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How To Choose Your Wedding Venue

 

Choosing the best venue for your wedding is important, and it may seem like a task consisting only of liking a space or not, but in reality there is way more to consider than that. Since the number of wedding venue options are infinite now, there are many important questions couples need to consider before booking their venue.  It’s always a great idea to be prepared with your questions and priorities and keep track of all your top points on a spreadsheet, allowing you to keep track of each venues suitability as you do your research.

Having a rough idea of your “wedding size”, whether you will invite 60,125 or 300 guests, will narrow down the venues on your list that don’t have the capacity to fit your estimated guest list. It is also a good idea to have your budget in mind, no sense in keeping a $12,000 venue on your list when you can really only afford $4,000.

Things you should consider;

Is this venue available on the date that I want? 
Do you have a specific day or month in mind? Always a good idea to double-check availability at the site visit.

Does this venue’s space fit my needs? 
If you want your ceremony, cocktails, and reception all in one venue, does the space your considering have separate spaces for all of those events?  Does it require a space that is weather dependent, such as an outdoor space?  It’s also important to talk through the flow of the ceremony if you’re having one there and pay attention to the little details, like routes your guests will take, what the bathrooms are like, whether they have heating/air conditioning and where the power sockets are for your entertainment and speeches. 

Is the catering in-house or is there an approved caterers list?
Are there any sample menus you can look at and do they provide menu tastings? What type of menu service is provided, for example, plated, buffet, french service, food stations etc.

Location, Location, Location…
Will you have to provide transportation for guests from a hotel to your venue or do they have onsite accommodation for your guests? How easy is it to access by public transport? If everyone is driving, is there ample parking. 

How does the pricing structure work?
Is it based on room rental, price per head, minimum spend or are there set packages?  What are your bar options, can you supply your own beverages and will there be a corkage charge? Are there any extra rental charges for tables, chairs linen and flatware?  

What Kind of Venue are you looking for?
Consider whether you want a traditional or non-traditional venue. Are you looking for rustic, formal, romantic, elegant, relaxed, historical, the wedding style you envision will help determine your venue options. Hotels, Golf Clubs, Beaches, Vineyards, Formal Gardens, there are plenty of venues that regularly play host to weddings, even barns and galleries! Keep in mind if you opt for a totally non-traditional venue that’s not equipped to host a party, you’ll be responsible for a lot more details so make sure they are in your budget. You should also consider the decor of the venue, is the venue naturally beautiful and impressive or is it a blank slate that will need additional decor and pizzaz to warm it up?

Few Ceremony and reception venues compare with the casual elegance and timeless style of the Old Mill Toronto to help you realize your dream wedding. Our on site 16th century candlelit chapel and out door wedding garden add to the array of personal choices. 

Join us on Tuesday February 23rd for the Old Mill Toronto Wedding Open House. Meet our preferred venders, view our beautiful venue, enjoy complimentary hors d’ oeuvres and beverages and enter to win a weekend getaway. 



Fifty Shades of White

It was the Ragtime era, when the phonograph became available to consumers. The first time guests were dancing at weddings; and in spite of high waists and high collars, long trains and long gloves it was the bopping head and flailing arms and legs of the Turkey Trot that was coveted by the youth and considered scandalous by polite society.

In 1914; the start of World War I the Toronto cityscape was dotted with horse and buggies as the population pushed 200,000. It was the year of the opening of the Old Mill Tea Room, the future venue for a legacy of weddings that would define the iconic Toronto landmark.

In 1929 the Old Mill Tea Room added a dance hall; and a nine piece orchestra that played six nights a week. It was the Depression so although couples continued to exchange vows brides were exchanging silk for rayon gowns or their Sunday dresses that could be worn again.

In the thirties with women supplying ¼ of Toronto’s workforce the world was introduced to mac ‘n cheese, instant oatmeal and canned soup varieties. The invention of kettles that whistled when they boiled and blenders for home use made it easier for women to go to work.

Amid World War II even more women were employed and weddings were planned with haste to young men in the forces. Vogue magazine wrote (1942) “Weddings nowadays hang not on the brides’ whim, but on the decision of the grooms’ commanding officer.”

Grooms were increasingly wearing wedding bands as visual reminders of their nuptials.

This era of rationing and practicality forced shorter hemlines (above the ankle for bike-riding ease) and lacy sweaters to get the most mileage out of a ball of wool. Brides were not exempt from frugality often using furnishing fabrics and lace curtains to fashion their wedding attire.

Life was better in the fifties. Toronto got a television broadcast system, TV dinners were on grocery shelves and portable dishwashers were being wheeled into kitchens.

Brides were wearing ballerina-length dresses with luxurious poufy layers and short fingerless gloves made of lace. Bolero jackets were in demand for ceremonies, covering strapless or laced dresses with sweetheart collars for the reception.

