The Maven of Toronto Wedding Planners
At Kimberfire we spend our days helping people find the perfect diamond engagement ring and wedding bands, and during this process the conversation often leads to wedding plans. It’s always interesting to hear about the planning process and the different ways that people choose to celebrate. I decided I wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and all the work that goes into creating the perfect wedding. I sat down to interview Angela Reshetnyk, owner of Maven Weddings and Events, which specializes in designing, planning and executing weddings and events.
Sara: Angela, tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
Angela: I love my job and my life. I am a creative junkie! I am extremely organized, a multi-tasker and a control freak (although I hate the word freak). I love art, fashion, flowers, and design in all its forms. I am married to my high school sweetheart and the single love of my life. I have a beautiful wee daughter who is the light of my life, and I have 2 adorable Labs (my other lights) named Buster & Sadie. The first wedding I planned was in 2011, so I have been in business for 5 years now (wow?!). I have lost count of how many weddings I have planned at this point.
Sara: How did your education and/or previous job experience prepare you for running a wedding planning business?
Angela: My education and professional experience was in Interior Design, Decorating and Sales, which all go hand in hand with the industry I am in now. However, it was only after planning my own wedding and a few weddings of family & friends that I realized I was pretty darn good at this! From there I took a huge leap of faith and tried doing it for a living… it was scary being in charge of pulling off the biggest day in someone’s life, but after my first ‘official’ wedding I was hooked.
Sara: What types of packages does Maven Weddings and Events offer?
Angela: I don’t offer packages and I get asked this ALL the time. I find it hard to offer package pricing because all of my couples are so different in their needs & wants. Especially now with so many brides being DIY. They want to be involved, they want to make things, they want to shop. Also logistics come into play, the number of guests (50 guests vs 350 guests is a totally different ballgame). So I quote a la carte. After an initial consultation over the phone or in person, I can get a good grasp as to what my bride needs and provide them with a preliminary quote from there.
Sara: Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
Angela: I am a Pinterest girl! I love using Pinterest as a source of inspiration. I don’t copy from it, but it does inspire me. I often create inspiration boards on Pinterest for my couples to give them a visual direction as to where I’d like to go with their wedding and they are always excited to see it. Instagram is also a great source for ideas. These are both amazing resources that most of my clients are already on.
Sara: If someone was holding back from hiring a wedding planner because of the costs, what would you say to them which might change their mind?
Angela: More often than not, I actually help my couples save on costs. Things like using my preferred vendors and being able to shop at industry only locations are just a couple of aspects to consider. I can also help with budget, as a lot of couples tend to allocate either way too much or way too little in certain areas. I can be their voice of reason as to where they will get the most bang for their buck. Most couples don’t have a clue about the costs of flowers, linens, chair rentals, etc. so I encourage my couples to talk to me when they are unsure of something, so I can let them know if it is a good deal or if they could find something elsewhere that is more suitable for their budget. Also, I let them know that their time is worth money. A lot of my clients are already busy before adding the planning of a wedding into the mix. So the time it would take them to source a vendor could be done in a fraction of the time by getting me to do it.
Sara: How do you decide on décor and themes for your weddings?
Angela: I get inspired by my couples! In particular, their love stories – how they met – how he (or she!) proposed, as well as their jobs, hobbies, etc. I ALWAYS suggest adding personal touches to every wedding, it’s what makes your wedding YOU, and not a wedding that could be for anyone else. I’ve done and been to weddings that are absolutely beautiful but have nothing to do with the couple, and I feel like it loses the charm and intimacy that every wedding should have.
Sara: Has something ever gone wrong on the day of a wedding, and how did you handle it?
Angela: YES! I’ve had a Best Man faint during the ceremony and knock out his front teeth! I have had a Groomsman drop the wedding rings down an elevator shaft in an old historical building downtown! I’ve had a sweetheart table catch on fire during a speech because the groom had put his napkin on a candle when he went to thank the person who was giving the speech (and those are just my top 3!). So yes things have and will go wrong, however it is my job to remain calm and FIX IT. If there is ANY way my couple doesn’t need to know that something has gone wrong, then I’d like to keep it that way. My biggest compliment I can get after a wedding is when my couples say “Wow, what a great day, it was so seamless and nothing went wrong! It’s as though we didn’t even need you here?!”. If this is their response, then my job was done right.
Sara: What tips would you give to a couple who are looking for a wedding planner?
Angela: Find someone you mesh with personality-wise. You will be working closely and frequently with this person for months (and intimately on the day-of!) so you better like them. Look at their personal sense of style, do you like how they are presenting themselves? Look at their website gallery, Facebook albums and Instagram page. Are there actual wedding shots of their work or are they images from Pinterest that we’ve all seen before? I see so many planners posting pics I have seen on social media that is not even theirs. So make sure it’s their work they are showcasing and ask for referrals if you are not sure.
Sara: What are some new and/or continuing trends for wedding décor, themes, venues?
Angela: I’m seeing a lot of pastel colour palettes for 2017. Blush is still leading the pack this year (as it did last year) for my most popular wedding colour. For food trends, Tapas & Food Station weddings, as well as no seating plans are becoming more popular for non-traditional brides who truly want to do something outside the box. Barn weddings are still a favorite but more modern brides are looking for tents – which I love! Rustic weddings are great, but my brides are all doing/trying new things – which makes it fun. For décor the mason jar is officially OUT….whew! But mercury glass in gold/silver/and rose gold pink are still popular with my brides, as it can be both vintage looking and modern at the same time.
Sara: What is the most rewarding aspect of the job?
Angela: I love being a part of the biggest day in a couple’s life. I don’t care if it’s in a big way or small way, I just get such satisfaction in making people happy and making peoples’ dreams come true. It’s the best part – seeing my clients happy – I love it! I love LOVE, so really what other industry should I be working in? I also like seeing the couples’ faces when they see their vision come to life, like when I reveal the reception space to them, or when a bride sees her bouquet for the first time. These are all such special moments for me to witness at each and every wedding.
Sara: How important is social media to your business?
Angela: Very. Between posting on Instagram, liking/sharing/making albums on Facebook, pinning on Pinterest, and keeping my website up to date…it’s crazy. But it’s vital with today’s bride. All my brides are online in one way or another, so I have to be as well, no questions asked. The key is staying on top of it all. Not only is social media important for my clients, but it’s vital to network with fellow industry people as well, vendors, colleagues, competitors, etc.
Sara: After being a part of so many wedding, what advice can you give to a couple to get the most out of their big day?
Angela: Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it’s raining, your aisle runner didn’t make it out, a bridesmaid’s heel broke, a candle isn’t lit, your candy bar labels are incorrectly marked, WHATEVER it is, don’t let it ruin your day! Trust your vendors. You’ve hired them for a reason, let them do the job you hired them for and trust it will get done as they are the experts. Let your wedding planner oversee their work, you should be relaxing and getting ready for your big day. Spend time with your guests, don’t disappear for hours with your photographer, enjoy & be present for cocktail hour to mingle with your friends & family, and dance with them on the dancefloor! If there is ever a day to celebrate the couple that you are, this would be the day!
Sara: Thank you so much for sharing your insight and experiences with us.
Angela: Thank you guys! It was my pleasure.
If you are interested in learning more, or would like to contact Angela, please visit Maven Weddings and Events.