Well this Summer certainly doesn’t look anything like last Summer but I can’t help reminiscing. The sun has finally made her appearance + it’s making me think back to some incredible “perfect” Summer wedding days that we were so lucky to be a part of last year – you know those days when you wake up, look outside and just go “wow, it’s going to be a gorgeous day”. Rachel + Sean’s wedding day at Stanley Park Pavilion was one of those.
These two were a dream to plan + design for. Honestly, I don’t recall one request… off the top of my head, maybe Bride Rachel sweetly said “hmm please just no yellow if that’s possible?” (as if it was some sort of crazy bridezilla request) – YES my dear, your one + only request of no yellow is definitely possible haha. Beyond that, they left all planning/design ideas + decisions in my hands to create what I felt portrayed them best.
With little to go off of from our design meeting (again, I only recall them constantly saying “whatever you think”, “do what you do”, “hmm we’re not sure, we trust you”, “no opinion”, “just super excited to see what you create for us”), I didn’t let the opportunity for some unique pieces to slide into the mix but I also wanted to ensure it was kept classic + timeless in some forms. That’s how Rachel + Sean felt to me – endlessly happy, spontaneous, full of life, open to new ideas yet in love with the simple things in life, kind + timeless. They dropped a few very excited F bombs when they saw everything so I’m pretty sure they were happy 😉
A unique floorplan allowed us to pack the venue to max capacity along with space for a band, statement floral arrangements wowed guests (and little ones – you’ll see below!), and did I mention these two each have probably the coolest set of parents around? Mic-drop-worthy speeches aside, I’ve been praised + thanked by parents on many occasions but each of their dads went completely out of their way to speak with me + outline specific reasons as to why we are so good at what we do + how completely blown away they were with every detail of the day. One of them even asked who developed our timelines, referring to it as something more in depth than any “flight plan” he had ever seen LOL.
YOUR WEDDING, YOUR WAY // Liz + Aaron were a year ahead of the “Covid” trend of saying your “I dos” now in an intimate setting + then partying later with a larger group of friends + family. A format that we are extremely excited more couples are embracing as it truly creates a completely different, more relaxed vibe + atmosphere resulting in a less stressful, more meaningful + ultimately less bank-breaking celebration. Couples are much less restricted in time, budget, logistics + location in this type of wedding scenario + therefore, have the opportunity to say yes to so many more of their wants.
These two chose to say their “I dos” in the most picturesque, touching intimate ocean-side ceremony with only their family present to witness. A couple of weeks later, they threw one hell of a party for all of their friends + extended family at The Settlement Building which we were so lucky to be a part of. Unlike a more traditional wedding day, Liz + Aaron were not pressed for time, which allowed them the opportunity to visit + celebrate with every single guest + even sneak away for some moments of alone time. It was well planned, yet casual which had everyone at ease, laughing + simply enjoying every minute.
Although we are very saddened that so many of our couples’ original wedding plans have been disrupted due to the pandemic, we’re very excited for couples who are moving forward with a similar plan to stick with their legal ceremony for this year + hosting the big “party” next year. We are firm believers that everything happens for a reason + that everything will turn out exactly the way it was meant to. Plus the ceremony location options for smaller groups are endless… it’s so refreshing to be planning ceremonies in locations that are not possible with larger guest counts!! Also, this wedding is proof that a few strategically placed statement decor + floral pieces go a long way. All captured beautifully by Shari + Mike.
Photography | Shari + Mike Wedding Planner | Petite Pearl Events Venue | The Settlement Building Caterer | Belgard Kitchen Decor | Cahoots Creative Florals | Floral Illustrated DJ | Spin the Black Disc Makeup | India Rose Cosmeticary Hair | Lucy Sullens Cake | Butter Baked Goods
The news for our team + our industry has been a little somber across the board as of late… but we’ve been keeping an exciting secret that we are now able to share! MARGOT IS BACK IN VANCOUVER!!!!
Yes you read that right, like she is full time back in Vancouver. While the past 3 years of her living in the United Kingdom leading the charge of #PPEUK (our UK branch) seems to have flashed before my eyes, it felt painstakingly long while she was away!
