Filosophi was founded in 2010 with one simple mission: to give every bride a completely stunning, personalized and unique wedding that is anything but stereotypical. Filosophi’s passion-filled and award-winning team of planners have brought over 200 weddings of every shape and size to life, each with its own distinct aesthetic and atmosphere.
Editor’s Note: for this Best Wedding Planners in Vancouver Spotlight, we had the pleasure of interviewing Erin, from Filosophi.
Where have you been featured?
BC Wedding Awards 2013 Winner ‘Best Wedding Event Planning’; Wedluxe, Style Me Pretty
What types of weddings do you specialize in?
While some event planning firms have an aesthetic or style that they are known for, at Filosophi what we strive to be known for is personalization This tends to mean we don’t have a “look” that is distinctly ours, but we are totally okay with that, because what is “ours” is our ability to draw out the uniqueness of each of our clients and then translate those personality traits and styles into the physical realm, creating a wedding that looks distinctly theirs, theirs meaning the clients in question. I would say that we specialize in outside the box weddings, weddings in venues that weren’t built to be wedding venues, weddings that fuse two cultures and/or religions, and weddings for people who aren’t jazzed by the idea of a traditional wedding. But really, we’ll do it all, and we do – all shapes and sizes, all degrees of tradition from none to completely traditional, and that ability to conform to our clients’ needs, tastes and aesthetic is what makes us who we are as a company.
Why do couples love working with you?
I think couples love to work with us because we tend to allow the relationship to cross over from something more formal into friend zone, I mentioned that we’ll chat with clients via text (at any hour), I’ll show up to meetings in jeans, sign off emails with smiley faces, we’ll trade dog (and cat) stories – we want our clients to feel relaxed with us, but we also want to feel relaxed with them so the whole process is genuinely very natural, and never forced, formal or pretentious. If someone is looking for a planner to wear pearls to an 8 a.m. meeting and sign off emails with yours truly, it’s just not us. We want to be real every day all the time and the clients we attract tend to appreciate and enjoy that. It actually makes planning easier as we get to know our clients faster, but beyond that it’s just much more pleasant for us and I think our clients too.
What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
I think in general, I love the fact that my job is being involved in something that is so special and once in a lifetime for our clients. The relationships that are forged through planning and being a part of someone’s wedding are often lasting ones – it’s a very special thing. Very emotional, and very rewarding – I will never get sick of hearing “That was the best day of our lives!” and really feeling the sincerity in those words. It’s because I know I am working to achieve that result that I don’t mind answering texts at 1 a.m. spending hours crafting chalkboard signs or sweating in the back of a van arranging vintage furniture pieces to make it all fit. It’s ALWAYS worth it in the end.
As far as what specific moment I love most about being a wedding planner, it’s definitely the moment where I am standing with the bride before she goes down the aisle. All the bridesmaids have walked in and I have a few seconds to fluff her dress, wipe her (and often her dads) tears and we always lock eyes for a second, and there is just a feeling of ‘we did it!’ where all the hours and emails and meetings and texts and spreadsheets culminate to this charged and wonderful place in time that almost seems slow motion. And then in the blink of an eye, I am opening the door and she’s gone. And then I breathe again – truly in love with what I do.
How did you get started?
Initially, I worked in management at a restaurant, and we took on catering to a local chamber of commerce gala dinner. I was so excited and got myself over-involved in the layout, scheduling, decor, I seemed to have opinions about it all (well beyond the reach of just catering the dinner ) and it was from that experience the seed was planted. I Googled event planning and eventually got an interview and was hired by DreamGroup, one of the top planning firms in the city ( then and now ) where I worked for 5 years. During that time I was also working in the music industry and eventually left DreamGroup to focus on that. But it was only a matter of minutes after giving my resignation, while walking home, that I felt really sad to lose that piece of my life. That sadness grew to longing and eventually I was hatching plans to start my own firm, focusing on the types of weddings that really excited me creatively. A year later, in 2010, Filosophi was born!
What budget range do you cater to?
Well, we definitely have and do work with all budget types, but as far as our own fees go we tend to be in the mid-high range, and work with mid to high and high budgets probably the majority of the time, but that said we don’t have any minimum limits for budgets and our fee for planning is not affected by the budget (i.e. we don’t work on a percentage of the budget basis).
What typically happens at the beginning of the process when someone contacts you?
We start the process with a consultation, in person (or via Skype or Facetime as many of our clients are not in Vancouver, but getting married in BC) to get an idea of what the clients are like and what they have in mind for their big day and for them to get a feel for us. After that conversation, we send along a quote and then they can decide if they felt the click and want to work with us from there.
We had the most incredible experience using Filosophi Events for our recent wedding. Erica McKeddie was an angel! She was only given 6 weeks to plan the most special and unique day for us and friends and family that included ourselves and our five children! Erica met with us in our home on several occasions, wanting to meet our family and get to know our children, met with us individually and really got a feel for what made us tick! She was so upbeat and positive and had some many fun and lively suggestions! We were a perfect match! She coordinated every last detail, we felt so relaxed and taken care of and confident that this would be the perfect day and it was, it was better than perfect! Ours was unique as it was not only our wedding day, but it was also a ceremony about two families blending together with our children.
Erica was everywhere on the day of the wedding. At the venue, with caterers, decorators, the one man band and setting up the amp, gathering the flowers, then at our home,meeting with make up artists and photographers and videographers then at the venue, passing out and pinning on corsages and boutonnieres, things we had not even thought of, she had taken care of it. The few minutes before our wedding my husband to be and I were completely relaxed, got in our car and drove ourselves to the venue, hand in hand…..and arrived at the most unforgettable, stress-free, most memorable day of our new lives together as husband and wife and as a family. And all the while, Erica was by our side, bursting with enthusiasm and with the biggest smile, (it never ever leaves her face by the way). Thank you Filosophi and thank you Erica and Danielle Lum who also was there to help on the day! You ladies are amazing at what you do!! xo
As parents of the bride who live at a distance, it was really important to have a wedding planner who could understand the needs of the bride and groom as well as be sensitive to concerns that we as parents had. Erin Bishop of Filosophi did a fabulous job of attending to everyone’s needs. She is organized, well connected to vendors, has high energy, is creative and very flexible. She helped us in our “anxious moments” and was able to respond in a confident and caring manner. The wedding was a great success, the bride and groom were thrilled, and we ended the weekend with big smiles. We can’t thank Erin enough for making this happen.