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Wedding Planning

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E + R PICTON WEDDING AT THE DRAKE DEVONSHIRE

Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning

This blog post is pretty fitting being International Women’s Day, as Erin is one of the most unique souls I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. To me, Erin represents what it means to really know yourself and to be true to yourself. She owns her uniqueness which I find so much more admirable in a society that tells you to be a certain way.

She’s the only person I know that can pick the ugliest sweater off a rack, tie it with a belt and look so chic. - sister of the bride

If I looked in my magic ball right now I would probably see Erin siting in-front of her computer working on a landscape design sipping herbal tea with her Siamese cat Greg by her side or out and about vintage shop hopping.

I’ve known Erin since she was 13- my younger sisters best friend. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the once young girl grown into an amazing woman who I not only call a friend but a “sister”. I have to admit that there was a time where there was a little bit of jealousy that Erin wasn’t my best friend. #truth. Erin, I know you’re reading this- I love you sis! (wipes single tear from eye) lol

Okay- so back to what y’all are here to see!

Erin & Ryan chose 30 of their closest family and friends for their intimate wedding in Picton, Prince Edward County.

I arrived in Picton at around 10 am to find all her favourite people getting ready with her in her suite. It was really refreshing to see her surrounded by only the ones she loved, my sister Caroline doing her hair, my other sister Engelina doing her makeup with close photographer friends Viktor capturing every moment. Sadly I missed the bridal parties morning yoga session on the balcony but quickly busied myself by displaying her custom wedding dress on the bodice I had brought and arranging her flat lay’s to be photographed. Among Erin’s details- her wedding invitations where hand drawn by my sister, she had a gorgeous dried floral crown and fresh floral ring designed by Minim Designs. I should note here that Erin is extremely creative and talented- she designed her own wedding dress and afterparty dress with Tracey of Tav Creations cutting the patterns and bringing her vision to life.

Their ceremony was held aside the shores of Lake Ontario on the foundation of what used to be Lakeshore Lodge on the southend of Sandbanks beach. It was once the most popular lodge and dance hall in the 1950’s until it burned down 1983. This space held special meaning for Erin as vacationed in the area during her childhood and often walked past this site as a little girl.

Her reception was held in The Cube at the Drake Devonshire. Her flowers were hand-picked perennials from Kristina of Minim Designs garden. For months leading up to her wedding Erin collected eclectic coloured vintage glasses and vases for her tablescape with the exception of purchasing auburn komboucha bottles. Everything about Erin’s wedding was custom and personal to her in a way that can never be duplicated.

In my experience, personalized intimate weddings like these are very rare. The attention to detail, the intention and forethought in the whole experience is unique in itself and can only come to fruition on a small scale. The insight provided in this brief blog post only begins to describe how special this wedding was and what the true meaning of celebration is. It’s something I wish for all my clients. So, without further ado, here is a collection of images from Erin & Ryan’s intimate wedding.

Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
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Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Prince Edward County, Picton Wedding, Toast Events Wedding Planning
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County, Sandbanks
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County Drake Devonshire
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County Drake Devonshire
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County
Toast Events Picton Wedding, Prince Edward County

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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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OTTAWA's NEWEST WEDDING VENUES

Toast Events wedding 2014, National Art Gallery Great Hall corridor | Photo Cred: Joel Bedford Photography

Toast Events wedding 2014, National Art Gallery Great Hall corridor | Photo Cred: Joel Bedford Photography

Are you looking for the next "it" venue in Ottawa? Do you feel like some venues are a bit overplayed of leave little to the imagination in terms of a trans-formative space?

Well as you can imagine a wedding planner can get equally uninspired by what Ottawa has to offer. But I have to tell you, since 2014-2016 Ottawa has taken leaps and bounds in the venue and rentals departments. 

Before I get started on hat will become some of Ottawa hottest new wedding venues, first I need to say "thank you" to Ottawa for it's 150th birthday - because this is reason why we have so much to look forward. Any pending renovation on the horizon was set in stone to be ready for 2017. 

So here's the skinny on some of the nicest spaces you'll likely see for years to come. 

Current Locations Opened 2017 

Andaz

Andaz Ottawa wedding venue

This Hyatt group boutique hotel opened late this summer and boasts luxury amenities and breathtaking views of downtown Ottawa. This venue can accommodate up to 140ppl Studio 1 +4 and provides brides a all inclusive feel from getting ready to gettin' busy on the dance floor. 

 

Infinity Convention Center

Infinity Convention Center Ottawa Wedding Venue

I first caught wind of this project back in 2012 when one of the owners approached me for feedback on their potential endeavor. And today, 4 years later - it's a reality. Let me first say that even-though this space is extremely high-tech, nicely outfitted- it is still a conference space without windows and a shared lobby. But if this is what your looking for a banquet hall type feel or have over 200ppl, it's hands-down the place to be. There are three hotels in the area for guest accommodations, ample parking, close to the airport and has bridal suite. 

