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Full Bloom

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THE REAL COST OF WEDDING DECOR

Photo by  Lace & Luce

Photo by Lace & Luce

Do you ever look at gorgeous wedding inspiration and wonder- what does this actually cost?

Our industry is full of over the top unattainable design ideas which are outrageously costly. One of the top three questions I’m asked in my consults is:

 
How much is the average wedding?
 

That’s such a tricky question! There are so many things I could address by answering this one question. The first thing I tell brides, is that you should be thinking of your wedding as a pie. Now cut that pie in three. One part is decor, one part is food & beverage and the third part is everything else. Now, depending on where your actually priorities lay- those three pie pieces get bigger or smaller and adjust accordingly. Then I tell my clients, whatever image you’re looking at… whatever dollar figure pops into your head, times that by 3.

Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Wedding Planning

BUT! There is a big BUT here. I have designed and planned absolutely stunning weddings for budgets from 20k which can look as beautiful as a wedding you might see in a magazine with a 50k decor budget only. The secret lies in years of experience and a few tricks of the trade.

In todays blog post I’m going to breakdown the cost of my last styled shoot with Lace & Luce and Lavish Decor at the Ottawa Art Gallery.

Before we begin, here is a great behind the scenes clip pulled from my instagram account. This will give you a better perspective of the scale of what we created. You won’t believe what it costs!


In this shoot we set a head table for two and two “honour” reception guest tables for a total of 18 guests. It’s important to note that we also re-used the large white standing art structures for the ceremony and again behind the head table. In this design we also used minimal florals and greenery with an emphasis on candles.

So here is the breakdown:

DECOR

  • 2 Art Structures @ $450

  • Gold Fan Chairs @ $12 each

  • 3 Glass tables with ornate gold guild legs @ $350 ea

  • 1 Round glass cake table with ornate guild legs @ $150

  • 5 Crystal Candelabras per reception table @ $75 ea

  • 24 Crystal Candlestick holders & candles @ $10 ea

  • Gold rimmed scalloped dinner plate & side plate $6 per setting

  • Gold cutlery set @ $3 per setting

  • Silk linen on head table $40

  • Decor installation cost $500

  • Table stationary $18 per person

FLORAL

  • Greenery and blooms on art structures $150 ea

  • Greenery and tables with select blooms $150 per table

  • Floral installtion cost $500

DESIGN TOTAL COST $6,243.00 (aprx)

Now you can look at this in a few ways. This design if applied to a full wedding would be $346 per person. You can do the math quite easily if you have 100 guests, granted you keep in mind some costs mentioned above are fixed and not variable by guest count. It can be costly! Crazy how something that looks so simple can be so costly. But let me change your perception for a minute because if you were a real client I would tell you to keep this design for 1/3 of your guests, and the rest of the tables to something simple and tastefull like floating candles in water with a few tossed blooms and greenery. That would reduce your decor cost by 30%. Now if you’re loving this design, but don’t have the budget I’ll tell you think about doing this design for the head table and family “honour tables” only. Leaving simple decor for the rest of the reception tables. Its’ a design principal I’ve been using for years and how with fore-thought and intention we can make your wedding absolutely stunning while being budget conscious.

I had a nice conversation on-set while setting up this styled shoot with Jenny from Lavish Decor. She’s originally from England so our chat naturally ended up being about the differences between our bridal industry vs Europe’s. And she told me something really interesting. She said- in England they keep all the lavish over-the-top decor in the centre of the room closest to the head table. That way when the photographers shoot- their images make it look like it’s a celebrity wedding. All the other tables are plain with only a few candles or a single candelabra. This eludes to what I had mentioned before about being budget conscious. i always find it fascinating what’s seen as the “norm” in other countries. I was first introduced to this when we planned a wedding in Germany. After the ceremony we arrived at the castle for champagne in the gardens followed by cake and coffee. We then moved guests into the chateau courtyard where we had more cocktails and dinner alfresco. A long procession of eating and celebrating. Oh and the DJ plays until the sun comes up…. not the 1am shut-down time we have here!

So next time you look at beautiful decor pictures on Pintrest, keep in mind that it’s probably three times more expensive than what you think- but that it can be possible if you’re open-minded.

xo

Eliza

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Minimalist National Art Gallery Wedding

Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding

I'm going to hold this one dear to my heart for a very long time.

Even as I sit here in front of my computer, months later writing this, I still get a little teary eyed. It was so sooooo beautiful. It was such an honour working with Melanie & Charlie as we planned their Ukrainian wedding.

Weddings rich with culture and tradition always leave me with so many more meaningful memories. I'll never forget it when the priest, unscripted, sang grace.....with a choir. The building echoed. It was overwhelmingly magical. 

But instead of writing about this wonderful day, let me show you.

Photography by Joel & Justyna Bedford

Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
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Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
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Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events National Art Gallery Wedding
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery
Toast Events Wedding National Art Gallery

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DO YOU WANT TO WORK ON YOUR WEDDING DAY?

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DO YOU WANT TO WORK ON YOUR WEDDING DAY?

Clear Tent Toast Events Wedding Planning

Do you want to work on your wedding day? Or would you rather feel like a guest at your own wedding?

