We love this series where we interview our lovely Union Friends. We are always blown away by the passion and incredible talent in the Vancouver wedding industry and we wanted to share these amazing people with you all. So grab yourself a coffee, take a break and enjoy!
Happy Wednesday, friends! Today we are excited to introduce to you Norma Bogart, the Conference Services Manager at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier. We first met Norma last year when we were prepping for Ilana & Travis’ wedding and we were immediately taken by Norma’s kindness, sense of humour and passion for weddings. Norma is just lovely and we’re sure you’ll think so too after reading our interview with her. Enjoy!
Why weddings? What do you love about them?
I can’t imagine ever tiring of the wedding industry — even after 10 years in the business. We choose the loveliest couples of course – which ensures the planning process from start to finish is a dream for our team… and it is! I continue to get ridiculously sentimental when I see the bride and groom come up with those special wows for their wedding day. Assisting my couples with décor ideas and menu options is a lot of fun. Seeing how happy they are on their wedding day, when it all comes together, is priceless.
How did you start in the hotel/wedding business?
I started as a temporary employee over a Christmas period at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and ended up staying for 14 years. After a few years at this lovely property, it became pretty obvious that it was an ideal location for weddings – with their stunning inner harbour view and spectacular outdoor ceremony location. Delta Victoria easily became a prime venue for destination and local weddings.
What is one of your most memorable experiences in this business?
We arranged a destination wedding for a couple that worked on a large cruise line and found us online. All interaction was via email or phone. The bride and groom booked most of our hotel rooms out for a few days for friends and family… and were so obviously in love during their time with us and also sincerely grateful for every little gesture. Our entire staff fell in love with this group. We got a beautiful Christmas card following the wedding … and on their one year anniversary I received a thank you post card with a picture of them on it enjoying our Pier dock in front of the hotel. Over the top kindness!
What is your favourite part of a wedding?
My favourite part is when they sign the contract and entrust me with the most important day of their life.
What is your best piece of advice for an engaged couple?
Stick to your budget – as a Conference Services Manager, whose job it is to sell, I can’t believe I just said that! With the right advice – it is amazing how wonderful your wedding can be while staying within your parameters.
What is the one thing about you that not many people may know?
Prior to working within the hotel/wedding market – I owned and operated two permanent & temporary staffing agencies – the largest one in Victoria and one in Nanaimo. I loved this part of my life as well.
What is your most prized possession?
Family art…. I am fortunate to have a number of amateur artists in my family (not me!). I have an oil painting my grandmother gave me when I turned 15 hanging on my living room wall with my sister’s first oil painting and one of my mother’s water colours in my kitchen with a piece of art work my granddaughter gave me for Christmas.
What was the best decision you ever made?
One of the best decisions of my life was to work for Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort – because it started me on my path to the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier – a true jewel in the industry.
If you could learn one random skill, what would it be?
Easy one – cooking!
Our Pinnacle Team inspires me. We all work in the same office space and feed off each other’s energy — including our Chef Green. He is one of the key reasons our hotel has grown in leaps and bounds in the wedding market. It truly is all about the food! And, lucky for us, we are chef’s tasting crew — yesterday he passed around warm Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies and today… Key Lime Tarts. The word “diet” doesn’t work in this office. Love my job!
If you could trade places with another person for a week, who would it be?
Life has dealt me a good hand – petty happy just being me…
Norma, thank you so much for taking part in our interview series. It was delightful getting to know you better and getting to meet Chef Green. We look forward to seeing you again soon.