How to Choose Your Wedding Theme

Aside from some overall financial and logistical planning, you'll want to choose a wedding theme in the early stages of planning your wedding.

If you already have a location selected, design your theme around its existing character. If you're still open to a variety of venues, you can use your theme to eliminate any venues it wouldn't jive with.

A well designed wedding balances colour, texture, and mood to create an overall theme. That theme extends into every detail from the venue to itineraries, to flower varieties and linen texture, to stationery fonts and tableware. There becomes so many opportunities for personalization with the theme that consistency is absolutely key.

You may find it surprisingly difficult to narrow down a theme you are going to be happy sticking with in the long run. With Pinterest, Instagram, blogs and publications, there is so much inspiration out there to get caught up in and flip flop you from one theme to the next.

So, how do you choose your theme? Make it your own!

Find inspiration from:

  • Your venue (this is important!)
  • Favourite colours
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Places you love
  • An era you wish you could travel back (or forward!) in time to
  • Seasonal surroundings
  • Your personalities
  • Your style
  • Trends in fashion, pop culture and interior design

When you've struck inspiration, take a moment to elaborate on it. Brainstorm the colours, textures, mood, era, objects, and experiences associated with it. Create a new Pinterest board and save items from your list to visualize it all together. Now you have a wedding style to work off of!

If you still don't know where to start, or you've found inspiration but are stuck when it comes to turning it into a complete wedding style, get in touch with me. I'll work with you to create your very own visual mood board and pull together the perfect team of vendors for your one-of-a-kind wedding.

Let's chat about your wedding style!

Why I Didn't Hire a Wedding Planner

Thinking back to when we were planning our wedding, I'm not even sure that I knew there was such a thing as a wedding planner in Winnipeg. Regardless, I was more than happy to take on the tasks of researching and selecting vendors and sourcing all the decor.

Planning our wedding would be fun and my fiancé and I would get to make all the decisions, down to the tiniest detail. I had an hour or two free every week to chip away at our big day that was yet a year and a half away, and this way a planner wasn't another expense to save up for.

Rose Gold Wedding Rings at Fort Garry Hotel Wedding Winnipeg Manitoba

Why I Wish We Had

Being the host and planner is hard. It means you don't get to fully appreciate all the little details and surprises from your own party. I find great pleasure in planning beautiful celebrations, including our family's, but honestly, there are times when even the planner wishes they had a planner.

1. Wedding planning takes time. Evenings and weekends were spent building our wedding website, designing and proofreading stationery, responding to vendor emails that I didn't yet know the answers to (my only source of information for planning a wedding at the time was from magazines), reviewing contracts, managing our budget, and spending countless hours on DIY items that I now know much faster and cheaper ways to do. If you have a demanding job, children, or hobbies that you'd rather not get pulled away from, planners are your personal assistant for all things wedding.

2. It's not always fun. Sure, browsing Pinterest for ideas, eating cake, and flouncing around in sample dresses is fun; but there's not much to smile about when building a budget and tracking payments in Excel, reviewing vendor contracts, and going down a list of rental companies to call for that one thing you need. Turns out that handing your wedding over to a professional doesn't take the fun away, it makes it more fun. Wedding planners are a filter for keeping the process of planning a wedding enjoyable while still leaving you in control with final decisions.

3. Someone needs to be the main point of contact on your wedding day. Without a wedding planner, it will (most likely) be the bride. I remember running to the reception hall to make sure the centrepieces were in place and the cake had arrived, being asked where cables were for the DJ, and getting pulled off the dance floor to respond to questions from the venue coordinator. Thankfully we had a great MC and venue coordinator that kept to my carefully plotted evening itinerary, but needing to be involved in everything distracted me from fully enjoying the day.

Newspaper Wedding Program at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
Winnipeg Winter Groom in Tiger of Sweden Suit at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
Winnipeg Winter Bride in Justin Alexander at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
Winnipeg Winter Wedding at Fort Garry Hotel

4. A wedding planner can save you money. When we got engaged we didn't know what things cost. We started with a budget of $18,000 and later realized our vision needed a budget of something more like $30,000. Since some details were already booked, we ended up locked in on spending more than we hoped. A professional planner is another line item on the budget, but a good one will cater their services to fit within your budget, start you off right with a realistic budget that balances what you want with what you can afford, pass along exclusive vendor discounts, and avoid costly mistakes.

5. Something will go wrong. On our wedding day I scheduled bridal portraits to finish half an hour before the ceremony (which is fine), but we ended up doing the photos close to where guests began arriving and some saw me before I walked the aisle. It was stressful trying to escape through an excited, small crowd with a 10' veil and 5' train, something a wedding planner would have calmly assisted with in sneaking me away. Thankfully nothing major went wrong on our wedding day, but what if something had? There are always last minute decisions to be made and often little emergencies. If something goes wrong, a planner will deal with it and it's likely that you (or your guests) will never even know of those little emergencies that went on behind the scenes on your perfect day.

