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S+D O'Born Room National Art Centre Wedding

National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events

I first met Sarah about a year before her wedding as she was preparing to leave and move to England with her fiance. Planning a wedding while being away left Sarah feeling a little overwhelmed, and so she sought our help to ensure her wedding was designed and executed seamlessly. Planning her wedding was truly effortless. In our initial consultation she said:

 
“I love everything you do, so even if you tell me to put my bridesmaids in white dresses- i’ll do it!!”.
— Sarah
 

Music to my ears! And so we began to tour spaces for her minimalistic monochromatic wedding. Sarah chose the perfect venue, the O’Born Room at the National Art Centre- my current favourite space to design in. With such a gorgeous blank canvas with endless natural light it was easy to envision, design and choose vendors for Sarah’s wedding.

Toast Events Wedding Oborn Room National Art Centre

Our mood board boasted fresh crisp colours with my signature touch of acrylic furnishings, invitations and table stationary. I went as far as designing and building acrylic charger platforms that allowed for a gorgeous pave of florals to be seen through them.

National Art Centre toast Wedding Oborn Room
National Art Centre toast Wedding Oborn Room

During her time abroad, Sarah gave us complete trust and allowed us to guide her through the wedding planning process without question. I mention this because it’s important to understand that a wedding materializes in it’s own time. Should you try and rush the process- chances are you’ll be making decisions too far in advance, where in reality- I can guarantee you’ll be changing your mind closer to the wedding date.

About %80 of our clientele is what I like to call “reverse destination brides”. Meaning, they now live abroad and are planning their wedding back in Ottawa. It’s also not uncommon for us to officially meet out brides the day before their wedding. Crazy right?!?

This all goes to show, when you trust your planner and vendors to do what they do best- magic happens and expectations are exceeded.

So without further ado- Sarah & Darien’s gorgeous wedding bellow.

Enjoy:)

National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Gallery Toast Events Wedding
National Art Gallery Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
National Art Gallery Toast Events Wedding
National Art Gallery Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Wedding Ottawa Toast Events
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 Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
Toast Events Wedding Planning National Art Centre Oborn Room
Toast Events Wedding Planning National Art Centre Oborn Room
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
Toast Events Wedding Planning National Art Centre Oborn Room
Toast Events Wedding Planning National Art Centre Oborn Room
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding
National Art Centre Toast Events Wedding

Planning & Design: Elise Toast Events

Photographer: Photography by Emma

Florist: We Are Pollen Nation

Invitations & Stationary: Milestone Paper Co

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101 ON WEDDING CATERING CONTRACTS

Toast Events Industrial Wedding Ottawa Zibbi

There are so many things to consider when signing on that dotted line. But if you've never thrown an event before how are you supposed to know what to looks for or even understand what this contract is actually saying. To help put things into perspective I'm answering my top 6 most asked questions.

 

MINIMUM GUARANTEED DINNER GUESTS 

When you request a catering quote likely you'll provide a potential number of expected dinner, let's say 130 dinner guests. In your contract you may see a statement like " Minimum guaranteed dinner guests of 120." This means that your responsible in paying for that number of guests regardless of what your ultimate number is. Keep in mind that also means 120 adults and does not include children!!! Ultimately if your end up having 115 guests you're still paying for 130ppl. What I like to do is calculate what the cost difference is between 120 and 130 guests and ask if you can use that dollar amount in upgrading your meal or adding a course- that way you're not "loosing" money!

 

RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE WHAT (IF ANY) FOOD IS SUITABLE FOR TAKE HOME

This is a health issue. Once food is out in the open and in an unregulated temperature food can spoil quicker then you expect. Most venues and caterers wont allow you to bring ANY food home. But if they add a clause like this- you're very lucky! 

 

GraTUITY POST EVENT

This means there is not gratuity included in your current bill. If you don't consider this while your comparing notes on various quotes, in the end it can end up in thousands of extra dollars you didn't factor in. Typically %15 grat is standard- for restaurants only. For caterers you're looking at %18 and for luxury hotels it can be upwards of %20+. 

 

CALCULATING COSTS

If you're trying to do your own math here is the formula you should use. Subtotal all the food and beverage. Now add your grat onto that. Subtotal again and then add your taxes. That's right! You read that right, your grat is taxed. Another sneaky way if your numbers don't add up when you get a real revised quote from a caterer.

