Unlocking wedding mysteries for today’s young wives-to-be

Published: January 9, 2014

International premier wedding planner and designer Jane Dayus-Hinch. Submitted photo.


In her 30 years of experience, internationally renowned wedding planner and designer Jane Dayus-Hinch has seen the customs and traditions of that special day fall by the wayside.

“The sad thing now is I’m teaching a lot of brides their customs and traditions,” Dayus-Hinch said from her Vancouver hotel room.  “This seems to be a generation of not knowing why they wear a white wedding dress, why they wear a veil, why do you even wear your wedding ring on that finger, why they cut a cake, or why there’s a red carpet — they just do it because everybody else does.”

Dayus-Hinch, host of reality TV series Wedding SOS and recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the National Wedding Industry Awards last October, is in town for Vancouver’s 37th Annual Wedding Fair at the Westin Bayshore Hotel this weekend.

Normally sought after by celebrities, public figures and nobility, Dayus-Hinch will be the celebrity guest this weekend at the wedding fair, where she’ll host the runway show and meet and greet brides “so they can come and chat with me and tell me all their wedding problems.”

And, of course, she’ll also educate those B.C. brides-to-be on the often misunderstood tried-and-true wedding customs — such as the familiar something old and something new.

“I got to Canada and the last part of the rhyme has been cut off,” she said, explaining that the complete version: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and something for luck — a sixpence in your shoe to make all your wishes and dreams come true.”

According to Dayus-Hinch, “something old” signifies an ancestor’s blessing, “something new” is the dress, “something borrowed” comes from a happily married woman, “something blue” represents the Virgin Mary and the sixpence brings wealth into the home as the bride is carried over the threshold.

“(Another) one that I love to do at weddings (is) the cake — so many brides are doing this cupcake thing … because they don’t understand why they have wedding cake,” she said.

According to Dayus-Hinch, each ingredient has a special meaning — the eggs signify a new start, flour is to bind the couple together, nuts get them through difficult times, to name a few. They feed each other the cake as a sign they’ll look after each other, and then share the rest of it with family and friends who support them — and if someone couldn’t attend, the bride mails them a piece.

“So many folklores,” said Dayus-Hinch. “Well, tell me, how you do that with a cupcake?”

Wedding planner and designer Jane Dayus-Hinch joined Global TV Canada as a commentator for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, joining fellow anchors Piers Morgan and Jayne Seymour . Submitted photo.

She’s also found brides don’t budget properly, and while they’re good at booking, they often forget the details.

“They’ll get the cake delivered, but then there will be no table to put it on, or cloth, or stand, or cake knife,” said Dayus-Hinch.

Dayus-Hinch is also a wealth of knowledge when it comes to cultural weddings, having organized Greek, Jewish, Chinese and three-day Sikh or Indian weddings.

And according to the experienced wedding planner, it’s the Indian weddings that often take “a lot more planning.”

“You could invite 1,000 people and you don’t know whether 600 are going to show or if they’re going to bring friends,” she said. “Catering wise that’s a challenge.”

It’s also very relaxed when it comes to timing, she said. “If you say that it’s 2 p.m. you can still have guests showing up at 2:55 p.m.”

So in order to keep everything running smoothly and on time, she suggests to “tell them all it’s an hour earlier.”

At the Vancouver event, Dayus-Hinch’s expertise will be featured among more than 170 exhibits from Lower Mainland wedding businesses.

There will also be $200,000 worth of prizes, gifts and draws, including a dream wedding draw valued at $100,000.

Tickets are available online for $20 at weddingfair.ca.

The event runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.

International premier wedding planner and designer Jane Dayus-Hinch. Submitted photo.

Jane Dayus-Hinch’s top 10 tips for wedding planning:

1.) Always have a plan A and a plan B for everything — if the cars don’t show up, if the bouquet is not what you want, if the photographer has an accident on the way, have a backup.

2.) Think about the weather and plan for rain or snow. Plan for the worst — and then when the sun shines, it’s a bonus!

3.) Have wedding insurance to make sure everything is covered in case you have to cancel for ill health, accident, snowstorm, etc. Make sure the wedding can be postponed — not cancelled.

4.) Always have spare shoes; don’t ruin your shoes before you even walk up the aisle.

5.) Embrace your customs and traditions and understand why we do them.

6.) Plan the timings of the day with care, make an itinerary and stick to it. Put someone in charge of keeping everything moving to time.

7.) Visit your venue at least twice before your wedding day when another wedding is set up, so that you can see what your room will look like. See what you like and what you don’t like. Have a food and drink tasting so there are no surprises.

8.) Choose your flowers the same month, one year prior to your wedding. Choose your flowers in season for the best price.

9.) Talk through the finances with your fiancé and the families. Chart out every detail and every expense of the wedding and get parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles to commit as to what they are willing to pay for, so you will know how much you have to save and budget.

10.) Get the best wedding planner you can afford to make sure all of the above is planned for!



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