Have a question about wedding planning? About fashion? Vendors? Decor? Design? Suggestions? Ideas? If you do, this forum is for you! Please post your question in the comment box below, and I’ll do my best to answer your question. I’ll post your question and my response below!
Go ahead, Ask LBB!
Question posted by Cousin of LBB on October 22, 2011:
My friend recently got married and the photographer wasn’t exactly doing a very good job at capturing special moments, needed a lot of direction from the bridal party and overall was just a hot mess. We were hoping (praying) that despite his poor behaviour, that the pictures would turn out nice. I mean how hard is it to point and click? Well, the bride informed me that the photographer gave her a cd containing the pictures and they are horrible. She said many of them were blurry etc. She is very upset. Her in-laws paid for the photographer and I believe he is a family acquaintance so ripping him a new one is not an option. What should she do? Should she and the her husband take new pictures in their wedding gear? Also her family and his family do not live in the GTA. They are all scattered across Ontario and even the world. Help!
I am so sorry to hear that happened to your friend. I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but Monty from Kumari Photography gave a pretty great response (in my opinion anyway) to your friend’s dilemma. Here’s his take (and I trust him cuz he’s a photographer–and an amazing one, too!):
That is a really tough and sad scenario. Being a wedding photographer I know how much responsibility lies on my shoulders to make the most of the memories for your couple. While I am sure they couple want to make the best of the scenario I wouldn’t hold my breath. My suggestion is to poll the attendees to see if they have any photos and perhaps piece together a collage of an array of images of the day.
While no one photos might be exceptional, together they might look better and be a fun way of remembering their day.
We do photoshoots for couples, who want a creative & unique look after their wedding quite often. This is always possible, and might help to leave better memories than what the original photos do. I hope that helps!
I think your question is actually deserving of a full how-to post. I bet it’s not a unique situation to your friend only.
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Anuja on July 5, 2011:
Love your blog, so great to see so many suggestions for the Brown Bride in the GTA! Here’s a question for you – I want to wear a silk saree for my wedding ceremony and I would like to have my bridesmaids in silk sarees as well – I’m thinking bright summer colours for them and white and gold for me. Obviously a trip to India to do wedding shopping would be best, but unfortunately, that’s not in the budget. I’ve seen a lot of bridal lenghas and chiffon sarees on Gerrard St. but not the silk sarees I’m looking for. Any suggestions of stores to check out to find these?
Sorry for the late reply. Finding pure silk sarees can sometimes be a challenge. I would suggest checking out some clothing stores that gear to South Indian and Sri Lankan brides. There are quite a few in Scarborough.
One of the biggest stores is Asiyans (www.Asiyans.com) in the Markham and Lawrence area. Maybe start there and see if they have any other suggestions.
I will update this post if I come across other options.
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Kamna on June 26, 2011:
I was wondering what are your favorite wedding shows in Toronto? Which ones would you recommend for brides early on at the start of their planning process.
Sorry for the delay! I figured I would respond in the comment box and post it up above at a later date.
Wedding show suggestions:
1. The Wedding Co. Show at the Carlu–this usually happens in early January and has high end inspiration. I have never been but always wanted to go. A friend of mine getting married went this past January and loved it.
2. One of either Suhaag and Kismet. They both usually have the same vendors, are loud, crowded, and can be overwhelming. They are good for connecting you to South Asian vendors and for seeing some of the current fashion out there, and I don’t think it’s necessary to attend both.
3. The Drake Spring Wedding Show. This show is small, intimate, and offers unique inspiration. I found this small show more stimulating than the huge shows at convention centers.
4. Ohm Wedding Show–the first one occurred this spring and is geared towards South Indian and Sri Lankan brides. I noticed, however, that many of the vendors gear to the whole South Asian population. This show happens in the east end of the city, and so has many east Toronto vendors, which can be a blessing for the east end brides.
Hope that helps!!
Question posted by Ruby on March 17, 2011:
Hey LBB! Your blog’s amazing. I’ve started to plan all the pre-wedding and wedding events and definitely need your help.
I’m Sikh and like the traditional concept. I’m having the toughest time picking out an outfit for each event. Engagement? Mehendi? Sangeet? It’s all overwhelming. My main concern is for my wedding. I’m debating a traditional salwaar kameez or a lehenga.
Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with all the pre-wedding planning! Being in India right now gives you a plethora of choice, and I can understand how difficult it must be to make a decision! Here are some ideas…(all images are from Bargello.com)
The engagement party is your “introduction” to the world that you are getting married. I think going for a young, yet traditional look would be fitting for the party. A sharara or anarkali would be good choices:
When I think of sangeets, I think of boliyan (folk songs), giddha (women’s traditional dance), bhangra, parandhees, and the sangeet/mendhi scence from Diwale Dulhania Lajeyenge (my favourite Bollywood movie). Wearing something easy to dance and move around in, while still feeling beautiful, is key! I think a salwaar kameez or anarkali would be perfect. Also, wear a beautiful parandhee–they are totally coming back in style! Some ideas:
What you wear for the mendhi really depends on how fancy your family mendhi parties usually are. My family is very casual, so I actually wore a bright coloured cotton kameez with short black leggings–I was thinking about comfort and practicality. If your family is planning to throw a big party, then the occasion calls for a fancier outfit. I do think that practicality is important here–you don’t want long sleeves or a baggy salwar that could ruin your mendhi’s design. I say wear a suit with short sleeves or no sleeves and with a churidaar that is easy to roll up or with short pants, like this:
Now, my bias is going to come through for my suggestions for the ceremony outfit. Your wedding day happens once and is one of the most special days in your life–never again will you be as glamorous or bejeweled. I think that your wedding day is the one day you can and should wear something you normally wouldn’t. We wear salwaar kameezes all the time–to family parties, to the gurdwara, etc. How often do you wear a lengha? I know a lot of Sikh moms dream about seeing their daughters get married in a salwaar kameez–it’s traditional and simple. But, we’re not our moms, right? lol! If a lengha is too modern, you can always go for a more traditional silhouette–a kameez that falls about mid-thigh to above knee and short sleeves, like this:
Good luck with your shopping! I hope I was able to help you narrow down your options. Please write me back to let me know how your shopping went! And totally let me know if I am completely off the mark!
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Madhavi on February 26, 2011:
I love your blog!! I am currently in the midst of wedding planning and I am going nuts. All the details are slowly getting settled but I am worried about one thing. My reception outfit! I love my wedding lengha (Red blouse and off white bottom – I am gujurati…we wear red and white). My issue is with my reception outfit. It is a Sari. It is net (bright fuscia) and has a brocade petticoat and a beautiful heavy blouse. It looks almost like a lengha but is actually a sari. Now my question is, will this sari be dressy enough or will wearing a sari be ok for a reception? The designer promises I will look fashionable and it will be dressy enough. It also within my budget. I can always excorise ore but I dont know how a sari will look! I want to look modern and young…Please help!!
First thing, take a deep breath, girl!
I think a sari is perfect for a reception! It’s a timeless, elegant piece that practically every woman looks beautiful in. Your sari sounds beautiful–the colour is bright and young, the net fabric adds sex appeal, and the brocade petticoat and embroidered blouse add dimension. Maybe this picture of a Manish Malhotra net sari can help you visualize your sari:
I think this simple sari is already striking, but imagine it in fuschia, with your blouse, and the brocade petticoat. To keep the look modern, go for sparkly, but clean jewelry–something like this from Blossom Box:
Or, go all out with the tikka, earrings, and jhumar if you feel like there isn’t enough bling in your sari!
To keep the look modern, keep a simple hairstyle. Don’t do a big updo with too much frou frou. Keep it simple!
And if you’re daring enough, you could even add a sparkly belt to your sari…that could totally modernize it. But, you’ve gotta be cool and confident enough to pull it off.
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Amu on February 15, 2011:
I love your blog and your wedding decor! It has really inspired me. I’ve just begun planning for my wedding. It will be in the summer of 2012… still have plenty of time, i know :$. ok, so here it is..
1. How much did the decor cost? (I’m assuming it was the backdrop, table cloths, chair coverings, other accessories?)
2. What was the cost per person for Grand Victorian? Did this include the food, or did you have separate catering?
Thanks in advance .
Thanks for the love! Congratulations on your engagement!! The planning will fly by, so make sure to enjoy it! To answer your questions..
1. The decor included the backdrop, tablecloths (for the guests’ tables, appetizers and buffet tables), table decor (minus the favour boxes, place settings), money box, chair covers, chair accessories, flowers, boutonnieres (not shown on blog), white loveseat, glass table in reception area (not shown on blog–I don’t think we have one picture of it). I don’t feel comfortable sharing the cost, primarily because it was such customized package. We gave Naphisha from The Perfect Setting our ideal budget, and she worked within in. For example, if you don’t have a partition wall in your reception hall, you probably won’t need a backdrop–this comprised a good chunk of our budget. We had 25 tables, which for an Indian wedding, is on the smaller side. We also didn’t have a lot of flowers, which helped us control our costs. Also, normally, the decor budget comprises approximately 10 to 15% of your total wedding budget. So, if you whole budget is $50000, then set aside $5000 for decor. I do think that you can get great decor for $5000 if you collaborate with an excellent decorator. Make sure you have a vision.
