Archive for April, 2010


Bridalicious – April 2010

On April 25th the AWE Team took part in Bridalicious 2010 at the Park Hyatt in beautiful downtown Toronto.  Here is a look at how the successful day unraveled.

The AWE Team arrived bright and early to provide their expertise and event direction.  Check out the view from the Roof Salon at the Park Hyatt!

The Roof Salon quickly transformed into what seems like just a regular ballroom to a chic South Beach Miami Lounge – provided by Design2Decor.

Models soon arrived and were prepped and primed courtesy of Amplified Soul Make Up & Hair Couture.

Our brides enjoyed among a great view Sushi, Fruit Platters, Pomegrante Flutes, beauty samples and some hot tunes courtesty of Nspire Sound and much much more before our workshops kicked off!

Workshop #1 was kick started by Garima Singh of G+H Photography as she shared her expertise on everything pictures, albums and how to choose the right photographer.

Workshop #2 was where Shobana Lakkavally educated brides on how to get ready on their big day.  Topics included extensions, lash extensions and air brushing.

Workshop #3 was an informative session on fabrics, fashion trends and how to customize the perfect outfit and was lead by Gaurav Sawheny of CTC West.

Finally workshop #4 was lead by yours truly Richha Arora & Reena Nagra of the AWE Team.  We taught brides all about venue contracts, guestlists, seating plans and 2011 decor trends.

The day ended off by some great raffle prizes, including a Lancome set which one of brides won as well as some group shots on the rooftop!


The Importance of Customization – Creating the perfect Bridal Lehnga

CTC West | South Asian Bridal & Formal Wear

It is definitely Bridal Season!  As we speak, North America’s 2010 and 2011 Brides are surfing the web, analyzing what the stars are wearing and scouring bridal boutiques in honour of one of the greatest internal debates – what should they wear on their wedding day!?!

At CTC West, we generally find that the “perfect outfit” rarely exists online, or in a bridal wear store.  Quite often, the PERFECT outfit… is yet to be made.

On her wedding day, a bride should be entitled to wear an outfit that fits, feels and falls the way Goldilocks would have it – jussssst right!  This is definitely not the day to be compromising on clothing!

As a bride, your wedding lehnga needs to be made up of all the right elements.  The right design, the right fabric, the right colour.  The right blouse cut with straps or sleeves that accentuate your features.  The right length and shape and cut for your lehnga skirt to make you feel like a modern-day Empress.  The elements should be perfect, and thankfully, you no longer need to settle on a make-shift solution!

At CTC West, we feel that if a lehnga is too long for a bride, the solution is not to simply cut an inch or two off the top – that’s like cutting the forehead off of the Mona Lisa!  You would lose the border or an element of design that ties the bottom of your lehnga into your blouse.  Your outfit is an art piece, and your body is the designer’s canvas.

The CTC West Custom Couture Experience ushers in a new era in South Asian Bridal Wear.  When you find a CTC West design that you are IN LOVE WITH, we make a brand new and unique piece just for you. Take a look at an example of the CTC West Custom Couture Experience below.

For more information on ordering your custom bridal wear, visit us online at CTC


Sandeep’s Journey to Finding the Perfect Planner

The Client: Sandeep Marwaha & Joseph George
The Wedding Date: October 2010

Prior to even getting engaged, my fiancé and I acknowledged the importance of a wedding planner. We are an intercultural, interreligious couple. And not only are our families diverse, but so too are our friends. We believed that a wedding planner would help us address any cultural or religious issues in an objective manner, and she could be the neutral party we could refer our parents to if there were any questions or problems. A planner could also guide us through the planning process and help with decision making.

Yes, wedding planners cost money. But, let’s be real here. We entrust others to cut our hair, thread our eyebrows, do our nails, wax our arms—and they ain’t free. Why the heck wouldn’t I want someone to help plan my wedding—one of the grandest events in my life???

