When it comes to planning and designing a beautiful wedding, Megan Wappel of Megan Wappel Designs knows exactly how to do it. The Toronto-based events planner and stationery designer has brought to life some gorgeous weddings, so when it came time to plan her own wedding, she knew exactly the right way to do it. We turned to Wappel for her advice and inspiration for how to plan a wedding like a pro, and how she planned her own completely personalized celebration.
Weddingbells: What inspired your wedding details?
Megan Wappel: “Living in the big city was for sure an inspiration for our modern wedding. I wanted our guests to get the full Toronto experience, starting with our invitations. I created a book for our invite with pages devoted to the best restaurants, the Jays game schedule, shopping areas, hotels and of course our wedding details! It was essentially a guide to Toronto. The design set the tone to our wedding. Both of us were not born or raised in Toronto so the city has a special place in our hearts as it’s where we met and became each other’s person! My guests were a big inspiration to the wedding details, I needed them to not only be there for our nuptials, but I wanted them to have an amazing time in doing so! Everything from the food stations, desserts from both Truffle Cake and Pastry and Milk Bar, floorplan, custom games, and music were all chosen with them in mind! Our cultural backgrounds also played a large part in my design, subtly combining patterns, colours and textures that had meaning to us.”
WB: How did you come up with the theme for your wedding?
MW: “I knew I wanted to play up texture. With the use of the wood tables, brick walls, cement floors, plexi chairs and velvet couches, I really went for it in the texture department. My husband’s culture was also something I wanted to make sure was brought into the celebration. There were African symbols and patterns all throughout the wedding, bringing both our Canadian and African roots together seamlessly—if I do say so myself! To this day there are still symbols around the room that only he and I know about. My parents’ wedding had burgundy in it as well, which was one of the reasons I chose it for mine. It’s great that I was able to incorporate that as one of our main colours—a small token to honour their strong marriage.”
WB: What was your process for designing your wedding?
MW: “I don’t know that I had a process per se. I knew that step one was to find a venue I could work with without having to cover the entire space! I wanted the space to be raw and have some character of its own. The brick walls, high ceilings, cement floors and circle windows were a selling point for me. The size of the space was also crucial. You don’t want the space to be too big, or else the party gets lost! Once the venue was locked down I proceeded with colours, guest count and of course, the logistics of having the ceremony and reception in the same room! A lot of our guests were from out of town so I didn’t want them having to go all over the city for our wedding festivities. Although it was our wedding day, I also knew this would probably be the only time in our lives that our ENTIRE family from Saskatchewan, the U.S. and Africa would ever be all together in one room, so we wanted it to be a cherished and wonderful experience for everyone.”
WB: What was the biggest difference between designing your wedding and your clients’ weddings?
MW: “The biggest difference here is that my husband and I got to answer to ourselves and make the final decisions. The vision of the space and the way the evening flowed was all up to us. We got to take some chances with design and even presentation of food that perhaps clients may not of been able to visualize or take the chance on. Being a bit of an encyclopedia on rentals and custom offerings, I knew exactly what vendors I wanted to work with right away so I could go straight to the source. With every event we take on there is pressure to ensure our work lives up to the quality we are known for (this is what keeps us on our toes all the time!), this was no different when designing my own wedding, except maybe even a bit more pressure! It was actually nice to be on the other end of the spectrum designing memories for myself and the ones closest to me!”
WB: How do you guide a couple on choosing the right wedding colours and theme?
MW: “In our initial consultation, I like to get a feel for the couple’s taste and vision before I provide any design input at all. Once their style is understood I then begin my take and suggestions on their vision, developing pages of inspiration, pushing the envelope, thinking of details that our clients would generally never muster up. We really strive to make no two events alike. Inspiration can always be pulled from previous events, but we will never replicate any of our designs. As a designer and a planner we are truly here to provide an experience for our couples and the guests so lots of design elements will have purpose.”
WB: Do you have any tips for couples on choosing what type of wedding decor to have?
MW: “Find a venue that fits your decor needs and style so you aren’t having to completely make over the room. Covering walls and floors gets very expensive and often doesn’t look as polished as it would if you found a room that suited your design needs in the first place. I’m such a believer in not cutting off rooms with arches or draping if you don’t have to. Let the room speak for itself then bring in all your accent decor and custom details as your budget permits.”
WB: What details should a couple prioritize if they have a limited budget?
MW: “Make a wish list and prioritize what you want to spend your money on. For example, if there are chairs you have always wanted to rent maybe they make enough impact that you don’t need to do charger plates. If you love all the beautiful details, then maybe opt for having a more intimate wedding and being able to splurge on the details because you don’t have as many guests to cater to.”
WB: What’s one of your biggest pieces of advice you have for couples planning their weddings?
MW: “Always remember why you are doing this in the first place. When things get stressful, it’s so important to sit back and remember that the reason you are getting married is because you have chosen your significant other to spend the rest of your life with. The day is there to celebrate your love, to be with family and friends and to make memories. A professional planner and designer can help eliminate the stress and elevate your experience.”