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- Caitlin & Robbie at The National Arts Centre
- Katie & Matthew at The Museum of Nature
- Vasi & Alex at The Canadian Space and Aviation Museum
- Jaclyn & Michael at their private residence on the Saint Lawrence River
- Danika Pietro at The Fairmont Chateau Laurier
- Hilary & Rahman at TwentyTwo at The Westin Ottawa
- Kristina & Ante at The Fairmont Chateau Laurier
- Brittany & Francesco at Orchard View Wedding & Event Centre
- Elizabeth & Jean-Marc at Rivermead Golf Club
- Samantha & Matthew at The National Arts Centre
- James & Mark at TwentyTwo at The Westin Ottawa
- Laurence & Patrick at Supply & Demand Restaurant
- Sarah & Alex at Millstreet Brew Pub
- Mythri & Robbie at TwentyTwo at The Westin Ottawa
- Alex & Tyler at TwentyTwo at the The Westin Ottawa
- Rachel & Travis at 100 Acre Wood in Picton, ON
- Jill & David at the Museum of Nature
- Joy & Mark at The Westin Ottawa Hotel
- Kirsty & Kirill at the Army Ottawa Officer’s Mess
Congratulations! You’re ENGAGED! Whether you have been waiting for what feels like forever or are caught in a whirlwind romance, getting engaged is an incredibly exciting time in any couple’s life. Once the initial excitement wears off, panic may set in as you find yourself saying, “there is so much to do!”. Don’t fret! We’re here to help get you through the first few weeks with the first five things to do once you get engaged.
Enjoy this time together! Spend a few weeks just enjoying being engaged, wrapped up in all the and joy that you are feeling, knowing what it means to be engaged and not stressing out about what needs to get done. Go on romantic dates, dream about the day you’ll say “I Do” and flash your ring finger whenever you have a chance. You’ll only be fiancés for so long, so say it often!
MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT
The first thing you’ll want to do is tell everyone you know. We recommend making personal announcements to your immediate family, send out a printed announcement to remaining family and friends or consider posting the happy news online to Facebook and other social media outlets. Everyone will be so happy to hear the news straight from you, so choose whichever method best suits your personal style.
LOOK TO THE FUTURE
You don’t have to set a date just yet, but now is a great time to start thinking about the season you’d like to get married in, which will help determine how much time you have to plan. Knowing the season will start to guide your search for venues, conversations with vendors and your wedding dress hunt. And even if you don’t decide on the date for a few more months, your family will be thrilled to tell her friends that you’ll be tying the knot in the fall of 2019 or spring of 2020!
CONSULT THE BANK ACCOUNT
Before you book any vendors or buy a dress, you’ll need to know how much you’re planning on spending and how your budget will be broken down. Now is the time to figure out if anyone will be contributing to your budget or if the two of you will be paying for the wedding yourselves. Though things will probably change as the months go by, having an idea of how the money will be used will keep you from using your entire budget for a photographer and venue deposits.
HIRE A PLANNER
Planning a wedding isn’t all fun and games for everyone, there is a lot to do to prepare for your big day! With a ton of online resources, like this one from WeddingWire, at your disposal, mastering your to-do list is the first place to start. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a wedding planner. As planners, we can help you with most of the tasks involved in planning your wedding. From vendors, accessories, etiquette and even the smallest of details, as experts, we have the skills and contacts necessary to make your day come together seamlessly!
We look very forward to hearing from you and to start planning your amazing Big Day!
*photos courtesy of: Ruth Eileen Photography, “Summer Engagement”
I can hardly believe that the year has come to an end; it feels like only yesterday that we were toasting in this year with sparkling wine and party dresses! As I prepare to ring in the new year of 2019 and rock the next wedding season to come – I wanted to take a moment to share and reflect on all the amazing things that have taken place this past year. Cheers to 2018, it’s been one for the books!
We started 2018 by being recognized and honoured with our fifth nomination for the annual Ottawa Wedding Awards: Best Planner. To be recognized as a leader in our industry is such a great honour, of which we were awarded when we won the same award back in 2015.
