Archive for Andrea Goren

15 Creative Alternatives To Fresh Floral Bouquets


brooch bouquet

As the weather cools down and fresh flowers become increasingly harder to acquire, many fall and winter brides to look to non-traditional bouquet alternatives. From subtle silk flowers to rustic wheat, whimsical buttons and glamorous crystals, there are endless options when it comes to creating a flowerless bouquet.

An added bonus: Because these accessories will never wilt you can hold on to them as treasured keepsakes of your special day! Here are some of our favourite bouquet alternatives, many of which you can create at home.


DIY Wedding Thank You Tags + Free Downloadable Template


thank-you tags

Photography by Carlo Mendoza. Tags by Megan Wappel Designs.

Looking for a simple project that you can easily tackle on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Then these DIY wedding thank you tags are for you! With just a colour printer and a pair of scissors you’ll be able to create lovely labels that will instantly personalize your wedding favours.

Simply download our free DIY wedding thank you tag template, select the shape, colour and pattern that best suits your party, print out as many tags as you need, then affix them with tape, glue or ribbon to your favour packages.

To make your tags standout, don’t be afraid to layer them onto other pieces of paper. Here, we chose glittery paper to give the tags some oomph.

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A Rustic Winter Wedding in Montreal

Real Weddings


Trang and Guillaume met in high school, then endured a long-distance relationship while Guillaume was away at school for four years. Although Guillaume had never believed in marriage and didn’t expect to ever have a wedding (his unmarried parents were the happiest couple he knew), he eventually had a change of heart. Trang jumped at the opportunity to marry her soul mate and planned nearly the entire wedding within the first three weeks of their engagement!

White and blue seemed a natural colour palette choice for this winter wedding. Trang also included rustic elements to create warmth within her ceremony and reception space. Candles and twinkle lights filled the couple’s venue, Auberge St-Gabriel, while woodsy accents and chalkboard details topped reception tables.

Trang and Guillaume treated guests to an amazing party filled with fabulous food and dancing until the wee hours. “The party ended at 2am with a nice, big snowstorm!” exclaimes Trang. “It was the perfect end to a magical winter celebration.”

Trang Mach and Guillaume Chartier, February 1, 2014, Montréal, Quebec.

Photography courtesy of Stef & Stef Photographie.

Ceremony and reception location: Auberge St-Gabriel
Bridal gown: Mori Lee from Ami-Fer
Bridal party attire: Melanie Lyne
Groom’s tux: La Maison Simons
Cake: Gâte-Toi
Hair and makeup: Sabrina from J’aime Coiffure
Flowers: O.xide Design




A Romantic DIY Wedding in Trenton, Ontario

Real Weddings

Vintage Autumn Wedding in Trenton Ontario0856

Haily and Gary’s autumn wedding was definitely a family affair. The couple tied the knot at St. Peter’s Catholic Church (Haily was driven there in her father’s 1968 Dodge Charger) then the reception was held at a beautiful, rustic barn owned by the bride’s parents. Even the wedding cake was handmade by the groom’s mother!

Lots of hard work went into transforming Haily’s parents’ barn into a warm, romantic wedding space. The couple created chandeliers from twinkle lights and hula hoops, which were spray-painted black. Painted dollar store vases wrapped in bows and filled with glitter-covered twigs served as centrepieces while hollowed out pumpkins covered in glitter were used as ice buckets for wine!

“I loved seeing the looks on our guests’ faces when they saw the work that went into our barn venue,” says Haily. “It was nice to have so many compliments regarding the work that we had put into the building and the event itself. Many guests described it as ‘magical.'”

Haily Buettner and Gary Shaver, October 5, 2013, Trenton, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of David & Beth Lumbers Photography.

Ceremony location:
St. Peter’s Catholic Church
Reception location: The bride’s parents’ barn
Bridal gown: Custom made online
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Victoria’s Secret Online
Groom’s suit: Black by Vera Wang from Moores
Cake: Made by the mother of the groom
Caterer: Bustini’s Catering
Flowers: DIY
Decor: DIY



A Romantic Winter Wedding in Edmonton

Real Weddings

A Rustic Winter Wedding in Edmonton3103

Madisson and David met very briefly through mutual friends while at an Edmonton Eskimos game in 2010; however, sparks didn’t fly until six months later, when they ran into each other at a Starbucks, not realizing at first that they had met once before. After three hours of reading and “making eyes at each other”, Madisson decided to take matters into her own hands and went over to talk to him. By this point, she knew she recognized him from somewhere and used this to break the ice. “I later believed this encounter to be fate when I learned that he doesn’t like Starbucks and usually avoids them,” she explains.

