Wedding Favours: How important are they, really?

 My mind has been on wedding favours lately.

The main train of thought being, how important are they, really?

Usually wedding favours are very small, very simple things, that quite honestly end up being tossed out or tucked away never to be seen or used again. Am I right? In the case of candy or chocolate favours, they get gobbled up and then they’re gone. I don’t think people will base their thoughts on your wedding around what the wedding favours were and I’ve been wondering how expendable they are.

Wedding Favour Candies.Photo courtesy: www.alittlefavor.com

For such a small take-away item, the cost for wedding favours adds up. At $5 a favour, which I believe would be on the more costly side, you’d be dropping $1,000 on the favours for a wedding of 200 (which is our maximum number of guests we’d like to have at our wedding). A thousand bucks for candy or an ornament no one will use seems a bit silly to me! And yes, you can get like 30 cent, 50 cent, etc. favours, but then it’s like, how crappy or tacky would they be at that price?

Wedding favour shot glasses. Photo Courtesy: orchid2011.blogspot.com

I did an unofficial control room poll at work on Saturday featuring three men of varying age ranges lol, who all asked “What are wedding favours?” in response to my “do you guys think wedding favours are important?” question. See. Unnecessary expense that no one really cares about! (based on 3 people’s opinions lol).

The way I also figure it is that we’re renting a photobooth for sure. Therefore our guests will be able to take unlimited photobooth photos home with them! That in itself I feel counts as wedding favours! And wedding favours that people will actually enjoy and actually keep – because who doesn’t like looking at, showing others, and keeping photos of themselves? Especially in cute photobooth form.

Photobooth Wedding Favours! Photo courtesy: www.flashworksphotobooth.com

So fun right? :) I’m leaning towards scrapping random wedding favours and just making the photobooth pictures everyone can take home the wedding favours. Fair? I think so! It would save us up to $1,000!!! That’s huge…

But Mike says we have to at least leave some chocolates on the table for guests, which in that case I would opt for Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses. I am not a huge fan of chocolate but Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses are one of my favourites. And I think we would be able to get them in bulk for a pretty reasonable price.

Hershey's Hugs & Kisses. Photo Courtesy: kaboodle.com

But then can you just leave the kisses scattered on the table like that? Or would we need to put it in some pretty wedding-type of packaging? In that case while the chocolates might be cheap, we’d have to shell out a bit more for the packaging which would bring us back to that $1,000 for wedding favours number…

Fancy wedding packaging for Hersheys Favours. Photo courtesy: weddingbycolor.com

But what do you think? Do you even care about wedding favours? Have you kept any you’ve gotten at weddings you’ve been to? Would having favours or not (or having bad ones) make or break a wedding? Would you be unimpressed?! Would you consider photobooth pictures a decent wedding favour?

Do you think I’m being cheap? We’re going to have to find areas to cut costs in this wedding and I just feel like the favours could be one of those areas.

Let me know what you think! :)

– Linda

Happy Valentines Day!

This is our first Valentines Day as an engaged couple! :) We don’t have a huge Valentines Day planned this year – mostly in part because I’m working a late shift on what would have normally been a day off, lol. But also because we feel there are enough occasions throughout the year where we celebrate and get each other gifts, that it’s really not the end of the world if we don’t do anything crazy on Feb. 14. Also because we’re really, really broke this month, lol. But lastly because there isn’t just one day that we show each other we love one another! :)

I Choo Choo Choose You!

Normally on anniversary/love-type occasions we eat at Mt. Fuji, one of our favourite Japanese restaurants and also the restaurant we went to on our first date. Since I am working on the south side (and Mt. Fuji is north side) and we didn’t want to spend any money, we are planning on going to The Mongolie Grill because we had bought a Groupon to there awhile back that we’d yet to use! (We also think Mongolie Grill is yummy, hence our purchase of the Groupon lol).

This morning Mike surprised me with a balloon and tulips in a flower pot!

The Only One For Me!!

