Saying “Yes to the Dress” with Monte Durham

This month, Elm Hurst Inn & Spa was delighted to host the Engaged Bridal Ingersoll wedding showcase, featuring special guest Monte Durham of “Say Yes to the Dress – Atlanta.


Monte Durham traveled north to help local brides find their perfect gown!

Monte braved our bitterly cold Southwestern Ontario winter to meet local brides and share his tips on finding the perfect dress!

Enjoying a tea break in the Elm Hurst mansion restaurant.

Enjoying a tea break in the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa’s mansion restaurant.

Monte meeting Elm Hurst Inn & Spa Chef Michael Davies and GM Alon Gurman.

Monte meeting Elm Hurst Inn & Spa Executive Chef Michael Davies and GM Alon Gurman.

Monte and Elm Hurst Inn & Spa owner Shmuel Farhi, in the Grand Ballroom.

Monte and Elm Hurst Inn & Spa owner Shmuel Farhi, in the Grand Ballroom.

Taking a selfie with Elm Hurst Inn wedding coordinator, Erin.

Taking a selfie with Elm Hurst Inn & Spa wedding coordinator, Erin.

We hope he enjoyed his stay as much as we enjoyed his visit – and we hope he’ll come back and see us again soon!

How to be an A-list wedding guest

Being a wedding guest is fun.  You get to enjoy the celebration without any of the stress of planning.  But being a great wedding guest takes some effort. Here are some tips to make sure you stay on the invitation A-list!

A few simple tips can make the couple's big day the best day ever. Photo: McG Photography

A few simple tips can help make the couple’s big day the best day ever. Photo: McG Photography

Whether you receive a formal invitation by mail or an electronic invite, do let the happy couple know whether or not you’ll be able to attend by the date requested. They’ll need to confirm numbers with the venue and caterers so don’t add to their stress by making them chase you down for a response.

Respect the RSVP!

Do respect the RSVP!

Unless the invitation says “and guest” or “and family” don’t assume you can bring a date, or your children. As a general rule, only the people who the invitation is addressed to are invited.  If you’re in doubt, ask – and accept the answer graciously.

Finally, if you need to cancel at the last minute, let your hosts know.

Do respect the dress code
The reception location and style of the invitation are usually good indicators of how formal the wedding will be.

If it’s a daytime wedding in a rustic location or on a beach, a pretty party dress and light-coloured suits are probably appropriate.  Cocktail dresses and darker suits are always a good choice for the evening. If the invitation says “black-tie affair” a tuxedo or formal suit are a must for men, while women can use the opportunity to go glamorous!

Do dress for the occasion. Pretty summer dresses are perfect for an outdoor ceremony.

Do dress for the occasion. Pretty summer dresses are perfect for an outdoor ceremony.

Little black dresses are no-longer taboo, although it’s still best to avoid wearing white or ivory. And if the ceremony is in a religious site, it may not be appropriate to show too much skin. Bring a shawl or light jacket to cover up.

Do come to the ceremony
You’ve been invited to watch this couple join their lives together. So don’t ditch the ceremony and show up later to party. Honour the significance of the day and attend the ceremony – even if there are other things you’d rather be doing.

Do show up for the main event - the ceremony!

Do show up for the main event – the ceremony!

Do make an effort to mingle
Weddings often bring together a wide circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. While it may be tempting to stick with guests you already know, make an effort to introduce yourself to a few new people. The bride and groom will appreciate your efforts to make everyone feel welcome.

Do drink responsibly
An open bar doesn’t mean you should drink-till-you-drop. It’s fine to enjoy a few drinks in celebration, but pace yourself and know your limit. You don’t want to be the guest who ruins the reception with their outrageous behaviour.

Do go easy at the open bar.

Do go easy at the open bar.

Do respect the venue
Have fun, hit the dance floor, and enjoy the party. But keep in mind that the bride and groom are renting the space – and they’re responsible for keeping it intact.

Do you have any wedding guest stories to share?! 