We always knew she would return – the return date was just never set in stone and unexpectedly the stars aligned for the time to be now. The original plan was for her to come back this Summer for a couple of months to execute some weddings she had in Vancouver and support the rest of our team for what was supposed to be the busiest Summer we’ve ever had (now the slowest Summer ever!) but then she was to return to Europe to execute a few more weddings she had in the works, including one in Italy. Of course the pandemic has affected weddings worldwide so postponements and cancellations followed, and with International travel being questionable for the foreseeable future, her 2 week long trip to Vancouver in early March turned permanent.
Well a silver lining has come out of these crazy times and we are so excited to have Margot back here in Vancouver! That said, we are not letting her valuable UK + European wedding experience + amazing vendor relationships go to waste – we are 100% continuing to offer our #PPEUK services in both the UK + Europe so if you are looking to work with a BC-based planner who knows the UK + EU wedding industry, Margot is your gal!
We put together a short Q&A so you can hear a little bit more about her time abroad and a few tips about getting married in the UK! Throughout the post we’ve included a couple images from many of the gorgeous weddings + styled shoots she was a part of. Help me in giving Margot a warm welcome home!!
Photos by Rocksalt Photography
How long exactly did you live in London + what was your favourite part about living there?
My London adventure lasted just over three years and while I spent the first year based mostly in Vancouver and travelling back and forth constantly, the last two years I was fully based in the UK. It was such a fun experience and I absolutely loved how easy it was to travel -both throughout the UK and into Europe. This translated so well into weddings, taking me across the UK and over to places like Ireland and Greece.
Boheme Workshops in Greece – Photos by Vasia Photography
What are a few of the biggest differences between the how the wedding industry (as a whole) works in the United Kingdom versus in British Columbia (Canada)?
When I first moved to London I honestly wasn’t really sure what to expect from the UK wedding market and unsurprisingly things vary quite a bit between London and the countryside. The biggest takeaway though is that, on the whole, weddings in the UK often tend to be a bit more traditional than here in BC. Here our couples are used to being able to marry wherever they want (inside a ballroom, out in a field, up a tree? whatever you want, we can make it happen!) whereas in the UK there are stricter rules. I think this trickles down into the overall approach and often couples feel that they have to pick between one or two options instead of letting their creativity loose and customizing to their hearts content!
Photos by Rachel Takes Pictures How does the role of a Wedding Planner/Coordinator or Designer differ between the two countries?
All in all I’d say that the Planner’s role isn’t really all that different between here and the UK but I did find that couples aren’t as used to the idea of hiring a planner and often stick to the venue’s standard coordination services. It’s an exciting time for the wedding industry in the UK though (corona virus aside!!!) and planners are becoming more and more common, leading to couples feeling more confident to branch out and really start expressing themselves through unique planning and design choices.
Photos by The Love Factory Photographers
What was a highlight from a wedding or styled shoot that immediately comes to mind?
This is so hard as each shoot was completely different and allowed me to meet + work with a new amazing set of suppliers or try out a different venue style, etc. My UK shoots took me everywhere from a quirky former Old Village B&B, to the limestone coast of Sussex and a beautifully modern barn conversion in the countryside. The opportunity to be inspired by each of these drastically different locations was so much fun and really got my creative wheels turning!
Photos by Kaoverii Silva
What was one of the greatest challenges you had to deal with?
I think the biggest challenge was really just landing in a completely new country with a wedding industry that was also totally new to me. I worked my butt off to make new contacts and familiarize myself with not just a new country but also new rules, processes and wedding culture. It was a ton of work but it was also really energizing and now I know that I can basically plan a wedding anywhere 😉 So with that in mind… where’s next??
Photos by John Nassari
Of the venues you worked at in the UK, which was a favourite and why? And since we will still be offering our services in the UK, what are some other venues you’d love to work at?!
One of the best parts of digging into the UK wedding market was alllllll of the great venues. They’re just so different than what we have here in Canada and run the gamut all the way from royal city elegance, like Spencer House, to relaxed country barn conversions like Primrose Hill Farm or The Giraffe Shed . I really only had time to skim the surface and can’t wait to go back and help more awesome couples find their dream venue! One in particular that I was trying to check out was Aynhoe Park -a venue like no other, mixing the grandeur of a country estate with quirky, modern aesthetics (let’s just say there’s a floating giraffe in the Orangery…)
Photos by Nigel John
What are some of the best wedding resources in the UK for couples to refer to?
