5 Unexpected wedding expenses

January 5, 2016 / 2 comments

As you are planning your wedding budget, they may be a few things that you may or may not have considered. Brides and grooms are mostly concerned about hidden costs but forget the little things that could just pop up as you may have forgotten or just simply not considered.  To help you avoid these unexpected surprises,  here’s a few extra things to remember when setting your budget:


This is an easy one but is usually forgotten by a lot of my clients. They see one price and the moment HST is added they second guess the budget. That is because they did not think about this added cost. Have you ever called a venue and asked them what their menu prices are? You are provided with a $50.00 per person rate. And you think great! I can work with that, only to realize you did not think about the added taxes or the next one gratuities that goes on top of that?


Gratuities are usually added to almost any company offering a service.  They are a few vendors that you definitely have to tip and this includes the venue (the servers and bartenders), usually hair and Make up artists, transportation and anyone really that you felt went above and beyond at your wedding. These are all added costs. Most venues automatically add a 15 to 18% fee to your bill no matter what- so keep this in mind when planning. Don’t assume.


As you are getting ready in the morning with your bridal party, it is always great idea to have food in the room to munch on. Something to drink as well is great, during summer, over lots of water handy. Both wedding parties need to be fed. This could easily be another $100-$150.


Any vendors working 6/8+ hours should at least be fed.  We wrote an article here about feeding vendors. Mostly wedding planners, DJs/MC, photographers/videographers and bartenders if outsourcing. Some venues do offer vendor meal pricing.


Are you ordering specialty chairs or specialty furniture for your event? You definitely want to think about delivery fees  and this could range from $80 – $100 depending on where the delivery venue is located.

Other fees to consider:

Socan fees, corkage fees, licenses (alcohol, marriage), food minimums, rehearsals (Food, officiants), cake cutting fees, hair and make up trials, in some cases food tasting fees and bridal alterations.



Happy Planning

RSVP Events | Ottawa Corporate & Event Planners
c: (613) 219-3552

For more information please contact US

How much does an average wedding cost?

December 22, 2015 / no comments

You are engaged, excited and ready to plan a wedding. How much does a wedding really cost? The answer –  every wedding is different. Planning a down to earth, relaxed backyard BBQ wedding is different from planning an elaborate 350 person wedding. You still need to determine your wedding budget before going out and booking all your wedding vendors.

We will attempt to break down some costs for you – Based on a 100 person wedding.

Here’s how it breaks down…

The wedding venue, room rentals (including catering) eats up a third of the budget, at $9, 500
The rings and bands ring in at $3,000 (average)
The photographer snaps up $2,300
The gown costs $1,500- $3000
The decorations and floral arrangements $3,000
Videographer $2,700
The transportation and limos- $850.00
The cake eats up $550
Jewelry and accessories cost comes out to $250
The hair and makeup takes a $450 including trials
Party favors demands $250
Wedding DJ and Ceremony Music $1400
The invites, programs, and other stationary needs draw out $550

Average cost of a Wedding Planner from $950-$3000.00

Other things to consider:

  • Wedding tips
  • Cake cutting fees
  • Gifts to each other
  • Deliveries of items such as cake
  • Wedding dress alterations
  • Taxes
  • Corkage fees
  • Tear down fees
  • Church/ceremony and officiant
  • Open Bar

There’s still time to shed costs before the big day. Don’t panic. A specialized wedding planner can determine your needs and create a wedding budget that works for you.

This gives you a great idea on the costs of weddings. Your wedding cost more or less depending on packages offered per vendor.


Our clients Jen and Tim opted to use our Wedding in a box Package. We were honored to be part of their day!

Best Wedding planners Ottawa

Ottawa wedding planner

Wedding in a box

Wedding budget

All inclusive wedding package

Photo source: Chelsea Mason Photography


Take a look at our wedding in a box gold package here!

Happy Planning

RSVP Events | Ottawa Corporate & Event Planners
c: (613) 219-3552

For more information please contact US 

5 Ways to use Burlap in your wedding

December 15, 2015 / no comments

Are you thinking rustic as your wedding theme? Thinking of incorporating burlap into your rustic theme? There are so many budget friendly ways to add a little touch of burlap into your wedding décor without going over the top. For an elegant look, don’t over do the burlap. Use it in little ways around the room and ensure everything is neatly placed. We have rounded up a few great ideas on how you can use burlap into your wedding design.

Your table design & Centrepieces 

burlap wedding decorations

Burlap wedding centrepieces ideas


Wedding bouquets and Boutonnieres



Stationary – Invitations and Table numbers
Burlap table numbers ideas elegant

Wedding invitations burlap

Wedding Cake

Lace and burlap wedding cake

Wedding Ceremony Arch

Do you need help planning a rustic wedding with touches of burlap? Contact us today


Event planner canada

Happy Planning

RSVP Events | Ottawa Corporate & Event Planners
c: (613) 883-5745

For more information please contact info@rsvp-events.ca

4 Things not to DIY for your wedding

November 25, 2015 / no comments

Planning a wedding is definitely very exciting for any newly engaged bride. It can also become extremely stressful very quickly,  especially if you are thinking of planning 90% of it on your own. One wedding trend that seems to be here to stay is the rustic wedding. To save on costs, brides are attempting DIY projects.  It seems like everyone is DIY-ing these days. Whether you’re planning of doing a DIY project because you are crafty or trying to save money they are a few things you should not DIY.

We are going to give you a few tips especially if you plan to DIY: To start, pinpoint all your wedding ideas & have a planned wedding budget! Once this is decided, decide what you will DIY and what should be left to a professional wedding specialist.  We do not recommend DIY-ing the following things.

