My Journey so Far: Working with Kari Lywood Events

Working with Kari Lywood Events has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to date.

Beginning my journey with Kari Lywood Events back in May 2016 as an intern, I have been fortunate enough to have been a part of many weddings, learning how to make a client’s special day as magical as possible. Now, as an event coordinator with Kari Lywood Events, I am excited to continue my learning and share my experiences.

To date, I have been lucky to have been involved in weddings ceremonies and receptions at Eagle’s Nest Golf Course, Fantasy Farm, Century Barn, and various venues in the Distillery District. Each has been unique and different from one another, from theme, to decor, to celebration style, but each had been so incredibly beautiful in their own ways.

Favourite Moments

I’d have to say, my favourite moments so far have always been the moment the bride and groom see each other for the first time.  These moments are so incredibly beautiful (and somehow ALWAYS make me cry!). All of the stress of planning and rushing around on the day of seems to disappear in that first look.

Setting up the ceremony and reception decor is also an area that always gets me excited. I’ve grown to love being able to assist in transforming a couple’s vision into reality, right down to the fine details with other vendors on their day-of.

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How I’ve Grown

Beginning on this journey, I never truly understood just how essential a wedding coordinator could be to a couple’s planning process. Having been involved in quite a few weddings with Kari Lywood Events, I can now more confidently speak to the importance of a coordinator to ensure your special day runs smoothly. Ultimately, our job is to keep your day to its set schedule and handle any issues that may arise so you, the couple, don’t need to.

As a graduate with a degree specializing in Media and Communications, I never thought I would end up in event coordination. However, I couldn’t see it as a better fit! With my love of styling and detailing, spending my days with couples and translating their hopes, ideas, and dreams into something tangible is the most fulfilling and rewarding experience.

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Although my journey with Kari Lywood Events has only just begun, I am so incredibly excited to explore where it will go in the future!

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Stephanie

Wedding and Event Stylist and Coordinator with Kari Lywood Events

 

Check out our business pages to see some more of our work!

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Why Hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator?

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Let’s be honest – planning a wedding is NOT an easy task. In the months before your big day, not only are you confronted with the tasks of planning and organizing your celebration, but you also take on the responsibility of overseeing roles that have been delegated to your wedding party. The hiring of a wedding planner can alleviate a lot of this stress and responsibility, allowing you to sleep easier at night and be truly excited for your celebration.

When considering the hiring of a professional to help you out, you must decide whether you need a planner or a coordinator.While both are similar in nature, a coordinator plays more of a role on your special day to ensure that all is running smoothly. Here, we’ll discuss the difference between the two roles, but why the hiring of either professional is essential for your wedding day.

The Wedding Planner

Working with you from the beginning of your process, a wedding planner will assist you in all decision making – from design, to catering, to venue selection and vendor bookings (as a short list). Planners are also key for contract negation – because a planner is likely more involved in the industry than either of you as a couple, they are trained to recognize specific details, and potentially get you a better deal than originally quoted. Since involved from very early on in the planning process, a planner will be able to organize all of the specifics of your wedding so you don’t need to! – ultimately allowing you to sleep confidently and at peace that your plan is executed to its fullest potential.

 

The Day-of Coordinator

A day-of coordinator is responsible for covering all communications with your vendors beginning a few weeks before your wedding, and ensuring that all runs smoothly on your special day, according to your established timeline. By managing all of the details of your wedding, both you and your wedding party are able to enjoy their day without all of the stress that comes along with ensuring things are happening on time. Something as simple as taking over vendor communication prior to your wedding day when you are already bombarded with last minute tasks and errands to complete relieves great amounts of stress from you as a couple. Allow us to confirm all of your details and work out the logistics for your day of!

 

If you are considering a friend or family member to take on these responsibilities, especially the day of your wedding, we encourage you to reconsider, and hire a professional! While their acceptance of this role may be considered a nice gesture, ultimately, they are a guest at your wedding, and should be able to enjoy the day as much as you are. Also, because they are so close to you, they will most likely become preoccupied with the events of the day that the responsibility handed to them may be placed on the back burner. This is where we come in! Allow your planner or coordinator to take over responsibility and ensure all is running smoothly and that any issues that may arise are addressed and handled immediately.

Don’t fear that hiring a planner or coordinator will take away from the experience of planing your special day! We are here to work with you, and bring your dreams to life! We can help take all of your ideas and narrow them down to make your day perfect!

Here at Kari Lywood Events, we offer both planning and coordinating packages to suit your every need and budget. We are here to work with you and ensure that your special day is both stress-free, and all you ever dreamed of! For more information, visit our website today to review our packages, or fill out the form below to inquire!

We can’t wait to work with you!

