Thursday, December 12, 2013

Guest Blog Post: Shutterbug Photo Booth on the uniqueness a photo booth can bring to your wedding


Photo booths at weddings have taken the industry by storm. 10 years ago, they were not that popular and now, it’s hard to imagine a wedding without one. Heck, even us Marry Me gals will hop in to the booth to make some memories. For this month’s guest blog post. We have asked our friends (and photo booth trailblazers) at Shutterbug Photo Booth to tell you what sets them apart from other photo booths and how using a photo booth at your wedding produces much more than a roll of photos.

If you love what you read, we encourage you to visit Shutterbug Photo Booth in person this January at the Wedding Palace Bridal Show taking place at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

The sleek booth design, high resolutions print-outs and customizable logos have ultimately changed the way the photo booth concept is perceived. As one of the first photo booths in Ottawa, we have had the honour to capture countless priceless memories for our clients. Four years later, there is no end in sight and we’re here to explain why photo booths are an integral part of the wedding, along with a few tips when picking out your booth.

The wedding from your guest’s point of view:

Remember the days of disposable cameras?  A very popular idea where guest would take it upon themselves to shoot the wedding from their eyes, leaving the newlyweds with great photos as captured by their guests. In theory, this was a fantastic idea, however, many times this process proved not only to be costly but typically produced unusable, poor photos. The average person is usually not a great photographer and fuzzy shots, thumbs on the lens or black photos due to the lack of light were commonly seen.  Along with bad shots, guests could go home with the camera, forget to take pictures and if a good picture was captured - not everyone could see the end results. Modern photo booths provide this popular idea with a different spin - ensuring the quality of photos are consistent, professionally shot and easily accessible. Photos are perfect every time and guests receive instant print-outs, holding onto great memories. All guests can enjoy each photo through the event gallery while the newlyweds receive the high resolution digital copies. Problem solved.

Get the party started:
Speeches, slides shows and dinner followed by nightly entertainment – it’s time to party! Pumping music fills the air, but not all guests were created equal. Although Uncle Sammy may think disco isn’t dead and also believes that having two left feet is a compliment - he may not feel the music suits his taste.  Cue photo booth!  A vibrant mode of amusement, guests rock the photo booth all night long. You’ll be eagerly waiting to see as each shot gets bolder and more creative as the night goes on. As we scan the weddings we see disperse groups all entertained by the photo booth: from the people watching and waiting for the results on the outside monitors, to a group of creative guests whispering about their next move and to some laughing so hard they can hardly speak. Of course, there is always the few, who love it more than they should. Watch out!

Wedding favours your guest will keep:

Favours have been a great way for couples to show gratitude, leaving a small token of their appreciation to each and every guest. Every wedding has a budget and usually plays a significant part in the couple’s final choice. A fine line between budgeting and having favours left on the table, many couples have found that the ‘bomboniere’ or wedding favour can be combined with the use of the photo booth.  Serving as multipurpose function, photo booth budgeting makes for an affordable keepsake.  The best part, these favours are actually taken home, hung on the fridge or posted at work, allowing the guests to reminisce about the good times they had. Be prepared to have your wedding remembered for a long, long time.

Everyone’s personal photographer:

Let’s clear the air – we are NOT a replacement for photographers and photographers are not replacements of us! Photographers capture the newlyweds and wedding party in an intimate and unique manner, defining the photographer’s personal style. A photo booth on the other hand captures you and your guest’s unique personality (whether it be silly, serious, romantic, or even perhaps a pirate). This specialized contraption is an enclosed space, allowing guests to go through amusing props where the imagination is the limit. To add, there will never be the need to ask “can you take a picture of us?” or “remember to send me that photo”. Just gather your friends and family, close the curtains and strike the most ridiculous or sophisticated pose preferred.  The unique feel of privacy reveals each person’s true personality. The enclosed space allows for an element of surprise, capturing that exact moment. 

