We are so excited to share with you this series where we interview our lovely Union Friends. We are always blown away by the passion and incredile talent in the Vancouver wedding industry and we wanted to share these amazing people with you all.
Happy Monday, everyone! We hope you all had a great weekend. Ready for your Monday morning break time with our Union friends? Grab a coffee and get to know the lovely Lauren McLellan, the Events Coordinator, at one of our favourite wedding venues, the Stanley Park Pavilion. Lauren is a wonderful woman who is down-to-earth, funny and so smart. She immediately puts you at ease and we always love it when we get to spend time with her. The Stanley Park Pavilion is a beautiful heritage building with a homey feel. We always find that weddings at the Pavilion are timeless and relaxed with everyone having a fabulous time. The staff at the Pavilion are all such amazing hosts. But enough about what we think, let’s get to know Lauren!
Why weddings? What do you love about them?
I don’t think I always knew that weddings were something that I wanted to do. I’ve always worked in restaurant management, and event production where it was always a mix of corporate events and private functions. But because a good portion of our events at the Pavilion are weddings, it’s really helped to form my love for this side of the industry. They are all so different, and so personal. There’s so much emotion and passion behind it. Working with the couples to help create their day is so rewarding and to be a part of it is actually a huge honor. It is such a big day in their life and there’s so much emotionally invested for all involved. I love seeing all the plans come together and to see the look on their faces when they catch the first glimpse of the done up ballroom.
What is one of your most memorable experiences working at the Pavilion?
That’s a tough one. For me, I think it’s musical moments that really stand out. Whether it’s the wedding band, or the music lineup for the ceremony, I’m always really interested in what the couple wants to play as it gives them the opportunity to let their personalities shine, and sets the tone for the party. One of my absolute favorites was an August wedding last year, with one of the sweetest, down to earth, and madly in love clients I think I’d ever worked with. They were huge music buffs, and knew what they liked. Their procession started with Joe Cockers “get by with a little help from my friends”, and then included the Beatles, some Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder; totally off the beaten path, but made for such a fun start to the night, and a soundtrack that was beautiful and memorable. The reception music was just as great, with songs that had everyone up and dancing all night.
What is your favourite part of a wedding?
Honestly, I think it happens before the actual wedding takes place. I love when a couple comes in to the pavilion for a site visit, and falls in love with the space. For me to be involved in helping them discover their dream wedding location, and watching them light up when we talk about all the possibilities is pretty cool. The email that comes from them later in the day saying how excited they are to book is always great, and usually signifies the beginning of a new friendship.
What is your best piece of advice for an engaged couple?
Hire a planner! It’ll make your life a significant amount easier. A lot of people think that having a planner takes away from the amount of input that you’ll have in your wedding, but it’s just the opposite; it’s about having someone take your ideas and visions and turn them into a reality. It cuts out a ton of tedious work, and gives you the time to really appreciate the planning as opposed to stressing over the small stuff. As great as it is to have a team of family members, or friends who want to help, when it comes down to the day having one person generally overseeing the production makes things run so much smoother. And there are some amazing planners in this city, so having any of them on your team is actually a great investment.
Besides all that, keep it light and fun and remember to laugh. Life’s too short to be stressed over something that should really be a happy and fun time.
What is the one thing about you that not many people may know?
That for several years of my childhood, I had big ambitions of being a video store clerk when I grew up. True story. I would have been out of work quick!
What is your most prized possession?
My snowboard. It is a big part of my winter well-being, and helps in my ability to survive the grey rainy days that Vancouver gives us. To be up in the mountains in the fresh air, with fresh snow is definitely my happy place.
What was the best decision you ever made?
Definitely to move to the West coast. I’m from Ontario originally. 4 years ago I needed a life change and my older brother was living in Vancouver, and always talking about how amazing it was out here. I packed up my house, and my jeep and drove out here and have never looked back. Living close to the mountains, and the ocean is definitely where I belong. I call my parents on a regular basis and ask them, “Do you know what is on the west coast? And why exactly did we grow up in Ontario?”. The opportunities I’ve had since moving here, and the lifelong friends I’ve made since have really solidified that decision for me.
If you could learn one random skill, what would it be?
I don’t have an artistic bone in my body so to be able to draw or paint would be amazing. I can barely even hand sketch a floor plan of the Pavilion without causing confusion. I appreciate art and know what I like; I just wish I could pick it up.
What’s inspiring you lately?
This city inspires me. It’s amazing the difference a sunny day can make if you’re in a mood, or need to be re-inspired, or allow your surroundings to recharge you. A quick walk on the seawall, a glimpse at the mountains, or just seeing a group of people out enjoying this crazy beautiful playground we live in is enough to remind me how lucky I am to live here. It also makes me want to fully indulge in all things active and recreational, and try to enjoy it to the fullest.
If you could trade places with another person for a week, who would it be?
Who is Ryan Gosling dating? But seriously, I’m a huge fan of Ellen DeGeneres, and the projects she’s involved in. She makes people laugh on a daily basis. She’s a vegan, and an animal activist, which I really respect. She has the power and the fame to change people’s lives and does so many amazing things for people and takes so much pride in it. She loves what she does and she is such a happy person. It would be pretty cool to be her for a week.
Thank you so much, Lauren, for spending this time with us. We really enjoyed getting to know you better. You are such a sweetheart!