An Unforgettable Tea Party for Ana

A couple months ago I had one of the most rewarding and honouring experiences of my event coordinating career thus far. While it is clear I have a passion for weddings, the emotions I felt for this event were overwhelming! It was a genuine and surreal experience, a true honour and privilege to be a part of.

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Back in May, I was approached by a beautiful woman, both inside and out, to help bring one of  her sisters’ dreams to reality. Though the family was going through quite a hardship, an ill sister wanted to celebrate her birthday.  Ana, turning a young 52 years old was in an extremely devastating battle with cancer.  Her birthday was only one month away and she wanted to celebrate by hosting a tea party with the closest women in her life.  As a successful and busy professional with 3 children, one of Ana’s younger sisters approached me to assist in bringing Ana’s wish to reality.

Although the tea party was for a small group, 12 women, we only had one month to plan.  I knew this celebration required only the best of the best to pull it off to perfection. This tea party was ALL about the details (a dream for me because I LOVE details!).  After getting to know a bit more about Ana through her sister, I put together an event decor and design proposal. Must haves included lots of wild flowers (Ana loved to garden!), soft colours (to ensure a relaxed atmosphere), dainty and delicious food, and the special women closest to Ana’s heart.

The Food

Holly and Jordan, owners of Tastes by Taylor Catering, were a dream to work with. Holly designed a menu beyond my imagination, suited absolutely perfect for the tea-party theme. Their endearing teamwork, professional service, and remarkable food presentation ensured guests were pleasantly full after each course. Thank you to Leslie for the beautiful design of the menu stationary!

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Doesn’t it sound delicious?!


The Decor

After falling in love with Special Event Rentals authentic barn wood harvest tables, I knew they would be perfect for this event. Paired with the matching walnut folding chairs, a custom made doily runner by yours truly, and stunning fresh florals by La Fiora, the final product was stunning! Added details included an ‘Art of Sewing’ antique book from 1988, small hand-made signage honouring Ana’s presence, white rocks featuring inspirational words, and an antique butter dish.  These elements fit the event design just perfect!

The dessert table was adorned with an antique white lace table cloth, glass jars with ‘sweet-tea’ and ice-water, and a variety of delightful treats. Gracing the dessert table was more fresh flowers, milk glass cake stands, and a custom framed sign remembering the amazing person Ana represents to all of these women. Beside the dessert table sat a small antique table. This table was for Ana. A chair with Ana’s photo, a hand-painted ‘A’ and a bouquet in her honour rested on this table.

Finally, we could not let the attendees leave empty handed. Each of the lovely ladies were gifted a unique tea-cup and saucer to remember the day, along with a delicious personalized cookie from The Baking Twins. As the celebration came to a close, we hand-tied all of the flowers into bouquets for each guest to take and lay rest with Ana. She was very much part of this event and it was only fitting to bring some of the event to her.

This was an extremely emotional experience and I cannot say enough how honoured I am to have been a part of it.  It was a heart-warming memorial for a woman who was obviously loved and cherished by her amazing family. I will forever treasure the privilege of planning this celebration for a family who is filled with so much love, support and kindness. Thank you Violet for asking me to be a part of this incredible celebration of life.

Head over to the JPE Facebook Page for ALL of the photos!

With love,

~ Jackie P.


Event Design: JPE
Flowers: La Fiora
Catering: Tastes by Taylor
Invitation & Menu Design: Leslie Babin
Harvest Tables & Walnut Chairs: Special Event Rentals
Custom Doily Runner: JPE
Personalized Guest Favour Cookies: The Baking Twins
Memorial Table: JPE
Additional Rentals: JPE


Bling Wedding at Bellagio, byPeterandPauls, Vaughan

The 2014 wedding season was kicked off with a stellar couple! Kassandra and Matt started dating while they were both at Brock University. Matt, the hockey player, and Kass, the cheerleader, these two undoubtedly stopped bystanders in their tracks when they walked around campus together – they are absolutely stunning!  It’s impossible not to feel the deep love these two have for one another whenever they are together. Kass’s positive enthusiasm, cheerfulness and easy-going nature compliments Matt’s calm, wit and confidence just perfectly. Not to mention these two have gorgeous smiles that will make your heart melt!

Kass being the organized, energetic teacher she is, didn’t need a ton of help while planning their big day. And where she lacked in time to DIY, her incredibly talented sister & MOH, Kourtney far exceeded any of her expectations. Throughout the planning process, Kass entrusted JPE to guide and direct her with the many decor decisions she had to make.  Onsite, JPE took care of the backdrop and head table styling and decor.  Kass has expensive taste for decor so it was all hands on deck to ensure she got the look she wanted, at an appropriate price.  The result = truly breathtaking. Elegance at its max and a timeless wedding look she can admire for years and years. My favourite moment of the day was watching her and Matt’s first look of the room; I will cherish that moment always.

