Instagram Giveaway

 

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Recently engaged? Enter for your chance to win a styled engagement shoot. 

Together with Blake Loates Photography, NEAT Rentals, Cory Christopher and Blush Artistry we are giving away a styled engagement shoot including images, styling, rentals, florals, hair and make-up! 

Giveaway Entry:

Head over to Instagram and
1. LIKE the image and COMMENT with your wedding date
2. FOLLOW all five vendors’ pages
3. SHARE a photo of you and your soon-to-be, TAG the vendors and USE the hashtag #wesaidyesyeg

Giveaway deadline is January 15, 2017. You can enter daily by posting an image, tagging the vendors and using the hashtag #wesaidyesyeg.

 

Vendors:

Blake Loates Photography – Photography & Studio

MB&COMPANY – Styling & Planning

Cory Christopher – Florals

NEAT Rentals – Furniture & Props

Blush Artistry – Make-Up and Hair

 

Restrictions:

1.     Engagement shoot must happen between March 1, 2017 and May 1, 2017 on a date agreed upon by all parties.

2.     Engagement shoot may not occur on a Friday or Saturday.

3.     Engagement shoot must be within Edmonton city limits.

4.     A studio space will be provided at no cost, if the couple would like to use a different location it will be based on availability.

5.     A minimum of 50 images will be provided to the couple.

6.     All vendors involved have the right to use the images to promote their business.

7.     Any additional expenses for the shoot are the responsibility of the couple.

8.     The giveaway is on Instagram only, posts to other social media platforms will not be included in the draw.

Image Credit:

Blake Loates Photography

 

Where Are They Now: Nicole & Nate

 

Over the past month or so, I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I've been looking back on my journey as a planner, my personal life and my goals/plans for the future. This brought me back to one of the first couple's I worked with when I moved back to Edmonton: Nicole and Nate.  

I recently found myself scrolling through their Style Me Pretty feature with a big smile on my face. Their day was incredible. It sent me on a clear path to seek the type of couples I want to work with. I knew because of them that I wanted to work exclusively with couples who are creative, kind, authentic and deeply committed to a day that celebrates who they truly are. 

 
 
 

Not only did I get to scroll through their wedding photos but Nicole and Nate also sent me their recent family pictures over the holidays. They now have a gorgeous little one who is so very sweet!

One of my favourite parts of my job is staying in touch with couples after the wedding and witnessing their lives grow together. It really makes what I do one of the most wonderful, rewarding jobs in the world. 

 

My Favourite Trends for 2017 Weddings

 

With the New Year just around the corner, we are all looking to the future and the exciting plans we have ahead. With over 40 events on my plate for the upcoming year, I am in the midst of laying the groundwork for an incredible 2017.   

I thought with the wrap up of this year, now would be a perfect time to explore some of the exciting wedding trends we have to look forward to in 2017. In my opinion, it’s going to be a gorgeous year!

My five (plus one!) most anticipated trends of 2017:

1. Greenery

Pantone announced in September that the colour of 2017 would be “Greenery”. I have been known in the past to debate some of  Pantone’s choices (they definitely missed the mark in 2016) – but with this year’s choice, I couldn’t agree more. In 2016, you could already see how popular greenery was. The concept is only going to grow and get better with floral runners, arch ways, organic bouquets and décor accents.  

2. Lounge Spaces

Lounge areas styled similar to a gorgeous living room are popping up to give guests a place to relax and converse during the dance party. These lounge areas will feature vintage couches and chairs, back drops, bar carts, ottomans and quirky accessories to make guests feel more at home.

3. Unconventional Bridal Looks

Watch out for shorter, cropped and non-white bridal looks. Not to worry, many brides will still be adorned in lighter shades but Queen Victoria’s trend setting white isn’t a necessity. Brides are going to inject more of their own personal styles into their wedding day look.

4. Sophisticated Whimsy

After spending a weekend styling a Wes Anderson inspired holiday shoot, I couldn’t agree more with this. Matching sophisticated and elegant décor with bright and whimsical accents will be on many brides’ wish lists!

5. Intimate & Sophisticated Elopements

Elopements are becoming more popular – but now they are being designed to the scale of a full wedding. Couples are taking the time to plan gorgeous and intimate elopements. Upon their return, they are throwing just as gorgeous parties to celebrate their nuptials with loved ones.

