Priceless Advice From Four Toronto Wedding Planners

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, home to over 2.5 million people. Hundreds of happy couples are planning their weddings at any given time during the year, and their busy lives make it tough for them to stay on top of all the little details that go into planning a wedding. Whether it’s an intimate backyard affair or a large ballroom wedding, these Toronto wedding planners make it easy to plan your dream wedding and are there to help every step of the way. We interviewed four of the most in-demand wedding planners in the Greater Toronto Area to learn about their businesses,  see what they think are the hottest trends and find out what every bride needs to know when planning her wedding.

Status Events

Telephone: (416) 823-6134

Status Events is a full service special event production company with over 10 years of event experience servicing the corporate, social and wedding industries. We love to plan and design elegant, luxurious and timeless events. Our clients lead busy lives and have limited time but all have one thing in common – the need to produce the perfect event!

We specialize in full service event planning and design as well as day-of coordination for weddings of all sizes and styles. All of our wedding packages are customized to suit your wedding planning needs.

Toronto wedding planner Status Events

1. What made you want to be a wedding planner?

As I entered my fourth year of university I decided to take courses in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship. I thought it would be neat to own my own business but I had no idea what kind of business that would be. My roommate at the time was in the same program but was taking marketing and event management courses, this piqued my interest; she was doing some really neat things! I started tagging along to some of the events she was working on and helped her out. Lo and behold I found my passion for event planning!

After university the two of us started up Status Events as a corporate event management company. Our first event was a wedding…not quite the corporate event that we were going for but we didn’t want to say no to the opportunity. After that first wedding the phone kept ringing with potential brides; we just couldn’t ignore that and I’m so glad we didn’t, I absolutely love every minute of wedding planning!

2. What is the most difficult part of wedding planning?

I currently have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Pinterest is absolutely wonderful for getting inspired and getting a sense of our clients’ style however, Pinterest can cause us much headache with our clients. My worst nightmare to hear from a client…”I saw this incredible picture on Pinterest, I just HAVE to have it at my wedding” followed by them showing me their cell phone adorning a picture of Kim Kardashian’s dream wedding. Pinterest can create an unrealistic expectation for today’s brides who are not in the social category of “rich and famous”. As a wedding planner it is my job to keep the couple happy and within budget while planning their dream wedding. Having to break the news that I can’t deliver their beloved Pinterest vision within their budget is definitely the most difficult part of my job!

3. What are new and emerging trends you see in weddings?

We are starting to see what some would classify as an “untraditional” wedding format become the trend. Cocktail style receptions and brunches are becoming very popular. Brunch weddings open up a whole new world of options to Brides and Grooms. In the GTA some of the most sought out wedding venues can be booked 1-2 years in advance causing engaged couples to settle on a venue that is available or extend the length of their engagement for their dream venue. Considering a brunch wedding can open up your venue options, as many venues would be able to accommodate for the brunch and still host a dinner reception.

4. What is the most common question every bride asks you and what is your answer?

“Do we have to….” There are parts of weddings that not everyone likes to take part in. “Do we have to have a cake cutting”, “Do we have to have a wedding party”, “Do we have to do the bouquet toss”. My answer is always no! You never “HAVE” to do anything that you don’t want to do. There are no traditions in today’s wedding industry, in fact the new tradition is to break all old traditions and do what makes you happy and most comfortable on your wedding day.

5. What is a common mistake every bride makes when planning her wedding by herself?

Almost every couple I speak to that didn’t use a wedding planner tells me that they went over budget on their wedding. To me that means they never had a realistic budget to begin with. Weddings are expensive; there is no doubt about it. If you have never planned a wedding before or worked in the wedding industry it is hard to know how much everything will cost and you can easily fall into a trap of overspending. It’s easy to know your overall wedding budget but breaking that down into categories for each vendor can be difficult. My rule of thumb is 50% of your overall budget will go towards food, beverage and venue costs. It’s important to keep in mind that this number should included taxes and gratuities. If you go venue hunting and find a venue that is offering a rate of $100 per person including your taxes and gratuities and you have 150 guests that is $15,000. Double that number and you have an overall wedding budget of $30,000. That is the calculation that I use for all of my clients and it has never steered me wrong.

