How to do Bridal Expo like a Wedding Planner

How to do Bridal Expo like a Wedding Planner

Every September the Calgary Bridal Expo provides an opportunity for Brides-to-be to take in all the best that the wedding industry has to offer. Over 150 of Alberta’s leading wedding industry professionals descend on the BMO center for one afternoon. This is like a dream scenario for anyone that has just undertaken the task of planning a wedding. Having all that the province has to offer under one roof is a great opportunity to not only see what is out there but also it’s a chance to meet the people who will be responsible for helping you make your dream wedding a reality. I like to think of it as speed dating your suppliers. There are a couple of ways to do the show. The first being to simply take it all in and feel inspired by immersing yourself in all the beautiful possibilities. But if you are Type-A, like me, you probably have a very specific list of what you need to accomplish in those few short hours (and believe me, you can get A LOT accomplished). So it is to you, the task oriented go-get-‘em types like me, that I present my tips on how to do Bridal Expo like a wedding planner: Game plan Having a game plan makes all the difference. I like to call it planning to plan. I suggest determining your objectives for the day, ie., Getting options for invites, taste the dessert samples to narrow down your choices or even meet the planners the you have been snooping on the internet. Whatever your list is, come prepared to knock things off of...
BOOM Goes Out: #OperaFest Opera in the Village – The Mikado

BOOM Goes Out: #OperaFest Opera in the Village – The Mikado

I love Opera, I also love camping. So when the Calgary Opera sets up a tent along the banks of the Bow River and puts on an outdoor operatic spectacle for two weeks every August, I kinda feel like its a match made in heaven. Last Thursday, I got invited to the première of the third year of  Opera in the Village, which to me has become a Calgary summertime tradition. I have to say that more than just producing a complex stage show in a built-from-scratch venue, Calgary Opera is creating a cultural summertime destination in the forever evolving East Village. With daily activities, such as free drumming, Arias, workshops, and even a kids matinee it is worth it even to stroll along the beautifully redeveloped river pathway. Dubbed ‘The Big Top On The Bow’, the impressive tent plays host to this year’s main attraction; The Mikado. A satirical comedy set in two acts by the always campy Gilbert and Sullivan. My only concern about Opera in a tent was – How will I know what they are saying if there are no titles? But my fears were allayed once the show began as it was entirely in English and it is meant to be engaging (even pulling audience members on stage at one point). Jokes about current pop culture abound and there is plenty of poking fun at Calgary. Even something of an appearance by the World’s best Mayor. The fun thing about camping is that the rules are a little different. So is the case here. No need for a suit and tie on the banks of the river. Why not grab a...
BOOM Goes Out: Diner en Blanc

BOOM Goes Out: Diner en Blanc

Runners slow to a walk, and couples strolling along the Bow river come to a full stop, staring, as strains of Edith Piaf’s iconic “La Vie en Rose” drift from a massive white tent, floating along a summer breeze to ruffle a twelve foot, inflated, ivory installation framing the Peace Bridge. Within minutes a small crowd has gathered along the sidewalk, pointing and smiling, quizzical looks on almost all faces as they look out on the sudden spectacle. However, it isn’t the classic French music or the beautiful pop-up décor that has Calgarian’s lining the Princes Island pathway, staring in wonder; it’s the twenty five hundred guests decked head to toe in shimmering, luminescent hues of white, cream, and ivory, elegantly weaving their way through rows of draped, white picnic tables, as Calgary begins it’s third annual Diner en Blanc. An event as equally rich in style and taste as it is in history, Diner en Blanc (quite literally, White Dinner) traces its roots more over twenty five years a go to- of course- Paris, where a young Fracois Pasquier wanted to invite a group of friends out for a picnic. Not having all met, he recommended they come dressed completely in white, so as to recognize other members of their group. It quickly became an annual event, and from these elegant, Parisian beginnings, Diner en blanc was born. Having now spread to multiple countries, the event maintains a strict invite-only guest list, and a mandatory zero-waste policy, where all attendees must bring in all of their picnic materials, and take them back out at the evening’s conclusion. It...
BOOM Goes Out: Honen’s Hullabaloo2015

BOOM Goes Out: Honen’s Hullabaloo2015

Fish net stockings, blue eye-shadow, military inspired boots, and world-class classical musicians. This is what guests were in for as they walked through the Telus Spark doors and into Honen’s second annual Hullabaloo, inspired by the gritty underground of New York City in 1973. As attendees made their way to the event, one couldn’t help but notice the orange and grey wall of graffiti littered, band-style posters marking the entrance- a sly indication of what the night would hold. As the BOOM team was waiting by the door, a petite blonde hiding behind a pair of over-sized sunglasses sidled up to the line. Wiggling her eyebrows and throwing shady side-eye, she threw open her long black trench coat to reveal an assortment of envelopes with mystery prizes inside pinned to its liner, ranging in value from five dollars to four hundred. After purchasing a few envelopes from the trench coat hustler, I overheard a nearby gentleman comment that, “This isn’t your typical Honen’s crowd, is it?” The sundry mass that spilled through Spark’s main hall would attest to this truth. Through Honen’s themed annual fundraisers, the Calgary based foundation has done a remarkable job of reaching out to, and engaging, a remarkably diverse new group of piano enthusiasts. These fundraisers are fast-becoming known for bringing together wonderful music, the creations of some of Calgary’s finest chef’s and inspiring themes, all motivated by a specific time in the past the impacted music in some extraordinary way. This past weekend, Calgarians explored early seventies New York, with the musical stylings of Jim Bryson, Kellylee Evan, Lee Harvey Osmond and Honens 2014...

BOOM Goes Out: Derek’s 2015 Music Festival Tour

I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to music. I spend a lot of time with it. Between sourcing new music for work, scripting music to create ‘wow’ moments, and just using it as a general soundtrack to my day, I bring music into my life in all kinds of ways. I believe one of the best ways to bring music into my world is by taking in live shows. Nothing quite compares to the energy that is created when people gather around live musicians, which is why I am ecstatic to be headed to my home-away-from-home, New York City, this weekend to kick off the first of my summer music festivals at the Governors Ball. In honour of this fun filled weekend I have made a 2015 Summer Festival Mixtape that includes some of the bands I am most excited to see this summer. You can follow my music fest fun on my Instagram @derekjmacdonald While you are at it, check out the line up for the great music festivals below. Hope to see you out- we will definitely be...