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Month: February 2016

2016 Wedding Trends

Every new wedding season promises new ideas and inspiration. For 2016, here are the latest trends being buzzed about on popular wedding platforms:

Organic floral arrangements


spring flowers
Spring Gathering

Think stalks of lavender, hydrangeas, peonies, twigs and greenery. Add in pops of color with purples and oranges and lots of green and your bouquet is less stuffy and more natural. Cascade bouquets and floral crowns are a stunning addition to your floral arrangements.

Mixing metals

Gone are the days when blending silver and gold was a no-no. Nowadays, mixing metals with jewelry or wedding decor is an on-point trend. Whether you pair gold-plated china with silver cutlery or mix gold-colored vases with silver vases, the more the better. The idea is to create as much shimmer as possible. This trend is carrying over to invitations as well, with mixed metals and varying styles and sizes of fonts.

Desserts come in all shapes and sizes


macaron tower

A wedding cake is often the focal point. However, many brides are switching things up, providing dessert bars that either enhance the traditional cake, or in some cases, replace the cake. Dessert towers are very popular with stacks of macarons, madeleines and éclairs offering a centerpiece of edible art. Why not think outside the (cake)box? Fruit-infused popsicles, doughnut walls and snow cone bars are also making an appearance.

Specialty cocktails

Depending on your budget, try throwing in a specialty cocktail bar. Special spirits or wines make an appealing addition to the commonplace beer and rum offerings. Why not up the ante? Offer a martini bar with infusions of fresh raspberries or herbs. Don’t overlook guests who prefer non-alcoholic beverages. Mocktails are easy to prepare and are a nice alternative for guests.

Floral gowns

On the heels of the Oscars, floral appliqué gowns are all the rage. Whether the flower designs are similar in color to your gown, or whether you add a pop of contrasting color, this design idea is inspired by Renaissance paintings and the stars who wear these stunning gowns. The trend has moved beyond the red carpet and brides are embracing these gowns. Another feature gaining momentum? Detachable skirts. Great for dancing at the reception.

The Passionate Writer

Event Planning Tips

event scene

Everyone wants an event that is seamless, leaving guests satisfied and impressed. A lot of that can be accomplished in the planning stages. The more effort you put into an event before it happens, the smoother it’ll be.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your event.

Create a Checklist

Even the most organized people can become overwhelmed and something is bound to be overlooked. Having a handy checklist is a visual reminder of what needs to be done, by whom, and when.


Someone needs to be the ‘go to’ person, responsible for receiving calls, arranging meetings between vendors, etc. Whether it’s a wedding or event planner, a spouse, parent, or manager or customer service representative, it should be someone you trust who is capable of managing other people and is dependable.

Promote Event

Using social media platforms and apps, get the word out and build anticipation for your event. Use twitter hashtags and  create a Facebook page for your event. Give highlights of what’s to come and activities guests can expect.

Consider Special Considerations

Ensuring accessibility, dietary restrictions and whether your event coincides with a local industry event or holiday are all important things to keep in mind when planning the date for your event.

Informative Invitations

Create an invitation that is not only visually appealing but one that informs (who, what, where, when, why and how). Invitations should include parking info, suggested attire and gift preferences.

Visit Venue

Once you’ve narrowed the list for venues, make sure to visit each one personally. Have a meal in the facilities, walk the grounds before meeting with the event management. Speak with other guests and ask how they find the facilities and general level of service and atmosphere.

Back-up Plan

Things like weather and budget can change. For weather, plan ahead, and if there is a possibility of rain ensure you have some umbrellas or a tent for guests. If it’s going to be scorching hot, spray bottles or water bottles would be welcome touches. Budgets can increase as you begin to visualize your event and want to add things in. Having an emergency fund set aside will give you peace of mind and the ability to deal with unexpected additions.

First Aid Kit

Guests will come to you in emergencies. If it’s something that can be handled without emergency personnel, simple things like Advil and Band-Aids can ease everyone’s peace of mind. Supplies like scissors and tape can also be used to adjust and fix props.

Tech Needs

Will the facility have microphones, speakers, audio visual equipment or will you need to rent these? Knowing ahead of time what you’ll need and whether you need to add on expenses for renting equipment will save you headaches further down the road.


The Passionate Writer

Popular Event Venues In The Okanagan

Event Venues in the Okanagan

It should come as no surprise that the Okanagan has become the wedding capital of Canada. With months of warm weather and unparalleled views of water and mountains (not to mention the oodles of wineries and golf courses), the Okanagan is a paradise destination for Canadians looking for a place to get hitched.

What should you look for in a great event venue, whether for a wedding or corporate gathering?

  • ambiance
  • views
  • banquet facilities
  • nearby (or on-site) accommodation

With these factors in mind, I’ve assembled a list of some great venues for your special event. This is by no means a complete list, as there are dozens of other great venues in the Okanagan, but this list provides a range of locations, each with their own charm.

