Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Barn Wedding?????

As some of you might know, this week is a crazy week for us... crazier than usual, because Sunday's wedding is bigger and much more elaborate than the average wedding!! So lots to take care of and the to do list seems to be never ending!!  Of course, in the midst of the Chaos of the week... me and the lovely Zeina Issa had to take a road trip to Montreal Tremblant to check out a venue for a barn wedding we're planning for this August!!!! 

The trip up was boring for me, cause all I was doing was driving and listening to Zeina call suppliers and finalize details for the upcoming wedding... meanwhile, on my side, my emails were accumulating, my voice mail was full and as every minute passed by in the car, was every minute I was falling behind on my list of to-dos!!! The joys!!!!!!

I know what your thinking... why are we visiting a venue for an August wedding NOW??? Well... the couple just decided to get married in August in Montreal... plans were very different just a month ago, so you could imagine the urgency of us having to go and see the venue and approve it!!! 

Long story short, I wanted to share with you how impressed I was with Blueberry Lake Resorts!!!  What a perfect venue for a destination wedding and a couple looking to have a week end affair!!!  They resort has a barn that I was hesitant about, until I saw it and just fell in love with it... they also have a beach and could host an outdoor ceremony on the lake!!!! Everything the bride was looking for... it really is a complete package and we just were in awe of everything there!!! It's nothing fancy, it's more rustic ... which is why I was even more impressed, because to find something nice and rustic in Montreal, has proven to be a huge challenge!!! Venue Check :)

Photo of the Barn from outside!

Now the next challenge was to get back to downtown Montreal in time for our 4:00 p.m. appointment for a table setting presentation for one of our July brides...  although we were 10 min. late... we made it and the bride just loved everything about the table!!! 

Of course although all brides were very happy at the end of the day... the only unhappy thing was my body... from the amount of junk we ate on the road!!!

I really can't wait for August for our very first Barn Wedding... It's going to be an experience and I will surely keep you posted!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The week leading to the Big Day!

We have a very big wedding coming up on Sunday... and regardless of how organized you are, there are still a million and one things that need to be done as we approach the big day!!!! 

It is on weeks like this that I wonder how brides that don't have planners do it????? Seriously if my bride did not have a planner, I'm not sure if she would have made it sane to walk down the isle!!!!!! 

For those that are curious as to what kind of things you could possibly have to do on the last week of the wedding... here's a list to entertain you :)
  • Supply a list to the caterer with the meal choices of all guests as well as vendors that will be eating on the day of.
  • Confirm final number of tables with florist so they could make the right amount of arrangements + the final $ balance is dependent on that!
  • Meet with Venue to go over floor plan and all required details (set up, supplier list etc...)
  • Supply the stationery designer and calligrapher with the most updated and final place cards list.
  • Call all suppliers to get the balances required to pay them on the day of wedding.
  • Meet with couple to settle all payments and collect amounts to distribute to suppliers on the wedding day. (this includes tips)
  • Confirm final number of guests with rental company and make sure all rentals are adjusted based on the final guest number.
  • Make sure that the final number of guests correspond with the table place setting supplied by the couple!! Thank God we did that today... because it did not, so we had to revisit that list!!!
  • Coordinate Rehearsal dinner
  • Answer questions that all suppliers might have... just today the phone rang at least 10 times by different suppliers asking questions... imagine the bride getting these calls???
  • Confirm delivery times with all suppliers to make sure that the docking station won't be jammed at one time.

Of course there are a lot of last min. surprises that arise that we have to deal with at all events... and then the most common thing is last minute cancellations by guests, and the decisions that the bride makes about some things that require us canceling something or getting new things.  In this case, she decided this week that she would like to have  wish tree so we have to find a way of getting monogramed cards that will be used on the wish tree. :)

All this to say that we love planning weddings... we love the adrenaline rush... and we love knowing that while we are working hard and running around like chickens with no head... there is a bride someplace, enjoying every moment of her planning... of course thanks to the Maddy K team ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding makes me sad! :(

Princess Diana with Baby Prince William  
I know a lot of you might think I am a looser for thinking this, but I really just can't help it!!!! As the Royal Wedding day has been approaching, as I have felt sadder and sadder and even more sadder... and no one really knows why! I have avoided the subject and frankly was actually considering not watching it and hoping that it would just go away... but obviously being in the wedding industry, you really can't avoid it and the temptation of watching is just way tooo strong!!! So yes I will be watching it... but with a very heavy heart!!!