In the sixties women were making up 1/3 of the Canadian workforce and ¼ of the Canadian engineering profession. They were learning that ovens could (and should) clean themselves.

When they were grooving down the aisle brides were choosing short skirts or dresses and hair worn long, dotted with flowers or veils popping from pill box hats.

Toronto enjoyed architectural successes in the seventies, with Ontario Place, The Eaton Centre and The CN Tower being erected. Microwave ovens hit the Canadian market but the decade is generally associated with flower power and the peace movement.

Blame it on the hippies, but seventies brides had their own fashion senses. From pantsuits to smocked gauze gowns to Bohemian frocks this was an era of recreational duds.

O Canada became the official national anthem in 1980 kicking off an era of formality and tradition in wedding styles.

If one person can define the decade it was Diana, Princess of Wales who set the tone for puffy hair, puffy sleeves, long-distance trains and veils and the return to bodacious bouquets. Brides among the non-nobles dressed as princesses nonetheless.

The nineties were digital; as in cameras, answering machines and video discs. People were still using coin booth telephones but mobile phones were introduced to the marketplace.

In fashion, the ‘designer look’ was desirable. Brides were wearing strapless, sleeveless and sexy gowns. Cleavage was in (or out?) and dresses were form fitting.

At the turn of the century the vowels were ahead; with the arrival of iPhones, e-tickets, e-books, USBs and ATMs.

Drinks are frothy and wedding gowns more so. Pick-up skirts and asymmetrical hems fall from form fitting bodices.

Mermaids may be mystical in the sea but on the aisle the Mermaid dress is genuine and sought after, as is the Pandora, Princess, Sabrina or Tulip dress.

A century of changing styles, fashions and trends; yet the Old Mill Toronto is unwavering in their dedication to their brides and their special days.

You might say that the Old Mill Toronto, Toronto’s most romantic wedding venue, will go to great lengths to seek perfection.



Fig Glazed Chicken Recipe

In making this Fig, Balsamic Glazed Chicken you only require three ingredients to deliver  a tangy mouthwatering sensation.  This marinade doesn’t require a lot of time and is great for those nights when you had nothing planned.

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fig spread, (jam)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy mustard
  • 1.3 kg bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (about 8 pieces) 

In a bowl, whisk together fig spread, vinegar, mustard and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper until smooth. Toss half of the mixture with the chicken to coat.

Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once and brushing with remaining fig mixture, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, approx. 12 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!



Wedding Candy Bar Inspiration!

Here’s the scoop, pulling off a beautiful dessert or candy bar display isn’t as easy as it looks, but the end result can be visually stunning as well as yummy! Every Candy Bar should be unique and an expression of your own personality.

It is important to keep your candy bar cohesive with a theme or color scheme. To be visually captivating, you could choose a colour scheme that matches your wedding palette. Taking advantage of the colors you’ve already established for your wedding can enhance your candy bar’s presence.

You can add depth and height in your display with simple boxes, creating a beautiful landscape on your candy bar.  You can wrap the boxes in decorative paper, or cover with matching linens for a refined, free-flowing look.

Consider where your candy bar will be located.  Will there be a nice backdrop or wall behind it for pictures?  Will it be open so people can access it from all sides, or will it be round?  Melting can be an issue in warmer seasons, so  keep your candy table in air conditioning or choose candies that won’t melt by the end of the night.

Now on to the good stuff CANDY:

Try to stock at least 1/4 -1/2 lbs of candy per guest. As long as you have a mix of flavours and treats, anything goes. Remember colour is key and having a specific colour scheme can really make your table pop. Make sure to consider different hues and shades of your main colour scheme. Monochromatic palettes can also be striking and elegant. 

Try to be creative by bundling lollipops together like a bouquet of flowers, or skewer some candies to simulate kabobs – the possibilities are endless. Remember to keep it simple, having a variety of flavours and different types of candy can be satisfying to everyone, but don’t be afraid to go with a specific flavour profile.  Whether it be a sour candy bar or a chocolate truffle tribute, your guests will definitely enjoy the sugar rush! Oh, and a candy bar doesn’t have to be just candy, consider mini cookies, mini cupcakes and coloured kettle corn.  

Don’t forget about guest allergies, you should either leave those candies off the table or make sure they’re clearly marked. The time of season can also dictate the type of candy you select—for example, cinnamon and pumpkin treats work for fall while tart lemon and citrus candies are perfect for summer.    

Final rule; there are no rules, the sky is the limit, so have fun with your selection and theme, and remember sometimes less is more.



Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque Recipe

Discover eating well with this healthy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque recipe. Bursting with flavour and best served with crusty bread and a salad. 

