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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Wedding planning season: a little bit of advice

Before we know it, it’s going to be spring, which means wedding season! However, the focus of this post is going to be about what comes before wedding season, and that is wedding planning season. Wedding planning season is happing right now, meaning it takes place months before wedding season, obviously, right? Not always! Sometimes, wedding planners and coordinators are booked weeks before a wedding, maybe even days. This is a result of couples being skeptical about hiring one, or thinking that they don’t have the money. Today, we are going to put a stop to this misconception and explain to you why it is important to hire a wedding planner a year out, and how that will save you money.

Building relationships

If a wedding planner jumps in when all the vendors have already been booked, it’s not as easy to build that important connection with them. Don’t get me wrong, we are great at jumping in partway, but there is more trust when it is from the start. On top of that, as professionals, we know how to negotiate prices that will fit your budget.

We have the contacts

If a couple has a relationship with a specific vendor, that’s great, but if not, we have all the connections for you. From florists to makeup artists, we got you covered. We know your budget and we will provide you with the vendors that fit it. We don’t want you to have to cut out something in order to fit something else in when you can have it all!

Handymen (or women)

Things go wrong at a wedding, that’s just the way it is. Guests can get out of control and something could get damaged. The power can go out on the lights you spend thousands on and you’ll have no idea why. Wedding planners want everything to be perfect, so they will step in and fix it all (or prevent it from happening). We know how to deal with all situations and will save you any potential damage costs.

We tell you the truth

Wedding planners don’t want you to spend unnecessary money. Despite what you saw on TV or what a friend of a friend had at her wedding, we will tell you what’s worth it and what will work. We have seen it all. We will give you your vision without all the extra costs.

 

 

 

 

Creative event favours

As event planners here at #KariLywoodEvents, we are full of creative ideas (well, obviously). On top all that goes into planning an event such as a wedding, bridal shower or even birthday party, one must always put a good amount of thought into the event favours. These gifts should fit the theme or vibe of the event in some way, shape or form;  You don’t want to be giving away compact mirrors to both women AND men. To help you out, here are some unique event favours to thank your guests:

Mini champagne bottles

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Now this is something your guests can use (well, drink). So many times event favours will be forgotten at the event, or thrown out when the guests go home; only because there is no use for them. Something cute like this (and alcohol in general) will be something loved by your guests.

Baking ingredients

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One again, something your guests can use! Choose one or multiple recipes and fill up jars with the ingredients. Keep the recipes simple and add pretty touches.

Treat bags

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Something your guests can eat – enough to be said. Some of these will be gone before some people even reach home!

Hangover kits

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This might look suggestive, but it’s a great idea if your family and friends like to drink! Perfect for a birthday party.

Coffee and tea

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Coffee and tea are used in most people’s everyday lives, so why not help them out a little bit?

Benefits of a winter wedding

The inspiration of this post came from being invited to my first winter wedding as a guest. A good friend is getting married in February and the responses I received from many people were all along the lines of “why would she choose winter to get married?” Perhaps it was just the people I told who have the mind set of spring, summer and early fall being the “best” times to get married, but I have a feeling (and facts prove) that is not the case. For some reason, winter weddings are not as popular as they should be. Coming from a wedding planner, it is beautiful to get married during the warmer months, but there are many benefits to choosing a winter wedding. Let me break down a few for you:

Availability

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Hopefully this will change in the coming years, but for now this is true – there is less competition for winter wedding dates. Whether is it a venue, florist, decorator, caterer, etc. that you are interested in; there is definitely a better chance you will get your first choices.

Décor

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Winter has so many themes that you can follow that are different from those of spring, summer and fall. There is a completely different feel to winter décor; there is a warm, cozy and romantic vibe. Red roses are one of my favorite décor ideas.

Scenic

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Warm, sunny weather is what many people hope for when it comes to their wedding photos, some even hope for rain because it makes for great photos. However, imagine how gorgeous your photos would look with a snowy backdrop, Christmas lights or even just all bundled up. Pretty jaw dropping if you ask me.

Colours

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Let’s face it, not all colours can be used all year round for weddings. Having a wedding during a warmer season automatically cuts out certain colours such as forest green and Bordeaux. Just think of the bridesmaid dresses!

