Before sequin linens and chiavari chairs, there were simpler times. Times when people just accepted white linens as the norm and if they were really going to go wild they would pick a colored polyester napkin. There was no Pinterest or wedding reality TV shows, no social media to splash your thoughts across Instagram or Twitter. It sounds like I lived in the Stone Ages. In the last 7 years there have been so many changes to the event and wedding world.
Our business started in our basement, and steadily grew to our living room, to our garage to our now 8000 square foot warehouse. The whole business has grown through word of mouth and the relationships we make with our clients, not to mention providing good products and customer service. We end up being more than just another supplier, our clients think of us as friends. Once we have sat down and chatted about their wedding vision, the conversation usually turns to how we got started in this business. My husband (Scott) doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of a wedding professional. So when asked how did we ended up renting linens and stuff and being part of the wedding industry, it’s almost cliché to admit that we actually met in a wedding. And if that isn’t cheesy enough, Scott was the best man and I was the maid of honor. Apparently, weddings and events were what we were meant to do.
When we got married in 2007 in Ottawa, the truth was that we just couldn’t afford everything we wanted. Funnier still, we totally did the venue standard linen package incorporating our wedding colors of course (brown polyester overlay, light blue polyester napkins). We didn’t even upgrade to get floor length linens for the tables. When we show pictures of our wedding it looks like a BEFORE picture. Let’s just say if we were to get married again now we would have some crazy linens! Like anyone planning an event, we had a budget. We had to make choices and decide what was most important, for us wine was more important than decor – it would have been great to have everything on my wish list but we had just bought a house and wanted to get a dog and start a family so we just couldn’t do it all. We had our friends and family there and there is absolutely nothing I would change about the day. Judging from the party we had, we made the right choices!
What really got the business rolling was my single minded determination to have a photobooth at our wedding. Way back then, that service wasn’t an option in Ottawa. I tried vendors in Montreal, no luck, with the strict delivery and removal times from our venue it wouldn’t work. Vendors in Toronto didn’t want to travel all the way to Ottawa. I finally found a company in upstate New York that agreed to come. We filled out the appropriate paperwork for Canadian Border Services and I was so excited, I was getting my photobooth.
Our wedding day arrives (amidst thunderstorms and pouring rain) and I didn’t even notice until well in to the reception there was no photobooth. It turns out the delivery got held up at the border, who knew that bringing a photobooth to Canada would be so difficult. I still picture the guys sitting at the border trying everything to convince the customs officers that this was a critical delivery for a crazy Canadian bride.
After the wedding we became convinced that we couldn’t possibly be the only people in Ottawa who wanted to have a photobooth at their wedding. Thanks Martha Stewart for putting that idea in to the heads of brides every where. We started talking to the company in New York (that felt horrible about not showing up for our wedding) and used the money from the photobooth that didn’t arrive along with some of our wedding money to buy our very own photobooth – now we could have it at all of our parties and even rent it too.
We originally thought this venture would be a part time and occasional weekend business. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.