20 Years In The Toronto Wedding Industry

Well we are coming to the close of another year in the Toronto wedding industry. This is our 20th year creating stylish weddings so time to update our professional photos and while we are at it why not another creative table top to inspire? Thank you to our dear friends at Rowell Photography for always jumping in to gear and photographing our last minute set ups! Any reason to decorate another table and have some fun with pretty flowers. Yes this is still our passion.. still our love!  Over the years we have learned much, but some things never change. While trends and fashions change at an alarming rate, we still feel that good old fashioned customer service is never out of style.  While we don’t claim to be perfect, we certainly aim to be! Along with meeting the design and creative needs of the modern bride, impeccable service and customer care will always be our focus.  Yes, I’m a little older, and there are a few more wrinkles. The wedding and event industry are fast paced and stressful but is also very rewarding. The truth is, I am so thankful to be able to be creative for a living. While I appreciate so much the accolades of those that have appreciated our work, I really can’t take to much credit. I believe that any creativity or talents I might posess are from God and so really I have nothing to take credit for. Its not like my creativity is as a result of what I have done or accomplished, but rather the other way around.. and for this reason I thank God for blessing me in this way. While pretty flowers, a beautiful centrepiece and some fabulous decor elements make me smile, my joy comes from things that I cannot take credit for.  I also take great pleasure in some of life’s simple things, like a walk to the barn with David. A heart to heart with one of my boys. I love animals, particularly horses. I love creation, the mountains, the ocean and the true artist of all these things.  I love time with David and my boys, love my church family, these are the things that define who I am and what I do. Jessy no doubt shares a good part to the secret of our success. She is our General Manager and her strong organizational skills, creative edge and devotion to our company are what make her ‘one of a kind’! In 20 years of business, I have never met another person who can multi task and return an email as quick as she can! When she is not on the phone or charting the weeks events, she is eager to help in the flower shop and will even often be caught in the fabric shop, doing the not-so-glamorous job of folding and sorting. Our lead florist Andrea is our floral manager. Besides her strong creative edge, her sweet and helpful spirit are of great value to our team. Andrea came to us with a strong edge in Toronto wedding floral industry as owner of a successful flower shop. Raising a young family and wanting a little less hectic schedule, Andrea decided to come on board with our team. Her years of experience with wedding design and flowers were assets to our company. The flower shop can be stressful.. Its a busy place, but Andrea keeps everyone in good spirits with her witty comments and fun attitude.

Photography – Rowell  Cake – Truffle Flowers and Decor – Rachel A. Clingen Wedding & Event Design

