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Ottawa Wedding

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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
Joel & Justyna (5 of 131).jpg
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
Joel & Justyna (23 of 131).jpg
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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ERIKA & JASON : MUSEUM OF NATURE

What's this I see? Erika + Jason's 2015 wedding in my blog "drafts"?. Impossible I think to myself...

I will admit it's been a while since we've been at the Museum of Nature, once our stomping grounds a few times a month. So falling across this gorgeous wedding shot by Joel & Justyna of Joel Bedford Photography made my day! And come to think of it the first wedding we planned at the Museum of Nature was way back in 2012 was with these same awesome photographers. 

I remember Erika emailing me in the March before her wedding. Her email was simple. "I'm freaking out, am I forgetting something? I feel like I'm not doing enough." Naturally I laughed and said, "Welcome to the world of having a wedding planner!". My best and happiest clients give me complete trust. The trust that I will design, plan and execute their wedding with quality vendors that inspire them. They also don't overthink or overcomplicate. And these two cat loving hipsters embodied what I wish every Toast planning experience would be. 

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Toast Events
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R+J Wedding at Le Belvedere

As the wedding seasons ramps down we can't help but look back and reflect on all our weddings this year. We were truly spoiled by working with some truly amazing clients and industry friends. I'm sad this 2016 chapter is closed but I am so excited for our 2017 and 2018 brides! 

R+J's wedding was oh-so romantic with a cliffside ceremony at Le Belvedere accompanied by a dream team of vendors. The execution was flawless and every thoughtful detail accounted for. But before I go all out about why this wedding was so amazing and the team behind - lets take a peak at their video! 

xoxo Elise

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planning with Osso Sweet and Osso Beautiful
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planning with The Design Co Florals
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planning with The Design Co Florals
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planning with The Design Co Florals
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planning with Osso Sweet and Osso Beautiful
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planning with The Design Co Florals and Wish Tree Invites
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planning with The Design Co Florals

Further photo's and blog post to follow...

Planner: Elise of Toast Events
Photography: Union 11
Venue: Le Belvedere 
Floral Design: Erin at The Design Co Florals
Makeup: One Fine Beauty
Hair: Show Pony 
Sweets Table: Osso Sweet & Osso Beautiful 
Entertainment: Oxygen Entertainment  Videography: Up North 

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10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TENT WEDDINGS

A+C's wedding planned, styled & designed by Toast Events, Ottawa, 2016  |  Florals by: The DesignCo Florals  | Table Top: Plate Occasion's, Toronto

A+C's wedding planned, styled & designed by Toast Events, Ottawa, 2016  |  Florals by: The DesignCo Florals  | Table Top: Plate Occasion's, Toronto

It's gonna get real - real fast! 

I've planned some pretty crazy weddings this year! We've had venues that don't have parking, running water or even electricity. It's a monumental task that not even clients whom we have planned for- know what we as a team had to accomplish to make sure their day was absolutely perfect. I literally blow my own mind every single time with the amount of work it takes.

What I'm about to share is based on my 7 years of experience which also includes the not so awesome garbage picking, errand running, problem solving, dish busing, buffet serving...right down to being a personal therapist. And everyone thinks I have a glamorous job! 

DID YOU KNOW that being a planner is considered by Time Magazine to be the most stressful job on the planet? I was a little taken back when I originally read it...but if you could walk a day in my shoes- you would agree. 

I love my blog because I write it in first person. It's almost like i'm really talking to you right now one on one. Don't forgive me for my bad punctuation or spelling errors because really, quite honestly I don't have time to care. But I will take the time to provide you 100% unadulterated insight on the wedding industry. So listen up, all you newly engaged brides and green wedding planners! You'll benefit from what I'm about to say. And for all us oldies! - high-five for being able to kick it for sooo long, My hat's off to you! 

 The classic things I hear paired with "tent wedding" is:

  • Oh it's cheaper!
  • I'm going to DIY everything! 
  • I'm super organized
  • I just want a simple wedding

Lies! If this sentence was paired with "I want a tent wedding". - you're lying to yourself. Setting yourself up for failure. Even though this is a blog post, I can see you glaring back at your screen rolling your eyes thinking- Why does she have to burst my bubble... she obviously doesn't know what I want...

Oh girl, but do I EVER know what you want! This industry is full of un-attainable ideas. I would know, because I too have fed the creative Pinterest monster with over the top style shoots and glamorous ideas that can quickly eat away an 80k budget..... Circling back, what you want - isn't what your going to get. But I can at least help guide you or even help you understand how to plan your wedding with or without a planner. 

SO LET ME SHARE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN YOUR PLANNING A TENT WEDDING

UNEVEN GROUND

So you think you have the perfect spot in your parent's backyard.! That's great- until you find out you need to re-level your whole backyard so that you have even ground. Sounds trivial right!? Well it's not. Uneven ground is wedding planner code for - we need to build you a sub-floor since you really have a "hill here" and the tent structure requires a flat surface. But hold on again! If you need to create a sub-floor and are essentially elevating the tent on a platform...you now need to have railings in any opening of the tent as well as stairs. - Wait did you say? Grandma's in a wheel chair..?!?.. now you have to build a ramp. Now wait a minute - your on a septic field? It ain't pretty but now your going to have to water barrel instead of having a nicely pitched tent.

