Our inspiration for our 2014/15 themes

The Planners

We have challenged two amazing Ottawa wedding planners to take on an overwhelming task: create a wedding that can show engaged people in Ottawa what each of their wedding vendors can do while using trendsetting elements and themes. 

Its a thankless job, wedding planners work behind the scenes and guests shouldn't really know that they are there but they are the ones that bring it all together! 

This year's themes are Glam vs. Rustic. Wedding Planner, Elise Schmitz from Toast Special Events, has chosen a modern yet romantic theme using some sparkle to create 3 stunning spaces! Here is a little taste of what you can expect from Team Toast.

Glitter, sparkle and shine. Our team is hoping to leave our guests with sense of sophistication and glamour. While our style is ‘contemporary romance,’ we do have a few unconventional gourmet surprises and design details, which may challenge your thoughts on the everyday wedding formula. We’re re-defining the wedding experience one bride at a time.
— Elise Schmitz

Karen Sagle, wedding planner from When Sparks Fly, has other plans. She has taken the rustic theme in a new direction, infusing romantic and delicate elements with natural details. Get inspired by Team Sparks' style board!

My vision is for a very natural, organic, simple and clean approach. We are planning to use lots of greenery and natural materials, and to keep things very simple and basic and elegant. I think a lot of brides get hung up on all the extra ‘stuff’ that comes with weddings. I’m hoping to convey the idea that a wedding can be beautiful and simple without all the extra things — just a few really good quality elements can make a really big statement.
— Karen Sagle

Who have they pulled together to help them achieve their visions?

Team Sparks 

These 5 #teamsparks vendors are committed to making their team's wedding the most beautiful through their decor, from vintage lounge areas to earthy florals to beautiful linens and decor, they are pulling out all the stops!

Team Toast

#teamtoast is going above and beyond to bring you the most trendsetting and unique elements for their team's wedding decor. Its going to be amazing to see how this team pulls it all together on November 15th. 

The Competition is On!

We asked the teams to give us a message for their opponents, here is what most of them said! 

Join us at the big day and see for yourself how it all turns out! Buy your tickets before its too late!

à la carte favours for your wedding

We are ever so excited to share with you one of the many perks you will receive as a guest at the Best Day Ever, our exclusive favour sponsor, Grazie Gifts will be giving you each a unique favour at your place setting to take home with you!

Kristina and Anita at Grazie Gifts have hand chosen collections of favours that to represent the most trendy, affordable and practical ways to give a gift of thanks. They are Ottawa's only online Bomboniere and Favor retailer, they carry numerous samples of their items and encourage people to book an appointment to come see them or chat about all the options for your wedding favours.  

The favours you will receive at the Best Day Ever are beautifully wrapped and distinct to the wedding theme you are seated at! There are so many really beautiful options, but I have a few favorites!

And my ultimate favorite item they have? This guy!

oh hello there little fella.

Learn more about Grazie Gifts here or better yet come experience what they do at the Best Day Ever!

Ottawa Citizen: Wedding showdown Best Day Ever aimed at millennials

In a small, century old building tucked in amongst the grand old piles and newer, tony condos on New Edinburgh’s MacKay Street, a newly engaged young woman beams as she flounces out of the change room.

“What do you think? I just love it. It’s so, I don’t know, what do you think?” she asks, not stopping for the answer.

On a bench running the length of The Handmade Bride, her mother and sister deliberate as she comes out in a parade of gowns. Judging by the sleeveless silk fripperies by Toronto custom wedding gown designer Anais Annette that the bride is choosing, could it be a summer wedding?

“Oh, I don’t know,” the bride laughs, her brown eyes sparkling. “We haven’t set a date. We’re just doing the fun part first.” She turns to her mother again, a traditional type who seems to favour bridal lace and covered shoulders. “I like the top part,” the bride says, smoothing her hands down the bodice of a less-favoured piece, “but I don’t like poofy.”

Owner Meaghan Brunetti nods in agreement. This is, after all, no ordinary bridal boutique stuffed with diamante headpieces, massive couture gowns and overpriced oyster satin shoes. This is a store designed by and for the choosiest generation of them all: Millennials.

A gorgeous vintage-inspired dress is bathed in sunlight in the front window of Meaghan Brunetti small boutique in New Edinburgh called The Handmade Bride.

“People who come here elope, they go on destination weddings, they don’t get married in a church,” says Brunetti, 30, who operates the one-year-old store with her sister, Jenna. “They choose the alternative, it’s the new norm. This generation wants the custom life, custom job, custom apartment and the same thing goes for the wedding. It’s the ultimate opportunity to express themselves.”