February – March
February and March are traditionally quiet months around the KEP Office. This year I turned 35 and spent a month travelling through mainland China for my birthday (I got to climb the Great Wall!). Upon my return, KEP participated in our favourite boutique wedding show, Tie the Knot.
Meeting newly engaged Brides and visiting with our vendor friends is something we always look forward to and regard this wedding show as the official kick-off for our next season!
We rang in the Spring with open arms and gathered a group of top-notch wedding professionals, designing and executing a huge Upper East Side-inspired photoshoot. It was a fantastic, large-scale production that we are extremely proud of!
With Spring showers come May flowers and May flowers meant it’s Wedding Season! With a stacked 2018 wedding season ahead of us, we couldn’t wait to get started making dreams come true.
Our season kicked off with a BANG! and the beautiful weddings of our clients:
Officially into the swing of things, June was a welcomed month in our wedding calendars! Bringing on the cake and champagne – we love wedding season!
The KEP team perfectly executed the wedding traditions for our clients:
July is our birthday month and this year KEP turned a Big 8 years old! It is incredible to have been in business for this long and celebrated amongst some of the top wedding professionals in Ottawa. Cheers to the next birthday!
In addition to our birthday, we happily celebrated the intimate weddings of our clients:
August was hot, hot, hot! I’m not talking just about the record-breaking temperatures, I’m also talking about my amazing team!
Together we basically took up residence in one of Ottawa’s top hotels (with back to back events) and successfully executed the outstanding weddings of some of our favourite clients:
September is historically my favourite month of the year, when the days are still warm but the evenings begin to cool and of course, the leaves start to change.
In my opinion, it is the absolute best month to host a wedding and so did our clients:
October was a huge month! I spent most of the month abroad, marrying the man of my dreams on a private winery, Villa Petrolo, surrounded by the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy. Photos of our wedding reception have since gone viral (with over 200K likes on Instagram alone) which we both still find incredibly humbling and a little bizarre!
Meanwhile, my team back home rocked the weddings of:
With the bulk of wedding season behind me, I looked forward to my next project and professional adventure. Collaborating with my very good friend and owner of Le Belvedere in Wakefield, Quebec the foundation of an amazing partnership started to form. Want to know more … you’ll just have to wait and see!
Easily the highlight of my month was to have the creative style shoot I produced back in the Spring be featured on one of my favourite national wedding publications, Wedluxe Magazine.
As I do every year, I got all dressed up and joined some of my dearest friends at our annual industry holiday celebration, Noel en Noir. It is the one day of the year that we all get to get dressed up and treat ourselves as guests – it’s the perfect way to end the year!
Thank you so much to all of our wonderful clients, amazing industry colleges, and loyal friends who have supported my team and made this year one of the greatest yet. Your overwhelming love and encouragement continues to motivate me to continue doing what I love to do. What’s next for KEP, you ask? Well, I will be taking the winter months to refocus, reorganize, and come back stronger and better. Change is coming and I cannot wait to share with you all the great *BIG* things to come in 2019!
With only a few days left before we sip and cheer in the New Year, we are so excited to be looking forward to the 2019 wedding season. Whether you are well into your wedding planning or just getting started, we are here to help you include some of the hot 2019 trends into your special day. Check out our hot tips and predictions:
Coral Colours & Pink Tones
Pantone has announced it’s colour of 2019 is a bright, sunny, pinky-orange named Living Coral. A cheery tone that’s perfect for Spring and Summer weddings, coral is a fantastic hue to incorporate into a wedding via everything from coral coloured flowers, bridesmaids dresses, cakes, makeup and colour schemes.
Looking for a natural way to bring Coral into your wedding scheme? Look no further than the peony! A timeless wedding flower, peonies have always been a popular bouquet choice, so you can expect to see lots of these in 2019, too. Peonies can be crafted into bouquets that suit any style of wedding, from very formal affairs to rustic garden parties. However, as the peony season begins in April/May and only runs through to late June, their availability is limited. If you have an early summer wedding and your heart set on peonies then you will be able to get your hands on them. But if your wedding is later in the year, then beautiful alternatives include garden roses (for summer), dahlias (for late summer) or ranunculus (for winter and spring).
