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Dance The Night Away Like a Pro: featuring Alex Bleim, Vancouver Wedding Choreographer

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A couple’s first dance is always a fun moment. Better yet when the first dance is choreographed! It’s also a great excuse for a date night.

I personally spent my childhood as a jazz dancer (don’t ask me to prove it because I was terrible) but recently took part in a professional class for couples. So much fun! It was a pleasure chatting with Alex to learn more about her passion.

Meet Alex:

Hi! I’m Alex and I grew up in North Vancouver, BC. My Mom put me in my first ballet class when I was four years old and I’ve been hooked ever since. I danced all throughout elementary and high school, participating in dance competitions and completing my RAD ballet exams. After high school, I moved to Toronto and completed four years at Ryerson University. I received my BFA in Performance Dance and was awarded the Nadia Potts Heart and Soul award and scholarship upon graduation. In 2016, I moved to London, UK where I worked as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer. It was an amazing year abroad filled with life-long memories!  

Throughout it all, teaching has been a constant in my life. I’ve been teaching dance for about eight years and have loved every moment. I’ve taught everything from ballet to hip-hop, two-year-olds to adults and beginners to professionals. Teaching dance is my passion and I love sharing everything I have learned to all my students.

What inspired me to start wedding choreography?

The first wedding dance I ever choreographed was for my cousin Nathan and his wife Marie. They are a fun loving couple, full of life and humor, who wanted to surprise their friends and family with an over the top dance on their big day. I had so much fun with them and the experience was so different from teaching young kids or dance fitness to adults. I was instantly hooked!

When I moved to London, I was hired by a company called Start the Dance, run by Jessica Brichto. Jess is an amazing woman who I love and admire. Her company specializes in first dances and in the high season, I would have FIVE couples in one day! It was an incredible experience to work with so many different couples and it gave me the confidence I have now. When I recently moved back to Vancouver, Jess suggested I continue my wedding choreography and with her blessing, I started Alex Bleim Dance.

My favourite part about working with couples:

Dancing is a very vulnerable and intimate experience, especially if you’re uncomfortable in any way. I love in the first lesson when couples start to relax… and dare I say, have a little fun! After a few lessons, I usually feel bonded with a couple and it’s always tough to say goodbye. It’s so rewarding to receive pictures, videos and texts weeks (sometimes months!) after our lessons and hear “we nailed it!” It makes my job so fulfilling.

The process & what to expect:

Everyone’s process will be a little different depending on what type of dance they are after – and that’s okay! Someone who wants a very simple and elegant routine will only need 1 – 2 lessons. If you want something a little more stylized, 4 lessons are my normal recommendation. There are exceptions to every rule though! It totally depends on how fast couples learn and how often they practice. 

  • I generally teach in the comfort of your own home, however, we can always book a studio near your home or work if you want more space.
  • What makes me unique to some other choreographers is that I don’t pre-plan my choreography. It is super important to me that a couple feels connected to the dance and to each other, so I like to create the dance while in the space with my couples after really listening to what they want. I will suggest moves but if a couple doesn’t seem sold, I can quickly change it. I think fast so even though I’m improvising on the spot, there’s not a lot of waiting around. It’s one of the skills that I get the most comments on and seems to create the best results!
  • Another service I offer is music editing. If your song is too long, or if you want to do a medley, I can edit your music for you… and it’s part of my rate! This opens the door to a huge range of songs that couples otherwise wouldn’t use.
  • At the end of every lesson, I always film what we have created. This way, you can practice between lessons and not feel overwhelmed about the choreography. I also talk and give notes in the video so when you practice, it’s like I’m still in the room with you! All my couples have noted that this was the most valuable tool during the whole process.

Rates:

For last minute emergencies, or pay as you go lessons, my rate is $75/60mins and $100/90mins. I also offer 3 packages:

  • 2 lessons x 90 mins ($175)
  • 4 lessons x 90 mins ($350)
  • 6 lessons x 90 mins  ($500)

What other services do I offer?

I am mostly known for choreographing first dances for weddings, however, I also offer a wide range of choreography services! I have choreographed Father-Daughter dances, Mother-Son dances, surprise wedding party performances, flash mobs and corporate events! 

Where to find more:

For testimonials and example videos of my work, please check out my:

Website
Facebook Page
Youtube Channel 

If you want to wow your weddings guests and pull off a total show-stopping routine or even just to explore your inner dancer and add some new moves to your repertoire (yes, we know how hard it is to ditch the beloved “shopping cart” and “sprinkler” moves) – make sure to follow Alex on Instagram or send a friendly message to her inbox and tell her this Sweetheart sent you 🙂 

And if you’re looking for a planner to guide you through all your wedding steps and join in on all your happy dances, we’d love to celebrate your love and get in touch!

