How to Have a “Green” Wedding

After you say “I Do” make eco-friendly decisions an integral part of your planning that support environmental sustainability, such as using recycled wedding or reception items to booking an eco-friendly venue.

WEDDING VENUE

Choosing the right wedding venue to celebrate with family and friends can be a big decision. One of the best ways to save on energy is to get married outside, where the sun provides the best natural lighting. The Old Mill Toronto features a beautiful picturesque Wedding Garden against a backdrop of lush tall trees.

If you prefer an indoor location there are ways to make it green. Hosting your ceremony & reception in the same place, will save time on planning and will result in spending less on gas and other transportation costs, which results in less fuel emissions.  Book a wedding venue with lots of windows and schedule an afternoon wedding, you can leave the lights off. You should also consider the venues recycle policies and energy consumption. 

DECOR & MATERIALS

Being green is really about reducing, reusing and recycling. Decorating with items you can re-use from the ceremony to the reception, will save money and waste less.  

Branches: Used in their natural form, branches make the perfect Ceremony or Reception table decor. Hanging colored ornaments from the branches is a elegant decor touch and your guests can take them home afterwards as keepsakes.  

Leaves, Rocks & Acorns:  Scatter them on the middle of your tables to add a splash of color and texture and save on overlays and runners and the soap and water that would go into washing them afterwards.

Candles: Soy and Beeswax are definitely the eco-friendly way to go. Avoid candles made with petroleum by-products along with lead based wicks. Candlelight isn’t only romantic, it’s energy efficient too.

Many of these ideas, can not only be found in your own backyard but they aid in preserving our earth, and save you money . If your looking for ideas and inspiration that will bring your eco-friendly wedding decor to life, check out the 105 best eco-friendly wedding images on Pinterest

STATIONARY

Use Plantable Paper Products from invitations to favour tags, this paper will add a rustic look to your special day and afterwards, this paper can be planted to eventually turn into compost. Paper can even be embedded with seeds, so the paper turns into flowers, plants or herbs when planted. Millions of trees are chopped down annually to make paper products, this process is polluting our environment. Emailing invitations and creating a web-site with your wedding details including the details of the venue will reduce your carbon footprint. You can also purchase recycled paper products and vegetable-based inks.  Or choose sustainable resources, like cotton and bamboo options.

FAVOURS

Instead of another decorative dust collector, opt to donate that money to charities that support the environment; greatergood.org, WWF and the David Suzuki organization are a good place to start. Create a decorative sign letting your guests know you’ve made a donation to a meaningful cause in lieu of favours. If you like the idea of giving your guests a gift, bamboo coasters and frames are a nice idea and gentle to the earth. Plantable favours like potted saplings, herbs or succulents are a great eco-friendly gift. Potted plants/flowers (annuals) make great centre-pieces and can later be planted in your guest’s gardens to enjoy year after year.

ATTIRE  

Consider sustainable fabrics like Hemp, Wool, Organic Cotton, Soy Silk and Bamboo all materials that can be used in your attire. Check out vintage clothing shops or consignment boutiques and re-use a wedding gown or rent brides maids dresses.

The Old Mill Toronto has shown national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies & practices. We participate with the Green Key Eco-Rating program which is a rating system designed to recognize hotels for improving their environmental performance.

 



Wedding Dress Code Terms

One of the tricky things about planning a wedding, involves defining wedding dress code terms. There are a lot of options, and decisions, in some cases, an opportunity for miscommunication.

Heading to a wedding soon? Review these What colours not to wear to a wedding before the big day!

Black Tie: No-nonsense and pretty straightforward, this affair is, in a word, formal. That means tuxes for the gents, formal gowns for the ladies. Definitely an opportunity to head to fancy end of the wedding-wear spectrum.

Formal: At a formal wedding, the black tie may still make an appearance but is certainly optional. Men at this type of event are expected to wear at least a suit and tie, while women can wear a fancier cocktail-style dress or long, more formal dress.

Semi-formal: Still nice, but slightly more casual than its “formal” neighbour, a semi-formal wedding calls for a suit and tie and cocktail dress combination for men and women respectively. Also seen referred to as “cocktail” attire.

