Tag Archives: Vancouver Bridal shows

How to set your Wedding Day Budget!

23 Sep


Congratulations on your new engagement, now the fun begins – It’s wedding planning time!! 🙂

Today, we focus our post on Bridal Budgets; as this is the first of your major steps that will determine the general planning of your entire wedding event!

After many years now of working within the Bridal Industry, I seem to hear the same “problems” over and over – spoken by many future Brides-to-be, the forums are flooded with posts about it, followed by “It’s not within my budget”….. to which leads me to present the very first question that needs to be asked before anything else.

How do you plan a Budget for your wedding day if you have no idea what your vendors, venue, and other services, are going to cost you??? So what IS your budget then?

Most Bride’s are planning for the FIRST TIME.

Here in lie’s the first hurdle that can bring down both wedding plans and add unnecessary stress along the way….. Ask yourself this; Did you just Guesstimates your totals, or have a vague recollection of what you ASSUME these vendor services should cost?

Make sure your budget is realistic!

The reason 50% or more of couples go over budget in their planning, is because:

1) They do not allow for financial changes in their own plans (Job loss, illnesses, etc)

2) They don’t add in the recommended 20% ‘cushion’ – Think in terms of a home reno – things ALWAYS Pop up!

3) Most people do not set realistic budgets pertaining to their vendors and the services they are looking to book.

Another thing that often ends up neglected is the ‘final’ total of the wedding day itself, from final taxes to your wedding vendor’s gratuities pertaining to services…we touch on this later though in another post about vendor gratuities.

Also other “missed” areas within a budget plan, just a few small examples of commonly missed areas: Alternation costs, Gifts, Favors/Supplies/Goody bags, Babysitting costs, Valet/Parking fees, and let’s not forget the MANY different “bridal parties” BEFORE the actual wedding day  – stagette, bridal shower, rehearsal dinners, etc.

Wedding day Budget


One of the best things I ever heard came from one of my brides this year, Sara, and thus the entire basis of this post as it is still to date one of the smartest pre-wedding plans I’ve come across!!

Her Mother in law had made plans BEFORE ANY PLANNING was to start, for her son, his future wife (Sara) and her to visit a few of main Vancouver Bridal Shows.

This gave them the ability to not only scope out future ideas for their wedding-to-be but most importantly, MEET some of their potential vendors face to face!

They grabbed business cards and price quotes from many of the vendors they liked, found out packaging options and more that agreed with both their tastes but also their potential wedding size as well.

This gave them a whole slew of information, pricing and other options that they could sit and go through once home, to help start them off on the right path.

Not only that, but they had another advantage now, saving more money!!

Many vendors at these shows offer “specials” or “discounts”  for those that attend these bridal shows…That you will not find available through their online sites. Booking your vendors early can not only save you tons of money, but also the disappointments of your top choices being already booked – Remember just about all wedding services and Bridal related vendors (including Makeup | Hair and Salon services) can book about 1 year out!

So once they returned home, Sara and her fiance  sat down and separated everything in sections: Catering, Vancouver Venues, Photographers, DJ Services, Limo companies and more.


Wedding-budget list

Next step is PRIORITIZING your vendors and/or areas of more importance to you.

With the information and pricing now available BEFOREHAND, They were able to go through each section and price out an average cost PER Service provider for their wedding. In the long run and after the wedding – they were even UNDER BUDGET at the end!!

Some brides have areas that might be more important to them or as a couple. Be that a Venue/Location, or a Photographer for example. Maybe it’s beauty services – These are the top 3 vendors that book the fastest, and with good reason.

You are the centerpiece in every image, throughout the day. Your most photographed day of your life; After it’s all said in done, the only thing you will have left of the day is the photos you get back of those memorable moments…. These three vendor areas are key to not only your photos, but the overall vibe and feeling of the entire experience.

Example: Some brides have no problem spending $500+ on a pair of shoes, that in reality, are under a dress, that no one will see. Then in the same breath, express how their ‘looks’ are super important to them – BUT then attempt their own Hair and Makeup, that may not be appropriate with today’s higher end media demands; it just doesn’t pan out, and the photos show it. While others may be more concerned with a napkin color or sash on a chair, that guests are likely to not even remember….

