Category Archives: Expert Advice

Decisions Decisions. Which pics make the cut?

By | Expert Advice, Tidbits from the Team | No Comments

So the big day is over and you can breathe a sigh of relief and get on with the business of being Mr. & Mrs. The only thing left to do is choose your photos.

The photos you choose will become the record of your day and you want to ensure all the best moments are captured. Here is how we suggest you approach the overwhelming task of choosing the best of the best.

Your album should tell the story of your wedding day.  You will want to include a few  photos from each part of the day: preparations – both bride and groom, the ceremony, formal shots with the family (just a few!), reception including speeches, and then some party shots, candids and detail pics.

Choose the pictures that you really love and forget about what you think you should include. The album is for you and should only include the photos that you want to see over and over again. It might be a good idea to do a separate album with slightly different pictures in it if your parents or anyone else would like one for themselves.


Don’t put off choosing your photos. Do it while your eye and memories are fresh. It shouldn’t be a chore but rather a nice way to relive that special the day. Have fun and choose the photos that speak to you of the fun, emotion and magic of the day.

And if you simply can’t decide between two pictures – let us know and we can help you choose.

Which picture was your favourite from the day? Did it surprise you? We would love to see it. Tag us @5ive15ifteen on Instagram so we can see.

Industry Insight – Flowers!

By | Lifestyle, Expert Advice, Tidbits from the Team | No Comments

Now that you know a little bit more about the faces behind 515 we thought it might be nice to get to know a few of the other industry people, the rest of the tribe it takes to make your day look and feel just the way you want it to.

Today we are highlighting Jordana Masi of White Oak Flower co.

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Jordana and my flower business is White Oak. I have a studio and garden in my backyard in Toronto, that I share with my love and our two boys Bailey my dog and Jax my cat.

How and when did you get started in the floral industry? What attracted you?

I started working in a flower shop & garden centre when I was 15 years old, as a part time job during high school. Eleven years later and I’ve never gone more than 6 months without working with flowers. Being able to create with my hands, with pieces grown from the earth, has always seemed like a cool way to make a living to me. 

How did you develop your signature style?

It took time, practice, making mistakes, growth, and encouraging voices (including my own) to develop my style. I still practice. Every week I try to put some time aside with anything leftover from other jobs to try a new shape, a different method, or even a wonky palette. I want my style to change 100 more times before I’m 50.

Where do you look for inspiration?

The seasons,  anything and everything about them is so inspiring. How they flow into one another, the way they affect the woods, the water, the sky, us. Nature has always been at the root of why I do what I do.

What are the big trends in floral design at the moment? What do you foresee coming?

I’m hoping the new trend is sourcing and using ethically grown flowers and thoughtful design. I want people, and couples choosing decor, to care about WHERE and WHO is growing their flowers. It’s important to be conscious and aware, and realize that just like food, organically grown and locally sourced flowers are an important factor in sustainability.  If your clients don’t care, or don’t know it’s something they should care about, it’s our job to inform them.

Do you have a favourite flower?

My favourites changes every season. A few of my current favourites are: Hellebores, Narcissus, Ranunculus, Frittilaria, Bleeding Hearts, Peony, Foxglove, Hollyhock, Dahlia, Scabiosa, Clematis….that’s not even greenery!

Career highlight?

It was so flattering when Lauren Conrad followed me on Instagram. She still does!

Tips for flowers at home? Secret ingredients or tricks?

I like to keep flowers at home super clean and minimal. I suggest finding a simple, interesting vase and filling it with single stems of greenery or blooms. One to two varieties max in one vase. This gives any home the perfect touch, without being too stuffy or messy.

What is something that would surprise people to know about your industry? Something people don’t know about florists?

There is a special bond between florists and gardeners. Some of my closest friends are florists. They just get it. They freak out over the same things I do and work just as hard to make it happen. And by happen I often mean bloom, grow,  and sprout. Also, being a florist is the most physical and labour intensive job I’ve ever done. I don’t think I know a florist who doesn’t suffer from back, knee, wrist, hand, hip, and/or neck pain. We’re also crazy strong from lifting buckets of water and boxes of flowers all day – which is why we are so sore.

What is the most important thing for clients to know before choosing décor for their event.

People really need  to choose the right vendors. As with any part to your wedding, your flowers should be perfect for you. Couples need to know what their wedding style is and find the right florist to bring that to life for them. Once you choose your vendor, trust them and it will be magical. It’s like picking a restaurant, don’t go to a Thai restaurant and ask them to cook Italian food. It’s not that they don’t want you to be a happy customer, it’s just not what they do.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give couples shopping for wedding florals?

If you’re tight on budget, pick a few important places to spend your floral budget – like a beautiful bridal bouquet, a wicked ceremony installation or a gorgeous piece for the head table. You can make a greater impact by getting a few wonderful statement pieces than you can by trying to spread the flower budget throughout the entire venue.

Anything else you want to share? Anything at all!


To find out more about Jordana visit her here.

Do you have a favourite flower? Some awesome centre pieces? We want to see them! Tag us @5ive15ifteen

When only BBQ will do

By | Lifestyle, Expert Advice, Tidbits from the Team | No Comments

Summer is in full swing and the temperature is heating up. No one wants to turn on the stove!  Plus everything just tastes better cooked on the grill. If you’re lucky enough to have a BBQ, then we have some great suggestions for you.

If it’s just you and BAE, you will likely be able to fit the main and your side veggies all on at the same time. No need to dirty any more dishes or turn on the stove. Just make sure you put the food on in the order of how long it takes to cook. Things that take longer should go on first. In general it’s best to cook the veggies around the edge and the meat in the centre.