Given that the average Canadian wedding costs $31,000, says a 2014 survey by BMO, the “chance to express themselves” presents a pretty solid business opportunity for vendors willing to tap into the millennial mindset.

Massive bridal shows have answered the call, with varying results. On one hand, hundreds of vendors sign up to offer the ultimate wedding experience to couples walking through the venue. On the other hand, says Brunetti, the experience of shopping for wedding ideas with thousands of other brides-to-be can be nothing short of exhausting.

And that’s where her latest venture, Best Day Ever, covers the spread. Designed to treat just 250 couples to the best possible choices for their “best day ever,” the Nov. 15 trade show at the Canadian Museum of Nature will offer just two of everything: two florists, two dress designers, two DJs, two photo booths, nail salons, hair salons, decor firms, rental companies and two live weddings (vow renewals, actually) that will showcase the glam/romantic versus rustic/alternative talents of two wedding planners, Toast Special Events and When Sparks Fly Weddings & Events.

Team Sparks style story board.

Team Toast style story board.

Elise Schmitz

“I wanted to make this event because the trade shows are super overwhelming for brides, with everyone trying to sell to them,” says Brunetti. “They leave feeling overwhelmed and clutching a thousand business cards. We want them to experience what vendors do on the spot. They’ll be able to touch, feel and see everything and then they leave with a big box full of gifts from vendors with their business information.”

Then there’s the two live “weddings” that will showcase completely different styles of events, both of which have massive traction with the millennials at the moment. Featuring two couples who won a competition called “Ottawa’s Best Couples Ever,” the vow renewals will highlight the hottest new trends — think rustic greenery and floral headpieces versus romantic elegance — that 2015 has to offer.

For Brunetti, that will also mean offering the most ethical, locally manufactured choices around. Having been forced to turn online for the right elements for her own wedding, she decided that when planning nuptials, the tactile experience matters. As such, back at the shop, which is sparely decorated with a simple trestle table, cushions, antique dressers and artsy-crafty paper tassels, she carries only 15 designers, the majority of whom are Canadian-owned and use Canadian manufacturing.

“I want the dress to have a story, not that someone in China made a thousand million of them. The designers I carry make them by hand — that’s a criteria — and they’re actively involved in the fitting process. If another fabric is needed, they find it and send us the swatch. There are ethical reasons for doing it this way,” she says, “and it mirrors what this generation wants.”

The Best Day Ever: A Wedding Showdown

Where & when: Canadian Museum of Nature, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m.

Who: 40 Canadian and Ottawa-based wedding industry vendors

Cost: $89 for a five-course meal, two weddings, gift box worth more than $100; portion of proceeds go to the Elizabeth Fry Society

More info: http://www.bestdayeverottawa.com/



Thea and Jody represent the rustic couple. They are proud parents to Kira and are lovers of cosplay and performing arts. They are ready to get hitched once again in front of hundreds of strangers due to their on-stage experiences in Murder Mysteries and dressing up in costume at conventions. Their unique personalities will certainly shine through on Nov. 15.

photo supplied / Jonathan Kuhn Photography

Rustic/alternative: Karen Sagle, When Sparks Fly Weddings & Events

“My vision is for a very natural, organic, simple and clean approach. We are planning to use lots of greenery and natural materials, and to keep things very simple and basic and elegant. I think a lot of brides get hung up on all the extra ‘stuff’ that comes with weddings. I’m hoping to convey the idea that a wedding can be beautiful and simple without all the extra things — just a few really good quality elements can make a really big statement.”

Thea and Jody are parents to Kira.

photo supplied / Jonathan Kuhn Photography


Andrea and Mike are the glam couple. They have two young daughters and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Mike is a local blogger and Andrea is a baker, they are very excited to have a special day planned for them and to have new wedding photos with their children and their new fitter bodies.

photo supplied / Barbara Ann Studios

Glam/romantic: Elise Schmidt, Toast Special Events

“Glitter, sparkle and shine. Our team is hoping to leave our guests with sense of sophistication and glamour. While our style is ‘contemporary romance,’ we do have a few unconventional gourmet surprises and design details, which may challenge your thoughts on the everyday wedding formula. We’re re-defining the wedding experience one bride at a time.”

Written by Julie Buen, Ottawa Citizen

Win Two Free Tickets to Best Day Ever!!

We are ramping up for the Best Day Ever on November 15th and all our vendors and sponsors are working full tilt to make the evening spectacular for all of you, our guests!

We want all of Ottawa's brides, grooms and their bridal parties to be there to experience this amazing and exciting evening but we can only fit 240 people in the room! Tickets are selling FAST but we have reserved a few FREE tickets and are giving them away to two lucky people now! 

