Working in the Hospitality and Event Management industry for over 8 years, I’ve had the opportunity to take on many different roles.
After graduating high school, I had no idea where to go or what to do. I began working for an event venue wearing numerous hats: set up crew, busser, bartender, host, and assistant banquet manager. The fast pace, and knowing no two days would ever be alike, got me hooked. Since then, it’s been my great fortune to wear many other hats such as event designer, wedding planner and catering manager. I even opened and flipped two of my own restaurants! It has been a busy and rewarding 8 years…
SBHR: In your role you are dealing with many different Wedding Clients with a variety of requests and wants. What value(s) is (are) most important when you think about your role?
SS: Despite working years as a wedding planner, I still get excited when I meet a couple for the first time. They are just so enthusiastic talking about their plans for the food, the decorations, the cake and, of course, the dress! It’s very easy to get caught up in the frenzy, but it’s important to me to encourage my clients (and myself!) to take a step back and breathe. I want the clients to feel confident that I will help them create the wedding of their dreams, so I’m committed to connecting with the clients personally and making their fantasy a reality.
SBHR: what do you “value” the most in your role?
SS: That’s a tough one. Every day I meet new people and experience something different. When working with wedding clients, I’m given the opportunity to see an event go from planning to production. It allows me a creative outlet while still providing excellent service to meet the couples’ needs.
SBHR: What do you like to do in your free time?
SS: Home improvement is another of my passions. It is very easy for me to spend the weekend driving between home & garden stores, planning my next project. If I was not in this industry, I would probably be an interior designer.
Friday night karaoke is also a fun time!
SBHR: Who is your biggest role model and why?
SS: I am blessed to have many inspirational people in my life. I have a very tight knit family and a circle of friends who love and support me unconditionally. But, if I have to choose one, I’d have to say my good friend, Rebecca. She exudes style and elegance and everything she does has that extra special touch. Artistically, she’s phenomenally progressive and brings out the best in me.
SBHR: What has been the most memorable story you have had with your wedding couples?
SS: I get to share in the memorable stories of every couple I work with. However, one story I am thrilled to be part of has yet to be written.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to enjoy brunch with one of my brides (who’s wedding is this summer) and her special guest, Mr. Monte Durham from TLC’s “Say Yes To The Dress, Atlanta”. We spent over an hour talking about her big day. It was an once-in-a-lifetime experience, and because of this job I love, I got to be a part of it.
SBHR: What is something about you that people may be surprised to know?
SS: I’m a small town boy…with big city tastes! I was born in Newfoundland and my family moved to Alberta when I was young. I grew up in a small town Northeast of Edmonton. You’d never guess it to look at me! I’m definitely an urban man.
SBHR: What is the oddest job you have had?
SS: If by odd you mean unique, it was absolutely playing host to bands and their crews while working at a local concert venue. I was host to some popular groups like Blue Rodeo, Hedley, The Tragically Hip, and Paul Brandt, just to name a few. There aren’t many jobs out there with such unique benefits.
Or maybe it was working as a costumer for a Drag Show at The Edmonton Fringe Festival.