Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Morgan Creek Wedding Gala + Winners

Thursday night was spectacular fun, bringing many vendors and even more brides-to-be together at the Morgan Creek Wedding Gala. We had so much fun creating our booth, and an incredible time talking to brides and their fabulous entourages. If you came, I hope you got a chance to speak with myself, the other Jen, or Meghan (my incredible assistants) but I know it was a busy night so if you want a little one on one time don't be afraid to email me!

We featured a mini Bella Sweets Bar to give everyone a taste of some of the fun things we like to do. I started off designing a silver and white table to try and keep things elegant and neutral, but I couldn't help it and just had to throw a little pink in there! The centerpiece was an incredible and blinged out wishing tree provided by the FABULOUS All Occassions Chic Decor Rentals whom I highly reccomend for any event decor.

We are so thankful to have some excellent prezzies to give away! So without further ado, here are the winners!

First up, we've got 5 Kitty Card Luxury Lifestyle Membership cards, and the WINNERS are:

1. Amber Jane Allen
2. Allison Dumbrell
3. Nicole Hewa
4. Sarah Campbell
5. Amanda Haight

For the $100 Hello Bella Gift Certificate, the WINNER is: ~Jessica Witzel ~

And last, but certainly not least, we've got the winner of the $500 Zoom Teeth Whitening from Kosmetiks Dental (I'm not jealous at all!).

The lucky lucky winner is: ~Wendy Strachan~

Congrats to all the winners and be sure to check your inboxes soon!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Perfect Pair: Wedding Coordinator + Venue Coordinator

Full post on the Morgan Creek Wedding Gala to come, but in the meantime I had to re-post two fabulous articles by some of my fave LA based planners Amber Events and Jesi Haack. I found that many of the awesome brides who stopped by our booth last night were confused about the difference between the banquet coordinator provided by their venue, and what it is that we do. Although your venue coordinator is a vital piece of the puzzle and will be of endless amounts of help to you, what they do and what we do are entirely different! Working together with both a wedding co-ordinator and a venue co-ordinator is probably one of the best insurance policies you can get! If you're unsure of how the both of us can make your day run absolutely perfectly, then read on!

Venue Coordinator vs. Independent Coordinator By Amber Events

"Recently a potential bride with whom I felt that I clicked with emailed me to say basically: "thanks for your follow up, but we booked Venue X and they provide a wedding coordinator and so I don't need your services." I was sad for her because I really liked her and she has no way to know that the wedding coordinator promised to her is a venue coordinator, not a wedding coordinator. I'd like to explain the difference between the two.

A venue coordinator works for that venue. That is where their loyalties lie, and that is not a bad thing or a good thing, it just is. Their job is to sell the venue to brides, give out a list of preferred vendors, answer questions about the venue, assist with room layout and tasting, and make sure that your wedding follows the rules and regulations of the space. They may or may not help with the master Timeline of the wedding day and rarely do they help decorate or design for your reception. They do know what works and what doesn't in a space, so trust them if they say "that won't work!". Depending on how large the venue is, they may have four or more weddings they are juggling that weekend. On your wedding day, they may not even be the person you have been talking to all of these months, as it is a very challenging job and some venues tend to have high turnover.

Don't get me wrong, a venue coordinator's job is very, VERY important, but they are not your wedding coordinator. Neither is your DJ, a photographer, or florist. Yes, they all coordinate things that directly relate to them (a photographer will help with the Timeline as that affects pictures, etc), but they are not orchestrating every single detail of the event like an independent coordinator will.

