2016 has been an AMAZING year for event design and the styling trends just keep getting better! 2016 was the year of gold & blushes, the year of geo-shapes, and the year of explosive & organic greens. It's been STUNNING! 2017 promises to be just as creatively inspiring. We'll see the 2016 trends just mentioned holding strong through the upcoming year, but we've identified 3 MAJOR trends that will really explode in 2017.
In this 3-part series we'll discuss each of the trends in turn. Today, Let's talk about the first major trend for 2017. Trees!!!
Preston Bailey started the trend of bringing as much of the outdoors in as possible in his wedding designs. Many designers have followed suit and the art of incorporating trees into the wedding decor has been on the rise in brilliant forms for the past few years. In 2017, expect to see trees getting larger and more grand as they become an ever-greater feature of many couples' designs. We'll see designers adding flowers, chandeliers, and other opulent details to enhance the designs.
The symbolism of the tree is beautiful and inspiring and I love the little-known tradition for couples to plant a tree together as a part of their wedding celebration. I don't know that many brides want to dig holes while wearing their brilliant white wedding gowns but this is something that could be done as part of an engagement celebration or, since many couples are opting to spend their wedding mornings together these days, before everyone changes into their formal-wear.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Event Design Trends 2017 series!!!
TAGS: Wedding Decor Trends, Wedding Trends, Wedding Style, Ottawa Wedding Flowers, Ottawa Wedding Decorator, Wedding Design, Event Design, Ottawa Events, Ottawa Special Events, Montreal Weddings, Montreal Wedding Decor, Luxury Event Design, Wedding Trees
'Tis the season of joy, and love, and gratitude. This year I am immensely grateful for all of the amazing clients, vendors, and venues that we had the privilege of working with. I can't stress enough what an enormous impact the vendor team has on the success of your big day. In addition to making sure that you hire professional companies you'll want to make sure that they're able to work well with the rest of the team. You can get hints of this in your communication with them... are they quick to respond? Do they answer your questions clearly? Do they point out potential issues and offer solutions on how to solve them? But I digress... all of this is information I'll be covering in greater detail in a post next year. Right now, let's focus on the incredible vendor team who worked together to bring Kaity & Corey's stunning vision to life.
This particular event team was a DREAM composed of the some of the best talent in Ottawa and, indeed, in the world. Kaity and Corey's wedding was held at the stunning Museum of Nature, a national treasure of a venue, couples come from all over the globe to host their weddings in the Museum's beautiful contemporary spaces. The entire event was expertly planned and executed by the team at Kennedy Event Planning. Every detail of this wedding went off without a hitch. The day was brilliantly captured by Joel & Justyna from Joel Bedford photography, you just couldn't ask for a more amazing collaboration.
Kaity had a very particular vision in mind and along with Shannon Kennedy and myself we crafted a stellar vision for the day including a 16ft hanging greenery garden adorned with candles stretched out along the length of the aisle... which would later be transformed into the dance floor space. We strung Edison lights over the head table which was dressed in luxurious bronze linens.
We loved everything about this wedding; the clients, the venue, and the team! Wishing you all an AMAZING holiday season.
TAGS: Ottawa Montreal Toronto Wedding Decor, Ottawa Montreal Toronto Event Decor, Wedding Florist, Tent Draping, Centerpiece, Bride, Groom, Ceiling Draping, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Backdrop, Head Table Backdrop, Hanging Ceremony Decor, Hanging Aisle Decor, Museum of Nature Wedding, Edison Lights, Ceremony candles
It's been more than TWO YEARS since we gathered up a team of amazing Ottawa wedding talent and created this Hunger Games inspired style shoot. For six months after the shoot we submitted the images to magazines and blogs that we love... but the shoot was rejected over and over. It was a little to "edgy" and not quiet "the right look" for these publications.
For my part, with two more years of events and experience to draw from, I see plenty of room for improvement and I have so many ideas for ways that this design could have been enhanced even more.
Still, the shoot was beautiful and these images have sat in our Dropbox, un-shared with the world, for far too long. So at long last, I'm publishing these photos myself to share the amazing talent and creativity of the team who made this happen.
The lesson here is simply this: sometimes you create a shoot that doesn't resonate with the people you hoped it would... but you do it anyway for the love of the work. We loved creating this shoot! We hope that some of you will too.