Simple & Classic Wedding Looks
Minimalists can rejoice because 2019 heralds the return of classic designs and simple styles. The poster girl for this trend is Meghan Markle and her striking yet simple bracelet-sleeved, bateau-necked ceremony gown and halter neck reception dress. For this style, tailoring is key, as is finding the right silhouette to suit your shape. Nail both and you’ll be well on your way to modern princess bride realness.
Brides are going to be embracing a natural look that highlights their favorite features. Hairstyles will be simple too, think half-up-sweeps that frame the face with a few locks and are softly gathered in the back of the head.
Bring the Outside, Inside
Greenery continues to be a classic go-to shade, with flowers and foliage becoming more organic and lush. Trees and lots of foliage throughout floral designs will take centre stage. Florals will be natural, whimsical and romantic. Brides will also include an abundance of greenery in their bridal bouquets. Giant greenery with two to six amazing blooms, such as garden roses, peonies, and protea, are what brides will be carrying into 2019.
Another interpretation of the ‘bringing the outdoors in’ trend, is by using grasses instead of foliage to decorate your wedding. Ideal if you’re attracted to a neutral colour scheme, or wanting an updated bohemian aesthetic, pampas grass appears incredibly romantic when used to decorate arches and aisles.
Long Guest Tables with Layering Details
Our favourite design for a modern tablescape is lots of layering, clean lines, and loads of varying texture. Swapping the round tables and tall centerpieces for long banquet tables with rows of low flowers. Filling out long tablescapes with multiple floral arrangements in a high/low fashion will add depth and dimension at different levels with floral and candles. Guests can see each other, the happy couple can sit in the middle without feeling like they are on display, and it makes for wonderful photos.
One trend that will continue to prevail throughout 2019 is the pull towards refined elegance. A classic, simple, and refined aesthetic will always be in style; go for minimal decor and an airy color palette. An immaculate place setting—free of virtually everything but your charger, menu, and napkin—are both photographically and spatially pleasing.
Grazing Tables & Interactive Bars
Doing away with waiters serving traditional canapés, grazing tables that usually featuring cheese, meats and fruits are presented as a work of art, ensuring your guests never go hungry! What pairs perfectly with a well designed charcuterie spread? An interactive cocktail bar! Couples like to include something interactive for their guests to do and a having a specialty bar, like a tequila tasting or scotch tasting bars are a fun activity. A mixologist onsite can assist guests in choosing different drinks to try and enjoy!
Week Day Weddings
Couples have been adding multiple events to their wedding program including welcome parties, after parties and post-wedding brunches for years, but instead of jamming everything into a three day weekend, more and more couples are turning to alternative days of the week to host their big day. Couples are hosting family and friends all week long and are opting to celebrate, with a full ceremony and wedding, towards the beginning or middle of the week. What do you think of hosting your wedding on a Wednesday?
No matter what you choose to include in your wedding day, we are here to help! Happy planning into 2019! xoxo, KEP
Every year, the Pantone Colour Institute releases it’s ‘Colour of the Year’, a highly anticipated annual announcement for designers and fashionistas alike. The annual Colour of the Year both highlights and influences top seasonal runway colours, forecasts global colour trends, and advises creative companies on popular colours for products and design.
Pantone has just announced that the 2019 Colour of the Year is: Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral. Described as, “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”.
How to Use Living Coral for Your Wedding
Florals are a great and easy way to embrace Living Coral into your wedding. Peonies, Ranunculus, and Spray roses are gorgeous and make for beautiful, lush bridal bouquets.
Bridesmaids attire is a fantastic way to add pops of this gorgeous 2019 Colour of the Year. You can choose to dress your entire party in one solid colour or indulge in a more favourable ombre effect.
From invitation suites to full reception staples, wedding stationery is a fantastic way to incorporate bold and bright colours without overpowering your overall theme and design.
