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    Sarah & Marko

    October 1st, 2017

    | Ceremony & Reception: La Pont Couvert, Tremblant QC | Catering: Choice Harbour Raw Bar and Seafood | Hair: Showpony Hair | Make-Up: One Fine Beauty | DJ & Lighting: DJ Ole | Photographer: Anne-Marie Bouchard Photography | Florist: Bloomfields Florals | Cake: Girl with the Most Cakes | Stationery: The Secret Ink | Planner & Styling: Kennedy Event Planning |

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    Holly & Tony

    September 9th, 2017

    | Ceremony: Shaw Centre | Reception: Trillium Ballroom, Shaw Centre | Dress: Allure Bridals | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Hair: Showpony | Make-Up: Two Chicks + Lipstick | Men’s Wear: Coppley | DJ: DJ Jon Deck | Photographer: Laura Kelly Photography | Florist: Flowers Talk Tivoli | Decor: Sage Designs | Linen + Rentals: Groovy Linens | Cake: ThimbleCakes | Stationery: Hashtag Paper | Floral Wall: Plenty of Pretty | Planner & Styling: Kennedy Event Planning |


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    Kaitlin & Tim

    August 13th, 2017

    | Ceremony: Roof Top, 150 Elgin | Reception: Winter Garden & Performance Court, 150 Elgin | Catering: Beckta Dining & Wine | Dress: Norde Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: With Love Bridal | Hair: Top Knot Hair Styling | Make-Up: Ottawa Make-Up Artists | Men’s Wear: Hugo Boss | DJ & Lighting: Oxygen Entertainment | Photographer: Anne-Marie Bouchard Photography | Florist: Erin Carmichael, The Design-Co | Decor: Amy & Jen | Linen + Rentals: Groovy Linens | Cake: Serendipity Cakes | Stationery:Wishtree Stationery & Design | Officiant: Exceptional Ceremonies, Keith Langille | Planner & Styling: Kennedy Event Planning |

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    Janelle & Marc

    August 5th, 2017

    | Ceremony: St. Patrick’s Basilica | Reception: Glebe Community Centre | Catering: My Catering Group | Dress: Handmade Bride | Hair: Curly Hair Designs | DJ: DJ Tdot, Studio 44 | Photographer: Phillipa Maitland Photography | Videography: Cloud in the Sky Videography | Florist: Ottawa Flowers | Rentals: Chez Lili | Linen + Decor: Sage Designs | Lighting: Ottawa Special Events | Cake + Favours: Osso Sweet | Transportation: Telsa | Planner: Kennedy Event Planning |


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    Dale & Kevin

    August 4th, 2017

    | Ceremony & Reception: Andaz Hotel, Byward Market | Officiant: All Seasons Officiant | Dress: Sinders Bridal House | Bridesmaid Dresses: All That Glitters | Hair: Show Pony Hair | Make-Up: One Fine Beauty | DJ: Oxygen Entertainment Group | Photographer: Laura Kelly Photography |  Florist: Ottawa Flowers | Linen: Groovy Linen | Decor Rentals: Party Time Rentals | Cake: Osso Sweet | 

Backdrop: Plenty of Pretty | Stationary: Paperless Post | Planner: Kennedy Event Planning |


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    If These Walls Could Talk

    May 12th, 2017
    Loyal followers of our blog, have you ever wondered how KEP came about? The story behind the brand? For the first time in seven years, owner and principal planner, Shannon Kennedy, has agreed to break the mould and share her story and the special meaning behind the new studio office space of Kennedy Event Planning.  

    I remember fondly the day I decided to create Kennedy Event Planning, I was sitting at my dining room table weighing the pros and cons of leaving my full time job to start my own company. I was both terrified and excited at the idea of becoming my own boss and creating something that I could call my own. The reality was, I was 27 years old with a job I hated in an industry that I loved. My friends and colleagues had been encouraging me for months to branch out on my own and I finally realized it was about time that I listened to them and take the leap. 
    In July 2010, KEP was created. It was both frightening and liberating when the pay checks from my pervious job stopped and I was left with only my work to ensure that bills got paid and I could keep food on the table. There was little guarantee that KEP would take off, but I knew one thing for sure: failure was not an option. In fact, the fear of failure became my biggest motivator. 


