Style Shoot: Woodland Escape

I had the privilege of being able to do outdoor shoots last year for Elegant Wedding Magazine. I shared the first one with you all, Spring Garden at the Toronto Botanical Gardens in Toronto.

This shoot was very different and I loved it for that reason. It was paramount that as many natural elements were included to maintain an organic feel. It’s not often an outdoor wedding can utilize most of the natural elements outside to contribute to the overall tone of the event style. But it can be done!

Here are some of our favorite shots of this simply stunning shoot!

To see more head on over to the Elegant Wedding Magazine blog post Moody Woodland Forest Wedding

Vendor Credits:

Venue: Fantasy Farms
Photographer: The Butterfly Photography
Florals: Divine Flowers Toronto
Dresses: Mona Lisa Bridal Gallery
Table Top Decor: Plate Occasions
Rentals: Chairman Mills
Decor and Props: Cre8ive Studios
Stationary: GM Calligraphy
Cake and Confections: Dolce Vita Cakes by Albina
HMUA: Makeup Couture/ Hair Couture

Style Shoot: Spring Garden

Wedding season is right around the corner so here is some Spring Garden inspo my team and I created at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.

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Planning: AVP Weddings & Events | Photography: White Lotus Wedding Studios | Flowers: CA Flowers | Makeup & Hair: Miss Thani | Dress: Vera Wang Toronto | Decor: Glamourous Affairs Inc. | Rentals: Chair-man Mills | Linens: Linen Closet | Stationery: GM Calligraphy | Cake & Desserts: Fruitilicious Cakes | Popsicles: Happy Pops | Engagement Ring: Michael Hill | Model: ICON Models (Diana) | Venue: Toronto Botanical Gardens

2018: Things you need to change ASAP

A new year, new resolutions yet most of us don’t make attainable, reasonable or sustainable resolutions. Heck half the time we do it because everyone else does it- so after the hangover wears off and the holiday hours go back to normal business hours, when we are done stuffing our faces, over indulging and saying good riddance to 2017- what will you contribute to 2018? I am a large advocate of looking in the mirror and self-examination. Here are a few things you might consider as you step into a new year.

Lay off social media

Says the wedding planner who must be aware of her own social media platforms at all times. However even I “unplug” so to speak and take breaks. Why? Because it’s obvious that part of the social decay we live in right now is because social media has shredded the social fabric that makes up REAL relationships and conversations. Halt the insta-stories and snapchat and pick up the phone and call someone. Or put it down altogether and clear your head, focus on you rather than wasting time engaged in everyone else’s life- but yours!

Set boundaries

This is for your protection, not for controlling others. You can’t save the world on your own, if you suffer from FOMO- embrace the fact that you are not the end all, be all of every social situation. Don’t be afraid to say “No” when you’ve reached a limit or have too much on your plate. Set boundaries and stick to them, if you don’t then no one else will respect them either.

Ditch the sarcasm

Sure, we all like a good laugh and sarcasm usually does for us but let’s be real- sarcasm is nothing more than what you truly think but disguised as a joke when directed at someone. It’s typically not a joke and it’s not always appreciated, and some people may mistake it for insecurity and pessimism. Don’t be that person.

Cultivate generosity

Yes- the world doesn’t revolve around you. Somewhere between YOLO and taking care of oneself, we’ve forgotten how to give to others in a world that desperately needs generosity. The world tells us to take because we can, and it will even get express shipped from an Amazon drone and land on your doorstep-and that will make us happy. It won’t. Try giving and seeing the expression of gratitude on the faces of those you give too- it’s something money can’t buy.

Feel something…

Other than entitlement. Also do your best to feel your emotions and don’t run from them or distract (through binge drinking, eating, denial pick your coping mechanism) just feel them. Acknowledge that they are there, work through them (don’t become them) and as you learn to do this- you will grow. Not to mention you will develop healthier habits overall.

Designer Spotlight: Carolina Herrera

“I have a responsibility to the woman of today- to make her feel confident, modern and above all else beautiful”– Carolina Herrera

Before taking a quick sneak peak at her newest collection fresh off the runway, here are some interesting life facts about the incredible designer, Carolina Herrera:

  • She was born and raised Venezuela and traveled at a young age and was exposed to fashion very early.
  • 1987  she launched first bridal collection and year later her first fragrance
  • 1996 Carolina Herrera de Baez joins as creative director at Herrera’s House of Fragrances
  • 1999 She opened her first flagship boutique in NY on Madison Ave and 75th
  • 2004 she received the Council of Fashion Designers of America “Womenswear Designer of the year” and the Glamour “Woman of the Year award”
  • 2008 The Council of Fashion Designers of America honors Carolina Herrera with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2010 receives the distinguished “Mercedes-Benz Presents” title for her Spring collection
  • 2014 she received The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion

carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-4_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-17_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-10_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-16_vert

carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-9_vert        carolina-herrera-wedding-dress-spring2018-6347947-18_vert

