I am SO EXCITED to announce that Joy and Back has a brand new home right in the heart of the exchange district!  New information for Joy and Back as follows:

70 Arthur Street, Unit 425

By appointment only Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays

We have lots of accessories and gowns for sale at amazing prices with all funds donated to Cancer Care Manitoba!  Please email joyandbackbridal@gmail.com and check us out!


The Morning of Your Wedding

The Morning of Your Wedding

Remember back in university when getting ready to go out was almost just as good as the night out itself?  A lot of Brides and Grooms tell me that the morning of their wedding, sipping on mamosas with their nearest and dearest can be an unexpected highlight of the day.  Here are some tips to keep the morning of your wedding as enjoyable as possible.

What Guests Remember

What Guests Remember

Okay, I admit it – when I plan an event I always stress over every décor detail but the truth is, your guests probably won’t remember the sprig of thyme on each place setting or the gold foil trim on the program.  When planning any party you should always have your guests comfort in mind and here are the items that really count towards the overall guest experience:

Selecting Your Wedding Party

Selecting Your Wedding Party

Statistically speaking, the past 8 weeks are the busiest time of the year for engagements so congratulations to everyone who recently got a shiny new piece of jewelry!  Many couples in the early stages of planning prioritize their wedding date and budget followed closely by confirming their wedding party.   This can cause a lot of anxiety and it might seem like a daunting task but keep the following tips in mind when thinking about who to include in your wedding day crew:



Last year I was so excited to officially become registered with vital statistics Manitoba and now I am proud to say I am legally able to perform marriages in Manitoba.  When couples inquire about my wedding commissioner, (‘Yes We Do’) service I always look for a personality fit since I will be involved in the most detailed parts of planning a couple’s special day.  When you are shopping around for a wedding commissioner, it is important to consider the following:

Daniella & Michael Tie The Knot

Daniella & Michael Tie The Knot

Daniella and Michael’s wedding was so special and it was truly the grand finale to a spectacular wedding season for me so I really wanted to share it on the blog today.   This wedding was also a milestone event as I got to play bridesmaid AND wedding planner for the first time!  

It's Wonderful Wedding Show Time

It's Wonderful Wedding Show Time

It's that time of the year again, folks!  I am thrilled to exhibit at the Wonderful Wedding Show this weekend at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg.  Once again, our booth is dedicated to sharing information about Joy And Back and encouraging brides to donate their wedding dresses or make an appointment but of course, if any bride wants to chat wedding planning I am all ears!  

I will be at booth #901 so please stop by.  I cannot wait to see all my vendor friends there as well!


2017 Event Trends

2017 Event Trends

Happy 2017 everybody! I can’t wait for all the weddings I have lined up in the next 12 months PLUS I get to celebrate Canada’s 150TH birthday in Ottawa while on site for our biggest event of the year - CACUSS.   To kick off the New Year, I’ve listed some predicted trends for the upcoming event season based on observed consistencies with my own clients and input from my fellow planners.  I think this is going to be an annual list;) 

Guest Etiquette

Guest Etiquette

Follow these tips and tricks to make sure you are invited back!

We Are Hiring!

We Are Hiring!

That's right!  After a busy first year in business, it is time to bring on an event assistant to support our conference attendees, brides and other valued clients!

You would be responsible for coordinating and assisting all aspects of planning and executing a large conference for our biggest client with other event support as needed.  Other events include: weddings, awards galas, product launches and conferences

The event coordinator should have a passion for event management and for delivering outstanding customer service.

Must be hard working with ability to project needs, manage multiple priorities and work independently from home. Evening and weekend work will be required. 

For more information about the role and required qualifications, please send me an email - alli@allimae.com


Do’s and Don’t’s When Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Do’s and Don’t’s When Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress

My bridal shop Joy And Back is open for business and I am happily booking appointments for Manitoba brides!  All proceeds from the sale of our wedding dresses, veils and accessories are donated to local cancer charities to support Manitoba families affected by cancer. I encourage all former brides to consider donating their dresses and bridal ‘goodies’ to the project and of course brides-to-be should check us out as well. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts when you start thinking about shopping for your dream dress:

DO Book your appointment early

The cool November weather always marks the start of engagement season and subsequently the busy wedding dress shopping season!  At our little shop we only have capacity to run one appointment at a time and Saturday slots are the first to get booked.  During our busiest periods, (ie: after Christmas) we often book 2 weeks in advance so keep that in mind when thinking about an appointment. 

