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Jenna Sampson 

jenna@jmarieweddings.ca

Based in Sydney, Cape Breton​

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We tied the knot!

Updated: Sep 22, 2018



December 31, 2015 will forever be my most favourite day. It's not only because it's the day I married the most humble, handsome, loving man but because it was the first time I've experienced pure happiness and gratitude for how amazing life can be. As I look back on this day, I can't thank everyone enough for taking the time to celebrate the start of our life as #MrAndMrsHunnybear (I'll explain that # another time :)). Having said that, I thought it would be best to use my experience to put together a list of approaches you should consider while planning your own wedding because it requires a lot of time, effort and organization..


Be Patient

Do you consider yourself a patient person? Do you often say, 'I don't sweat the small stuff?" Well, that may change after planning your own wedding... To be clear, patience is the ability to last under difficult circumstances. Sure we all have moments of weakness where we want to give up but mastering the art of being patient will save you a lot of stress and anxiety, not to mention, sleep.

When planning a wedding, you'll encounter many difficulties that you can easily overcome if you're patient. For me, my first was finding a venue that, most importantly, could accommodate 426 people; was located within Sydney; could support my creative vision; and, was available to host our wedding that was only 8 months away. Free advice: If you are a person who's patience runs short, please, PLEASE give yourself at least 1 full year to plan your wedding. I was okay with the 8 month time frame because I have previous knowledge of vendors in Cape Breton, so half of the work was done.


We held our wedding at the Highland Arts Theatre, it can accommodate up to 500 people (check), it's located in downtown Sydney (check) and it's rustic, romantic, intimate vibe worked perfectly for our vision (check). I should also mention that Kevin was fantastic to work with. There's nothing better than vendors who go above and beyond for their clients.


This is just one of the many times you'll need patience on your side; there's also the invitations, bridal party attire and seating chart to conquer...


Don't Overthink

In the middle of making the 1000+ decisions required to plan even the smallest weddings, couples tend to loose focus on what they truly want. As mentioned in my last blog post, I kept overthinking the smallest details. As our all time favourite movie star boyfriend, Noah Calhoun said, "Stop thinking about what they want, what your parents want. What do YOU want?" At the end of the day, you're the one who has to look back and love your wedding; not your guests. So make your decisions with that in mind and be sure to stay true to yourself. It's okay to be a little selfish. Yes, do consider guests when making decisions regarding logistics and accommodations but for the creative aspects, choose the things that will make you the happiest on your wedding day; you only get to do it once.


Embrace the Saying "Go with the flow"

The most important thing I learned while planning my own wedding is that no matter how organized you are, how many times you've triple checked every detail with every vendor, there will always be SOMETHING that doesn't go as planned. On the actual day of our wedding, we had two issues come up. Looking back now they weren't even really issues, they were challenges and were just different from what we had planned. By being rational and taking a minute to remind myself that the most important aspect of the whole day was marrying Donald, I was able to go with the flow and make the new plan work. We had a team of vendors who we trusted so we were able to rearrange the plan while still sticking to the timeline. Free advice: always allow for extra time between the church and the bridal portraits and the dinner; you'll be happy you did when you're trying to step away for 5 minutes to freshen up. 


Spend Time Thinking About the Guest Experience

I very much loved our wedding day. My only wish is that I would have gotten to experience it as a guest. The guest experience was high on my list of priorities, especially because it was New Year's Eve. Looking back, I am so happy that I took the time to seek out unique ideas that allowed the guests to take part in many aspects of the wedding. Little details such as pouring a bag of sparkles into a vase for our sand ceremony when they entered the theatre or taking part in the Jenga kissing game. Even the family-style sharing of the grapeleaves at the dinner, it was all planned that way to make our guests feel welcome and included. As an extra special New Year's Eve surprise we had a balloon drop at 12:00 a.m. - white and clear balloons spilled from the twinkling ceiling as we rang in the new year!


Perhaps the most important thing I've learned as a planner is that everything in life works out better when the planning is done properly. When you take time to plan the details you have more control over the outcome because you spent time considering all of the risks. From wedding planning to working out, to party outfits or meal plans; being prepared allows you to reach your goals, stress free and comfortably, which in turn creates more positive experiences in your life.


Consider a Wedding Planner

Cape Breton is home to wedding planners who are dying to help you with every aspect of the planning process. Planners who will remove the stress during the months leading up to the wedding and the worry on the day of. Not to mention, they will execute your event down to the smallest details. Send us a message, we would love to chat!