CountDown Events's blog

Chef Series with Peter Fong #chefandsoha

Being obsessed with yummy food and delicious treats, we have recently started a cooking and baking series with some of our favourite chefs. We were thrilled to be invited into the kitchen of master pastry chef Peter Fong of Ganache Patisserie as part of this series. Soha spent the morning with Peter learning how to create one of her all-time favourite dishes - Vegan Raspberry-Chocolate Truffle Cake. The chef series was recently featured on Rue magazine, and the complete feature and recipe (you want this!) can be viewed here: Rue Magazine

"I feel the most at home when I am making something delicious for my friends and family. I think I learned that from my Mother. She would singlehandedly make lavish dinners for 30+ friends as my family entertained almost every weekend as I was growing up. She always did it with so much creativity and love. Her dishes not only looked good but tasted even more delicious. I was always proud...barely reaching over the table of the feast she could prepare without using any recipe books... like ever!" - Soha

We started off with only the best ingredients, as Peter uses top quality chocolate in all of his pastry creations. Layer by layer, the masterpiece began to take shape. The first layer was a dense chocolate cake, which was smothered in a crunchy chocolate filling. (This layer was our favourite!) Peter and Soha then piped pearls of chocolate ganache on top of the chocolate crunch. For Peter, this was a piece of cake ;) This layering process was then repeated to form the second layer of the cake. By this point, our mouths were watering.

The work of art rested on the Orrefors - Intermezzo Blue, Footed Cake Plate and the slice of cake was displayed on a Hermes - Bleu D’ailleurs next to a Sambonet- Bamboo, Dessert Fork, both from Atkinsons of Vancouver

Thank you Peter once again for inviting us into your kitchen! (And we will never say no to cake for breakfast!) It was such a pleasure to see what goes into making one of your works of art, and to see the love and passion that it put into each piece.

A special thank you to Kyoko of Fierro Photography for the amazing photos.

xo Team CountDown

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Our Day at the Shangri La Vancouver

As one of our favourite properties in the city and valued partners, we were so excited when our friends at the Shangri La Vancouver invited us for a day of pampering at their stunning Vancouver property.

We helped plan and design the photo shoot for their newly released look book, and were anxious to see the unveiling of the book and photos! To view the Shangri La Wedding Look Book, please visit: Shangri La Weddings

We started off the morning with a lovely high tea in the Xi Shi Lounge with the Shangri La team, and were treated to specialty teas and a surprise performance by their Kung Fu Tea Master. There are only five Kung Fu Tea Masters in the world, so we were honoured to be able to experience his talent.

Following tea we were whisked to Chi, The Spa for an amazing pampering treatment in the spa and tour of their couples massage room. It was absolute bliss and could have stayed there all day.

Ch'i or "Qi" is the universal life force that governs well-being and personal vitality.

After our relaxing time at the spa, we took our happy feet up to the Orchid Suite for an intimate reception with the Shangri La team. We are so fortunate to be able to work with such an incredible team, and a big thank you to Dominic, Sameena, Stephanie, Liz and the entire team for spoiling us! Follow the Shangri La on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

xo Team CountDown

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Four Seasons Maui

We are big fans of the Four Seasons, so when staying in Maui we adore the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Boasting incredible attention to detail and flawless perfection in their event execution, you will be left with unforgettable moments and memories to cherish for years to come. "The Resort is situated on 15 acres of white-sand beachfront – blessed by Maui’s driest, sunniest weather – amidst magnificent tropical gardens, swaying royal palm trees, and classically inspired fountains and pools."

Ceremony favourites include the perfectly manicured oceanfront lawn, which overlooks the beach and boasts beautiful sunsets. Other favourites are Pulmeria Point and Pulmeria Garden as well as the Fountain view Terrace which features swaying palms and enchanting fountains.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea offers an array of guest rooms and suites designed to fulfill your every need. "Enjoy chic sophistication in the Island’s most spacious accommodations."

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea continues to receive top honors as a Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond Resort and has been ranked #1 Resort in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler.

Follow the Four Seasons Maui on Instagram and Twitter @fsmaui

xo Team CountDown

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SOHA LAVIN on CTV MORNING LIVE: Wedding Decor and Gown Trends

This past Friday we were thrilled to be invited by CTV Morning Live as the finale segment of ‘wedding week’. Soha Lavin chatted with Keri Adams on the latest wedding décor trends and what’s hot this season in wedding gowns.

First Soha touched on current wedding trends such as the lush, low floral arrangements from Granville Island Florist which emulated a “floral runner” down the elegantly styled table. The beautiful blooms included Vendela roses, hydrangeas, and David Austin roses all in soft blush, rose and cream tones.

Soha also recommended incorporating personalized elements such as menus and confections for each of your guests. The beautiful menus were created by Colleen Winton of Flourish and the éclairs, macaron towers, and custom petit cake were created by Soirette. Soha also touched on mixing metallic elements, like the stunning silver and gold chargers and cutlery from Éclat Decor.

Essentially when it comes to trends, Soha suggests that each bride reflects on who they are as a person to ensure that their day reflects the true essence of who they are.

