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Dreams come true: Challenges couldn’t stop picture-perfect wedding

By Connie Lannan

June 6, 2024

The winning Event Showcase photo submitted by The Ultimate Party & Rental Store (Terri-Lynn Warren Photography-Halifax Engagement Wedding Photographer)

The winning Event Showcase photo submitted by The Ultimate Party & Rental Store (All photos on this page courtesy of Terri-Lynn Warren Photography-Halifax Engagement Wedding Photographer)

As the owner of The Ultimate Party & Rental Store in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada, Ashley Jollimore has helped thousands of her clients make their dreams come true through the weddings and events she has handled. When she became engaged in 2020 and was planning her own wedding for Aug. 6, 2022, she thought she could thwart all the variables that might impact her special day. That wasn’t quite the case.

At first everything went according to plan. “My husband chose the venue, The Farm at South Cove in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. My company had done a setup at this location once before, but I didn’t know about everything it offered. It is a quiet, cottage area in a smaller town that is about an hour’s drive from where we live. It is very comforting because it is right by the ocean,” Jollimore says of the venue that offers a barn reception hall, an area for an outside wedding ceremony and lodging accommodations.

Preparations for the big day started early for the former event planner, whose company provides “everything under the tent,” she says.

For the outside wedding ceremony with 118 guests, Jollimore and her team would decorate a built-in arch and provide chairs. For the reception, they would bring in the table runners and other linens, centerpieces, vases, glassware and structures behind the head table.

All incorporated her color scheme of dusty rose with accents of gold and hints of green and charcoal. “Because the tables were a dark wood, I wanted to do a dusty rose for the table runners. I planned accents of gold with the gold cutlery, gold glass charger plates and then accents of gold behind the head table as well. To make everything flow together, because there was greenery in the centerpieces, we planned greenery with different wording on prints and a charcoal napkin to bring all the colors together and add some more warmth,” she says.

The first hitch was when she began calling other vendors and didn’t hear back from them. “Some vendors took three to six months to respond. One took five months to respond, so I assumed they weren’t going to show up. I am a proactive planner when it comes to events. My wedding was in August and I wanted to have everything confirmed before the summer started because not only does the summer start the busy season for the vendors but for my business as well. I wanted everything to be locked in by May,” Jollimore says, adding that this was an “eye-opening experience for me.”

Photo from The Ultimate Party & Rental StoreLuckily, she hired a day-of planner. “That is what I did when I was an event planner. She was able to get in contact with many of these vendors who were not responding,” she says.

The second challenge came the day of the wedding, compliments of Mother Nature. “There was a heat wave. It was like 38 degrees Celsius with the humidex (humidity index) hitting 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity the day of the wedding,” Jollimore says. “We had fans in the barn and cut a couple of activities at the reception because we wanted to open the doors, get to the dance and allow our guests to relax. While we didn’t get to do everything we had planned at the reception, the day was perfect.”

When she saw the Event Showcase — a photo contest held on The ARA Show™ Facebook and Instagram pages — she decided to enter a photo of the tabletop from her wedding.

“It is something different. A lot of bigger companies do big tent setups and lounge furniture. We don’t do that. We are a smaller community. We try to do something different and accommodate what the client wants. I noticed that no one was submitting centerpiece photos. I wanted to accent what a small little community in Canada can do,” she says, adding, “I love that photo. It brings everything together. It is so classic. Pink will always be a wedding color, whether now or 20 years from now.”

She and her team were thrilled when they found out the photo was selected as one of the winners, which meant her event photo was displayed during EventsU and the show in February 2024 in New Orleans and she received a free Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP) program enrollment.

It was a full-circle moment for Jollimore. “My husband and I went to the show. I was super-excited to get a picture by our wedding photo that was on display,” she says.

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