As an independent wedding coordinator, our loyalty is to you, our client. Not your parents, photographer, videographer, DJ, florist or venue. An independent coordinator's job is to assess what level of service you need and to go above and beyond that. And to do it in a timely manner, with patience, and with a smile. Whether hired for "month of" coordination or full production, an independent coordinator will become the adviser and orchestrator of the entire production and how all of the vendors tie in together, as well as all of the millions of details that need to be dealt with. And this is just the logistical stuff. Then we have the emotions that come into play during the planning of a wedding. I'm not kidding when I say that half of what I do as a wedding coordinator is to act as a good old-fashioned shoulder to cry on! An independent coordinator will help you with wording of your invitations, encourage you to let your personality shine through, debate the pros and cons of the shades of Bashful vs. Blush roses, give you advice on sticky budget questions, advise you how to seat your divorced parents during the ceremony, remind you to hold your bouquet low as you walk down the aisle, and hug you goodnight at the end of the day.

A venue coordinator and an independent wedding coordinator are both extremely important as they each have a specific job that they are good at doing. A wedding with strong coordinators working hand in hand usually provides a seamless and stress free wedding day for all involved!"

And just in case you're still confused, here's a couple insightful scenarios from the incomparable Jessi Haack:


The blushing bride swells with excitement as her newly adorned groom dips her ever so gently, just at the precise moment their song chimes the last tune. They take a humble bow to their guests. The father of the bride grabs the mic. Everyone is smiling, anxiously awaiting what kind and funny words the proud father will share. Everyone, that is, except for the bride. She knows her father too well and knows that he has enjoyed one too many Marry Mojitos(her talented wedding planner came up with that one). The bride stands frozen in place, a solid yet uneasy smile on her face, completely unsure of how to put out this impending fire. Luckily, her trusty wedding planner is standing by with a fire extinguisher. Because of the intense planning sessions spent together in the 12 months preceding this moment, her planner has learned priceless pieces of information. At this moment in time, she holds this valuable golden nugget: the father of the bride has a tendency to over-indulge in the special sauce. She swoops in and gracefully sneaks the mic away from the FOB and transitions the toasts over to the Best Man. Fire extinguished.


The party is in full swing. The cake has been cut. The lovebirds are slow-dancing seventh grade style in the center of the dance floor…to a fast song. The guests’ attention is ushered toward the screen. The slide show, cleverly staged by the brother of the groom, is cued. As the opening photos flash across the screen, the music begins to garble. It sounds as though the speakers are playing a mean game of “Chubby Bunny." The guests glance around uncomfortably. The bride and groom look up at the screen with a frozen smile. The feedback in the speakers growls louder and more intrusive. The wedding planner is frantically flipping switches and jiggling wires. The sound check went flawlessly! Why is this happening? As organized, trustworthy, and together the wedding planner has proven to be, this unforeseen complication could happen at any time. Just when the crowd’s attention span was about to run out, the venue coordinator rushes into the audio room and flips a switch. All of her years of experience in one venue taught her that there is a specific electrical complication that acts up unpredictably. The music smoothes out, and the slide show plays on. The guests laugh in all of the right moments, the bride and groom kiss each other sweetly as they remember their childhoods.


Of course being a wedding planner myself, I want to persuade you of the extreme importance of hiring someone to walk with you through the planning process from day 1. Someone who will get to know you on a personal level and use your personality in the planning and design of your day. But let’s be honest. I am a bit biased. The truth is, the partnership between your Wedding Planner and the Venue Coordinator is the ultimate unbreakable defense system. Armed with personal knowledge, your planner acts as the advocate of your personal preferences and needs. Armed with knowledge of the facility details, the venue coordinator covers the gaps the planner cannot fill. You see, your planner spends the time with you the venue coordinator can't. And the venue coordinator spends the time with the venue that your planner can't. It’s a brilliant collaboration!

From Hello Bella: I hope that these great posts help clear up some confusion, and of course if you ever have any questions, don't be afraid to ask!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fabulous Giveaways!

Are you coming to check out Hello Bella Events at the Morgan Creek Wedding Gala? If so, you're in for some amazing treats and incredible prizes. We're lucky enough to have some generous vendors offering some goodies for you to win, and I get to give them away! To win, though, you'll have to come to the Wedding Gala yourself! Ok ok- perhaps I'll throw in a little contest for you guys as well! Be one of the first 5 readers to leave a comment and I will enter you into the draw for the big prizes as well if you can't make it out!

