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Ottawa weddings



Toast Events Real Wedding Invite by Lafabere

Toast Events Real Wedding Invite by Lafabere

Sorry but your kids aren't invited.....

In 2016 I started seeing a shift in couples requesting kidless weddings. Now in 2018, it seems like it's not even a question anymore. Quite simply- they should stay home. I know it sounds harsh. But that seems to be the way. In 2018 I'm seeing "black tie only"....

So obviously I get this question a lot. "How do I tell my guests their kids aren't invited to the wedding?".



And I feel like I've kinda mastered this one in a two step process. It all starts with the method of your message. The first way I suggest, is to subconsciously hint in the RSVP by adding a line that says " We have __#__ seats reserved for you".

If you don't think your guests will get the hint- add "adult only reception" in small letters at the bottom of your main reception invitation.



Likely after you've used the first two initiatives- there will be no need for any additional conversation. HOWEVER! If the "bold" decide to +1 their kid on your rsvp, you have but no choice to address the issue. 

If this guest is close to you, a personal call is in order. Explain that by having an adult only reception, what your really saying is that you want everyone to have a great evening laughing and dancing while having a few extra drinks without having to leave early because of their kids. What you want to communicate is that your wedding is the perfect excuse to take the night off and truly enjoy it. It's really not about you- it's about them. See how I did that ;) ;) 

If the guest isn't close to you, likely it's an invite by your parents- hence they should be the ones to call on your behalf and preach your message. 


I've never had any issues with the two-pronged attack ;) 

I would say that most guests no longer expect to bring their kids for the whole or even part of the wedding. So Don't be shy- what used to be a faux-pas is now the norm. 

x Elise 





Westin Ottawa TwentyTwo View

It's all about the hashtag #views am I right?! I'm calling it TwentyTwo's hastag will be #twentytwocurrentviews or maybe something like #tewntytwocurrentvibes or #twentytwoskyhigh, either way this space is definitely what Ottawa's been missing and we can't wait for it's opening in June 2017!

The Westin's TWENTYTWO is sure to be Ottawa's next exclusive luxury wedding venue, and as their preferred wedding planners, yesterday Madison and I were given a private hard-hat tour of the space. Our experience with The Westin's Jill Wright was quite the treat with no details spared to make us feel welcome from the moment valet parked our cars to the cute welcome sign. This no doubt instills that the TWENTYTOW experience is all about exclusivity and attention to detail.

So here's the low-down on all those details which aren't necessarily released to the public and not on their website ;) 

Toast Events Ottawa Wedding Planner at Westin Ottawa TwentyTwo
TwentyTwo Floor Plan

The sky-high glass encased ballroom is perfectly built around that guest list sweet spot of 135 dinner guests. Preliminary floor plans include round tables of 8ppl, head table, bar and dance floor space. Floor plans have confirmed a max of 152 dinner guests without a dance floor or the option of covering the dance floor with tables and removing before dancing. 

TwentyTwo is due to open June 2017. This new venue is located on Westin's 22nd floor and provides a 270 degrees un-interrupted breath-taking view of Ottawa's Parliament Buildings, Ottawa River, Chateau Laurier, Byward Market and Gatineau Hills. Their emphasis really is the view and it's minimalist take on design with a neutral pallet and simple clean lines . Now when I say "glass encased ballroom" that's literally no understatement! The windows begin about a foot and half from the floor and sky rocket almost two stories tall. The space will have one 6ft x 8ft media wall with flat screens which can be used by DJ's to impose graphics, music videos or even slide shows.

The Westin Ottawa TwentyTwo
The Westin TwentyTwo Toast Events


In building this space primarily for weddings and special events, The Westin Ottawa paid special attention to all-inclusive needs. With the rental of TwentyTwo comes the sunlit Rideau Suite with a very generous "getting ready" area. There is also an option of renting the Westin's Boneaventure Suite with an outdoor terrace (one floor up) if both the Bride and Groom would like to get ready on-site. 

Essentially the whole 22nd floor can be yours!

The Westin Ottawa is also offering Brides and Grooms the option of an exclusive room block of up to 14 upgraded guestrooms located on the 22nd floor at a discounted rate.

TwentyTwo has new specialty modern looking china and chairs.

TwentyTwo's chairs... we like!

TwentyTwo's chairs... we like!

Picture of TwentyTwo's-  actual A La Cart Menu 

Picture of TwentyTwo's-  actual A La Cart Menu 

TwentyTwo has no set menu or packages and instead invites clients to sit with their Executive Chef Kenton Leier ato create a custom menu.



Depending on your guest count and menu choices, the food and beverage pricing is expected to start at $20k. There is a rental fee for the space of $5k which includes the Rideau Suite, pre-function space (cocktail area) and reception area. At first glance you might gasp, but to help put these numbers into perspective here's some general stat's: 

Restaurant Eighteen

  • Minimum food & beverage spend on 16k-18k 
  • seat 135ish 


  • Minimum food & beverage spend on 25k 
  • seat 150 

National Art Gallery - Great Hall 

  • Rental of space sits around 5k

National Art Centre (N.A.C) 

  • New space rental is rumored to be around 3-5k depending on size of room required minimum f&b 15-20k.. their new space and details are limited and all TBD..