I always tell him I don’t like flowers because they just die anyway (waste of money!) but secretly still like to get some occasionally, lol. He went the I-can-take-care-of-this-one-and-keep-it-alive-for-awhile route, which I love! We also spent yesterday night baking Valentines-y themed Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting from scratch! :)

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

I thought they turned out pretty good but then again I don’t eat a lot of red velvet so I’m not sure how exactly it’s supposed to taste in comparison, lol. But we always have a great time baking together and ever since we got a Mixmaster for Christmas we’ve been baking a lot more. hehe.

It really doesn’t matter what we’re doing on what day, we always have the best time together. And honestly, 95% of the time we’re just at home, eating and watching TV. My favourite time.  ♥

To wrap up, I just to wanted to say, as I say every day, I love you Michael!

Photo Courtesy: GETTY IMAGES

 ♥

Here’s to a zillion more Valentines Days.

I hope everyone has a great day. Give lots of hugs and kisses to all of your loved ones!

– Linda

Honeymoon Bridal Registries: The Classy Way of Saying We Want Your Money!

If there’s one thing Mike and I make clear to everyone we talk to when the topic of wedding gifts come up, it’s the fact that we don’t want pots and pans. We don’t want a toaster. We don’t want a gift card to Homesense. We just want money, lol. I think in this day and age a lot of couples already live together before they get married, so a lot of the time they’ll have most of the things they need or want for their house already. At the rate that our estimated wedding budget is looking – we are really just hoping to get enough money back from our guests to break even. Of course that’s if we’re lucky lol or if we have really generous guests!

But it would be extremely tasteless to put on our invitations that we just want money for a wedding gift so what we’ve been looking at is doing a honeymoon bridal registry! Based on some Google searches, honeymoon bridal registries have been “catching on” for years. I call it the “classy way of saying we want your money” because it is basically friends and family putting money into a fund that pays off our honeymoon plus any money leftover goes straight into our pockets!

So for people who would typically contribute to a registry, this will be perfect. And then for those older guests who would just give cash or cheques in wedding cards, they can still do that.

Either way we’re not getting toasters! lol.

So I’ve looked around and we will likely be setting up our honeymoon bridal registry with either Farlie Travel (based out of St. Albert) or Flight Centre.

www.farlietravel.com/registry

I have actually spoken to the wedding specialist with Farlie so as of now I’m leaning towards them. She was very helpful – I like the way the registry is set up. It’s super simple and straight forward, people can use PayPal to pay online or they can call the agency to put money into the registry over the phone. She told me if you’re planning on doing a honeymoon bridal registry you should just stick to that one registry because she’s found some people also register with say The Bay or a more typical registry store and then most people end up contributing to the other store and not the honeymoon. Why? Because although honeymoon bridal registries continue to “catch on” – it’s still unfamiliar to most. So don’t even give people the option of giving you a toaster!! lol.

It’s also great because they don’t charge you anything extra for having a registry with them – they just take the money that the trip ends up costing. As I wrote above, anything leftover goes straight to us. The factor that will probably be the deciding one will be whether or not Farlie’s trips are cheaper than Flight Centre’s (and vice versa). We still have some research to do- and also we’ve still got a lot of time. Although I do wonder if we set it up a year and a half in advance if people could just contribute money into it for our upcoming birthday and Christmas gifts… Interesting thought!

I suppose even if we do end up getting a physical, boxed/wrapped gift, we will still appreciate it (And everyone obviously gets thank you cards! lol) but we are hoping that word spreads that we kind of just want the money. Also I think actual gifts are for bridal showers and stuff, are they not?

Either way, the honeymoon bridal registry is definitely more our thing. (Which is why when we attended the Bridal Conference I tried avoiding all of the The Bay, Bed Bad & Beyond, etc. kind of booths. Even though all of their representatives tried to get me to sign up with them!!)

And if you are wondering, we don’t have our honeymoon spot nailed down quite yet. I kind of want to do a whole European trip but Mike is more into the beach, all-inclusive idea. In the end we’ll likely pick the one that’s cheaper, lol.

