Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Picture you and your partner as a beautiful painting. How would you treat an exquisite piece of art? You would most likely select a beautiful frame which compliments your 'painting', then carefully display it for friends and family to appreciate. 

A gorgeous head table is a key element when planning your design and style.  It is so important to add any details that make this personal.  Fabrics (always different from guests, but complimenting:  runners/overlays/lace/etc.) can distinguish your tables from your guests.  Mirrors can add a heightened ambiance with a feeling of home or modern and clean bases for centrepieces.  Candles generally look best in staggered heights (at least two different).  Small handpicked, unique items (vases for bouquets, unique frames holding your menu [or on each place seating], napkin holders, fine china or unique glassware for you and your attendants).  

The options are endless to create your unique space. Your head table should be what frames the most beautiful people at your wedding. This focal point or the "frame" of your reception should be:
1. Consistent with your theme (modern, vintage, traditional, etc.)
2. Be different from guest tablescapes, to add extra detail your space
3. Tie in the theme of your bouquets (generally displayed here)
4. Have a use of eclectic unique items
5. Be the main focal attraction of your room
6. Work in conjunction to balance the height and size of your backdrop (higher backdrop = complimenting higher features, shorter ceilings = longer and fuller table, etc.)

There is much to consider, and who doesn't want to make an impact? All of the above and much more we take into consideration when determining your personal vision and element of decor. Feel free to customize your head table... The possibilities are endless!

With Love Always,
Heidi & Jon-Paolo
your 45 Design team

Thursday, 23 May 2013

You CAN Plan Your Own Event! - by 45 Design

Before Jon-Paolo and I were wed, I helped plan at least 20 weddings prior to my own, decorated and stylized (alongside my mother) over 15, worked in a floral shop part-time when I was 22, and been in 8 wedding parties (my 9th coming up on June 1st, 2013!).  

Thanks to my parents' large social circle, growing up I had attended dozens upon dozens of weddings of their friends (and their friends children).  I grew up a social butterfly and have always loved life.  I have come to know and love so many people... My life is so rich because of those around me!  These friendships I have developed on my own has granted me the opportunity to help organize, stylize, and attend numerous weddings into my 20's and now my 30's.   I just called my mom and asked her "Mom, how many weddings do you think I've been to in my life?"  She started to laugh and said, "well, on average I'd say 5 a year, since you were 5!".  It would be a fair estimation to guess that I have had the pleasure to attend well over 70 weddings!

Growing up my mother was always throwing large gatherings or fancy dinner parties.  I grew up around fine food, menus, understanding design, and a mother who was always re-decorating her stunning home.  She taught me the endless possibilities of creativity...  She did all her own sewing for her curtains, catered a few weddings, sewed her own table cloths and made her own centrepieces around the house. I think she's the Canadian equivalency of Martha Stewart!

My mother had always put responsibility from her events onto my sister Ashley and I.  We excitedly accepted the responsibility of folding napkins, making napkin rings out of beads and wire, writing menus, prepping flowers, anything that could contribute creativity.  She was insistent on her daughters knowing how to host a great evening, always inviting different people for her parties (diversifying socially) in hopes of her daughters learning to warmly welcome others, socially in their later years.

My mother taught me the most invaluable lessons and combined with the confidence of my husband, brought me the courage to work with Jon-Paolo and open 45 Design.    We knew that when we were at the most emotional time as a couple that we could agree, bounce ideas creatively and rarely had a disagreement over our own planning, that we would be successful business partners.  When emotions were high, we teamed up and pushed through, when glitches came our way we could find it in ourselves to laugh and find a solution.

So I tell all couples who I meet (with great expertise), there is something you learn about yourself by planning and showing your own creativity.  You develop a side of your personality which often times you do not have the opportunity to use.  A wedding planner is great if you are in a large city and unable to focus anytime on planning, or if you have no interest on the planning aspect... However most couples ADORE the concept once they get the ball rolling on their planning.  It can be overwhelming to decide on your likes, dislikes, themes and taste.  In all honesty, it is the same as shopping for your wedding gown:  You are overwhelmed by all of the choices, but once you've found the one, you feel like home!  Planning your wedding is a collection of "trying on dresses", only with selecting a cake, music, reception site, invitation, etc.  It can take time to get the ball rolling, but be confident...

