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

Behind the scenes: A sneak peek of the Galia Lahav SS19 Collection at White Toronto

Yesterday, was the first day of the Galia Lahav trunk show at White Toronto, so we stopped by to take a peek at the new collection! Stunning fabrics, appliques and tulle, intricate beading and crystals, dramatic shoulders and beautiful trains.

 

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2018 wedding trends that will make you want to have another wedding

As 2018 comes to a close, we are doing a little “throw-back” to some of our favorite wedding trends!

  1. Dark, moody florals

This may have been just a trend for 2018 but I love moody florals all year round. They bring such intensity and depth to bouquets and other floral arrangements.

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  1. Translucent Accents

Acrylic was everywhere this year, acrylic stands, acrylic chairs, see through tents you name it. What we loved about this trend was that it added a contemporary element to décor and the overall feel of the reception. It was combined nicely with rustic themes as well as modern weddings

  1. Colored Candles

A lovely touch to tablescapes this year were candles in multiple hues. It helped balance out bright florals and soften other décor elements.

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  1. Dramatic Backdrops

Flower walls, geometric wooden structures, strings of dangling lights and flowers- it’s the “wow” factor. From photo booths to escort card tables, backdrops were taken to another level this year and we loved it!

  1. Single Stem Bouquets

Brides are going for more quality than quantity. It’s easy to think more blooms look better but reality is, one or two gorgeous blooms have just as much, if not more impact visually. We hope this trend continues!

  1. Balloons

Usually I see faces cringe at the idea of balloons since they are typically seen as a little juvenile and childish. But custom arches and clusters and photo walls are huge statements that brides are loving!

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  1. First Look

We are familiar with a bride doing her big reveal to her soon to be spouse but 2018 included the bridal party, the parents and basically your “day 1’s” and it was just a moment full of feels.

  1. Sleeves

Flutter sleeves, flowy sleeves, cap sleeves and removable sleeves- they were all the rage along with capes when it came to bridal attire. Dramatic and romantic it doesn’t matter, sleeves were a wedding dress highlight this and certainly a trend in 2018.

  1. Circular Arches

We saw them everywhere, style shoots and gorgeous indoor as well as outdoor ceremonies. They added a beautiful dimension to nuptials and photographs.

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  1. Unique Non-Traditional Venues

Couples opted for venues that had more of a sentimental feel like beautiful camp grounds, concert halls, the family home backyard. This is such a lovely trend that speaks to the couple making the wedding more personal.

The Top 15 Wedding Abbreviations for Brides

As a soon-to-be bride new to the wedding industry hoopla, you may find yourself lost in a whirlwind of “wedding jargon” and struggling to understand! It’s one of my favorite aspects of planning because it’s like a completely different language that we planners and wedding vendors speak.

Here are 15 abbreviations that all brides should become familiar with:

 

AI                            All-inclusive

BM                         Bridesmaid/Best Man

GM                         Groomsmen

DW                         Destination Wedding

EP                           Engagement Party

DOC                       Day of Coordinator

FH                           Future Husband

FW                         Future Wife

FI                            Fiancé/Fiancée

FOB                        Father of the Bride

MOB                      Mother of the Bride

MOG                     Mother of the Groom

FOG                       Father of the Groom

MOH                     Maid/Matron of Honor

BP                           Bridal Party

Ease planning pains with our NEW services

Happy Summer everyone! AVPEvents is super excited to launch and share our new service menu with you all!

It’s taken us some time to re-create our services to give more options to brides with different needs. All 4 services are unique and are designed to cover various aspects of the planning process.

Short & Sweet

Just as the name suggests! One of the most daunting aspects of wedding planning is at the very end when you have the paper details to complete. So, we sit down for a 3-hour session and complete the day of timeline, reception timeline, ceremony layout and contact list. Once we’ve finalized this with you, we then email it out to all the vendors who need it and voila!

