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

Planning a wedding is no easy task.  After all, chances are this will be the first (and last)!) time you ever plan an event like this.  Many couples that come to me for help say “we have no idea where to start”.  So I came up with this handy dandy visual aid to help you along your wedding planning journey.

My wedding planning tips/advice:

1) Your date is never set in stone until the venue is booked.  So don’t go wild booking other vendors until the ceremony and reception spaces are secured.

2) No one is set in stone until the contract is signed and deposit has been paid.  Don’t assume a vendor is holding your place until the paper work is complete.

3) Start with the vendors that can only do one wedding a day; wedding planner, venue, photographer, music, etc.  Book early to get your first choice of fabulous vendors.  Then start to tackle the ones who can take multiple weddings per day; cake, stationery, flowers, decor, etc.

4) Space things out so it doesn’t get too overwhelming.  Small, manageable chunks are best.

5) Don’t forget to breathe and enjoy it.  Will it be stressful at times?  Absolutely.  But this is also supposed to be one of the best days of your life, so remember why you are doing this, what it is all about and savour it.

With the new year in full swing wedding ‘Save the Dates’ are going, or have already gone out for weddings happening later this year.  Weddingbells recently posted 15 Original Save the Dates, here are my top 3 ideas  from that list.

1) Cookie – I admittedly have a sweet tooth so these CUTE save the dates were the first to catch my eye!  You would definitely want to make sure they were properly packaged so your wedding guests don’t end up with nothing but cookie crumbs.

cookie save the date

2) Bookmark – Although kindles and kobos are taking over I loved this bookmark idea.  I’m planning a garden/literary themed wedding this summer for a couple who loves to garden and read and this would be such a fun touch.

3) Handkerchief – this one was so soft and pretty I just had to have it in my top 3.  Perhaps your wedding guests will bring it along to dry their tears on your big day. 🙂


See the full list from Weddingbells here.

Images via Weddingbells

Shannon Valente Weddings is a wedding planning and design studio in Calgary, AB.  Creating amazingly fun, jaw dropping, stress free, memorable weddings since 2006.


So you want to have a tent wedding?  Wonderful, we LOVE tent weddings!  However, there are a few things to keep in mind when hosting a tented affair.

1) Weather – There are so many variables when dealing with an outdoor wedding in Calgary; rain, sun, snow, hail, can all happen on the same day, even in the summer!  Make sure you rent your tent from a reputable company, the last thing you want is a roof leaking on your wedding guests!  With changes in weather, also comes changes in temperature; consider if you might require air conditioning, or heaters.

2) Rentals – If you are planning a private acreage wedding, you are essentially building your own wedding venue, that means, tables, chairs, dance floor, washrooms, etc.  So make sure you budget accordingly.

3) Power and Lighting – Let there be light!  During your lovely summer wedding the sun stays out until 10pm but after that, it gets dark, really dark.  Make sure you have lighting, not just for ambience but also so your guests can see each other and find their way back to their cars or shuttle service.  Also make sure you have ample power supply and outlets for your lighting, DJ and/or band, no one wants to blow a fuse at their wedding reception.

4) Logistics – There are also the logistics to consider, is it on grass? Is there enough flat space?  Is there a septic tank?  Where will the caterers work out of?  For all staked tents don’t forget to call Alberta One Call prior to your event set up.



If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful acreage to host your wedding, yay!  If not, here are a few  of our favourite wedding tent venues in Calgary:

Meadow Muse Pavillion – Nestled in Fish Creek Park, this stunning tent venue with wood floors and iron chandeliers is all set up and ready to go for you!

Crystal Ridge Golf Course – Just a short drive from Calgary this tent has golf course views and fire bowls on the patio!

Spruce Meadows – This already set wedding tent is in South Calgary and surrounded by equestrian beauty.

Need help planning your tented wedding in Calgary?  Get in touch, we would love to chat with your about your big day.

Lauren + Joseph

Kaitlyn + Matthew

Photo credits: 1, 2, Shari + Mike Photographers, 3, 4 Genevieve Renee Photographie

Recently Wedding Bells posted the top five unusual (yet amazing) venues to host your wedding ceremony and/or reception.  Here’s their top 5 and our two cents!

  • Science Centre – If you are having a large wedding WB suggested instead of a traditional banquet hall, why not opt for a versatile space like a science centre.  We couldn’t agree more!  Cool spaces not only save you $ on decor but they can really help set the tone for your big day.  TELUS Spark has some great options regardless of the size of your guest list.
  • Brewery – Another suggestion was going for a brewery wedding over a vineyard wedding.  We love this suggestion for a few reasons.  1) Would a vineyard wedding be amazing?  Absolutely!  Does Calgary have any vineyards?  No!  Keeping your wedding local will help you and your guests save on expenses. 2) A brewery setting would make for a great casual feel to the day.  Big Rock Grill and Wild Rose Brewery have got you covered, to name a few.
  • Campsite – Campsite over barn wedding….hmmmm I’m torn on this one.  If you are a wanting a super laid back get together then yes, a campsite is the way to go but I’m a sucker for a beautiful rustic barn wedding.  Willow Lane Barn, is a great option near Calgary.
  • University Clubs – Yes, yes, yes!  Often overlooked, these venues are a great space to host a large group.  I recently co-chaired a fundraiser for Rethink Breast Cancer at SAIT and it was AMAZING, check out the pics!  They have lots of other great options on campus too!
  • Yacht Clubs – Absolutely!  Although we don’t live on the coast, you can certainly pretend we do at a venue like the Glenmore Sailing Club.

willow lane 2

Image via Willow Lane Barnspark scienceImage Via TELUS Spark wild rose brewery

Image via Shae J Photography

In addition to these wonderful suggestions we also love theatres, restaurants, ski lodges and anywhere else your heart desires.  Who says you have to limit your choices, the possibilities are truly endless.

Looking for help finding a wedding venue?  Calgary is a great place to host any type of wedding and we are fortunate to have many hidden gems in our city.  Contact us and let us help you find your perfect space.

Shannon Valente Weddings is a Calgary based wedding planning and design studio, specializing in amazingly fun, jaw dropping, stress-free, memorable weddings, since 2006.

For the past 8 years, every fall I have had the honour of helping to plan one of Calgary’s hottest event.  The guest list is A list, the outfit are ‘out of this world’ and all funds go to a great cause, Rethink Breast Cancer.

Planet Booby was the theme and I don’t think people could have had anymore fun with their outfits if they tried.  There was music, food, drinks, sweets, candy, a hair station, nail bar, photo booth, a giant spaceship, LED light dancers, amazing decor and one HUGE silent auction, phew!

boobyball 9

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Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone involved for making this the best Boobyball yet!!

Venue – SAIT, Johnson Cobbe Energy Building

DJ – Fayyaz K

Photo Booth – Pez Productions

Sweets – Whippt Desserts

Candy – Sugar Cube

Hair Station – Lava Hair

Nail Bar – Esme Beauty Bar

LED dancers – illfx Entertainment

Rentals – Great Events Rentals, Special Event Rentals, One West

Lighting – PK Sound, Pez Productions

Videography – Strawberry Films

Photographer – Heninger Photography