- 3 years ago
- Wedding: September 2014
Exactly 2 months ago today I married my perfect match. I can say without hesitation that this was our dream wedding and the day was UNREAL! We celebrated in Ottawa with 170 guests and partied well into the wee hours. But we would be remiss if we didn’t credit the incredible work of some absolutely stellar vendors. Full disclosure: I was an event planner in a former life and have a serious passion for parties, so when we began planning our big day I knew I needed an all-star vendor team. It is my absolute pleasure to review my vendors because I have nothing but the highest praise for each and every single one! So here we go…
Officiant: Lynne Langille, Exceptional Ceremonies (http://www.exceptionalceremonies.com/)
Working with Lynne was a true blessing. We wanted a ceremony that was very personal and so Lynne worked with us to craft a custom ceremony script. We didn’t just write our own vows, but with Lynne’s guidance, we helped write every sentence in the program. The result was a ceremony unlike any other – fun, heartfelt and truly unique to us. Lynne is an absolute professional, and her warmth and welcoming smile will put any couple at ease as they begin their wedding journey.
Wedding Planner: Shawna Rioux, Effervescent Occasions (https://www.facebook.com/EffervescentOccasions)
When I mentioned to friends that I was on the hunt for a wedding planner, they wondered why I’d bother given my own background in planning. But it was because of my past experience that I knew how crucial a skilled planner can be in ensuring the Big Day goes as planned. Shawna and the incredible team from Effervescent Occasions went above and beyond in every way. I cannot sing her praises loud enough! Leading up to our wedding, Shawna joined me for site and vendor visits, providing guidance and ideas; she hunted down suppliers; and, even offered a tissue paper pom pom workshop for my friends and family when I said I wanted hundreds of the colourful balls. And on the actual wedding day, Shawna and her team were INCREDIBLE! There is no other word to describe their efforts. They started at the crack of dawn transforming our massive venue into our vision. Knowing my personality, Shawna sent me progress updates which quickly set my mind at ease and allowed me to relax and enjoy the day. From trouble shooting to her attention to detail, I know we owe our seamless day to her professionalism and passion for throwing amazing events. She is simply the BEST!
Photographer: Matthew Clemente, Matthew Clemente Photography (http://www.matthewclemente.com/)
Working with Matthew was so much fun! He has an incredible eye and captured such stunning photos throughout the day. He also did an engagement session with us and I couldn’t help but use his beautiful photos for our wedding website, invitations, AND ceremony program. He moves around in such a subtle way so as not to intrude in the moment but always gets his shot. A professional to the core, Matthew certainly exceeded my expectations, attending site visits in advance to discuss lighting and set up (did I mention he’s based out of Montreal and travelled into Ottawa for the meetings?!) and he even surprised us with a slide show of some of the best picture from the day so we had something to look at and share while we waited for the disc of wedding photos to arrive in the mail. So thoughtful!
Catering: Poco Pazzo Italian Eatery (http://pocopazzo.com/)
Mmm…Poco!! The delicious menu put together by Head Chef and Owner, Emanuele Leonforte, was a total hit with our guests. Full disclosure: Emanuele also happens to be my cousin, so my bias is on the table. But his food speaks for itself! From homemade meatballs to creamy chicken gorgonzola, it was a true Sicilian experience. And when I mentioned that I wanted Kraft Dinner for our late night buffet (as my new initials became KD), he took it next level with a homemade white cheddar KD that was to die for! I repeat…Mmm Poco!
DJ: DJ Frank, J&J Entertainment (http://www.jjedj.ca/)
I had had the pleasure of working with the team from J&J on a previous event and knew that’s who I wanted at our wedding. The team did not disappoint! J&J worked with me in lead up to the event to ensure we had a lighting concept for our vision and a sound set up that made sense. And DJ Frank rocked the house! He had all of our special requests cued up and kept the dance floor packed until the house lights came on…even putting on some exit/clean up music for the tear down team J
Hair: Michelle & Tara, Dollhouse Hair (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dollhouse-Hair-by-Michelle/204482166360417)
Michelle has been my stylist for over 2 years now, so when it came to choosing someone to do my wedding hair…there was no question, it had to be Michelle! Despite the disgusting 7am start time, Tara and Michelle arrived with big smiles and even Tim Horton’s treats for us all. There were 8 women including myself having our hair done on wedding day and Tara and Michelle were phenomenal. They were fantastic at listening to what each woman wanted and sometimes deciphering what they really wanted. Everyone loved their hair and we received so many compliments!