Brunch Weddings

I have to admit; I don’t know that these will actually take off in 2017. That being said, they are definitely on my radar. Think about it: mimosas, waffles, a relaxed vibe and they are more financially feasible. I had the pleasure of doing a Brunch wedding this year, and I have no doubt they will hit trend status in the next three years.

 

I hope that you are just as thrilled about this upcoming year as I am!  If you need any guidance in transforming your upcoming wedding into your dream day, get in touch. 2017 is filling up quickly over here, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love for you to be a part of this exciting year!

Image Credit: 

Mat Simpson Photography Co.

 

Bouquet: 

Cory Christopher

 

 

A Year in Review

On Friday evening, I packed up the last of the rentals and centrepieces for the 2016 event season. It’s hard to believe that it is now over – it was my first year doing wedding and event planning full-time and it has been one for the books! 

 The season began on January 3 with a gorgeous, winter wedding at the Old Timer’s Cabin and ended on December 2 at the Art Gallery of Alberta opening two stunning exhibitions. With over 30 events and weddings over the course of the season, it’s now time to slow down and reflect on an incredible year of hustle, creativity and celebration. 

 2016 has been a year of stepping out of my comfort zone, trusting my skills and knowledge, and learning my own worth as a planner.   

 This season included a number of precious moments that I will hold with me forever. That being said, there were also times where I had to pull a rabbit out of my hat or where I had to convince myself that this is real life

2016 brought with it a number of milestones – some of which I had as goals, others I didn’t even know I was looking forward to. 

  1. I planned the largest event in scale to date. 
  2. I created new partnerships with some of Edmonton’s most incredible wedding and event vendors. 
  3. I did a brunch wedding (PS! I am totally in love with them).
  4. I learnt some hard lessons about full-time event planning. 
  5. I began teaching and speaking about my profession.
  6. I started blogging. 
  7. I took a serious look at how I practice self-care. 

Turning the page on 2016, it’s now time to adjust my focus to the coming events of 2017 and the goals I have for what looks to be an even more exceptional and busy year ahead. 

I’m grateful for the clients who have put their trust in me, who have taken care to refer me and who have and continue to share laughs and tears with me. It’s truly a wonderful way to spend a life! Looking forward to more of the same in the time to come! 

Image Credits:

1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 - Mat Simpson Photography Co

3 & 7 - Blake Loates Photography

 

Your Best Wedding Day Look

The phrase “I need to lose a couple of pounds before the wedding” always catches me off guard. It’s hard to hear a bride order a dress too small ‘as motivation’ or scrutinize her body just months before walking down the aisle.

The perpetuated idea that people need to ‘get in shape’ for their wedding needs to disappear and never come back.

A friend of mine recently posted on Instagram about her frustrations with the focus that the exercise industry puts on the perfect body as a result of exercising and not the long-term health that it provides. Before she did, we stood on a street corner talking about exactly this. Not everyone is working out for that perfect butt, to be able to run a ten minute mile or even to bend in half – some people want to feel good now, and feel good in fifty years. Since that day on the street corner, I have been thinking about how this related to couples I work with and the sentiment of losing weight for your wedding. Which brings an even bigger (& more difficult to tackle) question to the surface: when did the wedding stop being about you as a couple and the commitment you’re making, and move to the “presentational perfection” of it all.

Don’t get me wrong; I love a wedding with a big budget. I love coordinated décor and going all the way with small details, but all of that doesn’t matter if it stands in the way of authenticity and celebrating the couple for who they truly are. 

Is losing weight really part of celebrating the two of you? Is it about making your commitment any deeper? Or maybe it is about starting the next phase of your life healthy. Now that I can get on board with! But please, be sure that you are in fact making steps towards a healthier life and not just the perfect butt, flatter stomach and thinner waist that grace the cover of every bridal magazine you flip through.

Because insider tip - my favourite bridal looks are always when the bride looks like herself: confident and in love. 

 

Image Credit: 

Mat Simpson Photography Co. 

 

Pre-Wedding Celebrations: Workshops

  Photograph by Shandro Photo

Photograph by Shandro Photo

Celebrating an upcoming wedding by drinking highballs out of phallic straws isn’t for everyone.