Check out the full list of event pros below.
The talent involved:
Set production: Sophie Branchaud, Sage Designs
Photography: Annemarie Grudën, Annemarie Grudën photography
Stationary: Krista Murphy, Wishtree Invitations
Hair: Danielle Dionne, Joico
Makeup: April Bradford, Beauty by April Bradford
Dress collection: Ashton Station Bridal (Luigi Porcari)
Dress Designer: Rita Vinieris, based out of Toronto, her lines are RIVINI and ALYNE bridal collections
Location(s): Ottawa Conference and Event Center
Outdoor: Ottawa river parkway
I was lucky enough to be paired up with Nina and Christian through one of our 2014 clients, Erin & Morgan (click to check out the blog post from their big day).
Naturally, when one of your favourite clients sends us one of their best friends you expect there to be an instant connection... and that was definitely the case with Nina! We collaborated over months with emails flying back and forth, photos and inspiration woven into each and every message... it was a whirlwind of creative energy and we LOVED it!
Nina's instructions were clear... she wanted the wedding to have a warm fall feel but she didn't want to use a traditional fall pallet of oranges, yellows, and reds. Instead, we opted for a palette of navy, marsala, and ivory, with lots of greenery mixed in.
The wedding took place at Chippawa Resort in Barry's Bay. This place is a hidden gem for destination weddings just outside ottawa. The surroundings are stunning, the lodge is warm and charming, and the owners were very kind and helpful.
The wedding was beautifully captured by Theak Chhuom and many of his images are featured below (some are from my iPhone... I think you can figure out which are which, hahaha!).
Nina & Christian, thank you for having Sage as a part of your big day! It was a wonderful experience for us.
Our 2014 bride, Erin, with our 2015 bride, Nina... love these ladies!!!
OHMYGOSH!!!! I LOVED (love love loved) working with Michelle and Matt on their wedding design. They knew exactly what they want and they were both involved and invested in creating the perfect look for their big day.
The design was to have an open and airy feel set in the very fitting and gorgeous Le Belvedere wedding venue in Wakefield, QC. The palette was crisp whites and greys with pops of soft dusty purple tones. We filled the aisle with lanterns and the altar with flowers and added floral pieces and candle decor all over the reception space.
Beautifully captured by the insanely talented Andrew Van Beek this day was just as magical as it looks. Thanks for sharing, Andrew!!!
This lovely 2015 summer backyard wedding was especially important to me because it was the day that my little sister and her handsome man finally tied the knot! He liked it and he put a ring on it (10 years and 2 kids later... jeez).
Amy and Scott wanted a simple backyard wedding... "not a whole lot of fuss" they instructed... I added a tiny bit of fuss because, frig off, it's my little sister's wedding.
I remember when I sat down to go over all of the final details and the Design Story with them. Scott looked at the print out of the floor plans and the artwork and said, "I didn't know you were gonna do all this... this is BAD ASS!"
Yes... my Design Stories are bad ass... I'm glad someone finally said it. Thanks Scott.
But let's not make this all about me... as far as weddings go, this one was my favourites to date. My family is extremely close and there were lots of emotions flying around all day. Photographer extrordinaire, Aaron from AR Photography, pointed out that ours is one of the most emotive families he's ever shot... so there were lots of pictures of laughing, and crying, and shock, and joy. He captured it all beautifully. Thank you a million times over, Aaron.
As for decor, I really tried to keep it as low maintenance and low "fuss" as possible while still ensuring that everything was lovely, warm and inviting. Amy isn't a big "flower person" so we used flowers pretty sparingly. Amy constructed her own bouquet out of lovely wood flowers and the bridesmaids carried small arrangements of pink astilbe (the only flower Amy actually likes besides anemones).
The ceremony was simple with white chiavari chairs (which stood out brilliantly in the green surroundings). The aisle was lined with tall wood lanterns filled with flowers.
Under the tent we used large harvest tables for the dinner guests, added a long floral centrepieces surrounded by plenty of candles, and we strung champagne drapes and string lights in the ceiling.
We were SO very lucky that the weather was beautiful all day since we had so many rainy summer weekends in 2015 (and I would know... because I draped tents for most of them!).
