Jolyn Saramaga started her company in October 2001, and is so excited and proud that Nuance Occasions is entering its 10th year of business. Jolyn took the WPIC course in 2004; it was one of the first WPIC courses offered in western Canada. She had educated herself with American wedding consulting courses but the stats and data never fit her local demographics, so she wanted some Canadian content.
In 2001, Nuance Occasions was born. The word nuance means “a subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling or tone”, and stems from her husband’s business name, Nuance Sound. Nuance Occasions is all about incorporating personal and meaningful details for its couples – from obvious elements to subtle ones. Now, Nuance is what encompasses all business endeavours they create as a couple.
Prior to weddings, Jolyn worked as a registered nurse, but her husband was in the wedding industry. She would work as his Saturday night assistant for a few years, and decided that wedding planning was for her! She spent a lot of her time getting to know vendors. Even ten years later, she admits that meeting new people is the best part of her job, whether it is new clients, vendors, or the guests at the weddings.
“It’s the people and personalities that make my job interesting and it’s the people that keep me interested in what I’m doing”
In 2010, Nuance Occasions became a “planning only” firm, no longer offering wedding day only services. This will allow them to continue to be a boutique planning firm focusing on creating a spectacular wedding experience for each couple and their guests. Nuance Occasions is also launching a travel division for destination weddings and honeymoons, which will be available in the New Year.
There are many milestones that Jolyn is proud of in her wedding career. She has worked with Blush Magazine as their wedding expert for two years, and Nuance Occasions is the sole wedding planning firm for Edmonton’s Winspear Centre.
In ten years, Jolyn has worked with many couples, and designed many different types and themes of weddings. However, there are two weddings that stick out in her mind. She was able to plan and design a Parisian Garden Wedding for an open minded couple that didn’t mind giving Jolyn the reigns and designing the perfect wedding for them! Another favourite is an art-deco wedding. It was chic and dramatic – a wedding like no other in Edmonton!
Jolyn makes sure that all of her couples get the best wedding experience. There have been many different types of special touches she has had to implement into weddings. Some of her most memorable subtle and not so subtle details are:
- Egg place cards for a couple who worked in chicken research
- Orchid archway for a reception entrance
- Items hidden in a bride’s bouquet with meaning to the bride
- A ribbon place card frame
- Flying in cookies direct from Hawaii (best cookies in the Universe!)
- Surprising a Groom with the Star Wars Theme Song on bagpipes for his entrance
- Reserving a spot for Jon Bon Jovi on a seating chart (too bad he didn’t get to attend!)
In the wedding industry it’s great to have someone you can bounce ideas off of, and get some constructive feedback. Jolyn is so happy to have her best friend, Crystal of Distinct Occasions in Toronto, be the one to help work through it. Jolyn gets her inspiration for new ideas from anything and everything, but a few of her favourite celebrity planners include Preston Bailey, David Beahm and Tara Guerard. She has had the opportunity to meet all of them and Jolyn loves how down to earth and passionate they are about what they do.
Jolyn and Nuance Occasions would not be able to produce the gorgeous and detailed wedding experiences for their couples without the help of her amazing team! Three of her current team members have been with Jolyn for the past three years. Emilie, Ashley and Andree-Anne, have put up with Jolyn’s crazy ideas, are always up for a challenge and truly care about the couples!
“I am very fortunate to have an incredible team surround me.”
When I asked Jolyn what her favourite part of the wedding planning process was she gave me one of the best answers ever! My face instantly lit up with a huge smile and I found myself nodding along with every word. Here was her answer,
“Seriously, it’s the end of the night – when I can stand in a corner, see my couple loving every moment of the day, knowing all the major details came into place. Around 11pm is when I can take a breath and take it all in… it’s incredible to see months of planning finally come together and to know how happy my couple is in that moment of time…that’s what the entire process is about…getting to that moment.”
Photo Courtesy of: Picture That Photography
I’m sure all vendors in the wedding industry can agree with Jolyn, that this is truly the best moment.
Congratulations Jolyn on 10 years of business, may the next 10 and beyond be even more successful and fun for you!