The Big Day: Things to Consider

PinkPlayMags Editorial Team

Getting married is an exciting event that needs a lot of preparation and consideration. Couples who are planning for their big day should not rush in getting everything done as soon as possible since this can result to a poorly-planned wedding. When it comes to wedding planning, there are several things that couples should consider.

  

The first thing is the number of guests to be invited. This helps in determining the venue where the couple will be wed as well as where the reception will take place. Knowing how many guests are sure to attend can help determine the amount of space needed especially when tables, chairs, and waiters are included.

Second, couples should check their credit. There are credit cards that provide rewards program that couples can use especially when they combine all of their wedding purchases into a single credit card increasing the rewards that they will be having. This is perfect especially when it comes to their honeymoon getaway.

The third thing to consider when it comes to wedding planning is the budget. Couples who are on a ight budget can always reduce the number of guests they will be inviting since most of their money will be for serving drinks and food to their guests.

Fourth, couples should get organized. They should place everything that is related to their wedding into a single binder including letters from vendors, photos from magazines as well as contact numbers of possible vendors that couples can go to.

Fifth, time is everything. It is important for couples to understand that doing too many things at one time will just make them even more harassed. It is best to take things one step at a time.

Sixth, reserving rooms around the wedding venue is essential. Couples should first browse among the hotels near the venue to be able to get an idea of best hotel packages that suit their budget.

Wedding planning can be easy especially when considering these things. It would help couples a lot to create a perfect wedding if they plan ahead. Taking time to look for vendors and venues will also help a lot in preparing for the Big Day.


PinkPlayMags’ editorial team are a romantic bunch. One of the earliest editions of our magazine was about romance and marriage, check it out here


Choosing The Right Officiant

Robb McDonald and Patricia Glogowska, All Seasons Weddings

Deciding on the words and actions that will make up your wedding ceremony may feel like a daunting task. The right officiant can help make it easier and make sure that you end up with a ceremony that truly represents you and your partner.

Wedding ceremonies, whether cultural, religious, or civil in nature, have changed over time. There has been no greater change for couples who have shared a loving relationship within the LBGT community than July 20, 2005, when the Canadian government redefined the Marriage Act to include a gender-neutral definition. Even prior to the legislative change, many same sex couples chose to mark the commitment of their relationship with a celebration of their union.

There is very little text that must be legally included in a wedding ceremony. You freely declare your intentions to be married, you share some sentimental words, sign the marriage license, the officiant declares you married, and the party begins. How do you make this day more memorable for you and your guests?

Your wedding ceremony should be one your guests will remember, and not only because yours is the first same-sex marriage they have attended. There is a lot of room for personalization. A wedding ceremony should reflect your relationship. It should represent who you are individually, and as a couple. You wedding ceremony should be meaningful, personal (after all you are committing to each other till death do us part), and it should be lighthearted with a touch of humour. Your ceremony should set the tone for the reception that will follow.

Your wedding day will be one that will just fly by. Be sure to take a moment to look around and enjoy the day. Take the time to absorb the emotions of the day and to be with the number of people who have joined you for this milestone moment in your lives. Your wedding day is also a way to say thank you to your guests for the love and encouragement they have offered you over the years that have helped you make this commitment in your lives.

Donovan Bissett (www.donovanbissett.com)

To make this ceremony happen with ease, choose an officiant who will listen to your vision and help you make it a reality. Your officiant should be flexible and understanding. They should help you to create the ceremony you want by providing ideas and suggestions that you are at liberty to accept and change to your preference. After all, when your wedding day is over, you will be the one remembering the highlights of the day. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want!

You want to create a memory that will last throughout your marriage. The officiants at All Seasons Weddings are ready to help you plan the perfect ceremony that will truly reflect you both and your journey together.


Robb McDonald and Patricia Glogowska are experienced officiants at All Seasons Weddings and have great knowledge and experience in helping create meaningful ceremonies. They are both passionate about weddings, especially those in the LBGT community.


Wedding Catering

Karen Roberts, Berkeley Events, Corporate Event Sales & Catering

In the past, the thought of catering a wedding would cause some to roll their eyes, but these days with the rise of creative chefs and cooks, great local food, organic options and more, it’s easier than ever to amaze your guests. Now the wedding day catering could possibly be the second star of the show, behind the bride, of course.

The secret to a smooth adventure into catering is strong time management and careful, thoughtful, and intelligent planning. Yes, it is “Your” day and always will be, and it can be stress free and smooth.

   

Here are some tips for successful Wedding Day catering.

