We’ve had the opportunity to visit many of the exhibitors today and to quickly chat about their businesses. Carmen, Aline (our newest member to the DTY family), and I split up the workload, so we’ll be blogging different exhibitors in no particular order.
First up is Tamara from Fuscia Designs, a florist in Thornhill. When asked about how Fuscia distinguishes itself from other florists, Tamara quickly tells me they are very passionate about what they do, and never likes to do the same thing twice, preferring to change it up depending on the client. Her views on the floral trends in 2012 are a mixture of carry over color palettes such as purple, nudes, charcoals, and navy; and fresher ideas such as black and white (a haute color palette this season both in fashion and weddings), white on white with texture, and dramatic and vibrant brights such as fuscia, rich reds, electric blues, oranges and corals, and yellows.
She says the key trends are paying closer attention to detail, accent, and style. Clients are really wanting their wedding to reflect their individual style and not to be a packaged or cookie cutter wedding.
The accents include crystals, sparkle, and bling, but not in the traditional sense where crystals are draped everywhere. People these days want to incorporate them with metallics, decorative wire, or chrome balls. The vessels will have shape, texture, and color as opposed to the clear glass varieties that have been available forever.
The linens, chairs, tableware, draping, lighting will be further challenged, using alternatives than what is currently available and have been done over and over again.
Paper flowers are in style, and so are rococo frames as well as canopies made out of alternatives other than drape fabric. People now want canopies with graphic prints that are softened with chevron, herringbone, modern wallpaper prints, subtle animal prints, perforated prints/embroideries, glitter, sequin, shimmer, sheen and liquid metallics are all the new bling and oversized to offer maximum impact.
Finally, I asked her what kind of clientele she likes to work with. She said it’s good for clients to know what kind of a color theme they’re going with before they come see her. But then again, sometimes she likes having a carte-blanche, so she can have creative autonomy as well. Most importantly though, is she wants her clients to come to her with enthusiasm, and a look within themselves for their own personal style, and lastly what their overall ultimate vision is.
Tamara’s list of trends in 2012 are:
- black and white
- white on white
- vibrant colors in mixes and variations (ie. shades of pink to fuscia) and monochromatic
- metallics, glitter, shimmer and sequin
- graphic prints
- strategic and stylized designs, monochramatic groupings, ombre effects, paves/ mixes in clusters and colour blocking
- flower power, paper flowers for faux and big blooms with big impact for real
- vessels in color, texture and metallics
- texture in lace, perforated prints, pleats, ruffles and of course in the flowers
The Cake Museum
Next we have Ida Thibeh Wiese from The Cake Museum, where their motto is “Edible Modern Art”. And you can definitely see the creativity that goes into each and every one of her cakes. They are all customized and one of a kind. She makes an effort not to repeat any of her past creations.
Ida’s background was in law, but during law school she felt that it wasn’t her passion and wanted to do something more creative with her life. So she took some time off and enrolled in making cakes. She felt drawn to it, one thing led to another, and now she’s a highly sought after cake maker. It’s currently her third year in the business and as you can see from the cakes she makes above, they all have a modern contemporary flair to them. She also likes clean edges and clean lines in her cakes.
I told her I liked the Barbie legs cake:
My first photography exhibitor of the day is Mango Studios, and I had the privilege to speak with the two founders Mo and Nancy Govindji, hence the Mango name (no affiliation to the clothing chain, although they were dressed very stylish in their own right). They told me they also have a photo booth on the 4th floor, so for those of you photo booth fanatics, now’s the chance to jump at this opportunity and head upstairs for some good old booth fun!
There are five shooters on the Mango team, Mo, Nancy, Zach, Tyler, and Melissa. Mo explains that they have a collective style, a collaboration of the creative efforts of everyone and the uniqueness each one of them brings to the table. For example, Tyler comes from a graphics design background; Nancy is a fine art major; Melissa comes from commercial photography; Zach in fashion photography, and Mo in a design and business background. So when a couple hires them for their wedding, even though there’s only one main and one backup photographer, the rest of the team collaborate on post shooting tasks such as how to put the story/album together.
