THE STORIES BEHIND THE EVENTS (or random things we think are cool...)

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Plaid Explosion

This was taken at the wedding of Doug Elliott to Greg Lawrence last summer. While Doug's name might not be familiar to a lot of you, he is the lawyer that took the same-sex marriage issue before the Supreme Court and fought that battle for over 10 years. In short, he is the person that made same-sex marriage possible in Canada. When he and long-term partner Greg decided to finally wed themselves, they asked all the male guests to dress in "Scottish Attire." I had no idea how many men would turn up in kilts -- with almost none being true Scots! During the reception, I thought it would be fun to get them all lined up at the edge of the cliff overlooking Lake Ontario and photograph this explosion of plaid. Except that by the time we got almost everyone rounded up, the sun was sinking fast and Storey Wilkins had to work quickly to get any kind of shot at all. Sadly, my other idea to have everyone turn around and then lift their kilts never came to fruition...
Thank you to Storey Wilkins who is always game for everything I thow at her...

Fun Place Card/Menu Idea

We did this for a rehearsal party awhile back -- since most of the guests were out-of-towners that night (in fact, most of them were out-of-country-ers), we decided to give them "Passports" to Canada when they arrived to the dinner. The passports worked twofold: The front said the guest's name and table number, then the inside held the menu (which we did like actual stamps in a passport). We had a lot of fun with this one; we even tucked a poem by e.e. cummings in the back; we didn't know at the time we designed it that he was the groom's favourite poet!
Apologies for the photos -- the first one is by a professional, the last two were taken with my phone!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Day the Ice Went Out

Every year the residents of the village where my father lives take bets as to which day the ice will finally go out... and while I'm not sure if anyone ever makes any money off this highly-competitive 'sporting' event, this year my sister and I happened to be there the day it happened. She shot this very short video -- we have no explanation for how this effect even occurred, but I can watch it over and over again. It's true... I really need a life...

Sarah & Rob in WedLuxe

We were so excited to receive the latest issue of WedLuxe Magazine last week and this edition did not disappoint! We were thrilled to see that the wedding that won us the title of "Wedding of the Year" was featured so beautifully. This was a truly spectacular event... it took place on the family farm, 2.5 hours outside of Toronto last summer. The setting was magnificent; Event Designer Bill Fulghum outdid himself and Jackson Huang of Ikonica managed to translate the beauty and feeling of the day into his photographs so perfectly. This was a big production, made all the more challenging because of the distance from the city -- nothing could be forgotten! Over 120 worker bees were onsite day-of to make sure everything went according to plan. Our favourite part? The main tent was filled with over 5000 peonies -- it was difficult to even describe the scent accurately. About as close to heaven on earth as I can imagine... You can read all about it in the magazine, click on the web version or see more photos on our website.
Thanks, Jackson, for letting me use your photos left, right and centre!

Earth, Wind & Fire

We recently did the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxillary Gala and had the opportunity to work with the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire. For anyone who's ever had to fulfill a band's rider before, you'll know that some of the requests are pretty unusual (think only red M&M's etc.) but lead singer Philip Bailey had a great one. For every performance, he asks for 5 (yes, five) POUNDS of fresh ginger root. Now, for anyone who's ever bought fresh ginger, you'll know it's as light as air... I couldn't wait to see what 5 pounds looked like. Needless to say, it was a lot! I was assured that this item was non-negotiable and the ginger tea he makes from the root is what he attributes his ability to hit the kind of notes that only dogs can hear. I'm happy to report that my jaw actually dropped open at one point during the performance -- I couldn't believe what he was doing with his voice. It was pretty crazy. Click here to read the BizBash article.
Photo courtesy of BizBash.

The Story Behind this Photo...

Ask any of us who work in the event industry -- we have some pretty great stories. And truth is almost always stranger than fiction. This particular story still gives me chills every time I re-tell it:
The wedding took place in Mont Tremblant, Quebec and making "the call" to hold the ceremony outdoors was particularly stressful as there were the biggest, blackest thunder clouds in the sky that day. When the hotel told me it was due to start raining at 5:00pm (ceremony was at 5:30), that didn't help (!) but we decided to bite the bullet and hold it beside the lake, surrounded by the majestic mountains. Here's a bit of background: the bride's grandmother passed away suddenly about 4 months before the wedding and her absence was the only sad element for the bride and her family that weekend. But! At the EXACT moment the groom put the ring on the bride's finger (it happened to be her late grandmother's wedding band), a single ray of light burst through the clouds and shone ONLY on them. If I hadn't seen it with my very own eyes, I never would have believed it.
By the way, torrential rains came down about 20 minutes after this photo was taken...
Special thanks to the staggeringly talented Michael Greenberg for capturing the magic and to Emily & Jeff, of course!

Sweetspot's 5th Birthday Party

We recently had the pleasure of working with the lovely ladies from Sweetspot to help organize their 5th anniversary party. I find it hard to believe that fantastic newsletter has been arriving in my inbox for five years now, so it was only fitting that they celebrated in very pink style AND raised money for the Canadian Women's Foundation at the same time. I wanted to give a special and sincere thank you to two people who went above and beyond any sense of duty and donated their products and services for next-to-nothing: Peter Somers from Contemporary Furniture Rentals and Paul Kenyon from Absolute Event Services. As professionals in the event industry, we are asked every single day for discounts and freebies (and when every charity is raising money for a good cause, it's hard to have to say no sometimes), but these two men stepped in and were so generous. Peter's pink chairs and ottomans were the hit of the party and Paul's lighting, staging and power were the quieter -- but no less important -- support players. Click here to read the article: Sweetspot's SpectacularSpectacular Party.

Deliberate Acts of Kindness

I recently did a charity event and was given a dakband for my efforts. dak is short for Deliberate Acts of Kindness and the concept behind these bracelets is so simple and wonderful. Here's how they work: you wear multiple dakbands on your wrist and when you witness someone doing something kind for someone else, you approach them and offer them 2 of your bands, in recognition of their gesture. At first people are a little surprised until you explain that a) you were so impressed/moved/overwhelmed (insert your own adverb) by what they just did and b) each dakband is numbered so they can go online at Deliberate Acts of Kindness and track where that band has been. And here's the great part: the next time THAT person sees someone else doing something nice for someone, THEY pass one of their bands on. Forget random acts of kindess, these bands honour people who choose to be kind to others. Check out the website for more details (including where the money goes from the sale of the initial bands) and see all the different countries they're making their way to as people are simply being nice to one another. There's even a couple on the site who chose to give the bands out at their wedding instead of favours... inspired! And to think the whole movement started right here in Toronto...

Always a Bridesmaid...

This is one of our favourite wedding photos from last year. This silly duck was going up and down the aisle during the ceremony, pecking at guest's feet, looking for food. Needless to say, she almost stole the show...
Thanks to Karen Whylie (and to Robin & Ehren) for the fantastic shot.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Paperless Post

I came across an article in the Globe & Mail newspaper the other day about Paperless Post. What a great thing for anyone who wants to send out invites via email. Their designs are great and all look like they're letterpressed (the envelope that recipients have to 'open' is particularly fantastic) and the interface is easy to use; I know because I tried it out right away. See them here: www.paperlesspost.com