A defining element:

It is very common for couples to strive to have some unique aspects to their wedding.  As an experienced photo booth company, we have yet to hit the whole population. Even though the concept has gained popularity – from wedding magazines and shows – it still remains an awe factor, as most guests will see the photo booth for the first time. We still hear many guests utter “I’ve never seen this before!” or “This is a great idea!”, translating into a unique and memorable wedding. Another outstanding concept is the debut of “Shutterbug Photo Lounge”, which has re-created this astonished look among guests.

Booth Education:

A wedding is a onetime deal and the booths have to stay par with the perfect day. Some good questions to start with are: Is the booth enclosed? Do they have sample printouts? How will the guests receive a copy? Is there a gallery? Will you receive a digital copy? What is their experience with weddings? (as your wedding is a one day event).

With all these great reasons we are reassured that we love what we do – being a wonderful addition to one of the best days of your life. The out-of-control laughter, smiles and gasps of bewilderment only propels us to create better experiences for our clients. As the photo booth concept gains popularity in the media, more booths will pop up and it is important to ask the right questions. As with everything, all booths are not created equal and when choosing your booth, it is best to talk to a few vendors to ensure that their services match your expectations. This will result in the best possible experience for you and your guests.  With so many great features, the photo booth is here to stay! Happy planning.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Presenting ENGAGE Ottawa for the luxury bride!

Prepare for a wedding show experience parallel to none.

This December, Marry Me Productions  presents:

Ottawa’s premiere wedding planning company has invited a select group of top wedding professionals to create a luxury event for the stylish and sophisticated bride. An experience like no other, this is not your typical wedding event. Throw everything you know about the traditional wedding show out the window and be prepared to witness a new twist on all things wedding at ENGAGE Ottawa.
Our goal is to raise the standard of the wedding show experience with trendsetting designs, an unmatched haute couture fashion show and a showcase of products and services that convey style, artistry and excellence; with a focus on quality, not quantity.

With a maximum of 3 vendors per category, you will not be overwhelmed with unnecessary choices but, instead, be able to focus your planning on specific items that meet your luxury needs.

Mark your calendars, ladies! December 1, 11:00am-5:00pm. The event will be hosted at the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier and feature an elite group of 30 vendors in our intimate vendors lounge, prepared to wow and amaze you with what they can create to make your wedding vision a reality. Here are our first 15 vendors, with more being added every day:


Wedding Planner…Marry Me Productions

Floral sponsor...Full Bloom Floral Design

Decor sponsor...WEDECOR

Photographer...Miv Photography

Photographer...Photolux Studio

Photographer...Union Eleven

Florist...Flowers Talk

Confectionery...The Flour Shoppe

Confectionery...Urban Baking Co.

Beauty...Showpony Hair

Want to stay up to date on ENGAGE Ottawa news? Here's how!

·         Follow us on Twitter @EngageOttawa

·         Join our ENGAGE Ottawa Facebook event (and invite your friends!)

·         Follow Marry Me Productions on Facebook

·         Check out the ENGAGE Ottawa website

Tickets will be on sale soon! $20 if purchased in advance, $25 on the day of the event. If you want to be the first to know when tickets are on sale, email us at to be added to our mailing list.

We hope to see you in December!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Guest Blog: Full Bloom Floral Design on the cost of wedding flowers

photo by Barb Cameron Photography

We LOVE flowers! They have such an impact on a wedding and the options of colours, varieties, and combinations are endless.  We could plan weddings until the end of our days (and we intend to) and never use same floral arrangement twice! Today on the blog, the extremely talented Erin of Full Bloom Floral Design shares some wise facts about planning your wedding's florals, including what to expect for cost. Erin gives some great advice on how to be realistic and what you are paying for when you hire a florist. Read on!

photo by Union Eleven
People often ask me how I got into Floral Design, and I say it just happened; I fell in love. I never was one of those people who knew what they wanted to be. I floated around, moving from one thing and place to the next. I slowly got into floral design years ago in Vancouver when I lived there and I began to see that I had finally found my passion, something I loved to do and that I was really good at. I then had the amazing opportunity to learn from an incredible floral artist, Hitomi Gilliam, who resides in Vancouver. I took many workshops and went to the Advance Floral Design School. The rest is history and I am thankful every day that I am able to do what I love and to share it with couples on one of the most important days in their lives.

photo by AMBPhoto
Choosing your wedding flowers should be one of the most exciting parts in planning your wedding. But before you meet with any florist, I wanted to share some inside information with you about how pricing works and what you need to know before booking your florist.

