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 summer, everyone! We can’t believe it is the middle of July already. We know that things have been quiet here on our website as we’ve been working away photographing some lovely weddings. We are so excited to share with you today another Union Friend intereview. Meet the lovely and amazing Jenna Smith from Revel Events. We love Jenna. She is so much fun as you can see with the goofy photo above (we were talking about cheesy photos and Jenna was happy to demonstrate one!) and with the beers on the table during our interview. Jenna always makes us laugh and we love that she is always so upfront and honest. We really feel so lucky to know her and we think you will love her too after reading this interview.
Why weddings? What do you love about them?
My favourite thing about planning weddings is when the couple tells me that they weren’t worried about anything on their wedding day. Whether it’s a minor snag or a near-disaster, something goes wrong at every wedding, and it’s really rewarding to be the person who gets to fix it before the couple even knows that there was a problem. That is what I love—knowing I am making a difference. I’m not just making things pretty, I’m actually allowing couples to spend their whole wedding day at ease. I love that my clients get to enjoy every moment, and then remember their wedding as a relaxed day full of quality time with the people they love.
What is one of your most memorable/best experiences in business?
I met these people, Holly & Roger, and they changed my world! Now the sky is bluer…
Seriously though, the best thing about being in the wedding business is the people I’ve met—both clients and colleagues—since starting Revel Events. I have had the pleasure of getting to know so many creative, talented, and brilliant people over the past few years. Many of my fellow vendors and past clients have become great friends, and I feel really lucky to have them in my life.
What is your best piece of advice for an engaged couple?
Don’t listen to what other people say you “should” do. Period.
For instance, don’t read a magazine and find a checklist of what you are supposed to have done at 12 months out or 6 months out and then freak out because you haven’t done those things yet. Don’t have your Dad walk you down the aisle if you and your Dad have never gotten along. Don’t wear a white dress if you want to wear a purple polka-dot dress. Don’t feel like there is a set of rules that you have to adhere to because that is what your family and friends think you should do.
To me the most important thing about having a wedding that you are going to remember as being awesome is having the kind of wedding that you think legitimately reflects who you are. The best weddings that I have planned are the ones where there is a healthy dose of the couples’ personalities in them. Those are the weddings that I remember the most.
What is the one thing about you that not many people may know?
I’m a bit of an open book, so that is a hard one! Let’s be honest. I’m the kind of person who leaves people thinking, “I’m not sure why she told us that…”
But, if I had to pick a random fact… Sometimes I get the “To be or not to be” soliloquy from Hamlet stuck in my head and I have to say the whole thing out loud to get it out of my head. Ask me sometime 😉
What is your most prized possession?
My most prized possession is my engagement ring, which is technically my wedding band. It was Kevin’s grandmother’s wedding band, and he will wear his grandfather’s. Before we were engaged, I had told Kevin not to buy me an engagement ring because I wanted to help choose the ring that I’ll wear for the rest of my life. He found a way to respect my request AND propose with a ring: he asked his dad if we could have his grandparents’ wedding bands. Kevin hid them in his backpack when we went to Central America last Fall, and he sweated bullets as the Mexican border guard began dumping all of the contents of Kevin’s bag onto a table right in front of me! As luck would have it, the guard didn’t open the one pocket that held the rings. A few days later, at a gorgeous place called Agua Azul, Kevin popped the question and I haven’t let my wedding band out of my sight since then.
I have yet to choose that engagement ring…
What was the best decision you ever made?
Putting personal fulfillment ahead of monetary gain. I could quite easily make more money doing something other than being a small business owner in a very saturated market—there are a LOT of wedding planners in Vancouver! But when I was working 9-5 jobs in the past, I got out of bed grudgingly every morning. I worked all day at a place that didn’t interest or inspire me. Every work day was just part of a countdown to the weekend. Now, no two work days ever look the same, so I’m constantly inspired. I’ve met so many great people, worked in a ton of exciting places, and have built a business that I’m very proud of. I am lucky to have worked with amazing clients who make me feel great about what I do. I’ve found my niche, and it feels awesome!
If you could learn one random skill, what would it be?
I’m super into textiles these days, so I would love to learn to knit or weave or crochet. When Kevin & I were in Guatemala we spent the most amazing day doing a weaving class at the home of a woman in a Mayan village near Lake Atitlan. The plan was for Kevin and I each to weave a belt. This patient woman must have shown us what to do at least twenty times, but we just couldn’t get the hang of it—it looked so simple when she did the weaving! In the end she had to make most of the belts for us. We kept breaking threads and tangling everything up, so I have a new appreciation for people who can transform something as simple as a string into a functional and beautiful piece of art. I hope my next attempt will be more successful!
What is inspiring you lately?
I’m planning my own wedding right now, and the theme is vaguely Grecian so I’m getting inspired by anything gilded and Classical. I’m also always inspired by the landscape of BC. I love being outdoors and am really drawn to the colours and textures of mountains, trees, and the ocean.
If you could trade places with another person for a week, who would it be?
Leonard Cohen. I’ve enthralled with him for years. I would like to understand why that is but I don’t… but if I could be him for a week I might be able to figure it out!
Thank you so much, Jenna, for taking part in our interview series. We loved hearing the story behind your engagement ring and about your love for Leonard Cohen.