If you are an generally organized person, you can do this!  Trust me!

1.  A binder to collect notes
2.  A system:  you can use pre-printed sheets, an app or Excel
3.  Printable guide with tips and a timeline
4.  A notebook (or "Notes" in your iPhone) to jot down ANY idea as it comes
(you can later input this in your system of choice)
5.  OPTIONAL:  Day of Co-Ordination (OFFERED BY 45 DESIGN to pull together your final vision.  Even after the decor is complete, keep your night flowing with positivity and professionalism!)

This is where the perks of working with 45 Design come into play... We take away the largest stress of the day:  Setting up your venue based upon our worked out vision!  You can pick out pictures, have an idea of tablescapes, have a vision for the day of, but have you ever set up an event?  Will the venue let you in prior to your event?  NOTHING IS GUARANTEED!  Your set up and design should not be rushed, sloppy or have you stressed and compromising some of your pampering the day before or morning of.  You will have many last minute preparations before your day!  This is why we offer ONLY full-service:  to cater to a specific quality client.

Clients of 45 Design ALWAYS have the luxury of contacting anytime via phone, email or text to ask a question or recieve a vendor reference for any service.  We do this for free, as part of our working friendship.  We are here for our couples from beginning to beyond their wedding day, with a friendship that comforts your event and eases you into full enjoyment of your special day!

With Love Always,
part of your 45 Design team

PINTEREST: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly! - by 45 Design

Near the end of their planning, couples tell us that their largest mistake they made in the first few months of planning was getting caught up in the details of their big day.   Before you even consider details, it is important to have a clear picture of your basic plan.  So, prior to getting caught up with Pinterest, it is important to get a general idea of your vision. 

We love when couples meet with us and have a basic idea of their likes and dislikes.  They have a general feel for their wedding.  They know if it is a large event vs. intimate gathering, formal affair vs. casual celebration, outdoor venue vs. indoor venue, etc.  Answer the above ideas and you'll start successful planning. 

It is difficult when couples show up for their consultation meeting with a collection of beautiful Pinterest ideas, with no consistent flow.   As visionary professionals the responsibility is on us to then guide them in a direction which they are struggling to find.  Jon-Paolo and I love this aspect of our job.  We love the "AHA!" moment when you see the vision that warms your heart and fits your needs and wants all together.  We do feel bad when a Pinterest Pin is exciting to them, however does not fit in with their entire picture.  It is always easier to start building on a basic foundation, rather wasting time taking apart a mismatched structure.

After a couple has decided on their theme (modern contemporary, traditional banquet, rustic, vintage), then they are able to consider their finances (speak with family and/or partner about who pays for what).  

With all of the above foundation laid (general vision, style of wedding, finances), you are able to begin choosing and selecting your details, starting with ideas of importance.  This is when Pinterest can be a great option for narrowing down a cake, guest tablescapes, a head table, unique favours, etc.  Please take into consideration that majority of Pinterest ideas are put together by designers then photographed by professionals.  Majority of DIY ideas seem easy and great, but can be expensive, time consuming and possibly not the final result you had hoped for. 

To our couples:  Please feel free to approach any DIY idea prior to purchasing materials and investing time, and we can guide you in a direction which will leave you satisfied and reflect wonderfully on your full-service event, stylized by 45 Design.

With Love Always,
Heidi & Jon-Paolo
your 45 Design team


Selecting a venue is a crucial part of wedding planning.  After you have selected your venue, then final decor colour choices and stylizing fall into place.  PLEASE NOTE:  Decor colours do not have to be the same as your bridal party attire... Compliment your theme and consider pre-existing venue decor!   The often made mistake we see all too often, is couples choosing a venue before considering style, size and budget.   Pulling the wrong theme in the wrong venue can look unfinished and unwelcoming.  

If your overall look is traditional, find a suitable banquet hall.  If it is contemporary, select an art gallery or unique venue that offers contemporary space.  If it is rustic, plan for a barn or tented venue.   It is an attainable challenge as a design team to turn a banquet hall into your rustic vision, but you are adding on higher costs which are unnecessary and can be avoided by considerate thought. 

From our heart to yours... 45 Design works with you to finish the large picture and take care of small details to complete your final vision.

With Love Always,
Heidi & Jon-Paolo
your 45 Design team