 
Toast+Events+&+Stonefield+Farm+&+Wedecor (1).jpeg

A Gorgeous contemporary loft style barn near Carleton Place. A few months ago we did a full review of the beautiful venue. If your looking for a more modern version of Evermore - look no further, or better yet stop by for a peak if your doing a site visit at Evermore.

 
National Art Gallery

Yes my lovelies, the Great Hall has resumed accepting weddings since it's hiatus back in 2013. There's been a lot of rumors floating around but what I can tell you is #1 Tulips & Maple is the new in-house caterer and #2 the first wedding was hosted this spring. Now currently the galleries website does not provide any additional information or indication that this space is now available. I also have not heard any formal announcements, Which leads me to believe that based on my sources- they're accepting weddings on a case by case basis. Either way, I have clients dying to get in there for 2017 and 2018... and I'll keep you posted on any new developments.

 

 

OPENING 2018....

The following locations have no pictures and aren't even currently booking. I have though confirmed a few details but brief details.

The Westin Rooftop Ballroom 

Westin Grand Ballroom Ottawa wedding venue

Is currently under construction. No renderings, pricing but is due for completion in January 2017. The rose glass encasement photo above is the only visual i've been able to find.

 

The National Art Center Panorama Room

National Art Centre Ottawa Wedding Venue

See my arrow? That's what I "think" is the new Panorama room which will host up to 600ppl.. It was supposed to be finished fall of 2016, but with construction set backs it should be ready for July 2017. No pricing, no renderings and no exact date yet. My last conversations with their event planners was- "we'll get back to you"...

The epic rooftop tent however will not be open until 2019. 

 

So there you have it! Everything you need to know about Ottawa's newest and trendiest wedding venues to come! 

xoxo

 

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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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PRO'S & CON'S OF RECEPTION SITES

Toast Events Bride & Groom Chateau Laurier

The biggest decision and the largest amount of your budget will be spent on your venue choice. There are so many options, but which is best for you and what should you consider in choosing your reception venue? Perhaps I can shed some light in helping you determine your perfect fit.

OUTDOORS

Let's face it, outdoor weddings are by far the most romantic, with gorgeous landscapes, glowing sunsets, bonfires and fresh air. Outdoor weddings are among my most favourites, however these settings host a set of it's own challenges and budget constraints. Having a big white tent and a blank canvas can easily throw your budget right out the window. 

CONS

Unpredictable Weather

I hate to say it, and some brides tend to be in a bit of denial when approaching the subject, but weather can make of break your wedding. I've heard horror stories of guests whom have attended rainy outdoor weddings that were wet, hot and humid. The three worst elements to endure in a silk gown. Always have a backup plan ready. 

Tents are Costly

Sure the price tag might says $1,200 but that rarely includes chairs ($8-$15 per), tables ($12-$15 per), cutlery & stemware ($5-$10 a setting), linens, ($12-$25 per) staging ($100-$250), dance floor ($300- $600), draping and electricity ($800-$1200). Add that all up and your tent doubles, sometimes triples in cost. All of these items are rarely charged in other site fees.

Temperature Control

If your looking for heat you'll be left with unsightly propane heaters which you routinely see on restaurant patios. If you do decide to go this route you will absolutely need to make sure the tent is well ventilated so fumes may escape your "enclosed" area. If it's the heat that's bothering you, the last things you should do is open all the tent walls. This encourages any slight breeze to knock over your gorgeous tall centrepieces into your guests laps. I've personally had one knock a guest on the head. Not a good situation! You can however have the option of installing ceiling fans. I've even had standing fans that spray a very light mist located just outside the tent so that guests may refresh themselves without ruining their dress or makeup application. Having paper fans and lots of water or cozy pashmina's handy is also key in keeping your guests as comfortable as possible.  


HOTELS

Great food and exceptional staff. Everything you need right at your fingertips. Prep suites, ceremony, reception and accommodations all in one place. Bonus, no transportation costs which can save you upwards of $1,500. Because hotels typically host a variety of functions rentals costs are trimmed down to esthetic only. No need to bring in chairs, tables, cutlery etc etc. Hotels are truly an all-in-one experience. You can also arrange a post wedding brunch the next morning with your hotel guests, continuing your celebration. 

CONS

Lack of Flexibility

I always find this a challenge to maneuver. But a good wedding planner can encourage options and possibly work those loop holes you might not have thought of. Some hotels also have proffered vendors which you must work with. Your hotel may also be unionized which can slow down vendor set-ups. Tip: Never order any audio visual last minute. It's ghastly. And always check any possible looming strike mandates which could effect your special day.