Now see for yourself what a truly magical day this was, all of it captured by Brian Reilly Photography…

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Kass & Matt – I cannot say enough how much I truly love you both. Your wedding day is definitely one for the books and I will forever treasure being a part of it! Thank you.

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~ JP

Head Table Decor & Styling: JPE
Photography: Brian Reilly Photography
Venue: Bellagio, Vaughan
Furniture Rentals: Divine Furniture Rentals


Spring |
| Luxe Sparkle

Engagement Photos ♥ To do or not to do?

This is a topic that comes up in many of my initial consultations with clients – engagement photos.  Frequently, couples will ask whether or not they need to have engagement photos taken and how to prepare for them.  Years ago the idea of engagement photos had a negative stigma around them: they are ‘corny’, people don’t know what to do with the photos, couples don’t see the point in bothering with them. If you happen to still feel this way, well this is my attempt to change your mind….
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I advise my clients that engagements photos are a MUST. Even if you have no intention of using the photos, other than posting them to Facebook, you still need to have them done. While yes you have been in countless photos taken by our friends iphones or your mom’s digital camera, a professional photography session is absolutely not the same. Below are a few of the reasons why you should’t skip the engagement photos:

♥  You’re not used to being in front of a camera, so one of the biggest days of your life should not be the first time. Wedding pictures are the photos you will obsessively look at, brag with, post everywhere, and use a reminder of the best day ever.  Practice makes perfect, so using the engagement session as your practice is the only way to ensure your wedding day photos will be perfect!

♥  Take advantage of a unique, and likely new, experience you have with your partner. Relish in doing something new together, look forward to dressing up, embrace the undivided attention you will give to one another, and take pleasure in all of the touching and kissing that comes along with engagement sessions. Now how can you say no to that?

♥  It is absolutely critical to become familiar and get comfortable with your photographer before the big day and vise versa.  Your photographer is capturing memories and moments of the most important day of your lives thus far. You will want to relive these moments through your photos and you will want to look your best.

♥  It’s likely included in your photography package, so just do it!

If you don’t believe me, hear it from the professionals.  I reached out to my good friend and extremely talented photographer, Brian Reilly.  With the number of engagement sessions under his belt, this guy is a well of information you can trust. Brian outlined his top 3 tips below.

Tip #1: Approach it like a dress rehearsal for your Big Day. You won’t go on Broadway without a dress rehearsal right?  So relax and build a relationship with your photographer. Let him/her understand who you are as couple, how you relate to each other and learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
Tip #2: Be yourselves! Ladies, I know you want to spit shine your man and get him all cleaned up but I always suggest (males and females) wear what you always wear (what your friends and family know you in) because A) it’s tough enough to get him excited about the photos; and B) you’ll feel more comfortable and in a better mood to enjoy the experience. This should be FUN!
Tip #3: Critique your engagement photos. What do you like and what don’t you like? If you approach it like a dress rehearsal you will want to tweak things in preparation for the big day. Share these thoughts with your photographer. He or she wants to deliver the best images possible, so give them as much feedback as possible.
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I also asked real brides to share their experiences with engagement photos…

“Our engagement shoot was definitely one of the highlights of our time as an engaged couple!!!  The location of the shoot was really special to us, a familiar hangout where my fiance proposed. A few weeks prior to the shoot we brainstormed about what we would wear and decided that we wanted to have a couple of different looks for the shoot. One in our usual “strolling at Lowville Park” gear and the other a chance to get a little bit dolled up. Going into it, I was a bit nervous because I tend to feel awkward and self critical in photos, but our photographer put us completely at ease. To our surprise, it was actually such a romantic experience!  Spending a couple of hours staring into your fiance’s eyes, reminiscing about the proposal, and dreaming about the future … I mean… swoon!!!! I am now excited about the photos on the big day because I feel comfortable with our photographer and confident in how the photos will turn out. I would 100% recommend EVERY couple to have an engagement photo session.” Bride-to-be, December 2014.

“Without an engagement photo session, I think it’s really hard to get to know your photographer and get comfortable in front of the camera. Having the engagement session really put us at ease on our wedding day. Our photographer talked to us about body position, helped us find which “side” we look best on, (because let’s be serious, we all have a side), and was really great.  When it came to outfits, I knew I wanted to wear a summer dress, something fun and flowy, not to formal. I do wish however that I had a second outfit, something more relaxed to show another side of us.  Since I knew pictures weren’t my fiance’s thing, I wanted to make sure he was relaxed. He is most comfortable in shorts and nice top (and looks handsome in anything) so we rolled with that. On the wedding day, taking photos in front of your bridal party could have made us feel awkward but after the engagement session it didn’t bother us at all. Our fears and anxiety were gone and we were able to act more natural. I think the biggest thing with engagement sessions is to make sure you do what compliments you.  Have fun with it and just be who you are as a couple. That is when the photos turn out the best!” Bride, March 2014

So, are you convinced yet?

