Thursday, December 2, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Thank you for the support Alan!
I am beyond thrilled about an amazing project that I am working on in collaboration with Sylvain Renaud and Caroline Renaud from Reno Video Productions. It is something that no one else in Ottawa has done yet so we can't wait to release it within the next few weeks and hear people's reaction. We have been working on this for the past few months and shot for the first time yesterday afternoon at Tripp Photography's gorgeous studio in the Glebe. In addition to Christine Tripp from Tripp Photography we worked with Baz Kanda from 5 Rivers Studio, Kathy Youssef from Fleisher Photography and Adriano Pagliarello from Media Ball. Stay tuned! Can't wait to share with you what we have been working on. I promise you one thing though: it is going to be Stellar ;)
Check it out: http://sheila0gh.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/guest-blog-some-qas-with-event-planner-cristie-vito/
Enjoy! I had fun working with Sheila on these blog posts this week. Without a doubt, she is STELLAR ;)
Take a look at what she had to say, during our Q&A:
Why are you in the travel industry?
Everything I do, I believe that caring for family is the most important job in the world. I believe that we all have a finite amount of time to do all the right things. I believe in building memories that families will cherish. The way I value my family is to be present in their lives, maximize quality time, and experience wonder. I believe that we can enhance wonder by carving out magical time together on vacation. It just so happens that I "sell" vacations that will help your family have "wow" moments, and build memories. Wanna buy one?
How do you become a travel agent? Do you have any specialities?
I worked in financial services for 20 years, and regular business commuting took me away from home. We often escaped to Walt Disney World on vacation. So, when I had children late in life, I looked for a way to combine my business acumen with my love of travel. I specialize in Disney travel (my own family has been 18 times), but I add magic to every vacation -luxury, cruise, beach, adventure, romantic getaway, escorted tour, safari: whatever you crave. I tailor vacation experiences to your desires and interests. Some of my certifications include being an Anguilla Travel Connossieur, a Certified Sandals and Beaches Specialist, and being a graduate of the Regent Seven Seas travel agent university, as well as the Disney College of Knowledge.
How long have you been doing this?
I supplemented my personal travel experiences by working as an authorized Disney vacation planner for 2 years, and for the last 2.5 years, I have worked as an independent contractor. I now run my own business as a travel advisor with the Vision 2000 Travel Group, so I can better orchestrate your travel dreams. Vision 2000 is a leading member of Virtuoso, a network of the world's finest travel agencies. This gives me more resources and global connections, and gives you access to exclusive travel offers that you can't get on your own, along with your best value for the money.
What’s your favourite memory of working with a client?
Recently, a client asked me to organize a surprise birthday gift for his wife - he wanted to take her to Disney to celebrate her retirement, cross off a "bucket list" trip, fete her at the best restaurants, have her meet "Winnie the Pooh,” and generally act like a kid again. This is an older, well travelled couple, and I'd organized many trips for them previously. This email is self-explanatory.
You have no idea how surprised, happy and all the emotions that you can imagine she demonstrated when she realised what was happening, and this was the start... I understand why you return there so many times. We will certainly go back as well....In short, there is no other word to explain our satisfaction/pleasure other than say this week was one of the most marvellous and magical weeks that [we]... have spent together.
Do you do destination weddings?
Of course. I have a destination wedding group returning from Punta Cana today.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome with a destination wedding client, just by your own sheer will and determination?
One couple wanted a family friend to marry them in the Dominican, but that wouldn’t work legally – so we had them legally married in Canada, and had the symbolic wedding on a DR beach with their friend officiating. Another couple had a set wedding date and after we’d worked hard to secure a judge at destination, the tour operator suddenly lost space on the flight – I had to scramble to make alternate arrangements, but it got sorted.
What’s the biggest stumbling block in taking on/ working with a new client?
I don’t get the do-it-yourself syndrome. I bet you could research how to perform your own appendectomy on the internet, but few would be willing to turn the scalpel on themselves. Yet, many do that with their vacation. There are many scams out there, and many consumer-rating agency sites that are not quite what they purport themselves to be. Why not deal with the professionals that have your best interests in mind?
Why should someone use a travel agent, especially when coordinating their destination wedding, as opposed to trying to book it online?
