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

Wedding Tip of the Week-3

Last week we posted our DIY DO advice for wedding projects you can do!  This week we are focusing on the DIY projects you should NOT attempt:

Cake – Unless you are a professional baker, do not attempt this one!  Heck, even if you are, take the day off!  Not only will some venues not accept a cake unless it is made in a commercial kitchen, the stress that goes along with icing your OWN wedding cake is more than you need to take on days before your big day.

Bouquet – If you really want to take on flowers, leave the bouquets and boutonnieres to the pros and tackle the centrepieces yourself.  Wedding bouquets are their own beast so we strongly advise against this one!

Photography – I’m sure you don’t want a wedding album filled with selfies, so please, please hire a professional.  Yes wedding photography can be expensive, but it is SO worth it!  50 years down the road, aside from the memories, this will be the only thing you have left from your wedding day.  So choose a professional, someone who shoots weddings and meshes well with your style and personality.

More DIY advice:

1 – PICK YOUR PROJECTS – you can’t do it all, so don’t try.  Try not to choose too many perishable projects, instead choose items you can do well in advance.  You will be busy with friends and family arriving, spa appointments, final confirmations, vendor payments, the list goes on.

2 – $$$ – DIY projects can add up quickly, be careful, choose wisely and do trials before buying anything in bulk.

3 – DIY can sometimes look….well….DIY.  Again, this is where choosing wisely and doing trials comes in handy.

Happy planning!

Shannon Valente Weddings – Calgary Wedding Planner – creating amazingly fun, jaw dropping, memorable, stress free weddings in Calgary since 2006.


I am all for DIY, I love pinterest and there is nothing more rewarding than creating something from scratch.  That being said, when working with my brides I always offer a DIY caution: Don’t take on more than you can handle!  Projects that are non-perishable and can be done well in advance work best.

Wedding projects you can DIY:

STATIONERY – save the dates, invites, menus, name cards, table numbers, favour tags, seating charts.  You can have the files professionally designed and print and assemble yourself or use free printables from various sources such as wedding chicks.

FAVOURS – a homemade touch is always appreciated, jam, jellies, cake in a jar, soap, candy, pickles flavoured popcorn, s’mores packs, the possibilities are never ending.

CENTREPIECES – if doing a non-floral, non-perishable centrepiece you can do them well in advance.  If doing floral centrepieces just make sure you allow yourself lots of time and think about where you will store them.

DECOR – signs, backdrop, arch, games, photobooth props, lemonade stand, can all be made months before the big day.

RENTALS – chair covers, linens and backdrops.  Make sure you have ample time and help to set these up, if you don’t get the venue until Saturday morning you would not take the DIY option.

Stay tuned for next weeks wedding tip of the week – DIY DON’T – and find out which projects you should NOT tackle.

Shannon Valente Weddings – Calgary Wedding Planner – Creating amazingly fun, jaw dropping, memorable, stress-free weddings in Calgary since 2006.

Photo by Sofia Katherine Photography

We LOVE a little client love!  A few of our recent clients have posted reviews for your viewing pleasure, check out what that had to say about their Shannon Valente Weddings experience!  Don’t forget to leave reviews for the people who made your wedding happen, we really do appreciate it!

Also a glowing endorsement from one of our fav fellow wedding vendors Fayyaz, owner of Pez Productions, our go-to for wedding music!

“Shannon played a key role in helping Pez get off it’s feet. One of the first collaborations we made when we first launched was with Shannon and SVW and since then we have maintained a had a close relationship with Shannon and her team. Shannon is a thorough planner that loves to get to know her clients and give them an unforgettable wedding experience. From massive outdoor tent weddings to small intimate dinners Shannon does it all. We’ve had the pleasure of doing some of our most memorable Weddings and Events with Shannon and look forward to many more years working alongside her!”  Fayyaz K, owner of Pez Productions

Read all of our Wedding Planning Reviews at Wwlogo 83x19

Shannon Valente Weddings – Calgary Wedding Planner – creating amazingly fun, jaw dropping, stress-free, memorable weddings in Calgary since 2006.

Every few years I get a last minute wedding….I mean really. last. minute.  The average wedding takes a year or more to plan (and this is what we recommend to avoid added stress) but in some cases we have only a few months to pull it off.  Kathy and Arvin were our last minute wedding of 2014.  They came to us a few months before the big day with only a venue for the ceremony and reception, which, for a last minute wedding in Calgary we were thrilled about – we can actually work with that!

When I met with them I started asking a few questions, how they met, how long have they been together, how long have they been engaged, etc.  I assumed they had just got engaged, wrong.  Arvin had popped the question almost 2 years prior!  I actually see this happen quite often in the wedding planning process.  A couple gets engaged, they are excited to plan a wedding, book a venue and maybe a vendor or two, are completely overwhelmed with the looming to do list, so else nothing happens.  Enter their fairy godmother, wedding planner – Shannon Valente Weddings.

We got to work and planned a beautiful navy, pink, grey and white wedding for these high school sweethearts.  As it was an August wedding I was already booked but as luck would have it one of our lead coordinators was available to take the reins on the day.

The ceremony was at the lush green Devonian Gardens, followed by a reception at the Four Points Sheraton.

Arvin wanted to take on the reception stationery himself.  I’m all about wedding DIY projects but I will not lie…I was nervous.  I have to say, he totally pulled it off!!  He even signed up for Pinterest! (Ha sorry Arvin 🙂

The amazing images were taken by Sean Leblanc Photography, enjoy.

Kathy had a quick wardrobe change for the traditional tea ceremony.  Not a dry eye in the house after an emotional speech from her aunt.

The day was full of laughter and emotion.  Thank you for letting us play a part.

The people who made the magic happen:
Wedding Planner: Shannon Valente Weddings
Photographer: Sean Leblanc Photography
Venue (ceremony): Devonian Gardens
Venue (reception): Four Points Sheraton
Cake and Favours: Whippt Desserts and Catering
Rentals: Dreamer Event Rentals
Flowers: Philip Chong Flower Bar
Invites: Maple Mountain Designs
Reception Stationery: Bride and Groom
Officiant: Jaqueline Hoare Life Celebrant

Shannon Valente Weddings – Calgary Wedding Planner – creating amazingly fun, jaw dropping, memorable, stress free weddings in Calgary since 2006.

Creating a guest list for your wedding can be a daunting task.  Especially if you are trying to cut the guest list to fit into a certain venue or to stay within a specific budget.  My best advice is don’t assume people won’t come.  There will be a few long lost relatives that you never imagined in a million years would show and they are the first to send back the RSVP and even a few you assumed would be a shoe-in that reply no-go.

A great rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule – 80% of the guests you invite, will attend.  Of course this will depend where guests are coming from, etc but it is scary how well the formula works.

So make sure you get a venue that is large enough to host your wedding and budget on the side of caution to eliminate uneccessary stress as invites go out and the RSVPs roll in.

Happy Planning!

Shannon Valente Weddings – Creating amazingly fun, jaw dropping, memorable, stress-free weddings in Calgary since 2006.