Her space is gorgeous (green! 😉 ), chock-full of little details and personal touches. It really showcases her craftiness and personality – clean, fun, unexpected.
1- How did you get started in the business?
As the daughter of interior decorators, I grew up surrounded by beautifully designed spaces filled with rich fabrics, colorful floral arrangements and exquisite décor elements. Growing up in such a creative and inspiring environment, where no DIY project was ever discouraged, I began to dabble in a variety of hobbies including sewing, sketching, baking, floral design, graphic design…the list goes on. As an adult, these hobbies became skills that were often called upon by friends and family and earned me the nickname “Mini Martha”.
Based on my upbringing, many expected that I would pursue a career in Interior Design or something similar, but I actually went to university to become a teacher. It was during my studies that I began working for the university as a campus event planner and discovered that planning events was a natural career fit for me.
After I graduated, I took a post-graduate diploma in Marketing and Event Management to solidify my commitment to my new career choice. Some time later, I befriended a work colleague who owned a small wedding planning business – Green Leaf Weddings & Events. Taking me under her wing, I apprenticed my way from an assistant to a business partner. Having started a new family, my business partner chose to step away from the fast-paced wedding industry and I have been operating on my own since 2011.
2- What is your specialty?
My specialty as a Wedding Planner is offering couples peace-of-mind. With busy work schedules, family commitments, social engagements and day-to-day responsibilities, most couples discover they simply don’t have enough time to devote to planning a wedding, leaving them overwhelmed and stressed before the planning even begins.
As a Wedding Planner, I oversee all of the time-consuming, stress inducing details, allowing my clients to relax and enjoy the planning process with the knowledge that the details are in good hands.
3- What is the common misconception of your work?
For me, one of the most common misconceptions is that a Wedding Planner is a “luxury” vendor – too costly for the average wedding budget. This simply isn’t the case.
With the average wedding taking over 250 hours to plan, a Wedding Planner is one of the best investments a couple can make. In many cases, their knowledge and expertise often helps couples save money through vendor price negotiations, experience in knowing what items are essential and those that can be trimmed as well as tricks of the trade and DIY ideas to stay within budget.
For pricing, Wedding Planners typically offer a variety of pricing options including flat fee packages, hourly consultation rates, and customizable packages based on a percentage of the wedding day budget.
4- Are there any trends emerging for 2014?
Of course! Weddings are like fashion – there are new trends emerging all the time. Though I believe that every wedding is as unique as the couple it celebrates and should be a reflection of their personal style, here are some trends to look for in 2014…
Vintage/ Shabby Chic
Making a big splash in 2013, Vintage/ Shabby Chic continues to reign as the #1 choice for 2014 wedding themes. This flexible wedding theme is eclectic and unique, yet elegant and uninhibited allowing couples to combine antique pieces and one-of-a-kind finds with rich fabrics and delicate blooms for a truly personal look.
Perfect for the budget-conscious couple, most vintage/shabby chic elements can be found at yard sales, thrift shops and antique stores.
An emerging trend for 2014 seems to go without saying for a wedding – pure romance. From candlelit outdoor ceremonies to dramatic centerpieces of pale roses and delicate strings of pearls, couples are filling their Pinterest boards with décor elements that are visions from a fairytale.
No Jeans Please!
Another exciting trend for 2014 is the return of the black tie. Evoking images of James Bond and The Great Gatsby, couples are making their weddings a formal affair. Though not expecting all guests to rent a tux, these classy couples are hoping to see guests step away from the golf shirt and sundress into a classic suit and something with a little sparkle!
5- What are things a Bride & Groom must do before their first meeting with you?
As I would urge that couples contact a Wedding Planner as soon as possible, I can only suggest three items they should prepare before meeting with their planner:
a- Select a wedding date – even narrowing it down to a preferred season, month, or year is a good start, especially when the time comes for sourcing a venue.
b- Determine a budget you are comfortable with – The budget is an essential planning tool that is often overlooked. Though every couple wants their wedding day to be perfect, it should also be a day free of regrets – especially financial ones.
c- Give some thought to your style and vision – Your wedding should be a reflection of your personal style. Before hopping on Pinterest and becoming overwhelmed with the endless options available, spend some time together discovering what defines YOU as a couple. From there, your wedding vision and theme will fall into place.
6- What is your favourite part of the wedding planning?
My absolute favourite part of the wedding planning comes just before the wedding ceremony. After months of vendor meetings, shopping excursions, detailed list making and logistics planning, there is a moment when everything comes together and fits into place.
This is the moment when the magic happens for a planner. The day’s events are on schedule, all vendor deliveries are complete and the wedding venue is spectacular! What more could a planner ask for?!
7- Do you have any advice for Brides & Grooms?
There are many things that I have advised my clients – too many to count. However, I would say my number one recommendation for the Bride and Groom is:
On your wedding day, stop and take a breath… take it all in. Enjoy those little moments, stolen glances, joyful tears and well wishes from friends and family. Take time to listen to your vows, savour your carefully selected meal and dance freely to your first dance. Have a piece of that beautiful, artfully decorated wedding cake and spend a few minutes in the mirror admiring your stunning wedding day makeover.
After months of planning, you deserve to revel in a day intended just for you. Steal a moment away together to celebrate and appreciate the amazing commitment you have made. This is the first day of a lifetime of happy memories…enjoy every moment!
Here is another image of Shanna, we hope you get a chance to meet with her!
And, as usual for this series, we are looking for even more incredible wedding professionals. If you have an awesome person who you think might be interested in being part of this series, please do not hesitate to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) , leave a name here or on Facebook.
Have a fabulous weekend!