Group travel is a special animal. You want folks travelling together on the same plane, staying together in the same part of the hotel, paying the same price, and maybe getting some special amenities or travel concessions. Individuals don’t get that booking piecemeal; nor do you have access to the same resources and vendors that I do.
Look - you never get to recapture your personal time, especially your wedding day. So your vacation, and your destination wedding, has to be right the first time. Extraordinary travel experiences don't just happen - they are created through collaborative effort. So, if you're thinking about the kind of memories you'd like to take away from your next vacation, please give me a call.
What is the biggest misconception when a couple is planning their destination wedding?
You have to remember you’re still planning a wedding. Taking the wedding to another destination doesn’t remove the decision-making – it just changes the locale of the party. Involve a knowledgeable travel advisor to take care of the travel, and a wedding planner to take care of everything else.
Do you book honeymoons? Offer any special services or incentives to couples?
Of course! I meet with couples to find out what memories they are looking to take away, and what kind of honeymoon they want. We also offer a honeymoon registry program (allowing guests to contribute funds towards the honeymoon), and for destination weddings, we can build personalized websites for the bride and groom that can feature a gift registry, an RSVP page for all guests with full travel details, and an invitation service.
Made-to-measure travel: Please, go away!
W : www.vision2000.ca/sheilagh
E : firstname.lastname@example.org
P : 613-837-0699
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Last week I was honoured to receive the Young Business Person of the Year Award for the 2010 TD Canada Trust People's Choice Award for the Orleans Chamber of Commerce. I was born and raised in Orleans, so it means so much to be recognized by my community this way, especially since I am just going into my third year of business! It has been a very exciting journey so far and I can't wait to see how it continues to unfold. I have met and had the pleasure to work with so many people so far, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Most people in business face multiple challenges, and I think that being a young entrepreneur has a few additional challenges to add to the typical list! Seeing other people my age succeeding in business is very inspiring to me, and definitely helps motivate me when I start to feel overwhelmed. When I accepted this award, I did it on behalf of the two other finalists in my category: Jenna Majkot from Dahlia Party & Event Decor and Jeff Stoveld/Adam Quinn Taylor of Top of the Hill Bakery, who are successful young business people in Ottawa and should be recognized for their contribution to our community. Congratulations to all the nominees, especially the finalists.
I am blessed to be able to do what I love for a living, and I would not be where I am today without the continued support and encouragement of my family and friends - especially my parents! It is because of them that I am living my dream, and I am truly grateful.
Thank you to everyone that voted for me, it means the world to me!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Come one, come all to the spooky Tripp Photography boutique studio (901 Bank Street) on Sunday, October 31 from 10 am to 6 pm. Whether you are a ghost or a goblin, a wicked witch or a naughty devil, come get your picture taken in the pumpkin patch.
On Hallowe'en Day, Tripp Photography and Stellar Events are hosting our 2nd Annual Hallowe'en CHEO charity event! For a donation to CHEO, you will have your child's photo taken (in Hallowe'en Attire) and receive a 4x6 complimentary print. All proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
Remember, you only need to come for 20-30 mins to eat some snacks, get some treats, have your photo taken and enter to win prizes!
Last year was a huge success and we are hoping to double the results this year, now that we are using Tripp Photography's beautiful new studio in the Glebe.
Get your lil' ones dressed up before trick or treating and come get their picture taken for a donation to CHEO. It is a fun event, for an important cause. Come out and support us!
The online voting for the ninth annual People's Choice Business Awards presented by TD Canada Trust ends on October 31st. Over 100 different businesses have already been nominated in 11 different categories. If you haven't voted yet, please do!
To vote, just visit the Orleans Chamber of Commerce online at www.orleanschamber.ca/en/index.php
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Instead of getting hours and hours of footage (let's be honest, that gets boring pretty fast!), the video montages that are now available are a great way to get a sense of the overall wedding. Imagine being able to share that with your kids or grand kids! Not only would they get to see what you looked like on your wedding day, they would actually be able to hear some of the touching words and promises that you made to each other. With video, they are able to capture the entire essence of your wedding day. Trust me when I say that this is a video that you will watch over and over and over again!!