Price Tag $5k-$8k

 

YOU FORGOT

That even though you now have your tent you need to furnish it. That literally means every stick of furniture, linen, plate, napkins, glasses, chairs, tables, dance floor....oh and don't forget the salt and pepper shakers! And here's the kicker - that electrical outlet you think you're going to plug into for electricity - that's just a pipe dream darling! I've tried....

Price Tag $4k to 12k

 

YOU DIDN'T CONSIDER

You didn't consider how old your tent was and that it hasn't been washed in a decade, you can see all the whole patches from quick fixes over the years and that the wind is making your tent flap around like it might just fly away at any moment... The chairs you ordered are also wobbly and falling apart...... 

Girl, tell me you thought about bugs. I'm not talking about the wasps, mosquitoes, farm flies...no no no my friend! I am talking about the little kamikaze flies that look microscopic then suddenly fly into your eye....you know what I'm talking about! Yeah well they love to get lost inside you wine glasses.....or better yet just plain die on your linen.... how they do it, I will never know! 

Have you heard about wicking!? The act: To absorb or draw off (liquid) by capillary action. Just a little heads up... your linen is going to do that.....from the dew in your grass. 

 

YOU NEED TO LOCK YOUR HOUSE

A tent wedding can easily become a house party. There are all sorts of reasons why someone will want to go inside! These are the best ones I've encountered to date.

  1. I don't want to use the outdoor port-a-potty
  2. It's too hot!
  3. It's too cold
  4. The football game is on....

Oh yes my dears... I have heard it all!

 

UNEXPECTED

So the weather's not looking too good, and it rains. If you haven't done your due diligence in raising your tent on a platform or re-surfacing your lawn you could be looking at a hot and humid tent with pools of rain waterunder your tables and even a soggy dance floor.

 

HOT COMMODITIES

Washrooms, Ice and believe it or not, water are hot commodities. All of which will have you running for extra t.p, hand soap, to the corner store to restock ice for the bar and refilling water pitchers. 

 

INVENTORY

As your wedding day approaches your preliminary rental order doesn't quite cut it anymore. Your guest list has grown or maybe shrunken and now that all your RSVP'S are in, you need to re-adjust what you've ordered for tables, chairs, linens, cutlery, plates, bar glassware, the amount of bars you need, dance floor size etc etc.... let the onslaught of emails begin. It literally may feel like a second part time job. I hope your good with MS Word because someone is going to ask you for a floor plan...

 

SET UP

So all your rentals arrive and suddenly you realize it's "drop off only" and it's up to you and your friends to set-up all your tables chairs, lighting, table cloths, centerpieces etc etc etc. Seems like its simple until you quickly see that you didn't leave enough space between the tables for chairs chairs and a decent walking path...or even worse!- the tent is too small for what you thought would work. 

But before you put absolutely everything out, you're going to need to count EVERYTHING! Because if they short you on glasses - disaster... or if you notice that you didn't receive- for example: 250 glasses...the rental company will assume you broke them and CHARGE YOU! Yup! You only have a few hours after rentals have been dropped off to count and find out what your missing and if anything came broken and needs to be replaced.

 

CATERING

What I'm about to explain is a HUGE thorn in my side! Caterers who are un-experienced, purposely under staffing to cut costs which results in poor food quality and lack of service. It never fails - my girls are always busing tables which is NOT in our job description. Please, what ever you do, don't cheap out on your catering. Because if we weren't there.,.. it would have been an absolute disaster! I don't care if it's just  BBQ or a buffet - you need to order more staff then you think you will need! 

 

TEARDOWN

Surprise! That's on you too! The day after should be for relaxing and nursing that epic hangover - after all you just planned the biggest party of your life! But no- you now have to pack everything up and wait for your rental tent company to come three days late to pick up your tent. I swear it's a tent rental company thing....

 

SO WHAT DID WE LEARN?

  1. Hire a planner - seriously!
  2. Mow your lawn at least 4 days prior to your wedding
  3. Put your linens out the afternoon of your wedding after the dew has evaporated
  4. Buy/rent a generator twice as big as you think you'll need
  5. Have a dedicated ice runner
  6. SPEND on a well vetted caterer!!!!! 
  7. Invite or let the neighbors know your having a backyard wedding. (no bylaw). If they do come, keep the volume up but turn your base down- that's primarily what they hear anyways...
  8. Buy at least 24 bags of ice per 50ppl for the entire evening.... that includes cocktails, dinner and dancing
  9. You need one bar with two bartenders and 1 bar back for every 100 guests
  10. Count your rental inventory
  11. Hire an attendant for your portable washroom
  12. Make sure you have lighting not only in the tent but for pathways leading to the tent, for catering and for the bar
  13. Garbage cans and disposal! Make sure catering leaves with all their garbage! 

and lastly....

