{review} Party Mood

Party Mood

From planning to décor, Party Mood’s Anne Pollock brings experience, style and fun to your wedding

The first time we met Anne Pollock and witnessed her attention to detail and décor style in person, she was busy transforming a bridal show space, wall to wall, into an elegant vision by hanging countless strands of crystals from the ceiling.

Anne’s business, Party Mood, is a full service décor, wedding coordination, décor rentals, and planning business. From vendor sourcing and bookings to all-out design, this all-about-the-details professional makes it her job to handle just about anything that goes into creating the ultimate wedding atmosphere. Both experience and formal training lead Anne to her career in weddings. In fact, she admits that fulfilling the needs of each wedding is her true calling, something that comes naturally to her. “It’s like breathing!” she told staff at The Ring. She laughs, admitting, “I think I have the party gene…”

We met with the team at Party Mood to find out everything a Vancouver Island bride needs to know about why we fell in love with Anne Pollock and her planning and décor company. Here’s what we found…

Not a Job….It’s a Calling!

Anne has always loved to entertain, hosting, as she calls it, ‘many a shindig.’ In fact, she was aware that all her friends would say “Oh, Anne. She’s your go-to gal for big parties!” She had plenty of hands-on knowledge of putting together an event and staying on budget. It wasn’t long before she realized there was more to these shindig’s than a good time. For her, it was a passion. She quickly realized she wanted more formal training. Anne started by graduating with honours as a Certified International Wedding and Event Planner (IWEP). But, as usual, Anne stepped it up by enrolling in the International Wedding and Event Design Program held in Florida graduating as an Accredited Event Designer (AED). Then she added to that with various business courses and a BA, and she knew she was in business.

Anne’s love for what she does is obvious but her attention to pre-planning is unparalleled. The Ring personally witnessed her staying up most of the night to be sure that everything was in place for a wedding the next day. “I don’t like to leave anything to chance,” Anne explained. Even when she is exhausted, Anne’s ‘can do’ attitude and enthusiasm seem to find a way to shine through. And because of that, it’s clear she truly enjoys what she does, even if – in downtime – that simply involves looking for the next goal, inspiration or challenge to take on.

Anne’s brides

Anne describes her ideal bride as one who wants her to decorate creatively and yet still give Anne a bit of free reign to think fresh because that’s where the magic happens. “I think brides choose me because I offer tremendous value when decorating and I provide a sense of relief to their décor budget with rental items. I have brides of many different ages and ethnicities. I have first and second marriages, and brides planning from both on and off the Island. And I love providing all types of décor; glamour, vintage, urban, beach, edgy, artsy, or cultural.”

Trends, creativity, and delivering the wow factor

Anne believes that her interest in all things trendy helps her keep up to date with the latest styles in wedding décor. And her commitment to creativity, while in keeping with quality, is what bridal couples rave about. As Anne says, “I enjoy finding the things that make guests say ‘Wow, I can’t believe they thought of that!’… I want my couples to love what I do. Letting my imagination run wild is the best part of my job.”

Anne loves all styles but feels that vintage style is very hot right, particularly because of televisions shows such as Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire. “A sophisticated vintage look, rather than a sentimental home style vintage look, is upon us. For instance, long pearl strands reminiscent of the 1920’s is appearing and being used to decorate flowers and cakes. I will be adorning backdrops, tying curtains with them, hanging pearl strands off chandeliers, and using them in and around vases.”

“The commonality in trends that I am witnessing is that everything is cleaning up a bit and taking on a slightly more polished look within its genre”, says Anne.

Go big or go home: Anne’s recipe for the perfect wedding

Anne believes that what sets Party Mood apart from the rest is her extensive rental selection which she is able to offer at exceptional pricing. Backdrops, chair covers and bows, ceiling treatments (the crystal are our favorite!), table décor, stumps, signs, furniture, lighting, special effects, linens, children’s items… If you can dream it, she’s likely got it. And, if she doesn’t, she says she will figure out a way to get it…“I believe in ‘go big or go home’!” says Anne.

Amanda, who married on March 2, 2013, was amazed by Anne’s work. “Anne had a great variety of beautiful things. We had already identified our “vintage” theme, so her options were endless. We could have gone ALL OUT, or simple, or somewhere in between! It was great.”

Tracey, also married March 2, 2013, agreed. “Having all the antique and vintage pieces all in one place was convenient, affordable and easy. We had not seen the variety anywhere else… I would say it is a one-stop place. You will find whatever you need… Anne is so creative and helpful.”