For engagement photo inspiration, check out the pinterest boards below!

~ Jackie P.
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Follow Jackie Penner Events’s board Engagement Photos on Pinterest.

Follow Brian Reilly Photography’s board Engagement session on Pinterest.

Featured photos from Brian Reilly Photography & Love Madly 

Joanna & Dennis featured on Style Me Pretty

I am FINALLY able to share the gorgeous-ness of Joanna and Dennis’s wedding last August 4, 2013!  As anxious and excited as I was, I knew the wait would be worth it! Jo & Den’s wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty on April 17th (which just happens to be my birthday – how perfect right?!). Working with some of the best-of-the-best in the wedding industry was an incredible experience. Thank you to ALL of the vendors who helped put this elegant, romantic, and timeless wedding together! I know these two experienced a wedding day beyond their wildest dreams!
Let the swooning begin…
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For more gorgeous photos and two amazing videos of this affair, click on the Style Me Pretty button below!

♥  JP

As Seen on Style Me Pretty

Laid back Love Affair ♥ Burlington Golf & Country Club

Where do I begin with these two lovebirds…

When I received the call from the groom’s mother indicating she thought this amazing couple would need some assistance planning their big day, I could not have been more excited!  Having planned many events herself, the mother of the groom knew exactly how important a wedding planner would be.  She knew this busy couple would benefit from some assistance leading up to their big day, and most importantly on the day-of. Did I mention these two sweethearts have the most adorable son, Mason?  Hence where the business comes into play!  All the more reason to invest in a little help to ensure they would enjoy their day as guests with their son, Mason, surrounded by loving family and friends.

When I met with Tori and Dan for the first time, I immediately knew this wedding would have a laid-back feel and the room would be completely full of love and support.  Tori and Dan’s wedding would be a day to celebrate their gorgeous little family and Mason’s steel blue eyes and blond hair would for sure be a show-stopper.  As we planned their August wedding day, Tori was very much a DIY bride and Dan wanted nothing more than for Tori to have the day of her dreams.

Saturday, August 10th began as Tori and her maids were pampered in Burlington and Dan, the groomsmen and of course Mason (the best man by the way!) prepping in Waterdown.  The two groups met a friend’s country property north ofBurlington for the bride and groom reveal.  As you can see from the gorgeous photos by Brian Reilly Photography, this was an amazing moment between these three.

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The ceremony and reception took place at the Burlington Golf & Country Club and we could not have dreamed of better weather.  The view of the lake and golf course from the ceremony was just perfect.  The cool air from the water offset the August sun to ensure all of the guests felt comfortable as the couple said I Do.  Tori and Dan wrote their own vows and of course Mason was right there with them throughout the emotional ceremony.

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We could not have dreamed of better weather on this day.  The perfect amount of clouds in the bright blue sky!Tori & Dan_922 Tori & Dan_924 Tori & Dan_937Tori & Dan_941 Tori & Dan_5Tori & Dan_9 Tori & Dan_115Tori & Dan_127 Tori & Dan_131

I love how many kisses Tori got from the most important men in her life. I especially love this little moment between Dan and Tori which of course Brian Reilly was able to capture!

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As guests enjoyed cocktail hour and the family took photos on the grounds of the course, Tori’s dad had a special surprise for his only daughter and the rest of the family. On the day Tori was born, her dad was given a bottle of Champagne. He kept this bottle for the day that his daughter would marry the love of her life.  Both Tori and Dan’s immediate families enjoyed this special bottle together. The families toasted to the future happiness and long-standing love affair between Tori and Dan and now their handsome boy Mason.
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I mean, is this blue-eyed-beauty going to grow up to be a heart-breaker or what? So adorable!

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The evening continued at the golf course with entertaining music, a fun photo booth, and endearing and hilarious speeches. While they may not have followed ‘the rules’, for these two incredibly loving, kind, easygoing and genuine people, this is their perfect happily-ever-after.

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Such a fantastic group at this wedding! The dance floor was packed all night!

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I am absolutely obsessed with this photo of Tori & Mason!  Tori enjoying the special bottle of champagne and little Mason making the cutest face ever!

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I cannot say enough about how this loving family was an absolute pleasure to work with.  I will forever cherish being a part of their wedding and how it embodied the true importance of marriage, love and family.

xoxo Tori, Dan & Mason!

♥  JP