With the warm weather in full swing and the garden growing outside, I am starting to get wedding fever! Since I can’t plan another wedding of my own (oh how I would LOVE to do that now that I’ve seen so many gorgeous set ups), I thought I would put my energy into bringing you a little advice from one of my favourite local wedding vendors, Kirstin Patzer of Three Strands Wedding Design.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your life here in Swift Current:
I grew up just south of Swift Current, and went to Wymark School. I have a lot of great memories attached to Swift Current. My husband and I have a lot of family in the area so it’s great to be living here again. We moved back from Edmonton this past summer with our two little girls and it was the perfect time for us to start turning my hobby into a real business.
What led you to start Three Strands Wedding Design?
I really enjoyed planning my own wedding in 2009, and I’ve always wanted to run my own business. I guess you could say I have the entrepreneurial bug! I started Three Strands as a side business to earn a little extra money before we had kids. I was mostly doing planning for family and friends who were getting married. I really love the opportunity to be involved in people’s weddings. It’s such a special time in a relationship! I feel very privileged every time a couple allows me to be part of their day. I hope I can help couples find some peace from all the stress of a wedding. Starting your life together should be an exciting time!
Tell me about Three Strands Wedding Design and what services you offer:
Right now Three Strands is just me. I’ll be hiring an assistant for a few wedding days over the summer, so watch for that if you’re one of those people who has always been interested in wedding planning!
I offer two basic packages. Couples can hire me to walk with them through the full planning process, from choosing a date and a theme, all the way up to the wedding day. I help them find and book all their vendors and manage their budget and communication.
A lot of couples opt for coordination for the month of their wedding. In this case, they do the bulk of the planning themselves and I come in about a month ahead and pull together all the details for them. I become their point of contact for vendors and create a timeline and schedule for all the behind the scenes of the day. For all my clients, I’m there to help at the rehearsal and to manage the whole day, making sure everything runs smoothly and on time.
What do you bring to each couple you work with that you feel they shouldn’t be without during the planning process?
An advocate! Ask anyone who is married and they can tell about some crazy thing that went wrong with their wedding. Sometimes it’s crazy family drama, sometimes it’s a vendor that messes up or doesn’t show, often it’s a miscommunication between people, or some important guest missed the turn and is an hour late. No matter what happens, I’m there to be your voice and shield you from all the craziness. I tell my clients that they won’t even know about problems that come up until after they’re solved….and even then I often don’t tell! You don’t need to think about anything on your wedding day except remembering every moment.
What should our readers know about you and your business that they may not see from a casual internet search?
Well hopefully I’ve done a good job of representing myself online, but I think the hardest thing to get across is just how much I love working with them. Every time someone books with me I do a little happy dance! And I love getting to know couples and what makes them unique. People are so interesting! Weddings are so personal now, and I often end up functioning as a best friend during planning. I love that I get to hang out with awesome people for my job!
What is your favourite piece of advice for a bride and groom planning their wedding day?
Hire a planner! Haha. That might sound like a really big plug for my business, but it’s so true. Anyone who is married says the same thing. Obviously, I’d prefer it if couples hired me, but honestly, anyone who’s not a guest at your wedding is better than what often ends up happening. Don’t put that on your family or friends, no matter how much they say they’d love it. I’ve done weddings for family and friends, and I’ve stopped now. You can’t be a guest and a coordinator.
Tell us about your dream project. What would you do with your skills if you could direct any creative project from start to finish?
Promise not to tell my husband?! He thinks my dreams sound expensive! Haha. My dream is to run a conference/retreat centre where people could hold mini-destination weddings and events. I’d love to be able to provide a place with a beautiful banquet hall, gardens, a little inn, some cabins and a campground. That one will probably be just a dream for quite a while!
How can our readers contact you?
Before we go, please tell us all about the SW Wedding Expo that you’re organizing for February 2018:
I am so excited about this project! It’s off to a great start with lots of interest from vendors all over the SW. My idea is to host a wedding show that offers tonnes of inspiration and allows couples to meet with as many vendors as possible. So far it’s coming together beautifully. For now, vendors can contact me at email@example.com or on Facebook or Instagram for all the information on participating. Brides and grooms will have to wait until a little later in the summer to find out all our plans!
*Pictures attached are from a local vendor collaboration organized by Kirstin a few weeks ago.
Gorgeous bride: @juanitalt5
Photography by Jackson Designs