Laura Olsen Events and Heart And Sparrow Photography share their creative process and expertise at Christina and Patrick’s Modern Airship37 wedding
Christina and Patrick had a modern stylish wedding at Airship37 wedding venue Toronto. Laura Olsen principal Planner and Stylist, from Laura Olsen Events designed and planned this beauty of a wedding day and explains and shares her expertise. Heart & Sparrow Photography a boutique wedding and lifestyle photography company in conversation about her stunning photographs.
What about this Airship37 wedding do you love the most?
My favourite thing about this wedding is the mix of patterns we used, which still felt timeless in that it was done in a monochromatic palette of blue-greys, silvers and soft whites. From the circular pattern on the charger plates to the cubed pattern of the dining table linens and the crosshatch pattern on the candle holders. It all just worked so beautifully!
How did Christina and Patrick communicate their vision for the wedding day?
I was pretty lucky in that they were utterly and totally trusting. They had a couple of things chosen already, such as the cake and the stationery suite, which helped to communicate the visual direction in which they wanted to go. Their ultimate goal was to have something warm, soft and romantic and loved the idea of the soft blue-grey mixed with a touch of pink.
What are some of the ways you achieve the wonderful balance between keeping the modern space uncluttered and open and adding in the right amount of personality and design to the experience?
I think in any space, though, the goal is to create a few focal points for the eye to gravitate towards rather than overwhelming it. For Christina and Patrick, we wanted to draw the eye towards the beautiful ceremony altar, so we kept most of the room fairly bare apart from the fabric on the chair backs at the front of the room and the piece hanging from the ceiling in the centre of the room, which pulled the attention forward and up. For the reception, we kept the palette monochromatic but used a mix of patterns so that the candlelight and florals stood out the most, but they felt supported by a solid foundation.
The wedding flowers had such a dynamic and vivacious presence at this wedding. How was this achieved?
Well, the team at Blush and Bloom always knocks it out of the park, so all of the praise has to go to them! Christina and I simply took our design plan/inspiration to them and they took off running with it. We really loved the romantic feeling of the whites alone, but knew we needed a pop of colour if we wanted it to feel refreshing and give the room some depth.
You have designed quite a few weddings at Airship37. Each one has had its own unique design and personality. How do you continually present a fresh and unique signature vision with your couples?
Oh my gosh, well, first of all, I absolutely love Airship37 as it really does lend itself to so many different styles because there is so much texture throughout the space! The size and shape of the room is pretty ideal and the ceiling height is amazing! It has a really good foundation that can be made more feminine through the use of soft fabrics or even made bolder by adding heavier textures and darker colours. I think the biggest piece for me is that the Airship37 team is totally open to any idea and bringing anything in. Especially hanging something from the ceiling. It’s an instant way to create drama and focus in the room. It doesn’t necessarily need to be anything crazy or complicated, but it instantly creates a feature and makes it easy to bring a unique design piece in for the couple. Walking the space with the couple is a good indicator, too, because they will point out things they love about the space, which makes it easier to accent!
Christina and Patrick’s wedding had both the ceremony and the reception in the same space. What were some of the critical design choices you made that paid off so effectively for the space to work so beautifully for both elements.
Well, I tend to design ceremonies in a more simplistic way or with things that serve a double purpose from the ceremony to reception. I really think the focus should be on the couple and the words and love they are exchanging with each other and sharing with their families so I try not to clutter up the ceremony too much. Guests are always surprised when they come back into the room once it has been transitioned for dinner. It’s as if they are seeing those elements for the first time, but you can see it on their face, when they realize the pieces were moved and repurposed and the impact they have on the dinner vibe. The mix of round and rectangular tables is really important for me as it softens the angles of the room and the guest flow as they approach their tables. It slows them down a little and makes them take things in a little longer!
The colour scheme and design principles were so well integrated and the design was so gorgeous. What were some of the inspirations for this stunning wedding and how did you so effectively tie it all together?