But don't take my word for it, take a look at a video produced by Reno Video Productions and see for yourself. Although this isn't one of my couples, the groom is a colleague and friend that recently got married. It was actually seeing this video that got me excited about all the potential available here in the city. If you like the beautiful flowers, they were all done by Ottawa Flowers.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
One of the best parts of what I do is getting to know my clients while helping them plan their special day. I've been really blessed with all the couples I have had the chance to work with - whether it is for day of coordination or full coordination, I always have a bond with my clients and usually miss them after the wedding because we don't connect on as regular a basis. Somewhere along the ling through all the meetings, emails and telephone conversations I become friends with my couples which makes it that much more special for me to see everything come together in the end on their wedding day!
One of these special couples that touched my heart was Janice and Enrico. They had been together for many years with no real intentions of ever tying the knot. Then one day, a close family member was diagnosed with cancer and passed away very shortly after. It definitely changed their perspective on life and Enrico proposed a few weeks later!
Janice and Enrico have an amazing sense of humour and made me laugh on a daily basis. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but I want all my couples to have fun throughout the process! When I first met them, Janice told me that she would have been happy to get married by a JP at City Hall. However, it turned out to be a beautiful ceremony and reception at the Museum of Civilization - Enrico had never been married before and he said since he waited so long to tie the knot he wanted to do it right!
Here are some highlights from their special day:
Enrico really wanted to have a special mix of Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion singing the Power of Love for their first dance. Quality Entertainment came to the rescue and was able to put the two versions of the song together so that each verse was a different singer. They even had a part where they laid the versions on top of each other so that it sounded like Andrea and Celine were actually singing together. They went above and beyond to make Janice and Enrico's first dance so special. It was magical! After dinner, Quality Entertainment got the party started and kept it going until 2 am!
I had so much fun helping Janice and Enrico plan their special day! Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed planning it with them!
Friday, May 28, 2010
For example, I had a bride that was taking photography in school and for their centerpieces they laminated a number of her images, immersed them in a vase filled with water with rocks on the bottom and surrounded the vase with tea light candles. A very simple way to bring themselves into the details of the wedding, and was very memorable for their guests.
I had a groom that was a huge comic book fan, and they incorporated his love of super heroes into their centerpieces by naming each of the tables after a different hero and put pictures of that character on the table along with vases fill with candles.
Vases filled with water and floating candles is a simple was to create a romantic ambiance for your wedding, without having flowers. You can incorporate ribbons with your wedding colours around the vases to bring in the colour.
Another idea I did was for a 30th wedding anniversary: the traditional gift for a 30th wedding is pearls so what I did for the centerpiece was include pearls and orchids strung together in a vase which was then immersed in water with a floating candle on the top. Around the vase I had strings of pearls and each table had different pictures of the couple at various stages in their marriage. It was very personalized and symbolic for the couple.
If you love flowers and want to include them as centerpieces, that is just as great! Maybe try playing with the sizes of the arrangements - never feel like every table has to look exactly the same. Another fun idea is mixing fruit with your flowers.
It is your day, so you can have fun with it. Think outside the box: there are ways to double the centerpiece as a favour such as boxes filled with chocolates or mini cakes which your guests bring home at the end of the evening. A lot of couples are choosing to incorporate crystal chandelier or candelabras to their centerpieces which is another beautiful alternative to flowers. At the end of the day, have fun and go with what represents you best. Never feel like you HAVE to do something a certain way when it comes to your wedding. It is your day, so do what works best for you!
Friday, May 14, 2010
It is so easy to get wrapped up in all the details that come with planning a wedding so I always try to remind my couples what is really important throughout the process and that is them! What I mean is that a wedding is one day of your life but your marriage will last a life time. A wedding is an amazing celebration of the commitment and promises that you are making to each other as husband and wife.
People ask me what my favourite moment on a wedding day is and I honestly have to say when the bride walks down the aisle to meet her future husband. When all eyes are on the beautiful bride, I always look at the groom. It gets me every time to see the groom's expression when he sees his bride for the first time! Don't get me wrong, I love all the details that go into making a wedding unique and personalized for each couple but there is just something magical that happens when a groom sees his bride for the first time!