It’s no secret that we love, love, love flowers! To us, florals are like the sprinkles on a cupcake – they absolutely complete a wedding look. Bright and bold florals led themselves easily to a visually dynamic table and ceremony decor. Living Coral will absolutely work in these two areas of your wedding design.
Consider serving chilled pink lemonade or a refreshing grapefruit cocktail as your welcome drink or signature cocktail as an easy (and yummy!) way to include coral into your wedding pallet. Pink and coral coloured French macarons also make for both visual delicious detail and dessert table addition!
To further help you explore this gorgeous colour, Pantone has created some inspirational palette ideas. Taking it one step further, we’ve put together some inspiring examples of how to use and include Living Coral into your wedding colour palette:
Pantone describes this palette as “immediately drawing our attention like a beacon of light. Living Coral warmly engages, vivifying the palette as it becomes the focal point in the understated and upscale, composed and cool colour grouping”. We love how the natural green and tan tones both calms and compliments this year’s colour!
Pantone describes this palette as “bold and brilliant, a palette evocative of the dazzling portrait of colour splashed across the sky as the sun rises and sets, one where Living Coral energizes and enlivens, adding to our feelings of pleasurable warmth”. We think this pallet is perfect for a peak summer wedding, were the days are both long and warm!
Under the Sea
Pantone describes this palette as “awash in colour suggestive of the watery environment that lies beneath a tropical environment. Living Coral is placed at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, evocative of how coral reefs embrace with their warmth and nourishment and provide shelter to diverse kaleidoscope of colourful sea life”. This palette is perfect for a nautical themed wedding hosted by the seaside!
We encourage you to take these gorgeous palettes to help you bring this year’s special shade into your wedding designs!
* video, colour descriptions courtesy of: Pantone | example photos courtesy of Pinterest.
There is so much to love about a fall wedding—the cooler temperatures, rich colours, and lush, cozy venues. Here are some of our favourite trends that will enhance any autumnal party experience.
All velvet everything
This ultra-luxe fabric has made a big comeback in fashion and furniture design over the past few years. It’s no surprise that velvet has worked its way into wedding decor as well. Velvet adds an enhanced level of luxury to a boho-chic event. We especially love it as a table runner with lush florals and tapered candles. It also looks great on a vintage-inspired wedding party or in small ribbon accents.
Fresh fruit as decor
Fresh fruit is an easy way to make your decor look like it came straight out of a Dutch Masters’ painting. Choose jewel-toned fruits like grapes, pomegranates and figs for a moodier feel while citruses like oranges and lemons work for a brighter, cheerier look. Fruit doesn’t have to stop at centrepieces. Use it as a delicious decoration for your cake, incorporate it into your menu, or wear it in a floral crown.
Relaxed meal service
Nothing encapsulates the fall season more than a shared meal among friends and family. Opt to have your meal served family style, where dishes are passed between guests, instead of the traditional waiter experience. This encourages your guests to interact with each other which gives a cozier, more intimate vibe. Grazing tables where guests help themselves to spreads of artisanal meats, cheeses, breads, and vegetables are also gaining popularity. Not only will it taste great, but it also acts as a show-stopping centrepiece for the entire event.
Featured image credit: Kathy Fleischer at Fleischer Photography
| Ceremony & Reception: 100 Acre Wood, Prince Edward County | Tent & Lighting: Sperry Tents Canada | Hair: Showpony Hair + Spa | Make-Up: One Fine Beauty | Band: Sway Band | Silent Disco DJ: Silent Beats Events | Photographer: Willow & Wander Photography | Florist: Roam Flora | Catering & Cake: 100 Acre Wood | Decor Rentals: PartyTime Rentals | Stationery: WishTree Stationery + Design | Planner & Styling: Kennedy Event Planning |
The city of Ottawa may have a reputation for being ‘vanilla’ but our wedding industry is anything but that. Every year we’re seeing vendors bring fresh, fun ideas to couples that want to add unique touches to their big day. As planners, there’s nothing better than hearing a wedding guest say “That’s SO them!” when they pick up on a personalized detail. Here’s a list of our favorite local vendors that will make your wedding day one of a kind.