13. Don't be a hero

Because if something is going wrong on your wedding day- it's already too late.

xox

Elise 

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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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WEDDING DAY GROOMSMEN URBAN RETREAT

Toast Events Urban Retreat Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas

It's all to often that your man get's the short end of the stick when it comes to the whole wedding planning process. Time and time again the groom will lean over to me and say, "Tell me when to show up, and I'll be there!". And when it comes to planning a wedding, you know what, I couldn't ask for anything more! 

But on your wedding day while your getting all primped up, your groom and groomsmen are likely twiddling their thumbs anxiously throwing back a "few" celebratory shots. It literally takes the groomsmen 15 minutes to get ready, so with lots of nervous time on their hands, why not send them to a man retreat. That's right, I said it, MAN RETREAT. There is such a thing!

With the lumberjack / viking / hipster movement, it's now socially "acceptable" for a men to enjoy being groomed... like a gentleman. Thankfully the whole metrosexual term has been dead since 2007. I personally like my husband to take care of himself. He comes home looking dapper and well mannered. If only the barber would throw in some etiquette tips on the DL- I'de send him weekly.

With a discerning eye, I set out to find the perfect man retreat for my husband, but had a list of things that needed to be ticked off my "picky list" before I went just anywhere.

1. I wanted the barber shop environment to exude class, manliness and privacy. Almost like walking into a modern version of a victorian gentlemen's study.

2. Professional customer service with friendly approachable barbers who actually spoke. You know what I mean. No one likes a snobby mute man barber!

3. Because I was keen on purchasing some facial products for my husband, I wasn't interested in the usual "Aveda" or "Biotherm". I wanted a luxury brand, because he deserves the best. As does your man.

4. I'm a sucker for branding, so this too topped my radar.

I waltzed into Warren Chase not knowing they were closed on Mondays. But luck would have it, the owners were in, and the door flew open. I'm huge on first impressions, and I was literally transformed as I walked into the shop. I don't know who styled and decorated the place, but it's man heaven and exactly what I was looking for. I must have looked like a dear caught in headlights. And let me tell you INSTA bestfriend vibes with Trevor & Paul, the owners. I couldn't help dropping some serious cash for a plethora of services for my husband without feeling guilty. After all I was supporting local ;)

In the new year, I was excited for my husband to make his appointment. Naturally I tagged along to witness the whole process. Let me take you threw it... but first some visuals...scroll down & enjoy.....

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

THE ASSESSMENT

After you've checked in and have been caffeinated, our barber assessed my husbands hair  and man whiskers, asking quite a few questions from "how do you wear your hair every day" to pointing out certain intricate hair patterns he had - cow licks, flat hair, alfalfa hair and this patch grows faster then the rest. After this inspection a tailored hair cut complete with hot towels and scalp massage followed.

Hair Cut $45

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

THE CADILLAC SHAVE

They say, It's time to do it up "old school". The 45 mins ultimate 12 step shave is a full sensory experience that starts with a shot of bourbon and ends with his face as smooth as a baby's back side. 

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

As you can see, this is quite the process. I counted at least 8 hot towels and three straight blade pass-overs. Our barber, Corey was great an explaining each step and was super friendly. 

Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase
Toast Events Wedding Bridal Party, Getting Ready Details & Ideas, Hot Shaves, Warren Chase

So how would I rate the whole Warren Chase? A++

The whole process took about 2 and a half hours. The perfect amount of time for your groom and his bridal party to enjoy a hot shave & trim before his long walk down the aisle. Warren Chase has 2 locations. Rideau Street and their flagship shop in Train Yards. So wether your downtown or in the south end, their shop has easy access. If you enquire you might be able to rent the morning solely to yourself. 

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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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AS COOL AS A CUCUMBER

As cool as a cucumber.jpg

I'm a people person, and it's blows me away how I always manage to  luck-out with amazing clients. If you can believe it Annaliese and John were our 296th wedding...

" We worked with Elise (of Toast Events) to coordinate our May 2015 wedding at the Museum of Nature. From the very first e-mail, Elise was prompt, professional and an absolute pleasure to work with; we knew we were in good hands!

Her advice was always en-pointe and her experience in the industry was invaluable to us as we navigated the world of wedding vendors and décor. When the big day finally rolled around, we were relaxed knowing Elise had a handle on everything, all we needed to do was show-up. The venue looked stunning, the vendors/guests/wedding party knew where they needed to be and through-out it all Elise was cool as a cucumber, keeping everyone calm.

Elise’s bubbly personality and attention to detail are a big part of what makes her so good at what she does. From noticing and removing two guests (read wedding-crashers) who didn't quite 'fit in', to having pins on hand to fix my bustle on the fly, or stopping traffic so we could get the perfect photo, if you are looking for someone who goes above and beyond to make your wedding day absolutely perfect, I would not hesitate to recommend Elise!

- John & Annaliese Cassidy [May 9th, 2015 - Museum of Nature] "

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