At the end of the day, it was all about this amazing couple, their love for each other and their family, and one hell of a party!!!
I love you guys so much. xoxo
Aaaaaaand just because I couldn't share ALL of my favourite images in the post above I've created a little gallery below not because I think you all want to see more shots from this amazing wedding but because this is my blog and I can ;)
It's taken me a while to get this post up because I've been so intensely focused and re-energized these past few weeks since returning from Orlando that I've scarcely had time to do anything but completely redefine everything I thought I knew about running my business. Seriously.
I've been asked several times to share what I've learned from Engage! People ask me what tips and tricks I was told to implement, what strategies and processes I was told would bring in more business, and they've ask me, "was it worth it?". The only one of those questions I can answer succinctly is the last one... and the answer is a resounding YES YES YES!!! It's SO worth it. So worth it, in fact, that trying to describe what I actually "learned" is almost impossible. Instead, I'll share a single story from my personal experience and how it impacted me (there are SO MANY experiences that impacted me... but I'd have to make this into a 20-part series to get through them, so I'll just share one):
I flew out to Orlando on the first day of the event... the "First Timers" session wasn't until 2pm and my flight was scheduled to arrive in Orlando at 11:30am so I figured that I had lots of time... Well, long story short, I missed my connecting flight in New Jersey and arrived at the Four Seasons Orlando at 3:20pm. UGH!
Luckily, the Four Seasons was AMAZING! They took my name at the gate and by the time I arrived at the main entrance of the hotel a lovely young woman stood waiting for me, room key in hand, to let me know that I'd been checked in, my bags would be taken up to my room, and she would walk me to the conference room so that I didn't have to miss even an nanosecond more than I absolutely had to. WOW! I relaxed instantly... these guys had everything under control (PS: this isn't the experience I wanted to share as I could do whole post on this interaction alone... but I digress).
I rushed my way through registration where I was handed a large tote bag, a white mailer box, and the prettiest conference lanyard I've ever seen in my life! (Again... not the experience I'm trying to share... but I promise, I'm getting there). My arms suddenly overflowing again, I opened the door to the conference room where the general session had already been going on for some time. I tried to sneak in as quietly as possible, but instead of slipping in unnoticed, I caught the attention of a vibrant, red-headed woman sitting in the back row who swung full around in her seat, smiled the biggest most sincerely welcoming smile I'd ever seen, and waved me into the room. Marcy Blum had no clue who I was but somehow she looked at me with the recognition of an old friend and once again I felt totally at ease. Boom! That's the experience I'm going to focus on. Now it might seem like a small thing... but do read on.
For the next three days I sat through sessions and filled my custom "poppin" notebook with mini epiphanies, sparks of inspiration, and even a few catchy quotes. But the real magic happened when you walked around the hotel or sat down to eat... every single person at the conference was friendly, and happy, and sincere. It was like a great big community of wonderful humans sharing, learning, and engaging. But no one could do this more sincerely than March Blum. Every time she walked past she would look me in the eye, smile, wave, and say hi. Seriously. I never stopped her to introduce myself and she still has no clue who I am... but I mean it when I say that it was the most sincere interaction each and every time.
So how did that one small experience affect me in a practical sense? Well, if you bare with me a moment longer I'll explain:
When I returned home from the conference on Saturday my husband's company was participating in the local Christmas Parade. We were going to be joining his co-workers' families on the float along with our daughters.
I felt pretty confident in my parade-float-riding skills since I had just watched the Christmas parade at Disney and I'd seen all of the pretty princesses smiling and waving at everyone... I mean, I was practically an expert now. So as the float started down the road I smiled and waved at the crowd and it took exactly 2.5 seconds for me to feel like the biggest idiot in the world. I felt like I was pretending to be the Queen of England... I wasn't cut out to be a Disney Princess. Dammit! This was going to be the longest parade EVER!
And suddenly, it dawned on me... Marcy Blum would be THE BEST Disney Princess ever! No seriously... hear me out. Marcy wouldn't just smile and wave absent-mindedly... Marcy would look each and every one of those little kids (and adults) right in the eye and wave, and say 'hi', and really mean it. So I followed suit. The difference was astounding... not just for the kids I was waving to, but for me! Every time I caught the eye of a little boy or girl who was waving at no one in particular, and they realized that I was looking at THEM, their eyes lit up, their hands shot up a little higher into the air, and they waved with excitement and enthusiasm. And their excitement and enthusiasm was CONTAGIOUS! I may have looked like Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, smiling and waving with such childlike glee, but I didn't care. I had a blast!