Bring in a fun bar
As elaborate photobooths slip out of style, couples are on the prowl for alternative ways to keep their guests entertained. Cellar 82 is a mobile bar and lounge set inside a stylishly renovated 1967 Airstream trailer. They offer a variety of creative cocktails, boozy snow cones, and alcoholic freezie pops. Not to mention, the beautifully designed trailer provides the perfect backdrop for your guest’s selfies. Rental of the Airstream is $1,500 and an open bar starts at $55 per person.
Bring in a fun bar…on a bike!
If there are two things that Ottawans love in the summertime it’s bikes and booze. Sip Beverage Bike has combined these local favourites in an adorable (and safe) way. Sip will come to your venue on a super cute custom bike equipped with an ice bucket and large cooler box stuffed to the brim with beverages of your choosing. Drinks are served by a friendly driver decked out in either a tuxedo or an “I make pour decisions” t-shirt. Their standard event package is $500 for 4 hours of service.
Involve your pooch in the festivities, risk free
Have you thought about including your pup in your wedding but are worried they may do something unpredictable like say, pee on a guest? Worry not, Dayna’s Pet Sitting is here to be your dog’s personal Day Of Coordinator. Dayna’s will manage your dog’s needs throughout the rehearsal, ceremony, photos, and any other moment you want them there for. Afterwards, they’ll transport Fido to a caretakers or kennel so you can enjoy your reception and honeymoon. There packages are 100% customizable and quotes are given on a individual basis.
Make your own wedding bands
Jewelry workshops that let you design and create your own wedding bands are sentimental and make for a truly unique date night. Cynosure Jewelry Design has a private, two-session class that walks you through the ring-making process from start to finish. Dates and times are flexible according to your schedule and no experience is required. The workshop is $360 per couple plus material fees depending on what type of metal and design you choose.
Incorporate non-traditional desserts
Unique wedding desserts can be a great way to show off your personality as a couple. They also tend to be a big hit with guests. Popafella Paleta Bar offers a delicious line of vegan, all-natural popsicles perfect for cooling down guests at outdoor wedding. Their gourmet popsicles start at $4 a piece with lots of different catering options available.
Cellar 82: Photography by Emma
Sip Beverage Bike: Kamara Morozuk Photography
Popafella Paleta Bar: MDRN Photobooth Company
| Ceremony: Saint Patrick’s Basilica | Reception: TwentyTwo, Westin Ottawa | Hair: TopKnot Hair Styling | Make-Up: One Fine Beauty | Dress: Alliance Bridal | Suit: King & Bay | DJ & Lighting: DJ RayRay, Oxygen Entertainment | Photographer: Rubicon Photography | Videography: Mocha Tree Studios | Florist: Capital Florist | Cake: Thimble Cakes | Linens: Groovy Linen | Decor Rentals: Creative Edge Studios | Stationery: Maison Manquette | Planner & Styling: Kennedy Event Planning |
Your wedding day is fast approaching and you’ve got all the big items checked off your budget: the venue, the dress, the food. But have you included the smaller charges that often creep up unnoticed? These can quickly balloon your budget if you’re not careful. As planners, we work closely with couples and their money concerns on a daily basis. Here are the areas people tend to forget about when making their wedding budget.
The cost of postage can add up quickly, especially if you’re sending save-the-dates, invites, and thank you cards. Stamps start at $1 and can go up to several dollars per piece depending on weight. If your budget is tight, make sure to discuss approximate postage costs with your stationary provider before committing to that luxury boxed invitation suite.
Taxes and tips
Have you received a too good too be true quote from a vendor only to realize later that it didn’t include the 13% sales tax and 18% gratuity? You’re not alone. While these costs shouldn’t be hidden, many couples don’t take them into account on their original budgets. Keep in mind that a service charge is not the same as a tip and does not go directly to the staff. If a vendor has provided great service and doesn’t automatically add gratuity, it’s customary to tip them on the wedding day or soon after.