DO Bring That Camera and Snap Away

Seriously, I encourage it!  It makes a huge difference to view your wedding dress options through a camera lens compared to a mirror.  It is also helpful to see how the dress photographs from all angles.

DO shop for your body type

Trendy dresses come and go but it is always best to figure out the style that works best for you.  It is important to focus on your personal style and what flatters you most. An A-line shape is great if you have wider hips, while column dresses hug your figure and look great on tall women or petites.

DON’T bring a crowd

I curse those wedding shows that encourage brides to bring an entourage of 20 people to your appointment!  Too many guests brings way too many competing thoughts and opinions that you didn’t ask for!  At our shop we only have enough room for the bride and two guests – no exceptions.  It’s also perfectly normal to arrive solo; we are happy to consult with you one on one!

DON’T try on everything

Your appointment duration is 60 minutes which is enough time, I promise!  Within this time frame you will likely try on between 2-8 dresses.  I always encourage brides to visit other salons first to get a sense of what you like.  Since our dresses are not samples, we ask for serious shoppers only.

DON’T worry about bridal sizing

I always have to explain that bridal sizing is 4 sizes increased from your street size.  Once you get your head around that, I will show you all the wedding dresses in your size range you may browse during your appointment.  Remember to pay attention to how it looks, not what the label reads.

DO have an open mind

At a glance, many of the dresses may not stand out to you on the hangers but once you have a dress on, it takes on a different shape and look and it can be a complete transformation.  I always encourage brides to try on a few of my picks during their appointment because sometimes you just don’t know until it’s on! 

What are you waiting for?  Make your bridal dress appointment at joyandbackbridal@gmail.com today!

National Philanthropy Day - November 18

This year I am proud again to be involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals National Philanthropy Day on Friday, November 18 at the Met in Winnipeg!  This always marks the end of wedding season and the start of planning with my association clients and corporate events - I always look forward to it!

National Philanthropy Day (NPD) is celebrated around the world as a day to recognize the work of charities and remember the extraordinary achievements that philanthropy-giving, volunteering and social engagement-has made in all aspects of life.  Philanthropy has a huge part in my life and I love being a part of the planning process!  This year's winners include The Mauro Family, TD Bank and the Rotary Club of Winnipeg West.

The committee has been doing such an incredible job that there are very few tickets left - grab yours today and see you there!


That's a wrap, party animals!

An excerpt from fellow local blogger, A Pop of Colour

Winnipeg had the wildest party of the year this past weekend.

Boobyball 2016 Paradise City swung into Fort Garry Place Saturday night for a colourful, wild soiree, all for a good cause and I am very proud to produce the event along with an incredible group of motivated and passionate ladies.  Boobyball is Rethink Breast Cancer’s signature event, held in four cities across Canada.

This year was Winnipeg’s third Boobyball and they switched locations from last year.  Fort Garry Place was transformed from one of the city’s most elegant ballrooms to a colourful jungle. The experience started as soon as you crossed the skywalk from the Fort Garry Hotel with gorilla decals on the ground and jungle noises playing from hidden speakers.  The committee did an amazing job with decoration, as there was tons of faux animals, trees, and amazing lights that took partygoers from Winnipeg to the amazon.

For the full scoop on the event, the activations and the guests (including some jungle critters), check out Shayna's blog here

A Pop Of Colour + Boobyball

Boobyball YWG is almost 2 weeks away and I'm so excited that Shayna from A Pop of Colour has shared all about her 'wild' look!  In her words: I couldn’t wait to unleash my inner tiger and come up with something that reflects the theme of the party.

Read all about Shayna's look and style inspiration here:


What are you planning to wear to Boobyball this year?

Pulling Off an Outdoor Wedding

Pulling Off an Outdoor Wedding

Blue skies and fresh air - celebrating outside can be beautiful but as I’ve learned there are an awful lot of things to consider.  For everyone planning an outdoor summer wedding, keep the following items in mind.