Written by: Stephanie La Civita, Event Planner at Kari Lywood Events

The Big Three: Choosing your Venue, Entertainment, and Photographer

Your special day is quickly approaching! In order to make your celebration the most enjoyable and memorable it can be, careful selection of your venue, entertainment, and photographer is essential. We at Kari Lywood Events have put together some key tips to consider when considering the selection of these major vendors.

 

Venue Selection

 

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Photo Credit: The Bell Tower on 34th

Keeping in mind your budget, consider venues that speak to your personalities as a couple and those that can accommodate your desires for decor and styling. Are you hosting both your ceremony and reception at the same venue? Are you considering an outdoor wedding?  Will your guest count limit your options? Consider these thoughts while conducting your research.

A good idea when sourcing potential venues is to record all information you are able to obtain in a spreadsheet or powerpoint with photos. This way, when you have looked at multiple venues, you can cross-compare all of the information and eliminate those right away that cannot accommodate your wishes. Be sure to note not only the name and location of the venue, but also its capacity, availability, parking details, catering, facility extras (such as tables, chairs, linens, and A/V equipment), and most importantly, their rates. If possible, save some photos of each so that you are able to better visualize your day. While not all of this information may be available on the venue’s website, reach out via email or phone and gather as much information as possible so that making your decision can be that much easier. It is important to research these key ideas when sourcing out venues so you can begin to consider whether or not the venue can fit into your budget. If the venue has higher rates for the time of year you are considering having your celebration, has an exclusive caterer, or does not provide some of these facility extras, your tab may skyrocket.

Once you have been able to narrow your list down to your favourites and those that best fit your dream, visit them! Explore the grounds and take a tour so you can better visualize your celebration. This is also a great time to gain more insight into specifics for your event by discussing with staff members. Most importantly, go prepared with questions, a camera, and a notebook! Take down all of the information you learn that day so that you can revisit your notes with your fiancée in a few days and make a decision.

 

DJ and Entertainment Selection

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Photo Credit: BeatMixology

Everyone loves a good celebration! Therefore, the selection of the right DJ or entertainment is crucial. Just like your venue sourcing, spend time doing research and reading testimonials. Reach out to those that interest you and communicate your desires – what type of music you and your fiancée wish to have played during your celebration. Sometimes, particular DJs or bands are more comfortable or better suited to particular genres, so be sure to discuss this before booking. You’ll also want to consider the duration of their set – will they be playing solely during the entrance and dance time? During your meal? During your ceremony as well? These are all things you will want to discuss with your prospects. Many times, the DJ or entertainment service will offer MC services as well. Inquire about this if you do not want to delegate the task to a family member or friend during your celebration.

 

Photographer Selection

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Photo Credit: Seth Partridge

Finally, one of the most important elements of your special day is the selection and hiring of a photographer and/or videographer. In depth research and careful consideration is essential. Not only will they be responsible for capturing the most special moments of your day, you will want to ensure that their creative eye is in line with your desires. Every photographer is different and specializes in particular areas (detail shots, portraits, etc.). You, as a couple, will want to determine a photography style, set up interviews, and view multiple pieces of work from your prospects. If you desire more candid shots, you’ll want to source a photographer who specializes in documentary versus portraiture, which would entail much more styled shots instead of candid. Meet with those who interest you and request to see their work, asking any questions and addressing any reservations you may have. Most importantly, you’ll want to be sure your personalities mesh! Nothing can bring more tension and stress to your celebration than working with a vendor (especially one who is so critical to the day) who you do not get along with.

 


In considering all of these elements for your special day, it is also worth thinking about hiring a day-of coordinator. At Kari Lywood Events, we offer day-of coordination packages that are designed to alleviate all stress from you as a couple, your friends, and family members on your special day. After all, this IS a celebration! Our coordinators will review your current to-do list, create a detailed itinerary for your wedding day, and communicate with your vendors to share your itinerary and any special instructions you may have! From 14-days prior to your wedding day, our coordinators will be the main point of contact and attend your rehearsal, assisting with on-site coordination. Hiring a day-of coordinator allows you to be confident that each of your guests are having the best time possible, responsibility free, and that you as a couple can celebrate your special day to its fullest extent.

For more information on our packages, visit our website at www.karilywoodevents.com or fill out the form below!

 

 

Written by Stephanie La Civita, Event Coordinator at Kari Lywood Events

 

How to Start Planning your Dream Wedding

Congratulations! Before you begin your new lives as a happily married couple, the planning of your celebration must commence. We at Kari Lywood Events have put together some simple steps and reminders to help with your planning process.

Set the Date

Setting the date for your wedding is one of the first, and most essential steps in beginning to plan your dream day. Not only do many venues book up well in advance, this date will be critical when contacting  all other vendors for your day. Having this date in mind will also allow your to prioritize items on your checklist and allow for a clear path for you to follow over the next few months.