Insert happy dance here!

Meet the Sweetheart Girls, Caitlyn

Caitlyn Domijan, Wedding Planner, Vancouver Wedding Planner, Sweetheart Events

Photo credit: Christine Pienaar Photography

Hey friends! I’m Caitlyn and one of the SHE girls that has the huge honour of planning your happily ever after. Read more below to check out more about me to ensure I am the right fit for you. Thank you so much for considering me!

Your journey to wedding planning: 

At the age of 10, I witnessed my first wedding – you could say it was love at first sight. My dream turned into a reality upon graduation of Capilano University and BCIT. With my diploma’s in hand, I set out and began my journey by volunteering and interning for local companies. Not long after, I took a position at a local Golf Club as Day of Wedding Coordinator. In 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie through a mutual friend. Since then, I have been a proud member of the SHE team!

Your favourite part of the wedding day:

My favorite part of the wedding day is when the party starts! I love seeing my clients relaxed, happy and celebrating their love with their closest family and friends!

We’d be a great fit if: 

My ideal clients are easy going, creative, sentimental and have a sense of humor. They want their wedding to truly represent them. 

Describe your typical Sunday:

A typical Sunday in the Domijan household starts off with a big homemade breakfast followed by a family stroll down along the Shoreline Trail in Port Moody with our daughter, Charlie, and two pugs, Bubba and Memphis. We love to end our weekends over a glass of wine with our friends.

When you meet for a coffee date with a client you’ll be drinking: 

Tea. All things tea!

Your favourite fur baby:  

Our little family consists of our daughter, Charlie, and our pug babies Bubba and Memphis.

When can I find you doing a happy dance?:

When I’m listening to someone’s love story, enjoying a glass of wine or getting more than 2 hours of sleep in a row #newmomprobs.

Your current love story:

My husband and I met when we were 17. Since then, we have created a beautiful life together. Just this past year, SHE helped us get engaged and married! If that wasn’t enough, we recently welcomed our daughter into the world. Check out the details of the amazing proposal and wedding that the SHE team helped put together for our own fairytale. 

Where can you find more:

Let’s be friends on Instagram! Follow me here.

Proposal In A Box- The Perfect Addition To Your Marriage Proposal

 

Proposal In A Box, Vanouver Proposal, Marriage Proposal, Vancouver proposal planner, DIY Proposal

Oh man! These past few weeks have been a total and utter whirlwind with a roller coaster of emotions and my face can’t stop hurting from smiling so hard. Three years ago, I started proposal planning in Vancouver and always had a dream to do more.

Today I am sharing that dream with you: Proposal In A Box.

So what is Proposal In A Box?

It is the perfect addition to your marriage proposal. As much as I love marriage proposals (trust me I do), it sometimes just doesn’t fit the buget to hire the SHE team to plan and fully execute behind the scenes. I love hearing every love story that pops up in my inbox but I totally get it. You have a wedding to pay for after your sweetheart says YES so maybe the budget is tighter than you hoped it would be. Let’s be real, you most likely have an already incredible idea; it’s just at the point of execution when it all comes crashing down and overwhelming emotions and nerves take over. Perhaps you have an incredible idea and just need that added WOW factor to send it over the top? If so, I created this box for you. I am setting you up for success and giving you the tools you need to execute this big moment like a professional.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a DIY proposal or way to cut costs (sure that’s an added bonus). This box highlights the celebration that happens after your sweetheart says YES too.

And why should it be important to you?

After people find out that I am a Professional Proposal Planner I often hear their own personal proposal stories (which I love). I have to admit that approx. 95% of these women say they wish their husband knew about me when they got engaged or that they were disappointed in how it all happened. Men, let’s change that! You have incredible ideas, I’ve heard them!

Great example here from Gilmore Girls.

So what can you expect when purchasing your own Proposal In A Box?

We are currently offering two themes to choose from (starting at $300); each containing a romantic detail, personalized detail, celebratory detail and our proposal planning tools to guide you through the process. Our guarantee to you is we will save you time, make this process less stressful, provide a cost effective proposal and your sweetheart will be WOW’d by the details you planned. Trust us, they will LOVE this!

How can you order one of these boxes?

Simple, yes it is! Shoot us an email (savethedate (at) sweetheartevents.ca) to learn more about details of each theme and next steps. Once all is said and done, paperwork is signed and the 50% deposit is paid, I will send your planning tool guide, in the form of a pdf, straight to your inbox. You start planning while I prepare your box and will hand deliver it* within 24hrs of you popping the question.