 

PLANNING & COORDINATION FEE

But you might already have a wedding planner- so why should you pay for a coordination fee to a caterer? Well, it's because there's so much paperwork and time required to ensure your food & beverage team are prepared and ready to perform for your wedding. This includes the following:

  • In person appointments
  • Multiple emails throughout a 1- 2 year period
  • Meetings with culinary team to map out custom menues
  • Research for specialty requests
  • Tasting
  • Food & Beverage timeline prepration for behind the scenes
  • Organizing staffing
  • Inventory & renatls lists 
  • Food requisitions
  • Ordering food & beverage 
  • Working with your planner on the elements of the day 

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, because a good catering company does so much more! 

 

FOOD & BEVERAGE COST INCREASES

We never really know what the economic climate will be like in the next year or two. For example there could be a Beef shortage and so the price in 2019 vs. 2018 has risen. Typically you can ask your caterer to lock in a max increase of %10. On a side note- this happened in the floral world a few years ago when there was a volcano erupt in Asia. This stopped air traffic and importers were unable to bring in orchid varieties for 2 weeks. So crazy right! This is also a huge reason why you should hire a planner. So we can impart this type of information onto our clients. They type of information that just isn't out there to find for yourself! A great planner will make it their business to know the inner workings of all these things you might never in your life think to consider!

 

And there you have it. Some of the most sneak hidden costs that can seriously break your budget! 

xox

Elise

 

 

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5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER

toast events wedding planners
 
Time is the new definition of luxury
— Elise
 

Choosing your wedding planner will be your most important decision. An investment that can pay of two-fold in saving time, keeping it stress free, and convenience- industry short-cuts. But disclaimer- only if you research and choose the right planner for you. 

So where do you begin? Well the fact that you know you need a planner means your a million miles ahead the rest. You're already saving yourself hours of research and anxiety. What I can tell you is that the basic questionnaires provided online to interview a planner are, well- garbage. A good planner will most likely have an FAQ page that answers all those questions. But what's most important can't be obtained through blasé questions. So here are 5 things you need to consider.

VIBE 

Does she get you? I always love it when a client does their research about my company prior to contacting to obtain our services. By doing this, it's already been established that they already have a good feeling for who the planner is and what their company stands for. So ask yourself- are you looking for a planner who is more design oriented or one who focuses only on planning and organizational and administrational details? Or do you require a planner that specializes in Day Of Coordination only?

Discovering what type of partnership your looking for first and foremost important. This will help you narrow down your choices. Ultimately you want your planner to vibe on your level. When speaking to them you should automatically feel a genuine connection and be able to establish a good level of trust. 

REFLECTION

Does this planner mirror the style of wedding that your looking to create? Does she inspire you? And most importantly is their marketing and advertising genuine. Are they showcasing they're own clients or just inspirational images that aren't they're actual work? With social media these days, it's sometimes hard to tell. What I can say is "buyer beware". Some companies talk the talk but when push comes to shove- the experience is less than enthusiastic. I'll be writing about this exact subject in the coming weeks so be sure to check back! 

EXPERIENCE

It's not enough to only gauge a planner on how many weddings she's planned or how many years she's been in business or if she's "certified". If you really want to know her standing, ask whom her recommended vendors are, whom she's affiliated with, if she's on any preferred vendors lists, if she's been published and where, lastly, how many employees does she employ. This can provide you huge insight into how she operats her business and the success it's provided her. 

CERTIFICATION

I cringe at this all the time. Some of us dinosaurs have been around before wedding planning was considered a profession. So to now spend money to take a weekend course just to have an acronym behind their name - doesn't make sense. What they teach you in class is a quick crash course and theory. It doesn't prepare you for real-life situations, teach you how to make on the spot decisions etc etc. Because all of that is learn't on the job. The amount of experiences I've accumulated over the years can't be taught in a class, it's impossible. And to answer your question, I do have a degree in Event Management as well as Hotel & Restaurant Management. BUT I am not WPIC certified, and never will be. I personally refuse to take the course for said reasons above. HOWEVER! If you are looking for a wedding planner that's new in the game with less experience then she should at least have a course or two under her belt. Because if not- know that she's learning as she goes ;)

CLIENT ROSTER 

This is a big one for me. How many clients do they take on per year. If your looking for a more attentive planner, their client roster will most likely not exceed 10-16 weddings per year. If their boasting 20+ clients, you can count on delayed emails, details missed and a tinge of stress. If your a chill bride- then perfect. 