White Groom Boutonniere by Fache Floral Design Winnipeg
White Cascading Bouquet by Fache Floral Design
Winter Wedding wtih White Dress Bridesmaids

6. Help is limited. The helpful venue coordinator included in your reception rental fee often isn't available to go beyond managing the logistics of the venue. They are there to ensure all aspects of the contract between you and the venue are executed, and that the venue's policies are followed. They may supply a list of preferred third party vendors, but they will not advise on vendors that fit your budget or style, schedule and attend vendor meetings, review resulting contracts and ensure they are adhered to on the day of the wedding, setup wedding decor, create a timeline, ensure your meticulously planned wedding day itinerary is followed, or quickly stitch up a tear in your groom's suit. That's what wedding planners are for!

First Dance at Fort Garry Hotel Crystal Ballroom

7. It's a big day for family and friends, too. And you probably want them to enjoy celebrating, right? Our family and wedding party worked their bums off the night before our wedding, hauling rentals and decor to the venue, setting it all up and then taking it all back down at the end of the night. In hindsight, I wish we had just left it to a professional to oversee our day. Loved ones play an incredibly important role in the wedding, and that is to be 100% present in supporting your life-long commitment.

Your wedding day can't be repeated and having a professional on hand can be a real lifesaver in so many ways. If you're considering tackling your big day all on your own, take some time to meet with a professional wedding planner. I always recommend, at the very least, hiring a wedding planner for month-of coordination (also known as day-of). It's one of the best investments you can make. You deserve an amazing, stress-free wedding day.

Feast & Festivities offers everything from full-service planning and design to month-of coordination and hourly consulting. Wherever you are in your planning stages, get in touch with us for a free initial meeting. Let's chat!


Photos by Sugar & Soul Photography

Sunrise Brunch Inspiration | Winnipeg Wedding Planners Styled Editorial

The wonderful ladies behind Host Winnipeg and Stonehouse Creative put on the first Winnipeg Wedding Planners Styled Editorial this summer and Feast & Festivities got to join in on this fun day alongside so many talented ladies. What an honour!

Armed with a team of talented creatives and vendors, buckets of colourful flowers, and a selection of table setting goods, each planner had a unique take on pulling together a styled table and bride.

We are so excited to share with you some shots from our Sunrise Brunch Wedding theme taken by Aly of Victoria Anne Photography.

Sunrise Brunch Wedding Table
Pink Floral Centrepiece
Pink Floral Centrepiece Ingredients
Sunrise Brunch Wedding Inspiration
Sunrise Brunch Wedding Inspiration by Feast & Festivities
Summer Brunch Tent Wedding
Sunrise Brunch Wedding Inspiration by Feast & Festivities
Outdoor Summer Brunch
Brunch Wedding Newspaper Program
Sunrise Brunch Wedding Inspiration
Brunch Pancake Placecard
Brunch Wedding Bridal Style
Pink Floral Ingredients
Bridal Makeup and Hair
Pancake Stack Name Cards
Sunrise Brunch Floral Centrepiece and Garland Runner
Tent Wedding Table Setting
Pink and Gold Brunch Wedding Inspiration
Brunch Wedding Style Inspiration
Mr. and Mrs. Table Runner
Brunch Wedding Sun Hat
Mr and Mrs Tea Towel
Coffee Bean Favours
Coffee Wedding Favour Tray
Sunrise Brunch Wedding Orange Juice Detail Inspiration
Floral Garland Runner Brunch Wedding

Florals and Host | Stone House Creative
Host | Host Winnipeg
Venue | Cielo's Garden
Photography | Victoria Anne Photography
Backdrop and Linen | Planned Perfectly
Bridal Gown | Bliss Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dress | Mad About Style
Makeup | Makeup Expressions by Rimpal
Model | Vanessa Kolthof
Hair | Krystle Taylor
Sweets | Laugh Love Cakes
Linen Details | The Flower Cult
Styling/Design and Paper Goods | Feast & Festivities

You're Engaged! Now what?

We saw so many beautiful engagements over the holiday season, our hearts are full! If you are as excited as we are to get started on all the wedding planning, here are a few things we recommend you start with.

Image Source:  The Mrs. Box

Image Source: The Mrs. Box

1 | Enjoy being engaged!

It's tempting to rush into wedding planning but it can overlook the joy of being newly engaged. Take time to enjoy this exciting time with one another and discuss, big picture, what you both want for the wedding day before rushing into the details.