The reason for my sadness is due to the fact that Princess Diana will not be there for her sons wedding. She probably used to dream of this day for her son, like I dream of this day for my son and so do all mothers in the world.  I would be heart broken, if I don't get to see the day my son gets married... it would be my worst nightmare!!! I feel so bad for Prince William and am sure that he feels the void in his heart and will be missing his mother on the most important day of his life!!! We all know that nothing can replace the love of a mother, and I am sure that Princess Diana would have done her utmost to make sure that her sons wedding was beyond perfect.  As I put my son to bed, I look into his eyes and pray that I will be around to see him grow into a man and one day get married to the women of his dreams {I don't know if I'll like that}. ;) - I wish that for all mothers out there!

As for the second reason for my sadness...

I was a very young girl when Princess Diana and Prince Charles tied the knot years ago... and I remember so vividly watching the whole event with my mother for hours. I remember thinking to myself how one day I will also be marrying my prince, and I will have a very long veil just like Princess Diana. It was that day, for the first time in my life, I started to dream about my wedding day and started believing in fairy tales! The wedding of Kate & William marks the end of an ERA and the end of that little girl that had such big dreams... the end of my fairy tale!!!  It signifies the beginning of the new life, new dreams, new princesses and new fairy tales for little girls that still have the rest of their lives !!! Although as an adult you are still allowed to dream, but we all know very well that no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to dream like a little kid... I feel sad, because I miss that little girl that was sitting on her mothers bed years ago with a huge smile on her face and a world to discover!! 

Tomorrow through Will and Kate's weddings... new dreams will be created by little girls all around the world and it will mark the beginning of a new era!!

On a happier note... I really can't wait to see Kate's dress ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Working Hours - When to draw the line!

Photo Courtesy of

Ok so we all know that wedding season is finally upon us!!! Usually after Easter week end the weeks fly by and everything goes blurry... and next thing I know it's October!!! 

The biggest challenge I used to have in the past is saying no to clients... it's very normal that brides get all excited and sometimes a bit too excited as their wedding approaches... and I think along the way they loose all sense of logic. They want what they want, whenever they want it!!! Of course as a planner, you always try to make your couples happy, but there has to be a line that needs to be drawn at some point.

Since most couples work during working hours, they request to meet with suppliers or even us after working hours. So we created two slots for evening appointments a 6:00 pm. one and another one at 7:30 p.m. that usually goes till 9:00 p.m. - so by the time we leave the loft, close up, drive home it takes another 30 min. arriving home at 9:30 p.m. (which is quite a long day) - So you could imagine how infuriating it gets when you get a bride asking you to create a new slot for her at 9:00 p.m. because she absolutely needs to meet with you... Seriously... would you call up your lawyer and tell your lawyer to extend his office hours for you or your doctor or your accountant for that matter???? NO! But for some reason it is perfectly ok for couples to ask their planners to create new time slots for them, to meet at the strangest times because it best suits them... 

In the past I used to say ok no problem... because I really didn't want to lose out on the business... but I realized that it hurts you in the long run and it is not a healthy way of running a business.  Now, I give the clients my availabilities and let them pick what best suits them based on that. 

Moral of the story: If a client really wants to work with you so bad, they will wait for your next availability to meet with you.  If not, that's definitely not a client you want to work with in the first place!

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 24th - What it means!

Armenians from all over the world, will agree, when I say that April 24th is not just a regular day for us!!! Ever since I could remember, we remembered and mourned on April 24th for all of the innocent Armenians that died on that day!

For those that don't know,  Armenians were the first Christian nation in the world... and April 24th commemorates the death of 1.5 million Armenians during the  Armenian Genocide that took place in 1915 by the Turks.  2011 marked the 96th year that we remember those who died and pray for their souls.  We will never forget what the Turks did to innocent children, women and seniors, and as the years go by, and as the Turks keep denying that the Armenian Genocide ever took place... as we  get more and more united to prove to the world that what the Turks did to us 96 years ago, not only made us stronger but made us united!!!