There are lots of great blogs that focus on the UK wedding scene. Two of my favourites are Love My Dress and Bride & Tonic!
Photos by Manon Pauffin Photography
Any high level tips you’d share with couples considering eloping or getting married in the UK? ie. legal marriage process details or something couples may not be aware of?
Even for Brits getting married in the UK is a little more complicated than it is in Canada. First off, you have to present yourself at your local registrar’s office at least 28 days before you plan to get married to officially “give notice”. Beyond that though, if you’re not getting married in a church your venue must be registered to hold legal civil ceremonies and two registrars, working together, must be present.
For Canadians things get a little more complicated! You’ll need to obtain a Visa to legally marry in the UK and still have to physically present yourselves at the registrars office 28 days prior to when you intend to marry (some times you’ll be required to give 71 days notice though…). So, a pre-planning trip is required but to make it even more complicated you must be “resident” in the area for a min of 7 days before you can give notice. For travellers this means being in town for a week prior to your appointment with the registrars office and you’ll need to be able to provide some kind of proof of this residency (like a letter from your hotel on your letterhead). With all of that in mind I highly suggest that my North American couples hold their legal ceremony at home first and then head over to the UK for the fun part 😉
Photos by Tomasz Kornas
For fun, give us a taste of some British lingo you had to get used to!
– Wedding Breakfast (your reception dinner… dinner being referred to as breakfast really threw me for a loop!) – Poseur Tables (high tops… to pose at? lol) – “That’s totally pants” (that’s ridiculous) – “I’ve got to spend a penny (go to the bathroom) – “Give me a ring” (call me) – “Having a good ol’ chinwag” (gossiping)
As we wrap up April 2020, which will forever be remembered as the month that our entire 2020 wedding season changed in just a matter of a few weeks, I can’t help but be extremely excited about the thought of April 2021. We’ve had so many of our affected couples postpone to April 2021 and FINALLY one of our absolute favourite (and most underutilized!) months for weddings will become one of our busiest + get to be experienced by so many!
If the last few years are any indication of future Aprils, this month is an incredible time of year temperature-wise and the light is perfect for beautiful photos – not too dark too early, not too bright with hot summer sunshine causing squinty eyes + overexposure… it’s jussssst right. Colours pop and the Spring air makes everything feel fresh like it’s a new beginning. Not to mention all of your vendors/suppliers are fresh out of the gate and not at the end of a very long wedding season when most are completely wiped out!
This particular wedding was on top of a mountain in Squamish, BC at the Sea To Sky Gondola so we saw every single season of weather that day – no joke. We arrived in the morning for set up to find snow, which changed to rain as it warmed up but then we were hit with a hail storm followed by giant snowflakes that were coming in sideways (as the backdrop to the ceremony which was quite magical and surreal to see) and then wouldn’t you know it, the clouds parted and the sun came out as soon as the couple said “I do!”. It was incredibly beautiful and I like to say that we witnessed them weather every storm that day so they entered into their newly married life well prepared 😉
Manica + Owen were dream clients. They knew what type of celebration they wanted and that they wanted it to be beautiful, but ultimately the rest was left to us. They took every single one of our recommendations and were on board with every design idea we presented which made the process so fun and of course, the end result, absolutely stunning.
We did have to go with Plan B for their ceremony but as you will see from the photos, Plan B was always meant to be Plan A. Manica + Owen were once again extremely flexible and prior to the wedding day, committed to our idea/recommendation of switching the order of ceremony + cocktails should we have to go with Plan B. Having the cocktail hour happen first allowed us the time we needed to flip the indoor space at Sea To Sky Gondola, which was an area they had never used for a ceremony before + open to the general public later than what would have been our original ceremony time. The alternative would have been a ceremony in their reception room with all guests seated at the dinner tables so I am forever grateful they trusted us with this idea (and they are too)!
When couples come to us without a definitive vision or colour palette in mind, we gather inspiration from sources that align with the time of year, venue, vibe + atmosphere that we want to create. The mauve, lavender, pop of peach and neutrals colour palette was inspired by the incredible colours of the sunset we see here in Squamish as well as the all of the natural wood that is showcased throughout the venue. The hanging greenery + floral installation was designed to make the room feel even more intimate and cozy, and of course make the space feel unique to the couple.
