The Wedluxe Wedding Show Part 3

Cynthia Martyn Events

Cynthia is one of, if not the most well known wedding planner in Toronto. In addition to owning and maintaining Cynthia Martyn Events, she’s also the owner of Sash & Bustle, a bridal store located on 223 Carlaw Ave, in the trendy Leslieville area. I had the opportunity to have a quick chat with her and get to know more about her businesses and pick her brain as to the up and coming trends in the wedding industry.

I asked her how she balanced the time between running an event planning firm and a bridal salon, and her response was that she has two great and dedicated staff members who assist her at the stores, running the day-to-day appointments and Cynthia manages the collections of designers they bring in. She only plans 12-15 weddings a year and also plans other events such as corporate functions and holiday galas. She likes being busy and the more work the better.

Pink is her signature color, and you can tell this by the colors in her booth and what she’s wearing, it’s very pink and coralish. Also, many of her wedding style shoots in magazines are in pink with shades of red. She also predicts that coral will be a hit color in 2012.

Cynthia gets her inspirations from interior design and home decor. She loves watching color trends for homes. When she meets a client, she wants to see how their home looks like and the style they put into the house. It gives her ideas as to how those elements can be translated into their wedding.

D&D Floral Designs

Daniela Perri is the owner and founder of D&D Floral Designs. As a leading florist, Daniela has had the opportunity to work with many celebrities, such as an Alicia Keys’ event and Jason McCaslin (from Sum 41)’s wedding at the Liberty Grand. For the former, it was quite a challenge as she was only given four days to design and implement her arrangements, but she pulled it off nicely. For the latter event, the couple was very easy going and fun. They left her in complete autonomy with the design and only directed the color theme, which was red, black, and white. She says that although creative autonomy is good, sometimes it’s still stressful as you hope the couple will like the design as much as you do; so you do your best and hope for the best.

Tara Fava Jewellery

Next up we have Tara from Tara Fava Jewellery. Tara tells me she loves crystals, so she’s always mixing them with pearls to give her creations that rich look. The crystals also give sparkles around the face of the brides who wear her jewellery. For trends, she sees that the statement necklace is still going strong. Her advice to brides is if you’re going to go with a statement necklace on your wedding day, make sure your dress is less busy and have less around your ears. Finally, the most significant piece of jewellery she’s ever made was a replica of a crown for a bride. The bride brought her a childhood photo of her wearing a similar crown and Tara built one up from scratch.

Cre8tive Invitations

Patricia is the owner and lead designer for Cre8tive Invitations. There is a lot happening in her booth, so we attached a few more photos for this exhibitor. We asked Patricia about the paper flower theme throughout the show floor as well as her own invitations, and if it was something that’s going to be a trend in 2012. She says absolutely, and especially going into the spring people look for fresh and flowers define life, renewing, and the freshness of spring. And because paper flowers are handcrafted, they can also signify a labor of love.

Patricia spends her time absorbing inspiration from everywhere, from the salt and pepper in her eggs to product packaging. She loves using textured paper like beaded glass paper, embossed paper, or any kind of paper that resembles snake skin. Just for fun I asked her if she was to design an invitation for a celebrity, who would she do it for.

Her response?

“Marilyn Monroe because it would be a sexy, girly, bling!”

Ain’t it the truth!

Distinct Occasions

Distinct Occasions is an wedding planning company founded and operated by Crystal Adair-Benning. She specializes in international destinations and also has offices in Scotland and Australia. So naturally I asked her what would be a dream location for her own wedding. It seemed like we were in sync as she said she was actually doing exactly that! She’s planning on renewing her vows with her husband in New Zealand. It’s going to be in a very romantic location via a 30+ hour flight plus another 8-10 hours to get there.  She’s also explored much of Asia in the past year. Next on her list will be the Kingdom of Bhutan and Borneo.

In addition, Crystal specializes in engagement planning. One tip she wants to share with potential clients is try to plan your engagement far in advance. There is nothing she stresses out more than to have a client ask her to design an over-the-top wedding proposal with a one week window. The more time she’s given the more impressive the wow factor’s going to be. The longest project she’s ever worked on was a proposal plan over the span of two years and even involved a helicopter!

Hip !nk

We call this one “the meeting of the bloggers” – The Wedding Blog meets The Invitation Blog.

Sarah Spano manages both Hip !nk Paper Co, which does modern invitations and paper goods, and Hip !nk Couture Invitations, her custom invitations line. Those and of course, managing her extremely well written blog. She just came off of a second blogging marathon – 32 days of blogging! Our next question of course is how she finds the time to balance her blogging life and her invitation companies. She says that blogging is very important to her, it’s not only a channel to showcase her work, but also has an educational component – to let engaged couples know how much invitations cost, expected timelines, etc. It motivates her to keep on top of things.

She’s also hosted a lot of DIY invitation workshops for brides, and a common question brides always seem to have is if it’s easy to make your own invitations and how much it’s going to cost.  While there’s no simple answer to that the biggest challenge facing DIY brides is being able to find the time to design and make the invitation. Her advice is to guess-timate the amount of time you think you need to make the invitation, and multiply that by 3…so get as much help as you can get! She finds many brides underestimate the amount of work that’s required to design, cut, and assemble your own invitations.

Jennifer Klementti Photography

The first time we met Jennifer was last spring at The Spring Wedding Show. In our previous post we said GotStyle was our neighboring booth. Jennifer was…surprise! on the other side. She’s a great photographer and a most wonderful person to work with. She approaches wedding photography with a fine arts approach, where she blends it with a documentary style coverage capturing emotions, beauty, and feelings throughout the wedding day. Jennifer’s background is in fine art photography, that’s why she likes to approach each wedding with an artistic hat on. Her core philosophy is “Celebrate the Art of Life”, and it has also been the company’s motto for the past eight years. Her tip on choosing the right photographer? Meet them in person and make sure their visual and photographic style blends with your style. Personality matching is also very important!

Asian Fusion Weddings

Asian Fusion Weddings is a wedding planning company especially catered towards marrying traditional eastern wedding cultures with the west. Wendy is the lead planner and owner of Asian Fusion Weddings and has been in the industry for many years. She just finished a complete rebranding of her company, so those of you who have been in touch with the wedding industry in the past may know her company as Weddings By Wendy.

We asked her how she would help couples resolve cultural elements that they want to incorporate in the weddings. She said that a lot of it revolves around communication, between not only the couple but also what the families desire.  If you don’t communicate clearly, it can lead to unwanted headaches later on.  If everything is on the table to begin with, there shouldn’t be as many issues.

In addition, Wendy also has a new gig called Diamond Ambassador. Being in the wedding industry for over 10 years, Wendy was able to forge strong relationships with vendors who manufacture diamond rings, import and wholesale.  So now she offers the sale of diamond rings below their retail price.

Blair Nadeau Millinery

Blair Nadeau has a strong background in textiles and fashion and when she travelled to Europe, she found her love in millinery, which is the formal term for hatmaking.

Headpieces and fascinators were something seldom seen in weddings in Canada, however coming back in full force following the Royal Wedding last year. We asked her if this was something that’s taking the world by storm. Her response was quite interesting. She said that actually, in Australia, England, and Scotland, it is a customary to wear a hat/fascinator to a wedding and it is considered rude if you don’t show up with a fascinator on your head.  In Canada, we are just starting to see that and a lot of guests are beginning to wear fascinators to weddings.

There are plenty of different types of materials that are used in headpieces so we asked Blair what was one material she found difficult to work with yet beautiful for hairpieces. She said crin – a French material that is extremely beautiful. It is moldable, so you can do anything it – steam it, shape it but it will never look the same twice.  Every creation looks one of a kind.

Her thoughts on hairpiece trends going forward?  She said she thinks it’s going to be whimsical. Brides are going to be a bit more daring, and will want to go for something really unique and custom.  And they want to play with the materials.  She has been getting a lot of requests from women who want something completely unique and expresses their individuality.

Finally we asked Blair a tip on how to find the perfect hairpiece. Her advice is to find your dress first, come with images, ideas, and try them all on.  Every hat is going to look different on everyone.  Once you try one on you’ll know; it’s like your wedding dress.  So she would recommend brides to first look for their dress, then the fascinator/veil, and lastly the wedding jewellery as you can always accent your jewellery a lot easier than with your fascinator.

Jackie O

Todd Kjargaard has an extensive background in event planning and is the owner of the flower shop Jackie O.  His religion is creativity and entrepreneurship. He does not stop until he achieves creative success and is a master of brand creation, reinvention, innovation and design. From owning a successful restaurant in Montreal, to starting his event planning company “The Art of the Moment”, to creating an online travel business, and finally to flower company “Jackie O”, Todd truly embodies the title of “Serial Entrepreneur”. In addition to running his businesses, Todd is currently a Professor at Seneca College where he teaches event management.