How soon can you order one of these boxes?

They are available now and I am offering 10% off with PROMOCODE MarryChristmas. Our turnaround time is 1 week as we prepare the calligraphy pieces seperately for each couple.

*For local delivery this includes Greater Vancouver area. Please inquire based on your location for additional costs.

Questions: We’ve got your back and we can’t wait to high five you for taking this exciting step. We also have a few holiday dates still open in our calendar if you’re looking for our all inclusive proposal package. Shoot us an email or fill out our contact form to secure your date.

Happy Planning!

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Huge thank you to: Blush Sky Photography | Elizabeth Barr (Calligraphy) | Archimallows | Confetti & Co

Into the Woods- Twilight Inspired West Coast Wedding

west coast wedding, vancouver wedding, forest elopement, twilight wedding theme

Yay!! This past Monday I opened my inbox and had the surprise that our Into the Woods- Twilight Inspired Wedding was featured on Rocky Mountain Bride and Aisle Society!! High five team!

Seen on Rocky Mountain Bride:

“This shoot was created with my destination couples in mind that contact me specifically for the breathtaking, jaw dropping west coast for their weddings. I have had the pleasure of working with couples from all over the world (including locals here in Vancouver) to bring their vision to life, and right now the trend is all about forests, mountains and water backdrops. Our inspiration was the Twilight saga—particularly the gorgeous ceremony that was filmed in the Squamish Mountains. From the moment I saw that scene, it was a dream of mine to recreate that vision with a personal spin. As many past Twihards (Twilight fans) have now grown up and are getting married, I wanted to create a shoot with a subtle hint of Twilight that they can relate to, but still focus on the forest and west coast as my primary inspiration. We chose the gorgeous forest located inside UBC Botanical Gardens (the Greenheart Treewalk) in Vancouver, British Columbia for our shoot. After many venue challenges and Mother Nature raining on our parade, we found this gem in the city. The best part? The garden is a popular wedding venue!

 west coast wedding, forest elopement, vancouver wedding
forest elopement, west coast wedding, outdoor ceremony, vancouver wedding

We brought Twilight into the shoot by:

• Using similar floral and foliage choices from the movie. Instead of doing an arch, we thought outside the box and did a hanging circular garland with hanging florals to create an asymmetrical piece for the ceremonial backdrop.

• Using quotes from the movie as signage.

• The Cullens always offer to cook Bella pasta in the movie, so we incorporated a pasta bar!

• Using smoke bombs and dry ice in the signature cocktails to give the sense of eery and enchantment. We thought it was very unique!

• The lace long sleeve detail on the dress is similar to Bella’s wedding dress. We always want to make our shoots as realistic as possible, and with that, we began the shoot with a first look, ceremony (love those birds eye shots from above), portraits, dinner reception (with guests) and a first dance in the smoky forest.

My advice for couples looking for a west coast, nature-inspired wedding is to keep it small, simple and true to you! Personalized weddings are the best, and with a venue as gorgeous as Vancouver, you can play off of the natural beauty and keep decor to a minimum. It’s a lot of planning, but on the day, breathe, relax and don’t forget to take it all in. This day is one you’ve planned and dreamt about for so long, and the marriage that waits for you the next day is just another incredible journey. Another  point is to never overlook your plan B, and have an alternate location in case of rain. The forest will blanket you for some time, but don’t count on it!”

Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography Into the Woods West Coast Wedding- Wilson Lau Photography

If you’re planning a west coast wedding we’re the team for you! Contact us and say hello! We’d love to buy you and your fiance coffee and discuss your special day!

Our fabulous team:

Bridal Attire: Union Bridal // Decor, Calligraphy & Furniture Rentals: Bespoke Decor Rentals // Dress Designer: Alexandra Grecco // Florals: Greenstems // Groom’s Attire: Top Man// Hair and Makeup: Katie Elwood Makeup and Hair // Photography: Wilson Lau Photography // Planning, Styling & Pasta Bar: Sweetheart Events // Venue: UBC Botanical Gardens- Greenheart Treewalk // Videography: Eastowest Productions // Wedding Cake: Whole Foods Market 

Only You- West Coast Elopement with Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine

Rocky Mountain Bride- West Coast Elopement with Sweetheart Events and Chritine Pienaar Photography

I choose you! The very lyrics that inspired the theme behind this West Coast Elopement shoot . Today I am so pleased to share many of my favourite images created for Rocky Mountain Bride’s first ever regional magazine. I remember receiving the email this past summer when Taylor, the editor, asked if I would represent BC and create something unique and inspirational for their readers. My jaw hit the floor! This was an absolute dream come true! I had followed their blog for a while and always admired the work they created and shared. With millions of ideas swirling around my head I couldn’t sleep that night but instead continued brainstorming ideas.

