Wedding Planners: What we really do (Part 1) Full Planning

Let’s just clarify from the start we are NOT wedding coordinators at the venue, don’t get us confused and if you are confused read my article I wrote awhile back

JloSo what do wedding planners really do you ask? Well I guess it depends: we mediate, negotiate, police, teach you how to dance, and might even use nail polish remover to un-super glue a piece of statue from your palm…okay maybe I am getting a bit dramatic here but let’s focus on the full-planning service they provide .

Full scale planning is a lot of work, which is likely why you have hired someone to do it because you lack the time (or patience?) to be able to do all on your own. The moment you are engaged and hire a planner, we are there with you every step of the planning process. Here are some of the things we do for a full planning:

  • Help you create a budget
  • Outsource potential venues and set up viewings based on the number of guests you are looking to have attend and your budget limitations
  • Research officiants based on ceremony style and language
  • Aid you in developing your wedding theme and vision

The DressWait, before I continue, let me just say that we research EVERYTHING. Just because you don’t see work being done in front of your eyes, doesn’t mean it’s not taking hours of our time. Research is tedious and details must be acquired for every single vendor needed for the wedding.

  • Research and outsource: DJ’s or bands for the reception, décor/rentals and florists, hair and makeup artists, suiting/tuxedo companies, bridal boutiques and trunk shows, transportation and hotel accommodations, cakes and sweets, photographers and videographers, invitations, catering companies (if the venue doesn’t have an in-house caterer) and in most cases, planners will also go with you to meet these potential vendors.
  • Help negotiate and manage your contracts and develop a record tracking system for your payments
  • Coordinate your fittings and wedding rehearsal
  • Be there the day of the wedding to organize your vendors, ensure they show up on time, oversee set up and tear down- we leave after you leave.

Reading this it doesn’t look like much but when you realize the endless hours of work it entails to be glued to a computer coming up with multiple quotes from multiple vendors- you will understand why you’ve hired a planner…or at least why you should!

Part 2 will discuss how a Partial Planning works and why some couples opt for it instead!

Classic Love Songs: Our Top Picks

Struggling to find a first dance song? These might be oldies but they are goodies in so many ways! Here are our top 10 classic love song picks of all time!

Unchained Melody

One of our absolute favorites and always will be.

Your Song– Elton John

We won’t lie, this makes us relive Moulin Rouge all over again!

I Will Always Love You

Yes Whitney YES!

Endless Love– Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

A few renditions of this song have been done (thank you Luther and Mariah) but this one…

I Knew I Loved You– Savage Garden

We recall circa ’99 when this super sappy song was released…it’s still makes the top 10.

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing

Okay, okay so maybe I bawled like a third-grade sissy during the movie Armageddon…can you blame me?! Shout out to my child hood friend John Hamlin, this is our grade 7 throw back tribute! (Gets teary eyed)

My Heart Will Go On

“I jump, you jump, right?” Yep.

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You– Bryan Adams

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (Robin Hood) This song was a heart twinging tear jerker in the early 90’s.

Take My Breath Away– Berlin

Ahh yes, Top Gun: Tom Cruise…Nicole Kidman’s amazing hair- Berlin took our breath away!

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

Michael Jackson debut this song in ’87 and we won’t stop loving MJ either.

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 😉

AVP Blog Series-Wedding Venues in The 6ix: The Burroughes Building

B2I am so excited to spill the details of this particular venue, I will admit I am a little biased since my couple who got married there on a New Year’s Eve a few years back fell in love with the space. Located at 639 Queen St. West and Bathurst St, this location is eclectic and has quite the history!

The F.C. Burroughes Furniture Company erected the building in 1907 as its flagship retail department store. King Sol, a well known sporting and camping gear retailer called it home for 53 years, ending in 2002. Finally, the Queen Street Partners redeveloped the building. It’s beautiful exposed brick, hardwood floors and rustic essence minimizes the need for excessive décor.  Another feature worth highlighting are the two 100 plus year old restored elevators which brings to life the historical relevance to the venue.

Wedding Party

This hidden gem has actually hosted some of the city’s high profile events such as TIFF events, Holt Renfrew and Phillip Sparks fashion shows. It has also been chosen for fashion designer and bridal magazine photo shoots.

Since we are discussing venues in the 6ix, it makes sense that I highlight tCityscape.jpghat the 6th floor is the most popular location to hold a wedding or event. This floor give you access to the rooftop terrace, I might add that this “View from the 6ix” is unobstructed and absolutely gorgeous and has a bar and heaters (for those planning winter weddings!).

For those attending you wedding or event who are from out of town, this venue is located close to six (notice a theme here?) beautiful 4-5 star hotels including the Fairmont Royal York, The Thompson Hotel and the Shangri-La. Parking won’t be an issue either as there are several lots in the area that can be utilized.

Something to take note of is that The Burroughes requires outside catering but to make life easy, their venue coordinators (not to be confused with wedding planners) have preferred vendor lists that you can use to contact.

B3

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All in all this is a terrific and very unique space to host your event or wedding and is absolutely worth a tour!

