The Perfect Welcome Bag

When it comes to out of town guests, there is no way to really show how appreciative you are that they’ve made this trip for your big day. Whether they drove a few hours or flew thousands of miles, traveling guests deserve a little extra thanks! One of the smallest ways of showing your love is having a welcome bag waiting for them at their arrival. A little thought like this will definitely go a long way.

Welcome bags immediately set a tone for your wedding. So, when creating your bags make sure to consider things like your wedding style and colour palette – match them to your theme to bring it all together. Think of our local region and how to incorporate uniquely made Windsor-Essex gifts. Think of what is personal to you and your partner, like a homemade recipe you can make for your guests or your favourite bottle of wine. Most importantly, think of your budget!

Trust us when we say, no matter what your budget is you can create the perfect bag! If there is anything we can recommend that fits in all price points, it’s to leave your guests a hand written thank you note, an itinerary of wedding events and a list of local places to check out. Include some seasonal activities and your favourites cafes and restaurants in the area. Is there a festival or sports game happening on the same weekend? A local winery, brewery or distillery they can taste and tour? Do you have a favourite Windsor-Style Pizza place they must try before going home? Include these kinds of detail to really wow your guests.

If you are looking to create the perfect welcome bag but don’t really know where to start, well we’ve got your back! We have put together three ideas to inspire you and to fit every budget. All of our bag ideas include at least one locally made item to really showcase the incredible businesses in Windsor-Essex!

$20 Bag:

  • One or two bottles of water

  • Two small flight glasses from Walkerville Brewery

  • Papa D’s Hot Honey Sauce

  • Mason jar of store bought or homemade trail mix  

$10 Bag:

  • One or two bottles of water

  • Cup of your favourite Puf Cotton Candy flavour

  • Notebook from Tagged It Paper Co.

$5 Bag:

  • One or two bottles of water

  • Box of assorted baked goodies from Riverside Pie Café

Additionally, here are some other unique gift ideas you can include:

  • Locally made soap, essential oils, or a candle from FaerHaven

  • A bag of tea from Windsor Tea Emporium

  • Your favourite bottle of wine from an EPIC Winery

  • A ‘hangover emergency kit’ – think a bottle Advil and sunglasses

  • Chocolate or bonbons from Sweetness Chocolate

  • Some coasters and stickers from your favourite brewery

  • A bag of small batch artisanal coffee from Red Lantern Coffee Co.

  • A welcome Spotify playlist of yours and your partner’s favourite songs

Remember, no matter how big or small your welcome bag is make it personal to you and your partner! In the end, that’s what your guests will love the most.

Written by Madeline Silveria

Wedding Cake Trends

Wedding Cake Trends vary so much year to year, and it’s always fun keeping up with the trends and forecasting what is next! Many couples are shying away from large wedding cakes, and opting for alternatives such as Donuts, croque en bouche, or even dessert cups. They may still have a small six or eight inch cake for cutting - because how cute is that photo!? - but then opt to save that for their One Year Anniversary or even breakfast the next morning.

For those lovers of cake, here are a few trends for 2019 that we are sure to see lots of, and I cannot wait!

Floating Tiers Cake

Adding a completely new element to a cake is a great way to make your dessert table unique. We love the geometric shapes, and florals to separate the layers. This is a great way to incorporate real cake layers, with fake, without confusing guests or those cutting the cake as well.

Lots of Texture

2019 is going to be a year of texture, not only in the cake department. From linens to backdrops, and everything in between, we are loving the look of velvets, gauze, and other varying textures that create a new dimension to decor. When it comes to cake, we are loving all of the unique ways couples are choosing to make their cake unique using texture - adding elements of edible detailing, creating varying shapes, and feather-like details - we cannot wait to see more! We also love the deckle-edge look this year as well, and that texture is really beautiful.

Single Tier

For those cake lovers who want something a little more simple, we are always lead back to the classic single-tiered cake, but with a twist. There are so many fun ways of doing these single tiered cakes - from the classic naked style, to adding texture with detailing + adding fresh florals, or even more desserts on top. We are always a fan of this classic look, and love to know that no cake is going to waste.

Surviving any Wedding Show!

January and February are certainly the biggest months for Wedding Shows across Ontario, and here in Windsor is no exception. After the holidays, and many engagements, it is a first chance for newly engaged couples, and their entourages to step out and start the planning process. It is also a chance for couples who have been engaged for a few months to finish up their checklist of vendors, to ensure everything is in place for the Big Day.