Hotels & Resorts


Manteo Resort

  • waterfront location
  • Santa Fe architecture
  • up to 180 guests

Lake Okanagan Resort

  •  Beachfront
  • up to 150 guests

Cove Lakeside Resort

  •  beachfront location
  • organic Culinary gardens
  • up to 110 guests

Golf & Country Clubs

Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Course

  • sweeping views of mountains and canyon
  • golf course location
  • up to 150 guests

Harvest Golf Club

  • special features include river rock fireplace, waterfall, pond and stream
  • views of city, lake and golf course
  • up to 160 guests

Parks & Gardens

Sanctuary Gardens

arbor at sanctuary

  • intimate, private setting
  • stunning arched gazebo
  • no reception facilities available

Gellatly Nut Farm

  • heritage farm
  • lake front and forested trails
  • wedding arbor

Guisachan House

  • up to 152 guests
  • historic property
  • special feature: ice carvings


Cedar Creek Estate Winery

  • rose garden and pavilion
  • lake views
  • up to 150 guests

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

  • lake view
  • cedar arbor
  • up to 250 guests

Sparkling Hill


  • multiple rooms (terrace/lounge/ballroom) accommodating from 10 – 250 guests
  • special feature: Swarovski crystal chandeliers
  • lake views


The Passionate Writer

Organic Floral Arrangements

What Do You Do With Organic Flowers?

mason jar

So you’ve heard by now that floral arrangements are moving into a more free-form, organic style for bride’s bouquets. Think bunches of colorful wildflowers tied with strings of twine. Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? But how do you pull it off and make your arrangements stunning without looking like stacks of wilted stems?

Here are some easy, DIY tips for organic floral arrangements:

Place wildflowers in rustic containers

Cut stems short, tie with ribbon and place into tin cans, vintage milk jugs or mason jars and place along aisles or tables. Wrap burlap ribbon around containers for a final touch.

Floral crown

Make a floral crown. Circular wire shapes can be bought at craft stores. Using floral wire, gently wrap greenery and flower stems around the crown base.

Cascade bouquet

If you’ve been foraging on the forest floor and have lengthy stems, gather them into a neat bundle and secure with floral wire inside the bundle. Attach baby’s breath and larger flowers near the top to create a flowing, cascade bouquet.

Floral crate

If you have enough flowers, fill a wooden crate with newspaper to create height, then add a spray of leaves and flowers, laying the flowers and greenery inside the crate.

Hanging flowers

Place flowers and stems of greenery inside mason jars, suspend them from twine strings from the ceiling or tree branches. Jars can also be hung from flower stands and placed alongside chairs lining the aisle.

Vintage touch

Fill vintage suitcases with wildflowers for a truly shabby chic look.

Burlap bundles

Cut small squares of burlap cloth and heap some sand into center of cloth. Holding floral bouquet in one hand, wrap burlap cloth around bouquet and secure with ribbon or twine.

The Passionate Writer

Rustic Barn Weddings

Rustic Barn and Farm Weddings

Barn weddings remain a hugely popular choice for couples. They provide lots of open space for guests to dance and mingle as well as a charming, rustic atmosphere. Specific touches can liven up the space, adding chic elegance.

Ideas for decorating barns for weddings:

  1. String lights

Wound around rafters and posts, string lights add instant warmth and radiant light to a space which can be dark.

  1. Chandeliers

These decorative light fixtures add elegance anywhere but they are a beautiful juxtaposition when hung from barn rafters.

  1. Drapery

Sheaths of wispy, white chiffon add feathery contrasts to heavy timber walls and floors. Drapery can be suspended from rafters, above tables and alongside barn doors to create an elegant entrance.

  1. Mason jars

Whimsical and inexpensive, they can be used to serve drinks in or as flower vases.

  1. Chalkboards

Chalkboards offer vintage signage and can be used in many ways: seating charts, menu boards, or special greetings.

  1. Vintage frames

Add whimsical touches with vintage picture frames of the happy couple. Frames can be strategically placed around the barn or hung from branches and rafters.

  1. Antique dressers

Add instant panache to your barn decor with antique dressers. These can be used for dessert tables, drink tables, guestbook table, or photo booth tables.

  1. Lanterns

Mission style lanterns that follow a natural, linear path are very effective. Whether you place lanterns along the grass toward the arbor, or inside the barn, following the line of posts, lanterns provide a natural walkway while adding ambiant light.

  1. Banners

Rustic banners fit right in with the barn theme. Traditional pendant shaped or vintage hearts, use your creativity. Barns have high ceilings with plenty of space that needs to be filled and there are usually abundant places to suspend banners.

  1. Vintage props

Ladders, suitcases, wheelbarrows, barrels, saddles, haystacks, the list goes on. Adding country chic decor sets the tone and theme.

Don’t forget to incorporate greenery to enliven the space. Giant wreaths hung from barn doors make a statement as do floral arrangements inside and outside the barn.

The Passionate Writer