Here's the lowdown on what's being given away!
Sugarcane Sugar Lip Treatment: 100 lip balm tins will be a part of the Hello Bella Swag Bag giveaways, so be one of the first 100 brides to arrive to receive this awesome lip treat valued at $6! Sugarcane Skincare is not only an amazing natural skincare product line, but it's also locally owned and operated by female entrepeneur Melissa Joaquin.
About the goods: For delectable and dependable moisture, Sugar Lip Treatment with natural SPF 10 is filled with essential oils of vanilla, grapeseed and jojoba and mixed together with real sugar extreme moisture. A thin coat under your lipstick or your bare lips will leave them feeling soft, not greasy.

Zoom Teeth Whitening from Kosmetics Dental (Dr. Randy Narayan) Value $500
Come visit the Hello Bella booth to enter your name for a chance to win FREE Zoom Whitening! This is an awesome prize and considering we're giving away 3 prizes at our booth, your chances are pretty good to win! What better way to get those teeth sparkling for your photos! Dr. Narayan is an incredible dentist with state of the art equipment and incredible skill and comes highly recommended by me (and believe me, I'm not a dentist lover).
About the goods: Take a first step in feeling good and looking great with brighter, whiter teeth in less than an hour. Zoom! teeth whitening is safe, effective and very fast, and performed only by a dental professional

Gift Certificate from Hello Bella- Value $100 - This will also be a part of the draw at our booth, and will be valid on any of our packages! It'll be packaged in a pretty little box that you can use to store wedding things in later!

The Kitty Card Luxury Lifestyle Membership- Value $25 (not to mention all the deals and discounts it will get you!)
About the goods: The Kitty Card is a luxury lifestyle membership that gives ladies discounts at stylish boutiques, luxurious spas and swanky lounges. Kitties are an elite group of high powered, high heeled women. As a Kitty you'll be given preferential treatment and special offers just by flashing your card. You'll also receive VIP access to private parties, shopping events and pampering days

Expedia Cruise Ship Centres- Entry into a national draw for a free dream vacation. Travel Agent Sheila Boulton offers incredible deals on vacations, honeymoons, cruises and destination weddings. If you're looking to book a holiday, you'll be more than pleased with her service and value.

Press Release: Hello Bella selected as 2010 Bride's Choice Award Winner

Vancouver, BC – January 19, 2010 - WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, just announced Hello Bella Events has been selected to receive the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™ for wedding and event planning!

The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ recognizes and celebrates excellence in quality and service within the wedding industry, as determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 500,000 newlyweds.

Hello Bella Events is among the top five percent of all vendors in the WeddingWire community, which includes over 100,000 wedding professionals across the US and Canada. Awards were given to winners across 19 different service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers.

“We are excited to recognize and honor the success of the top wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program has given us the unique opportunity to highlight the best wedding professionals in each region as reviewed by brides and grooms who have utilized their services in the past year.”

We are happy to announce that Hello Bella Events is among the very best wedding and event planning companies within the WeddingWire Network, which includes
WeddingWire and Martha Stewart Weddings. We would like to thank our past newlyweds for nominating us for the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire is the only online
wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding vendors. WeddingWire enables engaged couples to search, compare and book over 100,000 reviewed wedding vendors nationwide, from wedding photographers to wedding cakes. WeddingWire also offers an online community and a suite of cutting-edge planning tools, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding vendors, WeddingWire provides free online management tools creating the only market opportunity that gives businesses control over their clients, reviews, leads and performance. In addition, WeddingWire has partnered with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) to provide its network of local vendors and online wedding-planning tools in the Weddings section of For additional information, please visit

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coming up: Morgan Creek's 2nd Annual Wedding Gala

We are very excited to be a participating vendor in the 2nd Annual Morgan Creek Wedding Gala taking place on Thursday, January 28th from 6:30- 9:30. Not only do I enjoy using Morgan Creek as a wedding venue for my clients, but I also really love the concept for their Wedding Gala. I know that if I were a bride again, I would appreciate getting to scope out vendors and ideas in such an intimate and relaxed setting.