David’s well-thought-out proposal consisted of sending Madisson on a surprise scavenger hunt. “It started when I was watching him play soccer one day, and his sister handed me a card,” Madisson remembers. “It was a clue that led me to the Starbucks where we first met. There, I was handed a gift and had to solve another clue. These clues took me to places all around the city that were somehow meaningful to our relationship.” The last clue led her to Café Sorrentino, where both their families were waiting, prosecco in hand. They all enjoyed a private cooking class, and as everyone was sitting down to dinner, David got down on one knee and proposed.

The couple’s December wedding day ended up being a chilly one but that didn’t stop them from heading outdoors post-ceremony to snap some gorgeous wedding shots. “It was absolutely freezing, but so worth it! I was happy to get the outdoor photos I wanted,” Madisson shares.

Madisson had always dreamed of a small winter wedding, but since David’s family is very large, she had to find ways to make the wedding feel more intimate. “We decided to use rustic-themed decor to create a homey feel, and we felt that it went really well with the log cabin venue,” she explains. Because their wedding day fell just three days before Christmas, the couple also incorporated a few festive accents (like a Christmas tree in lieu of a gift table) in honour of this special holiday.

Madisson says one of her favourite moments of the day was when her dad surprised her by singing “I Loved Her First” before the father-daughter dance, bringing everyone to tears.

Madisson Richardson and David Van Berkel, December 22, 2013, Edmonton, Alberta.

Photography courtesy of Willow Lane Photography.

Ceremony location:
West End Christian Reformed Church
Reception location: NAPDA Old Timer’s Cabin
Bridal gown: Alfred Angelo from Novelle Bridal Shop
Bridal party attire: Pure Bridal
Groom’s tux: Derks
Cake: Cake Couture
Caterer: A Cappella Catering
Hair: Amy Johnson (780-298-3123)
Makeup: Trisha Zook
Flowers: Maggie David Flowers (780-962-2800)
Stationery: Evergreen Stationers

An Elegant Blue Wedding With Modern Accents

Real Weddings

bride and groom

Sparks flew for Kelsey and Mike when they met at an ’80s-themed University of Alberta fundraiser. They’re still not sure if it was Mike’s purple tracksuit or Kelsey’s blue taffeta dress that sealed the deal.

Mike’s romantic proposal came during the couple’s first big vacation together to Mexico. Shortly after arriving, they had walked past a jewellery store, and Kelsey hinted at engagement rings; Mike was quick to shoot down the idea. The next day, after a delicious dinner and a walk on the beach, the couple agreed that they couldn’t be happier as they stood under the stars, listening to the sound of the ocean. It was then that Mike surprised Kelsey by getting down on one knee to ask her to marry him. The happy couple kept their engagement a secret until they returned home a week later so they could really enjoy the exciting time together.

For their wedding day Kelsey and Mike decided on a modern, sophisticated celebration. “We chose meaningful pieces to incorporate into our day and combined them with modern elegant touches,” Kelsey explains. “This theme best suited us because we know the importance of tradition, but we wanted to put our own spin on it! As for the colours, we both love blue, so we knew it would definitely be used. We also chose grey because we liked the softer feel it had for a summer wedding and it complemented the classic theme well.”

The couple wed under a gazebo on a gorgeous sunny day. “The moment I started walking down the aisle, we couldn’t take our eyes off each other!” Kelsey shares. “It was as if we were the only two people there. I don’t think we looked at our guests until after we said our vows!”

Kelsey Laschuk and Mike Whattam, August 10, 2013, Sherwood Park, Alberta.

Photography courtesy of Blake Loates Photography.

