Wedding songs

We’re feeling a tad romantic today, therefore, this post is dedicated to wedding songs. Whether it’s for the first dance, father-bride dance or a song for the guests to dance to, choosing the perfect song can get tricky. It has to be perfect right? Right. So, let us help you narrow down your choices and ease your mind by offering you some of our top wedding song choices for the perfect dance – some old, some new, some classics. I’m sure at least one of these will speak to you. Enjoy!

How to start the process after getting engaged

Getting engaged is nothing short of exhilarating, but as a newly engaged person, you are pretty much diving into the unknown when considering the steps and process that follow. Where do you start? Being the experienced event planners that we are here at Kari Lywood Events, we are going to let you in on our secrets (well, tips) on how to start the process after getting engaged.

Figure out what you want

Before you can make any moves, you need to know what you want for your special day. Do you want a big wedding or a small wedding? What type of food do you want? Do you want a traditional wedding or maybe something a little more modern? It’s important to organize all your wants and needs or planning could get messy and frustrating pretty quickly.

Meet with a wedding planner

Once you have decided how you want your wedding day to be, it’s time to share this with a professional. Congratulations, you’ve made a smart move my friend! Even after you know what you want for your day, you will need someone there to tell you what will work and not work and how to make proper choices.

You will be making endless amounts of decisions during the wedding planning process so you will need someone there to organize your thoughts, offer you advice and basically just take the stress off. There’s nothing worse than not being able to enjoy your wedding planning, or the actual wedding day for that matter. This is supposed to be a happy time – you don’t want to look back and cringe at the thought of ever doing it again. Simply meeting with a wedding planner, and hearing what they have to say, will take the edge off.



Choose the right wedding planner

It’s easy to say you want a wedding planner; it’s even easy to find one. Don’t settle for just anyone who has the title – do your homework. When you have a wedding planner in mind, research their past weddings, call references and meet with them before sealing the deal. Bottom line: make sure they know what they are doing.

Write it down

Without a doubt, when someone is newly engaged, wedding ideas will pop into their head on the daily. When this happens (because it will) write down all these ideas, research pictures, put everything into a book so you have something to go by. Save this book for every meeting with your wedding planner.



Don’t get us (or this blog) wrong; of course, there is much more to the process after getting engaged, but these steps are crucial and will really get the ball rolling. Congrats and happy planning!

Properly prioritize your wedding

So he did it. He finally proposed and it was everything you ever imagined it would be. Now, all the wedding ideas you’ve been thinking about since you were playing dress-up in your mom’s closet come rushing over you and you don’t know where to begin. This is normal, and it’s great to have a lot of ideas to work with, but the one problem this kind of overflow leads to is poor prioritization. You start to plan where you want the bouquet toss before you even have a venue or you want cake pops before you even know who will be attending. Don’t fret! Today at Kari Lywood Events, we will teach you how to properly prioritize your wedding plans with a step-by-step plan. Enjoy.




Nobody likes this word. We hate to use it, but we have to, and there must be a budget put in place first and foremost when it comes to wedding planning. Once the budget is set, the planning can begin, as you will now how to properly choose all of your items.

Guest list

How can you know what type of wedding you want, or can have, if you don’t know how many people are going to attend? You can’t. Decide if you want a big, medium or small wedding and then go from there.




It’s hard to envision all that you want your day to be until you have your venue. Once you choose your venue, you can decide how you want your tables set up, what kind of décor you want, the all around feel and theme of the wedding and so on.


Ah, food, the one thing that all guests talk about (or judge) after attending a wedding. It’s important to make sure you know of all allergies and significant preferences of your guests before choosing the food. Do you want to have the traditional sit-down dinner, or a more casual feel to your meal, where food is being passed around throughout the night? Whatever you want! Just make sure there’s enough – there’s nothing worse than hangry guests. Helpful tip: midnight tables are praised.

As a wedding and event planner, and from my experience, I can tell you that these four aspects, in this order, are most important to consider when planning a wedding. Once all of these are set, all other details can be added on throughout the planning process. It may seem simple, but things can get real confusing if your planning priorities are not in check. Happy planning!

The importance of a day-of wedding coordinator

One thing that many wedding coordinators are used to hearing from people is “it’s great for your career, but why do people really need a day-of wedding coordinator?” It would seem to many that a bride and groom, along with their friends and family could take the reins of an entire wedding day on their own. Wedding coordinators are not here to discourage that thought; rather, we are here to make your life easier – much easier. Warning: this is not a sales pitch, just a way to clear the air amongst the non-believers.

Before we start with the explanation why a day-of coordinator is an asset, lets begin with what a day-of coordinator is, because there is a clear difference between one and a wedding planner. Day-of coordinator services usually begin a couple of weeks (sometimes days) before the wedding date; the couple has already booked all of their vendors and the venue. The coordinator is in charge of the actual wedding day, making sure everything happens just as the couple imagined. Okay, now we’re ready.

All event planners know that even though an event is organized a certain way, something is bound to change, or go wrong the day of. This isn’t something event planners worry about because we entered this industry as problem solvers, but this might be (or most definitely will be) something the bride and groom panic over. We’re trained to deal with issues like this. Whether the cake is cut at the wrong time, a vendor is not cooperating, the microphone stopped working or the playlist is all wrong, the wedding coordinator will have that covered without the couple even realizing there was a problem in the first place.

All friends and family should be able to enjoy this special day without having to chime in when there’s an issue. Guests should not be a substitute for a wedding coordinator – this is just not right. All guests, along with the bride and groom should be able to enjoy a stress-free day. Once this is realized, all will be right in the world (and at the wedding, of course). A wedding day should be enjoyable, not stressful.