6. What is your most memorable moment as a wedding planner?

There are so many memorable moments that I could share. However, one that I will always remember and was a huge lesson for me dates back two years ago. I began working with this couple and at the time they seemed pretty similar to previous clientele; excited to be getting married, worked full-time, very friendly and lovely to work with. We planned your standard rustic wedding with mason jars, wood slabs and gerbera daisies galore, a beautiful yet simple wedding that spoke to the bride and grooms true personalities. Throughout the planning process it became very clear to me that they wanted to make sure their guests were taken care of and had a good time. We were careful to spend their money in the areas that were important to them and save in the areas that weren’t. Every guest had a wonderful time and the bride and groom couldn’t have been happier with their special day.

When everything was said and done and clean up was complete I went upstairs to drop off my storage room key to the hotel front desk when the front desk attendant said “I heard the bride and groom won the Lotto Max”….I stared at him blankly and said “I’m sorry?” He replied, “Yeah, I overheard some of the guests talking in the lobby and they said the bride and groom won the Lotto Max.” I quick little Google search confirmed that the hotel attendant was correct there on my phone was a picture of the groom holding a giant cheque for $50 million dollars!!!! Immediately my mind began racing, here we had just planned such an understated event. Don’t get me wrong it was beautiful but had I have known they had money to spend I could have planned a much more elaborate and glamorous rustic affair for them. I was thinking this the whole way home when I quickly realized that I was being ridiculous. The bride and groom were so elated with their wedding; it was everything they had dreamed of and truly matched their understated personalities. They weren’t flashy people, and they stayed true to their values and humble nature throughout the planning process. This was a HUGE lesson for me. Had I have known about their fortune before planning their wedding I could have easily been carried away with “spending” their money to create a glamorous show-off type of wedding and could have lost sight of who the bride and groom really were and what was important to them. I keep this in mind when meeting with all of my clients moving forward and pay attention to what makes them the people that they are and what is important to them.

7. If you could give a bride-to-be one piece of advice before her wedding what would it be?

Don’t get overwhelmed with all of the online resources available to brides. There are wedding websites, chat rooms, Pinterest and resources galore that just leave you wanting more. These resources although designed to help you throughout your planning process can sometimes just add unnecessary stress. Don’t feel like you need to have every idea you see online at your wedding. Pick and choose a few unique items that speak to you and incorporate them into your special day. Simple is better and the less you try to incorporate the less stressed you will be to make sure it all gets done.

 

Melissa Andre Events

Address: 182 Davenport Rd, LL, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1J2

Telephone: (647) 352-5552

Melissa Andre Events is a full-service creative agency and event design firm awarded for producing some of the most imaginative and luxurious celebrations and campaigns worldwide. With a commitment to the highest level of service and continuously creating event experiences with a refined whimsical quality, our design portfolio remains unparalleled. Specializing in lifestyle industries including beauty, fashion, hospitality, and spirits, Melissa Andre Events Team are dedicated to producing innovative designs, products and content for our clients and readers that elevate the notion of entertaining to an art – with a theatrical quality and consistent beauty, always maintaining the MAE brand image, sensibility and aesthetic. Mobilizing their unmatched knowledge about events and design and their extensive research into any aspect of an event, the team transforms familiar techniques, references and ideas into aspirational, wondrous and unforgettable events. Their dedication to the final result and stress-less process for the client along the way is what makes them truly distinguished from the rest.

Toronto wedding planner Melissa Andre Events

1. What made you want to be a wedding planner?

I have a fine arts and business background – I wanted a creative career that blended both. I worked in the fashion industry for some time as well -so planning events and designing parties has allowed me to blend my passions and interests.

2. What is the most difficult part of wedding planning?

The guest list! it’s forever changing and affects the floor plan, stationery, rentals, custom production pieces, favours…

3. How are weddings changing this year compared to last year?

We don’t really follow trends  – but I’ll say that every year I’m inspired by new things and I bring these inspirations to my designs.

4. What are new and emerging trends you see in weddings?

I’m designing more of our weddings like formal dinner parties – more courses, less speeches, better cocktails, less dancing, fewer expected elements, more creativity, elevated fashion choices, refined menus. It’s quite refreshing.

5. What is the most common question every bride asks you and what is your answer?

Will I get to see everything before the day!!??

