Photo by Lucida Photography on Aurora’s wedding day
Today’s post was mostly written with tears running down my face because today we are celebrating Aurora’s tenth anniversary with Alicia Keats Weddings + Events.
I remember vividly the first time I worked with Aurora. We were working at another planning company and she was my wedding day assistant. She arrived at the church early and knew the entire timeline by heart, knew all of the families names and who was related to who. Each time I turned to her to ask her to help me or to do something for me it was already done. I was blown away. As we quickly ate our dinner in-between speeches that night I told her that she was born to be a wedding planner and she had the gift that can not be taught. She was passionate, kind, attentive to our clients and their guests, was graceful under pressure with a smile the entire time.
A little while later I made the decision to open up my own company and one afternoon I got a message from her asking if we could go for coffee and catch up. I held my breath praying that she was wanting to meet because she wanted to join the company. I don’t remember anything about our small talk over coffee other than I felt like I was going to faint the entire time until she finally said, “It would be my dream to work with you, are you at all open to having me join your team?” I jumped up and down in the middle of the coffee shop screaming and clapping my hands shouting YES!! Of course!!! Then I immediately sat down and laid out to her that it was a very new business, it may not work, and shared with her how she was taking a huge risk and asked her if she was sure this was a good idea. Aurora looked at me and said “Alicia, I believe in you, I am not worried”. And I cried.
And here we are, 10 years later.
Alicia Keats Weddings + Events is eleven years old next month and I could not have done it without Aurora. Over her tenure not only has Aurora brought her creativity, her brilliance and talent to our team and to our couples, she has always pushed me to believe in myself, to dream bigger, value myself more, take risks and helped to create this company and dream of being able to do what we love while living the life we could only have dreamed of back then in that Starbucks.
I have lost track of how many weddings Aurora has been a part of. She has planned a wedding in a furniture showroom what barely had any power (or washrooms!) and required a moving truck to clear out the showroom and re-set it after the wedding. She was a finalist for Best Event Planner from the BC Professional Wedding Awards for her wedding in the snowy backcountry which required her to snowcat in everything and I mean EVERYTHING.
Aurora took the challenge of creating an elegant pirate themed wedding and created a magical beautiful celebration. Aurora is also the kind of planner that you want to be best friends with after the wedding. Just ask Tedi and Ben who are now some of Aurora’s closest friends. There is the time she created an elegant ballroom wedding at the Vancouver Convention Center and Dora and James’ Hotel Vancouver Wedding or working with Courtney and Chris long distance on their wedding and the very first wedding she had published in Wedluxe Magazine. She is the queen of home weddings like she did for Corinne and Jamie and Shannon and Steve.
We coordinated each other’s weddings and of course we had to get married in the same year. If it wasn’t for her, I am not sure my own wedding would have happened because I was so scared of moving forward with the plans and she pushed me to let her help. She also let me cry the day before my wedding when we made the rain plan call and moved my wedding to plan B. Her own wedding was featured by Martha Stewart and Wedluxe Magazine and was one of my post stressful weddings to date. I was so scared of letting her down and of course, as luck would have it, there were so many behind the scene fires to put out on her wedding day!
There are not enough words to properly express my gratitude and appreciation for Aurora. I feel so lucky to have worked with her all these years, to have learned from her and watch her shine. I think any of her couples would agree, she was born to do this and we are all so lucky to have been able to experience her passion, care and creativity. Happy 10th anniversary my dear friend. Thank you for taking the risk all those years ago, I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
Photography (not in order) by Sakurka Photography, Lucida Photography, Shari + Mike, Jonetsu, Jenn Best, Union Photography, Ophelia, John Bello, Guccio, and Sweet Pea Photography.