We wanted to get married within the same year, and so we started researching planners a week after our engagement. Because we’re having a Sikh ceremony and the guests will be primarily from my (Punjabi) family, we wanted a South Asian wedding planner familiar with the customs and traditions. As we did not know anyone who had a planner, we searched online. was a useful resource, as was our good friend Google. We came across 4 companies, and I emailed them immediately. 3 replied within a day or two; 1 company replied 3 or 4 days later. I crossed her off the list—if she couldn’t reply to my inquiry promptly, could I depend on her during the planning process?

Prior to our first meeting, I asked the potential planner #1 to bring her portfolio; she replied that she did not have one and all of her pictures were stored on her computer. Strange, I thought. We met with the planner at a coffee shop. She presented as nervous: her voice was shaky, she stammered when first speaking, and she became flustered when we asked about her work. She said, “I feel like I’m being interviewed.” Of course she did because it was an interview! She did not present us with examples of her work, nor did she have a breakdown of her services. We asked her several questions. Oddly enough, she brought a laptop with her. When we asked for pictures of weddings she’s planned, she responded that her pictures were stored on an external hard drive she did not have with her. Inconsistent, much? To say the least, we did not leave the meeting impressed. Interestingly enough, her cost was the highest of all the planners we interviewed!

Richha was the potential planner #2; Bineesh also attended the meeting. Instantly, my fiancé and I *felt* something. Richha and Bineesh were friendly and open. They asked details about my fiancé and me, they asked about our engagement, and they asked about our vision. They expressed genuine interest in us. We immediately felt comfortable and the conversation flowed well. I remember us having a few laughs and connecting about growing up in the same area. They provided an exceptional presentation, explained the breakdown of their services, and showed examples of their weddings. They impressed that they wanted to be involved with the wedding and would give as much, if not more, thought into the wedding as my fiancé and I would. Overall, they were professional, yet approachable. My fiancé and I left the meeting feeling good and that we’d found our planners.

I felt so positive about meeting with Richha that I wanted to cancel our next meeting with the potential planner # 3. We went anyway. The last planner had the most experience compared to the other planners. She had a good presentation and breakdown of services, but we didn’t feel a connection. She didn’t show much interest in my fiancé and me: we were just another couple who needed wedding planning. She even answered her cell phone towards the end of the meeting—a big faux pas for my fiancé and me. We found it inconsiderate and symbolic of her lack of investment in the process. Although we were positive she would do a good job, we thought she would care more about the end result and how she looked rather than about our wedding.

Our last meeting helped cement what we wanted in a planner: professional, approachable, personable, invested, and involved. Richha met all of the above. And she hasn’t disappointed.

Hiring a wedding planner and choosing Richha were the best decisions my fiancé and I have made (other than choosing each other, of course). She has been elemental in our search for vendors, our creative process, our decision making, answering questions, providing suggestions, and, most importantly, controlling my stress levels and keeping me sane.


All That Glitters – How to create a dramatic look for a dark room

One of the hottest trends this season has been the use of crystals in all aspects of decor. Wether a wedding, corporate gala or anniversay the use of crystals has been worked into practically every color scheme imaginable.  The ability of crystals to reflect light can make a soft room look bright and make a dark room look dramatic!

We sat down for a quick chat with the Creative Director at Design 2 Decor, Paras Mehta to find out about his inspirations in creating shimmering elegant events.

AWE: How long have you been designing in the Wedding/Special Event Industry?

Paras: I have been designing events since I was in middle school, but didn’t realize its career potential until I was 21.  I have been designing events professionally for eight years now and it is a true passion of mine.  I have had the pleasure of working with some of the city’s finest.

AWE: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Paras: Mainly, my clients are my inspiration.  They challenge me to create amazing event experiences that fuse their personality with my creative abilities.  My design inspirations come from nature, fashion, interiors, and architecture.  My mentors and colleagues in the design and events industry are always a source of inspiration.

AWE: What is your favorite color trend for 2010?