Anyone who has attended the BIG Wedding Fair in Vancouver will tell you it's slight chaos. There are thousands of attendees, and almost too many vendors to sift through. I'm not hating on these shows at all- they can be quite entertaining and provide many ideas and access to vendors, but they do leave a lot to be desired. After attending this past Wedding Fair with a bride, we realized that the fair is saturated with travel agencies, and in desparate need of caterers, florists, and planners. In fact, we found just 1 caterer and not a single florist. You make the rounds like cattle as eager vendors hand you packets of information you don't necessarily want, and sifting through to find what's really useful to you can take hours.

Fortunately for us all, the Morgan Creek Wedding Gala puts an entirely new spin on the wedding show. There is a maximum of 3 vendors allowed in each category, which means you won't be leaving with more resort pamphlets than a travel agency. It's a more relaxed environment and there's no need to rush from booth to booth in order to take it all in.

Oh, and did I mention there are cocktails and gourmet cuisine? Yes that's right. To top it off the ticket cost is by donation, with all proceeds going to the Oh Baby Campaign for Peace Arch Hospital. If you're one of the first 100 brides to arrive, you'll also receive a swag bag full of goodies.

So let's go over this again: drinks and treats, swag bags, and all for a good cause. Now my only question is: why would you not want to be there!?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Jen, I've got to plan a wedding IN A WEEK"

"Jen, I've got to plan a wedding IN A WEEK, and I need your help!"

This was the phone call I received from my friend and bridal model/actress extraordinaire Lisa about a month ago (check her out in Aisle Walk magazine and sporting many amazing wedding dresses for Caroline Calvert Couture).

Her mother had dropped the bomb that her and her longtime boyfriend were going to have a VERY intimate marriage ceremony the following weekend and that she didn't want to make a big fuss about it. Lisa, the ever caring and wonderful daughter she is, just wouldn't let her mom NOT have a wedding. It wasn't going to be big and spectacular, but it needed to be special and to capture the day that would see Norm and Ruth commit to each other for life.

A week to plan, to get together some awesome vendors to volunteer their time, and a week to make some magic happen. I was joined by the ever lovely and talented Larissa of Luxe Photography who took these amazing pictures above. I whipped together some pretty purple cupcakes to match the lavender and teal colour scheme, and with a lot of help from family and friends, Lisa and I pulled off a very sweet and genuine wedding for her parents.

In order to make long distance family a part of the day, two seperate webcams were set up to live feed the ceremony over the internet. The guest list practically doubled within that week as more and more people found out about the wedding, and this day was successful largely in part to the contribution of many caring people (Edwin, Lisa's bf, and her aunt did an incredible job acting as assistants!). All in all it was a really fun and sentimental day to be a part of. All my blessings to your continued happiness together Ruth & Norm!

500 days, 100 posts

It was the lip that got me started. How do you keep your composure looking at that face?

Yes, that's my crying face, and yes, that's my father and grandfather laughing at us.

I'm not counting, really. It was an application on my facebook page that told me that today, I have been married for 500 days.

After watching "500 Days of Summer", I found this to be a more monumental day than I would have before. I'm not sure what it is, but it gives me a little tingle. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be all business, all weddings, all the time. I've slowly come to realize that not only do I hope you appreciate a little personal insight, but I also enjoy giving it to you. I am not some wedding robot, calling vendors, making appointments and emailing all day (although I do do that). I'm a wife, a friend, and a daughter, and I love being able to share how all of that intertwines with the daily happenings of Hello Bella.

What have I learned throughout my 500 days of marriage? Well, first and foremost, it goes by incredibly fast! It feels like just yesterday I was waiting in my holding room, trying to fight back tears as my best friend told me to calm down and not ruin my makeup before walking down the aisle. That didn't last too long, as both my husband and I pretty much made our ceremony the sob fest of the decade. They say time flies as you get older, and boy are they right!