All the insight provided in this post is purely so that you're "in the know". A bit of insider insight so that you can make an informed decision. And if I can give you any advice- don't rush, if your going to do any research at all, make sure it's on your potential planner. Because with a good planner the rest should be history! Literally.

xoxo

Till next time lovelies! 

 

 

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GBD HOLIDAY GUEST BLOG - ADVENTURE COCKTAILS

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GBD HOLIDAY GUEST BLOG - ADVENTURE COCKTAILS

Engelina Schmitz Gardening by Design Guest Blog Post

I love having guest bloggers, especially when it's my sister because she has such great taste and her posts are super cute! She's a landscape designer with a super cool Scandinavian design style (runs in the family) that's all about bringing the indoors, outdoors. Essentially the concept of extending your living space outside.

In the new year you'll be seeing a bit more of her, me, my other sister, lot's of Hugo etc as I ramp up my blogging to include a bit more of a lifestyle component. 

Enjoy! 


GBD'S HOLIDAY COCKTAIL MIX


As we all gear towards the holidays and are hosting parties for family and friends, it’s always nice to stumble upon a unique cocktail recipe. Going hand in hand with our belief in encouraging people to get out and enjoy the outdoors, we wanted to create a fun and dual-purpose holiday punch that could play a part. 
  
Start your night with your guests indoors, with a chilled, boozy punch. Later in the night when it’s time for a change of scenery, turn your chilled punch into a hot beverage to take outside! Start a campfire, take a quick jaunt around the neighborhood, or if it’s February in Ottawa –go for a night skate on the Rideau Canal! Which ever you choose, grab a thermos and take your GBD Holiday Adventure Punch with you.

Engelina Schmitz Gardening by Design Guest Blog Post

INGREDIENTS:
2  (200 ml) Ginger Beer
2  (200 ml) Ginger ale
2 1/2  (1L) Perrier Original
1  mickey Jameson Whiskey
4  tbsp. Grenadine
2  lemons
2  oranges
2  cups frozen cranberries
1  bag Ice
6  Cinnamon sticks
Rosemary Sprigs, for garnish
2  cups apple cider 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

CHILLED PUNCH

 

1.    Turn on the song ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ from the Christmas Vacation soundtrack and put on repeat…. It just feels right for some reason 

Engelina Schmitz Gardening by Design Guest Blog Post

 

2.    Pour all liquids into punch bowl except for Grenadine & Apple cider and stir.

3.    Squeeze 1 full Lemon and 1 full Orange into punch bowl. Slice up remaining Lemon and Orange and add to top of bowl along with frozen cranberries.
4.    Pour in Grenadine and stir

5.    Add ice

Engelina Schmitz Gardening by Design Guest Blog Post
Engelina Schmitz Gardening by Design Guest Blog Post

6.    Ladle into ice filled punch glasses and garnish with Rosemary sprig
 
 

 


HOT PUNCH

1.    Pour contents of punch bowl into pot and place on stove top on medium heat
2.    Add cinnamon sticks and Apple Cider and let simmer for 5-6 mins. 

Engelina Schmitz Gardening by Design Guest Blog Post
Engelina Schmitz Gardening by Design Guest Blog Post


3.    When punch is heated to your liking, pour into mugs or thermoses and head outside!
  
Enjoy!

-The GBD Team


 

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WEDDING DETAILS YOUR GUESTS WILL NOTICE

Pinterest Image

I always say it's all in the details, but there are those who decorate like a fabric bomb literally exploded in the reception room. Don't shake your head like you don't know what I'm talking about. It's almost like they have a mathematical equation that goes something like this:

Chair covers + Chair Bands + Crystal Broach + Satin linen + Sheer Lace Overlay + Satin Table Runner. And that's just the basic foundation. Then they add.... Gold Charger Plate, Bow-tie Napkin with a Crystal Napkin Ring +  Personal Table Menue + Place Card + Bonbonierre + a bedazzled mirror with a cylinder vase with glue gunned crystals........ and in that vase there are water beads and a tinny little florescent light glowing from within............ Then the ceiling swag fairy came and went to town.....