Paras: My favourite colour trend for this year is sapphire blue and coral, anything yellow…shades of green will always be my ultimate fave.  In terms of metallics, gold and bronze are definitely making a comeback in recent years.

AWE: What is the most popular design trend for 2010?

Paras: A return to the basics of event design and décor – Neutral palettes, monochrome colour themes, simple elegance…modern design with classic interpretations.

AWE: What are some of your favorite venues to work in?

Paras: My favourite venues in Toronto are determined by not only their interiors and level of service, but by the relationships that I have formed with their friendly and knowledgeable events team.  These include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, Pearson Convention Centre, Mississauga Convention Centre, Le Jardin Special Events Venue, International Centre Conference Centre, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, and the Intercontinental Toronto.

AWE: Why do you like working with event planners?

Paras: Planners are the backbone to an event.  They are talented producers that bring together all the components of an event.  I enjoy collaborating with planners to create amazing, seamless events that are organized, highly stylized, and a true reflection of their clients’ objectives.

Take a look at how Paras Mehta from Design 2 Decor has incorporated the use of crystals into his designs – let us inspire you with this visual spread of decor!


The Shoppe Girls

chocfountain Hi everybody, thanks for joining us on our very first blogging journey! The Chocolate Fountain Shoppe (TCFS) has been up and running for close to 4 years now and we’ve decided to venture into the world of social networking….that’s right blogging! Feel free to send ideas our way on what you would like to see us talk about.  Every month, we will be featuring new and exciting discussions, specials and we ask for your feedback and new suggestions to help us cater to you – bigger and better.

This month, we really wanted you to get to know us and what we do. We are Sandy and Mindy and have been inseparable sister-friends for over 12 years. We’ve always had a passion for delectable desserts and high quality sweets, so after a year of painstaking research we took the plunge and road tripped to the States to purchase our perfect, shiny fountains. What started off as a charming Chocolate Fountain Company grew within a year to include high quality, decadent dessert options. And today we can comfortably cater events of up to 1200 guests and can confidently promise that everyone will absolutely LOVE our sweet ending to your perfect night.

The Chocolate Fountain Shoppe has had a great start this year. Our February wedding show at the Toronto Congress Centre was a huge success, as always. We were especially excited this year because our TCFS booth finally received a much needed and long overdue makeover which we just adored! We had a great turn out, and needless to say, the Belgian milk chocolate by Barry Callebaut was definitely the popular choice for our clients yet again this year. It’s actually our favorite too! – Especially with pineapple!


Since the show, we have been busy bees with client consultations and tastings! Here we get to meet some great couples and families who bring a natural flair of excitement when they come to meet us. Wedding planning can be stressful, but the dessert planning is nothing less than a delightful experience! Especially when you get to take home the desserts; talk about a sweet deal! We especially enjoy this part of our business because it gives us a chance to really get to know our clients and be able to provide them with exactly what they want for the day of their big occasion!


Additionally, we have had some great events in the last few months. We were invited to be part of the Father Sierra fund-raiser for the second year in a row, this was an absolute blast! We always look forward to giving back to the community and kids with chocolate & marshmallow covered faces are the cutest thing in the world! We also had a huge dessert table for an amazing client Lily, who went above and beyond in planning an elaborate peacock/Bollywood themed sweet 16 party. We worked with Lily’s vision for her daughter’s party and especially loved working with her because she was open to our suggestions and was genuinely excited about having our dessert table at her nothing-less-than-fabulous party! Needless to say our desserts and fountains were a hit! The guests especially loved the Larocca Picollinis as well as the assortment of Larocca cakes!

Last month we also had the great pleasure of working with our friends from Arora Wedding & Event Planning in Woodbridge. Guests were especially eager to try the desserts and even lined up before we had opened the table! We’re pretty sure from their reaction that it was well worth the wait!

fruit  Until next month, we will be busy with bookings for the coming summer months. Looks like it will be a busy summer for TCFS but we’re looking forward to it!