Wardrobe

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 There’s a reason why the fashion-oriented wait for the colder months – it’s because there is so much more you can do with your outfit! Don’t get me wrong, the classic sleeveless wedding dress is always stunning, but you can’t always add fur or velvet to add on top (well, unless you want to sweat).

Post by: Melissa Esposito

Engagement season: how we please our clients

It’s engagement season and aside from us being super excited about this, couples will be finalizing their wedding team in the coming months. We will be communicating with many newly engaged couples searching for wedding professionals and we are more than ready. These are the ways we please our clients during this stressful period, making their search easier and calming their nerves:

We always get to know our clients

One thing that is very important to us is to build a connection with our clients beyond business, while of course, keeping it professional. Treating clients as friends and genuinely caring about them as people builds trust and truly allows us to understand them and their needs.

We don’t keep them waiting

As professionals we are always on the ball when it comes to our clients. Newly engaged couples are already worried about enough, we don’t have to be added to that. Responding quickly to our clients lets them know that their needs are priority to us.

We educate them on our experience

Newly engaged couples are not going to hire just anybody, and we respect that. We happily provide examples, portfolios and stories to back up our company’s vision, mission and values.

We respect their point of view

Every couple is different and that is something we always consider with every client inquiry. No matter what the situation, we will take it into consideration and offer you what we believe is best.

We help them save money

Weddings are not cheap – we know this and so do our clients. Once you give us a budget, we will find the vendors and venue that fit it. There is no need to spend ridiculous amounts of money when we can offer quality without emptying your pockets.

We provide a stress-free planning process and experience

This is the last but most important category to us. What we strive for is to give our clients their dream wedding without feeling like they’ve been through a war to get there. We want our clients to enjoy the wedding planning experience, and most of all, their wedding day. Hiring a wedding planner is supposed to give couples a break. Give us your vision, provide your thoughts and opinions and we will deliver.

Post by: Melissa Esposito

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Wedding coordinator vs family and friends

It’s easy for a lot of families to disregard wedding coordinators because they have many friends and family members to help them the day of the wedding. We’re all for family stepping in and helping the beautiful new couple, but before family or friends are appointed the people of contact for the wedding day, it’s important to consider many things. Let us break down some reasons why it’s important to hire a wedding coordinator and not appoint family or friends:

 Let your family and friends enjoy it all

It’s great to be involved in a loved one’s wedding, but on the day of the wedding there should be no stress – for anyone! Wedding planners and coordinators are hired to make everyone’s life easier, not only the bride and groom. We want all guests to have a great night and not have to worry about any mishaps or timeline. Have drink, relax and let us coordinators handle the ‘behind the scenes’.

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Wedding coordinators are not venue coordinators

There is a significant difference between wedding coordinators and venue coordinators. Venue coordinators are quite valuable on wedding days (we appreciate you!), but their responsibilities and abilities differ from those of a wedding coordinator. Venue coordinators work for the need of the venue – not for any other vendors, or guests. In other words, on the wedding day, the venue coordinator will ensure the venue is running as per contract and will usually depart once the meal is served. A wedding coordinator is your personal consultant for the day; focused on every single detail of your wedding. From time management, floor plans, bridal party arguments, speeches and basically anything else you can think of – we work exclusively for you and your needs!

Make for a smooth rollout

Wedding coordinators are on the ball; they can sense a problem from a mile away (you know what we mean). If a family member or friend is in charge of any potential issues, it is likely that other guests will find out – due to talking to other guests and seeking advice or help. Let the vendors contact the wedding coordinator and make it seem to the guests that there were no problems the whole day.

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Conflict of interest

Tension during or after a wedding is never fun. If a friend or family member forgot the liquor receipts at the venue, if they were rude to one of the vendors, if they didn’t lock up the moneybox right away, there is going to be some sort of animosity present. Wedding coordinators are the professionals; we know how to handle every situation thrown at us because it is like routine. If there is going to be any sort of tension involved, put it on us – we want every single guest to spend the next day talking about what a great time they had. After all, hearing satisfied responses from our clients is one thing we love about our job!

Post by: Melissa Esposito

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