Weddings come in all forms and sizes and I’m so blessed to have photographed some of the most beautiful weddings all over the world. As a wedding photographer, I’d like to make sure I capture not only the essence of the day with all its thrills and happy moments, but also everything that went into making it the most perfect day of your life, including your wedding decor and styling elements, in the most beautiful way. In order to do so, I make sure to keep connected to the top wedding industry professionals, planners, florists and vendors. Knowing your planner’s individual styles helps me prepare for the wedding day and show their work in the most beautiful and compelling way. Recently, I sat down with Tara O’Grady of Bliss Toronto Inc. to go over all things weddings and discuss the latest trends. Bliss Toronto is one of the most reputable and respected event planning and design companies and I love photographing the weddings they create. Their celebrations always have the unmistakable Bliss Toronto style which is all about timelessness, elegance and romance. I hope you enjoy our interview below. I also included some of my favourite photographs from many beautiful weddings that we worked on together.
Mango Studios (MS): Tell us a bit about yourself and your company:
Tara O’Grady (TO): My name is Tara O’Grady and I am the founder and owner of Bliss Toronto Inc., an award winning event planning and design company. I started my professional career as a Casting Director for print, film and television but after 5 years, I felt a strong desire to impact people’s lives in a more positive, helpful way. Shortly after attending a friend’s wedding, I became aware of the stress and anxiety experienced by brides-to-be and felt that I could provide support, calm, confidence and excitement to what many couples find to be an overwhelming experience. My timing could not have been better and I have experienced steady growth since my first year in business. Since 2003, I have had the pleasure of working on thousands of weddings and events with the most wonderful couples and their families in the city’s most exquisite venues. Our style is elegant, sophisticated and understated. We are rooted in authenticity and are proud to provide our clients with discreet planning and event design collaboration. We also love the opportunity to add whimsical elements to an event’s decor but are very much focused on our client’s vision. We are focused on depicting their genuine style while putting emphasis on the comfort of our clients’ guests. In addition to carefully planned design and decor, we believe that entertainment is a vital element to a successful event. We are always looking for cutting edge entertainment that will impact the guests in a memorable and experiential way.
MS: Being a full service event planning company, how does photography factor into your wedding planning process?
TO: Photography is an essential element to one’s wedding day. We take care and pride in suggesting the best talent for the day! After discussing and determining the style of photography the couple most appreciates, we compile a list of 3 – 5 best wedding photographers and suggest that the couple pour a glass of wine or review the portfolios over a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning. The list of suggested photographers are based on the style of photography but just as important, the photographer’s personality and demeanour are one of the biggest consideration. I ask the couple to shortlist 1 -3 their favourite photographers and call for availability. If the photographer is available on the wedding date, we arrange a meeting at the photographer’s studio as soon as possible. I suggest that we book our desired photographer as soon as the date has been confirmed.
MS: What photos are you most excited to see post wedding day?
TO: We are most excited to see the details of the wedding day that we’ve personally impacted, specifically decor shots. While most photographers capture all of the decor details, there are some that get missed such as late night lounge set ups. I would love to see more of those!
MS: Scheduling a wedding day in a proper and efficient way is one of the biggest aspects of your job. What do you wish photographers and couples knew about wedding day timelines?
TO: We like allocating specific photography blocks that make good sense and work organically with the flow of the day. We always reach out to the photographer early in the planning process to collaborate on the ideal order, photo shot list and time required to stay on schedule and keep the day moving along well.
MS: As a wedding industry influencer, what are some photo worthy trends in wedding decor or design you’re seeing this year?
TO: We are crazy about bold graphics this season! A variety of stripes, big florals, polka dots, Moroccan tiles. Interesting graphics, bright, bold colours, and dramatic backdrops. I also love graphic napkins although these almost always need to be custom made.
MS: We have worked on so many beautiful weddings together. What do you think attracts you and your couples to Mango Studios each year?
TO: Mango Studios has style! They attract fashion forward, chic, cosmopolitan clients with discerning taste and an eye for modern, contemporary wedding photography. Mango Studios photographers are professional, creative and a pleasure to work with both behind and in front of the lens. In addition to this, Mango captures the intimate nuances and romance of the day that evoke emotion and blissful reflection.
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