Shannon Valente Weddings » Calgary Wedding Planner & Event Planning - Shannon Valente Weddings - wedding planning and rentals design studio located in Calgary, AB

A fairytale wedding with the rocky mountains as the backdrop….what’s not to love about this Banff wedding?! I have to say this family forever has a place in my heart. This is the second wedding we have worked on together, I also planned the bride’s sisters’ wedding a few years ago. After working together for basically 2 years on such important, personal events, it’s hard not to love them.

Melissa and Nate wanted to play up the castle theme since they were getting married at the beautiful Banff Springs. All of the details were rich in colour; navy, marsala and gold accents. The blooms towered above the guests heads, while the sweets table (oh the sweets table!) was fit for royalty. Even the photo booth props were suited for kings, queens and knights.

The grandness of the cathedral windows and stained glass crests in Mount Stephen Hall speak for themselves, so we kept the ceremony simple and lined the aisle with warm candlelight, white rose petals and greenery, while the string quartet played. The Alhambra room was the perfect backdrop for the wedding reception with the high ceilings and glowing chandeliers.

alanmaudie_melnate_004alanmaudie_melnate_003alanmaudie_melnate_012alanmaudie_melnate_016melissanate_0339alanmaudie_melnate_017alanmaudie_melnate_018alanmaudie_melnate_019alanmaudie_melnate_021alanmaudie_melnate_022fairmont banff wedding 2fairmont banff wedding 1alanmaudie_melnate_035alanmaudie_melnate_032alanmaudie_melnate_034alanmaudie_melnate_038alanmaudie_melnate_039Both the bride and groom had quite the wedding parties (both in numbers and personalities!) so the day was filled with love, laughter and old friends.

melissanate_1249melissanate_1237melissanate_1230fairmont banff weddingmelissanate_1212alanmaudie_melnate_047alanmaudie_melnate_053fairmont banff wedding 5melissanate_1254fairmont banff wedding 7alanmaudie_melnate_052These two lovebirds met in Germany playing basketball, so naturally we had to incorporate their love of b-ball; sink a dunk for a kiss!

alanmaudie_melnate_062alanmaudie_melnate_058Such an amazing wedding and not one I will soon forget. A HUGE thanks to the amazing team involved:

Photo: Alan Maudie 
Planning and design: Shannon Valente Weddings 
Florals: Flower Artistry 
Rentals: Special Event Rentals and CDM Consulting Group 
Cake/Sweets: Whippt Desserts 
Stationery: Blank Page Designs
Venue: Fairmont Banff Springs
Bridal Gown: Novia Mia http://www.noviamia.ca
Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo, Aidan gown
Groom/Groomsmen: Forman’s Fashion Group
Hair and makeup: Mountain Beauties
Limo: California Dream Limos
Ceremony music: Allegra String Quartet
Reception music and lighting: Pez Productions

 

2016 CMC badge

I love collaborating with fabulous wedding vendors in Calgary. A few months ago I teamed up with a few of Calgary’s finest to create this geometric wedding inspiration, a vintage meets prisms styled shoot and today it was featured on 100 Layer Cake!

Have you ever been to Grazers Restaurant at the Calgary Zoo? If not, it’s a must see! Such a cute wood building, almost a modern barn feel, with cafe lights strung from the ceiling and doors opening to a private patio. A great spot for an intimate wedding.

My inspiration for this shoot was fusing rustic, vintage elements with modern geometric shapes.  Pairing pieces that may otherwise not go together for a little unexpected flair; a modern gold-rimmed glass charger placed on a weathered grey wood harvest table.  A paint chipped dresser, matched with geometric accents.

Every detail in the shoot had it’s own shape, a triangle selfie station teepee (a DIY project I made from a canvas drop cloth and some doweling), a diamond shaped wedding piñata (another DIY project using a cardboard box and Martha Stewart fringe garland), geometric menus, name cards and invitation suite.  Right down to the donuts, hexagon and heart shaped cookies.  Even the air plants and succulents pulled their own unique shapes from nature.  Copper, wood and gold were the base, while pops of greenery, with fig and coral hues completed the colour combo.