Layers upon layers of decor which will overwhelm your guest into a blur. The biggest and most costly mistake you can make is definitely within your decor budget, because it can start to look tacky reeeaaallllll fast.

My number one piece of advice, "Don't waste your money on trying to have everything while cheaping out along the way. Sacrifice, re-evaluate your priorities and shift the dollars you would have spent on mediocrity towards a larger element that will leave your guests with a lasting impression." 

I'll give you a few examples, and if your a client reading this, you might have already heard this story. Back in the day when ghost chairs were only coming out of Toronto with a  price tag of $20 per chair, I had a client who just simply had to have them, but couldn't make it work within her budget. So I said "No problem, we'll trick them!". We ordered 1/3 ghost chairs and 2/3 white flip chairs. We used the ghost chairs at square tables and the flips at round tables and strategically laid out our floor plan accordingly. A few months later I heard back from my newlyweds and they said every single guest thought that they were sitting on ghost chairs... they raved about it endlessly. Keep in mind we're talking 2010 when the thought of mixing table types weren't even a design thought in anyone's mind. - I'm actually pretty proud that I hit that before the curve :) 

That's just one example of how I design to be budget conscious with intention. In case your curious, here is where we think you should spend your money.

 

OUR 5 PICKS

Linen-less tables and chairs

Personal dinner menus 

Over-sized organic bouquets

Embellished wedding dresses

Handwritten calligraphy invites

 

 

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INDUSTRIAL WEDDING SPACE -OTTAWA-

Hottest trend for 2015 and I'm sure for a few years to come, industrial space.  A lack of which we have in Ottawa, until just recently. But before we unveil our three new top secret locations, let's take a look at what's already available. You may be surprised!                 

New kid on the block, this rejuvenated City Of Ottawa building is sure a stunner. Wide open, barn board wall accents, licensed patio and the best catering staging area i've seen in a while. Biggest bonus is that underground parking has it's own private entrance leading into your event space. Although parking is not included, you can negotiate and pre-purchase parking spaces. On the flip side, they do recommend getting a security guard...you will most likely have wedding crashers from local adjacent bars.

A space, well used and well loved by all planners. A girl can get used to being here every weekend with limitless possibilities and a nice blank canvas. Their T-shaped 3rd and 4th floor gallery space is perfect for host cocktails & dancing with an intimate dinner in the second back half of the room. There are some tricky logistics to pulling this off without a hitch which is why a planner is key when working in this space. 


Pretty awesome right? This new space has been added to my list of "must-have" spaces. Not many planners know of this awesome gem located in the City Centre building. Although I haven't been onsite, this venue is at the top of my list for clients looking for industrial space. 

The big box. Of the mid-century modern weddings we could host in here. There is never too much space especially if your looking for something larger than life. We'll be transforming this space next year for the EY's first ever wedding.


For smaller parties looking for just the right mix of Mid-Century Modern with industrial touches where the food surpasses expectation. This is where you'll want to be.

I love this venue for its versatility and wide range of seating options. Perfect for a couple looking to host a celebration rather then a "wedding". Probably one of the coolest basement venues we know of. 


Lofty, chic with a gothic wine cellar ambiance, this spot really doesn't need any decor. With 18's large oversized ornate doors, it may feel as though your partying in your very own mansion. If you haven't been recently, check it out. They've recently renovated. 


Although Ottawa has a lack of raw space, we've just been introduced to something very new and exciting. Zibi a "world-class" sustainable community and redevelopment project transforming the old Domtar grounds into industrial waterfront event space and condo living. Pretty cool right?!

Albert Island   

Albert Island is currently booking events and weddings for 2016. I recently toured this facility with a client with a guest list of 120. The space is long an narrow and has many posts which we can work to our advantage. This space used to be a storage facility for Domtar and is located at the water edge. With industrial spaces comes tricky logistics. Currently the building has no running water facilities, no washrooms and no onsite parking no air conditioning. Although these may seem like tedious hurdles, washrooms should be installed hopefully before next summer. Fun fact, there is actually a random shower near the main entrance...so if you do pull the chain link handle you will get wet! P.S This location is on the Ontario side which makes it easier for liquor licenses.

