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Ottawa Wedding Planner

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K+D Horticulture Building

Horticulture Building Wedding

One of our favourite spaces in Ottawa is the Horticulture Building at Landsdowne Live. With concrete floors, floor to ceiling windows an subtle wood elements, this space provides a blank canvas for any style of event.

We started planning and designing Kathryn + David’s wedding back in 2016. Their overall vision was to have a relaxed atmosphere that encouraged their guests to mix & mingle, peruse food stations, play a few larger then life games like Jenga and simply have fun. No assigned seating, bar always open and only a few speeches.

With this in mind we created an experience which revolved around an un-traditional seating layout, minimalistic floral details with an emphasis on sleek modern furniture and a mexican taco food truck station. All this being said- their wedding was a hit!

Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding
Horticulture Building Wedding

PHOTOS: AMY PINDER

DECOR & FLORALS: WEDECOR

CATERING: MY CATERING GROUP

VENUE: HORTICULTURE BUILDING

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BEFORE & AFTER

Converted Church ottawa Toast Events Planner
Converted Ottawa church
 

I first met with Samantha and Amin back in the summer of 2013 at small coffee shop in New Edinburg. Little did I know this client was about to give me carte blanche for what would be the most amazing concept to creation a planner could have ever dreamed of in a super exclusive venue. 

I first walked into this reclaimed church for a preliminary site visit I could immediately see the space transforming infront of my eyes. I've been asked about my creative process, and it's something I can't quite put into words. It's kind of like walking into the picture on the right, closing your eyes, and opening them and literally seeing the picture on the left. Vision and potential. And this space checked every box in my creative soul.

The space had been gutted with no immediate plans for any renovations or improvements. Patchy paint, green stained parliamentary looking carpets, 60 scattered unhinged pews, no washrooms or running water. The church in day-light looked weathered. But at night it emanated character of an age gone by and an old world ambiance almost as if you were in transported to little Italy. 

The opportunities this converted church provided were endless and by the time we walked out of the space I knew exactly every design element and the vendors needed to make this an absolutely gorgeous wedding.

 

CURRATED STYLE FILE

Before we delve into the before and after pictures here is the Style File we created for Samantha & Amin in 2014. This is a great glimpse into how our initial style boards come translate to "the day of". 

I will confess! I do have a very specific formula of how I plan and design a wedding. The very first thing I do is establish concept and priorities, solidify venue, then move into design, choose a photographer who will document the wedding according to the clients overall design and style, and lastly secure reputable vendors to ensure a strong cohesive look and feel based on intention and fore-thought can be brought to life. Not rocket science by any means...but that's just the beginning. 

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding

DESIGN ELEMENTS

CHURCH PEWS

Since the "church" was now desacralized everything was fair game. This meant we could use the space however we wanted. During our meeting Samantha said something that really resonated with me which unintentionally became the driving force behind our design. She said, her grandmother always wanted her to have a church wedding, but that she herself wasn't did not want a traditional "churchy" wedding. It was almost like a light bulb when off inside my head.......no nuptials inside the church.....we're going to bring all the pews outside on the lawn and your going to get married on the steps leadings up to the church....she died! Little did I know the groom was a New Yorker and HATED BUGS.... good thing I'm a great convincer!

Reclaimed ottawa church wedding planning Toast Events

BANNERS

I tend to pride myself in incorporating a unique design element which I like to call the "Piece de Resistance" that will leave a lasting impression with guests. Something slightly extravagant and unlike anything else you've seen at a generic wedding.

Ugly purple banners turned suspended florals and hanging candles. Bringing the outside, inside. A gorgeous floating element that would not only enhance the space but transform. 

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planner Old Church
Reclaimed ottawa church Toast Events Weddings

SUBTLE GRAND ENTRANCE

As our official altar and entrance to the venue we created a floral climbing vine to soften and accentuate the doorway. It was so perfectly designed, guests thought it was part of the landscape.

Reclaimed church Ottawa Wedding Planner Toast Events
Toast Events Wedding Ottawa

LAST MINUTE 

Two weeks before the wedding the groom straight out of left field said "Hey! Let's have some sort or entertainment.. like maybe some fire dancers..."

My reaction.... "Ummm what?!. lol let me ponder on that for a bit!". 

My thought process thereafter: fire + old church divided by insurance =....not gonna happen.... interpretive dancers in glow in the dark costumes- was that even a thing?.... houla-hoop body morphing performance-negative......hmmmm..aerial silks performance?! Mic drop.

This generated a new problem; space was tight and I needed to find a creative way to incorporate a 20ft structure into the venue without it looking like an eye-soar. It also had to be dismantled before the night was over with guests still milling about. One thing you need to know about me is I hate moving things while guests are using the same space. It just looks bad. This structure was a couple hundred pounds and took 45 mins to set up and would equally take as long to be taken down. If you look closely you will see the acro structure at the back of the venue right in front of the main doors. I took a huge risk in its ultimate placement but I also felt like a genius when every guest walked into the space underneath this structure but only noticed it's presence until show time.

Then guests would move inside for the reception, dinner and dancing. Since Samantha & Amin wanted it to be more of a celebration all our entertainment came from Montreal. Marco Ferri Entertainment provided us with two of their best DJ's and Mc's paired with special Areal Silk performance which literally knocked our socks off.

In the left hand picture you can see all the pews we had to either use or carefully and cleverly store. We used 26 pews outside for the ceremony and integrated 16 inside at guests reception tables. Another unique detail I just had to incorporate. 