Ingredients:

·         Canned tomato fillets (chopped tomatoes are also fine) x 2 cans (400 ml size)
·         Medium carrots, peeled & chopped x 2 pc
·         Celery trimmed and sliced x 3 stalks
·         Two cloves of garlic minced
·         Medium sized cooking onions chopped x 2
·         3 – 4 Medium to Large sized Red Bell Peppers approx. 1.5 lbs
·         Chicken or Vegetable soup stock (liquid or if in powder form follow the package                 recipe to make the required amount of liquid) x 1 litre
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
·         Olive oil x 1 fluid ounce

Method:

First  cut the red peppers in half and remove the core and all of the seeds. Toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Roast in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven skin side down until nicely browned. This will take 10 to 15 minutes depending on your oven. Once roasted remove from the oven and place in a tied plastic bag, large zip-lock bag, or makeshift plastic wrap bag. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled remove the skins from the peppers.

In a medium sized sauce pan add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 3 minutes more.

Add the canned tomatoes, roasted pepper halves and soup stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 10 -12  minutes or until the carrots and celery are softened through.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a hand emersion blender blend the soup until smooth. If using a traditional blender to blend the soup make sure you place a kitchen towel on top of the lid and allow some air to escape on low speed first. Just be sure not to fill the blender too full. This will prevent the pressure from building inside the blender abruptly and potentially burning you as the contents burst out of the blender.

Adjust the thickness of the soup by boiling it down to your preferred consistency prior to adjusting the seasoning.

If your soup is too thick, add some water or stock. If you like a little heat in your soup add a freshly chopped jalapeno.



What is Osteopathic Treatment

Osteopathic Treatment is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints. Osteopathic Treatment is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together.

Osteopathy is a patient centred discipline, which means your treatment plan will be formulated for you as an individual, because symptoms sometimes show up in a different part of your body from where the problem actually is and there may be several factors contributing to the symptoms you experience.

Osteopaths use a gentle hands-on approach to investigate the underlying causes of pain and to administer treatment using a variety of manipulative techniques. This fundamental technique is called osteopathic palpation. 

Osteopathic palpation is what makes osteopathy different from other forms of therapy. Manual practitioners use it in the four major treatment techniques:

Soft Tissue Manipulation

The practitioner uses soft tissue manipulation in many different ways. In general, they use it to evaluate the condition of tissues and to help the body’s fluids (such as blood and lymphatic fluid) flow smoothly. Keeping fluids flowing smoothly reduces harmful fluid retention and makes the body’s immune system more effective.

Osteopathic Articular Technique 

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use this technique to:

  • reduce muscle spasms near a joint
  • ease neurological irritations around a joint
  • make joints more mobile
  • reduce pain and discomfort

click is sometimes heard when the correction is made. This is nothing more than the synovial fluid moving through the joint.

The osteopathic articular technique is a very small component of osteopathy. Patients who do not want to have this (or any other) technique performed on them are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their practitioner. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners can use other methods to achieve similar results.

Cranial Osteopathy

This is the most gentle osteopathic technique, and it requires the most experience to use effectively. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use this gentle technique to assess and treat the mobility of the skull and its contents. They may also use it to assess and treat the spine, the sacrum, and other parts of the body.

Visceral Manipulation

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use visceral manipulation to treat organs and viscera of the body, including:

  • lungs
  • heart
  • liver
  • spleen
  • kidneys
  • stomach
  • pancreas
  • intestines
  • bladder
  • uterus

Clients may feel pain in one or more of these organs, or the viscera may be less pliable than it should be. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners gently move the structures themselves and the fascia (connective tissue) that surrounds them to restore full movement.

Most patients treated with visceral manipulation feel only gentle pressure of the osteopathic manual practitioner’s hand. But the corrections are powerful enough to improve the mobility of an organ, improve blood flow, and help the organ function more effectively.

Note: It is important that you speak with your medical doctor for the complete diagnosis of any medical condition.

Alex Zaslavsky has been a registered massage therapist since 2008. Alex’s introduction to manual haling practices/therapy started in his early teens, when he was actively involved in contact sports. Sports massage during and after wrestling workouts or competitions provided him with certain skills and enough confidence to treat athletes or anyone who wanted or needed massage treatments.

Several serious injuries which Alex suffered in the course of his wrestling career, made him retire from the sport. Alex needed to heal himself naturally, which he knew would take a long time. In the process of observing and participating in therapeutic sessions in which he happened to be a patient, months of recovery from his many injuries, knowledge of exercise, and patience, combining with his education as a Massage Therapist, gave him a valuable ability and knowledge in treating people with musculoskeletal injuries, pain or discomfort.

Besides Massage Therapist, Alex is also a Registered Acupuncturist, he teaches massage technique classes at Euro Training Center and now proud to say an Osteopathic Manual Treatment Practitioner at the Spa at Old Mill Toronto.