Two sets of two tickets will be given away to the lucky winners, you will get free entrance to the Best Day Ever on Saturday, November 15th which includes;

- a 5 course gourmet dinner for two

- sweets and dancing 

- a massive gift box full of swag

- a chance to win the grand prize package

- and more! 

To enter the ticket giveaway all you need to do is LIKE our Facebook Page, share our contest status on your Facebook wall and comment that you have shared! 

Contest closes on Tuesday at 5 pm!! So, go to Facebook here and share our post!

Share on! 

Win a Weekend Getaway with your Sweetheart

Win a Weekend Getaway with your Sweetheart

ARC The Hotel is Ottawa’s best rated luxury boutique hotel, with a modern design aesthetic, the Hotel's luxury rooms invigorate your senses with bold colours while soothing your spirit with soft earthy motifs found in the classic styling of each and every room. They play host to rock stars, celebs, hipsters and the sophisticated business traveler. ARC The Hotel is central to cultural attractions, year round festivals and downtown Ottawa. It’s the ultimate place to rest your mind and awaken your spirit.

ARC The Hotel will be the Best Day Ever's exclusive hotel sponsor this year and they will be spoiling our BDE couples with beautiful suites to get ready in the morning of the event and to pass out in after the party!

Aren't their suites gorgeous? We love the designer inspired suites, just look at those Roman style bathtubs! ARC the Hotel is all about the details, with every room they offer turn down service complete with Belgian Chocolate, signature green apple and ARC water. 

Each guest of the Best Day Ever will be entered in the draw for the Grand Prize Package:

Do not miss your chance to attend this amazing wedding show gala designed especially for the brides and grooms of Ottawa! Get your tickets at www. bestdayeverottawa.com

Clash of the Photogs

See what happens when a young, spry photog duo take on a witty, local photography icon

Jonathan Kuhn Photography is a new kid on the block when it comes to wedding photography in Ottawa. This husband and wife team claim that being new has its advantages! They feel that they "have so much energy and fresh ideas to bring the table."

Jonathan claims: "We are willing to climb any height for you. No seriously - we mean it. We love adventuring and we would love for our couples to come to us saying they know of this stunning river or meadow or cliff that they want to use for engagement sessions or their wedding." 

Barbara Ann Studios is a one-woman show, she is smart, witty and gets high on "getting the shot" on camera the first time! Barb is an award winning photographer and has studied under some of the top wedding photographers in the world.

Barb jokes that she "brings high level of experience to the table which is a different way of saying I am WAYYYYYYY older than the other photographer!!" 

Jonathan and Katriina just returned from a jaw-dropping 23 day road trip across the west coast of the States with a couple of other photographers. Needless to say, they are inspired and excited for the event!

Meanwhile, Barb will be pushing herself to, not only capture the quintessential Barbara Ann shots but also, strive to step outside of the box. "For me, it is not a competition against another photographer (although that part is fun too!) but it a chance for me to compete against myself."

Their inspiration for the photography at the event is drawn from different sources, while Jonathan wants to exhibit the natural beauty of the couple and the event in its best light, Barbara says that she has been inspired by fashion, cinema and editorial elements. Can you say 'Drama!!'

Barbs message to her competitor, Jonathan? "Bring it!" and I am sure they will!

See Their Work

Jonathan' Kuhn Photography

Barbara Ann Studios

Want to see them in action? The photographers will be battling it out all evening long at the Best Day Ever! They will be challenged to pre-shooting all the group photos and editing them by the time guests sit down to dinner! See who is the crowd favorite! Get your seats NOW!




The Battle of the Wedding Gowns

What happens when 2 wedding gown designers are challenged to get votes from Ottawa brides for their designs?

The question on all the Best Day Ever guests minds "What will they be wearing?!"

With 2 extremely talented Canadian wedding gown designers going head-to-head its hard to say which one of their incredible designs they will choose for our 2 brides on November 15th. 

Team Sparks has chosen a rustic theme wedding, using natural elements and woodsy decor and their team designer, Maureen Patricia Toronto, fits the bill perfectly.

Maureen Patricia's gowns have a whimsical, bohemian, vintage inspiration and look amazing in a natural setting with lots of wild flowers.

Team Toast is going with a glam themed wedding, with a little sparkle and airy, romantic details. Truvelle should be able to wow brides-to-be when they see our bride, Andrea, walk down the ailse! 

Truvelle's gowns boast modern, universally flattering cuts and flowing skirts. Some of her designs show off a little sparkle in a very nontraditional way.

The gowns have been chosen to suit the brides figures, personalities and the style of each wedding. Which do you think they should wear? 