The cherry on top was that Manica was about 6 weeks pregnant at the time of the wedding (a secret to the guests). Both Manica + Owen were absolutely beaming the entire day and knowing this secret made that day just that much more special. Special shout out to Shari + Mike for capturing every detail + moment so beautifully, to Nadia Albano Style Inc for working her hair + makeup magic (that lasted the ENTIRE day, through every weather condition) and A Fox in the Flowers for pushing the limits with our floral dreams 🙂
Photography | Shari + Mike Planning + Design/Decor | Petite Pearl Events Florals | A Fox in the Flowers Stationery | Cornwall Stationery Venue | Sea To Sky Gondola Hair + Makeup | Nadia Albano Style Inc. Ceremony Cellist | Christina Rzepa Cocktail Music | Musos Entertainment – Michael Fabro DJ | Spin The Black Disc Decor Rentals | Upright Decor, Loungeworks, Faire La Fete Linen Event Rentals | Rental Network
If you’ve had to unexpectedly move your wedding date to a month that you had not originally planned for, you are NOT ALONE. And we’re here to tell you that OFF (season) is the new ON (season). The biggest secret of all is that it always has been… people just don’t believe us wedding industry folk when we tell you! One thing we can thank this pandemic mayhem for is forcing everyone to see the beauty is these extremely underrated months of the year.
Explain further you say. Well honesty is our policy so here are some things lots of people don’t tell you:
1) Well rested vendors. Vendors are EXTREMELY overworked and exhausted during the Summer months (the “On” or “Busy” Season). Exhausted humans = exhausted work. The businesses who have strong teams in place can survive this, but most do not… and even if they do, let’s be real “human error” is a thing and when you’re stretched too thin, details fall through the crack.
We’ve seen it a million times, even from the most reputable companies (and I’m not saying we aren’t guilty of it either). Those couples with Wedding Planners are usually none the wiser as we are the buffer between couples seeing what’s going on behind the scenes and finding a solution before they are aware there is an issue. This is not typically the case for “Off Season” weddings. Vendors are well rested, fresh faced and have more time than usual to go above and beyond.
2) “Off Season” pricing. Short and sweet, your budget can be lower than that of a Summer wedding being held at the same venue with the same vendors. I say can because that’s a decision you make – to try to save a bit of $ where it would have otherwise been required or splurge on something you wouldn’t normally have been able to afford. Overall, venues typically have “Low Season” pricing and vendors are more willing to make concessions to their pricing or throw in something extra because of my point #1 above (more time to go above and beyond = more generous) and they want the business.
3) SPRING FLOWERS! Everyone loves the sight and smell of Spring, not to mention the beauty of Cherry Blossoms. Spring is filled with beautiful, colourful blooms that are in season. Spoiler Alert everyone is over “greenery garland” on tables, and florals that are in season are more cost effective so this is the perfect time of year to liven up your wedding + incorporate more personality!
4) Stunning imagery + less worries about weather. Photos aren’t overtaken by extremely bright hot sunbeams, sweaty faces + squinty eyes (just sayin’). And no matter what month your wedding is held in, weather (especially on the West Coast of Canada) is never a guarantee. We’ve had couples follow the Farmer’s Almanac religiously (NOT recommended!) + pick the date least likely for rain in the 10 year history, only to have the rainiest wedding day (mid Summer) we’ve seen all year. While we’re often still hoping for some clear skies in Spring, couples + vendors are generally less stressed + more mentally prepared for the chance of rain. Less worries = less sleepless nights = ability to look forward to all the other things about your wedding day = more fun = BEST. DAY. EVER.
So without further adieu, here is a March wedding we will never forget and which encompasses all of the above. Alyssa + Jeff are one in a million – they said ‘yes please’ and ‘thank you’ to every single suggestion that was made throughout the Planning + Design journey + the result was an incredibly beautiful, laughter filled day in which not one moment or detail felt forced. We feel extremely lucky to have been a part of it alongside Christie Graham Photography, The Permanent, Celsia Floral, Joanna Delaney and many more vendors listed here. This wedding was also featured in Weddingbells Magazine. Thank you Alyssa + Jeff – we’re forever your #1 fans! xo