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Vancity Vendor: A Day to Remember Weddings & Events

January 4th, 2013 by Jeannine

 
Vancity Vendor: A Day to Remember Weddings & Events

Candice Jones has been an entrepreneur for over a decade. When she was fresh out of BCIT’s Event Marketing program, she wasted no time gaining experience by working with a reputable wedding coordination company. She was eventually hired by a marketing company to organize golfing events all over Western Canada. While this was a great gig, weddings were her true passion, so she pursued her dream of owning her own event planning business, giving Vancouver brides A Day to Remember.

A Day to Remember Weddings and Events provides 3 kinds of services: event coordination, decor rentals and DJ services. Day of Coordination rates start at $800 includes Candice taking the reigns on the final week leading up to the big day. There will be a finalization meeting, vendors will be confirmed, assistance with the schedule, rehearsal coordination, and 2 staff for the duration of the event. If you feel you need her help from start to finish, she offers full planning services starting at $2,800. Coaching sessions at $60/hr are also available. These are great if you are on a tight budget or timeline because you can discuss your wedding planning concerns with Candice at her Downtown office and she can point you in the right direction.

Candice also has a rental inventory to help your wedding vision come true. Available for rent are Chiavari chairs ($8 each), chair covers (starts at $3.75 with setup/takedown), sashes ($1.25 each), linens, vases, backdrops, pillars, aisle runners, fabric draping, lanterns and lighting. Candice has some options for brides with a tighter budget… if you’re willing to set up and takedown all the decor yourself, you can save some dough. Also, she has chair covers that do not require sashes so you can save a bit on that too! Candice says they increase their inventory twice a year to stay updated with current wedding trends, but if you have a specific request, just let Candice know and chances are, she can make it happen for you. She does her best to style an event that reflects each couple’s personalities, without having to do the same wedding decor twice.

Yes they also offer DJ services! Kevin Jones is their resident DJ and also Candice’s husband! Packages start at $399 + HST for 4 hours and $95/hr after that. If you want them playing tunes all evening, a 7-hour booking will cost you $684 + HST. A typical DJ package includes a professional DJ, top of the line audio system, a music library of over 30,000 songs, a wireless microphone, a vertigo light and a scan LED light. Equipment rental is also an option for brides who prefer to use their own MP3 player at their event. Candice and Kevin are willing to work with you to create a custom package if you need something different. A bit of background on Kevin… he’s been in the sound and music industry for 12 years now and comes with a technical background and lots of experience with live shows, festivals and private functions. He has even mixed for musicians like Bedouin Soundclash, Edwin, and Ryan Malcolm. He has over 200 weddings under his belt. Kevin says your playlist will be customized to reflect your tastes and will accept requests for specific songs for your ceremony or reception, including a “do not play” list.

To find out more about this dynamic duo, and possibly hear about their current promotions, visit their website, be a fan on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

A Few Words With Candice…

How do you accommodate brides with lower budgets?
“We have many coordination packages to choose from and are able to accommodate all types of budgets. We offer a complimentary consultation for all of our services during which we discuss the client’s budget and recommend a suitable package. We understand how important it is to stay within budget while planning a wedding, as there are various expenses to consider.  We always ensure that our clients receive exceptional services regardless of their budget.”

What sets you apart from others in the same field?
“Our years of experience organizing a variety of events and planning numerous weddings set us apart from others in the same field.  Many wedding planners have a part-time wedding planning business as a side venture, or they may have planned their own wedding and decided to pursue the profession.  Although everyone has to start somewhere, it is best to choose a planner who has a full-time business so you can expect prompt returns to your emails and phone calls.  This is especially important as your wedding day approaches and it is crunch time!  You would be under a great deal of stress if your planner wasn’t able to respond in a timely manner due to other commitments.  You only have one wedding day so it is important to have full confidence that your planner will do an excellent job.  I recommend couples inquire with planners about their background in the business and how much experience they have.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?
“The most enjoyable part of my job is sending a bride down the aisle while her groom awaits her. No matter how many weddings I do, I still tear up at every single one! I enjoy the feeling that comes at the end of a successful day, especially when a bride or groom thanks me for giving them the best day of their life.  It is also very rewarding to be thanked by the parents and guests who appreciate my hard work and attention to detail.  It makes the long hours and late nights worth every minute.”