Planning your wedding – where to start!

If Santa brought you an engagement ring this holiday season, you may be starting the New Year with visions of wedding planning dancing in your head.

The holidays are a popular time for couples to get engaged.

The holidays are a popular time for couples to get engaged.

And although you may have been dreaming about your big day for years, organizing such an important celebration can seem like a daunting task. So, here’s some advice about where to start.

Set the date(ish)

There’s nothing like having a deadline to make you focus! Choosing a date will help you build a wedding planning timeline, and will make it easier to make concrete plans like choosing a venue, booking a photographer, and buying your dress.

Of course, it’s not as easy as simply picking a day out of thin air. Is your heart set on an outdoor ceremony? Then you’ll probably want a summer wedding. Are you working with a tight budget? Then you may want to consider a winter wedding to take advantage of off-season pricing.

Deciding when to get married is one of the first decisions you should make.

Deciding when to get married is one of the first decisions you should make.

You’ll need to leave ample time for preparation if you’re planning a large event, and you may want to check with important out-of-town guests to see what dates might work best for any travel plans.

While you’ll want to choose a date that will be convenient for family and friends, it may be impossible to please everyone. In the end, remember that it’s your day so choose a date that works best for you.

Make your guest list 

Many of your most important planning decisions will be influenced by the size of your guest list.  There’s no point booking a venue that only holds 60 people if you end up inviting 120!

Determine the size of your guest list before you choose your venue.

Determine the size of your guest list before you choose your venue.

The number of guests will also be the most important factor in setting your budget.  Even though not everyone who receives an invitation will be able to attend, it’s recommended to choose a venue that can comfortably accommodated most of your guest list.

Choose your venue

Once you know when you’d like to get married, and how many people you’d like to invite, it’s time to start looking for a suitable venue. More than any other decision, your choice of venue will set the tone for the big day.

A formal hotel ballroom will create a different atmosphere than a rustic barn, or urban restaurant.

Formal ballroom....

Formal ballroom….


...or rustic Carriage House?

…or rustic Carriage House?

Save yourself time by doing preliminary research online. You should be able to narrow your choices down based on location, venue size, food and beverage options, and price.  Then, it’s time to contact your top picks to find out about availability and book a tour!

Once the date is set, the guest list is determined, and the venue is booked, other details – like the style of your dress, flowers, venue decor, and menu selection – should start falling into place.

A final tip

Local wedding shows can be a great source of ideas and inspiration, and allow you to meet vendors in an informal environment.

You can meet the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa wedding team, and the team from our sister inn, Idlewyld Inn & Spa, at the following shows, held early in 2015:

London Bridal Expo – January 10 & 11 @ Canada Building, Western Fairgrounds
London Winter Bridal Show – January 17 & 18 @ London Convention Centre
Engaged Bridal Ingersoll – February 19 @ Elm Hurst Inn & Spa (5 pm – 10 pm)

Happy planning!

Venue Planner vs. Wedding Planner

In the world of wedding planning, there are two types of planners: The Venue Planner and the Wedding Planner.

As it has become increasingly popular for venues to promote having an on-site Planner, there is a lot of confusion on the difference between these two roles.

It is a very common (and unfortunate) misconception amongst Brides that these two roles are one in the same. Although both are equally important and valuable to a Bride, they are also very different. Understanding the key differences between the two can impact your wedding planning experience.

Lauren, from Twelfth Night Events, helps a Bride prepare for her special day.

Lauren, from Twelfth Night Events, helps a Bride prepare for her special day.

This month, we’ve invited Lauren DeKoster of Twelfth Night Events to cut through the confusion.

As a Wedding Planner who was once a Venue Planner, Lauren can appreciate and respect the differences between the two – and she strongly believes that having both “types” of Planner on your side will ensure your wedding planning experience is seamless and stress-free.

So, what’s the big difference?

