Coffee Break with Union Friends – Devon Dunn & Jordan Maxey from Smitten Events

Devon & Jordan from Fairy Godmother Weddings

We are so excited to share with you this new series in our blog where we interview our lovely Union Friends. We are always blown away by the passion and amazing talent in the Vancouver wedding industry and we wanted to share these amazing people with you all.

Today we’d like to introduce you to the lovely Devon Dunn & Jordan Maxey from Smitten Events.  (That is Devon on the left in the photo above and Jordan on the right.) Devon & Jordan are kind, down-to-earth, fun and stylish, all quantities that make them fabulous wedding coaches.

Holly & Roger: Why weddings? What do you love about them?

Jordan: Honestly, we really love love. Devon and I love working with clients to help them produce whatever their vision of love is. The whole reason we do this work is because of love. We are both romantics. For me also weddings are a creative outlet, and that is really important to me. It is my dream job and I am very lucky to be doing it.

Devon: I think for the both of us, we’ve loved weddings since we were little. So to be able to work with so many couples each year to help create this amazing event for them, their once in a lifetime event, it is so rewarding. We love getting every little detail finished and ready for the arrival of the guests and then not only to see our clients happy but also their families. I love it when a mother or father of our clients comes up to us and says to us “This is amazing, thank you so much!”

J: When Devon says that we’ve been obsessed with weddings since the beginning, she isn’t kidding.

D: I think I was a bride for 3 or 4 years in a row for Halloween. I would take doily tablecloths off coffee tables and wear them as veils any chance I could get. So people are not shocked that this is the work I’m doing.

J: My parents kept so much of my school stuff, as parents like to do. I was going through a box recently and found this invitation that I made when I was 7, and it said “Dear Champion kids, please come to the Maxey’s front porch for the wedding of Julie and Ben.” Ben was a dog! But I wanted to plan it all and I wanted the kids in the neighbourhood to come and wear their Sunday best!

H&R: How did you two meet and start working together?

D: I was working for Fairy Godmother Weddings and Jordan interviewed for the apprentice position and that was it.

J: I started working for the company. Devon and I both grew up on the North Shore but we had never met each other. We got talking and slowly started realizing that we had so much in common. We started as colleagues and we have become very close. We’ve only known each for 5 years!

D: It has worked out really well. Even the whole story of me going to school to become a certified wedding planner where I met Kerry (the previous owner of FGW), the starting to work for Kerry, the meeting Jordan and then me buying Kerry’s company.

coffee and scones with the Fairy Godmothers

H&R: What is one of your most memorable experiences in business?

J: Being able to forge this connection with Devon. I never wanted to be a business owner, then Devon and I connected, one thing lead to another and here we are.

D: My major milestone was buying the business in 2010. Since then we’ve had 3 weddings featured in Real Weddings, and we worked on the last wedding at the Waldorf Hotel, which was pretty special.

J: I think after Devon took over the company was a defining business moment too.

D: And I really feel that where we have taken the business in the last few years is helping make change in the industry. There is a large group of us planners who are doing that. We are networking with other planners. Yes, we are competitors but we are all becoming friends. We are making the connections and knowing the other business owners and their philosophy. Then if we can’t take a couple on we can pass the wedding on to another planner. We would rather a bride and groom have a planner than not.

H&R: What is your favourite part of a wedding?

J: I really like when the bride comes down the aisle, I always watch the groom’s face because I love seeing his expression. That moment of breathlessness. Even if they’ve done a first look (seen each other before the ceremony), it is still exciting.

D: You absorb it a lot more once you’ve done the first look.

For me the moment I love at weddings is I always watch the father of the bride, walking his daughter down the aisle. I’m so close to my father. Before I was married I would get all choked up thinking about this time with my Dad and then watching it now I remember my Dad walking me down the aisle.

J: I also really like the first dance. I think the first dance is a bit of a relief. All the ceremonious things are almost over and the party is about to begin. So you really do see the love between the bride and groom.

H&R: What is your best piece of advice for an engaged couple?

D & J simultaneously: Hire a Planner!

D: It is a very stressful process, planning a wedding. I find a lot of brides to be say that they love this kind of thing but it is nice to have someone to rely on that isn’t a mother, a sister, or a best friend, who will give you her honest feedback even though you may not want to hear it. It is very valuable to have someone who is in that middle ground who is an expert and a professional.

J: It is so good to have a sounding board who is unbiased. I also feel that when you first get engaged you have this “When I get married Pinterest board” that you look towards and think you’ll do this and this and this. Then reality sets in and you don’t have $100,000 to spend on your wedding, you have $30,000 or less. You can still have the wedding of your dreams but you need someone to guide you through the process.

H&R: What is the one thing about you that not many people may know?

D: Mine is really silly. I can’t tie balloons. I have to use my teeth and my fingers. I also sing loudly in the car. I think using a hands free device works in my favour, because people think I’m talking which is fantastic. There are times when I’m sitting in traffic where I’m singing and I leave versus out so that people don’t think I’m talking too much!

J: I am a die-hard hip hop fan! That is all I listen to. The first time I heard A Tribe Called Quest, as a child, that was it, I was hooked. And I do love me some Jay-Z too. It is so out of context, I know. Don’t judge a book by its cover!

giggling with the Fairy Godmother Wedding planners

H&R: What is your most prized possession?

D: My husband and my family.

J: My daughter, Eloise, she is so sweet and such a treat.

H&R: What was the best decision you ever made?

D: Going to school to become a Certificated Wedding Planner. I took an intro wedding planning class in my early 20s and I was so overwhelmed. I was too young for it and not ready yet to jump into being a business owner. I traveled and did some odd admin jobs. Then I decided to look into planning again and took the WPIC course. Since taking the course my life has gone on the track that it should be on.

J: Mine was leaving the PR job I had right out of university. I met with Kerry and I decided to do something for myself which led me to work for Fairy Godmother Weddings. Sometimes Devon and I still can’t believe we have our dream job.

H&R: If you could learn one random skill, what would it be?

D: Tying  balloons!

J: I would really like to know how to jump rope.

H&R: What inspires you?

D: Each other!

J: I’m really inspired by fashion, I believe fashion lends itself to everything. When the collections come out in spring and fall, I like seeing what the designers are doing with silhouettes and colour. I think the trends in fashion then blend into interior design which is then reflected into weddings. For me knowing what is going on in fashion, helps me be better at my job. And Devon!

H&R: If you could trade places with another person for a week, who would it be?

J: Beyonce, hands down. I just watched her documentary and it made me love her more. What can I say, I’m a hip hop girl!

D: I’d actually like to spend a week with Martha Stewart. She has built this empire (even from jail) and she is such an inspiration for weddings.  I feel like I would learn so much as a business owner from her.

Thank you so much, Devon & Jordan, for taking the time to talk with us and for spoiling us with such yummy treats! We so enjoyed getting to know you both better.