Archive for Bailey Spagat

How To Write A Wedding Speech

Planning » Reception Ideas

wedding-speech

Photography courtesy of Christine Lim.

One of my last tasks as maid of honour at my sister’s wedding was to toast the bride and groom. A naturally good speech writer, I was stumped. I didn’t know how to put 23 years of sisterhood — all the fights, loving moments, and lessons learned — into words. I also wasn’t sure how to write a good wedding speech without saying that I always knew that he was The One. The truth is that I didn’t; Over the two years that my sister and her now husband were dating he grew on me and now we’re the best of friends but when they first started dating I didn’t necessarily think I’d eventually end up welcoming him into the family.

To prepare for my toast I scoured the Internet looking for wedding speech ideas and even contemplated purchasing one online. At last, it was the night before the wedding and I couldn’t procrastinate any longer. I finally sat down and wrote what I felt innately; and I came out with a fabulous speech.

Through my experience I learned a few things about approaching a wedding speech that I think can be helpful for anyone asked to speak at a wedding.

Be Honest

It took me so long to sit down and write my speech because I was trying to write the best wedding speech of all time. The great ideas finally started pouring out when I thought about how I really felt about my sister. Put the cliched wedding speech “must-haves” aside and speak from the heart.

Keep It Short

Everyone loves an anecdote or two but it’s easy to get carried away with stories and forget that they may not be relevant (or make sense to) half the wedding guests. Do away with inside jokes and choose one stand-out story that really defines the person you’re toasting. If the story takes too long to tell or can’t be linked to the rest of your speech, it doesn’t belong there. Wedding guests get antsy when speeches go on for too long, so cut your self off at three minutes.

Keep It Relatable

What do all wedding guests have in common? That they’re near and dear to the bride and groom. While most won’t understand inside jokes, they will love to hear details about the couple that they may not already know. Choose to tell stories about the couple that wedding guests may not know. If speaking to a large group of people isn’t your thing consider doing a narrated slide show.

Speak Together

Write your speech with your soon-to-be hubby (or other bridesmaids and groomsmen if you’re part of the wedding party) and deliver it together. Instead of trying to speak off the cuff organize yourself beforehand and divide up the parts of the speech so that you aren’t repeating one another.

Don’t Leave It Until The Last Minute

I don’t mean to be a hypocrite but personal experience tells me that there’s nothing you want to do less the night before a wedding than write your speech. It puts unnecessary stress on you right before the big day and makes it hard to concentrate on what you really want to say. Instead, start your speech a few months in advance. Begin by jotting down ideas and then turn those ideas into complete thoughts and concrete sentences. If you work on your speech for a few hours everyday before you know if it will be written with lots of time to spare.

Advice From Other Brides On Having A Cash Bar

advice » Planning

cash-bar

Photography courtesy of Tanya Plonka.

Alcohol can be a huge expense at a wedding and an unnecessary expense if the bride and groom do not drink themselves. Cash bars are a great, but controversial alternative for many brides and grooms. We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers their opinions on whether cash bars were a good idea. Here’s what they had to say:

“Limited cash bar. Set a cap then switch to a cash bar after that limit has been met. Or have beer and wine and let folks pay for mixed drinks if they choose.”
– Derric Smith via Facebook

“The only way to go is with an open bar! It’s the polite way.”
– Carollyn Yvonne via Facebook

“No way. Another option that I did at my wedding is drink tickets plus 3 bottles of wine per table. Not everyone used their tickets so other people did and everyone had a good time.”
– Alyssa Ashley via Facebook

“We did an open bar but had the option to limit types of beer/drinks. It’s kind of a middle ground. But certainly have a cash bar if cash is limited.”
– @samobeid via Twitter

“Where I am from, you would be stupid to have an open bar. People would go overboard and it would make a mess of your reception. I think that it really depends on where you are from and the people that you are inviting.”
– Alana Chaput via Facebook

“I think it depends on your bar. We had an open bar, but provided our own liquor. If you are at a hotel that charges you $6 a drink you may not want to pay for the open bar. Its a tough one. I’ve seen people take cash out of presentation envelopes to pay for the drinks.”
– Amanda Kueneman via Facebook

“Just adds another price tag to the wedding. We did a cash bar and people didn’t mind at all. Everyone still enjoyed the wedding.”
– Mary Thompson via Facebook

