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Journal

Involving your parents when planning your wedding

Maxine Bertrand

We all know that although your wedding is the most special day of your life (aside from a child perhaps), it can also be a very stressful moment. Unless you get a wedding planner of course (wink!). Parents can often be a little overwhelming when it comes to wanting to help with the planning process. They mean well, however, it can be much at times. Now don't get me wrong, you love your mother (we all do) and you appreciate that she loves you unconditionally. She's raised you and helped make you the person you are today. So, trust me when I say, I'm not hating on the moms (or dads) but we all know they can drive us coo coo sometimes! 

Now, here comes the tricky part. How do you do this? If you're anything like me, a total CONTROL FREAK (you can ask my boyfriend), this is a lot harder to do. If they are things that you just can't let go, it's ok but if you know that involving them will make them happy, go ahead and give them something that will make them feel a part of it all. The way I handle this with my client, is I go through our entire wedding task list. Yup, one by one but believe me when I say, once tasks are assigned the process is so much easier and you have a clear vision of the entire wedding plan. Each task can be assigned to the bride, groom, bride and groom and others such as bridesmaids, groomsmen, and yep, you guessed it, parents! The way to get your head around this is to sit and think about their qualities and strengths. What are they good at? Your dad is really good at building stuff, get him to build your wedding arch. You're mom throw's a great party, have her organize the rehearsal dinner. 

With this, I thought I provide a few ideas of tasks to involve your dear parents. Let's look at this from a category or type of people your parents are.

  1. The Foodies
    • Catering and/or wine pairing and tastings
    • Rehearsal Dinner / Restaurant choice
       
  2. The Organizers
    • Party organization - Engagement, rehearsals, bridal luncheon
    • RSVPs - you can have all responses go directly to them and they can keep track of them
    • Welcome bags for out-of-towners
    • Research accommodations for out-of-town guests.
       
  3. The Handyman (person)
    • Build personalized wedding decor - arbors, arches, food stations
    • Transform a backyard into a wedding ceremony and reception site. 
       
  4. The Creative
    • Get them involved in the colour choices
    • They can also help out with the stationary (menus, escort cards, programs, etc.)
    • Decorate or help set up the reception and ceremony sites

These are just a few ways to get them involved. Perhaps, these are too much involvement for some and you would much rather they play a smaller role. I'd be thrilled to hear some ideas to get parents involved with the planning process. Jot down some suggestions in the comments field or on social media using the hashtag #agfadvice

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 Pictures by:  Lisa Renault Photographie / Ella Photography / GarrenTee Photography

Tricia & Tamás {AGF with Lisa Renault Photographie}

Maxine Bertrand

Another week in 2016 is coming and going and I'm just shocked at how fast it's flying by! We are well into fall now and headed towards the colder month. The days are longer and darker. With that, I thought I bring some sunshine to this cold and rainy season with this charming bright wedding. Tricia (Dr.) and Tamás' April 2016 wedding was what you call simple and tasteful. Mostly all white with touches of yellow. Of course, Lisa was the photographer and her style of photography is so pleasant to the eye. Bright, soft and simply enticing. Her pictures feel like a warm, soft blanket draped over your shoulders. 

Tricia and Tamás decided on a first look on Mont-Royal overlooking our beautiful city (well at least from here you can see all the orange cones!). Even though it was April 25th and the trees had yet to have any leaves on them, the weather was gorgeous. The sun was out and, against such a light background, the bride and groom stood out.

Seriously though, how stunning is Tricia?!?

Their ceremony took place at  Ascension of Our Lord. Their wedding party in line with the blue and yellow theme. And is it just me or are little boys at weddings the cutest? I'm seriously a sucker and they get me every time!

The reception followed at a place I know all too well. We ensured the room was set up exactly the way Tricia and Tamás envisioned it. The big windows let in the bright light of the perfect spring day, which made the yellow tulips pop out even more. 

A wonderful day all around. The food was great, the speeches were all hilarious and people danced the night away. All the best to Tricia and Tamás.

With love,
Max xoxo 

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 Coordination and execution: A Gorgeous Fête  / Photography: Lisa Renault Photographie / Church: Ascension of our Lord, Westmount / Venue: La Toundra, Parc Jean-Drapeau / Rentals: Location Chic / Flowers: Benjamina Inc.  and A Gorgeous Fête / Catering: Traiteur Brera /  Desserts: Homemade / DJ: DJ Klix / Stationery: Bride / Beauty Stylists: Salon Sweetchops and Kato Makeup

Local Wedding Favour Ideas

Maxine Bertrand

We all know that weddings have become more and more of a personal statement rather than trying to keep up with Joneses. The number of guests is smaller and more limited to close friends and immediate family. The decor is a reflection on the bride and groom; places they've travelled to, the food they've eaten, flowers from the garden, and so on. Well, the same goes for what couples give to their guests. Long gone are the days of Jordan Almonds. Although they are very symbolic amongst traditional Greek and Italian weddings they end up sitting in their tulle wrapping on a shelf somewhere. 

The questions often come up from my bride and grooms "any ideas of what we can give our guests?". My answer is always the same; simply give them something useful that represents you in some way. I try and think of local vendors. You know, something people can go back and get for themselves. I figured since this question comes up so often, I might as well share some ideas over here. 

1. Soaps

On the left, we have Evy Jo & Co, a Montreal-based company that offers bath, skincare and apothecary products. All 100% organic and vegan. To see more of this lovely wedding (on the left) head over to Style me Pretty. My beautiful and dear friend Lisa from Lisa Renault Photographie's  wedding was featured. 