You can find Truvelle and Maureen Patricia gowns exclusively at The Handmade Bride in the National Capital Region. 

Want to attend the Best Day Ever and be one of the lucky brides that will decide who should win? Get your tickets now!

Meet the Vendors: Story & Rose

We got a chance to catch up with Alysia from Story & Rose Floral Studio, here is her take on our famous 4 questions!

1) What would you say is the thing your clients like best about you?
My creativity, I am always willing to take on a new project! Even if I have never done it before I won’t say no and because of this I am able to offer a lot of items, styles and ideas that other traditional floral designers don’t ( which makes my job so much more fun- see question two:)

2) What is your favorite part of your job?
There are so many that it is hard to narrow it down, but I would say its a combination of the creativity and diversity. Only so much of my job is actually arranging flowers ( which is awesome!) but I love that I get to do just about everything under the sun as a floral designer, it is so diverse! Every wedding and event that I do is different, the clients are different and I have to take a different creative approach to each and every one -my creativity is always being pulled in a million directions which I LOVE! 

3) What part of the Best Day Ever are you most looking forward to?
The final product. As with each wedding I do, you meet someone and you throw ideas around and this flower and that colour and they add their creative touches but you don’t really know how it will all look until that final day. The Best Day Ever will be this but taken to a whole other level. It is the creativity of the best of the best all working together and the end result is going to be beyond amazing. When we are done setting up and we get to step back and see how it has all come together- that moment is what I am most looking forward to and of course sharing it with all of attendees! 

4) What is your favorite trend for 2015 weddings?
I’m loving the eco-friendly/local/ organic trend. It started a few years ago but each year it keeps getting better. I especially love it in the floral world. There is nothing better than freshly picked blooms placed together as if they had grown that way. I like how “green” 2015 is shaping up to be, that the brides and grooms are making an effort to make their wedding more green and eco-friendly and that the wedding industry is offering so many options to make their big day a sustainable one.

Want to see what incredible floral design #teamsparks is planning for Best Day Ever? Get your tickets today!

Meet the Vendors: Truvelle

Truvelle will be providing the wedding gown for #teamtoast! Just you wait until you see which one, its nothing you have ever seen before!

Here are our top 5 reasons why we love Truvelle.

1) The are handmade by a charming, independent Canadian, female designer.

2) They are magical! They fit every body type so perfectly. She really understands just the right place to end the fitted bodice and begin the draped and flowing skirt to be perfectly flattering on every woman.

3) They are lined in satin. This may not seem like a big deal until you try on a dress made in a cheaper fabric afterwards. The satin is silky and luxurious on your legs when you walk and even though no one else knows its there, its a little extra comfort that will make you feel even more special on your wedding day.

4) The fabrics and designs are pretty interchangeable. If you fall in love with 2 of her dresses, there is usually a way to customize them into one super-dress! We can tell you all about it during your appointment.

5) They have nice fabric. This one is something that is important to me when I am choosing gowns for The Handmade Bride’s samples. High quality fabrics make all the difference in making a gown look beautiful. Nice fabric doesn’t necessarily mean expensive either, most of Truvelle’s gowns are under $2000.

Come in to the shop and see for yourself, the full collection is visiting us until the end of the October 11th!Book your appointment now!

p.s. more drool worthy pics below.

Meet the Vendors: Julie Keon

Julie Keon is a lifecycle celebrant and ceremony officiant, we have the honour to welcome her to our ranks as the officiant for #teamsparks!  

We asked Julie some important questions and here is what she said!

1)       What would you say is the thing your clients like best about you?

"What I hear most often is the connection my clients feel with me as though we have known each other for a long time. They really appreciate the time and effort I put into their ceremony to make it really personal and reflective of the two of them, their relationship and their love story. And they always appreciate the balance of my sense of humour (which eases everyone’s nerves) and my ability to bring them to the present moment recognizing the seriousness of the commitment they are making in marriage."

2)       What is your favorite part of your job?"

I love the challenge of meeting people who are virtually strangers and creating a one-of-a-kind ceremony that is unique to them. I loathe cookie-cutter ceremonies that lack meaning for the client. Ceremony is a powerful opportunity to help individuals transition from one status to another and in the case of marriage, from being single to being a married couple. My role as a Celebrant is to make sure the ceremony is memorable and personal for the couple."

3)       What part of the Best Day Ever are you most looking forward to?

"I love the entire, brilliant concept of the Best Day Ever but more specifically, I look forward to actually demonstrating what my role is as opposed to just talking about it across a table as one would do at a typical bridal show."

4)       What is your favorite trend for 2015 weddings?