Makeup: Christiane Drouin, Christiane Drouin Image & Makeup Artist (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christiane-Drouin-Image-Makeup-Artist/128926600545127)
Working with Christiane was such a blast! She is so talented and is always on the cutting edge of style and new products. With 8 women, each with different styles and comfort with make up, Christiane did an incredible job listening to what each one wanted. And we looked SO GLAM!! She definitely went above and beyond when I told her that my Mother had a severe allergy to all SPF products, ensuring in advance that all products to be used on my Mom were 100% SPF-free and even had new brushes to use on her to avoid any possible risk. This was hugely appreciated!
Florist: Dirk Visbach, Dirk the Flowerman (http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/dirk-visbach/43/7b0/713)
It was such a pleasure working with Dirk. A seasoned veteran of the floral industry, Dirk had excellent advice and most importantly, he actually listed to what I wanted! I had a very particular colour palette in mind and Dirk absolutely nailed the look. The blooms were beautiful and he offered very competitive prices.
Rentals: MasterMind Events Rentals (http://mmecanada.com/)
I absolutely loved working with the gang at MasterMind Events! Our reception space was very big and had a few quirks. Luckily, MasterMind had worked with our venue in the past and had fantastic recommendations. They worked hard to find cost effective options and solutions throughout the planning process. They always fielded my questions (of which, there were many) promptly and are total professionals. You can tell they love what they do!
Flower Girl Outfits: Jen Bonisteel, Just Beautiful by Jen (https://www.facebook.com/jbcrafts)
Cute factor to the max! We had 4 little cuties for flower girls, so I felt incredibly fortunate when Jen came on board to help bring my vision of massive white tutus alive! Full disclosure: Jen is a very good friend who just happens to be in the crafting business and is SERIOUSLY talented. With green flower clips for their hair, complete with rhinestone blinged centres, and their oh-so cute puffy white tutus, those little girls melted hearts!
Wedding Gown: Kimberly Wilson Bridal (http://www.kimberleywilsonbridal.com/)
I had the best experience purchasing my wedding gown from Kimberly Wilson Bridal. After being more than a little overwhelmed by my first adventures into a few Ottawa area bridal stores, I felt so comfortable in this intimate boutique setting. Not knowing quite what I was looking for, Kimberly was great at helping me pull dresses from her incredible selection and offered great advice. The one-on-one service was ideal. And I was over the moon when I quickly found MY gown…and then proceeded to wear it for another half hour because I was too excited to take it off 😉
PhotoBooth: Amy Yee, EventBots (http://www.eventbots.ca/services/)
The 6 foot tall PhotoBot was a HUGE hit with our guests! Amy and her husband Denis were awesome and had a great set-up. From including our wedding logo on the picture prints for guests to providing a hilarious array of props, it was so much fun working with these two. And our guests got in front of the camera ALL NIGHT and now we have a collection of some of the most hilarious pictures ever!
Transportation: Vegas Limousine (http://www.vegaslimousine.ca/)
We have nothing but excellent feedback for the team at Vegas Limousine. Gino was a pleasure to work with and his drivers were so friendly and professional. Vegas Limousine had a large fleet from which to choose and extremely competitive prices. From the very first pick up to our late night drop off, we had a smooth ride!
Ceremony Venue: First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa (http://www.firstunitarianottawa.ca/)
Warm and welcoming are the two words that best describe this church. You should probably also add stunning, because the windows and woodwork are truly impressive. It was such a pleasure planning our ceremony with the wonderful team at First Unitarian.
Reception Venue: Glebe Community Centre (http://ottawa.ca/en/facility/glebe-community-centre)
One of my favourite public spaces in Ottawa, I knew I had to bring my then fiancée to see this venue. An early 1900’s church turned modern day community centre, this space boasts a soaring cathedral ceiling and beautiful stain glass windows. As far as wedding venues go, it’s not for the faint hearted. It’s a total blank canvass, meaning you only rent the space (no staff, no coordinator) and need to bring in absolutely everything. But the potential is endless if you’re up for the challenge!