2017 Year in Review

The last two annual "year in review" posts have been dramatic. 2015 was a horribly emotional time even though the company was soaring. 2016 was an open love poem and a particularly wonderful time in my life. I'm sitting here looking over my 2017 year though, and I'm  dumbfounded.

How do you adequately describe what it feels like to run an earth-shattering 47 weddings, open a full-blown shop, move homes, be formally recognized as the best in the industry, go on the trip of a lifetime AND accomplish one of your biggest dreams to date, all in one singular year? Short answer: you can’t. "Gratifying." "Terrifying." "Overwhelmingly exciting." "Exhausting"... None of these words identifies the sheer amount of crazy-wonderful that happened this year. Here’s all I can say for now:

We fucking SLAYED 2017. 

I can't get over HOW MUCH PHYSICALLY HAPPENED this year. How did we do it?!! Really, How! Here is the chronological list of all of the major events that happened this year, emphasized with emojis:

  1. Started with a wedding and weekend getaway in Mont Tremblant ⛷
  2. FACES Magazine Award nomination for “Best Event Planner”🏅
  3. Shot my second wedding and 12 engagements/portraits 📸
  4. Launched personalized floral delivery service (Blooms in a Bag) 💐
  5. Got published in Ottawa Wedding Magazine and 5 or 6 international blogs🥂
  6. Hired Maddie and Daniela as planners on our team ❤️
  7. Bought my FIRST CAR EVER! “The Satin & Snow Mobile” 🚙
  8. Got into my first and only car accident four days later (not my fault!)🚔
  9. Had the trip of a lifetime to Havana, Cuba 🛫
  10. Had one hell of a time trying to get home from Havana, Cuba🛬
  11. I GOT THE SHOP!!! 😭😍🏦
  12. We won the coveted “Best Wedding Planner” Award at the Ottawa Wedding Awards!! 🏆
  13. We opened the shop on Mother’s Day with a massive turn-out 🍾🍾🍾
  14. I was a witness in a wedding that I attended as a guest, my first in years! 👗
  15. We hosted our first fully sold out floral design workshop 🌸
  16. Jordan got in a motorcycle accident 🏍
  17. Virginia and I went to the Twenty-Two open house 🎟
  18. I met Vikram Vij on Canada Day and we had a long walk together and talked about my shop 🇨🇦
  19. Jordan and I moved out of the house in Nepean and into our apartment in Hintonburg down the street from my shop 🔑
  20. Designed our first Château Montebello wedding and made a nice day trip out of it 🍹
  21. Hosted 3 sold out calligraphy workshops with The Happy Ever Crafter and Simply Steph Ko 🖋
  22. Had a mini vacation in Prince Edward County 👙
  23. Took a day trip to Montreal 🚲
  24. Had 27 ”friend dates” through my Instagram Friend Initiative 👯‍♀️
  25. Finally went to Riviera 🤤
  26. Attended the Stonefields Open House 🏠
  27. Made my first “big ass bouquet” (now a signature style) 💐
  28. Jordan and I split up - I kept the apartment down the road 🥃🥃
  29. Virginia got married! 💍
  30. I partnered up with Pearl Decor and did my first wedding show in years 💡
  31. I saw beavers in a bog while filming with my friend Michael 🦔 (no beaver emojis seem to exist) 
  32. Went totally 90’s for Booby Ball with my girl Samantha Marie Photography 💅🏻
  33. 4th Annual Team Retreat at Le Nordik 🛀🏻
  34. Hired on Daniela after her student co-op placement finished because she's that good.🤓
  35. Shitty trip to Mont Tremblant 🌧
  36. Stellar trip to New York City with Ness Photography 🌇
  37. Modelled a big ass bouquet on the Brooklyn Bridge - which was just featured on WeddingBells 🙌🏻
  38. Hired a new lead planner Melanie, our first experienced hire ever and we're really excited! 👱🏻‍♀️
  39. Team retreat to Noel en Noir Holiday Party dressed like a disco princess with help from Zab 💃🏼
  40. Open Birthday Party at the shop with 60+ friends 🎉
  41. Just got word that 4 of our favourite weddings this year were picked up for publication in 2018 ⭐️
  42. Rescued our new shop cat, Lady Grey 🐱🎀

There is no way in hell that we could have crushed all of this AND 47 weddings without the blood, sweat and tears of my team. Having a “team” has actually always been difficult because this is a seasonal job by nature. Our team grows and changes so much every year and this year involved hiring a full new crew; there were wide-eyed and green but ready for action. I’m so fortunate that everyone who wants to work for me happens to have the biggest heart and the most creativity and drive ever.

  • Without Virginia’s friendship, reassurance, and UNBELIEVABLE amounts of time and energy spent learning the business, running weddings with me and developing her brilliant talents in floral design; 
  • Without Daniela’s superior organization,  reliability and ability to handle ALL my nonsensical directions with ease under pressure, and without her randomly amazing skill with boutonnieres; 
  • Without Maddie’s perseverance, calm in the face of utter chaos and sheer determination to learn and succeed even when I give her little to no direction at all most times - and without the  help from her sweet boyfriend Mitch;
  • Without Zab and Azhar’s team-attack when it comes to floral order processing and organizing the shop when I don’t have time to breath, and their pure generosity as a family; 
  • Without Becca’s constant support and friendship over the years and random impeccable assistance whenever we need a boost (she’s had all my passwords to every account ever since the beginning, still trust her with my life!);
  • Without Jordan’s constant errand-running for us, random help at the shop, stringing lights at weddings, moving our house, and just generally being the only tall person around (huge bonus);
  • And without the 90 OTHER LADIES who are part of our Satin & Snow Helpers Group who would take any random job at any time, day or night, to do the weirdest tasks like chop down tree branches at 3am, build hundreds of centrepieces until sunrise, magically show up at weddings to help when we’re overloaded... 

Without them, this year would not have been the SPECTACULAR success it was. These women and men contributed so much love, energy, time and creativity that it blows my mind and I can’t thank you all enough.

My word for 2017 was “Mastery”. I think we got awfully close this year to mastering our systems, our workflow, the client management aspect and the wedding day. We had a huge amount of weddings - volume that we’ve never had before - but our systems were strong and refined so we made it through and I'm proud of how well we did. Now that we’ve had a year of dealing with extraordinary volume, we’ve actually got it fairly down pat and we know what to expect.

This year, I’m giving even more control to the team. We’re going to make every single step a team effort from now on. We’re sharing an inbox, I’m getting their input in designs, we’re all participating and leading meetings together as much as possible and really sharing the workload. This operation has always needed an army to run it, but we’re the damn Navy Seals now. A small core team of extreme efficient kick-ass women and a larger group for backup! 

My word this year is actually “PRODUCE.” I have 3 major projects coming down the pipeline in 2018, some of which will be starting as soon as I'm back from Nicaragua at the end of the month. I’m not sharing yet, but we’re all really excited, ready and almost refreshed, although I think we could all use another month or two of pure sleep.

So thank you all again, infinitely. This has been an EXTRAORDINARY year and I can't wait for what's in store.