When I’m Not At A Wedding.. Meet Our Family

Theres no doubt that I love weddings, I love creating, designing, and all things pretty, but on a crisp day last week, our hugely talented friends Erika and Ryan from Rowell Photography, spent some time with us and captured our family outside the world of events and weddings. While I’m thankful to be able to do what I love for an occupation, I can’t let what I do define who I am. The reality is, I am just a mother of three amazing boys, the wife of a loving and insanely handsome husband and woman of faith in God. And while our working days are often spent in the hectic-ness of the city, a little farm just north of Toronto, is where we call home. This is where my heart is, I mean not so much the physical location, albeit the beautiful Caledon countryside is something to behold, but right here at home, the place where David and I aim to raise three young men who choose right over wrong, who have a love for God.  We have always struggled with the balance of running a stressful event business and meeting the diverse needs of our children. Each of them with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. While our youngest is a lego engineer and a basketball lover, our oldest two boys, Caleb and Josiah train and compete on quarter horses for the western sport of barrel racing.  They have competed all over North America and I’m not going to lie, its pretty exciting when they win. But in a world that one’s identity, is associated only by accomplishments and ‘things’, we encourage them to want to be known for their character rather then by their talents. ‘Character’ is how they act when no one is watching. Yes, I’m the crazy mom screaming and cheering when they race.. and the excitement of seeing their hard work come together causes much happiness. But nothing compares to the joy our children bring when they make a good decision. They are not perfect, and it is painful to watch them make mistakes but I am comforted by my fathers words of wisdom as he always told me.. “Its not the mound of clay that counts, but the beautiful vessel that it becomes” Our oldest son Caleb is full of determination. Always has been. He has a lovely girlfriend Chelsie, who shares his passion for horses. Although Caleb would like to stay as far away from the city as possible, and admittedly is not the most creative one in family, he works in the business, as he saves for his future. Caleb loves to break and train young horses and we think he is pretty good at it. He is currently training in Oklahoma to be a farrier. He also loves to hunt.  But yes, he is the one, that when he thinks nobody is watching, is quick to show the love.. and hug his horses face or get down on his knees and embrace his young dog Gunner. On more then one occasion I have ‘caught’ him in these random acts of kindness, though I am confident he would deny it!Josiah is right there in the middle. He and his super horse Sure Dash, are the best of friends, spending countless hours together together training and keeping fit for the sport of barrel racing. And yes, he still jumps around on the tramp. Still in school, he works for the business part time. His gentle spirit and eager attitude are major assets to our company and we think there might just be a bit of creative talent here.. so we will wait and see.  This is Jacob. Although Jake is a pro at analyzing his brothers horse runs, and offers his advice free of charge, he does not share his brothers passion for fast horses! He does however, love basketball and can talk basketball stats like no body’s business. Jake is kind and has a genuine concern for others. This year Jacob plays for a rep. basketball team. Yes we were pretty proud at his first game of the season when he shot the only three pointer, but that didn’t compare to the warm fuzzy feeling I got when, one night after a Raptors game, when Jacob was deeply concerned and very adamant about sharing his money with a homeless person. Among other things, David and I pray every evening for our children. Our prayer will always be that our boys will grow to be honourable men. Men of courage. Men of Integrity. We are not ashamed of our faith in God. We are thankful for His saving grace and believe He has blessed us immensely. David and I are business partners yes, but more importably we are the best of friends. We believe in love, not just the feeling of love, but the decision to love. Our goals and dreams haven’t changed much over the years and together we embark on the journey of the joys and sorrows of life together, with our boys, knowing and believing that together we are in the perfect will of God. 

Thank you so much to Rowell Photography for sharing your talents with us and capturing us with all our idiosyncrasies. The images are stunning and somehow a bunch of rednecks ended up looking half decent.  Let me just say that no one around here jumps up and down when they find out it is picture day and between a mis-hap in the barn, two irritated horses, and Jacobs grumbling’s, “Why do the horses have to be in the picture anyways?, “are we done yet?” and his quick exits from the scene, Erika and Ryan were patient and somehow able to get each of the nay-sayers cooperating!


A Vintage Wedding At Steam Whistle Brewery

When Toronto wedding planner Crystal from Distinct Occasions, told us about her clients who were living abroad but planning a  vintage wedding at the Steam Whistle Brewery, we were tickled to be included. Amanda and Ross had a vision in mind and we were thrilled to be a part of this beautiful wedding. The decor and flowers would be a simple and eclectic blend of vintage elements. Mason jars with single blooms of flowers served as centrepieces and our old fashioned retro stringed lights were key elements in the decor plan. A ribbon backdrop created a simple but intentional back drop for the ceremony. Collections of old vases and antiques were collected by this creative couple and added the personal touch to the decor. Absolutely loved these images sent over by the hugely talented Natalie Spencer Photography. So thankful for photographers that share their work with us and wedding planners who trust us with their clients.  For always stylish wedding decor and flowers in Toronto and surrounding areas visit us at www.rachelaclingen.com

Wedding Planner – Distinct Occasions Photography – Natalie Spencer Photography Wedding Venue – Steam Whistle Brewery  Wedding Flowers and Decor – Rachel A. Clingen Wedding & Event Design