So what are your thoughts on honeymoon bridal registries? Or normal registries? Which do you prefer? Which would you prefer if you were a guest at a wedding? And do you have any honeymoon spot suggestions?!

– Linda :)

Wedding Theme: An Elegant, Green Wedding!

Mike and I are pretty sure on where we’d like to do our wedding ceremony and reception now (yay!) The thing is now I’m not sure if the reception venue will go well with the“rustic” wooden look we had originally been very keen on because the reception venue is basically a ballroom that gives off a very regal, elegant, glamorous feel. Throwing wood in there may make it kind of odd. So this post is my alternative wedding theme (which we will likely be going with over the rustic now) – an “elegant” and green-coloured, royal wedding. I mean we figure since the “royal wedding” is already included in this blog’s name and the hashtag we’ve been using for wedding related tweets is #royalwedding2013 – the elegant, royal look just fits right in! :)

We’re still loving green and white as our main colours and I think it should work beautifully with the elegant look as well as it would have with the rustic look. For example, green bridesmaids dresses still works splendidly in this elegant royal theme! It will also still look glorious outdoors with bridal party photos!!

Photo courtesy: weddings.theknot.com

I’m also looking at a white bouquet with green and perhaps light yellow tones.
So pretty!

Photo courtesy: weddingbee.com

We’ll likely be going for this kind of chair look (below). White chair covers with a light green sash on the back. White table clothes are included with our reception venue so we’ll probably keep that white for the sake of keeping down decoration costs. The shade of green in the chair sashes below isn’t exactly the shade I’m thinking of though but you get the idea. :)

Photo courtesy: soletsparty.co.uk

I also really love the idea of having green lights pointed to the ceiling of the reception venue to give off this look (plus also having the ceiling drapes! Gorgeous!!) This ballroom image I just found off Google but it’s basically what our reception venue will look like. Elegant and classy, right? There are chandeliers too!

Photo Courtesy: yourweddingcompany.com

Now add balloons to that ballroom floor! I really want to have balloons at the reception. I’m picturing them scattered all over the floor, with some grouped/stringed balloons floating together in various parts of the room.  Makes for a really cute setting and imagine how cute the photos will be. I’m also thinking white and green balloons :)

Photo courtesy: LS Lam on Flickr

As for centrepieces I still really want to keep the chalkboard table numbers, but I’m not sure how it will look in this new elegant, glamorous setting. Either way, the table number will pop out on top of flowers in a vase, or be set in front of it. And the vase will include greeny fruits!!! Think of the possibilities… apples, pears, limes!!! :) Makes it feel fresh too! I’m not really loving the flower look in the image below, but I wanted to showcase it because it features the cut up limes and lemons. So cute. I’ve also seen images of just whole, uncut limes and lemons stuffed in vases, which I think may be better because you don’t want the cut pieces to start looking gross…

Photo courtesy: bridesmaidtrade.com

The point is – we are still absolutely in love with green for our wedding! And I think it works just as well as any other colour with a sleek, glam wedding venue. Although purple was/is a close contender and is a worthy alternative main colour. ;) Mike and I also made a stop at the Bridal Fantasy show over the weekend and there was a lot of green there!! I believe it’s the colour of the year – though that doesn’t mean much since our wedding isn’t until next year, lol. But it does show green is a great wedding colour! I don’t really think I need to convince anyone of that but I did see a lot of green at the bridal conference.

So far – nothing booked yet and nothing set in stone. Our venue doesn’t even take official bookings/deposits until one year before the date so right now we’re only tentatively booked for our date. Which is fine because that means we get first dibs! There are only 4 Saturdays in July so having rights to one of them is pretty important!!

So yay/nay on the green??

(Obviously yay :))

More fun wedding posts soon!

– Linda

Wedding Theme: A Rustic, Outdoors Wedding – held Indoors!