To see the rest of her 2018 Spring bridal collection go to http://www.carolinaherrera.com/

Photography: Courtesy of Carolina Herrera

6 Perfect Proposal Ideas

Not every guy out there has a creative mind so the act of proposing ends up being that much more petrifying! The good news is, whatever you decide to do, she will love it because she loves you so have confidence. In the meantime, we found 6 proposals that any girl would remember forever!

scrabbleCreate a custom jigsaw puzzle (or have one made) with a picture of you and the words “Marry me?” on quiet night when you’re spending time together, suggest the puzzle. Once you’ve both put it together, you can propose!

 

While your soon-to-be-fiance is asleep, slip the ring on her finger and finish with breakfast in bed.

snow-proposalIn true Canadian fashion, before your lady leave for work, offer to heat up her car and scratch your proposal in the ice on the windshield and the ring on the dash board.

Pick a spot that is sentimental to you both (where you went on your first date) and have a hired photographer hiding somewhere close but discreetly taking pictures of your proposal as she says “yes!”.santorini-marriage-proposal-ideas

Tie a ribbon from one spot in your home to another with notes of inside jokes or your relationship milestones. As she follows them, you will be at the end of the ribbon with the ring to put on her hand!

bottleThe night before a beach day, write a poem or your proposal on a piece of parchment paper. Roll it into a bottle with a cork and bury it in a well-marked spot in the sand where you will remember. Make sure she finds the bottle and be ready with the ring!

Farewell 2016

2016 was an incredible year for AVPEvents in many ways! Here, we celebrate even the smallest of successes. Here are some of 2016’s highlights for us

Black Diamond Shoot

wpm_stylized_shoots_black_diamond_24Getting to organize and direct our very first stylized shoot this past summer was one of the most rewarding and mind blowing experiences. I had an incredible team from all over the GTA and Ottawa Ontario and there is no way I could have done it without them. Conceptualizing this shoot was so easy because I knew I wanted it to be intense. Personally, I find the wedding industry could use more multi-cultural models in their shoots so that played a monumental role in the models I chose. Carmela Sagula did a lovely job photographing our set up. Event Rental Group provided our table linens, stemware, utensils and charger plates. 4 Men United provided the suiting for the groom, Ferre Sposa Bridal provided the bridal gowns we used for the bride. Look at the Moon jewelry and Luvy-T Shop provided jewelry, Edible Sins did the gorgeous cakes and cookies and came all the way from Ottawa, Ontario. Mariposa cruises were incredible and offered the Northern Spirit I as our venue and Velvet Rope Floral did a magnificent job on the monochromatic floral arrangements. Keisha Williams was the GTA artist behind the beautiful hair-styling for both the bride and groom. Lastly, Miss Thani who came all the way from Ottawa as well with her Orchid Cosmetics line was the makeup artist who knew exactly what look I was going for and made it come to life. Everyone’s talent and dedication enabled this shoot to make the 2016 Fall/Winter issue of The Wedding Planner Magazine. Thank you and much love to you all!

AVP Blog

Wahoo! This one took awhile but it was so overdue! We finally put together our new www.avpblog.com and changed the look of the entire thing. It was important to me that it connected with our audience and had more emphasis on imagery.  Social media has changed everything and millennials want maximum information in one “go too” spot.

Beneath The Veil

We stopped in to chat with some colleagues and good friends which was so nice. I always find, life can get so crazy hectic that you forget to take a moment and really catch up. Fruitilicious Cakes cakes creator Sandra and I got to spend a few minutes together and booked my July 2017 wedding- which we are stoked for! Also got to reconnect with Frances from Mona Lisa Bridal Gallery- I still have yet to zip over to the gallery but it’s going to happen Frances!

Fashion Show Gala by Sharleez Concept

paulaviscophotography-fashionshowgala52-w800-h2000We were invited to attend the launch of the 2017 Sharleez Concept line sponsored by Elegant Wedding Magazine on October 14 2016 at Fountain Blu. The runway was lined with some extremely talented designers including one of my new favorites, Macedonian born Canadian designer Lidija from House of Lidija. All I can say is wow!  Men’s suiting company D’Royce Customs located here in Yorkville rocked the runway as well. Canadian bridal designer Sharleez Thanga created some stunning gowns for her 2017 collection and we are looking forward to seeing more!

Overall 2016 had a lot of bumps in the road on a personal level but had many sweet moments. We are really looking forward to 2017 and the weddings we have coming up in Toronto all the way to Belleville! Be sure to stay tuned to our blog in the New year for all you newly engaged couples, keep in mind that AVPEvents is offering 10% off our Partial Planning and Day of coordination if you book anytime between now and Feb 28 2017!