In our business, we produce quite a few custom elements – so in fact, some things she will only see on the day because they’re being created especially for her. But she would see renderings and swatches and pantones and dimensions… I think it’s quite exciting to have that element of surprise rather than just seeing pieces other brides have already had at their weddings. It makes it special

6. What is a common mistake every bride makes when planning her wedding by herself?

Planning a wedding is tricky! You never want to book something then find out there is a better option. Or confirm an element and then see something you like better. It’s best to have all the best options laid out for you so that you can make the best decisions or rely on a designer to make those decisions for you.

7. What is your most memorable moment as a wedding planner?

I’d have to say it’s the moment that everything comes together before guests arrive. It’s a quick second to appreciate all the work that has gone into the design. All of the vendors who have produced pieces especially for this project.  The perfect marriage of every element, complementing one another. I love watching guests come in and truly appreciate how gorgeous the space looks. It’s months and months of planning and designing, finally realized.

I planned and designed Roberto Alomar’s wedding and I produced this beautifully starry sky in the art gallery in Ontario and projected snow on the walls so the guests felt like they were eating outside. The entire ceiling of the gallery was wrapped in black fabric and then 30,000 tiny twinkling stars on dimmers were lifted into the sky. When finally finished that 3 day elaborate setup – I had to take a moment to step back and admire how gorgeous it looked.

8. If you could give a bride-to-be one piece of advice before her wedding what would it be?

Hire a professional planner and designer that understands the space you’re working with and can elevate your vision and truly impress you.

 

Love by Lynzie

Address: 142 Mulock Ave., Toronto, Ontario M6N 3C6

Telephone: (416) 262-6956

Why Love? Because it’s awesome. And because it’s what we live for. Love is unqiuely at the heart of everything we do. And we believe that love, in all its forms, should be celebrated joyfully.

At Love by Lynzie Weddings + Events, we plan artistic, inspired, flawless weddings and events. We aim to discover what makes your story different and celebrate it. Our team’s equal emphasis on creating handmade, one of a kind designs and organizing seamless, cohesive timelines, makes our client experience exciting, stress free and entirely enjoyable. Love by Lynzie is available for service in Toronto, the GTA, Muskoka and wherever you want to take us.

Toronto wedding planner Love By Lynzie

1. What made you want to be a wedding planner?

I love both the creative opportunities and organizational necessities it presents. I have always been a very type A personality with a strong artistic, passionate side so it seemed like best way to marry and utilize these qualities. I also loved being forced to think on my feet and problem solve in the heat of the moment. Lastly, I firmly believe that Love is Awesome and should be celebrated artistically, flawlessly and originally. As a wedding planner, I constantly surround myself with this mantra, and it brings good vibes!

2. What is the most difficult part of wedding planning?

Keeping communication open and efficient between all vendors, the couple and important family members. There are a lot of opinions, rules, and limitations when planning a wedding, and it is my job to facilitate efficient and open communication between all parties – this can get tricky when emotions are involved.

3. How are weddings changing this year compared to last year?

The mason jar and blush pink are on the outs. I know brides are still loving pastels and shabby chic decor, but I am pushing a trend toward the inclusion of new, not-seen colour schemes and unique vintage items that tell the couple’s love story. Couples are becoming more open to original events that speak to their heritage and personal experiences rather than repeating things everyone has already seen 10 times last summer.

4. What are new and emerging trends you see in weddings?

I am loving the use of jewel toned colour schemes. I am seeing a huge revival in colour and I personally want this to grow! Brides need more colour in their lives! I am loving the return to live music at weddings instead just a DJ. I think pairing a great live band with a DJ can bring so much energy to your event. I am also loving integrated paper suite designs with the entire event design. Paper and Invites have come a long way and are really the first introduction to your party! They should be amazing.

5. What is the most common question every bride asks you and what is your answer?

Why is everything so expensive? My answer: I don’t know. On one hand, it’s really important to understand that if you want quality, if you want your wedding to look like it’s from a magazine, if you want the most delectable cake ever, etc. You will have to pay for it. On the other hand, I tend to work with vendors who are priced fairly for their services and products and make a conscious effort not to gouge clients. Weddings are not about the money spend, but much more about the excitement, emotion and expression behind the event itself.