So again, look at prioritizing your ideas, THEN set your budgets alongside that.

If Photography, Venue, Beauty and how you look, or your Decor are most important, SPEND The budget in those areas!!

There will always be further options for DIY areas along the way, or portions that can allow for additional help from others. But don’t dismiss your ‘A choice’ factors when planning.

In prioritizing and figuring out your vendor cost first, this can not only keep your budget on target, but considerably lower the risk of burning out with DIY Projects and other stress.

After all, the average engagement and wedding planning time frame is about 12-14 months….so what’s a few cents a day set aside, to get the vendors and services you truly want and find the most important for your big day.

So let that be proof, that although you may be excited and ready to just jump in there and start planning, that a little extra time, smart planning, prioritizing and organization can save you so much time, money and stress later on when the ball gets rolling.

Happy wedding planning!

****Have a subject you’d like us to cover, or wedding planning questions you’d like answered? Drop us a line anytime, and we’ll do our best to feature your Question or Subject in one of our up and coming posts!!


Vendor Inquiries: Lessons of Communication and Manners

22 Feb

Today we wanted to cover a post on email etiquette, manners and vendor/client communications…

Recently a Bride decided to post a rant and “open letter” to Wedding Vendors through a large  Bridal site. Fast forward through its circulation across main bridal forums, blogs, etc. over the past week or so and the response is the same; Though the bride does have some valid points, she’s become a complete joke, not only is the post one sided and missing many key elements, but comes off with a low level of maturity…She’s also now just alienated herself from Vendors she wishes to likely hire for her big day. Her post, although with an intent, was not coming from a “source” but that of “one bride” and what “she wants”, thus fueling the dramas and parade of Bridezilla-like actions out there.

So with that, I sat down with a  number of vendors in many areas of services to openly go over this and created a list of top areas we feel client’s need to know about. Here are a few key points many vendors would like to make clear, time and time again, to clients regarding general manors, inquiries and just overall conducting of business. This is business in the end, we are here to provide a service and make sure your day is the best possible day it can be! 🙂


#1 – Answer our questions in a timely fashion. Answer everything, read all the items we send you (we aren’t just spinning our wheels). Remember that we have other clients and your email may have to wait a day to get an answer. Be reasonable. Be polite. Replies sent on a Thursday or Friday, right before a busy weekend where we are likely on location for a 10+ hour day, 2-3 days solid, they might not get a reply until Monday, AFTER Our bridal clients big days!

Bridal services are generally booked by all vendors on a first come, first serve basis, to whomever secures their date/spot with a contract and retainer. This means, if you do not reply back, bookings and inquiries do continue to come through  – all day, every day…

Thus do not be “surprised” if and when a vendor has now booked your  date that you inquired for 3 weeks ago, if you never did reply back to them! If you never replied back, they will book the next inquiry/bridal client that comes through. Date are not put on “hold” just because you sent an email out to a bunch of vendors. To then blow up on that vendor for doing their job, is just unacceptable, especially if it’s at the client’s negligence.

#2 – When you send a vendor an inquiry, and we send you an email about our services or pricing list, we actually would absolutely love to hear back from you, please have a courtesy of replying back to us, don’t disappear from the face of the earth forever. We want to know if you got our email or not, we want to know if you are interested or not, at least, thank us for taking our time  and responding to your inquiry, supplying you with information, etc…. This is really not much to ask.

#3– When you e-mail for a quote. Be specific. A vague email serves us no good, if we have no idea what we are quoting for…Many times brides completely forget to even list a date!!!  We might already be booked, there’s no point starting an entire process, if we might not even be available right?

“Telling me “I need 10 round linens” means nothing to me as a  vendor…What size do you need, what color do you want, do you have a fabric in mind? Do you only need linens? How about napkins, chair covers etc.”

“I need Beauty services for my wedding, you available?” Ok… What date, what time, how many people? which services? Location? etc.”

“Hi, what are your rates?”  – Again, address the person you are contacting, we do have a name.

