Wedding Planning Q&A with Candice Jones06 / 23 / 2020
Photo: Christine Pienaar
With this year’s weddings either postponed or looking different than originally planned, we sat down with Candice Jones, Owner & Principal Planner of A Day To Remember, to get the inside scoop on event planning and some tips and tricks for your special day.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I started assisting a prominent Vancouver wedding coordinator in 2002. I fell in love with event planning so I enrolled in post-secondary for event marketing. Soon after (14 years ago now), I started A Day to Remember, a coordination, decor, and DJ company for weddings and corporate events. I’m a big believer that creating memories and celebrating monumental moments is the MOST important thing in life.
2. What is your favourite part of planning events?
Giving my clients the best day of their lives is the most rewarding part of my job. My favourite part of an actual wedding day is sending the couple down the aisle to begin the ceremony. Even though I’ve done over 400 weddings, I still get emotional and excited for each one!
3. What is the benefit of hiring a wedding planner?
My job is to stay on top of things for my clients. I am their planner, problem solver, financial advisor, secretary, and counsellor all in one! I take care of all the mundane and stressful tasks which allow my clients to enjoy their engagement and not become overwhelmed with wedding issues.
A planner will…
- Save you time and money – The average wedding takes 200+ hours to plan. Since money is time these days, having a professional middleman will alleviate time and stress. A planner will make sure you stay on budget, book trusted and reliable vendors, and set up all your appointments.
- Keep you on budget – Most couples have a strict budget they need to adhere to. An event planner knows the local market and will help you get the most for your money. We have ongoing relationships with vendors and can often negotiate deals and customized packages that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Some planners offer extra services as well. A Day To Remember offers a professional DJ and photo booth which can help reduce the overall cost.
- Keep everything running on schedule – an event planner will ensure you cross every to-do item off your list promptly. There’s nothing worse than waiting too long to book an officiant or photographer… then not getting your top choice or someone who is not within your budget. On your event date, we know how long things will take – everything from wedding party and family photos to how long dinner should take.
- Problem solve – Big or small, your wedding coordinator is well trained to put out “fires” so that you and your guests don’t even know they’ve occurred. A good event planner will stay calm and work quickly to resolve any surprise situation that comes up before, during, or after the big day. If anything arises where you need to restructure or move your wedding ASAP… it is much easier with professional support.
- Be your advocate and go-to person on your big day – Your coordinator is your eyes and ears. The last thing you want is your caterer to call while you’re getting your hair done to ask about the setup. Your coordinator will be the point of contact for all vendors so you and your family and friends can enjoy the day without having to lift a finger!
Candice Jones, Event Planner
4. What are the 3 most important things to consider when selecting a venue location?
- Wedding size – Your guest list will have the biggest impact on what venue to choose. For upcoming weddings, consider physical distancing requirements and lower gathering numbers.
- Date and time of the year – Some people avoid having their wedding on long weekends, but others realize it might be easier for people who live out of town. Other couples decide to have their wedding during the week as a budget-friendly alternative compared to a Saturday during the summer. Weather and season are big venue factors as well. An outdoor tented wedding would be extremely cold in winter.
- Catering and self-serve options – If you want to use your own caterer and alcohol it narrows the venue options. Some venues require you to bring in all of the tables, rental equipment, and decor, while other venues, like Civic Hotel, offer special meal packages from à la carte to cocktail reception options along with high or low tables and chairs to suit your dream wedding.
5. Name some tips for staying within the budget.
Prioritize. Figure out what is most important to you. Is it food? The location? The number of guests? The dress? Sit down with your partner and list your top priorities so you know how much to allot for each item. Don’t forget about taxes, insurance, delivery, setup and takedown costs that some vendors and venues may charge. If you have no idea where to start with the budget, meet with a coordinator for a coaching session. These are hourly meetings where we go over everything (budget, venue options, logistics, etiquette, scheduling, etc) depending on where you are in the planning process. From my experience, you will save more money with the advice a coordinator gives you compared to an hour of coaching.
Thank you for sharing some tips and tricks for event planning, Candice! Recently, we hosted a wedding event in our Civic Hotel ballroom with Candice and Kimberley Falconer, our catering sales manager – see some pictures below.
Civic Hotel Wedding Shoot
See more about Candice’s event planning company, A Day To Remember, on Instagram, Facebook, and her website. We’ll be sharing photos of our recent wedding shoot on our social channels too @WeAreCivicHotel on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.