Many of the couples I work with are looking to celebrate their upcoming wedding with something that allows for quality time and creating memories they’ll remember. SO! This week I am bringing you a list of Edmonton made (& female led!) workshops that would be a perfect fit for your engagement party, bachelor(ette) party, wedding party gifts or any other festivities. (Psssst! You don’t need to be getting married to sign-up for these rad workshops.)

 Photograph by  Andrea Hanki

Photograph by Andrea Hanki

Made Social: Modern Craft Workshops 

Love looking at those gorgeous crafts on Pinterest but can never get them quite right? That’s where the Made Social team comes in! Andrea & Christine will pull your inner creativity to the surface during their workshops. Their tag line is “meet, mingle & make stuff” and it sums it up perfectly. These two have created a community of vendors, supporters and attendees that are deeply committed to creating a workshop that celebrates your inner creativity and builds community between attendees.  

A workshop with them will run you $100-$150 a person and that will cover supplies, a swag bag, appetizers, sweets, a signature cocktail and did I mention confetti? The Made Social team is happy to host private workshops for a minimum of 15 people, or you can join in on one of their public workshops. All the information to sign-up or get in touch is on their website!

  Photography by Andrea Hanki

Photography by Andrea Hanki

LUX Beauty Boutique: Private Make-Up Parties 

Do you have a specific makeup routine and fear moving away from it? Or the concept of contouring makes you go cross-eyed? The team over at LUX Beauty Boutique has the most gorgeous space and kind team to teach you some tips and tricks while you get ready for a night out. They supply the cosmetics, the make-up artists, the space, the bubbly and you supply your nearest & dearest for pampering! After you’re done, you’ll be ready for a night out on the town (may I suggest North 53, just down the street!) or a night back at home with your favourite people (perhaps for a house concert with Lindsey Walker!).

For up to five people this fun start to your night will start you at $300, with each additional person costing $50. The Lux website has all the information you’ll need to book!

PS! Have you had a chance to visit their gorgeous new space?

 Photograph by Justine Ma

Photograph by Justine Ma

Justine Ma: Lettering Workshops 

Do all those gorgeous calligraphy videos on Instagram mesmerize you – but you’ve been gifted with the writing of a doctor? To know Justine Ma, is to know her beautiful work and obvious talent. Justine’s calligraphy workshops focus on either brush lettering or contemporary calligraphy in a beautiful environment with personalized tools and gifts (both get to go home with you!). Almost the entire two hours are spent practicing – with the intimate workshop size it allows for a lot of one-on-one support.  

Sign-up for Justine’s newsletter on her website for pre-registration, as her workshops fill up quickly! Currently Justine is not doing private workshops, so this is a great opportunity to make new friends in an intimate & creative space with some of your favourites alongside you.

  Photograph by Orange Girl Photographs

Photograph by Orange Girl Photographs

Seasoned Solutions: Loft Cooking Class

These cooking classes are nothing like you’ll find anywhere else! Seasoned Solutions hosts cooking classes in a gorgeous, historical loft in downtown Edmonton – only local and fresh ingredients are featured. These classes truly are the best (not-so) kept secret of Edmonton’s amazing workshops scene, with over 11 years of business. Gail (a Red Seal Chef!) leaves nothing out of these classes – she provides participants with wine pairings, aprons, and recipes. Each class is personalized for the group, so you get to choose what you’d like to prepare with Gail in advance. 

If you’re getting hungry reading this, make your way to the Seasoned Solutions website and get in touch with Gail to book your class. The classes can accommodate up to 10 of you and your closest friends at $175 each.

 

These four workshops don’t even begin to cover all the amazing options that there are in Edmonton! Keep an eye out for more ideas of how to celebrate your pre-wedding activities (or other celebrations!) on the blog.

Want something bigger than a workshop or night on the town? You can always get in touch with me and we pull together a unique & enjoyable celebration of any kind. 

 

 

Engaged in September, Married in March

I often think that when I get married, I am going to plan the whole thing in 6 months! That may seem to be a short amount of time, but I can tell you that it is entirely possible and a more worthwhile route to take.

The wedding industry often focuses on a 12 to 18 month planning process for couples – that can be a long time to have a wedding weighing on you. I have had the privilege of working on a number of weddings planned in under a year. In fact, most of the non-wedding events I plan come to fruition in 6 months or less.

With a shorter planning period, the decisions are final, payments are due right away, and there is less time for outside input that leaves you second-guessing your instincts. On top of that that, the RSVP turnaround happens quickly, and best of all, you are married sooner!