Next, many of us do have a page marked “Rates” right on our websites to give client’s an idea at the very least on general starting packages. Not all, but most in the wedding fields do. Nothing becomes more frustrating receiving a vague email like this, over and over, all day long, compounded by someone who clearly chose not to take 2 minutes out to click right beside the contact page they used to send this message of inquiry! You want to know “Rates” only, please click on the page marked “Rates” or “Investments”

Brides often post on forums about Vendors not replying or replying with messages that might imply “please read my website”. Why does your vendor want to respond to someone who can’t even take a minute to address them by name, or read a clearly listed “Rates” page for someone only asking for a “Rate”?

This is usually the first red flag for a “difficult” client in the making. Whether or not you may be one… Sad but true 😦

If a person is unable to follow even the most elementary of tasks, how are they going to progress through the vendors stages and/or planning?

#4 – Returning phone calls is nice. You blew up our phone and e-mail asking for a quote. Now that you have received it, it would be nice if you would let us know you received it. When we e-mail to follow up, a simple “I’m still gathering quotes or I’m still thinking about it” would be nice. Please don’t ignore us, It’s rude.

#5 – Don’t lie about your budget. When we ask what is your budget we don’t want to hear “I’m open as long as I like it” then respond with “Wow that’s expensive” or “You’re way out of my Price range”… SO YOU DO  have a budget then…share it with us and don’t waste others time by being vague or neglecting to even read the “Rates” pages listed for vendors in question, requesting meet ups, etc.

You’d be surprised how many vendors can accommodate services, no matter what size the budget, or at the very least offer you alternate suggestions if you aren’t being realistic. Everyone has a budget, we know that, what we need to know is what’s YOUR Budget.

When it comes to services, it goes both ways, the vendors you seek out should be more than happy to provide you with information and all your questioned answered.  Most vendors usually share a large portion in the first email back to you, take the time to read through it. At the same time there is an expected level of courtesy that needs to be returned…

Understanding of the Bridal process is a two way, yes “you’re so busy with things and just forgot”, but your vendors too have sometimes upwards of 75+ OTHER brides they are currently dealing with, plus inquiries coming through, meetings, jobs being performed and more, so really, just how “busy” are you that you couldn’t take 5 minutes out for a reply back?

So remember, we know everyone is busy, different budgets and needs, what we need to know is your specifics, not vague one liner emails, in order to be able to both accommodate and give you the best possible results for the services that are being higher-ed for…. We are here to make your day as perfect as possible!

Bold and Beautiful – A series of color for your wedding day and showcasing your individuality.

13 Feb

This past season we saw more and more brides breaking away from the traditional and typical bridal looks and really sporting their own individuality with their Make-up and Hair looks for their big day.

As we progress into the 2012 year, we are seeing no signs of this slowing down. We are now seeing transitioning to the likes of light color pops in looks for Make-up, and away from the highly over done looks of the “Kim K” styles and the “Eva Longoria” Hair style and others.

No longer about tattoo covers, but instead owning the work client’s have had done and sporting it proud with services we offer such as Tattoo Detailing; Color Enhancement services and glamorization, so you can wear them with pride!

We are seeing  wedding gowns from the new Vera Wang collection and multiple other designers that are stepping away from traditional styling and introducing more color from detail accents, to gowns in colors such as Black, dusty rose tones and peaches, pale blues, mint greens and more. Accents such as fabric flowers for softer more vintage feels too… We’ll post a few of our favorites from this season below.

With the successes of our last year’s Signature Faces collections line, this year we wanted to showcase the other side of what we’ve been seeing and doing all year… Away from the traditional looks with some of our more popular requested looks.

Part 1 is listed below from our 2 part series on being Bold and Beautiful for your big day and showing that color doesn’t have to be scary 😉

So with that in mind we are happy to introduce to you the first portion of our Color Bridal Series Below:

Model: Mandy | Makeup: Felicia Bromba |Hair: Victoria Kuzma | Photographer: Norm Whaley | Accessories: Art of Adorment

Pink | Purples | Wines | Cranberries

This season we have seen a huge rise in requests for color combos and light color introductions,  such as; Pinks, Purples, Eggplant, Wine tones and Cranberry colors.  An additional pop of color to more basic styles such as the brown smokey eye, giving a more eye-catching affect. Your level of boldness knows no limit. Here our client sports our very popular Bold Pink and Purple Smokey eye combination.