How do you handle unforeseen problems on the wedding day? Can you give an example of a problem that you solved on the spot?
“Many unforeseen problems can arise on the wedding day. But that is what we are there for – to assure the bride and groom that any problems that may come up will be solved quickly and efficiently, without guests having to worry about a thing. When we are hired for day-of coordination only, we usually don’t assist with referring vendors.  On those particular days we work with a variety of vendors (the good, the bad and the ugly!) who we may or may not have worked with before.  We always hope the couple has booked reliable vendors, but this isn’t always the case.

We once had wedding cake delivered that looked terrible. I mean absolutely dreadful!  Luckily, we had arranged an early delivery time, so we had time to call the bakery before the ceremony began to express to them how unhappy we were with the cake.  They agreed to take the cake back to the bakery and fix it.  It was then brought back an hour later looking even worse than before! They had put icing on a fondant cake to cover the damaged areas.  Thankfully we were near a florist, so our staff ran over and bought a variety of white flowers to cover the cake and made it look beautiful.  Meanwhile, I was on the phone with the bakery owner. I explained the situation and was able to get the clients a full refund.  We took care of this problem behind the scenes unbeknownst to the bride and groom.  They should not have to worry about anything on their wedding day.  Because we stepped in to fix the problem, neither our clients nor their guests noticed the flaws on the cake.  At the end of the night, I told the bride to look for a refund on her credit card statement for the cake and explained what happened. She was very happy and sent me a wonderful thank you card saying how stress-free the day was because she had me to take care of unforeseen issues.”

Some people think wedding planning and coordination is an unnecessary expense, what are your thoughts on that?
“I believe that this is because many people are not familiar with what the job of a coordinator involves. Particularly with larger weddings and budgets, hiring a coordinator on your wedding day is essential and definitely worth the expense.  I’ve talked to numerous married couples that have expressed they regret not having a coordinator for their wedding day and wished I had been there! I’ve heard horror stories from makeup artists not showing up, to ministers being an hour late. Without having an experienced coordinator to efficiently and quietly solve such problems, family and friends are forced to step in and help, which may cause a great deal of stress and they may not be able to fully enjoy the day as a guest.  I believe every bride should be able to thoroughly enjoy her special day, and she shouldn’t have to worry about a single detail. She shouldn’t be worried about getting stuck in traffic on the day of her wedding or running out of wine at the reception. A coordinator has experience in taking care of those details. Parents of the bride and groom really appreciate having a professional take care of all the details so they can have a great experience as well.”

What kind of venue is your favourite to decorate and why?
“I love venues with high ceilings and natural light. I like having a lot of space to work with so our planners can think outside the box and can bring in any wedding style and make it work.”

If you had to plan a wedding in 3 months, how would you tackle that? Any advice for brides in that situation?
“We have planned a wedding in less than three months before. If you can fit it into your wedding budget, hire a coordinator for full planning. It will be money well spent as with a short time span you will appreciate the help of a professional. If you cannot afford a full planner I would recommend sorting  the tasks out by day. It can be very overwhelming to have a huge list of things to accomplish in three months. I suggest separating the list  into a few tasks per day, so then it won’t seem like such a big feat. Start with organizing your guest list and knowing your full wedding budget. Then choose a venue. At that point you’ll want to get invitations out right away. From there start booking the vendors who only do one wedding per day (ie. photographers, videographers, day-of coordinators, etc.)”

What is the easiest way to transform a room? Like if a bride can only afford to splurge on one major décor expense, what would it be and why?
“Chair covers, hands down. Out of all of our décor items, chair covers make the biggest difference impact in a room.”

If you had one piece of advice for a bride and groom, what would it be?
“I can’t narrow it down to one, but I can break it down into three pieces of advice!