“Heck No! Open bar all the way! It’s bad enough guests have to buy an outfit and a gift, you could at least let them have a good time and drink their faces off.”
– Melissa Martin via Facebook

“Please, please don’t!”
– @envelopments via Twitter

“Don’t. I don’t want my guests to feel that they’re going to a lounge/club/bar during the reception.”
– Natalie Therese Bisnar via Facebook

“No, it’s called BYOB [Bring your own]. It’s cheaper on the bride and groom and people can bring what they like.”
– Erin Brooke via Facebook

“Don’t. Cash bars are gross. But if you must have one please let your guests know so they can bring cash.”
– Cara Ducasse via Facebook

“Yes do do do.”
– Marie-Josee Gagnon via Facebook

“Don’t. At Punjabi weddings, it’s considered a huge ‘don’t’ to have a cash bar — always open bar.”
– Naveen A. Grewal via Facebook

“Yup. My partner has been sober for over a year; There is no way we’d be paying for other people’s booze.”
– Jess Grover via Facebook

“We did a cash bar which worked well for us and our family and friends. But we did have a red and white wine at each table, and gave everyone of age a drink ticket that was personalized with a bow.”
– Jessica Bishop via Facebook

“Definite do! I’m from the Maritimes where open bars are unheard of. Thank goodness – I could never afford it. That being said I am providing wine for the tables.”
– Angela Wolf via Facebook

“Ew! Never!!!”
– FranZingone via Twitter

“As a planner I say no, very tacky.”
– Courtney B Kern via Facebook

“I think it would depend on your own family and friends. My friends drink a lot but my family doesn’t. I think the idea of three drink tickets and wine on the table is a good idea, then cash after that. But have non-boozy options too, for those who don’t drink. Or mock-tails.”
– Melissa Giroux via Facebook

“Toonie Bar.”
– Asia Lee Hoffart via Facebook

“Don’t. Would you have your friends & family pay for drinks at your own home? Your wedding is an extension of that. No way, so tacky!”
– Old, New, Borrowed and Blue Weddings via Facebook

“Absolutely do not!”
– madelinemg via Twitter

To join in this discussion and others follow us at facebook.com/weddingbellsmag or twitter.com/weddingbellsmag.


Invitations To Suit Your Personal Style

Planning » Stationery

Whimsical Wedding Invitation

Your invitations can instantly convey the tone and theme of your wedding so it’s important to get them right. Hosting an over-the-top ultra-elegant affair? Opt for show-stopping lucite. Thinking about an understated outdoor wedding? Choose organic natural materials that mimic your wedding day’s easy-breezy feel. Scroll through our samples and see which type of invite will best reflect your bridal style.

30 Unconventional Candy Bar Must-Haves

Planning » Reception Ideas

Inspired by Princess Lolly and Lord Licorice of Candyland? You can integrate your sweet tooth into your elegant, whimsical, or rustic affair by offering guests a sprawling candy buffet stocked full of your favourite sweet treats. Colourful candies are a great way to incorporate your theme and colour scheme into your reception and they make terrific take home goodies for guests. Supply brown paper bags for your rustic celebration or classic takeout boxes for your elegant wedding and let guests mix and match the sweets they like best.

Canadian-Made Wedding Favours Unique To Each Province

Planning » Reception Ideas

Getting married in Quebec? Then maple products are a must. In Saskatchewan? Opt for Saskatoon berry preserves. Treating your guests to locally-made favours representative of the province you marry in will not only allow guests to better connect with the region, it will also give them something memorable to savour when they return home. Sweet treats from Ontario and unique wines from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are just a few of our favourite locally-made Canadian wedding favours. Explore the rest of the list here to find an item that perfectly suits your location.

20 Must-See Rustic Wedding Invitations

Planning » Planning » Stationery

Your invitations set the tone for your wedding and give guests a first look into what your affair will be like. They also tell guests what to expect and how to dress. If you’re planning a woodsy outdoor wedding your invitation style should match the rustic motif by using materials and colours inspired by natural elements and imagery that reflects your theme. If you’re strapped for ideas take a look at these unique rustic invitations for inspiration.