Obviously one of the most important aspects of a wedding day is the ceremony and I try to help a couple make that special. If a couple is not getting married in a church with a traditional ceremony, I always recommend Lynne and Keith from Exception Ceremonies. Each ceremony they create is unique to the couple they are marrying - honestly, they have never done the same ceremony twice! They incorporate some humour into their ceremonies, while still focusing on what is important: the start of the couples life together as husband and wife. If you want a ceremony that will stay in the memory of your guests for years to come, definitely contact Lynne and Keith. To find out more about Exceptional Ceremonies, visit their site at www.exceptionalceremonies.com
First photo credit: Josh Jefferies Photography
Second photo credit: Francesco Maragoni Photography
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I recently had the pleasure of meeting one of the innovative creators of Wedding Republic, Hana Abaza, and loved what she had to say about her online registry:
With a Wedding Republic gift registry, you can create a gift list that reflects what you really want. Basically, your registry is a cash fund. You can select your gifts so guests can see what they are contributing towards, and at the end of the day you get the cash. This gives you the ultimate flexibility to use the registry (and cash) to get the most out of your gifts!It’s easy and convenient for both you and your guests. Nothing is off limits: from camping gear to a big screen TV to that chic plate set only available at a niche store that’s locally owned, you can set up a gift registry that is perfect for the two of you!
Choose gifts from their gift list add your own. You add the photo, cost and description of your ideal gifts. You can even add expensive gifts and break them apart using WR’s Puzzle Piece feature. Guests can then buy “piece” of the puzzle!
Guests pay a small percentage fee on every gift transaction (currently 4.5%). Creating, managing and sharing the registry is completely free for the happy couple, making the gift process for your wedding stress free and fun!
WR is going to be a huge hit with couples - who wouldn't love help saving for a down payment on a home or that dream honeymoon you wish you could go on? To learn more, visit them online at www.weddingrepublic.com
Saturday, May 1, 2010
And as if that wasn't exciting enough - I also got to meet Preston Bailey! Wow, what an inspiration! He told us about how he got started and some of the exciting projects that he has worked on. His designs are absolutely breathtaking!
It was amazing to meet Jane Dayus-Hinch and Preston Bailey, and hear their stories from their mouths. The best part was even though they are so well established in this industry, they were more than happy to share their experiences and advice with relatively new planners!
Last year I collaborated with Christine Tripp of Tripp Photography on a few events that we called Model Makeover Day. The idea behind the events was that we wanted to pamper women by doing their makeup and hair, dressing them in designer gowns from Dominique Levesque Bridal and then doing a glamour photo shoot with Christine. For each event we did, part of the proceeds went to a local charity called Angels In Action that helps women in Ottawa suffering from Ovarian cancer. It was really important for us to tie this event to a charity that benefited women: essentially it was women helping women! The events were a huge success - seeing the transformations happen before our eyes was incredible. As women, we rarely step back and pamper ourselves and the smiles on each of the women's faces was priceless!
Here are some of the photos taken by Tripp Photography:
To see more, visit: www.modelmakeoverday.com
We are not doing any of the smaller events this year because we are working on plans for a gala event next Spring. Stay tuned for more information!
Special thanks to:
Friday, April 30, 2010
I figured for my first post I would tell you a bit more about myself. Although I launched my business two years ago, I have been involved in events for the last ten years. I have a background in Public Relations, so I did numerous media related events in Toronto before I moved back to my home town of Ottawa and started my business. Dealing with the media for many years gave me the experience to work really well with tight deadlines and come up with creative solutions to challenges in short time frames. I bring this knowledge and experience to every event I work on, whether it is a wedding or corporate special event. But more importantly: I absolutely love what I do and I think my enthusiasm is contagious! I have been told many times by couples and vendors that I have worked with, that no matter what challenge I may be dealing with at a given time, I always have a smile on my face and figure out a solution to whatever I am working on.
Last year I was honoured to be nominated and a top finalist for the 2009 TD Canada Trust People's Choice Business Awards for New Business of the Year and Young Business Person of the Year. It was amazing to be recognized by the people I have worked with, especially after the first year of being in business!
That is just a bit more about me and my background - hope you come back and visit my blog again soon!
Photo by Tripp Photography