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  • Your Niagara Falls wedding – and some helpful advice

    Patti Wallington is the Niagara Falls areas only certified wedding planner; she heads the wedding team at Occasions in Niagara. We offer
    a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake for those who may be planning a destination wedding.
    With two decades of experience, no one knows the Niagara area better than Occasions in Niagara.

Wedding Gown Trends

Most people think wedding gowns are only white. But wedding gown trends and styles are pretty distinct and they change every year. Remember puffy sleeves from the 1980s? Well, we don’t see a lot of those designs these days in Niagara Falls, but that’s not to say the trend will never return. Nowadays, more simplistic designs and silhouettes are the most fashionable option for brides-to-be. If you want, you can find out more about the different types of silhouettes here. Of course, it’s all down to personal preference and if you want to bring back the puffy sleeves then go for it, gal! If you’re getting married this year, the latest gowns for next spring were recently unveiled on the runways in New York. There are a few clear trends that have emerged, from pale hues to lace sleeves, but the overall sense is gorgeous.


The off-the-shoulder neckline is a truly romantic style and it’s a great option for brides who want the feel of a sleeve, but not an overpowering one.

Got Your Back

During your ceremony, you will spend the majority of your time facing away from your guests and designers have, for the past few years, been focusing a lot of attention on the back of a gown. We’re seeing the trend of striking illusion backs continue, but this year, barebacks are also gaining in popularity, from open, draped, and scooped cowls. Some designers are also adding delicate crystals and lace to accentuate that plunging backline. Emerging designers and wedding websites have a wide array of designs that can make you look your best on the most important day of your life. While in London, you could look for online wedding dresses uk on websites like Aeternum Bridal and get your perfect dress for your perfect day!

Pale Hues

While we’ve seen bold colours emerge through reds and blacks for years, non-traditional romantic pale blues, greys, peach, pink and mint gowns are now floating down the runways.

Detailed and Exquisite

Just like with most things in life, it’s the details that count. The same goes for wedding gowns. This season, gowns are resplendent with sparking appliqué, pearl detail and oversized bows.

Lace Sleeves

This trend began after Kate Middleton walked down the aisle several years ago and it looks as though there’s no stopping it – Kim Kardashian also walked down the aisle in a lace sleeve gown at her recent wedding. Whether it’s a three-quarter length, cap or long sleeve, lace is hot!

Of Note

Noted L.A. designer Claire Pettibone (Facebook founder Mark Zuckerber wed Priscilla Chan in a Claire Pettibone gown) has unveiled a more affordable collection entitled Romantique. Gowns are priced from $1,500 to $2,800 US and began arriving in stores for Spring 2015 weddings.

Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoy reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.

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Bridesmaids Wedding Party Gifts

As your wedding day approaches, you’ll probably take a few minutes to think about how to thank those who have helped you along the way. Your bridesmaids have helped plan your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding by assisting you with your gown selection. They’ve likely hosted a shower to remember. They’ve listened to you during times of stress. And they’ve given you some great advice along the way.

Bridesmaids Wedding Party GiftsPINHere are some ways to thank the women in your wedding party with some unique bridesmaids wedding party gifts, from Niagara-on-the-Lake theatre and Niagara IceDog tickets to a getaway at a great Niagara Falls spa or a wine tasting at a Niagara-on-the-Lake winery.

Just remember, you do not need to spend a fortune to show your appreciation! Most of these fun gift ideas can be purchased from department stores like Macy’s. Plus, if you are an online shopper, you can normally use a coupon or a promo code to secure a discount on your purchases. Accordingly, to learn more about how to use coupons to save money on your party gifts, take a look at some of the helpful resources on the Raise website.

Entertain Her

In Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, our entertainment options are endless. Consider musical or dinner theatre tickets, a gift certificate to a movie theatre or Niagara-on-the-Lake jazz festival, or tickets to a sporting event, such as golf or a Niagara IceDogs OHL hockey game. Some other entertainment ideas include:

  • Favourite magazine subscription
  • Headphones in her favourite colour
  • Specialty playing cards
  • The latest best-selling book
  • A movie-themed gift basket

Pamper Her

Both Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake are home to some of the top rated hotels and inns in North America. From quaint and charming to luxurious and exquisite, you will be sure to find the perfect way to pamper your ladies with a gift certificate to a spa or a day of beauty at a local salon. If you’d like something else, consider:

  • A Moroccan-inspired robe
  • A monogrammed set of bath towels
  • A designer clutch or makeup bag
  • Pajamas. Who doesn’t like a nice pair of PJs, especially silk (or Pyjamas en soie as they say in France)

