Weddings 2012 Planning Guide: Event Planners
Professionalism is the mark of Tara O’Grady’s company. Bliss’s staff of four, including an in-house florist, consult from their downtown studio, pulling off six-tent, high-society extravaganzas, as well as small, out-of-town gatherings in places like Niagara-on-the-Lake. Clients’ budgets range from $50,000 to $250,000. Wedding day service from $2,500. Full service from $5,000. 60 Sumach St. (at Queen St. E.), 416-323-3353.
DAVID VALLEE HAND-MADE WEDDINGS
A former restaurateur, David Vallee has been planning events in the city on and off for more than 20 years. True to his role on television’s Rich Bride, Poor Bride, Vallee has orchestrated weddings with budgets as small as $2,500 and as large as $250,000, from Toronto to the Caribbean. For tree-hugging couples aspiring to an eco-friendly event, the company’s caterer, Hearth and Garden, specializes in local, sustainable food. Full service from $5,000. By appointment. 416-260-1982.
From a garden party wedding in Stouffville to an extravagant ballroom affair at the Four Seasons, planner Liz Wanless and her team of three assistants do everything. Live butterfly release after the ceremony? Check. An after-party on a pirate ship, including drag queens? Check. Clients’ budgets range from $30,000 to $150,000. The hourly rate is $100. Wedding day service is $1,800. Full service is $5,000. By appointment. 416-789-0711.
An intimate gathering at a stylish Yorkville restaurant, a celebration in the cellars of a Niagara winery and a romantic reception at a family cottage, complete with roaring bonfires and beachside s’mores, are just a few examples of the weddings Karina Lemke has planned. Lemke, who makes regular appearances as a planner on Rich Bride, Poor Bride, has been in the wedding business for over 12 years. Her niche is with those looking for an alternative to the traditional banquet hall wedding. She specializes in more intimate (less than 120 guests) gatherings at unique locations, including destination weddings, and works with budgets ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Day-of coordination ranges from $650 to $1,650, depending on wedding size and assistance needed. Full planning $2,800 and up. By appointment. 416-937-9357.
LET’S PARTY CONSULTANTS
No matter what the last minute disaster, Let’s Party Consultants will make sure you still arrive at the reception in style, with a garden-fresh bouquet. Leena Nasir’s 12 years of experience in the business mean she can spot unpleasant surprises before they happen and knows exactly how to deal with them. Her nine-person team of full-time wedding planners aims to look after your every request while striving to save more money in the wedding’s budget than the cost of their services. Wedding day service from $500. Full service from $1,500. By appointment. 416-697-2789.
LUXE DESTINATION WEDDINGS
This 15-person company was conceived when Tara and Matt Soloway suffered the headaches of planning their own beach wedding. Matt heads the in-house travel agency and Tara the wedding planning division; together they’ve sent eloping couples and groups of up to 150 to high-end resorts in the Mayan Riviera and Jamaica. Clients’ budgets range from $10,000 to $250,000. Travel services start at $500. Wedding day service is $5,000. Full service is $10,000. Closed Saturday and Sunday. 171 East Liberty St. (at Hanna Ave.), Ste. 140, 416-536-7422.
MELISSA ANDRE EVENTS
Former makeup artist Melissa Andre and her team of five planners provide a range of packages, whether you’re planning a brunch reception for 20 or an elaborate winter gala, including a performance by professional figure skaters and a beaver tail buffet. Budgets range from $75,000 to $350,000. Wedding day service starts at $1,400. Full service starts at $5,000. By appointment. 647-352-5552.
NAOMI SERKIN AND ASSOCIATES
High-end weddings are the specialty of this midtown planner, who is well versed in all kinds of ceremonies and traditions. Serkin has orchestrated 700-person affairs, as well as intimate parties in clients’ homes. Budgets range from $50,000 to $750,000. The company’s services start at $100 per hour. By appointment. 416-485-3902.
RACHEL A. CLINGEN
Clingen and her team are not traditional event planners; they are event designers who take care of the aesthetics of the day, like floral arrangements and decor. In her 20 years of business, Clingen has created fantastical ceremonies and awe-inspiring receptions: lining the aisle with roses and orchids, for example, or providing a divine canopy using draped and lit fabrics. By appointment. 1300 Langstaff Rd., Thornhill, 905-763-7700.
Whether it’s giving a 4,000-square-foot floor an extra coat of stain the day before the wedding or creating champagne chandeliers for an Indy race car driver’s nuptials, Melissa Haggerty and her team have no limits. Clients’ budgets range from $75,000 to $500,000. Full service from $5,500. By appointment. 416-921-2444.