Garden party: With summer suits for men, and summery sundresses for women, this is about as casual as you can get and still feel dressed up for an affair. Khaki pants and fun prints are welcome, with a definite emphasis on lighter, nice-but-not-too-nice attire for what is a more casual, but still very special, event. Sometimes you may see this referred to as “beach formal” for an oceanside event.

A guest information packet or website is a good place to present your wedding dress code. Wedding dress code: 5 clever ways to tell guests what to wear

Remember the best rule is to overdress rather than underdress, and if you’re planning to wear a large fashion hat, it’s best to remove it for the ceremony so it doesn’t block the other guests’ view. And you should also remember to remove your sunglasses if the ceremony is inside.



“Spring Weddings” Do’s and Don’ts

 

Springtime is synonymous with new beginnings. Flowers blossom, animals emerge from their winter hideaways (often with babies in tow), and people everywhere celebrate the dawning of a new, warmer season. It makes perfect sense that many couples want to use this time to celebrate their own new beginning, too: the beginning of their life as husband and wife.

But when you’re planning a spring wedding there are still a few things you need to keep in mind. From decorating tips to finding the perfect wedding date, here are a few do’s and don’ts for your special springtime day:

Do: Check The Weather

You know what they say: April showers bring May Flowers. Just because winter is behind you doesn’t mean there are only sunny days ahead! If you’re getting married in the spring, be sure to check your local weather forecasts for rainy days. This is especially important if you’re wedding is outdoors. Also, make accommodations for inclement weather, like a covered awning or tents in your outdoor area. This will give you a little bit of insurance should you meet with an April shower.

 

Don’t: Stick to Daylight Hours 

When you think “spring wedding,” the image that likely comes to mind is a beautiful, dreamy ceremony on a sunny, green day. But a spring wedding can be so much more than that. In fact, many couples are moving their nuptials after dark this year, creating a different sort of dreamy setting. String up some fairy lights and take advantage of the warmer nights. With an evening wedding, your wedding will be unique and memorable, not to mention tons of fun! 

 

Do: Get Creative with Confectionery

Weddings in 2017 are becoming much more individualized. Rather than settling for the good old traditions, many couples are creating their own wedding moments, from specialized entertainment to unique dessert options. Don’t like cake? Don’t worry! Some pretty macarons or an elegant croquembouche can really make a stunning statement on your dessert table. Just like a gorgeous wedding cake, other dessert options can be tasty and beautiful – exactly what every couple wants on their wedding day!

Don’t: Settle For Spring Pastels

Ever since you got your first Easter Sunday outfit, you’ve been told that spring equals pastel colors. But here’s a little secret: it doesn’t have to be! In fact, wedding trends this year are leaning more towards bright and colorful decor, from flashy wedding accessories to tropical floral accents. This bold look is both romantic and energizing, a great combination when you want the party to last well into the night! Play around with oranges, pinks, turquoises, and greens – or, if you want to soften some of those bold colors, use grey or brown as an accent. You’ll find that your final look is one that will be breathtaking! 

Of course, the most important do and don’t of a spring wedding is this: do what will make you and your future partner happy, and don’t do something that won’t. If you want to buck tradition, go for it! You want to decorate your venue like a Jackson Pollock painting? Get out the paint (but get permission first). Above all, make sure this day is one that you will remember fondly forever. 



Old Mill Toronto Wedding Open House

Congratulations on your engagement, now on to the planning! The wedding planning experience is an exciting time in your life and before you start thinking about important things like budget, it might be easier to start thinking about where you want to hold your wedding venue first. Would you select your wedding gown without trying it on, chances are the answer is no, so, why should you reserve your wedding venue without experiencing it first? The Old Mill Toronto Wedding Open House is your chance to have an intimate view of our beautiful venue, meet our preferred vendors, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages and take home a swag bag full of goodies.

The Old Mill Toronto will open its doors for couples to explore and enjoy all your wedding planning needs, much like a bridal show, but on a more intimate level where you can spend some one-on-one time with our wedding executives and vendors. It is a great opportunity for you to see  how we could setup for a wedding in any particular room, which can some times be difficult to visualize when doing a site visit.

Tour the venue on your own or if you prefer one of our wedding executives will show you around the property while answering any questions you may have about accommodations, packages, and availability. Make sure you have an opportunity to meet with our preferred venders, they will have lots of unique ideas and lots of experience working with our venue in particular, but of course you can bring in anyone you prefer to work with for your special day.  Enjoy the DJ, indulge in hors d’oeuvres, have some fun in the photo-booth, look through the photographer’s sample albums, the bakers cake displays, check out our cozy 16th century candlelit wedding chapel, in general experience our venue from your own perspective.