“A marriage is between two people who love each other- so why not design your wedding around that concept! With so many breathtaking backdrops, the Rockies are the perfect place to elope with your love and create special moments together” RMB magazine

I wanted to tell a story from beginning to end, share the beautiful intimate moments between a couple on their wedding day and inspire couples thinking of planning an elopement. I brought Christine Pienaar Photography on board and together we created something incredible! This was a collaboration between many of the industry’s finest vendors (dream team listed below) and I can’t thank them enough for bringing this vision to life alongside me. On your wedding day you are usually bombarded by family with last minute details and questions and have a timeline that doesn’t allow much room to take the time to pause and just enjoy the moment. It was important to me that this shoot highlighted the many moments available to the couple to pause and reflect on the special moment that is at hand, the love they share for each other and to get wrapped up in the little personalized details. We wanted to start from the very beginning with breakfast in bed. In my opinion there is no reason to wait until the ceremony to see each other. Enjoy the morning, laugh, finish those wedding vows and take the time to look back at all the planning you’ve accomplished. The big day is finally here! You’re going to be married! Get ready together and grab hold of your sweetheart’s hand and celebrate your wedding day.

“My whole heart will be yours forever. This is a beautiful start to a lifelong love letter. Tell the world that we finally got it all right. I choose you. I will become yours and you will become mine. I choose you” Sara Bareillies 

I have always loved planning weddings at Fraser River Lodge and felt it showcases the best of what the West Coast has to offer. And they have bison!!! I knew right away this shoot would take place at this venue. Each vendor took the initial inspiration board and took their creativity full force adding stunning details to this shoot. Floralista blew all expectations with the end result encompassing the couple in a circle of foraged florals and greenery for the ceremony and a breathtaking bohemian inspired bouquet complete with a raw silk ribbon with the couple’s wedding date! Spruce Rentals truely brought our sweetheart table and breakfast in bed scenes to life with thier endless vintage and eclectic treasures to choose from. Their rustic bed frame had me jumping for joy! And our incredible couple (newly married) were the best models we could have ever hoped for. The love between them is truly inspiring. I hope you enjoy this shoot as much as we all had creating it for you and don’t forget to watch the video created by Handsome Films below. Look for the magazine hitting newstands later this month!

Lots of love xo

West Coast Elopement with Sweetheart Events and Christine Pienaar Photography- Vancouver, BC- Rocky Mountain Bride West Coast Elopement with Sweetheart Events and Christine Pienaar Photography- Vancouver, BC- Rocky Mountain Bride West Coast Elopement with Sweetheart Events and Christine Pienaar Photography- Vancouver, BC- Rocky Mountain Bride Rocky-Mountain-Bride--Sweetheart-Events2 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-140 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-21 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-13 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-18 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-35 Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 3.55.14 PM Rocky-Mountain-Bride-46 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-47 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-56 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-58 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-8 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-64 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-38 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-70 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-73 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-84 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-85 Pure Magnolia custom wedding dress Olive and Piper Jewellry Rocky-Mountain-Bride-98 Rocky-Mountain-Bride--Sweetheart-Events4 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-93 Outdoor ceremony-Fraser River Lodge Vancouver Bohemian Florals Rocky-Mountain-Bride-107 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-112 Rocky-Mountain-Bride--Sweetheart-Events5 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-122 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-125 Elope Rocky-Mountain-Bride-132 Rocky-Mountain-Bride--Sweetheart-Events3 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-184 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-178 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-150 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-170 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-173 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-163 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-167 West Coast Elopement with Sweetheart Events and Christine Pienaar Photography- Vancouver, BC- Rocky Mountain Bride Rocky-Mountain-Bride-203 First dance Rocky-Mountain-Bride-217 Rocky-Mountain-Bride-231

The Dream Team:

Creative Director/Stylist/Planner: Sweetheart Events | Photography: Christine Pienaar Photography | Videography: Handsome Films | Dress: Pure Magnolia | Calligraphy: Maurelle Calligraphy | Makeup: Katie Elwood | Hair: Victoria Jane Hairstyling | Flowers: Floralista | Jewelry: Olive + Piper | Decor: Spruce Rentals | Table dinnerware rentals: A & B Party Rentals | Venue: Fraser River Lodge | Our couple: Reuben and Natalie Meyers