"I am seeing a trend towards more personalized ceremonies. I think that in the past, the ceremony was that part of the day that you had to get through in order to make it all legal and get to the celebrations. I am noticing that more and more couples are contacting me specifically because they want the ceremony to be one of the highlights of their day as opposed to the dry, wordy, and boring ceremonies we have all grown accustomed to. I am only one of sixty-five Certified Life-Cycle Celebrants in Canada. We have received the highest level of training available to officiants.  Through this celebrant training and designation, I apply "gold standard services" to assure my clients that every ceremony I create will be meaningful and memorable."

Want to see Julie in her element, doing what she does best? Want to see if she is the right officiant for you? Then you better get your tickets for the Best Day Ever!

Meet the Vendors: MDRN Photobooth

MDRN Photobooth prides themselves on giving our customers fun, high-quality photo experiences that make for long-lasting, unique memories, like when Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted the Oscars – only this time people will like it!

We quizzed Catalina from MDRN on the questions below, here is what she has to say!

What would you say is the thing your clients like best about you?

"I think what our clients like is that our photobooth is that its different. It’s not your typical or traditional photobooth, no big glasses and feather boas here! Our booth is actually really nice to and won’t be an eyesore at your event. We have the ability to share pictures instantly on social media or you can walk away with your professional grade print. We use professional lighting and camera equipment so your images are bright and sharp every time."


What is your favorite part of your job?

"Ummmmm I get to have fun with people for hours.... best.job.ever. but I also love the styling of the photobooths, I just love creating new concepts."

 What part of the Best Day Ever are you most looking forward to?

"All of it. What an amazing event! It’s so original that I just can’t wait to see the entire thing get pulled together!"

 What is your favorite trend for 2015 weddings?


Want to see MDRN Photobooth in action and get a free snap shot of what they do? Be sure to get your tickets for the Best Day Ever Wedding Showdown now!

Get your Seats to Ottawa's Wedding Showdown!

You are invited to attend THE most anticipated event of the year for anyone who is engaged!   

What's it All About?               

The Best Day Ever is a wedding show alternative in the form of two simultaneous mock weddings in opposing styles. Both are trend setting, both are fashion forward and both are dueling for top honours.

Wedding guests are brides and grooms(to-be) who will enjoy an exciting evening at the Canadian Museum of Nature, complete with two distinct wedding ceremonies, a dinner tasting menu and a dance-party reception.

Guests get to have an amazing, extravagant evening to remember while really experiencing Ottawa's finest wedding vendors in action as well as being the judges of which team of vendors will take home the glory of the winner of Ottawa's Wedding Showdown!

Jonathan Kuhn Photography

Jonathan Kuhn Photography

What You Get

- An extravagant evening at the Canadian Museum of Nature on November 15th at 5 pm

- Experience the best of Ottawa's wedding vendors first hand as they do what they do best to impress you

Get inspired by two trend setting wedding ceremonies, dinners and receptions in two distinct styles

- Indulge in a delicious tasting dinner menu

Research wedding vendors and chat with them in person

- Go home with a beautiful wrapped gift box FULL of swag!

Bring a friend, your mom or your whole bridal party to THE most exciting event of the year for engaged people!

Ticket sales close November 8th, tickets will not be on sale at the door! 

Save the Date for #teamsparks

Save the date for the Best Day Ever Ottawa 2014!

Thea and Jody (and little Kira) set the tone for #teamsparks, we cannot wait to see what Wedding Planner, When Sparks Fly, has in store for us on November 15th at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Beautiful photography: Jonathan Kuhn Photography

Hair and Makeup: Blush by Jackie

Find out more about our couples here.

Behind the scenes, as Jackie from Blush gets busy transforming our cosplay loving, vintage clothing aficionado, Thea into a forest goddess. 

Winners Announced!

Our search is finally over!

We have found 2 of Ottawa's sweetest couples! 

Meet Andrea & Mike and Thea & Jody! They are the lucky winners and will be featured as "brides and grooms" at our main event.

In addition to the renewing their vows, the couples will enjoy...

·         Two Professional Photo Shoots with expert styling, hair and makeup

·         Two Event Passes, wardrobe and styling for their bridal party

·         A special Newlywed Gift Box put together by our sponsors

·         An evening of dinner, dancing and excitement at The Best Day Ever premier wedding show!

 The winners were chosen based on their super sweet love story, their outgoing nature, and your votes!

Thanks to all the beautiful couples that entered, your pictures and stories touched our hearts and it was a sincere pleasure reading all your entries!

Check back for more info on these two amazing couples and on the Best Day Ever on November 15th 2014!