Tips and Tricks: Vendor Tipping


One of the most frequently asked questions leading up to the wedding day is in regards to vendor tipping. With the exception of the catering staff and your beauty prep team, tips are considered a nice surprise.

If you do chose to tip 15%- 20% of your service total is a standard rate. Consider an item such as a gift or gift card if you aren’t comfortable with cash. Be cautious to read over your contracts and ensure that the tip is not already included in your price (this is often the case for transportation, catering and serving staff).

Other ways to show your vendors appreciation is by leaving a review and writing a thank you note! Refer your friends and family- this will go much further than a cash tip! Remember tips are supposed to be given for excellent service or vendors who go above and beyond their duty!

If you do tip your vendors be sure to give your envelopes to your wedding planner at your rehearsal dinner to distribute on your behalf.

Vendor Spotlight: Cloud Nine Photography

I am lucky enough to work with some of the best professionals in the business day in and day out. I like to think I show our vendors love with every wedding I send their way, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. To let my vendors know just how much I love them and how I couldn’t do what I do without them, I’ve come up with a way to shine the light on these incredibly talented artists.

My third feature in this mini-series is spotlighting Kelsey from Cloud Nine Photography.  From the moment I talked to her on the phone, I knew she was going to be my wedding industry best friend. Her ability to capture romance, elegance and beauty through the lens of a camera is astonishing.  Her ability to make you feel comfortable in any situation whether it is a maternity session, engagement session or wedding day says so much about her loving personality. Plus she has a really adorable dog named Louis!

Here’s what Kelsey had to say when I sat down with her.


Company Name:  Cloud Nine Photography

Type of Work: Photography

Years in Business: 8 years

Location: Waterloo, Ontario


Tell us a little bit about your company.

I have always had a love for photography. I started my business part time in 2010, shooting anything and everything I could. In 2012 I was able to focus full time on my business and have never looked back. I shoot only twenty weddings a year, this allows me to really build a relationship with my clients.  I find that I go full circle with my clients, we start with an engagement session, their wedding day and then a maternity shoot a year or so later.


What sets you apart from other vendors within your line of work?

I love what I do and I shoot from my heart, it sounds cheesy but I am so honoured to be involved in their lives. I believe it starts with building a relationship with your clients, getting to know every single detail about them.  


What’s your favourite part about a wedding?

I love the morning of a wedding.  When I start my day working with the couple and walk in the door seeing the excitement and nerves on their face is the best part.  When I shoot I feel like we are all best friends and are hanging out for the day. It's my favourite part of the day.


What is something you wish couples knew about photography at their wedding?

It's your day, do what you want. Don't follow a mould, do what suits you.


Any tips for newly engaged couples?

Get to know your vendors.  Just because someone is new to the scene doesn't mean they aren't experienced or are going to do a bad job.  In my experience, they will go above and beyond for you.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight Kelsey-- so honoured you're my wedding industry bestie.  


Kentucky Derby Inspired Bridal Shower

A few months ago we were honoured to involved in planning a Bridal Shower for a wonderful friend and bride-to-be.  The Kentucky Derby theme suited the bride perfectly, and the event was held in the barn on their property!  Not a detail was forgotten, the bride's sister thought of everything! Check out the pictures below by the wonderful Cloud Nine Photography!


A true Kentucky Derby party wouldn't be complete without Derby hats.


The menu featured a mashed potato bar with sweet potato and garlic mashed as well as a pasta station equipped with a Chef that prepared a custom dish! Talk about mouth watering food.. 


Desert featured a Kentucky Derby must-have, Derby Pie. 


Vendor Love

Photography: Cloud Nine Photography

Makeup: Makeup by Natasha Conti

Catering: Pig Roast Catering

Engagement Shoot: Jessica & Curtis

If it is one thing we have learned about these two is that they are so fun, laugh too much and are so in love.  We think you will agree after seeing their fall engagement shoot by Cloud Nine Photography.  Take a look at some of our favourites, including their German Shorthaired Pointer, Remi. 

We are so honoured to be apart of Jessica and Curtis' wedding day tomorrow!  Congratulations to you both, we wish you all the best!