1. Consider Your Wedding Flower Budget

Not everyone knows how much flowers cost...actually most people that come to me dont, which is okay. However, when you go to your initial consultation, it is really helpful for any florist if you have a rough budget of what you can spend in mind and share that with the florist. That way, we can tell you what you can get for that budget. Typically a good budget for wedding flowers would be anywhere from 8% - 11% of your entire wedding budget. Of course, this depends on how important flowers are to you and how you see them fitting into your overall vision. Any florist should be able to let you know what is possible with the budget you have given and they should be realistic about what you can and can't have. If you check out the information section of my website you will see a few helpful articles about centrepiece and bouquet pricing.

On average, my clients pay the following for their wedding flowers:

photo by Barb Cameron Photography
Bridal bouquet:
$165 to $200 (or more depending on flower types and size)

Bridesmaid bouquets:         
$95 to $150

start at $17 (I use magnetic pieces for attaching to lapels)

$35 or more for pearl wrist bracelet with florals

Altar pieces at church:        
Start at $300 - $500 each

Pew markers:                        
Start at $25 each

LOW centrepiece starts at $65 to $125 per table
TALL centrepiece starts at $125 to $200 per table

photo by AMBPhoto
The cost of centrepieces is tricky to average as it depends on if it is a modern minimalistic design, something garden-inspired with greenery or something with all flowers and no filler/greenery. Tall vases are usually larger and you need to create volume to keep the arrangement in proportion with the vase.

photo by Photolux Studio
I am always straight forward with my clients as to how I charge. It should be a standard recipe for any florist. The only thing that might fluctuate would be the labour charge. My pricing works like this:

Cost of Flowers + Supplies + 15% to 25% Labour = Total cost of arrangement*
*The cost of any vase rental is extra.

For example:

Here is a typical picture of a centrepiece that a bride will show me that she would love to have at her reception. Count the flowers on one side and then AT LEAST double them to account for the other side.  I can see at least 30 stems of  hydrangea (which means at least 60 stems of white hydrangea) and about 25 roses in total.

60 stems of white hydrangea x $6 per bloom (or more at times) = $360

25 stems of white roses x $3 per bloom = $75

Total cost for flowers = $435

Labour = $65 (this labour is for designing and processing flowers and prepping)

Supplies = $10 (for designer dish and foam)

Vase rental = $20

TOTAL cost for centrepiece = $530 per table

(Yes, some people pay this or more for centrepieces...but on average, they do not.)

 Again, the average centrepiece I do is about $150 - $200 which means the size is significantly smaller than that picture, but still a good size.

photo by MIV Photography

2. Establish a Vision

Start thinking about how you envision yourself to look on your wedding day and the overall look and feel of your wedding. Your venue and dress play a big part in this. For your flowers, do you see something full, lush and romantic, or something more on the rustic and organic side? Colours: do you see soft neutral tones or vibrant and bright? Is the style classic elegance or modern and minimalistic? Pinterest is a huge online tool and resource for many brides that come to me. Showing your florist inspirational pictures that best reflect what you see for your day is a big help.

photo by Photolux Studio
3. Find the Right Wedding Florist

Choosing the right florist is so important. You want to feel at ease and know that your wedding day vision will be executed perfectly. I get most of my business by referrals from venues and other wedding vendors that have seen my work over the years and that have worked closely with me.

I feel it is so important to look closely at the past work that your florist has done to see their style and what flower types they like to typically use. Some florists are very versatile and can design anything from modern to classic elegance. I think what most sets florists apart is the type of flowers used (there are a few I just wont use in wedding work as I dont feel they are appropriate) and the colour composition. Make sure that the photos that the florist is showing you is their own work and not something they found online.

And don't forget personality! You want to feel comfortable with all of your vendors and know they are happy to get your business and truly excited for your big day. Honestly speaking, there have been a time or two when I have felt that it wasnt the right fit between myself and a couple. It doesn't happen often, but it has and the best solution was that they find another florist that could connect with them and create their vision.

photo by MIV Photography
We all know that weddings are expensive and trying to cut costs where you can is important. However, I believe in You get what you pay for and that if you choose your vendors solely based on price then you ultimately wont be happy in the long run. Choose your vendors wisely!

Don't forget to check our Full Bloom's portfolio. We work with Erin regularly and cannot say enough about how talented she is. Not to mention, she's always game to let her creative juices flow and try something new.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Save the Date for Something White for Something Right 2014!

After much thought, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our beloved fundraiser, Something White for Something Right, until November 2014.

2013 has been an eventful year for Marry Me Productions, both personally and professionally. In order to make Something White for Something Right the best event it can be, this was the best decision for all involved.

We want to thank everyone for their continued support of the event and we are so grateful for the steady stream of excited emails asking us when the next event will be. We hope you will keep those wedding dresses ready in your closets and book your calendars for November 1, 2014!

2014 will bring bigger and better things for Something White for Something Right! We are excited to have you join us as we continue to raise money to find a cure for breast cancer and support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, a cause near and dear to our hearts. 

Keep tuned to the Something White for Something Right website for updates and follow Marry Me Productions on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

We will be offering early bird tickets for our 2014 event so if you want to be part of our mailing list when they become available, email Brianna at right away and we will keep you in the loop!

Thank you for all your support! And we will see you on November 1, 2014!


The Marry Me Productions team

ps: In anticipation of the 2014 event, please take a moment to relive our 2012 event and all the great memories we made! Photos courtesy of Miv Photography

Friday, July 26, 2013

Invite Etsy to your Wedding....

Photo by AMBPhoto

One of my oldest childhood friends; Jennifer got married with Marry Me Productions in the summer of 2012. I have seen many weddings in my years working with Marry Me as well as watching my own friends get married in the last 9 years. But Jennifer was still able to blow me away with the gorgeous decor that she sourced for her shabby-chic Mont Tremblant wedding. When I found out almost all of it was from Etsy and nabbed at reasonable prices, I knew I had to share more information with our Marry Me blog followers.

I thought it would be fun to interview Jennifer instead of just writing the blog like I normally do- ask her questions our readers would want to know about Etsy. Just to give you some background, Etsy is basically an online store filled with unique items that are handmade (or vintage) by people all over the world. Every seller has their own 'store front'. It's a great source to find unique items for your home, wardrobe, wedding or even a loved one's special event.

It is absolutely worth a look the next time you are enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the morning- but be warned, you'll wonder where hours of your time went!

Karen: A lot of people have heard about ETSY or have even been on the website but what is it exactly?

Jennifer: ETSY is an incredible site that enables creative and crafty individuals from all over the world to sell their products, creations or fabulous finds on one easy-to use-website. I love this site as most vendors before would have been limited to creating their own online shops, or selling their products at local fairs…now they can be accessed by anyone with a computer.

Photo by AMBPhoto
K: How long have you been an ETSY fan? Was it something that your recent wedding just brought on or had you been a faithful buyer for years prior?

J: I honestly cannot remember how or who directed me to this site, but I am an avid lover of online shopping, thus I am sure someone mentioned it to me once wedding planning was in full swing. I was hooked from day one.

K: On average, how much would you say the average bride can save by buying some of her wedding items from ETSY sellers?

Photo by AMBPhoto
J: I definitely think there are savings to be had as you are purchasing directly from the vendor. In most cases these vendors work from home and thus overheads are minimal so that cost does not reflect in the price. I would hate to put a figure on it because that is quite difficult to identify. Many vendors will discount multiple orders which does come in handy when wedding shopping.  I personally think when purchasing from ETSY you have to think of the quality you are receiving. Most products are handmade and thus would be incredibly difficult to find in a large commercial store and I truly believe a similar item would be a significant amount higher and most certainly not as personal.

