Author: michelle

the perks of hosting an intimate wedding (aka a micro-wedding)

While micro-weddings, which we at le wedding mill prefer to call intimate weddings, have been popping up on the scene over the last few years, they are gaining some major traction in 2020. With all the government restrictions and health concerns in the wake of the coronavirus, an intimate wedding is a lovely way to make the most of the current world situation (and for the brides out there, to wear your wedding dress ASAP).⁠ If you’re considering an intimate wedding for your upcoming nuptials, here are a few perks.

 

microwedding
Photo by Lindsay Kennell Photography


1. Increased time with your loved ones⁠

Couples often stress over making sure they find the time to chat with every attendee at their wedding. A smaller guest list guarantees more quality time with each of them!⁠

2. Quality over quantity⁠

You can reallocate your budget. With less guests, you can go big on things like food and beverage (hello fancy champagne all night long 🍾) or splurge on that extravagant ceremony arch you saw on Pinterest – click here to view the ceremony arches that made our design team’s hearts flutter.

3. Less stress⁠

Hosting an event can be stressful, regardless of the length of the guest list. However, with 50 guests or less, you may feel less pressure to make sure that everyone is happy. Plus, for you introverts out there, there will be less people focused on you.⁠

BUt…

The biggest challenge you’ll face if you opt for an intimate wedding? Re-working that guest list! Keep in mind that your guests will understand that you chose to have an intimate wedding and, given the circumstances, simply can’t invite everyone you had hoped. After all, your wedding, no matter the size, is for you and your partner.⁠

⁠on that note

As wedding planners in Montreal where many restrictions are still in place, we are putting our creative minds to the test in order to come up with ways to enhance our couples’ wedding celebrations. If you’re looking for a little guidance on how to make the most of your wedding during these strange times, check out our services here. 

a love letter to weddings

wedding planning montreal

Like most of you, this slower period of life has allowed me to pause, evaluate and reflect. I’ve been thinking a lot about the word purpose and how it drives our daily lives, our actions and our thoughts.

A few months ago, pre-global pandemic, I read a very insightful book called “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters” by Priya Parker. For anyone who organizes gatherings, be it book clubs, meetings, weddings, conferences, I highly recommend this book – now more than ever.

Since then, and given the current situation, I’ve thought a lot about the purpose of weddings. At the surface, a wedding is generally comprised of a pretty table design, some beautiful flowers, great food & drinks and amazing music. Some pessimists argue that weddings are merely expensive parties.

However, the purpose of a wedding runs much deeper than that. It’s a celebration of LOVE. It’s about bringing people together to honour the fact that two people have decided to commit to each other, to live life hand in hand and to face both the challenges and the happy times as a unit. As a wedding planner, I’m in the business of bringing people together to celebrate the commitment. That is the core of my purpose. At le wedding mill, we have always valued that celebration, that honouring of love as the most important part of the wedding.  In order to create a meaningful and memorable day for our couples and their guests, we enhance the experience with the use of decor, music, food, etc., but those are merely tools – the essence of the celebration is the commitment, the love.

The wedding industry’s mission is essentially the opposite of physical distancing. It’s an industry that brings people together, with the common purpose of celebrating a couple’s commitment. Like so many industries, we’ve been impacted in a big way by the global pandemic. It’s been devastating, but I’m also hopeful that (cheesiness alert) love will prevail. As the wise Emilie of Emilie Olson Photography once said to me: “As long as you get to marry your best friend, your day is complete”.

To all the couples facing postponement and/or rethinking their initial wedding plans, remember that whether your wedding takes place on the originally planned date or later, in front of 150 people or just an officiant, you’ve found your person and that’s what matters. 

As for us at le wedding mill, we are romantics at heart and can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle, exchange your vows, dance up a storm with your loved ones and celebrate your love. 

planning a wedding in the covid-19 era

When you picked your date, booked your vendors and started dreaming about decor, you likely weren’t thinking about the possibility of a global pandemic and how it would impact your wedding. I had the opportunity to take part in a discussion on CBC Daybreak about navigating the 2020 wedding season in these uncertain times. Listen below.

