ÀPropos Productions

Wedding and event planner

At ÀPropos Productions, we offer professional event production services that range from providing advice, to lending support in the execution of events or planning an entire affair from the ground up. Our mission: to enable those who trust us with their projects to meet their needs. Our open-portfolio services are built to be tailored to specific requests, ensuring a highly personalized experience.  We believe that our success is tied to helping our clients put together their perfect moment, whatever it may be.

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ÀPropos of nothing... & the 'Zilla

‘Zilla proof your wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! This is the start of an exhilarating time; one filled with emotion, excitement and discovery. You’ll come out of it with a lifetime of precious memories and shared moments. And, believe me; those shared moments will end up being among the most potent and meaningful aspects of your wedding process. So what’s a gal or guy to do to make the most of it? The answer is always to invest in what’s important to you and your future spouse. If sharing this most joyous occasion with your favourite people is important to you, you will want to invest in those relationships and make sure that they’re at least intact by the time you get married. Are you wondering what I’m going on about?

It’s a delicate subject to approach, but a worthwhile one. Fortunes have been made in the entertainment industry from it. The most frequent question I get when I say that I’m a wedding planner, after “Oh, like Jennifer Lopez? “ (Um. No.) is “Do you often get Bridezillas?”

Nobody wants to go there, I know. But weddings can be a tad stressful for everyone involved and stress brings out the best in nobody. The ‘Zilla can sneak up on the most gentle and unsuspecting people, turning them into unpleasant, terrifying creatures.

What I’ve observed in my clients, over time, is that the lack of ‘Zilla Drama doesn’t come from luck, but from the behaviour that they chose to espouse. They created their happiness by thinking and acting in a way that made their family and bridal party want to be around them without feeling guilty or resentful. This is what they do:

They have realistic expectations

Dreaming big is great! This is a very special day, after all. But please keep in mind the chance that not everything will resemble your original vision and that you would do well to give yourself a reality check every now and then. Factors like your budget, location, people’s situation and the timing of your wedding will all contribute to the shaping of it. Keeping your expectations realistically aligned with those factors will avoid your being disappointed.

They hire a wedding planner

OK, so this is biased, coming from a wedding planner. But consider this: while I’m on the phone making sure that your flowers/cupcakes/chairs are being delivered at the right time/address/room, and setting up your ceremony/cocktail/dinner spaces, among a million other things, you, your family and your bridal party are relaxed and getting ready, languishing in each other’s company, indulging in a great snack and a glass of bubbly. No matter how well organized you are, there is still work to be done on the day of. Hiring outside help takes that pressure off your friends and family, and allows you to spend quality time together.

They put themselves in their attendant’s shoes

This is key. Yes, it’s YOUR big day. Hopefully, the bridal party you’ve chosen to stand with you will honour that. But if they fall a little short of your expectations (remember the chat we had about those?), the choices you have are a) to be annoyed and impose your every whim on them, or b) accept what they are willing to offer freely, within their limits and without coercion.

It’s very simple. Option A will most likely breed resentment and animosity. Not because they don’t love you, but for a plethora of reasons (personal/financial/family issues…) that may make it difficult for them to meet your expectations. Option B will find you surrounded by relaxed and comfortable attendants who don’t feel imposed on and who will be delighted to be there with you because you haven’t been unreasonable with them. In case you’re wondering what’s unreasonable, consider reading this, this and this. Yikes!

Quick tip: If you’re not sure where your friend stands on a wedding-related issue, just ask! At least you’ll know what you have to work with.

They make considerate decisions

These couples involve their bridal party as little or as much as each individual is willing and wanting to be involved.

  • They choose dresses and accessories that compliment their attendants’ bodies and make them feel comfortable.
  • They make sure that their bridal party doesn’t have to fend for itself to get around or to get fed and hydrated on the day of the wedding.
  • They think of details that affect the attendants: the weight of the bouquets they have to carry, the length of time they have to stand, whether they should chose light-coloured suits for hot days ect…
  • They account for them when planning the day’s schedule (5 AM hair appointments = cranky bridesmaids).
  • If their attendants are on a budget or living far away, they don’t make attendance to pre-wedding events mandatory. And as much as they would like to follow old traditions, they never loose sight of their friends behind those traditions, and are understanding of each one’s situation.

They take care of themselves

They eat properly, they exercise normally, and they keep non-wedding activities as an integral part of their lives. This makes them feel secure, healthy and confident, and keeps them from getting over-stressed and losing their cool with their bridal party (And their fiancé. And their parents. And their… you get the picture.).

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I’m not advocating that a couple should bend over backward to please their wedding party. In fact, if they are being unreasonable, they will make your life and wedding process miserable and that has to be dealt with as well. However, making sure that the people you chose to be around you on your special day are happy and comfortable is one of those investments that keeps on paying off.

Happy Engagement, and enjoy the ride!

À Propos of nothing & Special Dances

Whether you’ve always dreamt of the moment or it’s just a custom that you want observed at your wedding, the Special Dances segment of the evening needs some careful planning.

Family dynamics and logistical hassles can make it a stressful task and, what’s more, once you’ve figured out timing, order and who-knows-what-else, you still have to pick the song! Ouch. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind, so that you can actually enjoy yourselves.

Phase I – Decisions Decisions

1. What do your parents want? What do your In-Laws want?

Determine people’s wants and needs. You might be giving them a tremendous gift with minimal investment by having them participate in the wedding through Father-Daughter/Mother-Son (and any permutation thereof) dances.