   1 Eddy

This old machine workroom is in stage 1 of being rejuvenated. It is connected to the Zibi building. Less posts than Albert Island and connects with a gorgeous outdoor courtyard seen in the picture below. What you don's see in this image is a second part of the room behind the back wall which will soon be torn down to seat up to 140 guests. This space is due to be ready for late fall 2015. Take note that this space is on the Quebec side and local alcohol permits must be obtained by SAQ.


The Zibi Courtyard

Currently looking at this gorgeous space for a wedding el fresco. Since it's connected to the Zibbi show room and the space mentioned above, you can safely plan to have your wedding either inside or outside. BIG BONUS, you probably won't get any noise complaints! 

This property is located on the river banks however there is a line of trees and shrubery which takes away from a direct view of the water. The best part about Zibi is that as they redevelop the area new warehouse event space will become available. 

If your looking for information or would like to book a tour here is your contact. Jaquie Westeind at jw@windmilldevelopments.com

I can't tell you enough how excited I am to start seeing gorgeous events and weddings planned here, so hastag it for all of us to see #zibbiwedding 

xox Elise

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DESIGNING WITH TOAST

Although i'm a serious paper pusher and a little bit too organized for my own sake, I really am a designer at heart. I design purely on feeling, so if your talking to me about a particular creative element you'll hear me say something to the tune of "I'm really "feeling" the tattered look, haunted...almost like we printed your invitations on a piece of torn wall paper from an 18th century Parisian chateau"...  or "I need to "feel" the movement in the florals, wispy, ethereal..".

There are so many things we take into account when we're styling a wedding. Because we want it to reflect the client style, we'll take in as many details as possible from Pinterest, movies you love, books you read, places you've traveled and really just things you like. I sometimes think knowing exactly what you don't want can help me hugely in the long run. It's like a spiders web, if you don't like modern design styles then we know you also wont like a host of other thing which we can rule out right at the get-go!

“Well I know what I want and I have everything I like on Pinterest, so why do I need a stylist?”
— Client

It's a good question and I have a great answer! It's all about sourcing. Since your wedding is most likely a year away, the items you are renting now will have gone through on average minimum 60 more weddings before gracing your guests. So that two year old chivary chair that looked decent last year when you booked them, is now- falling apart, wobbly, the cushions are flat, uncomfortable and stained. And that goes for all rentals. Linens, lounge furniture, tableware etc. And that white dance floor you ordered....well it's beige now because the vendor didn't care for it properly....

It's also about curating your wedding to the smallest detail from font choices, RGB color codes, paper weights, creative twists on traditional wedding decor etc. We even go as far as hand-making specialty "one-of" decor accents to ensure your wedding is completely unique- a reflection of you. We want Aunt Betty to walk in and say "OMG that is so Sarrah". 

So what does styling look and feel like with us? Well! Your customized style file comes wrapped in a pretty little box right at your door step, the old fashioned way. Snail mail. I like to think it makes the experience a little bit more tangible! 

Bellow is a great example. Enjoy! 

xoxo

Elise 

Catherine Style Board9.jpg

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Comfy & Cozy Boudoir

Recently I've been doing a lot of styling. I just can't help myself - I love beautiful things, sprucing up areas and just all around refreshing everything and anything. So when Meg from the Handmade Bride told me she was doing a Boudoir shoot, I just had to get involved. 

The thing I liked most about this particular shoot was the emphasis on building a "comfy and cozy" environment to allow participants to feel more at ease and among friends. There was champagne, fruit & croissants upon arrival, with a professional makeup artist Klava Zykova, jewelry and lacy embellishments to enhance their experience from The HandMade Bride and of course the lovely Katie Soulier or KJS Photography.

Fingers crossed that The Handmade Bride will be hosting many more of these!

Photographs provided by KJS Photography 

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Win Tickets to Love Handmade

Sharing is caring right?! 

Well, I've got 6 tickets to giveaway to three lucky couples! All you have to do is tell us, in the comment section below, what DIY project your going to tackle for your very own wedding. Simple no? :) Be sure to like us on facebook so we can find you afterwards and get you your tickets!

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Welcome

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Welcome

It's been a long time coming but with lots of hard work, multiple coffees and some sleepless nights, I've finally launched our new website and blog. 

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