The Job Description

To understand the difference between these Planners, you must first understand their job descriptions. If your venue has an on-site Planner, they will offer a specific scope of services. Although these two roles will likely overlap with many of the tasks that they complete, the two important factors to consider are:

  • At what stage do they become involved with your wedding?
  • What aspects of planning will they be involved with?

The Venue Planner

When you begin your venue search, you will likely meet with a Sales Manager in the initial booking process. Your Sales Manager will walk you through the contract, suggest preferred vendors, review package options, and set up your room block. Once these items are in place, your wedding is transferred over to the Venue Planner who will finalize closer to your date.

The Venue Planner is a liaison between the couple and the venue’s operations team. Their job is to ensure your wedding day runs smoothly, and as contracted.  They will assist you in finalizing your food and beverage requirements, assist with creating a floor plan to maximize space, and create a concise timeline of your day for their banquet staff and culinary team to adhere to.

With many venues, the Venue Planner will meet with the couple in the final weeks of the wedding planning experience and will be available to offer few last minute suggestions or changes to enhance the day. You will meet with them 2-3 times to ensure all of the venue-related details are in place and make your final payments. On the day of, they will be on-hand to help with anything directly related to the venue and schedule of events.

The Wedding Planner

If you chose to hire a Wedding Planner for full wedding planning – they often have packages to suit a couple’s need – you will meet with them at the very earliest point in the planning stages, often before you’ve selected any of your vendors.

The Wedding Planner is a liaison between the couple and every vendor that is hired for their special day. You will meet with them on a regular basis (sometimes even weekly) as they are present for every wedding related decision such as: researching and selecting your vendors; negotiating and reviewing contracts; assisting with theme generation and enhancements; keeping track of your budget and payments, and well….the list goes on.

The Wedding Planner establishes a relationship with the couple from the earliest stages in the planning process and is available to share ideas, make suggestions, advise on etiquette, and problem solve.

The Employer + Key Responsibilities

Knowing who each Planner reports to, and what their primary focus will be, can distinguish some of the key differences between the two roles. As the Client, you must understand who each Planner takes their direction from, and who ultimately makes the final decisions relating to your request.

The Venue Planner

Your Venue Planner works directly for, and is paid by, the venue. They take direction from and seek final approval from the venue’s management team.  Their primary goal is to ensure that all of your venue-related needs are met, and will work with you to create a wedding that reflects your vision.

Some of their key responsibilities include:

  • Assisting with finalizing the food and beverage selections and pricing
  • Offer recommendations on last minute vendors
  • Offer basic timeline guidelines for ceremony, cocktail reception, and dinner service
  • Basic set up assistance – place and set required tables, place specialty linen, set favours, light candles, etc.
  • Oversee the day of and assist vendors with any venue-related needs
  • Assist the bride during the ceremony (only available at select venues)

The Wedding Planner

Your Wedding Planner works directly for, and is paid by, the couple. They take direction from the Client and will seek final approval on all wedding related decisions from the Client. Their primary focus is to ensure that all of your wedding planning dreams are met and will work with you from the very beginning to execute your vision in its entirety.

Some of their key responsibilities include:

  • Vendor research (including locating the perfect venue, photographer, videographer, decor, florist, DJ, Transportation, etc.)
  • Budget Management
  • Theme Generation and Enhancements
  • Vendor Management
  • Rehearsal Coordination
  • Set up assistance – placing any DIY decor (ceremony programs and favours, guest book table, gift book table, guest favours, centrepieces, menu and meal cards, bathroom baskets, signage, etc)
  • Creating of a comprehensive timeline outlining the days leading up to the wedding and every aspect of your wedding day
  • Oversee the day of and assist all vendors with any needs, as well as ensure everything is set up as per the timeline
  • Assist the couple, their family, and bridal party throughout the day

Education + Experience

As with any industry, having the proper credentials and experience for the job is essential. However, the required credentials and level of experience for a Planner will differ, depending on whether they are a Venue Planner or a Wedding Planner.

