And bringing up the rear in our series of senior team profiles, is Kimberly Fu Skubic, the CEO and Founder of Envision Weddings and Events.
As her main bio says, Kimberly began this company in 2008 following an unsuccessful attempt in creating a wedding videography and filming business - through the minimal success (and many failures), Kimberly decided to utilize the lessons she learned and try again; this time, in event management, which she minored in during her undergrad studies.
Here we pick her brain of some of the things and experiences she's witnessed over the years...
What has been your most memorable planning experience over the past 8 years?
It's hard to choose just one - there have been so many over the years - but if there is any that stick out of my mind, it would have to be these top three:
- Watching the same-day edit for Jessica and Atal's wedding and really feeling a deep connection to the couple and their struggles, over the planning period and prior to that. I got to know them so much as people, not just as clients, and I know our team pulled out every stop for them to make sure they got what they deserved - a beautiful, multi-day, multicultural celebration. I don't think I've ever cried that much at a client's video!
- During one of our first destination weddings in Mexico, I witnessed a near-death experience for one of the bridesmaids (she nearly drowned). Having to quickly think on my feet on how to help and being the middle person in the aftermath to try and get their insurance sorted -- I felt like all my training in crisis management and troubleshooting was boiled down to those 2-3 days.
- Pulling off a wedding on Toronto Island (for day-of coordination) with very little resources and a lot of missed details during the planning process. We had to coordinate ferry schedules, manage vendors with lots of equipment and tools and battle bad weather to make sure everyone and everything got across - and then leading 100+ guests (most of whom were drunk) back to the ferry dock to catch the very last boat off the island and risking having them be stranded. A crazy, but ultimately successful, experience!
What is your favourite unique wedding detail you've witnessed?
This year, one of the couples I worked with chose a really awesome game to play at the wedding which was a variation of musical chairs - the guests had to go out into the crowd and find an item, then run back and find a seat in the remaining chairs. It sounds basic, but when you have incredibly ambitious guests that would push you over to win, it became really fun to watch. One of the last items was "a shirt off of a guy's back", and one of the groomsmen literally ripped his entire shirt off, buttons and all.
I also had a client a couple years back put together a sweets station with just traditional Filipino and Polish sweets. I love when clients add their little cultural element to it - we live in Toronto, with a plethora of cultures coming together, why not pay homage to it?
What's the most challenging aspect of planning by your experience?
Work / life balance is always a challenging part. It's only my husband and I with our puppy - but I can't imagine having this career and also juggling kids. We already hardly have time to sit down with a proper meal and watch a full movie!
What is your favourite colour palette?
I love jewel tones - it was the palette for my own wedding back in 2012. Champagnes, plums and emerald greens put together gives an incredibly regal feeling.
What do you do during downtime?
I read Buzzfeed (I love the Try Guys) and watch videos on how to cook things. I love cooking, when I have the time to do it. I also love looking up cultural recipes to learn how to make it (pierogies, Portuguese chicken, cabbage rolls, Indian curry, etc.) I also binge-watch Netflix with hubby and love re-watching old favourites.
What's a quirky fact(s) that someone may not know about you?
I am a big Marvel fan, and particularly obsessed with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I save all my movie passes for when the next film comes out. I also love heist movies, historical thrillers and historical documentaries. I'm not really a rom-com kind of girl! (Unless it involves Ryan Reynolds - sorry honey!)
I'm also a punctuation/grammar nut. I will scour emails (and my team's emails - sorry guys) to make sure everything has the proper capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Someone once told me that I have some of the most well-structured text messages they've ever seen!
Kimberly has several accolades that she accomplished over her years in event planning. She is a graduate of Humber College's Event Management certificate program, and was certified in Wedding Planning and Consulting from the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada in 2008. She completed the Destination Wedding certification in 2013, followed by the floral design program from the Canadian Institute of Floral Design in 2014. Even so, she credits her father, a retired small business owner himself, as the real teacher in developing and growing her business. She will be leading all full-planning and partial planning contracts for the 2016/2017 season, as well as expanding in destination weddings, corporate events and floral design with her amazing team.