The three main takeaways:

  1. Couples & vendors: we are all in this together. Being a wedding industry professional means being in a labor of love (pun intended). Vendors are so committed to their couples and will do everything in their power to accommodate them.
  2. We recommend waiting 6-8 weeks before your wedding date to make a final decision about postponing. Because the situation changes every day, we cannot predict what the world will look like come your wedding date. If you choose to postpone, remember that there will be limited availability, so you’ll need to be flexible. (Trend alert: weekday weddings)
  3. Postpone, don’t cancel! This is the only way to ensure that you don’t lose the money (and time) you’ve already invested in your big day.

On that note

Our hearts go out to those of you who are facing this unprecedented situation. Just remember that you will get married and your wedding will be a beautiful celebration — no matter when it happens!

5 creative seating charts to wow your guests

At le wedding mill, we pride ourselves on the fact that our designs always consider both form and function. We believe that a wedding should be beautiful but never compromise the comfort of your guests.

One of our favorite wedding day details is the seating chart. As wedding designers, we l-o-v-e coming up with creative ways to guide the guests to their table, while using the opportunity to incorporate the theme or style of the event. Here are some of our most memorable seating charts that prove that this design element is anything but boring.

1. Calligraphy on an Oversized Mirror

Wedding Style: Chic – Elegant

This show-stopping seating chart was created by the talented Jodi of Someday Art Co.. It was a labor-intensive job, but the result made a big statement as guests entered the space.

Photo by Emilie Olson Photography

2. Place Cards on a Frame

Wedding Style: Refined Rustic – Relaxed Elegance

This seating chart was all about combining form and function. Instead of having the place cards on a table and run the risk of them blowing away due to the outdoor setting, we built a custom frame and secured each place card with luxury velvet ribbon. The first card on each ribbon included the wedding’s signature wax seal and the letters of the alphabet to help guests find their tables with ease.

Photos by Emilie Olson Photography – Place Card Design by Pixelcouture

3. Floating Seating Chart

Wedding Style: Clean – Modern

True to the overall design of the wedding, this seating chart was clean and modern. We custom built a white display and hung an oversized lucite piece with chic ribbon (can you tell we have a thing for ribbon?). One card per table was carefully affixed to the lucite to appear as though the chart was floating.

Photo by Emilie Olson Photography – Table Card Design by le wedding mill

4. Luggage Tag Place Cards

Wedding Style: Elegant

This luggage tag seating chart was the perfect way to guide guests to their seats and ensure that they all received their favour, which was a custom luggage tag. We tied the place card to each tag (again, we love ribbon) and secured the tag to custom-made linen boards with pearl-tipped pins. As guests arrived, one of our lovely coordinators assisted guests with removing their tags.

Photo by Lisa Renault Photographie – Place Card Design by Pixelcouture

5. Window Panes

Wedding Style: Rustic – Chic

For this rustic chic wedding, we printed the seating chart on our white vintage window panes. To balance the vintage/rustic feel of the windows, we opted for chic, elegant fonts for their tables and names.

Photo by Lindsay Kennell

On that note

The seating chart is one of many details to consider for your wedding. We encourage you to think outside of the box and use a seating chart that serves as a guide for guests to find their seats and an additional design element.

we’re hiring!

le wedding mill is expanding for the 2020 season. Are you interested in joining our team? Learn more below!

About the Role

le wedding mill is looking for an extremely detail-oriented and organized person to join the team as a Wedding Coordinator. The candidate must be a logistical wizard who knows the importance of getting the job done, all with a smile.