My Marcy story is just one small experience out of many. Each experience and interaction had the potential to create a major impact. For me, many of those experiences translated into a tangible list of action items or into a new way of looking at my life and my business. Sounds profound, right? It is.
What I took from the conference can't be explained easily. I've listened to clips of the general sessions in the past and while they were inspirational all on their own, they were not a substitute for attending and immersing yourself in the whole experience. So for me, the takeaways are these:
1. If you want to learn about how to create a strong brand you have to experience a brilliant brand first hand. What you take from that depends on you,
2. If you want to learn about how to make your clients feel like they are part of something really special you have to be roped into something really magical yourself, what you take from that depends on you; and
3. If you want to know how to make more money you have to call Sean Low 'cause I still can't help you there. But in large part I'm willing to bet that it depends on you in some way as well.
Rebecca, Kathryn, and Team Engage go above and beyond to create an experience like no other for their attendees and I soaked in each and every moment... Thank you all so much!
As for me, I'm officially addicted to Engage! and plan to attend again and again.
Until next time...
Special thanks to the entire Engage! Photography Team for sharing these beautiful images!
Photographers: Love Life Images, Garrett Nudd, Laura DeCarlo, C10 Studios, Carla Ten Eyck
Event Vendors: Event Design, Floral + Decor: Jose Graterol Designs, Mixology: The Grand Bevy, Location:Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Specialty Chairs: Luxe Event Rentals, Lighting + Production Stage, Dance Floor and Banner: PSID Group, Escort Cards, Menus + Table Numbers: Lehr & Black, Entertainment: West Coast Music, Highlight Film: Cloudless Weddings, Sound: DesignSound, AV Support: PSAV, Ice Bars + Tables: Wizard Connection, Bar, Custom Furniture, Lounge Seating + Tables, Escort Card Table: M&J Custom Events Furniture Rental, Floral Support: Virgin Farms, Floraology Market, Table + Glassware: A Chair Affair, Backline: Red Rocket Studios, Custom Linens: Nuage Designs
It blows my mind that it's already November! And not just November... we're half way through November!!! It's just wild!
We've had an amazing year and now that things have started to calm down a bit here at Sage Designs I'm excited to share more of the amazing events we've had the privilege of working on in 2015.
Today I'm sharing Shauna & Matt's super-cool wedding as captured by the very talented Kat Rizza Photography based out of Toronto. Kat's photography style is exquisite and her love for her work really shines through her images.
Shauna & Matt were AMAZING to work with! They were relaxed about the big day and were looking to create a fun experience which their guests wouldn't soon forget. I think I can confidently say that they achieved that goal!
Shauna selected a number of unique, custom-made touches such as her stunning champagne sequin wedding dress (which I ADORE!).
The reception was took place at the Heart & Crown Pub in Barrhaven so we used Shauna's base colours, the champagne from her dress, the natural wood and stone elements from the pub, and accented it punchy florals in pinks, peaches, and fuchsia. We used tons of peonies paired with roses, and pops of blue thistle.
Check out some of Kat's work below...
Is it SERIOUSLY August already?! No... it's basically September! WOW!
We've been super busy designing events for our 2015 clients over the past few months and it's just been a whirlwind of a summer.
As things begin to wind down a bit some of our photographers have started sending over galleries from the weddings we've collaborated on and I'm SO EXCITED to share them with you!!
Today's images of Lisa & Brennan's wedding (at the Museum of Nature) come from the amazingly talented Nicole Amanda Photography.
I've designed events for several wedding photographers over the years and I'm always so curious to find out who they're going to use to shoot their own wedding. You know that whomever they choose is going to be amazing! And needless to say, Brennan from Develop Negative Photography made a phenomenal choice.
We did the floral design for this amazing couple and we're so thrilled with how it all came together.
Find more images on Nicole Amanda's blog: HERE!!!
Thanks to Lisa & Brennan for having us a part of their special day! And thanks to you for stopping by!!!