Booking an outdoor wedding (especially one in a family member’s back yard) is easy on the budget and the location is full of sentimental value, however any savings are often countered when you consider other expenses like portable washrooms, flooring and a tent (if inside isn’t a viable rain plan). It’s also important to consult with a caterer to get a proper estimate on cooking utensils, ovens, staffing etc. Also, examine the location for pests and bugs, (hello Winnipeg mosquitoes). Then consider parking, permits, and liability insurance, which covers personal injury and property damage.


Audiovisual needs aren’t just limited to indoor celebrations. If your location doesn’t have electricity, you’ll need generators for your caterers equipment and power for your band or DJ. Think about evening lighting and no matter the time of year, fans, air-conditioning, or portable heaters are almost always necessary. I recommend walking through the site with an electrician so you know exactly what you will need.


Always have your guests comfort in mind.  In case of light rain, make sure you have umbrellas on hand.  If it is a hot day, offer guests fans and a water station upon arrival and the opposite if it’s a bit chilly – pashminas or a blanket will do!


You always need to consider the worst-case weather scenarios. If there’s no indoor option, put a deposit on a tent, just in case. 

If you wake up to inclement weather on your wedding day, don’t wait until right before guests start arriving to make the call. The more time we have to prepare, the better.


Think about the safest and most direct route to direct guests from ceremony to cocktails and dinner. Start by designating a wide route that’s easy to walk on, which might mean putting down stepping stones or carpet on grass. Don’t direct your guests past washrooms or the caterers headquarters. Instead, make the walk pretty and fun: Create playful directional signs, use luminaries to light up paths, or have servers carrying trays of signature cocktails along the way.

Boobyball 2016!

Boobyball 2016!

Mark your calendars, party animals and get ready to go wild!  Boobyball is back and better than ever and we are wild about this year's theme - Paradise City!  A haute evening in paradise, where Winnipeggers are set to shake their tropical tails and fan their fancy feathers to support Rethink Breast Cancer.  This year, local boutique (and my personal fave), Margot + Maude created an incredible high fashion pinterest page to help everyone arrive in style on October 22 at Fort Garry Place. Tickets go on sale August 16 - I can't wait!



Getting There

Getting There

A lot of couples don’t think about transportation until a few weeks before their wedding but booking transportation and mapping out your itinerary early will help you stay on budget and get your guests from point A to point B.  Consider these important items before you book transportation on your big day.

Where Are You Getting Ready?

Start by thinking about the location for hair and makeup on your wedding day.  How many people are getting ready with you and where do you guys need to go next?  If you are still undecided on the flow of your wedding day and you don’t have a wedding planner your photographer is a great individual to speak with to help you understand the ‘flow’ of your wedding day.  Discuss your first look (if any), portrait schedule and off site locations before or after the ceremony.  Determining where your pictures will take place can help you figure out how long you need to book your transportation.


Your finances have dictated everything from florals to wedding day apparel, and wedding-day transportation is no exception. Consider the cost per hour, price of mileage and the distance involved from one point to another when booking your contract. Most companies will charge a minimum of three to four hours ($50 to $300 per hour depending on where you live and which vehicle you've rented).

It might be worth asking to see the limo (or other vehicle) in person to verify that it has enough room for your bridal party to fit comfortably inside! If you're getting married in the summertime, you'll also want to ensure that the air conditioning works.

Think About Your Guests

Transportation doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to just your wedding party.  If you're providing transportation for out-of-town guests, factor in that some of your loved ones may wish to leave the party at 11 p.m. and not celebrate until 2 a.m. If your budget is tight and you can't afford two separate return transportation opportunities, ask a family friend if they wouldn't mind carpooling.

Your mode of transportation doesn’t need to necessarily have to be a limo.  A few years ago, when my couple had a number of guests attending their wedding from Ireland, they decided to have a double decker bus transport their guests to the ceremony. 

The Details

Once you confirm your transportation needs and have a better idea of what they'll cost, get a written agreement that includes the following terms: total cost, deposits required, refund and gratuity policies, arrival and departure locations, pick-up/drop-off times, the exact models of the vehicles you've requested and the overtime rate per hour. This will give you extra peace of mind!

When you're ready to sign, it's important to ask about "all-inclusive pricing," which should always include the total fare, but may not always include taxes.

Be Prepared

Your work isn’t over just because you have booked your transportation.  Delegate an individual responsible for transportation on your wedding day.  Make sure that they and the transportation company has a copy of the itinerary and note alternate routes, key contact numbers and major street festivals that might affect your travel times.