2. Our package at the Grand Victorian included passed hor d’oeuvres and cocktails during cocktail hour, Indian and Middle Eastern appetizer buffet (which we heard was amazing, but we didn’t get to taste), a full buffet (4 Indian dishes, 2 Filipino dishes, plus rice, naan, pomegranate raita), sweet & savoury table, open bar, light & sound package, and a hotel room. From my understanding, prices might have gone up, so I don’t want to misinform you. I will say that compared to other halls, Grand Victorian gave us the best value for our money. The food was excellent, the venue was excellent, and the service was great. There were a few hiccups, but that’s to be expected.
With respect to the decorator and venue, I highly recommend getting in touch with vendors. Prices can change, packages can change, and it’s important to base your decision on the most current information. I know, also, that sometimes vendors can adjust their prices according to the customer. They might advertise one rate on the phone, but then quote you something different in person. Remember, vendors want your business, but they want good business, so go in person and make a great impression.
Hope that helps!
Posted by Michelle on February 14, 2011:
I am so glad I stumbled across your blog! So helpful. I had a few questions for you-
What did you use as favors ? I love the box idea but am debating right now what to put in the boxes!
Also can you give me a rough idea of how much the custom suit cost for J ? Thanks!
I’m glad you stumbled upon my blog, too! To answer your questions:
a) We used tea as our favours. We bought loose leaf orange pekoe tea from David’s Tea, mixed it with some of my chai mix, and placed it all inside tea bags from David’s Tea.
b) From my knowledge, custom suits start at $1000 at Garrison Bespoke, which is a pretty good price because designer suits can run you way more! It’s a good idea to touch base with the team and discuss what you want specifically. Costs vary depending on material used and which suit elements you want.
Hope that helps!
Email question sent on February 8, 2011 by A:
Question posted by Anna on February 7, 2011:
I love your blog, thank you so much for sharing your wedding planning with all of us!
I had a quick question for you – I really like the boxes and ribbon you used for your wedding favours – where did you get these from? Do you know any affordable options where I can pick some up? I need purple too
Thanks so much!
Thanks for the love! I’m happy to share my wedding planning experience…I know wedding planning’s not easy, and no one really understands until they’re a bride (or groom)!
Thanks also for the compliments about our favour boxes. We didn’t buy the boxes. We actually made them ourselves. Well, J and his brothers made the boxes from scratch (i.e., sourced and bought the paper, made the template, cut and folded 250 boxes). We bought the ribbon from Creative Bag. We decided to go this route because we couldn’t find what we liked and what we wanted in our budget. And, we’re slightly masochistic (remember–we also made our own wedding invitations). I may be putting myself out there, but we could totally make the boxes for you if you’re interested! No pressure! Send me an email if you want to more detail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out Creative Bag for gift box options, but they don’t have purple: http://www.creativebag.com/boxes-and-containers/gift-boxes
Another option you could try is Liloo at Home. I first came across this service at The Drake Wedding Show. Unfortunately, according to Liloo’s facebook page, they are no longer open. Not sure if they are doing web orders. Their gift/favour boxes are actually what inspired J and I to create our own boxes!
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Nadia on January 30, 2011:
I was just wondering if you could post a picture of your hair style from your reception? The side view looks amazing! I’d like to see what the rest of it looks like. I am getting married this year and I’m looking for hair ideas. Thanks so much!
Thanks!! You’re too sweet. My hair was styled by Pamela Brij from Beauty Bliss. Here are a couple pics:
I hope the pictures give a good idea of how my hair looked it. Let me know if you would like some other pictures.
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Stylish & Bride-y on January 29, 2011:
Hi LBB! To begin I must say…YOU are totally awesome! Your blog has helped me so much from the beginning on…Your tips are great and helpful! So hard to find help in the GTA area.
We really like your idea of centrepieces, on cake stands, we have mixed favours that may go….where did you get your cakestands from? were they within a good price range. im finding it so hard to find within our budget!! and the decorators we have spoken to are all incredibly high priced. Do you recommend any other decorators other than PS?
Hi Stylish & Bridey,
I’m glad that I’ve been of help to you!