Ceremony location: Hastings Lake Gardens
Reception location: Shaw Conference Centre
Wedding planner: Stacey Foley from JoyFoley Weddings
Bridal gown: Enzoani Couture from The Bridal House
Bridal party attire: Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
Groom’s tux: Black by Vera Wang from Moores
Cake: Teresa’s Cakes
Hair and makeup: Roxx Salon and Spa
Flowers: FaBLOOMosity
Stationery: Evergreen Stationers
Photobooth: Vibe Photobooth

A Vintage Farm Wedding in Vermilion, Alberta

Real Weddings

bride and groom

Arielle and Kyle met back in 2006 while on a camping trip at Kimball Lake in Saskatchewan. Six years later, while house hunting, Arielle remembers joking with Kyle, “We’ll build a house, but we have to be married first!” Moments later, to her surprise, he was on one knee asking for her hand in marriage. Kyle had been holding on to the engagement ring for a month, waiting for the perfect moment to propose.

Arielle chose a timeless colour palette of blush pink and grey for their wedding. “I wanted colours that would speak to the golden wheat field we were marrying in,” Arielle explains. The couple complemented this colour palette with vintage accents. “I have always been drawn to antiques and vintage pieces since I was young,” explains Arielle.

Arielle wore a stunning lace gown, accented with classic pearls and a birdcage veil and lined her wheat field wedding aisle with baby’s breath-filled Mason jars hung from shepherds hooks. A burlap runner led to the altar where the couple said their “I dos”.

Reception centrepieces consisted of clusters of flower-filled painted Mason jars in shades of pink, grey and cream alongside single tea cup candles. “All the details and colours together were stunning and just what I had envisioned,” Arielle beams. “And now, every time I drive past that spot at my parents’ farm, I find myself looking out into the field were we said our ‘I dos’ and reminiscing on our perfect day.”

Arielle Wascherol and Kyle Farkash, August 24, 2013, Vermilion, Alberta.

Photography courtesy of Kari Burgess from Eternal Reflections Photography.

Ceremony location: The bride’s parents’ farm (Hurworth Farms Ltd.)
Reception location: Vermilion Regional Centre
Bridal gown: Maggie Sottero from Bridal Debut 
Groom’s tux: Derks
Cake: Cakes by Janna
Caterer: Red Feather Ridge Catering
Hair and makeup: GLOW Hair and Body (780-754-3636)
Flowers: Lakeland Country Florists

A Sugar Shack Wedding in Rigaud, Quebec

Real Weddings

bride and groom

High school sweethearts Melanie and Andrew wanted to honour their heritage with a truly Canadian wedding. Even Andrew’s proposal was patriotic! Andrew, a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, had always vowed to never take Melanie, originally from Montreal, to a Leafs-Habs hockey game; however, a special exception was made one Wednesday night. Although this compromise was already quite significant, he made the night even sweeter by getting down on one knee outside of the Air Canada Centre (during a snowstorm no less!) and proposing to Melanie before the game. Although it was a big win for Andrew that night, unfortunately his beloved Leafs were not so lucky.

The couple chose an authentic sugar shack venue for their big day and accented it with hints of Canadiana for a “lumberjack-chic” look. Melanie and Andrew said their “I dos” in front of a glowing hearth after which guests enjoyed cocktails and music provided by a live fiddler. Dinner was served family style and featured a traditional Quebec “sugaring-off” feast, which included pea soup, tourtière, ham, beans, and the best part: lots of maple syrup!

The couple chose the classic song “The Log Driver’s Waltz” for their first dance because “the Canadian cartoon is a childhood favourite for all, and it seemed like a fitting choice for the venue,” Melanie explains. Later in the evening, guests danced to traditional folk band Bezélbuth. More Quebec cuisine included sugar pie in lieu of cake and delicious poutine served as a midnight snack. Festivities continued at a wedding after-party in the Lumberjack Lodge, where some brave guests even opted to sleep in bunk beds without heat or electricity for an authentic sugar shack experience.

Melanie Wright and Andrew Sainsbury, October 26, 2013, Rigaud, Quebec.

Photography courtesy of Emma McIntyre Weddings.

Ceremony and reception location: Sucrerie de la Montagne
Bridal gown: Amy Kuschel from Mrs. Bridal Boutique
Groom’s tux: Ted’s Style Shoppe
Makeup: Heather Snowie
Band: Belzébuth
Letterpress maple syrup can invitations: Al Kwon 

A Romantic, Vintage Wedding in Montreal, Quebec

Real Weddings

bride and groom

Teresa and Bradley met during their fourth year of optometry school while doing an externship in Atlanta, Georgia. Although they both disliked their placements immensely, they say they’ll never forgot how happy they were to go to work and see each other every morning.