Photo by AMBPhoto

K: Were you pleased with the amount of time shipping took and interaction between yourself and the ETSY sellers if you had any questions?
Photo by AMBPhoto
J: I was so fortunate and worked with the most incredible vendors who were dedicated to making my day extra special. One of the greatest and most unique aspects of the ETSY website is that you are in direct contact with the vendors, thus if you see something you love but want it personalized to suit your taste, you can communicate this. In my experience the vendors will go out of there way to ensure that your needs are met. For example I had the pleasure of working with Candice Stanley who runs the ETSY store UniquelyDifferentToo. I was on the hunt for table numbers and came across her shop. I made two requests, one to change the block from Black to White and to have passages of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet pressed on each block to incorporate my husband's British background. She was more than happy to go out of her comfort zone and the final product was beautiful and special. My advice for anyone shopping on ETSY is always do a little background research. Each purchase made on ETSY can be reviewed by the buyers. I recommend always looking at the Feedback as it will give you an idea of the vendor themselves and their shop and their strengths and weaknesses. The vendor only ships to the US….not a problem for us Ottawa ladies and gents. Ogdensburg is only a 45 minute drive away and orders can be addressed to the UPS Store located across from the Walmart for $5.00 US a shipment.  Make sure to bring all your receipts as Canadian Customs will require this information and ensure that when giving address details to your ETSY Vendor that they include your name and also always request tracking information.

Photo by AMBPhoto
 K: What was your best deal or favourite item you snagged off ETSY? (wedding related)

J: I already mentioned Candice’s wood blocks, but a personal favourite of mine and I was absolutely blown away when I opened the box was my handmade Pinwheels by Kellee Nelson of Rule42. The purchase really left me speechless. I gave her an idea of the colour scheme and feel of the wedding Simon and I were trying to achieve but I let her work her own creative magic and was so happy I did because the final product was absolutely incredible and more than I could have ever imagined. I also adored the handmade Flower Girl tutus by Mirela Olariu from BambaroosBoutique that were just exquisite and looked so beautiful on.

K: You also resold a lot of your bridal items online after your wedding to try to recoup some of your costs. What website did you you use to do this and would it be complicated for a first time seller? 

Photo by AMBPhoto

J: That is a work in progress, but most brides I imagine are left with numerous items they will probably never use again or have no room for in there house. A great way to recoup some of your wedding costs is buy selling your items on EBAY or one of my personal favourites . This website is all about weddings and is great for both brides to be looking to snag a deal or post bride looking to recover some costs. Both websites are extremely easy to navigate, but I will say it is time consuming and it is important to be honest and descriptive about the products you are selling. Great pictures are a must and definitely help with sales.

K: Could you share some of your top wedding websites you used to plan your stunning wedding 

J:  - The British version of ETSY. Definitely worth checking out as many vendors will be happy to ship to Canada. - great votives gorgeous linens and so many choices
Don’t just limit yourself to using ETSY as a shopping tool; use it as a source of wedding inspiration. I loved the idea of having our table chart on Vintage Windows and there were many ETSY sellers, who sold this item, but they are expensive in general and shipping due to the weight and size is costly.  I reached out to family members and my wonderful Uncle Jay who is an extremely crafty individual himself. He set off to Habitat for Humanity and took two very dreary vintage window frames and used his magic to transform them into something beautiful. I really encourage people to reach out to family and friends or even tap into their own creative juices, you would be very surprised and pleased to see the results and it is so much more personal.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What to Where When: Guest Attire for Weddings

There are many stressful things that come with being a bridesmaid but one of the best things is knowing that your outfit is already decided for you months before the wedding day.
Being a wedding guest on the other hand, you are left to your own devices to find an outfit which raises various questions (what time of day is the wedding?, where is it?, is it outside or inside? What are my girlfriends wearing?), and causes the clothing pile at your feet to grow larger and larger as you frantically continue pulling dresses down.