Great to hear you liked our centrepieces! We were very happy with them. Our decorator, The Perfect Setting, sourced the cake stands for us…and to be honest, I can’t remember how much they cost, but I don’t recall them being crazy expensive. In terms of more budget-friendly decorators, have you tried Nisha Chandra–she’s newer in the field, so I wonder if she would be more affordable. I did find The Perfect Setting quite affordable; compared to some other decorators, we got a lot more for our money and Naphisha did a great job working within our budget.
If you want to get cake stands on your own, I did some searching for some rental options:
D & D Party Rentals: They have cake stands for pretty cheap, but I’m not sure if the price refers to the stands within a package
McCalls: A cake decorating school that rents out its supplies. If McCall’s doesn’t work out, it might be worth it to check out other cake decorating schools!
I also had another idea–if it’s too hard finding cake stands or it’s too expensive, it might be kind of cool to use clear boxes and create an architectural sculpture. Like these from Creative Bag:
You could 1) get a couple different sized boxes and fill them with your favour boxes and stack them on top of each other; or 2) buy one large box, fill it with something (flowers, ribbon, glass rocks, something to go with your theme) and then stack the favour boxes on top of the box.
Let me know what you decide!
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Hamster on January 27, 2011:
Do you care to share where you got your reception jewelry? You look gorgeous!
ps. i booked sherry. she rocks.
Thanks for the compliment! I bought my reception jewelry set from Lebas of India. They have a great jewelry collection there, and you can even rent some of their sets for the wedding day. Another good place to check is Riwaaz the Trends (my coworker just bought her reception set from there) and Indian Costume Jewelry. Both these stores are in the Great Punjab Business Centre in Malton.
And so glad to hear you booked Sherry Vanstone!! She truly is awesome and WONDERFUL to have around on the wedding day. And I know this is supposed to be “Ask LBB”, but I want to ask you who you booked to do your hair! Please share!
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Sangeeta on Jan. 24, 2011:
Thanks for the photo shout-outs!
I have a random question, I really like the dishes in your cupboard- would go well with our new idea (or my idea) of a cafe inspired open kitchen concept. Sooo my question is where are the white dishes from and how can I be as cool as you?
My dearest Sangeeta,
You are more than welcome for the shout outs! And now to answer your questions:
The lovely dishes are part of the Gordon Ramsay Maze by Royal Doulton dinnerware set. We got them from The Bay. They are very cost effective (about $100/set), look great, and have a great weight. I highly recommend the dishes! And I totally love the idea of a kitchen with open shelves filled with white dishes. Make sure to take pictures when it’s all done!!!
As for how you can be as cool as me….well…my dear, that, I’m afraid, is an unattainable goal for you. hahahaha.
Hope that helps!
Question posted by bride2be on January 23, 2011:
Hi LBB! I have been following your blog and it has been SO helpful!! I will soon be engaged and am just wondering, on average, how much would an indian wedding cost… including all events- mendhi, sangeet, ceremony and reception?
I am happy to hear the blog has been helpful!! I hope I can continue to be so!
As for the average cost of an Indian wedding, it really depends on your numbers and how extravagant you are/want to be. I estimated an average wedding, with about 300 people, would be about $50,000. I asked Richha Arora from Arora Weddings & Events, and she said that you should estimate between $40,000 to $60,000. Does that make your heart hurt? It makes mine hurt!
Hope that helps!
Question posted by Hamster on Jan. 20, 2011:
Hello LBB! I don’t think you realize, that you have been my cyber-sister-planner these days! I love reading your blog.
The serendipitous thing is, that we are getting married at the same venue you did! So here’s my question, did they provide the same colour of “romals” for you, or did you have to bring those yourself?
Thanks for the love!
The gurdwara did not provide the ramaals for us. We bought the material from and had the ramaals stitched for us at Fashion Valley (805 Middlefield Road, Scarborough, 416-299-4383). They charged us $1.25 per ramaal, plus the cost of all the material. If you know someone who can sew, you can save money and stitch the ramaals yourself. My mom sews, but she didn’t have the time or the desire to stitch them all, and so we decided it was worth it to get them stitched for us.
We had two ushers (my younger cousins) who handed out the ramaals to male guests as they arrived at the gurdwara. We didn’t do this ourselves, but a nice idea might be to place the ramaals in a box or basket that matches your colour scheme. You could also put a sign or your monogram on the box/basket or maybe your programs beside the box/basket. For latecomers, you could place the box/basket near the entrance so that guests will know the ramaals are for them.
Hope that helps!