The legal paperwork for you marriage is an unavoidable and important cost. In Ontario, the fee for a marriage license ranges from $75 to $166. Looking to cut costs where you can? Grab your partner and go on a little road trip. Rural licensing offices tend to charge significantly less than ones located in larger cities.
Vendors who are on-site the day of your wedding often state in their contracts that they must be provided with a meal. Some couples may raise an eyebrow at this, but it’s for good reason. Day of vendors typically work 12-14 hours on your wedding day with little downtime. If they’re sneaking off to eat their own meals or to take breaks they risk missing important moments. Vendors should always be provided with a meal and a chair, but feel free to skip the stationary and centerpieces.
Alterations, undergarments and accessories
Remember that the price of the wedding dress is not just the number on the tag. Bridal gowns typically require alterations, specialty bras and shapeware, shoes, and jewelry. Alterations can range from $75 to $250 and up depending on the intricacy of the dress and amount of work needed. Play it safe and add a cushion of at least $500 on top of your dress budget.
Planner or Day Of Coordinator
Even if you choose to do most of the wedding planning yourself, you’re going to want someone on the ground overseeing your big day. Many couples are disappointed when they assume they can rely on a friend, family member, or their venue coordinator to fill that roll. The cost of a coordinator may seem like a lot upfront, but it allows you and your guests to relax and fully enjoy the day knowing it’s safe in the hands of a professional. Check out KEP’s Services page for more details on how to pick the perfect coordination package for your needs and budget.
Choosing the right vendors is the most important and challenging aspect of planning a wedding. Whether it’s florists, photographers, DJs, or caterers, there are some some standard tips for making good vendor decisions. Here are some of our do’s and don’ts for selecting the perfect people to make your dream wedding a reality.
Do: Start with a Wedding Planner
Okay, so we may be a little bit biased, but the absolute best way to ensure you’re getting quality vendors is to hire an experienced wedding planner. Wedding planners can end up saving you both time and money in the long run. At KEP we provide every couple with a list of well-respected, experienced vendors—tailored to your personality, style, and budget. Contact us today and we’ll set you up with the best vendors Ottawa has to offer.
Don’t: Keep looking once you’ve made a decision
This one’s for you, indecisive couples! Resist the temptation to price shop or keep looking around once you’ve committed to a vendor. Trust us, it will make the whole planning process a lot less overwhelming. The internet is constantly churning out new trends, decor ideas, dress styles, and color palettes. Be confident in your decisions and use your time to focus on other tasks.
Do: Your research
With the popularity of Instagram and Pinterest, it’s hard to resist the appeal of vendors with the prettiest online presence. While social media is a good place to start, don’t forget to do your due diligence. Always check out a vendor’s Google and Facebook reviews. Websites like WeddingWire and The Knot also have honest industry reviews. However, online reviews don’t always tell the whole story of a company. Ask newlywed friends or family members for recommendations.
Don’t: Always choose the cheapest option
It doesn’t matter if your budget is $1,000 or $100,000, every couple loves a good deal. However, —just like in any industry—you get what you pay for. Be wary of vendors offering too good to be true pricing or are seriously under-charging for services compared to their counterparts. Instead, choose someone that fits your style and ask if they can work within your budget. If not, you may need to consider adjusting your budget and/or expectations.
Do: Trust your gut
Always meet a vendor in person (or via video chat) before signing a contract with them. Don’t underestimate the power of your instinct. Do your personalities mesh well? Do they seem genuinely interested and excited about working with you? Can you speak with past clients they’ve worked with? These are things you should be asking yourself during the meeting.
Don’t: Forget that vendors are people too
This one may sound obvious, but it’s important to maintain perspective when working with vendors. A vendor that’s taking a little too long to respond to your emails can leave couples feeling frustrated and anxious. Remember that vendors are usually small business owners with families and responsibilities just like you. Be respectful when confronting someone who’s not meeting your expectations. A great vendor will be receptive of your concerns and work to rectify issues. After your wedding, don’t forget to thank vendors who helped make your big day amazing.