Organizing the Company BBQ? 3 Things to Remember

So they put you in charge of organizing this summer’s Company BBQ did they?
We know you’re not an event planner by trade, so we’d like to offer 3 important things to consider as you pull it all together:

company bbq
  1. Location: company property = company liability. Consider hosting at an off-site location but be mindful of the weather. Is the location covered? Is this a rain or shine event? Do you have to splurge for a tent? In any case, give directions to all guests and ensure signage is clear and visible when guests arrive so they know exactly where to go.
  2. Refreshments: you can never have too much. Whether you’re serving alcohol or not, do not skimp on the beverages. While alcohol is a nice-to-serve vs. a need-to-serve, ensure that is clear on the invitation to employees. Furthermore, consider foregoing the liability of serving alcohol and make it a BYOB for those that must indulge in a day-time beverage.
  3. Food: we strongly encourage you to splurge for a caterer vs. potluck. If cost is an issue, notify employees that instead of making everyone bring a dish, you will be collecting $15-$20 towards hiring a caterer. The employees will thank you, the food will be better and no one has to clean up!

Signage, entertainment, games, giveaways … there’s lots more that goes into planning the company BBQ and perhaps next year you collect $25 per person to cover the cost of a planner as well 😉

Good luck and have fun!


Backyard Party: Things to think about ….

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Thinking about hosting a backyard party on your property? There are some things to consider before transforming your home into an event venue.

There is a common perspective that a backyard party is cheaper than using a traditional venue or restaurant. While this is sometimes true (when you are DIYing EVERYTHING), a backyard party will cost a significant amount of time.  Yes, a venue may have higher rental and food & beverage costs than your backyard & living room, but eliminating that cost won’t always cut your total budget.

Here are a few things to think about before pulling the trigger on a DIY, backyard party:

1. Furniture // Tables // Chairs

When you book at a venue, these things are included in the space. With a backyard party, these items now need to be sourced, rented, set up and taken down. Alternatively, you can use whatever tables and chairs you already own, but that will depend on the type of party you are throwing. A wedding, special birthday or anniversary celebration likely deserves an elevated aesthetic.

2. Shelter

Tents are a large ticket item that, again, need to be sourced, rented, set up and taken down. Unless you are comfortable with the inclement weather plan being inside your home, a tent is an added expense we strongly suggest including in the budget for a backyard event. With a venue, that is the shelter for your guests~ Tent sizes, styles, quality and costs range significantly and should be a MUST if you want to turn your property into an event venue. Tents increase the intimacy of the event and ensure guests are sheltered from whatever the unpredictable mother nature has for us!

3. Decor

This is a matter of personal taste and preference. Some venues need A TON of decor and others need very minimal. Some back yards are beautifully landscaped, others need some help and added distractions 😉

4. AV

Oh yes, AV, add that to the list to be sourced, rented, and arranged and add another line item on the budget.


Although this post sounds like we may not be fans of backyard events, it is actually quite the OPPOSITE. We’ve had the pleasure of turning many private properties and personal homes into incredible ‘event venues’ for guests.  A backyard party is labor intensive and that’s where we come in.  We provide people with service options to fit their vision and budget for their backyard party.  You can throw an epic celebration in the comfort of your own property, without having to become a full-time event planner yourself!

To throw an epic backyard party your friends will talk about for seasons to come, get in touch! The time you will save using a professional will far exceed the cost to hire one.


backyard party

Guest Favours: To Do or Not To Do?

This is a question we are asked quite frequently. As you heard in the video, this is an opportunity to save but it is also an opportunity to add a unique touch of YOU to the wedding day. The choice is yours. Here are a few more of our thoughts when it comes to guest favours for your wedding …

Avoid Trinkets with Your Names & Wedding Date
Guests do not need a shot glass with your wedding date on it. Unless it’s a deck of cards, box of matches or something semi-useful, don’t bother with the trinkets.

Edible is Always a Good Idea
Plain and simple. If you want to add a little colour to the tables or you have a favourite treat you want to share with your guests, incorporate this item as a guest favour. And don’t be afraid to add your names and wedding date to this item, the packaging is disposable!

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Make it Personal
If you and your hubby-to-be are coffee lovers, opt for a cute bag of beans. If your fav date night includes a trip to the casino, slide a lottery card on each place setting. Options for making it personal are endless. What you want to do here is think about things that you and your partner like to do or enjoy together.

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Plants are Never a Bad Thing
Thing with live plants as guest favours is that if you get stuck with leftovers, you can actually use them at your house! Another bonus is it would add extra greenery to your tables!

So those are some of our thoughts when it comes to guest favours. We’re big fans of the personal touches but in the end, if it’s a $500 difference between hiring a videography or that photographer you’ve always dreamed of, we’re putting on money on that vs. favours!

Let us know what you think and if you did something unique for your favours, we’d love to hear it!

Until next time lovelies!

~ JP




Groom and Groomsmen Trends

Oh do we have a treat for you!! We know how fun it is to look for wedding dresses and ‘say yes to the dress’, but when it comes to groomsmen attire, it can be just as fun. Today, we’re talking groom and groomsmen trends for the upcoming wedding season. Here to give us the expert opinion is the always lovely Carla, from Charles & Hunt, a men’s styling and personal shopping service in Hamilton. Check out what she has to say about the wedding day apparel for the handsome men!