3972_153963_03zoo shoot 9zoo shoot 13964_08zoo shootzoo shoot 23969_08zoo shoot 33966_16zoo shoot 5zoo shoot 63965_12zoo shoot 83971_16zoo shoot 73971_103971_03zoo shoot 103971_01zoo shoot 43968_09

The dream team who made it happen:

Photo: Justine Milton Photography | Planning and design: Shannon Valente Weddings|Teepee and piñata: DIY by Shannon Valente Weddings | Florals: Flower ArtistryVintage Rentals: Rus Vintage | Tableware:  Special Event Rentals Cake/Sweets: Whippt Desserts | Stationery: Bloom Invites | Bridal gown: The Bridal Boutique | Groom outfit: Espy | Venue: The Calgary Zoo | Models: Steven and Brittany Messner – Life Set Sail

You know when you sit down to chat with someone and feel an instant connection? That was how my first meeting with Cathy went. Not only was her and Andrew’s rustic farm wedding right up my alley but we hit it off the moment we met. I was so happy when they chose me to coordinate their wedding day. And what a wedding it was!

Although the timelines for planning were short, there was no shortage of personal touches. A greenhouse ceremony followed by a tent reception, this one had it all. Highlights included 100 year old barn wood reclaimed from the groom’s family farm, his and her lounge areas, bride and groom served pies, food trucks, giant jenga, handmade lollipops and more. We are in love.cawedlores(3of109)cawedlores(16of109)cathy andrew 2cawedlores(56of127)cawedlores(106of127)

cawedlores(116of127)cathy andrew 7cawedlores(100of109)cathy andrew 1cawedlores(23of127)cathy andrewcawedlores(19of127)cathy andrew 3cawedlores(2of127)cawedlores(27of127)cathy andrew 4cawedlores(78of127)cawedlores(96of109)cawedlores(95of109)

cathy andrew 6cawedlores(98of109)

So, so, so happy for you two! We were honoured to play our part.

And to the team who pulled it all off!

Ceremony Location: Saskatoon Farm // Cake & Sweets Table: Farm Girls Food Truck // Flowers: Amborella Floral Studio // Music: Pez Productions  // Dress Designer: Novia Mia // Groom’s Tux: Ed Williams // Favours and Menus: DIY // Hair: Naomi Dumakor of Salon Fli // Make up: Michelle Dahl // Photographer: Gingersnap Photography // Planning: Shannon Valente Weddings // Reception Location: Crystal Ridge Golf Course // Stationery: Modern Pulp // Vintage Rentals: Orange Trunk Vintage

Also excited to have this wedding featured on Rocky Mountain Bride earlier this month!

