This week our local Toronto insider’s are the talented husband and wife team behind Lustre Event Coordination. Melissa and Morgan shared with us some of their personal wedding planning experiences, and offered some great insight into how to achieve the wedding of your dreams.
1.) How long have you been a planner?
We fully launched in 2007 and it has been nothing but fun, laughter, and a
lot of hard work since.
2.) How did you get into the profession?
Melissa – I have always been enthusiastic about weddings, events, and social activities and knew someday my passion would lead me in the right career direction. What better of a dream to have then to do what you love everyday and make a living from it! Initially I started heading down the hospitality path but soon grew to know exactly where I was meant to be - and that was with brides and grooms!
Morgan – I was in the event scene starting a career in live entertainment through the sound industry. My passion was more clear to me when I started working in the design and planning aspect of my field. That and wanting to work with my (now) wife guided me towards this industry. We both have interests and backgrounds that helped us meld into a wedding planning
3.) What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Melissa – Hands down the most rewarding part of our job is sending all of our lovely couples down that aisle. To be a part of one of their most important and emotional days never gets old and each one is special. We get to know so many great people and those who love them the most. Continually watching families share in that happiness and seeing their family expand in the years after is just plain awesome.
Morgan- I believe a wedding is one of the most memorable days in any persons life. I get to be part of that. That means a lot to me.
4.) What’s your favourite Toronto venue?
Oh no! Tough one. So many are great for different reasons. The Market Kitchen at the St. Lawrence Market is awesome for an eclectic dinner party, it’s a perfect change of pace. A biased opinion would be The Drake Hotel (where we personally had our wedding ceremony). They have great food and a great vibe going on. When it comes to service Jump Restaurant has always been a dream to work at – we would work there every weekend. It was literally a hug fest at the end of the night, bride and groom included! They have exceptional food, and a fabulous urban atmosphere if that’s what you’re looking for.
5.) What would be your dream wedding to plan?
Melissa- Hopefully it’s not too cliche – but who doesn’t dream about a big Tuscan hillside wedding brimming with flowers and wine and that’s all about the food and enjoying it with family. Hopefully someday……. because we’re up to our eyeballs with inspiration, we need an outlet!
Morgan – Surprisingly I have never done an outdoor tent wedding. I love outdoor weddings when weather allows it, and a large white tent in a green grass field may be a little old fashioned, but I feel like I could bring a lot of fresh ideas to that. It screams romance to me and I’ve been imagining it for years.
6.) What’s the craziest thing that has happened at one of your weddings?
Most of the time weddings bring out the best in people. They are present to celebrate the couple, have fun, and build memories for a lifetime. That said, sometimes the high stress levels and emotions can unfortunately boil over and cause momentary lapses in judgment and make seeing what’s truly important a bit foggy.
We’ve had quite a few “had to be there moments”, speeches gone bad, drunken incidents, and a middle of dinner 911 call for Dad (he’s fine now!). But the one that takes the cake was a Mother of the groom and the Father of the groom’s new wife having a few words after a touch of wine and it ended with the mother being whacked across the face with a purse. People had to step in and separate them and the Dad and wife left. It was not a good scene, nor was it fun to witness. Luckily it was close to the end of the evening so it didn’t spoil too many of the festivities. This should remind us all that a wedding is only about the couple, and you need to leave your issues and grievances at home for the night. And if you can’t, don’t go.
7.) How do you deal with bridezillas?
Melissa: To be honest, we very rarely have to. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have been able to work with the brides we have. The type of personality traits that people consider a “Bridezilla” to exhibit in our opinion are brought out when they are feeling stressed, behind schedule, overloaded with tasks, or are feeling the pressure that comes with wanting to have a wedding that will impress. Not to mention we believe you get back what you put out, so we are always kind and patient and generally find that’s what we receive back.
If any agitation is starting to come to the surface we amp up our game to show them everything is under control and going to be even better than they can imagine. When we do this and restore their confidence it quickly resumes back to excitement and positive energy about taking those vows. We like to think having awesome planners is what the solution is!
Morgan: Bridezilla may be the most overused term in the industry right now and I don’t like it. Its impossible to define one because it means different things to different people. Ive seen some of the sweetest brides be called a bridezilla just because they wanted what they wanted. It’s used sometimes to try and bring brides back down to earth, and usually accomplishes the opposite. A bride would have to do a lot for me to consider them one and I have not had that displeasure yet. Groomzillas are a whole other story
8.) What one piece of advice would you give to brides to make their planning easier?
Well the obvious answer is hire a planner, but on top of that, they should be the FIRST person you hire. Sometimes people come to us desperate after they have already made every mistake in the book and wasted a lot of money doing it. We can promise you won’t regret it.
Other than the shameless self promotion, the best piece of advice is to plan your wedding for YOU. Your guest experience and comfort should be of the utmost importance but in terms of colours, flowers, your venue, and most importantly the “extras” that make your wedding personal and yours should be decided by what you as a couple want. Don’t pick something out just because you think it’s what your bridesmaids would pick, because its trendy, or to one up someone. Once you start that game it’s never ending and when it’s over you’ll wish you hadn’t. Your guests are there because they care about you, as long as your love story shines through, they’ll be happy for you and appreciate all you’ve done to give them and yourself a wonderful day!