Archive for the ‘bridal showers’ Category

My followers must think I am nuts calling this a monthly muse when in fact its a “whenever I feel like it muse”. But that wouldn’t sound as good, so I will keep calling it a monthly muse and continue publishing one whenever I feel like it. lol. This is not out of laziness however. It is simply what happens to an entrepeneur who spreads themselves thin enough to do everything they need to do and then miss some things they want to do. Maybe in the near future I will have someone help me with that but for now, its just me folks.

I do have such a delightful monthly muse to share with you all today. The name alone makes me feel girlie and glittery and energized. Please meet “Champagne Hearts,” an event decor duo that specializes in everything DIY, sweet tables, decor and elegance. Holly and Alexandra came into my life as the bridesmaids to actress Georgina Reilly and actor Mark O’Brien’s wedding in the winter of 2013. I actually met them for the first time when I came to photograph the whimsical tea party bridal shower for Georgina the summer before. Holly and Alexandra had created an Alice in Wonderland/Story book themed tea party that was elegant, girlie and sweet. It was the most gorgeous shower I had ever been to and I knew that they had a special talent.

When they started their business early this year, I knew that they would take off with ease. These girls will not only impress you with their endless talents of creativity, but they also bedazzle you with their contagious enthusiasm. They are an inspiration to me and many women around the world. They take on new endeavours with gusto and use their imagination like an endless stream of water. They can make anything they put their minds to and they will impress! Please welcome this hard-working, creative and motivated duo “Champagne Hearts”! Did I mention they look as good as they sound?;)



1. Describe Champagne Hearts. What is it? What are you known for? What would you like people to know more about? Who is on your team?

Holly: Champagne Hearts consists of Alexandra and I. We are primarily an event design duo, located in Toronto, Canada, that specializes in creating dessert tables, sweet treats, DIY decor, crafting unique pieces, and all the finishing touches for any and all parties! We are currently working on our children’s party collection named Junior Hearts– our unique & one-of-a-kind children’s party collection! We create party parcels conveniently packaged in a variety of themes to suit your special little darlings’ fancy & it is delivered right to your doorstep! Champagne Hearts will also create parties at your home, or location of your choice as well! Taaah-daaah! A perfectly designed party and full of love & DIY without the fuss! We have also just launched our lifestyle blog—it is extremely exhilarating.

ALEXANDRA: Champagne Hearts is basically a design duo, Holly and I. There are 3 components to Champagne Hearts: Crafting and designing décor for themed parties/events, our lifestyle Blog and our ‘Party Parcels’, (parties in a box)- which are launching online soon.




2. How did you get into this line of work? What inspired the idea?

Holly: This line of work kind of fell into our laps—and we are beyond happy it did. It all began with our lovely friends hosting parties and Alexandra and I jumping to the opportunity to decorate, bake, and ‘wow’ the guests—it was always such a blast. I remember one party when Alexandra and I were running around (usually at Michael’s craft store or dollarama) and we looked at each-other and said to one another “why are we not doing this all the time?”  It just made sense and from then on, we started to plan.

ALEXANDRA: Holly and I just found ourselves jumping at the chance to decorate every party our friends were hosting. Weddings, bridal showers, murder mystery game nights, holidays, you name it and we’d take it all on (and they’d let us)! We figured if they trusted us in their home and at their events, why wouldn’t others!?  

 3. What is your dream for this business? How would you like it to be in 10 years?

Holly: We launched Champagne Hearts less than three weeks ago and our dreams and visions for CH are through the roof! We absolutely want to expand and have all our creative dreams become a reality—there are no words to truly describe how proud I am of Alexandra and I at this point of the game. Just wait until you see our sweet Junior Hearts Collection—my heart melts just thinking about it. Champagne Hearts has some incredible and creative projects up our sleeves and we cannot wait to share them.

ALEXANDRA: Growth, growth, growth! Champagne Hearts offers a range of products and services, and we’ve only just started! This February we launched the event side of our business and kick started our corresponding blog. Wait till you see our array of parties in a box! There is SO much we want to do! Our vision is endless!

4. How did you meet your partner in crime? How did you know that you wanted to start a business with her?

Holly: I met Alexandra through our best friend Georgina. We were both bridesmaids for her wedding—when we met it was instant friendship. Our first meeting was actually at a Murdoch Mysteries wrap party—we danced together and shared laughs. It was literally one of the moments when you realize you have met a lifelong friend. Those moments are so rare and are meant to be cherished. Alexandra and I just totally understand eachother—we want the same things in life and when we’re together, it is always completely hilarious.
ALEXANDRA: Holly and I were introduced through our mutual friend, Georgina. Both two of her bridesmaids, we bonded instantaneously! Holly and I just get each other. We love the same things, want the same things, and thought what better way to achieve those than together! 


5. Do each of you have the same job in your business or do you split it up? Who is better at what?

Holly: We are both incredibly creative and we work together on all aspects of Champagne Hearts, however with the overwhelming & amazing response we have received thus far (less than three weeks and our email is blowing up!) we stay organized by dividing up parts of the business. We both like to be organized. Alexandra is the best business woman I have ever met—I learn something new from her each day.  She handles the business side and the Party Parcels (which includes Junior Hearts) portion of CH. With that being said, as a creative director of sorts, I am heading the lifestyle blog and social media side of the business. Although we are separately handling those areas, we are equally as involved with the other areas. The best part of working with Alexandra is that we are so in sync and our communication is on point. There is never something that is unknown to the other. We make all decisions together and craft together—because why wouldn’t you spend a crafternoon with your bestie?

ALEXANDRA: I was bred into a family of entrepreneurs and seemingly gravitate towards the business-y aspects! I’m handling the party parcel side of Champagne Hearts, whereas Holly heads up the blogging and social media side of things, (although we both contribute to either side creatively). The outside events are done together. 

6. What is your favourite event that you have created tables or an entire look for? Why?

Holly: I would have to say I really enjoyed our first event that we ever created–it was for our dearest best friend Georgina Reilly. This bridal shower was actually our first event ever that we created together—and we actually met via G. We were both bridesmaids and that was how we met. It was a beautiful summer day and we created (with the help of our friend Jennifer Macklam) a wonderland-esque tea party for G. My favourite elements were the simple details—the straws with the “Drink Me” labels, the floral tablecloth, the delicious cookie dough balls I made. There were clocks and books, and sweet darling details that pulled it all together.

I also really LOVED the baby shower we recently threw for my darling sister. It was the ultimate feminine and sweet baby shower—white ruffle backdrops, doilies, and sweet baby pink animal mason jar favours. That was a shower that was an incredible labour of love. It was all I could think about—awake or dreaming.

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ALEXANDRA: I’d have to say Georgina Reilly’s bridal shower, it was a true labor of love. It was the first collaboration between Holly and I, and it was celebrating our best friend. Aside from that, I loved the theme: A wonderland-esque, whimsical, feminine tea party! Complete with vintage tea sets, books, floral, clocks, finger sandwiches, sweet treats and perfect company.






7. What kind of party or event do you dream of planning?

Holly: I used to always dream of my wedding and now that that has come and gone (oh, what a beautiful day it was), I get giddy with excitement when I think of baby showers, gender reveal parties, and children’s birthday parties. I cannot wait to plan all those sweet parties in my future.

ALEXANDRA: For me, I can’t wait to plan my OWN wedding! You naturally absorb all the ideas you’re brainstorming for others and store all the ones that resonate with you on the back burner. My personal taste is very eclectic and bold. I love rich reds, burnt yellows and nautical navy! Insert a Jazz band and … a fiancé, and I’ll be calling on you for photos!  