  1. Start the planning early
  2. Hire an experienced day-of coordinator. You won’t regret it. Keep in mind, you often get what you pay for in this industry, so don’t hire someone who has just started their business, no matter how inexpensive they are. After all, you are putting your entire weddings into their hands! When hiring a planner ask about their experience, references and qualifications.
  3. Enjoy your engagement! Remember, this is YOUR wedding so be sure to have the wedding that YOU TWO want. Too often we hear that the clients aren’t having the wedding they wanted. They may have wanted less than 50 guests, but now have over 200 because of their parents’ insistance. We always want to give the clients the wedding that they want, not a wedding someone else wants for them.”

A Few Words With Kevin…

What do you have to offer for brides with lower budgets?
“In consideration to brides with lower budgets, we offer a 4-hour package which is only $399 + tax. That way, they can have us just for their dancing music (say from 8pm – midnight) and still have an experienced DJ & full dance floor. This is a better option than  renting a sound system and using an ipod, as an experienced DJ must read the crowd to know what songs will work the best. We don’t make playlists in advance as every crowd is different and each wedding is unique. Unless your ipod has 30,000 songs, can take guest requests and can talk to the crowd, I recommend hiring a professional! J Also, venue in-house sound systems usually aren’t all that great (they are typically installed for background music, not dance music) so we always recommend renting an adequate sound system even if you do choose to use an ipod. Sound quality is very important when creating a good dancing atmosphere.”

What sets you apart from others in the same field?
“From what I’ve seen in the industry, our technical background definitely sets us apart. We are fully digital and keep up with technological advances. Although we have an extensive music library, from time to time we get obscure song requests.  Because we love to surprise our guests by playing their unique requests, we are able to acquire songs on the spot and make their night! We also carry all top of the line JBL gear and bring $9000 worth of equipment to each event. Quality is our utmost importance.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?
“The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing a packed dance floor of wedding guests having a great time. I recently had a bride tell me that her groom hates to dance. He ended up dancing all night long and she couldn’t believe her eyes. After the wedding she sent me a wonderful thank you card telling me that she couldn’t believe how much fun her husband had dancing all night!”

What’s the best way to liven up a crowd?
“We don’t use any gimmicks – we simply play great music. The right music choices will liven up any crowd. We read the crowd and tailor the music selection to them to ensure they will want to get up and dance! Another way to liven up the crowd is to allow guests to make song requests. They will be so happy to hear their song played and you may even be lucky enough to see some hilarious dance moves!”

Hiring a DJ can be considered a luxury, especially for brides on a budget. Why do you think budget brides should book a DJ anyway?
“A DJ should be considered a wedding necessity, not a luxury.  The atmosphere is one of the most important elements of a wedding. An experienced and professional DJ is able to achieve a couple’s vision for their big day and will help set the atmosphere they are looking for. The DJ works alongside the MC to ensure everything goes according to plan so that there are no awkward pauses, poor quality songs or faulty in-house sound systems.  By hiring a DJ, all of the guests can enjoy the wedding and there won’t need to be any guests sitting at the back of the ceremony to play songs from an ipod.  Guests won’t need to be asked to help set up and take down the sound system either.  Most importantly, there will be a full dance floor all night long!”

To contact Candice & Kevin, visit their website.
Do you have what it takes to be a Vancity Vendor? Apply here.

All photos provided by A Day to Remember Weddings & Events

Photographer credits: Vasia Photography (feature photo), Jarusha Brown Photography, Bebb Studios, Jennifer Kirk Photography, Butterfly Photography, The Apartment Photography

Vendor prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are accurate to the date published.

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Comments

  • January 17th, 2013 at 8:45 am
    Joannne Durand says:

    I’m interested in contacting “A Day to Remember” wedding & events but I cannot get in to their website (I get an error message). Can you provide me with their email address?

     
  • January 17th, 2013 at 8:49 am
    Jeannine says:

    Hi Joanne! That’s weird… their website works when I click on my links. Anyway here’s their address: info@adaytoremember.ca – I’ll email it to you too (check your junk mail/spam folder if you don’t see it). Good luck!

     
  • January 30th, 2013 at 12:55 am
    Helen B says:

    I can 100% recommend both Candice and Kevin! My husband and I booked ADTR’s ‘Day of’ package, along with Kevin as DJ. Candice took so much of the pressure off of our parents on the day of so that they could enjoy the day and Kevin’s DJ services were out of this world, got everyone from the little kids to the oldies up from the first song.

     

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