I asked them what was the most extravagant wedding they’ve ever done. Mo said there were a couple that sprung to mind. One was in Kenya, complete with the building of an orphanage, a safari, reception in a yacht and lasted for 8 full days with over 4000 guests. The second one was in the Versace mansion in Miami, where they shot the bride in Elton John’s bedroom and hung out with the groom in Madonna’s!
If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at their website, I strongly suggest you do so. They also sport one of the best studios I’ve ever seen. It’s extremely beautiful and speaks to their style by leaps and bounds.
Verve Photo Co.
Verve is a company started by two ladies, Krista and Melanie. They actually worked together in a previous lifetime for another company, and found that as photographers, they worked very well together. When the opportunity came up, they decided to start up a new company together and name it Verve, which literally means energy and enthusiasm in the expression of ideas, especially in artistic performance or composition. They are absolutely amazing and are masters of using natural lighting.
As female photographers, I asked them if they had an advantage over their male counterparts in the new field of boudoir photography. They said they haven’t been approached to do sexy boudoir, but they have done similar shootings with maternity sessions. They also see it as something that’s trending, but they prefer the more subtle and natural style.
For my third photographer visit, I went to see Michael at 5ive15ifteen. Their style is very editorial and prefer that less is more in terms of post-processing. There are 12 photographers on their team, and when a couple goes in to see them each photographer has a portfolio for the client to go through, so they can match the client’s preferences to that photographer’s style. The photographer (and secondary photographer) will also meet and greet the couple in advance to ensure they can work well together.
Michael says the inspiration for the shots generally stem from the character and personality of the couple. When I asked him what’s the greatest challenge shooting in Toronto and the GTA, he immediately said “the weather”. Can’t disagree there!
George Paatashvili was on-hand to speak with me at his Studio 2000 booth. His photography style mixes traditional natural shots with varying degrees of post-processing. He believes that post-processing can produce different effects, however he must be cognizant not to overdo it with the photoshopping. He prefers the natural look and sometimes with different filters, but occasionally having a little bit of post-processing can bring about another kind of flavor.
One of the things his studio is known for is the use of tilt-shift lenses. Tilt-shift lenses can make a photo look almost toyish, like little miniatures. They also have other applications, such as giving an almost macro look, or to be able to have close and far objects perfectly in-focus.
Randy Woolman was the first and last DJ I got to interview today. He’s affiliated with a business known as Impact Entertainment. In addition to their arsenal of DJs, they also provide sound and lighting services.
First I asked him how they pair which DJ to which couple. He said that, after interviewing with the couple and understanding their tastes in music and speaking style, they can find the right DJ for the job. Although each DJ is more than qualified for DJ’ing any number of different types of song styles, there are certain DJs who are more skilled in certain kinds of music. The DJs also have different personalities, so depending on the amount of speaking required, it’s a good idea to go with a DJ who speaks to the tone of the crowd.
With respect to the sound and lighting services, they also provide things like speakers for sounds, but most importantly, lighting has been huge over the past couple of years. You can literally make your wedding into a clubbing event if you want to. So I asked Randy what’s the recent trend in wedding lighting. He said definitely the most important type of lighting these days is the up-lighting, which is shining a light from the floor up along the drapes. Since you can do it in any color, it can set the atmosphere of the venue very nicely.
Creations By Gitta
Creations By Gitta has been in the event design and floral decor business for over 25 years. So I thought they would be the best people to ask about trends in the industry. I was able to catch both Gitta and Julie for some comments. Gitta said it’s quite difficult to say what’s trending, as couples tend to want to express their individuality. However, what never seems to go out of style are centerpieces and bling. Apparently, no matter which year it is, there’s always some sort of bling, usually in the form of either fine crystals or hanging chandeliers.
Bobbette & Belle Artisanal Pastries
I had the opportunity to speak with Allyson, one of the two founders of Bobbette & Belle about how the business was started and what she sees in the industry going forward. She explains that their business model is primarily based off of the fashion industry, where there’s a prêt-à-porter line and a couture line. When they first started in the business, they made extravagant custom-made cakes which were much too expensive for the average couple to afford. That’s when they decided to go with a more affordable set line and the business model expanded from there. Now, they make macaron tower cakes, cupcake platters, and even individualized mini-cakes. Allyson said there was one wedding they did where they made over 100 individualized 3-tier mini-cakes (including packing boxes of course) for each guest!