It is a good idea to bring a list of questions to ask us so you don’t get off track and forget an important question you may have. It is also, a good idea to have your contact information ready to give to vendors. Think about what email address and phone number you’ll want to use. Setting up an email address for your wedding is also a good idea, and it will definitely come in handy closer to the date.  Bring your camera so you are ready to snap pictures of things you love or want to remember about the venue. Your smartphone with a Pinterest app would probably come in handy!

Wednesday February 22, 2017  4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

* View our beautiful venue  * Meet our preferred venders
* Enter to win an Overnight Getaway  * Enter to win a Couples Massage
* Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments  * Tour our Hotel Suites

RSVP to humbach@oldmilltoronto.com or by calling 416-207-2008 

No problem if the date doesn’t work for you, simply Contact us and we will happily set you up with a personal tour on a day that is more convenient for you and your vision! 



What to Consider When Choosing 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. 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 for an intimate preview of our exclusive venue on Wednesday February 22nd 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 an overnight getaway. 



Romantic Winter Weddings

While winter is not the most popular season for weddings, it can be one of the most romantic and magical times of the year. We are seeing more couples capture the richness of this season with it’s warming colours, roaring fires and twinkling lights, that add a cozy warmth, which can not be captured the same way at a summer wedding. Winter weddings can be truly spectacular.

Keep in mind, when choosing a winter wedding location, the indoor space should be warm and inviting, making your guests feel at home. Wood-burning fireplaces and rooms with windows, so you can see the soft fall of snowflakes outside, and, the sun flooding your room with natural light adds a cozy warmth to your winter wedding. It is also a good idea to select a wedding venue that can accommodate everything you need in one location; ceremony, reception and overnight accommodations for your guests.

The ambience around a winter wedding is similar to the first snowfall of the season, it’s magical and very romantic. Make sure to highlight and maximize the winter elements in your decor; faux snow and Christmas twinkle lights add to a perfect winter wedding wonderland, incorporate this with natural components, such as frosted pinecones, pine leaves and snowflakes. 

A romantic winter wedding provides the perfect opportunity to serve wintry comfort foods. Try hearty dishes, like pasta, lasagna, a roast, casseroles, classic filet mignon, hearty greens and warm soups. Also, be fun and creative with the dessert course, consider setting up a fancy hot chocolate bar, and serve creamy eggnog cocktails and spicy mulled wines, it’s a sweet and stylish way to celebrate the season.

There’s a new take on self-service candy bars that’s perfect for trendy winter weddings: an all-white candy spread. Think white M&Ms, yogurt-covered pretzels, white chocolate-covered cranberries, white-coated chocolate mints, nonpareils covered in white sprinkles, and various white Jelly Belly flavours. Self service candy bars can serve as both dessert and party favours.

Have a look at some winter wedding inspirations on pinterest.

Don forget to have fun creating a winter-themed wedding invitation. You can play up the uniqueness of your chosen wedding date by including snowy scenes, holiday themes, snowflakes or cozy fireside tableaux.

And, when it’s time to shop for your wedding dress begin your search by browsing dress photos online. The season will also affect your choice of material, brocade, faux fur and velvet will keep you warm in the winter, but, satin, shantung, silk and tulle are perfect year-round.

The entire wedding, from ceremony to reception, is guaranteed to make an impression in the memories of all your guests simply because it’s different from all of the spring and summer weddings they typically attend. Plus, your wedding will provide something to look forward to in the colder months.

Few Toronto wedding venues compare with the casual elegance and timeless style of our unique Old Mill Toronto, creating an unrivalled location for your special Wedding day.



How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer

Choosing the right wedding photographer can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be if you ask the right questions to get the best fit for you.

We spoke with Toronto based wedding photographer Ian Liwanag from Photo & Co. to get his perspective on what couples should be asking, in order to choose the right photographer that will give them a lifetime of memories to cherish.

How long have you been a wedding photographer?
Experience speaks volumes, but what should be of real value is the photographers ability to manage potentially stressful situations. You need a connection with your photographer that allows you to feel comfortable and trusting, so make sure you enjoy being around each other and you trust them to capture your special day. It’s very important to have a mutual understanding of expectations.