On the right, Savons Hermosa, also a local vendor situated a little off island in St-Colomban uses goats milk and other natural ingredients for their products. They also offer numerous products such as aftershave and stain remover. 

Both companies offer customized soaps and engraving to really personalized the favours. I always thought that his and hers gifts were fun so you can even do soaps for the ladies and aftershave for the men. Just a thought!

2. Olive Oils and/or Vinegars

I just love this as a favour. I received a set from one of my recent couples Nadia and Ben (more to come on them) and absolutely found this to be so useful and fun when serving to guests as a dinner party as there's a wonderful {love} story behind. They had theirs imported directly from Italy but there are some very good places that make olive oil and kinds of vinegars right here in Montreal such as; Olie et Cie, Oliv and Olive Pressée. These 3 places also offer vinegar. 

3. Infused Jelly/Jams

These are fun and once again, very thoughtful. These can be homemade for the DIY bride (more to come on this as well) or most vineyards offer some made from their wines. They are perfect with cheese and c'mon, let's face it, who doesn't love wine and cheese! A product I really like is from Vignoble Rivière du Chêne and the venue is also available for weddings. The grounds are fabulous and their wines are lovely. Bang for your buck right there. 

4. Honey

 There are a lot of honey producers a little off the island of Montreal. These will never go to waste. I mean how many times have you told your mom that you were feeling under the weather and had a sore throat, and her response is "boil some hot water with honey and lemon.". So trust me, these always come in handy. They have regular honey, lavender honey, and even Eucalyptus for those sore throat days. Oh and fun fact: they also come as spreads in various flavours such as caramel flower of salt and honey, chocolate, and caramel. One of my favourite spots for honey is  Miel Nature . They have a cute little shop where they have a live honeycomb (in a glass case) for people to see the bees hard at work.

There are a lot of honey producers a little off the island of Montreal. These will never go to waste. I mean how many times have you told your mom that you were feeling under the weather and had a sore throat, and her response is "boil some hot water with honey and lemon.". So trust me, these always come in handy. They have regular honey, lavender honey, and even Eucalyptus for those sore throat days. Oh and fun fact: they also come as spreads in various flavours such as caramel flower of salt and honey, chocolate, and caramel. One of my favourite spots for honey is Miel Nature. They have a cute little shop where they have a live honeycomb (in a glass case) for people to see the bees hard at work.

5. Candles

 Candles of course. They are pretty and usually smell good. Plain and simple. I have nothing more to add aside from a few local companies that make candles such as;  Ville-Marie  who make their candles from organic soya, as well as  LaRosaMtl  who's candles, are handmade and 100% biodegradable.   These are only a few ideas but I would love to hear from past, current and future brides what their local wedding favours are. I'd be happy to hear what's out there so if there are any local vendors out there that have products they'd like to share, please feel free to comment below.   Hope this was helpful!   With love, Max xo

Candles of course. They are pretty and usually smell good. Plain and simple. I have nothing more to add aside from a few local companies that make candles such as; Ville-Marie who make their candles from organic soya, as well as LaRosaMtl who's candles, are handmade and 100% biodegradable. 

These are only a few ideas but I would love to hear from past, current and future brides what their local wedding favours are. I'd be happy to hear what's out there so if there are any local vendors out there that have products they'd like to share, please feel free to comment below. 

Hope this was helpful! 

With love,
Max xo

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 Pictures from:  Jose Villa /Style Me Pretty / Brit + Co / Pinterest / Richelle Hunter

Happy Anniversary Karine & Pascal!

Maxine Bertrand

Karine and Pascal were married at the Notre-Dame Basilica Chapelle and later on danced the night away at the Auberge St-Gabriel in the Grenier room. This has to be one of my favourite venues of all time because you are right in the heart of the Old Port of Montreal however, the venue looks like the inside of a barn. Just absolutely charming. 

This couple was the most adorable and loving couple. I mean when Pascal gave his speech, you could see and hear just how much he loves Karine. Well, see for yourself.

The couple married at the beautiful Cathedral at the Notre-Dame Basilica. It's such a magical place to get married. 

 Old Montreal is such a wonderful place to take pictures. With its grey stones everywhere, whatever the couple is wearing will just stick out. Love it!

Old Montreal is such a wonderful place to take pictures. With its grey stones everywhere, whatever the couple is wearing will just stick out. Love it!

One thing that Karine was absolutely adamant on was the fact that she really wanted to have lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Although this was a very, I mean a very challenging request, the AGF team pulled through. 

Tell me, was I lying about how gorgeous and in love these two are? 

Happy anniversary!

xoxo

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 Planning and execution: A Gorgeous Fête and Bride / Photography: Sophie Asselin Photographe / Chruch: Notre-Dame Basilica Chapel / Venue: Auberge Saint-Gabriel / Tablecloths: Clé en Main Location / Flowers: Les Petites Excuses / Cake: Mlle Gâteaux / Sweet Table: Sucrée Table DJ: DJ Hill / Bride's Dress: Provonias and Anne Jean-Michel / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Tuxedos: Clusier / Stationery: Bride and Etsy / Beauty Stylists: Véronique Pomerleau (hair) et Makeup by Tally (makeup)

AGF Newsletter!

Maxine Bertrand

Alright, I'm doing this!! Since I started my wedding business I never really got the hype about newsletters, but the more I get questions from my couples the more I think it could be useful. In addition, you'll always be up to date on our latest blog content, new projects, and recent features.

My first newsletter will be heading out to inboxes everywhere the first week of November and I’d love for you to be on that list. 

You can sign up HERE or through my website using the Newsletter Sign-up link at the bottom of the AGF website. I can't wait to share knowledge and passion with you!

Love,
Max