The Venue Planner

As a Venue Planner, having your certification as a recognized Wedding Planner is an asset, but not a requirement. Because of the scope of services the venue offers a Bride, they are not required to have any certifications in their field.

Your Venue Planner will most likely have an educational background in hospitality, which is a great asset, and will have experience in planning an array of weddings. However, their experience is often limited to the weddings that have taken place at their specific venue, which can limit their level of experience in dealing with your needs.

The Wedding Planner

Your Wedding Planner should always be certified through a recognized program, which you will have discovered when interviewing your potential Planner.

Because Wedding Planners plan a wide variety of weddings ranging in size, budgets, and locations, they have extensive experience in dealing with your needs and can offer advice and suggestions to enhance your day. Most Planners will also come from a Hospitality background, and will likely have even started their career as a Venue Planner.

The Big Day 

The “Day of” responsibilities are by far the most important difference between the two Planners, and is unfortunately the most commonly misunderstood. It is important that you fully understand exactly what your Planners will do on your Wedding Day to ensure you avoid frustration and disappointment. Ask specific questions about what they will cover so that you can understand your potential areas of need.

The Venue Planner

On the day of your wedding, your Venue Planner will be on-hand to make sure everything you have planned, from the venue’s perspective, has been completed from the approved Banquet Event Order.

They will oversee room set up, assist the vendors with key locations for set up and ensure they are following the rules set out by the venue, manage the Banquet and Kitchen staff to ensure dinner service is on time and as contracted, and assist guests with any questions or concerns.

Their general responsibility is to ensure the key events of the day runs as planned and that the level of service conforms to their venue’s standards. They are on-site to oversee that the venue adheres to their obligations and are considered a representative for any onsite needs or issues.

Typically, the Venue Planner will stay until dinner service is underway and will introduce you to their closing supervisor, who will be on-site to help with the remainder of the evening.

The Venue Planner does not:

  • Manage your vendors and ensure they have everything as contracted
  • Set up items brought in by an outside vendor (some exceptions may apply)
  • Set up or assemble any DIY decor elements that you bring
  • Exclusively manage your event. If there are multiple weddings, they divide their time
  • Manage your ceremony, if it is not offsite
  • Queue your bridal party entrances, speeches, first dance, etc.
  • Manage any non-venue related crisis that may arise
  • Assist with clean up or tear down

The Wedding Planner

On the day of your wedding, your Wedding Planner will be onsite bright and early to ensure everything you have planned is completed, based on the timeline you’ve created.

They will oversee every aspect of the day including (but not limited to) delivery and set up from contracted vendors, set up of the venue space, ensure all decor elements and personal touches are in place, check in on the couple to offer assistance, manage and solve any vendor-related concerns or issues that arise, direct and advise the bridal party on key locations, timing, and responsibilities such as; the ceremony, bridal entrance, speeches, oversee dinner service, first dances, and other scheduled events. They stay until the last scheduled event takes place, which is commonly the Late Night Buffet.

The Wedding Planner does not:

  • Assemble DIY projects onsite – but we do place them!
  • Assist with tear down – but we clean as we go!

Final Thoughts

So, now that you understand the key differences between a Venue Planner and a Wedding Planner, which one do you need? The answer is simple, you need both!

As a general rule, professional Venue Planners and Wedding Planners work harmoniously together and couples who have both, benefit greatly from having them. We complement one another and make everyone’s experience more enjoyable.

Should everyone have a Venue Planner and a Wedding Planner? Well, quite frankly, the answer is also Yes! However, not every couple requires a Wedding Planner for the entire planning process.

If you are considering taking on the majority of the planning on your own, make sure you hire a Wedding Planner for Day of or Month of Coordination services. Their expertise will be invaluable on your wedding day, and will allow you to truly enjoy the day! If your venue doesn’t have a Venue Planner, it is imperative that you consider a Wedding Planner to facilitate your day!

Learn more about Lauren and the team at Twelfth Night Events.

