October 28, 2020
Welcome to the blog version of Wedding Insiders with Brian Ly, a weekly Instagram Live show I host every week featuring Durham Region wedding vendors to help future newlyweds plan their weddings! Each guest specializes in different segments of the wedding industry such as wedding planning, wedding florals, venue coordination, etc.! They all have a different perspective on the wedding industry through their experiences and expertise in their niche, and we get to hear directly from them on the Instagram Live shows! The goal of this show is for an engaged couple to take back at least one helpful tip that they can apply towards their own wedding!
On Episode 1 of Wedding Insiders with Brian Ly, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ashley from Velvet Bordeaux Events! She is a wedding and events coordinator, as well as a wedding planner based out of Pickering, Ontario. I had the privilege to have her as our very first guest on the premiere of our Instagram Live show! Our viewers were able to learn about Ashley and her services, her inspiration to get into wedding planning, as well as her top 3 tips to wedding planning! If you want tips on how to plan a wedding (micro wedding or large wedding), keep reading below!
I’m an early riser, I like to wake up at 6AM. I kind of like to beat the rush of everyone and like to start by responding to some emails. This is when I can touch base with a lot of my clients with upcoming weddings, inquiries, or weddings on future dates. It just gives me a chance to gather myself to give my full attention to all of my clients.
I am a weddings and events coordinator, as well as a wedding planner. I help couples plan their day. I offer three packages: full planning for couples who either have no idea where to start, what to do, how to do this event, or for the couple that just has no time because they’re so busy – they’re working several jobs, family at home, they just can’t handle this extra work, but they still want to get married. That’s when I’ll offer full planning. I also offer partial planning and wedding day management. Basically, I’m here to help you plan your perfect day.
When I got certified through WPIC, one of the things they told us was don’t put your name in the company, don’t be an average “Weddings and Events by Ashley.” There are so many Ashley’s out there, it’s not super original, and I’ve got a really basic name. I chose Velvet Bordeaux just because I do have a background in fashion, as well. Velvet is such a rich, textured fabric, and that’s what I wanted to put into my events – something that was rich and elegant and one of the finer things that I could provide.
With Bordeaux – red is such a serious colour, it’s fiery, it’s energetic. But with Bordeaux, it’s a bit of a deeper look. That’s what I wanted to give my clients – something that was fiery, serious, and rich with elegance.
Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. I got certified through them in order to plan weddings efficiently, eloquently, and with the knowledge that I have now. By doing so and becoming an alumni with that team, I have so many people backing me up if I ever need help with anything. I have a team of people in so many different industries that I can just go to if I have any questions. Through WPIC, it was a weekend course that I took and they taught me everything from placement on tables to every little detail that goes into a wedding. They taught it to me and I basically have a bible of it here that I keep on my desk and I can refer to if ever I need that extra help.
I started doing events for children. I did kids’ birthday parties, but instead of planning them, I was actually the main entertainment. So, I used to be a Disney princess and I would basically create an entire birthday party for a child, entertain all of these kids, while being dressed up as some princess. It was fun, but I really enjoyed learning more about the backside of it and what goes into it, rather than always being the star of the show. So, I thought about what better way than to get into the crème de la crème of events, which is weddings. That’s how I got into and found out about WPIC and then I got certified in order to start getting my hours in with other planners.
Right away everyone wants to know prices. I find that’s such a challenge sometimes because some people are charging such a low rate. So, a lot of the time your prices will get compared with a lot of people and I always tell people “you pay for what you get” at the end of the day. So a lot of the times when couples reach out to me, they’ll ask right away for packages.
I’ll send that off, but I like to make it more personable. I want to get to know you – I want to know how you guys met and what got you here. I’ll send out my base packages, but each of my packages are able to be curated for each couple. Once we go back and forth with the needs that the couple has and what I can do for them, we’ll meet half way and that’s when we start making magic happen. I want to be there and see you enjoy your day and I want to feel that connection with you. I always encourage people to talk to me and I want them to be comfortable.
As we get closer to the day, that’s when I’ll start introducing myself to the vendors you have already hired if I have not already done that for you. I start creating a schedule with all of your vendors and creating a wedding planning timeline specific to your day that then gets sent out to everyone involved in your wedding. What I like to tell my clients is on the day of your wedding you don’t have to think about anything – I am your brain.
I’m all for people creating their own events – I do it myself too, I plan a lot of my own personal events. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with planning your own event. Everyone wants to put their own heart and soul into it and I stand by that. But remember, you can pour your whole heart into your event, but you’re not going to be able to enjoy it if you’re there executing at the same time. So, if you don’t feel like you need a planner to plan everything for you, that’s fine. Consider having someone to coordinate for you – someone that will get into your mind and take everything you absolutely dreamed of and to help you bring that into fruition.
Lists! Again, make your wedding planning checklist. List off who you want to be there, your favourite colours you would like to be present at your wedding, and discuss it with each other. Talk about it. Let them know. You are doing this together. Create your wedding planning checklist separately and then combine them. List your themes, favourite foods. So, lists!
Phone: (289) 979-9123
Thank you for reading the first ever blog post of Wedding Insiders with Brian Ly. What you just read was not even all the content! Head over to my Instagram to watch the full conversation I had with Ashley (timestamps listed below)! I hope you were able to take something from this conversation and can apply it to your wedding. Happy planning!
One of the most important vendors is your photographer that you select for your wedding. You can learn more about my approach towards your wedding day here!
Unfortunately, IGTV doesn’t allow for quick timestamp jumps to particular sections in the video, but you can use the below times as reference to drag the slider to a particular section you wanted to learn more about!
What is your role in the wedding industry? – 4:44
Most popular wedding planning package? – 5:32
What is WPIC? – 6:10
Is WPIC a requirement for wedding planners? – 7:15
What inspired you to get into wedding planning? – 8:00
Most unique wedding you have planned? – 9:25
What is your process from initial inquiry stage and leading up to the wedding? – 10:55
What are you doing on the wedding day? – 14:30
Is it the same wedding day process for each wedding? – 18:47
What do you say to couples on a budget or like to handle planning themselves? – 19:30
Any interesting projects you are working on? – 20:40
Top 3 concerns couples approach you with? – 22:20
Budget breakdown? – 26:04
Top 3 tips to plan a wedding? – 27:45
Secrets for staying calm under pressure? – 30:30
Would you hire your own wedding planner? – 32:04
What can couples expect having you as their wedding planner? – 33:26
What is one actionable step couples can do right now to start planning for their wedding? – 34:50
A Durham wedding photographer in Ontario, Canada, Brian Ly Photography specializes in candid wedding photography, storytelling real moments for laid-back couples who live in the now.
Brian Ly Photography provides services at wedding venues in Durham Region as well as the GTA.