Starting a business…where to even start?! That was essentially my first thought when I decided to take the leap and make this dream a reality. I have always had a passion for design, events, and organizing (haha – but seriously!), and I knew I wanted to highlight these skills with my career of choice. I had always put “Wedding Planner” in my “MASH” dream job category – yes guys, I 100% just referenced MASH in my blog post. I was always excited when it was the circled answer. I would envision a dreamy life living like JLO in the wedding planner… Fast forward about ten years and early twenties Amanda is finishing up her University career.
And this is where my journey began.
In total honesty: I did not like University – nothing interested me about it and unless my class was about history (huge history buff here), I was not into it. I had always talked about doing events or going into an event program. Once I graduated from the University of Ottawa I found out about the amazing Algonquin College Event Management Graduate Program. Getting accepted into this program was the absolute best thing when it came to making my career a reality. I couldn’t wait for September to come so I could start school!
I can vividly remember the first couple days of the program. I was in total awe! In complete honesty, this program brought out the worst and best in me. It taught me invaluable lessons in not only all things events, but about being a good person and realizing how valuable other people’s time is. It was an all-encompassing year of studying that covered a vast amount of material all while connecting you to vendors in the city, setting you up with internships, and allowing you to plan your own charity event with a small group of team members.
The end of the program was bittersweet. While I was happy I had successfully completed the program with honours and was beyond proud of myself and my group for hosting our charity event, I knew I would miss the program! Upon graduation I was still completing my internship with a wedding planner and was offered a job working as a Special Events and Weddings Manager with one of the most respected guys in the industry – Brian Henry. Learning from my mentors was an amazing experience and one I will forever cherish. I learned that my life will not look like JLO in the wedding planner because wedding planning is not as easy as a few words into a headset while walking through a church. Despite my childhood visions fading away, I LOVED wedding planning and I knew this was where I was supposed to be.
This is where things really kick-start for Sea and Silk. I was always chatting to my now-fiancé, Timothy, about how I loved weddings and thought I could maybe go for it and do a business but had no clue where to start. He was nothing but supportive. In fact – he basically got me my first full plan wedding! His best friend, Joe, had just recently got engaged. Joe and his fiancé were in town to celebrate their engagement with family and close friends (they live in Vancouver) and this was going to be my first time meeting a guy I had heard countless stories about.
I arrived solo after finishing up work to hear that Timothy had been going on about how great I am at event planning, how organized I was, and basically every kind thing under the sun (he is a GEM!!). This led to a quick convo at their engagement party about if I would take on planning their wedding. Was I nervous? Yes! Did I go for? Absolutely! Fast forward a month later and they had officially booked me in! The experience of planning their wedding was one I will forever value and always remember. Not only did it allow me a unique way to get to know Tim’s best friend and his wonderful fiancé (now wife!) but also allowed me to fully realize my potential. I could do this. Not only that…I could do this well. My first year I also took on two other weddings: one was my brother’s best friend and the other I got by reaching out to a classmate from middle school about her wedding!
Each wedding I did in that year was special and unique. The difference from each couple was noticeably reflected in their weddings styles. My first year is when I fell head-over-heels for wedding design – from designing a greenery infused backyard wedding and setting up pops of purple at the Brookstreet to placing florals and candles perfectly in an art gallery. These were all some of my favourite parts of those first few weddings.
Next thing I knew it was fall and my first wedding season was behind me and then…Tim proposed. OMG!! A total surprise! It was an intimate proposal in our first apartment that we were about to say goodbye to – it was perfect and very us. Wedding planner becomes the bride? OK – here we go!! I knew what I wanted for our wedding style and was having a hard time finding pieces that I loved to reflect us and our style. Annnnnd…yet again I found myself chatting to Tim about a wedding business and how I would love to have a unique rental collection while still being able to enjoy the planning aspects. His response? You would be so great at that, why don’t you do it? And so I did. Welcome to Sea and Silk – I am SO happy you made it to the end of this ridiculously long story of my beginning!!! I can’t wait to see where the next few years will take me! Stay tuned. Xx.