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Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre

I'm a lover of clean lines, cool tones and crisp aesthetics with just the right amount of minimalist details. Our weddings are planned concept first. This means the discussions about priorities, budget and vision come first. Only then  can we begin to create a dream team of vendors to perfectly execute your desired look. 

Our new Toast bride Sarah, booked her wedding in the newly minted OBorn room at the National Art Centre. Envision 30ft ceilings & windows, 180 degrees view of the Chateau Laurier, Canal, Old Train Station and Parliament.  Now add a creamy pallet of hardwood-mimic tile, marbled tables and beige linen seating in your cocktail area. I could live in that space. So naturally a designers dream.

While working with Sarah's great taste and special requests of no blooms - we unveiled the following design profile, giving her the bigger picture of what her wedding could potentially look like.

Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre
Toast Event Ottawa, Montreal Wedding National Art Centre





Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding

I first met Tori 2 year ago in a quaint little coffee shop off Wellington. Blonde, bubbly and bright-eyed she chatted away about her wedding vision in an industrial wedding space we all know as Zibi. She said:


"I want to turn Zibi into a Berlin night club...

know what I mean?!"


Excuse me while I die and go to designers heaven. This past weekend we transformed this chic industrial space into just that. Here are few sneak peaks of Tori + Tristan's wedding right here in Ottawa from Ali & Batoul Photography


Full gallery and Before & After transformation blog post to follow ;) 

Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Industrial Zibi Wedding
Toast Events Zibi Industrial Wedding

Planning & Design: Toast Events
Decor & Florals: Wedecor
Photography: Ali & Batoul Photography
Makeup: Natalie Peachy
Hair: Showpony
Catering: Tulips & Maple
DJ: Oxygen Entertainment
Limousine: East Coast Limousines
Tent: Rebel Tents
Venu: Zibi

Toast Events Zibi Industrial Wedding




Union Eleven 

Union Eleven 

Who is the founder/owner of Toast?
Fur baby lover, cappuccino sipper, Elise Schmitz founded Toast Events in 2007 and quickly became one of Ottawa’s most sought after event planners. Elise’s work has been internationally published, garnering her exclusive clients and opportunities to collaborate with Elle Magazine & The Huffington Post. Over the past decade Elise has redefined the wedding planning process exclusively for her clients. Her passion and commitment to her design and client process is unmatched in the industry.

How many people work at Toast?
There are six full time staff members at Toast, not including interns. 

How long have you been planning weddings?
In October 2017 it will officially be 10 years! 

How many weddings have you planned?
If you could see our faces right now, we’re blushing big time because it feels like people never believe us when we say that we stopped counting once we reached 300 weddings in 2013. But     it’s the truth!

How many clients do you book a year?
Toast exclusively accepts a maximum of 10 full plan clients per year.

If I pick great vendors, why do I need a wedding planner?
Choosing fantastic vendors is not the same as planning a fantastic wedding. It’s like cooking; having spectacular ingredients doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a delicious meal. It’s all about the execution of the ingredients by the talented chef that brings it all together. Similarly,    extraordinary weddings have vision behind them and it takes an expert wedding planner to pull all of the elements together and know how to masterfully orchestrate the day. 

How do I know I need a wedding planner?
The fact that your asking this question is a clear indication that you do! Planning a wedding can take over 500 hours, hundreds of emails, late night research and expert industry insights. A wedding planner will help guide you along every step of the journey and help keep stress at bay so you can enjoy the process from proposal to “I do.”

All wedding planners are the same, right?
No way. Consider this, you’ve probably had good hair cuts and bad hair cuts in your lifetime, because not all hair stylists are the same. Similarly, not all wedding planners are the same. 

Here at Toast this is our full-time day job. We aren’t hobbyists and we don’t plan weddings on    the side. Our couples have our complete and undivided attention, as well as the benefit of our decade of experience. We only take a select amount of clients per year to ensure that every    client feels like they are our only bride. 

What is the difference between a venue provided wedding coordinator and an actual wedding planner?
A wedding planner is responsible for the look and feel of your event. A wedding planner designs your day, attends to vendors, helps to style every detail, keeps you on budget, creates floor plans, oversees your itinerary to keep the day flowing and oversees a thousand other significant details. 

A venue provided wedding coordinator simply confirms details which only concern the venue’s best interests. 

If I hire Toast as my wedding planner, can I still be a part of the planning process?
Of course! You can be as involved as you would like to be. We strongly believe that you should only do the parts that you find fun and leave the rest for us!  Also, because no two brides are the same, Toast customizes all of our services around what you want  – not what the wedding    industry may tell you you need.

I definitely want to plan my wedding, but I need guidance along the way. Can you help me?
Absolutely! All of our clients have access to Toast’s exclusive Online Planner which is customized to each of our brides. This tool helps you keep organized every step of the way. Plus we’re here to check in with you, add a few consultation hours at key times during the planning process and to generally help out so you have the best experience possible.

What if I only need help for a couple of hours on my wedding day?
We highly recommend our Half Day Service option, which provides you with management of your wedding from 2pm until your grand entrance. This service is ideal for assisting with the busiest parts of your day and set-up.

I love your style, but I already have a planner. Will you still work with me?
Absolutely! Not all wedding planners are stylists. Toast’s styling process is fluid and transmittable as a valuable tool for your planner to use. Our process begins with an in-depth design consultation, which results in a curated design profile and a list of recommended vendors/sources for your planner to then draw from. 

Will Toast set up my decor?
Absolutely! During one of our final consultations we will ask you to compile a list of items you would like our team to set up and style on your behalf. This includes placecards, table menus, table numbers, favours, simple napkin folds, signing table, sweets table, cake table, gift table etc. We request these items during your ceremony rehearsal with the exception of larger decor items and baked goods which should be delivered to the venue directly.

How many Toast staff will be on-site on my wedding day?
There will be 2-3 Toast staff members present on your wedding day. Due to the fact that wedding days are long (and depending upon the logistics of your event) you will have overlapping staff throughout the day to ensure we are fresh and energized to pay attention to every detail of your day.

Typically Elise will be on site as soon as the venue opens to ensure vendors are arriving on schedule, rentals inventories are taken and that set up is progressing on time. 

Shortly before your ceremony Madison and another of our Principle Planners with their assistant will arrive to greet the groomsmen, the officiant, musicians, confirm cues and ensure decor is set up before the first guest arrives. 

As soon as you’re down the aisle, part of the team will head to the reception venue to ensure all the final details are completed. As the dinner progresses and finds its rhythm, our staff gradually leaves one by one, but we guarantee a Principle Planner will remain on-site until 1am to ensure rentals are returned, gifts are packaged into your vehicle and tear-down goes smoothly.

When do I get to meet the whole team who will be at my wedding?
If you are a full plan bride, you will have met and worked with Madison extensively. If you’ve hired Toast for Day Of only service, you will meet the whole team at your ceremony rehearsal     or in your final information meeting a week or two before your wedding day.

What if you’re sick on my wedding day?
Madison and Elise co-plan every wedding, so we can take that fear out of the equation completely. Also, all of our Principle Planners are highly trained with a minimum of 5 years     experience in the industry with multiple weddings under their belts. In other words, even if one     member is ill on your wedding day, the Toast team is more than capable of expertly completing     your event as originally planned.

What will you not do as a wedding planner?
There are countless things happening on your wedding day in a relatively short amount of time, so Toast is very careful to avoid any tasks that may take us away from our main objective; event management and ensuring your vision for your day comes to life. 

Items we are not able to set up include: backdrop installations, chair covers, moving of chairs from ceremony to reception site, moving large florals from the ceremony to the reception area etc. If you have questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask us!

What happens if there is an issue on my wedding day?
Toast’s job is to anticipate problems before they happen and fix them in ways that we can’t even begin to explain. It’s what makes us leaders in what we do. We’re here to troubleshoot at a moment’s notice and to make expert judgment calls that suit your personalized day. This ability takes years of experience to hone and we can confidently say that we’ve got your back no matter what!

I’m planning my wedding for Ottawa, but I live in Australia? Are we a good fit?
Half of Toast’s clients live abroad and we offer years of experience crafting gorgeous Ottawa weddings for clients who live all around the world. We call this ‘reverse destination brides.’ If     you fall into this category, we’re prepared for Skype chats that odd hours (on our end) to     accommodate your time zone. And we have a ton of fun along the way!

Have you planned destination weddings before?
Yes and we love them. Toast has planned with clients living in Switzerland, France, China, the    Yukon, Germany, United States, California and across Canada. 

I’m planning a destination wedding. Will you travel?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! We’ve worked with all sorts of destination brides from a Calgary bride who got married in Halifax, to a couple from Berlin who exchange vows in a    German castle! Although accommodation and travel fees are extra of course, our fundamental service fees remain the same. It would be a pleasure to travel for your day.

Have Toast weddings been published anywhere?
We have had articles in ELLE Magazine, Canadian Living, Wedding Bells, The Huffington Post, and The Ottawa Citizen. Toast weddings have been featured on countless blogs as well, including Style Me Pretty, Grey’s Likes, Ruffled, Wedding Chicks, Wedluxe, Perfect Palette and The Knot to name a few. We also had the pleasure of shooting the cover of Ottawa Bride for     four consecutive years.    

I’m having a casual tent wedding and I’m unsure what a planner can do for me. What things should I be considering?
Quick go to my blog…the perfect post is waiting for you!

Do the Toast planners have day jobs?
You are our day job!

Are you a wedding planner or a wedding designer?
While both of these titles operate hand in hand here at Toast, we would have to say that we are primarily designers first and foremost. Our process begins with the art of transforming spaces to reach an elevated aesthetic and is then continued with the design of a tailored planning    experience unlike any other planner. We believe that less is more and that simplicity and    exclusivity can coincide.

I want to hire you, but you’ve never planned a wedding at my chosen venue. Will this be a problem?
This is a non-issue. We’ve planned weddings in gorgeous industrial spaces that had no running water or even electricity. You shouldn’t choose a planner based on if they’ve worked at your     specific venue before or not. You should first find the planner that’s a right fit for you, who     you’ll enjoy working with. We are versatile, resourceful, imaginative and creative – we can     make your desired location work.

Are you on any preferred vendors lists?
We are exclusive/preferred planners for the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, The Westin Ottawa, Le Belvedere, and the Museum of Nature. 

How do you stay organized with brides?
Over the past 10 years we’ve streamlined our planning process on our new exclusive Online Planner. This includes checklists, appointment calendars, timelines, a digital design studio,     guest management, budgets, wedding website creation and so much more! This gives our brides the ability to check in at anytime and see where we are during the planning process. We work very closely with our clients to ensure they feel like they are our only bride, never a runner-up.

Do you work solely off your own preferred vendors list?
No way! Although we have strong relationships with specific vendors which we’ve nurtured     over the years, we are not opposed to looking for new rising stars or vendors that you have     booked prior to reserving our services.

What’s the average cost for a wedding?
This 100% depends upon the number of guests you have. On average we would say that most elegant weddings are typically $250 to $300 per person, which is around $40k for 140 people. 

I still have questions. Can I speak with someone?
Of course! Please contact us at with any additional questions you may have and a member of our team will get back to you.




This past week the lovely Intimate Weddings featured our Britannia Beach Pop-Up Picnic Elopement. And the story behind this shoot is really a true testament on how some of our best work comes together in the spur of the moment.

7pm the night before Laura Kelly Photography called me.

24hrs. That's all she gave me. 24hrs to come up with a last minute beach styling concept because the lovely Presh had extra blooms left from one of her gorgeous weddings. 

So I scrambled together my favorite props, made a bunch of phone calls for attire and jewels. Did we know exactly where at Britannia we were going to shoot? No. Did we bring any furniture with us? No. We simply brought all of our jazz onsite and literally- magic happened. I even made the stationary from scratch.....

I love these little collabs because with the right team it takes limited effort, the creativity is contagious and on the spot designing so much more thrilling. It's like opening a tickle trunk of treasures and making something beautiful with limited resources. 

So, I hope this last minute creative provides you with endless inspo! 

Emjoy :) 

Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral. The Handmade Bride
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral
Styling: TOAST Events Photography: Laura Kelly Photography  Makeup: One Fine Beauty Dress: The Handmade Bride  Florals: Presh  Decor: Amy & Jen Decor 
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral, The Handmade Bride
Styled Shoot Elegant Picnic-0209.jpg
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Amy & Jen Decor
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral
Toast Events Boho Picnic Elopement, Laura Kelly Photography. Presh Floral
Styling: TOAST Events Photography: Laura Kelly Photography  Makeup: One Fine Beauty Dress: The Handmade Bride  Florals: Presh  Decor: Amy & Jen Decor 


Styling: TOAST Events
Photography: Laura Kelly Photography
Makeup: One Fine Beauty
Dress: The Handmade Bride
Florals: Presh 
Decor: Amy & Jen Decor 





Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa Elise Schmitz with Bride

When you walk onsite it's like a wave of calm slowly sinks in, and this planner is legit relaxed. The view is something I can't really describe. Le Belvedere is like a secluded Muskoka resort, better yet- something you'de see on the cover of a B.C tourism magazine. But I'm not there for the ambiance. I'm there for the exclusivity, five star service, world class cuisine, on-pointe amenities, guest accommodations and well, truth be told, Jessica. That's right, Jessica. The powerhouse  that has made Le Belvedere what it is today. Working in tandem with her is an absolute pleasure. She is one of a few I consider to be a top notch professional.

This past long weekend I had the pleasure of coordinating 2 weddings, one oh which was Sarah & Andrew's wedding at Le Belvedere. This couple melts my heart right down to the core- and for 24hrs I felt like family. 

Now I can't take ANY credit for styling Sarah's wedding, although I wish I could ;) This was all the amazing work of Rebel Petal. If you followed us on Snap Chat (eliseschmitz) last Saturday, you would have been privy to a video walk-through of the space decked out. We also posted pictures in stages to showcase the thought behind this gorgeous design. 

So let me break it down for you. Sarah had no idea what to expect. She provided Michelle & Gary aka "mastermind-florists-taking-over-the world" with her vision, color palette, budget and told Michelle to surprise her. 

Michelle got to work a dreamed up a three stage design concept. She highlighted each estate table with three completely different centerpieces as seen bellow.  

ESTATE TABLE ONE: Long garlands of Sallal and Eucalyptus leaves adorned with mercury vases w/  posy of creamed spray roses

ESTATE TABLE TWO:  Tall Hydrangea centerpieces with cascading Ivy 

ESTATE TABLE THREE: Low pedestal arrangements with Hydrangea, cascading ivy with peach and ivory roses.  


Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa
Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa Rebel Petal
Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa flowers floral design centrepieces

This cake is so dreamy. With Tulips in July and the sweet sent of strung Jasmine, I was LITERALLY in heaven people. FYI Jasmine in the floral world is RARE like a blue moon. First time I've ever had real Jasmine on this scale in over 500 weddings.

Now drift your eyes to the right-hand side of the page. The horseshoe...... I just died. The special attention Sarah's sister and Maid of Honor Jessica took in painting these in the "right" tone of gold......I stole one. I full on popped one in my purse and I'm hanging it on top of my front door. (for the record, there was one at my place-setting... I'm so not a shady wedding planner)

Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa wedding cake
Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa Horseshoe Floral Design
Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa
Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa floral centrepieces
Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa

Cascading Ivy and Jasmine in this 10ft tall entrance piece. I love first impressions, especially when this is what you see when you first walk in the reception. 

Toast Events Wedding at Le Belvedere Ottawa

And last but not least a video of our beloved couple on their wedding day by Up North Wedding Films. 


Planning & Coordination: Elise Schmitz, Madison Kelly & Intern Allie Darwin
Venue: Le Belvedere
Floral Design: Rebel Petal
Cake: Take Another Bite
Hair Stylists: Salon Silk
Makeup Artist: Sarah Clayton
Wedding Video: Up North Wedding Films
DJ: Chris Lunardi
Solo Singer: Ryan Tansley
Officiant: Dr Alan Viau
Photography: Union 11, Derrek
Transportation: East Coast Limousines
Stationary: Ink Blossom






Before I delve into the details, YES there is a difference! 

A little bit of history on my part. When I graduated from the Event Management program at Algonquin College, my first job was a Event Coordinator for a local venue, and believe me when I say "I can work a food and beverage budget like nobody's business!".  I also know all the back-end tricks venues use to make money as well as the true cost of the food your paying for before inflation. Don't ask me, you don't want to know! 

So naturally when I hear brides-to-be saying "Oh I don't need a planner the venue provides one." I tend to shudder. Because if you think a "venue coordinator" is a planner then you'll be quite upset with the lack of help on your wedding day. 

Here is the reality. Venue coordinators are responsible for any and all information which relates to directly doing their job and their job only. This means that they will do you floor plans, food & beverage orders and sometimes include very basic timing details. That's it. Anti climatic isn't it! On the Saturday of your wedding, the Coordinator will be on hand but will also be taking meeting with prospective clients while giving them tours of the venue before your guests begin arriving. So really, their not available to your beck and call. Let me break it down for you.


Provide you with advice on planning your wedding or negotiate with vendors on your behalf

Attend key vendor appointments or style weddings

Create your wedding day itinerary 

Follow up with all your vendors to make sure they know when to arrive and where to set-up

 Keep you on time throughout the day

Wont have a bridal emergency kit on hand to re-sew your broken bustle or provide your bridal party with advil, fresh pairs of stockings, granola bars, tide sticks and bandaids because the heels you bought for the wedding must have been purchased one size too small ;)

Will not receive vendors as they arrive onsite ensuring quality control nor cross reference rentals to make sure all contractual agreements have been fulfilled

Will not trouble shoot or resolve problems which are not related to the venue. So if your napkins come in the wrong color and your rented chivary chairs are falling apart...too bad!

They do not normally set out any decor on behalf of clients (favors, placecards, seating charts, signing table items etc)

Oh and they leave at 5pm before your event starts.... 

Do not cue speeches or attend to you guests needs. Nor will they get Uncle Sam a rum & coke even though the bar is closed during dinner or check and make sure the father of the bride's steak is served well done.

They also most certainly do not pack everything into your vehicles at the end of the night! 

Now with this being said, there are some venues that have amazing coordinators that will go above and beyond the call of duty. And these coordinators will tell you that even though they may do more then the average,  hiring a Wedding Planner will be the best money you will even spend.

Truth be told, we don't want you to be one of those brides that say "I wish we had a planner". And we all know one of those girls! 

xoxo Elise  

Photo Credit: Andrew Geddes of Union 11