Photo credits: www.derekcampbell.net; www.ashleyvictoriaproductions.com; www.theburroughes.com

Wedding Venues in The 6ix: National Event Venue

During some intense outsourcing I was conducting for some clients, I came across this intriguing and equally beautiful venue located at 1000 Finch Ave West (Finch and Dufferin) in the northwest area of the city- National Event Venue. When you first walk in, all I can say is – black and gold. Accents of gorgeous Baroque style furniture, dramatic velvet curtains held together by thick ropes, chandeliers…have I sold you yet? I’m not finished though!

There are so many eloquent features of this diamond in the rough that as a planner, get you so excited for your clients.  The lobby/cocktail area has a stylish bar where you can order your Cosmopolitan or scotch and has plenty of space for mingling. The European reception room is open concept with two stunning chandeliers at each end, a visible dance floor in the center and then a stage at the front. Mind you this isn’t just any stage, if the bride and groom so choose they can stand on a platform that is below the stage that will rise to the top of the stage for a surprise entrance!

In addition to all of this, there are massive LED TV screens with 360 projection mapping that allows you to share videos and photos with all of your guests.  As of recently they provide limousine services for pick up and drop offs as well. They have an incredible team that boasts stunning entertainment, whether it is professional dancers, live musicians, acrobatics or eek…snakes and fire!

Shall we talk gourmet cuisine? They have 3 menus or you can choose essentially any national cuisine you like, from Russian, Portuguese, Italian and more. Their chefs create beautiful and artistic presentations with each dish and will not disappoint your palate by any means. I accompanied my clients to a Saturday night tasting and they left full and completely impressed.

Alex and his staff are truly lovely people, so easy and kind to work with and are ready to cater to whatever your needs are. I am grateful to have such a fantastic working relationship with them and would recommend National Event Venue to everyone who is looking for a superior, first class experience for their wedding day! If you are a couple would like to book a viewing please contact me at Ashley@ashleyvictoriaproductions.com and I will be happy to take you or contact the venue directly at 416-650-0019

Photos taken from: http://www.nationaleventvenue.com; IsaacImage.com

National2

National Dancers

Acrobatics National

Dancers

Fire

Food 3 replaceFood 4

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Wedding Venues in The 6ix: The Avenue Banquet Hall

The Avenue is a fantastic little spot in Vaughan Ontario and one of the not so obvious but convenient aspects of it is that it’s close to all major highways (401, 407 and the Allen). We love the fact that parking is free, and if you have out of town guests, the hotels close by have reduced rates for those who choose to have their event at The Avenue.

Avenue1One thing that I can say I absolutely appreciated about this venue is that it’s literally one venue, so you don’t have to worry about multiple events taking place simultaneously to yours! This is a great selling point for brides who want to ensure there are no mix-ups or distractions on their big day. As a planner, even though we are used to it, it’s a relief to know there are no “hidden fees” that you will have to dig to find and explain to your clients. Many venues have so many additional fees and truthfully it can add up quickly. The Avenue is an exception, everything is up front and visible so there are absolutely no surprises!

Avenue3Another convenient aspect of this little gem is it has the main hall that it has lovely high ceilings and can hold up to 400 guests. There is also separate ceremony room and a private bridal suite and a variety of catering menus to choose from including Mediterranean, Portuguese, West Indian, Italian and more!

Avenue2Whether you are hosting an event or a wedding, the most comforting aspect of this venue for some will be the many 5 star reviews it has received from clients. There are rave reviews about the food, the service as well as working with Marla Kay and her pleasant and valuable experience. As I have met with Marla myself, it’s refreshing to say that she is one of the most open and candid venue coordinators I’ve met thus far and she loves what she does.

All in all, The Avenue is a venue to consider for any event or wedding so please contact them and book a time to view this banquet hall, you won’t have any regrets!

Contact Info:

1600 Steeles Ave, Vaughan ON 905 669 0777 info@theavenuebanquethall.com

 

Wedding Venues in the 6ix: An Introduction

In light of the new year, I thought we would start off with a blog series surrounding wedding venues in the 6ix a.k.a Toronto, Ontario.

One of the things I personally love about this city is the undeniable degree of diversity in everything. From food, fashion, music and language, Toronto has so much to offer to those who want to experience life to the fullest.  This is also true when it comes to wedding venues in the city. To put it bluntly, to get married in Toronto on a budget can be a challenge since it’s an expensive city to live in altogether. However, with constant changing trends with regard to the size of weddings, destination weddings etc, smaller venues are now emerging to cater to those couples who have a modest budget or prefer a more intimate wedding.

This series will take a look at several different wedding venues located in the 6ix for different budgets, couple styles and wedding size. It’s important to note that before you even start to look for a venue that you have a number of guests you plan to attend. Venue coordinators will need to know how many people you are planning to have attend for several reasons:

  1. The size of the guest list may determine whether or not you can fit that many sitting down and or standing up. If there are too many people then you may have to search for another venue that can hold the amount of guests you want.
  2.  There is most likely a minimum spend of food and drink plus the rental fee and if you have a smaller guest list you may not meet the minimum requirements.
  3.  The number of guests you want to have at your wedding has a direct affect on your budget since in most cases the couples covers the cost of dinner and the bar. Generally, the more guests, the more money you spend.

As we examine each venue, we will highlight the benefits of each venue and what makes them unique and a few other things. I hope you enjoy this upcoming series and that it helps you on your search to find your dream wedding venue here in the 6ix!