From the ashes of her own failed engagement came Mary Bratko's fortunate realization that she was way more passionate about business, blogging, and brides than she'd ever been for a career in medicine (or getting married young, for that matter!). The WeddingGirl brand propelled Mary into becoming one of Canada's highest profile bloggers, and after planning hundreds of weddings herself, Mary would find herself among the most notable wedding planning brands in the digital space worldwide.
Name: Mary Bratko
Blog: Wedding Girl
Based: Toronto, Canada
How did you get into bridal blogging?
What do you love most about weddings? "In the storybook of our lives, a wedding is one of the most beautiful pages we can write; together with our friends, family, and those we love most. It's a tapestry of time, seamlessly weaving together our pasts and our future into an unforgettable moment of present time. There's no celebration in life more wonderful than that."
What’s the most underrated aspect of any ceremony? After planning hundreds of weddings, I can confidently say that bride-walking-towards-groom tradition is totally overrated. Guys! It's 2016... we live with our partners before we're married. We have babies out of wedlock. We create designer relationships to suit our designer lives... Why aren't we walking into our ceremony hand-in-hand, side-by-side, the way we approach everything else in life?! Do a first look, get the photos, and then walk, hand-in-hand, down the aisle together. BAM.
Your secret to staying calm under pressure? Experience. Whether it's experience in wedding planning, business, or astrophysics — experience, familiarity and time are the only things that extinguish stress, panic and anxiety. First time planning a wedding? Hire a pro. First time launching a blog? Chat with someone who's gone before. Give yourself some time and before you know it, you'll be the expert yourself.
Most unique wedding you’ve ever featured? My own. (totally biased? Maybe... or you can take a peek at #WhenMarkMarriedMary on Instagram and decide for yourself!). We decided one day that in 3 weeks from then we would have a secret wedding on a random Monday afternoon. After a day of floating around the pond of my Groom's parent's farm (on giant inflatable unicorns, no less) we put flower crowns on all our guests walked over to a vintage mantle in the middle of a field, stated some sweet-nothings to one another, and proceeded to eat|drink|be merry around a gypsy-themed table on the ground: Turkish rugs, vintage tableware, homemade food, under old pear trees and the stars. And our pup wore a tutu.
Your number one piece of advice for any blushing bride? Stop spending. Don't let family, friends, Pinterest or any mainstream reality wedding show on TV dictate what your wedding should or shouldn't be — and contrary to wedding industry belief, pricier isn't always better. This is a celebration that's designed to reflect your love story, stop spending. Your real-world happily ever after will never regret beginning your new chapter free from debt.