Responsibilities
  • Lead the ceremony rehearsal
  • Pick up any small decor items and stationery the week of the wedding 
  • Presence on the wedding day: 
    • Supervise and execute the set up
    • Act as a team leader with the creative partners (vendors) to ensure that every party has the tools they need and can do their best work
    • Manage the timeline of the day
    • Assist the couple, their families and the bridal party 
    • Handle any last minute requests or surprises
    • On occasion, manage the tear down of the event
Requirements
  • Experience in wedding coordination required
  • Calm and professional
  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Perfectly bilingual, written and verbal
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Ability to act quick on your feet
  • Solutions-oriented
  • All hands on deck attitude: not afraid to jump in wherever needed to get the job done
  • Driver’s license and access to a car
Expected Schedule

Mostly weekends between March and October 2020, with occasional tasks during wedding weeks. The ideal candidate will make this role a priority.

Compensation
  • To be discussed, based on experience
  • Freelance position
To apply

Please send your CV to hello@leweddingmill.ca with “Wedding Coordinator 2020” as the subject line. In the email, tell us about a time you faced an obstacle at a wedding and how you rose to the occasion to overcome it.

Deadline to apply: January 7, 2020

We are so thankful to all applicants for their interest in this position! Please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. 

le wedding mill’s most frequently asked questions

I get asked so many questions via Instagram, Facebook and email – I’ve rounded up the most common ones below. Some are wedding-specific, others are more personal. Enjoy!

Photo: Brent Calis Photography
What are the different services that you offer?

We offer 4 main services:

  1. Full Service Planning
  2. Design
  3. 60-Day Coordination
  4. Consultation (à la carte services)

For more information on each one, click here!

Do you offer Day-of Coordination?

We do not offer Day-of Coordination, simply because this role is a wedding industry myth and the term is misleading. Frankly, it’s impossible to show up on the day of your wedding and have all the necessary information to properly interpret your months of planning and execute it at a high quality standard.

As the wedding approaches, you’ll want to have a professional bring everything across the finish line and make sure that you’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s. This is how our 60-Day Coordination service came to be. I find that 2 months before the wedding, emotions start to coming in to play and the confirmation emails start piling up. It’s the perfect timing for us to step in to make sure you have everything covered, adjust anything and have the proper knowledge to be fully aligned with your vision.

Do you have a preferred aesthetic?

My preferred aesthetic is one that is unique. Some of our weddings are modern, some are more classic. Some have a hint of boho, some have an elevated rustic feel. I love when couples come to me with a fresh concept – it allows me to play and use my creative muscles. 

More generally, I love weddings that are refined, understated and elegant – and naturally incorporate those vibes into each wedding. I think that there is so much beauty in simplicity. Our designs are carefully curated and pretty, but never over the top.

I value form and function and am constantly thinking of the guest experience when designing. Our couples want their weddings to look lovely on Instagram but they also want their guests to be comfortable in the moment.

Who are your typical clients?

We work with all types of couples, ranging from 25 to 65 years young! They are typically busy professionals with a refined taste. They enjoy both beautiful things and experiences and like me, value form and function. They want their weddings to have a wow factor and be an expression of their personalities.

What’s an average wedding budget?

There are so many factors to consider when determining your wedding budget – style, venue, location, guest count.

One of the first steps in our planning process is to create a personalized and realistic budget for our couples. While we work with all types of budgets, most of our clients spend anywhere between 45K to 100K on their wedding, for approximately 100 to 150 guests.

How much does it cost to hire a wedding planner?

There is a huge range because there is no industry standard. Every planner sets their own pricing based on factors like:

  • The number of weddings they take on per year
  • Their level of experience
  • Their level of involvement in the wedding
  • The scale/complexity of the wedding
What does your planning process look like?

le wedding mill’s planning process can be summarized in four words: streamlined, fun, simple and personable.

Wedding planning is stressful – that’s no secret. Our clients trust us to guide them through the challenging parts quickly and happily, so that we can focus on the fun stuff.

My venue has an on-site coordinator. Do I still need to hire a wedding planner?

