Boho Elopement

Part of being an event planner is working with other vendors on styled shoots to get to know them outside of real events! We had a wonderful time shooting this styled boho elopement at Cellar 52 in St. Jacobs, ON, and I can’t get over how beautiful it turned out!

Here are some of the beautiful shots we took:

Grateful for vendors that are so talented and flexible! If you are looking for vendors for your upcoming event in the Waterloo or surrounding area, check out the following!

Photographer: Honey Photography

Venue: Cellar 52

Catering: Little Mushroom Catering

Stationery: Sam Culham Creative

Bouquet: Heart and Sola Canada

Decor Rentals: Awe Event Rentals

Hair+ Makeup: BeautiMarkPro

Women’s Attire: David’s Bridal

Models: Adecia & Francois- Vogue Models and Talent

How To: Write the Perfect Toast

If you are not a huge fan of public speaking, the idea of performing a toast at your event or your loved one’s event can seem a bit daunting. Here are some tips to get you started and ensure that your toast is written and performed seamlessly.

1. Introduce yourself.

This is big, guys! It is so, so important to introduce yourself and your relationship to the guest of honor (unless of course, YOU are the guest of honor). Letting guests know who you are helps people to understand and relate more to the story you will be telling with your toast.

2. Write a few drafts.

If you’re stuck on where to begin, just start writing anything and everything down! Remember that your first draft doesn’t have to be your last, so jotting things down point form or editing things out later are perfectly fine options.

3. Keep it under 5 minutes.

Some guests of honor will set specific parameters (3 min, 5 min, etc) for how long they want your toast to be, so follow these parameters first. If they don’t set any parameters for you, sticking to five minutes or less will give you just enough time to say what you need to without guests getting bored.

4. Speak about the guest(s) of honor.

This one may seem obvious, but it sometimes gets forgotten when there is more than one guest of honor (think weddings), especially if you have a much closer relationship with one party than the other. It is definitely okay to lean heavier on the anecdotes about the person you are close with, but make sure you include one or two points about the other party, or the couple as a whole.

5. Make sure your toast isn’t too personal.

Of course you want to highlight the guest(s) of honor in your toast, but steer clear of embarrassing stories that they aren’t going to appreciate. Even if you think a story would be well received, it’s best to avoid it or double check with the guest(s) of honor before sharing anything too personal in your speech. It is also a good note to steer clear of any stories or inside jokes that the guests won’t understand.

6. Offer your well wishes.

One of the most important and meaningful parts of your toast will be offering your well wishes to the guest(s) of honor. Keep it simple and sincere so other guests will resonate with the message and toast along with you.

7. Practice out loud.

This is also so, so important! Even if you are a natural at public speaking, practicing your toast will ensure that your presentation goes smoothly and you are within the time frame you have been given.

Writing a toast can be difficult especially when you feel you have too little or too much to say. When all else fails, tell a quick story and wish the guest of honor well, and you will be good to go- this tip also helps if you forget your notes (please remember your notes)! You got this!

Should you hire a planner?

There are many ways that event planners can assist you in creating your dream event. However, if you aren’t confident that you want to hire a planner, here are some key things to think about to help you decide.

Budget: Often times, hiring a planner can actually save you money because of the connections they have with vendors. However, if your budget is tight, you may just not reasonably be able to hire a planner and still have room in your budget for the other things you want at your event.

Organization: Maybe you love organization and planning, and the idea of planning a large event excites you! In this case, you can probably manage a simple wedding or event with the help of friends and family. If your event has a lot of vendors and a lot of details to pay attention to, you might want a planner to ensure you don’t miss out on anything you know you want for your event. If you aren’t the most efficient when it comes to being organized and keeping a schedule, or if you want an extra pair of eyes to make sure you haven’t missed a step, a planner is going to save you a lot of time and effort.

Clerical Work: Planning a wedding involves a lot of communication with a lot of people. If you like clerical work, you might not find it daunting to communicate with many vendors at the same time. On the other hand, if you don’t enjoy checking emails, reading contracts, and keeping up with other forms of communication, it might be nice to have a planner who can take care of the majority of these tasks for you.

Vision: If you don’t have a clear vision of what you want your event to look like, having a planner especially in the beginning stages of planning can be key. Planners are trained to know how to creatively involve your interests and create a unique event that reflects your personality. You may already have a Pinterest board full of ideas, and in that case, you might be okay tackling those DIYs yourself to create your vision.

Other Responsibilities: Life gets busy, and if you have full time work or anything else that takes up the majority of your time, it might just not be practical to set aside a few hours a day to plan your event. Hiring a planner who has the time and knows how to work efficiently will be key to hosting the event you have been dreaming of.

Day-Of: As a general rule, it is always a good idea to have someone other than yourself that vendors or guests can come to with any questions on the day of the event. Maybe you have someone responsible close to you that could handle this task, but if you can’t think of anyone, or if you want your close friends and family to be able to relax and enjoy your event, it would be a good idea to hire a planner or coordinator, at least for the day of the event.

Hiring a planner is never a bad idea, as there are always ways that a planner can assist you and things that a planner may know that you might not think of. Hopefully, if you have been unsure of whether or not to hire a planner, this list gave you a little bit of clarity and you are closer to making your decision!

Budget’s tight? Here are the first things to cut from your event.

1. Your Guest List- If you want to save money on your event, consider cutting that guest list down. We all know events are expensive, and usually a higher guest list means a higher cost.

2. Stationery- For the most part, your guests won’t be keeping your stationery after the event. You can always cut down on stationery costs by reducing the amount of stationery you will have at your event, or by choosing simpler designs for the pieces you need. Evites are also becoming a more popular option, so if you are open to going this route you can save hundreds on postage and stationery fees.

3. Cake- You can have your elaborate dream cake displayed, but if you want to cut costs, consider having a few fake tiers- professional bakers will be familiar with arranging these to look seamless- and then serving slab cakes from the kitchen.

4. Florals- Don’t worry, I am not telling you that you can’t have any flowers at your wedding! However, there are many flower options for more affordable arrangements, and very often there are non-floral centerpiece and décor options that will suit your theme.

5. Alcohol- This is a huge budget-eater, and there are a few options for how you can lower the cost, such as having a toonie bar instead of an open bar, or serving just wine and signature drinks with dinner.

Ultimately, your priorities for your event will be unique to your vision for the day, but there are always options to lower costs while still hosting a beautiful event!

A Little Bit About Me

Planning special events can be incredibly personal, and if you are anything like me, it helps to get to know someone’s personality before you decide whether you want to work with them! The purpose of this post is to tell you a bit about myself, both the personal and business sides, so you can get a feel for who you will be sharing these special parts of your life with.

I grew up in a big family in the suburbs with my parents and 4 siblings. This made me quite the people person, and helped me to relate to people of varying ages and beliefs. Even though I love spending time around people, I am an introvert at heart and I love to recharge by watching tv or reading a good book with a nice cup of tea. I am obsessed with watermelon, my cat, Pickles, and I will never not want a good fruit pie. I think my jokes are hilarious, and my husband laughs to make me feel better about them. I love love, and I think everyone deserves to be loved and accepted for what makes them who they are.

A little over a year ago, I married my amazing husband Jake. We planned a fully outdoor wedding at the end of April and it ended up being one of the coldest days that month (hello snow). We ended up having to move our reception indoors last minute, and with the help of our amazing family and friends, everything turned out even better than we could have hoped. Our wedding taught me that no matter how worried you are of the things that can go wrong, your day will turn out exactly how it should, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.

As a planner, it is my job-among a million other things- to make sure there are backup plans in place, and to deal with any changes that need to happen so you can sit back and enjoy your day. Of course, if it is something as big as a venue change on the day of like mine was, you will be part of that decision, but for the most part, my job is to make sure that you aren’t aware of any problems until they are resolved. My goal in planning your event is to give you the day YOU are dreaming of. There may be suggestions I can give and advice I can offer when asked, but my dream as a planner is to ensure that we are executing your dream day and not anyone else’s. My hope for my business is that I can help those planning to host events to be able to be present on the day of their event, so they can have memories of the feelings that were there, the people that they talked to, and so much more. Planning an event yourself is definitely possible- though it is a lot of work- but when you plan your own event you too often end up missing out on experiencing it because you are busy managing things as the day unfolds. I want to help you by achieving your vision through the planning process, and then letting you step back on the day of to enjoy all that we have planned.

I hope that reading this has helped you to get to know me a bit better, and to help you understand my dream for planning your event with you!

Thanks for reading,

Jenna ❤