Venue Spotlight: The Thompson Toronto

With the open house at the Thompson Toronto last week it’s only fitting that we share this beautiful top-rated venue. Toronto has many sites to offer all bride-to-be’s on your dream day, however this view is one that is surely set to stun.

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Credit: WedLuxe Magazine, Kari Lywood Events, Dave Abreu Photography and Jen Envoy Makeup Studio

The Thompson Toronto has so much to offer you on your big day, starting with a stunning, one of a kind, rooftop view of the city. This incredible hotel is centered in the heart of Downtown Toronto, central King West and is close to the financial and fashion district. The Thompson screams Luxury and Chic while offering over 30,000sq ft of event space, hotel, dining and rooftop pool views.

The Thompson holds some of Toronto’s top socialite events and it’s no question as to why. The hotel is fit with stunning interior, beautiful rooms, bars, panoramic rooftop views and indoor ballroom. The city skyline is a one in a million view and is sure to set your dream day apart for you and your guests!

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5 Valentines Date Spots That Don’t Require A Reservation, Toronto Edition

Are you a last minute planner? Was the restaurant of V-Day Dreams fully booked up? Well, not to worry because we’ve got your back! Keeping with the Valentines Day theme of the week, we have put together 5 unique Valentines Day date spots that are sure to make your dates heart skip a beat! and the best part?…None of the below require a reservation, you can thank us later 🙂

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

The Winter Lights Festival at Ontario Place

If you haven’t already been to the Light Festival at Ontario Place…where have you been? The place that serves as a fun-filled childhood memory now puts on one of the most beautiful light shows and parks in the city. From ice skating, to bonfires on the waterfront, Ontario Place is a sure bet to get you extra brownie points from your love. A night time walk around the park with unique art installations, abandoned rides and fairy lights and lit up trees is sure to make a top #valentinesdayselfie! And the best part, aside from not needing a reservation, its free!

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Photo Credit: BlogTO

Ice Skating in Fort York at The Bentway

Toronto’s newest and most unique ice rink is sure to be the perfect date night for you and your boo. The Bentway is Fort York’s newest treasure and lets you skate beside the historical Fort. Set with a cafe, bar and food trucks, not to mention a beautiful view of the city, this new hot-spot will have you skating into each other’s arms. If that wasn’t enough, The Bentway has a beautiful rooftop viewing area of city place and the rink!

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Distillery District Light Fest

Go for a stroll in the one of a kind Distillery District and enjoy the cobblestone walkways with hundreds of stunning lights and food trucks to enjoy. Take in all of the energy, positivity and charm that Distillery has to offer, and get your photos taken in front of the notorious Love locks. Bring a lock for you and your boo to sign and lock away forever while sipping on some delicious beverages in the light and heart of Toronto.

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Photo Credit: http://boomervoice.ca/

Tobogganing at Trinity Bellwoods

Grab your babe, suit up in your all canadian snow gear and head to the cities most infamous park, Trinity Bellwoods. Hike your way to the top of the hill and be sure to stop for some instagram worthy photo ops. Kiss your bae before sliding down the hill and take in the beauty of this most popular park! The best part? Tobogganing doesn’t cost a dime and there are plenty of cute shops down the street for you to grab a bevy.

 

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Photo Credit: Narcity

What better to blow your Valentine Bae away than the Northern Lights

Jump in your car and head up to Torrance Barrens to experience the Dark Sky Preserve and Northern Lights. Just 2 hours outside of Toronto makes this breathtaking spot a perfect Valentine’s day road trip for you and bae to belt out some of your favorite tracks together and see the worlds most natural, stunning beauties. The dark-sky island that is Torrance Barrens is the only place to properly see other galaxies within close distance to the city.

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Photo Credit: Torrance Barrens

Well love birds, there you have it! The top 5 Valentine’s Day dates that require no reservation and are sure to wow your partner! Remember, it’s not about the gifts or fancy dinners, but about the moments you spend together,loving one another that truly makes you and your babe in love and inseparable.

Happy Valentines Day from the KL girls! 

xoxo

The World of Kari Lywood Events

Hello readers!

If you have had the opportunity to visit our blog in the past, we thank you for visiting once again and following us along our journey. If you’re new to our blog – WELCOME! We love when new readers come across our blog and have the chance to explore our business and experiences.

Todays post will take a different approach than others we have written in the past – today, we’d like to tell you about US, and what sets us apart from others within our industry. We’d like to share with you all of the things that make Kari Lywood Events truly unique and why we should be a part of your upcoming event!

Who is Kari Lywood Events?

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Kari Lywood Events is a Toronto based Event Planning boutique, led by owner and principle planner Kari Lywood. With over 10 years of corporate, wedding and social planning experience, Kari Lywood and her team are able to consider your taste, budget, interests and vision and create a smooth and memorable event that both you and your guests will enjoy. Regardless of your event size or budget, our team will work with you to determine the right package to bring your event to life.

Although based out of Toronto, Kari Lywood and her team have been fortunate enough to have travelled internationally to plan and execute events for some high profile clients, including:

Some of our international ventures have also allowed us to host events at:

What types of services do Kari Lywood Events offer?

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We take pride in offering a wide range of services for our clients such as wedding planning and day-of coordination, corporate planning, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and social planning. Our team has made great connections within the industry and can work with you as a main point of contact and communication for your vendors, assist with your theme and decor, review all vendor contracts, assist with budget planning and management, and be a source of venue/ceremony referrals. We ultimately work FOR you, while working WITH you to ensure all of your wishes are accommodated without the stress of taking on the process yourself.

