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Vancity Vendor –
Chic & Unique Event Design

September 16th, 2011 by Jeannine

Vancity Vendor – Chic & Unique Event Design

Kristy Wyllie-Sherwood is a woman of many talents and event planning is one she excels at. She is well-educated in the field, having a diploma in BCIT’s Marketing Management program (with a focus on Event Marketing), as well, she is a certified WPIC planner. Her knowledge, paired with her natural flair for design, prompted her to start her own business, which has been going strong for the last 7 years.

Chic & Unique Event Design specializes in custom event design and provides full service planning and Day-of Coordination  packages. Kristy also has a full inventory of luxury linens, chair covers (starting at $3.75/chair including setup and teardown), vases, backdrops, fabric draping, props, and more available for rent to glamourize your venue. Day-of coordination packages start at $650, and full planning services start at $2,500.

Kristy doesn’t have a catalogue of her rental inventory but check her website gallery to see much of what she has to offer. If you don’t see what you want, send her an email to inquire and if she has that item, she may be able to send you a photo of it. She deals directly with several manufacturers, so if she doesn’t have what you’re looking for, she can get it, in pretty much any size or colour you want. Kristy says she is always expanding her inventory with hopes of giving her clients one of the largest inventories to choose from in the Lower Mainland.

If you recall, Chic & Unique Event Design provided the linens, chair covers, and rhinestone buckles for the Budget Royal Wedding photoshoot I helped organize a few months ago. She will also be at the Vancouver Wedding and Honeymoon Show on October 2nd so you can meet her in person! Maybe she’ll even have a promotion?

A Few Words With Kristy…

How do you accommodate brides with lower budgets?
“No matter what the budget, every wedding is beautiful in its own way and people prioritize their budgets differently from one another. One bride might want to spend a ton of money on great food and have very little decor, whereas another bride might have making the room have that ‘WOW’ factor at the top of her list. Either way, we can accommodate both brides and everyone in between. I will usually start out by asking brides what their budget is, so that we are both on the same page when it comes to visions and reality. We can accommodate weddings with budgets from $100-$10,000.”

What sets you apart from others in the same field?
“At the end of the day a bride has many companies to choose from if she is just looking for linens. We like to pride ourselves on having top-notch customer service, which is sometimes hard to find in this industry. We include all of our labour fees in our pricing so there are no hidden fees as we truly believe that your friends and family should be relaxing and enjoying the day as much as the bride and groom. Just one of our service touches.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?
“You get to be part of someones most special day, usually the happiest day of their life. What is there not to enjoy about that!? It really is a great feeling when someone tells you that you made their day just that much more special by doing something that you love to do.”

Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to décor?
“We travel all over North America and overseas to find unique, desirable and trendy items to add to our inventory all the time. Following great event designers such as Preston Bailey and Martha Stewart inspire us to always be up on the latest styles and trends.”

How do you handle unforeseen problems on the wedding day? Can you give an example of a problem that you solved on the spot?
“The whole point of hiring a wedding coordinator is so that the bride and groom don’t have to be bothered with ANYTHING on their wedding day and they can just sit back and relax and enjoy their day that we worked so hard to plan. I once had a bride that arrived to the ceremony in a ‘monster truck’ and while getting out of the vehicle rubbed the back of her dress up against the dirty vehicle, leaving the back of her dress COMPLETELY covered in dirt. I ran to the car and grabbed my emergency kit and scrubbed the back of her dress with a white cloth and soda water and then blew it dry with my travel blow dryer. She only ended up being 8 minutes late walking down the aisle but there were a few straggling guests anyways so no one was the wiser and her dress looked perfect!”

Some people think wedding planning and coordination is an extra expense, what are your thoughts on that?
“Wedding Planning and Day-of Coordination are definitely an extra expense but one well worth it if it can be budgeted for. A wedding planner can save you anywhere from 10-20% off of what you would normally pay a vendor due to their connections and relationships in the industry. You will constantly have an experienced and educated person in your corner which can come in extremely handy while trying to negotiate for the best prices, especially when they are doing the negotiating for you. A Day-of Coordinator is probably the best investment a couple could make on their wedding day. So many hours go into planning a wedding, that when it comes time for the day, they should be able to relax and let someone else make it unfold exactly the way they envisioned it. Your friends and family should be able to relax and enjoy the day and not be working.”

What kind of venue is your favourite to decorate and why?
“We really like decorating naturally beautiful venues like Westwood Plateau and Centennial Lodge as there is lots you can do to the room but it is still really nice on its own. We like venues with some character and not just four walls.”

If you had to plan a wedding in 3 months, how would you tackle that? Any advice for brides in that situation?
“To plan a wedding in 3 months, you have to be VERY organized. First you must develop a realistic budget. From there you can choose a date and get the big items like venue, caterer, florist, DJ, etc out of the way. If you are planning a summer wedding, try having it on a Friday or a Sunday. Most places will already be booked three months in advance for a Saturday as well as vendors. If you choose a Friday or Sunday, you may have more venue options as well as a greater vendor selection, which can make planning a lot easier.”

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?
“Okay, there are two things. Either Chair covers or lighting. If the venue has less-than-complementing chairs, chair covers is the easiest way to tie a theme or look together and really make the room look elegant. For a venue that has appealing chair options, lighting would be the one thing to splurge on. Having several colored uplights around a room or lots of candles, can create a breathtaking ambiance and very romantic feel.”

If you had one piece of advice for a bride and groom, what would it be?
“Remember that your guests see the product and not the planning. They will never know there was another dress, or you contemplated a photobooth but couldn’t afford it. They will never know you opted for more expensive centrepieces instead of having a backdrop behind your head table. Make decisions, and don’t regret them. You made the initial decision for a reason, so trust yourself.”

To contact Kristy, visit her website.
Do you have what it takes to be a Vancity Vendor? Apply here.

Photos Courtesy Carol-Ann Photography, Athalia’s Photography,
and Chic & Unique Event Design.
Mouse over each photo to identify the photographer.

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

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