I remember so vividly when I was a young girl; my Grandfather would tell us the story of how him and his family exiled Armenian during that time and witnessed the horrifying events that were taking place.  Some of the stories he shared with us, I will never forget, and will hold close to my heart!!! Some of the heroic act of young Armenian men, were the reason my grandfather even had a chance at life... and was able to exile to Syria and then to Lebanon, to start his life all over again. Unfortunately, not everyone was as lucky as my Grandfather.

As a proud Armenian, I will do my utmost to teach my kids the history of the Armenians and our ancestors! Even though we are all scattered in the four corners of the world, and some through generations have even lost the language, but I assure you that  when 2 Armenians come together... they will unite, build a church and a school,  they will fight for the Armenian cause and will build their own little Armenia, wherever in the world they are!!!

We will always remember... and will make sure that one day the entire world will recognize the 1915 Armenian Genocide! Until then I encourage you to visit The Forgotten for more info about this historical date.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My other baby - The Bridal Boudoir Affair!!

Photo Courtesy of Fusion Photography
Ever since I found out I was pregnant all I've been thinking about is my other baby - The Bridal Boudoir Affair!!! Initially the Boudoir was scheduled to be early December just like the two previous years... but with the news that I would be giving birth just a few weeks before that date... I had no choice to revisit my plans.  

When I founded the boudoir in 2009, I had put my heart and soul into it... I did it truly because I wanted to give the brides in this city something exciting, something glamorous, something that they will always look back at and say WOW we were part of the boudoir experience!!!! My intention was never to compete or replace any of the other existing shows, because I feel that they all have their place in this city.  However, to find a date that did not disrespect any of the other existing shows was difficult.  My business practice in life is that before business, comes self-respect, integrity and honesty.  So I worked hard to find a date that would still allow all the other shows to still have their proper space for marketing and advertising ... hence I chose December. 

I was so surprised at how the Bridal Boudoir was embraced by brides and suppliers of this city... it really was overwhelming to me and it became my pride and joy.  My team and I worked day and night the months leading to the boudoir and we tried very hard to always innovate and impress!!! All this to say, that the Bridal Boudoir is my baby and having to make a decision about it because I am having another baby was a very difficult decision.  

Photo courtesy of Fusion Photography
Knowing the amount of work and stress involved leading up to the event, it has left me thinking if it is really something I want to go through with a newborn. I really want to enjoy the time with my baby as a newborn because I know that those days will never come again. So after long hours of research and talking with some close friends in the business, I have decided to move the boudoir and make it a spring show! It will be in early March and I am confident that it will prove to be, even  a better date than December.  My final decision was made when in February and April, I was bombarded by couples planning their 2012 weddings, and I realized that March would be a perfect month to capture the brides that plan a year ahead as well as the brides that are planning for the upcoming fall. My gut says it will be great... and my gut is always right ;)

So all this to say that we will not be having a 2011 Bridal Boudoir however we will be having a spring 2012 Bridal Boudoir at a location that has already been selected, but will be announced shortly.

I thank you for all of the suppliers that have emailed us, called us and inquired about 2011... you will all still be invited to participate, and we will be contacting you shortly.  Until then I want to thank all of those that have believed in the boudoir from day one... I will forever be grateful to you and look forward to many more successful boudoir years!!! Join our Facebook page to get updates as we make more announcements in the coming months!

For those that haven't seen yet, you should check out the video from our 2010 boudoir that was created by our friends over at Ioan Films!! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011


January 2010 four Montreal based Wedding Designers got together and formed the Association of Montreal professional Wedding Designers a.k.a AMPWD!! I was one of those designers and was blessed to have met three wonderful wedding planners who had the same vision and goal in forming the AMPWD!!! Please meet Rachel Gervais from an English Rose, Suzanne Hurst from Galleria Event Design and Daniela Caputo from Montreal Event Planner! Three ladies that I have grown to love and adore!! :)

Montreal is a very small city, and for years now the number of wedding designers has been growing exponentially, and we felt that the city needed to have a professional association to represent the group of professionals that we have in this city!!! Let me tell you, the talent we have is out of this world!!!! 