I’ll tell you a secret before we go any further - wedding shows can be very overwhelming, with a large array of vendors, lots of noise, and LOTS of brochures to go through once you get home. That being said, they are also exciting - lots of energy from excited vendors to meet you, and it really makes the whole process seem real, so enjoy the moment!

I’ve created a little guide to help make things easier, as you begin heading to Wedding Shows in the next few weeks.

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Do Your Research

I always recommend scouring social media, blogs and websites of local vendors in the area that really appeal to the style of wedding you are looking to have. From there, you can see if they will be attending the shows, where this is a great place to meet and chat about your Big Day. On the Wedding Show day itself, you can find out where these vendors are, and go visit them with a purpose.

Be Prepared

Lots of vendors host giveaways or allow you to sign up for email subscriptions, and writing your name and email hundreds of times can get tiring. To be prepared, we always recommend creating labels with the following information: Your Full Name, Email, Phone Number and Potential Wedding Date. Some wedding shows are hopping onto this trend of providing you with labels if you Pre-Register, but it’s still a great thing to do on your own if you forgot to register in advance.

Another little tip I do recommend is to create your own Wedding Email. This is where all of your information can be stored for your Big Day, without interfering with all of your personal emails. Just keeps things simple, which we are all about!

Take Notes & Pictures

Decorators and Florists especially, really create some incredible booths at the Wedding Show. If you are loving what you are seeing, or even parts of a display, take some photos, or make note of who provides those rentals. This will help you narrow down your search of what you like and don’t like when it comes to planning the vision of your Big Day.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Vendors are happy to chat with you about your Big Day - that’s why they are there! Be sure to inquire if your desired date is available before falling too in love with any vendor. In today’s society, some vendors are already completely booked for the current year, and only booking into the following year.

If you have questions about whether vendors have worked at your particular venue etc. this is a great chance to ask those questions!

Have some Fun!

Wedding Planning can seem overwhelming, but grab your girls, or your guys, or a few family members and enjoy the moment! Wear comfortable shoes, have a good meal before you come and have some fun!

2019 Predictions

As we wrap up the year, I always like to reflect on the past twelve months - where we have been, what we have seen and helped create, and what styles might carry through to the coming year. As I reflect, I also create Mood Boards for 2019, and the predictions of what to come. This comes with lots of research, hours scrolling through blogs and social + chatting with fellow industry professionals to see what they think is also coming down the pipeline. After doing all of this research, I wanted to share with you some 2019 Wedding Design Predictions.

Texture

The more the better! In the last few years this idea has really come to light, and I only see it being elevated this coming year. From Bridal Gowns to Table Linens, there is no shortage on texture. We love the ruffles on gowns, the silk napkins, the silky paper styles, and the mixture of textures with wedding florals. Guests love to not only look, but also feel - it really adds to the overall experience.

Minimal is Gold

I’ve said this before, but I will say it again - minimalistic is my favourite look, and it leaves your guests feeling welcomed and warm. The mixture of greens, with clean linens is the definition of simplistic elegance. By keeping things simple and natural looking, it really is such a statement - less really is more. More and more couples are opting to go down this route, and I could not be happier!

Killer Backdrops

Ceremony Backdrops have quickly become something that really stands out to me. If you are opting for a Ceremony outside of the Church, there is certainly a lot more freedom to create some really amazing backdrops. Between the florals, to the arch styles and shapes, these are sure to be a showstopper, and something your guests will truly remember. I don’t know about you, but I am loving everything about it!

2019 is going to be full of lots of fun things - I can just feel it! In addition to the items I mentioned here, I also see a wave of colour making it’s way back into weddings, and these surprising pops of genius just make the day that much more fun. A bold pop of yellow, or emerald green, or even the Pantone Colour of the year, Coral, I look forward to seeing couples use these colours to create a special atmosphere your guests won’t forget!

Each year wedding styles change, but what I always love is how a couple can take an idea, and make it entirely their own - personalizing special details that guests are not to miss. Create a special monogram or graphic that can be carried throughout your wedding - from the invitations, right to your cocktail napkins, keeps things consistent. Be true to you! This is one of the first things I say to my couples, and watching them stay true to this belief throughout the process makes it that much more special.

“I booked a small local wedding venue and it was the best decision I made!”

Why selecting an unconventional venue location might just make your wedding day that much more special.


Once upon a time, the bigger the wedding the better, but more and more, I have begun to see couples start to scale back the excess, and stick to the essentials. That is, close friends and family, a simplistic backdrop, and an intimate gathering to celebrate love, life, and happiness. There are so many wonderful things to be said about an intimate wedding, and not only do your guests appreciate such a warm and welcoming event, but your pockets will thank you!

