(Photo credit: Denise Lin Photography)
The Phonix had the pleasure of working with Stephanie and her team from Sweetheart Events at a beautiful wedding in Southlands in the summer of 2014. I had the pleasure of sitting down with her for a coffee to chat about her wedding planning business and what makes her so unique.
Reuben, from the Phonix: What inspiration, work or life experiences led you to wedding planning?
Stephanie: After high school, I fell into the role of being a nanny while I was ‘finding myself’ and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. One my girlfriends at the time reminded me about our high school prom and how I prepared a huge colour-coded timeline and was constantly confirming with our hair, makeup, nails and limo. Around that time, I ran into Dawn Danahue of Go Golf events, and she happened to be looking for an intern. She was the first person to really believe in me and give me a chance. I began doing a few friend’s weddings on the side and then really began to fall in love with the idea of bringing attention back to the ceremony - the reason you’re getting married. I know a lot of couples kind of loose that in the wedding planning. They think about the seating chart, the place cards, colours etc. That really inspired me to bring it back to the fact that you are marrying your best friend - that is what the day is about. I want you to look at your wedding photos and remember why you chose those colours…was it a painting you bought together? I want there to be a story behind every element of your day.
After working with Dawn, I did a bunch of assisting with other wedding planners, but never really felt like I was working with my target market. I started Sweetheart Events because I want to work with people who I can call my best friends, not just another couple that’s getting married.
Reuben: If I was looking to hire a wedding planner for my wedding, what advice would you give me?
Stephanie: Don’t focus on the cost. Focus on the person. You want to find someone who is going to be your best friend and who you will enjoy working with for the whole year while you plan the most important day of your life. You need to find someone you click with and who understands your vision. They should be able to take your vision and turn it into something so much more by infusing your personalities.
Go through lots of websites and choose your top three. Maybe it’s the photos that your really like. Before you choose a planner, visualize your wedding and think about how much help you really need. Figure out what your magic number is, then look at their costs. Contact those planners, meet with them and see how you feel. It’s kind of like a first date; if you’re smiling at the end of it, she’s your girl!
Reuben: What makes your wedding planning business unique from other planners?
Stephanie: It’s 100% my personality. That is the #1 reason I get booked. I’ve had numerous couples tell me I get them more excited about their wedding just because of my excitement. I do happy dances and high-five them on a regular basis. It’s quite ridiculous. I go to site visits, and I cry. I make them cry and I make their moms cry. Not because I’m unfriendly [laughs], but they get to see my passion behind everything and why their wedding day is so much more than the little details. One other thing is that I force couples to take time on their wedding day to reflect. I steel my couples after the ceremony and take them off to the side just so they can be like “oh my god, we’re married!” I bring them champagne and they get to enjoy the moment.
Reuben: What types of weddings do you enjoy working on the most?
Stephanie: I love intimate weddings and I love an outdoor element. I love meaning behind every detail and I will always ask my couples, “why?” My tag line is “true to you” so I love how many stories come out when I ask that question. Even couples sometimes don’t think about why they want a particular thing, but when they actually think about it, they realize it’s something memorable from their first date. That just makes it more memorable.
Connect with Stephanie at Sweetheart Events:
Web: www.sweetheartevents.ca Phone: 778.988.9384