For photos of events that we have been a part of, visit our website gallery and our Instagram!

What sets the Kari Lywood Events team apart from venue coordinators?

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Ultimately, we work exclusively FOR YOU! Venue coordinators are great contacts that are a part of the process to ensure that the requirements of your contract are met in both a smooth and timely manner from the back end on the day of your event. However, hiring an event coordinator goes much further beyond this. As an event coordinator, we take on the tasks of creating clear communications between all vendors, establishing clear and concise timelines for your day,  and are there by your side every step of the way (literally!). Our responsibility is you and your specific needs and requirements, and are put in a position to make suggestions and changes where needed. Without a coordinator present at your event, you as the host are left to coordinate the fine details on your own when you should be enjoying your day!

What sets your team apart from other event coordinating teams?

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We have passion! And A LOT of it! Our team is not only intelligent within the field, but also diverse in our own specific talents, whether that includes decor and styling or operations and negotiating. Our leader Kari Lywood has brought years of experience to the business and taught our team how to effectively plan and execute events with a certain spark and flavour that can’t be compared to. We are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our clients enjoy their event and every last detail, hope, and wish is catered to!

I have already planned my event, can I still hire your team?

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Yes! And we highly recommend it! Although your have gone through the process of planning the event and all of the specifics you’d like to see that day, allow our team to join the process and take over to relieve your stresses. Often as the date of the event approaches, stress levels begin to rise because of all of the fine details that need to be confirmed. That is what our team is for! Our coordinators take over all vendor communication for you so you can focus on your own personal preparations, and then we run the show on the day-of! We always tell our clients that the duty of running an event should not be put on a loved one, friend, business partner or colleague, because they too should be enjoying the day. Considering and respecting all of your wishes, our team ensures smooth and seamless delivery so that you don’t have to worry. If you have yet to plan your event, or only have vague ideas, our team of creative minds can help bring together your vision in the best way possible. We are on site hours prior to the start of the event to ensure that all aspects from decor to set-up are running smoothly and coincide with your vision.

How can I get in touch with Kari Lywood Events for my upcoming event?

Feel free to reach out to us via email at hello@karilywoodevents.com or through the contact form below!

 

From our entire team at Kari Lywood Events, we thank you for your continued support over the years as we continue to rapidly expand and grow! We look forward to working with you in the near future and make your dreams come true!

xx,

Stephanie La Civita

Event Stylist and Coordinator with Kari Lywood Events
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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

 

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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Kari Lywood

Event planning is a growing profession and there is a countless amount of event planners in Toronto and Calgary alone. Each and every planner has their own je ne sais quoi that really draws in specific clients. On paper, planners may all seem the same, so today; we are going to offer you an exclusive interview with the founder and president of #KariLywoodEvents, Kari Lywood, to allow all you readers to get to know the woman behind the curtain. Added are some photos of her work. Enjoy!

Q: How important is a personal connection with your clients to you? And how do you keep this professional?

A: I knew that a personal connection in this industry was the key to success and believe the biggest difference with my clients is that I am authentic. I make friends with my clients but know my professional limits. I make the process exciting and constantly keep my clients updated – there are no surprises with me, they will always be in the loop. Knowing that my clients can reach out via email, text or calls, allows them to have the comfort and flexibility with schedules, all while feeling at ease.

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Q: What personal, unique strength separates you from other planners?

A: I feel that I am always real with my clients! This is probably what creates that special bond with them, which them allows them to be real with me. As a result, nothing is held back and their exact vision is created. This industry has some of the best planners and I am so blessed to work along some of the most talented people. We all have our own strengths and when you build relationships it only allows you to keep a great name and expand your network. I keep in touch with most clients!

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Q: How did you get into wedding and event planning? 

A: I have always been passionate about wedding and event planning. Growing up I always found any excuse to plan a party and was the one that had arrangements completed and details presented. Party planning was always something I considered to be a hobby and now I am so grateful to call this my career.

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Q: What is your favourite part about planning?

A: I love seeing my clients face when they walk into the room for the first time and see what we have created together. There is something about being a part of a couple’s special [wedding] day in that is breathtaking and even leaves me speechless. A wedding day is so magical and I am so grateful that couples allow me to take part in helping create that magic and happily ever after. When a client asks you to be involved in their wedding and they see their vision come to life, it’s the best feeling in the world.

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Q: Are there any wedding trends that you absolutely love at the moment? 

A: Trends are always great to follow and to work from for inspiration. I tell my couples that this is their special day and it’s important to create a wedding to their liking! I love the trend of personalization and adding pieces that symbolize who you are individually and as a couple – whether it be monogrammed napkins or a personalized cake topper – tailor your wedding to you!

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Q: What would you say to a bride that doesn’t think a planner is important enough to fit into her wedding budget? 

A: Find a way! Hiring a planner will actually save you money. Because this is our everyday world and our career, we have some of the best relationships with vendors. Because of this, we will find you the best vendors best suited for your needs since we have established many connections with individuals and companies in the wedding industry. We are here to help you and make your dream day come true, and within your budget. Furthermore, do you really want to be setting up or organizing people on your day? No! Let a planner take the lead so you can sit back and enjoy your day!

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