From the Heart

There are many unique boutiques, specialty shops and artisans in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. You are bound to find something special for each of your bridesmaids if you take the time to search. You could consider some beautiful jewellery from Jacobs The Jewellers sale page, all-natural soaps, a scented candle or a hand-painted vase or dish designed by a Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake artist. You could also give her:

  • A knitted scarf, throw or blanket
  • A hand-bound photo album or scrapbook
  • Assorted jars of homemade jam and scones
  • Holistic beauty treatments

Raise a Glass

Your bridesmaids have done a lot of work and you might want to wine and dine them. Niagara is home to Canada’s wine country so there many options and a burgeoning farm-to-table movement. You can take your ladies on a winery tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake or you could dine at a winery restaurant just outside of Niagara Falls. If you’d like to give them something to take away, you could give:

  • A French press with a pound of gourmet coffee
  • Sushi-making supplies
  • A gift certificate to a favourite restaurant
  • Luxe table linens, napkin rings and place card holders
  • Caviar, foie gras or decadent chocolates (the little extras)
  • A collection of your favourite recipes
  • Wine from her favourite Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard
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Niagara Falls/Niagara-on-the-Lake Weddings – Kids at Weddings

If the majority of your guests are coming from out-of-town to your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding, then whether or not you’re including kids is an important decision you’ll have to make. Some people can’t imagine not having nieces and nephews or their friends’ children at their wedding, but other couples don’t want to run the risk of children being the focal point of the day – either in a negative or positive way! There is no right decision; it’s entirely up to you. But whichever choice you make, there are several things to consider when having kids at weddings:

kids at weddingsPIN

Make Your Intention Known

Either way, some of your guests, especially those who are coming to Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake from out-of-town, might be upset. While many guests might be thrilled at the prospect of enjoying a day or evening without their children, others may be offended or annoyed. It’s possible that even close friends and relatives may refuse to attend the wedding ceremony as a result.
Nevertheless, be up front with your guests. Notify guests as early as possible. Include the words “Adult only ceremony and reception” in all of the wedding correspondence, starting with the save-the-date cards, if you’re sending them out. This gives guests ample time to make important decisions and arrangements.

Decide Who’s Invited

If you decide to have children at your wedding, that doesn’t mean you need to invite everyone. However, this is particularly delicate. If you want to only invite your nieces and nephews, communicate that with your other guests, otherwise, you’re sure to offend. You certainly don’t want to be dealing with any “why wasn’t my child invited” drama on your wedding day.

Give Them Something to Do

The biggest fear with having children at your wedding is that they will misbehave. A wedding can be a long affair for children so it’s best to give them some responsibility during your ceremony and reception. The obvious choice is to appoint them ring bearers and flower girls. But you could also have them help hand out programs, distribute party favours or serve cake.

Kids’ Friendly Area

Create a kids’ only zone. They will love the idea of having their own special place to go and it will be filled with things to keep them occupied, such as colouring, reading, board games, portable video games and movies.

Offer a Kids’ Menu

It’s unreasonable to expect children to eat the same food you’ll be served. If you’ve got kids coming, make sure you have something they will eat – chicken fingers, little pizzas, hot dogs or grilled cheese. See if the kids can get their meal served quickly so they can return to their kids’ zone. As well, make sure you seat parents and their children together at one table or at a neighboring table. You don’t want your single friend sitting at a table with a noisy family. Also, while some people think having a kids’ table is a good idea, it’s not. An unsupervised group of kids is the best way to turn an elegant dinner into chaos.

Keep Them Entertained

The kids will have a blast when it’s time to hit the dance floor, but if you want them to sit through an hour of speeches, chances are you’re going to have some issues. Children have short attention spans so aside from having a separate area for them to go to, consider hiring a magician, like magician Jon Finch, or balloon artist to entertain them for 30 minutes while your adult guests finish their dinners or during the speeches.

Hire a Sitter

This is the best way to keep the kiddy contingent under control. Hire a teenager or other chaperone to play with the kids and make sure everyone’s having a good time. This allows the adults to enjoy the event and the parents won’t be worried about whether their kids are jumping on your cousin’s kids.

Don’t Freak Out

Above all, relax. Don’t worry if one of your nephews accidentally trips and destroys a beautifully wrapped present or your best friend’s four-year-old throws a gargantuan temper tantrum. If you’re having kids at your wedding, you have to realize you’ve invited all that they entail. Go with the flow and enjoy having them there.


Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoy reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.