How many hours do we have you for or do you provide special packages?
It’s always best to let the photographer know exactly what your needs and expectations are. Some of my clients ask me to capture their whole story from start to finish, from getting ready, to the ceremony, to the venue itself, with all the flowers and decor and of course dancing. While other clients simply want basic coverage of their ceremony with family and friends. 

Can we see your portfolio of past work?
Every professional photographer has a different eye, their work is very subjective and you need to look at their work to determine if their creative approach matches your artistic integrity. It doesn’t matter how recommended they are to you, if your not loving their style you wont love your photos.

Are the photos edited for touch ups?
Basic colour correction like taking care of brightness, contrast, levelling photos should all be included in the post edit. 

How long will it take to get our images back?
An acceptable turn around time is typically 2 months.

A professional photographer will be able to cover all the technical aspects of your wedding day photography, i.e. lighting issues, composition of your photos, attention to detail, there is no “do over” on your wedding day, it’s always best to hire a professional photographer and not “Uncle Bob”.



Wedding Etiquette In The Age Of Social Media

Social media remains an integral part of daily life for younger generations. For couples who grew up in the age of popular social sharing sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, bringing the online world into their wedding planning is a natural reaction to their constant social media connectivity. When small events in the day are worthy of an update, a milestone as large as a wedding serves as the magnum opus of social media relevancy.

Social sharing and wedding planning, however, don’t always mix well. Wedding planning and the details of the big day often remain subject to certain rules of etiquette. The rules become blurred when sharing online, but there still remains a proper protocol especially as it replies to taking the wedding into the social media realm.

There are lines online that should not and cannot be crossed via social media. While many rules apply to the wedding party, guests are subject to their own set of social guidelines. There are rules of conduct that must not be breached online or in person, and then there are guidelines that apply only to the social media realm.

Follow these simple rules of etiquette when incorporating social media into wedding planning:

For the Bride & Groom:

Request permission from professional photographers before posting any professional pictures online. Most photographers own the copyrights to their photos. Respect the copyright.

Do not share details about wedding registries via social media. Etiquette dictates that word of mouth is the best way to share registry details. Guests should inquire about registries, they should not be told.

Like gift registries, money requests in lieu of gifts should not be promoted via social media. Word of mouth, again, is the proper method to ensure guests know that gifts of cash would be preferred. Also, do not promote sites that solicit funds for a Honeymoon through any social media platform. Links to such sites may be listed on a wedding web site instead.

 

Thank you notes should be hand written, not emailed.

If guests are encouraged to snap shots of the ceremony, set up an online photo sharing site where all snapshots may be uploaded. Candid shots by guests capture the best memories…be sure to save them.

 For the Wedding Party:

Bridesmaids and groomsmen should not post wedding day selfies or pictures online without consent of the bride and/or groom. Imagine the bride’s dress being photographed and posted online before walking down the aisle…and having the groom see it on social media first. All members of the wedding party should discuss any picture posting rules before the wedding date.

 

Posting pictures of debauchery at bachelor and/or bachelorette parties are unnecessary and embarrassing. They might even cost someone a job. Think twice before posting any questionable photographs…no matter how humorous.

Sending updates on the wedding day about any wedding mishap. Small details that go awry can lead into huge meltdowns. Don’t post anything about problems…no matter how miniscule.

Refrain from posting updates about the wedding details. Again, all details should be shared only by the bride and/or groom.

For Guests:

Check with the wedding hosts to inquire about snapping photos during the ceremony or the reception. Some couples prefer that guests not take photos.

Do not request the bride and/or groom to pose for photos. The day is long and overwhelming for them. Respect the boundaries.

Like the wedding party, guests should not upload photos or post any updates regarding wedding details, preparations, etc. Some details should remain private.

Unsure where the couple is registered? Ask! Word of mouth is the best way to find out about registries. Also inquire about a wedding web site, which usually has a host of other information for guests.

Turn off or silence phones during the ceremony and the reception.

Social media has provided a new avenue to share wedding photos, special details and other memories from the ceremony and the reception. However, there are rules and proper etiquette to follow when incorporating social media into wedding planning. Remember: just because something can be posted online, doesn’t mean it SHOULD be posted online…otherwise, the something blue might just be the entire mood of the wedding day.