When it came time for Bradley to propose, Teresa says he simply nailed it. “I could not think of a better recipe: hamburgers, wine, pajamas and diamonds. Obviously, I said yes! But seriously, that moment, and the conversation that went with it, is something that we will cherish forever. It was totally real and overflowing with love,” she explains.

The couple chose a vintage wedding theme to suit the old-world, romantic atmosphere of the wedding’s location in Old Montreal. The main goal Teresa had in mind regarding colour selection was to evoke a sense a warmth. She also didn’t want the theme to be too trendy because it was important that the wedding, and thus the resulting photos, be timeless.

When it comes to favourite wedding details, Teresa says her stationery stood out. “As a friend of mine would say, ‘The first glimpse into your wedding is the invitation.’ So, our invitations are an absolute wedding fave,” she says.

Teresa Stokes and Bradley Perras, September 7, 2013, Montreal, Quebec.

Photography courtesy of Sophie Asselin.

Ceremony location: Le Saint-Sulpice Hôtel
Reception location: Vieux-Port Steakhouse
Bridal gown: Romona Keveza
Groom’s tux: Banana Republic
Cake: Pâtisserie Dolci Piu
Hair and Makeup: Kat & Lea Artistes Maquilleurs
Flowers: Les Petites Excuses
Stationery: Goose & Bear Paper Co

DIY Wedding Place Cards + Free Downloadable Template



Photography by Carlo Mendoza. Place cards by Jo’s Paperie.

Looking for modern place cards that don’t cost a bundle? Why not make them yourself using this DIY template!

These lovely geometric place cards, created by Joanna Kam of Jo’s Paperie, are pretty much as simple as wedding crafts get. Just print out this template on card stock in colour, grab some scissors, and get snipping.

Hand-write your guests’ names on each, or ask a friend with beautiful penmanship to help you out–this will give your escort cards that extra personal touch. You can take these stationery items to the next level by adding a few extra elements such as crystals, glitter, 3-D stickers or anything else that will tie them into your wedding theme.

Set up the tented cards on or above each plate, or use creative place card holders or small decorative items like tiny potted plants to make them part of your tablescape. If you don’t have a strict seating plan, arrange your place cards on a table at the entrance of your reception for guests to grab before they claim their seats.

Download our free DIY place card template now.

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A Romantic Blush and Gold Wedding in Edmonton, Alberta

Real Weddings

bride and groom

Natalia and Mike’s online romance almost didn’t happen! The day Natalia was about to close her account, Mike sent her a message. Fortunately for him, she decided to reply (only because he was Polish like herself). A week later, they had their first date and spent five hours talking in the car afterwards.

Five years later, Mike planned his romantic proposal. After going to a dinner theatre at West Edmonton Mall, he “spontaneously” took Natalia to the Fantasyland Hotel. “I had always wanted to stay in the Roman Luxury Theme room since seeing my aunt and uncle go there when I was a child,” she describes. When Natalia and Mike got to their room, it was filled with candles, rose petals, her overnight bag and photos of the couple. When she turned around, confused, he was already on one knee with a ring in his hand.

As for their big day, the whole wedding vision started with a photo of a tulle-covered ceiling glowing with twinkle lights. “The whole ceiling and most of the other things at our wedding were DIY; Pinterest was my saving grace!” Natalia exclaims. The bride’s gorgeous billowy gown and her bridesmaids’ gauzy blush dresses created a romantic, ethereal look. The reception added to this theme with its soft lighting and its blush and gold decor with mercury glass accents.

Instead of having two separate bride and groom seats at the head table, the couple shared a high-back tufted bench at dinner. “We brought that bench back into our home, and now it sits in our bedroom. It was the first seat we sat on as a married couple,” says Natalia. One of the most special and sentimental details of the wedding was the memory table with pictures of her father and other loved ones who were at the wedding in spirit. Natalia kept her father close to her heart that day by wearing a locket with his photo inside.

Natalia Grochowska and Michael Kukawski, September 28, 2013, Edmonton, Alberta.

Photography courtesy of Milton Photography.

Ceremony location: Saint Joseph’s Basilica
Reception location: Chateau Nova
Bridal gown: The Bridal Boutique
Groom’s tux: Derks
Cake: The Greek Bakery
Favours: Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut
Hair and makeup: Stephanie Miniaci from Edmonton Makeup Artists


A Heavenly White Wedding In Sudbury, Ontario

Real Weddings

Romantic Elegant Wedding in Sudbury Ontario0721

As if by fate, Shannon and Scott ended up sharing the same wedding date as her parents, who had wed 28 years earlier! “We didn’t plan it that way,” Shannon explains. “It just so happened that August 24 was the one date the Caruso Club, our reception venue, had available in 2013. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason!”