Fabulous Candy-Covered Wedding Cakes

Planning » Wedding Cakes

We love candy! And what better way to tempt a sweet tooth than by covering your wedding cake with colourful candy to match your wedding theme? A monochromatic pattern of M&Ms can match your bridesmaids dresses and flowers and rock candy adds just enough shimmer to mirror your blinged out affair. Gather candy-covered inspiration for your cake from these delectable wedding desserts.

13 Wedding Cost-Cutting Ideas For Everything From Photography To Catering

Planning

Trying to pull off the wedding of your dreams on a tight budget? Here’s some good news: You don’t need to sacrifice elements of your dream day just because you can’t afford to spend six figures on your event. The key is putting a bit more time and effort into the planning process to source out deals. Start with these 13 tips. We’ll spill the details on how to score a less expensive venue, hire a photographer on the cheap, find a gown for less and share ideas for cutting costs on everything from catering to flowers.

22 Unique Ways To Work Buntings Into Your Wedding

Planning » Wedding Decor

Buntings are an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up your wedding decor. Perfect for outdoor picnic weddings as well as indoor vintage affairs, buntings are cute, colourful, and quirky. We’ve looked high and low for the prettiest bunting-inspired creations out there from cake toppers and invites to photo backdrops and table decor.

20 Unique Treats To Include On Your Sweet Table

Planning » Reception Ideas

Complement your wedding cake with a unique sweet table complete with all your favourite treats. Offer guests a variety of cakes, cookies, and other pastries in your favourite flavours like chocolate and red velvet. Mix up tradition by including customized cookies and novelty cake pops for a sweet table that will leave your guests speechless.

An Elegant Summer Wedding in Toronto, Ontario

Real Weddings

Cherise Ens and Patrick Ens, June 17, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.

Photography courtesy Tami McInnis, (www.tamimcinnis.com).

Vendors
Ceremony and reception location: Liberty Grand
Dress: Martina Liana from Felichia Bridal
Hair: Michelange
Makeup: Kelly Braga (kelly_braga_@hotmail.com)
Groom’s tux: Strellson
Bridal party attire: RW &Co.
Cake: Made by the bride
Flowers: Terrain Flowers (416-489-7246)
Music: Dave Murphy Band (905-845-7444)
Favours: M&Ms
Caterer: Liberty Grand
Stationery: Cards and Pockets

A Red and Black Wedding in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Real Weddings

Monique Lambert and Aaron Wignes, July 30, 2011, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Photography courtesy Craig Popoff of Canora Photography, (canoraphoto.com).

Vendors
Ceremony location: St. Philip Neri Parish
Reception location: Hilton Garden Inn
Dress: A La Mode Boutique
Hair and makeup: Kelsie Kitzul of Chel Salonspa
Groom’s tux: Moores
Bridal party attire: A La Mode Boutique
Favours: Candy bar assembled by the groom’s mother
Flowers: Flowers by Fred (306-384-3003)
Music: Alexis Van from Storm Music Services (306-384-3696)

A Destination Wedding In The Mayan Riviera

Real Weddings

Angelina Marie Sousa Lima and Justin Paul Leduc, November 18, 2010, Mayan Riviera, Mexico.

Photography courtesy Jenny Alston of  Imajen Photography, (imajenphoto.com).

Vendors
Ceremony location: Playa Azul, Barcelo Maya
Reception location: Palmaras Grill, Barcelo Maya
Dress: Justin Alexander from The Bridal House
Hair: Stella Lima of The Hair Chair (250-753-2502)
Makeup: Norma Zurama of M.A.C. Cosmetics La Isla Cancún
Favours: Espresso brown fans
Groom’s attire: Island Importer
Bridal party attire: Impression Bridal
Cake: Barcelo Maya
Music: DJ Mannia

An Intimate Backyard Wedding in the Mountains

Real Weddings

Pamela Goats and Ken Bayntun, August 14, 2010, Pemberton, British Columbia.

Photography courtesy Lee Halliday Photography, (leehallidayphoto.com).

Vendors

Ceremony and reception location: Bride’s parents’ backyard
Bridal gown: Isabelle’s Bridal
Hair and makeup: Brenda Bakker
Groom’s tux: Moores
Bridal party’s attire: Alfred Sung from Isabelle’s Bridal
Cake: Buttercup Cake Design
Caterer: The Food Lovers
Music: Hot Hit Productions
Flowers and stationery: Made by the bride and her mother
Favours: In lieu of favours the couple made a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada

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