TOP 10 things to consider when hiring a WEDDING PLANNER

So you’ve made the decision to hire a professional wedding planner? Congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step toward ensuring that your special day progresses as smoothly as possible.
In the months leading up to the big day, your wedding planner may very well become your new best friend. A professional planner helps you maintain your sanity by assisting with all aspects of the event, such as creating a budget, choosing ceremony and reception venues and incorporating a theme or design scheme.
Choosing a wedding planner can often be a leap of faith—after all, it’s hopefully a one-time relationship, and you’ve most likely never hired one before. If you know other couples who’ve had a positive experience with a planner, you may want to consider asking for a referral. If that’s not an option, you’ll need to conduct a search for your own—no easy task in itself.
When meeting with a prospective wedding planner, don’t rely on personality and likability alone. To ensure that he or she will be able to achieve your vision and execute your special day without a hitch, don’t sign a contract until you’ve received satisfactory answers to the following vital questions:
    • Can you afford them? You don’t want the added stress of being over budget from the get go.  If you’re on a limited budget, look for a wedding planner that offers tiered pricing packages or a la carte options. Ask if they charge a standard flat fee, an hourly rate, or by percentage of expenses.
    • Are they detail-oriented? This is by far the most important trait for a wedding planner to possess. Don’t just take their word for it—request references from previous clients. If a planner is doing their job well, they should have a repertoire of dozens of satisfied brides and grooms more than happy to rave about their experience.
  • Are they a control freak? Remember, unless you’ve instructed them otherwise, the wedding planner’s job is to guide you through every step of the process, not to completely take over. Make sure the planner you choose is willing to let you have as much say as you want to ensure that your celebration is unique to you.
  • Does the planner have established relationships with local wedding vendors? Ideally, they should be able to make informed recommendations for florists, travel agents, caterers, and other wedding vendors. That said, make sure they truly have your best interests in mind and aren’t suggesting a company for the sole purpose of receiving a monetary kick-back. A good wedding planner should use their connections to benefit you, not themselves.  
  • Are they willing to manage all of your vendor communications? This can be a huge time-saver, eliminating dozens of follow-up calls and confirmations. A comprehensive planning service should include the handling of all vendor relationships.
  • Is your prospective planner up to date on all of the latest trends and fashions for modern weddings? Unless you’re striving for a period-themed event, you probably don’t want your ceremony and reception to be dated. An up-to-speed planner should be equipped to make recommendations for bridal fashions, innovative wedding favours, and contemporary twists on long-standing traditions.
  • Do they hold a certification or diploma from a reputable wedding planning school or association? Keep in mind that while a degree is preferred, it’s not absolutely essential—education can’t replace the value of seasoned experience and beneficial connections, however if they belong to some sort of association it helps to establish them as a reputable vendor.
  • What’s their communication style? Are they easily accessible via cell phone and email? Are they available on evenings and weekends? Most importantly do they offer your preferred method of communication.
  • Does the planner coordinate weddings as his or her full-time job, or are they just moonlighting? If they’re committed to another “day job” and just plan weddings on the side, not to say that it can’t be done, but you may find it more difficult to track them down when you (or your vendors) need them.
  • Ask the planner if she is going to steal your fiancé like J.Lo in ‘The Wedding Planner’. Ok, maybe this question isn’t necessary, but the reaction sure is hilarious!
  • After getting all of the answers to these important questions, consider whether you get a “good vibe” about the prospective wedding planner. Never underestimate the importance of your own personal judgment. You’ll be working closely with your wedding planner for many months to come, so it’s crucial that you feel comfortable communicating with them. In the best case scenario, you’ll emerge from the experience as a very satisfied bride who’s gained countless priceless memories—and is prepared to share a glowing referral to other couples.

 

Rainy wedding photos

Do You Have a Plan B?

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you may want to consider having a back up plan. As a wedding planner in Calgary, AB, the one thing out of my control….is the weather! In this city it could be raining one minute, sunny the next and snowing after that.

My advice? Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

1 – Location – If mother nature chooses to bless you with rain on your big day (which is actually considered good luck!) have an alternative indoor or tented location that can quickly and easily be transformed. The reception area usually works great for this. Ideally your reception location can use the same chairs for the ceremony and reception. If the ceremony plan B and reception will be in the same area, ask the venue about a room divider to keep the reception reveal a surprise!

2 – Communicate – Make sure your guests know that if it is raining they are to go to the plan B location, you don’t want to leave them in limbo and have them miss the ceremony. If possible, have someone stay at the original ceremony location to direct guests.

3 – Time – Allow extra time for any back and forth that comes along with moving locations. If you choose to wait out a rain cloud you may also need extra time to….well, wait!  Or time to dry off the guests’ chairs so they don’t get wet. Make sure your timeline isn’t too tight so you will still have plenty of time for pictures, dinner, dancing, or whatever follows.

4 – Relax – No one can control the weather. Life is full of surprises, (and this will surely NOT be the last one you and your new partner encounter) don’t let a little silly rain spoil your special day.

5 – Supplies – Bring supplies to combat the weather, waterproof make-up, towels, umbrellas for pictures (smooching under an umbrella in the rain makes for a great photo opp!) and for running to and from the car/limo

There are a lot of things you can control on your wedding day, rain is not one of them. So don’t fret about things that are out of your control. Roll with it, at the end of the day, rain or no rain, you will still be married to your perfect match.

Rainy wedding photos

Happy Planning!

Shannon xoxo

Photo credit from top to bottom: Sofia Katherine PhotographyGenevieve Renee Photographie