Plan your dream wedding without blowing the budget

Congratulations – you’re engaged! That means you’ll soon be planning a wedding, and learning how quickly the costs of your big day can add up. In fact, the average Canadian wedding now costs between $20,000 and $30,000. But planning a wedding doesn’t have to break the bank.

You can have your dream wedding, and stay on budget....

You can have your dream wedding, and stay on budget….

These simple tips will help you keep your wedding costs under control:

Know your limit…
Will you and your finance be covering the cost of your wedding, or will family members be helping out? Either way, take a realistic look at your financial situation and decide how much money you can comfortably afford to spend on your celebration.

…and make a plan
Make a list of everything you can think of, and go through the items step by step. What do you want to splurge on? What could you live without? What compromises are you willing to make in order to stay on budget? Being organized early on will help you shop for bargains, and eliminate costly last-minute surprises.

Reel in the guest list
You may be under pressure to invite every third-cousin, but limiting your guest list to close family and friends is the best thing you can do to keep your wedding costs under control.

Make your wedding an A-list event.

Make your wedding an A-list event.

Let your friends lend a hand
Is your best friend an expert cake-maker? A talented photographer, or experienced DJ? Do they own a luxury car? Maybe they’d be willing to make your wedding cake, take some photos, spin some tunes, or let you borrow their fancy ride….as their wedding gift to you!

Say ‘no’ to fancy invitations
Save on printing and postage costs by keeping paper invitations simple.  Skip the RSVP cards, and ask guests to email their reply.  If you’re really on a budget, send email invitations and strike this expense off your list!

Go easy on the blooms
Flowers are beautiful – but they can be costly. Stick to flowers that are in season, and use plenty of greenery. Let your bridesmaid’s bouquets do double-duty as centrepieces, and include non-floral decorations like candles, feathers, or photographs.

Non-floral centerpieces can make a statement.

Non-floral centerpieces can make a statement.

Consider a cash bar
There’s nothing wrong with offering guests a signature cocktail, beer, and wine with dinner.  If you can’t afford to pay for an open bar – don’t.

Remember that time is money
It can take more than 200 hours to plan a wedding. How much is your time worth? Hiring a professional wedding planner, or choosing a venue with an on-site wedding coordinator, can be a great money (and sanity) saver. Not only can a professional wedding planner save you valuable time, their established relationships with a wide range of vendors may help you find the best deals around.

Focus on your love
It can be easy to get caught up in the latest ‘must have’ wedding trends. But at the end of the day, your big day is a celebration of your love, and that’s what friends and family will remember for years to come.

Your love is what people will remember....

Your love is what people will remember….

Elm Hurst inn & Spa’s wedding coordinator would be delighted to help you plan your dream wedding. Visit our website, and learn about our all-inclusive Wedding Packages. We’ve got a celebration to suit every budget!

Tips for hosting a successful and stress-free bridal shower

Congratulations – you’re a bridesmaid! That means you may be asked to throw a bridal shower, or at least help plan one.

Congratulations - you're a bridesmaid....

Congratulations – you’re a bridesmaid….

It can be exciting to help your friend or family member celebrate her upcoming nuptials. It can also be a daunting task. Here are a few simple tips to help avoid a bridal shower meltdown.

Decide on a budget
Whoever throws the party foots the bill, so make sure everyone involved is on the same page about how much money they are prepared (and able) to spend. If the bridal shower budget grows beyond your means, offer to contribute in other ways – such as by baking cupcakes, decorating the space, sending out invitations, or helping with the clean-up.

Consult the bride
Even though it’s not her party to plan, it’s a good idea to ask for the bride’s input.  While many brides still prefer a traditional get together with friends, food and games, some modern brides are opting for a ‘girls day out’ with trips to the spa, winery, restaurant, or other local attraction.

Some brides prefer to enjoy a girl's day at the spa!

Some brides prefer to enjoy a girl’s day at the spa!

Share the work
Between choosing a venue, sending invitations, organizing food, decorations, games, and party favours, planning a shower can become overwhelming. Don’t try to do it alone. Ask your fellow bridesmaids, the bride’s mother, or future mother-in-law for help.