We took no delay in asking someone with such a breadth of knowledge on some tips for future brides and grooms. His one advice – Couples must make time for themselves after the ceremony, even just for 10 minutes. Try to get away from everyone, even the photographer, and embrace the feeling of being newly wed. Also drink lots of water! I can definitely attest to that. After your vows it hits you like a brick, and you don’t even have time to bask in the moment and you’re whisked away for congratulatory comments from guests and being asked to pose for shots. Great advice Todd!

Todd’s tip on picking the flowers for your wedding day:

Pick something that is a representative of yourself and of the venue that you are having your celebration.  A lot of people don’t know about flowers.  Flowers give an impression and make a feeling.  That expression you give on your tables, arrangements, and ceremony flowers transmits to your guests.  It’s an expression of you as a couple.  Most men are not involved in the flower picking process because frankly, most men do not have the same attraction to flowers as women but they do still have a sense of it.  Picking something in season can also help curb costs.

Todd’s favorite flower? Ranunculus


We missed renowned photographer Jackson Huang in the morning, but luckily he was around his Ikonica booth in the afternoon to answer some questions. Jackson is the first PhD we know of in the wedding industry. In a previous life, he studied Alzeimer’s Disease. So how did he make the 180 degree change from something so scientific to something so creative?

Jackson attributes his good fortune to a very understanding supervisor during his research days.  As soon as he got his reports done, his supervisor allowed him to do whatever he wanted during his free time. So Jackson did his fair share of travelling and always had his camera with him. Over the years he fell in love with photography and became obsessed with it. As soon as he finished his PhD, he decided to give a career in photography a shot before he continued on his scientific research. He never looked back.

I then asked him about the other photographers in his company and what he looks for when he hires new ones. Jackson said that the other photographers in his company all started as assistants, and through this process develop into artists of their own light. Gillian Williamson joined the team as one of his first assistants and in a very short time proved she she was an exceptionally talented individual. Through natural progression, she became a lead photographer. That’s the path that all photographers in their company follow. I cannot agree enough. A company is much easier to sustain a successful culture by hiring individuals while they’re green and grooming them into the company style. More often than not, when veterans of any industry get together there will be old habits, styles, and egos that may prove harder to mesh.

So is there an Ikonica style? Definitely. There is a rooted classicism, in tradition without feeling old fashioned; their ideal is to always have powerful imagery that will look modern and fresh forever.  They try to stay away from having too many effects or being too trendy because they want their imagery to be timeless. Each of their photographers do have their own styles, but they all share the same ultimate vision, which is to be everlasting, Ikonica-style.

Susan Murray Luxury Linen & Decor Rentals

Being a leader in the textile industry, I wanted some insight to what Susan sees as the trend for linens in the next couple of years. Her forecast was that warmer color combinations, more golds and silvers will be the next big thing. A rose-gold combination (as per the photo above) with a hint of vintage is a great theme. Contrary to some reports, vintage is still very big in the industry but has just warmed up from the pure ivory tones.

A tip for couples picking linens for their wedding day: linens are very important and can be the most cost effective way to set the tone of the room.

There are many innovative products from Susan Murray such as the chivalri chair decorations. Why did she decide to go this route? Susan explains that in the past chivalri chairs were expensive to rent, so additional decoration costs were out of the question as only the wealthy could afford them. Now that many venues own their own chivalri chairs without the additional charges to the couple, it’s a cost effective way to decorate the chairs and make them look nicer.

Truffle Cake & Pastry

Christina Wong is the owner of Truffle, and one of her fortes is the dessert table. So I ask her what is a must have item for the dessert table. She said that a lot of people are going for macaroons and it’s been in trend for the last couple of years. Mini cakes as well or anything bite sized. She finds that if she probes deeper, people actually like different things. So her skill is to take what the clients like and bring it to the next leve. Even things like S’mores, she’s done a lot of those recently. It’s something homey and a comfort dessert, and she makes it upscale.

What’s she got a sweet tooth for? Little spiced bun cakes and chocolate chip cookies.

What’s her trend outlook for 2012? More is better. Instead of having one baked cake, having three coordinating smaller cakes creates more presence.


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