Hidden Costs

It's not uncommon for hotels to sometimes double their pricing on Food & Beverage from one year to the next. What you choose today in your consultation may either not be available or the market price of your prime rib just might double. Other fees you might not consider, parking ($12-$25 per), vallet ($20-$25 per), cake cutting fees ($1 to $3 p.p), coat check ($2-$3 p.p), overtime ($100-$250 pr/hr).


AT HOME

Sentimental of course. I think we all dream about having our weddings in our own backyard while getting ready in your childhood home and just steps from where your ceremony will take place. Set-up can be done they day before without rushing those last minute DIY details. 

CONS

Rental Costs Go Up

Just like a tent wedding your starting from scratch. The terrain in your backyard may also not be conducive to tent requirements, parking can become a nightmare and noise control in the evening can put a damper on your festivities. 

House Rules

Keeping guests outside and not in your home isin't as easy as simply locking the doors. Some aunt will always complain to use the in-house washroom or request to be in air-conditioning. Prepare yourself to be constantly kicking guests out. 

Runner

You'll need one person dedicated to just running around grabbing last minute things you forgot such as garbage cans and trips to buy ice to replenish your bar. You'll also be left with the mess at the end of the night. Although you may have the next day to clean up, leaving certain items outside may leave you with damaged linens and mucho wasps.


BANQUET HALLS AND THE LIKE

The price is right, potential one-stop-shop for all your planning needs. In-house decorations and florals are some of the inclusive features in some banquet hall packages. Pretty awesome right?

CONS

POTENTIAL "WEDDING FACTORY FEEL"

We know that sometimes getting married in a hall with no windows can sometimes feel like being in a box. This could increase your decor budget to bring in ambient lighting or even hiding out of place wall art or random structural posts. It may also feel like your just another bride in a line up waiting for access to your space and quickly getting out before the next bride starts dropping off her decor items. Not to mention, you'll probably notice the horrible geometric patterned carpet.

RESTRICTIONS

Your bound by the rules. No fixing things to walls, no hanging items off chandeliers, enclosed flames or battery operated tea lights only. Storage is limited and power requirements for bands and Dj entertainment units can be tricky. As a planner I always need to know where the breakers are.

DOUBLE WEDDINGS

There is a real possibility that there will be another wedding beside yours. You may run into "the other bride" and sometimes even share common areas like foyers, washrooms and even bars. I have had instances where the adjacent wedding scheduled their grand entrance right as our wedding speeches were taking place. There is no such thing as a "sound proof room divider". Sorry ladies. All I can say, is be prepared to share and don't get upset if your not the only girl in a puffy white dress. 

THE SAME LOOK

Most weddings at banquet halls all tend to look the same unless you bring in big decor elements to wow your guests. This is where a wedding stylist or a planner can help you create a more unique and personalized look.


RESTAURANTS

If your a foodie, a restaurant wedding might just be for you. Some restaurants are perfectly designed and decorated that minimal decor and florals are needed. Most restaurants also focus on ambiance so that expensive romantic lighting we love so much is at no extra cost. Custom menu, no problem! The sky is the limit in what you can achieve food wise. But be prepared to pay! 

CONS

Min. Food & Beverage Requirements

Yes, it's a thing. Some restaurants require a minimum amount spent on food and beverage for them to give you exclusive access on a Saturday. This could mean you could be looking at $14,000 to $20,000 in food and bar costs alone. Now, if your main priority is food and your not too fussy about adding decor and flowers aren't your thing, than this budget allotment will work for you.

 

Layout, Layout. Layout

Although a restaurant can be intimate and inclusive, it can also limit what you can do with your floor plan. You might have to sacrifice dinner tables on our dance floor with a possible flip. You also won't be able to move most tables as some venues boldt them to the ground or have partial "booth or bench" seating.  

 

Food Delays

Restaurants have a completely different dinning experience. The service is slower. For example, once guests are seated waiters will take guest orders from an A La Cart Menu (15-20mins), orders are then placed with the kitchen. 20 minutes will pass before the first course is served. You would think that salad would be easy and pre-plated. Wrong! Their kitchens are smaller as they normally prepare by staggered orders. This means they plate as they go. This gives you an extended eating experience which allows for speeches in between and lots of time for your guests to chat. Add another 45mins onto your average wedding dinner period. Because guests are sometimes used to quick service they may look at their watch, but I assure you, by the time the second course arrives they'll ease right into the longer dinner service. 


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FEATURE IN CANADIAN LIVING MAGAZINE

A year or so ago we were featured in Canadian Living Magazine on the Do's and Don'ts for hosting a Jack and Jill party. It boggles my mind how many people, still to this day, read the article and hop on over to our website. So in light of this cool analytic revelation, if your interested, take a peak

 

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