Its been over a year now that the association came together and although the first year was really more administration and putting all the formalities together in joining an official association like this... we are finally enjoying the fruits of our hard labor!!! We are also so pleased that other wedding designers see the benefit in being part of an association like this and have become members and take part in our monthly association meetings!

Two months ago we were invited to the beautiful Sofitel Hotel, by the wonderful Julie Pairault!!! Not only were we spoiled by the spread of yummy treats they had laid out for us, but we were also given a tour of the hotel and their banquet spaces!!! What a beautiful hotel to host a wedding or a social event at!!! That month our guest speaker was the amazing motivational speaker Terri Giosia!! She not only brought us back to the basics of life... but she inspired us all to live fully and try to laugh more!!! For me the experience was wonderful!!! Thank You Terri!!!

This month the Club Mount Stephen hosted our meeting and again we were spoiled with  a spread of sandwiches, salads, and deserts!!! Our host Olimpia Tammaro was so gracious and gave us a tour of the house... although I had been to the Mount Stephens on numerous occasions, I never had heard the history behind the house! I was intrigued! My favorite room in the whole house was  Lady Mount Stephen's 'boudoir' - but are you really surprised about that?????? I even told Olimpia that it would be a perfect room for a romantic proposal... and of course they had already done that!!! So much for my great ideas!!!

Lady Mount Stephen's Boudoir
I have never had the pleasure of designing a wedding at the Mount Stephens, but I would love to!!! Their rooftop terrace blew me away... I am sure not a lot of couples in the city know about this terrace, because if they find out about it, I am sure it would be fully booked for social events! I would host showers, rehearsal dinners, even birthday parties would be perfect for the rooftop terrace!!!! Definitely worth a visit!

As for our guest speaker this month... was Kathleen Gran from chic style, who talked to us about branding your image (body image). She gave us some tips and told us do's and dont's regarding appearances!!! I did learn a lot and although I thought I knew how to present myself well and that my body image reflected by brand... I was wrong! There are some little things that you could tweak that will make a huge impact in your appearance and in the way people will perceive you!!! You should definitely follow her and subscribe to her blog! Thank You Kathleen for your insightful presentation!!

We have some very interesting key speakers lined up for the year as well as visits to some intriguing venues...and along the way, lots of laughs and fun times, with ladies who do what I do for a living and love it!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The color PINK ! ;)

Image Courtesy Wishing Well Photography
I was born on August 10th 1977 (can't believe I just shared my age!) in Jordan, Amman. At the time my parents were living there because my dad was working on a project and had relocated for that time. That was of course the beginning of my parents many relocations... but that's a completely different post on it's own!!

Ever since I was a very very young girl, I was always very girly-girl... I loved everything pink, everything frilly, everything pretty, everything sappy and this continued well into my teenage years and my adult life.  Anyone that knows me or has known me through out my college years, they would say Maddy is a girly-girl! I love manicures, pedicures... love pretty dresses, love to get my hair done, love to watch chic flics and even occasionally love old love-songs! 

So when it was time for me to give birth almost four years ago, it was very difficult for myself as well as my friends to envision me giving birth to anything but a girl...and of course the irony of life never fails... I gave birth to a beautiful baby BOY that I love and adore. and wouldn't change with for anything!!!! I just didn't know what to do with him :( He was a boy... so while designing his nursery, I actually had to try very hard, not to make it feminine looking... and although, I was very happy with the results, I must admit... it did look on the softer side!!! {Hay... he was a baby, so it was ok} - But my favorite color had to change to the shades of blues or greens... since he has the tendency to like what Mommy likes!
George's Nursery Photo Courtesy of Vivian Doan Photography

Fast Forward to 2011... Thanks to the ladies from wedding planner association group; I found out that I was pregnant with our second child! You could imagine my excitement at the possibility of having a baby girl!!!! Although the first few months have been very difficult for me physically... I've worked very hard not to fall behind on work and on my upcoming weddings... I won't lie, it's been tough, but the select very few people that knew have been very supportive and have helped me through this very difficult time! {Thank You Guys}. 

So yesterday was finally the big day... we had the ultrasound and found out that the baby was healthy and all is good and we are well on our way to a healthy pregnancy.  We also found out something else... that we were expecting a baby GIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! {95% girl the Dr. said}. So as you can imagine my excitement...I can't stop smiling and being happy!!! It's what I've wanted for the longest time.. a baby girl!!!! 