Coordinate the guest list
Unless the bride is throwing a small wedding or destination wedding, it’s considered bad manners to invite guests who aren’t invited to the wedding. If there will be multiple showers, guests are only expected to bring a gift to the first one they attend.Paper invitations should be sent out four to six weeks before the party.

Have fun!
A bridal shower is a traditional way to celebrate the bride-to-be and prepare her for her wedding day. It’s also a great excuse to get together with friends and family and have some fun. So don’t get hung up on the little things that may not go exactly as planned.  Just relax and enjoy the moment!

We'd be delighted to host your event in one of our private dining rooms.

We’d be delighted to host your event in one of our private dining rooms.

At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, our dedicated event staff would be delighted to help you arrange all the details.

Makeup tips for summer brides

Summer wedding season is in full swing, but the hot, humid weather in southwestern Ontario can make achieving a flawless face a challenge. We asked Elm Hurst Inn & Spa makeup artist, Vashti, for a few tips on achieving (and maintaining) a picture-perfect face as the temperatures rise.

Look picture-perfect on your big day by following some simple makeup tips!

Look picture-perfect on your big day by following some simple makeup tips!

A makeup trial is a must
Always, always have a makeup trial before your wedding. This is your day, and you don’t want any unexpected surprises!

A makeup trial is a must!

A makeup trial is a must!

Sit down with your makeup artists and discuss how you would like to look. Bring pictures and examples. Have a favourite lip colour? Bring that too!

Bridal skin boot camp
We recommend that you start any facial treatments at least four to five months before your wedding day. Why so far in advance? Your skin takes about two months to adjust to new facial products – this way you will avoid any redness or breakouts on your big day.

Begin with a basic facial, such as our Elemental Nature for Self Renewal Facial. This 90-minute treatment is suitable for all skin types and begins with a consultation with your spa therapist – a great time to discuss any concerns that you have with your skin.

Aveda Facial

At the end of your treatment, your therapist will recommend products for home use. AVEDA carries three-month starter kits – a great buy for brides-to-be!

We recommend having a facial every six to eight weeks prior to your wedding date. The night before the big day, have a relaxing cooling facial to help reduce any redness and relieve stress.

Sparkles. Foundation. Mascara.
Just say ‘no’ to sparkles. They look pretty, but they reflect light in photographs meaning you’ll shine in the wrong way!

Avoid using heavy, caked-on foundations or your face will be melting by mid-day. Stick to something light, especially during the summer months.

Waterproof mascara and eyeliner are a must! You don’t want streaks down your cheeks when you shed a few tears of joy.

2014 summer makeup trends
In the past, we’ve seen lots of natural-looking brides with neutral coloured eye makeup.  This year, brides are going bold!

Smokey eyes are in, especially in neutral shades of brown and grey. If you’re brave, add a pop of colour as well. In contrast, lips are getting softer, with nude lips all the rage for Summer 2014.

This year, Brides are going bold!

This year, Brides are going bold!

Don’t forget to use a primer and fixative spray
Using a primer underneath your makeup is an absolute must. Primers fill in any skin imperfections, such as fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a soft, perfectly-smooth look for your makeup application.

As a make-up artist, fixative sprays are an essential step for any bride during any bride during the summer months. Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming / Toning Agent is a great choice, and doubles as a refreshing toner. A light spritz over your makeup application will set it for a longer-lasting look. Then freshen up again between the ceremony and reception.

Our trained spa therapists and estheticians would be delighted to help you put your best face forward on your wedding day. Visit to learn more about our spa services and Bridal Spa Packages.


Wedding bouquets – more than just beautiful blooms

The tradition of carrying wedding flowers dates back to ancient times, when strong fragrances were believed to ward off evil spirits, bad luck, and sickness. During the Victorian era, the bridal bouquet took on added significance, as each flower was associated with a specific meaning.

The tradition of carrying a bridal bouquet dates to ancient times.