Yes! For a few reasons:

  1. Wedding planners work alongside on-site coordinators to ensure that your wedding is a success. Oftentimes, on-site coordinators have more than one event taking place at the same time so aren’t always dedicated to your wedding.
  2. On-site coordinators are primarily responsible for making sure that the venue’s obligations are upheld. A wedding planner ensures that every vendor contract is respected.
  3. On-site coordinators won’t confirm your hotel room block, create your hair and makeup schedule, pick up your stationery, etc. Wedding planners step in much earlier on in the process and provide a wider range of support.

I work with so many incredible on-site coordinators and love them dearly! Our roles are just different.

Do your clients have to work with vendors on your preferred list?

Not at all! We love meeting new people in the industry and are open to working with the vendors that you choose.

However, while you are in no way obliged to work with our preferred vendors, I recommend doing so! They are preferred for a reason (or two, or many). I’ve worked with so many vendors throughout the years – these vendors have passed our thorough examination.

Think of it like this: When you get married, you hire vendors for one day, so you don’t know how they will actually perform. I’ve seen them in action and know that they’re the best of the best.

How many weddings do you take on every year?

Truthfully, it depends on the year and the types of inquiries. If we have many Full Service Planning clients, we will take on less Design and Coordination clients. We believe in balance!

What do you do when your wedding season is over? It must be nice to have a few months off!

I get asked this question so much, which proves that there is a lot of mystery surrounding the job of a wedding planner. When one wedding season ends, I’m usually already in the thick of planning weddings taking place in the next one.

There is so much to do for each wedding that the seasons overlap every year. The only difference is that during off-season, which is only 3 months long this year, our team has weekends off!

If you weren’t a wedding planner, what would you do for work?

I would be an interior designer. I love home renovation projects and dream of buying a big piece of land and building a house from scratch one day.

On that note

If you have any other questions about wedding planning or le wedding mill, please feel free to contact our team at hello@leweddingmill.ca!

3 tips for building an ironclad wedding timeline

In one of our recent Instagram polls, we asked our followers what part of the planning process was the most stressful to them. Participants overwhelmingly responded that the most difficult task was creating a perfect timeline. le wedding mill has your back! Today, I am sharing a few of our tips to building your wedding timeline.

1. PAD IT LIKE IT’S PRECIOUS CARGO

Even the most punctual people may still run late on their wedding day. Why? Because there are so many exterior factors involved in the timing of the day. For example, if you’re in Montreal, you know that summer = construction and road closures.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few key moments that get a little extra love in all of our timelines:

  • Glamming – If your makeup artist or hairstylist ask for 45 minutes per person, plan for at least ten minutes more than that. This leaves room for a hairstyle that took longer than expected or an eyelash emergency — and ensures that the last person getting glammed up won’t feel rushed.
  • Driving – If you’ve tested the drive and it takes you 25 minutes to get from your hotel to the ceremony, plan for 15 minutes more. Chances are, you’ll get to the ceremony right on time.
Photo: Emilie Olson Photography
2. SPEAK TO YOUR VENDORS

As a wedding planner, I consider myself the team captain of the vendors, emphasis on the word team.  I’m here to ensure that everyone has the right information and tools to achieve the common goal, creating a wonderful and happy experience for you, not to impose or dictate a schedule that doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. For that reason, I always make sure to run the timeline by the vendors involved in the wedding.

For instance, some photographers like to spend one hour with one soon-to-be-newlywed and an hour and a half with the other (to shoot details). Other photographers prefer to shoot details the day before. It’s best to work with them to ensure that everyone will be on the same page.

Another example is the caterer. The caterer is under an immense amount of pressure to ensure that the food will be served hot and quickly. I recommend that you run your timeline by them in advance so that they can suggest adjustments as needed, based on their expertise.