2 | Set a budget range

Crunch some numbers and be true to yourselves what you can afford. Family may mention interest in helping pay for some (or all) of the wedding. Discuss with them how much they wish to contribute now so you may plan your own savings accordingly. Before you make any down payments, know how your budget breaks down against all the details important to you. That way you'll avoid splurging in one area and finding yourself short on the budget required for a detail you really want down the road.


3 | Narrow down a season and choose a date (or two!)

Try envisioning the backdrop to your wedding day. Perhaps it is a lakeside summer wedding weekend at the family cabin, a unique brunch or sunset ceremony, photos in fresh snowfall, or a tropical getaway. Also consider how long you want your engagement to be. An engagement period longer than a year allows you time to really savour the moment and relax while planning, especially if you are looking to have a summer wedding, as venues, photographers, and florists often book up a year in advance. By choosing to wait you can book vendors based on what or who you want, not on limited availability. A longer engagement also allows you more time to save. If you have a small budget, you may want to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, or in the off-season months such as October through November and January through April.


4 | Start a guest list

Estimate the number of people you want to have at your wedding. Create a "must-have" and "maybe" list (also known as an A/B List), so you can add or remove guests from the maybe list to reach your desired guest count.


Wondering when to hire a wedding planner or designer?

The sooner the better. Full service wedding planning and design can begin right from the moment you are engaged. The next steps and many more to follow are what a wedding planner specializes in: breaking down the budget to determine how money is best spent, defining colour theme and style, narrowing down a venue/location style, and selecting vendors for each aspect of the day.

At Feast & Festivities, we start by helping identify your wedding style, outlining realistic budget expectations, making suggestions on where to celebrate based on your personality, and recommending vendors that can best meet your budget and style needs. We'll then schedule and attend venue and vendor visits with you, leaving you with no surprises down the road, and start curating all the elements to make your day completely personalized.

Want to plan together? Give us a shout!

5 Tips for Planning a Winter Wedding

Winter weddings in Manitoba are so romantic with many beautiful, warm and inviting venues to choose from. And, because they are unique, it's a great opportunity to splurge on a small budget as some of the best vendors offer discounts during this off season. Today I am sharing 5 tips for planning a winter wedding.

1. Send Save the Date cards well in advanceEspecially if it is around a main holiday. Let your guests know of your big day before they plan their out of town vacations or schedule get-togethers. Guests should receive their Save the Date 6 to 9 months in advance of your wedding day. Just make sure your stationery still sets the tone for a winter wedding.

2. Hold your ceremony and reception at one location. It's cold outside! Save your guests the trouble of chilly and slippery travels between venues and use the time between your ceremony and dinner for a cocktail hour. Your guests will appreciate staying warm and not having to find something to do between scheduled events.

A spacious foyer connects The Fort Garry Hotel Crystal and Concert Ballrooms on the 7th floor. These three spaces allow for an elegant flow from ceremony, to cocktail hour to reception. Image by  Sugar & Soul Photography .

A spacious foyer connects The Fort Garry Hotel Crystal and Concert Ballrooms on the 7th floor. These three spaces allow for an elegant flow from ceremony, to cocktail hour to reception. Image by Sugar & Soul Photography.

3. Serve a warm beverage. Consider offering a signature tea after dinner. Though your signature beverage doesn't necessarily need to be warm, such as tea or coffee. Red wine, whisky, spiced rum, and apple cider are all examples of rich beverages that put a fire in your belly.

Styling by Feast & Festivities, Image by  Sugar & Soul Photography

Styling by Feast & Festivities, Image by Sugar & Soul Photography

4. Oh the weather outside is frightful...embrace it! A Manitoba winter provides so many opportunities for great photos outside. Depending on the weather that day, you may be so lucky to get beautiful snowflakes falling, glistening fields of snow, or crisp foggy breath captured oh so perfectly in your wedding photos. It's also a great excuse to add some beautiful accessories to your attire, such as a scarf or mittens to match your colour palette.

5. Step outside the box for a colour palette. Winter doesn't mean white and you don't have to stick to deep or soft colour palettes. A red and pink colour theme or even so far as a neon winter wedding can be beautiful, and very unique.

We love winter weddings here at Feast & Festivities, and so do guests! Such a romantic and celebratory event is something to truly look forward to over the coldest, darkest season of the year. If you're thinking of choosing a winter wedding, give us a shout! We would love to help out.

Receive 10% off our Fullest Feast Planning and Design package for your winter wedding between December 2016 and February 2017!

Simply mention this blog post and book with us before February 29th, 2016.*

* Some restrictions may apply. Offer subject to change. Contact us for more details.