    The first few years were a whirlwind of blog posts, sales calls (before social media was the main method of connecting with other vendors), networking events, and hard, hard work. I hustled. I hustled hard and got my first client. Then another, and another. Before I knew it, KEP was a brand and was starting to get public recognition. I hired my first assistant and was hand picked to be a part of a unique collective of creative professionals in a coveted Byward Market office space. I was on the path to greatness and I felt invincible. 
    As the 90‘s saying goes, “reality bites” and in June 2013 I had a huge chunk taken out of mine. In a matter of weeks my reality, as I had known it, was over: my ten year romantic relationship ended, my first assistant and I split ways over contract disputes, and I was unceremoniously voted off the island and out of my cooperative office. My new reality was this: I was 30 years old, with nowhere to live, $65 in my chequing account, and a full wedding season ahead of me. What was I to do? Exactly what anyone else would do – I found a friend’s futon to sleep on and got very, very drunk. 
    When the dust settled and the tears dried, I found myself with two choices: start over and rebuild or give up. The idea of walking away from it all was tempting but I knew that giving up was not an option. KEP would not close and I would not fail. 
    Little by little I started to rebuild my private life while maintaining my professional one. I got a small “single girl’s” apartment, hired new assistants, and made some amazing new friends. I made jokes that I had gone from student poor, to intern poor, to entrepreneur poor. But the truth was there were days that I had to ration the food in my pantry, go on really bad dates to make sure I could eat, or juggle bills to ensure my team got paid. These were small sacrifices that I was more than happy to make because I knew that it was all for the right cause in the long run. KEP became my life raft and my entire life. I worked tirelessly to ensure the company would continue to grow and succeed. 
    After three years of rebuilding, one ‘Eat-Pray-Love’-esque backpack journey around the world under the hashtag #shanvsthewild, I had gotten my mojo back and 2016 turned out to be KEP’s best season yet. With a rock solid team, our busiest wedding season to date, two massive corporate accounts, an international television premiere, and our first celebrity client – I can say whole-heartedly, KEP killed it! 
    In September 2016 I signed the lease for KEP’s new office: a bright and sunny space in a historic Centretown brownstone. I spent my days working on my client accounts and my evenings painting walls and building furniture. Several cans of gold spray paint and a few Ikea hacks later, the space was ready and our doors officially opened in January 2017. 
    This space, our space, means so much to me. It is much more than four walls that house a desk and a computer. This space symbolizes seven years of hard work and dedication; sacrifices both personal and professional; and of course, the massive quantities of wine consumed in the process! 
    Creating this space for KEP symbolizes my love for the company, my love for my team, my love for my clients, and my love for myself and the person I have become. When I welcome you into our office, know that I am welcoming you into my life, inviting you to be a part of my story, and offering you a seat on the crazy journey of everything that is to come. 
    Now tell me, are you ready for an adventure?

    Thank you Laura of Laura Kelly Photography for taking these images of our beautiful office space. Want to see more? Contact us and come by for a visit – we’ll happily share a bottle of Rosé with you!


    Traditional Wedding Toasts

    March 1st, 2017

    Speeches given at wedding receptions have become a standard facet of modern weddings. Whether you are the bride, groom, part of the wedding party, or  honoured guest, if you find yourself tasked with giving a speech it is important to prepare well in advance.

    Typically, the speeches take place during the dinner reception, scattered amongst the various courses of food. The timing and length of each speech will vary depending on what the couple requests of their speakers as well as the speakers’ own speaking style. The following are the typical speeches that a couple may want spoken at their own wedding:

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photographers.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Best Man and Maid of Honour Speeches

    Being asked to be the best man or the maid of honour is a special honour and it usually means that the bride and groom consider those two people especially significant in their lives. Thus, it’s no surprise that the best man and maid of honour speeches share commonalities. Often the first speeches of the evening, these words are both light hearted and sentimental. Tips on how to give good best man or maid of honour speeches include: staying sober enough to give a good speech, using humour, keeping the speech short, becoming a good story teller, leaving ex-partners out of the picture, and ending the speech with toasting the couple. These two speeches really give an opportunity to the couple’s nearest and dearest friends to share a bit of their history together, to engage the guests in some light-hearted stories, and to send the couple off on their new life together. For examples of best man and maid of honour speeches, click here and here.