Anne finds that chandeliers are the most popular item to rent as they offer instant ‘wow’ for many wedding styles. The most popular service is backdrops and ceiling treatments equally. “Brides don’t want the stress and hassle on the day of their wedding, and don’t want to ask family to do it either. They are time consuming projects and I deliver a better look than an untrained person!”

But if you haven’t met with Anne just yet and if you’re not sure where to start looking for inspiration, most of her brides go to the Party Mood website first. The site helps you get a feel for just how many items there are in her rental collection.

A Collaborative Experience…

So how does Anne go about starting with a couple’s wedding day experience? “I often meet at my house where I offer a cup of tea or wine. It is a personal experience. We sit down and I fill in a profile sheet of information and I ask them to describe how they imagine their wedding. I will often ask them to use some of our rental items to ‘play’ and set up a table with things they like. I take photos so that I can see their likes and dislikes. The consultation is free.”

Amanda and Tracy loved how Anne dealt with their situation. “Anne was wonderful. She met us at our venue (with Party Mood M&M’s) and offered creative ideas without being pushy at all. Her sense of humour and ease of presence was most welcome as we were under a bit of a time crunch. Anne was great!”

Tracy was especially happy with the consultation. “Seeing Amanda’s face light up when she saw all the beautiful dishes we were going to be using and the reality on her face that what she had dreamed was going to come true was special for me.”

Once a couple chooses Anne to create their vision, she emails a contract and takes the deposit. Couples are welcome to contact Anne as much as they need leading up to the wedding. Anne points out that “a contract with me can be all rentals, rentals and decorating, coordinating a wedding, or a custom creation of what the couple needs and wants.”

She will use any décor items that the bride herself has gathered and go over all the vendors’ schedules. She confirms her arrival time and always attempts to do set up the day before so that the couple can see it beforehand. “I prefer that a couple give their blessing to the final look – though, if they want it to be a surprise, we can do that too!”

When setting up the décor, Anne always has at least one employee with her and she has a half dozen ‘girls’ on call who have worked with her over the years. On the day of the wedding, Anne is the person on-site and doesn’t usually bring other staff, though she admits to sometimes having her husband come with her to do the ‘heavy lifting’!

Megan, married July 18, 2012, especially appreciated Anne’s organizational skills. “Like most brides, I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted for my wedding, but Anne was on top of all the things I never thought of like timelines and how everything would flow together. She helped with all the pre-planning and was there on site for the wedding and all the take down.”

The day after the wedding, Anne can be found ‘un-decorating’ and returning linens. “I give “rental only” brides two days to return items to me so they can relax the day after the wedding.”

We LOVE!

♥ Anne is a joiner… She’s a member of the Vancouver Chapter of ISES, the International Special Events Society, as well as a member of IPEN, the Island Professional Event Network.

♥ Anne is also a big supporter of her community, acting as a Director of the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation where she puts her event talent to use fundraising!

♥ Anne knows how to make her brides happy. Bride, Tracy, was inspired to say, “Having just completed the wedding, we experienced the magical day, and returned all the rentals, I would say make the day as close to your dreams as possible. The little added pieces add to the ambiance and create a beautiful space. It’s a once in a lifetime day – use resources available to you like Party Mood – you won’t regret it!”

♥ Anne’s flexibility is particularly welcomed when it comes to budget. Megan Hisem, whose wedding was “smallish with just family and close friends at a vineyard and a larger reception on my parent’s property”, found Anne so easy to work with when it came to finances. “Anne can be involved as little or as much as you need.”

Prices & Packages

Anne offers packages that can go from a little bit of decorating help to a more full-service planning and design package that will better help design your entire day and the many important details within it.

Packages available include: Ceremony Coordination Day of Wedding, Ceremony Décor, Reception Coordinating Day of Wedding, Reception Décor, and of course, custom packages! To give you an idea of pricing…
•    An 8 Panel Fabric Ceiling starts at $350.
•    Backdrops starts at $200.
•    The Perfect Pre-Planning Start package starts at $900.
•    Out of Town Guests Package Start at $125.
•    Cleanup After the Wedding Reception Start at $75 per 1.5 hours for 2 people
•    Hire Extra Help $25 hour (per person)
•    Designated Drivers $35/hour (per driver)

Details, details, details…

•    A 25% deposit books your date with Party Mood.
•    Remaining balance may be paid in installments leading up to the wedding.
•    Balance is paid in full no later than one week prior to the wedding.

Contacting Party Mood

You can reach Party Mood by phone at 250.701.3151 or by email at hello@partymood.com. And to get an idea of what’s in store, you can check out the online gallery and details online at www.partymood.com!

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