Windsor-Essex is lucky enough to have some great options available to those looking for these smaller, more intimate venues, that provide outstanding service, great food and an overall wonderful experience.

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Local native Amanda Vojvodin (@lavitaestyle) and I decided to collaborate on this topic a while back, and having just had her wedding here in Windsor, she is able to share her experience with you first hand.

“I loved all aspects of wedding planning, but the most stressful part was by far trying to decide on the wedding venue. This is not only because I found out that many of the typical venues I might have dreamed about having my wedding at had been booked 2/3 years in advance, but also because I wanted to make sure I picked the perfect place to make my wedding vision come to life. There are many elements that factor into the final wedding venue decision: location, size, availability, budget and last but not least, the feeling you get when you are in the space.

As any true millennial would do, the first thing I did when starting to look for potential venues was hunt online. To my dismay I found it harder than I imagined to find a venue in Windsor-Essex that would fit 60-100 people. I found myself looking at beautiful locations for 100-200 people or very quaint spaces for groups of 50-70 people. Not having a good idea of just how many people would be attending I knew I had to find a space that would be able to accommodate up to 100 people but that wouldn’t feel empty if we were only 60. I think that’s why I loved my venue so much in the end because I was able to tailor it to my exact needs based on how many guests I had attending – and (bonus) I was able to book it months in advance without even having the final RSVP numbers and not have to stress about that at all!

Here are some of the advantages that I found working with a smaller local venue for our ceremony and reception:

  • No red tape: I had looked at other bigger locations who specialize in wedding venues but found that they had a lot of “red tape” and rules to follow. Some charged fees per person if your RSVP count went below a certain number. Others charged you extra fees for wedding planning services (which is great if that’s something you want or need).

  • Flexibility: I worked hand in hand with the venue owners to make every part my wedding vision come to life. He was there to give me tips about how best to use the space, but in the end I was able to adapt the space to make it my own.

  • Privacy: In a small venue like a restaurant you get the privilege of having the whole space to yourself which gives you and your guests a sense of exclusivity and you don’t have to worry about other weddings in the room next door.

  • Budget: Not sure if this is the case with all small venues, but contrary to the bigger wedding venues, our space did not charge us a rental cost. This made it so that we could focus more of our budget on other elements of the wedding.

  • Décor costs: Being a smaller space, and having a lot of character on its own, we didn’t need to add very much to it which cut down our décor costs by at least half.

  • Food: There is nothing I love more than food, and I think it’s one of the most important elements of any wedding (especially if you’re an Italian…). So when we decided to have our wedding in a restaurant we were especially happy because it meant that everything was cooked on location and served hot. We were also able to create our own menu alongside the chef to cater everything to our taste and make it fit with the “fall in love” theme.

  • Availability: When we started looking for venues we found that many were not available the weekend we wanted, but with a smaller venue we were able to book only 11 months before the wedding. The team made themselves available the one week we were in town before the wedding to go through everything (décor, menu, logistics etc) and worked with me via email from Italy to make sure everything was clear before the big day.

Overall I loved that on our wedding day when I walked down the aisle and when I stood up to do my speech I looked around the room and was able to see every one of our guests and it felt like a giant family reunion. Both the spaces were intimate enough to make us all feel close, all while not making anyone feel congested. It also made it so that Michelangelo and I were able to have more one-on-one time with our guests. “

For all you future brides to be looking to plan your wedding and wishing for a more intimate and flexible wedding venue location here are a few in the Windsor-Essex area:

  • Mezzo’s Ristorante (my reception location, I cannot speak highly enough of Filip and his team)

  • Low-Martin Mansion (my ceremony location, contact Vern if you want to rent his space for your ceremony or as a wedding photo location)

  • Viewpointe Estate Winery

  • Willistead Manor

  • Art Gallery of Windsor

  • Malden Park Visitor Centre

  • Cooper's Hawk Winery

  • Lakeside Pavillion

  • The Windsor Club

  • Wedding In The Woods

  • Oxley Estate Winery


There are no rules to weddings anymore - the more unique the better! I always say to my couples - "Do you!" - in whatever capacity that is. From the venue, to the Ceremony wording, to the food and drink, do what feels right, and will make YOU happy.

As a Wedding Planner, helping couples navigate through the process of finding a venue for their size is one of my favourite parts! How can we find a space, and make it unique and personal to you? How can we take something already beautiful, and use that as the backdrop to reflect your relationship to each other?

Photos Courtesy of Blue Rose Designs