Thank you so much! This one was a special one for me. The colour palette started the inspiration on this one even before we looked at imagery. After that, I basically just saved images of individual things that I liked that were in the palette to get a sense of what was available to us. It was when I was reviewing the imagery I had saved that I was struck with how much I liked the charger plates and linens together. I’ve always loved mixing patterns, but it’s hard to convince people to go that route as there is a fine line between it feeling trendy vs. timeless. It’s also difficult to pick up on these mixed textures on camera if they are too light or close in colour, so it was a fun challenge to find pieces that complimented the patterns but had the depth in colour variations to show up on camera without being too bold.
How did you become so good at tablescaping?
First and foremost, a tablescape design has to be functional. It’s so easy to over clutter a tabletop because it looks so different when you first approach than when it is being utilized. There’s more empty space that feels like it should be filled, but you have to leave room for those things that are inevitable to arrive during dinner service (think bread baskets!). So I try to focus attention on doing each piece really well and within reasonable scale so they not only gorgeous, but they make sense with the function of the table. It also saves money!
When it was all set up and ready to go what was the best part of this wedding design?
One of my favourite images that best reflects exactly how I saw it in my mind and once it came to life on the wedding day, is a shot down the head table, where you can see the different patterns on the table, a touch of the piece hanging from the ceiling, and the ceremony arch repurposed around the cake in the background. All of those things in such close quarters, but working cohesively together was such a rewarding experience to see and know that my clients trusted me enough to bring what could have been a crazy combination of things to life!
You describe yourself as a keeper of moments as well as a historian. What a beautiful description. Can you elaborate on this idea?
Weddings are such a momentous occasion for not just the couple, but for their families and the future generations to come. I am a storyteller with a heart for adventure, so I go about the wedding day seeking out connections and interactions that will tell my couples’ stories in an honest way. These images are passed down from generation to generation as artifacts of the past, and I love imagining my brides’ future grandchildren looking through her wedding photos.
What were your first impressions of Airship37 as a venue and how did you maximize its attributes?
Airship37 is really a dream venue from a photography perspective – a large, well-lit white space with great architectural details.
You took some gorgeous day of portraits of Christina and Patrick at Airship37 and in the Distillery District. How did you achieve these beautiful pictures and what were some of the ways you achieved these beautiful results?
For the most part, I shoot very candidly with a photojournalistic direction. I find people and connections quite fascinating, so I love capturing weddings this way.
Christina and Patrick chose to have their wedding at a modern industrial venue. How did you choice to best capture this style of wedding?
Christina & Patrick both had great style and a modern aesthetic. I tried to mirror that in the type of portraits I took, well capturing their genuine connection.
What was the best part of photographing this wedding day?
It’s hard to pin down just one moment! I would say that exploring the Distillery District during their portraits was near the top – we were able to find so many beautiful, unique spots to photograph against.
The Hangar space at Airship37 has an abundance of natural light. How do you best work with this lighting to get the vibrant ceremony pictures?
I am predominantly a natural light photographer so I really loved shooting in Airship37.
The wedding reception decor was exceptionally well crafted and curated. What was your approach for documenting it so effectively?
In contrast to the documentary approach I use for most of the wedding day, I really love to shoot the physical details of each wedding. Every wedding has an underlying aesthetic comprised of things like styling, florals, food, etc that all fit together to complete a story In the case of Christina & Patrick, in choosing Laura I knew that the aesthetic of the wedding would be absolutely stunning before even walking into the space, and Laura did not disappoint! I really wanted to showcase the thought and intention that went into the design.
Your photographs capture the intimate guest experience at the wedding in a natural and animated way. What are some the ways you are so successful at this?
I’d describe myself as a thoughtful observer; I watch time and connection unfold and capture those emotions, be it joy, love, laughter, sadness etc. I’m always seeking out those honest, romantic and real moments.
Photographer Heart and Sparrow Photography
Design Laura Olsen Events
Makeup Makeup Couture
Flowers Blush and Bloom Flower Studio
Wedding Invitations and Day-of Stationery Minted
Seating Chart Laura Olsen Design