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This isn’t your father’s wedding suit…

Groom & Groomsmen Trends for 2017

I am the bearer of good news: the days of the stuffy, ill-fitting, wide-legged rental suit are over.

Gentlemen, you have choices! Now, more than ever before, you have a wider selection to choose from when it comes to colour, fabric, fit, and texture that you can pull off on the Big Day.

The bride and her ladies are going to have to share the spotlight because what’s trending in gentlemen’s wedding attire for 2017 will have the groom and his guys getting noticed.


The conventional black tux is taking a back seat. Of course, a tux may be appropriate for a more formal wedding and is always a timeless classic. But if you’re interested in something less predictable or a look that reflects your personality, why not rock some colour?

Blue is the new black. A royal blue for a spring/summer wedding or navy for fall/winter are great alternatives to the more traditional option.

Burgundy has become a popular accent colour in décor, florals, and bridesmaid dresses. This year, we’re seeing it in suiting as well. Bonus: this colour works well with virtually all skin tones so it’s an excellent choice for any groomsman.

Another unconventional colour for the dapper dudes is green. Whether it’s forest or emerald, green makes for a unique yet elegant suit choice, especially for fall.

If you want a traditional cut in a current colour, try a shawl-collar tuxedo in blue, burgundy, or green.

Pattern, Texture (or both) – done right.

Mixing prints, patterns, and textures can be a risky move but if you follow a few simple rules, you’ll be sure to stand out.

Make sure the fabrics and textures carry a similar weight – literally and visually. For example, mix a herringbone blazer with a tweed vest and velour bowtie in the colder months but avoid mixing these with any light or sheen fabrics like worsted wool, satin, or linen that you would typically wear in warmer weather.

You can mix patterns, like a window check and stripe, as long as they are in a similar colour family (like varying shades of blue or grey) or if the patterns are the same but different sizes (check on check).

Mismatching Suits

Another way to mix it up: have the gents in different suits.

We know suits can get quite pricey. By giving your guys the freedom to choose their own suit, they can spend as much as they’re comfortable with or wear something that they already have. This way they aren’t breaking the bank and they’re more likely to wear the suit again.

Important: make sure to keep consistency in colour, shirts and/or accessories in order to create somewhat of a unified look among the groomsmen.


Statement socks

Whether your guys are in matching or varying suits, a fun way to tie the looks of the groom and groomsmen together are by sporting some funky socks. Alternately, each guy can wear a different pair to reflect his personality. There are a lot of both subtle and statement options by Yo Sox and Hot Sox. Whether they like bacon, beer, or billiards, there’s a sock for any guy. Plus, this can be a fun and thoughtful gift to give your groomsmen.


Don’t forget… It’s all about the fit.

This is something that holds true with any and all menswear. The fit is one of, if not the most important thing when purchasing a suit. So on a day as important as your wedding, why opt for a poor fitting rental? A lot of grooms assume that renting is the cheapest option but you can buy a new suit for virtually the same price and I can guarantee it will be much more flattering.

So gentlemen, it’s your turn to step out and stand out on the Big Day.

Carla Criminisi is the founder and head stylist of Charles & Hunt, a men’s styling and personal shopping service in Hamilton. They cover any and all wardrobe needs, from casual to formal, wedding parties, and made-to-measure suiting. The C&H showroom is located in the Lister Block building, 28 James St N, Suite 114.


@charlesandhunt Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Say YES to Colour!

February is full of love and considered engagement season #2 after the ever popular Christmas Holiday season! Today, we’re sharing some insider information about colored engagement rings from one of Hamilton’s top Jewellery Designer Laura Tedesco …
In recent years, the popularity for a less traditional engagement ring has grown in popularity. People are looking for something different, something unique, something non-conventional. And with this desire for uniqueness, the demand for beautiful gems such as sapphires, black diamonds, and rubies has grown as well. No longer do diamonds have to be the ‘go to’ for an engagement ring.  More and more couples are looking for alternatives to really show off their style, their personality and their individuality. There is a broad spectrum of colours and types of stones that can hold their Carat weight to any diamond.  So, before you default to yes for that diamond, check out some of your other options below … !!!
Black Diamonds
When we think of diamonds, we think: clear and colourless.  But the fact is that there are may different shades and colours, including BLACK. Black diamonds are the most popular colour of the coloured diamonds. This unique diamond is an absolute show-stopper!black diamond engagement ring black diamond halo engagement
When you think of a typical Sapphire, you probably thinking of its royal blue colour – like Princess Diana’s and now Kates.   But Sapphires, treated and untreated come in an array of colours and shades including the padparadscha (a pinkish orange variety),  lilac and green, just to name a few. Check out this beauty …
coloured engagement ring
When is comes to coloured gems and stones, the possibilities are endless. We have a few more unique pieces to show you that are bound to look great on YOU and really catch the eye!
emerald engagement ring
aquamarine engagement ring sapphire engagement ring
Make choosing the ring you will wear for a lifetime fun! Make it personal, make it unique and make sure it reflects YOU!
Thank you Laura for providing us with some great inspiration!!