By the end of this year, God willing, I will be a mommy of a baby girl - and once again my favorite color will be PINK!!!

Have a great Tuesday!! ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011

The few Week-Ends I treasure!

For those who know me personally, know how much I love the Spring and Summer season! I love the sandals, I love the fashion... I love being free and walking aimlessly downtown... and most of all  I love having dinner with friends on a beautiful summer night on a terrace drinking wine and just enjoying a great conversation!!! However, as a wedding planner unfortunately I don't have the luxury of enjoying beautiful summer week ends. I must admit, it is actually the one thing that I dislike the most about my job.

Every year during this time, I start feeling sad; because I know that we are approaching the summer season, and my free week ends with my family are coming to an end :(  It saddens me to know that I won't be able to go to pool parties or BBQ parties with my friends and family because I have to be at a wedding from early morning till late evening. It saddens me to know that I will miss birthday parties, engagement parties, at times weddings and even family events and trips because I will be working Saturdays and sometimes Sundays from early morning till late evening on a wedding. And when you have a 3 year old toddler, you know that those moments are cherished and go by so fast... but that's the price I have to pay to do what I love so much!! 

A few years ago when I decided to give up my day job and focus strictly on Maddy K. my friends all said the same thing " Ohhh maddy you are so lucky, you only have to work week ends" - Actually no, we don't only work week ends... in the summer months, we work week days AND week ends. Sometimes, I finish a wedding on a Sunday and am so releived that all went well, only to wake up Monday morning to have an email waiting for me from the bride getting married the following Saturday!!! So at times we don't even get the break between events and trust me after a few weeks like that, it starts getting a toll on your body.

The reason for this post is to make young aspiring wedding planners understand the sacrifices that come with being a wedding planner. If spending beautiful summer week ends with strangers is something you'd like to do, then consider the professsion. Unfortunately for me I only started realizing this after I had a child and realized the importance of being with family on week ends... but by then I was well into my career path, so there was no looking back!!! 

Every job has it's set backs, this is one of the set backs that our profession has...but we sure make it up during the winter months when our week ends are strictly reserved for family and friends!!!

On that note, Happy Monday Everyone - I promise tomorrow's post will be less depressing ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

A tasting like no other...

Being a Wedding Planner is by no means an easy task but it does come with its share of perks that we love so much... :) One of them being: TASTINGS!!! 

I don't go on tastings with all my clients, because I feel that tastings is one of the very few times that the couple and their families can actually enjoy the planning process and create an experience from it!!! I do however get some of my couples that really want me there to share the experience with them, and at that point, I go with pleasure!!!! 

Recently we went for an afternoon tasting at one of our favorite catering restaurants Bice! We've worked with Bice many times in the past, however they never cease to impress us and blow us away with not just the quality of the food, but the service!!!  Of course... this doesn't come at a cheap price...but if you can afford it, I say it's worth every single penny!!! Specially if the couples are foodies!!! 

Of course my assistant Zeina (Luv you Z!) is first to be at Bice when it's tasting time ;) and I must say, they love her there ... she works very closely with Allie (who we love) and both their attention to detail makes the  end result perfection!!!  By the way, Bice's garden (il Giardino) is the perfect venue for bridal or baby showers!!! They have the best brunch and the setting is just perfect!!!

So going back to our tasting... we met with the bride and groom and both their mothers! It was such a pleasant lunch ... we started with tasting all the canapes... which were out of this world. Then we moved on to the salad plate, pasta plate (by now we were stuffed), main course (Fillet Mignon, Chicken and Fish) and the grande finale was a selection of 10 different deserts that they usually use for their desert bars (You have to try their bread pudding... YOU HAVE TO) ! We were there for 3 hours, and by the time we walked out of there all we wanted to do was roll over and sleep!!! 

We will be going for another tasting in a week at Bice... but this time it's an evening tasting, so I'm pacing myself!!! I am actually looking forward to it, because I just love the family and the couple and I am sure there will be lots of laughter and fun during those 3 hours of bliss!

So as you can see... it is not all that bad to be a wedding planner! The only downfall is my increasing waist line... but then again the tastings are not the only reason for that! ;)