Smooth & Flawless

Should a wedding ceremony be anything less? Well our job for this package is to give you the “Short & Sweet” package and then coordinate the rehearsal of the ceremony run through twice! The day of the wedding, we show up an hour before the ceremony to check over last minute details, line up your processional, fluff your dress and send you off down the aisle.

Polished Production

This package comes with 6 additional hours of planning on-top of the benefits of both the Short & Sweet package as well as the Smooth & Flawless. We also finalize the details of the reception set up. Once the reception has been executed according to the timeline, our last task is to ensure your personal belongings are packed and ready to go!

Quintessential Package

Your equivalent of partial planning is this service! The previous 3 packages are included and in addition, couples receive 15 planning hours allocated to whatever areas they like!

Of course, we offer full planning for those couples who want assistance through every aspect of planning. A sit-down consultation is required for this service so each couples needs and vision can be properly assessed.

Royal Wedding Details: Inside the fairy tale

The bells have rung, the aisle has been walked, the vows have been said and the kiss was sealed! I don’t know about anyone else, but I am still in awe of this past Saturday’s Royal Wedding. I find myself reliving so much of it and still getting giddy and excited while looking at the photos.

Meghan was so lovely in her custom Givenchy dress designed by Clare Waight Keller. It was incredibly simple and elegant with clean lines and took 3,900 hours in four months to make! Meghan’s veil also had the sentimental hand-embroidered detail of a Californian poppy representing her homeland.

There are some mixed feelings about the overall simplicity of the dress, some loved it and other’s thought it was anything but flattering. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I didn’t mind how clean the lines were but what I didn’t love was that at different angles it looked frumpy and not completely tailored. Of course, if the new Duchess of Sussex loved it- who am I?! Meghan’s veil was stunning, her hair being pulled back only made sense considering the neckline of her dress and to add to her “Markle sparkle” she wore the breath-taking Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara loaned to her by the Queen.

Besides the moment Harry told her “you look amazing” and melted all of our hearts, what got me ugly crying was the emotion he showed singing the hymn “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer” which was sung at Princess Diana’s funeral. It was sweet as well that Harry handpicked Meghan’s bouquet of his mother’s favorite flower “Forget me Not’s”. Of course, in conjunction with honoring his late mother, the name of the bloom itself in relation to his mother not being there was enough to make us sob.

Overall it was more beautiful than I imagined it would be and absolutely worth getting up insanely early to watch. As a woman of color, I felt a twinge of pride seeing not just Meghan marry the love of her life and break through barriers that have never been challenged before. To hear a gospel choir and see people of color involved in various aspects of the wedding just made me burst!

To finish off all the fairy tale feels, Meghan wore a mind-blowing gown by Stella McCartney for the post wedding festivities. I have to admit, I adored this dress in comparison to her actual wedding gown. With all of this being said, I’ll leave you all to the photos and a huge congrats to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

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St. Georges Chapel  Photo by Danny Lawson/PA
Reuters Harry and William
Photo by Reuters
Getty Images Meghan and mom
Photo by Getty Images
Reuters Meghan dress
Photo by Reuters
Reuters Meghan and twins
Photo by Reuters
PA Meghan and Charles aisle
Photo by PA
Reuters Meghan Harry alter
Photo by Reuters
PA lifting veil
Photo by PA
Reuters married
Photo by Reuters
PA Outside
Photo by PA
Gety Images the kiss
Photo by Getty Images
Reuters carriage
Photo via Reuters
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A Royal Portrait- Photo by Alexi Lubomirski 
Stella
Photo by Steven Parsons/PA Wire

Royal Wedding: Updates on Meghan & Harry’s big day

It’s been a whirlwind these last few weeks leading up to what will be the biggest wedding of our time- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!

I can’t tell you how excited I am- she’s lived in our city, is a talented actress, she’s half-black and beautiful, down to earth and essentially “one of us” in the sense that she has zero royal blood.