8. Who is your inspiration?

Holly: My friends, family, and my husband inspire me 100%.  There is never a dull moment in my life—I am inspired by the beautiful people that grace me everyday. I am surrounded by competent, able, hilarious, and fun people day in and day out. I am surrounded with love and that inspires me.
ALEXANDRA: My family and closest friends, bar none. Every morning I wake feeling absolutely blessed that I’m surrounded by such a dynamic, creative, positive, supportive, caring group of people.

9. Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you use pinterest?

Holly: I’d have to say I am inspired by a lot of things. I really enjoy Pinterest—organizing my multitudes of boards is somewhat calming to me (I’m a nerd, I know). I also get a lot of inspiration from social media—instagram houses some incredible men and women doing incredible things—crafting, styling, and designing brilliant parties & spaces. I am also an avid television/film & book lover and I pull inspiration from what I am watching or reading at the moment. I posted my “Current Crushes” blog post last week (check it out!) and it briefly highlighted my obsession with the BBC show “Downton Abbey”—I am currently inspired by rich oil paintings, gallery walls, textured and ornate chairs, and gold-everything.

ALEXANDRA: My girlfriends just sigh at my lack of Pintrest-ability! Holly is good at it. My inspiration is driven by simple things: Books, flowers, the park, the neighborhood cat, old photographs, the busker at Dundas Square… 

10. When a client is trying to explain his/her inspiration do you ask them to pull photos for you or give you a colour scheme? How much information should a client prepare for you?

 Holly: I can usually get a good sense from a client about what they want and I will start to pull inspiration (mostly, I just get too excited to wait) and I always ask the client to bring as many photos, sketches, whatever their hearts desire to the consultation to help them communicate exactly what is needed and wanted from us. The more, the merrier! There is something so amazing about the initial planning process—it is usually messy, unorganized, and scattered but so full of love and inspired ideas. As long as the client feels that they have completely communicated their vision—I have no qualms with how large or small their collection of inspired material is. Alexandra and I have a knack to really understand the concepts wanted and we are there to help guide visions, dreams, & ideas and make them into a reality.

ALEXANDRA: More is better! It gives us a sense of who you are. Most people show up with a random assortment of different themes and images they’re inspired by, and it’s our job to narrow it down and work from there.

11. If you had a choice between these things which would you choose to do: bake a cake, make a photo backdrop out of fabric, or plan a budget

Holly: Oooh this is hard! They all sound so fun (yes even the budget!). As much as I love to bake & decorate a cake and make lists & plan a budget for a special fete, I’d have to say the photo backdrop. To be honest, the idea of crafting a backdrop makes me giddy. There is nothing more fun than a photoshoot and photos are such fabulous memories–I’d definitely enjoy creating a beautiful backdrop (even though I am a beginner seamstress).

ALEXANDRA: This is tricky. I’d have to go with baking (and decorating) a cake. Lastly, the budget (I don’t think I’m alone here)..

12. What are some of your favourite vendors in the city?

Holly: I don’t know if I have a favourite. I do enjoy garage sales (c’mon springtime!), value village (you can find some incredible pieces perfect for DIY projects), and my local dollarama (haha I’m a nerd and a half).
ALEXANDRA: Champagne and Cupcakes, Fashion Crimes, Designer Fabrics, Le Dolci, The Drake General Store (to name a few), and good old fashioned garage sales!

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 13. What is a good way to save money when planning a party?

Holly: Be realistic. Be crafty. Hire Champagne Hearts.

ALEXANDRA: Do things yourself! Get crafty (or hire us) *wink*

14. What are the first most important steps when planning a party?

Holly: Budget and guest list 100%. The sooner you can determine how many guests you are hosting and how much money you are willing to spend; everything else will be a piece of cake.

ALEXANDRA: Guest List. Budget. Venue. Theme. Menu

15. What party themes are popular right now?

Holly: I don’t know if I only think these are popular because I personally am so invested and excited about them but UNIQUE gender reveal parties, baby showers, and children’s birthday parties are super popular right now. There are so many creative parties being dreamt up and designed—blows my mind. Weddings are always popular and such a dream to decorate.

ALEXANDRA: Gender reveals have been gaining a lot of popularity. Another perfect excuse to celebrate parenthood in addition to a traditional baby shower!

16. Parties are all about the details….what are some pretty details you would recommend adding to a baby shower or bridal shower?

Holly: I love pretty details and darling personal touches. Baby and bridal showers are celebrations of beautiful milestones in one’s life—these should be celebrated with personal touches. Pictures, music, and flowers are always simple and gorgeous additions to any and all fetes. I love whimsical details that are effortless and fun—and the love & laughter of all the attendees (easily my favourite and the most darling & pretty detail of any shower).

ALEXANDRA: I’m all about personal touches, especially when the celebration is intimate like a birth or nuptials. Picture walls, name cards, monograms, guestbooks, photobooths, are all lovely details that capture emotion, adding an authentic personality to your party! (Flowers are also a perfect way to symbolize new beginnings). 

17. What is your biggest challenge right now?

Holly: Time management; Alexandra and I are busy bees—she is an executive and amazing business lady & I am an actress. Our schedules are very different but nevertheless, both incredibly busy! We have the luxury of prioritizing our duties within Champagne Hearts and we meet weekly to discuss all things business and creative, so that is incredibly helpful (and fun!). I also think a huge challenge for me, personally, is that I have not been blessed with patience, haha. I am so thrilled by our success thus far and expansion is coming fast & furious and our excitement is building by the day! I can’t wait to share all the amazing projects we have lined up!

ALEXANDRA: Time management. I’m in an executive role with Wasteco, where I’ve just launched a new program. Holly is an actress. Since a big part of our business is online, the other on weekends, it works. Organization and multitasking is key!

18. Holly, you just recently got married and made all the details yourself. What was your favourite detail ? how long did it take you?

Holly: I must confess I cannot believe I have already been married for over 6 months!! It seems like yesterday I was counting down 6 months to the big day! I created all the details myself and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. The wedding was truly a labour of love. My favourite DIY detail was without a doubt, the brown-paper bags for the candy table.  I dragged my husband to Michael’s (craft store) to purchase ink. We were going to stamp our fingers on each individual bag (in the shape of a heart, no less). We spent a lifetime at the craft store and finally came out with (too much) ink and proceeded to stamp our fingers on over 200 bags. It should be noted that my husband is not really a “crafty” man and the entire process was one that I will never forget—it was beyond hilarious and intensely heart-warming. The greatest thing about these bags is that they were not the most beautiful details of the wedding and they absolutely were not used as much as we had hoped; but they were the most loved detail of the wedding—we made them together. The entire wedding décor took me about 3-4 months—it was very scattered & an unorganized mess of inspiration for a few weeks into crafting (I actually crafted much more than I actually used at the wedding) and it was the ultimate whirlwind of a wedding. It was perfect.

19. Alex, you just recently went to cake school. What was your biggest surprise or learning curve?

ALEXANDRA: Practice makes perfect! Cake decorating is an art, and one that requires precision and finesse! I’m certainly no pro (yet). Creating an intricate fondant cake takes patience. I was surprised at the time required for even the simplest design. It’s all in the foundation, which becomes the canvas to create on. The possibilities are limitless, that’s why I love it. Craftsmanship, you can eat! What’s better than that??

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Georgina and Mark; the kind of pair that I dream of booking! They are artistic, charismatic, stylish and fun. Two actors in fact which will make my job easier and will elasticized the dotted lines of wedding photography. Already they have asked me to capture Georgina’s bridal shower instead of an engagement session which I was ecstatic to do because it involved a garden tea party! Have you ever been to a garden tea other than Alice in Wonderland’s? I bet not!  That is why I was so excited!!! It sounded magical and girlie, with bows, sweets, tea cups, flowers and oh my’s! Well see for yourself, but I was not dreaming. This party was just like the fairytale only it was real.

xx – april

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