As Artscape Venues gears up for a safe reopening – including face shields, masks, floor signage, and plexi barriers in place – one of the hot topics in our inbox has been weddings. 

During this quarantine season, what we need right now is something to celebrate, and what better an occasion than love?! 


Alicia Jenelle

We tagged in Event Producer, Alicia Jenelle of Alicia Jenelle Events to get her professional opinion on planning the big day. Alicia Jenelle Events is a full-service corporate and social event planning firm based in Toronto, Canada, known for executing best-in-class brand experiences, weddings, and social events for the past 10 years.

Alicia’s fun and collaborative approach to planning corporate events, social galas, weddings, and other notable experiences have brought her much media attention. As her work has been featured in The Globe & Mail, Bizbash, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, and Wedluxe to only name a few. Her love for people, art, and life, are some of the reasons she started Alicia Jenelle Events. 


How to pull-off a 1-hour ceremony wedding with Alicia Jenelle.


1. Can you pull off a 1-hour wedding ceremony? And what is on the “day-of checklist”?

You can absolutely pull off a 1-hour ceremony. 

In fact, most of our “Canadian” style weddings last a duration of an hour. There are 4 key elements during a wedding ceremony: 

  1. Walking up and down the aisle (10-15 min) 
  2. The legal portion of the ceremony (10-15 min) 
  3. Exchange of vows (5 min)
  4. And a marriage speech typically by the officiant and/or religious leader (20-25 min) 

Depending on the length of these portions, you can absolutely fit a wedding under an hour, especially in the cases where couples have a level of control over the timing of these elements. 

When it comes to cultural weddings, it can be a bit of a challenge keeping them under an hour. Cultural elements can last anywhere from 5 minutes to hours, to a few days.

Now, for the day-of checklist?

On the wedding day, there are some typical items for your day-of checklist: 

    • Your marriage certificate 
    • Signing pens
    • Rings (can’t forget those!)
    • Itinerary, guest book 
    • Money box/card box 
    • Favors 
    • Centerpieces 
    • Place cards 
    • Seating chart 
    • Makeup touch up kit 
    • Emergency kit 
    • Cell phones & chargers 
    • Bridal party gifts 
    • And most importantly, snacks lol.


2. For an under 30 person guest-list. What can the “to be wed” couple do to make their guests feel special?

For an intimate wedding, the couple can do a number of things to make their guests feel special – in fact, couples can often do so much more for their guests when the attendance is under 30 persons. 

When it comes to design, the sky’s the limit for intimate weddings! 

A Creative Designer can customize guest seating with vinyl signage that has each attendee name on it. All catering and stationary elements can have guest’s names, nicknames, pet names, or even quotes. 

Couples can host the dinner portion of their reception on a harvest style table to recreate the feeling of an at-home dinner. This style encourages conversation and allows guests to see the faces of all attendees. With an intimate guest count, guests can also take part in a number of activities such as wedding bingo, giant Jenga or Connect Four, etc. and will likely experience a more meaningful connection with other guests because there is a minimal number of guests to connect with. 

When hiring a Baker, couples can have them create custom mini wedding cakes for each attendee and serve it as their dessert. Not only do they get a generously sized dessert, but it can also couple as a gift for guests to take home. 

There’s so much you can do!


3. Okay, since we’re getting intimate, let’s talk about the 3 items every bride needs? 

Every bride needs an awesome Maid of Honor. An impactful Maid of Honor would be by the Brides’ side for the full duration of the wedding day, supporting her emotionally, and making sure she has what she needs to get through the long, yet beautiful day. 

In addition to an awesome MOH, a Bride also needs snacks. Snacks are often forgotten up until someone becomes hungry. Most often Brides only eat a VERY light breakfast in the morning, skip lunch, and possibly dinner if she has the appetite. So it’s imperative that the MOH or someone close to the bride gives her snacks, and reminds her to eat throughout the day. 

Lastly, a bride needs the lipstick color her makeup artist put on her for the day. With all the talking, smiling, kissing, eating, and drinking that’s done on the wedding day, your lipstick is bound to need a touch-up. And at every turn, a guest wants to take a picture with the Bride. So it’s imperative to have even a sample size of the lipstick to touch up, to ensure the Brides’ radiance translates through pictures. 


4. Got it! MOH, snacks and that lipstick touch-up reminder is a hot tip. How about the groom?

Similarly to the Maid of Honor, an impactful Best Man will provide emotional support to the Groom, ensuring he is his absolute best on that special day. 

In addition to a great Best Man, a Groom should also bring tissue and place it in the inside pocket of his suit. Many Grooms don’t prepare for the possibility that they’ll cry during the wedding day, and as a result, when they do start to shed a tear, they typically resort to using their beautiful handkerchief, or pocket square. Though this is the actual purpose of that item, I always recommend leveraging a tissue instead, that way you can maintain your polished look with your pocket square intact. 

Lastly, I recommend a Groom having a gift for their Mother. Though the wedding day does not “belong” to the Mother, they are often mourning the loss of their son who is now “being taken care of” by someone else. I always believe it’s a kind gesture to remind the Mother that she is still that special Lady in their life, through a token of love and gratitude with a special gift. 


5. A gift to the mother of the groom is a nice touch. It’s these small gestures that make an intimate wedding even more special. How about the playlist of some of the best weddings you’ve planned? Name that tune!

Anything John Legend, Whitney Houston, and Ed Sheeran! 

What makes a playlist really special is curating a list that has lyrics that reflect what is taking place at that moment. It brings a feeling like you’re in a music video and are experiencing a surreal moment. 

Songs like, “Sugar, Sugar”, and “How Sweet It Is” played during cake cutting adds a jovial, youth-like feeling that ties in well with the feeling of eating cake. As such, the lyrics are my primary focus when creating a playlist for some of our favorite weddings. 


6. You can’t go wrong with Whitney Houston, ever. Now that we’ve set a mood, what should the venue have in place for a spectacular wedding event?

The key to having a great venue, aside for the design and layout, is malleable and supportive staff. I find knowing how the staff is led, and how they make the guest feel is an integral factor that should be considered when recommending venues to clients. Staff are at the forefront of every venue, so when they appear happy, are willing to support the Bride and Groom, as well as their guests, and my team, everyone can feel that positive energy; it really makes a difference.


7. What are some of the ways to personalize the venue space?

There are a number of ways to personalize a venue. 

The primary way is to leverage your décor to create an experiential environment. You can take a simple space, and make the guests feel like their outdoors, at an amusement park, circus, wherever you’d like them to feel they are – and that’s what makes the experience personal. 

Other smaller, yet impactful ways to personalize a venue is to leverage the venue’s signage: e.g. the venue’s TV screens in the restrooms, lobby, outside, directional signage, and seating charts and smother them in your monogram or wedding logo. 


8. Can you share some of your favorite wedding pictures with us?

Thank you to Alicia Jenelle for her wedding day planning insights! Any couple should feel more than prepared to tackle their to-do list of walking down the aisle. 


Follow along on the Artscape Venues Instagram page for more wedding inspiration, as we reveal our mood boards for each venue in collaboration with The Wedding Co and recommended vendors. And if you’re ready to say “I do” at your own petite-size wedding day —book here!


*Please keep in mind due to COVID-19, Artscape is currently unable to accommodate receptions/dinners under Ontario's Phase 2 reopening guidelines.