Model: “Miss Meow” | Makeup: Felicia Bromba | Hair: Kate Martin | Photographer: Norm Whaley | Accessories: Art of Adornment

Reds tones  and Red Lip Combo’s

A step up from the Wines and Purples. A bolder approach should you want, or just as a slight hint of color with a smokey eye look. Popular color choices for this combination include a mix of deep warm gold’s paired with darker red tones and Smokey Blacks for the eyes.  A favorite amongst many of our South Asian wedding clients.

Alternative options we see are a more muted version of the eyes, in Deep chocolate tones and taupe’s, paired with a fierce red statement lip! Red lips have been making a Bridal comeback over this past season and we hope to see it stay. A nice change up from the muted nudes and pink tones that often wash out many clients in photos!!

Model: Chevvy P.| Makeup: Felicia Bromba | Hair: Victoria Kuzma | Photographer: Norm Whaley | Accessories: Art of Adornment

Vintage glam

Still going strong, we featured this in our last collection, but with the amount of requests we still see for it, we felt it deserved another spot! Minimal in approach for those that are a bit more “au natural” with emphasis  on the eyes through a clean short winged liner, sexy lashes and a deeper blush tones. Lips we see include a wide range from soft pinks and coral tones, all the way back through to the deep reds and wine tones which old Hollywood glam looks were founded on.

Model: Alisa L. | Makeup: Felicia Bromba | Hair: Victoria Kuzma | Photographer: Norm Whaley | Accessories: Art of Adornment

Golden Girl

Golds are making a come-back as well! Yay!

A nice alternative from the more washed out taupe’s and lighter tones we saw allot of a few seasons back. Gold tones add a bit more glam to the eye and warms up the face. Paired with pops of colors like deep greens, this was a very popular choice through our fall brides. Not quite bold enough for color? Still a wonderful alternative base choice for the standard neutral toned Smokey eye.

Model: Erynn | Makeup: Felicia Bromba | Hair: Victoria Kuzma | Photographer: Norm Whaley | Accessories: Art of Adornment

The Super Smoke

We didn’t forget out you lovely ladies that like to really kick it up a notch for the evening looks. This style,  is a VERY popular choice for our “Reception return” services we offer our brides… Taking you from soft and daytime from your ceremony and picture time, to evening glam –  Smoke out the eyes, pull the hair up and dance the night away!

For more information on all our Bridal Services offered and to view more images, please visit:


or join me on Facebook:  “Felicia Bromba – Makeup Artist (Vancouver, BC)”

*A big thank you to the talents that worked alongside us for this and our client’s who came out to model for our first portion of this series, stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!

We’d like to leave you now with a little more Eye-candy and a peek at a few of our Favorite colors and dresses out for the 2012 Bridal Season. Enjoy 🙂

Designers include; Vera Wang, Elie Saab, Romana Keveza, Monique Lhuillier, Zuhair Murad, Atelier Amiee and more. For more dress ideas visit:  www.weddinginspirasi.com – One of My Favorite sites 😉

Why you should book your Wedding Vendors early…

8 Feb

Did you know that the highest number of engagements occur during the months of November through February?  With the prime question-popping holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day all one right after the other, it’s no wonder that we receive our highest number of bookings during that time. Hence why you will find, that by the time January rolls around for the start of the next bridal season, majority of your vendors will already be booked and closed by then, especially for Spring/Summer months!

Don’t want to compete with the huge rush of brides wanting to book all their vendors for their 2012 wedding?  Book BEFORE the engagement season takes over…

Typically, the first things to happen on the wedding day are Hair and Makeup services.  Whether this is first thing in the morning or first thing after lunch is up to you, but generally we get there before your photographer is due to arrive and long before all your other vendors.

This is why Beauty services are generally one of the first and fastest services to book up!! Especially those seeking the luxury and convenience of MOBILE Bridal services were your artists come to you in your home or at hotel location. As covered in our booking and timeline posts. These services generally book a minimum of 6 months to 1 year in advance. Spring/Summer months and all long weekend dates (Fridays included) generally averaging closer to the 1 year mark!

Here are some tips and things to consider about booking your vendors and why earlier is better.