2. Most importantly, what do YOU, the couple, want?

Determine which dances, if any at all, are important to you. If both you and your families are not very excited by this tradition, you’re allowed to nix it altogether.
Once that decision is made, take a moment to think about whether you have any particular songs that you would like to dance to. Any heartstrings being pulled? Any memories being stirred?

At the end of Phase I, you should have:
  • A decision about which, if any, Special Dances you will have at your wedding. Go ahead, write them down! Email your spouse or parents about them. It’ll be one thing off your to-do list.
  • An idea of whether or not you have particular songs in mind. If you do, include them in the List of Things Related to Your DJ (if you don’t have one of those, get on it!).

Phase II - Research

If Phase I left you with the knowledge that you’re missing some or all of your Special Dances songs, you might want to consider this little exercise:

1. Open your mind and your notebook

It’s still early in the planning. Listen to lots of music over the next few months, over dinner, while you’re driving, doing chores, at the gym etc... Your ears and heart will tell you once that special song comes on. Are you hit by one of Oprah’s “Aha Moments” when The Turtle’s Happy Together comes on? Get to your notepad or email as quickly as you can (NOT, repeat, NOT WHILE YOU’RE DRIVING!) and make yourself a note that’ll be really easy to find later on.  I’m a fan of sending myself emails with a dummy-proof subject line (wedding songs, for example).

2. Get searching

Too much on your mind? Out of inspiration? We all know that The Interwebs provide a plethora of advice and ideas. Here are a few ideas and lists that were garnered within exactly 56 seconds of searching:

From the classic
Like here
Here
And here

The most popular

The unique

The cringe-free

Mother-Son Dance songs
Here
And here

Father-Daughter Dance songs
From here
And here

Now. Block off 30 minutes with your partner. 
Print (sorry, trees) this document and grab two pens.
Open a whole bunch of music lists.
Brew a cup of something hot or make yourselves some cocktails.
Settle in and be ready to listen, laugh, gag etc. Use this as a chance to have fun together!
Start the clock.
Go over as many songs as you can and mark down which songs you either really love or hate on your own separate sheets. Also make a couple of choices that you can tolerate. Mark them down on that form!
Now tick off which category they belong to.
After 30 minutes, STOP 
Compare notes. Write down which choices you have in common.

At the end of this phase, you should have a maximum of 5 choices per Special Dance that you both love.

Phase III – Verify

Congrats! You have some viable options!
Now, let’s run a couple of tests that will avoid hassle and awkwardness.

1. Length

Does the song go on and on? Two minutes is quite a long time, so make sure to keep song choices short.  If your favourite tune is too long, see if there is a spot where you can fade it out (ie lower the volume gradually). Yes, you can ask your DJ to edit it, but that might a) cost you extra and b) cause some technical issues.

2. Meaning

Is this the song that your mother-in-law shared with her ex? Is it going to be difficult for her to sit through it, or worse, dance through it in front of a bunch of people?
I’m not saying that you should let your song choices be dictated by others. But, as the hosts of this momentous event, you might want to consider people’s feelings and how they might impact your evening.

3. Content

You know that song you love? Well, you love the chorus but have never really paid attention to the rest of it... Yeah, that one! Sounds like a promising choice!
Just be warned, you might be surprised by some weird or even offensive lyrics that you’ve just never paid attention to before. Consider your crowd, and the tone of your event.
Case in point…
I love the song Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrisson. It makes for a cute Father-Daughter song.
In theory. 
Until the words “Making love in the Green Grass” are blasted loud and clear while you're dancing in your father's arms...
Don’t get me wrong, if that song means the world to you, and you don’t care what the lyrics are, all the power to you! Music, after all, is meant to inspire what’s within us.
But if you think you (or your poor, unsuspecting Dad) might be uncomfortable, then you might want to listen to the whole song before selecting it. Look up the lyrics too because, well, you just never know.
That ought to cut a few choices from your list!


Phase IV – Plan

Now that you’ve narrowed it down, take a look at the order you want to have your dances in. Then see how the songs flow together. Ask your DJ or MC for advice, as they are the pros and can provide some really useful insight.

Phase V – Practice

Take your soon-to-be-spouse for a whirl around your living room, preferably in your wedding shoes. See how it feels. Is the tempo too slow/fast? Are you comfortable dancing through the whole song? Are you relaxed? Are you able to enjoy each other’s company?
If you've answered yes to all of those questions, you're ready.

Always remember
Clarify song choices with your DJ, performer etc. Write them down somewhere. If you're providing the music files yourself, have backups and put your songs in the order in which you want them played. Dummy-proofing is always the way to go.

Now, go dance the night away!
 

Manners Monday - Hosting a Wedding

Wedding planning is tough. So much to do. So many options. So many lists! So little time...

According to WeddingBells.ca, Canadian couples expect to spend $31,685 on their weddings in 2014 and one can only imagine how many hours are spent squinting into a smart phone, trying to decide which flower will be the perfect shade of purple... So, honestly, it's normal to loose sight of certain things as the planning progresses.

Unfortunately, guests can sometimes be forgotten too. We get so wrapped up in making everything perfect (and worth that price tag!) that we forget to do our first duty as hosts; making sure that guests are not only wowed by how amazing everything is, but, most importantly, that they are well taken care of.

Here are a few things to remember. And if there's something you're not sure about, ask someone who knows. Chances are that you're not alone in wondering about it.

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