Reclaimed ottawa Church Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed ottawa Church Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed ottawa Church Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed ottawa Church Toast Events Wedding Planner

OLD WORD DETAILS

It was important to me to keep the space uncluttered, simple with just the right amount of european styling. 

Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Old world design + reclaimed church = Joel & Justyna from Joel Bedford Photography

DOCUMENTED

With their 1950's Vogue vibe I couldn't have asked for a better photography duo. Old world design + reclaimed church = Joel & Justyna from Joel Bedford Photography.

Reclaimed Ottawa Church Wedding Toast Events Wedding Planner
Old world design + reclaimed church = Joel & Justyna from Joel Bedford Photography
Old world design + reclaimed church = Joel & Justyna from Joel Bedford Photography
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planner
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding
Toast Events Ottawa Wedding
A better view of the structure located just at the front doors of the church

A better view of the structure located just at the front doors of the church

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding

WEDDING PLANNER: Toast Events, Elise Schmitz, Madison Kelly, Victoria Denofrio, Allie Darwin

CONCEPT & DESIGN: Elise Schmitz Toast Events 

DECORATOR & FLORIST: Wedecor

PHOTOGRAPHER: Joel Bedford Photography

CATERER: Tulips & Maple

OFFICIANT: Exceptional Ceremonies

LIMOUSINE: East Coast Limos

INVITATION: Minted

TABLE STATIONARY: Wedecor

CAKE: Thimbles Cakes

MAKEUP: Natalie Peachy

DJ: Marco Ferri Entertainment

AERIAL SILKS: Quality Entertainment (Montreal Acrobats)

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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
0044_Joel Bedford Photography - Erika-Jason (590 of 592).jpg

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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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S+A AT LE BELVEDERE

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. 

DREAM TEAM

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

 

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GUEST LIST 911

Your budget depends on it and choosing your guest list might be one of the biggest hurdles in the wedding planning process. It's no easy task and many clients ask this question expecting me to have the answer. It's a delicate matter and any advice I provide you is mearly food for thought as you know your friends and family best. So I'll let you now what I tell them...

 

HAVE THE BIG PICTURE TALK

Being newly engaged can be exciting and emotions can quickly get out of control and the big picture- lost from sight. Before you start talking about your wedding plans with friends and family it's important to discuss exactly how you "realistically" envision your wedding day. Doing this now will ensure there's no back tracking or quick thinking white lies.... I feel bad for using the words "white lies" but you know it, and I know it - it happens. No judgement here girl!

So ask yourself a few questions like; Do I want a large wedding? What's the overall vibe you'de like? Are you dreaming of an intimate wine country fete or a relaxed urban industrial gathering of friends? Or better yet...... ask your fiance...he/she might have some input;)

 

THE PRIORITIES TALK

Since you've collectively honed in on your vision it's time to talk priorities. It's the number one factor your wedding is built upon and how you'll be spending your hard earned moullah. So circling back; on the day of your wedding what is the most important element and whic details do you value most? Is it a killer diner menu? Location? Decor?....the list goes on, but pin pointing these elements on a scale of 1 to 10 are mucho important. This might lead you to realize your guest list must be reassessed. 

 

THE B TALK

Yeah I said it! The "B" word- budget. I hate the word, and it pains me just as much as you. But it's a uncomfortable yet responsible conversation every bride and groom needs to have. Know that the first budget you think is appropriate is probably not enough. We're constantly fed wedding inspo that unattainable and the sticker price can be shocking. but don't cheap out on those priorities we just talked about. Spend your money where you feel there is value. Good wedding planners can help you work those dollars and provide you with creative ideas on how to trick your guest into thinking you had more then you actually did. Once you have your budget nailed down ad that wiggle room and make sure you include tax and grat into your budget sheet. 

 

GOTTA CUT TALK

So your B talk ended up in the realization that you might not be able to invite everyone and their pet.....which is why I made this cool little chart! Enjoy, and happy chop-chop!

 

 

Guest List 911 Chart

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RANDY FENOLI'S MESSAGE TO ME

Rany Fenoli & Elise Schmitz, Owner & Planner, Toast Events

A few months ago we were hand selected and invited to participate in Randy Fenoli's VIP event at Centrepoint Theaters. 300 brides attended Randy's speaking engagement paired with a boutique style bridal show with the who's-who of Ottawa's wedding professionals. Naturally, we we're honored to have been selected and were most certainly amongst great company!

HIS MESSAGE

Hearing Randy speak re-enforced my own wedding planning philosophies, that a wedding is really a "telling of the couples story". He talked about how important it was to be true to yourself and your own identity - and that this should be reflected in all elements on your wedding day. What's in and what's out really isn't important to Randy -I couldn't agree more! 

Randy mentioned a specific bride which came to him with quite a dilemma. She had tried over 30 glitzy beaded gowns and couldn't find the right one to match her barn reception venue. -hold the phone people! Dress + Venue = Must Match.............?!

At this point it was obvious to Randy that the brides personal identity was more prone to the sparkly beaded gowns with lace accents and Swarovsky crystals, than the understated boho countryside trend she was trying to emulate. And to this Randy replied, "You don't need to match the venue darling, just throw up a chandelier- now you match!".  My thoughts exactly; think outside the box. 

It's always nice to see your own values and philosophies in others. It confirms that I'm on the right track. What's that saying they say......"Great minds think alike." ;) 

 

 

 

 

 

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