Take advantage of any extra space on the grill and cook up more than you will need so you have leftovers for lunch the next day. Just don’t leave food on the grill unattended if possible. Food can go from juicy to charcoal pretty fast! You also want to be there in case of any flare ups.

It really is important to have the right gear when BBQing. Using a meat thermometer takes all the guess work out of when to take your food of the grill. Eventually you might not need it but why risk it? Remember that meat will continue to cook once you pull it off so know what temperature you’re aiming for and take the meat off 10 degrees or so before you reach that.  It’s also important to have an accurate thermometer for the grill. If yours doesn’t come with one, or it’s not accurate, they can be purchased separately.

Remember to let your meat rest once you take it off. This allows the juices to be redistributed. Tent the meat with tinfoil and let rest for 10-20 minutes.  We know it’s hard to wait to bite into that delicious looking steak but trust us – resting your meat before you cut into makes a huge different in taste and texture. Use this time to set the table and toss the salad!

Barbecuing isn’t just for meat-eaters. Veggies are awesome grilled. So is tofu. Check out this awesome guide to the best grilled tofu ever:


And remember all those roses we told you about here? They really are awesome with BBQ. Go on! Try it and let us know which one you liked the best and your favourite pairings. And we want to see pictures! Tag us in your IG and Facebook posts.

What to wear to your engagement shoot

By | Lifestyle, Expert Advice, Tidbits from the Team, Engagement | No Comments
couple in the surf

Engagement shoots are a great opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and to get to know your photographer.  It’s also a great opportunity for your photographer to get to know you, your style and what you want from your pictures.

We think the best pictures are ones where you look happy, comfortable and most like yourselves. We know there’s a lot riding on these pics so here are our top tips to looking your best in your engagement photos.

Do the ‘do

If you are planning on getting your hair and make-up done for your wedding this can be a great chance to coordinate a trial with those people. Even if you aren’t getting your make up done and don’t usually wear make-up a little light foundation and mascara go a long way in ensuring you look great on camera.

engagement shoot picture of a couple in front of cherry blossoms
Engagement shoot photo of a couple in a field

The adage is true – just be yourself!

Formal pictures can be beautiful, if that’s your style.  Just be yourself – together. Agree with your partner before the shoot what kind of style and look you are going for and then pick outfits that are on that same page.

Black and white photo of a couple

Pop of colour

Black may be slimming but it’s not that forgiving on film. Every speck of dust will show up. And white should be saved for the big day. Bold, complimentary colours really show up well. If you prefer neutrals, think about a pop of colour using an accessory or shoes. Play off your setting – in a green field an orange or red dress or shirt will really pop.

Keep it simple

Solid colours and simple jewellery let you and your honey shine brightest in the pictures. Avoid busy patterns and big logos – unless they’re sponsoring your wedding!

Comfort is king

The better you feel in your clothes the more comfortable you will be in front of the camera and that shines through in pictures. Again, consider the setting of your shoot. On the beach? Sandals instead of stilettos. Do you want action shots? No miniskirts. You get the drift!

A change is as good as a rest

Bring a few choices. If you’re undecided between casual and formal or bright and neutral – bring both. We can shoot you in both choices or give our advice on the outfits and what might look best in pictures.

couple in front of the Toronto skyline

We know weddings and the lead up can be stressful. Use your engagement shoot as time to pamper yourself and spend some fun time with your BAE. And we’ll be there to capture it all on film.

Let us know what you like to see in engagement shots. Tag @5ive15ifteen  in anything that inspires you.

A modern take on bridal party gifts

By | Real Weddings, Lifestyle, Expert Advice, Tidbits from the Team | No Comments
Three bridesmaids

It takes a village to pull off the perfect wedding day and some of those doing the most pulling are your bridal party. These girls have been there with you, and for you, through it all. They’ve laughed and cried with you. They’ve talked you into that one last shot and off the ledge when required. These are the people who make it possible for you to go the bathroom in that beautiful, enormous dress!

We know you love your squad and your thank-you gift should reflect that. Monogrammed robes might be the traditional gift but we think it’s time to start some new traditions so here are our top 5 tips for choosing wedding party thank-you gifts.

Bride and her maids in matching robes

Damsel in dis dress

You want your girls to look great on the big day but those bridesmaids’ dresses don’t grow on trees. Consider contributing to the cost of the dress if it’s not possible to buy it for them outright.

The wedding party
Bridesmaids helping bride get dressed

To each their own

Consider each ‘maid. Is this really a one gift fits all occasion? Think about doing something unique and in-line with everyone’s different personalities.  It’s also a good idea to make sure the gift is reusable and timeless. It’s ok if it’s something for the wedding day but make sure it’s something the girls would want to wear or use again sometime.

Small gift box
Blue gift boxes

Initial thoughts

If you do want to go the monogrammed route we think PJs, beach towels or jewellery are a nice modern take on the theme. Personalized stationary is also something nice to have that people don’t often buy for themselves.

Personalised hangers
Three bridesmaids

After party

After so many festivities how many times have you heard someone say they need a cleanse? Well, why not get it for them? A three day juice cleanse delivered to each bridesmaid’s front door will get everyone back on track.

Moet Champagne toast

Feet on fleek

After all that running around getting everything ready and then the dancing all night – I bet those tootsies could use some love. I don’t know any girl who doesn’t like a pedicure or some sort of spa treatment. Get each girl a gift certificate for a spa near to them.

Bridesmaids getting ready

It’s important to not only be the most beautiful bride, but also the coolest! You’ve planned everything down to the smallest detail. Let your bridesmaids know that they’re an important detail too.

Let us know what you got your girls. We’d love to hear from you!

Also, don’t forget to tag us in all your IG and Facebook posts @5ive15ifteen