    Courtesy of Michael B Photography.

    Courtesy of Michael B Photography.

    Parents of the Bride and Groom Speeches

    The parents of the bride and groom speeches have in the past been scheduled for the beginning of the reception. Typically, the host of the wedding speaks first, as a way to welcome the guests and get the party started. Traditionally, when weddings have been paid for by the bride’s family, the father of the bride would represent the host and would be the first speaker of the evening. However with modern couples choosing to pay for their own weddings, or have other means to help with the wedding budget, the timing of the parents’ speeches are now slotted at different times during the reception – to the couple’s preference!

    Each family now has the opportunity during their individual speeches to welcome guests, to thank people for attending and sharing in their child’s special day, and to welcome their new child-in-law into the family. It is during this particular speech that a bit of parting wisdom can be given to the happy couple; perhaps advice about a healthy marriage, or advice to the groom about how to please his new wife! For examples of parents’ speeches, click here and here.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Toast to the Bride and Groom

    Often, the bride and groom will also make a speech to their new partner in life. These speeches give guests a glimpse into the relationship of the couple – the content and the way in which they give their speeches to each other can be very endearing and often a highlight of the reception! The couple might choose to talk about how they met, why they love their new partner, or about their future together. For examples of bride and groom speeches, click here and here.

    Courtesy of Joel Bedford Photography.

    Courtesy of Joel Bedford Photography.

    Couple’s Thank Yous

    The couple’s thank yous are given by both the bride and the groom and is usually a chance for the couple to formally thank all the people in their lives: their bridal party, family, guests, and other important people that helped play a part in their special day. For an example of a wedding thank you speech, click here.

    No matter how many speeches the bride and groom decide to include, it is the content and delivery of those speeches that add personality to the wedding reception. May your wedding receptions include many memorable moments including some unforgettable speeches!

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    How To: Avoid Wedding Party Drama

    February 1st, 2017

    Congratulations! It’s your turn to get married and you find yourself newly engaged and begin to imagine who you would like to be standing next to you on the big day. One way to make your experience as enjoyable as possible is to surround yourself with a great wedding party – but how do you choose who will to be a part of the big day?

    If you want to still be friends with your wedding party throughout the planning process and long after your wedding day, there are a few considerations you might want to take into account. Here are some helpful tips:

    Choose Wisely

    Those you choose to be a bridesmaid or groomsmen should be people who are in your life in more than one way. These are the people who know you well, have seen you through multiple situations and challenges, and will be able to unconditionally support you through your tough wedding planning days. These are people that would be included in an autobiography detailing the last 5 years of your life.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Be Aware of Group Dynamics

    You should think about the way you interact with your different friends and think about how they might interact as a group. The individuals chosen to be part of your wedding party need to be as much a team player as someone who stands out to you as a significant friend. While you may get on splendidly with one person, if this person is unable to compromise or communicate effectively with others in a group setting, this dynamic will make it difficult for the group to make decisions. As the bride or groom, you should also be ready to intervene as a proactive ringleader, should the need arise. You want to be able to sort out any issues between your wedding party members before the big day.

    Courtesy of Frances Morency Photography.

    Courtesy of Frances Morency Photography.

    Clear Expectations

    One thing that needs to be established with your wedding party are your expectations: what is expected of them on the wedding day and in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the day? It seems standard these days to assume that bridesmaids are responsible for helping the bride through various steps of the wedding planning process. Depending on the bride, the involvement of her bridesmaids may range from minimal or involved in every step of the way; but beware for one to perceive their involvement as minimal compared to another could cause confusion amongst the group. The same can be said for the groom and his groomsmen.

    Courtesy Blair Gable.