That's the only question you need to ask yourself when considering a planner. I bet I know the answer, and you do too. Don't become the stereotypical bride which after the fact, wishes she had had a planner. And I have to be honest. I cringe every-time I hear those words.

 

BUT MY GIRLFRIEND JUST GOT MARRIED AND SHE'S GOING TO HELP ME

 

You aren't your girlfriend. Her wedding also shouldn't be anything like yours. You have different priorities, likes and dislikes. Although your girlfriend is doing you a huge favour, she isn't working for YOU and her advice will only scratch the surface of what a planner really does behind the scenes.

 

MY MOM SAYS I DONT NEED ONE

 

Mama knows best right? But she won't be hanging up your decorations, checking to make sure your table linens aren't upside-down with the seams showing or making sure your rental company didn't short you on chairs. And if she says she'll step up, I'll tell you right now, everyone had good intentions and thinks they have more time then they actually do. As all the small tasks and oups's add up the week of your wedding, your mother, groom and bridal party may not be taking the added stress with grace. 

 

MY FIANCE THINKS WEDDING PLANNERS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE

 

A huge benefit in having a wedding planner is peace of mind so you're not constantly thinking- did I forget something? Which has it's trickle down effects to the people around you. Especially those who you naturally go to for support. Cue fiance. Yup, it's normally his job to calm the waters, reassure you everything is going to be okay when it's not. But what happens when he's sick of hearing about your wedding planning? Or has a small tinge of- we should have just eloped, type of vibe. It taints the whole process, and darn it! - wedding planning is supposed to be fun! And with a planner, it's our strict mandate that you ONLY get to do the fun stuff. Our team is here to support you, send you 3d mock ups of your floor plan because your mother in law just can't understand your vision or take that late-night call when you've had a mini bridal party meltdown. 

 

THE RECIPE 

 

Stress of that nagging to-do list + the feeling that your always forgetting something + last minute errands to run on time you don't have + family asking you too many wedding questions... NOW throw in a few sleepless nights and a bad dream and voila!

You now wish your wedding day would just be over, before it's even begun.

So I ask you..

 

DO YOU WANT TO ORCHESTRATE THIS, ON YOUR WEDDING DAY?

 

Watch the video. You're welcome. And girl, just pick up the phone and call me ;) 

 

 

 

 

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V+S WEDDING AT RESTAURANT 18

Restaurant Eighteen Ottawa Market

My absolute favorite exclusive downtown venue for the luxury bride.

When I think of this place it reminds me of mid week European wedding where the reception is more of a long meal with non-intrusive live music. Drinking and eating and drinking some more. As soon as you step into Restaurant 18 you can rest assured you will be wined and dined with hospitality and care like no other. The ambiance alone leaves little to decorate leaving only small design details for consideration. 

This was the perfect spot for V+S's wedding. When I originally met with this couple, we chatted about unique industrial wedding spaces in Ottawa while still keeping an organic look and feel. We explored Zibbi, Museum of Nature, Aquatopia, Le Belvedere and Restaurant 18. 

Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18
Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18
Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18

Zibbi's was a logistical nightmare (although certainly do-able) but rentals alone would eat half or more of our budget, Museum of Nature isn't the best for photography, Aquatopia was too small and too hot, Le Belvedere was a bit far for her elderly guests which left us with 18. 

The next challenge was keeping the organic look with 18's glitzy mirrored ceilings, gold tree trunk tables and their "Beetlejuice" chairs I love soooo much! And with Erin from the former Full Bloom - this was easily achievable. 

Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18

Using garden flowers and a transparent Eiffel stands we pulled the gold through the glass table from the ground up. Arrangements were designed to look loose and natural with a whispyness- almost like you could see a breeze. 

Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18
Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18
Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18

Dark maroon foliage was a stunning element carried throughout the design and decor ending with a sprig of greenery or bloom on each place setting.

Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18

Tucked away in the wine cellar corner was a long estate table for the bridal party, with those classic "Beetlejuice" chairs I love so much! Hedges of garden roses with black floating candles filled the gap between taller florals. This was a stunner for sure. We kept the design simple and to the point. Like I always tell me clients:

"Choose vendors that inspire you, then let them handle the rest."

Because in reality, a true professional will likely know what you want, before you even really know. 

Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18
Toast Events Real Wedding Ottawa Restaurant 18

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NATALIE & SHANE June 27th 2015 -Shaw Center-

Although it's November, the wedding season isn't over just quite yet! But at the season comes to an end, we finally start seeing gorgeous photography trickling in. So lets take a time machine and hop back to spring with the lovely Natalie & Shane. 

Wedding Planner: Toast Events

Photographer: Photolux

Videographer: Photo & Films by Eduardo

Florist: Full Bloom

Linens & Rentals: Mastermind Events 

Rentals: Creative Edge

Retals: Lou Lou Lounge

Stationary: The Paper Studio

Band: Eric Eggleston

Piano Soloist: Eddie Bimm

Hair: Show Pony

Makeup: Ottawa Makeup Artists

Transportation: Elite Limousine 

Dj: David Atherton

Ceremony: Basilica

Reception: The Shawn Center Trillium Ballroom

Audio: Wall Sound

Cake: The Girl With The Most Cake

 

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