 The more I’ve been browsing wedding decorations, the more I find myself absolutely in love with the whole rustic, burlap, wooden look!! I talked to Mike about it and he is all for my idea of having our wedding theme be *ahem* –

A Rustic, Outdoors Wedding, held Indoors!

Since we’re not planning on holding our wedding ceremony or reception outdoors anymore (for various reasons) – I want to bring the outdoors inside!

Photo courtesy: braggingbags on Etsy.

I’m eyeing a lot of wooden and burlap-y decorations, a lot of light biege, brown, white colours. I’m envisioning the bridesmaids dresses to be potentially a light green.

I’m also loving everything chalkboard!

Photo Courtesy braggingbags on Etsy.

I love these chalkboard/wooden frames for table number centrepieces.
Mix those with again lightly coloured flowers and the table will just be beauuutiful! :)

Photo Courtesy rosebudlipsbridal on Etsy.

And burlap, burlap, burlap. How beautiful is this burlap wedding bouquet wrap?!
As well as this “shabby” vintage burlap suitcase to hold wedding cards!

Photo Courtesy YesMoreFunk on Etsy.

You can also expect to see these outdoorsy wooden signs at my wedding!!
(Despite being indoors ;))

Photo Courtesy TRUECONNECTION on Etsy.

I am super excited about this theme! As you can see all of the above images are courtesy of various shops on Etsy. That’s definitely going to play a role in where we purchase our decorations – there is a ton of wedding stuff on Etsy!!! I could browse thr0ugh them all day, every day! A lot of these rustic, vintage-y wedding decorations are also very do-it-yourself! So expect DIY-posts in the future!

What do you think of the wooden, vintage, rustic look?! And what do you think of having it all indoors? I think this way it would be beautiful, the style we like, and we won’t have to worry about unpredictable weather ruining the event! :)

Wedding browsing is so fun!

– Linda

Wedding Playlist: Pachelbel – Canon in C


I have always loved Pachelbel’s Canon. Years ago when I was in my Korean music/movie-loving phase (lol, believe me, it’s a phase that many people go through!), I watched a movie called “My Sassy Girl.” In it, the main girl of which the main guy falls in love with, plays Pachelbel’s Canon in C in her piano class as he delivers her a rose and they kiss on the stage. Very beautiful moment! The song has stuck with me ever since that moment. Mike has also made me a CD in the past featuring various versions of Pachelbel’s Canon as well. It’s very Wedding Playlist-worthy!

Consider it added to Mike & Linda’s Royal Wedding Playlist!

– Linda

Wedding Playlist: John Michael Montgomery – I Swear

“I Swear” by John Michael Montgomery has been one of Mike’s favourite songs for as long as he can remember. He has serenaded it to me before (many times) and it’s definitely a song that will be played at our wedding! It’s a beautiful song and almost makes me tear up listening and thinking about my love!! :) Listen below – (excuse the Chinese subtitles lol).

Consider it added to Mike & Linda’s Royal Wedding Playlist!

– Linda

Wedding Venue Options

Ah, wedding venues.
I have been thinking a lot about Edmonton (and area) wedding venue possibilities.

What venue should we choose for the wedding ceremony? What venue should we choose for the wedding reception? Should we choose a venue where we can have both ceremony and reception at the same place for convenience (and would this also be a money saver)? If we choose a venue for the reception, should we look for one where we have the option of providing our own caterer (would that be cheaper?) Does the reception venue allow for an open bar where we can provide the alcohol and don’t have to purchase it through the venue (because that would be way more expensive).  Should we choose a reception venue where we do have the ability to provide our own caterer and open bar but then we also will have to provide chairs and tables and all those other miscellaneous “rentals” that would start adding up (ie. if we chose a hall). If we choose an outdoor ceremony venue – what if the weather is bad that day? What will our backup be? How far away should the ceremony venue be from the reception venue? If we choose a venue that’s outside of Edmonton, is that making it too hard for certain guests to get to and from? Do my parents like or approve of the venue? How much of my parents’ opinion am I to take into account?! (That’s a whole other blog post in itself though, really). Those are the kind of thoughts that have been processing through my brain!