The second segment was all about wedding gowns and what’s new for 2015. Soha started with a beautiful Elie Saab gown from Cache Couture Atelier, which would be fitting for the ‘traditionalist bride’. This luxurious gown was paired with beautiful jewels from Elsa Corsi. Next up was a Jenny Packham gown from Bisou Bridal which would be perfect for the ‘bohemian bride’ and emulated an understated elegance. This gown was paired with diamonds from the coveted Aria collection available at De Beers Jewellers

Soha then introduced the ‘fashionista’s gown’ available at Cache Couture Atelier from Elie Saab which showcased a low back for the ‘sensualist bride’. The final gown featured gorgeous moonstone and crystal elements with a show-stopping ombre gown for the “romanticist’. This Lazaro gown is available at Bisou Bridal.

A special thanks to Katie of Katie Elwood Makeup Artistry and Annie of Hair Whisperer for making our models look beautiful and to Denise of Denise Lin Photography for all of the above photos and for capturing the morning! xo Team CountDown

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A Look Back at 2014

We are excited to say that we have started off a busy year, and have lots of galas and luxurious events ahead of us in February. Before we share with you what we are up to this year, we would love to give a nod to 2014. What a year! Looking back at 2014, all we can say is wow. We are so thankful to be able to do what we do, and for all of the amazing and talented people that we are so fortunate to be able to work with. 2014 was full of excitement and as we reflect on this past year, we would love to share a couple highlights with you! Above photo by Tamiz Photography.

We started off 2014 with a stunning "Winter's Tale" feature in Wedluxe, which took place at The Vancouver Club and showcased elegant elements (such as a swoon-worthy dessert) set against a custom-made wooden bark backdrop. We were also thrilled to style additional shoot features throughout the year. In the epic "Golden Beauty" we showcased the some of year’s most elegant and glamorous gowns on location at Cache Couture Atelier and Symphony of Flowers at Fairmont Pacific Rim which showcased an abundance of cascading flowers and opulent details. Recently featured on the Wedluxe blog is "Gilded Glamour" which was shot on location at Hotel Vancouver and The Vancouver Club's rooftop garden.

With one day to go before the most romantic day of the year (Valentines Day!) Soha spent the morning on CTV’s Morning Life chatting about celebrity engagements. With rings from our favourite jewellers such as Maison Birks, Tiffany & Co., Stittgen and DeBeers. Soha spilled all the diamond details on air showing viewers some of the hottest trends in wedding and engagement rings.

Shawna and Alhan’s rustic North Arm Farm wedding in Pemberton was featured in the Spring/Summer issue of Real Weddings! S&A wanted an outdoor setting, good food and great times, and we were so happy to deliver in such a beautiful setting. Below photo by Leanne Pedersen. This year, we were also grateful to have many of our past clients’ weddings featured in Wedluxe. Sarah and Carson's beautiful summer wedding took place at the Vancouver Club. Kiki and Corey's intimate wedding was held at the Stanley Park Tea House. Elnaz and Moe’s lavish celebration is featured in the current issue of Wedluxe, and took place at the Pacific Rim.

In June, CountDown Events grew! We were delighted to welcome Jenny to the team. "It's been amazing to be a part of the CountDown Events family! I was able to collaborate on so many fabulous events with Soha while I was working at the Vancouver Club, and now am able to be even more involved with the luxury weddings and galas that CountDown Events produces. The best part is to work one on one with so many incredibly talented and passionate people, and I am very much looking forward to an amazing 2015".

This summer we designed and planned the “wedding of the year” for Michelle and Joseph. With 1300 guests at the Vancouver Convention Centre, it was our largest wedding to date. The wedding was truly an epic event, and guests included dignitaries who flew in from all over the world. No detail was left amiss, and highlights included ballerinas, rhumba dancers, multiple bands and fireworks! M&J were an absolute pleasure and we wish them all the best! Below photo by Jenna and Tristan.

Later in the summer we were excited to be invited to a styled shoot by VanCity Buzz for the “Women of Vancouver” blog. The feature was on Soha Lavin, the Founder and Principal Planner of CountDown Events. The shoot was styled by Jason Sarai, photographed by Ellen Hong and took place at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia and The Four Seasons.

Last, but certainly not least, was the epic spectacle that was our 10th annual Crème de la Crème Grand Wedding Showcase . This year’s showcase at the Four Seasons Vancouver was a tremendous success with record attendance, and we are so thankful for everyone’s support. Being the tenth year, we wanted it to be the biggest (and best!) yet, and we put so much heart and soul into making this happen. We love that we are able to feature Vancouver’s best specialists and top wedding trends while creating an unforgettable experience for all of our brides. We have already started the planning for 2015… and it is going to be surreal! With several high profile photo features, our biggest wedding to date, and the most extravagant Crème de la Crème yet, 2014 has been an incredible year. To all of our extremely talented friends – you know who you are! – we are so honoured to have the privilege of working with you. We love setting new standards in this incredible industry and challenge everyone to raise the bar for 2015. It’s time to be inspired by the extraordinary! xo Team CountDown

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