Archive for the Trend Report Category

Trend Report: Wedding Music

Music is central to weddings. What will your soundtrack be from that first trip down the aisle to the last song of the reception? Some tunes stand the test of time – or make a comeback – and others are completely “right now” (Gangnam Style, anyone?).  If you’re looking to put together a playlist for an upcoming wedding, here are some tips from the pros:

static.squarespaceDevin Komarniski and Krista Kohuch of Edmonton’s Newley Sound Service  have noticed a lot of their clients are going for personalized playlists.

“Country is always very popular in Edmonton,” Krista says. “But lately a lot of younger couples want it to be more a dance club type of environment. And we’re getting some very unique requests from couples – they want their music to reflect them.”

“Alternative music has broken into the mainstream too,” Devin says. “So we have couples that want a lot of Indie dance music. They like Daft Punk or Capital Cities.”

Both note that nostalgia is a big thing in town and that they’re playing a lot of 1980s and 1990s “throwback” music.

“And pop music is popular for a reason – it fires people up,” Krista says. “Goofy popular songs can be fun!”

In Edmonton and around the world, DJs have noticed there have also been more requests for waltz songs at weddings – possibly due to the popularity of “Dancing with the Stars”. So ¾-time golden oldies like Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Journey’s “True Love” are getting more play.

First-Dance-Bride-GroomBeyond the main reception playlist, Edmonton’s Jennifer Bergman Weddings  recently posted great songs for everything from the ceremony, to the grand entrance, to the first dance and bouquet/garter toss.

For even more inspiration, check out North Carolina-based All Around Raleigh DJ Company. They have suggested playlists for everything from Hipster, to Christian, to Indian/Bollywood, to Disco tunes for your wedding.

So let the wedding bells ring, and your music play – even if it’s Gangnam Style!

Band vs DJ: What’s Right for Your Big Day?

377299 01: 1998 Adam Sandler in New Line Cinema's comedy, "The Wedding Singer."

In the world of weddings, there are few debates more divisive: is it better to get with the band, or should you hire a DJ? So what are the pros and cons, and how should you choose? To get tales from the trenches, I took to social media.

bombaLike any good debate, half the people came down firmly on the side of bands. “We had a band,” says Edmonton author Caterina Edwards. “There’s nothing like live music.” Her daughter also went that route hiring Bomba!, a local Latin jazz group, to play.

Grace Patterson went with a band as well – it was a no-brainer since her husband is a musician – but her daughter hired a DJ when she got married recently:  “He kept the crowd dancing ‘til 2 a.m.!” Natasha Vaux also found that having a DJ appealed to different demographics who attended their reception. “A DJ can play a variety of genres that will get everyone on the dance floor at least once,” she says.

A DJ can certainly accommodate multi-lingual and multi–ethnic weddings better than many bands. Michelle Favreau of Ottawa and her husband were really happy when theirs played a lot of French music. It can backfire as well. Mark Reynolds who lives in Chicago felt his “fusion” wedding reception had too many “dance remixes of Bollywood and bhangra tunes.” Local spin instructor and communications specialist Chelsea McKenzie luckily had a better experience: “I was thrilled with our choice. We had a smaller wedding (50 people, but I’m Italian, so it was TINY by that measure) and I think a band would have been overwhelming. He also played a lot of songs he knew went over great at weddings that we never would have thought of. The best part – he didn’t play the Chicken Dance.”

DJs Devin Komarniski and Krista Kohuch of Newley Sound Service are understandably in favour of couples hiring DJs for weddings. “The best part is you’re hearing songs the way they were originally intended to be heard,” they say. “Bands tend to be quite expensive too depending on the equipment and number of people. And they often take breaks – they can only play for so long.”

You can avoid the debate completely by having both: live music for the ceremony – a singer or soloist on guitar, piano or harp are popular options – and then a DJ later in the evening. Or neither, if that’s what works for you.When Karen Spafford-Fitz got married 25 years ago, that’s what she did: “We didn’t want to go with a band due to limited repertoire. We also didn’t want to turn our event over to a possibly dubious DJ. Our solution was to create our own soundtrack. It worked beautifully and fit our budget.” Ashley Dryburgh and her wife Dana DiTomaso did the same – but with a 21st century twist: “We had a 50-person wedding and had our wedding party send us their music suggestions. We put it all on an iPod and let anyone change the music as they saw fit. I thought it worked really well — ultimate free crowd-sourced wedding DJ!”

