Wedding Resources for Hamilton Couples

Guest Blogger: Marie Nash

Having been a Hamilton bride myself, and writing a magazine which focuses on everything weddings in the region, I have learnt that getting married in Hamilton can be an amazing experience, especially if you just take advantage of all the fabulous resources available. I feel that one of the first steps in planning any event is educating yourself about all the options available to you, and when it comes to weddings in particular, that means attending exhibits, shows, open houses and picking up reading material. Here I have compiled a list of resources to help you plan your very own #HamOnt wedding!

Hamilton/Halton Wedding Show

Taking place twice annually at the Careport Centre, this wedding show has been a go-to for brides for over 40 years. What this show certainly provides is variety, with hundreds of exhibitors, allowing you to sample or see numerous vendors in one day. This show is a great starting point as it provides you with a great overview of the area’s vendors. My personal advice: You will feel overwhelmed at such a large show. Take a card or brochure from every vendor, head home, and continue your research online. Then book consultations with the vendors you are most interested in.

Ancaster Wedding Show/ Ancaster Wedding Show at Night
This small boutique-style show happens twice annually at the Ancaster Fair Grounds. Like most wedding shows, the AWS has great vendors covering every category of wedding essentials and a great fashion show showcasing the areas numerous options in wedding apparel. However, what sets this show apart from the rest is its small, intimate feel, allowing you a better chance at having longer chats with potential vendors. My favourite feature of this show is the Cupcake Dive, where five brides are chosen to tear through a huge pile of cupcakes to find a hidden ring.

The Vintage Marketplace

Debuting in 2013, this two-day event is not wedding specific but definitely a “must-attend” for any bride seeking that vintage vibe on their big day. You can find fabulous vintage wedding dresses, vintage-inspired invites, props, cakes and even favour ideas! Heck, even if you’re not getting married, this show is way too much fun!

Hamilton Halton Weddings Magazine

And to finish off, I would suggest anyone planning a wedding pick up a copy of Hamilton Halton Weddings! As editor of the current edition, I sought out to showcase the best this region has to offer. Inside, you will find two styled shoots, which feature the work of over 20 local vendors, along with two Real Weddings to help you get inspired! I also included a Neighbourhood Shopping Guide, for advice on where to find anything you’ll need right here in Hamilton. You can find a copy of the magazine at Chapters/Indigo locations, at the Hamilton Halton Wedding Show, at the Ancaster Wedding Show or e-version found here

Happy Planning!

marienashMarie Nash is the Editor of Hamilton Halton Weddings and the Creative Coordinator for the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of McMaster University twice over, having completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and her Master of Arts in Communication and New Media. Being born and raised in Hamilton, Marie loves everything the city has to offer, especially when it comes to weddings, having planned her own weddings in the city two years ago. In her time away from work, Marie loves to spend time with her husband Nathan and daughter Lola.

Who’s an “Expert?”

For a while there you’d see the word ‘epic’ being used for all most anything. From a tasty burger to accomplishing a skill testing task and even for photographs – everything was ‘epic’. I had always disagreed with the wide use of this word, for in my mind, things that are epic are to be life changing, mind blowing and essentially unforgettable. I’m not sure if 10 years down the road you will remember how delicious that burger was, or how cool you thought that photo was.

Another word that I think is used quite often is “expert.” There is no way anyone can truly be an expert if as humans, we are always learning. Learning from our past, our present experiences and situations and also from lessons yet to be learned. If you have one child, does that make you a parenting ‘expert’? What if you have three? Then you must be a parenting whiz. If you’ve ever eaten an entire pizza in one sitting (come on, admit you have), then does that make you an expert in telling others how you accomplished it? Perhaps you were just hungry.

My point here is that many professionals call themselves or are referred to by others as experts, and I want to get real with you here for a moment… no one can truly be an expert in any given field. We can be educated and knowledgeable about the subject or task. We can be passionate and creative and we can be skilled in executing said profession or position. I have been referred to as a Wedding Industry Expert before, and although flattering, I’m not an expert. The Wedding Industry, like most things in life is constantly changing and growing (sounds like people, eh?). Trends change, new businesses are formed and others fold. To be an expert in this field is a hefty title, and I’m okay with not referring to myself as one. What I can say is that I’m in love with being a Wedding Coordinator – I treat it like I would any relationship. I take pride in it, I nurture it and I grow along with it. I learn from my choices and I continue to network, educate myself and simply give it my all.

So, who do you think is an “Expert?” Do you agree with me that we’re all just simply doing our best with the talents and skills we are given? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, leave a comment below!

Surviving Wedding Season

This post isn’t for the Bride, or the Groom. It’s for those people that get invited to a bunch of weddings in one year and frankly don’t have a soft spot for them. It’s okay not to like weddings – I don’t necessarily understand it (tee hee), but it’s a fact of life – not everyone likes them.

Often you’ll find that you’ve got more wedding invites than you had Christmas cards, but that’s typical. You might notice every 3 years or so you’re going to more wedding then you did the year previous. If you dig weddings, then all these RSVP cards don’t phase you, but if you dislike them, you might want to simply push the invite aside and forget about it.

We suggest that you make your decision within the first 3 days of getting the invite – it’s the best form of proper etiquette and most respectful to the couple. If you don’t really want to attend said wedding, then don’t. As a guest you don’t have an obligation to attend – it’s an invitation, so you can always decline. Think about your relationship with the couple and how much you are about to dish out to attend (gift, attire, etc) before you reply.

If you do say yes, but aren’t overly stoked about it, here are a few tips to keep you sane…..

Get a good nights sleep the night before, drink lot’s of water throughout the day before and the day of the wedding to stay hydrated. Nothing will kick you on your butt faster than dehydration on a summer day.

Find out who else is going to the wedding. If you were invited with other co-workers or friends, then you will likely be seated with them and that can always help the dinner conversation be comfortable and fun.

Don’t watch any movie related to weddings at least two weeks before. If you think weddings are silly (gasp!), then stay away from anything wedding related to reduce your ticking time bomb. No Bride or Groom wants to hear someone tell them they are sick of hearing about weddings, especially theirs. Plus, we all know there is more to life, so be sure to take part in activities you enjoy prior to attending the wedding – it will help you feel less like you are missing out on something by attending. (This is typical for guys attending a wedding of their gf/wife’s friends).

Play “I Spy” with your plus one during cocktail hour. Don’t know anyone there and or you aren’t very social? Make a game of simply people watching or taking in the beautiful decor and venue.

Into pictures? Immerse yourself into capturing moments throughout the day. The Bride _ Groom may thank you for it.

And lastly, just keep cool. Most times when you attend something that you didn’t really want to attend, you end up having a blast. So go with the flow, enjoy the food and drink and above all, celebrate with your friends on their special day.