Did reading through it make your head hurt too? lol.

These are a couple options we’ve narrowed it down to, though this first one is pretty much not happening though I still wanted to include it in the list:

Eagle Rock Golf Resort

Photo courtesy: Eagle Rock Resort

I think this is a gorgeous venue for a ceremony and subsequent Wedding Day photos location. The rental cost for both ceremony and reception being held here is pretty reasonable I would say ($1,600). Whereas ceremony alone is a little ridiculous ($1,800). Plus you can only have your ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. if you just choose to do the ceremony there. That wouldn’t work for us given that we’re going to be having a Vietnamese wedding tea ceremony the morning of our wedding. So ideally if we chose this location we would do both ceremony and reception here which I am fine with, their food selection + price is reasonable, I think. Under $40 a person? Remember this is all new to me so I’m only starting to get an idea on how cheap or how expensive things can get.

However (and unfortunately) there are downsides to Eagle Rock (pouty face). Those downsides include:  it’s 45 minutes from Edmonton. It’s literally out in the country, away from anything else, so there would be no nearby hotels for people to stay in. Since it’s so far out, if people are drinking at our wedding (which I would assume the majority are) then it would be an extremely expensive cab ride back home and/or everyone would need to make designated driver plans. My parent’s don’t like the venue at all because of all those reasons. Eagle Rock also only allow you to have an open bar if you buy from them so that ups the alcohol costs up by a lot. And I’m sure there would be other costs that would arise if/when Mike and I went to meet with them and check out the site.  We are basing all of this current information from their online wedding information booklet.

So Eagle Rock was originally my #1 preferred location for both ceremony and reception but I’m all iffy on it because of the downsides and my parents are completely not okay with it being so far out in the country, which brings us to option two (and the one that we will most likely end up choosing):

Mayfield Inn

Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

 I really do want an outdoor wedding but we really like the Mayfield Inn option for an outdoor-feeling/looking wedding, but held in indoors. If we book the Mayfield for both ceremony and reception then the ceremony rental of the Mayfield Garden Courtyard with Thai Pagoda is only $500. I am still checking with Mayfield to see how much renting the reception ballroom space would be, but I’m assuming it would equal out to about the same as – if not cheaper than – Eagle Rock. There are a bunch of benefits that go with booking at the Mayfield including the fact that we’d get cheaper rates for our out-of-town guests, we’d get a complimentary suite to stay in, inclusion of microphone and sound system equipment, we’re able to provide our own alcohol/open bar, and the food pricing is not to bad (under $50 a person, which is what we were expecting to pay had we decided to go with a reception at a Chinese restaurant). Plus it’s within the city – which would appease the parentals.

Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

The reception ballroom is also huge and gorgeous – and they have various sizes that could accommodate however many guests we end up having. That’s important because a lot of venues aren’t available to us because we expect to have quite a big wedding (200-250 people). We are meeting with someone with the Mayfield Inn later this month to check out everything in person and hopefully answer any other questions that we have so we’ll have a better idea towards the end of the month whether or not this is where we’d like our wedding to take place, but so far it’s looking like the top option at this point. Then there’s the next option:

Snow Valley (The Lodge)

Photo courtesy: snowvalley.ca

 Did you know you can get married at Snow Valley? When I first saw this option during my Internet searches, I was a bit skeptical because the first thing I think of when I hear Snow Valley is – obviously – snow, snowboarding, skiing – not exactly the kind of weather I want for my wedding. But when I checked out the site I saw that it looks to be a really cute venue for having both ceremony and reception! (Or just ceremony, which would cost about $450 to rent for three hours). Their food selection and prices look decent as well (about $35-$45 a person, depending). Some possible downsides is that the reception area can only hold 225 people, which should in theory be enough if we invite 250 people there’s a good chance 25 of them will RSVP that they can’t come. But that’s something to think about in the event that everyone we invite actually does want to come. I’m also not too sure what their policy is on open bar/us providing the alcohol is, but I have been in touch with them and am awaiting a reply on those answers and hopefully a chance to check out the site in person as well.