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Photo Credit: Zazzle.com

 

Choose your Colours or Theme

This is where it gets fun – infuse your personalities!! Use colours and decor that best represent you as a couple. Knowing your ideal colours and theme are not only important for your decor at both your ceremony and reception, but are also extremely important for elements such as invites, flowers, and bridal party gowns. Decide whether you would like to have a more modern, romantic, or traditional feel to your wedding and choose colour palettes that compliment this, spreading similar style across all elements of your wedding for a cohesive, consistent appeal.

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Photo Credit: enville.com

 

Environment and Venue

Now you need a place! Visit multiple venues and see what can be best offered to fit your taste, personalities, and budget.

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Photo Credit: bridebox.com

 

Dress Shopping!

Every girl’s favourite moment – finding “the one”! Start EARLY! This process takes time, and you do NOT want to feel rushed or pressured into a particular gown because of time constraints. Don’t settle. Fall in love. Keep in mind (multiple) alterations will be needed, and aim to have your dress well ahead of your wedding date.

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Photo Credit: Lockhart’s Weddings and Special Occasions

Mail Invitations

Receiving a physical invitation in the mail for a wedding is always both traditionally valued and truly sentimental. Take the time to send each of your guests individual invitations! Follow-up thank you notes to each of your guests is always appreciated as well.

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Photo Credit: Shine Wedding Invitations

Arrange Entertainment and Photography

Time to make your celebration the best it can be – this is YOUR DAY! Bring together your guests with a live DJ or band, fun activities, and a great photographer who can document the celebration as it happens. Join your guests in the festivities, and create your first memories as a newly married couple.

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Photo Credit: Wedding Idea Box

 

 

Hire Help!

The planning process can be both overwhelming and, at times, challenging. Hire help! Handing off some of the responsibilities to a coordinator not only eliminates stress in the planning process and on your day, but allows both you and your loved ones to enjoy your celebration to the fullest, worry-free. Allow us to take on any troubles that may arise during the planning process or celebration! And most importantly, enjoy your day!

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At Kari Lywood Events, we offer a variety of coordinating packages to suit the needs of your big day. Visit our website for more details, and forward all inquiries to kari@karilywood.com. We can’t wait to help make your day as special as possible! 

-Stephanie La Civita

Top Trends of the 2016 Wedding Season

Personality and creativity are key this wedding season. As couples are becoming increasingly interested in making their weddings a more intimate and overall fun experience for their guests, the infusing of personal elements into various areas of the ceremony are sure to make your wedding unique and extraordinary.

The Celebration

Brunch Weddings

Brunch weddings are an interesting and different way to celebrate with your guests. Having a brunch wedding brings a more casual and laid-back vibe to the celebration where decorations can be kept simple and guests can dress up or down as much as they would like. A ceremony and celebration in this style allows the couple to be as elegant and extravagant as they choose, often with a smaller bill. Besides, who doesn’t love a mimosa!

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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Designs

The Look

Boho

Off-the-shoulder dresses in cream and blush are one of the biggest trends for brides this season. Perfect for the bride that wants a little bit of arm coverage without looking too covered.

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Photo Credit: Krisztina Williams Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle

Deep-Vs

The deep-v cut gown steps away from traditional ideologies of a bridal gown, but paired with soft lace, enhances the collarbone and shoulders while slimming the overall figure.

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Photo Credit: Canadian Living

Mismatched Bridesmaids

Similar colours and styles are essential to executing this trend successfully at your celebration. This trend allows the members of your bridal party to select a dress that they are more likely to feel comfortable in and wear again, while still creating a cohesive look among your party.

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Photo Credit: Chloe Jackman

Decor

This wedding season brings loads of visual and aesthetic trends to suit any interest. From metallics, to bold pops of colour, to rustic chic there is something for every couple.

Metallics

As described by Harriette Rose, a New-York City event planner, metallics have the potential to be “elegant, whimsical, ethereal or even very natural”. Rosegolds or blush hues are key to creating a soft, romantic ambiance.

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Photo Credit: elegantwedding.ca

Lighting

Intimate lighting with soft glows are a huge trend, contributing to the overall romantic aura of the celebration. Fixtures such as candelabras, chandeliers, and “Edison bulbs” are all great and simple ways to elevate the sentimental feeling of the room.

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Photo Credit: Wedding Party

Rustic Chic

Wooden details bring a natural element to the wedding, providing a nice contrast to soft metallics and palettes. Decorate the venue with natural pieces such as lace, baby’s breath, and hay, paired with creative and modern elements that add personality.

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Photo Credit: Amber Green Photography

Family Style Seating

Moving away from round tables, the incorporation of long rectangular tables and lounge areas with comfortable seating areas for cocktail and after-party hours allows for a more intimate atmosphere. These table styles also allow for flexibility with serving styles that allow for greater interaction among guests.