  • Leave yourself as much time as possible. Try not to wait until a month before your wedding to decide on your catering choices. Most venues and planners will allow you to make changes if needed, even last minute. If the venue has a solid idea of what you want, then the plan to put it together has already be put into play, and the kitchen knows what is coming up.
  • Bring an objective person with you when deciding on your catering with the coordinator or planner. A friend is the best idea as they are not going to be quite as invested as you or your partner, or your mother! Bounce ideas off them, and they should know your tastes and what you like.
  • Listen to your planner regarding quantities. It is likely that they plan and execute weddings several times a week. They will guide you as to timing your catering with your arrival, ceremony, speeches and reception.
  • Make sure to leave plenty of time to schedule a tasting. This will allow you time to add, alter, change or delete as you near your day. Communicate with your guests as far ahead of time as to their choices of their main course, about food preferences and allergies. Always make sure that you communicate to your planner or the person in charge of service ,who and where these people are.
  • Read your contract carefully. Leave yourself plenty of time to correct things, perhaps stagger your stations, include vegetarian options, and fun things for kids, if there are kids attending. Always take time to consider the type of celebration you are having and the guests attending your “Big” day, as this will make everything as smooth as you dream it will be.

Congratulations and Happy Wedding!


Karen Roberts has worked in the hospitality industry for almost 20years, having managed restaurants, worked in bars, done private dining, events and catering. At Berkeley Events, every event is different from the last and will be different from the next. I love suggesting food, planning, seeing the set up, making sure all is perfect, and seeing the smiles on the guests when they finish.

The Berkeley “1871” Church, The Berkeley FieldHouse, Airship 37, La Maquette, The Berkeley Bicycle Club www.berkeleyevents.com


Destination Weddings: New Traditions in Gay Getaways

Liz Devine, Total Advantage Travel and Tours Inc.

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now it’s time to think about where you want to say “I DO”, and what you want your big day to look and feel like. The emotions, costs, and limitations of planning a “traditional” wedding can be so overwhelming, that sometimes you just want to get away. Don’t despair. You can combine the best of tradition and getaway if you choose to have a Destination Wedding!

Destination Weddings are the perfect way for your friends and families to get to know each other. Many couples see Destination Weddings as an opportunity to reconnect with family members living abroad. Being together at an all-inclusive resort in an idyllic setting is perfect place to form new acquaintances and to build long-lasting new bonds.

Destination Weddings can extend your special day into an entire week! Instead of rushing through a tightly scheduled day, spend quality time with the people who matter in your life. You can schedule a welcome reception, host special meals or excursions with your guests, plan games and activities. Your entire group will dine, play, laugh and relax together, in a way they never could during a conventional, single-day local wedding.

Although same-sex marriage is legally recognized (nationwide or in some parts) in 21 countries, there are different residency rules for getting married abroad. You have to be in the country for several days before the ceremony, and there can be lots of paperwork. A popular option is to have a legal ceremony with a justice of the peace before you depart, then have a symbolic ceremony at your destination resort.

Bahia Principe is a popular choice for same sex couples. With multiple properties in Mexico, ranging from adults-only relaxation to family-friendly fun, a Bahia Principe resort will provide your guests the exact getaway they’re looking forward to. This region is popular for its natural beauty, affordable high quality resorts, and opportunities to visit ancient ruins and nearby rain forests.

One of the most popular options for a same sex Destination Wedding is Mexico. This is because most regions throughout Mexico are very LGBT-welcoming and they provide legal and symbolic same-sex wedding ceremonies. Unlike many other LGBT-friendly wedding destinations, resorts in Mexico offer all-inclusive resort and wedding packages, which makes Mexican Destination Weddings very affordable for the happy couple, as well as their guests.

Another popular destination for LGBT destination weddings is Puerto Vallarta. This resort town has a vibrant gay culture and is surrounded by all-inclusive resorts that have direct transport to the old town for a day at the gay beach or an afternoon checking out local shops. Dreams Resort is close to the gay side of town, and a perfect location for a beach ceremony]

A Destination Wedding Travel Consultant will help you to determine the setting you want to get married in, what traditions you want to include, and how you want to make your celebration all about your love and commitment to each other. They tailor their services to your wedding vision and budget. Total Advantage Destination Wedding Consultants know the trends and developments in LGBT destination weddings, where same-sex couples can legally get married, and which resorts and countries will welcome all members of your wedding party.

Total Advantage Travel specializes in Destination Weddings. Your dedicated Destination Wedding Consultant takes care of all the details, from researching the resort that best matches your vision, negotiating rates, your on-site planner and your seat assignments, to helping you order custom gifts and arrange special events for your group.

Destination Weddings: fun, stress-free, memorable and affordable for everyone on your guest list!


