Fact: Melissa Andre is famous for throwing some of the biggest and best parties in Canada, US and beyond. I’ve been lucky to attend and photograph many of her celebrations, making sure all of her hard work is captured to remember in photographs. It’s no surprise that I have tons of fun while doing so, as a Melissa Andre party is guaranteed to be filled with bold and daring details no one has seen before and tons of familiar faces. Below, the woman who is reinventing event design walks us through some of the ins and outs of her field, and shares a few tips and tricks along the way!
Mango Studios (MS): How does photography factor into your wedding planning process?
Melissa Andre (MA): After the event is complete, what we have left after teardown are photos and memories. It takes countless hours to produce the work we do so documenting it is extremely important to me.
MS: What does the perfect wedding day look like in photos?
MA: There most certainly isn’t such a thing as a “perfect” wedding day (in my opinion) – but i love when clients allow us to produce something completely unique and custom for their specific celebration. Capturing these productions allows us to extend the memory past the day of the event so that it can be referenced and enjoyed over and over again.
MS: What are things to consider when choosing wedding details that will look good on photographs?
MA: One of the most important things to consider is the background of the images. If your background is clean, it allows the eye to focus on the details you’re trying to capture. I always look around the subject or element we are photographing to be sure that there isn’t anything in the periphery of the frame I’d like to remove.
MS: What photos are you most excited to see post wedding day?
MA: I love seeing the room shot, 2 minutes before guest enter the space. We adjust and perfect the design up until minutes before guest arrival so those final few seconds of calm before guests begin to enjoy the space are my favourite to capture.
MS: What are some photo worthy trends you’re seeing this year?
MA: Aerial shots of family style dining setups! So many of my clients are opting for family-style menus and I love how candid the photos look while guests enjoy their meal together in a non-traditional format.
MS: What is it about Mango Studios photography that attracts you and your clients each year?
MA: The subtleties that Mango captures are so unique. When all eyes are on one thing in the room, Mango is often noticing something surprising or intimate in another corner. I love having more than one Mango photographer on site to be sure that nothing is missed. Even when I think we’ve taken all the shots I wanted to see, Mango always delivers a few surprises I didn’t expect.
It’s amazing when a vendor gives us plenty of the unexpected to photograph and we can return the favour with some unexpected shots of our own! Working with Melissa – who, by the way, has planned events for Drake and the Weeknd, to name a few of her powerhouse clients – is always a pleasure because, aside from being one of the best in the industry, she is such a passionate and kind person who puts her all into each and every event she organizes. Check out how Melissa is turning event design into an art form in the shots above.
More On The Event:
The party was inspired by Paris, everything Paris is famous for, France itself and everything in between. Ah France! The country that inspired so many generations of writers, artists, poets and people in general. No wonder it was one of the huge inspirations for Melissa Andre. As the above indicated city itself, this party is LARGER-THAN-LIFE. Where do I start? The moment I entered the venue, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I mean I would like to see your expression when you walk into a regular room and suddenly find yourself in the middle of Champs-Élysées. Everything, from table setting to decor elements on all of three cakes had Parisian details and some reference to that city.
The high ceilings of the venue were decorated with floating cotton clouds and miniature sized air balloons. The idea behind the setting was a feeling of amusement, lightheartedness and nostalgic joy. What else can evoke feelings of happiness if not a row of floating air balloon looking like they came straight from your childhood books? The endless rows of guest tables and white chairs underneath them were a reference to the famous Champs-Élysées, grand and wide – just like the city where it drew inspiration from. The centre stage featured the Eiffel Tower that gloriously illuminated the space.
In opposite corners of the venue there were two different park zones: Zoo and an Enchanted Garden. Each park featured real size animals, elephants, zebras and giraffes, made of green bushes. In the centre of the Garden you could see a small pond with toy swans swimming peacefully on the water.
The real cherry on top was a real, working carousel that invited guests to take a ride. With close attention to various elements, Melissa Andre made sure not to miss a single detail. After all, that is exactly what makes her such a sought-after event planner.