Going forward, she sees French macarons continuing to be a big thing, at least for the next 3-4 years. It’s easy to color coordinate them with your theme and they are bite-sized. In fact, they were one of the first ones to offer macrons to their clients. Cupcakes will be around forever, but they haven’t been the hot thing for a while. And of course, the mini-cakes will be for the ones who want something totally different and can afford it.
When I asked her what kind of cakes would we see from them in 2012, she had two of them on display, and they were both inspired by Chanel. The first one is more of a contemporary Chanel look and the second one a little more vintage and classy.
Cake Opera Co.
Cake Opera Co. was started by Alexandria Pellegrino and Jessica Smith. Alexandria is the lead designer who was taught in the fine arts in one of best places possible – Florence, Italy! Her creations transcend the traditional cake look due to the inspirations she gets – the beauty in the arts and life. Her goal is to have every one of the cakes she makes tell a story. She doesn’t prefer to make cakes which people can take one look and understand its meaning. She wants her audience to admire the cake as a work of art, and she does lots of it; her creations are extremely ornate and definitely has a wow factor to them. One of her favorites is the Morretto Mask, where the entire dress feeds 100 guests.
In the photo above, you can tell in the background the cake is open. Alexandria said her wanted this to be a celebration of the cake, and not just cake design. And I think it’s a fabulous idea!
I also had a chance to speak with Jessica, who was handing out a delicious platter of macarons. She’s worked with many high end restauranteurs as a pastry chef and I asked her what made her decide to join. Her response was pretty simple and totally understandable. She wanted to be her own boss, have her own hours, and just doing the things she enjoys.
Studio 1098 is a custom jewellery shop located at 1098 Yonge St. Toronto (hence the name 1098). The company was founded by two ladies, Kathryn and Tamara. Both work as a partnership and are on every project together from beginning to end, so you can say they are interchangeable in that respect.
When asked of the trends in ring styles, Kathryn said that trends in the industry tend to move a lot slower than others, but see halo designs and micro paves as the in-thing right now. But of course, the challenge these days is the cost of the raw material, and with precious metals and diamonds peaking in values in recent years, Kathryn has to be mindful of her clients’ budgets.
Melissa Andre Events
Melissa has a fashion background, heralding from New York, where she used to plan 3000 events per year. At the time, she had the opportunity to work backstage in many fashion shows and have taken all the skills she’s learned then and apply them to the wedding industry. At Melissa Andre Events, she has four other planners working alongside her so they have the capacity to tackle all sorts of different clientele. She also has a team of 10 different make-up artists, and although she herself can do make-up, she only prefers to do so for the weddings she personally plans and if she can work it into her schedule with the client. A very dedicated planner, for sure!
Laura K Design
Laura K. Beauparlant is the owner and principal designer for Laura K Design, specializing in invitations. She’s half-Danish and has lived in both Denmark and London after graduating from Sheridan College in Oakville. In Europe, she was drawn in to the clean and clear cut lines of their designs, and her invitations now all have that simple, yet creative look.
I asked her how hard is it to work with couples who have no graphic art knowledge. Her comment was that couples who come in to see her already have an idea what to expect, seeing her designs online. She also has many invitation samples for clients to browse through, and generally it’s quite easy for clients to pick out the things they like in different invitations and serves as a springboard for their final invitation design.
Finally, Laura says that generally the venue dictates the art direction of the invitation, so it wouldn’t make sense to have a wedding in an elegant banquet hall but have an invitation with sand and sea. Clients wanting custom invitations but not knowing where to start should think about using their venue as a starting point for ideas.
We were fortunate enough to have a booth right beside Melissa from GotStyle at the Spring Wedding Show in the Drake Hotel last spring. So I didn’t pass up the opportunity to talk to her again this time around. Unfortunately, she wasn’t available, but her colleague Charlotte was there to answer my questions instead. Doesn’t matter, stylish men’s clothes are definitely my thing!
What sets GotStyle apart from the big box menswear shops is the cutting of their menswear are more slim-fitting. The store, located on 62 Bathurst St, is a boutique style, intimate setting where the staff assist you from beginning to end. For custom fittings, this can take up to five weeks, so they get to know their clients well.
I also suggest you take a look at their website, very graphic novel-ish. I love it!