And some, like Nadia Drisdelle of Yellowknife, chose to forego dancing – but still wanted a little music. Drisdelle hired a solo guitarist who was “an amazing singer. It was less money and more intimate in small venue,” she says. Rachel Lea Heide of Ottawa married a military man, so it made sense that they brought in a five-piece brass band from the U.S. army to play during the reception and dinner. “People loved it since it was unique and classy sounding,” she says.

Whether you go with a band or DJ, knowing and communicating your needs, budget, and vision is key. This could be tricky if you’re like many who hire friends and family members – or get their services as a present. Luckily it worked well for Anne Gafiuk of Calgary: “my brother was the DJ and he gave his services as our wedding gift (and he played the music we wanted)!”

Whatever your budget or musical personality – rock, Bollywood, or brass –there are great options out there for you just a friend, family member, or Google search away.

Trend Report: White Ink

Classy, edgy, striking, and impactful – white ink is in and here to stay!

We’re loving the way white type pops off the invitations to create a memorable look that will leave the guest list swooning for weeks. What was once a complicated and expensive process (usually achieved by foil stamping or screen printing) is now much more practical thanks to printing digitally with HP ElectroInk White. Brides take note, if you’re seeking an that WOW factor, white ink may be for you.

These examples show you some of the amazing looks you can create on colourful (or clear) paper.


1 – Seven Swans Wedding Stationery
2 – Simply Chic Wedding Ideas
3 – Sara Hanks Giessen
4 – Allie Munroe
5 – B P & O
6 – Swiss Cottage Designs

whiteinkBut you know that I always have a few printing tricks up my sleeves. I love to create this look for (way) less by printing a colour over top of white paper. I used this technique for Katie and Dave‘s destination wedding invitation suite (shown to the right). Just make sure that your text is set as white so that when you print your design on a standard printer, only the coloured design will actually print and the white paper will show through. It creates such a chic look!

The Social Wedding


In March when Edmonton couple Trent and Elizabeth Wilkie got married, it was a no-brainer to livestream and tweet their wedding.

As local Twitterati member Linda Hoang wrote in an article for the Edmonton Sun, the two “met through social media, their relationship blossomed on Twitter and Facebook, and Trent proposed in a YouTube video”.

Now Linda – who is Digital Communications Specialist for NAIT – is getting married, and has been using Twitter a lot in the lead-up to her big day. She has crowd-sourced advice on choosing a wedding officiant as well as tweeted pictures of the location (Old Timers Cabin) and a rendez-vous with her wedding DJs (@NewleySound) at a YEG Tweetup event.

Trent, Elizabeth and Linda are part of a growing group of people using social media before, during, and after their weddings. To get an idea of how to do it right, I turned to two local experts: Michelle Reid, owner of 9 Likes Social Media and Dana DiTomaso, CEO at Kick Point. Here are their top 10 tips:

  1. Beware crowd-sourcing for wedding ideas, since everyone could have a different opinion. This can be a great way to find local vendors, though, like event planners, photographers, florists, and so on.
  2. Discuss your comfort level regarding social media with your vendors, and consider putting it in writing. When can your photographer, for example, post photos from your wedding on their Facebook page or blog?
  3. Don’t overshare before the big day: keep certain things sacred for the wedding, and pace your wedding posts. People don’t want to hear about it all the time.
  4. If you’re a guest, take your cue from the couple. If they ask you to live tweet, or share photos or comments online through Facebook or Instagram, that’s great. But some people are more private, and you should respect that.
  5. If you’re a couple that wants to use social media for your wedding, then create a great hashtag right away and share it in your wedding invitation and on your wedding website (and remind guests the day of). This way you can easily compile photos and comments through or some other method.
  6. If you create a hashtag, don’t use the & symbol (it causes errors) and use something unique so someone else doesn’t hijack it. Trent and Elizabeth used #LizandTrentWedding, for example.
  7. If you’re a couple that wants people to be truly present during the ceremony, communicate this clearly.
  8. If you’re a bridesmaid, don’t get overeager and post a picture of the wedding dress as you’re getting ready – before the spouse-to-be sees it at the ceremony!
  9. Whatever you post should be positive: share great quotes, poignant moments, and what music is getting the most reaction from the crowd.
  10. Social media is forever – maybe turn off the phone if you’re starting to get tipsy at the reception!

And a few ideas I especially love:

  • Include your wedding hashtag in your table decor so people will have it front-and-centre.
  • Ask guests to tweet a toast to the couple, and say you’ll read them out loud during the reception.
  • Consider live-streaming the event through a Google hangout if there’s someone special who can’t attend, such as an older relative who lives far away.
  • Compile the photos from Instagram to make your thank you card.
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