Don’t believe what you see on TV.

With all these Bridal shows now, they’ll have you believing that you can plan a lavish event in mere weeks or a few short months. In most cases this is very untrue. What they don’t show you is the dozens of vendors hired in, to make everything a reality, dozens of teams hired on for just basics like set up and take down, let alone the actual details.

In the real world, it doesn’t quite work that way.  Wedding planning takes time, unless of course you don’t have a job and have unlimited time to juggle all your vendor appointments, fittings, taste tests, trials, and more…This is also why the average stat for engagement/planning stage is 14 months.

Your Stress is your own!

Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but let’s face it, if you hadn’t of procrastinated and waited until the mere month before the wedding, you wouldn’t be rushing around all drama like and taking it out on everyone. It’s because of you and it’s not fair for you to take that out on others.

The brides we see the most stressed out, are always the ones that left everything up until the mere few months before the date, now they scramble around work schedules, kids, school, etc. to get it together.

Somehow they thought they’d have plenty of time to book all their vendors, have all their appointments, make the decisions, then reconfirm all those details the week before? Really?

I can’t tell you how many brides we turn away every  year, who contact us in say July, for an August wedding. The busiest month(s) of the entire year and you left it until 3 weeks before the wedding? Sadly, by that point, they might as well go to the makeup counter or find someone on Craigslist, as all the professionals are likely booked MONTHS Prior, if not longer.

What happens then? STRESS – They begin to freak out, calling everyone they can find and mass messaging vendors  to find someone who isn’t already booked. Usually resulting in a family member or friend, with no idea about photography ready makeup, decor ideals, etc…. we then see a flood of “Help me” posts running rampant on the bridal forums.

In the rare instances we do still have artists open, or a vendor might be available still, the brides are already so stressed it can make for a very tense situation and thus many bridal vendors just based on that alone, will turn away a client!

Save money

In the case of last minute clients, that is a perfect example, on what’s likely to cost you more. Many vendors will now charge you more, there will be late booking fees and so on, in many cases FULL Payment is now due upfront! You now have created a stressful working environment for them, leaving them rushing around to accommodate you last minute for a trial or meet up, processing paperwork, rush bouquets, that list goes on.

You want your vendors to be able to provide you with the very best, not slap something together for you in 2 days. It’s not fair to you, or them. Sadly, you then see the brides that have the nerve to complain when a Vendor can’t meet the criteria’s in such a short time, can’t get the supplies requested, or doesn’t have an open booking at their convenience, due to having other client’s booked in MONTHS beforehand…I mean seriously think about that, the entire situation at hand rests solely with the bride at that point and the procrastination of a last minute booking.

So just remember, it does not matter what vendor it is you are seeking, booking them in advance is going to save you a lot of headaches in the end, give you ample time to plan, the ability to change things as needed and just overall make the experience a lot more enjoyable. It’s never fun feeling rushed, especially for a day where there is a lot of time and money being spent. This is your day, take the time you need to make it prefect for you. An experienced professional will have a game plan for any situation, and getting your hands on that knowledge early on will save you stress, time, and money in the end.

Yep, I’m Engaged…

6 Jan

Alright, so here’s my first personal post making an appearance today.

We are back from our week off, The New Year has begun and it’s busier than ever with bookings. We spent this past year so busy, beyond words, that yes our Blogging slowed. But…We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes and this was an amazing way to end a fabulous year, filled with amazing people.

After 10 years with the most amazing man and my best friend, I got engaged over the holidays. Yes it’s true.

It’s taken us a while to announce it to everyone as we are very private people, but word has been spreading fast and I wanted to share with you all personally…or at least via blog and facebook 😉

I have dedicated so many years to women planning their weddings.  I love what I do more than words can ever express.  I’m surrounded by it all the time, year round and now the realization has begun to register… it’s going to be ME now?!?! Wow, This should prove interesting…Here I sit about to join the army of women holding the title  of “Bride-To-Be” on the very forums I contribute to and the vendors I work with daily.

Funny enough, the number one question so far has been if I plan to do my own Make-up and Hair.

Truth be told, I would prefer to hand over this area, but those that know us or have worked with us in the past know that our standards for perfection are pretty high, for all our brides we see as well as would be for myself. I do however have a few people in mind that I will be chatting with, so I guess we’ll see.

