2022 was a wild ride! It was a year that started off riddled with restrictions, pivots and changes, with a quick and unexpected end to the public health orders, followed by a BOOM of weddings & events.
If you told me in January this year that we would have hosted 73 events, I would have laughed in your face & then had a minor panic attack. But, we made it and it was enjoyable, fun and honestly all things considered, pretty stress free!
Photo: Kass Donaldson
January started off slow and although our calendar was packed with meeting new clients, monthly meetings with our full planning clients and executing 2 restriction filled weddings, we still had this looming uncertainty about the year hanging above us. Carley and I worked really hard on back end work, updating workflows and processes to make things a bit easier for the start of the season.
February was packed with meetings for the Lilystone Gala that we hosted in August this year in support of the Cardiac Unit at St. Boniface Hospital. We exercised caution with curbside marriage licences, extreme cleaning procedures with our rental items that went out and we organized a large portion of our inventory.
March was a BIG month for me personally. I made the decision to quit my part time job and spend more time at home with my kids and focusing on my clients. It was a scary thing to say goodbye to a 10+ year career, regular pay cheques and health benefits. My family needed me. I needed a change. All of the "free time" we gained during all of the lock downs with COVID had me realizing that life is flying by way too fast as a busy working mama!
In April we took a family trip for a week to Elkhorn Resort. Not being able to travel for so long meant a few stir crazy kiddos and we needed a break. It was lovely, I highly recommend their chalets! We also spent a massive amount of time interviewing & training our new team. After 2+years of lock downs and restrictions, we were working with a super skeleton crew, and it felt refreshing to finally be able to need more people.
May kicked off our official wedding season with 7 weddings at the Delta Hotel, White Tail Meadow, St. Boniface Golf Club x 3, Bella's Castle and The Met. We had the chance to work with so many new vendors, and see so many that we hadn't seen in person in so long. It was exhilarating, exhausting and yet it felt like coming home to finally be able to work!
Photo: Caitlin Louisa
In June we hosted at least 2 weddings a weekend, and some weekends we went up to 5. It was bananas, but we made the best of it by doing a lot of mid-week trips and camping with the kiddos! We also hosted our first backyard wedding of the season in Gimli, Manitoba which was a nice change after a long winter indoors!
In July, Carley hosted a photo shoot at the Novella. It was filled with pastel colors & new, fresh ideas. We also took part in over a dozen weddings, one of which was in Clear Lake! We had more design+ clients in July than anything else and it was so rewarding to finally see all of these mood boards come to fruition and be enjoyed by hundreds of our clients guests.
August was filled with a wedding nearly every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We spent many hot hours in tents, many wet hours in rained out backyards and many long nights doing tear downs. We also managed to squeeze in 2 mid-week camping trips, many thanks to Carley for taking on so much office work! August also marked the first Lilystone Gala which raised nearly $40,000 to the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. Melanie Parent Events and I spent so many long hours working on the design, floor plan, collecting prizes, creating the timeline and coordinating vendors. Although it was a challenge to pull together, it was incredibly rewarding seeing all of the emotion in the space and being able to say that we were a large part of that substantial donation being given to the hospital. Gala's are a personal favorite of our team, so if you are planning one, please reach out, we would be happy to help!
September was filled with my oldest kiddos starting grade 3 (pinch me, where has the time gone), and 17 weddings. We were all over the province doing a multitude of weddings on the same day. I will be forever grateful for the trust and compassion that my team puts into a wedding day because without them, I wouldn't be able to help nearly as many of you!
In October, November and December we have just over a dozen weddings between our team, and we are finally enjoying a bit of a slower pace around here. We had our first wedding at Hecla Island Resort, which was STUNNING & I am headed to spend a week in Vancouver relaxing. I also had laser eye surgery in October (good bye glasses) and I couldn't be happier!
To wrap up my 2022 season, thank you to each and every one of our 73 clients this year. Your kind hearts, thoughtful gestures and 5 star reviews truly made every minute of this season worthwhile. Thank you for trusting our team on one of the most important days of your lives. Thank you for being the most amazing humans I could have ever wished to have met and gotten to know.
To my fellow vendors, I see you. I see how hard you are working. I see the long hours. I see the thankless jobs you are doing and I appreciate you.
To my team, you will never know how much I appreciate you. I see everything that you have done for our couples this year and I will forever be grateful for you. The hours and days you spent from your families, or away from personal gatherings have not gone unnoticed. We have the same core team going into 2022 as we do heading out of 2022, which speaks volumes considering being an event planner is listed as one of the most stressful jobs! I truthfully can't thank you enough. A special thank you to Carley, who has been working in the office doing so many tasks this year. I don't know what I did to be lucky enough to have snagged you but I am so happy I did!
Lastly, to my husband, my rock, my other half. I would not, and could not do any of this without you. You recognize this passion in me and you allow me to pursue it unconditionally. The long hours that you spend with the kids, doing housework, homework or cooking allow me to pursue my dreams.I come home after a 12+ hour day to a hot meal, a clean kitchen or a long foot rub while you listen to my day and I will forever wonder how I got so lucky to have found you. I look forward to spending more time with you over the winter and working alongside you to crush our goals.
I love you forever and ever babe, xoxo.
My winter will be spent relaxing, watering plants, sipping coffee and creating some amazing designs for our upcoming events.
See you all in 2023! :)