Liz Devine is a Social Entrepreneur, Tourism-For-Community-Good Advocate & Career Connector. Exploring new horizons, she is looking for honeymoon selfies from romantic destinations that welcome LGBTQ couples. Follow her @lesbiantravel . Contact one of our team members to plan your Destination Wedding, Honeymoon or romantic getaway. www.totaladvantage.com


One Happy Couple’s Story – A Palais Royale Wedding

Mary Lou Borg, Palais Royale

After 20 years as partners, Val thought… will she marry me? And of course, Cindy said yes. So, the process of the wedding planning started. When, where, how, who, as the many questions started to roam around in their excitement. What they did know, was where they wanted their wedding to be; at the Palais Royale Ballroom, a premiere location on the waterfront in the heart of Toronto.

The first thing they did was to meet with Mary Lou Borg, a friend and one of the partners at Palais Royale. Touchingly, Val and Cindy wanted to have their wedding there as a thank you for all the CHIC Production dances they’d attended there, and for Palais’ support of the LGBTQ community over the years. Knowing they had a perfect space to work with, Mary Lou and wedding coordinator Antonette, helped Val and Cindy start the process of creating their dream wedding that would be a reinvention of tradition with classic simplicity.

For many same sex couples, a wedding in the traditional sense, may or may not be a true reflection of who they are. Realistically, for any wedding there is no right or wrong, and many couples straight or gay choose to reinvent their special day. Val and Cindy chose close friends and family to be their “chicks of honour” as they were dubbed, and Mary Joseph, a dear friend performed the ceremony.

They also opted to completely customize their dinner with a five stationed ‘Tastes of Toronto’ menu to reflect their love of Toronto’s diverse communities. This offered their guests a wide variety of delicious food choices, with the presentation being an event in itself. A three-tiered wedding cake with flowers the colours of the rainbow was made by the pastry department at Palais Royale, while rainbow coloured jelly beans in silk bags adorned each place setting with a special message from Val and Cindy attached.

Palais Royale, as Cindy said, “gave us no restrictions, there was nothing we couldn’t ask, there were no limits to what we could do. We were allowed to go to any level going through the planning process. It was the ideal scenario to help make our dream come true. Palais Royale met our every need and months later, our guests still are talking about it being one of the best weddings they’ve ever attended.”

When planning a same sex wedding, it would be important that the venue and your vendors are LGBTQ positive and listen to your needs and desires. Here at Palais Royale, as well as our sister venue, the Grand Luxe Event Boutique, our philosophy is Style, Originality and Service Beyond Expectation. We pride ourselves not only on our cuisine, but the respectful and enjoyable manner with which we plan an event with our clients, knowing that this is one of the most important days of their lives. As Cindy and Val noted, “The Palais Royale is historic, classic, intimate, on Lake Ontario, with heart driven delicious food and outstanding attentive staff. The Palais provides one-stop shopping for wedding clients who can have their ceremonies on the covered deck on the waterfront, take photos on the picturesque property, and host their receptions in the historic newly renovated grand ballroom.”

Both Cindy and Val felt that the staff was so instrumental throughout the process of the planning and the tasting, that by the time the wedding day arrived, they realized the staff “epitomized the fact that they were there for us and were invested in our day. They became part of our family.”Getting teary before the ceremony, Marcela a server, handed Cindy a cocktail napkin. As she proceeded to get tearier, Marcela was there with a handful of tissues… And after the ceremony, the roles reversed, as Cindy saw Marcela sobbing after the ceremony exclaiming “That was the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever seen.” to which Cindy replied, “Marcela I have no Kleenex!”

As everyone at Cindy and Val’s wedding applauded their marriage after the beautiful September ceremony on the deck overlooking Lake Ontario, and Val’s nephew Braden and Cindy’s son Danny performed a beautiful song, people blew bubbles from the rainbow coloured bottles on everyone’s chair. And as the evening drew to a close, and the happy couple made their way home with their care package of food, Val expressed to her new wife Cindy, “I want to do it again, but this time as a guest!”


Mary Lou Borg has spent her career in the hospitality business. For the past ten years, she has been partner at Pegasus Hospitality Group, which encompasses the Historic Palais Royale Ballroom, the Grand Luxe Event Boutique, The Exchange Café and The Food Studio Catering. She has also established CHIC Productions, an event company which produces leading edge events for the LGBTQ community. Pride events at the Palais Royale are one of the largest in the city of Toronto. Much of the business at Palais Royale and the Grand Luxe cater to weddings, and Mary Lou strives to continue to produce weddings for the LGBTQ community with style and originality. www.pegasushospitality.com


Check out these other  LGBTQ friendly businesses providing services for Weddings throughout Ontario:

Toronto

Bakeries

Catering

DJ Services

Event Venue

Florist

Gifts & Giftware

Wedding Services

Ottawa

Accommodations

Limousine Services

Niagara Region

Accommodations

Limousine Services

Wine & Wineries

Northumberland-Kawartha

Accommodations

York and Durham

Accommodations

Limousine Services

Wedding Services

Northern Ontario

Accommodations

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