6. What is a common mistake every bride makes when planning her wedding by herself?

On the day of the wedding, you need a day of planner. If you can’t afford a professional, at least delegate a very organized friend to act as a buffer, or you’ll be answering vendor questions all day rather than talking to friends and family.

7. What is your most memorable moment as a wedding planner?

I’ve been planning weddings for 4 years now and have watched my company grow from 2 weddings in my first year, to over 35 this year. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every single minute of the ride. I have been faced with situations I never thought I would face. For example, this past weekend, I experienced my first torrential hail storm in the middle of an outdoor, October wedding. Who would have thought? It was incredible and trying and hilarious and I loved it. You have to be flexible, and up for anything. To this day, I still love sending a bride down the aisle, I love hearing a groom say his vows, and I love watching a girl dance with her Dad. Some traditions die hard for me. This job has allowed me to make some incredible lifelong friends who are likeminded individuals and who bring joy and excitement to the events I plan. When I show up to an event and know I am working with Scarlet, Tanya, Beth, Kat or so many more of these amazing women, I actually dance! I am so stoked to call these people my colleagues and to create with them! Next September, I will be planning my sister’s wedding. She is a 10-year kidney transplant survivor and sending her down the aisle will mean everything to me.

8. If you could give a bride-to-be one piece of advice before her wedding what would it be?

I host a yearly event called Fatal Flaws and Simple Solves where I discuss the most common ones I see, but I would say the biggest two are improperly scheduling the day’s timing and not delegating a day of planner. Timing of the day is crucial- if you don’t have a planner, be sure you talk to your vendors to really understand how much time they need to achieve the product you want on the day, especially your photographer.

 

One Fine Day Event Planning and Design

Telephone: (416) 522-0503

Planning the ultimate celebration is our passion. From large and lavish to elegant and intimate, our creations will reflect your vision, style and sensibilities. We are an award winning wedding planning boutique specializing in luxury weddings. Exquisite style, meticulous planning, flawless execution and unprecedented service are what we are known for.

Owner and principal planner of One Fine Day Event Planning and Design, Melissa Samborski, directs a team of Toronto’s most experienced and stylish wedding planners. Our work has been featured in the top bridal magazines and wedding blogs across North America -Wedluxe, Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde and Martha Stewart just to name a few.

Toronto wedding planner One Fine Day Event and Design

1. What made you want to be a wedding planner?

It was a total career change. I worked in the industry and saw so many bad planners and I wanted to change that.

2. What is the most difficult part of wedding planning?

Trying to make all sides of the families happy. It’s always a challenge to make different generations happy. But I always strive to find that perfect balance.

3. How are weddings changing this year compared to last year?

They’re changing all the time. I find the days of signature drinks are long gone. This year we worked with a lot of gold tones, which we love. No more late night burgers and poutine!

4. What are new and emerging trends you see in weddings?

More and more couples are leaning towards cocktail receptions and trying to keep their wedding day small and intimate.

5. What is a common mistake every bride makes when planning her wedding by herself?

They tend to always underestimate how fast the day will go by and of course underestimate the budget!

6. What is your most memorable moment as a wedding planner?

There is not just one moment that comes to mind but rather many moments. I think as a planner my favourite part is always seeing the day of transformation. From the bride in casual jeans and a tshirt to that designer dress. When I get to take the couple into their reception room for the first time is always a favorite moment of mine. It’s months or years of planning that are coming to life and to see it come to life is always awesome. First dance and parent dances are always very special too especially when there is an exceptional story behind them. As a planner being a part of moments is the best part of my job and I would not trade it for anything.

7. If you could give a bride-to-be one piece of advice before her wedding what would it be?

Relax and enjoy the experience!

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Priceless Advice From Four Toronto Wedding Planners
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We asked four of the most in-demand wedding planners in Toronto for their expert advice and opinions. Here's what you need to know about wedding planning.
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1 Response

  1. Beverly Beauford says:

    Hello, I’m inquiring about a special wedding that my fiancé and I want to have. We live in Miami and will be relocating to Atlanta in May 2015. We want to get married in Toronto and Honeymoon there as well. A private wedding with just the two of us is what we are looking for. Non-traditional. What kind of package can you put together for this kind of wedding???

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