The guestlist includes Priyanka Chopra, Sir Elton John, George & Amal Clooney, the Spice Girls and Victoria Beckham will be bringing her husband. Others who will attend are her bestie Jessica Mulroney and her husband Ben and 3 children who’ve been named page boys and flower girl. Serena Williams, her Suits co-stars and designer Misha Nonoo.

As for her dress some speculate British designer Ralph & Russo as the brand designed Meghan’s stunning dress for the engagement photos. Another possibility is a final “bow out” for Christopher Bailey of Burberry. However when her mother arrived on Tuesday, she was carrying a Burberry garment bag- so maybe not. Stewart Parvin, one of the Queen’s dressers, could be in the running as well since he has been personally approved by the royal family. Some bets are on Alexander McQueen who designed Duchess Kate’s lovely gown but perhaps she will go with a Canadian designer? In any case, we are bursting with anticipation!

The most recent and unexpected update is that Meghan’s father will not be attending due to health concerns. I can’t imagine how devastating it must have been for her to find this out just days before her wedding. She made her first statement yesterday from Kensington Palace:

Statement

Some have voiced their disapproval of her careful choice in wording when she mentions “I have always cared for my father” but guys cut her some slack. She is a royal now and it has never been encouraged to openly express emotion and is likely considered inappropriate. If you don’t believe me, find clips of Princess Diana’s funeral- you won’t see a tear on her sons faces. We all know she’s devastated.

It was announced earlier today that she has asked her future Father-in Law His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St. George’s Chapel.

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However, he will not be escorting her the entire way, she will walk most of the processional alone making royal history as she will be the first British royal to enter her ceremony alone. You go girl! She will be met by a clergy member at the doors and walk unaccompanied through the chapel with her bridesmaids, pages and officiant walking ahead of her. Once she reaches the Quire, Prince Charles will walk her towards Harry but will he will not be giving her away- she will walk the last few steps to Harry by herself.

The royal wedding is tomorrow starting at 7 a.m EST so if you are willing to sacrifice your Saturday sleep in sesh to tune in for this- you will be with me!

NEW website and features

The warm weather is FINALLY here in Toronto (it only took us 6 months and an ice storm) it was hard to stay inspired this past winter. However, we managed to redo our entire website which made me very excited!

Of course, there are some tweaks to be made still but overall, I am very happy with it! It’s cleaner, better images, new logo, the ability to book a consultation online and download a planning checklist!

The option to sign up for free advice, tips and special offers is also something I am happy we were able to make happen. I think its important for a website to be more than just a collection of photos and services- we should be able to showcase we have to offer!

That being said, for the month of May we are offering 10% off of all our Partial Planning Packages! We know engaged couples have a lot on their plates and a partial planning gives you 20 hours of my time allotted to areas of planning determined by you.

Some couples use this for things like:

  • Budget creation & management
  • Vendor recommendations
  • Seating chart arrangement
  • Booking/attending vendor appointments
  • Creation of “day of” schedule

And the best part of this package is that it also includes our Day of Coordination Package.

As a final send off on this post, we encourage you beautiful couples to download our FREE wedding planning checklist to help keep you on schedule!

 

The Shocking Revelation in the bridal industry!

One subject amidst the bridal industry that I really feel people tiptoe around is that of lack of inclusion in wedding blogs and web/print publications. Maybe this isn’t something I am supposed to talk about but…here I am- and I’m not sorry.

It’s not to say there aren’t diverse publications that cater to multi-cultural audiences, it’s great but why separate publications? I grew up in a community where I was, for many years, the only bi-racial kid around and believe me when I tell you- it was hell. Different skin color, different body type, different hair, different facial features, plus a family of limited means. From public school, throughout high school it was just me and then I moved to Ottawa for university. It was then that I experienced being around people who looked like me, people I could relate too. I can’t describe to you the utter joy I felt living in a city where I didn’t feel like the literal “black sheep”.

