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Marcy Blum and Toronto’s The Business of Weddings

Liz here, holing away in a tiny condo up north in Toronto, staring at the 25F temperature projections and secretly relishing the opportunity to see a preview of winter. Texas living is grand, but sometimes I really miss the true seasons of my native homeland. [Mitts! Toques! Winter Jackets! So novel.]

Finding Wedding Inspiration Everywhere! // ABC Kitchen // The Nouveau Romantics // Austin Wedding Planning and Event Design Studio

I digress. I came north to attend The Business of Weddings here in Toronto [and visit friends and family] this past Sunday at the Arcadian Court, a symposium that dealt with weddings and the luxury market here in Canada — while additionally addressing a number of topics including branding, the millennial market force, communication and presentation. It didn’t hurt that the writers of two of my all-time favourite blogs were going to presenting — Sean Low of The Business of Being Creative and Liene Stevens of Think Splendid. If anyone has met me in person, they’ve probably heard me yammer on about these two! They are always [always!] putting together blog posts that are thought-provoking, and continually challenge me to consider how we do everything at The Nouveau Romantics.But!

Marcy Blum. Who hasn’t heard of her? She was the finale to the show, and for good reason. Articulate, whip smart, hilarious with some of the best comedic timing this ex-drama and musical theater nerd has seen in a while. She presented her fifteen most pertinent points and, while aimed at those that work in the wedding industry, apply just as much to our clients and brides as to ourselves.

Here are my top three takeaways:

1. Find Inspiration Everywhere – Marcy Blum
I’m quick to be a fan of this, as I still struggle with unplugging and letting go of my computer, the to-do list, yadda, yadda. Marcy spoke about having her iphone on her at all times, and snapping pics while she’s walking down Fifth Avenue in NYC at small details – be it the presentation of a dessert at a restaurant, or a lamb-filled art installation in an old gas station. Always be looking around you, not buried in our ever-present digital world. I love this! And have been attempting to practice this in the past couple of months as I found myself less inspired and grumpy after spending too much time in front of the computer screen. Boom! My mind has started churning again after long walks with the dogs, dance parties in the car, et al. A strong reminder of something I’ve seen in effect recently, and a quick kick in the pants to spend more time … walking down Fifth Avenue in NYC? You don’t have to tell me twice!

2. Read Everything – Marcy Blum
As we are, at the heart, a service-based company, Marcy’s point about being well-versed in the fine art of planning details, she also mentions that knowing a little bit about everything extends into their livlihoods, busines, stock markets, restaurants, fashion, the works. Being schooled in architecture, who are the quintessential generalists [historically], this struck a chord as it’s something that I find incredibly gratifying anyways. I’m a relentless researcher [see downside to Point #1] so this shouldn’t be that hard for me to incorporate, although I might have to train myself a bit more about reading the Wall Street Journal and brushing up on my grape varieties for wines.

3. Everything Old is New Again –¬†Angela Desveaux of Wedluxe Magazine
Angela is the writer, editor, all-hats-wearing force in charge of the well-respected wedding magazine WedLuxe in Canada, and reminded us all [again] that when stuck on inspiration, head back. History repeats itself, and there’s plenty still left untapped. She mentioned having a stash of old books to pour over and it reminded me of the time during my architecture studies when we’d head to the library to research our design projects by looking through catalogs of books and ultimatley find something to inspired by. Same concept, different scope. I’m pretty excited to put this into practice for our clients!

Finally: some talk about Pinterest. Get off the computer, see tip number 1. While it’s revolutionizing the way people navigate the internet as an image tool, if you provide your couples with custom, creative, unseen content, then the online forum might not be the best way to find it. Brides? Grooms? If you want a really unique wedding, get off the internet too. Personally, I often see the same images over and over again, which just perpetuates some trends, while filling the visual void with noise that doesn’t always allow for contemplation of what’s best for you.

Amazing food for thought! Thank you to the organizers, speakers, fellow attendees and everyone in between. I’m excited to see this event repeat itself, and might just find a way to pop up north more often.

Anything surprise you? What do you think?