Puttin’ on the Glitz in Elmira

Chantal Allen turned a flare for event planning into her own business, Glitz & Glam Event Planning

With wedding season just around the corner, Chantal Allen is busy with her newest business venture, Glitz & Glam Event Planning.

The Elmira resident just opened her business last fall, which specializes in all sorts of event planning, and she’s working on her first wedding as an official wedding planner.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing event planning. It was something that I did on the side. I helped friends out planning their wedding, I planned my own wedding to my husband. So it was just something that I always enjoyed doing and I just decided that’s what I wanted to start doing,” Allen said.

Allen previously worked as a Montessori teacher for nearly nine years before deciding to turn her event planning hobby into a full-time career. She says it was time for her to be her own boss.

“I started off with starting a new business, it was a course that was online. And then I did the wedding planner certification course and then I did the certified event planner and hospitality management course and then I also did marketing and business,” Allen said.

Even before completing those courses, she had plenty of experience in the field. She sits on the Burlington Soccer League’s executive as their social event planner. She’s responsible for planning their annual banquet and things like a charity soccer tournament and a golf tourney.

“On top of it I’m also in charge of marketing for another company, so I do marketing consulting for them. It’s called Northern Simulated Training Systems Incorporated. They’re out of Georgetown. They just opened up in March, so I took them on as their marketing consultant,” Allen said.

Chantal Allen decided to open her own event planning business last fall, turning her hobby into a career.[Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Chantal Allen decided to open her own event planning business last fall, turning her hobby into a career. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
She’s planning their grand opening launch party along with all their other marketing.

She anticipates planning three weddings per year on top of other events.

“I intend to do corporate events, charity events, sporting events. It’s not just going to be wedding specific. Bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, anniversary parties, vow renewals, I want to do it all,” Allen said.

She offers a variety of event planning packages from the total package to just single “a la carte” items, like help with guest planning, event day coordination, week-of and day-of itinerary service, venue search and selection, venue walk through, and rehearsal coordination.

And there are certainly benefits to having a professional help plan an event.

“They take on the stress,” Allen says with a laugh. “I think it’s just beneficial because there’s a lot of things that go into an event that a host wouldn’t think of.”

She starts with a free consultation with the couple where they fill out a questionnaire about what kind of wedding they’re looking for, and to get a sense of what they’re like as a couple, in order to tailor the wedding to their tastes.

“I enjoy just seeing everything come together, from the questionnaire to being able to then put the ideas to paper, then seeing the ideas come to fruition as you’re working with the vendors and the venue, then the final product,” Allen said.

She’s reached out to local businesses to add to her vendor list for clients to choose from including Sugar Babies Cakes, Martin Lewis Confectionery, Never Enough Thyme, Frey’s Flowers and the Elmira Golf Club.

As for this year’s wedding trends, she’s seeing couples showcasing themselves more in their wedding, like using pictures of themselves as table numbers.

Centerpieces are moving away from the traditional flowers. Custom monograms are becoming more popular for wedding invitations. More brides are choosing slim fitting wedding dresses and moving away from the ball gown and princess style.

“This year you’re definitely going to find there’s a lot more monochromatic colour themes, a lot more bold colours, a lot more metallics. This year I know quite a few brides have talked about wanting to have a rustic themed wedding. A lot of people are really into having a barn wedding. A lot of people are coming up with the idea of having a punch or having a special drink concoction made up and naming it after themselves,” Allen said.

Make your own food stations are also trending with nacho bars, baked potato bars and candy buffets. Couples are moving away from the traditional fondant for cake and going back to butter cream. Some popular cake flavours right now are salted caramel, lavender vanilla, champagne, and white chocolate mousse.

Allen is available for event planning in Waterloo Region, Guelph, and surrounding areas.

“It’s just those fine little details that get missed or they don’t realize need to be done. So those are things that I know being in the field,” Allen said.

For a full list of her services visit www.glitzandglam.ca.

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