At this time we have no concrete plans set yet or an official date, but what I can say is that after 10 years together, It’s going to be one heck of party…oh, and I won’t be wearing a white gown, I like a little color in my life 😉

A big thank you to all my friends and family for your support and congratulation messages. To all our vendors colleagues that have been so forth coming to make my big day special and most of all my fiancé Dylan. I’m the luckiest girl in the world!

Vendor Spotlight: Kailey-Michelle Events

2 Dec

Today I wanted to take a few minutes out to introduce you to an amazing Planner/Coordinator we have  had the pleasure of working with throughout this past season, she is one of our favorite vendors in this city!

Meet Kailey-Michelle

She is a passionate curator of perfectly pretty events and fabulously crafted details.

Her heart lies in stories.

From the very first glance, to the heartfelt ending, her mind wanders to create unique events; personalized and crafted through love.

She is a visual story teller and to her, events are an art form.

She creates an ambiance of grace; familiar yet, surreal and It is with immeasurable passion that she brings your love to life.

She is an advocate of impeccable organization and flawless execution; timing is everything, flow is essential and planning is key.

A designer and a logistical perfectionist. Coupled together, She’s been crowned a “mighty mouse” in this city.

She presents your story….

Genuine in passion. Crafted in love. Authentically you.

Her Story:

After working in the wedding industry for over four years, I discovered there was a hole in the Vancouver wedding market. We boast some incredible talent, but the focus seemed to lie on two exact opposites: the grand ballroom setting or the rented hall reception. There rarely, appeared to be a middle ground. {up until recently, that is.}

My other observation, was that most stylist’s and decor companies, focused on traditional looks and their inventory of products, lacked unique pieces that the vintage wedding revolution has inspired.

For years, I’ve watched the international wedding market, attending destination conferences and trade shows. I aimed to adopt their mentality and style, in hopes of bringing it to a local market, where “home-grown style” still seemed to be void.

My desire was to show couples how to bring the elements of their everyday life, like family heirlooms, daily “rituals” and favorite memories, to their wedding and emulate their personal surroundings and taste; to create an environment that felt familiar yet surreal. I wanted to introduce non-traditional and forgotten about settings, like local parks, heritage houses, and rural land (barns, fields, forests etc.)

From this desire, Kailey Michelle Events was launched.

Specializing in intimate and intricately-crafted affairs, I place great value on personalized accents and sophisticated, home-grown touches.

From design conception to impeccable styling, I create an ambiance of grace and transform each occasion into a work of art, meticulously detailed.

Through seamless execution and flawless logistics, I present clients with their unique and personal wedding story, perfect and authentically them. I aim to transcend current trends and present genuine affairs.

{To me, It’s not about re-inventing the wheel, but rather making it your own; precious and special, for reasons close to your heart.} 

No matter my clients budget or whether or not they’ve seen their vision in a magazine, my goal is set their love story on fire and create a day, that magnifies the true beauty of their eternal commitment.

I welcome the opportunity to know you and hear your dreams.

Allow me to present…

Your love. Your story. Your way.

For more information on her amazing services, you can connect with her through the following listed below:

Kailey Michelle Events



Twitter: @KailMichi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kailey-Michelle-Events

Blog: http://www.kaileymichelle.com/blog

Heel Condoms!

16 Jan

Yes, you read that right! These are a hot new trend and shaping up to be a Girl’s best friend, taking the industry by storm right now…

I came across these a short time ago and then these lovely items made an appearance again through a recent client of ours and I just loved them so much I HAD to spread the word on these…

Basically they are Condom-like covers that let you play dress up with your shoes. They fit any stiletto type heels be that medium or high heel shoes. The slip right over the back of them to dress them up!

From Feathers, Pearls, Fabric Flowers, Animal prints and more these are a hot ticket item for any lady with a eye for style and who loves her shoes.

Even better, use them to dress up and create a very cool and distinctive shoe for your wedding like our client did this past month. I wish I had gotten a picture of it, but alas, check out their site below, they have a wonderful gallery in place to help you feel inspired! I just bought mine.

Have fun.


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