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Photo Cred: Laura Kelly , Style shoot by Elise Schmitz - Toast Events

Photo Cred: Laura Kelly , Style shoot by Elise Schmitz - Toast Events

Light and airy, minimalist, negative space, feminine, ethereal... All of these elements combined makes for stunning timeless photographs. If your not following these lovely ladies on Instagram - you're missin' out! 



The Queen Bee of light & airy photography. Laura's bubbly personality is contagious. I've worked with her professionally and personally. I'm always amazed at how she captures everything just-right. She's directive, honest, attentive and detail oriented. If your looking to be spoiled, adored and possibly have a new bestie - Laura's your girl!

Laura Kelly Photography


The sweetest husband and wife team. Their goal; photograph a couple in each country they visit. They're loving life and their little bump. - Yes, Batoul is pregnant:)

Batoul is such a generous soul and genuinely cares about each and every client. She brings a calmness with her - there's no such thing as nerves on your wedding day with her by your side.

Ali & Batoul Photography


Amy will tell you each wedding takes 50 hours of retouching, 5 lenses used, 13 cups of iced coffee and 1000 photo's delivered. She's and everyday girl that loves thrift shops and avocados.....and so do I ;)

Amy Sturgeon Photography


She was hooked at the age of 10 - starting with film photography and gradually digital. Both mediums which, still today shows up in every clients gallery.

AMB Photography


If she were a spice girl- she'd be ginger. This girl has a contagious zest for life. When you meet Mel, you'll instantly feel like you've know her for life. But for all her vivaciousness she's very much low key in the industry which has garnered herself some top clients and a stellar reputation. Everything Mel touches ends up in a magazine ;)

Melanie Rebane Photography
Melanie Rebane Photography


Little mouse! A quirky millennial who even has a little photo of her bag on her website that you can click to see whats in it! Nicole wants her brides to "love your images not only for the first time, but every time, and not just love them but remember how you felt in each and every moment of them. See your perfume and remember how it smells. See your venue and remember how you felt your vision come to life."

Nicole Amanda Photography
Nicole Amanda Photography




Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners

Having a "personal brand" is a relatively new term. But it's something I've been doing for years - slowly curating my business to subtlety emit the essence of who I am, my philosophy's & what I'm all about. Incorporating this properly is not only hard because you need to know yourself well, but how you want others to perceive you.

There's only 2 things I want- 1. clients to know me before we even sit down for a cappuccino and 2. my work to speak for itself. 

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners Hugo

Work hard until you no longer need to introduce yourself..

It's a tall order when you ask a like-minded professional to capture this "essence" through photography. But at the time, all I knew was that I wanted light and airy imagery and a photographer that didn't make me camera shy. Did I forget to mention I'm insanely picky? I hate cutting corners and better yet wasting time. I really am a "go big or go home" kinda girl and that's a tough act to follow. It's true, I demand nothing but the best from my team and more-so the industry professionals I work with. 

So before we delve into the awesome team who made the shoot what is was- let me set the scene days leading up to the shoot. I was pretty much hanging on by a thread. We we're in the midst of the most logistically intense weddings we had ever planned to date. I'm not talking small operations here, I'm talking about 300ppl + vip guest list in a venue that doesn't have a stick of furniture, electricity or even running water.......paired with Madison being the first planner to undertake Zibbi's inaugural wedding in their industrial space... To say I was stressed is an understatement. Basically the last three months had been solely dedicated to clients and my 10 minute return-time on emails. I almost cancelled our shoot. But I sat back and thought to myself - you know what?! It isn't fair to them. I organized all of this and I'm not going to flake out and disappoint- noway would I let this stress own me.

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners
It’s either cappuccinos with Hugo or Champange on the balcony....with Hugo. That’s how I see her - and thus how we shot her. There’s just no two ways about it.
— Laura, of Laura Kelly Photography
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners
Toast Team Photos 2016-0073.jpg
Toast Events, Wedding Planners Ottawa Elise Schmitz

So who were these awesome ladies that raised me up when I felt overwhelmed?! Who made me feel beautiful and laugh uncontrollably? Well, it's no other then Laura of Laura Kelly Photography, Kirsty from Topknot and Klava from Klava Zykova MUA. Words can not express how lucky I am to have these girls in my life. 

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners
Toast Team Photos 2016-0019.jpg

Since this shoot was to profile our team, it was important to me that we all looked natural, approachable and recognizable. Kirsty and Klava pulled this off magnificently with a crisp fresh makeup looks and effortless hair styles that matched the girls personalities. 