Photo courtesy: snowvalley.ca

But the lodge reception area itself (based on pictures) looks great, and the outside ceremony looks really cute too. Again we will need to meet with Snow Valley to see if this is where we’d like to have either ceremony or reception or both. At this point it is in second place, after the Mayfield.

Other possibilities

I’ve got a few emails in with independent caterers who have given me pretty decent quotes for catering if we were to hold the wedding reception at a hall (hall to be determined). Mike and I are also considering the Edmonton Police Association’s “Blue Meadows” hall/site. It apparently is only rentable through an EPS member (and Mike’s grandpa is a former cop and his cousin is a current cop so this would work). I just don’t know much about it/can’t find much information about it online (there’s only a teeny blurb about it on the police website) so that’s also tentative. But it looks like it would be so beautiful…

Blue Meadows. Photo courtesy: Instant Memories Wedding Photography

It may be too out-of-the-city for my parents though. Sigh. I didn’t realize this was going to be such a problem for my parents but it apparently is :(

I checked out some City of Edmonton park spaces where the ceremony could be held but a lot of places either don’t have enough capacity, can’t be closed to the public, or is too expensive if we did want it closed to the public. There’s a few other hotel wedding booklets I’ve downloaded as well but am not extremely attached or in love with any of them (and some of them are expensive, wow!) The Devonian Botanical Garden is also a beautiful, beautiful setting for a wedding ceremony – but forget about it as soon as you look at how much it costs. I was looking at Shalom Park as well, which is kind of like Eagle Rock-esque,  so it’s probably a no-go. If we go Chinese restaurant for the reception then it will likely be at Cha for Tea Palace.

Backyard Wedding

Photo courtesy: joannagoddard.blogspot.com

The above-listed venues aside, I really wouldn’t mind having just a lovely backyard wedding. I just really don’t know what backyard could house 200-250 people. :( Sad face. (If you know of a backyard that big that could be given to me for several hours on my wedding day, feel free to let me know!)

But anyway, these are some of the options and some of the thoughts that are rolling around in my mind that I wanted to jot down for this engagement adventure. Our budget is hopefully going to be around $20,000 because we’ve come to terms with the fact that food alone is likely going to be $10,000. There’s a lot of Do-it-Yourself stuff that I plan or hope to do (invitations, centre pieces, etc. That will be another blog post, lol), but wedding ceremony and reception venue-wise, I would like to choose somewhere that requires little labour on our end – so places like hotels are ideal for that. Also ideal for being in the city.

This will probably be one of the longest wedding blog posts I do because this is a big back and forth thinker. What are your thoughts? What do you think looks or sounds good? Have you been to any wedding ceremonies or receptions at any of the above mentioned places? And how much should I be taking my parent’s preferences into consideration? HM.

I think the next blog post will be far more light-hearted.
I’m thinking another wedding playlist post, lol.

– Linda

My Wedding Pinterest!

I have been sitting on my Pinterest account for awhile now (while it gains popularity, which it has, lol. It’s a fairly new social network where you “pin” your interests on boards, fyi!) I wasn’t really into it at first but then I realized today that there is an entire Wedding Section!!

So I started a Wedding Ideas Pinterest Board and I think it’s given me a lot of great ideas and will be (along with this blog) a great wedding reference as this engagement progresses! I can see myself becoming very addicted to “pinning” :)

Are you on Pinterest? Add me! ;)

– Linda

Wedding Playlist: Plain White T’s – 1, 2, 3, 4

My Wedding Playlist post about Hedley’s new song also reminded me that the Plain White T’s “1, 2, 3, 4” is definitely going to be played at our wedding!

This song has special meaning for Mike & I because it was playing on our first date and it was playing when we first said our “I love you’s”

:) ♥

Consider it added to Mike & Linda’s Royal Wedding Playlist!

So cute!

– Linda