I have found that weddings planned in a shorter amount of time generally end up being deeply authentic because the couples are more singularly focused on the purpose of the whole day: making a commitment and celebrating their love.

I’ll be honest – planning a wedding in six months can have its setbacks, but there’s something to be said about throwing caution to the wind and just going for it! If you want to do it, you’ll have to get creative, be flexible and make the first month of planning really count. That being said, it will prove an exciting, fun and emotional rollercoaster – and it will totally be worth it.

Digs

Contact a number of venues right off the bat – don’t just stick to your first choice. This will determine your wedding date, which will inform your other vendor options.

It may be worth considering having your wedding on a day that isn’t a Saturday – it will open up your options for venues (& vendors). I’m developing a new obsession with Sunday weddings – I would definitely advise considering it!

Your Squad

There is a chance you won’t be able to get your dream florist, photographer, or planner/coordinator. Any vendor that can only book one (or limited) wedding per day may already be booked. Do some research and approach a number of vendors from the beginning. Don’t beat around the bush, start with your wedding date – put it in the email subject line.

Paper & Pen

Once you’ve snatched up a venue, send out a personalized and fun save the date. Let your guests know what you are up to. Hard copy invitations can follow soon after! There are a number of online invitation design services that can pull together the perfect invitation for you with a very quick turn around.

Threads

People may try to convince you that six months is not enough time to pull together outfits for your wedding. I say ignore them! Between independent boutiques, local fashion designers and online shopping, you’ll find something unique and perfect to wear!

Don’t-Do-It-Yourself

Unless you and your partner are people of leisure with an empty calendar at your disposal, you likely won’t have the time to do all the planning and crafting for the special day yourself. Pick one or two small projects you are excited about, and rent/purchase/hire the rest.

Every couple that I have worked with who have had a limited timeline for planning have been so grateful for it in the end. It allows them to keep a really clear vision of what the whole day is truly about and best of all; they don’t have to wait long for their dream day!

Image Credit: 

Mat Simpson Photography Co. 

But I Don’t Want to Have a Stranger Marry Us…

... And you don’t have to (kind of!)

Many couples struggle with the idea of being married by a complete stranger. It makes sense. This is the moment that the entire celebration is about – this is the act of joining your lives. Many of the couples I work with are not deeply connected to the legal aspects of a wedding ceremony. They want to be legally married but do not see it as the focus of the day. The ceremony is about making a genuine, life long commitment to your partner.

Ben+LisaWeddingPhotosSeptember320160746.jpg
"We wanted the focus of the experience to be us and our love. Neither of us are religious, so we had no qualms about asserting our selfish/innovative ideas. We didn't see a point in having an officiant who knew little of us or our passionate love be the one to get to unite us. We wanted to unite ourselves! Obviously, the legalities had to be acknowledged, but beyond that we didn't need stuffy tradition or protocol to inform our ceremony. As progressive, creative, and loving people we knew that we wanted to celebrate our love in a unique way, and so we married ourselves. And it was AWESOME!" - Ben & Lisa
"It was very meaningful to us that our wedding weekend, especially the ceremony, be a reflection and celebration of us; that it remain true to our love, our relationship, our commitment to each other, and our unique personalities in every way. It was all very intimate and personal with 27 of our dearest friends and family in attendance. To have our dear friend, Ted, who witnessed our relationship form and flourish, perform the most important ritual and aspect of our wedding was very important to us." - Darren & Rachel
 
"The one constant that was important to Mark and I when planning our wedding, was having it be an incredibly intimate gathering filled only with our closest family and friends. We planned a wedding weekend, where our guests—only 32 of them—arrived on Friday and stayed throughout the entirety of the weekend, with our marriage ceremony taking place on Saturday. In order to keep things intimate and 'to ourselves', I had wanted to do my own hair and makeup, our meal was prepared with the help of our families, and we had asked one of our friends to perform our wedding/vow ceremony.
Because we were keeping things so personal and intimate throughout the weekend, we made the decision to have a legal marriage ceremony a month prior to our actual wedding celebration with family and friends. We were able to find a local commissioner, wander out to one of our favourite spots in the mountains with her with our two witnesses, and have our own personal legal ceremony. It was important to make our legal ceremony special and personalized. That day is still so memorable to us because we had two of our best friends there with us, and were able to create a whole other set of incredible memories with them.
A month later for our full wedding celebration with family and friends, it was still so incredibly special to us to be able to have our own friend 'marry' us with our own full ceremony that Mark and I had curated. Everything felt so much more comfortable and personal for us both that way. We still to this day do not feel as though having our first legal ceremony detracted from the intimacy and meaning of our wedding celebration with family and friends as both ceremonies were a true reflection of who we are; it felt so right for the both of us to do it that way, and we wouldn't change a thing." - Kaihla & Mark