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Wedding Vendor Meals

After awhile, you might think your wedding expenses might never end. And you might be temped to try and cut corners where you think it won’t be noticed. When it comes to providing wedding vendor meals to those who will be with you during your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake reception, you really have no other option.

Wedding Vendor MealsPIN

You should invite your wedding officiant, minister or priest, as well as his or her spouse, to your Niagara wedding reception. Even though they might choose not to attend, inviting them is a polite and thoughtful gesture. As for the musicians or soloists who perform at your wedding ceremony in Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake, you don’t have to invite them to your wedding reception – or the rehearsal dinner (nor do they expect such and invite).

You should plan food and refreshments for the wedding service providers that are working on your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding day. This list of people might include a wedding consultant, photographer, videographer, band or DJ. You might not need to provide your vendors with the same menu as you are serving your guests, it might be easier to do so. You could also set up a buffet-style meal for your wedding vendors with sandwiches and salads, or you could offer them individually boxed meals the caterer can prepare separately. The best way to deal with this issue is to talk about it with your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake vendors and put it in the contract. That way, there’s no surprises on either side.

Unsure of what’s the best time to allow your wedding vendors to grab a bite to eat? The best time is usually when you and your guests are eating. There isn’t a lot going on during dinner and it’s a nice time for everybody to take a break.

Remember to provide the wedding vendors seating and discuss this beforehand as well – this might be separate at a vendor table if you like. Ask the catering manager at the Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake facility you are holding your reception, as some locations offer a separate room or area for wedding vendors, allowing them to have some down time in private. Some vendors might want to be seated in the main room so they can gauge how the evening is progressing.

In terms of how much this might cost, every Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake caterer and venue have different policies. Some won’t charge you at all but some might charge you 50 per cent of the guest meal’s cost. You might also need to pay full price. No matter. This is a non-negotiable and it’s poor practice for you not to feed your wedding vendors.

No matter what arrangements you make, it’s important to make sure that your wedding vendors get the chance to take breaks and eat. Closer to the wedding day, be sure to let your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake caterer or reception site manager know the final count of how many meals you will need – for wedding guests and service providers. And, if you want to go that extra step and reward your vendors for all their hard work, you can send them all home with a piece of wedding cake.


Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoying reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.



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Niagara Falls/Niagara-on-the-Lake Weddings – Trim Your Wedding Flower Budget

Trim Your Wedding Flower BudgetPIN

Trim Your Wedding Flower Budget – Flowers are often the most beautiful décor features of your wedding day, but they can also become one of the most expensive. You want to have blooming buds for your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding ceremony and reception, but you don’t want to blow your entire budget on a floral wall. Here are some great ways to cut your wedding flower budget without trimming the beauty.

Go Green

Using greenery, such as ferns, eucalyptus and dogwood, is a great way to fill out your bouquet, centrepieces and other floral décor without compromising beauty. Foliage is much less expensive than flowers. You can also mix in non-greenery gems, such as berries, pinecones and embellishments, such as bling, ribbon or feathers, for a striking bouquet or arrangement.

Double Duty

Make your flowers fulfill at least two functions. Your ceremony flowers can serve as centrepieces at your reception, your bridesmaids can put their bouquets on the head table, the guest-book signing table or favour table. Also, if possible, create larger tables of 10 to 12 guests instead of eight.

Get Creative

Instead of decorating your reception tables with opulent or bud-filled arrangements, think about one or two blooms in a striking petite vase. Select seasonal fruit from a local farmer’s market, light some candles to create a romantic ambiance, group favours together or use another alternative to a traditional floral centerpiece.

Be Realistic

You need to have bouquets for your bridesmaids, but do they need to be large? Your ceremony might only last for 30 minutes in total, so do you want to spend $500 on a floral arrangement for the table where you sign the licence? Figure out where you really want your flowers to bloom and then scale back or omit greenery entirely in places that don’t matter.

Go With the Season

While you can usually have any flower you want at any time of the year, you might have to pay a premium if it’s not in season. Research what flowers are in season on your wedding day and try talking to professional florists like Mulgrave Florist about those.

Trust Your Florist

Think monochromatic. If you’re really looking for a pink bouquet, then let your florist fill your bouquet with less expensive flowers, such as carnations, baby’s breath, mums or gladiolas. You might have shied away from roses or carnations, but that’s because you’re thinking about what they look like in the grocery store. Your florist will have access to many different varieties, which might pleasantly surprise you – and your budget. You may want to opt for sustainable flower delivery straight to your venue, if this is the case, do your research and see what type of services are out there that can accommodate that need.

Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoying reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.

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