The idea for The Femme Stories was born last year, but with any small business some ideas just have to wait. When everything started happening surrounding the pandemic I was PROUD of my friends and colleagues for how they were tackling these unprecedented times and I wanted to document that, these are their stories.

Britt | Gloss Events and Décor 

I have had the privilege of working with Britt from GLOSS on a number of fashion editorials, her positive energy and meticulous eye for detail is unparalleled. With her as your planner I have no doubt your wedding day would be perfect because of her creativity and drive to create beautiful spaces. When everything started to happen, my mind continually went to Britt and the weddings she had planned for this year. Chatting with her, you can hear the love she has for these couples and the desire to help them reconfigure their wedding date to a new day.
Brittany from GLOSS events and decor, ottawa wedding planner and events coordinator

 For your 2020 Brides, are they looking to push to later this year or postponing till 2021?
 When the self-isolation order came in, we were optimistic that things would be back to normal within a few weeks, but as time went on and we learned more, couples started to reschedule or began to consider backup plans. My heart was heavy for them, weddings are planned months in advance and it was hard for some of my brides to lose their date. With a tidal wave of weddings being changed, we had to work quickly to make decisions to secure their dream wedding. There has been a lot of navigating the logistical chaos of contacting vendors and renegotiating contracts. This unpredictable future has impacted a lot of wedding dreams and with every sacrifice being made it is a good reminder of what true love is really about. No matter the final date, ultimately our couples will be married and these 2020/2021 weddings will reflect love’s strength.
Where do you start when moving a wedding? With so many people shifting it must be hard to accommodate with all the same vendors.
 It always starts with the venue. They are the holder of dates and usually the biggest expense for our clients so we wanted to make sure that things will transition smoothly. The next steps are based on the couple’s vendor priorities (ie: a photographer they can’t live without, or rentals that are critical to their vision). The goal is to try and keep the same vendor team in place to fulfill the couples vision, but if we have to adapt, we will.
Did you have any brides that wanted to move forward with their date, but do a social distancing wedding?
 Surprisingly no (or not yet at least.) Honestly, I would love to get creative with alternative wedding ideas! Just imagine how romantic it would be to have just you, your significant other, your officiant and an amazing photographer or videographer to capture this personal moment. It would be so special, and genuinely about the love two people share.
Even though this is a crazy time, have you been contacted by brides for 2021 weddings?
 Yes, we are definitely getting inquiries, couples are still getting engaged! They are also realizing that certain dates will be at premium in 2021 with many 2020 weddings being forced into that year. Having a wedding planner who really knows the industry and can effectively help navigate around obstacles will be even more important.
Do you think there will be surge of weddings on unusual days in 2021 because of so many weddings being pushed a year?
 Absolutely, I think people will have to learn to embrace the extraordinary time we are in. When meticulously planned, even a wedding on a Thursday or Sunday can be just as special! There’s a bonus as well because you can often save money on some big-ticket items when you’re open to alternative options!
Your company is based on personal relationships and sitting face to face with brides who you work with. When the self-isolation order went in place how did you shift to maintain your business within these restrictions.
 We were very lucky to have booked meetings with the majority of our clients in the weeks before things got “real”, so for the most part there were recent face-to-face meet ups. Post pandemic we have opted for ‘overcommunication,’ we are sending extra emails to check in, additional phone calls to stay connected, and Zoom online video conferences with their vendors to select stationery designs, discuss layouts, conduct virtual tours, clarify details, etc.
It is important to recognize that everyone’s way of life seemed to disappear overnight because of Covid-19, and this new reality can trigger a sense of loss, feelings of disappointment, sadness and uncertainty, especially for couples whose big day was on the horizon. Our business is about curating wedding dreams built upon personal relationships, and so even with social distancing, togetherness, understanding, patience and positivity are essential. Therefore, it is very important to us that all our clients know that we will be here for them whenever they need us.
How did you react when this happened, did you instantly know you could get through this, are you struggling with ups and downs?
 When the news broke that we needed to stay home, I imaged it would be a hard couple of weeks but I became deeply saddened during the first few days of self-isolation, I started to become overwhelmed by the idea that not only my business, but my life was about to change in a massive way. As I had more time to accept my new normal, I soon realized that there was power and even a sense of control within that acceptance. Since that moment, I’ve tried my best to embrace this time as a gift. It means more quality time with my 4 kids, extra one-on-one with my husband, I try to take a little time every day for myself just to breathe, center my thoughts and inner reflections. This time has allowed me to complete a few decorating projects and check some things off the to-do list around the house, as well as cook some great meals for my family. On a much larger scale, as we all do our part to stay home, I have become more aware of the environmental impact on our planet, and hope lasting lessons are learned worldwide in that regard.
We will get through this together and hopefully there isn’t another moment like it in our history, but for now, I try to find pockets of normalcy within the waves of emotion. In the meantime, we might as well do our best to drink good wine, laugh more, experiment with different recipes, play board games & video games, dance, sew, paint, watch movies, read a book, teach, learn, be there for the people around us (even if that means digitally) and always love deeply.
How has this affecting plans/goals for 2020 and has it fueled major ideas for 2021?
 I love planning and creating unique and special events, the ideas are endless! One of my current isolation projects is a giant 400-balloon installation that I am building to drape across our house. I hope the rainbow of colours and sheer size will brighten someone’s day and bring a smile to the face of health care workers on their way to work at our local hospital. Beyond the present moment, I guess we will just have to wait and see what the future holds!
 Talking with Brittany was extremely uplifting, she is very positive person and I loved hearing how she was helping her clients get through this crazy time! I think the two most powerful things I took away from our talk was, even though we are all on a rollercoaster of emotions, knowing we are all in this together, we are all struggling, but that there is someone to support you when you are down and you can help bring someone up when they are down, then that cycle of kindness is there. The second was the beautiful way she is looking at all this time we have been given. On top of running her company, she is a wife and mom to 4, so homeschooling too! She told me their family did a food cart that they put at the end of their driveway and the kids made signs that said ‘help yourself’ and ‘take whatever you need’ and while the kids watched people enjoying what they had done, she told them ‘this is kindness, when you see someone take food off that cart you know you have done something kind, you are making them feel better and they will pass that kindness onto someone in their life.’ It was beautiful to hear her speak about teaching her children this, a life lesson I know they will carry with them forever, that you can personally spread positivity, kindness and happiness!
GLOSS is a boutique event planning and interior decorating business located in Ottawa that prides itself on being trend setting, detail oriented, and making their clients feel like the most important people in the world. The majority of their business is planning spectacular weddings that allow them to run wild with their unique ideas based around their clients. Every element and detail are well thought out from the font selection on your invitations to the fireworks at the end of the night. With each event their goal is to always exceed their client’s expectations. To learn more about Britt’s company GLOSS, check out her website featuring her stunning work. You can connect with Britt via instagram, facebook or check out her website. 
Photography Credit: Laura Kelly Photography
Written by Carissa McCaig

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