Vendor Love

Photographer: Cloud Nine Photography by Kelsey Kubels

Makeup Artist: Makeup by Liz V

Vendor Spotlight: 1409 Stationery

I am lucky enough to work with some of the best professionals in the business day in and day out. I like to think I show our vendors love with every wedding I send their way, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. To let my vendors know just how much I love them and how I couldn’t do what I do without them, I’ve come up with a way to shine the light on these incredibly talented artists.

My second post in this mini-series is spotlighting Josh from 1409 Boutique Stationery Design. From the moment I met Josh in a small town coffee shop, I knew he had untapped potential. His ability to capture elegance and sophistication through a set of stationery was beyond measure. 

Here’s what Josh had to say when I sat down with him.

Company Name: 1409 Boutique Stationery Design

Type of Work: We design personalized Wedding and Event Stationery

Years in Business: 2 years

Location: Grand Valley, Ontario

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Tell us a little bit about your company.

The story of 1409 starts in a condo elevator in 2013 on a very normal morning on my way to work, this is where I met my wife for the first time. 1409 is a reflection of the love and happiness you can find in another, even in the most unlikely of places.

 …It was also the sum of our apartment numbers.

 1409 is a boutique shop offering a range of luxury, beautifully designed, cheerful invitations including event stationery and seasonal designs which are infused with charm and charisma to make it easier to bring friends and family to any event, celebration or special moment.

What sets you apart from other vendors within your line of work?

The excitement one gets when they receive a personalized envelope in the mail, that is not the average bill or junk, is almost a rare feeling nowadays. It is the moment when the wedding experience first starts for your guests and the first impression of the most important day of your life.

1409 strives to make this moment perfect, for every couple and for every event.

What’s your favorite part about a wedding?

Successfully completing the almost impossible task of bringing all the most important people in a couple’s life to one celebration. Having experienced it myself, it is one of the most amazing sights to witness.

What is something you wish couples knew?

Not to sweat the small stuff.

It’s inevitable that a couple will stress over minor details with décor, seating arrangements, etc. Once the day comes and you’re with all of your most loved family and friends, those small things will be the absolute last thing on your mind.

Any Tips for newly engaged couples?

 Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Meet Cassy

Cassy is our newest member of the team, but don't let that fool you! She brings her expert design skills and ability to execute the most complex events which make her a major asset to our team. Cassy has an Advanced Diploma in Interior Design which gives her the ability to capture any vision and turn it into a reality.  Cassy is my go-to girl, my right hand lady and will lend a hand wherever needed. 

Please help me in welcoming Cassy to the team!


Tips and Tricks: Thank You Cards!

Thank you cards can sure be a daunting task after a bridal shower or wedding.  Often you wonder where do you start? What do you write? How do you keep track? I compiled a few tips and tricks on what wording to use and how to stay on top of things!

1. Get them done as soon as possible.  It may seem crazy but the earlier you get them done the less you will forget.  Try not to go beyond the rule of thumb of 3 months after an event.  Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and try to write a few every night! This helps to tackle the list quickly.

2. Start off by thanking them for attending. 

Dear Aunt Jenny, 

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to attend my bridal shower on Sunday.  It really meant a lot to me having you there.


Dear Aunt Jenny, 

Thank you so much for celebrating with us at the wedding.  We had the best time ever and were so happy to have you apart of our celebrations.

3. Be sure to let the gift giver know what you plan to purchase or how you'll make use of their generosity.  For example: Thank you so much for the wonderful serving set, we can't wait to host our first dinner party to use it!  Pro tip: if you received a cash gift don't mention the amount of the cash gift but how you'll use it: Thank you so much for your generous gift, we can't wait to get started on our much needed home renovations!

4. Send thank you cards to people who sent a gift but weren't able to attend.  For example: Thank you so much for the wonderful serving set.  We wish you could have been at the wedding to celebrate with us, you were missed on the dance floor! 

5. Finish off with a closing statement that you'll see them soon. For example: We are so thrilled you will be able to celebrate with us at the wedding or We can't wait to see you soon!

PS. Wondering who you should send a thank you card to? Anyone who gives you a gift (guests or not), anyone who helped with the planning process, hostess, wedding party, your parents and any vendors on your wedding day!



Wedding Customs- Where did they come from?

Many wedding traditions, customs and superstions all started from old folk tales and stories.  Many people (brides and grooms included) don't know where many of them originated from or why they exist!  Haven't you ever wondered who said it's lucky to have rain on your wedding day or why a bride wears white?