Horticulture Building

  • Rental fee is $4,400


  • Minimum spend 25k, although includes a few more decor related services

All in all for this venue we find their pricing to be fair and competitive and can't wait to tour our clients here!  If you're interested in more information check out their new website or contact Jill Wright




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Toast Events Ottawa Office

I feel like an oldie in the industry. Gone are the days when I was the youngest person to do everything. Starting in the biz at the age of 23 back in 2007, wedding planners were just starting to become a thing and the job title of an event planner never existed. Needless to say, I’ve seen and dealt with a lot – and hey, I’ve made mistakes too. But learn from my lessons ladies as the advice I’m about to give is unapologetic and may step on some industry toes. But you deserve to know the truth and I like transparency and honesty. 

Let me start by saying the industry is competitive- wedding vendors and planners pop up one year and are gone the next. Why you ask? Because the glamour aspect only lives for so long and they don’t realize how much work’s involved. Quite simply, they burn out. It’s a tricky business and the last thing you need, is to fall into their pit of over promise and under deliver- or worse, never show up.

So let me shed a little bit of insight on what you need to know about your planner before you sign on that dotted line


Planner vs Planner

A wedding coordinator provided by your venue is not the same thing as a wedding planner. There are 3 different types of planners out there. Venue event coordinators, wedding planners and the “weekend planner”. Please know that a venue coordinator is absolutely NOT the same things as wedding planner. Now, I’ve written a nice long blog post about this so feel free to click this link for more insight. In a nut shell a venue coordinator only takes care of the venues details for it to function properly from a food & beverage standpoint. A wedding planner on the other hand manages all aspects of your wedding from inception to execution. The event coordinator from your venue is definitely not interested is creating your day of timeline, securing your vendors and making sure they abide by their contractual agreements. Then we have the “weekend planner”. A term I’ve dubbed for young girls who like to plan weddings as a hobby. I’m going to say a little prayer for you right now if you’ve already hired one, because as they might be organized, decorate and look pretty but on the day of, if anything were to go wrong- they wouldn’t have the experience or the insight to make a judgement call on your behalf. 


Experience Trumps Credentials

It really does. Like I mentioned before, some seasoned professionals debuted when there were not educational programs available- thus they are self-taught. Be leery of planners with credentials from online institutes and weekend courses. There is absolutely NOWAY you can learn to plan a wedding and call yourself a planner after only taking a weekend course. So please, ask your prospective planner her background and don’t be scared to ask them about their credentials. 


She’s Interviewing You

I good planner is interviewed- but a great planner is actually interviewing you. I, as a planner also want to make sure the prospective client is a right fit for my company and hence do right by her. Her expectations need to be on par with my own as value and quality will not be sacrificed on my watch. You’ll never catch me cutting corners just to save a buck. 


Her Stats

How many weddings does she really do? It’s a double edged sword because in one respect you want to know that your planner has a healthy client roaster because that means she’s good at what she does and clients are seeking her out right?!?!… WRONG. That’s not always the case. A high client roster can also mean that you’ll essentially be the runner up to someone else wedding. That means waiting on her emails and details slipping through the cracks. What you need to do is find out why she takes on so many clients and for what reasons. Now I know you’re asking yourself, “So what’s Elise’s magic number?”. And to that I say 16 with a core staff of 5 girls, give or take an intern. 


Her support system

Mucho importante. Is she a solo gal or does she have a dedicated team? When I first started out in the industry it’s actually hard for to believe I did it all on my own. Legit by myself. Like what was I thinking?!?! Well I can simply say, I didn’t know any better. Now days I refuse to step onsite without my planner protégé and a junior planner. Because let’s get real, I could use 6 of me during certain times throughout the day when there’s a lot going on in a short period of time. So know that when you sit down after your grand entrance for dinner- we will be there to take your drink order.



Whose Got Her Back

Is she highly recommended by her peers? Do it. Drop her name while your shopping around for vendors and see what those fellow industry players say. Is she on the preferred planner list of key wedding venues and vendors? You should want to know about the relationships she’s built over the years. If she’s made the coveted preferred vendor list of some of the biggest players, then you know she’s earned it based on her integrity and hard work.



AKA the “weekender” week·end·er
1.    a person who spends time in a particular place only on weekends.

If you only need help the day of, this might be a good option for you. But not if you’re wedding is logistically challenging with a heavy vendor list. The moonlighters may not be able to provide enough support leading up to your wedding day. Reffer to tip #1 ;)
For the record, I ain’t now noun ;)



Good marketing and a great website can be misleading. If you’re going to do any homework, now is the time. If you’re lucky this will be the only step you’ll really need for vetting a vendor. Once you have a reputable planner on your team, she’ll do the rest of the heavy lifting. 


The Price Is Right

She charges a premium for a reason. I know you’ve heard it before from your girlfriends “The best money I spent was on my planner” and it couldn’t be more true! Trust me when I say, I don’t want these words to come out of your mouth- “If I could go back- I’de have a planner”. It kills me when I hear this, because I know #TheStruggleWasReal. So real that I just had to hashtag that. Ask yourself “what am I paying for when I hire a planner?”. Pure and simple “peace of mind” and a chance to feel like a guest at your own wedding.


One Trick Pony

My last words of wisdom. Remember how I told you I’ve made my mistakes too. Well here’s a confession paired with my opinion on planners that provide “added services” such as florals, decoration packages etc. I, once upon a time provided clients with floral design. A great money maker, but man oh man did it burn me out. Not only that but it increased my stress level by %110 percent. Not only was I liable and in charge of such an integral design element, I also had all the planning duties as well. No bueno. And any other planner out there doing this, I say stop! You’re overloading yourself and you’re going to drop the ball. To all brides out there, don’t ask this of your planner. 

So there you have it. My unadulterated insight. 

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