    Courtesy of Blair Gable Photography.

    Be Open and Communicate Clearly

    As the bride or groom, it is important to be open and communicate effectively with your core group of friends. If you are experiencing challenges, being open to your wedding party may help you get the support you need to resolve and overcome those challenges. Communicating effectively, whether in person, over email, or by telephone will help you to stave off all kinds of misunderstandings.


    Courtesy of Fifteen Fifty One Photography.

    Stay Connected

    As your day nears, you and your wedding party will get busy. Within this age of technology, it becomes increasingly easy to stay in contact with people over various mediums; however, because your bridal party are important people in your lives, you don’t want to lose touch – make sure to stay connected! Continue to see your bridal party together or individually – this will ensure that your ties stay strong even as you become progressively busy in your wedding prep.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Don’t Be Jealous

    You find yourself being asked to be part of your close friend’s wedding – what an honour! – only to find that you have to share this honour with other people. It’s no wonder feelings of jealousy may arise – perhaps you thought you were your friend’s (bride or groom’s) closest confidante and the realization that there are other people in your friend’s life may be a challenging realization to swallow. Rather than to focus on the other relationships, focus on how you can best work together with everyone to make your close friend’s wedding day the best it can be!

    Joel & Justyna-0014

    Courtesy of Joel Bedford Photography.

    Voice Opinions Early and Be an Active Member

    As the planning of wedding activities begins, make sure that you voice your opinions early on in the process or as soon as you have concerns to share. You don’t want to wait until just before the bridal shower, bachelorette, or bachelor parties to provide your suggestions or feedback to the rest of the group. You agreed to be a member of the wedding party, and so with your membership comes certain responsibilities – one of which is to be an active and engaged party member!

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Courtesy of Union Eleven Photography.

    Focus on the Positive: On the Bride and Groom

    As the plans for pre-wedding and wedding activities begin to take form, you may find yourself disliking suggestions from other wedding party members. Rather than to try and steer the planning process in the direction that you see fit, try and come to a compromise and try to focus on the positive: your friend is getting married! It is their day to shine, and while you may not get along or agree with the others, you have the opportunity to play nice and show what a team player you are wanting nothing less than to help your friend have the most amazing wedding experience ever!

    Whether you decide to have a small or large party it is valuable to seriously consider those important people that will make up your wedding party. At the end of the day, these are the people (along with your wedding planner of course!) who will help you on your most exceptional day!

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    2017 Spring Sale

    January 27th, 2017

    Getting Married this Spring? Let’s Talk!

    Calling all fabulous couples! Do you need a little extra help planning the final details of your upcoming wedding? Have everything planned but need help executing it on the day? We have a handful of open dates available for 2017 and would love to work with you!

    We are offering an exclusive 15% OFF our planning packages for any new couples who book our services for their upcoming Spring 2017* wedding.

    Curious as to why you should consider a planner? Check out our blog posts: “Why Hire a Planner?“, “The Difference a Planner Makes“, “You’ve Got the Ring, Now Get the Planner” to learn more about how we can help.

    Let do this! Email us at to receive our 2017 Planning Pricing Package and set up your complimentary consultation. We are so excited to meet you!


    *Offer valid May 1 to June 30, 2017. Some conditions may apply. Not valid with any other offer. Contact us for further details.

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    Amanda & Frankie

    January 2nd, 2017

    | Ceremony: St. Anthony’s of Padua | 

Reception: Horticultural Building, Landsdowne Park | Caterer: Westin Hotel | Cocktail Band: Tim Bedner | DJ: Oxygen Entertainment Group | Photographer: Fleischer Photography | Videographer: Elle Be Films | Florist: The Design Co. Florals | Linen: Groovy Linen | Decor Rentals: Party Time Rentals, Joe’s Prop House | Cake: Denis “The Cake Guy” | 

Espresso Caterer: Concept Espresso | Gelato Caterer: Stella Luna | Stationary: Wishtree Invitations + Stationery | Make-Up: Lyz Plant

Hair: Jessica Awad
 | Planner: Kennedy Event Planning |


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