I decided to spend a little time researching these superstitious practices, their origins and why they exist.

Custom: Wearing A Veil

Origin: Rome

Why?: Fearing that evil spirits would be jealous of her happiness. It was believe the evil spirits were trying to bring ill upon the bride.  The bride would drape a veil over her head to cover herself up to disguise herself.

Custom: Giving Knives as a Wedding Gift

Origin: Folk Tales

Why?: According to old folk tales, giving knives as a wedding or bridal shower gift signifies a broken relationship and will bring bad luck.  To break the curse, a penny would be given to the gift giver so they could be claimed as purchased.

Custom: Sugar Cubes

Origin: Greece

Why?: According to Greek culture placing a sugar cube on the bride will sweeten the marriage!

Custom: Breaking Glass

Origin: Italy

Why?: Many Italian couples will put a lot of muscle into breaking a glass or vase at their wedding. According to tradition, however many pieces the glassware breaks into will symbolize how many years the couple will be happily married.

Custom:Cake Topper

Origin: England

Why?: When Queen Victoria opted to crown her wedding cake with mini sculptures of herself and Prince Albert in 1840, the bride-and-groom cake topper was born. By the 1920s, the trend had crossed the pond to the United States, gaining popularity in the 1950s when couple figurines came to symbolize marital stability. Today, toppers aren't always cookie-cutter brides and grooms, but personalized sculptures highlighting a pair's identities, pets, or hobbies.

Custom: No Cooking!

Origin: Egypt

The bride's family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax.



Gift Registry Ideas

If you did a poll and asked if creating a gift registry was the most fun or most stressful part of the wedding planning process, you would be surprised to see the answer. The top choice is that it can be the most stressful part.  From deciding where to register or what pattern of China to select, it can be overwhelming. On one end of the spectrum it is a great place to communicate what exact gifts you and your fiance need and want but on the other end you may end up with items that you may never use.  But, I have compiled a few tips to keep the process simple and stress free!



1. Use the information section on the registry to introduce yourself and your fiance. Indicate your current living situation to help people understand if you are starting from scratch or upgrading pieces you already have. 

2. Register for big and small ticket items.  This allows guests who wish to partake in group gifts on bigger ticket items while also getting items that will make your home feel special. 

3. `When in doubt chose white. It may seem like a boring and easy way out but white is a timeless choice whether it is plates, linens or glassware.  This way you can add and change the fun and colourful stuff later!

4. Keep things simple- try to find a registry website that allows you to add items from various websites or stick to two or three stores.  Having more than that is stressful and can be overwhelming to your guests. 

5. Be prepared. Even if you register you will still receive random gifts. When picking gifts people will want to give something you and your fiance will love but also reflects their style as well. 

Happy Shopping!!

♥ S

Real Wedding: Stacey and Jason


It's not hard to feel the love between these two, I get the warm fuzzy feelings all over again when reminiscing about their June 2017 wedding. 

Stacey came to us with dreams of a small backyard wedding on her family farm surrounded by their closest friends and family.  Truly, her only request was to marry the man of her dreams, leaving the details to us.  It was the most beautiful summer day and start to their beginning as husband and wife.

Stacey and Jason were truly a dream to work with and their kindness and pure love of life radiates when you’re with them. I wish Stacey and Jason a lifetime of love and happiness.


Vendor Love

Planning: Shelby Pennington Wedding and Event Planning

Photography: Chantelle Watt Photography

Rentals: A & B Party and Tent Rental

Gown: Sophie's Gown Shop

Floral: The Flower Shop and More

Catering: Janice Mitchell

Vendor Spotlight: Patrick G Films

In case you didn’t truly feel my excitement in today’s Instagram post, let me share with you again just how pumped I am to be starting this blog mini-series! I am lucky enough to work with some of the best professionals in the business day in and day out. I like to think I show our vendors love with every wedding I send their way, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. To let my vendors know just how much I love them and how I couldn’t do what I do without them, I’ve come up with a way to shine the light on these incredibly talented artists.

I'm getting this mini-series underway by spotlighting Patrick Godfrey from Patrick G Films, a wedding videographer. From the moment I met Patrick, I knew I’d found true talent. His ability to capture beauty and grace through a lens is unparalleled and is matched only by his incredibly humble outlook on his work. This guy seriously can do no wrong.