The tradition of carrying a bridal bouquet dates to ancient times.

Today, many Brides choose their wedding flowers for purely aesthetic reasons, but if you’d like to infuse your bouquet with added symbolism here is the meaning behind five popular choices.


Roses are the most popular wedding flower.

Roses are the most popular wedding flower.

Roses are the most popular flower for wedding bouquets and also make a great choice for boutonnieres, corsages, and centrepieces.

The rose symbolizes love, joy and beauty, although different colours have slightly different meanings. Red is for love, pink symbolizes happiness, while a white rose is for innocence and purity. Yellow roses symbolize friendship and occasionally jealousy, so may not be the best choice for your bridal bouquet. Including an unopened rosebud in your bouquet is a sign of youth.


Tulips are a colourful choice for spring weddings.

Tulips are a colourful choice for spring weddings.

Tulips are a great seasonal choice for spring weddings, and come in a wide variety of colours. They symbolize love and passion, but are very fragile so should be treated with care.

Calla Lily


The Calla Lilly adds an instant touch of elegance.

The elegant Calla Lily is a fashionable choice for the sophisticated bride. They symbolize magnificent beauty, and can stand on their own as a striking wedding bouquet.


McDowellCowie 7 DAISY

Daisies come in a variety of colours – including traditional white.

Available in almost every colour, daisies are a versatile and relatively inexpensive bloom. They symbolize sharing your feelings, loyalty and innocence.


Vibrant sunflowers add a rustic touch to any celebration.

Vibrant sunflowers add a rustic touch to any celebration.

Sunflowers are a wonderful choice for autumn nuptials or ceremonies with a rustic theme. These colourful and happy flowers symbolize trust and adoration.

Whatever blooms you choose, your bridal bouquet should reflect your personality and style and be something you truly love.

Tips for the mature bride

You’re never too old to find Prince Charming, and every wedding is something to celebrate. Luckily, the days when mature or second-time brides were expected to keep things low-key are over. And while you can have a fairy-tale wedding at any age, here are some tips to keeping the big day age-appropriate.

The Guest List
As an older couple, there’s a good chance that you will be covering most of the costs associated with your wedding. That means you get to invite who you like rather than filling the room with your parents’ friends. Feel free to invite as many people, or as few, as you like and can afford. (But it’s probably wise to exclude any exes, no matter how well you still get along!)

As a mature bride, you get to choose who will be at your wedding!

As a mature bride, you get to choose who will be at your wedding!

The Registry
You’re older and wiser than the average 20-year-old, and you probably own plenty of pots and pans. So should you register for gifts? If you don’t want to leave the gift-giving to chance, the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’

If you don’t need a new toaster-oven, feel free to get creative when it comes to your registry.  Couples with a passion for fine food could register for wine or gourmet ingredients, while those who love to travel might register for their honeymoon trip.

If you’re truly uncomfortable receiving gifts, consider asking your guests to make a donation to your favourite charity.

The Dress
As with any wedding, your dress choice should reflect the tone of your big day. Are you holding an informal day-time celebration, or an elegant evening affair? Perhaps you’ll be barefoot on the beach.  With so many styles of gown available, you’re sure to find something that suits the occasion.

You probably already have a good idea about what style looks best on your body so be open-minded, and choose something that you truly love.

Choose a gown that reflects the formality of your event - and that you love!

Choose a gown that reflects the formality of your event – and that you love!

The Kids
If you have children, including them in your celebration can be a wonderful way to acknowledge your new family unit.  Include them in your bridal party, or ask them to serve as a flower girl or ring bearer. They might also like to say a few words or perform a song during your ceremony.

The Party
You’ve waited patiently for your big day, so make it a celebration to remember. Instead of being bound by tradition, plan an event that truly reflects who you are as a couple.

Put your personal touch on everything from the music to the cupcakes!

Put your personal touch on everything from the music to the cupcakes!

To learn more about becoming an Elm Hurst bride, visit