In Alberta, Canada, registering a friend or family member to marry you is only an option if every Marriage Commissioner is unavailable and provides it in writing (not going to happen – there are too many of them).

So what are your options?

You can have a loved one perform your ceremony – or do it yourselves! Here are some ways to address the legal aspects, for those looking to tie the knot and sign the contract as well.

1.     Get legally married on another day. 

You could get legally married days, weeks, months, or years before or after your wedding date. Either around the dinner table or making a celebration out of it.

2.     Get legally married the night before and date it for the next day. 

The evening before the wedding, the couple and their witnesses meet with the Marriage Commissioner and sign on the dotted line but date it for the wedding day. (To be honest, I do not know how legal this is but I have had a minister do it with a couple.)

3.     Have a Marriage Commissioner step in during the ceremony and only cover the legal requirements. 

If you get down to strictly the legal requirements of marrying two people this does not take long. There are a few statements by the couple and the signing of the marriage license – that’s it.

4.     Following the ceremony, find a private room and have a Marriage Commissioner legally marry you with only your witnesses. 

(This is my favourite option!) After the ceremony is done, you privately meet the Marriage Commissioner and go through the legal requirements with your wedding party as witnesses.

There is also the option of not getting married legally at all. It’s up to the two of you!

 

Image Credits:

Ben & Lisa's Wedding - Mat Simpson Photography

Rachel & Darren's Wedding - Mat Simpson Photography

Kaihla & Mark's Legal Ceremony - Teresa Renee

Also!

Follow Kaihla's adventures on her blog while she captures some of the most beautiful & authentic weddings. 

 

We're Blogging!

Clients, couples, friends and followers are constantly asking me for advice when it comes to wedding and event planning. After years of answering the same questions individually I have decided it’s time to start a blog where I can house all the must know information in one place.

But, before we start with the goods – I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Maggie, the owner and lead planner for MB&COMPANY. I love Edmonton, ampersands, rock climbing, art, my apartment in The Westminster and wine. Every few months I try to teach myself how to play the ukulele and always give up after mastering ‘Three Blind Mice’. When it comes to getting my photograph taken, I am a-okay until I have to make eye contact - then my inner awkward fourteen year old appears and ruins everything. I spend the majority of my days planning weddings and events; I plan roughly 30 events and 12 weddings a year.

Five things you should know about me, before we work together on your wedding:

1.     I love having work meetings at Edmonton’s finest small businesses. My current favourite is the newly renovated District Coffee Co. You can also find me meeting with clients at Little Brick, Transcend Coffee, Mercer Tavern, and Culina Millcreek. I love to discover new businesses and new neighbourhoods in Edmonton – let me come to you for our initial meeting!

2.     I like to develop a strong relationship with couples and their squad. The majority of my past clients have become dear and close friends in my life. A job well done for me is both a successful wedding and positive long lasting relationships with clients and their close loved ones.

3.     I know the history of many wedding traditions but will never force them upon you. Every part of your wedding day is up for discussion. It is YOUR day; make it deeply and genuinely authentic.

4.     I don’t particularly love DIY. I have seen so many couples struggle through the stress, cost and frustration of doing a DIY wedding. You should only do DIY projects that you are sincerely excited about; otherwise they generally end up being a lot more work than expected.

5.     I expect a lot from myself and from the vendors I work with. I have been able to make a living from wedding and event planning because I am really hard working and I expect a lot from myself. Not only do I expect a lot from myself, I expect a lot from the other vendors I work with. This is why I always offer to make vendor suggestions for my full range of clients – in the end it makes the day itself much more manageable.

I’ll be posting every couple of weeks with my thoughts about the planning process as well as my life while neck deep planning. Got anything you want to talk about? Get in touch at maggie@mbandcompany.ca!

Happy Planning!

Photographs by Mat Simpson Photography Co.