I have to give Laura a little bit of extra credit. I really was stumped on how to create this shoot. It's easy for me to do fabulous things for others and hit it on the nail. But when it comes to myself...I'm  overly judgmental and overthink things almost to obsession. It only took a three second pause on the phone and Laura replied "I'm thinking patio, sunset, you and your girls sipping champagne, just loving life." Her exact quote, I died! All we had to do was factor in Hugo (you all know who that monster is) and we were good to go:)

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners Elise Schmitz

Not once did I feel awkward in-front of Laura's camera. She made us laugh, she captured us candidly and did little to no touch ups on the images afterwards - she's that good. I'm thrilled to say Laura killed it in ways I can't even explain.

It's rare that I step back and make time for me. Its all to easy to become consumed with the needs of others, that you forget about the most important person -yourself! Thank you Klava, Kirsty and Laura for helping us shine bright and capturing our bright light!

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planners




Toast Events Client Testimonial

Every now and again we get some incredible emails from our clients. My team and I pride ourselves in being present and attentive as we journey along with our clients. One thing I can say first hand is that we're here to gently guide and keep you on track as we plan one of the biggest celebrations of your life. So when we get a random email like this, well lets just say, it's very humbling. 

I just want to tell you have WONDERFUL it has been to work with you so far!

As you can imagine during our move we have had to work with a series of companies and people in a short period of time to close up things with our old home and start things with our new home. With anything sometimes you get people that are great and some people you have to deal with are terrible. This week has been particularly difficult with a few companies and it has really made me stop and think about the people who have been great to work with.

I honestly can’t tell you how much I appreciate working with someone that goes with the flow, rolls with whatever and manages our crazy schedules.

At the beginning of this process I wasn’t sure if we needed a planner for anything other than day of and maybe some help with styling and some recommendations – now I WILL HIGHLY RECOMMEND a full plan to any one that listens and I will HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU and YOUR TEAM!!!

You have made this so easy – taken so much stress off of us and pushed us forward even when we were really busy and normally would have waited to make choices – You helped us get exactly what we want – even when we completely changed our minds – and you were excited and happy to take it on! You have been WONDERFUL and I can’t tell you enough how glad both Adam and I are that you are helping us. We are so lucky to have found you!

I personally think people in general don’t always take the time to recognize the companies and people that go above and beyond. So I did want to take this opportunity to tell you that it DOES NOT GO UNNOTICED and it DOES NOT GO UNAPPRECIATED!!!!

Thank You for all of your hard work so far!

— Catherine. E, October 15th 2016 bride



3 High-Tech Wedding Day Trends You Need to Have

Toast Events Blog 2016 High Tech Trends

Recently a bride of mine has asked me to reasearch how we might incorporate some cool tech into their wedding. A pet project for the groom who is very technologically in tune. A hard task right?! I immediately thought of the go to's; go pro cams, drones, live feed for grandma....but those are sooo 2010. I decided to do a little bit of research and my mind literally blew up. So here's what I found. And it only scratches the surface.


Your Robot Bartender

This is actually a thing!

If you have a passion for cocktails, the Somabar is definitely for you! It's similar to your Nespresso machine at home but it can make over 300 different types of cocktails. At a touch of a button, you'll see your cocktail pour out in under 5 seconds. Bar line wait time....crushed.

So how does it work? Well here's the kicker- it's an app controlled ordering system.


 How much is this going to cost you?  Pre-order for $429

Now this is something I could personally use in my own home for entertaining. Cue pre-wedding gift ideas.


3D Favor Printing

Insane right! Imagine being able to 3D print your guest favors right before their eyes! The Replicator from Makerbot will cost you a pretty penny, beginning at $3k U.S.D.  And low an behold this too has an integrated App. 

Naturally my next question was, "How long would it take to print an object?." The answers seem vary. But to put things in perspective, a small product with low quality settings can be printed in less then 10 minutes; for example, a key chain fob.

If time is not on your side, there is an online marketplace for printed products called Shapeaways. It offers up to 40 different materials and finishes that can be used for your custom 3D printed favors. 


Photobooth GIF

Photobooths have been around for a while and re-inventing them seems to be quite a chore. Recently when a client asked, "What's the next big thing for photo booths?". I was stumped; and for the life of me I had no answer. Until I came across PHHHOTO PRO. Instant moving pictures of social people, being dubbed the "perfect party app".

Pretty cool right?!

There are even wedding GIF videos just beginning to surface online, and their super cute!

So there you have it! Adding tech to your wedding can be fun and engaging if you incorporate it in the right way.



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Hottest trend for 2015 and I'm sure for a few years to come, industrial space.  A lack of which we have in Ottawa, until just recently. But before we unveil our three new top secret locations, let's take a look at what's already available. You may be surprised!                 