Wedding Photography:

Ottawa wedding planner

 Photo credit: Ashley Notley Photography

Bride and Groom: My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend is a photographer! Me: A professional photographer or taking it up as a hobby? Sound familiar? Some of the advantages of hiring a professional  is that they wont know anyone a the event and there is little chance of them mingling and socialising, which could potentially have them not capture an important moment (Speeches, reactions). They would also have all the proper equipment required to shoot a wedding such as lighting and all the different cool lenses. Your wedding photos will be something you treasure for years to come, I am sure you have heard that before! I would suggest spending some money to ensure you get what will be the best thing that you will ever spend your money on!

DIY Weddings

Photo credit: VIA Noiva Com Classes

Wedding Food: Are you considering asking friends or even your family members to make all your favourite dishes? They maybe great at what they do, but catering to a wedding is a huge job on its own. Even if they are able to cater to your entire wedding party, they would need to have all 80 or a 100 plates ready at the same time at the right time. This is hard to do! People love to talk about how great food is, but they will also be the first to talk about bad food. Consider leaving this task to a caterer. You don’t guests referring to your wedding as “the wedding that had horrible food, I went home and ordered pizza!” So true!

Wedding DJ/Music:

Ottawa wedding DJ

Photo credit: Via Brides Ways

Using an Ipod to play your wedding music is never a good idea. We can tell you about all our horror stories but we wont. Hire a professional DJ or band for your peace of mind. They will also make basic announcements through out the wedding about important milestones coming up through out the day. Guests might also want to make requests during the reception and a DJ or a band would know when to play it and if it is appropriate.

Wedding planner: Yes you have friends that can assist on the day (go back to point 1. about hiring friends or family members). You can choose to hire a planner for the duration of the wedding planning process or someone just on the day. This will make a huge difference between making your wedding feel like it was truly handmade vs. well put together and organized. A professional planner will ensure you a stress free day and ensure all your DIY items work with your theme.

Read our blog: 5 Reasons to hire a professional vendor!

Happy Planning

RSVP Events | Ottawa Corporate & Event Planners
c: (613) 219-3552

For more information please contact US 

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Vendor for your Wedding

June 14, 2013 / no comments

FRIDAY TIPS: 5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Vendor for your Wedding

Time and time again, we hear couples saying “I have a friend that can DJ for us”, or “I have someone from my workplace that is trying to be a photographer and we have seen what she can do. We will ask her to take photos on the day”. Does this photographer have the proper lighting equipment?  Will they spend hours editing your photos? What if that DJ plays the wrong song while you are walking down the aisle? Too late!

We have several reasons why we recommend hiring a professional for any event. Here are our top reasons:

Ottawa wedding planner

Newly Weds

1. Guarantee: With a professional vendor, you will get the guarantee of not only having the vendor show up for your wedding day, but they would also be delivering great service or products. If your friend suddenly becomes ill or is unable to attend your event due to personal reasons, what will you do? I have seen guests RSVP for a wedding, and suddenly something happens the day before or on the day and they can not make it. Most professionals have back up plans which are normally outlined on your contract. Don’t take a risk!

2. Peace of Mind: You will get the peace of mind knowing that everything will be taken care of on the day. This should give you a chance to relax and just enjoy the day. It will go by so fast, why not enjoy it. Remember why you are getting married in the first place. With the right team of vendors you can rest assured the cake will arrive on time, the right flowers will get delivered and that you will get quality service.

Ottawa wedding cake

Inspiration Cake

3. Knowledgeable:  The right team will know exactly what to do should a crisis arise. If one of your vendors does not show up, a wedding planner will be able to find a replacement because of the large network they have. A professional will also have a detailed time line that will outline the step by step plan of the day. This will ensure a smooth day.

4. Friendship: Say you didn’t like the work your friends produced or the DJ played the wrong song for your first dance. Its now after the wedding and you are not sure how to approach them because you are too upset or just do not want to hurt their feelings. You do not want to make the friendship you hold with your friend seem awkward. Avoid this by hiring a certified professional.

Ottawa wedding planner

Inspiration Flower

5. Enjoy your wedding: Let your friends enjoy your wedding too. The reasons you invite someone to your wedding is to share the special day with them. Relax and enjoy the day with those that you love.

Happy Planning.

The Great Gatsby

May 21, 2013 / no comments

The Great Gatsby-Wedding Inspiration Shoot

With the Great Gatsby now airing in the movie theatres, its only right that a wedding inspired by the movie be designed. Planning a 1920s inspired wedding? Take a look at some photos to get you started. We would like to thank Jude and Bea from EFC photography for allowing us to share their great work.

The Great Gabsy

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Great Gatsby

Ottawa Wedding Planner

Ottawa Wedding planner

Ottawa Wedding planner

Ottawa Wedding planner

Ottawa Wedding planner

Great Gatsby


The Great Gatsby wedding shoot

The great gatsby

The great gatsby

 Vendor love:

Venue: The Sanctum on the Green

Photographer: EFC Photography

Videographer: Smooch Films

Models: Hayley & Hannah

Jazz Trio: Hannah Northedge

Bridalwear: Faith Caton-Barber Bespoke Bridal & Evening Wear

Hair and Make Up: Brides and Beauty

Bride’s Shoes: Marsha Hall

Crystal Brooch Bouquet, Crystal Headpieces & Stationery: The Finer Details

Pearl Jewellery & Pearl Headpieces: Rosie Weisencrantz Vintage Creations

Flowers and Styling: The Vintage Floral Design Co.

Favours: French Made

Vintage China & Props: Vintage Flair 

Cake Baker: Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

Thank you and happy planning. Call RSVP Events for your planning needs