I would have to say that the biggest lesson I have learned is to appreciate every day that I have with my partner. I love him to bits, and even though we can get on each others nerves, I am truly thankful to have found my soulmate so early on in life. I try not to take our time together for granted and to cherish every moment. Soon our lives will be even busier with kids running around and our growing careers will have us glued to our work instead of cuddling on the couch after dinner. I appreciate all that life has provided to us, but most of all I appreciate the quiet nights we have alone. 500 days, and I can still say that he is my most favourite thing in the world, and I know that I will feel that way 5000 days from now.

This post also marks my 100th post on this blog. Very fitting if I do say so myself. This way I can impart a few sappy words to acknowledge these two anniversaries all within one post so that you don't get too bored with my blog!

It really has been a complete blast getting to chronicle the fun events we get to do as well as to share many pretty inspirations. I am thankful to have so many wonderful clients and supporters who have encouraged me over the past year, and have really shaped Hello Bella and the Bella Blogs into what it is today. For those readers who drop by every once in a while ( I know you do, because you tell me!), please leave me some blog love because nothing makes me more happy than reading comments!

Thanks everyone for reading, and thank you Mr. Hello Bella for being married to me for 500 days! To many many more!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sneak Peek of NYE wedding from Love Story Media

Video by Erik Andersen of Love Story Media.

While most people were putting on their party dresses, gearing up to clink their champagne glasses, and heading out to spend a crazy NYE dancing the night away, I was making a little wedding magic happen. Kristin came to me about 6 months ago to hire me for her New Years wedding. Interesting, I thought. What a fun way to ring in 2010 while starting a new life together! But this wasn't just any wedding. This was a wedding planner's wedding. Kristin owns and operates SugarLily Custom Event Design, and her portfolio of work is very impressive. The stakes were high, but we clicked right away and share many of the same OCD qualities (that I assume is a necessary quality in our line of work).

Kristin and Tyler's wedding was everything I would have expected it to be and more; touching, romantic, and beautiful in an almost ethereal way. The love Kristin and Tyler share was so apparent that I found myself having to dry my eyes more than once throughout the night. It was a stunningly gorgeous event and I was so happy to be a part of it.

I have almost recovered from that day, which started at 8:30 AM on the 31st and saw me arrive home the next day at 6:30 AM. It was an incredible feat to flip the room from ceremony to banquet while trying to make sure it looked perfect, in a timely fashion on course. As well, Kristin wanted to surprise her guests, family and wedding party alike with an uber cool lounge, so once the dinner was finished I went to work flipping the buffet room into the lounge. Midnight saw a cloud of white confetti fall upon the dance floor, and 2 AM saw myself get down and dirty for tear down.

The night ran perfectly (thank goodness, because there was a lot of pressure!) and I got to hang out with some amazingly cool vendors that I've been looking forward to meeting. Erich Saide wowed us with his brilliant photography skills and impressive collection of equipment; Photobooth Vancouver was a complete blast to hang out with; and last but certainly not least, this incredible sneak peek at the wedding was filmed and created by a very talented duo from Love Story Media. It was incredible to watch Erik of Love Story work his magic- you can really tell he knows what to shoot and when, and how to make the most out of your wedding footage. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, brides-to-be: hire a videographer! It is so worth it, and I guarantee you will be happy with Love Story.

I hope to post pictures from the wedding soon, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy this video!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hello 2010!

A very belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Hello Bella! We rang in the New Year working an incredible wedding, which was the perfect end to a great year.

2009 was an amazing inaugural year for us and we are so thankful for all of the support we've received from friends, clients and fellow vendors alike.

We're in the midst of pulling together the last of our winter weddings, but have plans to get some of our recent events up soon! Thanks for sticking with us, and we look forward to the year ahead!

All of the best in 2010!