Photo: Dyade Photo
3. GO WITH THE FLOW

You’ve created a thorough timeline and it’s time to execute it! My last tip is to go with the flow. As counterintuitive as it may sound, it is very likely that the timing will shift and I’m here to tell you that that’s okay. The important thing is that all your vendors are kept in the loop so that they can adapt accordingly.

On that note

There is so much information out there on how to schedule your big day and if you don’t have a planner, this can feel overwhelming. I encourage you to create an order of events that works for you and that makes you happy. Not into reading your vows out loud? Really feeling a group dance-off? You do you.

5 tips for finding the perfect wedding venue

Venue: Polo Parc Farms – Photo: Emilie Olson Photography

Finding your wedding venue can be a daunting task. I always tell my clients that it’s the most difficult part of the entire planning process. Why? Because the venue choice will determine the date and style of your wedding. It also takes up the biggest portion of your overall budget. Here are 5 steps that will lead you to finding the perfect location for your dream wedding. 

1. Establish the style

There is an abundance of beautiful wedding venues in and around Montreal – how lucky are we! The flip side is that the choices seem endless. Before scheduling site visits at hundreds of venues and feeling even more overwhelmed, the first step is to jot down 3 words that describe the style of your wedding. This will help you stay focused and narrow the search to 3-5 venues.  Here are a few examples:

  • Elegant
  • Modern
  • Rustic 
  • Outdoor 
  • Garden
  • Industrial 
  • Casual
  • Classic

Choosing a venue that fits your style will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to change the vibe of the space. For example, if you choose a rustic venue but want a classic look, you’ll end up paying more for decor to transform the venue with draping as well as elegant linens and chairs. If you book a very modern space but want a garden-style wedding, you’ll have to spend a whole lot on florals to achieve that theme.

2. Set your guest list

A contender for the position of most daunting wedding planning task is setting your guest list. As uncomfortable as it is to determine who will be invited to celebrate the most special day of your life – and who will not make the cut, it’s a crucial step to take before you select a venue.

Couples often underestimate how many guests they will actually end up inviting to the wedding. By setting your guest list from the get-go, you will avoid disappointment and upset down the road. In other words, there is no need to visit and fall in love with a space that only seats 100 people if your list is at 150 guests.

Venue: Espace Canal – Photos: Lisa Renault Photographie

3. Determine your budget

Before visiting venues, I recommend establishing an overall budget for your wedding. The venue, including rental fee, catering and bar service, will take up anywhere from 45 – 55% of your overall wedding budget.

Some venues charge a rental fee, others charge per head. Some do both. Ideally, you should contact venues that you have in mind to get a sense of the costs before visiting. Maybe you’ve seen wedding photos on Instagram of a stunning space, only to find out that the rental fee alone is 50% of your overall budget. It’s best to find out sooner rather than later so that you can find a space that’s just as lovely but won’t break the bank.

Oftentimes, the price points are not listed on the venue’s website but the events team can send you information on their packages before you schedule a visit. Having an Google Sheet or Excel document to compare costs from each venue will help you remain objective and organized!

4. Consider the guest experience

In order for your guests to have a great time, being thoughtful about their overall experience is crucial! The first consideration is parking/transport; you’ll want to keep it simple for everyone. If the venue will be in a remote location, you may opt to rent shuttles that can transport guests so that they can get to and from the wedding safely. Is the space is in the heart of downtown? Find out if your venue provides a valet service to avoid parking frustrations (we all know how difficult it can be to find parking in the city!).

Another factor to consider within the guest experience is capacity. While some venues have a maximum capacity, I always make sure to know what the capacity is for the most comfortable layout so that guests don’t feel crammed.

If you’re planning on having an outdoor component to your wedding, be sure to ask the venue what the contingency plan is for inclement weather. You don’t want to force your guests to stand outside in the pouring rain because there isn’t any space for the ceremony indoors.