You don’t want to worry about forgetting to set-up or plan anything. How is that any fun? It’s completely normal to forget something with the mile long checklists some couple will have, but luckily wedding coordinators know exactly what needs to be done and when. Nothing will ever be missed, and the fear of forgetting something will disappear. Hand over that checklist! The coordinator has got it covered.



Ah, but what about venue coordinators you say? Well they are great, and definitely take care of all THEY need to care of, but they don’t care about any of the other details. Their services only extend to a certain point, and it is important to keep that in mind. Wedding coordinators go beyond those services and help manage everything.

Let’s face it; turning a vision into a reality is not always easy. Most of the time, that vision includes the bride and groom simply enjoying their day, which cannot be possible without someone managing every task. So before completely shunning the idea of a day-of wedding coordinator, keep in mind all that was laid out here, because everyone deserves everything to be perfect on the big day.



Fun alternatives for a night out

Event planning takes up a fair amount of our lives here at Kari Lywood Events, but all work and no play makes for dull women. We still like a night out on the town, but what happens when we feel “too old” to do a lot of the things we used to do? Who else is with me on this one? We’re going to plan some fun alternatives for a night out for you. After all, planning is what we do.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when clubbing gets getting old and grungy bars don’t provide the same thrill as they once did. Getting blackout drunk and passing out is not such a good look anymore (not that it ever really was). Don’t panic! You’re not getting old and boring, you’re maturing on to bigger and better things. Graduating from your old partying ways may make it seem like there are not many choices for night out on the town, but there are actually many:

The Ballroom Bowl:

It is time to stick to places where drinking is not the only option. Located in the entertainment district, this setting will not leave you with a lame night of bowling. The Ballroom Bowl offers bowling, sports, food and rock n roll. You don’t totally have to cut out drinking but you can keep it classy having a few drinks while bowling and listening to great live music at this combination venue.



Rock -Climbing:

It never hurt anybody throwing a little bit of fitness into the mix (well, hopefully not), so why not turn your weekend night out into an active one. There are many rock-climbing locations in Toronto, such as The Rock Oasis, that will provide you with a night of fun and fitness, and some laughs watching that not-so-athletic friend struggle up the wall.



Wine Nights:

Sometimes it’s nice to get all your close friends together, pick up a couple of bottles of wine and appetizers and just hang out. Make this a monthly routine; you will be surprised how much fun you can have catching up with friends, without leaving home. In addition, it saves you some of money.



Top five small wedding venues in Toronto

Big weddings are overrated. Just kidding, but they are not everybody’s cup of tea. Some couples are not all about “go big or go home”, and living in the Toronto area, that is totally fine! We got you covered small wedding lovers. Today, at Kari Lywood Events, and we are going to break down five of our favourite (but not only) small wedding venues in Toronto. Enjoy:

Crush Wine Bar




This quaint venue located on King West will never seize to disappoint a newlywed couple and their guests (especially if they love wine!). There is the choice of hosting upstairs in the main room – with a dining area, bar area and a small dance floor – or downstairs in a more old-fashioned, rustic setting, where the ceremony can also take place.

Gladstone Hotel



There are plenty of event spaces to choose from in this modern, hip wedding venue. ‘The Ballroom’ would be the ideal setting for a unique, small wedding in Toronto. If your wedding accounts for more people than expected, not to worry! Sliding doors from The Ballroom open to the café accommodating up to 200 guests.

The Market Kitchen



This may not event seem like an option for a wedding to many, but it is actually such an amazing idea. Located in St. Laurence Market, above Paddington’s Pump, The Market Kitchen is the perfect setting for an intimate wedding. One of the many great things about this venue is that you can bring in any caterer of your choice, and your own alcohol!

Berkeley Church



Located on Queen East, this venue is great for both your wedding ceremony and reception. Guests can make their way to the top floor for the ceremony, then make their way to the main room for the reception. Delicious food and a cool space will be sure to satisfy.

Gallery Grill at the Hart House



This venue located in the heart of the University of Toronto campus, seats 72 guests. Enjoy gourmet food, the vaulted ceiling, hand-painted stain glass windows and a bird’s-eye view of the Great Hall below. Shifting away from weddings for a second, Gallery Grill is open to the public from September through June so head down there for any occasion!



Hello, events world.

Hi there,

You are cordially invited to start reading our new company blog!

Social media makes the events world go round. When starting up an event planning company, it is essential to spread the word with tweets and Instagram photos, of course, but it is also beneficial to start a blog. Hence, why this is being written for all you lovely people to see.

#KariLywoodEvents was founded by the talented and go-getting Kari Lywood. Kari started being her own boss in 2011 after gaining much experience in the marketing and PR world. Helping plan events for companies such as the Andez San Diego Hotel and the WNBA, gave Kari the drive to start something of her own. She found passion in making people’s dreams come true by planning their perfect day – no matter what that day might be. Aside from planning events, Kari also founded the KL Group. Separate from event planning, the KL Group focuses on marketing and sponsorship for various clients, such as Nascar driver, Jeremy Clements and sister-country-singing-duo, Beau and Luci.

Here’s the run down of what we do here at Kari Lywood Events: we plan events. Simple enough, right? Well what’s different about us is that we will plan anything from a backyard party for our next-door neighbour, to a marketing conference in Miami, to a 300-person wedding two hours outside of the city; there are no limits for us and we plan with delight all the way through.

With this blog, we want to spread the word about great venue options, tips and advice, that cute birthday party we planned, the wedding of your dreams, up-and-coming professionals for the events world and anything else that might strike the interest of our audience. We want to connect with other event planners, brides-to-be and show off to the world why we got into this business in the first place.

Stay tuned!