When I first joined the wedding industry I made a point to get familiar with certain wedding publications and while I was enthralled (to say the least) with all the work that was showcased, yet I was shocked.

The stark reality is that there are publications that are for separate demographics and it can work…sort of. Of course, when you become a planner you must decide your niche market and how best to target them. But in doing so, it seems to create a distinct barrier.

I do realize I may be stirring the pot but here is the reality- I’ve had clients come up to me and tell me that have purchased certain magazines for inspiration but didn’t see themselves as any of the brides or models. They weren’t able to identify with what they were seeing and for them it was frustrating but that was their experience. So, I ask “Why don’t publications, magazines and blogs make a point to include a certain number of multi-ethnic shoots as features, editorials or submissions?”

But far beyond race, size and sexual orientation, recently the popular online blog Style Me Pretty pledged their dedication towards creating a space that focused on inclusion on their Instagram. While this was a huge step for them, some of the comments on their Instagram post even went to the point of highlighting other aspects of inclusion being overlooked still:

  • Special needs couples
  • Brides with natural hair/Afros
  • Budget friendly (pretty doesn’t have to be pricey)
  • Hiring people on their staff who understand diversity

Simply some food for thought.  In a society as liberal as ours it would be nice to see more inclusion in the larger magazines and blogs. If brides cannot see themselves in the dresses, with the flowers then it’s a huge missed opportunity and the message these real brides take away is this: the world’s beauty standard women have fought so hard against hasn’t changed in the bridal industry. On the bright side, it is my sincere hope to start seeing a wider range of  inclusion much sooner rather than later!

 

For advice, tools, tips and special offers click here

 

How to prepare for your wedding planning consult

It doesn’t take long after your acceptance of the proposal for you to realize there is piles of work to do! It can seem daunting but one of the wisest things you could consider doing is hiring a planner. If it’s not a full planning, day of coordination can take so much weight off your shoulders.

When you start your search for a planner here are some questions you need to be prepared to answer:

  1. “What is your wedding date?” Seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal if you don’t have that figured out just yet, but the reality is that planners live by schedules. So, in order for us to even know if we are available to help you- we need to know your wedding date!
  2. “What is your total wedding budget?” Having this discussion with your partner before you book a consultation is important. Most potential clients want to know how much planning costs, but we can’t give proper quotes for services unless we know what your max budget is.
  3. “How many guests do you plan to have?” This is another important question that helps planners determine their fee. To put into perspective: If you plan to have 300 guests, it’s common sense that a planner would then need an assistant. Paying an assistant will be factored into whatever quote is given.
  4. “Do you have a venue yet?” If you do then let us know, we have already done a wedding there and have connections we can utilize. On the flip side, if we haven’t done a wedding there, then a site visit will be necessary, so we can meet the coordinator and see the space.
  5. “What is your vision?” WHAT DO YOU SEE??! When you think of your wedding day, what do you envision it to be like? Rustic chic with pastels and copper accents? Modern minimalist with greenery and crisp white linens? When you know your “couple style” it makes it easier to create a “inspiration/mood” board. We need to see and feel what you do!
  6. “Are there any “absolutely no ways” for your wedding day?” Certain family members, colors, number of dresses…as planners coming up with ideas is part of the job, but we don’t want to come up with suggestions that are a no go on your list. So be clear about what you do not want…ever.
  7. “What service are you interested in?” This can be discussed at the consultation but to have a general idea is helpful for us. If you are a super busy couple, always on the go and worry about not having time- full planning might be the best option. If your wedding is a few months away and you’ve done a portion of the planning, then partial planning might work better. Day of coordination is for couples who want to undertake the planning aspects but have a planner manage the day of execution, so they can enjoy the day.
  8. “What do you want in a planner?” Not all planners will ask you this, but I will. Do you want someone who leaves most of the decision making up to you? Or is trusting someone to take charge and take the lead more what you want?

If you are prepared to answer these key questions, you will have a very productive first consult with your potential planner!