Venue: Auberge Willow Inn – Photo: 5 Pound Media
5. Trust your instincts

As a wedding planner, I’ve visited so many spaces with my clients. I always say that it’s like shopping for a house: you need to consider the style, size, cost and layout. One important factor, though, is how you feel when you first walk in the house.

The same goes for the venue. Can you picture yourself getting married there? Does it bring a smile to your face or are you instantly overwhelmed by the notion of the room having to be flipped mid-wedding? Trust your gut feeling!

On that note

If you are finding it difficult to select a venue, don’t be shy to seek the advice of a wedding planner! At le wedding mill, we offer consultation services for couples who need a little extra assistance with choosing their dream venue.

a modern twist on a classic design

I love unexpected pairings of colours, textures and/or styles. They are a beautiful way to create visual interest when designing a wedding. I collaborated with a dream team of creative partners to redefine the classic all-white tablescape with simple modern touches.

Inspired by the wintery surroundings of the venue, I was really keen on creating a monochromatic canvas. We used all white elements with hints of glass and silver. This allowed the varying textures and greenery of the centrepieces to stand out in a big way.

The natural light of the incredible space bounced off the glass elements, from the candles to the charger plates to the chairs. The result is a fresh, light and airy design – and proof that classic can be fun too!

The best part of this shoot was to witness every collaborator’s interpretation of the theme – and how lovely it all came together.

The Creative Team:

On that note

When you think about the design of your wedding, don’t be shy to mix it up a little! For example, do you love the rustic look? Why not add chic elements (think chandeliers, calligraphy) for an unexpected twist? Most importantly, remember to have some fun with it!

Well hello there!

Welcome to le wedding mill’s inaugural blog post! As a wedding planner in Montreal, I am exposed to a whole lot of beauty that is expressed in many ways: the love between each couple, the lovely venues in and around the city and the delicate details of each wedding design. The purpose of this blog is to share this beauty with you, as well we as some behind the scenes of this small but mighty company. I also plan to offer some tips and showcase some of my favorite wedding vendors in Montreal.

Lindsay Kennell Photography
But first…

My name is Michelle and I’m the founder and lead planner at le wedding mill. If I’m being honest, I never expected to be a wedding planner nor did I dream of being an entrepreneur. Now that I have become both of those, it all makes so much sense and I’m truly in my happy place.

Prior to le wedding mill’s official launch in 2017, I worked in the sports marketing, sports entertainment and real estate industries. My heart always fluttered toward the event projects that came across my desk. Back in those days, I also helped friends and families plan their weddings on nights and weekends and loved every minute. Eventually, I was helping friends of friends, then friends of friends of friends — you get the idea.

In the spring of 2017, this #sidehustle grew exponentially and I realized that I had to make a choice: scale back on weddings to focus on the “real” job as a corporate event manager for a company or go full steam ahead with weddings. Since you are reading the blog, I’m sure you can conclude which option I chose. Let me tell you that I haven’t looked back since.

Weddings truly make my heart burst with joy.

Lindsay Kennell Photography

While the planning process is not without its challenges, I absolutely adore playing a role in my couples’ big day. People often ask me what my favorite part of being a wedding planner is. “It must be the flowers” or “I bet it’s all the delicious food you get to taste”, they say. Alright, I won’t lie, those parts are awesome. Truth be told, and as cheesy as it may sound, I feel the most fulfilled as a wedding planner when I know that I’m taking away some of the stress felt by the couples.

My favorite part of every wedding, apart from the vows (waterproof mascara is a must for me on wedding days), is catching a glimpse of the couple enjoying themselves — laughing or dancing, sharing a quick kiss, catching up with loved ones — and not worrying about when the next speech is or if the main course will be hot or if Grandma found her purse that she misplaced.

On that note

I’m so excited to give you a little more insight into my world. Whether you are currently engaged, a wedding vendor, a wedding enthusiast or just curious, I hope to inspire you in one way or another!

If you’d like to be the first to know when a new blog post is up, I invite you to sign up to our email list below: