6th February, 2011 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
That’s Amore Productions is one of Montreal’s most renowned event and wedding entertainment companies. What sets them apart is their ability to meet the needs of Montreal’s diverse ethnic communities. From Arabic music, to Greek to Italian and more, they will do their best to accomodate you and make your wedding memorable. If you’re looking for a professional company to entertain your wedding guests with up-to-date music, props and flair look no further! Now, without further delay, I present our latest interview with Johnny Ciambrelli, founder of That’s Amore Productions. Enjoy!
What made you start That’s Amore Productions?
The year was 1996; I and my wife were planning our wedding reception celebration in Montreal, which consisted of various different guest ethnicities, after successfully finding the right venue which met our needs, the next logical important element to the true success of our wedding celebrations was to find the right Dj Music & Entertainment Company.
At that time I was a part time Dj in Montreal, with already a good knowledge of (multicultural) music and cultural diversities, the challenge at that point was to find an entertainment company that had a true knowledge of our specific needs, the truth is that we were not able to find a company that fit our vision. At that point I took matters in my own hands, prepared the specially selected needed music, had a Dj friend play the music for us, since I was the groom I could not spin and enjoy the wedding at the same time, regardless I managed to Mc (speak in different languages) to make the guests happy.
The moment we returned from our honeymoon, my ultimate challenge was to establish an entertainment Disc Jockey company in Montreal that was able accommodate many different ethnics! Not only did we succeed, but today we are one of the very few companies in Montreal that truly understand the specific needs of multicultural couples that are in the process of planning their most important day of their lives.
What should an engaged couples consider in choosing an entertainment company for their wedding?
- Experience, amount of years the company is in business.
- Can they provide true referrals of other happy clients.
- Do they look presentable, personality, equipment installation set-up.
- Do they give you value for your music and entertainment budget.
- Do they have the capacity to speak different languages.
- Are they organised, structured, event planners.
- Are they patient to understand and comply with your specific needs.
Any message you’d like to transmit to our readers and potential clients?
If you consider music & entertainment important to the success of your wedding celebration, as we are sure you do, we invite you to visit our web site at www.thats-amore.com or to make an appointment and visit us at our office. We guarantee your visit will be well worth your time!
17th January, 2011 - Posted by Lia - No Comments
I’m talking from experience when I say that planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming. If I could turn back time and do it all over again I would definitely hire a wedding planner, someone who’s a professional in the field and most importantly someone who keeps the smile on your face on your wedding day! Jaime Korey from Over The Top Events is a Montreal based seasoned wedding planner who’s at the top of her game. If hectic planning is not your cup of tea, she’s the one to call! We recently had the pleasure of interviewing her, getting to know more about her services, her approach as well as wedding trends for this year! Enjoy!
What can you tell me about your business and what you can offer your clients?
We offer personal service. We actually strive to ensure our clients not only receive the best quality of style and service but receive a response in remarkable time (less then 24hrs). Working for Over the Top Events are myself (owner and designer), one full time assistant, and during peak season of weddings we bring on one additional assistant, and two stagiers. We offer concept design and planning of weddings, corporate functions and of course special occasions. Our average client has a mid to high end budget, however our passion is creating dreams for all our clients, we never turn a client away. We have planned and developed weddings for all cultures, as well as a couple of celebrities which we are very proud of.
What makes your business unique from other wedding planners?
I have a strong social and corporate background, with managing teams for both corporate and non-for-profit of over 100 people, I am positioned to manage and cater to any size of event. With over 10 years of budget management and supplier negotiations, I hold all the qualifications and understanding to contract negotiate as it is part of the responsibility, ensuring my client gets the best price is crucial without compromising quality of service.
I listen to my clients and keep communication open as there is no limit to emails, meetings or phone calls with us.
I hold Resort Group and event management of 6 years – Wedding Planning for 10+ years
With my knowledge of destinations (travelled & worked throughout North and South America, Caribbean, British West Indies, Mexico and Europe) creating a destination wedding goes without saying that I am your gal as I know the ins and outs of some of the most beaitufl locatins in the world, whether for the nicest pier for your ceremony, or the best location for your honeymoon, – so gives me a wider perspective on life
I design and develop events full time which allows my clients to be able to have my undivided attention. This is my livelihood, which I take seriously, I am qualified and certified, with full liability insurance
I am extremely detail oriented and, know how to prioritize tasks and responsibilities, all the while handling numerous logistics and timelines at one, which permits my clients to have all the confidence that their event is always on my mind.
I’m a true believer in treating others as you wish to be treating. Having said that when working any style of event, having a team player attitude is key, as we are all there for one purpose-creating an unbelievable event which will hold very dear to the client’s hearts.
What would you advise someone that are about to start their wedding plans?
Try not to get overwhelmed with all the details. The most important thing to remember is that this wedding is yours and your fiancé, many times families opinions and egos get in the way of what you actually wish to have.
Whether you are prepared to have a budget in mind or not, you need one to begin the ground work. Discuss with a professional your options so as to be better positioned in knowing what’s out there. This is what I do, it’s my job to ensure I am familiar with not only vendors who have been around for a while, but as well all the up and coming ones!
Hire a planner, we have all the tips and tricks, and all the knowledge in developing YOUR wedding, all the while keeping you as stress free as possible.
Any advice on how a bride should go about hiring a professional to help with wedding plans?
First and foremost I cater to my clients and not my suppliers, meaning we don’t take any referrals fees. I am often presented with the question what is your commission rate (from vendors) and I respond with the obvious, the discount is to be applied to my client. When selecting vendors to work with, I consider my clients, and from there I am able to move forward with presenting 3 top selections from each vendor category along with a full description.
Brides and grooms alike hire a planner because they are either (or both) overwhelmed and have no time to do all the leg work. Ensuring that the lines of communication is always open, as well as selecting reputable and reliable vendors provides peace of mind.
Have you noticed a remarkable wedding trend for 2011?
- more couples are opting for a unique wedding
- color was and continues to be huge
- bridesmaids are stearing clear of the traditional bridesmaids dress
- there has been more third party entertainment
- couples are becoming more comfortable with outside the box ideas.
You can visit the Over The Top Events Blog for the latest wedding trends and photos!
22nd November, 2010 - Posted by Lia - 1 Comment
An insight into Victoria de Martigny , the lady behind the lens of Montreal’s Creative Perspectives Photography! You can really feel the passion and enthusiasm in her responses and her photos really capture the moment beautifully. I hope you enjoy reading her answers and viewing stunning photos of Billy & Laura’s recent wedding as much as I have!
How long have you been a photographer? How did you develop a passion for photography?
It struck me from a young age that a photograph was a very treasured memento of a special occasion that truly made people happy. Like many little girls, I was mesmerized by bridal magazines and the stunning photos of beautiful brides that crowded their pages. I was also enamoured with National Geographic and wanted to BE the photographer camped out on the African plains to catch a shot of a Cheetah cub… I begged my parents to buy me a camera and when I received my first 35mm film camera as a gift from them for my 8th birthday, I was thrilled! Unfortunately, as an 8-year-old, I didn’t have the budget to travel to Africa, so I took photos of the family pets instead I also took pictures of people; my family, the lady at the grocery store, the neighbours – pretty much anyone who would not shoo me away when I pointed my camera at them!
It was really in high school that I found my niche as a photographer though, when I was asked to be the Candids editor for our yearbook. I brought my 35mm camera with me everywhere, delighting in the opportunity to catch and document special moments – many of which still make me smile to this day. I found that through my lens, I was able to look at a scene with a different perspective and see things that other people didn’t. In the years since high school, I have continued to upgrade my equipment, develop my skill and shoot a variety of subjects. My images have appeared in newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, corporate brochures and even on the side of two mini-vans for the Ecomuseum Zoo!
What other genres apart from weddings do you do?
I love photographing all types of celebrations including weddings, engagements, maternity shots, births & baptisms, family portraits, grads, sports, birthday parties and anything else you can think of. Occasionally I do nudes and at a recent gallery showing with several other photographers won the “People’s Choice” award for one of my nudes.
I am also a HUGE animal lover, so whenever I have the opportunity, I hit the trails with my gear and photograph wildlife. I’ve won awards for some of my wildlife images from the SPPQ (Society for the Promotion of Photography in Quebec) and BetterPhoto.com. Because my family of furry friends is so important to me, I always have an open invitation for clients to bring along the family pet during portrait sessions, whether it be a dog, cat, bird, snake… whatever. I love them all!
What’s your style of photography?
The three words I would use to describe my style are Bold, Bright and Beautiful. I like to capture candid moments as they happen naturally and try to be unobtrusive while I work. I’m a romantic at heart, so my favorite shots are the ones that show true emotion. I prefer to shoot in locations with beautiful natural light, but have an entire portable studio setup which I use when supplemental lighting is needed. Most importantly, I like to have FUN while I work and I bring that attitude to every shoot so that the experience can be positive and enjoyable both for me and my clients.
What inspires you as a photographer?
I am still inspired by that treasured photograph and the smile it will bring to my clients’ faces. I am very attentive during the initial consultation; listening for clues into clients’ lives, what makes them work as a couple, how they interact, their sense of self and sense of style – and I work extremely hard to reflect those elements as I capture their celebration in a natural way. I like to get to know who my clients are as people and what’s important to them because ultimately that helps me create images that will be meaningful to them.
I am also constantly inspired by other photographers. I am an active member of the Lakeshore Camera Club, I participate in online wedding photography forums and regularly take photography workshops to continually expand my creative vision. This year I was selected to participate in a 5-day wedding photography workshop with Jasmine Star – one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world – which was broadcast live to an audience of almost 200,000 people. I am also an accredited member of WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), ASMP (American Society of Media Professionals) and NAPP (the National Association of Photoshop Professionals) which are all invaluable sources of inspiration.
Do you do destination weddings? If you could have a destination wedding where would it be?
Have camera – will travel!! I am definitely available to do destination weddings. Whether the destination is a two-hour drive to Mt. Tremblant or an 8-hour flight to Paris, I can accommodate any destination request.
My ideal destination wedding would be somewhere romantic and beautiful, with unique landscapes which would provide a stunning backdrop for wedding photos: A beach in Australia at sunset… a vineyard in California… the ruins of Machu Pichu in Peru… in front of the Louvre in Paris… a castle in England… a tent on the plains of Africa, with giraffes and elephants and lions in the background… I could go on forever!
Any advice for brides on choosing a photographer?
1- PHOTOGRAPHER’S STYLE: When choosing a photographer, make sure that you look at their portfolio to be sure you like their style and ask to see the final images from a complete wedding. Many photographers will showcase their best shots but you want to be sure that they can provide consistently good images for every stage of the day from getting ready to the reception. Larger studios often sub-contract their weddings to a multitude of freelance photographers, so while you may love the work on the studio’s website, those shots may not have been taken by the photographer who will shoot YOUR wedding, so ask to see the portfolio of YOUR photographer.
2- PERSONALITY: You will be spending one of the most personal and intimate moments of this day with your photographer, so it’s important that you like the person, are comfortable being yourself with them and trust them to do their job while you enjoy your day.
3- CREDENTIALS: Once you like the style and personality of a potential photographer, don’t let their salesmanship and charm convince you to sign a contract yet! Ask about their experience shooting weddings, their photography training and memberships in professional associations. Since wedding photography is an unregulated industry anyone with a decent camera can claim to be a wedding photographer. After your day is over, it is the photos that you will look back on fondly for years to come, so make sure your photographer truly is a professional that can deliver on their promises.
4- CONTRACT: Make sure you have a written contract that clearly defines the services provided and the associated cost(s). While it may seem easier not to deal with a contract, it is much better to ensure that your expectations are defined in writing BEFORE your wedding day. A professional photographer will have a written contract that will cover everything from the cost you’re paying to what happens if they are unable to photograph your wedding due to illness. Make sure you know if the photographer will charge you extra for retouching, travel, a second photographer, overtime, etc. Also make sure that the contract covers product delivery so that you know when you can expect your prints and/or albums to be ready – otherwise you could find yourself waiting months or even years before you see anything!
Where is your favourite location to take wedding photos?
I love to take wedding photos in outdoor locations with beautiful natural light. The Montreal Botanical Gardens offers a variety of lovely settings when the weather cooperates as do many of the parks in the city. Old Montreal can also be a stunning backdrop for wedding photos when time permits. For the more adventurous and non-traditional couples I like to shoot in unexpected locations (such as these shots of Billy and Laura at a chocolate factory) which can provide unique and artistic images.
Any words of wisdom for a bride on her wedding day? (Sweet & Short)
These are my top 5 pieces of advice for a bride on her wedding day:
- Eat breakfast. No matter how hectic things may be in the morning, your body will need energy for what is sure to be a long (and amazing!) day.
- Stay hydrated. Designate one of your bridesmaids to have bottled water for you to sip on the way to the ceremony, during the formal portraits and at the reception.
- Pack an “Emergency kit”. Include things like Tylenol, tampons, safety pins, kleenex, extra lip gloss, breath mints and comfy shoes to change into later. One of your bridesmaids can also be responsible for keeping this handy.
- Take time to taste the food, laugh with your girlfriends and dance with your husband.
- Most of all, remember to HAVE FUN, SMILE and know that today, YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL.