You’re reading the interview series. What exactly am I doing here? I’ve come up with a way to share the work and experience of local vendors in an easy peasy format. I know wedding vendors are busy folks with a lot of information to share. Here is the first interview with insight from an Edmonton wedding planner.
Today’s interview is with Nicole Konkin of Sugar Plum Events.
The photographs featured in this blogpost are by Kyra Jasman Photography
Meet Your Planner
Nicole Konkin, WPICC, CWD | Sugar Plum Events
Where can readers find you?
Number of years in business?
What are your top three predicted wedding trends for 2021?
- Weekday weddings (if we can have a gala or fundraiser on a weekday, why the heck can’t we do a wedding!!?
- Sustainable/socially responsible weddings
- Pops of citrus palettes
Your favourite decade for wedding planning inspiration?
For design, my favourite decade, is always the decade to come. For experiences, my favourite decade is the 70’s. The experience of live music, bountiful food, tons of family and friends gathering for weekend celebrations.
What’s the wedding planner advantage? AKA, why should soon to be newly weds hire a wedding planner?
Wedding planners are an invaluable resource. We save you approximately 350 planning hours by knowing the trends, vendors, venues, risk assessments and solutions and where to curate for those perfect little details that weave your unique story throughout your day.
On top of this, we are using our years of experience, seeing everything and anything that can happen, to create your timeline so that you can flow through your day with ease. Never worrying for a second if something is missing or if a vendor is onsite. We also fix every issue you will never know you had, in ways you’ll likely never understand. To have a planner onsite means that your investment is protected.
What are your favourite online resources when starting the planning process?
Pinterest! One of the first things we have couples do is create a Pinterest board and send it over. This helps us answer about 100 questions and to determine what their style is, whether they know it themselves or not!
What’s the difference between Day of Coordination and the Full Wedding Planning experience?
Day of Coordinators will (typically) work with couples for 6 weeks pre-wedding. This support is for those couples that have planned evey part of their wedding on their own. From design to vendor curation, they have 100% designed their wedding experience. Day of (“month of” or Wedding Producers) will help you create your timeline for the day, produce the vendor production schedules, install and dismantle decor and be onsite throughout the day to produce your wedding and implement contingency plans.
Wedding Planners will be with you right from the start! We help you figure out your style, design, wedding brand and ensure that the entire design is fluid. We curate the best vendors in the industry to fit your budget and communicate the design experience with them. We are on the ground with you, making sure that every box is checked and every contract has been reviewed and negotiated on your behalf.
Having a Wedding Planner pays for itself when you calculate the hours you would have spent planning your wedding, instead of enjoying the engagement, the protection of your investment and the fact that there are no costly learning curves when you hire a real wedding pro! You only get one shot at this and we are here to ensure that this is indeed, one of the best days of your life!
What is one thing you want every couple to know about choosing their wedding planner?
In the industry we often say, “If you think hiring a pro is expensive, see what happens when you hire an amateur”. Hiring a true wedding professional means they take their career seriously. This is their full time job, they are accredited, belong to associations, continue their education and give back to their industry. Wedding professionals know that with this being an unregulated industry, it is up to us to protect the integrity of the profession. we don’t do this as a hobby and we don’t work off the side of our desk when our bosses aren’t looking, “because its our fun money”. This IS our chosen career and our work, results and reputation reflects that.
Secondly, I would say to find a planner that you have an affinity to. This means you love their style, personality and values. If you can find that, the work has already been done and you will be well taken care of! Don’t necessarily search for the least expensive because with the higher rates comes the experience, professionalism and education that in itself, will produce a significant financial and creative return on your investment. You will find that if you do not find the right fit, you will spend more time trying to communicate your values and ideas than having planned it yourself. The industry is massive and there is a planner for everyone. If you reach out to a planner that is not a good fit, I promise that they indeed want you to have the best experience possible and can refer you to someone that is perfect for you!
What’s your favourite Edmonton venue?
Oh boy, this is a tough one!! Every venue has a spark that is the perfect space for the vulnerability and experiences we never forget. I would have to say though, I really love Trestle’s Edge outside of St. Albert. Its a gorgeous tent venue and the only Canopy venue i’ve ever seen in the province. Going back to the question about “which decade” we refer back to when planning. I chose the 70’s for experiences because I absolutely LOVE when families gather in a gorgeous, comfortable space where they can create really meaningful relationships with one another. Back in the 70’s/80’s when families and friends would gather around live music, a fire, a dance floor and the best food, THIS is what I want for your couples. At Trestle’s Edge, they have the elegance of a tent or canopy wedding fused with the outdoor “May Long” experience. There is a beautiful home on the property that is all yours for the weekends and sleeps 14 with a Instagrammable wedding suite, groom’s den and plenty of room for your friends to spend the weekend with you beneath the wide open prairie skies. To me, its everything a wedding should be; elegant, romantic, intimate, inclusive and down to earth.
What was the most unique wedding you ever planned?
Hahaha! WELL! A few years ago, a backpacking couple reached out with what they called “a crazy idea”. We spent the better part of a year in meetings asking ourselves one question over and over again, “Yes! And what if we…” Eventually this wedding experience landed in Chilliwack BC where the dream came to life, “Circus Couture”. The groom walked down an aisle of LED panels that were intelligently programmed to look like hot coals that steamed with every step, there were tight rope walker around the perimeter or the ceremony space, then into the reception space and the food was a fusion of fine dining and circus nostalgia. The guests were literally from all over the world that they met along their travels and to see that many walks of life in the same room, with the same love was an extraordinary experience.
What have you learned from Covid Weddings?
What inspires you everyday?
In design, travel inspires me.. the more the better! The more I can experience, the more I can draw from and the more I can appreciate the “little” things. Whenever I hit a block, I travel. It doesn’t even have to be something specific that I see.. just the unique smell of the air, the street food, the atmosphere, the smiles and interactions with strangers and the textures and colours of a new place set me on fire.
In business, its my daughter. She’s a brilliant, sassy and clever 19 month old and I knew from the second I met her, that she would be my greatest legacy. I want every ripple effect I create to be something she will be proud of, draw courage from, be inspired by, seek wisdom from and most importantly, to be a place where she sees no limits existing.
Want more? Subscribe to Janelle’s mailing list.
Hi, my name is Janelle, I’m a photographer from Edmonton Alberta. I’m all about three things: celebration, connection and client education. My style is relaxed and romantic. I love intimate weddings, the kind where I get to know your family and friends. I thrive when meeting new people.My favourite moment of every wedding is right after the ceremony. This is when your friends and family smother or possibly crush you with either love or cheerful embrace. Bring on all the candid moments.
I value connection and celebration of moments over a big production.