a good ole’ belly laugh. And if you have any ideas on how you think this blog could be even better, we’re 100 per cent receptive to new ideas and post themes.

  • Bride

I hope you’ll join me in giving Laurel a warm welcome and I look forward to seeing you over on It’s Inn the Details. Mazel tov!

Wed different,

Avril

Old, new, borrowed and blue – I’m going to cover it all

March 2012

Dear gentle readers (and the soon-to-be-wed-ers),

Whether on purpose or by accident, you’ve just stumbled across Inn at Laurel Point’s new wedding blog, first Victoria hotel that we know of to have one. So pull up a chair, a warm kitty or mug of joe and get comfy because I’m about to chat about one my most favourite subjects… myself.

As a single gal in her (early) 30s, you might be wondering what depth of knowledge I, Laurel, could possibly have on the wedding industry. And while dating certainly isn’t my forte (remind me to tell you sometime about my last blind date with a used car salesman I fondly refer to as Zorro ’Stache), I’m a seasoned wedding professional, having hosted hundreds – if not thousands – of events.

On this blog, you can expect all sorts of wedding goodies, from photos of the season’s hottest dresses to videos showing off fun first dances and questions from real, breathing, betrothed people. (Do you have a wedding-related question? Post a comment here and you just might see your query on an upcoming blog.)

  • Laurel

But, more about me. I filled out some Q&As to give you some more background on myself. Hope you enjoy!

Q: What astrological sign are you?

A: As if you haven’t already figured this one out. I’m a Virgo through and through – meaning that while I’m helpful, reliable and precise, I come with a healthy dash of fussy, Type A-ness.

Q: Who’s you favourite wedding dress designer?

A: Vera Wang, no question. Elegant, flattering – her dresses have it all. And, thanks to last year’s launch of an affordable line of gowns (including ones in plus sizes), more brides are sporting the Wang! (I really should patent that phrase.)

Q: What’s one of the season’s top wedding trends?

A: Although hardly new, sustainable, Earth-friendly weddings are extremely popular – and I don’t see them going out of style anytime soon.

Q: What are some of the hottest engagement rings?

A: Say goodbye to huge sparkly rocks – vintage, second-hand and conflict-free stones are here to stay. We’re also seeing a push for coloured gems instead of diamonds.

Q: Any pets?

A: No time for furry children, can you imagine fur on my pant suits? Très not chic. Luckily Inn at Laurel Point, my favorite victoria accommodations is very pet friendly. Tres chic.

Fondest regards,

Laurel

A beautiful beginning

March 2012

Downtown Victoria hotel featuring spectacular harbour ocean views. Inn at Laurel Point hotel is an exquisite setting for weddings and celebrations.

Eloping doesn’t always include ladders

June 2012

  • Eloping

We were so excited to part of an article on eloping in our local newspaper Times Colonist. We often hear from couples who want an elegant wedding, but don’t want all the trappings of family expectations, wedding bell blues and exploding guest lists. At Inn at Laurel Point, we believe your wedding should be done your way.

Start by telling one of our wedding planners what you want, and we will offer you ideas and possibilities to make your day perfect. Some couples enjoy a terrace suite (approx $379 based on time of year) and an elegant dinner al fresco on your own private terrace or AURA waterfront restaurant’s patio. You can also rent our executive suite for approx $800 – a perfect place to make your vows and even have a small dinner with special family or friends.

Just remember: it’s your day and you deserve to get married the way you want. And if you want to elope, eloping doesn’t have to mean climbing down ladders.

Stay different,

Avril

Reservations


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