Meet the Planners :: Heather CanadaFriday, January 30, 2009
Name: Heather Canada
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Company Name: First Coast Weddings and Events, Inc.
Number of Years in Business: Six
How did you get started in wedding planning?
I graduated from college with a degree in Public Relations, with hopes of becoming a corporate meeting planner. I decided that I wanted to get some experience from the venue perspective, so I took a job in the convention services department at an 800-room resort in Orlando, Florida. I was happy learning about hotel operations while managing the local corporate market, and then I was assigned the wedding market as well. I'll be honest, I didn't like weddings. But once I realized how unique and fun they can be, I was hooked. I moved to the Jacksonville area in 2001 and took a job at a country club, where I got to focus on weddings and club events. Shortly after moving to North Florida, I realized that there was a lack of professional wedding planners in the area, and I founded First Coast Weddings and Events in 2002.
If you had to start over what one thing would you do differently?
I would have taken advantage of local (and free!) business resources earlier, like the Small Business Development Center. Their advice is priceless.
What's your favorite item in your emergency kit?
That's a tough one, but I would say Hollywood Fashion Tape. It has a million uses!
What is the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
I've always loved this quote from Walt Disney: "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." Even though it's not business-specific, I feel like it definitely applies to starting your own company and keeping it going!
Which two people (past or present) would you have as guests at a dinner party and why?
My grandmother, who passed away when I was 13, because I would like to get to know her as an adult; and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, because she was such an amazing and strong woman who overcame so much in her life.
What are your three favorite blogs besides thesmartplanner.com?
There are over 75 blogs subscribed in my Google Reader, most of which are wedding related. Two marketing blogs that I love are Gravitational Marketing Blog and The Wedding Marketing Blog.