What were some of the reasons that Jess and Alex chose the Berkeley Church and how did you highlight what they liked best about the venue?
Jess + Alex fell in love with the Berkeley Church instantly. They were drawn to its mix of traditional and unconventional characteristics.
It was important to Jess to get married in a non-denominational space where they could still incorporate a few elements of her religion into the ceremony, while keeping it as non-secular as possible for Alex. The stained glass windows made for the perfect backdrop, while the string edison bulb lights created a modern vibe. We really let the uniqueness of the Church shine through, so that guests could see what Jess + Alex saw from day one.
What were some of the best ways that the photographer told the wedding day story?
Copper Red Photography did an amazing job at letting Jess + Alex be themselves. Jess didn’t even wear her shoes for all of their portrait shots throughout east end Toronto! Their photos were all loose, natural and fun. Jess and her bridesmaids had such a great time being goofy and spontaneous in their photos, and it was so refreshing to see. There is so much love between Jess + Alex. Like any couple they have had their share of good and hard times, and the photographer truly succeeded in telling a strong love story.
You talk about the importance of bringing innovative and customized planning to each of your clients. How did you customize your approach to bring out the wedding idea vision for Alex and Jess?
Being a wedding planner I am so privileged to meet and build relationships with my couples. Through this process I am able to learn about who they are as a couple and what are some of the important elements that defines them.
Their story becomes my inspiration in bringing together ideas that will help to create their wedding vision. It’s always a collaborative process and it was no different with Jess + Alex.
You created a stunning wedding ceremony design that worked beautifully in the mezzanine space. What was the inspiration behind this creation and what were some of the considerations for the materials you used.
Per traditional Jewish weddings, the bride and groom get married under a Chuppah. Since it was not intended for the ceremony to be strictly Jewish, we decided to still incorporate a Chuppah but have it speak to the wedding’s design and style. We worked with Exquisite Occasions to ensure their theme resonated throughout. We were able to accomplish this with the use of beautiful white sheer fabric, soft pink roses, babies breath, lush greenery and fluffy Pussy Willows. Pussy Willows was one of the must-have items on Jess’ list, and to be honest, not something I am asked to use very often. I asked why she liked them and she said she just loved how fluffy they are. This became another source of inspiration, and a priority to ensure its uniqueness would work well in the Berkeley Church – and of course it did.
How would you describe the wedding design and style and what were some of your points of inspiration?
Modern Romance is how we defined Jess + Alex’s wedding. The Berkeley Church does a fantastic job in marrying old history, with contemporary flare and beauty.
These design elements made it easy for us to pull off the theme and many decisions that went into selecting the wedding decor were inspired by the contrasting elements of the Berkeley Church.
What were some of the considerations for having the wedding ceremony, cocktails and reception all the same space?
It simply came down to knowing that everything happening under one roof meant that guests would be able to arrive, relax and not worry about travel in between scheduled events. It was important to Jess + Alex that their guests could have a full experience and enjoy everything that the Berkeley Church had to offer. All corners of the venue were used, from the mezzanine to the basement to the outside patio. Knowing their guests were happy made Jess + Alex happy. It also helps, from a scheduling perspective, to keep the day running smoothly and on time.
What were some of the ways you personalized the wedding plan and design for Alex and Jess and what are some of the key elements that make an effective design?
Anyone that has met Jess + Alex knows how they are so full of life and light up any room they enter. We had to find a way to demonstrate this so we utilized the stage to feature 4foot tall marquee light-up letters that read “J & A”. It sat behind the head table and truly were a real show stopper. In a traditional venue it would not have worked but since the Berkeley Church has a modern flare, the letters complemented the string edison bulb lights which created a party vibe from start to finish, while also reflecting the couple. It was amazing to see how much their guests responded to this personalized touch.
Every couple is different and their wedding day should speak to who they are. I loved working with the Berkeley Church because even though industrial lights and soft pink flowers may not seem like a great match, this space allowed us to go ‘off-book’ and mix a few different design elements together that resulted in something beautiful.
What is your approach for creating stunning tablescapes? What informed your choice for the floral design?
Jess + Alex wanted to keep their centrepieces simple and low key. The lanterns created a pretty glow that worked well in the Berkeley Church and helped to anchor the florals (by Lux Bloom Events) that surrounded them. The choice in flowers were inspired by the Chuppah design and were smaller versions of it. It was a last minute call but since the Chuppah was such an inspirational element I thought it would be perfect to repurpose the floral piece from the Chuppah as a centrepiece for the head table. It allowed us to carry through the same beautiful vibe from the ceremony to the reception part of the wedding. Also, an important element was the choice to use soft pink table linens. Many weddings I do typically opt in for crisp and clean white linens, so it was a pleasure to work with colour, which was a simple way to help tie in the romantic feel. Dishware, glassware and cutlery was kept to a minimum in an effort to not take away from the pretty centerpieces. Name cards can be a lot of work so in lieu we decided on personalized bookmarks featuring the couple’s engagement photo. It was a nice way to make it uniquely theirs.
What were some of the decisions you made with Alex and Jess in the planning process that you feel were critical to the success of the wedding day?
There are so many ideas out there so I would remind them to remember how they felt when they decided to get married at the Church. The venue speaks for itself and although we brought in a touch of Modern Romance, it took some of the pressure off.
Also with almost half of their guest list being out-of-towners, I prepared Jess + Alex about all the ways we can anticipate delays (guests stealing the bride and groom) and how we will overcome them. Sticking to a schedule is so important and it can be really hard for a couple to tell a guest they can’t talk in that moment. This is where I become their voice and ensure there is always time built in for socializing after all scheduled events. Earning the trust of a couple is not only rewarding, but it is key, and makes it easier to give them the most perfect day.