Being a wedding planner in Vancouver is wonderful. There are plenty of world renown venues, creative vendors and some of the best scenic views in Canada. Vancouver has one of the top wedding markets in Canada as well (just check out #vancouverweddings on Instagram). With so many options to choose from in the Vancouver wedding market, where do you start?
Here at Elle Weddings, we want to make sure our readers know why they need (or not need) a wedding planner and everything they need to know when hiring a wedding planner for their special day in Vancouver.
Wedding Budget Constraints, Legal Contracts & Insurance
The Wedding Industry in Canada represents a $4.5 billion revenue capital per year (http://www.groomnbride.ca/company-overview-aboutus-165/wedding-statistics-aboutus-166). Here is a breakdown of wedding spending according to Slice.
With that much money on the line, contracts are a major component when working with wedding vendors. These contracts are often filled with legal jargon and could impact your wedding in a pretty significant way. Even if you were a lawyer, you need to understand all the things you need from each wedding vendor and how each vendor works together on your wedding vision. Part of a wedding planner’s job is to understand your vision, and go over the legal contracts for you. They save you time and any negative implications down the road.
According to the same article by Slice (https://www.slice.ca/weddings/blog/how-much-does-the-average-canadian-wedding-actually-cost/63019/), the average wedding spend is $31,110 in 2015. A wedding planner makes sure your vision is aligned with your budget. Your wedding planner will ensure you use the ideal vendors for your wedding and also save you money with their business relationships with these vendors (vendor discounts). So essentially, your wedding planner’s services pays for itself 🙂
Don’t forget the insurance… your wedding planner will review your chosen vendors’ insurance policy to ensure you are protected. The service you are getting for your wedding is time-based (it all happens in one day), so you want to make sure your vendors are legit and insured.
Here is an article about the difference between your wedding planner and your venue coordinator: “The Difference Between an Independent Wedding Planner and an On-Site Venue Coordinator?”
Learn more about our Day of Planning Services
Bringing Your Wedding Vision to Life
Many of our brides come to use with several pinterest boards, magazines and instagram photos. We simply love the ideas that are brought to the table! However, when we go deeper into our brides’ vision and what is really important for them, we reimagine their vision together.
The wedding industry is a very small industry of vendors, venues and planners. If you hire an experienced wedding planner, they would already know everyone in the Vancouver wedding industry. This kind of inside knowledge is essential to putting your team of wedding professionals together!
Your wedding planner’s job is to essentially understand the full picture, and putting the pieces together with the best possible vendors. A lot of our brides tell us that “It really helps to have a professional keep us from being distracted by all the possibilities”. When we work with our brides, we have a clear head. We are not emotionally invested like our brides and we can give them honest, constructive and focused feedback in our wedding planning journey together.
Here is an article about choosing the right wedding venue for you in Vancouver: “Tips For Choosing a Wedding Venue”
Wedding Vendor Communication & Time is key
Your wedding vendors, planners and venues are providing you with a time-based service / rental. When you’re dealing with so many moving elements, vendor communication is key. A common example and is something that is often missed is the delivery of the cake. If the cake is delivered to a warm venue with no accessible fridge, the cake could potentially (and has) collapse. Part of the wedding planner’s job is to design an overall timeline for you and create specific timelines for each vendor.
When you are working with an experience wedding planner, there are no surprises. Your planner may already have an established working relationship with your vendors so there is no opportunity for miscommunication. You don’t want to be dealing with emergencies, conducting solutions and conflict management with your vendors on your wedding day!
Here is a great article about vendor Etiquette: “Wedding Vendor Etiquette: Do I Need to Feed My Vendors?”
Problem solving so you don’t have to
On the day of your wedding, you can rest assured that your wedding planner has gone through all the details, scenarios, risks and any potential conflict that might impact your special day. Your wedding planner will have communicated multiple times with your vendors about the plan, execution strategies and alternative solutions.
However, even though all the preparations have been looked after with 100% integrity, there are still many potential mishaps that could happen on your wedding day. For example; a vendor can’t deliver because his wife is having a baby; it decides to rain even though the forecast is sunny skies with a high of 25 degrees; the backdrop collapses an hour before the reception doors open…these things do and have happened in the past.
On the day of your wedding, you don’t have to worry about any of those things because your wedding planner will find solutions to those problems without you even realizing there was a problem to begin with.
You can be present, in the moment and celebrate with all your family and friends. The memories that are created on that day is priceless. You don’t want to be worrying and problem solving throughout your wedding day.
Where’s a therapist when you need one?
The beginning stages of wedding planning always appears to be quite simple and easy. You have a vision and you need a few vendors to put it all together. The problem is that you start with one vision, but your friends and family members start to get involved and they each have their own vision! Many of our brides have indicated the tremendous pressure they felt in order to impress their closest family and friends on their wedding day.
Working with a wedding planner that understands your vision will help ease stress and take a hundred pounds off your shoulders. Your wedding planner can give you their professional advice, provide conflict resolution and keep your planning on track. Of course wedding planners aren’t the master of solving problems to every single issue but they will take the time to listen to you and understand your situation. Your wedding planner will minimize and prevent any potential tensions between everyone who is involved with the planning of your wedding.
Now that you know why you need to hire a wedding planner, it is just as important to know how to hire a wedding planner.
Here’s a great article about seating your reception guests: Seating your wedding reception guests
How to hire a wedding planner in Vancouver?