 



Not Your Typical Wedding

Helen Pispidikis from Weddings by Design has been planning Weddings and Events for over 15 years. Many trends have come and gone but says Helen “the key to creating a unique and memorable wedding celebration is to make the trend your own”.

As an Event Designer, her goal is to fuse the personalities of today’s couples, with inspiration from the latest trends in colours and fashion / design to create a unique and memorable experience for all to remember. “A wedding is a chance for each couple to create a celebration they’ve always dreamed of — the story of who they are as a couple representing their personal taste and style. Elements of design are than added to the mix to bring the event to life in its own unique way.”

The wedding featured in this article illustrates how current trends in fashion, colour and floral design can be adapted to create a very organic and eclectic approach to wedding design. “In 2016 floral trends are more organic rather than structured. The trending colours for 2016 are Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue. In fashion we are seeing a lot of large floral prints. When we merge all the above with the couples personality and the look and feel of their venue — magic happens! Love is in the details and no details should be overlooked”.

“The floral inspiration in this wedding design was the Tulip which was used in the floral arrangements throughout the space.  However, taking our inspiration from the large floral prints in the 2016 Dolce Gabbana Spring Collection, we decided to create drama in the space by translating the tulip motif on the Dance Floor, with a custom vinyl floor — this was the WOW factor in the space.”

In this above photo the dresses on the left are from the Dolce Gabbana Spring 2016 Fashion collection, you can see where the design was translated onto the dance floor.

There are many ways to incorporate colour and interest into the design of a space. “Design elements can include cutlery, glassware, charger plates or even dessert plates — small items can make a big statement.”

The floor plan and the use of different size and shape of tables along with the use of coordinating linens and florals all play a role in creating a unique and interesting event space.

“Don’t be afraid of mixing things up. In this space the floor plan incorporated square and round tables. The round tables featured coordinating linens and napkins in Serenity Blue and black, with two styles of centrepieces — a mixed organic floral arrangement on some tables, alternating with tall candles with garlands and a deconstructed floral design on others. The rectangular tables featured a garland of greens accented by tall candles at different heights and clusters of florals in different vessels. The black tulip overlays were used to match the black wrought iron chandeliers and wall sconces in the event space.”

Let’s not forget the cake!!! “Wedding cakes have come a long way and today they are not only one of the design elements in a wedding but a work of art. Hand painted florals and designs on weddings are a big trend in 2016.”

From start to finish your wedding theme should be reflected in every element of the design. “Your invitations are the first impression of what is to come. Stationary at the event including menus, table numbers and seating charts all play a role in the design and theme of a wedding.”

For inspirational ideas and creativity a Wedding Designer can help plan a memorable wedding that reflects your style.  #weddingsbydesign



Old Mill Toronto Wedding Open House

This past Tuesday, the Old Mill Toronto held a Wedding Open House with a host of top vendors on hand. The gorgeous space is a picturesque hotel and spa that features 57 well appointed rooms and suites. Attending guests were awe-struck by the opulent beauty of each of the decorated rooms. Thankfully, Ian Liwanag was on hand to capture the timeless details.

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We love that each room had a luxe vibe that complemented the ornate furnishings found all over the venue. The beautiful linens in each room were provided by Chair Decor, the in-house linen team. We love that the Old Mill provided organized tours of the venue so that attending couples were able to experience the array of venue options available for their wedding. Each tour was conducted by an experienced coordinator who was able to spend one-on-one time with each couple, answering questions and finding rooms that worked best for their wedding vision.

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We love the simple backdrop and glitzy rose-gold linens of the head table pictured above. Our friends at Patricia’s Cake Creations displayed their intricately designed cakes in each room and provided yummy samples to attending guests.

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iceFX created several intricate ice sculptures and luges that proved to be a crowd favourite. Ice luges are always a hit at events – who doesn’t love a delicious cold drink that comes with a show?

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Our friends at Snapz Photobooth had a great traditional photobooth set up and provided fun keepsakes for attendees.

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The Old Mill Toronto is almost fully booked for 2016, so act fast if you want to be married at this gorgeous venue this year! We saw many couples meeting with coordinators to finalize their details, and everyone walked away with big smiles. Congratulations on a fantastic open house!

By Alisha Chadee