The couple, who met in grade 11, wanted to make sure that the ceremony was beautiful, personal and meaningful. Shannon was serenaded down the aisle by her cousin, and a candle glowed at the altar throughout the entire ceremony, symbolizing the presence of Scott’s father on their special day. Shannon had been feeling butterflies that morning, but the moment they set eyes on each other as she came down the aisle, “the nerves melted away, and all I could feel was pure joy,” she describes.

The bride’s vision for her wedding was “Heaven on Earth,” and she couldn’t have been happier with how everything came together for a breathtaking reception hall. The billowing ivory tulle along the ceiling, the delicate baby’s breath centrepieces and candelit tables, the floor-to-ceiling chiffon backdrop accented with lace and pearl details: all of these soft, elegant details truly created a warm, heavenly ambience for the most memorable day of their lives.

Shannon Zinn and Scott Restoule, August 24, 2013, Sudbury, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Caroline Ross Photography.

Ceremony: St. Peter’s United Church
Reception: Caruso Club
Bridal gown: Maggie Sottero from Blissful Bridal Boutique
Bridal party attire:
Amsale from Pearl Bridal House
Hair and makeup: Talk of the Town
Groom’s suit: Calvin Klein from Tip Top Tailors
Cake: Regency Bakery
Wedding planner: Amanda at Unforgettable Weddings

A Farmers’ Market-Inspired Wedding in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Real Weddings

bride and groom

Grace and Michael love to travel, so it was only natural that Michael  draw on their shared passion for his romantic proposal.

One day while travel planning, Michael asked Grace if he could show her something to inspire their decision on their next big trip together (they had been considering the Philippines). The video he played on TV featured photos and video clips that chronicled their travels and adventures together. At the end of the video, the screen read, “This is not the end, only the beginning.” Michael got down on one knee, with Grace’s hand in his, and asked her to take that journey with him. Grace was utterly speechless!

The couple tied the knot on a warm, sunny day under the lush green canopy of a gigantic tree, then headed with their guests to their airy peach- and coral-themed garden lunch reception.

“Our focus for the day was to keep the details as local as possible to showcase Ontario’s finest for our guests who had travelled near and far to be there,” Grace explains. “We used locally made jams for our seating cards, which also doubled as favours, and served only local beer (Oast) and wine (Reif Winery).” The wedding also had picture-perfect displays for the bar and dessert areas: “To emphasize the region’s wine country, we set up our bar using wine barrels and had wine bottle table numbers. For dessert, and as a thank you to our guests, we served all-local fruit and created our own “farmers market” for guests to enjoy – it was truly such a hit!”

After the wedding, jet-setters Michael and Grace travelled to Singapore to celebrate round two of their nuptials with family and friends who were unable to travel to Canada.

Grace Foo and Michael Armstrong, July 21, 2013, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Photography courtesy of Andrew Mark Photography.

Ceremony and reception location:
Rief Estate Winery
Bridal gown: Reem Acra
Cake and jam favours: Vineyard Sweets
Hair and makeup: Allure
Bride’s shoes: Gucci
Flowers: Cathy Martin Flowers
Stationery: Minted
Decor: Happily Ever After Events Inc
Wedding planner: Ashley Lindzon Events
Calligraphy on chalkboards: Barbara Kua Calligraphy

Make Your Own Awesome DIY Marquee Signs


Step Five

Photo by Carlo Mendoza.

Add some vintage Hollywood glamour to your wedding with an awesome DIY marquee sign. Create a monogram using the first initials of your names, or use these letters to create lit signage around your venue for the photobooth, sweet table or bar. They also make cute photo props. Spell out words like “love” or “just married” for memorable bride-and-groom shots, or take pictures with “thank you” to send along with your thank-you cards to guests.

We asked DIY blogger Natalie Ho of My Little Secrets for the skinny on how to create these show-stopping decor items at home. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to create glitzy luminescent letters for your wedding for for a fraction of the cost of real-deal antiques. The best part? After your big day, you can reuse them to add a personalized touch to your love nest!

Wedding DIY Guide

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