Here’s what Patrick had to say when I sat down with him.


 Company Name: Patrick G Films

 Type of Work: Videography

 Years in Business: 2

 Location: Waterloo, Ontario

 Tell us a little bit about your company.

Patrick G Films is a personable videography experience that lets you enjoy your wedding day. As a groom to be myself, I designed my packages and wedding day experience around what my fiance and I would want.

 What sets you apart from other vendors within your line of work?

 I like to capture your day as it happens. The candid moments where you grandpa was looking at you when you didn’t notice, your mom wiping away a tear as she watches you and you father walk down the aisle. Instead of setting up fake moments, I look for moments such as those so that your wedding film represents you and your family.

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 What’s your favorite part about a wedding?

 I am a sucker for first dances. Seeing your parents hold you for 3 minutes always tugs at my heartstrings. And the best part is that every dance is different. The songs can be the same but the moments are always special. Some dances are full of laughter, some are full of tears and others are quiet so they can enjoy every second.

What is something you wish couples knew?

I wish couples knew that vendors are not all bad people. As someone planning his own wedding, I have been through the ringer with inexperienced vendors myself. However, the more research you do and questions you ask, you can get to know the people you are inviting into your lives and it almost guarentees an amazing time. We are just people who love weddings and we want to give you the best we possibly can.

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 Why do you think a couple should hire a planner?

If you have never swapped out an engine, would you just start doing it? No, you would hire a mechanic. When your water heater breaks would you decide to just shut off your houses water and swap that out? No, you would hire someone who knows what they are doing. A wedding is a big job that can cause months of stress if you are unsure of how to do it. A planner has done it and it is there job to take on the stresses of planning.

 Any tips for newly engaged couples?

 Enjoy your time being engaged. Take each other on planning dates. Go on long walks. Enjoy this time of being engaged because it flies by. Capture as many moments as you can. Remember how you first met and those butterflies you got when you first kissed. Weddings can be stressful but if you remain in love, it won’t matter one bit.

Patrick Godfrey

Bridal Party Proposal Ideas

If you haven't realized yet I really love weddings....LOVE them! There is not a single stage of the wedding planning and coordination process that I don't whole heartedly enjoy.  Growing up I was always eager to listen to advice from others in hopes that I would learn something.  I remember one year on the last day of school one of our elementary teachers told us that if he could give us one piece of advice it would be not to sweat the small stuff, because one day you would look back and it would all be small stuff.  But that's just it, the small stuff piles together and voila something wonderful happens.  Perhaps this is why I am so drawn to this career, I truly believe a wonderful event involves paying attention to the minor details.

When my husband and I first got engaged we were so overwhelmed with the love and support from our family and friends but everyone kept asking the same thing: "when are you getting married?" We got asked this question so many times and when we finally had an answer the next question we had to tackle was forming our bridal party. 

But that is just it----- how do you go about asking someone to be your bridesmaid/groomsmen?  I wanted it to be something special so they each knew how much they meant to me and how much I loved them.  I decided to create something unique and beautiful to ask each of them to stand beside me. Thankfully they all said yes, aren't they beautiful!!!

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I struggled to find some of the items that I wanted- so to make things easier for you I compiled a collection of my favourite and unique items! 

I love these champagne bottles with custom labels from Maison Mason in London! Check out their etsy shop  here

I love these champagne bottles with custom labels from Maison Mason in London! Check out their etsy shop here

How adorable are these earrings from Unicorn Trendz in Alberta? They have so many colour options available that can suit your colour palette! Check out their etsy shop  here

How adorable are these earrings from Unicorn Trendz in Alberta? They have so many colour options available that can suit your colour palette! Check out their etsy shop here

How adorable is this card from Marsala Studio in Toronto? Check out their etsy shop  here !

How adorable is this card from Marsala Studio in Toronto? Check out their etsy shop here!

Who doesn't love Starbucks and sparkly hair ties! Loran Olivia nailed it with these! Check out the rest of her stuff on her etsy shop  here !

Who doesn't love Starbucks and sparkly hair ties! Loran Olivia nailed it with these! Check out the rest of her stuff on her etsy shop here!

I love this box created by Mere Soap in Toronto! What a beautiful collection of soap and body care created in Ontario! Look into their shop details  here !