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Photo Credit: Brides of Oklahoma

Pops of Colour

Bright accent colours are one of the final decor trends of the season. The incorporation of bold colours such as coral and plum among soft hues provides not only contrast, but visual appeal and personality.

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Photo Credit: Bruce Gardner Photography

Centrepieces

Free-Form Bouquets

This “just-picked” look with both big and small blossoms in multiple colours and shades, can use whichever flowers are in season to create a distinct, fun look. To make the bouquets even more visually appealing, ask your florist to use various flowers in similar shades to create a gradient, ombre effect, or, opposite ends of the colour spectrum for a more romantic feel. For another creative twist, ask your florist to include fragrant “edible”items such as coffee beans or herbs, or even berries for an additional pop of colour. Remember, flowers aren’t always necessary for a centrepiece! Using decorative leaves, ferns, blooming branches and lavender sprigs can have just as beautiful visual appeal as a full bouquet of flowers.

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Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Cocktail Hour

His and Hers Cocktails

Incorporating your favourite beverages into the cocktail hour brings more personality to the celebration and creates a conversation piece.

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Photo Credit: Southern Bride and Groom

Grown-Up Popsicles

Cool down your summer wedding with your favourite cocktail transformed into a frozen treat to put a spin on cocktail hour.

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Photo Credit: Images by Lori

Pairings

Step away from the predictable wine-with-food pairing, and pair cocktails with food! This makes cocktail hour more fun and gives you the opportunity to infuse some personality and your favourite items into the menu in a way your guests will never forget!

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Photo Credit: At Your Table

Deserts and Cakes

“Naked” Cakes

Many couples are moving away from fondant cakes and moving back to buttercream for the light and simplistic taste. A trend gaining more popularity that breaks traditional wedding cake perceptions are “naked” cakes – unfrosted or partially frosted caked topped with berries and fresh flowers.

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Photo Credit: AFM Banqueting

Hand Painting

Hand painted designs on your wedding cake can give a more bohemian vibe to your celebration, and can even be tied over to your invitations or decor.

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Photo Credit: Intimate Weddings

Flavours

Gone is the traditional custard or vanilla flavouring of cake – new cake trends include salted caramel, champagne, and white chocolate mousse, giving guests a decadent treat at the end of their meals.

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Photo Credit: bonappetit.com

Photography and Video

Of course, photos and video are essential to your special day, capturing every precious moment. Action shots and candid photos are a great way to tell a story and convey the emotions you are feeling throughout your celebration. Mixing film and digital also brings interesting contrast to your documentation. Use polaroid cameras! Not only are the photos instantly printed, they give guests a special memory of the night to take home with them and brings an element of fun to the evening. Photos and videos beginning shortly before and ending just after the ceremony and celebration are a final way to capture the entire experience, capturing up to an entire week’s worth of the journey you are about to embark on together.

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Photo Credit: Aevistas Weddings

On behalf of Kari Lywood Events, we would like to congratulate all of our brides tying the knot in 2016! 

-Stephanie La Civita

Photo blog: top naked cakes

Today’s blog post is, in some way, a continuation of last week’s “2016 wedding trends” post. Stated as one of #KariLywoodEvents’ favourite 2016 wedding trends was naked cakes.  Of course, this trend is not limited to just weddings; they’re great for many types of events and we can’t wait to start suggesting them. We love this new trend so much that we want to share with all of our readers some of our top picks. Try not to drool as you’re scrolling!

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2016 wedding trends

New year, new wedding trends! As wedding planners, we need to be on top of all the hot new trends before they even become trends (if that makes sense). We want to offer our clients fresh new ideas that they will love for their special day, and some that save them more money than they would ever expect. These trends are what we have seen and experienced and know will work. Here are some of the many 2016 trends for you to catch up on:

Mixing country and city

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If you ever heard of the saying “city girl with a country heart” and didn’t understand the concept, you will soon be seeing this theme at a lot of weddings. This is one of our new favourites here at #KariLywoodEvents. This could mean a barn wedding with modern décor, or a standard banquet hall with vintage wood seating. Whatever sort of mixes you’re into.

Home cooked wedding favours

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Other than this trend being completely thoughtful, who can say no to homemade baked goods? Everybody loves personalized food giveaways. It’s also a great treat for the end of the night, or the next morning.

Sparklers

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One phrase: amazing photo opp. The idea of all guests lighting a sparker while the newlyweds have their first dance is a jaw-dropping image. We have seen it, and it is quite a magical moment.

Naked Cakes

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Okay, these are beyond amazing. Less is more with these cakes and the guests’ mouths will be watering by being able to see what they will be biting into later. Don’t forget to add a little decorative piece to it.

Last dance

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By no means will this take away from the first dance, it only adds to the night! If you’re stuck between two songs, fret no more. The first dance is, for the most part, romantic in nature, the last dance is meant to be a little more fun and loose (especially since you would have a few drinks in you by that point).