The Marry Me team thought it would be nice to bring you a blog post about wedding attire for guests. Between all of us attending weddings as guests and working them as part of our job, (not to mention we love following fashion blogs), we have seen everything and are happy to be your personal stylist for the 2013 wedding season!

Firstly, some easy to remember rules when trying to figure out what to wear to any wedding:

1)      Never wear white to a wedding. This rule (although unwritten) is still in effect, at least according to the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings

2)      Figure out what colour and style the bridesmaids are wearing and avoid that colour in the same style unless you want to look like the bridesmaid that didn’t ‘make the team’.

3)      ‘White Tie’ means the ultimate in formality (think Academy Awards). ‘Black Tie’ means full formal attire for guests (long dresses for women, tuxes for men). ‘Black Tie Optional’ generally alludes to a formal wedding so err on the side of caution and dress up. ‘Cocktail Attire’ means shorter dresses for the ladies and a suit and tie for the men. Suit jackets are usually worn for the ceremony and then taken off at the reception.

4)      Day weddings generally are less formal than evening weddings

5)      Your shoes do not need to match your purse

6)      For your accessories, it’s okay to mix metals (wear a silver necklace even if you are wearing a chunky gold watch)

7)      Don’t be THAT girl with the short skirt and the plunging neckline. It’s tacky to take away attention from the bride and you’ll be talked about for all the wrong reasons

 Now let’s look at some examples of when to wear what.

Stick to the softer colours like Easter: soft pink, baby blue, peach etc. Make sure the fabric isn’t too soft and light as the weather is not that hot yet (or in our city’s case right now- non-existent) and you’ll most likely freeze.

Floral prints are also still huge (hooray!) just make sure the floral print is still in the same family as the shades already mentioned (blue, pink, green, yellow, peach, lavender etc..)
Neon is really huge again this season so in this case a neon green dress is not recommended for a wedding but a neon yellow belt would look fantastic with a soft lavender dress.


It’s hard to look put-together when the mercury rises but we girls have it much easier than the boys who still have to wear suits in the 40 degree heat. In summer go for the chic look- not the ‘cute’ look. This can be achieved by dressing simple. Avoid the layers or anything poufy. The floral trend can continue through the summer if you want and ensure the fabric you choose is light and airy (think cotton or linen) especially if the ceremony and reception are outdoors. Since your dress is simple, go all out with your accessories- the chunkier the better.


We love the fall for many reasons, but when it comes to wedding attire, the fall has an ‘anything goes’ rule. You can still get away with some lighter dresses you wore in the summer but you can also start integrating some heavier, darker pieces too. The best types of dresses for the fall echo the colours outdoor: black, red, orange, gold, burgundy etc. As for the style, you can start incorporating some small embellishments like a sequined neckline or belt, lace, a peplum top.


Just like the Christmas season, winter weddings are fun and festive. Attire generally tends to be darker jewel tones like emerald, royal purple, ruby/magenta or sapphire. Just because it is cold outside, does not mean you have to dress in a long dress (you will never be outside except when running from your car to the venue). In fact, it’s more important to dress for the event- not for the season. So if the wedding is in the winter but it’s not ‘black tie’, then a jewel-toned cocktail dress is perfect. Unlike in the summer, because the dresses tend to be the’ jewel’ of the outfit on account of their vibrant colours, keep the accessories simple and classic like diamond drop earrings or a pearl necklace.

Beach Wedding

Always a difficult one to dress for. Guests generally think beach wedding means casual, not true! You still have to dress to reflect the importance of the day but still ensure you are comfortable with the excess wind, water and sand. A delicate sundress would be perfect (think chiffon) but keep it on the shorter side (not below the knees) to make your life easier. Because the location itself is usually very vibrant with flowers and plant life, avoid florals

Check out our Pinterest page specifically for guest attire to get more inspiration for your wedding looks this season.

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