I love this box created by Mere Soap in Toronto! What a beautiful collection of soap and body care created in Ontario! Look into their shop details here!

Wedding Expenses To Be Ready For

Sticking to your budget is one of the hardest things to do while planning a wedding. But aside from the most common expenses there are often some, more often than not that are forgotten! To help you out we compiled a list of the most often forgotten items that cost couples the most. 

Postage: When choosing invitations be sure to pick wisely, if it weighs too much or is too thick you will require additional postage. Sometimes it can cost as much as $. Also don't forget you will need extra postage for RSVP's, wedding thank you cards and bridal shower thank you cards.  The cost can add up quickly.

Outfits for Pre-Wedding Events: You'll want to be in all the cutest outfits for your wedding events which often gets forgotten! From the engagement party, bridal showers, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and day after brunch! Be sure to pick ones that you can re-wear again!

Undergarments and Accessories: Set some room aside in your budget for things such as a veil, wedding shoes and shapewear.  These items can cost over $100 each depending on what you need!

Alterations: Often a large focus is on getting the dress or choosing a dress within your price range, often little room is leftover in the budget for any alterations.  Depending on the fabric of the dress or what kind of alterations you need can cost upwards of $1000.00.

Hair and Makeup Trials: If you aren't sure who you are going to chose for your big day, or maybe you want to make sure it is a perfect fit a trial or more than one trial might be in order.  

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Wedding Stationary (not just invitations!): Be cautious when choosing your wedding invitation and save the date cards as there are many day of stationary items that can add up quickly. Menu's, programs and escort cards might be needed!

Tent Floor: Depending on what your venue is like you may need to account for a dance floor in the tent as well as a sub floor.  This can be costly depending on what option you choose so negotiate this with your tent company from the beginning. 

Audio at the Ceremony: Having an outdoor wedding? Invest in a sound system if you want your guests to actually be able to hear your vows. If you’ve hired musicians to play as you walk down the aisle, they also need to be amplified, or those songs you’ve so carefully chosen will be wimpy instead of powerful. Spend the money on a sound system, even if it means you need to trim elsewhere.

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Lighting and Generators: A simple addition of lighting around the venue can add up quickly, consider hanging bistro lights or a chandelier!

Extra Decor: Most of the table decor budget is allocated to floral and centrepieces, but don't forget items such as candles, linens, flatware and table numbers all help to tie into the aesthetic of your wedding.

Gifts for your parents and other family members: You'll already have gifts secured for your hard working bridal party but don't forget everything your family does for you! Consider a gift for them after the wedding with a picture from your big day as a great way to show your appreciation for them!

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Tips and Gratuities: Be sure to read in full detail the contracts with your vendors as often on top of the fees are a mandatory tip and gratuity charge and if you don't budget accordingly it can be down right painful.  

Delivery, set up and take down fees: Be sure to look into your contract to make sure that fees such as delivery, set up and take down are included.  If they aren't be sure to set aside some room for these charges, you won't have time on your wedding day to drive around and pick everything up or to spend the entire day getting it ready. 

The Marriage License and Application: Don't forget to make it legal!! Depending on where you live and where you are getting married, the marriage license and application cost can add up quickly!  Remember that you have to apply for your marriage license once you are married as it isn't sent to you automatically. 

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Feeding your Vendors: Be sure to talk to your caterer about meals for your vendors (photographer, videographer, co-ordinator) as most often offer a lower priced plate.  If you don't ask it could end up costing you more!

A Hotel Room (for the night before): If you and your bridal party are planning on getting ready in the hotel the day of the wedding you will be required to book two nights.  Often the hotel can not guarantee an early check in time which might not give enough time to get everyone ready. 

Breakfast and Lunch for the wedding party: Since your bridal party with be with you for most of the day ensure to have snacks on hand!  Light breakfast and lunch options are essential to pick from for the day! Don't forget the champagne!

Hello & Welcome


Thanks for stopping by the blog!

We’re just getting started around here at Shelby Pennington Wedding & Event Planning, but I hope you’ll join me on this fun, new adventure!  This blog is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your planning time, sharing insider tips, and helping make your dreams come true!

If you want to hang out with us more online, be sure to pop by our Instagram, and Facebook pages.  

Check back for our latest blog posts!