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Meet the Sweetheart Girls, Kathlene

Hi friends! I’m Kathlene – a wedding day and office assistant for the SHE team! About a year and a half ago, I started my journey into the wedding biz with Sweetheart Events. I’ve learned so much about the wedding industry through the SHE team and I can’t wait to share with you my experiences!!! Keep reading below 🙂 

How I Got My Start Into the Wedding Industry

My journey into the wedding industry was definitely an eye-opener for me. Ever since I was young, I’ve always loved planning events and paying attention to the little details. It wasn’t until a few years into “conventional” post-secondary, that I decided I wanted to change my career path. I wanted to be happy and creatively challenged, so I followed my passion and entered the world of event planning!

I met with Stephanie for coffee one morning and left knowing I made the right choice. It was her bubbly personality, passion for her business, the industry, and her couples that convinced me that I wanted to be apart of Sweetheart Events. Luckily, it wasn’t long until I was offered an amazing opportunity to intern, and later on work, for Stephanie and Sweetheart Events… and, well, the rest is history 🙂 

What To Expect As A Wedding Day Assistant

As an assistant, you are an extension of the lead planner. As a team, we support and trust each other, and divide and conquer which always gets the job done smarter.

Some of our normal wedding assisting tasks can include: setting up and taking down the ceremony and reception space, cueing in the bridal party for their entrances, communicating with other vendors and helping everywhere else in between. But keep in mind, all weddings are different and tasks can totally vary.  

That being said, sometimes we get stuck doing other things that are not expected. That could be anything from being the “unofficial DJ” and trying to figure out the logistics of an audio system, rounding up herds of family members for family photos, or making last-minute trips to Ikea and Michael’s to find more photo frames and place cards. With many deep breaths (and back up plans), we always figure out a way to make things work!

My best tip to survive a full wedding day? Bring some water & snacks and wear comfy shoes! Trust me, it’ll save you.

Favorite Part of the Wedding Day

My favorite part of any wedding day is definitely any of the “first” moments that a couple shares – first looks, their wedding vows, and first dances. I also love seeing how each couple incorporates their personalities and personalized details into their overall wedding day!

At the end of the day…

Although we work mostly behind the scenes, wedding assistants are definitely still an essential part of a wedding day.

If you’re someone who is detail-oriented, self-motivated, friendly, has a passion for weddings and all things love and always one step ahead – you’ll fit right in with the SHE team! 🙂

I’m so grateful to be in the wedding industry and glad that Steph and I took a chance with each other. I honestly work alongside the kindest, most humble, talented and hardworking group of gals and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Working with Stephanie & the girls of Sweetheart Events is a literal dream and I love them all to death! xo

Favorite Weddings I’ve Assisted On

Check out some of my fave weddings I’ve had the pleasure to assist on!

Kalia & Ben – Poplar Grove Winery Wedding
Caitlyn & Mike – Sky Hangar Wedding
Into The Woods – Twilight Inspired West Coast Wedding

Where else you can find me

Let’s be friends on Instagram!

Interested in joining the SHE team?!?!

We’d love to have you! Hop on over to our NOW HIRING 2016 blog post for all the application details. Hint, hint, I’m looking for more than just your resume. Applications due Saturday, February 10th.

The SHE girls can’t wait to meet you!

Goal Digger | My 2018 Goals

Sweetheart Events, Owner, Girlboss, Vancouver Wedding Planner, goal digger, jenna kutcher, goal setting, powersheets, 2018 goals, 2018 goal setter, Kelowna wedding planner, kelowna wedding, desitination wedding planner

Photo credit: Christine Pienaar Photography

Happy ALMOST New Years, Friends!

If you read my goals for 2017, you know that I wanted to make goal setting a priority. That’s why I’m writing to you today. I’m super proud of what I accomplished, I mean everything except two were tackled. Can you guess which ones?! Now while I was thinking about goal setting, I found finding 18 was too difficult. Instead this year I am going for quality over quantity.

This Goal Digger’s 2018 Goals:

  • Self-care and Self-love– Starting off this list with a bang! This one came like a train hitting me. I never wanted to admit it but this is one I rarely prioritize. While wedding season got busy (go us!), I found myself canceling personal time to accomodate last minute appointments and/or burning the midnight oil just to complete a project on time. While I love my work, I want to put me first, get 8 hours of sleep a night and learn to love myself better. This also includes taking the time to exercise, less coffee more water and taking the time to hit pause and reflect.
  • Purpose over Perfect– Do you ever scroll through Instagram and compare yourself? Chasing perfect left me feeling lonely, exhausted and discouraged. This year, I want to stop doing that. I want to share my purpose, my why even if it doesn’t mean it’s perfect. It was hard to acknowledge success. My number might not be as high as other planners but we hit our goal and we worked with 30 incredible couples to create beautiful journeys to an incredible wedding day and marriage ahead.
  • Make a Change– If you know me personally, you know that I have been running the hamster wheel because 1. I am good at it and 2. it is comfortable. It’s always been so easy to chase happiness or just feel settled. Next year, I have HUGE plans for me personally and the business. I’ll be sharing it early 2018.
  • Do Something That Scares Me– Well the above announcement still shakes me in my boots but other than that, building a larger team scares me. Wait, wait! I love my team and have full confidence in them but if I am being completely candid here, I think it’s the fear of me letting go of the business in more ways. I am not the best to delegate but have come a long way this past year. My fabulous assistant, Kathlene, has been working alongside me every Friday working on blog posts and handing admin duties. This year that scary thing was trying something new. Last week I took my first ski lesson and rocked it. Sometimes the thing that scares you the most turns out to be something you’ve always been meant to do.
  • Education– I see 2018 as our greatest year of growth to date but I want to continue growing and learning too as a boss and wedding planner. Last year I had the opportunity to attend workshops to continue to grow in my craft but I often found myself too busy or just saying no. This year I plan on attending one workshop…which is one of the things I am carrying over from 2017 that I did not accomplish.

Whew! What a great list and I can’t wait to start putting these in action for 2018. Are you goal setting? I would love to cheer you on! I am also trying to get better at sharing and would love to add you to my monthly newsletter

Talk to you in the new year! xo

Holi-Date Night Ideas | Christmas 2017

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Hi friends! With the holiday season fast approaching us – we couldn’t be more excited! We love spending time with our sweethearts decorating Christmas trees with old and new ornaments, Christmas music playing in the background, twinkling lights sparkling inside and outdoors, fireplaces being turned on and peppermint hot chocolates… mmm. Major swoon. Christmas time in Vancouver has some of the coziest date nights that we are totally all about and they are all super affordable! If you want to see some of our favorite holi-date recommendations, keep reading below!

Cozy Christmas Markets

Vancouver Christmas Market
Location: Jack Poole Plaza
Date: November 22, 2017 – December 24th, 2017
Price Point: $
What you can find: Over 75 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, and treasures and authentic German delicacies: sizzling sausages, mulled wine, old world confections, and so much more! Yummy! They also have a glittering carousel, a 30-foot tall walk-in Christmas tree boasting 36,000 twinkling lights, live entertainment, and a multitude of festive family activities.

Be Merry & Bright

Glow Christmas
Location: Milner Village Garden Centre, Langley BC
Date: November 19, 2017 – December 30, 2017
Price Point: $$
What you can find: Glow is a crafted and curated Christmas event for the entire family! Bring together the people you love and explore four Christmas-themed light gardens, a Christmas market, and food trucks! Take a stroll through their musical light tunnel, where you’ll feel the warmth and wonder of the Christmas season, under the glow of over 500,000 lights.

Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Location: Stanley Park, Vancouver BC
Date: November 30, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Price Point: $
What you can find: Enjoy a night cuddled with your sweetheart as you sip hot chocolate and ride the Stanley Park Train! Then head over and take a picture with Santa! Bonus: they have partnered up with BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank! All proceeds and non-perishable food items will go towards their partnered charities.

VanDusen Festival of Lights
Location: VanDusen Garden, Vancouver BC
Date: December 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Price Point: $
What you can find: Air France carousel, dancing lights paired to classic, disco and soul music, Storytime with Santa, a fireside lounge, Make-A-Wish® – Candle Grotto and Lego Room of Joy, and lots of Instagram worthy places to take cute holiday photos!

Home is Where the Heart is

Some of our absolute favorite Christmas date night ideas are really the ones you can do at home. Bring out your matching jammies and light up your holiday scented candles and enjoy a cup of mulled wine! Here are a few of our other at home holi-date night ideas!

  • Set up the Christmas tree with personalized ornaments
  • Make gingerbread houses (have some fun and make it a competition!)
  • If snowy weather permits… build a snowman or go tobogganing!
  • Head to a local ice rink and skate hand-in-hand
  • Indulge in a Christmas movie night – some of our favorites films include Elf, Home Alone, Love Actually, The Holiday, How the Grinch Stole Christmas… the list goes on!

Want more fun date night ideas? Sign up for our newsletter and seasonal romantic ideas will land in your inbox! We would love to see what holiday date night ideas you and your hubby come up with! Follow us on Instagram and tag us! T’is the season, sweethearts! 

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

Photo credit

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 Sweetheart Events Owner, Stephanie

Sweetheart Events, Owner, Girlboss, Vancouver Wedding Planner

Photo credit: Christine Pienaar Photography

Hey friends! I’m Stephanie (the girlboss behind SHE). I’m thrilled you’re considering me for this amazing time in your life. You have an incredible story to share. I’m doing happy dances with excitement for you!

Most days you can find me double fisting mugs of cold coffee (because who ever gets to it when it’s hot), hanging out in my home office answering emails or hanging with my fur baby, Miss Molly. Read on for the rest!

My journey to being Girl Boss and wedding planning:

Funny enough, I never wanted to be a wedding planner (stay with me and keep reading). At the time, The Wedding Planner, starring J.Lo was released a good friend of mine suggested that as my career. I remember laughing at that comment and moving on. Here I am how many years later loving all the mush and gush moments that come my way. I love love but I don’t want to be all cliché and get way off topic. I believe in strong marriages and support my couples to not only create a beautiful wedding but a beautiful marriage.

Now back to my story, after high school, I was unsure of where I wanted to end up. A friend of mine invited me to  attend a networking event where I was introduced to a woman in the industry looking for an intern. I was hired on and from there I have never looked back. There are an incredible amount of creative entrepreneurs that inspire me everyday. Four years ago, I decided to move on and create Sweetheart Events to build my own dream and chase those couples that love nature backdrops, love stories and personalized details. I have worked incredible hard and feel so blessed to have a talented team working alongside me.

Your favourite part of the wedding day:

The First Look (that intimate moment where it is just you and your sweetheart), sharing the AHA moment with my client as they are just about to walk down the aisle and that moment when you are pronounced husband and wife. Just know I will be doing happy dances in the background and wiping tears. It is that moment where all those planning hours were worth it. After all, the ceremony is why we are all here anyway so let’s make it the focus of the day!

We’d be a great fit if:

I love you all but ideal couple would be one that focuses on the marriage that waits for them after I Do. I love creating intimate ceremonies with personal vows, readings from families and creative songs played to reflect their love story. Each décor detail would share a piece of their personality of how they met or where they got engaged. The venue would be nature inspired with jaw dropping backdrops and dinner beneath the stars. There would be great food, delicious cocktails and live music to keep everyone on the dance floor all night and each guest walking away saying that was the perfect reflection of the couple. It should feel as if you are inviting your BFF to plan your wedding day. Planning a surprise wedding is definetly on the bucket list!

Describe your typical Sunday:

Suffering from a wedding hangover. They are real!  You’ll find me catching up on Netflix in yoga pants snuggled with my cat. Brunch is a must and if it’s a nice day I’ll grab a book and head to the beach.

Favourite beverage:

Coffee, coffee, coffee! I’m in competition with the Gilmore Girls 😉

My advice to you:

Stay true to you and find your BFF in your wedding planner. This industry is a saturated one and we all offer similar packages. Go with your gut, not the price tag.

Links to my work:

Jasmine and Aaron’s Rooftop Vancouver Wedding

Chrissie and Ryan get Maui’d in Vancouver

Kalia and Ben’s Poplar Grove Winery 

Where can you find more?

Let’s be friends on Instagram. Check me out here.