Last highlight of the year before we dive right into 2017…I’ll be planning my own wedding this year 😉

Questions to ask your wedding photographer before you hire them (Part 1)

  1. How many weddings have you shot in your career? Always good to know
  2. Are you shooting more than one wedding on my wedding day? If yes, ensure there is significant time in between both
  3. What is your preferred style of photography? There are several: Photo journalism, Artistic, Natural Light, Traditional andBlog-First-Year-As-A-Full-Time-Wedding-Photographer Illustrative
  4. Have you shot at my venue before? If they have then they will be familiar with sight lines etc, if not, it might be a good idea to invite them to go to the site with you.
  5. Do you work from a “shot list”? If yes then ask to see it and if not, a great follow up would be to ask if you are to provide one for them
  6. Can I request certain images are taken at the wedding? Be sure to ask how they will ensure they get these shots if the answer is yes.
  7. Do you bring your own lighting? This should almost always be a yes…if not, there should be a long, detailed answer as to why not!
  8. How many hours are included in your wedding package? It’s customary for photography to start at least 2 hours before the ceremony itself.
  9. How much is an additional hour(s) of your time? Always good to be clear on exactly how long you will require them to be there and how much overtime may cost.
  10. Will you use any images for advertising? This may not always be mentioned up front or stated in the contract so it’s good to know and this way if you aren’t comfortable with you, you can come to an agreement.

Do these 5 things and you will survive your wedding day!

Getting your hair done at 7am, makeup at 9:30am, nails at 10:45am…wait did you drink your coffee yet? Can’t forget to call the best man and make sure all the guys are up and ready; did someone pick up the bouquets yet? In fact, where is your phone, someone find your cell phone stat! As if you don’t have a wedding to get ready for!? Well during all of the chaos there are 5 things that you or your maid of honor need to make sure you do today…besides get married.

  1. Eat

Bride eat1Now I’m not saying stuff your face full of carbs, end up bloated and not able to fit into your wedding dress, nor do I mean to devour a bunch of salty snacks to make you retain water. But since you are center of attention and will be hearing your name all day, it will be very easy to forget to eat. Now if you have an afternoon wedding, have some fruits, veggies and maybe some nuts after all of your appointments. These foods will sustain you, give you energy but won’t make you “over the top” full. Also be sure to have a water bottle kicking around. It might also be a good idea to ask your planner to have a food tray of some sort set up in the bridal suite so that after the ceremony and pictures you can all nibble here and there. It’s a long wait to dinner and we don’t need the bride or bridal party members fainting Scarlett O’Hara style.

  1. Breathe

So many things are about to happen all at once, 5 people talking all at once, 3 cell Alonephones going off, crying ring bearer and someone shut that dog up! Weddings are exciting for everyone but keep in mind there will be moments of pandemonium. You need to take a step back, or step outside your hotel room, lock yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes- and breathe. Slow deep breaths from your belly (the diaphragm) will ensure oxygen goes to every part of your body. When you breathe, your tummy should expand outward (like when you practiced your fake pregnant belly in front of the mirror- we know you did). Keeping calm will prevent dizzy spells, hot flashes and sweating…this is a good day!

  1. Have a quiet moment with your parent(s)

ParentsLet’s face it, Dad walks you down the aisle, mom gives her tear jerker Oscar-winning speech, father daughter dance and that is pretty much all you will see of your parents. If you have a lot of guests, you and your partner will be working the room all night. It will be hard to steal a few minutes away with your parents since you will be in high demand. A good time for this might be 15 minutes before the ceremony, ask you MOH to clear the room so your parents can come in and impart their words of wisdom in private. This way they will be happy and not feel hurt that they didn’t get as much time with you on your big day as they had hoped.

  1. Minimize checking your social media

If you can help it… Yes you want everyone who couldn’t make it or who lived out of textingcountry to be updated on who fought over the bouquet toss but this is your day…live it fully. To be constantly checking your phone or social media will be annoying to those who want your attention and distasteful to those who know nothing about social media i.e. your grandparents! Post everything the next day if it’s that important but if you have friends or family who have traveled far to come for your big day, that merits appreciation.

  1. Bring extra shoes

SHoesThis should be common sense but it can be something forgotten in all the hoopla and wedding day prep. The ceremony and perfect poising are now over which means the 4 inch heels you’ve had your feet jammed into all day and have been complimented on- are coming off! Not that we think a cute pair of running shoes will prompt you to runaway Julia Roberts style but if you truly want to enjoy your reception, fist pump to Rihanna, then flats are a must!

7 Wedding Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

  1. How to tactfully communicate “no children” at the wedding

No kidsIt might be prudent to enclose a handwritten note inside the invitation envelope to relatives and friends explaining that as much as you would love to invite their children, you simply cannot do so because of space or cost limitations. It’s very important to ensure your guests understand and comply with your wishes; you may also have to reiterate this if they contact your clarification.

bride2. Should you invite your ex to the wedding?

This is tricky; for the most part the answer would be no- for a few reasons. Firstly you want the attention to be on you and your new spouse. Seeing an ex present may shift the focus and perhaps initiate chatter from the remaining guests. Even if you have a very amicable relationship with them, be realistic. You don’t want your new spouse to be to feel uncomfortable so unless you both have a great relationship with your ex, it would be wise to not invite them.

  1. Do you need to feed the vendors?

Yes. Straight and simple, most vendors may stipulate that they are to be provided with a meal in their contracts. While you are not obligated to serve them alcoholic beverages, providing a meal while they are working at your wedding is a kind and polite gesture that will get your great service.

  1. When to send out “Thank You” notes

Thank-You-QuotesSome may have heard through the grapevine that you have up to a year to send out your thank-you cards- you have been led astray my friends! Within 3 months is appropriate to send them out if you receive your gifts on the day of the wedding. Anything before the wedding should be sent right away, after the wedding, two weeks.

5. Do I need to tip? How does it work?

Tipping can depend on where you live and, in some instances, is already included in your overall fee (especially when dealing with caterers or banquet Moneyhalls). Be sure to clarify this before you sign your contracts. A tip anywhere from 15-20% can be given to your venue coordinator, limo driver and planner. If other vendors such as florists, bakers, musicians or photographers do an exceptional job or added service you can tip them as well but it’s not mandatory.

  1. Should you ever propose at another wedding?

As romantic as it may sound, think of it as stealing the thunder from the couple who just got married. Clear it with them first and gaProposalge their reaction, they might not say “no” directly but if you sense apprehension then it’s a no. However if they do agree and seem excited about it, try to do it after the bouquet toss or during a break in the reception towards the end of the night. That way the focus is still on the new bride and groom…good chance it will be a “no” though!

  1. Mobile Manners

Nothing can kill the moment more than being in the middle of your vows and someone’s cell starts playing the latest Beyonce club anthem. There are a couple of Cellsways you can politely ask your guest to turn off their phones during the ceremony. One way is to put it in the program; everyone reads the program cover to cover while they are waiting so that will remind them. You can also create a sign by the entrance beside the guest book that asks them to please turn off their electronic devices. Lastly, one of the groomsmen can make an announcement a few moments before the ceremony begins or have a cute member of the bridal party send the message!

Images: www.dailymail.co.uk;www.questforum.org;www.weddingwire.com; groomsadvice.com

Brides: 5 instances you don’t want to post on social media

Seems like social media is everywhere and everyone is on at least one or even multiple platforms. It’s a fantastic tool for business marketing; it enables people to maintain long distance relationships with friends and family. It’s also the main plug to filling people in about what is happening during your wedding planning process! Updating everyone on the venue choice; asking for advice on any recommended catering companies or getting other helpful suggestions. However here are 5 instances you should not broadcast across social media…ever.

  1. Dress FittingsDress fitting

Under no circumstances should anyone besides your bridal party see your dress. Once a picture goes up anyone can “share, repost, regram, retweet” it. Before you know it, your entire guest list and Google has seen your dress, the 8 layers of tulle and the 5 glasses of champagne you’ve each consumed. So if you don’t want to completely ruin the headliner…hijack everyone’s phones until you are done your fitting.

  1. Registry Information

Tacky, tacky tacky! And it’s not exactly going to give you points in the humility department. The good news is you have a few options! Despite popular beliefs, putting registry info on the invites takes away from focusing on your guests. However, you can get “we are registered at” cards to include with the invites; or you can have an online registry! Another idea is to put it on your bridal shower invites since it goes hand in hand or if you create a wedding website you can include the information there…not on Twitter!

  1. Planning Blunders

Angry brideLet’s face it, planning never goes as smoothly as you will expect and when a mishap occurs, blasting your negative experience on Facebook is distasteful. Talk about it with friends or family over dinner or cocktails, but to have a massive rant across social media means unnecessary opinions, drama, and unwanted/unsolicited advice.

  1. Wardrobe Malfunctions and TMI momentsWine on shirt

Even though it may be hilarious in the moment to everyone who witnesses it but it’s not funny for the person it happens too. This includes the bridal party and the bride…an expensive dress tearing or helping the bride hold her dress up while she uses the washroom? Not so much. Not polite, lacks discretion and respect.

5.  Wedding Night

WedntThis should be self explanatory but I’ve included it just in case. Besides the fact that you will most likely pass out half dressed in an awkward position from exhaustion we don’t need to know! Keep the selfies for the honey moon or the morning after brunch!