New kid on the block, this rejuvenated City Of Ottawa building is sure a stunner. Wide open, barn board wall accents, licensed patio and the best catering staging area i've seen in a while. Biggest bonus is that underground parking has it's own private entrance leading into your event space. Although parking is not included, you can negotiate and pre-purchase parking spaces. On the flip side, they do recommend getting a security will most likely have wedding crashers from local adjacent bars.

A space, well used and well loved by all planners. A girl can get used to being here every weekend with limitless possibilities and a nice blank canvas. Their T-shaped 3rd and 4th floor gallery space is perfect for host cocktails & dancing with an intimate dinner in the second back half of the room. There are some tricky logistics to pulling this off without a hitch which is why a planner is key when working in this space. 

Pretty awesome right? This new space has been added to my list of "must-have" spaces. Not many planners know of this awesome gem located in the City Centre building. Although I haven't been onsite, this venue is at the top of my list for clients looking for industrial space. 

The big box. Of the mid-century modern weddings we could host in here. There is never too much space especially if your looking for something larger than life. We'll be transforming this space next year for the EY's first ever wedding.

For smaller parties looking for just the right mix of Mid-Century Modern with industrial touches where the food surpasses expectation. This is where you'll want to be.

I love this venue for its versatility and wide range of seating options. Perfect for a couple looking to host a celebration rather then a "wedding". Probably one of the coolest basement venues we know of. 

Lofty, chic with a gothic wine cellar ambiance, this spot really doesn't need any decor. With 18's large oversized ornate doors, it may feel as though your partying in your very own mansion. If you haven't been recently, check it out. They've recently renovated. 

Although Ottawa has a lack of raw space, we've just been introduced to something very new and exciting. Zibi a "world-class" sustainable community and redevelopment project transforming the old Domtar grounds into industrial waterfront event space and condo living. Pretty cool right?!

Albert Island   

Albert Island is currently booking events and weddings for 2016. I recently toured this facility with a client with a guest list of 120. The space is long an narrow and has many posts which we can work to our advantage. This space used to be a storage facility for Domtar and is located at the water edge. With industrial spaces comes tricky logistics. Currently the building has no running water facilities, no washrooms and no onsite parking no air conditioning. Although these may seem like tedious hurdles, washrooms should be installed hopefully before next summer. Fun fact, there is actually a random shower near the main if you do pull the chain link handle you will get wet! P.S This location is on the Ontario side which makes it easier for liquor licenses.

   1 Eddy

This old machine workroom is in stage 1 of being rejuvenated. It is connected to the Zibi building. Less posts than Albert Island and connects with a gorgeous outdoor courtyard seen in the picture below. What you don's see in this image is a second part of the room behind the back wall which will soon be torn down to seat up to 140 guests. This space is due to be ready for late fall 2015. Take note that this space is on the Quebec side and local alcohol permits must be obtained by SAQ.

The Zibi Courtyard

Currently looking at this gorgeous space for a wedding el fresco. Since it's connected to the Zibbi show room and the space mentioned above, you can safely plan to have your wedding either inside or outside. BIG BONUS, you probably won't get any noise complaints! 

This property is located on the river banks however there is a line of trees and shrubery which takes away from a direct view of the water. The best part about Zibi is that as they redevelop the area new warehouse event space will become available. 

If your looking for information or would like to book a tour here is your contact. Jaquie Westeind at

I can't tell you enough how excited I am to start seeing gorgeous events and weddings planned here, so hastag it for all of us to see #zibbiwedding 

xox Elise

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Sitting in a Starbuck's waiting to meet prospective client Carla.

Email pop's up, Carla's going to be a little late, but says in the meantime I should follow the link to see their proposal video.

30 seconds in, cue cute proposal tears, realize your in a Starbucks, pause video, regroup before Carla shows up.....

 And we're happy to report, Carla is now not just a prospective client!




Chateau de Gudanes, an abandoned, neglected and ruined chateau tucked neatly into a deep valley in the French Pyrénées. A site where the first stories of religious tragedies began in the 13th century.

Until now, reawakened by an Australian family as they start their restoration, giving back the love it deserves and unravelling the spirit of the past. Opening the door to a world of wonder, both real and imagined.

I'm a hopeless romantic... 

So it may not come as a surprise when I tell you I've been following the Chateau de Gudanes Captain's Log for two years now, waiting in anticipation for what hidden treasures would appear next. The journey of a piece of history at risk of being lost forever, brought back to life with sneak-peaks into the secret details they're trying so hard to salvage.

The Chateau is said not to be restored into a "pretentious" museum piece, but rather a public space of refuge. A gathering place for Parisian weddings, festivals and extended stays. And although I have already "ticked" the little box beside "Plan a castle wedding in Europe", I must say this modern day fairy tale and a trip to France is an experience I simply must have. 

Your all welcome to come with me, eat fine food, drink a little too much red wine, and share some laughs.

So until then, as the French would say; A bientot!