When you shortlisted your potential wedding planners to 5, do some research on each of them. You will want to go on their website, look at their reviews (google review, weddingwire, facebook, etc.) and look at all the venues they have done work at in the past. Once you have done your research for each planner, reach out to each of them and schedule an initial consultation. Since you will be spending lots of time with your wedding planner for the next 8-16 months, you want to be very confident of the positive synergy between you and your wedding planner.
When you are doing your research, make sure you understand their specialty and strengths. Get to know what they were doing before they became a wedding planner. What is it about weddings that led them into becoming a wedding planner? Talk to some of the brides / vendors they worked with in the past. You can ask your planner directly for testimonials. When you meet with them, here are a few questions you want to ask them.
Questions to ask your Wedding Planner in Vancouver:
- Are they available on your wedding day?
- Has your planner done past weddings at your chosen venue?
- Who will be coordinating our wedding on the Day-of?
- Does your wedding planner have insurance and what does it cover?
- How many full weddings has your wedding planner done? How many this year?
Once you have did your research and met with each of them, remember to trust your gut feeling. The wedding planner you choose to plan your wedding is an important one! He/she will be putting together the perfect dream team for your wedding.
Here are some of our favourite wedding vendors in Vancouver:
We love her work and style. She is professional and fun and never stops smiling. There is not one photo in her portfolio that I do not like. Best of all, she has a natural knack in getting couples to relax so she can capture real moments and she goes with the flow all day, everyday.
Melissa takes the most breathtaking shots. She knows how to capture the best of nature’s backdrops while still being able to make the couple the main attraction. If you’re looking for something to hang in your large living room space, consider Melissa’s work as she creates true masterpieces.
By far the most fun and hardworking team I know. You know they really care when they don’t mind staying the few extra hours due to timeline delays to capture the couple’s important moments. These guys lie in dirt, roll on their backs, and climb rails to capture shots that no other photographer would dare take.
* Super friendly and fun group of guys who are very talented in the music industry. They are very good at getting the crowd to dance and starting the party!
Paulo is professional and personable. He’s been in the industry for years and takes the time to really get to know his clients so that he plays all the right tunes.
Johnny focuses on all the little details on the wedding day and pays attention to what is currently going on. There is never an awkward pause or silence when he is controlling the music because he seeks a flawlessly smooth night at every event.
Botany and Bloom
Most humble, knowledgeable, and coolest florist I know. Creates beautiful and unique arrangements and puts care and detail in EVERY element.
I am a big fan of Justyna and her work. She is extremely talented and creates pure beauty in everything she touches. She responds very quick to emails and texts, which is important to me and in turn, means a smoother process in the wedding planning.
330 West Pender St. Vancouver
My love for heritage buildings and architecture draws me to venues like the Permanent. Once a historic bank, the venue has kept its original vault doors and has restored a stunning stained glass ceiling and crystal elements throughout the space. The manager Max is also a great guy who is very accommodating and helpful.
235 Alexander St. Vancouver
One of the most unique venues in the city – an amazing old building filled with history, character and charm. When you first walk in you find yourself in a café with a tiny stage in the corner, café tables, and string lights across the ceiling. Walk straight and you find yourself in a bright room with super high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and tons of natural light.
1696 Duranleau St, Vancouver
No matter how many weddings I do at this place, I can never get enough of the floor to ceiling windows, the natural sunlight, the wooden beams, and the amazing view of both the water and the city. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful and the managers are always on top of their game.
Decoration and Rentals :
A&B Partytime Rentals
Not only do they carry the best quality items, they have the friendliest staff on board! The owners are amazing and the warehouse guys are always smiling on the job. A&B Partytime carries everything from dinner rentals, table dressing, staging, cooking equipment, and even tents!
Chic and Unique Event Design
Kristy is so confident and skilled in what she does. She will bring your vision to life with her high quality décor items, which she ensures looks shiny and brand new at every event.
I love working with Divine Décor because no project is ever too small or too big and they carry just about everything you need.
They carry very unique décor items in their inventory and can custom make items for your special event.
Sugar Mountain Catering
Best people to work with, an endless menu of choices, and delicious food – what more can I ask for? Best of all, they come to your house for the tasting trial!
You will never run out of food with Austin Gourmet. Even with the large amount of food on the table, every bite is hot, fresh, and delicious. They are my go-to for larger scale weddings.
Forage sources local products from sustainably minded farmers, fishers, and foragers and create extremely unique plates with a taste of BC. I don’t think there was ever anything I did not like come out of this kitchen.
Hands down the BEST Chinese cake in the city. Helen and her husband Jason are very easy to work with and will accommodate all special requests.
Carmen is a very talented cake artist who spends time on all the little details on her designs. The plus side is that her cakes taste amazing and they are never dry.
Rintzy Lee Designs
Beautifully custom made work in calligraphy, invitations, and laser cut designs.
At Elle Weddings, we are known for our warm, friendly, and sociable personalities, we are devoted to creating special, one-of-a-kind experiences for each couple and encourage concepts and details that are unique, stylish, and inspiring. Whether it is a culturally cultivated wedding, a cozy intimate gathering, a luxurious celebration or a rustic and vintage occasion, we translate our clients’ ideas, style and vision into a beautifully conceived and memorable wedding!
Let us know if you are looking for an independent wedding planner. We are based in Vancouver and plan weddings all around the world. Give us a call or fill out our information request form here. We cannot wait to work with you!
Meet Leslie Luu (Elle Weddings)